BOX OFFICE With the only new contender the bizarre, confused-concept I, Frankenstein, Universal's Ride Along cruised to a first place finish at the domestic box office over the weekend. The Ice Cube/Kevin Hart comedy earned an estimated $21.2 million, bringing its 10-day total to roughly $75.4 million. Lone Survivor, another Universal movie, took second, earning an estimated $12.6 million, for a total of $93.6 million. According to BoxOfficeMojo, Universal is touting the fact that they are the first studio to hold the first and second spots for two consecutive weekends since Warner Bros. did so in February 1994.
The third and fourth spots went to animated movies, with The Nut Job bringing in $12.3 million and Frozen earning an additional $9.04 million. Frozen's domestic gross is now over $347 million, making it the highest-grossing original animated movie ever. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit came in at number five, with $8.8 million, for a grand total of $30.2 million. New release I, Frankenstein proved to have no life, with an opening take of only $8.3 million.
PETS Illumination is turning to a trio of funnymen to help voice the characters in their fifth animated feature, Untitled Pets Movie, about an unlikely pair of dogs who team up to prevent a scheming bunny from uniting an army of strays against Manhattanites. Kevin Hart (Ride Along), Louis C.K. (Louie) and Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family) will lead the voice cast of the all-ages action comedy, reports Deadline. It will be the first animated feature for all three actors. Despicable Me director Chris Renaud will direct Pets, with an assist by Yarrow Cheney. The script is by Despicable Me writers Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio. It is slated for release February 12, 2016.
50 SHADES The first poster for Sam Taylor-Johnson's adaptation of E. L. James' erotic bestseller has been released and it leaves everything to the imagination: no sex or bondage here, just a mysterious shot of Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) from behind. Also starring Dakota Johnson, Marcia Gay Harden, Jennifer Ehle, Max Martini, Luke Grimes and Rita Ora, Fifty Shades of Grey opens on Valentine's Day of 2015.
MARVEL Last week, we learned that Jaimie Alexander will make an appearance as her Thor: The Dark World character, Lady Sif, on the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show in an effort to help connect the series to the movies that spawned it. She won't be the only Asgardian dropping by the series, however. According to Deadline, classic Marvel villainess Lorelei, a.k.a. the Enchantress, will pop up to thwart or be thwarted by Sif and S.H.I.E.L.D.
As if that isn't enough to make fans of the show geek out, Marvel recently announced that the classic cybernetic supersoldier Deathlok, celebrating his 40th anniversary this year, will make his first live-action appearance on the February 4th episode of the show. J. August Richards will play Mike Peterson, a man turned into a killing machine, codename Deathlok, against his will. MORE >>