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Opinion articles about movie news, Oscar predictions and more!

Biggest Summer Box Office Flops Ever

Since 2020 will have an (at best) abridged summer movie season, and blockbusters typically go hand-in-hand with this time of year, I thought it would be fun to do a list of the biggest bombs in the history of Hollywood’s biggest season. For this list, I will be exposing the biggest money losers released between May and August (the typically-accepted “summer movie season”), and ranking them by how big of a financial bath they took after inflation is taken into account (although the original losses will be noted). There are even some films that lost over a hundred million dollars that weren’t even bad enough to make this list, such as: “Ben-Hur” ($121 million in 2016; $128 million after inflation), “Windtalkers” ($81 million in 2002; $115 million), “Evan Almighty” ($88 million in 2007; $109 million), “Battlefield Earth” ($73 million in 2000; $109 million), and “Fantastic Four” ($100 million in 2015; $108 million).

As with most box office bombs, these films failed because they were over-budgeted and just poor quality, but if you happen to like anything you see here then don’t get offended; I liked “Solo: A Star Wars Story” and that thing sunk like a stone to the tune of $76 million in losses. Each figure listed is the finances from its year of release, with the (inflation figure) also given. Let’s get into it.

10. Stealth (July 2005)

Budget: $135 million ($177 million)

Gross: $79 million ($103 million)

Losses: $96 million ($126 million)

9. Dark Phoenix (June 2019)

Budget: $200 million

Gross: $252 million

Losses: $133 million (N/A)

8. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (July 2001)

Budget: $137 million ($198 million)

Gross: $85 million ($123 million)

Losses: $94 million ($136 million)

7. The Adventures of Pluto Nash (August 2002)

Budget: $100 million ($142 million)

Gross: $7 million ($10 million)

Losses: $96 million ($136 million)

6. Titan A.E. (June 2000)

Budget: $75 million ($111 million)

Gross: $36 million ($53 million)

Losses: $100 million ($148 million)

5. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (May 2017)

Budget: $175 million ($183 million)

Gross: $148 million ($154 million)

Losses: $153 million ($160 million)

4. Tomorrowland (May 2015)

Budget: $190 million ($205 million)

Gross: $209 million ($226 million)

Losses: $150 million ($162 million)

3. Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (July 2003)

Budget: $60 million ($83 million)

Gross: $87 million ($121 million)

Losses: $125 million ($174 million)

2. The 13th Warrior (August 1999)

Budget: $160 million ($246 million)

Gross: $61 million ($93 million)

Losses: $129 million ($198 million)

1. The Lone Ranger (July 2013)

Budget: $250 million ($275 million)

Gross: $260 million ($286 million)

Losses: $190 million ($209 million)

Thanks for giving this a glance! I don’t know about you, but I miss sitting around in the sun reading about the summer box office, much less actually going to the theater. Hopefully “Tenet” and “Mulan” are here soon. Stay safe out there!

*all box office figures provided by Box Office Mojo

2016 Summer Box Office Predictions

With the release of “Captain America: Civil War,” the best time of year, the summer movie season, is officially upon us. And with that comes my favorite aspect of it all: box office and blockbusters. So because I love me some dollar signs and tentpole releases, here are my predictions for how movies will play out at the box office this summer. I’m going to do the 10 films, in order of release date, which I think will be the biggest and/or most interesting grosses.

Honorable Mention: Captain America: Civil War (May 6)

This was released this weekend, but I predicted it would cross the billion dollar mark back in March. I don’t think it will outgross “Age of Ultron’s” $1.405 billion (7th al-time) but it could/should finish around $1.3 and land around 10th on the list. “Iron Man 3,” which opened to $174.1 million in May 2013 (an opening “Civil War” broke today with $181.8 million), finished with $1.2 billion. So look for “Civil War” to end around there.


10. Money Monster (May 13)

I just don’t see this being a massive hit. It has the benefit of being the only wide release slated for that weekend and a film with the likes of George Clooney, Jodie Foster (director) and Julia Roberts (who has a semi-flop in theaters now with “Mother’s Day”) attached could draw in adults. However I think a film like this coming out in May and not during Oscar season says a lot about how good it actually is. Not to say it won’t be entertaining or insightful, but I doubt it’s art. I like to compare this to another Roberts vehicle, “The Secret in Their Eyes,” which came out last November. That opened to just $6.7 million before finishing at $20.2 million domestic, $32.2 million worldwide. “Money Monster” will best those numbers, but even Clooney isn’t a box office lock anymore (“Tomorrowland” lost Disney about $120 million). I think this should do alright, but nothing too crazy.

Prediction: $17 million opening / $70 million total worldwide



9. The Angry Birds Movie (May 20)

Coming out the same weekend as “The Nice Guys” and “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising,” this will best both of those (which should open to $18 and $40 million, respectively). Early reviews are mixed, so that could hurt, but that didn’t stop “Minions” from opening to $115 million and finishing with $1.159 billion last July. This probably won’t cross the billion dollar mark, but being the first true animated kids film since March’s “Zootopia (which currently sits at $954 million worldwide) should bring out the children, even if most schools are still in session.

Prediction: $45 million opening / $700 million total worldwide


8. X-Men: Apocalypse (May 27)

“X-Men: Days of Future Past” opened to $90.8 million back in 2013 before finishing at $747 million worldwide; those figures should be on-par with “Apocalypse.” This is opening against “Alice Through the Looking Glass” (which should open to around $60 million), but the demos don’t really overlap. There isn’t the draw of uniting old and new cast members and not having Hugh Jackman (in a starring role, at least) may hurt, but people clearly want more X-Men movies, so this should do just fine, baring it getting critical backlash.

Prediction: $90 million opening / $750 million total worldwide


7. Finding Dory (June 17)

Ah, Pixar sequels. They are interesting beasts. While it can very accurately be argued that the “Toy Story” franchise got better with age, many will point out the fact the sequels to “Cars” and “Monsters, Inc.” were subpar (to varying degrees). “Monsters University” opened to $82 million in 2013, and “Finding Nemo” was welcomed to the tune of $70 million way back in 2003, so “Dory” should make a splash at the box office (I’m sorry for that).

Prediction: $115 million opening / $900 million total worldwide



6. Central Intelligence (June 17)

The other June 17 release, this one should do very solid, at the very least in its opening weekend. Summer comedies usually do very well, and both Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson have proven to have audience come out to see them no matter the reception the film is getting. Their last two films, “San Andreas” and “Ride Along 2,” made $54 and $35 million, respectively, so an opening of $40 million here isn’t crazy. For reference, here’s what last summer’s comedies opened to: “Spy” ($29 million) and “Ted 2” ($33 million) in June and “Trainwreck” ($30 million) in July. I think “Central Intelligence” will open relatively big, and depending on how good it is, it could have legs.

Prediction: $45 million opening / $130 million total worldwide


5. Free State of Jones (June 24)

Opening against “Independence Day: Resurgence” ($65 million opening) won’t help, and getting delayed twice usually isn’t a great sign, so this one should be interesting. It looks like “The Patriot,” in that it is an action movie masquerading as a historical drama, and “Patriot” opened to $22 million in 2000; that seems about right for this Matthew McConaughey flick.

Prediction: $19 million opening / $90 million total worldwide


4. The Legend of Tarzan (July 1)

Now this one really is a toss-up. On one hand, it is a big budget blockbuster ($180 million pricetag) of a story everyone knows, and has Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz attached. On the other hand, it could play out like “Pan,” another retelling of an age old tale, which had Hugh Jackman but made just $128 million against a $150 budget. Getting the coveted 4th of July weekend slot will boost its opening, but as films like “The Lone Ranger” ($29 million opening/$260 million gross against $215 million budget) and “Terminator: Genisys” ($27 million opening/$89 million domestic gross against $155 million budget) can attest to, you can still lose a lot of money once the long weekend is over. Plus this will be going up against “The BFG” ($35 million opening; steals families) and “The Purge: Election Year” ($21 million opening; steals teens who want action); “Tarzan” should open in the high 20’s and then flatline.

Prediction: $25 million opening / $270 million total worldwide


3. “Ghostbusters” (July 15)

On July 15 we will all see if this movie is as dumb, unfunny and awful as the trailer made it out to look (it is the most disliked trailer in YouTube’s history, and YouTube has Adam Sandler trailers). Paul Feig again directs Melissa McCarthy, and together they open pretty consistently ($26/$39/$29 million). This is their first tentpole blockbuster outing so many will pay for the brand name (or just to see if it really is as bad as they thought). “Ghostbusters” has the benefit of being separate from other blockbusters (“Secret Life of Pets” is only big name film between “Tarzan” and it), so people will want to have a popcorn flick. This one really is tough to predict. It could flop (it cost $154 million) and open in the 20s, or could exceed and be welcomed in the $60 million+ range. I think it’ll gross around $40 million in its opening weekend, and honestly it is a mystery how much it will end up with.

Prediction: $45 million opening / $400 million total worldwide


2. Jason Bourne (July 29)

This one is a long time coming. Sure we got “The Bourne Legacy” in 2012, but we haven’t seen Matt Damon in the title role since 2007. The four Bourne films opened to $27/$52/$69/$38 million, so an opening of at least $60 million can be expected. Damon is coming off his Oscar-nominated “Martian” role (a film that opened to $54 million in October), and last year “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” opened to $55 million on the same weekend, so sky is the limit here.

Prediction: $65 million opening / $680 million total worldwide


1. Suicide Squad (August 5)

This one is no “Batman v Superman,” but the hype behind it is insane. Seriously, everyone seems to want to see this movie, whether they like comics or despised BvS. With big names like Will Smith, Jared Leto and Viola Davis starring, even adults who may not know what the Suicide Squad or the DC Extended Universe are may be intrigued. BvS opened to $166 million in March; this won’t touch that. However “Ant-Man” grossed $57 million last July and “Guardians of the Galaxy” opened to $94 million the August before that, so an opening in that range seems fair. How much this finishes with depends on reviews; as “Batman v Superman” taught us, you can have a huge first weekend and then fall flat on your face (that’s going to finish with a “disappointing” $870 million).

Prediction: $75 million / $220 million worldwide




*All box office statistics via

Reactions to 2016 Oscar Nominations

Another year, another Oscars. The nominations for the 88th Academy Awards were announced on Thursday, and as usual there were some surprises, both good and bad, with the best film of 2015, “The Revenant,” rightfully leading the pack with 12 nods. Here I’ll do a quick rundown of the major nominations along with my thoughts.



The Big Short

Bridge of Spies


Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revanant



I’ve seen all of these but “Brooklyn,” and while none are a surprise, a few, in my humble opinion do not deserve their nominations. By now I’ve made I clear I am the only human on the face of this earth that hated “Mad Max,” but apparently I’m wrong and everyone else saw a movie that wasn’t dumb, loud and lacked anything resembling narrative. Fine. “The Martian” is a blockbuster film that picked up random momentum and pop culture support, and I sadly didn’t love “Bridge of Spies” or “The Big Short” (to varying degrees). Would have loved to see “Straight Outta Compton,” “Steve Jobs,” or even “Creed” get a nomination here, but “Revenant” and “Spotlight” are two of 2015’s best films, so hopefully one of them pulls it out.



Bryan Cranston, Trumbo

Matt Damon, The Martian

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revanant

Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs

Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

DiCaprio and Fassbender were the only locks here, and they gave the two best performances of 2015 so that makes sense. The other three aren’t surprising, but each one flirted with being odd-man-out and pushed out by likes of Johnny Depp or Will Smith. Much like the film he was in, I think Damon got a nod because it was the cool thing to do, and while I didn’t love “Trumbo” it’s cool and well-deserved that “Oscar Nominee Bryan Cranston” is a thing now.

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant



Cate Blanchett, Carol

Brie Larson, Room

Jennifer Lawrence, Joy

Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years

Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

Only saw Brie Larson and “Room” of this bunch, but she’s essentially a lock to win. Jennifer Lawrence will get nominated for any and everything she does for the rest of time because she is this generation’s Meryl Streep, so not giving her an Oscar nod would be a crime.



Christian Bale, The Big Short

Tom Hardy, The Revenant

Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight

Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Very satisfied with this group. Bale (along with Carell) was only bright spot of “Big Short,” Hardy was commanding in “Revenant,” Ruffalo is underrated in everything so glad to see him get love, Rylance gave the best supporting performance of the year in my opinion, and Stallone’s comeback story can’t help but be loved. Idras Elba and Michael Shannon were both on the outside looing in, and I still think Seth Rogen’s work in “Steve Jobs” has been overlooked all awards season, but what on that film hasn’t been ignored?

Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Sylvester Stallone, Creed



Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight

Rooney Mara, Carol

Rachel McAdams, Spotlight

Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Winslet for “Steve Jobs,” yay. Alicia Vikander for “Danish Girl,” didn’t see the movie but love her so yay. RACHEL MCADAMS, HECKS YES… (clears throat) sorry. That nomination came out of nowhere but I really thought I was the only person who thought she gave the best performance in “Spotlight” and assumed she wouldn’t get her name called.



Adam McKay, The Big Short

George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road

Alejandro G. Iñárritu, The Revenant

Lenny Abrahamson, Room

Tom McCarthy, Spotlight

Like…ok. I’m happy McKay got an Oscar nomination (or rather, two, more on that in a second) but the fact he got them for “Big Short” baffles and almost angers me. That film has no real scope or reigns on its story, and that is due almost entirely to his direction and screenplay (again, more in a second). Iñárritu deserves love for “Revenant,” what he had to do for that movie is insane, and McCarthy’s direction in “Spotlight” is so subtle it’s almost brilliant. Like, cool, George Miller gets his “Mad Max” nomination, whatever, it’s a well-made film; more surprised at Abrahamson getting nominated for “Room.” Unless he is the sole reason Larson and Jacob Tremblay gave stellar performances, it seemed he didn’t have a great grip on the material.

Alejandro G. Iñárritu, The Revenant

Alejandro G. Iñárritu, The Revenant



“Earned It” – Fifty Shades of Grey

“Manta Ray” – Racing Extinction

“Simple Song #3” – Youth

“Til It Happens to You” – The Hunting Ground

“Writing’s on the Wall” – Spectre

“Oscar nominee ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’” is my suicide note but at least it isn’t for “Love Me Like You Do.” How Wiz Khalifa and “See Your Again” didn’t get nominated is a mystery. I guess the Academy either (A) hates rap songs (but Eminem won an Oscar, so) or (B) thought they were being hipster by give two random films nominations. Either way…


The Big Short



The Martian


How, in the actual heck of it, do you not nominate Aaron Sorkin and “Steve Jobs?!” I know the film underperformed at the box office, which in turn turned voters off from the film, but it was not only an apparent lock to get a nod, it was the odds-are favorite to win. I’m actually physically upset at this. It still is the best script of the year, but then again “Gone Girl” was one of the best of 2014 and it didn’t get a nomination… I don’t get the love for “Room’s” screenplay, like it’s fine, but “The Big Short” is a mess that didn’t do a good job describing its confusing stock terms despite thinking it was mastering it. “Two-time Academy Award nominee Adam McKay” is now a thing, so I guess that’s cool. Like he’s a nice guy… [sigh]


Bridge of Spies

Ex Machina

Inside Out


Straight Outta Compton

Pumped “Straight Outta Compton” got some love, although a little surprised it was for Screenplay; it’s a fun script but nothing I thought the Academy would recognize. Glad “Spotlight” got nominated but I think “Inside Out” got love for the originality of its concept more than the actual content of the script (the whole idea of the film actually falls apart if you think about it for more than a minute, like so do the emotions have emotions? I’m getting off track).

Straight Outta Compton

Straight Outta Compton

Those are my thoughts on the big awards, I’ll have more as Award Season pushes on, including predictions and my own personal awards for the best in 2015 films. The 88th Academy Awards air on February 28, 2016.

Top 5 Worst Films of Summer 2015

With the good, comes that bad. Summer 2015 gave us some solid films, but it also gave us a lot (and I mean, *a lot*) of trash. So I try my best to narrow them down to five films here. Thank God I get to list out 10 films at the end of the year…

Dishonorable Mention: Mad Max: Fury Road

This isn’t a good movie, it’s just a well-made one. People seem unable to separate the two. I don’t get how when Michael Bay throws explosions on the screen in sacrifice of plot or character development he is crucified, but when George Miller does it he is praised as a genius.


5.) Entourage

On top of being the biggest disappointment of 2015 so far, this was also just a miss on all cylinders. I love “Entourage” the show, I love Los Angeles and I love to laugh, and this film really doesn’t pay much honor to any of these things. It is an unfunny, skin-deep movie that was only not a total bomb because of the familiar faces in the best city on earth. That’s it.



4.) Tomorrowland

Quick: what is this movie about? That’s OK, I’ll wait. Give up? Cool, because I have no idea, either. Something about George Clooney and his love affair with a 10-year-old robot (it is slightly less creepy within the context of the film), and I think there was something else about the end of the world and Dr. House was there. I really hated this movie. I walked out not liking it, but in the three months that have passed, I’ve grown to loathe it. Just not as much as these remaining three films.


3.) Terminator Genisys

Just like “Tomorrowland,” I didn’t mind this film while watching (I realized it wasn’t good, but in-the-moment I was tricked to thinking it wasn’t awful). But the ending draws on for 15 minutes, and it has some of the worst CGI I have ever seen in a film in the 21st century. It just isn’t good, and hopefully this franchise is…terminated. [clears throat] OK, what’s next?



2.) Pixels

Like most people, I was tricked by the trailer for “Pixels” into thinking this wouldn’t be a normal Adam Sandler comedy; but much to my dismay, this is just a normal Adam Sandler comedy, it just happens to have video games in it. It is bottom-of-the-barrell, lowest effort humor, and its best attribute is Josh Gad, which is never a good sign.



1.) Fantastic Four

HAHAHAHAHAHA oh my God, this thing is awful. Like I’ve forgetten like 95% of it but holy heck is this bad. Nothing happens until a rushed and horribly standard final fight sequence, and it wastes a fantastic young cast. All the behind the scenes drama is much, MUCH more interesting than the actual film, so go give those stories a read. It’s films like this that make it hard for people like me to trust the month of August…



Top 5 Films of Summer 2015

The temperature is starting to cool down, the leaves are turning brown and the children are back at school, which means one thing: we’re entering awards season. So that also means that summer movie season, my favorite time of the year at the theaters, is again over. There was some good, some bad, but a lot of meh. So here are the five best films from Summer 2015 (May-August), with the five worst stinkers in a subsequent post!

Honorable Mention/Surprised It Didn’t Suck: The Gift

I saw the trailer, the cast, and the August release date and I honestly thought this thing was destined for disaster. But to my pleasant surprise, Jason Bateman turns in a fantastic performance, and even if the film doesn’t pull as many twists as it wants, it was still a wonderfully uncomfortable viewing experience that I would gladly take again.


5.) Avengers: Age of Ultron

Some people didn’t like this movie, which I have to believe was their own fault for overhyping it. “Ultron” is fun and exciting, with yet another fantastically charismatic performance from Robert Downey Jr., as well as an interesting villain portrayed by James Spader. It may have been a little bit similar to the first “Avengers” film, but this one kicked off the summer movie season with a bang.



4.) Trainwreck

It’s a funny movie with charming performances from Amy Schumer and Bill Hader, with a surprising amount of dramatic heft. It is definitely Judd Apatow’s most mature film to date, and it is arguably his most hilarious.



3.) Spy

One of the first comedies of the year remains its funniest. Melissa McCarthy continues her streak of only being funny when in Paul Feig-directed films, but what really makes this movie so great is the surprise comedy work from Jason Statham. I really hope he does more action-comedies, because that dude is surprisingly hilarious.



2.) Straight Outta Compton

It isn’t too often (or ever?) that one of the year’s best films comes out in the month of August, but that is the case here (the month also has one of the year’s worst films, but that’s for another article). The first half of “Compton” is so energetic and has such a powerful and engaging vibe to it, not to mention fantastically underrated cinematography by Matthew Libatique, that even when the film starts to slow down near the end, you’re on such a high you don’t care.



1.) Jurassic World

Some people hated this movie. And to that I say, everyone is entitled to their opinion, even when it’s wrong. I saw this movie twice in the same week, and it blew me away both times. Chris Pratt is Hollywood’s next big star, and the film is the definition of a summer popcorn flick (even if it is so much more than that). If somehow you are one of the seven people who still hasn’t seen this movie (it currently sits 3rd all-time at the box office), you are doing yourself an immense injustice. See “Jurassic World” now; it’ll make you feel like a kid again.



2015 in Film: Halfway Recap

With 6 months of films behind us, we have officially reached the halfway point of 2015 (you’re welcome for that clarification). And although we’ll likely not see many of these films mentioned come Oscar Season, it’s still fun to do a bi-yearly recap. So, as Pink once said: let’s get this party started.

Best Film: Jurassic World

I was shocked how great this film was (more on that in a second). It is one of the best and most summer movies I have ever seen, and Chris Pratt continues to kill it as Hollywood’s next big thing. Unlike most other things in this list, “Jurassic World” will definitely be in my Top 10 of the year, and could even hold out for number one overall when all is said and done.



Worst Film: Fifty Shades of Grey

Oh my God, is this thing dreadful. I can’t imagine a world where this isn’t my worst film come the end of the year. The dialogue, the narrative, the chemistry (or painful lack thereof) all combined for a movie-going experience that made me almost hate movies. I don’t remember much about it (thank God), but from what is stained in my brain I recall this thing just being awful and lazy and the fact that there are going to be two sequels makes me physically ill.



Biggest Surprise: Jurassic World

I didn’t expect this to be awful, but I was never wowed by the original “Jurassic Park” film, and the trailers for “Jurassic World” made it look like standard summer fluff. And as previously stated, I was dead wrong. If somehow you aren’t one of the millions of people who have pushed the film to $1.2 billion (and counting), or you have only seen the film one time so far… whatever you’re doing can wait. Go now.



Biggest Letdown: Entourage

I was a late addition to the “Entourage” series bandwagon, but once I was on it I instantly fell in love with Ari Gold, Johnny Drama and the rest of the, well, entourage. When the beginning of 2015 rolled around the film adoption was one of my most anticipated films of the impending year, and not a day went by that I didn’t think about it. Then I saw it. It is an unfunny, lazily constructed shadow of its former self, and it depressed me. Maybe it was my own fault for hyping it up so much in my head, but hey, this is my list, and “Entourage” let me down.



Shocked It Didn’t Suck: The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

I love SpongeBob and I love, love the first film from 2004. However when the trailers for this sequel dropped, I was horrifically worried. They made it out to look like most of the film would be sellout CGI instead of flat 2D animation, as well as lazy potty “comedy” that studios think dumbed-down kids enjoy in 2015. However I was relieved and thrilled when about 80% of the film was both the classic animation and humor of the show’s early seasons. The film itself isn’t great, but it is a lot of fun and didn’t ruin my childhood, and that was good enough for me.



Most Underrated: Run All Night

Unlike the other “Liam Neeson Has a Gun!” film from January (“Taken 3”), “Run All Night” was a lot of fun and had a few fun twists. Not too many people caught this one, and I feel like even less appreciated it, but if you get a chance to watch this on a rainy Saturday afternoon I really think it’s worth your time.



Most Overrated: Mad Max: Fury Road

OK, I seriously am still baffled by this one. Just like last year’s “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”, I can’t begin to fathom why people thought this was a good film, much less how it has a 98% on Rotten Tomatoes and is being lauded as one of the year’s best films. It is an impressively made but narratively hollow film, and while I don’t expect much plot or character development in my action films, I do enjoy them having a shred of either.



Thanks for reading, and here’s to a successful second half of 2015, which includes my personally most anticipated films, “Ant-Man”, “Black Mass”, and a little indie film called “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”.  It also includes the latest Adam Sandler project, “Pixels”, but we’ll cross that bridge when we are unfortunately forced come to it.