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Monday, May 11, 2015


If you go to vampire, animated, children's, zombie, Marvel and similar flicks, stop, I won't be including them.  Yet, against my better judgement, I snuck into to Avengers:  Age of Ultron (A2), because I wondered why it so crushingly wiped out all comers the past 10 days or so.  This is only Week 2, yet, A2 has earned $313 million, already exceeding the rather high budget of $250 million.  Furious 7 has thus far made $338 million, but it has been out six weeks, and this weekend made a measly $5 million in fourth place.  This is amazing, but A2 is, really, up to $875 million, with 64% of revenues from foreign theaters.  How do you think Furious 7 has done, worldwide?  $1.47 billion!!!  77% came from international locations.  Keep in mind that the USA only represents a little more than 4% of the world population.

Clearly, there will be a Fast and Furious 8, but you'll need to wait two years.  There will also be A3, but without many of the same heroes, mostly because of contractual difficulties.  Ant-Man hasn't even been released yet, but he is expected to show up in A3, with some other assorted characters from the comics.  For those who are not keeping up with all this, a certain future offing will be Guardians of the Galaxy versus the Avengers, to break all box-office records.  Never heard of GotG?  It was only the biggest grossing superhero film of 2014, also from Marvel, featuring Chris Pratt, who shows up in Jurassic World this Fall, Vin Diesel (who leads that Furious group), Bradley Cooper and a bunch of other actors.

About A2, I showed up in a rather large theater and had to sit in the front row.  Incredibly enough, I actually fell asleep a few times, considering all that loud noise from the production and hysterical audience reactions.  There was a lot of action, with our good guys and gals prevailing over Ultron, the Evil, voiced by James Spader.  A hint of romance, with Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow making hand contact with the Green Hulk by Mark Ruffalo.  Reporting for duty:  Iron Man Robert Downey, Chris Evans with his magic metal frisbee, Chris Hemsworth with a hammer, Jeremy Renner armed with bow/arrows and with a normal family, and Samuel Jackson now and then popping in.  Where was Morgan Freeman?

Why do people go to these films?  The average age was about a third of mine.  Some will see it a few times or more.  Cacophonous hostilities, minor moments of tenderness, gadgets, good overcoming bad....

Opening this weekend are two 100% Rotten Tomatoes films:  Mad Max:  Fury Road and I'll See You in My Dreams (whoops, dropped down to 88%), the latter with Blythe Danner, playing a retired schoolteacher and longtime widow in her 70's who...sounds like me.

  • May 22:  Tomorrowland (now at 99% on Rotten Tomatoes), with George Clooney.
  • May 29:  Aloha (RT 97%), filmed in Hawaii, with Bradley Cooper, Alex Baldwin.
  • June 5:  Spy (RT 100%), with Melissa McCarthy going undercover for the CIA.
  • June 12:  Jurassic World (RT 99%), fourth installment, with Chris Pratt.
  • July 1:  Terminator:  Genisys (RT 98%) Arnold is back.
  • July17:  Ant-Man (RT 99%), Paul Rudd as a microhero.
  • July 17:  Trainwreck (RT 100%), a Judd Apatow sexual comedy.
  • July 24:  Pixels (RT 96%), Adam Sandler fights giant video game icons like Pac-Man.
  • July 31:  Mission Impossible 5 (RT 98%), Tom Cruise does it again.
  • July31:  Vacation (RT 98%), part 5, where Griswold's return to Walley World, with Chevy Chase in a minor role.
Let me stop here and, perhaps, later return for the August into the Fall featuring Star Wars 8, (with three more expected).  All previous versions were nominated for an Academy Award, 25 total, but no major Oscars.

There are two ocean storms in the Pacific, with Typhoon Noul at 90 MPH next heading for Naha, Okinawa:

Further East is Tropical Storm Dolphin, expected to become a typhoon and track towards Taiwan:


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