"The Croods" Wins Box-Office Weekend, "Olympus Has Fallen" Opens Strong! 

Moviegoers fell in love with the prehistoric animated comedy, "The Croods." Sure, the film has that old yabba dabba do feeling, but it's still sweet and funny enough for viewers to take it to the No. 1 spot at the box-office. Featuring the voice work of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, and Catherine Kenner, the 3-D DreamWorks Animation landed on top with $44.7 million.

At No. 2 was the nerve-wracking "Olympus Has Fallen" from "Training Day" director Antoine Fuqua. Gerard Butler stars as disgraced Presidential guard, Mike Banning, who must return to the White House to save our President (Aaron Eckhart). The FilmDistrict movie opened strongly with $30.5 million.


Gerard Butler and director Antoine Fuqua for "Olympus Has Fallen," click here

Angela Bassett and Aaron Eckhart for "Olympus Has Fallen," click here

Rick Yune and Dylan McDermott for "Olympus Has Fallen," click here

"Olympus Has Fallen" exceeded expectations with FilmDistrict predicting the film would open in the under-$20 million range. As it turned out, the action-extravaganza became the studio's biggest opener yet beating the "Red Dawn" remake's debut of $14.3 million last year's Thanksgiving weekend.

And with the film receiving an A-minus CinemaScore, that means people are enjoying the flick and will be coming back to see it. ("Olympus Has Fallen" movie review)

By the way, another odd for "Olympus" was that the film was Rated-R which many before it fell flat at the box-office like "The Last Stand" and "Parker." But not "Olympus," so yay!

Other new films that opened did not enjoy as much box-office success as "The Croods" and "Olympus Has Fallen." Focus Features' "Admission" starring Tina Fey, Paul Rudd, and Lily Tomlin debuted soft at No. 5 with just $6.4 million. But its budget was only set at $15 million so Focus will get their money back soon. ("Admission" movie review here, and Lily Tomlin interview here)

Meanwhile, "Spring Breakers" from A24 Films starring Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens with the memorable James Franco (yup, he's waaaay better here than the wizard in "Oz The Great and Powerful") opened at No. 6 with $5 million.

Here's the estimated list of the Top 10 box-office films for the weekend of March 22, 2013:

1. "The Croods," $44.7 million ($63.3 million international).

2. "Olympus Has Fallen," $30.5 million ($2.2 million international).

3. "Oz the Great and Powerful," $22 million ($21.7 million international).

4. "The Call," $8.7 million.

5. "Admission," $6.4 million.

6. "Spring Breakers," $5 million ($1.1 million international).

7. "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone," $4.3 million.

8. "Jack the Giant Slayer," $3 million ($19.3 million international).

9. "Identity Thief," $2.5 million ($4.7 million).

10. "Snitch," $1.9 million.

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“Admission” and “Olympus Has Fallen” Movie Reviews 

Two big films opening this weekend, we have the dramedy “Admission” and “Olympus Has Fallen.” In “Admission” from director Paul Weitz and based on the novel by Jean Hanff Korelitz, Tina Fey stars as a Princeton admissions officer who’s at a crossroads – admit a student who may or may not be her son, and fall in love with John Pressman (Paul Rudd). Lily Tomlin co-stars as Fey’s feminist mother.

In “Olympus Has Fallen,” Gerard Butler is back in action mode as Mike Banning, a disgraced Presidential guard who finds himself back inside the White House in order to protect our President, country, and perhaps the world! This film boasts a superlative cast featuring Morgan Freeman, Melissa Leo, Aaron Eckhart, Dylan McDermott, Rick Yune, and Angela Bassett. Antoine Fuqua (“Training Day”) directs the film for Film District.

So which one is my pick of the week? Take a look:


Lily Tomlin for "Admission," click here

Gerard Butler and director Antoine Fuqua for "Olympus Has Fallen," click here

Angela Bassett and Aaron Eckhart for "Olympus Has Fallen," click here

Rick Yune and Dylan McDermott for "Olympus Has Fallen," click here

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The Fantastic Ryan Gosling Talks About “The Place Beyond the Pines” and Being a Mouseketeer! 

I love, love, love Ryan Gosling and who doesn’t? He’s a respectable actor, and a down-to-earth star. He returns to the loving arms of his “Blue Valentine” director, Derek Cianfrance, for the gripping, heartfelt, intense “The Place Beyond the Pines” where he plays Luke, a circus motorcycle performer whose sins create a ripple of events spanning generations. In this interview, we talked about:

*** The last time we saw him in a carnival, it was for “The Notebook,” what made him want to go back into the circus scene?
*** What attracted him to making “The Place Behyond the Pines?”
*** His fantasies!
*** What attracted him to his character Luke?
*** The self-mythologizing of the character
*** The first time his character sees the baby, Tony Pizza
*** His first directorial debut, “How to Catch a Monster”
*** My favorite Mouseketeer ever, next to Annette Funicello and Britney Spears of course :wink

Have fun!

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The Lovely Eva Mendes Talks About “The Place Beyond the Pines” and Working with Ryan Gosling 

Eva Mendes is a revelation in the new Derek Cianfrance film “The Place Beyond the Pines.” She plays Romina, the ex-girlfriend of Luke (Ryan Gosling). Mendes gives a fine and heartfelt performance as a woman caught in the crossfire. In this interview, we talked about:

*** What attracted her to making the movie?
*** What did she admire about Cianfrance’s “Blue Valentine?”
*** Cianfrance’s directing skills
*** What attracted her to her character?
*** Holy Motors!
*** Working with Ryan Gosling – the baby actor, Tony Pizza, loves Ryan!
*** Her son in the movie
*** And I wished her a belated Happy Birthday!

Have fun!

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Dane DeHaan Interview for “The Place Beyond the Pines” 

Dane DeHaan is a rising star. He gave us a memorable performance in last year’s “Chronicle” and even gave commanding presence in movies like “Lawless” and “Lincoln.” This year, he’s starting off with a blazing portrayal in “The Place Beyond the Pines” as Jason, the son of Ryan Gosling’s character. He’s currently shooting “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” where he’s set to be Harry Osborn. In this interview, we talked about:

*** What got him interested in his character, the “loner stoner?”
*** His character becomes the catalyst of the film – the sins of the father
*** Working with his partner-in-crime in the film, Emory Cohen
*** Taking his craft seriously
*** Bonding with Cohen through movies – Marlon Brando vs. James Dean, Al Pacino vs. Robert De Niro, or…Bradley Cooper or Ryan Gosling?
*** How does he find the voice of a character?
*** How the director helped him in finding the character?
*** He teases us about “The Amazing Spider-Man 2!’

Have fun!

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