"Evil Dead" Finds Box-Office Life with $26 Million 

Demons, dinosaurs, and a whole lot of Joes gave life to the weekend box-office. "Evil Dead," the remake of the 1981 Sam Raimi classic debuted at No. 1 with $26 million.

At No. 2 was a tie between "The Croods" and the action sequel "G.I. Joe: Retaliation." Both films took in an estimated total of $21.1 million. Final box-office tally on Monday will determine which movie comes out on top.

"Jurassic Park," the 3-D re-release of the beloved Steven Spielberg flick came in at No. 4 with $18.2 million. Add that to the dinosaur film's original box-office take of $357.1 million when it was originally released in 1993.

In limited release this weekend was Danny Boyle's "Trance" which opened with $136,103 in just four theaters. Focus Features' "A Place Beyond the Pines" starring Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper moved up to the domestic chart to No. 14 grossing $695,041 for a total of $886,459 and per theater average of $23,168.

Here's the estimated Top 10 Box-Office Films for the weekend of April 5th:

1. "Evil Dead," $26 million ($4.5 million international).

2 (tie). "The Croods," $21.1 million ($34.1 million international).

2 (tie). "G.I. Joe: Retaliation," $21.1 million ($40.2 million international).

4. "Jurassic Park" in 3-D," $18.2 million ($3 million international).

5. "Olympus Has Fallen," $10.04 million.

6. "Tyler Perry's Temptation," $10 million.

7. "Oz the Great and Powerful," $8.2 million ($13.6 million international).

8. "The Host," $5.2 million ($3.5 million international).

9. "The Call," $3.5 million.

10. "Admission," $2.1 million.

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Movie Reviews -- "Evil Dead' and "Trance" 

Two big movies this weekend, we have the remake “Evil Dead” and writer/director Danny Boyle’s “Trance.” “Evil Dead” tries to catch the charm that elevated 1981’s “The Evil Dead’ from Sam Raimi (co-producing the remake with Bruce Campbell) into a beloved horror classic. The premise remains the same, five twenty-somethings find themselves in a remote cabin in the woods. When they discover the Book of the Dead, they accidentally unlocked the dormant demons living in the woods.

In “Trance,” James McAvoy stars as Simon, a fine art auctioneer who finds himself working with criminals to steal a Goya painting worth millions of dollars. But when he gets hit in the head, he forgets where he hid the painting. Much to crime boss Vincent Cassell’s dismay. Rosario Dawson co-stars as a hypnotherapist who helps Simon remember.

And then of course, we have the 3D re-release of Steven Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park.” So which film should you see first? Take a look:

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Goodnight Roger Ebert! See You at the Movies! 

Totally two thumbs down!

Roger Ebert, the celebrated film critic who pretty much made film criticism part of the popular culture, has passed away from complications from cancer. He was 70.

Not only was Ebert the first film critic to win a Pulitzer, he was also highly influential. He was my god back in college at Purdue University. Anyone who knew me back then had seen my treasure trove of film criticism books written by Mr. Ebert. I admire his style -- even though he hated a film, he would find a way to make his review palatable. And confession time -- I stole my one nugget of criticism from him -- as long as a movie reach its goals, it's okay. And I stand by that belief to this day.

And two years ago, he emailed me to ask for one of the pictures I used for my blog. Of course, after saying OMG 10 times, I gave him the picture.

On his last Twitter post in his article, he said:

So on this day of reflection I say again, thank you for going on this journey with me. I'll see you at the movies.

Thank you so much Mister Roger for all the decades of inspiration. You will be missed, but we'll see you at the movies!

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"Thriller" Filipino Prisoners to Thrill You with Big Screen Movie! Yup! 

Remember this YouTube sensation? The group of Filipino inmates dancing to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" inside a prison courtyard? Well, they are bound to be movie stars!

According to the Huffington Post, the movie will be called "Dance of the Steel Bars" and was shot in the Cebu provincial prison, the same place where more than one thousand inmates danced to "Thriller." Some of the inmates will appear in the movie as well.

This B-movie extravaganza stars Patrick Bergin (remember him?), the mean husband of Julia Roberts in "Sleeping with the Enemy." Filipino heartthrob, Dingdong Dantes, co-stars.

The melodramatic plot? Bergin is Frank Parish, a retired U.S. firefighter and philanthropist wrongly jailed for murder in the Philippines. Ala "The Fugitive" no?

In prison, Parish befriends Mando, played by Dantes, a murdered who doesn't want to embrace his penchant for dancing because it's too gay! And then, there's Allona (Joey Paras), a tranny who teaches and uses dance as a form of prison rehabilitation.

Wow, it's like "The Fugitive" meets "Step Up" by way of "The Crying Game." HA!

Marnie Manicad co-directed the fictional film with television reporter, Cesar Apolinario. The screenplay is written by Cris Lim from a story by Manicad, her husband Jiggy, and Apolinario.

"Dance of the Steel Bars" will be released in the Philippines on June 12 of this year. Hopefully, we'll get to see the film here in the U.S. because gosh darn it, I want to dance!

For now, lets relive their moment, the Michael Jackson "Thriller" sensation!

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Too Risque! Will You Watch a Movie Based On the Church Abuse Scandal? 

The horrors! DreamWorks has announced plans for a big film (perhaps an Oscar bait) about the Catholic Church's child sexual abuse scandal in Massachusetts. Controversy!

The studio and Participant Media have acquired film rights to the story of the Catholic Church's decades-long cover-up of its pedophile priests in Massachusetts uncovered by the Boston Globe according to THR.

In a move certain to spark controversy, DreamWorks Studios and Participant Media have acquired film rights to the story of the Catholic Church's decades-long cover-up of its pedophile priests in Massachusetts as uncovered during a yearlong investigation by the Boston Globe.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning series will be co-written by Tom McCarthy ("Win Win") and Josh Singer ("The Fifth Estate" -- the WikiLeaks movie!). McCarthy will also direct the film.

Not quite sure how to feel about this movie! But then, "Win Win" was an excellent film so McCarthy may give us a thought-provoking flick!

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