Tag Archives: dr. seuss’ the grinch

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is First with December’s Largest Animated Opening

Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse

The end of the year is looking pretty good for comic adaptations so far. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse brought in an estimated $35.4 million for the largest three-day animated opening in the month of December.

The film is receiving universal praise from critics and fans with a “A+” CinemaScore from opening day audiences. The audience was 63% male with 41% aged 25 or older.

Internationally, the film brought in $21 million from 44 overseas market for a worldwide total of $56.4 million on a $90 million budget.

The film’s success may throw a wrench into Aquaman‘s plans with the films likely cutting into each other’s audiences. That film opens this coming weekend where it has tough competition between SONY’s take on Marvel’s hero and Bumblebee.

In second place was The Mule which opened with an estimated $17.2 million on a $50 million budget. It received an “A-” CinemaScore with a 54% male audience and 88% over the age of 25.

In third place was Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch with an estimated $11.58 million after six weeks. It’s close to $240 million domestically with $133.4 million internationally after its $23.3 million overseas this past weekend.

In fourth place was Ralph Breaks the Internet which dropped from last week’s first. It earned an estimated $9.58 million to bring its domestic total just shy of $155 million. Internationally it added $7.9 million to bring that total to over $285 million. It opens in Japan and Hong Kong next weekend with more markets yet to open.

Rounding out the top five was Mortal Engines. The $100 million production earned just $7.5 million domestically. Bad reviews, a “B-” CinemaScore, and a confusing marketing is creating a massive failure. The audience was 55% maes and 64% were aged 25 or older. Internationally the film added 11 markets and brought in $11.5 million for a total of $34.8 million. Disaster is the word you’re looking for.

Deadpool 2‘s Once Upon a Deadpool came in at #11 and brought in $2.6 million. This PG-13 re-release will be added to the total for Deadpool 2 which stands at $322.3 million. It was also released in 12 international markets where it brought in about $1 million.

Aquaman continued its strong foreign performance where it added 42 markets and brought in an estimated $126.4 million for an international total of $261.3 million. It still has to open in France, South Korea, Germany, Spain, Australia, Ital, and Japan which will go into February 2019.

On Saturday night the film earned an estimated $2.9 million from a single paid sneak preview from 1,225 theaters in North America.

The movie opens this coming weekend where it’ll have to compete with Bumblebee which makes its fight to be first more difficult. There’s numerous films competing for the same audience this coming weekend.

We’ll be back in an hour for a deeper dive into this year’s comic adaptations.

Ralph Rules for a Third Weekend While Aquaman Rocks China

Ralph Breaks the Internet ruled the weekend again for the third weekend in a row bringing in an estimated $16.1 million that brings its domestic total to $140.9 million. Internationally the film earned $18 million to bring that total to $258.2 million after it debuted in Spain.

In second place was Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch repeating in that spot. It earned an estimated $15.2 million to bring its domestic total to $223.5 million. Overseas the film added $25.9 million to bring its international total to $98.9 million and global earnings to $322.4 million.

Repeating in third was Creed II which added an estimated $10.3 million to its domestic total to bring that to $96.5 million. It also brought in $5.2 million from overseas bringing that total to $23.2 million.

Fourth place was also a repeat with Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald adding an estimated $6.8 million to its domestic total to bring that to $145.2 million. It added $22 million to its international box office to bring its global total to $568.5 million.

Rounding out the top five was another repeat, Bohemian Rhapsody which earned an estimated $6 million to lift its domestic total to $173.6 million. Overseas it earned an estimated $29.2 million to bring that total to $423 million and a worldwide total nearing $600 million.

Aquaman debuted in China two weeks ahead of the domestic release where it earning an impressive $93.6 million. That’s 85% of the total market share for the weekend in China and is the the studio’s largest opening weekend ever in China and the largest industry opening in the market in December. It expands internationally next weekend with 40+ more overseas market including the UK, Russia, Mexico, and Brazil.

This weekend also early screenings of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Bumblebee though neither has seen numbers released. This coming week sees Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse open in 3400+ locations, likely taking first place, as well as Once Upon a Deadpool, the PG-13 version of Deadpool 2, which opens in around 500 locations beginning Wednesday.

In othe comic adaptation news…

Venom came in at #17 improving one spot from the previous weekend with an estimated $305,000 to bring its domestic total to $212.7 million.

We’ll be back in an hour for a deeper dive into this year’s comic film adaptations.

It’s an Animation One-Two as Ralph Tops the Box Office for a Second Weekend

Ralph Breaks the Internet took the top spot at the box office for a second weekend in a row. The film delivered an estimated $25.8 million after three days. The film also added $33.7 million at the international box office. Domestically the film has earned $119.3 million and $87.7 million at the foreign box office for a worldwide total of $207 million.

The number two and three spot switched from the previous week. This week Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch earned an estimated $17.7 million to bring its domestic total to $203.5 million. Internationally the film added 20 markets to make it 53 total. It earned an estimated $27.1 million at the international level and stands at $64.8 million. It still has to open in Mexico, Japan, China, Korea, and Russia.

In third place was Creed II which earned an estimated $16.8 million, a 52.7% drop from the previous week. Its earned $81.2 million domestically. This weekend it also expanded into 29 foreign markets and earned an estimated $10 million for an international total of $11.4 million. It won’t be opening in key intentional markets until the new year expanding throughout January.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald was in fourth place with an estimated $11.2 million and a domestic total of $134.3 million. Internationally it added $40.2 million for a total of $385.3 million and a global total just shut of $520 million.

Rounding out the top five was Bohemian Rhapsody which brought in $8.1 million after five weeks and a domestic total nearing $165 million. Internationally the film added $37 million from 72 markets and a foreign total of $375.1 million and worldwide total of $539.6 million.

When it comes to comic film adaptations…

Venom was #17 at the weekend box office with an estimated $380,000 to bring its domestic total to $212.3 million.

We’ll have a deeper dive into this year’s comic adaptations in an hour so come back to see how this year’s shaping up!

Ralph Breaks the Internet Wins the Weekend with the Second Largest Thanksgiving Opening Ever

The last five days have been good for the box office with the largest Thanksgiving three-day weekend ever in the top twelve films. They combined for over $206 million.

Ralph Breaks the Internet was the top of the weekend box office with the second largest five day Thanksgiving gross of all time. The film earned $84.5 million over five days and $55.7 million over the three days. The film also received good reviews and word of mouth which should propel it quite well in the coming weeks. The crowd was 51% female while the first film was 55% male.

Internationally the film earned an estimated $41.5 million from 18 markets for a $125.9 million global debut.

In second place was Creed II with a $55.8 million five-day debut. That’s the seventh largest opening during Thanksgiving and the largest for a live-action film. It’s $16 million ahead of the original. It earned $35.3 million over the three day weekend.

Audiences enjoyed the film giving it an “A” CinemaScore which matches the original and points to a solid run that should beat the original.

In third place was Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald over the five days but it was fourth over the three days. It earned $42.9 million to bring its domestic total to $117.1 million. Over the three days it earned $29.7 million. It also earned $83.7 million internationally making it the number one film globally for the second weekend in a row. Worldwide the film has earned $439.7 million.

Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch was fourth over the five days but third over the three days. It earned $42 million over the five days which brings its domestic total to $180 million. Over the three days it earned $30.2 million. The film also opened in 11 markets bringing in $7.6 million to bring its international total to $35.3 million. It opens in 23 more markets this coming weekend.

Rounding out the top five was Bohemian Rhapsody which earned $19.4 million over five days to bring its domestic total to $152 million. It earned $13.9 million over the three days. With $38 million internationally, the global total is now $472.1 million.

In comic movie adaptations….

Venom came in at #15, down from #12 last week. The film earned an estimated $780,000 over the three day weekend to bring its domestic total to $211.7 million.

We’ll have a deeper dive into this year’s comic adaptations in an hour.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Takes First and $253 Million Worldwide

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald topped the weekend box office and earned an estimated $62 million, about $13 million shy of the first film in the series.

The film should do well over the holidays but the reviews have been mixed with just 40% on RottenTomatoes and 53 on Metacritic. It received a “B+” CinemaScore, which is a dip from the first film’s “A.” The audience was 57% female and 69% of the audience age 25 years or older.

Internationally, the film brought in $191 million from 79 markets setting a record in 18 of them. Overall the film earned $253.2 million worldwide.

Dropping to second place was Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch which added an estimated $38.2 million to its domestic total bringing that to $126.5 million. The film also earned $9.4 million from 23 foreign markets for a new total of $25.2 million.

Bohemian Rhapsody came in third bringing in an estimated $15.7 million for a domestic total of $127.8 million. Internationally the film earned an estimated $45.5 million bringing its foreign total to $256.4 million and $384.3 million worldwide so far off of a $52 million budget.

In fourth place was the new film Instant Family which earned an estimated $14.7 million off of a $48 million budget. It was the lower end of expectations but the film did get an “A” CinemaScore. The film’s audience was 65% female and 61% over 35 years old.

Rounding out the top five was another new film, Widows. With an estimated $12.3 million, that opening was a bit below expectations. The film added 18 markets over the weekend earning an estimated $2.8 million to bring that total to $7.3 million.

When it comes to comic film adaptations…

Venom came in at #11 with an estimated $1.9 million to bring its domestic total to $210 million.

We’ll be back in an hour for a deeper look into this year’s comic adaptations and their box office earnings.

Movie Review: Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch

All the Whos down in Whoville liked The Grinch movie a lot,
But the critics on Rotten Tomatoes—they did NOT.

Look, let’s be 100% real here. It’s a foregone conclusion whether or not you will go see Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch sometime in the next few months. Either you have children of a certain age who will enjoy this regardless of its artistic mediocrity, or not. Or you, yourself, are a huge fan of Grinchitude and want to check this out. Or, perhaps, most Grinchily, you want to hate-watch this because your heart is also two sizes two small (A holiday tip of the cap to you, good hatewatchers!)

So, look—it’s not going to be bad. But it’s not great. And the sad thing is? It should be. The original Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas book is a concentrated, aged Christmas eggnog made with the finest and most rarefied ingredients, and it should be a holiday explosion of joy and the best of Christmas sentiments. Instead this film is a somewhat middling retelling of a tale that we already know already, going  from its scant 64 pages and 1800 or so words (this review is longer than the book itself—buckle up) and stretches it to just under 90 minutes. Even starting with that as the base for your eggnog, if you water it down too much, it’s not going to be delightful and tasty. It’s going to be insipid and weak.

The first most obvious question is why remake a classic? It has already been adapted once as an animated TV show to perfection by Chuck Jones, the genius behind so much of Looney Tunes, and once again in a less successful remake by Ron Howard starring Jim Carrey. I can confidently say that this is one of the top two versions of the Grinch story ever made for film or TV. However, it still misses so many of the important story beats, misses its mark, and begs the question why you shouldn’t just read the book or watch the Chuck Jones version.

Before we go any further, I can hear the grumbling—another cynical middle aged critic. Why should we care what he thinks? I bet he’s the true Grinch and just doesn’t like anything.

Confession time:  I love Christmas. I am in the tank for the holiday season. I am not a Grinch, I am more like Santa—in both physique and demeanor. I love every damn thing about Christmas. I love the music, I love the decorations, I love the food, I love the time with friends and family, but most of all I love the movies and TV shows. And if it isn’t clear, I love the book, and I love the Chuck Jones animated version. But they’re not so perfect that I don’t think it can be adapted to a longer film.

This is why this film is so disappointing to me. This new version of The Grinch is only passable rather than a new modern classic. By all accounts, it should be so much better. Let’s deconstruct exactly what is so great about the original Dr. Seuss book and then talk about how this doesn’t quite measure up.

The Grinch was just mediocre– No one quite knows the reason. It could be its head wasn’t screwed on just right.

Illumination Studios’ and its animators who came out of Blue Sky Studios’ previous outings with Dr. Seuss have yielded incredibly good results with both Horton Hears a Who and The Lorax, the latter which may fill up some of your favorite dank meme stashes. So what happened here? Their previous winning formula was to stay true to the heart of those stories, while The Grinch somewhat misses its mark. More on this in a second.

And while Horton and Lorax were headed by the same creative teams who worked on the Despicable Me films, The Grinch is directed by the co-director of The Secret Life of Pets (another serviceable but not classic animated film) and frequent Kevin Smith Askew-niverse producer Scott Mosier. I’d expect some of that dark, quirky humor to creep in here, but it doesn’t. This is fairly by the book, which is what makes it mediocre rather than a masterpiece.

It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight.

Also in the slam dunk category, we have Benedict Cumberbatch as the eponymous Grinch. Cumberbatch could normally read the phonebook and be interesting. So no one can say exactly why film studio executives thought that giving this role to him, making him do an American accent, and then changing his vocal delivery to be incredibly nasal and sniveling rather than the deep baritone that we expect from him (and which could surely compete with the deep resonant tones of Thurl Ravenscroft and Boris Karloff from the Chuck Jones original) was a good idea.

Even with an American accent, Cumberbatch in other roles – such as Dr. Stephen Strange — is authoritative, sometimes scary, and awesome in the literal sense of the word.

Instead, Cumberbatch sounds like he’s doing a Ken Jeong impression. And not the cool Ken Jeong—but Ken Jeong when he’s trying to be annoying Ken Jeong.

Yes, the Grinch sounds like Señor Chang from Community, not the Grinch. Why? You had the voice of Smaug, you had Sherlock, you had Khan (KHAAAAAN!!!!) and you shortchanged this. It’s like having Steph Curry on your team and telling him to just try for lay-ups.

But I think that the most likely reason of all, may have been that its heart was two sizes too small.

This movie just missed the mark. Illumination’s Lorax didn’t stray from its basic message that “unless someone cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to change– it’s not.” Their Horton didn’t shy away from emphasizing that “a person’s a person no matter how small.” Working from that theme, from that emotional knockout punch, they could take a short children’s book and pad it to movie-length.

So what is the heart of the Grinch story?

How The Grinch Stole Christmas is the story of its title character. He is the one who we follow, and he is the one who we care about — his heart being two sizes too small, his evil plot that we actually sort of root for and enjoy. Because let’s be honest: the holidays annoy all of us sometimes. And so, his eventual redemption via heart triple-embiggening and superhero turn in which he undoes his dirty deed to return the Whos’ Christmas accouterments is what we root for.

But the essence of that story that will make your heart grow 3 sizes bigger is the Grinch’s realization that he hadn’t stopped Christmas from coming—it came! It came without ribbons, tags, boxes, or bags! The Whos were still merry, even without their Who Hash and Roast Beast.

But in this movie, the story instead becomes about Cindy Lou Who and her overburdened working mother (Maya Rudolph). In the book and Chuck Jones adaptation Little Cindy Lou, who is no more than 2, appears only once up for a drink of water, and that’s it. Here, similar to the mistake made by Ron Howard’s Grinch movie, Little Cindy Lou Who is aged up to somewhere around 10 and given a precocious and cute backstory.

Cindy then becomes the audience’s point-of-view character—the one we are supposed to relate to –rather than the Grinch. This is a cardinal mistake. And in this film, Cindy Lou is far more like one of the three orphans adopted by Gru in Illumination’s Despicable Me movies. She even looks like a cross between Edith and Agnes from Despicable Me rather than one of the Whos that we know from the story book. This wouldn’t stick out so much except that all of the other characters look like the Whos we expect from the book’s illustrations.

The Evolution of Cindy Lou Who Graphic Policy 2018

With this shift from Grinch to Cindy Lou, the film also shifts its main meaning. No longer do we learn the main moral message against consumerism and for holiday spirit, family, community, and togetherness.

Now we get a message about an overworked single mom who works all day and takes care of her kids at night with no time for herself – already a really terrible Hollywood trope – and her adorable child who wants her to have something special for Christmas.

And the message is that the long-suffering mom doesn’t need anything else special, because Little Cindy Lou Who is the most specialist thing of all. Well that’s a really great message for kids about the central place that most of them play in their parents’ hearts. But screw that—this mom needs a spa day! Or a nanny.

The switch to Cindy Lou also shortchanges The Grinch as a character. In attempting to pad the story, they add a backstory of why The Grinch hates Christmas. It makes the inevitable turn away from his Grinchy self somewhat less meaningful and poignant. See kids, (minor spoiler alert for this movie) it was just that the Grinch was lonely all along and if only he would be invited to be a part of Christmas, then everyone would feel better, including the Grinch himself. NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO.

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In Defense of Grinches Everywhere

The whole point of the Grinch is he doesn’t necessarily have a reason to hate Christmas. In defense of all of the Christmas Grinches out there, I say to you that there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. It’s not necessarily that you’re lonely. Maybe it’s that you actually can’t stand all of the people you’re supposed to be around during the holidays — like your cloying, annoyingly perky, or racist family members. That’s good.

Maybe you’re just one of those people who really likes Halloween and is into spooky things rather than twinkly lights and Jesus and Santa. We all have Jack Skellingtons and Sallys in our life. And they’re great people.

Maybe it’s just the noise, noise, noise, NOISE! There’s nothing wrong with that.

But the story of the Grinch and his redemption is not in him necessarily learning to love Christmas (and that he’s always loved Christmas, he just didn’t have the right people to share it with). What we have to understand is, with him as out point of view character is. . .

The Grinch has a point. The overt trappings of the holiday season are overwhelming. Some of us love them and it is fuel for our holiday cheer. For many it’s just stress. And for some it’s just annoying. The Grinch thinks he hates Christmas and can stop it by getting rid of its stuff.  Instead, he learns it’s actually about togetherness and that as long as we have hands to clasp we welcome Christmas, fahoo fores dahoo dores.

It does a major disservice to the character of The Grinch — and anyone who even occasionally feels like a Grinch at the holidays — that if only someone would invite you to their Christmas party, then you would feel better about it all. Maybe that’s true to a certain extent, and undoubtedly we should look amongst our friends and closest loved ones for those who might feel left out or lonely.  But that’s not what is bothering The Grinch’s.

This film goes from being a morality tale about not getting your heart set on the presents and trappings of Christmas and is instead the ersatz message of the importance of family (and found family). But it’s not that this is a bad message—but it’s not The Grinch. It’s like reading The Sneetches and coming away with the message that you should be careful about getting sand everywhere when you visit the beach.

But, this movie is actually kind of good.
Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Grinch.

Ok, it’s not all bad. I’ve complained a LOT, and this movie isn’t deserving of that much scorn. It missed the mark, but not by all that much.

There are, for example, some storylines, side characters, and gags that are amazingly fun. It is beautifully animated and a vibrant and fully realized world. The twon of Whoville is a perfect Christmas Paradise for lovers of the holiday season. However, those Grinches among us will find it certainly overbearing and annoying.

And, of course, what would Christmas be without the music? This film brings in the best of the classic holiday catalog from everything to Nat King Cole singing about chestnuts roasting on an open fire to Run DMC rapping about Chritmas in Hollis. Our town of Whoville even includes overbearing carolers doing a rendition of God Rest Ye Merry Genthlemen that descends into them stalking our Grinch and facing off against him in a West Side Story / Beat It inspired showdown. It’s pretty amusing. However, despite having Pharrell Williams as both narrator and musical supervisor (wait, is Pharell our new Burl Ives?), they never really utilize him incredibly well or incorporate the signature song we all expect very well.

Of course, the best part about a film set in a universe created by Dr. Seuss is you expect all sort of delicious and beautiful contraptions– the Floo-Floobers, Tah-Tinkers, Trum-Tookers, and Who-Wonkers. And we get them, albeit too late in the film, as the Grinch doesn’t deploy his wonderful toys until he’s ready to perform his heist, at which point we are already an hour into the movie.

Even though the heart of this film is somewhat misplaced, it doesn’t make it altogether bad. The Grinch attempts to capture other reindeer before having to settle on his dog Max, introducing us to a particularly fun new reindeer friend named Fred. This provides some of the most fun of the film, and (minor spoiler alert?) ends up coming back in the film’s ending back to the theme of family– especially found family.

Max is the other saving grace of this film. He is a perfect Grinch’s best friend, and every kid will absolutely love Max. Confession: I want Max as a dog. He is a 13/10 best doggo. Would Grinch Again.

This film does have a heart of gold, and a good message.  But it is really only going to be received best by children who are less familiar with the book or the classic cartoon. However, if you’re looking for a fun and safe place to stash your kids for 90 minutes, there are worse places to do it in. And despite all of the complaints, the film does one of the most important things possible in a kids movie: not annoy parents. Mission accomplished.

3 out of 5 Christmas Stars

Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Takes the Weekend’s Top Spot. Venom Debuts in China with $111 Million

The holiday season was good to the Grinch as Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch debuted at the top of the box office with a $66 million weekend. That’s the third largest animated film opening in November and should do well through the holidays. It received an “A-” CinemaScore with a 71% score on Rottentomatoes.

The film opened internationally in 23 location with $12.7 million for a $78.7 million global debut from a reported $75 million budget.

Bohemian Rhapsody dropped to second place after debuting in first. It earned an estimated $30.9 million and has now crossed $100 million domestically. It also earned $63 million internationally to bring that total to $185.3 million for a worldwide total of $285.3 million.

Overlord, another debut for the weekend, opened in third and an estimated $10.1 million. The film received a “B” CinemaScore with an audience that was 69% male.

In its second weekend, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms dropped to fourth with an estimated $9.6 million to bring its total to $35.3 million. Internationally, the film also added $13.5 million from 45 markets to increase that total to $96.7 million.

Rounding out the top five was The Girl in the Spider’s Web: A New Dragon Tattoo Story which also debuted this weekend. The film earned an estimated $8 million from a $43 million budget. The film earned a “B” CinemaScore from an audience that was 52% female and 74% aged 25 years or older.

Internationally the film continued its roll-out to 49 markets where it earned an estimated $6.2 million for an international total of $8.3 million.

When it comes to comic adaptations…

Venom brought in an estimated $4.9 million domestically to come in at #8 and bring its domestic total to $206.2 million. Internationally, the film opened in China earning an estimated $111 million. That’s the second highest debut ever for a superhero film there and Sony’s largest debut in the country. Internationally the film earned $118.2 million to bring that total to $467.3 million and $673.5 million.

We’ll be back in an hour for a deeper dive into this year’s comic adaptations.