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2015 Early Releases Box Office Report

Written by Graeme Wood



Although the critical acclaim for Selma is still making headlines its box office power seems to be slowing down somewhat, falling from the US Top 10 which is currently being topped by Fifty Shades of Grey, Kingsman; Secret Service and the Spongebob Movie. Paramount should be pleased with ‘Selma’s overall performance through its total US gross standing at $48,494,000 since its opening in December. The film has also performed well in the UK, now entering its third week of release, with a gross of £1,763,050, an initial £70,000 of this coming from its early preview screenings.

In comparison to the years other Oscar nominated movies Selma is behind American Sniper and The Theory of Everything but ahead of Whiplash (grossing £573,000). This time last year, 12 Years A Slave in comparison debuted with £2.51m but 12 Years had a Bafta nomination and huge marketing campaign behind it.

Meanwhile back in the states, Black or White the Kevin Costner, Viola Davis drama has made a strong entrance at No 10 with a US Box Office total so far of $20,090,000, just ahead of that at No.9 sits the Kevin Hart comedy ‘The Wedding Ringer’ with a total of $60,043,000.

The UK box-office for early February was led by Disney’s Big Hero 6, Kingsman and the Shaun the Sheep Movie but Fifty Shades of Grey, launched over Valentine’s Weekend opened to big business taking in £4.6 million on its opening night and $94.4m on its US debut. Impressive figures that distributor Universal Pictures is bound to be pleased with.

The Theory of Everything continues to do well at the UK box office, no doubt helped by its BAFTA nominations and award wins, with a current box office total of £18,944,146 and seven weeks after opening still playing on a lot of multiplexes. In comparison though the critically panned and predictable Liam Neeson thriller ‘Taken 3’ has also managed to bring in huge numbers with a box office total of £17,180,518, after only 6 weeks on release.

In the US Chris Rock’s ‘Top Five’ has performed well giving its distributor Paramount who bid for the rights a gross of $25,317,291 following its opening in December 2014, though for comparison Kevin Harts The Wedding Ringer which opened mid-January in the US has so far pulled in a gross of $59,743,000 the film opens in the UK this week, Top Five will be on UK screens sometime in May (a film Kush Promotions should be marketing).

Comedies aimed specifically at the African / American market continue to perform well at the US box office and account for about 13% of the US domestic film market. December alone had seven African-American films ranking among the Top 100 films and grossing nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in the domestic market.

So what else should we be looking forward to at the cinema over the next month or so? Well first up we have Michael Mann’s Blackhat action thriller, starring Chris (Thor) Hemsworth and Viola Davis. Set amongst a global back drop the plot involves a blackmail scheme to hack and blow up nuclear plants. This should prove entertaining if predictable fare for audiences and in the US the film under performed scoring only $7,89,395 at the box office.

View the trailer: Blackhat

Film Review: Kingsman – The Secret Service

Written by: Christine Eccelston-Craig



“Do you like spy movies?”

Well, do you? If you’re not a huge fan of the classic spy movies such as James Bond 007 or From Russia With Love, I can guarantee that you’ll still enjoy this new take on spy movies starring Colin Firth, Michael Caine and of course Samuel L. Jackson. Kingsman: The Secret Service is based on a comic book written by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons and is portrayed as a comedy spoof of old classic spy movies . Wearing classy suits and based in a tailor shop in Savile Row, the Kingsmen are an immaculate secret society of “modern day Knights” led by the one and only Michael Caine.

“I have a hard time understanding you people, ya’ll talk so funny”

Now without giving away too much of the plot let’s take a quick look at Colin Firth’s character. I have to say, this is one of most enjoyable roles I’ve seen him in, I really loved watching him in action, from his suave and composed fighting skills (stunt double no doubt), to his even more conservative interrogation techniques. His mannerisms and attitude in this particular movie is absolutely memorizing, I don’t even think ‘Bond’ is that smooth! Compared to previous movies Mr Firth has been in such as Nanny McPhee or even Mamma Mia, this has to be his best role. He seriously put the bad in badass, this character suited him perfectly! Now, when it comes to his trusty sidekick Eggsy (Taron Egerton), who pretty much starts out as a troublesome delinquent, I found the stereotypes a bit overpowering.

However Taron did this character justice, from his youthful tone and slang words, to his body language which said “I don’t give a f***.” You can see where director Matthew Vaughn was going with his attempt to bring two opposite characters from two different worlds together to show that it doesn’t matter where you come from or how old you are, people of all types can still work together to overcome the looming shadow of evil.

Vaughn also directed both Kick-Ass and X-Men First Class, so within this movie you can almost notice the superhero element. Everything within this movie seems over the top and definitely out of tkingsman-secret-servicehe ordinary; even therefore unrealistic. But still watching it, you are taken in and start believing in this fantasy world, you even become part of it (that would be your imagination kicking in then). In addition, compared to other recent action-adventure spy movies such as Stormbreaker or Spy Kids where the comedy and production were a little more suitable for younger viewers, it’s important to remember that this movie is not at all like those other spy movies. Aside from the conventional plot of trying to take down a villain, this specific movie fuses comedy, violence and cheesy yet awkward one-liners together to produce this delightful adaptation of the spy film genre.

“I can’t stand the sight of blood, if I see it, that’s me done”

Let’s talk villains. After starting out in the 1980’s playing drug abusing convicts, Samuel L Jackson plays the billionaire villain who looks like he is going through a mid-life crisis. I can’t quite make out if Jackson_kingsman_SecretServicethat’s a turn for the worst or not, but every time he was in a scene there was nothing but laughter filling the room. His speech was like a 5 year old with missing front teeth and his clothing, well how do I even describe it? He looked like a cross between 1990’s youth rap duo Kris Kross and present day pop troublemaker Justin Bieber. That alone will have you amused and with his flexible right hand woman Gazelle (Sofia Boutella) whom, might I add has swords attached to her legs to literally slice her opponents with, the terrible two devise a plan to “save the world.”

Now this isn’t just any old plan, this is a plan that will cause world havoc; and unleashed so it does.

The film contains very graphic fighting scenes filled with blood and very enthralling and what can be best described as sharp cutting sound effects, it was quite unsettling and definitely has the intention of making you cringe (well us ladies anyway!). I can imagine watching this on IMAX in 3D, unfortunately press screenings don’t afford me that luxury. I had trouble erasing some of graphic images from my mind after. However despite all the dramatic noises of slashing knives and breaking bones, I’m sure you’ll find the fighting scenes just as exciting as I did. This film was nothing but pure, non- filtered comedy much of the time; with that been said I would absolutely recommend you go watch Kingsman: The Secret Service.

Kushfilms.com readers who like action-adventure spy movies won’t be disappointed!