Big names popping by 'SNL' for brief appearances stopped being surprising a long time ago, but there's something really special about Barbara Walters stopping by Weekend Update. Maybe it's because Walters (with her 50 year television career) is a much bigger deal than a flavor-of-the-minute celebrity. Maybe it's because she's obviously a really good sport about how 'SNL' has mocked her over the years. In any case, it's an oddly sweet and weird scene in a season of the celebrated variety program that's pulled out all of the stops when it comes to being sweet and weird.
As expected, 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' opened the summer movie season in style, overcoming mixed reviews to dominate the top 10 and cause every other film's weekend gross to tumble. Coming weeks will see if it can do the business of the other films in the franchise, but this is a strong start to what looks to be a jam-packed summer.
After nearly a month on top of the box office, 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' got taken down by a bunch of funny ladies. 'The Other Woman' effortlessly took the top spot, sending Marvel's latest superhero adventure to the number two slot and making the other new releases of the week look bad.
When Paul Walker tragically died last November, the world mourned an actor who was not only a welcome screen presence, but a genuinely well-liked and respected guy. It was especially hard to hear the reactions of his 'Fast and Furious' franchise co-stars. This is a series all about friendship and family, so the loss of a key member of that crew hits hard. 'Fast and Furious 7' recently resumed shooting after an extended hiatus to rework the film and fans have been wondering how the production will work around the loss of a major character. Now, Universal hinted at a strange but touching solution.
In a move that really shouldn't surprise too many people, the ever-picky David Fincher is out of the director's chair for the upcoming (and untitled) Steve Jobs biopic, scripted by Aaron Sorkin. The 'Zodiac' and 'The Social Network' director has a reputation for being demanding, and it looks like Sony balked at his requested fee and level of control.
This weekend saw a neck-and-neck race for the first spot at the box office, with the animated 'Rio 2' offering strong competition for last week's champion, 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier.' When the dust, debris and feathers settled, the one starring the superhero took the first slot, but there is no shame in a second place that strong.
Like 'Iron Man 3' and 'Thor: The Dark World,' the question was never whether or not 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' would take the number one spot at the box office, but rather how much it would earn while sitting pretty at the top of the list. Also, like its "Phase 2" predecessors, the second Steve Rogers adventure proved that people are still punch-drunk in love with the Avengers characters.
Insert your own "when it rains, it pours" joke right here. Darren Aronofsky's instantly controversial biblical epic 'Noah' overcame mixed buzz to win the box office this weekend, catering to both religious audiences and film buffs who like weird movies from unique, picky directors. But all was not well for everyone -- the latest film from a certain Hollywood action legend got washed away in 'Noah''s success.
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