Movies for Every Mood

Studio executives gave (and got) a present Christmas Day when Les Miserable received the cheeriest (and most profitable) of welcomes domestically, coming in at #1 at the box office with $18.2 million. Fast forward to a post-Santa weekend and The Miserable lot is slightly less happy at #3 with a respectable $28 million as The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey traveled back to its familiar #1 spot with $32.9 million (bringing its grand domestic total to over $227 million and topping off a record-breaking $10.8 billion movie-going year).

Quentin Tarantino’s latest masterpiece, Django Unchained, was cheery and at large, retaining his #2 Christmas Day territory throughout the weekend with $30.7 million. Also released on Santa’s PG-rated day was Parental Guidance, which required no permission to take and remain at #4 with $14.8 million. Jack Reacher traveled down several notches this weekend, reaching the #5 locale with $14 million.

The last movie weekend of 2012 found us reaching for the stars as it unchained the movie addict in us all, filling us with misery and music, a Hobbit on the go and a PG family-friendly show!

Here’s to a Happy and Healthy 2013 from seaside days to starry movie nights!

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A Hobbit on the Run and a New Number One?

What a week it’s been!  Santa’s come and gone, leaving behind a gift of great stories for movie addicts everywhere premiering on Christmas Day. Django Unchained freed us from long lines and stressful holiday shopping, Parental Guidance gave us permission to leave our Christmas presents in exchange for a day at the movies while Les Miserables made us happy we’re not despondent and penniless. Promised Land, meanwhile, surrounded us with scenery and storyline possibilities.

How will our latest cinematic treasures stack up this post-Christmas weekend at the box office? The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey expects to travel in fantastical style for the foreseeable future but a miserable-in-name-only new release is poised to happily take hold of the #1 spot through the weekend. Conversely, with the sound of sleigh bells getting fainter, the Rise of the Guardian appears ready to head back to the North Pole to patiently await its DVD release. Meanwhile, newbie Jack Reacher, who futilely strains to reach beyond last week’s #2 spot, appears lost in a land of new releases. This is 40 and Lincoln made it to our previous week’s Top Five but will need to come up with 40 entertaining reasons to compete and beat the latest candidates.

Who will this week’s box office winners be? From seaside days to starry nights, Stay Tuned!

After Christmas Movie Celebration

‘Twas the day after Christmas and all through the Promised Land, also known as your local movie theater, moviergoers were scurrying to their seats, needing no Parental Guidance to enjoy a post-holiday movie break (a gift to themselves requiring no return lines). Now, every mall Santa is faced with The Impossible task of packing up their big, red bags of goodies for another year and returning to their own version of the North Pole. The savvy Santas, however, have called it a

(holi)day and, dropping their treasured load, head straight to the balcony section incognito to enjoy a marathon of festive (or fact-based) films.

Christmas may be over, but the wonder that is the movies continues. While Santa may promise to Not Fade Away, clearly He can’t be counted on come December 26th. Fortunately, movies and all their magic never dim. Les Miserable has us anything but miserable, grateful our lives aren’t as complicated as theirs. We’re also thankful Django(‘s) Unchained in the reel world, free to roam as far as the big screen will take him. Jack Reacher connects with the movie lover in all of us, promising approximately 130 minutes worth of post-holiday entertainment. Despite getting everything he wanted for Christmas, including the #1 spot at the box office two weeks running, The Hobbit (takes) An Unexpected Journey to even more fame and fortune while On the Road seeking end-of-holiday sales (even famous characters love a good bargain).

With Christmas a thing of the past, our characters look forward to a future filled with fun, fantasy, and films galore from seaside days to starry winter wonderland nights…

Hollywood’s Finest Journey

“It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.” W.T. Ellis

It was all about the journey this weekend as we found the merriest of movies residing in the hearts of silver screen fans meriting even Santa’s approval. Audiences may have dropped significantly for The Hobbit: (but) An Unexpected Journey surprised no one when he arrived at the #1 spot at the box office once again with $36.7 million. Jack Reacher reached (Christmas)town, delivering  his own brand of surprises while finding a home at second place with a modest $15.6 million. Coming in third, This is 40 arrived just in time to wish everyone a Happy Holidays in 40 different ways with $12 million. Rise of the Guardians, clearly the most seasonal movie, ended the weekend before Christmas in fourth place with $5.9 million. Everyone’s current favorite movie president, Lincoln rounded out the top five with $5.6 million.

Quicker than Santa can reach us by sleigh, there’s a tale that reaches the heart of every holiday lover during this week of magic and movie delight.

From seaside days to starry nights, Merry Christmas to all and to all a good (movie) night!

Christmas Charms and Hollywood Delights

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” Norman Vincent Peale

I love this quote; it reminds me of the magic of the movies and their ability to make the world softer and more beautiful than we know it to be. The big screen world offers a much-needed escape from life’s harsh realities. Possibilities abound. The Hobbit (takes us on) An Unexpected Journey, blending fantasy and authenticity, promising to leave entertainment and escapism in his path. The Guilt Trip, opening this week, takes us on another detour from practicality, albeit a more comedic one. This is 40, debuting this weekend, ironically provides more than 40 laughs at reality, poking fun at life’s mundane and often amusing moments. Last but not least, Jack Reacher, through the star power of Tom Cruise, hopes to reach massive audiences looking for imaginary action and adventure.

How will these latest lighthearted trips from the real world fare in the reel world against the Rise of the Guardians, who plan on protecting their animated turf through the holidays (and beyond, thanks to the mystical world of DVDs?) The Hobbit’s Journey is far from over, but what about Lincoln, who traveled all the way from the Civil War era to compete? Lest we forget The Twilight Saga gang, who refuse to go quietly into that good night. All of our characters came to play, not everybody will win. Who will be the winners at the box office this weekend?

With Santa getting ready for his one day of work, the stars (and studio executives) are working overtime to make the season even brighter from seaside days to starry nights…

It Happened One Holiday Night: The Conclusion

When we last saw Mr. and Mrs. Clause and company, they were traveling inconspicuously through the movie version of Hollywood on a scenic, Christmas tour. Their favorite stop, The Shop Around the Corner, where tiny surfboards and sand dollars hang from beach-themed Christmas trees. Heading down the beach block, they visit The Preacher’s Wife, who gathers everyone by the cozy fireplace where A Christmas Story is being told. The ‘bah humbug’ among the group are getting Scrooged on hot chocolate and sugar cookies as The Bishop’s Wife is wrapping presents for the Babes in Toyland. Taking a stroll along a well-decorated Sunset Boulevard, the Claus’s and fellow travelers spot a family of sightseers enjoying their National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. The Gremlins are shouting We’re No Angels to holiday shoppers, unaware that Santa is within earshot. Following their day of sightseeing and shopping, the Christmas lovers re-board the train and Jingle All the Way home, where The Nightmare Before Christmas is nowhere to be found in this dreamy seascape. They’re thankful the Bad Santa was exiled decades ago for all things good. Losing their disguises, the Claus’s are just in time for a meet and greet with Santa, where they feast on candy canes and a variety of Christmas cookies. St. Nick thanks his lucky (movie) stars he’s so close to the beach, where he can walk off those unsightly holiday pounds. Thanks to the soothing powers of salty sea air, a revitalized Santa, along with the Mrs., heads back to the North Pole, ready for his around-the-world adventure. With the sounds of Christmas tunes in the air expressing glad tidings of comfort and joy, movie buffs and seaside lovers can all agree, in their little starry town, where dreams come true, It’s a Wonderful Life

Santa and Award Season Make Their Way

There are seven shopping days left until Christmas and the malls are filling up almost quicker than the movie theaters. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn—Part II saw the sunrise for the first time removed from the prominent Top Five at the Box Office (#6 to be exact). Not surprisingly, The Hobbit (took) An Unexpected Journey to the top of the charts, ending the trip with the best view at the #1  location, opening Friday with $37.5 million and ending the weekend with $84.8 million, a record breaker for the month of December. Rise of the Guardians held their animated heads high once again at the #2 locale with $7.42 million. Lincoln, who got some love from the Golden Globes, ended the weekend sitting pretty at the #3 spot with $7.24 million. Golden Globe snub Bond saw the Skyfall all the way down to the #4 spot (where the atmosphere may not be award-winning but is clear, blue nonetheless) with $7 million. The Life of Pi, also a Golden Globe nominee, witnessed the world from the #5 position with $5.4 million.

Now, from seaside days to starry nights, Santa and the movie stars are all aglow, eager to light the way to the merriest  season..