Yes, if you’re wondering, they are still keeping track of this.

Denzel Washington’s ‘The Little Things’ repeats No. 1 at box office

LOS ANGELES — Denzel Washington’s crime thriller “The Little Things” led domestic box office charts again, pulling in $2.1 million in its second weekend of release.

Overseas, “The Little Things” collected $1.4 million in ticket sales from 20 countries. The R-rated film has made $7.8 million in the U.S. and Canada and $5.2 million internationally to date.

Directed by John Lee Hancock, “The Little Things” debuted simultaneously on the HBO Max streaming service. With the U.S. box office essentially at a standstill, Warner Bros. made the decision (one that was met with vocal backlash) to repeat that hybrid strategy for its entire 2021 movie slate.

In second place, Universal and DreamWorks Animation’s “The Croods: A New Age” has generated $1.7 million. After 11 weeks in theatres, the “Croods” sequel has brought in $46 million domestically. Though there aren’t many big-screen offerings for audiences to choose from these days, its box office hold has been notable because “The Croods: A New Age” has been available to rent on premium video-on-demand platforms for two months. Overseas, the film brought in $808,000, which brings its international total to $101.6 million and global haul to $147.6 million.

Liam Neeson thriller “The Marksman” landed in the No. 3 spot, grossing $1 million from 2,018 screens. That brings its total haul to $9.1 million. “Wonder Woman 1984” came in fourth place with $905,000 from 1,818 U.S. locations. The Warner Bros. superhero adventure, which also premiered concurrently on HBO Max, has amassed $40 million at the domestic box office and $154 million worldwide.

Sony’s “Monster Hunter” rounded out the top five with $590,000 in its eighth weekend of release. The video game adaptation, starring Milla Jovovich, has made $11.8 million to date.

Overseas, Disney and Pixar’s “Soul” – which isn’t playing in domestic theatres and is only available to U.S. audiences on Disney Plus – continues to sell tickets. The film is performing particularly well in China, where it has made $55.8 and has officially passed “Incredibles 2” ($53.7 million) to become the country’s second-highest Pixar release ever. In total, “Soul” earned $6.9 million from 11 international countries, boosting its foreign bounty to $96.2 million.


He was a true Canadian legend. Rest In Peace, Mr. Plummer.

Christopher Plummer, Sound of Music star and oldest actor to win an Oscar, dead at 91

Christopher Plummer, who was among the greatest Canadian actors ever to grace stage and screen, has died.

Plummer died Friday morning at his home in Connecticut — two and a half weeks after suffering a fall — with his wife, Elaine Taylor, by his side, said Lou Pitt, his longtime friend and manager.

“Chris was an extraordinary man who deeply loved and respected his profession with great old fashion manners, self-deprecating humour and the music of words,” Pitt said in a statement to CBC News. “He was a national treasure who deeply relished his Canadian roots.

“Through his art and humanity, he touched all of our hearts and his legendary life will endure for all generations to come. He will forever be with us.”

In a career that spanned over six decades, Plummer was nominated for best supporting actor at the Academy Awards three times and won once at 82 for Beginners, a film about a widower who begins to live life as a gay man while dying of cancer.

He also captured two Tony Awards among seven nominations, and took home two Emmys. He earned a reputation as one of the great classical actors of modern times — without attending a prestigious theatre school.

He performed on Broadway, London’s West End and at Canada’s Stratford and Shaw festivals. There were few marquee Shakespearean roles he didn’t take on, a list that included Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Iago, Henry V, Antony, Mercutio and Prospero.

“The man is extraordinary, he’s got so many sides to him, he’s quite remarkable. When you share a stage with him it’s magic, it really is,” fellow actor Gordon Pinsent told CBC in 2011 when Plummer received Stratford’s lifetime achievement award.

On screen, Plummer appeared in 1965 as Captain von Trapp, alongside British stage and screen star Julie Andrews, in what was, for several years, the highest grossing film of all time, The Sound of Music, a role he was famously ambivalent about.

“What have I done playing with all these children? Children and dogs steal scenes,” Plummer recounted to CBC in a documentary two years after the release of the movie he often jokingly called The Sound of Mucus, or S and M.

Plummer, however, also said that he had “terrific memories” of making the movie, and forged a lifelong friendship with Andrews; he once said that working with her was like “getting hit over the head with a valentine.”

“The world has lost a consummate actor today and I have lost a cherished friend,” Andrews said Friday in a statement obtained by Reuters. “I treasure the memories of our work together and all the humour and fun we shared through the years.”

The movie brought him almost more work than he could handle on the stages of London’s West End and Broadway, as well as in TV movies and miniseries during the 1970s and ’80s.

But he then went on to enjoy a late-life renaissance in film, with lauded performances in The Insider, A Beautiful Mind, Beginners and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. In 2019 he starred as a murdered mystery novelist in Rian Johnson’s whodunnit Knives Out — one of his final film roles.

Born Arthur Christopher Orme Plummer on Dec. 13, 1929 in Toronto, he was a descendant of John Abbott, Canada’s third prime minister.

Plummer’s parents split up not long after his birth, and he was raised in relative privilege in Montreal by his mother and her extended family. He saw his father on only one other occasion years later.

A love for acting onstage was cemented by playing Mr. Darcy in a Montreal High School production of Pride and Prejudice. He would further develop his stagecraft at the Ottawa Repertory Theatre, and learned how to harness his baritone voice in CBC Radio plays.

Plummer landed in New York in 1953, appearing on Broadway supporting stars like Tyrone Power and Julie Harris, and taking direction from Elia Kazan.

His reputation grew such that he was called back to Canada to portray Henry V in the Stratford Festival’s final year under the big tent in 1956, returning the next year to usher in their new indoor theatre as Hamlet.

Plummer garnered his first Tony nomination for his turn in J.B., a 1958 play written in free verse by American poet/playwright Archibald MacLeish.

He then went on to London, where he would appear alongside the likes of Vanessa Redgrave, Ian Holm and a young Judi Dench in Royal Shakespeare Company productions well into the 1960s.

When the curtain fell at show’s end, Plummer often kept company with heavyweight revellers like Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole.

“You’ve given an awful lot of your own personality with just the reward of applause at the end, but it isn’t quite enough to fill the rest of the night,” he told CBC of this need to “anesthetize.”

Plummer’s profile would be raised by The Sound of Music and an internationally televised production of Hamlet, the only modern staging of the play at Elsinore castle in Denmark.

But by the late 1960s his personal life was not in great shape. He’d been through two marriages, and for several years made no effort to contact his only child, Amanda, from his first marriage.

“I was a lousy husband and an even worse father,” he admitted in his 2008 autobiography, In Spite of Myself.

Plummer beamed with pride years later when his daughter earned plaudits for her own acting, but was quick to disavow any credit for her talent.

Plummer cut down on his drinking and a 1970 marriage with Elaine Taylor would take; the couple put down roots in Connecticut for several decades.

He never lived in Canada — the taxes were outrageous, he said — but Plummer, a companion of the Order of Canada and a recipient of the Governor General’s Lifetime Achievement Award, kept coming back for a variety of roles when the country’s film and television industry began to flourish.

There would be movies for big and small screen Canadian productions, including Murder by Decree, Silent Partner, Riel and Ararat, as well as the TV series Counterstrike, and children’s fare like his Emmy-winning voice work in Madeline.

Plummer thrived on switching from screen work to the theatre, and he scored his first Tony in a musical version of Cyrano in 1974.

“You have to be absolutely ruthless in your confidence about how to deal with the great roles, otherwise they’ll deal with you,” he said of his approach, in an interview with the National Theatre Museum decades later.

After an Emmy win for the 1976 TV series The Money Changers, Plummer found himself in demand more for TV movies and miniseries such as The Thorn Birds than for meaty motion picture roles.

He rejected reports of clashes with Oscar winner Glenda Jackson during their 1988 Macbeth stage run as a ploy to sell tickets, but it was true that he possessed a healthy ego, occasionally earning a reputation for being difficult.

After some early hiccups in its early run, his two-person play Barrymore hit its stride on Broadway in early 1997. Plummer won Tony and Drama Desk awards as actor John Barrymore, reflecting at life’s end.

Plummer started to become more in demand for film roles at the same time. Appearances in Dolores Claiborne and 12 Monkeys were followed by a portrayal of journalist Mike Wallace in the 1999 film The Insider, which won him a National Society of Film Critics Award.

Plummer was nominated for a best supporting actor Academy Award for playing Leo Tolstoy in The Last Station in 2010, and would win two years later in the role of Hal Fields, who, after the death of his wife, comes out as a gay man in Beginners.

He stared at the golden statue onstage in Los Angeles and quipped, “You’re only two years older than me, darling, where you have been all my life?”

Plummer was nominated as best supporting actor by the Academy for the third and final time in 2018, for playing billionaire J. Paul Getty in All the Money in the World, based on the true story of the kidnapping and ransom of Getty’s grandson.

He was cast after actor Kevin Spacey was ousted from the role following a series of sexual misconduct allegations. The movie was mostly finished and had already been garnering Oscar buzz when Plummer, then 87, stepped in. He famously shot all his scenes in nine days.

Plummer told the New York Times in 2014 he found it sad when people waited all their lives to retire and then couldn’t find a purpose once their working life was over.

“We shouldn’t retire. Not in our profession. There’s no such thing,” he said. “We want to drop dead onstage. That would be a nice theatrical way to go.”


His death still seems surreal, a day later.

Sean Connery’s wife opens up about late actor’s dementia battle

Sean Connery’s widow, Micheline Roquebrune, has broken her silence following the movie star’s death, opening up about his battle with dementia.

The 90-year-old former James Bond icon’s peaceful death was confirmed by his family on Saturday, and now his artist wife has confirmed reports the Scottish actor was battling the degenerative condition.

“It was no life for him,” she tells the Daily Mail on Sunday. “It took its toll on him. He was not able to express himself latterly… He got his final wish to slip away without any fuss.

“At least he died in his sleep and it was just so peaceful. I was with him all the time and he just slipped away. It was what he wanted.”

Connery passed away at the couple’s home in the Bahamas.

A cause of death has yet to be released.

Pierce Brosnan pays respect to Sean Connery

Pierce Brosnan has added his tribute to movie legend Sir Sean Connery, calling the Scottish star “my greatest James Bond.”

Brosnan, who portrayed 007 in four movies between 1995 and 2002, has joined fellow Bond Daniel Craig among those paying their respects.

Posting a black and white image of Connery on social media, Pierce writes: “Sir Sean Connery, you were my greatest James Bond as a boy, and as a man who became James Bond himself. You cast a long shadow of cinematic splendour that will live on forever.

“You led the way for us all who followed in your iconic foot steps. Each man in his turn looked to you with reverence and admiration as we forged ahead with our own interpretations of the role. You were mighty in every way, as an actor and as a man, and will remain so till the end of time. Your were loved by the world, and will be missed. God bless, rest now, be at peace.”

Current Bond Craig was among the first to offer up his thoughts about the man who originated 007 in the long-running film franchise back in 1962, sharing a statement via the Bond films’ official Twitter page that read: “It is with such sadness that I heard of the passing of one of the true greats of cinema. Sir Sean Connery will be remembered as Bond and so much more. He defined an era and a style. The wit and charm he portrayed on screen could be measured in mega watts; he helped create the modern blockbuster.”

Representatives for another late James Bond star, Roger Moore, have also released a statement, which reads: “How infinitely sad to hear the news Sir Sean Connery has passed away. He and Roger were friends for many decades and Roger always maintained Sean was the best ever James Bond. RIP.”

Meanwhile, Connery’s granddaughter, Saskia, has also offered up a tribute via social media, calling the acting great her best friend.

“A surreal goodbye to my best friend, mentor and dear grandfather,” she wrote. “Please respect my families privacy while we process this news (sic). Thank you for all the wishes and we will get back to you all soon. Heaven has gained the most legendary angel today.”

Saskia also posted an image of the flag outside her grandfather’s local golf club Lyford Cay Club in Nassau, the Bahamas, at half mast as officials honour their late member: “Half mast and forever missed,” she wrote.

And Sir Sean’s actor grandson Dashiell has posted a photo of the late star with the caption: “Great man.”

In a video message, he added: “Thanks for all the love and support and well wishes. I really do appreciate it. Thank you.”


“A legend on screen, and off. “

Daniel Craig leads tributes to original James Bond, Sean Connery

Daniel Craig is leading tributes to late James Bond star Sean Connery following the Scottish actor’s death at 90.

The current 007 has released a statement, calling Connery “one of the true greats of cinema”.

“Sir Sean Connery will be remembered as Bond and so much more,” Craig writes. “He defined an era and a style. The wit and charm he portrayed on screen could be measured in mega watts; he helped create the modern blockbuster.

“He will continue to influence actors and film-makers alike for years to come. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones. Wherever he is, I hope there is a golf course.”

Connery was the original star of the James Bond film franchise, playing the superspy in 1962 movie Dr. No. He appeared in seven 007 films.

He passed away in his sleep at his home in the Bahamas.

Hugh Jackman and Salma Hayek have also paid tribute to the late movie legend.

The Australian star tweeted: “I grew up idolizing #Sean Connery. A legend on screen, and off. Rest in Peace.”

Hayek shared a black and white photo of Connery on Instagram and added: “It saddens me that today the legendary Sean Connery passed away. At least he lived to be 90. My heart goes out to his close ones. May he rest in peace.”

And Sam Neill, who starred in The Hunt For Red October alongside Sean, added: “Every day on set with #SeanConnery was an object lesson in how to act on screen. But all that charisma and power – that was utterly unique to Sean. RIP that great man, that great actor.”

Meanwhile, Elton John took to Instagram to share his thoughts and prayers, writing: “A true screen legend” alongside a photo of the rocker and his husband David Furnish hanging out with Connery and his wife Micheline Roquebrune.

There have also been tributes from Elizabeth Hurley, Star Trek’s George Takei, Antonio Banderas, and Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, who released a statement that reads: “We are devastated by the news of the passing of Sir Connery. He was and shall always be remembered as the original James Bond, whose indelible entrance into cinema history began when he announced those unforgettable words – ‘The name’s Bond… James Bond’ – he revolutionized the world with his gritty and witty portrayal of the sexy and charismatic secret agent.

“He is undoubtedly largely responsible for the success of the film series and we shall be forever grateful to him.”

Connery was a bodybuilder, model, and milkman before he found fame as an actor, making his movie debut in 1954’s Lilacs in the Spring. He went on to appear in a series of British TV roles and films until his big break in the Disney musical Darby O’ Gill & the Little People in 1959. That led to an appearance in classic war movie The Longest Day and his Bond debut, both in 1962.

Outside his Bond film appearances, Connery also won acclaim for the movies The Hill, The Man Who Would Be King, Murder on the Orient Express, A Bridge Too Far, The First Great Train Robbery, The Hunt For Red October, The Rock, Highlander, and The Untouchables, for which he won an Oscar. He also teamed up with Harrison Ford for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.


Tragic, tragic news. Rest In Peace, Sir Sean and Thanks!!

Sean Connery dead at age 90

Sean Connery, the charismatic Scottish actor who rose to international superstardom as suave, fearless secret agent James Bond and then abandoned the role to carve out an equally successful Oscar-winning career playing a variety of leading and character roles, has died. He was 90.

Bond producers EON Productions confirmed his death, first reported by the BBC.

Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said they were “devastated by the news.”

“He was and shall always be remembered as the original James Bond whose indelible entrance into cinema history began when he announced those unforgettable words — ‘The name’s Bond … James Bond,”‘ they said in a statement.

The producers said Connery’s “gritty and witty portrayal of the sexy and charismatic secret agent” was largely responsible for the success of the series.

Connery’s son Jason said his father died peacefully in his sleep overnight in the Bahamas where he lived, having been “unwell for some time.”

“A sad day for all who knew and loved my dad and a sad loss for all people around the world who enjoyed the wonderful gift he had as an actor,” Jason Connery told the BBC.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was “heartbroken” at the news.

“Our nation today mourns one of her best loved sons,” she said.

A commanding screen presence for some 40 years, Connery was in his early 30s and little known when he starred in the first Bond thriller, 1962’s Dr. No, based on the Ian Fleming novel.

Condemned as immoral by the Vatican and the Kremlin but screened at the White House for Bond fan John F. Kennedy, Dr. No was a box-office hit and helped Bond become a franchise that long outlasted its Cold War origins.

For decades, with actors from Connery to Daniel Craig in the leading role, filmgoers have loved the outrageous stunts, vicious villains and likable, roguish hero who enjoyed a life of carousing, fast cars, gadgety weapons, elegant clothes and vodka martinis (always shaken, not stirred).

For many, Connery was the definitive James Bond, his character’s introduction among the most famous in movie history. He is seated at the baccarat table of an upscale casino, seen first from the side and the back. After he wins a couple of hands against a glamorous young woman, she asks for more money to gamble.

“I admire your courage, Miss, uh …” we hear him tell her as the camera shows his hands removing a cigarette from a slender case. She introduces herself as “Trench, Sylvia Trench,” tells him she admires his luck and asks his name. His reply remains a catchphrase decades later. “Bond,” he says, his face finally revealed as he lights a cigarette. “James Bond.”

United Artists couldn’t wait to make more Bond movies, with ever more elaborate stunts and gadgets, along with more exotic locales and more prominent co-stars, among them Lotte Lenya and Jill St. John.

Connery continued as Bond in From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice and Diamonds Are Forever, often performing his own stunts.

Diamonds Are Forever came out in 1971, and by then Connery had grown weary of playing 007 and feared he wasn’t being taken seriously despite his dramatic performances in Alfred Hitchcock’s Marnie and Sidney Lumet’s The Hill.

“I’d been an actor since I was 25, but the image the press put out was that I just fell into this tuxedo and started mixing vodka martinis,” he once complained.

When he walked away at age 41, Hollywood insiders predicted Connery would soon be washed up. Who would hire a balding, middle-aged actor with a funny accent?

Connery fooled them all, playing a wide range of characters and proving equally adept at comedy, adventure or drama. And age only heightened the appeal of his dark stare and rugged brogue; he set a celebrity record of sorts when at age 59, he was named People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive.”

He won the affection of fans of the Indiana Jones franchise when he played Indy’s father opposite Harrison Ford in the third picture, 1989’s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. He turned in a poignant portrayal of an aging Robin Hood opposite Audrey Hepburn in Robin and Marian in 1976 and, 15 years later, was King Richard to Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

He was the lovable English con man who joined Michael Caine in swindling tribal people everywhere in The Man Who Would Be King and the bold Russian submarine commander in The Hunt for Red October.

He delivered a charming performance as a reclusive writer who mentors a teenage prodigy in 2000’s Finding Forrester.

He won his Oscar for supporting actor in 1987 for his portrayal of a tough Chicago cop who joins Elliot Ness’s crime-fighters in The Untouchables.

By then he was at peace with James Bond, and when he arrived onstage at the Oscar ceremony he declared, “The name’s Connery. Sean Connery.”

He kept his promise not to play Bond again until 1983, when he was lured back by an offbeat script about a middle-aged 007. Based on the only Fleming story that hadn’t been nailed down by the film empire Broccoli and Saltzman created, Connery took the role and helped produce the film. The result was Never Say Never Again, a title suggested by his wife, Micheline Roquebrune.

Even as the 007 films made him a millionaire, Connery often tried to separate his own personality from that of Bond. “I’m obviously not Bond,” he once said. “And Bond is obviously not a human being. Fleming invented him after the war, when people were hungry for luxury, gourmet touches, exotic settings. Those were the things the English loved to read about following the privations of the war.”

The “real” Sean Connery had a troubled first marriage and a history of comments justifying domestic violence. In 1962, he married Diane Cilento, an actor best known for her role as Molly in Tom Jones. They had a son, Jason, who also became an actor, but the union proved tempestuous and ended in 1974.

Its impact lasted long after. Cilento would allege that he had physically abused her, and Connery defended his behaviour in interviews. In 1965, he told Playboy magazine that he did not find “anything particularly wrong about hitting a woman — although I don’t recommend doing it in the same way that you’d hit a man. An openhanded slap is justified — if all other alternatives fail and there has been plenty of warning.”

When journalist Barbara Walters brought up those remarks in a 1987 interview, he said his opinion hadn’t changed because “sometimes women just won’t leave things alone.”

Connery was widely criticized but still received numerous honours, including being chosen as commander (the same rank as Bond) of France’s Order of Arts and Literature and a Kennedy Center honoree in 1999 in the United States. The following year, Queen Elizabeth II proclaimed him a British knight.

Thomas Sean Connery was born Aug. 25, 1930, in Edinburgh, the first of two sons of a long-distance truck driver and a domestic worker.

He left school at age 13 during the Second World War to help support his family.

“I was a milkman, labourer, steel bender, cement mixer — virtually anything,” he said.

Weary of day labour, he joined the British navy and was medically discharged after three years. The ailment: stomach ulcers.

Back in Edinburgh, he lifted weights to build his body and compete in the Mr. Universe contest. He came in third and briefly considered becoming a professional soccer player but chose acting because he reasoned his career would last longer.

He got his first big break singing and dancing to There is Nothing Like a Dame in South Pacific on the London stage and in a road production before going on to act in repertory, television and B movies.

He went to Hollywood for two early films, Disney’s Darby O’Gill and the Little People and Tarzan’s Greatest Adventure.

When he decided to become an actor, he was told that Thomas Sean Connery wouldn’t fit on a theatre marquee, so he dropped his first name.

Then came the audition that changed his life. American producers Albert “Cubby” Broccoli and Harry Saltzman had bought the film rights to a string of post-Second World War spy adventure novels by Ian Fleming.

Connery was not their first choice for Dr. No. The producers had looked to Cary Grant but decided they wanted an actor who would commit to a series. The producers also realized they couldn’t afford a big-name star because United Artists had limited their film budget to $1 million a picture, so they started interviewing more obscure British performers.

Among them was the 6-foot-2 Connery. Without a screen test, Broccoli and Saltzman chose the actor, citing his “dark, cruel good looks,” a perfect match for the way Fleming described Bond.

When Connery started earning big money, he established his base at a villa in Marbella on the Spanish coast.

He described it as “my sanitarium, where I recover from the madness of the film world.” It also helped him avoid the overwhelming income tax he would have paid had he remained a resident of Britain.

As his acting roles diminished when he reached his 70s, Connery spent much of his time at his tax-free home at Lyford Cay in the Bahamas. He played golf almost every morning, often with his wife. He announced in 2007 that he had retired when he turned down the chance to appear in another Indiana Jones movie.

“I thought long and hard about it, and if anything could have pulled me out of retirement it would have been an Indiana Jones film,” he said.

“But in the end, retirement is just too damned much fun.”


I miss that man every day!!

City of Toronto marks ‘John Candy Day’ to celebrate late actor’s birthday

Toronto Mayor John Tory has declared this Saturday “John Candy Day” to mark what would’ve been the actor’s 70th birthday.

The mayor made the announcement on social media, saying, “It’s our way of remembering a beloved actor and comedian with roots in Toronto.”

Candy, who was born on Oct. 31, 1950, grew up in East York and attended high school in Scarborough. He began his comedy career as part of Toronto’s Second City sketch troupe.

He rose to fame as part of the cast of the Second City Television series in 1976, forging a unique identity with characters such as TV personality Johnny LaRue and clarinetist Yosh Shmenge of the Shmenge Brothers polka duo.

That opened the doors to Hollywood, where he was cast in many classic comedies, including Splash, Home Alone, Stripes and Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

But Candy always maintained his ties to Toronto, taking on a stake in the Toronto Argonauts football team in 1991 as co-owner.

Candy died on March 4, 1994, after suffering a heart attack while shooting the film Wagons East in Durango, Mexico. He was 43.

Tory said the actor’s legacy lives on in many places, among them his family, his performances and his induction into Canada’s Walk of Fame.


One day there’ll be good movies to go see again!!

Come Play’ limps to $3.1 million debut at box office

LOS ANGELES — Audiences did not heed the title of “Come Play,” a terrifying thriller from Focus Features and Amblin that debuted in U.S. theatres this weekend. The PG-13 horror film generated just $3.15 million from 2,183 screens, enough to lead sleepy box office charts in pandemic times.

Moviegoing has been incredibly slow in North America because theatres in New York City and Los Angeles, two vital markets, remain closed. With those venues shuttered, studios are wary of releasing big-budget potential blockbusters. For the time being, studios are siphoning off smaller movies like “Come Play,” supernatural thriller “The Empty Man” and family flick “The War With Grandpa.” It’s a chance for theatre owners to offer audiences new product, sure, but such offerings are hardly moving the needle for ticket sales.

“Come Play” actually came in ahead of expectations: pre-release tracking suggested inaugural weekend sales around $2 million to $2.5 million. Yet analyst David A. Gross, who runs the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research, referred to the opening of “Come Play” as “soft.” However, he noted that “like all recent wide releases, ‘Come Play’s’ theatre count is somewhat low and in line with the proportion of theatres closed across the U.S.”

“Come Play” sold the most tickets in Dallas, followed by New York — despite New York City venues still shuttered. Drive-in theatres have been a boon during the pandemic, and this weekend was no different. Mission Tiki Drive-In near Los Angeles and West Wind Sacramento 6 Drive-In were among the highest-earning theatres. Directed by Jacob Chase and starring Gillian Jacobs (“Love”) and John Gallagher Jr., “Come Play” follows two parents as they attempt to protect their young son from getting abducted by a villainous humanoid creature. It cost $10 million to produce.

“We’re thrilled that audiences came out to celebrate Halloween making ‘Come Play’ the No. 1 movie this weekend,” said Lisa Bunnell, president of distribution at Focus Features.

Liam Neeson’s action adventure “Honest Thief” collected $1.35 million from 2,360 theatres, enough to secure second place. After three weekends of release, the movie has generated $9.5 million.

Since launching over the Columbus Day holiday weekend, Robert De Niro’s “The War With Grandpa” has made $11.2 million in total. The comedy landed at No. 3 on charts this weekend after adding another $1.1 million from 2,365 screens.

“The Empty Man,” from Disney’s 20th Century Studios, plummeted nearly 60% from initial weekend sales. Given essentially zero promotion from the studio, it scraped together $561,000 this weekend for a North American total of $2.2 million.

“The Empty Man” came in behind Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet,” which has been in U.S. theatres for over two months. The sci-fi epic, starring John David Washington and Robert Pattinson, brought in $665,000. That brings “Tenet’s” domestic total to $53.8 million, disappointing results for a movie that cost over $200 million. Overseas, the film has enjoyed stronger box office receipts, with ticket sales reaching $293.3 million internationally and $347 million globally.

Elsewhere, Paramount unveiled “Spell” on premium video-on-demand and in 369 theatres, where it earned $210,000.

In honour of Halloween, Disney brought some spooky holiday favourites back to the big screen, including “Hocus Pocus” ($456,000), “The Nightmare Before Christmas” ($386,000) and “Monsters Inc. ($232,000).

Sluggish box office sales come as parts of Europe are enacting new lockdowns, prompting theatres in England, France and Italy to close down again. In the U.S., there are concerns that chilly temperatures during winter could cause coronavirus to continue surging.

“The cold, indoor weather is going to be a challenge around the world,” Gross said.


I love the place, but it’s awful how many legends aren’t in there.

Insiders explain the worst Rock & Roll Hall of Fame snubs of all time

What do The Go-Go’s, Tina Turner, Kraftwerk, A Tribe Called Quest, Sonic Youth and Iron Maiden have in common? Not much. Except none of them are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“It’s a closed system,” said one industry player. “It’s all about the tastes of the older guys who started it: [Rolling Stone founder] Jann Wenner, [late Atlantic Records founder] Ahmet Ertegun. It’s changing a bit now that Jann’s stepped down — but that’s basically why there’s a lack of diversity and women and edgier acts.”

The first year of inductees was 1986, with a simple criteria for eligibility. An artist’s first album has to have been out for at least 25 years, to prove they stand the test of time. But beyond that, it’s a matter of voters’ personal preferences.

“The artists that get in reflect the tastes of that year’s nominating committee, which fluctuates,” said journalist Roy Trakin, a former voting committee member. “For instance, heavy metal and hair-metal — Mötley Crüe, Ratt, Poison — never get much respect.”

Same with hip-hop, said Joe Kwaczala, co-host of the podcast Who Cares about The Rock Hall. “Tupac got in, but LL Cool J, A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul are waiting in the wings.”

Wenner was the chairman of the Hall’s Foundation until this year, when John Sykes, President of Entertainment Enterprises for IHeartMedia, took his place. Jon Landau, Bruce Springsteen’s longtime manager, is head of the nominating committee.

According to Kwaczala, “The committee meets once a year and each bring up two names. Then they all vote. The top 15 comprise the ballot. Then it goes to the voters, about 1,100 [industry] people.”

Sykes said the nomination process is no great mystery. “[It] is an … objective system that involves, first, a diverse group of over 30 people. It’s not a backroom cartel who decides. The group evolves because music evolves … [Landau] says the mantra is: ‘Who created the sound of young America?’”

Depeche Mode, the Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails, the Notorious B.I.G. and T. Rex all made the cut for this year’s ceremony, which airs Saturday on HBO. (The show was pre-taped as what Sykes calls as “documentary” and won’t feature the usual intra-band jam sessions.)

Among the more recent additions to the nominating committee are QuestLove and Dave Grohl. “QuestLove is an influential member. He was more or less responsible for getting Hall & Oates in [in 2014],” said Trakin.

Sources told The Post that bringing in Sykes should change things in the near future.

“The Go-Go’s, there’s no good reason they haven’t even been on the ballot. It wouldn’t shock me if they were on the ballot [for 2021], because of their Showtime documentary. Nina Simone was snubbed for years, but that Netflix doc on her really helped [her get in in 2018],” said Kwaczala.

He added: “The Hall is warming up to post-punk British bands: The Cure last year, Depeche Mode this year. The Smiths or Joy Division/New Order will be next.”

Some artists are perennially selected by the nominating committee, only to be rejected by voters.

“The committee put forth Kraftwerk six times. Chaka Khan and Rufus have been on the nominating ballot six times. LL Cool J, same. MC5 have been on at least five times,” Kwaczala explained.

Said Sykes, “Most artists don’t get in the first [nomination]. Biggie Smalls was an exception.”

Kwaczala predicts Jay-Z will get in next year, his first time for eligibility.

But does being in even matter?

“It matters for legacy,” said one longtime rock publicist. “Most artists, no matter what they say, really want to be inducted. When Eddie Van Halen just passed, one of the first lines in his obit was: ‘Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.’”

Another publicist told The Post: “I’m told you have to get an old-time music business influencer to write you a letter. Some acts won’t do that. They feel like their music is enough.”

Sometimes even campaigning doesn’t work. “We made several overtures to the Hall of Fame,” recalled Len Fico, manager of Jethro Tull from 1990 to 2007. “In 2001, when [singer] Ian Anderson had his second solo record out, we set up a gig in Cleveland [at the Hall of Fame Museum]. Ian was interviewed by the curator and donated a flag, stage clothing and original master tapes of ‘Aqualung.’ But I was told [Wenner] didn’t like Jethro Tull and would never let them in … Now that he’s stepped down, maybe they have a chance.”


Saturday Night Live is 0-4 this season. Hopefully Mulaney saves the season!!

John Mulaney, the Strokes Set for ‘SNL’ Halloween Episode

John Mulaney will host and the Strokes will serve as musical guests on Saturday Night Live’s Halloween episode next week.

Both Mulaney and the Strokes will be making their fourth appearance on the long-running series; Mulaney, a former SNL writer, last hosted on February 29th, 2020 — the second-to-last pre-Covid episode — while the Strokes are returning to SNL for the first time since 2011, when they were musical guest on a Miley Cyrus-hosted episode.

“Three things define New York City: SNL, the Strokes, and Ed Koch. Koch is dead, so they got me,” Mulaney tweeted. “I am so goddamn excited. 4th time up. Wow and wow and wow.”

The Halloween episode marks the fifth and final of five straight new episodes to kick off SNL’s Season 46, as well as the last episode before Election Day.

Season 46 has so far featured hosts Chris Rock, Bill Burr, Issa Rae and Adele, with musical guests Megan Thee Stallion, Jack White, Justin Bieber and H.E.R.


I wanted to go to a movie theatre twice this weekend, but the showtimes didn’t work out. I’m trying!!

Liam Neeson thriller ‘Honest Thief’ tops quiet box office again

LOS ANGELES, Oct 25, ( – Liam Neeson’s thriller “Honest Thief” repeated as the winner of a subdued domestic box office with $2.4 million at 2,502 locations.

The Open Road release declined 44% from its opening frame and has taken in $7.5 million in its first 10 days in North America. The distributor added screens in New York state following New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s decision to give movie theaters outside of New York City permission to reopen at reduced capacity starting on Oct. 23.

Tom Ortenberg, CEO of Open Road said: “Our belief was that releasing a crowd-pleaser of a film, like ‘Honest Thief,’ at this point in time, would generate the positive word-of-mouth necessary to successfully propel the film for many weeks. Back to back weeks at number 1, confirms that belief.”

The “Honest Thief” number is one of the lowest-winning weekend totals in theaters during the past two months, but Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore, said it demonstrated the fundamental appeal of the moviegoing experience.

“The performance of ‘Honest Thief’ proves that moviegoers haven’t given up on the theatrical experience and that an action thriller starring Liam Neeson is the perfect antidote to today’s trying times and supplies that big screen escape that audiences have been craving,” Dergarabedian said. “With an unlimited supply of content at home on the small screen, it should be heartening to theatrical exhibition that movies in theaters remain relevant to audiences and even though the box office numbers (for obvious reasons) are lower than what would be typically seen at this time of year, there is clearly an interest by consumers in the movie theater experience.”

The New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco markets remained closed due to the pandemic along with the Regal Cinemas chain, which shuttered its 536 U.S. locations on Oct. 8. Other U.S. theaters are operating with reduced hours and at reduced capacity with social distancing restrictions.

101 Studios’ third weekend of family comedy “The War With Grandpa” showed solid holding power with a 25% decline to $1.9 million at 2,345 venues for a 17-day total of $9.7 million. The Robert De Niro vehicle led the box office over the Columbus Day weekend with $4 million, breaking the five-weekend winning streak of “Tenet,” the big-budget Christopher Nolan thriller.

Disney’s opening of horror-thriller “The Empty Man” debuted softly with $1.3 million at 2,027 domestic locations. In the film, James Badge Dale stars as an ex-cop dealing with a secretive group trying to summon a supernatural entity. “The Empty Man” was developed at 20th Century Fox before Disney bought the Fox entertainment assets last year.

Christoper Nolan’s “Tenet” also took in $1.3 million at 1,801 domestic site, declining only 15% in its eighth weekend. Warner Bros. opted to open “Tenet” in North America on Labor Day weekend and has seen domestic results top $52 million. The international results have been respectable with nearly $290 million, but the film’s modest domestic performance signaled a reluctance by many U.S. moviegoers to return to multiplexes amid the ongoing pandemic. Major studios have been delaying virtually every other high-profile release as a result.

During the past week, three more high profile titles — MGM’s “Legally Blonde 3,” Universal’s “Candyman” and Sony’s “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” — have been delayed. Only a few major studio movies remain on the 2020 calendar with Warner Bros.’ “Wonder Woman 1984” scheduled for Dec. 25.

Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Box Office Pro, summed up the weekend by noting the need for exhibitors to provide reassurance to potential customers.

“Relatively strong holds across the board remain the theme of pandemic box office, even if overall foot traffic remains markedly low,” he noted. “The re-opening of some New York state cinemas helps business in a minor way, but we’re in a period of the calendar now where theaters should start relying more on communication to consumers about the safety of moviegoing just as much as, or more than, promoting new releases. It’ll be a few weeks before any truly mainstream titles arrive from major studios again. The attainable goal right now is all about building consumer confidence.”