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Pretty excited for this!! Hope it’s longer than 60 minutes!!!

‘Friends’ Cast to Reunite for Exclusive HBO Max Special

It’s happening: The “Friends” cast is reuniting for an exclusive untitled unscripted special on HBO Max.

Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer will return to the original “Friends” soundstage, Stage 24, on the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank to celebrate the long-running series, which ended its run in 2004.

Sources close to the situation tell Variety the six stars will receive at least $2.5 million apiece for participating in the special.

The reunion has been hotly anticipated, with speculation about the HBO Max special swirling since last fall, just months after the WarnerMedia-created SVOD platform nabbed the streaming rights to the show from Netflix in a deal with Warner Bros. Television. All 10 seasons of the comedy left Netflix at the end of 2019, meaning that “Friends” has thus far not been available to stream in the U.S. this calendar year — at least, not until HBO Max launches in May.

The special, as well as all 236 episodes of “Friends,” will be available upon the streaming service’s debut. They will no doubt be a high-profile part of HBO Max’s appeal as it tries to attract subscribers. Though the sitcom aired its series finale over 15 years ago, third-party market researchers have said “Friends” was one of Netflix’s most-watched shows. And as previously reported, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment told Variety that sales of physical and digital versions of “Friends” have “roughly tripled” since news broke that it would be leaving Netflix.

“Guess you could call this the one where they all got back together — we are reuniting with David, Jennifer, Courteney, Matt, Lisa, and Matthew for an HBO Max special that will be programmed alongside the entire ‘Friends’ library,” said Kevin Reilly, chief content officer at HBO Max and president of TBS, TNT, and truTV, in a statement. “I became aware of ‘Friends’ when it was in the very early stages of development and then had the opportunity to work on the series many years later and have delighted in seeing it catch on with viewers generation after generation. It taps into an era when friends – and audiences – gathered together in real time and we think this reunion special will capture that spirit, uniting original and new fans.”

Ben Winston will direct the special and executive produce alongside “Friends” executive producers Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman and David Crane. Warner Bros. Unscripted & Alternative Television and Fulwell 73 Productions are behind the program. Aniston, Cox, Kudrow, LeBlanc, Perry, and Schwimmer are also executive producing the special, with Emma Conway and James Longman on board as co-executive producers.

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I really wanted to see STAR WARS – THE RISE OF SKYWALKER again in a theatre this weekend, but it’s no longer playing near me.

Sonic the Hedgehog can’t be beat at the box office, Call of the Wild performs better than expected

Audiences can’t get enough of Sonic the Hedgehog, it continues its domination of the box office chart with $26.3 million during its second week in theaters.

The Call of the Wild sits comfortably in second place with an estimated $25 million, opening strong with numbers that are better than expected. Third place belongs to Birds of Prey with $7 million, followed by Brahms: The Boy II with $6 million.

Rounding out the top five is Bad Boys for Life with $5.9 million after six weeks on the big screen.

Harrison Ford still has the cache to bring audiences to theaters in droves, and his adorable CGI canine co-star certainly added to The Call of the Wild‘s popularity. The duo star in the drama, adapted from the Jack London classic of the same name, about a dog named Buck whose life is turned upside down when he moves from California to Alaska during the Gold Rush of the 1890s.

The Chris Sanders directed title co-stars Dan Stevens, Karen Gillan, Bradley Whitford, and Omar Sy.

EW gives the film a B saying, “Though this tale of redemption and survival doesn’t feel particularly relevant or essential in today’s media landscape, it still has the capacity to entertain and move, well over a century after the story first was published.”

Moviegoers liked the film a big more, giving it an A- via Cinemascore.

Brahms: The Boy II is a supernatural horror film and stand alone sequel to 2016’s The Boy. Katie Holmes portrays Liza, a mother who moves into a mansion with her young son Jude (played by Christopher Convery) after a home invasion leaves them both injured and traumatized.

Jude discovers a doll in the woods that he decides he’ll clean up and take home with him, but that doll has a curious past involving unusual events. It’s not long before the doll is wreaking havoc on the family, or could something else be behind the mysterious occurrences happening in the house?

The William Brent Bell directed film co-stars Owain Yeoman, Ralph Ineson and Oliver Rice.

Overall, box office is up 5.9 percent year-to-date, according to Comscore. Check out the Feb. 14-16 numbers below:

Sonic the Hedgehog — $26.3 million
The Call of the Wild—$25 million
Birds of Prey — $7 million
Brahms: The Boy II—$6 million
Bad Boy for Life — $5.9 million
1917 — $4.4 million
Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island —$4.2 million
Parasite — $3.1 million
Jumanji: The Next Level — $3 million
The Photograph — $2.5 million

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I went to see DOWNHILL, expecting it to be entertaining, and it was not very good. First off, it’s a drama…not a comedy…and by the end I just didn’t care.

Sonic The Hedgehog zooms past the competition at the box office with $57 million

Sonic the Hedgehog made its big debut over President’s Day weekend and it zoomed all the way to the top of the box office. Not only did the film make an estimated $57 during its first week in theaters, but it also claimed the title of biggest North American debut for a movie based on a video game.

Second place goes to Birds of Prey with an estimated $17.1 million during its second week, followed by Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island in third with $12.4 million. Rounding out the top five are The Photograph ($12.3 million), and Bad Boys for Life with $11.3 million, according to Comscore.

Sonic the Hedgehog made a big splash in theaters as fans of the original 1991 Sega game and newcomers were curious about what adventures the quick, blue and white critter would be getting into on the big screen. In the film, Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz) and his new human best friend Tom Wachowski (James Marsden) team up to stop the evil scientist Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey), who wants to take over the world by stealing Sonic’s super speed abilities.

The Jeff Fowler directed film (his debut) co-stars Tika Sumpter, Adam Pally, Neal P. McDonough, and Natasha Rothwell.

In November, it was announced that Fowler was taking Sonic back to the drawing board after the film’s first trailer was criticized by fans who noticed the critter had an infinite amount of human teeth. It seems to have been a good move, Sonic the Hedgehog is certified fresh by Rotten Tomatoes critics and moviegoers gave it an A, via Cinemascore.

The 1977 series Fantasy Island was rebirthed into a 2020 horror film of the same name by the folks at Blumhouse, and their efforts did not go unnoticed. In its new iteration, five people win a contest that’ll take them to the luxurious yet remote island where it’s said their fantasies will come true. When Gwen (Maggie Q), Patrick (Austin Stowell), Brax (Jimmy O. Yang), JD (Ryan Hansen), and Melanie (Lucy Hale) arrive, they meet a whole cast of characters including the island’s keeper Mr. Roarke (Michael Peña) who warns them that they have to see their fantasies all the way through.

The Jeff Wadlow directed film also co-stars Paris Fitz-Henley, Portia Doubleday, Kim Coates, and Michael Rooker.

Fantasy Island is certified rotten on Rotten Tomatoes, but moviegoers liked it a bit more. Cinemascore reports the horror title earned a C-.

Issa Rae and LaKeith Stanfield star in the romantic drama The Photograph, a movie about two people brought together by circumstance. Rae stars as Mae Morton, the estranged daughter of a famous photographer (played by Courtney B. Vance) who meets and falls for the journalist (Stanfield) covering her late mother. It is through her mother’s mistakes that Morton can learn how to move forward and let herself love and be loved, but will she?

The Stella Meghie directed film also co-stars Chelsea Peretti, Jasmine Cephas Jonas, Lil Rel Howery, and Rae’s Insecure co-star Y’Lan Noel.

The Photograph is certified fresh via Rotten Tomatoes and Cinemascore reports the film earned a B+ from moviegoers.

Downhill stars Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus as married couple Pete and Billie Staunton in the dark comedy that follows the pair as their life is turned upside down after an avalanche scare during a family ski trip. Will the Staunton’s stay together after re-evaluating their life and their marriage?

The Nat Faxon and Jim Rash directed film, loosely based on the 2014 Swedish movie called Force Majeure, co-stars Miranda Otto, Zach Woods, and Kristofer Hivju.

EW gave the film a B saying, “As an attempt to scale the craggy heights of a marriage in crisis, Downhill may be more bunny slope than black diamond — a force mineure, but still worth the trip.” Cinemascore wasn’t as kind to the Indie, it earned a D from moviegoers.

Overall, box office is up 9.1 percent year-to-date, according to Comscore. Check out the Feb. 14-16 numbers below:

Sonic the Headehog — $57 million
Birds of Prey — $17.1 million
Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island —$12.4 million
The Photograph — $12.3 million
Bad Boy for Life — $11.3 million
1917 — $8 million
Jumanji: The Next Level — $6 million
Parasite — $6 million
Dolittle — $5 million
Downhill — $5 million

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I want to see BIRDS OF PREY but I’m in absolutely no rush.

Birds of Prey soars to the top of the box office with $33.3 million

The box office has a new leader as Birds of Prey bumps Bad Boys for Life ($12 million) to second place with an estimated $33.3 million during its opening weekend.

The number three spot belongs to war epic 1917 with $9 million, followed by the Robert Downey Jr. led Dolittle in fourth with an estimated $7 million, according to Comscore. Rounding out the top five Jumanji: The Next Level with an estimated $6 million.

Birds of Prey is the long awaited Harley Quinn film starring Margot Robbie, who brought to the life the comic book character she originally portrayed in 2016’s Suicide Squad. The superhero story picks up after Quinn has been dumped by The Joker and joined a squad of bad ass females: Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez), and Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), to save a young girl from the hands of an evil crime lord.

The Cathy Yan-directed film co-stars Ali Wong, Chris Messina, Ewan McGregor, and Ella Jay Basco.

Moviegoers gave the film a B+, according to Cinemascore.

Overall, box office is up 9.6 percent year-to-date, according to Comscore. Check out the Feb. 7-9 numbers below:

Birds of Prey— $33.3 million
Bad Boy for Life— $12 million
1917—$9 million
Dolittle— $7 million
Jumanji: The Next Level— $6 million
The Gentlemen— $4.2 million
Gretel and Hansel—$4 million
Knives Out—$2.4 million
Little Women—$2.3 million
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker—$2.2 million

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Somehow they always seem to miss someone. May they all Rest In Peace.

Luke Perry, Cameron Boyce omitted from Oscars In Memoriam

The 2020 Oscars In Memoriam honored many of Hollywood’s fallen from the last year, including recent losses Kirk Douglas and Kobe Bryant. But the Academy left out two prominent stars who passed away in 2019 — Luke Perry and Cameron Boyce.

Each year there are always snubs, valued members of the entertainment industry who don’t make it into the limited amount of time allotted fo the segment. But these omissions feel especially perplexing, especially Perry — his final onscreen appearance was one of the Best Picture nominees, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Perry died March 4, shortly after last year’s Feb. 24 ceremony, after suffering a stroke, so many assumed he was an automatic in for this year’s In Memoriam segment.

Boyce was a younger star, one whose life was cut short due to complications from epilepsy before his final appearance in Disney Channel’s Descendants 3 last summer.

The In Memoriam was a beautiful segment otherwise, underscored by a powerful performance of Paul McCartney’s “Yesterday” from record-breaking Grammy winner Billie Eilish and her brother/producer Finneas.

The montage was book-ended by two deaths still very fresh to fans. Kobe Bryant, who died alongside his daughter and seven other people in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, was the first person honored, showcased with a photo of him from his 2018 Oscar win. It featured Bryant’s image alongside one of his most famous quotes, which read, “Life is too short to get bogged down and discouraged. You have to keep moving.”

The tribute — which included John Singleton, Doris Day, Peter Mayhew, and many more — ended with Kirk Douglas, the Hollywood legend who died only this last week at the age of 103.

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A Brief Recap

‘Parasite’ earned four wins, including best picture, while ‘1917’ nabbed three honors at the 92nd Academy Awards.

On Sunday night in Los Angeles, Neon’s Parasite claimed four wins at the 92nd Academy Awards, including best picture, best director Bong Joon Ho, international feature film and original screenplay. Universal’s 1917 nabbed three wins, for visual effects, cinematography and sound mixing.

Another three films earned two honors each. Warner Bros.’ Joker won in the acting category for Joaquin Phoenix and for original score. Sony’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood won for Brad Pitt in the supporting actor category and for production design. 20th Century’s Ford v Ferrari won for film editing and sound editing.

Renée Zellweger claimed the best actress win for Roadside Attractions’ Judy, Laura Dern earned a win for Netflix’s Marriage Story in the supporting actress category, while Taika Waititi claimed the adapted screenplay honor for Searchlight’s JoJo Rabbit.

Pixar’s Toy Story 4 nabbed the animated feature prize, while Paramount’s Rocketman won for original song.

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PARASITE was a very good movie, but I expected 1917 to at least get Best Director as it was more of an Oscar Movie. Maybe the times are changing.

How ‘Parasite’ made Oscars history as the first foreign-language best picture winner

By the time Leonardo DiCaprio crashed the poolside “Parasite” party at the Sunset Tower Hotel on the weekend of the Golden Globes, the awards-season momentum for Bong Joon Ho’s acclaimed thriller had been building for months.

“Parasite” premiered at Cannes in May, unanimously winning the fetival’s prestigious Palme d’Or prize, the first in a series of firsts for its filmmaker and for his native South Korea. It resurfaced in September at the Telluride and Toronto film festivals, key stops on the awards circuit, before opening in theaters in mid-October, selling out all of its shows and breaking box office records.

By that juncture, it was no longer a question of whether the film, distributed in the U.S. by Neon (a company founded just three years ago), would earn South Korea its first nomination in the Oscars’ international feature category. Now the ambitions were greater: Could “Parasite” become the first non-English language movie to win best picture?

It did just that Sunday night, also winning Oscars for director, original screenplay and international feature. By the end of the evening, Bong had taken the stage four times to accept trophies.

“My initial thought from the first time I saw it — and then immediately watched it again — was, ‘This could win,’” says Perception PR awards consultant Lea Yardum, whose company ran the “Parasite” campaign. “Everybody thought from the beginning it was a multi-category play.”

The biggest obstacle blocking “Parasite” was the academy’s spotty history rewarding global cinema. Bong got out in front of this reticence with a great bit of shade thrown while accepting the foreign film award at the Golden Globes in early January.

“Once you overcome the 1-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films,” he said.

Of course, Alfonso Cuarón also lobbed a few pointed remarks campaigning for “Roma” last year, including a barbed line when accepting the Oscar last year for foreign-language film. “I grew up watching foreign-language films and learning so much from them — films like ‘Citizen Kane,’ ‘Jaws,’ ‘Rashomon,’ ‘The Godfather’ and ‘Breathless,’ ” he noted.

“Roma” won Cuarón Oscars for director and cinematography, but he lost the Oscars’ top prize to a more traditional crowd-pleaser, Peter Farrelly’s dramedy of racial reconciliation, “Green Book.”

“Parasite,” likewise, was competing this season against a movie that looked like many previous best picture winners: Sam Mendes’ war drama “1917,” a film honored by the producers and directors guilds.

But the similarities ended there. Cuarón’s black-and-white, meditative memoir was a movie more admired than loved. “Parasite” earned plenty of raves from reviewers, winning a clutch of critics group prizes in December. But its unpredictable, entertaining and, ultimately, devastating story of two families on opposite sides of the class divide also elicited a deep, publicly professed devotion among its fans, newcomers and #BongHive members alike.

This adoration played out at event after event. At a Screen Actors Guild nomination committee screening last fall, a moderator politely asked that the audience — a group given to rushing the stage for selfies and small talk after events — to remain in their seats so Bong could leave quickly for another affair. When the Q&A ended, the audience obeyed, giving Bong a standing ovation and almost bowing toward him in unison as he left the theater.

Bong has long enjoyed that kind of following in America, akin to the allegiance shown toward Paul Thomas Anderson by longtime supporters. But with “Parasite,” he also demonstrated a tireless energy during the long awards season, charming voters with his authentic, gracious spirit, his humor and the way he celebrated his cast’s ensemble win at the SAG Awards, filming them like a proud dad.

Like the Oscar for best picture, that SAG Awards win was historic. And the thunderous applause that greeted it — and the earlier cheering when the movie’s cast simply walked onstage — was another indication of the passion people felt about “Parasite.”

But as important as the SAG Awards win was, the nomination itself, announced in December, was even more significant. Because the cast — including Song Kang Ho, Chang Hyae Jin, Lee Sun Kyun, Choi Woo Shik, Park So Dam and Lee Jung Eun — spent much of the season working on movies at home in South Korea, the film’s awards team faced challenges connecting them with voters. The recognition from the Screen Actors Guild voters gave them some space to make those introductions.

By this point, “Parasite” was an indie box office hit, thanks to a smart, patient distribution plan engineered by Neon head Tom Quinn. Bong and Quinn had worked together previously on four films, leading to Quinn landing the North American rights to “Parasite” in October 2018. Coupled with the ecstatic reviews, the movie’s commercial success (it has grossed $34 million to date in the States and a massive $72 million at home), drove awards voters to screenings that took place not just in the usual locales, but in spots like Koreatown, not a ZIP Code normally associated with academy members.

Bong attended most of them, leading to a long-running lament about having to stand at American parties, a contrast to South Korea, where people sit down, talk and eat. The good-natured complaint was his lone regret from an exciting season that ended with a historic jolt felt around the world.

“After winning best international feature, I thought I was done for the day and was ready to relax,” Bong said, on his third trip to the stage, accepting the director prize.

He wasn’t done — and neither was “Parasite.”

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“Hey Britain — heard you just became single. Welcome to the club!”

Lack of diversity lamented at British film awards as war epic 1917 wins big

Gut-wrenching First World War epic 1917 was the big winner at Sunday’s British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs), winning seven awards including best picture and best director.

Sam Mendes’s homegrown drama bested hotly tipped American contenders Joker, The Irishman and Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood at a glitzy London event that was overshadowed by criticism of the nominees’ lack of diversity — even from some of the nominees themselves.

Director Mendes based 1917 on his grandfather’s wartime experiences. Shot in sinuous long takes that immerse viewers in the action, it follows two British soldiers on a perilous mission across no man’s land to try to avert a suicidal offensive.

1917 was also named best British film and won the cinematography prize — Roger Deakins’s fifth win in that category. It also took the prizes for production design, sound and visual effects.

Joaquin Phoenix was named best actor for Joker, and Renée Zellweger took the best actress prize for the Judy Garland biopic Judy.

Victory at the BAFTAs is often a good predictor for the work that will be recognized at Hollywood’s Academy Awards, being held this year on Feb. 9. Like the Oscars, the British awards this year were heavily male and white.

No women were nominated as best director for the seventh year running, and all 20 nominees in the lead and supporting performer categories were white.

Phoenix slammed the lack of diversity in his acceptance speech, saying it sent “a very clear message to people of colour that ‘You’re not welcome here.”‘

Awards organizers called it “disappointing” that there were no performers of colour among the acting nominees, who are chosen by 6,500 academy members who work in the U.K. and international film industry.

The rising star award — the one trophy decided by the public — went to black British actor Micheal Ward.

British star Cynthia Erivo, who is Oscar-nominated for her performance as abolitionist Harriet Tubman in Harriet but was snubbed by Britain’s Academy, declined an invitation to perform at Sunday’s award ceremony in protest.

The British Academy has promised to review its voting procedures.

“We’ve announced a wide-ranging review. We’re going to be looking at everything across the board in terms of the awards process,” said BAFTA chairwoman Pippa Harris.

“But also I think it’s fair to say this is an industry-wide issue. It takes everyone to look at what they’re doing,” she said. “Awards are right at the end of a whole process, and so we need to look at the types of films being made, the opportunities that people are getting, how the films are being promoted. All of these things play a part.”

Presenting the best-director award, Australian actress Rebel Wilson quipped that she could never achieve what the nominees did: “I just don’t have the balls.”

Scarlett Johansson, a best-actress nominee for Marriage Story, said the lack of recognition for female directors was disappointing.

“So many women made great films this year. And I think it just goes to show you that there is a systemic problem that is very prevalent. And it’s something that I think we’re aware of but have to continue to fight against and make greater strides towards.”

Hours before the event and several miles away, three people were wounded and a knifeman shot dead by police in what police called a terrorism-related attack. The BBC cancelled plans to broadcast interviews from the red carpet on its news channel as a result.

Brad Pitt was named best supporting actor for Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood.

He didn’t attend, but sent a jokey acceptance speech, read out by his co-star Margot Robbie

“Hey Britain — heard you just became single. Welcome to the club,” he said — one of several references during the ceremony to the U.K.’s exit from the European Union, which became official on Friday.

Pitt also referenced recent tumult in Britain’s Royal Family, saying he was going to name the trophy Harry, “because he’s really excited about bringing it back to the states with him.”

Laura Dern was named best supporting actress for playing a take-no-prisoners divorce lawyer in Marriage Story. She noted that her mother, Dianne Ladd, had won the exact same prize in 1975, when Dern was six, for Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.

Bong Joon-ho’s Korean-language drama Parasite was named best foreign-language film and also took the prize for best original screenplay

The Lord of the Rings and Planet of the Apes star Andy Serkis — the maestro of motion-capture acting — was handed a prize for outstanding British contribution to cinema.

Falling two days after Britain left the European Union, the evening couldn’t avoid the subject of Brexit.

“We know it’s been a hard week for you guys and it’s very nice to take a little bit of your gold, back home — where it belongs,” joked New Zealand director Taika Waititi as he collected the best adapted screenplay prize for Jojo Rabbit.

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I watched documentaries and the movie GROUNDHOG DAY on Netflix this weekend. Didn’t even think about going to a theatre.

Bad Boys for Life zooms past competition for third week in a row at the box office

Bad Boys for Life is taking another lap past the finish line at the box office.

For the third week in a row, the Will Smith and Martin Lawrence film took the lead with an estimated $18 million, according to Comscore. Following behind in second place is Sam Mendes’ 1917 with $10 million, and Dolittle in third with $8 million. Closing out the top five is newcomer Gretel and Hansel ($6.1 million), and The Gentlemen ($6 million).

A weekend like Super Bowl keeps people at home much more than a regular weekend. It’s important to keep that in mind while seeing numbers that are normal than usual.

Bad Boys for Life is taking another lap past the finish line at the box office.

For the third week in a row, the Will Smith and Martin Lawrence film took the lead with an estimated $18 million, according to Comscore. Following behind in second place is Sam Mendes’ 1917 with $10 million, and Dolittle in third with $8 million. Closing out the top five is newcomer Gretel and Hansel ($6.1 million), and The Gentlemen ($6 million).

A weekend like Super Bowl keeps people at home much more than a regular weekend. It’s important to keep that in mind while seeing numbers that are normal than usual.

Blake Lively made her big return to the big screen since welcoming her third child with husband Ryan Reynolds this weekend in The Rhythm Section. The action drama tells the story of a grieving daughter (Lively) hellbent on revenge after discovering the plane crash that killed her family wasn’t an accident at all.

The Reed Morano-directed film, based on the Mark Burnell novel of the same name, co-stars Jude Law, Sterling K. Brown, and Max Casella.

EW gave the film a C saying, “Lively digs gamely into the grit of her character, but there’s so little heft behind the script that she often comes across as sullen, or just painfully clueless. (The story also makes her British, though you’d only know it every third or fourth word.). Moviegoers mostly agree, they’ve rated it a C+, according to Cinemascore.

Overall, box office is up 10.8 percent year-to-date, according to Comscore. Check out the Jan. 31-Feb. 2. numbers below:

Bad Boy for Life— $18 million
1917—$10 million
Dolittle— $8 million
Gretel and Hansel—$6.1 million
The Gentlemen— $6 million
Jumanji: The Next Level— $6 million
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker—$3.2 million
The Turning—$3 million
Little Women—$3 million
The Rhythm Section—$2.8

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“Neil Peart had the hands of God.”

Dave Grohl on Rush Drummer Neil Peart: ‘We All Learned From Him’

Dave Grohl, a Neil Peart acolyte who inducted Rush into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013, penned a tribute to the drummer following news of Peart’s death Friday.

“Today, the world lost a true giant in the history of rock & roll,” Grohl said in a statement to Rolling Stone. “An inspiration to millions with an unmistakable sound who spawned generations of musicians (like myself) to pick up two sticks and chase a dream. A kind, thoughtful, brilliant man who ruled our radios and turntables not only with his drumming, but also his beautiful words.”

Grohl continued, “I still vividly remember my first listen of 2112 when I was young. It was the first time I really listened to a drummer. And since that day, music has never been the same. His power, precision, and composition was incomparable. He was called ‘The Professor’ for a reason: We all learned from him.”

As Grohl told Rolling Stone in 2013, ahead of Rush’s Rock Hall induction, it was Peart’s work that inspired him to pick up the drumsticks. “When I got 2112 when I was eight years old, it fucking changed the direction of my life. I heard the drums. It made me want to become a drummer,” Grohl said.

The Foo Fighters frontman and former Nirvana drummer also reminisced about meeting Peart for the first time during rehearsals for the Rock Hall ceremony. “I was coming to rehearsal and I was meeting Neil for the first time, and this man was as influential as any religion or any hero or any person in someone’s life. He said, ‘So nice to meet you. Can I make you a coffee?’ And he made me a coffee, man,” Grohl said in 2013. “And later on that night, I went to dinner and had a couple glasses of wine, and I started fucking crying because my hero made me a fucking coffee. It was unbelievable, man. So that’s kind of how this whole experience has been.”

Both Peart and Grohl landed in the upper echelon of Rolling Stone‘s list of the 100 Greatest Drummers of All Time. Grohl, like many drummers in rock, paid tribute to one of the greatest to ever play the instrument. “Thank you, Neil, for making our lives a better place with your music. You will be forever remembered and sorely missed by all of us. And my heartfelt condolences to the Rush family,” he wrote. “God bless Neil Peart.”

Grohl’s Foo Fighters bandmate Taylor Hawkins had a more succinct, yet equally poignant, statement. “Neil Peart had the hands of God,” he tells Rolling Stone. “End of story.”