#EDITORSNOTE: MR. WILL’S BEST OF 2012
2012 was a memorable year for Music, with several standouts in Music and Film. I was busier than ever chasing Stars in the City, with several Celebrities having good reason to visit Toronto this year, including one of the most star-studded TIFFs in recent memory. Let’s take a walk down Memory Lane in honour what I feel were the most memorable Films, Pop Songs and personal Celebrity Encounters!
Top Ten Movies of 2012
2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
3. Django Unchained
5. Silver Linings Playbook
6. The Hunger Games
7. End of Watch
8. The Sessions
9. Les Misérables
10. Rock of Ages
Top Ten Singles of 2012
1. Brokenhearted – Karmin
2. What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger) – Kelly Clarkson
3. Madness – Muse
4. Midnight City – M83
5. We are Young – fun. ft. Janelle Monáe
6. Dance Again – Jennifer Lopez ft. Pitbull
7. Skyfall – Adele
8. Wide Awake – Katy Perry
9. Starships – Nicki Minaj
10. Gangnam Style – PSY
Top Celebrity Encounters of 2012
Steven Tyler, Paula Abdul, Sheena Easton, Alanis Morissette, Nelly Furtado, Carly Rae Jepsen, PSY, The Wanted, One Direction, Ed Sheeran, fun., Karmin, Emeli Sandé, Adam Lambert, Jennifer Hudson, Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Quentin Tarantino, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Robin Williams, Jon Voight, Malcolm McDowell, Viggo Mortensen, Matt Dillon, Andrew McCarthy, Rob Lowe, Linda Hamilton, Ben Affleck, Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Joe Manganiello, Aaron Johnson, Ben Whishaw, Dane DeHaan, Joel Kinnaman, Daniel Radcliffe, Josh Hutcherson, Zac Efron, Logan Lerman, Jeremy Irvine, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Michael Shannon, Patrick Wilson, John Krasinski, Adam Sandler, Tracy Morgan, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Mann & Judd Apatow, Allison Williams, Meg Hilty, Lisa D’Amato, Cobie Smulders, Zoe Kazan & Paul Dano, Amy Adams, Julianne Moore, Mélanie Laurent, Marisa Tomei, Eva Mendes, Lily Collins, Alice Englert, Elle Fanning, Kristin Scott Thomas, Christina Hendricks, Kim Kardashian, Seann William Scott, Stephen Amell, Ricki Lake, Connie Chung, Jacky Cheung, George Takei, Mike Smith, Rosie Napravnik, Frankie Dettori, Andy Roddick & Brooklyn Decker and Jeremy Lin.
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)
#BOXOFFICE: “TWILIGHT” TOPS BIGGEST U.S. THANKSGIVING WEEKEND EVER
For the second week in-a-row, The Twilight Saga Finale Breaking Dawn – Part 2 finds itself on-top this Thanksgiving weekend with $44.2 million for Summit Entertainment/eOne Films from 4,050 theatres. In two weeks alone, it has grossed $226 million alone in North America and exceeds the $400-million mark worldwide. The fact that it still manages to be at number one on what is the biggest-grossing U.S. Thanksgiving Weekend and also the highest-grossing five-day Box Office Weekend ever with a total $288 million earned between Wednesday through Sunday, is a true testament to its commercial success.
Skyfall in its third week is still going brilliantly well for Sony Pictures with $36 million from 3,526 and I’ll note that personally, I tried seeing the James Bond Flick myself this past in Toronto at Varisty Cinemas Tuesday only to be shut-out due to tickets selling-out still, meaning there’s still no signs of stopping anytime soon for this Monster.
Disney‘s Lincoln in its second week of wide release, earns $25.1 million, well-above expectations and from only 2,018 theatres, landing just ahead of a debuting Rise of the Guardians for Paramount Pictures, in fourth spot with $23.5 million.
20th Century Fox‘s big Oscar Contender and Yann Martel Novel Adaptation Life of Pi 3-D debuts in fifth spot with $21.8 million from 2,902 theatres. Meanwhile, Remake Red Dawn opens in seventh for Fim District/Alliance Films with $14.1 million, while Silver Linings Playbook finds itself in ninth spot in a limited release with $4.2 million for The Weinstein Co./Alliance Films. Argo proves its staying power with $3.8 million for Warner Bros, rounding out the Top Ten.
#BOXOFFICE: “SKYFALL” IS EARTH-SHATTERING AT BOX OFFICE
Although it is no real surprise, Skyfall, the latest in the James Bond Franchise, opens in with some spectacular numbers this weekend. Opening in 3,505 theatres, the Action-Thriller earns $87 million in its North American debut after pulling-in amazing numbers overseas where it opened prior, already earning $321 million in those territories. This qualifies as the highest opening for the Franchise in Daniel Craig‘s time in the iconic Role, besting Quantum of Solace which opened in North America with $67 million back in January 2009.
Last week’s Champ Wreck-it Ralph still is going strong and Families are responding in droves, earning $33 million in its second weekend of release. In just two weeks, the Animated Feature from Disney has grossed over $90 million already.
Trailing in a distant third is Paramount Pictures’ Flight starring Denzel Washington, with $15.1 million from 2,047 theatres in its second weekend, just ahead of the amazing Argo in fourth with $6.7 million, now earning over $85 million in its domestic Run for Warner Bros.
The remainder of the Top Ten is rounded out by some Veterans, including Taken 2 in its fifth week taking-in $4 million, edging Pitch Perfect in sixth spot with $2.4 million. Former number one Film Hotel Transylvania, slips to tenths pot with $2.1 million. Sony Pictures just announced a Sequel is on-the-way for the Monster Smash.
Bubbling-under is Disney‘s Lincoln which earned a stellar $900k this weekend from just 11 theatres across North America, where screenings were sold-out almost completely. The Film is showing exclusively in Toronto at Varsity Cinemas and will continue to expand in coming weeks. Lots of Oscar buzz for Daniel Day-Lewis here; expect this one to be a Player in coming weeks.
#BOXOFFICE: “WRECK-IT RALPH” DESTRUCTIVE AT THE BOX OFFICE
Huge bow for Disney this weekend with Animated Feature Wreck-It Ralph debuting at number one with $49.1 million. Opening Friday night with an impressive $13.4 million from 3,752 theatres across North America, the Video Game-obsessed Film features the Voicework of Jack McBrayer (spotted in Toronto recently), Sarah Silverman, John C. Reilly and Jane Lynch. Audiences and Critics are responding well already with it earning 84% on Rotten Tomatoes, putting it in-contention for Best Animated Feature at the upcoming Oscars.
Opening in second is Paramount Pictures’ Flight, starring Denzel Washington. The Film is the latest from Director/Producer/Writer Robert Zemeckis, best known for 2000’s Cast Away. The Plane Crash-Drama has received solid Reviews, tallying 76% at Rotten Tomatoes and earns $25 million from 1,900 theatres this weekend.
Last week’s number one Film, Argo slips to number three this weekend but still is performing strongly with $10.2 million for Warner Bros., which has a legitimate chance of winning Best Picture with this gripping Political Drama – not to mention several Acting Awards with an array of brilliant performances.
RZA‘s directorial Debut, The Man with the Iron Fists insists on keeping expectations low, opening in fourth for Universal Pictures with $8.2 million from 1,868 theatres. Reviews have been mixed (56% on Rotten Tomatoes) for the Kung Fu-Action Flick, made for a Budget of $20 million. Eli Roth produces while Lucy Liu, Rick Yune, Jamie Chung and Russell Crowe star.
Cloud Atlas unfortunately continues to under-perform for Warner Bros. in sixth with $4.8 million in this its second week of release, just ahead of Paranormal Activity 4 in eight with $4.3 million with a bit of a post-Halloween slump in its third week. Meanwhile, Silent Hill: Revelation 3-D rounds out the Top Ten with $3.3 million.
#BOXOFFICE: “ARGO” SURGES TO #1 IN ITS THIRD WEEK
Unbelievably, Ben Affleck’s Argo finds itself at number one with $12.5 million on a really tepid Weekend, climbing steadily to the summit since its debut three weeks ago. The Drama which is seen widely as a Frontrunner for Best Picture, still is showing in 2,855 theatres across North America. To-date it has earned $61.5 million domestically.
Mega-Opus Cloud Atlas, despite gaining high marks for Artistic Merit, alas debuts below expectations in second with $9.5 million for Warner Bros. Critics gave it favourable Reviews, tallying 61% on the Tomatometer. The Film with a Cast of Megastars including Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant, Hugo Weaving and several more, was made for a budget of $102 million.
Former number one Hotel Transylvania still is going strong into Halloween with $9 million in its fifth week – enough to land it in third this weekend for Sony Pictures, just ahead of last week’s Champion Paranormal Activity 4, which happens also to be in fourth with $8.6 million.
Silent Hill: Revelation 3-D which debuts in fifth with $8.5 million, from 2,933 theatres for Open Road/Alliance Films. The Horror which was filmed in Toronto, earned only 7% on the Tomatometer at Rotten Tomatoes.
Rounding-out the Horror Contingent is Sinister, which still hanging-tough in ninth with $5 million in its third week. Pitch Perfect rounds out the Top Ten for Universal Pictures with $4.2 million.
#BOXOFFICE: “PARANORMAL ACTIVITIY 4” ON-TOP LIKE NORMAL
Remaining true to form, Paranormal Activity 4 opens big in its debut this weekend for Paramount Pictures. The Franchise which has grossed over $295 million prior in North America alone, earns $30 million with its latest from 3,412 theates. Made for only $5 million, the Horror uncharacteristically received negative Reviews unlike its well-received Predecessors, with 24% garnered on Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer.
Ben Affleck’s Argo continues to performing outstandingly at the Box Office, sitting at number two this weekend with $16.7 million, now earning a total $45.5 million in two weeks. Its Cast continues to promote the factual Drama on the Talk Show Circuit with Bryan Cranston even hitting-up a far-reaching Audience including Viewers of Chelsea Lately this week. Even Wife of Affleck, Jennifer Garner, was on the Show promoting her own Film Butter, singing the Film’s praises recently.
Even though it slips to third spot this weekend, Taken 2 is still going strong in its third week, earning $13.3 million for Universal Pictures, just ahead of another former Champion in Sony Pictures’ Hotel Transylvania with $13.2 million.
Alex Cross opens in fifth spot with $12 million for eOne Films/Summit Entertainment/Lionsgate Films from 2,539 theatres. The Action-Thriller starring the unlikeliest of Combinations in Matthew Fox and Tyler Perry, might not have fared well with Critics (13% on the Tomatometer), but Audiences gave it an “A” CinemaScore.
Pitch Perfect continues to exceed expectations hanging onto the Top Ten in its fourth week at number right with a respectable $6.8million, while Looper rounds things out with with $4.1 million.
#BOXOFFICE: “TAKEN 2” STEALS THE BOX OFFICE A SECOND WEEK
Although hotly-buzzed Horror Sinister burst out of the gate running on Friday, alas it is last week’s Champion Taken 2 on-top again for a second week with $22.7 million from 3,705 theatres. Despite a competitive weekend with several new Films opening, the Liam Neeson-starring Blockbuster remains victorious, banking $86 million in two weeks for 20th Century Fox.
Following right behind in second is Warner Bros.’ Argo, directed by Ben Affleck. The Drama which premiered at TIFF last month has gained strong word-of-mouth and earns a stellar 94% at Rotten Tomatoes and is considered widely a real Contender to win Best Picture at the Oscars.
Sinister finds itself in third spot with $18.3 million for Lionsgate Films/Alliance Films, from 2,527 theatres. Earning positive reviews, the Scott Derrickson Film starring Ethan Hawke tallies-in at 63% on Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer. Made for a micro-budget of $3 million only, Sinister already is a major success based on brilliant marketing. I dare you to watch its Trailer and not get creeped-out!
Mixed Martial Arts Comedy Here Comes the Boom, starring Kevin James, opens in fifth for Sony Pictures with $12 million from 3,014 theatres, although reviews have been more mixed with a total 44% on Rotten Tomatoes. Musical-Comedy Pitch Perfect continues to do well in sixth with $8.8 million this weekend, earning $38 million overall after costing only $17 million to make.
Seven Psychopaths opens in ninth with $4.1 million for CBS Films/Alliance Films from 1,480 theatres, earning v. positive reviews (84% on Rotten Tomatoes). The quirky Dark Comedy which won the Midnight Madness People’s Choice Award at TIFF last month, stars Colin Farrell, Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell, Abbie Cornish, Tom Waits and adorable Bonny the Shih Tzu. Although it admittedly is a bit of a challenge to sell to audiences, clearly is in the favourable books of the Arthouse Crowd and will expand in coming weeks, timed for Halloween.
Rounding out the Top Ten in North America is Atlas Shrugged Part 2 – not to be confused with Cloud Atlas – based on the Novel by Ayn Rand. The Film has yet to see a release in Canada, but pulled-in $1.9 million south of the Border.
#TIFF12: BEN AFFLECK AT PRESS CONFERENCE FOR “ARGO”
Gaining tons of Oscar buzz for his second self-directed Feature, Argo, the handsome Ben Affleck arrived with Wife Jennifer Garner in Toronto to unveil the new Political Drama. I was one of the lucky few who scored a Snap with the Actor/Director, who was wonderful to Fans with Autographs on his way to and from the Junket. Argo, Affleck admits, pays tribute to the wonderful country of Canada re-telling the story of six Americans who found shelter at the home of a Canadian Ambassador during the Iranian Revolution.
Crying and shaking still….
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)
#TIFF12: BRYAN CRANSTON AT PRESS CONFERENCE FOR “ARGO”
Breaking Bad Star Bryan Cranston is truly a Class Act when it comes to Fans and after appearing at TIFF 2011 in Drive, he is back again this year with Argo directed by Ben Affleck. Cranston made time for Fans on his way in and out of the Press Conference for the Oscar Contender and after starring in a slew of recent Films, we next can see him in Comedy Get a Job, which only recently wrapped filming.
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)
#TIFF12: JOHN GOODMAN AT PRESS CONFERENCE FOR “ARGO”
John Goodman certainly is anything but short of work. The Actor was in Toronto earlier today doing Press for Argo, directed by Ben Affleck. Despite being notoriously difficult with Fans, he was kind enough to stop for a few Snaps earlier today on his way to the Press Conference for the Drama. On his way out, he did a Queen-like gesture, waving goodbye to Fans.
Will Argo be Goodman‘s second Best Picture in a row? He starred in last year’s Winner, The Artist.
Goodman currently is working on .
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)