Walt Disney Pictures’ live-action remake of The Jungle Book is turning out to be a surprise hit, and the studio’s decision to release it this month despite the potential threat posed by Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice is a big reason why it’s on track to have such a good run.Related: Pre-Order The Jungle Book DVD on Amazon VideoIn its second weekend in theaters, The Jungle Book added another $60.8 million and saw ticket sales drop by only 41 percent from week to week — a very good sign for the film and the likelihood of it having a productive run. The film finished well ahead of new arrival The Huntsman: Winter’s War, which managed to earn an underwhelming $20.1 million despite the presence of high-profile cast members Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Jessica Chastain, and Emily Blunt.At one point, Disney’s decision to release The Jungle Book just a few weeks after Batman V. Superman: … [Read more...] about Box office hits and misses: The Huntsman can’t take down The Jungle Book
Eye in the sky movie
There’s a new king of the Hollywood jungle, folks.Disney’s live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book surprised just about everyone over the weekend with a $103.5 million debut that exceeded nearly every pundit’s prediction for the all-ages film, and which easily took the top spot at the weekend box office. Along with being the third film to break the $100 million mark this year, The Jungle Book also generated the second-best April premiere of all time (after last year’s Furious 7).A remake of the 1967 animated feature of the same name, The Jungle Book rode a wave of positive reviews from professional critics and general audiences alike to its impressive opening weekend, and is expected to enjoy a strong run in theaters thanks to the high praise it received. #TitleWeekendU.S. TotalWorldwide Total1.The Jungle Book$103.5M$103.5M$290.9M2.Barbershop: The Next Cut$20.2M$20.2M$20.2M3.The Boss$10.2M$40.3M$44.2M4.Batman V Superman: Dawn of … [Read more...] about Box office hits and misses: The Jungle Book claws its way to a big weekend
In case you missed it, the video of the Flyboard Air is burning up the Internet, and with good reason. We’ve seen numerous attempts to create a real-life hoverboard but in one fell swoop, the folks that brought us those crazy riding waterspout things have come up with the Flyboard Air, and it’s just awesome beyond words. Jet packs? Cool, but truthfully, unrealistic.The Flyboard Air is the real hoverboard of our dreams, with a 90 mile an hour top speed, what appears to be no real altitude restrictions, long flight times, and damn, it looks plain easy to fly. It appears to use essentially the same super-stable controller system as the water-based Flyboards, but uses a small jet turbine or turbines for thrust.Some people are saying the video is a hoax, but maker Zapata Racing says the Air has been in development for some time and has released several videos of it in action, so they’ve either got it sorted out, or that one video is the best cell phone hoax video ever. We … [Read more...] about Hoax or breakthrough? Flyboard Air videos stun the Internet
It didn’t take long for the reign of much-maligned superhero drama Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice to come to an end. After just two weeks atop the box-office rankings, director Zack Snyder’s angsty, critically panned sequel to Man of Steel was nudged down to second place by The Boss, Melissa McCarthy’s latest comedy.It’s estimated that The Boss finished just ahead of Batman V. Superman when all the receipts were finally tallied, earning somewhere around $50,000 more than the superhero film to take the top spot for the weekend. Meanwhile, the week-to-week drop for Batman V. Superman was another big one, with the film down 54 percent from the previous weekend.It’s worth noting that both The Boss and Batman V. Superman have fallen on the wrong side of professional critics’ appraisals in eking out their respective box-office achievements, with Batman V. Superman expected to turn a modest profit for … [Read more...] about Box office hits and misses: Batman V. Superman gets bumped by The Boss
In what was reportedly Alan Rickman’s last television interview before his untimely passing earlier this month, the accomplished actor shows a lighter side on Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show as the pair conduct the interview with mouths full of helium.Aired last summer, about six months prior to his death, Rickman walks on stage with two balloons in hand and proceeds to chastise the late night talk show host for a previous interview he did with another British actor, Benedict Cumberbatch. In the interview, from 2013, Fallon and Cumberbatch have what they call a “Rickman-off,” trying to out-do one another by reciting rap song lyrics while doing their best Rickman impressions. The clip (below) is worth a watch.In his own appearance, Rickman requests that Fallon apologize for imitating him, but in a high-pitched helium voice. And they both continue on with the interview like giggling school boys, inhaling a bit of helium before they speak. Hearing Rickman … [Read more...] about See the lighter side of Alan Rickman as he sucks helium in final TV interview
Five films are nominated for an Academy Award in the “Visual Effects” category this year, and they each offer a nice look at the amazing tricks filmmakers and their effects teams can pull off on the big screen. In recognition of these five films and one of our favorite Oscar categories, we’re putting the spotlight on one “Visual Effects” nominee each day leading up to Sunday’s broadcast, and taking a closer look at what made them stand out.First up is one of the two Marvel Studios movies nominated this year, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which made innovative use of digital face-mapping techniques to send one character flying through the air, and make another look her age.In the past few years, superhero movies have become a popular outlet for visual-effects studios to show off their own superpowers. But amid all the explosions and larger-than-life sequences that offer no shortage of eye candy, it’s often the more subtle … [Read more...] about How digital face mapping helped time (and Falcon) fly in The Winter Soldier
It’s no secret that the United States military has some of the most advanced weaponry in the world, but even so, it’s still hard to believe some of the weapons they use nowadays are real. With things like rail guns, self-guiding bullets, and pseudo-mechanical exoskeletons for foot soldiers, our arsenal seems like something straight out of a science fiction movie.The latest addition to the growing list of sci-fi tech is the U.S. Navy’s Laser Weapon System (LaWS for short) — the most advanced “directed energy weapon” the military has deployed to date. Check it out in the video below.Designed to defend ships against drones, small boats, and even submarines, the LaWS is comprised of two parts: a high energy solid-state infrared laser and a computerized targeting/tracking system. Using machine vision, LaWS operators are able to lock onto extremely distant targets, and follow them as they move through the air or water. Once locked on, the laser can … [Read more...] about Watch the U.S. Navy test out its ultra-precise laser system in the Persian Gulf
Claiming to have the world’s longest flight may give an airline some bragging rights, but from a passenger standpoint nothing sounds worse than having to sit in the air for more than a dozen hours. The top 10 longest flights in the world take more than 16 hours to complete, giving jet lag a whole new scale.But it’s more than just a game of one-upmanship among airlines. Ultra-long-haul routes are possible thanks to today’s more powerful planes that can fly direct – nearly around the world – without making a pitstop (point-to-point versus the hub-and-spoke model). For an airline, it opens up new or underserved markets. And with more fuel-efficient aircrafts being developed, airlines can make a profit serving secondary faraway destinations that weren’t economically feasible in the past. Case in point: United’s San Francisco to Chengdu, China route, or its Los Angeles to Melbourne flight, both on the Boeing 787-9. And for passengers, a direct route … [Read more...] about The 5 longest flights in the world make NY to London feel like a hop
For your next hotel stay, how do you fancy the idea of sleeping in a pod that floats, unattached, in the sea? A pod with a glass roof so you can stare dreamily at the starry sky as you bob up and down and gently drop off to sleep? A pod that drifts several miles across a bay as you snooze, arriving at an attraction-filled island at sunrise?The ambitious plan is set to become a reality before the end of the year, according to the operator of Huis Ten Bosch, a Dutch-inspired theme park near Nagasaki in Japan.Each pod will reportedly have two levels — a lower one for relaxing and dining, and an upper one with a bed from where you can gaze at the night sky.Aimed squarely at those who enjoy life’s quirkier offerings, your aquatic hotel room will depart from the shore of the Huis Ten Bosch park in the evening. From there you’ll float a distance of about 4 miles (6 km) across the bay to a small island where you’ll be able to spend the following day enjoying a number of … [Read more...] about Would you spend a night in a hotel room ‘pod’ floating in the ocean?
The 22 Most Awful Moments in Science Fiction. Now, I like me some Something Awful. They bring the funny. But this list is a bit padded, and wanders off into some crazy territory that most SF fans don't care about. (Seriously, who is bent out of shape that President Reagan's pie-in-the-sky Strategic Defense Initiative got nicknamed" Star Wars?" Like that is the worst fate to befall the franchise.) So, instead, I've trimmed and rearranged the list to my liking, and as your beneficent Geekend dictator, ye shall like it as well. Now, these rants are long, so they'll each earn their own belabored blog entry. The series starts off with a subject near and dear to my heart:Q: When did Star Trek jump the shark?A: Star Trek: First Contact First Contact as the last good Trek movie, and at first blush I'm inclined to agree with them, even if the film rather significantly retconned Zefram Cochrane's history (He was originally from Alpha Centauri, not Montana) and paved the way for the … [Read more...] about Sci-fi rant: When did Star Trek jump the shark?