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Jacob Hall

Universal
Universal
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Weekend Box Office Report: ‘Lone Survivor’ is the Weekend’s Lone Victor

New releases have a habit of floundering in January, which tends to be one of Hollywood's biggest dumping grounds. Even this year's big January horror release, which is commonly a sure thing, floundered. What does tend to do well are the prestige pictures that opened late in the previous year (often in limited release) and finally expand in the new year, riding awards momentum to solid box office.

Of course, this is just a roundabout way of saying that Peter Berg's 'Lone Survivor' emerged from limited release this week to kick everyone's ass at the box office.

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Relativity Media
Relativity Media
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Weekend Box Office Report: ‘Frozen’ Heats Up, ‘Catching Fire’ Cools Down and ‘Out of the Furnace’ Freezes

The weekend following a major holiday is always a little slow. The boost from vacationing moviegoers is gone, so everyone tends to take a major dip. Some films end up okay. Some die on the vine. This weekend saw two films weather the storm perfectly fine and one new release collapse on the starting line.

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Universal
Universal
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Weekend Box Office Report: ‘The Best Man Holiday’ Stands Toe-to-Toe With ‘Thor: The Dark World’

If there's one thing that we're reminded of a few times a year here at the Weekend Box Office Report, it's that films targeted at black audiences are always ignored by many mainstream movie websites ... until they open huge at the box office. 'The Best Man Holiday' is the latest film to prove that there's an entire group of moviegoers who aren't being given the films they obviously want to see, and hopefully its success will spur Hollywood into action, allowing for the production of more movies with black casts and filmmakers. Maybe. This is Hollywood, after all.

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Marvel
Marvel
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Weekend Box Office Report: ‘Thor: The Dark World’ Hammers the Competition

There was no question of whether or not 'Thor: The Dark World' was going to open at number one this weekend. Of course it was. The big question was whether it would get a post-'Avengers' bump, or if it would do similar business to its 2011 predecessor. Question answered: it got a bump and a pretty good one, too.

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Screen Gems
Screen Gems
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Weekend Box Office: ‘Gravity’ Dominates ‘Carrie,’ ‘Escape Plan’ and ‘The Fifth Estate’

For the third weekend in a row, 'Gravity' dominated the box office, taking no prisoners in its quest to become one of 2013's most deserving blockbusters. However, its tremendous success has been at the expense of a handful of other films, which have been crushed in Alfonso Cuaron's titanic wake.

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SNL actresses
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‘SNL’ Presents an Energy Drink For Dating Actresses

It wouldn't be a proper episode of 'SNL' without a decent commercial parody and the latest episode offered one that is so bizarrely specific that it ends up being kind of perfect. It's an ad for the latest version of 24 Hour Energy Drink -- but it's made specifically for men who are dating actresses.

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Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
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Weekend Box Office Report: ‘Gravity’ is Out of This World

When a movie is sold as being the next incredible cinematic experience that will change the way we watch movies, expectations are huge. Audiences may scoff. It could all backfire. But Alfonso Cuaron's 'Gravity' lived up to the hype and audiences responded in kind, giving it the biggest opening ever for a non-sequel October release.

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Sony Pictures Animation
Sony Pictures Animation
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Weekend Box Office Report: ‘Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2′ Forecasts Big Opening Weekend

There's nothing like a family-friendly animated movie to help shake off the September doldrums and 'Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2' performed as expected. Although Sony's big release effortlessly took the number one spot, this weekend had a few other bright spots, namely a handful of independent films doing quite well in more limited release.

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SNL drunk uncle
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‘SNL’ Welcomes Back Drunk Uncle and Introduces Aaron Paul as “Meth Nephew”

Now that Bill Hader and Stefon have departed the show, we find ourselves treasuring every other recurring 'SNL' character and treating every appearance as if it's their last. That's just a long-winded way of saying "Welcome back, Drunk Uncle!" Bobby Moynihan's rambling, all-too honest (and all-too real) character once again graced the Weekend Update desk with his presence, updating us with his thoughts on current events and introducing us to a member of his extended family.

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SNL e-meth
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‘SNL’ and Aaron Paul Offer the Perfect Meth Alternative

'SNL' is nothing if not timely. With the Tina Fey-hosted season premiere airing less than a day before the final episode of AMC's 'Breaking Bad,' it was only natural that they'd put together a meth-themed sketch. And since this is the world's most famous comedy and variety show, someone was able to pull the right strings and snag Jesse Pinkman himself -- Aaron Paul -- to make an appearance.

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Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
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Weekend Box Office Report: ‘Prisoners’ Holds the Box Office Captive

September may traditionally be a wasteland of half-baked films unfit to open in a proper month, but the lack of competition can actually be a good thing. Could 'Prisoners,' a film made specifically for an adult audience, have opened as well as it did if it was released in a busier month? Probably not.

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