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Box Office Special - Destination Trumps Halloween

Just like that it's over: one of the most highly anticipated weekends by horror fans in recent memory has come and gone. And while the merits of both "The Final Destination" and "Halloween 2" may be debated for some time, the box office results paint a far clearer picture.

Box Office Special - "District 9" Wins One for the Little Guys

In the seven weeks since "Transformers 2" opened the average budget for a weekend-winning film has been $156 million. That's an average, mind you, and it's weighed down somewhat by "Bruno," which opened at #1 after costing only a measly $42 million. Truly, this summer, big-budgets have been king. Even "Bruno" was the most expensive new release in the weekend that it won.

Box Office Special - A Memorial Weekend Twosome

Before diving into this weekend, how about a little history?

With "Iron Man" having opened just three weekends earlier to a stunning $98 million dollar draw, "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" jumped out of the gate Memorial Day weekend 2008 to a total just a hair over $100 million. That's two of the 12 largest openings in the span of one month.

But wait, Memorial Day 2007 there was "Pirates 3" for a total of $114 million. And that same month, "Spider-Man 3" at $151, and "Shrek the Third" at $121. All three, of course, are top 10 opening weekend totals.

Box Office Special - Smells Like Summer

Last week, "Star Trek" did quite well for itself, as it managed to take in a terrific opening haul as well as win near universal praise from critics. So, as these things tend to work, Paramount immediately rolled out its front-runner advertising campaign, which championed "Star Trek" as the nation's number one movie, etc, etc. Unfortunately, they're only going to get one week out of those ads.

Lost 5.16: "The Incident"

As it was the season finale, I'll be eschewing my typical format for a straight review. Be warned, spoilers aplenty up ahead.

Episodes 102 and 103 of the Lost saga brought us back to the beginning in a couple of ways. Literally, the opening scenes of the season five finale take us back perhaps as far as we've ever been in the history of the Island to introduce us (finally!) to Jacob -- the long-discussed, little-seen master of all that is Lost.

Lost 5.15: "Follow the Leader"

As we wind down to our grand finale next week (sneak peek, the episode is called "The Incident," real informative, Lost writers...), we're back to splitting our time between the Survivors of Oceanic 815 in 1977 and Ajira Air in some approximation of present day (2008?). With a number of plot points to develop, there wasn't a whole lot of craziness, but there was a whole lot of happenings.

Episode: "Follow the Leader"

Lost 5.14: "The Variable"

After a week off, the Lost crew came blazing back this week, with Dan Faraday leading a wild episode.

Episode: "The Variable"

Box Office Special - Obsessing Over Results

For the second week in a row, no one film took film goers by storm, but a wide variety of films did admirably enough to bring home a tidy sum. In terms of total revenue, April 2009 has been killing April 2008 -- to the tune of nearly a 40-50% increase -- and aside from "Fast and Furious" it's done it without a real monster film. The last three number ones? "Hannah Montana," "17 Again," and then this week's "Obsessed."

Lost 5.13: "Some Like it Hoth"

Why does it feel like I only watched 22 minutes of Lost tonight? Let's dig in and find out.

Episode: "Some Like it Hoth"

Box Office Special - Low Glitz, Big Results

If you've landed at this post, I'd take a wild stab and say that you might have trouble naming the number one film at the box office this weekend. Hell, I was downright shocked when I looked it up myself. Largely that's a function of it not being "for us," but it's also a function of this week's releases not getting a ton of wattage from the hype machine. Sure, there was the "Observe and Report" brouhaha over date rape, but that certainly didn't help the film at the box office.

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This week we discuss alchemy, camera technology, a first time guest host joins the show, and we review "As Above, So Below".  


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