It’s a safe bet that “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” will be the highest grossing film of the year next year, but I was curious how the principal seven cast members fared when it came to being the biggest box office draw on a non-Avengers year. Of the main cast — Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo and Jeremy Renner — only Hemsworth didn’t have a film released in 2014 (fitting as he has four coming in 2015).
And to make it fair, I eliminated “Captain America: The Winter Soldier [Blu-ray]” so Evans, Johansson and Jackson had to get by on their other projects. Still, by a wide margin, Johansson proved to be the most profitable Avenger in 2014 carrying films that otherwise would have limped to weak returns at the box office. But you may be surprised how far and away she outdid her co-stars. Continue Reading
Mark Ruffalo (47) – The critics adored you in “Begin Again” and the raves are already rolling in for “Foxcatcher,” and of course I’m looking forward to you reprising your role as Dylan Rhodes in “Now You See Me 2” in 2016. Until then I suppose I’ll just have to be satisfied with your awesome portrayal of Bruce Banner in “The Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Sigh.
Want your own Mark Ruffalo figure? Hot Toys made a Bruce Banner figure you can grab now: Marvel Bruce Banner Marvel Sixth Scale Figure
Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) and Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt).
1. Guardians of the Galaxy – $94 million [debut week] – Marvel Studios has enjoyed a great track record with its films, but even experts figured its latest, about a misfit band of heroes, may be testing the strength of the brand. Those concerns definitely proved unfounded as Guardians enjoyed one of the biggest openings in Marvel Studios’ history. It was just $1 million shy of the “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” which opened in April.
The studio has already greenlit a sequel so the execs there weren’t worried and MS now can pretty much trot out any Marvel Comics character in its portfolio and expect a big time payday. The company is only looking up from here as next up is a film with a legitimate shot at being the highest grossing film of all time in “The Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Continue Reading
Jessica Forde/Universal Studios
Scarlett Johansson in “Lucy.”
1. Lucy -$44 million [debut week] – Despite having a prominent starring role in the third highest grossing movie of all time in “Marvel’s The Avengers,” Scarlett Johansson has largely been a co-star/key supporting player. “Lucy,” her first collaboration with “The Family” Director Luc Besson, easily marks her biggest opening as a headliner. You’d have to go back to 2006’s “Scoop,” with Woody Allen for a film where Johansson was clearly established as the featured performer. That opened to $3 million. And “Lucy” did much better than Johansson’s previous 2014 film, “Under the Skin,” which earned a total of $2.5 million. With a “C+” CinemaScore, audiences likely won’t be back anywhere near the same numbers next week, but the film has already made back its $40 million budget.
Scarlett Johansson in “Lucy.”
Enduring “Lucy,” the latest disappointing effort from Luc Besson, is probably the closest you’ll come to a very bad sci-fi acid trip. Continue Reading
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
Just got news on the screening for “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” so I just have to be patient for a few more days now. But while I wait, the fortunate folks in Hollywood already got to see the premiere. We get snowstorms on the East Coast and the West Coast gets earthquakes and Cap screenings early. Hmmn… Continue Reading
Just have to be patient for a few more weeks and I will be rewarded by finally getting to see “Captain America: The Winter Solider,” my most anticipated film of 2014.
To help whet your appetite, here’s the character posters of the main cast. Which is your favorite?