Disney and George Clooney’s highly anticipated film “Tomorrowland” opened with lower than expected numbers in the U.S. market over the Memorial Day weekend. While the dollar figures are still respectable at $41.7 million (USD) the anticipated box office was nowhere near its supposition of $80 million. The film is still predicted to profit the studio by breaking the production cost of $180 million, it will simply take a bit longer than first thought.
One of the greats and a member of Hollywood royalty has died. Emmy and Tony award nominated actress and comedian Anne Meara, the long-time wife and stand-up partner Jerry Stiller and mother of director/actor/producer Ben Stiller was an early pioneer of television stand-up alongside her husband and one of creators of the comedy known as improvisation. Without Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller it is likely there would have been no Second City TV, the Groundlings, the Not Ready For Prime Time Players and every other famed improvisational group of note. She helped lay the foundation for that style of comedy. Anne also was quite the dramatic actress having starred in HBO’s “Oz,” as well as other TV projects and film. She made her sci-fi/fantasy debut in her son Ben’s film “Night At The Museum” and even starred in the horror feature “Highway To Hell.” Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller were married for 61 years. She was 85 at her passing.
What do you get when you mix a little “Game of Thrones” and “Sons of Anarchy?” A new 10-episode television series on the FX Channel titled “The Bastard Executioner.” The show takes place in the Middle Ages and centers on a knight forced to don his armor and unsheathe his sword for King Edward I in one more major battle. Actor Lee Jones (Magical Tales) plays the title role of Wilkin Brattle. Joining him are actress Katey Sagal (Sons of Anarchy, Married With Children), Stephen Moyer (True Blood), Matthew Rhys (The Americans), Ellen Rhys (The Assets) and more. Kurt Sutter (Sons of Anarchy, Shield) is the creative force behind this new series which is set to air on the cable outlet in the Fall.
Fox is seeing a second of its shows do what is rarely seen in television -- having a ratings rise beyond its opener. Fox super hit “Empire” achieved that phenomenon throughout its first season run and now Fox’s “Wayward Pines” looks like it may do the same. The pilot episode had an impressive opening and now the numbers for the second episode are in and show even larger viewership. Could this M. Night Shyamalan series follow in the footsteps of “Empire?” The following weeks will tell.