Paramount Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by Paramount Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)

All Nickelodeon Movies Ranked

Good Burger celebrates its 25th anniversary!

As the first parlors to exhibit films in public settings for mass consumption, it is impossible to understate the nickelodeon’s impact on cinema. These early 20th century… Oh. Wait. Wrong Nickelodeon.

As the studio to give our world SpongeBob Squarepants and Nacho Libre, it is impossible to understate Nickelodeon Movies’ impact on cinema. In these weary times of snark and cynicism (this sentence being puddin’ proof), count on the Nick to mount cheery, earnest films. Not only are they well-versed in the aforementioned cartoon spongiology, but Rugrats, the Ninja Turtles, Tintin, and the one-and-only Avatar have all called the studio home. And now we’re ranking every Nickelodeon Movie by Tomatometer! Alex Vo

#1

Rango (2011)
88%

#1
Adjusted Score: 97231%
Critics Consensus: Rango is a smart, giddily creative burst of beautifully animated entertainment, and Johnny Depp gives a colorful vocal performance as a household pet in an unfamiliar world.
Synopsis: A chameleon (Johnny Depp) who has lived as a sheltered family pet finds himself in the grip of an identity... [More]
Directed By: Gore Verbinski

#2
Adjusted Score: 93395%
Critics Consensus: Led by a winning performance from Isabela Moner, Dora and the Lost City of Gold is a family-friendly adventure that retains its source material's youthful spirit.
Synopsis: Having spent most of her life exploring the jungle, nothing could prepare Dora for her most dangerous adventure yet --... [More]
Directed By: James Bobin

#3

Mad Hot Ballroom (2005)
84%

#3
Adjusted Score: 88903%
Critics Consensus: This heartwarming documentary will win audiences over, as the sheer charm of precocious, enthusiastic children learning to dance resonates from the screen.
Synopsis: Documentary filmmaker Marilyn Agrelo chronicles the lives of several New York City schoolchildren as they get ready for a dancing... [More]
Directed By: Marilyn Agrelo

#4
Adjusted Score: 86012%
Critics Consensus: The Spiderwick Chronicles is an entertaining children's adventure, with heart and imagination to spare.
Synopsis: Of the three Grace children, Jared (Freddie Highmore) has always been thought of as the troublemaker. So when strange things... [More]
Directed By: Mark Waters

#5
Adjusted Score: 83802%
Critics Consensus: The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water won't win over many viewers who aren't fans of the show, but for the converted, it's another colorful burst of manic fun.
Synopsis: Life is dandy in Bikini Bottom for SpongeBob Squarepants (Tom Kenny) and his friends Patrick (Bill Fagerbakke), Squidward (Rodger Bumpass),... [More]

#6
Adjusted Score: 81488%
Critics Consensus: The Wild Thornberrys Movie brings its beloved clan to the big screen for an animated adventure that should prove entertaining for all ages.
Synopsis: "The Wild Thornberrys" feature film finds one of America's favorite animated families going on wild adventures around the world. Now,... [More]

#7

Charlotte's Web (2006)
78%

#7
Adjusted Score: 84223%
Critics Consensus: Kids will be entertained by the straightforward plot and cute animals, and adults will be charmed by how quiet and humble the production is, a fine translation of E.B. White's genteel prose.
Synopsis: After learning that a young pig's days are numbered, a literate spider (Julia Roberts) weaves an elaborate plan to save... [More]
Directed By: Gary Winick

#8
Adjusted Score: 78214%
Critics Consensus: When the Rugrats go to Paris, the result is Nickelodeon-style fun. The plot is effectively character-driven, and features catchy songs and great celebrity voice-acting.
Synopsis: In the long-running animated series' second feature film, the focus is on the show's perennial second banana, Chuckie (Christine Cavanaugh).... [More]

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 83689%
Critics Consensus: Drawing deep from the classic Raiders of the Lost Ark playbook, Steven Spielberg has crafted another spirited, thrilling adventure in the form of Tintin.
Synopsis: While shopping at an outdoor market, young reporter Tintin (Jamie Bell), accompanied by his faithful dog, Snowy, buys a model... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 75490%
Critics Consensus: What Jimmy Neutron lacks in computer animation, it makes up for in charm and cleverness.
Synopsis: "Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius" tells the simple story of a 10-year-old boy and his robot dog - battling evil, rescuing... [More]
Directed By: John A. Davis

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 81940%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The PAW Patrol is on a roll! When their biggest rival, Humdinger, becomes Mayor of nearby Adventure City and starts... [More]
Directed By: Cal Brunker

#12
Adjusted Score: 73166%
Critics Consensus: Based on two of British writer Louise Rennison's popular books, Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging is a pleasant and funny tween comedy, comfortable for UK audiences as well as stateside crowds.
Synopsis: Based on the books by Louise Rennison, this tale follows 14-year-old Georgia Nicholson as she attempts to woo Robbie, one... [More]
Directed By: Gurinder Chadha

#13
Adjusted Score: 78394%
Critics Consensus: Although it softens the nasty edges of its source material, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events is a gothic visual treat, and it features a hilariously manic turn from Jim Carrey as the evil Count Olaf.
Synopsis: After the three young Baudelaire siblings are left orphaned by a fire in their mansion, they are carted off to... [More]
Directed By: Brad Silberling

#14
Adjusted Score: 71882%
Critics Consensus: Surreally goofy and entertaining for both children and their parents.
Synopsis: In this lively animated adventure, undersea oddball SpongeBob SquarePants and his starfish friend, Patrick, embark on a quest to clear... [More]

#15
Adjusted Score: 70208%
Critics Consensus: Although its story may leave fans on the surface, The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run is a wondrously wacky visit to Bikini Bottom that retains the charm of the original series.
Synopsis: In the first-ever all CGI SpongeBob motion picture event, THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE ON THE RUN, SpongeBob SquarePants, his best... [More]
Directed By: Tim Hill

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 60107%
Critics Consensus: Charming characters; loads of fun for kids and adults.
Synopsis: This animated comedy finds Tommy Pickles (E.G. Daily) trying to return his baby brother to the hospital after being warned... [More]

#17
Adjusted Score: 58178%
Critics Consensus: While it might be intriguing for Mel Brooks completists, Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank is an often ungainly blend of kid-friendly animation and grown-up gags.
Synopsis: A down-on-his-luck hound finds himself in a town full of cats who need a hero to defend them from a... [More]

#18

Harriet the Spy (1996)
48%

#18
Adjusted Score: 49184%
Critics Consensus: Harriet the Spy is a rapid-fire mystery movie that doesn't have much to offer beyond the two decent lead performances.
Synopsis: Harriet (Michelle Trachtenberg) may only be in the sixth grade, but she's already found her calling: to be a spy.... [More]
Directed By: Bronwen Hughes

#19

Hotel for Dogs (2009)
46%

#19
Adjusted Score: 49835%
Critics Consensus: Hotel for Dogs may appeal to children and dog lovers, but it's ultimately contrived, predictable, and simplistic.
Synopsis: After moving into a foster home that forbids pets, siblings Andi (Emma Roberts) and Bruce (Jake T. Austin) must quickly... [More]
Directed By: Thor Freudenthal

#20

Imagine That (2009)
41%

#20
Adjusted Score: 44695%
Critics Consensus: Despite a promising turn by newcomer Yara Shahidi, Imagine That is another pedestrian family comedy that squanders Eddie Murphy's comedic talents.
Synopsis: Like many busy professionals, Evan Danielson (Eddie Murphy) is so focused on his career that quality time with his young... [More]
Directed By: Karey Kirkpatrick

#21

Nacho Libre (2006)
40%

#21
Adjusted Score: 46101%
Critics Consensus: At times hilarious, but other times offensive, Director Jared Hess is unable to recapture the collective charisma of his Napoleon characters, instead relying on a one-joke concept that runs out of steam. Sure to entertain the adolescents, however.
Synopsis: Ignacio (Jack Black), or Nacho to his friends, works as a cook in the Mexican monastery where he grew up.... [More]
Directed By: Jared Hess

#22

Rugrats Go Wild (2003)
39%

#22
Adjusted Score: 41741%
Critics Consensus: The Rugrats franchise has gone from fresh to formulaic.
Synopsis: Chuckie (Nancy Cartwright) and Tommy (Elizabeth Daily) find themselves stranded with their parents on a remote island. By coincidence, the... [More]
Directed By: Norton Virgien, John Eng

#23
Adjusted Score: 47882%
Critics Consensus: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is a slight improvement over its predecessor, but still lacks the wit or anarchic energy of the comics that birthed the franchise.
Synopsis: The turtles face a new challenge when Shredder escapes from custody and joins forces with Baxter Stockman, a mad scientist... [More]
Directed By: Dave Green

#24

Wonder Park (2019)
34%

#24
Adjusted Score: 40152%
Critics Consensus: Colorful and energetic but lacking a compelling story, Wonder Park is little more than a competently made diversion for very young viewers.
Synopsis: Buckle up for an epic adventure where anything is possible. A young girl named June with a big imagination makes... [More]
Directed By: Dylan Brown

#25

Good Burger (1997)
33%

#25
Adjusted Score: 35168%
Critics Consensus: Good Burger might please hardcore fans of the 1990s Nickelodeon TV series that launched leads Kenan and Kel to stardom, but for all others, it will likely prove a comedy that is neither satisfyingly rare nor well done.
Synopsis: Teen misfits (Kel Mitchell, Kenan Thompson) at a modest burger joint face competition from a hamburger emporium across the street.... [More]
Directed By: Brian Robbins

#26

Monster Trucks (2016)
32%

#26
Adjusted Score: 37875%
Critics Consensus: Despite flashes of inspiration, the singularly high-concept Monster Trucks shows that it takes more than monsters and trucks to create a compelling feature film.
Synopsis: Looking for any way to get away from the life and town he was born into, Tripp (Lucas Till), a... [More]
Directed By: Chris Wedge

#27

Clockstoppers (2002)
29%

#27
Adjusted Score: 31408%
Critics Consensus: A pleasant diversion for the young teens, but a waste of time for anyone older.
Synopsis: Until now, Zak Gibbs' (Jesse Bradford) greatest challenge has been to find a way to buy a car. But when... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Frakes

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 31091%
Critics Consensus: Bland, unoriginal, and lacking the wit of the TV series, Hey Arnold is a 30 min cartoon stretched beyond its running time.
Synopsis: Arnold (Spencer Klein) and his pal, Gerald (Jamil Walker Smith), learn their beloved neighborhood is about to be torn down... [More]
Directed By: Tuck Tucker

#29

Snow Day (2000)
29%

#29
Adjusted Score: 29826%
Critics Consensus: Weak assembly of characters and story lines made this movie forgettable and silly.
Synopsis: Anything can happen on a snow day --- and for Hal and Natalie Brandston, it does. When the sun sets... [More]
Directed By: Chris Koch

#30

Fun Size (2012)
25%

#30
Adjusted Score: 26570%
Critics Consensus: It occasionally shows surprising flashes of wit, but Fun Size is too safe and formulaic -- not to mention unfunny -- to survive comparisons to the '80s teen movies it eagerly imitates.
Synopsis: Wren (Victoria Justice) is a high-school senior who can't wait to get away from her dysfunctional family. On Halloween, Wren's... [More]
Directed By: Josh Schwartz

#31
#31
Adjusted Score: 27969%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When straight-laced fire superintendent Jake Carson and his elite team of firefighters come to the rescue of three siblings, they... [More]
Directed By: Andy Fickman

#32
Adjusted Score: 24685%
Critics Consensus: Unimaginative and unfunny, this tale of barnyard mischief borders on 'udder' creepiness and adds little to this summer's repertoire of animated films.
Synopsis: Like the other animals in the barn, Otis the bull (Kevin James) likes to sing and play while the farmer... [More]
Directed By: Steve Oedekerk

#33
Adjusted Score: 26875%
Critics Consensus: Neither entertaining enough to recommend nor remarkably awful, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles may bear the distinction of being the dullest movie ever made about talking bipedal reptiles.
Synopsis: Spawned from a lab experiment gone awry, teenage terrapins Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael live in the sewers beneath New... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Liebesman

#34
#34
Adjusted Score: 9176%
Critics Consensus: The initial set-up is unbelievable, the plotting is predictable and stale, and the comedy depends on repetitive pratfalls that soon get old.
Synopsis: When Coast Guard Adm. Frank Beardsley (Dennis Quaid) decides to move his family of eight children back to his old... [More]
Directed By: Raja Gosnell

#35
#35
Adjusted Score: 11562%
Critics Consensus: The Last Airbender squanders its popular source material with incomprehensible plotting, horrible acting, and detached joyless direction.
Synopsis: The four nations of Air, Water, Earth and Fire lived in harmony until the Fire Nation declared war. A century... [More]
Directed By: M. Night Shyamalan

(Photo by Consolidated Pictures Group/courtesy Everett Collection)

67 Best Dog Movies, Ranked by Tomatometer

Dogs: Man’s best friend, movie’s most endangered hero. Seriously, how many times have we gone into a dog movie hoping we didn’t just get suckered into another one where the dog dies in the end? But some of those movies make up the classics. And some of those movies where the dog lives happily after ever, with a nice house and a bowl of kibble and a robust 401k, are also classics. And some dog movies ain’t so classic, but people love ’em anyways, so we’re including those, and all the other good boys and girls of canine cinema for our guide to the 80 Best Dog Movies, ranked by Tomatometer!

First, we’ve retrieved all the golden films of yesteryear, like Old Yeller, Lassie, and The Incredible Journey. Then we rescued those nearly forgotten from the kennels of history, including Wendy and Lucy, Sounder, and Megan Leavey. After that, we introduced them to the tearjerkers of today, such as Hachi: A Dog’s Tale and Marley and Me.

Because dogs can take on new dimensions of ferocity and cuteness in animation, there’s plenty to see here in this list. Take the Disney classics (The Fox and the Hound, Bolt). Add a little stop-motion (Isle of Dogs, Frankenweenie). And, of course, bring along the ones that can solve mysteries (Scooby-Doo), hold a job (Wallace, he of Gromit), and pilot their house (Snoopy, Come Home).

The latest additions include Channing Tatum’s Dog. We’ve also included Rotten movies that fans have embraced, like Clifford the Big Red Dog, A Dog’s Purpose, Balto. Now, time to let all of them off the leash for the 67 Best Dog Movies, ranked by Tomatometer! Alex Vo

#1

Old Yeller (1957)
100%

#1
Adjusted Score: 101976%
Critics Consensus: Old Yeller is an exemplary coming of age tale, packing an emotional wallop through smart pacing and a keen understanding of the elemental bonding between humanity and their furry best friends.
Synopsis: While Jim Coates (Fess Parker) is off on a cattle drive, his wife, Katie (Dorothy McGuire), and sons, Travis (Tommy... [More]
Directed By: Robert Stevenson

#2

Red Dog: True Blue (2016)
100%

#2
Adjusted Score: 84542%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An 11-year-old boy strikes up a friendship with a scrappy dog which will one day become an Australian legend.... [More]
Directed By: Kriv Stenders

#3
Adjusted Score: 99494%
Critics Consensus: With plenty of pooches and a memorable villain (Cruella De Vil), this is one of Disney's most enduring, entertaining animated films.
Synopsis: In a Disney animation classic, Dalmatian Pongo is tired of his bachelor-dog life. He spies lovely Perdita and maneuvers his... [More]

#4

Heart of a Dog (2015)
96%

#4
Adjusted Score: 100145%
Critics Consensus: Of a piece with much of director Laurie Anderson's idiosyncratic output, Heart of a Dog delves into weighty themes with lyrical, haunting grace.
Synopsis: Musician and performance artist Laurie Anderson reflects on the deaths of her husband Lou Reed, her mother and her beloved... [More]
Directed By: Laurie Anderson

#5
Adjusted Score: 102797%
Critics Consensus: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is a subtly touching and wonderfully eccentric adventure featuring Wallace and Gromit.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: Steve Box

#6

Lassie Come Home (1943)
94%

#6
Adjusted Score: 94777%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In a small Yorkshire village during the Great Depression, financial pressures cause the parents of young Joe Carraclough (Roddy McDowall)... [More]
Directed By: Fred M. Wilcox

#7

Best in Show (2000)
93%

#7
Adjusted Score: 96971%
Critics Consensus: A fine example of writer-director-star Christopher Guest's gift for improv comedy, Best in Show boasts an appealingly quirky premise and a brilliantly talented cast.
Synopsis: The tension is palpable, the excitement is mounting and the heady scent of competition is in the air as hundreds... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Guest

#8

Lassie (2005)
93%

#8
Adjusted Score: 94418%
Critics Consensus: A beautifully-made retelling of the classic collie tale, one need not be a dog-lover to fall for Lassie.
Synopsis: Young Joe Carraclough (Jonathan Mason) and his family (Samantha Morton, John Lynch) love their faithful collie, Lassie. However, when Joe's... [More]
Directed By: Charles Sturridge

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 97224%
Critics Consensus: A nostalgic charmer, Lady and the Tramp's token sweetness is mighty but the songs and richly colored animation are technically superb and make for a memorable experience.
Synopsis: This Disney animated classic follows a pampered cocker spaniel named Lady (Barbara Luddy) whose comfortable life slips away once her... [More]

#10

White Dog (1982)
94%

#10
Adjusted Score: 93474%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An animal-trainer (Paul Winfield) tries to deprogram an actress's (Kristy McNichol) found dog, trained for racial attacks.... [More]
Directed By: Samuel Fuller

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 92670%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Charlie Brown's (Chad Webber) beloved dog Snoopy (Bill Melendez) receives a letter from his original owner, Lila (Johanna Baer), who... [More]
Directed By: Bill Melendez

#12

Togo (2019)
92%

#12
Adjusted Score: 93961%
Critics Consensus: An endearing and exciting underdog story that benefits greatly from its stars (canine and human alike), Togo is a timeless tale, well-told.
Synopsis: "Togo" is the true story set in the winter of 1925 of champion dogsled trainer Leonhard Seppala and his lead... [More]
Directed By: Ericson Core

#13

Isle of Dogs (2018)
90%

#13
Adjusted Score: 111997%
Critics Consensus: The beautifully stop-motion animated Isle of Dogs finds Wes Anderson at his detail-oriented best while telling one of the director's most winsomely charming stories.
Synopsis: When, by executive decree, all the canine pets of Megasaki City are exiled to a vast garbage-dump called Trash Island,... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

#14

My Dog Tulip (2009)
90%

#14
Adjusted Score: 91774%
Critics Consensus: A beautifully animated diversion, My Dog Tulip is as comforting and delightful as cuddling with your own canine companion.
Synopsis: Despite a lack of affinity for dogs, a confirmed bachelor (Christopher Plummer) adopts an Alsatian and forms a close bond... [More]

#15

Sounder (1972)
90%

#15
Adjusted Score: 91506%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The Morgans, a family of poor black sharecroppers in the Depression-plagued South, struggle to find enough to eat despite the... [More]
Directed By: Martin Ritt

#16

Bolt (2008)
89%

#16
Adjusted Score: 96895%
Critics Consensus: Bolt is a pleasant animated comedy that overcomes the story's familiarity with strong visuals and likable characters.
Synopsis: The days of canine superstar Bolt (John Travolta) are filled with danger and intrigue ... until the cameras stop rolling.... [More]

#17
#17
Adjusted Score: 88025%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An unlikely trio of pets -- aging bull terrier Bodger, spry Labrador retriever Luath, and Siamese cat Tao -- begin... [More]
Directed By: Fletcher Markle

#18

Baxter (1989)
89%

#18
Adjusted Score: 39368%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A bull terrier observes the behavior of an old lady, a young couple and a troubled boy and adapts his... [More]
Directed By: Jérôme Boivin

#19

White God (2014)
88%

#19
Adjusted Score: 92168%
Critics Consensus: White God isn't an easy watch, but its soaring ambition and powerful acting -- human and canine alike -- make it well worth the effort.
Synopsis: Failing in his efforts to find his beloved owner (Zsófia Psotta), an abandoned dog eventually joins a canine revolt against... [More]
Directed By: Kornél Mundruczó

#20
Adjusted Score: 34611%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Scooby (Scott Innes) and the rest of the Mystery, Inc., crew encounter creepy characters at a haunted house on a... [More]
Directed By: Jim Stenstrum

#21

Frankenweenie (2012)
87%

#21
Adjusted Score: 96848%
Critics Consensus: Frankenweenie is an energetic stop-motion horror movie spoof with lovingly crafted visuals and a heartfelt, oddball story.
Synopsis: Young Victor Frankenstein (Charlie Tahan) is a science nerd and outsider at school, but he does have one good friend:... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#22
Adjusted Score: 87807%
Critics Consensus: Disney's remake of The Incredible Journey successfully replicates, and in some ways improves upon, the simple charms of the original, with its cross-country animal odyssey sure to delight kids.
Synopsis: Before the Seavers leave for a family vacation to San Francisco, they drop off their pets -- Chance (Michael J.... [More]
Directed By: Duwayne Dunham

#23

Oddball (2015)
87%

#23
Adjusted Score: 86571%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A chicken farmer and his granddaughter train a dog to protect a penguin sanctuary from foxes.... [More]
Directed By: Stuart McDonald

#24

Megan Leavey (2017)
86%

#24
Adjusted Score: 92519%
Critics Consensus: Megan Leavey honors its real-life subjects with a sensitive, uplifting drama whose honest emotion more than makes up for its mild approach to the story.
Synopsis: The true life story of Megan Leavey, a young Marine corporal whose unique discipline and bond with a military combat... [More]

#25

Wendy and Lucy (2008)
86%

#25
Adjusted Score: 92872%
Critics Consensus: Michelle Williams gives a heartbreaking performance in Wendy and Lucy, a timely portrait of loneliness and struggle.
Synopsis: Wendy (Michelle Williams), a near-penniless drifter, is traveling to Alaska in search of work, and her only companion is her... [More]
Directed By: Kelly Reichardt

#26
#26
Adjusted Score: 88588%
Critics Consensus: James L. Brooks and Jack Nicholson, doing what they do best, combine smart dialogue and flawless acting to squeeze fresh entertainment value out of the romantic-comedy genre.
Synopsis: Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson) is an obsessive-compulsive writer of romantic fiction who's rude to everyone he meets, including his gay... [More]
Directed By: James L. Brooks

#27

Red Dog (2011)
84%

#27
Adjusted Score: 83808%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A dog unites a fractured community while searching for its master.... [More]
Directed By: Kriv Stenders

#28

Alpha (2018)
81%

#28
Adjusted Score: 87780%
Critics Consensus: Well-acted and beautifully filmed, Alpha offers a canine-assisted epic adventure that blends rousing action with an extra helping of canine charm.
Synopsis: Young Keda tries to survive alone in the wilderness after he's left for dead during his first hunt with his... [More]
Directed By: Albert Hughes

#29

White Fang (2018)
80%

#29
Adjusted Score: 52026%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A young boy befriends a half-breed wolf as he searches for his father, who has mysteriously gone missing during the... [More]
Directed By: Alexandre Espigares

#30
Adjusted Score: 63428%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A cat and a dog find perils and mates after straying from their farm in Japan. Narrated by Dudley Moore.... [More]
Directed By: Masanori Hata

#31

Dog (2022)
77%

#31
Adjusted Score: 84964%
Critics Consensus: Dog's dramatic breed is far from exotic, but solid narrative bones and well-trained work from co-director/star Channing Tatum make for a fetching viewing experience.
Synopsis: DOG is a buddy comedy that follows the misadventures of two former Army Rangers paired against their will on the... [More]

#32
#32
Adjusted Score: 78481%
Critics Consensus: An offbeat, eccentric black comedy, A Boy and His Dog features strong dialogue and an oddball vision of the future.
Synopsis: Vic (Don Johnson) is a libidinous 18-year-old traversing the post-apocalyptic desert of 2024, in the company of his telepathic dog,... [More]
Directed By: L.Q. Jones

#33

Eight Below (2006)
73%

#33
Adjusted Score: 78472%
Critics Consensus: Featuring a stellar cast of marooned mutts, who deftly display emotion, tenderness, loyalty and resolve, Eight Below is a heartwarming and exhilarating adventure film.
Synopsis: The frozen wasteland of Antarctica serves as the background for a tale about the bonds of friendship and loyalty. Three... [More]
Directed By: Frank Marshall

#34

My Dog Skip (2000)
73%

#34
Adjusted Score: 75514%
Critics Consensus: Critics say My Dog Skip is cute, wholesome entertainment for the family. It's especially designed to appeal to your sentiment, but you might find yourself choking up just the same.
Synopsis: Who says best friends have to be human? Not Willie Morris (Frankie Muniz), who receives a talented terrier named Skip... [More]
Directed By: Jay Russell

#35

Shiloh (1997)
73%

#35
Adjusted Score: 38675%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Young Marty Preston (Blake Heron) wants to keep a beagle dog that followed him home. He even names him Shiloh.... [More]
Directed By: Dale Rosenbloom

#36
#36
Adjusted Score: 86121%
Critics Consensus: Fast-paced, funny, and blessed with a talented voice cast, The Secret Life of Pets offers a beautifully animated, cheerfully undemanding family-friendly diversion.
Synopsis: Max (Louis C.K.) is a spoiled terrier who enjoys a comfortable life in a New York building until his owner... [More]
Directed By: Chris Renaud

#37
#37
Adjusted Score: 71341%
Critics Consensus: The Fox and the Hound is a likeable, charming, unassuming effort that manages to transcend its thin, predictable plot.
Synopsis: After his mother is killed, Tod the fox (Mickey Rooney) is taken in by the kindly Widow Tweed (Jeanette Nolan).... [More]

#38
#38
Adjusted Score: 68365%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Young Marty (Zachary Browne) adopts Shiloh, a beagle mistreated by its former owner, local hunter and town drunk Judd (Scott... [More]
Directed By: Sandy Tung

#39

I Am Legend (2007)
68%

#39
Adjusted Score: 77741%
Critics Consensus: I Am Legend overcomes questionable special effects and succeeds largely on the strength of Will Smith's mesmerizing performance.
Synopsis: Robert Neville (Will Smith), a brilliant scientist, is a survivor of a man-made plague that transforms humans into bloodthirsty mutants.... [More]
Directed By: Francis Lawrence

#40

Iron Will (1994)
67%

#40
Adjusted Score: 41611%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: His father's demise leaves young Will Stoneman (Mackenzie Astin) and his mother struggling to save their farm from financial ruin.... [More]
Directed By: Charles Haid

#41

White Fang (1991)
65%

#41
Adjusted Score: 65715%
Critics Consensus: This glossy edition of White Fang shaves off the rough-hewn edges that made Jack London's epic story so distinct, but gorgeous photography and heartfelt performances make this an appealing adventure.
Synopsis: This adaptation of Jack London's wilderness tale focuses on young Jack Conroy (Ethan Hawke), who has arrived in Alaska to... [More]
Directed By: Randal Kleiser

#42
#42
Adjusted Score: 64256%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A college professor (Richard Gere) forms a lasting bond with a dog that he finds on a train platform.... [More]
Directed By: Lasse Hallström

#43

Marley & Me (2008)
63%

#43
Adjusted Score: 67683%
Critics Consensus: Pet owners should love it, but Marley and Me is only sporadically successful in wringing drama and laughs from its scenario.
Synopsis: Newlyweds John and Jenny Grogan (Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston) leave behind snowy Michigan and move to Florida, where they buy... [More]
Directed By: David Frankel

#44

The Plague Dogs (1982)
63%

#44
Adjusted Score: 46115%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this animation, Snitter (John Hurt) and Rowf (Christopher Benjamin) are two dogs trapped in a lab where they are... [More]
Directed By: Martin Rosen

#45
#45
Adjusted Score: 76792%
Critics Consensus: It's undermined by distracting and unnecessary CGI, but this heartwarming Call of the Wild remains a classic story, affectionately retold.
Synopsis: Buck is a big-hearted dog whose blissful domestic life gets turned upside down when he is suddenly uprooted from his... [More]
Directed By: Chris Sanders

#46

Dog Days (2018)
62%

#46
Adjusted Score: 65488%
Critics Consensus: Dog Days is frivolous but frothy, sporting a forgettable cast of human characters but a lovable troupe of pooches that ought to delight viewers looking for a gentle affirmation of humanity's bond with their furry friends.
Synopsis: Elizabeth is a charming anchorwoman who seeks advice from her dog's therapist. Tara is a spunky barista who dreams of... [More]
Directed By: Ken Marino

#47
#47
Adjusted Score: 69934%
Critics Consensus: The Secret Life of Pets 2 doesn't teach its animated stars any new narrative tricks -- but for fans of the original, this funny, energetic sequel should still satisfy.
Synopsis: Explore the emotional lives of pets and the deep bond between them and the families that love them as Max,... [More]
Directed By: Chris Renaud

#48

Benji (2018)
60%

#48
Adjusted Score: 39008%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A dog comes to the rescue and helps heal a broken family when a boy and his sister stumble into... [More]
Directed By: Brandon Camp

#49
Adjusted Score: 14911%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Transported into a video game, the gang must survive different levels of difficulty to solve a mystery.... [More]
Directed By: Jim Stenstrum

#50

Arctic Dogs (2019)
12%

#50
Adjusted Score: 11126%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Swifty the fox discovers a devious plan by Otto Von Walrus to drill beneath the Arctic surface to unleash enough... [More]
Directed By: Aaron Woodley

#51

A Dog's Way Home (2019)
59%

#51
Adjusted Score: 63230%
Critics Consensus: A Dog's Way Home may not quite be a family-friendly animal drama fan's best friend, but this canine adventure is no less heartwarming for its familiarity.
Synopsis: As a puppy, Bella finds her way into the arms of Lucas, a young man who gives her a good... [More]
Directed By: Charles Martin Smith

#52
#52
Adjusted Score: 61477%
Critics Consensus: It may get younger viewers to sit and stay, but Clifford the Big Red Dog is nowhere near as charming as its classic source material.
Synopsis: When middle-schooler Emily Elizabeth (Darby Camp) meets a magical animal rescuer (John Cleese) who gifts her a little, red puppy,... [More]
Directed By: Walt Becker

#53
#53
Adjusted Score: 58903%
Critics Consensus: An old-fashioned, if bland, adaptation of Kate DiCamillo's novel.
Synopsis: Abandoned by her mother years ago, Opal (AnnaSophia Robb), a 10-year-old girl, moves with her preacher father (Jeff Daniels) to... [More]
Directed By: Wayne Wang

#54

Benji the Hunted (1987)
55%

#54
Adjusted Score: 28988%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When a shipwreck separates the courageous dog Benji from his trainer (Frank Inn), the crafty canine must brave the dangers... [More]
Directed By: Joe Camp

#55

Balto (1995)
56%

#55
Adjusted Score: 56923%
Critics Consensus: Balto is a well-meaning adventure with spirited animation, but mushy sentimentality and bland characterization keeps it at paw's length from more sophisticated family fare.
Synopsis: In this animated feature, a deadly diphtheria epidemic strikes the remote town of Nome, Alaska. With the life-saving medicine located... [More]
Directed By: Simon Wells

#56

A Dog's Journey (2019)
51%

#56
Adjusted Score: 54630%
Critics Consensus: A Dog's Journey is as sentimental as one might expect, but even cynical viewers may find their ability to resist shedding a tear stretched to the puppermost limit.
Synopsis: Bailey is living the good life on the Michigan farm of his boy, Ethan and Ethan's wife Hannah. He even... [More]
Directed By: Gail Mancuso

#57

Oliver & Company (1988)
50%

#57
Adjusted Score: 52958%
Critics Consensus: Predictable and stodgy, Oliver & Company isn't one of Disney's best, though its colorful cast of characters may be enough to entertain young viewers looking for a little adventure.
Synopsis: In this animated update of the classic "Oliver Twist" tale, Oliver (Joey Lawrence) is an orphaned kitten taken in by... [More]
Directed By: George Scribner

#58
Adjusted Score: 14927%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Scooby and friends investigate creepy goings-on and a mystery involving a famous horror writer in a small Massachusetts town.... [More]
Directed By: Jim Stenstrum

#59
Adjusted Score: 50951%
Critics Consensus: Its heartstring-tugging overtures may be difficult for dog lovers to resist, but The Art of Racing in the Rain is sentimental and contrived.
Synopsis: Denny Swift is a Formula One race car driver who understands that the techniques needed on the racetrack can also... [More]
Directed By: Simon Curtis

#60
#60
Adjusted Score: 44651%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this animated feature, canine casino owner Charlie (Burt Reynolds) is killed by gambler Carface (Vic Tayback), but returns to... [More]
Directed By: Don Bluth

#61

The Stray (2017)
40%

#61
Adjusted Score: 32149%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Young Christian Davis finds a stray dog named Pluto and decides to bring it home to his parents and two... [More]
Directed By: Mitch Davis

#62

Max (2015)
38%

#62
Adjusted Score: 41573%
Critics Consensus: Max has good intentions and tries to hearken back to classic family-friendly features, but its disjointed, manipulative plot overwhelms the efforts of its talented human and canine stars.
Synopsis: After U.S. Marine Kyle Wincott is killed in Afghanistan, Max, his highly trained service dog, is too traumatized to remain... [More]
Directed By: Boaz Yakin

#63

Firehouse Dog (2007)
38%

#63
Adjusted Score: 40078%
Critics Consensus: Firehouse Dog's cute premise is ruined with endless fart and poop jokes, and an overlong run time.
Synopsis: When a commercial shoot goes terribly wrong, Rex, Hollywood's biggest canine star, goes missing and is presumed dead by his... [More]
Directed By: Todd Holland

#64

Saving Shiloh (2006)
39%

#64
Adjusted Score: 39123%
Critics Consensus: The aggressively wholesome Saving Shiloh has honorable intentions, but this simple story of a boy and his dog is overwhelmed by its heavy-handed approach.
Synopsis: Following a devastating accident, a youth (Jason Dolley) tries to help the former owner (Scott Wilson) of his beloved dog... [More]
Directed By: Sandy Tung

#65

A Dog's Purpose (2017)
35%

#65
Adjusted Score: 44976%
Critics Consensus: A Dog's Purpose offers an awkward blend of sugary sentiment and canine suffering that tugs at animal-loving audiences' heartstrings with shameless abandon.
Synopsis: A devoted dog (Josh Gad) discovers the meaning of its own existence through the lives of the humans it teaches... [More]
Directed By: Lasse Hallström

#66

Fluke (1995)
25%

#66
Adjusted Score: 13778%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Workaholic Thomas P. Johnson (Matthew Modine) has achieved professional success at the expense of his family life, having neglected his... [More]
Directed By: Carlo Carlei

#67
Adjusted Score: 3955%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Dracula transforms Shaggy into a canine horror when the werewolf drops out of the annual Transylvania car race.... [More]
Directed By: Ray Patterson

This weekend the North American box office was on fire once again as four new releases all scored muscular debuts helping to drive the marketplace to the biggest January weekend in history as ticket buyers flooded the multiplexes over a record-shattering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday frame. The Kevin James comedy Paul Blart: Mall Cop surged ahead of expectations to easily win the session while the R-rated films My Bloody Valentine 3D and Notorious also generated stellar numbers. Kidpic Hotel for Dogs debuted to some nice figures as well joining its fellow newcomers in the top five. All four new films opened to more than $20M each over the extended four-day Friday-to-Monday period.

Santa must have given Hollywood studios crystal balls because just about everything tossed into theaters over the last four weeks has been met with a great response from moviegoers who seem to be in the mood to see anything. In fact since Christmas, a whopping eleven films have opened to $17M or more. That compares to just four from the same period a year ago. The Top 20 grossed a jaw-dropping $185M over the Friday-to-Sunday span this weekend beating last Thanksgiving’s holiday frame by an amazing 15%. Over the four-day span, the Top 20 soared to $222M edging last Memorial Day’s Friday-to-Monday session by 3%. The MLK frame has never been this potent.


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Sony topped the charts with Paul Blart taking in an estimated $39M over four days beating the studio’s most aggressive forecasts. The PG-rated comedy averaged a superb $12,405 from 3,144 locations and established James as a bankable funnyman. Look for future paydays to climb rapidly. Having anchored the hit sitcom King of Queens, the actor has never opened a film on his own and instead has taken sidekick roles next to more established box office titans like Will Smith in Hitch and Adam Sandler in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. Blart’s three-day debut of $31.8M actually beat out the openings of recent films from both of those stars. Smith’s Seven Pounds bowed to just $14.9M while Sandler’s Bedtime Stories debuted to $27.5M. James attracted mostly negative reviews which meant nothing to moviegoers looking just for 90 minutes of mindless fun.

Budgeted at only $26M, the film should turn out to be a nice little moneymaker for Sony and Sandler whose company Happy Madison produced. Exit polls showed that males and females were evenly represented while those under 25 made up 56% of the crowd. Friday saw a solid start with a stellar $9.8M while Saturday jumped a healthy 35% to $13.2M with family audiences making the trip out. Blart also registered the third largest January opening ever.

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Clint Eastwood held his own against the $110M of business stolen away by the four new releases this long weekend. His Gran Torino dropped to the runnerup spot in its second weekend of wide release pulling in an estimated $26.2M. The three-day portion fell just 25%. Warner Bros. is enjoying the same strong legs that most of Eastwood’s films have since the Oscar-winner’s older-skewing fan base usually comes out over time and not upfront in the first weekend. With $77.2M already in the tank, Torino could soar to $140M or more by the end of its lucrative run.

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The battle for third place was tight but over the four-day Friday-to-Monday period, the horror film My Bloody Valentine 3D eked out the victory. The Lionsgate terrorfest bowed to an estimated $24.2M from 2,534 theaters for a terrific $9,569 average. It was the widest debut ever for a 3D film with 1,033 (41%) of those locations featuring the digital 3D presentation. The extra $2-3 per ticket that exhibitors charged for the new technology also helped to pump up the grosses. The three-day period saw $21.3M in sales. Valentine showed how strong demand is for an interesting horror film at the beginning of the year as it followed the strong $19.8M debut of last weekend’s PG-13 supernatural thriller The Unborn. Critics were surprisingly upbeat for Valentine. This was that rare weekend when the best reviewed new release was a gory horror flick.

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Close behind in fourth place, but with the heaviest average of the weekend, was the biopic Notorious which grossed an estimated $24M from only 1,638 theaters. Averaging a sizzling $14,652, the R-rated story of the slain rap superstar gave Fox Searchlight the biggest debut in company history. It was also the best opening weekend average for a wide release since November’s Twilight. The three-day bow was $20.5M. Reviews were mixed for Notorious which attracted the multicultural fans of the late music star. Searchlight’s choice of release date was no coincidence as it knew that a film about a popular African American entertainer would sell opening over Martin Luther King weekend, and just days before the Obama Inauguration.

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Kids and tweens lined up for the comedy Hotel for Dogs which debuted in fifth place with $17M over three days and $22.5M over the long holiday frame. The PG-rated Paramount release averaged a respectable $6,879 over four days from 3,271 locations.

A pair of sophomore titles followed. The wedding comedy Bride Wars fell to an estimated $14M pushing its 11-day total to $39.9M. Budgeted at $30M, the Kate Hudson-Anne Hathaway pic should go on to gross about $65M for Fox. Universal’s hit thriller The Unborn scared up an estimated $11M for a cume of $34.2M in 11 days. With a low $16M price tag, the PG-13 fright flick looks to reach $50M.

Paramount Vantage went nationwide with its Holocaust drama Defiance and ended up at number eight with a respectable four-day estimate of $10.7M. The Daniel Craig pic averaged a moderate $5,981 from 1,789 sites and has taken in $11M since its platform debut on New Year’s Eve. Two-time box office king Marley & Me followed in ninth with an estimated $7.5M. The Fox overachiever raised its impressive total to $133.9M making it the top-grossing film of Jennifer Aniston’s career when in a lead role.

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A sweep of last Sunday’s Golden Globes helped make Jamal Malik a richer kid. Slumdog Millionaire, winner of Best Picture – Drama and three other trophies, lost 19 theaters but saw sales surge to an estimated $7.2M leading to a potent $12,285 average from 582 locations. The three-day tally of $5.8M soared 54%. Fox Searchlight has already taken in $44M and will expand the indie hit nationwide to about 1,300 runs this Friday, a day after Academy Award nominations are announced. Slumdog jumped up a spot to number one in the United Kingdom this weekend and will open in India on Friday.

Other films winning Globe statues also saw their grosses rise. Searchlight’s The Wrestler which took home two awards for Best Actor – Drama for Mickey Rourke and Best Song for Bruce Springsteen more than doubled its take to an estimated $2.1M. The film also expanded by 84 theaters and averaged a sturdy $14,410 from 144 sites. Kate Winslet’s Revolutionary Road, which won her a Best Actress – Drama prize, grossed an estimated $2.2M, up 24% over the three-day portion. The Paramount Vantage release averaged a solid $12,614 per location over four days from 171 playdates and will expand nationwide this Friday into 800 venues. Totals stand at $5.4M and $6.1M, respectively.

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Those snubbed by the Hollywood Foreign Press suffered declines this weekend. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button dropped 40% (over the three-day portion) to an estimated $6.6M for Paramount lifting the total to $103.6M. The Meryl Streep pic Doubt fell 51% to an estimated $1.5M giving Miramax $25.5M to date. Declining 41% was Sean Penn’s Milk with an estimated $921,000 and a $20.5M cume. Frost/Nixon slid by 26% to an estimated $789,000 putting the sum at $8.7M for Universal. A Best Picture nod from the Academy this week could revive any of these films in the weeks ahead.

Elsewhere below the top ten, Overture expanded its Dustin Hoffman-Emma Thompson comedy Last Chance Harvey from 16 to 1,054 theaters nationwide and posted an estimated $5.1M, a decent bow in a crowded marketplace. Averaging $4,858, the PG-13 title has collected $5.7M since its limited debut in late December. Warner Bros. released its first Bollywood film with Chandni Chowk to China and grossed an estimated $700,000 from 130 theaters for a respectable $5,385 average.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $186.3M over four days which was up an impressive 23% from last year when Cloverfield opened in the top spot with $46.1M; and up a stunning 69% from 2006’s MLK frame when Stomp the Yard debuted at number one with $25.9M.

Compared to projections, the four new releases all soared higher than my three-day forecasts of $11M for Paul Blart: Mall Cop, $17M for My Bloody Valentine 3D, $13M for Notorious, and $14M for Hotel for Dogs.

This week at the movies, we’ve got a guard with insecurity (Paul Blart: Mall Cop, starring Kevin James); pampered pooches (Hotel for Dogs, starring Emma Roberts and Jake T. Austin); a crazed killer (My Bloody Valentine 3D, starring Jensen Ackles and Jaime King); Brooklyn’s finest (Notorious, starring Jamal Woolard and Angela Bassett); and wartime heroics (Defiance, starring Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber). What do the critics have to say?

Everybody loves a good dumb comedy — as long as it provides ample laughs. However, the critics say Paul Blart: Mall Cop is good for a couple of lowbrow yucks, but it isn’t exactly a model of disciplined storytelling. Kevin James likeably plays the title character, a portly, self-important (and sidearm-free) crime fighter in a suburban New Jersey mall who must utilize every shred of his training when a hostage situation arises. The pundits say Paul Blart contains some funny slapstick pratfalls, but its thin premise doesn’t generate a headlong comic intensity, and a number of gags simply fall flat. At 29 percent on the Tomatometer, you may want to go shopping somewhere else.

Kevin James, in a dramatic moment from Chopping Mall 2.

Marley and Me, Bolt, Wendy and Lucy, Beverly Hills Chihuahua… dog people must feel like they’re in cinematic heaven these days. Hotel for Dogs is the latest pooch-centric flick to hit multiplexes, but critics say its appeal will be limited to little kids and die-hard canine lovers. The film stars Emma Roberts and Jake T. Austin as a pair of orphans who are so in love with man’s best friends that they convert an abandoned hotel into a four-star doggie resort, providing posh accommodations for as many strays as they can find. Look, few will go to Hotel for Dogs expecting hyper-realism, but the pundits say this occasionally funny slice of whimsy is predictable and contrived, and the four-legged heroes repeatedly outshine their human counterparts. At 48 percent on the Tomatometer, Hotel for Dogs may not be worth a stay.

“This is one more reason why we need a bailout.”

If you’re the type of filmgoer that really, really enjoys blood and guts, My Bloody Valentine 3D is here to overload your senses. Critics say this extremely grisly slasher flick, which with a sick sense of humor and three-dimensions-worth of wild kills, might just be a gorehound’s nirvana. A loose remake of the 1981 title of the same name, Valentine stars Jensen Ackles as Tom, a coal miner whose mistake costs the lives of some co-workers; now, a decade later, someone donning a miner’s mask and wielding a pickaxe is running amok in town, and Tom looks to be a target. The pundits say this is an expertly crafted, pretension-free genre piece that’s technologically advanced and features plenty of wicked scares. At 83 percent on the Tomatometer, this is one Bloody good time.

“I can’t believe it! That guy didn’t even signal!”

The Notorious B.I.G. was one of rap’s most compelling figures, with the remarkable ability to spin tales of his wayward past with devastating emotional vulnerability and insight. However, the critics say Notorious, George Tillman Jr.’s biopic of the late hip hop great, succumbs to the kind of clichés that Biggie studiously avoided on his records. First-timer Jamal Woolard stars as the man who would be B.I.G., a small-time Brooklyn hustler who became a huge star before his death in a shooting before his 25th birthday. The critics say Woolard is excellent, capturing the nuances of the character with assurance, but the rest of the film isn’t up to its central performance, clicking off the details of Biggie’s life without the complexity or depth of his rhymes. At 57 percent on the Tomatometer, Notorious isn’t quite “Juicy” enough.

“What a drag… Oh well, let’s see if Pizza Hut is open.”

Defiance recounts an undeniably important historical tale: that of a group of Eastern European Jews who fought the Nazis in World War II. And although the critics say the film is well-crafted, they also find it lacking in emotional impact. Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, and Jamie Bell star as brothers who, on the run from the Germans, establish a community of refugees deep in the Belarusian forest; as food becomes scarce and disease runs rampant, the brothers decide to mount an offensive against the Nazis. The pundits say this is a respectful telling of a fascinating story, but the trouble is, it’s overly solemn and clichéd. Defiance currently stands at 54 percent on the Tomatometer. (Check out our interview with director Ed Zwick here)

“So anyway, my agent told me to hold out for $20 million before agreeing to Billy Elliot 2: Feet Afire.”

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • The German import Cherry Blossoms, the story of an elderly couple making a final journey to Japan, is at 100 percent.

  • The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema, a documentary in which famed philosopher Slavoj Zizek pontificates on the appeal of the movies, is at 100 percent.

  • Chandni Chowk to China, a Bollywood martial arts musical comedy, is at 10 percent.

Recent Daniel Craig Movies:

Four new films roll into theaters hoping to take advantage of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday which will give many a day off on Monday. R-rated fare leads the way with the horror remake My Bloody Valentine 3D and the hip-hop biopic Notorious being the big guns trying to knock Clint Eastwood from his position atop the charts. Also opening are a pair of PG-rated films – the kidpic Hotel for Dogs and the comedy Paul Blart: Mall Cop.

The first in a long line of 3D movies this year opens on Thursday night at 10:00pm in the form of My Bloody Valentine from Lionsgate. The R-rated fright flick takes the industry’s love of recycling past horror films and mixes it with the gimmick of three dimensions which gives moviegoers an enhanced experience, and takes an extra $2-3 from their wallet. In Manhattan, some theaters are charging $15 per stub instead of their normal $12.50. The Unborn‘s surprisingly strong $19.9M bow last weekend shows how much hunger there is for scary movies with intriguing ideas. But Valentine doesn’t take the spooky, no-blood route to a PG-13. It delivers hardcore violence, killings, and gallons of hemoglobin for the genre fans that expect top-notch violence.

Lionsgate has been marketing the pic very well making it stand out in a crowded field of terrorfests packed into the January-February corridor. Plus the distributor has locked in a record 1,033 3D screens, the most ever for this format. And with those venues charging extra dough, the overall grosses will get a nice bump. Early reviews have been shockingly positive which is rare for this genre. That certainly can’t hurt. Add in the holiday weekend and you’ve got back-to-back weeks of horror hits. Attacking 2,534 theaters, My Bloody Valentine might open with about $17M over the three-day Friday-to-Sunday period.


My Bloody Valentine in 3D

Fox has raked in $125M with Marley & Me. Disney has gobbled up a combined $206M for Bolt and Beverly Hills Chihuahua. Now Paramount joins the canine game hoping to score big dollars with not one but a whole gang of pooches with its kid comedy Hotel for Dogs. The PG-rated film should play to children and tweens plus their parents and with most students having a long holiday weekend, the target audience has extra leisure time. The MLK frame has been a good one for kidpics with 2005’s Racing Stripes bowing to $13.9M over three days and the following year’s animated film Hoodwinked opening to $12.4M. Not being tied to a major franchise, Hotel might debut in the same neighborhood. Competition is not too fierce and families are looking for something new to see following two weeks of Christmas leftovers. For those who just haven’t had their fill of doggies, this one will prompt a return trip to the multiplex. Marching into 3,271 theaters, Hotel for Dogs may open to around $14M over the Friday-to-Sunday span.


Hotel for Dogs

The life of slain hip-hop star The Notorious B.I.G. makes its way to the big screen on Friday in Fox Searchlight’s Notorious. The R-rated film comes from director George Tillman Jr. (Soul Food, Men of Honor) and stars Angela Bassett, Derek Luke, and Jamal Woolard as the late rap legend. With nearly every fan of hip-hop music being part of the built-in audience, sold out shows are guaranteed to pop up from coast to coast. And with Martin Luther King Day and the Obama Inauguration following in just a few days, the timing could not be better for the release of a biopic on a popular African American superstar.

Reviews have been generally positive which is quite good for a new release coming out in January. Business should come primarily from those between the ages of 20 and 40, especially all the Biggie Smalls fans from the mid-90s. For loyal fans, this is a must-see event film. Notorious has by far the fewest theaters of this weekend’s four new titles, however a sizable number of multiplexes are double-screening it indicating solid pre-release demand. Competition from both holdovers and newcomers will be miniscule. Landing in 1,637 locations, Notorious might debut with around $13M over the Friday-to-Sunday period.


Derek Luke and Jamal Woolard as Diddy and Biggie Smalls in Notorious

Kevin James gives headlining a comedy a try with Paul Blart: Mall Cop, the funnyman’s first film as the sole anchor. The PG-rated film about a security guard at a dull suburban mall who faces off against real bad guys will play to the not-so-mature crowd looking for dumb humor. Following his successful sitcom King of Queens, James started showing up in multiplexes as the secondary dude opposite established box office draws Will Smith in Hitch and Adam Sandler in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. With the training wheels off, he now gets to show himself, and the industry, whether or not he can open a picture solo. Younger kids may take interest and the rating promises harmless fun. But Hotel for Dogs will provide some overlap for tweens. Reviews will be terrible, but will eventually be ignored. Debuting wide in over 3,000 theaters, Paul Blart: Mall Cop could take in about $11M over three days.


Kevin James in Paul Blart: Mall Cop

Clint Eastwood hit a home run last weekend with his latest starring effort Gran Torino. To no surprise, the Warner Bros. hit has been holding up quite well during the week just as most of the actor/director’s films do. Monday and Tuesday each brought in an additional $2.8M. Second wide weekend drops for his recent films include 22% for Changeling, 38% for Flags of Our Fathers, and 31% for Million Dollar Baby. Plus all of the new releases skew much younger so Torino‘s Friday-to-Sunday take may slide by about 30% to $20M. That would boost the early cume to an impressive $71M.

Bride Wars also doesn’t have much in the way of direct competition so a respectable sophomore session is likely. With NFL conference championships on Sunday, and Monday being a holiday for many, Fox’s chick flick has a great opportunity to score with its target audience. A 35% drop could occur giving the Kate HudsonAnne Hathaway laugher roughly $13.5M over three days for a 10-day cume of $39M.

Look for a massive drop for the horror pic The Unborn thanks to the double impact of bad word-of-mouth and the arrival of a competing horror flick. A 60% tumble would lead to a $8M frame and would lift the total to $31M after ten days. Although a new set of dogs will enter the marketplace, Fox’s Marley & Me will still remain a major contender in the top ten. Sales might fall by 40% to about $7M putting the sum at $133M.

LAST YEAR: A brilliant marketing campaign fueled interest in the low-budget monster flick Cloverfield which shot straight to number one with a stellar $40.1M setting a new opening weekend record for January. Katherine Heigl also generated a solid debut for her new comedy 27 Dresses which bowed at number two with $23M. Final grosses reached $80M for the Paramount thriller and $76.8M for Fox’s wedding tale. Rounding out the top five were holdovers The Bucket List with $14.1M, Juno with $10M, and First Sunday with $7.8M. Premiering with weaker results was the caper comedy Mad Money with $7.7M for Overture on its way to just $20.7M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com