Paramount Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by Paramount Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)

All Nickelodeon Movies Ranked

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!

Adjusted Score: 12192%
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

Adjusted Score: 8782%
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

Adjusted Score: 26659%
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

Adjusted Score: 24621%
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

Adjusted Score: 27924%
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


Fun Size (2012)

Adjusted Score: 26435%
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


Snow Day (2000)

Adjusted Score: 29924%
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

Adjusted Score: 30957%
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


Clockstoppers (2002)

Adjusted Score: 31261%
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


Monster Trucks (2016)

Adjusted Score: 37694%
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


Good Burger (1997)

Adjusted Score: 36066%
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


Wonder Park (2019)

Adjusted Score: 40091%
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

Adjusted Score: 47439%
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


Rugrats Go Wild (2003)

Adjusted Score: 41495%
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


Nacho Libre (2006)

Adjusted Score: 45907%
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


Imagine That (2009)

Adjusted Score: 44461%
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


Hotel for Dogs (2009)

Adjusted Score: 49596%
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


Harriet the Spy (1996)

Adjusted Score: 49220%
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

Adjusted Score: 60298%
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]

Adjusted Score: 69256%
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

Adjusted Score: 72333%
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]

Adjusted Score: 76697%
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

Adjusted Score: 73104%
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

Adjusted Score: 75409%
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

Adjusted Score: 82069%
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

Adjusted Score: 78323%
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]


Charlotte's Web (2006)

Adjusted Score: 84050%
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

Adjusted Score: 79768%
Critics Consensus: No job's too big and no pup's too small for PAW Patrol: The Movie, which should give its youthful target demographic exactly what they're looking for.
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

Adjusted Score: 81375%
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]

Adjusted Score: 83707%
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]

Adjusted Score: 85664%
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


Mad Hot Ballroom (2005)

Adjusted Score: 88450%
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

Adjusted Score: 93173%
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


Rango (2011)

Adjusted Score: 95564%
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

Aye yo, it be Talk Like a Pirate Day on Rrrotten Tomatoes! We have plundered the internet for pictures of our fellow piratanical  hearties for yer sole entertainment! Let’s crack open the barrel and see what crawls out of the bung hole, savvy?


Though we predict with bottled anticipation that Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip‘s next two-hundred reviews will be positives, for now there exists 144 Certified Fresh movies from this year (compared to 133 in 2014, and 114 in 2013). How many have you seen?


Insidious: Chapter 3


Rating: PG-13, for violence, frightening images, some language and thematic elements. . > .

This is a really scary PG-13 horror movie. There’s no blood but the otherworldly predators — and their victims, wallowing in a sort of spiritual purgatory — are pretty gross and gnarly, and there is the constant threat of vicious haunting from tormented souls. The third film in the Insidious series is actually a prequel, which details how psychic Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) became the formidable force we now know her to be. A teenage girl (Stefanie Scott) who thinks she’s been communicating with her deceased mother actually has invited a far more dangerous spirit into her world. Lots of physical injury and frightening imagery ensue until Elise takes on the case. I (and my fellow critics around me) jumped several times, and we’re grown people. I’d say that only kids around 12 or 13 would be able to handle this movie without being petrified and losing sleep.


The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge out of Water


Rating: PG, for mild action and rude humor.

This second feature-length SpongeBob SquarePants movie is zippy and zany and colorful and everything you want if you’re a fan of the long-running Nickelodeon television series. This time, SpongeBob (voiced as always by Tom Kenny) and his friends must leave the watery safety of Bikini Bottom and travel to dry land to find the culprit who stole the secret formula for everyone’s favorite fast-food treat, the Krabby Patty. (Antonio Banderas appears in live-action sequences as a goofy, villainous pirate.) The pop culture references and subversive humor will go over kids’ heads. There are a few gross-out jokes but they’re harmless. I brought my 5-year-old son and one of his friends to see this and they had a blast — jumping up and down, laughing and dancing. It’s a good time for the whole family.

Jupiter Ascending


Rating: PG-13, for some violence, sequences of sci-fi action, some suggestive content and partial nudity.

Mature tweens and young teens with a taste for sci-fi/fantasy might enjoy this long, noisy and totally nutty sci-fi opera from the writing-directing Wachowskis, Lana and Andy. Mila Kunis stars as a Chicago maid who learns she’s actually the queen of the universe. Channing Tatum plays the half-man, half-dog protector who zooms around on jet-powered boots to save her whenever she’s in trouble (which is often). Big, dangerous chases and battles ensue as various members of a royal galactic family try to manipulate and even kill Kunis’ character to seize the kingdom. The sheer volume and running time probably will make this prohibitive for a lot of younger viewers. It’s just an overwhelming experience. There’s also a bit of nudity in a bathtub scene.

This week on streaming video, we’ve got a long-in-the-making sequel to a popular TV character’s first film, a Russian sci-fi odyssey, a couple of acclaimed indie dramas and a Hong Kong action classic on Netflix, and M. Night Shyamalan’s well-received recent foray into television on Hulu. Read on for the full list:

Available for purchase

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

In his second trip to the big screen, SpongeBob SquarePants (voiced by Tom Kenny) and his familiar cohorts are engaged in a war with Mr. Krabs’ (Clancy Brown) rival when the secret Krabby Patty recipe is stolen. Now they must pay a visit to the surface world and confront an evil pirate (Antonio Banderas) to retrieve it.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play

Hard to Be a God

Russian director Aleksei German’s final film is an epic sci-fi drama about a scientist sent to a planet whose inhabitants have regressed into the dark ages.

Available now on: iTunes, Vudu

New on Netflix

Fruitvale Station

Michael B. Jordan and Octavia L. Spencer star in this Certified Fresh drama based on the true story of a young man killed by BART police on New Year’s Day 2009.

Available now on: Netflix

In the Bedroom

Sissy Spacek and Tom Wilkinson star in this Oscar-nominated drama about a couple dealing with a sudden family tragedy.

Available now on: Netflix

The Killer

Chow Yun Fat stars in John Woo’s action-packed blood-and-bullet ballet about a hitman with a conscience and the cop who’s on his trail.

Available now on: Netflix

Late Phases

Ethan Embry and Tom Noonan star in this horror movie about a werewolf that terrorizes a retirement community.

Available now on:

New on Hulu

Wayward Pines: Season One

M. Night Shyamalan’s supernatural series stars Matt Dillon as a Secret Service agent who stumbles into a mysterious town he cannot seem to leave.

Available now on: Hulu

Tyrant: Season One

Adam Rayner stars in this drama about the son of a Middle Eastern dictator who returns home from the US after 20 years and finds himself embroiled in political controversy.

Available now on: Hulu

New on Amazon Prime

Star Trek Into Darkness

This time out, it’s up to the crew of the Enterprise to hunt down a mysterious adversary who has perpetrated an act of intergalactic terrorism — and who has ambitions to destroy the Starfleet.

Available now on: Amazon Prime

After a record-breaking opening, Fifty Shades of Grey followed up with an almost record-breaking collapse, but has still generated a tremendous amount of money around the world. Newcomers opened with so-so to poor numbers.

Falling 72.7% from last weekend’s spectacular opening, Universal’s dirty little film Fifty Shades of Grey brought in an estimated $23.2M this weekend, bringing its total domestic cume to $130M. Its nearly 73% drop ties it at number two for biggest drops for films playing on over 3,000 screens. Overseas the film held up better falling only 57% to $68M bringing its international totals to $280M for a worldwide cume of $410M. It was the number one movie in over 50 markets across the globe. Opening weekend demand for the film was obviously overwhelming and the second weekend drop was going to be big, but I think the studio was hoping it wouldn’t be this big. Still, in North America alone the film should reach the $175-200M mark with sequels already in the works.

Second place for a second straight weekend belonged to Fox’s Kingsman: The Secret Service which fell 51% to an estimated $17.5M bringing its total up to $67M. At this rate it should easily cross the $100M mark which is a pretty good accomplishment for a film that was counter-programming for an S&M film. Third place once again belonged to The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge out of Water which fell 51% to $15.5M, according to estimates, bringing its cume to $125M. The first movie, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie made $85M total when it was released in 2004. Even adjusted for inflation, this second film is doing much, much better. I’m going to presume it won’t be another 10 years before we see SpongeBob back on the big screen.

Newcomers sandwiched the biggest hit of the holiday season starting with a close race for fourth between Disney’s McFarland, USA and Lionsgate’s The DUFF. Currently the Kevin Costner-led cross country flick is in fourth place opening to an estimated $11.3M from 2,755 screens for a per screen average of $4,107. But close behind are the mean girls from The DUFF which opened to an estimated $11M from 2,575 screens for a stronger per screen average of $4,282. Considering their respective budgets (a reported $17M for McFarland, USA and $8.5M for The DUFF), the girls have to be seen as more successful than the boys. Both had surprisingly strong CinemaScores of an A and an A- respectively which should lead to stronger holds in the upcoming weeks.

Sixth place belonged to Oscar hopeful and runaway success American Sniper which dropped 41% to an estimated $9.6M this weekend, bringing its total to an astounding $319M. If it somehow manages to sneak in and steal the Best Picture Oscar, that number could grow much higher since, anecdotally, there are still a large number of people who haven’t seen the film. Even without a Best Picture bump, American Sniper has defied all expectations and it is still on target to become the top grossing film of 2014, which I doubt anyone would have predicted a year ago.

Opening in seventh place with a resounding thud was the unnecessary sequel Hot Tub Time Machine 2. Opening on 2,880 screens, the film took in an estimated $5.8M for a per screen average of $2,014. The first film opened to $14M in March of 2010 and ended up with $50M theatrically and a quasi-cult following on home video. I don’t expect the same for the sequel as the CinemaScore was a C- which is really hard to get unless people truly hate what they’ve seen. I would not expect a trilogy ender for this series.

Falling 60% in its third weekend was the Wachowski siblings sci-fi extravaganza Jupter Ascending which brought in an additional $3.6M, according to estimates, bringing its cume up to a hugely disappointing $39M. The Benedict Cumberbatch-led The Imitation Game was in ninth place this weekend in its 13th weekend of release, taking in an estimated $2.5M, bringing its cume up to $83M for the Weinstein Co. And rounding out the top ten was another Weinstein release, Paddington which fell 43% from last weekend to an estimated $2.3M, bringing its total up to $67M.

Outside of the top 10, Julianne Moore’s trip to Oscar stardom Still Alice added 263 screens and gained 28% from last weekend taking in an estimated $2.1M bringing its cume to a modest $8M.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $102.5M which was up 8.8% from last year when The Lego Movie remained at #1 for a third straight weekend with $31.3M; and up 21.8% from 2013 when Identity Thief reclaimed the top spot with $14M.

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This weekend, Clint Eastwood’s runaway blockbuster and two new action films were no match for the animated comedy The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water which rocketed to number one in North America with a spectacular debut of an estimated $56M. It was the second largest opening weekend ever for an animated film in February behind only The LEGO Movie‘s $69.1M from this same frame last year. With the Presidents Day holiday coming up next week plus many schools closing for winter breaks later this month, the road ahead looks promising for SpongeBob. The PG-rated project cost $74M to produce.

Competition was not tough. The only film to succeed with families this year has been Paddington, which is old now, and the last major animated film was Thanksgiving’s Penguins of Madagascar, which performed poorly. In fact, SpongeBob opened better than nine of the last ten toons from DreamWorks Animation. Since Baymax hit theaters three months ago, there has not been a single toon that audiences were truly excited for.

Following its three-week reign, Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper dropped to second but still posted a sensational hold dipping only 21% to an estimated $24.2M. Cume to date is now a staggering $282.3M for Sniper, which has just surpassed The Matrix Reloaded to become the second highest grossing R-rated film of all-time behind only The Passion of the Christ. The Bradley Cooper vehicle has also now grossed more than all the other Best Picture Oscar nominees combined. Making it to the $350M neighborhood seems likely.

The latest big-budget flop from the Wachowski siblings Jupiter Ascending crashed and burned this weekend opening to just $19M, according to estimates, taking third place. Costing over $175M to produce, the sci-fi action pic averaged $5,973 from 3,181 sites and had help from higher 3D and IMAX ticket prices. Recent big-budget action flops like After Earth, John Carter, Battleship, and The Lone Ranger all opened better than Jupiter.

This was the third consecutive time the Wachowskis were given a huge bag of cash to make an effects-driven action film which ultimately was rejected by audiences. Following 2003’s Matrix sequels, they had Speed Racer in 2008 and Cloud Atlas in 2012. All films were from Warner Bros. These last three duds look to end up with combined domestic grosses of only about $115M while having combined budgets of over $400M with much more on top of that for marketing. International grosses help, of course, but these are three money-losing ventures in a row. It will be interesting to see if the studio continues to do business with the sibling filmmakers any more.

Another new effects-heavy action epic rejected by moviegoers followed in fourth place. The historical adventure Seventh Son bowed to just $7.1M, according to estimates, for a dreary $2,470 average from a wide 2,875 locations. With an estimated production cost of $95M, the Universal release was utterly rejected by domestic audiences. Horrendous reviews did not help the PG-13 pic, nor did slotting the much-delayed film against another effects-driven action offering. Studio research showed that the few who did turn out came from Jupiter‘s demo — 61% male and 53% over 30.

Despite the arrival of Squidward and pals, the family pic Paddington held up well dropping 35% to an estimated $5.4M raising the cume up to $57.3M for The Weinstein Co. Paramount’s low-cost Project Almanac dropped 36% from Super Bowl weekend to an estimated $5.3M. The $12M-budgeted pic from producer Michael Bay looks headed for a $25M finish.

Off a scant 3%, The Imitation Game continued to cash in on Oscar nominations and collected an estimated $4.9M for a $74.7M total to date for The Weinstein Co. This one has no real expectation of actually winning the biggest prizes, but is using awards attention to cash in at the box office from adults wanting to see high profile contenders with the Academy’s seal of approval. Close behind was The Wedding Ringer with an estimated $4.8M, down just 16%, with a $55.1M sum for Sony.

Falling 27% in its second weekend was Kevin Costner’s Black or White with an estimated $4.5M and a weak $13.1M overall for Relativity. Universal’s JLo thriller The Boy Next Door rounded out the top ten with an estimated $4.1M, down 33%, and a $30.9M cume.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $135.3M which was up 2% from last year when The LEGO Movie opened at number one with $69.1M; and up a sizable 64% from 2013 when Identity Thief debuted on top with $34.6M.

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In Theaters This Week:

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water


Rating: PG, for mild action and rude humor.

This second feature-length SpongeBob SquarePants movie is zippy and zany and colorful and everything you want if you’re a fan of the long-running television series. This time, SpongeBob (voiced as always by Tom Kenny) and his pals must leave the watery safety of Bikini Bottom and venture onto dry land to track down the culprit who stole the secret formula for everyone’s favorite fast-food treat, the Krabby Patty. (Antonio Banderas appears in live-action sequences as a goofily villainous pirate.) The pop culture references and subversive humor will go over kids’ heads. There are a few gross-out jokes but they’re harmless. I brought my 5-year-old son and one of his friends to see this and they had a blast — jumping up and down, laughing and dancing. This is a good time for the whole family.

Jupiter Ascending


Rating: PG-13, for some violence, sequences of sci-fi action, some suggestive content and partial nudity.

A long, noisy and totally nutso sci-fi opera from the writing-directing Wachowskis, Lana and Andy. Mila Kunis stars as a Chicago maid who learns she’s actually the queen of the universe. Channing Tatum plays the half-man, half-dog protector who zooms around on jet-powered boots to save her whenever she’s in trouble (which is often). Big, dangerous chases and battles ensue as various members of a royal galactic family try to manipulate and even kill Kunis’ character to seize the kingdom. The sheer volume and running time will probably make this prohibitive for a lot of younger viewers. It’s just an overwhelming experience. There’s also a bit of nudity in a bathtub scene. More mature tweens with a taste for this kind of science fiction/fantasy material might dig it, though.

Seventh Son


Rating: PG-13, for intense fantasy violence and action throughout, frightening images and brief strong language.

In this supernatural action spectacle set in a distant past, Jeff Bridges stars as a mysterious knight who imprisoned a powerful witch (Julianne Moore) centuries ago. But now she’s escaped, and she gathers her various nefarious minions to seek revenge. The film is loosely based on the young adult series of Last Apprentice novels, so tweens may be familiar with the material, but much of this will probably be too visually intense and frightening for young viewers. The witch transforms into several scary creatures and there’s quite a bit of medieval swordplay and death. There’s also some romance, passionate kissing and implied sex. Probably best suited for mature tweens and up.


This week at the movies, we’ve got spunky sea creatures (The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, with voice work from Tom Kenny and Bill Fagerbakke), a would-be space queen (Jupiter Ascending, starring Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum), and a witch slayer (Seventh Son, starring Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore). What do the critics have to say?

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water


He lives in a pineapple under the sea, but this weekend, Nickelodeon’s favorite invertebrate in trousers will emerge from the ocean to the delight of children everywhere. Critics say The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water is funny and should satisfy the faithful, but probably won’t win any new converts. In his second trip to the big screen, SpongeBob SquarePants (voiced by Tom Kenny) and his familiar cohorts are engaged in a war with Mr. Krabs’ (Clancy Brown) rival when the secret Krabby Patty recipe is stolen. Now they must pay a visit to the surface world and confront an evil pirate (Antonio Banderas) to retrieve it. The pundits say The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water is gleefully zany and packed with goofy gags, even if it all feels a bit familiar and calculated to appeal to existing fans.

Jupiter Ascending


No one can deny that Andy and Lana Wachowski have a certain flair for eye-popping spectacle, and according to critics, their latest sci-fi effort, Jupiter Ascending, is no exception; if only they had developed a more cohesive story to frame all those pretty visuals. Mila Kunis stars as Jupiter Jones, a sad, unlucky janitor who discovers she’s intergalactic royalty when an alien bounty hunter (Channing Tatum) swoops into her life to whisk her into space. Jupiter soon finds herself thrust in the middle of an alien sibling power struggle, with her life and the fate of the Earth hanging in the balance. The pundits say Jupiter Ascending is a marvel to behold on the big screen, but its muddled narrative fails to match the execution of its impressive special effects. (Check out this week’s 24 Frames gallery of epic sci-fi films.)

Seventh Son


Even Oscar contenders (and winners) star in a dud every once in a while, but rarely is the failure as epic as Seventh Son, a supernatural fantasy that critics say strands its capable cast in a flashy but derivative and exceedingly dull battle between good and evil. Jeff Bridges stars as Master Gregory, a witch-hunting knight who takes on farmboy Tom Ward (Ben Barnes) as a new apprentice when Mother Malkin (Julianne Moore), the sinister sorceress he once imprisoned, escapes and decides to unleash her vengeance upon the world. Will Gregory train his new pupil quickly enough to battle the forces of dark magic effectively? The pundits say Seventh Son is full of sound and fury that signifies nothing, topped by a couple of silly performances from otherwise first-class actors, and the final result is far more lifeless than it should be. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we look back at Bridges’ 10 best-reviewed films.)

What’s Hot On TV:

Critics say Better Call Saul (100 percent) is a quirky, dark character study that manages to stand on its own without being overshadowed by the series that spawned it.

Critics say once the cliched gags of Fresh off the Boat (Certified Fresh at 88 percent) are superceded by a grounded truthfulness, the series evolves into a humorously charming family sitcom.

Thanks to a liberal dose of propulsive, bloody action and enough compelling character moments to reward longtime fans, The Walking Dead‘s (Certified Fresh at 97 percent) fifth season continues to deliver top-notch entertainment.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine, a documentary chronicling the life of the gay University of Wyoming student who was beaten to death in 1998, is at 100 percent.
  • 1971, a documentary about the group of citizens who broke into an FBI office and exposed the agency’s illegal surveillance program in 1971, is at 92 percent.
  • Ballet 422, a documentary depicting life in the world of the New York City Ballet, is at 86 percent.
  • Marjane Satrapi‘s The Voices, starring Ryan Reynolds and Gemma Arterton in a dark comedy about a serial killer who talks to his pets, is at 79 percent.
  • Enter the Dangerous Mind, starring Gina Rodriguez and Jake Hoffman in a psychological thriller about an unstable electronic musician who falls for a woman he fears might publicly ridicule him after a failed intimate encounter, is at 30 percent.
  • Love, Rosie, starring Lily Collins and Sam Claflin in a romantic comedy about childhood friends who spend their lives repeatedly flirting with the idea of a relationship together, is at 24 percent.
  • Mad as Hell, a documentary profile of Cenk Uygur, the outspoken founder of The Young Turks online news program, is at 22 percent.
  • Outcast, starring Nicolas Cage and Hayden Christensen in a medieval action-adventure about a fugitive prince and the crusader who protects him from assassination, is at 17 percent.

Finally, props to Andrew LaPlant and Alex Meyer for coming the closest to The Loft‘s 10 percent Tomatometer.

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