The classic children’s series “Sesame Street” celebrates four decades of teaching children to read, count and sing with the new two-disc DVD set “Sesame Street: 40 Years of Sunny Days.” The DVDs include five hours of favorite moments and songs, celebrity segments and backstage footage.
Families also can add the latest Disney/Pixar release, “Up,” to their DVD collections today, while comic book fans can invest in the Ultimate Edition of the “Watchmen” film.
In music news, rockers Kings of Leon, who have Oklahoma ties, are releasing their performance DVD “Live at the O2 London, England” today. New albums from Bon Jovi, Switchfoot and Tori Amos also are among the new releases.
In books, Stephen King’s new novel, “Under the Dome,” joins memoirs by Andre Agassi and the late George Carlin on shelves this week.
Here is a list of the week’s new CDs, DVDs and books from Amazon.com, VideoETA.com and BarnesandNoble.com:
Bon Jovi, “The Circle / When We Were Beautiful” (Special edition CD/DVD).
Tori Amos, “Midwinter Graces” (CD/DVD set).
AC/DC, “Backtracks” (CD/DVD box set).
The Killers, “Live at Royal Albert Hall” (CD/DVD set).
Switchfoot, “Hello Hurricane.”
Flyleaf, “Memento Mori.”
Britney Spears, “Britney Spears: The Singles Collection.”
Echo & the Bunnymen, “The Fountain.”
The Jackson 5, “I Want You Back! Unreleased Masters.”
Kings of Leon Live at the O2 London, England
The Accidental Husband
Andy Barker, P.I.: The Complete Series
JAG: The Ninth Season
The Merry Gentleman
Nash Bridges: The Third Season
Sesame Street: 40 Years of Sunny Days
The Ugly Truth
Watchmen (Ultimate Edition)
“Under the Dome” by Stephen King.
“Biggest Loser Won Me Back My Life” by Ali Vincent.
“Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays” by Zadie Smith.
“Fall to Pieces: A Memoir of Drugs, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and Mental Illness” by Mary Forsberg Weiland.
“Fly by Wire: The Geese, the Glide, the Miracle on the Hudson” by William Langewiesche.
“Ice: A Novel” by Linda Howard.
“Last Words: A Memoir” by George Carlin.
“New York” by Edward Rutherfurd.
“Open: An Autobiography” by Andre Agassi.
“When China Rules the World: The End of the Western World and the Rise of the Middle Kingdom” by Martin Jacques.
“Wishin’ and Hopin’: A Christmas Story” by Wally Lamb.
3D here with your New Releases for this week. In DVDs this week, the big release is the “Watchmen (Director’s Cut).” It must be significantly different than the theatrical release because the runtime has increased by 24 minutes.
After the success of their first venture together, “Silent Thunder”, best-selling author Iris Johansen has once again teamed up with her son Roy for a new novel out this week.
In CDs, there is a special new box set of Michael Jackson’s music out as an import. Originally intended to be released to coincide with his comeback tour, it is now being put out to accommodate the huge surge in sales of the deceased superstar’s music.
Here is a list of the DVDs, CDs, and Books out this week (from Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com):
“Watchmen (Director’s Cut)”
“Psych: The Complete Third Season”
“Pushing Daisies: The Complete Second Season”
“Monk: Season Seven”
“Stargate: SG-1: Children of the Gods”
“Charlie’s Angels: Complete Fourth Season”
“Prison Break: The Final Break”
“The Collection (5 Disc Set)” by Michael Jackson
“Here We Go Again” by Demi Lovato
“Under the Covers: Vol. 2″ by Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs
“Battlefield” by Jordin Sparks
“Burn Burn” by Our Lady Peace
“Murder by Pride” by Stryper
“High Hopes and Heartbreaks” by Brooke White
“All Join In” by Kenny Loggins.
“Storm Cycle” by Iris and Roy Johansen
“Twenties Girl” by Sophie Kinsella (look for BAM’s review of this coming soon)
“Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?” by Neil Gaiman
“A Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers” by Lawrence G. McDonald
“The Defector” by Daniel Silva
“Fire and Ice (Joanna Brady Series No. 14)” by J.A. Jance
“Getting It Through My Thick Skull: Why I Stayed, What I Learned, and What Millions of People Involved with Sociopaths Need to Know” by Julie McCarron
“Never Make the Same Mistake Twice: Lessons on Love and Life Learned the the Hard Way” by Nene Leakes
After a few weeks of down business, the box office rebounded this week with the premiere of Monsters vs Aliens. Thanks to the pricier 3D tickets, this family friendly fare had the biggest debut of the year at $59.3 million.
Also having a good first week was the horror offering The Haunting in Connecticut with a better than expected $23 million. The action film 12 Rounds suffered a first round knockout with only $5.3 million.
The total box office numbers for the top ten films this week:
1.) Monsters vs Aliens $59.3 million
2.) The Haunting in Connecticut $23 million
3.) Knowing $14.7 million
4.) I Love You, Man $12.7 million
5.) Duplicity $7.67 million
6.) Race to Witch Mountain $5.8 million
7.) 12 Rounds $5.33 million
8.) Watchmen $2.73 million
9.) Taken $2.7 million
10.) The Last House on the Left $2.64 million
Nicolas Cage’s apocalyptic thriller “Knowing” opened as the No. 1 movie at the box office over the weekend, according to the Associated Press. The Summit Entertainment release debuted with $24.8 million in ticket sales.
It was another success for the small studio, which made its mark last year with the blockbuster vampire romance “Twilight.” The “Twilight” DVD went on sale Saturday, with fans of the movie and Stephenie Meyer, who wrote the book series on which the film is based, lining up at midnight.
“Knowing” beat out two other new releases. The “bromantic” comedy ”I Love You, Man” debuted at No. 2 with $18 million. It stars Paul Rudd and Jason Segel.
The corporate thriller “Duplicity,” starring Clive Owen and Julia Roberts, opened in third with $14.4 million.
Taking into account 2009′s higher admission prices, the box office take was down 5 percent compared with 2008, the second straight down weekend.
Paul Dergarabedian, president of box office tracker Media By Numbers, told the AP he doesn’t believe the decline indicates the end of an otherwise stellar year at the box office. He expects this weekend’s debut of the 3D animated movie ”Monsters vs. Aliens” should be strong.
Here are the top 10 movies, from the AP:
1. “Knowing,” $24.8 million.
2. “I Love You, Man,” $18 million.
3. “Duplicity,” $14.4 million.
4. “Race to Witch Mountain,” $13 million.
5. “Watchmen,” $6.7 million.
6. “The Last House on the Left,” $5.9 million.
7. “Taken,” $4.1 million.
8. “Slumdog Millionaire,” $2.7 million.
9. “Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail,” $2.5 million.
10. “Coraline,” $2.1 million.
It was a big weekend for remakes at the box office.
“Race to Witch Mountain,” the “re-imagining” of the 1970s Disney flick “Escape to Witch Mountain,” opened at No. 1 with $24.4 million, according to the Associated Press.
The remake of the ’70s horror movie “The Last House on the Left” was in third with $14.1 million.
Last week’s No. 1 movie, the film version of the acclaimed graphic novel “Watchmen,” nabbed $17.8 million for second place.
“Witch Mountain” fared better than anticipated. Still, Hollywood had its first down weekend in six weeks, according to the AP.
Factoring in 2009′s higher admission prices, the total take was down 16 percent compared to the same weekend last year, making it the first down weekend in six weeks. Paul Dergarabedian, president of Media By Numbers, told the AP that the difference was the $45 million opening last year for the animated film “Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who.”
I was no big fan of “Horton” – movie remakes of Dr. Seuss books define the concept of complicating art that is beautiful in its simplicity – but I can’t help but notice that 2009 has been short on animated films. It’s spring break here in Oklahoma and it seems wrong that we don’t have the option of catching an animated movie. That will change this weekend when DreamWorks’ 3D flick “Monsters vs. Aliens” opens.
Here are the weekend’s top 10 movies, from the AP:
1. “Race to Witch Mountain,” Disney, $24,402,214, 3,187 locations, $7,657 average, $24,402,214, one week.
2. “Watchmen,” Warner Bros, $17,817,301, 3,611 locations, $4,934 average, $85,751,993, two weeks.
3. “The Last House On the Left,” Universal, $14,118,685, 2,401 locations, $5,880 average, $14,118,685, one week.
4. “Taken,” Fox, $6,568,651, 2,858 locations, $2,298 average, $126,752,054, seven weeks.
5. “Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail,” Lionsgate, $5,108,532, 2,203 locations, $2,319 average, $83,187,594, four weeks.
6. “Slumdog Millionaire,” Fox Searchlight, $5,002,777, 2,578 locations, $1,941 average, $132,602,820, 18 weeks.
7. “Paul Blart: Mall Cop,” Sony/columbia, $3,119,151, 2,281 locations, $1,367 average, $137,785,983, nine weeks.
8. “He’s Just Not That Into You,” Warner Bros., $2,939,484, 1,890 locations, $1,555 average, $89,038,259, six weeks.
9. “Coraline,” Focus Features, $2,718,231, 1,768 locations, $1,537 average, $69,240,852, six weeks.
10. “Miss March,” Fox, $2,409,156, 1,742 locations, $1,383 average, $2,409,156, one week.
The entertainment staffers at The Oklahoman and NewsOK talk about the opening weekend for “Watchmen,” band reunions such as New Kids on the Block and other news in this week’s Entertainment Roundtable. Click here to read it.
Or you can see and hear us talk about these entertainment issues in this NewsOK Entertainment Insider video:
Features writer David Zizzo has in today’s Life section a fascinating story on James Kakalios, a physics professor at the University of Minnesota who worked as a consultant on the film version of “Watchmen.” Kakalios teaches a popular freshman seminar called “Everything I Know About Physics I Learned by Reading Comic Books.” Click here to read David’s story.
“Watchmen” made $55.7 million over the weekend to nab the top spot at the box office, making Zack Snyder’s adaptation of the acclaimed graphic novel the biggest opening of the year so far, according to the Associated Press.
But the opening wasn’t quite as super as Snyder’s 2007 comic book movie “300,” which opened with $70 million.
“They’re two different movies,” Dan Fellman, head of distribution for Warner Bros., which is releasing “Watchmen,” told the AP. “This is a movie that runs two hours and 45 minutes. That really only leaves the exhibitor with one showing a night. If you have an 8 o’clock show, the next show is at midnight. So with essentially one show a night, I think this is outstanding.”
The celebrated graphic novel has many fervent fans, and many of those went to IMAX theaters to see Dr. Manhattan, Rorschach, Nite Owl and Silk Spectre on the extra-big screen. Greg Foster, chairman and president of IMAX Filmed Entertainment, told the AP “Watchmen” sold out on all 124 IMAX screens it was playing on over the weekend. It was the second largest opening in IMAX history behind “The Dark Knight.”
“Watchmen” was the only wide release over the weekend. “Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail,” which had been No. 1 for the two previous weekends, was second with $8.8 million. The kidnapping thriller “Taken,” starring Liam Neeson, was No. 3 position with $7.5 million.
“Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience” dropped from No. 2 to No. 9 at the weekend box office.
For the year, movie attendance continues to swell, with revenue at $1.9 billion, up 16 percent through the same point in 2008, according to the AP. Even accounting for 2009′s higher ticket prices, attendance is up about 14 percent over last year.
Here is the list of the weekend’s top movies, from the AP:
1. “Watchmen,” $55.7 million.
2. “Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail,” $8.8 million
3. “Taken,” $7.5 million.
4. “Slumdog Millionaire,” $6.9 million.
5. “Paul Blart: Mall Cop,” $4.1 million.
6. “He’s Just Not That Into You,” $4 million.
7. “Coraline,” $3.3 million.
8. “Confessions of a Shopaholic,” $3.1 million.
9. “Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience,” $2.8 million.
10. “Fired Up,” $2.6 million.
Listen in as George Lang and I quiz Matt Price about the new film “Watchmen” in this week’s NewsOK entertainment podcast. Click here to hear it.
Check out Matt Price’s blog Nerdage to get a total fix on this weekend’s big movie relase, “Watchmen.” Matt attended the recent press junket for the film in L.A., and he’s got his movie review, plus features on Patrick Wilson, Malin Akerman, Dave Gibbons and more.
You might say Matt’s obsessive coverage of “Watchmen” makes Rorschach’s relentless investigation into the Comedian’s death look like mild interest – but in a good way. But that would be an immensely nerdy comment, and he’s the expert nerd around here, not me.
Seriously, I’ve been reading all Matt’s coverage, and it’s really got me hyped up about seeing the hotly anticipated film. So, you should check it out.
I’m almost finished reading “Watchmen,” so I’ll be ready to see the movie very soon. If you beat me to it, please feel free to share your thoughts in the handy-dandy comments section.
The long-anticipated film adaptation of “Watchmen” opens Friday in theaters. The acclaimed graphic novel was long considered unfilmable, but “300″ director Zack Snyder apparently has pulled it off.
The buzz has been building for “Watchmen” since Snyder presented snippets at a packed panel last summer at San Diego Comic-Con. A strong ad campaign has helped keep the excitement going.
I’m currently reading the graphic novel for the first time, and it’s completely engrossing. So far, the source material has proven worthy of the hype, but will the movie?
And for those of you concerned that Warner Bros. will try to turn out a “Watchmen” sequel in the hopes of building a big-money comic-book franchise, Snyder says he’s not signing on, even if the actors are contractually obligated to. Click here to read what IMDB has to say about that.
Assistant Features Editor Matt Price (of Nerdage blog) will be offering his review and features on the movie Friday. Until then, check out these trailers and clips from “Watchmen,” posted here from YouTube: