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Monday Morning Mixer: A sad day indeed

Posted Monday, February 3, 2014 at 11:24 AM Central
Last updated Monday, February 3, 2014 at 11:42 AM Central

by John Couture

It's always difficult to process some things in this job. One of the hardest things to put into words is when Hollywood stars die young. Sadly, if repetition made the job easier, it would be the simplest thing in the world.

The fact remains that for a myriad of reasons, many Hollywood stars die before their time. That's not to say that their rate of early mortality is any greater than the overall population, it's just that because they are in the public eye their deaths seem to resonate more with more people (again, I'm not passing judgment here, it's just the way it is, whether that's wrong or right is an entirely different conversation for a different day).

So when I was preparing our Super Bowl provisions for the big day and I heard about the untimely passing of Philip Seymour Hoffman, well, it just sort of took the air out of the day, if you know what I mean. So, it's with this heavy heart that I embark upon today's MMM. Days like today really put many things in perspective.

So, please bear with me as I don't think today's MMM will be its usual volume or hold its usual comic wit. But we must move on and so we shall.

Box Office 411

Super Bowl weekend is always a weekend in which the box office takes a hit. I've never really understood why though. I mean it's sort of the perfect weekend to counter-program to the testosterone-fueled football game, but for whatever reason, it's just not a popular weekend for seeing films.

In the counter-programming department, newcomer Labor Day was a non-starter, earning a paltry $5.3 million. While the opening is better than director Jason Reitman's last offering Young Adult, it pales in comparison to his early works Juno and Up in the Air.

Labor Day was an awards season leftover that failed to gain any traction during the awards period and is now left to languish at the box office. Perhaps it will find a more suitable audience when it hits home entertainment much closer to its namesake.

The other new film this weekend That Awkward Moment, also a counter-programming film, didn't fare much better. The Zac Efron-starrer failed to gain any traction and only made $9 million, "good" enough for third place.

Ride Along enjoyed its third week in the top spot with $12.3 million, while holdover Frozen jumped from fourth to second place with $9.3 million thanks mostly to its sing-along re-release that encouraged kids to sing along with the film. Frozen is now over $360 million in total box office receipts and should overtake Despicable Me 2 sometime in the next two weeks to become the top-grossing animated film of 2013.

Quick Hitters

The Philip Seymour Hoffman news sort of overshadowed pretty much everything else this weekend in the world of Hollywood. To be honest, it's hard to get excited about reporting anything else.

What did you all think about the Super Bowl commercials? To be honest, I thought they were very pedestrian with every advertising trying to capture the sentimental audience when all I wanted to do was laugh. I did enjoy this Radio Shack ad though.

If you're still into the Transformers films, there was this ad that revealed Dinobots to the world.

Other than that, it was rather ho-hum in my opinion. It's time to go and speaking of farewells, this weekend was Seth Meyers last as head writer of SNL and host of Weekend Update. A few friends stopped by to say good bye. And on that note, I too will bid adieu. Until next week, mix well.