Sorry, Star-Lord. Marvel’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ was just passed by ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay’ as the highest grossing film of 2014. And, making that feat all the more impressive: ‘Mockingjay’ reached that mark in just 62 days, without the help of 3D or IMAX.
Now that James Cameron has promised that the new ‘Avatar’ movies will make you “sh– yourself,” he’s going to be pretty busy for the next few years trying to make sure the sequels live up to that very, um, specific hype. And since he’ll be preoccupied, he’s stepped down from directing true-life drama ‘The Dive,’ passing directorial duties off to ‘The Hunger Games’ director Francis Lawrence. As it turns out, another Lawrence is now involved in ‘The Dive’: Jennifer Lawrence will reunite with her ‘Hunger Games’ director to play the lead in the upcoming project.
The other day we brought you the not-so-shocking revelation that Adam Sandler is the most overpaid actor in Hollywood (for the second year in a row!), but what about the actors who made 2014 a great time at the movies? We’re talking about the leading men and women who aren’t necessarily the highest-paid, but who have brought in the most money at the box office—proving their successful ability to draw millions of people to see their films, sometimes more than once. It probably won’t surprise you to learn that your imaginary BFFs Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt are at the top of the list of the highest-grossing actors of 2014.
Jennifer Lawrence is one of the biggest movie stars working right now, thanks to her roles in ‘The Hunger Games’ and ‘X-Men’ franchises, and more awards-ready fare like ‘American Hustle.’ Similarly, Amy Adams is also a pretty big deal, having been nominated for an Oscar five times now. It might surprise you to learn that Lawrence and Adams are still paid less than their male counterparts, even though they are two of our most acclaimed and beloved stars. In another leak from the massive Sony e-mail hack, we’ve learned that the reach of the depressing gender wage gap extends to these celebrated actresses.
Just the other day, it was revealed that Jennifer Lawrence has met with Paul Feig, the director of the upcoming all-female ‘Ghostbusters’ reboot. Rebel Wilson also admitted to meeting with her ‘Bridesmaids’ director about the film. And now, thanks to another report on the hacked e-mails from Sony, we know that the ‘Ghostbusters’ reboot has attracted interest from even more talented women: Emma Stone, Melissa McCarthy, Lizzy Caplan, and Amy Schumer all want in on this exciting new project.
It’s safe to assume that we’re going to start hearing that just about every talented woman has met or talked with Paul Feig in the coming months, as the director begins casting his all-female ‘Ghostbusters’ reboot. This week, Rebel Wilson said that she met with Feig about a possible role in the film, and now Jennifer Lawrence admits that she also met with Feig recently. As an added bonus, Lawrence had no idea that ‘Ghostbusters 2’ was a real thing.
This post spawned from a curious desire to know what person appeared in the highest grossing films of the year. An extremely liberal definition of “appearance” was used: cameos and voice roles both count. So, basically, all a person has to do is actually appear in (or speak in) a movie and that movie’s worldwide box office numbers count toward that person's total.
As she recently told David Letterman, Jennifer Lawrence’s biggest fear is singing in public. Not death, not small, enclosed spaces, not tracker-jacker venom; singing in public. This posed a particular problem for the young star in ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1’ because the script called for Katniss Everdeen to singing a song to her fellow rebels. And Lawrence had to actually sing it in front of the rest of the cast, a capella, with no voice double. The song, “The Hanging Tree,” is important to the movie. It becomes a rallying cry for the growing movement against the tyrannical President Snow and the rest of the Capitol. It needed to be real and heartfelt. And it needed to come from Lawrence.
The penultimate entry into the sprawling and blood-stained 'Hunger Games' franchise takes a decidedly hip and totally en vogue approach to its final two movies—splitting one (relatively slim) novel into two feature films, all the better to dive deeper into the burning revolution headed up by a reluctant Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), further explore the various districts that make up Panem, and just make piles of cash in the process. ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part I’ might be half a story (and our review says as much), but it's pretty remarkable that screenwriters Danny Strong and Peter Craig were able to squeeze out an entire 123-minute feature film from 187 pages of a single novel (yes, we counted).
‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1’ is a movie comprised almost entirely of deleted scenes. As it says right in the title, this isn’t the final chapter of ‘The Hunger Games’ series; it’s just the first half of the final chapter, and that’s exactly what it feels like. It’s table setting for a meal that won’t be served until next November. ‘Mockingjay - Part 1’ is good-looking, well-acted, and utterly inessential.