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Heirs to the box-office throne.

Heirs to the box-office throne. (photo)

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The LA Times has good news for us: this weekend, “Dear John” could knock “Avatar” from its number one spot on the top of the box office charts! If not, “Valentine’s Day” the weekend after will certainly do the trick. As an afterthought, they note that “If it is indeed the movie that pushes ‘Avatar’ out of first place, ‘Valentine’s Day’ will be the second straight New Line film to unseat a Cameron-directed smash — 12 years ago, ‘Titanic’ was finally dethroned by New Line’s ‘Lost in Space.’ “

This made me laugh. It has to be as useless a piece of seemingly significant trivia as all that NBA crap about two-game slumps and records in home stadiums against opposing teams going back to 1996 or whatever. Also, no one actually remembers “Lost In Space”; it was a big old flop most people didn’t see, a punchline from the moment it came out. But it fits: most of the movies that perform the seemingly “important” task of dethroning the champ are worthless.

For example: in 1982, the wide release of “E.T.” (number three domestic of all time, adjusted for inflation) was bumped off the top in its eighth week by “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” the dimly remembered Burt Reynolds-Dolly Parton musical. “E.T.” kept returning to the top though, being knocked off multiple times before resurfacing. And the movies that kicked it off? “Friday the 13th Part III,” “An Officer and a Gentleman” (twice), “Amityville II: The Possession.” That tells us a lot about what mainstream moviegoing in 1982, but it means nothing about the lasting impact of “E.T.”

02042010_broncobilly.jpgWant more? In 1980, “The Empire Strikes Back” was knocked from the top during its opening limited release by the unholy duo of “Bronco Billy” and the long-forgotten Dudley Moore comedy “Wholly Moses!” In wide release, it was dethroned by…”Smokey and the Bandit II.” “The Return of the Jedi” was first kicked off the number one spot by “Superman III.” “Raiders of the Lost Ark” was knocked down by “Superman II” and “The Cannonball Run.” “Jurassic Park” went down under the body blows of “The Firm.” And so on.

There’s no harm in this kind of number-crunching and game-playing, certainly; it gives people something to write about. But it’s completely irrelevant that “Avatar” won’t beat “Titanic” ‘s 15-weeks-straight number one status. That kind of information just doesn’t matter, except to extrapolate what crappy filmgoing was like in a given year aside from the highlights we’re all already familiar with.

[Photos: “Dear John,” Sony Pictures Releasing, 2010; “Bronco Billy,” 1980, Warner Bros]

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…


IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.


IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).


IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.


IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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