State of Play

(2009)

Oscar® winner Russell Crowe leads an all-star cast in a blistering thriller about a rising congressman and an investigative journalist embroiled in a case of seemingly unrelated, brutal murders. Crowe plays D.C. reporter Cal McAffrey, whose street smarts lead him to untangle a mystery of murder and collusion among some of the nation’s most promising political and corporate figures in "State of Play," from acclaimed director Kevin Macdonald ("The Last King of Scotland").

BOX OFFICE BEAT DOWN: Audiences Get ‘Obsessed’ with $28.5 Million

Forcing an incredible upset at the box office this weekend, Beyonce Knowles went toe to toe with Ali Larter in one of the greatest catfights ever witnessed on the silver screen and won the top spot with $28.5 million. It is the eighth highest opening weekend earner of the year, surprising most industry insiders with its ability to win an audience. It certainly proved that Beyonce Knowles can open bigger than Zac Efron, whose body-morphing comedy 17 Again took a hit, dipping down into second place for its second weekend on the charts. The film pulled in another $11.6 million, bringing its cumulative grossed to $39.9 million.

Three other new high profile films flooded the box office this past weekend. Fighting was number three with $11.4 million, while Robert Downey Jr.'s drama The Soloist tried to keep up in fourth place with $9.7 million. Disneynature's Earth, while playing on half as many screens as its competitors, only managed to climb into the number five spot with $8.5 million.

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BOX OFFICE BEAT DOWN: ‘17 Again’ Celebrates Its Birthday with $24 Million at the Box Office

The incredible comedic chemistry shared between Zac Efron and Thomas Lennon was strong enough to push 17 Again to the top of the box office charts this weekend. The hilarious family comedy took in an estimated $24 million, giving it the twelfth biggest opening of 2009. This week's other big release, State of Play, followed in on its heels with just over $14 million. The Russell Crowe/Ben Affleck thriller was certainly an audience favorite, though critics have been split down the middle.

This week's only other major release was the Lionsgate sequel Crank High Voltage. Chev Chelios returned to the big screen, but audiences didn't seem to care, as the high-octane adventure ride landed in sixth place with just $6.5 million to its name. The original opened in 2006 to the tune of $10.4 million. While the film has been greeted by critical success, it is the type of franchise that will flourish on the home market. So if you were one of the few that saw it this weekend, don't rule out a third chapter. It could still happen.

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CONTEST: Win Big Prizes from ‘State of Play’

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Oscar winner Russell Crowe leads an all-star cast in a blistering thriller about a rising congressman and an investigative journalist embroiled in a case of seemingly unrelated, brutal murders. Crowe plays D.C. reporter Cal McAffrey, whose street smarts lead him to untangle a mystery of murder and collusion among some of the nation's most promising political and corporate figures in State of Play, from acclaimed director Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland).

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EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Ben Affleck and Russell Crowe Engage in a ‘State of Play’

State of Play opens this Friday, April 17th, at a theater near you!

State of Play was released April 17th, 2009.

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Ben Affleck Enters a ‘State of Play’

Edward Norton has left the Kevin Macdonald drama State of Play due to a prior commitment. According to Variety, Ben Affleck is in talks to replace the actor.

Affleck, replacing Norton, will play a fast-rising politician who is caught up in a murder conspiracy. Russell Crowe replaced Pitt, taking on the role of a journalist who leads a newspaper's investigation into the killing. The film will begin shooting in January.

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Russell Crowe Is Set for ‘State of Play’

After Brad Pitt dropped out of State of Play, director Kevin Macdonald was desperate to get another star attached as the project was heading into production. Russell Crowe was approached, and according to Variety, has now agreed to appear in the film.

The film will begin shooting early this month in Los Angeles and Washington D.C.

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Universal Wants Russell Crowe for ‘State of Play’

Crowe will have to fit the film into his immediate schedule, which looks very tight. He begins shooting the Ridley Scott Robin Hood riff Nottingham this March. So the actor does have three months free. He must accept the offer now to keep the other actors already signed to the film in place.

State of Play was released April 17th, 2009.

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Brad Pitt Drops Out of ‘State of Play’

Brad Pitt has pulled out of a pay or play deal on State of Play, putting the Universal Pictures drama in a state of flux, according to Variety.

Pitt bowed out of the film early Wednesday, following two weeks of struggle and meetings with director Kevin Macdonald that prevented the film from making its original Nov. 15 production start date.

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