Another week of movie news has passed. Teen idol Lindsey Lohan gets a fashionable new role. The adaptation for the video game Doom has found a new home at Universal. And fans of the hit cartoon Dragonball Z won’t be seeing a feature film of the cartoon in the near future. But of course more than just that happened in Hollywood this week. Let’s take a look, but first lets check out the box office winners and losers.
BOX OFFICE CORNER
I guess absence does make the heart grow fonder. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban scored a mammoth opening weekend gross, even after the death of Richard Harris which lead to the picture opening this summer instead of last November, like the first two movies which were released in November of 2001 and 2002 respectively. The third Potter flick grossed an estimated $92.6 million in its opening weekend. It’s the largest opening of the three Potter movies, and it was released in the most theaters (3,855) as well. This is becoming a huge franchise, and even so powerful to scare away competing movies, with The Chronicles of Riddick and Mindhunters moving their release dates so they won’t have to go up against Mr. Potter. And with this kind of an opening weekend, can you really blame them?
There were only two other movies with 8-figure grosses this weekend. Shrek 2 was in a very distant second place, grossing an estimated $37 million in its third weekend. It set another record this weekend, though, becoming the fastest to reach $300 million, achieving the milestone in only 18 days. The Dreamworks flick is now at $313.5 million, and closing in on the highest-grossing picture of the year, behind The Passion of the Christ at $369.7 million. And The Day After Tomorrow came in third place this weekend, grossing an estimated $28.1 million in its second weekend. The disaster flick dropped a rather large 59.1 percent, but they did make their money back, with its total at $128.7 million from its $125 million budget. But still, I don’t think it will make much more in the coming weeks…
The Polar Express:If you saw Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban this weekend, you probably saw this trailer. This animated flick, based off the popular children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg, looks like it will be a big winner over the holiday season. It sounds like Tom Hanks does damn near all the voices for this movie, but the animation looks wonderful and the story about a secret train to the North Pole sounds like a great tale for the whole family. The Polar Express opens on November 19.
Yu-Gi-Oh: I’m not familiar with this TV show, but the trailer for this movie looks like an introduction on the TV show. There’s just some footage set to some really cheesy music. We get no information on the plot, and it’s really stupid. It just simply doesn’t look like a movie trailer at all. Hopefully we’ll get a new trailer before the flick opens on August 13, because this trailer just isn’t even worth watching at all.
Farenheit 9/11: This trailer is well worth watching though. It’s a great trailer, and the movie is fast becoming one of the most anticipated movies of the year, after being the first documentary to win the Palm D’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. This is sure to raise loads of controversy, and it could possibly be a snag in President Bush’s re-election campaign. The last shot in this trailer is just priceless, and this looks to be a great documentary. The temperature will definitely rise on June 25 when this hits the theaters.
The Aviator:The trailer for Martin Scorsese’s next bid for his first Oscar is next, and this is one great trailer. This biopic of the eccentric Howard Hughes features a great cast (Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Beckinsale, John C. Reilly, Jude Law, Cate Blanchett, among many others), a top-notch screenwriter (John Logan) and, of course, the direction of one the best directors ever, Mr. Scorsese. This looks like a wonderful movie, and in this weak of a year for Oscar competition, this just might be Mr. Scorsese’s year to bring home the coveted gold man. The Aviator opens on December 17.
Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events:If ever there was a role just tailor-made for funnyman Jim Carrey, this would have to be it. This long-titled movie looks like a great vehicle for the quirky Carrey, and it very well could be a big winner over the Christmas season. Carrey pulls an Eddie Murphy here, playing multiple characters, and the story looks pretty good as well. This movie is another “fun for the whole family” flick, and it will probably be a good one. Lemony Snicket can be found in theaters everywhere on Christmas Day.
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
The best news of this week is the news of David Mamet’s next project. Mamet is one of my favorite filmmakers (See: State and Main, Heist), and just the title of this one alone – Joan of Bark: The Dog that Saved France is simply hilarious. And what’s even better is that he’s directing the always-hilarious Will Ferrell here. These two together will be a wonderful team, and I’m definitely looking forward to this one. I don’t know if the script is done for this, or if Mamet is even writing it himself, so I’m sure it might be a little while before we see this movie out. But this will surely be one to watch out for.
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
The worst news of this week is the possibility of Paul Walker filling David Hasselhoff’s shoes in the Knight Rider adaptation. Horrendous, simply horrendous. Doesn’t anyone realize this guy just can’t act? And besides that, he doesn’t even have the right look for the part at all. I just can’t see him in black leather, talking to a car…although he does look dopey enough to be talking to a car. The irony of all of this is that the article says that Universal is worried about the project being taken seriously because of the “cheesy reputation” of Hasselhoff. And they want to counter that by getting a “star” to fill in his role. They’re worried about reputations and they’re thinking of Walker to star? They might want to worry about their own reputations if they pick Walker for this movie, because I think he’d be just horrible here.