It was another week full of interesting news bits from Hollywood. The Pink Panther movie started production. Ving Rhames hops on a Night Train. And it looks like director Steve Anderson will be dropping some bombs…f-bombs, that is. But a whole lot more happened in Hollywood this week. Let’s take a look, but first, let’s check out the box office numbers from the weekend.

BOX OFFICE CORNER

Even though the city of Troy was conquered in the movie, Troy conquered the box office this weekend. The Wolfgang Petersen epic grossed an estimated $45.6 million in its opening weekend. The movie averaged an estimated $13,372 per theater, but I think the grosses fell far below the expectations for this movie. Warner Bros. needed a much higher gross for the opening weekend, and now it looks unlikely that they will make back the enormous $185 million budget.

Last weekend’s box office winner, Van Helsing took a huge hit in its second weekend. The Stephen Sommers CGI-fest took in $20.1 million in its second weekend, dropping a massive 61.1% from its opening weekend. It looks like this flick will have a hard time making back it’s gigantic $165 million budget as well.

The week’s only other new movie Breakin’ All the Rules came in 4th place for the weekend. The Daniel Taplitz flick took in an estimated $5.3 million, averaging a meager $4,021 per theater. Sadly enough, it looks like this actually might make its money back, with its comparatively-small $10 million budget. Like I said with Van Helsing, bigger isn’t always better, folks…

GOING LIVE

The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: (hitchhikers.movies.go.com) This site is up first, and there’s not a whole lot too it. The main page is pretty funny, though, with a big red button that they tell you not to push, but obviously you have to. Inside there isn’t a whole lot, but I’m sure there will be a lot more. They have a weblog of progress on the film, posted by the filmmakers themselves, which is very cool. It says they’re in the 4th week of production, so, if you’re a fan of the Douglas Adams book, you should check in with this site regularly because I’m sure there will by much more to come before this movie hits the theaters next summer.

Bukowski: Born Into This: (magpictures.com/distribution/bukowski) Next up is the site for this documentary about famed writer Charles Bukowski. There is a lot to see on this site, with a nice biography on Bukowski, some background on the filmmakers, audio clips of Bukowski’s readings, pictures of Bukowski, release dates for different cities this summer, a discussion board and a list of his books. This looks like it could be an interesting movie, although it probably will be nowhere near my neighborhood this summer. But check out the site to see if this documentary will come to your city.

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow: (skycaptain.com) I don’t know why studios put up these sites like this one with nothing on it. Why not just put it live when they have stuff to put on the site? This site is definitely under construction, because there is just nothing there. No links, nothing. And the only text on the site is in German, for some reason, even though this is an American movie. There might be more on this site as it nears its September 17 release date, but for now, there’s just nothing to see here.

Beauty Shop: (mgm.com/beautyshop) There isn’t a whole lot on this site either, but there’s more than the Sky Captain site, at least. All there is here is the trailer, a brief synopsis, and a picture of Queen Latifah that serves as the backdrop. But I’m sure more will be added in the near future.

TRAILER PARK

The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie: This trailer is up first, but you might be a little confused at first. The trailer opens with a scene from The Hunt for Red October, which then cuts to SpongeBob in the tub playing with a submarine. There’s not a whole lot of footage here, like the teaser trailer, but it’s pretty funny, and if you’re a fan of the immensely popular kids television show, you’ll probably like the trailer. The flick opens on November 19.

Vanity Fair:This British royalty flick is up next. I’m not a huge fan of these sappy British dramas, and I’m not sure I’ll be a fan of this one. It doesn’t look too bad, with a pretty decent cast including Gabriel Byrne, Rhys Ifans and Jim Broadbent. But it was written by Jullian Fellowes, the writer of the insanely-overrated Gosford Park. I couldn’t stand that movie, and him writing this movie isn’t a good sign, as far as I’m concerned. We’ll have to wait until September 1 to find out.

Constantine: If you caught Troy in the theaters this weekend, you probably saw this trailer, as it was attached to most of the prints. This is a pretty slick trailer for the adaptation of the comic book Hellblazer. Keanu Reeves, in his first non-Neo movie in awhile, looks pretty solid here, as does Rachel Weisz. This looks like a very dark movie, and a solid one as well. We don’t really see the rest of the cast in the trailer, but it looks like a wonderful cast, with Tilda Swinton, Peter Stormare, Djimon Hounsou, Shia LaBeouf and Gavin Rossdale, the frontman for the rock group Bush. This looks like a winner, folks, but we’ll have to wait until Constantine opens on February 11 2005.

The Incredibles:The latest Pixar flick is up next, and this just might be the best one yet from this wonderful studio. And it looks like Pixar is bringing in some new blood, with Brad Bird, who did the wonderful Iron Giant, writing and directing this movie. There is a great cast of voices here, especially Samuel L. Jackson, who has just a perfect voice for this kind of movie and will probably steal the show here. We don’t get a whole lot of info on the story in the trailer, but this is definitely one to watch for. The Incredibles opens in theaters November 5.

Wicker Park: This thriller doesn’t look too bad, but it also could be very bad. The cast here is all right, with Josh Hartnett, the always-funny Matthew Lillard and the Hottie of Troy, Diane Kruger. This either could be an intense thriller, or intensely dull. It’s September 3 release date, which is Labor Day weekend and the worst week of the year for movies, doesn’t instill much confidence for this movie. But still, I’d spend a few hours looking at Diane Kruger any day of the week…

King Arthur: This looks like a marvelous movie, and one I’m definitely looking forward to this summer. It looks like director Antoine Fuqua does a fine job with this medieval epic, and there is a great cast with Clive Owen, Keira Knightly, Steven Dillane, Stellan Skarsgaard and many others. Even the writers are great, with David Franzoni (Gladiator) and John Lee Hancock (The Rookie) penning the script. This should make some huge bank when it opens on July 7.

She Hates Me:The latest from Spike Lee is up next. I’m not a huge fan of Lee, and She Hate Me might not do much to help my contention. The plot is somewhat interesting – a fired executive takes to impregnating lesbians as a new occupation. But it looks like Lee is trying to make this a serious movie, when this plot looks more suited for a comedy. The cast is remarkable, though, with Anthony Mackie, Ellen Barkin, Monica Belluci, Ossie Davis, Brian Dennehy, Woody Harrelson, John Turturro and rapper Q-Tip. This looks like a hit-or-miss movie, but we’ll find out for sure on July 23.

Shark Tale:This Dreamworks animated movie looks pretty funny. The story looks pretty good (a shark as a vegetarian! that’s classic) and a very nice cast of voices including Will Smith, Robert De Niro, Renee Zellweger, Angelina Jolie, Jack Black and even film director Martin Scorsese. This should be a great family flick, and you can check it out on October 1.

Ocean’s 12:This teaser trailer is the last one this week. There is no footage here, but we get a tiny bit of info on where the story is going, and that Catherine Zeta-Jones is the 12th member of Danny Ocean’s crew. It’s pretty funny that they noted that they were all back, and with that wonderful cast from the first movie, plus Zeta-Jones, this should be a winner come December 10. The only thing that worries me about this movie is that they don’t have the original writer, Ted Griffin, and the writer for the sequel, George Nolfi, only has the dreadful Timeline under his belt. But with Steven Soderbergh at the helm again, and this awesome cast, I’m not that worried.

BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK

My pick for Best News of the Week is one of my favorite filmmakers, Terry Gilliam, is taking on a new project. Gilliam is a bizarre but wonderful filmmaker, and this project – a girl leaving her life for a fantasy life, sounds right up Gilliam’s alley. He has done some fantastic fantasy films, including Brazil and Time Bandits, and it’s great to see him working again. His new film, The Brother’s Grimm just wrapped post-production, and it’s his first film since 1998’s wonderful/underrated Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I can’t wait for The Brother’s Grimm, and his new project as well, and I hope it gives him the recognition he truly deserves.

WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK

My pick for this week is New Line’s acquirement of a flick called K Thru 12. Ugh. A teen version of When Harry Met Sally? Come on. This first-time screenwriter must be a Nicholas Sparks fan or something…Do we really need more movies like this? I think not. I almost chose the news of a Hellboy sequel being greenlit, but this K Thru 12 just sounds dreadful. Lets just hope this dies quickly…but knowing my luck, we’ll probably see this out in a few years.