JONAS BROTHERS: THE HYPE SOURS
In an upset that no Hollywood prognosticator saw coming, the second week of Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail clobbered Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience at the box office over the weekend. Madea earned an estimated $16.5 million in its second week -- about what was expected -- while Jonas Brothers grossed about $12.7 million, less than half the $25-30 million that analysts had predicted. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, the only other film to open wide, grossed just $4.7 million to place eighth. Meanwhile, Slumdog Millionaire, got a terrific post-Oscar boost as it raked in an estimated $12.2 million in its 16th week to place third. Another holdover, Taken, placed fourth in its fifth week with $10 million, taking it past the $100-million mark.
The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Media by Numbers:
1. Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail, $16.5 million; 2. Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience, $12.7 million; 3. Slumdog Millionaire, $12.1 million; 4. Taken, $9.9 million; 5. He's Just Not That Into You, $5.8 million; 6. Paul Blart: Mall Cop, $5.6 million; 7. Coraline, $5.2 million; 8. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, $4.6 million; 9. Confessions of a Shopaholic, $4.4 million; 10. Fired Up, 3.8 million.
MOVIE REVIEWS: STREET FIGHTER: THE LEGEND OF CHUN-LI
Not screening Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li for critics did not protect the film against failure at the box office this past weekend. The film eventually took in just $4.6 million. Sam Adams, who eventually reviewed the videogame-based film for the Los Angeles Times after it opened, concluded: "Even with the low expectations The Legend of Chun Li engenders, it still somehow manages to be a letdown." Liam Lacey in the Toronto Globe and Mail, observed that the movie was timed to coincide with the release of Street Fighter IV for the Xbox and PlayStation 3 platforms. "Watching the movie, you can't help wishing you had some buttons to press," he said. And Roger Moore in the Orlando Sentinel: summed up: "I'd say this is roughly 20 times better than the first Street Fighter movie. It's still a waste of time, but unlike the game, it's over in 95 minutes. Nobody will accuse you of wasting your life." Many newspapers did not bother reviewing it at all.
RUSHDIE RIDICULES SLUMDOG
Author Salman Rushdie, who was born in Mumbai, the setting for Slumdog Millionaire, has written a critique of the movie for Britain's Guardian newspaper. In the article, published on Saturday, he attacked the movie's plot -- based on an Indian boy's winning the top prize on India's version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire -- as "a patently ridiculous conceit, the kind of fantasy writing that gives fantasy writing a bad name." He said that the notion that the boy could have learned all of the answers solely through life experiences "beggars belief." Twenty years ago revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruholah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for Rushdie's death following the publication of Rushdie's The Satanic Verses, which the Ayatollah regarded as an insult to Islam. It has never been lifted.
HOLLYWOOD GOES TO IRAN
A group of Hollywood figures that included actress Annette Bening, director Phil Robinson, motion picture academy Sid Gannis, producer William Horberg and former Universal Pictures Chairman Tom Pollock, saw two faces of the Iranian regime after arriving in the country on a cultural visit on Friday. Even as they participated in a three-hour meeting with Iranian film officials at the Iranian House of Cinema in Tehran where, according to the Tehran Times, they held "talks on bilateral cooperation" their visit was being attacked by Javad Shamghadri, cultural adviser to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. "The Iranian people and our revolution have been repeatedly unjustly attacked by Hollywood. We will believe Obama's policy of change when we see change in Hollywood too, and if Hollywood wants to correct its behavior towards Iranian people and Islamic culture then they have to officially apologize," he said. Two years ago, Shamghadri attacked the movie 300 as part of a plot by "Hollywood and cultural authorities in the U.S. ... to figure out how to attack Iranian culture."
AUSTRALIAN MOVIE CHAIN CLOSES DOWN AFTER VIOLENCE
A leading Australian theater chain said today (Monday) that it plans to resume screenings of the movie The Combination after shutting it down Sunday following outbreaks of violence at one of its theaters on Thursday and Saturday nights. The decision to cancel screenings of the movie outraged Australian filmmakers. The Australian Film Syndicate called the decision "unprecedented." In a case of art imitating real life imitating real life, the movie concerns the attack by ethnic-Europeans against Lebanese Australians on a Sydney beach in 2005. Lebanese men retaliated, destroying shops, vandalizing churches, and burning cars. Greater Union said that screenings of the critically acclaimed movie -- the first Australian feature to hit theaters this year -- would resume on Wednesday and that it would provide increased security.