i>THE KINGDOM ROCKED BY THE GAME PLAN
A lot more surprising than the outcome of any wrestling match, The Game Plan earned an estimated $22.7 million at the box office over the weekend, beating the hands-down favorite, The Kingdom, which came in at $17.7 million. The Kingdom earned about as much as analysts had predicted, but some of them doubted that The Game Plan, which stars former wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, would even take in half as much as it eventually did. A third newcomer, Feast of Love, was more famine than feast as it settled for just $1.8 million and failed even to make the top-ten list. Last week's No. 1 film, Resident Evil: Extinction dropped by two-thirds, taking in just $8 million. Two films opening only in New York produced outstanding results. The Darjeeling Limited, with Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman, earned $140,000 in just two theaters, making its $70,000-per-theater average the best of the year. Taking in only slightly less than that was the Ang Lee NC-17-rated Lust, Caution, which played in just one theater and earned $61,700.
The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Media by Numbers:
1. The Game Plan, $22.7 million; 2. The Kingdom, $17.7 million; 3. Resident Evil: Extinction, $8 million; 4. Good Luck Chuck, $6.3 million; 5. 3:10 to Yuma, $4.2 million; 6. The Brave One, $3.8 million; 7. Mr. Woodcock, $3 million; 8. Eastern Promises, $2.9 million; 9. Sydney White, $2.7 million; 10. Across the Universe, $2.05 million.
BOURNE KNOCKED FROM OVERSEAS PERCH
The month-long reign of The Bourne Ultimatum at the top of the overseas box office ended this past weekend as the Adam Sandler movie, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, took over the lead. The comedy took in $9.3 million. Meanwhile, Ang Lee's controversial Lust, Caution, opened in 95 theaters in Taiwan with $2.9 million, a September record.
MOVIE REVIEWS: LUST, CAUTIOIN
Ang Lee's Lust, Caution, which recently won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival despite mixed reviews from critics there, didn't do much better with critics in New York, where it opened this past weekend. Manohla Dargis in the New York Times said that it "feels at once overpadded and underdeveloped: it's all production design and not enough content." Likewise Claudia Puig in USA Today called it "beautifully mounted but rather unmoving." Lou Lumenick in the New York Post admitted that after 90 minutes of the 2 1/2-hour film, "I was struggling to stay awake." Moreover, he wrote, the performances "are so flat that you don't really much care what happens to anybody." On the other hand, John Anderson in Newsday commented that "there is an unstinting integrity to Lee's imagery, be it seductive, violent or violently erotic."
NO PEACE AMONG REDSTONES, SAYS REPORT
Although Viacom and CBS Chairman Sumner Redstone has attempted to create the impression that he has patched up relations with his daughter Shari, who runs the National Amusements Theater chain, the conflict between the two of them "appears very much alive," The Los Angeles Times reported today (Monday), citing people close to the two. Nancy Stering, a spokesman for Shari Redstone, said that she "still intends to try to resolve the differences with her father privately." In fact, according to the Times, negotiations between Sumner and Shari "have come to a grinding halt." The newspaper concluded, "If Shari and Sumner ultimately sever their ties, she would join a long list of Redstones who have left the family business after feuding with the iron-willed patriarch."
CHAN GOT NO RUSH FROM RUSH HOUR FILMS
Jackie Chan has admitted that he "felt very disappointed" with the three Rush Hour movies he made with Chris Tucker. Writing on his blog, Chan sid, "I felt the style of action was too Americanized, and I didn't understand the American humor." In fact, he said of Rush Hour 3: "I spent four months making this film and I still don't fully understand the humor."
ACTRESS WHO PLAYED IN 14 JAMES BOND MOVIES DIES AT 80
Lois Maxwell, best known for her performance as Miss Moneypenny in 14 James Bond movies, including the very first, Dr. No, in 1962, died of cancer Saturday in Perth, Australia at the age of 80. Her last appearance in a Bond film came in 1985 when she again played the secretary to M, head of the British secret service, in A View to a Kill. She appeared with Roger Moore, the second 007, not only in the Bond films but also in the TV series The Saint. They had been students together at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1944.