CROWE AND DICAPRIO TOGETHER: BIG DEAL!
Body of Lies, starring Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio,which had been expected to rise to the top of the box office over the weekend, instead sank like a storied oceanliner. The Warner Bros. film, which reportedly cost more than $100 million to make, took in only $13.1 million, according to studio estimates. The winner, for the second week in a row, was the Walt Disney Co. comedy Beverly Hills Chihuahua, which dropped just 40 percent to $17.5 million, bringing its total after ten days to $52.5 million. But the biggest winner may have been the horror flick Quarantine, which opened in second place with $14.2 million -- about $2 million more than it cost to make. Other newcomers were also disappointments. Universal's The Express brought in just $4.7 million to place sixth, and 20th Century Fox's City of Ember debuted in tenth place with $3.2 million.
The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Media by Numbers:
1. Beverly Hills Chihuahua, $17.5 million; 2. Quarantine, $14.2 million; 3. Body of Lies, $13.1 million; 4. Eagle Eye, $11 million; 5. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, $6.5 million; 6. The Express, $4.7 million; 7. Nights in Rodanthe, $4.6 million; 8. Appaloosa, $3.34 million; 9. The Duchess, $3.32 million; 10. City of Ember, $3.2 million.
MOVIE REVIEWS: THE EXPRESS
The inspirational football flick The Express received decent reviews, which didn't help it much at the box office. In his three-star review of the movie, Roger Ebert acknowledged in the Chicago Sun-Times: "I'm a fall guy for movies like this. Yes, I see the formula grinding away, as it actually must, because Davis' real life corresponds to it. I can't remember a film about an untalented athlete, and not many about losing teams (they always win in the end). In the final analysis, it's not how you play the game that counts, but whether you win or lose." Similarly, A.O. Scott observed in the New York Times that the movie is an honorable example of a tried-and-true formula, squarely aimed at a presumably large cross-section of the moviegoing public: people who love football and hate racism." In reviewing the movie for Newsday, John Anderson gave high marks to the performances of Rob Brown as the real-life player Ernie Davis and, and Dennis Quaid, who plays his coach, Ben Schwartzwalder. "Quaid is terrific and so is Brown," writes Anderson. "And given the action and the easily exploitable subject matter, The Express is a far more human story than it needed, on someone's spreadsheet, to be."
MOVIE REVIEWS: QUARANTINE
The horror flick Quarantine was not screened for critics, but when they went to the box office, paid to see the movie, and wrote their reviews, they did not seem at all ready to write their usual denunciations of the genre. Rafer Guzmån in Newsday said that for him the film turned out "to be a rollicking good time." Likewise, Jeannette Catsoulis commented in the New York Times that the film "delivers the heebie-jeebies with solid acting and perfectly calibrated shocks." And Roger Moore concluded in the Orlando Sentinel that "Quarantine is a movie testament to craftsmanship and commitment." But Michael Hardy in the Boston Globe was put off by the jumpy hand-held camera work, which he said, made him feel physically ill. "Even now, an hour after leaving the theater, I can still taste bile in the back of my throat."
INDIANA JONES, HULK TOP PIRATE SITES
Two films that are set to be released on DVD later this month are already the most-downloaded movies on BitTorrent sites. According to the website torrentfreak.com, Paramount's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull topped the list for the second week in a row. It is due to be released on DVD on Tuesday, October 14. Coming in second was Universal's The Incredible Hulk, scheduled to be released the following Tuesday, October 21. Rounding out the top five: 3. Get Smart; 4. Iron Man; 5. Adulthood (British).