i>YUMA ARRIVES; CARRIES A LOT OF FREIGHT
Lionsgate's 3:10 to Yuma arrived at the box office on schedule over the weekend, taking in about what analysts thought it would -- $14 million. But the film, which reportedly had cost $50 million to produce and another $30 million to market and distribute, seemed already to be out of steam. Studio reports indicated that the film appealed mostly to an older audience, and while reviews were mostly positive, exit comments were only so-so. Several analysts commented that the film was unlikely to revive the traditional Western movie, as others had forecast. Performing far worse was New Line's Shoot 'Em Up, which was shot down in its opening with ticket sales of only $5.7 million, about half what analysts had predicted. The performance was particularly worrisome to New Line, which has been reeling from a series of recent failures. Last week's top film, Halloween, also took a huge tumble to $9.5 million, to place second. The brightest spot on the results sheet was Sony's Superbad, which took in another $7.6 million in its fourth week and crossed the $100 million mark. It cost only about $25 million to make. Rounding out the top five was Universal's The Bourne Ultimatum, which garnered $5.7 million in its sixth week.
The top ten films over the weekend, according to final figures compiled by Media by Numbers (figures in parentheses represent total gross to date):
1. 3:10 to Yuma, Lionsgate, $14,035,033, 1 Wks. ($14,035,033); 2. Halloween, MGM, $9,513,770, 2 Wks. ($43,709,854); 3. Superbad, Sony, $7,551,822, 4 Wks. ($103,219,381); 4. Shoot 'Em Up, New Line, $5,716,554, 1 Wks. ($5,716,554); 5. The Bourne Ultimatum, Universal, $5,673,850, 6 Wks. ($210,294,605); 6. Balls of Fury, Focus/Rogue, $5,652,852, 2 Wks. ($24,241,209); 7. Rush Hour 3, New Line, $4,883,334, 5 Wks. ($128,721,208); 8. Mr. Bean's Holiday, Universal, $3,413,785, 3 Wks. ($25,089,420); 9. The Nanny Diaries, MGM, $3,194,396, 3 Wks. ($20,877,849); 10. Stardust, Paramount, $1,800,127, 5 Wks. ($34,594,712).
HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF FILM FRANCHISES
The five Harry Potter films together have now out-grossed all 22 James Bond films to become the top-grossing franchise worldwide in history, Warner Bros announced Monday. The Potter films have now earned $4.47 billion, topping the combined Bond flicks by $30 million, the studio said. (The six Star Wars movies are in third place with $4.23 billion.) The latest Potter movie, Order of the Phoenix, is continuing to play in several countries abroad, and two more are in the works, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which is due to open in 2008 and the final film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, set to open in 2010.
CATES TO PRODUCE 14TH OSCAR TELECAST
Producer-director Gil Cates is becoming as closely associated with the Academy Awards telecast as the Oscar itself. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Monday that Cates will produce his 14th Oscars show on February 24 from the Kodak Theater in Hollywood. In a statement, Cates said, "I love the Oscars, and it's a great treat to be asked back for the 80th presentation." Academy President Sid Ganis said, "He's so talented ... so creative and inventive, and so enormously passionate about the Oscards." Cates's brother, the late Joseph Cates, was a three-time producer of the Tony Awards.
OSCAR WINNER JANE WYMAN DEAD AT 93
Jane Wyman, who was nominated for an Oscar for The Yearling in 1946 and won the trophy two years later for Johnny Belinda, died in Palm Springs, CA Monday at age 93. (Some biographies list her age as 90.) She was former President Ronald Reagan's first wife but in interviews declined to discuss their personal relationship, which ended in divorce in 1948. Wyman was perhaps best known for her role as the powerful California vintner Angela Channing in the nighttime soap opera Falcon Crest, which aired from 1981 to 1990.