Another seven days has come and gone, and left us with a new slew of movie news, new box office info, new official websites for upcoming movies and new trailers. So lets get right into it with this week's Notables.
"Isla Fisher to Star in The Cookie Queen" - Monday, April 30:
This sounds like a slick little project that will test the bankability of Fisher, who stole many a scene in Wedding Crashers. This project has Fisher starring as a woman who has held the sales record for Girl Scout cookies for over two decades. Now it seems a young fifth grader is on the verge of breaking her record, so she sets out on a sabotage mission to ensure her record stays intact. I couldn't find screenwriters Ed Gonzalez or Jeremy Hast anywhere on IMDB, so I'm assuming this is their debut film, but this sounds kind of cool. I wouldn't be surprised to see Abigail Breslin or maybe even Dakota Fanning sign up for the young girl scout either. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"The Night Watchman Is Chris Evans Next Project" - Monday, April 30:
This project just seems to really be picking up steam, folks. With the nice addition of Evans, who's taking a darker turn for once, we have an extremely solid acting foundation with Keanu Reeves, Hugh Laurie, who's good but kinda creepy in TV's House, and newly-minted Oscar winner Forrest Whitaker. It seems like the terrible financial performance of Harsh Times hasn't stopped the wonderful David Ayer, who's writing and directing here, from attracting some great talent here and this LAPD cop drama (helped along with a contribution from James Ellroy), should be one to keep both eyes on, folks. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Frank Miller's Ronin Lands at Warner Brothers" - Wednesday, May 2:
Even in the wake of another comic-book movie triumph, it really does seem that Frank Miller is the new comic go-to guy in Hollywood. While Elektra flopped, the amazing visceral style that both Robert Rodgriguez and Zack Snyder employed in his Sin City and 300 adaptations are proof that his stories are surely worth telling on the silver screen. Sylvain White (Stomp the Yard) gets a crack at Miller this time around and, while his debut film above might suggest this film is too big a step, with this film surrounding ancient samurais doing battle in present-day NYC, he has also signed on to another wonderful-sounding movie dubbed The Trunk, starring Djimon Hounsou. I really can't wait for this one, folks, and if it takes off like I think it will, don't be surprised to see the whole Frank Miller collection pulled out of the woodwork for film adaptations. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Leonardo DiCaprio Starring in Michael Mann's Next Film" - Thursday, May 3:
It seems that Leo is just working his way through the A-list of directors, and crossing them off one by one, sliding these projects in between Scorcese films. Go on and IMDB him and you'll find projects he has in development with Stephen Gaghan, Ridley Scott and Sam Mendes. He's crossing off Michael Mann next, in this intriguing pic set in the 30s on the MGM lot surrounding the murder of a starlet, with Leo investigating as a P.I. in the studio's employ. John Logan, who seems rather hit (Any Given Sunday, Gladiator, The Last Samurai) or miss (The Time Machine, Star Trek: Nemesis), is writing here, and it looks like another notch in the hit section. Logan, Leo and Mann should make one hell of a trio. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"The Ruins Gets Three Actors" - Friday, May 4:
So much for all the positivity this week. This is based off Scott B. Smith's supposed best-seller, but it sounds like Turistas only with plants and vines killing tourists instead of, you know, people. Smith was the guy who took the literary world by storm, supposedly, with his novel A Simple Plan, and he also wrote the screenplay for the flick version. That book came out in 1993 and this one came out last year... and it was his follow-up. 13 years on a story about plants killing people? Smashing. Maybe I'll just rent A Simple Plan, or buy the book, and call it a day. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Chuck Palahniuk's Choke Is Going Into Production" - Sunday, May 6:
Oh snap! Chuck is back on the silver screen!! After years and years of hearing rumors about directors or screenwriters taking on any of the six (now seven, actually, with the release of Rant last week) post-Fight CLub books from Chuck Pahlaniuk, we FINALLY have something concrete. Choke is a simply marvelous book, a dark and twisted tale about a young man and medical-school dropout Victor Mancini who, rather ingeniously, pretends to choke on food at various restaurants, thus allowing strangers to "save" his life, thus making him the best thing these strangers have ever did in their lives, thus enabling these strangers to feel obliged to send him money much later when he informs them he's in some sort of trouble. This elaborate plan is all done so he can pay for his mysterious mother's mounting medical bills. Anyway, we get a great choice of Sam Rockwell to play Mancini, and actor/writer Clark Gregg, a David Mamet regular, will make his directorial debut here, and he's apparently a huge fan of the novel, according to Chuck's official site. I JUST CAN'T WAIT FOR THIS!!! Best News of the Week Nominee.
BOX OFFICE CORNER
So, umm, any of you been to the theater lately? Spider-Man 3 flew past every opening weekend record en route to a ginormous $151.1 opening weekend. It had the widest rollout in fim history (4,252), the highest per-screen average ever ($35,540), the highest single-day gross ($59 million for opening day, Friday) and it even broke an obscure record for largest gap between the first and second movies, with a 96.1% difference between Spidey 3 and Disturbia, which was dethroned from its trifecta of #1 weekends in a major way, taking in just $5.8 million for second place. It broke international records as well, taking in $230.5 million in non-American markets along with the weekend market share record, taking in 83.3% of the entire grosses of the top 12 films that weekend.
The movie was made on a massive $258 million budget, and while it seemed to fair well with the critics with a barely-Fresh 61% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the flick just might have opened so damn big, that it's almost inevitable a monumental decrease will happen next weekend, despite some lackluster competition (See: 28 Weeks Later, Delta Farce, Georgia Rule). With this opening weekend, both foreign and domestic, there's no question it has already profited in just those three days, but it'll be interesting to see where it ends up from here, in my opinion.
Surprisingly there were a few other flicks that braved opening against Spidey and Co., but only one was in a wide release. Lucky You, the poker-themed flick that has shifted release dates for about a year now, took the sixth spot with a paltry $2.7 million. It was released somewhat wide, with a 2,525-theater rollout, but it could only manage a horrid $1,073 per-screen average from those theaters. There was one other solid performer this weekend in a very limited release, though. Waitress, the last film from the late Adrienne Shelly, opened rather impressively this weekend. It only took in $92,034, but it was only released in 4 theaters, with an impressive per-screen average of $23,008. I'm not sure if this will get a wider rollout this summer, but the per-screen average just might warrant it.
After a lengthy intro, we finally get into this site to discover that we only get three things. The Synopsis is pretty cool in how they set it up, with you scrolling and the words coming on the screen from the right, and it's a nicely-done synopsis as well. Photos gives us all of ONE FRICKIN PHOTO, and then there's the spooky trailer, which is very good but which I've also seen before, which doesn't give me, or anyone else who's seen the trailer, much reason to come on this crappy site. 1408 opens on July 13.
Hot Rod: (HotRodMovie.com)
Un-frickin-REAL! This is the lamest official website I've EVER seen!!! It's all black, with white text and anyone could've typed it on Word and put it online. We get the title, studios involved, cast, crew, a synopsis and a release date all centered on one frickin page. Of course, there's a notice saying that the official site is coming soon. LAME! MORONS! Why waste time with putting up something as simply boring and retarded as this? Hold off until you have something that doesn't look like it could be done by a 5th-grader. Idiots. Hot Rod opens on August 3.
OK, the video part of the site is still not up, for some reason. Hopefully we'll get some trailer goodness next weekend.
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
Wow. There was a lot of just wonderful stuff up this week, but for me this is a no-brainer. Chuck Pahlaniuk's glorious return to the silver screen is by far my Best News of the Week, and that's saying something with all the great news this week. If you couldn't already tell, I'm a DIE-HARD Chuck Pahlaniuk fan, and the news of one of his masterful books finally coming to the silver screen again, just warms my frickin heart. True, there were some close calls before, with his second novel Survivor being set up at Fox, but pulled because of the 9/11 attacks (the book involves a man telling his story into the black box, alone on a plane which will crash somewhere), and there have been other rumors of various people being attached to his various books. It's finally official now, though, and I must say, I can't wait for Choke, this incredibly bizarre story to be in the theater. Sam Rockwell is money in the main role, and, while Clark Gregg hasn't done much behind the camera, from what I read on Pahlaniuk's website, it appears Gregg has a true passion for this book and has been championing it for years now. I'll take that kind of passion over experience any day, folks. Damn, I just can't wait for this, folks!!
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
Only one thing to choose from here, folks, and that's The Ruins coming to fruition for my Worst News of the Week. Yeah. Perhaps this simple synopsis doesn't do the book justice, because it's supposed to be real sinister and crap, but Amazon this book and there's a review of it by Stephen King, who apparently went bat-shit crazy over his debut book A Simple Plan. You can tell he's trying to be nice, and continue to support this author, but that he really didn't dig this book much at all. I mean, come on. Plants killing people. Seriously. As if Little Shop of Horrors didn't give plants a bad enough rep already...
That's all for this week. Surf on by next week for more box office goodies, new official sites for upcoming flicks, new trailers (hopefully) and, of course, the best and worst news of the week. Take care folks and, always remember: if it looks like a good time, sounds like a good time and feels like a good time... it probably isn't free. Gallagher out!