Another seven days has come and gone and left us with another slew of movie news, box office figures and new official websites for upcoming flicks. So lets not make haste and get this ball a rollin' with this week's Notables.
"Breckin Meyer and Adam Scott Topline Ted's MBA" - Monday, December 12
I'm not so sure about this one. I've never been a fan of the dopey Breckin Meyer and Adam Scott's resume isn't a whole lot better either. The same can be said about writer-director Daniel M. Cohen, with only 2 flicks under his belt and none that anyone would really know about. The story doesn't sound too bad, but this whole corporate life clashing with private life thing is now becoming overdone and it seems like a more "serious" project put together by a bunch of guys trying to finally make their names in Hollywood, and I just can't see much good coming of this. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Alan Cumming Starring & Directing Suffering Man's Charity" - Tuesday, December 13
This sounds like a rather interesting indie. Most probably only know of Alan Cumming for his work in the blockbuster X2: X-Men United as the teleporter Nightcrawler, but he's been around the Hollywood block (and the Broadway block, actually) and has written and directed before, most notably The Anniversary Party which he co-wrote and co-directed with Jennifer Jason Leigh. This project of his could be a winner as well. Cumming stars here as a man who accidentally kills another man (David Boreanaz) who is trying to publish a novel. When Cumming discovers the novel, he passes it off as his own, and when it hits big, the dead writer comes back to haunt him. The cast is rounded out nicely with Anne Heche, Carrie Fisher and Henry Thomas, who I loved in the indie Suicide Kings. Watch out for this one, folks. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Hugh Jackman to Star in Fed X" - Wednesday, December 14
This sounds like another pretty cool project that Jackman has gotten his hands on recently. His Rebound Guy flick sounds pretty interesting, but this Fed X project sounds even better and should give us a different glimpse at the Aussie. He's always played characters that have never lacked in the confidence department, but it seems like this character might be a tad different. He plays a newbie FBI agent sent to Miami to snag a crook and on the way back, they learn there's more than meets the eye, for both of them. I envision this character of Jackman's being a lot more apprehensive and less confident than all of his other characters, so this should give us a deeper glimpse into his range. I'm very curious to see who they cast as the thug here (HINT: Call Don Cheadle immediately!), but this sounds pretty damn good right now. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Lukas Haas, Giovanni Ribisi and Erika Christensen Toplining The Gardener of Eden" - Thursday, December 15
I'm excited about this project for a few reasons. First, I'm very big fans of Giovanni Ribisi and Erika Christensen, both of whom I haven't seen nearly enough of in recent years, and I think it's awesome that they're both working together here. Second is the story sounds pretty cool. It's about a dude who finds himself saving a girl from some sort of brawl and is seen as a hero in the community, so he sets out to make superheroing his new occupation. I like the title, I like the cast, I like the story. I just God damn like this project, folks. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"John Landis to Direct The Missionary Position" - Friday, December 16
Oh John Landis, how you've changed. After making us laugh over and over again in the late 70s and 80s with such landmark comedies like Animal House, The Blues Brothers, Trading Places and many others, you basically fell off the map in the 90s and beyond. Now you're trying to make a comeback by doing, basically, a knock-off of the 1990 flick Nuns on the Run? This lackluster story revolves around a thief who goes in disguise as a religious missionary to avoid the coppers and try to get his goods back. Of course, he encounters some real Christians and is drug into a living hell. Retarded. Utterly retarded, Mr. Landis. I'd rather see a remake of any of those flicks listed above that you did than see this moronic movie. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
BOX OFFICE CORNER
Everyone knew this was that big ape's weekend, but it didn't turn out as smashing as most people had thought. King Kong was obviously the number 1 movie at the box office this weekend, taking in a surprisingly modest $50.1 million ($112.3 million prediction) over the weekend. It took in $66.1 million over its 5-day opening period, well below expectations of a Harry Potter-like opening weekend. It still posted an impressive $14,049 per-screen average, showing in a hefty 3,568 theaters. While most studios would be dancing in the aisles, especially this year, with weekend results like this one, the folks behind Kong are likely doing more slumping then dancing. The expectations were huge because they had to be, with a budget as big as the title character at a whopping $207 million. If they would've hit the $100 million mark after 5 days, they wouldn't be in as bad of shape. However, with the rest of December crammed full of movies, Oscar favorites and comedies alike, they better hope Kong turns into a marathon runner and leg out some impressive results well into the new year to have any glimmer of hope to churn out a profit. But, as of now, with these results, it doesn't look so good for the big fella...
The only new flick competing with Kong was The Family Stone, which did as well as possible in these circumstances, finishing in third place with a $12.5 million gross ($12.4 million prediction). The Chronicles of Narnia came in 2nd place, dropping about 51%, taking in $31.8 million ($32.6 million prediction). With these two giant flicks ahead of them, The Family Stone carved out a decent gross in far fewer theaters. It posted a decent $5,077 per-screen average, showing in 2,466 theaters, more than 1,000 theaters less than the top two flicks. Unlike Kong, though, ensemble comedy basically ensured itself a profit with this solid showing and it's $18 million budget to make back.
While it's nowhere close to a wide release yet, Brokeback Mountain continued to post impressive results after a slightly larger rollout. It jumped from 15th place to 8th place this weekend, taking in just over $2.5 million in its second weekend. It expanded to 69 theaters this weekend (from 5 last weekend) and its gross leapfrogged 358% from last weekend, and while it didn't score a massive $109,000 per-screen average like last weekend, its $36,354 per-screen average is still astonishing. This Ang Lee flick has been taking a lot of the pre-Oscar awards home, and if they keep giving it bigger rollouts, weekend after weekend, it could make a dent at the box office as well.
Box Office Predictions
1)Cheaper by the Dozen 2: $34.6 million
2) Fun With Dick and Jane: $30.4 million
3) King Kong: $27.2 million
4) The Chronicles of Narnia: $17.4 million
5) Memoirs of a Geisha: $6.7 million
CLICK HERE for the full weekend numbers
CLICK HERE for my full predictions
(Besides my horrible prediction for Kong, I did really REALLY good this weekend!)
Miami Vice: (www.miamivice.com)
Just another teaser site here. All we get is a fairly decent Synopsis, the Trailer and some Downloads with a wallpaper and some AIM Icons to download. Not much to see here yet, but I'm sure they'll add more before this flick hits theaters on July 28, 2006.
This site is dressed up real nice, but there really isn't much on here. All there is here is the teaser trailer, a link for their Webmaster Program, where if you're a webmaster of a site like MovieWeb, you can receive exclusive goodies, and the Become and Agent link, which is really just a link to register for updates. You can also get a glimpse at the teaser poster as well here. There isn't a lot here, but I'll bet there will be a lot more to this site as we near its May 5, 2006 release.
Rocky Balboa: (www.sonypictures.com/movies/rocky)
There is absolutely nothing on this site yet, except a long title drag like we see in all the Rocky movies. You can register for updates and "Explore the DVD's" but there is one thing on here worthwhile, but it's a totally different site. They have a link to the Rocky Balboa Blog (http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/rocky/blog/). This will probably end up being the real official site for the movie. There is only one post on here, as they've just started production, but it says that in the coming year they will be updating the progress of the movie through the blog and video journals. One video journal is up now, with some footage of Sylvester Stallone in the ring with co-star/real boxer Antonio Tarver and others. These blogs and video journals seem to be the new wave of movie websites, so look for many more sites to start doing the same. There's not a lot here, but look for a lot more fairly soon. Rocky Balboa opens on February 9, 2007.
This is a weird little site, but there's still not a whole lot here. On the main site, there is this weird little interactive game here that you just follow little links all over the place and it doesn't seem to lead you anywhere. It's just a waste of time, really. Anyway, there is a Directory on the top right corner of the main site with all your options here. In Story, you get an OK synopsis and in The Film there are 4 categories but only Photo Gallery is active. There is also a Downloads section with wallpapers, screensavers and AIM Icons to download and Video has the trailer and some clips to watch. If you really want to kill a bunch of time, play the little interactive thing because it takes you round and round and round, but the rest of the site is almost a bigger waste of time with too much style and very little substance. Freedomland opens on February 17, 2006.
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
I'm going with some of my favorite underrated actors in Giovanni Ribisi and Erika Christensen teaming up for my Best News of the Week. If you have no idea who these people are, then go out right now and rent Boiler Room to see Ribisi shine and Swimfan for Christensen's great performance. This project sounds like it could give a big push to both, and to Lukas Haas as well, because this modern-day superhero story sounds pretty cool. I actually looked this up on IMDB and that plotline revealed a bit more. It appears that the guy who wants to be a hero ends up manipulating situations for him to be a hero in, so you get a nice dark edge with that also. I'm really psyched for this project and I hope it turns out great.
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
I'm going with the only way the words "missionary position" can be seen as a bad thing for my Worst News of the Week. John Landis' new flick sounds just moronic. Utter stupidity. Sheer retardation. While I'll applaud his work from a few decades ago 'till the cows come home, that doesn't mean I'll stand by and applaud a project of his, just because it's his... especially when it sounds like a big piece of dung like this does. Go watch all of your old movies, John, and try to figure out where you went wrong, because if you're standing behind a project like this, there might be a screw or nine loose up in that noggin of yours.
That's all for this week. Surf on by next week for more box office goodies, new official sites for upcoming movies 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's probably not free.