Another seven days has come and gone, and brought us a new slew of movie news, box office info, new official websites for upcoming movies and new trailers. Lets get this party started with this week's Notables.
"Common Is Green Lantern in Justice League" - Monday, February 11:
Common is one guy that surely doesn't live up to his name. He's a fantastic rapper that's turning into a pretty damn good actor as well after his first two film performances in Smokin' Aces and American Gangster. He has two more upcoming high-profile flicks as well with Street Kings and Wanted. This guy is going nowhere but up, folks, and if he isn't a household name by the time Justice League comes around, he sure as hell will be then. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Teresa Palmer Is Ready For Bedtime Stories" - Monday, February 11:
I don't really have a problem with Palmer being cast, since she seems like an up-and-coming young actress, who's even rumored to play Talia al Guhl, daughter of Batman nemesis Raz al Guhl, in the upcoming Justice League of America flick. The problem I have is with Adam Sandler cozying up to another safe, cookie-cutter project. This one, directed by Adam Shankman, revolves around Sandler telling bedtime stories to his niece and nephew - Palmer's children - and them somehow coming true. Ugh. Gag me. I don't know why, every now and then, Sandler picks these cornball projects to attach himself to (i.e. Spanglish). Not looking forward to this at all. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Rene Zellweger to Be My One and Only" - Monday, February 11:
Ugh. A movie based off a childhood experience of George Hamilton? Are you freakin' serious?! Wait, it gets better/worse. The movie centers on Zellweger who drives down the East coast trying to find a wealthy benefactor to provide for her and her sons. Wow. As if that wasn't bad enough, Charlie Peters, who hasn't written anything in a decade and who wrote Krippendorf's Tribe, is writing the script and Richard Loncraine (Wimbledon, Firewall) is directing. Sounds like canned boredom to me. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Star Wars: Clone Wars Is Coming to Theaters August 15th!" - Monday, February 11:
Sweet!! I wonder when the line will start forming at Grauman's... It's a pretty damn ingenious move if you ask me. Get everyone in the theaters for a 100-minute "pilot," so to speak, and then everyone is pumped for the new show. I'm down, for sure. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"The Coen Brothers to Make The Yiddish Policemen's Union" - Tuesday, February 12:
Damn those Coen's are on a roll! No Country for Old Men finally put them back on the map again with one of their best films ever (if not the best; I own all of them) and now they have a spate of productions lined up or already under way like Burn After Reading and a few others they have in pre-production. Now they have this lined up that fits their style like a frickin silk glove. This one is about a small town in Alaska where the Jewish settlers are about to be displaced and a chess prodigy is murdered... who was also a heroin addict and also could just be the messiah. Love them Coens! Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell to Fill Heath Ledger's Role in Dr. Parnassus" - Friday, February 15:
This is just some wonderful news. What an original and just awesome way to pay tribute to the fallen Heath Ledger. While I'm not sure of the logistics of this i.e. three actors playing one role, I'm definitely intrigued by visionary helmer Terry Gilliam's ingenuity. I can't wait to see how this turns out, folks. Best News of the Week Nominee.
BOX OFFICE CORNER
It was a fairly competitive President's Day weekend (yeah, forgot it was a holiday too, didn't you...) with four new flicks entering the cinemas in wide release, but only one that jumped to the top. Jumper leapt past the other contenders to take in an estimated $31.7 million for the four-day holiday weekend. The Doug Liman film was screened in 3,428 theaters and posted a healthy $9,247 per-screen average. The Hayden Christensen-topliner isn't quite out of the water yet, though. The flick has made $38.3 million, when you tack on the Thursday opening-day gross, and it still isn't quite at the halfway mark of its $85 million budget. It needs to avoid jumping off the deep end in order to secure a profit, but with just a 15% "Fresh" rating from Rotten Tomatoes, that could be harder than it seems.
The Spiderwick Chronicles wasn't too far behind in second place, with an estimated $24.4 million four-day take. It received a much heftier rollout than Jumper, with a 3,847 theater count, and a per-screen average of $6,359. The flick did win over the critics though, with an impressive 79% "Fresh" rating from the RT critics, but with a $90 million budget, they better hope this spider has some really long legs and can carry itself to a profit.
Step Up 2 the Streets was surprisingly close in third place, with an estimated four-day holiday gross of $21.5 million. The critics didn't like this one too much either, with just a 27% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but it managed some solid biz with an $8,710 per-screen average from 2,470 theaters. Rounding out the top 5 was last weekend's winner Fool's Gold, which still held on nicely, dropping just 30.4% to take just over $15 million in fourth place and the Ryan Reynolds newcomer Definitely, Maybe took the fifth spot with a decent $11.4 million, with a $5,175 per-screen average from 2,204 theaters.
While there wasn't a whole lot to shout about on the limited release front, one Oscar contender continues to perform strong, even in its 11th week in release. Juno took 7th place this weekend with an estimated $5.5 million. The flick dropped just 1.8% despite losing 456 theaters. Yes, that is with the extra holiday day, but when you look at the three-day take its $4.6 million tally dipped just 17.4%, which, for its 11th week in release is pretty damn amazing. The most this film has dropped for a weekend was 30.9%, which was two weeks ago. That's the MOST it dropped from a previous weekend, which is a dip any blockbuster would take in a heartbeat. The breakthrough comedy has now earned $124.9 million to date, making it by far the highest-grossing Best Picture nominee this year. One has to wonder if all the box office buzz might help this little yarn spin itself into some Oscar gold this weekend.
Sex and Death 101: (SexAndDeath101Movie.com)
Another fairly basic site here. The main page starts off with the trailer, and you can even check out the red-band trailer, that is if you're legal. Once inside, it's pretty standard fare. Story gives us a decent Synopsis, with Trivia coming soon and Behind the Scenes gives us bios of the three main cast members - Simon Baker, Winona Ryder, Patton Oswalt - and director Daniel Waters. Gallery has four nice-but-brief video clips and 12 images to look at, Press has a PDF press kit to download, Downloads has wallpapers, screensavers and the poster to grab and Showtimes gives instructions on how to get the flick's showtimes on your cell phone. Nothing huge here, but a decent amount of info and content that should pique your interest in this interesting flick. Sex and Death opens on April 4 in New York and Los Angeles.
Wow. This has to be one of the lamest sites I've ever seen. All they have is all white with a title card, a cast list and two little links that are supposed to form or start some sort of timeline. Both entries are from August and September, and both links are just press releases from Picturehouse. A frickin kid with a Crayon could've designed a better site. Yeah, just ONE Crayon. Ugh. The Women opens October 10, so they have plenty of time to get their act together.
The Happening: (TheHappeningmovie.com)
I almost thought it would be three weeks in a row where the last site would be the only good one of the bunch. Nope. I guess it was flipped around this week. This is another lametastic teaser site with just the trailer and a link to register for updates. Yawn. The Happening opens on June 13.
First of all, this is a red-band trailer, so no kiddies. Naughty stuff in here. Yeah. Anyway, yet another slice of brilliance from Team Apatow here, folks. While Judd Apatow merely produced and got a story credit here, his protoges Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who wrote the uproarious Superbad, are back with Pineapple Express, with Rogen starring alongside James Franco. This does seem to be a darker movie than their previous flicks, but they have the right man for the job in David Gordon Green (Undertow) at the helm. Honestly, this trailer was just so damn good in every way, including the awesome song that I'm going to have to identify and download, I watched it four times in between writing this little blurb up. As per tradition with anything by Apatow or Rogen, I just can't wait for this one, folks. Pineapple Express opens on August 8.
Have you guys seen this one yet? Ha. I kid. Yes, this looks freakin' amazing as well, but was it just me or did Harrison Ford sound like John Wayne a little bit when he delivered that first line of the trailer? This is going to make SO much money it will be insane. I'm sorry I'm not really THAT pumped about this trailer, but that's just because I, like many I'm sure, already KNEW that this was going to rock the Casbah no matter what. This was a wonderful little appetizer, but I'm really waiting for the main course on May 22. Go Indy!
OK. Take a wild stab in the dark at what sort of genre this might be. Here's your first hint: Patrick Dempsey stars. Wow, you guess romantic comedy that quick? How intuitive... But ugh. It gets worse. Dempsey stars as a dude whose best friend is a chick (Michelle Monaghan) and when she leaves for six weeks, he realizes he wants to be with her. She comes back engaged and asks him to be her made of honor and he accepts so he can try to win her over. Mother of God. Dempsey, keep your schmaltzy shtick on Grey's and stop syruping up the movies for us. The good, and pretty damn funny news about this one is that it opens on May 2, right alongside surefire blockbuster Iron Man. I guess there is some justice after all...
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
There were some marvelous candidates this week, but I'm going to have to pick the insanely talented trio of actors replacing Heath Ledger as my Best News of the Week. I do have to wonder if the recent I'm Not There, which has a similar structure and also starred Ledger, had anything to do with this move, but it's quite the stroke of genius on maverick director Terry Gilliam's part. I've been a HUGE Gilliam fan for years and I've felt that for all of those years he's been vastly underappreciated. Perhaps this touching tribute to a fallen star, using three of the best in the biz in Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell, might just finally give Gilliam some respect for a change. It'd be truly sad, though, that a tragic event like Heath Ledger's death would have to take place for such an event to occur, but nonetheless, I think this is masterfully done on Gilliam's part. Bravo!
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
Pretty easy one for me this week with Renee Zellweger being a friggin damsel in distress as my Worst News of the Week. I'm still racking my brain trying to figure out how a story about a glamorous mother traveling along the Eastern seaboard to find a provider for her and her children has anything to do with George Hamilton. You know, I really don't want to know, actually. This just sounds asinine and Zellweger is usually fairly good at picking projects, but nobody's perfect... then again, she really seemed to hammer that point home by picking this ridiculous affair.
Well that's all for this week. Surf on by next week for more box office goodies, new official sites for upcoming flicks, new trailers 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. Peace in. Gallagher out!