It was another wild week in Hollywood, with another slew of movie news, box office figures, websiters and trailers. So lets get started with the best and worst news bits of the week, with Notables.
"Hayden Christensen to star in The Decameron" - Monday, February 14
I always hear people dissing Hayden, because he's not quite the Anakin everyone thought he would be. This kid is a pretty good actor in my book, though (See: Shattered Glass and Life as a House). He's shown some great range in his in-between Star Wars flicks, and he should do pretty good here. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Meg Ryan set to star in The Role of a Lifetime" - Tuesday, February 15
Dear Ms. Ryan,
We all think you're cute as hell, no one is denying that. But that doesn't mean you have to take these stupid, cutesy projects like this one. You made yourself a household name on flicks like this, but isn't it time to move on? I thought you were great going against type in Against the Ropes, so you can pull other stuff off. There's no need for these kind of projects for you anymore, and I'm saddened to make this a Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Paul W.S. Anderson set to helm Man With the Football" - Tuesday, February 15
Wow. For one, if such a "football" does actually exist, I can't imagine the feasibility of terrorists being able to steal it, especially post-9/11. For two, I am not a fan of Anderson's work and I'm sure that won't change if this retarded project ends up getting made. There is probably a reason this has been on the shelf for years and years...Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Intermedia set to remake One Missed Call" - Tuesday, February 15
This sounds like another great Japanese suspense-thriller that will do well over here, but there's something I just don't get. If this compamy, Kadakowa Pictures is an L.A.-based unit of a Japanese production company, why don't they just do these pictures over here to start with? It says the sequel to this flick has grossed $6 million in two weeks. If this is as good as it sounds, it could do that business in about two hours. Don't get me wrong, it sounds like they have another winner here, I just don't get why they can't eliminate the middleman and get these thrillers right over to America. Hell, they could do a Japanese version and an American version at the same time. Make an international cinematic pissing contest out of it. That'd be fun, eh? Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Bryan Singer set to direct U Want Me 2 Kill Him?" - Tuesday, February 15
"Brad Pitt is Chad Schmidt" - Tuesday, February 15
Finally, some originality up in here! This sounds like a wonderful project, and I'm not surprised at all that the script by Steve Conrad sold for over $1 million. It's a little late for Pitt to have a "breakthrough" role, but this will certainly be innovative. It will be intersting to see what kind of character Conrad and Pitt will turn Schmidt into (maybe give John Malkovich a call, eh?), and there will certainly be some memorable cameos. This is one of the best projects I've heard of in quite awhile, and I hope it goes off without a hitch. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Alex Proyas to direct Richard Kelly's Knowing" - Thursday, February 17
This sounds like yet another great project from the mind of Richard Kelly, the brilliant young mind who devised the amazing Donnie Darko. I'm not quite sure why Kelly hasn't been directing these projects like this one, and the upcoming Domino, but maybe he's just a man who knows his limits, which is admirable. The story here sounds great, as usual, and I love the pick of Alex Proyas to direct here, because he has a dark style that will serve this project nicely. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Bruce Willis set to headline 16 Blocks" - Thursday, February 17
Hmmm, let me see here. Bruce Willis playing a depressed New York cop. I bet he smokes a lot of cigarettes and has a bunch of catchy one-liners and says something like "Yippie-kay-yah, mother trucker." You're already making a 4th Die Hard, you dolt. Don't you realize this is, how can I put this...THE EXACT SAME THING! Wow, some people...Worst News of the Week Nominee.
BOX OFFICE CORNER
Moviegoers were fully "hitched" for the second week in a row, as Big Willie Style confirmed his box office dominance. Hitch took the number 1 spot again this weekend, taking in an estimated $31.4 million in its second weekend in release. The Will Smith romcom showed some incredibe staying power, dropping only 27.2% from last weekend. It averaged $8,783 per-screen this weekend, and its overall take has jumped to $89.7 million, which is almost a $20 million profit after week 2.
The week's three new releases were all trailing Hitch in spots 2-4, but one of them wasn't trailing by much. Constantine took the second spot this weekend, earning an estimated $29.7 million in its debut weekend. The Keanu Reeves flick screened in 569 less theaters than Hitch, but posted an impressive $9,885 per-screen average this weekend. While these numbers are impressive, the $100 million flick will need some good numbers in the coming weeks to show a profit.
Because of Winn-Dixie took the bronze medal this weekend, earning an estimated $10.4 million in its first weekend. The family flick doesn't have a whole lot of work to do to make a profit, though, from its $14 million budget. The 4th place flick, Son of the Mask, isn't looking quite as good though. The "sequel" earned a paltry $7.5 million in its opening weekend, but it has an $84 million budget to make back. With the opening weekend numbers, it seems more likely that Jim Carrey will star in the third movie, than the likelihood of this flick earning a profit.
This is a decent site, that first looked like it might be a bad one. The site starts off with this collage thing, and a link to enter the main site. Once you enter that, the collage is back again, but nothing else...that is until you run your mouse over one of the picture in the collage, each of which is a different menu link. There are The History, which gives you the factual background of the film's basis, a Synopsis, About the Filmmakers, which gives you bios on the director and the other key cast members as well as some production notes. There are similar bios under Cast and there is also a photo gallery and a statement from the director, about his experiences making the film. This is a nifty site, with plenty to do before the flick's March 11 release.
There is a LOT to do on this site. You start out in the Characters section, and if you've seen this trailer, you know this section is extensive. There are 3 sections of characters here, and for each character there is a brief clip, and some downloadable items. Under The Film, there is a synopsis, but the Cast, Filmmakers and Production Notes links are coming soon. Under Media, there is the trailer and a photo gallery, but the Soundtrack and Clips links are coming soon also. In Downloads you get the same desktops and AIM icons that you can get in the Characters section, but there are also some posters you can download, although the Custom Desktops and Sin City ID are coming soon. There is only one game under Games, but it's pretty cool and the other games are coming soon, of course. Keeping to theme, the last two sections, The Books and Fan Central are coming soon, but even with all the stuff that's missing, the site is pretty damn cool. Sin City opens April 1 and I can't wait!
Melinda and Melinda: (www2.foxsearchlight.com/melindaandmelinda)
This is a quirky little site, which can be expected from a Woody Allen movie. There isn't a ton to do here, but it's sufficient enough. There are some nice bios in both the Cast and Filmmakers section and there's also the trailer, a synopsis and some photos. This won't set the world on fire or anything, but it's not too bad. Melinda and Melinda opens on March 18 in New York City, and March 23 in select cities.
This is another artificial intelligence flick, but this time the A.I. comes in the form of a stealth bomber. While the premise might be a tad overdone, the stealth part is interesting, and the solid cast (Jamie Foxx, Jessica Biel, Josh Lucas) should be fairly solid. It doesn't sound as dumb as director Rob Cohen's previous flicks (See: xXx, The Fast and the Furious), as far as the dialogue goes, so that's good as well. This could turn out to be some good summer fun, minus the dumb. Stealth opens July 29.
Why do all these horror flicks always revolve around a group of hot young people that get lost and find something spooky? Well, House of Wax follows this to a T, but I'm a little dissapointed that the talented Elisha Cuthbert decided to be a part of this...alongside the talentless Paris Hilton, nonetheless. Besides the actual house of wax that they visit, nothing seems too original here, and it just doesn't look worth seeing. House of Wax opens on May 6.
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
There were some good picks this week, but I'm going with Brad Pitt's new alter-ego for my Best News of the Week. This just sounds like an all-around wonderful project. Pitt has more range than he knows what to do with, so I'm sure he'll have no trouble fitting into this new "self" of his. There are just a ton of directions that this flick can go in, and with Pitt in his prime, any direction would be a good one.
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
It was a tough choice this week, but I'm going with Bruce Willis mocking himself for Worst News of the Week. This just sounds EXACTLY like his famed John McLane role from Die Hard, and I just don't know why he'd take a role so similar. OK, maybe I'm reading too much into this. Maybe it'll turn out to be a funny buddy cop thing like National Security...umm, well maybe it'll be a good serious buddy cop thing like Hollywood Homicide...umm...Showtime, maybe? Let's face it, Bruce. The only thing more played out than you in these roles, is the genre itself. True, I can't wait to see you in Sin City, but take darker roles like these so that you can show us you actually care about your career again.
That's all for this week. Surf on by next week for more box office goodies, websites, 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.