It was another interesting week of movie happenings in Hollywood. One of the Super Troopers might be trading in his cruiser for a famous orange Charger. Nikki Reed goes from Thirteen to an American Gun. And Quentin Tarantino takes probably the biggest pay-cut in cinematic history. But a lot more went down in the City of Angels this week. Let’s take a look, but first, lets see who conquered the holiday weekend at the box office.
BOX OFFICE CORNER
We didn’t need “spidey sense” to figure out who would take the box office crown this weekend. Spider-Man 2 was no surprise at the number 1 spot this weekend, taking in an estimated $115.8 million for this 4th of July weekend. But the sequel did not break the original’s opening weekend record gross of $114.8 million because the $115.8 for the sequel was over 4 days, and the original was over 3 days. Spider-Man 2 took in $88.3 for the Friday-Sunday weekend. While Spider-Man 2’s opening weekend figures are rather impressive, I actually thought they would be higher. The first movie was in 3,615 theaters, while the sequel was in 4,115 theaters. But still, this is a massive haul for Spidey, and totaling in the numbers from its Wednesday release, the flick comes in at just over $180 million for 6 days. It’s 5-day total of $152.5 million is a record, and it also broke records for biggest July opening and biggest 4th of July weekend openings. It will be interesting to see how Spidey fares this coming week, going up against King Arthur on Wednesday and Anchorman on Friday.
While in an enormously distant 2nd place, Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 still had a very strong showing in its second weekend. The documentary took in an estimated $21 million over the 4-day weekend. The movie only dropped a rather impressive 12.2% in its second weekend, but that’s probably due to its theater count nearly doubling to 1,725. But still, the movie is now at just over $60 million total, over 10 times its original budget. This is the first documentary that will even come close to breaking the $100 million mark. With this amazing box office performance, it will be very interesting to see what subject Mr. Moore decides to focus on next. Hopefully the Bush daughters don’t get into anymore drinking problems or anything…
Blade: Trinity: (bladetrinity.com) This is a pretty slick site, that will definitely capture the interest of the hardcore fans of the Daywalker. There are a few different things to check out here. Click on Blade is Back and you get a cool Flash thing, that goes through a little of Blade’s past and a little bit on what he’s up against in the new flick, and when that intro is done there are a few desktops you can download. Click on Meet Abigail and you see a few random shots of Abigail, played by the lovely Jessica Biel, and then some Abigail desktops you can download. And if you click on All Hail the King you get a similar intro to Hannibal, played by Ryan Reynolds and then some Hannibal desktops to download. And if all those desktops weren’t enough for you, there is a whole lot more in the Downloads section (probably the most desktops I’ve ever seen on an official movie site) along with some AOL Instant Messenger icons and a teaser poster to download. There is also a message board here and you can view the trailer. Overall, this is a great site, with a lot to get and see. Blade: Trinity is in theaters December 10.
Christmas With the Kranks: (sonypictures.com/movies/christmaswiththekranks) While the last site was filled with some great stuff, there is nothing at this site but the trailer that loads automatically when you log on the site. Oh, and when the trailer is done, don’t be fooled by the website “kranks.com” at the end of the trailer. It’s just a link back to the same site with nothing but the trailer on it. I’m sure there will be more to this site before it opens over this Thanksgiving, but it’s just not worth checking out now.
Blade: Trinity: If you’re one of the millions who saw Spider-Man 2, you probably saw this trailer attached to it. Like the website, this movie’s trailer is pretty solid. They have more of a diverse cast here with the additions of Jessica Biel and Ryan Reynolds, taking a rare role in a non-comedy. And it looks like the story, like most good trilogies, ties it all in together nicely. This should be a solid action flick, and it will probably be a nice break from the seriousness of December movies. I don’t know if they’re planning on a 4th Blade flick, but if they end the series with this movie, it will probably all work out nicely.
Christmas With the Kranks: This definitely doesn’t look like it, but this is a movie based on a John Grisham book. I never thought we’d see a comedic movie based off a John Grisham book, but this looks pretty solid, and somewhat of a cross between last year’s wonderful Bad Santa and every other Christmas movie you’ve seen. It’s more funny than mean-spirited, but there is a little bit of that sharp edge we saw in Bad Santa. This looks like it could be a hit, which is definitely something that Tim Allen hasn’t had in awhile. Check out the Kranks over Thanksgiving weekend, November 24.
Silver City: This new film from indie filmmaker John Sayles definitely looks like a winner. It has some political overtones, humor and it appears to be a dark drama as well. The cast is just phenomenal, but it’s filled with names that your average American is probably not familiar with (Chris Cooper, Maria Bello, Billy Zane and many others) and a few that most Americans are familiar with (Daryl Hannah, Richard Dreyfus). John Sayles is a wonderful writer-director, and it appears that his reputation will remain intact after this film is released. Silver City opens on September 17.
The Inheritance: I’m not familiar with this Dutch director Per Fly, but apparently he’s supposed to be good. This drama looks pretty decent, although I doubt it will ever come anywhere near my area. This movie centers around family and power and stuff like that, and it should be pretty good. The Inheritance opens July 9 in New York, but it will probably expand in the weeks after.
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
My pick for Best News of the Week is the promising young actor Charlie Hunnam to join Ted Griffin’s new untitled project. Hunnam hasn’t been in much, but I thought he was remarkable in Abandon, and I hear he was also good in Nicholas Nickleby, although I never saw that flick. Everything about this movie looks wonderful. The story is incredibly fresh and original, centering around The Graduate possibly being a “true story”, in the movie, not real life. Hunnam and Jennifer Anniston sounds like a wonderful combination, and Ted Griffin, who wrote Ocean’s 11 and Matchstick Men is a great screenwriter. Griffin is pulling writer-director duty here, his directorial debut, and I can’t wait to see what he can do at the helm.
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
The Worst News of the Week this week is the possibility of a prequel to the classic The Untouchables. I loved the 1987 Brian De Palma movie, but a prequel just doesn’t sound right. First of all, there’s no way they can use Robert DeNiro as Al Capone. The Untouchables was 17 years ago, and this is supposed to be a prequel, hence he’d have to be even younger, unless they pull some Brandon Lee/The Crow computer stuff off here. Second, why? What’s the point? You can pull off a sequel 17 years or so after the original. That’s been proven. But a prequel? It just doesn’t sound right to me. Antoine Fuqua, who is a possibility to direct, is a wonderful choice for a helmer, but I don’t think even his talent can pull this premise together.
IRONIC NEWS OF THE WEEK
I just had to add this category this week, after seeing this news bit: there was a fire on the set of the movie House of Wax. I am glad that no one was hurt from the fire, but wow. That’s one of the funniest damn things I’ve heard all year. At least the movie wasn’t the House of C4 or anything…There are so many different ways you could make a joke about this, so I’ll just leave it up to you….
SADDEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
It’s very unfortunate that I have to add this category this week, but I had to say something about Marlon Brando’s death. I won’t say all the normal stuff about the man being a legend and one of the best actors ever, because, frankly, we all know that and it’s been said many times in the few days since his death. But, given the fact that his controversial personal life sometimes overshadowed his performances, I’ll say this. Remember the man for, “I coulda been a contender.” Remember the man for “I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse.” Remember the man for A Streetcar Named Desire, Apocalypse Now and the other wonderful performances he’s given us throughout his spectacular career. Let his personal life be and honor the glorious impact he had on the motion picture industry. R.I.P. Marlon Brando, an offer you surely can’t refuse.