This past week brought us a number of intriguing news items. It seems that Disney isn’t too thrilled with Michael Moore’s new documentary. The production of the next Mission: Impossible movie is having some location troubles. And it seems that it takes a different Bigelow to know a gigolo in the Deuce Bigalow sequel. But a whole lot more than that happened this week in the City of Angels. Let’s take a look, but first, let’s see how the first weekend of the summer turned out at the box office.
BOX OFFICE CORNER
Despite some lackluster reviews, Hugh Jackman: The Vampire Slayer took home the crown at the box office this weekend. Van Helsing’s estimated $54.2 million gross was more than enough to nab the number 1 spot. The Stephen Sommers action flick was in a robust 3,575 theaters, and it averaged just over $15,000 per theater. But the reviews for Van Helsing were not nearly as impressive as its box office take (23% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes) and I think that this movie will struggle to earn a profit from its enormous $160 million budget.
The weekend’s only other new wide release marked the non-straight-to-video debut of the Olsen Twins. But even with the Olsen twins newfound popularity, their flick, New York Minute, could only muster a 4th place finish. It grossed an estimated $6.2 million, showing in 3,006 theaters, but only averaging $2,075 per screen. It looks like the Olsen Twins’ shelf life might have died on the video shelves…
The Village: (thevillage.movies.go.com/) First up this week is the official website for the new M. Night Shyamalan thriller, The Village. There is a lot going on here with 6 different categories to check out. There’s The Film, Essentials, Face Your Fears, The Cast, Images and Video. But while the site looks pretty cool, there is a lot that is not up here, and you’ll see “Coming Soon” under a lot of the categories. But you can download some wallpapers, send an e-card, and you can even download an iron-on design to make your own t-shirt. And under Face Your Fears you can write in to the site, saying what you fear the most and how you overcame that fear, and they will post the best ones on the site. But even though there is still more to be put on the site, there is more than enough to keep Shyamalan fans busy until this thriller hits the theaters on July 30.
Catwoman: (catwoman.warnerbros.com/) Next up is the official site for Catwoman. This is a pretty simple site, but a nice one, especially the shot of Halle Berry in full Cat-garb on the main page… Anyway, there is a synopsis, a photo gallery, some downloadable desktops and AOL Instant Messanger icons, and a Sketchbook. The Sketchbook is pretty cool, actually, because it looks like a few storyboard sketches from the movie. There aren’t a whole lot here, but I thought it was nice to share some storyboards with the fans. Catwoman hits theaters on July 23.
The Chronicles of Riddick: (www.thechroniclesofriddick.com) And lastly we have the official site for the Pitch Black sequel, The Chronicles of Riddick. This is another busy site, with many categories to choose from. Under the Movie category, there are links to the new trailer, synopsis, photo gallery, cast and crew, production notes, behind the scenes. In Downloads, you can nab some wallpapers, AIM icons, screensavers and e-card’s. In Media you can see the trailers, clips, TV spots and interviews. You can even sign up to be a “Merc” and get even more exclusive content. But the coolest thing about this site is under Hunt For Riddick. This has 4 chapters (the 4th one isn’t completed yet, though) and it’s all very cool, and some of it is even interactive. This is the best site I’ve seen since doing this column. It has a lot of great information and other things to get you pumped for the movie’s June 11 release.
Before Sunset:First up is the trailer for the latest from writer-director Richard Linklater, Before Sunset. This looks like it’s definitely a date movie, folks. The last line in the trailer is “What if you got a second chance with the one that got away?” Yeah, not too original of a concept, but Hawke looks like he gives a decent performance, and I’ll always check out any of Linklater’s work, so this could work after all. Before Sunset will be released on July 2.
Undertaking Betty: Next is this movie that, honestly, I’ve never even heard of until I saw this trailer, Undertaking Betty. But after seeing this wonderful trailer, I’m really looking forward to it. This has a great concept, a wonderful, diverse cast and some great humor. This movie doesn’t have a release date as of yet, but it’s slated for sometime this year. This will definitely be one to look for, because it looks just hilarious and original.
Catwoman: The new Catwoman trailer is up next, but it looks like more of a teaser than an actual trailer. There is just a lot of random shots of Halle Berry kicking some ass in skin-tight leather. It looks pretty good, mind you, but as far as trailers go, it’s not a very good one. Maybe we’ll see a better trailer before this movie hits the theaters on July 23.
The Bourne Supremacy:It’s funny that the same day this trailer hit MovieWeb, my Summer Movie Preview was posted on MovieWeb, where I mentioned that I was surprised there was no trailer for this movie. Got to love good timing… And this trailer is a pretty good one too, reminding us where we last saw Jason Bourne in The Bourne Identity, and taking us to what he has to do next. This looks like it has just as much great action that the first movie had, and it looks to be a very solid movie. The movie opens on July 23.
I, Robot: An “exclusive Internet only” trailer for this new Will Smith flick was released this week. There’s not a whole lot that’s new here from the first trailer, but it still looks pretty cool, and re-affirms that this movie will be one to check out this summer. I, Robot hits theaters on July 16.
Collateral:And lastly we have the trailer for the new Michael Mann thriller, Collateral. This looks like one of the best movies this summer. Tom Cruise looks very convincing as a bad guy, a role he almost never takes, and Jamie Foxx looks great as well as the cabbie who drives Cruise to all of the people he is going to kill. Mann is a very talented filmmaker as well (See: Heat, The Insider) and I’m really looking forward to its August 6 release.
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
My pick for the Best News of the Week is the wonderful/hilarious Dave Chappelle finally top-lining his own movie. His Chappelle’s Show is just incredibly funny, and this movie project of his looks to be even funnier. I hope this doesn’t interfere with the 3rd season of Chapelle’s Show on Comedy Central, but it’s so popular now that I doubt it will. His TV show has some of the freshest and most original comedy in quite awhile, and it will be great to see what he can do with that same kind of humor in a movie.
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
This week’s worst news is the script sale for a flick called Exorcism for Dummies. This sounds just dumb, about a guy who fakes being an exorcist, and than figures out he really is an exorcist. Wow. This project being sold is just proof of how far you can get by being married to a director. The script was written by a few guys who have barely any writing experience, and Susana Hoffs Roach, ex-singer for The Bangles. The Roach in her name is from her marriage to Austin Powers director Jay Roach. Connections are everything in Hollywood, but that doesn’t mean you have to use them…especially for a project that sounds as horrible as this does.