Howdy folks. Another 7 days has past and brought us another slew of movie news, box office figures, new websites for upcoming flicks and new trailers. So lets not make haste and get this kicked off with this week's Notables.
"Donald Petrie Helming Chasing Dinner" - Monday, November 21
I guess the holiday season must have really done something over at the Yari Film Group. Maybe they were having some turkey a little early over there, and that triptophan messed with their heads, because this sounds just retarded. This flick, about a bunch of pigs who escape butchering, sounds just up Donald Petrie's alley, since he seems to like these schmaltzy, moronic stories. Unfortunately, I don't think this is anything anyone else will like. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"David Bowie in Talks for The Prestige" - Monday, November 21
David Bowie as a magician sounds just money to me. I hope he plays some sort of bad guy here, because he surely has that look down to a science. Throw a big ol' cloak on him and do something crazy with his hair, and he has mad magician written all over him. This cast is starting to round out rather smashingly, with Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale and Michael Caine already attatched, and if Bowie signs on as well, all they need is a lovely gothic lady to make this a wonderful cast. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Jessica Simpson is Employee of the Month" - Monday, November 21
Well, we loved her in the shortest of shorts, so throwing a smock and a ponytail on her might downplay her appeal a tad. Still, she's getting to be quite the hot commodity, and now with her break-up with hubby Nick Lachey (I know you're all so sad...) she'll have more time to pursue interests like this. And she does fit the character quite well: a hottie at a convienence store who two clerks are vying for, and both compete intensely for the coveted Employee of the Month status. If I could get a date with her, I'd go for employee of the month, for sure, so this should probably work fairly well. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"New Line Puts Rush Hour 3 on the Fast Track" - Monday, November 21
Oh man do I hope New Line gets burned by this one. Neither Jackie Chan nor Chris Tucker has had a hit movie since the last Rush Hour flick in 2001. Hell, Tucker hasn't even APPEARED in a movie since then and Chan's most recent American flicks have bombed (See: The Tuxedo, The Medallion, Around the World in 80 Days) to the point that he's gone back to doing Hong Kong action flicks lately. Tucker is getting $20 million and 20% of the gross and Chan is getting $15 million and 15% of the gross. This is a $120 million picture, with guys who haven't had a hit in 4 years, and New Line gets 65%, or maybe less with other deals, of the gross of this picture. I hope this movie makes $30 million overall, and will force New Line into growing a brain before commiting such a vast amount to people and a project that no one probably gives a damn about anyway. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"7 Sign for Indie Comedy You are Here" - Tuesday, November 22
This sounds like a pretty interesting movie. At first, Michael Biehn's name didn't quite seem like it belonged there, since he's much older than the rest of the young cast, but maybe he's playing a bartender or a cab driver or father or something. The flick surrounds the 6 younger cast memebers, as they re-tell their goings-on from the night before in the clubs of Los Angeles. Most of the cast, besides Bijou Phillips and Biehn don't have a lot of screen credits on their resume, but this sounds like a smarter version of Dude, Where's My Car? and should make for some good indie fun. Best News of the Week Nominee.
BOX OFFICE CORNER
Even with 5 new movies in a cluttered holiday weekend, Mr. Potter and the Man in Black remained on top of the box office this weekend. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire remained on top for the second straight week, taking in $54.7 million this weekend. It dropped 46.7% from last weekend, which isn't too shabby with so many new flicks this weekend, and it surpassed the $200 million mark, now standing at just over $201 million overall, becoming the 4th fastest flick to reach $200 million. While there were a number of new flims this week, there weren't any that provided any competition, but that should change in the coming weeks, with a December full of Oscar favorites coming up, so look for the Hogwarts Express to start a slow but steady decline over the next few weeks.
Even though it took the second spot at the box office this weekend, Walk the Line probably turned in the most impressive weekend. It took second place with $19.2 million, but the impressive part was that it only dropped an astonishingly meager 14 percent from last weekend. This Oscar favorite seems to have the legs to carry it well into December, with such a small drop like this one. The Johnny Cash biopic now stands at slightly over $54 million, with a cool $14 million profit in their pockets after 10 days and poised to make a decent box office run to complement the Oscar hype.
While the newcomers this week couldn't overcome last week's mainstays, some had fairly solid weeks. Yours, Mine & Ours took the 3rd spot this weekend, with a decent showing of $17.4 million. It posted a solid $5,446 per-screen average, and while it isn't a sure lock to profit from a $45 million budget, it's not in too bad of shape, unlike the rest of the pack. Rent took the 5th spot this weekend, with just over $10 million and needs some very good weeks in the future to make back its $40 million budget. The rest of the newbies didn't release budget figures, but it's safe to say they won't make much money after their opening weekends. Just Friends took the 6th place with $9.1 million and In the Mix and The Ice Harvest rounded out the top 10 with the 9th and 10th spots, earning $4.4 million and $3.7 million respectively, even though there isn't much respective about those grosses at all...
Box Office Predictions
1) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - $24.6 million
2) Aeon Flux - $24.3 million
3) Walk the Line: $14.7 million
4) Chicken Little: $10.5 million
5) Yours, Mine & Ours: $9.6 million
This is a fairly simple site, from a design standpoint, but, due to the subject nature of this movie; the flight that fought back on 9/11, this isn't your average official website for a movie. The main page of the site has a news ticker that you can click on each listing for, a banner to donate for the Flight 93 Memorial Fund and an Introduction, which is a very in-depth synopsis. On the left side of the site you get your menu options. The first option is Forum, and while there isn't anything really here yet, there will be plenty in the future. If you register with the site, writer-director Paul Greengrass will be posting news on the production, and will actually field questions from regular Joe's like you and me, which I think is very cool, and something you rarely see, except from the fan-friendly Kevin Smith. The next link is Memorial, and for now, they just have a list of those who were on board and died on Flight 93, but a full memorial is coming soon. The Production link just has a few news postings as of now, but shooting on this picture just started a few weeks ago, so look for a lot more here too. There is also a link to Cast and Crew, but there is only a list of the characters and who portrays them, but I hope bios on these individuals will be coming soon as well. The Links section gives you several sites exploring all facets of the events portrayed in the movie, as well as other terroristic acts that have taken place in the past few years. The Archive section is irrelevant now, because there are only a few news postings and the other two links, Timeline and Shanksburg are both coming soon. This site is fairly simple now, but what's here is very cool and look for a lot more to come as the production progresses. Flight 93 opens on April 28, 2006.
On the front page of the site here you can view the trailer, buy a ticket or glance at the soundtrack before you enter the main site. In the main site, click on anything, or on Menu at the top to find all the options here. In Story, you get a decent synopsis and a bunch of production notes to view. In Videos you get the new trailer and TV spots. Cast and Crew gives us some nice bios for the main players in front of and behind the camera, in Downloads you get a wallpaper, screensavers and AIM Icons to download and in Images there is a decent photo gallery to peruse. There are also a few options below the menu, but only one, Bialy's Big Ones, is active. It's basically a look at the character of Max Bialystock, played by Nathan Lane, and a look at his character's fame as a Broadway man. It's some pretty cool insight to the character, in a very innovative way. Overall, this is a pretty slick site, with some decent content and some very cool style. The Producers opens on December 16 in limited release and on Christmas Day in wide release.
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
I'm going with the new indie clubbin comedy for my Best News of the Week. This premise if rife with possibilities, since after a night of drinking, memory isn't usually a commodity one possesses. One could be lying and caught in a lie, etc etc. While the cast doesn't feature anyone that would draw people to the theaters by their name alone, if they do this right, this could find a pretty decent audience.
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
Easy one, kids. Rush Hour 3 on the "fast track.". Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan have long been gone from moviegoers radar, and I doubt most have missed them. Another troublesome thing here is I see they're filming parts of this in Paris. Great. Like we didn't get enough French jokes from Tucker in Money Talks, and Chan can barely speak English, let alone try to butcher his way through the French language. If Jerry Lewis makes a cameo, I swear, I don't know what I'll do... Just end this madness now. Maybe send them off to the south of France and tell them it's Paris and get them drunk off some wine and send them home. Besides, it's been awhile since Tucker has been on a movie set. He might not know the difference...
That's all for this week. Surf on by next week for more box office goodies, new official websites for upcoming flicks, new trailers and, of course, the best and worst news of the week. Take care, folks and always rememeber: if it look like a good time, sounds like a good time and feels like a good time... it probably isn't free.