Another week has come and gone and left us with a whole new batch of movie news, box office figures, new official websites for upcoming flicks and new trailers. So lets get this kicked off right with this week's Notables.
What I think is humorous about this whole situation is that Dunst was "assured" that this info was released already. That's partially true, because we already knew that Thomas Haden Church and Topher Grace had signed onto the sequel, but we didn't know which roles they would be playing. But as far as I know, this was the first that we heard of the actual characters they'll be playing. Oh well, Kirsten. Nobody's perfect. Now that we know that Church will be playing Sandman and Grace will play Venom, these sound like wonderful choices for both roles, at least from how the characters were described. Best News of the Week Nominee.
I'm not too sure about this one, kids. For one, director Raja Gosnell has made his name making the flippin Scooby Doo flicks, and the writer he has on this flick, Mark Perez, has such bombs like The Country Bears and Herbie: Fully Loaded. This sounds like a rip-off of any spy flick from Innerspace to I Spy and I doubt this will be any good at all. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
One of the weakest parts of last year's Ladder 49 was the dull performance of Ms. Barrett as Joaquin Phoenix's wife. Her performance was as stiff as a baseball bat, and while this will surely be a lighter role than her role in Ladder 49, I just don't think she has the chops for this yet, which shouldn't be surprising since she's mainly known for being one of the housemates in Real World London. Then again, this flick will mainly be about the back-and-forth between Jon Heder and Billy Bob Thornton, so maybe she won't have that much to screw up after all. Still, this is easily a Worst News of the Week Nominee.
This could be a really big movie here, folks. There is a wonderful and diverse cast in place here with Norton, Farrell and Emmerich, who might get a big push from this flick if it does well, since he isn't nearly as well known as Norton and Farrell. The story here, a multi-faceted drama centering on a family in the NYPD and the possibility of corruption within, sound great as well written by Gavin O'Connor (Miracle) and Joe Carnahan who wrote the magnificent flick Narc. O'Connor will also direct here, and this sounds like a superb flick that I can't wait to get started. Best News of the Week Nominee.
OK, these guys can be really funny (See: Super Troopers), but they can also crap the bed as well (See: Club Dread). This one might require a change of sheets, because this just sounds dreadful, pun intended. This flick is about an NFL linebacker who's the dirtiest player in the game, but when he isn't performing anymore, he heads to ballet lessons to apparently help him on the gridiron. Right. How the hell is ballet supposed to help a linebacker sack a quarterback or stuff a running back? I'm just not getting the logic behind this one, and I can't see good things coming from this one. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
Where does a comic go when he's achieved as much as one possibly can in every realm of comedy? Like many before him, Mike Myers will be taking a foray into drama. Although no one probably remembers it very well, Myers did a fabulous job in a dramatic role before, as the shady club owner in 54, and although I love most of his comedic work, I've been waiting for him to come back to a dramatic role since I saw him in 54, because I thought he did a phenomenal job. This role as The Who's drummer Keith Moon sounds like the perfect vehicle for such a return, and I'm very pumped for it. Best News of the Week Nominee.
BOX OFFICE CORNER
This week's box office numbers must not have had a landing pattern in sight, as last week's number one flick continued to soar above the rest. Flightplan took the #1 spot for the second time in as many weeks, with an estimated take of just over $15 million. The Jodie Foster drama dropped only 38.9% from last weekend, and it posted a steady per-screen average of $4,391 while showing in 3,424 theaters. It's now at $46.1 million overall. While this flick performed very well, it seems like we're starting to get back to "normal" with falltime grosses leveling off, after a surprising surge for most of the month of September.
Serenity couldn't capitalize on heaps of buzz and a cult-ish following, resulting in a 2nd place finish of $10.1 million. The adaptation/re-imagining of the short-lived TV series "Firefly" was well-liked by the nation's critics, scoring a very good 79% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but it seems that more of a mainstream appeal might have done this flick more good. Still, it posted a solid per-screen average of $4,634 as it was only shown in 2,188 theaters. But with a $39 million budget to make back, I don't think they'll be patting themselves on the back about a solid per-screen average.
The week's other new flicks didn't perform nearly as well, though. Into the Blue looked like it was riding waves in the kiddie pool this weekend, as it could only surf to a 5th place finish and an estimated $7 million. It posted a horrible $2,509 per-screen average screening in 2,789 theaters. Still, it managed a better finish than The Greatest Game Ever Played, which was only in just over 1,000 theaters and could only muster $3.7 million this weekend, good for 9th place.
But perhaps the weekend's biggest winner was David Cronenberg's A History of Violence. It leapfrogged from 18th place last weekend to 4th this weekend, with an estimated take of $8.2 million. It scored easily the best per-screen average of flicks in the top 10 with an impressive $6,119 average from 1,340 screens. They're only at $8.9 million overall after 2 weeks, but with these impressive numbers, I'm sure this Cannes favorite will keep on expanding throughout the country and continue to put up some great numbers.
Box Office Predictions
Here we go again...
Predictions for 10/7-10-9
1) Two For the Money: $18.4 million
2) Waiting: $11.8 million
3) In Her Shoes: $9.6 million
4) Flightplan: $8.3 million
5) Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit: $6.8 million
Prediction Results for 9/30-10/2
1) Serenity: $26.7 million - ACTUAL Rank: 2; Gross: $10.1 million
2) Into the Blue: $19.3 million - ACTUAL Rank: 5; Gross: $7 million
3) Flightplan: $13.3 million - ACTUAL Rank: 1; Gross: $15.03 million
4) Tim Burton's Corpse Bride: $9.8 million - ACTUAL Rank: 3; Gross: $9.75 million
5) A History of Violence: $8.7 million - ACTUAL Rank: 4; Gross: $8.2 million
We have another fairly dull site here, folks. There is the trailer and some AIM Icons and wallpapers to download and, of course, the obligatory link to register for updates. Oh, there's the one-sheet also with a bunch of hands grabbing at Usher. Wow. Stunning stuff here folks.... In the Mix opens on November 23.
And I thought the last site was bad... We don't even get a damn one-sheet to look at, just the trailer and the title. Oh, but the trailer is in three different formats, Quicktime, Windows Media and Real Player for your convenience... Here's something else for your convenience: skip this site with nothing on it. Match Point opens on Christmas Day in limited release.
Ahh Kevin Smith. How the movie fan does adore thee. Smith has long been one of the most accessible filmmakers via the Internet, personally responding to questions on his the message boards of his website (www.viewaskew.com), and just being an all-around kick-ass dude, from what I've gathered. So for the official website for his Clerks sequel, he takes his fan-friendly demeanor to another level. There is a running video journal of the production of Passion of the Clerks, with two new vids posted today alone. There is also some news briefs from other venues along with their comments on the article. And, of course, the fans are welcome to comment everywhere on the site, which is just awesome. The video journals are a lot of fun to watch, and it gives you a glimpse into Smith's mindset on the film and on anything else he feels like talking about. Kevin Smith junkies, you've found your new Mecca, and it's one of the best sites to come out this year, folks, because it gives the fans more than just the normal website jazz of pictures and AIM Icons. Clerks 2: The Passions of the Clerks is slated for a Spring 2006 release.
Unreal, folks. These dolts go to the trouble of putting a website live only for it to have NOTHING AT ALL on the site! They have the spiffy new Superman logo, and the word "RETURNS" below it and 2006 below that. That is it! At least give us some AIM Icons or a picture of that Routh kid or even some Kate Bosworth. Anything, something. Make an effort at least. Come on Brothers Warner. You're getting almost as bad as Sony with their websites... Superman Returns opens on June 30, 2006.
This flick marks Woody Allen's first foray outside of his beloved New York City, and it could very well be his best flick in years. Not only is the setting different, but this is a very different Woody Allen flick. This isn't the light comedy fare that he's made a career of, but more of a romantic drama that looks like sort of an opposite version of Unfaithful. While not wholly original, this looks to be a solid flick with fine performances from Scarlett Johansson, Jonathan Rhys-Myers and Emily Mortimer. With it's Christmas Day release date, this flick could be the Closer of 2005 and sneak out a few Oscar nods, perhaps.
This looks like an interesting flick, and one that could actually give some credibility to Paul Walker. No, I'm serious, it does look pretty good. Writer-director Wayne Kramer looks like he's crafted an interesting flick here, with Walker as a lowly clean-up man for the mob, who was a normal-ish life at home with a wife and kids. It all blows up in his face, though, when a gun he's supposed to dispose of is stolen at home, used in a crime and now he has the cops and his own mob looking for answers. The cast isn't really star-studded here, with the only other notable name here being Chazz Palminteri. Still, this looks like a fairly solid flick, but they might want to lobby for a new release date, since January 6 isn't exactly a great one.
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
It was a close race this week, but I'm picking this gritty, well-cast NYPD cop drama for my Best News of the Week, just over Mike Myers new dramatic role. This is a rockin' cast here, with three talented actors that all haven't worked with each other, but I think will work marvelously together. Norton and Farrell obviously have the chops, and Emmerich has several solid performances under his belt, but under the radar. I think this is a great flick in the making and I can't wait to see how it turns out.
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
I'm going with the dopey Nutcracker for my Worst News of the Week. For one, I just can't wrap my brain around the premise of a hard-nosed linebacker going to ballet to try to help his career. Now, if this was a running back or wide receiver who's gotten along in age and lost a step or three, then I can see this at least being sort of logical. But grace and flexibility are two things that aren't in the job description of an NFL linebacker. I just have this vision of a Dick Butkus-type of guy jumping and pirouetting on the field, and I just want to throw up. Sure, there will be cheap laughs aplenty when this bruiser straps on those weird shoes and tutu, but that doesn't mean I will slap down any amount of cash to see it in the theater or even in the comfort of my own abobe. If I were the Broken Lizzard dudes, I'd stick with that Greek Road flick they were working on, and throw this script in a wood chipper.
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 remember: if it looks like a good time, sounds like a good time and feels like a good time... it probably isn't free.