Wednesday, August 30, 2006

One-Sheet for Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Football Drama's Invincible at Box Office


The last weekend in August is never a very good time to release a new movie. Schools are starting back up in some areas, while older folks are using the last few weeks of summer to take their vacations. It's also often thought of as a dumping ground for movies that studios don't know where else to place, something discovered by two out of the four new movies unleashed on Friday.

Disney's strategy to release the football drama Invincible before the start of the football season paid off well, as it had a solid debut at #1 with an estimated $17 million, twice the amount made by the movie in second place this weekend. Starring Mark Wahlberg as Philadelphia Eagles' Vince Papale, the movie opened in less than 3,000 theatres, but averaged roughly $5,800 per theatre, making it the third consecutive hit for Disney, who is having a great summer despite recently announcing that it would be cutting back on the number of movies it produces next year.

Will Ferrell's NASCAR comedy Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby continues to bring in audiences, making another $8 million this weekend to bring its total to $127 million after four weekends.

As impressive as it is for Sony's comedy to remain in the Top 2 for four consecutive weeks, the success story of the summer has to be Fox Searchlight's Little Miss Sunshine. Bought for $10.5 million at the Sundance Film Festival, the indie road comedy has successfully expanded across the country thanks to positive word-of-mouth. This weekend, it doubled its theatres and brought in an estimated $7.5 million in 1,430 theatres, enough for it to pull a four place jump up to third place for the weekend. It has grossed $23 million to date and should continue bringing people in through Labor Day and the slower month of September.

Despite opening in over 2,900 theatres on Friday, The Broken Lizard's Beerfest, their first movie distributed by Warner Bros, only pulled in rougly $6.5 million over the weekend after making $2.7 million on Friday, settling for 4th place this weekend. In three days, the movie made more than the Broken Lizard's last movie Club Dread made in total theatrically, but it made less opening weekend than their 2002 comedy Super Troopers, which opened in a thousand fewer theatres. Still, the movie only cost $12.5 million to make and should eventually be profitable for a studio that has not been having a very good summer.

Taking advantage of the weaker new releases, Universal Pictures' college comedy Accepted, starring Justin Long, picked up a bit of slack, remaining in fifth place with an additional $6.5 million in its second weekend, a negligible drop of 35%. It has already doubled its opening weekend with a total of $21 million.

Sixth and seventh place were picked up by two of August's stronger films, Oliver Stone's 9/11 drama World Trade Center and Touchstone's surprise hit Step Up , which grossed $6.4 and $6.2 million respectively. Both movies crossed the $50 million mark in their third weekends with Stone's film being ahead by a little more than $5 million.

Atlanta hip hop duo Outkast debuted their first feature film Idlewild into less than 1,000 theatres, where it brought in $5.9 million in business to take eighth place. Its $6,000 average per theatre was the highest for any movie in the Top 12.

After a disappointing opening, New Line's horror-thriller Snakes on a Plane took a major hit in its second weekend, dropping 57% and plunging from #1 to #9, something almost unheard of, especially for a movie that seemed to get good reviews and positive word-of-mouth. So far, the Samuel L. Jackson thriller has grossed $26 million total.

Paramount and Nickelodeon Films' animated comedy Barnyard: The Original Party Animals closed off the Top 10 with $5.4 million, bringing its own total to $54.7 million.

Dropping out of the Top 10, Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, the highest grossing movie of the year, added another $4 million to its total, pushing it past Spider-Man to become the sixth highest grossing movie ever with $407.5 million. Besides being the biggest hit of the summer, it's also Disney's highest grossing movie ever.

Not helping their tragic showing for Snakes on a Plane, New Line's adaptation of Thomas Rockwell's book How to Eat Fried Worms made just under $4 million in its opening weekend, averaging less per theatre than many of the returning movies.

Neil Burger's period mystery The Illusionist, starring Edward Norton and Paul Giamatti, added 93 theatres this weekend, building on its opening weekend word-of-mouth to make $1.8 million, its average of over $12,500 being the highest for any movie this weekend. Its relatively new distributor, Yari Film Group Releasing, will expand the movie nationwide into over 800 theatres next weekend after having grossed $3.2 million in limited release.

Also this weekend, Sony Classics opened the indie thriller The Quiet, starring Elisha Cuthbert and Edie Falco, but it only made $28.7 thousand in 7 theatres, a dismal average of $4,100, which isn't good for its planned expansion into 300 theatres next weekend.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Small Image of One-Sheet Teaser for Disney/Pixar's Ratatouille

One-Sheet for Children of Men

One-Sheet for Haven

One-Sheet for The Return

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Promotional One-Sheet for Lost: Season 3

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Paramount Ends Relationship with Cruise


Variety confirmed today that Paramount Pictures is ending its 14-year relationship with Tom Cruise's production company, Cruise/Wagner Productions. Cruise and Paula Wagner will be exiting the studio as they forge ahead with plans to create an independently financed production company. Wagner told the trade that Cruise/Wagner is in discussions with several distributors to find a home for their films, which will be self-financed.

The move comes after months of speculation about the future of their Paramount-based company as the Aug. 31 expiration of their current contract approached. Negotiations said that talks were still underway as of a few days ago, however Paramount executives didn't feel they could reach final terms they were comfortable with.

The current Paramount regime, led by chairman Brad Grey, was hoping to cut back on Cruise/Wagner's overall deal, long known as one of the most expensive production pacts in town.

Viacom Inc. (parent company of Paramount) Chairman Sumner Redstone told the Wall Street Journal that they were not renewing the deal because of his off-screen behavior. "As much as we like him personally, we thought it was wrong to renew his deal," Redstone said. "His recent conduct has not been acceptable to Paramount."

On the flip side, however, Wagner said that setting up an independent production company "is a dream of Tom and mine." She challenged Redstone's assertion that Cruise's behavior had cost the studio ticket sales, pointing out that the star's movies have made the studio a huge amount of money.

One-Sheet for Eragon

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Snakes at the &#%$#!-in' Box Office!


After months of "internet buzz", New Line's horror-thriller Snakes on a Plane, starring Mr. Samuel L. Jackson, opened this weekend, but ended up making far less money than most people expected. Opening in 3,555 theatres, the high concept thriller brought in an estimated $15.3 million over the weekend including Thursday night previews, which contributed a reported $1.4 million to that sum.

In what will likely end up as a fun bit of Monday morning controversy, some sources are reporting Thursday separately, meaning that "Snakes" wouldn't make enough to top Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby for the weekend, allowing the Will Ferrell comedy to be #1 for a third weekend in a row. Here at, we like to put a more positive spin on things, so we're calling Snakes as the #1 movie of the weekend in hopes that its weekend estimates are being underestimated. (Check back on Monday afternoon to see if and how things change once actual box office receipts are counted and everyone gets on the same page.)

Still, it puts a rather grim end to the story of a movie that received inordinate amounts of attention as soon as the title was announced last year. Earlier this year, director David R. Ellis (Final Destination 2) did some last minute reshoots to take the planned PG-13 film up to an R-rating at New Line's request after "internet fans" clamored for it. New Line also chose not to screen the film for critics, putting the quality of the movie into question until reviews started coming in on Friday. Obviously, the internet fans who spent hours of their lives making up their own posters, trailers and merchandise for the high concept horror movie must have lost interest by the time it came out. Either that or they just used the late August weekend to go on vacation rather than going to what looked like a B horror movie.

However you look at it, Sony's NASCAR comedy Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby held up well in its third weekend after crossing the $100 million mark on Thursday. It grossed another $14.1 million over the weekend, bringing its total to $114.7 million. After three weekends, its the 12th highest grossing movie of the year and will probably end up in the Top 10 by next weekend.

Oliver Stone's 9/11 drama World Trade Center, starring Nicolas Cage, grossed $10.8 million in its second weekend, enough to hold onto third place as it brought its total box office receipts to $45 million.

Universal Pictures' college comedy Accepted, starring Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story's Justin Long, had a soft opening with $10.1 million in 2,914 locations, an average of $3,470, putting it in fourth place.

Dropping from second down to fifth, Touchstone Pictures' dance drama Step Up didn't do so well, taking a substantial 52% hit from its impressive debut to make $9.9 million in its second weekend. Its $39 million gross still makes for a nice profit based on its reported production budget of $12 million.

Paramount and Nickelodeon Films' animated comedy Barnyard: The Original Party Animals held up well in its third weekend, bringing in an additional $7.5 million--off just 22% from last weekend--to raise its box office total to $46 million.

Fox Searchlight's road comedy Little Miss Sunshine broke out nationwide into 691 theatres, where it grossed $5.6 million, more than twice its take last weekend and bringing its total gross to $12.7 million. (The movie was bought by Fox for a reported $10.5 million at this year's Sundance Film Festival.) Next weekend, it will expand even further into over 1,500 theatres, which should allow it to continue it successful run.

Dropping down to #8, Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest crossed the $400 million mark over the weekend, adding another $5 million. With $401 million in the bank, the hit action sequel should pass Spider-Man to become the sixth-highest grossing movie ever sometime later this week. Dead Man's Chest is the second-fastest film to reach the $400 million mark in 45 days. Only Shrek 2 did so faster in 43 days.

Hilary Duff and her sister Haylie starred in the MGM comedy Material Girls, which opened in 1,509 theatres, where it made an estimated $4.6 million, enough to open in ninth place.

Rounding out the top 10, Dimension Films' Pulse took a substantal drop in its second weekend, adding another $3.5 million to bring its total to $14.7 million.

Lionsgate's The Descent and Tim Allen's superhero comedy Zoom both had similar drops of 47%, each making roughly $2.4 million this weekend, for 11th and 12th place respectively.

Opening in limited release, Neil Burger's period mystery The Illusionist, starring Edward Norton and Paul Giamatti, grossed an estimated $925 thousand in 51 theatres in select cities, a respectable average of $18 thousand per site. Plans are to expand it nationwide over Labor Day weekend on September 1.

Meanwhile, Bart Freundlich's relationship comedy Trust the Man, distributed by Fox Searchlight, opened in 38 theatres in select cities, where it grossed roughly $176 thousand, a weak average of $4,600 per theatre.

IFC Films' movie based on Charles Bukowski's Factotum, starring Matt Dillon, opened in 6 theatres in New York and Los Angeles where it made $60 thousand.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

One-Sheets for Black Snake Moan

One-Sheet for The Prestige

One-Sheet for Snakes on a Plane

Friday, August 18, 2006

And the Transformers Are ...


Transformers screenwriters Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman revealed all the robots that will appear in the anticipated film today in a webcast on Yahoo! Movies. The Transformers that will be in the film include:

Optimus Prime


One-Sheet for Hollywoodland

One-Sheet for The Illusionist

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Teaser Site Up for Shrek the Third

There is not much to report on but the teaser page for Shrek the Third, the third installment in the highly popular computer-animated franchise from Dreamworks and PDI, is now up.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

One-Sheet for The Departed

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Combined Trailer for Flags and Red Sun Online

Following the controversial Academy Award-winning motion-picture drama Million Dollar Baby, director Clint Eastwood returns with not one but two films focused on the epic World War II battle of Iwo Jima – one entitled Flags of Our Fathers is from the American perspective and the other [Red Sun, Black Sand] is from perspective of the Japanese. Furthermore, the individual storylines for each film are based on true events and real people – Flags of Our Fathers follows four brothers from Easy Company and Red Sun, Black Sand centers on a Japanese general who fought on the island of Iwo Jima for forty days and somehow survived. The website for the Japanese release of the film has provided a combined trailer for both films.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Happy Birthday, Alfred Hitchcock

Happy Birthday, Alfred Hitcock!!

1899 - 1980

Dance Movie Steps Up to Ferrell and Stone


Lots of surprises at the box office this weekend, but the one that everyone will be talking about come Monday is the success of Touchstone Pictures' dance drama Step Up, a movie that had very low expectations going into the weekend, but opened at #1 on Friday with $8.5 million.

Regardless of its victory, by the time Sunday came around, it was clear that Will Ferrell's NASCAR comedy Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby would be #1 again, grossing an estimated 23 million over the weekend to bring its total gross to $91.2 million. It was down 51% from its impressive opening weekend.

Starring Jenna Dewan and Channing Tatum, Step Up far exceeded all expectations this weekend as its MySpace-heavy campaign helped bring in its target teen female audience, taking in an estimated $21 million in its opening weekend for a solid second place.

Oliver Stone's 9/11 drama World Trade Center, starring Nicolas Cage, opened on Wednesday and after making roughly $7.8 in its first two days, it added another $19 million over the three-day weekend, forcing it to settle for third place behind the dance movie. Still, word-of-mouth seems to be better than Stone's 2004 movie Alexander, which also opened on a Wednesday and made more in its first two days, but only ended up with $13.7 million on the weekend.

Paramount's other movie in theatres, the animated comedy Barnyard: The Original Party Animals held up well in its second weekend, dropping 36% down to 4th place with another $10 million It has grossed a total of $34 million so far.

In fifth place, Dimension Films' remake of the Japanese thriller Pulse grossed $8.5 million in 2,323 theatres, averaging $3,640 per theatre.

Dropping down to #6, the highest grossing film of the year, Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest continued to bring in solid business, grossing another $7.2 million to bring its six-week total to over $392 million. The sequel has surpassed Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith ($380.3 million), to climb to the seventh spot on the all-time domestic blockbuster list.

Lionsgate's underground thriller The Descent held up well against the new horror offering, dropping 48% in its second weekend to 8th place, but adding another $4.6 million for a total of $17.5 million after ten days.

Opening just behind The Descent, Tim Allen starred in the family superhero comedy Zoom, which took its cues from movies like Sky High and Spy Kids, but failed to bring in family audiences in a market full of them. It grossed a mere $4.6 million in its debut weekend.

Michael Mann's Miami Vice took another hit in its third weekend, dropping 55% from last weekend to end up in 9th place, while Sony Pictures' animated-comedy Monster House made $3.3 million to close off the Top 10. The latter has grossed $64 million compared to Miami Vice's $55 million.

Fox's teen comedy John Tucker Must Die dropped out of the Top 10, adding another $2.9 million in its third weekend for a total of just over $35 million.

Fox Searchlight's road comedy Little Miss Sunshine added 95 theatres and continued to do decent business, entering the Top 12 with $2.6 million. Bought at the Sundance Film Festival for $10.5 million, the comedy featuring Greg Kinnear and Steve Carell has grossed $5.6 million and will expand nationwide into over 600 theatres next Friday.

In limited release, another Sundance favorite, the indie drama Half Nelson starring Ryan Gosling, opened in two theatres in New York where it made $55 thousand this weekend.

Film Review - Cars

The courtship between the Walt Disney Corporation and Pixar Animation Studios has been at best a tumultuous one to say the least about it. Former-Disney Chairman/CEO Michael Eisner deserves most of the blame however. He and Steve Jobs, Chairman/CEO of Pixar Animation Studios, were at each other’s throats throughout their nearly decade long partnership together. Even after the astonishing break-out success of honorary Oscar recipient Toy Story in 1995, Eisner had yet to be convinced of Pixar’s potential. Rather then buy Pixar straight-out, which would have been the smart and economically efficient thing to do, Disney instead negotiated to extend their three-picture distribution deal to five movies. Things became even direr after Disney theatrically released Toy Story 2 in 1999 which had been originally produced with the intention of it premiering direct-to-video. Pixar believed it should count as part of their five-picture deal with Disney but Eisner argued that it was negotiated outside of their contract and did not count. Disney’s efforts to (no pun intended) drown Finding Nemo in the midst of the summer season, which failed miserably as it went on to become the highest grossing animated film of all time, surpassing The Lion King, further emboldened Jobs to seek a corporate divorce, if only to rid himself of Michael Eisner. Disaster was averted however when Michael Eisner chose, forcefully or not, to step down from his position aboard the Walt Disney Company allowing his replacement, Robert Iger, to woe Pixar back to Disney. With Eisner now out of the picture, Jobs, with no contention against the Disney Corporation anymore, agreed to sell the animation giant to the company for seven-billion dollars, far more then it would have been had Eisner chosen to buy them out ten years ago.

The story for Cars can easily be identified as the source of the movie’s problems but precisely pinpointing the exact cause is a bit more difficult. While there is nothing particularly wrong with it per say – it is sweet and well meaning – it comes off as being far too generic. This is the exact same predicament the Brad Bird directed Pixar project, The Incredibles, was faced with two years ago. However, The Incredibles was in the end still able to be overtly entertaining in spite of this tremendous handicap. Cars, on the other hand, is not nearly as successful as its predecessor was. Time is not a factor, at least not on its face. Cars’ one-hundred and fourteen minute time-length is on par with the running time for The Incredibles and yet Cars is the one that feels more drawn out. Lightning’s trip to California, for example. While it does successfully ‘show off’ Pixar’s artistic prowess (emphasis added), it does nothing to better accommodate the flow of the story. Instead it smacks of pride and daresay smugness on the part of Pixar Animation and should have been shortened down. Even Lightning’s community service sentence in Radiator Springs feels force fed. That said however Rascal Flatts’ version of ‘Life is a Highway’ is put to expedient use in this scene. And then unlike past Pixar films there is no distinctive villain to help chart the path of the film’s protagonist. But then again this fails to explain Finding Nemo’s success in terms of plot and character development. Regardless of what the true source of the problems is, Cars in spite of foreseeable plot devices still remains a cut above the rest of the mainstream box office.

The decision to cast comedic-actor Owen Wilson as the lead in Disney/Pixar’s Cars did not bring quite the level of anticipation or enthusiasm as Craig T. Nelson for The Incredibles or Albert Brooks in Finding Nemo had in their respected roles. In spite of his fairly consistent appearance in such artistic independent films as The Life Aquatic and The Royal Tenenbaums for director Wes Anderson, Wilson is judged mostly on his more frequent appearance in low-level comedies like Shanghai Knights, Zoolander, Starsky and Hutch, and Wedding Crashers which make the choice to cast him as the lead in a Pixar film a bit odd. Slowly but surely Wilson proves he is up to the challenge. Furthermore, there is more to the character makeup of Lightening McQueen then what lies on the surface. French political philosopher and historian Alexis de Tocqueville in his famous political analysis Democracy in America warned of the greatest threat facing the newborn nation America and its principles of liberty, freedom and democracy – individualism. Not the rugged individualism which vastly shaped this nation’s western frontier throughout the 1800s but rather the individualism which leads people only to think of themselves and withdraw further from the community at large. It is the kind of ‘no-fault freedom’ Senator Rick Santorum describes in his book It Takes a Family as the ability to “check out from the pursuit of the common good and to do what feels right for me, without regard to those around me”. It is a bit of stretch, true, to go from discussing high-level political-science canon to a children’s film about a world entirely inhabited by living, breathing cars. Regardless, the basic principle remains the same. Younger children will likely not pick up on the social-political implications of the message this film expresses just yet, maybe a few years down the road – if they are being educated properly, but adults will. Their embrace of the film and its message will make all the difference.

Cars will likely be one of the last, if not THE last, films for fellow car enthusiast and acting legend Paul Newman (Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid). He definitely goes out in style as the abrupt doctor of a simple town who hides a secret past. Say what you want about Larry the Cable Guy, even ardent fans would agree that his feature film debut, Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector, was a bit of an embarrassment, but there’s no denying the fact that he steals the show with his hick antics as Mater which is just like “tuh-mater, but without the ‘tuh’”.

Few will likely notice without examining the cast list first that Michael Keaton (Batman, Mr. Mom, White Noise, Herbie: Fully Loaded, etc.) is the voice of the quasi-villain, or as close to a villain as the film gets, Chick Hicks. Kudos both to the casting director and especially to Keaton himself who disguises his voice brilliantly in order to create a rather suspicious character.

And hearing Formula One-winner Michael Schumacher as well as NASCAR legends Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Mario Andretti, Darrell Waltrip, and Richard Petty, along with his wife, Lynda, provide the voices of their motor-vehicle counterparts in the film is definitely a surprising added bonus. Even car enthusiast/late-night talk-show host Jay Leno gets in on the act making a very brief cameo as Jay Limo early in the movie.

Overall, Cars, the seventh computer-animated project from the creative and talented folks at Pixar Animation Studios, not to mention their very last film before the Disney buyout, is sadly their worst to date. This is more of an insult to the movie industry overall however. Even on their worst day Pixar still manages to produce a product that is superior then the majority of what is out in the market right now – animated or otherwise. Optimistically, it’s about average. While some pessimists will be quick to label Cars as a step backward for the company and ultimately a failure, alternatively it can be said that director John Lassester, intentionally or not, successfully reintroduces the basic storytelling principles and heart which he himself installed in the company with Toy Story and A Bug’s Life in 1995 and 1998 respectively as it makes the transition from an independent entity into another cog in the Disney machine. It is difficult to pin down precisely what is wrong with this film. For one it felt as the though the level of anticipation for this film was no where near as high as it should have been for a Pixar release in summer when everyone is out of school. Marketing may be to blame for dropping the ball on this one, at least in part. Cars was sold too much to the male-driven (no pun intended) NASCAR crowd that it practically alienated the female demographic. That said however it is not entirely marketing’s fault. While it is not beyond reason to believe that children or even some adults for that matter may wonder what toys do when humans are not around or whether fish and bugs talk, it is quite a stretch to believe that someone out there truly wants to know what the world would be like if it was entirely inhabited by cars. And unlike fish, toys, monsters, and, yes, even bugs, cars are just not cuddly. It is therefore practically impossible to sell a love story to young girls when it is between two cold pieces of metal, essentially. In addition there is nothing in Cars – visually or otherwise – that really sticks out in your mind when you leave the theatre. Sure, the scene with Mater and Lighting sneaking into the field to go ‘tractor tipping’ is cute and all but it’s nothing compared to the scene in Finding Nemo with Dory speaking whale or Mike and Sulley ‘practicing’ for the company musical called ‘Put That Thing Back Where It Came From or So Help Me’ from Monsters, Inc. Not to be so negative about Cars, there are some bright spots. Randy Newman returns to Pixar in top form with an incredible accompanying musical score. And the soundtrack to the film has to be one of the best in the studios’ history. It features excellent new additions like Sheryl Crow’s ‘Real Gone’ and ‘Find Yourself’ from country artist Brad Paisley as well as some classic tunes like ‘Route 66’ performed by Chuck Berry and Rascal Flatts’ version of ‘Life is a Highway’. Cars is no where near the disaster some had predicted it would be but neither is it the best we could have hoped for.

My Rating: **** out of 5 (Grade: B+)

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Highly Anticipated Films of Summer 2007

May 2007
Spider-Man 3
Shrek the Third
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

June 2007
Live Free or Die Hard

July 2007
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
The Simpsons Movie

August 2007
Rush Hour 3

One-Sheet for Feast

One-Sheet Teasers for Pan's Labyrinth

One-Sheet Teasers for Frank Miller's 300

Monday, August 07, 2006

Highly Anticipated Films for Fall 2006

The Black Dahlia
Children of Men

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
The Departed
Man of the Year
Flags of Our Fathers
The Prestige

Stranger Than Fiction
A Good Year
The Fountain

Sanchez Boards Lost Season Three


Lost has recruited a new castaway, adding actress Kiele Sanchez to its ensemble, reports Variety.

Sanchez joins the cast as a woman name Nikki. The trade says that she might be a love interest for a new character played by Rodrigo Santoro.

Sanchez had a role in the unsold 2006 ABC pilot What Happens on the Bus and was most recently seen on The WB drama Related. She's just wrapped production on Mandate Films' Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, which stars Dustin Hoffman and Natalie Portman.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Will Ferrell Drives Home a Talladega Hit


The big story of the weekend is Will Ferrell having his highest-opening movie ever with Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, reteaming him with director Adam McKay (Anchorman) for a comedy set in the world of NASCAR. It made an estimated $47 million over the weekend in over 3,800 theatres, an average of roughly $12,300 per theatre. Its the eighth-highest opening movie of 2006 and the third-highest comedy behind the animated Ice Age: The Meltdown and Cars. It's also the third-highest opening movie for the month of August after Rush Hour 2 and M. Night Shyamalan's Signs, doing slightly better than 2001's American Pie 2. It should be a nice feather in the cap for Ferrell, having opened a comedy higher than Click, the last comedy from Ferrell's former SNL castmate Adam Sandler, and with that kind of opening, it's highly likely that Talladega Nights will hold the top spot at the box office for two weeks in a row.

Paramount and Nickelodeon Films released the third computer animated movie in a row, Barnyard: The Original Party Animals, which made $16 million over the weekend, almost twice as much as last week's Warner Bros. release The Ant Bully but less than the opening of Sony Pictures' animated-comedy Monster House. (Just over a month ago, The Ant Bully moved to Barnyard's original release date of July 28, forcing Paramount to move it back a week, which ended up paying off.)

In its fifth weekend, Disney's action sequel Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest dropped down to third with an additional $11 million. This bring its grand total to just under $380 million, putting it on the right track to cross the $400 million mark by the end of summer. Currently, it's the eighth-highest grossing movie domestically, and it will soon pass Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith on its way to try to pass Spider-Man.

On Friday, Neil Marshall's 2005 UK thriller The Descent was released Stateside by Lionsgate into over 2,000 theatres, taking advantage of the company's strength with horror, to gross $8.8 million, an average of $4,200, for fifth place.

Fox's surprise comedy hit John Tucker Must Die also took a massive tumble, dropping three places into sixth, just slightly ahead of Sony's animated comedy Monster House, both of them making roughly $6 million. Tucker has grossed $28.6 million to date, while Monster House has earned nearly twice that amount.

Warner Bros.' animated offering The Ant Bully, featuring the voices of Nicolas Cage, Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep, followed last week's other new movies, dropping 53% and three places to #8 with $3.9 million over the weekend and a total of just $18.2 million in its first ten days.

The Owen Wilson-Kate Hudson comedy You, Me and Dupree remained in the Top 10, earning another $3.6 million to bring its total to $66.8 million. According to estimates, it grossed a mere $3,000 more than the new Robin Williams thriller The Night Listener, based on Armistead Maupin's bestseller, which opened in less than 1,400 theatres on Friday.

The Top 12 was rounded out by Fox's The Devil Wears Prada, which added another $3 million to its impressive $112 million box office take, while M. Night Shyamalan's Lady in the Water continued to flounder, dropping another 62% with just $2.7 million. After its third weekend, the fantasy-thriller has only grossed $38.7 million, still less than the director's previous movie The Village made its opening weekend.

Fox Searchlight's road comedy, Little Miss Sunshine continued to bring in business as it added 51 theatres, averaging over $25 thousand, for a second weekend gross of $1.4 million. Having already grossed $2.1 million, it will continue to expand next weekend until its wide release on August 18.

Also opening in limited release, another Sundance favorite, the Mexican coming-of-age film Quinceañera, was released by Sony Pictures Classics into 8 theatres in New York and Los Angeles where it made $97 thousand.

One-Sheet Teasers for Grind House

One-Sheet for Surf's Up

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Stranger Than Fiction Trailer Online

The trailer for the new Will Ferrell comedy, Stranger Than Fiction, is now available online. The movie opens nationwide November 10th, 2006.

The Grudge 2 Trailer Online

The trailer for The Grudge 2 starring former-Joan of Arcadia star Amber Tamblyn is now online.

Man of the Year Trailer Online

Check out the hilarious trailer for the new Robin Williams political comedy, Man of the Year, from the director of Good Morning Vietnam and Wag the Dog.

Trailer for Borat Online

The trailer for Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan starring Ali G is now available online. It opens in theatres nationwide on November 3rd.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Live Free or Die Hard on June 29, 2007!


20th Century Fox will release the next installment in the Die Hard action franchise next summer over the coveted July 4 holiday weekend, reports Variety.

Live Free or Die Hard will return Bruce Willis to the big screen as rough-and-tumble New York cop John McClane. The film, set to begin shooting next month, will be released on June 29, 2007.

The movie will face Disney/Pixar's Ratatouille, which is scheduled for the same date, while Paramount's Transformers opens five days later on July 4.

Len Wiseman, who helmed the two Underworld films, will direct from a screenplay by Mark Bomback.

USA Today adds that the film will feature McClane attempting to stop a techno-terrorist from shutting down the nation's computer systems on the Fourth of July. The story takes place around Washington, D.C.

"Our villain is high tech, but the way McClane deals with him is low-tech," Wiseman told the newspaper. "A fistfight still solves a lot of problems." He added that the fourth outing "will be a more epic movie. It's on a much grander scale. The threat is nationwide."

Wiseman said none of the characters from the earlier movies were returning, and no other cast members were being announced yet.

One-Sheet for Charlotte's Web

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

One-Sheet for Employee of the Month

One-Sheet for Secrets of the Code

One-Sheet for Clint Eastwood's Flags of Our Fathers

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Miami Vice Arrests Pirates' Run at #1


After three straight weekends at #1, Walt Disney Pictures' summer blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest was finally bested for the top spot at the box office by the crime-thriller Miami Vice, based on the popular '80s television show.

Directed by the original show's executive producer Michael Mann, Miami Vice replaced Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas with Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx and opened in over 3,000 theatres nationwide on Friday. It grossed $25.2 million over the weekend, an impressive average of $8,339 per theatre, making slightly more than Mann's 2004 thriller Collateral, which starred Tom Cruise and Foxx.

Not that Disney has much to complain about with Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, starring the inimitable Johnny Depp, bringing in an additional $20.4 million in its fourth weekend, which adds up to a total gross of $358 million. Besides guaranteeing it the illustrious position as the top movie of 2006, it's also currently the #11 highest grossing domestic movie of all time, and it's likely to surpass The Passion of The Christ, Spider-Man 2 and The Return of the King by summer's end. Dead Man's Chest added another $55 million overseas to bring its foreign total to $305.5 million and its worldwide total to $664 million. The movie has climbed to the 25th spot on the all-time worldwide list.

After a poor showing for Ivan Reitman's latest comedy last week, 20th Century Fox bounced back with John Tucker Must Die, a surprise hit with an estimated $14 million thanks to the millions of teen girls who were enticed by the movie's innovative MySpace campaign and its premise of getting revenge on bad boyfriends. Playing in just 2,560 theatres, it averaged roughly $5,500, doing significantly better than early predictions, winding up in third place.

Sony Pictures' animated-comedy Monster House dropped two places down to #4 in its second weekend where it earned $11.5 million, a sharp drop of 48% from its opening weekend take. It has grossed $43.7 million in its first ten days.

Still, it was able to stay ahead of Warner Bros.' new animated offering The Ant Bully, produced by Tom Hanks' production company Playtone. Despite a voice cast that included Oscar winners Julia Roberts, Nicolas Cage and Meryl Streep and an opening in over 3,000 theatres, the action-adventure based on John Tickle's book only took in $8.1 million, a pitiful average of $2,670. (The lesson that still needs to be learned from this? Having big stars providing voices for your animated movie won't make your movie look any less like a sequel to A Bug's Life.)

M. Night Shyamalan's Lady in the Water seems to have learned its own lesson this weekend, dropping 61% from its opening weekend with a second weekend gross of $7 million, bringing its total to $32 million. Its drop from #3 last weekend to #7 this weekend is not a good sign of its longetivity.

In between the WB movies at #6, Universal Pictures' comedy You, Me and Dupree, starring Owen Wilson and Kate Hudson, continues to motor along, adding another $7 million to its box office gross of $59 million, putting it ahead of the Wayan Brothers' comedy Little Man, which beat it their shared opening weekend. Little Man brought in $5.1 million in its third weekend for eighth place as it crossed the $50 million mark.

Although My Super Ex-Girlfriend with Uma Thurman and Luke Wilson dropped out of the Top 10, Fox was probably too busy enjoying the success of The Devil Wears Prada to notice. The book adaptation starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway brought in an additional $4.8 million this weekend, remaining at #9 and making it the only returning movie not to change positions from last weekend. Having crossed the $100 million mark earlier this week, its enjoying a very profitable theatrical take of $106 million.

Kevin Smith's Clerk II didn't hold up very well in its second weekend, dropping down to tenth place with $3.9 million, also nearly a 61% drop. Then again, its $18.5 million gross puts it significantly into the black compared to its $5 million production budget.

Dropping out of the Top 10, Warner Bros.' Superman Returns added another $3.8 million to bring its total to $185.8 million, while My Super Ex-Girlfriend, which tried to play on the Superman tagline in its advertising, made slightly less, ending up in twelfth place with a total of just $16.4 million.

Just outside the Top 12, Woody Allen's romantic comedy Scoop, reteamed him with Scarlett Johansson and paired her with Hugh Jackman to bring in $3 million its opening weekend in just 538 theatres, an average of $5,500 per theatre.

Fox Searchlight's road comedy, Little Miss Sunshine, which was bought for $10 million at this year's Sundance Film Festival, opened in 7 theatres on Wednesday, but it hadn't reported box office estimates at the time of this writing.

Batman Sequel Title & Casting Confirmed!

A brilliant title and possibly one of the worst casting decisions in recent memory, at least on the surface, have been made for the sequel to the Christopher Nolan-directed smash hit, Batman Begins.