Its looks like the dudes beat the chicks this as the stars of Lionsgate’s “The Expendables” told their audience to stop being girlie men and head to theatres this weekend, while Julia Roberts may have the last laugh with “Eat Pray Love” and “Scott Pilgrim” searches for a dance partner.
Friday the 13th brought good luck to Lionsgate’s “The Expendables” as it earned an action-worthy $34.8 million weekend gross. This seems to be a magic weekend for genre movies as evidenced by last year’s same weekend $37.3 million debut of “District 9.” Directed by and starring Sylvester Stallone, the film challenged the notion that star power doesn’t matter anymore and to prove the point threw about a million action stars into its R-rated mix. With the watering down in recent years of movies for guys to a more “audience friendly” PG-13 sensibility, it’s great to see some good old-fashioned R-rated cringe-inducing violence and mayhem. It did not hurt that Stallone enlisted a veritable who’s who of the action world including Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture and Steve Austin. This testosterone-fest flexed its considerable muscle, sent all the girlie men packing and easily dispatched all comers in this weekend’s box office battle of the sexes. Even Julia Roberts' big brother Eric Roberts joins the proceedings - see my story on Julia Roberts vs. Eric Roberts at the box office.
“Eat Pray Love,” three words you will most certainly not hear used in a sentence in “The Expendables,” took the number two spot. Not to be upstaged by her decidedly macho competition, Julia Roberts may have the last laugh in the long run with the potential for strong word-of-mouth and a possible Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for co-star Richard Jenkins. $23.1 million for the weekend (and only a 4% drop Friday to Saturday) shows that women are still a box office force to be reckoned with as they lined up to follow this romantic journey of enlightenment with one of the biggest female stars in the world.
The third spot belongs to last weekend’s number one film as Sony’s “The Other Guys” drops 51% and earns another $17.4 million thus bringing its cume to $69.9 million in domestic revenue. Starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, the film was number one Friday through Thursday of last week and has enjoyed terrific reviews and strong audience reaction. In a twisted way, director Adam McKay is to Will Ferrell what Martin Scorsese is to Leonardo DiCaprio with McKay having also directed Farrell in “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy,” “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” and “Step Brothers.”
Of course, Warner Bros.’ “Inception” would never dream of leaving the Top Five and continues to pose a major competitive threat as it marches toward the $300 million domestic mark. With another $11.3 million in the pillow case and only a 39% fifth weekend drop, the film has an impressive domestic total to date of $248.5 million.
Universal’s unique and visually stunning “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World” starring Michael Cera debuted in fifth place with $10.6 million. In fewer theatres than the other newcomers the film faced a major challenge from the very male-oriented "Expendables," “The Other Guys” and even “Inception.” Too many dudes on this particular dance floor made it hard for “Pilgrim” to get noticed with so many “guy movies” in the marketplace. Still the film has gotten a positive response on the social networking platforms so that's a plus.
A major box office milestone this weekend as “Toy Story 3” became only the eleventh film in history to cross the $400 million mark in domestic revenue. Congrats to Disney/Pixar and the creative, marketing and distribution teams that perfectly put together the pieces that created this stunning box achievement. See related story - Toy Story 3 finally hits $400 million!
An “up” weekend (barely) vs. last year gives us solid momentum as we head into the home stretch of the summer movie season. Five wide releases (including the start of my Academy Awards campaign for “Piranha” in 3D) hit theatres next weekend as the final mad dash to the end of the summer begins.
On Friday Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Mickey Rourke and Steve Austin topped the box office with a gross of around $13.5 million as “The Expendables” from Lionsgate took on other newcomers and last weekend's number one film, "The Other Guys."
In second place, Julia Roberts represented the female audience in Sony’s big screen version of the best-selling novel “Eat Pray Love” with a Friday gross in the $8 million range. A very “un-Expendable” style sensitivity, had women lining up at theatres on Friday.
Beyond the box office: a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for the always terrific Richard Jenkins would not be a surprise.
Sony's “The Other Guys” had a solid Friday gross of over $5 million thus bringing its cumulative gross to close to $60 million while Universal’s “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World” starring Michael Cera earned just over $4 million.
Warner Bros.’ "Inception" is always a factor in the top-five derby casting its spell to the tune of $3.3 million in early weekend bucks and a domestic total to date of $240.5 million.
This just in! "Toy Story 3" on the verge of becoming only the eleventh film in history to cross the $400 million mark in domestic revenue, with Friday's take of around $600,000 bringing its total to an "oh so close" to $400 million cume of $399.2 million. See related story at Toy Story 3 to hit $400 million.
Friday the 13th will bring good luck to the movie industry as Lionsgate’s “The Expendables” will wreak havoc this weekend with an expected gross in the $35 million plus range (and potentially higher). Taking the notion of “star power” to a whole new level by enlisting a veritable who’s who of the action world including Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Mickey Rourke and Steve Austin, “The Expendables” looks to dispatch all comers at this weekend’s box office smackdown. Clearly the film has the male audience on lockdown, but to underestimate its appeal to women would be a mistake and thus the film should have a solid weekend by drawing both sexes to this testosterone-heavy thrill ride.
The second spot will likely be filled by a softer, gentler sort of movie as Julia Roberts stars in Sony’s big screen version of the best-selling novel “Eat Pray Love.” The film will have a solid enough debut, but will likely generate positive word-of-mouth over the long haul and could garner a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for the always terrific Richard Jenkins. With exotic locations, terrific performances and very “un-Expendable” style sensitivity, women will be lining up to follow this romantic journey of enlightenment with one of the biggest female stars in the world.
Julia's big brother Eric stars in "The Expendables." See my box office sibling rivalry story here - Julia Roberts vs. Eric Roberts at the box office.
Third spot will provide a box office battle of another sort as the fanboys prepare to battle “The Other Guys” for bragging rights with Universal’s “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World” starring Michael Cera and based on the graphic novel wooing the young male demographic while last Weekend’s number one film “The Other Guys” from Sony will give young Scott a run for his box office money. Warner Bros.’ "Inception" will continue to be a factor in the top-five derby with yet another drop in the mid to high 30% range and placing it fifth with a gross of over $10 million in dream-weaving bucks.
A major box office milestone is also in the cards this weekend as “Toy Story 3” looks to become only the eleventh film in history to cross $400 million in domestic revenue. See my story on this important box office event at this link - Toy Story 3 to hit $400 million!
A genre-heavy weekend in store that pits aging action heroes against a twenty-something graphic novel character and a middle-aged woman as we try to keep up with tough year ago comparisons when Sony's "District 9" had a bigger-than-expected $37.3 million debut.
Top Story: Gigli Gets Razzed!
Believe it or not, the Oscars weren't the only awards show to take place over the weekend. The Razzie Awards, which "honor" the worst films of the year, were handed out Saturday night in a conference room at a Sheraton hotel in Santa Monica, Calif. While The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King swept the Academy Awards, the 24th annual Razzies were hijacked by a cinematic fiasco called Gigli. The drama took home the Golden Raspberry for worst film of the year, while its stars, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, won worst actor and actress as well as worst screen couple. Gigli's Martin Brest received the worst director and screenwriter honors. Despite Gigli's six accolades, the film won't go down in history for the most Razzies; that honor still belongs to Showgirls and Battlefield Earth, which have seven each. Worst supporting actor and actress trophies went to Sylvester Stallone for his performance in Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over and Demi Moore for her role in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, which was also named worst sequel. Mike Myers' Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat won the newest category, "worst excuse for an actual movie."
Kevin Costner Defends Mel Gibson
Director/actor Kevin Costner told the syndicated entertainment TV show Access Hollywood that people should not attack Mel Gibson for his film The Passion of the Christ. "We shouldn't be attacking a filmmaker like Mel Gibson who, number one, is an honorable filmmaker ... and probably questioned himself more than anybody even knows. So leave him alone," Costner, 49, said. The film, which depicts the final hours and crucifixion of Christ, has been criticized for implying Jews were collectively responsible for Christ's death. It took in $76.2 million over the weekend and posted a five-day total of $117.5 million since its Wednesday opening, making it the biggest February opener ever.
Masked Jackson Alarms Wal-Mart Staff
Perhaps shopping with a ski mask on is not the wisest thing. According to Reuters, Wal-Mart employees in Glenwood Springs, Colo., became concerned last Tuesday when they spotted a shopper with a ski mask covering his face and promptly alerted police, who then stopped the masked man in his vehicle just a few blocks away. But when an officer asked the man and his driver for identification, off came the ski mask--to reveal none other than embattled pop star Michael Jackson. Turns out Jackson, who is vacationing at a ranch near Old Snowmass in the Aspen area, was simply shopping incognito. Police let the singer go without incident.
Sofia Coppola Sweeps Indie Awards
Sofia Coppola, who took home an Oscar Sunday night for best original screenplay for Lost in Translation, won directing and screenplay honors for that quirky comedy Saturday at the Independent Spirit Awards, while star Bill Murray was named best actor. The best actress award went to Charlize Theron for Monster, which also received the best first feature prize for director Patty Jenkins; supporting actor honor went to Djimon Hounsou for In America; supporting actress prize went to Shohreh Aghdashloo for House of Sand and Fog; best debut performance went to Nikki Reed for Thirteen; best foreign film went to Whale Rider; best documentary went to The Fog of War; and the best cinematography prize was awarded to Declan Quinn for In America. The best first screenplay was given to Tom McCarthy for The Station Agent, which also won the best film shot for under $500,000.
Judge Dismisses Stewart Securities Fraud Count
Martha Stewart, who is accused of staging a stock tip cover-up with her former Merrill Lynch & Co. broker, Peter Bacanovic, scored a major victory Friday when U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum dismissed the most serious count of securities fraud on grounds the prosecution failed to produce sufficient evidence. Stewart now faces one count of conspiracy, two counts of making false statements and one count of obstruction of agency proceedings. Each count carries a possible prison term of five years and a $250,000 fine. Closing arguments began today, Reuters reports, and are expected to last through Tuesday, with jury deliberations likely to begin on Wednesday.
Some Charges Dropped in R. Kelly Case
In what they described as a routine pretrial move, prosecutors in Chicago dropped seven of the 21 charges in R&B singer R. Kelly's child pornography case. According to Billboard.com, the seven counts dropped involved charges of soliciting a minor to appear in child pornography. Kelly, whose "R." stands for Robert, pleaded innocent to the remaining 14 counts of child pornography. The next hearing is April 2 but no trial date has been set. The 34-year-old singer, whose hits include "I Believe I Can Fly," was arrested in June 2002 after videotape surfaced allegedly showing him having sex with an underage girl.
MTV Sponsors Spears' Onyx Hotel Tour
Music cabler MTV has rolled out its first global tour sponsorship. MTV Presents Britney Spears Onyx Hotel Tour 2004 kicks off March 2 at the San Die