Bryan Singer's big budget fairy tale adaptation Jack the Giant Slayer makes its debut in IMAX and 3-D this weekend and will easily top the chart with a debut in the $25 to $28 million range. Taking on a darker tone in an attempt to shed its fairy tale roots, the PG-13 film is hoping to draw a male/fanboy type audience. However, with a reported budget of around $200 million, the expected success of the film overseas will be a necessity to bolster the profit margin. Up and coming star Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies) and Ewan McGregor co-star along with a great cast that includes Stanley Tucci and Ian McShane.
Also opening is 21 & Over. The R-rated raunchy comedy from the writers of The Hangover follows the misadventures of a college kid and his buddies on the eve of his medical school exams. Older teens and college-age kids should eat this up and bring about $12 million to $15 million to the box office party this weekend.
The third wide release debut to hit theaters is The Last Exorcism Part II, the follow up to 2010's The Last Exorcism which earned a profit generating $41 million in North America against a mere $2 million budget. Ashley Bell reprises her role as Nell Sweetzer, but in this follow up the use of "found footage" is jettisoned in favor of a more traditional narrative. Eli Roth produces and Ed Gass-Donnelly directs this PG-13-rated horror entry.
Certainly no weekend would be complete without Melissa McCarthy. Her R-rated comedy Identity Thief (which enters its fourth weekend) is on the cusp of becoming the first film released in 2013 to cross the $100 million mark and should continue to steal box office dollars in the realm of $8 million.
RELATED: Box Office: 2013 Off to a Slow Start
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson will also factor in with the second weekend of his action drama Snitch poised to earn in the $6 million range and boost its overall total to over $20 million by Sunday night.
Our final wide release newcomer is Phantom. The R-rated submarine thriller stars Ed Harris and David Duchovny but is only expected to earn around $2 million to $3 million this weekend.
Osacr nominees may see a boost this weekend after all the exposure generated by last Sunday night's telecast. Silver Linings Playbook currently ranks the highest of the nine nominees for Best Picture in the mid-week derby.
RELATED: Oscars Box Office: Best Picture Nominees Get a Nice Boost
[Photo Credit: Warner Bros]
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Nell Carter, best known for her '80s sitcom Gimme a Break! as well as her illustrious stage career, died Thursday in Beverly Hills, Calif. She was 54. The singer-actress, who suffered from diabetes, collapsed in her home and was found by one of her 13-year-old sons, spokesman Roger Lane told The Associated Press. Carter had also undergone brain surgery in 1992 to remove an aneurysm. Although most know Carter from her long-running TV series that ran from 1981-1987, Carter's first love was the stage, where she won a Tony for her performance in the Broadway musical Ain't Misbehavin' in 1978. Before her death, Carter was in rehearsals for a musical version of Raisin in the Sun called Raisin, scheduled to open next month in Long Beach, Calif.
Following in the footsteps of celebrity ex-couple Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise, Entertainment Weekly.com reports new parents Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick have filed a similar $15 million lawsuit against the cosmetics company Sephora for allegedly using their likenesses without consent for a Valentine's Day ad promotion in 2001 that featured several celebrity couples. The complaint states the couple wasn't even aware of the unauthorized use of their images until Kidman and Cruise filed their suit against Sephora last September.
Nicolas Cage's former security guard was convicted of stealing a $45,000 watch and two cases of rare Scotch from the actor, according to the TV show Celebrity Justice. The watch and all but one bottle were returned.
People.com reports actor Taye Diggs, 32, tied the knot Jan. 11 with longtime girlfriend, actress-singer Idina Menzel, 31, at the Round Hill resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica. It is the first marriage for both.
The Berlin International Film Festival announced their lineup Wednesday. The 22 films include the Chinese-German co-production Mang Jing (Blind Shaft) and Michael Winterbottom's In This World. Entries will compete for the festival's coveted Golden Bear award. The festival runs Feb. 6-16.
MGM and DreamWorks are coming together to do a remake of the 1968 comedy The Party, with Jay Roach (Austin Powers In Goldmember) set to direct. The original movie starred Peter Sellers about an accident-prone Indian actor who is mistakenly invited to an A-list Hollywood party and destroys everything in sight.
Variety reports Miramax Films acquired the distribution rights for the indie film The Station Agent, currently making a splash at the Sundance Film Festival. Peter Dinklage plays a dwarf who chooses a life of isolation and spends his time pursuing his passion for trains, but becomes drawn into the lives of two other loners played by Patricia Clarkson and Bobby Cannavale.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is set to star in a remake of Walking Tall for MGM. The original 1973 story followed Buford Pusser (played by Joe Don Baker), a sheriff who rids his small Southern county of corruption mostly by using a two-by-four. The updated version will have The Rock returning from serving in the military to find his small town corrupted by drugs and violence. And yes, he'll also be using a formidable two-by-four to make his point.
Wheel of Fortune's likable host Pat Sajak is getting his own talk show. Called Pat Sajak Weekend, it'll premiere on the Fox News Channel starting in the spring, AP reports. "I enjoy exercising my interviewing muscles and I look forward to having the chance to do that every weekend," Sajak said in a statement.
The soundtrack to the new hit musical Chicago sailed to No. 4 on the album charts in its first week of release, breaking up the otherwise monotonous record sales so far this season. Chicago sold 83,000 units for the week ending Sunday, according to data issued by Nielsen Soundscan on Wednesday, Reuters reports.