Nothing was hotter in 2012 than '90s nostalgia. From the Clueless cast getting back together to the revival of Boy Meets World, this was the year of reminiscing. But while the trend is veering dangerously into overkill, there is nothing — and I mean absolutely nothing — bad or wrong about Vanity Fair's photo shoot of the entire cast of the beloved, short-run cult darling Freaks and Geeks.
It's not just the obvious players like James Franco (Daniel), Jason Segel (Nick), Seth Rogen (Ken), Linda Cardellini (Lindsay, a.k.a. Lady L), Busy Philipps (Kim), and Martin Starr (Bill), but everybody was there. Millie! Mr. Weir! Cindy Sanders! Guidance counselor Mr. Rosso! The original McKinley High gang (that's right, Glee, deal with it) is all here. Okay, you can argue that it's not technically everybody (Bill's Seven Minutes in Heaven partner Vicki, played by Joanna Garcia Swisher and relentless bully Alan, played by Chauncey Leopardi, are among some of the MIA) but it's still a joyous blast from the past to see the cast and creative team — including Judd Apatow and Paul Feig — from this brilliant comedy/drama back together.
Sure, they're a little bit older (except for John Francis Daley and Samm Levine, who appear not to have aged a single day since Freaks and Geeks unjustly went off the air after one perfect season back in 2000) but the chemistry is still completely there. As a fan of the series, it's hard not to get a little bit choked up looking at the sweet VF photos, but then again, Freaks and Geeks is like seeing an old reliable friend who conjures up some seriously wonderful memories. You can see the entire slideshow here, but check out the amazing class photo below and see if you can spot all the familiar faces:
The Freaks and Geeks reunion spread appears in Vanity Fair's Comedy Issue, on newsstands now.
[Photo credit: Mark Seliger/Vanity Fair]
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This weekend, the latest entry of the Resident Evil franchise, Retribution, followed in the footsteps of its predecessors to be the number one movie at the American box office with a solid $21 million gross. Many point to the series dedicated fanbase as the reason for Resident Evil's continued success. But in the end, it's the reliable talents of director Paul W.S. Anderson (Mortal Kombat, Event Horizon) and star Milla Jovovich that continue to deliver reliable action sci-fi. The movies don't just pop out of a mold.
In Anderson and Jovovich, Resident Evil finds a true power couple. Besides being the mastermind of the series and director of the original Resident Evil and fourth installment Afterlife, Anderson is also Jovovich's real life husband. There are countless director/actress couples in Hollywood, but few who have found as lucrative a working partnership as the Resident Evil duo. So who does give them a run for their money?
Resident Evil's spiritual sister franchise, Underworld, also comes courtesy of a director/actress marriage. Director Len Wiseman met Kate Beckinsale on the set of the first Underworld before eventually tying the knot and have collaborated on two films since: Underworld: Evolution and 2012's Total Recall. While the latter is still bringing in a few bucks at the domestic box office, the couple's total gross stands at around $171.4 million.
Following in the prestige footsteps of directors like Woody Allen (previously married to Mia Farrow) and Martin Scorsese (and his ex-wife Isabella Rossellini), Joel Coen has seen success, both critical and financial, in his (infrequent) collaborations with wife Frances McDormand. Together, Blood Simple, Fargo, and Burn After Reading have grossed $86.5 million in the U.S..
Judd Apatow, modern master of comedy, found a muse in his wife Leslie Mann. Including his upcoming This Is 40, Mann has appeared in every one of his directorial efforts, and in increasingly larger roles. One scene in The 40-Year-Old Virgin grew to a costarring turn in Knocked Up, which grew into an even meatier role in Funny People. Together, the couple has grossed $310 million at the box office.
Summing up the ideal situation for a husband/wife working relationship is Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter. Since casting the actress in his remake of Planet of the Apes, Burton has found substantial roles for Carter. With her own macabre sensibilities, Carter is the perfect match for the imaginative director — and the box office proves it. With Apes, Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride, Alice in Wonderland, and Dark Shadows under their belts, the couple has brought in a whopping $972.9 million at the box office.
That puts Anderson and Jovovich in the middle range of their peers. Resident Evil, Resident Evil: Afterlife, and their break from the zombie-killing action, The Three Musketeers, have grossed around $120.6 million in the domestic box office. Add in the $21 million from this weekend (which will only continue to grow in the coming weeks) and you have a power couple that isn't slowing down. Watch out, Burton — Resident Evil 6 isn't that far off.
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches
[Photo Credit: WENN.com]
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Having a baby is one of the most wonderful and magical events in a person’s life. Unless that person is me, in which case the very thought of having a baby produces an overwhelming sense of terror. It’s not that I don’t want to have children; it’s just that I’m petrified of parenthood and thinking of it conjures a host of paranoid delusions and nightmarish manifestations.
This week, Lionsgate releases the big screen adaptation of popular natal reference guide What To Expect When You’re Expecting. My cinematic preparation for fatherhood is a decidedly mixed bag that speaks to both sides this internal debate.
Roman Polanski’s classic horror film details all the expected perils of being first-time parents: hectic physician schedules, illness, and infernal deals with the devil. Rosemary’s Baby slowly builds a dark mystery that culminates into one of filmdom’s most shocking scenes. Granted, Rosemary’s (Mia Farrow) husband, Guy Guy (John Cassavetes), is directly responsible for the fiendish outcome, but what if I go in to renew my cell phone contract and somehow accidentally make a similar deal with Beelzebub? Sure, the minutes roll over, but at what cost? At what cost?!
Sometimes, families are formed from the most unlikely combination of people. Such was certainly the case in Judd Apatow’s 2007 comedy Knocked Up. Even if you aren’t planning on having a one-night stand with an anonymous person you meet in a bar, Knocked Up still offers some valuable advice about approaching unexpected parenthood like a mature adult. You know, after the whole taking mushrooms and seeing Cirque du Soleil. Sometimes you just need to buckle down and put in the work; reading the baby books and building the crib. Of course, all this is just a precursor to the kid actually being born.
Even the best laid plans and all the baby books in the world can’t prepare you for being in that hospital room on the big day. Let’s face it, hospitals are scary as it is, but when you throw in the added fright and uncertainty of the delivery of a baby, the mind can’t help but venture to worst-case scenarios. If there is one person who understands the worst-case delivery room scenario, it’s Larry Cohen. His 1974 documentary horror film It’s Alive tells the story of a couple who give birth to savage baby-monster that proceeds to brutally murder…well, everyone. Again, it’s not that I can’t tell the difference between fiction and reality, but I also can’t 100% guarantee that my newborn won’t kill everyone, can I?
3 Men and a Baby
Ok, so let’s hypothetically say we make it home from the hospital and, hypothetically, our baby isn’t a mutant murderer. What happens if my wife leaves town and I’m left to my own devices to care for the infant? It’s not that I believe men are completely clueless when it comes to taking care of babies; it’s simply that I just so happen to be completely clueless when it comes to taking care of babies. Luckily, I have my VHS copy of 3 Men and a Baby on hand. If the trio of Tom Selleck, Ted Danson, and Steve Guttenberg can take care of a small child, not to mention carry a movie, there’s hope for me yet. All I need is a turkey baster, a baby-sized hardhat, and perfect three-part vocal harmony. What? Fine, skip the hardhat.
Let’s say, by some miracle, my kid manages to survive to his toddler years. What if he turns out to be pure evil? Again, this is a totally rational fear and I’ll thank you to stop looking at me like that. Watch 1976’s The Omen and tell me little Damien doesn’t make you think twice about becoming a parent. I’m not even so much referring to his being the son of the devil (that fear we’ve already addressed with Rosemary’s Baby). And sure, it’s a tad unsettling that he seems to have the uncanny ability to telepathically conjure fatal accidents for those who stand in the way of his quest to rule the world. But what really freaks me out about Damien is that creepy choral chanting that follows him everywhere he goes. I don’t speak Latin, but I can tell you those people aren’t singing about love and finger-painting.
Tropic Thunder (Dreamworks/Paramount) is a hit, but it will come in with a five-day of less than Sony’s Pineapple Express, and it seems that the Beijing Olympics may be hurting the new R-rated comedy’s performance. Last week’s stoner comedy Pineapple Express, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, got two solid days of business in before the start of the Beijing Olympics and registered just over $18M on Wednesday and Thursday, then scored $23.24M on its opening weekend. Tropic Thunder, on the other hand, registered only $11M in its first two days in theatres, followed by an estimated $8.25M on Friday. That should translate to a $26.5M three-day and an opening five days of $37.53M or so.
The Dreamworks comedy is skewing much older than Pineapple Express, and this satirical take on the movie business is decidedly more sophisticated, and the 25 Plus demo is far more likely to be following the Olympics. The Ben Stiller-directed movie-within-a-movie has received excellent reviews (83 percent Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and 72 percent Positive on MetaCritic), but that tends to drive those same grown-up movie fans. Robert Downey Jr., Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Tom Cruise are competing with the world’s biggest star at the moment, Michael Phelps, who tied the 36-year old Mark Spitz record of seven gold medals at a single Olympiad Friday night at the Water Cube in Beijing and will try to surpass that mark Saturday night in primetime on NBC.
With excellent word-of-mouth, the end of the Olympics next weekend and no major competition for the next month, I am still anticipating that Tropic Thunder can reach $100M, whereas I am projecting a still excellent $70M-$75M for Pineapple Express. The Judd Apatow-produced Pineapple Express, however, was budgeted at a very modest $27M compared to Thunder’s $100M+ budget.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Warner Bros), an animated LucasFilm spin-off, grabbed an estimated $6.65M on Friday, but this film will be very front-loaded as Star Wars junkies poured into theatres on opening day. The film could dip as much as 15 percent-20 percent on Saturday, leading to a three-day of $19.5M or so. That will probably mean a total domestic box office take in the $45M-$50M range.
Another solid hold for The Dark Knight (Warner Bros), which continues to soar to heights once thought impossible. The Christopher Nolan-directed comic book adaptation added an estimated $4.95M on Friday for an anticipated three-day of $17.17M, pushing the mega-hit to almost $472M. The Dark Knight seems destined for $515M-$520M domestic.
Mirrors (Fox) actually out-performed Pineapple Express on Friday with $3.7M in sales, but it will finish its opening weekend in fifth place with an estimated $10.12M. That makes it only the 7th-best opening for an R-rated horror movie in 2008.
TOP SEVEN 2008 HORROR FILM OPENINGS
1. The Strangers -$21M
2. Prom Night - $20.8M
3. The Eye - $12.42M
4. One Missed Call - $12.5M
5. Shutter - $10.4M
6. Mirrors - $10.12M
7. The Ruins - $8M
Meanwhile, The buzz is apparently wearing off for moviegoers as Pineapple Express slowed to $3.48M on Friday. The marijuana-fueled comedy is headed for an estimated $10.44M and a new cume just north of $63M, but that represents a 55 percent drop from its opening weekend.
EARLY THREE-DAY ESTIMATES
1. Tropic Thunder (Dreamworks/Paramount) - $26.5M, $7,984 PTA, $37.53M
2. Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Warner Bros) - $19.5M, $5,649 PTA, $19.5M cume
3. The Dark Knight (Warner Bros) - $17.17M, $4,785 PTA, $471.87M cume
4. Pineapple Express (Sony) - $10.12M, $3,294 PTA, $63.05M cume
5. Mirrors (Fox) - $9.8M, $3,681 PTA, $9.8M cume
6. The Mummy 3 (Universal) - $7.99M, $2,377 PTA, $86M cume
7. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (Warner Bros) - $6.69M, $2,467 PTA, $32.91M cume
8. Step Brothers (Sony) - $5.24M, $1,982 PTA, $91.13M cume
9. Mamma Mia (Universal) - $5.13M, $1,853 PTA, $115.05M cume
10. Vicky Cristina Barcelona (Weinstein) - $4.02M, $5,816 PTA, $4.02M cume
Whereas The Dark Knight (Warner Bros) was an underdog to win last weekend versus The Mummy 3 (Universal), I am installing the Christopher Nolan-directed comic book adaptation as the betting favorite to win both the traditional 3-day and the Wednesday-thru-Friday 5-day frames this weekend--although it could be close.
Two new movies are opening Wednesday (August 6) in the hopes of getting a jump on the Friday night Opening Ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics. NBC’s prime-time coverage over the next 3 weeks will smartly feature many of the high profile swimming events, including those featuring Michael Phelps, and gymnastics, with Shawn Johnson’s pursuit of the Women’s All-Around, but the Olympics have begun to increasingly skew 25 Plus. Given that, both Sony and Warner Bros have picked a good spot for their respective releases.
Pineapple Express, Sony’s R-rated stoner comedy, is aimed at Males Under 25, and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, a youth-oriented chick flick from Warner Bros, is reaching for Females Under 25. I do not believe, however, that the pageantry of the Opening Ceremonies, including a celebration of the history of Chinese culture, will do much to dampen the box office performance of these 2 new releases.
The Judd Apatow-produced Pineapple Express looks very solid in industry tracking, especially with the big money young male demo, and this marijuana-fueled comedy has an outside chance to upset The Dark Knight. Both movies are likely to finish in the same range with a traditional 3-day of $24M-$29M and a Wednesday-thru-Friday 5-day of $35M-$40M. Ultimately, I suspect that the Caped Crusader will defeat the Seth Rogen/James Franco toker jokefest, but Express will be a strong #2.
Pants 2 is the probable 3rd-place finisher for the weekend. The 2005 original opened on a Wednesday and managed a 3-day of $9.83M and a Wednesday-thru-Sunday of $13.57M. The modestly-budgeted, good-hearted “girl power” movie went on to $39M domestic. This sequel will enjoy a big step up at the box office.
With America Ferrera, now a star thanks to Ugly Betty, Alexis Bledel, Blake Lively and Amber Tamblyn all returning, the new Traveling Pants seems destined to break $20M for the 5-day with something in the $19M-$22M range. The 3-day weekend should be $13M-$16M.
The Mummy 3 (Universal) will suffer a severe drop with a $13M-$16M Friday-thru-Sunday and something near $20M for 5-days. Tomb of the Dragon Emperor fell apart on Monday with just $4.24M, and that suggests a 65%+ drop-off from the film’s $44.7M 3-day opening.
FINAL 3-DAY PREDICTIONS FOR AUGUST 8-10
1. The Dark Knight (Warner Bros) - $28M
2. Pineapple Express (Sony) - $25M
3. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (Warner Bros) - $15.5M
4. The Mummy 3 (Universal) - $14.75M
5. Step Brothers (Sony) - $8.5M
6. Mamma Mia (Universal) - $7.5M
7. Journey to the Center of the Earth (Warner Bros) - $4.5M
8. Swing Vote (Disney) - $3.7M
9. WALL-E (Disney) - $2.9M
10. Hancock (Sony) - $2.7M
FINAL 5-DAY PREDICTIONS FOR AUGUST 6-10
1. The Dark Knight (Warner Bros) - $37.6M
2. Pineapple Express (Sony) - $35M
3. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (Warner Bros) - $21.5M
4. The Mummy 3 (Universal) - $21M
5. Step Brothers (Sony) - $11.6M
6. Mamma Mia (Universal) - $11.2M
7. Journey to the Center of the Earth (Warner Bros) - $6.65M
8. Swing Vote (Disney) - $5.2M
9. WALL-E (Disney) - $4.3M
10. Hancock (Sony) - $3.8M
July 1 marks the halfway point of the movie year, and there is a clear winner among the major Hollywood studios. With the top 3 grossing movies of 2008, Paramount is riding high with both Marvel’s Iron Man and Lucasfilm’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull topping $300M and DreamWorks’ Kung Fu Panda at $181M now and a cinch for $200M+. The Melrose gang will be the first studio in history with back-to-back-to-back $200M+ grossing movies.
With an estimated $1.054 billion in domestic box office, it will be impossible for anyone to catch Paramount in the market share race for 2008, especially when the studio has 2 sure bets for $100M+ due in the next 6 months. First comes the much buzzed-about DreamWorks comedy Tropic Thunder in August, featuring another standout Robert Downey Jr. performance and a scene-stealing turn by Tom Cruise. Then comes Madagascar 2, also from DreamWorks, in November, which I am hearing very positive reports about.
Paramount is likely to exceed the $1.49 billion in domestic box office it generated last year, and they have an outside shot at surpassing the all-time record $1.71 billion generated by Sony in 2006. To do it, the studio would need Madagascar 2 to be huge and to get help from DreamWorks’ DJ Caruso/Shia LaBeouf re-teaming for Eagle Eye in September, David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button in December and perhaps Joe Wright’s follow-up to Atonement, The Soloist, starring Robert Downey Jr. (again), Jamie Foxx and Catherine Keener, which is expected sometime this fall with plenty of Oscar buzz.
The battle is on for the year’s #2 spot, which Fox now holds with almost $650M domestic. Horton Hears a Who ($154M domestic) has led the way for Fox, and the rest of the studio’s year has been comprised of good solid hits like 27 Dresses, starring Katherine Heigl ($76.8M), Doug Liman’s Jumper ($80.15M) and the Ashton Kutcher-Cameron Diaz vehicle What Happens in Vegas ($79M). The always smartly run Fox even managed to wring about $60M out of M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening so far.
Meet Dave, starring Eddie Murphy, is Fox’s next release with director Brian Robbins trying to recapture the box office glory of Norbit ($95.6M domestic). If Murphy scores, Fox will have a leg-up on the competition for the year-end 2nd-best market share, although they follow with the animated Space Chimps on July 18 and the long-awaited X-Files sequel on July 25, both of which are viewed as less-than-sure things. The studio’s late year breakout hit candidates include Bill Murray and Tim Robbins in the futuristic City of Ember in October, Baz Luhrman’s highly anticipated Australia at Thanksgiving, a remake of 1951’s The Day the Earth Stood Still (featuring Keanu Reeves as Klaatu) in December and Marley & Me, based on John Grogan’s bestselling memoir and starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson, at Christmas.
The surest blockbuster in the second half of 2008 is, without question, The Dark Knight. With $200M all-but-assured for the Christopher Nolan sequel and Get Smart a safe bet to exceed $100M, Warner Bros will have three $100M grossing films (Sex and the City is the 3rd) and one near-miss with Roland Emmerich’s 10,000 B.C., which topped out at $95M domestic. The studio is currently #3 in market share with an estimated $505M in U.S. theaters.
When you consider that Warner Bros still has Star Wars: The Clone Wars due in August, the re-teaming of Diane Lane and Richard Gere in Nights in Rodanthe in September, Ridley Scott’s House of Lies, based on the excellent David Ignatius CIA thriller Body of Lies and starring Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio, in October, and the next Harry Potter installment set for Thanksgiving, Warner Bros is probably the betting favorite to be 2008’s #2 studio.
With $472M banked so far in 2008, you cannot count Sony out of the battle for 2nd place. Although Hancock will be the studio’s first $100M+ hit of 2008, it certainly will not be their last. The year has featured 3 good, solid box office successes with You Don't Mess with the Zohan ($91.67M so far), 21 ($81.15M) and Vantage Point ($72.26M), and the Will Smith superhero film, which opened last night, is a can’t-miss.
Four major blockbusters loom for Sony starting with Step Brothers, starring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, on July 25, followed by Judd Apatow’s The Pineapple Express, which will compete with Tropic Thunder for the biggest late-summer hit. (James Franco, who plays a hilarious stoner, could be one of the breakout stars of the year.) The studio will finish the year with the newest James Bond film Quantum of Solace and Will Smith in the Oscar-friendly-but-still-commercial 7 Pounds.
Universal is currently #6 with $447M domestic, but the year is heating up for them. Although the Marvel-financed and -produced Incredible Hulk appears to have stalled out and will finish its domestic run with less than Ang Lee’s version 5 years ago, it still should reach about $130M. Wanted, starring Angelina Jolie and James McAvoy, is just beginning what should be a healthy run well above $100M. The studio follows next Friday with Hellboy II, a Guillermo Del Toro sequel to his wildly original 2004 movie Hellboy. The franchise-starter generated a domestic gross of only $59.62M, but the movie found new fans on DVD and cable and Del Toro had a few more dollars to play with this time. If Universal connects with Hellboy II, a streak of five $100M+ grossing films is not out of the question because both Mamma Mia! and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor are good bets to pass that magical threshold.
The end of the year for Universal features a few Oscar contenders, including Flash of Genius and Frost/Nixon, an important prestige film with both Oscar pedigree and some box office upside, Clint Eastwood’s Changeling, starring Angelina Jolie, and the animated Tale of Despereaux.
Disney's biggest 2008 hit to-date is The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian with an underwhelming $138M, but Wall-E, after a $60M+ opening weekend, is a game-changer with $250M domestic not out of the question. Disney has generated a total of $475M domestic so far, but its only remaining titles that show blockbuster potential are High School Musical 3 in October, the animated Bolt in November and Adam Sandler's Christmas comedy Bedtime Stories. Because of its strictly limited number of releases, Disney is unlikely to compete for the #2 market share in '08.
Among the 5 studios above, I consider Warner Bros to be the favorite to finish the year with the 2nd-best market share with odds of 5/2. Sony is the next best bet at 7/2 followed by Fox at 6/1, Universal a live underdog at 8/1 and Disney 15/1.