October 16, 2012 12:58pm EST
There's something about other people's secrets... they can rob us completely of our longstanding apathy for the rest of the human race and instead thrust us into an obsessive need to know exactly what was whispered between two parties. It in Lost in Translation, in The Quiet Man, in Brick — whatever unknown words are passed from the mouths of Scarlett Johansson, Maureen O'Hara, and Nora Zehetner to the ears of Bill Murray, John Wayne, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, we just can't stop thinking about. And those are just normal people! What happens when this sort of ordeal involves the President of the United States of America?
If you watched the first round of the presidential debates, you might have caught an eyeful of Michelle Obama delivering a quiet message to her husband following his faceoff with opponent Mitt Romney. Satisfying the nosy nature of the American public, the First Lady has revealed the truth about the simple, sweet words that she spoke to President Barack Obama that night... at least, what she claims to be the truth.
"I gave him a big hug, and I said, 'Way to go,'" Michelle told Ryan Seacrest during a special interview on Tuesday morning's Today, which aired in honor of the upcoming second round of the debates, which airs tonight at 9 PM.
When asked by Seacrest if her husband ever looks to her during these debates, and in turn what sort of visible support she offers, Michelle responded, "I can never tell, but I'm always primed just in case he is." She continued "I'm perched, I'm looking at him, I'm smiling, I'm giving him a thumbs up if he can see it."
Thumbs up, eh? Smiling? Perched?! Something sounds... fishy.
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We're not completely sold by Mrs. Obama's revelation of what she did, in fact, say to her presidential husband on the night of Wednesday, October 3. "Way to go"? We're supposed to believe that the woman who masterminded (mastermound?) projects like Let's Move! and the White House Kitchen Garden, and her own book American Grown couldn't come up with anything more creative than "Way to go"? We know you've got more up your sleeve than that, Michelle.
Hence all the "signals" she seems to be flashing Barack. These so-called "thumbs ups" and "smiles" ... highly suspicious. But we're not going to stake claims toward a wild conspiracy theory involving the First Lady — that would be ridiculous, idiotic, deranged. No.
We have three conspiracy theories!
Theory #1: She's Pumping In the Answers
Perhaps Michelle is offering her husband some supplementary help with the answering of questions. Could she be wiring in the aid of experts — Cyrano style — and translating them to the POTUS via sophisticated hand motions — The Sting style?
Theory #2: She's Working for the Other Side
Or could she be a double agent, working instead for Mitt Romney? Maybe Michelle has mastered some kind of cerebrally-impeding sign language, unconsciously throwing her poor, unwitting husband off track with her psychological tricks. And that whisper at the end: a cold, threatening layer of icing on the cake.
Theory #3: They're Aliens!
Think about it, this explains everything* — the Obamas are actually ambassadors of an extragalactic species who communicate with their overlords via a series of manual and facial tics, transmitting messages through the vast cosmos to report on the status of their plan for world domination!
So, whatever theory you choose to believe, tune in to tonight's presidential debate to see the mission carried out. The truth is out there...
[Photo Credit: NBC]
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October 11, 2012 3:48pm EST
A very crowded weekend in store as Liam Neeson in Taken 2, battles a bevy of newcomers including Warner Bros.' Argo, Lionsgate’s Sinister, Sony’s Here Comes the Boom, CBS Film’s Seven Psychopaths and Atlas Distribution’s Atlas Shrugged Part 2.
Twentieth Century Fox’s Taken 2 led the charge last weekend with nearly $50 million and helped the industry enjoy a 50% uptick vs. the comparable weekend in 2011. The PG-13 action crime drama nearly doubled the Friday through Sunday gross of the 2009 original and in the process proved that Liam Neeson (at age 60) is one the most viable (and popular) action stars working today. In its second weekend an expected 50% drop would still give it a shot at repeating at number one with a gross in the $23 to $24 million range and a 10 day total of around $85 million.
Debuting this weekend is Warner Bros.’ Argo, directed by and starring Ben Affleck in the stranger-than-fiction true life story of a ruse designed to free six American hostages hiding out at the Canadian Embassy during the infamous Iranian hostage crisis of the late ‘70’s. The film is already generating huge Oscar buzz along with great reviews and should become a word-of-mouth darling in the coming weeks. Featuring a solid ensemble cast including Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman and Tate Donovan, projections this weekend range from the high-teens to the low $20 million range and thus it could be a contender for first place if it comes in on the high end of expectations. Argo is definitely a “must see” movie and should be in the top tier of any film buff’s movie-going list.
Third, fourth and fifth place will likely find three films in a major tug-of-war with grosses ranging from $15 to $18 million with Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania in its third weekend going up against newcomers Here Comes the Boom also from Sony and Lionsgate’s horror-entry Sinister.
Boom stars Kevin James as a high school teacher who mixes it up in the world of MMA (Mixed-Marshal Arts) to raise money for his school’s faltering after-school programs and co-stars Salma Hayek and Henry Winkler. Frank Coraci, who also directed numerous Adam Sandler comedies, referees this PG-rated comedy.
On the other side of the genre spectrum is the R-rated horror-thriller Sinister starring Ethan Hawke as a novelist whose family is terrorized by supernatural powers within their new home where a family was once murdered. Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose) directs from his script co-written with C. Robert Cargill.
Universal’s PG-13 music-themed comedy Pitch Perfect, will enjoy a very strong third weekend with a showing just outside of the top five with a potential gross of $10 to $12 million while Sony’s R-rated time travel hit man movie Looper starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis will continue to be a threat in the neighborhood of $8 million. Disney will have Tim Burton’s well-reviewed Frankenweenie making a mark with around $7 million.
Another notable debut this weekend is CBS Film’s critical favorite and Toronto Film Festival Audience Prize winner Seven Psychopaths in 1,480 theaters. The R-rated crime comedy features a cooler-than cool cast that includes Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Christopher Walken, Tom Waits, Abbie Cornish and Olga Kurylenko and is directed by In Bruges helmer Martin McDonagh. An innovative marketing campaign that includes a set of one-sheets with each featuring one of the key cast members and a “Psycho Cats” faux-trailer starring real felines already has generated quite a lot of buzz for the film that will expand into more theaters on October 26. The film is expected earn around $7 to $8 million this weekend and a thus solid per-theater average should await these seven psychopaths.
Fox's The Perks of Being a Wallflower adds 505 theaters and should take in a solid $4 million in this its fourth weekend of release. Finally, opening in 1,012 theaters is Atlas Shrugged, Part 2 with an expected weekend gross of around $3 million for the film based on the epic novel by Ayn Rand.
This should prove to be another solid but very crowded weekend at the multiplex with the high class problem of choosing which of the many appealing films to see will vex moviegoers around the country.
October 11, 2012 5:00am EST
The secret agent, currently portrayed by Daniel Craig in the 007 movies, beat the world's fastest man, Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt, to the top of AskMen.com's survey, leaving the athlete trailing at two.
Explaining their choice for number one, website editors claim Ian Fleming's spy creation "has always fit right in with the times", adding: "James Bond has been influencing men for six decades, and he's not done yet."
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton placed third, while Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane and The Dark Knight Rises star Joseph Gordon-Levitt round out the top five in fourth and fifth place, respectively.
Comedian Jimmy Kimmel landed in sixth, R&B singer/songwriter Frank Ocean at eight, and Hollywood hunk Ryan Gosling at 10.
Incumbent American leader Barack Obama takes number 11, while director Christopher Nolan (15), Liam Neeson (16), rap pals Jay-Z (22) and Kanye West (31), and actor Alec Baldwin (49) also make the list.
October 08, 2012 7:55pm EST
The final months of the Civil War, a time when President Abraham Lincoln struggled to end slavery and bring the Confederate States of America back into the fold of the union, are among the most important moments in Unites States history. They're also the murkiest. 11th grade American History tried to teach us — war, four scores, Emancipation Proclamation, the 13th Amendment, and a fateful night at the theater — but with a few hundred years' worth of events to process, most people leave school knowing that Lincoln made a couple important moves that turned the world what it is today.
Thankfully, we now have a film, courtesy of the legendary Steven Spielberg, that brings the 16th President's amazing uphill battle to cinematic life. The cold hard facts could not be more impressive.
For Lincoln, an adaptation of the biography Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, Spielberg scales down his usual blockbuster sensibilities (last seen in 2011's World War I melodrama War Horse) to craft an intimate portrait of an iconic political figure. To pull it off, writer Tony Kushner (Munich and the two-part Angels in America) constructs the film like a play, relying on the soothing, chameleon presence of Daniel Day-Lewis to breath life into Lincoln's poetic waxing. The President hits road block after road block on his quest to free the slaves and end the war, Kushner and Spielberg weaving in handfuls of characters to pull him in various directions (and accurately represent the real life events). Each time Day-Lewis' Lincoln gracefully dances the dance, solving every problem with action and words. Today, Lincoln is held in high regard as an inspirational figure. Spielberg shows us why.
Lincoln isn't a full-blown birth-to-death biopic of The Great Emancipator, and better for it. Picking up in January of 1865, years into the Civil War, Lincoln summons his Secretary of State William Seward (David Strathairn) to say enough is enough — the time is ripe for the abolishing of slavery. Against the vocal naysayers of the Union, and even his personal confidantes, Lincoln attempts to rally the Congressmen he needs to make his bill an Amendment. He hires three men (John Hawkes, Tim Blake Nelson, and the wonderfully outrageous James Spader) to use whatever non-violent means possible to swing the vote. All the while, well-spoken adversaries (like Lee Pace's Fernando Wood) take to the House of Representatives floor to discredit Lincoln and dissuade congressmen. Keeping the progressive foot in the door is Thaddeus Stevens (Tommy Lee Jones), a foul-mouthed powerhouse who shares Lincoln's ambitious dreams of equality.
The story is simple, but Kushner doesn't shy away from laying down lengthy passages of political discussion in order to show the importance of Lincoln's task. It's dense material, spruced up with Kushner's ear for dialogue, but even so, it occasionally meanders into Ken Burns documentary territory. Case in point: there are so many characters with beards in Lincoln, Spielberg even flashes title cards underneath their opening scenes just so we're not lost. The fact-heavy approach takes getting used to, but Spielberg and Kushner adeptly dig deep beyond the political gabfest to find a human side to Lincoln. He's a gentle man, a warm man, and a hilarious man. The duo's Honest Abe never shies away from a good story — at times, he's like Grandpa from The Simpsons, lost in his own anecdotes (much to the dismay of his cabinet). Day-Lewis chews scenery as hinted at in the trailers, but with absolute restraint. That makes his sudden outbursts really pop. When Lincoln becomes fed up with pussyfooting politicians, like the quivering representatives played by Walton Goggins and Michael Stuhlberg, Day-Lewis cranks the high-pitched President up to 10. He never falters.
There's a great deal of humor and heart in Lincoln — partially because the circus-like antics of Washington D.C. feel all too close to home in this day and age — and Spielberg paces it all with expert camera work. The drama is iffier: a side story involving Lincoln's son Robert (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) teases an interesting family dynamic that is never fully explored, and is clunky when dropped to the wayside in favor of larger issues. Same goes for Lincoln's wife Mary Todd (Sally Field), who continues to grieve for the couple's lost child. They're important issues, but don't quite work in the fabric of this specific narrative.
The larger world outside the offices of the White House and Congress is often forgotten too — we hear a lot of war talk, without seeing a whole lot of war. Instances where Lincoln ventures out into fields of the dead have emotional impact, but we feel disconnected from it. Where Spielberg really gets it right is the chaos of the Presidential occupation. There is no easy task for Lincoln. "I may have been wrong about that," says Abe, referencing his issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation, "but I wanted the people to tell me if I was." Day-Lewis understands Lincoln's complex internal thought and brings it forward in each scene: humble, confident, deadly, and compassionate.
Spielberg's technical team once again wows and echoes the lead performance. Director of Photography Janusz Kaminski's contrasting photography, near chiaroscuro, makes the beautiful set and production design hyper real and highlights the actors' aging faces. Composer John Williams returns once again, but with a score as low-key as Day-Lewis' character — a change of pace when compared to War Horse. It's all up to par with Spielberg's past work without turning Lincoln into a flashy period drama.
Day-Lewis was the talk of the town when the first Lincoln trailers made their way on the web, but surprisingly, Lincoln wows because it's a well-balanced ensemble drama. Lee Jones delivers his best work in a decade as the grouchy idealist, Spader delivers the comedic performance of the Fall season, and every scene introduces another familiar face to add additional gravitas to the picture (as opposed to being a distracting cameo fest). S. Epatha Merkerson's late-in-the-game scene opens up the tear ducts in a way that none of her male costars can.
If history isn't one of your interests, Lincoln may not rouse you — background reading not required, but conversation moves at lightning speed and without much hand holding. It's a change of pace for Spielberg, and a welcome one. With all the bells and whistles that come with being the biggest director of all time, Lincoln looks amazing, sounds amazing, and has enough talent to make it an exhilarating learning experience.
[Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures (2)]
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches
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October 07, 2012 7:26am EST
A much needed boost last weekend set the marketplace up for a second solid weekend at the nation’s theaters as positive momentum returns to the box office. Liam Neeson returned as kick ass, take no prisoners mega-dad Bryan Mills who wreaked havoc on his adversaries both on screen and in theaters with Twentieth Century Fox’s Taken 2. This PG-13 action crime drama turns the tables as Mills and his wife are kidnapped by the brother of the man who took his daughter hostage in the original film. This time his daughter has to step up and help her parents escape the clutches of the man hell-bent on avenging his death at the hands of Mills. The first film was an unexpected hit debuting on January 30, 2009 with a relatively modest $24.7 million but took on a life of its own generating great word-of-mouth and took in about six times its debut earning $145 million in North American revenue. Though most estimates anticipated a debut in the mid-$30 million range, it reached $50 million in U.S. theaters. Second place was expected to be a battleground with two family animated Halloween friendly films expected to earn in the $22 to $25 million range. The newcomer to the party is Disney’s well-reviewed Frankenweenie, the brainchild of the wildly imaginative Tim Burton who brings one his earliest projects to its full potential on the big screen. The PG-rated film boasts a stellar voice cast, stunning visuals and the added punch of 3-D and IMAX, but it came in fifth place with $11.5 million. Sony Pictures Animation’s PG-rated Hotel Transylvania in 3-D last weekend posted the biggest debut ever for a September release earning a whopping $42.5 million. This weekend was another strong one for the film taking in $26.3M against a tiny 38% drop; in spite of a more competitive landscape it still proves to be a solid performer. On Thursday the film had already earned close to $50 million and a great second weekend performance will kick that up to $76 million by Sunday night after just 10 days of release. Adam Sandler and Kevin James lead the voice cast in this tale of a high-end resort operated by Count Dracula (Sandler) that is discovered by a human boy who falls in love with the Count’s daughter.
Universal’s PG-13 music-themed comedy Pitch Perfect has already sung a box office hit tune last weekend posting an impressive sixth place debut in just 335 theaters and was poised for a strong first wide release. It hit its projected target at $14,736,400. The “buzz building” strategy has certainly paid off and this expected solid second weekend performance in 2,770 theaters will validate the decision to go with the platform release pattern. A likeable and talented cast including the ubiquitous Anna Kendrick (also in End of Watch) makes this a top choice for females under 25 looking for some fun at the multi-plex. Sony’s R-rated time travel hit man movie Looper starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis enjoyed a second weekend in the top five with $12.2 million. The super-stylized and visually stunning film is the vision of Rian Johnson who also directed the modern crime noir story Brick and also The Brother’s Bloom. Great word-of-mouth and a head scratching premise that requires repeat viewing have made this one of the best films of the fall movie season. $40.3 million in revenues awaits the film by the end of the weekend after just 10 days in theaters.
Another top choice this weekend was Open Road’s End of Watch which enters its third weekend amongst high praise from both audiences and critics alike, though the film didn't crack the top five. The gritty, intense police drama stars Jake Gyllenhaal and a scene-stealing Michael Pena as two cops in Los Angeles who are targeted by members of a drug cartel. Training Day scribe David Ayer directs this terrific R-rated drama from his own script. It proved to be another terrific weekend at the movies with a number of great films to choose from representing virtually every genre.
[Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox]
October 06, 2012 10:48am EST
Saturday Night Live has timed things perfectly. If we weren't already clamoring for a new episode following a one-week hiatus, then we're craving one as intensely as Mitt Romney craves Big Bird's blood following Wednesday's first presidential debate. Yes, we can surely expect Jason Sudeikis and Jay Pharoah — otherwise known as the SNL cast members with the sneakiest vowels — to make an appearance as Romney and President Obama during a cold open that will likely be the hot topic of pop culture debate come Sunday morning.
But there's something for fans not interested in news affairs, who will be able to debate the benefits of shaken vs. stirred thanks to the night's host, Daniel Craig, billed alongside musical guest Muse (who, following "Uprising," will come complete with some political opinions of their own, no doubt). It will be the man also known as Bond (James Bond)'s first time as host — but not the first time we will have seen the actor bring the funny. (Remember A Kid in King Arthur's Court? Craig sure doesn't want you to!) Will he prove to be a successful SNL?
We'll have to wait and see, but one thing's for certain: It's likely Craig's stint will be overshadowed by the sketch comedy show's political comedy cause. That is, unless, Craig dips into debate fodder himself. After all, he does have the same baby blues as Paul Ryan...
Will you be watching SNL tonight?
[Image Credit: NBC]
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October 04, 2012 7:23pm EST
A much needed boost last weekend sets the marketplace up for a second solid weekend at the nation’s theaters as positive momentum returns to the box office.
Liam Neeson returns as kick ass, take no prisoners mega-dad Bryan Mills who will wreak havoc on his adversaries both on screen and in theaters with Twentieth Century Fox’s Taken 2. This PG-13 action crime drama turns the tables as Mills and his wife are kidnapped by the brother of the man who took his daughter hostage in the original film. This time his daughter has to step up and help her parents escape the clutches of the man hell-bent on avenging his death at the hands of Mills. The first film was an unexpected hit debuting on January 30, 2009 with a relatively modest $24.7 million but took on a life of its own generating great word-of-mouth and took in about six times its debut earning $145 million in North American revenue. Though most estimates anticipate a debut in the mid-$30 million range, we think it could go much higher and the potential to nearly double the debut gross of the original is within the realm of possibility.
Second place could be a battleground with two family animated Halloween friendly films expected to earn in the $22 to $25 million range. The newcomer to the party is Disney’s well-reviewed Frankenweenie, the brainchild of the wildly imaginative Tim Burton who brings one his earliest projects to its full potential on the big screen. The PG-rated film boasts a stellar voice cast, stunning visuals and the added punch of 3-D and IMAX and all this will add up to a solid debut and long term success for the film.
Sony Pictures Animation’s PG-rated Hotel Transylvania in 3-D last weekend posted the biggest debut ever for a September release earning a whopping $42.5 million. This weekend will be another strong one for the film, but in spite of a more competitive landscape it should still prove to be a solid performer. Through Thursday the film has already earned close to $50 million and a great second weekend performance will kick that up into the $70 million range by Sunday night after just 10 days of release. Adam Sandler and Kevin James lead the voice cast in this tale of a high-end resort operated by Count Dracula (Sandler) that is discovered by a human boy who falls in love with the Count’s daughter.
Universal’s PG-13 music-themed comedy Pitch Perfect has already sung a box office hit tune last weekend posting an impressive sixth place debut in just 335 theaters and is poised for a strong first wide release with an expected $15 million plus. The “buzz building” strategy has certainly paid off and this expected solid second weekend performance in 2,770 theaters will validate the decision to go with the platform release pattern. A likeable and talented cast including the ubiquitous Anna Kendrick (also in End of Watch) makes this a top choice for females under 25 looking for some fun at the multi-plex.
Sony’s R-rated time travel hit man movie Looper starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis will enjoy a second weekend in the top five with a gross in the low teens. The super-stylized and visually stunning film is the vision of Rian Johnson who also directed the modern crime noir story Brick and also The Brother’s Bloom. Great word-of-mouth and a head scratching premise that requires repeat viewing have made this one of the best films of the fall movie season. $40 million in revenues awaits the film by the end of the weekend after just 10 days in theaters.
Another top choice this weekend will be Open Road’s End of Watch which enters its third weekend amongst high praise from both audiences and critics alike. The gritty, intense police drama stars Jake Gyllenhaal and a scene-stealing Michael Pena as two cops in Los Angeles who are targeted by members of a drug cartel. Training Day scribe David Ayer directs this terrific R-rated drama from his own script.
This should prove to be another strong weekend at the movies with a number of great films to choose from representing virtually every genre.
October 04, 2012 11:06am EST
Maybe there are fewer movie stars these days or maybe there are just fewer sure things in Hollywood now that the box office numbers are depressed, but it seems like a large number of actors are taking up a lion's share of the movie roles these days. You can't swing a purse without hitting Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Bruce Willis is in more movies than he has hair on his head. It's not just a Five-Year Engagement for Emily Blunt but five movies as well. Bradley Cooper, Anna Kendrick, Channing Tatum, and Liam Neeson all have four or more movies hitting the big screen too. That's just insane.
Of course, 2011 was the year of Jessica Chastain and 2004 was the year of Jude Law — they both had their marathon of flicks in the theater, and they're not the only ones in recent memory who have nearly worn out their welcomes at the cineplex. So what can we learn from them about the chances for JGL's Lincoln, Cooper's Silver Linings Playbook, and Willis' Fire with Fire, all of which have yet to come out? Find out below.
The Projects Get Better
For several of our unsaturated bunch, the final films of their haul proved to be the best, demonstrating that audiences don't, in fact, get sick of their faces (sort of like you do with your significant other). For Jude Law's legendary run, his final two films in 2004, The Aviator and Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, earned $102.6 and $118.6 respectively whereas none of the earlier films, I Heart Huckabees, Alfie, and Closer (which opened just weeks before The Aviator), cracked the $40 million dollar mark.
In 2005, Jake Gyllenhaal had his biggest hit with Brokeback Mountain, which came out in December (just weeks after Jarhead). The same goes for Tom Hanks whose final movie in 2004, The Polar Express, was his biggest of four. Kevin Bacon is just one degree of separation from these guys with his 1991 streak, during which JFK was the best of his five movies that year. A young Charlize Theron also cashed in at the end of the year with Men of Honor, her final of four movies that started in February with Reindeer Games (oh, how we wish we could forget that).
There's also a trend that shows that Oscar movies, when placed at the end of a star's litany of pictures, tend do to better than other movies. That bodes well for Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, and Arthur Newman, which is Emily Blunt's final of five (under-performing) movies this year.
For those who can't hold out for Oscar season, it seems like summer is the best time for actors who really want to make one of their movies pop, especially if it is a blockbuster. Gordon-Levitt's The Dark Knight Rises will definitely be the biggest of his big year, for obvious reasons.
This pattern is borne out by some statistical support. Last year Ryan Gosling got a lot of attention for his roles in Drive, Ides of March and Blue Valentine (which technically came out Dec. 29 of 2010, but only in limited release, so we're chalking it up to 2011), but it was July's Crazy Stupid Love that made the most money for him at $84.4 million.
Jessica Chastain was inescapable in 2011, but Coriolanus, Tree of Life, Take Shelter, and Texas Killing Fields (who remembers that?) didn't really make it past the art house. It was August's The Help which earned almost $170 million and earned her an Oscar nomination.
During Will Ferrell's gut-busting 2005, it was Wedding Crashers in July that broke $200 million, far overshadowing Kicking and Screaming and Bewitched earlier in the summer (though the latter still looms large in our memory as an unnecessary remake). Jessica Alba's only hit of her five-movie 2007 was June's Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer, which made $130 million. Rosario Dawson was busy with five movies in 2002 (including notorious Eddie Murphy dud The Adventures of Pluto Nash) but she was in the black with Men in Black II to the tune of $190 million on July 4th weekend.
They Can't All Be Winners
Channing Tatum is having a magical 2012 with The Vow, Magic Mike, and 21 Jump Street all raking in more than $100 million. But that doesn't mean everything he touched turned to gold. There is still the little indie 10 Years, which he made with his wife which still hasn't even made $200K. Just like with jokes and celebrity marriages, they can't all be winners. And luckily for Channing (and fellow workaholic Bruce Willis), his GI Joe 2: Making Even More Money was delayed from this summer to next year.
Of course, those who are in a lot of movies can't expect all their films to hit. Colin Farrell and his goatee were everywhere in 2003 and while The Recruit, S.W.A.T, and critical failure Daredevil all raked in the cash, Intermission didn't crack $1 million and Veronica Guerin didn't crack $2 million.
Alba in her aforementioned run in 2007 had The Ten, which didn't muster up seven figures, but it's Dawson who did the worst. Three of her six offerings in 2002 didn't even crack $100,000. Ouch.
They're Drawn That Way
If you can't make it big in live-action, then how about going for something with a little more color?This year, Anna Kendrick is everywhere and, unless Pitch Perfect becomes a breakout hit, it looks like her biggest film of the year will be the voice she did in the animated ParaNorman, which scored to the toon (get it?!) of $54 million this summer (two trends in one).
Tom Hanks had his biggest hit of 2004 with The Polar Express and Scarlett Johansson had her biggest hit of her busy 2006 with The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, but, really, The Perfect Score was the most important movie she made that year.
You Can Always Have a Career
Some say that Jude Law's lack of hits might have hurt his career. While he's not a leading man, his participation in Sherlock Holmes is certainly making him plenty of money. It seems like no matter how many movies you make every year, no matter how much money they earn, or how good they are, certain actors can still get a contract no matter what.
On the good end of this spectrum is Liam Neeson. His Kraken has been released four or more times in 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2012, some of which (like Taken and Clash of the Titans) have been hits. There is always work for Mr. Neeson, and he'll seemingly never say no.
The yin to Liam's yang, so to speak, is perpetual scene chewer Nicolas Cage who will do anything for a paycheck. He made four or more films in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, most of them about as memorable as a pair of khakis at a Beige Festival or as silly as a flame-headed ghost riding a motorcycle and flinging about chains. But no matter what, he's still laughing all the way to the bank.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo Credit: Getty Images; Wenn (4)]
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October 03, 2012 5:00am EST
The sci-fi action movie, which stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis as younger and older versions of the same character, was the top draw for audiences, pushing animated family film ParaNorman into second place with earnings of $1.7 million (£1.1 million).
Resident Evil: Retribution was in third with a tally of $1.3 million (£792,265), Will Ferrell's political satire The Campaign debuted in fourth while Jennifer Lawrence's horror House at the End of the Street rounds out the top five.
October 02, 2012 2:18pm EST
How's this for a Christmas miracle: John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John are collaborating on a Christmas album, featuring special guests like Tony Bennett, Barbra Streisand, and Kenny G. That's right, Danny and Sandy will be together again for the first time in over 30 years, and they'll be singing Christmas carols. Their holiday album, This Christmas, will be available November 13.
Along with the requisite Christmas tunes you expect to hear around the holidays (like "White Christmas" and "Silent Night"), this yuletide album will also feature a new original song from John Farrar, the guy who brought you the iconic Grease anthem, "You’re the One That I Want." The new song, "I Think You Might Like It," is a follow-up of sorts to the song that caused Travolta's and Newton-John's careers to skyrocket.
In the spirit of the holiday for which this album is about, Travolta and Newton-John will donate the artist proceeds from the album equally to their respective charities, the Jett Travolta Foundation and the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre in Melbourne, Australia. So if you do buy this album — out of curiosity to see if Travolta and Newton-John still have what it takes to sing and sell records, out of nostalgia for the good old days of sock hops, T-Birds and Pink Ladies, or out of sheer love of the holidays — you can also check “donate to charity” off your holiday to-do list.
The one fault I can find with this bundle of holiday goodness is the lack of Hannukah songs. I know us Jews don’t really have catchy holiday jingles (I mean, there’s only so many times you can sing "Dreidel Dreidel Dreidel" before you want to stick pins in your eyes), but they could have tailored the new song to appeal to other religions, too. Hey, if South Park can do it, Grease definitely can. I’m thinking it can easily be changed to something along the lines of “I Think You Might Like The Latkes…” Check out the track list for This Christmas below and sound off in the comments with any glaring omissions you spot.
This Christmas Track List:
1. Baby It’s Cold Outside
2. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree (featuring Kenny G)
3. I’ll Be Home for Christmas (featuring Barbra Streisand)
4. This Christmas (featuring Chick Corea)
5. Silent Night
6. The Christmas Waltz
7. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (featuring Cliff Richard)
8. Winter Wonderland (featuring Tony Bennett and The Count Basie Orchestra)
9. White Christmas
10. I Think You Might Like It
11. The Christmas Song
12. Deck the Halls (featuring James Taylor)
13. Auld Lang Syne/Christmas Time Is Here (Medley)
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