January 09, 2002 12:32pm EST
The Musketeer stormed this weekend's box office, capturing first place with nearly $11 million.
The independently made PG-13 rated action adventure, whose acquisition costs were shared by Universal and Miramax, is being distributed in North America by Universal and in the U.K. by Miramax. The Universal and Miramax presentation is a production from D'Artagnan Productions Ltd., Apollomedia, Q&Q Media and Carousel Picture Company.
Musketeer topped the chart with an ESTIMATED $10.7 million at 2,438 theaters ($4,390 per theater), an energetic showing for the traditionally quiet first weekend after Labor Day and the end of summer.
Directed by Peter Hyams, it stars Catherine Deneuve, Mena Suvari, Stephen Rea, Tim Roth and Justin Chambers. The film was produced by Moshe Diamant and executive produced by Mark Damon, Steven Paul, Rudy Cohen, Frank Hubner and Romain Schroeder.
Driven by Musketeer, ticket sales for key films--those grossing $500,000 or more for the weekend--were approximately $69.8 million, up nearly 29 percent from last year's post-Labor Day weekend total of $54.1 million.
"We're pleased," Universal distribution president Nikki Rocco said Sunday morning. "Strategically, when we made the deal with Miramax as a partner on Musketeer--they're going to release it in the U.K. and we have North American rights--knowing that we were successful with The Watcher last year on the same weekend we saw an opportunity here believing that Rock Star and Two Can Play That Game were (aimed) at different targets.
"We had a magnificent trailer on Musketeer that made it look very different from all the (other movies about the Musketeers). Taking the opportunity to play this incredible trailer with American Pie 2 gave it a lot of visibility. This is the end result. American Pie 2 has done over $131 million worth of business."
Focusing on the acquisition of Musketeer, Rocco pointed out, "Universal's share was $3.75 million. It's a very profitable thing for us. We were very strategic about how we did it. We wanted to be away from all of the high profile (summer) films. This is the weekend last year that we opened another acquisition, The Watcher, to $9.1 million. It was the number one film and made money for us, grossing (about) $29 million (in domestic theaters)."
Sony's Screen Gems label opened its R rated urban appeal romantic comedy Two Can Play That Game to a sexy ESTIMATED $8.3 million at 1,297 theaters ($6,400 per theater).
Game's average per theater was the highest for any film playing in wide release this weekend.
Written and directed by Mark Brown, it stars Vivica Fox and Anthony Anderson.
"It's a $6 million negative (in terms of Sony's cost) and we certainly hope we're headed to at least the mid-$20 millions," Sony Pictures Entertainment worldwide marketing & distribution president Jeff Blake said Sunday morning.
"A very profitable Screen Gems release. Another low cost, highly focused entertaining release that I think really was handled very nicely by the team at Screen Gems--similar to The Brothers, which came out earlier this year and opened to $10.3 million (the weekend of Mar. 23-25 at 1,378 theaters, averaging $7,477 per theater), but was in a tougher period and dropped off pretty dramatically. This one in the fall, hopefully, will hold on a little bit and end up with similar results. Brothers ended up with about $28 million."
Blake added that he feels Screen Gems is "doing a very nice job with highly focused pictures that have great appeal to a segment of the audience. And they're doing a nice job getting the word out to them at a pretty reasonable price."
Bel-Air Entertainment's R rated drama Rock Star opened quietly via Warner Bros. in a tie for third place to an ESTIMATED $6.18 million at 2,525 theaters ($2,446 per theater). The film was financed by Bel-Air and is being released by Warners.
Directed by Stephen Herek, it stars Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Aniston.
"It's a little disappointing, obviously, but our exits were pretty good," Warner Bros. Distribution president Dan Fellman said Sunday morning. "It was about 50-50 male-female and primarily 18-35. The one thing that stood out in the exits was that everybody liked a href="/celebrity/Mark_Wahlberg/197412" >Mark Wahlberg's performance in the movie. The best markets we had, not surprisingly, were college towns--like Boston was big. We're hoping to just hang in there through the fall and maybe we won't take these big drops that everybody's been taking in the summer."
MGM's Jeepers Creepers, the R rated horror film from the studio's United Artists label, which was first last week, tied for third place in its second week with a less scary ESTIMATED $6.17 million (-53%) at 2,944 theaters (theater count unchanged; $2,095 per theater). Its cume is approximately $24.3 million.
Written and directed by Victor Salva, it stars Gina Phillips, Justin Long, Jonathan Breck and Eileen Brennan.
(NOTE: Percentage comparisons indicated today are against the Friday through Sunday portion of the previous weekend, the four day Labor Day weekend.)
Dimension Films' PG-13 thriller The Others fell one rung to fifth in its fifth week, still showing good legs with an ESTIMATED $6.1 million (-25%) at 2,737 theaters (+21 theaters; $2,228 per theater). The Others, which cost only $17 million to make, has a cume of approximately $67.6 million, heading for $75-80 million in domestic theaters.
Directed by Alejandro Amenabar, it stars Nicole Kidman.
New Line Cinema's PG-13 rated action comedy blockbuster sequel Rush Hour 2 dropped four notches in its sixth week with an okay ESTIMATED $5.85 million (-37%) at 2,546 theaters (-279 theaters; $2,298 per theater). Its cume is approximately $206.1 million, heading for $210-215 million in domestic theaters.
Directed by Brett Ratner, it stars Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker.
"It's the highest grossing film in New Line history," New Line distribution president David Tuckerman said Sunday morning. "It's the number two picture of the year and of the summer. The little movie that could!"
Asked why the film worked so well, Tuckerman replied, "It's basically give the public what they want to see and they will come. That's the bottom line. The movie was funnier than the first. It delivered. And the public wanted to see more of what the first one was--and they got it."
Universal's R rated youth appeal comedy hit sequel American Pie 2 slid three pegs to seventh place in its fifth week with a less tempting ESTIMATED $4.74 million (-47%) at 2,777 theaters (-337 theaters; $1,705 per theater). Pie 2, which cost about $30 million to make, has a cume of approximately $131.2 million, heading for $140 million in domestic theaters.
Directed by J.B. Rogers, it stars Jason Biggs, Shannon Elizabeth, Alyson Hannigan, Chris Klein, Natasha Lyonne, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Tara Reid, Seann William Scott, Mena Suvari, Eddie Kaye Thomas and Eugene Levy.
Paramount's PG-13 comedy Rat Race fell three rungs to eighth place in its fourth week with an unexciting ESTIMATED $4.4 million (-39%) at 2,551 theaters (theater count unchanged; $1,725 per theater). Its cume is approximately $43.2 million.
Directed by Jerry Zucker, it stars Rowan Atkinson, John Cleese, Whoopi Goldberg, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Seth Green, Jon Lovitz, Breckin Meyer and Amy Smart.
Buena Vista/Disney's G rated family comedy hit The Princess Diaries dropped three notches to ninth place in its sixth week with a less royal ESTIMATED $3.4 million (-40%) at 2,410 theaters (-280 theaters; $1,420 per theater). Its cume is approximately $97.1 million, heading for $100 million in domestic theaters.
Directed by Garry Marshall, it stars Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway.
Rounding out the Top Ten was Lions Gate Films' controversial R rated high school set violent drama O, down three pegs with a soft ESTIMATED $2.7 million (-53%) at 1,445 theaters (+11 theaters; $1,869 per theater). Its cume is approximately $10.8 million.
Directed by Tim Blake Nelson, it stars Mekhi Phifer, Josh Hartnett and Julia Stiles.
This weekend also saw the arrival of Artisan Entertainment's PG-13 rated youth appeal thriller Soul Survivors to a deadly ESTIMATED $1.1 million at 601 theaters ($1,765 per theater).
Written and directed by Steve Carpenter, it stars Casey Affleck and Wes Bentley.
Paramount Classics' R rated drama Our Lady of the Assassins kicked off to a hopeful ESTIMATED $0.056 million at 4 theaters ($13,886 per theater).
Directed by Barbet Schroeder, it stars German Jaramillo and Anderson Ballesteros.
This weekend saw Paramount hold sneak previews Saturday night of its PG-13 rated baseball drama Hardball.
Directed by Brian Robbins, it stars Keanu Reeves and Diane Lane.
"Hardball went very well," Paramount distribution president Wayne Lewellen said Sunday morning. "It played to 59 percent capacity. The reactions were 59 percent excellent and 37 percent good and very good and 4 percent fair (in Paramount's exit polls). 96 percent in the Top Two boxes. The audience was a little older, primarily 20-plus with families. So there's a mix of older-with-families."
Hardball opens Friday (Sept. 14) at about 2,100 theaters.
On the expansion front, this weekend saw Fox Searchlight Pictures R rated hit thriller The Deep End go wider in its fifth week with a still encouraging ESTIMATED $0.9 million (-35%) at 401 theaters (+75 theaters; $2,254 per theater). Its cume is approximately $5.8 million.
Written produced and directed by Scott McGehee and David Siegel, it stars Tilda Swinton, Goran Visnjic and Jonathan Tucker.
MGM's release of United Artists' R rated youth appeal comedy Ghost World continued to widen in its eighth week with an okay ESTIMATED $0.39 million (-12%) at 91 theaters (+10 theaters; $4,246 per theater). Its cume is approximately $3.7 million.
Directed by Terry Swigoff, it stars Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson, Brad Renfro, Illeana Douglas and Steve Buscemi.
Miramax's R rated Apocalypse Now Redux widened in its sixth week with a still promising ESTIMATED $0.29 million (-35%) at 92 theaters (+11 theaters; $3,097 per theater). Its cume is approximately $3.2 million.
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, it stars Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Martin Sheen, Laurence Fishburne, Dennis Hopper and Harrison Ford.
On the international front, Universal reported that its domestic blockbuster The Fast and the Furious had its first major international release this weekend in Mexico with a strong ESTIMATED $0.75 million at 237 theaters, putting it number one in the market. Over the next three months Fast will open around the world, including this Friday (Sept. 14) in the U.K. and Sept. 20 in Australia.
Domestically, Fast is winding down its theatrical run after 12 weeks with a cume of $142.5 million.
Universal also said Sunday morning that its international release of Jurassic Park III has now hit $160 million with eight countries yet to open. Domestically, JP III has a cume of $177 million, giving it a worldwide cume to date of about $337 million.
Bridget Jones's Diary, which Universal and Miramax co-financed, has done about $122 million in its international release via Universal and still has 12 countries to open.
Universal said that in its third weekend in Germany Bridget moved up to first place with a $2.1 million gross that was up 1 percent from the previous weekend and up 43 percent from its opening weekend. Its cume in Germany is now $8.2 million.
In its third weekend in Austria, Bridget moved back to first place, grossing $265,000 at 65 theaters with a cume of $1.3 million.
Bridget opened in Hong Kong this weekend to very strong ticket sales of $238,000 at 24 theaters. Universal said its gross was 155 percent bigger than the opening for Billy Elliot, 55 percent ahead of Shakespeare in Love and 20 percent better than Liar, Liar.
Final top ten list for summer of 2001
Based on their actual cumes through Labor Day (Sept. 3), this summer's top ten grossing films were:
(1) Shrek (DreamWorks)- $262,908,727
(2) The Mummy Returns (Universal) - $201,707,090
(3) Rush Hour 2 (New Line) - $198,892,734
(4) Pearl Harbor (BV/Touchstone) - $196,656,492
(5) Jurassic Park III (Universal) - $175,832,085
(6) Planet of the Apes (Fox) - $173,069,748
(7) The Fast and the Furious (Universal) - $142,028,935
(8) Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (Paramount) - $130,722,949
(9) American Pie 2 (Universal) - $124,928,149
(10) Dr. Dolittle 2 (Fox) - $111,484,392
Key films--those grossing more than $500,000--took in approximately $69.77 million, up about 28.97 per cent from the comparable weekend last year when key films grossed $54.1 million.
This weekend's key film gross cannot be compared to last weekend of this year, which was a four day holiday weekend.
Last year, Universal's opening week of The Watcher was first with $9.06 million at 2,742 theaters ($3,305 per theater); and USA Films' opening week of Nurse Betty was second with $7.15 million at 1,459 theaters ($4,898 per theater). The top two films one year ago grossed $16.2 million. This year, the top two films grossed an ESTIMATED $19.0 million.
October 22, 2001 12:50pm EST
Mariah Carey has booked a guest appearance on Fox's Ally McBeal on Jan. 7. In the episode, Carey will play a key figure in a lawsuit brought by (Jami Gertz's) Kimmy Bishop after she is given a refund by a matchmaking service and deemed unmatchable. Carey also will be featured warbling "Lead the Way" from her new album, "Glitter."
The movie memorabilia-themed restaurant Planet Hollywood filed for bankruptcy on Friday due to a drop in tourist business after Sept. 11. Planet's chief executive Robert Earl tells Reuters the Orlando-Florida based restaurant chain owes $133 million in debt against $121 in assets. Planet Hollywood, once valued at $3.5 billion on the day of its 1996 opening day, is struggling to find customers to fill its restaurants.
An Italian court has cleared Tenor Luciano Pavarotti of tax evasion charges, throwing out a state claim for up to $18 million, BBC News reports. Prosecutors argued that Pavarotti claimed to be a resident of the Italian town Modena, not Monaco, as claimed in his tax return between 1989 and 1995. In his defense, his lawyers said the tenor only visited Italy a few days each year to see friends and for the holidays. Otherwise, he lived "179 days a year" in the United States.
How's "Survivor" surviving? Not so well, apparently. The CBS reality show Survivor: Africa came in second to NBC's Friends last Thursday for the second week in a row. According to Nielsen ratings, Survivor has dipped its lowest levels since its June 2000 debut, having declined by 18 percent in total viewers (19.59 million vs. 23.84 million) and by 24 percent in adults (7.9 rating, 20 share vs. 10.4/23) from its premiere a week ago. . Friends was down 18 percent week-to-week in adults 18-24 to a season-low 12.2/32, but that's still 4 percent ahead of its fourth episode last season.
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, will stop making TV programs about royalty following controversy over his production company's filming of Prince William, BBC News reports. Adrent Productions has been criticized for not adhering to an agreement for all media not to intrude into William's life at St. Andrews University in Edinburgh, where he has just begin his first term.
Nicole Kidman and Anthony Hopkins will star in The Human Stain, based on a Philip Roth novel set against the backdrop of the 1998 Clinton impeachment scandal, Reuters reports. Robert Benton is set to direct the film, which is expected to begin shooting in March.
The Runner, an ambitious reality show developed by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, has been put on hold until next season due to concerns over the national mood, Reuters reports. The series, previously set to premiere on Jan. 7, is a cat-and-mouse game in which pre-selected "agents" pursue "runners" cross-country According to ABC, security issues and concern about the show's arose after the Sept. 11 attacks. No word yet on what ABC will do with the 9 p.m. Monday slot come January.
Producers Harry Thomason, his wife Linda Bloodworth-Thomason and filmmaker Adam Friedman are set to begin filming a theatrical documentary based on the Joe Conason and Gene Lyons book The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Hunting will document the efforts to discredit the couple from the time of Bill Clinton's governorship in Arkansas through his 1998 presidential impeachment trial. Production is scheduled to start during the next few weeks.
With the balloting for the Screen Actors Guild presidential and more than 40 offices up for election ending in Oct. 31, candidates can now send email messages to the 30,000 or so union members who have email adresses, Reuters reported. For 8 cents per message, the emails supposedly contain harsh criticism on the presidential race between Melissa Gilbert and Valerie Harper, who are seeking to replace the current SAG president William Daniels, who will not be running for a second two-year term.
Bad-ass Kid Rock is looking for a few fans to appear in his new video "Forever," the first off his Nov. 20 release Cocky. According to an Atlantic Records spokesperson, the Wayne Isham-directed video will be shot on Oct. 26 and 27 in Detroit, Mich. Details will be announced soon through local radio stations and Kid Rock's official Web site.
September 06, 2001 10:38am EST
After Anne Heche's heartfelt interview with Barbara Walters on ABC's 20/20 Wednesday night, where she talked about her own mental illness due to years of sexual abuse by her father, it was revealed by Walters that Heche is indeed 3 months pregnant. She and the baby's father, Coleman Laffoon, were married Saturday.
On the other side of town, Ellen DeGeneres is keeping tight-lipped about her ex-girlfriend's recent news. Instead, DeGeneres is concentrating on promoting her new CBS sitcom The Ellen Show, as well as hosting the upcoming Emmy Awards, Sept. 16. "My life is back on track now and I'm really grateful and thrilled to be working again. I've got so much going on right now that I don't need to be distracted. I'm just working on me," DeGeneres told reporters during a press conference yesterday.
Super model Cindy Crawford has given birth to her second child with husband Rande Gerber, a girl, Kaya Jordan Gerber. The baby was born Monday in Los Angeles and weighed 7 pounds, 10 ounces. The couple already has a son, Presley Walker Gerber, 2.
Country singer Trace Adkins and his wife, Rhonda, had their second daughter, Brianna Rhea Adkins, Tuesday. The couple has another daughter and Adkins has two teen-age daughters from a previous marriage.
The Kennedy Center announced Wednesday the recipients to their prestigious 23rd annual Kennedy Center Honors, including actors Julie Andrews, 65 and Jack Nicholson, 64; opera star Luciano Pavarotti, 65; composer and music producer Quincy Jones, 68; and concert pianist Van Cliburn, 67. The gala event will take place on Dec. 2.
Rapper mogul Sean Combs has had a series of incidents with the court system. Most recently Combs was ordered to pay $350 for pleading guilty to clear-cutting environmentally protected plants around his East Hampton estate, which he also had to restore. As well, he is being threatened with arrest for failing to appear in New York City's family court, where he is being sued for child support by Kim Porter, mother of Combs' three-year-old son. And finally, he was cleared of charges in Miami of passing several cars in a motor scooter last April 14; the case was dismissed.
A federal grand jury indicted country singer LeAnn Rimes' former bodyguard and personal trainer, Robert Lavetta Iadevaia Jr. for extortion. He allegedly threatened to sell personal information and photos of Rimes to the tabloids if he wasn't paid off. Lavetta has pleaded innocent.
Aaliyah's family will make their first public statement about the tragic death of the R&B singer at the MTV Video Music Awards on Thursday night at New York's Lincoln Center. Aaliyah's brother, Rashad Haughton, is scheduled to make the address following a tribute to his sister. As well, Michael Jackson is reportedly going to perform at the show with a surprise guest. The show will air on MTV at 8 p.m. ET.
Carlos Santana and Spanish recording artist Hevia will perform at the 2nd Annual Latin Grammy Awards, joining Christina Aguilera, Marc Anthony, Nelly Furtado and many others. The show airs on CBS Sept. 11 at 9 p.m. ET.
VH1 and VH1.com announced the return of My VH1 Music Awards, the first only fully interactive music awards show. The first show aired in November 2000; music fans were able to design the show from start-to-finish by logging onto VH1.com to suggest and vote for categories, nominees, winners and more. The second show will air on VH1 Dec. 2 at 9 p.m. ET from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
25,000 specially-made Harry Potter coins were sold out in under five hours in London. Fans of the novels revolving around a teenage wizard and his adventures scrambled to get a hold of the collector's coin, which on one side features Harry casting a spell and on the other the image of the British monarch, which was apporved by Queen Elizabeth herself. The coins are official legal tender on the Isle of Man only.
The world's longest-running musical, The Fantasticks, will finally shut down production Jan. 6, 2002, due to dwindling grosses and the rising cost of production. The show, a classic boy-meets-girl love story with some memorable tunes including "Try to Remember," had been playing the Sullivan Street Playhouse, a theater in Greenwich Village, since May 3, 1960.
Anchorwoman Paula Zahn, who was recently fired from Fox News Channel for breach of contract, landed a job anchoring a new morning broadcast on CNN. According to Fox News, Zahn, whose contract with them was to last through February 2002, was let go when it was discovered her agent, Richard Leibner, had been talking with CNN.