Robert De Niro and Michael Douglas' new movie Last Vegas has become CBS Films' highest-grossing release ever. The comedy, which also stars Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline and Mary Steenburgen, has grossed $54.8 million (GBP36.5 million) in North America alone. The tally puts the film ahead of Daniel Radcliffe's The Woman in Black, which took in $54.3 million (GBP36.2 million) for CBS Films executives in 2012.
Last Vegas opened to $16.3 million (GBP10.9) on 1 November (13). The film has made $62.9 million (GBP41.9 million) globally.
Thor: The Dark World has scored a hammer blow on the North American box office for the second week in a row. The superhero film took in $38.4 million (GBP25.6 million) over the weekend (15-17Nov13) to beat out new release The Best Man Holiday, which earned $30.6 million (GBP20.4 million) over the same period.
The Thor sequel also grossed $52.5 million (GBP35 million) overseas, bringing its global haul to $479.8 million (GBP319.9 million).
Last Vegas, which features Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline, Robert De Niro and Michael Douglas as aged pals enjoying a wild weekend in Sin City, comes in third with $8.85 million (GBP5.9 million) and animated film Free Birds takes fourth place with $8.3 million (GBP5.5 million).
Johnny Knoxville's comedy Bad Grandpa rounds out the top five.
Meanwhile, George Clooney and Sandra Bullock are celebrating after learning their science fiction thriller Gravity has hit the $500 million (GBP333.3 million) mark at the worldwide box office.
"We went to the Philippines in 1984. I turned down Hamlet with Kevin Kline at the Public Theatre (in New York), and as soon as I turned it down, the film was postponed because of a revolution. We got to a revolution-torn Manila. 13 year olds were walking around with AK-47s in the street and we started shooting two weeks later. It was all the way live. It was intense." Platoon actor John C. Mcginley recalls the frightening irony of arriving in the chaotic capital in order to film Oliver Stone's classic Vietnam War movie.
"I've always had a thing about loud noises and continual noises. Even when I played in a rock 'n' roll band, I said, 'Does it have to be so loud?' I've lost some hearing over the years, playing rock 'n' roll... You worry about going deaf and losing your voice - for an actor those are both very useful tools." Actor Kevin Kline has never been fond of clubs and loud noises.
Ender's Game has blasted to the top of the U.S. box office in its opening weekend (01-03Nov13). The futuristic sci-fi film, which stars Harrison Ford, took in $28 million (£18.6 million), beating out Johnny Knoxville's Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, which earned $20.5 million (£13.6 million), bringing its total to more than $62 million (£41.3 million) in two weeks.
Animated film Free Birds and Last Vegas, which stars Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas and Kevin Kline, tied at three, both debuting with $16 million (£10.6 million).
Meanwhile, Thor: The Dark World crushed the competition outside of the U.S., opening with a $109 million (£72.6 million) haul internationally ahead of its American release on Friday (08Nov13). The sequel is expected to power its way past the success of the original, which took in $450 million (£300 million) worldwide in 2011.
Walt Disney via Everett Collection
Last Vegas director Jon Turteltaub had a gargantuan task in front of him. One that was not for the faint of heart. He had to manage the likes of Robert De Niro, Kevin Kline, Michael Douglas, and Morgan Freeman in one single film, actors that are as close to royalty as hollywood gets. With such a huge task comes even bigger expectations. But even trickier that the star-filled waters he had to navigate, are the constant comparisons to The Hangover that his film will continually have to dodge in the small pool of Vegas comedies. John Turtletaub wants you to know about the joys and woes (mostly joys) in working with such a legendary cast, why he needs to makes movies for everyone, and why Last Vegas is definitely not "The Hangover for old people."
What first struck me about Last Vegas is that it looked like a ton of fun to film?You know what’s funny? As fun goes, movies aren't fun at all to make. But as work goes, they're fun to make, and it was really enjoyable to be in a room with all five of those actors, including Mary Steenburgen. Everyone was so good at their jobs. It was clear that the movie was going to be good. Usually you don’t know. In this case, we had a really good feeling just when we were filming. Just by how good these actors are and everyone was on their best behavior around these guys and everyone was nice and wonderful. It's funny, people always say when they do these interviews how fun it is or what a family everyone became and I always watch that stuff thinking 'Screw you, I want you to be miserable and work hard to entertain me. I don't want you to have fun.' But I'm sorry to say, in this case, we actually enjoyed ourselves.
It definitely came across on screen. There was this instant chemistry among the four leads. We're supposed to believe that they've been friends all their lives and it definitely feels that way.It's a combination of a few things, I think. One is that all these guys are faces that you've seen for 40 years and you just feel comfortable with them. It seems like they all must know each other anyway, even though no two of them have worked together before. That's one of the more surprising tidbits. It's a mixture of that, the ease they felt together onscreen, but also starting the movie with them as little kids really propels you into a sense that they really are a group that’s been together a long time.
Was it ever intimidating working with such huge actors?Terrifying! It was! I'm supposed to be a very cool director who doesn't get fazed by this stuff but I was really excited and nervous. You're not just nervous because you want them to love you, but you're aware also of the other directors they've worked with and how talented those men and women are. You know you're being compared to the greatest directors of all time. The key isn't to not be scared, the key is to not show it. That's what I told myself, at least.
The film did a great job of managing the huge personalities. Was it a challenge not letting one actor take over the whole film?That kind of balance is there in the script, but it's also something you work hard on in the editing room to make sure that it all feels like a movie about a group of guys, not two of them. And they couldn't have been easier to work with. They've earned the right to be sh**ty on set, and none of them were. I think they were all competing on who could be the nicest because they wanted to not only be the one to not make life difficult for me, but to not make life difficult for each other.
With a movie about a group of friends in Vegas, it's easy to make comparisons to The Hangover, but is it too simple to call this film The Hangover for old people?I think so. I hate the phrase that "It's The Hangover for older people." I hate less that it's "The Hangover with older people," but I still feel like, yeah, it is a bachelor party in Vegas and I totally get the comparisons to The Hangover and The Hangover 3. But it really is such a different movie. It has a different flavor to it, a different feel to it, and different intentions.
Last Vegas seems like a movie that a lot of people could enjoy, were you shooting for a wide audience?I always set out to make a movie for a general audience, that all people can enjoy. When I made National Treasure, the studio thought we were making an R-rated Jerry Bruckheimer action film, and I turned it into a PG-rated Disney adventure film. I can't help myself. I really believe that making a movie for the widest audience is a really difficult and really rewarding task. That's what I wanted to do with this. Humor should be universal and funny should be funny to everybody and emotions and heartbreak should feel tragic to everybody. If you're doing it right, then you're hitting these very universal ideas for a very broad audience.
Veteran actress Mary Steenburgen threw herself into vocal lessons in preparation for her role as a lounge singer in new movie Last Vegas, because she feared her voice wouldn't be up to scratch. The Help star, 60, admits she hadn't really put her voice to the test in more than two decades when she signed on to join Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas and Kevin Kline in the comedy, so she decided to seek a little professional help to perfect her part.
Ted Danson's wife says, "I play a lounge singer in a tiny, kind of pathetic little lounge with about two people in there listening to me and it was a fascinating experience because really, I don't consider myself a singer and I've done very little singing.
"I've sung once in a movie in the '80s and then I kind of forgot about it. I did write music, so I'm a little musical, but it was scary to start something new at my age so (I had) lots of singing lessons and all that."
Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas, Kevin Kline and Robert De Niro showed off their culinary skills while promoting their new movie Last Vegas on Friday (01Nov13) by taking part in a cooking segment on U.S. breakfast show Today. The Oscar winners helped to make a baked pumpkin recipe and a beef tenderloin dish.
Getting the likes of Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas, and Kevin Kline in one film should be a recipe for a rousing success, and in many ways throughout Last Vegas, the casting is very successful. The main cast gives everything actors can really contribute to a film, and they excel as well as they can with what they're given. But the film shows that, at the end of the day, the script is king, and Last Vegas falters because its dreadfully weak writing hinders some fun performances.
Like another Vegas comedy, to which comparisons are unavoidable, the film centers around a bachelor party. Billy (Douglas) is trying to hold onto his youth with the grip of an iron vice. He's engaged to a much younger woman and decides that his wedding is the perfect time to rekindle his relationship with his three best friends, a group friendship that has frayed over the years. Archie (Freeman), Paddy (De Niro) and Sam (Kline) pack up to experience a weekend full of geriatric high jinks before Billy's wedding. Each of the four characters travels to Vegas with a certain amount of baggage stowed away in the carry-on compartment, and it's all related to aging, but the resolution to all of these character threads ends way too predictably. The first resolution to each of their stories that swirls around in your head while watching will undoubtedly be the one that pops up on screen before the credits roll.
One of the biggest sins Last Vegas makes is that it's just not all that funny, and the problem lies in the script. The film seems content with telling the same joke about old people over and over again, ad nauseam. It can barely mine humor from any other source besides the characters' advanced ages, pounding that theme into your head like a pulsing jackhammer. Jokes are fired at a machine gun pace, but so many of them fall ridiculously flat. Even when the cast is able to sell some of the feeble punchlines, they still aren't very clever or memorable. If anything, it makes it clear to see why these actors are as celebrated as they are. They all posses a serious amount of charm that bounces across the screen and makes the duds clank a little less loudly.
In fact, any enjoyment to be had from Last Vegas stems solely from the performances of the principal men, and sultry lounge singer Diana (Mary Steenburgen). All five actors possess a natural chemistry that carries the film's limp material around long after the script has forgotten how to be clever. They all have an excitable energy that permeates the rest of the film, but energy means little when they aren't saying anything particularly interesting. During the film, you're never quite bored or offended, but you're never excited either. It just chugs along in a miasma of general competence but not much else.
Last Vegas isn't quite dead on arrival but it's no a spring chicken either. Its high points ride on the backs of its stars' finely aged charisma, and much of the pleasing aspects that exist in Last Vegas would still be intact if the film just consisted of the actors sitting in a room, chewing the fat with each other without a script or direction. At the very least, they would have fewer stupid things to say. What happened in Vegas probably should have stayed there.
The latest comedy from Jon Turteltaub, the Hollywood mainstay behind Cool Runnings and the National Treasure movies, is Last Vegas, the septegenarian's answer to the Hangover franchise. Starring four of cinema's greatest legends — Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, and Kevin Kline — Last Vegas tells the story of childhood best friends. When the group's notorious bachelor finally proposes, they head to Las Vegas to relive their glory days. It isn't long before Sin City puts their friendship to the test in ways they never could have seen coming. In honor of this Vegas bachelor party, we're hosting a giveaway!
Grand Prize:TravelPro LuggageSoundtrack2 regional screening passes for Last Vegas
10 Runners-Up:Admit 2 Passes
It's SUPER easy to enter, all you have to do is...
1. Follow Hollywood.com on Twitter at @Hollywood_com starting Tuesday, October 22, at 12 PM ET.2. Retweet: "RT and FOLLOW to win a 'Last Vegas' prize pack in our #LastVegasGiveaway http://hllywd.co/160sfCz" The contest runs from 12 PM ET Tuesday, October 22 until 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday, October 25. Check out the official rules on the next page… Good Luck!
Last Vegas hits theaters November 1, 2013.