Raised in New Orleans, actor Frederick Weller began his career in NYC as an understudy in the acclaimed stage production "Six Degrees of Separation" in 1991. Guest appearances in the pilot of "I'll Fl...
Look at those X-Men go!
X2: X-Men United came barreling out on top for the second week in a row, taking in a hefty $41.4 million*, nearly double the $27.6 million opener Daddy Day Care took in at No. 2.
After the top two, however, the box office dropped off considerably. In third place, The Lizzie McGuire Movie only raked in $7.8 million, while fourth place holder Identity managed a measly $6.3 million. Rounding out the top five, Anger Management collected $5.5 million.
Still, the true Cinderella story of the Top 10 this week was the quirky A Mighty Wind. After the film's run was expanded to more than 600 theaters, it made the list for the first time since its release, coming in at No. 7 with $2.8 million.
Interestingly, the romantic comedy Down With Love, which opens wide against The Matrix Reloaded next week, popped up in one theater in New York and gathered an impressive $44,098, while the Neil Labute dark comedy The Shape of Things debuted in 40 theaters with $177,506.
THE TOP TEN
At the top of the heap, 20th Century Fox's PG-13 X2 swept up with an ESTIMATED $41.4 million at 3,748 theaters ($11,046 per theater). Although it dipped 52 percent from its huge $85 million opening last weekend, the sequel--in which Prof. Xavier and his X-Men must join the metal-controlling villain Magneto to battle against a society that fears and distrusts them--has reached approximately $149 million in two weeks, making it the fifth film this year to cross the $100 million mark.
Directed by Bryan Singer, it stars Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen and more.
Sony Pictures' PG-rated Eddie Murphy laffer Daddy Day Care debuted in second place with an ESTIMATED $27.6 million at 3,370 theaters ($8,190 per theater), making it the third largest opener for Murphy following Nutty Professor II: The Klumps ($42.5 million) and Dr. Dolittle ($29 million).
The film focuses on a father who loses his job and decides to start up a day care center with one of his fellow laid-off colleagues to make ends meet.
Directed by Steve Carr, it also stars Jeff Garlin, Steve Zahn, Regina King and Anjelica Huston.
Buena Vista's PG-rated The Lizzie McGuire Movie slipped a spot to third with an ESTIMATED $7.8 million (-55%) at 2,825 theaters ($2,761 per theater). Based on the hit Disney Channel series, the film is about 13-year-old Lizzie's whirlwind trip to Rome where she is mistaken for a celebrity pop star and gets the royal treatment. Its cume is approximately $27.2 million in two weeks.
Directed by Jim Fall, it stars Hilary Duff, Adam Lamberg and Yani Gellman.
Coming in at No. 4 was Sony's R-rated Identity with an ESTIMATED $6.3 million (-33%). Playing at 2,618 theaters (-115 theaters; $2,406 per theater), this Hitchcockian thriller has collected approximately $39.2 million thus far.
Directed by James Mangold, it stars John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, Rebecca DeMornay and Alfred Molina.
Still holding strong in the Top Five, Sony's PG-13 Anger Management dropped a notch to fifth place with an ESTIMATED $5.5 million (-35%) at 2,819 theaters (-652 theaters; $1,951 per theater). Its cume is approximately $122.9 million.
Directed by Peter Segal, it stars Adam Sandler, Jack Nicholson, Marisa Tomei and John Turturro.
Buena Vista's PG-rated Holes captured the sixth spot with an ESTIMATED $4.6 million (-33%) at 2,452 theaters (+50 theaters; $1,876 per theater). In its fourth week, the film's cume is approximately $51.4 million.
Directed by Andrew Davis, it stars Rick Fox, Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight, Tim Blake Nelson and Shia LeBeouf.
*Box office estimates provided by Exhibitor Relations, Inc.
Making its way into the box office's Top 10 list for the first time since its release was Warner Bros. PG-13 A Mighty Wind, coming in at No. 7 with an ESTIMATED $2.8 million (+178%). Warners expanded the film's release to 765 theaters (+608 theaters; $3,752 per theater) and now in its fourth week, Wind's cume is approximately $9.3 million.
The film follows three sets of famous '60s folk singing groups who come together for a benefit concert 40 years later.
Directed by and starring Christopher Guest, it also stars Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, Bob Balaban, Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara and more.
Warner Bros.' PG-13 rated comedy Malibu's Most Wanted dropped from sixth to eighth place in its fourth week with an ESTIMATED $2.1 million (-47%) at 2,008 theaters (-332 theaters, $1,063 per theater). Its cume is approximately $31.7 million.
Directed by John P. Whitesell, it stars Jamie Kennedy, Taye Diggs and Anthony Anderson.
In what could turn out to be another My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Fox Searchlight's PG-13 rated Bend It Like Beckham moved up a spot to No. 9 with an ESTIMATED $1.6 million (+12%) at 563 theaters (+80) with a per theater average of $$2,931. Its cume is approximately $13 million.
The film follows the aspirations of a young Indian girl living in London whose only desire is to play soccer--even if it means going against her traditional family's wishes.
Directed by Gurinder Chadha, it stars Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.
Lions Gate's R-rated Confidence fell three rungs to 10th place with an ESTIMATED $1.5 million (-41%) at 1,188 theaters (-683 theaters; $1,263 per theater). Its cume is approximately $11 million.
Directed by James Foley, it stars Edward J. Burns, Dustin Hoffman, Andy Garcia and Rachel Weisz.
Fox's PG-13 romantic comedy Down With Love debuted in one New York theater with an impressive $44,098. An homage to those wacky Doris Day/Rock Hudson movies, the film follows a feminist writer who knocks heads with a playboy journalist. The film opens wide next week.
Directed by Peyton Reed, it stars Renee Zellweger, Ewan McGregor and David Hyde Pierce.
Also debuting this week was Focus Features' R-rated The Shape of Things, which gathered an ESTIMATED $177,506 in 40 theaters ($4,438 per theater).
A contemporary love story set in a college town in which sex and art intertwine as the relationships between four college students become increasingly complicated.
Written and directed by Neil Labute, it stars Paul Rudd, Rachel Weisz, Gretchen Mol and Frederick Weller.
The Top 12 films this weekend grossed an ESTIMATED $103 million, down considerably, nearly 28 percent from last week when they totaled $141.4 million.
The Top 12 were also down 10.6 percent from last year when they totaled $115 million.
Last year, Sony's PG-13 rated Spider-Man stayed at the top of the box office for the second week with $71.4 million at 3,615 theaters ($19,756 per theater); Fox's steamy R-rated Unfaithful came in second with $14 million at 2,613 theaters ($5,383 per theater); and Sony's PG-13 comedy The New Guy came in third with $9 million at 2,687 theaters ($3,352 per theater).
The almost-too-clinical way Neil Labute's The Shape of Things makes its main point follows the title to a tee: it's all about how we perceive and shape things. Take undergraduate English major Adam (Paul Rudd) for example. He is your typical nerd slightly overweight his hair generally unkempt; he wears baggy pants and a worn-down corduroy jacket. Clearly he's in desperate need of some shaping (or at least a stylist). His sculptor? Unconventional graduate art student Evelyn (Rachel Weisz) who meets Adam in a museum just as she is about to deface a statue with spray paint. Even though they are as different as two people can be they begin an intense relationship. Evelyn sees Adam as a work in progress and soon transforms him from geek to chic cutting his hair changing his clothes--even convincing him to get a nose job. As well she opens his mind up to art and freedom he never experienced before. Adam's friends-- the girl-that-got-away Jenny (Gretchen Mol) and her jerky fiancé Philip (Frederick Weller) Adam's former roommate--see the change immediately especially Jenny who rather likes the "new" Adam. But as Evelyn strengthens her hold on Adam his emotional and physical evolution begins to take on unexpected consequences for all.
All four contestants in this game of love and modern relationships play it very well. Rudd (Object of My Affection) does a nice job of subtly changing himself from nerdy to attractive without really altering Adam's core personality while Mol (Rounders) portrays Jenny not merely sweet and wholesome on the surface but with a warm human depth especially when she grapples with her feelings for Adam. Newcomer Weller aptly handles the snarky Philip even if he sometimes overdoes it. But the film ultimately belongs to Weisz. As Evelyn the female version of Labute's typical muse--usually played by Aaron Eckhart as in films such as In the Company of Men and Your Friends & Neighbors--the British Weisz exquisitely encapsulates Shape's cold calculated themes even for all Evelyn's seemingly good intentions. On the flip side Weisz also alienates herself from the audience as an unlikable character with no redemptive qualities in sight. It's a gutsy performance and Weisz takes the job seriously.
Neil Labute definitely likes to work out issues in his films. The writer/director entered the feature film arena with the very dark and disturbing comedy In the Company of Men about two junior executives who want to "get back" at women so they woo a colleague with the sole purpose of dumping her. It caused quite a stir when it premiered at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival falling into either the "love it" (a brilliant commentary) or the "hate it" (misogynistic and amoral) camp. Shape of Things is an obvious follow-up to this; it's the woman's turn to be the manipulator. But instead of Men's communal underhandedness and deceitfulness the actions in Shape are a solitary effort--and undertaken for reasons beyond simply "getting back" at men. How Labute quite frankly blows apart the modern relationship keeps you entirely engaged. For once it isn't about the woman scorned who stalks her man like a crazed banshee. Where the film falters somewhat however is in its execution. Shape of Things is almost too cold too devoid of real emotion and at times a little preachy. We know it can be a pretty harsh world out there when it comes to relationships but jeez lighten up.
Played Leo Hubbard in the Lincoln Center Theater revival of "The Little Foxes", starring Stockard Channing
Raised in New Orleans, Louisiana
Co-starred in the Off-Broadway play "Plunge" as a younger man involved with an older woman
Reteamed with Bruckheimer on "Coyote Ugly"; role cut from final version released in theaters
Revised role in the feature adaptation of Neil LaBute's "The Shape of Things"
Portrayed Brian Wilson in the ABC miniseries "The Beach Boys: An American Family"
Was briefly seen as a NASA technician in "Armageddon", produced by Jerry Bruckheimer
TV series debut as regular, playing a Polish-American Chicago cop in the ABC police drama "Missing Persons"
Had dual role as brothers (one dead, one still living) in the McCarter Theater staging of Richard Greenberg's play "Safe as Houses"
Film acting debut in "Stonewall"
Cast as Eliot Ness in an episode of "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles" (ABC)
Replaced the previously cast Jason Patric in the premiere of Neil LaBute's play, "In a Dark Dark House"
Featured in the ensemble of the black comedy "Curtains", about the mercy killing of an elderly woman by one of her eccentric children
Acted in the stage revival of "The Rehearsal" at NYC's Roundabout Theater Company
Starred opposite Neve Campbell in "When Will I Be Loved?"
Was featured in the Drama Dept. premiere of Douglas Carter Beane's play "The Country Club" as an alcoholic who brings an outsider into his WASP friends' gathering
Had pivotal role in the independent film "The Business of Strangers", starring Stockard Channing and Julia Stiles; screened at Sundance
Made guest appearance in "Law & Order" (NBC)
Featured in the South Coast Repertory staging of Richard Greenberg's "Hurrah at Last" as a successful playwright
Cast as Jacob in the NBC biblical miniseries "In the Beginning"
Had leading role in "Elmore Leonard's The Gold Coast" (Showtime)
Was an understudy for the Broadway production of "Six Degrees of Separation", starring Stockard Channing
Acted in guest role in the pilot for the acclaimed NBC series "I'll Fly Away"
Played a Russian cab driver in the CBS two-part movie "Aftershock: Earthquake in New York"
Co-starred in Neil LaBute's play "The Shape of Things"; performed role in London and in NYC
Raised in New Orleans, actor Frederick Weller began his career in NYC as an understudy in the acclaimed stage production "Six Degrees of Separation" in 1991. Guest appearances in the pilot of "I'll Fly Away" (NBC, 1991) and "Law & Order" in 1993 followed before he was seen as an awkward Eliot Ness (supposed roommate to the title character) in a segment of ABC's "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles" also in 1993. The dark-haired, boyishly handsome actor landed what he hoped would be a career break as Polish-American Chicago cop Johnny Sandowski in the ABC drama series "Missing Persons" (1993-94), but the police show never caught on with the general public.