Anthony Hopkins has The Rite stuff this weekend as Warner Bros. markets the hell out of the film.
Having played one of the most iconic movie villains of all-time, Anthony Hopkins now takes up priestly duties in Warner Bros.’ The Rite which earned $15 million in 2985 theatres this weekend. Given the huge marketing push for the PG-13 rated horror/thriller it is no surprise that the film grabbed the top spot. January tends to be a fairly scary month with horror movies and thrillers appearing often enough that such films are an expected staple of the time frame. 2010 had the action-fantasy Legion and the action horror film Daybreakers while 2009 included Underworld: Rise of the Lycans and the horror entry The Unborn.” These films had opening weekends in the $15 million to $20 million range and thus The Rite performed as expected.
Last weekend’s number one film No Strings Attached from Paramount had a very strong second weekend with a mere 31% drop and a much bigger-than-expected $13.65 million for the weekend. The romantic comedy starring Black Swan’s Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher is now approaching the $40 million mark.
Tied for third place with $11.5 million is Sony’s “The Green Hornet” which continues to impress with a 35% third weekend drop and total domestic revenue approaching $80 million. The Seth Rogen action/comedy hybrid has been the action genre “go to” movie since its debut.
Of course the ever present man of mayhem Jason Statham also grabbed up $11.5 million this weekend in this update of the 1972 classic action film The Mechanic which starred Charles Bronson and Jan-Michael Vincent. Fun fact: The original and this re-make boast the classic production team of Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff. In this CBS Films release, the terrific Ben Foster (who played Russell Crowe’s gun-slinging sidekick in 3:10 to Yuma) brings his particular brand of psychotic intensity to the role of junior hit man working in an unholy alliance with his mentor. The R-rated “red band” trailer is tailor-made for the young males who love this type of buddy R-rated action yarn and this weekend’s performance was well above the expected gross in the $7 million to $9 million range.
At number five with $11.1 million, the so-called “Oscar box office bump” is manifesting itself with Weinstein Co.’s The King’s Speech this weekend after grabbing 12 Oscar nominations this week including Best Picture, Best Actor and recognition in other numerous high-profile categories. This set the stage for the film to achieve its highest chart position yet by adding a whopping 877 theaters to the acclaimed film’s run that brought in a king’s ransom and puts it at over $70 in North American revenue by Sunday’s end.
Check out our exclusive movie-themed comic strip from Francesco Marciuliano. Francesco writes the internationally-syndicated comic strip “Sally Forth” and the webcomic “Medium Large.” He was the head writer for the PBS series “SeeMore’s Playhouse,” for which one of his episodes won two 2007 Daytime Emmys. He currently writes for the Onion News Network.
Notably From Prada to Nada from the newly formed Lionsgate Latin label Pantelion had a solid debut of $1.1 million in just 256 theatres and a per-theatre average of $4,297. Look for more titles from this newly minted distribution entity.
Overall the industry continues to pale to the year ago marketplace which was led by a staggering 7th weekend Avatar first place finish with a gross of $31.3 million. This unfortunately means that we will suffer through weekend number twelve of our ongoing down streak at the box office.
Weekend Box Office
Top 10 Movies - For Weekend of January 28, 2011 - Estimates
Movie Weekend Total
1 The Rite (PG-13) $15.0 M $15.0 M
2 No Strings Attached (R) $13.7 M $39.7 M
3 The Green Hornet (PG-13) $11.5 M $78.8 M
4 The Mechanic (R) $11.5 M $11.5 M
5 The King's Speech (R) $11.1 M $72.2 M
6 True Grit (PG-13) $7.6 M $148.4 M
7 The Dilemma (PG-13) $5.5 M $40.6 M
8 Black Swan (R) $5.1 M $90.7 M
9 The Fighter (R) $4.0 M $78.4 M
10 Yogi Bear (PG) $3.2 M $92.5 M
Anthony Hopkins will have The Rite stuff this weekend, while The Mechanic will try to put extra gas in the box office tank.
Having played one of the most iconic movie villains of all-time, Anthony Hopkins now takes up priestly duties in Warner Bros.’ The Rite on over 3,000 screens this weekend. A gross in the mid to high teens is to be expected and leaning toward the high side given the huge marketing push for the PG-13 rated horror/thriller. January tends to be a fairly scary month with horror movies and thrillers appearing often enough that such films are an expected staple of the time frame. 2010 had the action-fantasy Legion and the action horror film Daybreakers while 2009 included Underworld: Rise of the Lycans and the horror entry The Unborn. These films had opening weekends in the $15 million to $20 million range and thus an expectation for the same for exorcism-themed The Rite is not unreasonable.
The so-called “Oscar box office bump” may fully manifest itself with Weinstein Co.’s The King’s Speech this weekend after grabbing 12 Oscar nominations this week including Best Picture, Best Actor and recognition in other numerous high-profile categories. This sets the stage for the film to achieve its highest chart position yet by adding a whopping 870 theaters to the acclaimed film’s run that should bring a king’s ransom in the $10 million range and put it at over $70 in North American revenue by Sunday’s end.
Of course King George VI will have to avoid a royal butt-kicking by the ever present man of mayhem Jason Statham in the 2011 update of the 1972 classic action film The Mechanic which starred Charles Bronson and Jan-Michael Vincent. Fun fact: The original and this re-make boast the classic production team of Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff. In this CBS Films release, the terrific Ben Foster (who played Russell Crowe’s gun-slinging sidekick in 3:10 to Yuma) brings his particular brand of psychotic intensity to the role of junior hit man working in an unholy alliance with his mentor. The R-rated “red band” trailer is tailor-made for the young males who love this type of buddy R-rated action yarn and a gross in the $7 million to $9 million range could be on target for the film.
This presents yet another box office pileup situation in the top 5. Last weekend’s number one film No Strings Attached from Paramount is likely to romance a second weekend gross in the $8 million to $10 million range with similar aspirations for Sony’s The Green Hornet, Paramount’s Oscar nominated True Grit and even Oscar darling Black Swan from Fox Searchlight in the mix as they fight for their place in the 3rd, 4th and 5th positions.
Overall the industry continues to pale to the year ago marketplace which was led by a staggering 7th weekend Avatar first place finish with a gross of $31.3 million. This will unfortunately mean that we will suffer through weekend number twelve of our ongoing down streak at the box office.
In other words Prada--based on the bestselling novel by Lauren Weisberger--unfortunately plays upon the sitcom-y boss-from-hell scenario in which the young flunky manages to one up her superior in some valiant way. There are no surprises save for the fact that its set in the world of high fashion invoking all the fabulousness that entails and incorporates the amazing Streep as Miranda Priestly editor-in-chief of THE fashion magazine Runway. Oozing contempt and demanding perfection Miranda at first terrorizes her new assistant Andy (Anne Hathaway) an impressionable lass who wants to be a serious journalist and has no desire to be a “Clacker.” But that lasts for all of about 10 seconds. Andy is soon wearing those Jimmy Choo stilettos and clacking across the floor with the best of them--and the better she gets at her job the more her personal life falls apart. Naturally Andy wises up and realizes life isn’t about Dolce Gabbana and the rest of the gang. Still maybe she could keep one Prada handbag. You know just to remember the experience. Streep is having a nice little resurgence this year with two spectacular performances. In Robert Altman’s A Prairie Home Companion she plays the sunny yet heartbroken half of a singing sister act--and in Prada she’s Satan incarnate. Quite a switch but in the ever-so-capable hands of the Oscar winner it’s a flawless transition. The best part of Streep’s Miranda is all the things she doesn’t say. It’s the searing looks the languid move of the hand--and the hushed tones. This isn’t Kevin Spacey’s screaming lunatic producer in Swimming with Sharks; this is about the threatening quiet and the sacrifices Miranda makes to be lonely at the top. Hathaway as a lovely Audrey Hepburn look-a-like manages to keep her head above water but still hasn’t quite gotten rid of her Princess Diaries gee whizzed-ness. But there’s potential. In supporting roles Stanley Tucci makes a memorable appearance as Miranda’s right-hand man at the magazine doling out snarky but sage advice to our heroine while Adrian Grenier (HBO’s Entourage) plays nice as Andy’s patient boyfriend. The only other real standout star of Prada is the clothes. And the shoes. Oh and the handbags hats belts scarves and other accessories. Director David Frankel--a HBO flunky himself having directed several episodes of Entourage Sex and the City and even HBO’s hit mini-series Band of Brothers--captures this high-powered world of trend and style succinctly giving all fashionista wannabes everywhere a brief but meaningful inside peek. But the real kudos go out to costume designer Patricia Field (an Emmy winner for her work on Sex and the City) who must have had a lot of fun with Prada. She magically produces designs from Valentino (who also makes a small cameo) Donna Karan Bill Blass Galliano and of course Prada. It must be like a painter being given permission to recreate a Picasso or a Monet. Prada is predictable it’s true--but with Streep’s streaked white Cruella De Vil and all the great fashion it’s worth its weight in Versace.
Shooting on the romantic adventure film Beyond Borders starring Angelina Jolie will begin Thursday in northern Thailand. Co-producer Lloyd Phillips told The Associated Press on Wednesday that main filming on the movie will wrap up following about five weeks of shooting in the country. The Thai locations will stand in for Cambodia in the 1980s during the devastating rule of the Khmer Rouge. In the film, Jolie plays a married American socialite in London who falls in love with an idealistic doctor played by Clive Owen. Filming began in December, with previous shooting done in Namibia, standing in for Ethiopia, and Montreal, standing in for London and Chechnya. Beyond Borders, directed by GoldenEye's Martin Campbell, is expected to be released around Christmas.
It's absolute rubbish. That's what Madonna's spokeswoman told Reuters about media reports that the pop icon had made a series of unreasonable demands before taking to the stage for Up For Grabs debuting next month in London. Recent press reports claimed Madonna demanded a raised stage to stop fans from rushing her, theater staff were told not to have eye contact with her and cast members were told not to call her "Madge." Up For Grabs debuts in London May 23.
Noah Wyle, ER's handsome Dr. John Carter, and his wife, Tracy, are expecting their first child in November, the AP reports. Wyle, 30, met Tracy Wyle, a makeup artist, on the set of The Myth of Fingerprints in 1996. They became engaged on Valentine's Day in 1999 and have been married for about two years.
Supermodel Claudia Schiffer will marry her boyfriend, British producer Matthew Vaughn, before the end of the year, Ananova.com reports. Schiffer's mother reportedly told Germany's Bunte magazine that rumors of the couple's split were false and that her daughter will "marry within the next six months." Schiffer, the one-time companion of magician David Copperfield, and Vaughn, who produced Guy Ritchie's films Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, live together in London's Notting Hill.
Former Beverly Hills, 90210 star Jason Priestley will drive for Kelley Racing in the Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series, the AP reports. The 32-year-old actor has competed in several racing series before and has worked as a TV commentator at Indy Racing League races.
Pippi, Ozzy Osbourne's little black Pomeranian, is missing. A regular fixture on the MTV series The Osbournes, Pippi has apparently been lost for two months. According to MTV.com, the family is offering a $500 reward for any information leading to the dog's retrieval.
In the Biz
Billy Bob Thornton has been cast in the title role of Terry Zwigoff's Bad Santa, Variety reports. The Dimension Films comedy, which is set for a Christmas 2003 release, follows two con men who travel to malls dressed as Santa and his elf.
Darren Star, the creator of HBO's successful comedy Sex and the City, will direct a film adapted from the book Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl: A Nancy Chan Novel by Tracy Quan for Sony's Revolution Studios. The book, based on Quan's Salon.com column, centers on the diary of a call girl working on Manhattan's Upper East Side, Variety reports.
Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnettare in talks to star in another Revolution Studios project about a pair of cops who become involved in a crime that revolves around the music business, Variety reports. The untitled police drama will be helmed by Ron Shelton, who wrote and directed White Men Can't Jump and Tin Cup, and is set to begin production this fall.
CBS chief Leslie Moonves said Tuesday the network likely would not air the Robert Urich movie Not in Our House because of its rough subject matter. According to Reuters, Urich plays a pedophile in a story about a family a year after an incestuous relationship comes to light. The film co-stars Meredith Baxter.
Francophone Celine Dion will headline this year's Billboard Latin Music Awards in Miami Beach, Fla., on May 12, the AP reports. The Canadian singer's song "My Heart Will Go On" became the first and only English-language single to top the Billboard Hot Latin Tracks chart. Dion will join previously announced performers Marc Anthony, Jaci Velasquez and Thalia.
Will Smith may have walked away from this year's Academy Awards empty-handed, but the rapper-turned-actor hasn't lost steam. According to MTV.com, Smith's next album will hit stores on June 25 and will feature two singles from Men in Black 2. Smith has not released new material since Willennium in 1999.
Rosie O'Donnell presented Gene Wilder with the first-ever Roche Beauty of Giving Award on Wednesday at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York. The award was handed out as part of the Cosmetic Executive Women's Beauty Awards. Wilder is the founder of Gilda's Club, a support network named after his wife, Gilda Radner, who died of ovarian cancer in 1989. O'Donnell also praised the beauty industry's commitment to charities that support women with cancer.
Warren Beatty and Kevin Spacey will be honored at this year's San Francisco Film Festival. According to the BBC News, Beatty is being awarded the Akira Kurosawa Award for lifetime achievement in film directing, while Spacey is being honored with an acting award. The festival opens today and closes on May 2.
Science fiction writer Damon Knight died Monday at a hospital in Eugene, Ore., of age-related causes, the AP reports. He was 79. Knight, whose final novel Humpty Dumpty: An Oval was published in 1996, was also an influential teacher, critic and organizer, helping to found the Science Fiction Writers of America. He also served as editor for the science fiction anthology series Orbit. Knight is survived by his wife, two daughters, two sons, two stepsons and seven grandchildren.
Jimi Hendrix's father, James Al Hendrix, died in his sleep at home Wednesday after a long battle with congestive heart failure, the AP reports. He was 82. Hendrix, a former Golden Gloves boxer, worked as a plumber, electrician and gardener before retiring in 1979 due to poor health. Hendrix is survived by daughter Janie and son Leon.
Jake Hoyt (Ethan Hawke) has one day and one day only to prove himself to his new partner Alonzo Harris (Denzel Washington) a 13-year vet of the LAPD narcotics division. Harris' years of hardcore experience on Los Angeles' meanest streets though have turned him into the same sort of criminal he's supposed to be putting away. At first it seems Harris intends to teach Hoyt his own brand of justice: that in order to catch the big fish sometimes officers must throw the smaller ones back. But as the hours slip away Hoyt learns just how bad his badass partner really is--Harris starts out as a taunting joker who just wants to give Hoyt a hard time but by nightfall he's turned into a full-blown monster bent on saving his own skin no matter what.
This two-man show is really a one-man show. It's Washington's game all the way as he bursts the almost priestly bubble of do-goodness that has surrounded him like a halo for most of his career with a sudden murderous burst of gunfire. In Day he is larger than life; clad in black leather and huge jewelry he towers both physically and psychologically over a scrawny goateed Hawke (looking like he just walked off the Reality Bites set) who tries valiantly to keep up with his Oscar-winning co-star. It's not that a perfectly wet-behind-the-ears Hawke doesn't adequately carry off the acting required for the situation he's in but really we're supposed to believe he hold his own in a fistfight-turned-deathmatch against guys more than twice his size? For his part Washington chews the scenery like it was his last meal as Alonzo goes from bad to worse but he sure makes it look fun.
Director Antoine Fuqua (Bait) used to direct music videos for artists like Coolio and it shows. Love the cool camera angles the warped POV shots the primary colors and raw soundtrack. And Fuqua's not afraid to show the L.A. streets at their worst. The first two-thirds are masterful work in character study as the line between good and evil becomes increasingly blurred. But by the final third the plot disintegrates getting hacky and waaayy contrived especially the "Hey! It just so happens..." coinky-dinks and a laughable ending that falls flat as a pancake and panders to an urban audience almost to the point of patronization. Most of this movie is so over-the-top it would be unwatchable were it not for its charismatic lead.