Jeffrey Dean Morgan's cancelled Magic City casino mob series is set to be revived on the big screen with Bruce Willis and Bill Murray joining the cast. The period TV show, which also starred Danny Huston and Olga Kurylenko, was scrapped last year (13) after just two seasons on America's Starz network, but now blockbuster filmmaker Brett Ratner has signed on to co-produce and help finance a movie adaptation.
The original series cast will return for the film, alongside new additions Willis and Murray.
The Magic City movie will be directed by series creator Mitch Glazer, who previously worked with Murray on his 2010 directorial debut, Passion Play, starring Mickey Rourke and Megan Fox.
Moonrise Kingdom co-stars Murray and Willis have recently completed work on director Barry Levinson's new movie Rock the Kasbah.
Do the Bourne movies make any sense? Enough. The first three films — The Bourne Identity Supremacy and Ultimatum — throw in just enough detail into the covert ops babble and high-speed action that by the end Jason Bourne comes out an emotional character with an evident mission. That's where Bourne Legacy drops the ball. A "sidequel" to the original trilogy Legacy follows super soldier Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) as he runs jumps and shoots his way out of the hands of his government captors. The film is identical to its predecessors; political intrigue chase scenes morally ambiguous CIA agents monitoring their man-on-the-run from a computer-filled HQ — a Bourne movie through and through. But Legacy has to dig deeper to find new ground to cover introducing elements of sci-fi into the equation. The result is surprisingly limp and even more incomprehensible.
Damon's Bourne spent three blockbusters uncovering his past erased by the assassin training program Treadstone. Renner's Alex Cross has a similar do-or-die mission: after Bourne's antics send Washington into a tizzy Cross' own training program Outcome is terminated. Unlike Bourne Cross is enhanced by "chems" (essentially steroid drugs) that keep him alive and kicking ass. When Outcome is ended Cross goes rogue to stay alive and find more pills.
Steeped heavily in the plot lines of the established mythology Bourne Legacy jumps back and forth between Cross and the clean up job of the movie's big bad (Edward Norton) and his elite squad of suits. The movie balances a lot of moving parts but the adventure never feels sprawling or all that exciting. Actress Rachel Weisz vibrant in nearly every role she takes on plays a chemist who is key to Cross' chemical woes. The two are forced into partnership Weisz limited to screaming cowering and sneaking past the occasional airport x-ray machine while her partner aggressively fistfights his way through any hurdle in his path. Renner is equally underserved. Cross is tailored to the actor's strengths — a darker more aggressive character than Damon's Bourne but with one out of every five of the character's lines being "CHEMS!" shouted at the top of his lungs Renner never has the time or the material to develop him.
Writer/director Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton Duplicity and the screenwriter of the previous three movies) is a master of dense language but his style choices can't breath life into the 21st century epic speak. In the film's necessary car chase Gilroy mimics the loose camera style of Ultimatum director Paul Greengrass without fully embracing it. The wishy washy approach sucks the life out of large-scale set pieces. The final 30 minutes of Bourne Legacy is a shaky cam naysayer's worst nightmare.
The Bourne Legacy demonstrates potential without ever kicking into high gear. One scene when Gilroy finally slows down and unleashes absolute terror on screen is striking. Unfortunately the moment doesn't involve our hero and its implications never explained. That sums up Legacy; by the film's conclusion it only feels like the first hour has played out. The movie crawls — which would be much more forgivable if the intense banter between its large ensemble carried weight. Instead Legacy packs the thrills of an airport thriller: sporadically entertaining and instantly forgettable.
Theatrics slapstick and cheer are cinematic qualities you rarely find outside the realm of animation. Disney perfected it with their pantheon of cartoon classics mixing music humor spectacle and light-hearted drama that swept up children while still capturing the imaginations and hearts of their parents. But these days even reinterpretations of fairy tales get the gritty make-over leaving little room for silliness and unfiltered glee. Emerging through that dark cloud is Mirror Mirror a film that achieves every bit of imagination crafted by its two-dimensional predecessors and then some. Under the eye of master visualist Tarsem Singh (The Fall Immortals) Mirror Mirror's heightened realism imbues it with the power to pull off anything — and the movie never skimps on the anything.
Like its animated counterparts Mirror Mirror stays faithful to its source material but twists it just enough to feel unique. When Snow White (Lily Collins) was a little girl her father the King ventured into a nearby dark forest to do battle with an evil creature and was never seen or heard from again. The kingdom was inherited by The Queen (Julia Roberts) Snow's evil stepmother and the fair-skinned beauty lived locked up in the castle until her 18th birthday. Grown up and tired of her wicked parental substitute White sneaks out of the castle to the village for the first time. There she witnesses the economic horrors The Queen has imposed upon the people of her land all to fuel her expensive beautification. Along the way Snow also meets Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer) who is suffering from his own money troubles — mainly being robbed by a band of stilt-wearing dwarves. When the Queen catches wind of the secret excursion she casts Snow out of the castle to be murdered by her assistant Brighton (Nathan Lane).
Fairy tales take flack for rejecting the idea of women being capable but even with its flighty presentation and dedication to the old school Disney method Mirror Mirror empowers its Snow White in a genuine way thanks to Collins' snappy charming performance. After being set free by Brighton Snow crosses paths with the thieving dwarves and quickly takes a role on their pilfering team (which she helps turn in to a Robin Hooding business). Tarsem wisely mines a spectrum of personalities out of the seven dwarves instead of simply playing them for one note comedy. Sure there's plenty of slapstick and pun humor (purposefully and wonderfully corny) but each member of the septet stands out as a warm compassionate companion to Snow even in the fantasy world.
Mirror Mirror is richly designed and executed in true Tarsem-fashion with breathtaking costumes (everything from ball gowns to the dwarf expando-stilts to ridiculous pirate ship hats with working canons) whimsical sets and a pitch-perfect score by Disney-mainstay Alan Menken. The world is a storybook and even its monsters look like illustrations rather than photo-real creations. But what makes it all click is the actors. Collins holds her own against the legendary Julia Roberts who relishes in the fun she's having playing someone despicable. She delivers every word with playful bite and her rapport with Lane is off-the-wall fun. Armie Hammer riffs on his own Prince Charming physique as Alcott. The only real misgiving of the film is the undercooked relationship between him and Snow. We know they'll get together but the journey's half the fun and Mirror Mirror serves that portion undercooked.
Children will swoon for Mirror Mirror but there's plenty here for adults — dialogue peppered with sharp wisecracks and a visual style ripped from an elegant tapestry. The movie wears its heart on its sleeve and rarely do we get a picture where both the heart and the sleeve feel truly magical.
After garnering widespread praise (and an Oscar nomination for screenwriting) for his 2000 directorial debut You Can Count on Me Kenneth Lonergan was in-demand. In September 2005 the writer/director began production on a follow-up feature: Margaret which touted Anna Paquin Matt Damon Mark Ruffalo Matthew Broderick Allison Janney as well as legendary filmmakers Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella (The English Patient) as producers. The movie wrapped production in a few months time. The buzz was already growing.
Now six years later the movie is finally hitting theaters. So…what took so long?
The journey to this point hasn't been an easy one and it shows. If a film's shot footage is a block of granite and the editing process is the careful carving that turns it into a statuesque work of art Margaret feels like it was attacked by a blind man with a jackhammer. The film is a cinematic disaster a mishmash of shallow characters overwrought politics and sporadic tones. The story follows Lisa Coen (Paquin) a New York teenager who finds herself drowning in chaos after distracting a bus driver (Ruffalo) causing him to hit and kill a pedestrian (Janney). Initially Lisa tells the police it was all an accident but as time passes regret takes hold and the girl embarks on a mission to take down the man she now regards as a culprit. That's just the tip of the iceberg–along the way Lisa deals with everyday teen stuff: falling for her geometry teacher (Damon) combating her anxiety-ridden actress mother losing her virginity dabbling in drugs debating 9/11 and the Iraq War cultivating a relationship with her father in LA and more. There are about eight seasons of television stuffed into Margaret but even a two and a half hour run time can't make it all click.
For more on Margaret check out Indie Seen: Margaret the Long Lost Anna Paquin/Matt Damon Movie
It’s no secret that Entourage’s luster is a bit tarnished at this point, yet many of us continue to faithfully tune in to see what Vinnie Chase (Adrian Grenier) and his goons are up to. Now, they’re finally throwing in the towel with 8 final episodes, but just what is it about this show that kept us on the hook for those less-than-spectacular years? (Hint: It's not Vince.)
Drama’s Never-Ending Delusion and Pseudo-Wisdom
For some reason, seeing Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon) try so hard and fail even harder time and time again is wildly entertaining, but the resolve with which he continues to pound the glitter-covered pavement in Hollywood and spew his unwarranted wisdom is what makes it so hilarious. Drama needs an acting gig, so what does he do? He tries to use SAG insurance to get calf implants after admiring Lamar Odom’s trunks. Drama is desperate to be in the new Brett Ratner flick, so what does he do? He fights tooth and nail for a role as the French bus driver. Drama finally gets a shot in Vince’s passion project, so what does he do? He insists the lead actress (Modern Family's Sofia Vergara) performed a sexual favor for him, angers her and the director in the process and loses the part. Also, the fact that Dillon is the real-life, less-successful brother to Matt Dillon doesn’t hurt.
Eric Constantly Getting the Beat-down
Eric (Kevin Connolly) was supposed to be the good guy, the underdog, the one we’re all rooting for. But somehow as the series went on, it was less fun to watch him succeed and more entertaining to watch him crash and burn – especially when the purveyor of pain is none other than Ari Gold. Those morning phone calls between Ari and E are something we look forward to, and yes, we don’t want E to really lose because that means Vince loses, but damn it’s wonderful to watch him squirm.
Turtle Gives The Average Dude Hope
We all love Turtle (Jerry Ferrara), but truth be told, in real life dudes like Turtle don’t always have the kind of luck he has. Sure, he struggles with it for the first few seasons, but then suddenly he owns a mega-successful business, is dating Jamie Lynn Sigler and fending off hot college coeds. He’s a regular Joe living the dream alongside his movie star compadre. You thought Kevin James was a lucky bastard on King of Queens? Turtle crushes that victory into tiny smithereens.
Ari’s Filthy, Filthy Mouth
Sure, Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) makes comments about sexual conduct you might have thought weren't humanly possible. Sure, he’s so graphic sometimes his speeches would probably be more at home on Skinemax than HBO. Sure, he’s the most insensitive, offensive person to ever garner even a shred of our sympathy on national television. But no matter how uncomfortable he makes you, there is always something entirely appealing about his terrible, terrible personality. There’s something about Piven’s most famous character that makes you cheer him on and wish you had the cahones to say the despicable things he says. That mystical, inexplicable force is just one small piece of the puzzle that forces us to keep watching even when the story begins to suffer.
Feeling Like a Hollywood Insider
The most universal draw for the HBO series is probably the feeling of being on the inside of the Hollywood machine. We see the backhanded deals that go on behind the scenes of giant blockbuster movies. We watch Jeffrey Tambor beg and plead with Ari to get five seconds of his attention. We see Vince party with Jessica Alba. We watch Johnny Drama lose miserably against Tom Brady and Mark Wahlberg in a charity golf tournament. We see Matt Damon hounding Vin for a check for his charity. Despite its many misgivings, Entourage does give us a pseudo-look into the world we all secretly want to be a part of.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT?
Claire is an attractive CIA operative and Ray is an M16 agent who simultaneously leave their Governmental spy activities in the dust to try and profit from a battle between two rival multi-national corporations both trying to launch a new product that will transform the world and make billions. Their goal is to secure the top-secret formula and get a patent before they are outsmarted. While their respective egomaniacal CEOs engage in an unending battle of wills and one-upmanship Claire and Ray start out conning and playing one another in a clever game of industrial espionage that is even more complicated due to their own long-term romantic relationship.
WHO’S IN IT?
Reuniting Closer co-stars Julia Roberts (as Claire) and Clive Owen (as Ray) turns out to be an inspired idea. They turn out to be the perfect pair oozing movie-star charm and electricity in this elaborate con-game that might have been the kind of thing Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant might have made in the '60s (in fact they did in Charade). Roberts with that infamous hairstyle back the way we like it and Owen looking great in sunglasses prove they have what it takes to navigate us through this ultra-complex plot in which no one is sure who they can trust at any given moment. They play it all in high style and the wit just flows as the story skirts back and forth during the period of five years. The supporting cast is well-chosen with juicy roles for Tom Wilkinson and Paul Giamatti (out of their John Adams duds) as the two CEOs going for each other’s throats. Giamatti who sometimes has a tendency to overdo it is especially slimy here and great fun to watch.
Big-star studio movies today rarely take risks and often talk down to the audience but in Duplicity writer/director Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton) has crafted a complicated con-comedy that requires complete attention at all times just to keep up with the dense plot’s twists and turns. It’s the cinematic equivalent of a New York Times crossword puzzle and Gilroy and his top-drawer production team deliver a glossy beautiful-looking film that’s easy on the eyes hitting locations from Dubai to Rome to New York City.
Like any good puzzle it sometimes can be frustrating putting it all together and Gilroy’s habit of taking us back in time and then inching forward gets a little confusing even with the on-screen chyron pointing out where we are at any given moment. Stick with it though and you will be well-rewarded.
A scene near the end where the formula must be found scanned and faxed in a matter of minutes is sweat-inducing edge-of-your-seat moviemaking and it provides the ultimate opportunity for Roberts and Owen to take the “con” to the next level. Another where Roberts uses a thong to try and trick Owen into admitting an affair he never had is also priceless and gets right to the heart of the game-playing.
GO OUT AND GET POPCORN WHEN ...
Never. Stock up during the coming attractions. If you miss a moment of this entertaining romp you might never figure it all out.
Insiders thought they knew "Witch" movie would top the Halloween weekend chart, but it turned out to be "Meet the Parents" and not the "Blair Witch" sequel.
Universal's PG-13-rated blockbuster comedy "Meet the Parents" was still meeting and greeting moviegoers in first place in its fourth week with a hefty estimated $15.06 million (-6%) at 2,647 theaters (+28 theaters; $5,690 per theater). Its cume is approximately $100.0 million, heading for a domestic theatrical gross $130-150 million.
"Parents'" international release is through DreamWorks Pictures, which co-financed the film and will share equally in its success.
"Parents" had the highest per-theater average for any film playing in wide release last weekend.
"'Meet the Parents' has surprised everybody in the press," Universal distribution president Nikki Rocco said Sunday morning. "All of the estimators swore that 'Blair Witch' was going to be the number one film this weekend -- including myself. I didn't think that we could hold this well. So the truth is a pleasant surprise this weekend!"
Focusing on "Parents'" great legs, Rocco commented, "I don't think anybody thought that we could hold to this number. We were only down 4% last night (Saturday) on the head to head (theaters). That's an incredible accomplishment."
This marks the fourth consecutive weekend that "Parents" has topped the chart. "That hasn't been done since 'Sixth Sense' last year," Rocco pointed out.
Asked where the film is going domestically, she replied cautiously, "Well, who knows? If this finds its way in the marketplace through the holidays, it could be a $150 million film. It could be. I think that $130 million is a given and it could be $150 million. At this point, you don't know."
Directed by Jay Roach (director of both "Austin Powers" hits), "Parents" stars Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller.
Universal is positioned to do very well this holiday season with two high-profile films arriving in theaters. On Nov. 17 it opens Imagine Entertainment's family comedy fantasy "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas," directed by Ron Howard, produced by Brian Grazer and starring Jim Carrey. On Dec. 15 it opens the romantic comedy fantasy "The Family Man" from Beacon Communications, directed by Brett Ratner, produced by Marc Abraham, Tony Ludwig, Alan Riche and Howard Rosenman and starring Nicolas Cage, Tea Leoni and Don Cheadle.
Focusing on this weekend's business, Rocco also applauded the critically-acclaimed, R-rated drama "Billy Elliot" from the studio's specialized film arm Universal Focus. "Billy," a likely contender for Golden Globe and Oscar nominations, did not add theaters in its third week, but was up sharply nonetheless.
"Billy" placed 16th with an impressive estimated $0.56 million (+14%) at 37 theaters (theater count unchanged; $15,085 per theater). Its cume is approximately $1.6 million.
"As much as I'm excited about 'Meet the Parents,' take a look at 'Billy Elliot,'" Rocco said. "Every theater is up except for where there is a multiple run. Unbelievable! We're head to head (compared to last week because) we didn't add anything.
"It means that the word of mouth is getting around now. People are realizing how very spectacular this movie is. It just takes time for films like this to find their way. Little films need nurturing. That's why we've nurtured it. With the television campaign and the newspaper campaign now, people are realizing that this is a very special film and it becomes a must see."
This Friday (Nov. 3), Rocco noted, "we will be expanding in the markets we're already in. The following weekend (Nov. 10-12) we will be taking (it into) probably the top 100 or 120 markets. So we plan to be somewhere around 120 total playdates next weekend and then the following week we hope to be somewhere between 500 and 550.
"I think it's a great plan, and it gave the film time to find its way. So I'm very excited about it."
Directed by Stephen Daldry, "Billy" stars Julie Walters, Gary Lewis, Jamie Bell, Jamie Draven and Adam Cooper.
Instead of the knock 'em dead $15-20 million first place opening Hollywood handicappers had anticipated, Artisan Entertainment's R-rated "Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2" finished second with a still enviable estimated $13.1 million at 3,317 theaters ($3,950 per theater).
The original "Blair Witch," made independently for only about $35,000, was picked up by Artisan and grossed about $140.5 million in domestic theaters. The sequel's price tag reportedly was in the $10-15 million range, well below today's major studio average negative cost of about $51.5 million.
Directed by Joe Berlinger, "Blair Witch 2" stars Kim Director, Jeffrey Donovan, Erica Leerhsen, Tristen Skylar and Stephen Barker-Turner.
"We made the film for under $15 million," Artisan distribution head Steve Rothenberg said Sunday morning. "How many studios can actually say that they grossed their negative cost for the most part over the opening three days? So, clearly, this film is going to be very profitable. We basically earned our negative (cost back) in the first weekend of release."
Asked if industry expectations that "Blair Witch 2" could open to $15-20 million were wildly out of line, Rothenberg replied, "Clearly, it looks like it was. It seems to me, just looking at the tracking over the past three or four months, a lot of the tracking numbers haven't necessarily correlated with the weekend grosses. I can see how some people (might have anticipated a bigger opening for 'Blair Witch 2')."
Did opening over Halloween weekend and having to compete with Saturday night holiday parties hurt the film? "One of the things we did look at was that last year there was another film in the same genre called 'House on Haunted Hill' (from Warner Bros.) that came out Halloween weekend. Last year, in fact, Halloween was on Sunday. And they still did (nearly) $16 million. So we looked at that and it certainly reassured us that with a properly themed movie you could certainly open on Halloween weekend."
Buena Vista/Disney's PG-rated football drama "Remember the Titans" from producer Jerry Bruckheimer continued in third place in its fifth week, holding well with an estimated $8.0 million (-19%) at 2,803 theaters (+2 theaters; $2,855 per theater). Its cume is approximately $87.7 million.
Directed by Boaz Yakin and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and Chad Oman, "Titans" stars Denzel Washington.
20th Century Fox's PG-13-rated comedy "Bedazzled" slid two notches to fourth place in its second week with a less glittering estimated $7.7 million (-41%) at 2,570 theaters (+2 theaters; $2,996 per theater). Its cume is approximately $24.0 million.
Directed by Harold Ramis, "Bedazzled" stars Brendan Fraser and Elizabeth Hurley.
Warner Bros.' PG-13-rated drama "Pay It Forward" dropped one peg to fifth place in its second weekend with a still hopeful estimated $6.88 million (-29%) at 2,130 theaters (theater count unchanged; $3,228 per theater). Its cume is approximately $19.1 million.
Directed by Mimi Leder, "Pay It Forward" stars Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt and Haley Joel Osment.
New Line Cinema's PG-rated family film "The Little Vampire" took only a little bite out of the box office, opening in sixth place to an estimated $5.5 million at 2,009 theaters ($2,738 per theater).
Directed by Uli Edel, "Vampire" stars Jonathan Lipnicki.
"We're thrilled with it," New Line distribution president David Tuckerman said Sunday morning. "And we've got three weeks before there's really a kid's film in the market, which is the 'Rugrats' (Paramount and Nickelodeon Movies' animated sequel 'Rugrats in Paris -- The Movie,' opening Nov. 17 at 2,800 to 3,000 theaters). So we've got three weeks to run."
"Vampire" should be nicely profi able for New Line. Tuckerman confirmed that the studio picked it up very reasonably, adding, "I can't even tell you (how little) it cost. It's too embarrassing!"
Paramount's opening of its R-rated romantic comedy "Lucky Numbers" was an unlucky seventh with an estimated $4.6 million at 2,497 theaters ($1,842 per theater).
Directed by Nora Ephron, "Numbers" stars John Travolta and Lisa Kudrow.
DreamWorks' R-rated political thriller "The Contender" fell two votes to eighth place in its third week with a quiet estimated $2.5 million (-29%) at 1,639 theaters (+68 theaters; $1,514 per theater). Its cume is approximately $14.0 million.
Written and directed by Rod Lurie, "Contender" stars Gary Oldman, Joan Allen, Jeff Bridges and Christian Slater.
Dimension Films' R-rated action adventure "The Legend of Drunken Master" skidded four rungs to ninth place in its second week with a sobering estimated $2.3 million (-40%) at 1,345 theaters (+3 theaters; $1,710 per theater). Its cume is approximately $7.3 million.
Directed by Lau Ka Leung, it stars Jackie Chan.
Rounding out the Top Ten was Warner Bros.' PG-13-rated comedy "Best in Show," up one notch in its fifth week with a still happy estimated $1.78 million (-18%) at 497 theaters (theater count unchanged; $3,581 per theater). Its cume is approximately $9.1 million.
Directed by Christopher Guest, "Best" stars Jennifer Coolidge, Christopher Guest and John Michael Higgins.
OTHER OPENINGS This weekend also saw the arrival of Buena Vista's reissue of its 1993 PG-rated animated family film "Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas," placing 22nd with an uneventful estimated $0.15 million at 72 theaters ($2,084 per theater).
Directed by Henry Selick, its voice talents include Danny Elfman,Chris Sarandon and Catherine O'Hara.
Universal Focus' R-rated romantic comedy "Loving Jezebel" opened in 24th place to a calm estimated $0.048 million at 74 theaters ($645 per theater).
Written and directed by Kwyn Bader, it stars Hill Harper and Laurel Hollowman.
Lions Gate's R-rated drama "Once in the Life" arrived in 25th place to a dull estimated $0.034 million at 15 theaters ($2,250 per theater).
"Life" was written and directed by Laurence Fishburne, who also stars in the film.
USA Films' R-rated dark comedy "A Room For Romeo Brass" opened in 26th place to a slow estimated $0.007 million at 3 theaters ($2,304 per theater).
Directed by Shane Meadows, "Romeo" stars Andrew Shim and Ben Marshall.
SNEAK PREVIEWS There were no national sneak previews this weekend.
EXPANSIONS On the expansion front, Miramax's R-rated suspense drama "The Yards" went wider in its second week, placing 19th with a dull estimated $0.31 million at 146 theaters (+138 theaters; $2,123 per theater). Its cume is approximately $0.4 million.
Directed by James Gray, it stars Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix, Charlize Theron and James Caan.
WEEKEND COMPARISONS Key films -- those grossing more than $500,000 for the weekend -- took in approximately $74.44 million, up about 21.79% from the comparable weekend last year when key films grossed $61.11 million.
This weekend's key film gross was down about 3.29% from this year's previous weekend when key films grossed $76.98 million.
Last year, Warner Bros.' opening week of "House on Haunted Hill" was first with $15.95 million at 2,710 theaters ($5,884 per theater); and Universal's second week of "The Best Man" was second with $6.28 million at 1,348 theaters ($4,660 per theater). The top two films one year ago grossed $22.2 million. This year, the top two films grossed an estimated $28.2 million.
STUDIO MARKET SHARES Based on business by key films (those grossing $500,000 or more), last weekend's top six distributors were:
Universal was first with two films ("Meet the Parents" and "Billy Elliot"), grossing an estimated $15.62 million or 21.0% of the market.
Artisan Entertainment was second with one film ("Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2"), grossing an estimated $13.1 million or 19.2% of the market.
Warner Bros. was third with three films ("The Exorcist," "Pay It Forward" and "Best in Show"), grossing an estimated $10.22 million or 13.7% of the market.
Buena Vista (Disney and Touchstone) was fourth with one film ("Remember the Titans"), grossing an estimated $8.0 million or 10.8% of the market.
20th Century Fox was fifth with one film ("Bedazzled"), grossing an estimated $7.7 million or 10.3% of the market.
New Line was sixth with two films ("The Little Vampire" and "Lost Souls"), grossing an estimated $7.0 million or 9.4% of the market.
ADDITIONAL ESTIMATES (11)The Exorcist/Warner Bros.: Theaters: 1,401 (-307) Gross: $1.56 million (-46%) Average per theater: $1,113 Cume: $37.2 million
(12)Ladies Man/Paramount: Theaters: 1,823 (-220) Gross: $1.53 million (-46%) Average per theater: $837 Cume: $11.9 million
(13)Lost Souls/New Line: Theaters: 1,708 (-262) Gross: $1.5 million (-54%) Average per theater: $878 Cume: $15.3 million
(14)Dr. T & the Women/Artisan Ent.: Theaters: 1,204 (-285) Gross: $1.2 million (-48%) Average per theater: $997 Cume: $11.0 million
(15)Almost Famous/DreamWorks: Theaters: 707 (-1,000) Gross: $0.68 million (-45%) Average per theater: $967 Cume: $29.8 million
(16)Billy Elliot/Universal Focus: Theaters: 37 (0) Gross: $0.56 million (+14%) Average per theater: $15,085 Cume: $1.6 million
(17)Bring It On/Universal: Theaters: 861 (-890) Gross: $0.37 million (-62%) Average per theater: $430 Cume: $66.6 million
(18)Bamboozled/New Line: Theaters: 243 (-1) Gross: $0.33 million (-43%) Average per theater: $1,337 Cume: $1.5 million
(19)The Yards/Miramax: (see EXPANSIONS above)
(20)Digimon: The Movie/Fox: Theaters: 968 (-681) Gross: $0.32 million (-65%) Average per theater: $330 Cume: $9.0 million
(21)Nutty Professor II: The Klumps/Universal: Theaters: 348 (-97) Gross: $0.18 million (-26%) Average per theater: $505 Cume: $122.4 million
(22)TIM BURTON'S THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS/ Buena Vista (reissue): (see OTHER OPENINGS above)
(23)The Watcher/Universal: Theaters: 157 (-209) Gross: $0.075 million (-41%) Average per theater: $480 Cume: $29.0 million
(24)LOVING JEZEBEL/Universal Focus: (see OTHER OPENINGS above)
(25)ONCE IN THE LIFE/Lions Gate: (see OTHER OPENINGS above)
(26)A ROOM FOR ROMEO BRASS/USA Films (see OTHER OPENINGS above)
A "Charlie's Angels" movie? Probably sounded like a pretty damn good idea. But as incessant set reports have made clear, the flick has been anything but a pretty good damn thing. (See below.)
The latest "Angels" foible comes in the form of the reputed resignation by Bill Murray, who, wags have it, stomped off the project April 17 after an argument between him and co-star Lucy Liu -- an argument in which the feisty "Ally McBeal" chick supposedly threw air punches at the beloved comic.
While the folks at Sony Pictures, the studio behind the flick, remained mum when we called for comments, the fact is that the Murray-Liu feud is merely the most recent footnote to a project long plagued by mishaps, gossips, rumored implosions and bad publicity.
Here's a recap of all nail-breaking, ego-clashing fun:
Though Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz confirmed their participation early, there was the unexpected obstacle of casting the third angel. "Ally McBeal's" Liu eventually nabbed the role, but the process was so drawn out that the film's shooting was postponed from November to December and then again to January. Bill Murray
The part of Bosley -- the Angels' guy Friday -- was left temporarily vacant by Murray over a salary dispute. The comic reportedly was asking $1 million more than producers (of whom Barrymore is one) were willing to pay. CATFIGHTS AND MELTDOWNS
So, what was the (reputed) deal between Murray and Liu? Several versions of the incident exist: One says that Liu was peeved by the amount of improvisation Murray was doing; another says that Murray slammed Liu for having no comic talent, whereupon, she shot back with some expletives. Yet another has it that it was Liu who had problems with the script and that it was Murray who came to its defense.
According to E! Online gossip columnist Ted Casablanca, fellow angels and friends Barrymore and Diaz have engaged in a little fisticuffs of their own over top billing for the film.
Reel.com columnist Jeffrey Wells recently reported that Barrymore has taken to binge eating to relieve the stress of the set. Other reports have Barrymore bawling for the same cause. CASH DRAIN
Casablanca also reported that Diaz allegedly decreed to have Julia Roberts' makeup crew fly out to Los Angeles to tend to her cosmetic needs. The studio allegedly said no, and Diaz, who banked a hefty $12 mil for her role, allegedly paid for part of the expense.
Again from Casablanca: The project has gone so overbudget that one of the flick's producers allegedly paid for the cameos of original TV angels Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith and Kate Jackson out of her own deep pocket. (Of course, other sources -- namely, Monday's New York Daily News -- will tell you the three won't be in the movie due to "creative differences" over their collective cameo. SCRIPT, WHAT SCRIPT?
Merely one month before the film was to start rolling in November, someone close to the project was quoted in the Casablanca column as saying that "the biggest problem is there's still no script."
In November, "Rush Hour" director Brett Ratner -- who was offered (and rejected) the job to helm the "Angels" flick -- explained to the Los Angeles Times the reason he passed was: "They threw a lot of money at me, but the script never worked."
According to New York Post reporter Chris Wilson, who's gotten ahold of the script, the much-doctored treatment had been revised 30 times by a total of 10 scribes by April.
And apparently one of these versions (drafted by "Go" writer John August) was so offensive that it drove both Barrymore and Diaz temporarily out of the picture, Casablanca said in his column back in December. DELAYS
Cinescape Online reported this week that due to various problems and production delays, the shoot might not end in early May as planned.
But what's certain is that the flick's released date has been moved back from Summer 2000 to Fall 2000. So, are all these negative behind-the-scenes reports going to tarnish the audience's image of the film?
"Well, there used to the saying that 'there's no such thing as bad publicity,'" says Paul Dergarabedian, president of box office tracking firm Exhibitor Relations. "And it used to be that audiences don't really know what's going on with this kind of behind-the-scenes stuff. But now the Internet and other things have increased general interest for what goes on in front of and behind the cameras, and people are certainly taking notes of news like this out there."
But despite our heightened sensitivity toward rumor and gossip, Dergarabedian insisted that "Charlie's Angels" isn't necessarily cooked.
"If people are interested in the subject, and if the film has a good marketing scheme, and if people like the trailer, they're still going to go see it regardless of any reports of what went on behind. It's not necessary a given that those types of thing translate into poor box office. Sure though, those types of publicity are not what you want to have out there, but if it's a good movie, people are going to go see it regardless."
Of course, given the kind of "Charlie's Angels" hell reports that have been surfacing, it will certainly be a titan task to match on screen what went on behind the scenes.