Who will win this weekend, the devil or the thief? After two weeks on top with “The Expendables,” Lionsgate looks to make it three consecutive weekends as their horror film “The Last Exorcism” debuts on midnight Thursday. Poised to earn over $15 million this weekend, it will finally take a young possessed girl to scare the devil out of Stallone’s tough guys and knock them right out of their cash-filled first place perch. Meanwhile, the heist genre is always a favorite and the ensemble cast of Sony’s “Takers” including Paul Walker, Chris Brown and Matt Dillon are looking to deal with the devil and walk away with box office loot in the $15 million range and simultaneously add even more testosterone to the theatrical marketplace.
For more on the history of the horror genre - Horror Lives at the Box Office!
This leaves third place to “The Expendables” with what should be an $8.5 to $9 million third weekend haul and a total domestic take of just over $80 million by Sunday night. A solid late-summer action hit, the grizzled stars of the film have proven to be surprisingly potent at attracting both male and female audiences to theatres. Sony’s “Eat Pray Love,” will likely remain in the top five with a drop in the mid-50% range and a $5 to $6 million third weekend gross. The romantic drama crossed the $50 million mark on Tuesday and has shown solid staying power despite the critical lashing it has endured as female audiences continue to show their support for Julia Roberts.
Fifth place will prove to be another box office battle ground with Fox’s “Vampires Suck,” Warner Bros.’ “Lottery Ticket” and Weinstein Co.’s “Piranha 3D” likely to find themselves in another revenue mash up. Reminiscent of last weekend’s box office demolition derby, each should take 50% to 60% second weekend drops and thus find themselves crowded together again in the $4 to $5 million range.
The highest grossing film of all-time will have a big screen revival this weekend as Fox's "Avatar: Special Edition" hits 811 theatres including IMAX and promises additional footage for those who could not get enough the first time.
With Labor Day around the corner and thus the end of the summer movie season, audiences have a ton of choices this weekend as they can take their pick among virtually every genre including horror, action, comedy, romance and drama.
To read more about the new movies, check out the 'Takers' Movie Review and 'The Last Exorcism' Movie Review by Thomas Leupp.
Cowboys And Aliens has picked up another buckaroo. Abigail Spencer, of Mad Men and Hawthorne, has signed on for a role in Jon Favreau’s retro sci-fi film.
Abigail Spencer adds on to Aliens’ already jam-packed cast: the film stars Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig, with Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde and Paul Dano in supporting roles. Spencer will play Alice, a hooker (probably of the "a heart of gold" variety) who is Craig's character's love interest.
Usually I would give you a brief story synopsis at this point in the review, but it seems kind of unnecessary in this case. It’s about cowboys and aliens, that’s about it. Well, there are probably some Native Americans too.
Cowboys And Aliens is written by Alex Kurtzman, Robert Orci, and Lost’sDamon Lindelof, with Ron Howard, Brian Glazer, and king of all things alien Steven Spielberg, producing. In total, there’s a ton of talent of heavy-duty talent at work at this project, and hopefully they’ll be able to rustle up a good film for next summer.
Based on Patrick O'Brien's 20-book series the film revolves around the Capt. Aubrey and Dr. Maturin characters introduced in the first novel Master and Commander but employs the broad narrative outlined in the 10th installment The Far Side of the World. The film succeeds largely because like the books it attends to every historical detail--and there's no pussy-footin' around. Right from the start you're immersed in an intensely realistic battle in the waters off the coast of Brazil between the massive British frigate HMS Surprise led by Capt. "Lucky" Jack Aubrey (Russell Crowe) and the French Privateer Acheron one of Napoleon's best ships. Although the Surprise had been ordered to intercept the Acheron the French ship gets the better of the British and launches a "surprise" attack of its own appearing unexpectedly from a fog bank. Throughout the Acheron's merciless assault--as cannonballs rip through sail plank and bone--the highly decorated naval commander Aubrey bravely inspires his crew to battle on while below decks the Surprise's doctor and Aubrey's trusted confidante Stephen Maturin (Paul Bettany) tends to the wounded in grisly and rudimentary fashion with rusted tools and limited resources. Maturin even performs skull surgery on a wounded sailor using a primitive metal plate as a patch. When the Surprise finally breaks away from the Acheron the British ship has sustained heavy damage and should head home for repairs but Aubrey isn't about to turn tail and run. Against Maturin's advice the headstrong captain decides to beat the Acheron at her own game: He will take her as a prize for England--at any cost--and the chase is on.
The perfectly cast Crowe could be looking at his fourth Academy Award nomination for his role as the strapping 19th-century naval warrior Aubrey even though the character doesn't have the usual Oscar-earning trappings such as deep poignant moments of self-reflection or twitchy mannerisms. The proud able-bodied Aubrey raises hell on the high seas but he's a fair leader who keeps his crew's loyalty even while sending them into almost impossible situations--usually because of his foolish pride a quality that gives him just enough fallibility to take the edge off his arrogance. To counteract Aubrey's brawn Bettany's Maturin provides the brains of the outfit; in addition to tending the wounded aboard ship as a naturalist he anticipates Charles Darwin's evolutionary theories when he discovers the Galapagos Islands a full 20 years before Darwin wrote about his findings there. Unfortunately his attempts to collect specimens from the islands are thwarted due to Aubrey's Acheron obsession--and Bettany amusingly shows Maturin's annoyance and generally does a wonderful job bringing this colorful character to life. The actors who starred together in the Oscar-winning A Beautiful Mind complement each other like two sides of a coin; their rapport is immediate and genuine. Besides these two characters it's hard to invest any emotion in the rest of the Surprise's crew but there are a few you end up rooting for especially Lord Blakeney a 12-year-old midshipman played by newcomer Max Pirkis who embodies qualities from his two mentors--Aubrey and Maturin.
Director Peter Weir known for handling intimate films such as Dead Poets Society and Witness had his work cut out for him when he decided to make an epic like Master and Commander. First he conducted an extensive search for an authentic ship to be his Surprise finally finding it an American tall ship called the Rose a 20th-century replica of a 19th-century British Royal Naval ship. The filmmakers also built a second 60-ton Surprise from scratch for the more complicated battle scenes. In addition over 2 000 19th-century uniforms were made for the ships' crews. The real task for Weir though was keeping a two hour-plus movie about two ships chasing each other over open seas interesting and he succeeds. While there are a few lulls in the action they're generally brief and the action itself is engrossing. The wild trip around storm-whipped Cape Horn is a doozie as is the trek around the Galapagos--all while anticipating the final showdown between the warring frigates. Weir must somehow be possessed by the spirit of naval seamen everywhere because he's created an authentic and Oscar-worthy masterpiece.
New Line Cinema's highly anticipated gangster picture Knockaround Guys will finally hit a theater near you on Oct. 11. The film--which boasts an all-star cast that includes John Malkovich, Dennis Hopper, Vin Diesel, Barry Pepper and Seth Green--completed shooting in November 1999 but its opening date was moved six times between January 2001 and October 2002. According to Variety, the film was left in the lurch because of executive turmoil, layoffs and resignations that have plagued the studio since the film's production. New Line's head of marketing, Russell Schwartz, told Variety, "Contrary to most movies, Guys and its stars have improved with age--like wine or a good cheese." Indeed. Who would have guessed in 1999 that Diesel would now be commanding a hefty $20-million-per-pic paycheck?
Tom Cruise has no qualms about raising his two children outside of the United States. The Minority Report star told the UK's Daily Express, "I think the U.S. is terrifying, and it saddens me," he said. "I do worry about my children. I depend on Nic where bringing up the kids is concerned. But it has to be both of us." Cruise told the paper that Isabella, 9, and Connor, 7, will probably be raised in Australia, where his ex-wife Nicole Kidman is from.
Singer Marc Anthony and his wife, former Miss Universe Dayanara Torres, have split after two years of marriage, The Associated Press reports. The couple has a 16-month-old son.
An airman stationed at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois has been convicted of stealing actor Nicolas Cage's 1989 Porsche 911, according to the AP. The $100,000 car was found submerged in 12 feet of water by Missouri Water Patrol in January, a month after it had been stolen from a transport trailer parked in the St. Louis suburb of Arnold, where the airman is from. Authorities have also charged another man from Arnold in the theft.
Actor Kevin Sorbo, better known as TV's Hercules and who now stars on the sci-fi series Andromeda, will unveil the first of his three new furniture collections during this fall's International Home Furnishings Market in North Carolina, the AP reports. The 43-year-old actor isn't the only star appearing at the show; fellow celebs Martha Stewart and Jaclyn Smith are also expected.
We reported last week that Sean Penn and Kevin Bacon would be starring in Clint Eastwood's new film Mystic River--and the cast keeps growing. Variety reports that The Matrix star Laurence Fishburne is in final negotiations to star in the film, about three childhood friends brought together after 25 years when the daughter of one of the friends is murdered.
Felicia Henderson, the creator and producer of Showtime's Soul Food, has inked a three-picture deal with Fox Searchlight Pictures. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Henderson's first feature film project with the studio will be Papa Was, which she will write, direct and produce with Soul Food's Boris Kodjoe set to star and produce along with Shaft producer Paul Hall.
Showtime, meanwhile, has signed Richard Dreyfuss and Judy Davis to play a couple in an original movie to be directed by Paul Mazursky (HBO's Winchell). Coast to Coast is based on a novel by Frederic Raphael about a couple's cross-country trip to attend their son's wedding. The movie is expected to air on Showtime some time next year, Variety reports.
On Monday, four days after the death of bass player John Entwistle, The Who kicked off their North American tour at the Hollywood Bowl. The band's original members, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend, replaced Entwistle with backup bassist Pino Palladino after two intensive days of rehearsals. They described the tour as a "tribute to an irreplaceable friend," Reuters reports.