Animated comedy Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 rained on its rivals by topping the U.K. box office at the weekend (25-27Oct13). The sequel, featuring the voices of Neil Patrick Harris and James Caan, took $5.47 million (£3.65 million) in ticket sales in its opening week, while Tom Hanks' hostage drama Captain Phillips earned $3.66 million (£2.44 million) to remain in second place.
Johnny Knoxville's Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa took $2.91 million (£1.94 million) to debut in third place, while last week's (ends24Oct13) top film Turbo, another animated movie, fell to fourth place, with $1.98 million (£1.32 million).
Harrison Ford's latest science fiction outing, Ender's Game, rounded out the top five with $1.72 million (£1.15 million) in earnings.
Johnny Knoxville's riotous comedy Bad Grandpa has ended George Clooney and Sandra Bullock's reign atop the U.S. box office. The film, in which Knoxville serves up pranks as an irreverent old man aided by nine-year-old child star Jackson Nicholl, raked in $32 million (£21.3 million) in its first weekend on release, and took over at the top from Bullock and Clooney's space drama Gravity, which has edged close to a $200 million (£133.3 million) take since its 4 October (13) opening.
Tom Hanks' Captain Phillips takes third place on the new box office countdown, while Ridley Scott's star-studded drama The Counselor, which features Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt, debuts at four with a disappointing $8 million (£5.3 million).
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 rounds out the new top five.
Animated snail-racing adventure Turbo has beaten Tom Hanks' Captain Phillips to the top of the British box office. The family film, which features the voices of Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti and Samuel L. Jackson, grossed $5.85 million (£3.9 million) in its opening week, proving more popular with U.K. audiences than it did upon its release in North America in July (13), when it entered the chart at number three.
Turbo's U.K. surge topped hostage drama Captain Phillips, which debuted in second place with $5.1 million (£3.4 million), while Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger's Escape Plan trailed behind in third place with $1.44 million (£961,470).
Last week's most popular film, thriller Prisoners, and British movie musical Sunshine on Leith rounded out the new top five.
John Belushi is headed for the big screen once again, only this time he'll be portrayed by a different famous face. Joaquin Phoenix and Emile Hirsch are in talks to play Belushi in an upcoming biopic about the famed comedian, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Under Warner Bros' wing, the indie will be written by Steve Conrad (The Weather Man, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty) and produced and directed by Todd Phillips (The Hangover). Apparently, Hirsch (Into the Wild) and Adam Devine (Workaholics) have already met with Conrad, while Phoenix's name has been heard around the rumor mill. As for the role of Dan Aykroyd, Nelson Franklin (Veep, New Girl) is in talks to play Belushi's friend and Saturday Night Live co-star.
While DeVine hits the marks for both appearance and humor, Hirsch and Phoenix seem to be a little strange for the part. Hirsch is a bit too scrawny and timid to play burly Belushi, and Phoenix might simply be too old for the part. That said, Phoenix is a great character actor and delves deep into his roles, so he might be better at capturing Belushi's vivaciousness than we're able to picture at the moment.
However, if the requirement for getting the role is just being a husky male with brown hair (which it seems like it is at this point), then here are a few more people who might be up to the task of taking on the king of comedy, courtesy of Internet rumblings:
- Zach Galifianakis- Jonah Hill- Bobby Moynihan- Ethan Suplee (My Name is Earl)- Tyler Labine (who played Belushi in the 2005 TV movie Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Mork & Mindy) - Artie Lange (but we know at 46-years-old, he's not going to make the cut)- An Unknown (maybe the best move would to pick someone who isn't a big-name star so the portroyal of Belushi won't be judged so harshly)
Conrad and his team are looking to start production in spring 2014.
Into The Wild star Emile Hirsch is in talks to portray tragic funnyman John Belushi in a new biopic. The Hangover director Todd Phillips has stepped aside and now Steve Conrad, who wrote the script, will take charge of the film, according to The Hollywood Reporter - and he has met with Hirsch.
Adam Devine and Joaquin Phoenix are also reportedly among the frontrunners to play the late Blues Brothers star.
TV actor Nelson Franklin is being considered to portray Belushi's longtime sidekick Dan Ackroyd in the film.
Belushi died from a drug overdose in 1982, aged 33.
Belushi's widow, Judy Belushi Pisano, will co-produce the new film, while Aykroyd is on board as an executive producer.
Toad The Wet Sprocket, a fairly popular band in the '90s, just released their first studio album in 16 years, New Constellation. That's a long time. They've seen President Bill Clinton finish his second term, George W. Bush serve twice and Barack Obama in the middle of his second term. That's a lifetime in music -- kids that were born when their last album came out are today's main pop consumers. Will people wind up buying it or will they fade back into something from the past?
Sure, there was the occasional greatest hits or B-side album, but it wasn't the same as hearing brand new music. But here they are again. Maybe they missed the feeling of making new music together. Who knows? It is a big risk on their parts though, given this current circumstances. Like all of us, 16 years has chenged us - Glen Philips, Randy Guss, Todd Nichols and Dean Dinning aren't in their 20s anymore. The maturity should help their music even more.
It's got to be a whole new world for the band. The last time they released an album, Napster was a person who liked to sleep a lot. Now they not only have to vie for CD sales, they also have to deal with digital rights for sites like iTunes, Spotify and others. The worst thing they had to contend with was someone copying their CD and giving it to a friend of thers, not distributing it to millions through torrent seeding. They have also seen America go from a time of enormous prosperity (which sadly was built upon a house of cards) to several recessions that some wonder if it will ever recover from. So...it's a dicey situation, to say the least.
So far, it's garnered good reviews on Amazon and iTunes, but will that be enough to persuade the non-diehards to buy it? It'll be interesting to see how they weather this new world.
I hope they succeed again just because I think any band as cooly named as Toad The Wet Sprocket (a name derived from a sketch on one of Monty Python's 1970s LPs) deserves to succeed, no matter what.
New British stage show This Is My Family triumphed at the U.K. Theatre Awards on Sunday (20Oct13) after scoring two top prizes. The Sheffield, England production, from Calendar Girls screenwriter Tim Firth, follows two teens, their stressed parents, a bawdy aunt and a forgetful grandmother as they embark on a disastrous camping holiday. It was named best musical, while veteran actress Sian Phillips was handed the honour for best supporting performance.
The ceremony proved to be great for the ladies - Cush Jumbo earned the title of best performance in a play for A Doll's House, Janie Dee landed best performance in a musical for Hello Dolly!, and Blanche McIntyre was unveiled as best director for a production of Chekhov's The Seagull.
Actor Simon Callow was another honouree - he received an award for outstanding contribution to the British stage, while Edward Petherbridge, director Sir Jonathan Miller and playwright Sir Alan Ayckbourn were all also celebrated at the event, which celebrates the best in regional theatre across Britain.
Benedict Cumberbatch's portrayal of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in new biopic The Fifth Estate has officially been deemed a box office flop after grossing just $1.7 million (£1.13 million) in the U.S., making it the worst major debut of the year so far. The thriller, directed by Bill Condon, charts the story of the controversial whistleblowing website, but it fell flat when it debuted in the U.K. earlier this month (Oct13), taking a pitiful $753,000 (£502,000) in its opening weekend, and now it's failed to draw audiences on the other side of the Atlantic, too.
The movie, which cost $26 million (£17.3 million) to make for Participant Media and Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks Studios, scraped into the U.S. top 10 at eight, despite opening in more than 1,500 theatres nationwide.
It provided little competition for Sandra Bullock and George Clooney's space disaster epic Gravity, which took $31 million (£20.7 million) in its third weekend of release to stay at number one, while Tom Hanks' kidnap drama Captain Phillips remained at two with $17.3 million (£11.5 million).
The top five was rounded out by the new Carrie remake, which enters at three, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 at four and Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger's Escape Plan at five.
In our comprehensive report, we're crunching the numbers and stats, including the Top 10 True Story Adaptation Grosses of the last 10 years, which genres are the most successful, budget vs. gross averages, and more for movies based on a true story. To read all the details, check out the report at Studio System News.
Tom Hanks, possibly the most well-liked actor in Hollywood, has spent much of his career acting in period pieces that deal with important or pivotal moments in history, and his latest film, Captain Phillips, is no exception. In it, Hanks plays Richard Phillips, whose freighter is hijacked by Somalian pirates, and after that, he will play Walt Disney in Saving Mr. Banks.
With Captain Phillips in theaters this week and another historical film on his plate, we got to thinking about all of the eras of history that Hanks has appeared in and the ways he has presented these important historical events in order to get the most powerful reaction from audiences.
The Da Vinci Code - Biblical You know the story of Jesus Christ, right? Well, think again, because Hanks is here to present a slightly different version of events. While the film itself takes place in modern day Europe, the plot of The Da Vinci Code has to do with a conspiracy theory that the church has hidden Jesus' marriage to Mary Magdalene. Both the movie and the novel it's based on caused a great deal of controversy, and it's a testament to Hanks' likability that he was able to make a film contradicting what everyone believes to be true about Jesus and make it out unscathed.
The Green Mile - 1930s As corrections officer Paul Edgecomb in 1930s Louisiana, Hanks befriends John Coffey, a kind, gentle man on death row, played by Michael Clarke Duncan. If you haven't started crying simply from reading that description, you are obviously less susceptible to Hanks' charms than the rest of us. While many films have been made about similar subjects, both Hanks and Duncan give performances that turn a tragic friendship into a devastating movie-going experience, by using the film to showcase the issues of race relations in the pre-Civil War South.
Saving Private Ryan - World War IIHow do you make a film about World War II, already and incredibly emotional subject, even more powerful? By having Tom Hanks lead a company of soldiers tasked with finding and rescuing a paratrooper who has gone missing in action. And if that's not enough to get you, they are forced to go on this mission immediately after fighting on Omaha Beach on D-Day. Becuase when Hanks makes a film about one of the most devastating periods in history, he makes sure that there won't be a dry eye in the theater.
Apollo 13 - Space Race Surely, you must be thinking, there's no way to make audiences cry over the Space Race? Well, Hanks managed to find one. In Apollo 13, Hanks and his crew are trapped in a space shuttle when their mission goes wrong, and they must try and make it hope safely. Not only does Hanks manage to make being an astronaut seem like both the most awesome and the most dangerous profession of all time, but the focus on the people these astronauts have left back on the ground adds to the film's tension and emotional center.
Forrest Gump - Vietnam WarForrest Gump might be Hanks' most famous film, but it's also the epitome of his adventures through history. Over the course of the film, Forrest meets John F. Kennedy, inspires John Lennon to write "Imagine" and reports the Watergate break-in. However, it's the film’s treatment of the Vietnam War that is the most affecting. Having to watch Forrest, one of the kindest, most well-intentioned people in movies witness the death of one of his best friends and the emotional breakdown of the other is almost powerful enough to make viewers want to join an anti-war rally themselves.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - September 11thIt's not difficult for Americans to conjure up strong emotions about the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, so it's almost fitting that Hanks only briefly appears in the film, which focuses instead on the character's son, Oskar. That’s right: Hanks has gotten so adept at making audiences cry that he doesn’t even have to be present to do so.
Captain Phillips - 2009 Somali Pirate AttacksHanks' most recent film is set to be a powerful, emotional thrill ride. But Hanks isn't just content with showing the harrowing and courageous experiences of Capt. Richard Phillips, as the film also works to show the Somali pirates as human beings rather than just cartoon villains, and he's so good at playing with audience's emotions that he can help to make the antagonists of the piece sympathetic. However, this film also got us thinking: if Hanks is mining the recent past for historical events to make movies out of, how much longer will it be before he starts making us cry over events from the future? Or has it started already?