The Brothers McMullen director and star's character owns a bar in his latest film, The Fitzgerald Family Christmas, and he admits it sparked an idea.
Burns tells WENN, "I'm thinking I should become a bar owner for no other reason than to use for locations for my movies.
"I've thought about it for years but I've never got around to exploring what that would take. It's enough work trying to write and direct and mount one of these films every year that I'm afraid becoming the owner of a bar would probably become a distraction."
If he was to follow his dream, Burns wouldn't be the only star to take over a bar - Channing Tatum recently opened Saints & Sinners in New Orleans, Jay-Z owns New York bar and club 40/40 and Sex & The City star Chris Noth is set to re-open his Cutting Room bar in the Big Apple in the coming months.
XXX kicked off to an Xciting, Xtraordinary and Xplosive chart topping $46 million.
Signs fell 50 percent, but was still showing signs of life in second place with $30 million.
Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams opened third to not enough kids and a blah $17 million.
Austin Powers in Goldmember slid 58 percent, finishing fourth with $13.1 million.
Blood Work arrived in fifth place to an anemic $7.2 million.
There also was a sizzling launch in New York and L.A. for The Good Girl with nearly $150,000 at four theaters, the biggest opening ever for Fox Searchlight Pictures. (For details see OTHER OPENINGS below.)
Even with XXX's powerful arrival, key films -- those grossing $500,000 or more -- fell nearly 10 percent from last year ($137.8 million versus $152.5 million). It was the fourth consecutive weekend in which the marketplace was down compared to last year.
THE TOP TEN
Revolution Studios and Columbia's PG-13 rated action adventure thriller XXX opened to a chart topping ESTIMATED $46.0 million at 3,374 theaters ($13,634 per theater).
XXX's average per theater was the highest for any film playing in wide release this weekend.
Directed by Rob Cohen and produced by Neal H. Moritz, it stars Vin Diesel, Asia Argento and Marton Csokas.
"A big late summer opening that should be at or near the top for weeks to come," Sony Pictures Entertainment worldwide marketing & distribution president Jeff Blake said Sunday morning. "It compares very well to American Pie 2, which opened this same weekend last year (via Universal) to $45 million and was number one three weeks in a row and did $145 million -- over three times its opening.
"I think the advantage of late summer is that if you can start out with a big number you stay at or near the top for several weeks. That's certainly the future we forecast for XXX."
The Diesel-fueled launch of XXX, Blake said, "also beats the opening of The Fast and the Furious (also starring Diesel), which opened to $40 million on June 22, 2001. And that, too, went on to gross $145 million. We certainly are hoping that that kind of performance is ahead for us."
In terms of audience demographics, Blake noted, "We had a strong young audience really evenly divided between males and females -- probably 52-48 male-to-female. The adults came and discovered they loved it, too. (The film got) all A CinemaScore (grades) and I think in the weeks ahead more and more adults are going to find out this is a great fun action movie for them, as well."
Focusing on the film's August arrival, Blake pointed out, "I think for late summer, clearly this is a big opening. The advantage of late summer is that whatever maybe is not available in terms of record opening levels, you get back without having that week after week pounding of huge openings behind you. So if you really have a film that's playable -- and all indications are that this is certainly that -- you're at or near the top for several weeks."
Looking ahead, XXX represents a new franchise for Revolution and Sony. "There's no question (about it)," Blake replied. Besides creating new franchises this summer with Spider-Man and now XXX, he added, Sony "certainly perpetuated one with Men in Black and used one of our favorite stars (Adam Sandler), one of the studio's closest relationships, and had a big hit with that (in Mr. Deeds). We started the summer out in a great way with Spider-Man and we're wrapping it up in a great way with XXX."
Buena Vista/Touchstone's PG-13 rated supernatural thriller Signs fell one peg to second place in its second weekend with a still solid ESTIMATED $30.0 million (-50%) at 3,310 theaters (+46 theaters; $9,095 per theater). Its cume is approximately $118.3 million.
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, it stars Mel Gibson.
Signs joined Hollywood's $100 Million Club on its ninth day in theaters, matching the time it took earlier BV blockbusters like Monsters, Inc. and Pearl Harbor to get there.
Miramax's Dimension Films opened its PG rated family comedy sequel Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams in third place to an unexciting ESTIMATED $17.0 million at 3,307 theaters ($5,141 per theater). Its cume after five days is approximately $25.3 million.
Directed by Robert Rodriguez, it stars Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino.
The original Spy Kids opened to $26.5 million for three days over the weekend of Mar. 30-Apr. 1, 2001 at 3,104 theaters (averaging $8,552 per theater). It went on to gross $112.7 million in domestic theaters.
Distribution sources said Sunday morning that one of the PG rated sequel's problems was having to compete against the PG-13 rated XXX's opening. Ten year old kids who might otherwise have opted to see Spy Kids 2, were instead turning to XXX the way their older brothers and sisters were.
New Line's PG-13 rated comedy sequel Austin Powers in Goldmember slipped two rungs to fourth place in its third week with an ESTIMATED $13.08 million (-58%) at 3,508 theaters (-105 theaters; $3,727 per theater). Its cume is approximately $167.8 million.
Directed by Jay Roach, it stars Mike Myers, Beyonce Knowles and Michael Caine.
"We're still the only major comedy that's really out there, so we feel we're going to hold into the fall, New Line distribution president David Tuckerman said Sunday morning.
Warner Bros.' R rated thriller Blood Work arrived quietly in fifth place to an ESTIMATED $7.24 million at 2,525 theaters ($2,865 per theater).
Produced and directed by Clint Eastwood, it stars Eastwood.
"It's a very well made film, a good story, and it's received excellent reviews," Warner Bros. Distribution president Dan Fellman said Sunday morning. "We're in this for the long run so we'll wait a few weeks and see if we can build some momentum."
Revolution Studios and Columbia's PG rated family comedy Master of Disguise skidded three notches to sixth place in its second week with a less funny ESTIMATED $5.1 million (-59%) at 2,568 theaters (+3 theaters; $1,986 per theater). Its cume is approximately $23.8 million.
Directed by Perry Andelin Blake, it stars Dana Carvey.
"It's a $16 million picture (in terms of production cost) and we'll probably finish in the mid-$30 millions," Sony's Jeff Blake said Sunday morning. "It will be very profitable for everybody involved."
DreamWorks and 20th Century Fox's R rated adult appeal drama Road to Perdition dropped two posts to seventh place in its fifth week with an okay ESTIMATED $4.0 million (-39%) at 2,211 theaters (-121 theaters; $1,811 per theater). Its cume is approximately $84.1 million.
Directed by Sam Mendes, it stars Tom Hanks, Paul Newman and Jude Law.
Gold Circle Films and HBO's PG rated romantic comedy sleeper hit My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which was ninth last week, continued to widen in its 17th week via IFC Films, tying for eighth place with a still impressive ESTIMATED $3.2 million (+6%) at 723 theaters (+66 theaters; $4,426 per theater). Its cume is approximately $45.2 million, heading for $55-60 million in domestic theaters.
Directed by Joel Zwick, it stars Nia Vardalos and John Corbett.
MTV Films and Paramount's R rated concert film Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat, which was fourth last week, tied for eighth place in its second week with a less lively ESTIMATED $3.2 million (-57%) at 774 theaters (+22 theaters; $4,102 per theater). Its cume is approximately $13.2 million.
Directed by David Raynr, it stars Martin Lawrence.
Rounding out the Top 10 was Columbia's PG rated family comedy sequel Stuart Little 2, down four pegs in its fourth weekend with a quiet ESTIMATED $2.7 million (-56%) at 2,382 theaters (-713 theaters; $1,134 per theater). Its cume is approximately $53.0 million.
Directed by Rob Minkoff, it stars Geena Davis.
This weekend also saw the arrival of Fox Searchlight Pictures' R rated comedy The Good Girl to a really good ESTIMATED $0.15 million at 4 theaters in New York and Los Angeles ($37,176 per theater). Its cume after five days is approximately $0.2 million.
Directed by Miguel Arteta, it stars Jennifer Aniston, Jake Gyllenhaal and John C. Reilly.
"It was fantastic," Fox Searchlight distribution president Stephen Gilula said Sunday morning. "That's the biggest opening in Searchlight history. The previous high was Boys Don't Cry (with $73,720 at two theaters the weekend of Oct. 8-10, 1999), in which Hilary Swank had quite a performance. Already some of the critics are talking about Jennifer for Oscar (consideration). Also, as far as I can tell, we're the biggest platform opening in 2002 so far this year. So we're very, very excited."
Building on the strong opening, Gilula said, "We're expanding this week to another 18 markets. We'll be on about 55 theaters next Friday. We'll be expanding the following week, as well, and we should be pretty wide by Labor Day. We hope to be on roughly 400 to 500 theaters by Aug. 30."
Focusing on Girl's opening weekend ticket sales, Gilula observed that, "The gross has been limited because we were selling out all the shows yesterday. On Saturday all the evening shows and most of the matinees sold out in all four theaters. So we were limited by our seating capacity."
Moviegoers, he added, "really like the movie. So we're very excited. After a fairly dry summer for the specialized product, it's nice (to see Girl arrive with such strength) and really take off like this."
It's also a release time that's worked well for Fox Searchlight in the past. "We have a great history here," Gilula said. "It's exactly the same week we opened The Deep End last year. And Full Monty opened in mid-August. Searchlight's first film back in '95, The Brothers McMullen, opened on this weekend. It's kind of a lucky week for us.
"We would have liked to have opened earlier in the summer, but partly it had to do with scheduling Jennifer's availability to really work on pre-publicity. Everything really came together. By this time in the summer the moviegoing audience is ready for something more different and more substantial than the big action popcorn movies and the big sequels. I think that our timing again this year turned out to be just perfect."
United Artists' R rated comedy 24 Hour Party People, released through MGM, opened to an encouraging and energetic ESTIMATED $34,000 at 2 theaters in New York ($17,000 per theater).
Directed by Michael Winterbottom, it stars Steve Coogan.
Sony Pictures Classics' G rated comedy Secret Ballot got few votes from moviegoers, opening to an ESTIMATED $14,000 at 5 theaters ($2,725 per theater).
The film's Iranian writer-director Babak Payami was honored as best director at the Venice Film Festival.
There were no national sneak previews this weekend.
On the expansion front this weekend Miramax's R rated drama Full Frontal added theaters in its second week, but failed to spark moviegoer interest with an ESTIMATED $0.37 million at 214 theaters (+6 theaters; $1,711 per theater). Its cume is approximately $1.4 million.
Directed by Steven Soderbergh, it stars David Duchovny, Nicky Katt, Catherine Keener, Mary McCormack, David Hyde Pierce, Julia Roberts and Blair Underwood.
Miramax's PG-13 romantic comedy Tadpole expanded in its fourth week to a chaste ESTIMATED $0.28 million at 92 theaters (+45 theaters; $3,007 per theater). Its cume is approximately $1.1 million.
Directed by Gary Winick, it stars Sigourney Weaver, John Ritter, Bebe Neuwirth and Aaron Stanford.
Focus Features' R rated The Kid Stays in the Picture, the "unbelievable true tale of Robert Evans," went wider in its third week with a still encouraging ESTIMATED $0.2 million at 45 theaters (+40 theaters; $4,422 per theater). Its cume is approximately $0.5 million.
Produced and directed by Brett Morgen and Nanette Burstein and produced by Graydon Carter, Kid is based on the book by Robert Evans.
"It's a good print average based on what's going on this summer," Focus Features distribution head Jack Foley said Sunday morning. "We had good reception critically right across the board and the way it played in (markets like) New York, Washington, Chicago, Boston is satisfactory. We're really happy with what we got. Now it's a question of how it continues to hold.
"We're opening 10 more markets this Friday. It's doing very nicely out there in the marketplace. It's competing well with everything."
Paramount Classics' R rated crime comedy Who Is Cletis Tout added theaters in its third week, going nowhere with a weak ESTIMATED $24,000 at 36 theaters (+3 theaters; $665 per theater). Its cume is approximately $0.18 million.
Written and directed by Chris Ver Wiel, it stars Christian Slater, Richard Dreyfuss, Portia de Rossi, RuPaul and Tim Allen.
Key films -- those grossing more than $500,000 -- took in approximately $137.85 million, down 9.62 percent from last year when they totaled $152.51 million.
Key films were down about 9.37 percent from the previous weekend of this year when they grossed $152.09 million.
Last year, Universal's opening week of American Pie 2 was first with $45.12 million at 3,063 theaters ($14,730 per theater); and New Line's second week of Rush Hour 2 was second with $33.12 million at 3,118 theaters ($10,621 per theater). The top two films one year ago grossed $78.2 million. This year, the top two films grossed an ESTIMATED $76.0 million.
Behind Enemy Lines and Texas Rangers represent contrasting tales of the faith studios place in their films.
Soon after John Woo's World War II epic Windtalkers moved from Nov. 9 to June 14, 2002, Fox pushed up the Bosnia-set Behind Enemy Lines from Jan. 18 to Nov. 30 in the wake of successful test screenings. Audiences no doubt whooped and hollered at the sight of a stranded U.S. Navy aviator kicking enemy butt, in this case Serbian rebels.
Then there's Texas Rangers, a post-Civil War Western left to gather dust on the shelf for almost two years by Miramax's genre arm, Dimension. Originally scheduled for an April 2001 release, Texas Rangers will now ride into a mere 400 theaters for what seems like a hit-and-run release prior to being dumped quickly into video stores. Dimension also failed to screen Texas Rangers for critics, perhaps further evidence that it is worse than this summer's MTV-ish American Outlaws.
Texas Rangers almost serves as a who's who of today's hottest TV stars, considering Dylan McDermott (The Practice), James Van Der Beek (Dawson's Creek), Ashton Kutcher (That '70s Show and Oded Fehr (UC: Undercover) climbed into their chaps to retell how the famous law enforcement agency came into existence. Rachael Leigh Cook rounds out the cast, but having endured such recent flops as Get Carter and Josie and the Pussycats, her presence isn't going to help that much. Expect Texas Rangers to rope in not even a quarter of American Outlaws' $4.8 million debut.
If Texas Rangers will leave all involved feeling saddle sore, Behind Enemy Lines should satisfy those in need of an adrenaline-charged jolt of mindless jingoism a la Rambo: First Blood Part II. Owen Wilson must fend for himself after Serbian rebels shoot down his plane. Commanding officer Gene Hackman defies orders--and threatens a potential peace accord--to rescue Wilson.
Hackman knows how it feels to be shot down and hunted by enemy troops, in his case by the Viet Cong. His Bat 21, however, flopped back in 1988.
Fox might be confident about Behind Enemy Lines, but Wilson needs to dodge more than a sniper's bullet. The post-Thanksgiving weekend chews up and spits out new releases without mercy. Sylvester Stallone's 1996 disaster epic Daylight opened to a catastrophic $10 million and ended up with just $32.9 million.
Such blatant patriotism doesn't always play well in a time of war. Flight of the Intruder opened on the eve of 1991's Allied attack against Iraq, but the Vietnam-era thriller made only $14.2 million total as audiences stayed glued to CNN to watch the Gulf War unfold.
Also, audiences might experience an overwhelming sense of déjà vu watching Behind Enemy Lines, which arrives one week after Spy Game. Tony Scott's political thriller, with retiring CIA operative Robert Redford trying to save protégé Brad Pitt from execution at the hands of the Chinese, plays more like the thinking-person's version of Behind Enemy Lines. What it will come down to is whether audiences want to see two major stars or watch all hell break loose in the wake of a downed U.S. Navy fighter plane.
Playing the Spy Game seems somewhat profitable for Redford and Pitt, having earned $34.5 million through Wednesday. That surpasses the $30 million that Pitt's Snatch made at the start of the year. It's even sweeter for Redford, whose The Last Castle crumbled at a mere $21.7 million. Behind Enemy Lines, though, will likely result in less people wanting to partake this weekend in Spy Game.
No matter its fate, Behind Enemy Lines does not pose a serious challenge to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. That honor will fall next week to the star-studded Ocean's Eleven remake.
After a record-breaking Thanksgiving holiday weekend haul of $57.4 million, the apprentice wizard should find his magical hold on audiences now on the wane. Last year's Thanksgiving champ Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas tumbled from $52.1 million to $27.1 million a weekend later. In 1999, Toy Story 2 earned $27.8 million the weekend after a Thanksgiving holiday that put $57.3 million in its coffers. A similar post-Thanksgiving weekend showing would allow Harry Potter to possibly surpass Rush Hour 2 as the year's second-highest grossing film. But it won't be enough to shatter Titanic's record third weekend of $33.3 million.
Harry Potter also has fallen behind Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace, which had amassed $207 million through its 13th day in release. Harry Potter's total through Wednesday: $193.9 million.
Monsters, Inc. also will break $200 million this weekend. The Disney/Pixar animated gem continues to stand tall against Harry Potter, having enjoyed a $24 million Thanksgiving weekend. In 27 days in release, Monsters, Inc. has stored away $194.2 million through Wednesday. Shrek, the year's No. 1 film with $267.5 million, had made $182.1 million during the same period. Remaining competitive against Harry Potter would allow Monsters, Inc. to best Shrek at the box office.
Martin Lawrence's hopes for a hit after the summer flop What's the Worst That Could Happen? clearly do not lie with Black Knight. The time-travelling yarn, with Lawrence as an amusement park security guard zapped back to medieval England, took in just $11.4 million during the weekend. What's the Worst That Could Happen? opened in June with $13 million, on its way to a tepid $32.2 million. Black Knight has $16.8 million through Wednesday, which is just a little more than Lawrence received to star in this Chris Tucker reject. Black Knight looks set to tumble by at least 50 percent and end up making no more than What's the Worst That Could Happen?. With two consecutive flops under his belt, Lawrence must now look to next spring's National Security to halt his reversal of fortune.
Out Cold needs crutches after a disastrous weekend on the slopes. Pushed up from its original early 2002 release date without much fanfare, Disney's PG-rated teen ski comedy crashed last weekend with just $4.5 million. Its total through Wednesday is $7.3 million, with a chilly $12 million a possibility.
The unlikely romance between Jack Black and Gwyneth Paltrow continues to make audiences laugh. Shallow Hal dropped a respectable 30 percent in its third weekend, from $12.1 million to $8 million. Its total through Wednesday is $56.1 million, with $70 million a certainty. That should make directors Bobby and Peter Farrelly happy after their Osmosis Jones and Say It Isn't So came and went this year without so much as a peep.
Playing at 217 theaters, Amelie is quickly becoming the arthouse sensation it was predicted to be. The French smash has $5.6 million through Wednesday, with business likely to bloom come awards time. With the next few weeks light on wide releases, Amelie should remain a top attraction, at least until the Dec. 21 onslaught of holiday releases.
Also expanding this weekend is Edward Burns's Sidewalks of New York. Having collected $678,000 in its first five days, this romantic paean to the Big Apple has already earned more in one weekend in limited release than Burns' previous directorial effort, 1998's No Looking Back. But facing lukewarm reviews, Sidewalks of New York will surely struggle to surpass the totals of both The Brothers McMullen ($10.2 million) and She's the One ($9.4 million). Americans might have taken New York to heart following Sept. 11, but that doesn't mean they will embrace Burns' view of love and the city.
Besides the elbow-rubbing and power mongering, let's not forget that the Sundance Film Festival is also about the films.
With that in mind, the annual indie film fest announced today its partial list of films for the 2001 powwow.
The lineup for three categories -- dramas, documentaries and the American Spectrum -- have thus far been announced, and other areas such as premiere, international films and short films will be announced Wednesday.
Films at the festival only compete in the dramatic and documentary categories. Top films coming out of Sundance in previous years include Ed Burns' "The Brothers McMullen" and last year's "Girlfight" from director Karyn Kusama.
The Sundance Film Festival takes place Jan. 18-28 in Park City, Utah.
In the meantime, here's the complete list of Sundance films in competition and in the American Spectrum.
"30 Years to Life," directed by Vanessa Middleton "American Astronaut," directed by Cory McAbee "The Believer," directed by Henry Bean "The Business of Strangers," directed by Patrick Stettner "The Deep End," directed by Scott McGehee & David Siegel "Donnie Darko," directed by Richard Kelly "Green Dragon," directed by Timothy Linh Bui "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," directed by John Cameron Mitchell "In the Bedroom," directed by Todd Field "L.I.E.," directed by Michael Cuesta "Lift," directed by DeMane Davis & Khari Streeter "MacArthur Park," directed by Billy Wirth "Memento," directed by Christopher Nolan "Scotland, PA," directed by Billy Morrissette "The Sleepy Time Gal," directed by Christopher Munch "Some Body," directed by Henry Barrial
"Chain Camera," directed by Kirby Dick "Children Underground," directed by Edet Belzberg "Dogtown and the Z-Boys," directed by Stacy Peralta "The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic," directed by George Butler "Go Tigers!" directed by Kenneth A. Carlson "Home Movie," directed by Chris Smith "Lalee's Kin: The Legacy of Cotton," directed by Susan Froemke, Deborah Dickson with "Albert Maysles Marcus Garvey: Look for Me in the Whirlwind," directed by Stanley Nelson "The Natural History of the Chicken," directed by Mark Lewis "Ralph Bunche: An American Odyssey," directed by William Greaves "Scout's Honor," directed by Tom Shepard "Scratch," directed by Doug Pray "Southern Comfort," directed by Kate Davis "Startup.com," directed by Chris Hegedus & Jehane Noujaim "Trembling Before G-D," directed by Sandi Simcha Dubowski "An Unfinished Symphony," directed by Bestor Cram & Mike Majoro
"Acts of Worship," directed by Rosemary Rodriguez "After Image," directed by Robert Manganelli "Dancing in September," directed by Reggie Rock Bythewood "Diary of a City Priest," directed by Eugene Martin "The Doe Boy," directed by Randy Redroad "Haiku Tunnel," directed by Jacob Kornbluth & Josh Kornbluth "Invisible Revolution," directed by Beverly Peterson "Jump Tomorrow," directed by Joel Hopkins "Manic," directed by Jordan Melamed "Margarita Happy Hour," directed by Ilya Chaiken "Miss Wonton," directed by Meng Ong "Raw Deal: A Question of Consent," directed by Billy Corben "Roof to Roof," directed by Ara Corbett "Women in Film," directed by Bruce Wagner "Tape," directed by Richard Linklater "Wet Hot American Summer," directed by David Wain.