Beowulf slew the competition this weekend. The animated telling of one of English literature’s oldest epic poems debuted in the top spot at the North American box office with $28.1 million, giving a huge boost to 3-D films in the process.
Beowulf’s director Robert Zemeckis once again used performance-capture technology to render lifelike images of its stars Ray Winstone and Angelina Jolie. According to The Associated Press, 40 percent of Beowulf’s gross came from special 3-D showings in regular theaters and on Imax screens.
The film did $8 million in ticket sales on 638 screens equipped with technology from RealD, which uses a special reflective screen and polarized lens glasses that moviegoers can take as a souvenir. Beowulf also sold $3.6 million worth of tickets on 84 Imax screens showing the film using their own 3-D technology.
"If this isn't a mandate on the popularity and viability of 3-D, I don't know what is," Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Media By Numbers, told AP.
The fantasy tale Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, starring Dustin Hoffman and Natalie Portman, opened in fifth place with $10 million, while Love in the Time of Cholera, an adaptation of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novel starring Javier Bardem, debuted in 10th place with $1.9 million.
The Top 12 movies took in a total of $94.6 million, down 29.15 percent from last year’s total of $133.6 million and down 3.19 percent from last weekend’s total of $97.7 million.
The Top Three films at the box office this time last year: Warner Bros.’ Happy Feet, which opened at No. 1 with $41.5 million in 3,804 theaters, averaging $10,918 per theater; Sony’s Casino Royale, which debuted in second place with $40.8 million in 3,434 theaters, averaging $11,891 per theater; and 20th Century Fox’s Borat, which dropped to third place in its third week with $14.6 million in 2,611 theaters, averaging $5,593 per theater (Click here to read last year's box office report).
BOX OFFICE TOP 10 ESTIMATES
(Source: Exhibitor Relations, Inc.)
No. 1: Beowulf (Paramount, PG-13)
• Gross: $28.1 million
• Weeks opened: NEW!
• Theaters: 3,153
• Per-theater average: $8,912
No. 2: Bee Movie (Paramount, PG)
• Gross: $14.3 million (-44%)
• Weeks opened: 3
• Theaters: 3,984 (+40)
• Per-theater average: $3,589
• Cume to date: $25.5million
No. 3: American Gangster (Universal, R)
• Gross: $13.2 million (-45%)
• Weeks opened: 3
• Theaters: 3,110 (+51)
• Per-theater average: $4,250
• Cume to date: $100.9 million
No. 4: Fred Claus (Warner Bros., PG)
• Gross: $12 million (-35%)
• Weeks opened: 2
• Theaters: 3,603 (unchanged)
• Per-theater average: $3,331
• Cume to date: $35.7 million
No. 5: Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (20th Century Fox., G)
• Gross: $10 million
• Weeks opened: NEW!
• Theaters: 3,164
• Per-theater average: $3,168
No. 6: Dan in Real Life (Buena Vista, PG-13)
• Gross: $4.5 million (-25%)
• Weeks opened: 4
• Theaters: 1,901 (-40)
• Per-theater average: $2,373
• Cume to date: $37 million
No. 7: No Country for Old Men (Miramax, R)
• Gross: $3 million (+153%)
• Weeks opened: 2
• Theaters: 148 (+120)
• Per-theater average: $20,932
• Cume to date: $4.9 million
No. 8: Lions for Lambs (MGM/UA, R)
• Gross: $2.9 million (-57%)
• Weeks opened: 2
• Theaters: 2,216 (+1)
• Per-theater average: $1,310
• Cume to date: $11.5 million
No. 9: Saw IV (Lionsgate, R)
• Gross: $2.3 million (-53%)
• Weeks opened: 4
• Theaters: 2,097 (-807)
• Per-theater average: $1,111
• Cume to date: $61.8million
No. 10: Love in the Time of Cholera (New Line, R)
• Gross: $1.8 million
• Weeks opened: NEW!
• Theaters: 852
• Per-theater average: $2,201
Southland Tales (Samuel Goldwyn, R)
• Gross: $116,550
• Weeks opened: NEW!
• Theaters: 63
• Per-theater average: $1,850
Margot at the Wedding (Paramount Vantage, R)
• Gross: $82,929
• Weeks opened: NEW!
• Theaters: 2
• Per-theater average: $41,465
Smiley Face (First Look, R)
• Gross: $6,502
• Weeks opened: NEW!
• Theaters: 1
• Per-theater average: $6,502
Sometimes the oldest stories are the most beautiful ones and that's certainly the case in Cold Mountain a relatively straightforward film about a couple in love during the Civil War. Momentous in its scope and stirring in its intimacy Cold Mountain powerfully weaves together the journeys of its two protagonists Inman (Jude Law) and Ada Monroe (Nicole Kidman) as they endure the hardships of war and await their reunion. Inman a Confederate soldier wounded in the Battle of the Crater (one of the most powerful cinematic battle scenes in recent memory) realizes as he lies in the hospital that he's had enough of fighting and he goes AWOL on a journey homeward that will take him through a series of trials not unlike those Odysseus faced in Homer's epic: He's tempted by sirens tended to by a mountain healer/shepherdess and betrayed by a mountain man he meets along the way. Through it all his thoughts are never far from the faithful Penelope whose picture he keeps with him always--the woman he left behind at the farm on Cold Mountain the beautiful Ada a true Southern belle. Regrettably Ada's schooling in the finer things in life has left her ill-prepared to care for the farm on her own as war rages across the country and the local militia known as the Home Guard wreaks havoc on the home front it's supposed to be protecting. Longing for Inman and weary of the struggle to survive Ada welcomes the help of Ruby Thewes (Renee Zellweger) a spunky hellcat of a farm girl whose friendship and common sense spark Ada's transformation into a self-reliant woman.
Law's Inman a man of few words is a study in silent intensity--there's not a woman alive who would question why Ada loves him despite his rough exterior and slightly odd ways. Kidman's Ada too has a quiet energy and a porcelain beauty that belies the tough stuff she eventually discovers under the ringlets and hoop skirts. Taken separately each performance is flawless; together the chemistry between Kidman and Law is breathtaking. There's no question the leads in this film deserve Academy Award nominations but Renee Zellweger absolutely steals the show with her magical Ruby--she should without doubt walk away statue in hand. Every moment her feisty loudmouthed character is on the screen is an absolute pleasure whether she's sharing her homespun wisdom threatening the Home Guard nasties or worrying about a cow's overfull udder. Philip Seymour Hoffman who's regrettably not getting much Oscar buzz also deserves a mention--he's a wicked hoot as Inman's traveling companion the defrocked (literally) preacher Veasey--and Brendan Gleeson has a nice turn as Ruby's fiddle-playing roustabout father Stobrod. Look also for the elfin Jack White of the trendy White Stripes who's featured prominently on the soundtrack as another of the musicians.
Anthony Minghella has developed a reputation as a director and screenwriter who can take a gorgeous literary book and make it an even better film. The trend started with his Oscar-winning 1996 version of Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient continued with a rendition of Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley in 1999 (which also featured Law and Hoffman) and culminates with this masterful adaptation of Charles Frazier's critically acclaimed Cold Mountain which reunites Minghella with his production team from those films including director of photography John Seale costume designer Ann Roth and composer Gabriel Yared. From the opening battle scene--an expansive gut wrenching gorgeous piece of photography from Seale (The English Patient Mr. Ripley)--to the final snowy moments atop Cold Mountain the story captivates the characters seduce and the vast panoramic mountain landscapes (shot in Romania South Carolina and Virginia) inspire. Roth's rich costumes lend even more depth to the visual display and a fantastic score from Yared (produced by T-Bone Burnett of O Brother Where Art Thou? fame) perfectly punctuates the action. Listen too for Sting's moving song "You Will Be My Ain True Love " performed by Alison Krauss and Sting as the end credits roll.
Three major movie studio films opened nationwide Friday, including Jackass: The Movie, Ghost Ship and The Truth About Charlie--and it was the dumbest one that cleaned up at the box office.
Jackass: The Movie, the big-screen adaptation of the MTV series featuring a bunch of guys doing really stupid stunts, took in a rather tasteful $22.7 million, while The Ring chimed in second with a close $18.8 million. Ghost Ship finished third with a frighteningly real $11.7 million.
Sweet Home Alabama came in fourth with $6.4 million, while My Big Fat Greek Wedding placed close behind, taking in $6.3 million in its 28th week. Red Dragon lost steam in its fourth week, coming in sixth with $4.7 million.
Universal's The Truth About Charlie took in a tepid $2.3 million and averaged a low-slung $3,105 per theater at 752 runs.
THE TOP TEN
Paramount Picture's Jackass: The Movie opened with a strong ESTIMATED $22.7 million at 2,509 theaters ($9,047 per theater).
Directed by Jeff Tremaine, it stars Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Chris Pontius, Steve-O, Dave England, Ryan Dunn, and Jason 'Wee Man' Acuna.
Jackass' average per theater was also the highest for any film playing in wide release this week. The film is rated R for dangerous and sometimes extremely crude stunts, language and nudity, perfect for its target audience of youngish males up to about 30 in age.
In Jackass, Knoxville and his crew take the concept of the MTV reality series Jackass to the extreme.
"I've basically given money to a bunch of idiots saddled with enough dimwitted ignorance to try one bad idea after another," MTV Films President Van Toffer told Reuters Friday. It looks like the gamble paid off.
The film is the third best October opener of all time (if estimates hold) behind Universal's Red Dragon, which took in $36.5 million when it debuted three weeks ago, and Meet the Parents, which grossed $28.6 million when it opened on Oct. 6, 2000.
Jackass' take also bucks Paramount's series of under-performing openings, including Abandon, The Four Feathers and K-19: The Widowmaker.
DreamWorks' PG-13 rated horror thriller The Ring came in second, although its ESTIMATED $18.8 million (+25%) take at 2634 theaters (+653 theaters; $7,137 per theater) is better than its opening weekend gross of $15.0 million. Its cume is approximately $39.7 million.
Directed by Gore Verbinski, it stars Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson and Brian Cox.
Warner Bros.' R-rated horror thriller Ghost Ship sailed third with an ESTIMATED $11.7 million at 2787 theaters ($4,203 per theater).
In Ghost Ship, a salvage crew comes across the remains of a vessel thought to be lost for more than 40 years floating adrift in a remote region of the Bering Sea.
Directed by Steve Beck, it stars Gabriel Byrne, Julianna Margulies, Ron Eldard and Desmond Harrington.
Buena Vista/Touchstone's PG-13 rated romantic comedy Sweet Home Alabama dropped to fourth place in its fourth week, with an ESTIMATED $6.4 million (-33%) at 3,182 theaters (-100 theaters; $2,011 per theater). Its cume is approximately $107.2 million, heading for $125 million in domestic theaters and is the 16th film released in '02 to cross the $100 million mark.
Directed by Andy Tennant, it stars Reese Witherspoon.
IFC Films' release of Gold Circle Films and HBO's PG-rated romantic comedy blockbuster My Big Fat Greek Wedding went down a notch to fifth place in its 2th week, with an ESTIMATED $6.3 million (-12%) at 1967 theaters (-47 theaters; $3,211 per theater). Its cume is approximately $177.8 million, heading for $185 million in domestic theaters.
Directed by Joel Zwick, it stars Nia Vardalos and John Corbett.
Universal's R rated thriller Red Dragon, presented in association with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, fell three rungs to sixth place in its fourth week with an ESTIMATED $4.7 million (-46%) at 2886 theaters (-421 theaters; $21,635 per theater). Its cume is approximately $84.9 million, heading for $100 million.
Directed by Brett Ratner, it stars Anthony Hopkins, Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes, Harvey Keitel, Emily Watson, Mary-Louise Parker and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Revolution Studios and Columbia's R rated romantic comedy drama Punch-Drunk Love expanded in its third week to a solid ESTIMATED $3.6 million at 481 theaters (+403 theaters; $7,277 per theater). Its cume is approximately $6.0 million.
Written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, it stars Adam Sandler and Emily Watson.
The G rated animated feature Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie from Artisan's FHE Pictures and Big Idea Productions, came in eighth place in its fourth week with an ESTIMATED $2.9million (-26%) at 1,625 theaters (+44 theaters; $1,785 per theater). Its cume is approximately $19.7 million.
Directed by Phil Vischer and Mike Nawrocki, it was produced by Ameake Owens.
20th Century Fox's PG-13 rated action drama The Transporter slipped to ninth place in its third week with an ESTIMATED $2.8 million (-44%) at 1880 theaters (-730 theaters; $1,513 per theater). Its cume is approximately $21.5 million.
Directed by Cory Yuen, it stars Jason Statham and Shu Qi.
Rounding out the Top Ten was Fox Searchlight Pictures' PG-13 rated romantic comedy Brown Sugar, which dropped five slots with an ESTIMATED $2.7 million (-47%) at 1,149 theaters (-229 theaters; $2,415 per theater). Its cume is approximately $22.3 million.
Directed by Rick Famuyiwa, it stars Taye Diggs and Sanaa Lathan.
This weekend also saw the arrival of six new releases, including The Truth About Charlie, Paid in Full and Frida.
Universal's PG-13 crime caper The Truth About Charlie opened with an all too modest ESTIMATED $2.3 million at 752 theaters ($3,105 per theater).
The film is a remake of 1963's Charade, which starred Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn.
Directed by Jonathan Demme, it stars Mark Wahlberg, Thandie Newton and Tim Robbins.
Miramax Fims' R-rated urban crime drama Paid in Full opened with an ESTIMATED $1.4 million at 268 theaters ($5,224 per theater).
The film, set in Harlem, New York, in 1986, is about a young man who is lured into the seductive world of drug dealing.
Dirceted by Charles Stone, it stars Mekhi Phifer, Wood Harris, Kevin Carroll, Esai Morales and Chi McBride.
Miramax Films' R-rated biopic Frida opened to a solid $0.2 million at 5 theaters (a whopping $40,000 per theater average).
The film is based on the life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo--from her complex and enduring relationship with her mentor and husband, Diego Rivera, to her life as a political, artistic, and sexual revolutionary.
Directed by Julie Taymor, the film stars Salma Hayek, Alfred Molina, Geoffrey Rush, Ashley Judd and Antonio Banderas.
The top 12 films this weekend grossed an ESTIMATED $87.9 million, up about 19.53 percent from last weekend when they totaled $73. million, making this the seventh "up" weekend in a row.
The top 12 were also up 11.21 percent from last year when they totaled $72.47 million.
Last year, Universal's opening week of K-Pax was first with $17.2 million at 2,541 theaters ($6,775 per theater); and Warner Bros.' opening week of Thirteen Ghosts was second with $15.1 million at 2,781 theaters ($5,453 per theater). The top two films one year ago grossed $32.3 million. This year, the top two films grossed an ESTIMATED $41.5 million.
Hollywood.com is on the scene at the 55th Cannes Film Festival, seeing the films and sipping with the stars. Check in every day to get the latest!
Day 7: This is Cannes, and the pier pressure is on.
"Aaaaggghhhhwooww!" bellows Philip Seymour Hoffman, as he does a Tarzan swing off one of the famous high dives buttressed into the Eden Roc sea wall under the absolutely-no-vacancy-unless-you're-a-star Hotel du Cap. He lands into the chilly Mediterranean waters, which only seem to invigorate him--he yelps and dives several more times, spurring his friends to join him. At one point he pulls a small brunette in a black bathing suit in for a huge face-devouring kiss before the gang swims out to the raft to frolic under the warm sun.
It's a quieter, gentler day at Cannes, as a collective breath is taken between yesterday's DiCaprio/Diaz-induced frenzy and tomorrow's potential shoving matches over getting a glimpse of Jack Nicholson. After a week of screaming and yelling, the crowd is getting just a little hoarse.
Not too hoarse, though, to join in the demonstration put on by that-famous-for-being-infamous movie making company, Troma Films, in front of the Carlton Hotel. Troma announced its newly formed political faction, Partie Tromatique Francaise, whose manifesto is to give art back to the people…guess all Chopper Chicks should be treated equal.
The British are coming! The British are coming! And tonight they're marching straight up the bloody red staircase. The gritty Ken Loach is back in Competition with his very un-sweet Sweet Sixteen. In the movie, the best 16th birthday gift for Liam (Martin Compston, a brand-new actor who unlike the character he plays has been sunning and funning all up and down La Croisette) is his Mum's getting out of jail--until her arrival at their dirt-poor neighborhood doesn't turn out as he'd hoped.
Canadian director David Cronenberg is here, for the first time since Crashing the scene from across the Atlantic in 1996. He brings with him one more addition to what's turning out to be the Year of the Arachnid as his latest tale, Spider, spins out across the silver screen tonight.
Ralph Fiennes plays the strange and lonely Spider, a mental patient released from an institution onto the streets of East End in London as deeply buried memories start to awaken. Other stars caught in this web are Gabriel Byrne, Lynn Redgrave and Miranda Richardson, who got away to bask here in the Riviera sun. Their big celebration is at the Synergy Mansion tonight.
As the sun sets, the sky turns almost as white as a movie screen before fading to black. At just the right moment, laser lights along the coast shoot toward the heavens, their thin white rays dropping in synch into a blue low-lying fog over the sea.
Cinecita is holding their elegant affair on a pier over the sea accompanied by a live symphony orchestra. The French, who seem to think of everything when it comes to a party, have built low pathways along the piers so waiters can refill champagne flutes and plates of brie and salmon unobtrusively. Party banners often double as film screens to show a short or two between hors d' oeuvres.
And tonight? Tonight everyone in Cannes who can is shuttling off to Stephen Baldwin's night of debauchery in a hillside chateau just out of town. Was Alec able to wrangle an invite…?
The Federal Aviation Administration inspector who gave Aaliyah's pilot permission to fly the plane that killed the R&B singer and seven members of her entourage committed suicide last week, officials told The Post on Wednesday. Officials will not release further information about his possible motive. .In other areas of the investigation, the charter plane's owner, Gilbert Chacon, has filed a complaint about pilot Luis Morales, saying that he "inappropriately logged hundreds of hours as 'pilot in command' when it was questionable whether he was even a pilot on the flights [he logged]," PageSix.com reported. But Gabriel Penagaricano, representing the Morales family, told the publication that the "wild allegations are only trying to deflect the blame, which falls squarely on the shoulders of the aircraft owner."
Arnold Schwarzenegger has sued International Game Technology, Inc. for the unauthorized use of his picture and voice on a Terminator-themed slot machine, the actor's attorney, Marty Singer, told Reuters on Tuesday. The suit claims more than $20 million in damages, which the actor says he could have received if he approved a similar licensing agreement. IGT representatives had no comment about the lawsuit.
Stars attending the 53rd annual Emmy Awards have been asked to wear business attire instead of formalwear to reflect the nation's somber mood, organizers told The Associated Press on Tuesday. Jennifer Price, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, has confirmed that the celebrity arrivals won't be broadcast, either. Comedian Ellen DeGeneres has been confirmed as the host for the show; however, veteran CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite has been asked to open the ceremony. The awards show, to be seen 95 countries, will take a moment during its broadcast to thank people worldwide for their support of America.
Sports stars such as Tiger Woods and Venus Williams have donated items for eBay's "Auction for America." The auction site hopes to raise $100 million within 100 days. People's contribution's -- through buying, selling, or donating cash directly -- will go to benefit work of organizations like the September 11th Fund, The New York State World Trade Center Relief Fund and The Twin Towers Fund, an eBay spokesperson told Hollywood.com on Wednesday. Bidding for Wood's framed autographed pin flag from the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, has reached $10,000 since its starting date. The auction is set to end on Oct. 1st. Every auction will runs differently, with each seller having up to 7, or even 10 days, to sell their each item. The total of all auctions for "Auction for America." will be collected at the end of 100 days.
The major networks have started including the U.S. flag in their logos, or in many cases, altering their colors to include red, white and blue, Reuters reported. CBS is airing a three-second shot of the flag rustling in the wind as their transparent logo appears in the corner of the screen. NBC filled its feathers with the stars and stripes of the American flag. ABC added red, white and blue stripes to its alphabet sphere logo. WB has put three lightly shaded red, white and blue stripes behind its logo, and Fox's bug, includes an animated flag that turns into the transparent Fox logo.
Lou Waters, who has been a CNN news anchor since its launch in 1980, is leaving the network to become managing editor and on-air personality at NewsProNet, a company that produces prepackaged news features for Atlanta television stations, AP reported. Most recently, Waters and Natalie Allen anchored CNN Live Today on weekday afternoons.
Vivendi Universal said on Tuesday that its Universal Music Group record company will start issuing CDs in October equipped with software to prevent digital copying, Reuters reported. The company hopes that the software will improve poor record sales, which they blame at least in part on users burning copies of CDs from other users or acquiring digital files over the Internet.
American Pie star Jason Biggs is getting ready to hit Broadway as the lead in The Graduate. Biggs will play Benjamin Braddock, the character originated by Dustin Hoffman in the 1967 film. According to the Hollywood Reporter, The Graduate marks the return to Broadway for Biggs, who starred on the New York stage 10 years ago opposite Judd Hirsch in Conversations With My Father.