Since the release of his 2007 masterpiece There Will Be Blood, we have waited with bated breath for the latest rumors about Paul Thomas Anderson's next upcoming project, tentatively titled The Master, the story of "a charismatic intellectual who hatches a faith-based organization that begins to catch on in America in 1952 called The Cause." First we heard that Philip Seymour Hoffman would be playing the titular lead as "The Master" of the Scientology-like cult, with Jeremy Renner as his protegé, Freddie Sutton. The role of his wife, Mary-Sue, has been reportedly offered to Reese Witherspoon. Now, as Anderson prepares to begin shooting this summer, it has been revealed that he is currently looking at three up-and-coming actresses to play Hoffman and Witherspoon's daughter, Elizabeth: Amanda Seyfried, Emma Stone and Deborah Ann Woll are all potentially in the running for the part.
This could be a break-out role for whichever actress lands the gig; Anderson is a huge name in Hollywood right now, and his last several films (There Will Be Blood, Punch Drunk Love, Magnolia, Boogie Nights) have all been highly critically acclaimed. Both Seyfried and Stone have upcoming commitments, which could put them out of the running: Seyfried in The Girl with the Red Riding Hood and Stone in The Help. Woll also has various upcoming films she's purported to be involved in, as well as a continuing commitment to HBO's True Blood (she plays the newly-turned teenage vampire Jessica).
Still, this is a Paul Thomas Anderson movie, and any one of these actresses should probably be willing to change their schedules to accommodate Anderson's latest production. The Master could seriously bolster any one of their resumés just as There Will Be Blood legitimized Paul Dano's career. No matter who he picks, expect Anderson's next opus of Americana to turn heads sometime next year.
Image via The Playlist
Paramount/DWA’s “Shrek Forever After” proves that families rule on Memorial Weekend.
As Memorial weekends go this was no record-breaker, but with two big newcomers and the continued success of “Shrek,” it showed that audinces still love to go to the movies over the extended holiday frame. With another $43.3 million and 7% of that from IMAX showings, “Shrek Forever After” dropped only 39% and crossed the $100 million mark. A very strong Saturday take of $16.975 million gave it the edge over the competition as families flocked to see the film with their kids as a Memorial treat.
At number two is Warner Bros.’ “Sex and the City 2” the follow up to the first installment which debuted almost exactly two years ago. After $3 million in midnights and a $14.2 million first day the film was off to a promising start. The weekend portion of the film for the F-S-S period is $32.1 million and a four-day (Thursday – Sunday) total of $46.3 million.
At number three is the other big newcomer from Disney and producer Jerry Bruckheimer, “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” starring Jake Gyllenhaal. With $30.2 million for the three-day portion of the holiday weekend, the film offered a counter-programming option for those seeking a more summer-style action adventure than the female oriented “Sex and the City 2” or “Shrek Forever After.”
At number four is Paramount’s “Iron Man 2” which adds another $16 million this weekend and brings its total to $274.6 million as it attempts to reach for the $300 million mark. A 39% drop in it its fourth weekend reflects strong interest by Memorial weekend theatre-goers.
Rounding out the Top Five is Universal’s “Robin Hood” starring Russell Crowe. The film directed by long-time collaborator Ridley Scott earned $10.3 million for the three days against a 45% drop. With $83 million and counting, the film will take aim at hitting the $100 million bull’s-eye in the coming weeks.
Outside of the Top Five but notable in its continued strength is Summit Entertainment’s “Letters to Juliet.” The unsung hero of the summer continues slowly and quietly to draw audiences week after week and adding $5.9 million to its total and approaching the $40 million mark.
Another “down” weekend as the summer of 2010 continues to struggle to live up to the strength of last year’s line-up and box-office performance. All that and a potential log jam next weekend with four new wide release openers including Universal’s “Get Him to the Greek,” Warner Bros.’ “Splice,” Fox’s “Marmaduke” and Lionsgate’s “Killers.”
A little pre-weekend "Sex" as the ladies of "Sex and the City" follow up on the hugely successful 2008 big-screen installment of the beloved HBO series. That film opened with $56.8 million and wound up with $152.6 million domestically and holds the record for the biggest opening weekend ever for an R-rated comedy. Warner Bros.' "Sex and the City 2" will have the benefit of a five-day opening frame starting on Thursday and having the holiday weekend including Monday to make its mark on the industry. Almost like "Star Wars" for women, the series and the films have generated a rabid following of female fans all over the world. With a great marketing campaign and scores of women who relate in some way to at least one of the main characters, the movie is tailor-made to draw the all-important female audience in loyal and excited groups of movie-goers. On-line sales show 50% of tickets have been sold in blocks of four tickets or more and that indicates the fact that the film will become the cornerstone for the classic "ladies night out" that should see many local bars noticing a huge upsurge in sales of cosmos all weekend long. Directed by Michael Patrick King and starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, and Kim Cattrall, look for "Sex and the City 2" to perform well this weekend.
In a classic counter-programming move, Disney offers up yet another film set with the desert as a background. So while the ladies of "SATC2" travel to Abu Dhabi, Jake Gyllenhaal becomes the "Prince of Persia" in this adaptation of the video game, and as produced by Jerry Bruckheimer this becomes a larger-than-life summer popcorn movie. Directed by Mike Newell ("Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"), the film also starring Gemma Arterton will look to draw males looking for an action epic they can call their own and will capitalize on the extended weekend to boost its box-office prospects.
We need a strong weekend since the summer season thus far has been somewhat soft. With momentum being a key factor in the continued success of this all-important timeframe, we need both the Prince of Persia and Carrie Bradshaw and her friends to get us back on track. Of course "Shrek," "Iron Man 2" and "Robin Hood" will continue to bolster the fortunes of the marketplace and launch us strongly into the month of June (which is a very important transitional month) and puts us on the right track.
SEX AND THE CITY 2 (WARNER BROS.) - opens in 3,445 theaters on Thursday - rated R
PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME (DISNEY) - opens in around 3,500 theaters on Friday - rated PG-13
Paramount/DWA’s “Shrek Forever After” continues the franchise’s tradition with a number one debut, but came in on the low end of expectations.
Perhaps a reflection of the rejection by families of the higher movie ticket prices currently being charged, there was a less “green” Shrek than expected with a $71.250 million debut. The last installment, “Shrek the Third” had the biggest animated debut of all-time with $121.6 million and “Shrek 2” the second best animated opening with $108 million, thus expectations were running high for “Shrek Forever After.” IMAX once again proves its importance with $5 million or 7% of the weekend take. Working to the film’s advantage is a CinemaScore of “A” and a fairly wide open marketplace for the next few weeks.
At number two is of course Paramount/Marvel’s “Iron Man 2” which grabbed another $26.6 million against a 49% third weekend drop and a cumulative domestic total of just over a quarter of a billion dollars.
At number three is last week’s number one film in the world “Robin Hood” from Universal. The film dropped 48% in its second weekend with $18.7 million and a domestic total thus far of $66 million. The Ridley Scott film starring Russell Crowe offers a nice alternative to the other high-tech big budget summer films in the marketplace.
At number four is Summit Entertainment’s lighthearted romance “Letters to Juliet” starring the Amanda Seyfried ("Mama Mia!," "Dear John," "Chloe"), "Juliet" earned a solid $9.1 million in its second weekend of release with a drop of just 33%. The film’s appeal may make it one of the bright spots of the early summer with its lack of technology, explosions, fist fights and shootings, and thus continues to have obvious appeal to the more sophisticated moviegoer.
The number five film feels “Just Wright” from Fox Searchlight with $4.2 million in its second weekend of release and a domestic cumulative of $14.6 million.
Universal’s “MacGruber,” based on the SNL character and starring Will Forte and Kristen Wiig, debuted at number six with $4.1 million. The film, which was pushed heavily on the Betty White episode of Saturday Night Live a couple of weeks ago, had a very modest production budget of less than $10 million. Relativity Media financed the film with Universal handling distribution.
Of course this was a “down” weekend when compared to last year when Memorial Weekend fell a week earlier and thus comparisons were tough and brought our YTD revenue advantage into the 5% range from the 7% range just three weeks ago. Later this week the battle of the sexes will boost the box office back up with Warner Bros.’ hotly-anticipated “Sex and the City 2” on Thursday and Disney’s epic adventure “Prince of Persia” hitting theatres Friday for the extended Memorial holiday weekend.
Paramount Pictures Iron Man 2 felt no ill effects from the release of Universal Pictures Robin Hood. The superhero film starring Robert Downey Jr. took in another $53M this weekend for a worldwide total of $212,160,000 says Hollywood.com's box officy analyst, Paul Dergarabedian.
Robin Hood, starring Russell Crowe earned $37,114,285 for the #2 spot while the Amanda Seyfried vehicle, Letters to Juliet, had a solid debut at #3 with $13.75M
For a full recap of this weekend's box office, check out hollywood.com/boxoffice
Paramount/Marvel’s “Iron Man 2” tops the chart for the second consecutive weekend, while Universal/Relativity Media’s “Robin Hood” took the worldwide crown with $111.1 million.
A very solid and better-than-expected debut for Universal’s “Robin Hood” with an impressive $36.1 million second place finish in North America and a worldwide box office total of $111.1 that put it on top in terms of the global marketplace. The themes of “steal from the rich, give to the poor” may have had particular resonance with audiences around the world as the economy continues to bring hard times to many folks.
A terrific marketing campaign and a great release date that perfectly bridges the gap between “Iron Man 2” and “Shrek Forever After” next week put Universal in perfect position to capitalize on the strength of the Russell Crowe/Ridley Scott collaboration.
Of course “Iron Man 2” was not to be outdone in the North American marketplace as it enjoyed a solid second weekend and took the top spot with $52 million in the domestic box office against a 59% drop (respectable considering the massiveness of its debut last weekend). The film is already at $211.2 million domestically after just 10 days of release. IMAX certainly is a key factor in the continued success of the film having contributed 8% of the box office (or $4.2 million in just 181 locations) to this weekend’s bottom line and an impressive $16.6 to the total domestic cumulative through Sunday.
At number three is Summit Entertainment’s lighthearted romance “Letters to Juliet” starring the Amanda Seyfried ("Mama Mia!," "Dear John," "Chloe"), "Juliet" earned a solid $13.5 million in its debut. The film also stars Vanessa Redgrave, Gael Garcia Bernal and of course the incredible scenery of the Italian countryside. This was a nice and light non-summer style film devoid of explosions, fist fights and shootings, and thus had obvious appeal to the sophisticated moviegoer.
Number four is also a newcomer as “Just Wright” from Fox Searchlight opens in just 1,831 theatres with $8.3 million and a per-theatre average of $4,525. An ensemble romantic comedy, “Just Wright” offered another alternative to the big-budget action films currently dominating the box-office derby.
Rounding out the top five is the ever-present “How to Train Your Dragon” with $5 million in its eighth weekend of release. Another minuscule 25% drop places its domestic total at an impressive $207.7 million and makes it one of the true winners of the spring into summer season as it simply refuses to slow down and move out of the way of the summer onslaught.
Another strong weekend that outpaced last year’s comparable frame by 4% keeps the summer vibe going as we head into next week when Paramount/DWA’s “Shrek Forever After” and Universal’s “MacGruber” hit theatres.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Since as recently as Tuesday, Summit Entertainment has agreed to distribute Paul W.S. Anderson’s tale of “The Three Musketeers." Shooting of the famous French "all for one, one for all" story will begin almost immediately in August, to meet the film’s target release date of summer 2011.
Warner Bros. also has a production of “Three Musketeers” lined up, with Doug Liman directing. Filming for that production is set to begin filming in the fall, which is certainly one of the reasons Summit is looking to get the ball rolling so quickly on their production.
Ray Stevenson (“The Book of Eli”) will play Porthos, Luke Evans (“Clash of the Titans”), will play Aramis, and Matthew Macfayden (“Robin Hood”) will appear as Athos. The villans Cardinal Richelieu will be embodied by Oscar winner Christoph Waltz, and Mads Mikkelsen will represent the other offender, Rochefort. Mila Jovovich (Anderson’s wife) was cast as Milady de Winter.
The second official weekend of the summer is upon us as three wide release newcomers hit the marketplace and have to contend with the behemoth that is "Iron Man 2" in the wake of its $128.1 million opening weekend. Even if the film were to drop big (which with strong mid-weeks is unlikely), it would still be the odds on favorite to top the weekend. That said, Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott have teamed up yet again for Universal's "Robin Hood" which will bring out action seekers, "Gladiator" fans and those looking for a stylistic look at the legendary character. Opening in 3503 theatres, the film should do solid business for the period-piece action genre and offer audiences a decidedly retro-brand of action with bows and arrows rather than futuristic gadgetry. Director Ridley Scott always brings an incredible visual style to all of his movies and "Robin Hood" is no exception.
On the other side of the spectrum is the PG-Rated romance "Letters to Juliet" from Summit Entertainment. Starring the versatile Amanda Seyfried ("Mama Mia!," "Dear John," "Chloe"), "Juliet" is a quiet and non-cynical love letter of a movie that will appeal to older audiences and hopeless romantics everywhere with its classic tale of unrequited love and personal redemption. The film also stars Vanessa Redgrave, Gael Garcia Bernal and of course the incredible scenery of the Italian countryside which will have many booking their tickets as soon as they leave the theatre. For a nice and light non-summer style film devoid of explosions, fist fights and shootings, "Letters to Juliet" may offer the kind of counter-programming that will appeal to the sophisticated moviegoer.
Finally Fox Searchlight debuts "Just Wright" in a perfect 1,831 theatres to fill out this weekend's trio of wide release openers. A story of a physical therapist that falls for the basketball player she is helping recover from a career-threatening injury, this ensemble romantic comedy stars Queen Latifah, Common and Pam Grier. Urban audiences in particular and anyone looking for a fun date movie will make this their choice this weekend.
With Paramount/Marvel's "Iron Man 2" kicking butt and taking no prisoners after the fifth best opening weekend of all-time, it will take on all comers and likely come out on top. However, with three distinctive newcomers hitting the marketplace, there is literally something for every cinematic taste and that is what the summer movie season is all about. Last year's one-two punch of Sony's "Angels and Demons" and the second weekend of "Star Trek" created solid revenues for this, a typically transitional weekend at the summer box-office and we are looking for "Robin Hood" and "Iron Man 2" to give us the edge this year.
The summer movie season of 2010 kicks off in high style as Paramount/Marvel’s “Iron Man 2” posts the fifth biggest opening weekend of all-time!
With speculation all over the map as to how “Iron Man 2” would perform in the weekend box office derby (with estimates ranging from $120 million to a record busting $165 million), the film becomes only the fifteenth film in box office history to debut with over $100 million in a single weekend. With $128.1 million for the three-days, this places it just ahead of “Shrek the Third” ($121.6 million) and just behind “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest” ($135.6 million) as it now enters the pantheon of great movie openings.
Of course no conversation of the film would be complete without mention of the IMAX component which generated a 3-Day domestic total of (est.) $10,200,569; a per-screen take of $56,357. IMAX's weekend is approximately 8% of the film's overall box office.
This is an IMAX 2D opening weekend domestic record, surpassing Star Trek's $8.5 mil a year ago. Interestingly, it also out-grossed Avatar's opening weekend of $9.5 mil. This suggests that offering fans the IMAX Experience with a mix of programming is the way to go - 2D, 3D, CGI animation, action adventure - - avid moviegoers like all genres and they're clearly seeking out the giant screen experience.
Slashing its way into the number two spot is the Warner Bros. re-boot of the Freddy franchise with “A Nightmare on Elm Street” scaring up another $9.1 million in its second weekend of release. After a chart topping debut last week of $32.9 million (which made the film’s profitability a slam dunk), a 72% second weekend drop is realized, but is perfectly in-line with what is typical for this genre. A perfect release date that sandwiched the film between spring and summer made this another profit center for Warner Bros.
The “go-to” movie of the spring continues to impress in the summer as Paramount/DWA’s “How to Train Your Dragon” takes the third spot with $6.7 million in its seventh weekend of release! The title of this film should be “How to Train the Audience to Love 3-D and Keep Coming Back for More” as this family favorite drops a mere 36% and crosses the $200 million mark.
Another “energizer movie bunny” is Fox’s “Date Night” which also continues as an audience favorite as it earns $5.5 million against a small 28% fifth weekend drop. Much like “Dragon,” “Date Night” is the film of choice for its target audience (in this case, appropriately enough the date crowd) and is now up to $81 million in domestic dollars.
The top five is rounded out by CBS Films’ “The Back-Up Plan” as it shows the naysayers that its has some staying power. With a third weekend drop of 31% and a weekend take of $5 million, the Jennifer Lopez romantic comedy is still drawing an audience and is near the $30 million mark.
Last but not least is “Babies” from Focus Features in the tenth spot. The film earned $2.2 million in 534 theatres and should benefit from strong word-of-mouth in the coming weeks. A gutsy move to go up against “Iron Man 2” could pay off as the Mother’s Day audience lines-up to see this unique documentary.
A great start to the Summer Movie Season of 2010 as the audience gets itself in the movie-going frame of mind. Next week: Universal’s “Robin Hood,” Summit’s “Letters to Juliet” and Fox Searchlight’s “Just Wright” enter the fray.
The Master & Commander star can't stomach the idea of killing live animals but fears he has to develop certain wild skills to justify living in remote Vermont.
He explains, "As an Englishman, you start from a kind of butch deficit... but I'm doing my best. I've been trying really hard; we invented this game - because I don't hunt or fish... called The Great Western Bear Hunt.
"We buy a load of paintball guns and I get my trainer, Mike Hood, to dress up as a bear... and we hunt my friend through the woods."
But the game turned serious recently when Hood disappeared in the forest near Bettany's Vermont home for over five hours.
The actor recalls, "Five hours passed and it got dark and rainy and there came a point when we thought, 'This has gone too far'. We'd been looking for him, so we called the police... They set up these beacons."
Hood eventually showed up hours later and explained he had got lost in the woods and stumbled onto a road miles away, where he started flagging down cars - but no one would stop because he was dressed as a bear.
Bettany adds, "He thumbed this lift and this poor woman stopped, she had two kids in the back of the car... and he went, 'I need a lift, I'm late for a party. Will you give me lift?' and she said, 'No, I won't... because you're wearing a f**king bear costume,' and hit the gas."
But the hunt-gone-wrong hasn't put Bettany and his wife Jennifer Connelly off the idea of staging another outdoor event this year (10).
The actor says, "This Thanksgiving, we're going to do it again, but with the Great Western Turkey Shoot - I'm gonna dress him as a turkey."