Relativity Media’s Immortals tops the chart with a bigger-than-expected $32 million. Featuring an international cast including Henry Cavill and Luke Evans, Immortals in 3-D is an action fantasy adventure set in a mythological world. Mickey Rourke also stars in the latest film from visionary director Tarsem Singh and the producers of 300. 70% of locations played the film in 3 and 66% of the gross was on 3D screens with 34% on 2D.
Adam Sandler takes second place with $26 million in Sony’s Jack and Jill which features Sandler playing Jack Sadelstein and his identical twin sister Jill in this holiday-themed comedy. On her dreaded annual Thanksgiving visit, the annoying Jill turns Jack’s and his family’s tranquil life upside-down in the PG-rated film that also stars Katie Holmes as Jack’s wife. The weekend gross was on the high end of expectations with support from a 52% female audience.
Paramount/Dreamworks’ Puss in Boots which continues its amazing run at the box office completes its third weekend in third place with another $25.5 million. The fall season hit has now earned $108.8 million in North America to date.
Universal’s Tower Heist starring Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller realized a 45% drop in its second weekend with a heist of $13.2 million in box office loot. Despite having debuted on the lower end of expectations last weekend, the film has held up solidly in the mid-week derby and crosses the $43 million threshold by Sunday night.
Warner Bros. impressive period drama J. Edgar released in 1,910 theaters made an impression in the top five with around $11.5 million. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio as FBI head J. Edgar Hoover, the Clint Eastwood directed film is already generating Oscar buzz and critical acclaim. Featuring an incredible cast of actors playing true-life characters including Richard Nixon, Bobby Kennedy, Dwight Eisenhower and Franklin Roosevelt, J. Edgar will remain a fixture in the top 10 throughout the holiday season.
Top Movies for Weekend of November 11, 2011 (Estimates)
Movie Gross Total to Date
1. Immortals (R) $32.0M $32.0M 2. Jack and Jill (PG) $26.0M $26.0M 3. Puss in Boots (PG) $25.5M $108.8M 4. Tower Heist (PG13) $13.2M $43.9M 5. J. Edgar (R) $11.5M $11.6M
Disney’s late-summer hit The Help tops the box office chart for the second consecutive weekend with $14.3 million and another modest 28% weekend over weekend drop. The film opened three weeks ago in the number two spot, but has reclaimed dominance in the marketplace as great word-of-mouth for the film continues to sweep the nation. The $100 million mark will be crossed this week for this audiences pleasing film.
Sony’s Colombiana added some late summer action sizzle to the mix with Zoe Saldana kicking butt as a cold-blooded assassin in this stylized PG-13 romp written by the legendary Luc Besson. Besson has had his hand in such films as Taken, The Professional and La Femme Nikita. $10.3 million was the result as aficionados hit theaters to get their late-summer action fix.
Yet another horror re-make hit theaters this weekend as Film District’s Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark updates the 1973 movie of the same name with the unique sensibility of Guillermo del Toro who serves as screenwriter. Starring Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce this R-rated story of a young girl who discovers creatures in her new home sent horror fans to the multi-plex looking for a good scare and an opening weekend of $8.7 million.
Fox’s Rise of The Planet of the Apes enters its fourth weekend with a fourth place finish of $8.65 million and is closing in on $150 million in domestic revenue by Sunday night.
Opening this weekend with $6.6 million is the R-rated off-beat comedy Our Idiot Bother from the Weinstein Company and the producers of Little Miss Sunshine. The film starring comedy mainstay Paul Rudd as a stoned out idealist who crashes into the lives of his sisters found favor with audiences looking for some light-hearted escapism.
A very tough weekend on the east coast as Hurricane Irene took its toll on the box office and the nerves of many on the eastern seaboard. The weekend was off a solid 23% from the same weekend a year ago when Takers and The Last Exorcism had strong late-August debuts with over $20 million each.
Weekend Box Office
Top Movies for Weekend of August 26, 2011 (estimates)
Movie Weekend Gross Total to Date
1 The Help (PG13) $14.3M $96.6M
2 Colombiana (PG13) $10.3M $10.3M
3 Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (R) $8.7M $8.7M
4 Rise of the Planet of the Apes (PG13) $8.65M $148.4M
5 Our Idiot Brother (NR) $6.6M $6.6M
With the opening of Disney’s Tron: Legacy in IMAX and 3-D this weekend and its expected blockbuster debut, we take a look back at the films that made December a month to remember at the movie theatre. Lest anyone expect a $100 million opening weekend from this, the last month of the year, don’t bet the Christmas presents on it since it has never happened! That’s not to say that December lacks bragging rights: for the love of James Cameron the two top grossing films of all-time came from the twelfth month! Not only that, Mr. July himself, Will Smith leads the opening weekend derby for December with 2007’s I Am Legend which has managed to maintain its top dog status even when challenged by Avatar which grossed a mere $185,840 less when it debuted last year.
Now on to the December lopsided ratings game: Twenty of the top thirty December openers are rated PG-13. Yes you read that right. Said another way, fully two-thirds of the top films in our survey are of this rating, including the top three films on the list. This indicates that if you want your best chance at a hit-making debut in December, you might opt for this all-encompassing rating. Notably, nine of the top thirty December openers are rated PG and only one film is rated R. Of course there is no need to cry for the folks over at Disney and their PG-rated Tron: Legacy – they have a genuine chance to show those PG-13 weenies who’s the boss this weekend as it makes its mark in the top 10 of the December openings chart.
HOLLYWOOD.COM BOX-OFFICE - TOP DECEMBER OPENERS - GROSSES THROUGH DECEMBER 12, 2010
RANK TITLE DISTRIBUTOR 3-DAY OPENING RELEASE DATE RATING
1 I AM LEGEND WARNER BROS. $77,211,321 Fri, 12/14/07 PG-13
2 AVATAR FOX $77,025,481 Fri, 12/18/09 PG-13
3 LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING NEW LINE $72,629,713 Wed, 12/17/03 PG-13
4 THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION,
THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE BUENA VISTA $65,556,312 Fri, 12/9/05 PG
5 SHERLOCK HOLMES WARNER BROS. $65,380,000 Fri, 12/25/09 PG-13
6 LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS NEW LINE $62,007,528 Wed, 12/18/02 PG-13
7 KING KONG UNIVERSAL $50,130,145 Wed, 12/14/05 PG-13
8 ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE SQUEAKQUEL FOX $48,875,415 Wed, 12/23/09 PG
9 LORD OF THE RINGS, THE:
THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING NEW LINE $47,211,490 Wed, 12/19/01 PG-13
10 MEET THE FOCKERS UNIVERSAL $46,120,980 Wed, 12/22/04 PG-13
11 NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS DISNEY $44,783,772 Fri, 12/21/07 PG
12 ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS FOX $44,307,417 Fri, 12/14/07 PG
13 OCEAN'S TWELVE WARNER BROS. $39,153,380 Fri, 12/10/04 PG-13
14 OCEAN'S 11 WARNER BROS. $38,107,822 Fri, 12/7/01 PG-13
15 MARLEY AND ME FOX $36,357,586 Thu, 12/25/08 PG
16 WHAT WOMEN WANT PARAMOUNT $33,614,543 Fri, 12/15/00 PG-13
17 SCREAM 2 MIRAMAX/DIMENSION $32,926,342 Fri, 12/12/97 R
18 DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, THE FOX $30,480,153 Fri, 12/12/08 PG-13
19 NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM FOX $30,433,781 Fri, 12/22/06 PG
20 CATCH ME IF YOU CAN DREAMWORKS $30,082,000 Wed, 12/25/02 PG-13
21 LEMONY SNICKETS: A SERIES OF
UNFORTUNATE EVENTS PARAMOUNT $30,061,756 Fri, 12/17/04 PG
22 CAST AWAY FOX $28,883,406 Fri, 12/22/00 PG-13
23 TITANIC PARAMOUNT $28,638,131 Fri, 12/19/97 PG-13
24 CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN FOX $27,557,647 Thu, 12/25/03 PG
25 BEDTIME STORIES DISNEY $27,450,296 Thu, 12/25/08 PG
26 CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, THE PARAMOUNT $26,853,816 Thu, 12/25/08 PG-13
27 PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS, THE SONY $26,541,709 Fri, 12/15/06 PG-13
28 GOLDEN COMPASS, THE NEW LINE $25,783,232 Fri, 12/7/07 PG-13
29 PATCH ADAMS UNIVERSAL $25,262,280 Fri, 12/25/98 PG-13
30 TOMORROW NEVER DIES MGM $25,143,007 Fri, 12/19/97 PG-13
The film centers on yet another over-achieving career woman Kenya McQueen (Sanaa Lathan) who is beautiful stylish and successful but can’t find the right man to save her life. You know the type. She would have given up by now if it weren’t for her three close girlfriends (Wendy Raquel Robinson Taraji P. Henson Golden Brooks) who exact a fair amount of peer pressure to keep her in the game. Kenya finally agrees to go on a blind date with Brian Kelly (Simon Baker) a sexy landscape architect who turns out to be not exactly what she'd pictured for herself. You know because she’s an uptight black woman and he’s a free-spirited white man. And there's our conflict. Should Kenya stay the straight and narrow path or follow her heart--no matter where it takes her? That’s a rhetorical question of course. Lathan has had a nice steady career making likable urban romantic comedies (Love and Basketball Brown Sugar) so she fits easily into Something New’s milieu. As Kenya the actress is effectively professional and whip-smart at work but also does a nice job playing up the character’s insecurities in her personal life. By being so very high maintenance one wonders why the almost-too-good-to-be-true Brian would even fall for her. But that’s what Something New has going for it--Baker (The Ring Two) and Lathan make their connection seem palpable and genuine. The movie really steams up when these two are on screen together. As for the rest they add flavor wherever necessary especially Donald Faison (TV’s Scrubs) as Kenya’s womanizing brother and Alfre Woodard who does a surprising turn as Kenya’s materialistic snobbish mother. Written directed and produced by women of color Something New wants to make a statement about the pressures professional women--in this case black women--have trying to find love and commitment in their lives. Successful producer Stephanie Allain (Hustle & Flow) and screenwriter Kriss Turner were both inspired by an article they read in the Detroit Free Press about how 42.4 percent of black women have never been married which then lead them to the idea that if you’re in your 30s and single are you going to open things up and look outside your race? This delicate subject matter in Something New’s is skillfully handled by first-time director Sanaa Hamri who adequately shows the fine line. But despite its sweet temperament the film ultimately lapses into ordinary and predictable rom-com fare. After all you got to have the Hollywood ending right?
Let's give a big hand to the two newest members of the Mile High Club. Yes total strangers Oliver (Ashton Kutcher) and Emily (Amanda Peet) hook up during an otherwise quiet flight from L.A. to New York City. Heck the two don't say a word until they bump into each other at the baggage claim. "Blah blah it's ruined " Emily moans the second Oliver opens his big mouth. How sweet. How could they not be soul mates? So what if they share nothing in common aside from a mutual attraction? The bashful Oliver's an aspiring Internet entrepreneur eager to marry the perfect woman live in a beautiful house and drive the flashiest car. The outgoing Emily's an actress with less talent than Paris Hilton and a thing for lousy musicians and writers. So why do director Nigel Cole and screenwriter Colin Patrick Lynch insist on making this lousy love match? They even drag this dead-end romance from the late 1990s to today as Oliver bets Emily $50 that he will have the life he desires in just seven years. Predictably absence makes the heart grow fonder and whenever they cross paths--from a day in New York City or a night in L.A.--they fall more in love with each other. Of course there's always something preventing them from making a commitment. Yawn. By the time Oliver and Emily decide it's now or never they've grown so whiny and wearisome you won't care whether they spend the rest of their lives together or apart.
Kutcher promises to slip on his tighty whities and model again for Calvin Klein if A Lot Like Love reigns supreme at the box office. Sorry girls that won't happen. But Kutcher does flash a little flesh when he drops his drawers for Peet. Otherwise he doesn't display much of anything else in his most wretched offering since My Boss's Daughter. If ever Kutcher wanted to prove he can inject a little charisma or personality into an underwritten role A Lot Like Love offers him his greatest opportunity. But he blows it. Or maybe he's not capable of doing anything other than getting so flustered he can barely spit out his words as he does in all his witless comedies. Kutcher's Oliver Martin is as bland as his name and as dull as his line of business. This makes it tough to believe Emily--in the form of the spunky Peet--would even think twice about pursuing a relationship with this drip. Then again the relentlessly grating Emily isn't exactly a prize catch negating Peet's efforts to give A Lot Like Love a little pungency. You have to pity Peet: she so willingly participates in one farcical flop after another--from Whipped to Saving Silverman to The Whole Ten Yards--that she's dangerously close to ruining what was never really a particularly promising career.
Ever cleaned out the back of your car and found a soundtrack CD you forgot you bought? Those CDs always boast great pop songs that you never hear on the radio anymore. But no matter how many times you listen to the songs you can't remember the film that accompanied the soundtrack. That's A Lot Like Love: terrific soundtrack lousy movie. To lazily evoke a sense of time and place director Nigel Cole leans heavily on well-worn hits from the late 1990s and early 2000s by Smash Mouth and Third Eye Blind. That would be all well and dandy if Cole at least injected A Lot Like Love with some comic pizzazz. For a film told over the course of seven years A Lot Like Love moves slowly awkwardly and uneventfully. Perhaps Cole left his sense of humor back in England where he directed the screwy Saving Grace and the plucky Calendar Girls. Or maybe he's more comfortable chronicling the misadventures of middle-aged women than the bed-hopping antics of self-involved twentysomethings. He gets so desperate for laughs that he makes Kutcher and Peet spit water at each other during a dinner eaten in silence. But the most grating moment sadly recalls Say Anything's sweet and touching climax: rather than blast Peter Gabriel's In Your Eyes from a boom box a guitar-strumming Kutcher instead serenades Peet with an unfunny off-key rendition of Bon Jovi's "I'll be There For You." OK so maybe not every song on the soundtrack deserves another spin.
From the creators of the TNT miniseries Gettysburg including executive producer Ted Turner and writer/director Ronald F. Maxwell Gods chronicles the Civil War from its beginnings when the South rises up. Confederate General Robert E. Lee (Robert Duvall) a distinguished military man but also a loyal native Virginian chooses to fight for his home rather than his country while Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson (Stephen Lang) a devoutly religious man becomes Lee's most trusted lieutenant. On the other side we have Colonel Joshua Chamberlain (Jeff Daniels) a professor from Maine who ends up one of the Union's finest military leaders. In between there are glimpses of the wives and families left behind. Stories of this magnitude with their dramatic bloody battles and tragic endings usually leave you numb or crying for those lives lost and destroyed. Instead Gods and Generals holds no resonance whatsoever meticulously plotting out the details and making this decisive moment in American history interminable at three and a half hours. It's like wading through a textbook--or worse watching Civil War fanatics carefully reenact the famous battle scenes on the very ground they were fought over and over again--while the players stand around quoting long-winded verse from the Bible or Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Blech.
The actors in Gods and Generals must have honestly thought they were making something important when they signed up. Main players Lang (who played Major Gen. George Pickett in Gettysburg) and Daniels (who reprises his Gettysburg role as Chamberlain) have their moments but after hearing them recite one speech after another especially Lang's Jackson who says more prayers to God than anything else you start to wonder if they ever realized they made a mistake. (Or have we for sitting through it?) One of the more superfluous scenes is when Jackson and his black cook Jim played by Frankie Faison are standing outside in the freezing cold night for about 15 minutes both looking up at the stars and praying to God. It seems like the actors are trying to make such sermonizing poignant meaningful but all this pontification simply drags the movie further down. These speeches aren't just Lang's and Daniels' territory--Mira Sorvino as Chamberlain's wife and Kali Rocha as Jackson's wife get their own personal moments in the sun too. If you count the cast of thousands each with their own things to say well you get the point. Thankfully Duvall who is the only good thing about the movie gets to keep the talking to a minimum.
If you want to see a Civil War melodrama at its best where watching the heroes race through a sacked city makes you hold your breath and witnessing horrific hospital scenes makes you squirm then watch Gone With the Wind. If you want gut-wrenching Civil War battles or more understanding of how slaves truly felt then watch Glory. If you want a heartening history lesson about the Civil War that not only teaches you about the era's political machinations but also shares the insights and thoughts of the men and women who experienced it then watch Ken Burns' documentary series The Civil War. Gods and Generals offers none of that in its dry textbook version of the Civil War which uses the same shots are used over and over again (how many times does the camera pan up to the night sky or show the panoramic view of Fredericksburg Virginia? I lost count) features more actors waxing prophetic than real drama and actually makes you yawn during what should be intense battle scenes.