Miramax via Everett Collection
The incomparable Kevin Smith recently announced that Jesus Christ would be taking on mankind in his new movie Helena Handbag. A few days later the director had decided that the storyline would work better as a musical play. Many fans of Kevin Smith don't actually care what form this project takes. If Kevin Smith is making anything that has anything to do with religion and -- specifically Christianity -- then we're all in. And in case you forgot how awesome Smith is at marrying religious doctrine with comedy, here are five unforgettable scenes from his epic 1999 movie Dogma.
Salma Hayek, The Muse Turned Skripper
You know you're a Kevin Smith fan when you hear the song Candy Girl, and suddenly find yourself missing Jay and Silent Bob.
Jesus Christ Owes Chris Rock Money, Obviously
In which we meet Rufus, the 13th apostle who teaches us everything we need to know about Jesus. Lesson 1: never, ever lend Jesus money. Ever.
Bethany Meets The Metatron, Voice Of The One True God
Alan Rickman is everything. That is all.
Ben Affleck Might Need A Nap
In one of the less comedic scenes of the film, we see the anger and pain of the angels through Ben Affleck's rant against God. Say what you want about Affleck, but when Damon compares him to the Morning Star in this scene it total makes sense. He's terrifying!
What If God Was One Of Us/Alanis Morissette?
If you thought God was a white guy with a beard, or Morgan Freeman, or Kanye West you have been sadly mistaken. We all know that Alanis Morissette is God, and she'll blow your fricken head off. Then she'll put on a frilly white skirt with flip-flops and a fly-ass metallic jacket because she's God.
Besides the fact that it's a remake of our favorite girl-power series, there are a plethora of reasons why we loved 2000's Charlie's Angels. Three of them happen to be the Angels themselves, Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Lucy Liu, who play the iconic roles with feist and playfulness. Rounding out the cast are film veterans like Bill Murray and Tim Curry, and a Hollywood dark horse who you'd never expect to go anywhere near Drew Barrymore. Here's a breakdown of our favorite things about Charlie's Angels.
1. The Chicks Rule, Boys Drool Message
OK, so the movie basically tries to shove the message down your throat, but watching girls dominate the boys just never gets old. Dylan (Barrymore) punches a drill sergeant in the face and ditches the army, Alex (Liu) is the real-life version of her action star boyfriend — constantly showing him up about bomb knowledge, dodging bullets, and sliding across cars — and Natalie (Diaz) plays personal bodyguard to a very frazzled and frighetend Bosley (Murray).
2. Cameron Diaz Dancing
As if she could get more giggly, Cameron Diaz blinds the audience with her infectious smile as Natalie, who fantasizes of being a professional dancer when she's not roundhouse kicking bad guys. The scene in which she dreams of being a disco dancing queen, set to the movie's apropos theme song, "Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel," makes the entire movie worth watching. As if that weren't enough, she wakes up and voilà! The very GIF-worthy underwear dancing scene is born.
Not to mention her Soul Train scene:
3. The Supporting Cast
Bill Murray, Tim Curry, Sam Rockwell, Kelly Lynch . . . sounds like an Oscar contender, right? Wrong. It's much more fun. Bill Murray adds a touch of genius to everything he does, and his portrayal of Bosley hits all the humorous, bumbling notes. His banter with Tim Curry's Roger Corwin is a study in two film greats shedding their usual stuffy roles and having fun in front of the camera. Then there's Sam Rockwell and Kelly Lynch as the film's villains, and they play up the caricature of the sexy baddy perfectly — not to mention Rockwell could give Diaz a run for her money on the dance floor.
4. Crispin Glover
Crispin Glover didn't let a chick flick influence his acting style. He was just as creepy as ever; in fact, his character was billed as Creepy Thin Man. His highly original blend of silent, pale Dracula type and martial arts master is odd but slick, and beyond brilliant. The way he screams like a banshee as he swings his cane-sword around gives the movie a nice touch of weird.
5. The Ass Kicking:
Besides the feel-good, indulgent, 100 percent pure fun, there are some legit action sequences. The fight scenes were choreographed by the same stunt coordinator who worked on two of the Matrix movies and a whole resume of Chinese kung fu films. While some of the sequences aren't the most realisic — the Angels often fight in heels — they are high-octane and slick. At the end of the day, the girls look hot while kicking ass, so mission accomplished.
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Breaking news: DreamWorks Studios has just announced that Oscar-winning actor Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood) will play America's 16th President in Steven Spielberg's long-in-development biopic Lincoln, based on the best-selling book Team of Rivals, with a script from Pulitzer Prize winner and Academy Award-nominated writer Tony Kushner (Angels in America).
This is big news for everyone involved. It means Spielberg's on-again, off-again project is finally getting made; Day-Lewis can begin making room on his shelf for another Oscar, next to the two he already has; and you - the viewing public - can prepare for what promises to be an incredible cinematic experience with one of Hollywood's most talented actors.
Here's the press release from the studio:
LOS ANGELES – (Business Wire) Two-time Academy Award winner Daniel Day-Lewis will star as the 16th President of the United States in DreamWorks Studios’ Lincoln to be directed by Steven Spielberg. The announcement was made today by Spielberg and Stacey Snider, Co-Chairman and CEO of DreamWorks Studios.
“Daniel Day-Lewis would have always been counted as one of the greatest of actors, were he from the silent era, the golden age of film or even some time in cinema’s distant future. I am grateful and inspired that our paths will finally cross with Lincoln,” said Steven Spielberg. “Throughout his career, he has been exceptionally selective in his choice of material,” added Stacey Snider, “which makes us feel even more fortunate that he has chosen to join with us for Lincoln.”
Based on the best-selling book, Team of Rivals, by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, the screenplay has been written by the Pulitzer Prize winner, Tony Award winner, and Academy Award nominated writer Tony Kushner. It will be produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Steven Spielberg.
It is anticipated that the film will focus on the political collision of Lincoln and the powerful men of his cabinet on the road to abolition and the end of the Civil War.
Doris Kearns Goodwin won her Pulitzer Prize for No Ordinary Time, the story of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and the home front in World War II. Kushner’s prize was for his play Angels in America, which later became an Emmy Award-winning television special. He had previously worked with Spielberg on Munich for which he was nominated for an Oscar in the Adapted Screenplay category.
Filming is expected to begin in the fall of 2011 for release in the fourth quarter of 2012 through Disney’s Touchstone distribution label.
Maross, whose career spanned four decades, died on 7 November (09) in Glendale, California.
He served in the Marines before graduating in theater arts from prestigious Connecticut university Yale and then kicking off a television career in the 1950s.
His small screen credits include guest appearances on The Twilight Zone, Bonanza, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Outer Limits, The Fugitive, Gunsmoke, Hawaii Five O., Mission Impossible, Perry Mason, Mannix, The Rockford Files, Charlies Angels, Quincy, Dallas and Murder She Wrote.
Maross also appeared in several feature films, including: Run Silent Run Deep, Elmer Gantry, Sometimes a Great Notion and The Salzburg Connection.
Maross was a founding member of the Los Angeles-based acting, writing and directing group, Projects 58.
He is survived by a son.
The young and idealistic Hughes (Leonardo DiCaprio) is driven by two forces in his life: airplanes and Hollywood. The Aviator begins in the 1920s as Hughes obsessively works on his silent debut film Hell's Angels which he ends up scraping completely to remake as a talkie thus making it the most expensive film of its time. While embarking on doomed affairs with Katharine Hepburn (Cate Blanchett) and Ava Gardner (Kate Beckinsale) Hughes also builds a plane that makes him the fastest man in the world in 1935. The millionaire even engineers a new bra to make the most out of Jane Russell's cleavage for his next film The Outlaw while running TWA and building planes for the government during WWII. Yet the mental illness that would consume Hughes later in life begins to rear its ugly head after he breaks up with Hepburn. As does his dogfights with Pan Am's Juan Trippe (Alec Baldwin) who sics his in-pocket politician Sen. Ralph Owen Brewster (Alan Alda) on Hughes--which coming after the flyboy crashes his experimental spy plane leaves him with only a couple of good fights left in him. Hughes eventually stands up to Brewster's senate investigation and then manages to finish and ceremonially fly the Spruce Goose. But soon he makes his final descent into undiagnosed and untreated madness.
The Aviator provides a bevy of tour de force performances. As the leading man DiCaprio gives us an Oscar-worthy turn as Hughes vacillating easily between the playboy the industrialist the aviator and finally the madman. In seducing a cigarette girl the suave DiCaprio says one of the best lines in the film: "I want to find out what gives you pleasure. Would you give me that job? " which pretty much sums up Hughes' modus operandi. The scenes between DiCaprio and Blanchett as the spirited Hughes and Hepburn are also fun and lively especially in their first meeting on a golf course in which Hepburn talks a blue streak while Hughes quietly admires her. Blanchett does an amazing job emulating the acting legend without doing a strict imitation. The worst performance in the film could be Blanchett's nose which looks nothing like Hepburn's but that's about it. The exquisite Beckinsale also does a marvelous job as Ava Gardner who had a brief and tumultuous affair with Hughes but ended up more his confidant than anything else. In supporting roles Alec Baldwin seems to be settling in nicely as one of Hollywood's favorite heavies playing Trippe's malevolence with a twinkle in his eye. As does Alan Alda who again delivers admirably as the elder statesman of "mean."
Marty Marty Marty. Why can't you make a nice two-hour film like everybody else? It's probably not fair to harp on the film's length but it isn't just long it feels long. Rather than being a cohesive whole director Martin Scorsese and screenwriter John Logan deliver a montage of expertly constructed scenes and sequences without giving us a true understanding of who Howard Hughes really was. Perhaps Howard Hughes is just too much of a character for one film. The closest we come to getting inside Hughes' mind is during the breath-taking crash of the FX-11 into a Beverly Hills residential area which is undeniably one of the best crash scenes ever filmed. Scorsese is obviously a master filmmaker but some of his old tricks aren't working here. The patchwork quality of the film is underscored by the director's varying use of different period styles--from a washed out look of a '40s home movie to a vivid contemporary look. Used to great effect in his films such as Raging Bull and Goodfellas now it seems out of place in The Aviator. It's true Scorsese will more than likely get another shot at Oscar gold for The Aviator but if he wins it will definitely be for his vastly superior previous work.
Rapper Jay-Z and hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons are among some of the big names in the music business planning to demonstrate at New York City Hall against Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed school cuts. "Hip-hop artists have the biggest mouths, bigger than any mayor in this country," Simmons told New York Daily News. "We've all been too silent about the cutbacks, but if hip-hop artists decide to help fight them, no one can beat them."
The rock band KISS is getting into the condom business. That's right, the legendary band members known for their outlandish makeup will have their own line of KISS Kondoms, available online and in record stores. "Sex is always embarrassing for people, so when a guy whips out a KISScondom and there's Gene Simmons' tongue hanging out, it lightens up the situation," Simmons told Reuters.
Comedian Bernie Mac, hot off his hit Fox TV series The Bernie Mac Show, will be joining the angels--Charlie's Angels, that is. He is set to replace Bill Murray as Bosley in the sequel, directed once again by McG and starring those three bombshells Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu and Drew Barrymore. According to Variety, Murray wasn't expected to reprise the role after his reported clashes on the set of the Columbia Pictures 2000 original feature film.
After the demise of her TV series Dark Angel, star Jessica Alba is bouncing back. She is in final negotiations to star in the film Honey, playing a sexy-yet-tough city gal who ends up becoming a successful video choreographer. Big stretch.
It's been about 22 years, but fans of John Kennedy Toole's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel A Confederacy of Dunces will finally get to see a big-screen adaptation. Miramax bought the rights from Paramount Pictures and plans to start production in the fall. No stars or directors are yet attached, Variety reports.
Cedric the Entertainer is going to be busy for the next year or so. He will be co-starring in Universal Pictures' Intolerable Cruelty, directed by Joel Coen and starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and George Clooney. The story is about a gold digger (Zeta-Jones) who falls in love with a high-powered divorce attorney (Clooney). As well, Cedric is going to star in and produce the comedy Family First for Fox Searchlight.
Infamous college basketball coach Bob Knight is heading for the big lights. The coach, known for his volatile temper, will be making an appearance in the upcoming Jack Nicholson/Adam Sandler movie Anger Management. The film focuses on a mild-mannered businessman (Sandler) who is accidentally sent to an anger-management course taught by the aggressive Nicholson. Can't wait for that one!
So, Marky Mark, you wanna be a rock 'n' roll star?
Sporting a shaggy mane, a nipple ring and an extremely tight pair of leather pants, former rapper Mark Wahlberg cranks up the Marshall amps to 11 this weekend with Rock Star.
Expect a loud debut for this rag-to-riches-to-rags rock epic--destined to knock down surprise No. 1 champ Jeepers Creepers--that capitalizes on Wahlberg's success in Planet of the ApesThree Kings and The Perfect Storm. It's not much of a stretch for Wahlberg to convincingly portray a wide-eyed dreamer who succumbs to a lifestyle based on sex, drugs and heavy metal. That's pretty much what happened to him as Dirk Diggler, Boogie Nights's porn star and aspiring (but untalented) rocker.
A cautionary tale very much in the vein of VH1's Behind the Music series, Rock Star owes its roots, somewhat loosely, to the stranger-than-fiction rise to fame of Judas Priest singer Tim "Ripper" Owens. In 1996, Owens went from singing in a Judas Priest tribute band to replacing original singer Rob Halford. The members of Judas Priest have distanced themselves from Rock Star, no doubt because it depicts its would-be metal god as nothing more than a pawn unable to find his own voice.
Though hardly as poignant as last year's Almost Famous, Rock Star should outperform director Cameron Crowe's semi-autobiographical account of his teenage foray into rock journalism. Almost Famous made only $32.5 million, despite universal good reviews. Rock Star also should hit higher notes than the last major music-themed autobiography, Selena, which opened with $11.6 million in 1997 and eventually made $35.3 million.
In an ironic twist, director Stephen Herek's Rock Star opens against yet another adaptation of The Three Musketeers. Herek directed his own version of the Alexandre Dumas-penned swashbuckling adventure in 1993, starring Chris O'Donnell as D'Artagnan with Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland and Oliver Platt declaring all one and one for all. In director Peter Hyams's The Musketeer, former model Justin Chambers unsheathes his sword as D'Artagnan to face Wahlberg's Planet of the Apes adversary, Tim Roth.
The need for another Musketeer-- even one flaunting choreographed, stunt-heavy sword fights--remains a mystery. Also, Hyams didn't exactly light up the box office with his most recent efforts, End of Days and Sudden Death. Accordingly, The Musketeer is unlikely to challenge the $53.4 million that Herek's The Three Musketeers captured.
Aimed squarely at black audiences, Two Can Play That Game should enjoy the same attention enjoyed by similar previous romantic comedies starring Morris Chestnut and Vivica A Fox. Chestnut's The Brothers smooth-talked its way to $27.4 million earlier this year. Fox's Booty Call rang up $20 million in 1997. But Two Can Play That Game seems to lack the mainstream appeal that made Fox's 1998 Soul Food a $43.4 million hit and inspired a Showtime series.
Unlikely to show much in the way of endurance is Soul Survivors, given its competition. The teen horror yarn--on the shelf for one year, then delayed from the end of summer while cut to secure a PG-13 rating, then released in only 600-plus theaters--goes head to head against Jeepers Creepers and The Others. Soul Survivors could serve as nothing more than a footnote in the promising careers of stars Wes Bentley (American Beauty) and Eliza Dushku (Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back).
Not that Jeepers Creepers looks set to enjoy a second lucrative weekend. Executive produced by Francis Ford Coppola, of all people, this rote bloodbath set a Labor Day weekend-opening record of $15.8 million. That's almost twice that of the $8.1 million taken in 1996 by The Crow: City of Angels.
Those looking for a good scare most likely turned out last weekend for Jeepers Creepers--as is the norm for low-budget horror flicks--and will sample Soul Survivors or return to see Nicole Kidman's cerebral chiller,The Others this weekend. Still, expect the Creeper to rear his ugly head again, given that the film's $17.5 million gross through Wednesday justifies a sequel.
After dominating the August box office, Rush Hour 2, American Pie 2, The Princess Diaries and The Others should start to wind down their runs.
On Wednesday, Rush Hour 2 became the third film this year to make $200 million--$200.1 million, to be exact--and should surpass The Mummy Returns' $201.5 million this weekend. That would make Rush Hour 2 the year's second-highest grossing film, behind Shrek.
American Pie 2--cooling, but still a tasty proposition--has earned $126 million through Wednesday, $25 million than its predecessor. At $93.4 million, The Princess Diaries is the summer's biggest non-action sleeper and stands to make $100 million by next weekend. The Others continues its impressive run, having garnered $61 million through Wednesday.
With much to choose from this weekend, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back ($22.9 million), "O" ($7.7 million) and Summer Catch ($14.8 million) look set to take sharp tumbles.
The oft-delayed "O", in particular, failed to connect. Perhaps audiences who were perhaps longing for another accessible racially tinged romance, a la Save the Last Dance, shied away after discovering that this controversial drama is an almost faithful interpretation of Othello, just set in a prep school.
Jeepers Creepers did frightfully well at the box office, capturing first place with over $16 million and setting a new record for a Labor Day weekend opening.
The R rated horror film from United Artists, released by MGM, opened atop the chart with an ESTIMATED $16.13 million at 2,944 theaters ($5,477 per theater). (For three days it did an ESTIMATED $13.13 million).
Previously, the biggest Labor Day opening was The Crow: City of Angels, which arrived the weekend of Aug. 30 - Sept. 2, 1996 to $9.79 million at 2,423 theaters ($4,038 per theater).
(NOTE: All of today's estimates are for the four-day holiday weekend from Friday through Monday. Percentage comparisons are not indicated today since last weekend was a normal three-day weekend.)
Driven by Jeepers, Labor Day ticket sales for key films -- those grossing $500,000 or more for the four-day period -- reached a new high of about $110.3 million. The previous key films record gross for Labor Day was 1999's total of $109.98 million.
Jeepers' average per theater was the highest for any film playing in wide release this weekend. It is MGM's fourth No. 1 opening this year, following Hannibal, Heartbreakers and Legally Blonde.
Jeepers' strong launch surprised insiders who said the film had been flying low on Hollywood's advance radar screen. As a result, expectations were that Jeepers would at best come in fourth or fifth for the four-day period.
Written and directed by Victor Salva, it stars Gina Phillips, Justin Long, Jonathan Breck and Eileen Brennan.
"In my experience the tendency is for (horror genre films) to undertrack," MGM worldwide theatrical marketing and distribution president Bob Levin said Sunday morning, focusing on Jeepers' surprisingly big opening weekend.
"A lot of the interest and demand for these (type of films) happen very late in the game. This audience is not setting dates, so it picks up very late. And I think that many, many times these movies are driven by genre people -- people who just like horror movies. So you get this burst of people who are very peculiar. They aren't regular moviegoers. They really like these kind of movies and they wait around for them. And you're just not going to pick them up on tracking."
As things turned out, MGM picked exactly the right date to launch Jeepers. "We thought that a four-day holiday (made sense)," Levin explained. "You know, everyone talks about Labor Day weekend being a not very good weekend, but if you really look at all of the weekends that follow here into early September, they aren't that much better. It isn't like it's dramatically historically not as good a weekend as everything else. But (with) four days and this kind of movie, I've got to figure this crowd isn't just spending all of their time toasting marshmallows."
Should Hollywood treat Labor Day better than it does and open more films and better product then?
"It's the biggest (Labor Day weekend) ever and I guess it just reemphasizes what so many people have said all along," Levin replied. "You get this expansion of theaters that can put movies out and there really isn't a bad weekend any more. There's wrong movies and wrong weekends, but there isn't a weekend that can't do business if the right movie is there."
New Line Cinema's PG-13 rated action comedy blockbuster sequel Rush Hour 2 held on to second place in its fifth week, still showing strong legs with an ESTIMATED $11.7 million at 2,825 theaters (-176 theaters; $4,142 per theater). (For three days it did an ESTIMATED $10.0 million). Its cume is approximately $198.8 million, heading for $210-215 million in domestic theaters.
Directed by Brett Ratner, it stars Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker.
"To do (nearly) $200 million in August is an incredible thing," New Line distribution president David Tuckerman said Sunday morning. "I think it's wonderful!"
Universal's R rated youth appeal comedy hit sequel American Pie 2 slid two pegs to third place in its fourth week with a still sweet ESTIMATED $11.41 million at 3,114 theaters (-43 theaters; $3,665 per theater). (For three days it did an ESTIMATED $8.61 million). Pie 2, which cost about $30 million to make, has a cume of approximately $125.3 million, heading for $140 million in domestic theaters.
Directed by J B Rogers, it stars Jason Biggs, Shannon Elizabeth, Alyson Hannigan, Chris Klein, Natasha Lyonne, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Tara Reid, Seann William Scott, Mena Suvari, Eddie Kaye Thomas and Eugene Levy.
"I would never have imagined that at this juncture we'd be doing that much business," Universal distribution president Nikki Rocco said Sunday morning.
Asked why Pie 2 continues to do so well, Rocco replied, "Teen-agers (17 and over) like it. Repeat (business). It became the college choice. At this time of the year, kids love that."
Looking back at the summer, Rocco noted, "We've had an incredible summer. We're celebrating our success. It's been incredible for Universal. We couldn't ask for anything more."
Dimension Films' PG-13 thriller The Others held on to fourth place, widening again in its fourth week and still looking good with an ESTIMATED $9.0 million at 2,716 theaters (+280 theaters; $3,313 per theater). (For three days it did an ESTIMATED $7.8 million). Others, which cost only $17 million to make, has a cume of approximately $58.8 million, heading for $70-75 million in domestic theaters.
Directed by Alejandro Amenabar, it stars Nicole Kidman.
"This is terrific," David Kaminow, senior vice president, marketing for Dimension's parent company Miramax Films, said Sunday morning.
"Every summer seems to produce one or two sleeper hit surprises and I'd say The Others for this summer qualifies as one of those. With the minimal drops from week to week, it's obviously pleasing an audience. I think you can't play down the fact that it is a PG-13 rated movie that is appealing to a younger set because it's a thriller and it's a little scary and it's appealing to an older audience because it is a sophisticated story that is intelligent. And those were few and far between this summer. I think it really spanned the moviegoing audience demographically this summer."
Paramount's PG-13 comedy Rat Race, which was fifth last week, tied for fourth place in its third week with an okay ESTIMATED $9.0 million at 2,551 theaters (theater count unchanged; $3,528 per theater). (For three days it did an ESTIMATED $7.14 million). Its cume is approximately $37.7 million.
Directed by Jerry Zucker, it stars Rowan Atkinson, John Cleese, Whoopi Goldberg, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Seth Green, Jon Lovitz, Breckin Meyer and Amy Smart.
Buena Vista/Disney's G rated family comedy hit The Princess Diaries rose one notch to sixth place in its fifth week, still holding well with an ESTIMATED $7.5 million at 2,690 theaters (-59 theaters; $2,790 per theater).
Its cume is approximately $92.7 million, heading for $95-100 million in domestic theaters.
Directed by Garry Marshall, it stars Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway.
Lions Gate Films' controversial R rated high school set violent drama "O" opened quietly in seventh place to an ESTIMATED $7.0 million at 1,434 theaters ($4,881 per theater).
"O", a teen version of Shakespeare's Othello, was to have been released several years ago by Miramax, which decided in the aftermath of several tragic high school killings to keep it on the shelf. Lions Gate took the film over, giving it an ambitious wide release.
Directed by Tim Blake Nelson, it stars Mekhi Phifer, Josh Hartnett and Julia Stiles.
Dimension Films' R rated youth appeal comedy Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back plunged five slots to eighth place in its second week with a soft ESTIMATED $6.0 million at 2,765 theaters (theater count unchanged; $2,169 per theater). (For three days it did an ESTIMATED $5.0 million). Its cume is approximately $21.5 million.
Written and directed by Kevin Smith, it stars Smith, Ben Affleck, Shannon Elizabeth, Will Ferrell, Jason Lee, Jason Mewes and Chris Rock.
Warner Bros.' PG-13 baseball theme romantic comedy Summer Catch slipped three pegs to ninth place in its second week with an unexciting ESTIMATED $4.9 million at 2,335 theaters (theater count unchanged; $2,099 per theater). (For three days it did an ESTIMATED $3.9 million). Its cume is approximately $14.9 million.
Directed by Mike Tollin and produced by Tollin, Brian Robbins and Sam Weisman, it stars Freddie Prinze, Jr., Jessica Biel and Matthew Lillard.
Rounding out the Top 10 was Universal's Captain Corelli's Mandolin, down two rungs in its third week with a quiet ESTIMATED $4.08 million at 1,612 theaters (theater count unchanged; $2,530 per theater). (For three days it did an ESTIMATED $3.14 million). Its cume is approximately $19.8 million.
Directed by John Madden, it stars Nicolas Cage and Penelope Cruz.
SUMMER TOP TEN FILMS
Based on ESTIMATED cumes through Labor Day weekend, the summer's top 10 films are:
(1) Shrek (DreamWorks)- $262.9 million.
(2) The Mummy Returns (Universal) - $201.7 million.
(3) Rush Hour 2 (New Line) - $198.8 million (but heading for $210-215 million).
(4) Pearl Harbor (BV/Touchstone) - $196.5 million.
(5) Jurassic Park III (Universal) - $175.7 million.
(6) Planet of the Apes (Fox) - $172.7 million.
(7) The Fast and the Furious (Universal) - $142.0
(8) Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (Paramount) - $130.5
(9) American Pie 2 (Universal) - $125.3 million (but
heading for 140 million).
(10)Dr. Dolittle 2 (Fox) - $111.4 million.
LABOR DAY GROSSES
Looking back at the last six years' Labor Day weekend grosses for key films -- those doing $500,000 or more for the four days -- shows a pattern of growth consistent with the steady expansion of the marketplace. It also confirms the fact that Labor Day really isn't one of Hollywood's prime holiday weekends.
Coming, as it does, at the end of summer Labor Day Weekend is a holiday when people across the country are eager to enjoy a last taste of summer. They really don't want to spend time indoors seeing movies unless their outdoor plans are ruined by rain. In view of that, Hollywood has made a point of not taking the risk of opening major high profile films for Labor Day. That, in turn, has helped to perpetuate the holiday's box office weakness.
In 1995 Labor Day weekend (Sept. 1-4) saw key films gross $75.53 million. New Line's Mortal Kombat topped the chart with $8.3 million at 2,630 theaters ($3,151 per theater).
In 1996 Labor Day weekend (Aug. 30 - Sept. 2) saw key films gross $85.60 million. Miramax's opening of The Crow: City of Angels was No. 1 with $9.8 million at 2,423 theaters ($4,038 per theater). (Crow's launch was the best ever for a Labor Day weekend until this year's ESTIMATED $16.13 million for Jeepers Creepers.)
In 1997 Labor Day weekend (Aug. 29 - Sept. 1) saw key films gross $90.35 million. Buena Vista's G.I. Jane came in first with $10.3 million at 1,973 theaters ($5,211 per theater).
In 1998 Labor Day weekend (Sept. 4-7) saw the gross for key films fall to $81.89 million. 20th Century Fox's There's Something About Mary was number one with $10.9 million at 2,545 theaters ($4,291 per theater).
In 1999 Labor Day weekend (Sept. 3-6) saw the key films gross soar 34.3 percent to $109.98 million. (This was the best showing for key films over Labor Day until this year's ESTIMATED total of $110.28 million.) Buena Vista's The Sixth Sense placed first with $29.3 million at 2,775 theaters ($10,548 per theater), the best showing to date for a Labor Day weekend.
In 2000 Labor Day weekend (Sept. 1-4) saw the gross for key films slide 9.4 percent to $99.66 million. Universal's Bring It On was the grossing film with $14.2 million at 2,410 theaters ($5,880 per theater).
There were no other major openings this weekend.
There were no national sneak previews this weekend.
On the expansion front, this weekend saw Fox Searchlight Pictures R rated hit thriller The Deep End go wider in its fourth week with a still encouraging ESTIMATED $1.75 million at 326 theaters (+118 theaters; $5,368 per theater). (For three days it did an ESTIMATED $1.39 million). Its cume is approximately $4.8 million.
Written produced and directed by Scott McGehee and David Siegel, it stars Tilda Swinton, Goran Visnjic and Jonathan Tucker.
"We're in many small markets and suburban runs and while not all of them are great, our theater average for this number of runs (is very good)," Fox Searchlight distribution president Stephen Gilula said Sunday morning.
"It's holding extremely well in a number of our city runs. We have been able to expand. We will get a little bit further -- probably a little over 400 (playdates) next weekend and that will be the maximum expansion that we do. We expect the film to play through September and into the fall based on the strength of the holdovers. The film is getting quite enthusiastic word of mouth on the part of the audience, so it's very encouraging."
Revolution Studios and Columbia Pictures' PG-13 rated romantic comedy America's Sweethearts added theaters for the holiday weekend in its seventh week with a slow ESTIMATED $1.4 million at 1,565 theaters (+657 theaters; $885 per theater). Its cume is approximately $91.6 million.
Directed by Joe Roth, it stars Julia Roberts, Billy Crystal, Catherine Zeta-Jones and John Cusack.
DreamWorks' PG rated computer animated blockbuster Shrek added theaters for the holiday weekend in its 16th week with an OK ESTIMATED $1.1 million at 1,111 theaters (+356 theaters; $995 per theater). Its cume is approximately $262.9 million on its way to $270 million.
Directed by Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson, its voice talents include Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz and John Lithgow.
Buena Vista/Touchstone's PG-13 rated action romance Pearl Harbor from Jerry Bruckheimer Films returned to theaters for the holiday weekend in its 15th week with a dull ESTIMATED $1.0 million at 1,036 theaters (+1,036 theaters; $960 per theater). Its cume is approximately $196.5 million as it continues to struggle to get to $200 million in domestic theaters.
Directed by Michael Bay, Pearl was produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay. Its cast is led by Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett, Kate Beckinsale, Cuba Gooding Jr., Tom Sizemore, Jon Voight and Alec Baldwin.
Buena Vista/Disney's PG rated animated feature Atlantis added theaters for the holiday weekend in its 13th week with a slow ESTIMATED $0.9 million at 780 theaters (+655 theaters; $1,160 per theater). Its cume is approximately $82.4 million.
Directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise, its voice talents include Michael J. Fox, James Garner, Cree Summer and Leonard Nimoy.
MGM's release of United Artists' R rated youth appeal comedy Ghost World continued to widen in its seventh week with a still encouraging ESTIMATED $0.55 million at 81 theaters (+17 theaters; $6,728 per theater). (For three days it did an ESTIMATED $0.44 million). Its cume is approximately $3.2 million.
Directed by Terry Swigoff, it stars Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson, Brad Renfro, Illeana Douglas and Steve Buscemi.
Miramax's R rated Apocalypse Now Redux widened in its fifth week with a still promising ESTIMATED $0.5 million at 81 theaters (+15 theaters; $6,173 per theater). Its cume is approximately $2.7 million.
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, it stars Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Martin Sheen, Laurence Fishburne, Dennis Hopper and Harrison Ford.
Artisan's R rated comedy Made expanded in its eighth week with a weak ESTIMATED $0.32 million at 182 theaters (+15 theaters; $1,755 per theater). Its cume is approximately $4.6 million.
Written and directed by Jon Favreau, it stars Favreau, Vince Vaughn, Sean Combs, Famke Janssen, Faizon Love and Peter Falk.
On the international front, Universal reported that Jurassic Park III will crack $150 million this weekend, driven by strong launches in Italy and Australia.
In Italy, Jurassic Park III opened in first place to an ESTIMATED $1.9 million, a bigger opening than either The Mummy Returns or The Lost World: Jurassic Park
In Australia, Jurassic Park III kicked off in first place to an excellent ESTIMATED $2.0 million.
Jurassic Park III still has another 10 territories in which to open.
Universal also reported that its release of Bridget Jones's Diary hit $112 million this weekend.
Bridget's opening Saturday in Korea generated a very strong $220,000 with 55 playdates. In its second weekend in Germany, its Saturday gross of $1.0 million was up 75 percent from the prior Saturday. Its Thursday through Saturday gross of over $2 million was up 43 percent from opening weekend. Universal called it a "fantastic hold" in the face of Fox's Planet of the Apes opening in Germany in first place to over $4 million this weekend.
Bridget also held up well in Austria where its Friday - Saturday gross of $0.425 million was up 30 percent from last week's opening. For the two days, Universal said, Bridget was running neck and neck with Planet of the Apes and could edge it out for first place depending on Sunday's ticket sales.
In the U.K., Universal said, its release of Crocodile Dundee 3 held well in its second weekend with $0.256 million for Friday - Saturday, down only 20 percent from its opening last week.
Key films -- those grossing more than $500,000 -- took in approximately $110.28 million for the four-day weekend, up about 10.66 per cent from the comparable holiday weekend last year when key films grossed $99.66 million.
This holiday weekend's key film gross for four days cannot be compared to last weekend of this year, which was a normal three-day weekend.
Last year, Universal's second week of Bring It On was first with $14.17 million at 2,410 theaters ($5,880 per theater); and New Line's third week of The Cell was second with $8.93 million at 2,444 theaters ($3,654 per theater). The top two films one year ago grossed $23.1 million. This year, the top two films grossed an ESTIMATED $27.8 million.
On the only holiday when movie theaters regularly see a major fall-off in attendance rather than a significant rise, the opening of MGM's Jeepers Creepers proved to be an exception. The movie grossed an estimated $15.8 million for the four-day weekend, far and away the most ever earned for a Labor Day debut. The previous record was held by The Crow: City of Angels, which opened over the Labor Day holiday in 1996 with $9.8 million. It was the second R-rated film in a month (the other being American Pie 2) that made it to the top of the box-office charts despite seemingly being directed at teens -- a fact which has raised suspicions that theaters may again be relaxing their enforcement of the R rating. Another R-rated film, Lion's Gate's O, based on Shakespeare's Othello, debuted at No. 7 with $6.9 million, but its per-screen average of $5,379 was well above expectations. The top 12 films together earned $94.7 million for the four days, up 24 percent above the same period a year ago, according to Exhibitor Relations.
The top ten films for the four-day weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Exhibitor Relations:
1. Jeepers Creepers, $15.8 million; 2. Rush Hour 2, $11.8 million; 3. American Pie 2, $11.7 million; 4. The Others, $10 million; 5. Rat Race, $9.2 million; 6. The Princess Diaries, $7.6 million; 7. O, $6.9 million; 8. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, $6.4 million; 9. Summer Catch, $5 million; 10. Captain Corelli's Mandolin, $4.1 million.
That green-eyed monster called jealousy rears its ugly head this Labor Day weekend, but whether it scares off the competition hinges upon the very controversy that kept it under lock and key for two years.
Tim Blake Nelson's "O" became an indirect victim of the recent rash of high school-related killings, with a wary Miramax constantly delaying its release following one shooting incident after another. Nelson took legal action, and Miramax eventually handed the teen drama over to Lions Gate. The reason: Nelson all too faithfully re-stages Shakespeare's Othello in a high school, with the deceit and treacherous unfolding on and off the basketball court with bloody consequences.
Though driven by a hip-hop soundtrack, and sporting a cast that includes teen heartthrobs Julia Stiles and Josh Hartnett, Nelson's "O" is a serious-minded and uncompromising adaptation of one of the Bard's greatest plays. Anyone who has read or seen the play knows that it ends tragically. As does "O", but not in a way that would summon up the terrible events at such schools as Columbine. Still, its climax proves the film's undoing, because what worked in a Renaissance-era Venice does not seem applicable to a 21st-centruy South Carolinian high school.
Lions Gate is clearly hoping lightning will strike twice. It scored a $30.6 million hit in Dogma after obtaining Kevin Smith's satirical religious epic from Miramax.
Hartnett, surprisingly convincing as a modern-day Iago, is hot after Pearl Harbor. Stiles is already a Shakespearean poster girl for starring in The Taming of the Shrew-inspired 10 Things I Hate About You and the New York-set Hamlet. She also is once again playing the race card. Her MTV-ish interracial romance Save the Last Dance boogied its way to a $91 million in January. Despite the presence of both, "O" may have trouble so much as matching Save the Last Dance's $23.4 million opening during its entire run.
Compounding "O"'s problems: a Labor Day weekend opening, a holiday notorious pathetically weak turnouts for new films; strong opposition in the form of lighthearted teen holdovers American Pie 2 and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back; and the arrival of the Francis Ford Coppola-executive produced horror yarn Jeepers Creepers.
Jeepers Creepers may have the edge over "O" by virtue that it will play in 2,900-plus theaters. "O" will go out in about 1,400-plus theaters.
Not that Jeepers Creepers is going to have an easy time this weekend. The best Labor Day weekend opening came in 1996, when The Crow: City of Angels experienced a less-than-soaring $8.3 million over the four-day weekend.
Jeepers Creepers also faces a formidable foe in the The Others, whose Sixth Sense-like surprises has propelled the Nicole Kidman chiller to $48.8 million through Wednesday. Still, Jeepers Creepers should have the edge over John Carpenter's horror/sci-fi hybrid Ghosts of Mars, which crashed last weekend with $3.8 million and has scared up only $4.9 million through Wednesday.
Even with weak competition in "O" and Jeepers Creepers, current box office champ American Pie 2 might not succeed in its bid to be the last year's first film to enjoy its No. 1 status for four weeks. Rush Hour 2 reclaimed the box office top spot on Tuesday and Wednesday, with its total now at $186.9 million. The difference came down to a handful of dollars, but it nevertheless indicates that audiences might prefer to see Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker bust heads this weekend than watch Jason Biggs and Chris Klein try to score.
American Pie 2, with its total at $112 million through Wednesday, now ranks as one of those rare sequels to outgross--no pun intended--its predecessor. The same goes for Rush Hour 2, which could speed past $200 million this weekend.
Disney will reissue Pearl Harbor in the hope that the critically mauled World War II romance also will cross the $200 million barrier. Its total stands at $195.5 million. Disney also will give the animated Atlantis: The Lost Empire a second shot at glory. Atlantis' total: a disappointing $81.4 million.
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back looks set to become Kevin Smith's biggest hit. The Hollywood spoof has generated $14.3 million through Wednesday, or just under half of what Dogma made in 1999.
Expect prompt disappearing acts from major flops Summer Catch, Captain Corelli's Mandolin and Bubble Boy.
Also, Woody Allen's The Curse of the Jade Scorpion isn't catching fire with anyone beyond his loyal followers. The screwball comedy opened last weekend in 902 theaters with a pitiful $2.4 million. In comparison, Small Time Crooks opened in May 2000 with $3.9 million at 865 theaters. Looks like Allen's been hit good and hard by a curse of his making.