Worthington’s spokeswoman recently confirmed reports that he’d had to drop out of the running for Joe due to scheduling conflicts with his role in James Cameron‘s Avatar. Cameron has apparently found it difficult to finish his latest sci-fi epic, and the continual pushbacks eventually created an overlap.
So…who’s your Duke, Joe fans? According to Latino Review, producers focused their post-Worthington hunt on three actors — Chris Evans, Channing Tatum, and Matthew Fox — and now, sayeth Ain’t It Cool News (and confirmed by Variety), the search is over. Drumroll, please…
Channing Tatum, Real American Hero!
As AICN notes, Tatum got his start as “Boy in Church” in Spielberg‘s War of the Worlds, and followed it with parts in pictures such as She’s the Man and Step Up — but the buzz surrounding his work in the upcoming Stop-Loss suggests he’s made the jump to more adult roles. That won’t prevent cries of “First Marlon Wayans, now this” from rising up out of the fanboy depths, but hey, it’s G.I. Joe. Is anyone expecting Oscar-level depth here?
Well, maybe you are — and if that’s the case, Variety‘s report that Dennis Quaid has also joined the Joe cast, as “grizzled team leader Hawk,” should help you feel a little better about the direction Sommers’ squad is heading. Who couldn’t use a little extra Quaid in their day?
Jodie Foster will find herself in the middle of a catfight over the number one spot this weekend. The star of current chart-topper The Brave One will face challenges from Milla Jovovich‘s new action sequel Resident Evil: Extinction, Jessica Alba‘s romantic comedy Good Luck Chuck, and the Amanda Bynes college laugher Sydney White. With adult-skewing dramas ruling the box office over the past couple of weeks, teens and young adults should be out in full force this weekend thanks to the selection of new options.
Deadly viruses and killer zombies are back in Sony’s Extinction, the latest and final chapter in its video game-inspired action-horror franchise. The series has been a popular one with the first Resident Evil opening to $17.7M in March 2002 and its sequel Resident Evil: Apocalypse debuting to a stronger $23M in September 2004. Each averaged about $7,000 over the debut frame. The R-rated Extinction will play to the converted and is not likely to generate any new fans. In fact, some will drop out thinking a third helping is a bit too much. Still the built-in audience of young adults and gamers plus a solid marketing push guarantee a top spot launch. Attacking over 2,700 locations, Resident Evil: Extinction could capture roughly $20M over the three-day debut period.
3:10 to Yuma posted a solid hold last weekend and this time a similar drop could result. The Lionsgate release might dip by 35% to around $6M raising the total to $37M after 17 days.
LAST YEAR: Johnny Knoxville and his partners in crime landed a big number one opening for Jackass: Number Two which bowed to $29M. The Paramount sequel went on to collect $72.8M. Focus debuted in second with another R-rated film aimed at young men, the Jet Li actioner Fearless, which grossed $10.6M. The historical pic reached $24.6M. Sony’s football drama Gridiron Gang dropped two spots to third with $9.5M in its sophomore frame. Opening poorly in fourth was the action flick Flyboys with only $6M for MGM on its way to $13.1M. The animated film Everyone’s Hero rounded out the top five with $4.7M. Premiering to dismal results was the Sean Penn vehicle All the King’s Men (the third new release to take place in the past) with $3.7M for Sony. It quickly ended its run with a poor $7.2M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
Who remembers the old Disney flick Escape from Witch Mountain? OK, and of those people, how many think there should be a remake? OK, everyone else can just leave.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, director Andy Fickman has been signed to helm a remake of the mild 1975 chiller Escape to Witch Mountain. If you’ve seen Who’s Your Daddy?, Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical, or (ugh) She’s the Man, then you’re already familiar with the collected works of Mr. Fickman.
Based on a novel by Alexander Key, the Disney film was popular enough to warrant a sequel (Return from Witch Mountain), a TV movie (Beyond Witch Mountain), and a TV remake (in 1995) — so another remake is only logical, really.
Apparently Disney is ramping this project up for a quick turnaround. Awesome.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Though a highly-paid and well-liked star, Sandra Bullock has never been a big pull on opening weekend for her films. Now the actress hopes to reach a career high with her new suspense thriller "Premonition."
The PG-13 chiller finds the acclaimed actress playing a woman who finds herself in a parallel existence where her husband has been killed in an accident. No other major stars are here so this is Bullock’s to make or break. Most of her major hits have opened only in the mid-teen millions. Surprisingly, the star’s biggest debut ever has been only $16.2M delivered by both "Speed 2" in 1997 and "The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" in 2002.
"Premonition" should skew female and play to a mature crowd. Teen interest could be mild. Those who find "300" too gory and violent might choose this pic for their weekend thrills. And when it comes to marketing scary flicks, nobody does it better than Sony. But critics have not been too kind thus far and that may make older women hesitate. Plus "Wild Hogs" will provide some competition as Travolta and company have been drawing a solid female following. Creeping into 2,831 theaters, "Premonition" could open with around $17M this weekend.
Chris Rock takes on the roles of writer, director, star, and producer in his latest comedy "I Think I Love My Wife" playing a bored businessman and husband who is tempted by a curvy female friend. A remake of the 1972 French film "Chloe in the Afternoon," the R-rated pic co-stars Kerry Washington, Gina Torres, and Steve Buscemi. The Fox Searchlight release should play to a mature adult crowd given the theme and may struggle to connect with Rock’s single young male following. The African American audience will make up a significant portion of the overall turnout as the former Saturday Night Live star still has some pull at the box office. But reviews have been underwhelming which could affect older moviegoers. Rock has been out promoting "Wife" feverishly and is counting on his core fan base to show up. The previous spring comedies he headlined were 2003’s "Head of State" and 2001’s "Down to Earth" which bowed to $13.5M and $17.3M respectively. However, those more commercial pics were given wider releases. Stepping into 1,776 locations, "I Think I Love My Wife" could debut to about $9M.
Horror flicks have not exactly been on fire in 2007 and Universal’s new release "Dead Silence" is not about to change things. The R-rated film about a talking dummy that terrorizes victims comes from James Wan, writer-director of the first "Saw" film. That has become its only marketing tool as otherwise, "Dead" looks and feels like any generic fright flick. Even its title is blah. Typically there is always some audience for every slasher pic so a modest bow could result, especially if fans of Jigsaw who don’t want to wait seven months for another "Saw" installment come out to see what Wan has been up to. Young adults looking for violence this weekend are much more likely to see "300" which will be a hard film to battle. Opening in 1,802 theaters, "Dead Silence" might debut with a quiet $6M.
"300" reigned supreme over the box office last weekend leaving the competition in the dust with a colossal opening far bigger than anyone expected. The Spartan war tale has joined the year’s other biggest hits – "Ghost Rider," "Wild Hogs," and "Norbit" – as films lacking critical acclaim but still debuting far ahead of industry expectations. "300" is the best-reviewed of the lot and has generated the most buzz. A large drop is expected since last weekend’s tally included Thursday midnight shows and because of the intense upfront demand which drew so much of the total audience in the first week.
King Leonidas and company have kept the momentum going with strong midweek sales as Monday saw $7.6M and Tuesday dipped to $6.5M. These are huge numbers for this time of year and college students on spring break may certainly be a contributing factor. Competition from the new films will not be much of a factor, however the start of the NCAA college basketball tournament will take many young males out of the picture. A 55% fall for "300" would still give the Warner Bros. juggernaut a comfortable lead in first place with about $32M. The ten-day total would surge to a staggering $127M.
The motorcycle comedy "Wild Hogs" has been enjoying good legs with a 31% drop last weekend. The new crop of films should not pose too much of a threat and the Tim Allen–John Travolta pic could retain its silver medal standing on the charts. A 30% decline to $19M should occur leaving Buena Vista with a terrific $103M after 17 days. That would give 2007 three $100M+ blockbusters by mid-March. A year ago, none had reached nine digits at this same point.
LAST YEAR: With a haircut that would later inspire Britney Spears, Natalie Portman debuted atop the charts with the sci-fi thriller "V For Vendetta" which opened to $25.6M. The Warner Bros. release went on to capture $70.5M domestically and $131M worldwide. Falling a notch each were the romantic comedy "Failure to Launch" with $15.6M and "The Shaggy Dog" with $13.4M. Paramount opened the teen girl comedy "She’s the Man" in fourth place with an estimated $10.7M on its way to $33.7M. "The Hills Have Eyes" rounded out the top five with $8M in its sophomore scare.
Source: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
Are you between the ages of 13 and 19? Do you like … stuff? Then click right here and cast your votes for the 329th annual Teen Choice Awards, which is where you can tell the universe that Puffy is more illing than Snoop Dogg, Will Ferrell is funnier than Brad Pitt, and Katie Holmes is cuter than Katey Sagal. Or something.
Click right here for the ballot, but don’t even think of voting if you’re older than 19. The Teen Choice Awards employ a bunch of enforcers who’ll come to your house and check your birth certificate.
I had to lie about my age to check out the nominees (don’t tell anyone), but the TCAs are poised to celebrate some of the following flicks:
Best Action Adventure: "King Kong," "Mission Impossible 3," "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest," "Superman Returns," "V for Vendetta," "X-Men: The Last Stand"
They also have a bunch of actor’s categories, but the choices managed to somehow get even sillier. Click here to cast your votes, kids.
Not even remotely surprising is the fact that the new Natalie Portman action epic "V for Vendetta" was #1 at the weekend box office, as it’s a title that’s been talked up and touted for about half a year now. The $50+ million project opened a few months later than expected, but it still did so in fairly impressive fashion. The Wachowski/WB production hauled in an estimated $26.1 million from 3,300 theaters, giving "Vendetta" the #1 spot by more than 10 million bucks.
Clocking in at second place was Paramount’s rom-com "Failure to Launch," which added an extra $15.8 million to its $48.4 million total. Third place went to another hanger-on, the Disney remake "The Shaggy Dog." The mutt made another $13.6 million, putting its total right around $35.8 million.
A first-weekend newcomer hit the scene in fourth place: DreamWorks’ gender-switch teen-com "She’s the Man" made about $11 million from 2,600 theaters. Rounding out the top 5 was Searchlight’s "The Hills Have Eyes," which tumbled nearly 50% from last week. ($8m weekend; $28.7m total)
Limited releasers saw some good news and some bad news. Fox Searchlight’s "Thank You for Smoking" debuted in five theaters and earned $52,000 per, while Sidney Lumet‘s "Find Me Guilty" showed up in 439 theaters and made only $1,430 per. Yowch.
As always, the Rotten Tomatoes Box Office Page is open and awaiting your perusal.
This week’s wide releases highlight a rarely-tread path in modern cinema, as both pics feature two of America’s sweethearts — every geek’s fave, Natalie Portman, and cute little Amanda Bynes — enduring two very different boyish makeovers, with two very different results. Will "Vendetta" live up to the hype? Can a girly "Man" make teens swoon for Shakespeare? The scribes will tell us!
Ah, the hype. "V for Vendetta," arguably the year’s first event movie, has been generating the loudest buzz for months — and critics say it’s justified. Produced by the Wachowski brothers (masters of the Matrices), and starring Natalie Portman and a fully masked Hugo Weaving, "Vendetta" tells the story of a near-future dystopia, where a lone freedom fighter named V (Weaving) plots a series of revolutionary bombings to bring down a shady, secretly policed government. Along the way, V recruits young, frightened Evey (Portman), shaves her head, and turns her into a proper young revolutionary. The scribes say this political thriller is high on politics as well as thrills, with a few stunning set pieces augmenting an austere, yet stylish, mise-en-scene; however, the incendiary tone of its politics — which have been labeled terrorist-like by some — is more than a bit difficult for some to stomach in this post-9/11 day and age. Nevertheless, "V for Vendetta" is enjoying Fresh status with a 68% score on the Tomatometer, and the critical mass urges at least one thought-provoking viewing.
Faring worse at the hands of the critics, "She’s The Man" is a teen-oriented take on Shakespeare’s gender-bender "Twelfth Night," from two of the writers of a better Bard treatment, "10 Things I Hate About You." TV teen queen Amanda Bynes stars as Viola, a prep school tomboy who decides to impersonate her twin brother Sebastian in order to play on his soccer team. Donning a short wig and boy’s clothing, Viola infiltrates Illyria Prep, but soon falls for her dreamy roommate, who’s crushing on a pretty blonde, who has the hots for the undercover Viola; hilarity and sexual confusion ensue. Unfortunately, the scribes say this comedy of errors is just that, with an erratic comic timing, unbelievable plotlines, and too-broad jokes that make you feel embarrassed for Bynes — the actress, not her character. At 50% on the Tomatometer, "She’s" not quite "The Man."
Recent Big-Screen Graphic Novel Adaptations
38% — Art School Confidential (2006)
87% — A History of Violence (2005)
78% — Sin City (2005)
18% — The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)
95% — American Splendor (2003)
83% — Road to Perdition (2002)
92% — Ghost World (2001)
56% — From Hell (2001)
Anyone remember the teenaged "Tootsie" with the gender-twist called "Just One of the Guys"? The one where the hot teenage girl posed as a guy and got into all sorts of wacky high school situations? Well, apparently someone wanted to remake it with Amanda Bynes in the lead. It’s called "She’s the Man." Here’s the trailer.
"Viola Johnson (Amanda Bynes) had her own good reasons for disguising herself as her twin brother Sebastian (James Kirk) and enrolling in his place at his new boarding school, Illyria Prep. She was counting on Sebastian being AWOL from school as he tried to break into the music scene in London. What she didn’t count on was falling in love with her hot roommate, Duke (Channing Tatum), who in turn only has eyes for the beautiful Olivia (Laura Ramsey). Making matters worse, Olivia is starting to fall for Sebastian, who—for reasons Olivia couldn’t begin to guess—appears to be the sensitive type of guy she’d always dreamed of meeting. If things weren’t complicated enough, the real Sebastian has come back from London two days earlier than expected and arrives on campus having no clue that he’s been replaced…by his own twin sister."
(Also, William Shakespeare’s "Twelfth Night" is being cited as source material, because we all know how much Shakespeare loved a good soccer-ball-in-the-crotch gag.)