Movie remakes tend to get an automatic bad rap, but this time we’re putting some numbers behind it. Take the original’s Tomatometer rating, subtract by the remake’s number, and voila: the 24 worst movie remakes by Tomatometer!

Three new competitors were no match this weekend for the mighty action epic "300," which easily defended its box office crown to rule North American theaters for a second straight time. Sandra Bullock reached a new career high with the thriller "Premonition," which debuted in third place while the horror film "Dead Silence" and the Chris Rock comedy "I Think I Love My Wife" opened in the top five with mixed results. "300" grossed as much as all three new releases combined.

It was another decisive victory for Warner Bros. as "300" commanded the top spot with an estimated $31.2M in its second weekend dropping a sizable 56% from its record launch. Averaging a stellar $9,537 from 3,270 locations, the R-rated historical actioner raised its ten-day tally to a remarkable $127.5M making it the top-grossing film of 2007 in a short period of time.

300’s second weekend gross was even bigger than the opening weekends for recent R-rated spring actioners like "Sin City," "Constantine," and "V for Vendetta." Those films all dropped by more than half in their sophomore frames and collected 66-69% of their final grosses in the first ten days. 300 could follow in the same pattern and reach a colossal $180-190M domestically. That would be an impressive tally for a film with an estimated production cost of $60-65M.

Overseas, the Spartan sensation scored number one openings this weekend in South Korea, Turkey, Thailand, Hong Kong, and India and grossed an estimated $15.6M overall from over 1,300 screens in 13 markets. The international total stands at $24.6M with major invasions scheduled this week in Europe and the United Kingdom.

Buena Vista held steady in second place again with the motorcycle comedy "Wild Hogs," which dropped only 32% to an estimated $18.8M in its third weekend. The Tim AllenJohn Travolta hit crossed the $100M mark on Sunday in its 17th day of release pushing the cume to $104M. Despite dreadful reviews, "Wild Hogs" is holding up very well and could find its way to a sensational $150M domestically.

Sandra Bullock scared up the biggest opening of her career with the supernatural thriller "Premonition," which collected an estimated $18M to land in third place. The PG-13 film about a woman who relives a day in her life and tries to prevent the death of her husband averaged a solid $6,358 from 2,831 venues. Reviews were mostly negative for the Sony release. "Premonition," Bullock’s first spooky thriller, beat out her previous best opening weekend performance of $16.2M which was generated by both "Speed 2" in 1997 and "The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" in 2002. Adult women as expected led the way for the $20M production with studio research showing that 66% of the audience was female and 61% were 25 or older.

Universal scared up a decent opening for its new horror entry "Dead Silence," which debuted in 1,805 theaters to an estimated $7.8M. Averaging a moderate $4,305 per location, the R-rated film about a ventriliquist’s dummy on a deadly rampage was marketed as being from the director of "Saw," James Wan. Reviews were not too bad for a fright flick not screened in advance for critics and actually scored the best marks of the weekend’s three new releases.

Chris Rock saw a mild opening for his new comedy "I Think I Love My Wife," which bowed to an estimated $5.7M from 1,776 locations for a $3,218 average. The Fox Searchlight release was written, directed, and produced by the former Oscar host who also played the lead, a mild-mannered husband tempted by a lovely young woman. Reviews were mostly negative. The opening for Wife failed to reach the heights of some of Rock’s other spring comedies like 2001’s "Down to Earth" ($17.3M, $6,850 average) or 2003’s "Head of State" ($13.5M, $6,278 average), which he also directed.

Disney’s "Bridge to Terabithia" enjoyed the smallest decline in the top ten dipping just 24% in its fifth weekend to an estimated $5.1M for a solid $74.9M cume. Sony actioner "Ghost Rider" fell 40% to an estimated $4M lifitng the domestic total to $110.2M. Worldwide, the Nicolas Cage film will surpass the $200M mark later this week.

Paramount’s acclaimed serial killer drama "Zodiac" continued to struggle with paying customers tumbling another 54% to an estimated $3.1M giving the David Fincher thriller a disappointing $28.9M in 17 days. The critically-panned Eddie Murphy comedy "Norbit," on the other hand, has been pleasing audiences and dropped 36% to an estimated $2.7M pushing the cume to $92.4M for the studio. Rounding out the top ten was the Hugh GrantDrew Barrymore comedy "Music and Lyrics" with an estimated $2.2M, down 41%, giving Warner Bros. $47.4M to date.

Three films dropped out of the top ten over the weekend. The slave trade drama "Amazing Grace" had strong legs once again and slipped just 17% to an estimated $2M. With $14.4M in the bank, the Samuel Goldwyn/Roadside Attractions release could end its run with $20M or more. Universal’s FBI thriller "Breach" has found success with its moderate release. The R-rated entry grossed an estimated $1.5M, off 42%, for a $31.3M total while playing in roughly 1,500 theaters during the past month. A $34M final seems likely. Jim Carrey‘s horror flick "The Number 23" has grossed $33.5M to date and should finish with a not-so-impressive $35M overall.

In limited release, the best per-theater average once again came from Fox Searchlight’s "The Namesake," which expanded from six to 41 theaters and grossed an estimated $692,000 for a strong $16,874 per location. The total for the well-reviewed Mira Nair film has reached $1.1M and the Indian-American drama will widen to over 100 theaters this Friday. Also doing well in limited play was the foreign language Oscar winner "The Lives of Others," which took in an estimated $839,000. The German film dipped only 2% with no extra theaters and Sony Classics has grossed $4.6M to date.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $98.6M which was up 10% from last year when "V for Vendetta" opened at number one with $25.6M; but off 4% from 2005 when "The Ring 2" debuted on top with $35.1M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

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.


Does the premonition say anything about a low box office?

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.


Chris Rock tries the adult comedy genre in "I Think I Love My Wife."

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.


"Dead Silence," … I’m speechless already.

"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 AllenJohn 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

This week at the movies, we’ve got capsizing vessels ("Poseidon"), capsizing fortunes ("Just My Luck"), and goooooooooaaaaaals ("Goal!"). Which of these movies will score with critics?

As the Oscar-winning theme of "The Poseidon Adventure" put it, "there’s got to be a morning after." In this day and age, there’s got to be a big-budget quasi-remake. The latest is "Poseidon," Wolfgang Petersen‘s third boat movie ("Das Boot" and "The Perfect Storm" are the others.) Josh Lucas and Kurt Russell star as the leaders of a group trying to escape an overturned, sinking cruise ship. The critics say the film has some decent action scenes, but virtually no character development or good lines. At 36 percent on the Tomatometer, "Poseidon" is all wet.


Jacinda Barrett and Josh Lucas run from the critical tide.

There’s a Lou Reed album called "Growing Up in Public," and few embody those words like Lindsay Lohan. She’s the star of "Just My Luck," a screwball comedy about how a kiss reverses the fortunes of the world’s luckiest girl and the unluckiest guy. The film marks the end of Lohan’s teen queen phase; with this (and Robert Altman‘s "A Prairie Home Companion") she’s now playing adult characters. But critics say "Just My Luck" is still pretty juvenile, a lightweight rom-com that isn’t nearly sprightly enough. At 25 percent on the Tomatometer, the scribes say this one’s "Just" not that good.


More excitement than a Friday night at Bungalow 8.

We love inspirational sports flicks. We must, as the studios keep making them. The latest entry is "Goal!," the first in a trilogy about a kid from East L.A. who ends up in Britain’s Premier division. The scribes say this is a better-than-average, utterly predictable film with a good performance by Kuno Becker as the up-by-the-bootstraps (or is it cleatstraps?) footballer. At 54 percent on the Tomatometer, this one’s a draw.


"Goal!" is the best movie about kicking things since "Kickboxer 4."

Recent Wolfgang Petersen Movies:
——————————————
55% — Troy (2004)
48% — The Perfect Storm (2000)
77% — Air Force One (1997)
56% — Outbreak (1995)
97% — In the Line of Fire (1993)

Recent Lindsay Lohan Movies:
————————————–
100% — A Prairie Home Companion (2006)
42% — Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005)
13% — Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (2004)
86% — Mean Girls (2004)
83% — Freaky Friday (2003)

This week at the movies we’ve got a Secret Service agent on a mission ("The Sentinel"), an "American Idol"- skewering political satire ("American Dreamz") and a very creepy town ("Silent Hill"). What do the critics have to say?

A Secret Service agent is determined to save the president from an assassination attempt. It’s a setup that has worked successfully before ("In the Line of Fire"), but critics say "The Sentinel" isn’t sharp enough to make good on its premise. Michael Douglas stars as the agent who falls into a web of intrigue, and Kiefer Sutherland, who’s getting pretty good at foiling conspiracies, plays his protege. Critics say the film is slick, but a bit too convoluted to really work. At 26 percent on the Tomatometer, this "Sentinel" is not very well-fortified.

What is "American Dreamz?" Is it a comedy? A satire? An ambitious attempt to capture the zeitgeist of our politically divided, entertainment-craving times? More to the point, is Paul Weitz‘s latest any good? In parts, the critics say, but not as a whole. "American Dreamz" tells the story of a recently re-elected, now intellectually curious president (Dennis Quaid) who makes a guest appearance on a popular TV singing competition where would-be songbirds and would-be terrorists convene. The critics say "American Dreamz" is a bit too ambitious for its own good, and lacks the sharp bite to really work as satire. At 38 percent on the Tomatometer, this one may not be the stuff that "Dreamz" are made of.

We’re guessing that the people behind "Silent Hill" would consider the little girl on the poster to be the perfect movie critic for one reason: she’s got no mouth. And there isn’t anything for the critics to say, because, like a bunch of other movies this year (all of which have turned out to be critical duds), "Silent Hill" was not screened for the scribes. Kids, you know what that means: Guess the Tomatometer! And while you’re at it, get a glimpse of the film in the Rotten Tomatoes’ "Silent Hill" photo gallery.

Recent Michael Douglas Movies:
————————————–
37% — The In-Laws (2003)
29% — It Runs in the Family (2003)
23% — Don’t Say a Word (2001)
32% — One Night at McCool’s (2001)
83% — Wonder Boys (2000)

Recent Paul Weitz Movies:
——————————–
82% — In Good Company (2004)
94% — About a Boy (2002)
17% — Down to Earth (2001)
60% — American Pie (1999)

Comedy director Chris Weitz has signed on to helm "The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists" for Columbia Pictures, a project based on a popular New York Times article from 2004. Said article was also stretched into a book, both of which will be used for the flick’s source material.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, "Chris Weitz has signed on to adapt and produce Neil Strauss’ best-selling seduction tome "The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists" for Columbia Pictures. Strauss’ first-person story, which originally ran as a Sunday Style article in the New York Times in 2004, chronicled Strauss’ transformation from lovelorn loser to lothario. Sony topper Amy Pascal read the comedic article and quickly optioned it as well as the subsequent book, published by ReganBooks in September."

Along with his brother Paul, Chris Weitz is the co-director of "American Pie," "Down to Earth," and "About a Boy."

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