This week brings a wealth of new choices from Netflix and Fandor, including a recent award-winning indie, a few Oscar winners, some acclaimed classics from legendary directors, and a Netflix holiday special starring Bill Murray. Read on for details:


New on Netflix:

 

Two Step (2014) 100%

This noirish thriller follows a down-on-his-luck man who gets ensnared by a con artist who preys on seniors.

Available now on: Netflix


Tangerine (2015) 96%

This Certified Fresh indie darling focuses on one wild day in the lives of two transgender sex workers, one of whom has just finished a short stint in jail, only to find out her pimp boyfriend has been cheating on her.

Available now on: Netflix


About a Boy (2002) 93%

Hugh Grant and Nicholas Hoult star in Paul and Chris Weitz’s Certified Fresh comedy about an underachieving womanizer who meets his match in the form of his latest conquest’s precocious 12-year-old son.

Available now on: Netflix


Stations of the Cross (2014) 93%

This bold film from Germany chronicles a teenage girl’s preparation for her Catholic confirmation, hoping her increasingly severe sacrifices will help cure her autistic brother.

Available now on: Netflix


American Beauty (1999) 87%

Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening headline an ensemble cast in Sam Mendes’ Certified Fresh Best Picture winner about a pair of families whose seemingly perfect suburban lives mask deep unrest in different ways.

Available now on: Netflix


Darkman (1990) 83%

Liam Neeson stars in Sam Raimi’s Certified Fresh hero tale about a scientist who receives superhuman powers in a criminal explosion and sets about getting his revenge.

Available now on: Netflix


Ray (2004) 79%

Jamie Foxx earned a Best Actor Oscar for his work as Ray Charles in Taylor Hackford’s Certified Fresh biopic, which chronicles 30 years in the legendary artist’s life.

Available now on: Netflix


Private Parts (1997) 75%

Howard Stern stars as himself in this Certified Fresh biographical comedy, based on his own book about himself. It sounds ridiculous, we know, but the film is actually well crafted and endearing, not to mention hilarious.

Available now on: Netflix


A League of Their Own (1992) 80%

Geena Davis, Lori Petty, Rosie O’Donnell, Madonna, and Tom Hanks star in this fictionalized account of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

Available now on: Netflix


Eyes Wide Shut (1999) 76%

Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman star in Stanley Kubrick’s psychological thriller about a married man who embarks on a dreamlike sexual odyssey one night after learning his wife once contemplated having an affair.

Available now on: Netflix


A Very Murray Christmas (2015) 68%

Bill Murray stars in Netflix’s original holiday special, directed by Sofia Coppola, in which the amiable comedian signs on to do a Christmas TV special but needs to think fast when a snowstorm prevents any of the scheduled stars from appearing. The parade of cameos includes George Clooney, Amy Poehler, Miley Cyrus, Chris Rock, and more.

Available now on: Netflix


New on Fandor

 

The Golden Coach (1953) 100%

Jean Renoir’s period drama centers on the star of an Italian theatre troupe touring in Peru who catches the eye of the local viceroy.

Available now on: Fandor


Fanny and Alexander (1982) 100%

Ingmar Bergman’s semi-autobiographical film follows 10-year-old Alexander, whose life is upended when his father suddenly dies and his mother remarries, this time to a strict clergyman.

Available now on: Fandor


Almost There (2014) 82%

This documentary tells the story of Peter Anton, an 82-year-old man who has spent several decades chronicling his own life in autobiographical artwork.

Available now on: Fandor


Fifi Az Khoshhali Zooze Mikeshad (2013) 100%

Another recent documentary that profiles an artist, this film focuses on Bahman Mohassess, whose paintings and sculptures from pre-revolutionary Iran earned him the nickname “Persian Picasso.”

Available now on: Fandor


The Seventh Seal (1957) 94%

Ingmar Bergman’s oft-referenced meditative fantasy masterpiece stars Max von Sydow as a medieval knight in Sweden who returns from war and engages Death in a game of chess.

Available now on: Fandor


My Dinner With Andre (1981) 92%

Louis Malle’s unconventional film revolves around a single dinner conversation between actor/playwright Wallace Shawn and theater director Andre Gregory.

Available now on: Fandor


The Last Metro (1980) 86%

François Truffaut’s drama set in Paris during the Nazi occupation stars Catherine Deneuve as a theater actress compelled to keep the show going, even as her Jewish husband hides out in the theater.

Available now on: Fandor


Mesrine: Part 1 - Death Instinct (2008) 82%

Vincent Cassel stars in the first of two films about Jacques Mesrine, a former soldier in 1960s Paris who embraces the criminal lifestyle and quickly moves up the ladder.

Available now on: Fandor


Mesrine: Part II - Public Enemy 1 (2008) 81%

Vincent Cassel returns as the titular gangster, now in police custody and facing prison, who escapes and reinvents himself as public anti-hero with celebrity status.

Available now on: Fandor


Available for Purchase

 

Meet the Patels (2014) 87%

Ravi Patel’s Certified Fresh documentary hilariously chronicles his family’s persistent attempts to find him a spouse.

Available 12/4 on: AmazoniTunes, Vudu


The Visit (2015) 68%

M. Night Shyamalan’s return to suspense cinema revolves around a brother and sister who are sent to spend some time with their increasingly odd — and increasingly frightening — grandparents.

Available now on: iTunes, Vudu


Hitman: Agent 47 (2015) 8%

Rupert Friend stars in this action thriller as a deadly, genetically engineered assassin who sets out to stop an evil corporation from using the same technology to create an army of its own.

Available Dec. 11 on: Amazon, Google PlayiTunes

This week in streaming video, we’ve got a little something for everyone, whether you’re looking for award winners, horror flicks, indie hits, documentaries, or sitcoms. Read on for the full list.


New on Netflix:

 

Lawrence of Arabia (1962) 94%

Peter O’Toole and Omar Sharif lead an all-star cast in David Lean’s historical epic based on the life of T.E. Lawrence, a British military officer who spent significant time in the Arabian peninsula during World War I and forged alliances with the desert tribes present there at the time. The film won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.

Available now on: Netflix


Insomnia (2002) 92%

Christopher Nolan’s Certified Fresh remake of the Norwegian thriller of the same name stars Al Pacino as an Alaskan detective who mistakenly shoots his partner while in pursuit of a dangerous killer and Robin Williams as the killer himself, who witnesses the crime and knows the truth.

Available now on: Netflix


Up in the Air (2009) 90%

George Clooney stars as Ryan Bingham, who has accumulated big frequent flyer mileage from his company, which tasks him with firing people in person. But when the corporation cuts back on travel, will Bingham still cross paths with a fellow traveler (Vera Farmiga)?

Available now on: Netflix


The Blair Witch Project (1999) 86%

Full of creepy campfire scares, mock-doc The Blair Witch Project keeps audiences in the dark about its titular villain — thus proving that imagination can be as scary as anything onscreen.

Available now on: Netflix


Person of Interest: Season 3 (2013) 100%

Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson star in this CBS sci-fi drama about an ex-CIA agent who teams up with a scientist to stop crimes before they take place. Seasons one through three are available to stream now.

Available now on: Netflix


Private Parts (1997) 75%

Based on the eponymous autobiography by Howard Stern, this Certified Fresh comedy looks at the shock jock’s life, beginning with childhood and recounting his budding career and private life.

Available now on: Netflix


Big Fish (2003) 76%

Tim Burton’s adaptation of Daniel Wallace’s novel tells the story of a father whose propensity for tall tales has driven a wedge between himself and his son.

Available now on: Netflix


Time Lapse (2014) 78%

This time travel thriller follows a painter who discovers a machine that captures images from 24 hours in the future.

Available now on: Netflix


Hamlet (1990) 76%

Franco Zeffirelli’s take on the classic Shakespearean tragedy stars Mel Gibson as the titular Prince of Denmark, Alan Bates as the evil Claudius, Ian Holm as Polonius, and Helena Bonham-Carter as the ill-fated Ophelia.

Available now on: Netflix


Zathura (2005) 76%

Zathura tells the tale of a pair of squabbling brothers who must learn to work together after they are transported into space while playing the titular board game; Kristen Stewart, Josh Hutcherson, and Tim Robbins star.

Available now on: Netflix


The League: Season 6 (2014) 100%

The sixth season of FX’s popular ensemble sitcom about fantasy football, starring Mark Duplass, Paul Scheer, and Nick Kroll arrives on Netflix this week.

Available now on: Netflix


Beavis and Butt-head Do America (1996) 70%

Uh huh-huh-huh, they said “do.” Uh huh-huh-huh.

Available now on: Netflix


Fido (2007) 72%

A sly mash-up of Lassie and Night of the Living Dead, Fido is a goofy, gory zombie spoof that stars Carrie-Anne Moss, Billy Connolly, Dylan Baker, and Tim Blake Nelson.

Available now on: Netflix


Hitch (2005) 69%

Will Smith stars as a legendary “date doctor” who’s playing matchmaker for a schlub (Kevin James) and his celebrity crush (Amber Valletta) while wooing a gossip columnist (Eva Mendes).

Available now on: Netflix


The Crucible (1996) 69%

Daniel Day-Lewis and Winona Ryder star in this adaptation of the Arthur Miller play about a woman accused of witchcraft in 1690s Salem, Massachusetts, who then levels charges of her own against her accusers.

Available now on: Netflix


Sleepy Hollow (1999) 69%

Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, and Christopher Walken star in Tim Burton’s take on the classic tale of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman.

Available now on: Netflix


New on Amazon Prime:

 

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (2014) 88%

Rinko Kikuchi stars in this Certified Fresh drama about a woman who leaves behind her life in Japan to search for the buried cash in Fargo.

Available Thursday (9/10) on: Amazon Prime


I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story (2014) 84%

This documentary looks at the man behind two of Sesame Street‘s most beloved characters: Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Deli Man (2014) 82%

This documentary about an innovative delicatessen in Houston explores the history and importance of Jewish delis.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


New on HBO Now:

 

Wild (2014) 88%

Wild stars Reese Witherspoon in the story of a woman reeling from the death of her mother and her recent divorce who decides to walk the entire Pacific Crest Trail by herself in an attempt to get back on track.

Available now on: HBO Now


New on Fandor

 

Madadayo (1993) 87%

Legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa’s final film, Madadayo recounts the final years in the life of a beloved professor, whose students help take care of him and celebrate his birthdays with him.

Available now on: Fandor


New on Hulu

 

The Awesomes: Season 3 (2015)

This Hulu original animated comedy centers on a young group of superheroes who attempt to fill the shoes of a legendary team after they call it quits. Seth Meyers, Rashida Jones, Kenan Thompson and more lend their voices.

Available now on: Hulu


Available for Purchase

 

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) 76%

This time out, the Avengers — whose ranks include Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) — are pitted against Ultron (voiced by James Spader), a powerful robot with dangerous beliefs about the best way to achieve world peace.

Available now on: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu


The Mend (2014) 78%

Josh Lucas stars in a dartk comedy about a man who stirs up dysfunction when he crashes on his brother’s couch.

Available now on: iTunes, Vudu


The Overnight (2015) 82%

Taylor Schilling, Adam Scott, Jason Schwartzman star in this Certified Fresh comedy about a young couple who get more than they bargain for when they accept a dinner invitation from married swingers.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu


Paper Planes (2014) 85%

Sam Worthington stars in this drama about a young Australian boy who strives to compete in the World Paper Plane Championships competition in Japan.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu


The Nightmare (2015) 67%

This documentary/horror film features interviews with people who suffer from sleep paralysis.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu

It’s a pretty slow news day, so why not share a few of the latest casting tidbits from a sequel ("Ocean’s Thirteen"), a remake ("Day of the Dead"), and a Stephen King adaptation ("1408")?

From ComingSoon.net: "Variety reports that David Paymer has joined the cast of "Ocean’s 13." The sequel, starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Ellen Barkin is filming in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Meanwhile, Annalynne McCord ("The O.C.," "Transporter 2") has been cast in Millennium Films and Emmett/Furla Films’ remake of "Day of the Dead." Steve Miner is directing from a script by Jeffrey Reddick. McCord joins Ving Rhames and Mena Suvari in the film."

From Variety: "Mary McCormack ("Private Parts") has checked into Dimension Films’ Stephen King adaptation "1408," about a haunted hotel … John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson topline the pic about a debunker of paranormal occurrences who encounters real terror when he checks into the notorious room 1408 at the Dolphin Hotel."

Comedy superstar Will Ferrell scored his first-ever number one opening in a lead role with the stronger-than-expected debut of his latest hit Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby which left all competitors in the dust at the North American box office.

Solid opening weekend results came from the animated comedy Barnyard: The Original Party Animals in second place and the horror film The Descent in fifth, but the Robin Williams thriller The Night Listener failed to find much of an audience in its debut. Overall, the marketplace was healthy and showed substantial improvement over the first weekend of August from the last two summers.

Sony crossed the finish line in first place for the industry-leading eighth time this year with the turbo-charged opening of Talladega Nights which grossed an estimated $47M over the Friday-to-Sunday period. Playing in a massive 3,803 theaters, the PG-13 film about a legendary NASCAR driver averaged a fantastic $12,359 per location. Will Ferrell has collected more than his share of second place trophies. The former Saturday Night Live star has opened at number two numerous times in recent years with films such as Kicking and Screaming, Bewitched, Anchorman, Elf, and Old School. Elf climbed into first place in its second weekend, and Ferrell has had supporting roles and cameos in number one openers from other stars. But Talladega Nights marks the first time he has anchored a top spot debut, and he did it decisively.

Reviews were generally positive for the racing comedy, which co-starred John C. Reilly, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Michael Clarke Duncan, and the weekend gross was roughly three times the take of its closest competition. Sony backed the $73M film with a lavish marketing campaign which involved promotional support from numerous corporate sponsors. Even veteran talk show host Larry King turned his daily chat session on opening night into a one-hour commercial for the film by interviewing Ferrell and Reilly in character as Ricky Bobby and his racing pal Cal Naughton Jr.

Talladega reached a broad audience with young males standing out slightly, as expected. Studio research indicated that 53% of the audience was male and that 52% was under 25. Aside from being Ferrell’s biggest opening weekend ever, the film also generated the third best bow ever in the month of August. Only 2001’s Rush Hour 2 and the following year’s Signs did better with debuts of $67.4M and $60.1M, respectively. Those two pics also launched on the first frame of the month which studios still look at as a good weekend for programming a high-profile summer film on. By this point, most of the season’s tentpole films have played out, but there is still enough summer playing time ahead to have long-term success.

Finishing far back in second place, but still enjoying an impressive debut, was Paramount’s animated comedy Barnyard with an estimated $16M. The PG-rated toon bowed in 3,311 locations and averaged a solid $4,844 per theater. The opening was better than The Ant Bully‘s $8.4M from last weekend, but did not reach the $22.2M debut of Monster House from two weeks ago. Barnyard was produced by Nickelodeon Movies for just over $50M and played mostly to kids and parents. Audience research showed that 75% of the crowd was made up of families with males and females represented evenly. With two other cartoons in the top ten, and with Pirates still pulling in every age group, the opening performance of Barnyard was commendable.

The year’s biggest blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest dropped 47% to an estimated $11M boosting its domestic treasure to a stunning $379.7M. That puts the Johnny Depp adventure sequel at number eight among all-time domestic blockbusters surpassing the $377M of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Pirates also managed to bump Mel Gibson‘s The Passion of the Christ off the all-time top ten list. Overseas, Disney scored another colossal gross taking in $57M from 47 markets to rule the international box office for the fifth straight frame. That sent the offshore cume soaring to $392M and the worldwide haul to $771.7M making it the top-grossing global hit of 2006 after just one month of release. Pirates could certainly be on its way to the one billion dollar mark with another installment in the franchise on deck for a May 2007 release.

Audiences rejected Miami Vice which tumbled a horrendous 62% in its second weekend to an estimated $9.7M. With $45.7M in ten days, the Universal action thriller is on course to end with $65-70M. That would give Vice a domestic gross of about half of its $135M production budget. Good news did, however, come from the U.K. where the cop pic debuted at number one this weekend.

Opening in fifth place was the new horror entry The Descent with an estimated $8.8M from 2,095 locations. The R-rated fright flick about a six-pack of young ladies trapped in an underground cave full of flesh-eating creatures averaged a solid $4,200 per venue. Reviews were unusually positive for the genre and distributor Lionsgate pitched The Descent in its advertising as being from the studio that brought audiences Saw and Hostel. But the opening was far short of the $18.3M and $19.6M that those low-budget hits opened to. Still, with a modest pricetag of its own, the cave exploration flick looks to make a few bucks theatrically and dig up a bigger audience when released on DVD.

Fox’s teen comedy John Tucker Must Die dropped 58% in its second weekend to an estimated $6.1M. With $28.6M in ten days, the revenge flick should find its way to the neighborhood of $40M. Sony’s animated scarefest Monster House followed close behind with an estimated $6M, off 49%, for a $57M cume. Competing toon The Ant Bully fell 54% in its sophomore session to an estimated $3.9M. Warner Bros. has collected just $18.2M in ten days and should conclude with an underwhelming $25-27M.

A pair of films tied for ninth place with an estimated $3.6M each. Universal’s comedy You, Me and Dupree declined 49% and upped its sum to $66.8M. Miramax’s new Robin Williams thriller The Night Listener bowed in 1,367 locations and averaged a weak $2,634 per site.

Opening with healthy but not spectacular results in platform release was the teen drama Quinceanera which grossed an estimated $97,000 from only eight sites for a $12,125 average. The R-rated tale of a Mexican-American girl’s impending coming-of-age party won both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and was snapped up by Sony Classics. Quinceanera will expand beyond New York and Los Angeles in the weeks ahead.

Three comedies and a bedtime story dropped out of the top ten over the weekend. Fox’s hit fashion industry pic The Devil Wears Prada held up well once again in its sixth frame with an estimated $3.1M, off 35%, lifitng the cume to a stellar $112.7M. It was the Meryl Streep film’s fourth consecutive weekend with a drop of less than 40%. Produced for just $35M, Devil should find its way to a fabulous $120-125M making it one of the more profitable hits of the summer.

On the other hand, the Warner Bros. suspense thriller Lady in the Water has been falling by more than 60% each frame and took in an estimated $2.7M in its third scare. Down a steep 62%, the M. Night Shyamalan pic has grossed only $38.7M in 17 days and looks to drown with a mere $42-44M overall. The production budget was reportedly in the $75M range.

Sony’s Little Man fell 51% to an estimated $2.5M in its fourth outing and pushed its cume to $55.1M. The Wayans brothers pic cost $64M to produce and should end its domestic run with a respectable $58-60M. Fox’s super hero comedy flop My Super Ex-Girlfriend stumbled 73% in its third flight and grossed an estimated $1.1M. With $20.2M in the bank, look for a disappointing $22M finish.

In limited release, Fox Searchlight expanded its hit indie comedy Little Miss Sunshine from seven to 58 theaters in the top dozen markets and grossed an estimated $1.5M. That resulted in a muscular $25,169 average and a $2.2M total. The distributor will add 17 more cities on Friday and widen nationally the following weekend on the heels of strong word-of-mouth momentum.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $115.7M which was up 18% from last year when The Dukes of Hazzard debuted at number one with $30.7M; and up 23% from 2004 when Collateral opened in the top spot with $24.7M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

With cops, drug dealers, and lots of bullets flying, the action film Miami Vice hits theaters across North America this weekend with its aim squarely on the number one spot. Young kids, meanwhile, will be offered another animated film in the form of The Ant Bully while teens get a new high school comedy in John Tucker Must Die. The overall box office should continue to be much healthier than last year as the Jack Sparrow-dominated month of July comes to a close.

Universal can smell a number-one opening in the air tonight. The studio hopes to claim bragging rights to the film that finally knocks Pirates out of the top spot with its action thriller Miami Vice. Directed by Michael Mann, the R-rated pic stars Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell in a loose update of the hit NBC cop show from the 1980s. Gong Li co-stars in this story of an undercover operation into the workings of a South American drug lord. In a summer full of Kryptonian heroes, pirates, and mutant villains, moviegoers are ready for a standard action film, set in modern times, with big stars playing the bad-ass good guys. With the tame PG-13 actioners behind us, Miami Vice ups the volume on violence and doesn’t hold back when it comes to gun battles and the offing of bad guys.

Vice has racked up some of the best reviews of any summer action film this year which should help in selling the pic to older adults. Though Mann stumbled with 2001’s Ali, the director has been pretty solid with the films he’s delivered over the past decade with Collateral, The Insider, and Heat. This new film’s leads will be the driving force at the box office. Both are hip and cool enough to appeal to teens as well as adults. The men exude plenty of sex appeal which will aid in drawing in women, plus Foxx has tremendous pull with African-American moviegoers who should be out in large numbers. Universal’s marketing has been as slick and cool as can be and makes the film seem like a necessary investment for action movie fans.

Miami Vice looks to appeal to the same audiences as a pair of action titles from the summer of 2003. Bad Boys II was another R-rated, star-driven, cop buddy picture set in Miami and bowed to $46.5M with a $14,602 average that July. Will Smith and Martin Lawrence made for a more potent commercial combo at the cash registers plus the sequel boasted plenty of comedy and already had a large built-in fan following. The next month, Farrell scored his fourth number-one opening of that year starring in another remake of an old cop show by teaming up with Samuel L. Jackson for S.W.A.T. The PG-13 film debuted on top with $37.1M and a $11,575 average.

Detectives Crockett and Tubbs will bring a breath of fresh air to a marketplace that is ready to move on from the record-breaking pirate shenanigans. Older teens and adult moviegoers are ready to see something else, and for now, this is it. Busting into 3,020 theaters, Miami Vice could debut with about $38M this weekend.

A ten-year-old boy gets miniaturized and becomes one with an insect colony in The Ant Bully, a new toon from Warner Bros. Young kids and their parents are the target audience here as the studio is aiming for the summer vacation crowd with this PG-rated adventure. An impressive voice cast that includes Julia Roberts, Nicolas Cage, and Meryl Streep might attract some biz and throwing in the name of producer Tom Hanks won’t hurt either. But Bully is going after the exact same audience as last week’s rival toon Monster House so the pie will get split. Neither is being treated as a must-see from a well-known franchise. Like Sony’s kidpic, Bully also will be playing in select 3D theaters as Imax is on board with a special run in their locations. The added value will certainly intrigue some families. Reviews are weak, but these films really rely on the ratio of nagging from kids to the willingness to give in by parents. Invading 3,050 sites, The Ant Bully might debut to around $15M.

High school hijinks are at the core of the new comedy John Tucker Must Die which finds Jesse Metcalfe playing the title character, a teen romeo that juggles three girlfriends who learn of the infidelity and plot their revenge. The PG-13 pic comes from director Betty Thomas (Dr. Dolittle, Private Parts) and co-stars Ashanti, Brittany Snow, and Jenny McCarthy. Teenage girls will make up the target audience but with limited starpower, Tucker’s potential should be limited as well. The Fox film will be going up against a handful of comedies currently clogging up screens in multiplexes. Young females not of age to buy a Vice ticket, or just uninterested in that shoot-em-up cop pic, will take interest in the female revenge story of Tucker. Some interest from teen guys could be there too, but the post-college crowd is not likely to donate many bills. The marketing push has been decent and a bold title will get some attention. Opening in 2,561 locations, John Tucker Must Die might take in about $9M this weekend.

Woody Allen seems to have loved working with Scarlett Johansson in London so much with the Oscar-nominated Match Point that he went for round two in his latest film Scoop which opens in moderate national release on Friday. The Focus title features the young starlet playing an American journalism student who gets the inside track on uncovering the identity of a serial killer from the spirit of a deceased reporter. Hugh Jackman, Ian McShane, and Allen himself co-star in the PG-13 flick. Critics have not been kind as reviews so far have been weak which will impact the box office significantly. Die-hard Woody fans won’t be swayed, but other upscale moviegoers will be affected. Scoop enters 537 theaters this weekend and might collect about $2M.

Fox Searchlight platformed its Sundance darling Little Miss Sunshine on Wednesday ahead of a gradual national roll-out that will continue into late August. The R-rated film about a dysfunctional family that takes a road trip to enter their young daughter in a beauty contest stars Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, and Alan Arkin. Sunshine wowed audiences in Park City and won a reported $10M distribution deal from the Fox subsidiary. Armed with glowing reviews across the board, the comedy from the husband-wife directing team of Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris should score a sizzling average from its seven theaters in New York and Los Angeles. Long-term prospects also seem bright as Sunshine should play out as the indie alternative to a summer of mindless popcorn flick.

Kings lose crowns and this weekend Johnny Depp looks to give up his title as three-time ruler of the box office. Still, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest has been holding up well during the week and Miami Vice is the only new film to make a serious dent in its treasure chest. Another drop of 45% would give Disney about $19M for the session boosting the overall domestic haul to a mammoth $357M.

Sony’s animated adventure Monster House got off to a strong start last weekend with a $22.2M bow, but will face head-to-head competition from Ant Bully this weekend which will be looking to kick some sand in its face. A 40% fall would leave House with around $13M and a ten-day total of $45M.

M. Night Shyamalan‘s latest thriller Lady in the Water debuted below expectations last week and will be entering its all-important sophomore frame. If history is any indicator, the grosses should see a steep drop. Second weekend declines for the director’s last three films have been 68% for 2004’s The Village, 51% for 2002’s Signs, and 52% for 2000’s Unbreakable. Lady may not sink the way Village did as it seems to be generating both love-it and hate-it camps. Still, with such a low starting point, and Crockett and Tubbs stealing away adults, a fall of at least 50% could be in order. That would give the bedtime story roughly $9M and a cume of $34M in ten days.

LAST YEAR: After two weeks at number one and two respectively, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Wedding Crashers swapped places with the Owen WilsonVince Vaughn comedy taking over at the top with $20M, slipping a mere 22%. The Johnny Depp kidpic followed with $16.4M in its third frame. Newcomers filled up the rest of the top five. Leading the way was Disney’s super hero family film Sky High with $14.6M on its way to a solid $63.9M. Close behind were Sony’s action flop Stealth with $13.3M and the Warner Bros. romantic comedy Must Love Dogs wth $12.9M. Final grosses reached $31.7M and $43.9M, respectively.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Popular shock-jock Howard Stern ("Private Parts") mentioned several years ago that he was planning to produce a remake of Bob Clark‘s original "Porky’s," and it now looks like the project just might be moving forward: Mr. Stern has partnered with producer Paul Bronfman to bring "Howard Stern’s Porky’s" to the big screen.

Mr. Bronfman indicated that the new screenplay is "on its fifth or sixth draft" — which is probably four more drafts than a remake of "Porky’s" really needs. But with Howard Stern involved, at least we won’t have to worry about the possibility of the new "Porky’s" being rated PG-13.

Sophia Bush ("Van Wilder"), Brittany Snow ("The Pacifier"), and Jesse Metcalfe ("Desperate Housewives") are set to star in "John Tucker Must Die," which The Hollywood Reporter describes as a high school version of "The First Wives Club."

The plot "revolves around a trio of girls from different social groups who band together to seek revenge on the school’s resident stud who has broken their hearts. They set him up to fall for the new girl in town, just so she can dump him and break his heart." Betty Thomas ("Private Parts") is directing from a screenplay by Jeff Lowell ("Spin City").

Rory Cochrane ("Dazed and Confused") and Mary McCormack ("Private Parts") will co-star in director Chris Gorak’s "Forearm Shiver." Described by Variety as a "thriller (that) looks at a marriage in crisis against the backdrop of a toxic bomb explosion," the movie is now in production in Los Angeles.

Mr. Gorak has extensive experience in art direction ("Fight Club," "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas") and production design ("The Clearing," "Blade: Trinity"), but "Shiver" marks his screenwriting and directorial debut.

"Desperate Housewives" heart-throb Jesse Metcalfe has signed a deal with Fox to play the lead role in their romantic comedy "John Tucker." The Hollywood Reporter indicates that the movie will be about a "heartthrob whose serial cheating leads three ex-girlfriends to seek revenge by setting him up to fall for the new girl in town, just so that she can dump him and break his heart."

Veteran filmmaker Betty Thomas ("Private Parts," "I Spy") will be in the director’s chair, and she’ll be working from a screenplay by sitcom scribe Jeff Lowell.

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