(Photo by Fox Searchlight/courtesy Everett Collection. Thumbnail: Gramercy Pictures.)
Jeff Bridges, son of Lloyd, struck it big with his first major role in 1971’s The Last Picture Show, where he was Oscar-nominated for his role as a graduating high school student in a prospectless Texas town. Afterwards, Bridges became a steady, comforting fixture in American cinema, appearing across action-thrillers (Thunderbolt & Lightfoot, Cutter’s Way), big-budget remakes (1975’s King Kong, The Vanishing), magnificent bombs (Heaven’s Gate), science-fiction (TRON, Starman), theater adaptations (The Iceman Cometh), and additional fine-tuned dramas (The Fisher King).
Bridges’ eclectic career choices primed him to become a beloved Hollywood statesman, all but confirmed with 1998’s The Big Lebowski. Wearing his personal wardrobe on-screen (including the jelly sandals) and directed by the Coen brothers, Bridges as Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski in a state of perpetual befuddled zen has rooted himself into pop culture with his generation-defining comedy performance. And Lebowski has only paved the way for later milestones and hits, including True Grit, Hell or High Water, and a take-home Best Actor Oscar for Crazy Heart, his big win out of seven nominations overall.
And now we do believe you shall abide as we take a trip through all Jeff Bridges movies, ranked by Tomatometer.
(Photo by Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox Film Corp, TriStar/Courtesy Everett Collection)
We’ve put together the ultimate starting lineup of inspiring sports movies! In no time, you’ll be riding horses, climbing rocks, driving powerful race cars, bolting cross-country, and coaching underdog teams to miraculous victory.
Or they’ll at least get you off the couch.
Some of the most esteemed Certified Fresh inspirational sports movies take on MMA (Warrior), boxing (Creed, Cinderella Man), auto-racing (Rush, Senna), basketball (Hoosiers, He Got Game), hockey (Miracle, Goon). Of course, not everything that glitters is strictly critics’ gold. Which is why we included movies like The Cutting Edge, Stick It, or Lords of Dogtown: They may be lower on the Tomatometer, but they’re high on electric inspiration.
Read on for our recommendations of the most inspiring sports movies of all time! (And you can find them all in Vudu’s inspiring sports movies collection, with most on sale!)
For the fourth consecutive weekend, four or more new wide releases will cram into multiplexes trying to get at their piece of a dwindling box office pie.
Nicolas Cage targets his second trip to the top spot this year with the action film "Next," rival actioner "The Condemned" counters with Stone Cold Steve Austin in the lead, horror fans get yet another creepy tale with "The Invisible," and Jamie Kennedy goes for some laughs with "Kickin’ It Old Skool."
Mostly garbage titles were programmed into this weekend’s menu since any studio with a decent film would not risk getting crushed on the second weekend by the webslinger sequel. Including these newest films, the first four months of 2007 boasts 64 wide releases hitting the marketplace, up slightly from last year’s 60 but up sharply from the 42 over the same period in 2005. With a mass quantity of weak April films, look for the North American box office to plunge to its lowest point of the year this weekend during what is essentially the calm before Sandman’s storm hits next Thursday night at midnight.
Following his Marvel Comics hit "Ghost Rider," Nicolas Cage once again plays the action hero card with the sci-fi thriller "Next." The PG-13 film finds the Oscar winner playing a man with the ability to see into the future who is called in to foil a terrorist plot before it happens. Directed by Lee Tamahori ("Die Another Day," "Along Came A Spider"), "Next" has the advantage of having the most screens and the most starpower of any new release this weekend. Plus with current films rotting away quickly (9 of the 16 holdovers in the Top 20 last weekend plunged by more than 55%), competition will not be too fierce. Paramount has been giving "Next" a decent amount of marketing, that is for a film being dumped into the final weekend of a month starting with the letter A. In almost any other time of year this would get clobbered, but given the current alternatives it will make for the only reasonable choice for many moviegoers. Hence, a number one opening by default and quite possibly the weakest one of the year. Crashing into over 2,500 theaters, "Next" could reach the top with around $13M.
"The Condemned" offers a reality show idea not likely to be on any network’s fall schedule. In the weekend’s sole R-rated film, death row inmates duke it out to the death in order to avoid being executed, all while television cameras capture every brutal moment. World Wrestling Entertainment head Vince McMahon produces behind the scenes while former superstar grappler Steve Austin stars in front of the camera. Other WWE stars who headlined recent feature films include Kane in last May’s "See No Evil" ($4.6M debut) and John Cena in last fall’s "The Marine" ($7.1M bow). Both films averaged less than $4,000 on their opening weekends. Young men will make up the only audience segment for the new Lionsgate title and "Next" will provide some direct action competition. Still some hardcore wrestling fans will turn up to theaters since a movie ticket will be cheaper than ordering a pay-per-view event. But overall, prospects seem bleak. "The Condemned" will attack 2,310 theaters and may end up with $6M.
As if moviegoers don’t have enough scary films to choose from, Buena Vista offers up one more with the supernatural thriller "The Invisible." The PG-13 film follows a high school student whose spirit wanders after a brutal accident. Fright flicks have been flopping left and right recently and there is no reason to believe that this one will turn things around. The marketing volume has been stuck on low as this remake of a Swedish pic is more of a spring cleaning film tossed into the marketplace hoping to be forgotten soon. With no starpower, there will be almost nothing driving in traffic. "The Invisible" will appear in over 2,000 theaters this Friday, but might only collect roughly $5M.
Jamie Kennedy headlines the new comedy "Kickin’ It Old Skool" playing a 1980s breakdancer that falls into a coma and awakens two decades later to a much different world. Yari Film Group is targeting teenagers with this PG-13 pic which essentially offers the same laughs as the comedian’s 2003 film "Malibu’s Most Wanted." That modest hit bowed in late April to $12.6M from 2,503 theaters on its way to a $34.4M domestic final. "Skool" does not have a big studio marketing push behind it but it may grab the attention of some young dudes killing time before Peter Parker busts into theaters. DVD is where most people will find this one. Breaking into 1,600 theaters, "Kickin’ It Old Skool" could find itself with around $5M over three days.
Among holdovers, two-time champ "Disturbia" will find it difficult to hold onto its crown given the arrival of Nicolas Cage. But Paramount won’t care as it should still claim the number one film for the fifth consecutive weekend. A 40% decline would give the Shia LaBeouf pic about $8M for the frame and a healthy $51M after 17 days. The Anthony Hopkins–Ryan Gosling thriller "Fracture" has been well-received and competition is not too fierce so a 40% drop could be in order as well. That would leave New Line with $6.5M and a ten-day tally of $21M.
LAST YEAR: Three new flicks topped the charts led by the family comedy "RV" starring Robin Williams which opened at number one with $16.4M. The Sony hit enjoyed stellar legs and went on to collect $71.3M. Universal followed in second with the 9/11 thriller "United 93" which debuted in half as many theaters with $11.5M. The critically acclaimed pic went on to gross $31.5M. Buena Vista’s gymnastics film "Stick It" bowed in third with $10.8M on its way to $26.9M. Rounding out the top five were "Silent Hill" with $9.3M and "Scary Movie 4" with $7.8M. Also opening was the spelling drama "Akeelah and the Bee" with a weak $6M leading to a $18.8M final for Lionsgate and its promotional partner Starbucks.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
Another frame packed with four new national releases is led by Oliver Stone‘s 9/11 drama "World Trade Center" from Paramount. A trio of lower profile pics round out the weekend – Sony’s family adventure "Zoom," Buena Vista’s teen drama "Step Up," and The Weinstein Company’s horror flick "Pulse." Despite all the new entries, Will Ferrell will try to win the box office title for the second consecutive time with his comedy "Talladega Nights" which has been racing well ahead of its competition since opening last weekend.
Nicolas Cage, Michael Pena, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Maria Bello star in the high-profile story of courage "World Trade Center" which Paramount debuted on Wednesday. The PG-13 film tells the real life story of John McLoughlin and William Jimeno, two Port Authority cops who were trapped in the rubble of the Twin Towers on September 11. Rather than focus on any villains, "WTC" only tells the story of ordinary men put into extraordinary circumstances and how their families coped. Mature adults will make up the primary audience. Teen appeal seems limited. Since the box office is currently lacking choices for older adults, the Oliver Stone film will not face much direct competition. Men and women will be equally drawn to this emotionally-charged story of heroism.
There will be many moviegoers that will find it to be too soon for a film about a tragedy just approaching its fifth anniversary. However, curiousity will bring out others looking for an uplifting story about that fateful Tuesday morning. "WTC" should appeal to many of the same people who turned out for 2004’s "Ladder 49." That film featured Cage’s "Face/Off" nemesis John Travolta as a noble firefighter and just told a tale about American heroes doing the right thing for each other, and not really dwelling on any enemy. "Ladder" bowed to $22.1M over three days.
Center will also be compared to April’s United 93 which was the first Hollywood film to tackle 9/11. With a subdued release in under 1,800 locations, that pic opened well with $11.5M and a solid $6,395 average. "WTC" has more theaters, more starpower in front of and behind the camera, and is not as grim. Reviews have mostly been good which will help. Long-term prospects are encouraging since the rest of August has nothing major for mature adults. Now playing in 2,803 theaters, "World Trade Center" might open with about $18M over the weekend and around $24M over five days.
Tim Allen plays an ex-super hero who is called upon to train a group of slacker kids in Sony’s new family film "Zoom." The PG-rated pic will have plenty of competition as it marks the fourth consecutive week that studios have rolled out movies aimed at young ones. Only this time, it isn’t a toon. Allen has always been a consistent draw in this genre, most notably in his "Santa Clause" movies which sees its third installment this coming holiday season. Earlier this year, he starred in the Disney remake "The Shaggy Dog" which bowed to $16.3M in March. "Zoom," which co-stars Courteney Cox and Chevy Chase, will not reach that level as it is not generating as much excitement. Plus the volume on the marketing push has been typical of a mid-August opener. Flying into 2,501 theaters, "Zoom" might debut with around $9M.
Hollywood seems to have written a new rule stating that 9/11 films must be counter-programmed with teen-girl pics that explore popular extracurricular activities. "United 93" opened against the gymnastics comedy "Stick It," and now "WTC" will face Buena Vista’s "Step Up" which finds a ballerina and a tough street dancer locking hips. The PG-13 film will play primarily to young females and the studio is hoping to score another low-cost hit like Disney’s April comedy which debuted to a better-than-expected $10.8M. "Step Up" lacks marquee stars, but does offer some faces that add value when it comes to the Clearasil crowd. The bad boy meets good girl formula is once again tested and little crossover to older patrons is likely. Competition for teens and young adults is ample so a breakout bow may not surface, but a respectable showing is likely. Dancing into 2,100 theaters, "Step Up" could debut to around $8M.
Supernatural beasties attack us innocent humans through cell phones and email in the new horror flick "Pulse." The PG-13 film is aimed at teens that have seen every other film and want some quick thrills before heading back to school. With no major stars, and a concept that is far from intriguing, the Weinstein Co. release should be in for some modest dollars over the weekend. "The Descent" will be "Pulse’s" major foe, but like most fright flicks, the chicks-in-a-cave movie should tumble down further on the charts in its second weekend. "Step Up" and "Talladega Nights" will also be distracting teens. Opening in 2,326 theaters, "Pulse" might scare up about $8M this weekend.
In foreign film releases, Yash Raj Films opens the all-star Bollywood film "Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna" (Never Say Goodbye) in top markets across North America. Shot in New York, the Hindi-language film explores the breakdown of marital bonds. Brazilian actress Fernanda Montenegro ("Central Station") headlines "The House of Sand" which Sony Classics platforms in New York and Los Angeles this Friday. The story of three generations of women in the barren lands of northern Brazil played at the Tribeca Film Festival and will roll out into more cities throughout the rest of summer.
Last weekend’s box office champ "Talladega Nights" hopes to retain its crown in its second lap. The Will Ferrell hit is sure to see a large decline, but competition for teens and young adults is not too fierce. A 50% drop would leave Sony with about $23M for the session and a solid ten-day cume of $92M. Paramount’s "Barnyard" may fall by 40% and rake in around $9.5M pushing its total to $33M after ten days. The Johnny Depp megasmash "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest" could drop by another 40% to $6.5M lifting its jaw-dropping total to $392M.
LAST YEAR: Director John Singleton scored a top spot debut with his revenge thriller "Four Brothers" which debuted with $21.2M. Paramount found its way to $74.5M with the Mark Wahlberg drama. Opening in second was the Kate Hudson suspense thriller "The Skeleton Key" with $16.1M on its way to $47.8M for Universal. Falling from first to third was the comedy "The Dukes of Hazzard" with $13M dropping a steep 58% from its bow. Rival comedy "Wedding Crashers" held up much better easing 26% in its fifth frame to $11.8M. Opening in fifth place with $9.6M was Sony’s comedy sequel "Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo" which ended its run with just $22.3M. The weekend’s other new release, the military drama "The Great Raid," opened modestly in tenth with only $3.4M on its way to $10.2M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
So you come in to work at Disney on Monday morning, expecting everyone to be all smiles and excited about the "pirate booty" that was made over the weekend. Or maybe you’re happy to notice that "Cars" crossed the $200 million mark over the same weekend. And the comes a memo from the boss that says "You’re fired."
From Variety by way of ComingSoon.net: "While "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest" set another record on Monday, grossing $18.1 million to beat the previous nonholiday Monday benchmark of $14.4 million set by "Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith," Disney is tightening its belt.
According to Variety, Walt Disney Pictures will announce within the next 10 days that it’s cutting back on the number of films it makes to around eight per year — it currently releases around 18 — and will substantially reduce its workforce. All movies will be Disney-branded, meaning companies like Touchstone could be vastly diminished. The cutbacks will be far greater than many anticipated, as studio chairman Dick Cook looks to reinvent the architecture of his studio. The move reflects an effort to improve the studio’s return on investment and get infrastructure back into line.
Despite worldwide protests and bad reviews, the heavily-hyped conspiracy thriller "The Da Vinci Code" attracted legions of fans into theaters this weekend generating the second largest global opening in box office history. The North American marketplace was on fire helped also by a solid launch for the animated film "Over the Hedge." The two new releases combined for an eye-popping $114M in ticket sales over the weekend driving the box office to a new high for the year finally giving the film industry a feeling that the summer movie season has arrived. With "Code" and "Hedge" playing well to different audiences, most holdovers suffered steep declines.
Sony faced numerous obstacles bringing "The Da Vinci Code" to the big screen but after all was said and done, the studio successfully launched its summer tentpole pic and captured an estimated $77M from North America beating out most expectations. Attacking 3,735 theaters, the PG-13 film averaged a scorching $20,616 per location. "Code" is the much-anticipated film adaptation of the best-selling book by Dan Brown which has become a pop culture phenomenon since its publication. Many religious groups have encouraged people to not see the film, but the publicity may instead have just sparked more curiosity, especially from those who have not read the book. It carried a $125M pricetag.
Domestically, "Code" generated the thirteenth biggest Friday-to-Sunday opening ever and the second best bow for a non-franchise film after "The Passion of the Christ" which debuted to $83.8M following a Wednesday launch in February 2004. "Code" also marked new career-high openings for Hanks and director Ron Howard surpassing the $57.4M of "Toy Story 2" and the $55.1M of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," respectively. In fact, Howard’s last film "Cinderella Man" grossed less in its entire run than "Code" did in its first weekend punching up $61.6M last summer.
Worldwide, "The Da Vinci Code" was launched with one of the most aggressive distribution strategies ever planned invading over 12,000 theaters overseas. As a result, the film tallied a staggering $147M internationally putting its worldwide opening at a jaw-dropping $224M. That marked the second largest worldwide launch in history after the $253M of "Star Wars Episode III" this same weekend one year ago. With more appeal outside of North America than the Jedi flick, "Code"’s overseas opening inched past "Episode III" to set a new international debut weekend record.
Controversy surrounded the film during its development, shooting, and pre-release stages which in turn led to endless media coverage and speculation over whether or not moviegoers would stay away. "Code" made its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday, just ahead of its day-and-date global release, and was met by mostly harsh reviews from the world’s top movie critics. Since "Da Vinci" skews to a mature adult audience which pays attention to critics, it seemed that the opening could take a hit from the bad buzz. Instead, the Hanks flick opened on the high end of the most optimistic expectations.
The road ahead will not be easy. The Memorial Day holiday weekend will certainly help give "Da Vinci" a solid second weekend. However, with so many fans of the book rushing theaters immediately to see the film, it may have already burned through much of its total audience. "Code" dipped 6% on Saturday from its opening Friday which is not too surprising given the upfront demand and media hysteria. But it does not necessarily indicate that the fan base is growing. Word-of-mouth will now be the main factor affecting future sales. The Yahoo Movies average grade from over 13,000 users is a not-so-impressive B-. Nevertheless, after "Mission: Impossible III" and "Poseidon" underwhelmed at the box office giving the summer season a sluggish start, "The Da Vinci Code" kicked things into high gear this weekend with true blockbuster numbers grossing more than the openings of both of those films combined.
Opening in second place with solid results was Paramount’s release of the DreamWorks animated film "Over the Hedge" which collected an estimated $37.2M. Playing in a whopping 4,059 theaters, the PG-rated pic averaged a strong $9,172 per venue. An all-star cast featuring Bruce Willis, Garry Shandling, Steve Carell, Nick Nolte, Wanda Sykes, and William Shatner provided voices to the story of a group of animals who venture into the zany world of suburban backyards. The opening weekend did not match up to those of other recent computer animated talking animal flicks like "Shark Tale" ($47.6M), "Madagascar" ($47.2M), or "Chicken Little" ($40M). However, with the long Memorial Day holiday weekend coming up, "Hedge" looks to continue gathering up grosses with kids and parents getting extra time off from school and work. Only four animated films have ever bowed in more than 4,000 theaters and all have been from the DreamWorks camp, which is now part of the Paramount stable.
After two weeks at number one, Tom Cruise’s "Mission: Impossible III" dropped down to third with an estimated $11M in its third weekend. Down a hefty 56%, the Paramount spy sequel crossed the $100M mark over the weekend with its cume climbing to $103.2M after 17 days. "MI3" is only the second such blockbuster film of 2006 following "Ice Age: The Meltdown," however Hollywood’s other Tom will be joining the ranks by the end of the week. For box office titan Cruise, the latest Ethan Hunt film marks the actor’s fourteenth $100M+ domestic grosser. "MI3" also represents the studio’s first film to join the century club since Cruise’s last film "War of the Worlds" from last summer. Overseas, "Mission III" has upped its total to $163M pushing the global gross to $266M and counting.
In its second weekend, "Poseidon" became a sinking ship film in more than one way. The ocean liner disaster pic sank a troubling 59% to an estimated $9.2M putting its ten-day catch at just $36.8M. That’s a rough start for a film with a production cost reported to be a hefty $160M or more. At its current pace, "Poseidon" looks to reach $55-60M domestically making it director Wolfgang Petersen‘s lowest grossing film in fifteen years.
With a big new toon in the marketplace, the Robin Williams hit "RV" finally saw a sizable decline dropping 49% to an estimated $5.1M in its fourth frame. Sony’s family comedy has grossed a solid $50.4M to date.
Wrestling superstar Kane anchored the new horror film "See No Evil" and was met with a mild sixth place opening with an estimated $4.4M. Playing in only 1,257 locations, the R-rated scarefest averaged a mediocre $3,461 per site.
The Lindsay Lohan flop "Just My Luck" grossed an estimated $3.4M in its second weekend dropping 41%. With only $10.5M in ten days, the Fox release should stumble to an unlucky final of just $16-18M. The horror flick "An American Haunting" followed with an estimated $1.7M, off 53%, for a total of $13.6M.
Universal’s 9/11 pic "United 93" fell 59% to an estimated $1.4M pushing its cume to $28.3M. Rounding out the top ten was the Lionsgate release "Akeelah and the Bee" with an estimated $1M, off 58%, for a $15.7M total.
Three films dropped out of the top ten this weekend. The year’s highest-grossing film "Ice Age: The Meltdown" took a hit from the arrival of a rival digital toon and tumbled 71% to an estimated $915,000. Budgeted at $80M, the Fox smash has grossed $189.2M to date and is heading for a final gross of a little more than $190M. The first "Ice Age" banked $176.4M in 2002.
Buena Vista’s gymnastics pic "Stick It" grossed an estimated $927,000 plunging 71% in its fourth frame. With $23.8M to date, the teen flick should finish with a better-than-expected $25M. New Line’s endangered owl film "Hoot" collapsed 85% in its third weekend and collected an estimated $350,000. Cume sits at a puny $7.3M and it will be a struggle to hit $8M.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $151.4M which was off only 3% from last year when "Star Wars Episode III" opened at number one with a colossal $108.4M; and down 7% from 2004 when "Shrek 2" debuted in the top spot with a massive $108M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
Tom Cruise‘s spy sequel Mission: Impossible III remained the most popular film in North America for the second straight weekend while the big-budget disaster film Poseidon opened in second place to disappointing results.
The frame’s other new releases, the Lindsay Lohan comedy Just My Luck and the soccer drama Goal! The Dream Begins, opened miserably as well giving the industry little to celebrate. Overall ticket sales fell behind those of the comparable weekend in each of the last four years as a sluggish marketplace waits for that one true summer blockbuster that draws the masses into the multiplexes.
Despite a weaker-than-expected opening weekend, Paramount’s MI3 enjoyed a respectable sophomore frame dropping 49% to an estimated $24.5M to retain its standing as the number one film. Playing in an ultrawide 4,059 theaters, the Ethan Hunt actioner averaged a solid $6,039 per location and raised its ten-day total to $84.6M. The decline was very similar to the 48% second weekend fall for last summer’s big spy flick Mr. & Mrs. Smith which grossed $26M in its sophomore shot after a $50.3M bow. The Pitt-Jolie vehicle, however, captured a more muscular $96.7M in its first ten days thanks in part to a June release when more students were out of school.
With so many action sequels tumbling by 55% or more on the second weekend, Mission: Impossible III managed to hold up relatively well. Competition from Poseidon was not formidable so moviegoers were not drawn away to another big event pic. The latest Ethan Hunt film will face its true test this Friday when the much-anticipated thriller The Da Vinci Code starring that other Tom opens followed a week later by the mutant juggernaut X-Men: The Last Stand. At its current pace, look for MI3 to reach $130-140M domestically making it the lowest grossing installment of the decade-old franchise. The first Mission: Impossible grossed $181M in 1996 while MI2 took in $215.4M in 2000. Overseas, MI3 jumped to $129.2M in foreign sales putting the worldwide tally at $213.8M in under two weeks. The global box office gross looks to be on a trajectory to hit $350M.
Failing to sink Cruise’s ship, the ocean liner disaster pic Poseidon settled for the runner-up spot this weekend opening with an estimated $20.3M from 3,555 locations. Warner Bros. generated a decent but not impressive per-theater average of $5,717 with its first pricey entry of the summer movie season. Directed by Wolfgang Petersen (The Perfect Storm, Air Force One), the PG-13 film was a remake of the 1972 picture The Poseidon Adventure and starred Kurt Russell, Josh Lucas, and Richard Dreyfuss as passengers on a luxury ship who must fight to survive after a rogue wave capsizes the vessel. Poseidon opened weaker than other big-budget maritime action films like 2003’s Master and Commander ($25.1M), 2000’s The Perfect Storm ($41.3M), and even 1995’s infamous Waterworld ($21.2M).
Although audiences in years past have flocked to May disaster films like Twister, Deep Impact, and The Day After Tomorrow, this time Poseidon lacked the goods to draw in a paying audience. Reviews were not kind which also made the adult-skewing picture a tough sell. Varying reports on the film’s budget put the production cost in excess of $160M so a stellar run internationally and on DVD will be needed in order to turn a profit. Poseidon set sail in a handful of Asian countries to the tune of $4.4M this weekend, but will open in most foreign territories in June and July.
Once again scoring the best hold among all wide releases was the Robin Williams family comedy RV which dipped a mere 14% in its third weekend to an estimated $9.5M. The Sony hit has collected a solid $42.8M in 17 days.
Ticket buyers ignored Lindsay Lohan’s new film Just My Luck which flopped in its opening weekend grossing a mere $5.5M, according to estimates. The Fox release averaged an unlucky $2,165 per location and played almost exclusively to a teen girl audience. Studio research showed that the crowd for Luck was a remarkably high 80% female and 70% under the age of 25. Critics, not surprisingly, panned the film.
Horror flick An American Haunting enjoyed a solid sophomore session dropping only 36% to an estimated $3.7M for fifth place. Distributed by Freestyle Releasing, the PG-13 thriller has banked $10.9M in ten days and should scare its way to a mediocre $17-19M. Universal’s 9/11 thriller United 93 followed with an estimated $3.6M, down just 33%, lifting the cume to a decent $25.6M.
The teen gymnastics pic Stick It dropped 41% to an estimated $3.2M to land in the number seven spot with a total to date of $22.2M for Buena Vista. Fox’s animated sequel Ice Age: The Meltdown, still the top-grossing film of 2006, grossed an estimated $3M sliding just 29% in its seventh weekend. No other film has spent as many weeks in the top ten this year. Cume stands at $187.4M domestically and over $600M worldwide.
Sony’s fright pic Silent Hill placed ninth with an estimated $2.2M, off 45%, for a sum of $44.5M thus far. The New Line flop Hoot fell 37% to an estimated $2.1M in its second outing as the total inched up to a dismal $6.2M. Last weekend, the owl film had the distinction of suffering the worst opening in history for a film debuting in over 3,000 theaters. Hoot’s puny $3.4M bow in 3,018 sites beat out the dismal $6M launch from 3,006 theaters of 2004’s New York Minute starring the Olsen Twins for that unfortunate honor.
Another film failing to connect with kids was Buena Vista’s new soccer drama Goal! The Dream Begins which kicked off its run with a weak estimate of only $2M. The PG-rated film failed to qualify for the top ten this weekend and averaged a poor $1,989 from 1,007 locations.
Two April releases fell from the top ten this weekend. The spoof comedy Scary Movie 4 dropped 44% to an estimated $2.1M in its fifth frame. With $86.6M to date, The Weinstein Co. release looks to finish with roughly $90M which would not be far off from the $110M of its predecessor 2003’s Scary Movie 3. The Lionsgate family drama Akeelah and the Bee declined 41% to an estimated $2M in only its third turn. Cume sits at just $13.6M and should reach $16-18M.
Opening in limited release this weekend, Miramax’s family reunion comedy Keeping Up with the Steins grossed an estimated $621,000 from 138 locations for a respectable $4,500 average. The PG-13 film stars Garry Marshall, Jeremy Piven, and Daryl Hannah. The Swaziland-set drama Wah-Wah debuted in 25 theaters and grossed an estimated $57,000 for a mild $2,270 average. Starring Gabriel Byrne, Miranda Richardson, and Emily Watson, the R-rated film is distributed by Roadside Attractions and Samuel Goldwyn Films.
Among indie films expanding into more markets, Sony Classics grossed an estimated $1.2M from its comedy Art School Confidential after widening from 12 to 762 theaters across the country. That left the John Malkovich–Anjelica Huston starrer with a pitiful $1,593 average per venue as it failed to register with moviegoers on a national level. Cume is $1.4M. Fox Searchlight expanded its Indian drama Water from 36 to 62 locations and grossed an estimated $257,000 for a $4,138 average. Total sits at $593,000 with more markets opening on Friday.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $77.7M which was down 15% from last year when Monster-in-Law opened at number one with $23.1M; and down 23% from 2004 when Troy debuted in the top spot with $46.9M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, BoxOfficeGuru.com
The summer movie season’s second big action contender rolls into theaters this weekend as the sinking ship flick Poseidon takes aim at last week’s Mission: Impossible III for the number one spot across North America.
Two smaller new releases will aim for younger moviegoers. Lindsay Lohan lets loose her girlpower with the comedy Just My Luck while soccer boys are being courted by the sports drama Goal! The Dream Begins. With spring holdovers fading fast and the new May titles only showing so much strength, there is no guarantee that the seven-week streak of the box office beating out last year’s will continue.
Warner Bros. sets sail with its first big-budget entry of the summer with Poseidon, a modern retelling of the 1972 disaster film The Poseidon Adventure. After The Perfect Storm and Troy, veteran A-list director Wolfgang Petersen is back with another pricey summer action pic reportedly spending $160M to produce this new film. Poseidon finds a group of ordinary people on a luxury cruise ship who must fight for survival after a mammoth wave capsizes the ship while at sea. Kurt Russell, Josh Lucas, Richard Dreyfuss, and Andre Braugher star.
Poseidon does work as an escapist treat for the summer season. Despite a lame beginning with the usual setup, the PG-13 film quickly kicks into the disaster scenario and becomes a non-stop action film. No hour-and-a-half of teen courting before an iceberg hits in this one. Audiences that find their way into the theaters should have a relatively good time. But getting them to buy the tickets in the first place is the challenge that Warner Bros. faces. None of the stars has much pull and the original source material isn’t exactly something that moviegoers have been clamoring to have a remake of. Plus Poseidon’s appeal to teens is not very strong making it a film that will be going after mature adults just like MI3 currently is. The direct competition should keep the sinking ship’s grosses in check.
Unlike most disaster films, Poseidon comes with a trim running time of under 100 minutes which means that theaters will be able to provide an ample amount of showtimes per day. Plus, a few dozen Imax locations will open the film day and date which will add a bit to the overall tally. The studio has invested heavily in the marketing push for its first entry in the summer sweepstakes. But that has not driven excitement beyond a manageable level. May has been kind to disaster films in the past. The Day After Tomorrow bowed to $68.7M two years ago, Deep Impact opened to $41.2M in 1998, and Twister bowed exactly one decade ago to a then-shocking $41.1M. Poseidon is not hitting the marketplace on a wave of momentum the way those hits did. And with recent real-life tragedies like Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami, only so many people will have an appetite to see hundreds of innocent people drown to death on the big screen. Docking in 3,555 theaters on Friday, Poseidon could open in the neighborhood of $31M.
Paparazzi magnet Lindsay Lohan stars as a lucky young gal who comes across a wave of misfortune after a magical kiss in the fantasy comedy Just My Luck. Directed by Donald Petrie (Mystic Pizza, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days), the Fox release basically has one audience in its crosshairs – readers of Us Weekly and Teen People. Yes, teenage girls and young women should make up the bulk of the audience as male appeal is lacking. Lohan brings with her a respectable box office track record. Some of her recent openings include Herbie: Fully Loaded ($12.7M after a Wednesday bow and a $3,610 average), Mean Girls ($24.4M debut, $8,606 average), and Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen ($9.4M, $3,736 average). This time, Lohan has to carry the film on her shoulders with no big co-star or studio brand name to help out. A not-so-interesting plot won’t help matters.
Teen girls can be a fickle audience rejecting what seem to be surefire hits and flocking to lower profile pics that speak to their generation. Stick It exceeded expectations a couple of weeks ago by connecting with this crowd. With two big action entries dominating theaters and playing to an older and more male crowd, plus RV playing to young kids, Fox does have an opportunity to connect with a group that is underserved at the moment with a star that is still very popular with the target audience. This weekend, Lohan will put her drawing power to the test with Just My Luck which opens in 2,541 theaters. An opening weekend gross of around $11M could result.
A young Mexican-American man follows his dreams of playing professional soccer in Disney’s new sports drama Goal! The Dream Begins. Directed by Danny Cannon (Judge Dredd, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer), the PG-rated film packs zero starpower, but offers an inspirational tale that young boys can relate to. In the United States, Hollywood films about the sport we call "football" typically do much better at the turnstiles than ones about what the rest of the world uses that term for. Buena Vista is not giving Goal! a big push, but rather is hoping to collect a respectable amount of business before seeing the real audience on DVD. Uplifting against-the-odds sports dramas often do well as the studio has seen in the past with Remember the Titans, Miracle, and this year’s Glory Road. However, Goal! lacks the visibility of those films and overall awareness is not too high. Opening in more than 1,000 theaters, Goal! might debut to around $4M.
Last weekend, Mission: Impossible III opened below expectations to $47.7M and now runs the risk of being booted into second place in its sophomore frame. Reviews and word-of-mouth seem to be positive, however that may not provide much help this time. As a heavily-hyped action sequel, MI3 has its audience carved out already and most moviegoers have already made their minds up as to whether or not they plan to see it. This is a film made to make its money upfront. Plus Poseidon will be playing to the same audience of adults over 30 looking for an action thrill ride. A 50% drop for the Tom Cruise vehicle could leave Paramount with about $24M for the weekend and $84M in ten days. By comparison, ten-day cumes for recent summer kick-off films include $85.1M for 2004’s Van Helsing, $147.7M for 2003’s X2: X-Men United, and an eye-popping $223M for 2002’s megahit Spider-Man.
Robin Williams enjoyed a solid hold for his family comedy RV last weekend. Once again, competition for kids is mild so the Sony release should see another small decline. RV may drop 30% to around $8M this weekend lifting the film’s total to $41M after 17 days.
LAST YEAR: J Lo. and J Fo. went head to head in the marital comedy Monster-in-Law which opened at number one with $23.1M. New Line’s hit summer film went on to gross a solid $82.9M. Opening in second was Will Ferrell’s soccer comedy Kicking and Screaming which debuted close behind with $20.2M on its way to $52.7M for Universal. While those two new releases entered more than 3,400 theaters, another freshman title bowed in less than 2,000 sites and placed third. The Jet Li actioner Unleashed opened to $10.9M for Focus and found its way to $24.5M. Fox’s Crusades epic Kingdom of Heaven fell 51% in its second weekend dropping from first to fourth with $9.6M. Fellow sophomore Crash held up exceptionally well in fifth dipping only 23% to $7M. The frame’s final new release, the Miramax thriller Mindhunters, debuted to a weak $1.9M before limping to a $4.5M total.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, BoxOfficeGuru.com
Tom Cruise climbed into his usual number one spot at the box office with his heavily-hyped spy sequel Mission: Impossible III, however ticket sales fell below most industry expectations as the debut was not spectacular.
The weekend’s other new releases, the horror flick An American Haunting and the kid drama Hoot, both generated lukewarm openings. But thanks to a weak early May in 2005, the overall marketplace still beat out last year for the seventh consecutive frame.
Paramount claimed the top spot with MI3 which invaded a staggering 4,054 theaters collecting an estimated $48M in ticket sales over the Friday-to-Sunday period. The third installment in the decade-old franchise averaged a potent $11,846 per venue. But Tom Cruise’s box office muscles were expected to lift the tally much higher given all the factors that were working in the $150M film’s favor. The newest Mission pic obviously had plenty of starpower but with its early May bow, it had virtually no competition in the multiplexes to deal with. Plus the studio’s marketing hype was deafening, the pic opened in the second highest number of theaters in history for a live-action film (behind Spider-Man 2‘s 4,152), and even the reviews were mostly favorable. That was a welcome bonus as critics are rarely kind to big-budget action sequels.
According to studio research, MI3 connected with the same audience that the previous two did. Men made up 56% of the crowd and 64% were age 25 or older. Joining Cruise in the PG-13 film’s cast were Ving Rhames, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Keri Russell, and recent Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Openings for other high-profile action films debuting on the first weekend of May include $68.1M for 2001’s The Mummy Returns, $85.6M for 2003’s X2: X-Men United, and $51.7M for 2004’s Van Helsing. MI3 didn’t even reach the level of Van Helsing. In fact, its opening gross was even weaker than that of Mission: Impossible 2 which launched over Memorial Day weekend six years ago with $57.8M over three days, $70.8M over four days, and $91.8M over its six-day Wednesday-to-Monday span. Even with higher ticket prices, a Friday bow, and hundreds of more theaters, MI3 still failed to reach the heights of MI2. Adjusting for inflation, MI3’s opening was the weakest among the Ethan Hunt flicks. The first Mission bowed to $74.9M over its six-day holiday frame in May 1996 including $45.4M over the Friday-to-Sunday span.
Instead, the new J.J. Abrams-directed IMF saga opened in the same neighborhood as other recent star-driven spy films like last summer’s Mr. & Mrs. Smith ($50.3M), 2004’s The Bourne Supremacy ($52.5M), and 2002’s James Bond film Die Another Day ($47.1M). Although opening near the $50M mark over three days is an impressive feat, Cruise’s new film was backed by one of the most expensive marketing campaigns in recent memory. The highly-paid star/producer attended premieres all around the world, popped up on major talk shows and magazine covers, and press coverage, not surprisingly, was non-stop.
Industry watchers must now wonder – was there too much marketing? Were audiences sick and tired of hearing and seeing Tom Cruise everywhere? Did they really want to spend money seeing even more of him? Media-saavy moviegoers voted with their dollars and those who seemed to have had enough chose to stay away. The MI3 hype machine brought back memories of Sony’s Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle from three years ago. That action sequel also arrived in theaters on a disturbingly loud wave of promotion revolving around its flamboyant stars and Demi Moore‘s relationship with Ashton Kutcher which was constantly covered on the airwaves. Despite the pricey marketing investment, Throttle debuted weaker than expected with $37.6M and crumbled 63% in its sophomore frame.
Paramount was pleased with the international results for Mission: Impossible III as the actioner took in an estimated $70M over the weekend opening in almost all major markets around the world except for Japan. The spy sequel blanketed the globe with roughly 9,500 theaters in 55 markets putting its worldwide opening weekend tally at $118M. The ratio between sales outside and within North America remained the same as with previous Mission pics. The 1996 original grossed 61% of its $465M global tally overseas while MI2 took in 60% of its $538M internationally. This weekend, 60% of MI3’s dollars came from abroad.
With no major competition for the family audience, the Robin Williams comedy RV enjoyed the smallest decline in the top ten easing just 32% to an estimated $11.1M. The Sony release dropped one notch following its top spot bow and has grossed a solid $31M to date. In just ten days, RV has already become the second biggest live-action grosser for Williams in the past seven years after the $67.4M of 2002’s Insomnia. Look for the $50M road trip flick to end its journey in the neighborhood of $60M.
Opening in third place was the supernatural thriller An American Haunting which scared up an estimated $6.4M in ticket sales in its first three days. The PG-13 film averaged a decent $3,825 from 1,668 theaters. Reviews were mostly negative for the Donald Sutherland–Sissy Spacek starrer about a possessed young woman in the 1800s. Distributor Freestyle Releasing’s weekend estimate included an unusually low Saturday-to-Sunday decline of less than 5%. Final grosses released on Monday could see the figure come down.
The gymnastics comedy Stick It tumbled 49% in its second weekend to an estimated $5.5M giving Buena Vista $18M in ten days. Look for the teen pic to reach $27-29M which is commendable for its genre. After a solid takeoff last weekend, the 9/11 hijack thriller United 93 declined a substantial 55% in its sophomore frame and grossed an estimated $5.2M. After ten days, Universal’s $15M pic has collected $20.1M and should find its way to roughly $30M domestically.
Fox’s Ice Age: The Meltdown dropped 45% to an estimated $4M in its sixth frame to boost its cume to $183.3M. Crumbling 58% in its third spook was Sony’s fright flick Silent Hill which grossed an estimated $3.9M lifting the cume to $40.8M.
The spoof sequel Scary Movie 4 fell 52% to an estimated $3.8M and brought its total to $83.7M. The Starbucks-promoted kid drama Akeelah and the Bee enjoyed a respectable second weekend hold dropping 43% to an estimated $3.4M. After ten days, the Lionsgate release has still only grossed $10.7M and seems likely to finish close to $20M.
Opening to dismal results with an estimated $3.4M from 3,018 theaters was the kid drama Hoot from New Line. The PG-rated story of a group of boys who set out to save endangered owls averaged a pitiful $1,127 per location. Fans of the best-selling book apparently avoided the film adaptation and critics for the most part were unimpressed.
A handful of films opened in limited release to mixed results. Warner Independent debuted the Chinese epic The Promise in 213 theaters but grossed only $271,000 according to estimates for a poor $1,272 average. The Golden Globe-nominated adventure was China’s official submission to this year’s Oscars and is reportedly that country’s most expensive film ever made. U.S. critics were not very pleased.
Sony Classics bowed its indie comedy Art School Confidential which grossed an estimated $142,000 from a dozen sites in New York and Los Angeles averaging a strong $11,833 per site. The Terry Zwigoff-directed film expands to nearly 800 theaters in most major markets on Friday. ThinkFilm debuted its Edward Norton starrer Down in the Valley to an estimated $26,000 from three New York houses for a solid $8,770 average. The film widens to three more cities on Friday before gradually expanding throughout May.
Among holdovers, Fox Searchlight expanded its widow drama Water from five to 36 theaters and grossed an estimated $188,000 for a $5,222 average. The ten-day total stands at $270,000 and this Friday the Deepa Mehta film will widen to about 60 sites. The distributor’s indie sensation Thank You for Smoking collected an estimated $1.1M, off 40%, for a $20M cume.
Three April releases were pushed out of the top ten this weekend. The Michael Douglas political thriller The Sentinel took a big hit from MI3 and crashed 62% to an estimated $3M putting its 17-day cume at $30.9M. Fox should find its way to about $36M. Disney’s underperforming toon The Wild slumped 46% to an estimated $2.6M. With only $32M in the bank, the animated film looks to conclude with $36-38M. Sony, on the other hand, has generated solid numbers for its sports comedy The Benchwarmers which grossed an estimated $2M this weekend. Down 54%, the Rob Schneider–David Spade film has taken in $55.6M thus far and is set to end with just under $60M.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $94.7M which was up a healthy 24% from last year when Kingdom of Heaven opened at number one with $19.6M; but off 4% from 2004 when Van Helsing debuted in the top spot with $51.7M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, BoxOfficeGuru.com
Proving that farcical family vacations are more enticing than gymnastics, spelling bees, and historical plane crashes, Sony’s "RV" landed atop the weekend box office tally by grossing an estimated $16.4 million from over 3,600 theaters. Because nothing says "box office hit" like a good septic tank gag.
Debuting in second place (and 1,800 theaters) was Universal’s lauded and controversial "United 93," which managed about $11.6 million in its opening frame, while Disney’s gymnastics flick "Stick It" was a close third, grossing approximately $11.2 million from just over 2,000 theaters.
Fourth and fifth place went to a pair of horror-related hangers-on: Sony’s "Silent Hill" added another $9.3 million to its $34.2 million total, and Dimension’s "Scary Movie 4" yanked another $7.8 million out of moviegoers’ pockets, giving it a grand total of $78.1 million.
Lionsgate’s "Akeelah and the Bee" debuted to relatively meager numbers by pulling in only $6.2 million from 2,200 theaters.
The summer movie officially kicks off next weekend with the arrival of Paramount’s "Mission: Impossible III," New Line’s family flick "Hoot," and Freestyle’s fact-based chiller "An American Haunting."
For a closer peek at the weekend numbers, click on over to the Rotten Tomatoes Box Office Page.
Is it too soon for the studios to make movies about the terrorist attacks on Sept 11, 2001? Directed by Paul Greengrass (Bloody Sunday) with a cast of unknowns, "United 93" re-enacts the hijacking of United Airlines flight 93 and its eventual crash into a field in Pennsylvania, killing everyone on board. Critics say, while difficult to watch, "United 93" is made with skill and treats the subject matter with respect, never resorting to the aggrandizement Hollywood is known for. As of this writing, "United 93" is Certified Fresh with a Tomatometer reading of 93%, the best-reviewed drama of 2006 for movies with at least 50 reviews.
If you’ve been to a Starbucks lately, you’ll notice that you’re seeing more on the walls and chalkboards than art decor and beverage suggestions. It’s hard to miss those "Akeelah and the Bee" note cards and stickers. That’s because besides making caffeinated beverages, Starbucks is dabbling in movies as well. The movie centers on Akeelah who, through the tutelage of a mentor played by Laurence Fishburne, rises above the odds to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee contest. Despite its predictability, "Akeelah" is doing quite well with the critics, scoring 84% on the Tomatometer. Critics say its star Keke Palmer‘s winning performance makes it easy to forgive the film’s flaws.
If "Stick It" does well at the box office, will we see the writer of "Bring It On" pen a movie about sychronized swimming? For all we know, that script is probably done, just waiting for a greenlight from studio execs. While that movie may hold promise, "Stick It" fails to score well with the critics with a reading of 21% on the Tomatometer. Filled with teen speak and shopworn cliches, the movie may appeal to teenage mallrats, they say.
In Robin Williams‘ latest comedy "RV," his family dreads the prospect of taking an extended road trip with him in a Winnebago, and with a reading of 32% on the Tomatometer, so do the critics. The reason? The movie’s not that funny. While "RV" does have the occasional chuckle, it’s a mediocre effort at best.
From the creators of that modern classic, "Bring it On," comes another flick about girl athletes that don’t get enough respect: gymnasts. Starring Missy Peregrym as the punkish, rebellious teen protagonist, "Stick It" promises lots of flipping, twisting, tumbling action for the family crowd.
The Larry Clark fans out there might be interested to peek at the American Apparel-esque stills from his latest pseudo-doc drama, "Wassup Rockers." This tale is set in South Central LA and follows a band of Latino skater-teens (all first-time actors, using their real names) as they voyage out of the "safety" of the hood and into the uncharted territory of Beverly Hills.
"Wassup Rockers" screened at this year’s Slamdance, and is set for limited release June 23, 2006.
Another festival film with some indie buzz was Australian western "The Proposition," starring Guy Pearce, Danny Huston, Ray Winstone and Emily Watson. First Look Pictures will distribute in limited release May 5 in New York City.
An ultra-violent, starkly beautiful pic, "The Proposition" was written and scored by none other than Nick Cave; if you know Cave’s music, you can guess what the film’s vibe will be like. For Tim’s Sundance capsule review, click here.
Sony rode a press blackout to first place with their video game horror flick "Silent Hill." The gothic creepfest earned an estimated $20.2 million from 2,900 theaters, handily knocking last week’s champ, "Scary Movie 4," into second place.
Chapter numero cuatro in the seemingly endless spoof series, "Scary Movie 4" grabbed another $17 million, placing its total somewhere in the range of $67.7 million. Debuting in 2,800 theaters (and third place) was Fox’s secret service thriller "The Sentinel," with $14.7 million.
Fourth and fifth place went to a pair of animated animal-fests: "Ice Age: The Meltdown" ($12.8 million weekend, $168 million total) and "The Wild" ($8.1 million weekend, $22 million total), respectively.
Arriving next weekend are the last four flicks before May kick-starts the "summer" movie season: Lionsgate’s family drama "Akeelah and the Bee," Sony’s slapsticker "RV," Disney’s tween-sports flick "Stick It," and Universal’s inevitably controversial 9/11 drama, "United 93."
For a more thorough examination of this past weekend’s box office results, please do click by the Rotten Tomatoes Box Office Page.