In this week’s Ketchup, we get the latest scoop on "Casino Royale," "The Dark Knight" has a possible new filming location, and because he has other obligations, Arnold Schwarzenegger won’t be able to star in "Terminator 4."
Also, Rotten Tomatoes counts down the top 20 scariest films of all-time, and we were treated to the first four minutes of "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan." Chenquieh!
This Week’s Most Popular News:
"Casino Royale" – The Review, The Song, The DVD
Looks like today’s a busy day for "Casino Royale," what with its first review hitting the ‘net, plus there’s a new music video, a DVD release date, and some now-confirmed gossip about what Scottish actor turned DOWN the role of 007.
Is "The Dark Knight" Going to China?
Big fan of location scouting? Then you’re gonna love this: Apparently the folks preparing "The Dark Knight" for its January shoot have been looking into Hong Kong as a possible location. Hey, cool. Just start making the movie already.
"Terminator 4" Will Be Ahnold-Free
Screenwriter Michael Ferris isn’t about to dole out too many spoilers regarding his "Terminator 4" script, but he recently made one thing perfectly clear: Arnold Schwarzenegger is most definitely not part of the equation.
RT’s Top 20 Halloween Movie Countdown, Part 1
Just what does Rotten Tomatoes deem the all-time scariest horror flick? Is it a gruesome slasher that results in heightened anxiety and sudden spine-tingling jolts and jumps? Or, is it a psychological thriller that plagues the subconscious for weeks to come?
Jagshemash! Enjoy the Opening Scenes of "Borat!"
Well, the first four minutes of the opening scenes, anyway. Yep, the first 240 seconds of "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan" can be yours for free, and all you need is an internet connection and a browser.
In Other News:
Are you between the ages of 13 and 19? Do you like … stuff? Then click right here and cast your votes for the 329th annual Teen Choice Awards, which is where you can tell the universe that Puffy is more illing than Snoop Dogg, Will Ferrell is funnier than Brad Pitt, and Katie Holmes is cuter than Katey Sagal. Or something.
Click right here for the ballot, but don’t even think of voting if you’re older than 19. The Teen Choice Awards employ a bunch of enforcers who’ll come to your house and check your birth certificate.
I had to lie about my age to check out the nominees (don’t tell anyone), but the TCAs are poised to celebrate some of the following flicks:
Best Action Adventure: "King Kong," "Mission Impossible 3," "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest," "Superman Returns," "V for Vendetta," "X-Men: The Last Stand"
They also have a bunch of actor’s categories, but the choices managed to somehow get even sillier. Click here to cast your votes, kids.
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 Paramount release dropped 55% from its opening day last Friday which was understandable given that it was an action sequel. Some of Cruise’s biggest box office hits like War of the Worlds and the previous Mission films all debuted mid-week over holiday frames so comparing Friday-to-Friday declines would be unfair. However, action films opening on the first weekend of May over the last three years all tumbled by more than 60% on their second Fridays. Over the Friday-to-Sunday period, MI3 is on course to take in $23-25M.
Warner Bros. docked in second place on Friday with its cruise ship disaster flick Poseidon which opened to an estimated $7.2M in its first day of release. The debut was almost identical to the $7.3M opening day gross of last year’s big-budget, early summer action film Kingdom of Heaven which went on to collect $19.6M during its opening frame. Poseidon looks to finish the weekend in second place with $19-22M.
Lindsay Lohan‘s new comedy Just My Luck premiered with an estimated $2M on Friday in its first day in theaters. Fellow freshman Goal! The Dream Begins debuted to an estimated $600,000 on Friday. Weekend tallies should reach $5-6M for Fox’s Luck and $2-3M for Buena Vista’s Goal!
The top ten films grossed an estimated $24.4M on Friday which was down 16% from a year ago when Monster-in-Law bowed to a Friday gross of $8M on its way to a $23.1M weekend debut.
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
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.
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.
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.
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)