(Photo by Touchstone/courtesy Everett Collection)

All Bill Murray Movies Ranked

From tales of crashing bachelor parties and kickball games, to intimate fan pranks that he knows the public will never believe, to his unavailabity outside of a 1-800 number, the antics of lord of chaos Bill Murray could overshadow his actual job as an actor. But this decade alone has seen Certified Fresh hits like Moonrise Kingdom, The Jungle Book, Grand Budapest Hotel, and St. Vincent.

The output compares handsomely even to his ’80s heyday, which saw the likes of Ghostbusters, Stripes, Caddyshack, and Scrooged put into theaters. The ’90s not only had his lead-starring masterpiece Groundhog Day, but also the zany What About Bob?, and his first reinvention as the patron saint of comedic melancholia, Rushmore. All that paved the way for his towering 2000s output, featuring The Royal Tenenbaums, Lost in Translation, his Best Actor-nominated Broken Flowers, and Garfield…which we’re mentioning because it led directly to his inspired cameo in Zombieland.

Now, take a look at Bill Murray movies ranked by Tomatometer.

#55

Passion Play (2010)
3%

#55
Adjusted Score: 3422%
Critics Consensus: Passion Play has a terrific cast, but don't be fooled - the only real question at the heart of this misbegotten mystery is what its stars were thinking.
Synopsis: A washed-up musician (Mickey Rourke) tries to protect an enigmatic winged woman (Megan Fox) from a merciless gangster (Bill Murray)... [More]
Directed By: Mitch Glazer

#54

Rock the Kasbah (2015)
7%

#54
Adjusted Score: 11551%
Critics Consensus: The Shareef don't like Rock the Kasbah, and neither will viewers hoping for a film that manages to make effective use of Bill Murray's knack for playing lovably anarchic losers.
Synopsis: While visiting Kabul, Afghanistan, washed-up music manager Richie Lanz (Bill Murray) gets dumped by his last client. His luck changes... [More]
Directed By: Barry Levinson

#53

Larger Than Life (1996)
11%

#53
Adjusted Score: 10360%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Jack Corcoran (Bill Murray) is a struggling motivational speaker who lives by the mantra "Get over it!" When he learns... [More]
Directed By: Howard Franklin

#52
Adjusted Score: 13716%
Critics Consensus: Strictly for (very) little kids, A Tale of Two Kitties features skilled voice actors but a plot that holds little interest.
Synopsis: Garfield (Bill Murray) follows Jon (Breckin Meyer) to England and receives the royal treatment after he is mistaken for the... [More]
Directed By: Tim Hill

#51
#51
Adjusted Score: 18664%
Critics Consensus: When the novelty of the CGI Garfield wears off, what's left is a simplistic kiddie movie.
Synopsis: Based on the popular comic strip, this live-action comedy follows the exploits of Garfield (Bill Murray), the large, lazy and... [More]
Directed By: Peter Hewitt

#50
Adjusted Score: 17507%
Critics Consensus: Tiresomely self-indulgent and lacking any storytelling cohesion, this Glimpse Inside the Mind finds little food for thought.
Synopsis: A graphic designer (Charlie Sheen) plays out unusual fantasies in his head as a way of coping with the departure... [More]
Directed By: Roman Coppola

#49
#49
Adjusted Score: 17676%
Critics Consensus: Bill Murray delivers a noteworthy portrayal of Hunter S. Thompson, but Where the Buffalo Roam strains to get through its rambling narrative.
Synopsis: In 1968, drug-addled journalist Hunter S. Thompson (Bill Murray) covers the drug possession trial of a group of young people... [More]
Directed By: Art Linson

#48

Aloha (2015)
20%

#48
Adjusted Score: 25439%
Critics Consensus: Meandering and insubstantial, Aloha finds writer-director Cameron Crowe at his most sentimental and least compelling.
Synopsis: While on assignment in Oahu, Hawaii, military contractor Brian Gilcrest (Bradley Cooper) reconnects with his old flame Tracy Woodside (Rachel... [More]
Directed By: Cameron Crowe

#47

The Lost City (2005)
25%

#47
Adjusted Score: 27709%
Critics Consensus: Its heart is in the right place, but what starts as a promising exercise devolves into an overlong, unevenly directed disappointment.
Synopsis: Fico Fellove (Andy Garcia), an apolitical Havana club owner, gets caught in the middle when Fidel Castro's Communist Revolution sweeps... [More]
Directed By: Andy Garcia

#46
#46
Adjusted Score: 43970%
Critics Consensus: Though bolstered by a thoroughly charming performance by Bill Murray in the central role, Hyde Park on Hudson is an FDR biopic that lets down both its audience and its subject.
Synopsis: In June 1939, the reigning British king (Samuel West) and queen (Olivia Colman) visit President (Bill Murray) and Mrs. Franklin... [More]
Directed By: Roger Michell

#45
Adjusted Score: 40467%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In London to celebrate his birthday with James (Peter Gallagher), his rich younger brother, hapless American Wallace Ritchie (Bill Murray)... [More]
Directed By: Jon Amiel

#44
#44
Adjusted Score: 46953%
Critics Consensus: A minimalist exercise in not much of anything, The Limits of Control is a tedious viewing experience with little reward.
Synopsis: A mysterious stranger (Isaach De Bankolé) works outside the law and keeps his objectives hidden, trusting no one. While his... [More]
Directed By: Jim Jarmusch

#43

Space Jam (1996)
45%

#43
Adjusted Score: 48942%
Critics Consensus: While it's no slam dunk, Space Jam's silly, Looney Toons-laden slapstick and vivid animation will leave younger viewers satisfied -- though accompanying adults may be more annoyed than entertained.
Synopsis: Swackhammer (Danny DeVito), an evil alien theme park owner, needs a new attraction at Moron Mountain. When his gang, the... [More]
Directed By: Joe Pytka

#42
Adjusted Score: 45273%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Casting agents for an upcoming Martin Scorsese movie suggest that actor Johnny DiMartino (Robert Costanzo) try out for a part,... [More]
Directed By: Philip Frank Messina

#41

The Razor's Edge (1984)
50%

#41
Adjusted Score: 50521%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Somerset Maugham's Larry Darrell (Bill Murray) goes from World War I to a coal mine to the Himalayas seeking inner... [More]
Directed By: John Byrum

#40

Kingpin (1996)
50%

#40
Adjusted Score: 51721%
Critics Consensus: Kingpin has its moments, but they're often offset by an eagerness to descend into vulgar mean-spiritedness.
Synopsis: Roy Munson (Woody Harrelson) is a young bowler with a promising career ahead of him until a disreputable colleague, Ernie... [More]

#39

Get Smart (2008)
51%

#39
Adjusted Score: 58998%
Critics Consensus: Get Smart rides Steve Carell's considerable charm for a few laughs, but ultimately proves to be a rather ordinary action comedy.
Synopsis: When members of the nefarious crime syndicate KAOS attack the U.S. spy agency Control, the Chief (Alan Arkin) has to... [More]
Directed By: Peter Segal

#38

Ghostbusters II (1989)
53%

#38
Adjusted Score: 54687%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to the cast, Ghostbusters 2 is reasonably amusing, but it lacks the charm, wit, and energy of its predecessor.
Synopsis: After saving New York City from a ghost attack, the Ghostbusters -- a team of spirit exterminators -- is disbanded... [More]
Directed By: Ivan Reitman

#37

City of Ember (2008)
54%

#37
Adjusted Score: 57829%
Critics Consensus: City of Ember is visually arresting, and boasts a superb cast, but is sadly lacking in both action and adventure.
Synopsis: For generations a massive generator has sustained the needs of the underground city of Ember. But the generator was built... [More]
Directed By: Gil Kenan

#36
#36
Adjusted Score: 73354%
Critics Consensus: The Dead Don't Die dabbles with tones and themes to varying degrees of success, but sharp wit and a strong cast make this a zom-com with enough brains to consume.
Synopsis: In the sleepy small town of Centerville, something is not quite right. The moon hangs large and low in the... [More]
Directed By: Jim Jarmusch

#35

Osmosis Jones (2001)
56%

#35
Adjusted Score: 58971%
Critics Consensus: The animated portion of Osmosis is zippy and fun, but the live-action portion is lethargic.
Synopsis: A cutting-edge, live action/animated action adventure comedy about one white blood cell's (Chris Rock) race against the biological clock to... [More]

#34
Adjusted Score: 64302%
Critics Consensus: Much like the titular oceanographer, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou's overt irony may come off as smug and artificial -- but for fans of Wes Anderson's unique brand of whimsy it might be worth the dive.
Synopsis: Renowned oceanographer Steve Zissou (Bill Murray) has sworn vengeance upon the rare shark that devoured a member of his crew.... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

#33

Hamlet (2000)
59%

#33
Adjusted Score: 62121%
Critics Consensus: Stiff performances fail to produce any tension onscreen.
Synopsis: This is a modern retelling of the classic tale of a young fimmaker in New York City (Ethan Hawke) struggling... [More]
Directed By: Michael Almereyda

#32

Wild Things (1998)
63%

#32
Adjusted Score: 65010%
Critics Consensus: Wild Things is a delightfully salacious, flesh-exposed romp that also requires a high degree of love for trash cinema.
Synopsis: When teen debutante Kelly (Denise Richards) fails to attract the attention of her hunky guidance counselor, Sam (Matt Dillon), she... [More]
Directed By: John McNaughton

#31

Cradle Will Rock (1999)
65%

#31
Adjusted Score: 66805%
Critics Consensus: Witty and provocative.
Synopsis: As labor strikes break out throughout the country, New York is alive with cultural revolution. Nelson Rockefeller (John Cusack) commissions... [More]
Directed By: Tim Robbins

#30
#30
Adjusted Score: 67948%
Critics Consensus: Episodes vary in quality, but overall this talky film is quirkily engaging.
Synopsis: This 11-vignette film focuses on the human interactions that happen while partaking in the everyday indulgence of coffee and cigarettes.... [More]
Directed By: Jim Jarmusch

#29

Charlie's Angels (2000)
69%

#29
Adjusted Score: 73513%
Critics Consensus: Mixing tongue-in-cheek cheesecake with glossy action set pieces, Charlie's Angels is slick and resonably fun despite its lack of originality.
Synopsis: A trio of elite private investigators armed with the latest in high-tech tools, high-performance vehicles, martial arts techniques and an... [More]
Directed By: McG

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 69241%
Critics Consensus: A Very Murray Christmas preaches effectively to the converted with a parade of superstar guests and hummable songs that - combined with the host's trademark presence - adds up to a unique holiday experience.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: Sofia Coppola

#27

Scrooged (1988)
69%

#27
Adjusted Score: 72390%
Critics Consensus: Scrooged gets by with Bill Murray and a dash of holiday spirit, although it's hampered by a markedly conflicted tone and an undercurrent of mean-spiritedness.
Synopsis: In this modern take on Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," Frank Cross (Bill Murray) is a wildly successful television executive... [More]
Directed By: Richard Donner

#26
#26
Adjusted Score: 75653%
Critics Consensus: With the requisite combination of humor, sorrow and outstanding visuals, The Darjeeling Limited will satisfy Wes Anderson fans.
Synopsis: Estranged brothers Francis (Owen Wilson), Peter (Adrien Brody) and Jack (Jason Schwartzman) reunite for a train trip across India. The... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

#25

Meatballs (1979)
72%

#25
Adjusted Score: 74666%
Critics Consensus: Meatballs is a summer camp comedy with few surprises, but Bill Murray's riffing adds a spark that sets it apart from numerous subpar entries in a frequently uninspired genre.
Synopsis: Tripper (Bill Murray) is the head counselor at a budget summer camp called Camp Northstar. In truth, he's young at... [More]
Directed By: Ivan Reitman

#24

Caddyshack (1980)
73%

#24
Adjusted Score: 77315%
Critics Consensus: Though unabashedly crude and juvenile, Caddyshack nevertheless scores with its classic slapstick, unforgettable characters, and endlessly quotable dialogue.
Synopsis: Danny Noonan (Michael O'Keefe), a teen down on his luck, works as a caddy at the snob-infested Bushwood Country Club... [More]
Directed By: Harold Ramis

#23

Ghostbusters (2016)
74%

#23
Adjusted Score: 97941%
Critics Consensus: Ghostbusters does an impressive job of standing on its own as a freewheeling, marvelously cast supernatural comedy -- even if it can't help but pale somewhat in comparison with the classic original.
Synopsis: Paranormal researcher Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) and physicist Erin Gilbert are trying to prove that ghosts exist in modern society.... [More]
Directed By: Paul Feig

#22
#22
Adjusted Score: 76240%
Critics Consensus: Inspired casting and a prevailing sweetness make Mad Dog and Glory an oddball treat.
Synopsis: Wayne Dobie (Robert De Niro) is a shy cop whose low-key demeanor has earned him the affectionate nickname "Mad Dog."... [More]
Directed By: John McNaughton

#21

St. Vincent (2014)
77%

#21
Adjusted Score: 85071%
Critics Consensus: St. Vincent offers the considerable pleasure of seeing Bill Murray back in funny form, but drifts into dangerously sentimental territory along the way.
Synopsis: Maggie (Melissa McCarthy), a struggling single woman, moves to Brooklyn with her 12-year-old son, Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher). Having to work... [More]
Directed By: Theodore Melfi

#20
#20
Adjusted Score: 88555%
Critics Consensus: The Royal Tenenbaums is a delightful adult comedy with many quirks and a sense of poignancy. Many critics especially praised Hackman's performance.
Synopsis: Royal Tenenbaum and his wife Etheline had three children and then they separated. All three children are extraordinary --- all... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

#19

Quick Change (1990)
83%

#19
Adjusted Score: 85138%
Critics Consensus: Quick Change makes the most of its clever premise with a smartly skewed heist comedy that leaves plenty of room for its talented cast to shine.
Synopsis: With the aid of his girlfriend, Phyllis Potter (Geena Davis), and best friend, Loomis (Randy Quaid), Grimm (Bill Murray) enters... [More]
Directed By: Howard Franklin

#18

What About Bob? (1991)
84%

#18
Adjusted Score: 83778%
Critics Consensus: Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss' chemistry helps make the most of a familiar yet durable premise, elevating What About Bob? into the upper ranks of '90s comedies.
Synopsis: Before going on vacation, self-involved psychiatrist Dr. Leo Marvin (Richard Dreyfuss) has the misfortune of taking on a new patient:... [More]
Directed By: Frank Oz

#17

Get Low (2009)
85%

#17
Adjusted Score: 89155%
Critics Consensus: Subtle to a fault, this perfectly cast ensemble drama is lifted by typically sharp performances from Robert Duvall and Bill Murray.
Synopsis: When much-feared hermit Felix Bush (Robert Duvall) comes to town with a wad of cash and announces his intention to... [More]
Directed By: Aaron Schneider

#16

On the Rocks (2020)
87%

#16
Adjusted Score: 105624%
Critics Consensus: On the Rocks isn't as potent as its top-shelf ingredients might suggest, but the end result still goes down easy -- and offers high proof of Bill Murray's finely aged charm.
Synopsis: Faced with sudden doubts about her marriage, a young New York mother teams up with her larger-than-life playboy father to... [More]
Directed By: Sofia Coppola

#15

Broken Flowers (2005)
87%

#15
Adjusted Score: 93715%
Critics Consensus: Bill Murray's subtle and understated style complements director Jim Jarmusch's minimalist storytelling in this quirky, but deadpan comedy.
Synopsis: When his latest girlfriend (Julie Delpy) leaves him, retired computer magnate Don Johnston (Bill Murray) has no greater ambition than... [More]
Directed By: Jim Jarmusch

#14

Stripes (1981)
88%

#14
Adjusted Score: 89921%
Critics Consensus: A raucous military comedy that features Bill Murray and his merry cohorts approaching the peak of their talents.
Synopsis: Hard-luck cabbie John Winger (Bill Murray) -- directionless after being fired from his job and dumped by his girlfriend --... [More]
Directed By: Ivan Reitman

#13

Zombieland (2009)
89%

#13
Adjusted Score: 99788%
Critics Consensus: Wickedly funny and featuring plenty of gore, Zombieland is proof that the zombie subgenre is far from dead.
Synopsis: After a virus turns most people into zombies, the world's surviving humans remain locked in an ongoing battle against the... [More]
Directed By: Ruben Fleischer

#12

Tootsie (1982)
90%

#12
Adjusted Score: 94175%
Critics Consensus: Tootsie doesn't squander its high-concept comedy premise with fine dialogue and sympathetic treatment of the characters.
Synopsis: New York actor Michael Dorsey (Dustin Hoffman) is a talented perfectionist who is so hard on himself and others that... [More]
Directed By: Sydney Pollack

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 94422%
Critics Consensus: Remixing Roger Corman's B-movie by way of the Off-Broadway musical, Little Shop of Horrors offers camp, horror and catchy tunes in equal measure -- plus some inspired cameos by the likes of Steve Martin and Bill Murray.
Synopsis: Meek flower shop assistant Seymour (Rick Moranis) pines for co-worker Audrey (Ellen Greene). During a total eclipse, he discovers an... [More]
Directed By: Frank Oz

#10

Rushmore (1998)
90%

#10
Adjusted Score: 94791%
Critics Consensus: This cult favorite is a quirky coming of age story, with fine, off-kilter performances from Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray.
Synopsis: When a beautiful first-grade teacher (Olivia Williams) arrives at a prep school, she soon attracts the attention of an ambitious... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

#9

Isle of Dogs (2018)
90%

#9
Adjusted Score: 111580%
Critics Consensus: The beautifully stop-motion animated Isle of Dogs finds Wes Anderson at his detail-oriented best while telling one of the director's most winsomely charming stories.
Synopsis: When, by executive decree, all the canine pets of Megasaki City are exiled to a vast garbage-dump called Trash Island,... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

#8

Ed Wood (1994)
92%

#8
Adjusted Score: 96147%
Critics Consensus: Tim Burton and Johnny Depp team up to fete the life and work of cult hero Ed Wood, with typically strange and wonderful results.
Synopsis: Because of his eccentric habits and bafflingly strange films, director Ed Wood (Johnny Depp) is a Hollywood outcast. Nevertheless, with... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 104614%
Critics Consensus: Typically stylish but deceptively thoughtful, The Grand Budapest Hotel finds Wes Anderson once again using ornate visual environments to explore deeply emotional ideas.
Synopsis: In the 1930s, the Grand Budapest Hotel is a popular European ski resort, presided over by concierge Gustave H. (Ralph... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 102151%
Critics Consensus: Fantastic Mr. Fox is a delightfully funny feast for the eyes with multi-generational appeal -- and it shows Wes Anderson has a knack for animation.
Synopsis: After 12 years of bucolic bliss, Mr. Fox (George Clooney) breaks a promise to his wife (Meryl Streep) and raids... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

#5

Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
93%

#5
Adjusted Score: 104518%
Critics Consensus: Warm, whimsical, and poignant, the immaculately framed and beautifully acted Moonrise Kingdom presents writer/director Wes Anderson at his idiosyncratic best.
Synopsis: The year is 1965, and the residents of New Penzance, an island off the coast of New England, inhabit a... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

#4

The Jungle Book (2016)
94%

#4
Adjusted Score: 114751%
Critics Consensus: As lovely to behold as it is engrossing to watch, The Jungle Book is the rare remake that actually improves upon its predecessors -- all while setting a new standard for CGI.
Synopsis: Raised by a family of wolves since birth, Mowgli (Neel Sethi) must leave the only home he's ever known when... [More]
Directed By: Jon Favreau

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 103110%
Critics Consensus: Effectively balancing humor and subtle pathos, Sofia Coppola crafts a moving, melancholy story that serves as a showcase for both Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson.
Synopsis: A lonely, aging movie star named Bob Harris (Bill Murray) and a conflicted newlywed, Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), meet in Tokyo.... [More]
Directed By: Sofia Coppola

#2

Groundhog Day (1993)
97%

#2
Adjusted Score: 103336%
Critics Consensus: Smart, sweet, and inventive, Groundhog Day highlights Murray's dramatic gifts while still leaving plenty of room for laughs.
Synopsis: Phil (Bill Murray), a weatherman, is out to cover the annual emergence of the groundhog from its hole. He gets... [More]
Directed By: Harold Ramis

#1

Ghostbusters (1984)
97%

#1
Adjusted Score: 103035%
Critics Consensus: An infectiously fun blend of special effects and comedy, with Bill Murray's hilarious deadpan performance leading a cast of great comic turns.
Synopsis: After the members of a team of scientists (Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray) lose their cushy positions at a... [More]
Directed By: Ivan Reitman

It’s often difficult to tell where performance art ends and real life begins with Bill Murray, so for all we know, this could be part of some elaborate stunt — but according to The Hollywood Reporter (via the AP wire), Murray experienced an unusual run-in with Swedish police this week, involving a golf cart, a public road, and alcohol.

Apparently, Murray was in Stockholm for the Scandinavian Masters golf tournament, and his hotel had a golf cart on display, so naturally, he decided to hop on and ride it to a nearby restaurant. As you might guess, golf carts in traffic are uncommon in Sweden, and when police officers pulled Murray over to figure out what was going on, they thought they detected a certain booze-ish aroma.

When asked to take a breathalyzer test, Murray refused, citing American law, so he was given a blood test, after which he reportedly signed an admission of driving under the influence and agreed to plead guilty by proxy.

The results of Murray’s blood test will be returned in two weeks. If they prove higher than Sweden’s legal blood alcohol limit (which is .02%), he’ll face legal action. According to the officer interviewed for the AP report, a prison sentence is possible, but it’s more likely that Murray would be issued a fine.

In related news, Murray continues to go unpunished for Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

With schools letting out for the summer, Hollywood rolls out a pair of PG-rated films hoping to attract kids to the multiplexes with some mindless fun.

Fox unleashes "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer" which looks to give the box office its seventh consecutive weekend ruled by a sequel. Warner Bros. counters the testosterone effects pic with its teen girl story "Nancy Drew" while The Weinstein Co. mixes the formulas by opening its all-female action flick "DOA: Dead or Alive."

Marvel super heroes look to top the charts for the third time this year with the new "Fantastic Four" film which reunites the main cast members of the first pic. That comic book actioner opened to a sturdy $56.1M in July 2005 and went on to gross $154.7M domestically and over $330M worldwide. Though panned by critics, it got the franchise going and Fox hopes to keep the cash registers ringing this summer. The studio aims to follow the same pattern it saw for its other Marvel ensemble series. 2000’s "X-Men" debuted to $54.5M and reached a $157.3M final with the 2003 and 2006 followups each grossing more and more.

But "Silver Surfer" is different from "X2: X-Men United" which bowed to $85.6M. That mutant sequel earned strong reviews, followed a predecessor that was well-received, and opened at the beginning of May when there was no competition. The current sequel fatigue that has been hitting the box office could prevent "Four" from expanding beyond its core base. The studio gets credit for building the marketing campaign around the Silver Surfer character so it feels like it is offering something new. The milder PG rating could allow it to reach a broader audience, but many parents may not even notice as the ads make it look like all the other PG-13 comic pics. Cruising into over 3,800 theaters, "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer" could take in around $53M this weekend.


"FF 2: ROTSS"

"Nancy Drew" hits the big screen with the teen sleuth from the popular mystery books moving to California to find herself in the middle of an unsolved case. The PG-rated film should see most of its business from the under-18 female set however since the property has been around for so long, it could bring in some older folks too. With Unfabulous star Emma Roberts as the title character, the Warner Bros. release offers little starpower beyond its core demographic. The studio will have to rely on the brand name and the current lack of films exciting girls. The turnout could be similar to what Warners saw two years ago in June 2005 with "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" which bowed to $9.8M over three days and $13.6M over its five-day launch. Opening in 2,612 theaters, "Nancy Drew" might debut with around $12M.


"Nancy Drew"

The videogame-inspired action film "DOA: Dead or Alive" gets a quiet release in 505 theaters on Friday. A babes-in-bikinis fight flick, the Weinstein Co. release is not being pushed too feverishly and will have little chance of drawing in business against the more high-profile action films out there now. With no major stars, the much-delayed PG-13 film might find itself with $1M or less this weekend.


"DOA: Dead Or Alive"

"Ocean’s Thirteen" was met with the smallest jackpot ever won by the franchise last weekend. "Ocean’s Twelve" fell by 53% in its second weekend in December 2004. The new installment should also see a steep drop given that it is the third time around and people are not exactly loving the pic. Warner Bros. could suffer a 55% decline and collect about $16M for a ten-day cume of $67M.

"Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End" has been dropping by more than 50% each weekend and with the new "Fantastic Four" sequel arriving, this frame should be no different. Look for sales to get sliced in half and dip to about $11M pushing the domestic cume to $272M.

A 30% drop could be in the works for "Knocked Up" which will not face much competition for adults. Look for a $14M weekend giving the Universal comedy $90M in 17 days.

LAST YEAR: The Disney/Pixar collaboration "Cars" held onto the top spot for a second weekend with $33.7M for a reasonable drop of 44%. The Jack Black comedy "Nacho Libre" led the newcomers with an opening of $28.3M on its way to $80.2M for Paramount. "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" followed in third with a $24M bow while "The Lake House" debuted in fourth with $13.6M. Final grosses reached $62.5M for Universal’s racing sequel and $52.3M for the Warner Bros. romance. Jennifer Aniston‘s "The Break-Up" ranked fifth with $9.8M in its third frame. The kidpic "Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties" opened in seventh with $7.3M for Fox on its way to $28.4M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Another cool actor has been seduced by the CGI machine: Funny guy Jason Lee has signed on to star opposite Alvin, Simon and Theodore in Fox’s live-action version of "Alvin and the Chipmunks."

And just when you started to get visions of Bill Murray slumming through both "Garfield" movies, we learn that "Alvin" will be directed by Tim Hill — the guy who helmed "Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties." For Mr. Lee’s part, the CG stuff should be old hat by now; he recently voiced the title character in the upcoming "Underdog" movie.

Production begins next month, and they’ll be working from a screenplay by "Simpsons" scribe Jon Vitti. The plot will cover the origins of The Chipmunks band, all three of whom will be computer animated. And get this: It’s already scheduled for a December 14th release!

Source: Variety

Canadian comedian Dan Aykroyd recently went on the air with a country music radio station, and that’s where he chose to break some stunningly, well, kinda interesting news: There will be a third "Ghostbusters" movie (and it will feature Bill Murray) — but it will also be a movie of the CGI persuasion. I’ll believe it when I see it.

Check out the audio clips of Aykroyd’s interview right here, or visit Cinematical to get the most salient points, like this quote here: "Now, it won’t happen as a live-action, because Billy will not come on in the live-action stage anymore for it, but he will voice his part and we’re looking to do it as a CGI-animated project."

"Billy" being Bill Murray, of course. Seems he won’t do silly live-action anymore, but that sure won’t stop him from lending his voice to, say, "Ghostbusters 3" … or "Garfield 2."

So, like most of you, I am an ardent supporter of the original "Ghostbusters," and, unlike many of you, I really freaking hate "Ghostbusters 2." So I ask you this: Does the idea of an all CGI "Ghostbusters 3" sound like a good idea? I say no, no it does not.

With all due respect, maybe Danny Aykroyd should start sniffing around for easier sequels. Weren’t we promised a follow-up to "Doctor Detroit" waaaay back in 1983?

Been underperforming at work lately? Falling asleep at your desk? Caught surfing Rotten Tomatoes on the company dollar? Well, if you’re worried about job security, just move to Hollywood, where even the director of "Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties" gets a second chance. In fact, as ComingSoon.net reports, Variety is saying that "Tail" director Tim Hill is currently in talks to step behind the cameras for Fox’s upcoming CGI/live-action "Alvin and the Chipmunks."

Perhaps you remember the high-pitched cartoon chipmunks — irascible Alvin, quiet Simon, and pudgy, gullible Theodore — from their long-running cartoon series (and if you’re just a little older, you may remember their Top 40 hit, "Witch Doctor"). Perhaps not. Either way, you’ll have a chance to catch up with them on the big screen soon enough, and — given that movie studios seem intent on updating every single old Saturday morning cartoon — you should probably be preparing yourself for the inevitable "Foofur" and "Rubik, the Amazing Cube" movies.

The Man of Steel conquered the North American box office this weekend as the super hero adventure Superman Returns claimed the number one spot over the pre-Independence Day holiday frame.

Second place was taken by Meryl Streep whose new comedy The Devil Wears Prada opened with more muscle than expected. Most holdovers suffered substantial declines, however the overall marketplace remained slightly better than last year’s. But for the first time in five years, Hollywood will reach the Fourth of July without a summer film passing the $250M mark.

Flying to the top of the charts, Superman Returns collected an estimated $52.2M over the Friday-to-Sunday period and $84.2M since its launch on Wednesday. The PG-13 film was the first new installment for the beloved comic book characeter in nearly two decades and averaged a strong $12,829 over three days from a massive 4,065 theaters. The total gross included about $3M from Tuesday night previews which began at 10:00pm and $5M from 76 Imax theaters where the film was presented with special 3D footage. The studio expects to reach a seven-day tally of $110M by the end of Tuesday.

Reviews were mostly positive for the Bryan Singer-directed film which saw newcomer Brandon Routh stepping into the title role following the late Christopher Reeve. Kevin Spacey plays arch-nemesis Lex Luthor while Kate Bosworth takes the role of Lois Lane. The pricey film carried a colossal production budget in the neighborhood of $250M which included about $40M in early development costs before the current cast and crew were in place.

Though a strong number one bow, the opening of Superman Returns did not match up to the debuts of similar action and sci-fi films. One year ago, the Tom Cruise alien invasion film War of the Worlds opened over the same holiday weekend with the same Wednesday start but grossed a higher $100.6M over its first five days. Four years ago, Men in Black II also premiered the same way and grossed $87.2M over its Wednesday-to-Sunday launch which at today’s ticket prices would be close to a nine-digit gross. The Kryptonian hero’s five-day opening even fell short of the three-day bow of Singer’s last film X2: X-Men United which opened to $85.6M three years ago.

However, Superman Returns did manage to open better than last summer’s Batman Begins which was another Warner Bros. film attempting to restart a dormant super hero franchise. That film captured $72.9M in its five-day debut including $48.7M over the Friday-to-Sunday period. The new Clark Kent pic is off to a 16% better start than the new Bruce Wayne flick over five days, and only 7% better over the weekend portion. The studio hopes to have long legs again like it did with Batman which went on to gross $205.3M domestically.

But that will be a tough task for Superman which has a very different road ahead of it. Batman Begins had little direct competition in its second weekend plus had the Fourth of July holiday help its third frame. Superman, on the other hand, is already taking advantage of its only holiday which is boosting its opening week. Plus it has a juggernaut in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest opening on its second weekend which is aiming to steal away the same audience.

Competition was also a major factor for Superman Returns this weekend especially with The Devil Wears Prada stealing away a larger-than-expected female audience. The super hero film’s next three competitors collected a hefty $60.4M in ticket sales over the weekend. By comparison, War of the Worlds faced $35.3M in combined sales from the next three biggest films.

Internationally, the new Superman film took flight in the Asia/Pacific region and opened at number one in eleven countries grossing an estimated $19.8M from 1,750 theaters. Key markets included Korea, Australia, the Philippines, and India. The studio is holding back the film in Europe and Latin America until after the World Cup final which takes place on July 9.

Fox countered the super hero adventure with the femme-driven comedy The Devil Wears Prada and scored a terrific second place debut with an estimated $27M. Playing in 2,847 locations, the PG-13 film averaged a stunning $9,484 per theater and ranked as Meryl Streep’s best opening ever in a lead role. Devil was based on the best-selling novel about a small-town gal who lands a job as the assistant to the evil editor-in-chief of the fashion industry’s top magazine. Anne Hathaway co-stars. The Prada audience was immensely female as studio research showed that a whopping 79% were women. Those over the age of 25 made up 61% of the crowd.

With both The Lake House and The Break-Up aging, Devil found an opportunity to score with adult women with extra leisure time over of the long holiday weekend – especially those who had little interest in seeing Superman. The counter-programming move worked like a charm for Fox which spent over $40M on Prada which managed to tap into a built-in audience of fans of the book. Starpower from Streep and Hathaway also allowed for a broad age range to take interest. Reviews were mostly good.

Dropping from first to third was Adam Sandler‘s comedy Click which grossed an estimated $19.4M in its sophomore frame. Falling 52%, the Sony release has laughed up a solid $77.9M in ten days. Compared to the ten-day cumes of the studio’s previous Sandler comedies opening on the weekend before the Fourth of July frame, Click has done slightly better than the $73.6M of 2002’s Mr. Deeds but has not reached the $83.7M of 1999’s Big Daddy. Those films ended their runs with $126.3M and $163.5M, respectively. The $83M Click looks to find its way to about $130M.

Cars enjoyed the smallest decline in the top ten slipping 40% to an estimated $14M for fourth place. The Disney/Pixar hit upped its cume to $182.1M. Paramount’s Nacho Libre fell 51% to an estimated $6.2M giving the Jack Black comedy $65M to date.

Folowing in sixth place was the Keanu ReevesSandra Bullock romance The Lake House with an estimated $4.5M, off 49%, leaving Warner Bros. with $38.7M thus far. Close behind with an estimated $4.4M was the street racing sequel The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift which dropped 55% in its third lap. Total to date stands at $51.7M.

The Tyrese Gibson actioner Waist Deep suffered the worst decline in the top ten tumbling 65% to an estimated $3.3M in its second weekend. The Focus release has grossed $15.2M in ten days and should finish up with around $22M. Universal’s comedy The Break-Up crumbled 57% to an estimated $2.8M while Sony’s religious thriller The Da Vinci Code rounded out the top ten with an estimated $2.3M, off 43%. Cumes for each are $110.1M and $209.8M, respectively.

Although overall ticket sales continue to inch ahead of last year each weekend, the season’s top blockbusters remain weaker than those from 2005. The cumulative gross for the top five summer films this year reached $900.3M, down 8% from last summer’s five biggest hits at this same point.

Two Fox sequels fell from the top ten over the weekend. The year’s highest-grossing film X-Men: The Last Stand dropped 58% to an estimated $2.1M to boost its sum to $228.6M. The $165M film currently stands at number 48 on the list of all-time domestic blockbusters ahead of Signs which grossed $228M in 2002. The final mutant adventure is the top-grossing installment in the trilogy surpassing the $157.3M of 2000’s X-Men and the $214.9M of 2003’s X2 and should complete its domestic run with around $235M. Overseas, it has already grossed over $195M.

The studio has not had as much luck with its kidpic Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties which tumbled 62% to an estimated $2M in only its third weekend. Family audiences have rejected the cat flick spending only $21.5M on it thus far. The Garfield sequel looks to end up with only $25M or one-third of the $75.4M of its 2004 predecessor.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $136.2M which was up 5% from last year when War of the Worlds debuted at number one with $64.9M; but down 12% from 2004 when Spider-Man 2 opened in the top spot with $88.2M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Moviegoers grabbed their remote controls and flocked to the multiplexes this weekend to see Adam Sandler‘s latest comedy Click which became the comedian’s eighth number one hit thanks to its $40M opening, according to estimates.

Sony launched the PG-13 film in 3,749 theaters and averaged a healthy $10,670 per location. It was the second best opening of the year for a live-action comedy after the $40.2M bow of Scary Movie 4 in April. With this latest film, the funnyman has become the only actor to score $30M+ openings in each of the last five years proving what a consistent box office draw he continues to be. A-listers like Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks, and Jim Carrey cannot claim the same feat.

In Sandler’s latest vehicle, he plays a man who gets a magical remote control that gives him power over all others around him. Frank Coraci, who directed the comedian’s 1998 hits The Wedding Singer and The Waterboy, helmed this latest pic which co-starred Kate Beckinsale, Christopher Walken, and David Hasselhoff. Sony’s $83M production played to a broad audience. According to studio research, 51% of the crowd was female and 50% were under 25. Sandler has always been a strong draw with young guys, but with his role as a husband and father in Click, the actor was able to appeal evenly across the board to all four quadrants.

Reviews were poor, as expected, but audiences didn’t seem to care. Click is a marketing-driven film and starpower and concept sold it to those looking for some harmless summer laughs. The opening was right in the middle of the $37-43M range that five of Sandler’s previous comedies have debuted in. With the Fourth of July holiday coming up, Click could very well go on to become the star’s seventh $100M blockbuster.

Following its two-week run in the top spot, the animated comedy Cars slipped to second place but displayed solid staying power. The G-rated film eased only 33% to an estimated $22.5M pushing the 17-day total to $155.9M. The decline was smaller than the third-weekend drops experienced by the most recent Disney/Pixar films The Incredibles (47% in November 2004) and Finding Nemo (39% in June 2003). Despite opening weaker, Cars is now holding up better and continues to benefit from word-of-mouth from family audiences. After 17 days of release, Cars is running 12% behind the pace of Incredibles and 19% behind Nemo. Competition for kids from Superman and Pirates in the weeks ahead will be fierce, but the racing toon could still drive to a final domestic haul of over $240M making it bigger than any other film released up to this point in the year.

After a stellar opening, the Jack Black comedy Nacho Libre stumbled 57% and placed third with an estimated $12.1M. Paramount has grossed a solid $52.7M in ten days and is heading for the $70-80M range. Nacho cost $35M to produce.

Tyrese Gibson flexed some muscle with his new actioner Waist Deep which opened impressively in fourth with an estimated $9.5M from just 1,004 theaters. The Focus Features release averaged a sizzling $9,414 per location. Reviews for the kidnapping drama were mostly negative, but audiences responded to the starpower and the action.

Slamming on the brakes, the action sequel The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift suffered the worst decline in the top ten crashing 62% to an estimated $9.2M in its sophomore frame. With $42.6M in its tank, Universal’s $75M franchise pic has been performing exactly like another of the studio’s recent June action sequels – 2004’s Vin Diesel pic The Chronicles of Riddick. That film opened to a similar $24.3M, dropped 61% in the second frame, and generated a ten-day cume of $42.5M before finishing with $57.6M. Tokyo Drift should cross the finish line near the $60M mark as well.

The franchise’s last installment, 2003’s 2 Fast 2 Furious, performed in the same way tumbling 63% in its second lap so Drift’s huge drop was expected. Overseas, the latest street racing pic remained at number one in the United Kingdom for a second straight weekend and pushed its international gross to $15.6M from a dozen countries. The studio projected number one openings this weekend in Indonesia, Finland, Portugal, Romania, and Trinidad. Japan, expected to be a big market for Tokyo Drift, does not open until September 18.

The Keanu ReevesSandra Bullock romance The Lake House enjoyed a reasonably good second date grossing an estimated $8.3M dropping 39%. After ten days, the Warner Bros. drama has taken in $29.2M and looks headed for the neighborhood of $60M. Lake bowed at number two in the U.K. this weekend with an estimated $1.5M from 343 locations. The film’s international roll-out will be spread out over the coming months.

Holding up well in seventh place was another film targeting adult women, The Break-Up starring Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn. The Universal release grossed an estimated $6.1M, off only 38%, for a $103.7M cume. The unromantic comedy became the seventh film of 2006 to cross the $100M mark. Eight films had joined the century club at this point last year.

Fox’s kidpic sequel Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties dropped just 35% in its second weekend and collected an estimated $4.8M. With a mere $16M in ten days, the PG-rated film looks to reach a disappointing $30M domestically or less than half of the $75.4M of its 2004 predecessor.

The year’s two highest-grossing films rounded out the top ten. Fox’s X-Men: The Last Stand took in an estimated $4.4M, down 44%, pushing its cume to $224.1M. The Da Vinci Code grossed an estimated $4M, off only 24%, giving Sony $205.5M to date. Collectively, the top five summer films have grossed $861.6M trailing last summer’s corresponding blockbusters by 5% at this same point in the season.

Two summer hits fell from the top ten over the weekend. Paramount’s release of the DreamWorks animated film Over the Hedge grabbed an estimated $2.7M this weekend. Off 37%, the PG-rated toon boosted its total to $144.5M and should reach around $152M by the end of its run. Fox’s remake of The Omen has had no legs and tumbled another 63% to an estimated $2.1M this weekend. The $25M film has scared up a solid $52M and looks to end with about $55M.

Paramount Vantage kept expanding its global warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth which widened from 403 to 514 theaters this weekend and grossed an estimated $1.9M. Averaging a decent $3,762 per site, the Al Gore pic has upped its sum to $9.5M and counting. Further expansions are planned for the coming weeks.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Despite the arrival of four new films cluttering the multiplexes, the Disney/Pixar animated film Cars remained the most popular movie in North America for a second straight weekend.

Among the freshman class, both the comedy Nacho Libre and the actioner The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift opened with impressive numbers targeting young male moviegoers. The Keanu ReevesSandra Bullock romance The Lake House appealed to adult women and saw a respectable showing while the kid sequel Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties opened poorly. With so much new product entering the marketplace, most holdovers suffered large declines.

Cars was once again the box office champion and grossed an estimated $31.2M in its second weekend boosting its ten-day cume to a stellar $114.5M. Though taking home another trophy, the G-rated film experienced a disturbing decline of 48% from last weekend which was much higher than the sophomore drops of previous Disney/Pixar toons. The last film from the companies, The Incredibles, dipped only 29% while 2003’s Finding Nemo eased 34%. Each bowed to about $70M and raced to over $143M in ten days. Cars opened last week about $10M weaker and is now eroding faster which means it is not likely to come close to the lofty heights reached previously. After ten days, Cars is running 20% behind the pace of Nemo and Incredibles. The talking automobile flick will still try to reach the $200M mark before running out of gas.

Opening a few notches behind in second place was the wrestling comedy Nacho Libre with an estimated $27.5M from 3,070 theaters. Averaging a muscular $8,962 per ring, the Paramount release stars Jack Black as a cook who moonlights as a flamboyant wrestler and was directed by Napoleon Dynamite’s Jared Hess. The $35M film appealed to young guys with studio data showing that 53% of the audience was male and 55% was under the age of 25. Nacho Libre began its weekend a bit early with 10pm preview shows on Thursday night which helped propel Friday’s opening day to a solid $11M. The PG-rated film dropped 14% to $9.4M on Saturday however, which could indicate a bumpy ride ahead.

Universal raced into third place with its street racing sequel The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift which opened with an estimated $24.1M. The PG-13 pic debuted in 3,027 locations and averaged a strong $7,947 average. The studio generated a strong performance considering this was the third time around for the franchise and that most of the stars of the first two Furious films were nowhere to be found. Young guys were the driving force behind the $75M Drift which like its predecessors appealed to a multicultural audience. According to studio data, 58% of the audience was male, 60% was under 25, and 71% was non-white.

Lucas Black and Bow Wow led the mostly unknown cast as fans responded more to the fast cars and racing attitudes than to starpower. The studio’s decision to include Vin Diesel‘s cameo in the television commercials also may have sparked interest from fans of the franchise. Tokyo Drift did not open as well as the first two pics in the series, but that was expected. In 2001, The Fast and the Furious opened to $40.1M on its way to $144.5M while its 2003 sequel 2 Fast 2 Furious debuted to $50.5M leading to a $127.2M tally. Tokyo Drift also opened in eight international markets this weekend grossing an estimated $7.5M from 825 theaters including number one openings in the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Thailand. Japan, where the film is set, will open in September.

A dozen years after exciting audiences in Speed, Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock reunited in the romantic drama The Lake House which debuted in fourth place with an estimated $13.7M. The Warner Bros. release averaged a respectable $5,166 from 2,645 theaters. The PG-rated film was a remake of the Korean drama Il Mare and told the story of a man and a woman from two different years who communicate and fall in love through letters they send to each other in a magical mailbox at a lake house. Reviews were not very good and both stars routinely see bigger openings for their films.

Universal’s The Break-Up dropped 53% in its third weekend and took fifth place with an estimated $9.5M boosting the 17-day cume to $91.9M.

Fox took up the next three spots on the chart starting with its kidpic sequel Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties which flopped in its debut grossing an estimated $7.2M. Playing in 2,945 theaters, the PG-rated comedy averaged a weak $2,445 per venue. The first Garfield opened to $21.7M in June 2004 on its way to $75.4M domestically and a stellar $198M worldwide forcing the studio to dip into the well again with a new story. Bill Murray returned to voice the fat cat in Kitties which brought the characters to England for another adventure, but most families did not show much interest.

The year’s top-grossing domestic hit, X-Men: The Last Stand, tumbled another 56% in its fourth outing and grossed an estimated $7.2M. With a stellar $215.5M in the bank, the mutant sequel became the top-grossing installment of the super hero trilogy surpassing the $214.9M of X2: X-Men United from 2003. The horror remake The Omen placed eighth with an estimated $5.4M conveniently making its decline 66.6%. The top ten’s only R-rated pic has now grossed $46.9M to date for Fox.

Sony’s The Da Vinci Code followed with an estimated $5M, off 52%, pushing the domestic cume to $198.5M. Overseas, the Ron HowardTom Hanks vehicle uncovered another $15.2M this weekend as the international sum surged to $480M. The world’s biggest blockbuster of the year has now taken in an incredible $678.5M globally. Rounding out the top ten was the animated pic Over the Hedge with an estimated $4M, off 60%, for a $138.8M total.

The biggest summer hits continued to keep pace with last year’s. The collective gross for the top five summer releases reached $797.3M which was down less than 1% from the $802.5M from this point a year ago.

Four films dropped out of the top ten over the weekend. Robert Altman‘s A Prairie Home Companion fell 43% in its sophomore frame to an estimated $2.6M giving the Picturehouse release a ten-day tally of $8.8M. Look for a finish in the vicinity of $15M. The hit family comedy RV held up well during its seven-week run in the top ten, but this weekend the Robin Williams pic crashed 74% and grossed an estimated $500,000. With $66.4M in its tank, the Sony release is not expected to collect much more.

The Tom Cruise spy sequel Mission: Impossible III tumbled 61% in its seventh mission to an estimated $1.2M putting its cume at $130M. The Paramount sequel is the highest-grossing summer kick-off film since 2003’s X2, but with a $150M budget and a deafening amount of marketing hype, it has to be considered somewhat disappointing for the studio. The first two Mission pics grossed $181M in 1996 and $215.4M in 2000. MI3 should end its campaign with around $132M. Overseas, the Ethan Hunt film has grossed more than $200M to date.

The summer season’s second big offering Poseidon continued to sink dropping 66% in its sixth weekend to an estimated $620,000. The $160M Warner Bros. disaster film has taken in only $56.5M from North America making it one of the biggest underachievers of the summer. However, like most effects-driven action films, Poseidon is doing much better internationally where it grossed another $9M from 41 countries this weekend to boost the overseas take to $70.8M. Korea and Japan continue to be the most successful markets for the ocean liner pic with grosses that far outdistance those in key European territories.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $134.7M which was up 6% from last year when Batman Begins debuted at number one with $48.7M; and up 5% from 2004 when Dodgeball opened in the top spot with $30.1M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

This week at the movies, we’ve got wrestlers ("Nacho Libre"), Tokyo drifters ("The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift"), time-delayed lovers ("The Lake House"), and lasagna-loving felines ("Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties"). What do the critics have to say?

I’m sure I speak for much of humanity when I say that each time I see Jack Black in a wrestling outfit on the posters for "Nacho Libre," I chuckle to myself. Heartily. The critics, who’ve actually seen the movie, have been a little less charitable. Black stars as a man who becomes a wrestler to raise money for orphans who live in the monastery where he grew up. While some critics say the film has its share of laughs, others say the sophomore effort of Jared ("Napoleon Dynamite") Hess is the very definition of sophomoric. At 49 percent on the Tomatometer, this "Nacho" is only sort of tasty. And it’s nowhere near "Dynamite" (71 percent).


"Nacho Libre:" Let’s get ready to rumble!

In the third installment of the "Fast and the Furious" franchise, a new collection of thrill seekers head to Japan to engage in "drifting," that exciting brand of motorsport that values oversteering. Let’s be honest: Nobody is going to this one for anything but action, nifty driving, and other assorted cheap thrills (this ain’t "Two-Lane Blacktop"). And even utilizing those limited criteria, "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" only attains a modest amount of success. The critics say that while the driving sequences are reasonably cool, the characters are about as well-crafted as a pinewood-derby cart that ends up in a ditch. It’s currently at 41 percent on the Tomatometer, trailing the original "F&F" (at 50 percent).


"Tokyo Drift": Faster and furious to an even greater degree

There are a lot of reasons relationships don’t work out. Sometimes couples live too far apart, or have vastly different schedules. But what about a couple communicating across a two-year time difference — can this relationship be saved? Unfortunately for "The Lake House," starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock, the answer appears to be no. The critics say the film’s premise (it’s a remake of the 2002 Korean film "Il Mare") is not necessarily a bad idea, but the execution is off; the film is neither effective as a romance or as a metaphysical puzzle. At 32 percent on the Tomatometer, this "House" looks like a fixer-upper. And how does it compare with "Speed," the last Reeves/Bullock collabo? Do you even need to ask?


"I should probably tell you that I’m taking the bus because I had my driver’s license revoked."

The scribes’ response to "Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties" has prompted Critical Consensus to paraphrase from Charles Dickens‘ "A Tale of Two Cities": "[The critics] looked at [Garfield] sideways with a stronger concentration of keenness, closeness, and dislike, than was comportable with its wearer’s assumption of indifference." The operative words here are "indifference" and "dislike," as critics say "Garfield" wastes a talented voice cast (Bill Murray, Bob Hoskins, Tim Curry) in a dull, relatively laugh-free plot. At 17 percent on the Tomatometer, the scribes have one thing to say: Bad "Kitties!" (By the way, the original was at 13 percent.)


"Garfield:" Let’s get ready to rumble… again!

Also this week, in limited release: "Wordplay," a doc about New York Times crossword puzzle editor Will Shortz, is at 89 percent; G.W. Pabst‘s silent classic "Pandora’s Box," starring the staggeringly beautiful Louise Brooks, is at 83 percent; the gritty Brazilian love triangle "Lower City" is at 57 percent; the gay cult-fave comic strip adaptation "The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life of Ethan Green" is at 33 percent; and Kevin Bacon‘s second directorial effort, "Loverboy," is at 14 percent.

Movies with the Words "Fast" and "Furious" in their titles:
———————————————————————–
38% — 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
50% — The Fast and the Furious (2001)
N/A — The Fast and the Furious (1954)

Recent Jack Black Movies:
———————————
84% — King Kong (2005)
6% — Envy (2004)
35% — Shark Tale (2004)
90% — School of Rock (2003)
49% — Orange County (2002)

Reunion fever hits the multiplexes this weekend as four new releases debut bringing together a lot of familiar faces.

Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock reunite in the romantic drama The Lake House which will play to adult women, while Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties reassembles the cast of the first film in a new British adventure aimed at families. Another sequel taking a successful formula and transplanting it into another country is the action pic The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift which hopes to entice young guys. But the one new film which could flex the most muscle is Jack Black‘s wrestling comedy Nacho Libre which also will be attacking younger boys. With six films reaching double-digit millions last weekend, and four new potent entries opening on Friday, the marketplace will certainly be crowded.

Fresh from his battle with the eighth wonder of the world, Jack Black returns to his bread and butter with the new Paramount comedy Nacho Libre. The PG-rated film is directed by Jared Hess, who helmed the 2004 sleeper hit Napoleon Dynamite, and sees Black playing a cook who moonlights as a masked grappler south of the border. Shooting directly for immature adolescents, Nacho is purely a marketing-driven film for summer kids. Rather than spend its time and money opening the door for hundreds of critics to pan the pic early on, Paramount has instead chosen to put all its force behind its advertising campaign and is so confident in the excitement it has been building, it is launching the film early on Thursday night with 10pm showtimes at select theaters across the country. Since the movie skews younger, the earlier time should make it more accessible than the standard midnight shows.

Black certainly can shine in the comedy genre as evidenced by his 2003 hit School of Rock which opened at number one with $19.6M on its way to a robust $81.3M. Plus with Viacom sibling Nickelodeon adding its promotional muscle, and school children starting their summer vacations and looking for mindless entertainment to rot their brains, Nacho could be the hot item on the menu. Older boys may be distracted by the Fast and the Furious sequel this weekend which could put a limit on how high Nacho can fly. Plus the Disney/Pixar hit Cars is only in its second weekend so competition for kids will be fierce. Body slamming its foes in over 2,800 theaters, Nacho Libre might pin down about $24M over the weekend.

Universal kicks in the nitrous oxide for a third time in its street racing actioner The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Ditching all the major stars of the first two installments (sort of), this PG-13 entry takes the tough-guy-likes-to-race-and-be-cool formula and moves the setting to Japan where an American must learn the local style of racing in order to score some street cred. Paul Walker who starred in the original 2001 surprise blockbuster and the very successful 2003 follow-up 2 Fast 2 Furious is nowhere to be found. Instead, the lead role is taken by Lucas Black (Friday Night Lights, Jarhead) while the rapper-turned-actor slot filled previously by Ja Rule and Ludacris now gets passed on to Bow Wow (Like Mike, Roll Bounce). With little starpower, concept will have to sell here.

Since Drift is the third dip into the same well, and with the recognizable stars from before not starring again, some fans of the previous films will wait for this one on a "tricked out" DVD. Young guys are the core audience here and with schools letting out for the summer, many will give Drift a chance hoping it will be a summer thrill ride. Acting and writing score pretty low in this one, but the target audience is not likely to care too much since there is an abundance of hot cars and hot babes. But Nacho Libre could put a dent in the grosses since it will be stealing away many of the same young males this weekend. Tokyo Drift is not likely to reach the openings of the first two Furious pics which bowed to $40.1M and $50.5M, respectively. Speeding into 3,027 locations, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift may cross the finish line with around $21M.

Twelve years and one week after they crashed into theaters in Speed, Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock reteam but this time in a romantic drama starring in The Lake House. A remake of the Korean film Il Mare, the PG-rated film tells the story of a man and woman, two years apart in time, who communicate with each other through the mailbox of a lake house and fall in love. Sci-fi and romance don’t snuggle up too often, so this Warner Bros. release prides itself on a story that has a unique twist to it. But it’s really the starpower that will drive sales for The Lake House. These actors look good together and mature adults will be sold. In some ways, Lake House resembles the Al Pacino-Robert De Niro actioner Heat in that moviegoers will be drawn in by two leads who hardly share any actual screen time together. But that shouldn’t matter to Speed freaks everywhere who would love to see Reeves and Bullock back together again without a looney Dennis Hopper trying to blow them up.

Adult women will overwhelmingly make up the audience here. Lake House should play to the same crowd that came out for two other star-driven films aimed at older women in the first half of the summer of 2002. The Richard GereDiane Lane drama Unfaithful opened to $14.1M and a $5,383 average in May while Bullock’s Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood debuted to $16.2M and a $6,449 average a month later. Many of the same folks will hit theaters this weekend. Competition will come from The Break-Up which also has been skewing heavily female although Cars will be a factor as well since it has been pulling in moms with small children. Given the ages of the stars, Lake House should also do well with twentysomething single women too. Opening in 2,645 theaters, The Lake House could open with about $17M this weekend.

Breckin Meyer, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and the vocal chords of Bill Murray reunite for the family comedy Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties. The PG-rated film is the sequel to Fox’s Garfield: The Movie which was a solid hit two years ago when it opened to $21.7M on its way to $75.4M domestically and nearly $200M worldwide. With strong international sales, and further success on video and television, the studio decided that a sequel could bring in more profits. This new tale finds everyone’s favorite fat cat going to England where he is mistaken for a local feline who is royalty. The studio has had a tough problem finding the right release date. Garfield was originally scheduled to open next Friday, one week ahead of Superman Returns, but was moved up one week and now must face the sophomore frame of Cars which is already doing brisk biz with the exact same audience.

While the first film was successful, it did not become the type of pop culture smash that had fans demanding more. Fox’s best bet might be with families that already came out to see the Pixar toon. Long-term success may also be tough since kids of all ages will have interest in seeing the Man of Steel. The studio’s marketing push has been commendable and there is somewhat of a built-in fan base the film will tap into. But it may find itself on the same path as the Scooby Doo sequel which went on to gross 45% less than its predecessor. Opening in over 2,900 theaters, Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties might debut with around $14M this weekend.

Opening in a pair of New York sites is the IFC Films release Wordplay, a documentary that looks at The New York Times crossword puzzles and the celebs that just can’t get enough of them. The PG-rated film played at the Sundance and Tribeca film festivals earlier this year and features commentary from such crossword fans as Bill Clinton, Bob Dole, and Jon Stewart. The former commander-in-chief even snagged the coveted "and" credit.

With all the new drivers on the highway, Cars will try to stay ahead of the pack and hold onto pole position in its second lap. The Disney/Pixar film’s $60.1M bow was slightly below what the industry was expecting given the track record of the pair’s previous computer animated movies. However, their digital toons usually have good legs and with more kids getting out of school this week, a solid sophomore performance should result. The Incredibles dropped only 29% in its second weekend in November 2004 while Finding Nemo slipped 34% in June 2003.

Cars has been holding up well mid-week as its target audience has become more available. Although it opened behind the $68M launch of Ice Age: The Meltdown this past spring, the stronger weekday business should allow Cars to match or exceed the $81.9M gross that the prehistoric sequel collected in its first seven days. Garfield will take away some of the family audience and Nacho Libre should distract many young boys so competition will be fierce. A 45% drop for Cars would give the toon about $33M for the frame keeping it in the number one spot. That would give Disney a robust $115M in ten days.

Keanu and Sandra will steal away the attention of women from Vince and Jennifer this weekend. The Break-Up will face direct competition from The Lake House for its core audience of adult females so another sizable drop could be in the works. A 40% fall would give Universal a weekend tally of around $12M pushing the 17-day cume to a still-impressive $94M.

Fox grabbed $16M and change last weekend with each of its films X-Men: The Last Stand and The Omen. The mutant saga could see sales get sliced in half while the horror remake, because of its mid-week launch, might suffer a slightly smaller decline. This weekend could find Omen taking in roughly $9M for a $50M total and X-Men grossing about $8M boosting its cume to $216M making it the top-grossing installment of the franchise.

LAST YEAR: Super hero power hit the box office with the top spot debut of Batman Begins which relaunched a profitable franchise for Warner Bros. with its $48.7M opening weekend. Bowing on Wednesday, the Caped Crusader grossed a solid $72.9M over five days and went on to display good legs reaching $205.3M domestically and over $370M worldwide. The rest of the top films all got bumped down a notch by the Dark Knight. Fox’s Mr. & Mrs. Smith placed second with $26M in its sophomore frame while DreamWorks followed with Madagascar which took in $10.7M in its fourth adventure. Fox reappeared in the number four slot with $10M for Star Wars Episode III and Paramount rounded out the top five with The Longest Yard which scored $8.2M. The only other new wide release to challenge Batman was the chick flick The Perfect Man starring Hilary Duff and Heather Locklear. The Universal title opened to just $5.3M on its way to $16.5M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Yes, "A Tale of Two Kitties" is the actual title, as if that’s less ridiculous than plain ol’ "Garfield 2." Anyway, the sequel nobody asked for to an original nobody liked is on its way … and yes, Bill Murray does reprise his voice-role as the titular tabby. And here’s the trailer.

"Jon Arbuckle travels to the United Kingdom, and he brings his cat, Garfield, along for the trip. A case of mistaken cat identity finds Garfield ruling over a castle, but his reign is soon jeopardized by the nefarious Lord Dargis, who has designs on the estate."

Returnees include Breckin Meyer and Jennifer Love Hewitt. Newcomers include Billy Connolly and Lucy Davis. Disinterested parties include me.

"Garfield’s A Tale of Two Kitties" opens on June 16th.

There’s been talks of a "Ghostbusters 3" for at least two decades now, and the thing never seems to get past the "Bill Murray doesn’t want to do it" stage (yet the guy does two "Garfield" movies?), but director Harold Ramis recently spoke about the long-dead project … and how it just might not be dead after all.

From InFocus Magazine as reported by IGN FilmForce: "Ramis reportedly wants franchise vets Dan Aykroyd and Rick Moranis to reprise their respective roles in the sequel, which the report claims will be called Ghostbusters in Hell, but he has his eye on A-lister Ben Stiller to star as a new Ghostbuster."

"What Danny had originally conceived was sending us to a special-effects hell, a netherworld full of phenomenal visual environments and boiling pits," Ramis revealed. "But what works so well about the first two (films) is the mundane-ness of it all. So my notion was that hell exists in the same place as our consensus reality, but it’s like a film shutter. It’s the darkness between the 24 frames."

Click here
for the rest of the piece … but don’t get your hopes up, Venkman-fans.

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