(Photo by Fox Searchlight/courtesy Everett Collection)
There were certainly objections a-plenty when Michael Keaton was tapped to play Bruce Wayne in 1989’s Batman, since he was primarily known up that point as a comedic actor for Night Shift, Mr. Mom, and, of course, Beetlejuice. But Tim Burton knew what he had in Keaton, having directed him in Beetlejuice and seen his dramatic side in Clean and Sober. This duality would serve Keaton well in Batman as he brought a layered intensity to the playboy millionaire moonlighting as masked vigilante, opposite a legendary Joker performance from Jack Nicholson, with Burton staging a hyper-stylized Art Deco Gotham around them. Batman was a cultural phenomenon that would influence the look and feel of the property for decades, and, along with Superman, established Warner Bros. as studio king of the comic book movie.
Keaton’s post-Batman highlights include sequel Returns, and ensemble pieces like Jackie Brown and The Paper. 2010’s one-two punch of The Other Guys and Toy Story 3 set the stage for a strong career resurgence, leading to Best Picture winners Spotlight and Birdman, the latter for which Keaton was nominated for Best Actor. His role as Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming completed his triumvirate of airborne superhero roles. And by 2022, he’ll have been in Barry Levinson’s drug crisis miniseries Dopesick, and reprised his role as Batman in multiverse-bending The Flash.
Now, we’re ranking all Michael Keaton movies by Tomatometer!
It made a billion dollars and I can’t remember talking to ONE person who actually liked it. But you knew it was coming. The ball is rolling on another Night at the Museum.
And I’d be willing to bet that’s what they call it, too: "Another Night at the Museum." Because that’s what passes for clever these days.
OK, I’ll put the sarcasm away. According to Dark Horizons, screenwriters Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon (who have Balls of Fury on the way) have confessed: Yes, they’ve started in on the sequel’s screenplay. Then again, Night at the Museum was a pretty big step up from their other screenplays. Shield your eyeballs and then scan those credits. Yep, the same guys who co-created the hilarious Reno 911! and The State — also co-wrote Taxi, The Pacifier, Herbie: Fully Loaded, and Let’s Go to Prison. I’m not sure if Ben Stiller is signed yet, but that shouldn’t be a problem. That guy will do just about any flick for a paycheck. (And how the heck did the Reno 911! movie turn out so rotten?)
Having said all that, the Balls of Fury trailer did make me chuckle a few times — about five months ago. But back to the main issue: Another Night at the Museum? Who’s up for that? Be honest. The first flick didn’t gross $250 million by itself.
Source: Dark Horizons
Moviegoers had football on their minds for the second straight weekend as Disney’s true-life NFL tale "Invincible" remained atop the North American box office over the long Labor Day holiday weekend finishing off another summer movie season. New releases "Crank" and "The Wicker Man" opened in second and third, respectively, while the critically acclaimed films "Little Miss Sunshine" and "The Illusionist" both scored strong per-theater averages in moderate release. The holiday frame marked the first weekend in six long months where no new film debuted with at least $15M. Hollywood was happy to close the books on a summer movie season that was slightly better than than last year’s.
Retaining its first-place position, Mark Wahlberg‘s "Invincible" grossed an estimated $15.2M over the four-day Friday-to-Monday holiday weekend and remained the most popular movie in North America. After 11 days of release, the feel-good drama about a 30-year-old bartender who earned a spot on the Philadelphia Eagles starting lineup has grossed a solid $37.8M and could be headed for the neighborhood of $60-70M.
It was only fitting that Disney topped the box office charts as the summer came to an end. Since the summer movie season kicked off on May 5 with "Mission: Impossible III," Buena Vista has grossed $786M at the multiplexes beating out all other studios. Disney’s success was powered by the summer’s two highest grossing hits, "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest" ($414.2M) and "Cars" ($242M), but also included surprise late-summer winners like "Invincible" and "Step Up." It was a drastic turnaround from last summer when the Mouse House’s biggest film was "Herbie: Fully Loaded" with $66M.
Opening in second place was action star Jason Statham‘s new thriller "Crank" with an estimated $13M over four days from 2,515 theaters. Averaging a commendable $5,169 per site, the R-rated film features a poisoned hitman who will die if he can’t keep his adrenaline up constantly. The Lionsgate release opened better than Statham’s 2002 film "The Transporter" ($9.1M in three days) but did not reach the $20.1M bow of his action sequel "Transporter 2" which ruled the Labor Day frame a year ago. That number one hit carried a commercially friendly PG-13 rating and kicked its way into 800 more theaters. Over the Friday-to-Sunday span, "Crank" grossed $10.3M and averaged $4,095.
Nicolas Cage opened his new suspense thriller "The Wicker Man" close behind in third place with an estimated $11.7M in ticket sales over the Friday-to-Monday holiday session. The Warner Bros. remake about a cop who investigates a missing girl averaged a mediocre $4,210 from 2,784 theatrs over four days. The PG-13 film grossed $9.6M in three days for a mild average of $3,448. Cage appeared twice in the top ten as his previous film "World Trade Center" finished further down in ninth place.
Two smaller films successfully expanding into national release followed and scored the best averages among all the wide releases. Fox Searchlight’s road comedy "Little Miss Sunshine" ranked fourth for the weekend with an estimated $9.7M over four days with $7.6M over the Friday-to-Sunday portion. It was the second weekend in a row that actor Greg Kinnear had two films in the top five. He plays a supporting role in "Invincible" as well. "Sunshine" averaged a strong $6,071 from 1,602 theaters over four days pushing its total to $35.8M and counting. At its current rate, it should eventually surpass "Miami Vice" as the top-grossing R-rated film to come out of the summer.
Rookie distributor Yari Film Group did an excellent job expanding its period mystery "The Illusionist" into national release and jumped into fifth place with an estimated four-day gross of $8M. Expanding from 144 to 971 theaters, the Edward Norton–Paul Giamatti drama scored the best average in the top ten with a sturdy $8,261 per venue. Cume now stands at $12.1M. The distributor scored excellent averages during its two weeks in limited release allowing positive word-of-mouth to spread for a film that was not easy to sell at a time when there were plenty of good choices for mature adults. Another 400 theaters will be added on Friday.
A trio of comedies followed. Sony’s Will Ferrell hit "Talladega Nights" grossed an estimated $7.7M over four days and lifted its cume to a stellar $138.4M making it the top-grossing comedy of the summer. Paramount’s animated pic "Barnyard" took in an estimated $6.4M pushing its total to $63.6M. The teen flick "Accepted" placed eighth and collected an estimated $5.9M giving Universal $29.4M to date.
Rounding out the top ten were the 9/11 drama "World Trade Center" with an estimated $5.8M over four days and the dance saga "Step Up" with $5.5M, according to estimates. Paramount’s Oliver Stone film has taken in a solid $63.7M thus far while Buena Vista’s surprise hit has taken in $58.4M.
Opening quietly outside of the top ten was the street basketball drama "Crossover" with an estimated $4.5M over four days from a moderate release in 1,023 theaters. Sony averaged a decent $4,399 over the long weekend on the $6M film which played mostly to a young urban audience.
Platforming to muscular numbers was the IFC Films doc "This Film Is Not Yet Rated" which grossed an estimated $42,000 from solo houses in New York and Los Angeles for a potent $20,832 average. The unrated expose that examines the ratings board of the MPAA will continue to expand throughout September.
Three films dropped out of the top ten this weekend. The raunchy comedy "Beerfest" tumbled to an estimated $4.6M over four days giving Warner Bros. only $14.8M in 11 days. A $20M final seems likely. Universal’s OutKast pic "Idlewild" took in an estimated $2.9M in its sophomore session giving the music-driven film only $9.9M in 11 days. Look for a $14M conclusion. New Line’s buzzworthy action-horror pic "Snakes on a Plane" has scared up just over $31M to date and is set to end with a final domestic gross close to its $35M production budget.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $89M over four days which was down 3% from last year when "Transporter 2" debuted at number one with $20.1M; but up 19% from 2004 when "Hero" remained in the top spot with $11.5M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
Although Father’s Day has passed, Hollywood brings out two very different stories about dads and their wacky adventures this weekend with Adam Sandler‘s comedy Click and Tyrese Gibson‘s actioner Waist Deep, both opening in theaters on Friday. Comedy has been ruling the box office throughout the month of June and that trend should continue until the Man of Steel arrives next week.
Looking for his seventh trip across the $100M mark, Adam Sandler returns to the big screen with his latest comedy Click. Released by his favorite studio Sony, the PG-13 pic tells the story of a man who comes across a magical remote control that gives him the power to manipulate his whole world, from his family at home to his boss at work. Frank Coraci follows up The Wedding Singer and The Waterboy by directing the funnyman for a third time while Christopher Walken, David Hasselhoff, Kate Beckinsale, and Henry Winkler co-star. Sandler, who turns forty this year, is moving on from his slacker roles playing a husband and father. This makes sense as his fan base is aging too.
The comedian typically picks films with unique concepts and Click is no different. The story is not run-of-the-mill, but an interesting what-if scenario that will make audiences curious. Trailers and commercials have been funny so another blockbuster that satisfies moviegoers is in the works. Over the last eight years, Sandler has seen his bigger hits like Waterboy, Big Daddy, Anger Management, Mr. Deeds, and 50 First Dates all open in the $37-42M range with opening weekend averages of more than $11,000 each time. His most recent film The Longest Yard scored a bit better last summer opening to $47.6M over the Friday-to-Sunday portion of the long Memorial Day holiday weekend. The guy comes out with about one movie per year so audiences don’t get too much of him.
Young men make up the actor’s bread and butter, however you don’t open north of $40M by just appealing to this group. Female appeal is also solid with his films and Click should click with chicks too. Still, Nacho Libre and The Fast and the Furious sequel will be in their second weekends and even though both are expected to drop hard, the duo will still provide some competition for Sandler. However, since Waist Deep is looking to be a relatively small pic in the marketplace, this weekend shapes up to be one where Click is the only major new wide release. That should make frequent moviegoers like teens and twentysomethings look at it as the only new game in town.
Sony has invested heavily in the marketing push and summer is a time when people want to laugh so the returns should be healthy. Opinions of critics should not matter much. One of the most reliable box office draws around, Adam Sandler will see the widest opening of his career with a launch in 3,748 theaters this weekend. That could push Click to around $43M over the Friday-to-Sunday span.
Tyrese Gibson plays an ex-con on a fast and furious hunt to get back his kidnapped son in the new action drama Waist Deep from Focus Features’ Rogue Pictures division. Directed by Vondie Curtis Hall (Glitter, Gridlock’d), the R-rated film also stars Meagan Good, Larenz Tate and hip hop star The Game. Gibson jumped from the modeling world into movies and has become a player although his roles have always been opposite other established box office draws. This time, he anchors solo as none of his co-stars have a track record of opening films on their own.
Waist Deep will play primarily to an urban audience with African Americans making up the largest component. Whites are not likely to show much interest. This same audience powered ATL to a stellar $11.6M bow from 1,602 theaters this past spring. However, Waist does not seem to have the same level of hype plus it will debut in fewer theaters. Most of the film’s competition will come from The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift which is likely to fall sharply this weekend. The marketing push has been targeted and is trying to appeal to fans of The Game who in recent years has developed a large fan base. Opening in 1,004 theaters, Waist Deep might shoot up about $6M this weekend.
Opening in limited release this weekend, Roadside Attractions offers the controversial film The Road to Guantanamo which tells the story of a group of Pakistani men from England who are detained while traveling to Afghanistan and imprisoned and tortured by the U.S. military. Told through a mix of interviews with survivors and re-enactments of the events, the R-rated pic won the best director prize at this year’s Berlin Film Festival and hits 15 theaters in North America before expanding.
After two laps as box office champ, the Disney/Pixar animated hit Cars looks to decelerate some more this weekend for a second place finish. The film’s 43% second weekend decline was the biggest for any Pixar toon since 1999’s Toy Story 2 which was coming off of a Thanksgiving holiday launch. Cars should see its drop stabilize since this weekend’s offerings should not pull away too many young children. A decline of 40% to about $20M could result giving the Lightning McQueen pic $152M in 17 days.
Jack Black flexed some amazing muscles last weekend with the debut of Nacho Libre. Adam Sandler will provide some stiff competition for young males so a sizable drop of 50% could occur giving Paramount a weekend take of around $14M. That would still give the wrestling comedy a solid $54M in ten days.
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift also debuted impressively last weekend tapping into a similar audience, but a steep sophomore crash is imminent. The last film in the franchise, 2003’s 2 Fast 2 Furious, tumbled 63% in its second race. This latest Universal sequel has also burned through its upfront crowd plus will face competition for young guys from Click and for the urban audience from Waist Deep. A hefty 60% fall would leave Tokyo Drift with $9M for the weekend and $42M in ten days.
Keanu and Sandra snuggled up to a decent, but not spectacular, opening for their romance The Lake House. Adult women will not be too distracted by the new options so a moderate 40% drop could result. That would give the Warner Bros. release $8M for the frame and a ten-day tally of $29M.
LAST YEAR: Topping the charts for a second straight weekend, Batman Begins grossed $27.6M dropping 43% from its opening giving Warner Bros. an encouraging hold. Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell powered their new comedy Bewitched into the number two slot opening with $20.1M. The Sony release found its way to $62.3M. Fox’s Mr. & Mrs. Smith placed third with $16.8M in its third fight. Two new releases rounded out the top ten. Disney’s Lindsay Lohan film Herbie: Fully Loaded opened to $12.7M and $17.7M over five days, while Universal’s zombie flick Land of the Dead bowed to $10.2M. Final grosses reached $66M and $20.5M, respectively. In limited release, the inner city dancing documentary Rize opened to $1.6M from 352 theaters for a $4,474 average putting it in 12th place. Lions Gate collected $3.3M by the end of its short run.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.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)
Variety reports that the "Reno 911!" fellas have cooked up a new comedy feature, and it’ll be a ping pong flick called "Balls of Fury." And here’s the sweet spot: Christopher Walken is in talks to star.
Walken plays Fang, an evil crime lord who is also a pingpong enthusiast. Fogler, the Tony-winning star of "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," plays a disgraced player enlisted by the CIA to join a tournament held in Fang’s lair. Lennon plays the comeback kid’s East German nemesis."
In addition to "Reno," Lennon & Garant collaborated on the screenplays for "Taxi," "The Pacifier," and "Herbie: Fully Loaded." Despite those credits, I’m pretty psyched for "Balls of Fury" and the impending "Reno 911!: Miami."
The Hollywood Reporter brings news that the cult comedy series "Reno 911!" will soon be making its way into the movie-houses, which should please the cast members, the fans, and Comedy Central a whole heck of a lot.
"The creators of Comedy Central’s "Reno 911!" are taking their cop spoof to the big screen. 20th Century Fox and Paramount Pictures will co-produce "Reno 911!: Miami," which will be helmed by the TV series’ co-creator, Robert Ben Garant. The film is described as an improvisational-based project that will follow a script written by Garant and fellow series co-creators Thomas Lennon and Kerri Kenney. "Reno 911!: Miami," which starts shooting Jan. 23 in Miami and Los Angeles, finds the officers visiting a national police convention in Miami Beach at the height of spring break. When the convention center is bio-attacked, it’s up to Reno’s "finest" to save the day."
(Anyone else remember when these guys did "The State" on MTV? Where’s that DVD release already?)
No, it didn’t break any records … but no, it didn’t exactly underperform, either. No matter how you look at it, Steven Spielberg‘s "War of the Worlds" zapped a healthy chunk of change from our pockets during the July 4th weekend. Three-day frame: $64.5 million. Throw in the Monday holiday and the figure rises to $77.6 million. Toss the Wednesday opening and Thursday into the mix and you’re looking at a "War" chest worth just over $113 million.
Needless to say, the Tom Cruise sci-fi thriller handily snatched the #1 box office spot. Hanging on with impressive tenacity is "Batman Begins," which grossed $18.7 over the four-day weekend ($154m total), while third place went to the also rather buoyant "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," which added over $12.5 million to a total tally of $146m.
Fourth place went to "Bewitched," which pulled in an extra $10.8 million, and "Herbie: Fully Loaded," which added $10.5m to its bottom line. Aside from "War of the Worlds," the only other wide release newcomer was the Martin Lawrence kids’ comedy "Rebound," which landed in 7th place with a $6 million weekend.
As always, please feel free to stop by the Rotten Tomatoes Box Office Page for a closer look at the weekend monetary numerals.
Justin Long ("Dodgeball") will star in a comedy entitled "Accepted" for Universal Pictures, says The Hollywood Reporter. The spec script, which was written by Mark Perez ("The Country Bears," "Herbie: Fully Loaded"), caused a rather enthusiastic bidding frenzy among several studios, but Uni snatched the prize and hired Steve Pink (co-writer of "High Fidelity" and "Grosse Pointe Blank") to direct the flick.
The plot focuses on "a high school senior who finds a unique way to avoid the pressure to attend college," and that’s all we’re getting so far, story-wise.
For the second weekend in a row, Christopher Nolan‘s "Batman Begins" claimed the #1 spot at the weekend box office races. The superhero flick pulled in over $26 million in its second weekend, giving it a healthy margin of victory over the competition.
Debuting in second place with a $20 million haul was the Nicole Kidman / Will Ferrell romantic comedy "Bewitched," which bowed in more than 3,100 theaters, while another holdover, "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," snagged third place with $16.8 million. Fourth and fifth place went to a pair of newcomers: "Herbie: Fully Loaded" tallied just under $13 million from 3,500 venues, while George Romero‘s "Land of the Dead" pulled in just over $10 million at 2,200 theaters.
For a closer look at the total weekend tallies, be sure to visit the Rotten Tomatoes Box Office Page.
This week’s three wide releases have some things in common: they’re all updates of stuff we’ve seen before, and they all deal with the supernatural. Which will cast a spell over the critics: a car that can love, a witch, or thoughtful, perceptive (but still bloodthirsty) zombies?
George A. Romero’s "Night of the Living Dead" is one of the masterworks of modern horror films, a movie so copied and so influential that, like "2001" or "Metropolis," it may be difficult to fully understand a world without it. Romero’s subsequent "Dead" works, "Dawn of the Dead" and "Day of the Dead," have maintained a level of quality and integrity where other horror series have retreated to camp and gore. "Land of the Dead," which depicts a bleak future of class conflict and zombies who can think and communicate, is winning high praise in some circles, but at 40 percent, the majority of critics feel it’s a step down for one of the genre’s masters.
Another week, another TV remake: "Bewitched," starring Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell, avoids some of the pratfalls of recent rehashings by adding a self-reflexive, show-within-a-film plotline, but it’s still basically the story of a witch who gets married to an average Joe. Actually, “average” is a good adjective in this case; critics are less than, ahem, bewitched by this one, with only 36 percent under its spell. The plot involves a pompous actor’s attempt to restart his career by starring in an update of "Bewitched." Hilarity ensues when the actress who takes the Elizabeth Montgomery role is actually a witch. Or rather, occasional hilarity ensues.
From "Turbo Teen" to "Knight Rider" to the forthcoming "Cars," it’s clear that Americans have a thing for anthropomorphizing their fictional automobiles. And one of the original attempts to do this (excepting such non-classics as "My Mother the Car," of course) was "Herbie the Love Bug." Well, that loveable VW is back in "Herbie: Fully Loaded," starring Disney remake queen Lindsay Lohan. At 43 percent on the Tomatometer, there’s a reason the movie isn’t being called "Fully Lauded." Critics say while this tale of rescuing the famed bug from the scrap heap and taking on NASCAR might appeal to kids (really little kids), there’s not a whole lot under the hood, it’s low on gas, parents could use a pit stop from this juvenilia, insert auto maintenance cliché here.