Half Baked

(Photo by Gramercy Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection. Thumbnail image: Columbia Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection; Universal/courtesy Everett Collection.)

25 Essential Stoner Movies Ranked

If your movie nights could take a few more hits, check out our guide to the best stoner movies! These are essential movies to the marijuana experience, ranging from counterculture classics (Up in Smoke, Easy Rider), top-shelf mainstream films (Pineapple Express, Friday), and cult comedies (Grandma’s Boy, Super Troopers), all featuring icons like Jeff Spicoli and The Dude. Then we took all the movies and sorted them by Tomatometer, lowest to highest.

If you’re seeking a trip guide, something to pair with whatever state you’re in, check out the 25 Essential Stoner Movies! (And don’t forget the 20 best movies to watch high.)

#25

Grandma's Boy (2006)
16%

#25
Adjusted Score: 17954%
Critics Consensus: A gross-out comedy that's more gross than comedic, Grandma's Boy is lazy and unrewarding.
Synopsis: When he and his roommate can't pay their rent, video game creator Alex (Allen Covert) finds himself homeless and moves... [More]
Directed By: Nicholaus Goossen

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 18570%
Critics Consensus: The movie isn't funny, the plot is too thin, and the production values feel more like a TV sitcom than a movie.
Synopsis: Last night, two party-hearty Dudes had an unbelievably sweet time. Too bad, they can't remember a thing, including where they... [More]
Directed By: Danny Leiner

#23

Soul Plane (2004)
18%

#23
Adjusted Score: 20175%
Critics Consensus: A raunchy sendup of Airplane! that never really takes off.
Synopsis: Following a ridiculously awful flight that leads to his pet's death, Nashawn Wade (Kevin Hart) files a lawsuit against the... [More]
Directed By: Jessy Terrero

#22

How High (2001)
26%

#22
Adjusted Score: 27553%
Critics Consensus: How High is a sloppily constructed stoner movie filled with lame, vulgar jokes.
Synopsis: Multi-platinum rap superstars Redman and Method Man star as Jamal and Silas, two regular guys who smoke something magical, ace... [More]
Directed By: Jesse Dylan

#21

Half Baked (1998)
29%

#21
Adjusted Score: 29552%
Critics Consensus: You'd have to be high to dig Half Baked's half baked production and scattershot sense of humor -- although maybe that was the point of this Dave Chapelle-led joint.
Synopsis: When a member of their crew gets arrested for killing a New York City police horse by feeding it junk... [More]
Directed By: Tamra Davis

#20

Super Troopers (2001)
35%

#20
Adjusted Score: 36374%
Critics Consensus: A more-miss -than-hit affair, Super Troopers will most likely appeal to those looking for something silly.
Synopsis: Always looking for action, five over-enthusiastic but under-stimulated Vermont State Troopers raise hell on the highway, keeping motorists anxiously looking... [More]
Directed By: Jay Chandrasekhar

#19

Reefer Madness (1936)
39%

#19
Adjusted Score: 42994%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: High-school principal Dr. Alfred Carroll (Josef Forte) relates to an audience of parents that marijuana can have devastating effects on... [More]
Directed By: Louis J. Gasnier

#18
Adjusted Score: 28106%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Superlative stoners Cheech (Cheech Marin) and Chong (Tommy Chong) realize that one of their pals is developing a strain of... [More]
Directed By: Thomas Chong

#17

Up in Smoke (1978)
47%

#17
Adjusted Score: 48204%
Critics Consensus: Oft-quoted but undeniably flawed, Up In Smoke is a seminal piece of stoner cinema thanks to the likability of its two counterculture icons.
Synopsis: An unemployed pot-smoking slacker and amateur drummer, Anthony Stoner (Tommy Chong) ditches his strict parents and hits the road, eventually... [More]
Directed By: Lou Adler

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 54164%
Critics Consensus: We're the Millers squanders its potential with an uneven, lazily assembled story..
Synopsis: Small-time pot dealer David (Jason Sudeikis) learns the hard way that no good deed goes unpunished; trying to help some... [More]

#15
Adjusted Score: 53527%
Critics Consensus: Visually creative, but also aimless, repetitive, and devoid of character development.
Synopsis: Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp) and his attorney Dr. Gonzo (Benicio Del Toro) drive a red convertible across the Mojave desert... [More]
Directed By: Terry Gilliam

#14
Adjusted Score: 56909%
Critics Consensus: Tenacious D fan will find this movie hilarious; everybody else will see only a low-brow concept movie and a small assembly of jokes stretched past the 100 minute mark.
Synopsis: Musicians JB (Jack Black) and KG (Kyle Gass) begin a friendship that could lead to the formation of the greatest... [More]
Directed By: Liam Lynch

#13

Scary Movie (2000)
52%

#13
Adjusted Score: 56184%
Critics Consensus: Critics say Scary Movie overloads on crudity and grossness to get its laughs.
Synopsis: Defying the very notion of good taste, Scary Movie out-parodies the pop culture parodies with a no-holds barred assault on... [More]
Directed By: Keenen Ivory Wayans

#12
Adjusted Score: 57819%
Critics Consensus: Fans can expect a good laugh as the cast from Smith's previous films reunite for Jay and Silent Bob's last bow. The loose plotting and crude language may be too much for others though.
Synopsis: When Jay and Silent Bob learn that a "Bluntman and Chronic" movie is being made featuring their comic book counterparts,... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Smith

#11

Smiley Face (2007)
68%

#11
Adjusted Score: 67659%
Critics Consensus: Although many of the jokes have been done before, Anna Faris's bright performance and Gregg Araki's sharp direction make Smiley Face more than your average stoner comedy.
Synopsis: Jane (Anna Faris), a struggling but perpetually stoned actress, has a busy day ahead. She has several important tasks on... [More]
Directed By: Gregg Araki

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 76191%
Critics Consensus: Both funny and scattershot, this loose-knit action/buddy/stoner comedy bridges genres and keeps a steady tempo of low-ball laughs.
Synopsis: Stoner Dale Denton's (Seth Rogen) enjoyment of a rare strain of marijuana may prove fatal when he drops his roach... [More]
Directed By: David Gordon Green

#9

Ted (2012)
69%

#9
Adjusted Score: 77406%
Critics Consensus: Ted's "romance versus bromance" plot is familiar, but the film's held aloft by the high-concept central premise and a very funny (albeit inconsistent) script.
Synopsis: When John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) was a little boy, he made a wish that Ted (Seth MacFarlane), his beloved teddy... [More]
Directed By: Seth MacFarlane

#8

Inherent Vice (2014)
73%

#8
Adjusted Score: 83386%
Critics Consensus: Inherent Vice may prove frustrating for viewers who demand absolute coherence, but it does justice to its acclaimed source material -- and should satisfy fans of director P.T. Anderson.
Synopsis: In a California beach community, private detective Larry "Doc" Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) tends to work his cases through a smoky... [More]
Directed By: Paul Thomas Anderson

#7
Adjusted Score: 78160%
Critics Consensus: The likable leads and subversion of racial stereotypes elevate Harold and Kumar above the typical stoner comedy.
Synopsis: Nerdy accountant Harold (John Cho) and his irrepressible friend, Kumar (Kal Penn), get stoned watching television and find themselves utterly... [More]
Directed By: Danny Leiner

#6
Adjusted Score: 82577%
Critics Consensus: While Fast Times at Ridgemont High features Sean Penn's legendary performance, the film endures because it accurately captured the small details of school, work, and teenage life.
Synopsis: Stacy Hamilton (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is a pretty, but inexperienced, teen interested in dating. Given advice by her uninhibited friend,... [More]
Directed By: Amy Heckerling

#5

Friday (1995)
78%

#5
Adjusted Score: 78097%
Critics Consensus: What Friday might lack in taut construction or directorial flair, it more than makes up with its vibrant (albeit consistently crass) humor and the charming, energetic performances of its leads.
Synopsis: It's Friday and Craig Jones (Ice Cube) has just gotten fired for stealing cardboard boxes. To make matters worse, rent... [More]
Directed By: F. Gary Gray

#4

The Big Lebowski (1998)
83%

#4
Adjusted Score: 89049%
Critics Consensus: Typically stunning visuals and sharp dialogue from the Coen Brothers, brought to life with strong performances from Goodman and Bridges.
Synopsis: Jeff Bridges plays Jeff Lebowski who insists on being called "the Dude," a laid-back, easygoing burnout who happens to have... [More]
Directed By: Joel Coen

#3

This Is the End (2013)
83%

#3
Adjusted Score: 91209%
Critics Consensus: Energetic, self-deprecating performances and enough guffaw-inducing humor make up for the flaws in This Is the End loosely written script.
Synopsis: In Hollywood, actor James Franco is throwing a party with a slew of celebrity pals. Among those in attendance are... [More]
Directed By: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg

#2

Easy Rider (1969)
83%

#2
Adjusted Score: 89836%
Critics Consensus: Edgy and seminal, Easy Rider encapsulates the dreams, hopes, and hopelessness of 1960s counterculture.
Synopsis: Wyatt (Peter Fonda) and Billy (Dennis Hopper), two Harley-riding hippies, complete a drug deal in Southern California and decide to... [More]
Directed By: Dennis Hopper

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 96009%
Critics Consensus: Featuring an excellent ensemble cast, a precise feel for the 1970s, and a killer soundtrack, Dazed and Confused is a funny, affectionate, and clear-eyed look at high school life.
Synopsis: This coming-of-age film follows the mayhem of group of rowdy teenagers in Austin, Texas, celebrating the last day of high... [More]
Directed By: Richard Linklater

Jack Black returns to theaters this weekend as one of the unwilling adventurers in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and in anticipation of his latest foray into big-budget slapstick comedy, we decided to take a loving look back at some of his many memorable film roles. Whether you’re a longtime fan or just looking to get acquainted, there’s something here for everyone’s queue, so let’s get started — it’s time for Total Recall!


Use the arrows to rank the movies, or click here to see them ranked by Tomatometer!

Jack Black returns to theaters this weekend as kidlit legend R.L. Stine in Goosebumps, and in anticipation of his first foray into family-friendly comedy-horror, we decided to take a loving look back at some of his many memorable film and television roles. Whether you’re a longtime fan or just looking to get acquainted, there’s something here for everyone’s queue, so let’s get started — it’s time for Total Recall!


High Fidelity (2000) 91%

01HighFidelity

They’ve always been popular, but book-to-film adaptations are always an iffy proposition, too; no matter how successful they might be with movie audiences, film versions of beloved books often can’t help but suffer in comparison to their invariably more fleshed-out counterparts. Still, every once in awhile, an adaptation works so well that almost no one complains about the changes that were made — and 2000’s High Fidelity, about the emotional travails of a music-obsessed sensitive soul with a checkered romantic past (John Cusack), is a perfect example. Aside from catering gracefully to its leading man’s cinematic strengths, the script (which Cusack co-wrote) made plenty of room for scene-stealing supporting players, led by Black as a cranky record store employee whose stereotypical snobbery is leavened by the hyperactive, wide-eyed overconfidence Black would soon be asked to bring to bear on a long list of comedies. He’d been in plenty of TV shows and films prior to this, but after High Fidelity, Jack Black was finally on his way to becoming a star — and an unforgettable ingredient in a movie that the A.V. Club’s Nathan Rabin lauded as “A film pragmatic enough to concede that almost every relationship is doomed, but romantic enough to realize that it’s worth it to carry on in spite of that fact … one of the smartest and funniest romantic comedies of the past few years.”

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Shallow Hal (2001) 50%

02ShallowHal2

A Farrelly brothers movie starring Gwyneth Paltrow in a fat suit? Filmgoers definitely could have been forgiven for assuming Shallow Hal would be a repository for the writer-directors’ grossest and most insensitive gags, but this 2001 comedy — about an appearance-obsessed cretin (Black) who’s hypnotized into seeing only inner beauty after a chance encounter with self-help guru Tony Robbins — is actually rather sweet, and with a talented cast that also included Jason Alexander, it even managed to add a new spin or two to cinema’s long obsession with the battle between the sexes. “A big part of what makes the movie successful is the combination of Black and Paltrow,” wrote Aisle Seat’s Mike McGranahan. “He gives the movie its humor, while she gives it some heart.”

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The School of Rock (2003) 92%

03SchoolOfRock

Jack Black has starred in a number of fine films over the course of his career, but no matter how long he continues making movies, it’s unlikely a project will ever fit his unique combination of talents as snugly as School of Rock. Inspired by a series of recordings culled from a Canadian elementary school project during the 1970s, screenwriter Mike White concocted the story of Dewey Finn (Black), a singer and guitarist whose delusions of grandeur get him kicked out of his band — thus beginning a chain of events that soon sees him jump-starting a local school’s music program while impersonating a substitute teacher. A fat box-office hit whose tangy blend of comedy, drama, and rock ‘n’ roll turned it into a consistent favorite that’s gone on to inspire a stage musical and TV adaptation (as well as persistent rumors of a sequel), it is also — as Desson Thomson wrote for the Washington Post — “A movie for almost everyone, from boomer parents (who remember their teens and twenties) to their teenage kids (who can’t wait to get started with same).”

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Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny (2006) 52%

04TenaciousD

Years before he reached his cinematic breakthrough, Black caught the eye of discerning HBO subscribers through Tenacious D, a series based around the fake musical exploits of the real-life “mock rock” duo he’d co-founded with fellow actor-musician Kyle Gass. The pair filmed a trio of episodes with Mr. Show’s David Cross and Bob Odenkirk, and although the first episode didn’t set the world on fire when it aired in 1997 — HBO neglected to broadcast the other two until 2000 — Tenacious D’s act contributed to the steadily growing cult around the “band’s” brash frontman, and when they finally got around to releasing their debut LP in 2001, it cracked the Top 40 and paved the way for their big-screen debut, 2003’s Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny, co-starring Ronnie James Dio as himself and Dave Grohl as Satan. “Black thrives in these grubby environs,” argued the Boston Globe’s Wesley Morris. “His full-throttle bodily chaos makes more sense in movies done on the cheap than in blockbusters and polished comedies.”

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King Kong (2005) 84%

05KingKong

Black’s obviously quite adept at getting laughs, but his gift for playing creeps also lends itself to drama — as director Peter Jackson obviously recognized while casting his big-budget remake of King Kong, tapping Black to play Carl Denham, the financially tenuous (and morally bankrupt) filmmaker whose quest for a hit sets in motion the chain of events that brings a certain giant gorilla to New York and unleashes a hail of CG-assisted destruction. The original Kong remains a towering classic, and Jackson’s version was destined to remain in its shadow long before cameras rolled, but it still acquitted itself fairly admirably; in fact, as far as some critics were concerned, it might even deserve to be considered a classic in its own right. “Monstrous. Monumental. Magnificent,” wrote an impressed Tom Long for the Detroit News. “Use any term you want, there’s no denying the power, genius and spectacle of King Kong, which is certainly the biggest movie of the year and possibly the biggest movie ever made.”

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Margot at the Wedding (2007) 52%

06MargotAtTheWedding

Making a movie about sisters whose tortured relationship is thrown into stark relief by one sister’s impending nuptials to a schlubby layabout? You could definitely do worse than casting Jack Black as the schlub in question, as writer-director Noah Baumbach correctly identified when assembling the stars of his 2007 dramedy Margot at the Wedding. Unfolding over a fraught weekend in Long Island, during which Margot (Nicole Kidman) ends up sharing uncomfortably close quarters with her sister Pauline (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and Pauline’s underachieving fiancé (Black), Margot might have been merely a comedy of manners in other hands — but as Baumbach fans know, there’s no sense merely tickling the funny bone when you can go for the jugular while you’re at it. Saying it “counts as a bracing, even disturbing experience,” the A.V. Club’s Scott Tobias observed, “Baumbach doesn’t seem to care whether people like his characters; he merely wants them to be seen for who they are, warts and all.”

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Be Kind Rewind (2008) 65%

07BeKindRewind

For film fans of a certain age, the phrase “be kind rewind” will forever conjure memories of the stickers affixed to VHS rentals begging customers not to return their tapes without rewinding them first — but by 2008, VHS had been all but consigned to the format graveyard, making Be Kind Rewind the perfect title for a movie about a hapless video store clerk (Yasiin Bey) whose knuckleheaded friend (Black) accidentally erases every single tape in stock right after the owner (Danny Glover) leaves town. Forced to act fast, the duo set about remaking (“swedeing”) movies on the fly, inadvertently sparking a neighborhood craze for their unintentionally hilarious low-budget attempts to recreate films like Ghostbusters and Rush Hour 2 — and single-handedly reviving the financial fortunes of the store just as it’s set to meet the wrecking ball at the hand of a heartless building owner intent on gentrifying his property. Be Kind Rewind might look like a goofy comedy on the surface, but writer-director Michel Gondry had much more in mind; as Richard Corliss pointed out for TIME, the movie “declares that the riches of cinema history touch each of us personally. Films become so deep a part of us that we own them, that our memories of them, whether faithful or fanciful, become their meanings.”

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The Kung Fu Panda Franchise

08KungFuPanda

The humor potential inherent in casting a husky funnyman as an unlikely martial arts enthusiast is as obvious as it is deceptively tricky to unlock — witness Chris Farley in Beverly Hills Ninja — so DreamWorks Animation casting Jack Black to voice a rotund panda who becomes a kung fu master might have seemed a little on the nose when Kung Fu Panda was announced. Sometimes the obvious choice is the best one, however, and that’s clearly been the case for Black in the role of Po, the panda whose journey from noodle shop to prophecy-fulfilling glory has expanded to fill three theatrical features, a TV series, animated shorts, a video game, and even a planned live show — not to mention critical acclaim and more than a billion in box-office receipts. “Just about all animated movies teach you to Believe in Yourself,” admitted Entertainment Weekly’s Owen Gleiberman. “But the image of a face-stuffing panda-turned-yowling Bruce Lee dervish is as unlikely, and touching, an advertisement for that message as we’ve seen in quite some time.”

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Tropic Thunder (2008) 82%

09TropicThunder

Ben Stiller’s experiences as a bit player on Empire of the Sun inspired him to write this barbed Hollywood satire about a group of pampered actors (led by Stiller, Jack Black, and Robert Downey, Jr. in blackface) whose entitled behavior leads their exasperated director (Steve Coogan) to try using a little cinéma vérité on their war movie, with decidedly unintended results. Each of the stars embodies a particular type of stereotypical Hollywood excess; for Black, portraying the drug-addled comedian Jeff Portnoy offered an opportunity to lampoon the self-serious efforts of lowbrow (and filthy rich) comics who try to prove their depth by “going serious.” Loaded with inside jokes, a marvelously insane Tom Cruise cameo, and thinly veiled insults directed at other actors, Thunder earned a healthy critical buzz to go with its $188 million box office draw. Calling it “Stiller’s Hellzapoppin’ Apocalypse Now,” Entertainment Weekly’s Lisa Schwarzbaum praised it as “a smart and agile dissection of art, fame, and the chutzpah of big-budget productions.”

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Bernie (2011) 88%

10Bernie

Under the right conditions and parceled out in the proper doses, Black’s stereotypical on-screen persona can be irresistible, which is probably why he’s so rarely been asked to step outside that box over the years — but when he does, the results can be extremely gratifying, as he proved with his starring turn in Bernie. A uniquely twisted, fact-based drama that reunited Black with his School of Rock director Richard Linklater, Bernie led viewers through the incredibly odd story of a Texas mortician whose surprising friendship with a cantankerous widow (Shirley MacLaine) comes to a very bad end — and opens one of the odder chapters in modern small-town American jurisprudence. “I had to forget what I knew about Black,” applauded Roger Ebert. “He creates this character out of thin air, it’s like nothing he’s done before, and it proves that an actor can be a miraculous thing in the right role.”

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This weekend For the first time this decade, a new release seems set to take over the number one spot during the busy Thanksgiving holiday weekend at the North American box office. Studios are cramming a six-pack of new titles into multiplexes nationwide hoping the recent famine in the marketplace will be replaced by a feast. The films lack major stars, but they do however have clearly-defined audiences which will hopefully allow them to survive and expand the overall pie.

Disney leads the way with the fantasy extravaganza Enchanted for young girls while Fox counters with the much more violent action offering Hitman aimed at young men. MGM goes for a scare with the horror film The Mist, Sony targets African American moviegoers with This Christmas, and August Rush from Warner Bros. will try to tap into family audiences. Meanwhile, Miramax goes after older adults and upscale crowds with its acclaimed thriller No Country For Old Men which widens into national release after two weeks of sold out shows in limited play.

Once upon a time, Disney regularly opened a new family film at number one over Thanksgiving weekend. After a long absence, the Mouse House is now poised to take its rightful place on the turkey throne with its fairy tale adventure pic Enchanted which finds an animated princess thrust upon the real world where people do not live happily ever after. The PG-rated film will appeal to the millions of young girls and mothers who have become devotees of Disney’s lucrative army of princesses. Getting in boys may be a bit tough, but the female following should be more than enough to propel this massive release into the top spot at the holiday box office.

Not since 1999’s Toy Story 2 has Disney, or any other studio for that matter, opened a new film at number one over this holiday frame. Holdovers have consistently ruled since 2000, mostly big guns that debuted on the weekend before the holiday to get an early jump on the cash. But from 1994 through 1999, Disney enjoyed an unprecedented streak ruling the Thanksgiving box office every year with an iron fist. Now that magic is back, thanks in part to a surprisingly weak line-up of November titles coming from Hollywood’s magic factories. With the widest release by far of any new film, no holdovers to stand in its way, and a holiday frame that welcomes family entertainment, Enchanted looks to become the queen bee. Opening in an ultrawide 3,632 theaters, the fantasy film may charm its way to about $30M over the Friday-to-Sunday period and $43M during the extended Wednesday-to-Sunday span.


Amy Adams in Enchanted

Fox hopes that young men from coast to coast will stamp their necks with barcodes and hit the megaplexes to see its new action thriller Hitman. Based on the popular video game, the R-rated film about a genetically-engineered superassassin has its eyes set squarely on male audiences done with cartoon Vikings and ready for some guns and ammo. The studio’s marketing has been superb with slickly-edited television spots featuring operatic tunes that really sell the picture to the target audience. Unfortunately there are no marquee names in the cast to help bring in business. Direct competition from Beowulf will also curtail grosses a bit. With a strong marketing push exciting the core crowd, look for a solid and respectable opening. Hitman invades 2,401 venues and might capture $13M over the weekend and $19M over five days.


Timothy Olyphant in Hitman

Some folks may be in search of a scare this weekend so MGM is rolling out the fright flick The Mist, a film adaptation of a Stephen King story. The R-rated pic comes from director Frank Darabont (The Green Mile, The Shawshank Redemption) and stars Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, and Andre Braugher. The actors add little starpower so Mist‘s commercial prospects will instead have to rely on King’s name and the popularity of the horror genre. With the pre-Halloween gorefests now eroding away, competition should not come from fellow thrillers. Instead movies like Hitman and Beowulf will be factors as both will play to older teens and twentysomethings. Historically, horror films have rarely found success over Thanksgiving weekend since audiences tend to flock to happy tales. Attacking 2,423 theaters, The Mist may scare up about $10M over the Friday-to-Sunday period and roughly $14M across the five-day span.


Thomas Jane and co. in The Mist

The true meaning of family is explored once again in the holiday drama This Christmas from Sony. The PG-13 story about different generations of the Whitfield clan reuniting for the holidays stars Delroy Lindo, Regina King, Mekhi Phifer, and pop singer Chris Brown. The studio is aiming primarily for African American adults. With American Gangster going into its fourth frame and most other films neglecting this particular audience, Christmas should have clear sailing as it heads into the multiplexes. But starpower is lacking. Gangster and Why Did I Get Married? both did stellar business thanks in part to A-list drawing power from Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry, respectively. This Christmas opens in 1,802 playdates, with a widening to 1,858 on Friday, and could be in for a three-day bow of $8M and a five-day tally of $11M.


This Christmas

Likely to have a tough time finding ticket buyers this weekend is the new PG-rated drama August Rush which brings together an oddly assembled cast including Keri Russell, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Terrence Howard, and Robin Williams. The Warner Bros. tale about a young music prodigy in search of his parents will no doubt have its work cut out for it trying to convince parents to not spend their time and money on Disney fairy tales, talking bees, Santa’s siblings, and wonder emporiums. Competition is too strong for this one and overall excitement is quite low. August Rush opens Wednesday in 2,280 theaters and expands to 2,310 on Friday. Look for a three-day debut of $5M and a five-day tally of $7M.


Freddie Highmore and Robin Williams in August Rush

With few options for older adults looking for serious fare over the long weekend, Miramax is rolling out its critical darling No Country For Old Men from the Coen brothers into nationwide release. Expanding from 148 to 860 locations, the R-rated thriller starring Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, and Tommy Lee Jones will try to target those folks that have already watched Denzel and Russell go head-to-head and are looking for more shoot-em-up action from veteran filmmakers and actors. Hot buzz has been spreading over its two weeks in limited release so awareness is now high enough to take the pic wider. Last weekend’s scorching $20,782 average will probably get sliced in half and some people will opt for happier films over Thanksgiving. But direct competition is not too fierce and word-of-mouth is on its side. Look for No Country For Old Men to take in about $7M over three days and $10M over five.


Josh Brolin in No Country for Old men

Last weekend’s champ Beowulf would normally see a sizable sophomore drop especially with Hitman stealing away young men. But thanks to the holiday cushion, the decline should not be as bad. A 30% fall may result giving Paramount a Friday-to-Sunday take of around $19M which would push the cume to $60M after ten days. Studio stablemate Bee Movie will join the century club by Friday and should remain a solid option for families. Look for a 20% dip to roughly $11M and a boost in the total to $111M.

A 25% drop might be in the works for American Gangster which may tap into patient adults that have heard the buzz, but just haven’t made a trip to the theaters yet. Universal could take in about $9.5M over three days and raise its sum to $116M. Christmas films routinely see their three-day grosses climb over the turkey frame when compared to the previous weekend thanks to the cheery holiday mood of ticket buyers. That could come as good news to Warner Bros. which might see its Vince Vaughn offering Fred Claus edge up by 10% to around $13M. Cume would hit $54M.

LAST YEAR Despite five new films opening in wide release over the turkey frame, moviegoers continued to spend their money on the same films as the top two spots remained unchanged. Sophomores Happy Feet and Casino Royale led the session with $37M and $30.8M, respectively, over three days. The penguin toon dipped only 11% while the rejuvenated Bond flick dropped by just 25% giving the pair a towering combined gross of $193M after ten days. Denzel Washington won the bronze with his new sci-fi actioner Deja Vu which bowed to $20.6M while the Christmas comedy Deck the Halls followed in fourth with a debut of $12M. Final grosses reached $64M and $35.1M. Borat rounded out the top five with $10.3M in its fourth weekend. Other new releases stumbled. MGM’s political drama Bobby expanded nationally and took in only $4.9M on its way to a weak $11.2M. Warner Bros. debuted its sci-fi drama The Fountain to the tune of $3.8M and New Line saw just $3.2M for its Jack Black pet project Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny. The pics ended their runs quickly with a measly $10.1M and $8.3M, respectively.

author: Gitesh Pandya www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

The post-turkey blues will kick in as the North American box office should slump this weekend following a busy Thanksgiving holiday frame.

Three new releases venture into the multiplexes. The Biblical drama "The Nativity Story" will open in the most theaters and try to court a faith-based audience as Christmas nears. Teens and young adults looking to push the envelope with R-rated fare have the college comedy "Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj" and the horror thriller "Turistas." Meanwhile, the penguin toon "Happy Feet" and the James Bond actioner "Casino Royale" will both be past the $100M mark by Friday and will try to stay atop the charts for a third straight time.

The story of Baby Jesus comes to the big screen with New Line’s "The Nativity Story" which stars Keisha Castle-Hughes ("Whale Rider") as Mary. The PG-rated film should appeal to Christian parents wanting to share the religious saga with their children in an environment that the whole family can enjoy. Certainly "The Passion of the Christ" showed how big a Biblical film could be at the box office. However, "Nativity" is completely different and does not have that film’s high-profile director, controversy, or national media frenzy.


Keisha Castle-Hughes and friends in "The Nativity Story."

Instead, it may tap into the same audience as October’s Babylon epic "One Night With the King" which opened to $4.1M from just 909 theaters for a $4,518 average. "The Nativity Story" will launch in more than twice the number of theaters and has a more timely release with December 25 right around the corner, but could generate a similar per-theater average. Critics have not been kind to the pic which might prompt some to wait for the DVD. Opening in around 2,800 theaters, "The Nativity Story" could collect about $13M over the weekend.

Four and a half years after the release of National Lampoon’s first raunchy college comedy "Van Wilder" comes a new installment with "Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj." This R-rated tale finds Taj (Kal Penn) from the first film moving to England to teach a group of misfits how to party down. It’s been a tough road in recent weeks for R-rated films aimed at young males. "Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny," "Let’s Go to Prison," and "Harsh Times" all opened with about $2M or $3M a piece. "Taj" has some brand recognition since the first "Van Wilder" went on to become popular on video and on cable. In theaters, it opened to $7.3M and a $3,612 average in April 2002 leading to a $21M final. However, a crowded marketplace will make it tough for the sequel to stand out. And "Borat" becoming a runaway smash with four straight $10M+ weekends won’t help either. Opening in 2,000 around theaters, "Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj" might debut with about $5M.


Kal Penn returns in "Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj."

Fox’s new division Fox Atomic, which will cater to teen and young adult audiences, sets sail with its first film with the horror pic "Turistas." The R-rated thriller is directed by John Stockwell ("Blue Crush," "Crazy/Beautiful") and follows a group of American tourists on vacation in Brazil who cross paths with creepy organ harvesters. No starpower here. Instead, Fox is hoping to appeal to college kids looking for a good scare. Outside of older teens and twentysomethings, appeal should be minimal. Even with its core audience, "Turistas" will have to share shelf space with "Taj" so potential will be limited. Opening in less than 2,000 theaters, "Turistas" could find its way to a weekend gross of roughly $4M.


A trio of scared turistas in "Turistas."

Among holdovers, films usually suffer steep declines on the weekend after the Thanksgiving holiday frame. Overall box office spending contracts and studios usually avoid programming any of their heavy hitters into the slot. In fact in the last 15 years, only one new release has opened at number one during this particular weekend – 2003’s "The Last Samurai."

This weekend, it could end up being "Happy Feet" and "Casino Royale" duking it out for box office supremacy for the third straight time. Family pics do extremely well over the turkey frame, but then come down hard a week later. Plus "The Nativity Story" could provide some competition for families. Warner Bros. might suffer a 55% fall for its penguin film which would leave it with $17M for the weekend and $120M after 17 days.

The new blonde Bond is pleasing audiences worldwide and in the United States, "Casino Royale" is set to give "Die Another Day" a run for its money thanks to good word-of-mouth. With kids back in school, the Sony adventure film has taken over the number one spot during the mid-week period. "Casino" could drop by 50% this weekend to around $15M which would push the domestic cume to $116M. Look for the global tally to surpass the $400M mark with ease by the end of the holiday season.

Last weekend, Denzel Washington‘s action thriller "Deja Vu" got off to a good start with a $28.6M five-day bow. Buena Vista may witness a 50% drop and collect roughly $10M over three days and raise its 12-day total to $43M.

LAST YEAR: For the third straight weekend, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" rose to the head of the class and grossed $19.9M to lead the box office. Paramount opened its Charlize Theron actioner "Aeon Flux" to $12.7M on its way to a lukewarm $25.9M. It was the only new wide release of the weekend. "Walk the Line" dropped to third with $9.5M, "Yours, Mine, and Ours" placed fourth with $8.3M, and "Just Friends" rounded out the top five with $5.6M.

Movie fans feasted on tasty leftovers over the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend as the top two films atop the charts remained unchanged from last week. The penguin toon Happy Feet held onto the number one spot while the James Bond actioner Casino Royale followed in second place once again.

Both films enjoyed solid sophomore frames and grossed nearly $100M in combined ticket sales over the Wednesday-to-Sunday period. Several new films that opened were treated like side dishes with audiences finding some of them to be unappetizing. Among the better performers were the action thriller Deja Vu and the family comedy Deck the Halls which finished the weekend in third and fourth places, respectively. Overall, the multiplexes were bustling as the top ten matched last year’s holiday performance which was impressive given the lack of a Harry Potter-type juggernaut on this year’s movie menu.

Sitting on top of the North American box office for a second straight weekend was Happy Feet which danced up an estimated $37.9M over the Friday-to-Sunday period and an impressive $51.5M over the five-day Wednesday-to-Sunday holiday span. That propelled the cume for the Warner Bros. blockbuster to $100.1M after only ten days giving the studio a great start for its pricey $100M kidpic. In a year overstuffed with animated films, the penguin film joins Ice Age: The Meltdown and Cars as the only toons to spend back-to-back weeks at number one in 2006. The three-day gross slipped a scant 9% from its opening weekend indicating solid word-of-mouth and possibly good legs ahead.

The slender decline was similar to the turkey weekend drops of 2004’s National Treasure and 2000’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas which slipped only 9% and 5%, respectively, when Thanksgiving fell on their second weekends. All three films carried PG ratings, played to broad audiences, opened at number one, and retained their box office crown over the turkey holiday. Treasure captured half of its eventual $173M domestic total in the first ten days while Grinch’s share was a similar 53%. If Happy Feet can stay strong throughout the holiday season, it could find its way to $175-190M.

Holding steady in the number two spot was Agent 007 in Casino Royale which collected an estimated $31M over three days and $45.1M over five days. Off only 24%, that pushed the ten-day domestic haul for the Sony release to a stellar $94.2M. Although Casino opened softer than the last film in the series — 2002’s Die Another Day starring Pierce Brosnan — it enjoyed a better sophomore hold. Die dropped 34% in its second weekend to a matching $31M over the three-day portion of the Thanksgiving holiday banking $101.4M in ten days.

Casino is also benefiting from encouraging buzz and could be on its way to grossing $150-160M from North America coming close to the $160.9M of Die which holds the franchise record. Even if the new Daniel Craig film does not set a new franchise benchmark for domestic sales, it still means that the risky casting change has paid off with today’s audiences still finding Bond to be a relevant film series. Overseas, Casino Royale continued to open at number one in every market it invaded this weekend and watched its international cume soar to $128.2M as its worldwide gross zoomed to an eye-popping $222.4M in under two weeks. The studio expects Casino Royale to outperform the $432M global gross of Die Another Day to become the biggest Bond ever.

Holiday moviegoers looking for something new to see powered the Denzel Washington crime thriller Deja Vu into third place with an opening weekend of $20.8M over the Friday-to-Sunday period. Directed by Tony Scott (Crimson Tide, Top Gun), the PG-13 film averaged a sturdy $6,704 from 3,108 sites for Buena Vista. The studio made a bold move when it programmed Deja Vu’s launch to be just five days after the opening of Casino Royale which would also pull in action fans. Since its Wednesday bow, Deja Vu has grossed a strong $29M.

Washington proved once again that he is one of Hollywood’s most reliable and consistent box office draws. Seven of the last eight films he has headlined have opened with $20M or more. Few A-listers can make that claim. In his new film, the Oscar-winning actor plays a ATF agent who uses new government technology to try to alter the past in order to prevent a ferry explosion that kills over 500 innocent people in New Orleans. It was the first Hollywood film shot in the city after Hurricane Katrina. Reviews were generally positive.

Danny DeVito and Matthew Broderick battled their way into fourth place with the new holiday comedy Deck the Halls which opened to an estimated $12M. Fox launched the film in 3,205 locations and averaged a decent $3,744 per site. Since its Wednesday launch, the PG-rated family film has taken in $16.9M. That puts Deck below the openings of recent live-action Thanksgiving weekend kidpics like last year’s Yours, Mine, and Ours and 2004’s Christmas with the Kranks. Those comedies debuted to five-day tallies of $24.3M and $30.8M. Competition was tough for Deck which had to deal with Happy Feet, The Santa Clause 3, and Flushed Away stealing away $54M over the three-day span from the same audience.

Dropping 29% to an estimated $10.4M in its fourth trek was Fox’s Borat which joined the century club over the weekend. November’s only non-penguin film to reach number one has now taken in $109.3M. Jumping up 21% from last weekend thanks to the holiday was Disney’s The Santa Clause 3 which followed close behind with an estimated $10M. The Tim Allen pic has collected $67.2M to date and is running 29% behind the pace of its 2002 predecessor.

Sony’s Will Ferrell comedy Stranger Than Fiction ranked seventh with an estimated $6M, down 9%, for a $32.7M total. The animated tale Flushed Away slipped 12% to an estimated $5.8M and has grossed $57.4M thus far.

Two new films rounded out the top ten with less-than-spectacular results. MGM released The Weinstein Co. pic Bobby and grossed an estimated $4.9M from 1,667 theaters for a mild $2,945 average. Written and directed by Emilio Estevez, the R-rated film examines the lives of several people on the day that Senator Robert Kennedy was assassinated in 1968. The all-star cast includes Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Fishburne, Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, Sharon Stone, Helen Hunt, Martin Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, and Happy Feet star Elijah Wood. Bobby opened in two theaters a week earlier and expanded nationally on Thanksgiving Thursday. The distributor chose not to open nationwide on the typical Wednesday date since that day marked the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Cume to date is $6.2M

Opening poorly in tenth place was the sci-fi romance The Fountain with an estimated $3.7M from 1,472 for a weak $2,531 average. Darren Aronofsky (pi, Requiem for a Dream) directed the PG-13 film which stars Hugh Jackman (another voice from the chart-topping penguin pic) and Aronofsky’s real-life girlfriend Rachel Weisz in a tale of a man’s search to cure his wife’s illness. Over five days, Fountain collected only $5.4M.

Another Thanksgiving turkey came in the form of the comedy Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny which failed to find paying customers and finished outside of the top ten. The Jack Black comedy took in an estimated $3.1M from 1,919 theaters for a wimpy $1,621 average. The R-rated pic was targeted at young men and saw a soft $5.2M bow over the Wednesday-to-Sunday holiday span.

The film industry satire For Your Consideration expanded from 23 to 623 theaters this weekend and grossed an estimated $2M. With a mediocre $3,186 average, the Warner Independent release upped its cume to $3.1M.

Fox Searchlight debuted its comedy The History Boys and grossed an estimated $101,000 from seven theaters for a solid $14,389 average. Adapted from the Tony Award-winning play, the R-rated film bowed in six U.S. theaters on Tuesday and added one Canadian location on Friday. Cume to date stands at $142,000 and the distributor will expand to four additional markets on December 8.

Four films dropped out of the top ten this weekend. Paramount Vantage’s Babel fell 33% to an estimated $1.9M pushing the cume up to a decent $15.2M. The Brad Pitt pic may finish in the $17-19M range although it could go further if it secures major award nominations. Another film generating Oscar buzz followed as Martin Scorsese’s The Departed shot up an estimated $1.8M in its eighth weekend, down 30%, boosting the cume to $116.8M. With a production cost of $90M, the acclaimed director’s top-grossing film should reach the $120M mark domestically.

The horror sequel Saw III scared up an estimated $1.5M, down 48%, for a strong $78M to date. The $12M Lionsgate hit looks to end with about $80M or a bit less than Saw II’s $87M from last year. After Dark’s Horror Fest concluded its limited five-day theatrical run with $2.6M from 488 theaters last week for a solid $5,328 average.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $142.7M over three days which was dead even with last year when Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire remained at number one with $54.7M; and down 2% from 2004 when National Treasure stayed in the top spot with $32.2M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

This week at the movies, we’ve got holiday mischief ("Deck the Halls," starring Matthew Broderick and Danny DeVito), a phenomenon known as déjà vu ("Déjà Vu," starring Denzel Washington), a spiritual journey through time ("The Fountain," starring Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz), and a mystical guitar pick ("Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny," starring Jack Black and Kyle Gass). What do the critics have to say?

The holiday season is nearly upon us, which means another poorly-reviewed seasonal comedy is hitting theaters. In "Deck the Halls," Matthew Broderick and Danny DeVito star as next-door neighbors competing to hang the shiniest star upon the highest bough — or at least out-decorate each other. Practical jokes and one-upmanship ensue. The critics have made a list of the film’s problems and checked it twice, and they say it’s too juvenile to pull off the combination of slapstick and family togetherness it’s attempting. At 13 percent on the Tomatometer, "Deck the Halls" has coal in its stocking.


"Ok, the first one to cause rolling blackouts wins."

Denzel Washington rejoins director Tony Scott in "Déjà Vu" as an ATF agent who goes back in time to stop the murder of a woman he subsequently falls in love with. And while the movie’s high-concept angle is riling some critics, others are falling in love with Tony Scott’s unique visual twist on time travel. So either it’s an original take on a familiar concept or it’s about as believable as Keira Knightley the bounty hunter… At 59 percent, the pundits seem to favor the latter.


"So how do you say ‘deja vu’ in Aramaic?"

Beautiful and transcendent or muddled and pretentious? Darren Aronofsky‘s "The Fountain" is dividing the critics right down the middle. This philosophical, time-jumping sci-fi tale stars Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz as a couple in Conquistador-era Spain, the present, and in a space-age future who are obsessed with death and rebirth. "The Fountain" overflows with ideas and images, and while some critics praise the film’s striking visual flair and Aronofsky’s audacity, others say it’s ultimately too incoherent to pull off the "2001"-esque meditation it strives for. "The Fountain" currently stands at 39 percent on the Tomatometer.


Mosh pits have not evolved much in 500 years.

Jack Black and Kyle Gass set out to unleash the Greatest Movie in the World when "Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny" hits theaters this week, but the critics have had a tough time figuring out if they’ve actually done it. The facts are smudged in this would-be biopic telling the story of the formation of The D and their quest to find a magical guitar pick that’ll transform them into rock gods. When the reviews are good The D look set to rock the world, but when they’re bad the word ‘cerebral’ pops up only in reference to what this movie is not. "Pick" currently stands at 48 percent on the Tomatometer.


"Eins, zwei, drei, Hasselhoff!"

"Bobby" and "For Your Consideration" opened in limited release last week, and now both are going wide. Emilio Estevez‘s "Bobby," an Altman-esque tale of the night of Robert Kennedy’s assassination starring half the population of California, is at 51 percent on the Tomatometer, and the Hollywood-skewering "For Your Consideration," Christopher Guest‘s latest ensemble comedy, is at 52 percent. Also opening this week in limited release are "Opal Dream," a coming-of-age tale about a little girl with imaginary friends in the outback, is at 80 percent, and "The History Boys," a tale of hypercompetitive English schoolboys adapted from Alan Bennett, is at 61 percent.


"The History Boys": the UK’s least intimidating street gang.

Finally, while it may be a bit early to call dreday as consistent a hitmaker as is Dr. Dre himself, it is worth noting that he came the closest to guessing the Tomatometer for "Let’s Go to Prison" (8 percent), making it his second consecutive Guess victory in a row. Watch out for player haters, dreday.

Thanks to Joe Utichi for his help on this article.

Recent Denzel Washington Movies:
——————————————-
88% — Inside Man (2006)
81% — The Manchurian Candidate (2004)
39% — Man on Fire (2004)
66% — Out of Time (2003)
79% — Antwone Fisher (2002)

Recent Jack Black Movies:
———————————
37% — Nacho Libre (2006)
84% — King Kong (2005)
35% — Shark Tale (2004)
6% — Envy (2004)
90% — School of Rock (2003)

Test test test

Rocking the Big Screen
Tenacious D tell RT-UK about their latest adventure.

Tenacious D in: The Pick of DestinySitting upon a giant cow hide couch in London’s trendy Soho Hotel, Rotten Tomatoes UK waits patiently for today’s special guests. It’s not long before we’re rewarded by the large frames of Jack Black and Kyle Gass – aka Tenacious D – walking through the door. And it’s all we can do not to whoop and throw up devil’s horns.

So just why are two portly gentlemen, fast approaching middle age, exciting us so much? Aren’t they a little unfit to rock out? “We have been called the heavy metal Simon and Garfunkel,” suggests Black, although the statement is qualified with a “by us”. Quite simply, Tenacious D rock because they embrace how unqualified to rock they are. Their passion, their excitement and their f-bomb arsenal have earned them fans the world over.

Their 2001 self-titled debut album fast became a worldwide hit, featuring such classics as Tribute – a song about the Greatest Song in the World – and Lee in which the band sing the praises of their biggest fan by singing his name over and over again.

“Usually I feel kind-of normal and lame,” says Gass when Rotten Tomatoes UK asks the pair to explain their awesomeness, “and then I’ll go to the coffee shop and someone’ll say, ‘You rock!’ And then I’ll remember how awesome I am. And then it’s just back to normal.”

But Black has trouble pinning down a description for their work. “It’s not parody,” he says most definitely, “we don’t rip-off other bands’ exact songs and put new funny lyrics to them. We have our own music.”

According to Gass, their talents are accidental anyway, “We try to write the best songs ever and they kinda come out funny,” he explains, “We’ll just turn on the tape and riff around and Jack kind-of improvises some stuff.”

“I don’t turn on the tape, actually,” Jack insists, “I wait ’til I have the subject matter and then I press record.”

“But sometimes you miss something and then you’re upset about it.”

“Rarely.”

Throughout the interview, Black and Gass are constantly making each other laugh. Both are seasoned comedians, turning witty ripostes without a hint of effort, and they’re hoping it’ll show in their latest outing; Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny. They may have faces for radio, but they’re getting ready to tear up the big screen and the good news for fans of The D is that it’s set to some kick-*** music.

“We recorded a clean version of this soundtrack, actually,” says Gass.

“We did; for the children,” claims Black.

“Well, more for Walmart.”

Of the movie’s release, more than five years since their first and last album, Black says that, “it had to be perfect. All the planets had to align. We didn’t want to roll out a stinker and we didn’t have a time limit. This was our masterwork so we took our sweet-*** time about it.”

The script went through several stages of development. “We hired some top writers,” says Black, “Some top Thundersquad Bringers. But they squirted out something that was sub-par. No, it wasn’t bad; it was actually pretty good.”

“It was probably a good movie for someone else,” agrees Gass.

“It was Tenacious D saves the city of Atlantis and the devil was there and overlords and aliens… Actually, it sounds pretty good; maybe that’s the sequel? But at the time it wasn’t what we wanted. It wasn’t our sense of humour and we’d have had to nose-to-the-grindstone it. We sat down for five years and didn’t do any writing and in the last three weeks we wrote it.”

Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny
Two out-of-shape rockers called Tenacious D rock their socks off in The Pick of Destiny, released in the UK on 24th November.

The film tells the origin story of the band – or, at least, their version of it. As Black arrives in Hollywood he stumbles across Gass rocking out to Bach on the boardwalk and, amazed by the scene, begs him to pass on his rock wisdom. Gass eventually agrees and a fat, balding Yoda is born.

“I don’t think we’ve ever been in an interview where someone hasn’t asked, ‘How did you guys get together?'” says Gass, “so we put it in the movie and answered the question forever.”

From here things get confusing. The pair happens upon a legend about a magical guitar pick that’ll give them the power to become the Gods of rock they believe they should be. Along the way they run into Sasquatch, the devil and Tim Robbins in a silly costume. The D are quite unwilling to tell us where they’ve blurred the lines of truth but we’re fairly certain it happens rather early on.

Regardless, the self-professed Greatest Band in the World rock long and hard in their big-screen debut and it seems certain to ensure their continued success. The film opens with a supercharged operatic rock anthem featuring Meat Loaf – as Black’s on-screen dad – and a singing poster of Ronnie James Dio from Black Sabbath, and how can you possibly go wrong with that?

See below for more from Jack Black and Kyle Gass, aka Tenacious D.

How would you describe the music of Tenacious D? Some have accused you of ripping off classic rock…

Kyle Gass: Whoa. Incendiary question…

Jack Black: Who do we rip off? I’ve ripped off a little Meat Loaf; his theatricality. He’s the king of the fat rockers.

KG: There’s probably some Zeppelin in there; probably most of the big dinosaurs of rock. A lot of the chords I use have been used before so if you start playing an A and a D you’re just going to run into some songs. It’s hard.

And those rock Gods that inspire you are clearly touched because many make cameo appearances in the film…

JB: Yeah, we’ve got three rock Gods. Satan, Sasquatch and… Meat Loaf. No, we’ve also got Ronnie James Dio and Dave Grohl. He played Satan. I don’t think he wanted us to say though; is he in the credits?

KG: Too late…

JB: I leaked it to the press!

Is it difficult being so awesome on a daily basis?

KG: A fine question indeed. Usually I feel kind-of normal and lame and then I’ll go to the coffee shop and then someone’ll say, “You rock!” And then I’ll remember how awesome I am. And then it’s just back to normal.

JB: I mostly just stay in my golden bubble cage. But, you know, I’ve just had a son and I took the kid in to the paediatrician. She was measuring him in all different places and she gave a percentage. Apparently he’s in the eighty sixth percentile of head sizes. That means only fourteen percent of the population has a bigger head than him, and that’s it. He’s got a huge head. And then she said, “Do you mind if I measure your head?” and she was shocked because I was in the hundredth percentile. Less than one percent of the world’s population has a bigger head than mine.

KG: I think that leaves Elephant Man and me…

JB: Do you have a bigger head than me?

KG: I have a big head dude. Oh, it’s big…

JB: But anyway, yeah… I guess that means I’m pretty full of myself or something. Or just that I have a huge brain.

Would you be keen to pass on the gift of rock to your kids?

KG: Is it a gift?

It is.

KG: Wrap it up. Give it to him for his first birthday.

JB: Yeah, you know, the thing is the kids seem like they always rebel against whatever the parents push on them so I’m going to pretend like I don’t want him to hear the rock. I’m going to listen to it only in my private chambers. He’ll hear echoes going, “What was that you were listening to Papa?” “Nothing my son%u2026 You’re not ready. You’re not ready for rock.” That’s how I’m going to do it.

KG: I like that. It’s a good strategy.

JB: Reverso.

Is being a dad going to change your lyrical choices?

KG: We recorded a clean version of this one, actually.

JB: We did; for the children. Well, really, the clean version we did was…

KG: More for Walmart. But

JB: No, it’s for the adults that want to listen to it but they have a kid in the car so it’s the clean version with some ridiculous words.

KG: I think it’s funnier.

JB: Sometimes. Like you have to go out of your way to make it funnier.

KG: Do you have an example?

JB: I can’t think of anything right now…

Do you find that you have fans amongst people who are too young to buy your CDs?

KG: Yes.

And they’ll be off to see the film?

KG: Well, in our country, you have to be accompanied by an adult if you’re under eighteen.

JB: What rating is it in the UK? I don’t know that.

KG: But the thing is there’s no graphic sex or violence in our movie. Just Jack swearing all the time has got us an R-rating.

There is that send-up of the Catherine Zeta-Jones scene in Entrapment…

KG: Oh yeah…

JB: The laser deactivation scene… Yeah, I guess there’ve been a lot of them but this is different. It pushes the envelope. We’ve taken it to the next level…

KG: Probably that one scene got us the R.

JB: Yeah. They have this rule in the US about erect penises. They’re not allowed. You can’t see an erect penis. Flaccid penis, you can show ’em all day, no problem. But once you go erect it’s a taboo. But we sold it by covering it with tighty-whiteys. But there’s a mushroom cap…

KG: Did you notice how tight it fits around? I don’t think that’s possible!

Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny
“Jaybles” (Black) heads to Hollywood in search of his “Rage” (Gass, not pictured) in The Pick of Destiny, released in the UK on 24th November.

Have you had any protests over the movie?

JB: We haven’t heard from the league yet. I wonder if the other shoe will drop…

KG: It’ll only help though, if they get involved. I remember when we were here at Brixton Academy we actually hired a priest to go out and complain.

JB: No, it wasn’t Brixton, it was before Brixton.

KG: Yeah. We thought that was important, though… “Stay out! SINNERS! Stay out!”

JB: You know you’ve made it if you can get a priest out there but they never came so we hired one and he got attacked. Someone threw something at his head.

A Tenacious D fan?

JB: Yeah, unfortunately.

KG: You can’t pick your fans…

JB: We don’t condone that kind of violence, but we’ve stopped hiring priests. Pretend priests; he’s an actor. But he was good, obviously.

KG: I ran over a Paparazzo in the airport this morning and if he sues me… I’m a little frightened.

JB: As soon as we came off the plane he was there taking pictures and, Kyle, you went into security mode didn’t you?

KG: Yeah, a lot of times I go into security mode but I’m just trying to get in the picture. I’m like, “No pictures,” but I’m posing.

JB: He steamrolled the guy. The guy didn’t see him coming.

KG: I ran right towards him.

JB: And then he immediately complained he had whiplash. [fake British accent] “Oww! Lower Lumbar! Help me! It hurt! Did anyone see that? I was attacked.”

KG: It’s rough out there. You guys are tough.

Who’s in your fantasy band, alive or dead?

KG: Wow. Good question.

JB: Yeah… Erm… Mozart on bass.

KG: Yeah, I’d go Beethoven on keys.

JB: Bach on… the clavicle.

KG: The first caveman on drums. And say, “Dude, you’re ON IT.” No, there are a lot of great musicians, it’s hard. Who’d you want?

JB: I don’t know. You gotta go Hendrix on the electrics.

KG: I’d really like Jaco Pastorius on bass.

JB: Isn’t he a jazz guy?

KG: Yeah. It’s kind-of a fusion band!

JB: It sounds horrible.

KG: I think we got the best drummer going. We got this guy, Brooks Wackerman, on drums.

JB: His name is Brooks Wackerman and he’s a drummer.

KG: His whole family plays drums and they’re named Wackerman. It’s like the bus driver called Larry Busman or Johnny Driver. But the weird thing is I wouldn’t be in my own band. I’d just be watching.

JB: You gotta put yourself in the fantasy band or else it’s someone else’s fantasy.

Who’d win a drum-off between John Bonham and Keith Moon?

JB: That’s the great conundrum. It’s controversial ’cause everyone’s going to say John Bonham, but I’m going to go Keith Moon.

KG: Wow.

JB: Why? He’s out of control. He’s right on the edge of barely being sane. I like that, I like the crazies. I always lean towards the crazies in all arts. Crazy people are right on.

KG: I think John Bonham. What can I say?

What can we expect from the upcoming UK tour?

JB: In the past we’ve gone on tour with just us, no production whatsoever. Just to hoard all of the money possible. We would just plug into a toaster oven. This time we’re really going all out. We’re actually losing money on the tour. Because we want to give back… to the fans

KG: Yeah, it’s like this big Pink Floyd The Wall sort of thing.

JB: It’s going to be better than The Wall!

KG: [laughs] We’re going to build our own instruments during the concert!

JB: It starts off in Kyle’s apartment and it ends up in hell. We’ve recreated the entire landscape of hell.

KG: And then we pick up a band in hell. We’re in hell so we have our pick of any musicians.

JB: It’s kind-of theatrical. Actually Liam is going to be directing a little movie for it.

KG: We were able to get Colonel Sanders on drums.

JB: Dude I don’t think we should say the whole–

KG: He killed a billion chickens, people… of course he’s in hell…

JB: Alright, that’s enough, don’t start telling people things.

KG: OK. That’s a taste of who’s in the band.

Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny
The D prepare to rock in The Pick of Destiny, released in the UK on 24th November.

Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny is released day-and-date worldwide on 24th November.

It’s my duty and responsibility to share the following news with you, although I’m not entirely thrilled about it: The guy who runs AICN has seen "Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny," and I think he really liked it a whole lot.

But here’s the problem: The guy’s article begins with the phrase "It’s like having your nipple licked, bit and sucked upon," and I ipretty much tuned out after that. If, however, that’s your cup of tea, here’s the rest of the piece.

I semi-skimmed the rest of the article, and I did notice adjectives like awesome, bizarre and classic.

The Jack Black flick opens on November 22nd.

Aside from "Borat," one comedy flick that seems sure to become a cult favorite is Jack Black‘s rock-comedy "Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny." The usual suspects have a months-early review posted, but you know my policy on early reviews. But you might want to check it out…

From AICN: "Rest assured, it is AWESOME. It might even be the best film I’ve seen all summer, including Superman, X-Men, Pirates, etc. It is that good – really, really funny, having developed and relatable characters, terrific music and songs, and great comedic situations without lowest common denominator crassness. It is a lot of fun."

I’m sure this reader review comes from a legitimate source and not from someone connected to the film and/or studio. Or maybe I’m not sure. Either way, I dig the Jack Black and I look forward to "The Pick of Destiny," which arrives in November.

On October 22 and 23, IGN is taking over the Anaheim Convention Center in Southern Cal to give you in-person game previews, expert and celebrity speakers, exclusive trailers and clips, game tournaments, live DJs, and special exhibits featuring hot cars and kick-ass electronics. There will also be a special seminar on breaking into the gaming industry.

So swing by IGN Live if you want to "get in the game," plus preview behind-the-scenes blogs from "Superman" or clips from the new Tenacious D movie. For information and tickets, head on over to the IGN Live site.

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