Competition, or a lack of it, will be the deciding factor at the North American box office this weekend for the half-dozen new releases that studios are packing into already overcrowded multiplexes. Leading the way is the horror film 30 Days of Night followed by the sports comedy The Comebacks which both will be targeting the teens and young adults that Hollywood has been ignoring in recent weeks. Mature adults who already have a wide selection of serious dramas to choose from will be served up three more – Reese Witherspoon‘s Rendition, Ben Affleck‘s Gone Baby Gone, and Halle Berry‘s Things We Lost in the Fire. With far too many films aiming for the same finite audience segment, some are sure to eat into the potential of others.

Sony will monopolize the horror crowd looking for a scare before Halloween with its gorefest 30 Days of Night which tells of vampires that attack a small town in northern Alaska during its annual sunless period. The R-rated film prominently informs moviegoers in its marketing that it is based on a graphic novel hoping to tap into a little bit of the excitement generated by 300 last spring. The first eight months of this year were brutal to R-rated horror films with none reaching number one and high-profile franchise flicks like Hostel II, 28 Weeks Later, and The Hills Have Eyes 2 all failing to reach $10M on opening weekend. But the Halloween remake over Labor Day weekend changed all that and was followed three weeks later by another top spot debut from horror-action hybrid Resident Evil: Extinction. But those have died out so 30 Days stands as the only creepfest at a time when scary movies are in demand. Attacking 2,700 theaters, 30 Days of Night should easily top the charts and could bite into around $19M over the weekend.


30 Days of Night

Fox spoofs the world of sports films with its new comedy The Comebacks which will target adolescents either too young for 30 Days or uninterested in scary movies. With so many mature stories hogging up screens, the market can certainly use a dose of immature humor right about now. The Comebacks is the first viable PG-13 comedy aimed at teens since fellow sports comedy Balls of Fury launched at the end of August. After a mid-week debut, that pic bowed to $11.4M over three days and Comebacks will play to many of the same folks. And with seventeen R-rated films opening wide over the last eight weeks, there has been little to celebrate for the under-17 crowd. Sure The Comebacks looks dumb, but dumb can sell. Add in a trim running time of under 90 minutes and commercial prospects are not bad. This is disposable entertainment for 14-year-olds. It will draw attention upfront, and be forgotten two weeks from now. Thanks to a lack of direct competition, The Comebacks could debut with about $11M from 2,800 sites.


The Comebacks

Leading the charge for the 30-plus crowd this weekend is Reese Witherspoon who headlines the political thriller Rendition from New Line. The R-rated drama finds the Oscar winner playing a woman whose Egyptian-born husband is captured by the CIA after being suspected of being a terrorist. Jake Gyllenhaal and Meryl Streep add to the cast. Rendition follows The Kingdom and In the Valley of Elah as military-themed films this fall with connections to the Middle East. Audiences will want only so much of this content. Witherspoon will have her starpower put to the test since she is the only major commercial star here and she is outside of her safety zone of romantic comedies. The film will play to mature adults and will have to compete not only with this weekend’s other new dramas, but also with an assortment of holdovers already playing to the same audience. Reviews have been mixed which will also make things difficult. Debuting in roughly 2,200 locations, Rendition may capture about $9M over the Friday-to-Sunday period.


Reese Witherspoon and Peter Sarsgaard in Rendition

Ben Affleck makes his directorial debut with the crime thriller Gone Baby Gone which stars his brother Casey in the lead role. The Miramax release also stars Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, and Michelle Monaghan and carries a R rating. Reviews have been good which will come as a shocker to those that look at this movie as nothing more than Daredevil getting to hop into the director’s chair. Reese, Joaquin, George, Cate, and Halle will all be cutting into the adult pie which can only expand by a certain amount. The marketing push has been highlighting the film as being from the author of Mystic River in hopes of finding those who loved that other Boston-set fall crime drama. An invite to the top five may not arrive for Ben. Opening in approximately 1,500 theaters, Gone Baby Gone could collect about $6M this weekend.


Freeman, Affleck and Monaghan in Gone Baby Gone
Yet another new option for adults looking for serious fare is the Halle BerryBenicio Del Toro starrer Things We Lost in the Fire. The Paramount release about a widow who seeks comfort from her dead husband’s drug-addicted friend will play to a mature audience and skew more female. The R-rated film has generated some good early reviews and both leads have Oscars on their shelves, but it will not be enough to compete with the other films targeting the same crowd. Berry showed in April that she can only open a picture so much when her thriller Perfect Stranger bowed to a $4,211 average even though A-lister Bruce Willis co-starred. With a not-so-wide release in about 1,000 theaters this weekend, Things We Lost in the Fire might debut with around $3M.


Halle Berry and Benicio Del Toro in Things We Lost in the Fire

Freestyle Releasing has booked the few remaining empty screens out there for its teen thriller Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour. As one of the only PG-rated suspense pics ever made, the film will try to attract younger teenagers not interested in sports-themed comedies. With only 1,100 theaters, a quiet marketing campaign, no stars, and zero buzz, a weak debut of about $1M could result.


Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour

After a potent number one debut, Tyler Perry‘s hit comedy Why Did I Get Married? should suffer a big fall in its second weekend if history is any indicator. Sophomore drops for the filmmaker’s previous offerings include 50% for Diary of a Mad Black Woman, 58% for Madea’s Family Reunion, and 57% for Daddy’s Little Girls. Lionsgate should see a 50% fall to about $10M this weekend giving the ensemble relationship tale $37M in ten days.

Disney’s The Game Plan once again has no new competition for the kiddie audience. Why studios have programmed so many serious adult dramas into this month and no other good family films is anyone’s guess. A 35% dip would leave The Rock with $7M and an impressive cume of $68M after 24 days.

Both Sony’s We Own the Night and the Warner Bros. thriller Michael Clayton will have to fight extra hard in order to compete with the new releases gunning for their customers. Night looks to slide more and fall by 45% while the strongly reviewed Clayton could ease by 40% with both films grossing roughly $6M over the weekend. That would lead to ten-day totals of $20M and $21M, respectively.

LAST YEAR: Just two months after the release of the similarly-themed magician pic The Illusionist, Buena Vista still managed to score a number one bow for The Prestige which opened with $14.8M on its way to $53.1M. Martin Scorsese‘s The Departed enjoyed a strong hold and ranked second with $13.5M in its third frame. Debuting in third was Clint Eastwood‘s war saga Flags of Our Fathers with $10.2M leading to a disappointing $33.6M final for Paramount. Sony’s animated hit Open Season ranked fourth with $8.2M. Rounding out the top five was rival family film Flicka with $7.7M for Fox on its way to only $21M. Also premiering in the top ten was Sony’s Marie Antoinette with $5.4M which led to a final tally of just $16M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Three well-reviewed dramas fought over the weekend box office crown, but it was a pair of dueling magicians that North American moviegoers chose first as The Prestige opened at the top of the charts. Close behind was the mob thriller The Departed which remained strong in its third weekend while Clint Eastwood‘s new war saga Flags of our Fathers settled for a third place debut.

The weekend’s two other new releases targeted young females and found their way into the top ten as well. The family drama Flicka stumbled in wide release while the period pic Marie Antoinette did respectable business in moderate release. Overall ticket sales fell from last weekend, but were still up sharply versus a year ago.

Leaving behind their super hero tights, Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale topped the box office with The Prestige which opened to an estimated $14.8M. Averaging a strong $6,496 from 2,281 theaters, the PG-13 pic about two turn-of-the-century magicians who compete for tricks and the heart of a young woman was directed by Christopher Nolan (Memento, Batman Begins). Bale reteamed with Nolan after playing the Caped Crusader while Jackman took three turns playing Wolverine in the X-Men films. The Prestige scored good marks from critics and co-starred Scarlett Johansson, Michael Caine, and David Bowie. With ample starpower, the period drama beat out its rivals to win the weekend and won a decisive victory over fellow freshman Flags which was expected to make a more competitive play for the number one spot. The Prestige also grossed an estimated $1M from international bows this weekend in Singapore, Malaysia, and Taiwan.

Remaining in second place for the second straight weekend was Martin Scorsese‘s smash hit The Departed which dipped only 28% to an estimated $13.7M. After 17 days, the Leonardo DiCaprioMatt Damon crime saga has taken in a potent $77.1M and is on a course to reach $110-120M or more depending on how long its sturdy legs last. The Warner Bros. release averaged an impressive $4,551 from 3,005 theaters in its third mission and is already the fall season’s top-grossing film. Overseas, Departed grossed an estimated $5.1M from 13 markets boosting its international cume to $25.3M. It ranks number one in the United Kingdom and Australia. The global gross for the Jack Nicholson mob pic has broken through the $100M mark with many more countries still to open. The undercover saga infiltrates Italy and Spain on Friday, and rolls into Brazil, France, and Germany in the weeks ahead followed by Japan in January.

Clint Eastwood, who beat Scorsese at the Oscars in 2005, saw his newest directorial effort Flags of our Fathers lose out in its box office battle against his old rival. The World War II pic debuted to an estimated $10.2M from 1,876 theaters to claim third place. Averaging a good, but not spectacular, $5,437 per location, the Paramount release played to a much older male crowd. Studio research showed that a whopping 80% of the audience was over the age of 30 while men made up 55%. Reviews were good, but critics were not as supportive as they were for Eastwood’s last two films Million Dollar Baby and Mystic River.

Budgeted at $90M, Flags was easily the filmmaker’s most ambitious project to date and told of the American soldiers who were photographed in Iwo Jima during the final years of the war. Eastwood pics are not known for their powerful openings as his fans typically take their time coming to theaters to see his films. It would be pointless to compare the box office of Flags to Baby since the latter was rolled out over time during Oscar season and didn’t open nationally until its seventh weekend right after it scored seven Academy Award nominations. However, it would be fair to compare Flags to Mystic which debuted nationally in its second frame to the tune of $10.4M from 1,467 theaters for a more potent $7,120 average. With less starpower and somewhat weaker reviews, the war tale generated an opening weekend average that was 24% smaller than River’s. Still, the road ahead for Flags could be durable as an encouraging 90% of those polled found it to be "excellent" or "very good".

Warner Bros. found itself with a piece of all three of the weekend’s top films serving as a co-producer on each film. The studio is handling both The Prestige and Flags overseas. The latter pic was co-financed with DreamWorks which is handling it domestically through its new parent Paramount.

The fall season’s only kids hit Open Season remained a strong contender grossing an estimated $8M for fourth place. Down only 28%, the animated Sony title has boosted its cume to $69.6M and now looks like it has a chance to flirt with the $100M mark and become the second biggest film in the September-October corridor after The Departed.

Opening in fifth place with not-so-impressive results was the girl-and-her-horse drama Flicka which bowed to an estimated $7.7M from a very wide 2,877 theaters for a weak $2,676 average. Fox’s PG-rated family film performed a bit below the $9.2M opening of last year’s Dreamer, another story of a young girl and her steed, which galloped into theaters this very weekend playing to the same audience. The budget for Flicka was only $14M.

Tied for fifth place was last weekend’s number one film The Grudge 2 which also scared up an estimated $7.7M, but tumbled a steep 63% in its sophomore frame. Sony’s horror sequel has taken in $31.4M in ten days which is less than half of the $70.7M that its 2004 predecessor grossed over the same period. The first Grudge held up much better dropping 44% in its second weekend despite facing the powerful launch of the first Saw pic. Budgeted at $20M, The Grudge 2 looks to reach $40-45M domestically.

Faring better in its second term was Robin Williams with his political comedy Man of the Year which declined a moderate 43% to an estimated $7M. Universal has collected a ten-day cume of $22.5M and is heading for $35-40M by the end of its campaign.

Sofia Coppola‘s Marie Antoinette got off to a solid start in moderate national release opening to an estimated $5.3M from 859 locations for a sturdy per-theater average of $6,170. The Kirsten Dunst starrer about the former Queen of France played to a young female audience and scored the second best average in the top ten after chart-topper The Prestige. Critics were not too kind to the PG-13 pic.

Dropping to ninth was the horror prequel The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning with an estimated $3.8M, down 49%, lifitng the total up to $36M. Fox’s action pic The Marine rounded out the top ten with an estimated $3.7M, off 48%, giving the John Cena flick just $12.5M after ten days. A $20M final seems likely.

Disney released its modern classic The Nightmare Before Christmas in special 3D engagements this weekend and posted strong numbers from limited release. The Tim Burton concoction grossed an estimated $3.3M from only 168 theaters for a sizzling $19,536 per venue. The film originally opened in October of 1993 and grossed a solid $50M.

The R-rated dysfunctional family pic Running with Scissors got off to a potent start opening in only eight theaters but grossing an estimated $225,000. The Sony release averaged a muscular $28,125 and expands nationally on Friday. Reviews were mixed for the Annette Bening pic.

Miramax’s The Queen kept growing and jumped 49% to an estimated $1.5M thanks to an expansion from 46 to 99 playdates. With a stellar average of $15,333 in its fourth frame, the successful widening continued and boosted the total for the acclaimed Helen Mirren film to $3.8M.

Four more fall films fell from the top ten this weekend. Buena Vista’s Coast Guard actioner The Guardian took in an estimated $3.6M in its fourth mission, down 39%, for a $46.5M total. The Ashton KutcherKevin Costner pic should conclude with a decent $50-55M. The Jessica Simpson comedy Employee of the Month dropped 45% to an estimated $2.9M giving Lionsgate $23.9M to date. Look for a final tally of around $30M.

The historical epic One Night with the King took in an estimated $2.2M in its sophomore frame, down 46%, pushing the ten-day total to just $7.5M. The 8X release may reach about $12M. Paramount’s $12M comedy Jackass: Number Two has grossed a sensational $71.1M thus far after dropping 54% to an estimated $1.5M this weekend. The bold stunts sequel should end up with $74M and lots of profits for its studio.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $82M which was up a healthy 25% from last year when Doom debuted at number one with $15.5M; but down 14% from 2004 when The Grudge opened in the top spot with $39.1M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Hollywood sure loves to dwell on yesteryear. Another wave of historical films hits the multiplexes on Friday led by the World War II drama "Flags of our Fathers" directed by Clint Eastwood.

Going back another half-century is the Hugh JackmanChristian Bale thriller "The Prestige." Kirsten Dunst rewinds even further to the 18th century playing the title role in "Marie Antoinette." Moviegoers who want to stick to the today’s times get to ride the family film "Flicka" which also is added into the mix this weekend. Overall, the North American box office should simmer down after two weeks of red-hot action thanks to a quartet of new releases that does not seem to be exciting the public too much.

What happens when two-time Oscar winners Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg join forces to produce a film? You get the DreamWorks/Warner Bros. production "Flags of our Fathers" which chronicles the famous battle at Iwo Jima and the notoriety that followed for the soldiers photographed hoisting the American flag. The R-rated film is low on starpower boasting a cast featuring Ryan Phillippe, Adam Beach, and Jesse Bradford. Clearly it will be subject matter and the director that will draw in audiences. "Flags" is likely to become the oldest-skewing film in the marketplace. Young adults should not show too much interest and female appeal will be limited as well for this war story. Competition for adult men will be tough given the start of the World Series and the continuation of all sorts of live football all weekend long on television.


Clint Eastwood’s WWII epic "Flags of Our Fathers."

But loyal Eastwood fans will probably find the time for "Flags" this weekend and some reviews have been good. Critics have not been giving the type of support this time that they gave in recent years to "Million Dollar Baby" and "Mystic River" giving it a lesser sense of urgency. Plus a fall season full of period films really doesn’t need more of them. A narrow release will curtail box office potential too. This weekend, it could turn out to be a rematch where Eastwood will square off against Martin Scorsese whose "The Departed" is proving to be an exciting option, set in modern times, for ticket buyers.The New York-based filmmaker wants revenge after losing to Dirty Harry at the Academy Awards a year and a half ago. "Mystic River" opened wide in October 2003 to an average just north of $7,000. Paramount’s "Flags of our Fathers," which debuts in roughly 1,800 locations, could reach the same vicinity and collect about $13M this weekend.

Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale play dueling magicians at the turn of the 20th century in "The Prestige." The current Caped Crusader reteams with director Christopher Nolan in this PG-13 period drama which co-stars Scarlett Johansson as, you guessed it, the beautiful young woman both men desire. Michael Caine also appears in another Alfred-like role. The Buena Vista film’s biggest challenge will be to convince audiences that this is not that Edward Norton film they just saw a few weeks ago. While "The Illusionist" was not a big blockbuster, it was very well-liked by moviegoers and has had some of the best legs of 2006. Those who paid to see it may not be in the mood for another one so soon. Just ask Mr. Capote. Starpower in "The Prestige" is good, but the two leads do not usually sell well outside of their comic book flicks. "The Departed" and "Flags of our Fathers" will steal away adult audiences providing ample competition, but "The Prestige" does have more female appeal than Clint’s war tale so adult couples that have seen Leo vs. Matt already might give Wolverine vs. Batman a try. Opening in over 2,000 theaters, "The Prestige" could debut with around $10M.


Michael Caine and Hugh Jackman, in that other 19th century magician movie.

The weekend’s only family offering comes on horseback in the form of "Flicka." 27-year-old Alison Lohman stars as a stubborn 16-year-old girl who befriends a steed against the wishes of her dad on a scenic Wyoming ranch. The PG-rated film should mostly appeal to girls and play to the same crowd that spent $9.2M this weekend a year ago for the bow of another girl-and-her-horse flick, "Dreamer." Business will be stronger in the heartland than in large urban centers. Fox is giving "Flicka" the widest release by far of any of this weekend’s new openers so the sheer size of the distribution will give it some traction, even if the average limps a bit. "Open Season," which is still strong going into its fourth hunt, will be the only real threat to business. While bad girls might line up for "Marie Antoinette" this weekend, the good girls will get to ride with "Flicka" which will gallop into over 2,000 more theaters. Opening in 2,876 sites, the horse flick could take in around $10M this weekend.


Alison Lohman and Tim McGraw in "Flicka."

Spidergirl Kirsten Dunst tosses on a fancy wig to play the famous queen of France in "Marie Antoinette," written and directed by Sofia Coppola. Booed last May at the Cannes Film Festival, the PG-13 film is a biopic aimed squarely at teenage girls and young women with a story of a bold gal with a strong head on her shoulders, for most of the time. The studio is marketing the film in a hip way hoping to appeal to young people. "Marie" should skew heavily female as interest from guys will be weak. Dunst will have a chance to test her starpower as the only big-name actor in the cast. Her date movie "Wimbledon" did not fare too well in the Fall of 2004 with a $7.1M opening from over 2,000 theaters. Reese Witherspoon‘s "Vanity Fair" bowed to $4.8M from just over 1,000 playdates by appealing to a similar audience. "Marie Antoinette" will launch in only 859 theaters on Friday limiting its box office potential. A weekend gross of about $5M could result.


Kirsten Dunst is "Marie Antoinette."

Last weekend’s box office champ "The Grudge 2" has seen its audience get frightened away during the week as the Sony thriller dropped to second place on Monday and third on Tuesday. A hefty tumble of 55% could result giving the spookfest about $9M for the weekend and a ten-day sum of $33M.

On the other hand, Warner Bros. has been enjoying great legs from its mob thriller "The Departed" which eased only 29% in its second mission. "Flags of our Fathers" and "The Prestige" will eat into its adult audience, but the Martin Scorsese hit should continue to remain a very popular moviegoing option. A 30% fall to about $13M might lead "The Departed" back into the top spot this weekend unless one of the newbies breaks out. Regardless, that would push the cume to a stellar $76M.

LAST YEAR: The Rock cooked up a number one opening with his sci-fi actioner "Doom" which opened with $15.5M. Universal’s video game-inspired flick fell apart quickly and found its way to only $28M. Debuting in second place was the less expensive family film "Dreamer" with $9.2M on its way to a stronger $32.8M final for DreamWorks. The Spielberg studio also claimed the third spot with the leggy kidpic "Wallace and Gromit" with $8.6M, off only 26% in its third weekend. Sony’s horror pic "The Fog" fell from first to fourth with $6.7M. Warner Bros. saw a weak opening for its Charlize Theron drama "North Country" which grossed just $6.4M. Cume reached a mere $18.3M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

This week at the movies, we’ve got a complex tale of heroism (Clint Eastwood‘s "Flags of Our Fathers," starring Ryan Phillippe), a story of dueling magicians (Christopher Nolan‘s "The Prestige," starring Christian Bale, Scarlett Johansson, and Hugh Jackman), a yarn about a girl and her horse ("Flicka," starring Alison Lohman and Tim McGraw), and a post-punk-scored period piece about the least punk human being ever (Sofia Coppola‘s "Marie Antoinette," starring Kirsten Dunst). What do the critics have to say?

Is America a great country? Yes. Do the soldiers who fought in WWII, the Greatest Generation, deserve our utmost praise for their sacrifices? Without a doubt. Is the truth often more complicated than the myth? Definitely. Clint Eastwood‘s latest, "Flags of Our Fathers," tells the story of that famous photo of the servicemen raising the flag atop Iwo Jima, and the trials and tribulations their celebrity caused. Critics say the film is so rich with historical information and inherent drama that it’s occasionally a little too much, but strong performances and Eastwood’s sure directorial hand keep things on track. At 69 percent on the Tomatometer, "Flags" may not reach the heights of Eastwood’s last film, "Million Dollar Baby" (92 percent), but it’s still flying pretty high. (Check out our feature on Clint’s filmography here.)


Clint Eastwood pays tribute to the Greatest Generation.

With "Memento," Christopher Nolan made a name for himself by holding his secrets close to the vest to the bitter end. Now comes "The Prestige," in which the director again serves up a brain-teaser, this time involving a pair of public manipulators in their own right. Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman star as bitterly competitive magicians in turn-of- the-century London who play a deadly game of one-upmanship. While some scribes say the movie is uneven in spots, "The Prestige" is winning praise for its remarkable production design, sharp performances, and more than enough cinematic sleight-of-hand to keep audiences interested. At 68 percent, this is Nolan’s worst reviewed film, and it’s still getting its share of prestige.


"Headlines don’t sell papes. Newsies sell papes."

There is no shortage of stories involving adolescents and their beloved equine friends, from Steinbeck‘s "The Red Pony" to "The Black Stallion" to last year’s "Dreamer." Critics say "Flicka," itself a remake, is a strong and affecting entry into this sub-genre. The film stars Alison Lohman as a 16-year-old who loves her untamed horse and the freedom of the open range, and Tim McGraw as her father, a man with different ideas about her future. Some critics say "Flicka" is an old-fashioned, solid family drama with a notable lack of schmaltz, but others say the material is too well-trodden to really hit home. At 60 percent on the Tomatometer, "Flicka" ain’t Secretariat, but it’s not ready for the glue factory, either.


"Flicka": Full of horsing around!

In the song "Natural’s Not In It," the socialist British post-punk band Gang of Four sarcastically lamented "the problem of leisure / what to do for pleasure," words that are especially resonant if you’re a teenage monarch ruling a country you know little about, and your subjects are calling for your head. Sofia Coppola‘s long-awaited (and already controversial) "Marie Antoinette" tells the story of the queen (Kirsten Dunst), her inattentive husband, Louis XVI (Jason Schwartzman), her gossipy, silver-tongued court, and all the empty fun she had before she gets her head chopped off. Critics say Coppola’s film offers a wealth of visual riches and makes Marie’s hardships somewhat empathetic, but they’re split over its apparent lack of substance, as well as the anachronistic use of music by the likes of New Order, the Strokes, and Siouxsie and the Banshees. At 64 percent on the Tomatometer, this is definitely a cut (pun intended) below Coppola’s last feature, "Lost in Translation" (95 percent), but it’s still a pretty tasty piece of cake.


"A new royal family / A wild nobility / We are the family."

Also opening this week in limited release: "51 Birch Street," a documentary exploring the hidden lives of the filmmaker Doug Block’s parents, is at 100 percent on the Tomatometer; "Requiem," a German tale of epilepsy/demonic possession, is at 100 percent; Tim Burton‘s stop motion anti-holiday classic "The Nightmare Before Christmas," getting a re-release, is at 96 percent; "Sweet Land," a sweeping tale of the American immigrant experience, is at 93 percent; "Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple," a documentary about cult leader Jim Jones and his flock, is at 92 percent; "Hair High," a perverse animated comedy about a strange high school, is at 63 percent; "Sleeping Dogs Lie," Bobcat Goldthwait‘s sweet, taboo-busting rom-com, is at 59 percent; and "Running with Scissors," a tale of therapy and growing pains starring Annette Bening and Gwyneth Paltrow, is at 17 percent.

Recent Clint Eastwood-Directed Movies:
————————————————-
92% — Million Dollar Baby (2004)
86% — Mystic River (2003)
56% — Blood Work (2002)
78% — Space Cowboys (2000)
50% — True Crime (1999)

Recent Kirsten Dunst Movies:
————————————–
28% — Elizabethtown (2005)
62% — Wimbledon (2004)
7% — Kaena: The Prophesy (2004)
93% — Spider Man 2 (2004)
93% — Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Recent Christian Bale Movies:
————————————
59% — The New World (2005)
84% — Batman Begins (2005)
85% — Howl’s Moving Castle (2005)
72% — The Machinist (2004)
68% — Laurel Canyon (2003)

If you want the newest and most up-to-date MPAA ratings, release date changes, and theater counts, you probably already know that Filmjerk.com is the place to visit every Sunday. This week brings a delay for Aniston & Vaughn’s "Break Up," a release date for some "Dark Materials," and the news on Larry Clark’s latest ick-fest.

""The Break Up" (Universal Pictures): The Jennifer Aniston/Vince Vaughn dating comedy has been moved back from February 17 to June 2.

"Dave Chappelle’s Block Party" (Rogue Pictures): The part-concert film/part sketch comedy movie from the one-time king of Comedy Central will open March 3.

"Flicka" (Twentieth Century Fox): The horse drama remake has been pushed back from February 17 to July 28.

"His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass" (New Line Cinema): The first adaptation of Philip Pullman’s fantasy trilogy will hit cinema screens on December 7, 2007.

"Running Scared" (New Line Cinema): The Paul Walker-led action drama has been rescheduled from January 6 to February 24.

The Untitled Sarah Michelle Gellar Supernatural Thriller (Focus Features): It might not have a title just yet, but the latest film from the one-time vampire slayer will open in theatres September 1.

"Wassup Rockers" (First Look Studios): The latest Larry Clark expose on wayward teens wll open in select markets on April 28.

And in MPAA news "Big Momma’s House 2" earned a PG-13, while "Cheaper By the Dozen 2" gets a not-surprising PG.

For a lot more info just like the stuff above, feel free to visit Filmjerk.com’s Early Report, and be sure to stop back every weekend.

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