DreamWorks Animation

(Photo by DreamWorks Animation)

All 41 DreamWorks Animation Movies Ranked

DreamWorks Animation’s first movie was Antz, released two months before A Bug’s Life, and thus this studio was born into incessant comparison to Pixar’s output, molded by it, becoming the snarky and sarcastic foil to its competitor’s earnestness.

DreamWorks Animation would forge most of its identity and formula on the back of one giant, smelly, green ogre: Shrek, which has generated sequels, tie-ins, theme park rides, and billions of dollars, while ensuring Smash Mouth’s “All-Star” never leaving the pop culture’s ironic curriculum.

The studio’s other franchises include Kung Fu Panda, which introduced a whole new world of visual flair and surprising emotional depth to the DreamWorks movie canon, and Madagascar, which pulled off the mega-rare feat of each movie being higher-rated on the Tomatometer than the last. At least the mainline movies. (Penguins of Madagascar 73% is lower than the 79% Madagascar 3 has, but that’s a spin-off.)

Their latest releases were Spirit Untamed and Boss Baby: Family Business, with The Bad Guys and Puss in Boots: The Last Wish on the horizon. Now, we’re ranking all DreamWorks Animation movies by Tomatometer!

#41

Shark Tale (2004)
36%

#41
Adjusted Score: 41565%
Critics Consensus: Derivative and full of pop culture in-jokes.
Synopsis: Underachiever Oscar (Will Smith) is a pint-sized fish with grand aspirations. When mob-connected great white shark Frankie (Michael Imperioli) is... [More]

#40

Shrek the Third (2007)
42%

#40
Adjusted Score: 50245%
Critics Consensus: Shrek the Third has pop culture potshots galore, but at the expense of the heart, charm, and wit that made the first two Shreks classics.
Synopsis: When King Harold suddenly croaks, Shrek (Mike Myers) learns he will have to rule the land of Far, Far Away,... [More]
Directed By: Chris Miller

#39
Adjusted Score: 48026%
Critics Consensus: Competent, but not magical.
Synopsis: The adventurous sailor (Brad Pitt) and a beautiful stowaway (Catherine Zeta-Jones) have 10 days to save a prince from execution.... [More]

#38
Adjusted Score: 50917%
Critics Consensus: It's more C-level than C-suite, but as a painless diversion for the kids, this Boss Baby manages some decent Family Business.
Synopsis: Now adults, Tim Templeton is a stay-at-home dad for two adorable daughters, while his estranged brother, Ted, is a big-shot... [More]
Directed By: Tom McGrath

#37
#37
Adjusted Score: 51697%
Critics Consensus: Predictable story and thin characters made the movie flat.
Synopsis: Two con-men (Kevin Kline, Kenneth Branagh) get hold of a map to the lost City of Gold, El Dorado. After... [More]

#36

Spirit Untamed (2021)
50%

#36
Adjusted Score: 54670%
Critics Consensus: While it might be a passable diversion for younger viewers, Spirit Untamed is a middling sequel that lacks the essential energy suggested by its title.
Synopsis: After moving to a sleepy little town, young Lucky Prescott befriends a wild mustang named Spirit, who shares her rebellious... [More]
Directed By: Elaine Bogan

#35

Bee Movie (2007)
49%

#35
Adjusted Score: 56326%
Critics Consensus: Bee Movie has humorous moments, but its awkward premise and tame delivery render it mostly forgettable.
Synopsis: Fresh out of college, Barry the Bee (Jerry Seinfeld) finds the prospect of working with honey uninspiring. He flies outside... [More]

#34

Home (2015)
52%

#34
Adjusted Score: 56229%
Critics Consensus: Colorful, silly, and utterly benign, Home is a passable diversion, but there's no shortage of superior animated alternatives.
Synopsis: After a hive-minded alien race called the Boov conquer the Earth, they relocate the planet's human population -- all except... [More]
Directed By: Tim Johnson

#33

The Boss Baby (2017)
53%

#33
Adjusted Score: 65133%
Critics Consensus: The Boss Baby's talented cast, glimmers of wit, and flashes of visual inventiveness can't make up for a thin premise and a disappointing willingness to settle for doody jokes.
Synopsis: A new baby's arrival impacts a family, told from the point of view of a delightfully unreliable narrator -- a... [More]
Directed By: Tom McGrath

#32

Madagascar (2005)
54%

#32
Adjusted Score: 61533%
Critics Consensus: Though its story is problematic in spots and its humor is hit-or-miss for the adult crowd, Madagascar boasts impressive visuals and enough spunky charm to keep children entertained.
Synopsis: Alex the lion is the king of the urban jungle, the main attraction at New York's Central Park Zoo. He... [More]
Directed By: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath

#31
#31
Adjusted Score: 64543%
Critics Consensus: While not without its moments, Shrek Forever After too often feels like a rote rehashing of the franchise's earlier entries.
Synopsis: Long-settled into married life and fully domesticated, Shrek (Mike Myers) begins to long for the days when he felt like... [More]
Directed By: Mike Mitchell

#30
Adjusted Score: 69039%
Critics Consensus: Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa is an improvement on the original, with more fleshed-out characters, crisper animation and more consistent humor.
Synopsis: Alex (Ben Stiller), Morty (Chris Rock) and other zoo animals find a way to escape from Madagascar when the penguins... [More]
Directed By: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath

#29

Turbo (2013)
67%

#29
Adjusted Score: 70149%
Critics Consensus: It's nowhere near as inventive as its off-the-wall premise might suggest, but Turbo boasts just enough colorful visual thrills and sharp voice acting to recommend as undemanding family-friendly fare.
Synopsis: Turbo (Ryan Reynolds) is a speed-obsessed snail with an unusual dream: to become the world's greatest racer. This odd snail... [More]
Directed By: David Soren

#28
Adjusted Score: 72815%
Critics Consensus: A visually stunning film that may be too predictable and politically correct for adults, but should serve children well.
Synopsis: Follows the adventures of a wild and rambunctious mustang stallion as he journeys through the untamed American frontier. Encountering man... [More]
Directed By: Kelly Asbury, Lorna Cook

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 81879%
Critics Consensus: A fun follow-up for fans of the original, Trolls World Tour offers a second helping of colorful animation, infectious energy, and sing-along songs.
Synopsis: Poppy and Branch discover that there are six different troll tribes scattered over six different lands. Each tribe is also... [More]
Directed By: Walt Dohrn

#26

The Croods (2013)
72%

#26
Adjusted Score: 76448%
Critics Consensus: While it may not be as (ahem) evolved as the best modern animated fare, The Croods will prove solidly entertaining for families seeking a fast-paced, funny cartoon adventure.
Synopsis: Prehistoric family the Croods live in a particularly dangerous moment in time. Patriarch Grug (Nicolas Cage), his mate, Ugga (Catherine... [More]

#25

Megamind (2010)
72%

#25
Adjusted Score: 78778%
Critics Consensus: It regurgitates plot points from earlier animated efforts, and isn't quite as funny as it should be, but a top-shelf voice cast and strong visuals help make Megamind a pleasant, if unspectacular, diversion.
Synopsis: Though he is the most-brilliant supervillain the world has known, Megamind (Will Ferrell) is the least-successful. Thwarted time and again... [More]
Directed By: Tom McGrath

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 77451%
Critics Consensus: Penguins of Madagascar is fast and brightly colored enough to entertain small children, but too frantically silly to offer real filmgoing fun for the whole family.
Synopsis: Plucky penguins Skipper (Tom McGrath), Kowalski (Chris Miller), Rico (Conrad Vernon) and Private (Christopher Knights) -- the most elite spies... [More]

#23

Flushed Away (2006)
73%

#23
Adjusted Score: 78574%
Critics Consensus: Clever and appealing for both children and adults, Flushed Away marks a successful entry into digital animated features for Aardman Animations.
Synopsis: After an ignoble landing in Ratropolis, a pampered rodent (Hugh Jackman) enlists the help of a sewer scavenger (Kate Winslet)... [More]
Directed By: David Bowers, Sam Fell

#22
#22
Adjusted Score: 81922%
Critics Consensus: Though it doesn't approach the depth of the best animated films, Monsters Vs. Aliens has enough humor and special effects to entertain moviegoers of all ages.
Synopsis: When a meteor full of space gunk transforms Susan Murphy (Reese Witherspoon) into a giant, the government renames her Ginormica... [More]

#21
#21
Adjusted Score: 80577%
Critics Consensus: A sort of Avengers for the elementary school set, Rise of the Guardians is wonderfully animated and briskly paced, but it's only so-so in the storytelling department.
Synopsis: Generation after generation, immortal Guardians like Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman) and the Tooth Fairy (Isla... [More]
Directed By: Peter Ramsey

#20

Trolls (2016)
75%

#20
Adjusted Score: 84907%
Critics Consensus: Trolls brings its instantly recognizable characters to the big screen in a colorful adventure that, while geared toward the younger set, isn't without rewards for parents.
Synopsis: After the Bergens invade Troll Village, Poppy (Anna Kendrick), the happiest Troll ever born, and the overly-cautious, curmudgeonly Branch (Justin... [More]
Directed By: Mike Mitchell, Walt Dohrn

#19

Over the Hedge (2006)
75%

#19
Adjusted Score: 82241%
Critics Consensus: Even if it's not an animation classic, Over the Hedge is clever and fun, and the jokes cater to family members of all ages.
Synopsis: When Verne (Garry Shandling) and fellow woodland friends awake from winter's hibernation, they find they have some new neighbors: humans,... [More]

#18
#18
Adjusted Score: 86137%
Critics Consensus: Another agreeable outing for the titular prehistoric clan, The Croods: A New Age may be the missing link for parents between more elevated family-friendly fare.
Synopsis: Searching for a safer habitat, the prehistoric Crood family discovers an idyllic, walled-in paradise that meets all of its needs.... [More]
Directed By: Joel Crawford

#17
Adjusted Score: 83304%
Critics Consensus: Dazzlingly colorful and frenetic, Madagascar 3 is silly enough for young kids, but boasts enough surprising smarts to engage parents along the way.
Synopsis: Animal pals Alex (Ben Stiller), Marty (Chris Rock), Melman (David Schwimmer) and Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith) are still trying to... [More]

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 83756%
Critics Consensus: The Prince of Egypt's stunning visuals and first-rate voice cast more than compensate for the fact that it's better crafted than it is emotionally involving.
Synopsis: In this animated retelling of the Book of Exodus, Egyptian Prince Moses (Val Kilmer), upon discovering his roots as a... [More]

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 86532%
Critics Consensus: Mr. Peabody & Sherman offers a surprisingly entertaining burst of colorful all-ages fun, despite its dated source material and rather convoluted plot.
Synopsis: Mr. Peabody (Ty Burrell), the most accomplished canine in the world, and his boy, Sherman (Max Charles), use a time... [More]
Directed By: Rob Minkoff

#14

Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)
81%

#14
Adjusted Score: 86841%
Critics Consensus: The storyline arc may seem a tad familiar to fans of the original, but Kung Fu Panda 2 offers enough action, comedy, and visual sparkle to compensate.
Synopsis: Now known as the Dragon Warrior, Po (Jack Black) protects the Valley of Peace alongside his friends and fellow kung... [More]
Directed By: Jennifer Yuh Nelson

#13

Abominable (2019)
82%

#13
Adjusted Score: 91096%
Critics Consensus: Working with admittedly familiar ingredients, Abominable offers audiences a beautifully animated and overall engaging adventure that the whole family can enjoy.
Synopsis: After discovering a Yeti on the roof of her apartment building, teenage Yi and her two friends embark on an... [More]
Directed By: Jill Culton

#12

Puss in Boots (2011)
86%

#12
Adjusted Score: 90677%
Critics Consensus: It isn't deep or groundbreaking, but what it lacks in profundity, Puss in Boots more than makes up for with an abundance of wit, visual sparkle, and effervescent charm.
Synopsis: Long before meeting Shrek, Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) -- just named a hero for saving a woman from a... [More]
Directed By: Chris Miller

#11
Adjusted Score: 95757%
Critics Consensus: With a tidy plot, clean animation, and humor that fits its source material snugly, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is entertainment that won't drive a wedge between family members.
Synopsis: George Beard and Harold Hutchins are two overly imaginative pranksters who spend hours in a treehouse creating comic books. When... [More]
Directed By: David Soren

#10

Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016)
87%

#10
Adjusted Score: 96905%
Critics Consensus: Kung Fu Panda 3 boasts the requisite visual splendor, but like its rotund protagonist, this sequel's narrative is also surprisingly nimble, adding up to animated fun for the whole family.
Synopsis: Living large and loving life, Po (Jack Black) realizes that he has a lot to learn if he's going to... [More]

#9

Kung Fu Panda (2008)
87%

#9
Adjusted Score: 94519%
Critics Consensus: Kung Fu Panda has a familiar message, but the pleasing mix of humor, swift martial arts action, and colorful animation makes for winning Summer entertainment.
Synopsis: Po the panda (Jack Black) works in his family's noodle shop and dreams of becoming a kung-fu master. His dream... [More]

#8

Shrek (2001)
88%

#8
Adjusted Score: 96421%
Critics Consensus: While simultaneously embracing and subverting fairy tales, the irreverent Shrek also manages to tweak Disney's nose, provide a moral message to children, and offer viewers a funny, fast-paced ride.
Synopsis: Once upon a time, in a far away swamp, there lived an ogre named Shrek (Mike Myers) whose precious solitude... [More]

#7

Shrek 2 (2004)
89%

#7
Adjusted Score: 96790%
Critics Consensus: It may not be as fresh as the original, but topical humor and colorful secondary characters make Shrek 2 a winner in its own right.
Synopsis: After returning from their honeymoon and showing home movies to their friends, Shrek and Fiona learn that her parents have... [More]

#6
Adjusted Score: 105859%
Critics Consensus: The rare trilogy capper that really works, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World brings its saga to a visually dazzling and emotionally affecting conclusion.
Synopsis: When the sudden appearance of a female Light Fury coincides with the darkest threat their village has ever faced, Hiccup... [More]
Directed By: Dean DeBlois

#5
Adjusted Score: 98834%
Critics Consensus: Exciting, emotionally resonant, and beautifully animated, How to Train Your Dragon 2 builds on its predecessor's successes just the way a sequel should.
Synopsis: Five years have passed since Hiccup and Toothless united the dragons and Vikings of Berk. Now, they spend their time... [More]
Directed By: Dean DeBlois, Tom Owens

#4

Antz (1998)
92%

#4
Adjusted Score: 97015%
Critics Consensus: Featuring a stellar voice cast, technically dazzling animation, and loads of good humor, Antz should delight both children and adults.
Synopsis: Z the worker ant (Woody Allen) strives to reconcile his own individuality with the communal work-ethic of the ant colony.... [More]
Directed By: Eric Darnell, Tim Johnson

#3
Adjusted Score: 102223%
Critics Consensus: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is a subtly touching and wonderfully eccentric adventure featuring Wallace and Gromit.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: Steve Box

#2

Chicken Run (2000)
97%

#2
Adjusted Score: 103668%
Critics Consensus: Chicken Run has all the charm of Nick Park's Wallace & Gromit, and something for everybody. The voice acting is fabulous, the slapstick is brilliant, and the action sequences are spectacular.
Synopsis: This engaging stop-motion, claymation adventure tells the story of an American rooster who falls in love with a gorgeous hen... [More]
Directed By: Peter Lord, Nick Park

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 105999%
Critics Consensus: Boasting dazzling animation, a script with surprising dramatic depth, and thrilling 3-D sequences, How to Train Your Dragon soars.
Synopsis: Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is a Norse teenager from the island of Berk, where fighting dragons is a way of life.... [More]

In Time

(Photo by 20th Century Fox/ courtesy Everett Collection)

All Justin Timberlake Movies Ranked

Cause for alarm: Justin Timberlake has only been in a few Certified Fresh movies in his career, projects that have really hit with critics – we hope he has a second job to fall back on.

For now, Timberlake will just have to be content with the fact he’s been in some of the really good flicks of the 2010s, like David Fincher’s Best Picture nominee The Social Network, or the Coen brothers’ wry and sly take on the folk music, Inside Llewyn Davis. And no one can blame Timberlake for not being careful in cultivating his movie brand, making a few sex comedies (The Love Guru, Friends With Benefits), throwing in a few sci-fi risks (Southland Tales, In Time), and sweetening the stew with family movies (Yogi Bear, Shrek the Third).

Timberlake’s latest film, his first in three years, certainly falls in that last category: Trolls World Tour, which took the extraordinary step of skipping theatrical and going straight to on-demand. With the movie added to this list, we’re sync as we look back on all Justin Timberlake movies ranked by Tomatometer!

#18

Runner Runner (2013)
7%

#18
Adjusted Score: 11463%
Critics Consensus: It has an impressive cast and an intriguing premise, but Runner Runner wastes them on a bland, haphazardly assembled thriller with very little payoff.
Synopsis: Believing that he has been swindled, Princeton grad student Richie (Justin Timberlake) goes to Costa Rica to confront online-gambling tycoon... [More]
Directed By: Brad Furman

#17

Edison (2005)
13%

#17
Adjusted Score: 4573%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Ambitious young reporter Pollack (Justin Timberlake) suspects insidious corruption in his town's elite police unit, known as F.R.A.T., and finds... [More]
Directed By: David J. Burke

#16

Yogi Bear (2010)
12%

#16
Adjusted Score: 15463%
Critics Consensus: Yogi Bear's 3D effects and all-star voice cast are cold comfort for its aggressively mediocre screenplay.
Synopsis: Yogi (Dan Aykroyd) and his sidekick, Boo Boo (Justin Timberlake), are Jellystone Park's most-notorious troublemakers, hatching countless schemes to separate... [More]
Directed By: Eric Brevig

#15

The Love Guru (2008)
14%

#15
Adjusted Score: 19936%
Critics Consensus: The Love Guru features far too many gross-out gags, and too few earned laughs, ranking as one of Mike Myers' poorest outings.
Synopsis: Born in America and raised in an Indian ashram, Pitka (Mike Myers) returns to his native land to seek his... [More]
Directed By: Marco Schnabel

#14

The Open Road (2009)
29%

#14
Adjusted Score: 8918%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: While playing minor league baseball in Texas, Carlton Garrett (Justin Timberlake) receives word from his grandfather (Harry Dean Stanton) that... [More]
Directed By: Michael Meredith

#13

Wonder Wheel (2017)
31%

#13
Adjusted Score: 45875%
Critics Consensus: Wonder Wheel gathers a charming cast in an inviting period setting, but they aren't enough to consistently breathe life into a Woody Allen project that never quite comes together.
Synopsis: Four peoples' lives intertwine amid the hustle and bustle of the Coney Island amusement park in the 1950s: Ginny, an... [More]
Directed By: Woody Allen

#12

In Time (2011)
37%

#12
Adjusted Score: 42539%
Critics Consensus: In Time's intriguing premise and appealing cast are easily overpowered by the blunt, heavy-handed storytelling.
Synopsis: In a future where time is money and the wealthy can live forever, Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) is a poor... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Niccol

#11

Southland Tales (2006)
40%

#11
Adjusted Score: 43708%
Critics Consensus: Southland Tales, while offering an intriguing vision of the future, remains frustratingly incoherent and unpolished.
Synopsis: With the United States under the threat of nuclear attack, the lives of several people converge in a dystopian Los... [More]
Directed By: Richard Kelly

#10

Shrek the Third (2007)
42%

#10
Adjusted Score: 50245%
Critics Consensus: Shrek the Third has pop culture potshots galore, but at the expense of the heart, charm, and wit that made the first two Shreks classics.
Synopsis: When King Harold suddenly croaks, Shrek (Mike Myers) learns he will have to rule the land of Far, Far Away,... [More]
Directed By: Chris Miller

#9

Bad Teacher (2011)
45%

#9
Adjusted Score: 51219%
Critics Consensus: In spite of a promising concept and a charmingly brazen performance from Cameron Diaz, Bad Teacher is never as funny as it should be.
Synopsis: For most, teaching is an honorable profession -- except for Elizabeth (Cameron Diaz). The foul-mouthed, boozy woman can't wait to... [More]
Directed By: Jake Kasdan

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 58598%
Critics Consensus: Though predictable and somewhat dramatically underwhelming, Trouble with the Curve benefits from Clint Eastwood's grizzled charisma and his easy chemistry with a charming Amy Adams.
Synopsis: For decades Gus Lobel (Clint Eastwood) has been one of baseball's best scouts -- but now his age is catching... [More]
Directed By: Robert Lorenz

#7

Alpha Dog (2006)
54%

#7
Adjusted Score: 59894%
Critics Consensus: A glossy yet unflinching portrait of violent, hedonistic teenagers. Bruce Willis and Sharon Stone chew the scenery, while Justin Timberlake gives a noteworthy performance.
Synopsis: Teenage dealer Johnny Truelove (Emile Hirsch) and his friends kidnap the impressionable younger brother (Anton Yelchin) of a junkie (Ben... [More]
Directed By: Nick Cassavetes

#6

Black Snake Moan (2007)
66%

#6
Adjusted Score: 71848%
Critics Consensus: Uninhibited performances, skillful direction, and a killer blues soundtrack elevate Black Snake Moan beyond its outlandish premise.
Synopsis: After her lover (Justin Timberlake) leaves to serve in the military, Rae (Christina Ricci) gives in to her raging libido... [More]
Directed By: Craig Brewer

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 74315%
Critics Consensus: Friends with Benefits adds nothing new to its well-worn rom-com formula, but the chemistry between Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis is almost enough to carry the movie by itself.
Synopsis: Jamie (Mila Kunis) is a New York-based executive recruiter who entices Dylan (Justin Timberlake), an art director from Los Angeles,... [More]
Directed By: Will Gluck

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 81879%
Critics Consensus: A fun follow-up for fans of the original, Trolls World Tour offers a second helping of colorful animation, infectious energy, and sing-along songs.
Synopsis: Poppy and Branch discover that there are six different troll tribes scattered over six different lands. Each tribe is also... [More]
Directed By: Walt Dohrn

#3

Trolls (2016)
75%

#3
Adjusted Score: 84907%
Critics Consensus: Trolls brings its instantly recognizable characters to the big screen in a colorful adventure that, while geared toward the younger set, isn't without rewards for parents.
Synopsis: After the Bergens invade Troll Village, Poppy (Anna Kendrick), the happiest Troll ever born, and the overly-cautious, curmudgeonly Branch (Justin... [More]
Directed By: Mike Mitchell, Walt Dohrn

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 102851%
Critics Consensus: Smart, funny, and profoundly melancholy, Inside Llewyn Davis finds the Coen brothers in fine form.
Synopsis: In 1961 New York City, folk singer Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) is at a crossroads. Guitar in hand, he struggles... [More]
Directed By: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 107984%
Critics Consensus: Impeccably scripted, beautifully directed, and filled with fine performances, The Social Network is a riveting, ambitious example of modern filmmaking at its finest.
Synopsis: In 2003, Harvard undergrad and computer genius Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) begins work on a new concept that eventually turns... [More]
Directed By: David Fincher

This week, the Weekly Ketchup is departing from our regular Friday schedule because of San Diego Comic-Con, and all of the extra big news that it will bring throughout the weekend.  So today, you get a “pre-SDCC” Weekly Ketchup!  This edition brings you nine headlines from the world of film development news (those stories about what movies Hollywood is working on for you next). Included in the mix this time around are stories about such titles as Ghostbusters 2, Star Trek 4, a remake of Cooley High, and Edgar Wright’s Shadows.


This Week’s Top Story

THE DIVERGENT SERIES ASSIGNED TO A NEW FACTION: DIRECT-TO-TV

When film historians tell the story of the first 15 or so years of the 21st century, at least one chapter is likely to be dedicated to the “YA” fad. The movie business is by nature cyclical, but this particular wave started and seemingly has ended all within the course of eight years. It was only in 2008 that the first Twilight movie was released (the last in 2012), and The Hunger Games spanned four movies, one a year from 2012 to 2015.  Those two mega-successful franchises (both from Lionsgate or subsidiary Summit Entertainment) are the rare exceptions to a rule that was much more demonstrated by box office disappointments (The Host, Beautiful Creatures, I Am Number Four, The Giver, The Mortal Instruments, etc). Until this March, the Divergent series seemed like it would be another four-films-adapting-three-novels genre success for Lionsgate. The franchise starring Shailene Woodley kept dropping, both in box office and critical reception. Even so, it was presumed by most that Lionsgate would continue their sad march towards a Divergent series wrap up. The fourth movie, Divergent Series: Ascendant, even had a release date of June 9, 2017, up against both World War Z II and Universal’s next reboot of The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise. Well, according to Variety this week, Lionsgate is changing course at the last moment, negotiating for The Divergent Series: Ascendant to be made into a “TV movie” that would then lead to a Divergent spinoff TV series (probably using different characters). It sounds like there are still many unknown variables, such as which of the “movie stars” will also reprise their roles in the “TV movie.” Shailene Woodley, who got her start in TV (Secret Life of the American Teenager) might be likely to return, but Ansel Elgort and Theo James might not. As for what channel Divergent Series: Ascendant will be produced for, we still don’t know yet. However, Starz seems the most obvious candidate since that network was just acquired by Lionsgate three weeks ago for $4.4 billion (ie, Lionsgate might have known they were doing this at the time). So, what do the fans think?  Is Divergent going direct-to-TV the final death knell in the “YA novel adaptation” fad?


Fresh Developments This Week

1. DESPITE OPENING AT #2, THE GHOSTBUSTERS REBOOT WILL STILL GET A SEQUEL

When it comes to sequels, the math varies depending upon a few different factors, but the most obvious one is budget.  The $46 million opening weekend of the Ghostbusters reboot, for example, would have been an obvious “franchise starter” for a movie on a $40 million budget.  However, that movie was a special effects extravaganza, with a budget in the $144 million range. One of Sony Pictures’ executives confirmed soon after the box office numbers came out that, yes, they are still committed to making more Ghostbusters movies in the near future. Sony President of Worldwide Distribution Rory Brue specifically said, “I expect Ghostbusters to become an important brand and franchise… While nothing has been officially announced yet, there’s no doubt in my mind it will happen.” As for what the next Ghostbusters sequel might involve, the reboot has a scene after the credits that pretty much tells us. And we can almost certainly expect that the four female stars (Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Kristen Wiig) are probably already signed (or in negotiations) for the sequel as well (and probably director Paul Feig, too). One actor who might be tougher to confirm is Chris Hemsworth — along with his Marvel committments, it’s sounding like he will continue to be quite busy because…


2. STAR TREK 4 (OR 14) CONFIRMED… INCLUDING CHRIS HEMSWORTH AS KIRK’S DAD?

Earlier this year, it was confirmed that the “official” designation for the new timeline that started in the 2009 Star Trek reboot is “Kelvin.” That name comes from the ship that was destroyed by the time travelling baddies in the beginning of that film (if that’s a spoiler to you after seven years, well, you probably shouldn’t be reading any of this). One of the crewmen on the Kelvin was George Kirk, played by Chris Hemsworth, who of course was the father of the future Captain James Tiberius Kirk (Chris Pine). Kirk’s father dying so young was one of the more character-oriented changes in the Kelvin timeline (along with, you know, the entire planet Vulcan being destroyed), and this week’s news indicates we haven’t seen the last of him. Paramount Pictures, Skydance, and Bad Robot have announced the fourth/fourteenth Star Trek movie, and one of the stars will be… Chris Hemsworth as Kirk’s dad. The announcement doesn’t explain exactly how that happens, but calls him “a man he [James T. Kirk] never had a chance to meet, but whose legacy has haunted him since the day he was born.” Time travel probably is the most obvious explanation for how this will all go down (whole books could be written about time travel in Star Trek), but there are other possibilities. One other detail was revealed about Star Trek 4 this week, namely a confirmation from J.J. Abrams that Pavel Chekov, played by the recently late Anton Yelchin, will not be recast, saying, “There’s no recasting. I can’t possibly imagine that, and I think Anton deserves better.”  There’s no release date for the 4th/14th Star Trek movie yet, but given the 3-4 years between the films recently, we can guess at a target window of either 2019 or 2020.


3. BROOKLYN DIRECTOR TO ADAPT PULITZER PRIZE WINNING NOVEL THE GOLDFINCH

This week, we’re giving you two editions of The Weekly Ketchup, because of the anticipated deluge of news coming out of San Diego Comic-Con. If there’s going to be one story that sort of exemplifies the difference between this first column, and the second, it’s this one (in a few ways). In 2014, after taking 11 years off, author Donna Tartt came back with her third novel, The Goldfinch, and was rewarded with the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. The Goldfinch is a sprawling, decades-long American epic with elements including terrorism, art theft, and alcholism (basically, it’s a lot like Great Expectations) — in other words, it’s a little different from the comic book movies we’ll hear about this week. Warner Bros has had the film rights to The Goldfinch since 2014, and this week, we learned that the studio is now in talks with director John Crowley for him to make The Goldfinch his next film after last year’s award-winning drama Brooklyn. If he signs on, Crowley will be working from a screenplay adaptation by screenwriter Peter Straughan (cowriter of Frank, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy).


4. DREAMWORKS’ BIG PLANS FOR 2019: SHREK 5 AND EDGAR WRIGHT’S SHADOWS

The traditional “trades” are still out there covering the film business, but every once in a while they do something that reminds us they’re still not fully caught up with the era of “social media.” For example, Variety and The Hollywood Reporter still sometimes “bury the lede,” nestling the most interesting tidbits in much longer, seemingly less important articles or profiles. One example happened this week when The Hollywood Reporter ran a story about Jeffrey Katzenberg’s future, following the acquisition of DreamWorks Animation by Universal earlier this year. Sort of halfway through, you’ll find one sentence about the year 2019, during which DreamWorks Animation will release Shrek 5 and the movie now known as Shadows. We’ve covered both of those movies in the Weekly Ketchup in recent weeks and months, but the news that they are now “only” three years away is still big. There’s not much to say about Shrek 5 (except maybe that it now sounds more like a sequel, and less like a reboot, as once suggested). The movie called Shadows definitely does require a bit more explanation, though. The film, first announced last November, will mark the animation debut of fan-favorite director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz). DreamWorks has long been wanting to do an animated movie involving the concept of “shadows,” dating back to their ambitious Me and My Shadow from several years ago, and Edgar Wright’s Shadows is an extension of that.


5. DAKOTA FANNING TO STAR IN SYLVIA PLATH’S THE BELL JAR FOR DIRECTOR KIRSTEN DUNST

Kirsten Dunst is now preparing to make her feature film debut as director after directing two short films in 2007 and 2010, and she’s sort of swinging for the fences with an independent remake of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, previously adapted as a film in 1979 starring Marilyn Hassett and Jameson Parker. Originally published under a pseudonym, The Bell Jar was the only novel written by poet Sylvia Plath– she committed suicide a few months after The Bell Jar was published in 1963 — and is now interpreted as a roman à clef (a work of fiction based mostly on real events), as both the main character and Plath herself struggled with similar psychological issues. Dakota Fanning (who will turn 23 next year) will star as the novel’s central character, Esther Greenwood, a young woman whose potential future as a promising writer is rocked by her own struggles with mental health. Independent production of Dunst’s adaptation is expected to start in early 2017, possibly aiming for a debut at the Sundance Film Festival in January, 2018.


6. RAPPER/ACTOR COMMON TO PRODUCE AND STAR IN A REMAKE OF COOLEY HIGH

Few decades were as rife with nostalgia as the 1970s (mostly for the 1950s and early 1960s). Full discussion of the “why” would require much, much more discussion, but it was probably partially due to how quickly American life had changed in 10 or so years from, say, 1962 to 1972. A few examples of this nostalgia in the 1970s were Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, and at the movies, American Graffiti and Animal House. Another such film (which is arguably not as popular today as its competition) was 1975’s Cooley High, about a group of African American best friends living in Chicago in 1964. Produced for under a million dollars, Cooley High was both a box office success ($13 million) and a hit with critics (82 percent on the Tomatometer). MGM  is the studio most known for remakes than any other these days (such as Poltergeist, Hercules, RoboCop, and the upcoming Ben-Hur, The Magnificent Seven, and Going in Style), and now, it’s also planning a remake of Cooley High, working with rapper-turned-actor Common, who will produce the remake as well as costar (probably as one of the teachers). It’s also possible Common might contribute at least one song to the score. As for why Cooley High, and why now? Reportedly, the producers felt that a new Cooley High would be “a timely project in light of the racial unrest that has followed several high-profile shootings throughout the country.”


Rotten Ideas of The Week

2. SILICON VALLEY/DEADPOOL STAR T.J. MILLER TO VOICE LEAD IN EMOJIMOVIE: EXPRESS YOURSELF

Although it was great that The LEGO Movie was over-the-top fun and creative in its adaptation of the titular toys, the bad news was that its success unsurprisingly inspired lots of other studios and producers to try to mine gold from traditionally non-narrative properties. One example is the “Emoji,” i.e. the little smiley faces and icons you can attach to texts and Facebook posts. To that end, Sony Pictures put an animated movie called EmojiMovie: Express Yourself into fast production, aiming for a release date next summer on August 11, 2017. And now, we know who will be providing that movie the voice for its lead character. T.J. Miller, who is probably best known for either costarring in Deadpool, or in HBO’s Silicon Valley, will provide the voice of a “meh” Emoji named Gene who finds himself conveying other emotions (because of a software glitch). EmojiMovie: Express Yourself will be directed by Anthony Leondis, whose previous films included Igor (Rotten at 36 percent) and the direct-to-video sequel Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch (also Rotten at 40 percent).


1. R.I.P. GARRY MARSHALL (1934-2016)

Obviously, beloved celebrities and filmmakers die every year, but 2016 seems particularly rough so far. We lost another of Hollywood’s most popular filmmakers this week, with the news that Garry Marshall died at the age of 81 from complications from pneumonia following a recent stroke. Marshall was a triple threat, working as a film director/writer, one of the most successful TV producer/showrunners ever, and also as a frequent comedian and actor. This included the rare feat of becoming something of a center of a “Marshallverse,” an ever expanding circle of stars and creators who all had deep ties early in their careers to Marshall. We can arguably thank him for the careers of director Ron Howard (from Happy Days), Robin Williams (from Mork & Mindy), Penny Marshall (his sister, but also his Laverne & Shirley star), and even Julia Roberts (who had her first major hit movie with Pretty Woman). Critically, Marshall’s last 25 years have been a little rough, but many of his Rotten movies were, admittedly, “barely” Rotten, right in the 50-59 percent range. The “Garry Marshall problem” might simply have been that he made the sort of broad appeal, warm-and-fuzzy comedies that audiences tended to embrace more than critics did. In recent years, Marshall had turned most of his energy towards his own mini-genre of holiday comedies: Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve, and Mother’s Day.  Sure, none of them earned above 18 percent on the Tomatometer, but we’re still going to miss reporting on what holiday he might have adapted next.  R.I.P. Garry Marshall.

Ever since 1998 and into this Friday’s release of Kung Fu Panda 3, DreamWorks Animation has emerged as one of the dominant forces in animated storytelling worldwide, whose blend of state-of-the-art tech and raucous contemporary humor has carved their own identity in our current cartoon renaissance. Kung Fu Panda 3 inspires this week’s 24 Frames gallery, in which we explore the nearly two-decade history of DreamWorks Animation.

It may not have been quite the box-office phenomenon that its predecessors were — and critics may have disliked it enough to keep it down at 20 percent on the Tomatometer — but that didn’t stop Rush Hour 3 from emerging as the top DVD rental of 2007.

The third Rush Hour racked up over $70 million in rental revenue, roughly half of what it took in at the box office, and besting another third installment, The Bourne Ultimatum. Count down the rest of last year’s DVD-rental top 25 below!

1. $71.2 Rush Hour 3 ($140.1M box office)
2. $69.7 The Bourne Ultimatum ($227.5 box office)
3. $66.4 The Kingdom ($47.5 box office)
4. $64.3 Superbad ($121.5 box office)
5. $57.2 Live Free or Die Hard ($134.5 box office)
6. $56.7 The Simpsons Movie ($183.1 box office)
7. $55.3 Night at the Museum ($250.86 box office)
8. $54.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix ($292 box office)
9. $51.8 Shrek the Third ($322.7 box office)
10. $51.2 The Heartbreak Kid ($36.8 box office)
11. $50.6 The Pursuit of Happyness ($163.57 box office)
12. $49.0 The Departed ($132.38 box office)
13. $47.5 Borat ($128.51 box office)
14. $47.5 Transformers ($319.3 box office)
15. $45.0 Blood Diamond ($57.38 box office)
16. $43.8 Spider-Man 3 ($336.5 box office)
17. $43.7 300 ($210.6 box office)
18. $43.0 I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry ($120 box office)
19. $42.9 Casino Royale ($167.45 box office)
20. $42.7 Disturbia ($80.21 box office)
21. $42.6 The Holiday ($63.22 box office)
22. $41.8 Knocked Up ($148.8 box office)
23. $40.8 Deja Vu ($64.04 box office)
24. $40.5 Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer ($131.9 box office)
25. $40.5 The Good Shepherd ($59.95 box office)

Source: End of Boredom

It’s a week of threequel DVD
offerings, as a certain green ogre playing daddy (Shrek
the Third
) and a group of hipster thieves out for revenge (
Ocean’s
Thirteen
) hit shelves. But should your tastes venture
to the sublime (Paris
Je T’aime
), the syndicated (Gilmore
Girls: The Complete Series
), or the Seagal (Urban
Justice
), you’ll find there are many more treats to take home.



Shrek the Third


Tomatometer: 42%

Years from now, when people
look back and ask, “Where did the Shrek series go wrong?” they might finger this
third entry as the culprit. (Shrek
and Shrek 2 are
both Certified Fresh with 89 and 88 percent Tomatometers, respectively.) Critics
accused this sequel, in which the lovable green ogre and his bride welcome their
first bundle of joy, of being overstuffed with the kind of pop culture jabs that
were so fresh and original in the first film; only now, they say, we’re treated
to even more poop and fart jokes. Splendid! But of course, this release is for
the kids, who’ll enjoy a bonus feature full of extras like young Arthur’s high
school yearbook, the “Shrek Smash-up” scene-mixing feature, loads of games,
DVD-ROM content, and a feature that teaches them how to “Learn the Donkey
Dance.”

 



Ocean’s Thirteen


Tomatometer: 69%

Speaking of weary
franchises,
Steven
Soderbergh
‘s second sequel to his hit Ocean’s Eleven remake arrives today
— see it just to be able to say “Finally, it’s done! No more slick-talking,
martini-clinking, wink-wink, too-clever cons, please!” Giving the film a 69
percent on the Tomatometer, critics call
Thirteen

in which Danny Ocean and Co. pull a revenge heist on none other than Al Pacino
— better than
Twelve
, but not as good as
Eleven
. We
say it’s what one might call an “airplane movie.” That is, you might not go
out of your way to see it, but if it’s the in-flight film on a plane trip, why
not put on that pair of free earphones, open a bag of complimentary nuts, and
give it a go?

 



La Vie En Rose


Tomatometer: 75%
American audiences have seen
French actress
Marion
Cotillard
before (Love
Me If You Dare
,
A Very Long
Engagement
, A
Good Year
) but now they should really take note; her star turn
here as France’s national treasure Edith Piaf is utterly transformative.  The
mid-century songbird nicknamed the Little Sparrow lived an emotional
rollercoaster of a life — abandoned as a child, raised by prostitutes, a
street performer in her youth with ties to the mob — even before launching a
musical career that made her an international star, continually courting
scandal and tragedy until her untimely death at the age of 47. 

 




Urban Justice


Tomatometer: N/A


Steven Seagal
IS BACK! And his latest, in which a former special ops agent goes for revenge
against the thugs who killed his son (working title: Once Upon a Time in
the Hood
) promises to be so action-packed, so full of streetwise banter,
that the fine folks at Sony Screen Gems have bypassed a theatrical release
altogether. That means, folks, that you don’t have to wait another minute to
add this title to your DVD collection. Did we mention it co-stars badass
character actor
Danny Trejo
as a local big man AND
Eddie Griffin
as a crazed mobster (not to mention a fight scene with multiple — multiple,
people — kicks to the groin)? 

 


Peruse These Picks

Paris
Je T’aime

Tomatometer: 84%

This omnibus ode to the City
of Lights melted the chilly hearts of crusty critics on this year’s festival
circuit, and how could it not? The film’s eighteen collected short
meditations, each dedicated to a different Parisian neighborhood, explore the
theme of love as seen through the eyes of 21 of the world’s finest filmmakers.

Berlin
Alexanderplatz

Tomatometer: 100%



Fassbinder
. 15 hours. 100 percent. Criterion Collection. Need we say more?



Christmas Time in South Park

Tomatometer: N/A

The holidays are
approaching, which means it’s a perfect time to revisit such South Park
favorites as “Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo,” "Merry Christmas Charlie
Manson," and "It’s Christmas in Canada." Remember to eat lots of fiber, kids!

It’s TV Time!





Gilmore Girls: The Complete Collection

Tomatometer: N/A

We could devote an entire
column to why we loved The CW’s (nee The WB’s) Gilmore Girls so hard —
even though it took forever to get over Rory and Jess’ Season Three break up,
and towards the end we couldn’t bear to watch the series wrap itself up — but
suffice to say, this collection is at the top of our holiday wish list. How
could you not love a show that featured rapid-fire mother daughter banter,
small town charm, and appearances by the likes of

Milo Ventimiglia
,
Adam Brody,
Sebastian Bach,
Sonic Youth
,
Paul Anka
,
Norman Mailer,
The Bangles, and Madeleine Albright? 




Miami Vice: The Complete Series

Tomatometer: N/A

Crockett and Tubbs worked
the streets of Miami and the wardrobes of the 1980s harder than anyone else
could (that is, until
David Caruso
started dropping one-liners at crime scenes); get all five seasons in one
boss-looking white faux-alligator skin box set today!

Until next week, happy renting!

The nominations for the 80th Academy Awards won’t be announced until January 22, but the names of the films being submitted for consideration are starting to trickle in.

Variety reports that in the animated feature film category, the Academy will have 12 movies to consider — and whittle down to three nominees. From the article:

Submitted features are: “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” “Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters,” “Bee Movie,” “Beowulf,” “Meet the Robinsons,” “Persepolis,” “Ratatouille,” “Shrek the Third,” “The Simpsons Movie,” “Surf’s Up,” “Tekkonkinkreet” and “TMNT.”

Yes, you read that right. Alvin and the Chipmunks. Think the voters will have problems narrowing down this list?

Source: Variety

By now we’ve already heard that DreamWorks plans to have a fourth Shrek movie in theaters by 2010, and that they want to then squeeze out a fifth film. But that, they promise, will be the last of the series!

A few months back, Shrek co-star Antonio Banderas let spill that there would be a fourth and fith installment, plus a separate spin-off flick for his own character, Puss In Boots. (And don’t forget that Shrek Christmas special coming our way this winter.)

According to the Bloomberg News, the producers are all set to go on the fifth — and allegedly final — Shrek movie. But that’s only if the money folks are still firmly convinced.

DW spokesman Rich Sullivan claims that while the “story has five chapters,” the studio is so far only committed to one new sequel: “Based on the success of the first three films, at the very least, the next one, ‘Shrek 4,’ is warranted.” Which is just another way of saying “Part 3 made huge money, so we’re making Part 4. Ask us about Part 5 when that one comes out.”

Shrek the Third has already more than quadrupled its $160 million budget with more than $600 million in worldwide grosses. Shrek 2 took in an insane $921 million back in 2004. And the very first Shrek didn’t do too shabby either, making $484 million with a $60 million budget, according to Box Office Mojo.

To be totally honest, despite being a huge fan of the first Shrek, I’m starting to grow more than a little weary of the series by now. Maybe by 2010 I’ll feel different. (And yes, the whole voice cast is coming back. You don’t think Myers, Diaz and Murphy would miss their regular paychecks, do you?)

Source: Bloomberg News

Mike Myers Yeah baby… Mike Myers probably hears those words shouted at him at least three times a day, so synonymous is he with his ultimate creation, the oft-franchised Austin Powers. But when Rotten Tomatoes UK rolls up to talk exclusively to Toronto’s funniest export about his other oft-franchised character, Shrek, we learn that it’s Shrek’s role as a straight man that appeals to him most…

RT-UK: This is the third time out for you with this character – what is it about Shrek that brings you back every time?

Mike Myers: I love the character, I love the writing, I love the fact that the filmmakers want it to be better each time. Jeffrey Katzenberg, who’s the CEO of Dreamworks, and Aaron Warner, the producer, Chris Warner, the director and Andrew Adamson, the executive producer, they all want it to be that it improves every time they go out.

And in essence this is a dramatic role for me. It’s a dramatic role with some comedy; it’s about a big guy who needs to love himself. He’s a big, sensitive guy. Because I didn’t create it and I don’t write it it’s a wonderful opportunity for me to talk about how great the writing is; because it is. Every aspect of it just gets better every time; the hair, water, fire and skin tone and texture, every aspect of it is so much better.

But as the technology progresses they keep the movie on message which is that you have to love yourself and love others. For Shrek it’s at different times in his life; in the first film he’s fallen in love, in the second he’s about to be married and then in this one he doesn’t feel that ogres can be fathers. He has to learn that and in mentoring Artie he does. That character is the metaphor for him; the playing it out, the putting it into 3D for Shrek. It shows him that he is capable of being a father despite what people say about ogres.

When things are so well constructed I’ll walk on fire for these people. I’ll run into a machine gun nest.

Mike Myers

RT-UK: Hopefully they’ve never put you to the test on those…

MM: I think that’s happening this afternoon! No, whatever they want me to do I’ll do it. I’m in because I’m excited and I’m excited because they are constantly improving.

RT-UK: Do you enjoy the technical aspect of doing the voice? Of being out of costume and isolated in a studio?

MM: It’s daunting, but it’s also a lot of what I love about it. One, there’s no make-up. Two, I don’t have to do any of the writing. Three, it’s a dramatic role with some comedy so I’m not constantly having to feed that comedy thing; I can take my time with stuff, I can actually just be there, and pretend and just believe I’m an ogre. It’s a relaxing place to be, for me, to not always have to come up with the funny. That’s awesome. And when I did 54 I had that same feeling. This has actual jokes, too, that I like. It’s good comedy that I like to do. So it’s a fun place for me.

RT-UK: Do you ever feel tempted to improvise over the top of the writing? I believe you founded the Comedy Store Players with Neil Mullarkey when you were living in London, improvisation is obviously a passion of yours comedy-wise.

MM: I was one of the founding members, yeah. Neil Mullarkey was my comedy partner and is still a very good friend, he’s been in the Austen Powers movies. He’s a great comedian and I founded the players with him and Paul Merton and an actress called Kit Hollerbach. I love improv, but this is so well written. I can just let the dramatic moments happen and it’s a great feeling, really.

Mike MyersRT-UK: When you see it all come together at the end is it more surprising for you than seeing something that you’ve shot on set all cut together?

MM: It does. They say that comedy and sausages are the two things that if you know how they’re made they affect the appetite. I’m always creating and writing stuff so it’s nice for me to be able to watch it as a fan. I get to play the moments – not that I don’t play them in other films but this is more tightly scripted. You get to rephrase now and then, and they encourage question asking because it’s a three-year process. They want to have the actors know why they’re saying what they’re saying. Little things like, how far away am I from Donkey? How far away am I from Fiona? Where’s the boat? You can’t see anything and it turns into a radio play, it becomes a different experience. So I enjoy it.

RT-UK: Enough that we’re hearing talk of 4 and 5 as well…

MM: They’re talking about that, yeah. None of us are ever formally approached with this shit, which is a little funny!

RT-UK: As I understand it they’ve already set release dates!

MM: Yeah, but you know, people make plans. The average movie takes sixty months between the first idea and it being in front of people. I take three years between movies, I have since 1991. I take, on the average, thirty-six months and I usually spend about eight months just having free time, trying to figure out what it is I’m going to spend the next twenty-four or whatever amount of months trying to create. I’ll take it to a stage audience first, write the screenplay and then set up the movie. I tend not to set up a movie and then take it to a studio, I always write it first.

I find it a more liberating process that way around; I think that there are a lot of great studio people but the fewer voices in my head when I’m getting out a draft, the better. I just get it out and then I’ll listen to all manner of good ideas. And that’s what happens, too, when I’m touring and doing a character on stage. I did it on Wayne’s World – but then I did that on Saturday Night Live – and I did it on Austin Powers for two years. Every time it’s a three year genesis.

Mike Myers

RT-UK: I guess it helps to know that what you have is a good idea or whether it’s just a good idea in your own head.

MM: Yeah, I need to know whether I actually want to do it and that it is connecting with people. Because it is a long time, it’s a very long time of your life to be involved with. I’ve been involved with Shrek for eleven years, so you’d better like Shrek if you’re going to be involved with it for eleven years. I do, I like it a great deal, so I enjoy it.

RT-UK: Do you like Austin Powers enough for a fourth encounter?

MM: Again, we’re in that sixty month thing where we’re four months into development on an Austin 4 from Dr. Evil’s perspective.

RT-UK: Austin became one of the most iconic characters of the nineties, he was very well embraced. Is it fun to think you’ve created a character with that sort of staying power?

MM: You know it’s funny; I’ve wanted to be an actor since I was eight years old and I did TV commercials when I was a kid. When I was eleven Saturday Night Live came on and I thought, “Oh God, I’d love to do that.” I saw the Pink Panther movies and thought, “God, I’d love to have a comedy series; I’d love to have a character I’d created that becomes a series.” I’ve now pretty-much done everything I’ve wanted to do since I was eight years old and it’s a wonderful feeling, I’ve got to say. I feel entirely grateful and appreciative of being able to make something up and do it, and I’m very grateful how well it’s gone. I’m a guy from Toronto who just wanted to be an actor since he was eight so it’s all kind-of crazy. Shrek has been wonderfully successful, it did really well in the States, and so it’s magical to me, still. I’m still that kid from Toronto.

RT-UK: We can’t let you go without asking about your Saturday Night Live cohort turned Shrek co-star Justin Timberlake; is he officially the most talented man alive? It seems he can turn his hand to just about anything.

MM: He’s hilarious on SNL. I think that Justin is unbelievably talented and in any field he wants to be in he will dominate. Had he been on Saturday Night Live he’d have been the dominant actor on Saturday Night Live. Had he wants a movie career and wants to do movies he’ll be a huge megastar in movies. He’s one of the most talented people I’ve ever seen.

RT-UK: Have you gotten to spend much time with him?

MM: Yeah, we hang out. You only see people during the promotion but we’ve had a few dinners. He’s hilarious and silly and cool and nice and just a level-headed, talented person. It’s one of those things where you’ll be somewhere there’s a piano and he’ll be sitting there telling jokes and he’ll go on the piano and blow your mind on how great he is, and he’s just so gracious about it. He’s a great guy and the world is his oyster.

Steve Carell took over the number one spot this weekend with his new comedy "Evan Almighty," but it failed to generate the flood of business needed to recoup its mammoth production cost.

The John Cusack thriller "1408" debuted to strong results while "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer" fell sharply in its second mission. Weekend sales were too close to call for the two which were separated by only $25,000 according to estimates. Overall, the North American box office posted solid, but not spectacular results for this time of year.

Audiences lined up two by two for "Evan Almighty" which captured the top spot this weekend with an estimated $32.1M. The PG-rated sequel bowed to less than half of the $68M Friday-to-Sunday debut of its 2003 predecessor "Bruce Almighty" while costing more than twice as much. Playing in 3,604 locations, "Evan" averaged a solid $8,910 per ark. Morgan Freeman returned to play God and director Tom Shadyac was also back behind the camera, but Jim Carrey did not take part again. Universal spent a reported $175M producing its big summer comedy offering which was aimed at family audiences with its storyline involving animals and its PG rating. Reviews were mostly negative.

Thanks to a heavy special effects budget and a production that went behind schedule but still needed to be completed in time for its set release date, "Evan Almighty" turned into one of the priciest comedies in history reaching a budget common usually only seen for high-profile action sequels. The film will need good legs, a strong international run, and hefty video sales in order to break even. According to studio research, 52% of the audience was over the age of 25, 45% consisted of families, and moviegoers polled by CinemaScore gave the pic an encouraging A- grade. However, the film scored a weaker B average grade from over 2,000 votes on Yahoo Movies.

It was still a milestone weekend for struggling Universal Pictures which has released a number of turkeys over the past year. The studio scored its first number one opener since last August’s "Miami Vice" and its first $100M grosser since last June’s "The Break-Up" with Knocked Up.

Opening surprisingly well in second place was the psychological thriller "1408" with an estimated $20.2M for MGM and The Weinstein Co. The John Cusack hit averaged a frighteningly strong $7,534 from 2,678 theaters. Rated PG-13, 1408 tells of a writer who checks into a haunted hotel room that dozens of others have died in. Samuel L. Jackson co-stars in the film which is based on a Stephen King short story. With so many horror films, even from proven franchises, failing at the box office in recent months, "1408" energized audiences and delivered a solid opening. It was the second biggest debut of the year for a fright flick behind the $22.2M bow of "Disturbia," another PG-13 psychological thriller set mostly indoors.

In a virtual tie for second place was last weekend’s winner "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer" which tumbled 65% in its sophomore frame to an estimated $20.2M as well. Fox’s super hero sequel suffered a big blow, but it wasn’t a total surprise considering the 59% second-weekend drop of the first "Fantastic" pic and the fact that sequels often erode quicker. "Silver Surfer" has captured $97.6M in ten days and seems on a course to finish with $135-140M which would be slightly behind the $154.7M of its predecessor.

"Ocean’s Thirteen" ranked fourth with an estimated $11.4M in its third caper, off just 43%, giving Warner Bros. a healthy $91M to date. The George ClooneyBrad Pitt heist pic is running 5% behind the pace of 2001’s "Ocean’s Eleven" at the same point in its run but 5% ahead of 2004’s "Ocean’s Twelve." "Thirteen" looks headed for the $125M mark in North America. Overseas, the new chapter grossed an estimated $21.3M from 49 markets to raise the international tally to a cool $100M and the global gross to $191M.

For the second straight weekend, Universal’s sleeper hit "Knocked Up" dipped by less than 30% and remained in double digit millions. The Judd Apatow-directed smash grossed an estimated $10.6M, off only 24%, and pushed its cume to $109M joining the century club on Friday in its 22nd day of release. "Knocked Up" continues to show the same great legs that made fellow R-rated summer comedies like "Wedding Crashers" and "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" such big hits two summers ago. A final tally of $140-150M might result.

"Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End" followed in sixth with an estimated $7.2M, down 42%, boosting the cume to $287M. The Johnny Depp high seas adventure rose to number 29 on the all-time domestic blockbusters list after 2005’s "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" which grossed $290M. A final North American tally of around $305M seems likely for the expensive Buena Vista sequel. Overseas, "At World’s End" collected an estimated $20.4M pushing the international tally to $584.6M and the worldwide haul to a jaw-dropping $871.6M. Captain Jack will swing past "Spider-Man 3"’s roughly $880M global haul by the end of the week on its way to possibly $950M. The two juggernauts have combined for a towering $1.75 billion in worldwide box office so far.

Sony’s animated comedy "Surf’s Up" held up well despite the arrival of Evan and grossed an estimated $6.7M dipping only 28%. The penguin pic has captured $47.3M to date. Rival toon "Shrek the Third" followed with an estimated $5.8M, off 36%, for a $307.9M total. That put the latest ogre tale at number 22 on the all-time domestic list passing "Independence Day" which grossed $306.2M in 1996 when ticket prices were much lower.. Look for Donkey and his pals to finish with roughly $330M from North America. Warner Bros. placed ninth with "Nancy Drew" which fell 34% to an estimated $4.5M giving the sleuth pic $16.2M in ten days.

Opening in tenth place was Angelina Jolie’s "A Mighty Heart" with an estimated $4M from 1,355 theaters for a mild $2,956 average. The Paramount Vantage release earned strong reviews and has sparked Oscar buzz for Jolie’s performance as Mariane Pearl, widow of the slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. The R-rated film skewed to an audience of mature women with studio research showing that over 60% of the crowd was female and more than 60% was over 30.

Lionsgate saw sensational results for the new Michael Moore documentary "Sicko" which platformed in only one Manhattan theater but still grossed an estimated $70,000 over the weekend. The distributor will open the PG-13 look at the U.S. health care system on Friday across the country. "Sicko"’s average was especially notable since it only occupied one screen at its theater. Often, when specialty films platform to such astonishing averages, they play in two or three screens within the same theater.

Three very different films dropped out of the top ten over the weekend. MGM’s Kevin Costner thriller "Mr. Brooks" fell 47% to an estimated $1.5M for a cume to date of $26.6M. A $30M final seems likely. "Hostel Part II" grossed an estimated $1M, down 67%, for a $17M total. The torture sequel should end with about $18M which would be a 62% fall from the $47.4M of the first "Hostel" flick.

Also dropping down was the year’s biggest blockbuster "Spider-Man 3." After seven weeks in the top ten, the webslinger tale declined by 48% to an estimated $1.3M and boosted its incredible cume to $332.5M. Sony now finds itself at number 15 on the all-time domestic chart behind "Finding Nemo" which gobbled up $339.7M four years ago. "Spider-Man 3" should finish in the friendly neighborhood of $337M making it the lowest-grossing installment of the series in North America. However, its international tally of more than $545M already makes it the biggest "Spidey" overseas and the combined global gross of about $880M makes it the biggest Peter Parker pic ever worldwide. The first two "Spider-Man" films grossed $822M and $784M respectively and while the third chapter lost audience members domestically, it more than made up for it with gains internationally.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $122.6M which was down 2% from last year when "Click" opened at number one with $40M; but up 8% from 2005 when "Batman Begins" remained in the top spot with $27.6M in its second weekend.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Fox scored its first number one hit in five months with "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer" which grossed an estimated $57.4M on its opening weekend, tripling its nearest competitor’s sales.

Carrying a milder PG rating into 3,959 theaters, the super hero sequel averaged a sturdy $14,499 and just barely edged out the $56.1M bow of the first "Fantastic Four" pic from July 2005. A sequel has now topped the box office for seven consecutive weekends.

Reviews were mixed, but were better than for its predecessor which was critically panned. The sequel brought back director Tim Story along with the four main cast members Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, and Michael Chiklis. However, the iconic Marvel Comics character Silver Surfer was prominently added to the film, and even to its title, to help bring back comic fans who may have had a bad taste after the first "Fantastic" pic. Laurence Fishburne provided the voice for the computer-generated space traveler.

The latest summer sequel kicked off the weekend on Friday with $22M, dipped an understandable 11% to $19.6M on Saturday, and is projected to drop by another 19% on Sunday to $15.8M. Fox also reported that "Rise of the Silver Surfer" opened in 32 overseas markets with a combined $25.4M this weekend although most were minor territories. Russia, Italy, and the United Kingdom were among the only major international markets that launched this frame with more to come in the weeks ahead.

"Ocean’s Thirteen" enjoyed a good hold in its second weekend dropping only 47% to an estimated $19.1M in its sophomore frame. Warner Bros. has now made off with $69.8M in ten days. Threequels often drop by 55% or more and "Ocean’s Twelve" even fell by 54% in its second try. That caper sequel grossed $18.1M in its second weekend and bagged a similar $68.5M worth of loot in its first ten days. "Thirteen," which will not benefit from holidays like Christmas and New Year’s prolonging its run, could be on track to finish with $105-110M domestically which would still be the lowest in the "Ocean’s" series.

Universal’s sleeper hit "Knocked Up" continued to capitalize on strong word-of-mouth and held onto third place with an estimated $14.5M, off only 26%, for a $90.5M cume. The R-rated smash will join the century club next weekend making it the studio’s first $100M hit since its last June romantic comedy offering "The Break-Up."

Disney’s "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End" followed dropping 43% to an estimated $12M in its fourth adventure. Cume stands at $273.8M which is up 31% from 2003’s "Curse of the Black Pearl" after its fourth weekend, but down 24% from last summer’s "Dead Man’s Chest" at the same point. "At World’s End" did manage to rise to number 32 on the all-time domestic blockbusters list sailing past the $267.7M of 2001’s "Shrek."

A trio of kidpics followed. The animated penguin movie "Surf’s Up" sank 47% in its second weekend to an estimated $9.3M giving Sony a not-so-cool $34.7M after ten days. A final gross of about $60M could result. "Shrek the Third" landed in sixth place with an estimated $9M, off 41%, for a $297.2M total. Knocking on the triple-century mark, the Paramount release now stands at number 24 on the all-time list just behind the first "Pirates" film which banked $305.4M four years ago.

Moviegoers passed on solving a mystery with "Nancy Drew" which opened poorly in seventh with only $7.1M, accoridng to estimates. Averaging a weak $2,732 from 2,612 theaters, the PG-rated film starring Emma Roberts failed to make a dent in the summer box office this weekend. "Nancy" opened in the same neighborhood as other films aimed at tween girls like "Ice Princess," "Little Black Book," and "Aquamarine" which all bowed to roughly $7M a piece.

Lionsgate saw its horror sequel "Hostel Part II" tumble 64% after its weak opening to an estimated $3M this weekend. With only $14.2M taken in thus far, the torture pic should finish with just under $20M, or less than half of the $47.3M of the first "Hostel" flick from last year. MGM’s "Mr. Brooks" grossed an estimated $2.8M, off 43%, pushing the cume to only $23.4M for the Kevin Costner thriller.

"Spider-Man 3" rounded out the top ten with an estimated $2.5M falling 42% from last weekend. With $330M after its seventh frame, the Sony sequel climbed to number 15 on the list of all-time domestic blockbusters right behind "Finding Nemo" which took in $339.7M in 2003.

Opening dead on arrival was the new actioner "D.O.A.: Dead or Alive" which bowed to an estimated $232,000 from 505 theaters for a pathetic $460 average. The Weinstein Co. title was released with little fanfare and should see most of its business on DVD.

A pair of hits fell from the top ten over the weekend. Fox Searchlight’s indie darling "Waitress" grossed an estimated $1.3M, down only 21%, for a $14.1M cume to date. A final tally of $17-20M from a limited national release is likely. Paramount’s Shia LaBeouf thriller "Disturbia" collected an estimated $250,000 in its tenth frame pushing the stellar cume to $78.3M. Look for a $79M final which will serve as an appetizer to the studio’s next Shia offering — "Transformers" opening July 3.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $136.8M which was down 2% from last year when "Cars" remained at number one with $33.7M; but up 8% from 2005 when "Batman Begins" debuted in the top spot with $48.7M over three days.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Hollywood served up more of the same dishes and moviegoers said enough is enough and found their weekend entertainment elsewhere. The latest star-studded heist sequel "Ocean’s Thirteen" managed to open at number one, but with the weakest debut of the franchise.

"Surf’s Up," the second animated penguin movie in seven months, attracted a mild debut while the horror sequel "Hostel Part II" was butchered on its opening weekend. Overall, the marketplace generated the worst showing for the second weekend of June since 2003.

George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, and Al Pacino made off with the North American box office crown with "Ocean’s Thirteen" which debuted on top with an estimated $37.1M. Averaging a solid $10,401 from 3,565 locations, the Warner Bros. release bowed a bit below the openings of the previous installments in the heist franchise. 2001’s "Ocean’s Eleven" debuted to $38.1M and a $12,393 average while its 2004 sequel premiered to $39.2M and a $11,901 average. Both opened in early December.

"Thirteen"’s top spot debut marked the sixth consecutive weekend when a threequel ruled the charts. Given higher ticket prices, additional theaters, the more high-profile summer launch, and the publicity generated from the much-hyped world premiere at Cannes, "Ocean’s Thirteen" was expected to open stronger by some in the industry. However, competition for adults was stronger with this chapter with holdovers "Pirates" and "Knocked Up" grossing a combined $41M. Plus the non-stop assault of sequels may have made some moviegoers sick of paying to see the same characters in the same situations again and again. Reviews were mostly upbeat for the PG-13 caper pic.

"Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End" tumbled another 52% in its third frame and dropped down to second place with an estimated $21.3M pushing its cume to $253.6M. Both previous Captain Jack films, 2003’s "The Curse of the Black Pearl" and 2006’s "Dead Man’s Chest," did better in their third weekends with $23.1M and $35.2M, respectively. The latest Disney pic now stands at number 38 on the list of all-time domestic blockbusters after 2001’s "Monsters, Inc." which grossed $255.9M. At its current rate of decline, "At World’s End" now has no guarantee of reaching the $300M mark which was always seen as an easy milestone before the film’s release. As with the "Spider-Man" franchise, the third chapter should become the lowest-grossing installment in the series domestically.

But just like with the webslinger, international business is on fire for the latest "Pirates" which grossed an estimated $51.3M overseas this weekend, down 50%. That puts the overseas tally at $493.5M and the global gross at a colossal $747M.

Universal’s hot comedy "Knocked Up" delivered a solid hold in its second weekend thanks to strong word-of-mouth. The R-rated pic collected an estimated $20M, off 35%, for a ten-day cume of $66.2M. By comparison, director Judd Apatow’s last film "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" opened weaker and dipped only 24% to $16.3M in its second weekend for a total of $48.6M in its first ten days. "Knocked Up" is proving that a film that is good and original can attract a large paying audience and should go on to gross more than "Ocean’s Thirteen" this summer despite having a smaller budget and no bankable stars. A final gross of about $120-130M could result for the pregnancy comedy quadrupling its $30M production cost.

The penguin toon "Surf’s Up" opened in fourth place with a mediocre launch. Sony’s big summer family pic took in an estimated $18M from an ultrawide 3,528 theaters for a decent $5,102 average. The PG-rated film tells of a young penguin who competes in a surfing competition and was made in a mockumentary style. The debut was weaker than last year’s animated releases from the studio – "Open Season" ($23.6M) and "Monster House" ($22.2M). "Surf’s Up" also bowed to less than half of the $41.5M that last November’s penguin pic "Happy Feet" took in on its debut frame. Sony saw a six-week gap between the openings of the summer megatoons "Shrek the Third" and Pixar’s "Ratatouille" and positioned its entry right in the middle.

Close behind in fifth was rival toon "Shrek the Third" with an estimated $15.8M in its fourth frame. Off a reasonable 44%, the Paramount release has grabbed $281.9M to date putting it at number 29 on the all-time domestic list. A final gross of around $320M seems likely. The latest ogre now stands as the second biggest DreamWorks film ever after "Shrek 2" ($436.7M) and the third largest hit in Paramount history after "Titanic" ($600.8M) and "Forrest Gump" ($329.7M).

Yet another horror failure followed in sixth place. Lionsgate’s "Hostel Part II" opened to an estimated $8.8M from 2,350 theaters for a weak $3,723 average. That was less than half of the $19.6M bow that the first "Hostel" generated in January 2006 on its way to a solid $47.3M domestic gross. The R-rated sequel once again examines the torture of American students in Slovakia, only with female victims this time. "Part II" even opened weaker than other recent horror sequels like "28 Weeks Later" and "The Hills Have Eyes II" which both bowed to just under $10M each. With so many fright flicks flooding the multiplexes recently and moviegoers ignoring most of them, Lionsgate has to be a bit worried about getting genre fans back into theaters for the fourth consecutive Halloween with its "Saw IV."

The Kevin Costner thriller "Mr. Brooks" fell 50% to an estimated $5M and placed seventh with a $18.7M total. "Spider-Man 3" dropped 45% to an estimated $4.4M in its sixth mission giving Sony $325.7M to date. That keeps the third webslinger adventure at number 17 on the all-time domestic list just behind "The Lion King"’s lifetime cume of $328.5M. A $335M final seems likely.

Enjoying the smallest decline in the top ten once again was Keri Russell’s comedy "Waitress" which dipped only 18% to an estimated $1.7M pushing the cume to $12M for Fox Searchlight. Paramount’s "Disturbia" rounded out the top ten with an estimated $550,000, down 51%, giving the thriller $77.8M to date.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $132.5M which was down 8% from last year when "Cars" opened at number one with $60.1M; and off 1% from 2005 when "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" debuted in the top spot with $50.3M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

The stars come marching out to do battle with the pirates for the number one spot this weekend.

For the sixth consecutive weekend, a threequel is poised to command the top spot at the North American box office as Warner Bros. rolls out the caper pic "Ocean’s Thirteen" reuniting Hollywood’s fun boys. Sony counters with the family offering "Surf’s Up" while Lionsgate goes after the horror crowd with "Hostel Part II." Each film should target its own audience so there should be space for all newcomers.

George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and their endless list of co-stars are back again as everyone’s favorite criminals in "Ocean’s Thirteen." The PG-13 pic finds the group back in Las Vegas on a heist driven by revenge against a real estate mogul, played by Al Pacino, who is launching his latest luxury hotel/casino. The first two in the series had December openings of $38.1M for 2001’s "Ocean’s Eleven" and $39.2M for 2004’s "Ocean’s Twelve." They also had little direct competition for adults. Although they opened in the same fashion, the sequel was not as well-liked and found its way to $125.5M, or about one-third less than the $183.4M cume of the original which itself was a remake.

"Thirteen" should play to the exact same audience of mature adults. Appeal is equally strong for males and females and even some teen interest should be there. Reviews have been generally positive but that should have little impact. Moviegoers know exactly what they are getting the third time around and will decide based on if they want to take another two-hour trip seeing slick actors, with slick hair, and slick clothes, acting cool. Those soured by "Twelve" may take a pass on "Thirteen." Plus "Pirates" and "Knocked Up" will provide some solid competition. But the sheer amount of starpower should make this entry hard to resist to many looking for a fun mature film without pirates, super heroes, and endless special effects. "Ocean’s Thirteen" rolls the dice in 3,565 locations this weekend and might win about $37M over three days.


Nerds!

For those kids who can’t get enough of talking cartoon penguins, Sony unleashes its big summer animation entry "Surf’s Up." Delivered in a mockumentary style, the PG-rated film tells the story of penguins that compete in a surfing competition, and of course crack jokes along the way. Arriving just three weeks after "Shrek the Third," "Surf’s Up" will have to deal with competition from the ogre toon and to some extent the other aging threequels which combined should gross north of $40M this weekend. The new penguin pic does not have the buzz or the starpower of a Robin Williams that helped "Happy Feet" shoot to number one last November with a $41.5M bow on its way to a terrific $198M.

Instead, "Surf’s Up" seems to be in the same middle category with recent films like "Open Season" and "Meet the Robinsons" which opened to $23.6M and $25.1M, respectively. With children in the process of ending their school years and starting their summer vacations, parents should be in the mood to take them to the movies for some non-violent fun. "Surf’s Up" lands in over 3,000 theaters on Friday and could debut with about $24M.


"Surf’s Up," aka "March of the Happy Feet."

Yet another horror sequel makes its way into theaters with Lionsgate’s "Hostel Part II." The first "Hostel" was a number one hit last year opening to $19.6M on its way to an impressive $47.3M off of a tiny budget. The new R-rated entry finds three American students in Rome who find themselves caught in a grisly game of torture and mayhem. Horror fans have been suffering from fright fatigue lately. The recent sequels "The Hills Have Eyes II" and "28 Weeks Later" both opened to just under $10M failing to match the bows of their predecessors. Other horror flicks like "Bug," "The Condemned," "The Reaping," and "Vacancy" all underperformed over the last several weeks and have helped to scare fans away from the genre.

But Lionsgate is among the best at selling this type of fare to older teens and young adults and the distributor is hoping to tap into a built-in audience. Just as with the first one, Quentin Tarantino whores his name out again with a ‘presents’ credit on the marketing materials. It would be interesting to know what kind of compensation, monetary or otherwise, he gets for these transactions. Locking up ticket buyers in 2,350 theaters, "Hostel Part II" may open with around $12M.


"Hostel: Part II," sure to warm the hearts of all.

Following its two frames at number one, "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End" should give up the top spot this weekend, although the runnerup slot is not necessarily a guarantee. The pricey Disney adventure fell by 62% last weekend and could see its drop dip to 50% this time. That would give Johnny Depp and his buddies about $22M for the session and $254M overall.

Last weekend’s number two flick "Knocked Up" raced past "At World’s End" to claim the number one spot on Monday and Tuesday thanks to great buzz and is prepared to see a solid hold this time around. Two summers ago, the R-rated comedies "Wedding Crashers" and "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" both dipped by only 24% in their sophomore frames thanks to stellar word-of-mouth and no major competition from new releases. "Knocked Up" has the same great satisfaction from moviegoers, but will see much of its adult audience get tempted away by Brad and company. A 30% drop would still give it a great hold with about $21M for the frame. That would push the cume to a stunning $68M in only ten days.

"Shrek the Third" will face direct competition from rival toon "Surf’s Up" this weekend. That could lead to a 40% decline to roughly $17M boosting the cume to $282M.

LAST YEAR: Disney and Pixar joined forces for the number one opening of "Cars" which cruised into the top spot with $60.1M. The animated comedy raced to $244.1M domestically becoming the summer’s biggest non-Captain Jack flick, and over $462M worldwide. Universal’s comedy "The Break-Up" fell 48% in its second date grossing $20.3M and was followed by "X-Men: The Last Stand" with $16.1M. The horror remake "The Omen" bowed to $16M over the weekend and a creepy $36.3M over six days since its Tuesday launch on 6/6/06. Fox scared up $54.6M eventually. "The Da Vinci Code" rounded out the top five with $10.4M in its fourth lap. Debuting to solid results in a moderate launch was "A Prairie Home Companion" with $4.6M from 760 locations for a $6,008 average. The Picturehouse release found its way to $20.3M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Well, release years anyway, according to Jeffrey Katzenberg.

"The fourth film will come out in 2010 and the fifth in 2013," is what Katzenberg told an Australian newspaper while he was down under introducing "Shrek the Third" to another continent.

This should come as no surprise to anyone: All three of the "Shrek" flicks have been monster hits at the box office. (Good to know we still have three more years till the next one, though.) Perhaps someone can spend part of the next three years writing a better screenplay than the last one.

Also on tap from DreamWorks Animation are "Bee Movie," "Kung Fu Panda," and a sequel to "Madagascar." (Hey, why not a sequel to "Over the Hedge"? I really liked that one.)

Source: Courier Mail

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