(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Over the course of his decades in show business, Denzel Washington has done pretty much everything — he’s played cops (good and bad), lawyers, reporters, educators, doctors, mobsters, and more, earning multiple Academy Awards and more than a billion dollars in box office grosses along the way. Of course, it’s fairly difficult to do all that without piling up a pretty hefty stack of positive reviews, and Mr. Washington’s filmography has definitely drawn its share, from Oscar winners like Glory, Training Day, and Philadelphia to his collaborations with director Spike Lee, like Malcolm X, He Got Game, and Inside Man. With all of that in mind, we’re here to celebrate by taking a comprehensive look at his career, including the best Denzel Washington movies and the worst. Perfection! Let’s go to work.
This week on streaming services, we’ve got a handful of hugely popular TV series, a classic live-action animated comedy, and a couple of Certified Fresh smaller films you might have missed, plus a great selection of new choices available on FandangoNOW. Read on for details.
H. Jon Benjamin voices the titular superspy, one of a handful of agents and skilled operatives of dubious moral fiber in the employ of an espionage outfit run by his mother.
Available now on: Netflix
AMC’s follow-up to Breaking Bad follows Bob Odenkirk’s character before he became Saul Goodman, when he was still a scheming attorney who fell into some hard times and partnered up with former cop Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks).
Available now on: Netflix
Robert Zemeckis’ mind-bending animation/live-action hybrid follows a star cartoon rabbit who is framed for murder and the private eye who reluctantly agrees to help clear his name.
Available now on: Netflix
Viola Davis stars in this drama about an esteemed law professor whose interns become implicated in a complicated web of murder and deception.
Available now on: Netflix
This Australian thriller, written by Joel Edgerton (who also co-stars) and directed by his brother Nash, centers on a small town couple having an affair who make plans to leave their spouses — one of them a dangerous gangster — and run off together.
Available now on: Netflix
Jim Jarmusch’s Certified Fresh documentary is a tribute to the pioneering punk band The Stooges, charting their rise and fall through first-hand accounts from Iggy Pop, his bandmates, and others close to the band.
Available now on: Amazon Prime
Henry Fonda stars in John Ford’s adaptation of the John Steinbeck novel about a Great Depression-era Oklahoma family who are evicted from their home and journey westward to California.
Available now on: FandangoNOW
Taraji P. Henson, Octavia spencer, and Janelle Monáe star in this historical drama about three gifted African-American women who played a substantial role in launching NASA’s first manned spaceflight missions.
Available now on: FandangoNOW
Dev Patel stars in this true story about a man, adopted by an Australian family as a boy, who uses Google Earth to track down the small Indian village from which he disappeared as a child.
Available now on: FandangoNOW
This time out, rogue ex-secret agent Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) seeks revenge on our heroes after they injured his brother in the previous film, and in turn, the gang teams up with the government to bring him down. It’s now available in an Ultra HD Extended Edition.
Available now on: FandangoNOW
Kiernan Shipka and Emma Roberts star in this horror film about a pair of girls who encounter a malevolent presence during a winter holiday they’re forced to spend alone at their boarding school.
Available now on: FandangoNOW
Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, and the rest of the Furious gang reunite when Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) coaxes them into helping with an international investigation by revealing a secret from their past. It’s now available in an Extended Edition.
Available now on: FandangoNOW
Sylvester Stallone and John Lithgow star in this high altitude thriller about a former rock climber who is taken hostage by a group of mercenaries who have crashed in the mountains with millions in stolen cash.
Available now on: FandangoNOW
This Swedish comedy is the story of a 100-year-old man who climbs out a window and disappears. Yup.
Available now on: FandangoNOW
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
Only one new film ventures into wide release. Studios typically avoid opening worthwhile pics during the weekend after the Thanksgiving frame since moviegoing subsides and holiday shopping becomes a bigger national priority. Overall ticket sales tumble by 40-50% from the previous frame and holdovers usually lead the way. That means Disney’s princess tale Enchanted should continue to reign supreme at the North American box office, but those looking for a scare will have the new thriller Awake to see. After a robust turkey frame, look for the marketplace to settle down as movie fans nibble on leftovers.
What happens when Darth Vader marries the Invisible Woman? You get a horror film set in a hospital, of course. Awake stars Hayden Christensen as a man who undergoes surgery while remaining conscious and Jessica Alba plays the troubled wife. The R-rated psychological thriller from MGM and The Weinstein Co. will target young adults with a semi-intriguing premise and a dash of starpower.
Outside of the Star Wars prequels, young Anakin has no pull with ticket buyers but Alba has shown box office strength over the years and can often be a draw even when not suited up in Fantastic Four gear. As with so many of her previous films, trailers feature quick shots of her semi-nude body which should titillate male moviegoers. But overall excitement is not too high and the audience could be limited here with the eventual DVD release reaching the bulk of the film’s fans. Opening in about 2,000 theaters, Awake may gross around $6M this weekend.
Following its surprisingly strong premiere, the family reunion film This Christmas should fall sharply on the sophomore session. A 55% decline would leave Sony with $8M and an impressive total of $36M after a dozen days.
Young males targeted by Beowulf and Hitman will be distracted somewhat by another one-word-titled film making its debut. With Alba in that cast, it could lead to steep drops of 55% each. That would put Paramount’s 3D adventure toon at around $7.5M for the weekend for a sum of $68M. Hitman would slide down to $6M for Fox and a total of $30M.
LAST YEAR: For the third straight weekend, the penguin-Bond connection ruled the box office with ease. The animated blockbuster Happy Feet remained the number one film once again with $17.5M for Warner Bros. while Sony’s 007 pic Casino Royale took the silver with $15.1M. In the first 17 days of play, moviegoers spent an astounding $237M on the dynamic duo. Denzel Washington‘s action thriller Deja Vu stayed put in third place with $10.9M in its sophomore frame. Debuting in fourth was the religious drama The Nativity Story with $7.8M on its way to a $37.6M final for New Line. Rounding out the top five was Fox’s Christmas comedy Deck the Halls with $6.7M. Also debuting but to modest numbers were Fox’s horror pic Turistas with $3.6M and MGM’s Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj with $2.3M. Final grosses reached $7M and $4.3M, respectively.
This weekend For the first time this decade, a new release seems set to take over the number one spot during the busy Thanksgiving holiday weekend at the North American box office. Studios are cramming a six-pack of new titles into multiplexes nationwide hoping the recent famine in the marketplace will be replaced by a feast. The films lack major stars, but they do however have clearly-defined audiences which will hopefully allow them to survive and expand the overall pie.
Disney leads the way with the fantasy extravaganza Enchanted for young girls while Fox counters with the much more violent action offering Hitman aimed at young men. MGM goes for a scare with the horror film The Mist, Sony targets African American moviegoers with This Christmas, and August Rush from Warner Bros. will try to tap into family audiences. Meanwhile, Miramax goes after older adults and upscale crowds with its acclaimed thriller No Country For Old Men which widens into national release after two weeks of sold out shows in limited play.
Once upon a time, Disney regularly opened a new family film at number one over Thanksgiving weekend. After a long absence, the Mouse House is now poised to take its rightful place on the turkey throne with its fairy tale adventure pic Enchanted which finds an animated princess thrust upon the real world where people do not live happily ever after. The PG-rated film will appeal to the millions of young girls and mothers who have become devotees of Disney’s lucrative army of princesses. Getting in boys may be a bit tough, but the female following should be more than enough to propel this massive release into the top spot at the holiday box office.
Not since 1999’s Toy Story 2 has Disney, or any other studio for that matter, opened a new film at number one over this holiday frame. Holdovers have consistently ruled since 2000, mostly big guns that debuted on the weekend before the holiday to get an early jump on the cash. But from 1994 through 1999, Disney enjoyed an unprecedented streak ruling the Thanksgiving box office every year with an iron fist. Now that magic is back, thanks in part to a surprisingly weak line-up of November titles coming from Hollywood’s magic factories. With the widest release by far of any new film, no holdovers to stand in its way, and a holiday frame that welcomes family entertainment, Enchanted looks to become the queen bee. Opening in an ultrawide 3,632 theaters, the fantasy film may charm its way to about $30M over the Friday-to-Sunday period and $43M during the extended Wednesday-to-Sunday span.
A 25% drop might be in the works for American Gangster which may tap into patient adults that have heard the buzz, but just haven’t made a trip to the theaters yet. Universal could take in about $9.5M over three days and raise its sum to $116M. Christmas films routinely see their three-day grosses climb over the turkey frame when compared to the previous weekend thanks to the cheery holiday mood of ticket buyers. That could come as good news to Warner Bros. which might see its Vince Vaughn offering Fred Claus edge up by 10% to around $13M. Cume would hit $54M.
LAST YEAR Despite five new films opening in wide release over the turkey frame, moviegoers continued to spend their money on the same films as the top two spots remained unchanged. Sophomores Happy Feet and Casino Royale led the session with $37M and $30.8M, respectively, over three days. The penguin toon dipped only 11% while the rejuvenated Bond flick dropped by just 25% giving the pair a towering combined gross of $193M after ten days. Denzel Washington won the bronze with his new sci-fi actioner Deja Vu which bowed to $20.6M while the Christmas comedy Deck the Halls followed in fourth with a debut of $12M. Final grosses reached $64M and $35.1M. Borat rounded out the top five with $10.3M in its fourth weekend. Other new releases stumbled. MGM’s political drama Bobby expanded nationally and took in only $4.9M on its way to a weak $11.2M. Warner Bros. debuted its sci-fi drama The Fountain to the tune of $3.8M and New Line saw just $3.2M for its Jack Black pet project Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny. The pics ended their runs quickly with a measly $10.1M and $8.3M, respectively.
author: Gitesh Pandya www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
Variety reports that Washington and Scott — who previously teamed up for Crimson Tide, Man on Fire, and Deja Vu — will collaborate on a remake of 1974’s The Taking of Pelham One Two Three. The Joseph Sargent-directed original, which starred Walter Matthau as a grumpy New York City cop working to foil a subway hijacking led by Robert Shaw, is considered a ’70s action classic — it boasts a 100 percent Tomatometer rating — but its status as what James Rocchi refers to as a “little-known gem” could make it easier for a new version to make inroads with filmgoers.
Washington — who can be seen this fall in American Gangster, directed by Tony Scott’s brother, Ridley — will take over for Matthau in the remake, which is expected to begin production early next year; David Koepp wrote the script.
Three new releases failed to make much of an impression on North American moviegoers this weekend as the top films at the box office remained the same.
The dynamic duo of the penguin toon "Happy Feet" and the James Bond actioner "Casino Royale" ranked one and two for the third straight time while Denzel Washington‘s action thriller "Deja Vu" found itself in the familiar third spot once again. Overall, the post-turkey blues set in with total ticket sales dropping significantly from last weekend.
The animated blockbuster "Happy Feet" became only the second film of 2006 to spend three consecutive weekends at number one. Warner Bros. held steady at the top with an estimated $17M over the weekend dropping an understandable 54% from the Thanksgiving holiday frame. After 17 days of release, the penguin hit has grossed a stellar $121M and seems on course to reach the $180-190M domestic range depending on how it holds up over the holidays. The year’s only other film to stay in first place for three weekends was Johnny Depp‘s "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest" which also happens to be the top-grossing blockbuster of 2006.
In its usual runnerup spot was Agent 007 in "Casino Royale" which took in an estimated $15.1M in its third mission to boost the total to $115.9M. Off 51%, the Sony hit averaged $4,460 per theater which was virtually the same as Feet’s $4,481 average. "Casino" has been holding up better than the last James Bond flick "Die Another Day" which grossed less in its third weekend. The new Daniel Craig actioner opened with $40.8M and dropped 25% to $30.8M on Thanksgiving weekend. During the same weeks in 2002, "Die" bowed to a stronger $47.1M, but fell a larger 34% to $31M over the turkey frame, and then another 59% to $12.8M on the third session. "Casino" was running 7.2% behind "Die" after the first ten days but has now cut the margin down to only 3.6%. The new smash looks likely to edge out the previous installment’s $160.9M domestic tally. Worldwide, "Casino Royale" surged past the $300M mark in global ticket sales and continues to dominate the international box office.
The "Happy"-"Casino" combo has now grossed a stunning $236.9M putting it slightly ahead of the $229.3M that moviegoers spent a year ago on "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" over the same time period. Factor in the usual 3% for annual ticket price increases and the dollar amount is almost identical. So far, the two hits have tag-teamed to help keep this year’s holiday box office relatively even with last year’s. However, December may struggle to keep up with its 2005 counterpart when movie fans spent a towering $400M on "The Chronicles of Narnia" and "King Kong." This month’s upcoming releases will all have to pitch in solid numbers for the marketplace in the final month of the year to keep up with last year.
Also not shifting its chart position this weekend was the Denzel Washington actioner "Deja Vu" which remained in third place with an estimated $11M. Dropping only 46%, the Buena Vista release watched its cume climb to $44.1M after 12 days. The time-shifting thriller may go on to capture $75-80M.
New Line’s Biblical drama "The Nativity Story" debuted in fourth place with an estimated $8M from a wide release in 3,183 theaters. Averaging only $2,521 per venue, the PG-rated film was expected to reach double digit millions given its 3,000-plus theater launch just weeks before Christmas. The flashier family blockbuster "Happy Feet" may have proven to be too strong of a competitor despite doing $104M in business before "Nativity" even opened.
The Christmas comedy "Deck the Halls" followed with an estimated $6.7M dropping 45% in its second weekend. Fox has stuffed $25M into its stocking after 12 days and could be headed for a mediocre $40-45M final. Another holiday comedy, "The Santa Clause 3," was right behind with an estimated $5M, off 50%, pushing the total for Disney to $73.2M. In seventh was the raunchy pic "Borat" which fell 53% to an estimated $4.8M giving Fox a stellar cume of $116.3M.
The horror pic "Turistas" bowed in eighth place with an estimated $3.5M from 1,570 locations for an average of just $2,255 per site. Fox’s R-rated thriller about American tourists attacked while on vacation in Brazil played to the expected audience of older teens and young adults.
Sony’s comedy "Stranger Than Fiction" followed with an estimated $3.4M, down 41%, for a cume to date of $36.9M. The Will Ferrell pic’s weekend take included grosses from the studio’s Saturday evening sneak previews of its upcoming Cameron Diaz–Kate Winslet pic "The Holiday" which ran at 75% capacity nationwide. The romantic comedy officially opens on Friday against three other new wide openers.
Rounding out the top ten was the new college comedy "Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj" which opened with an estimated $2.3M from 1,979 theaters for an average of only $1,160. The MGM sequel performed much like a pair of recent R-rated comedies aimed at young males — "Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny" and "Let’s Go to Prison" — which debuted with just $3.2M and $2.2M respectively.
Three films dropped out of the top ten this weekend. The DreamWorks animated film "Flushed Away" released by Paramount tumbled 61% to an estimated $2.3M in its fifth weekend and raised its total to $60.1M. Look for a $65M final.
MGM’s political drama "Bobby" fell a steep 59% in its second weekend of national play. The Emilio Estevez pic grossed an estimated $2M lifting the sum to only $9.2M and should end with a weak $12-14M. The Warner Bros. sci-fi romance "The Fountain" dropped 57% in its sophomore frame to an estimated $1.6M giving the studio a puny $8.1M in 12 days. A $11-12M final seems likely.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $76.9M which was up 5% from last year when "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" remained at number one with $19.9M; and up 2% from 2004 when "National Treasure" stayed in the top spot with $17M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
The post-turkey blues will kick in as the North American box office should slump this weekend following a busy Thanksgiving holiday frame.
Three new releases venture into the multiplexes. The Biblical drama "The Nativity Story" will open in the most theaters and try to court a faith-based audience as Christmas nears. Teens and young adults looking to push the envelope with R-rated fare have the college comedy "Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj" and the horror thriller "Turistas." Meanwhile, the penguin toon "Happy Feet" and the James Bond actioner "Casino Royale" will both be past the $100M mark by Friday and will try to stay atop the charts for a third straight time.
The story of Baby Jesus comes to the big screen with New Line’s "The Nativity Story" which stars Keisha Castle-Hughes ("Whale Rider") as Mary. The PG-rated film should appeal to Christian parents wanting to share the religious saga with their children in an environment that the whole family can enjoy. Certainly "The Passion of the Christ" showed how big a Biblical film could be at the box office. However, "Nativity" is completely different and does not have that film’s high-profile director, controversy, or national media frenzy.
Instead, it may tap into the same audience as October’s Babylon epic "One Night With the King" which opened to $4.1M from just 909 theaters for a $4,518 average. "The Nativity Story" will launch in more than twice the number of theaters and has a more timely release with December 25 right around the corner, but could generate a similar per-theater average. Critics have not been kind to the pic which might prompt some to wait for the DVD. Opening in around 2,800 theaters, "The Nativity Story" could collect about $13M over the weekend.
Four and a half years after the release of National Lampoon’s first raunchy college comedy "Van Wilder" comes a new installment with "Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj." This R-rated tale finds Taj (Kal Penn) from the first film moving to England to teach a group of misfits how to party down. It’s been a tough road in recent weeks for R-rated films aimed at young males. "Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny," "Let’s Go to Prison," and "Harsh Times" all opened with about $2M or $3M a piece. "Taj" has some brand recognition since the first "Van Wilder" went on to become popular on video and on cable. In theaters, it opened to $7.3M and a $3,612 average in April 2002 leading to a $21M final. However, a crowded marketplace will make it tough for the sequel to stand out. And "Borat" becoming a runaway smash with four straight $10M+ weekends won’t help either. Opening in 2,000 around theaters, "Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj" might debut with about $5M.
Fox’s new division Fox Atomic, which will cater to teen and young adult audiences, sets sail with its first film with the horror pic "Turistas." The R-rated thriller is directed by John Stockwell ("Blue Crush," "Crazy/Beautiful") and follows a group of American tourists on vacation in Brazil who cross paths with creepy organ harvesters. No starpower here. Instead, Fox is hoping to appeal to college kids looking for a good scare. Outside of older teens and twentysomethings, appeal should be minimal. Even with its core audience, "Turistas" will have to share shelf space with "Taj" so potential will be limited. Opening in less than 2,000 theaters, "Turistas" could find its way to a weekend gross of roughly $4M.
Among holdovers, films usually suffer steep declines on the weekend after the Thanksgiving holiday frame. Overall box office spending contracts and studios usually avoid programming any of their heavy hitters into the slot. In fact in the last 15 years, only one new release has opened at number one during this particular weekend – 2003’s "The Last Samurai."
This weekend, it could end up being "Happy Feet" and "Casino Royale" duking it out for box office supremacy for the third straight time. Family pics do extremely well over the turkey frame, but then come down hard a week later. Plus "The Nativity Story" could provide some competition for families. Warner Bros. might suffer a 55% fall for its penguin film which would leave it with $17M for the weekend and $120M after 17 days.
The new blonde Bond is pleasing audiences worldwide and in the United States, "Casino Royale" is set to give "Die Another Day" a run for its money thanks to good word-of-mouth. With kids back in school, the Sony adventure film has taken over the number one spot during the mid-week period. "Casino" could drop by 50% this weekend to around $15M which would push the domestic cume to $116M. Look for the global tally to surpass the $400M mark with ease by the end of the holiday season.
Last weekend, Denzel Washington‘s action thriller "Deja Vu" got off to a good start with a $28.6M five-day bow. Buena Vista may witness a 50% drop and collect roughly $10M over three days and raise its 12-day total to $43M.
LAST YEAR: For the third straight weekend, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" rose to the head of the class and grossed $19.9M to lead the box office. Paramount opened its Charlize Theron actioner "Aeon Flux" to $12.7M on its way to a lukewarm $25.9M. It was the only new wide release of the weekend. "Walk the Line" dropped to third with $9.5M, "Yours, Mine, and Ours" placed fourth with $8.3M, and "Just Friends" rounded out the top five with $5.6M.
Movie fans feasted on tasty leftovers over the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend as the top two films atop the charts remained unchanged from last week. The penguin toon Happy Feet held onto the number one spot while the James Bond actioner Casino Royale followed in second place once again.
Both films enjoyed solid sophomore frames and grossed nearly $100M in combined ticket sales over the Wednesday-to-Sunday period. Several new films that opened were treated like side dishes with audiences finding some of them to be unappetizing. Among the better performers were the action thriller Deja Vu and the family comedy Deck the Halls which finished the weekend in third and fourth places, respectively. Overall, the multiplexes were bustling as the top ten matched last year’s holiday performance which was impressive given the lack of a Harry Potter-type juggernaut on this year’s movie menu.
Sitting on top of the North American box office for a second straight weekend was Happy Feet which danced up an estimated $37.9M over the Friday-to-Sunday period and an impressive $51.5M over the five-day Wednesday-to-Sunday holiday span. That propelled the cume for the Warner Bros. blockbuster to $100.1M after only ten days giving the studio a great start for its pricey $100M kidpic. In a year overstuffed with animated films, the penguin film joins Ice Age: The Meltdown and Cars as the only toons to spend back-to-back weeks at number one in 2006. The three-day gross slipped a scant 9% from its opening weekend indicating solid word-of-mouth and possibly good legs ahead.
The slender decline was similar to the turkey weekend drops of 2004’s National Treasure and 2000’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas which slipped only 9% and 5%, respectively, when Thanksgiving fell on their second weekends. All three films carried PG ratings, played to broad audiences, opened at number one, and retained their box office crown over the turkey holiday. Treasure captured half of its eventual $173M domestic total in the first ten days while Grinch’s share was a similar 53%. If Happy Feet can stay strong throughout the holiday season, it could find its way to $175-190M.
Holding steady in the number two spot was Agent 007 in Casino Royale which collected an estimated $31M over three days and $45.1M over five days. Off only 24%, that pushed the ten-day domestic haul for the Sony release to a stellar $94.2M. Although Casino opened softer than the last film in the series — 2002’s Die Another Day starring Pierce Brosnan — it enjoyed a better sophomore hold. Die dropped 34% in its second weekend to a matching $31M over the three-day portion of the Thanksgiving holiday banking $101.4M in ten days.
Casino is also benefiting from encouraging buzz and could be on its way to grossing $150-160M from North America coming close to the $160.9M of Die which holds the franchise record. Even if the new Daniel Craig film does not set a new franchise benchmark for domestic sales, it still means that the risky casting change has paid off with today’s audiences still finding Bond to be a relevant film series. Overseas, Casino Royale continued to open at number one in every market it invaded this weekend and watched its international cume soar to $128.2M as its worldwide gross zoomed to an eye-popping $222.4M in under two weeks. The studio expects Casino Royale to outperform the $432M global gross of Die Another Day to become the biggest Bond ever.
Holiday moviegoers looking for something new to see powered the Denzel Washington crime thriller Deja Vu into third place with an opening weekend of $20.8M over the Friday-to-Sunday period. Directed by Tony Scott (Crimson Tide, Top Gun), the PG-13 film averaged a sturdy $6,704 from 3,108 sites for Buena Vista. The studio made a bold move when it programmed Deja Vu’s launch to be just five days after the opening of Casino Royale which would also pull in action fans. Since its Wednesday bow, Deja Vu has grossed a strong $29M.
Washington proved once again that he is one of Hollywood’s most reliable and consistent box office draws. Seven of the last eight films he has headlined have opened with $20M or more. Few A-listers can make that claim. In his new film, the Oscar-winning actor plays a ATF agent who uses new government technology to try to alter the past in order to prevent a ferry explosion that kills over 500 innocent people in New Orleans. It was the first Hollywood film shot in the city after Hurricane Katrina. Reviews were generally positive.
Danny DeVito and Matthew Broderick battled their way into fourth place with the new holiday comedy Deck the Halls which opened to an estimated $12M. Fox launched the film in 3,205 locations and averaged a decent $3,744 per site. Since its Wednesday launch, the PG-rated family film has taken in $16.9M. That puts Deck below the openings of recent live-action Thanksgiving weekend kidpics like last year’s Yours, Mine, and Ours and 2004’s Christmas with the Kranks. Those comedies debuted to five-day tallies of $24.3M and $30.8M. Competition was tough for Deck which had to deal with Happy Feet, The Santa Clause 3, and Flushed Away stealing away $54M over the three-day span from the same audience.
Dropping 29% to an estimated $10.4M in its fourth trek was Fox’s Borat which joined the century club over the weekend. November’s only non-penguin film to reach number one has now taken in $109.3M. Jumping up 21% from last weekend thanks to the holiday was Disney’s The Santa Clause 3 which followed close behind with an estimated $10M. The Tim Allen pic has collected $67.2M to date and is running 29% behind the pace of its 2002 predecessor.
Sony’s Will Ferrell comedy Stranger Than Fiction ranked seventh with an estimated $6M, down 9%, for a $32.7M total. The animated tale Flushed Away slipped 12% to an estimated $5.8M and has grossed $57.4M thus far.
Two new films rounded out the top ten with less-than-spectacular results. MGM released The Weinstein Co. pic Bobby and grossed an estimated $4.9M from 1,667 theaters for a mild $2,945 average. Written and directed by Emilio Estevez, the R-rated film examines the lives of several people on the day that Senator Robert Kennedy was assassinated in 1968. The all-star cast includes Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Fishburne, Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, Sharon Stone, Helen Hunt, Martin Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, and Happy Feet star Elijah Wood. Bobby opened in two theaters a week earlier and expanded nationally on Thanksgiving Thursday. The distributor chose not to open nationwide on the typical Wednesday date since that day marked the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Cume to date is $6.2M
Opening poorly in tenth place was the sci-fi romance The Fountain with an estimated $3.7M from 1,472 for a weak $2,531 average. Darren Aronofsky (pi, Requiem for a Dream) directed the PG-13 film which stars Hugh Jackman (another voice from the chart-topping penguin pic) and Aronofsky’s real-life girlfriend Rachel Weisz in a tale of a man’s search to cure his wife’s illness. Over five days, Fountain collected only $5.4M.
Another Thanksgiving turkey came in the form of the comedy Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny which failed to find paying customers and finished outside of the top ten. The Jack Black comedy took in an estimated $3.1M from 1,919 theaters for a wimpy $1,621 average. The R-rated pic was targeted at young men and saw a soft $5.2M bow over the Wednesday-to-Sunday holiday span.
The film industry satire For Your Consideration expanded from 23 to 623 theaters this weekend and grossed an estimated $2M. With a mediocre $3,186 average, the Warner Independent release upped its cume to $3.1M.
Fox Searchlight debuted its comedy The History Boys and grossed an estimated $101,000 from seven theaters for a solid $14,389 average. Adapted from the Tony Award-winning play, the R-rated film bowed in six U.S. theaters on Tuesday and added one Canadian location on Friday. Cume to date stands at $142,000 and the distributor will expand to four additional markets on December 8.
Four films dropped out of the top ten this weekend. Paramount Vantage’s Babel fell 33% to an estimated $1.9M pushing the cume up to a decent $15.2M. The Brad Pitt pic may finish in the $17-19M range although it could go further if it secures major award nominations. Another film generating Oscar buzz followed as Martin Scorsese’s The Departed shot up an estimated $1.8M in its eighth weekend, down 30%, boosting the cume to $116.8M. With a production cost of $90M, the acclaimed director’s top-grossing film should reach the $120M mark domestically.
The horror sequel Saw III scared up an estimated $1.5M, down 48%, for a strong $78M to date. The $12M Lionsgate hit looks to end with about $80M or a bit less than Saw II’s $87M from last year. After Dark’s Horror Fest concluded its limited five-day theatrical run with $2.6M from 488 theaters last week for a solid $5,328 average.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $142.7M over three days which was dead even with last year when Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire remained at number one with $54.7M; and down 2% from 2004 when National Treasure stayed in the top spot with $32.2M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
Happy Turkey Day! A crowded marketplace gets even more packed as six new films open or expand nationally over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
Expanding nationwide are the political drama Bobby and the ensemble comedy For Your Consideration. Despite all the new releases, last weekend’s two big openers – the animated penguin flick Happy Feet and the James Bond adventure Casino Royale – will try to hold onto their positions atop the charts. With something for everyone, the overall holiday box office should be robust.
Nearly a dozen years after teaming up for the hit submarine thriller Crimson Tide, Denzel Washington, director Tony Scott, and superproducer Jerry Bruckheimer join forces once again for Deja Vu. The PG-13 pic finds the Oscar-winning actor playing an ATF agent investigating the bombing of a New Orleans ferry which kills over 500 innocent people. To make this stand out from other scripts, a sci-fi element is added that gives investigators the possibility of preventing the tragedy from ever happening in the first place. Bruckheimer and Scott know how to please action-seeking movie fans. From Top Gun, to Tide, to Enemy of the State, the duo has scored many blockbusters over the past two decades.
Denzel is a bankable star, especially in a law enforcement role in an action film. His recent openings for gritty action pics include $29M for this year’s Inside Man, $22.8M for 2004’s Man on Fire, and $22.6M for 2001’s Training Day. Deja Vu should play to most of the same fans, however its biggest challenge will come from competing action film Casino Royale which is still new and getting positive marks. A holiday frame as big as Thanksgiving will usually expand to handle both choices so there may be room to breathe, but there will certainly be some adults interested in both who only get time to see one. Buena Vista’s marketing push has been solid and reviews are even favorable. Debuting in 3,108 theaters, Deja Vu might open to around $23M over three days and about $34M over the long Wednesday-to-Sunday period.
Fox offers up a new Christmas comedy for family audiences with Deck the Halls starring Danny DeVito and Matthew Broderick. The PG-rated pic finds two dads with two different styles of holiday cheer going to battle over Christmas light decorations. The studio is hoping to pick up business from family audiences that are in a holiday mood and have already seen Tim Allen‘s The Santa Clause 3. But Happy Feet, which opened only five days before Deck, will be a major competitor since it is a more high profile kidpic with a louder marketing campaign. Deck looks to play to the same audience as last Thanksgiving’s Yours, Mine and Ours which debuted to $17.5M with $24.3M over five days. Deck has the starpower to grab some attention, but will have more direct competition. Landing in 3,023 sites, Deck the Halls might collect around $14M over the Friday-to-Sunday span and roughly $19M over five days.
Funnyman Jack Black goes into vanity-project mode with the new comedy Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny which teams him with his musical partner Kyle Gass. The New Line release will appeal mostly to young males but with its R rating, many younger fans will have trouble buying a ticket. The rating should serve as a major strike against its commercial potential. Female appeal also does not seem too high so Destiny will play to a very specific audience. Expanding beyond Tenacious D fans will be difficult. Black’s last starring role was in the summer wrestling comedy Nacho Libre which opened to $28.3M thanks in part to its PG rating which let all the 12-year-olds in.
Films like Let’s Go To Prison and Harsh Times learned in recent weeks that R-rated films aimed at young men can struggle at the box office. Both of those bowed to about $2M each. Pick has more starpower which should help its cause plus the busy turkey frame when college guys are all out of class. Those not busy playing their PlayStation 3, might rock out with JB and KG. Opening in 1,919 locations, Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny may debut with about $8M and $13M over five days.
The good thing about having an endless line of stars like in the political drama Bobby is that the studio can have a different actor plug the film on every major talk show simultaneously. That’s what MGM is finding out this week with the Emilio Estevez picture which expands nationally on Thursday from two exclusive engagements to 1,667 sites from sea to shining sea. Last weekend, the R-rated story behind the day that Robert Kennedy was assassinated averaged a potent $34,519 per theater from its solo houses in New York and Los Angeles. But how will it play across all 50 states? Certainly Bobby will appeal to an older crowd that remembers the 1960s and to a smart upscale audience not looking for Bond or Denzel to save the day. Reviews have generally been good, but critics have not been overwhelming in their praise. As a national candidate, Bobby could collect about $7M over three days and about $10M over five days.
Movie fans in search of the fountain of youth get to try out The Fountain, a time-travel adventure from writer/director Darren Aronofsky (pi). Hugh Jackman stars as a man determined to save the woman he loves, played by Rachel Weisz, and will cross a thousand years of time in order to do so. If marketing support is any indicator, this PG-13 entry is a low priority for Warner Bros. Awareness is not very high and its target audience of adults has many other options to choose from. Critics have not been too supportive either. Debuting in 1,472 theaters, The Fountain could open with around $4M and a five-day tally of $6M.
Also expanding nationally after a strong start in limited play is the film industry comedy For Your Consideration which widens from 23 to 623 locations on Wednesday. The Warner Independent release enters a very crowded marketplace and will find it tough to bring in ticket buyers outside of the Christopher Guest fan club. Last weekend, the PG-13 film posted a stellar $16,174 average, but even acclaimed films like Babel have found out that gunning for smart adult audiences is one hard task. Look for a weekend gross of about $3M.
Last weekend’s two chart-toppers will try to fend off competition from the new releases to hang on to their gold and silver medals. Warner Bros. may sit at the head of the dinner table once again with its animated penguin hit Happy Feet which narrowly won the weekend race last frame. Kid movies always do well over Thanksgiving and this should be no exception. Holdover films have ruled the holiday all decade long with 1999’s Toy Story 2 being the last new release to open at number one over this particular holiday weekend.
With so many films opening or expanding over the turkey frame, direct competition for Feet will only come from Deck the Halls and The Santa Clause 3 which should see its weekend gross rise as most Christmas-themed films do over Thanksgiving. A 25% drop for Happy Feet would give the toon about $31M over three days and a ten-day cume of $91M.
The James Bond actioner Casino Royale might slip a little more in its sophomore frame. In 2002, Die Another Day dropped 34% against no new competition in its second session which was also the turkey holiday. Casino will face a serious direct threat from Deja Vu, however it seems to be pleasing audiences more than Die did. That could lead to a similar 35% decline to around $26M giving the new Daniel Craig adventure $88M in ten days.
Fox looks to crack the $100M mark with Borat this weekend. The raunchy comedy is phasing out at the box office, but non-frequent moviegoers may take a trip this weekend to catch up on one of the most-talked-about films of the year. A 35% drop to around $9.5M could occur giving Borat a hefty $107M in 24 days.
LAST YEAR: Wizard power ruled the turkey frame as Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire remained at number one with $54.7M over three days falling 47% from its debut. That gave Warner Bros. a staggering $201M in only ten days. Fox’s Johnny Cash film Walk the Line held steady in second place with $19.2M but slipped only 14% from its opening. Paramount opened its holiday family comedy Yours, Mine, and Ours in third place with $17.5M in three days and $24.3M over the long five-day holiday period. It reached $53.4M overall. Disney’s Chicken Little placed fourth with $12.6M, down 15% in its fourth frame. Sony’s musical Rent rounded out the top five bowing to $10M and $17.1M over five days. A final gross of $29.1M resulted. Other new releases over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend posted more modest numbers. New Line’s comedy Just Friends opened to $9.2M on its way to $32.6M. Lionsgate launched the drama In The Mix to $4.4M leading to a $10.2M end. And the caper pic The Ice Harvest debuted to $3.7M on its way to only $9M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
This week at the movies, we’ve got holiday mischief ("Deck the Halls," starring Matthew Broderick and Danny DeVito), a phenomenon known as déjà vu ("Déjà Vu," starring Denzel Washington), a spiritual journey through time ("The Fountain," starring Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz), and a mystical guitar pick ("Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny," starring Jack Black and Kyle Gass). What do the critics have to say?
The holiday season is nearly upon us, which means another poorly-reviewed seasonal comedy is hitting theaters. In "Deck the Halls," Matthew Broderick and Danny DeVito star as next-door neighbors competing to hang the shiniest star upon the highest bough — or at least out-decorate each other. Practical jokes and one-upmanship ensue. The critics have made a list of the film’s problems and checked it twice, and they say it’s too juvenile to pull off the combination of slapstick and family togetherness it’s attempting. At 13 percent on the Tomatometer, "Deck the Halls" has coal in its stocking.
Denzel Washington rejoins director Tony Scott in "Déjà Vu" as an ATF agent who goes back in time to stop the murder of a woman he subsequently falls in love with. And while the movie’s high-concept angle is riling some critics, others are falling in love with Tony Scott’s unique visual twist on time travel. So either it’s an original take on a familiar concept or it’s about as believable as Keira Knightley the bounty hunter… At 59 percent, the pundits seem to favor the latter.
Beautiful and transcendent or muddled and pretentious? Darren Aronofsky‘s "The Fountain" is dividing the critics right down the middle. This philosophical, time-jumping sci-fi tale stars Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz as a couple in Conquistador-era Spain, the present, and in a space-age future who are obsessed with death and rebirth. "The Fountain" overflows with ideas and images, and while some critics praise the film’s striking visual flair and Aronofsky’s audacity, others say it’s ultimately too incoherent to pull off the "2001"-esque meditation it strives for. "The Fountain" currently stands at 39 percent on the Tomatometer.
Jack Black and Kyle Gass set out to unleash the Greatest Movie in the World when "Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny" hits theaters this week, but the critics have had a tough time figuring out if they’ve actually done it. The facts are smudged in this would-be biopic telling the story of the formation of The D and their quest to find a magical guitar pick that’ll transform them into rock gods. When the reviews are good The D look set to rock the world, but when they’re bad the word ‘cerebral’ pops up only in reference to what this movie is not. "Pick" currently stands at 48 percent on the Tomatometer.
"Bobby" and "For Your Consideration" opened in limited release last week, and now both are going wide. Emilio Estevez‘s "Bobby," an Altman-esque tale of the night of Robert Kennedy’s assassination starring half the population of California, is at 51 percent on the Tomatometer, and the Hollywood-skewering "For Your Consideration," Christopher Guest‘s latest ensemble comedy, is at 52 percent. Also opening this week in limited release are "Opal Dream," a coming-of-age tale about a little girl with imaginary friends in the outback, is at 80 percent, and "The History Boys," a tale of hypercompetitive English schoolboys adapted from Alan Bennett, is at 61 percent.
Finally, while it may be a bit early to call dreday as consistent a hitmaker as is Dr. Dre himself, it is worth noting that he came the closest to guessing the Tomatometer for "Let’s Go to Prison" (8 percent), making it his second consecutive Guess victory in a row. Watch out for player haters, dreday.
Thanks to Joe Utichi for his help on this article.
Although it hasn’t been "officially" announced just yet, the rather stylish director Tony Scott has been getting ready to helm a remake of Walter Hill‘s "The Warriors" for some time now. And with his "Deja Vu" all finished and ready for release, Mr. Scott seems ready to rumble with the gangs.
From IGN Movies: " "The Warriors is in the cards very soon … I’m creating a journey from Long Beach to Santa Monica, to Venice, so I’m going to create this sort of little fictionalized journey. But it’s going to be a lot tougher and I’ll use a lot of the real world — the real gangs, the real people — in the movie. That’s why I call it Kingdom of Heaven, my brother’s [Ridley Scott’s] movie, in terms of scale, versus [the original] The Warriors."
"I love the movie," he says of the original. "And what I’ve done is make it contemporary, and I’m going to shoot it contemporary by shooting it here. The original Warriors was New York in the ’70s, and everything went upwards, everything went vertically. And now I’m making it a contemporary thing and doing it in L.A., so everything is horizontal. So my vision of The Warriors is Los Angeles in 2007 and the gangs, instead of being 30, are going to be 3,000 or 5,000."
Click here for the rest of the piece, especially if you dig "The Warriors."