(Photo by DreamWorks/courtesy Everett Collection)

All Jamie Foxx Movies Ranked by Tomatometer

A recording career and starring roles on In Living Color and his very own sitcom sound like they would have been enough to keep Jamie Foxx out of the movie game during the ’90s. But indeed, Foxx the multi-hyphenate found time to debut as a comedy movie lead for The Truth About Cats & Dogs in 1996 and then delivered his first dramatic performance in Oliver Stone’s Any Given Sunday three years later. But that was all a prelude to his big 2004, when Foxx was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award with the Michael Mann/Tom Cruise thriller Collateral and took home Oscar gold that night for Best Actor, thanks to the musical biopic Ray.

He teamed up with Mann again for Miami Vice in 2006, the same year of musical sensation Dreamgirls‘ arrival. Due Date, Valentine’s Day, Rio, and Horrible Bosses were four $100 million-grossing box office hits in a row, so with his reputation as a guy who can get awards and put butts in seats cemented, there was only one place to go left: Casa de QT. Working with Quentin Tarantino produced the brassy Western Django Unchained, which would go on to become the director’s biggest B.O. draw.

Django would be Foxx’s last Certified Fresh movie for a while, through a stretch of years that has included The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Robin Hood, and White House Down. 2017’s Baby Driver brought back some of that critical acclaim, and so has his latest: Just Mercy, a true story legal drama featuring Foxx as Walter McMillian, who was imprisoned for a murder in 1986 he did not commit. Co-starring Michael B. Jordan and Brie Larson, see where the critics place Just Mercy as we rank all Jamie Foxx movies by Tomatometer!

#33

Stealth (2005)
12%

#33
Adjusted Score: 17302%
Critics Consensus: Loud, preposterous, and predictable, Stealth borrows heavily and unsucessfully from Top Gun and 2001.
Synopsis: Navy fighter pilots Ben Gannon (Josh Lucas), Henry Purcell (Jamie Foxx) and Kara Wade (Jessica Biel) are tasked with training... [More]
Directed By: Rob Cohen

#32

Held Up (2000)
17%

#32
Adjusted Score: 16543%
Critics Consensus: Lackluster performances and fluff humor can't keep this wreck from sinking.
Synopsis: Foxx portrays Michael Dawson, a successful Chicago businessman whose life falls apart while he's driving to the Grand Canyon with... [More]
Directed By: Steve Rash

#31

Valentine's Day (2010)
18%

#31
Adjusted Score: 24076%
Critics Consensus: Eager to please and stuffed with stars, Valentine's Day squanders its promise with a frantic, episodic plot and an abundance of rom-com cliches.
Synopsis: In a series of interconnected stories, various Los Angeles residents (Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper) wend their way through... [More]
Directed By: Garry Marshall

#30

Booty Call (1997)
25%

#30
Adjusted Score: 22429%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Rushon (Tommy Davidson) is sexually pent-up and ready to take thing things to the next level with his girlfriend, Nikki... [More]
Directed By: Jeff Pollack

#29

Sleepless (2017)
25%

#29
Adjusted Score: 27789%
Critics Consensus: Sleepless wastes a talented cast -- and solid source material -- on a tired crime drama whose clichés rapidly outnumber its thrills.
Synopsis: Undercover Las Vegas police officer Vincent Downs (Jamie Foxx) finds himself caught in a high-stakes web of corrupt cops, internal... [More]
Directed By: Baran bo Odar

#28

Bait (2000)
26%

#28
Adjusted Score: 27633%
Critics Consensus: Even though Jamie Foxx shines in Bait, the movie suffers from music video roots and a formulaic script that strains credibility.
Synopsis: Landing in jail for a petty theft crime, Alvin finds himself sharing a cell with John Jaster, the incarcerated half... [More]
Directed By: Antoine Fuqua

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 31373%
Critics Consensus: Unnecessarily violent and unflinchingly absurd, Law Abiding Citizen is plagued by subpar acting and a story that defies reason.
Synopsis: Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler) is an honorable family man, until the day his wife and daughter are murdered in a... [More]
Directed By: F. Gary Gray

#26

Annie (2014)
28%

#26
Adjusted Score: 33610%
Critics Consensus: The new-look Annie hints at a progressive take on a well-worn story, but smothers its likable cast under clichés, cloying cuteness, and a distasteful materialism.
Synopsis: Ever since her parents left her as a baby, little Annie (Quvenzhané Wallis) has led a hard-knock life with her... [More]
Directed By: Will Gluck

#25

The Players Club (1998)
31%

#25
Adjusted Score: 31035%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Single mother Diana Armstrong (LisaRaye) takes to sliding down a stripper pole in order to pay for college -- and... [More]
Directed By: Ice Cube

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 33597%
Critics Consensus: This formulaic screwball comedy is weighed down by a contrived, overly complicated plot.
Synopsis: Quincy Watson (Jamie Foxx) has been having a tough time. After being abruptly dumped by his fiancée (Bianca Lawson), he... [More]
Directed By: Daniel Taplitz

#23
#23
Adjusted Score: 41519%
Critics Consensus: Horrible Bosses 2 may trigger a few belly laughs among big fans of the original, but all in all, it's a waste of a strong cast that fails to justify its own existence.
Synopsis: Tired of always answering to others, Nick (Jason Bateman), Dale (Charlie Day) and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) go into business for... [More]
Directed By: Sean Anders

#22

Due Date (2010)
39%

#22
Adjusted Score: 46277%
Critics Consensus: Shamelessly derivative and only sporadically funny, Due Date doesn't live up to the possibilities suggested by its talented director and marvelously mismatched stars.
Synopsis: Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.) will be a dad for the first time when his wife gives birth in five... [More]
Directed By: Todd Phillips

#21

Robin Hood (2010)
43%

#21
Adjusted Score: 51693%
Critics Consensus: Ridley Scott's revisionist take on this oft-told tale offers some fine acting and a few gripping action sequences, but it's missing the thrill of adventure that made Robin Hood a legend in the first place.
Synopsis: After the death of Richard the Lion-Hearted, a skilled archer named Robin Longstride (Russell Crowe) travels to Nottingham, where villagers... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

#20
#20
Adjusted Score: 45575%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Boxing promoter the Rev. Fred Sultan (Samuel L. Jackson) decides the best way to revive public interest in his top... [More]
Directed By: Reginald Hudlin

#19

Miami Vice (2006)
46%

#19
Adjusted Score: 55670%
Critics Consensus: Miami Vice is beautifully shot but the lead characters lack the charisma of their TV series counterparts, and the underdeveloped story is well below the standards of Michael Mann's better films.
Synopsis: A case involving drug lords and murder in South Florida takes a personal turn for undercover detectives Sonny Crockett (Colin... [More]
Directed By: Michael Mann

#18

Rio 2 (2014)
48%

#18
Adjusted Score: 52448%
Critics Consensus: Like most sequels, Rio 2 takes its predecessor's basic template and tries to make it bigger -- which means it's even busier, more colorful, and ultimately more exhausting for viewers outside the youthful target demographic.
Synopsis: Blue macaws Blu (Jesse Eisenberg), Jewel (Anne Hathaway) and their three children are comfortably settled in the city -- perhaps... [More]
Directed By: Carlos Saldanha

#17

The Kingdom (2007)
51%

#17
Adjusted Score: 59071%
Critics Consensus: While providing several top-notch action scenes, The Kingdom ultimately collapses under the weight of formula and muddled politics.
Synopsis: Charged with the most important assignment of his career, federal agent Ron Fleury (Jamie Foxx) has one week to assemble... [More]
Directed By: Peter Berg

#16

White House Down (2013)
52%

#16
Adjusted Score: 59090%
Critics Consensus: White House Down benefits from the leads' chemistry, but director Roland Emmerich smothers the film with narrative clichés and choppily edited action.
Synopsis: Capitol police officer John Cale (Channing Tatum) has just been denied his dream job of protecting President James Sawyer (Jamie... [More]
Directed By: Roland Emmerich

#15

Any Given Sunday (1999)
52%

#15
Adjusted Score: 57380%
Critics Consensus: Sometimes entertaining, but overall Any Given Sunday is a disappointment coming from Oliver Stone.
Synopsis: Four years ago, DAmato's (Al Pacino) Miami Sharks were at the top. Now, his team is struggling with three consecutive... [More]
Directed By: Oliver Stone

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: 64749%
Critics Consensus: While the cast is outstanding and the special effects are top-notch, the latest installment of the Spidey saga suffers from an unfocused narrative and an overabundance of characters.
Synopsis: Confident in his powers as Spider-Man, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) embraces his new role as a hero and spends time... [More]
Directed By: Marc Webb

#13

The Soloist (2009)
57%

#13
Adjusted Score: 64421%
Critics Consensus: Though it features strong performances by its lead players, a lack of narrative focus prevents The Soloist from hitting its mark.
Synopsis: Los Angeles columnist Steve Lopez (Robert Downey Jr.) has reached an impasse in his life. His marriage is on the... [More]
Directed By: Joe Wright

#12

Jarhead (2005)
61%

#12
Adjusted Score: 67983%
Critics Consensus: This first person account of the first Gulf War scores with its performances and cinematography but lacks an emotional thrust.
Synopsis: In the late 1980s, Anthony Swofford (Jake Gyllenhaal) enlists as a Marine, training in boot camp under a sadistic drill... [More]
Directed By: Sam Mendes

#11

Shade (2003)
67%

#11
Adjusted Score: 38873%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Tiffany (Jamie Foxx), Charlie (Gabriel Byrne) and Vernon (Thandie Newton) are con artists looking to up the ante from their... [More]
Directed By: Damian Nieman

#10

Ali (2001)
68%

#10
Adjusted Score: 72998%
Critics Consensus: Though perhaps no film could fully do justice to the fascinating life and personality of Muhammad Ali, Mann's direction and Smith's performance combine to pack a solid punch.
Synopsis: With wit and athletic genius, with defiant rage and inner grace, Muhammad Ali forever changed the American landscape. Fighting all... [More]
Directed By: Michael Mann

#9

Horrible Bosses (2011)
69%

#9
Adjusted Score: 77607%
Critics Consensus: It's nasty, uneven, and far from original, but thanks to a smartly assembled cast that makes the most of a solid premise, Horrible Bosses works.
Synopsis: Nick (Jason Bateman), Dale (Charlie Day) and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) are workers who would like nothing better than to grind... [More]
Directed By: Seth Gordon

#8

Rio (2011)
72%

#8
Adjusted Score: 77462%
Critics Consensus: This straightforward movie reaches great heights thanks to its colorful visual palette, catchy music, and funny vocal performances.
Synopsis: Captured by smugglers when he was just a hatchling, a macaw named Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) never learned to fly and... [More]
Directed By: Carlos Saldanha

#7

Dreamgirls (2006)
78%

#7
Adjusted Score: 86908%
Critics Consensus: Dreamgirls' simple characters and plot hardly detract from the movie's real feats: the electrifying performances and the dazzling musical numbers.
Synopsis: Deena (Beyoncé Knowles),Effie (Jennifer Hudson) and Lorrell (Anika Noni Rose) form a music trio called the Dreamettes. When ambitious manager... [More]
Directed By: Bill Condon

#6

Ray (2004)
79%

#6
Adjusted Score: 86557%
Critics Consensus: An engrossing and energetic portrait of a great musician's achievements and foibles, Ray is anchored by Jamie Foxx's stunning performance as Ray Charles.
Synopsis: Legendary soul musician Ray Charles is portrayed by Jamie Foxx in this Oscar-winning biopic. Young Ray watches his 7-year-old brother... [More]
Directed By: Taylor Hackford

#5

Just Mercy (2019)
85%

#5
Adjusted Score: 105705%
Critics Consensus: Just Mercy dramatizes a real-life injustice with solid performances, a steady directorial hand, and enough urgency to overcome a certain degree of earnest advocacy.
Synopsis: After graduating from Harvard, Bryan Stevenson heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or those not afforded proper representation.... [More]
Directed By: Destin Daniel Cretton

#4
Adjusted Score: 87365%
Critics Consensus: Sharp, witty, and charming, The Truth About Cats and Dogs features a standout performance from Janeane Garofalo.
Synopsis: Abby (Janeane Garofalo) hosts a popular radio show about pets. When Brian (Ben Chaplin) calls in to ask about his... [More]
Directed By: Michael Lehmann

#3

Collateral (2004)
86%

#3
Adjusted Score: 94839%
Critics Consensus: Driven by director Michael Mann's trademark visuals and a lean, villainous performance from Tom Cruise, Collateral is a stylish and compelling noir thriller.
Synopsis: A cab driver realizes his current fare is a hit man that has been having him drive around from mark... [More]
Directed By: Michael Mann

#2

Django Unchained (2012)
86%

#2
Adjusted Score: 98844%
Critics Consensus: Bold, bloody, and stylistically daring, Django Unchained is another incendiary masterpiece from Quentin Tarantino.
Synopsis: Two years before the Civil War, Django (Jamie Foxx), a slave, finds himself accompanying an unorthodox German bounty hunter named... [More]
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

#1

Baby Driver (2017)
92%

#1
Adjusted Score: 122089%
Critics Consensus: Stylish, exciting, and fueled by a killer soundtrack, Baby Driver hits the road and it's gone -- proving fast-paced action movies can be smartly written without sacrificing thrills.
Synopsis: Talented getaway driver Baby (Ansel Elgort) relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the... [More]
Directed By: Edgar Wright

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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

The clock hasn’t stopped ticking on the format, but HD DVD consumers can look forward to seeing new films on store shelves — for at least the next few months, anyway.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, one of Warner Bros.’ final HD DVD titles, a two-disc special edition of Twister, will be released May 27; meanwhile, Paramount “is expected to announce a full slate of HD DVD titles for the first quarter Thursday.”

Paramount was supposed to announce those releases at CES, but the news of Warner Bros. abandoning the format led the HD DVD Promotional Group to withdraw from the show and declare a “quiet period.” The Reporter article lists a number of expected titles, however, including Into the Wild, Things We Lost in the Fire, Bee Movie, The Kite Runner, American Gangster, and The Jack Ryan Collection, which bundles The Hunt for Red October, Clear and Present Danger, Patriot Games, and The Sum of All Fears.

Still, it seems like it’s only a matter of time before the last few drops of HD DVD’s market share go swirling down the drain — according to the Reporter, people have pretty much quit buying ’em:

Net HD DVD sales, according to Nielsen, constituted only 15% of hi-def disc sales last week. And the top HD DVD seller, “The Kingdom,” sold just 10% as many copies as the top Blu-ray Disc release, “3:10 to Yuma.”

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

“Making a movie about the war in Iraq” is quickly turning into just another way of saying “losing tons of money at the box office,” but director Paul Greengrass isn’t letting that stop him.

Variety reports that the as-yet-untitled thriller that Greengrass is filming with Matt Damon — inspired by Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone — started shooting in Spain yesterday. Joining Damon are Amy Ryan, currently riding high on critics’ year-end best-of lists for her supporting turn in Gone Baby Gone, and Greg Kinnear. From the article:

Damon plays an officer who teams with a senior CIA officer to search for evidence of weapons of mass destruction. Ryan will play a New York Times foreign correspondent sent to Iraq to investigate the U.S. government’s WMD claims. Kinnear plays another CIA officer. Antoni Corone has been cast as a colonel.

Much has been made of the failure of Iraq-themed films to gain any traction at the box office; whether they’re framed as thoughtful character studies (In the Valley of Elah, $6.5 million box office) or popcorn action flicks (The Kingdom, $47 million), audiences seem to tune them out with equal enthusiasm. Still, Greengrass has experience turning headlines into movies — he directed United 93, after all — and his last project with Damon was a little picture called The Bourne Ultimatum.

Source: Variety

There’s action and drama to be found this week, and not just with your family at Christmas dinner. And if you couldn’t make it out of town for the holidays, you’re in luck; this week’s DVDs take you to Paris (Rush Hour 3), Saudi Arabia (The Kingdom) and London (Eastern Promises).


Rush Hour 3

Tomatometer: 20%

It had been six years since we’d last seen Chris Tucker cracking jokes and Jackie Chan cracking heads on the same screen. This past summer director Brett Ratner brought them back together for the third installment of the Rush Hour franchise. Although critical reception for the series has been lukewarm at best (Rush Hour scored 57% and Rush Hour 2 scored 50% on the Tomatometer), the critics were really unhappy with this one, even in spite of appearances by the legendary Max Von Sydow and Roman Polanski.
 



The Kingdom

Tomatometer: 52%

Director Peter Berg assembled an extremely talented cast (Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Chris Cooper, and Jeremy Piven, Jason Bateman) for his film’s blend of action and Middle Eastern political drama. Many critics lauded the performances and the action scenses, but most agreed that the film falters under the weight of formulaic plot and muddled politics.

 


Eastern Promises

Tomatometer: 88%

After a very successful collaboration in 2005 on A History of Violence, David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortensen teamed up again for the highly acclaimed Eastern Promises. This harrowing tale of muder, deceit, and retribution among Eastern European mobsters living in London also stars Naomi Watts, and critics agreed that the film is a tightly-plotted, efficient, and compelling thriller. It was also nominated for three Golden Globes, including Best Picture and Best Actor (Mortensen).

 


The Brothers Solomon


Tomatometer: 16%

Casting Arrested Development’s Will Arnett and SNL’s Will Forte in the same film should have worked out better than this. But most critics thought the film stretched the idea of the man-child (two of them) way too far.

Score another one for the rumor mill: Peter Berg has been confirmed as the director of a new Dune.

Ain’t It Cool News floated Berg’s name back in October, but the first official word on the subject came from MTV Movies, where Berg was quoted as saying his involvement is “a done deal” and that “if it weren’t for the writer’s strike, we’d be in it right now.”

Fan reaction to the Berg rumor was far from unanimously positive, but skeptics should be happy to hear that he calls himself a “huge fan of the book,” and plans on making his Dune “big big big.”

While waiting for the Dune script, Berg may wind up helming the oft-discussed Edwin A. Salt, the Tom Cruise spy thriller that’s been waiting for a director for months.

With an average Tomatometer rating of 54%, Berg has shown a remarkable ability to wow the critics (Friday Night Lights, 82 percent) as well as annoy them (The Kingdom, 52 percent). David Lynch‘s take on the Frank Herbert books — which Berg says “left the door wide open for a remake” — divided critics, garnering a 63 percent Tomatometer rating. (Roger Ebert called it “a real mess, an incomprehensible, ugly, unstructured, pointless excursion into the murkier realms of one of the most confusing screenplays of all time.”)

What say you, RT faithful? Do you like Berg’s chances, or are you convinced he’ll fail? And most importantly, who do you like to star in this thing? We’ve undoubtedly got years of gossip and speculation ahead of us, so why not start now?

Source: MTV Movies

Just when you think awards season can’t get any awards-ier, here come two more sets of nominations!

First up, we have Film Independent’s Spirit Awards, which have earned the distinction of being granted a strike waiver from the Writers Guild of America. Rainn Wilson — otherwise known as Dwight Schrute on NBC’s The Office — will host and help write the ceremony, which airs on IFC February 23. As The Hollywood Reporter notes, this “raises the possibility that the informal Spirit ceremony, which takes place in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica, could upstage the 80th annual Academy Awards.” A partial list of the Spirit nominees follows, with Tomatometers in parentheses:

Best Feature:
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (95 percent)
I’m Not There (81 percent)
Juno (94 percent)
A Mighty Heart (77 percent)
Paranoid Park (62 percent)

Best Director:
Todd Haynes, I’m Not There (81 percent)
Tamara Jenkins, The Savages (89 percent)
Jason Reitman, Juno
Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Gus Van Sant, Paranoid Park

Best Screenplay:
Ronald Harwood, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Tamara Jenkins, The Savages
Fred Parnes & Andrew Wagner, Starting Out in the Evening (82 percent)
Adrienne Shelly, Waitress (89 percent)
Mike White, Year of the Dog (70 percent)

Best Female Lead:
Angelina Jolie, A Mighty Heart
Sienna Miller, Interview (57 percent)
Ellen Page, Juno
Parker Posey, Broken English (63 percent)
Wei Tang, Lust, Caution (64 percent)

Best Supporting Female:
Cate Blanchett, I’m Not There
Anna Kendrick, Rocket Science (85 percent)
Jennifer Jason Leigh, Margot at the Wedding (56 percent)
Tamara Podemski, Four Sheets to the Wind (100 percent)
Marisa Tomei, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (88 percent)

Best Male Lead:
Pedro Castaneda, August Evening
Don Cheadle, Talk to Me (81 percent)
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Savages
Tony Leung, Lust, Caution
Frank Langella, Starting Out in the Evening

Best Supporting Male:
Chiwetel Ejiofor, Talk to Me
Marcus Carl Franklin, I’m Not There
Kene Holliday, Great World of Sound (86 percent)
Irrfan Khan, The Namesake (85 percent)
Steve Zahn, Rescue Dawn (91 percent)

Best Cinematography:
Mott Hupfel, The Savages
Janusz Kaminski, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Milton Kam, Vanaja (81 percent)
Mihai Malaimare, Jr., Youth Without Youth (33 percent)
Rodrigo Prieto, Lust, Caution

Best Documentary:
Crazy Love (78 percent)
Lake of Fire (94 percent)
Manufactured Landscapes (83 percent)
The Monastery
The Prisoner Or: How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair (86 percent)

Best Foreign Film:
4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days (93 percent)
The Band’s Visit (100 percent)
Lady Chatterly (74 percent)
Once (98 percent)
Persepolis (97 percent)

Meanwhile, the nominees for the 14th annual SAG Awards — also granted a WGA waiver for its ceremony, set to take place January 27 at the Shrine Expo in Los Angeles — have been announced. Film nominees follow below, with Tomatometers in parentheses:

Male Actor in a Leading Role:
George Clooney, Michael Clayton (90 percent)
Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood (93 percent)
Ryan Gosling, Lars and the Real Girl (78 percent)
Emile Hirsch, Into The Wild (82 percent)
Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises (88 percent)

Female Actor in a Leading Role:
Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth: The Golden Age (34 percent)
Julie Christie, Away From Her (94 percent)
Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose (74 percent)
Angelina Jolie, A Mighty Heart
Ellen Page, Juno

Male Actor in a Supporting Role:
Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (75 percent)
Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men (95 percent)
Hal Holbrook, Into the Wild
Tommy Lee Jones, No Country for Old Men
Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton

Female Actor in a Supprting Role:
Cate Blanchett, I’m Not There
Ruby Dee, American Gangster (79 percent)
Catherine Keener, Into the Wild
Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone (93 percent)
Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton

Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture:
3:10 to Yuma (87 percent): Christian Bale, Russell Crowe, Peter Fonda, Gretchen Mol, Dallas Roberts, Vinessa Shaw, Ben Foster, Alan Tudyk, Logan Lerman

American Gangster: Armand Assante, Josh Brolin, Russell Crowe, Ruby Dee, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Idris Elba, Cuba Gooding Jr., Carla Gugino, John Hawkes, Ted Levine, Joe Morton, Lymari Nadal, John Ortiz, RZA, Yul Vasquez, Denzel Washington

Hairspray (92 percent): Nikki Blonsky, Amanda Bynes, Paul Dooley, Zac Efron, Allison Janney, Elijah Kelley, James Marsden, Michelle Pfeiffer, Queen Latifah, Brittany Snow, Jerry Stiller, John Travolta, Christopher Walken

Into the Wild: Brian Dierker, Marcia Gay Harden, Emile Hirsch, Hal Holbrook, William Hurt, Catherine Keener, Jena Malone, Kristen Stewart, Vince Vaughn

No Country for Old Men: Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Garrett Dillahunt, Tess Harper, Woody Harrelson, Tommy Lee Jones, Kelly MacDonald

Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture:
300 (60 percent)
The Bourne Ultimatum (93 percent)
I Am Legend (63 percent)
The Kingdom (52 percent)
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (45 percent)

All the happy waiver vibes at the Spirits and SAGs stands in marked contrast to the budding panic surrounding the Golden Globes, where confusion over whether the ceremony will be attended by any stars — or whether it’ll even go on — is wreaking havoc on party planners’ year-end schedules.

As Variety reports, the growing consensus is that the ceremony won’t happen, but — in the words of an unnamed studio executive — “Nobody wants to be the first person to drop out.” From the article:

“Everyone is calling around trying to find out what everyone is doing,” one planner said.

“It’s all going to come down to: Can the Globes come up with a feasible plan that the talent is comfortable with and don’t have to cross a picket line?” another planner said. “And I don’t know what that is.”

Source: Spirit Awards
Source: Hollywood Reporter (Spirits waiver story)
Source: Hollywood Reporter (SAG Awards)
Source: Variety (Globes story)

Eric Charbonneau/WireImage.com

While many recent films concerning Iraq have taken a political stance, writer Matthew Michael Carnahan sought to do something different. The result, this week’s Lions for Lambs, attempts to engage the audience in as non-partisan a debate as you’ll find in Hollywood. Whereas Carnahan agrees he doesn’t like the idea of war, he tries to make the case for how we can pull out, and why it is important for the American public to be less apathetic towards the war and to do something.

Carnahan is the brother of Narc director Joe Carnahan, to whom he attributes much of his success. Yet it is hard to say Hollywood has treated him like the nepotistic brother; his first film, The Kingdom (which also involved the war on terror) was an $80 million affair directed by Peter Berg, and another political potboiler script, State of Play, is currently filming under director Kevin MacDonald (The Last King of Scotland). Remarkably, Carnahan began writing Lions for Lambs as a stage play before the script fell into the hands of actor-director Robert Redford; the rest, as they say, is history. Soon the busy scribe will pen a big-screen version of The Zebra Murders, about the racially-motivated serial killings in 1970s San Francisco, and collaborate with his brother on an adaptation of James Ellroy’s White Jazz.

RT caught up with Carnahan at a roundtable in Los Angeles, touching base on the war on terror, the apathetic nature of youth, and what it means to write a call to action.

How did Robert Redford get attached to direct?

Matthew Michael Carnahan: It was really a Hail Mary. I had heard it was going to Redford and thought it would be wonderful if he even flipped past the title page. And then it came down that he had actually read the whole thing and responded to it. And then I got a message from him and saved it for as long as I could: “Matt, Bob Redford. Let’s talk about this.”

With The Kingdom and now Lions for Lambs, do you have any more projects involving political drama or the war on terror?

MMC: Nothing right now. Because I really do feel like I’m tapped out. I’ve said pretty much everything I can say. And I don’t even know if at the end of the day it’s going to make much of a difference, but just from the sheer fact that I was able to write it down and get it out there, I’ll take it. But I am writing a story called the Zebra Murders, a true story in San Francisco about a mass murder that nobody really remembers. It was lost in the Watergate, Vietnam, Zodiac kind of time. And the one I’m supposed to write after that is Guest of the Ayatollah, which is the Bowden book on the Iran hostage crisis. Which is really one of my earliest memories.


And if/when the WGA strike goes?

MMC: Who knows when I’ll get to it?

Where did the idea come for Lions for Lambs? From your own indifference or a consciousness of the indifference of others?

MMC: Both! My indifference is the thing that pushed the button. I’m the first to rant and rave about fighting a war on two fronts. I mean that’s the last thing you want to do. And here we are fighting on two fronts in a war where the only thing that separates those two fronts is a country (Iran) that might despise us more than the two countries we’re fighting in. And yet with all of that I never did anything about it.

I’m a graduate of USC and searching the channels for the SC game, and I past a news report about a Humvee that had flipped into a river. And four or five American soldiers had drowned. I thought, what an awful way to die, when you’re at war and you die in what is essentially a traffic accident. And I couldn’t get past it fast enough, because God forbid it ruin my experience of watching the game. And it hit me that I’m just as much a part of the problem as everyone I like to point the finger at.

Would you say this movie is a call to action?

MMC: I can’t really come up with a better way to put it. A call to action in so far as I wrote this down to see if it would resonate with anybody else.


But then don’t you face the same thing that that news report did, with people passing over it?

MMC: Hopefully [when] you get three of the biggest movie stars alive involved, maybe that will trump at least some of that intransigence to go to yet another movie about the middle east and the war on terror.

So then if it’s a call to action, what’s the “action”?

MMC: To make this war, and the loss of American lives… and the fact that four thousand of my countrymen…the fact that they are dying and it’s not a part of our daily lives. That it’s not a daily cognition on my part that as we are having this discussion there are people a lot younger than us fighting and dying and going through some of the most terrifying moments imaginable. Basically I just wanted us in our daily lives to become cognizant of that.

What were some of the biggest difficulties you came across in writing?

MMC: The biggest challenge was having originally written it as a stage play. And the more I started to write the military scenes, particularly the helicopter scenes, I realized there’s not a stage in existence that could do that justice. I kept visualizing the scene in Rushmore. (Laughs) And I think when you watch it, it still feels like a stage play. And whether or not that’s good or bad I don’t know. I just didn’t know how to get into those subjects without talking.


Was the Todd character [played by Andrew Garfield] anything like you at that age?

MMC: It was completely autobiographical. That Todd character is me in college. I had the idea early on… that I could do less and still get by. I wish I had a teacher that put his foot in my back side. Maybe I would have listened.

Who would you most like to see this movie? Who was it made for?

MMC: Students. And the test screenings we did all over the country at universities went extremely well. And now it’s just a matter of, can we get them in there to see it?

What do you think the response of the administration will be?

MMC: Frankly, I don’t really care. I don’t want to piss people off, just to piss them off. I wanted to talk about these questions in the most balanced way I possibly can.

Lions for Lambs hits theaters Friday.

We’re just a few days away from the Writers Guild strike deadline, and things aren’t looking good.

Calendar Live reports on the climate behind the scenes in Hollywood during the days leading up to November 1, and unsurprisingly, it isn’t pretty. As Angels & Demons writer Akiva Goldsman is quoted as saying, “It’s pencil down until midnight on Halloween…it’s unavoidably intensely stressful, but it’s the way of the world right now.”

Why all the stress? Well, if you’ve been following along for the last few months, you already know that the Writers Guild’s contract with the studios expires November 1, and negotiations haven’t been going well — which is why seemingly every third story we publish here at least references the impending strike. Last week, the Guild voted to authorize a work stoppage if a new contract isn’t worked out before the deadline, and now, as Goldsman says, “Everybody is living in the impending doom.”

This is uncharted territory for many of the Guild’s members — two-thirds of whom weren’t members in 1988, the last time writers staged a full-scale walk-out. As a result, according to Calendar Live, a lot of last-minute details are being figured out:

Both sides of the divide are busy parsing the recently issued WGA strike rules, which are geared to make it as difficult as possible to continue shooting films without writers. For instance, members would be barred from finessing dialogue to suit an actor, changing stage directions because a location got rained out, or even changing a beverage from Coke to vitamin water because the proper product clearance couldn’t be secured.

The article goes on to discuss some of the high-profile films likely to be impacted by the strike, including G.I. Joe — which is apparently undergoing rewrites despite not having been officially greenlighted — and a host of others:

“G.I Joe” is hardly the only potential 2009 blockbuster rushing to meet the strike deadline. Oscar winner Paul Haggis is plowing through James Bond 22. Since Oct. 1, Oscar nominee Scott Frank has been holed up with director Shawn Levy trying to pound out a shootable version of “Night at the Museum 2.” For the last two weeks, Billy Ray has been polishing up “State of Play,” a political thriller starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton that has already passed through the hands of “The Kingdom‘s” Matthew Carnahan, “The Bourne Identity‘s” Tony Gilroy and “The Queen‘s” Peter Morgan.

Just last week, 20th Century Fox issued an announcement that the studio was laying claim to May 1, 2009, as the release date for its big-budget sci-fi spinoff “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” starring Hugh Jackman. This was just days after it issued an urgent SOS to the major agencies looking for a quick rewrite person. Another 2009 movie recently looking for polishes was “Four Christmases,” the Vince VaughnReese Witherspoon holiday yarn. The studios pay top “script doctors” $250,000 to $300,000 per week to polish screenplays.

Meanwhile, actors and directors are keeping a close eye on the writers’ strike; not only does it affect their work directly, but it sets a precedent for their strikes, which are likely to occur next summer, when the Screen Actors Guild and Directors Guild of America see their contracts expire. The SAG wasted no time in issuing guidelines for a writers’ strike to its members. The Hollywood Reporter has shared portions of a message sent from SAG leadership to its members:

We continue to be hopeful that an amicable and equitable conclusion to their negotiations will occur…However, now that (an) overwhelming majority of the WGA membership has voted the authority to call a strike if the talks fail to produce a deal, it is appropriate that we discuss with you what the ramifications of a work stoppage would mean to you (and) your continuing to work if a strike becomes a reality.

The Reporter goes on to detail those ramifications in further detail, which we’ll spare you here — suffice it to say that everyone in town is battening down the hatches. To read more, click on the links, below!

Source: Calendar Live
Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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

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


30 Days of Night

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


The Comebacks

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


Reese Witherspoon and Peter Sarsgaard in Rendition

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


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


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

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


Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour

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

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

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

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

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

A few weeks ago, we discussed a CHUD report about Frank Herbert’s Dune possibly heading back to the big screen. Now, according to Ain’t It Cool News, some of the details surrounding the project might be starting to fill in.

In the CHUD report, Herbert’s grandson was quoted as saying:

“We’re getting VERY close to a deal. Heard that news today…although only rumor, I’ve heard that ‘someone’ at the studio wants Dune reallllly bad and has been a fan of the novel for ‘years.’ They’re not saying who this is (and it might just be hype) but I’m holding out hope that whoever this might be is a big enough fan that he/she will do the book justice. Supposedly it’s some director.”

According to AICN‘s Merrick, a source named Checkyr has shared the possible identity of the studio — and the “someone” — in question. All the typical rumor caveats apply, but we’ll just cut right to the chase. From AICN:

In short, Checkyr says the studio in question is Paramount…which is aggressively building a formidable arsenal of franchises via TRANSFORMERS, JJ AbramsSTAR TREK re-deployment, and spin-off potential built into INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL.

And the director in question? Writer/Director Peter Berg. He directed FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, THE RUNDOWN (hooray for monkey love!), and…more recently…THE KINGDOM.

AICN‘s commenters have already jumped all over this rumor — and judging from their comments’ subjects, they aren’t exactly overjoyed with the news. What say you, RT faithful? Is Berg’s name a killing word?

Source: Ain’t It Cool News

Ben Stiller‘s new comedy


The Heartbreak Kid
stumbled in its opening frame and
forced the overall box office to plunge to the worst October weekend in eight
years. Incumbent family comedy
The Game Plan
posted a strong sophomore hold and
retained its position as North America’s most popular film. But two other new
releases did nothing to energize the multiplexes as the top ten films together
grossed what just the top three pictures did a year ago on this same weekend.
The calendar may say October but the dismal box office grosses make it seem like
September never ended.

Surprising industry watchers once again, Disney’s
The Game Plan
held onto the
number one spot for a second time grossing an estimated $16.3M for a slim 29%

decline. That gave
The Rock‘s first entry into the world of kid’s movies a solid
$42.8M in only ten days allowing the PG-rated comedy to already surpass the
total
grosses of his last two films

Gridiron Gang
($38.4M) and
Doom
($28M). All three pics were number one openers. Last weekend, many expected
Game Plan to
debut in second place behind
The Kingdom
while this weekend
Heartbreak was
widely seen as debuting on top. In both cases the quarterback daddy flick
swiped the top spot and with little family competition in the weeks ahead, a
trip to the $100M club could be in the works.

 


Disney is still benefiting from the fall season’s shocking lack of product for
families. For the third consecutive weekend, seven of the top ten films carried
R ratings
giving parents few other options for their children. The studio has virtually no
foes to deal with until
Jerry Seinfeld‘s animated pic
Bee Movie hits theaters on

November 2. Game Plan‘s second weekend drop was even smaller than the 40%
decline that the studio’s
Vin Diesel family film
The Pacifier experienced in
March 2005 on its way to a stunning $113.1M tally. The Game Plan now looks
certain to surpass the $90.5M of 2002’s The
Scorpion King
to become The
Rock’s highest grossing film in a lead role.

 



The weekend’s big disappointment came from the Ben Stiller-Farrelly brothers
collaboration

The Heartbreak Kid
which debuted in second place with an
estimated $14M from 3,229 theaters. Averaging a mediocre $4,345 per site, the
R-rated film marked the first reteaming of the actor with the filmmakers since
the
1998 sleeper smash

There’s Something About Mary
which grossed a stunning $176.5M
that year. Heartbreak was universally expected to open at number one
and was thought to have the potential to capture at least $20M in opening
weekend business for DreamWorks and Paramount. The budget was more than $60M,

according to the studios.

 



For Stiller, Heartbreak‘s opening was half the size of the bows of his other
recent comedies like
Night at the Museum
($30.4M),
Starsky and Hutch
($28.1M), and Along Came Polly ($27.7M). Those were PG or PG-13 films but the
comedian was still expected to draw a large crowd this weekend. However
for the Farrelly brothers, the performance was better than the $12.4M of their
last pic
Fever
Pitch
in 2005 and the $9.4M of 2003’s
Stuck
on You
. Reviews were

mostly negative which is par for the course with these types of comedies.

 



The Heartbreak Kid put Stiller’s box office power to the test and the results
were discouraging. Most of the comedian’s hits feature other big stars to help
bring in
a paying audience. This time Stiller was the only major name and audiences did
not bite. In fact the launch was very similar to that of rival R-rated romantic
comedy
Good Luck Chuck which debuted to $13.7M and a better $5,227 average just two
weeks ago. That film offered some star wattage from both genders with
Dane Cook and
Jessica Alba.


Universal’s Middle East drama
The Kingdom

dropped 46% in its second weekend to an estimated $9.3M and placed third. The
Jamie Foxx pic has taken in
$31.4M in ten days and should find its way to $50-55M. Sony’s action-horror
sequel
Resident Evil: Extinction
fell 47% to an estimated $4.3M and pushed its

17-day cume to $43.5M.
 




 

Failing to find an audience on opening weekend was the fantasy adventure film
The Seeker: The Dark is Rising
which bowed to an estimated $3.7M from a
very wide 3,141 theaters for a dismal $1,186 average. The PG-rated pic from the
new venture between Fox and Walden Media targeted young boys but got
nowhere at the box office. Seeker‘s debut was even worse than the $5M launch of
Dragon Wars from just two weeks ago which went after the same audience.
But thanks to a sluggish marketplace, Seeker‘s weak opening still landed the
film in the top five even though its nearly $40M budget will take much time to
recoup.


The Lionsgate comedy
Good Luck Chuck  grossed an estimated $3.5M, off 44%, for a
$29.1M sum. The dance drama
Feel the Noise
delivered a seventh place
debut with an estimated $3.4M from just 1,015 theaters. Averaging a mild $3,350
per site, the PG-13 film played to urban teens and came from the new
Sony/BMG film division.
 



A trio of R-rated films rounded out the top ten. The long-lasting Western
3:10 to Yuma
once again enjoyed the smallest decline in the top ten sliding only 28%
to
an estimated $3M in its fifth frame for a solid cume of $48.6M for Lionsgate.
The Warner Bros. vigilante thriller
The Brave One
dropped 39% to an estimated

$2.3M giving
Jodie Foster
and her gun $34.3M to date.
Mr. Woodcock
claimed the
ten spot for New Line with an estimated $2M, down 31%, and a new total of
$22.3M.
 


The weekend’s most notable fireworks came in limited release as the increasingly
crowded arthouse scene saw some red hot numbers from awards hopefuls.

George Clooney
led the way with his legal thriller



Michael Clayton
which bowed
in only 15 theaters but grossed an estimated $704,000 for an astounding
$46,933 average. Powered by strong reviews and starpower from the Oscar-winning
actor, the R-rated film is hoping to keep the momentum going when it
expands nationally on Friday into more than 2,400 theaters.


A pair of acclaimed filmmakers enjoyed encouraging sophomore expansions with
their latest efforts and delivered the next best averages.
Wes Anderson‘s comedy
The Darjeeling
Limited
widened from two New York houses to 19 locations in seven
markets and grossed an estimated $553,000 for a powerful $29,099
average. Fox Searchlight will continue to open in more cities over the next two
weekends before going nationwide into more than 800 playdates at the end of the

month. Ang Lee‘s NC-17 romantic thriller
Lust, Caution also held up very well as
it entered new cities. The Focus release went from a solo Manhattan house to
17 venues and collected an estimated $369,000 for a potent $21,696 average.
Totals stand at $$477,000 for Lust and $781,000 for Darjeeling.

 




Also expanding and still generating good averages in their third frames were
Sean Penn‘s
Into the Wild
and
Brad Pitt‘s

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
. Paramount Vantage widened
Wild from 33 to 135 houses and
grossed an estimated $1.3M for an impressive $9,593 average. Warner
Bros. made a leap from five to 61 locations with Jesse and made off with an
estimated $408,000 for a respectable $6,689 average. Cumes are $2.5M and
$746,000 respectively and each film will continue to add more cities and
theaters in the weeks ahead.
 



Not faring well in its national expansion was the drama The
Jane Austen Book Club
which grossed an estimated $1.5M from 1,232 sites for a weak $1,247
average. Last weekend, the Sony Classics release averaged $4,700 from only 41
venues. Total sits at $2M.



Three films fell out of the top ten over the weekend. The Focus mob thriller
Eastern Promises

dipped 33% to an estimated $2M giving the
David Cronenberg

David
Cronenberg
pic

$14.3M overall. A decent $20M final seems likely which would put it about
one-third below the $31.5M of the director’s last film
A History of Violence

which
also starred
Viggo Mortensen
.

Sony’s Beatles-themed musical feature
Across the
Universe
continued to have
great legs easing a mere 8% in its fourth outing to an estimated $1.9M. With $8M

in the bank from limited release, the Julie Taymor-directed pic goes wide on
Friday into more than 700 sites. Universe joins the music-themed films

Hairspray
and
Once
as movies with some of the best legs at the box office over the last
several months. But it was a sad tune for Universal’s teen comedy
Sydney White

which tumbled 49% to an estimated $1.3M for a weak total of just $10.2M. Look
for a poor $13M finish.
 


The top ten films grossed a disappointing estimate of $61.9M which was down a
substantial 37% from last year when
The
Departed
debuted in first place with $26.9M; and off 23% from 2005 when


Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
opened in the top spot with
$16M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Jamie Foxx - Chris Weeks/WireImage.comJamie Foxx has had a long career as an actor, musician and comedian, but it was with 2004’s Collateral, which was swiftly followed by his performance as Ray Charles in Ray, that sent the thirty nine year-old into orbit, securing him an Oscar nomination for the former and and the golden statuette itself for the latter.

He sings, dances, acts, does impressions and is turning his hand to producing, and when he’s not doing all of that he’s probably finding the cure for cancer or working on world peace or something. So while he makes the rest of the populous look bad, he does it while entertaining, and his CV is making room this month for new entry The Kingdom in which he stars alongside Jennifer Garner and Chris Cooper in an action adventure about a team of FBI agents sent to the Middle East to investigate a terrorist attack on a US colony.

Rotten Tomatoes caught up with Foxx exclusively on the eve of the film’s release to find out more.

The Kingdom is a continuation of your relationship with Michael Mann; is that what made you want to do the film?

Jamie Foxx: Of course. I think that Michael Mann and I are in it for the long haul, you know. This movie is just incredible subject matter. It’s very right now, but the challenge is how do you do it entertainingly? How do you do it with a flair? I think Peter Berg executes it well. It’s not a political movie, it’s not one hand versus the other hand and the other hand wins: it’s a political story. And how he got the performances out of all of us – Ashraf in particular – it just breaks your heart man. It makes the movie worth it.

And the action just kicks ass right at the end. It’s an action-adventure for a reason. A lot of times you see action just happening but to see us motivated to get there, to get to that point, it just works.

Michael seems to understand the balance between entertainment and intelligence. It’s not a big dumb action flick, and it’s not a small, smart political flick either; it’s both of them at the same time.

JF: I think that’s Michael Mann and Peter Berg just taking on this huge beast. Listen, it’s a tough sell right now. People look at the commercial movies and go, “Wow, is that the same thing again?” To be able to do it, and execute it and come to the theatre and be like, “Wow,” that’s why you do it, man. We’ll get to all the popcorn and the fluff and stuff and have fun with that, but something like this goes a long way.

This is also another role to add to an already varied career; is it important for you to be playing new characters every time?

JF: I think it’s important and I think you really have to shun some of the offers you get to play the same character. Ellen Barkin said to me, right during the Oscars for Ray, “if you chase the money, I’ll kill you.” Dead-serious. I said, “What do you mean?” She said, “You know what I mean; if you chase that goofy script, that dumb movie, I’ll kill you.” So you do sit on your hands sometimes because you want to have the one-hundred million dollar box-office thing but if you can find that and at the same time protect that art that you’ve started, that’s a beautiful thing.

Jamie Foxx

You’re also a sickeningly multi-talented man; how do you balance the music and the movies?

JF: I think you have to be humble in it. A lot of times it’s overwhelming because people will say, “OK… Enough…” You become overexposed. So what you do is you take time, pull back, do a record or do a movie where you’re not your persona. So it doesn’t look like you’re banging on your chest and saying, “Look at me, I’m working out, I’m me,” etc. When you do a record, you do a real record.

The record we’re trying to do now; people have sent songs in and they talk about, “I’m an Oscar winner, I’m this, I’m that.” That’s completely the wrong thing to do because now you’re standing on celebrity as opposed to doing a record. Say if you’re doing it about a young lady and you’re singing about what she needs going into her life.

So that’s what you have to do; you have to go backwards and be as humble as you can and as grounded as you can when you’re trying all of these things.

Do you think there’s more to add to the portfolio? You’ve been producing recently; would you be interested in directing?

JF: To be honest, I don’t know if I could direct. I’ve got A.D.D., I’m so hyperactive I don’t know if I could do it. No, the producing I like because I love giving suggestions and things like that, but the directing, no, I think Peter Berg and Michael Mann do such a great job they don’t need me getting into that.

Jamie Foxx

What’s next for you?

JF: I’m doing The Soloist with Joe Wright and Robert Downey Jr., and then hopefully the album will be coming out in 2008 and I can come back to London and perform and do some things and really get that international flavour. Put a scarf on and play the piano, you know what I’m saying, and really get it!

Following a six-week streak of R-rated films topping the charts, The Rock‘s family comedy The Game Plan led the box office last weekend. Now, adult fare comes back to claim the crown with the new Ben Stiller comedy The Heartbreak Kid which is aiming for an easy number one debut. Also opening nationally are the fantasy adventure The Seeker: The Dark is Rising and the music-filled drama Feel the Noise. With the Columbus Day holiday falling on Monday, some students will have extra time off making for a solid start for the month of October.

Almost a decade after There’s Something About Mary became a sleeper smash, directors Peter and Bobby Farrelly reunite with Stiller for another raunchy relationship comedy with The Heartbreak Kid. A remake of the 1972 film written by Neil Simon, the Paramount release stands as another number one hit inherited from the DreamWorks factory. The pic tells the story of a man who marries too early and then falls for another woman during his honeymoon. In the past year, the R-rated envelope-pushing comedies Borat, Knocked Up, and Superbad grossed nearly $400M in combined domestic box office proving that there is gold to be mined in this genre when films are made well and deliver the laughs that audiences want.

Plus star-driven comedies with major Hollywood faces routinely lure moviegoers away from the home and into the multiplexes. Heartbreak will probably not reach the $30.7M opening weekend figure of Knocked Up which had more buzz plus opened in June when most college students were out of school. But reviews so far have been quite good for this type of film so adults will certainly give it a try. And with so many dark and serious films about outlaws, vigilantes, and terrorists out there, audiences definitely want something light and funny right now. Opening in over 3,000 theaters, The Heartbreak Kid may debut with about $27M this weekend.


Ben Stiller and Malin Aklerman in The Heartbreak Kid

The time-travel adventure film The Seeker: The Dark is Rising heads into very wide release (possibly too wide) this weekend aiming for young boys in fantasy mode. Rated PG, the Fox release is based on the popular series of novels and will try to tap into a built-in audience of readers. Of course this is no Harry Potter and currently The Rock is doing a good job bringing in business from the lads so it will be an uphill battle at the box office. Overall buzz does not seem too strong so a huge crowd is not expected. Also there is no real starpower so the film will have to rely on special effects and fans of the literary property. Attacking 3,141 venues, The Seeker may generate around $9M over the weekend.


The Seeker

A Harlem rapper discovers Reggaeton music in Puerto Rico in the urban drama Feel the Noise from producer Jennifer Lopez. Sony is using her name prominently in the marketing which makes sense since there is not much starpower on screen. Latino and African-American youth are being targeted by the PG-13 film which should play mostly to a teen audience. The pic has a clear shot at this crowd since Seeker and The Game Plan skew younger and The Heartbreak Kid and The Kingdom will play older. The studio is trying to tap into the same audience that came out in surprisingly potent numbers for its past films like You Got Served and Stomp the Yard. Noise will open in half as many theaters and the buzz is a bit softer so the numbers will undoubtedly be smaller. Still an impressive average is likely. Stepping into 1,000 locations, Feel the Noise might bow to around $5M.


Feel the Noise

Opening in just 15 theaters in a handful of cities is the George Clooney legal thriller Michael Clayton from Warner Bros. In the R-rated pic, the Oscar-winning actor plays a hotshot attorney who is called in to manage a crisis when his firm’s top litigator suffers a breakdown while defending a top client. Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton, and Sydney Pollack co-star. Reviews have been strong and the studio hopes that buzz from a few select markets will spread when Clayton expands nationally next weekend. But a crowded marketplace for serious adult dramas will make things tough.


George Clooney in Michael Clayton

The Rock‘s kidpic The Game Plan delivered a powerful debut last weekend and with little competition from new releases, plus the Columbus Day holiday, a solid hold should result. Seeker will distract a few young boys, but overall it shouldn’t be that much of a threat. A decline of 30% could occur giving the Disney hit around $16M for the session boosting the ten-day cume to an impressive $42M.

The Middle East drama The Kingdom has been ranking number one during the week since kids are busy with school and less able to see Game Plan. Universal should see a 45% drop to about $9.5M which would put the Jamie Foxx actioner at $32M after ten days. Look for Resident Evil: Extinction to slide 50% to roughly $4M leaving Sony with $43M to date.

LAST YEAR: October kicked off with a bang with the top spot debut of Martin Scorsese‘s The Departed with $26.9M. Warner Bros. went on to gross $132.4M domestically and $288M worldwide plus scored four Oscars including the coveted Best Picture statue. Opening in second place with $18.5M was Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning which was the first of three horror sequels that month. New Line found its way to $39.5M. Sony’s toon hit Open Season dropped to third with $15.6M in its sophomore frame. The Lionsgate comedy Employee of the Month bowed in fourth with $11.4M on its way to $28.4M. The Guardian rounded out the top five with $9.6M in its second weekend.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

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