Before he would get to utter the words “Bond, James Bond” to the delight of millions, Daniel Craig built up a durable if not spectacular resume, showing up in a range of films from the first Angelina Jolie Tomb Raider to A Kid In King Arthur’s Court. As the sniveling son of mob boss Paul Newman in Road to Perdition, Craig was able to make an impact with a broad audience in a film that already had plenty for us to look at, including Conrad L. Hall’s rain-drenched cinematography and a rare anti-hero turn from Tom Hanks.
By 2005, Craig was on the cusp of a major breakthrough with a co-starring role in Steven Spielberg’s Munich, and crime flick Layer Cake, essentially a stylish and gritty feature-length audition tape to play Agent 007. The following year, he and GoldenEye director Martin Campbell launched Casino Royale, a rousing and hard-nosed crowdpleaser revealing a James Bond for a new cynical generation. He’s since reprised the role three more times with Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, and Spectre, and when he returns in 2020 with No Time to Die, Craig will have the longest consecutively tenured Bond in film history.
Of course, when you’re James Bond, every non-Bond role you take becomes something of an automatic sensation. Some roles, like Logan Lucky or David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo really demonstrate Craig’s range. Other films, like Dream House or The Invasion, are spectacular bombs. And the rest, along the lines of Cowboys & Aliens and The Golden Compass, are right in the mushy middle.
We know on which end of the spectrum Craig’s latest film, the Rian Johnson whodunit Knives Out, lands. (Hint: It’s his best-reviewed movie ever.) With No Time To Die‘s April 2020November 2020April 2021 October 2021 release now behind us, take a look back as we rank all Daniel Craig movies by Tomatometer!
Critics Consensus: While it strains credibility and isn't ultimately as profound as it might first appear, Enduring Love is still an intriguing thriller fueled by strong performances from Rhys Ifans and Daniel Craig.
Synopsis: A man (Rhys Ifans) obsesses over a science professor (Daniel Craig) who helped him save a boy in a runaway... [More]
Critics Consensus: High-octane fun that's smartly assembled without putting on airs, Logan Lucky marks a welcome end to Steven Soderbergh's retirement -- and proves he hasn't lost his ability to entertain.
Synopsis: West Virginia family man Jimmy Logan teams up with his one-armed brother Clyde and sister Mellie to steal money from... [More]
Critics Consensus:Casino Royale disposes of the silliness and gadgetry that plagued recent James Bond outings, and Daniel Craig delivers what fans and critics have been waiting for: a caustic, haunted, intense reinvention of 007.
Synopsis: After receiving a license to kill, British Secret Service agent James Bond (Daniel Craig) heads to Madagascar, where he uncovers... [More]
Movie remakes tend to get an automatic bad rap, but this time we’re putting some numbers behind it. Take the original’s Tomatometer rating, subtract by the remake’s number, and voila: the 24 worst movie remakes by Tomatometer!
New Line hopes to breathe some life into the North American box office with the launch of its pricey adventure film The Golden Compass which stands as the frame’s only new wide release. Directed by Chris Weitz (About a Boy), the PG-13 film aims to capture a large crowd including the family audience and fans of sci-fi and fantasy. Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, who proved in the summer flop The Invasion that their names only carry so much commercial weight, reunite to star in the effects-heavy film.
Working in its favor is the fact that all other studios have avoided programming their major offerings onto this weekend’s schedule. In fact it is quite rare to see two consecutive frames with only one national opener each. Media attention is concentrated on it this week and with multiplexes dumping their aging November flops, Compass will secure extra screens. The studio’s marketing push has been powerful and awareness is high which makes sense as New Line is hoping for a new fantasy franchise that can keep the cash rolling in for years to come. Teens and young adults who frequent the multiplexes the most should come out in solid numbers since they’ve seen every other worthy film already. Older adults will be a little harder to reach since holiday shopping is a major distraction on weekends right now plus reviews for Compass have not exactly been stellar.
Although the property will target many of the same folks who have dropped billions on fantasy smashes like The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and The Chronicles of Narnia, the source material is not as popular plus there is already backlash from some in the religious community for the anti-Christian material in the Philip Pullman books. Reaching the $65.6M opening of Narnia from this very weekend two years ago will be impossible. Instead, a debut closer to the $27.5M of Beowulf last month could be in order since there may be much overlap. Compass has more appeal for younger kids and females so a bigger bow should result. Opening in over 3,000 theaters, The Golden Compass might premiere to the tune of $33M this weekend.
Nicole Kidman in The Golden Compass
With most of the big boys taking the weekend off from releasing films wide, indie distribs will once again seize the opportunity to platform their end-of-year pics and begin limited runs for possible kudos contenders. By law, you can’t have an awards season without at least one costume drama so Focus Features joins forces with Keira Knightley with Atonement which bows on Friday in 26 sites. The R-rated period piece also stars James McAvoy and Vanessa Redgrave and has already grossed $31M overseas with over two-thirds of that total coming from the U.K. since its launch there in early September.
James McAvoy and Keira Knightley in Atonement
Fox Searchlight counters in seven theaters with its teen pregnancy comedy Juno starring Michael Cera, Jason Bateman, Jennifer Garner, and Ellen Page in the title role. The PG-13 coming-of-age pic opened on Wednesday in New York and Los Angeles and is director Jason Reitman‘s follow-up to Thank You For Smoking which grossed $24.8M for Fox Searchlight in the spring of 2006. Reviews have been strong across the board for both Juno and Atonement.
Ellen Page and Olivia Thirlby in Juno
After back to back stints of wearing the box office crown, the princess comedy Enchanted is now preparing to take a step back this weekend thanks to the arrival of Queen Kidman. The Disney hit will see some formidable competition for kids, but the overall drop should not be too large. A 35% slide to around $10.5M could result. That would give Enchanted a charming $83M after 19 days of play.
With girls lining up for Giselle and company, their brothers have been taking a historical adventure with the computer-animated action pic Beowulf which has been holding its own since its debut. Golden Compass will also be a threat since there is much audience overlap. But Beowulf‘s good legs suggest that a drop of 35% could be in order here as well. That would leave the Paramount project with about $5M pushing the cume up to $76M.
Sony’s holiday reunion film This Christmas and Fox’s assassin thriller Hitman both witnessed larger sophomore declines so a fall of 40% each should occur this weekend. Christmas would take in just under $5M for a $42M total while Hitman should bank $3.5M for a $36M sum.
LAST YEAR: Mel Gibson scored his second straight number one opening for a historical foreign language film he directed with Apocalypto which debuted on top with $15M. The Buena Vista release went on to capture a solid $50.9M. Three-time champ Happy Feet was bumped down to second with $12.9M in its fourth frame. Sony’s romantic comedy The Holiday bowed in third with $12.8M for Sony. The Cameron Diaz–Kate Winslet pic went on to gross $63.2M domestically and a stunning $200M worldwide. Studio stablemate Casino Royale slipped to fourth with $8.9M. Warner Bros. launched its action thriller Blood Diamond in fifth with a mediocre $8.6M on its way to $57.4M from North America and $171M globally. Opening in seventh was the studio’s other new wide release of the frame, the family comedy Unaccompanied Minors, with only $5.8M leading to a weak $16.6M final.
It seems that reports of Warner Bros. president of production Jeff Robinov’s misogyny were greatly exaggerated.
At least, that’s what Warner Bros. is saying. In a turn of events that surprises absolutely no one, Robinov and the studio issued denials yesterday, claiming that the rumors of Robinov issuing a “no more female-led movies” decree were fabricated. Among those leading the charge (and calls for a Warner Bros. boycott) were The Movie Blog, which received the following response from the studio:
WB Rep – “Mr. Robinov never made that statement, nor is it his policy.”
TMB – “So are you saying it is not now, nor will be Warner Bros. policy to stop producing films with female leads?”
WB Rep – “Correct. That is not our policy. A blogger (presumably Nikki Finke) made a statement without giving us the opportunity to first respond.”
TMB – “All right, that’s all I needed to know. Thank you for calling me.”
Nikki Finke, of course, is the proprietor of Deadline Hollywood Daily, where the Robinov rumor originally broke — a rumor Finke claims came to her from “three different producers.” Meanwhile, Robinov is doing damage control; in a post published at Variety last night, he is described as “offended” by the rumor, and defends his track record:
Robinov is currently in final negotiations for a Cameron Diaz picture. And he made aggressive bids to land both Peter Jackson‘s “The Lovely Bones” and the “Sex in the City” movie, but lost the deals to DreamWorks and New Line, respectively.
As for the claims that disappointing grosses from The Invasion and The Brave One convinced Robinov that women can’t lead movies, the article says:
Poor execution and bad timing at the end of the most recent horror cycle were part of the poor reception for the horrorific “The Reaping” and “The Invasion,” which both Kidman and co-star Daniel Craig refused to promote. As for Neil Jordan‘s brainy twist on the vigilante genre, “The Brave One,” Robinov said he is “proud of the movie,” which Foster continues to support around the world. “It’s tricky,” he said. “It may have been too rough for women, and we didn’t get the reviews we had expected.”
Action features starring women remain a hard sell for many moviegoers. But Robinov said he is still willing to put a femme star into an action role. “But, like any other movie, it has to be the right movie with the right actor and the right filmmaker at the right time,” he said.
The report also notes that “Robinov is still seeking the right script and star” for the long-in-development Wonder Woman feature, and cites Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, Nights in Rodanthe, Spring Breakdown, and the Kate Hudson romantic comedy Fool’s Gold as examples of his continued commitment to leading female roles.
A record summer box office ended on a high note
with a record Labor Day weekend led by Rob Zombie‘s new take on the horror
classic Halloween which scored the biggest opening ever for this holiday frame.
The R-rated creepfest grossed an estimated $31M over the four-day
Friday-to-Monday period for MGM and The Weinstein Co. from an ultrawide 3,472
theaters for a powerful $8,932 average. That was enough to slash through the
previous holiday best of $20.1M from 2005’s Transporter 2 by a stunning 54%.
Over the Friday-to-Sunday portion, the pic scored $26.5M and a $7,622 average.
The gross for the Michael Myers fright pic surged ahead of industry expectations
and ranked as the best horror opening since Saw III‘s three-day tally of $33.6M
from last Halloween.
Marking the end of summer and a time when students begin going back to school,
Labor Day weekend is typically the weakest of all the holiday weekends during
the year. But the overall summer movie season was anything but. The domestic box
office generated over $4 billion led by seven blockbusters that crossed the
$200M mark with four sailing past the $300M milestone. Both were new industry
Sony’s two-time champ
Superbad held up well in its third frame this weekend and grossed an
estimated $15.6M for a 18-day cume of $92.4M. Another comedy aimed at young
people, Balls of
Fury, opened in the third spot with an estimated $13.8M from 3,052
locations for a decent four-day average of $4,534. Since its Wednesday launch,
the ping pong pic has taken in $16.8M for Focus.
For the fourth consecutive weekend the threequels The Bourne Ultimatum and Rush
Hour 3 were back-to-back on the charts. The Matt Damon assassin smash took in an
estimated $13.2M for a total of $202.6M while the Jackie Chan–Chris Tucker
action-comedy dropped to an estimated $10.4M for a $122.2M sum. Bourne crossed
the $200M mark on Labor Day.
Following in sixth was Universal’s Mr. Bean’s Holiday with an estimated $8.1M
for $21.1M to date. The Nanny Diaries fell to an estimated $6.4M for MGM giving
the comedy just $16.5M in ten days. Kevin Bacon stumbled into eighth place with
his vigilante thriller Death Sentence which bowed to an estimated $5.2M from
1,822 sites for an average of only $2,854 for Fox.
Jet Li and Jason Statham followed in ninth with War which crumbled in its
sophomore frame to an estimated $5.1M giving Lionsgate $18M in ten days.
Paramount’s fairy tale adventure Stardust rounded out the top ten with an
estimated $3.9M for a $31.9M total.
Three films dropped out of the top ten over the weekend. The Simpsons Movie
laughed up an estimated $3.5M and boosted its sensational domestic haul to
$178.4M on its way to what should be a final tally of about $185M. Overseas, the
Fox smash broke through the $300M barrier this weekend and hopes to see its
global gross surge past $500M.
New Line’s hit musical Hairspray posted another strong performance banking an
estimated $3.5M over four days to raise its cume to $112.3M. A final domestic
gross of at least $120M seems likely. Not faring well was the Nicole Kidman
sci-fi thriller The Invasion which tumbled down to an estimated $1.5M for a poor
$14.1M total after 18 days. Paramount should end up snatching a miserable $16M.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $112.7M over four days (a new Labor Day
weekend record) which was up 26% from last year when Invincible remained in
first place with $15.4M in its second session; and up 23% from 2005 when Transporter 2 opened in the top spot with a then-record $20.1M.
Booze and babes were still in high demand as
the teen sex comedy
Superbad ruled the North American box office for the second straight
weekend despite the arrival of a handful of new releases. Most of the debuting
films were met with disappointing sales since ticket buyers spent their time and
money catching up on popular holdover titles which commanded the top three
The supercool kids of
Superbad remained the leaders of the pack with an estimated weekend
gross of $18M, falling 46% from last weekend. After ten days, the Sony smash has
taken in an impressive $68.6M and could be on its way to $120M or more. That
would give the raunchy hit a domestic gross nearly seven times its production
cost of $18M. Superbad is the first summer film to spend back-to-back
weekends at number one since Pirates of
the Caribbean: At World’s End which bowed over Memorial Day weekend in
May. Sony has now claimed the number one film nine times in 2007, more than any
Rising one spot to second place was Matt Damon‘s
latest assassin flick The Bourne Ultimatum
which slipped only 38% to an estimated $12.4M. It was the fourth best
fourth-weekend gross of any summer film this year after the threequel
triumvirate of Shrek the Third ($15.3M), Spider-Man 3($14.3M), and Pirates
($12.4M). With $185.1M in the bank for Universal, Bourne has now outgrossed
every James Bond film domestically (in nominal dollar terms), both previous Bourne films, and two of the three Mission: Impossible pics. Ultimatum is still
on track to hit the $200M mark by the end of Labor Day weekend and will give a
serious challenge to this decade’s top action films that are not driven by
special effects – Rush Hour 2 ($226.2M in 2001) and Mission: Impossible 2
($215.4M in 2000).
New Line’s action-comedy sequel Rush Hour 3 fell 43%
to an estimated $12.3M in its third mission. The Jackie Chan–Chris
Tucker threequel has collected $109M in 17 days and is on track to finish
In a tight race among new releases, the family film Mr. Bean’s Holiday
edged out the action film War
for fourth place. Universal’s G-rated comedy opened to an estimated $10.1M from
1,714 theaters for a solid $5,905 average. The Rowan Atkinson
starrer has already grossed a stellar $189M internationally. Debuting close
behind with an estimated $10M was the R-rated crime drama War which
averaged a mediocre $4,392 from 2,277 locations. Starring Jet Li and Jason Statham,
the Lionsgate release opened close to the numbers of the last films from the two
actors. Last September, Li’s Fearless bowed to
$10.6M and a $5,857 average while Statham’s Crank launched with
$10.5M over three days and a $4,158 average. Putting the two together did little
to broaden the audience, however.
MGM landed in sixth place with a disappointing opening for the comedy The Nanny Diaries
which grossed an estimated $7.8M. Playing in 2,629 theaters, the PG-13 pic based
on the popular novel averaged just $2,971 per site.
The year’s top-grossing non-rat toon The Simpsons Movie
dropped 36% to an estimated $4.4M in its fifth frame boosting the cume to
$173.4M for Fox. Paramount’s fantasy adventure Stardust grossed an
estimated $4M, off only 30%, for a total of $26.5M.
Moviegoers kept going back for more musical fun as New Line’s Hairspray dipped a
mere 23% in its sixth session to an estimated $3.5M and raised its overall cume
to $107.5M. Rounding out the top ten was the sci-fi flop The Invasion which
tumbled 47% in its second weekend to an estimated $3.1M. The Warner Bros.
release has taken in just $11.5M in ten days and should end with a miserable
Three national releases dumped into the late-August abyss debuted outside of the
top ten with weak results. Yari Film Group’s well-reviewed boxing drama Resurrecting
the Champ starring Samuel L.
Josh Hartnett opened with an estimated $1.8M from 1,605 theaters for a poor
$1,152 average. Universal’s Latino crime drama Illegal Tender
bowed to an estimated $1.4M from 512 sites for a mild $2,805 average. The most
miserable results came from the Jon Voight
film September Dawn
which grossed an estimated $600,000 from 850 playdates for an embarrassing $706
per-theater average for Slowhand Releasing.
In limited release, the Mandy Moore
got off to a moderate start collecting an estimated $24,000 from only four
venues for an average of $6,000 on its opening weekend for The Weinstein Co.
Three films dropped out of the top ten over the weekend.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix grossed an estimated $2.5M,
down 34%, lifting the domestic haul to $283.3M. Despite the midweek launch in
July, the fifth wizard pic should end up with a final take nearly identical to
the $290M taken in by the last installment
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire which had a Friday opening in
November which has been the most common type of launch for the franchise.
Buena Vista’s family film Underdog fell 42% to
an estimated $2.2M and put its sum at $36.6M. A $42-44M final seems likely. Adam Sandler‘s
latest comedy blockbuster I
Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry grossed an estimated $2.1M, down 42%,
and gave Universal a total of $114.3M to date. The comedian has now generated
$100M blockbusters over six consecutive years trailing only Tom Cruise whose
streak is currently at seven straight years. Look for Chuck to end its
run with roughly $120M.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $85.5M which was up 12% from last year
when Invincible opened in first place with $17M; and up 10% from 2005 when The
40-Year-Old Virgin remained in the top spot with $16.3M.
Last week, The Invasion,
starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, hit theaters, spinning a tale of a
world in which an epidemic strips everyday people of their emotions, creating fear in the hearts of the ininfected. Time will tell if The Invasion is remembered as a movie that
captured something about the way we live in the 2000s (though with its 21
percent Tomatometer score, that seems unlikely), but one thing is for certain:
It’s the latest in a long line of films that attempt to grapple with our
collective anxiety in uncertain times.
Perhaps, in this age of domestic spying and alleged sleeper cells, we’re more
anxious than ever. If nothing else, filmmakers have certainly found much to mine
from our collective angst; in 2007 alone, such varied films as The Bourne Ultimatum, Disturbia, The Lives Of
Others, Red Road,
and Civic Duty
have hit screens. Despite profoundly different settings and methods of
execution, what these films share is a sense of unease, be it in the form of
vast machinations exerting greater control over our lives, or a sneaking
suspicion that someone’s watching.
The cinema of paranoia is nothing new; you can expect moviemakers to tap into a
spirit of discontent. In fact, for one of the finest examples of how the movies
can depict a society torn apart by fear, you have to go all the way back to the
birth of the sound era. Fritz Lang‘s M, made in
Germany only a few years before the Nazis took power, depicts a nation where
there’s only a thin line between the cops and the criminals, where paranoia and
fear can sweep through the streets like a fever. In the role that made him
cinema’s favorite sketchy character, Peter Lorre
plays a child killer whose crimes have set the city on edge; when an elderly man
tries to help a lost child, he’s accused of being the killer and beaten for his
trouble. The situation becomes so dire that even the city’s crime bosses decide
to find M, since he’s making it hard for them to do business. Once Lorre is
being pursued by both the police and the underworld, a strange thing happens: he
becomes our point of reference, and we realize we identify with him, partly
because he’s as much a manifestation of collective fear as he is an evildoer.
M is a forerunner to cinema’s most paranoia-minded subgenres (film noir,
serial killer flicks, police procedurals), and certainly David Fincher
owes a debt to the film; both Se7en (84
percent) and Zodiac
(88 percent) borrow from its bleak, shadowy palette. As Dave Kehr of the Chicago
Reader writes, "The moral issues are complex and deftly handled: Lorre is at
once entirely innocent and absolutely evil. Lang’s detached, modified
expressionist style gives the action a plastic beauty." It’s at 100 percent on
Many horror and science fiction movies of the 1950s drew from a variety of
postwar fears, from atomic power to the rise of Communism. Though it’s been
remade twice (and The Invasion was originally intended as a straight
remake as well), the original
Body Snatchers retains a potent, disquieting aura, and as a political
allegory it’s tantalizingly hard to read. The plot involves a doctor (Kevin
McCarthy) who finds that many of the citizens of his small town have started
acting strange; they look the same as they ever did, but emit no emotion
whatsoever. He soon discovers plant-like aliens are taking over people’s bodies
when they fall asleep, stripping them of their humanity and spreading out to
claim more victims. Is it a dark satire on the (Joseph, not Kevin) McCarthy era?
A warning of what a Communist future would bring?
However one reads it, there’s no denying Body Snatchers has proven to be
one of the most durable and influential sci-fi films of the 1950s, inspiring
Shaun of the Dead (90 percent) to Signs (74 percent). And
it’s at 100 percent on the Tomatometer. "Its title implies that it’s something
you might watch for its campy comic value," writes Audrey Rock-Richardson of The
Tooele Transcript Bulletin, "but it’s flat-out nightmarish.
In the 1970s, the fallout from the Watergate break-in — and the general feeling
that the government was veering into criminal territory — inspired a number of
fine suspense films, from Three Days
of the Condor (92 percent) to The Parallax View
(91 percent). But perhaps the finest paranoid thriller from the post-Watergate
era is The
Ford Coppola‘s taut, haunting reworking of Blow-Up (85
Hackman stars as Harry Caul, a surveillance expert who’s been commissioned
to listen in on the conversations of a powerful businessman’s daughter. Caul is
intensely private — he lives alone in an apartment with four or five deadbolts,
and he never gives out his phone number — but he’s also results-oriented to the
extreme, more concerned about making the perfect recording than what anyone’s
saying on the tape. But on his latest job, he can’t help but notice that the
young woman he’s taping seems to be discussing something particularly ominous;
is she in grave danger?
Caul’s attempt to get at the truth result in a chilling embodiment of the old
adage: "Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean someone’s not after you."
Featuring hypnotic sound editing from Walter Murch, as well as one of Gene
Hackman’s finest performances, The Conversation "grapples with the moral
issue at stake in a country where technology has outstripped our knowledge of
how to use and control it," writes Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat of Spirituality
and Practice. At 97 percent on the Tomatometer, this "masterpiece of modern-day
paranoia is far more than a simple rehashing of a classic slice of cinema. It
proves to be more prescient now than ever," says Shannon J. Harvey of
Australia’s Sunday Times.
Teenagers flocked to the multiplexes for stimulation
this weekend as the raunchy new sex comedy Superbad powered its way to number
one while the frame’s other new releases, the sci-fi thriller The Invasion and
the adventure tale The Last Legion, were met with yawns. The overall North
American box office continued its red hot pace significantly beating out
year-ago levels yet again on its way to possibly ending the summer season with a
Sony captured the top spot for the first time since early May with Superbad
which powered ahead of expectations to bow to an estimated $31.2M. The R-rated
tale of three nerdy high school pals on a wild search to get booze to impress
their lady friends averaged a potent $10,583 from 2,948 locations. The opening
even beat out the $30.7M debut of June’s Knocked Up from director Judd Apatow
and actor Seth Rogen. Apatow produced Superbad which co-starred and was
co-written by Rogen. Critics were quite impressed with McLovin and friends and
gave the film high marks. (Click here for
our interview with the stars of Superbad.)
The studio pushed the teen comedy for months with a well-executed marketing
campaign which included a popular uncensored trailer and touring the main actors
around the country for promotional events. Superbad delivered the second biggest
opening for an R-rated film this year only trailing 300. The two are the only R pics to reach number one at all in 2007. With a production cost of only $18M,
the comedy will easily become a healthy moneymaker for Sony. But the film’s
troubling Friday-to-Saturday drop of 15% could mean that fans rushed out upfront
as if this were a sequel and that big dropoffs could be on the horizon. Still it
was the second biggest opening ever in the traditionally slow second half of
August behind just Freddy vs. Jason which debuted to $36.4M in 2003. Studio
showed that the audience was 52% male and 60% in the 18-34 bracket.
Rush Hour 3 fell 56% in its second weekend and slipped to the runnerup spot with
an estimated $21.8M pushing the ten-day cume to $88.2M. The New Line action
sequel should find its way to about $135-140M from North America. Like most of
this summer’s threequels, Rush Hour 3 will end its domestic run well behind the
gross of its predecessor.
The one threequel to break that trend is The Bourne Ultimatum which followed in
third place this weekend with an estimated $19M, off only 42%. Universal’s
latest action entry has taken in a stellar $163.8M in only 17 days and should
surpass the $176.1M of 2004’s The Bourne Supremacy by the end of the week to
become the top-grossing film of the franchise. Grossing an estimated $6.7M in
its fourth frame, down 41%, was The Simpsons Movie which has taken in
$165.1M for Fox to date.
Starpower from Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig meant nothing at the box office
for their new sci-fi thriller The Invasion which bombed with an opening of just
$6M, according to estimates. Playing wide in 2,776 theaters, the PG-13 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers averaged a measly $2,161 per site. The
Warner Bros. release earned mostly negative reviews.
Paramount’s fairy tale adventure Stardust fell 43% to an estimated $5.2M for a
ten-day sum of just $19.1M. A $30-35M final seems likely. The musical smash Hairspray joined the century club over the weekend grossing an estimated $4.3M
for New Line, down just 33%, for a total of $100.7M. Disney’s Underdog
dropped 43% to an estimated $3.6M to boost its tally to $31.7M.
Falling to ninth place was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix which took
in an estimated $3.5M, off just 35%, giving Warner Bros. $278.6M from North
America. Overseas, the fifth wizard tale collected an estimated $16.2M from 61
territories boosting the international cume to $594M and the global gross to a stunning $873M. Rounding out the top ten was Adam Sandler and Kevin James in
the Universal comedy I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry which made
an estimated $3.5M, down 41%, for a total of $110.4M thus far.
Debuting with respectable results in limited release was MGM’s Death at a
Funeral which bowed to an estimated $1.3M from 260 theaters for a $5,012
Warner Independent platformed Leonardo
DiCaprio‘s documentary The 11th Hour in
New York and Los Angeles and generated a strong start. The PG-rated pic looking at environmental problems grossed an estimated $56,000 from four sites
for a muscular $14,000 average. Hour expands to the top ten markets on Friday.
Two films dropped out of the top ten over the weekend. The Warner Bros. pic No
Reservations took in an estimated $2.3M, off 39%, giving the Catherine
Zeta-Jones film $36.5M to date. A $40-43M final seems likely. Sony’s Daddy Day
Camp fell 47% in its second outing to an estimated $1.8M for a weak $8.8M
after ten days. The Cuba Gooding Jr. sequel should stumble to a final take of
just $12M which will be a far cry from the $104.3M of Eddie Murphy’s Daddy Day
Care in the summer of 2003.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $104.9M which was up 21% from last year
when Snakes on a Plane opened in first place with $15.2M; and up 13% from
2005 when The 40-Year-Old Virgin debuted in the top spot with $21.4M.
Carrying some major buzz into the marketplace, Sony’s teen comedy Superbad hits the multiplexes this weekend aiming to bring in some big business from horny young adults looking for a spark to get rid of their end-of-summer blues. The R-rated entry comes from current comedy king Judd Apatow who directed Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin which collectively grossed a stunning $256M domestically. He takes on producing chores here but his involvement has wisely been promoted heavily in the film’s marketing campaign which really ignited earlier this summer with the release of the uncensored red-band trailer on the internet which basically put Superbad on the map.
The marketplace for teen sex comedies has had a void since the American Pie franchise switched into direct-to-DVD mode. Superbad has the goods to make itself into this generation’s must-see raunchfest with its story of three lovable nerdy high school kids on a mission to score booze for a party to impress some girls. The lethal mix of strong marketing, filmmaker starpower, and a high-quality product that actually delivers what the audience wants will lead to a potent opening weekend that should be enough to send it to the top of the charts. And with a reported $18M budget, this could very well be the summer’s least expensive number one hit. Crashing into over 2,800 theaters, Superbad might collect around $25M this weekend.
Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig give the suspense thriller The Invasion the most starpower of any of this weekend’s new releases. The PG-13 film finds the Oscar-winning actress playing a psychiatrist and the current Bond as her doctor pal who must team up to fight an alien entity that infects the human population around the world. This latest remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers boasts some considerable star wattage which will help it get the attention of adults. Warner Bros. is hoping to appeal to the same audience that made hits out of previous late-summer adult thrillers like The Skeleton Key ($16.1M, $5,795 average)and Kidman’s The Others ($14.1M opening, $8,397 average). With no other scary movies for mature audiences, competition should not be too fierce although The Bourne Ultimatum‘s third weekend will be a formidable foe. Landing in about 2,700 locations, The Invasion could debut with around $13M.
The two stars of The Invasion.
The Weinstein Company unleashes its Roman empire adventure The Last Legion on Friday. The PG-13 film stars Ben Kingsley, Colin Firth, and Bollywood superstar Aishwarya Rai. Excitement in the marketplace is not too high and the push has not been very strong so modest returns are expected at the box office. The current pair of threequels topping the charts will give Legion some major competition for the action crowd. Debuting in roughly 2,000 theaters, The Last Legion could bow to about $6M.
Ben Kingsley leads The Last Legion.
Like most summer sequels, Rush Hour 3 should lose more than half of its opening weekend audience in the sophomore session. There is no special buzz around the action-comedy to prevent a big drop and Superbad will steal away much of the young comedy crowd. A 55% decline is likely which would put Rush Hour 3 at about $22M for the weekend and $88M after ten days.
Fellow threequel The Bourne Ultimatum looks to witness a smaller decline in its third assignment. Universal might experience a 45% drop to around $18M for a robust 17-day cume of $162M.
LAST YEAR: Opening weaker than expected, but still at number one, was the Samuel L. Jackson actioner Snakes on a Plane which bowed to $15.2M. New Line found its way to a disappointing $34M. Talladega Nights dropped to second with $13.8M while World Trade Center held steady in third with $10.9M. The dance sensation Step Up fell to fourth with $10.2M while Universal’s teen comedy Accepted debuted in fifth place with $10M. A $36.3M final resulted. MGM’s comedy Material Girls stumbled into ninth with a mere $4.6M on its way to only $11.4M. But opening powerfully in limited release was the mystery The Illusionist with less than $1M from only 51 theaters for a potent $18,195 average. The Yari Film Group release expanded nationally and enjoyed good legs going on to gross $39.9M.
It’s been a very good year for Judd Apatow.
After directing Knocked
Up, he’s the producer on another gross-out comedy with heart,
Superbad, and both are big hits with critics. Superbad tells the
story of two geeks (Michael Cera and Jonah Hill) on the cusp of graduation who
really, really want to change their luck with the ladies. The pundits say
Superbad is as raunchy and cheerfully vulgar as any comedy you’re likely to
see this summer, but it’s also remarkably wise and poignant regarding the
awkwardness of the high school years. At 92 percent, Superbad surpasses
Knocked Up‘s Tomatometer score, which means that it’s one of the best
reviewed films of the year. (Check out our interview with the Superbad
“Those RT critics crack me up.”
Invasion arrives in theaters with plenty of baggage. The film, helmed
originally wrapped in 2006, but the studio allegedly balked at what they saw,
and it’s rumored that a good portion of the final product is the result of a
retooled script by the Wachowski
brothers and reshoots by V for Vendetta
McTeigue. Such Hollywood intrigue may ultimately prove more interesting than
the film itself, as critics say The Invasion is a pretty tepid,
unsuspenseful remake of an already thrice-adapted story (Invasion
of the Body Snatchers). After a space shuttle crash, Nicole Kidman and
Daniel Craig discover that an infection is taking over peoples’ bodies in their
sleep, turning them into unemotional quasi-zombies. The pundits say the film is
slick but unfocused, lacking psychological complexity and thrills. At 16 percent
on the Tomatometer, The Invasion sits far below the precedent set by the 1956 and 1978 Body Snatchers, both at 100 percent.
They couldn’t hide their horror upon seeing the Wachowski Bros. re-cut.
It appears the folks behind The Last Legion are afraid the number of
pundits who wouldn’t dig their movie would be, ahem, legion. Perhaps that’s the
reason the film wasn’t screened before hitting theaters. Featuring a pretty
impressive cast that includes Colin Firth, Ben Kingsley, and Aishwarya Rai, The
Last Legion tells the story of a boy with the responsibility to save the
Roman Empire. Put down your copy of Livy’s From the Founding of the City and
Guess the Tomatometer.
Both sigh as they attempt to guess the Tomatometer.