Thomas SangsterDespite his tender age, 17-year old Thomas Sangster has already appeared along side some of the biggest names in the business. He’s worked with Liam Neeson in Love, Actually, Emma Thompson in Nanny McPhee, David Tennant in critically acclaimed episodes of Doctor Who, and now he’s set to star opposite Sir Ben Kingsley and Colin Firth in The Last Legion. He plays Romulus Augustus, the last emperor of Rome, who must go in hiding when barbarians invade the empire.

What was interested you in The Last Legion in the first place?

Thomas Sangster: I think the fact I hadn’t done anything like that before, it was an epic, there were Romans involved! I did the Romans at school and I think they’re considered quite cool! And because of the action as well, that was really fun.

It was also really good to do because it was filmed in Tunisia and Slovakia, and it was amazing there. It was quite a culture shock actually because it went from 50 Celsius in Tunisia and we literally got in a plane and got of in Slovakia and it was freezing cold, it was very odd.

You did Tristan and Isolde as well; do you enjoy doing these big historical epic films?

TS: They are good fun, just because I haven’t done much of them before, it’s something different for me, and if any more come up I’ll definitely do them… I got to do a little bit of sword fighting as well which was good but I wanted to do more!

This was your third film with Colin Firth, do you like working with him?

TS: He’s a great guy actually… We’ve actually got a really good relationship, it’s a bit strange, and after each film we’re like “see you in the next one!”

Thomas Sangster

You also share a lot of screen time with Sir Ben Kinsley — what’s he like, and does he make you call him sir?

TS: It was great to work with Sir Ben Kingsley, I mean, he is who he is, a great actor. He didn’t make me call him Sir Ben but I did anyway!

So what’s it like being at school and having to act as well?

TS: It can be a bit difficult just because even when you do school work on a film set you can’t give it your full attention because you’re in a completely different place, you know you’re off playing Caesar and then you need to come in and do maths work — its a bit crazy.

What have you got coming up in the future?

TS: At the end of the month I’m going to Italy to do a film version of Pinocchio which is great and it sounds quite fun although I haven’t read the script yet! And I’ve got a few other things on the horizon and some possibilities next year as well…

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
new record.

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
research
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.




Opening with weak results outside of the top ten was the historical epic
The Last Legion
starring
Ben Kingsley,
Colin Firth, and
Aishwarya Rai which launched
with an estimated $2.6M from 2,002 playdates for a dismal $1,297 average.





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
average.
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.

Author: Gitesh Pandya,
www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

 

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.


Superbad!

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.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

This week at the movies, we’ve got some McLovin
(
Superbad,
starring Michael
Cera
and Jonah
Hill
), pod people (The
Invasion
, starring
Nicole Kidman
and Daniel Craig),
and swordplay (The
Last Legion
, starring
Ben Kingsley
and Colin Firth).
What do the critics have to say?

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
gang here.)


“Those RT critics crack me up.”

The
Invasion
arrives in theaters with plenty of baggage. The film, helmed
by Oliver
Hirschbiegel
(Downfall),
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
director
James
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.

Also opening this week in limited release:

The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
, a documentary about the
competition between Donkey Kong experts, is at 100 percent on the
Tomatometer; The 11th
Hour
, a global warming doc narrated by
Leonardo
DiCaprio
, is at 90 percent (check out our review from Cannes
here);
Delirious,
a tale of small-time paparazzi starring
Steve Buscemi
and Michael Pitt,
is at 89 percent (check out our San Francisco International Film Festival review
here);
Manda Bala
, a doc
about class divisions in modern Brazil, is at 89 percent;
Primo Levi’s
Journey
, a doc about the great writer’s trek after WWII, is at 75 percent;
Death at a Funeral,
a farce about a funeral interrupted by a dark family secret starring
Matthew
MacFadyen
and
Peter Dinklage,
is at 71 percent; and Ils,
a tale of a French couple terrorized by a haunted house in Romania, is at 71
percent; Love
for Sale
, a Brazilian import about a woman who leaves Sao Paulo for her
hometown, is at 67 percent;
Takashi Miike‘s
Zebraman, a spoof
of Japanese superheroes, is at 60 percent; and
Sunflower
,
Zhang Yang‘s
tale of a 30-year relationship starring
Joan Chen, is
at 60 percent.


Attack its weak point for massive damage!

Finally, props to

BATSPIDEYKONG
for correctly guessing
Skinwalkers
‘ 13
percent Tomatometer. Congrats, BSK. Now you won’t have to write in all caps to
be heard.

Recent Nicole Kidman Movies:
—————————————–
81% — I
Have Never Forgotten You
(2007)
90% — God Grew
Tired of Us
(2007)
30% — Fur: An Imaginary Portrait
of Diane Arbus
(2006)
74% — Happy Feet
(2006)
25% — Bewitched (2005)

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