Hey, kids! Ya like superheroes? Toys? Then has Hollywood got your taste quadrant covered with this week’s release of Max Steel, based on the action figure line first introduced by Mattel in 1997. Youth-focused cross-media filmmaking has been a thing since the early 1980s, and in this week’s gallery we cover every theatrical movie based on toys, cards, and board games that got a Tomatometer!

No awards season — even a strike-tainted one — would be complete without the Razzies, right? Of course not. And that’s why we’ve thoughtfully assembled all of this year’s nominees in one convenient location.

The Razzies, now entering their 28th year, have been celebrating the worst in film since 1980, when John Wilson took a raspberry trophy, spray-painted it gold, and stuck it to Can’t Stop the Music. This year’s nominees are suitably distinguished, and they all follow below (with Tomatometers in parentheses). ‘Fess up, Vineketeers — how many of these have you seen? And enjoyed?

Worst Picture:
Bratz (7 percent)
Daddy Day Camp (1 percent)

I Know Who Killed Me (8 percent)
I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (14 percent)
Norbit (9 percent)

Worst Actor:
Nicolas Cage, for Ghost Rider (27 percent), National Treasure: Book of Secrets (32 percent), and Next (30 percent)
Jim Carrey, for The Number 23 (8 percent)
Cuba Gooding, Jr., for Daddy Day Camp and Norbit
Eddie Murphy, for Norbit
Adam Sandler, for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry

Worst Actress:
Jessica Alba, for Awake (21 percent), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (35 percent), and Good Luck Chuck (3 percent)
Logan Browning, Janel Parrish, Nathalia Ramos & Skyler Shaye, for Bratz
Elisha Cuthbert, for Captivity (7 percent)
Diane Keaton, for Because I Said So (5 percent)
Lindsay Lohan (as Aubrey), for I Know Who Killed Me
Lindsay Lohan (as Dakota), for I Know Who Killed Me

Worst Supporting Actor:
Orlando Bloom, for Pirates of the Carribbean: At World’s End (45 percent)
Kevin James, for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
Eddie Murphy, for Norbit
Rob Schneider, for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
Jon Voight, for Bratz, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, September Dawn (13 percent), and Transformers (57 percent)

Worst Supporting Actress:
Jessica Biel, for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry and Next
Carmen Electra, for Epic Movie (2 percent)
Eddie Murphy, for Norbit
Julia Ormond, for I Know Who Killed Me
Nicolette Sheridan, for Code Name: The Cleaner (4 percent)

Worst Screen Couple:
Jessica Alba with Dane Cook (for Good Luck Chuck), Hayden Christensen (for Awake), and Ioan Gruffudd (for Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer)
Any combination of two totally air-headed characters in Bratz
Lindsay Lohan and Lindsay Lohan, for I Know Who Killed Me

Worst Remake or Ripoff:
Are We Done Yet? (8 percent, remake/ripoff of Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House)
Bratz (a ripoff if ever there was one)
Epic Movie (ripoff of every movie it rips off)
I Know Who Killed Me (ripoff of Hostel, Saw, and The Patty Duke Show)
Who’s Your Caddy? (7 percent, ripoff of Caddyshack)

Worst Prequel or Sequel:
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (16 percent)
Daddy Day Camp
Evan Almighty (24 percent)
Hannibal Rising, (15 percent)
Hostel: Part II (44 percent)

Worst Director:
Dennis Dugan, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
Roland Joffe, Captivity
Brian Robbins, Norbit
Fred Savage, Daddy Day Camp
Chris Sivertson, I Know Who Killed Me

Worst Screenplay:
Geoff Rodkey and David J. Stem & David N. Weiss, Daddy Day Camp

Jason Friedberg & Aaron Seltzer, Epic Movie
Jeffrey Hammond, I Know Who Killed Me
Barry Fanaro and Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
Eddie Murphy & Charles Murphy, Jay Sherick & David Ronn, Norbit

Worst Excuse for a Horror Movie:
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem
Captivity
Hannibal Rising

Hostel: Part II
I Know Who Killed Me

Source: Razzies

If you’re looking for a good time on DVD this week, you’re in luck — as long as you navigate the minefields of the rotten (Mr. Bean’s Holiday, Hot Rod) and the even worse (Lindsay Lohan‘s career-murdering I Know Who Killed Me) to pick up a genuine charmer (Waitress), a solid familial tale (The Namesake), a mind-boggling anime import (Paprika), or our personal pick, the return of Futurama (Bender’s Big Score)!


The Fresh…


Waitress


Tomatometer: 89%

Small town waitress Jenna (Keri Russell) desperately wants out of her abusive marriage and her dead-end life, passing the time baking delicious and whimsically-named pies while dreaming of leaving town. When she finds out she’s pregnant, everything changes, thanks to a secret romance with the local OB-GYN (Nathan Fillion), a chance at winning a $25,000 at a pie bake-off, and the newfound joys of motherhood. Bolstered by a warmly quirky supporting cast, this southern charmer comes to DVD as a bittersweet coda to the life of writer-director and co-star Adrienne Shelly, who was tragically killed last year. Months after her death Shelly’s film was accepted into the Sundance Film Festival and picked up for distribution, and opened to critical acclaim the following spring.

 



The Namesake


Tomatometer: 85%

Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, Vanity Fair) returns to form with this solid adaptation of Jhumpa Lahiri’s novel, about the culture clash between two generations of an Indian immigrant family. Comic actor Kal Penn (Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle) goes dramatic as American-born son Gogol, who struggles to balance his dueling identities and his relationships with two different women; Indian cinema stars Irfan Khan and Tabu play the beleaguered traditionalist parents, who find that their children have grown up very differently than they had imagined.

 



Paprika


Tomatometer: 81%

When a mind-invading device goes missing, doctors enlist Paprika, an electronic persona, to navigate the hallucinogenic dream world and find the culprit. Director Satoshi Kon employs eye-popping visuals and a surrealist touch to invoke the experience of sub-conscious reverie in his artful (if nonsensical) adaptation of the 1993 science fiction novel of the same name. Four featurettes on the disc give insight into the production of the film, but this one is worth it for the film alone.  

 




Bender’s Big Score


Tomatometer: N/A


Good news, Futurama fans! In this first of four new films, evil aliens send misanthropic robot Bender back in time to help them take over Earth, sparking a chain of events that could change the course of history; more importantly, series fans get the return of characters like Zapp Brannigan, Nibbler, Robot Santa, Al Gore as himself, and Kwanzaabot, voiced by the inestimable Coolio. Cast and crew commentary, featurettes, a full 20 minutes of Hypnotoad and more await you in the bonus menu. And remember, the return of the Best. Animated. Series. Ever. hinges on the sales of this and the next three Futurama DVDs, so if you really care about the fate of Planet Express and its dysfunctional delivery crew, snap up this release! (And check out our chat with director Dwayne Carey-Hill and producer Claudia Katz!) 

 


The Rotten…

First Snow
Tomatometer: 55%

This slow-simmering noir follows a slick-talking salesman (Guy Pearce) whose ominous visit to a roadside fortune teller (J.K. Simmons) portends success — and death — on the horizon. Critics were split on whether first time director Mark Fergus (screenwriter of Children of Men and the forthcoming Iron Man) effectively builds tension in his story or deflates it, but the cast in this indie thriller is certainly notable. Besides, it’s supporting actor William Fichtner‘s birthday today, if that’s enough of a reason to give this flick a chance.

Mr. Bean’s Holiday
Tomatometer: 50%


The irrepressible Mr. Bean (Rowan Atkinson) returns to theaters a full decade after his first big-screen endeavor (Bean), and despite improving upon that 36 percent Tomatometer effort, he’s still got the scribes befuddled. This time the silent funnyman finds himself on a prize vacation to Cannes, France, recording his travels en route to the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. If you’ve seen any of the classic television show, you already know what you’re in store for; if not, be happy knowing there will be no more additional Bean movies to suffer through.



Hot Rod

Tomatometer: 36%

Saturday Night Live enjoyed an energy boost when the Lonely Island comedy trio of Jorma Taccone, Akiva Schaffer, and Andy Samberg signed on (what fan could live now without SNL‘s brilliant Digital Shorts?), but their first feature film — about an aspiring stuntman named Rod — failed to capture the hearts of the critical mass. We say, what up scribes? Hot Rod‘s got a killer 1980s hair metal soundtrack, a punch-dancing sequence, and enough silly laughs to make us want to drop a Hamilton on some crazy delicious cupcakes.


And The Ugly…




Skinwalkers

Tomatometer: 15%

Canadian horror, eh. A half-blood werewolf boy is the key to ending an age-old curse in one small town, but a band of bloodlusting lycans aim to keep the curse alive. Howlingly bad? You be the judge (or trust us, and listen to the critics on this one).  




Bratz: The Movie

Tomatometer: 7%

We know, we know. Who would have thought that a stereotype-reinforcing, live action version of a children’s toy line aimed at pre-teen mallrats could be anything but stellar fare?  




I Know Who Killed Me

Tomatometer: 7%

Ouch. Lindsay Lohan‘s latest couldn’t even beat the irredeemable Bratz movie’s Tomatometer (some might say it single-handedly killed her career). Comparisons to movies like Boxing Helena and unnecessarily gory torture porn flicks don’t help, either. Sadly, we know as well as TriStar Pictures that the extended stripper sequence will boost DVD sales exponentially… 

Take aim, home theater enthusiasts. May your DVD-hunting arrows fly true.

Jodie Foster will find herself in the middle of a catfight over the number one spot this weekend. The star of current chart-topper The Brave One will face challenges from Milla Jovovich‘s new action sequel Resident Evil: Extinction, Jessica Alba‘s romantic comedy Good Luck Chuck, and the Amanda Bynes college laugher Sydney White. With adult-skewing dramas ruling the box office over the past couple of weeks, teens and young adults should be out in full force this weekend thanks to the selection of new options.

Deadly viruses and killer zombies are back in Sony’s Extinction, the latest and final chapter in its video game-inspired action-horror franchise. The series has been a popular one with the first Resident Evil opening to $17.7M in March 2002 and its sequel Resident Evil: Apocalypse debuting to a stronger $23M in September 2004. Each averaged about $7,000 over the debut frame. The R-rated Extinction will play to the converted and is not likely to generate any new fans. In fact, some will drop out thinking a third helping is a bit too much. Still the built-in audience of young adults and gamers plus a solid marketing push guarantee a top spot launch. Attacking over 2,700 locations, Resident Evil: Extinction could capture roughly $20M over the three-day debut period.


Milla Jovovich fights a zombie in Resident Evil: Extinction

Dane Cook plays a dude whose every ex-girlfriend ends up engaged to the next guy she dates in the romantic comedy Good Luck Chuck. Jessica Alba co-stars in the R-rated release from Lionsgate which will use starpower to attract an audience of older teens and young adults. Last October Cook teamed up with another Jessica, Simpson that time, in the PG-13 comedy Employee of the Month which bowed to $11.4M. The marketing on Chuck has been good and cross-gender appeal seems solid too, although the rating could cut into business from younger teens who will certainly want to see this picture. Falling into 2,612 theaters, Good Luck Chuck may gross about $12M this weekend.


Jessica Alba and Dane Cook in Good Luck Chuck

Amanda Bynes headlines the college comedy Sydney White playing a freshman caught between the popular sorority sisters and her nerdy pals. The PG-13 film will aim itself squarely at teens and college students and should skew a bit more female. Hollywood has had a tough time reaching young females recently with flops like Nancy Drew ($6.8M opening), Bratz ($4.2M), and Gracie ($1.4M) all stalling. Sydney will try to appeal to the same crowd that powered Bynes’ comedy She’s the Man to $10.7M in March 2006. However the marketing push is not as strong and the release will not be as wide so the three-day take will be softer. The marketplace’s current lack of offerings for this audience creates a great opportunity for a good marketable film to come in a loot some cash. But Sydney just doesn’t seem to have what it takes to score a big opening. Pledging in over 1,900 theaters, Sydney White could debut with around $6M.


Amanda Bynes in Sydney White

Last weekend, David Cronenberg‘s latest crime thriller Eastern Promises enjoyed a limited release bow that was basically a carbon copy of his last film A History of Violence which opened to $515,992 from 14 theaters in September 2005 for a potent $36,857 average. Focus is now matching History‘s sophomore weekend expansion pattern by widening Promises to 1,404 locations nationwide. History in its second session expanded to 1,340 sites and grossed $8.1M for a solid $6,047 average. Reviews and buzz for Promises is just as good so a similar performance could be in the works. Ticket prices are slightly higher, but so are the number of films also targeting an adult audience. In fact, the top five this weekend should boast mostly R-rated fare. For this weekend, look for Eastern Promises to take in about $8M.


Eastern Promises

In the arthouse scene, which is quickly getting more crowded with each passing week, Brad Pitt rolls in as both actor and producer in the Old West drama The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Warner Bros. is unleashing the R-rated pic in only 15 theaters in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, and Austin hoping to generate a strong average and positive word of mouth. Pitt already scored the Best Actor trophy for his portrayal of the famous outlaw at the Venice International Film Festival and is making a bid for kudos attention over the months ahead. Reviews have been mostly positive and an expansion is planned for the coming weeks.


The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford

After a less-than-spectacular number one opening, Jodie Foster‘s revenge thriller The Brave One will try to fend off competition for its mature adult audience from the expansion of Eastern Promises. The frame’s three newbies should play to other audience segments. A 45% drop would give Warner Bros. about $7.5M for the weekend and a ten-day cume of $25M which would be about how much Foster’s last starring vehicle Flightplan grossed in only its first three days.

3:10 to Yuma posted a solid hold last weekend and this time a similar drop could result. The Lionsgate release might dip by 35% to around $6M raising the total to $37M after 17 days.

LAST YEAR: Johnny Knoxville and his partners in crime landed a big number one opening for Jackass: Number Two which bowed to $29M. The Paramount sequel went on to collect $72.8M. Focus debuted in second with another R-rated film aimed at young men, the Jet Li actioner Fearless, which grossed $10.6M. The historical pic reached $24.6M. Sony’s football drama Gridiron Gang dropped two spots to third with $9.5M in its sophomore frame. Opening poorly in fourth was the action flick Flyboys with only $6M for MGM on its way to $13.1M. The animated film Everyone’s Hero rounded out the top five with $4.7M. Premiering to dismal results was the Sean Penn vehicle All the King’s Men (the third new release to take place in the past) with $3.7M for Sony. It quickly ended its run with a poor $7.2M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Matt Damon set a
new opening weekend record for the month of August with the top spot bow of

The Bourne Ultimatum
,
the third installment in the actor’s signature spy series. The frame’s other new
releases saw more modest openings while most holdovers held up well. The wide
assortment of popular hits allowed the North American box office to soar to the
highest grossing August weekend in history.

Racing past expectations, Universal’s

The Bourne Ultimatum

scored a spectacular opening grossing an estimated $70.2M in its first weekend
in theaters. Infiltrating 3,660 locations, the PG-13 film averaged a muscular
$19,175 per venue and beat out the $52.5M bow of its predecessor

The Bourne Supremacy

by a healthy 34%. That action entry launched in July 2004 and went on to gross
$176.1M. The new entry was also directed by
Paul Greengrass
and co-starred Julia
Stiles
and Joan Allen.



The eye-popping debut set a new benchmark for the month of August edging out
previous record-holder
Rush Hour 2
which bowed to $67.4M in 2001. That franchise’s next installment

Rush Hour 3
plans to
exact revenge when it opens this Friday gunning for the number one spot.
Ultimatum also generated the second largest opening weekend in studio history
for Universal trailing only
The Lost
World
which collected $72.1M over the Friday-to-Sunday portion of its
holiday debut in May 1997 during what was then the biggest opening weekend of
all time.


Matt Damon proved once
again how popular and relevant his Jason Bourne character is to today’s
audiences. Ultimatum also earned the best reviews of any action picture this
year so even though it was the summer’s eleventh sequel and fifth threequel, the
film still played out as an event picture for movie fans. The opening was even
bigger than any debut in the James Bond or Mission: Impossible franchises.
Openings for last year’s newest chapters for those spy sagas were $47.7M for
Mission:
Impossible III
in May and $40.8M for November’s

Casino Royale
.


If the estimate holds for The Bourne Ultimatum, it will become the fourth film
in five weeks to open north of $70M following
Transformers
,


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
, and
The Simpsons Movie
.
The string of big hits set the July box office ablaze and has now spilled over
into the final month of summer which should continue the fireworks. Plus most
films have been holding up well over the last few weeks. Of the 37 holdover
cases in the top ten during the last five weekends, only four have witnessed
declines of more than 50%. By comparison, nine had such drops over the same
five-week period a year ago.




Last weekend’s top film
The Simpsons Movie

was the only pic in the top ten to take a big tumble dropping 65% in its
sophomore weekend to finish in second place with an estimated $25.6M. That gave
the Fox blockbuster a robust total of $128.6M in only ten days of release. The
$75M production might find its way to the neighborhood of $190M domestically.
Overseas, Comic Book Guy and pals grossed another $47.3M shooting the
international total to $187M from 75 territories for a sensational global gross
of $315.5M and counting.



Disney launched its canine pic
Underdog
in third
place with a respectable opening of $12M, according to estimates, from 3,013
theaters. The PG-rated family film averaged a decent $3,986 per venue and tried
to take advantage of a marketplace lacking choices for younger kids.





Adam Sandler’s
latest comedy
I
Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
dropped 45% in its third weekend to an
estimated $10.5M for Universal. The musical
Hairspray
, also in
its third frame, dipped 41% to an estimated $9.3M for New Line. Totals to date
stand at $91.7M and $79.1M, respectively.





The megablockbuster

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
grossed an estimated $9.3M,
off 48%, boosting the total to $260.8M. That puts the fifth Hogwarts tale at
number 37 on the list of all-time domestic blockbusters after 2004’s
The Incredibles

which banked $261.4M. Overseas, Phoenix posted an estimated $25.2M to
lift the international tally to a towering $509.7M. With a worldwide gross of
$771M, the latest wizard flick is now the third biggest global blockbuster of
2007 after
Pirates of
the Caribbean: At World’s End
($952M) and
Spider-Man 3

($889M).





The Catherine
Zeta-Jones
drama
No Reservations

followed in seventh place with an estimated $6.6M in its sophomore session. Down
a reasonable 44%, the Warner Bros. release has cooked up $24.2M in ten days and
looks headed for a respectable $45M final.





With a one-way ticket to the triple-century club,
Transformers

took in an estimated $6M, down 49%, to lift its stellar cume to $296.3M. The
Michael Bay smash now
sits at number 26 on the all-time domestic list after

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
which grossed $305.4M
in 2003.



For the second straight weekend, a pair of flops aimed at teens opened in the
number nine and ten spots with averages of less than $3,000. Paramount’s
Andy Samberg
comedy Hot Rod
debuted to an estimated $5M from 2,607 theaters for a dismal $1,924 average.
Lionsgate grossed an estimated $4.3M for its new preteen pic
Bratz resulting
in a mild $2,856 average from 1,509 playdates.





Jennifer Lopez and
Marc Anthony
teamed up for the biopic
El Cantante
which
debuted well in a limited national bow with an estimated $3.3M from 542 theaters
for a solid $6,004 average. The Picturehouse release about the life of Salsa
pioneer Hector Lavoe earned lackluster reviews from critics. Receiving better
notices was the period drama
Becoming Jane

which bowed in only 100 theaters to an estimated $1M for a strong $10,100
average. Starring Anne
Hathaway
as Jane Austen, the Miramax title expands to more markets in the
weeks ahead.





Four films fell from the top ten over the weekend. The animated comedy
Ratatouille
from
Disney and Pixar dropped by 46% in its sixth frame to an estimated $4M boosting
the cume to $188.3M. Though loved by critics, the rodent picture has not been
living up to Pixar standards and should end its domestic run right around the
$200M mark making it the company’s lowest-grossing hit since 1998’s A Bug’s Life
which took in $162.8M.





Fox’s action sequel
Live Free or
Die Hard
shot up an estimated $2.2M, tumbling 61%, and put its total at
$130.2M. A domestic final of about $135M seems likely while the pic’s global
gross of $309M will continue to climb rapidly over the course of the summer.





Also suffering sharp declines were the sophomores
I Know Who
Killed M
e and
Who’s Your Caddy?

which collected $1.2M and $1.1M, respectively. Lindsay Lohan’s latest box office
underachiever crumbled 67% and has taken in just $6.2M in ten days with a
pathetic $8M final likely. The golf comedy fell 60% to a ten-day cume of only
$4.8M and looks to end its run with a measly $7M.





The top ten films grossed an estimated $158.8M which was up a solid 37% from
last year when

Talladega Nights
opened at number one with $47M; and up a remarkable 62%
from 2005 when
The Dukes of Hazzard
debuted in the top spot with $30.7M.

Source: Box Office Guru

This week at the movies, we got amnesiac spies (The Bourne Ultimatum, starring Matt Damon and Julia Stiles), loser daredevils (Hot Rod, with Andy Samberg and Isla Fisher), salsa singers (El Cantante, starring Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez), school girls (Bratz: The Movie, starring Nathalia Ramos and Jon Voight), flying canines (Underdog, starring Jason Lee and Peter Dinklage), and radio personalities (Talk to Me, starring Don Cheadle and Chjwetel Ejiofor). What do the critics have to say?

The third in a series is rarely the best — witness the critical response to the latest Shrek and Spidey installments. However, if you found the thrills and chills of The Bourne Identity and Supremacy too sedate, you’re in luck; critics say The Bourne Ultimatum is one of the most exciting, action-paced movies of the summer, and is easily the best in the series (not too shabby, considering the other two were both Certified Fresh). Yet again, Matt Damon isn’t really sure who he is or how he became such an awesome killing machine, and yet again, he’s on the run from the authorities. But in this episode, pundits say Damon really comes into his own as an action star here, and director Paul Greengrass is well on his way to becoming an auteur of commercial filmmaking. Critics say the dizzying camerawork, rapid-fire editing, and overall craftsmanship make for one wild ride. At 92 percent on the Tomatometer, this may be the ultimate Bourne.



Damon’s still hunting, but not for goodwill.

Critics are musing: is Bratz much better than Barbie? Since 2001, the ethnically diverse dolls have built an empire based on their unique brand of girl power and lip gloss, including this film adaptation featuring four girls overcoming their differences and joining together in holy BFFness. But critics deem Bratz: The Movie a vapid and clueless enterprise, with characters who don’t seem to have any discernable characteristics beyond fashion and material wealth. And it freely employs stereotypes (girls must be skinny, boys must be dreamy, and adults are idiots) while paradoxically arguing stereotypes are bad. At 11 percent Tomatometer, these Bratz need a lesson in filmmaking.



“Picking Bad Movies To Star In For Dummies.”

You loved him when he was drinking Mr. Pibb with a Red Vines straw, and you loved him when he was cutting holes in boxes. But will you love Andy Samberg in Hot Rod, his feature-length debut in which he stars as an awful amateur daredevil trying to raise money for his ill stepfather? Though Samberg is singled out for his enthusiastic, mischievous charm, little else appears to impress the critics. They say Hot Rod tries for an anarchic brand of physical and lowbrow jokes, but ends up irritating and random instead, the kind of disjointed comedy that gives SNL movies its bad name. At 30 percent Tomatometer, Rod is anything but hot. (Check out our interview with Samberg and his Lonely Island pals here.)



One method to escape the theater.

It’s been said before, but it bears repeating: Don Cheadle is one of the best actors in Hollywood today. In his latest, Talk to Me, Cheadle gives a performance that some pundits are calling Oscar-worthy — while noting his co-star, Chjwetel Ejiofor, is no slouch as well. Cheadle plays proto-shock jock Petey Green, an ex-con who brought freshness, humor, and irreverence to the medium during the tumultuous and heady late 1960s. While some pundits note that the film has some bumpy patches – often a problem for biopics — they say the performances and energy are strong enough to overlook most flaws. At 79 percent on the Tomatometer, the Certified Fresh Talk to Me is a movie worth talking about.



Oscar-worthy performances from Cheadle and Ejiofor.

Hector Lavoe isn’t widely known with the American public. And that probably won’t change much with the release of El Cantante, a biopic based on the late Puerto Rican salsa singer’s life. Marc Anthony stars as Lavoe, but it’s the life of Lavoe’s wife (played by Jennifer Lopez) that, for better or worse, you’ll remember the most vividly from the movie. Critics call Lopez’s scenery-chewing a vanity acting job, as the rest of the movie is too loosely loose structure, creating a vacuum of character and narrative focus. And while El Cantante revels in biopic clichés, it never bothers revealing why Hector Lavoe was even worthy of an inspiring biopic in the first place. At 26 percent Tomatometer, El Cantante hits a sour note.



“Do you really want to hurt me?”

“Never fear — Underdog is here!” So went the rallying cry of everyone’s favorite super-pooch back in the day. Now? It appears the people behind Underdog have plenty to fear from critics, since the film wasn’t screened before hitting theaters. The usually-dependable Jason Lee and Peter Dinklage star in the tale (or is it tail?) of a mutt who, after an experiment, gains superpowers. Kids, after you’re done taking Fido for a stroll around the block, Guess the Tomatometer.



At 11 percent on the Tomatometer, Underdog is underwhelming.

Also opening this week in limited release: Summer ’04, a riveting tale of a summer holiday gone awry, is at 92 percent on the Tomatometer; Blame it on Fidel, a Parisian coming-of-age tale about a young girl and her radical activist parents, is at 92 percent; Them, a tense and existential horror flick from France, is at 81 percent; The Willow Tree, a Bergman-esque Iranian drama of a man coming to grips with death, is at 80 percent; Colossal Youth, a sprawling drama about urban life in Portugal, is at 71 percent; Becoming Jane, a biopic of Jane Austen’s early life, is at 62 percent; and The Ten, an anthology of comic vignettes based on the Ten Commandments, is at 57 percent.



The Austen Diaries

Finally, props to love_flag for coming the closest to guessing Who’s Your Caddy‘s nine percent Tomatometer, and to SplendidIsolation and icon2008 for approximating I know Who Killed Me‘s six percent.

Recent Matt Damon Movies:
———————————–
69% — Ocean’s Thirteen (2007)
56% — The Good Shepherd (2006)
93% — The Departed (2006)
74% — Syriana (2005)
38% — The Brothers Grimm (2005)

Matt Damon aims to gun down his competitors and rule the North American box office this weekend with The Bourne Ultimatum, the third in the popular spy series, which opens on Friday aiming to sell more tickets than the frame’s four other new wide releases combined. The Universal release reteams the actor with director Paul Greengrass who helmed the last installment in the franchise The Bourne Supremacy which bowed to $52.5M in July 2004 on its way to a stellar $176.1M domestic cume. The Bourne series has been very well-received and fans do not seem sick of it yet so expect most to return for this new threequel.

Ultimatum has three major advantages over Supremacy – 500 more theaters, slightly higher ticket prices, and less competition from action flicks. Three years ago when the last Bourne bowed on top, the next three films on the charts were all action titles gobbling up a similar $53.5M between them. This time, Hollywood has taken a break with comedies and wizardry filling up the top five so audiences should be ready for an action-packed film from a reliable brand name. As is often the case with the third part in a franchise, there will be some who feel they saw this twice before and don’t need to spend money yet again for the same entertainment. And others will feel that the summer’s eleventh sequel will be a bit too much.

However, ticket sales from adults over 25 should be solid since Ultimatum‘s serious tone counters the wave of immature films flooding the marketplace. Plus critics
are showering the new Bourne with praise which will help convince those with some doubt. Invading 3,661 locations, Universal could possibly score its biggest
opening in four years with The Bourne Ultimatum which might bow to around $55M this weekend.


“MATT…DAMON!”


Moviegoers that like their super hero antics from a canine do not have to fear. Buena Vista rolls out the family adventure Underdog which tells of a pooch that gains super powers after a lab accident and becomes a crime fighter that protects the citizens of his town. Loosely based on the cartoon which was a cult favorite, the PG-rated film has no major starpower and falls into the common boy-and-his-dog genre which there always seems to be a market for. There has not been much PG fare for younger kids over the last month so family audiences should be looking for a new movie to try out. This one will have to rely on the brand name which could entice parents to take a trip down memory lane. Opening in around 2,800 theaters, Underdog could debut with approximately $11M.


“Why must I feel like that, why must I chase the cat?”


Andy Samberg takes the leap from Saturday Night Live to his first lead role in a film with Hot Rod playing a slacker with big dreams of being a respected stuntman. The PG-13 film is aimed squarely at immature boys who often represent a lucrative audience in the dog days of summer. Samberg has made a name for himself on SNL more through his popular short films than his sketches, and has reached millions of fans online because of them. Hot Rod represents a test to see if that can translate at all to the box office where people actually have to pay money for his humor. Homer, Chuck, and Harry are all pulling in young males so competition will be a big factor. Even Jason will cast a wide net. But the slacker crowd could show up in some number before turning this into a hit DVD for Paramount during the holiday season. Jumping into 2,500 theaters, Hot Rod might debut with roughly $10M.


Hot Rod


Transforming robots aren’t the only toys to get their own movie this summer. Lionsgate targets young girls with Bratz, a live-action flick based on the popular dolls, which looks to have no success outside of its core demographic. The PG-rated film is not getting much of a marketing push with any audience segment other than tween females so the grosses will be limited. But with so many testosterone movies this season, something specifically designed for this underserved audience will find itself a little shelf space. The teen girl crowd can often be unpredictable as seen with last August’s Step Up zooming to $65.3M while Material Girls sputtered to just $11.4M. Bratz, which enters 1,509 theaters on Friday, should end up in the lower end of that range and open to around $5M.


like, omg we’re bffs!


Real-life hubby and wife Mark Anthony and Jennifer Lopez star in El Cantante, a biopic on Puerto Rican salsa pioneer Hector Lavoe. The R-rated drama is getting a moderate national release from Picturehouse with about 600 theaters running the film this weekend. Fans of the actor/singers are being counted on to show up and business from Latino audiences should be solid. But the pic lacks the kind of commercial buzz that could make it crossover to other audience groups. Reviews have not been too good either which could prevent wider appeal. But there is nothing else like it in the marketplace so El Cantante could post a respectable average and collect about $3M this weekend.


Lopez and Anthony react to the low tomatometer rating


After a spectacular opening weekend, The Simpsons Movie is bound to fall hard in its sophomore frame since its die-hard fan base rushed out over the debut period already. A 55% fall could result which would leave the Fox toon with an impressive $33M gross and a muscular ten-day haul of $138M. Adam Sandler‘s I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry might slide by 40% to about $11.5M for a cume of $92M for Universal while Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix should drop by 45% to $10M giving Warner Bros.$261M to date.

LAST YEAR: Will Ferrell raced to the top spot with the comedy Talladega Nights which bowed to an impressive $47M. The Sony release went on to gross $148M. Debuting far back in second place was the animated film Barnyard with $15.8M to kick off a leggy run that resulted in a $72.6M final for Paramount. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest placed third with $11M followed by Miami Vice which tumbled by 60% in its second weekend to $10.2M. Lionsgate opened its horror flick The Descent with $8.9M on its way to $26M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

After having a grand old time shooting Ghost Rider in Melbourne, it looks like producer Avi Arad wants to bring more superhero movies down to Austrlia. Plus, word is that an Aussie might be helming the Silver Surfer spin-off.

First things first: According to an article at MSN.com, director Alex Proyas is being discussed as the guy to direct the inevitable Silver Surfer spin-off. Mr. Proyas is best known for Dark City and I, Robot.

Obviously no contracts have been signed yet, but having the silver dude spin off from the Fantastic Four sequel seems like sort of a no-brainer. Plus Proyas has shown his skills around the FX work, so it’d probably be a good match.

Arad promised to bring future Marvel properties down to Australia, and then he finished up with a plug for his latest project: Bratz: The Movie. Ugh.

Source: nineMSN.com

I guess the arrival of the "Transformers" has everyone scrambling for their own robotic properties. Today we learn of two new good news/bad news sci-fi projects.

Fans of William Gibson‘s "Neuromancer" book may be thrilled to learn that producer Peter Hoffman is planning a movie version. Then again, they may be disappointed to learn that the flick will be helmed by the man who gave us … "Torque." The producer says "the project is not just a good sci-fi adventure but a story full of hot topics –issues like artificial intelligence, bio-engineering and alternate theories of immortality will be dealt with dramatically." That’s all fine and good, but … "Torque," man.

In distressingly related news, producer Avi Arad will tackle his second toy line (after this summer’s "Bratz: The Movie") when he introduces "Robosapiens" to the big screen. Sort of a futuristic "Pinocchio," the movie will be about "working on artificial intelligence who creates robots for humanitarian purposes, only to discover that the corporation he works for intends them for military use. He steals one of his creations, a robot boy named Toby, who, by a series of accidents, gets lost and broken, and then found and fixed by the lonely 11-year-old son" and blah blah blah. Forgive me if I’m a little skeptical of movies based on TOYS. Plus Mr. Arad is handing the "Robo" reins to Sean McNamara, the guy behind "Raise Your Voice" and, yes, "Bratz: The Movie."

Arad is pretty clear about what he’s after: "I go after intellectual properties, whether they are comics, videogames or toys, and it’s about finding the right things with cinematic value, to make movies that have some kind of brand awareness." Notice how the phrase "good movies" never escapes his lips.

Source: Variety AND Variety

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