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All Jodie Foster Movies Ranked

1974 drama Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore is already one hell of a way to jump-start a pre-teen acting career for Jodie Foster, yet it would be her second collaboration with director Martin Scorsese that made her an international star. 1976’s Taxi Driver was a shocking game-changer in a decade full of them, with Foster’s casting as a 12-year-old prostitute eliciting awe and dread from audiences, not to mention an eventual Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. As a new unlikely industry “It” girl, Foster quickly began to fill her resume with roles equally precocious (Freaky Friday, Bugsy Malone) and dark (The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane) following Taxi Driver.

Foster continued to hone her craft through the ’80s and into the ’90s, receiving a Best Actress Oscar for 1988’s The Accused, and moving on to even bigger Oscar night wins for 1992’s The Silence of the Lambs. 1995’s Nell would be Foster’s last Oscar nom to date, but the Golden Globes have been more receptive: She’s been nominated since for 1997’s Contact, 2007’s The Brave One, 2011’s Carnage, received the Cecil B. DeMille Award in 2013, and finally won another acting Globe with 2021’s The Mauritanian.

More of Foster’s highlights during these decades include David Fincher’s Panic Room, Spike Lee’s Inside Man, and her own directorial-and-starring efforts like Money Monster. And now we take a look at all Jodie Foster movies ranked by Tomatometer!

#34

Siesta (1987)
17%

#34
Adjusted Score: 9215%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A sky diver (Ellen Barkin) wakes up in the middle of nowhere in Spain and dreamily recalls how she got... [More]
Directed By: Mary Lambert

#33

Stealing Home (1988)
20%

#33
Adjusted Score: 17893%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Failed baseball player Billy Wyatt (Mark Harmon) learns that his childhood sweetheart, Katie (Jodie Foster), has killed herself. The exuberant... [More]

#32

Flightplan (2005)
37%

#32
Adjusted Score: 44000%
Critics Consensus: The actors are all on key here, but as the movie progress, tension deflates as the far-fetched plot kicks in.
Synopsis: Airplane engineer Kyle Pratt (Jodie Foster) is heading home from Germany to New York on a double-decker Elgin 474 to... [More]
Directed By: Robert Schwentke

#31

The Brave One (2007)
44%

#31
Adjusted Score: 51942%
Critics Consensus: Magnetic by between Jodie Foster and Terrence Howard can't quite compensate for The Brave One's problematic and unconvincing eye-for-an-eye moral.
Synopsis: New York radio host Erica Bain (Jodie Foster) endures a brutal attack that leaves her badly injured and her beloved... [More]
Directed By: Neil Jordan

#30

Carny (1980)
50%

#30
Adjusted Score: 32143%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Frankie (Gary Busey) and Patch (Robbie Robertson) are partners in a traveling carnival who scam customers into wasting money on... [More]
Directed By: Robert Kaylor

#29

Backtrack (1989)
50%

#29
Adjusted Score: 34777%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: While fixing a flat tire, artist Anne Benton (Jodie Foster) sees a mob killing. She reports the murder to the... [More]
Directed By: Dennis Hopper

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 55610%
Critics Consensus: Beautiful cinematography can't prevent Anna and the King from being boring and overly lengthy.
Synopsis: Anna (Jodie Foster) has been employed to educate the king's (Chow Yun-Fat) 58 children. She knows very little of King... [More]
Directed By: Andy Tennant

#27

Nim's Island (2008)
52%

#27
Adjusted Score: 55473%
Critics Consensus: Despite good intentions, Nim's Island flounders under an implausible storyline, simplistic stock characters, and distracting product placement.
Synopsis: Life is an adventure for a courageous youngster named Nim (Abigail Breslin), who lives on an exotic island with her... [More]

#26

Shadows and Fog (1992)
52%

#26
Adjusted Score: 52615%
Critics Consensus: Shadows and Fog recreates the chiaroscuro aesthetic of German Expressionism, but Woody Allen's rambling screenplay retreads the director's neurotic obsessions with derivative results.
Synopsis: A serial strangler is on the loose, and a mob of neighborhood vigilantes is on the hunt. When several neighbors... [More]
Directed By: Woody Allen

#25

Nell (1994)
55%

#25
Adjusted Score: 55769%
Critics Consensus: Despite a committed performance by Jodie Foster, Nell opts for ponderous melodrama instead of engaging with the ethical dilemmas of socializing its titular wild child.
Synopsis: Cut off from the modern world, Nell (Jodie Foster) is a wild child, who has lived her entire life with... [More]
Directed By: Michael Apted

#24

Hotel Artemis (2018)
58%

#24
Adjusted Score: 67501%
Critics Consensus: Hotel Artemis has a few flashes of wit and an intriguing cast, but mostly it's just a serviceable chunk of slightly futuristic violence -- which might be all its audience is looking for.
Synopsis: As rioting rocks Los Angeles in the year 2028, disgruntled thieves make their way to Hotel Artemis -- a 13-story,... [More]
Directed By: Drew Pearce

#23

Money Monster (2016)
59%

#23
Adjusted Score: 77037%
Critics Consensus: Money Monster's strong cast and solidly written story ride a timely wave of socioeconomic anger that's powerful enough to overcome an occasionally muddled approach to its worthy themes.
Synopsis: Lee Gates is a Wall Street guru who picks hot stocks as host of the television show "Money Monster." Suddenly,... [More]
Directed By: Jodie Foster

#22

Sommersby (1993)
62%

#22
Adjusted Score: 62741%
Critics Consensus: Sommersby stumbles as a consistently compelling mystery, but typically solid work from Jodie Foster and Richard Gere fuels an engaging romance.
Synopsis: A man returns to his home town after a lengthy absence spent fighting in the US Civil War. Although his... [More]
Directed By: Jon Amiel

#21

The Beaver (2011)
62%

#21
Adjusted Score: 70310%
Critics Consensus: Jodie Foster's visual instincts and Mel Gibson's all-in performance sell this earnest, straightforward movie.
Synopsis: Walter Black (Mel Gibson), the head of a failing toy company, is deeply depressed. His marriage to Meredith (Jodie Foster)... [More]
Directed By: Jodie Foster

#20

Elysium (2013)
65%

#20
Adjusted Score: 74731%
Critics Consensus: After the heady sci-fi thrills of District 9, Elysium is a bit of a comedown for director Neill Blomkamp, but on its own terms, it delivers just often enough to satisfy.
Synopsis: In the year 2154, humanity is sharply divided between two classes of people: The ultrarich live aboard a luxurious space... [More]
Directed By: Neill Blomkamp

#19

Maverick (1994)
66%

#19
Adjusted Score: 69243%
Critics Consensus: It isn't terribly deep, but it's witty and undeniably charming, and the cast is obviously having fun.
Synopsis: This film update of the "Maverick" TV series finds the title cardsharp (Mel Gibson) hoping to join a poker contest... [More]
Directed By: Richard Donner

#18

Contact (1997)
66%

#18
Adjusted Score: 70084%
Critics Consensus: Contact elucidates stirring scientific concepts and theological inquiry at the expense of satisfying storytelling, making for a brainy blockbuster that engages with its ideas, if not its characters.
Synopsis: In this Zemeckis-directed adaptation of the Carl Sagan novel, Dr. Ellie Arroway (Jodie Foster) races to interpret a possible message... [More]
Directed By: Robert Zemeckis

#17

Foxes (1980)
70%

#17
Adjusted Score: 70103%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In the late 1970s, four teenage girls from San Fernando Valley, Calif., deal with the rampant dysfunction in their lives.... [More]
Directed By: Adrian Lyne

#16

Carnage (2011)
70%

#16
Adjusted Score: 77940%
Critics Consensus: It isn't as compelling on the screen as it was on the stage, but Carnage makes up for its flaws with Polanski's smooth direction and assured performances from Winslet and Foster.
Synopsis: When some roughhousing between two 11-year-old boys named Zachary and Ethan erupts into real violence, Ethan loses two teeth. Zachary's... [More]
Directed By: Roman Polanski

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 71330%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Based on the novel by John Irving, this unusual comedic drama follows the exploits of the eccentric hotel-operating Berry family.... [More]
Directed By: Tony Richardson

#14

The Mauritanian (2021)
75%

#14
Adjusted Score: 85453%
Critics Consensus: The Mauritanian takes a frustratingly generic approach to a real-life story that might have been inspirational in other hands, but Tahar Rahim's performance elevates the uneven material.
Synopsis: Directed by Kevin Macdonald and based on the NY Times best-selling memoir "Guantánamo Diary" by Mohamedou Ould Slahi, this is... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Macdonald

#13

Little Man Tate (1991)
74%

#13
Adjusted Score: 75418%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Fred Tate (Adam Hann-Byrd) is a 7-year-old with a genius IQ. Single mother Dede (Jodie Foster) worries Fred might have... [More]
Directed By: Jodie Foster

#12

Panic Room (2002)
75%

#12
Adjusted Score: 81824%
Critics Consensus: Elevated by David Fincher's directorial talent and Jodie Foster's performance, Panic Room is a well-crafted, above-average thriller.
Synopsis: Trapped in their New York brownstone's panic room, a hidden chamber built as a sanctuary in the event of break-ins,... [More]
Directed By: David Fincher

#11
Adjusted Score: 79452%
Critics Consensus: The inter-cutting of animation by Spawn's creator, Todd McFarlane, doesn't always work, but the performances by the young actors capture the pains of growing up well.
Synopsis: Francis Doyle (Emile Hirsch) and Tim Sullivan (Kieran Culkin), and their closest friends, are fighting the stultifying repression of their... [More]
Directed By: Peter Care

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 84342%
Critics Consensus: A well-crafted and visually arresting drama with a touch of whimsy.
Synopsis: Mathilde (Audrey Tautou) is told that her fiancé (Gaspard Ulliel) has been killed in World War I. She refuses to... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

#9

Five Corners (1987)
78%

#9
Adjusted Score: 69667%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This unusual film follows the unhinged Heinz (John Turturro), a rapist who has been released from prison, as he attempts... [More]
Directed By: Tony Bill

#8

Bugsy Malone (1976)
81%

#8
Adjusted Score: 83586%
Critics Consensus: Delightfully bizarre, Bugsy Malone harnesses immense charm from its cast of child actors playing wise guys with precocious pluck.
Synopsis: Fat Sam (John Cassisi), Bugsy (Scott Baio) and Tallulah (Jodie Foster) are kids playing adults in Roaring '20s New York.... [More]
Directed By: Alan Parker

#7

Inside Man (2006)
86%

#7
Adjusted Score: 95728%
Critics Consensus: Spike Lee's energetic and clever bank-heist thriller is a smart genre film that is not only rewarding on its own terms, but manages to subvert its pulpy trappings with wit and skill.
Synopsis: A tough detective (Denzel Washington) matches wits with a cunning bank robber (Clive Owen), as a tense hostage crisis is... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#6
Adjusted Score: 90961%
Critics Consensus: Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore finds Martin Scorsese wielding a somewhat gentler palette than usual, with generally absorbing results.
Synopsis: After her husband dies, Alice (Ellen Burstyn) and her son, Tommy, leave their small New Mexico town for California, where... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#5

Freaky Friday (2003)
88%

#5
Adjusted Score: 93106%
Critics Consensus: Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan charm in Mark Waters' nicely pitched -- and Disney's second -- remake of the 1976 hit.
Synopsis: Single mother Tess Coleman (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her teenage daughter Anna (Lindsay Lohan) couldn't be more different, and it... [More]
Directed By: Mark Waters

#4

The Accused (1988)
91%

#4
Adjusted Score: 92061%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Out drinking one night after a fight with her boyfriend, Sarah Tobias (Jodie Foster) is brutally raped by three men... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Kaplan

#3
Adjusted Score: 92569%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Quiet, withdrawn 13-year-old Rynn Jacobs (Jodie Foster) lives peacefully in her home in a New England beach town. Whenever the... [More]
Directed By: Nicolas Gessner

#2

Taxi Driver (1976)
96%

#2
Adjusted Score: 105409%
Critics Consensus: A must-see film for movie lovers, this Martin Scorsese masterpiece is as hard-hitting as it is compelling, with Robert De Niro at his best.
Synopsis: Suffering from insomnia, disturbed loner Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) takes a job as a New York City cabbie, haunting... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 104400%
Critics Consensus: Director Jonathan Demme's smart, taut thriller teeters on the edge between psychological study and all-out horror, and benefits greatly from stellar performances by Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster.
Synopsis: Jodie Foster stars as Clarice Starling, a top student at the FBI's training academy. Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn) wants Clarice... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Demme


It’s a week of bravura performances among new releases, so pick your favorite headliner and go: Jodie Foster going vigilante (The Brave One), Casey Affleck turning traitor (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford), or Cate Blanchett reigning supreme (Elizabeth: The Golden Age).


The Brave One

Tomatometer: 43%

Vigilante justice has a petite new heroine in Jodie Foster, who stars in and executive produced The Brave One. The victim of a random act of violence, nighttime radio host Erica Bain (Foster) survives but loses her fiancé (Lost‘s Naveen Andrews); arming herself with a gun, she finds her bloodlust increasing as she becomes the city’s mysterious dark angel while a cop (Terrence Howard) begins to piece together the puzzle. But despite a Golden Globes-nominated performance by Foster, critics were split; whether you’ll enjoy it may depend on your preference for exploitation films or intellectual character studies.

 

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Tomatometer: 75%

Turning in his second stellar performance of the year (after starring in brother Ben Affleck‘s Gone Baby Gone) is Casey Affleck, who plays titular gunman Robert Ford to Brad Pitt‘s outlaw Jesse James in Andrew Dominik‘s poetic Western. The true story of James’ death is fascinating in itself — James, famous for leading a gang of bank robbers with his brother Frank, was shot in the back by a member of his own inner circle. Dominik’s adaptation of Ron Hansen’s novel applies a dual focus to both Jesse James and his killer, “Bob” Ford, allowing the film to become not only a historical retelling but a meditation on self-destruction and celebrity. If you love the visual daring of Terrence Malick, and wonder what the heck happened to Britney Spears, this should make for an intriguing time.

 

Elizabeth: The Golden Age

Tomatometer: 34%

Proving that critics can overwhelmingly scold a film but the Academy of Motion Picture and Sciences will still deem it Oscar-worthy, Shekhar Kapur‘s follow-up to 1998’s Elizabeth finds the Virgin Queen (double-Oscar nominee Cate Blanchett) on the brink of war with Spain and dealing with her own forbidden attraction to the roguish Walter Raleigh (Clive Owen). Viewers hungry for the film’s sumptuous production design and costumes will enjoy a bonus menu of behind-the-scenes featurettes, deleted scenes, and Kapur’s feature-length commentary.


 

Across the Universe


Tomatometer: 53%

The music catalog of the Fab Four has been used before to illustrate a storyline — we’ll forgive Peter Frampton and the Bee Gees their abuse of the Beatles’ songbook in Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band — but writer-director Julie Taymor makes magnificently poppy use of it in this splashy, epic musical. Evan Rachel Wood and Jim Sturgess star as young lovers who along with their friends get swept along with pivotal events of the 1960s (race riots, bohemia, Vietnam) via song, every number inventively designed to borrow meaning from the lyrics of John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

2 Days in Paris


Tomatometer: 87%

Julie Delpy stars in her writing and directing debut about a dysfunctional couple (Delpy and Adam Goldberg) at the tail end of a vacation, and possibly their relationship, spending the titular time in the City of Love. Critics found the comedy of relationship errors sharply observed and charming; also of interest on the DVD release is a 16-minute interview with Delpy, who not only wrote and directed the film, but served as composer and producer.

Fierce People


Tomatometer: 23%

Teenager Finn (Anton Yelchin) would rather spend his summer studying the “fierce people” of South America with his anthropologist father, but must accompany his mother (Diane Lane) to live among the country club set with her former client (Donald Sutherland), based on the novel by Dirk Wittenborn.

Descent


Tomatometer: 24%

Rosario Dawson plays a co-ed rape victim who overcomes her subsequent social and psychological withdrawal to seek revenge upon her attacker; despite Dawson’s noble performance, critics can’t forgive the story its artful pretension or its degrading conclusion.

The Ten Commandments


Tomatometer: 16%

This week’s pick of CG offerings is also the number one choice for camp value: an all-new cartoon version of The Ten Commandments, featuring Christian Slater as Moses! Unfortunately (rather, even more unfortunately) the familiar tale of Red Sea-parting and tablets from God is poorly animated…giving voice actors Slater, Alfred Molina (Rameses), Elliott Gould (God) and Ben Kingsley (Narrator) an even harder sell.

‘Til next week, happy renting!

The nominations for the 65th annual Golden Globe Awards were announced this morning. Did your favorite films, stars, and songs make the cut?

The nominees were read at the Beverly Hilton by a surreal panel consisting of Dane Cook, Hayden Panettiere, Ryan Reynolds, and Quentin Tarantino. The film nominations follow below, with Tomatometers in parentheses:

Picture, Drama:

American Gangster (79 percent)
Atonement (85 percent)
Eastern Promises (88 percent)
The Great Debaters
Michael Clayton (90 percent)
No Country for Old Men (95 percent)
There Will Be Blood (100 percent)

Actress, Drama:
Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth: The Golden Age (34 percent)
Julie Christie, Away From Her (95 percent)
Jodie Foster, The Brave One (45 percent)
Angelina Jolie, A Mighty Heart (77 percent)
Keira Knightley, Atonement

Actor, Drama:
George Clooney, Michael Clayton
Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
James McAvoy, Atonement
Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises
Denzel Washington, American Gangster

Picture, Musical or Comedy:
Across the Universe (52 percent)
Charlie Wilson’s War (92 percent)
Hairspray (92 percent)
Juno (92 percent)
Sweeney Todd (92 percent)

Actress, Musical or Comedy:

Amy Adams, Enchanted (94 percent)
Nikki Blonsky, Hairspray
Helena Bonham Carter, Sweeney Todd
Marion Cotillard, La Vie En Rose (74 percent)
Ellen Page, Juno

Actor, Musical or Comedy:

Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd
Ryan Gosling, Lars and the Real Girl (78 percent)
Tom Hanks, Charlie Wilson’s War
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Savages (89 percent)
John C. Reilly, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

Supporting Actress:
Cate Blanchett, I’m Not There (80 percent)
Julia Roberts, Charlie Wilson’s War
Saoirse Ronan, Atonement
Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone (93 percent)
Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton

Supporting Actor:
Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (75 percent)
Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Wilson’s War
John Travolta, Hairspray
Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton

Director:
Tim Burton, Sweeney Todd
Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, No Country for Old Men
Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (94 percent)
Ridley Scott, American Gangster
Joe Wright, Atonement

Screenplay:
Diablo Cody, Juno
Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, No Country for Old Men
Christopher Hampton, Atonement
Ronald Harwood, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Aaron Sorkin, Charlie Wilson’s War

Foreign Language:
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, Romania (96 percent)
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, France and U.S.
The Kite Runner, U.S. (65 percent)
Lust, Caution, Taiwan (64 percent)
Persepolis, France (100 percent)

Animated Film:
Bee Movie (52 percent)
Ratatouille (97 percent)
The Simpsons Movie (88 percent)

Original Score:
Michael Brook, Kaki King, Eddie Vedder, Into the Wild (82 percent)
Clint Eastwood, Grace Is Gone (70 percent)
Alberto Iglesias, The Kite Runner
Dario Marianelli, Atonement
Howard Shore, Eastern Promises

Original Song: Despedida from Love in the Time of Cholera (28 percent)
Grace Is Gone from Grace Is Gone
Guaranteed from Into the Wild
That’s How You Know from Enchanted

Walk Hard from Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

Source: Associated Press
Source: Golden Globes

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.

Source: Variety
Source: The Movie Blog

In a fierce head-to-head battle,
The Rock‘s
family comedy The
Game Plan
upset
Jamie Foxx‘s
action thriller The
Kingdom
this weekend and became the first PG-rated film since June to
open at number one. The wrestler-turned-actor collected an estimated $22.7M in
ticket sales for his first kidpic and exceeded industry expectations going into
the weekend. Disney’s latest hit comedy averaged a solid $7,307 from 3,103
theaters. Game marked The Rock’s second biggest opening ever in a lead role
after 2002’s The Scorpion King which bowed to $36.1M.

The film is the latest to take a macho action star and put him in a
family-friendly situation involving kids. In
The Game Plan
,
The Rock plays a superstar quarterback and stylish bachelor who finds out he has
a daughter. The studio found success with the same formula two years ago with
Vin Diesel‘s
The Pacifier
which debuted much better than expected with $30.6M on its way to an amazing
$113.1M. Game Plan also tapped into a family audience starving for
entertainment as the past several weeks have been dominated by adult fare and
R-rated movies for older teens. Studio research showed that 52% of the audience
was female, 53% was under 25, and two-thirds of the crowd consisted of families.
With a CinemaScore grade of A, and most October releases offering nothing
exciting for kids, Disney should expect playability for many weeks to come.


Settling for the runnerup spot but still generating solid results was
The Kingdom
which
premiered to an estimated $17.7M. The Universal release averaged an impressive
$6,335 from 2,793 locations. Carrying the R rating, the
Peter Berg-directed
film finds Jamie Foxx leading a team of FBI agents into Saudi Arabia to
investigate an attack on Americans living there. Critics were mixed in their
reviews.
Jennifer Garner
,
Chris Cooper,
Jason Bateman,
and Jeremy Piven
co-star. Unlike Game Plan, Kingdom faced plenty of competition
given that the marketplace offered several other serious films aimed at adult
audiences.


Last weekend’s top film
Resident
Evil: Extinction
collapsed in its second frame tumbling 66% to an
estimated $8M for a ten-day tally of $36.8M. The Sony threequel should finish up
in the same neighborhood as its predecessor
Resident
Evil: Apocalypse
which grossed $50.7M three years ago at the same time
of year.



Lionsgate followed with a pair of pics. The romantic comedy
Good Luck Chuck

fell 54% to an estimated $6.3M for a cume of $23.6M in ten days. A $35M final
seems likely. The Western
3:10 to Yuma

grossed an estimated $4.2M, off only 32%, for a $43.9M total.


Jodie Foster‘s
crime thriller The Brave
One
dropped 49% to an estimated $3.7M and raised its sum to $30.8M for
Warner Bros. New Line’s
Billy Bob
Thornton
comedy
Mr. Woodcock
followed in seventh place with an estimated $3M, down 39%,
giving the pic $19.6M to date.


The mob pic
Eastern Promises
fell sharply by 49% to an estimated $2.9M for Focus
while Universal’s teen comedy
Sydney White

took in an estimated $2.7M falling 48%. Cumes stand at $11.2M and $8.6M,
respectively.


Jumping into the top ten was the musical film
Across the
Universe
which grossed an estimated $2.1M from only 339 theaters for a
solid $6,047 average. Sony widened the release slightly from 276 locations and
will continue to expand in the weeks ahead. Universe has banked $5.5M to
date in limited release.




Two films from acclaimed directors enjoyed sizzling platform debuts in New
York City this weekend. Fox Searchlight’s
Wes Anderson
pic The
Darjeeling Limited
debuted on Saturday and grossed an estimated $140,000
from only two theaters for a powerful two-day average of $70,000. The distrib
will add 17 more theaters in six additional markets on Friday.
Ang Lee, the
first non-white man to win the Oscar for Best Director, debuted his latest film
Lust, Caution in one
Manhattan location and was greeted with an estimated $62,000. Focus will expand
the NC-17 film throughout October.




Among arthouse titles expanding,
Sean Penn‘s
Into the Wild

grossed an estimated $669,000 from 33 sites for a sturdy $20,271 average for
Paramount Vantage. Warner Bros. averaged $18,400 with its
Brad PittCasey
Affleck
period saga

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
which took in
an estimated $92,000 from five theaters dipping 38%. Not as lucky as it widened
was the Tommy
Lee Jones
drama
In the Valley
of Elah
which brought in an estimated $1.5M from 762 locations for a
weak $2,008 average. Cume is $3.5M for Warner Independent.


Dead on arrival in wide release was the ensemble drama
Feast of Love

with Morgan
Freeman
. The MGM release opened to an estimated $1.8M from 1,200 playdates
for a dismal $1,462 average.


Three movies fell out of the top ten over the weekend. Universal’s smash
actioner The
Bourne Ultimatum
dropped 39% to an estimated $1.7M for a superb $222.8M
domestic total. The Matt Damon hit is the year’s only threequel to surpass the
grosses of both of its two predecessors. A final North American gross of around
$229M should result. Overseas, Ultimatum has also overpowered the two
prior Bourne pics with its international gross of $161.7M putting the
global gross at a stellar $384.5M.




The smash teen comedy
Superbad
dropped 47% to an estimated $1.7M boosting the cume to an
amazing $118.9M. Sony should end up with roughly $123M. On the other hand,
Freestyle Releasing has captured a mere $10M with its fantasy adventure
Dragon Wars
which is
fading fast and should conclude with only $12M.



The top ten films grossed an estimated $73.2M which was down 13% from last
year when Open Season
debuted in first place with $23.6M; but up 3% from 2005 when
Flightplan
stayed
in the top spot with $14.8M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya,
www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

 

Two new films were met with enthusiasm from North American moviegoers who
powered each film past the openings of their respective predecessors. Fans of
action and horror lined up for the threequel
Resident
Evil: Extinction
which bowed at number one while those in search of a
laugh spent their dollars on the romantic comedy
Good Luck Chuck
.
Both opened with averages of more than $5,000 each and helped to fill the entire
Top Five with R-rated fare as the overall marketplace bounced back after recent
sluggish weeks.

Gamers still love to go to the movies. That’s what Sony learned with its
estimated $24M opening weekend for
Resident
Evil: Extinction
, the third and supposedly final chapter of the popular
movie franchise starring
Milla Jovovich.
If the estimate holds, it will give the latest chapter the best debut of the
series. 2002’s original premiered with $17.7M while its 2004 sequel
Resident
Evil: Apocalypse
bowed to $23M. Final grosses reached $39.5M and $50.7M,
respectively. In a world where third parts rarely enjoy the biggest opening in a
series (The Bourne Ultimatum is the only other of this year’s seven threequels
to do so), Extinction‘s performance is noteworthy in that it generated
its strong gross from 456 fewer theaters than Apocalyspe had three years
ago.





Dane Cook and
Jessica Alba
made a popular couple as their new romantic comedy
Good Luck Chuck

opened in second place with a solid $14M, according to estimates. Lionsgate
released the R-rated pic in 2,612 locations and averaged a commendable $5,360
per site. Critics trashed the film but moviegoers paid no attention. The debut
was 23% better than the $11.4M opening of Cook’s last comedy,
Employee of the
Month
, which the distributor bowed last October. In Chuck, the actor
plays a man who women find lucky since all his ex-girlfriends go on to get
engaged after dating him.
 




Jodie Foster
dropped two spots with her vigilante thriller
The Brave One
which
fell 45% to an estimated $7.4M in its second weekend. The Warner Bros. release
has grossed $25.1M in ten days and should reach the vicinity of $44M, or a
little less than half of the grosses of the last starring roles for the actress
– $89.7M for Flightplan
and $95.3M for Panic
Room
. The Lionsgate Western
3:10 to Yuma

continued to have good legs easing only 29% to an estimated $6.4M for a 17-day
cume of $37.9M.
 



The mob thriller
Eastern Promises
starring Viggo Mortensen expanded into nationwide
release and jumped into fifth place with an estimated $5.7M. Widening from 15 to
1,404 venues, the Focus title averaged a respectable $4,093 per site. Eastern
did not show the same strength as director
David
Cronenberg’
s last film
A History of
Violence
(another Viggo pic that opened limited in September) which
grossed $8.1M and averaged $6,047 when it expanded nationally in its sophomore
frame two years ago. Cume for Eastern stands at $6.5M.
 





Stumbling into sixth place was the new
Amanda Bynes
teen comedy Sydney
White
which bowed to an estimated $5.3M from 2,104 locations for a weak
$2,530 average. The Universal release sets the classic Snow White story on a
modern-day college campus and attracted half the business of Bynes’ last comedy
She’s the
Man
(an adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Twelfth Night) which opened to
$10.7M in March 2006. Sydney skewed to a young female audience, as expected.
 


New Line’s
Billy Bob Thornton
comedy
Mr. Woodcock

dropped 43% in its second weekend to an estimated $5M putting the ten-day total
at $15.7M. A $25-28M final seems likely. Fellow comedy
Superbad
grossed an
estimated $3.1M, off 39%, giving Sony $116.2M to date. The studio also crossed
the $1 billion mark in domestic tickets sales for the sixth year in a row.
 



Universal’s assassin smash
The Bourne Ultimatum

dipped only 32% to an estimated $2.8M pushing the domestic haul to $220.2M.
Universal can now claim the only two summer films to spend eight weeks in the
top ten as the Matt Damon smash joined studio stablemate
Knocked Up
.
Rounding out the top ten was the fantasy adventure
Dragon Wars
with an
estimated $2.5M, down 50%, for a ten-day cume of only $8.6M.
 





Debuting to scorching results in limited release was
Sean Penn‘s
latest directorial effort
Into the Wild

which banked an estimated $207,000 from only four theaters for a potent $51,649
per site. The Paramount Vantage release stars
Emile Hirsch,
earned strong reviews, and helped critics get the bad taste of Penn’s
All the King’s Men

out of their mouths. Wild expands to the top dozen markets next weekend.
 



Warner Bros. got off to a solid start with its Old West tale

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
which made
off with an estimated $144,000 from 15 theaters for a $9,600 average. Ten of the
locations were in Austin with most double-screening the nearly-three-hour outlaw
tale. The Brad PittCasey
Affleck
starrer earned generally good notices from reviewers and will widen
on Friday.
 





With all the new films in wide release, four pictures dropped out of the top ten
over the weekend. New Line’s
Rush Hour 3
took
in an estimated $2.2M, off 33%, giving the
Jackie ChanChris
Tucker
vehicle $136.1M to date. Look for a final domestic gross of about
$142M. Fellow franchise flick
Halloween
tumbled
56% to an estimated $2.2M as well giving MGM $54.6M to date. A finish of $58M
seems likely.
 



A weekend estimate of $1.7M greeted the comedies
Balls of Fury

from Focus and
Mr. Bean’s Holiday
from Universal. The ping pong pic fell 47% for a cume
of $31.3M while the
Rowan Atkinson
Eurotrip eased 36% and has gathered $30.8M to date. A final domestic tally of
$35M should result for each.
 





Expanding successfully was the Sony musical saga
Across the
Universe
with an estimated $2.1M from only 276 theaters for an
impressive $7,428 average. The
Julie Taymor-directed
pic expanded from its platform debut in 23 venues last weekend and has raised
its total to $3M.
 





Paramount launched the summer megahit
Transformers

in Imax theaters over the weekend and saw its weekend take jump 196% to an
estimated $1.4M (including sales from standard-format screens). That pushed the
cume to $313.6M putting the robots in disguise at number 21 on the list of
all-time domestic blockbusters and less than $1 million away from tossing

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
($314.2M) out of the
Top 20.
 





The top ten films grossed an estimated $76.2M which was off 1% from last year
when Jackass:
Number Two
debuted in first place with $29M; and down 10% from 2005 when
Flightplan opened in the top spot with $24.6M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya,
www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

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

For the second straight weekend, a star-driven action drama aimed at adult
audiences opened at number one with $14M in ticket sales from roughly 2,700
theaters. This time it was
Jodie Foster‘s
The Brave One
which topped the charts bumping former champ
3:10 to Yuma
to
the runner-up spot.
Billy Bob
Thornton
‘s new comedy
Mr. Woodcock

opened respectably in third while the fantasy actioner
Dragon Wars
bowed to
weak results in fourth place.

Warner Bros. captured the top spot with the vigilante thriller
The Brave One
this
weekend averaging a solid $5,087 from 2,755 theaters. The Jodie Foster film’s
gross was enough to claim the number one spot, but was a far cry from the
numbers that the Oscar-winning actress has seen from recent films. The R-rated
pic’s bow was 43% weaker than her last film
Flightplan
‘s
$24.6M launch in September 2005 and down 53% from the $30.1M debut of
Panic Room
in
March 2002. All were adult-skewing thrillers anchored solo by Foster playing a
strong woman who takes care of problems on her own.
 



Two elements that may have dampened the grosses for Brave were lukewarm
reviews and a better-than-expected hold from
3:10 to Yuma

which is also playing to a mature adult crowd. Foster was aggressively promoting
the Neil Jordan-directed
film on every TV and print outlet over the past two weeks but that did little to
prevent the revenge pic from posting one of her worst openings in recent years.
In fact, over the last decade, her only wide release to debut weaker was 1999’s
Anna and
the King
with $5.2M.
 





The Brave One was the first number one hit of the year to be anchored by
a woman. It could be followed by another next weekend when
Milla Jovovich‘s
action sequel
Resident
Evil: Extinction
attacks.
 




Audiences kept lining up for
Russell Crowe
and Christian
Bale
in the Western 3:10 to Yuma which enjoyed a strong hold in its
second weekend dropping only 35% to an estimated $9.2M. That gave Lionsgate a
solid $28.5M after ten days with $50M possible by the end of the run which will
make it one of the distributor’s top-grossing non-Saw
films.





Opening with a decent showing in third place was the
Billy Bob ThorntonSeann
William Scott
comedy
Mr. Woodcock

with an estimated $9.1M. Averaging $4,079 from
2,231 theaters, the PG-13 pic performed slightly better than Thornton’s last
comedy
School for Scoundrels
which bowed to $8.6M despite playing in 773 more
theaters last September. Critics were understandably harsh.





The fantasy adventure film Dragon Wars debuted with weak results in fourth with
an estimated $5.4M from 2,269 sites for a poor $2,371 average. The PG-13 film
from Freestyle Releasing attracted poor reviews. Teen sensation Superbad spent its fifth straight weekend in the Top Five
grossing an estimated $5.2M and boosted Sony’s cume to $111.3M. MGM’s horror
redo Halloween fell 47% to an estimated $5M in its third scare and lifted its
sum to $51.3M.
 


Dipping only 27% was
The Bourne Ultimatum
which grossed an estimated $4.2M
pushing the massive cume to $216.2M. Only one 2007 release has performed better
in its seventh weekend — Wild Hogs with $4.7M in April. Overseas, the Universal
hit collected an estimated $20.8M from 4,333 theaters in 46 territories and
enjoyed number one debuts in France, South Korea, Belgium, Norway and the
Netherlands. That lifted the international total to $125M and the global tally
to $341M making it the biggest Bourne ever. Look for the $400M barrier to fall
later this fall.
 



The sports comedy Balls of Fury drooped down to eighth place with an estimated
$3.3M, off 41%, for a $28.9M total after 19 days for Focus. New Line’s action
sequel Rush Hour 3 held up well again sliding 32% to an estimated $3.3M for a cume of $133.2M to date. The family comedy
Mr Bean’s Holiday eased only 22% to
an estimated $2.7M for a $28.5M sum for Universal.
 



There was plenty of activity in the arthouses as Oscar season got underway with
strong limited launches from a handful of early contenders. Director
David
Cronenberg
‘s crime thriller
Eastern Promises
generated the best average with its
estimated $553,000 bow from 15 theaters for a muscular $36,867 per site. The
R-rated tale won the top audience prize at the Toronto International Film
Festival on Saturday boosting its industry profile and will expand on Friday to
more than 1,300 locations nationwide. This weekend’s results were almost
identical to the platform bow of Cronenberg’s last film
A History of Violence

which opened in mid-September two years ago in 14 theaters to a $515,992 frame
and $36,857 average before expanding wide the following weekend with $8.1M from
1,340 venues and a $6,047 average. Coincidentally, Jodie Foster was number one
at that time with Flightplan.



Sony’s musical extravaganza
Across the Universe
was red hot also with a debut of
an estimated $685,000 from 23 venues for a potent $29,783 average. Studio data
showed that the Julie Taymor-directed pic skewed towards young women as the
audience breakdown was 62% female and 57% under 25. Universe also widens on
Friday and will be in roughly 400 playdates.



The Tommy Lee Jones military mystery
In the Valley of Elah opened to solid
results with an estimated $150,000 from nine locations for a $16,667 average.
Warner Independent reported that the audience was more male and older. Directed
by Paul Haggis,
Elah will expand to 250-300 runs next weekend. The
distributor’s
Daniel Radcliffe drama
December Boys did not fare as well and
grossed an estimated $18,000 from four theaters for a mild $4,500 average in New
York and Los Angeles. Pic will widen to 10 theaters on Friday and will have a
tough road ahead given the avalanche of limited-release options on the horizon.



Three films dropped out of the top ten over the weekend. New Line’s stylish
action thriller Shoot
‘Em Up
tumbled 55% in its second weekend to an estimated
$2.6M giving the Clive Owen pic only $10.3M after ten days. A $15M final seems
likely. The Nanny Diaries grossed an estimated $2.2M, off 31%, for a cume of
$24M. The MGM release should finish up with just under $30M. Paramount’s
expensive flop Stardust took in an estimated $1.4M, down 25%, for a domestic
tally of only $36.4M. With a reported production cost of $65M, the adventure
film looks to end its run with a disappointing $40M.




The top ten films grossed an estimated $61.3M which was up 9% from last year
when Gridiron Gang debuted in first place with $14.4M; but down 8% from 2005
when Just Like Heaven opened in the top spot with $16.4M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, Box Office Guru

Two-time Oscar winner Jodie Foster returns to the big screen this weekend in the vigilante thriller The Brave One which has its sights set on an easy top spot debut. The frame’s only other wide openers, the comedy Mr. Woodcock and the fantasy adventure Dragon Wars, bring with them less buzz and look to make less of a dent into the North American box office.

Gunning for her third number one hit in as many years, Foster takes a darker role starring as a woman who takes the law into her own hands after her fiancé is brutally beaten and killed in the Warner Bros. drama The Brave One. The R-rated film from director Neil Jordan (The Crying Game, Interview with the Vampire) co-stars Terrence Howard, Naveen Andrews, and Mary Steenburgen and should play to an adult audience. Cross-gender appeal is strong here so this will not play out like a chick flick or a woman-in-peril film. Foster is one of very few women in Hollywood bankable enough to open pictures consistently year after year and she tends to pick projects with commercial viability in the first place. Gone are the Nell days.

The Brave One should play to the same crowd that came out for two other September thrillers led by fortysomething white women – Foster’s own Flightplan from 2005 and Julianne Moore‘s The Forgotten from a year earlier. Flightplan took off with $24.6M and a $7,193 average while Forgotten bowed to $21M and a $6,773 average. Brave carries a harsher R rating but that should not affect the grosses too much since most of the interest will come from those over 16 anyway. A more narrow release in 2,755 theaters will have an impact though. Marketing has been top notch and Foster has been making so many promotional appearances that you’d think her name were Hillary. Despite a bad title, The Brave One should still score a strong opening weekend in the number one spot and could gross about $22M over three days.




Jodie Foster is The Brave One.

Seann William Scott and Billy Bob Thornton compete over who has the best three names in the biz in the new comedy Mr. Woodcock. The PG-13 film finds a young man whose life is traumatized when his mother decides to marry his old nemesis, the junior high gym teacher. The New Line release does offer up some starpower from the two leads plus Susan Sarandon as the remarrying mom. Hopes are for a wide age range to take interest. But the buzz around the picture is not too strong and it is not exactly at the top of the must-see list at this moment for teens and young adults. The Thornton-Sarandon crowd will be hard to reach with Jodie and Russell out there with high profile flicks for mature adults. Crashing into over 2,200 locations, Mr. Woodcock could debut with about $6M.


Billy Bob Thornton is Mr. Woodcock.

The forces of good and evil go at it once again in the new fantasy adventure Dragon Wars from Freestyle Releasing. The PG-13 pic hopes to tear young males away from their PlayStations, but with zero starpower and a light marketing push the grosses and averages will not fly too high. After a big wave of good summer action movies targeted this demo, a series of bad ones went after young guys too in recent weeks. That leaves little space at the multiplexes. Debuting in a curiously wide 2,000 theaters, Dragon Wars could collect about $4M this weekend.


The Korean sci-fi/thriller Dragon Wars a.k.a. D-War

Audiences have been upbeat on the Russell CroweChristian Bale Western 3:10 to Yuma and its older skew should mean that the sophomore drop will not be too fierce. Plus competition for adult men is not very formidable. A 40% decline to $8.5M could result giving Lionsgate about $28M after ten days.

Halloween‘s freefall means it will be out of theaters by the time trick-or-treating begins. A 55% drop would lead to a $4M frame and a 17-day tally of $50M. Superbad should continue its strong run with a 40% dip to $3M which would boost Sony’s total to $109M.

LAST YEAR: The Rock‘s football drama Gridiron Gang from Sony led a batch of new films with a debut of $14.4M which was good enough to clinch first place. Opening in second and playing to a more mature adult audience was The Black Dahlia with $10M for Universal. Final grosses reached $38.4M and $22.5M. Bowing poorly in third was the baseball toon Everyone’s Hero with $6.1M for Fox on its way to just $14.5M. Sony’s teen thriller The Covenant dropped from first to fourth with $4.8M while Paramount’s The Last Kiss opened quietly in fifth with $4.6M leading to a $11.6M final.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

This week at the movies, we’ve got vigilantes (The Brave One, starring
Jodie Foster), gym teachers (Mr. Woodcock, starring
Billy Bob Thornton and
Susan Sarandon), war correspondents (The Hunting Party, starring
Richard Gere and
Terrence Howard), and
flying menaces (Dragon Wars, starring
Jason
Behr
). What do the critics have to say?

In Taxi Driver,
Robert DeNiro played a cabbie that went on a killing
spree to "protect" a teenage hooker played by Jodie Foster. Now, with
The Brave One, it’s Foster’s turn to take the law into her own hands. She plays
a talk radio host whose significant other is killed in a random attack,
triggering an impulse to arm herself and "avenge" her husband’s killing.
Terrence Howard plays a detective who’s on the trail of this vigilante. Critics
say The Brave One‘s an-eye-for-an-eye message is problematic, but the
material is slightly elevated by
Neil Jordan‘s direction and strong performances from Foster
and Howard. At 43 percent on the Tomatometer, Brave may not be one to watch.
(Check out our review from the Toronto Film Festival

here
.)




"Hi, can you guys tell me where the frozen banana stand is?"


Some couldn’t climb a rope, others got pelted with dodge balls: It’s safe to say
a lot of us have negative associations with gym class, the most Darwinian of
middle school educational pursuits.
Mr. Woodcock
taps into that feeling,
but not quite successfully, say the pundits. The movie stars
Seann William Scott
as a self-help author who’s never quite gotten over the ritual abuse he suffered
at the hands of his P.E. teacher, the sadistic Mr. Woodcock (Billy Bob
Thornton); the trauma continues when he learns his mom (Susan Sarandon) is
dating his old nemesis. Critics say Woodcock lacks the energy to make the
most of its intriguing premise, and underutilizes a talented cast. At 18 percent
on the Tomatometer, Mr. Woodcock isn’t in very good shape.




"Remember when I gave your son an atomic wedgie in the locker
room?"


The Hunting Party
tells the story of two veteran war correspondents
(Richard Gere and Terrence Howard) on the trail of a Bosnian war criminal — and
the story that could make their careers. The Hunting Party isn’t the
first movie to attempt to mine bleak humor from the Bosnian conflict (the
Oscar-winning No Man’s Land also found some grim laughs in the midst of
that bitter war). But critics say director
Richard Shepard‘s follow-up to
The
Matador
is awkward at a tonal level, shifting from dark satire to serious
discussions of international politics to create an uneven film, despite the best
efforts of its game leads. At 46 percent, this Party isn’t quite as
swinging as it should be. (Check out our interview with Shepard

here
.)



Don’t hold your breath for this one.


Far be it from us to question the collective taste of the good folks in South
Korea. It’s just that Dragon Wars, which made out like gangbusters at the
Korean box office, wasn’t screened for critics in the U.S. of A. Dragon
Wars
tells the story of a TV reporter (Jason Behr) who discovers that
earthquakes around Los Angeles are not the work of plate tectonics but a dragon
possessed with the spirit of a 500-year-old warrior. No, it’s not a documentary.
Yes, you should attempt to Guess the Tomatometer.

Also opening this week in limited release:
The Great World of Sound,
a
drama about a pair of traveling music producers, is at 82 percent;
Forever
,
a documentary about Paris’s famed Pere-Lachaise cemetery, is at 80 percent;
David
Cronenberg
‘s
Eastern Promises
, starring
Viggo Mortensen as a member
of London’s underworld, is at 79 percent (check out our interview with Cronenberg and Mortensen
here);
King of California, starring
Michael
Douglas
and
Evan Rachel Wood as a father and daughter on a quest for gold, is at
75 percent; Paul Haggis
In the Valley of Elah, starring
Tommy Lee Jones
and Charlize Theron, about a war vet’s search for his missing son who recently
returned from Iraq, is at 63 percent;
Ira & Abby
, a rom-com about a
whirlwind courtship that takes a dark turn, is at 50 percent;
Across the
Universe
,
Julie Taymor‘s ambitions musical that chronicles the 1960s through
the music of the Beatles, is at 45 percent (check out our Beatles movie feature
here);
December Boys, a story of orphaned teenagers in Australia starring
Daniel Radcliffe, is at 43 percent; and
Silk, a period romance starring
Keira Knightley and Michael Pitt, is at zero percent.




"Who are we?" "The Wildcats!" "Who are we gonna beat?" "The
Wildcats!"


Recent Jodie Foster Movies:
————————————
87% — Inside Man (2006)
38% — Flightplan (2005)
77% — A Very Long Engagement (2004)
76% — Panic Room (2002)
51% — Anna and the King (1999)

Recent Billy Bob Thornton Movies:
——————————————-
59% — The Astronaut Farmer (2007)
25% — School for Scoundrels (2006)
45% — The Ice Harvest (2005)
46% — Bad News Bears (2005)
79% — Chrystal (2004)

The recording artist known as Mims never spoke truer words. Toronto is hot, y’all. Real hot.

The weather forecast for tomorrow in sunny Toronto, Ontario is 90 degrees with about a billion percent humidity, so it is from only the most devoted reaches of our Tomato-strewn hearts that we sludge through the heat to report from the Toronto Film Festival. (Overheard today: “I feel like there’s a warm fog blanketing my skin.” Gross.)

We kicked off Day One of the fest with a handful of good-to-great films (the perfect way to get over the hassle of “missing” press badges and mile-long lines). The (at least kinda) good: Neil Jordan‘s The Brave One; Michael Moore‘s Captain Mike Across America (Alex Vo weighs in on them here). The better: Tony Gilroy‘s Michael Clayton. The great: Amos Gitai‘s Disengagement; Ang Lee‘s Lust, Caution.

Going into the morning’s screening of Lust, Caution, expectations were scattered; what had seemed like a sure contender from the Brokeback Mountain Oscar-winner had been cast into doubt by a few early Venice reviews. Would the period Chinese espionage erotic thriller be too plodding, at a robust 157-minute runtime? Might the NC-17 pic contain too much caution, and not enough lust? Duh-duh-duhhhhhn! (More on the film tomorrow — but Ang Lee fans, rest easy. It plays like a multi-textual epic with a touch of Paul Verhoeven‘s Black Book and a dash of Last Tango in Paris, guided by Lee’s masterly touch.)




Right back at ya, Roger.

Coming out of Lust, Caution (which I recommend staying through the credits for just to hear Alexandre Desplat‘s amazing score) I ran into everyone’s favorite movie critic — Roger Ebert! — accompanied by his lovely wife Chaz and his friendly young nurse. They stopped to chat (I can’t wait for Roger’s observations on the film) and gave RT the infamous Thumbs. Lovely people, those two. It’s their first big festival appearance in a while, after the last Ebertfest. Welcome back, Roger!

Thursday evening was spent undertaking a film festival cram session — namely, trying (mostly in vain) to sort through the week’s schedule. Tomorrow morning will be spent doing the publicist shuffle in no less than four area hotels.




Mr. Davy Lynn Bousman

But soon enough, it was time…time to party! Kind of. Made it across town to a Saw IV party and red carpet, where the highlight of my 30 or so minutes spent was either my brief, silly chat with Saw director Darren Lynn Bousman, or watching a gaudily dressed on-camera hostess sidle up to him for an interview, calling him “Davy.” Or maybe it was “Danny.” Definitely not “Darren.”

TIFF is why it’s hot.


Stay tuned to our ongoing coverage of the sights, sounds, and smells of the Toronto International Film Festival!

Greetings from slightly up north! Though flicks with promising titles like Young People F***ing, I’ve Never Had Sex…, and Iron Ladies of Liberia had to be skipped, I
come to you from our antediluvian (and supposedly haunted) inn with reviews of three high-profile releases: The Brave One, Captain Mike Across America
, and Michael Clayton.

Imagine Terry Gross. With a glock. On a killing spree. There, you essentially have The Brave One (out in theaters September 14). Jodie Foster stars as an NPR-y radio personality who, along with her boyfriend, is
brutally beaten during a walk in the park. The boyfriend dies, and Foster emerges from her coma angry, withdrawn, and soon ready for vengeance. The film’s moral outrage is palpable,
but honestly it works only a visceral level. When The Brave One goes into Taxi Driver mode, its agenda pushing gets seriously tedious, especially when its conclusions are
so black and white. The good guys are good, the bad obviously bad, and there’s not much attempt to find the thin line separating them. Yet during the action scenes when the film plays
like The Punisher on estrogen, the violence is well-staged titillation and nearly worth waiting around for. I guess this says something about America’s
fetish with gun violence, though probably it speaks more of the film’s monotony when nobody’s on the floor bleeding.

In the months leading up to the 2004 presidential election, Michael Moore embarked on a 60-college tour with speeches
and musical guests (I hope someone YouTubes Eddie Vedder’s
gorgeously tender cover of Cat Stevens) to motivate the dormitory dwellers into the voting booths. Yet despite all the time Moore spends onscreen, Captain Mike Across America
comes off as oddly impersonal documentary. Moments of drama are all too brief (like Republicans suing him for allegedly bribing students with instant ramen and underwear)
and the film is dispassionately shot from the audience’s perspective. Considering how much manpower it must’ve taken to organize the tour and how it ultimately failed to turn the
presidential tide, it’s a disappointment there’s no real behind-the-scenes or candid response footage from Moore. We’ve gotten used to him as an approachable humanist after Sicko, but here he insists on remaining a distant icon.

Michael Clayton (Oct. 5) opens with images of an empty office building while an unknown voice over
assaults the audience with a gnarled description of an out-of-body experience he recently had. It’s one of those openings that make tired festival goers sit up in their seats, and the rest of
the film’s tough, gamy dialogue doesn’t disappoint. Essentially The Pelican Brief meets Erin Brockovich (but way better than that amalgamation might suggest), George Clooney stars as the titular lawyer who slowly becomes involved in a murder cover-up. I try refraining from
easy labels, but I’ll buy it with Clooney: He indeed has that old Hollywood quality that lets him speak overtly witty lines with an effortless naturalism. The film’s structure is deliberately
loose: there are time jumps and characters are introduced without context or motivation so it’s hard to get a bead on what’s really going on. Sometimes it’s frustrating and sometimes it’s
confusing, but Clooney guarantees the film is never anything less than engrossing.

Check back tomorrow for more reviews, which, if all goes according to plan (read: not kicked out of a theater), will include the new Michael Cera comedy, Juno, the Jake
Gyllenhaal
thriller, Rendition, and Sean Penn‘s Into the Wild!

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