(Photo by Orion/ courtesy Everett Collection)
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!
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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)
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, 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
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
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
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)
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
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.
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.
In a fierce head-to-head battle,
family comedy The
Game Plan upset
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
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
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
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
Last weekend’s top film
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
Evil: Apocalypse which grossed $50.7M three years ago at the same time
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.
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
Mr. Woodcock followed in seventh place with an estimated $3M, down 39%,
giving the pic $19.6M to date.
Jumping into the top ten was the musical film
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
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,
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
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.
Three movies fell out of the top ten over the weekend. Universal’s smash
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
in the top spot with $14.8M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya,
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
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
Gamers still love to go to the movies. That’s what Sony learned with its
estimated $24M opening weekend for
Evil: Extinction, the third and supposedly final chapter of the popular
movie franchise starring
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
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
Billy Bob Thornton comedy
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
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.
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 Pitt–Casey
Affleck starrer earned generally good notices from reviewers and will widen
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
Eurotrip eased 36% and has gathered $30.8M to date. A final domestic tally of
$35M should result for each.
Author: Gitesh Pandya,
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.
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
The Brave One
which topped the charts bumping former champ
3:10 to Yuma to
the runner-up spot.
Thornton‘s new comedy
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
$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
the King with $5.2M.
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
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
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.
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
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
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;
a documentary about Paris’s famed Pere-Lachaise cemetery, is at 80 percent;
Eastern Promises, starring
Viggo Mortensen as a member
of London’s underworld, is at 79 percent (check out our interview with Cronenberg and Mortensen
King of California, starring
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;
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
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.
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.)
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.
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.”
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!