In a piece of news almost as heartwarming as the film itself, Son of Rambow came in at second place in the UK box office this week, with the British indie nabbing almost £1million in the first four days.
Set on a long, hot summer in 1982, the film revolves around two 11-year old scamps Will and Carter, who — after seeing First Blood for the first time, decide to film their own sequel with nothing more than a camcorder and, natch, some imagination.
The film has been in distribution limbo for the past year after its triumphant debut at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, due to issues surrounding the rights to the real Rambo films. But now it’s finally here and it seems a strong advertising push and good reviews (83% on the Tomatometer, compared to Rambo‘s 32%), has seen it rocket up the charts. Empire’s Dan Jolin summed up the critical consensus by saying: “If you only see one Rambo movie this year, make sure it’s this one.”
In fact, the film would surely have come in at number one had it played on more screens. Instead 27 Dresses, (which played on over 150 more theatres than Rambow), is still grimly hanging onto top spot, despite taking in almost 50% less cash than last week.
Meanwhile sweaty Karate Kid-meets-Fight Club-alike Never Back Downalso made a healthy opening debut this week, coming in at fourth place. Reviewers generally scorned this lightweight effort, with the movie’s laughable homoerotic undertones and checklist of clichés arousing particular critical ire. Greg Kirschling of Entertainment Weekly fame even branded the film as, “yet another product that makes you feel bad about today’s youth culture.” Sadly however ‘Grandad Greg’ and his ilk couldn’t stop the cool kids pouring into cinemas though, and the film made a healthy £840,000 over four days.
While Brady and Manning duke it out in Phoenix, the $15 movie ticket aims to conquer the multiplexes over Super Bowl weekend. That’s the admission price that theaters are charging moviegoers that line up for Disney’s Hannah Montana concert film which opens Friday on a wave of fan frenzy that has given the hot pic event-film status with young girls everywhere. But other ladies that got their big break from a television series will enter the weekend race at the North American box office too. Jessica Alba stars in the supernatural thriller The Eye while Eva Longoria Parker headlines the comedy Over Her Dead Body. Guys will be tossed their own entry in the form of the nature comedy Strange Wilderness. Disney and Lionsgate will be the studios competing for the box office trophy as Sony’s seven-year streak of ruling Super Bowl weekend will come to an end.
Tween girls who couldn’t get their parents to shell out a grand for a scalped ticket for Hannah Montana’s live concerts can now cough up a Hamilton and a Lincoln and see the big show at their local multiplex. Disney goes 3D for its special one-week-only engagement of Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert which aims to capitalize on the immense fan base for the Disney Channel superstar. The G-rated musicfest will play mostly to girls but should lure in nearly 100% of its target demographic with what has become a major event film for lovers of all things Hannah. With a trim 74-minute running time, theaters will be able to squeeze in six showtimes per day to maximize their revenue. School teachers nationwide may have to brace for record high absenteeism on Friday.
The Hannah Montana phenomenon has become a cash cow for the studio. Thanks to last year’s live concerts which sold out within minutes, fans have wasted no time in pre-buying their movie tickets for Best which has been a top seller all through December and January. Fandango.com reported on Wednesday that the film accounted for a whopping 91% of all tickets purchased with over 1,000 showtimes already sold out coast to coast. Rival MovieTickets.com stated that Best has already joined its all-time top ten list of pre-sales ranking alongside tentpole sequels from franchises such as Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings. Helping Montana-mania at the box office will be those increased $15 ticket prices which will allow the overall grosses to swell.
Best of Both Worlds could very well be one of those box office surprises that exceeds all expectations thanks to intense demand plus brilliant marketing and distribution. This could be a Borat-type weekend when the film with the fewest theaters actually beats out all of its competitors for the top spot. In fact the numbers could climb really high if parents join their daughters for the show, or if repeat business kicks in with fans seeing the film multiple times since it will only be on the big screen for seven days. The Super Bowl should not be much of a distraction since young females are typically the quadrant least interested in the big game. Hitting the stage in 683 movie theaters with digital 3D facilities, Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert could open to about $17M this weekend.
Although there are no other major horror flicks out there, The Eye will still face formidable competition. Hannah Montana is a very different type of film, but it will take some teen girls out of the picture. Young males also have plenty of other choices out there. But Alba is a decent box office draw despite the weak launch of her last thriller Awake which debuted to only $5.9M. The Eye is in a much better position to find success, though. A scary trailer, a creepy one-sheet, a commercially-friendly rating, and a popular star in the lead all will contribute to a solid debut. The Eye opens in 2,436 locations on Friday and could scare up roughly $14M over three days.
Sylvester Stallone settled for the vice president’s job on last weekend’s chart with Rambo and with most fans charging theaters in the beginning, not much of an audience will be left. Plus the Lionsgate film lacks the positive vibe that the actor/filmmaker saw with Rocky Balboa last winter. A 55% fall would give Rambo roughly $8M and a sum of $31M after ten days.
Fox could enjoy a solid third frame with its chick flick 27 Dresses which has been holding up well since its strong opening. A 40% decline to $8.5M would give the Heigl hit $57M after 17 days. Diane Lane also could see a reasonably good hold for her crime thriller Untraceable which may drop 40% to $7M for a ten-day tally of $20M. The monster flick Cloverfield fell hard in its second weekend and another sizable drop of 55% could give Paramount $5.5M and a 17-day total of $73M.
LAST YEAR: Super Bowl weekend saw teen girls edge past their moms at the box office as the thriller The Messengers bowed at number one with $14.7M beating out the $13.1M debut of the Diane Keaton pic Because I Said So. Final grosses reached $35.4M for the Sony spookfest and $42.7M for Universal’s star-driven comedy. Holdovers rounded out the top five. Epic Movie dropped from the top spot to third with $8.4M, the hit comedy Night at the Museum followed in fourth with $6.4M, and Smokin’ Aces placed fifth with $6.1M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
No awards season — even a strike-tainted one — would be complete without the Razzies, right? Of course not. And that’s why we’ve thoughtfully assembled all of this year’s nominees in one convenient location.
The Razzies, now entering their 28th year, have been celebrating the worst in film since 1980, when John Wilson took a raspberry trophy, spray-painted it gold, and stuck it to Can’t Stop the Music. This year’s nominees are suitably distinguished, and they all follow below (with Tomatometers in parentheses). ‘Fess up, Vineketeers — how many of these have you seen? And enjoyed?
Nicolas Cage, for Ghost Rider (27 percent), National Treasure: Book of Secrets (32 percent), and Next (30 percent)
Jim Carrey, for The Number 23 (8 percent)
Cuba Gooding, Jr., for Daddy Day Camp and Norbit
Eddie Murphy, for Norbit
Adam Sandler, for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
Jessica Alba, for Awake (21 percent), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (35 percent), and Good Luck Chuck (3 percent)
Logan Browning, Janel Parrish, Nathalia Ramos & Skyler Shaye, for Bratz
Elisha Cuthbert, for Captivity (7 percent)
Diane Keaton, for Because I Said So (5 percent)
Lindsay Lohan (as Aubrey), for I Know Who Killed Me
Lindsay Lohan (as Dakota), for I Know Who Killed Me
Worst Supporting Actor:
Orlando Bloom, for Pirates of the Carribbean: At World’s End (45 percent)
Kevin James, for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
Eddie Murphy, for Norbit
Rob Schneider, for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
Jon Voight, for Bratz, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, September Dawn (13 percent), and Transformers (57 percent)
Worst Supporting Actress:
Jessica Biel, for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry and Next
Carmen Electra, for Epic Movie (2 percent)
Eddie Murphy, for Norbit
Julia Ormond, for I Know Who Killed Me
Nicolette Sheridan, for Code Name: The Cleaner (4 percent)
Worst Screen Couple:
Jessica Alba with Dane Cook (for Good Luck Chuck), Hayden Christensen (for Awake), and Ioan Gruffudd (for Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer)
Any combination of two totally air-headed characters in Bratz
Lindsay Lohan and Lindsay Lohan, for I Know Who Killed Me
Worst Remake or Ripoff:
Are We Done Yet? (8 percent, remake/ripoff of Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House)
Bratz (a ripoff if ever there was one)
Epic Movie (ripoff of every movie it rips off)
I Know Who Killed Me (ripoff of Hostel, Saw, and The Patty Duke Show)
Who’s Your Caddy? (7 percent, ripoff of Caddyshack)
Geoff Rodkey and David J. Stem & David N. Weiss, Daddy Day Camp
Jason Friedberg & Aaron Seltzer, Epic Movie
Jeffrey Hammond, I Know Who Killed Me
Barry Fanaro and Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
Eddie Murphy & Charles Murphy, Jay Sherick & David Ronn, Norbit
Worst Excuse for a Horror Movie:
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem
Hostel: Part II
I Know Who Killed Me
The post-Thanksgiving doldrums hit the moviegoing audience as, much like
2006, the top three films remained the same from last weekend and fourth place
was taken by a new film. Enchanted
held on to first place, while
Awake opened dismally
Disney scored back-to-back number one weekends with the animated/live-action
which dropped just over 50% from last weekend’s opening and took in an
estimated $17M. Last year’s post-Thanksgiving champ,
Happy Feet dropped
53% in its third weekend, while Enchanted was in its second weekend. Its
total now stands at $70M. Look for Princess Giselle and company to play strong
through the holidays, eventually ending up in the $140-150M range.
Second and third place were identical to last week as the surprising
dropped a reasonable 53% to an estimated $8.4M bringing its cume to $36.9M. Look
for a final gross in the area of $60M, making the Sony release highly
profitable. In third place was the CGI-fest Beowulf which wrangled $7.8M this
weekend, according to estimates. Its total now stands at $68.6M.
Waking up sleeping moviegoers in fourth place was the thriller
The MGM/Weinstin release scared up an estimated $6M this weekend, for a per
screen average of just over $3,000. With poor reviews, expect a quick trip
through the theatrical window and a DVD release early next year.
Landing in fifth place was the videogame-turned-film Hitman
which shot up $5.8M this weekend, according to estimates, bringing its cume
after two weekends to $30M. Look for a final gross in the $45-50M range. Sixth
and seventh places were identical to last weekend as Warner Bros. stablemates
and August Rush
each dropped less than 50% from last weekend. Santa’s annoying brother took in
$5.5M, according to estimates, bringing its cume to $59.7M, while the musical
drama brought in an estimated $5.1M, bringing its total to $20.3M.
No Country for
Old Men zoomed up to eighth place this weekend, with the lowest
drop in the top 10. The
crime thriller took in an estimated $4.5M, bringing its total to a solid $23M,
while still playing in less than 1,000 theaters. Watch the grosses grow as we
start heading into awards season. Ninth place was snatched up by a busy bee as
animated alter ego Bee
Movie buzzed audiences with another $4.4M this weekend, according to
estimates. Its 62% drop from last weekend was the biggest in the top 10 and its
cume now stands at $117.6M. And rounding out the top 10 was another award
which took in an estimated $4.2M in its fifth weekend, bringing its total to
Debuting outside the top 10 were a couple of more award hopefuls in
The Savages and
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. The Savages, starring
Seymour Hoffman and
took in $153,000 from only 4 theaters for a per screen average of $38,250.
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, which tells the story of a man whose only
method of communication is blinking his left eyelid, took in $75,300 from 3
theaters for a per screen average of $25,100.
The top 10 grossed $69M this weekend, which was down 10% from 2006 when
Happy Feet remained at number one with $17.5M, and down 6.5% from 2005 when
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire also remained on top, with $19.8M.
Only one new film ventures into wide release. Studios typically avoid opening worthwhile pics during the weekend after the Thanksgiving frame since moviegoing subsides and holiday shopping becomes a bigger national priority. Overall ticket sales tumble by 40-50% from the previous frame and holdovers usually lead the way. That means Disney’s princess tale Enchanted should continue to reign supreme at the North American box office, but those looking for a scare will have the new thriller Awake to see. After a robust turkey frame, look for the marketplace to settle down as movie fans nibble on leftovers.
What happens when Darth Vader marries the Invisible Woman? You get a horror film set in a hospital, of course. Awake stars Hayden Christensen as a man who undergoes surgery while remaining conscious and Jessica Alba plays the troubled wife. The R-rated psychological thriller from MGM and The Weinstein Co. will target young adults with a semi-intriguing premise and a dash of starpower.
Outside of the Star Wars prequels, young Anakin has no pull with ticket buyers but Alba has shown box office strength over the years and can often be a draw even when not suited up in Fantastic Four gear. As with so many of her previous films, trailers feature quick shots of her semi-nude body which should titillate male moviegoers. But overall excitement is not too high and the audience could be limited here with the eventual DVD release reaching the bulk of the film’s fans. Opening in about 2,000 theaters, Awake may gross around $6M this weekend.
Following its surprisingly strong premiere, the family reunion film This Christmas should fall sharply on the sophomore session. A 55% decline would leave Sony with $8M and an impressive total of $36M after a dozen days.
Young males targeted by Beowulf and Hitman will be distracted somewhat by another one-word-titled film making its debut. With Alba in that cast, it could lead to steep drops of 55% each. That would put Paramount’s 3D adventure toon at around $7.5M for the weekend for a sum of $68M. Hitman would slide down to $6M for Fox and a total of $30M.
LAST YEAR: For the third straight weekend, the penguin-Bond connection ruled the box office with ease. The animated blockbuster Happy Feet remained the number one film once again with $17.5M for Warner Bros. while Sony’s 007 pic Casino Royale took the silver with $15.1M. In the first 17 days of play, moviegoers spent an astounding $237M on the dynamic duo. Denzel Washington‘s action thriller Deja Vu stayed put in third place with $10.9M in its sophomore frame. Debuting in fourth was the religious drama The Nativity Story with $7.8M on its way to a $37.6M final for New Line. Rounding out the top five was Fox’s Christmas comedy Deck the Halls with $6.7M. Also debuting but to modest numbers were Fox’s horror pic Turistas with $3.6M and MGM’s Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj with $2.3M. Final grosses reached $7M and $4.3M, respectively.
Actually, not much. Awake — which features Christensen as a surgery patient who overhears his own murder plot while under the knife and Alba as his wife entrusted with preventing the deed — isn’t being screened for critics. You know the operation: Guess That Tomatometer!
Also opening this week in limited release:
The Savages, starring
Laura Linney and
Phillip Seymour Hoffman as a siblings dealing with their aging
father, is at 93 percent (check out our interview with director Tamara Jenkins
here, while you can check out our Sundance review here); Julian Schnabel‘s
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, the inventive
biopic of a man who suffered a stroke and could only communicate by blinking, is
at 88 percent; Jessica Yu‘s
Protagonist, a visually stunning doc about
four people on personal journeys, is at 88 percent;
Teeth, the story of a
teenager with, um, deadly genitals, is at 80 percent; Oswald’s Ghost, a doc about the Kennedy assassination, is at
Chronicle of an
Escape, the story of a group of Argentine men who were kidnapped, is at 60
percent; The Rocket, a biopic of hockey great Maurice Richard, is at 50
Imagine what it might be like if you needed surgery.
You’re more than a little nervous about the whole idea. In fact when you think
about it, you’ll admit you’re frankly terrified by the whole idea. What if
something goes wrong? What if the doctors make a mistake? And what if you
don’t wake up after the surgery? Or worse yet, what if you wake up during
One of the scarier stories about medical mishaps in the
last few years is about a phenomenon called “anesthetic awareness.” Patients
talk about actually being awake and aware throughout an entire procedure and
feeling every sensation that the anesthetic is supposed to suppress, while being
completely unable to move or communicate with the doctors. That’s the basic
premise of this week’s Awake,
Hayden Christensen and
A man with a heart problem (Christensen) goes in for a transplant, but wakes up
during the procedure, yet totally unable to move. And as if that wasn’t bad
enough, he hears his own doctor discussing plans to kill him. Talk about adding
insult to injury.
Considering the level of trust that we as a society put in
healthcare professionals, the concept of putting a doctor in a malicious light
can be a very effective tool for a thriller. Some folks are pretty squeamish
about needles and scalpels anyway, and when those tools are used to
intentionally inflict pain, it can be horrific. Some filmmakers have gone for
the easy scare with throwaway slashers like
Dr. Giggles (17
percent) and The
Dentist (0 percent), while even the
Saws have some scary
medical overtones. And then there’s that horrific scene in
Marathon Man (77
percent), which did for dentists what Jaws did for trips to the beach.
But some films, like
Gardener take the very concept of health care, pick it apart, and play
with our feelings of trust and hope. That can be just as disturbing as anything
you’ll see in the goriest slasher films.
Coma (75 percent) is
Michael Crichton‘s earliest directing efforts. Fresh off the success of
used his own experience as a doctor to adapt Robin Cook’s novel about a dark
conspiracy in a Boston hospital.
Bujold stars as a young resident who gets a little too curious about why
so many patients are coming out of surgery in comas. Unfortunately, it looks
like every other doctor on staff (Michael
Richard Widmark, and
Rip Torn) may be
in on the plot, and the film gets increasingly more paranoid as time goes by.
Bujold eventually discovers that the hospital is in the business of harvesting
organs from certain patients, and she narrowly avoids losing her own.
Gardener (84 percent)
stars as a low-level British bureaucrat whose wife (Rachel
Weisz) was killed on a mercy mission in Africa. As Fiennes investigates, it
at first seems like his wife may have been having an affair, but then he
discovers that she had been investigating the activities of a large,
multinational drug company. Details of illegal testing, conspiracy and
government corruption come to light, and we learn that the businesses that make
medicine can be just as ruthless as any third world warlord.
A pair of new theatrical trailers made their first appearances online over the weekend, and Yahoo! Movies has ’em!
A man lies awake during heart surgery after reacting badly to his anaesthetia, causing his wife to make some crucial decisions.
The plot’s a little more complicated than that, of course, but fortunately, the trailer is here to shed some light on the movie’s twists and turns. To get a gander at Christensen on an operating table, click on the first link below!
Next, it’s the official theatrical trailer for January’s Rambo, the fourth installment in Sylvester Stallone‘s long-running saga. We don’t have a synopsis for you, but hey, it’s Rambo! Who needs one? To get a glimpse of Stallone running amok in the Burmese jungle, click on the second link below!