(Photo by Michael Gibson/STX Entertainment)
To some fans, Idris Elba will forever be Stringer Bell from The Wire. To others, he’ll always be best remembered as John Luther. For still others, he’s the guy who gave us the Heimdall of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or — and this is admittedly a much smaller subset — finally brought gunslinger Roland Deschain to the big screen in the long-gestating adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. All of which is to say that Mr. Elba’s done a lot in his impressive career, and by all appearances, he’s still just getting started: even if those persistent rumors about him taking over the James Bond franchise never pan out, he’s got plenty of projects lined up to add to an eclectic filmography that already includes some of the more popular and widely acclaimed TV and film releases in recent memory, including an original character in The Suicide Squad. And now we’re ranking all Idris Elba movies by Tomatometer!
It’s almost time to hand out some golden popcorn — the nominations for the 2008 MTV Movie Awards have been announced!
To cast your vote for each category’s winner — and to choose your favorite of the fan-created movie spoofs in the, um, “Best Movie Spoof” category — head to MovieAwards.MTV.com (link below). A complete list of the nominees follows:
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
I Am Legend
National Treasure: Book of Secrets
Best Male Performance:
Will Smith, I Am Legend
Shia LaBeouf, Transformers
Denzel Washington, American Gangster
Matt Damon, The Bourne Ultimatum
Michael Cera, Juno
Best Female Performance:
Ellen Page, Juno
Keira Knightley, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
Katherine Heigl, Knocked Up
Amy Adams, Enchanted
Jessica Biel, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Denzel Washington, American Gangster
Angelina Jolie, Beowulf
Topher Grace, Spider-Man 3
Javier Bardem, No Country For Old Men
Best Comedic Performance:
Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
Adam Sandler, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
Jonah Hill, Superbad
Seth Rogen, Knocked Up
Amy Adams, Enchanted
Matt Damon vs. Joey Ansah, The Bourne Ultimatum
Tobey Maguire vs. James Franco, Spider-Man 3
Hayden Christensen vs. Jamie Bell, Jumper
Sean Faris vs. Cam Gigandet, Never Back Down
Chris Tucker & Jackie Chan vs. Sun Ming Ming, Rush Hour 3
Alien vs. Predator, Aliens vs. Predator Requiem
Shia LaBeouf and Sarah Roemer, Disturbia
Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey, Enchanted
Daniel Radcliffe and Katie Leung, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Ellen Page and Michael Cera, Juno
Briana Evigan and Robert Hoffman, Step Up 2 The Streets
Zac Efron, Hairspray
Seth Rogen, Knocked Up
Jonah Hill, Superbad
Michael Cera, Superbad
Chris Brown, This Christmas
Nikki Blonsky, Hairspray
Megan Fox, Transformers
Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Superbad
Best Summer Movie So Far:
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Sex and the City: The Movie
The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian
Source: MTV Movie Awards
A wave of new product hits the marketplace at a time when exciting films are desperately needed to end the current box office funk. The science fiction thriller I Am Legend leads the way but will be joined by the family comedy Alvin and the Chipmunks and the romantic comedy The Perfect Holiday. For only the second time all year, just two films managed grosses of more than $5M last weekend. Hollywood critically needs this weekend to turn things around if it wants to end the year on a happy note.
Gunning for his seventh consecutive number one opening, Will Smith headlines the sci-fi thriller I Am Legend, the latest Hollywood film based on the classic 1954 novel of the same name. The PG-13 entry finds the superstar playing the last man alive on Earth after a virus wipes out the entire human population in the not-so-distant future. Legend could prove to be Smith’s greatest box office challenge to date since there are no famous co-stars, no big director, and the novel it is based on is not exactly a hot item in today’s era. This film is Will’s to make or break.
But for millions of movie fans, the former Fresh Prince plus action equals a definite trip to the local multiplex. The actor is right at the top of the current A list and is arguably the most bankable star alive consistently drawing in audiences that cut across all race, gender, and age barriers. Will Smith can bring out paying audiences for sci-fi (I, Robot), comedy (Hitch), drama (The Pursuit of Happyness), action (Bad Boys II), and animation (Shark Tale). With Legend he now flirts with the boundaries of horror as battling killer zombies that attack at night is a far cry from being a date doctor.
Warner Bros. has good timing for I Am Legend. The marketplace has been about as dead as the world depicted in the film and audiences are hungry for an event film to get them back into the habit of moviegoing. Competition will not be much of a factor and business will be coming in from many directions with teens and young adults leading the way and fans of sci-fi and action delivering a big bang too. The studio’s massive marketing push will do the trick and adding more bite will be the simultaneous Imax release where higher ticket prices ($16 in New York City) will give the grosses a boost. Plus the strategic move of playing the new prologue for next summer’s much-anticipated Batman flick The Dark Knight with the Imax release of I Am Legend just fuels more excitement and guarantees more asses in the seats.
Will Smith is looking to score one of the biggest December openings ever for a non-Peter Jackson flick. A big drop next weekend is likely, but for now consumers are keeping all eyes on I Am Legend which attacks 3,606 theaters on Friday. An opening weekend gross of about $50M could result.
Competition should not be too bad since Enchanted which is going into its fourth session is the only family film generating any decent dough right now. Instead, holiday shopping may be the real threat as many parents will wait until a little later before heading to the cinemas for this one. The property is not popular enough to create any true sense of urgency. But this is common in mid December. Last year, Charlotte’s Web got off to a slow start with a $11.5M bow but went on to make seven times that amount with a final tally of $82.6M. Fox’s marketing push has been aggressively targeting young kids and the studio knows that little success lies with teens and young adults. Going very wide with 3,476 playdates on Friday, Alvin and the Chipmunks could gross about $15M this weekend but hold on well over the holidays.
Disney’s Enchanted, which earned a pair of Golden Globe nominations, is slowly but surely making its way towards the $100M mark. Another moderate 35% decline would give the fairy tale pic around $7M which would push the sum up to $93M. Sony’s This Christmas will face direct competition from The Perfect Holiday so a 40% dip may result giving the pic $3M and $47M to date.
LAST YEAR: The man in black beat out some tough competition to conquer the box office. Will Smith’s The Pursuit of Happyness led a wave of new releases with its top spot debut grossing $26.5M for Sony. The feel-good smash played well over the holiday season surging to $162.6M domestically and $294M worldwide – an impressive sum for a Smith vehicle not driven by guns or special effects. Fox’s fantasy actioner Eragon bowed close behind in second with $23.2M on its way to $75M from North America representing only 30% of the global take. Overseas the numbers were much stronger with $175M in ticket sales for a powerful $250M tally worldwide. Third place also featured a new release. Paramount’s family film Charlotte’s Web debuted to the tune of $11.5M but reached a solid $82.6M by the end of the run. Rounding out the top five were the penguin toon Happy Feet with $8.4M and the romantic comedy The Holiday with $8M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
New Line hopes to breathe some life into the North American box office with the launch of its pricey adventure film The Golden Compass which stands as the frame’s only new wide release. Directed by Chris Weitz (About a Boy), the PG-13 film aims to capture a large crowd including the family audience and fans of sci-fi and fantasy. Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, who proved in the summer flop The Invasion that their names only carry so much commercial weight, reunite to star in the effects-heavy film.
Working in its favor is the fact that all other studios have avoided programming their major offerings onto this weekend’s schedule. In fact it is quite rare to see two consecutive frames with only one national opener each. Media attention is concentrated on it this week and with multiplexes dumping their aging November flops, Compass will secure extra screens. The studio’s marketing push has been powerful and awareness is high which makes sense as New Line is hoping for a new fantasy franchise that can keep the cash rolling in for years to come. Teens and young adults who frequent the multiplexes the most should come out in solid numbers since they’ve seen every other worthy film already. Older adults will be a little harder to reach since holiday shopping is a major distraction on weekends right now plus reviews for Compass have not exactly been stellar.
Although the property will target many of the same folks who have dropped billions on fantasy smashes like The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and The Chronicles of Narnia, the source material is not as popular plus there is already backlash from some in the religious community for the anti-Christian material in the Philip Pullman books. Reaching the $65.6M opening of Narnia from this very weekend two years ago will be impossible. Instead, a debut closer to the $27.5M of Beowulf last month could be in order since there may be much overlap. Compass has more appeal for younger kids and females so a bigger bow should result. Opening in over 3,000 theaters, The Golden Compass might premiere to the tune of $33M this weekend.
With girls lining up for Giselle and company, their brothers have been taking a historical adventure with the computer-animated action pic Beowulf which has been holding its own since its debut. Golden Compass will also be a threat since there is much audience overlap. But Beowulf‘s good legs suggest that a drop of 35% could be in order here as well. That would leave the Paramount project with about $5M pushing the cume up to $76M.
Sony’s holiday reunion film This Christmas and Fox’s assassin thriller Hitman both witnessed larger sophomore declines so a fall of 40% each should occur this weekend. Christmas would take in just under $5M for a $42M total while Hitman should bank $3.5M for a $36M sum.
LAST YEAR: Mel Gibson scored his second straight number one opening for a historical foreign language film he directed with Apocalypto which debuted on top with $15M. The Buena Vista release went on to capture a solid $50.9M. Three-time champ Happy Feet was bumped down to second with $12.9M in its fourth frame. Sony’s romantic comedy The Holiday bowed in third with $12.8M for Sony. The Cameron Diaz–Kate Winslet pic went on to gross $63.2M domestically and a stunning $200M worldwide. Studio stablemate Casino Royale slipped to fourth with $8.9M. Warner Bros. launched its action thriller Blood Diamond in fifth with a mediocre $8.6M on its way to $57.4M from North America and $171M globally. Opening in seventh was the studio’s other new wide release of the frame, the family comedy Unaccompanied Minors, with only $5.8M leading to a weak $16.6M final.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
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.
The box office bounced back over the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend as
moviegoers spread their dollars across a wide variety of films which
collectively helped to bring the marketplace back to life after a mostly
uneventful fall season. Disney led the way with its new family pic Enchanted,
which ruled the multiplexes, but a surprisingly potent opening for the holiday
comedy This Christmas contributed to the weekend’s success too. Other new
releases were sprinkled across the top ten which virtually matched the
Thanksgiving numbers posted over each of the last two years. An unprecedented
eleven films each grossed $8M or more over the frame as every audience segment
found something to see over the long holiday weekend.
For the first time in eight years, Disney opened a new release at number one
over the turkey frame. The studio’s princess tale Enchanted
powered past all
competitors to bow on top with an estimated $35.3M over the Friday-to-Sunday
period and an incredible $50M across the five-day holiday span which began on
Wednesday. That led to a muscular $9,472 average from an ultrawide 3,730 sites
over three days. The PG-rated story of an animated princess who encounters the
live-action world posted the second biggest five-day opening ever over the
The only hit to debut better was 1999’s
Toy Story 2 from Disney and Pixar with
$80.1M which was also the studio’s last new pic to bow at number one over this
frame. From 1994 to 1999, the Mouse House consistently debuted a new family film
each year at number one over this lucrative holiday frame. Enchanted should have
no problem finding its way into the century club.
Beating expectations to open in the number two spot was the family reunion film
This Christmas which debuted to an estimated $18.6M over three days and a
stunning $27.1M over the five-day period. Sony’s inexpensive $13M production
averaged a potent $10,011 over three days from only 1,858 theaters for the best
average among wide releases. The feel-good holiday pic brought in two-thirds of
its business from African-American moviegoers proving once again how powerful
that audience is at the box office. Look for This Christmas to finish up as a
very profitable venture.
Last week’s top warrior Beowulf
dropped 41% to an estimated $16.2M and landed in
third place. With $56.4M in its treasure chest after ten days, the
$150M-budgeted Paramount release should conclude its domestic run with about
Competing actioner Hitman
debuted in fourth place with an estimated $13M over
three days from 2,458 locations. Averaging a decent $5,303 per venue, the
R-rated film about a super-assassin was adapted from a popular video game. Over
five days, Hitman shot up $21M for Fox which was targeting many of the same
young males that were going to see Beowulf.
The animated hit Bee
Movie followed in fifth with an estimated $12M, off just
14%, for a $112.1M sum to date for Paramount. Warner Bros. was close behind with
rival family offering
which dipped 10% to an estimated $10.7M pushing
the total to $53.1M.
Studio stablemate August Rush opened in seventh place with an estimated $9.4M
over three days and $13.3M across five days. The family drama about a young
musical genius averaged a moderate $4,082 over the Friday-to-Sunday period.
American Gangster remained strong in its fourth frame grossing an estimated
$9.2M, down 29%, upping its cume for Universal to $115.8M.
Two more new wide releases rounded out the top ten. The Mist, a terror tale
based on a Stephen King story, debuted in ninth place with an estimated $9.1M
with a five-day take of $13M. Attacking 2,423 theaters, the R-rated film
averaged a mild $3,740 over three days. Horror films typically do not see huge
numbers over Thanksgiving weekend as most moviegoers are in the mood for more
cheery and upbeat films. Miramax expanded its Coen brothers hit
No Country for
Old Men into nationwide release and captured an estimated $8.1M over three days.
The crime thriller averaged a superb $9,433 and lifted its total to $16.6M.
Opening to solid results from the arthouses was the
Bob Dylan pic
I’m Not There which grossed an estimated $757,000 from just 130 venues over the three-day
period. The Weinstein Co. release averaged a respectable $5,823 per site and
collected $1M over the long holiday session.
The top ten films grossed $141.8M over the weekend which was up less than 1%
from last year when Happy Feet remained at number one with $37M; but off 1% from
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire stayed on top with $54.7M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com