Microsoft comments on rumors that they’ll be putting Blu-Ray players in Xbox 360s and the MPAA’s best anti-piracy agents have bounties on their heads. Read more of this week’s DVD news, plus find out what’s new in stores!


This week in DVD news:

Format Wars: Episode II

Microsoft has denied a recent rumor that they’d be putting Blu-Ray players into their Xbox 360 consoles following Blu-Ray’s victory over HD-DVD in the format wars of 2008. Too bad, because the debunked rumor sparked the salivary glands of next-gen home entertainment nuts worldwide when it broke last week via the Chinese-language Economic Daily News. For now, Xbox 360 owners will have to make do with their in-console HD-DVD players — but hey, at least HD-DVDs will go on sale soon!

Then again, Blu-Ray releases are looking sweeter and sweeter as former HD-DVD supporters Paramount and Universal start catching up their slates. Coming soon from Paramount are catalog titles Face/Off, Next, and Bee Movie (all May 20), with recent releases Cloverfield and There Will be Blood following shortly (June 3). The Spiderwick Chronicles will be their first day-and-date Blu-Ray release on June 24.

Likewise, Universal has announced that their first day-and-date release will be Neil Marshall’s Doomsday, hitting shelves in DVD and Blu-Ray on July 29.

Format Wars: Episode III?

Perhaps the HD-DVD-Blu-Ray squabble was small potatoes compared to what’s on the horizon: downloadable viewing vs. DVD. (Duh-duh-duhhhhhhhhn!) Lobbying the first volley in a sure-to-be skirmish was Apple, who announced last week that new releases would now be available for purchase and download to iTunes, superseding the need for physical DVDs. Somewhere, Blockbuster execs are weeping, free microwaveable popcorn in hand.

In happier news for DVD executives, Malaysian forces “smashed” an illicit DVD-pirating ring last week, destroying an operation that could have yielded “seven million pirated discs, potentially generating criminal revenues of more than US$22 million,” and arresting all three (three!) men running the joint. Long live legitimate DVD production! In a separate article, such busts are credited to two crack MPAA agents in particular: a pair of black Labradors named Lucky and Flo. The two DVD-sniffing dogs are so good that they’ve had doggie hits put out on them to the tune of $30,000, reports the Houston Chronicle.

Newly Announced

South Park: The 11th Season hits DVD August 12 — you know the one. The season with Guitar Hero! In the spirit of the episode called “Guitar Queer-o,” the Comedy Central release will reportedly come with all-uncensored episodes and three downloadable Rock Band songs.


DigitalBits names the best titles of 2007, with the Blade Runner: 5-Disc Collector’s Edition taking top honors. (Watch it in Blu-Ray/HD for details remastered with pinpoint precision.)

— Mark your calendars for September’s release of the most so-wrong-it’s-hilarious show on TV: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Season 3. The three-disc release with all 15 episodes will retail for $39.98 and include 3 featurettes, a gag reel, two episode commentaries, and more.

— In the market for DVDs of your favorite shows not yet released on DVD? LA Times Gold Derby blogger Tom O’Neill has taken time off of waging war against LA film critics to play consumer guide for shoppers. He’s got the skinny on Emmy screeners for sale on EBay for such hot television shows as Entourage, the complete TNT/TCM/TBS slate, and The Closer, which sold to the highest bidder for $7.49 in cool, hard, Paypal dollars. Read more here.

Finally, drool over this piece of DVD swag: a desktop-sized bust of Christian Bale as Batman to be packaged with the Blu-Ray version of Batman Begins…but only in Japan. (Via Gizmodo.)

Click for this week’s new releases!

I’m Not There


Tomatometer: 77%

Fans of the unusual should delight in Todd Haynes’ experimental casting of six different actors as American icon Bob Dylan; in the edgiest move of all, he cast a woman (Cate Blanchett) to play Dylan in his electric era, a performance so daring it earned her an Oscar nod. How audacious!

Bonus Features:

The Weinstein Co. has given us the gift of the 2-disc release, and we should all be very grateful. On the first disc, jump to select songs in the flick complete with on-screen lyrics (Dylan is, like, such a poet) and hear Haynes’ in-depth commentary. Then pop in disc #2 for an I’m Not There bonanza, including an unreleased 18-minute flashcard trailer, a la “Subterranean Homesick Blues”; a tribute to Heath Ledger; Ben Whishaw and Marcus Carl Franklin’s audition tapes; and the Dylanology guide to all things Bob Dylan.

Over Her Dead Body



Tomatometer: 13%

Eva Longoria’s first major jump from Desperate Housewives to the big screen was a critical and commercial dud in February — but hey, you can rent/buy it this week on DVD! After all, with summer blockbuster season kicking off (thanks, Iron Man!) you probably need a quiet night in, and a romantic comedy about a dead bridezilla haunting her ex on earth sounds like just the thing to hit the spot…

Bonus Features:

Over Her Dead Body boasts both a widescreen version and a full screen version. Silly me, you wanted bonus features — okay, first, you’ve got a widescreen version of the film… and then there’s also a full-screen version. Of the same film. And nothing else.


P.S. I Love You


Tomatometer: 20%

A romantic comedy starring Hilary Swank? Yeah, right. The former Next Karate Kid — and, yes, two-time Oscar-winner — makes for the genre’s perhaps most ill-suited lead as a widow getting motivational letters from her dead husband (Gerard Butler).

Bonus Features:

What could be worse than actually watching P.S. I Love You? Watching a music video by James Blunt (one of a few extras on the release).


First Sunday

Tomatometer: 15%

The man formerly known as O’Shea Jackson (rapper-turned-urban comedy fixture Ice Cube) here scores his fourth rotten movie in a row, to which we say, for shame, Mr. Cube. You can do better. Even with SNL’s Tracey Morgan and dapper-haired comedian Katt Williams in tow, the comedy about church-thieving losers earned too little laughs from critics. Then again, it also stars Flavor of Love‘s New York (Tiffany Pollard) in her first movie role…so it was good for something.

Bonus Features:

There’s actually a lot here, including outtakes, a pop-up trivia viewing option, and commentary from first-time writer-director David E. Talbert. Disc also includes the unusual treat of Talbert’s on-set wrap speech.


Teeth

Tomatometer: 79%

Daring in a way only indie films seem to be these days, Teeth brings the urban legend of the vagina dentata to the screen. What is vagina dentata? If you have to ask, maybe you shouldn’t watch this horror comedy — which if you haven’t guessed, is rated R. Pic stars newcomer Jess Weixler and the kid from Nip/Tuck.

Bonus Features:

Director Mitchell Lichtenstein’s commentary should prove most insightful. Fun fact: He’s also an actor (he played Simon, the gay boyfriend in The Wedding Banquet) and is the son of pop artist Roy Lichtenstein.


The Hottie & the Nottie

Tomatometer: 5%

Shocking as it is, the latest star vehicle for Paris Hilton did not strike gold with critics. We could count the number of critics who gave it a fresh review on, well, three fingers. The tale of a hot girl and her disgusting BFF made $1,301,176 to date — which leaves a little over $7.6 million to go if it’s going to make up its losses in home video sales.

Bonus Features:

In the disc’s most distinctive extra, Paris Hilton puts makeup on lead actor Joel David Moore. We’d rather eat paint chips for two hours.

Tween girls sacked the competition over Super Bowl weekend as the music pic Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert
shattered records and opened at number one at the North American box office.
Debuting in second with solid results of its own was the Jessica Alba
creepfest The Eye,
but the comedies Over Her Dead Body
and Strange Wilderness
debuted outside of the top ten with more modest results. Overall, the
marketplace stayed strong with the top ten beating year-ago levels by more than
30% for the third consecutive weekend.

Shooting higher than the loftiest of expectations, Disney’s
Hannah Montana
film commanded an estimated $29M in ticket sales this
weekend from only 683 theaters for an eye-popping $42,460 average setting a new
record for the Super Bowl frame. Presented in digital 3D cinemas, with 96% of
the sites featuring RealD technology, the grosses were boosted by most
exhibitors charging $15 per ticket instead of the usual admission charges.
Still, the G-rated film more than doubled its nearest competitor and sold out
over a thousand showtimes during the weekend. The release was not as wide as
other films since Disney was limited to only those auditoriums equipped with the
necessary facilities to project in digital 3D.

Hannah Montana set a number of new box office milestones although
asterisks will need to be added to the record books since it had the advantage
of the higher-priced tickets. It was the largest opening ever over Super Bowl
weekend beating the $21.6M of 2006’s horror entry
When a Stranger
Calls
, and the largest overall weekend gross over this frame surpassing
Titanic
which banked $25.2M in 1998 in its sixth weekend. The gross for the iceberg
romance would be over $36M at today’s regular prices. Hannah also set the
record for the smallest amount of theaters for a film debuting at number one.

Best of Both Worlds offered fans many reasons to rush out and grab a
seat. Given the star’s 69-city sold-out concert tour, the film allowed Hannah
lovers an easier way to see their favorite singer locally without having to get
parents to buy scalped tickets. Add in the digital 3D presentation and the
promotion of an exclusive one-week-only run and ticket buyers wasted no time in
making sure they got their stubs and showed up. An event film was born. Due to
the incredible demand, the studio has now announced that the film will be
open-ended and will play beyond the initial seven-day run.

Sales were exceptional right out of the gate with Friday delivering a stunning
$8.6M in business. Saturday saw incredible strength with matinee business from
kids going on their parents’ first day off from work with sales surging an
amazing 52% to $13.1M. The studio has estimated that Sunday’s grosses will drop
by 45% to $7.3M. Most studios are estimating larger-than-normal declines of
60-65% on Sunday for their films because of the Super Bowl, however Hannah
Montana
‘s young female audience is least likely to care about the big game
so its drop should be lighter.

Studio research indicated few surprises in the audience turnout. Females made up
a whopping 84% of the crowd and those under the age of 25 accounted for 70%.
Reviews were generally upbeat for the trim 74-minute concert film which allowed
theaters to schedule plenty of showtimes over the weekend to absorb demand.

Hollywood’s annual Super Bowl weekend horror offering had to settle for the
runnerup prize. The Eye,
a remake of a Hong Kong horror hit with Jessica Alba
anchoring the U.S. version, bowed to an estimated $13M from 2,436 locations for
a solid $5,357 average. The PG-13 pic about a blind violinist who gains
supernatural visions of death after an eye transplant played slightly more to
young women as the audience was 56% female, according to studio research.
Lionsgate grossed $4.9M on Friday, edged up 16% to $5.7M on Saturday, and
estimated a 58% drop on Sunday to $2.4M. The Eye debuted with more than
twice as much as Alba’s last thriller
Awake ($5.9M) and was in
line with the $13.7M launch of her recent romantic comedy
Good Luck Chuck
.


 

Fox’s 27 Dresses
held steady in third place and played as a great non-football alternative for
women by grossing an estimated $8.4M in its third weekend. Katherine Heigl‘s
hit comedy dipped by just 37%. Cume for Dresses now sits at $57.1M.
Another funny gal from the Fox stable, Oscar nominee and Entertainment Weekly
covergirl Ellen Page, rose three notches to fourth with Juno
which collected an estimated $7.5M, off only 27%, for a robust $110.3M total.


The studio’s spoof comedy Meet the Spartans
tumbled by 62% in its second session and placed fifth with an estimated $7.1M.
Budgeted at $18M, the PG-13 laugher has taken in $28.3M in ten days and should
conclude with $40-45M putting it in the same neighborhood as the creative team’s Epic Movie
which grossed $39.7M at this same exact time last year. Close behind was
Sylvester Stallone‘s
action pic Rambo
with an estimated $7M falling an identical 62% from its debut. Lionsgate has
taken in $29.8M in ten days and may finish with close to $45M.


 

Taking in an estimated $6.9M was the  Jack Nicholson
and Morgan Freeman
joint venture The Bucket List
which slipped 35% pushing the cume to $67.7M for Warner Bros.
Diane Lane‘s
crime thriller Untraceable
suffered a sizable sophomore slump falling 52% to an estimated $5.4M for a sum
of $19.5M after ten days. Produced for over $30M, the R-rated pic is set to end
with a mediocre $30-35M.


 

Cloverfield
crumbled another 62% in its third weekend to an estimated $4.9M. Paramount
has made $72M to date. The studio’s specialty division Paramount Vantage
expanded its Academy Award contender
There Will Be
Blood
from 885 to 1,507 theaters and rounded out the top ten with an
estimated $4.8M. Off a scant 2%, the
Daniel
Day-Lewis
drama upped its total to $21.1M.




 

A pair of new comedies opened to disappointing results outside of the top
ten.
Eva Longoria Parker
headlined the pic Over Her Dead Body
and bowed to an estimated $3.6M from 1,977 sites for a weak $1,821 average. The
New Line release about a ghost who haunts her fiance’s new squeeze marked the
first headlining role in a feature film for the Desperate Housewives
star. Paramount Classics countered with the nature flick Strange Wilderness
starring Steve Zahn
which debuted to just $3.1M, according to estimates. The R-rated title averaged
only $2,525 from 1,208 locations. Both films were trashed by critics, to
nobody’s surprise.


 

Two other films dropped out of the top ten this weekend. The
Nicolas Cage
blockbuster sequel National Treasure: Book of Secrets
took in an estimated $3.1M, off 38%, for a $209.9M cume after its seventh
session. The adventure saga ranks as the ninth biggest hit released in 2007 and
will surpass 300’s $210.6M by the end of the week to climb one more spot. Look
for Book of Secrets to conclude with $215-218M domestically representing
a 25% increase over the first
National Treasure
‘s
$173M from 2004. Worldwide, Secrets has already hauled in over $375M to
date.




 

Not collecting as much treasure was the heist comedy Mad Money
which fell 56% to an estimated $2M in its third weekend. With $18.6M in 17 days,
the Overture Films release should finish with roughly $22M.



 

The top ten films grossed an estimated $93.9M which was up a sensational 42%
from last year when
The Messengers

opened at number one with $14.7M; and up 23% from 2006 when
When a Stranger
Calls
debuted in the top spot with $21.6M.

This week at the movies, we’ve got creepy visions (The Eye, starring
Jessica Alba), haunted romances (Over Her Dead Body, starring
Paul Rudd
and Eva Longoria Parker), woodland misadventures (Strange Wilderness,
starring Steve Zahn and
Allen Covert), and teen idols (Hannah Montana & Miley
Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert
). What do the critics have to say?

In the world of romantic comedies featuring specters interfering in earthly
affairs, pundits say
Over Her Dead Body
is DOA. When his fiancée (Eva
Longoria Parker) dies on their wedding day, Henry (Paul Rudd) consults a psychic
with whom he falls head over heels in love; little does he know the spirit of
his dead flame is watching this new romance develop, and is none too pleased.
Critics say Dead is several notches below
Blithe Spirit
and
Heaven
Can Wait
in the supernatural romance sweepstakes, featuring uninspired
performances and a script that lacks the energy and light touch to generate
laughs. At 25 percent on the Tomatometer, the critics are over Her Dead
Body
. (Check out our interview with star Jason Biggs
here.)



"From this point on, you’re dead to me!"


Hannah Montana & Miley
Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert
is pretty long
way from
Stop Making Sense
or
Gimme Shelter
. However, if you’re a
tween girl, you’ll probably find that it’s right up your alley. In Concert,
the squeaky-clean star of the Disney Channel performs her hits, and the movie
offers some backstage footage as well. Critics say Best of Both Worlds is
reasonably involving; it’s well-crafted, and Cyrus comes off as hard-working and
likeable. Plus, it’s a lot cheaper — and offers more perspectives — than
Cyrus’ live show. At 80 percent on the Tomatometer, Best of Both Worlds
should please its target demographic — and perhaps surprise some parents.

Reviews for The Eye were embargoed until the day of release, and
Strange Wilderness wasn’t screened at all. The Eye is the story of a blind
woman (Jessica Alba) who, after surgery, sees terrifying visions. Strange
Wilderness
follows a group of nature TV show hosts who hatch a plan to find
Bigfoot to boost ratings. Kids, you should know the drill by now: Guess those Tomatometers! (And read RT’s interview with Alba
here, and check out
our Total
Recall
with a roundup of memorable movie moments involving eyes.)



"ZUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUL!"

Also opening this week in limited release:


  • The Silence Before Bach
    ,
    a meditative, metaphorical documentary about the great composer, is at 100
    percent.


  • The Witnesses
    ,
    a tale of five young Parisians coping with AIDS in the 1984, is at 88 percent on
    the Tomatometer.

  • The Lebanese import Caramel,
    a comedy about a discussion of life and love between five women, is at 88
    percent.


  • Live and Become
    ,
    about a Jewish Ethiopian boy’s life in Israel, is at 81 percent.

  • And Praying with Lior, the story of a deeply religious boy with Down
    syndrome, is at 71 percent.



"I’ve always considered Mendelssohn to be Snoop to my Dre."
 

And finally, props to
Mr. Bowler,
Comment,
Whiskeyriver,
Grover141, and
Punktuate for correctly guessing
Meet the Spartans
‘ three percent
Tomatometer. Remember this day, folks, for it will be yours for all time.

Recent Asian Horror Remakes:
——————————–
0% — One Missed Call (2008)
10% — The Grudge 2 (2006)
12% — Pulse (2006)
45% — Dark Water (2005)
40% — The Grudge (2004)

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.


That Hannah Montana movie.

Jessica Alba won’t be singing on any stage but the pregnant actress will hit the big screen for the fourth time in eight months with Lionsgate’s new supernatural thriller The Eye. A Hollywood remake of the hit Hong Kong horror flick about a blind woman who sees frightening visions after an eye transplant, the PG-13 film should play to genre fans everywhere over a weekend that welcomes scary movies. Openings for recent fright flicks over Super Bowl weekend include $14.7M for last year’s The Messengers, $21.6M for 2006’s When A Stranger Calls, and $19M for Boogeyman in 2005. All were Sony releases. All opened at number one. That studio’s Screen Gems unit and Lionsgate are the two industry leaders when it comes to mining riches from horror films.

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.


Jessica Alba and friend in The Eye.

Eva Longoria Parker headlines her first feature film with Over Her Dead Body which will target women too old to enjoy a Miley Cyrus concert. The PG-13 pic finds the Desperate Housewives actress playing a ghost who haunts a psychic that is falling for her ex-fiance. Paul Rudd and Jason Biggs co-star in the New Line release. Body should skew heavily female and Parker has the potential to one day become a box office draw. But this may not be the vehicle to spark that change. The concept is not very intriguing and mixed reviews will probably keep it from finding a large paying audience. Plus fellow ABC heavyweight Katherine Heigl already has a lock on women with 27 Dresses which has been well received. Opening in 1,977 theaters, Over Her Dead Body could debut to around $6M.


Eva Longoria Parker, Paul Rudd and Lake Bell in Over Her Dead Body.

Paramount targets young men with its new comedy Strange Wilderness which stars Steve Zahn, Justin Long, and Superbad‘s Jonah Hill. The R-rated film will face many tough challenges in the marketplace such as competition from the Super Bowl and the restrictive rating that will affect much of the core audience’s ability to buy tickets. Zahn is no marquee name and is not a reliable anchor for a mainstream comedy. And despite hefty declines, films like Meet the Spartans, Rambo, and Cloverfield will steal away over $20M in combined business from the exact audience Wilderness is trying to reach. Overall interest is not very high so a launch in 1,208 theaters should lead to an opening weekend of around $3M for Strange Wilderness.


Steve Zahn and friend in Strange Wilderness.

Last weekend’s front-loaded boy flicks will get shoved aside this time by the girls. After opening at number one, the spoof comedy Meet the Spartans should see a hefty drop thanks to football fever, competition from new releases, and an upfront bow that attracted most fans last weekend. A year ago, Epic Movie fell by 55% in its sophomore session and a similar decline is in store for Spartans. Look for a $8M frame and a ten-day cume of $29M for Fox.

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

Supernatural encounters with a deceased bridezilla are the name of the game in Over Her Dead Body. While run-ins with jealous spirits are unfamiliar territory for most mortals, moviegoers can find solace in Jason Biggs’ big screen return to his physical comedy roots. A few films and ravaged baked goods away from his role as Jim Levenstein in the American Pie series, Biggs plays Dan, a clumsy, well-intentioned, catering business partner with a cloudy sexual orientation that has stumbled deep into the “friend zone” of the film’s main love interest, Ashley [Lake Bell].

RT had the opportunity to sit down with Biggs at a roundtable interview about the film where he discussed his character’s sexual survival, his post-American Pie career, an impressive list of hottie co-stars, and upcoming films that could add a few more memorable, some might say outrageous, scenes to his cinematic CV.

What attracted you to the Over Her Dead Body script?

Jason Biggs: Well, for comedies, if you read a script and you laugh, it’s funny. If you don’t laugh, it’s not funny. I laughed a lot and that’s a good starting point. I thought for romantic comedies, there is a certain formula that you generally need to stick to and the best romantic comedies will play with that formula a little bit. They’ll do their best to be original where they can be and play with things.

While this may be a recurring theme, I feel like Jeff [Lowell, writer/director] put a lot of original ideas and original comedy into it and it just stood out. Part of that is that he [Jeff] is just so smart and edgy. The first scene is Eva [Longoria Parker] getting crushed by an ice angel and it’s pretty morbid and dark. You could be like “Is this movie going to be too extreme, too edgy?” But he was able to keep the right amount of edge but keep it accessible, fun, and entertaining I thought.

The role was really interesting for me because it actually was one of the toughest roles that I’ve done because it was really layered. I’m playing a straight guy who’s playing a gay guy because he’s in love. I had to figure out what Dan’s impression of homosexuality was or how he would want to perform it. It had to be credible. I didn’t want to go over the top with it. I didn’t want to go stereotypical clichéd places where you’d wonder, “How could you keep up that ruse for five years?” There had to be a bit of ambiguity so it was actually really tough. So the director and I kept talking about it. I kept soliciting his advice and asking his opinion because I was concerned that I either wasn’t doing enough or was doing too much. In the end, we decided that less was more and the more subdued the better… The role was interesting for me, I just thought this could be a really, really fun role to play.

Did you do much back story? This guy is in love with this woman for five years, what did he do when he wasn’t around her? Swoon?

JB: That’s a really good question. I didn’t really think about that actually, maybe I should have. Are you saying I should have? What about when he was not with her? Did he have to keep that up? At a certain point did it come habitual for him and he just kept it up everywhere he went? Also, what about how many people did they have in common? How many thought he was gay in her circle or their circle? Interesting… I didn’t think about any of that.

What about the sex?

JB: The sex! Is this guy masturbating for five years? Or did he decide, “You know what? What’s wrong with a little homosexual sex? Might as well do it, I’ve got to get some.” I mean, what did he do? That’s a great question. I’m assuming he just masturbated to Ashley just non-stop. I’m assuming he had plenty of material because they’d go shopping together and she’d be wearing a g-string. I’m assuming he had enough to work with that got him through his five years of abstinence.

One of the great things about the movie is having the surprises of Lake [Bell] and Lindsay Sloane.

JB: Lindsay is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. She and I have such an amazing back and forth. We’re trying to work with each other again [on a television show]. She’s hilarious and I had seen her work before.

Lake, this movie for her could be the sky’s the limit. She’s got this Julia Roberts quality, you know? Very funny, very pretty, approachable, relatable, sort of not afraid to make a fool of herself. Lindsay is the same way. Lindsay is so much fun. There really is a dearth of funny, pretty, young actresses out there. I mean there’s not too many. If you are that? You’re psyched. I wish I was a funny young actress.

You do a lot of physical comedy, which is what people have got to know you for from the American Pie movies, are you looking for that in scripts? Or are you trying to get away from that?

JB: No, physical comedy is my favorite thing to do in the world, without a doubt. I was so excited for that scene. I came in that day and Jeff is such a great collaborator and he wanted your ideas and improvisation. He really respected all of his actors and respected the fact that I do physical comedy and love doing physical comedy.

So when I came in that day, we went over the objectives of the scene, but then, he gave me the freedom. In the fall, afterwards, and all of that, he was like, “I’ll be back here shooting.” I’d be like, “I think I might fall and we’ll have the camera pan down.” He just gave me that freedom because I love physical comedy.

I love falls and stuff. It’s so much fun for me, but I take it seriously. It’s a whole choreography that needs to be done and I like going in a little early and scoping out the lay of the land to figure out what I can do and what I might be able to add to it. He [Jeff] gave me that freedom and it was really cool. I love, love, love, physical comedy.

So we can always expect to see doing something like superglue-ing your hand to your balls or something like that in every movie?

JB: Something close to it! Ideally, yes. I imagine there will be films that I don’t, but it will probably be a film that I only did for the money.

In the next two movies I’m in, in one, my character shaves his eyebrows off. In another movie, I, among other things, masturbate into a sink. You know, it’s what I do. It’s my bread and butter.

What are the names of those upcoming films?

JB: My Best Friend’s Girl with Dane Cook, Kate Hudson, Alec Baldwin, my character shaves his eyebrows off accidentally. Well, the first one accidentally, the second one… well, you’ll see. Then, Lower Learning, with Eva Longoria Parker, we re-teamed and I, among other things, during a flashback to my high school days – ugly prom tux with pimples all over my face – am masturbating into a sink while crying hysterically.

In addition to the physical comedies, you’re always in movies with really hot women.

JB: I know.

Is that a coincidence? Or is that you living the best life ever?

JB: That’s being the luckiest son of a bitch in this hotel.

Are you and Lindsay an item?

JB: Me and Sloaney? No, she’s married. I’ve got a serious girlfriend. But if not, I would bang her anyway, I think. No, I’m actually really good friends with her husband. So I’m thinking a four-some, a little orgy style might be in order. For now, nothing’s happened.

Is your girlfriend in the business?

JB: She is. Her name is Jenny Mollen. She was on Angel for a little while, kind of a sci-fi girl. She’s got a couple movies coming out. She’s in My Best Friend’s Girl as well, has a cool little part in that.

How do you feel about your transition from the American Pie guy to actor Jason Biggs? Are you always going to be proud of the American Pie guy?

JB: I’m totally proud of being that guy. The comedic muscles that I used in those teen movies, I still want to use today in my physical comedy – playing the sort of underdog, all of that stuff I feel like is going to part of my career for as long as people keep hiring me. As far as the genre, the teen movie genre, I’m at an age now where I can’t really be a part of that anymore. I’m fortunate that I’ve been able to make that transition into more young adult or adult comedy, that people are actually hiring me now as a 30 year old as opposed to a 17 year old. So that’s good news. As far as the kind of comedies, there will always be a bit of the sophomoric comedy in me. I love that stuff.

Are you keeping in touch with that ensemble cast?

JB: Eddie Kaye Thomas [Finch] is one of my best friends. Chris Klein and I still chat occasionally. He’s a great friend. The rest of the cast, I don’t talk to as much. My girlfriend is actually friends with Alyson Hannigan from that Buffy/Angel world, so I saw her recently, which is cool because I hadn’t seen her in a long time.

For the most part and it’s a good thing I guess, everyone’s busy kind of doing their own thing and living where they’re living, that happens. But whenever we do reconnect, we’ll always have that bond. I mean, that was crazy and we all have it shared.

In terms of expectations, when you’re going to the movies with your friends, are they expecting you to raise the bar every single time they see you on screen?

JB: I don’t know if they’re expecting it. They’re hoping. I haven’t always done that. I think the reality is that the bar was set really high with American Pie. Any movie I’ve done after that, that people are like, “That was funny,” I’m psyched because I know for myself as well, I’ve set the bar really high and people set it for me.

American Pie, people loved it! I’m so fortunate and if some peoples’ opinions are that nothing else holds a candle to that, that’s ok with me. I’m proud of that movie. I’ve since had people come up to me and compliment me and say something like “Saving Silverman is my favorite movie you’ve done” or this or that, and it’s just awesome. That’s so cool, you know? As long as I stay employed. I just want to keep working. It hasn’t been a hindrance. People asked about being pigeon-holed or type cast, I’m still working. So, I’m lucky. I can’t complain.

So you see a steady stream of scripts?

JB: Yeah, some of them are incoming. Sometimes, I have to go after them. The best things, I go after. The things that I really want, I go after them. I’m not afraid to do that or afraid to audition. I grew up doing it since I was five years old, I don’t expect anything otherwise. I love it. It’s part of my job. It’s my livelihood.

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