(Photo by Claudette Barius/©Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection)
“Alright alright alright!” Only one man in Hollywood could fully embody the laidback cool of that now-famous catchphrase: Matthew McConaughey. The actor broke into the scene with the landmark stoner comedy Dazed and Confused, and for a while there looked like he was good to just coast on his twangy bro-charm and ample shirtless scenes. Occasional dramas like Amistad and Frailty gave him acting cred, which some would say was squandered on a string of duds like Fool’s Gold, Failure to Launch, and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past – the mediocrity cresting with the 0% Surfer, Dude.
Then came the McConaissance.
It all started with 2011’s The Lincoln Lawyer: He entered one side a laughing stock, and came out the other a bona fide movie legend. The hits followed: Magic Mike, Mud, The Wolf of Wall Street, and an honest-to-God Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club. And there was that critically-lauded turn in HBO’s True Detective. Before 2011, McConaughey had notched six Certified Fresh films over 20 years; this past decade, he’s racked up nine. See where they all place, including his latest The Gentlemen, as we rank the best Matthew McConaughey movies (and the worst) by Tomatometer!
No awards season would be complete without the Golden Raspberry Awards (AKA The Razzies), awarded each year to the very worst movies to hit Hollywood. This year’s winners will be announced on Oscar weekend; could multiple-nominee The Love Guru take home top honors? See the full list of nominees below.
This year, a few standout films and filmmakers nabbed multiple nominations, making for really good odds come February 21, when the Golden Raspberry winners will be announced. Leading the pack is Disaster Movie (2 percent on the Tomatometer), which managed to earn six nominations; The Hottie & the Nottie (5 percent), up for honors in five categories; and Uwe Boll’s In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, which also earned the Teutonic Terror a Worst Career Achievement Razzie.
The complete list of nominees:
Worst Picture Nominations
Worst Actor Nominations
Mike Myers, The Love Guru
Worst Actress Nominations
The cast of The Women (Annette Bening, Eva Mendes, Debra Messing, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and Meg Ryan)
Paris Hilton, The Hottie & The Nottie
Worst Supporting Actor Nominations
Verne Troyer, The Love Guru & Uwe Boll’s Postal
Worst Supporting Actress Nominations
Carmen Electra, Disaster Movie & Meet the Spartans
Paris Hilton, Repo! The Genetic Opera
Kim Kardashian, Disaster Movie
Jenny McCarthy, Witless Protection
Leelee Sobieski, 88 Minutes & In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale
Worst Screen Couple Nominations
Uwe Boll and any Actor, Camera, or Screenplay
Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher, What Happens in Vegas
Larry the Cable Guy and Jenny McCarthy, Witless Protection
Eddie Murphy and Eddie Murphy, Meet Dave
Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-Off, or Sequel Nominations
The Day the Earth Blowed Up Real Good
Disaster Movie and Meet the Spartans
Worst Director Nominations
Uwe Boll, 1968: Tunnel Rats, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale and Uwe Boll’s Postal
Tom Putnam, The Hottie & the Nottie
Marco Schnabel, The Love Guru
M. Night Shyamalan, The Happening
Worst Screenplay Nominations
Disaster Movie and Meet the Spartans
The Hottie and the Nottie
In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale
The Love Guru
Worst Career Achievement
This week in DVD news, that long-awaited Kill Bill double-volume set may finally be on its way and Incredible Hulk director Louis Leterrier promises enough leftover Hulk footage to make another feature film come Blu-Ray time. Plus, we’ve got an exclusive clip from next week’s Charlie Bartlett! Read on for more.
Hulk Blu-Ray to Include 70 Additional Minutes of Footage!
If you’re voraciously eating up every morsel of Hulk trivia on the web these days, then you’ve already heard what director Louis Leterrier is saying about the eventual Blu-Ray release of last weekend’s box office smasher The Incredible Hulk. But we’ll just summarize it for you here: he promises 70 (s-e-v-e-n-t-y) minutes of footage, including scenes like Bruce Banner’s conversation with Betty’s shrink boyfriend and his trek through the Arctic (both of which appeared in trailers but not the final cut). He insists there is a Captain America “Easter egg” in the film. And he reminds us that the 70 cut minutes were cut for a reason — they were bad! Not that it matters to fans. Hulk want extra footage!
Disney Bringing In-Movie Chat and Games to DVD
I believe that children are our future; they’ve got cell phones, PS3s, and Facebook accounts, after all, and now Disney is targeting the tween set for the next generation in multimedia communication: talking with friends through your DVD player. Such wonders will utilize the interactive BD-Live features on HD-DVD players — twitter with Timmy while watching Prince Caspian in your respective living rooms! Challenge Stacy to a Zac Efron trivia contest during High School Musical 2! As of now, only Disney titles are set to include the technology.
Finally, Kill Bill Vol. 1. AND 2 Is Coming
There have been false Kill Bill alarms before. Could the long-awaited special DVD re-release of Quentin Tarantino‘s Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2 finally be on the horizon? So sayeth the folks over at DVDtown, who shared a single release date — September 9 — as the official Blu-Ray release of the dual titles. But should we believe it? The timing would seem to make sense, after Uma Thurman let slip in April that QT had already completed one of two promised anime back stories, so break out your yellow Game of Death jumpsuits and katanas and get excited!
Sneak a peek at Charlie Bartlett on DVD!
The good folks at MGM have sent us an exclusive clip from Charlie Bartlett, a comedy about a rich kid at a new school who appoints himself unofficial psychiatrist of the troubled student body. Click here to watch! Charlie Bartlett is out on DVD next Tuesday, June 24.
Click for this week’s new releases!
Well, it’s no How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days; at least that contrived romantic comedy topped 40% on the Tomatometer. That said, Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey seem equally at home in this awful breezer — she in clichéd rom-com territory, he without his shirt on.
One by-the-numbers behind-the-scenes featurette and a gag reel means there’s hardly any reward for making it through the movie itself.
Michel Gondry is a wunderkind; sometimes, that wonderment is more accessible (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) than others (The Science of Sleep). His latest, an ode to communal movie-loving, is on the latter end of the spectrum, combining his trademark wackiness with saccharine sincerity — and the scene-chewing antics of Jack Black.
If you’re iffy about the film, the bonus menu isn’t going to convince you to give Be Kind Rewind a shot. With only two features on the disc (And since when does a single trailer constitute a “feature”?) we recommend waiting for the inevitable special edition. Or “swede” your own version of the film and have more fun in the process!
Martin Lawrence continues in his quest to become the most commercially viable, yet critically derided comic actor known to man with a movie that proves you can go home again…with inane slapstick, shots to the groin, and dogs having sex. (Larry the Cable Guy would give Lawrence some tough competition, if only his movies actually made money.)
A wealth of bonus materials abound, including cast interviews, behind-the-scenes featurettes, a director commentary by writer-director Malcolm D. Lee (cousin to Spike), and more.
Word on the festival circuit last year had cinephiles buzzing one distinct catchphrase: have you seen the Romanian abortion movie? But this tense, gripping, and fearlessly acted drama about two women trying to arrange the illicit operation in 1987 Communist Romania is far more powerful and moving than any such reduction can convey. Shockingly passed over at the Oscars, the multiple award-winning 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days is a must-see.
The disc includes a 16-minute making-of featurette and an interview with writer-director Cristian Mungiu and his cinematographer, Oleg Mutu.
‘Til next week, happy viewing!
Summer box office season began with a bang last Friday, with Iron Man the first of the pumped-up, big-budget teen-friendly blockbusters to emerge from the bowels of the Hollywood studios this week.
This zesty tale of billionaire weapons magnate Tony Stark (played by a rakish Robert Downey Jr.) – who decides to change his ways and don metallic apparel after seeing the devastation caused by his company’s weapons – has won almost uniformly positive (if not ecstatic) notices from critics and made it the freshest big film of the year so far on Rotten Tomatoes.
The zippy pace, lack of existential naval-gazing and sly sense of humour provided by the talented ensemble cast were all praised, with James Christopher of The Times summing up the critical consensus by dubbing it a “roaring fairground ride.”
More pleasing to the bean-counters at Paramount and Marvel, however, will be the film’s takings. The movie took over £5million in its first three days, which, added to the film’s gargantuan $100 million-plus in the States, already makes the movie a monster smash-hit.
In the wake of Iron Man‘s domination, this week’s other contenders were left fighting for scraps. Nim’s Island , the kiddie-tastic adventure story starring Gerard Butler, Jodie Foster and Abigail Breslin (the smiley-faced cherub from Little Miss Sunshine) was the second highest new entry — coming in at third place but taking a paltry £850,000. Made of Honor meanwhile, the latest forget-it-as-soon-as-you’ve-seen-it rom-com with Patrick Dempsey in the lead role fared even worse, scraping by into fourth.
Indeed, this year more than ever, it looks like the little guys are going to have to take a back seat as sequels and superheroes boss our cinema screens. In fact, what with the Wachowski brothers’ (The Matrix) latest effort — the family-friendly anime adaptation Speed Racer – out this Friday, and Steven Spielberg‘s long-anticipated/feared fourth instalment in the Indiana Jones series following a couple of weeks after on the 22nd, May could even be a potentially the most lucrative month of the year for the studios.
The film revolves around Daniel Craig’s fading Hollywood star Joe Scott, who returns home for a friends funeral and looks back over his life – cue self-obsessed naval gazing from a narcissistic Craig.
Critics were decidedly unsure about the film; many praised the performances and technical aspects, but slammed the general premise, with Little White Lies’ Danny Bangs labelling the film “a two-hour whining session” and Empire’s Sam Toy describing the screenplay as ‘malformed’.
However, maybe marketing was a bigger problem than bad reviews for the film — a silly title, an oblique, talky plot where little actually happens, and having the current James Bond in a role that isn’t James Bond must surely have confused the public to such an extent that they gave the film the widest of berths. And good luck to them.
To manufacture a laboured segue, another film with fool in the title made a much bigger splash in cinemas. Fool’s Gold — a daft rom-com with genre experts Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson playing estranged lovers bought together by a treasure hunt (genius!) obviously tickled audiences’ fancies, despite an almost insultingly ridiculous plot and slapdash direction from Andy Tennant (thought of by many as the worst director in Hollywood).
Nonetheless, with the rain pouring down and the threat of a looming recession, it seems our nation’s cinemagoers would love nothing more than some perky, sun-drenched, escapist nonsense to get them through these oh-so-troubling times.
That’s maybe the reason for another of these weeks’ theatrical success stories – Mike Leigh‘s Happy-Go-Lucky – which came in at number nine in the chart but took by far the highest amount of dough-per-screen. Leigh’s optimistic and cynicism-free tale of a school teacher from North London won of the hearts and minds of both jaded critics and audiences – a fact that makes the usually grumpy RT feel warm inside.
North American film fans heard the call of the elephant and stampeded to the box office to see the animated Dr. Seuss pic Horton Hears a Who, which enjoyed the largest opening weekend of the year so far. The testosterone flick Never Back Down launched to decent numbers; however, the virus thriller Doomsday was dead on arrival in its debut. But ‘toon power was able to revitalize the marketplace, sending the top 10 above the $100M mark and ahead of year-ago levels for the first time in a month.
Jim Carrey and Steve Carell lent their voices to Horton and ticket buyers responded, spending an estimated $45.1M on the Fox hit for a strong number one premiere. The G-rated tale bowed ultrawide in 3,954 locations and averaged a sturdy $11,406 per theater. The Whoville story generated the fourth best March opening ever, behind 300 ($70.9M), Ice Age: The Meltdown ($68M), and the original Ice Age ($46.3M) and also landed the fifth largest opening in history for a G-rated film.
Horton took advantage of star power, the popularity of the Seuss brand, and an open marketplace with few options for families to help it post the year’s best debut. But the film went beyond just parents and kids — the studio reports that 47 percent of the audience was non-family, with teens kicking in a significant contribution. Budgeted at $85M, the animated feature also garnered glowing reviews from most critics. Horton also bowed in 29 international markets this weekend, and captured an estimated $14.2M tally.
Animated films opening in March usually enjoy strong legs thanks to the Easter holiday and school vacations. Ice Age‘s opening weekend represented only 26 percent of its eventual $176.4M domestic final. Fox’s 2005 film Robots witnessed a 28 percent share, Meltdown played like a sequel and saw 35 percent, and last year’s Disney offering Meet the Robinsons grabbed 26 percent. Horton should follow in the same footsteps, as direct competition in the coing weeks is not too fierce, leading to possibly $150-175M from North America alone.
Trailing the animated elephant were the woolly mammoths of 10,000 BC. The not-so-accurate account of prehistoric times fell 54 percent in its second outing to an estimated $16.4M and pushed the total to $61.2M after 10 days. Given the bad reviews, negative word-of-mouth and the genre, the sharp decline was expected. The Warner Bros. title is playing almost exactly like another spring historical actioner, 2002’s The Scorpion King. The Rock starrer generated similar numbers with a $36.1M debut and $61.3M 10-day take before concluding with $90.5M. 10,000 BC should find its way to the same vicinity domestically. Overseas, the prehistoric pic collected a mighty $38M this weekend as it saw top spot debuts in the United Kingdom, Korea, and Russia and second place launches in France and Italy. The international cume has risen to $73M putting the global gross at an impressive $134M.
So far this year, moviegoers have been showing up in the same numbers, but have spread their dollars across a wider selection of movies than in 2007. Overall domestic box office is up 4 percent compared to the same period last year, and when factoring in the annual increase in ticket prices, total admissions are up only a slight amount. But at this point in 2007, six films had crossed the $50M mark, including three that broke the $100M barrier; this year, none have reached nine digits yet, but a whopping 10 have vaulted ahead of $50M (not including Horton, which is just days away from surpassing that mark).
The Mixed Martial Arts drama Never Back Down debuted to mediocre results and landed in third place with an estimated $8.6M from a wide 2,729 theaters. Averaging a mild $3,155, the PG-13 high school tale is the first in-house production from new distributor Summit and played to an audience of young males. Research showed that 59 percent of the audience was male and 60 percent were under 21. Never was budgeted at $20M.
Martin Lawrence’s second comedy of the year, College Road Trip, dropped a moderate 42 percent in its second weekend,, grossing an estimated $7.9M. With $24.3M collected in 10 days, the G-rated family flick should end up in the neighborhood of $45M.
Sony’s action thriller Vantage Point has been enjoying surprisingly strong legs, and slipped only 27 percent this week, to an estimated $5.4M for a solid cume of $59.2M. Rival actioner The Bank Job posted an even greater hold, sliding only 17 percent in its sophomore frame to an estimated $4.9M, giving Lionsgate $13.1M in 10 days. The high-octane pics should reach about $75M and $27M, respectively.
Universal suffered a dismal opening for its futuristic virus thriller Doomsday, which bowed to just $4.7M, according to estimates, from 1,936 theaters. The R-rated pic averaged a miserable $2,450 and should find its real audience on DVD this summer.
Will Ferrell‘s basketball comedy Semi-Pro fell 49 percent to eighth with an estimated $3M, pushing the total for New Line to $29.8M. Look for a final of roughly $35M, making it the comedian’s lowest-grossing lead performance in a wide release since 1998’s Night at the Roxbury.
Sony’s The Other Boleyn Girl dipped only 28 percent to an estimated $2.9M for a cume of $19.2M. The kidpic The Spiderwick Chronicles rounded out the top 10 with an estimated $2.4M, off 49 percent, for a $65.4M sum. Final grosses should reach $26M and $70M, respectively.
Warner Independent had a mixed weekend with its pair of limited release titles. The Naomi Watts thriller Funny Games opened in 289 theaters and grossed an estimated $520,000 for a dull $1,800 average. But its promising platform release Snow Angels added one Los Angeles site and took in an estimated $26,000 from three sites for a potent $8,667 average. The Kate Beckinsale starrer expands to the top 10 on Friday during its third session.
Three solid box office performers fell from the top 10 this weekend. Fox’s sci-fi flick Jumper dropped 42 percent to an estimated $2.1M, lifting the total to $75.8M. The $85M Hayden Christensen–Samuel L. Jackson actioner should conclude with about $80M. It’s already banked $100M overseas and counting.
The $70M adventure comedy Fool’s Gold collected an estimated $1.7M, off 38 percent, for a $65.4M sum. Warner Bros. looks to end with just under $70M. Step Up 2 the Streets, the latest teen dance drama to score with audiences, took in an estimated $1.5M, down 51 percent. With $55.4M taken in thus far, the Buena Vista release will reach close to $60M, putting it within striking distance of the $65.3M gross of 2006’s surprise smash Step Up.
The top 10 films grossed an estimated $101.3M, which was up less than 1 percent from last year — when 300 remained at number one in its second weekend with $32.9M — and up 13 percent from 2006, when V for Vendetta debuted in the top spot with $25.6M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
A terrorist attack is played out through multiple perspectives in the high-octane political thriller Vantage Point which leads the four-pack of new openers which also includes three small comedies. Sony will score its first number one hit since October with this star-driven actioner which boasts a cast that features Dennis Quaid, Forest Whitaker, Sigourney Weaver, Matthew Fox, and William Hurt. The PG-13 pic has the biggest marketing and distribution push of any new release this weekend so a comfortable lead over its competitors should be expected. None of the actors are guaranteed box office sensations, but together they equal one big bankable A-lister.
Adults will make up the primary age group and appeal seems strong to both males and females. The intriguing style of the film will make it stand out from the crowd, although fellow action options Jumper and Fool’s Gold will provide some competition. Plus many adults will be preoccupied with their last chance to see the Oscar nominees before Sunday night’s big show. The five Best Picture candidates banked $14M over Presidents’ Day weekend. Vantage Point should play to the same folks that came out for other star-driven non-special effects action and suspense pics from this time of year like Sahara ($18.1M), The Interpreter ($22.8M) and Premonition ($17.6M). Attacking over 3,000 locations, Vantage Point could open to about $21M this weekend.
The Spiderwick Chronicles got off to a solid start last weekend as the only major offering for families and with no new kidpics entering the scene, a smaller decline is assured. Sophomore drops for Disney’s own Presidents’ Day weekend films from the past two years were 37% for Bridge to Terabithia and 21% for 2006’s Eight Below. Spiderwick could fall in between with a 30% fall giving Paramount $13M for the frame and $44M after eleven days.
Following a potent debut, Step Up 2 The Streets will suffer a sizable drop. The dance sequel may lose 45% of its take and gross $10M pushing the eleven-day cume to $42M. Warner Bros. should see its comedy adventure Fool’s Gold drop by 35% to around $8M. Total would climb to $54M.
LAST YEAR: Spending its second weekend on top, Sony’s Ghost Rider starring Academy Award winner Nicolas Cage fell hard but still pulled in $20.1M to top the box office over Oscar weekend. Jim Carrey gave horror a chance with The Number 23 and debuted in second with a solid $14.6M bow. The New Line release eventually grossed $35.2M and was the first of many thrillers in 2007 that marked major Hollywood stars doing their first scary movies. Disney’s Bridge to Terabithia slipped one spot to third with $14.2M in its sophomore frame. Fox’s comedy Reno 911!: Miami debuted in fourth with $10.3M representing half of its eventual $20.3M final tally. Fellow comedy Norbit rounded out the top five with $9.8M in its third session. Opening at the lower rungs of the top ten were the Billy Bob Thornton drama The Astronaut Farmer with $4.5M and the slave trade drama Amazing Grace with $4.1M from a more limited release. Totals reached $11M for Warner Bros. and $21.3M for Goldwyn/Roadside Attractions.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
The annual convergence of the Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day holidays has lead to a unique situation this year as studios are all releasing their wide openers on Thursday hoping for strong five-day starts for their pictures. The two effects-filled movies heading up the charge are Fox’s science fiction actioner Jumper and Paramount’s fantasy adventure The Spiderwick Chronicles attacking over 3,400 theaters each. Buena Vista counters with its dance saga Step Up 2 The Streets while Universal offers the romantic comedy Definitely, Maybe.
With something for everyone, and the two holidays giving a boost to overall moviegoing activity, the North American box office should be robust this weekend although it may not be able to match the record-shattering frame from a year ago. The last time Valentine’s Day fell on a Thursday was in 2002 but all five wide releases that year had traditional Friday bows. This time studios felt no need to leave business on the table on the typically strong love holiday so openings were scheduled a day earlier.
Fox has a savvy way of taking subpar films not loved by critics and selling them successfully to the ticket buying audience. The success of recent films like Alvin and the Chipmunks, 27 Dresses and Meet the Spartans is proof. The studio is hoping to make the magic work again with the new actioner Jumper which tells of teleporting men who face off against an elite group set to destroy them. Former Jedis Hayden Christensen and Samuel L. Jackson star in the PG-13 pic directed by Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Mr. & Mrs. Smith). Teens and young adults are the target audience here with males likely to slightly outnumber the gals.
The Presidents’ Day frame is often used by studios to launch effects-driven sci-fi films and audiences always turn out. Last year saw Ghost Rider bow to $52M over four days, Constantine opened to $33.6M in 2005, and Daredevil debuted to $45M in 2003. Jumper will play to most of the same people, however it boasts less starpower and its literary source is not as famous. Plus it faces more competition for the action audience with Spiderwick taking away some of the younger crowd and Fool’s Gold stealing away some women and adult couples.
Jumper lacks the goods people expect from a solid sci-fi flick and Christensen proves once again that he’s no leading man so lukewarm buzz from first-day audiences on Thursday may water down some of the weekend rush. But a strong marketing campaign will get the upfront audience to show up this weekend before the large declines set in. Invading 3,402 theaters, Jumper could open to around $30M over four days and $35M over five days.
The studio has given an extended marketing push to the film and fans of the books are likely to be curious as to how the leap to the big screen was made. Reviews have been generally positive so that should help persuade parents to give a green light to a trip to the multiplex this weekend. Enjoying the widest release of all new flicks with 3,847 theaters, The Spiderwick Chronicles might premiere with roughly $24M over four days and a five-day haul of $27M.
Martin Lawrence‘s comedy Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins could see a similar decline due to similar reasons. Both sophomore comedies have earned a troubling C+ average grade from over 1,000 users of Yahoo Movies. Universal’s family reunion pic may drop by 30% and grab about $11.5M over the Friday-to-Monday session boosting the 11-day total to $31M.
Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus should continue dropping fast at the box office but with all the loot it has already taken in, future grosses are just Disney gravy. The 3D concert pic may tumble by 50% to roughly $5M across four days and lift the stellar cume to $60M. After the third week, the numbers should shrink as U23D expands into many of the same Hannah auditoriums on February 22.
LAST YEAR: The Presidents’ Day holiday weekend box office was on fire as five new releases injected a stunning $122M in business into the marketplace over the four-day span. Nicolas Cage led the way with the comic book flick Ghost Rider which bowed to $52M over the long weekend for Sony on its way to $115.8M. Disney posted muscular results in second with its new fantasy pic Bridge to Terabithia which opened to $28.5M over the Friday-to-Monday session leading to a $82.3M final. Eddie Murphy‘s comedy Norbit dropped from first to third with $19.9M. Debuting behind it were the romantic comedy Music and Lyrics with $15.9M and the Tyler Perry pic Daddy’s Little Girls with $13.1M. Final grosses reached $50.6M and $31.4M, respectively. Bowing in sixth was the thriller Breach with $12.3M on its way to $33.2M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
Comedy and adventure collided at the North American box office and delivered
a number one opening for Fool’s Gold
starring Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson. Martin Lawrence’s new comedy Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins enjoyed a solid
second place finish, but the standup concert film Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show bombed in its opening finishing well outside the top ten.
Uncovering the most treasure, Fool’s Gold premiered in the top spot over the
weekend with an estimated $22M from 3,125 theaters for a strong $7,043 average.
The debut for the Warner Bros. release was a bit below the $23.8M opening that
the two actors generated for their romantic comedy How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days
which launched five years ago this weekend. That figure would be roughly $27M at
today’s ticket prices.
The $70M-budgeted Gold, which features the stars as an estranged couple
reuniting to hunt for sunken treasure, was panned by critics and received some
of the worst reviews of any film released in this new year. Andy Tennant (Hitch, Sweet Home Alabama) directed. In the half-decade since
10 Days came out,
has been absent from the box office throne while McConaughey headlined two
number one openers – 2005’s adventure Sahara and 2006’s romantic comedy Failure
Debuting in second place with a nearly identical performance on a per-theater
basis was the Martin Lawrence-led comedy
Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins with an
estimated $17.1M from 2,386 locations for a solid $7,180 average. The Universal
release played in 739 fewer theaters than Fool’s Gold and posted an average that
was $137 higher. Directed by Malcolm D. Lee (The Best Man, Undercover Brother),
the PG-13 film tells of a famous talk show host who returns to his childhood
home for the 50th anniversary of his parents and reconnects with family and
friends. Cedric the Entertainer, James Earl Jones, Michael Clarke Duncan, Mike Epps, and Mo’Nique co-star.
Produced for $35M, Roscoe Jenkins generated an opening similar to last month’s
First Sunday which was another comedy led by an African American cast. That pic
which starred Ice Cube bowed to $17.7M from 2,213 theaters and
is headed for a finish of just under $40M. According to Fox research, Roscoe‘s
audience was 52% female and 52% over the age of 30.
Despite its A grade from CinemaScore, Disney’s Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert plunged 66% in its second weekend to an estimated $10.5M
ranking third for the frame. The G-rated concert film played in only 687
theaters and still averaged a sizzling $15,295 per location and boosted its
ten-day cume to a fantastic $53.4M. Hannah Montana was originally promoted as a
one-week-only event and racked up record pre-sales over the past two months so
it was expected to absorb most of the demand in the first seven days. The studio
announced last Sunday that it would extend the run. With a reported budget of
$7M, the 3D tween sensation could climb to an astounding $70-75M. Most theaters
are charging an extra-high $15 per ticket.
Jessica Alba‘s horror pic The Eye held up reasonably well in its second weekend
falling 47% to an estimated $6.6M. The $22M Lionsgate title has grossed $21.5M
in ten days and should see itself ending up in the neighborhood of $35M.
More female starpower followed as a pair of funny ladies from Fox tied for fifth
place with an estimated $5.7M each. Oscar contender Juno
slipped only 18% and
boosted its cume to an amazing $117.6M. The wise-cracking pregnant teen is the
eldest stateswoman in the top ten having just entered her tenth weekend. Eight
of those frames were spent in the top ten. Katherine Heigl‘s 27 Dresses
only 33% and pushed its sum to $65.4M.
Hot on the trail of those young ladies were a bunch of old geezers. 70-year-old
superstars Jack Nicholson
and Morgan Freeman
watched their hit film The Bucket List
collect an estimated $5.3M, off just 21%, for a cume of $75.1M for Warner
Bros. Not far behind was 61-year-old action star
Sylvester Stallone with Rambo
which fell 42% to an estimated $4.1M giving Lionsgate a tally of $36.5M.
The bottom three positions in the top ten delivered a very close race as two
other films reported estimates of $4.1M also. Fox’s spoof comedy Meet the Spartans
was off by 45% and reached a total of $33.9M. The
There Will Be
Blood expanded and saw its weekend milkshake dip by just 13%.
Paramount Vantage has taken in $26.8M to date with much more expected in the
weeks ahead as moviegoers catch up on high profile Academy Award contenders.
Opening miserably outside of the top ten was the standup comedy doc Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show which debuted to an estimated $507,000 from 962
locations for an embarrassingly low $527 average. Scoring an opening weekend
average of just three digits is never a good thing. The R-rated Picturehouse
release follows the comic actor and his group of standup comedians on their tour
across several states.
Grossing a similar amount of money from just a tiny fraction of the theaters
Colin Farrell hitman drama
In Bruges which bowed in just 28 locations to an
estimated $471,000 for a solid $16,829 average. Focus will expand the R-rated
film hoping to capitalize on the publicity it generated from its opening night
slot at Sundance. Reviews were mostly encouraging.
A pair of studio flicks fell from the top ten this weekend. Sony’s gory crime
dipped 31% to an estimated $3.5M in its third session and
raised its total to $24.3M. Budgeted at over $30M, the
Diane Lane vehicle should
finish up with a decent $30-35M. The $25M camcorder-style thriller Cloverfield
dropped 45% in its fourth frame to an estimated $2.7M for Paramount. With $75.9M
banked to date, the disaster film looks to reach $80-83M by the end of its
domestic run giving the studio a nice moneymaker. Cloverfield remains the
top-grossing new release of 2008.
All five Oscar nominees for Best Picture enjoyed strong holds with declines of
26% for Atonement, 18% for
Juno, 13% for There Will Be Blood, and 10% for
Michael Clayton. Frontrunner
No Country For Old Men was the only one to not
drop, inching up 2%. All films are spending aggressively on advertising to take
advantage of their nods in the marketplace.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $85.3M which was off 2% from last year
when Norbit opened at number one with $34.2M; and down 13% from 2006 when
Pink Panther debuted in the top spot with $20.2M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
Hollywood plays the race card this weekend opening a pair of star-driven comedies, one for white moviegoers and the other for black audiences. Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson get the wider release with the romantic adventure comedy Fool’s Gold while debuting in 741 fewer theaters is Martin Lawrence‘s family reunion laughfest Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins. Adding to the mix is the standup comedy concert pic Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show which will also try to tickle funnybones from coast to coast. Not all three films will get to laugh all the way to the bank.
Five years and one day after their date flick How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days became a number one hit, McConaughey and Hudson reteam for Fool’s Gold. Directed by Andy Tennant (Hitch, Sweet Home Alabama), the PG-13 picture tells of an ex-couple that must band together to find sunken treasure. The Warner Bros. release looks like a winner on paper. Take two stars with a proven track record, put them in a film that combines romantic comedy with action adventure, and hefty grosses from both genders should come rolling in. The marketing has certainly been pushing all the right aspects trying to sell this as a Romancing the Stone for today’s twentysomethings and thirtysomethings.
But the film’s poor execution will be a major liability in the long run. Reviews have been among the worst of any film in this new year. Since Fool’s Gold will play to an over-25 crowd, the thumbs down from critics could have an impact. Bad word-of-mouth will certainly kick in after this weekend and hurt future weeks. Then again, critically-panned comedies packed with big stars usually sell pretty well with the paying public. Gold will play to the same crowd that powered 10 Days to a $23.8M bow and McConaughey’s 2006 rom-com Failure to Launch to $24.4M. Both skewed female and heavily white. The actor’s latest offering could open in the same neighborhood but should suffer weaker legs. Opening in 3,125 theaters, Fool’s Gold may bow to about $23M.
Roscoe Jenkins will pull in most of its business from the African American audience. Turnout should be robust given the starpower. Sure the family reunion story has been done a hundred times, but moviegoers will want to see all the big names under one roof giving them two hours of laughs. In the right film, and when surrounded by other marquee stars, Martin Lawrence is still a big draw at the box office. His comedy sequel Big Momma’s House 2 opened to $27.7M around this time of year in 2006.
Plus with this weekend’s Top 20 set to offer no other films led by black casts, direct competition will be minimal. The Ice Cube comedy First Sunday debuted to $17.7M a month ago and Martin and gang could do better. Reviews will not be very good, but that should not matter much. The only limiting factor will be the theater count. Debuting in 2,384 locations, Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins could collect around $20M this weekend.
The Eye settled for a decent second place finish over the Super Bowl frame and like most fright flicks, should not enjoy a good hold on the second weekend. The new menu of comedies won’t provide too much competition so a decline of 50% would leave Lionsgate with about $6M lifting the total to $21M after ten days.
Fox’s female-skewing comedy 27 Dresses will take a direct hit from Matt and Kate’s reunion. Look for the Katherine Heigl film to fall by 40% to $5M for a 24-day score of $64M. Playing to a slightly different audience, Rambo took a sizable blow over the Super Bowl frame and should see its drop stabilize to 50%. That would leave the ultraviolent Lionsgate sequel with $3.5M putting the overall cume at $36M.
LAST YEAR: Following soon after his first-ever Oscar nomination for Dreamgirls, Eddie Murphy rocketed to number one at the box office with the powerful $34.2M debut for the comedy Norbit. The Paramount release went on to gobble up $95.7M domestically and about $160M worldwide. Opening in second with a respectable $13.1M was the thriller Hannibal Rising which went on to gross $27.7M for The Weinstein Company. The previous weekend’s top two films followed, but switched their order. Universal’s Diane Keaton comedy Because I Said So held up well and grossed $9.2M while the horror pic The Messengers fell harder and took in $7.2M for Sony. Rounding out the top five was the unstoppable holiday hit Night at the Museum with $5.8M in its eighth frame.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
Fool’s Gold hits theaters in wide release on Friday. Helmed by veteran rom-com director Andy Tennant (Ever After, Hitch), this fortune-seeking adventure reunites Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson, who starred together in 2003’s How toLose a Guy in 10 Days (42 percent). Critics so far haven’t embraced the perfectly bronzed duo’s efforts to retrieve sunken treasure, but if Fool’s Gold turns out to be a diamond in the rough, it would be a pretty silver lining to look forward to. Too much bling for one sentence? Nah…
This week we’ll be looking at three films that provide three unique perspectives on the familiar theme of treasure hunting. Typically characterized by swashbuckling heroes, exotic locales, and an element of mystery, these adventures tend to have a high fun factor and, even at their weakest, succeed at least in appealing to our natural curiosity.
Back in 1981, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas introduced the world to Indiana Jones, archaeology professor by day and retriever of precious artifacts on holiday weekends. It rocked the box office and spawned a number of clones, including a couple of Allan Quatermain flicks, both National Treasure films, the Mummy series, and even a pair of original Turner Network movies about a librarian. But one of the first successful copies was a comedic romp through Colombia called Romancing theStone (84 percent), directed by Robert Zemeckis.
The story is relatively straightforward: romance novel writer Joan Wilder’s (Kathleen Turner) sister gets into trouble with some unsavory Colombians, and on her way to exchange a treasure map for her sister, the timid author meets Jack T. Colton (Michael Douglas), recluse-cum-aviculturist-cum-fortune finder. Colton and Wilder butt heads (and ultimately bump uglies) as they follow the map to a giant emerald, fleeing competing parties all the way.
If you’re popping in Romancing for the first time, it may initially feel a bit dated. The music, the canned gunshots, the wardrobe; all of it is distinctly and unabashedly stuck in the 1980s. The production is big and bold, from the over-the-top silliness to Michael Douglas’s forehead, and the clichés will come at you so fast, you’ll hardly detect the smell of cheese before a hulking slab of cinematic Velveeta floors you with a blow to your aesthetic sensibilities. But stick with it, and you’ll come to realize that this is part of the fun of the movie, which never takes itself too seriously in its efforts to entertain. Turner and Douglas work well on screen together, and there are twists, turns, pitfalls, chases, and explosions aplenty to qualify it as a solid adventure flick. As Christopher Null of Filmcritic.com wrote, “Few films that have arrived since have captured Stone’s enthusiasm and good-naturedness.”
Take the wayback machine 20 years earlier and you’ll stumble upon the time of the Spaghetti Western, consisting of classic western films that were produced by Italian studios (who could have reckoned that?). Sergio Leone was the undisputed king of the genre, working repeatedly with Clint Eastwood, and the two of them in 1966 brought us The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (100 percent), now considered not only a monumental achievement in the western genre, but also one of the most influential films ever made.
The concept of treasure hunting isn’t foreign to westerns, be it in the form of tracking bounties, panning for gold, or gallivanting around in your average X-marks-the-spot caper. More the latter of the three but far from “average,” the story here involves The Man With No Name (Clint Eastwood, the “Good”), Angel Eyes (Lee Van Cleef, the “Bad”), and Tuco (Eli Wallach, the “Ugly”), three Civil War-era gunslingers who distrust each other but must work together to secure a buried cache of stolen Confederate gold. When the opening credits roll, you’ll immediately recognize the film’s score; it’s the same coyote-like melody synonymous with western duels, whether found in Looney Toons shorts or ads for weedkiller, and it’s indicative of exactly how
influential The Good, the Bad and the Ugly has been.
Leone takes his time crafting each of the characters and their relationships, and the resulting tension is thick, sweaty, and unnerving, much like I am on a typical day. But he also throws in some comic elements, mostly at the expense of Tuco, and effectively intertwines the backdrop of the Civil War to move the story along. The race to the prize culminates in a Mexican standoff (before they became cliché), and Leone doesn’t disappoint with the outcome. The film is a classic and highly watchable for western buffs and movie lovers alike; as Michael Wilmington wrote for the Chicago Tribune, it is “an improbable masterpiece — a bizarre mixture of grandly operatic visuals, grim brutality and sordid violence that keeps wrenching you from one extreme to the other.”
Lastly, we jump back to the 1980s, when Monty Python alumnus Terry Gilliam put a creative yet bizarre twist on the traditional treasure hunt. Forget the tumbleweeds and corrals, screw the pirate ships and wooden chests; when Terry Gilliam creates a sprawling adventure, it sprawls across space and time. At least, that’s what he did with 1982’s Time Bandits
(94 percent), the first of three highly imaginative and visually remarkable films Gilliam made in the era, the other two being Brazil (97 percent) and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (86 percent).
Time Bandits’ plot: dwarf thieves who zip through time and loot some of history’s greatest figures. The aforementioned dwarves, employed by a “Supreme Being,” are commissioned to repair various holes in the fabric of time, utilizing a unique map of the universe. Due to a labor dispute, however, the dwarves decide to use the map to their own advantage, picking up a child companion along the way and jumping through time to rob the likes of Napoleon (Ian Holm) and King Agamemnon (Sean Connery). Enter the embodiment of Evil (David Warner), who wants the power of the map to recreate the world, and pretty soon you’ve got man-pigs running around and ogres with back problems trying to devour our anti-heroes.
If nothing else, this movie is a fun ride because it offers a glimpse into the bizarre mind of Gilliam himself, who also co-wrote the film. The scenes are often awkward but hilarious, and with further cameos from a young Jim Broadbent and other Monty Python members, it definitely delivers on its promise of pure gold. “For a kids film this is pleasingly dark with Gilliam delivering as much
classical fairy tale as knockabout comedy,” wrote Ian Freer of Empire Magazine.
The promise of instant wealth and the power of greed always make for compelling stories, and when the objects of said greed are (in)conveniently located at the furthest reaches of the planet (and time), you not only have a compelling story, you’ve probably also got a pretty entertaining movie. For more takes on adventuresome endeavors, see The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (100 percent), The Goonies (63 percent), the Pirates of the Caribbean films, and for some deliciously bad fun, Firewalker (zero percent).