George Clooney, the Mayor McCheese of Hollywood, leaves behind Oscar season and returns to the big screen with lighter fare with the period sports comedy Leatherheads. The PG-13 pic also stars Renee Zellweger and John Krasinski while the former Caped Crusader directs. Given the story of the origins of football in the 1920’s, turnout should come mostly from older adults although The Office star is being counted on to pull in some younger moviegoers. In Los Angeles, Clooney is a God. But the other 99% of the U.S. population doesn’t necessarily bow down to him (unless pals Brad and Matt are along for the ride). Michael Clayton, which creatively was one of the actor’s best films, only managed $10.4M in ticket sales during its first wide weekend. And it was backed by plenty of Oscar buzz and glowing reviews.
Reviews for Leatherheads have been lukewarm at best which spells bad news since the target audience will be reading up on the opinions of critics and taking their warnings. Plus Zellweger is no A-lister when it comes to drawing in paying audiences. Add in a period setting that will turn many off and you’ve got a spring film that will have to work hard for the money. To its credit, Universal has backed the title with a solid marketing push doing what it can to generate excitement and the current top five will not provide too much direct competition. But a lack of momentum in the current marketplace will also have a negative effect on all films. Rushing into 2,778 theaters, Leatherheads may take in around $15M this weekend.
Fox’s animated blockbuster Horton Hears A Who will find its competition coming from the studio’s own new Jodie Foster adventure. But the Dr. Seuss comedy has been holding up well so a 30% fall to $12.5M could result. That would up the cume to a robust $134M.
Superhero Movie stumbled out of the gate last weekend and is not likely to have legs. A 45% drop would give The Weinstein Company roughly $5M and a sum of $17M after ten days.
LAST YEAR: With Easter falling on the first weekend of April, the box office was vibrant thanks to a pair of solid sophomores and a slate of new releases. Will Ferrell‘s skating comedy Blades of Glory spent a second frame on top with $22.5M while the Disney toon Meet the Robinsons held onto second with $16.7M. Leading the newcomers was the Ice Cube sequel Are We Done Yet? with $14.3M on its way to $49.7M for Sony. Opening in fourth was the two-for-one special Grindhouse with $11.6M followed by the new supernatural thriller The Reaping which bowed to $10M. Final grosses reached $25M and $25.1M, respectively. Failing to excite family audiences was Firehouse Dog which debuted in tenth with just $3.8M leading to a weak $13.9M final.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
It has been less than a week since the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike officially began, but it is already severely affecting many television shows.
At a meeting yesterday, many of Hollywood’s most powerful show runners agreed to stop work on their shows immediately, until the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) resume negotiations with the WGA. Effective immediately, several major shows have stopped filming and editing new episodes. Enormously popular shows like Family Guy and The Office will only air one more new episode before going into reruns. Office scribes — including BJ Novak, Mindy Kaling, and Paul Lieberstein — marched the picket lines and explained how they are currently losing out on residuals of their immensely popular “Webisodes.”
Many other celebs showed their support by marching — including Desperate Housewives‘ Marc Cherry and Eva Longoria (who handed out pizza to the hungry picketers) and Grey’s Anatomy‘s Shonda Rhimes, Katherine Heigl, and T.R. Knight.
Many supporters of the strike continue to bring goodies to the picketing lines. Sources tell us that Alison Sweeney (Sami from Days of Our Lives) paid a special visit to the NBC lot to bring some junk food to the writers, and Jimmy Kimmel brought burritos, while Jay Leno continued to bring by his daily donut delivery. Another important friend to the WGA — Creative Artists Agency (CAA), one of the major Hollywood talent agencies — brought by hot chocolate and cookies. Check out RT’s earlier report on which celebs are supporting the writers.
But not everyone is as sweet on the strike. Ex-Disney CEO, Michael Eisner, blasted the WGA strike at the Dow Jones/Nielsen Media and Money conference yesterday. According to an article in The Hollywood Reporter, the former studio head quipped, “For a writer to give up today’s money for a nonexistent piece of the future — they should do it in three years, shouldn’t be doing it now — they are misguided they should not have gone on the strike. I’ve seen stupid strikes, I’ve seen less stupid strikes, and this strike is just a stupid strike.” He also suggested that the writers weren’t placing blame on all responsible parties — such as Apple — saying that, “The only real winner here is Steve Jobs. They should be striking up at Cupertino or wherever he is.” Take a look at RT’s strike rundown for more details on what the WGA is asking for in terms of new media.
Another conspicuously unsupportive foe of the WGA is talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. Although other talk show hosts — such as Jay Leno, David Letterman and Jon Stewart — have halted production on their shows, Ellen has continued to tape, after taking one day off. Her resistance to stop production has spawned the chant, “Ellen, you’re no friend of mine; you danced across the picket line!” heard by passers-by on the NBC Studios lot.
For More RT strike coverage, check out:
Jigsaw’s twisted games return for another late-October round of torture fun with Saw IV which should allow the lucrative franchise to claim the biggest horror opening of the year for the second straight time. The R-rated gorefest follows last year’s Saw III which bowed to $33.6M this very weekend setting a new debut record for the series. Jigsaw’s death in that installment did not stop a fourth flick from being produced since the most popular horror movie villains never truly die anyway. Although III set a new opening weekend record for the Lionsgate series, it did not match Saw II‘s overall $87M gross and instead finished a bit behind with $80.2M. Still, with small budgets (Saw III was produced for $12M) this cash cow continues to churn out profits and shows no sign of stopping.
The audience for Saw IV is clearly defined and new fans are not likely to be generated. Competition will come primarily from last weekend’s number one opener 30 Days of Night which will suffer a sharp fall this weekend. Otherwise, there is not much to distract genre fans on the weekend before the pumpkin holiday. The marketing has been on par with previous films, but as the franchise ages it risks losing fans who may have had enough with three helpings already. Plus this year has seen a wide assortment of horror films crash and burn which has led to some fright fatigue. Another factor could be the World Series which last year only affected Saw III‘s Friday bow but this year will cut into both Saturday and Sunday business. Many young adults may opt for the torture that the Red Sox are inflicting on the Rockies instead. Saw IV opens on Friday in 3,183 locations and could take in about $29M over three days.
LAST YEAR: Like clockwork, Saw III came in and dominated the pre-Halloween box office with a franchise-best $33.6M debut grossing more than the rest of the top five combined. The Jigsaw pic eroded fast and ended up trailing Saw II‘s total tally and finished with $80.2M. Holding tight in second place was Martin Scorsese‘s crime saga The Departed with $9.8M in its fourth assignment and the lowest drop in the top ten. The magician drama The Prestige followed closely in third with $9.6M. The war drama Flags of Our Fathers ranked fourth with $6.3M while the animated hit Open Season placed fifth with $5.9M. Opening to dismal results outside the top ten was the Tim Robbins drama Catch A Fire with only $2M on its way to a horrible $4.3M. Platforming in only seven sites was the ensemble drama Babel which went on to gross $34.3M and win the Golden Globe for Best Picture – Drama.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
Megatron and his sinister robot chums invade the North American box office aiming to extract riches from the multiplexes over the extended Fourth of July holiday week with the tentpole action vehicle "Transformers."
Also entering the marketplace, but likely to gross only a fraction of the cash, is the comedy "License to Wed" starring Robin Williams. With Independence Day falling on a Wednesday, moviegoers have all different kinds of schedules with some having only one day off from work while others are taking extra time for themselves. That will make for a tricky box office trajectory since ticket buyers have many films to choose from and many days to make their trip to cinemas.
Paramount sets off the fireworks with "Transformers" which already got an early start to the holiday week with a strong $8.8M in ticket sales on Monday night with shows beginning at 8pm. The PG-13 film from director Michael Bay is adapted from the popular toys and cartoon series that became a cult favorite in the 1980s, but instead has been geared up to fit modern summer movie standards with action, humor, and plenty of special effects. Shia LaBeouf stars alongside Tyrese Gibson, Jon Voight, Anthony Anderson, and John Turturro.
[Editor’s Note: "Transformers" broke records for having the biggest opening on a Tuesday at $27.9 million, according to Boxofficemojo.com. As of Wednesday night (the original "official" release date), "Transformers" had raked in $36.7 million at the box office — a figure that grants the flick the title of Best 4th of July opening ever. That number (what many have pointed out amounts to over $36 million in 36 hours of release, or $1 million per hour and $16,666 per minute) results from the Paramount release’s $8.8 million Monday night take combined with $27.9 million on Tuesday. An additional $29.1 million from Wednesday’s moviegoers bumps the current "Transformers" box office to $65.7 million — and there are four more days to go.]
"Transformers" is trying hard to follow in the footsteps of "Independence Day" which eleven years ago this week wreaked havoc on the box office with a Fourth of July opening week gross of $96.1M over five and a half days beginning with Tuesday night shows starting earlier at 6pm. That would amount to about $125M at today’s ticket prices from 1,129 fewer theaters than what the robots in disguise now control. Both films are essentially disaster pictures about alien forces that invade Earth that are driven by amazing special effects and feature ensemble casts with no huge stars.
The fanboy crowd has been energized for months for "Transformers" so that vote is locked in. To really see the grosses soar, Paramount and DreamWorks will need non-fans to pony up the dough and take interest not because they remember watching the cartoon as a kid, but because it looks and feels like good escapist summer fare. Luckily the pic delivers on that. Appeal to teens and young adults is potent but older adults looking for action may be tempted to buy a ticket for Bruce Willis in the latest "Die Hard" sequel. In addition, younger children afraid of mean transforming robots will instead line up for "Ratatouille." But so far reviews have been pretty good for its genre and fans are giving high marks too as witnessed by the encouraging A- average grade from over 6,000 votes on Yahoo Movies.
Other effects-driven sci-fi action tentpoles opening over this extended holiday week include 2002’s "Men in Black II" with $87.2M over five days, 2003’s R-rated "Terminator 3" with $72.4M over five and a half days, and $100.5M over five days for "War of the Worlds" in 2005. Optimus Prime should soar higher since it has a full six and a half days of play this week by the time Sunday night arrives. Invading 4,011 theaters, "Transformers" might gross about $67M over the Friday-to-Sunday period and a stellar $130M from Monday night through Sunday.
Taking one of his worst beatings from critics in years, Oscar winner Robin Williams hit multiplexes on Tuesday with his latest comedy "License to Wed" playing a wacky priest who puts a newly engaged couple through a series of tests before marrying them. The PG-13 film stars Mandy Moore and "The Office"’s John Krasinski as the lucky twosome. The Warner Bros. title is slotted into this extra long holiday week as counter-programming to the Decepticons and hopes to appeal to women and adult couples not interested in the summer’s umpteenth action extravaganza.
Aside from the former Mork, "License" has no real starpower at the box office. Even Williams has struggled to pack them in on opening weekend in recent years. His last film "Man of the Year" bowed to $12.3M last fall. Word-of-mouth is not likely to be very positive and if anything, the early opening may spread bad buzz as by Friday many will hear from friends that they should avoid this pic. The midweek debut will also dilute the weekend numbers too. A stronger title could have excelled this week with the target audience given all the testosterone flicks, but this one just doesn’t have the goods. Opening in 2,401 theaters, "License to Wed" might collect about $11M over the weekend and $18M during the extended Tuesday-to-Sunday debut period.
Disney and Pixar enjoyed a brief three-day stint in the number one spot last weekend with "Ratatouille" before being pushed aside by the Autobots on Monday. Second weekend drops for Pixar’s summer toons include 44% for last year’s "Cars" and a slimmer 34% for 2003’s "Finding Nemo." The rodent flick is well-liked by moviegoers and competition for younger children is not too direct this coming weekend so a decline in between those two may result. A 35% drop would give "Ratatouille" about $30M for the weekend and a ten-day cume of $109M.
Bruce Willis will have his hands full with "Live Free or Die Hard" on the second weekend thanks to fierce direct competition from "Transformers." A 50% drop would not be surprising and would give Fox around $16.5M for the session boosting the 12-day tally to $83M. Universal’s "Evan Almighty" should continue its rapid slide and dip by 45% to roughly $8M. That would put the Steve Carell comedy at $78M after 17 days.
LAST YEAR: After a long four-year term as the top opening of all-time, "Spider-Man" had its record stolen by Captain Jack as "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest" crushed the industry mark with an eye-popping three-day bow of $135.6M. The Disney smash easily became the biggest blockbuster of the year with $423.3M domestically and a towering $1.065 billion worldwide and it still stands as the third largest global grosser of all-time. "Superman Returns" tumbled down to second place falling by a disturbing 59% to $21.8M for Warner Bros. Fox’s "The Devil Wears Prada" enjoyed a better sophomore hold dropping 46% to $15M for third place. Rounding out the top five were Adam Sandler‘s "Click" with $11.9M for Sony and Disney/Pixar’s "Cars" with $10.7M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
Frankly I’ve lost track of how many actors and filmmakers have been attached to a new "Fletch" flick. But the latest possibility is pretty intriguing … especially if you’re a big fan of NBC’s "The Office."
Yep, the latest potential "Fletch" is none other than John Krasinski, better known as the VERY funny Jim Halpert on "The Office." According to the MTV Movies Blog, the young actor is definitely in the running for the part.
"I have no idea [if they’ll cast me]," the 27-year-old actor grinned. "I’ve been shooting a movie down in North Carolina, so I’ve kind of lost touch with who [else] is in the running … I read the script, and it is hilarious. It’s just one of those things that is so terrifying, to step up and be in a role that was done so perfectly."
JK is of course referring to Chevy Chase, who played the title character in both "Fletch" and "Fletch Lives." I definitely think this is the best choice yet. Nothing against Joshua Jackson, but Krasinski definitely seems a lot "fletchier."
Source: MTV Movies Blog
Universal looks to score its first number one hit in nearly a year this weekend with the new Steve Carell comedy "Evan Almighty" which hits the multiplexes on Friday targeting a broad family audience.
Reaching out to adult moviegoers are MGM with the John Cusack chiller "1408" and Paramount Vantage with the Angelina Jolie starrer "A Mighty Heart." Overall, the marketplace could slow down a bit this weekend before another wave of high-profile summer blockbusters arrives towards the end of June.
The sixth consecutive sequel to open at number one has a different formula up its sleeve. "Evan Almighty" loses Jim Carrey from "Bruce Almighty," drops the rating from PG-13 to PG, and shifts the plot over to a Biblical story while courting family audiences. Michael Bay isn’t the only one with a transformer at the box office this summer. Universal’s big-budget comedy offering should easily top the charts, however the financial picture will be very different. Steve Carell, whose starpower has blossomed since the 2003’s "Bruce," takes over as the lead playing a TV anchorman-turned-congressman who is told by God to build an ark because a mighty flood is coming. Morgan Freeman reprises his supporting role as the big G.
On a budget rumored to have ballooned to $175M thanks to extensive special effects and overages, "Evan Almighty" stands as one of the priciest comedies ever. The loss of Jim Carrey means it has almost no chance of reaching the $68M three-day opening weekend gross of "Bruce" from four years ago when it shocked the film industry by kicking "The Matrix Reloaded" out of the top spot in only its second frame. It reached a domestic haul of $242.8M. "Evan Almighty" could conceivably gross half the amount of "Bruce," while costing twice as much to produce. Does that mean it will lose money? Not necessarily. "Evan" would love nothing more than to follow in the footsteps of "Night at the Museum," another effects-driven comedy led by a popular comedian aimed at families, which has grossed over $570M worldwide. If it can tap into that crowd, then it will be a divine road ahead.
"Evan"’s trim running time of about 90 minutes will help since multiplexes can schedule numerous showtimes per day. Competition will come from current chart-topper "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer," another action-comedy sequel tamed down to a PG to cater to eight-year-old boys on summer vacation. Teens and young adults who have to wait until the fall to see new episodes of Carell’s "The Office" may line up for "Evan" and give it a try, despite the negative reviews. There’s not much else exciting that demo right now. And given its themes, moviegoers in the Bible Belt may contribute some solid sales on opening weekend as the studio is wisely targeting churches in its marketing outreach. Opening in 3,602 theaters, "Evan Almighty" could premiere to about $40M this weekend.
John Cusack hopes to avoid the current horror curse at the box office with his new psychological thriller "1408." The MGM release finds the actor playing a writer who checks into a haunted hotel room that many have died in. Samuel L. Jackson co-stars in the PG-13 pic. Scary movies have been slaughtered at the cash registers lately. Even star-driven adult thrillers have struggled as witnessed by openings of $11.2M for "Perfect Stranger" starring Halle Berry and Bruce Willis, $10M for Hilary Swank‘s "The Reaping," $10M for Kevin Costner‘s "Mr. Brooks," and $7.6M for Luke Wilson‘s hotel-themed "Vacancy." Managing to surge a bit higher were Sandra Bullock‘s "Premonition" with $17.6M and Jim Carrey’s "The Number 23" with $14.6M. "1408" may not scare up that much business given consumer apathy towards fright flicks right now. Plus Cusack and Jackson are not really known for packing them in on opening weekend unless there are bigger stars present. Checking into 2,678 theaters, "1408" might take in about $12M this weekend.
Angelina Jolie headlines this weekend’s serious offering for adult audiences, "A Mighty Heart." Directed by Michael Winterbottom ("The Road to Guantanamo," "Welcome to Sarajevo"), the R-rated film finds the Oscar-winning actress playing Mariane Pearl, wife of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, and documents her struggle to find her kidnapped husband in Pakistan. In a summer of sequels and effects-driven action pictures for kids on vacation, Paramount Vantage is going after the adults that are often neglected at this time of year. Reviews for "Heart" have been strong with Jolie already earning kudos buzz and the film should appeal to the same audiences that came out for other acclaimed political thrillers like "United 93" ($11.5M, $6,395 average), "The Constant Gardener" ($8.7M, $6,444), and "Syriana" ($11.7M, $6,699). Competition will come from "Ocean’s Thirteen" and "Knocked Up" which have both been playing well with the 30-plus crowd. Debuting in about 1,350 theaters, "A Mighty Heart" might open in the vicinity of $7M.
Last weekend, Fox’s "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer" opened at the top and was just one of six sequels to land in the top ten. Its 2005 predecessor tumbled 59% in its second weekend thanks to poor word-of-mouth and intense competition from newcomers "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "Wedding Crashers" which stole over $90M worth of ticket sales away from holdover pics. "Silver Surfer" has been greeted with marginally better responses and will not face as much competition from the incoming class this weekend, although "Evan Almighty" will be gunning for that PG-loving family crowd. A drop of 55% would give the new "Fantastic Four" saga around $25M for the frame and a ten-day cume of $103M.
"Ocean’s Thirteen" will see some of its adult audience get pulled away by the weekend’s two new mature-skewing flicks. A 40% decline will leave the caper sequel with roughly $12M pushing the total to $91M after 17 days for Warner Bros. Universal’s comedy sensation "Knocked Up" will smash through the $100M mark this weekend, probably on Friday. Look for a 30% fall to around $10M boosting the cume to $108M.
LAST YEAR: Adam Sandler scored his usual table at the top spot with his comedy "Click" which bowed to $40M for Sony on its way to $137.3M domestically and over $235M worldwide. The Disney/Pixar toon "Cars" dropped to the runnerup spot but dipped only 31% to $23.3M. Sophomores "Nacho Libre" and "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" were both hit hard and tumbled by more than 50% each to $12.7M and $9.8M, respectively. Focus launched the Tyrese Gibson actioner "Waist Deep" to a solid $9.4M from just over 1,000 theaters on its way to $21.3M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
Here’s just a catch-all post filled with new photos, websites, promo clips, and trailer news. Fun stuff if you’re looking forward to "Hostel: Part 2," "Rambo 4," "The Dark is Rising," "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," or "Evan Almighty."
Regarding "Hostel: Part 2" — If you decide to go see the William Friedkin thriller "Bug" on (or after) May 25th, you’ll be treated to a 5-minute clip from Eli Roth‘s horror sequel. Take this as either a promise or a warning, but now you know.
Fans of "The Dark is Rising" will no doubt want to know what the movie version looks like, and those folks can click right here to pick through the first 11 photos from the film. (Looks pretty nifty; then again so did "Eragon.")
Last but not least: If you’re planning to watch "The Office" tonight, be sure to wait around after it’s over. That’s when you’ll catch an extended preview of Steve Carell‘s "Evan Almighty," which has been widely reported as the most expensive comedy ever made. (Really?) If you miss the promo tonight, you can check it out later at DotComedy.com.
A bunch of somewhat interesting trailer news has come down the pike just recently, particularly if you’re looking forward to movies called "28 Weeks Later," "Evan Almighty," and "Ocean’s 13."
Regarding Universal’s "Evan Almighty," which stars Steve Carell, you can see the brand-new trailer on March 29th if you happen to be watching NBC’s "The Office." (As if we needed one extra reason to watch that show.)
As far as the all-star "Ocean’s 13" is concerned, the fresh trailer will hit the internet on the same day: March 29th. (In the meantime, Slashfilm has some new pics.)
This Week’s Most Popular News:
"Indiana Jones" Returns…Again!
Action-adventure fans rejoice! Producer George Lucas has announced that "Indiana Jones 4" (sequel #3, if you’re counting) will begin filming in 2007!
"National Treasure" Sequel Gets a Title and Release Date
We know most of the crew is returning for a sequel to "National Treasure," but what’s the movie going to be called?
"Mr. & Mrs. Smith" Make the Leap to the Small Screen
Director Doug Liman and screenwriter Simon Kinberg are about to bring their "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" to network television — only I wouldn’t expect Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie to reprise their roles. (Funny but true: There was a "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" series a few years ago; it starred Scott Bakula and Maria Bello, and it went nowhere fast.)
First Official TV Spot for "Spider-Man 3"
We’ve all watched the "Spider-Man 3" trailer about 19 times by now, so here’s something new: The very first TV spot! Hey, we’ll take what we can get…
Spielberg and Bay Say Konnichi-wa, Japan with New "Transformers" Trailer!
In addition to a couple of character shots not included in the US trailer, watch the Japan-only "Transformers" teaser to see Steven Spielberg and Michael Bay hurdle over the language barrier and address their Japanese audience…in Japanese!
In this week’s Ketchup, the campy classic "Starship Troopers" may finally get a proper successor with Casper Van Dien returning for "Starship Troopers 3" (there was a sequel?), Jack Black teams with avant-garde director Michel Gondry, and Fox and Marvel may engage in a glorious studio slugfest over the future of the "X-Men."
Also, Gargamel and Azrael may get to resume their chase of those little blue creatures in a "Smurfs" movie, and hit-or-miss screenwriter Akiva Goldsman will pen the "Da Vinci Code" prequel. Read on for more.
This Week’s Most Popular News:
Johnny Rico Returns in "Starship Troopers 3"
Yep, you read that right: Casper Van Dien, the star of the original "Starship Troopers," will be returning to head up "Starship Troopers 3," which will be directed by series writer Edward Neumeier.
Jack Black and Michel Gondry Remake "King Kong," "Robocop," and More ’80s Classics
In his upcoming movie, "Be Kind Rewind," Jack Black gets to remake all of our ’80s favorites. He plays a video store clerk who accidentally erases all the tapes, and has to replace all the videos by filming them himself.
Bad Blood Between Fox & Marvel over "X-Men"?
So it’s been widely reported that, spin-offs aside, Fox was pretty much done with the "X-Men" series. But then they said maybe not. But then Marvel figured they could maybe continue the series by themselves…
New Details on the "Smurfs" Movie
When I first heard that someone was planning a big-screen version of "The Smurfs," I immediately thought two things: 1. Ugh, and 2. What took so long? Now comes producer Jordan Kerner with a handful of info that makes me think, Hmm this might not be such a rotten idea after all.
"Batman & Robin" Writer Gets $4 Million for "Da Vinci" Prequel
Oscar-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman is allegedly earning a $4 million dollar paycheck for his adaptation of Dan Brown’s "Angels & Demons," which features the character played by Tom Hanks in an adventure that predates what went on in "The Da Vinci Code." Yeah, just like what happened with "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom."
In Other News:
This week in RT Ketchup: Kevin Smith answers critics in RT’s Forums; hunky Heath Ledger may play the Joker in the next "Batman Begins"; another grotesque "Saw 3" poster has been unveiled; you’d better get your "Harry Potter" DVDs fast; and some excellent clips of "The Simpsons Movie" have been released.
In other news, Jay Leno to give his thumbs up; Disney returns to traditional animation; Lindsay Lohan incurs the studio’s wrath while filming "Georgia Rule;" and The Hoff decides to fight back! Read on for details:
The Week’s Most Popular News
Kevin Smith Responds to Comments Calling "Clerks 2" a Flop
Director Kevin Smith, who is known for pulling no punches with readers on message boards, visited Rotten Tomatoes’ own forums to respond to criticism made by a poster that his latest movie "Clerks II" is a commercial flop.
Apparently, Heath Ledger IS The Joker…
Another Joker casting rumor is always good fun, but the guys over at Latino Review seem pretty confident that they’re offering the straight scoop: Heath Ledger as The Joker in the sequel to "Batman Begins." (And I really wish they’d give us the title already.)
"Saw 3" Poster Has Bite!
You know how the first "Saw 3" poster showed a gaping mouth that was missing a trio of teeth? Well, those choppers have apparently been located: You’ll find ’em on the all-new "Saw 3" poster. (This flick could do more damage to the dental industry than "Marathon Man."
Peep a Pair of "Simpsons Movie" Clips
Some of the "Simpsons" creators stopped by the San Diego Comic Con to do a presentation on a little something called "The Simpsons Movie," and they even brought some clips! And you can watch ’em too!
"Harry Potter" and the Recall Scheme
Specific DVDs go "out of print" all the time, sometimes due to poor sales and sometimes due to elaborate marketing schemes. Anyway, the point is this: If you want to own a "Harry Potter" movie on DVD, you better buy your copies before December.
In Other News:
"Dodgeball‘s" Christine Taylor (a.k.a. Mrs. Ben Stiller) has signed on to join the ensemble comedy "License to Wed" for Warner Bros. and director Ken Kwapis ("Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants"). She’ll be joining Robin Williams, Mandy Moore and John ("The Office") Krasinski.
From The Hollywood Reporter: "The story revolves around a young couple (Moore, Krasinski) whose wedding plans are interrupted when the pushy minister (Williams) of the bride’s family church orders the pair to complete a marriage preparation course. They must pass the class if they want to marry in his church. Taylor will play Moore’s older sister. Vince DiMeglio and Tim Rasmussen did the latest rewrite of the script."
"For the first half of ‘Evan Almighty’, the star of NBC’s ‘The Office‘ (Thursdays, 9:30 ET/PT) cements his status as a rising movie lead as a preening politico who uproots his family to the D.C. area. Summoned by a prayer, God materializes before the self-absorbed Evan Baxter, insisting he build an ark before a great flood arrives. Though Evan initially resists, he is unable to contain his hair growth, a spurt of biblical if not pubescent proportions.
"There are all different lengths of hair and beards, and each has a code name," says Carell, shown sporting his final transformation as Noah in an exclusive first-look photo from the June 2007 release."
And you can see that pic by clicking right here.