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All Jodie Foster Movies Ranked

1974 drama Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore is already one hell of a way to jump-start a pre-teen acting career for Jodie Foster, yet it would be her second collaboration with director Martin Scorsese that made her an international star. 1976’s Taxi Driver was a shocking game-changer in a decade full of them, with Foster’s casting as a 12-year-old prostitute eliciting awe and dread from audiences, not to mention an eventual Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. As a new unlikely industry “It” girl, Foster quickly began to fill her resume with roles equally precocious (Freaky Friday, Bugsy Malone) and dark (The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane) following Taxi Driver.

Foster continued to hone her craft through the ’80s and into the ’90s, receiving a Best Actress Oscar for 1988’s The Accused, and moving on to even bigger Oscar night wins for 1992’s The Silence of the Lambs. 1995’s Nell would be Foster’s last Oscar nom to date, but the Golden Globes have been more receptive: She’s been nominated since for 1997’s Contact, 2007’s The Brave One, 2011’s Carnage, received the Cecil B. DeMille Award in 2013, and finally won another acting Globe with 2021’s The Mauritanian.

More of Foster’s highlights during these decades include David Fincher’s Panic Room, Spike Lee’s Inside Man, and her own directorial-and-starring efforts like Money Monster. And now we take a look at all Jodie Foster movies ranked by Tomatometer!

#34

Siesta (1987)
17%

#34
Adjusted Score: 9215%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A sky diver (Ellen Barkin) wakes up in the middle of nowhere in Spain and dreamily recalls how she got... [More]
Directed By: Mary Lambert

#33

Stealing Home (1988)
20%

#33
Adjusted Score: 17893%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Failed baseball player Billy Wyatt (Mark Harmon) learns that his childhood sweetheart, Katie (Jodie Foster), has killed herself. The exuberant... [More]

#32

Flightplan (2005)
37%

#32
Adjusted Score: 44000%
Critics Consensus: The actors are all on key here, but as the movie progress, tension deflates as the far-fetched plot kicks in.
Synopsis: Airplane engineer Kyle Pratt (Jodie Foster) is heading home from Germany to New York on a double-decker Elgin 474 to... [More]
Directed By: Robert Schwentke

#31

The Brave One (2007)
44%

#31
Adjusted Score: 50900%
Critics Consensus: Magnetic by between Jodie Foster and Terrence Howard can't quite compensate for The Brave One's problematic and unconvincing eye-for-an-eye moral.
Synopsis: New York radio host Erica Bain (Jodie Foster) endures a brutal attack that leaves her badly injured and her beloved... [More]
Directed By: Neil Jordan

#30

Carny (1980)
50%

#30
Adjusted Score: 32103%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Frankie (Gary Busey) and Patch (Robbie Robertson) are partners in a traveling carnival who scam customers into wasting money on... [More]
Directed By: Robert Kaylor

#29

Backtrack (1989)
50%

#29
Adjusted Score: 34811%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: While fixing a flat tire, artist Anne Benton (Jodie Foster) sees a mob killing. She reports the murder to the... [More]
Directed By: Dennis Hopper

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 55196%
Critics Consensus: Beautiful cinematography can't prevent Anna and the King from being boring and overly lengthy.
Synopsis: Anna (Jodie Foster) has been employed to educate the king's (Chow Yun-Fat) 58 children. She knows very little of King... [More]
Directed By: Andy Tennant

#27

Nim's Island (2008)
52%

#27
Adjusted Score: 54753%
Critics Consensus: Despite good intentions, Nim's Island flounders under an implausible storyline, simplistic stock characters, and distracting product placement.
Synopsis: Life is an adventure for a courageous youngster named Nim (Abigail Breslin), who lives on an exotic island with her... [More]

#26

Shadows and Fog (1992)
52%

#26
Adjusted Score: 52615%
Critics Consensus: Shadows and Fog recreates the chiaroscuro aesthetic of German Expressionism, but Woody Allen's rambling screenplay retreads the director's neurotic obsessions with derivative results.
Synopsis: A serial strangler is on the loose, and a mob of neighborhood vigilantes is on the hunt. When several neighbors... [More]
Directed By: Woody Allen

#25

Nell (1994)
55%

#25
Adjusted Score: 55613%
Critics Consensus: Despite a committed performance by Jodie Foster, Nell opts for ponderous melodrama instead of engaging with the ethical dilemmas of socializing its titular wild child.
Synopsis: Cut off from the modern world, Nell (Jodie Foster) is a wild child, who has lived her entire life with... [More]
Directed By: Michael Apted

#24

Hotel Artemis (2018)
58%

#24
Adjusted Score: 67500%
Critics Consensus: Hotel Artemis has a few flashes of wit and an intriguing cast, but mostly it's just a serviceable chunk of slightly futuristic violence -- which might be all its audience is looking for.
Synopsis: As rioting rocks Los Angeles in the year 2028, disgruntled thieves make their way to Hotel Artemis -- a 13-story,... [More]
Directed By: Drew Pearce

#23

Money Monster (2016)
59%

#23
Adjusted Score: 77020%
Critics Consensus: Money Monster's strong cast and solidly written story ride a timely wave of socioeconomic anger that's powerful enough to overcome an occasionally muddled approach to its worthy themes.
Synopsis: Lee Gates is a Wall Street guru who picks hot stocks as host of the television show "Money Monster." Suddenly,... [More]
Directed By: Jodie Foster

#22

Sommersby (1993)
62%

#22
Adjusted Score: 62522%
Critics Consensus: Sommersby stumbles as a consistently compelling mystery, but typically solid work from Jodie Foster and Richard Gere fuels an engaging romance.
Synopsis: A man returns to his home town after a lengthy absence spent fighting in the US Civil War. Although his... [More]
Directed By: Jon Amiel

#21

The Beaver (2011)
62%

#21
Adjusted Score: 68970%
Critics Consensus: Jodie Foster's visual instincts and Mel Gibson's all-in performance sell this earnest, straightforward movie.
Synopsis: Walter Black (Mel Gibson), the head of a failing toy company, is deeply depressed. His marriage to Meredith (Jodie Foster)... [More]
Directed By: Jodie Foster

#20

Elysium (2013)
65%

#20
Adjusted Score: 74731%
Critics Consensus: After the heady sci-fi thrills of District 9, Elysium is a bit of a comedown for director Neill Blomkamp, but on its own terms, it delivers just often enough to satisfy.
Synopsis: In the year 2154, humanity is sharply divided between two classes of people: The ultrarich live aboard a luxurious space... [More]
Directed By: Neill Blomkamp

#19

Maverick (1994)
66%

#19
Adjusted Score: 69196%
Critics Consensus: It isn't terribly deep, but it's witty and undeniably charming, and the cast is obviously having fun.
Synopsis: This film update of the "Maverick" TV series finds the title cardsharp (Mel Gibson) hoping to join a poker contest... [More]
Directed By: Richard Donner

#18

Contact (1997)
66%

#18
Adjusted Score: 70084%
Critics Consensus: Contact elucidates stirring scientific concepts and theological inquiry at the expense of satisfying storytelling, making for a brainy blockbuster that engages with its ideas, if not its characters.
Synopsis: In this Zemeckis-directed adaptation of the Carl Sagan novel, Dr. Ellie Arroway (Jodie Foster) races to interpret a possible message... [More]
Directed By: Robert Zemeckis

#17

Foxes (1980)
70%

#17
Adjusted Score: 70070%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In the late 1970s, four teenage girls from San Fernando Valley, Calif., deal with the rampant dysfunction in their lives.... [More]
Directed By: Adrian Lyne

#16

Carnage (2011)
70%

#16
Adjusted Score: 77315%
Critics Consensus: It isn't as compelling on the screen as it was on the stage, but Carnage makes up for its flaws with Polanski's smooth direction and assured performances from Winslet and Foster.
Synopsis: When some roughhousing between two 11-year-old boys named Zachary and Ethan erupts into real violence, Ethan loses two teeth. Zachary's... [More]
Directed By: Roman Polanski

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 71330%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Based on the novel by John Irving, this unusual comedic drama follows the exploits of the eccentric hotel-operating Berry family.... [More]
Directed By: Tony Richardson

#14

The Mauritanian (2021)
75%

#14
Adjusted Score: 85420%
Critics Consensus: The Mauritanian takes a frustratingly generic approach to a real-life story that might have been inspirational in other hands, but Tahar Rahim's performance elevates the uneven material.
Synopsis: Directed by Kevin Macdonald and based on the NY Times best-selling memoir "Guantánamo Diary" by Mohamedou Ould Slahi, this is... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Macdonald

#13

Little Man Tate (1991)
74%

#13
Adjusted Score: 75418%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Fred Tate (Adam Hann-Byrd) is a 7-year-old with a genius IQ. Single mother Dede (Jodie Foster) worries Fred might have... [More]
Directed By: Jodie Foster

#12

Panic Room (2002)
75%

#12
Adjusted Score: 81090%
Critics Consensus: Elevated by David Fincher's directorial talent and Jodie Foster's performance, Panic Room is a well-crafted, above-average thriller.
Synopsis: Trapped in their New York brownstone's panic room, a hidden chamber built as a sanctuary in the event of break-ins,... [More]
Directed By: David Fincher

#11
Adjusted Score: 79095%
Critics Consensus: The inter-cutting of animation by Spawn's creator, Todd McFarlane, doesn't always work, but the performances by the young actors capture the pains of growing up well.
Synopsis: Francis Doyle (Emile Hirsch) and Tim Sullivan (Kieran Culkin), and their closest friends, are fighting the stultifying repression of their... [More]
Directed By: Peter Care

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 83118%
Critics Consensus: A well-crafted and visually arresting drama with a touch of whimsy.
Synopsis: Mathilde (Audrey Tautou) is told that her fiancé (Gaspard Ulliel) has been killed in World War I. She refuses to... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

#9

Five Corners (1987)
78%

#9
Adjusted Score: 66546%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This unusual film follows the unhinged Heinz (John Turturro), a rapist who has been released from prison, as he attempts... [More]
Directed By: Tony Bill

#8

Bugsy Malone (1976)
81%

#8
Adjusted Score: 83025%
Critics Consensus: Delightfully bizarre, Bugsy Malone harnesses immense charm from its cast of child actors playing wise guys with precocious pluck.
Synopsis: Fat Sam (John Cassisi), Bugsy (Scott Baio) and Tallulah (Jodie Foster) are kids playing adults in Roaring '20s New York.... [More]
Directed By: Alan Parker

#7

Inside Man (2006)
86%

#7
Adjusted Score: 94908%
Critics Consensus: Spike Lee's energetic and clever bank-heist thriller is a smart genre film that is not only rewarding on its own terms, but manages to subvert its pulpy trappings with wit and skill.
Synopsis: A tough detective (Denzel Washington) matches wits with a cunning bank robber (Clive Owen), as a tense hostage crisis is... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#6
Adjusted Score: 90967%
Critics Consensus: Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore finds Martin Scorsese wielding a somewhat gentler palette than usual, with generally absorbing results.
Synopsis: After her husband dies, Alice (Ellen Burstyn) and her son, Tommy, leave their small New Mexico town for California, where... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#5

Freaky Friday (2003)
88%

#5
Adjusted Score: 92087%
Critics Consensus: Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan charm in Mark Waters' nicely pitched -- and Disney's second -- remake of the 1976 hit.
Synopsis: Single mother Tess Coleman (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her teenage daughter Anna (Lindsay Lohan) couldn't be more different, and it... [More]
Directed By: Mark Waters

#4

The Accused (1988)
91%

#4
Adjusted Score: 92061%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Out drinking one night after a fight with her boyfriend, Sarah Tobias (Jodie Foster) is brutally raped by three men... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Kaplan

#3
Adjusted Score: 92569%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Quiet, withdrawn 13-year-old Rynn Jacobs (Jodie Foster) lives peacefully in her home in a New England beach town. Whenever the... [More]
Directed By: Nicolas Gessner

#2

Taxi Driver (1976)
96%

#2
Adjusted Score: 104531%
Critics Consensus: A must-see film for movie lovers, this Martin Scorsese masterpiece is as hard-hitting as it is compelling, with Robert De Niro at his best.
Synopsis: Suffering from insomnia, disturbed loner Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) takes a job as a New York City cabbie, haunting... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 104400%
Critics Consensus: Director Jonathan Demme's smart, taut thriller teeters on the edge between psychological study and all-out horror, and benefits greatly from stellar performances by Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster.
Synopsis: Jodie Foster stars as Clarice Starling, a top student at the FBI's training academy. Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn) wants Clarice... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Demme


Jodie Foster will find herself in the middle of a catfight over the number one spot this weekend. The star of current chart-topper The Brave One will face challenges from Milla Jovovich‘s new action sequel Resident Evil: Extinction, Jessica Alba‘s romantic comedy Good Luck Chuck, and the Amanda Bynes college laugher Sydney White. With adult-skewing dramas ruling the box office over the past couple of weeks, teens and young adults should be out in full force this weekend thanks to the selection of new options.

Deadly viruses and killer zombies are back in Sony’s Extinction, the latest and final chapter in its video game-inspired action-horror franchise. The series has been a popular one with the first Resident Evil opening to $17.7M in March 2002 and its sequel Resident Evil: Apocalypse debuting to a stronger $23M in September 2004. Each averaged about $7,000 over the debut frame. The R-rated Extinction will play to the converted and is not likely to generate any new fans. In fact, some will drop out thinking a third helping is a bit too much. Still the built-in audience of young adults and gamers plus a solid marketing push guarantee a top spot launch. Attacking over 2,700 locations, Resident Evil: Extinction could capture roughly $20M over the three-day debut period.


Milla Jovovich fights a zombie in Resident Evil: Extinction

Dane Cook plays a dude whose every ex-girlfriend ends up engaged to the next guy she dates in the romantic comedy Good Luck Chuck. Jessica Alba co-stars in the R-rated release from Lionsgate which will use starpower to attract an audience of older teens and young adults. Last October Cook teamed up with another Jessica, Simpson that time, in the PG-13 comedy Employee of the Month which bowed to $11.4M. The marketing on Chuck has been good and cross-gender appeal seems solid too, although the rating could cut into business from younger teens who will certainly want to see this picture. Falling into 2,612 theaters, Good Luck Chuck may gross about $12M this weekend.


Jessica Alba and Dane Cook in Good Luck Chuck

Amanda Bynes headlines the college comedy Sydney White playing a freshman caught between the popular sorority sisters and her nerdy pals. The PG-13 film will aim itself squarely at teens and college students and should skew a bit more female. Hollywood has had a tough time reaching young females recently with flops like Nancy Drew ($6.8M opening), Bratz ($4.2M), and Gracie ($1.4M) all stalling. Sydney will try to appeal to the same crowd that powered Bynes’ comedy She’s the Man to $10.7M in March 2006. However the marketing push is not as strong and the release will not be as wide so the three-day take will be softer. The marketplace’s current lack of offerings for this audience creates a great opportunity for a good marketable film to come in a loot some cash. But Sydney just doesn’t seem to have what it takes to score a big opening. Pledging in over 1,900 theaters, Sydney White could debut with around $6M.


Amanda Bynes in Sydney White

Last weekend, David Cronenberg‘s latest crime thriller Eastern Promises enjoyed a limited release bow that was basically a carbon copy of his last film A History of Violence which opened to $515,992 from 14 theaters in September 2005 for a potent $36,857 average. Focus is now matching History‘s sophomore weekend expansion pattern by widening Promises to 1,404 locations nationwide. History in its second session expanded to 1,340 sites and grossed $8.1M for a solid $6,047 average. Reviews and buzz for Promises is just as good so a similar performance could be in the works. Ticket prices are slightly higher, but so are the number of films also targeting an adult audience. In fact, the top five this weekend should boast mostly R-rated fare. For this weekend, look for Eastern Promises to take in about $8M.


Eastern Promises

In the arthouse scene, which is quickly getting more crowded with each passing week, Brad Pitt rolls in as both actor and producer in the Old West drama The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Warner Bros. is unleashing the R-rated pic in only 15 theaters in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, and Austin hoping to generate a strong average and positive word of mouth. Pitt already scored the Best Actor trophy for his portrayal of the famous outlaw at the Venice International Film Festival and is making a bid for kudos attention over the months ahead. Reviews have been mostly positive and an expansion is planned for the coming weeks.


The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford

After a less-than-spectacular number one opening, Jodie Foster‘s revenge thriller The Brave One will try to fend off competition for its mature adult audience from the expansion of Eastern Promises. The frame’s three newbies should play to other audience segments. A 45% drop would give Warner Bros. about $7.5M for the weekend and a ten-day cume of $25M which would be about how much Foster’s last starring vehicle Flightplan grossed in only its first three days.

3:10 to Yuma posted a solid hold last weekend and this time a similar drop could result. The Lionsgate release might dip by 35% to around $6M raising the total to $37M after 17 days.

LAST YEAR: Johnny Knoxville and his partners in crime landed a big number one opening for Jackass: Number Two which bowed to $29M. The Paramount sequel went on to collect $72.8M. Focus debuted in second with another R-rated film aimed at young men, the Jet Li actioner Fearless, which grossed $10.6M. The historical pic reached $24.6M. Sony’s football drama Gridiron Gang dropped two spots to third with $9.5M in its sophomore frame. Opening poorly in fourth was the action flick Flyboys with only $6M for MGM on its way to $13.1M. The animated film Everyone’s Hero rounded out the top five with $4.7M. Premiering to dismal results was the Sean Penn vehicle All the King’s Men (the third new release to take place in the past) with $3.7M for Sony. It quickly ended its run with a poor $7.2M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Two-time Oscar winner Jodie Foster returns to the big screen this weekend in the vigilante thriller The Brave One which has its sights set on an easy top spot debut. The frame’s only other wide openers, the comedy Mr. Woodcock and the fantasy adventure Dragon Wars, bring with them less buzz and look to make less of a dent into the North American box office.

Gunning for her third number one hit in as many years, Foster takes a darker role starring as a woman who takes the law into her own hands after her fiancé is brutally beaten and killed in the Warner Bros. drama The Brave One. The R-rated film from director Neil Jordan (The Crying Game, Interview with the Vampire) co-stars Terrence Howard, Naveen Andrews, and Mary Steenburgen and should play to an adult audience. Cross-gender appeal is strong here so this will not play out like a chick flick or a woman-in-peril film. Foster is one of very few women in Hollywood bankable enough to open pictures consistently year after year and she tends to pick projects with commercial viability in the first place. Gone are the Nell days.

The Brave One should play to the same crowd that came out for two other September thrillers led by fortysomething white women – Foster’s own Flightplan from 2005 and Julianne Moore‘s The Forgotten from a year earlier. Flightplan took off with $24.6M and a $7,193 average while Forgotten bowed to $21M and a $6,773 average. Brave carries a harsher R rating but that should not affect the grosses too much since most of the interest will come from those over 16 anyway. A more narrow release in 2,755 theaters will have an impact though. Marketing has been top notch and Foster has been making so many promotional appearances that you’d think her name were Hillary. Despite a bad title, The Brave One should still score a strong opening weekend in the number one spot and could gross about $22M over three days.




Jodie Foster is The Brave One.

Seann William Scott and Billy Bob Thornton compete over who has the best three names in the biz in the new comedy Mr. Woodcock. The PG-13 film finds a young man whose life is traumatized when his mother decides to marry his old nemesis, the junior high gym teacher. The New Line release does offer up some starpower from the two leads plus Susan Sarandon as the remarrying mom. Hopes are for a wide age range to take interest. But the buzz around the picture is not too strong and it is not exactly at the top of the must-see list at this moment for teens and young adults. The Thornton-Sarandon crowd will be hard to reach with Jodie and Russell out there with high profile flicks for mature adults. Crashing into over 2,200 locations, Mr. Woodcock could debut with about $6M.


Billy Bob Thornton is Mr. Woodcock.

The forces of good and evil go at it once again in the new fantasy adventure Dragon Wars from Freestyle Releasing. The PG-13 pic hopes to tear young males away from their PlayStations, but with zero starpower and a light marketing push the grosses and averages will not fly too high. After a big wave of good summer action movies targeted this demo, a series of bad ones went after young guys too in recent weeks. That leaves little space at the multiplexes. Debuting in a curiously wide 2,000 theaters, Dragon Wars could collect about $4M this weekend.


The Korean sci-fi/thriller Dragon Wars a.k.a. D-War

Audiences have been upbeat on the Russell CroweChristian Bale Western 3:10 to Yuma and its older skew should mean that the sophomore drop will not be too fierce. Plus competition for adult men is not very formidable. A 40% decline to $8.5M could result giving Lionsgate about $28M after ten days.

Halloween‘s freefall means it will be out of theaters by the time trick-or-treating begins. A 55% drop would lead to a $4M frame and a 17-day tally of $50M. Superbad should continue its strong run with a 40% dip to $3M which would boost Sony’s total to $109M.

LAST YEAR: The Rock‘s football drama Gridiron Gang from Sony led a batch of new films with a debut of $14.4M which was good enough to clinch first place. Opening in second and playing to a more mature adult audience was The Black Dahlia with $10M for Universal. Final grosses reached $38.4M and $22.5M. Bowing poorly in third was the baseball toon Everyone’s Hero with $6.1M for Fox on its way to just $14.5M. Sony’s teen thriller The Covenant dropped from first to fourth with $4.8M while Paramount’s The Last Kiss opened quietly in fifth with $4.6M leading to a $11.6M final.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

With the pumpkin holiday approaching, Sony unleashes the terror with its frightfest "The Grudge 2" which aims to dominate the marketplace this weekend.

Giving ticket buyers some not-so-scary alternatives are the political comedy "Man of the Year," the action flick "The Marine," and the historical epic "One Night with the King." After a September slump, the North American box office should continue its October rebound.

Two years after shocking the film industry with one of the biggest openings ever for a horror film, Sony returns to the scene of the crime with its new supernatural thriller "The Grudge 2." Director Takashi Shimizu is once again at the helm, but the PG-13 pic this time tells the story of a young woman who investigates the curse that previously afflicted her sister in Tokyo. Amber Tamblyn ("Joan of Arcadia") and Jennifer Beals ("Flashdance") star in this new installment. "The Grudge 2" has one of the best release dates a studio with a horror film could ever ask for – a Friday the 13th in the middle of the Halloween month of October. But with Sarah Michelle Gellar having only little face time this time around, the sequel has lost significant starpower. The former "Buffy" star was integral in getting teens, young adults, and genre fans out on opening weekend last time. With the story now shifting to her character’s sister, many of those who turned up on opening weekend for the first, will decide to skip the second installment in theaters.


Amber Tamblyn, no longer talking to God in "The Grudge 2."

Sony has been giving "Grudge 2" a healthy marketing push hoping to reach young females once again. As a fright flick, guys will automatically be there. The sequel should give the underserved audience of teenage girls an exciting option and the rating opens the door to plenty of business. Even the teen date crowd could contribute a nice chunk of change. However, the competing horror pic "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning" is coming off of a strong bow and will take dollars from some older teens away. Numbers should not come close to Gellar’s first "Grudge" which had the whole horror crowd to itself two Octobers ago with a potent $39.1M launch on its way to a $110.2M domestic final. Still, between the relatively low costs and the solid sales in theaters and on DVD, these types of scary sequels tend to become very profitable, very fast. "The Grudge 2" will spook audiences in 3,211 locations and could gross about $27M this weekend easily giving it the number one spot.

Fresh off of his hit family picture "RV" from last spring, Robin Williams tries to get his career back in order with the new political satire "Man of the Year." Written and directed by Barry Levinson ("Rain Man," "Wag the Dog"), the PG-13 film finds the former Mork playing a popular talk show host who decides to run for U.S. President adding lunacy to an otherwise dull election. Christopher Walken, Laura Linney, Jeff Goldblum, and Lewis Black round out the cast. After struggling for hits after 1998’s "Patch Adams," Williams rebounded at the box office by appealing to kids. He lent a voice to last year’s animated Fox pic "Robots" and enjoyed great legs with "RV" which went on to gross $71.4M after spending seven weeks in the top ten.


Robin Williams and Laura Linney in "Man of the Year."

Now the Oscar winner goes after adults with "Man" which is not likely to pull in many votes from teens and young adults. The subject matter will appeal most to the 30+ crowd making last weekend’s well-liked champ "The Departed" a serious competitor. Universal’s mid-October release makes sense as the studio is placing the pic in the marketplace just weeks before the country’s mid-term elections when politics are on the minds of many citizens. But the story will not be too big of a factor in pulling in audiences which means Williams will see his starpower put to the test once again. Luckily he is back with a comedy which is his comfort zone when it comes to commercial success. Casting votes in 2,515 theaters, "Man of the Year" might debut with about $11M.

Wrestling superstar John Cena anchors his first Hollywood film in "The Marine" playing, well, a marine discharged from duty in Iraq that must fight to save his kidnapped wife. The PG-13 actioner will play mostly to young males who follow the antics of the champ in the squared circle. Crossover potential is limited as those not familiar with who he is will probably take a pass. Fox won’t see many good reviews and a bigger audience should find it on DVD early next year. Marching into 2,546 locations, "The Marine" could open with roughly $8M this weekend and find itself dismissed soon after.


John Cena means business in "The Marine."

Babylon is the setting for the epic historical adventure "One Night With the King" which stars Tiffany Dupont, Omar Sharif, John Rhys-Davies, and Peter O’Toole. The PG-rated tale following the rise of the Queen of Persia is using church-based marketing to reach Christian audience members looking for entertainment that the whole family can enjoy together. These types of grassroots efforts have worked magic at the box office in the past, but not every time. Distributor 8X generated a respectable $5,011 opening weekend average with 2001’s "Megiddo: Omega Code 2" but struggled with a $3,315 average for "Carman: The Champion" earlier that year. While those films never made it past 400 theaters, "King" will enter about 900 sites and is getting a more mainstream promotional push so the potential could be more. A $4M bow may result.

Last weekend’s top choice "The Departed" plans to stick around and still be a popular film in its second weekend. Strong reviews and word-of-mouth will help the Warner Bros. crime thriller hold up well in the sophomore frame. Plus there is little competition for adult audiences as "Grudge" and "Marine" should skew younger while the comedy of Robin Williams may play to a different segment of the mature crowd. "The Departed" might fall by 35% this weekend which would give the DiCaprioDamon hit around $17M and an impressive ten-day cume of $55M.

On the other hand, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning" will face a direct threat from the "Grudge" sequel beginning on Friday. Horror franchise flicks typically drop hard anyway so a 55% tumble would give the New Line prequel about $9M and a respectable $32M after ten days.

LAST YEAR: The horror remake "The Fog" topped the charts with the worst gross of the year for a number one film bowing to $11.8M to lead the weak box office. Sony’s fright offering stumbled to just $29.5M. Close behind in second place was the DreamWorks toon "Wallace and Gromit" with $11.5M in its second weekend. Paramount’s Orlando BloomKirsten Dunst pic "Elizabethtown" opened in third place with $10.6M on its way to a mild $26.9M. Rounding out the top ten were Hollywood blondes Jodie Foster with $6.5M for "Flightplan" and Cameron Diaz with $6.1M for "In Her Shoes." Bloom’s Caribbean queen Keira Knightley fared even worse with her action flop "Domino" which debuted to just $4.7M. New Line eked its way to just $10.2M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Movie studios are offering something for every age group over the Columbus Day holiday weekend. Mature adults will go undercover with Martin Scorsese‘s cop thriller "The Departed," twentysomethings looking for a scare get the horror prequel "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning," while teenagers have a chance to laugh with the new comedy "Employee of the Month."

Meanwhile, last weekend’s number one film – the animated comedy "Open Season" – will continue to play to young children during a frame when a large percentage of students will have no class on Monday. The top ten will try to crack the $100M mark for the first time in nearly two months thanks to the variety of good product.

Ranking dead last among Hollywood’s big six studios in year-to-date market share, Warner Bros. has a lot of catching up to do in the fourth quarter if it wants to prevent snapping its five-year streak of billion-dollar-plus box office years. So this weekend, it hands the ball off to Scorsese who delivers what critics are calling one of his best films ever with "The Departed." The R-rated picture stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Alec Baldwin, and Martin Sheen. Overflowing with starpower, the Boston-set film is an American remake of the award-winning Hong Kong blockbuster "Infernal Affairs" which finds an Irish cop going undercover into the underworld and a mob mole infiltrating the police department.

After rejecting a seemingly endless line of period dramas including "Hollywoodland," "The Black Dahlia," "Flyboys," and "All the King’s Men," adult audiences should be ready to throw its support behind a modern-day action thriller juiced up with major stars worth paying top dollar for. If the cast isn’t enough to seal the deal, glowing reviews from critics across the board should have a big impact on driving in traffic. In fact, reviews are among the best of any wide release hitting theaters this year. DiCaprio and Damon appeal to a wide age group so expect strong numbers from young adults. And Jack is that rare star who can flirt with age 70 but still be relevant to the iPod generation. With $100M blockbusters in each of the last four decades, the Oscar-winner is a perennial favorite and his films are
events.

Warner Bros. has backed "The Departed" with a solid marketing campaign which is effectively exciting ticket buyers. No R-rated film has hit the $30M mark on opening weekend in nearly a year so that could once again be the ceiling on this film’s short-term potential. Appeal to both men and women is substantial, although as is typical at this time of year, business from males may be affected by football and the baseball playoffs. But word-of-mouth is likely to be very positive so look for the pic to remain a contender for weeks to come. With a colossal amount of starpower, sensational reviews, and a Monday holiday helping Sunday night sales,
the Leo vs. Matt flick should be able to generate plenty of excitement with audiences this weekend. "The Departed" opens in 3,017 theaters on Friday and could gross about $27M over the frame.

Leo DiCaprio, ‘lending a hand’ in Martin Scorsese’s "The Departed."

Moviegoers that don’t get starstruck, but instead want some gore and violence in their weekend entertainment, can opt for "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning." The prequel to the 2003 remake of the 1974 horror classic is an R-rated tale with Jordana Brewster ("The Fast and the Furious", "Annapolis") as its only star. Horror remakes usually do not rely on stars anyway, but on the brand name of a popular terrorfest. Budgets are relatively low with most of the money going towards production values rather than talent. Three years ago, the previous "Massacre" posted powerful numbers bowing to $28.1M in mid-October on its way to a brutal $80.1M. It opened the door to many other moneymaking remake hits like "Dawn of the Dead," "The Amityville Horror," and "The Omen" which each went on to gross over $50M.

"Beginning" will play to hardcore genre fans that are older teens and young adults. But look for some older horror aficionados to take a curious peek too. The marketplace is primed and ready for its arrival as there has not been a major horror hit since June’s "Omen" pic hit cinemas. Add in the fact that Halloween is around the corner prompting audience demand for the genre to rise and a large turnout should be expected. Excitement does not seem to be reaching the same height that this installment’s predecessor had, so an opening in the high 20s may not result. Plus Leo, Matt, and even bad boy Jack will be drawing away many twentysomethings this weekend. Buzzing through victims in over 2,800 theaters, "The Texas Chainsaw Massace: The Beginning" could scare up around $19M this weekend.

More teens in trouble in the latest "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" film.

The classic love triangle storyline is set in a Walmart-like super store in the new Lionsgate comedy "Employee of the Month." The PG-13 pic stars Dane Cook and Dax Shepard as co-workers competing for the attention of the hot new sales clerk, played by Jessica Simpson, who only dates those who win the coveted employee prize. The comedy should play to a teen and young adult audience and with the weekend’s other new films being R flicks, Month could score some points with the under-17 crowd. Teenage girls have especially been neglected this fall. Why would they care about 1940s murder mysteries, moronic stunt films, or Sean Penn as a flamboyant politician? Two hunky young dudes fighting over the former Daisy Duke could make for the most interesting film to grab their attention since "Step Up."

Still, "Employee of the Month" will have its work cut out for it. Many older teens and young adults will be drawn away by "Departed" and "Chainsaw" and Ashton Kutcher fans are still checking out "The Guardian." Starpower is not too high, but teenagers in need of a laugh will not have many other options. Opening in 2,579 theaters, "Employee of the Month" could debut with around $10M.

Dane Cook, in his first leading role in "Employee of the Month."

Sony’s animated comedy "Open Season" enjoyed a healthy start to its run last weekend and will face no new competition during the sophomore frame. Plus with the Columbus Day school holiday, the Martin Lawrence – Ashton Kutcher toon should remain a popular (and only) option for young children. A 30% drop would give "Season" about $16M over the weekend and a sturdy ten-day cume of $46M.

Buena Vista’s Coast Guard adventure "The Guardian" did moderately well in its debut last weekend, but adult audiences will be pulled away by the starpower of "The Departed" this weekend. The studio has been reporting strong exit polls so word-of-mouth could prevent a large falloff. A 40% decline would give "Guardian" about $11M for the weekend and $34M in ten days.

"Jackass: Number Two" will face some stiff competition from the weekend’s two new R-rated films so a 45% drop could be in order. That would leave the Paramount hit with $8M and an impressive 17-day total of $64M allowing the comedy sequel to surpass the gross of the 2002 original in under three weeks.

LAST YEAR: New films invaded the box office over the Columbus Day frame taking four of the top five slots. Leading the way was the acclaimed claymation pic "Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" with a $16M debut. The DreamWorks film enjoyed good legs and ended up with $56.1M domestically plus the Oscar for Best Animated Film. Jodie Foster‘s two-time chart-topper "Flightplan" held up well in its third weekend grossing $10.8M for Buena Vista. Cameron Diaz opened her new comedy "In Her Shoes" in third place with $10M on its way to $32.9M for Fox. Universal followed with the sports betting film "Two For the Money" with a $8.7M bow and Sony opened its drama "The Gospel" in fifth with $7.5M. Final grosses reached $22.9M and $15.8M, respectively. Lions Gate saw its new comedy "Waiting" launch in seventh place with just $6M leading to a $16.1M final. Opening with strong results in limited release were the acclaimed dramas "Good Night, and Good Luck" and "The Squid and the Whale" which both earned rave reviews and kudos during awards season. Their domestic grosses reached $31.6M and $7.4M, respectively.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Ashton Kutcher fans get two chances to see (or hear) their favorite star this weekend as the Hollywood prankster takes on reigning box office champ "Jackass: Number Two" by voicing a mule deer in the animated comedy "Open Season" and going up against Kevin Costner in the action drama "The Guardian."

Also opening nationally is the Billy Bob ThorntonJon Heder comedy "School For Scoundrels" while some potential Oscar contenders debut in the arthouses.

Hollywood’s umpteenth computer-animated feature film of the year hits multiplexes on Friday in the form of "Open Season." The PG-rated pic features the voices of Martin Lawrence and Kutcher and finds a domesticated grizzly bear being dropped into the wilderness right before the start of hunting season. Young kids usually eat up these fish-out-of-water comedy toons and this Sony release should play to the same family audience. The target demographic has had an endless line of movies this year featuring talking animals getting into wacky situations, but since the current marketplace is lacking any major offering for children, "Open Season" should score as the first animated hit of the new school year. The studio is saturating the market with screens giving the film the fourth widest bow ever for a non-DreamWorks toon, and the second widest in Sony history for any film after 2004’s webslinger sequel. With no competition and solid funnyman starpower behind the mics, a strong number one bow could result. "Open Season" makes its way into 3,833 theaters and may debut with around $24M this weekend.


Ashton Kutcher, in his other film, "Open Season."

For those who would rather see the "Punk’d" star’s face, Buena Vista sets sail with its Coast Guard thriller "The Guardian" which finds Kutcher playing a young and cocky swimming champ who butts heads with his unorthodox teacher played by Kevin Costner. Directed by Andrew Davis ("The Fugitive," "Collateral Damage"), the PG-13 film has broad appeal with each star pulling in his respective generation. Cross-gender appeal is also present with the military-like storyline doing the job for males and the hunky actors attracting the ladies. Disney offered successful sneak previews two weeks ago to get some word-of-mouth spreading before the official debut. The studio will try to lure in the same audience that spent a solid $22.1M on the John TravoltaJoaquin Phoenix firefighter drama "Ladder 49" two autumns ago. Launching in over 3,000 theaters, "The Guardian" might debut with about $18M.


Kevin Costner to the rescue in "The Guardian."

Following his commercial success with the male-driven comedy hits "Road Trip," "Old School," and "Starsky & Hutch," Todd Phillips returns to theaters with "School for Scoundrels" which finds Billy Bob Thornton squaring off against "Napoleon Dynamite"’s Jon Heder for the affection of a young gal. MGM’s PG-13 film about an awkward young misfit who enlists the help of an expert on getting the ladies should aim for an audience of teens and young adults, plus fans of the "Bad Santa" star’s rogue ways. Starpower is not very high here. Films anchored by the former Mr. Jolie usually don’t explode on opening weekend as evidenced by the recent debuts of "The Bad News Bears" ($11.4M), "The Ice Harvest" ($3.7M), and "The Alamo" ($9.1M). Competition for young males will be tough, but if "School" can connect with teen girls as a funny romantic comedy, then it has a chance of doing some respectable numbers. Opening in over 3,000 theaters, "School for Scoundrels" might debut with about $12M.


Thornton, Heder, and that Real World chick again in "School For Scoundrels."

Some high profile indies pop into limited release this weekend. Fox Searchlight launched its Idi Amin pic "The Last King of Scotland" in four theaters on Wednesday in New York and Los Angeles and has already been receiving early Oscar buzz for Forest Whitaker‘s portrayal of the Ugandan dictator. Coincidentally, a year ago this same weekend, "Capote" debuted and fueled its own Best Actor buzz which sustained itself throughout awards season leading to a trophy for Philip Seymour Hoffman. Reviews for "Scotland" have been good and for Whitaker, have been electric.


Forest Whitaker as Idi Amin in "The Last King of Scotland."

Miramax gets its Oscar campaign going, but for the Best Actress prize, with its Helen Mirren film "The Queen" which opens in New York City on Saturday after it officially opens the New York Film Festival on Friday evening. Mirren has already taken home the top actress prize at the Venice Film Festival for her role as Queen Elizabeth II in the dark days after the death of Princess Diana. The PG-13 film is directed by Stephen Frears ("Mrs. Henderson Presents," "Dangerous Liaisons") and has ranked number two at the U.K. box office for the last two weeks.

First Look Studios takes audiences back to Queens in 1986 with its coming-of-age drama "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints" which stars Robert Downey Jr., Chazz Palminteri, Shia LaBeouf, Dianne Wiest, Channing Tatum, and Rosario Dawson. The R-rated film won awards for Best Director and Best Ensemble at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and bows in New York and Los Angeles on Friday.

Last weekend, "Jackass: Number Two" flexed its muscles at the box office with a better-than-expected $29M launch. The Paramount film’s predecessor dropped 44% in its second weekend in the fall of 2002, but the sequel may drop harder. A 50% decline would still give the Johnny Knoxville flick about $15M for the weekend and a strong ten-day cume of $51M.

Jet Li‘s "Fearless" also drew upon a built-in audience of young men last weekend setting itself up for a sizable sophomore drop. The Focus title might also lose half of its business and take in roughly $5M. That would give the martial arts saga $18M after ten days. Sony’s "Gridiron Gang" held up well last weekend despite tough competition. Another 35% fall could be in order giving The Rock a $6M frame and a $34M total after 17 days.

LAST YEAR: For the second straight weekend, Jodie Foster‘s airline thriller "Flightplan" topped the box office with $14.8M dropping only 40% from its bow. Opening in second place was the sci-fi actioner "Serenity" which grossed $10.1M on its way to $25.4M for Universal. Warner Bros. followed close behind with $10M for its animated comedy "Corpse Bride." The revenge thriller "A History of Violence" expanded nationally and placed fourth with $8.1M and a solid $6,047 average which was the best in the whole Top 20. Opening in fifth was the Jessica-Alba-in-a-bikini pic "Into the Blue" with only $7.1M leading to a weak $18.5M final for Sony. Disney debuted its historical golf drama "The Greatest Game Ever Played" to the tune of $3.7M. A $15.3M final gross resulted.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Young men returned to theaters in droves and powered the crude new stunts sequel Jackass: Number Two to the number one spot with the biggest opening weekend of any film in the past seven weeks. The martial arts actioner Fearless debuted impressively in second place playing to young men as well, but the new older-skewing period dramas Flyboys and All the King’s Men were mostly ignored.

Holdovers enjoyed small declines as the overall marketplace bounced back after two dismal weeks, even though ticket sales failed to reach last year’s levels for the third consecutive weekend.

Paramount scored a major victory with the chart-topping performance of Jackass: Number Two which grossed an estimated $28.1M in its first weekend in theaters. Crashing into 3,059 locations, the R-rated comedy averaged a stellar $9,188 per theater. Its predecessor, Jackass: The Movie, was a surprise number one hit in October 2002 with a $22.8M bow from 2,509 theaters and a similar $9,073 average. It went on to gross a fantastic $64.3M from a slim $5M budget. Number Two was produced for just under $12M and looks to become another highly profitable title for the studio proving that the franchise is still alive and well. The films are based on the popular MTV prank series.

With six historical films in the top ten, young movie fans were not in the mood to learn about yesterday and instead chose the immature and outrageous antics of present day jokester Johnny Knoxville and pals. Studio research showed that young men were the core audience, as expected. Those under the age of 25 made up a hefty 70% of the crowd and males accounted for 65%. Jackass also delivered the second biggest opening of the year for an R film trailing the $29M bow of March’s Inside Man. Critics were surprisingly upbeat with their reviews of Number Two.

Jet Li‘s Fearless flew into the number two spot over the weekend opening to an estimated $10.6M from 1,808 theaters with a solid $5,843 average. The PG-13 film about China’s most famous fighter from a century ago was marketed as the action star’s final martial arts picture ever and helped to get his loyal fan base out into the theaters. The Focus release marks Li’s seventh consecutive film to debut with an opening weekend average of more than $5,000. Critics were quite pleased with the Mandarin-language picture. Fearless opened in Hong Kong and most of Asia early this year and has kicked its way into other major markets like Australia, New Zealand, and France in recent weeks.

Dropping from first to third was The Rock‘s football drama Gridiron Gang which grossed an estimated $9.7M in its second play. The Sony sports flick held up exceptionally well considering the weekend’s formidable competition for male dollars and slipped only 33%. The Rock’s movies usually fall by at least 45% in their sophomore frames. After ten days, the $30M feel-good film has grossed $27.2M and should rush past the $50M mark domestically. Even though Gridiron began with the weakest opening ever for the actor, it looks to become his highest grossing film since 2002’s The Scorpion King ($90.5M) thanks to strong legs and positive word-of-mouth.

MGM’s Flyboys took off in fourth place with an estimated $6M from 2,033 theaters. The PG-13 pic about American fighter pilots during World War I averaged a mild $2,957 per theater. Starring James Franco, the adventure film skewed older as a very high 73% of the audience was over the age of 30. Men made up 59% of the crowd and reviews were not too favorable. Flyboys is the third consecutive period drama in as many weeks that has failed to excite today’s moviegoing public following disappointing results from competing Los Angeles-based murder mysteries The Black Dahlia and Hollywoodland.

A pair of not-so-strong sophomores followed. The animated baseball flick Everyone’s Hero grossed an estimated $4.8M, down just 22%, and raised its ten-day tally to $11.6M. Fox could finish with around $25M. Universal’s crime thriller The Black Dahlia crumbled 56% to an estimated $4.4M dropping from second place to sixth. The $60M Brian De Palma entry has taken in just $17.3M and might end up with a disappointing $25M as well.

Sony saw low voter turnout for its political thriller All the King’s Men which was defeated in a landslide this weekend opening to a poor $3.8M, according to estimates. Averaging a weak $2,510 from 1,514 locations, the PG-13 film stars Sean Penn as an outspoken politician who runs for governor of Louisiana. Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Anthony Hopkins and James Gandolfini co-star. The studio had high hopes for this remake of a Best Picture Oscar winner, but instead met with awful reviews across the board from critics which helped to fuel negative buzz. Only older adults had interest as studio research showed that a whopping 75% of the audience was 35 or older and 53% were women. All the King’s Men is just the latest in a series of historical films that Hollywood has been rolling out this fall that have had moviegoers yawning.

The supernatural chiller The Covenant dropped only 31% to an estimated $3.3M with a sum of $20.3M for Sony. For the fourth consecutive weekend, the long-lasting hits The Illusionist and Little Miss Sunshine ranked back-to-back on the charts. Yari Film Group’s Vienna-set mystery eased a scant 10% to an estimated $3.3M pushing its total to $27.5M. Fox Searchlight’s comedy smash slipped just 13% to an estimated $2.9M lifting the cume to $50.3M.

In limited release action, Warner Independent saw stellar results from its surreal drama The Science of Sleep which bowed to an estimated $347,000 from only 14 theaters for a sparkling $24,786 average. Directed by Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), the R-rated film scored good reviews and will expand to over 200 theaters on Friday in most major markets. Miramax saw a so-so start for its animated noir Renaissance which debuted to an estimated $10,000 from a pair of solo engagements in New York and Los Angeles for a mild $5,200 average.

Four more pictures were pushed out of the top ten this weekend. Two-time chart-topper Invincible grossed an estimated $2.6M in its fifth session. Off 36%, the Mark Wahlberg football pic has collected a solid $54.8M to date and might end up with around $60M for Buena Vista. The Zach Braff comedy The Last Kiss grossed an estimated $2.5M, down 45%, putting its ten-day total at a puny $8.5M. A final take of roughly $15M seems likely.

The murder mystery Hollywoodland fell 46% in its third frame to an estimated $1.5M for Focus. With only $12.9M in the bank, look for a weak $16M conclusion to its case. Lionsgate’s action thriller Crank tumbled 56% to an estimated $1.2M for a $26.6M cume. The Jason Statham pic should reach about $29M.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $76.8M which was down 9% from last year when Flightplan debuted at number one with $24.6M; but up a healthy 38% from 2004 when The Forgotten opened in the top spot with $21M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Four new films open wide, but they may not be enough to stop the North American box office from suffering its third consecutive down weekend.

Leading the way is the Paramount sequel "Jackass: Number Two" which will enjoy the widest release by far. The rest of the films will take moviegoers back in time just as so many other recent releases have done. Focus Features unleashes Jet Li‘s martial arts epic "Fearless," MGM takes off with the World War I adventure "Flyboys," and Sony remakes the political thriller "All the King’s Men."

Four years ago, Paramount shocked the industry with the number one bow for its crude stunts flick "Jackass: The Movie" which managed to keep "The Ring" out of the top spot on the weekend right before Halloween. Its $22.8M debut and eventual $64.3M domestic take and DVD success helped to bring about a sequel, "Jackass: Number Two" which hopes to conquer the charts once again. The R-rated pic regroups the team from the hit MTV reality series including Johnny Knoxville and finds them taking part in another series of outlandish don’t-try-this-at-home antics. Males in their late teens and early twenties are the target audience here although slightly older guys who were devoted followers a half-decade ago might also be up for some nostalgia.

The first "Jackass" bowed to a muscular $9,073 average from 2,509 playdates which at today’s ticket prices would be over $10,000. "Number Two" is not likely to match that amount though. A wider launch will dilute the average a bit and the franchise has aged and is no longer at the peak of its popularity. But since Knoxville has found more mainstream success recently with films like "The Dukes of Hazzard" and "The Ringer," the studio is hoping that some new fans will give "Two" a try. Competition for males will be fierce with last weekend’s top film "Gridiron Gang" still playing to sports-loving boys and men while Jet Li’s new film "Fearless" will
steal away dudes who dig martial arts fighting, bones cracking, and necks breaking. Male dollars will be stretched to the limit this weekend and an already sluggish marketplace will mean that there will only be so much overall traffic. Busting into over 3,000 theaters, "Jackass: Number Two" will rank number one and may open with around $23M.


Mr. Knoxville and co. are back to cheat death and reason.

Also gunning for young men with R-rated fare is Focus Features with the historical martial arts actioner "Fearless" starring Jet Li. Already a hit at cinemas in Asia, Australia, and parts of Europe, the period pic tells the true story of a legendary fighter who inspired his nation in China at the start of the twentieth century. With a bigger star in the lead, "Fearless" is sure to perform better than Tony Jaa‘s Thai actioner "The Protector" which bowed to just $5M two weeks earlier. Li has a consistently loyal fan following that is likely to turn out especially since the marketing campaign is pushing the claim that this is his final martial arts film ever. This tactic gives the pic a level of urgency, although it should not mean much to those outside of his fan base. Crossover potential to mainstream action fans is not very likely, though the actor’s pull with urban males should not be underestimated.

Still, Li has posted some impressive numbers in his career. Each of his six films from this decade has launched with an opening weekend average of at least $5,500 with five having averaged more than $6,000. His last effort "Unleashed" bowed last summer to $10.9M and a solid $5,570 average while 2004’s Chinese blockbuster "Hero" conquered the North American charts for two straight weeks bowing to an impressive $18M and $8,865 average. Foreign language films pretty much never do that in the U.S. market. "Fearless" will not duplicate the success of "Hero" which used the "Quentin Tarantino Presents" tag to attract extra biz. Plus with "Jackass" taking away many young men this weekend, only the true followers will make it out. But reviews have been very positive (the best for any new
release) and advance buzz from overseas has been encouraging too. Kicking its way into roughly 1,806 theaters, "Fearless" might debut to about $9M.


Jet Li inviting us to his last Martial Arts flick.

World War I bi-planes are the draw in "Flyboys," a new historical action adventure being released by MGM. The PG-13 film stars James Franco as a courageous American pilot in France who devotes his life to fighting for the Allies. With a high pricetag and no proven stars that can sell in America, this is yet another risky period film packed into the slow month of September. The "inspired by a true story" description used by half of the films in the current top ten is once again in play here. With sex and bad language kept to a minimum, "Flyboys" hopes to appeal to a broad family audience so adults can bring their kids. However, the starpower and subject matter are both lacking making this a tough sell at the box office especially since the marketplace is already filled with mediocre product. Zooming into 2,033 theaters, "Flyboys" might climb to around $7M over the weekend.


The real star of "Flyboys": the CGI.

After taking a beating at the Toronto International Film Festival, Sony’s remake "All the King’s Men" enters the marketplace on Friday with more subdued expectations. The PG-13 reworking of the classic 1949 political thriller stars Sean Penn as a charismatic politician from the South who gains power and flirts with corruption in the process. The all-star cast also includes Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Anthony Hopkins, Mark Ruffalo, and James Gandolfini. Distributors often utilize the Toronto fest to generate buzz for their Oscar contenders right before their fall commercial openings, but in this case, it seemed to have backfired with so many reviewers panning the pic. "Men" should play exclusively to a mature adult audience as teens will yawn at the premise. The marketplace has been flooded with period dramas in recent weeks with "The Black Dahlia," "Hollywoodland," and "The Illusionist" all going after the same audience. Competition will be a major factor.

Sony is not giving its usual saturation release to "King’s Men," but instead campaigning in just 1,514 theaters this weekend hoping some positive buzz will spread. The lack of screens will keep the gross in check and the bad reviews should sting even more. Last weekend, "Dahlia" found out the hard way how far a serious film for adults can go when the critics give a thumbs down. The film’s starpower is about its only major asset right now, but will it be enough to make moviegoers risk their dollars? With negative press, an abundance of direct competition, and only a moderate amount of theaters, "All the King’s Men" could find itself with only $7M this weekend and a rocky road ahead.


Sean Penn’s politician wins over his constituents, but not the critics.

In limited release, The Weinstein Co. unleashes its horror flick "Feast" in 140 theaters with special midnight shows across the country on Friday and Saturday. The latest winner from the Project Greenlight series is directed by John Gulager and finds a group of people trapped inside a bar fighting off flesh-eating creatures. Filmmaker Michel Gondry ("Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind") returns to the surreal with "The Science of Sleep," a new fantasy drama starring Gael García Bernal ("The Motorcycle Diaries") as a man whose dreams collide with reality. Warner Independent is opening the film on Friday in eight major U.S. markets and will expand it across the country next weekend. Miramax platforms its futuristic sci-fi toon "Renaissance" in New York and Los Angeles. Set in Paris in the year
2054, the R-rated tale is the latest film to bring the look of a graphic novel to the big screen.

Last weekend’s top film "Gridiron Gang" is sure to lose its first place ranking. The Rock‘s films never have very good legs on the second weekend as evidenced by the sophomore declines of his recent films – 48% for 2003’s "The Rundown," 46% for 2004’s "Walking Tall," and a horrendous 73% for last fall’s "Doom." While "Gang" was not a favorite with critics, it has been getting favorable responses from moviegoers so its drop this weekend may not be too bad. Competition for young males will be a factor with the dueling R pics "Jackass" and "Fearless," but younger boys may still be up for an uplifting football tale. "Gridiron Gang" might see a decline of 45% to around $8M giving Sony a reasonable ten-day cume of $25M.

Universal’s murder mystery "The Black Dahlia" was not too powerful in its opening last weekend and both critics and moviegoers are giving negative feedback. A 50% fall would leave the Brian De Palma flick with $5M for the frame and a weak $18M after ten days.

LAST YEAR: One A-list Hollywood blonde replaced another at the top of the charts. Jodie Foster‘s kidnapping thriller "Flightplan" flew to number one opening with a strong $24.6M. The Buena Vista release went on to gross $89.7M making it the top-grossing film in the September-October corridor for 2005. In second place, Warner Bros. expanded its animated film "Corpse Bride" nationally taking in $19.1M. The Tim BurtonJohnny Depp collaboration found its way to $53.4M. Reese Witherspoon fell from first to third with her comedy "Just Like Heaven" which collected $9.6M. Opening in fourth place with moderate results was the skating drama "Roll Bounce" which bowed to $7.6M on its way to $17.4M from less than 1,700 theaters. Close behind in fifth was the hit thriller "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" with $7.5M in its third round.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Are you between the ages of 13 and 19? Do you like … stuff? Then click right here and cast your votes for the 329th annual Teen Choice Awards, which is where you can tell the universe that Puffy is more illing than Snoop Dogg, Will Ferrell is funnier than Brad Pitt, and Katie Holmes is cuter than Katey Sagal. Or something.

Click right here for the ballot, but don’t even think of voting if you’re older than 19. The Teen Choice Awards employ a bunch of enforcers who’ll come to your house and check your birth certificate.

I had to lie about my age to check out the nominees (don’t tell anyone), but the TCAs are poised to celebrate some of the following flicks:

Best Action Adventure:
"King Kong," "Mission Impossible 3," "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest," "Superman Returns," "V for Vendetta," "X-Men: The Last Stand"

Best Drama: "Flightplan," "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," "Pride & Prejudice," "Take the Lead," "Goal!," "Walk the Line"

Best Chick Flick: "Failure to Launch," "Just Like Heaven," "Just My Luck," "Last Holiday," "Aquamarine," "The Lake House"

Best Comedy: "Click," "Nacho Libre," "Scary Movie 4," "She’s the Man," "The Benchwarmers," "The Break-Up"

Best Thriller: "An American Haunting," "Hostel," "Red Eye," "Saw 2," "Silent Hill," "The Omen"

They also have a bunch of actor’s categories, but the choices managed to somehow get even sillier. Click here to cast your votes, kids.

At first I was mostly skeptical regarding this remake of "The Hitcher" that’s being set up at Michael Bay‘s Platinum Dunes outfit. But after reading a few interviews with the original screenwriter (Jake Wade Wall, not Eric Red) and seeing the early casting news, I’m beginning to hold out some hope here. Yes, that’s right: Sean Bean will be stepping into the role made infamous by Sir Rutger Hauer.

Says The Hollywood Reporter: "Sean Bean is thumbing his way to "The Hitcher," Rogue Pictures’ remake of the 1986 horror film being produced by Platinum Dunes. Sophia Bush also is on board the film, which is being directed by veteran music video helmer Dave Meyers. The script follows a young couple driving across the country who become prey for a serial killer, who blames all of his murders on the young man. Eric Bernt wrote the current draft."

No word yet on who’ll be playing The Hitchee, but I just hope it won’t be Ashton Kutcher.

For those with short memories, Sean Bean is the omnipresent Englishman from "The Fellowship of the Ring," "Troy," "National Treasure," "The Island," "Flightplan," and "Silent Hill."

It was a smooth DVD landing for Buena Vista Home Entertainment’s "Flightplan," as the Jodie Foster-starring thriller topped both the national DVD sales and rental charts for the week ended Jan. 29.

"Flightplan," which grossed $89.5 million in theaters, easily topped Nielsen VideoScan’s First Alert DVD sales chart its first week in stores. It beat second-ranked "The Fog," Sony Pictures’ remake of the 1980 John Carpenter frightfest, by a three-to-one margin.

The only other newcomer to First Alert’s top 20 was ThinkFilm’s "The Aristocrats," which debuted at No. 9.

Several comedies, meanwhile, are showing remarkable staying power. New Line Home Entertainment’s "Wedding Crashers" remains berthed at No. 3 after four weeks in stores.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment’s "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," after seven weeks out, is still in the top 10 and in fact moved up two spots, to No. 7 from No. 9 the previous week.

A handful of the fourth quarter’s big DVD releases also remain among the top 20 sellers.

DreamWorks Home Entertainment’s "Madagascar" is at No. 13, 11 weeks after it first charted. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment’s "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" is at No. 14 after nine weeks. Warner Home Video’s "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "Batman Begins" are at No. 18 and No. 19, respectively, after 12 and 15 weeks in stores. And 20th Century Fox’s "Fantastic Four" is at No. 20 two months after it first charted.

On Home Media Retailing’s DVD rental chart for the week ended Jan. 29, Flightplan easily coasted to a first-place finish, generating an estimated $10.7 million in revenue, or nearly 12% of its box office gross.

The Fog premiered at No. 4, with rental revenue pegged at $7.2 million.

The previous week’s top renter, Lionsgate’s Lord of War, slipped down a notch to No. 2, but still managed to bring in a respectable $8.05 million from rentals. After two weeks, the film has generated 74% of its box office earnings from DVD rentals alone.

Author: Thomas K. Arnold, Home Media Retailing

Known for his enthusiasm for the movies if not for any artsy-pretentious leanings, CNN.com’s film critic Paul Clinton died Monday, January 30.

A fond eulogy from fellow CNN contributor Todd Leopold broke the news of Clinton’s death today; cause of death is reportedly natural causes, although Leopold notes Clinton’s history of smoking and recent ill health.

Clinton was known for his polarizing views on films; polarizing, in fact, not because of controversial comments or esoteric tastes, but because he was, perhaps, too nice. According to Leopold, he was unabashedly in for the thrill, the entertainment value, the "roller coaster rides and popcorn flicks" — but at the same time, aware of his own inclinations and position as a "barometer" for moviegoers to measure their own tastes against.

Of his reviews included in our Rotten Tomatoes database, Paul Clinton agreed with the Tomatometer 70 percent of the time, which leaves nearly 100 out of 328 reviews in which he went against the grain of popular opinion. As another Clinton retrospective article points out, this disregard for the consensus is an integral part of being a critic, and one thing that truly set him apart. Below is a sampling of Clinton’s proudly dissenting opinions.

"Is it Oscar bait? Not in the least. But it’s a great date flick and perfect for a time full of all those ‘serious’ films."

Casanova, 43%

"I’ve never seen the stage musical Rent, but the movie had me at hello."

Rent, 49%

"Derailed — a pure popcorn thriller — may find it hard to make a dent at the box office. But it is worth seeing."

Derailed, 21%

"If you want to see good performances and cinematography wasted in a mediocre movie, that would be North Country."

North Country, 70%

"Flightplan – – a heart-stopping thriller."

Flightplan, 37%

"Frankly, the entire film felt like the cinematic version of Hamburger Helper — too little meat trying to do too much."

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 89%

Another mark of Paul Clinton’s writing was his ability to concoct some highly entertaining reviews. Here’s a sampling of his critical witticisms, reserved for the worst that cinema had to offer.

"Watching A Sound of Thunder could possibly lower your IQ into the single digits."

A Sound of Thunder, 7%

"David Duchovny claims he wrote the screenplay for House of D in only six days. It shows."

House of D, 10%

"Hide and Seek really isn’t a suspense thriller at all. It’s a mystery movie. It’s always a mystery when highly talented people commit the time and effort to a film that is so obviously mediocre."

Hide and Seek, 14%

"If you think it’s funny, you may just be ‘special’ too."

Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd, 10%

To read more highlights of Paul Clinton’s film reviews, check out his critic page, here.

Ok guys, we gave you a veritable treasure trove of 38 "Aeon Flux" stills last week — now, feast your eyes on the updated Photo Gallery, with a whopping 72 production photos!

Paramount has released these snapshots to tide you over for a few weeks, when Karyn Kusama’s "Aeon Flux" hits theaters and we can finally witness Charlize Theron kick some ass (and apparently, dive-bomb through the air)! In the meantime, click here to view the trailer, featurette, and Exclusive Action Sequence Clip!

The third horror remake to hit the screens this year, Rupert Wainwright‘s "The Fog," beat down a pair of other newcomers to grab the top spot in a rather flimsy box office weekend. Remake of a well-remembered John Carpenter flick of the same name, "The Fog" grossed $12.2 in its opening frame, handily overtaking new movies by Cameron Crowe and Tony Scott.

Holding on in second place was DreamWorks’ "Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit," which snagged $11.7 million, while Mr. Crowe’s romantic comedy "Elizabethtown" netted about $11 million.

Fourth place went to the hangin’ around airplane thriller "Flightplan," which added another $6.5 to its total tally, and Curtis Hanson‘s "In Her Shoes" rounded out the top 5 with a haul of $6.1 million.

The Tony Scott / Keira Knightley collaboration "Domino" debuted in 6th place by pulling in only $4.7 million.

Next week sees the release of four new movies: the videogame adaptation of "Doom," the family-friendly horse flick "Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story," the sexual harrassment drama "North Country," and the Ewan McGregor psycho-thriller "Stay."

As always, you’re invited to stop by the Rotten Tomatoes Box Office page for a closer look at the numbers.

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