(Photo by Paramount Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)
As the first parlors to exhibit films in public settings for mass consumption, it is impossible to understate the nickelodeon’s impact on cinema. These early 20th century… Oh. Wait. Wrong Nickelodeon.
As the studio to give our world SpongeBob Squarepants and Nacho Libre, it is impossible to understate Nickelodeon Movies’ impact on cinema. In these weary times of snark and cynicism (this sentence being puddin’ proof), count on the Nick to mount cheery, earnest films. Not only are they well-versed in the aforementioned cartoon spongiology, but Rugrats, the Ninja Turtles, Tintin, and the one-and-only Avatar have all called the studio home. And now we’re ranking every Nickelodeon Movie by Tomatometer!
A wave of new releases hits the multilplexes on Friday as the North American box office looks to bounce back after a slugglish weekend and get the final month of the year started with a bang.
Mel Gibson‘s ultraviolent historical epic "Apocalypto" hits theaters nationwide while his "What Women Want" director Nancy Meyers counters with the feel-good romantic comedy "The Holiday" starring Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet. The latter’s iceberg lover Leonardo DiCaprio stars in the new political thriller "Blood Diamond" and kids too young for all those flicks will be offered the family comedy "Unaccompanied Minors."
Mel Gibson once again plays tricks on the box office bringing forth one of the most unpredictable grossers of the year in "Apocalypto." The R-rated film examines the end of the once-great Mayan civilization from five centuries ago with the story of one brave man, captured by warriors and set to be sacrificed, who must break free and rescue his pregnant wife and young son. As one of the bloodiest and most violent films of 2006, the Buena Vista release is also one of the most challenging to market. Like the director’s last effort, 2004’s smash hit "The Passion of the Christ," "Apocalypto" is made in a language now dead and is subtitled all the way through. But whereas "Passion" had some small level of starpower, Gibson’s new offering boasts a cast of unknowns including many non-actors.
Selling a subtitled film with no stars about a part of history that few today are talking about is risky enough. But Gibson’s arrest over the summer for drunk driving and his anti-Jewish remarks led to horrible PR for "Apocalypto’s" only marketable asset. A few weeks ago, this film looked like it would have a tough road to travel in order to succeed. But like with "Passion," targeted marketing at those audience segments most likely to embrace the pic has helped fuel positive buzz and even good reviews have sparked more interest, not only with moviegoers, but also with exhibitors. Disney upped its opening weekend run from 2,000 to 2,500 theaters as the exhibition community is showing more confidence in the box office potential of the film. "Passion" also saw its theater bookings jump in the final weeks before launching.
Because of Gibson’s summer escapade, there are some who cannot be convinced to spend money and time on a Mel movie. However, the controversy has given "Apocalypto" a ton of free media exposure over the last couple of months and curiosity has grown. Plus the studio has wisely targeted the large Latino audience which never gets to see a big Hollywood epic made about its ancient history. They came out in big numbers for "Passion" and are expected to show up again this weekend. Also there are moviegoers sick of wasting time and money on sequels and remakes who want something fresh and unique that are looking at the Mayan adventure as an experience they can’t get anywhere else. It will be a closely-watched opening for "Apocalypto," but a weekend tally of about $15M could result giving Gibson a reasonable shot at scoring back-to-back number one hits with foreign language movies.
Moviegoers in search of less bloodshed and a lower body count this weekend will be checking out the new romantic comedy "The Holiday" which stars Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet as two frustrated professionals who decide to swap homes in order to get away from their woes. The PG-13 film finds Diaz going to snowy England while Winslet’s character heads to sunny Los Angeles. Jude Law and Jack Black play the love interests in the Nancy Meyers film. "Holiday" boasts plenty of starpower even though the casting of Nacho Libre in a date movie will have many scratching their heads. Teenage girls and adult women will make up the primary audience, but male interest will be there too thanks to the sassy Diaz who remains a big box office pull with both genders.
Female audiences have been neglected in recent weeks with most major grossers tapping into male or family audiences. The December marketplace will welcome a multi-star romantic comedy set during the Christmas season, however the whites-only casting policy may prevent a more diverse turnout. Sony offered sneak previews last Saturday to boost awareness and word-of-mouth. "Holiday" looks to reach the same crowds that came out for previous mid-December romantic comedies like last year’s "The Family Stone" ($12.5M opening), Meyers’ 2003 hit "Something’s Gotta Give" ($16.1M), and 2002’s Yankee-Brit combo "Two Weeks Notice" ($14.3M). "The Holiday" should receive good cheer from ticket buyers and take in roughly $15M this weekend.
Like this weekend’s Mel Gibson epic, Leonardo DiCaprio’s new film "Blood Diamond" is also a violent tale of a man whose village is ransacked by warlords and who must fight to retrieve his wife and family. This time, the action takes place only seven years ago in the African nation of Sierra Leone where rebels fight to protect their illegal diamond trade. Djimon Hounsou and Jennifer Connelly co-star in the R-rated film directed by Ed Zwick ("The Last Samurai," "Glory"). Warner Bros. has poured some major marketing dollars into hyping up its new political thriller and like most major releases these days, "Blood Diamond" has some controversy of its own which the studio hopes will help generate more interest. Many stories have been written about how the film might impact the global diamond industry as more Americans (by far the world’s largest consumers of the gem) learn about how conflict diamonds make their way into the market.
Story and starpower should be the main factors at the box office, however. DiCaprio has pull and Hounsou has been getting lots of notice for this role including winning the Best Supporting Actor award from the National Board of Review this week. A year ago this weekend, DiCaprio’s "Departed" foe Matt Damon teamed up with George Clooney for the international political saga "Syriana" which went nationwide with a $11.7M opening from 1,752 theaters for a $6,699 average. With mixed reviews and only 158 more theaters, "Blood Diamond" could find itself in the same neighborhood as it will appeal to much the same audience. Young women who dig the "Titanic" boy and want more upbeat entertainment may get steered over to "The Holiday" and young men who seek screen violence will find much more of it in "Apocalypto" so competition will be fierce this weekend. Opening in 1,910 theaters, "Blood Diamond" might shine with around $12M this weekend.
Kids have just one new movie aimed at them this weekend. Warner Bros. offers up its second wide release of the frame with "Unaccompanied Minors," a story about a group of children causing chaos when left behind at an airport. The PG-rated film will play exclusively to the family crowd and with "Happy Feet," "Deck the Halls," and even "The Santa Clause 3" still lingering in the marketplace, competition will be tight. Lewis Black and Wilmer Valderrama are the only major names here so starpower will not be much of a factor in drawing in paying customers. "Minors" just does not have enough bells and whistles to rise above the crowded arena. Although the film opens with the most number of theaters, it may end up with the worst gross among the newbies. "Unaccompanied Minors" sneaks into 2,775 sites and could take in about $9M.
After a three-week party atop the box office charts, "Happy Feet" will dance its way down a couple of notches thanks to the wave of new product. "Unaccompanied Minors" will be the only true competitor so the drop should not be too hard. A 35% fall to about $11M could result giving Warner Bros. $136M overall.
James Bond has also been celebrating a solid box office run with its three straight silver medals and is hoping to surpass "The Devil Wears Prada" ($124.7M) and "Over the Hedge" ($155M) to eventually become the top-grossing film of 2006 to not reach the number one spot. This weekend, a 40% decline could be in order giving Agent 007 around $9M for the session pushing the cume for Sony to $129M.
LAST YEAR: Making a big splash at the box office was "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe" which bowed to a ferocious $65.6M for the second largest December opening in history. Disney’s effects-filled adventure went on to capture $291.7M domestically and a stunning $750M worldwide. Opening far back in the runnerup spot, but still posting solid numbers, was the oil industry drama "Syriana" with $11.7M and a $6,699 average. The Warner Bros. release went on to gross $50.8M domestically and $93M globally. "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" dropped to third after three weeks at number one and grossed $10.3M. The Johnny Cash flick "Walk the Line" followed with $5.7M and the family comedy "Yours, Mine & Ours" rounded out the top five with $5.1M. Debuting in limited release with explosive averages were "Memoirs of a Geisha" with a $85,313 average from eight locations and "Brokeback Mountain" with a $109,485 average from only five theaters. Final domestic grosses reached $57M and $83M and each won three Oscars.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
The post-turkey blues will kick in as the North American box office should slump this weekend following a busy Thanksgiving holiday frame.
Three new releases venture into the multiplexes. The Biblical drama "The Nativity Story" will open in the most theaters and try to court a faith-based audience as Christmas nears. Teens and young adults looking to push the envelope with R-rated fare have the college comedy "Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj" and the horror thriller "Turistas." Meanwhile, the penguin toon "Happy Feet" and the James Bond actioner "Casino Royale" will both be past the $100M mark by Friday and will try to stay atop the charts for a third straight time.
The story of Baby Jesus comes to the big screen with New Line’s "The Nativity Story" which stars Keisha Castle-Hughes ("Whale Rider") as Mary. The PG-rated film should appeal to Christian parents wanting to share the religious saga with their children in an environment that the whole family can enjoy. Certainly "The Passion of the Christ" showed how big a Biblical film could be at the box office. However, "Nativity" is completely different and does not have that film’s high-profile director, controversy, or national media frenzy.
Instead, it may tap into the same audience as October’s Babylon epic "One Night With the King" which opened to $4.1M from just 909 theaters for a $4,518 average. "The Nativity Story" will launch in more than twice the number of theaters and has a more timely release with December 25 right around the corner, but could generate a similar per-theater average. Critics have not been kind to the pic which might prompt some to wait for the DVD. Opening in around 2,800 theaters, "The Nativity Story" could collect about $13M over the weekend.
Four and a half years after the release of National Lampoon’s first raunchy college comedy "Van Wilder" comes a new installment with "Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj." This R-rated tale finds Taj (Kal Penn) from the first film moving to England to teach a group of misfits how to party down. It’s been a tough road in recent weeks for R-rated films aimed at young males. "Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny," "Let’s Go to Prison," and "Harsh Times" all opened with about $2M or $3M a piece. "Taj" has some brand recognition since the first "Van Wilder" went on to become popular on video and on cable. In theaters, it opened to $7.3M and a $3,612 average in April 2002 leading to a $21M final. However, a crowded marketplace will make it tough for the sequel to stand out. And "Borat" becoming a runaway smash with four straight $10M+ weekends won’t help either. Opening in 2,000 around theaters, "Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj" might debut with about $5M.
Fox’s new division Fox Atomic, which will cater to teen and young adult audiences, sets sail with its first film with the horror pic "Turistas." The R-rated thriller is directed by John Stockwell ("Blue Crush," "Crazy/Beautiful") and follows a group of American tourists on vacation in Brazil who cross paths with creepy organ harvesters. No starpower here. Instead, Fox is hoping to appeal to college kids looking for a good scare. Outside of older teens and twentysomethings, appeal should be minimal. Even with its core audience, "Turistas" will have to share shelf space with "Taj" so potential will be limited. Opening in less than 2,000 theaters, "Turistas" could find its way to a weekend gross of roughly $4M.
Among holdovers, films usually suffer steep declines on the weekend after the Thanksgiving holiday frame. Overall box office spending contracts and studios usually avoid programming any of their heavy hitters into the slot. In fact in the last 15 years, only one new release has opened at number one during this particular weekend – 2003’s "The Last Samurai."
This weekend, it could end up being "Happy Feet" and "Casino Royale" duking it out for box office supremacy for the third straight time. Family pics do extremely well over the turkey frame, but then come down hard a week later. Plus "The Nativity Story" could provide some competition for families. Warner Bros. might suffer a 55% fall for its penguin film which would leave it with $17M for the weekend and $120M after 17 days.
The new blonde Bond is pleasing audiences worldwide and in the United States, "Casino Royale" is set to give "Die Another Day" a run for its money thanks to good word-of-mouth. With kids back in school, the Sony adventure film has taken over the number one spot during the mid-week period. "Casino" could drop by 50% this weekend to around $15M which would push the domestic cume to $116M. Look for the global tally to surpass the $400M mark with ease by the end of the holiday season.
Last weekend, Denzel Washington‘s action thriller "Deja Vu" got off to a good start with a $28.6M five-day bow. Buena Vista may witness a 50% drop and collect roughly $10M over three days and raise its 12-day total to $43M.
LAST YEAR: For the third straight weekend, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" rose to the head of the class and grossed $19.9M to lead the box office. Paramount opened its Charlize Theron actioner "Aeon Flux" to $12.7M on its way to a lukewarm $25.9M. It was the only new wide release of the weekend. "Walk the Line" dropped to third with $9.5M, "Yours, Mine, and Ours" placed fourth with $8.3M, and "Just Friends" rounded out the top five with $5.6M.
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment’s "Walk the Line" strutted into the top spot on both the DVD sales and rental charts the week ended March 5, easily beating a slate of high-profile competitors.
The film’s success — Fox reported 3 million copies were sold the first day alone — underscored the power of the "Oscar bounce," in which nominated films are released on DVD just before the Academy Awards in the hopes of a sales boost.
On VideoScan’s First Alert, the Oscar-lauded Walk the Line outsold second-ranked "Lady and the Tramp," from Buena Vista Home Entertainment, by a significant margin, while third-ranked "Pride & Prejudice," from Universal Studios Home Entertainment, sold a little more than a quarter as many copies as the Oscar-lauded Johnny Cash biopic its first week in stores.
The film also was a big hit in rental stores. "Walk the Line" generated an estimated $9.2 million in rental revenue its first week out, according to Home Media Retailing’s video rental chart. That’s nearly 50% more than second-ranked "Yours, Mine & Ours," a Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment comedy that came to video after a respectable $53.4 million theatrical run.
Two other newcomers to the First Alert top 20: Universal’s "The Ice Harvest," a crime spoof that grossed just $8.8 million in theaters, bowed at No. 6, and the complete fourth season of "Charmed," from Paramount, debuted at No. 12.
Oscar buzz helped lift Lionsgate’s "Crash" back up to No. 13 from No. 18 the previous week, and that was before the drama’s surprise best picture win.
Author: Thomas K. Arnold, Home Media Retailing
Low budget horror film “Alone in the Dark” took home the industry’s biggest booby prize as Hollywood’s annual anti-Oscars, The Stinkers Bad Movie Awards, dished out awards in 24 competition categories. The dishonors came courtesy of the Los Angeles-based Bad Cinema Society, a panel of movie critics and film fans which annually awards Hollywood’s worst films and performances.
Though “Alone in the Dark” didn’t receive the most awards, it managed to beat the field in four major categories, including worst film of the year, worst director (Uwe Boll, who some critics and fans have likened to legendary bad movie maker Ed Wood), worst actress (Tara Reid), and worst special effects.
The top award winner for 2005, with five Stinkers, was “Son of the Mask,” New Line’s ill-conceived follow-up to the Jim Carrey mega-hit “The Mask.” The mind-numbing sequel, which was inexplicably still produced after Carrey refused to participate in the project, took honors for Worst Actor (Jamie Kennedy), Worst Sequel, and Worst Couple (Kennedy and anyone forced to co-star with him). The film was also named 2005’s foulest family film.
Jessica Simpson picked up three awards for her portrayal of Daisy Duke in the big screen remake of the TV series “The Dukes of Hazzard.” Her warbling of “These Boot Are Made For Walkin’” earned her a Stinker for worst song in a movie. She was also named worst supporting actress of the year and can lay claim to having sported the most annoying fake accent in a movie.
Media target Paris Hilton, who had a small role in the horror remake “House of Wax,” came away unscathed by the society. Mentioned as a worst supporting actress on other year-end lists, the hotel heiress did not make the final cut on the more selective Stinkers ballot. "To get on the Stinkers ballot you are judged on your performance, not your tabloid persona,” said Stinkers Bad Movie Awards co-founder Michael Lancaster. “Anyone that would put Paris Hilton on a list of the five worst supporting actresses in 2005 didn’t see a lot of movies in 2005."
The Stinkers ballot featured five worst film candidates that any other year would have been winners or at the very least runners-up in their own right. Proof positive that 2005 will go down as one of the worst film years on record. One category (worst song) had ten nominees, tying a Stinker record. “Hollywood just doesn’t seem to understand that what’s keeping paying customers away is the bad product they hype. You can’t just keep advertising that bad films are the funniest films of the year. Eventually the lies will catch up with you,” said Bad Cinema Society co-founder Ray Wright. He warned that 2006 was gearing up to be more of the same. “We’ve already had another film by Uwe Boll [BloodRayne] released and we will be all over ‘The Pink Panther.’”
With more than 50 sequels and remakes lined up for release in the next year, it’s safe to say that Hollywood has run out of ideas.” Added Lancaster, “I think the public has finally caught on to what we’ve been saying for years — that a lot of what Hollywood sells is not worth the price of an admission ticket. I love that people are avoiding some of these overhyped films like the plague.”
Lancaster and Wright say the film that earned the most Stinkers for 2005 (“Son of the Mask”) is a perfect example of a Hollywood system gone horribly wrong. “I can’t for the life of me imagine how this project got approved. I think the minute Jim Carrey passes on this you say, ‘let’s not make the sequel.’ Now I guess we can all see how New Line is spending their ‘Lord of the Rings’ profits,” said Lancaster.
The Stinkers Bad Movie Awards have been featured in Entertainment Weekly, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times, and on the BBC, CNN, as well as in a slew of regional and international newspapers and magazines. The group’s website has received nearly two million hits.
Complete list of winners and nominees for 2005:
Alone in the Dark
WORST SENSE OF DIRECTION (Stop them before they direct again!)
Uwe Boll (Alone in the Dark)
WORST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Jamie Kennedy (Son of the Mask)
WORST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Tara Reid (Alone in the Dark)
WORST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Jessica Simpson (The Dukes of Hazzard)
WORST SCREENPLAY FOR A FILM GROSSING MORE THAN $100 MILLION*
*using Hollywood math
MOST PAINFULLY UNFUNNY COMEDY
Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo
WORST SONG OR SONG PERFORMANCE IN A FILM OR ITS END CREDITS
These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ (Jessica Simpson) (The Dukes of Hazzard)
MOST INTRUSIVE MUSICAL SCORE
Son of the Mask
WORST ON-SCREEN COUPLE
Jamie Kennedy and anyone forced to co-star with him (Son of the Mask)
MOST ANNOYING FAKE ACCENT
MALE: Norm MacDonald (Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo)
FEMALE: Jessica Simpson (The Dukes of Hazzard)
LEAST "SPECIAL" SPECIAL EFFECTS
Alone in the Dark
Yours, Mine and Ours
Son of the Mask
WORST RESURRECTION OF A "CLASSIC" TV SERIES
WORST CHILD ENSEMBLE
Yours, Mine and Ours
FOULEST FAMILY FILM
Son of the Mask
LEAST SCARY HORROR MOVIE
MOST OVERRATED FILM
WORST ANIMATED FILM
For full nominee lists and more awards, stop by the Stinkers official website!
The IMDb sums up the plot like so: "Based on a pitch by Richard Wenk, the mismatched buddy film follows a troubled NYPD officer who’s forced to take a happy, but down-on-his-luck witness 16 blocks from the police station to 100 Centre Street, although no one wants the duo to make it. The story is a redemptive tale for characters who are polar opposites. The cop, a dark guy and a heart attack waiting to happen, who is escorting this witness who is a 14-time loser with a sunny outlook."
Warner Bros.’ "16 Blocks" opens wide on March 3rd.
Disney & Walden’s "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" had a pretty fantastic opening weekend at the box office, pulling in just over $67 million from 3,600 theaters. "Narnia" became the #3 biggest opening of the year, behind only "Star Wars Episode 3" and "Harry Potter Episode 4."
The wide release of Stephen Gaghan‘s oil-fest "Syriana" did fairly well, pulling in $12 million from over 1,700 theaters. Third place with about $10 million was "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," which has now grossed nearly $245 million in four weeks.
For a closer look at the weekend numbers, take a visit to the Rotten Tomatoes Box Office Page!
Harry Potter continues to reign supreme at the box office, handily overpowering the debut of Paramount’s "Aeon Flux" to enjoy his third consecutive weekend at the box office.
It may have dropped 63% in its third weekend, but the tally was still more than enough for "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" to fend of Charlize Theron and her "Aeon Flux" flick. "HP4" made about $20.5 million in its third weekend, leading to a grand total haul of about $230 million.
Debuting in second place was the aforementioned "Flux," the futuristic action flick that pulled in $13.1 million from 2,600 theaters. Not too impressive a number for a PG-13 genre effort, but considering what the final product looks like … it’s a decent number.
Third place went to the impressive "Walk the Line," which added another $10 million to its $68.7 million total, while fourth and fifth place went to Paramount’s "Yours, Mine and Ours" and "Just Friends," which nabbed $8.4m and $5.6m, respectively.
Next Friday sees the release of only one new (wide) release, a little something called "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." Also, Oscar season kicks into full swing with the limited releases of "Brokeback Mountain," "Memoirs of a Geisha," and "The World’s Fastest Indian." (It’s got Anthony Hopkins!)
For a closer look at the weekend numbers, take a visit to the Rotten Tomatoes Box Office Page.
Proving that not even a big handful of new releases can not keep a good wizard down, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" continued its impressive box office ways, handily dominating the holiday box office and remaining #1 for a second consecutive weekend.
Seems like a whole bunch of people decided to take in Harry Potter’s fourth adventure once all the turkey was tasted and the stuffing was stuffed. The resoundingly popular "Goblet of Fire" conjured up a $55 million 3-day weekend, which puts its total tally in the immediate neighborhood of $201 million … in less than two weeks!
Second place went to the well-attended Johnny Cash biopic "Walk the Line," which added another $19.7 to its $54.7 million bankroll, thereby proving that, yes, grown-ups sometimes do go the movie without the tots in tow.
The most successful newcomer this past weekend was the family comedy "Yours, Mine and Ours," which made just about $17.5 from 3,200 theaters, while Disney’s "Chicken Little" continued its impressive hold in the henhouse: It added another $12.4 million to its $118 million nest egg.
Rounding out the top 5 was the long-awaited movie version of Jonathan Larsen’s "Rent," which sang for $10.7 million from 2,400 screens. (Throw Wednesday and Thursday into the equation and that’s about $18 million in "Rent" money.)
Other new arrivals fared as either "not bad" or "downright painful." New Line’s "Just Friends" pulled in $9.2 million from 2,500 theaters, which covers the "not bad." As for the "downright painful," we have Lion’s Gate’s "In the Mix," which made $4.5 million from 1,600 theaters, and Focus Features’ "The Ice Harvest," which made $3.8 million from 1,500.
The upcoming weekend gives the current flicks a fair shot to battle it out, since the only new wide release is the Charlize Theron sci-fi action flick "Aeon Flux," a flick that seems unlikely to unseat Master Potter from his Money Throne.
For a closer look at the holiday numbers, stop by and poke around at the Rotten Tomatoes Box Office Page.
What’s Thanksgiving without stuffing yourself silly? The studios haven’t disappointed us in that regard, as they pack the theaters this holiday weekend with offerings ranging from a movie adaptation of the Broadway musical "Rent" to the latest black comedy featuring Billy Bob Thornton. And yes, there are a couple of turkeys in the mix.
You know, given time, all popular Broadway plays and musicals will get their own movie adaptations. "Rent," the long-running "rock musical" based on Puccini’s opera "La Boheme," tells of a diverse group of bohemians living in New York’s East Village as they struggle to make a living and produce their art. However, what works on stage may not work on screen, at least not in this adaptation. While "Rent" is energetic and faithful to the stage play, critics say the raw emotions and style of the latter are missing.
If misery loves company, then those without the holiday spirit will find comfort in "The Ice Harvest." A black comedy about a mob lawyer and his co-conspirator, played by John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton, who try to swindle two million dollars from their employer, "The Ice Harvest" will offer a few chuckles for those with an ear for witty dialogue, but the mean-spiritedness of the movie, critics warn, may be a turnoff.
In the original 1968 film, Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda were able to make their family of 20 work. In the new "Yours, Mine, & Ours," Rene Russo and Dennis Quaid give it their best, but critics say that while genial, this remake is a bland and frantic slapstick comedy that falls flat more often than not.
The holidays are a time best spent with family and to reconnect with loved ones, and that’s exactly what Ryan Reynolds is trying to do in the comedy "Just Friends." Reynolds plays a record exec who has it all, except the girl he’s had a crush on since high school. As expected with a comedy milking a person’s weight problem for laughs, the humor here is pretty crude, but if you want to see a person humiliate himself in the name of love, "Just Friends" is worth some laughs, critics say.
Back in 2001, Emmanuelle Chriqui starred opposite Lance Bass of ‘NSync fame in a rom-com titled "On the Line." Let’s just say that movie disappeared from theaters faster than Bass’ singing career. Now Chriqui is back in another romantic comedy, this time with pop singer Usher in "In the Mix." Any parallels here? We’ll see when the reviews come in.
Turkeys from the previous Thanksgivings:
15% — Alexander (2004)
4% — Christmas With the Kranks (2004)
12% — Timeline (2003)
14% — The Haunted Mansion (2003)
14% — Adam Sandler’s 8 Crazy Nights (2002)
7% — Extreme Ops (2002)
It’s no big shock that the fourth entry in the "Harry Potter" series was, far and away, the number one draw at the weekend box office. But the flick turned out to have the fourth biggest box office weekend in the history of moviedom: Harry snagged over $101 million from nearly 3,900 North American screens … in only three days!
The rest of the top five consisted of hangers-on, including Disney’s "Chicken Little" ($14.7 million weekend; $99.1 million overall), the Weinsteins’ "Derailed" ($6.5m, $21.8m), and Sony’s "Zathura" ($5.1m, $20.2m).
But back to Mr. Potter for a second. Here’s how Variety breaks down some of the magically delicious numbers:
""Potter’s" perf shaved a point off the year’s overall B.O. deficit compared with 2004; it now stands at 6%.
"This is the biggest weekend in Warner Bros. history," noted WB distrib prexy Dan Fellman. "With three more (Potter pics) to go, we’re looking forward to leaving more marks in the record books."
"Potter" reached the stratosphere without setting any one-day records. First-day take of $39.4 million does tie it with "Spider-Man" for the biggest Friday ever, but that’s the seventh highest opening day in history.
In a promising sign for playability, "Goblet of Fire" declined only 10% to $35.5 million on Saturday.
The first three "Potter" pics bowed with, in order, $90.3 million, $88.4 million and $93.7 million, with the first two opening in November 2001 and 2002 and the third in June 2004.
"Goblet of Fire" made $2.8 million on 66 Imax screens over the weekend, giving it a per-play average of $42,951. That’s the highest ever in the giant-screen format, just beating the $2.7 million record set by "The Polar Express.""
As is usually the case, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving offers a whole bunch of new cinematic choices. The day after tomorrow sees the release of New Line’s rom-com "Just Friends," Sony’s long-awaited cinematic version of "Rent," Focus’ dark ensemble comedy "The Ice Harvest," the family farce "Yours, Mine and Ours," and a teen-centric crime comedy called "In the Mix."
For a closer look at Harry’s magical box office spell, take a visit to the Rotten Tomatoes Box Office Page. (And have a great holiday weekend!)
As if you didn’t see this sequel coming. Steve Martin, Bonnie Hunt, Piper Perabo, Tom Welling, and Hilary Duff will reunite this Christmas for "Cheaper By the Dozen 2," as directed by Adam Shankman. Oh, and you can see the trailer right here.
"The Baker family goes on vacation, which turns into a head-to-head competition with a rival neighborhood family of eight children." There’s your plot. And let’s not forget that Eugene Levy is now on board, as the dad who’s most likely a broadly obnoxious comedy villain.
"Cheaper By the Dozen 2" hits theaters on December 21st, while the also kid-laden remake of "Yours, Mine and Ours" debuts in multiplexes on November 23rd. Whichever flick you pick, I suggest packing a few aspirins.