July 20th, 2008
The latest Batman movie has shattered box office records in its opening weekend. â€œThe Dark Knightâ€ emerged as not just the new number one movie at movie theaters but also became the top grossing movie for its opening weekend, taking in an estimated $155 million dollars and eclipsing the previous record established last year by â€œSpider-Man 3â€ by $4 million. On â€œThe Dark Knightâ€â€™s opening day alone the movie grossed $66 million, setting another benchmark record for ticket sales for an opening day. By comparison the previous adventure, â€œBatman Beginsâ€, opened to a moderate $44 million dollar opening weekend before finally coming to a full stop with a little over $200 million in ticket sales. At the pace â€œThe Dark Knightâ€ is traveling it will surpass the total ticket sales of â€œBatman Beginsâ€ sometime in the middle of this week.
â€œMamma Miaâ€, another new movie out this weekend, didnâ€™t reach the same high watermark as Batman but it nevertheless did alright by grossing $27 million. Will Smith and his superhero tale â€œHancockâ€ dropped to third place with $14 million in ticket sales, bringing that filmâ€™s total gross to $191 million.
July 6th, 2008
It was another Big Willie Weekend as Will Smithâ€™s action superhero movie â€œHancockâ€ took in an impressive $66 million dollars over the American holiday weekend. Sony Pictures had opened the $170 million budgeted event movie on Wednesday but also held Tuesday evening showings to beef up their ticket sales. That plan of attack worked well and the combined five day tally for â€œHancockâ€ elevated its total gross to $107 million. â€œHancockâ€ is the second-highest movie to open for Smith after last Decemberâ€™s â€œI Am Legendâ€.
The â€œAliâ€ and â€œMen in Blackâ€ star plays an alcoholic, homeless superhero in â€œHancockâ€ who doesnâ€™t give a care as to how his image is looked upon by the public. Audiences may have gone out to take in Willâ€™s new movie but critics havenâ€™t been as favorable to the picture with negative reviews popping up in â€œEntertainment Weeklyâ€, â€œThe Washington Postâ€, â€œNewsweekâ€, â€œThe Wall Street Journalâ€ and more outlets. â€œâ€™Hancockâ€™ is a hodgepodge of intriguing ideas that, if developed further or presented as more than throw-ins to a confused production, might have made for a unique superhero film,â€ wrote James Berardinelli in his review of the movie.
June 20th, 2008
Lovely Sienna Miller is very close to snatching the role of Maid Marion in Ridley Scottâ€™s â€œNottinghamâ€. The fair-haired â€œFactory Girlâ€ actress would play the part of the apple of Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottinghamâ€™s eyes but in this twist on the classic adventure tale, itâ€™s the Sheriff that is the hero while Robin is a dastardly outlaw and ruffian. Russell Crowe will play the role of the Sheriff making â€œNottinghamâ€ the fourth time that he has worked with Ridley Scott. Meanwhile Miller is working hard playing the role of comic book villianness in the live action â€œG.I. Joeâ€ picture.
Barring a possible strike by the actors guild which could happen as early as next month â€œNottinghamâ€ is scheduled to begin filming in the late summer. The movie is scheduled for release in November 2009.
June 13th, 2008
Did Edward Norton get angry when he made â€œThe Incredible Hulkâ€? According to gossip Norton (who allegedly also helped write the superheroâ€™s movie script) was displeased with the editing of the picture, so much that he swore off doing any promotion for the film. Norton had been notably absent from most of the promo work for â€œHulkâ€ leading up to the movieâ€™s June 13 release until this week when he made appearances on MTV and â€œJimmy Kimmel Liveâ€. Early reviews have painted a favorable picture of the film which has also helped turn around the bad buzz that the earlier rumors had.
While â€œIron Manâ€ has proven to be a huge box office hit for Marvel Studios the $150 million dollar â€œIncredible Hulkâ€ is a gamble. Itâ€™s a reboot of the concept of scientist Bruce Banner who, after being bombarded with gamma radiation, turns into a hulking green brute when he loses control over his emotions. Maybe Marvel sensed that Nortonâ€™s anger could act against the amount of money â€œHulkâ€ would make with audiences and decided to sooth the savage beast with more creative control.
June 6th, 2008
â€œPirates of the Caribbeanâ€ star Keira Knightly is in negotiations to star in a new movie version of â€œMy Fair Ladyâ€. The British superstar will play the part of Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle, a commoner whose manners and speech are transformed into an upper crust lady by the teachings of Professor Henry Higgins. The film will be a partnership between Columbia Pictures and CBS Films. Duncan Kenwothy, a producer on such British hits as â€œFour Weddings and a Funeralâ€ and â€œLove Actuallyâ€, will serve as a producer on the picture.
The movie will use the original songs of the Broadway stage play and not make any major changes to the 1912 setting. The filmâ€™s producers would like to film as much as is possible at the original London locations used in the story such as Tottenham Court Road, Covent Garden, Wimple Street and the Ascot racecourse. The story will also use material from the original George Bernard Shaw play â€œPygmalionâ€ which served as the basis for the Broadway musical.
June 1st, 2008
It may have been off the air for four years but it seems that absense does indeed make the heart grow fonder. Fans of the racy cable comedy-drama â€œSex in the Cityâ€ flocked to theaters this weekend to watch the big screen version of the show which stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis. The â€œSexâ€ movie took in an estimated $55.7 million dollars in its first three days of release making it the biggest opening ever for an R-rated comedy. â€œAmerican Pieâ€ had previously held the record with $45.1 million dollars back in 1999. â€œIndiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skullâ€ fell to second place with a gross of $46 million dollars, bringing its accumulated total to $216.8 million dollars so far.
Talk of a â€œSex in the City 2â€ has already begun. Shortly before the movieâ€™s release gossip had been floating around that the movieâ€™s producers had signed all of the filmâ€™s stars to sequel options in their contracts. One insider told a British newspaper that â€œThey want it to be a franchise and think they can stretch it over at least a trilogy.â€
May 26th, 2008
Nineteen years may separate the release of the latest â€œIndiana Jonesâ€ film and its predecessor â€œIndiana Jones and the Last Crusadeâ€ but audiences havenâ€™t forgotten the Hollywood action hero. â€œIndiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skullâ€ debuted last Thursday and raked in $126 million dollars from American audiences in its first four days of release. International audiences have also gone Indy crazy, adding an additional $143 million worth of ticket sales. That brings the total worldwide gross for â€œIndy 4â€ to $269 million dollars in less than one week of release.
Director Steven Spielberg has told fans that he would think about making another Indiana Jones adventure if “Crystal Skull” attracted audiences. Perhaps it’s time to hire a writer?
May 21st, 2008
When the time-travelling Time Lord returns to the airwaves in 2010 he will be guided by a new creative thinker working behind the scenes. Steven Moffat is taking over head writer and showrunner duties on the BBCâ€™s popular â€œDoctor Whoâ€ television series when it returns for its sixth season in two years. Moffat has been writing episodes for the new â€œWhoâ€ since its return to broadcast four years ago and had been rumored to replace exiting showrunner Russell T. Davies if the latter were to depart the sci-fi show.
Davies will remain as producer on â€œDoctor Whoâ€ for the remainder of the current fourth series and for three specials that will be broadcast in 2009. There is speculation that actor David Tennant, who currently plays the Doctor, may also wish to make an exit when Davies departs the show. If that is the case a new face will be found to play the alien Doctor and one potential candidate may be James Nesbitt. Nesbitt played the lead in â€œJekyllâ€, a recent mini-series that Moffat penned.
May 15th, 2008
Call it a case of Jack Black putting his foot in his mouth but when the funnyman spoke to the assembled press at the Cannes Film Festival to talk about his animated movie â€œKung Fu Pandaâ€ he let slip Hollywoodâ€™s worst kept secret. While being interviewed for the â€œTodayâ€ show Black pointed at co-star Angelina Jolieâ€™s expanding torso and said â€œYouâ€™re gonna have as many as the Brady Bunch when you have these.â€ While Jolie looks very much pregnant the high-profile actress has decided to not confirm speculation that she is pregnant with twins. â€œTodayâ€ host Natalie Morales took Jackâ€™s quip as an invitation to ask about Angelinaâ€™s pregnancy status and the â€œMr. & Mrs. Smithâ€ star confirmed that she is in fact carrying twins. This will be the second and third naturally born children for Jolie and her partner Brad Pitt; they are also the adopted parents of three children. Shiloh, Brad and Angelinaâ€™s baby girl, is turning two-years-old this month.
May 12th, 2008
â€œPirates of the Caribbeanâ€ director Gore Verbinski is the latest filmmaker turning his attention towards videogames. The highly successful director has signed on to turn Take-Two Interactiveâ€™s critically-hailed â€œBioshockâ€ into a live-action movie for Universal Pictures. Set in an underwater, art deco city that is falling apart due to human avarice, the â€œBioshockâ€ game had a cinematic quality to it that attracted Verbinski. “I think the whole utopia-gone-wrong story that’s cleverly unveiled to players is just brimming with cinematic potential,” Verbinski said. “Of all the games I’ve played, this is one that I felt has a really strong narrative.â€
Screenwriter John Logan is in talks to adapt the game into a film. Loganâ€™s past works include â€œThe Time Machineâ€ and â€œGladiatorâ€.
A sequel to the videogame is in development and is slated for release sometime in 2009. It will be out before the movie can be finished.