Saturday, April 30, 2011

Do we now know the title of Quentin Tarantino's next movie?

Quite possibly the one you see above, according to this story from Collider:

There’ve been rumblings about Quentin Tarantino’s next project for a while now. He previously talked about doing “a Southern,” a film that would bring to surface all the slavery issues that Americans are none too fond of tackling. Then there was that spaghetti western with Franco Nero rumored to be starring. In that updated story, it was confirmed that Tarantino was in fact writing a western, and Christoph Waltz is one of the stars. Beyond that, nothing else was known. The script was due to be turned in to The Weinstein Company in two months, at which time we might know more. Well, that was February.

Today, we may have learned that the title of Tarantino’s next film may be Django Unchained. How did we learn this? If you remember that image of the title page for the Inglourious Basterds script, with Tarantino’s scribbled handwriting, what lies after the jump may look familiar. Hit the jump to see what I’m talking about.

Behold the Trailer for One Day!

Take a look:

-Joey's Two Cents: I loved the book, and while it's not exactly as I pictured it, I still think the trailer is holding back and this could be something special...thoughts?

Robert Zemeckis is going back to live action for his next flick...

...according to Vulture:

The director of Back to the Future is headed back to the future again ... sort of. Our spies tell us that Robert Zemeckis — who directed all three movies in the franchise that made Michael J. Fox a star — is now in serious talks with Warner Bros. Pictures to direct Replay, a project based on the bestselling 1987 novel by Ken Grimwood, about a man who moves around in time, granted without the help of a DeLorean.

In Replay, a 40-something radio journalist dies of a heart attack in 1988, but re-awakens back in 1963, in his 18-year-old body, with the memories and accrued wisdom of the previous 25 years intact. He always dies in 1988, and then goes back to the late sixties, but each time he has the ability to make a new sets of choices, resulting in different spouses, progeny, and jobs in each “life.”

Unlike Back to the Future, Replay isn’t an action-comedy; it’s a thriller in which the main character slowly learns he can’t prevent his own death, but sets about trying to prevent the death of his daughter.

Could Anthony Mackie finally be getting high-profile roles?

Variety has the exclusive:

Two years after his breakout turn in The Hurt Locker, Anthony Mackie’s reaping fresh rewards with a pair of high-profile projects. He's received an offer to star opposite Brad Pitt in Par’s World War Z, and is being eyed for a role in WB’s Gangster Squad alongside Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling and Josh Brolin.

Mackie’s reps had no comment, nor did Paramount.

While his Hurt Locker co-star Jeremy Renner ultimately won the key lead role in The Bourne Legacy, Mackie also screentested for the gig, showcasing his crossover appeal.

Mackie is currently filming Fox’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and reflects the actor’s efforts to balance commercial pics with indie fare such as Hurt Locker, Night Catches Us and the silent film Bolden!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Jeremy Renner is trying to make a Steve McQueen biopic...

...according to The Hollywood Reporter:

Jeremy Renner continues his march toward Hollywood domination.

The two-time Oscar nominee, who has been on an upward trajectory since starring in best picture winner The Hurt Locker, has formed The Combine, a production company he will run with partner Don Handfield. And the company is hitting the ground running, developing a Steve McQueen biopic that will serve as a starring vehicle for the actor.

James Gray, who wrote and directed We Own the Night, is attached to write the McQueen screenplay, which will be based on the two books by Marshall Terrill: Portrait of an American Rebel and The Life and Legend of a Hollywood Icon. Video director Ivan Zacharias is attached to make his directorial debut on the project.

Renner and Handfield will produce the McQueen project with Hurt Locker producer Greg Shapiro, Cross Creek Pictures’ Brian Oliver (one of the producers of Black Swan), and Zacharias’ producing partner Nick Landon.

CAA packaged the project, repping Renner, Grey, Zacharias and the producers, and will also rep the North American distribution rights.

Renner seems like a great fit for the iconic '70s star, with the right rugged looks and all-man attitude (even if his reputation isn't as messy as McQueen’s). But the project is in the development stage and Renner, who’s become one of the most sought-after and busiest actors in Hollywood since his back-to-back Oscar nominations for Hurt Locker and The Town, has plenty on his plate to keep him occupied until it’s ready.

With Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol already in the can, he is currently in Berlin shooting Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters for Paramount, after which he will segue to Marvel’s The Avengers, which just got under way in New Mexico with Joss Whedon directing. He's also weighing an offer to star in The Bourne Legacy for Universal, which would shoot in the fall, and then he may next go into Sheldon Turner's By Virtue Fall in February. Additionally, he just signed on to lend his voice for Fox’s latest installment of the Ice Age animated franchise.

Curious when the Golden Globes and BAFTA will be this year?


Of course you are, and here's the schedule for those big precursor events:

The 2012 Golden Globe Awards

  • Wednesday, November 8, 2011: Cecil B. Demille Award Announcement
  • Thursday, December 15, 2011: Nominations Announced
  • Sunday, January 15, 2012: Awards Ceremony

2012 British Academy of Film and Television Awards

  • Tuesday, January 17, 2012: Nominations Announced
  • Sunday, February 12, 2012: BAFTA Awards Ceremony

-Joey's Two Cents: The dates for this season are taking shape...thoughts?

Jeff Bridges could be joining Ryan Reynolds for 'R.I.P.D.'!


Via The Hollywood Reporter:

Jeff Bridges is final negotiations to star opposite Ryan Reynolds in R.I.P.D., Universal's supernatural action comedy about a ghost-busting police force.

Bridges steps into the role that was to have been occupied by Zach Galifianakis, but the comedian ultimately never sealed the deal.

The project is based on the Dark Horse comic, and Dark Horse Entertainment's Mike Richardson is producing with Neal Moritz and David Dobkin.

R.I.P.D. follows a murdered cop (Reynolds) who is recruited to work in the Rest in Peace Department, a police force comprised of ghosts who battle spirits unready to depart this world.?

Bridges will play Reynolds' partner, a wise-cracking officer who's been hunting spirits since the 1800s.

Robert Schwentke is directing.

-Joey's Two Cents: I like this casting a lot...thoughts?

Here are your Award Winners from the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival...

...so take a glance:

World NARRATIVE COMPETITION CATEGORIES:

The jurors for the 2011 World Narrative Competition were Souleymane Cissé, Scott Glenn, David Gordon Green, Rula Jebreal, Art Linson, Jason Sudeikis and Dianne Wiest.

  • The Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature She Monkeys (Apflickorna), directed by Lisa Aschan, written by Josefine Adolfsson and Lisa Aschan (Sweden). Winner receives $25,000 and the art award “Anna Christie Entering the Bar, 1965-1967” by Robert De Niro Sr. Sponsored by AKA Hotel Residences. The award was given by Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro and Larry Korman from AKA Residences.

Jury Comments: “Haunting, resonant, but never posed. Conventional shots become dangerous. With balanced storytelling that moves between danger and innocence, this film speaks of sex, adolescence, power, and ambition. It is original and authentic.”

  • Best Actor in a Narrative Feature FilmRamadhan “Shami” Bizimana as Yvan in Grey Matter (Matière Grise), directed and written by Kivu Ruhorahoza (Rwanda, Australia). Winner receives $2,500. The award was given by Rula Jebreal.

Jury Comments: “In a world shattered by genocide, this performance was so pure.”

  • Best Actress in a Narrative Feature FilmCarice van Houten as Ingrid Jonker in Black Butterflies, directed by Paula van der Oest, written by Greg Latter (Germany, Netherlands, South Africa). Winner receives $2,500. The award was given by Rula Jebreal.

Jury Comments: “There are a million colors in this complicated performance. We award this honor for bravery and fragility, and for showing tremendous range and strength throughout.”

  • Best Cinematography in a Narrative Feature FilmLuisa Tillinger, Artificial Paradises (Paraisos Artificiales) (Mexico). Winner receives $5,000 and $50,000 in post production services provided by Company 3. The award was given by Rula Jebreal.

Jury Comments: “A beautiful portrait of landscape and emotion.”

  • Best Screenplay for a Narrative Feature FilmJannicke Systad Jabobsen, Turn Me On, Goddammit (Få meg på, for faen) (Norway). Winner receives $5,000. The award was given by Rula Jebreal.

Jury Comments: “This jury was unanimous. Hands-down this is the best screenplay.”
BEST NEW NARRATIVE DIRECTOR:
The jurors for the 2011 Best New Narrative Director Competition were Paul Dano, Atom Egoyan, Zoe Kazan, Anna Kendrick, Rainn Wilson.

  • Best New Narrative Director – Park Jungbum, writer and director of Journals of Musan (Musan Il-gi) (South Korea). Winner receives $25,000, sponsored by American Express; $50,000 in post production services provided by Company 3; and the art award “Double Happiness” by Nate Lowman. The award was given by Zoe Kazan and Jessica Igoe from American Express.

Jury Comments: “This film is an extraordinary study of an outcast, one that examines a complex journey with compassion and grace. The jury was unanimous in honoring this rare film, which is both emotionally arresting and an important social document. We are proud to commend this auspicious debut from an extremely talented filmmaker.”
More after the jump...

The 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon' trailer looks...good?

Judge for yourself:

-Joey's Two Cents: Keep in mind that the last movie had a good trailer and that turned out even worse than the original, so I remain incredibly skeptical...thoughts?

'The Cabin in the Woods' is finally on its way to a theater near you!

Apparently so, according to Deadline:

Lionsgate is making a deal with MGM to distribute The Cabin in the Woods, putting an end to an unexpectedly long shelf life for a horror film that has a terrific creative pedigree and a high degree of fanboy wanna-see. Cloverfield writer Drew Goddard directed the film and co-wrote it with Joss Whedon. The film's cast includes Chris Hemsworth, who made it before he was set to star as the title character in Marvel's Thor. Ironically, Whedon and Hemsworth are reuniting, with Whedon directing The Avengers, and Hemsworth reprising his hammer-swinging role. It's unclear when Lionsgate will release the film, but October is a good bet.

The delay has little to do with the quality of the film. It was once slated to be released by MGM on Oct. 23, 2009, but was pulled back because it was going to be converted to 3D. Then, everything froze at MGM because of the strangling debt load, and The Cabin in the Woods was among several pictures that languished. By the time the picture is released, Thor will have established Hemsworth's star value, which will certainly help a film that also stars Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Darren Aronofsky will head the jury at the Venice Film Festival!

From The Guardian:

Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky is to head the jury for this year's Venice film festival, organisers have announced. The film-maker will follow in the controversial footsteps of fellow American Quentin Tarantino, who chaired last year's event.

Aronofsky is something of a favourite on the Lido, having received the Golden Lion top prize for The Wrestler in 2008. Black Swan, for which Natalie Portman won the best actress Oscar in March, was the festival opener last year and Aronofsky also entered The Fountain in the 2006 competition. Venice organisers praised the film-maker as "a key figure in contemporary film whose work constantly engages the evolution and mutations of the many languages of art".

Tarantino's tenure last year saw the Golden Lion for best film controversially delivered into the hands of Sofia Coppola for her film Somewhere, a slow-paced peek at Hollywood ennui. Some members of the Italian press accused the US film-maker of unfairly favouring the Lost in Translation director, who is an ex-girlfriend. Tarantino's friend Alex de la Iglesia also won two prizes for his film Balada Triste de Trompeta and one of the director's mentors, Monte Hellman, was handed a lifetime achievement prize created by the jury. The Italian culture minister labelled Tarantino's reign "the expression of an elitist, relativist and snobbish culture" and suggested he pick the jury this year to ensure the part state-funded festival improved its selections.

Are the (500) Days of Summer writers getting in on the Royal wedding craze?

Apparently so, according to Cinema Blend:

This weekend you have a chance to get away from what feels like nonstop media coverage of The Royal Wedding by going to the movies-- neither the gearheads of Fast Five nor the high schoolers of Prom care at all about William and Kate, and though Morgan Spurlock has a ton of sponsors in The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, Buckingham Palace is not one of them. And yet, at some point royal wedding fever is going to trickle down even to the movies, though maybe by then you won't be quite so worn out by it. According to Deadline Michael Weber and Scott Neustadter, the writers behind (500) Days of Summer, have sold a pitch to Sony Pictures that's described as "Notting Hill meets Meet The Royal Parents." But if you're familiar with the mid--00s work of Julia Stiles, you might just call it a spin on The Prince and Me.

Yes, this is a film about a girl from the Midwest who travels to the UK and, as we all have at some point in foreign travels, winds up marrying a prince. The Meet The Royal Parents part of the pitch makes it sound like much of the film will focus on the culture clash between her salt-of-the-earth parents and the stuffy royals, maybe inspired by what's probably been a hilarious series of meetings between Prince Charles and Camilla and the slightly oddball Middletons,. Or maybe Neustadter and Weber are smart enough to distance their story significantly from all this royal wedding nonsense, knowing by the time this movie comes out we'll have moved on.

Today's Trailers: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, X-Men: First Class, and Immortals

First up today is a look at the end of the Potter franchise, with 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2':

The other two trailers after the cut...

The Lone Ranger may now be played by Armie Hammer...

...according to The Hollywood Reporter:

Armie Hammer, who portrayed the Winklevoss Twins in the Oscar-winning The Social Network, is in talks to play the title character of Disney's The Lone Ranger.

No dealmaking has begun, but Hammer has met with director Gore Verbinski for the role. If all goes well, Hammer would star opposite Johnny Depp, who is playing the Lone Ranger's partner, Tonto.

Jerry Bruckheimer is producing the movie, which has been looking for a star to play the Western hero. Ryan Gosling is one of the actors who had circled the project in recent weeks.

Hammer, repped by WME, has had quite the ride since Social Network's awards circuit. He booked a role in J. Edgar, Clint Eastwood's biopic of notorious FBI head J. Edgar Hoover, and recently nabbed the role of the prince in Relativity's take on the Snow White fairy tale, The Brothers Grimm: Snow White. Lone Ranger would be his biggest role yet.

-Joey's Two Cents: I was in favor of Gosling, but Hammer is an excellent choice as well...thoughts?

The Tree of Life gets a very different German Poster!

Thoughts?

Did the critical thrashing of Atlas Shrugged kill the next two installments?

Possibly, according to 24 Frames:

Twelve days after opening "Atlas Shrugged: Part 1," the producer of the Ayn Rand adaptation said Tuesday that he is reconsidering his plans to make Parts 2 and 3 because of scathing reviews and flagging box office returns for the film.

"Critics, you won," said John Aglialoro, the businessman who spent 18 years and more than $20 million of his own money to make, distribute and market "Atlas Shrugged: Part 1," which covers the first third of Rand's dystopian novel. "I’m having deep second thoughts on why I should do Part 2."

"Atlas Shrugged" was the top-grossing limited release in its opening weekend, generating $1.7 million on 299 screens and earning a respectable $5,640 per screen. But the the box office dropped off 47% in the film's second week in release even as "Atlas Shrugged" expanded to 425 screens, and the movie seemed to hold little appeal for audiences beyond the core group of Rand fans to whom it was marketed.

Aglialoro attributed the box office drop-off to "Atlas Shrugged's" poor reviews. Only one major critic -- Kyle Smith of the New York Post -- gave "Atlas" a mixed-to-positive review, calling the film "more compelling than the average mass-produced studio item." The movie has a dismal 7% fresh rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes thanks to critics like the Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips, who said "Atlas" is "crushingly ordinary in every way." Roger Ebert called the film "the most anticlimactic non-event since Geraldo Rivera broke into Al Capone’s vault," while Rolling Stone's Peter Travers said the movie "sits there flapping on screen like a bludgeoned seal."

"The New York Times gave us the most hateful review of all," said Aglialoro, who also has a writing credit on the movie. "They didn’t cover it."

The novel, a sacred text among many conservatives for Rand's passionate defense of capitalism, takes place at an unspecified future time in which the U.S. is mired in a deep depression and a mysterious phenomenon is causing the nation's leading industrialists to disappear or "strike."

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Awards Circuit Staff begin to let loose with some Oscar Predictions!

Yes, we're off and running with Staff Predictions on the Main Page. They may be up later than some of you would prefer, but they're still earlier than the vast majority of other sites, so just keep that in mind. Check out the predictions here, starting with mine (which have changed somewhat from my original ones on the blog...those can be seen here for comparison) and Robert's, with the rest to come very soon! As always, be sure to let us know what you think about them.

-What do you think of our predictions? What are your predictions?

Discuss!

Here's our first look at Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin...

It looks pretty spot on to me...thoughts?

What is the most profitable film of 2011 so far?

The answer is a real shocker to the industry, according to The Hollywood Reporter:

They say lightning doesn't strike twice. Don't tell that to the Paranormal Activity team of Jason Blum, Oren Peli and Steven Schneider, whose microbudgeted horror film Insidious is crossing the $50 million mark globally and is on to track to gross as much as $80 million or $90 million at the worldwide box office.

That would give the indie horror pic, made for under $1.5 million, the best cost-to-gross ratio of the year, a good measurement of profitability.

Insidious has already taken in $44.5 million in North America and roughly $4.5 million more in Russia and two smaller territories (final figures are still being determined). It now begins rolling out in a number of other foreign markets, beginning this weekend in the U.K. and Brazil. Based on its performance so far, those involved with the film say Insidious should reach $90 million globally, and probably more.

In terms of profitability, Insidious is the darling of 2011. The key players who backed the film stand to make millions, considering its nominal production budget. While it won't make the $193 million grossed by Paranormal at the global box office in 2009, no one is complaining.

"It shows that there is still a market for quality genre movies, and that it is possible to make film on a micro-budget," Blum tells THR.

For years, studios have tried in fits and starts to make genre movies at a nominal cost. But it's been a challenge. Paramount's microbudget division Insurge Pictures had great success earlier this year with Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, which cost $13 million to produce and has grossed $94.9 million worldwide. Paramount formed Insurge after the runaway success of Paranormal Activity, which Paramount distributed domestically.

Roger Ebert's annual film festival kicks off today...

...and the slate of films and film related events at Ebertfest is always worth taking a gander at. Here you go:


WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27

7:00 pm Metropolis (154 min) Alloy Orchestra
10:30 pm Natural Selection (89 min) Robbie Pickering Writer/Director
Rachael Harris Actor
THURSDAY, APRIL 28
1:00 pm Umberto D (89 min)
3:30 pm My Dog Tulip (83 min) Paul Fierlinger Director
Sandra Schuette Fierlinger Director
8:00 pm Tiny Furniture (98 min) Kyle Martin Producer
David Call Actor
Ryan Werner Distributor
FRIDAY, APRIL 29
1:00 pm 45365 (90 min) Turner Ross Director
Bill Ross Director
4:00 pm Me & Orson Welles (PG-13; 109 min) Richard Linklater Director
8:30 pm Only You (PG; 108 min) Norman Jewison Director
SATURDAY, APRIL 30 (SPECIAL ACCESS & PARKING GUIDELINES)
11:00 am A Small Act (98 min) Patti Lee Producer
Jennifer Arnold Director
Hilde Back Film Subject
2:00 pm Life, Above All (PG-13: 100 min) Oliver Schmitz Director
Khomotso Manyaka Actor
Michael Barker Distributor
6:30 pm Leaves of Grass (R; 105 min) Tim Blake Nelson Director
9:30 pm I Am Love (R; 120 min) Tilda Swinton Actor
SUNDAY, MAY 1
12:00 pm Louder Than a Bomb (99 min) Jon Siskel Director
Greg Jacobs Director
Kevin Coval Founder & Artistic Director
Lamar Jorden Steinmetz High School Poet
Charles Smith Steinmetz High School Poet
She'Kira McNight Steinmetz High School Poet
Kevin Harris Steinmetz High School Poet
Jésus Lark Steinmetz High School Poet

-Joey's Two Cents: It used to be called his Overlooked films fest, and this year's version seems to be focused on Tiny Furniture, Me & Orson Welles, Leaves of Grass, and I Am Love in that regard...thoughts?

Arnold Schwarzenegger to return to the Terminator franchise!

Via Deadline:

He's baaack! Arnold Schwarzenegger is attached to star in a rights package that CAA is shopping today that will revive The Terminator, one of Hollywood's most iconic scifi franchises. The agency is dropping the package on studios this afternoon. I'm told that already, Universal, Sony and Lionsgate, and CBS Films are looking hard at the package. There is no screenwriter attached at this point, and Robert Cort is producing. This is the first real activity on The Terminator project since February 2010, when the property emerged from a bankruptcy auction and into the possession of Pacificor. The Santa Barbara-based hedge fund posted a bid of $29.5 million, with the promise that additional multimillion-dollar payments for each film would go to Halcyon, the company that made the 2009 McG-directed Terminator Salvation. That film starred Sam Worthington as the cyborg and Christian Bale as John Connor, and the storyline launched the battle between Skynet and the human survivors of the apocalypse, the war foreshadowed in James Cameron's visionary 1984 original film. Halcyon wanted to make several films but ran out of money. At the time of the auction, Pacificor beat out a combined bid by Lionsgate and Sony planning to make back-to-back sequels to bring the franchise to a natural creative conclusion.

The "Ice Age" just keeps on going...

Deadline reports on yet another installment:

Fox Filmed Entertainment co-chair Tom Rothman and Fox Animation Studios president Vanessa Morrison gave a presentation on the Ice Age franchise today to potential licensees and promotional partners.

Besides talking about the origin of the relationship with animation house Blue Sky Studio, Morrison introduced the cast of the 2012 installment in the franchise, Ice Age: Continental Drift. Ray Romano is back as Manny; Queen Latifah returns as Ellie; Dennis Leary as Diego; John Leguizamo as Sid; Seann William Scott & Josh Peck as Crash & Eddie.

New to the cast are Jeremy Renner, who will portray Gutt; Wanda Sykes as Granny; Aziz Ansari is Walter; Keke Palmer is Peaches; hip hop star Drake is Ethan; and Jennifer Lopez is Shira, a snow leopard (which falls under that overall Fox deal she made to be a judge on American Idol).

A more bizarre announcement after the jump…

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Here are some key dates for the 84th Academy Awards!

Behold:


Thursday, December 1, 2011: Official Screen Credits forms due
Tuesday, December 27, 2011: Nominations ballots mailed
Friday, January 13, 2012: Nominations polls close 5 p.m. PT
Tuesday, January 24, 2012: Nominations announced 5:30 a.m. PT,
Samuel Goldwyn Theater
Wednesday, February 1, 2012: Final ballots mailed
Monday, February 6, 2012: Nominees Luncheon
Saturday, February 11, 2012: Scientific and Technical Awards presentation
Tuesday, February 21, 2012: Final polls close 5 p.m. PT
Sunday, February 26, 2012: 84th Academy Awards presentation

-Joey's Two Cents: Well now we know...thoughts?

Joey's DVD Picks of the Week (4/26/2011)

This week, I come bearing less than thrilling news for fellow DVD aficionados. This may be the worst release day I've ever witnessed, with literally no mainstream releases hitting shelves. Yes, you heard that right...exactly ZERO new releases that anyone has really heard of. There's only two non direct to DVD offerings in general today, so it's a bummer of a week. I'll compensate below and with the Vintage picks, but for now let's get this over with. For my PICK OF THE WEEK, I'm pretty much stuck with the only thing I've seen this week. It's:

Jolene

To be fair, this isn't a bad little indie flick, and it more or less introduced me to Jessica Chastain (consider it prep work for The Tree of Life), but that being said, it's a fairly ordinary road trip movie. The "sexual awakening" aspects of it are interesting and the acting is good, but it's not particularly anything to write home about. It got a tiny release last October, and while I'm glad I saw it, I don't know that it would have came close to top honors in any other release week other than this one. Alas...

-The other film out this week is the Bollywood flick 3 Idiots. I haven't seen it, but it's a pitiful enough release date for DVD that it might be worth taking a flyer on this mysterious one and seeing if it surprises you. It certainly can't hurt any to give it a try.

-As a bonus because of the rather poor slate of films to choose from, I humbly present to you 9 of my top 10 films of 2010 as a reminder of some high class flicks to see on DVD or Blu-Ray (the only missing piece is Blue Valentine, which comes out for home viewing next month). They are, in alphabetical order: Black Swan, Howl, The Kids Are All Right, Love and Other Drugs, Scott Pilgrim vs the World, The Social Network, Somewhere, The Town, and Toy Story 3. All are out now, so pick them up and enjoy!

Is Russell Crowe about to make his directorial debut?

Perhaps, according to Deadline:

Russell Crowe is seriously considering starring in and making his feature directorial debut in 77. The period cop movie has a script by David Matthews, a rewrite of an original screenplay by LA Confidential's James Ellroy. Dick Wolf and Tony Ganz are producing. Crowe has been itching to make his directing debut for years and this sounds like a dynamite premise. The drama connects two stories from 1974. It deals with the unsolved murder of an LAPD officer, and the nationally televised shootout in South Central L.A. between the Symbionese Liberation Army and the LAPD, where 50,000 rounds of gunfire were exchanged. The events will be seen through the eyes of two police partners, one black and one white. Crowe was attached to Bra Boys, the dramatic adaptation of the documentary about outlaw surfers in Australia, and before that flirted with directing the Australia-based WWII drama The Long Green Shore, based on the novel by John Hepworth. He's awaiting a rewrite of the 77 script to see if this one will be the charm. WME reps him and the agency reps Matthews with Schiff Company.

The Weinstein Company picks up a Documentary at Tribeca...

...and it's an interesting sounding one. Here's the story from The Hollywood Reporter:


The Weinstein Company has acquired rights to Submarine Entertainment’s The Bully Project, Lee Hirsch's documentary about bullying in America. The deal includes rights for North America, U.K., Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Germany, plus Pan-Asian Satellite TV distribution rights.

The doc, produced by Hirsch and Cynthia Lowen, and written by Lowen and Hirsch, had its Tribeca Film Festival premiere this past Saturday.

"As filmmakers we are overjoyed to be working with The Weinstein Company," Hirsch and Lowen said in a joint statement. “Their significant commitment towards this film will ensure it reaches the national stage, and will certainly amplify its capacity to effect change."
The deal was negotiated for TWC by Lawson and Vice President of Acquisitions Dan Guando; and for the filmmakers by Submarine Entertainment’s Josh Braun and David Koh.

-Joey's Two Cents: I'll see it...thoughts?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Box Office Actuals: April 22-24, 2011

Via Box Office Mojo, The Numbers, and other sources:

Animated family musical adventure "Rio" held its estimated #1 ranking when actual numbers were calculated from the Easter weekend box office. Grossing $26.3 million, "Rio" held off Tyler Perry's latest ensemble film, "Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family", which amassed $25.1 million to land in second place. "Rio" continued its incredible worldwide run where the film has banked $206 million overseas. Nearing $300 million in total gross after just 3 weeks is an impressive feat.

"...Madea..." was the 6th film to feature Tyler Perry as his cross-dressing grandmother character and continued the trend of Perry films not being screened for critics in advance of their release. At this point, the brand has been built and Perry's franchise now guarantees openings on par with this one. Perry's latest opened on more screens than any of his other films to date, appearing at 2,288 sites. All in all, this was the fourth best opening for a Perry-directed film and if history holds, "...Madea..." will have a decent second weekend and then likely drop substantially in its third weekend.

The romantic drama "Water For Elephants" was overestimated and came in at $16.8 million, which tempered excitement slightly. If "Water" can hold a good second weekend audience, the film could finish in the $50 million range for its total box office run; a vast improvement over Pattinson's "Remember Me" which earned a mere $19.1 million in the spring of 2010. For Reese Witherspoon, the film served as her biggest opening since the 2008 holiday comedy "Four Christmases" ($31.2 million to start) and matched her 2005 romantic dramedy, "Just Like Heaven", which started at $16.4 million.

DisneyNature's third straight Easter weekend release, "African Cats" landed in 6th place with a $6.0 million start, which with actual receipts counted was nearly identical to last year's opening frame for "Oceans". It is hard to tell if Disney is happy that this opening matched "Oceans", which seemed a disappointment last year when compared to "Earth"'s success in 2009. "African Cats" should fall just short of $20 million when it completes its overall run.

"Scream" is silenced, "Atlas..." does indeed shrug, "I Am" takes a stand and more analysis after the cut:

Can Mel Gibson salvage his career and image with The Beaver?

Well, that remains to be seen, but the potential is certainly there, considering the script for The Beaver is kind of brilliant. I go over it in my Script Review of the film here, but suffice to say, Gibson has got an Oscar worthy role to play with (not to mention juicy supporting parts for supporting players Anton Yelchin and Jennifer Lawrence). The early word from screenings was very positive as well, so if audiences are willing to pay to see Mel again, this could be not just a critical hit, but a commercial one as well.

Here's an excerpt from our exclusive Script Review:

In terms of awards potential, I’d look at Best Original Screenplay as where the best possibility lies. If the movie is a hit, Best Actor is where the love should go, though don’t count out Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress (Lawrence), or even Best Director. I don’t know that it’ll be the Academy’s cup of tea, but the potential is there.
Overall, ‘The Beaver’ is one of the best scripts I’ve read in a while. It’s different, but not in an off-putting way. It’s incredibly
touching, and while some may not be thrilled with its choice of denouement, I found it perfect and apt. The premise may be a hard sell, but I can assure you, this will be worth your time. I’m very much looking forward to seeing the movie. If the script is properly executed on screen, this could easily be one of the best films of 2011.

--

Go check out the latest Awards Circuit Script Review (the first of 2011 after The Social Network and Buried were two of the prominent ones featured last year) and let me know what you think!

Today's Trailers: Our Idiot Brother, The Perfect Family, and Brother's Justice

First up today is the very promising looking Sundance comedy 'Our Idiot Brother':

The other trailers after the cut...

A USC study confirms that film is a male dominated industry...


...which isn't surprising, but definitely is still discouraging in this day and age. The full study can be found here, but this is a tidbit:

This study examined the gender of all speaking characters and behind-­‐the-­‐scenes employees on the 100 top-­‐grossing fictional films in 2008. A total of 4,370 speaking characters were evaluated and 1,227 above-­‐the-­‐line personnel. In addition to prevalence, we assessed the hypersexualization of on screen characters across the 100 movies.

32.8 percent of speaking characters were female. Put differently, a ratio of roughly 2 males to every one female was observed across the 100 top-­‐grossing films. Though still grossly imbalanced given that females represent over half of the U.S. population, this is the highest percentage of females in film we have witnessed across multiple studies.

The presence of women working behind-­‐the-­‐camera is still abysmal. Only, 8% of directors, 13.6% of writers, and 19.1% of producers are female. This calculates to a ratio of 4.90 males to every one female. Films with female directors, writers, and producers were associated with a higher number of girls and women on screen than were films with only males in these gate-­‐keeping positions. To illustrate, the percentage of female characters jumps 14.3% when one or more female screenwriters were involved in penning the script.

-Joey's Two Cents: I know it's quality over quantity, but a bit more equality certainly wouldn't hurt...thoughts?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Box Office Bulletin: "Rio" holds off "Madea"...

Via Box Office Mojo, The Numbers, and other sources:

Another strong weekend at the box office saw animated and family fare reap the benefits of a heavily attended Easter weekend. "Rio" retained the #1 spot in estimated box office figures, edging out Tyler Perry's latest Madea film, while "Hop" saw an expected Easter bump to cross the $100 million mark in gross earnings.

"Rio" dropped a modest 32% in estimated figures, moving its domestic 10-day box office gross to $81 million. Worldwide the film continues to have massive success, earning more than $202 million in 17 days. While tracking seems to indicate that "Fast Five", the fifth film in the "Fast & The Furious" franchise will debut strong in the April 29 box office weekend, "Rio" should hold on for a strong third weekend. No doubt about it, "Rio" is a bonafide smash.

The other animated feature in wide release, "Hop" saw an uptick of 16% in the Easter weekend, the holiday that the film is centered around. If estimates hold, "Hop" will become the third film to surpass $100 million so far in 2011, joining "Rango" and "Just Go With It" in achieving that milestone. Expectations are that "Hop" will freefall, perhaps as early as next weekend, with "Rio" delivering strong numbers and two other family films, "Hoodwinked Too..." and "Prom" attempting to pull dollars from the family audience.

NEW OPENINGS:

"Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family" was not the director's best opening but performed on pace with many of his other offerings. "...Family", the sixth film to feature Perry's grandmotherly Madea character, opened on more screens than any other Perry feature (2,288) and pulled in an estimated $25.7 million. Tyler Perry's films typically have two strong weekends and then decline rapidly in attendance, so this opening could foresee a total gross of approximately $50-$55 million when all is said and done.

Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon's "Water For Elephants" performed better than anticipated, landing in third place with approximately $17.5 million on a budget of $38 million. Curiously, it was Witherspoon's name who came first in the marketing of the film, perhaps because Pattinson's last non-"Twilight" feature, "Remember Me" was a huge box office disappointment. Although Pattinson's performance was the focal point of the film's mixed reviews, the film reportedly played well overall with audiences and should land in the high-$40 to mid $50 million range. Certainly an acceptable return theatrically for 20th Century Fox's anticipations.

DisneyNature's third consecutive Easter film opening, "African Cats", landed a solid $6.4 million estimated opening, placing it behind "Earth" and just ahead of "Oceans" in terms of success with the DisneyNature brand of documentaries. A total gross around $20 million should be expected for the well-received film, narrated by Samuel L. Jackson.

A look at some notable indies and more after the cut!

Sofia Coppola to team up again with Kirsten Dunst?

Apparently so. Here's the excerpt (not the full story since the rest of it just bashes 'Somewhere' and my opinion on the flick is very different, so I didn't include it) from The Playlist:

The twitter account of American Zoetrope, the production company run by Sofia’s father Francis Ford Coppola, which has backed all four of her pictures, announced a few hours ago that Coppola’s got a new film in the works, entitled “Secret Door,” and that Kirsten Dunst, who starred in both “The Virgin Suicides” and “Marie Antoinette” for the director, has signed on to appear in the film. The exact tweet reads: “Happy to announce that Kirsten Dunst has agreed to be in Sofia Coppola‘s new film ‘Secret Door’. Script is still being finished. Stay tuned!”

There are no further details on the film at this stage—“Secret Door” doesn’t apply to any obvious existing property that she could be adapting (there’s an Enid Blyton book, and an Arctic Monkeys song, but a link with either is unlikely), and the only unmade Coppola project that we’re aware of was a “European vampire” tale derailed by the success of the “Twilight” series, so this would appear to be something entirely new.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese discuss the birth of the Tribeca Film Festival...

...in this story from The Hollywood Reporter:

Robert De Niro was in midtown New York and heading downtown when the second plane hit the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Jane Rosenthal, his producing partner, was even closer, a block and a half from the first tower, on West Street. She would have been at the foot of the tower, except her driver had, miraculously, slowed at a yellow light. Filmmaker Edward Burns, on his way to do an interview for Sidewalks of New York, had just stepped out of the subway at Chambers Street. Director Martin Scorsese was at his East Side 62nd Street home preparing to go to a Brigitte Lacombe photography exhibition. From her office at 42nd and Sixth Avenue, HBO Documentaries president Sheila Nevins looked out her window and saw the smoke and dust rising.

As one response to that searing moment, the Tribeca Film Festival was launched in 2002 to help downtown New York overcome the devastating impact of the terrorist attacks, which enveloped the neighborhoods surrounding the World Trade Center in fear and financial ruin. Since then, it has generated $600 million in economic activity and has become a permanent community-building event in the heart of the city. Run by Tribeca Enterprises, the festival is now a for-profit entity that just about breaks even, according to co-founder Rosenthal. Built from passion, a belief in the bridge-building nature of film and an outpouring of good will, the first festival, which ran May 8 to 12, was willed into being by Rosenthal, her philanthropist husband, Craig Hatkoff, De Niro and more than a thousand volunteers in just five months.

Emile Hirsch joins the cast of Oliver Stone's next flick!

Via Variety:

Emile Hirsch has joined the fast-growing cast of Oliver Stone's "Savages."

Hirsch joins a cast that already stars Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Johnson and Benicio del Toro. And as Variety first reported, Blake Lively is at the top of Stone's list for the female lead.

Stone will helm and is currently revising the script by Don Winslow and Shane Salerno.

Based on Winslow's novel, story revolves around two Laguna Beach marijuana kingpins forced to work for the Mexican cartel after the girlfriend they casually share is kidnapped.

Moritz Bormann and Eric Kopelofff are producers. Universal will distribute with a production start date set for this summer.

Hirsch is currently filming "Motel Life" with Stephen Dorff. He is repped by WME.

-Joey's Two Cents: I'm hit or miss with Stone, but Hirsch is one of my favorite actors working, so I'm in...thoughts?

Today's Posters: The Help, Green Lantern, and Another Earth


The other two after the jump...

Friday, April 22, 2011

Here are 25 films to see at the Tribeca Film Festival...

...currently going on just blocks from me in New York City. Here's the list from Vulture:


This year’s Tribeca Film Festival began on April 20, and by the time it ends on May 1, 93 feature films will have screened. To figure out what to see with that many films available, you need professional guidance: That’s why Vulture's critics and writers watched as many of the films as we could before the fest — about two thirds of the offerings — to pick our top recommendations. (We also included a few that weren't made available for previewing, but that we're still anxious to see, bringing us to a list of 25.) We found that while some of the more celebrity-heavy films don't deliver, many others do — particularly in the very strong documentary lineup. Our picks range from a terrific documentary on school bullying (The Bully Project) to a Sam Shepard Western (Blackthorn) and a tense lesbian drama about Swedish friends on an equestrian acrobatics team (She Monkeys).

Tom Cruise to play a politician again?

Perhaps, according to Collider:

Warner Bros. beat out Fox, Paramount, MGM, and other studios to win a bidding war for an untitled pitch by screenwriter Dan Fogelman (Tangled). Tom Cruise is attached to star as a politician who is caught having an affair: “With his reputation in tatters, the politician retreats to his hometown to lick his wounds, repair relationships and confront his past.” The deal pays $2 million upfront, with $3 million promised if the movie gets made. This is the latest in a series of impressive spec script paydays for Fogelman. WB paid $2.5 million for his Crazy, Stupid, Love screenplay which led to a summer comedy starring Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, and Emma Stone. Fogelman will reunite with Carell for his directorial debut, Imagine — that script netted the writer $3 million. In addition to a story credit on Cars 2, Fogelman set up My Mother’s Curse at Paramount. So basically, start preparing for the imminent Fogelmanization of your local theater in the next couple years. More on the story after the jump.

Today's Trailers: 30 Minutes or Less, Another Earth, Life in a Day, and Submarine

First up is an amusing Red Band look at the upcoming summer action-comedy '30 Minutes or Less':
View the rest after the jump...

Jeremy Renner could star in The Bourne Legacy...

...according to The Hollywood Reporter:

There's barely enough Jeremy Renner to go around.

The Hurt Locker star, who was also Oscar nominated for his work in The Town last year, has been handed an offer for the starring role in Tony Gilroy's The Bourne Legacy. Gilroy, who wrote or co-wrote the first three films in Universal's Bourne saga, has been testing actors for the last few weeks to play a brand new lead character distinct from Matt Damon's Jason Bourne (Damon isn't returning). But Renner is the guy everybody wants right now.

The problem, as always, is scheduling. It took a while to work out his ability to star in Paramount's Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, which he's shooting now for a March release. That followed filming his role in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, also for Paramount, which hits theaters in December.

Then there's the little movie The Avengers, in which he plays Hawkeye for Marvel Studios and Disney. That comes out in May next year, but audiences will get a sneak peek at him in Thor, which Paramount hammers into theaters in two weeks to kick off the summer. Avengers starts shooting soon and will continue filming into August and September with Joss Whedon at the helm and a slew of other superheroes on set.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Want a look at the dinosaurs in The Tree of Life?

Of course you do, and we have that for you here (along with a bunch more things from Malick's film) courtesy of The Film Stage:

We got a tiny glimpse when Fox Searchlight debuted the theatrical poster for Terrence Malick‘s The Tree of Life, but now, with 36 days left before it debuts in the US, we have the the first high-resolution look at the dinosaurs in the film. Look no further if you don’t want to be spoiled. Check it out below and more photos from TwoWaysThroughLife.

23 Directors and Producers speak out on Premium VOD...

...in this open letter below:

AN OPEN LETTER FROM THE CREATIVE COMMUNITY ON PROTECTING THE MOVIE-GOING EXPERIENCE

We are the artists and business professionals who help make the movie business great. We produce and direct movies. We work on the business deals that help get movies made. At the end of the day, we are also simply big movie fans.
Lately, there’s been a lot of talk by leaders at some major studios and cable companies about early-to-the-home “premium video-on-demand.” In this proposed distribution model, new movies can be shown in homes while these same films are still in their theatrical run.

In this scenario, those who own televisions with an HDMI input would be able to order a film through their cable system or an Internet provider as a digital rental. Terms and timing have yet to be made concrete, but there has been talk of windows of 60 days after theatrical release at a price of $30.

Currently, the average theatrical release window is over four months (132 days). The theatrical release window model has worked for years for everyone in the movie business. Current theatrical windows protect the exclusivity of new films showing in state-of-the-art theaters bolstered by the latest in digital projection, digital sound, and stadium seating.

Today's Trailers: The High Cost of Living, The Change-Up, The Art of Getting By, and Chimpanzee

First on tap today is an intriguing indie drama playing currently at the Tribeca Film Festival called 'The High Cost of Living':

The other trailers are up after the jump...

Catherine Zeta-Jones joins the impressive cast of Rock of Ages!

From The Hollywood Reporter:

Catherine Zeta-Jones is in final negotiations to join the cast of director Adam Shankman’s musical Rock of Ages.

Zeta-Jones, who won a best supporting actress Oscar for 2002's big screen musical Chicago, will play the villain of the movie, a part that was not in the stage production.

“It’s a character that we only really came to in the last month,” said Shankman. “The character was invented to streamline the stories.”

Shankman described the character as "if Tipper Gore and Anita Bryant had a love child. She is this hardcore, moral majority, arch-conservative who wants to shut down rock’n roll in the great city of Los Angeles."
“It’s like the musical gods just blessed us!” he said regarding Zeta-Jones’ boarding.
Based on the Broadway musical, the New Line production, which is scheduled to begin shooting May 19 in Miami, is also set to star newcomer Diego Gonzalez Boneta along with Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Mary J. Blige, Paul Giamatti and Julianne Hough.

Ages tells the story, replete with hair-band music, of a small-town girl (Hough) who comes to Hollywood for the 1980s music scene and is nearly destroyed by it. Although she falls for a budding musician named Drew (Boneta), she also catches the eye of Stacee Jaxx (Cruise), an arrogant rocker at the height of his career, ends up as a stripper in a club run by Blige but also finds true love at the end.

Today's Posters: X-Men: First Class, The Change-Up, Wilde Salome, and Abduction


The rest after the cut...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"Restrepo" Co-Director Reportedly Killed in Libya

The news was first reported by Business Insider, but has now been picked up by Huffington Post (article below) and confirmed by the Associated Press:

Two highly acclaimed photojournalists have been killed in Libya, it was reported Wednesday.

Tim Hetherington, an Oscar-nominated filmmaker and photographer, and Chris Hondros, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated photojournalist, were reported to have been killed in the city of Misrata while covering fighting between Muammar Gaddafi's forces and Libyan rebels. Andre Liohn, a fellow photographer who was injured during the same battle, wrote on Facebook on Wednesday that the two had died "when covering the front line." Liohn initially said that Hetherington had died, but soon wrote on his wall, "Chris Hondros died now."

Further details are sketchy. It is not clear what exactly happened, or how the two men died.

Hetherington was a contributing photographer for Vanity Fair, and co-directed the Afghan war film "Restrepo" with author Sebastian Junger. Hondros' war photography has appeared in countless publications, and he was nominated for a Pulitzer in 2004.

The war in Libya has been intensely dangerous for journalists. The deaths of Hetherington and Hondros bring the number of journalists killed to at least three.

Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are confirmed for The Dark Knight Rises!

Via The Hollywood Reporter:

Warner Bros confirmed today that Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt have joined the cast of The Dark Knight Rises, which is being billed as the “conclusion of the Dark Knight legend,” meaning the end of Christopher Nolan’s run on the Batman movies.

The two have been in various stages of negotiations for months, with much speculation on who the two are playing.
The studio said Cotillard will play as Miranda Tate, a Wayne Enterprises board member eager to help a still-grieving Bruce Wayne resume his father’s philanthropic endeavors for Gotham.

Gordon-Levitt will play John Blake, a Gotham City beat cop assigned to special duty under the command of Commissioner Gordon.

Both worked with Nolan on Inception.

“When you collaborate with people as talented as Marion and Joe, it comes as no surprise that you would want to repeat the experience. I immediately thought of them for the roles of Miranda and Blake, and I am looking forward to working with both of them again,” Nolan said in a statement.

The Dark Knight Rises is slated for release on July 20, 2012.

-Joey's Two Cents: I like that they're not playing who we expect them to be playing, though it could still mean that they're going to end up as iconic figures, just with a different back-story...thoughts?

There's finally a director in place for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies...

...and that person will be using David O. Russell's script, according to Collider:

The adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s novelty book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has been cycling through directors for over a year. In December 2009, David O. Russell came on board to write and direct, but left the following October. Then in November, Mike White (Year of the Dog) signed on to direct, but he dropped out last January. Now Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl) has the gig and he has given his first interview on his plans for the film.

The most interesting fact he provides is that he’ll use O. Russell’s script, because “it has such a great mix of humor and horror. I just love being able to juggle those two aspects.” Hit the jump for more on what Gillespie had to say about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Today's Trailers: Terri, Abduction, and Love Wedding Marriage

First up today is the indie comedy 'Terri':

The other two trailers after the jump:

Robert Pattinson could be playing Jeff Buckley?

The Playlist reveals that he's met with Buckley's mother about the role:

We guess the producers behind the upcoming Jeff Buckley biopic aren’t laughing anymore. Earlier in the year, a report popped up in the U.K. press that Robert Pattinson was being considered to take on the role of the late singer. When we reached out to one of the producers on the film at the time they denied those rumors saying, “I did see [the U.K. report], it’s pretty funny.”

Well, it looks like there is actual movement happening on that front (though he’s probably just one of a handful of young actors taking meetings). In an interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer (via Bleeding Cool) Pattinson revealed, “I met his mom [Mary Guibert] who’s really great.” As for whether or not he’ll get the part, it’s too early to tell. “I don’t know,” he said. “It’s really not up to me. I love Jeff’s music. He was amazing.”

Earlier this month, it was revealed that the long-gestating biopic was finally moving forward with Jake Scott (”Welcome To The Rileys”) directing. The film will use David Browne‘s book “Dream Brother: The Lives and Music of Jeff and Tim Buckley,” as a resource and will have a script by Ryan Jaffe (”The Rocker”) with full access to Buckley’s catalog of music to tell his tragic tale.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Joey's DVD Picks of the Week (4/19/2011)

This week, there's a welcome return to the bigger DVD hauls of weeks past. 3 of the releases this week received 3 and a half stars from me, with 1 of them actually cracking my top 10 list last year. All in all, this is one of the better releases days in a while, for me at least. It's a pleasing thought after some of the annoyingly lacking weeks that have preceded this. So let us rejoice! (Also, Happy Passover!)
For my PICK OF THE WEEK this time around, I went with one of my favorite films of 2010. I was in the minority with my deep admiration for the flick, but I'm getting used to that one as of late. Regardless, I love this movie. It's:

Somewhere

Sofia Coppola's deliberate meditation on celebrity and absentee parenting is sparse and intentionally obtuse, but somehow it worked for me in a big way. This film takes its time, and where some movies of this nature come off as too pretentious and turn the viewer off, this one becomes hypnotic and poetic. Coppola already made one masterpiece with Lost In Translation, and while I don't think this is on that level, it's still a rather great film. Throw in a performance by Stephen Dorff that shows previously untapped talent as well as an outstanding job by Elle Fanning that ranked as one of my very favorite supporting roles last year, and this is a winner of a film. It cracked my Top 10 of 2010 list last year, and now that it's out on DVD, I again recommend that you seek it out. It's not for everyone, but if you can take the pace, you'll be rewarded.

-Also out getting good marks from me are the defending Oscar champion The King's Speech and the heartbreaking grievance drama Rabbit Hole. There's been more than enough said about the former, and not enough about the latter. Both are very good movies (with winning performances all around), and deserve a place on DVD shelves. I'll concede that the first flick is overrated while arguing that the second is underrated, but overall they're of similar quality. Give them both a shot if you missed either in theaters, they're definitely worth your time.

Did Kevin Smith already make his budget back with the Red State Roadshow Tour?

It certainly appears as such. In his latest post to The Red Statements (found here), he goes over the numbers (after a passage about how much Quentin Tarantino enjoyed the film) that the movie has made so far, and what it's got coming its way. Here's the relevant data from Kevin Smith himself:

Over the course of the 15 shows of the Red State USA Tour, we made almost one million dollars from ticket and merchandise sales. A few times, we had the highest per screen average in the country. We started out with a record-making show at Radio City Music Hall and went on to average 1100 people per screening. Had we booked ourselves into smaller houses, we could’ve SOLD OUT every show; but being in the larger houses cost us nothing extra.

And apparently, we managed to pull 1100 a night solely from our podcasts: when asked nightly if they heard about the show from a show at SModcast.com, an overwhelming 85/90% of the audience indicated yes (Jon swears it was 100% in Seattle). That bodes well for SIR.

You take what we made on the tour, you add that to the $1.5mil we’ve pulled in from foreign sales thus far (with a few big territories yet to sell). Add to that $3mil we’re on the verge of closing for all North American distribution rights excluding theatrical (which means VOD/HomeVideo/PayTV/Streaming).

The flick cost $5mil to make, but $4mil after the California tax incentive. One of the only things Jon and I promised the Red State investors in exchange for letting us handle American theatrical distribution ourselves was that their $4mil would be covered as soon as possible – something very few other production entities can promise or even offer. Invest a million dollars in almost any production, and you rarely if ever get your money back within five years, let alone the one year it’s looking like it’s gonna take for our guys to make their money back.

Add up all those figures above and you’ll notice our gains are higher than our spending. And without any dopey marketing figures to have to recoup, once we close the aforementioned deals (which Jonn Sloss & LawCo are working to close as we speak), simple math dictates Red State is in the black – long before any wide release. That’s music to the ears of any investor who only put up their money in September.

Ta-da!

Here's the Trailer for The Help!

An Oscar contender this year? Judge for yourself:

-Joey's Two Cents: I think Emma Stone might have a chance, but it's way too early to tell...thoughts?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Box Office Actuals: April 15-17, 2011

Via Box Office Mojo, The Numbers, and other sources:

Despite a slight overestimation, "Rio" still delivered the biggest opening weekend of 2011 with $39.2 million in box office receipts. "Rio" was just the latest in a steady stream of popular animated features for the year, following in the footsteps of "Hop", "Rango", and "Gnomeo and Juliet". "Rio" has already amassed $170 million in worldwide box office, as the film was released overseas a week ahead of its North American release.

"Rio"'s success was supposed to be in concert with comparable numbers for the much anticipated "Scream 4", a rekindling of the 90's franchise that earned $300 million domestically from its initial trio of films. 11 years went by, the stars of the franchise traveled up and down the A-list, but back together once more, excitement was there. Some terrific reviews, with most of them average-to-good, did not translate to audience. An opening Friday led to a diminished interest as the weekend went on and the film opened to a disappointing $18.7 million. The hopes of a comparable final gross are seemingly dashed as this muted "Scream" should earn approximately $50-$55 million by the end of its run.

Although initially reported as a Top 10 debut for Robert Redford and Roadside Attractions, "The Conspirator" opened at #11 with actual receipts counted. Top 10 debut or not, the film still delivered a comparable number to its estimate with $3.5 million earned at 707 locations. "The Conspirator" has become the largest opening gross for a Roadside Attractions film and could move past the Oscar-nominated "Winter's Bone" ($6.5 million) and "Bella" ($8.1 million) as the upstart's biggest success to date.

The Tea Party-endorsed "Atlas Shrugged Part I" amassed an intriguing $1.7 million at a mere 299 locations. The film, an adaptation from the writings of Ayn Rand, drew miserable reviews from critics but supporters of the film used those dismissals as a galvanizing effort in getting out to see the film. Rocky Mountain Films released the film strategically around the country and received a large amount of promotion for Right-wing and Republican-themed talk shows. This attention allowed Rocky Mountain to save on buying TV ad spots and other expensive marketing vehicles. Time will tell if this is going to sustain a second weekend and Rocky Mountain had not yet announced whether they would be expanding the film this coming weekend.

"Win Win" continues to grow and more analysis after the cut: