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Casting Corner: Cate Blanchett, Leonardo DiCaprio, Megan Fox and More

Cate Blanchett

Here’s a quick look at some of the casting announcements made recently:

Cate Blanchett: The Benjamin Button actress will be paired with a new leading man for her next feature. Blanchett was recently tapped to replace Sienna Miller in the latest version of the Robin Hood tale. Cate will star as Maid Marian opposite Russell Crowe’s Robin of Loxley. The movie, previously titled Nottingham, will be helmed by by Crowe’s favorite director, Ridley Scott.

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Box Office Breakdown: New Life for Oscar Contenders

Slumdog Millionaire

Nominations? doesn’t need any stinkin’ nominations…

Although the 78-year-old was recently overlooked by the Academy, the actor/director still got some respect from the paying public. This past weekend, landed softly into third place and, most importantly, topped the actual Best Picture contenders.

But that’s not to say a nomination is pointless. Last week’s #10, Slumdog Millionaire, jumped 5 positions this week after nabbing 10 nods on Thursday. (It also bested Torino’s per screen average.) Meanwhile, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - thanks to 13 nominations - found itself reentering the Top Ten.

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Read More | Variety

Box Office Breakdown: Gran Torino Expands to a Win

Gran Torino

He may have lost out to Bruce Springsteen last night, but Clint Eastwood was still a big winner this weekend. After 4 weeks in limited theaters, the 78-year-old’s film became the top movie in wide release.

Eastwood’s directorial project not only pulled in $29.4 million over the last three days ($40.5 million to date), it outranked the vehicles from Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise and Will Smith. also earned the best per screen average of any charter in the Top Ten.

Despite opening on approximately 600 more screens than the first place finisher, #2’s grossed nearly $4000 less per theater. The Kate Hudson-Anne Hathaway comedy also averaged less than #3’s The Unborn.

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Read More | Variety

Box Office Breakdown: Marley & Me Ends 2008 on Top

Marley & Me

Aside from a few changes at the bottom of this week’s Top Ten, every single movie remained planted in their positions from last Monday. Since Friday’s new entries (Good, Defiance) were only offered in limited release, there really wasn’t much of a battle.

Over the last three days, tacked on another $24 million and officially crossed the $100 million mark. The Fox adaptation became the 25th film from 2008 to accomplish that. Meanwhile, the only new charter was #10’s . Although it was only shown in 612 theaters (that’s down two from last week), the Fox Searchlight feature helped push The Spirit down to #13. The probable Oscar contender also earned a better per screen average than all the films ahead of it.

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Read More | Variety

Box Office Breakdown: Marley & Me is the Weekend’s Top Dog

Marley & Me

When it comes to the box office, has no problem pushing best friends (Courteney Cox), exes (Brad Pitt) or former leading men (Jim Carrey) aside.

After a record-breaking Christmas Day, pulled in approximately $36.4 million over the last three days. The PG-rated film, which earned nearly $51 million since December 25, gave Aniston bragging rights and Owen Wilson his best Friday-Sunday gross ever.

Although he eventually lost out to Jen, Brad Pitt really had nothing to complain about. , the weekend’s #3 finisher, had the 2nd best ($12 million) Christmas day opening. Meanwhile, Bedtime Stories - starring Adam Sandler and Courteney Cox - now ranks 3rd ($10.6 million) on the all-time Dec. 25 debuts list.

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Read More | Variety

In Theaters This Holiday Week: December 25, 2008

The Spirit

Here are some possible suggestions for your holiday weekend:

Box Office Breakdown: Hancock Soars to #1

Hancock

For theatergoers, the Fourth of July holiday has come to mean fireworks, barbecues….and now . This past weekend, the powerhouse’s latest blockbuster, , took in over $62 million giving Smith his eighth straight #1 debut. In total, the Sony Pictures production grossed nearly $104 million during a 5 1/2 day period.

In addition to being Will’s second-best opener ever ( set his record), Hancock was the actor’s fifth movie to reach first place over the same holiday weekend. (Men in Black, Men in Black II, Independence Day and Wild Wild West were the other four.) The Peter Berg film also became the third best July 4th grosser behind Transformers and Spider-Man 2.

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Variety


Box Office Breakdown: Wall-E and Wanted Both Winners

Wall-E

Although we haven’t yet reached the 4th of July weekend, theatergoers apparently had plenty of time and money to spend over the past three days. And while a cute robot had the honor of placing first, also came out a winner herself.

When the final numbers were tallied, Wall-E and each wound up grossing over $50 million since Friday. The Disney/Pixar film edged out the action flick by nearly $13 million dollars, but the comic book adaptation had the best per screen average for any entry in the Top Ten ($16,040). Meanwhile, both films forced a few rewrites in the history books.

  • had the third largest debut for a Pixar film. It’s total fell behind The Incredibles ($70.5 million) and Finding Nemo ($70.2 million).
  • The animated comedy also had the best Friday open for any Pixar release.
  • The James McAvoy feature topped all R-rated premieres during the month of June.
  • Wanted also gave Jolie her largest first weekend ever.

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Variety


Box Office Breakdown: Steve Carell Outsmarts Mike Myers

The Love Guru

What was being billed as a huge comedy showdown turned out to be a pathetic fight. The debut of easily outperformed Mike Myers’ live-action return to nab the #1 spot this past weekend.

Smart, starring Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway and Dwayne Johnson, picked up $38.6 million over the past three days - nearly $20 million more than . The big-screen adaptation of the ‘60s television series also averaged $9891 per screen, over twice as much as Guru ($4617) did.

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Variety


See Brad Pitt Grow Younger in Benjamin Button

In this adaptation of a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, reunites with , his director on Seven.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button tells the story of an 80-year-old man who was born in 1919. But unlike most life stories, this one starts off on quite an unusual note. Button, who was “born under unusual circumstances,” grows younger while everybody else gets older.


Benjamin, which also stars Oscar-winners and Tilda Swinton, opens this December.

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New York Daily News


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