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Box Office Breakdown: High School Musical at the Top of the Class

High School Musical 3: Senior Year

This past week, the multiplexes had a little bit of something for everyone: politics, animals, music, dancing, thrillers, Oscar contenders and even horror. Not surprisingly, this meant a lot of dollars were shelled out in return.

As expected, the big screen debut of had tweeners (and their loving parents) all atwitter. Thanks to a $42 million debut, the G-rated film officially became the best musical opener of all time. (Mamma Mia! - with its $27.8 million - was the previous leader.)

Meanwhile, a film on the other end of the ratings spectrum was scaring up some decent dollars of its own. , which probably could have waited to premiere on Halloween, took in approximately $30 million over the last three days. Although it was pitted against the highly-anticipated Disney sequel, the movie carved out its own audience and raised first place-worthy numbers. Although the series is currently on its fifth life, the 2008 installment came within $4 million dollars of Saw III, the franchise’s best performer to date.

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Box Office Breakdown: Max Payne Outvotes W for #1

Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis in Max Payne

Even though was the host of last Saturday’s SNL, it was Mark Wahlberg - a minor player on that same show - who ended up on top.

This past weekend, finally managed to do what no other movie has done yet: take Beverly Hills Chihuahua down. The video game adaptation earned $17.6 million putting nearly $6 million between itself and the family flick.

Surprisingly, a whole Oprah show dedicated to couldn’t provide that star-studded cast enough buzz. Despite a $10.5 million take, the drama still placed behind the four-legged film. (Bee did, though, earn more per theater than any Top Ten entry.) Meanwhile, Oliver Stone’s latest project did a respectable job for a politically-themed movie. W. also raked in $10.5 million this weekend, narrowly missing third place.

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Variety


In Theaters This Weekend: October 17, 2008

W.

Here are some possible suggestions for your upcoming weekend:

  • Max Payne (PG-13): starring Mark Wahlberg, Beau Bridges, Mila Kunis (directed by John Moore)
  • The Secret Life of Bees (PG-13): starring Queen Latifah, Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Hudson (Gina Prince-Bythewood)
  • Sex Drive (R): starring Clark Duke, Josh Zuckerman, Amanda Crew (directed by Sean Anders)
  • W. (PG-13): starring Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Banks, Richard Dreyfuss (directed by Oliver Stone)

Click to continue reading In Theaters This Weekend: October 17, 2008


Casting Corner: Mark Wahlberg, James Franco, Jennifer Lopez

Mark Wahlberg

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

Former Rolling Stone journalist Evan Wright is currently working with Paramount to bring his next project to the big screen. Wright’s 2004 book, Generation Kill, is currently airing on as a mini-series. Now Evan has signed a deal to adapt something he is still writing.

Cocaine Cowboys - not to be confused with the 2006 documentary by the same name - will tell the story of Jon Roberts, a real-life drug trafficker who wound up working with the Medellin drug cartel. Interestingly enough, has signed on to star and co-produce the adaptation. Those familiar with Entourage - a show Mark created - may remember that Vincent Chase fought hard to get the lead role in the movie Medellin.

Director (Hancock) has been tapped to helm the project.

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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


Will There Be a Departed Trilogy?

The Departed

Is it possible to have too much of a good thing?

While we’ve grown accustomed to sequel news as of late (e.g. Indiana Jones, Rambo, Beverly Hills Cop), here’s something we haven’t heard a while: we might soon just see a follow-up to an actual Academy Award winner.

In interview with MTV, Mark Wahlberg confirms that Martin Scorsese (with screenwriter William Monahan) may be developing a sequel and a prequel for . While some may be surprised by this announcement, the idea is not completely far-fetched. The 2007 winner for Best Picture was a remake of Infernal Affairs, a Chinese movie that also spawned two other films.

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MTV Movies


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


Box Office Breakdown: The Incredible Hulk Pulls in the Green

The Incredible Hulk

It looks like ticket buyers are willing to give some things a second chance after all…

Despite horrible reviews for 2003’s Hulk, wary theatergoers turned out in big numbers for the latest big-screen version of . The newest rendition, starring Edward Norton and Liv Tyler, came in first place after earning $55 million during the past three days. While that total falls behind Ang Lee’s version (that movie debuted with $62 million), it did better than expected. The 2008 update had the best showing for any film over Father’s Day weekend (passing Silver Surfer‘s $58 million) and should also have a longer shelf life thanks to favorable word of mouth.

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Variety


In Theaters This Weekend (6/13)

The Happening

Here are some possible suggestions for your upcoming weekend:

Box Office Breakdown: Saw Slices Its Way to #1

Saw IV

This weekend’s success of proved that ‘torture porn’ is very much alive and well…at least right before All Hallows Eve.  (Apparently originality is not a prerequisite when you’re in the haunting mood.)  The horror series, which took in $55 million domestically when it debuted in 2004, bloodied the competition with its recent $31 million take.  It will now likely hit the $80 million mark the last two installments surpassed.

Although , lagged behind with only $11 million, the film at least managed to place second.  Hopefully Dan will have legs in the weeks to come; it’s a nice counter-programming option for those desperately seeking romance on their date nights.  Those hunting for acceptable kids fare may have it a bit harder though—- which probably explains why has remained firmly planted in the Top Five.

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