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In Theaters This Weekend (4/11)

Prom Night

Here are some possible suggestions for your upcoming weekend:

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This Week on HD DVD and Blu-ray: January 08, 2008

Zodiac HD DVDThis week marks the release of the first batch of high-definition DVDs since on-the-fence Warner landed decidedly on the Blu side; I must admit, as an HD DVD man, the day feels a bit colder than normal. But no matter—the format war is far from over.

On a lighter note, both formats have some exciting titles to speak of, including the Blu-ray release of one of my favorite movies from 2007, Sunshine; Roman Polanski’s Oscar-winning film, The Pianist, on HD DVD; and the long-awaited special edition of David Fincher’s Zodiac, also on HD DVD. The DVD release from July contained nary a special feature, so this two-disc director’s cut ought to please those Fincher fans waiting for a decent version.

Check out the full list of high-def releases after the jump.

Click to continue reading This Week on HD DVD and Blu-ray: January 08, 2008


Brad Pitt, Edward Norton Reunion A Bust

Brad Pitt and Edward NortonIt was probably one of the most buzzed about reunions since and were brought back together again.  Now it looks like we might have to wait another 8 years to see it happen.

Back in September, it was announced that and would join forces for the political drama, .  The two, last seen together in 1999’s , were next set to spar in the political arena.  Pitt was cast as former campaign manager-turned-reporter while Edward was scheduled to play a congressman whose research assistant is murdered.  I use the word ‘was’ because Play’s two core stars have since dropped out. 

Unhappy with the final script, Pitt eventually backed out of the film.  Although had agreed to step in, his late arrival pushed the starting date from November to January.  This change unfortunately posed a scheduling conflict for Norton, who was then forced to exit as well.  It is now hoped that will slide in his place.  (I for some reason doubt the Crowe/Affleck chemistry could even come close to the original pairing’s.)

Assuming no other last minute changes are made, the movie - an adaptation of a British mini-series - will also feature , , and .

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Variety


Box Office Breakdown: Audiences Enchanted With Disney

Enchanted

Throw comedy, drama, animation, romance, sci-fi, hunky actors, pretty actresses, singing, dancing, kids and cute animals all into one film and you’ll get .  You’ll also have latest holiday success.

The film, starring -nominated actress , grossed nearly $50 million over the 5-day weekend ($34 million from Friday-Sunday).  Enchanted’s take places it behind 1999’s Toy Story 2 - the film with the largest Thanksgiving debut ever ($80.1 million).

Last week’s champion, , fell into 3rd place right behind another holiday opener, .  The movies took in $23.3 and $26.3 million, respectively, during the long stretch.

Although the sappy opened in a disappointing 7th place, the DVD release of this week should make actress - and her fans - feel a bit better.

 

Click to continue reading Box Office Breakdown: Audiences Enchanted With Disney

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E! Online


Box Office Breakdown: Fred Claus No Match for Jerry Seinfeld

Bee Movie

In a shocking turn of events, came buzzing back to life this weekend stealing the #1 spot from recent victor, Bee’s $25 million take also embarrassed the newest comedic entry, .

Although fellow ‘Frat Packer’ rang bells with November 2003’s Elf, couldn’t come close to matching his friend’s $31.1 million debut.  The news was especially surprising given Vaughn and director David Dobkin’s recent collaboration on 2005’s Wedding Crashers.  Could this mean Vaughn’s only appealing when he’s part of a larger comedic team?

Also noteworthy this weekend was the disappointing performance of Lions wasn’t expected to take in Mission Impossible-esque numbers, but the film did still boast , and actor/director .  As it was, the movie grossed less than any other Cruise-attached wide release in more than 20 years.  At least Streep can say this topical film debuted higher than her last attempt ().

, the only other new Top Ten entry, racked up ninth place.

Click to continue reading Box Office Breakdown: Fred Claus No Match for Jerry Seinfeld


Review: ‘American Gangster’

Go see American GangsterAmerican Gangster is based on the true story of Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington), an African American drug kingpin in 1970s Harlem who smuggles heroin in the caskets of dead soldiers returning from Vietnam. Lucas buys the drug wholesale from the source and sells a more purer form at half the price, effectively putting his competition out of business and making him one of the most powerful men in New York. Russell Crowe plays Detective Richie Roberts, a straight-laced cop who is assigned to solve the city's drug problem.

Bottom line: Ridley Scott turns a spellbinding American story into a riveting three hours of cinema. I foresee Oscar nominations abound for this flick.

Check out my detailed review after the jump and find out which Goonie put out one hell of a performance.

Click to continue reading Review: ‘American Gangster’


Box Office Breakdown: A Gangbusters Weekend for Washington, Crowe

American Gangster

Combine and star-wattage and you’re bound to get a hit.  But did anyone expect a $43 million debut for ?  Why did these Oscar-winners do so well when others have only done okay?  How did an R-rated film beat out an animated PG flick?  Why didn’t the movie’s long running-time (157 minutes) turn people away?

Gangster’s #1 spot was just one of the film’s many weekend achievements.  The movie also marked the biggest opening weekend for both lead actors (Russell’s Gladiator earned $35 million; Washington’s Inside Man grossed $29 million).  It also had the 2nd best debut for a drama in November (right behind 2002’s 8 Mile).

Unfortunately, all this good news was lost on comedian —the hardest working self-promoter of 2007.  Even though spent countless hours of airtime sucking up to its former Golden Boy, Seinfeld’s was stung with a 2nd place finish.  Although $38 million take is nothing to complain about, I expect next week’s will slide right in to become the week’s best-grossing comedy.

 

Click to continue reading Box Office Breakdown: A Gangbusters Weekend for Washington, Crowe


In Theaters This Weekend (11/2)

American Gangster
  • American Gangster (R):  starring Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe (directed by Ridley Scott)
  • Bee Movie (PG):  starring Jerry Seinfeld, Renee Zellweger (directed by Steve Hickner, Simon Smith)
  • Martian Child (PG):  starring John Cusack, Amanda Peet (directed by Menno Meyjes)
  • Wristcutters: A Love Story (R):  starring Patrick Fugit, Shannyn Sossamon (directed by Goran Dukic)
  • Darfur Now* (PG):  starring Don Cheadle, George Clooney (directed by Ted Braun)

*limited or gradual release


Box Office Breakdown: The Rock Upsets The Heartbreak Kid

The Heartbreak Kid

Despite what you may have learned in school, + The Farrelly Brothers does not necessarily equal box office gold.

The team behind There’s Something About Mary took a backseat to last weekend’s winner:  The Game PlanThe Heartbreak Kid, a remake of the 1972 Neil Simon comedy, raked in only $14 million.  While Mary did open with a smaller gross back in 1998 ($13.7M), it’s doubtful this critically-panned movie will become another sleeper hit for the trio.  Thankfully co-star will have the upcoming Gone Baby Gone to wash this disappointment away.

The only other new entries into the Top 10 included the fantasy flick, The Seeker ($3.7M), and the J.Lo-produced dance film, Feel the Noise ($3.1M).  Meanwhile, the well-reviewed Michael Clayton pulled impressive numbers in limited release ($46,000 per screen).  Expect the vehicle to open wide this weekend.

 

Click to continue reading Box Office Breakdown: The Rock Upsets The Heartbreak Kid


Box Office Breakdown:  The Game Plan Scores the Win

The Game Plan

The execs at Disney must be loving themselves this week.  Not only are are they attached to one of hottest concert tours of the year, they have just taken a surprise win at the box office.  Although many had predicted good things for the terrorism thriller, The Kingdom, a simple father/daughter bonding film moved theatergoers this weekend.

At $22.9 million, The Game Plan took in almost $6 million more than the / vehicle. The movie about a football player who meets the daughter he never knew he had (how exactly is that a Disney storyline?) gave “The Rock” his second best opening (behind 2002’s The Scorpion King).

Meanwhile, Julie Taymor’s Across the Universe made its first entry into the Top 10.  After several weeks in limited release, the musical—which uses 33 Beatles songs to tell its story—will expand into more theaters come October 12th. 

Click to continue reading Box Office Breakdown:  The Game Plan Scores the Win


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