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Box Office Breakdown: Tropic Thunder Wins the Death Race

Jason Statham in Death Race

Although it was widely believed that (hunky) Jason Statham would emerge as this weekend’s winner, somehow managed to hold its ground. The comedy, which only raked in $16.2 million during this outing, became the third movie this year to make a repeat appearance at #1. (The other two films were those giant blockbusters called Iron Man and The Dark Knight.)

Overall, this was an unimpressive weekend for films. Theatergoers probably confused (like me) by Joan Allen’s participation only poured $12.6 million of their dollars into . Meanwhile, The House Bunny became this week’s highest-grossing chick alternative (Sorry, Sisterhood!) with its $14.5 million gross.

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Variety


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Box Office Breakdown: Dark Knight Struck Down by Tropic Thunder

Tropic Thunder

Despite a somewhat disappointing opening last Wednesday ($6.5 million), actually managed to surpass the four-time box office winner. The comedy grossed $25.8 million over the past three days, nearly $10 million more than its caped competitor.

And while Ben Stiller should be happy by his movie’s accomplishment, the Dreamworks/Paramount film still left a lot to be desired. Recent comedies such as Get Smart ($38.6 million) and Step Brothers ($30.9 million) debuted to better numbers. But then those two films didn’t have a distraction like Michael Phelps to contend with.

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Variety


In Theaters This Week: August 13, 2008

Tropic Thunder

Once again, theatergoers will have new options to choose from this Wednesday:

Details on Tom Cruise’s Tropic Thunder Role

Tom Cruise on set of Tropic ThunderWhile Robert Downey Jr. will undoubtedly be the most talked about thing in Tropic Thunder, word has it Tom Cruise will also be getting a lot of the attention.

In the upcoming comedy (you can view the trailer here), Cruise will be setting aside any vanity to play his least glamorous part to date. For his role as Les Grossman, an angry studio exec, the Mission Impossible actor will be donning a fat suit. Co-star Ben Stiller says several incorporated ideas - such as big hairy hands and dancing - actually came from Tom. “I actually didn’t have to sell him on anything,” said Stiller.

Could this be the character that finally overshadows visions of couch jumping? Probably not. But I’m sure it’ll help.

(A small tip: If you plan on watching the movie, make sure to stay through the credits.)

hits theaters next Wednesday, Aug. 13.

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People


Justin Theroux to Pen Iron Man 2

Justin TherouxMarvel Studios is just about to place its highly-anticipated sequel in the hands of a relative newcomer. At least a newcomer to writing, that is.

Although he’s probably better known for his dark roles (Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle) and fare (Mulholland Drive, Six Feet Under), the past year has been one of creative change for Justin Theroux. In 2007, the actor directed his first movie, Dedication, starring Billy Crudup and Mandy Moore. And for next month’s , Justin’s name will be listed in the writing, producing and acting categories.

Now he’s being asked to write .

Strong early screenings of the Ben Stiller comedy reportedly brought Theroux to the negotiating table with . Meanwhile, the studio is still working on sealing deals with Robert Downey Jr. (also in Tropic) and director Jon Favreau.

If all goes as planned, Iron Man 2 should hit theaters on April 30, 2010.

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Variety


Robert Downey Jr. Will Star In Competing Sherlock Holmes

Robert Downey Jr.We now know who Team Ferrell/Cohen will eventually have to face off against at the box office: .

Just last week, we told you that former Talledega Nights co-stars Will Ferrell and Sacha Baron Cohen would be reuniting for film about Sherlock Holmes. Unfortunately, their Columbia Pictures comedy did not have a director or release date attached to it yet. It also faced comparison to a similar project being formed at another studio.

Now Warner Bros. has announced that will be donning the detective’s cap for their take on the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle novels. While there will most likely be tone differences between the two movies, Downey’s version will reportedly be “less stuffy” than what we have seen in the past.

The Guy Ritchie film will start production in October (before the Columbia version) in hopes of a October 2009 opening.

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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


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


Jon Favreau Blogs, Rants About Iron Man 2

Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr. question Iron Man 2 dates

What’s an actor-turned-big-time-director to do once he’s catapulted into major success, forced to take on a sequel without having been consulted about anything concerning the project? Rant about your bosses and their absurdity in your MySpace blog! At least, that’s the route Iron Man director Jon Favreau took.

Actively participating in a MySpace forum to appease film geeks’ questions, Favreau complains, “Neither Robert [Downey Jr.] nor I were consulted about this and we are both concerned about how realistic the date is. We owe it to the fans to have a great version of IM2 and, at this point, we would have less time to make it than the first one.”

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E! Online


Box Office Breakdown: Kung Fu Panda Fights Off Competition

Kung Fu Panda

Theatergoers in need of more family-friendly fare pushed to the top of the charts this past weekend. The comedy - and its $60.2 million take - was the third best animated opener for DreamWorks Animation (behind the first two Shrek films) and the 8th of all time (just ahead of Cars). Panda was also the first time a Jack Black film debuted at #1.

Meanwhile, another laugher was raking in impressive numbers of its own. - the latest production from Adam Sandler - grossed $38.5 million to take second place. Zohan‘s total falls in line with the rest of Sandler’s films from the past 10 years. Since 1998, the actor’s comedic projects have all seen $30+ million opens. (Last year’s I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry took in $34.2 million.)

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Variety


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