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Rooney Mara for Spike Jonze Movie

Rooney Mara and Spike Jonze

Rooney Mara will replace Carey Mulligan in Spike Jonze's latest film.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo actress is set to take a role in the untitled drama, which Carey dropped out of citing "scheduling conflicts," and although details have been kept a secret it will feature a man who falls in love with the voice of a computer. It is also thought to include scientists gathering to discuss catastrophic events.

Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams and Samantha Morton will all star in the project although it is unclear which parts everyone will play.


Box Office Breakdown: Christmas Carol Wins, Precious Soars

Disney's A Christmas Carol

We’re still weeks away from Thanksgiving, but theatergoers already have Christmas on their minds.

, the umpteenth version of the Charles Dickens tale, brought the story back to life with a visual rendition. Robert Zemeckis’ latest holiday creation earned over $30 million, surpassing Polar Express’ open by $7 million. Although the Jim Carrey film didn’t come close to its reported $180 million budget, Carol still has weeks to go before Avatar takes over 3D screens.

Meanwhile, a film with no bells or whistles made an impact just outside the Top 10. , Sundance’s Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize winner, broke a record while in limited release. The 12th place entry averaged a whopping $104,025 this weekend over only 18 theaters. That’s the largest per screen average for any film opening in more than 10 locations.

Click to continue reading Box Office Breakdown: Christmas Carol Wins, Precious Soars

Read More | Variety

Box Office Breakdown: That Was It for Paranormal Activity

Michael Jackson's This Is It

Based on the numbers from the past week, it looks like This Is It should remain in theaters longer than two weeks. Oh wait - it will.

Since opening late Tuesday night, the concert film has generated a total of $34.4 million domestically - $23.2 million just over the weekend - and approximately $101 worldwide. Although Michael Jackson technically didn’t beat the opener for Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour (that entry earned more over 5 days), had the best international debut ever for any concert film.

Sony’s win meant a short victory for . After a steady climb, and only 1 week at the top, the horror film slipped down to second place. Of course, the word-of-mouth hit has nothing to complain about. Not only has the movie grossed $84.6 million to date, it also had the best per screen average of any Top 10 charter.

Click to continue reading Box Office Breakdown: That Was It for Paranormal Activity

Read More | Variety

Box Office Breakdown: Saw Outdone by Paranormal Activity

Paranormal Activity

Have audiences seen enough Saw?

Although Jigsaw is known for slaying his competition, the serial killer was no match for Katie Featherstone and Micah Sloat. This weekend, those two unknowns saw their small project, , finally top the box office charts. The movie, which was produced for approximately $15,000, reached that position after a steady climb up the ranks. (Aren’t films supposed to go down?) The horror flick also had a higher per screen average than any entry in the Top 10 despite fewer engagements.

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Read More | Variety

Box Office Breakdown: The Wild Things Are #1

Where the Wild Things Are

Who knew a 10-sentence long story could do so well?

It may have taken over three years for Where the Wild Things Are to officially debut, but the long journey was apparently worth the wait. The Spike Jonze project, which was once rumored to be too scary for children, finally unfolded over the weekend and soared to first place. The Maurice Sendak adaptation, which earned approximately $32.7 million, also gave Warner Bros. its best October open ever.

Even though Gerard Butler didn’t bother to promote during his recent Saturday Night Live stint, the film managed to survive on its own. The actioner, which also starred Jamie Foxx, raked in just over $21 million and won a close race for 2nd place. Meanwhile, word-of-mouth hit Paranormal Activity grossed another $19.6 million and moved up one rung to the third spot.

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Read More | Variety

In Theaters This Weekend: October 16, 2009

The Stepfather

Here are a few selections in theaters this weekend:

  • Law Abiding Citizen (R): starring Gerard Butler, Jamie Foxx, Leslie Bibb (directed by F. Gary Gray)
  • The Stepfather (PG-13): starring Dylan Walsh, Sela Ward, Penn Badgley (directed by Nelson McCormick)
  • Where the Wild Things Are (PG): starring Catherine Keener, Max Records, James Gandolfini (directed by Spike Jonze)

Click to continue reading In Theaters This Weekend: October 16, 2009

Poster Unveiled for Where the Wild Things Are

Where the Wild Things Are poster

I have no idea why children might run crying from this movie.

After enduring rumors of reshoots and terrifying test screenings, ‘s Where the Wild Things Are will finally unfold in theaters on October 16. (That’s nearly one year after its original release date.) The adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s popular children’s book will combine live-action, CGI, animatronics and enormous puppets to tell its story.

The film, shot in Australia, stars Forest Whitaker, Paul Dano and Catherine Kenner. You can see two more stills from movie after the jump.

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Read More | Entertainment Weekly

Is Where the Wild Things Are Scaring Children?

Where the Wild Things AreScores of parents have used Where the Wild Things Are to help put their children to sleep.  Unfortunately, a viewing of ‘s film adaptation could reportedly leave those same children with a few nightmares.

Jonze, the Oscar-nominated director behind Being John Malkovich, has been in the process of bringing Maurice Sendak’s children’s book to the big screen.  Unfortunately, poor test screenings may have forced Warner Bros. to push the film’s release date to 2009.

According to internet reports, children were so frightened by the scary images, they left the theater crying.  (Well that’s no good.)  One tester supposedly said, “The things are not cute. Max comes off a bit weird and off-putting. He slaps his mom! And he seems confused and not charming at all.”

Well, if it makes Spike feel any better, I thought would do great things with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - and that movie creeped me out as well.  So if nothing else, at least he’ll be keeping good company.

(To see a clip of some leaked screen test footage, click here.)

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