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Box Office Breakdown: A-Team’s Face Kicked by Karate Kid’s Foot

Jaden Smith in The Karate Kid

The battle of the ‘80s remakes was won by an actor born in 1998.

Despite featuring no actual karate and a Smith named Jaden, had no problem kicking up Will Smith-esque dollars this weekend. (I’m sure it had something to do with that Justin Bieber song.).  Sony’s remake of the 1984 classic surpassed early projections by rallying to a $55.7 million finish. The film’s debut means the 11-year-old star has already managed to outperform most of his father’s films. (I Am Legend opened to $77.2 million in 2007; Hancock premiered to $62.6 million in 2008.)

Meanwhile, Fox’s reboot of cranked out what could be considered a B-grade performance. The movie, which cost over $95 million to make (compared to Karate‘s $40 million), only rang up $25.7 million in its first three days. That’s barely above the figure Liam Neeson’s Taken earned in 2009 ($24.7 million) and nowhere near the debut Bradley Cooper and Jessica Biel had with Valentine’s Day ($56.2 million).

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Box Office Breakdown: Audiences Get to the Greek…and Shrek

Get Him to the Greek

Ashton Kutcher may have more Twitter followers than Diddy and Russell Brand combined - but that achievement wasn’t reflected at the box office this weekend.

Despite pirating the first 13 minutes of Killers, Kutcher was unable to generate enough interest to earn more than third place. The film - Katherine Heigl’s first since leaving Grey’s Anatomy - only rounded up a mere $15.8 million. (In other words, Ashton got about $3 from each of his Tweeps.)

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Read More | Box Office Mojo

Box Office Breakdown: Theatergoers Choose Shrek Over Sex

Sex and the City 2

Shrek - not cosmopolitans - was what fans were buying this weekend.

Despite competition from two heavily-promoted features, an aging green ogre was able to hang on to his title for two weeks in a row. raised an additional $57 million during the Memorial Day frame to bring its domestic total to $146.8 million.

Meanwhile, Warner Bros. proved that people can get tired of sex. Sex and the City 2 - which featured the return of Aidan Shaw (John Corbett) - couldn’t get past the bad reviews to even match the first film’s numbers. (Sex and the City opened to $56.8 million in May 2008.) The lovely ladies also couldn’t overpower Jake Gyllenhaal’s four-day haul. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time wound up snagging second place with a $37.8 million debut.

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Read More | Box Office Mojo

TV Extensions, Renewals and Cancellations (5/27)

Brandy & Ray J: A Family Business

Here’s an update on the shows you’ll be seeing more of in the months to come:

 

RENEWALS
  • American Pickers (History) - Season 2 **Series returns June 7**
  • Basketball Wives (VH1) - Season 2
  • Brandy & Ray J: A Family Business (VH1) - Season 2
  • Glee (FOX) - Season 3
  • I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant (TLC) - Season 3 **Series returns June 9**
  • Iron Man: Armored Adventures (Nicktoons) - Season 2
  • Next X (Disney XD) - Season 2 **Series returns on June 21**
  • What Chilli Wants (VH1) - Season 2

Read More | TV by the Numbers

Box Office Breakdown: MacGruber IS a Bomb

MacGruber

Disappointment can come in all shapes and box office sizes.

may have earned nearly three times as much than its nearest competitor, but it wasn’t exactly a winner for Paramount or Dreamworks. The film, which grossed $70.8 million in ticket sales, become the first sequel in the Shrek franchise to open below the $100 million mark (and that’s with the help of higher 3-D prices). The comedy did, though, place fourth on the all-time animated debuts list behind Shrek the Third ($121.6 million), Shrek 2 ($108 million)  and The Simpsons Movie ($74 million).

Meanwhile, it appears will last just as long in theaters as he does in Will Forte’s sketches. Although the character is (supposedly) known for diffusing bombs, he actually helped deliver one this weekend. The latest Saturday Night Live-based comedy - also starring Kristen Wiig and Ryan Phillippe - generated a mere $4 million this weekend. While that number seems (understandably) dismal, there is one positive thing to note: the film only cost approximately $10 million to make.

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Read More | Box Office Mojo

Sequel News: Romy and Michele, Planet of the Apes and More


Planet of the Apes: The apes will rise again in 2011 when Fox delivers a Planet of the Apes prequel. The movie - currently titled Rise of the Apes - will have photo-realistic apes incorporated into the cautionary tale. The story, written by The Relic‘s Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa, will explain how genetic engineering experimentation lead to the apes’ development. The Rupert Wyatt-directed film will be set in present-day San Francisco.

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Box Office Breakdown: Iron Man Fights Off Robin Hood

Robin Hood

‘s excellent aim couldn’t keep Robert Downey Jr. off target.

Despite increased competition in its second week of release, remained firm at the box office. Paramount’s sequel generated another $52 million between Friday-Sunday and vaulted over the $200 million mark domestically.

Meanwhile, ‘s arrow was sharp enough for a $36 million bounty, but a bit too dull for a first place finish. The film did, though, earn approximately $74 million in foreign dollars. That topped the $43.1 million overseas debut for 2000’s Gladiator - another Crowe/Ridley Scott production.

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Read More | Box Office Mojo

Weekend Reading: Frazetta, Viz, Carl Barks and Facebook

Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Editorials, Marvel Comics,

Frank Frazetta FlashmanYou know it’s going to be a bad week when one of the most beloved fantasy artists passes away. He was absolutely one of my favorite artists and one of the first artists who, like , could get me to buy pretty much anything with his name on it.

Tom Spurgeon has an excellent overview of the late artist’s career. “Frazetta’s art on the Warren Magazines Creepy, Eerie and eventually Vampirella combined some of the pulp tendencies for which he was soon to become very well known with a sense of classic horror. They remain some of the company’s most iconic pieces of art.”

Viz Media: I often post job listings here for Viz Media, the longtime manga publisher in San Francisco – longtime as in they’ve been doing it since it wasn’t quite so cool to do it. So I was saddened to hear that they let go more than 50 of their staffers. That’s, I think, the largest layoff of comics professionals that I can remember and certainly the largest in recent years. I hate to see that kind of thing happen, and I wish everyone the best as they figure out what to do next. Heidi MacDonald at Comics Beat recently posted this link from Dan Blank’s website; I’ve practically memorized it.

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Read More | Comics Beat

Box Office Breakdown: Iron Man 2 Soars High Above the Competition

Iron Man 2

Only one movie earned over $10 million over this weekend…and only movie scored over $125 million as well.

Iron Man 2 - with help from Mickey Rourke’s powerful weapons - whipped up $128.1 million over the past three days, giving Paramount its biggest open in history. The sequel, which was produced for approximately $170 million, easily improved upon Iron Man‘s $98.6 million premiere in 2008 and nabbed the fifth-largest debut of all time. (The Dark Knight still tops that leader board with its $158.4 million outing.)

Focus Features’ also made news of its own despite coming nowhere near Iron Man 2‘s numbers. The documentary, which was only released in 534 theaters, delivered $2.2 million and a ninth-place finish over the Mother’s Day weekend.

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Deep Thoughts: Iron Man and Twilight

Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Editorials, Marvel Comics,

Pepper Potts“Hey Cullen! Isabella! Get in the house this instant!”

Did you know that in 2009, according to the folks at Social Security, the most popular names for kids were from vampire fiction? And it’s not Dracula, or Vlad, or Alucard or Vampira. That’s old school thinking. The new popular names are from Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight, the book-and-movie franchise.

Cullen jumped up 300 spots on the list from the previous year, Jacob is #1 for boys, Isabella (the formalized version of Bella) is #1 for girls and Bella is #58. I think it’s great that the series of books and movies has spawned an entire generation of children named after the characters. I hope it means that naming your kids Peaches, Apple, Brooklyn and Pilot Inspektor in lockstep with nutty celebrities is on the outs, and the Twilight franchise as name-generator is in.

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