5 items from 2006
10 November 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
Poor Will Ferrell. The popular comedic actor and proven boxoffice draw has taken a big risk with Stranger Than Fiction. Playing against type as Harold Crick, a sad sack who hears voices in his head, Ferrell has received high marks in early reviews, as have co-stars Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman. But a little movie called Borat is likely to steal the thunder from Ferrell and Fiction. 20th Century Fox's Borat -- on its way to becoming a comedic phenomenon considering its stellar opening bow of $26 million from just 837 theaters -- has created something of a black hole for all other films bowing this weekend.
Expanding to 2,566 theaters today, Borat also is likely to eat up some of the grosses that would have gone to Fox's new entry, Ridley Scott's A Good Year, starring Russell Crowe. Industry insiders are pegging the second-week grosses for Borat in the $30 million range. Coming off a phenomenal first-weekend bow that saw a per-theater average of $31,607, the R-rated film surely will dominate the boxoffice. Starring Sacha Baron Cohen, who has been likened to a modern-day combination of Peter Sellers and Andy Kaufman, Borat's midweek numbers have remained strong, averaging
$3 million each day.
That's not to say that Sony Pictures isn't trying with Fiction. Directed by Marc Forster and based on a screenplay by Zach Helm, the film won early accolades at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. Bowing in 2,264 theaters, the PG-13 film centers on Crick, an IRS auditor who suddenly finds that his thoughts and actions are being narrated by a voice in his head. Praised for its smart script and strong performances, the film could open decently and hold on through a crowded end-of-year moviegoing season. Insiders are predicting the film will bow in the $8 million-$10 million range but could get into the low teens.
That's about the same number many are predicting for A Good Year. Crowe also plays against type as a romantic lead in the PG-13 drama set in Provence, France. Opening in 2,066 theaters, the Fox 2000 film centers on a high-powered British trader (Crowe) who learns that his uncle has left him a vineyard in France. Year, which co-stars Albert Finney, Freddie Highmore and Archie Panjabi, is based on the novel written by Scott's friend and Provence neighbor Peter Mayle. It evokes similar themes to Buena Vista's Under the Tuscan Sun, which bowed to $9.7 million in 2003. Expect similar numbers for the beautifully photographed Year.
Focus Features will open Rogue Pictures' The Return in 1,986 theaters. Starring horror queen Sarah Michelle Gellar, the PG-13 film from Asif Kapadia (The Warrior) centers on a woman who is troubled by vivid nightmares about the murder of a woman she has never met. It is expected to bow to single-digit millions.
MGM is going to be busy this weekend. The distributor will open Bauer Martinez's Harsh Times in 956 theaters. A high-profile acquisition out of last year's Toronto fest, the film comes from Training Day screenwriter David Ayer, making his directorial debut, and stars Christian Bale and Freddy Rodriguez. The gritty, R-rated drama centers on an Iraq War vet (Bale) who, upon being turned down for a job with the LAPD, recruits his childhood friend (Rodriguez) for a joyride through Los Angeles. Eva Longoria co-stars.
MGM also will open Copying Beethoven in limited release. The PG-13 film, from Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, stars Ed Harris as the composer in the last year of his life. Agnieszka Holland directs, and Diane Kruger co-stars.
Picturehouse will open Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus on four screens in Los Angeles and New York. The film from director Steven Shainberg (Secretary) stars Nicole Kidman and Robert Downey Jr. »
Training Day star Ethan Hawke's personal business office in New York was destroyed by a fast-moving fire on Sunday morning . The actor is currently directing and starring in a movie version of his first novel, The Hottest State. The fire broke out in a newly renovated office on the second floor of Hawke's office building and the blaze quickly spread all the way up to the fifth floor. As the fire worked its way up, it ripped through and completely destroyed Hawke's fourth-floor office and his post-production studio. Master tapes and negatives from Hawke's film, which also stars Michelle Williams and Laura Linney, were being stored off-site and were reportedly not destroyed by the fire. »
Denzel Washington had to play down his good looks for his latest part in the movie Inside Man, because he had to be a convincing "regular guy." The Oscar-winner had to shave his head and pack on some extra weight to play a cop who negotiates with a master criminal played by Clive Owen. He explains, "He's a regular guy. He's in over his head. He's been accused of stealing $140,000, his girlfriend wants to get married yesterday... This is the biggest case he's ever had, so he's got a few issues." The Training Day star insists his wife of 22-years, Pauletta, had no problems with her husband letting himself go for the role. He adds, "(She's fine) as long as I buy her something." »
Oscar-nominee Don Cheadle is in discussions to play Miles Davis in a movie biopic of the jazz great. Davis' nephew Vince Wilburn - who accepted the late trumpeter's award at the 21st Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony in New York last night - is determined to keep his uncle's legacy alive by making the movie, and is just waiting for the perfect script. He said at Monday's star-studded celebration, "We're working with Sony (Pictures) on a biopic. We're gonna negotiate with Don Cheadle whose name keeps coming up to play Miles. It (the film) can touch on many things from the way he changed the wave of music of different decades from bee-bop to hip-hop and in between, and the personal side. First of all we have to get a script and people are submitting them to Sony Pictures but nothing has caught our fancy. We've been talking to Antoine Fuqua who did Training Day to direct." »
Training Day star Denzel Washington has fired back at reports his marriage is in trouble due to his womanizing ways. The Oscar-winner is still puzzled by the rumors of infidelity and Love children, and he's breaks his silence in the upcoming Hollywood issue of Essence magazine. He says, "I've heard (the rumors). Having babies, I've left home and all this... I'm a big boy. I can take it. But what bothers me about all of that stuff is the effect on the family." The actor tells the publication that he and his wife of 22 years, Pauletta, are standing firm together to fight the crazy reports. »
5 items from 2006
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