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12 items from 2005


Guess Who

26 April 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Movie buffs need not fret.

Despite taking a bite out of the original title, Guess Who actually has a lot more in common with Meet the Parents -- in both content and tone -- than it does with Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.

At the same time, this smartly cast romantic comedy manages to address still-relevant issues of race without the preachiness that aged less than gracefully in Stanley Kramer's 1967 serving of social commentary.

Mix in a pair of inspired performances by Bernie Mac and Ashton Kutcher, and you've got a certified crowd-tickler with a lot more substance than the last Focker family gathering.

Mac, a man with one of the best slow burns in the business, essentially tries the Spencer Tracy role on for size as Percy Jones, a proud family man and bank loan officer who's about to mark the 25th anniversary of his marriage to Marilyn (Judith Scott) with a big outdoor party at their suburban Cranford, N.J., home.

Arriving for the festivities is their daughter Theresa (Zoe Saldana), along with her as-yet-unintroduced boyfriend, whom Percy envisions as a suitable beau with the looks of a Denzel, the smarts of a Colin Powell and the competitive edge of a Tiger Woods.

Enter Ashton Kutcher.

Needless to say, Kutcher's Simon Green doesn't exactly hit it off wonderfully with overprotective Mr. Jones, and things go from bad to worse when the truth is revealed about financier Green's current state of employment -- as in freshly terminated -- which puts a bit of a crimp in the young couple's plans to announce their engagement.

Key to the success of Guess Who is that adversarial Mac-Kutcher chemistry, and both are working at the top of their games.

While Mac, who actually brought the update idea to producer Jenno Topping, has previously demonstrated his sharply honed big-screen comedic chops, Kutcher cements his post-That '70s Show future with what is easily his most accomplished feature film role to date.

Providing very capable backup, meanwhile, is Saldana as Kutcher's grounded fiancee and Scott as Mac's tolerant-to-a-point wife.

Also entertaining are vet Hal Williams as Mac's no-nonsense father and Kellee Stewart as Mac's youngest daughter, who figures that her sister's bringing home a white boy will provide her with a whole lot of leeway in the good-girl department.

The film also serves as a personal best for director Kevin Rodney Sullivan, who after Barbershop 2 and How Stella Got Her Groove Back has found a more assured comfort zone when it comes to blending comedy and elements of greater social significance, as provided here by the script credited to David Ronn & Jay Scherick and Peter Tolan.

While the mix doesn't always flow smoothly, especially in the protracted third act, there's sufficient promise on the menu to suggest the distinct possibility of a return dinner engagement.

Guess Who

Columbia Pictures

Columbia Pictures and Regency Enterprises present

a 3 Arts/Tall Trees/Katalyst Films production

Credits:

Director: Kevin Rodney Sullivan

Screenwriters: David Ronn & Jay Scherick and Peter Tolan

Story: David Ronn & Jay Scherick

Producers: Jenno Topping, Erwin Stoff, Jason Goldberg

Executive producers: Betty Thomas, Steven Greener, Joseph M. Caracciolo

Director of photography: Karl Watler Lindenlaub

Production designer: Paul J. Peters

Editor: Paul Seydor

Costume designer: Judy Ruskin Howell

Music: John Murphy

Casting: Victoria Thomas

Cast:

Percy Jones: Bernie Mac

Simon Green: Ashton Kutcher

Theresa Jones: Zoe Saldana

Marilyn Jones: Judith Scott

Howard Jones: Hal Williams

Keisha Jones: Kellee Stewart

MPAA rating PG-13

Running time -- 105 minutes »

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'Meet the Parents' Actress Dies After Two Misdiagnoses

10 March 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

The actress who was famously smashed in the face by a volleyball in the Meet The Parents comedy died last month after two medics misdiagnosed her pneumonia. Nicole DeHuff, who played Teri Polo's sister in the hilarious 2000 movie, checked into three Los Angeles hospitals, but only when her problems became inoperable did doctors realize what was wrong with her. The actress' mother Patsie says, "By the time she reached the third hospital, it was too late. She was unconscious." The grieving mother reveals her daughter was rushed to hospital on February 12 but was sent home by medics and told to take painkiller Tylenol. Patsie DeHuff recalls, "The next day my daughter was worse." Again, the actress went to hospital, but this time medics prescribed antibiotics for bronchitis. Two days later, paramedics rushed to her home after she collapsed, gasping for breath. The tragic actress died on February 16. »

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'Fockers' still no joke overseas

27 February 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

SYDNEY -- The laughs just keep coming for United International Pictures, distributor of Meet the Fockers, which according to estimates grossed another $20.78 million from 4,185 locations across 48 territories internationally over the weekend. This brings the cume to date for the in-laws comedy to about $184.7 million. In New Zealand, Fockers opened to about $524,000 from 53 locations and is at No. 1 with 49% market share, 536% up on the original, Meet the Parents. Week 2 holdovers were exceptional. In Germany, Fockers earned another $5 million from 629 cinemas, off only 15%. In France, the Jay Roach comedy is expected to top the territory with about $2.8 million from 591 cinemas, off 35%. In Austria, takings dropped only 7%, and Fockers held on to No. 1, earning $1 million from 110 cinemas. »

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Boxoffice hits keep comin' overseas

14 February 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Constantine kicked into Asia, Meet the Fockers triumphed in Italy, and The Aviator led the way for Oscar-nominated fare in a crowded weekend frame at the international boxoffice. Fockers became UIP's first film of the year to cross the $100 million mark after estimated weekend takings of $20.8 million from 3,166 international locations. The cume stands at $111.5 million. The star-driven comedy sequel opened in Italy to about $5.1 million from 550 locations. This gave Fockers the No. 1 spot with a 46% market share and has it tracking 147% ahead of the original, 2000's Meet the Parents. Other openings included the Netherlands (No. 1 with $765,000 from 92 cinemas), Turkey ($650,000 from 120), Greece ($520,000 from 57); Norway ($390,000 from 43) and Poland ($365,000 from 60). The Keanu Reeves actioner Constantine kicked down the doors in Asia, capitalizing on the Chinese New Year holiday with a solid five-day gross of $11.3 million from just five territories ahead of the U.S. opening in 11 days. »

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'Fockers' No. 1 at international boxoffice

6 February 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

SYDNEY -- Awards heat cooked up good boxoffice returns for many of the Oscar-nominated films, while mainstream audiences continued to flock to what was easily the No. 1 film again at the international boxoffice this weekend according to estimates: Meet the Fockers. The comedy's estimated weekend haul of $18.3 million from 28 territories and 2,379 locations lifted the film's cume to $84.8 million. In Spain, Fockers opened at No.1 with a massive $4.6 million from 426 cinemas, commanding 43% of the market, ahead of opener Million Dollar Baby at No. 2. This result is a 380% increase on the originl, Meet the Parents, and represents distributor United International Pictures' third biggest opening in the territory, behind Shrek 2 and Van Helsing. In Taiwan, Fockers took an estimated $600,000 from 70 screens -- 29% better than the opening of Meet the Parents. In Sweden, the film grossed an estimated $440,000 from 50 cinemas, 135% ahead of the original. »

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'Fockers' No. 1 at international boxoffice

6 February 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

SYDNEY -- Awards heat cooked up good boxoffice returns for many of the Oscar-nominated films, while mainstream audiences continued to flock to what was easily the No. 1 film again at the international boxoffice this weekend according to estimates: Meet the Fockers. The comedy's estimated weekend haul of $18.3 million from 28 territories and 2,379 locations lifted the film's cume to $84.8 million. In Spain, Fockers opened at No.1 with a massive $4.6 million from 426 cinemas, commanding 43% of the market, ahead of opener Million Dollar Baby at No. 2. This result is a 380% increase on the originl, Meet the Parents, and represents distributor United International Pictures' third biggest opening in the territory, behind Shrek 2 and Van Helsing. In Taiwan, Fockers took an estimated $600,000 from 70 screens -- 29% better than the opening of Meet the Parents. In Sweden, the film grossed an estimated $440,000 from 50 cinemas, 135% ahead of the original. »

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'Fockers' fly high around world

31 January 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

SYDNEY -- Sideways can toast its first international figures and audiences continue to lust after Closer, but none could beat the star-powered laughs of Meet the Fockers, which conquered Britain this weekend, according to estimates. Fockers had an excellent opening in the United Kingdom of $14.4 million at a wide 458 dates, making it No. 1 with a 52% market share. This is 357% better than Meet the Parents. In Brazil, the comedy, which stars Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand, opened at No. 1 with about $1 million and a 32% market share from 184 dates -- 37% up on its predecessor. Overall, Fockers is expected to gross approximately $19.9 million this weekend from 20 territories and 1,773 dates. The cume is an estimated $58 million with 32 territories to open next weekend, including Spain. »

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'Fockers' fly high around world

31 January 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

SYDNEY -- Sideways can toast its first international figures and audiences continue to lust after Closer, but none could beat the star-powered laughs of Meet the Fockers, which conquered Britain this weekend, according to estimates. Fockers had an excellent opening in the United Kingdom of $14.4 million at a wide 458 dates, making it No. 1 with a 52% market share. This is 357% better than Meet the Parents. In Brazil, the comedy, which stars Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand, opened at No. 1 with about $1 million and a 32% market share from 184 dates -- 37% up on its predecessor. Overall, Fockers is expected to gross approximately $19.9 million this weekend from 20 territories and 1,773 dates. The cume is an estimated $58 million with 32 territories to open next weekend, including Spain. »

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De Niro and Scorsese Discuss 'Taxi Driver' Sequel

20 January 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Screen legend Robert De Niro has reunited with iconic director Martin Scorsese to work on a sequel to their classic movie Taxi Driver. The Oscar-winning actor, who starred as disturbed Vietnam veteran Travis Bickle in the 1976 film, has confirmed the movie veterans are mulling over script ideas for a follow-up to the gritty original. Apart from his comedy turn in Meet The Parents and its recent sequel Meet The Fockers, De Niro has starred in a series of flop films - and critics are hoping Travis Bickle's resurrection will restore his reputation as one of the greatest dramatic actors of all time. De Niro, 61, says, "I was talking with Martin Scorsese about doing what I guess you'd call a sequel to Taxi Driver, where he is older." »

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'Fockers' meet with success atop weekend boxoffice

4 January 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Universal Pictures' Meet the Fockers dominated the Christmas holiday season. The sequel to Meet the Parents, a hit in 2000, broke all Christmas weekend records and now, over the New Year's holiday, became the top-grossing film ever on both New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. After 12 days in release, the Ben Stiller starrer has grossed $162.5 million, already securing its spot as the eighth-highest-grossing film of 2004. With $41.7 million in grosses over the New Year holiday weekend, Fockers dropped a scant 9% from its opening weekend. It surpassed the $8.5 million record for best New Year's Eve performance set by Cast Away in 2000, with $12.1 million on Friday. It also topped the previous record for a New Year's Day gross -- set last year by The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, which took in $12.8 million -- by grossing $18.2 million Saturday. »

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Final boxoffice: 'Fockers' takes in $41.7 milion

3 January 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Universal Pictures rang in the new year with a record-breaking weekend for Meet the Fockers and restored holiday cheer to an industry somewhat downbeat because of a lackluster Christmas frame the previous weekend. The sequel to the 2000 hit Meet the Parents, Fockers brought in $41.7 million, accounting for one-third of the holiday weekend's business and boosting the industry to a 5% gain over last year's New Year's frame, according to Monday's final figures. Fockers also broke two holiday records: It beat the $8.5 million record for best New Year's Eve performance set by Cast Away in 2000, with an estimated $12.2 million Friday. The Ben Stiller starrer also topped the previous record for a New Year's Day gross -- set last year by The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, which took in $12.8 million -- by grossing an estimated $18 million Saturday. The rest of the top 10 films -- all holdovers from last weekend -- performed well, with seven out of 10 besting their performances over the Christmas weekend. Only Fockers, Dimension Films' Darkness and Warner Bros. Pictures' The Polar Express, which dropped 105 of its theaters, lost ground to last weekend's numbers. »

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Final boxoffice: 'Fockers' takes in $41.7 million

3 January 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Universal Pictures rang in the new year with a record-breaking weekend for Meet the Fockers and restored holiday cheer to an industry somewhat downbeat because of a lackluster Christmas frame the previous weekend. The sequel to the 2000 hit Meet the Parents, Fockers brought in $41.7 million, accounting for one-third of the holiday weekend's business and boosting the industry to a 5% gain over last year's New Year's frame, according to Monday's final figures. Fockers also broke two holiday records: It beat the $8.5 million record for best New Year's Eve performance set by Cast Away in 2000, with an estimated $12.2 million Friday. The Ben Stiller starrer also topped the previous record for a New Year's Day gross -- set last year by The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, which took in $12.8 million -- by grossing an estimated $18 million Saturday. The rest of the top 10 films -- all holdovers from last weekend -- performed well, with seven out of 10 besting their performances over the Christmas weekend. Only Fockers, Dimension Films' Darkness and Warner Bros. Pictures' The Polar Express, which dropped 105 of its theaters, lost ground to last weekend's numbers. »

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2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001

12 items from 2005


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