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1-20 of 23 items from 2007   « Prev | Next »

Cage admits to 'Knowing' Proyas

11 December 2007 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- Nicolas Cage has signed on for the lead in Knowing- to be directed by Alex Proyas  (The Crow, Dark City, I, Robot). The pic will start shooting March 17 in Melbourne- and will be produced and distributed by Summit Entertainment. Cage will be playing a teacher who, upon examining a time capsule unearthed at his son's school, discovers that the world is going to end within a week. This project has been in development for years, at one point it looked like it might be Richard Kelly's follow-up to Donnie Darko. That didn't happen- and Proyas signed on over two years ago. With the writer's strike in full gear, and the upcoming Screen Actors Guild strike looming on the horizon, a lot of back burnered project are getting the greenlight- and this appears to be no exception.  I've always been a Proyas fan- The Crow is a classic, »

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After popcorn features, Cage will 'Vanish' into indie territory

17 October 2007 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- I don't question his talent (Adaptation), I question his film role choices (Ghost Rider). With The Wrestler (a film with that Darren Aronofsky might be lensing) up next, Variety reports the Nicolas Cage will make it back to back indie projects by taking the lead in Hany Abu-Assad's newest project for Focus Features. Written by Larysa Kondracki and Eilis Kirwan, The Vanished concerns a father who goes in search of his college-aged American-born Muslim son, who's missing overseas. Abu-Assad is of course the director behind Paradise Now, the  Oscar-nominated 2005 film giving a personal account of suicide bombers from Palestine. The Focus project will be produced by Noah Rosen and David Alpert of Circle of Confusion and Tracy Seward. Production is scheduled for the spring. »

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Mendes: "I'm Not Pregnant"

3 October 2007 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Sexy movie star Eva Mendes has laughed off rumors she's pregnant, insisting she'll make a terrible mother. The Ghost Rider star reveals she's not with child and is tiring of stories linking her to babies and marriage. She says, "I don't wanna have kids... I love the little suckers; they're so cute but I love sleep so much and I worry about everything. (And) I feel like the institution of marriage is a very archaic kinda thing. I don't think it fits in my world today." Mendes claims the latest pregnancy reports came about after she put on a little weight: "I'm off season right now. I'm having the pasta, I'm having the dessert." »

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Foxx flying 'Soloist' at DreamWorks

17 August 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Jamie Foxx is returning to the genre that won him an Oscar. The Ray star has signed on to topline the musical biopic The Soloist for DreamWorks.

Joe Wright, who recently wrapped the James McAvoy-Keira Knightley starrer Atonement, is on board to direct the project, which is based on a 12-part series of articles by Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez.

The story centers on a homeless musician with schizophrenia who dreams of playing at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Susannah Grant (Erin Brockovich) adapted the screenplay.

Gary Foster (Ghost Rider, Elektra) and Russ Krasnoff are producing, while Working Title's Tim Bevan is executive producing. Rikki Lea Bestall will serve as co-producer.

DreamWorks' Mark Sourian is shepherding the project for the studio.

Lopez's articles, From Skid Row to Disney Hall, were published in 2005 and will serve as the basis for an upcoming book by Putnam.

Foxx, who won the best actor Academy Award for playing Ray Charles in Ray, teamed with DreamWorks for the Motown musical Dreamgirls. His upcoming credits include the Middle East-set thriller The Kingdom. He is repped by CAA, King Management and attorney Nina Shaw. »

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'Transformers' take over world boxoffice

9 July 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Another strong summer stanza on the international circuit saw a reshuffle at the top during the weekend, when Transformers emerged as the new No. 1 title with an estimated $43.6 million gross from 3,503 screens in 29 territories.

Although not as muscular overall as the previous weekend's exceptionally strong showing -- when a half-dozen titles grossed more than $10 million, compared with three this stanza -- the weekend's action reinforced the view that summer 2007 remains sizzling overseas for the major U.S. studios.

Sony Pictures Releasing International said Sunday that the international boxoffice for its films this year passed the $1 billion mark faster than ever before in the distributor's history, making Sony the first studio to reach that milestone in 2007.

Sony's previous international record was set last year on Aug. 24. (By the end of 2006, Sony generated $1.634 billion overseas, its biggest year to date.) The biggest of Sony's titles overseas so far this year are Ghost Rider ($103.9 million gross), The Pursuit of Happyness ($120.1 million), Casino Royale (which grossed $87.9 million of its $428 million total in 2007) and, of course, Spider-Man 3 ($549.4 million, $215 million more than its domestic gross).

Transformers, the sci-fi/action film directed by Michael Bay and based on the popular toy line and animated TV series, broadened its international rollout in its second weekend by opening in 19 new territories, finishing No. 1 in Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland and Turkey. The DreamWorks/Paramount Pictures International release has an international gross of $93.6 million; it has grossed $246.1 million worldwide.

The biggest Transformers market was Russia (an estimated $8.3 million from 394 screens), followed by Spain ($5.2 million from 706 sites) and the Netherlands ($1.4 million from 111 situations). »

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Cage Teams Up With Son for New Comic Book Series

4 July 2007 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Actor Nicolas Cage is teaming up with his teenage son to launch their own line of comic books. The Ghost Rider star and 16-year-old Weston Cage are releasing their six-issue illustrated series Voodoo Child through Virgin Comics on July 11. When renowned comic fan Cage senior was approached with the idea of starting his own animated series books, he suggested his own son come on board. Cage recalls, "I said I didn't have any ideas, but I told them my son might. He has been drawing comics since he was three. He was a natural to do it." Voodoo Child is set in New Orleans, Louisiana in the aftermath of 2005's Hurricane Katrina, and follows a detective as he investigates the disappearance of several young girls. The title character is Gabriel Moore, a child murdered by secessionist soldiers in the 19th century, who is resurrected by a voodoo priest. »

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Fox attracts Goyer for 'Magneto'

27 April 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

David Goyer has been drawn in by the power of Magneto.

The multihyphenate, whose thriller The Invisible opens today, has come aboard to develop with an eye to direct the X-Men spin-off for Twentieth Century Fox.

The project, which is in the early stages of development, focuses on a young Magneto, the villain of the X-Men movies, and his friendship with a young Professor X, and how the two eventually became mortal enemies. The characters would not be played by Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart, who originated them in the series, but by actors in their 20s.

Goyer will be working off a script by Sheldon Turner.

Lauren Shuler Donner and Avi Arad are producing.

Fox and Marvel are already hard at work on another X-Men spin-off, Wolverine. That project, which already has a working screenplay, is on the fast-track hunt for a director and will likely be made before Magneto.

CAA-repped Goyer wrote the screenplay for the upcoming Regency sci-fi movie Jumper. He also directed 2004's Blade: Trinity, the New Line movie based on the Marvel Comics vampire hero, and exec produced the Marvel/Sony superhero flick Ghost Rider. »

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Cage Con Man Sentenced to Jail

25 April 2007 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

A con man who tricked actor Nicolas Cage out of $300,000 by posing as a classic car salesman has been jailed for five years. Peter Brotman, 47, sold cars including a 1964 Rolls-Royce, a 1988 Aston Martin and a 1954 Jaguar on consignment, but kept the money he received to pay off other debts and fund his lavish lifestyle. The Ghost Rider star became a victim of Brotman in April 2004, when he failed to hand over the full proceeds from the sale of three Ferraris and a Cobra. Brotman was sentenced to five years imprisonment yesterday after pleading guilty to 14 counts of mail, wire and bank fraud charges. He was also ordered to pay $1.8 million in compensation to his numerous targets. Assistant U.S. Attorney Floyd J. Miller says, "The guy was extremely knowledgeable in the classic-car industry. It's a very insular community of mostly wealthy people. They have these auctions at Pebble Beach, Monte Carlo, (and) other places where the rich and famous meet." »

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'Hogs' a wild one at overseas boxoffice

23 April 2007 11:00 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

The lull before the summer blockbuster invasion brought a surprise top finisher internationally this weekend as "Wild Hogs" zoomed to No. 1 with an estimated $11.5 million from 3,046 screens in 38 markets, lifting its foreign gross total to $43.3 million.

A 15-market expansion propelled "Hogs" past Universal International's "Mr. Bean's Holiday" and Warner Bros. International's "300," which had been sharing first place in the overseas rankings for the past five weekends.

The suburban biker comedy starring John Travolta, Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy bowed strongly in 15 new markets including No. 1 openings in Germany (an estimated $2.9 million from 600 screens), Switzerland ($480,000 from 50 sites for a per-screen average of $9,600), Austria ($375,000 from 85 situations, more than the market's No. 2 through No. 4 titles combined) and in Singapore ($285,000 from 26 spots for a per-screen average of $10,961).

"Hogs," which has been playing for eight weekends in Australia (where its market cume is $12.7 million), also finished first in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. »

- By Frank Segers

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'300' battles way to $48.3 million

27 March 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

At a time when the overseas market usually slows down before the deluge of tentpoles in May, Warner Bros. Pictures' violent ancient Greek epic 300 overwhelmed the international market, opening in 20 new countries and ranking No. 1 in almost all of them, for a weekend take of $48.3 million from 4,475 prints in 33 territories.

At the same time, a batch of fairly recent entries -- Norbit, Music and Lyrics, Ghost Rider and Night at the Museum -- continued to display holdover strength in the face of efforts by major studios and local distributors to wedge in new smaller and/or specialized films, domestic also-rans and homegrown titles before the summer onslaught.

The Zack Snyder-directed 300, which reached an international gross of $79.6 million, had the advantage of opening in six key offshore markets. The U.K. pulled in a hot $9.2 million from 369 sites, including previews. Spain opened to what Warners terms a "spectacular" $6.7 million from 536 prints, hailed as the second-highest-grossing 18-rated film ever in the market. France grossed an "excellent" $5.6 million from 485 screens nationwide, taking a 40% market share in the country. Russia generated an "outstanding" $5 million from 417 prints, the second-biggest all-time opening for a Warner Bros. film in the country. Italy also provided an "excellent' $4.7 million from 486 prints, and Mexico delivered a tiptop $2.6 million from 526 with a 55% share of the top five films in the market.

In addition, Korea remained No. 1 for a second weekend, taking in $3.4 million from 231 screens for a market cume of $12 million, and historically associated Greece cheered to a third week of $1.3 million for a market score of $9.4 million to become Warners' biggest film ever in the market." »

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Int'l b.o. numbers add up to '300'

19 March 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Thanks to smashing bows in five Asian territories plus exceptionally strong holdover-market performances, 300 decisively dominated international boxoffice for the weekend, battling its way to an estimated $15.6 million from about 1,300 screens in 13 markets.

The Warner Bros. International release took the No. 1 spot in each market it played. The fresh territories included South Korea (an estimated $6.3 million in five days from 353 screens), Turkey ($1.5 million from 115 sites), Thailand ($917,000 from 120 spots), Hong Kong ($730,000 from 33 sites for an astonishing $22,121 per-screen average) and India ($582,000 from 161 sites).

The biggest of the holdover markets for director Zack Snyder's rendition of Frank Miller's graphic novel about the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C. is Greece, where the film earned an estimated $2.5 million at 140 screens in its second weekend for a per-screen average of $17,857. The second-weekend tally is exceeded only by 300's record-setting opening weekend in the market. Upcoming this weekend are "300" openings in such major territories as the U.K., France, Italy, Spain and Mexico.

In second place overall for the weekend is another WBI release, Music and Lyrics, which finished first the previous weekend. The romantic comedy starring Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore warbled to an estimated $9.1 million from about 2,900 screens in 46 markets. Its overseas total is $56.6 million. The biggest of the five new markets is France, which saw the film take in an estimated $1.8 million from 350 locations, ranking No. 2 behind local-language La Mome.

Ranking third for the frame is Norbit, the Eddie Murphy comedy from Paramount Pictures International. It grossed an estimated $8.6 million from 2,405 screens in 33 markets to grow its overseas cume to $31 million.

Norbit had a solid Spain opening (an estimated $1.1 million from 234 spots) and a No. 1 bow in the Netherlands ($733,000 from 84 sites). Its strongest market by far remains the U.K., where the comedy ranked first with a weekend estimate of $2.1 million from 362 spots for a cume of $6.9 million. In Germany, the tally was an estimated $1.7 million from 505 screens for a market cume of $4.5 million.

In the fourth spot overall is Ghost Rider, from Sony Pictures Releasing International, which blazed its way to an estimated $7.3 million from 3,635 screens in 56 markets, hiking its overseas gross to $87.5 million. »

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'Ghost' lurks atop int'l b.o.

5 March 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Sony Picture Releasing International's Ghost Rider maintained its No. 1 spot internationally for the third consecutive weekend, grossing an estimated $16.3 million from about 4,000 screens in 56 territories and hiking its overseas boxoffice total $60.7 million.

The Marvel Comics-based action-fantasy starring Nicolas Cage played at an additional 1,000 screens, easily dominating an otherwise predictable post-Oscars, pre-summer-blitz session and blazing past the combined boxoffice tally of the No. 2 and No. 3 titles for the weekend.

Worldwide, Ghost has grossed $155.5 million in three weekends of release.

Debuts in the U.K. (an estimated $3.5 million from 350 screens, good for a $10,000-per-screen average and a No. 2 ranking), Brazil (a No. 1 ranking with $1.8 million at 278 spots) and Japan (finishing No. 3 with $1.2 million from 263 situations) provided nearly half of the weekend's gross. The next big market opening for Ghost is Italy on March 16.

Finishing second on the weekend is 20th Century Fox International's Night at the Museum, which garnered an estimated $7 million from 3,400 screens in 29 markets, lifting its international total to $280.1 million. The biggest market was France, where the Ben Stiller comedy snared an estimated $2.3 million in its fourth weekend at 626 sites, raising its market total to $15.1 million.

Taking the No. 3 spot is Warner Bros. International's Music and Lyrics, starring Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. The romantic comedy yielded an estimated $6.7 million from 1,655 locales in 18 markets, raising its international total to $32.2 million.

The biggest of the new markets was Korea, where Lyrics grossed an estimated $2.1 million from 140 sites, enough to finish No. 1 in the market, according to WBI.

No. 4 for the weekend is Sony's The Pursuit of Happyness, which actually climbed 7% from the previous weekend on the strength of strong bows in Asian markets. Its weekend estimate is $6.6 million from 2,700 screens in 52 territories, raising the international total to $124.5 million. »

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'Wild Hogs' takes easy ride to boxoffice summit

5 March 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

America went hog wild this weekend for Buena Vista's ensemble comedy starring John Travolta, Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy, proving once again that the nation's critics are not plugged in to what moviegoers are looking for. Skewered by reviewers, the PG-13 rated comedy Wild Hogs grossed an astounding estimate of $38 million at the North American boxoffice, grabbing the top spot by a wide margin.

The other openings this weekend -- those with much better reviews -- had more trouble luring audiences. Paramount Pictures' Zodiac managed a decent second place opening, grossing an estimated $13.1 million in more than 2,000 theaters. But Paramount Vantage's edgy Southern tale about sin and redemption, Black Snake Moan, struggled with an estimated $4 million bow in more than 1,200 playdates.

Overall, though, the strength of Hogs put the boxoffice in an up position compared to last year at this time, when Warner Bros. Pictures bowed 16 Blocks to $11.8 million and Sony unveiled Ultraviolet to $9 million. In fact, the Top 10 was up a strong 30% compared to last year.

The majority of the holdovers held up well this frame. Sony Pictures' Ghost Rider, which had been in the top spot for the past two weeks, dropped an estimated 43% in its third session, earning an additional $11.5 million. The Nicolas Cage-actioner has now grossed $94.8 million at the boxffice, with Sony expecting it to reach the coveted $100 million mark next week.

Buena Vista's family film Bridge to Terabithia also continued to perform strongly. In 20 additional locations, the PG-rated movie from Walden Media grossed an estimated $8.6 million, for a 40% drop, putting its three-week cume at $57.9 million.

DreamWorks' Norbit, released by Paramount, also managed a strong hold despite the direct competition from Hogs and its urban skew with star Martin Lawrence. In 2,827 locations, the Eddie Murphy-starring comedy earned an estimated $6.4 million, for an impressive 34% drop. The PG-13 rated comedy has grossed close to $83 million in four weeks and should get to $100 million easily.

Warner Bros. Pictures' romantic comedy Music & Lyrics also seems to be holding its own, likely due to the lack of competition in that genre. Grossing an estimated $4.9 million for the three-day period, the Hugh Grant-Drew Barrymore starrer has earned close to $40 million.

New Line Cinema's The Number 23 had a harder time luring audiences. »

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'Wild Hogs' in first place at Friday boxoffice

4 March 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Wild Hogs, Buena Vista's comedy of middle-age, burned some rubber at the boxoffice Friday. According to the boxoffice tracking site, the movie, directed by Walt Becker and starring Tim Allen and John Travolta, took in an estimated $10.65 million on its opening day.

It was far ahead of Paramount Pictures' Zodiac, David Fincher's detailed account of the search for San Franciso's Zodiac serial killer, which pulled in an estimated $4.17 million. Still, that was enough to earn Zodiac the number two spot in the day's boxoffice listings.

Paramount Vantage's Southern Gothic Black Snake Moan debuted in eighth position. Playing in 1,252 theaters, the film, directed by Craig Brewer and starring Samuel L. Jackson and Christina Ricci, collected an estimated $1.35 million.

Rounding out the top five were Sony's Ghost Rider, coming in third with an estimated $2.965 million; New Line Cinema's The Number 23, in fourth, with an estimated $2.025 million; and Buena Vista's The Bridge to Terabithia, in fifth place, with an estimated $2 million. »

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Marvel beats Street despite weak Q4

27 February 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Marvel Entertainment, whose new film unit begins principal photography March 12 on Iron Man, its first self-produced film, said Monday that its fourth-quarter profit fell from $25.9 million a year ago to $11.7 million.

Revenue fell from $117.1 million a year ago to $85.2 million, but exceeded Wall Street's expectations. Nevertheless, shares fell 3.1% on Monday to $29.96. It was the third-largest loser on The Hollywood Reporter's Showbiz 50 stock index.

Marvel's better-than-expected results in revenue and profit might have been overshadowed by the company's guidance, which was lowered slightly because of a tax-rate assumption. Marvel said it would earn $1.30-$1.55 per share this year, while its previous guidance called for $1.35-$1.55.

"Given that this change is not based on fundamentals, we do not believe it should have a meaningful impact on the stock," said Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Michael Kelman.

Marvel posted an increase from publishing sales and toy sales, though not from licensing, hurt by falling revenue from its Spider-Man Joint Venture with Sony Corp. In addition, Marvel last year benefited from the inclusion of a $50 million license fee with video game maker Activision Inc.

Marvel chairman Morton Handel said Monday that its latest movie resulting from a licensing agreement, Ghost Rider, has earned $76 million at the domestic boxoffice since its Feb. »

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'Ghost' still haunting overseas b.o.

26 February 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Sparked by first-place openings in a half-dozen new markets, Sony Pictures Releasing International's Ghost Rider maintained its hold on the No. 1 spot overseas this weekend, grossing an estimated $16.1 million from 3,000 screens in 40 territories.

In taking the top position for the second consecutive weekend, the Mark Steven Johnson film starring Nicolas Cage as a Marvel Comics character lifted its international gross total to $39.4 million. Combined with its No. 1 finish domestically, Ghost already has tallied a worldwide cume of slightly more than $118 million.

The biggest of the debut markets were Germany (an estimated $2.2 million from 363 screens, No. 1 in the territory) and France, where Ghost is distributed by SND and appears to have garnered an estimated $3 million from an undisclosed number of sites. The biggest of the holdover territories was Spain (a No. 1 finish for the second weekend with an estimated $1.5 million from 417 screens, for a market cume of $5.3 million).

There were two newcomers to the overseas circuit. New Line bowed The Number 23 in the U.K. simultaneously with its domestic opening. The Jim Carrey vehicle finished in the market's top five with an estimated $2.4 million from 326 screens, lifting its worldwide gross to $17.5 million. Also in the U.K., Paramount British Pictures/PPI opened the Weinstein Co. comedy School for Scoundrels, with Billy Bob Thornton, for an estimated $669,000 from 262 situations.

Titles with Oscar potential figured prominently overseas this weekend. Sony's The Pursuit of Happyness, starring best actor nominee Will Smith, grabbed an estimated $6.1 million from 2,825 screens in 52 markets, raising its overseas total to date to $114.7 million. That was enough for an overall fourth-place finish internationally.

Warner Bros. International's Blood Diamond with best actor nominee Leonardo DiCaprio drew an estimated $5.9 million on the weekend from about 3,000 screens in 57 markets, hiking its overseas gross total to $87.5 million.

DreamWorks/Paramount Pictures International's Dreamgirls grabbed an estimated $5.2 million from 1,489 locations in 41 markets, raising its international gross total to $27.1 million. »

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'Ghost' rides away with top spot

26 February 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Sony Pictures' Ghost Rider stayed aflame a second week in a row at the North American boxoffice. The new releases, most of them rated R, couldn't hold a candle to Nicolas Cage's fiery vigilante in the Marvel Comics adaptation.

Ghost grossed an estimated $19.7 million, flying by New Line Cinema's Jim Carrey thriller The Number 23, which debuted at No. 2 with an estimated $15.1 million. The R-rated "23" from director Joel Schumacher did boast the highest per-theater average of the top 10: $5,476. But 20th Century Fox's Reno 911! Miami, another of the weekend's three R-rated national bows, barely crossed into double digits, opening in fourth place at an estimated $10.4 million for the three-day period.

The weekend's more uplifting new releases bowed to mixed results. Presented by Samuel Goldwyn Films and Roadside Attractions, Amazing Grace, from Bristol Bay Prods., launched with an estimated $4.3 million from only 791 theaters. The PG film about William Wilberforce, who led the British parliamentary campaign against the slave trade, grabbed the 10th spot with a strong per-theater average of $5,442. But Warner Bros. Pictures' The Astronaut Farmer finished a disappointing ninth, chalking up only $4.5 million from 2,155 theaters for a per-theater average of $2,095.

Of the holdovers, Buena Vista's Bridge to Terabithia grossed $13.6 million to place third in its second session. The only family film in the top 10 held on solidly, falling an estimated 40%. Paramount Pictures' release of DreamWorks' Norbit also continued to attract audiences in its third week. The Eddie Murphy starrer fell 42% to gross an additional $9.7 million, good for the No. 5 spot. The comedy has now earned $74.7 million at the North American boxoffice.

In sixth place, Warner's romantic comedy Music and Lyrics fell only 41% its second session, earning $8 million to put its 12-day cume at $32.1 million. Universal Pictures' Breach also held up respectably in seventh place. The CIA thriller dropped 41% to $6.2 million, putting its two-week total at $20 million. »

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Fewer restrictions for holdovers

23 February 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

With three of the four new releases this frame carrying an R rating, their upside for the weekend might be limited by their own restrictions. As a result, Sony Pictures' Ghost Rider could remain the No. 1 film for the second consecutive week, even if it falls in the 50% range.

Also sure to thrive this weekend is Buena Vista Pictures' family film Bridge to Terabithia. With nothing else in the market targeting that audience, it is likely to experience only a small dropoff for its sophomore session.

New Line Cinema debuts the psychological thriller The Number 23 in 2,759 theaters. From director Joel Schumacher, "23" stars Jim Carrey as a man who becomes obsessed with an obscure book that he is convinced is based on his life. Co-starring Virginia Madsen, Danny Huston and Rhona Mitra, the R-rated film sees Carrey in a serious role -- two, actually, because he and other actors play more than one role.

Playing against type has been a mixed bag for Carrey, who succeeded in Michel Gondry's "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" in 2004 but not as much with Frank Darabont's The Majestic in 2001. With a screenplay from Fernley Phillips, "23" should bow in the midteen-million range, perhaps rising above that if reviews are favorable. »

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'Ghost' rides to No. 1 overseas

20 February 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Positive signs that the overseas boxoffice may be on its way to a record 2007 came again over the weekend as new and holdover films continued to find strong favor from international moviegoers months before the start of the industry's summer tentpole assault in May.

Opening in 25 offshore markets as part of a day-and-date bow with North America, Sony's "Ghost Rider", starring Nicolas Cage as a Marvel Comics character, vaulted to the weekend's No. 1 position with $16.4 million from 1,870 screens. At the same time, 20th Century Fox's "Night at the Museum", the overseas champion for six of seven of the past weekends, eased to second place with a stalwart $14.1 million from 3,984 screens in 45 countries to lift its cume to $250.1 million.

And a surprise newcomer entered the top-scoring ranks as Universal's "Hot Fuzz", a Working Title-Studio Canal crime comedy, soared to the No. 1 spot in movie-happy U.K. with $11.5 million from 422 playdates, hailed as the biggest opening in the market this year by beating the $7 million opening of "Rocky Balboa"'s and "Pursuit of Happyness'" $4.9 million.

The Oscar-tinted Leonardo DiCaprio starrer from Warner Bros., "Blood Diamond", mined another $8.5 million, while Sony's long-running Will Smith starrer, "Pursuit of Happyness", pulled in another $7,8 million and the Hugh Grant-Drew Barrymore romantic comedy, which opened No. 1 in the U.K. a week ago, came back with $6.8 million from 1,000 prints in eight countries. Quietly but steadily, "Charlotte's Web", the family film based on the classic children's book, continued to move ahead, picking up $5.2 million from 32 markets. »

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'Ghost Rider' has fast start, collecting $51.5 mil

20 February 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

The boxoffice gods were smiling on Hollywood during the Presidents Day weekend as the combination of Sony Pictures' comic book adaptation Ghost Rider and Buena Vista Pictures' family flick Bridge to Terabithia helped lift the North American boxoffice to new heights for this time of year. The performance of the top two films, plus solid showings from Warner Bros. Pictures' romantic comedy Music and Lyrics, Lionsgate's Tyler Perry's Daddy's Little Girls and Universal Pictures' Breach, pushed the holiday weekend take to a estimated record $193 million, a 23% gain compared with last year at this time.

The Nicolas Cage starrer Ghost, from Columbia Pictures and Crystal Sky Pictures, bowed to an incredible $51.5 million for the four-day frame. The PG-13 Marvel Studios production from writer-director Mark Steven Johnson is the highest-grossing opener for the Presidents Day weekend, surpassing Johnson's previous directorial effort, Daredevil, which opened to $45 million in 2003.

Terabithia, a Walt Disney Pictures/Walden Media production, surpassed all industry expectations, opening to an estimated $29 million. Based on the 1978 Newbery Award-winning children's book from Katherine Paterson, the film lured families in a big way, generating a strong $9,239 per-theater average.

In fourth place, Warners' Hugh Grant/Drew Barrymore starrer Lyrics took in an estimated $16 million over the four days, the third opener to gross above expectations. The PG-13 film, which bowed Wednesday for Valentine's Day, has grossed an estimated $21.5 million in its first six days in release.

Lionsgate's Daddy's Little Girls, from multihyphenate Tyler Perry, also opened strong at $14.3 million for the four days, finishing in fifth place overall. The romantic comedy, which also opened on Valentine's Day, has grossed $20 million.

Universal didn't score as high with its CIA drama Breach, but with a stellar cast and strong reviews, the PG-13 film from director Billy Ray (Shattered Glass) drew in an audience of older moviegoers and took the sixth-place spot. The film grossed $12.3 million during the frame, generating a solid per-screen average of $8,790.

Paramount Pictures' release of DreamWorks' Norbit scored a solid estimated gross of $20.7 million over the four days for a third-place finish. »

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