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8 items from 2003

'Scary' movie offers up b.o. treat for Dimension

28 October 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Three films arrived in wide release this pre-Halloween weekend and combined with holdovers to lift the total boxoffice for the 123 films tracked by The Hollywood Reporter in North America to a stellar $129.3 million -- a sizable 21% increase on the comparable frame in 2002. It marks the second consecutive weekend that cumulative boxoffice receipts have increased by more than 20% on the respective sessions in 2002. Leading the charge, Scary Movie 3 proved quite the treat for Dimension Films as the horror spoof scared up $48.1 million -- marking the biggest opening ever in October, besting Universal's Red Dragon ($36.5 million). The debut was the seventh biggest for the year to date, a company best, beating the first Scary Movie ($42.3 million) and more than doubling the gross of the second film in the series ($20.5 million). »

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Killer bow for 'Scary 3'

27 October 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Moviegoers, in an escapist mood, rushed en masse during the weekend to a parody of recent horror films, making Dimension Films' Scary Movie 3 the biggest October opener ever. But they virtually ignored Beyond Borders, the Paramount Pictures love story set amid some of the world's trouble spots, which failed to crack the top 10. The third time was a charm for Dimension's Scary Movie franchise as the debut of the latest edition blew past weekend expectations by a wide margin, racking up a spine-tingling estimate of $49.7 million from 3,505 theaters. The David Zucker-directed horror spoof also posted the seventh-best opening weekend for the year to date, proved a company best for Dimension and parent company Miramax, beat the original Scary Movie ($42.3 million in 2000) and was more than twice the size of 2001's Scary 2 ($20.5 million). Universal's Red Dragon had been the October opener champ, earning $36.5 million last year. The original Scary Movie, helmed by Keenen Ivory Wayans, at the time was the biggest opening ever for an R-rated film and for a black director. Both of the first two Scary pictures carried an R rating and were helmed by Wayans, but the third installment garnered a PG-13 rating, which, along with Zucker, is credited as helping expand the audience for the franchise. »

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Slasher pics go one-two at the weekend boxoffice

21 October 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

New Line's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre cashed in on pre-Halloween tricks at the boxoffice in North America this past weekend as the remake of the 1974 horror classic slashed its way to $28.1 million and the top spot on its debut. The opening for Chainsaw, directed by Marcus Nispel and starring Jessica Biel and Eric Balfour, was well beyond the high end of expectations heading into the frame and marked the second-biggest debut in October. Only Universal's Red Dragon ($36.5 million) opened higher. Including Chainsaw, three films went into wide release this weekend, which combined with solid holdovers to raise the total for all films to the second-biggest year-to-year gain in the past nine weeks, as compared with last year. The aggregate boxoffice for the 126 films tracked by The Hollywood Reporter came to $113.5 million -- up a stellar 26% from the comparable session a year earlier. »

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'Chainsaw' all the buzz

20 October 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Halloween arrived early this year and handed out a big treat to New Line as the distributor's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre cut a swath through the competition and scared up a sensational estimate of $29.1 million on its debut. The opening for the R-rated remake of the 1974 horror classic marked the second biggest in October behind Universal's Red Dragon ($36.5 million), and exceeded even the most optimistic projections heading into the weekend. Jessica Biel and Eric Balfour star in Chainsaw, which was the directorial debut of Marcus Nispel and marked the first release from Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes production company. Altogether the weekend was also a treat for the entire industry as new arrivals and solid holdovers combined to lift the total boxoffice for the top dozen films to a dazzling 43% increase from the comparable frame a year earlier, and five films grossed more than $10 million each. »

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Norton, Blumberg ink with Universal

10 October 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Edward Norton and Stuart Blumberg's Class 5 Films has signed a three-year first-look production deal with Universal Pictures. The deal reunites Norton with Universal, for whom he starred in Red Dragon, which grossed $208.8 million worldwide. The New York-based company is run by Bill Migliore. »

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Mariah's Photo Fury

24 September 2003 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Director Brett Ratner found his famous friends most amenable when he decided to release a book of candid photos - except for singer Mariah Carey. The Red Dragon film-maker has created Hillhaven Lodge: The Photo Booth Pictures, a new book containing shots his A-list pals have taken of themselves in the black-and-white photo booth he bought for his Hollywood home. Most of those who posed - a star-studded list which includes Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Ralph Fiennes, Liv Tyler, Justin Timberlake, Colin Farrell, Paris Hilton, Kim Cattrall, Sean 'P Diddy' Combs, Jude Law and Heidi Klum - were more than happy to okay the book. But Ratner laughs, "Everybody in the book is a personal friend, so I didn't have to contact anyone for permission. But some people had vanity issues. "I had to send Mariah Carey - who's a very good friend of mine - the pictures to let her know which ones I would use. Some of them have to have image control." »

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Film Plan for Young Hannibal

15 May 2003 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Hannibal Lecter is returning to cinemas in a film about the cannibal killer's early years. The Lecter Variation: The Story Of Young Hannibal Lecter is being planned by his creator Thomas Harris. Italian Producer Dino De Laurentiis said four actors would be needed to play Hannibal at the ages of 12, 16, 20 and 25 years of age. The film will trace his childhood in Lithuania through his teenage years in Paris to his arrival in the US. De Laurentiis says, "Lecter was born into a very rich family but the war destroyed it and killed his parents. He was left with his sister with whom he had a very close relationship." The character of Lecter is most closely associated with Sir Anthony Hopkins in the 1991 chiller The Silence Of The Lambs. Hopkins resumed the role in the follow-up Hannibal and prequel Red Dragon - a remake of Manhunter, which had featured Brian Cox as the psychopathic killer. »

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Hayek and Norton Already Husband and Wife?

28 March 2003 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Hollywood circles are buzzing with the news that Salma Hayek and her beau Edward Norton have secretly wed. Frida beauty Hayek, 36, and Red Dragon star Norton, 33, have been dating for almost four years and a source close to the talented twosome says they have now tied the knot. American magazine Us Weekly quotes one of Norton's handlers as saying, "They got married in New York two months ago. They've kept it secret, and they don't wear rings." But a representative for Hayek retorts, "No, they're definitely not married." »

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