15 items from 2004
A multiyear film output agreement has been renewed between Buena Vista International Television Asia Pacific and News Corp.'s Asian satellite platform, Star. Under the deal, such films as Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement, Cold Mountain, Starsky & Hutch and The Village will air on Star Movies, which reaches more than 32 million viewing homes across the region. The deal was announced Wednesday by BVITV-AP vp and general manager Steve Macallister and STAR chief operating officer Steve Askew. »
Sylvester Stallone's 2000 reworking of the Sir Michael Caine crime thriller Get Carter has been voted the worst film remake of all time in a new poll. In a survey of 2,000 film fans by DVD rental company Screenselect.co.uk, a majority voted the Rocky star's version was abysmal compared to the 1971 classic. Unfortunately for Jude Law, the recently-released Alfie film - another Caine remake - was also slammed and came in at number six in the poll. The Anne Heche-starring 1998 version of the Psycho horror film followed Get Carter at two and this year's flop Thunderbirds entered at three. The top ten also included Point of No Return at four, Charlie's Angels at five, Planet Of The Apes at seven, Starsky And Hutch at eight and Cape Fear at nine. Surprisingly 2001 blockbuster Ocean's Eleven came in at ten, despite most film reviews lauding the George Clooney film as better than the 1960 original. »
Starsky And Hutch star Ben Stiller feared for his marriage after he accidentally hurt his wife Christine Taylor during filming of his latest movie Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. In an interview with British men's magazine Maxim, the American comedian told of how the incident took place during a rehearsal with Taylor. Stiller explains, "The worst injury was sustained by my wife when I hit her in the face. Twice. It kind of damaged out relationship more than anything. She just walked out of rehearsal. When you get hit in the face, it's hard not to get emotional about it. It sends you right back to the eighth grade." »
Movie beauty Cameron Diaz is set to appear in the sequel to Starsky & Hutch, after comic actor Ben Stiller begged her to star in the film with him. Stiller, 38, and comic sidekick Owen Wilson had wanted all three Charlie's Angels - Diaz, Lucy Liu and Drew Barrymore - to make a combined cameo appearance in the follow-up. But, due to other commitments, they have been forced to settle for Diaz alone. »
Burt Reynolds is lighting up the barbecue for New Line Cinema's Grilled. Juliette Lewis is in negotiations to join the comedy. Jason Ensler is directing the Ray Romano-Kevin James feature, which follows a day in the life of two meat salesmen who will stop at nothing to make a sale. Reynolds plays Cookie Goldbluth, a prospect for the two salesman. Lewis would play a character who is ditzy and suicidal. Shooting is scheduled to start July 7 in Los Angeles. Producing the project are Jon Klane, Brad Jenkel, William Tepper, Jeff Sussman and Rory Rosegarten. Tepper wrote the original draft, which was rewritten by Matt Nix. New Line's Toby Emmerich, Cale Boyter and Magnus Kim are overseeing. Reynolds next shoots the Paramount remake The Longest Yard. He starred in the 1974 original. Reynolds is repped by ICM. Lewis' recent credits include Starsky & Hutch Old School and Cold Creek Manor. She is repped by WMA. »
PARIS -- Film admissions in France registered a 10.9% surge in the first five months of the year, with 83.5 million tickets sold through the end of May, compared with a year-earlier 75.7 million, the Centre National de la Cinematographie (CNC) said Thursday. The CNC said cinema admissions rose 3.2% to 182.6 million for the 12-month period June 2003-May 2004. While ticket sales dipped 1.3% in March from a year earlier, April admissions rose 44.1%, with U.S. films like Starsky & Hutch and the French films Two Brothers, directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, Valerie Guignabodet's comedy Mariages! (Marriages) and Christophe Barra-tier's Les Choristes (The Choristers) pulling in crowds. Entries in May increased 10.6% year-over-year, aided by the release of such films as Stephen Sommers' Van Helsing and Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill-Vol. 2. The market share for French films changed little in the five-month period, at 42.2%, while U.S. films lost out slightly, cornering 45.8% of the market, compared with a year-earlier 47.1%, CNC said. »
Kill Bill: Vol 1 and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King took home most of the major honors at the MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles last night. Uma Thurman won Best Female Performance and Lucy Liu was named Best Villain for their roles in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill: Vol 1. The revenge epic was also awarded the Best Fight prize, for the clash between Thurman's character and schoolgirl Chiaki Kuriyama. A grateful Thurman praised Tarantino as she collected the award: "Quentin spent many years writing this for me and wants to be honored as if he were dead tonight. We don't have time, so I'll have to honor you as if you were living. Thank you, Quentin." The Return Of The King, the third film in director Peter Jackson's blockbusting Lord Of The Rings trilogy, won Best Movie and Best Action Sequence. Elsewhere, Johnny Depp's part in The Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl was voted Best Male Performance, and Jack Black won the Comedic Performance award for School of Rock. Lindsay Lohan took home Breakthrough Female for Freaky Friday and X2's Shawn Ashmore won Breakthrough Male. Best Kiss went to the smooch shared between Owen Wilson, Amy Smart and Carmen Electra in Starsky & Hutch, while Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore were named the Best Onscreen Team for their partnership in 50 First Dates. Superstars including Tom Cruise and Snoop Dogg presented awards at the glitzy bash, which is to be screened on MTV this Thursday. »
The first hot weather of the spring season dented the overseas boxoffice somewhat, but that didn't stop Kill Bill-Vol. 2 from duplicating last week's domestic success as it slashed its way to $17.6 million from 16 countries in three days. The Passion of the Christ is starting to cool off a bit but is still scoring effectively in holdovers and is set for a few more dates. The censor board in India, for example, OK'd the film -- which to date has some $201.7 million in its offshore manger -- for opening across the country on May 7. Also showing degrees of boxoffice muscle over the weekend were Starsky & Hutch, 50 First Dates, Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, The Haunted Mansion and Secret Window. »
A usual spring slowdown in the overseas market, especially in Europe, is expected to shift gears this coming weekend with the start of Japan's Golden Week holiday and the arrival of Kill Bill-Vol. 2 in several key European and Pacific Rim territories. For the most part, new titles entering the market over the weekend failed to make firm impressions, but holdovers The Passion of the Christ and Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed -- by dint of a large number of dates and screens -- were the leaders again, with newcomer Secret Window and on-the-scene runners Starsky & Hutch, 50 First Dates, Hidalgo, Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat and Brother Bear picking up pieces of the available weekend action. »
LONDON -- U.K. boxoffice admission figures for March hit 10.8 million, up 3% from a year-earlier 10.4 million, according to figures released Monday by the Cinema Advertising Assn. The totals for March, however, showed a month-on-month decline from February's tally of 13.3 million and a fall of 5.7% through cinema doors for the first quarter of 2004 -- just more than 39 million admissions -- compared with 2003. According to the CAA, the top boxoffice draw in March was Starsky & Hutch, which secured £8.7 million ($15.7 million) from the boxoffice. »
Easter celebrations and the start of school holidays in many countries contributed to mixed results at the overseas boxoffice, dominated once again by Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, which left the door ajar for Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, Brother Bear, Scary Movie 3, Starsky & Hutch and 50 First Dates to grab a share of the holiday business in a number of territories. With many offshore offices closed Monday because of the Easter holiday, full figures were not forthcoming on many key films in release, especially for Passion. While film critics in Italy generally turned thumbs-down on Passion, it appeared to have little effect in keeping people out of theaters. Eagle Pictures, the film's distributor in Italy, said Passion, which started out in the country Wednesday, grossed about $4.2 million in its first three days. »
Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ kept rolling up new boxoffice records in Latin America and continued strong in key European markets and in its first opening in Asia. After a slew of openings in Europe and Latin America (plus South Africa and Taiwan) and holdovers, Passion is estimated to have taken in about $16.4 million over the weekend from some 3,500 screens in about 25 countries, raising the cume to date to an estimated $58.7 million. Confusing reports from the United Kingdom (about the inclusion of previews) has Passion opening either No. 1 or No. 2. One side seems to favor the third session of Starsky & Hutch as the weekend leader. Passion is said to have tallied $3.1 million or $3.6 million (with previews) from 322 to Starsky's $3.3 million from 452, giving the action comedy a market cume of $14.9 million. In Germany, Passion has dropped in its second weekend to No. 3 (market cume: $4.6 million) from a No. 2 bow, with Brother Bear in the top spot, followed by Starsky. »
Mel Gibson's rendering of The Passion of the Christ found a kindred audience in Latin America, where 20th Century Fox unleashed the controversial biblical narrative over the weekend to record-breaking results in nine territories. Other highlights of a mixed-bag overseas weekend included the favorable bow of Starsky & Hutch in the United Kingdom and the continued holdover appeal of Brother Bear, Along Came Polly and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Excepting European markets handled by Gibson's Icon Film Distribution, Passion -- under the guidance of Fox's international division -- brought in a heavenly $10.1 million from 1,926 screens in its initial foray into south-of-the-border countries. Complete boxoffice figures of Passion's activities in Europe were not available at press time, but it's estimated that the film's total weekend take from approximately 21 markets came to about $15 million, with the international gross to date estimated to be in the neighborhood of $32 million. »
Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ remained the top film for a second straight weekend, taking in $53.2 million and pushing its 12-day total to $213.9 million. The buddy-cop update Starsky & Hutch opened at No. 2 with $28.1 million, while the horse-racing adventure Hidalgo debuted in third place with $18.8 million. The top 10 movies at North American theaters Friday through Sunday, followed by distributor, gross, number of theater locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Monday are:
1. The Passion of the Christ, Newmarket, $53,246,801, 3,170 locations, $16,797 average, $213,888,740, two weeks.
2. Starsky & Hutch, Warner Bros., $28,103,367, 3,185 locations, $8,824 average, $28,103,367, one week.
3. Hidalgo, Buena Vista, $18,829,435, 3,063 locations, $6,147 average, $18,829,435, one week.
4. 50 First Dates, Sony, $7,637,128, 3,040 locations, $2,512 average, $99,348,370, four weeks.
5. Twisted, Paramount, $5,126,387, 2,704 locations, $1,896 average, $16,483,793, two weeks.
6. Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, Buena Vista, $4,045,006, 2,180 locations, $1,856 average, $21,803,186, three weeks.
7. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, New Line, $3,037,822, 1,903 locations, $1,596 average, $368,210,170, 12 weeks.
8. Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, Lions Gate, $2,962,008, 2,042 locations, $1,451 average, $10,149,976, two weeks.
9. Miracle, Buena Vista, $2,543,422, 1,654 locations, $1,538 average, $59,822,969, five weeks.
10. Monster, Newmarket, $2,123,915, 1,082 locations, $1,963 average, $29,954,254, 11 weeks. »
And so it came to pass that The Passion of the Christ opened to a five-day gross of $125.2 million, and some people said that the movie was good and some said that it wasn't good, but Hollywood marveled at its miraculous boxoffice take. And so even those who doubted have been silenced, and, lo, The Passion will continue to reign through its second weekend. In strict boxoffice lingo, that means The Passion -- which pulled in another $10.1 million Monday, $9.3 million Tuesday and $8.4 million Wednesday -- should enter the weekend with about $160 million to its credit. Conservative estimates are that it will pick up at least another $40 million. And a $50 million-plus figure is not out of the question. So, by Sunday, its 12th day of release, Mel Gibson's R-rated homily should pass the $200 million mark. At this point, it's slightly behind the numbers earned, at a corresponding point, by The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. That leaves this weekend's two new wide releases fighting it out for the No. 2 spot. Warner Bros. Pictures' Starsky & Hutch, director Todd Phillips' (Old School) comic resurrection of the 1970s TV show about a couple of cool cops, is looking like the stronger contender at the moment. »
15 items from 2004
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