You Got Served
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8 items from 2004


You Got Served

20 February 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Opens

Friday, Jan. 30

Assembling this vehicle for his young clients, music producer/manager/video director Christopher B. Stokes has attached an anemic plot to a series of dynamic hip-hop dance sequences. The target audience of young MTV watchers, in particular fans of R&B acts B2K and IMx, might overlook the dramatic weaknesses of You Got Served and buy into the protagonists' dreams of fame, fortune and showbiz salvation. Moderate boxoffice returns are in store before the dance-off to home video.

Writer-director Stokes wastes no time getting down to business, with a rousing credits-sequence dance battle between two crews. Cheered on by kids packed to the rafters in a Los Angeles warehouse, the troupes vying for the $600 prize display outstanding athleticism in their aggressive, witty style of street dancing. Refereeing the competitions is Mr. Rad (Steve Harvey), who dispenses prize money and fatherly advice.

The leaders of the winning crew, best friends Elgin (Marques Houston of IMx) and David (Omari Grandberry, aka Omarion, formerly of hip-hop group B2K), have their sights on the big time. So when they receive a $5,000 challenge from Orange County, Calif., rich boy Wade (Christopher Jones), they go for it, even if they and their crew (played by Jarell Houston, DeMario Thornton and Dreux Frederic, the remaining members of B2K) have to pool everything they have.

After withstanding betrayals and threats from outside, the two friends come to blows when David starts dating Elgin's younger sister, Liyah (Jennifer Freeman of ABCs My Wife and Kids). The brooding, protective Elgin, who considers David a player, stops speaking to both of them, and as the plot rounds a few melodramatic turns, the two friends form separate crews for a high-stakes MTV contest, the Big Bounce, which carries a prize of $50,000 and the chance to dance in a Lil' Kim video.

For all its upbeat aphorisms about self-respect, perseverance and loyalty, Stokes' script has a curiously neutral take on the shady dealings of Emerald (Michael Bear Taliferro), who operates an unspecified business from a smoky bar, with David and Elgin freelancing for him as couriers. It's clear that the backpacks they transport aren't full of Girl Scout cookies. Their reluctance to continue working for Emerald, counterbalanced by their ambitions and their families' needs, is presented in a refreshing matter-of-fact way, although the plot strand is tied up far too neatly.

Though the film is filled with supporting roles straight out of central casting -- the mouthy best girlfriend (Meagan Good), the feisty grandmother (Esther Scott), the eager young mascot Malcolm David Kelley) -- the cast generally drives home the cliche-ridden themes with heart. Real-life brothers Houston and Grandberry are especially charismatic, playing off their characters' contrasting intensity and playfulness.

With its competitive edge, Served offers a more hardcore look at hip-hop dance than the recent Honey. And though its dance battles become repetitive, Stokes and choreographers Dave Scott and Shane Sparks, supported by DP David Hennings, editor Earl Watson, an able design team and a pounding soundtrack, fashion a suitably climactic five-minute showdown to close the story.

YOU GOT SERVED

Screen Gems

The Ultimate Group Films in association with Melee Entertainment

Credits:

Director-writer: Christopher B. Stokes

Producers: Marcus Morton, Cassius Vernon Weathersby, Billy Pollina

Executive producers: Ketrina "Taz" Askew, Max Gousse

Director of photography: David Hennings

Production designer: Maxine Shepard

Music: Tyler Bates

Costume designer: Ca-Trece Mas'sey

Editor: Earl Watson

Choreographers: Dave Scott, Shane Sparks

Cast:

Elgin: Marques Houston

David: Omari Grandberry

Rico: Jarell Houston

Vick: DeMario Thornton

Rashaan: Dreux Frederic

Liyah: Jennifer Freeman

Lil' Kim: Herself

Emerald: Michael Bear Taliferro

Beautifull: Meagan Good

Mr. Rad: Steve Harvey

Wade: Christopher Jones

Alani La La Vasquez: Herself

Lil' Saint: Malcolm David Kelley

Grandma: Esther Scott

Running time -- 94 minutes

MPAA Rating: PG-13 »

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Weekend boxoffice: 'Barbershop 2' a cut above

8 February 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

MGM's Barbershop 2: Back in Business was head and shoulders above the rest of the boxoffice pack as the comedy took in an estimated $25.1 million to debut atop the weekend chart, according to figures compiled Sunday. Buena Vista's Miracle debuted in second place with an estimated $19.4 million. The weekend's third new wide release, 20th Century Fox's spy caper Catch That Kid, opened at No. 6 with an estimated $6 million. Last weekend's champ, Screen Gems' You Got Served, was third with an estimated $7.7 million. Universal's Along Came Polly fell one notch to No. 4 with an estimated $7 million. New Line's The Butterfly Effect fell from second to fifth place with an estimated $6.7 million. New Line's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King took the seventh spot with an estimated $4.4 million. Warner Bros.' Mystic River was next in line with an estimated $3.53 million. Very close behind was Newmarket's Monster, which moved into the top 10 for the first time after adding over 200 new theaters this weekend to take ninth place with an estimated $3.5 million. Miramax's Cold Mountain rounded out the weekend top 10 with an estimated $3.2 million. Final figures will be released Monday. »

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Boxoffice preview: 'Barbershop 2' in the cut

6 February 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

MGM's Barbershop 2: Back in Business should take more than just a little off the top of this weekend's boxoffice. The unexpected strength last weekend of You Got Served, from Screen Gems and Melee Entertainment, which bowed at No. 1 with $16.1 million, proved yet again that there is an eager core of black moviegoers and a wider circle of hip-hop fans ready to embrace movies aimed in their direction. Hoping to build on a similar audience -- and cross over to an even broader demographic -- Barbershop 2 should rule the roost this weekend. But, in this case, that shouldn't come as much of a surprise. The real surprise occurred in September 2002, when the original Barbershop, directed by Tim Story, jumped to the top of the heap with a $20.6 million debut and went on to collect a domestic gross of $75.8 million. Its PG-13 sequel -- with Kevin Rodney Sullivan (How Stella Got Her Groove Back) at the helm -- reassembles a cast that includes Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Eve and Troy Garity and also tosses in Queen Latifah for good measure. »

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Screen Gems 'Served' up top film with $16.1 mil bow

3 February 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

While the television ratings were up, the boxoffice in North America during the Super Bowl weekend was down slightly from the Big Game frame a year earlier. The total boxoffice for all films tracked by The Hollywood Reporter was $95.8 million, off nearly 5% from Super Bowl weekend last year, which came a week earlier on the calendar. Screen Gems' You Got Served offered up a surprisingly strong debut in the top spot. The hip-hop comedy, starring Marques Houston, Lil Fizz' and Steve Harvey, stepped into $16.1 million from 1,933 theaters -- the lowest theater count of the weekend's new wide releases. The two other new wide releases -- Paramount's The Perfect Score and Warner Bros. Pictures' The Big Bounce -- were both tackled behind the boxoffice line of scrimmage with a weak $4.9 million and $3.3 million, respectively. »

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Final boxoffice: 'Served' takes top spot with $16.1 million

2 February 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

You Got Served, the street-dance movie featuring the recently split R&B group B2K, opened as the top weekend flick with $16.1 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. You Got Served, Screen Gems, $16,123,105, 1,933 locations, $8,341 average, $16,123,105, one week.

2. The Butterfly Effect, New Line, $9,556,280, 2,605 locations, $3,668 average, $31,735,064, two weeks.

3. Along Came Polly, Universal, $9,310,060, 3,052 locations, $3,050 average, $66,002,555, three weeks.

4. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, New Line, $5,310,803, 2,256 locations, $2,354 average, $345,331,815, seven weeks.

5. The Perfect Score, Paramount, $4,873,819, 2,208 locations, $2,207 average, $4,873,819, one week.

6. Big Fish, Sony, $4,533,655, 2,280 locations, $1,988 average, $55,316,067, eight weeks.

7. Mystic River, Warner Bros., $4,378,417, 1,370 locations, $3,196 average, $64,858,601, 17 weeks.

8. Cheaper By the Dozen, Fox, $4,285,230, 2,396 locations, $1,788 average, $128,034,055, six weeks.

9. Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!, DreamWorks, $4,211,395, 2,808 locations, $1,500 average, $13,107,536, two weeks.

10. Cold Mountain, Miramax, $4,074,047, 2,500 locations, $1,630 average, $78,375,713, six weeks. »

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'Served' delivers surprise boxoffice win

2 February 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Screen Gems' You Got Served clipped the wings of last weekend's boxoffice champ, New Line Cinema's The Butterfly Effect, as the hip-hop comedy easily stepped into the top spot at the boxoffice this Super Bowl session with an estimated $16 million. The low-budget PG-13 film from first-time director Chris Stokes exceeded expectations heading into the Big Game frame by a wide margin. The session's two other wide releases -- Paramount's The Perfect Score and Warner Bros. Pictures' The Big Bounce -- fumbled on their debuts with an estimated $5 million and $3.3 million, respectively. Universal's Along Came Polly held onto the second spot for the second consecutive weekend. The Ben Stiller-Jennifer Aniston starrer took in an estimated $10.1 million to edge The Butterfly Effect, which captured an estimated $10 million to place third. Polly slipped 38% in its telling third frame and has garnered an estimated $66.8 million in 17 days. Butterfly was down 42% on its sophomore outing and has collected an estimated $32.4 million after 10 days in release. »

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'Served' delivers surprise boxoffice win

1 February 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Screen Gems' You Got Served clipped the wings of last weekend's boxoffice champ, New Line Cinema's The Butterfly Effect, as the hip-hop comedy easily stepped into the top spot at the boxoffice this Super Bowl session with an estimated $16 million. The low-budget PG-13 film from first-time director Chris Stokes exceeded expectations heading into the Big Game frame by a wide margin. The session's two other wide releases -- Paramount's The Perfect Score and Warner Bros. Pictures' The Big Bounce -- fumbled on their debuts with an estimated $5 million and $3.3 million, respectively. Universal's Along Came Polly held onto the second spot for the second consecutive weekend. The Ben Stiller-Jennifer Aniston starrer took in an estimated $10.1 million to edge The Butterfly Effect, which captured an estimated $10 million to place third. Polly slipped 38% in its telling third frame and has garnered an estimated $66.8 million in 17 days. Butterfly was down 42% on its sophomore outing and has collected an estimated $32.4 million after 10 days in release. »

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New releases to be Bowled-over

30 January 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Don't look for any dramatic 60-yard touchdowns at the boxoffice this weekend, with distributors already ceding much of Sunday's business to Super Bowl XXXVIII. Although Hollywood is fielding three new wide releases, it's not deploying any championship-caliber teams. Paramount Pictures enters the fray with The Perfect Score, a heist picture from MTV Films about a group of high school students who set out to steal the answers to the SAT test. The PG-13 film is directed by Brian Robbins, who had a surprise hit with 1999's Paramount/MTV movie Varsity Blues, which opened to $17.5 million and went on to gross $52.9 million domestically. Score looks as if it will land somewhere around the $10 million mark. Warner Bros. Pictures' "The Big Bounce, another ensemble effort whose cast includes Owen Wilson, Morgan Freeman, Gary Sinise and Charlie Sheen, is the weekend's widest new arrival, bowing in 2,304 locations. But in making a bid for a somewhat older audience, it also can be expected to take the biggest hit Sunday when Super Bowl parties kick into action. Bowing in 1,933 locations, You Got Served, from Sony Pictures' Screen Gems unit, looks to attract a young black audience. Directed by Chris Stokes, who cut his teeth on the direct-to-video "House Party 4: Down to the Last Minute," Served revolves around two pals (Marques Houston and Omari Grandberry) who set out to win a dance contest to fund their dream of opening a recording studio. »

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8 items from 2004


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