20 items from 2008
How to please a fanboy? A mystery wrapped in a riddle. Keeping up with the news fanboys find interesting versus actually interesting movie news is a tiresome task. Take, for example, the three director stories that appeared online today. Of the bunch only one is actually interesting, and that's only because one of them just seems like a crap idea and the other just seems like an idea that just isn't possible, at least not without pissing off every online fanboy should it not be done exactly right. Let's tackle this like the Man with No Name shall we? The Good: The only film I am mildly interested in is the proposed new Planet of the Apes-like film and apparently it has now been confirmed that The Lookout writer/director Scott Frank is set to helm the feature and is busy rewriting the Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver previous script. »
- Brad Brevet
If hell is consumed by the same faux fires that riddled this film it might not be such a bad trip. Add to that the Nintendo style explosions and campy Nickelodeon acting and you have a spool of film that should have been left on the cutting room floor.In the not-so-broad spectrum of faith based films, THR3E executes a moderate attempt at wanting to be a mainstream movie. On paper, Thr3e is stellar - a real page turner. On the big screen, Thr3e leaves you wondering if Happy Feet is worth seeing for a seventh time. True, you are on the edge of your seat throughout the film's entirety. Also true »
At this point this news is no longer new, but it's worth mentioning again just to hammer it home. Dark Horizons has confirmed that George Miller is no longer attached to Justice League in any capacity. Miller appeared on a morning talk show in Australia and confirmed that he's no longer involved (which IESB first mentioned in August), adding that if it ever gets greenlit again, it'll be recast, because "the studios seem to want bigger stars in their superhero movies now." Really?! I never would've guessed! The only movies George Miller should be directing are sequels to Happy Feet or Mad Max - and that's it! The funny thing is that Miller can't even get his own star, Mel Gibson, to agree to do another Mad Max! "Miller also admits that he'd like to work with Mel Gibson on something again and while Mel doesn't want to do the »
- Alex Billington
Dark Horizons is reporting that director George Miller (Happy Feet) is off of the Justice League movie. According to them, he revealed the news on an Australian talk-show, commenting that if the project does get going again it will be recast, as "the studios seem to want bigger stars in their superhero movies now." Miller also admitted that he wrote another Mad Max script, which Mel Gibson turned down. Still, he hasn't given up on that one quite yet. Well it's not often that I can »
- James Thoo
Spielberg and Eastwood visit the Hereafter; Len Wiseman drives a Motorcade; Guillermo del Toro plays with Pinocchio; George Miller has Happy Feet again and Matthew McConaughey and David O. Russell fight with The Grackle.
James Bond captured the top spot of the Us box office with an amazing $71 million. The weekend take of Quantum of Solace was higher than any previous Bond entry in the series, and it highlights Daniel Craig’s popularity in the iconic role.
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa took the runner up position with another $32 million giving the animated animal film an amazing $100 million. Role Models continues to impress with another $11.5 million in the bank, High School Musical 3: Senior Year grossed another $5.5 million bringing its total to $84million. While this is far from a bad gross (considering its low budget) it must be slightly disappointing for Disney.
Clint Eastwood’s Changeling eeked »
- Niall Browne
- Weekend Top 10 # Title Gross % Chg. Theaters Weeks Avg Total Distributor 1 Quantum of Solace $70.4M New 3,451 1 20,400 $70.4M Sony 2 Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa $36.1M -42.7 4,065 2 8,888 $118.M Dreamworks 3 Role Models $11.7M -38.9 2,798 2 4,185 $38.1M Universal 4 High School Musical 3: Senior Year $5.9M -35.8 3,202 4 1,836 $84.4M Buena Vista 5 Changeling $4.2M -41.4 1,896 4 2,240 $27.6M Universal 6 Zack and Miri Make a Porno $3.2M -49.0 2,210 3 1,448 $26.5M Weinstein 7 Soul Men $2.4M -55.1 2,048 2 1,186 $9.4M MGM 8 The Secret Life of Bees $2.4M -22.3 1,449 5 1,656 $33.7M Fox Searchlight 9 Saw V $1.8M -56.0 2,002 4 894 $55.4M Lionsgate 10 The Haunting of Molly Hartley $1.7M -50.3 1,587 3 1,039 $12.7M Freestyle After performing to sold out crowds and record-breaking grosses in Europe for the last two weeks, it is no surprise to see Bond debut atop the charts with Quantum of Solace, the 22nd film in the franchise. After the success of the last Bond outing and overwhelmingly positive response to Daniel Craig’s new Bond for the new age, it is »
Big Finish reports that 2009 will feature new audio adventures of Doctor Who, starring Paul McGann, the eighth doctor. He will be joined by Sheridan Smith as Lucie, his companion in the weekly series.
“This time, though, the stories will be released for download every Saturday night in half-hour episodes, for 16 consecutive weeks from Saturday 7th March,” the company posted on their website. “Each complete two-part story will subsequently be available on CD as normal, with one a month being released from March. Plus, there will be a bonus ninth adventure which will be released as a Christmas special in December 2009.”
The site went on to outline the serials for the coming year:
Orbis by Alan Barnes and Nicholas Briggs, picks up from the previous season’s cliffhanger in The Vengeance of Morbius. Guest stars for this story include Andrew Sachs (Manuel in Fawlty Towers) as Crassostrea and Laura Solon (Ruddy Hell! »
- Robert Greenberger
Photo: Sony Pictures The early Friday estimates are in over at Fantasy Moguls and it looks like Quantum Of Solace (my review) is even a bigger hit than industry prognosticators guessed it would be. Tracking on the film had it looking like $60 million for the three-day weekend, but after $27 million on Friday, Steve Mason at Fantasy Moguls is saying the film could reach as high as $71.5 million for the weekend. Will there be drop off over the weekend, or will the figure carryover? Considering the film has little-to-no competition as it was the sole opener this week and it has a running time of only 106 minutes I don't see why that $70+ million number would be an outlandish assumption. The next number to gauge, however, is how much will Quantum bring in overall? As it sits right now, Casino Royale is the »
- Brad Brevet
When filling out the box office chart that's below the fold, I accidentally mistyped Madagascar as Badagascar. I didn't mean it. Of this decade's slew of random non-Pixar talking-animal cartoons, Madagascar and Happy Feet are far and away the best, so I'm glad that the former, at least, is now a bona fide franchise. (There were rumors of a second Happy Feet, but that project seems to have stalled.) Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa opened to a huge $63.5 million this weekend, a $16 million improvement on its 2005 predecessor. Animated films' staying power is unpredictable (though generally stronger than average), but $175 million seems assured and $250 million is not out of the question.
Role Models' $19 million opening is less ginormous, but no less notable. For an R-rated comedy with no real stars and no franchise behind it, that's a major coup. I suspect word-of-mouth will help the film in the weeks to come. »
- Eugene Novikov
Two major casting announcements for Brad Pitt tonight, both being interesting projects based on literature. The first, an outer space adaptation of Homer's "The Odyssey"; the second, Steve Zaillian's adaptation of Michael Lewis' nonfiction book "Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game". Given I went through the American education system myself and was forced to read "The Odyssey", I know that almost everyone is familiar with that story, but what is Moneyball all about? The book is a baseball and business management combo that tells the story of Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland Athletics, and his team's modernized, statistics-heavy approach to running the organization ??. The Odyssey project is setup at Warner Brothers with Happy Feet director George Miller set to adapt the screenplay and hopefully direct. Instead of telling the classic story in ancient Greek times, when it was written by Homer, the intention is »
- Alex Billington
John Collee, writer of Master and Commander and Happy Feet, will pen the screenplay. Canton will produce with Mandalay Pictures, while Liquid exectuvies Gotham Chopra and Sharad Devarajan will executive produce the film with Atmosphere Entertainment. "In the third age of mankind, the world, after a nuclear third world war, is divided into two continents, Nark and Aryavarta. In Aryavarta the last kingdom of humans exists inside a city called Armagarh. The property is based on a Hindu poem about the blue-skinned Prince Rama, who undertakes an epic quest to save his wife after she’s kidnapped by an evil demon." This promises to be visually lush, so you should check out some of the comic panels after the break, they're quite amazing.
Check out more panels here
via Variety »
The graphic novel, Ramayan 3392 A.D. is being adapted into a feature film and a multi-player online game, by Mandalay Pictures and Sony Online Entertainment, respectively. The story of the comic was originally conceptualized by Deepak Chopra and Shekhar Kapur. The comic sounds like post-apocalyptic manga with a message at its best. As The Hollywood Reporter describes it, Ramayan exists in an imagined world where continents have literally been divided by three nuclear wars. The last settlement of human beings exists in a small city called Armagarh. The storyline concerns the trials of a blue-skinned warrior prince named Rama, and his quest to rescue his wife from a Demon King. John Collee, who wrote Master and Commander and Happy Feet will adapt the comic book. Ramayan belongs to Liquid Comics, which used to be a subsidiary of the Virgin Empire, and was called Virgin Comics. It seems that Liquid came »
Mandalay Pictures, Mark Canton and Liquid Comics are teaming up to bring Liquid's graphic novel "Ramayan 3392 Ad" to the big screen.
John Collee has been tapped to adapt the story, which is a reimagining of an ancient Hindu epic. The action-adventure story centers on Prince Rama -- a legendary blue-skinned warrior who in mythology is an incarnation of the god Vishnu -- as he fights to save his beloved from demon forces.
The comic also is being developed as a multiplayer online game by Sony Online Entertainment.
Canton will produce alongside Mandalay's Cathy Schulman. Gotham Chopra and Sharad Devarajan of Liquid Comics will executive produce what will be billed a Mandalay Pictures/Atmosphere Entertainment production.
Liquid seems to be rising out of the ashes of Virgin Comics, a team-up between Virgin Books and India-based comics publisher Gotham Entertainment. Virgin Comics, under Devarajan and Suresh Seetharaman, shuttered in August with the »
- By Borys Kit
CBS Films is beefing up its staff, hiring Mimi Slavin as senior vp of strategic planning and promotions.
Slavin, who will report to worldwide marketing chief Debbie Miller, will oversee strategic initiatives and third-party promotional partnerships and will also work on a host of marketing relationships.
- By Steven Zeitchik
Before they were married, Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly starred together in a movie about a man engaged in his work that had the potential to change his field, while simultaneously straining his relationship with his caring wife. And since they weren't playing husband and wife in A Beautiful Mind-- Russell Crowe got in the way-- they'll give it another go in Creation, a biopic about Charles Darwin. The Hollywood Reporter announced that the pair had signed on to the project, to be directed by Jon Amiel (The Core) with a script written by John Collee (Happy Feet). The Reporter also includes the key description that you're bound to see on a movie poster sometime soon: "The film portrays Darwin as a man torn between his love for his deeply religious wife and his own growing belief in a world where God has no place. The scientist finds himself »
Husband and wife Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly have been cast as a married couple in an upcoming film titled Creation (previously known as Origin). The film tells the life story of Charles Darwin, the English naturalist who essentially came up with the idea of evolution. This biopic is being directed by Jon Amiel, of Entrapment and The Core, and has script penned by John Collee, of Master and Commander and Happy Feet. Bettany will play Darwin, while Connelly will play his wife Emma, which is a good fit considering they're married in real life, too. Also part of the cast are Jeremy Northam, Toby Jones and Benedict Cumberbatch, however the role of of daughter Annie has yet to be announced. Oscar winning producer Jeremy Thomas, who is developing the film, explains that "John Collee's compelling script tells the remarkable story behind Darwin's revolutionary theory and the foundation of »
- Alex Billington
Worthless information? Definitely, but do you love it? Of course you do!
24 hour sale on all 21 James Bond films on DVD for only $95.99, that's $4.58 per movie. Uh, click here while it is still available. You are going to love these Watchmen poster comparisons comparing the new character posters to the original posters for the graphic novel. The skinny on the movie based on the DC Comics character Green Lantern says the "story follows the traditional Hal Jordan/Green Lantern story lines to a certain degree" and that the "major difference is in the Sinestro character arc." I have no idea what any of that means so you will have to figure it out for yourself. Pixar's The Incredibles are getting four comic book sequels in April 2009. However, it appears a Happy Feet 2 may be on its way in movie form. Then again, George Miller may be busy with Mad Max 4, Babe 3 and Justice League. »
- Brad Brevet
Two big projects that have been otherwise dead in the water for quite some time are reportedly both back on track. Warner Brothers' adaptation of Justice League with Happy Feet's George Miller directing will apparently gear up again and start shooting sometime next year. Additionally, the big screen adaptation of id Software's Return to Castle Wolfenstein is also moving forward, with screenwriter Roger Avary currently finishing the script. As everyone no doubt remembers, Justice League was slated to start production earlier this year in Australia, but in April, Warner Brothers shut down the project until further notice - a decision we were ecstatic about. As for Wolfenstein, that project was first announced a year ago. Although this was first unofficially reported by Peter of SlashFilm, Australia's Herald Sun also confirms that the Justice League movie is back on track and will start shooting sometime next year. Their article focuses »
- Alex Billington
- [Editor's Note: One of our new voices (Catie Nastovici) here on Ioncinema.com, will be dishing out some freshly squeezed opinions on headliner subjects of the week with a vitamin packed double piece appropriately called "Lemon of the Week" and "Orange of the Week". Catie sees lemons as (bad, though lemonade is good) and oranges as (good, though she prefers orangina. Up this week! An assault on indie film houses...really just a practice in redundancy? And on the orange side, Josh Brolin...the new 40ish actor to watch for.] Lemon Sucker: Err, wrong!? Warner Independant Pictures and Picturehouse, the indie film arm of Warner's recent aquisition New Line Cinema, will go to the independent filmhouse graveyard alongside "Sling Blade" distributor The Shooting Gallery. Looking to streamline their business, i.e. cut costs and focus on the bottom line, Warner saw that they now had two similar art house production companies under one roof - and decided to get rid of both, citing duplicate marketing and promotional departments. Smart move? Indie powerhouses Miramax and Fox Searchlight seem to be successful mostly because they have distinguishable marketers for mainstream films and indie pictures. So the question remains: Do Warner's promo teams have what it takes to make more millions with charming indies involving pregnant teenagers and marching penguins, or will they be streched thin with "Jazz Hands IV: The Legend of Happy Feet?" »
On the international circuit, 2008 began in robust fashion as the year's opening weekend significantly bested 2007's comparable stanza, while I Am Legend took the top spot for the third consecutive frame with an estimated $34 million from 3,900 screens in 36 markets.
The Warner Bros. International release starring Will Smith had No. 1 openings in Australia -- where it generated an estimated $8.5 million from 338 screens -- as well as New Zealand and Greece. It remains in first place in the U.K., the largest overseas market, generating an estimated $8 million in its second weekend at 457 spots for a market cume of $37.4 million.
So far, Legend has grossed $170.2 million internationally and $398.8 million worldwide.
The weekend's top five films drew a 25% higher collective gross than the 2007 frame's top five, which included Night at the Museum, Casino Royale and Happy Feet. This frame's No. 2 title, New Line Cinema's The Golden Compass, helped this time with an estimated $29 million from 7,038 screens in 59 territories, good for an international cume of $232 million -- nearly four times its domestic cume ($61.3 million as of Jan. 3).
Newcomers included Universal International's Charlie Wilson's War, the Mike Nichols outing starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, which made its international debut on 70 screens in Portugal and the United Arab Emirates for an estimated $500,000. Next up in the film's four-month overseas rollout is the U.K. on Friday (Jan. 11).
Summit International opened P.S. I Love You at 508 screens in the U.K. and Brazil for an estimated $4.2 million. The romance-drama starring Hilary Swank tallied $5.3 million overall for the weekend from 513 dates in 10 territories. »
20 items from 2008
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