4 items from 2007
The comedy centers on a mild-mannered security guard (Kevin James) who is thrust into action when his mall is taken over by highly organized thieves.
Moviegoers stuck with the familiar during the Easter holiday weekend: Blades of Glory and Meet the Robinsons, the previous weekend's top two, once more rose to the top at the North American boxoffice, while Ice Cube's comedy sequel Are We Done Yet? received the warmest reception of the weekend's newcomers.
The R-rated Grindhouse, with a running time of more than three hours, provided the biggest surprise of the weekend. The exercise in low-rent, '70s nostalgia from directors Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino had been expected by many to dominate the frame, but the Weinstein Co.'s Dimension Films release opened at a tepid No. 4, attracting just $11.6 million. Rounding out the new releases, the horror pic The Reaping took fifth place with $10.1 million, while 20th Century Fox's family movie Firehouse Dog snuck into 10th place with just $4 million.
Buoyed by strong holdovers, overall business for the top 10 films was up nearly 9% over the comparable weekend last year, when 20th Century Fox's Ice Age: The Meltdown, in its second weekend, dominated the charts with $33.8 million, while Sony Pictures' The Benchwarmers and New Line Cinema's Take the Lead were the top two new releases.
The PG-13 Blades, Paramount Pictures' release of the DreamWorks/MTV Films comedy starring Will Ferrell and Jon Heder, demonstrated definite stamina, falling just 30%. Its weekend take of an estimated $23 million, following strong daily showings during the week, brought its collective purse to $68.4 million.
"It's always great to have the No. 1 film two weeks in a row," DreamWorks spokesman Marvin Levy said, "but it only happens if you have a film that the audience is really enjoying." In its second weekend, the movie expanded to the over-25 audience, DreamWorks reported. "And we're in good shape to keep gliding along on our skates," Levy said of the comedy, produced by Ben Stiller's Red Hour Films and directed by Josh Gordon and Will Speck.
Playing to the family audience, Buena Vista's G-rated animated Robinsons, directed by Stephen J. Anderson, hung in strongly as well, falling just 32%. Its estimated weekend take amounted to $17 million in 3,435 theaters, bringing its cume to $52.2 million.
Like Blades, Robinsons took advantage of spring vacations and built during the week. »
Mr. Cube builds his dream house in Are We Done Yet? which essentially takes the Are We There Yet? characters and grafts them into the basic plot line for the classic RKO comedy Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, in which Cary Grant played Mr. Blandings, a man who predated "Green Acres' " Oliver Douglas by a couple of decades.
While the refurbished version would never be taken as an improvement over the original, it makes for a generally inoffensive hour-and-a-half, and with a certifiably gonzo John C. McGinley providing the bulk of the laughs, it is definitely less obnoxious than those Cheaper by the Dozen remakes.
It also is better than the 2005 Ice Cube comedy that still managed to gross a highly respectable $82 million. Given the new film's pre-Easter weekend release strategy, it should play well with kids and home improvement fanatics, though others could find themselves relating to the title on more than one occasion.
The last time we saw Ice Cube's Nick Persons, he was trapped in an SUV with two kids traveling from Portland to Vancouver. Now fully domesticated, Nick, his bride, Suzanne (Nia Long), and her two growing children (Aleisha Allen, Philip Daniel Bolden) are finding his former bachelor pad a little cramped, and with twins on the way, bigger quarters are required sooner rather than later.
They find the sprawling house of their dreams in the rural Pacific Northwest (courtesy of British Columbia), which affords lots of fresh air and lakeside views. It also proves to be a major money pit, but Persons is so taken in by a local real estate agent's (Scrubs regular McGinley) slick sales pitch, he fails to notice all the telltale signs.
As it turns out, McGinley's ingratiating Chuck Mitchell Jr. wears a number of hats, including building inspector and contractor, and before Nick knows what has hit him, Chuck has moved his Airstream trailer into the Persons' yard to oversee the neverending renovations.
Directed by Steve Carr, who helmed Ice Cube's Next Friday, and adapted by Hank Nelken (Saving Silverman), the picture delivers the requisite number of pratfalls, and the genial Ice Cube makes for a credibly hapless everyman, but the comedy still feels a little too safely soft around the edges. A little more inspiration could have made it something enjoyable instead of simply innocuous.
Visually, cinematographer Jack Green, a frequent Clint Eastwood collaborator, effectively captures all those unobstructed, picture-perfect vistas. Production designer Nina Ruscio rightfully lends the house a distinctive character of its own.
Should the Persons family return for another sequel, here's hoping they at least don't take another dip into the RKO vault and turn Citizen Kane into "Are We Rich Yet?"
ARE WE DONE YET?
Revolution Studios presents an RKO Pictures/Cube Vision production
Director: Steve Carr
Screenwriter: Hank Nelken
Based on characters created by: Steven Gary Banks, Claudio Grazioso
Based on the motion picture "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House," screenplay by Norman Panama and Melvin Frank
Director of photography: Jack Green
Production designer: Nina Ruscio
Editor: Craig P. Herring
Music: Teddy Castellucci
Nick Persons: Ice Cube
Suzanne Persons: Nia Long
Chuck Mitchell Jr.: John C. McGinley
Lindsey Persons: Aleisha Allen
Kevin Persons: Philip Daniel Bolden
Running time -- 92 minutes
MPAA rating: PG
Inspired by the life of former New England Patriots defensive back Tebucky Jones, the story centers on a tough-as-nails NFL player who realizes that his kids have become spoiled brats. In an effort to toughen them up, he forces them to spend their summer in the mean streets of Oakland, Calif., where he grew up. Along the way, he realizes that he also might have some things to learn.
Cube will produce with his Cube Vision partner Matt Alvarez, in addition to H2F Entertainment's Walter Hamada and Chris Fenton as well as Carter. Life rights initially were optioned by Jonathan Bogner, who also will produce.
Cube is repped by WMA, the Firm and attorney Matt Johnson. »
4 items from 2007
IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.See our NewsDesk partners