16 Blocks (2006) - News Poster

(2006)

News

Mos Def to play Chuck Berry in 'Cadillac'

Mos Def to play Chuck Berry in 'Cadillac'
Rapper/actor Mos Def will play legendary rock n' roller Chuck Berry in Sony BMG's Cadillac Records, currently filming in New Jersey.

Also joining the cast of is Gabrielle Union, who plays Geneva Wade, a girlfriend of Muddy Waters.

Written and directed by Darnell Martin (Their Eyes Were Watching God), the film is set in 1950s Chicago and follows the turbulent but exciting lives of Leonard Chess, who founded Chess Records, and the label's artists, including Waters, Little Walter and Howlin' Wolf.

Chess started the label with his younger brother, Phil, started the record company by traveling the south selling records out of the trunk of their Cadillac.

The two join a cast that includes Adrien Brody (Chess), Jeffrey Wright (Waters), and Beyonce Knowles (Etta James).

Sony BMG's Andrew Lack and Sofia Sondervan are producing. Knowles is an executive producer.

Def's film credits include the comedy Be Kind Rewind and the crime thriller 16 Blocks. He was nominated for an Emmy and Golden Globe for his role in the HBO film, Something the Lord Made. His upcoming projects include Keep Coming Back, helmed by William H.

'Wild Hogs' takes easy ride to boxoffice summit

America went hog wild this weekend for Buena Vista's ensemble comedy starring John Travolta, Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy, proving once again that the nation's critics are not plugged in to what moviegoers are looking for. Skewered by reviewers, the PG-13 rated comedy Wild Hogs grossed an astounding estimate of $38 million at the North American boxoffice, grabbing the top spot by a wide margin.

The other openings this weekend -- those with much better reviews -- had more trouble luring audiences. Paramount Pictures' Zodiac managed a decent second place opening, grossing an estimated $13.1 million in more than 2,000 theaters. But Paramount Vantage's edgy Southern tale about sin and redemption, Black Snake Moan, struggled with an estimated $4 million bow in more than 1,200 playdates.

Overall, though, the strength of Hogs put the boxoffice in an up position compared to last year at this time, when Warner Bros. Pictures bowed 16 Blocks to $11.8 million and Sony unveiled Ultraviolet to $9 million. In fact, the Top 10 was up a strong 30% compared to last year.

The majority of the holdovers held up well this frame. Sony Pictures' Ghost Rider, which had been in the top spot for the past two weeks, dropped an estimated 43% in its third session, earning an additional $11.5 million. The Nicolas Cage-actioner has now grossed $94.8 million at the boxffice, with Sony expecting it to reach the coveted $100 million mark next week.

Buena Vista's family film Bridge to Terabithia also continued to perform strongly. In 20 additional locations, the PG-rated movie from Walden Media grossed an estimated $8.6 million, for a 40% drop, putting its three-week cume at $57.9 million.

DreamWorks' Norbit, released by Paramount, also managed a strong hold despite the direct competition from Hogs and its urban skew with star Martin Lawrence. In 2,827 locations, the Eddie Murphy-starring comedy earned an estimated $6.4 million, for an impressive 34% drop. The PG-13 rated comedy has grossed close to $83 million in four weeks and should get to $100 million easily.

Warner Bros. Pictures' romantic comedy Music & Lyrics also seems to be holding its own, likely due to the lack of competition in that genre. Grossing an estimated $4.9 million for the three-day period, the Hugh Grant-Drew Barrymore starrer has earned close to $40 million.

New Line Cinema's The Number 23 had a harder time luring audiences.

Boxoffice preview: 'Shaggy' remake best in show

Theater marquees will be touting three new wide releases this weekend, but moviegoers might feel a tinge of deja vu as two are remakes from decades ago. Each of the new films carries a different MPAA rating and genre, appealing to distinct audience segments. In addition, Lionsgate's Crash, which won the Oscar for best picture Sunday at the Academy Awards and has been available on home video since September, will be rereleased for a limited time in about 150 theaters. With last weekend's titles generating lackluster performances, observers note that this frame's new entrees easily should grab the top spots. But as with all prerelease tracking, it's up for some debate as to where each film will place. Tyler Perry's Madea's Family Reunion from Lionsgate should remain among the top-ranked films, along with a pair of fellow holdovers, Warner Bros. Pictures' 16 Blocks and Buena Vista Pictures' Eight Below. The film most observers agree will land in first place is the one with the oldest pedigree -- pun intended. Walt Disney Pictures tapped into its venerable boxoffice vault of past hits and produced a remake of The Shaggy Dog, which originally debuted in 1959 with Fred MacMurray and Annette Funicello in the cast. This time, Tim Allen takes a walk on the furry side with Brian Robbins in the director's chair for the PG-rated comedy that Buena Vista will release in 3,501 theaters.

Modest 'Madea' reunion still tops

Modest 'Madea' reunion still tops
On a weekend when the highest-grossing new release failed to crack the $12 million mark, Lionsgate's Madea's Family Reunion held on to the top spot for the second consecutive frame. Tyler Perry's Madea grossed an estimated $13 million, down a steep 57% from its sterling $30 million debut a week earlier. The PG-13 ensemble comedy was in 2,194 theaters, maintaining the highest per-theater average of the top-ranked films, and has gleaned an estimated $48.1 million in 10 days. Overall, this Oscar weekend proved to be a disappointing one at the boxoffice. With only one of four new wide releases venturing past the $10 million mark, the estimated boxoffice for the top 12 films was $83.8 million, down a sharp 23% from the comparable weekend a year ago. The results for the majority of the films in the marketplace turned out to be even less than the modest prerelease expectations heading into the frame. Warner Bros. Pictures' 16 Blocks chased down the second spot with a debut of an estimated $11.7 million from 2,706 sites. The opening for the Richard Donner-helmed action-thriller, rated PG-13 and starring Bruce Willis and Mos Def, finished with less than the hoped-for midteen area.

Modest 'Madea' reunion still tops

On a weekend when the highest-grossing new release failed to crack the $12 million mark, Lionsgate's Madea's Family Reunion held on to the top spot for the second consecutive frame. Tyler Perry's Madea grossed an estimated $13 million, down a steep 57% from its sterling $30 million debut a week earlier. The PG-13 ensemble comedy was in 2,194 theaters, maintaining the highest per-theater average of the top-ranked films, and has gleaned an estimated $48.1 million in 10 days. Overall, this Oscar weekend proved to be a disappointing one at the boxoffice. With only one of four new wide releases venturing past the $10 million mark, the estimated boxoffice for the top 12 films was $83.8 million, down a sharp 23% from the comparable weekend a year ago. The results for the majority of the films in the marketplace turned out to be even less than the modest prerelease expectations heading into the frame. Warner Bros. Pictures' 16 Blocks chased down the second spot with a debut of an estimated $11.7 million from 2,706 sites.

Alcon reups with Warners

Alcon reups with Warners
Alcon Entertainment is continuing its relationship with Warner Bros. Pictures, signing a new financing and distribution agreement with the studio. Alcon will continue to develop and fully finance its own feature films that will be distributed by Warners, but under new deal terms; the company also will jointly finance some films with the studio. The deal calls for a minimum of six pictures during the next three years to be co-financed, beginning with the Richard Donner-directed action thriller 16 Blocks and The Wicker Man, Neil LaBute's remake of the 1973 horror movie. Alcon acquired distribution rights to Blocks, which stars Bruce Willis and Mos Def, and Wicker, which stars Nicolas Cage, from Millennium Films and Emmett/Furla Films, with the participation of Equity Pictures.

Credits drive Toronto production gains

TORONTO -- Hollywood North has gone from bust to boom in just one year, thanks to recent tax credit hikes luring Americans back to shooting here. "We're pleasantly surprised with the volumes," Patrick Whitley, a veteran producer of Showtime TV movies with Toronto-based Dufferin Gate Prods., said Monday. "If the Canadian dollar remains where it is, and financial incentives remain in place, the levels of service production we're seeing here should continue," he predicted. Toronto currently has 12 U.S. movies either shooting or prepping for the camera. These include Richard Donner's 16 Blocks; Shekhar Kapur's Solace, to star Bruce Willis; the Antonio Banderas starrer Take the Lead; and Allen Coulter's Truth, Justice & the American Way, which stars Ben Affleck.

FilmWorks flocks to 'Shepherd,' three more

FilmWorks flocks to 'Shepherd,' three more
AMSTERDAM -- Independent distributor FilmWorks has snapped up rights to four U.S. titles, including Robert De Niro's latest directorial outing, The Good Shepherd, and upcoming Bruce Willis actioner 16 Blocks. The titles will be released during 2006 in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, the company said Thursday. Other productions include a Neil LaBute directed remake of the 1973 horror classic The Wicker Man. Backed by Emmett/Furla Films, Equity Pictures Medienfonds & Co. KG, Millennium Films and Saturn Films, the remake is set to star Nicolas Cage.

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