The Astronaut Farmer
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4 items from 2007

Billy Bob Thornton from The Astronaut Farmer

10 April 2007 1:37 PM, PDT | The Scorecard Review | See recent Scorecard Review news »

Billy Bob Thornton has a swagger, there is no doubt about it. At the Pennisula Hotel, Thornton sat down with myself and two other reporters. He started drawing on a little pad of paper, making quick eye contact at best, quiet. Then, a couple minutes later, he revealed what he was drawing, a quick sketch of one of the reporters. Thronton gave a smirk, and that was that. He's been acting since the mid 80s but really established himself with the 1996 film "Sling Blade" (french fried potaters mm, hmm), in which Thornton wrote, directed and starred. Since then, he's been in blockbusters like "Armageddon," critically acclaimed films such as "Monster's Ball" and more recently, comedies. So, when Thornton took the lead role in "The Astronaut Farmer," it was a change of »

- Jeff Bayer

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HBO Films taps Amato senior vp

8 March 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

NEW YORK -- Producer Len Amato has been named senior vp at HBO Films, overseeing production and development of all films made for the pay TV channel.

Amato will report to president Colin Callender and be based in HBO Films' Los Angeles offices.

He arrives at the company after serving as president of Paula Weinstein and Mark Rosenberg's Spring Creek Prods., with a strong list of big-screen credits behind him. Since joining the company in the mid-1990s as vp development, Amato served as producer and executive producer on such films as Analyze This, Analyze That, Deliver Us From Eva, Rumor Has It, Blood Diamond and the recent release The Astronaut Farmer.

The new post marks Amato's return to his roots. His producing debut was Charles Dutton's 1997 drama First Time Felon for HBO, and he worked with the network again in 2004 as executive producer of Katja von Garnier's political drama Iron Jawed Angels.

"Len is one of the smartest executives in the industry with an impeccable reputation for good taste and great talent relations," Callender said. »

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Virginia Madsen from The Astronaut Farmer and The Number 23

27 February 2007 12:43 PM, PST | The Scorecard Review | See recent Scorecard Review news »

With two films opening up on the same day, people might start thinking Virginia Madsen’s new lucky number is 23. After all, one of the films is called “The Number 23,” the other being “The Astronaut Farmer.” “I stayed away from that whole enigma,” Madsen says. I’m not superstitious about anything, though I don’t try and tempt the fates.” “The Astronaut Farmer” is a family drama about Charles Farmer (Billy Bob Thornton) attempting to build a rocket and orbit the Earth. “The Number 23” is a thriller starring Jim Carrey about a family man who becomes obsessed with the number 23. ”It’s so bizarre, I’m competing against myself,” she says. “But these are two such different films.” In both films, she plays a wife and mother, supportive of her husband’s passion/obsession. But the »

- Jeff Bayer

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'Ghost' rides away with top spot

26 February 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Sony Pictures' Ghost Rider stayed aflame a second week in a row at the North American boxoffice. The new releases, most of them rated R, couldn't hold a candle to Nicolas Cage's fiery vigilante in the Marvel Comics adaptation.

Ghost grossed an estimated $19.7 million, flying by New Line Cinema's Jim Carrey thriller The Number 23, which debuted at No. 2 with an estimated $15.1 million. The R-rated "23" from director Joel Schumacher did boast the highest per-theater average of the top 10: $5,476. But 20th Century Fox's Reno 911! Miami, another of the weekend's three R-rated national bows, barely crossed into double digits, opening in fourth place at an estimated $10.4 million for the three-day period.

The weekend's more uplifting new releases bowed to mixed results. Presented by Samuel Goldwyn Films and Roadside Attractions, Amazing Grace, from Bristol Bay Prods., launched with an estimated $4.3 million from only 791 theaters. The PG film about William Wilberforce, who led the British parliamentary campaign against the slave trade, grabbed the 10th spot with a strong per-theater average of $5,442. But Warner Bros. Pictures' The Astronaut Farmer finished a disappointing ninth, chalking up only $4.5 million from 2,155 theaters for a per-theater average of $2,095.

Of the holdovers, Buena Vista's Bridge to Terabithia grossed $13.6 million to place third in its second session. The only family film in the top 10 held on solidly, falling an estimated 40%. Paramount Pictures' release of DreamWorks' Norbit also continued to attract audiences in its third week. The Eddie Murphy starrer fell 42% to gross an additional $9.7 million, good for the No. 5 spot. The comedy has now earned $74.7 million at the North American boxoffice.

In sixth place, Warner's romantic comedy Music and Lyrics fell only 41% its second session, earning $8 million to put its 12-day cume at $32.1 million. Universal Pictures' Breach also held up respectably in seventh place. The CIA thriller dropped 41% to $6.2 million, putting its two-week total at $20 million. »

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