15 items from 2007
Fifty-nine songs from eligible feature-length motion pictures are being considered in the original song category for the 80th Annual Academy Awards.
The songs, unveiled Wednesday, include four songs from August Rush as well as three each from Dan in Real Life, Enchanted, 56 Drops of Blood, Good Luck Chuck, Into the Wild and Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will screen clips in random order Jan. 15 featuring each song for voting members of the music branch in Beverly Hills and New York. Following the screenings, members will vote to determine which three, four or five songs become nominees in the category.
The 80th Academy Awards nominations will be announced Jan. 22.
The original songs, along with the motion picture in which each song is featured, are:
"Do You Feel Me" from American Gangster
"At the Edge of the World" from Arctic Tale
"Someday" from August Rush
"This Time" from August Rush
"Raise It Up" from August Rush
"Break" from August Rush
"Nothing's There" from Badland
"The Devil's Lonely Fire" from Badland
"A Hero Comes Home" from Beowulf
"The Stars of Orion" from Berkeley
"Say" from The Bucket List
"To Be Surprised" from Dan in Real Life
"My Hands Are Shaking" from Dan in Real Life
"I'll Be OK" from Dan in Real Life
"December Boys" from December Boys
"So Close" from Enchanted
"That's How You Know" from Enchanted
"Happy Working Song" from Enchanted
"Atkozott Egy Elet" from 56 Drops of Blood
"O, Atyam!" from 56 Drops of Blood
"Eleg!" from 56 Drops of Blood
"A Dream" from Freedom Writers
"Lyra" from The Golden Compass
"Good Luck Chuck" from Good Luck Chuck
"Shut Me Out" from Good Luck Chuck
"I Was Zapped by the Lucky Super Rainbow" from Good Luck Chuck
"Grace Is Gone" from Grace Is Gone
"Lullabye for Wyatt" from Grace Is Gone
"Come So Far (Got So Far to Go)" from Hairspray
"The Tale of the Horny Frog" from The Heartbreak Kid
"China Doll" from Honeydripper
"It Will Stay With Us" from The Hottest State
"Never See You" from The Hottest State
"Society" from Into the Wild
"Guaranteed" from Into the Wild
"Rise" from Into the Wild
"First Amendment Blues" from Larry Flynt: The Right To Be Left Alone
"Hello (I Love You)" from The Last Mimzy
"Despedida" from Love in the Time of Cholera
"Huck's Tune" from Lucky You
"Little Wonders" from Meet the Robinsons
"Another Believer" from Meet the Robinsons
"Way Back into Love" from Music and Lyrics
"PoP! Goes My Heart" from Music and Lyrics
"Ordinary People" from Music Within
"Pretty Much Amazing" from Nancy Drew
"Falling Slowly" from Once
"If You Want Me" from Once
"Le Festin" from Ratatouille
"Land of Quiet Poems" from Resurrecting the Champ
"Love Will Still Be There" from September Dawn
"Royal Pain" from Shrek the Third
"Rule the World" from Stardust
"Before It's Too Late (Sam and Mikaela's Theme)" from Transformers
"Baby Don't You Cry" from Waitress
"Beautiful Ride" from Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
"Walk Hard" from Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
"Let's Duet" from Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
"Back Where You Belong" from The Water Horse
Ranking first in 13 overseas territories including Italy, where it registered a gangbusters opening, Ratatouille coasted to No. 1 internationally for the third consecutive weekend, grossing an estimated $27.7 million from 3,793 screens in 33 markets.
The total overseas tally for the Disney/Pixar animation offering is $308 million and $512.6 million worldwide, making it the 11th-biggest grosser in Disney history and the 51st-biggest title all-time industrywide. Ratatouille, which opened internationally June 28, has completed its overseas run but looms as a dominant factor in holdover markets for several stanzas to come.
Outgrossing the combined totals of the No. 2- No. 5 titles during the weekend by nearly $4 million, the saga of Remy the French rat notched a number of Disney and industry records.
Ratatouille is the sixth-biggest-grossing original animation title ever to be released overseas and the ninth-biggest including sequels. It also is the fourth-biggest Disney animation release (behind 2003's Finding Nemo, 1994's The Lion King and 2004's The Incredibles) and the 48th title (the 10th from Disney) in history to cross the $300 million gross mark internationally.
Limited international openings of Rush Hour 3 and The Bourne Ultimatum hardly dented The Simpsons Movie, which remained No. 1 overseas for the third consecutive weekend with an estimated gross of $23.2 million from 5,806 screens in 59 markets.
Simpsons bowed respectably in four new markets -- Hong Kong, Hungary, Thailand and Taiwan -- and continued to clean up in holdover European territories plus Australia. The international gross for Simpsons landed at $230 million during the weekend, said 20th Century Fox International. The film's worldwide tally is $382.2 million.
New Line's Rush Hour 3, which bowed No. 1 domestically, opened in the U.K., Israel, Sweden, India, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines and the West Indies. Based on its No. 1 market debut in the U.K. -- where it grossed an estimated $5.6 million -- the latest in director Brett Ratner's action series co-starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker looks to be on track for an estimated $10 million weekend overall.
Universal International's Ultimatum, in the second spot domestically, made its overseas debut at 350 screens in 11 markets in Asia, the Middle East and South Africa, grossing an estimated $3.8 million. According to Universal International, the third in the Bourne series is tracking 97% ahead of 2002's The Bourne Identity and 58% ahead of 2004's The Bourne Supremacy.
The Matt Damon thriller finished at No. 1 in Taiwan (an estimated $1 million from 56 sites for a per-screen average of $17,857) and in Thailand ($790,000 from 49 locations for a per-screen average of $16,122). Ultimatum opens in 10 markets this weekend, including the U.K. and Spain. The film's early worldwide gross is $136.1 million.
Stardust made its international debut in Russia simultaneously with its domestic opening. »
Despite a North American boxoffice that continues to post upbeat results, the weekend's new wide releases didn't leave their respective distributors celebrating.
New Line Cinema's action comedy Rush Hour 3 handily took the top slot with an estimated $50.2 million opening, but while that number was impressive, it fell short of the $67.4 million that Rush Hour 2 commanded when it debuted in 2001. Meanwhile, Paramount Pictures' fantasy Stardust was earthbound with an estimated $9 million bow, and Sony Pictures' Daddy Day Camp, a sequel of sorts to the 2003 hit Daddy Day Care, opened to an estimated $3.6 million.
The overall boxoffice remained strong compared with the same frame a year ago, when Sony Pictures' Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby led the list for the second weekend in a row with a take of $22.1 million. According to Nielsen EDI, the top 10 films for the weekend grossed an estimated $135.7 million, up 31% from last year.
As Hollywood's summer of sequels grinds to a close, the latest installment in the Rush Hour franchise did face some hurdles: It's been six years since the last film in the series, and fast-talking star Chris Tucker hasn't been seen on the big screen since then. With Brett Ratner again directing, the pricey, $140 million sequel reunites Tucker with Jackie Chan as the two mismatched detectives who this time find new culture clashes in Paris.
Opening in 3,778 theaters, the PG-13 film collected its $50.2 million by achieving a per-theater average of $13,297. According to New Line, the opening-weekend audience was evenly divided between males and females and those under and over 25. The studio said that 85% of the audience polled rated the movie good or excellent, while 75% said they would definitely recommend it. »
- Take superhero character. Adapt into feature film project. Grab a hot director and add to mix. Rinse. Repeat. Those who own a bit of stock in Marvel Studios know that it’s not the pulp operation portion of the company that is bringing in the bucks but rather the assembly line production slate of its library of popular characters. I’m not sure this possible franchise ranks among the 30 year geek squadron, but there is no stopping this deluge of comic book to big screen salutes. The filmmaker who introduced us to one of my fav. blondes in Sienna Miller (Layer Cake) will take to hair care product super-hero spokesman Thor. Variety reports that Matthew Vaughn (Stardust) has joined the echelons of other talented directors immersing themselves in comic-book character type worlds. Marvel is aiming for a pre-strike production start this winter. I can’t think of any blondes »
There's no statute of limitations on sequels, but New Line Cinema's Rush Hour 3 will be pushing the envelope this week as it launches in North America six years after Rush Hour 2. Even so, the buddy action flick starring Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan is in line to pick up the baton from Universal Pictures' The Bourne Ultimatum, which dominated the previous weekend and should hold down the No. 2 spot this frame with a $30 million-plus haul.
Still, it should make for another upbeat weekend for Hollywood compared with the same frame a year ago, when Sony's comedy Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby led the list for the second straight weekend with a gross of $22.1 million.
Despite the wait between Rush Hour films, the key creative components of the fast-talking action franchise have reunited: Brett Ratner is again at the helm, and screenwriter Jeff Nathanson, who penned the second installment, also is on board as Tucker and Chan this time around take their mismatched buddy routine to the streets of Paris. »
A young man who lives next to a magical land makes a promise to the girl he loves that he’ll retrieve a fallen star … and that star ends up being Claire Daines. Michelle Pfeiffer is a witch and Robert De Niro is an effeminate pirate. Don’t worry, it’ll all make sense when you sit down for “Stardust,” which opens this week. The man who brought this vision to the screen is Matthew Vaughn. I sat down with Vaughn, who wrote the screenplay and directed the film, and spoke about the amazing cast in this film, how he got his start and any wedding advice he might have (Vaughn’s wife is Claudia Schiffer and he was the best man at Guy Ritchie and Madonna’s wedding). He also told me I sounded »
- Jeff Bayer
Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar turned down a lead role in Stardust - because she didn't want to be apart from husband Freddie Prinze Jr. The Buffy The Vampire Slayer star married Prinze Jr. in 2002 and the couple made a vow to avoid conflicting work schedules so they could spend more time together. But the promise meant Gellar missed out on a part in the new fantasy adventure movie starring Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer - because the film was being shot in Scotland when Prinze Jr. was filming in the U.S. She explains, "I turned it down because it was Freddie's turn in New York. I would have loved to have done it - are you kidding? But it was Freddie's turn." »
SAN FRANCISCO -- Diverting and pleasurable to watch, Stardust, a tongue-in-cheek sword-and-sorcerers romp bolstered by a top-flight cast, is most adroit when it plays the fantasy straight rather than sending up the genre. Adapting Neil Gaiman's novel, director Matthew Vaughn -- who wrote the script with Jane Goldman -- takes a sharp turn from his directorial debut, the slick neo-noir Layer Cake, and displays a similar visual panache while working a completely different realm.
Stardust is less heavenly in its clumsy attempts at uproarious humor, which threaten at times to undercut the enchanting spell the filmmakers cast on the audience. A powerhouse cast, horses and swordplay laced with an abundance of whimsy plus romance should translate into decent boxoffice domestically and overseas.
This fairy tale opens in the mythical kingdom of Stormhold, where a star has fallen to Earth in the form of a young blond woman, Yvaine (Claire Danes), whose radiance, among other things, supplies magical powers sought by a motley crew of good and evil players. The dying King (Peter O'Toole, bellowing from his deathbed in his best stage voice) wants the star to secure the throne for his lame, useless sons.
In the parallel world of Wall, a village of mere mortals, Tristan (Charlie Cox) promises the elusive Victoria (Sienna Miller) that he will bring her a fallen star and sets out on a quest to find it. The ultra-evil, uber witch Lamia (the terrific Michelle Pfeiffer, who has gone from a delicious bitch goddess in Hairspray to a bona fide, wicked witch here), seeks the star's heart for its promise of eternal youth and beauty.
Only an actress as beautiful as the graceful Pfeiffer would allow herself to be rendered bald, aged and grotesque by startling special effects and makeup and have such a great time in the role. Her delight is palpable, and she gives a fully realized performance. Her Lamia is resourceful and genuinely scary rather than cartoonish.
Danes, an awkward, clunky film presence, is an odd choice for the naive, incandescent star. In a not-so-stellar performance, she overacts and struggles with an irritating British accent. Ricky Gervais is as roguish as ever, and Cox, making a convincing transition from fumbling boy to confident man, demonstrates a mastery of swashbuckling when it counts: a set-piece in which he vanquishes Lamia and her hideous sisters.
In a tedious sequence, Robert De Niro hams it up as pirate captain aboard an airborne "lightning" ship. The captain, macho in front of his crew, has a secret predilection for wearing petticoats and dancing the cancan in his private quarters. Straining for camp, his scenes are just plain embarrassing.
Shooting in the wilds of Iceland and Scotland, cinematographer Ben Davis conjures a land before time and, in tandem with Sammy Sheldon's battered costumes, Gavin Bocquet's production design is the right combination of fantasy and medieval grime.
Paramount Pictures presents
in association with MARV Films a Matthew Vaughn/Lorenzo di Bonaventura production
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Screenwriters: Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn
Producers: Matthew Vaughn, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Michael Dreyer, Neil Gaiman
Director of photography: Ben Davis
Production designer: Gavin Bocquet
Music: Ilan Eshkeri
Costume designer: Sammy Sheldon
Editor: Jon Harris
Yvaine: Claire Danes
Tristan: Charlie Cox
Victoria: Sienna Miller
Ferdy the Fence: Ricky Gervais
Primus: Jason Flemyng
Secundus: Rupert Everett
The King: Peter O'Toole
Lamia: Michelle Pfeiffer: Captain Shakespeare: Robert De Niro
Running time -- 128 minutes
MPAA rating: PG-13
LONDON -- Organizers of this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival have lined up Christopher Hampton, William Nicholson, Paul Laverty and Irvine Welsh to talk about Cinema and the Written Word, the subject of the first themed year in the festival's history.
As part of that theme, the festival also will feature a retrospective dedicated to legendary Hollywood screenwriter Anita Loos, who penned a variety of movies including Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, based on her novel.
First-year EIFF artistic director Hannah McGill said that the festival's 61st edition will showcase 120 movies from 31 countries, with 25 billed as world or international premieres.
Gala events will be held for Stefan Ruzowitzky's The Counterfeiters, Judd Apatow's Knocked Up, Ethan Hawke's The Hottest State, Mike White's Year of the Dog, Billy Ray's Breach and Matthew Vaughn's Stardust.
Other guests on the talk roster include directors John Waters, Apatow, Stephen Frears and Mike Leigh, and actors Samantha Morton, Chris Cooper, Delpy, Bob Hoskins, Stellan Skarsgard and Tilda Swinton. »
MARV was founded by director-producer Vaughn in 2003 as a successor to his and Guy Ritchie's Ska Films. Vaughn produced such films as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch and Mean Machine before making his feature directorial debut on Layer Cake.
"We've had a really good relationship with Sony ever since 'Snatch, ' which was too long ago to admit to," Vaughn said. "Working Title has had their fair share of everything British. Let's just say there's room for another company to make British films for international audiences."
MARV is developing a World War I drama, two comedies and a Spaghetti Western.
"I'll be disappointed if we're not making two films a year, if not three," Vaughn added. »
- Studios spend tons of money to pollute the skyline and color the croisette with upcoming outdoor ads to spruce upcoming releases, while sellers might use it as a tool to add a little more oomph to their sales slate. Jerry Seinfeld uses it to make a public appearance much like a certain Borat did during the exact time last year. This high end graffiti for the flocks of folk that come here do the same thing I do – allow the assault to occur and publish the report. Scrolling down you’ll find a slew of high end publicity which is then converted into free publicity by people like me looking to add photo content to the site. Don't have a (cash) cow!: The Simpsons Movie awaiting its world summer release.The total cost of this pub (Evan Almighty) = my total net worth. After Layer Cake can Matthew Vaughn find glory with Stardust? »
With the jury still out on where this year's Berlin lineup will rate on the Dieter meter, attention is beginning to focus on the selection for the Festival de Cannes.
The Riviera event marks its 60th anniversary when it unspools May 16-27, suggesting fest president Gilles Jacob will want to inject some extra glitz. But artistic director Thierry Fremaux said the landmark will not influence his choice of movies for Competition.
After the poor reception given to last year's opener The Da Vinci Code, pressure is on to find a more crowd-pleasing title. One option under consideration is the hugely ambitious documentary "earth," which offers a dazzling look at natural life on our planet.
"We're already speaking to Cannes about being the opening film. We're sending an unfinished mix to Cannes at the end of February," said Sophokles Tasioulis of Greenlight Media, who co-produced the movie with the BBC. The movie is distributed in France by Gaumont, which has previously handled opening-night duties with The Fifth Element and Vatel.
A more conventional contender is Ocean's Thirteen from Palme d'Or winner Steven Soderbergh. And one that would allow for a top-flight red carpet gala given the Warner Bros. picture's all-star cast headed by George Clooney, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt and Al Pacino.
Warner's Iraq-themed movie The Valley of Elah written and directed by Paul Haggis starring Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron and James Franco is also in the running. "It's not out of the question," said a source.
Although it is still too early for titles to have received any locked-down slots, Fremaux looks to have a good choice of titles from both the U.S. and France.
Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End is one possible for out of Competition. Paramount Pictures' fantasy adventure Stardust, starring Claire Danes, Robert De Niro, Sienna Miller and Michelle Pfeiffer, may also show up. »
Steven Spielberg's go-to screenwriter David Koepp (War of the Worlds, Indiana Jones 4) will direct from a script he penned with John Kamps. The studio created a splash when it paid a reported $2 million for Koepp and Kamps' pitch in March 2005.
The story centers on a dentist who dies briefly during routine dental surgery and gains the ability to see dead people who ask him for help in contacting the living.
The studio is eyeing an October start date.
Gervais, repped by Endeavor, is best known for starring and creating the TV comedies The Office (British version) and Extras. He most recently appeared on the big screen in a cameo in Night at the Museum and will appear in Paramount's upcoming fantasy Stardust.
The film, which boasts a cast including Claire Danes, Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer and Charlie Cox, wrapped production in the fall. McKellen is recording his part during postproduction before Stardust's July 27 release date.
The film, based on Neil Gaiman's novel, centers on a young man who promises his beloved that he will retrieve a fallen star by venturing into the Faerie realm, where he encounters witches, goblins, gnomes, talking animals and evil trees. Gaiman's fairy tale debuted in 1997 as a four-issue DC Comics miniseries with illustrations by Charles Vess. It was published as a single book the following year.
Paramount's Brad Weston and Dan Levine are overseeing for the studio.
McKellen, a two-time Oscar nominee for his roles in "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" and Gods and Monsters, appeared in two of the biggest hits of 2006: The Da Vinci Code and X-Men: The Last Stand. He is best known for playing Gandalf in the Rings trilogy. »
15 items from 2007
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