Archive for the ‘Brendan Fraser’ Category

New And News: The Rock Will Go To Extraordinary Measures To Bring Legions Of Fans To Theaters. Plus, My Golden Globes Recap!

January 18, 2010

It’s Monday, and that means it’s time for New And News!  This week, we’ve got three new releases, and true-to-January form, none of them look very good!  Tooth Fairy looks likea film that knows its bad, but doesn’t care because it can make a lot of money.  Legion looks like a film that’s bad because all horror movies look bad.  Extraordinary Measures looks like a film that’s bad, but it’s okay because it was sincerely trying to be good.  After a quick summary of those films, I’m going to do something a little bit different with the News section of this column.  Instead of linking to articles across the web, I’m going to do a quick recap of the Golden Globes, the last half of which I actually managed to sit through last night, despite my extreme distaste for awards shows!

New:

Tooth Fairy (Fox) – 3,000 theaters – Reviews
 A cocky man that is skeptical of unbelievable fantasy characters like the tooth fairy is punished by actually having to become a tooth fairy.  He mustn’t tell anyone who he is, and he cannot expose himself.  He must make the world believe in the tooth- Wait, wait, wait!  Haven’t I heard this plot before?  Oh yea, it’s the exact same thing as Toothless, starring Kirstie Alley.  This time around, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars as the tutu-wearing fairy, and his star power should carry this fish-out-of-water story effectively.  Just like last week’s The Spy Next Door, this film reminds me very much of 2003’s The Pacifier, as each film stars an action star attempting to appeal to a family audience.  Tooth Fairy has been advertised well, and it’s family-friendly nature should equal some pretty good business.

Legion (Sony) – 2,400 theaters – Reviews

This movie claims to tell the story of God sending his angels down into a diner to begin the Apocalypse and end mankind, but judging from the commercials, you’d think the whole movie was about a creepy grandma that turns into demon and crawls up the wall.  With Dennis Quaid, Paul Bettany, Tyrese Gibson, Lucas Black, and Kate Walsh, the films has some stars, but no real box office draws.  Just like The Book Of Eli, Legion hasn’t emphasized its overtly religious themes too much, instead framing itself as a conventional January horror release.  I’m not expecting huge things from it, but I’m not expecting an outright flop either.  Like most most January horror films, Legion should see some alright box office results before debuting on DVD a few months later and then debuting on the $5.99 DVD rack at Wal-Mart a few months later.

Extraordinary Measures (CBS Films) – 2,450 theaters – Reviews

It seems appropriate that this film was produced by CBS Films because it looks like a made-for-TV movie.  “Inspired by a true story,” Extraordinary Measures follows the story of a loving couple (Brendan Fraser and Keri Russell) who find that two of their children have a rare and fatal disease.  Determined to save his children, the father teams up an unappreciated scientist (Harrison Ford) to research and develop a drug that will cure his kids.  The two men take on the whole medical world, fighting an unsympathetic system in order to provide a solution to the awful crisis.  Cheesy but goodhearted, this film seems pretty hard to dislike, and I actually am a big fan of both Brendan Fraser and Keri Russell.  I’m not sure why, but I just love them!  Even though it won’t, I’m hoping Extraordinary Measures does well!

News:

The Golden Globes weren’t nearly as unbearable as the Oscars, and the show actually ran pretty quickly.  Maybe it was because the awards cover both film and TV, but I thought the show was fairly efficient.  Don’t get me wrong- they were still ridiculously douchey and self-important, but I actually didn’t tune away, and that says something.  You can see a full list of winners here, but first, here are some general impressions:

-Ricky Gervais was an awful host.

-Only 90 people vote for these awards?! Why the heck do they matter do much?

-Mo’nique is pretty tough to dislike.  The Precious star has a fire in her eyes and passion in her words, which is a welcome change on a night when you could probably narrate most speeches with the TV on mute.

-Beards are back!  Jon Hamm, George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr., Jeff Bridges, Christoph Waltz, and William Hurt were all sporting facial hair.  Take that, No-Shave-November-disliking-grandparents!

-James Cameron may make some incredibly successful movies, but man, is he unlikable!  The director came across as cocky (“I used the restroom, so I’m going to take my time, so if the music comes on, we’re going to have a problem…”), which was obnoxious enough, but when he used his own Na’vi language from Avatar while talking about himself, it was too much.  James, if you want to be cocky and endearing, please take lessons from Robert Downey Jr..

-Jason Reitman, writer and director of Up In The Air, looks like a cross between Andrew WK and Dave Grohl.

-Hopefully, Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler exhibit more chemistry in The Bounty Hunter than they did while presenting an award.  I know that the teleprompter-induced banter is always awkward, but not saying anything is even more awkward!

-Originally, the only reason I tuned in was to see if Neil Patrick Harris or Lost would win.  I was disappointed to learn that I had missed NPH’s category altogether, even more disappointed to learn that he lost, and hugely disappointed to learn that Lost wasn’t even nominated!

-Sandra Bullock won Best Actress for her work in The Blind Side.  This is a problem.  Sandra must not win the Oscar.  The Best Actress Oscar transforms women into box office poison, and Bullock was just named the biggest box office draw of 2009.  I’ll talk about it more in the Thursday column.

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Weekend Fix: Paul Blart Can’t. Be. Stopped.

January 26, 2009

Man, this week has really taken a toll on me, and I apologize for the lateness of this post. Basically, if you’re a fan of the box office, you’ve already read 20 different recaps of the weekend (unless my little operation of The Box Office Junkie really is your #1 box office source, in which case, I’m flattered!), so you can survive a week without my analysis. It’s been an especially hectic time right now (this is the same time I put my blog on hiatus last year), but I promise I’m sticking around for the long hall. Anyway, I don’t have time for a full post, so here’s the numbers, along with five observations:

1. Paul Blart: Mall Cop is the most popular thing since Obama.

2. R-rated movies are doing quite well right now. 7 of the Top 12 are rated R.

3. Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans did fine. When you consider that it was originally intended as a straight-to-DVD feature, it did great.

4. Sorry, Inkheart. Reading still isn’t cool.

5. Slumdog Millionaire is the most popular thing since Paul Blart: Mall Cop. After 11 weekends, it still has the highest per theater average in the Top 12. It will easily surpass $100 million.

Top 12 For January 16-18
# Movie Title 3-Day Gross % Change AVG. Total
1 Paul Blart: Mall Cop $21,500,000 -32% $6,838 $64,800,000
2 Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans $20,700,000 New $7,036 $20,700,000
3 Gran Torino $15,985,000 -27% $5,250 $97,561,000
4 Hotel For Dogs $12,360,000 -27% $3,779 $36,955,000
5 Slumdog Millionaire $10,550,000 +80% $7,477 $55,915,616
6 My Bloody Valentine: 3D $10,050,000 -53% $3,966 $37,770,000
7 Inkheart $7,725,000 New $2,910 $7,725,000
8 Bride Wars $7,000,000 -40% $2,671 $48,702,264
9 The Curious Case Of Banjamin Button $6,000,000 8% $2,651 $111,044,000
10 Notorious $5,700,000 -72% $3,473 $31,794,846
11 Defiance $5,432,000 -39% $3,030 $18,329,000
12 Revolutionary Road $5,268,000 195% $4,979 $11,867,000
All Numbers Provided By Exhibitor Relations Co.

You know how it goes… Sound off in the comments!

Weekend Preview: Will Underworld Rise To The Top?

January 23, 2009

Sorry for the delay on this column! It won’t happen again! This weekend Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans and Inkheart hit the big screen, while lots of Oscar bait like Slumdog Millionaire, Revolutionary Road, and Frost/Nixon have major expansions. All in all, it should be a busy weekend. Let’s get to some analysis:

The likely number one flick this weekend is Sony’s Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans, the third film in the popular Underworld franchise, which pits vampires in an epic, ongoing battle with werewolves. Where this rivalry came from, I don’t know. Nor do I know about ninjas and pirates, for that matter; I guess there’s just not enough room in this world for too many fantastical characters at once… Despite the currently “in” subject matter, I’m not thinking that this is going to suddenly be another Twilight. Kate Beckinsale, the leading lady of the first two movies did not come back for Rise Of The Lycans, which will hurt its weekend gross some, and there is an extremely crowded marketplace. Underworld: Evolution opened to $26 million back in 2006, but with less star power and smaller theater count of 2,924 theaters, Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans should see a softer $23 million this weekend.

The other new opener is Inkheart, yet another action-adventure-family film from Brendan Fraser, who seems to be reinventing his career around the genre. Inkheart, which is a story about stories in books coming to life, looks a heckuva lot like last year’s $100 million hit Journey To The Center Of The Earth, but it hasn’t had as much of an advertising push as that film did. Still Brendan Fraser has proved that he can draw in audiences (I mean, he actually got $100 million worth of people to go see the new Mummy picture!), so this should still have a somewhat solid debut. The Warner Brothers feature is hitting 2,655 theaters, and It should find $14 million over the frame.

Over in Oscar bait land, three films are moving into wide release. Slumdog Millionaire, which is all but a lock for Best Picture at this point, will add over 800 theaters this weekend for a total count of 1,411 theaters, which should lead to a solid $9.5 million. Revolutionary Road, the depressing Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio marriage film, is moving from limited release into 1,058, but it does not have the same playability as Slumdog. Remember, this is the EEE, and people don’t want to be sad! Give it $5 million over the weekend. Finally, Frost/Nixon, a film that should be thankful for the much-needed Oscar attention, will be expanding into 1,097 theaters. This movie is suffering from the fact that it jsut looks really boring. Give it $4 million over the weekend.

As far as last weekend’s openers, Notorious and My Bloody Valentine should fall hard, while Hotel For Dogs and Paul Blart: Mall Cop should see much smaller declines. Gran Torino will reamin a power player on the charts. Here are my predictions:

Predicted Top 12 for January 23-25
1. Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans – $23 million
2. Paul Blart: Mall Cop – $18 million
3. Gran Torino – $15 million
4. Inkheart – $14 million
5. Hotel For Dogs – $11 million
6. Slumdog Millionaire – $9.5 million
7. My Bloody Valentine: 3D – $9 million
8. Notorious – $8 million
9. Bride Wars – $6.5 million
10. Defiance – $5.5 million
11. Revolutionary Road – $5 million
12. The Unborn – $4.5 million