Archive for July, 2013

David O. Russell’s follow up film to last year’s uber-successful, Oscar nominated drama Silver Linings Playbook, got its first trailer today.  News flash…it’s going to be good.  Real good.

American Hustle stars Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner, and Robert DeNiro.  The story revolves around two con artists (Bale & Cooper) who are forced to work with a federal agent to get over on some notorious mobsters.

Everything about the film’s first trailer screams David O. Russell and the 1970’s.

The movie is out in December.

The Wolverine released this weekend amongst heavy expectations as a stand alone comic book film starring the very likeable Hugh Jackman.  However, lukewarm reviews and perhaps an audience that has grown tired of mediocre comic book films held down the film’s opening numbers to respectable.  The film debuted to $55M, which is OK for a stand alone comic book adaptation, but FOX had larger expectations when it comes to their biggest and most well known character.   Leading up to the weekend projections for the film’s opening numbers had it somewhere in the $65M-70M range.  With a budget of $100M+ I think it’s safe to say it will make its money back.

Second this weekend was last weeks big winner The Conjuring, the based-on-a-true-story scare factory that surprised a lot of people.  The film made $22M this weekend to bring its two week total to nearly $84M.  With a budget of only $20M the film has quickly become one of 2013’s biggest success stories.

Coming in at third at the box office this weekend was Despicable Me 2, which has become one of the highest grossing animated films of all time.  The film performed well once again in its fourth week at the theaters bringing in $16M which brings the film’s domestic total to over $300M.  It’s only the second film this year to surpass the $300M mark (the other being Iron Man 3).  The film is quickly approaching Toy Story 3 territory as far as money is concerned ($400M domestic).

Rounding out the top five is the animated snail racing adventure Turbo and the Adam Sandler comedy Grown Ups 2.  The films brought in $13M and $11.5M respectively.

Here’s the full top 10:

*Numbers in millions* (TOTAL)

1) The Wolverine – $55 (NEW)

2) The Conjuring – $22.1 ($83.8)

3) Despicable Me 2 – $16 ($306)

4) Turbo – $13.3 ($55.7)

5) Grown Ups 2 – $11.5 ($101.6)

6) Red 2 – $9.4 ($35)

7) Pacific Rim – $7.5 ($84)

8) The Heat – $6.8 ($141.2)

9) R.I.P.D. – $5.8 ($24.3)

10) Fruitvale Station – $4.6 ($6.3)

 

Via Box Office Mojo

In case you’ve been living under a rock since last weekend, Warner Bros. announced that the sequel to this summer’s blockbuster hit Man of Steel will feature the Dark Knight himself – Batman – in a film to be titled “Batman vs. Superman” or “Superman vs. Batman”.  However, it was not mentioned who would be playing the Caped Crusader.

Zac Snyder is set to return to the director’s chair on the sequel and producer Harry Lennix made the announcement at Comic Con last weekend by quoting Frank Milller’s The Dark Knight Returns.  The graphic novel features an aged Bruce Wayne – 55 years old to be exact – donning the suit one last time in order to clean up the streets of Gotham but he encounters Superman along the way and the two end up in a battle for the ages.

Snyder, who has said in the past that he’d love to see Miller’s dark portrayal of an older Batman on-screen, didn’t say whether or not Man of Steel 2 would be adapting that particular story…I’ve got a feeling they’re going to be looking for a younger Wayne, someone who can play the character for multiple movies.

If that’s the case, here are some suggestions:

Armie Hammer – 26 years old

Hammer isn’t quite the movie star you’d expect to be taking on the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman…but neither was Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, or George Clooney at the times they were cast to play the part.   Christian Bale wasn’t as well known as he is today but he was still an established actor at the time he was cast as Batman.  Hammer is quickly becoming an A-list actor but he has not yet established himself at the box office.  It was thought that this summer’s blockbuster-flop The Lone Ranger (co-starring alongside Johnny Depp) would propel him to the forefront of Hollywood.  However, the movie bombed and so did Hammer’s chances of establishing himself as a go-to actor anytime soon.  If Warner Bros. did decide to take a gamble on Hammer he’s young enough to sign on for multiple films – this sequel, a Justice League film, and several stand alone Batman films – but he also has the looks to appear older than he is.

Luke Evans – 34 years old

Evans is quickly becoming a household name when it comes to big budget blockbusters.   He didn’t really become a mainstream actor until 2010 appearing in the bomb Clash of the Titans as “Apollo” and going on to star in The Three Musketeers, Immortals, and most recently the bad guy from Fast & Furious 6.  Evans is currently starring in The Hobbit trilogy, so he’s going to be even more well known by the time this Superman/Batman film gets off the ground.   He’s got the looks of a playboy billionaire while also having the build and action chops to pull off the look and characteristics of Bruce Wayne/Batman.  Evans is not a notable actor but he’s more than capable enough to pull it off.

Ryan Gosling – 32 years old

Hear me out before you object…Gosling has everything you’re looking for in an actor portraying an iconic character such as Batman.   He’s a mega-star in Hollywood.  He’s got the looks.  He’s an outstanding actor.  He’s witty.  He’s charming.  He’s ruthless at times.   Take the actor you saw in Crazy Stupid Love coupled with the actor you saw in Drive and Place Beyond the Pines and viola!  you’ve got yourself Bruce Wayne to a tee.   Gosling may be a little too mainstream for what Zac Snyder and Warner Bros. are looking for (Henry Cavill was nowhere near a household name when he was cast as Superman).   If they’re looking for an established young actor that would be a box office draw on name alone, Gosling is your man.   Considering Disney is rumored to be looking at Gosling to play a character in their new Star Wars trilogy, that may take him out of the running for this.

Bradley Cooper – 38 years old

Cooper would be the oldest actor to ever play Batman on screen if he was cast, but if Warner Bros./Snyder are truly going to adapt Frank Miller’s comic it might make sense.  Cooper certainly is a box office draw these days and has the looks/charm needed to play Bruce Wayne.  Cooper finally broke through that barrier that is “serviceable actor” to “Oscar nominee” with his role in last year’s Silver Linings Playbook.  He’s got the ability to be a damned good Bruce Wayne, I just don’t know if Snyder wants a recognizable face.

Idris Elba – 40 years old

Elba certainly would be the most controversial choice to take on the role of Bruce Wayne, mainly because the character has always been played by a white guy.  However, Elba has quickly become a very well known name in Hollywood circles.  After hitting the scene in HBO’s The Wire – playing a sophisticated crime lord, Elba has gone on to star in recent blockbusters such as Prometheus, Thor, and Pacific Rim.  He’s been touted about as being a candidate to play James Bond whenever Daniel Craig decides to step away.   He’s a rather well known British actor who has quickly made his presence felt in America.  Elba’s casting would open the doors for a lot of things, not only with Batman but in other comic book adaptations where race plays a role.

Jon Hamm – 42 years old

Hamm would officially be my candidate if Snyder is indeed following Frank Miller’s adaptation closely.  Hamm has everything you want in an established, veteran actor.  Currently the star of AMC’s hit television series Mad Men, Hamm has brains, brawn, and suave.   Hamm is largely known for his TV work, he’s also starred in a couple of big name films most notably Ben Affleck’s The Town.  He’d be an interesting choice as name recognition isn’t quite there but substance more than qualifies him at this point.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt – 33 years old

Last, but not least, if Snyder and Warner Bros. wanted to have any sort of connection to Christopher Nolan’s Batman films – the casting of Joseph Gordon-Levitt is obviously the way to go.   Now, if you’ve seen The Dark Knight Rises you know that JGL did not play Bruce Wayne but instead ended up portraying the persona of Batman.  Like what was said in the film, “anyone can be Batman, he’s an ideal not a person”.  Gordon-Levitt is a fantastic young actor that has established himself rather quickly being Christopher Nolan’s go-to guy in Inception and TDKR.   Would Warner Bros. dare to have another character – not named Bruce Wayne – don the mask?  That would be the only question.

Whenever you have a huge film, like the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII, you’re going to have huge rumors from everything to what the plot entails or who’s going to be playing certain characters.   Today’s rumor is no different as the website Latino Review is throwing out that Disney – the owners of the Star Wars movie rights now – and J.J. Abrams are looking to add a couple of easy-on-the-eyes veteran actors in Ryan Gosling and Zac Efron.

It’s not clear on who these actors would be playing but LR is saying that Gosling would be playing the son of Jedi master Luke Skywalker and Efron would be playing the son of Han & Leia Solo.  Think about that for a minute, sound a bit backwards?  Shouldn’t Gosling be playing the son of Han and Efron the son of Luke?  Either way, it’s just rumor – for now.

LR also stated that another Oscar nominated actor was being eyed for a role, that person was Leonardo DiCaprio, but he reportedly pulled out of talks due to his infatuation with the sci-fi story Robotech.  I think DiCaprio would have been terrible – by the way.

Efron and Disney are no strangers to one another as Efron was brought up on film through Disney and the studio’s High School Musical franchise.  Efron is a better actor than he’s given credit for and he really hasn’t been featured in an action heavy film like a Star Wars.  He could fit.  As far as Gosling goes, he’s no stranger to action films but this would technically be his first sci-fi flick and his biggest box office draw to date.

It’s long been rumored that Abrams will be bringing Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford back into the fold concerning the story.  Now, all these actors have aged heavily and the film will be taking place 30 years after the last one – which almost jives with the current life timeline.

Disney is holding their D23 conference in August and we’re virtually guaranteed to hear some sort of casting news regarding Episode VII then.

I’ll keep you all updated.

 

Via CinemaBlend

This summer has been different than summers in years past regarding big budget movie blockbusters, a good four films with a budget of over $120M have failed to produce anything close to that in their time at the theaters.  The Lone Ranger: $215M, made $29M opening; After Earth: $130M, made $27M opening; Pacific Rim: $190M, made $37M opening; and now R.I.P.D.: $130M, made $12M opening.  R.I.P.D. has officially become this summer’s biggest flop regarding to money spent to money made.  It’s an anomaly too, a supernatural action flick starring Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges shouldn’t have disappointed like that, but it did and both actors careers have likely taken a huge hit because of it.

This weekend’s big winner though was the supernatural thriller The Conjuring, which came out of nowhere to knock Despicable Me 2 off of its perch at number one.  The film opened with $41.5M, while having a budget of only $20M.  Talk about your cash flow.

Second this weekend was Despicable Me 2, which, after 3 weeks, has managed to maintain its grip on families nationwide bringing in $25M for a grand total of $276M domestically.  For an animated film that only cost $76M to make, we’re talking Despicable Me 3 and 4 here.

Third at the box office this weekend was the expensive Dreamworks animated title Turbo, starring the voice of Ryan Reynolds.  The film, which cost $135M to make, only managed to pull in $21.5M.  It’s rare that an “A-list” actor – such as Reynolds – has two big budget films release on the same weekend but it’s even rarer that they both flop so tremendously.  Let’s face it, American doesn’t want to watch an animated film about racing snails.  It just doesn’t.

Rounding out the top five at the box office this weekend was the Adam Sandler “comedy” Grown Ups 2 and the ensemble action-comedy sequel Red 2.  The film’s pulled in $20M and $18M respectively.

Here is the rest of the top 10:

*Numbers in millions* (TOTAL)

1) The Conjuring – $41.5 (NEW)

2) Despicable Me 2 – $25 ($276)

3) Turbo – $21.5 (NEW)

4) Grown Ups 2 – $20 ($79.5)

5) Red 2 – $18.5 (NEW)

6) Pacific Rim – $15.9 ($68.2)

7) R.I.P.D. – $12.7 (NEW)

8) The Heat – $9.3 ($129.2)

9) World War Z – $5.2 ($186.9)

10) Monsters University – $5 ($248.9)

 

Via Box Office Mojo

It’s happening folks!  After years of wanting a cross-over film featuring The Dark Knight and Man of Steel, after the ultra-successful Nolan Dark Knight Trilogy and after Man of Steel has made nearly $1B worldwide this summer.  It’s finally happening.

Greg Silverman – President of Creative Development and Worldwide Production at Warner Bros. – originally made the announcement at San Diego Comic Con yesterday.  The script for the untitled film – which has a release date of 2015 – is being written by Man of Steel writer David S. Goyer and will be directed once again by Zack Snyder.

The film will be bringing back Henry Cavill as Superman/Clark Kent, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, and Laurance Fishbourne as Perry White.  The role of Bruce Wayne/Batman has yet to be announced, but I’ve got my suspicions.

A quote from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns was read on stage by Harry Lennix;

“I want you to remember Clark,” he says, “in all the years to come. In all your private moments. In all the years to come, my hand at your throat. I want you to remember, the one man who beat you.”

Now, it wasn’t announced whether or not Snyder and Goyer would be using Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns as straight up adaptation material, but it’s assumed – based on the logo for the title that was revealed – that Miller’s story will have a major influence on the direction Warner Bros. goes with Batman’s character.

The really interesting thing about the timing of this whole thing, is the fact that we really didn’t get any allusion or introduction to Bruce Wayne/Batman in Man of Steel (other than some Wayne Enterprises Easter eggs).  Why didn’t Snyder and Goyer set up something to allude to a team-up film?  I’m super stoked for this now, but can’t help think that it’s going to be very rushed.

The other thing I’m wondering is Christopher Nolan, who just directed the most successful Batman films ever, had a major influence on Man of Steel and its production.  Did he know this was coming?  He’s stated over and over again that he’s done with Batman and Gotham city as a whole, but was he clued in on the fact that Man of Steel 2 was pretty much going to be a Superman/Batman film?

There are a ton of questions I’ve got but that doesn’t take away the fact that I’m super geeked out by this announcement.  The comic book collection of diehard fans out there will want a different take on the character of Batman after having Nolan’s uber-serious take, but I liked that world.  Henry Cavill was a super serious Clark Kent/Superman.  These two worlds really do co-exist.

Karl Urban as Bruce Wayne?  Yes, please!

2013 Comic Con is in full swing in San Diego and that means we’re going to start getting new trailers and footage clips from upcoming sci-fi films, which includes Ender’s Game.

The film, adapted from Orson Scott Card’s novel of the same name, stars Asa Butterfield (Hugo), Harrison Ford, and Ben Kingsley in main character roles.  The film’s first footage debuted yesterday at the convention and stars Ford telling the tale of the first battle of Earth when aliens invaded and a hero emerged, Mazer Rackham (Kingsley).

Butterfield plays Ender, a child protege who the government hopes can save the galaxy from another impending invasion.  The film is out spring 2014.