This week:

George Clooney’s The American out-guns Machete; Olivia Thirlby joins Karl Urban in Judge Dredd; Tom Hardy replaces Michael Fassbender in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; Bob Hoskins, Jason Flemying, Talulah Riley and Willem Dafoe get a Transmission; Jamie Bell joins Sam Worthington On A Ledge; Liam Neeson re-teams with Joe Carnahan for The Grey and Darren Aronofsky talks RoboCop in 3D and more.

Box Office

George Clooney once again proved his movie star credentials by out grossing every other film in the top ten. The American should take in an estimated $16.5 million over the four day holiday weekend, giving the hit-man drama a total gross of $20 million. The film has received positive reviews (read Screen Rant’s here) but the marketing for the film is off the mark – The American is quite different than the film the ads appear to be selling. Will the movie have legs or will the Average Joe moviegoer be put off when they realize The American isn’t an action film? If a film like this gets to about $50 million it’s a success, so we’ll have to see this one plays out.

Robert Rodriguez’s Machete should slice up the competition to claim the number two position. The film which stars Danny Trejo, and features Steven Seagal, Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Lindsay Lohan and 80s favorite Don Johnson (alongside his Nash Bridges co-star Cheech Marin) in supporting roles, should bank just under $15 million over four days. It’s hardly outstanding, but Rodriguez can make this type of film, despite the star power, on a small budget. Machete will be very profitable, despite mediocre reviews, (read Screen Rant’s here).

Takers is doing surprisingly well – for a film that sat on a shelf for a long time. The crime-thriller should score another $14.5 million over the long weekend, upping its cumulative to $40 million.

The Last Exorcism did what most horror movies do, and dropped more than 50% on its second weekend. The Eli Roth produced fright film should take in just under $10 million for a $34 million total. This will make a killing on DVD.

Drew Barrymore and Justin Long’s “are they? Or aren’t they?” real life romance failed to capture attention for Going the Distance. The romantic comedy appeared to offer nothing new to audiences and it should bank about $8.5 million over the weekend.

The Expendables should score just over $8 million this weekend, upping the Sly Stallone film’s total to around $94 million. It’s a winner for the action icon any way you look at it.

The Other Guys have now brought in a grand total of $108 million, while Julia Roberts’ Eat Pray Love now has a total of $70 million. It should top out at over $80 million, showing that Roberts still has appeal with audiences.

Christopher Nolan’s Inception continues to play, but it would seem that it’s winding down. Another $6 million has been stolen from the minds..er… pockets of moviegoers for a grand total of over $278 million.

Emma Thompson’s Nanny McPhee Returns rounded out the top ten, after grossing another $5 million. The film should get to $30 million, and have no problem finding an audience on DVD. A sequel should ensure a nice little pension for Thompson in later years.

Movie News

1. Olivia Thirlby will star as telepathic rookie Cassandra Anderson in the 3D adaptation of Judge Dredd opposite Karl Urban in the title role.

Vantage Point director Pete Travis will shoot the $45 million science fiction film in South Africa in the coming months. The film, which is based on the 2000AD comic book character, was written by Alex Garland – the man behind Danny Boyle’s Sunshine and 28 Days Later.

Source: Variety

2. Inception star Tom Hardy has replaced Michael Fassbender in the big screen adaptation of Le Carre’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Fassbender left the project due to a scheduling clash with Michael Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class.

The cold war thriller also stars Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ciaran Hinds and Mad Men’s Jared Harris.

I presume that Hardy was able to fit the film in because of the delay in George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road.

Source: Play List

3. It would seem that alien invasion films are the new black.

Bob Hoskins, Jason Flemying, Talulah Riley and Willem Dafoe will star in Transmission for director Roger Christian.

According to Moviehole the film is centered around an alien invasion during a solar eclipse, and it’s being described as “Pitch Black meets 28 Days Later.

It’s got potential. At the very least, Dafoe and Hoskins are always worth a look.

Source: Moviehole

4. Jamie Bell and Anthony Mackie are set to join Avatar star Sam Worthington in Man On A Ledge.

“Worthington plays a cop thrown in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Let out for his father’s funeral, he escapes and ends up on a hotel ledge threatening to kill himself. Bell plays his brother, who happens to be planning a heist of a jewellery store across the street while the cop threatens suicide.”

The film’ will be directed by Asger Leth and produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Mark Vahradian, and David Ready.

Worthington has a gazillion projects on the boil at the minute, while Bell is quite busy himself with The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn and in The Retreat (with Cillian Murphy) on the way.

Source: Deadline

5. Liam Neeson is currently in negotiations to join his A-Team director Joe Carnahan for The Grey.

It appears that Neeson will be replacing his A-Team co-star Bradley Cooper in the action drama.

“The story follows a team of pipeline workers who struggle to survive in the Alaskan wild after their plane crashes there. The men come under attack from a pack of vicious wolves who view the humans as intruders who must be killed. Neeson will play the team leader, who aches to reunite with the woman he loves.”

Ridley and Tony Scott will produce the $34 million film, and is set to start shooting next year.

Source: The Wrap

6. Much has been made about Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler) dropping the RoboCop remake from his list of upcoming directorial efforts. Many reasons were given, but the one most people kept coming back to was that director ditched the project because MGM wanted him to shoot in 3D.

While promoting Black Swan, Aronofsky is now going on the record about his reasons for departing the film:

“The studio is in question, as everyone knows, with The Hobbit and all that stuff, and Black Swan was ready to go. It just became an easy decision. All that stuff with the 3D. I don’t know where that came from. Actually, I do know where that came from. I did one Q&A and someone asked me about 3D and it was before I saw Cameron’s film and I wasn’t that into it at the time. Someone connected that to RoboCop. There’s no truth to that story.”

Aronofsky then went on to talk about his current thoughts on 3D:

“With the right project, I’m totally into 3D. Scorsese’s working in 3D. I am very curious what that’s going to be. Like everyone, I thought Avatar was an incredible experience. I’m also interested in what someone like John Waters would do in 3D. That’s when it starts to become interesting, when you start to see it used in very interesting, different ways. There is a backlash at this point, and I think that’s just because it’s been overexposed, but that’s just because people are rushing to bank in on it. There’s no doubt that interesting things are going to be done in 3D.”

Supernatural ballet drama Black Swan, which stars Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis, opens on December 1st.

Source: The Play List

Also

  • Watchmen, Hellboy and Tomb Raider producer Lloyd Levin has picked up the screen rights to Independent comic book The Untamed. Read the details here.
  • Want to see Steven Spielberg horsing around on the set of The War Horse? If you do, go here.
  • It looks like Star Trek’s George Takei is boldly going where he hasn’t gone before – The Big Bang Theory. The actor has Takei(n) on the role of …er… himself in the comedy show. Check here for the details.
  • Want to keep up to date on the casting goings on and various announcements on a selection of your favorite TV shows? Then check this out.

That’s it for now. See you at the movies.