This week: The box office needs Help – but it isn’t Afraid of the Dark; Paul Solet sees Faces; Mary Harron isn’t Wicked or Lovely for Universal; Harris and Greengrass have The Fear Index and Source Code writer Ben Ripley’s career Flatlines.

Box Office

Hurricane Irene had an impact on the box office over the weekend, which saw a hefty drop. The Help retained the top spot and scored an additional $14.3 million. The drama has now banked over $96 million, which is pretty darn good for a movie with a $25 million budget.

Colombiana, the Luc Besson-produced action film starring Zoe Saldana, made its debut at No. 2 with $10.3 million. It’s not a bad start, especially when you think that it’s the same number that Conan had last week, and Colombiana (read our review) cost less than half the price of the Barbarian epic!

Horror film Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (read our review) had a start of just under $8.7 million. Guillermo del Toro wrote and produced the movie which stars Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes grossed $8.6 million and upped its cume to $148 million, while comedy My Idiot Brother underperformed with a $6.5 million start.

Spy Kids: All the Time in the World banked a smidgen under $6 million for a $21.7 million total, while The Smurfs brought in another $4.8 million, for a total of $126 million.

Conan the Barbarian is turning into a mega-bomb. The violent pic dropped 69% from last weekend’s debut. Another $3.1 million ups the film’s gross to $16.5 million. The marketing materials for the $90 million films say that Conan was “born on the battlefield.” I’d like to add “died at the box office.”

Fright Night scored $3 million over the weekend for a $14 million total, while the top ten was rounded out by Crazy, Stupid, Love – which has a grand total of almost $70 million.

Movie News

1. FilmNation Entertainment has hired director Paul Solet to helm The Faces.

The Faces is “the story of newlyweds who escape a brutal kidnapping and unwittingly fall into the clutches of a shadowy group that uses terror as a means of entertainment”.

FilmNation president of production Aaron Ryder said that Eric Reese’s script is “ an original and gripping tale which will no doubt captivate audiences”.

Time will tell!

Source: Screen Daily

 

2. In what appears to be another example of studios tightening their belts, it has been announced that Universal Pictures has put Mary Harron’s adaptation of Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely in turnaround.

THR describes the book series as:

“A Twilight-esque story set in the secret work of faeries and centers on a teenage girl who can see the hidden faery world. She confronts danger when not only do the faeries discover her ability, but also when one king decides she must be his bride.”

Tim Burton collaborator Caroline Thompson (Edward Scissorhands and Corpse Bride), wrote the script.

It remains to be seen in another studio will pick up the project, or if it will fall into development hell.

Source: THR

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3. Robert Harris (The Ghost) will adapt his own novel The Fear Index for the screen.

Bourne director Paul Greengrass is apparently in the frame to direct the thriller, which is “about an impending meltdown in the financial markets.”

Sounds too farfetched to me (sarcasm). I wonder if Greengrass will bring along his trademark “shaky-cam”?

Source: Daily Telegraph

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4. Source Code writer Ben Ripley will pen a remake of the 1990 Joel Schumacher film Flatliners.

The Michael Douglas-produced film about a group of medical students messing with death starred Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, William Baldwin, Kevin Bacon and Oliver Platt. It’s gone on to became a cult-classic amongst movie fans.

Flatliners banked about $60 million back in the day – a number that I doubt the remake will top. The original is a stylish (if somewhat “music videoy”) little chiller, and a remake is highly unnecessary.

Source: Deadline

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