This week:

The box office sees a Wimpy Kid knock out Zack Snyder with a Sucker Punch; Johnny Depp is a Thin Man; Dennis Quaid joins Gerard Butler in Playing the Field; Liv Tyler kicks The Hobbit; Robert De Niro, Forest Whitaker, and Curtis (50 Cent) Jackson are Freelancers, and more!

Box Office

Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch received a… sucker punch on its release by Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules. The family film should out gross Snyder’s latest fantasy flick by about $5 million. The $19 million debut of Sucker Punch is in line with Warner Bros’ (lowered) expectations. The film received mixed reviews (read ours here) and it looks like it might not connect with an audience for the long haul. Warner Bros. rolled a dice on this (much like they did with Chris Nolan’s Inception) and while it might not have paid off, it does show that the studio is willing to hedge its bets on a filmmaker’s vision – unlike 20th Century Fox.

How does all this impact on Snyder’s forthcoming Superman film? It’s anyone’s guess, but at least there should be a solid script and some guidance from Nolan.

Limitless is Bradley Cooper’s first real headlining gig since the success of The Hangover, and it looks like he’ll have a few more films with his name above the title. A weekend take of $15 million (dipping less than 20% from last week) gives the film an impressive $41 million total gross.

Matthew McConaughey’s The Lincoln Lawyer also held up quite well, pulling in another $11 million. The courtroom thriller has now amassed over $28.9 million since it opened last week.

Rango crossed the hundred million barrier after racking up another $9.8 million. The Johnny Depp CGI-toon has now scored a healthy $106 million.

A pair of sci-fi movies were neck and neck over the weekend. Paul and Battle: Los Angeles both pulled in around $7.5 million over the three days. The Aaron Eckhart-led invasion movie has now banked almost $73 million, while the Frost/Pegg combo has a total of just under $25 million.

Red Riding Hood upped its (her?) cume to $32 million after grossing another $4.3 million, while Matt Damon’s The Adjustment Bureau continues to be a solid success after bringing in another $4.2 million. The Philip K. Dick adaptation has now grossed over $54 million.

Mars Needs Moms rounded out the top ten after pulling in another $2.1 million. The expensive under-achiever has now managed to gross a meek $19 million. Disney Needs Grosses!

Movie News

1. Last year we heard that Johnny Depp was interested in making another screen adaptation of Dashiell Hammett’s novel The Thin Man. Things went quiet on the project, but now the film has snagged a screenwriter in Jerry Stahl.

The book (and original film) follows former private detective (and booze hound) Nick Charles, his socialite wife Nora and their dog Asta as they solve the murder of an eccentric inventor.

The book and the film are both great, so Depp and company will have to step up to the plate to match the source material.

Source: THR

2. Dennis Quaid looks set to join Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel, and Uma Thurman in the romantic comedy Playing the Field.

In the film Butler plays a school soccer coach, who is trying to reconnect with his son, whilst fending off the attentions from a selection of “soccer-moms.”

Quaid will play the coach from another team, who I assume is jealous of Butler’s charm.

Source: Black Film

3. Liv Tyler may not want to miss a thing, but it looks like she’ll be missing out on The Hobbit. The Lord of the Rings prequel films are now shooting in New Zealand, but Tyler doesn’t know anything about the project saying: “I haven’t heard from anybody.”

That’s not to say that she won’t get a call at a later date, but it doesn’t look good for fans of her character, Arwen. Having said that, Arwen doesn’t appear in The Hobbit novel, so it’s no big surprise.

Source: Collider

4. Robert De Niro will join Forest Whitaker and Curtis (50 Cent) Jackson in the cop drama Freelancers.

According to Deadline:

“Jackson plays the son of a slain NYPD officer who, with his two best friends, joins the Police Academy. After graduating, he’s taken under the wing of his father’s former partner Captain Vic Sarcone (De Niro) in the ranks of Sarcone’s Street Vice Crime Task Force and he becomes part of Scarcone’s rogue task force.”

The Jessy Terrero directed film starts shooting in New Orleans on April 18th.

Source: Deadline

Also:

  • It looks like Gosford Park and The Tourist scripter Julian Fellowes is going to tackle Agatha Christie. Read about it here.
  • Will we see a 24 movie in 2012? Maybe. Find out more here.
  • Matt Reeves says that there might be a Cloverfield 2 – just not yet. Read more here.

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