This weekend:

Thor hammers the competition again; Judd Apatow is always the Bridesmaid and never the bride; Alec Baldwin is unsure if he wants to Rock; David O’Russell and Mark Wahlberg have a Silver Lining; Safety Not Guaranteed for time-travel; The Hoff takes a bite out of Piranha 3DD and Colin Firth and Emily Blunt want your life.

Box Office

Thor retained the top spot at the box office taking in an estimated $34.5 million – down less than 50% from last weekend’s debut (which indicates very good word of mouth). The 3D Marvel comic book adaptation has now grossed an impressive $119 million in the U.S. so far, a figure which bodes well for next year’s The Avengers.

Judd Apatow’s latest production Bridesmaids opened in second place with an impressive $24.4 million start. The raunchy female-driven comedy surpassed expectations due to good reviews (read ours here) and it looks like it could be one of the sleeper hits of the summer season. If this has legs then it might just mean that there will be more chick-led R-rated comedies hitting screens. Here come the girls indeed,

Men – have no fear. Testosterone rules at #3 with Fast Five. The fifth instalment of the Fast and the Furious franchise shot up over $19.5 million in its third week for a strong $168 million cumulative gross.

The oft-delayed Priest (read our review) finally opened this weekend. The Paul Bettany vampire film quietly surpassed expectations and scored a respectable $14.5 in a crowded market place. The debut was below Bettany’s last religious themed action film with director Scott Charles Stewart- Legion. That film grossed $17.5 million, on its way to a $40 million total haul.

Animated film Rio was fifth after banking another $8 million. The Anne Hathaway voiced ‘toon has now upped its cume to $124.9 million. Jumping The Broom banked another $7.3 million for a total of almost $26 million. Meanwhile, Kate Hudson’s latest foray into the romantic comedy genre took a major hit from Bridesmaids. Something Borrowed dipped over 50%, bringing in another $7 million for a total of over $25 million. Expect this to find more of an audience on DVD.

Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson’s Water for Elephants scored another $4 million for a $48.5 million total. While the figure for the film isn’t terrible, it shows that Witherspoon’s star power may be on the wane and it again highlights that Pattinson is a limited box office draw outside of the Twilight franchise.

Tyler Perry continues to shine as a one man brand. The writer/director/producer/star’s latest comedy Madea’s Big Happy Family brought in $2.2 million for a smidgen over $50 million grand total.

The top ten was rounded out by sleeper hit Soul Surfer. The $18 million budgeted drama grossed another $1.8 million, upping its gross to almost $40 million.

Movie News

1. For a brief moment it looked like Alec Baldwin was going to bail on Adam Shankman’s Rock of Ages.

The controversial star apparently had a “newly discovered medical condition“ and he asked New Line to replace him on the project “if at all possible.” It appears it wasn’t possible, and Baldwin is still on the project, recently joining cast mates in Miami for a script read through.

Will Ferrell and Steve Carell were original choices for Baldwin’s role in the film, and producers were worried that they might not replace the 30 Rock star with such short notice.

Rock of Ages is an 80’s set musical starring Tom Cruise, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, Mary J. Blige, Malin Akerman and Bryan Cranston.

Source: Deadline

2. It seems that David O. Russell and Mark Wahlberg love working together. Not only have the duo worked on Three Kings, I Heart Huckabees and last year’s hit The Fighter, but they also have an Uncharted movie in the works, Cocaine Cowboys on the way and now Russell wants Wahlberg for The Silver Lining Playbook.

According to Vulture:

“The Silver Lining Playbook [is] about a delusional former high school history teacher who’s just been released into the custody of his mom. Believing that he’s only been away for a few months instead of the four years he just spent in a mental institution, the teacher sets about wooing back his ex-wife.”

The last time that Wahlberg played a teacher was in The Happening. I’m just saying.

Source: Vulture

3. Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass and Jake Johnson will star in the new time-travel comedy Safety Not Guaranteed.

According to Variety:

“[The] story’s based on a real ad placed in Backwoods Home Magazine, and centers on a trio of magazine employees sent to investigate a classified ad seeking a partner for time travel. A cynical aspiring journalist poses as a candidate to accompany a paranoid but compelling loner, but her motivations become confused when she develops feelings for him and begins to wonder whether he is really building a time machine.”

Kristen Bell, Jenica Bergere, Jeff Garlin, Karan Soni, Lynn Shelton, and Mary Lynn Rajskub also star in the film which is now shooting in Seattle.

Source: Variety

4. Baywatch icon David Hasselhoff will join Christopher Lloyd, Ving Rhames and Paul Scheer in Piranha 3DD.

While “The Hoff” is a new addition the series it’s Lloyd, Rhames and Scheer’s second bite at the fishy franchise. It remains to be seen if Hasselhoff will play the role “straight” or if he will riff on his image by playing a lifeguard, drive a talking car or by being a talent show judge. You’ll find out on November 23.

Director John Gulager is currently shooting the sequel to last year’s 3D schlock remake which grossed $83 million worldwide from a $24 million budget.

5. Oscar winner Colin Firth and Emily Blunt will star in an untitled dark comedy for director Dante Ariola.

According to THR:

“It is set to roll in the fall this year and details the story of man who fakes his own death in an attempt to reinvent himself and meets a woman who is also in the process of trying to escape her old life. They both break into empty houses to seal the identities of the absent owners.”

Director Ariola made his name directing commercials for a range of products including Coca-Cola, Adidas, Nike, Lexus and Volkswagen.

Source: THR

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