This week:

Mel Gibson returns from the Edge of Darkness but can’t oust Avatar from the top spot; The  Little Fockers are now due at Christmas; Dennis Quaid is knocked out of Knockout but Bill Paxton shows the film some Big Love; Four words: George, Lucas, animated, musical – and is Sex and the City 3 already on the way?

Well – it did it! Avatar has now spent seven weeks at the top of the box office. The James Cameron epic grossed just under $29 million over the weekend. With $593 million in the bank so far it looks like the film will have out-grossed Titanic by the end of the week. It’s also closing in on $2 billion worldwide. These sorts of figures are really mind-boggling, and no matter what you say about the film, what it has managed to do financially is nothing short of amazing. There will be those who throw out the higher ticket price and inflation argument – that’s fine and dandy, but for any film to have this sort of staying power and mass appeal is extremely rare. Both children and adults seem to be loving it. That is truly a rare thing.

Mel Gibson had to settle for second place for his first starring role in eight years. Edge of Darkness opened to just under $18 million. Not a bad gross considering that Avatar is still holding audience attention. Mel could have had a higher gross, but his bread and butter audience is now older, and they usually don’t rush out on opening weekends. We’ll have to wait until next week to see what the long term chances are like.

Kristen Bell’s romantic comedy When in Rome was third with a weekend take of $12 million. That’s not terrible (although the reviews certainly are), and probably better than what was expected. It’ll be a DVD movie anyway.

The Tooth Fairy dropped a not unreasonable 37 % from last weekend. With a $9.5 weekend gross and a $25 million total it looks like it’ll top out at $50 million. Did anyone expect anything more?

The Book of Eli shot up another $8 million for a $73 million total. Denzel still has what it takes. It’ll end its run with about $90 million.

It looks like the mixed reviews hurt Legion, as the film dipped by 70% from last weekend. A gross of $6.5 million gives it a $28 million total. It was cheap to produce so it’ll make a profit.

The Lovely Bones brought in another $4.5 million for a $37.7 million total. It’ll likely top out at $50 million.

Sherlock Holmes brought in another $4 million – it’s just under the $200 million mark, and with a sequel on the way it looks like Holmes sweet Holmes.

Alvin and The Chipmunks has now amassed $208 million(!) and Meryl Streep has not got another $100 million hit under her belt.

Movie News

1. Looking forward to seeing Little Fockers? You’re going to have to await a while longer. The comedy sequel has ditched its summer spot for a Christmas debut.

This makes more sense as the first two installments in the series both opened in December and grossed $166 and $279 million respectively.

This means that Matt Damon’s The Adjustment Bureau will now have its July 30th date while Fockers will now face The Green Hornet and Gulliver’s Travels.

Other release date news sees Scott Pilgrim vs. The World open on August 1st. The Michael Cera comedy is directed by Shaun of the Dead’s Edgar Wright.

2. It looks like Dennis Quaid won’t be re-teaming with his Traffic director Steven Soderbergh for Knockout.

It seems that the actor had scheduling difficulties in making the film alongside shark drama Soul Surfer.

In the frame to replace him is Big Love star Bill Paxton.

Meanwhile actor/director Mathieu Kassovitz has also joined the cast of the spy thriller.

According to The Hollywood Reporter:

“Knockout” stars Gina Carano as a black ops specialist who goes on the run once she’s been double crossed and framed by her own teammates. Quaid was set to play Carano’s father, so Paxton will now be stepping up into that role.

Allegiances are said to be in flux throughout the picture and may have changed once again as Soderbergh and screenwriter Lem Dobbs (“Kafka,” “The Limey”) have been rewriting and rewriting these past few weeks and previously reported character loyalties may have shifted or changed.”

Knockout which also stars Michael Douglas, Ewan McGregor, Channing Tatum, Antonio Banderas, Michael Fassbender and Michael Angarano starts shooting in Dublin on Monday.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

3. News is out that George Lucas has started work on a CGI animated musical.

News on the project is limited, but it seems that the film is being directed by TMNT’s Kevin Monroe.

David Berenbaum, the man behind the Will Ferrell hit Elf is writing the screenplay, which is believed to feature fairies.

It’s not known if Lucas is behind the story for the film, but as I said before very little is known about the film and Lucas Film have said that it’s too early to comment on the project.

Lucas is currently finishing up his World War II drama Red Tails.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

4. I know that there’s many a closest Sex and The City fan amongst you, so I’m going to give you the heads up on a rumor that has begun circulating that a third film in the series has already started shooting!

The reason?

To get another movie in the can before Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristen Davis and Cynthia Nixon get too old!

A source has told the always unreliable The Sun newspaper:

“There is also a third movie on the go. It’s under wraps for publicity reasons. It makes sense to film the second and third movies back to back. The characters will look a lot younger on screen when the third movie is out in a couple of years. They’re keen to look as young as possible because that movie will be their last. They want to go out on a high.”

Is any of this accurate?

Probably not – but if it is then at least we know that we’ve only got one more Sex and the City movie to endure.

If it isn’t, then it probably means that we’ve still got another Sex and the City movie to endure.

Source: The Sun

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