This week:

The A-Team is defeated by a 12 year old Karate Kid; Angelina Jolie has Cleopatra comin’ atcha; Cleveland gets renewed; there’s trouble on the high seas as Battleship makes way for Men In Black; Ian McKellen talks The Hobbit casting; DreamWorks makes an international heist; True Blood star Stephen Moyer sees Double and moves to The Big Valley, Garner and Nolte know Arthur and lots more.

Box Office

It was expected to be a close battle between The Karate Kid and The A-Team over the weekend. Both were modern interpretations of fondly remembered 80s pop culture, but it wasn’t a close call after all. The Karate Kid kicked The A-Team’s butt.

The Karate Kid, starring Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan, bagged the top spot with a mighty $57 million debut. The Will Smith produced film (he’s Jaden’s dad) should prove to be very profitable – considering that it was made for just $40 million. I could wax on about this – but I think I’ll wax off.

It was over a decade in development, but it looks like The A -Team may not have been worthwhile, financially at least. While performing relatively well in terms of reviews, the big screen adaptation of the 80s television show had a weak $27 million start, which is quite low for a big budget, action adventure. It’ll need good legs if it wants to recoup its $100 million budget in the US – and it looks doubtful that’ll happen.

After three weeks at the top of the box office Shrek 4 dropped to third place after taking just under $17 million over the weekend. The ogre animated fairy tale has now scored $210 million.

Get Him to The Greek was fourth with a $10 million gross. The comedy film has now banked $36 million after two weeks.

Killers dropped to five after taking another $8 million. The romantic comedy action film has now shot up $30 million. Though, it won’t likely see $50 million.

Prince of Persia upped its total gross to $72 million. The pricey Jerry Bruckheimer production brought in $6.5 million over the weekend.

Marmaduke barked up $6 million over the weekend, upping its cume to just over $22 million.

Sex and the City 2 continues its limp to $100 million. The film has now scored just under $85 million. Talk about fashion!

The top ten is rounded out by Iron Man 2, which is on the cusp of $300 million, while Robin Hood is hovering on the $100 million marker.

Movie News

1. You’ve waited fifty years for a big budget Cleopatra film – and then two come along at once!

Steven Soderbergh had been developing a 3D musical version of the historical beauty called Cleo with Hugh Jackman, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Ray Winstone set to star. The film has been lost in the myriad of projects that Soderbergh is currently working on.

However don’t worry, as producer Scott Rudin is working on a film adaptation of Stacy Schiff’s Cleopatra: A Life.

Schiff has recently announced that Rudin’s film is currently being developed “for and with” Angelina Jolie. Now, as with most films in early development this could change. It would appear that no script has been completed and Jolie’s involvement would be subject to script approval – and I’m presuming approval of director and cast.

At the very least it’s a long way away, and, given the track-record of other Cleopatra films – by then Jolie could be too old to play Cleopatra or her interest could have waned.

Source: Play List

2. Are you loving the Family Guy spin-off The Cleveland Show?

If you are, then I’ve got some news for you – it has been renewed for a third season.

I’ve never seen Cleveland, but I find Family Guy mildly entertaining on a weirdly perverse level.

Source: Deadline

3. “Aww, hell no!”

Those were the words that director Peter Berg said when he heard that Men In Black 3D was being released on the same date (May 25, 2012 ) as his board game adaptation Battleship. The nautical (but nice) film will now launch a week earlier in May 18th.

Berg’s film stars Taylor Kitsch, while Men In Black has Will Smith returning for the sci-fi threequel.

Source: Play List

4. Ian McKellen has stated that casting for The Hobbit will start next month.

Odd considering that director Guillermo del Toro jumped ship a few weeks ago.

“The sets are ready, the script is ready and the movie is going to be cast this month. Fans are not to get worried. The films will get made and I suspect we’ll start shooting at the end of this year.”

Does this mean that a director has been hired? Will Peter Jackson return, or will he just boss about a director for hire?

We should find out more soon.

Source: Cinema Blend

5. DreamWorks is developing a pitch from writer John Hlavin.

“Plot details are being kept under wraps, but the story is described as an internationally set heist movie.”

That means a good holiday for some actors!

Source: THR

6. True Blood star Stephen Moyer has signed on to two new big screen projects.

Moyer will star as a Russian spy in The Double opposite Richard Gere and Topher Grace, while he will also join Jessica Lange in The Big Valley.

“Valley is a big-screen take on the 1960s ABC series that starred Barbara Stanwyck. The feature sees Lange stepping into Stanwyck’s role of matriarch of the Barkleys, a family of ranchers in 19th century California.”

Source: Heat Vision

7. Jennifer Garner and Nick Nolte are in talks to join the cast of the Arthur remake for Warner Bros.

“Garner is playing an heiress who carries her own secrets and whom Brand must marry. Nolte is her deeply religious father.”

Russell Brand and Helen Mirren are set to to star is in the modern update of the 1981 Dudley Moore Arthur film.

Source: THR


Supernatural gets animated. Read about the Winchester boys here.

Dark Horse Comics’ Dreadful Ed and Mary Scary are also receiving an animated treatment. Find out about those projects here.

There’s been a new date for Dinner With Schmucks – discover it here.

Southland star Shawn Hatosy is joining Dexter – read about it here.

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

What news of the week are you most excited about?