This week:

Cars 2 hits first gear and takes the top spot at the box office, while Bad Teacher has a good start; Warren Beatty is Howard Hughes; Charlie Day joins del Toro’s Pacific Rim; Geoff Johns talks a Green Lantern franchise (hey –  don’t laugh)  and will The Kings of Leon serenade James Bond?

Box Office

This weekend Disney Pixar’s Cars 2 took pole position at the box office, zooming ahead of the nearest competition in the form of Bad Teacher. The CGI car pic raced up an estimated $68 million to cross the finish line ahead of the original Cars’ $60 million debut. The film has received mixed reviews (read ours here) but it should be very profitable by the time it ends its run, especially once merchandising is factored in.

Cameron Diaz was in second place with Bad Teacher (read our review here). The R-rated comedy grossed an estimated $31 million which is on a par with the actress’ The Green Hornet earlier this year, and it should have a chance at crossing the $100 million mark – if it has good legs – which she obviously does! Bad Teacher and Bridesmaids both show that there is a market for female driven R-rated comedy, so be prepared for a lot more in the near future.

The Green Lantern dropped over 65% from its opening weekend and took an estimated $18 million. The Ryan Reynolds’ toplined DC comics adaptation has now amassed $89 million – much less than its reported $300 million cost. Foreign grosses haven’t been strong so it looks like it will take a while for The Green Lantern to get out of the red and into the black.

Super 8 continues to score respectable grosses after bring in another $12.1 million, the J.J. Abrams directed film has now banked $95 million, almost double its $50 million production cost.

Jim Carrey’s Mr Popper’s Penguins scored another $10 million and upped its gross to $39 million. A dip of around 40% is a decent hold, and it should make a tidy profit when all is said and done.

X-Men: First Class grossed a smidgen under $7 million for a $132 million total. The Matthew Vaughn film will end its U.S. run as the lowest grossing film in the X-Men franchise, but its foreign grosses should ensure a follow-up.

The Hangover Part II banked just over $5.8 million and upped its take to almost $244 million. The film will gross less than the original on the U.S. circuit, but its worldwide gross has already been surpassed, while fellow comedy Bridesmaids grossed another $5.4 million and brought its total to almost $147 million.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides sailed away with $4.7 million for a total of $229 million. The Johnny Depp pirate film is inching closer to a billion dollar worldwide gross.

The top ten was rounded out by Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. A weekend gross of $4.4 million saw the film’s total rise to over $28.5 million, making it the director’s highest grossing film since 1986’s Hannah and her Sisters. Another $12 million will make it the director’s highest grossing film of all time. Watch this space.

Movie News

1. We recently brought you news that Warren Beatty was working on Dick Tracy 2, and that the actor/writer/director/producer had signed on to bring a new film to the screen by way of Paramount Pictures. Details on this film, which Paramount CEO Brad Grey described as being “quintessential Beatty” were scarce, but now it looks like it will be the Howard Hughes film that Beatty has been planning since the 1980s.

While the film is based on the life of the legendary Hughes, it will not be a biopic. According to Deadline “part of the plot involves an affair he had with a young woman in the later years of his life”.

The site also states that he has met with several actors for roles in the film, with Andrew Garfield, Alec Baldwin, Annette Bening, Shia LaBeouf, Jack Nicholson, Evan Rachel Wood and Rooney Mara mentioned. Bening’s name isn’t really a surprise as she is Mrs Beatty and the pair worked together on Bugsy and Love Affair, while Nicholson is an old friend who has also starred with Beatty in The Fortune and Reds.

Howard Hughes, one of the richest men in the U.S. died in 1976. The billionaire, who among other things was an aviator, a filmmaker and an industrialist lived a colorful life which has influenced many different films since his death in the 70s. Tommy Lee Jones portrayed Hughes in a 1977 television movie; The Amazing Howard Hughes and Jonathan Demme directed Melvin and Howard in 1980. Recently Martin Scorsese directed The Aviator with Leonardo DiCaprio playing Hughes, and Richard Gere starred in The Hoax, a film that followed a real life controversy over a fake Hughes autobiography. Directors like Michael Mann and Chris Nolan have also felt the pull of the Hughes story, and the multitude of films featuring the man barely scratch of surface of his life and the many, many urban myths surrounding him.

You can be sure to learn all about Warren Beatty’s Howard Hughes film here at Screen Rant.

Source: Deadline

2. Charlie Day is in talks to join the cast of Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim.

Day will portray a professor in the film which is “about an alien invasion that threatens earth and the humans who come together to defend it.”

In recent years del Toro has had problems getting films to the screen with The Hobbit and At the Mountains of Madness getting close to shooting before they fell apart. Fingers crossed that Pacific Rim doesn’t suffer the same fate.

Source: Variety

3. Warner Bros. Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns spoke with Comic Book Movie about how he wanted The Green Lantern to be more than a movie trilogy.

Johns is quoted as saying:

“There are definitely plans for more Green Lantern films. I would hope it’s more than a trilogy. I think Green Lantern has a lot of movies in it, a lot of stories to tell. The Flash, which I wrote the treatment for, is also in development, but I can’t say much more than that.”

I presume that this interview took place before the Ryan Reynolds starrer made its lacklustre debut last weekend.

Source: Comic Book Movie:

4. Ah, you know that a new James Bond film is on the way when rumors swirl about titles and Bond girls. Another thing that causes a lot of speculation is who will record the theme song.

The recent band to be er… bandied about for Bond theme song duties is The Kings of Leon.

The band has been out shilling their documentary Talihina Sky and drummer Nathan Followill said:

“Hmm Daniel Craig has asked me before. I have turned him down 3 times already but maybe.”

Does this mean anything?

Nope, but we wouldn’t be counting down the rumors to Bond 23 if we didn’t report it.

Source: Gig Wise

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