This week:

There’s life in the Resident Evil franchise as its 3D fourth installment debuts at  #1; Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna join Will Ferrell in Casa de mi padre; it looks like NBC doesn’t need any more Heroes; Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life gets planted next year; Joel McHale marries Jessica Alba in Spy Kids; Christina Hendricks rides shotgun with Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan in Drive; Malin Akerman visits The Numbers Station with Ethan Hawke; Michael and Dwayne Johnson take a journey to The Mysterious Island – and more.

Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D (read our review here) has managed to debut at the top of box office this weekend, giving the action/horror franchise its strongest start ever – although this was due to the increased ticket prices for this 3D shot installment. The Paul W.S. Anderson directed film grabbed an estimated $28 million from moviegoers over the weekend. It will probably flat-line next weekend because sequels and horror films tend to have a large second week drop – although having said that, there’s already word that Milla Jovovich will be kicking zombie butt on the big screen again.

Last week’s number one film The American is currently fighting it out with Takers for second place. Both films will take a smidgen under $6 million – this would give the George Clooney starrer a $28 million total, while Takers will have racked up $47 million worth of coin.

Robert Rodriguez’s Machete failed to find much love despite many positive reviews. The Danny Trejo film should end the weekend with another $4.5 million, upping its cume to $21 million. Rodriguez makes these things cheap, and they usually make a killing on DVD, so expect this to be profitable despite what appear to be low grosses.

Drew Barrymore’s Going the Distance doesn’t seem to have legs. The romantic comedy should also bank about $4.5 million, giving it a total of under $15 million.

The Last Exorcism has brought in another $3.5 million over the weekend. The power of the moviegoer has compelled this film to score a grand total of $38 million.

The Other Guys shot up another $3.3 million, giving the Will Ferrell action comedy a total gross of $112 million. Meanwhile, Stallone and The Expendables brought in $3 million and change, upping their tally to $98 million. Will next weekend be the one where it crosses that magical century barrier?

Eat Pray Love continues to do well. The Julia Roberts film brought in another $3 million, upping the romance films gross to just under $75 million.

The top ten was rounded out by Screen Rant favorite Inception. Christopher Nolan’s mind-boggler brought in $2.8 million for a total score of over $282 million.

Movie News

1. Y tu mama tambien duo Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna are set to join Will Ferrell in the Spanish-language comedy Casa de mi padre.

Little is known about the comedy, but Genesis Rodriguez will play Ferrell’s love interest in the film, while Garcia Bernal will portray a family friend and Luna will star as Ferrell’s brother.

Matt Piedmont will direct the film, which apparently will be play out in “an overly dramatic telenovela style” with English subtitles.

I know this sounds like a joke – but it is indeed a real film project. Maybe that is the joke.

Source: THR

2. Heroes fans rejoiced when they heard that the canceled show would be getting a TV movie that was set to wrap up the loose ends of the four season series. But it now looks like NBC has reneged on the plan and fans will not be able to say farewell to their beloved characters.

You’ll just have to get those DVD boxed sets ready for heavy rotation.

More details HERE.

3. Fox Searchlight has picked up distribution rights to Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life (which stars Brad Pitt and Sean Penn) – but it won’t release the film until next year!

Fox Searchlight presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley said:

“Terrence Malick has crafted a deeply moving, keenly observed and magisterial film. Pitt, Sean Penn and the entire cast’s performances are simply amazing. This is a signature film by a signature filmmaker and we are proud to be releasing it.”

The studio picked up the film from Bill Pohlad’s River Road Entertainment. Pohland said:

“Terry Malick has given us another masterpiece that is both profoundly moving and stunningly beautiful and there is no better partner than Fox Searchlight to bring this film to audiences.”

It’s unclear when the film will be released. Will the studio open the film in the first half of 2011 or will it hold off until next year’s awards season? Malick is currently getting ready to shoot a new film starring Ben Affleck in Oklahoma, so potentially 2011 could see two films from the legendary director.

This year Fox Searchlight enters into the awards season race with a strong back of pedigree contenders with Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours, Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan and Mark Romanek’s Never Let Me Go.

Source: Variety

4. Joel McHale is in currently in final negotiations to star alongside Jessica Alba in Robert Rodriguez’s Spy Kids 4.

McHale will play “a spy-hunting reporter married to Alba’s character, the stepmother to his kids.”

This fourth installment of the franchise reboots the franchise which originally starred Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara as the titular Spy Kids and Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino as their parents.

Spy Kids 4 will open on August 19th, 2011.

Source: Variety

5. Mad Men star Christina Hendricks is set to buckle-up and join Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan in Drive.

Director Nicolas Winding Refn’s film sees Gosling star as a stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver for criminals. However, when a job goes horribly wrong Gosling’s character has to Drive.

Source: Variety

6. Watchmen actress Malin Akerman will star opposite Ethan Hawke in The Numbers Station.

“The film centers on a disgraced black ops agent tasked with a dead-end job of protecting a young woman in the middle of the Nevada desert. The two eventually have to fight to survive after they come under attack.”

Source: Variety

7. It looks like Michael Caine is set to join Dwayne Johnson and Josh Hutcherson in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island – the sequel to Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D.

According to THR:

“The script, loosely based on Jules Verne’s The Mysterious Island, sees Hutcherson reprising his role from the first movie and partnering with Johnson, playing his mom’s boyfriend, on a trip to a mythical island to find his missing grandfather. Caine is the grandfather, but the part is no cameo. The role will see the actor in action mode, engaging in several chase sequences, including one involving giant bees.”

Brendan Fraser who starred in the first film declined an offer to return for this follow-up which will be directed by Brad Peyton.

Source: THR

Also:

  • Want to see Megan Fox and Mickey Rourke in the first footage from Passion Play? If so go here
  • John Woo boards the remake bandwagon. Go here for the details
  • There’s a $30 million Ronald Regan biopic on the way. You can find details about the film here

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