Movie News Wrap Up: December 21, 2009

This week:

Avatar might be blue,but it sees green; Wild Hogs 2 runs out of gas; Bruce Willis sees Red in October; Steven Spielberg saddles up a War Horse and Segal joins a Neighborhood Watch.

Box Office

We all knew that it was going to happen – James Cameron’s Avatar snagged the top spot at the box office and banked a heavy $73 million. The gross is impressive considering that the weather in North America was terrible over the weekend. Factoring in foreign grosses the film has now scored over $232 million - if the legs are good, this could be Cameron’s second billion dollar grosser.

The Princess and the Frog had to settle for the runner-up spot. The film dipped just under 50% for a $12.5 million total. The total gross for the Disney film is now $44 million, with $100 million still an option.

America’s Sweetheart Sandra Bullock was in the third spot with The Blind Side. The sporting drama was now amassed an impressive $164 million. It still has a good shot at hitting $200 million.

Did You Hear About the Morgans? showed that people didn’t hear about them (or just didn’t care) as it banked a miserable $7 million in its opening. Considering the romantic comedy star power of Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker, one would have imagined a gross of double that opening amount.

The sun is rising on New Moon as the vampire romance saw its gross drop to just over $4 million. It might hit $300 million, but it’ll probably have to settle for a little less.

Clint Eastwood’s Invictus has failed to catch on with general audiences. After last weekend's disappointing debut, the film dropped over 50% to give it a $15 million total. It'll need some awards power if it wants to stick around.

A Christmas Carol also fell more than 50% from last weekend giving the Jim Carrey film a $130 million total. It’s got a few days left before it melts away like snow.

George Clooney’s Up in the Air banked $3 million from 175 screens. The total for the film now stands at $8 million. With a big roll out planned for this week, the film might have an impressive gross. Add in the Oscar and other assorted awards buzz and this might be a breakout hit.

Brothers and Old Dogs rounded out the top ten, although both have under-performed in their respective runs.

Movie news

1. It’s usually never a good thing to talk about a movie not happening – but for a change it is. Production on Wild Hogs 2: Bachelor Ride has been canceled.

The sequel to the hit 2007 John Travolta comedy was due to start shooting in the summer, but the plug has now been pulled on the film.

The news comes after the Robin Williams and Anna Faris comedy Wedding Banned was also scrapped.

One of the reasons believed for theses cancellations is the disappointing reception to Hogs director Walt Becker's Old Dogs, starring Williams and Travolta.

Source: Variety

2. Bruce Willis’ Red has now been given a October 22, 2010 release date by Summit Entertainment.

The comic book adaptation - which also stars Morgan Freeman and Helen Mirren - follows the adventures of a retired black-ops CIA agent who has to come out of retirement to… come on – you know what’s going to happen!

Bruce Willis in talks to star in The Tomb

It’s Bruce Willis and action. What else do you need to know?

Source: Variety

3. DreamWorks Pictures has purchased the screen rights to Michael Morpurgo's novel War Horse.

Steven Spielberg's War Horse

“The epic tale recounts the extraordinary friendship between a boy and a horse who are separated but whose fates continue to be intertwined over the course of WWI.”


Steven Spielberg is producing the film along with Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall and Revel Guest.

Did somebody say prestige picture?

Source: Variety

4. Get Smart director Peter Segal is in talks to direct Neighborhood Watch for 20th Century Fox.

"The film focuses on a newcomer to a community who joins the neighborhood watch and discovers supernatural elements are afoot."

Didn't Tom Hanks already make this as The 'Burbs?

I can only imagine that someone will be on the phone to Ben Stiller, or Will Ferrell, or Vince Vaughn. Or some other over-exposed comedy actor.

Source: Variety

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

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