Weekend Movie News Wrap Up: September 11th, 2011

This week:

Contagion hits the top spot, while there's no fight in Warrior; Michael Keaton and Michelle Monaghan move into Penthouse North; James McTeigue calls the shots on Ness/Capone; Lindsay Pulsipher saddles up for The Hatfields and McCoys; there's a new Cinderella-ella-ella on the way and Mel Gibson makes a film about Jewish hero Maccabee!

Box Office

It was a quiet weekend at the box office, with Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion coming out on top. The star-studded pic (Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Laurence Fishburne and Marion Cotillard) will bank around an estimated $23 million. The well reviewed film (read ours) should have a decent hold, as its audience is more mature and they don’t have a tendency to spring out on opening weekend.

Contagion debuts at number one at the box office

The Help dropped to second place and grossed a smidgen over $8.6 million for a tally of $137 million.

Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton debuted at three with Warrior. A $5.6 million weekend is disappointing considering the good reviews (read ours), although it did launch in more than a thousand screens less than Contagion. Again, it's an adult orientated film and word of mouth may help it in the long run.

The Debt dropped to four and upped its cume to almost $22 million after scoring another $4.9 million.

Colombiana shot up $4 million for a total of just under $30 million , which is on a par with its production budget.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes scored another $3.8 million for a total of $167.8 million and Shark Night bit off another $3.5 million for a $14.7 million gross. Apollo 18 banked $2.9 million for a miserable $15 million total, while Our Idiot Brother upped its total gross to $21 million after taking $2.7 million.

The top ten was rounded out by Spy Kids: All the Time in the World, which brought in another $2.5 million for a $34 million total haul.


Movie News

1. Michael Keaton and Michelle Monaghan have signed to star in Penthouse North, a new psychological thriller from director Joseph Ruben.

According to THR:

“The plot centers on a photojournalist (Monaghan) haunted by a tragic event who has escaped from the world in an upscale New York penthouse. The world comes after her with a vengeance in the form of a smooth but sadistic criminal (Keaton) looking for a hidden fortune, with the woman mustering her inner strength to survive.”

Any Michael Keaton news is good news, so this is pretty exciting. Keaton has played memorable villains in the past in Pacific Heights and Desperate Measures.

Source: THR


2. James McTeigue is eyeing directing duties on Ness/Capone.

Deadline reports:

“Ness/Capone covers the feud in more shades of gray than were evident in The Untouchables. Ness is a skirt-chasing 26-year-old publicity hound who seemed to get an adrenaline charge out of courting danger, kicking in doors, smashing moonshine stores and rubbing it in the noses of Capone and other mobsters. He would parade confiscated bootleg trucks past Capone’s hotel, calling Capone in advance to suggest he look out the window.”

James McTeigue directs Ness/Capone

Grant Pierce Myers wrote the script for the film.

McTeigue’s next movie is the John Cusack starrer The Raven, while he’s currently casting Message From the King, a thriller “about an enigmatic outsider who comes to L.A. to investigate the sudden disappearance of his sister.”

Source: Deadline



3. True Blood's Lindsay Pulsipher is set to join Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton in The Hatfields and McCoys.

The Hatfields and McCoys.

According to THR:

“Pulsipher is set to play Roseanna McCoy, the beautiful daughter of Randall and Sally McCoy, who attracts the romantic attention of Johnse Hatfield, leading to a forbidden romance that divides the families still further.”

Mare Winningham, Tom Berenger and Powers Boothe also star.

Source: THR



4. Rebooting fairy tales is the all the rage in Hollywood, so it comes as no surprise that Cinderella is getting the make-over treatment.

cinderella reimagining

Variety reports that Ann Peacock is in final negotiations to rewrite a reimagining of the fairy tale. Superman Returns screenwriter Michael Dougherty wrote the previous draft of the script which will be directed by Bruno Aveillan.

Source: Variety



5. Controversial Hollywood figures Mel Gibson and Basic Instinct screenwriter Joe Eszterhas are set to team-up for a film charting the life of the Biblical Jewish rebel Judah Maccabee. The film (which is sure to be divisive) will be released by Warner Bros., Gibson’s home studio for almost twenty years.

It’s unknown if Gibson (an Oscar-winning director for 1995’s Braveheart) will direct the film, but he will produce through his Icon Productions - and apparently collaborate with Eszterhas on the screenplay. It will see Maccabee joining forces with his brothers and father to rebel against the Seleucid Empire in second century B.C.

There’s no known time frame on this latest Gibson epic, which, if he does direct, will undoubtedly be violent like his past films (excluding his debut The Man Without a Face). However, there were reports around the time of The Passion of the Christ's release that Gibson was working on the film, so it might be further along in development than we think.

Source: Deadline

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

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