Weekend Movie News Wrap Up: April 3rd, 2011

This week:

Russell Brand and James Marsden Hop to the top of the box office; Time Bandits and The Long Good Friday go from Handmade to remade films; Justin Beiber and Ashton Kutcher ask What Would Kenny Do?; Antoine Fuqua dusts off the shoulder pads for Dynasty (well, sort of) ; a new writer takes a bite at Piranha 3DD and Keira Knightley makes friends with Steve Carell for The End of the World.

Box Office

Hop topped the box office after grossing an estimated $38 million this weekend. The CGI/live action hybrid featuring X-Men’s James Marsden and the voice of Russell Brand quietly surpassed studio expectations despite mediocre reviews. Personally, I’m not a fan of this genre and can’t fathom why anybody would be interested in making this, although I am fully aware that family films can make serious money at the box office – despite their (often) poor quality.

russell brand's hop opens at number one

Jake Gyllenhaal’s Source Code (read our review) debuted in second place with a decent $15.1 million gross. Duncan Jones’ latest science fiction effort was moderately budgeted at just over $32 million, so this will make a quiet profit and cement Jones’ cult status following Moon.

Saw director James Wan’s Insidious (read our review) opened in third place with an estimated $13.5 million start. The low budget horror film should be mega-profitable once it concludes its domestic run (it only cost $1 million to make) and then it should roll in even more money through the DVD and international markets.

Last week’s champ, Diary of A Wimpy Kid 2, dropped to fourth place after tumbling more than 50%. The family film pulled in over $10 million and upped its cume to a respectable $38 million.

Limitless continues to do well at the box office. The Bradley Cooper film banked just over $9 million for a $55 million total gross.

The Lincoln Lawyer is also a steady grosser. The legal thriller pulled in another $7 million, and its total now stands at a smidgen under $40 million. A final gross of just over $50 million awaits.

Zack Snyder’s maligned Sucker Punch dropped almost 70% from last weekend’s debut. The fantasy film pulled in another $6 million, giving it a total gross of just $29.8 million.

Johnny Depp’s Rango grossed another $5 million, for a $114 million total while Paul grossed $4 million for a $31 million cumulative gross.

The top ten was rounded out by Battle: Los Angeles, which banked another $3.5 million for a $78.5 million total.


Movie News

It looks like Handmade Films is getting into the remake business. The British company originally founded by Beatle George Harrison to make The Life of Brian, is set to remake Time Bandits, and re-invent the gangster film The Long Good Friday for the small screen.

time bandits

Ray Winstone is currently in the frame to take the Bob Hoskins role in Friday, while Handmade hopes that the Time Bandits remake will launch a new child-friendly franchise.

The original Time Bandits is a cult favorite which follows an eleven year-old boy who travels through time with a collection of six dwarves as they face-off against Evil. The film, which has a glorious selection of cameos including Sean Connery and John Cleese, was directed by Monty Python's Terry Gilliam.

Source: Variety


2. The next piece of news can only be linked by the possible Mayan Apocalypse of 2012: Justin Bieber and Ashton Kutcher will team-up for the comedy What Would Kenny Do?

Kutcher's Katalyst Entertainment and Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment will produce the film, which according to The LA Times “is an R-rated comedy describing a teenager who meets a hologram claiming to be the adult version of himself; the hologram then helps guide the teen through high school.”

So, it’s like Big goes digital.

Source: LA Times


3. Training Day director Antoine Fuqua has signed on to direct a $30 million (200 million yuan) historical epic set during the Tang Dynasty.

According to THR:

“The as-yet-untitled film will tell the tragic love story between imperial consort Yang, one of the four famed beauties of ancient China, and 8th century Emperor Xuanzong, the longest reigning monarch of the Tang Dynasty, who ascended to the throne at the summit of the dynasty's power and influence. Their love affair has been widely celebrated by classical poets and is the subject of paintings, Chinese operas, books and television shows in the subsequent millennium.”

The Chinese-language film should be released in 2012.

Source: THR


4. A sequel to last year’s Piranha 3D is currently underway and a new writer has been brought onboard the film. Its release date was recently pushed from September to November 23.

piranha 3dd

Horror film writer Joel Soisson will rewrite Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan’s script and produce the film, titled Piranha 3DD.

Source: Moviehole


5. Keira Knightley looks set to join Steve Carell in A Friend for the End of the World.

According to Deadline:

“The film takes place at a time when mankind is forced to absorb the fact that an incoming asteroid will end humanity. Carell plays a man suddenly alone when his wife leaves in a panic. His high school sweetheart writes him saying she wants to be with him when the world stops. His neighbor (Knightley) accompanies him on the road trip as love blooms at the worst possible time. Despite the doomsday climax, the film has a somewhat comic and romantic tone.”

The film will be directed by Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist screenwriter Lorene Scafaria, and I imagine that it’ll be more like Little Miss Sunshine than Armageddon. Although, you never know!

Source: Deadline

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

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