Thor hammers the competition; cool kids sign up to play The Hunger Games; Stephen Collins wants to adopt one of the Three Stooges; don't stop believin' in a 3D film version of Glee; add three more names to the dinner list for Piranha 3DD; get ready for a Seven Samurai remake; and a trio of funny ladies sign on for Will Ferrell's Bachelorette.
Marvel's Thor grossed an estimated $66 million in the U.S. during its opening weekend. While the God of Thunder's solo outing failed to reach Iron Man levels of success, it still managed to exceed Incredible Hulk's $55.4 million opening - though that was undoubtedly in part due to Thor being screened in the 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D format. Props to Marvel for its successful marketing strategy, all the same.
Between a solid critical reception (read our Thor review) and strong opening numbers at the box office,Thor looks to become another financial hit for Marvel - and (perhaps more importantly) help to heighten anticipation for next year's Avengers movie. That's the superhero pic we're all really pumped to see, right?
Fast Five hit the brakes and slowed down to a gross of around $32.5 million this weekend, down some 62% from its huge opening weekend. With Five having already pocketed some $139.9 million from U.S. moviegoers and another $184.8 million from overseas, Fast and the Furious 6 is definitely on the way.
Jumping The Broom snagged third place in its opening weekend, taking in an estimated $13.7 million. The wedding-oriented-rom-com only cost about $6.6 million to make, so everything from hereon should be spare change for TriStar.
Something Borrowed opened close behind with a gross of around $13.1 million. Despite being based on a popular novel, it looks like trailers for the flick failed to convince the masses that this was anything but another run-of-the-mill rom-com with Kate Hudson.
Rio continued to play well with families, landing in fifth place with another take of $8.2 million or so for a total around $114.9 million in the U.S. alone.
Water for Elephants also held up fairly well, settling into sixth place with an estimated $5.6 million gross for the weekend and a domestic total of $41.6 million.
Madea's Big Happy Family added another $3.9 million and upped its U.S. take to about $46.8 million.
Prom dropped about 49% from its opening weekend for a gross around $2.4 million and an estimated total of $7.8 million. Well, at least the high school comedy was a cheap undertaking for Disney.
Soul Surfer once again held fairly steady at the U.S. box office, snagging another estimated $2.1 million. The total domestic gross for the inspirational drama is now about $36.6 million.
Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil 3D rounded out the top ten with a take of around $1.8 million, down 54% from its opening weekend. The total domestic gross for the tooon now stands at $6.7 million.
Finally, Jodie Foster's The Beaver with Mel Gibson began an initial run in 22 theaters (it expands on May 20th) over the weekend, and managed an estimated gross of $104,000. So far, there seems to be limited interest in Gibson's comeback vehicle - despite some solid reviews and acclaim for the Braveheart star's turn as a depressed man who struggles to get his life back on track with the assistance of a beaver puppet (how often does one get to use all those words in a sentence together?).
1. Newcomers Imanol Yepez-Frias and Annie Thurman are the latest additions to the cast of director Gary Ross' high-profile adaptation of The Hunger Games. The two will play the nameless male and female "tribute", respectively, from District 9 of the film's futuristic setting, Panem (a.k.a. the former U.S. of A).
We're at last getting down to the wire with these Hunger Games casting updates; there are but a handful of adult supporting roles and two more pairs of "tribute" roles that have yet to be filled. However, we'll draw the line on reporting when Lionsgate officially announces the Hunger Games production catering service.
2. TV actor Stephen Collins (7th Heaven, No Ordinary Family) is the latest addition to the cast of Bobby and Peter Farrelly's Three Stooges movie. He'll appear in the first third of the film, as a man who wants to adopt one of the Stooges - when they are still only juveniles, of course.
The Farrelly Brothers' Three Stooges cast also includes Jane Lynch and Larry David as a pair of female nuns - along with Jack from Will & Grace as Larry, Rob Weiss from 24 as Moe, and that guy from $#*! My Dad Says as Curly. Make of all that what you will.
3. Glee fans (or, rather, Gleeks) prepare yourselves - the "Glee Live! In Concert!" North American tour will make the jump to the big screen this summer in... Glee Live! 3D! (and yes, the exclamation marks are part of the actual title).
Live footage from the "Glee Live!" concert tour will be assembled and spliced together under the direction of Kevin Tancharoen (Mortal Kombat: Legacy). Early word however, is that Tancharoen won't be taking a more gritty and realistic approach to the Glee universe in his 3D concert movie. ;)
Source: 20th Century Fox
4. Ready to go back in the water? Piranha 3D stars Ving Rhames, Christopher Lloyd, and Paul Scheer apparently are, seeing as that they're now signed on for this fall's aptly-named sequel, Piranha 3DD.
Feast director John Gulager is at the helm of Piranha 3DD, which reunites him with screenwriting duo Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton (the minds behind the last four Saw movies). Anyone taking bets about which anatomical parts will be chewed up by the meat-hungry fish and spit out at the camera this second time around?
Source: Dimension Films
5. Hollywood clearly doesn't understand the meaning of the word "sacred." Case in point: The Weinstein Company is pressing ahead with a remake of Akira Kurosawa's 1954 classic Seven Samurai, with Scott Mann (The Tournament) directing and co-writing the script with John Fusco (The Forbidden Kingdom).
Seven Samurai has served as the inspiration for numerous projects over the years, including (most famously) the classic 1960s western The Magnificent Seven. That said - does Mann really believe he can improve on Kurosawa's original work?
6. Lizzy Caplan (Mean Girls), Casey Wilson (Happy Endings), and Kirsten Dunst will get their funny games on in Bachelorette, a wedding-themed comedy being produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay.
Screenwriter Leslye Headland (Terriers) will make her directorial debut with Bachelorette, which could begin filming this summer in New York. Add this one to the list of promising female-centric laughfests on the horizon, alongside this week's Bridesmaids and the upcoming Desperados.
That's it for now. See you at the movies!
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