Weekend Movie News Wrap Up: August 21st, 2011

This week:

The Help cleans up at the box office and moves to the top spot. Meanwhile Conan laments and the Spy Kids may have all the time in the world - but they don't have the cash, and Fright Night's box office sucks; Phillip Noyce gives up the Hunt; Bill Paxton saddles up and joins Kevin Costner in The Hatfields and McCoys; great Scott - it's The Wild Bunch and Michael Fassbender takes Prisoners.

Box Office

A slew of new entries saw disappointing results as The Help took the top spot over the weekend. The drama grossed an additional $20 million and upped its gross to almost $72 million, making it one of the biggest sleeper hits of the summer.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes dropped to second place after grossing another $16.3 million. This latest instalment of the Planet of the Apes franchise is holding very well, and has now scored a total haul of $133.7 million.

rise of the apes drops to second place

Spy Kids: All the Time in the World was the highest-grossing new entry this weekend, banking $12 million. Robert Rodriguez' family film brought in about a third less than the last instalment of the franchise, which came out in 2003. Rodriguez usually keeps the budget under control on his films, so it is likely that this will make a small profit at some point.

Conan the Barbarian (read our review) failed to attract an audience, grossing just $10 million from a $90 million budget. It looks like there's a slim chance of a sequel - unless they go for the direct-to-DVD market. The original Conan the Barbarian with Arnold Schwarzenegger debuted with $9.6 million in 1982, on its way to a total of almost $40 million. This new film will be lucky to hit such a figure.

The Smurfs brought in another $8 million worth of green. The blue-colored characters have now grossed $117 million at the domestic box office and about $300 million worldwide.

Horror remake Fright Night (read our review) was another non-starter. The Colin Farrell fang-flick grossed just $7.9 million - only $2 million more than the original started with way back in 1985! Still, it only cost $30 million, so it's likely that it'll turn a profit at some point.

Final Destination 5 took a 57% drop, and banked another $7.7 million for a $32 million total, while 30 Minutes or Less brought in $6.3 million for a total cume of $25 million.

Anne Hathaway's One Day grossed just over $5 million from a moderate launch. The romantic drama has a low budget of $15 million and should see solid grosses overseas.

Crazy, Stupid, Love rounded out the top ten after grossing a smidgen under $5 million. The comedy has now scored $64 million in total box office receipts.

Source: Box Office Mojo


Movie News

1. Salt director Phillip Noyce has ditched directing duties on Hunter Killer. Apparently Noyce felt that the action/thriller was "too close to other films he had already made”.

Noyce specializes in thrillers  like Clear and Present Danger, The Saint and the often forgotten nautical (but nice) Dead Calm, so it must be a blow to Relativity, who will now need to find a new director for the project.

Don't worry about Noyce - he has a few other irons in the fire.

Source: Movie Hole


2. Bill Paxton has signed to star opposite Kevin Costner in the The Hatfields and McCoys. Paxton will portray Randall McCoy in the History mini-series, which now has the subtitle of An American Vendetta.

paxton joins hatfields and mccoys

Costner's old friend Kevin Reynolds (The Count of Monte Cristo) will direct the western. The pair have had a long friendship, but they famously fell out when making Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Waterworld.

Looks like this is shaping up to be an interesting project.

Source: EW


3. Tony Scott is currently in talks with Warner Bros to direct a remake of Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch.

The time frame of the project is unknown, as Scott has is developing a slew of films including Potzdamer Platz, another Top Gun, Hell's Angels (the director wants Jeff Bridges for the lead) and an adaptation of John Grisham's The Associate.

Choices, choices.

Source: Deadline


4. Prisoners has been in development for what seems like an eternity, with Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale all attached to the project at one time or another. Now, it seems like it's Michael Fassbender's turn to sign to the project.

“The thriller is about a small-town carpenter whose young daughter and friend are kidnapped. The man starts his own investigation but has to contend with the big-city detective on the case.”

Will Fassbender be the lucky one who finally makes it in front of camera as director Denis Villeneuve calls "action"?

Time will tell.

Source: Coming Soon

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

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