The X-Men come First at the box office; George Lucas' Red Tails gets composed - it looks like it might take off soon; Alison Hannigan slices open American Reunion; Hailee Steinfeld and Megan Fox fight it out for Carrie; the producer of Insidious talks about a potential sequel and Bradley Cooper and Oliva Wilde have Words.
The fourth instalment of the X-Men franchise - X-Men: First Class topped the box office over the weekend. However, depending on your point of view you could say that it’s the fifth in the series, if you count last year’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine or you could call it the first in a new series since it’s a prequel/reboot (preboot?) of Bryan Singer’s 2000 film. Whatever the case, the Matthew Vaughn-directed superhero film banked an estimated $56 million over the weekend – a figure which is pretty much on a par with Singer’s first film, and decent considering it didn't have any major stars or the benefit of 3D and IMAX to boost ticket prices. Good reviews (read ours here) could lead to strong legs and once worldwide grosses, DVDs and other ancillaries are added, it should be a profitable re-launch of the franchise for Fox.
Speaking of continuing franchises, The Hangover Part II banked another $32.4 million over the weekend and upped its gross to $186.8 million. It’ll be interesting to see if this holds long enough to reach (or surpass) the original films $277 million final take.
Kung Fu Panda 2 brought in an estimated $24 million, giving the Jack Black ‘toon a $100 million total gross. It doesn't look like it will gross anywhere near the total of the original Kung Fu Panda, which scored $215 million back in 2008 – and that wasn’t in 3D!
Speaking of underperforming sequels, and I use the term relatively loosely - Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides sailed away with another $18 million and upped its gross to $190 million. It should run aground around the quarter billion mark, but once you add up the strong international numbers, you'll see this made solid financial sense for Disney and everyone else involved.
Bridesmaids grossed the century mark after laughing up another $12.1 million, showing that CGI and 3D aren’t needed when you’re out to make people laugh. Although, anyone who sat through a 3D showing of Clash of the Titans may beg to differ!
Woody Allen’s latest effort Midnight In Paris brought in a smidgen under $3 million for a total of $6.9 million, while Kate Hudson's Something Borrowed and Jumping the Broom both banked in the region of $800, 000.
1. It looks like George Lucas’ long in development (and and now long delayed) Red Tails may soon take flight.
Terence Blanchard has been hired to score the soundtrack for the film, which is being produced by Lucas and directed by Anthony Hemingway.
Cuba Gooding, Jr., Terrence Howard and Bryan Lee Cranston star in the film, which chronicles the story of the Tuskegee Airmen during WW II.
Red Tails has long been a passion project for Lucas – his first non Indiana Jones and Star Wars production in seventeen years, but the film apparently underwent extensive reshoots last year with Lucas replacing director Hemingway at the helm. These rumors were denied by Lucasfilm, but the lack of news on the project, until now, is something of a worry.
Source: Jazz Corner
2. Alyson Hannigan has spilled some beans on the upcoming fourth instalment (slice?) of the American Pie franchise: American Reunion.
The How I Met Your Mother star updated Entertainment Weekly on how life is going for Hannigan’s Michelle and Jason Bigg’s Jim:
“Well, we’re still married, and we have a child. So we’re navigating the waters of parenthood and how that changes the dynamics of a relationship. But also they’re going back to their high school reunion and so there’s some nostalgia thereof, “Aw, remember what we were like when we first met?” That kind of stuff. It’s really nice. I really love that relationship and they’ve stayed true to it. The great thing about this franchise is that, of course, there’s the raunchy humor but here’s also a lot of heart to it. And this fourth movie does not miss the boat on that at all.”
Oh, and just in case you’re wondering, Hannigan also said - “You will see the old band room at least”.
3. Megan Fox has apparently been trying to score the lead role in the new film adaptation of Stephen King’s Carrie, but it would appear that she might have some competition for the part.
According to Cinema Blend, True Grit star Hailee Steinfeld is the filmmaker’s favorite to take the role that was famously played by Sissy Spacek in Brian De Palma’s 1976 film.
Since her appearance in the Oscar-nominated Western Steinfield has become a hot commodity in Hollywood, so she’s getting a lot of offers and it remains to be seen if she wants to jump on the horror remake band wagon - at least so early in her career.
The last horror film to have a lead character called Carrie was Sex and the City 2!
Source: Cinema Blend
4. Insidious was a very, very profitable film. The horror film was produced for $1.5 million and currently it has grossed just under $70 million at the worldwide box office. Once DVD sales and rentals are added, alongside TV rights it looks like anyone with gross profit participation is going to be very happy indeed. In Hollywood this sort of success always leads to a sequel (or two) and the film’s producer Jason Blum has been talking to Shock Till You Drop about the chances of a potential follow-up:
“There's no plan, no release date, nothing like that. I think James feels the same as Oren [Peli]. Oren was very sceptical about doing a sequel to Paranormal Activity until Michael [Perry] pitched an idea and it made sense. If Leigh comes up with a story that's inventive and you feel like there's a story to tell - as opposed to 'let's make another movie and make money' - and he comes up with something James feels is worth making we would do it. And if Leigh doesn't, we won't."
Ladies and gentlemen – place your bets.
Source: Shock Till You Drop
5. Bradley Cooper and Oliva Wilde are set to star in the dramatic thriller The Words.
According to Variety:
“[The Film] follows a successful writer who discovers he has to pay a price for stealing another man's work."
The film has an impressive cast including Dennis Quaid, Jeremy Irons, Zoe Saldana, Ben Barnes, John Hannah, J.K. Simmons and Nora Arnezeder.
Sounds a bit like the 1998 Cuba Gooding Jr. and Tom Berenger film A Murder of Crows.
That’s it for now. See you at the movies.