Weekend Movie News Wrap Up: March 15, 2009

This Week:

We watch the Watchmen's grosses; Ben Stiller leaves family comedy behind with Greenberg; Brendan Fraser returns to The Center Of The Earth; Vance joins Fraser and Harrison Ford in Crowley; Mickey Rourke has Passion and The Strangers become familiar.

Box Office

Dwayne Johnson's Race To Witch Mountain captured the top spot with an estimated weekend gross of $25 million. There was once a time that people thought that "The Rock" was going to inherit Arnold Schwarzenegger's action throne - not it appears that he's the new family Eddie Murphy.

It looks like people aren't watching the Watchmen - with a drop off of 67% showing that the film does not have legs. With a weekend of $18 million and a total take of $86 million far from a financial disaster, the film must be classed as an underachiever. Having said that - it's a miracle that the film was ever made at all.

The Last House On The Left remake managed an opening of $14 million. Not bad for a horror remake that has very little name recognition, but poor considering horror openings of recent months.

Taken banked another $6 million giving the film an amazing $126 million total. With a sequel on the way it looks like this is a film that audiences really love.

Madea Goes To Jail managed another $5 million giving the Tyler Perry flick $83 million in the bank.

Slumdog Millionaire continues to connect with audiences grossing another $5 million. So far the film has banked $132 million and with DVD imminent, the film will be very, very profitable.

Speaking of profitable - Paul Blart: Mall Cop arrested another $3 million bringing its total to $137 million.

The top ten was rounded out by He's Just Not That In To You, Coraline and Miss March all making $2 million plus over the weekend.

Movie News

1. Noah Baumbach will direct Ben Stiller in the "dramedy" Greenberg. Rhys Ifans, Brie Larson and Juno Temple will co-star in the film.

According to Variety:

"Penned by Baumbach, story centers on a New Yorker (Stiller) who moves to Los Angeles to housesit for his brother and figure out his life. He ends up having a relationship with his brother's assistant."

It sounds like Stiller is returning to his low budget roots. At least it's not set in a museum!

Source: Variety

2. Brendan Fraser will star in a sequel to last years surprise hit Journey To The Center Of The Earth.

According to Variety:

"The sequel's based on Richard Outten's script Mysterious Travels: The Lost Map of Treasure Island, in which Prof. Trevor Anderson and his nephew embark on a journey to a mysterious island that was the subject of three classic novels (Jules Verne's Mysterious Island, Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island and Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels)."

Talk about pillaging classic literature.

Journey To The Center Of The Earth cost $60 million to make and grossed $241 million world wide. Do you see the financial sense?

Source: Variety

3. Speaking of Brendan Fraser - Courtney B. Vance will join The Mummy star and Harrison Ford in Crowley.

According to The Hollywood Reporter:

"Vance will play a father whose daughter has the same genetic disease as the children of Fraser's character."

4. Mickey Rourke is a very busy man. Having signed on to Iron Man 2, The Expendables and Broken Horses he has now attached himself to Passion Plays.

The drama film will be written and directed by Mitch Glazer, the writer behind Scrooged and The Recruit. The plot is being kept secret.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

5. Horror movies need sequels. It's almost an unwritten rule.

Laurent Briet is now in talks to direct a sequel to Rogue Pictures surprise hit The Strangers .

The low budget horror starred Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman cost $9 million and grossed $81 million worldwide.

Expect a remake in 10 years.

Source: Bloody Disgusting

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

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