Weekend Movie News Wrap Up: March 8, 2009

In this weeks Wrap Up:

Watchmen watches the top of the box office; Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan are A Couple of Dicks; we may not get Three Stories About Joan but we will get a lot of suing; Wahlberg takes Prisoners; Steve Carrell brings us the worlds first "Testosterone comedy" in Hi-T; Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck knows The 28th Amendment (and breaks my spell check).

Box Office

As predicted Zack Snyder's adaptation of Watchmen captured the top spot at the box office with an estimated $55 million opening weekend. A pretty substantial sum considering the near three hour running time and the R rating. Time will tell if the film has legs and the mainstream crossover appeal to the general public.

Madea Goes to Jail banked another $8.5 million to keep acquire the runner-up spot. So far the Tyler Perry film has netted $76 million.

Liam Neeson's sleeper hit Taken has earned another $7.5 million on its sixth week in release! The film has now almost taken $120 million. I haven't seen the film but I can only imagine that someone, somewhere is talking about a sequel.

Slumdog Millionaire has made another $6.5 million over the weekend bringing total gross of the Oscar winning film to $125 million.

According to Variety:

"The scripting team of Robb and Marc Cullen penned the screenplay, centered on a pair of cops who track down a stolen baseball card, rescue a Mexican beauty and must deal with gangsters and laundered drug money."

The film will be directed by Kevin Smith - the first time he hasn't penned his own work.

Variety is also saying that the Warner Bros. film is Smith's "first major studio pic" - this is untrue as Mallrats was a Universal production.

The studio also thought about calling the film A Couple of Cops but I'm sure that they realized that Dicks had more comedic mileage.

A Couple of Dicks will be released on January 29th 2010.

Now get your mind out of the gutter (although that was obviously Kevin Smith's intent - again)!

Source: Variety

2. Speaking of... Bruce Willis - the star and his production company is being sued by producers for breach of contact over his (ill-fated) directorial debut Three Stories About Joan. They claim that Willis quit the film without notice and are looking for $4 million in damages. However, these guys obviously haven't seen Die Hard because Brucie is fighting back with a counter suit for $8.7 million. Willis's lawyer Marty Singer said:

"In over three decades of practice, I have rarely seen such an absurd lawsuit. The production companies admitted they did not have the financing in place for the film, failed to pay members of the cast and crew, and failed to deposit Bruce Willis' compensation in escrow, which resulted in the film not going forward. After Mr. Willis threatened to sue the production companies for their breach of contract, they responded with this baseless lawsuit.

Mr. Willis and other individual producers will proceed with their multi-million-dollar affirmative claims against the production companies this week, and are confident that they will prevail."

Source: NY Daily News

3. Mark Wahlberg will star in Prisoners - a kidnap thriller written by Aaron Guzikowski.

According to Variety:

"The story centers on a Boston man who turns vigilante after his daughter and her best friend are kidnapped. Madhouse Entertainment , which manages Guzikowski, is producing."

No director is attached yet.

I'm guessing that Wahlberg saw the grosses of Liam Neeson's Taken and figured that he wanted a piece of the action. Either that or he really likes Ransom.

Source: Variety

4. Steve Carrell will star in and produce "testosterone comedy" Hi-T.

According to Variety:

"Hi-T revolves around a man dealing with uncontrollable mood swings after an injury forces him to take testosterone injections."

"Testosterone comedy" is that a genre that I missed?

Source: Variety

5. We've been light on Tom Cruise news of late but that's about to change!

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (The Lives Of Others) is in negotiations to direct The 28th Amendment for Warner Bros. The thriller may/may not star Cruise as a US president who discovers that a secret organization within the government wants him dead.

Basil Iwanyk and Richard Donner will produce the film.

Source: Variety

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

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