Weekend Movie News Wrap Up: October 11, 2009

This week:

Vince Vaughn Retreats to the top of the box office; another comic book adaptation makes it way up the Gravel road to the big screen; Michael Bay kills The Texas Chainsaw Massacre; Ryan Reynolds hitches a ride with Motorcade and New Line needs a Vacation - but will Chevy Chase be invited?

Box Office

Swingers duo Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau landed in the top spot with Couples Retreat. The comedy snatched an impressive $35 million from movie-goers despite bad reviews.

Woody Harrelson had to settle for second place with Zombieland. The horror-comedy took $15 million from Friday to Monday, dropping a decent 39%  - it looks like the film has a chance of hitting $100 million.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs banked another $12 million for third place. With $96 million in the bank it looks like Meatballs are going to be the order of the day.

Toy Stories 1 and 2 in 3D were fourth with another $7.5 million. The animated double-bill has banked over $22.5 million so far. That's a pretty spectacular gross considering that these films have been on DVD longer than their target audience has been alive.

Paranormal Activity brought in $7 million from just 159 screens. The low budget shocker is playing like a little film from a decade ago called The Blair Witch Project. We all know how that turned out.

Bruce Willis' Surrogates made another $4 million for a $32 million total. It won't hit $40 million. Are Bruce Willis' action salad days behind him?

The Invention of Lying dropped a huge 52%. The Ricky Gervais comedy took in a little over $3 million for a $12 million total. When your gross doesn't even match your waistline you know you're in trouble!

Speaking of trouble - Drew Barrymore's Whip It took under $3 million on its second weekend. With $8 million in the till so far it looks like Barrymore will have to make another Charlie's Angels or E.T 2 before she directs again.

Capitalism: A Love Story grossed $2.7 million over the weekend for a $9 million total. Somewhere I hope that Chuck Heston is very happy.

Fame made another $2.5 million for a $20 million total. This version won't have a television spin-off!

Movie News

1. Legendary Pictures will bring a film adaptation of Warren Ellis' comic book, Gravel, to the big screen.

According to The Hollywood Reporter:

"(Gravel) blends espionage and dark fantasy in tracking the modern-day exploits of British "combat magician" William Gravel."

Ellis made a sweet deal for the film as he's also writing the screenplay and Executive producing.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

2. Twisted Pictures, the production company behind the Saw franchise, is finishing off a deal to acquire The Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise. The company's plan is to "contemporize" the franchise and produce a 3D film that is set to be written by The Grudge wordsmith, Stephen Susco.

Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes company re-invented The Texas Chainsaw Massacre for the 21st Century with two recent films, but they only had rights to the series on a per film basis. When negotiations with rights-holders Bob Kuhn and Kim Henkel fell apart Twisted Pictures stepped in with a deal that is believed to be for multiple films.

It looks like Twisted Pictures now have two very highly lucrative franchise in their back pocket. Could this lead to a Leatherface and Jigsaw cross-over?

Would they call it The Texas Jigsaw Massacre?

Source: Variety

3. Ryan Reynolds is the new Tom Cruise. Well sort of.

Reynolds is inline to step into the Cruise-vacated role in Motorcade. The actor will star as a disgraced Secret Service agent who "is in the wrong place at the right time" when the US President is Kidnapped in New York City.

Len Wiseman was set to direct when Cruise was thinking about starring in the action film. 24 director John Cassar will direct the film that is set to start shooting next year.

Reynolds next film is Martin Campbell's Green Lantern.

Source: Variety

4. New Line are developing a new sequel to the Chevy Chase-starring Vacation franchise.

Wedding Crashers director David Dobkin is attached to produce and possibly direct the film that will focus on Rusty Griswold, the son in the original films, as he takes his family on a laugh-filled Vacation.

The Vacation films, started in 1983 with National Lampoon's Vacation, this was followed by National Lampoon's European Vacation, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and ended with 1997's Vegas Vacation (they dropped the National Lampoon).

One of the running gags throughout the series that Rusty and his sister Audrey are played by different actors (with erratic changes in age) in each movie.

With Dobkin aboard, it looks like one of today's A-list comedy actors might take the wheel of the franchise. Might Will Ferrell or Vince Vaughn take the Griswold's back on the road? Well, Ferrell doesn't look unlike Chevy Chase...

With a bit of luck, Chevy Chase and screen wife Beverly D'Angelo return for more than a cameo - couldn't Rusty take his mum and dad along for the ride?

New Line hopes that the film will be in the mold of Planes, Trains and Automobiles or Little Miss Sunshine.

It's time that Chevy Chase had a comeback - and with a bit of luck, this film and the forthcoming Hot Tub Time Machine will help secure it.

Oh, and I'd like a Fletch movie made too!

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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

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