Weekend Movie News Wrap Up: December 6, 2009

It’s Sunday and that means that it’s Wrap Up time.

This week:

The box office is Blind Sided; if you go down to the woods today you might see Tom Cavanagh in Yogi Bear; Leonardo DiCaprio knows Jack Frost in The Guardians; Have you ever heard Gun, With Occasional Music? Beautiful Creatures say P.S I Love You; John Madden will Dolittle directing with My Fair Lady and it’s all in the double barrel name as Paul Thomas Anderson and Philip Seymour Hoffman find religion.

Box Office

Sandra Bullock’s The Blind Side just keeps doing better and better. The uplifting sports drama has took the top spot with an impressive $20 million after three weeks on the charts. 2009 has been a great year for Bullock and if Warner Bros. gives the actress the expected Oscar push then 2010 shouldn’t be too bad either.

Twilight’s New Moon continued to drop with a weekend take of just under $15 million. With over $250 million already in the bank it looks like somebody at Summit will be getting a hefty bonus.

A grim trailer and the ever unpopular Middle-Eastern war connection meant that Brothers failed to find a break-out audience. It looks like audiences aren’t interested in seeing Tobey Maguire, Natalie Portman and Jake Gyllenhaal without radio-active spiders, Jedi Knights or er... Dennis Quaid.

Disney’s A Christmas Carol was next with another $7 million. It’ll take a hefty drop once Avatar opens so it’ll have to make hay while the sun shines.

Who says you can’t teach Old Dogs new tricks? The John Travolta and Robin William’s starrer banked another $7 million despite terrible reviews. It’ll be a profitable little film for all showing that just when you thought that Travolta was down and out he always makes a comeback. As for Robin Williams, well…

Matt Dillon and Lawrence Fishburne’s Armored did what was expected with a weekend take of $6.6 million. It wasn’t anything special and with a load of of what are normally supporting actors shows that this script made its way down the Hollywood food chain.

2012 destroyed another $5.6 million over the weekend showing that terrible reviews and a shocking economy changes nothing – people like to see stuff getting destroyed.

Ninja Assassin fought another $5 million this weekend. It’s not a break-out hit but come on - when you call your film Ninja Assassin you’re hardly going to tap into the Merchant-Ivory market.

Planet 51 continues to under perform, while Robert DeNiro and Drew Barrymore’s Everybody’s Fine opened to a miserable $3.7 million for the ten spot. A decade ago this would have been top of the charts!

Movie News

1. Former Ed star Tom Cavanagh will play Ranger Smith in Warner’s big screen version of Yogi Bear.

Anna Faris, Dan Aykroyd and Justin Timberlake will also participate in the film.

According to Variety:

“Cavanagh is the male lead and romantic interest of a documentary filmmaker (Faris) who comes to Jellystone Park to shoot a film. Aykroyd's voicing the title character and Timberlake his sidekick Boo-Boo in the feature version based on the Hanna-Barbera cartoon series.”

The words 'why' and 'bother' belong in the same sentence.

Source: Variety

2. Leonardo DiCaprio will lend his vocal cords to Dreamworks Animations The Guardians.

“The Guardians" reimagines five popular childhood heroes -- Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman and Jack Frost -- as members of an elite superhero squad who join forces to fight an evil spirit named Pitch.”

DiCaprio will be the voice of Jack Frost while Natalie Portman will play the Tooth Fairy.

If successful, expect a few sequels as the film is based on a series of books by William Joyce.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

3. Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans producers Gabe and Alan Polsky have optioned Jonathan Lethem's Gun, With Occasional Music in the hope of bringing it to the bigscreen.

The Hollywood Reporter pitches the Sci-Fi noir like this:

Sounds like it’s a bit on the weird side, but if done well it could be another Blade Runner. If done wrong it could be another Johnny Mnemonic- Wow..

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

4. Teen Fiction is where it’s at. If a studio doesn’t option a story about an unhappy teenager in a story with fantastical elements, then someone, somewhere isn’t doing their job. That’s why Warner Bros have now bough the rights to Beautiful Creatures.

The book is the first in a series of five by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

The synopsis is as follows:

“Ethan Wate, a popular high school student, hates living in a small in South Carolina where nothing happens—until he meets and becomes bewitched by Lena Duchanne, a 16-year old whose family has moved back to town and who wishes for a mundane life. The star-crossed couple has to confront an age old curse that has haunted her family for generations, as she comes to grips with her powers.”

Did somebody say Harry Potter meets Twilight?

P.S. I Love You’s Richard LaGravanese will adapt and direct.

LaGravanese said:

“I love supernatural stories that have well drawn mythologies, and I liked that this book has all the basic elements of a classic first love story with a supernatural layer over it. So the first time they hear the words boyfriend and girlfriend, they accidentally overhear each other telepathically. Their first kiss comes after he saves her life and their first date is part of a bigger adventure that leads to the unraveling of the mysterious curse that haunts her family.”

LaGravanese’s bank manager said:

"When Richard first mentioned that he was about to adapt and direct Beautiful Creatures we could all see the dollar signs. Then when he mentioned that it was the first in a series of five, we could almost smell the money in the room.”

I made that last bit up.

Source: Variety

5. Shakespeare In Love director John Madden is in talks to direct Columbia Pictures remake of the Audrey Hepburn musical My Fair Lady.

Keira Knightley is in the frame to star as Eliza Dolittle, but she hasn’t signed on to the film that has had many directors flirt with the project.

In the past Danny Boyle, Baz Luhrmann and Stephen Daldry have all had their eye on the film which will be based more on Alan Jay Lerner's book and George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion.

Source: Variety

6. Paul Thomas Anderson and his muse Philip Seymour Hoffman are set to re-team in an untitled film for Universal Pictures.

According to The Hollywood Reporter:

“Hoffman will play “The Master,” as in “master of ceremonies,” a charismatic intellectual who hatches a faith-based organization that begins to catch on in America in 1952.

The core is the relationship between The Master and Freddie, a twenty-something drifter who becomes the leader’s lieutenant. As the faith begins to gain a fervent following, Freddie finds himself questioning the belief system he has embraced, and his mentor.”

While the film is currently set up at Universal, it won't be given the green light until the studio receives a script for the film, which currently has a reported budget of $35 million. How they reached that figure without a script is anyone’s guess.

I’m just going to throw the word Scientology out there. I don’t know why.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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

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