Archive for May 20, 2012

The Box-Office Sunk My "Battleship"

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"Marvel's The Avengers" dominated the American box-office for a third weekend in a row, taking in a whopping $55.1 million which brings its domestic coffers to $457 million and its global tally to $1.18 billion.

The real question was how would the new competition fare? The news is not good, all three wide-release films opened to disappointing numbers.

The most damaged was Universal's mega-budget "Battleship" which opened in second place with just $25.3 million. Admittedly its made $215 million overseas thus far so the studio is cushioned from some of the fallout, but that is not a good number and it's unlikely the film will cross the $100M domestic mark.

Sacha Baron Cohen's "The Dictator" underwhelmed $17.4 million, quite far down compared to "Borat" with $26.5M and "Bruno" with $30.6M though it did open on a Wednesday (and has made $24.5M since then). Though reviews were stronger than for "Bruno", a steep drop-off is expected.

"What to Expect When You're Expecting" also opened in fifth place, the new parents-themed comedy taking a modest $10.5 million.

"Dark Shadows" meanwhile fell 57% in its second week to $12.8 million, not a good drop-off but not bad.

BBC Films Announce "Golden," "Testament"

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BBC Films revealed its upcoming slate at Cannes yesterday and revealed information on two new projects according to Yahoo.

The first is that Simon Curtis ("My Week With Marilyn") is set to direct the art-world drama "The Golden Lady" which David M. Thompson will produce.

Penned by playwright Alexi Kaye Campbell, the true story follows Maria Altmann who fought to reclaim several Gustav Klimt paintings, including a family member's portrait, which were stolen from her family by the Nazis in World War II.

The other is that Saoirse Ronan is attached to star in an adaptation of Vera Brittain's 1933 memoir "Testament of Youth".

The story deals with how the first world war affected the women of the U.K. along with Brittain's years as a nurse and journalist. Juliette Towhidi ("Calendar Girls") adapted the script while David Heyman ("Harry Potter") is producing.

The pair join a line-up that includes already announced projects in the works like Pascal Chaumeil's adaptation of the Nick Hornby novel "A Long Way Down", the Steve Coogan-led "Alan Partridge" movie, Ralph Fiennes' "The Invisible Woman", the Tom Hanks-led "Saving Mr. Banks", Richard Shepard's crime comedy "Dom Hemingway", and the Rooney Mara-led adaptation of the Colm Toibin novel “Brooklyn".

Nick Stahl E-Mails That He’s OK

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After being missing for nearly two weeks, "Terminator 3" and "Carnivale" actor Nick Stahl is back on the grid.

People reports that Stahl sent a group email to friends on Friday to tell them he has checked into drug rehab and is spending 30 days in treatment.

Oddly he did not include his wife, Rose Stahl, as a recipient though she was the one who filed a missing persons report with the LAPD. Stahl also apologised for the worry he caused.

The missing persons case remains open however as an email is not sufficient cause to close it.

Kingsley, Payne To Seek "The Physician"

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Ben Kingsley, Tom Payne ("Luck") and Stellan Skarsgard have joined the cast of "North Face" helmer Philipp Stoelzl's medieval period drama "The Physician" for Beta Cinema and Ufa Cinema says THR.

Based on Noah Gordon's best-selling novel, Payne plays a 11th century European physician who searches for the scientific truth of illness and healing in a medieval world dominated by religion and superstition.

Kingsley will play Ibn Sina, the “doctor of all doctors”, while Skarsgard will play Barber, the physician's first mentor. Olivier Martinez is already signed to play the Shah Ala ad-Daula.

Jan Berger ("The Door") is adapting the script while shooting kicks off in Morocco and Germany next month.

Jackie Chan Retires From Action? No

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Update: Chan says on his Facebook page that he was mistranslated. He's not retiring from action movies per se, but he is planning to do "less life risking stunts... I need to take better care of my body so I can keep working".

Original: In an unexpected move at Cannes whilst promoting his new action film "Chinese Zodiac", Jackie Chan revealed he plans to retire from making action movies.

"This is my last action film. I tell you, I'm not young any more. I'm really, really tired. And the world is too violent right now. It's a dilemma -- I like action but I don't like violence" he tells The Telegraph.

Chan's career spans over one hundred films, almost all of them featuring his signature martial arts skills. Now though he wants to leave behind a different mark - "I want to be an Asian Robert De Niro. I don't just want to be an action star, I want to be a true actor. I want to get rid of my image. I want the audience to know I'm not only a comedian. I can act."

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