Ben Miller is set to star as a villain in a Doctor Who episode penned by Mark Gatiss. It will be the actor’s first role on the British juggernaut, which returns later this year.
“As a committed Whovian, I cannot believe my luck in joining the Twelfth Doctor for one of his inaugural adventures,” Miller said. “My only worry is that they’ll make me leave the set when I’m not filming.”
Rumors are swirling that Miller may be playing the Sheriff of Nottingham, or some Whovian iteration of the famous baddie. Last week, Tom Riley was cast in an upcoming Doctor Who episode and many are assuming he will be playing Robin Hood. The same rumors are naming other another recently announced guest star, Ian Hallard, as playing merry man, Alan-A-Dale.
For now, BBC America has not confirmed any role for Miller, except as a “storming villain” to go against Peter Capaldi’s Doctor. Best known for being one half of the comedy duo Armstrong and Miller, the actor was recently seen in BBC’s Death in Paradise as DI Richard Poole. Interestingly, Miller’s comedic partner, Alexander Armstrong, already had a stint on Doctor Who, appearing in the 2011 Christmas Special as Reg Arwell.
Wait, you mean to tell me that this was a holiday weekend? You certainly wouldn’t know it from the box office, which had its worst Memorial weekend showing in ten years. Remember when Memorial weekend signaled the beginning of the summer movie season? Studios usually unveiled a surefire hit to serve as a harbinger of the season.
This weekend, a holdover (Shrek Forever After) beat out two newbies, Sex and the City 2, and Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. This is rather unusual for a holiday weekend, so let’s take a closer look at what may have happened, based on Sunday’s totals.
At the time of this writing, Shrek had collected about $43.3 Million, while SATC 2 made about $32 Million (this does not count the Thursday totals for the movie.) Meanwhile, Prince of Persia made about $30 Million. So, the two new entries almost exactly split the vote, so to speak. Between the two of them, they made over $60 Million. However, they were targeted to complete opposite demographics, while Shrek still appealed to families this weekend. It should be noted that Shrek is still playing at almost 1,000 more theaters than any other movies this week.
SATC 2 cost less to make ($100M), so it will probably be fine over the upcoming weeks, but Prince of Persia had a hefty price tag of $200 Million, and it will have an uphill battle to win back its budget, not to mention that the appeal of Jake Gyllenhaal as an action hero comes into question.
At any rate, I think most of us expected SATC 2 and Prince of Persia to make $50 or $60 Million each. Yikes.
Iron Man 2 came in in third place with $16 Million, bringing its cumulative to $274 Million after four weeks in release. Robin Hood managed to rake in another $10 Million, and now stands at $83 Million, but that is still a long, long way from its reported budget of close to $200 Million, though foreign ticket sales are helping cushion the blow.
Letters to Juliet continues to quietly perform well. Now in its 3rd week, the film only dropped 34%, and has made over $36 Million in three weeks. The big loser this weekend was MacGruber, which plummeted 63% from its already less than stellar opening weekend, and only made $1.4 Million.
Next week we have Splice, Get Him to the Greek, and Marmaduke. Talk about counter-programming!
Normally $71 Million sounds like a pretty good haul, but despite making that over the weekend, Shrek Forever After was widely considered a box office disappointment, compared to its predecessors. In 2007, Shrek 3 made over $121 Million on its opening weekend, a cool $50 Million over this total.
Consider that the 3D ticket prices were much higher for Shrek 4, and it seems that not near as many people were clamoring to see the final chapter of the fairy tale franchise. It also opened on a staggering 4,300 screens, which is a full thousand more than most tent-pole movies get, so lack of accessibility certainly wasn’t the issue.
However, word of mouth by exiting audience members is good (cinemascore of A, according to Entertainment Weekly), and the kiddos will be out of school in the next few weeks. The family demographic will likely provide Shrek 4 with a long run at the box office, similar to How to Train Your Dragon. The movie will need to have that very thing happen to earn back its reported $165 Million budget.
Coming in at a very strong second place was Iron Man 2, earning a robust $26.6 Million in its third week in release. Not too shabby. Robin Hood earned another $18.7 Million, bringing its two-week total to $66 Million. The film still is performing better overseas, so it should earn back its whopping $200 million budget.
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Iron Man 2 made mincemeat of the competition this weekend, decisively beating rival Robin Hood. Dropping off 59% from its opening weekend, Iron Man made about $53 Million, easily beating the Ridley Scott helmed movie, which made around $37 Million over the weekend.
Robin Hood has been rumored to have a budget around $200 Million, so that sub-par opening might be disappointing to Universal, but the good news for Universal is that the film is performing well overseas, which will most likely cushion the blow of the somewhat soft American opening. Robin Hood made over $74 Million in foreign markets, and seems to be getting a warmer reception.
Letters to Juliet didn’t benefit from counter-programming as much as I would have thought. With all the testosterone at the multiplex, I thought women would eat up the romantic offering. It had a decent take ($13.7 Million), but apparently women didn’t have a strong need to see it. Incidentally, most critics I spoke with were pleasantly surprised by the movie, and found Vanessa Redgrave delightful in it.
Queen Latifah’s latest offering, Just Wright, was not able to muster much interest, and brought in $8.5 Million for fourth place. How to Train Your Dragon continues to hang out in the top five, and made another $5 Million over the weekend.
On paper, Robin Hood appears to have it all: an amazing cast, beautiful costumes, spectacular set pieces, meticulously choreographed fight scenes, and a beloved protagonist. Yet somehow, I found the movie stultifying. It’s dull, complicated, and waaaaay too long.
Essentially, this serves as an origin story for Robin Hood. Russell Crowe stars as Robin Longstride, an archer fighting with King Richard (Danny Huston), who stumbles into a sequence of events that ultimately result in him being condemned and banished as an outlaw.
I was rooting for this Robin Hood retelling: after all, my last name is Hood, and I have had such a life-long affinity for the character that at my wedding reception my father made a toast about me finally meeting my Robin. I have been trying to pin down exactly why this movie just didn’t do it for me, and I offer you the following observations:
We all know the original story, but director Ridley Scott’s take is more of a historical drama. Admittedly, Scott has an astute eye for detail. That’s admirable, but most of us associate Robin Hood (the character) with swash-buckling heroics and swoon-worthy romance, not body odor and grimey fingernails. In the opening sequence, do we really need to see Robin playing parlor games? Of course not.
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It’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s finally here! After a long and cold winter (well for the East Coast anyways- us West Coasters only had the infrequent earthquake) the glory of Summer movies is upon us. Can’t you tell I’m excited?
In an effort to make your choices clear, I’ve devised a list of movies in May based on their geekiness, hotness, and a few other gauges of greatness. Read on to see which films you should wait in line for and which should wait for you in your Netflix queue.
Iron Man 2
Pure, unadulterated, awesomeness. I will be going, as in I bought my 12:01 Arclight ticket weeks ago. I expect Iron Man himself to introduce my movie-going experience. If I’m lucky John Favreau and a host of Marvelites will be sitting behind me watching my every emotion with bated breath.
Geekiness Factor: There are cool gadgets only a brilliant mind like Stark or Favreau could devise. There’s a shot in the trailer of Iron Man and War Machine unleashing holy Hell to all comers. It’s also based on a comic book (whowouldathunkit) which ups the geekiness factor dramatically.
Screen Steamer: Robert Downey Jr., or for those thinking they’re cool by calling him RDJ, is in it. He is 5 feet 10 inches of hotness in a scruffy, arrogant, decisive package. And oh yeah, Scarlett Johansson is also wearing tight black leather.
As I have yet to hear more than 2 words from her in the trailer, I will guess the bigwigs believe her bottle of red hair dye #10 is all the hotness needed to make fanboys line up. I, on the other hand, have seen her films and expect her to talk. She has a great personality beyond that pout… really, she does I swear.
Great Expectations: Just a little (note sarcasm). “I am Iron Man.” Tony Stark better bring it in this one. But, does that mean more villains, more suits, more plots, more romance, and more action? Yes, apparently that’s what constituents as better to the studios, to the detriment of us. Hopefully Favreau wised up, but from what I’ve heard and seen, that’s not the case.
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Though this was one of the weakest years for trailers at the Superbowl, it did give us one of the first HD looks at Russell Crowe’s newest project, playing the leader of the Merry Men in the upcoming Robin Hood. The first trailer looked cool, but a little bit like every other Crowe film. We new get a brand new trailer to snack on that gives us a bit more eye candy.
This incarnation of the classic goes a bit further into the lore than any other story (with the exception of the brilliant BBC series). The film spans over the time of Robin’s parents, his journey to the crusades, and his return to Sherwood Forest where he leads a revolution against the corrupt King John.
The film stars Cate Blanchett, Max von Sydow, and the now ubiquitous Mark Strong. Robin Hood marks the fifth collaboration between director Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe. Check out the newest trailer, courtesy of Yahoo, after the jump, and catch Robin Hood in theaters on May 14th.
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While more than half of the people gearing up for this weekend’s Super Bowl XLIV will be more excited for the commercials, we unfortunately won’t be getting as many movie trailers as we are hoping to see. It’s been reported that Paramount, Disney, and Universal are the only studios buying time to promote their upcoming films during Sunday’s broadcast.
During the last two Super Bowl games, studios amped up their marketing and promoted 9 films over the course of the game, while we’ll only be seeing ads for 7 films this Sunday. Paramount will be buying ads to promote Shutter Island, and The Last Airbender, leaving Iron Man 2 out in the cold.
Disney, who promoted films like Up and Race to Witch Mountain last year will be focusing more on Toy Story 3, Alice In Wonderland, and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Meanwhile, Universal will be setting up promotion for The Wolfman, Robin Hood, and their 3D animated pic Despicable Me.
While it’s still mostly speculation that these films will get Super Bowl spots, it’s been confirmed that Overture bought time to promote The Crazies and Sony bought time for Bounty Hunter. Warner Bros and Fox will sit this one out, as they have since 2008.
Though we may be getting less movie trailers than previous games, this will be a big year for commercials. There are more than 60 spots that have been slotted for this year’s game, where last year’s telecast fell just short. This Sunday will be an entertaining show, for sports fans and entertainment fans alike.
We just discussed the recently released trailer for Robin Hood, starring Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, and a host of other excellent actors, But, now Yahoo has the exclusive trailer for the international audience; and it shows far more Robin Hood-like action, and even the prerequisite shot of the camera being the arrow flying through the trees at a target.
Instead of a pounding “metal” tune backing up the images in the last trailer, this time it seems that the music for this trailer is from The Dark Knight, backed up with some added violins; and then some much more decidedly British-isle sounding music.
We also get a good smattering of dialogue, including the soon to be classic, “Are you ready to be, who you are?” There are glimpses of Marian in action, the Sheriff (Matthew MacFayden) yelling at someone, and the still engaging Max von Sydow giving his best Commissioner Gordon speech, or maybe he’s Alfred.
Despite the fact that I can’t see much of a difference between it and the trailers for Gladiator or even Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, I have to say I’m still interested in seeing what this film has in store for us. I’m not one of the people that claims Gladiator was deserving of it’s Best Picture Oscar in 2000, but I do think that it’s a pretty good flick. And I’d expect similar quality from these same filmmakers.
Check out the newest trailer for the film after the jump, and catch Russel Crowe’s Robin Hood on May 14th.
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The Courier Mail has a gallery of photos from the new Robin Hood film, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Mark Strong, Danny Huston and Matthew Macfadyen. The series of images focus mainly on showing Crowe on horses, either sitting idly with what appear to be his merry men, charging into battle, and a couple of Ridley Scott and his crew working.
The movie is supposedly written as a more historically accurate telling of the Robin who becomes the famous hood. Apparently we’ll be treated to visuals of battles in France, battles in England, and the beauty of Cate Blanchett all dirtied up to look authentic. But, not too dirtied up.
The casting and obviously the pedigree of the filmmakers behind this movie have me interested. The screenplay is by Brian Helgeland, who has written a number of great movies (Payback, Man on Fire), along with a couple stinkers (The Taking of Pelham 123). But he has a couple of interesting projects coming out soon with the films Green Zone, with Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon and Salt, with Angelina Jolie and Phillip Noyce.
The newly released international trailer for the movie is pretty bombastic with it’s drum and cymbal soundtrack, but it works. It definitely has the Ridley Scott vibe to it, and it’s nice to see Crowe in action – and fit – again. Robin Hood hits theaters on May 14, 2010. Check out the trailer and the larger photos after the jump.
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