It’s almost February and some really great movies are hitting store shelves this week for the first time and for the first time on Blu-ray. This week’s releases include This Is It, Surrogates, Whip It, Saw IV, the complete run of NBC’s canceled-too-soon Southland and the Blu-ray release of Wim Wenders’ classic Paris, Texas with Nastassja Kinski and Harry Dean Stanton. (pictured above).
Check out this week’s new releases:
Atonement ~ James McAvoy (Blu-ray)
Bright Star ~ Abbie Cornish, Ben Whishaw (Blu-ray and DVD)
Fame (1980) ~ Irene Cara (Blu-ray)
Give ‘Em Hell Malone ~ Doug Hutchison, Thomas Jane (Blu-ray and DVD)
I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell ~ Matt Czuchry, Geoff Stults (Blu-ray and DVD)
As predicted, Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are seemingly dominated the Box Office with $32.4M. It played on a whopping 3,700+ screens, including IMAX screens, for a per-screen average of $8,693. Sounds decent, but figure in the reported budget of $100M, and it looks like it may be a bit of a climb for the movie to be profitable, at least while in theaters.
The ultra-violent thriller Law Abiding Citizenboasted a very respectable $21.25M, and a $7,353 per screen average, which actually shows it performing very close to WTWTA. It played in substantially fewer screens (2,890), and if WTWTA had not had the benefit of IMAX prices, this would have been a much closer race.
The unstoppable juggernaut that isParanormal Activity continued its trajectory scooping up another $20.1M on only 760 screens! That puts its per screen average at more than $26,000, nearly three times what WTWTA averaged. Pretty impressive. It will expand further next weekend.
Couples Retreatdropped off 47.7%, but still made $17.9M, bringing its total to $63.3M over two weeks.
Overall, it was not a particularly impressive weekend at the box office, with the top films boasting relatively modest numbers. Sony Pictures should be smiling, though, because their studio nabbed the top two spots. According to Box Office Mojo, Zombieland lurched over the competition, raking in an estimated $25 million in its opening weekend. The horror comedy has already recouped its budget, and will likely be a big success story this year, buoyed by positive reviews and good word of mouth.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs continues to impress and took in another $16.7 million for a cumulative gross of $82 million. The unusual move to release Toy Story and Toy Story 2 in 3D drummed up some impressive interest, netting $12.5 million. Disney is no doubt salivating over this, because Toy Story 3 is set to be released next summer.
The Invention of Lying from comedian Ricky Gervais had a unimpressive opening of $7.3 million. Its budget was only $18 million, so it should be profitable anyway. In contrast, last week’s Surrogates also made $7.3 million this weekend. Its cumulative total is only $26.3, nowhere close to its reported $80 million budget.
Capitalism: A Love Story, and Whip It both earned $4.8 million, but Whip It played in almost twice as many theaters. Whip It is probably the biggest surprise of the weekend. It had good reviews, a likable and recognizable cast, and was highly promoted. It had to be a big disappointment to Drew Barrymore, who directed the movie, her first.
For the second week in a row, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs garnered the top spot on the weekend box office with around $24 million. The film only dropped about 19% from last week’s total, which is very good by industry standards. Historically, this indicates good word of mouth, and bodes well for staying power at the box office.
Bruce Willis’s sci-fi action romp Surrogatesdidn’t fare as well as expectations, grossing around $15 million. With a reported budget of around $80 million, Surrogates looks like it will be a disappointment for Disney’s Touchstone label. In third place was MGM’s remake of Fame. Seems the likable cast wasn’t enough to get people in the seats this weekend.
Steven Soderbergh’s The Informant! came in fourth with almost $7 million. In just two weeks it has almost recouped its $22 million budget, good news for Warner Brothers. Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself scooped up $4.75 million for fifth place.
The new horror/sci-fi release Pandorum made a dismal $4.4 million. Maybe the studio should have pre-screened the movie for critics after all. At least people would have been aware it was out there. The next three in the top ten are all considered disappointments, but if you look at what their total gross is versus their budgets, that is hardly the case.
Love Happens (weekend gross $4.3 million, total gross $14.7, budget $18 million); Jennifer’s Body (weekend $3.5 million, total $ 12.3 million, budget $16 million) and 9 (weekend $2.8 million, total $27 million, budget $30 million) all look like they are going to be profitable, due to their smaller budgets. Inglourious Basterds ($2.7 million) rounded out the top ten.
Okay, I think I have the studios figured out. The recent trend toward not screening a movie, or screening it too late for reviewing press to make deadline, must be the studios’ clever attempt at using reverse-psychology. We (reviewers) are conditioned to believe that any time a movie is not screened or screened last minute, that there must be some horrible problem plaguing the movie, hence their unwillingness to pre-screen it. Such was the case with Surrogates when I saw it last night.
Bracing myself for a stinkbomb, I emerged from the screening and proclaimed to the studio rep: “It was not terrible. I think I kind of liked it.” Hardly a ringing endorsement, to be sure, but I think that is part of their strategy. If they set the expectation bar low, when the movie is not horrible the viewer will be delighted by this welcome surprise.
Surrogates could have been one hell of a movie had it’s intriguing premise been well executed. Despite the film’s flaws, I found it thought-provoking enough that I would definitely recommend it to fans of the sci-fi genre or Bruce Willis. I absolutely love a movie that makes me think, and this one had my head swimming with the ethical implications of bio-medical research, the prevalence of electronic media in our lives, and our (as a society) startling retreat from one-on-one human interaction. Any movie that makes me take pause to analyze the message is worthy of a recommendation.
We’ve discussed the notion of how cool it would be to see a movie where Bruce Willis takes on an army of robots, and this week, we’ll actually get to see it happen in theaters across the country. This Friday marks the national release of Bruce Willis in Surrogates from Disney and Touchstone pictures.
For those who are unaware of the film’s premise, yet intrigued by the idea of Willis kicking tin butt, the plot is simple. Humans grow lazy and develop a robotics program that allows them to play as robot versions of themselves from the comfort of their own homes. Those robots are able to do all the things that humans could not, without all the risk of…well, risk. This is all good and well until a person gets murdered when his surrogate is killed. FBI agent Bruce Willis is on the job, and in order to do it, he must step outside as himself, not his robotic counterpart.
There’s a brand new featurette hitting the web, which has a few people from the film discussing it. Alongside stars Willis and Radha Mitchell is director Jonathan Mostow, producer Max Handelman and co-writer of the original graphic novel, Robert Venditti.
Check out the video after the jump, and catch Surrogates in theaters this Friday.
Robots can be a pretty scary thing, but not nearly as scary as Bruce Willis when he has something to prove. We all remember Die Hard. That seems to be the fight card for next week’s release of Surrogates: Bruce Willis vs. Robots. Who wouldn’t want to see John McClain fight Optimus Prime? Same concept.
There’s a brand new international trailer out for the film, that shows a few more scenes, and gives us a deeper look into a world where humans control their robot counterparts from the comfort of their own home…until something goes terribly wrong.
Check out the new trailer after the jump, and enjoy Bruce Willis, Radha Mitchell, Rosamund Pike, James Francis Ginty, Boris Kodjoe, and Ving Rhames in theaters nationally on September 25th for Surrogates.
It looks like Comic Con broke this week’s comics, because there is a whole LOT of nothing to read this week.
Sure, I suppose you could find reason to get Detective Comics #855, because it was (quite honestly) the best book to come out last month. I don’t think you’ll get a better schooling in comic book design sense than reading this book.
Then there is the new trade paperback of the Eisner-award winning Best New Series Invincible Iron Man: World’s Most Wanted, but if you know what’s good for you you already have these single issues. Also, congrats to Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca on their win for that series.
Though if you really think about it and are willing to try new things, there’s probably something this week for you. If you want to see for yourself Midtown Comics has a great listing of what comes out this week. As always we care about what you read, so let us know what you liked/didn’t like from this week’s or any week’s comics in the comments.
When we first told you about this movie, we gave a bit of info about it including who was going to be in it, Bruce Willis and Radha Mitchell, who the director is, the talented Johnathan Mostow, what its all about and when it may be released. This time around, we’ve got the first poster for the upcoming film to share with you.
Brought to us by the folks atComing Soon, this poster features Bruce Willis flanked by a bunch of what appear to be tubes used to create the surrogates of the title. In fact, they look like other versions of Willis himself, which makes sense. Plus, the poster features a pretty decent tag line that does a good job of encapsulating the story. Willis is the only human in a world filled with artificial people and only he can save mankind from destruction. Sounds like pretty much every other movie featuring Bruce Willis, doesn’t it? But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
As with many posters these days, its not particularly innovative or even that interesting. It just shows the required info which, in this case, is a decent tag line and a giant picture of the movie’s star. Plus, he’s sporting that cool goatee. I guess that’s all you really need to get the message across. Of course, this is just the first poster, so I’m sure we’ll see co-star Radha Mitchell in there at some point too.
Surrogates hits theaters on September 25. Click through for a larger version of the poster.
Well, at least I think he does. Although, if this trailer for his new film Surrogates is any indication, there’s not much Willis character likes about anything in this film. In fact, he seems a bit perturbed.
In case you’re not familiar with Surrogates, which is based on the graphic novel by Robert Venditti, it concerns two FBI agents (Willis and Radha Mitchell) investigating the murder of a college student linked to a man who helped create a high-tech surrogate phenomenon. This technology allows people to purchase perfect robotic versions of themselves which, of course, leads to all kind of trouble.
I like Bruce Willis in pretty much anything he does and its nice to see Radha Mitchell in a movie that looks much better than the last one I saw her in — the craptastic giant killer crocodile film Rogue, co-starring Michael “just doing it for the paycheck” Vartan.
Plus, this movie is directed by Jonathan Mostow (Terminator 3: Rise of The Machines, Breakdown), a guy who’s films usually are quite good. So, that might mean this movie could actually be good too. We’ll find out when Surrogates hits theaters September 25th. Until then, check out this brand new trailer.