“Conan” opening day pales in comparison to the women of “The Help”
Proving that the apocalypse may not be upon us after all, the new 3D “Conan the Barbarian” is trailing far behind “The Help,” still the Number 1 film two and a half weeks after opening. The Dreamworks/Disney drama took in $5.7 million on Friday with an estimated $20 million for the weekend ($71 million to date). The uber-violent “Conan,” on the other hand, had an anemic opening day in the Number 4 position, taking in $4.1 million in box office receipts with a wan weekend estimate of $11 million.
According to Nikki Finke of Deadline, both “Conan the Barbarian” and “Fright Night” flatlined on their opening day yesterday. And since both “Conan” and “Fright Night” are playing in more theatres than “The Help,” the numbers may bode well for heartfelt message films over nonstop blood-and-guts terror. At least until next week.
I hear Jason Momoa has challenged Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer to a brutal hand-to-hand rematch. I don’t know about you, but my money is on the ladies.
Despite a disastrous press conference at Cannes, Lars Von Trier’s new film is getting a positive buzz
Magnolia Pictures just released the official U.S. poster for Lars Von Trier's latest film, “Melancholia.” Last May, Von Trier sabotaged the positive reception of the film at the Cannes Film Festival with a press conference that had his PR people pulling their hair out. First, the Danish director/provocateur joked about making a hardcore pornographic film with his stars, Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg (who were sitting right there in awkward silence). He then made some off-color comments about Jews and Nazis and said that he understood Hitler. At one point he even declared that he was a Nazi. Though Von Trier later insisted that the press just didn’t get his dark humor, the bizarre escapade prompted the officials at Cannes to declare the director “persona non grata” for the rest of the festival.
Too bad Von Trier’s bad-boy antics overshadowed what sounds like one of his best films in years. Despite the debacle with the press, Kirsten Dunst received the Best Actress Award at Cannes for her performance as a bride who seems to have it all just as life as we know is about to change.
Like the recent “Another Earth,” the film features a complex story of human relationships against a science fiction backdrop, in this case a likely collision between our planet and a larger one that is speeding toward us from another solar system.
The cast of “Melancholia” includes Alexander Skarsgard as Dunst’s new husband, Charlotte Gainsbourg as her vulnerable sister, Kiefer Sutherland as her sister’s optimistic spouse, and Charlotte Rampling and John Hurt as the parents of the two women. Each of the characters has a very different response to the imminent catastrophe facing our planet.
The film will be released in the United States on November 11. I’m guessing that its distributor will do its best to keep the focus on Kirsten Dunst’s heralded performance and less on Lars Von Trier's tendency to whip up controversy wherever he goes.
Check out the emotional trailer below. (And, if I were you, I might not choose this film for a first date...)
Rebel Wilson books three new projects
Annoucement of production comes just as three are free from prison after 18 years
It’s only fitting that, on the same day that the “West Memphis Three” were freed from prison after 18 years for a crime many believe they did not commit, Hollywood would announce a feature film adaptation of the story. But this isn’t a case of a studio rushing a quick project to capitalize on breaking news, as the film about the trials and convictions of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley Jr. for the murder and mutilation of three young boys in West Memphis, Arkansas in 1993 has been in development for a number of years, and the announcement comes with a team of talented filmmakers behind it.
Deadline reports that the film is essentially ready for production, with Atom Egoyan (“The Sweet Hereafter,” “Chloe”) on board to direct from a screenplay by Scott Derrickson and Paul Boardman (“The Exorcism of Emily Rose”). The pair have been working on the script since 2006. Egoyan has reportedly spent the last month and a half rewriting the script with Boardman, proving that this is one of the projects that just seems meant to be. The script is based on investigative reporter Mara Leveritt's 2003 book Devil's Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three. The book focused mainly on the trials that sent the three to prison, so it will be interesting to see how the filmmakers work recent developments into their script.
The film package reportedly includes life rights deals with some of those involved with the case, including private investigator Ron Lax, one of the three’s most dedicated crusaders. Lax has worked the get the verdicts overturned since 1993. There are currently no rights deals with Echols, Baldwin, and Misskelley.
This cast is packing...some serious talent
UPDATE: According to The Playlist, Biel will not appear in the film, with the lead female role going to up-and-comer Cody Horn.
For awhile there, it was unclear what the bigger joke was – that Steven Soderbergh was retiring from filmmaking, or that he’d potentially close out his career with a film based on actor Channing Tatum’s real-life “teen stripper” exploits. But with Soderbergh’s schedule more crammed than ever, and with the cast of “Magic Mike” turning out to be consistently interesting, it looks like no one is laughing now. On the heels of announcing that Matthew McConaughey had joined the film’s cast as a retired stripper, “Magic Mike” has now added four more talents to bare it all on-screen.
According to ComingSoon, Jessica Biel and Riley Keough are joining the film as female strippers who will also serve as love interests. Biel’s character is that of Amber, who is billed as the lover of ol’ “Magic” Mike Martingano (Tatum). Keough will play the love interest of Alex Pettyfer’s character, “The Kid,” the young stripper who is learning the ropes from Magic Mike. Keough’s role of Zora was once considered for Lindsay Lohan, but Soderbergh reportedly bowed out of that possibility, as “he didn't want to deal with all that." And, yes, Keough is Elvis Presley's granddaughter. And, yes, she will likely be easier to deal with than Lohan.
On the male side of things, The Hollywood Reporter weighs in with two new names to add to Soderbergh’s growing roster of exotic dancers. “True Blood” star Joe Manganiello is in talks for the role of “Big Dick Richie.” The role likely speaks for itself. The star of “White Collar,” Matt Bomer, is also set to join the film, also playing one of the strippers that presumably works at the club that McConaughey’s character owns, Xquisite.
The film is set to start filming in Tampa this fall.
New documentary shines spotlight on the rise of fall of legendary NYC night club
There are certain enterprises that seem guaranteed to provide meteoric rises and crashing ends. One such enterprise? Crafting the nightlife of 1980s New York City, a dizzying combination of excess and extremes that should have come with its own neon warning label. Peter Gatien, “the lord of late night,” owned a bevy of nightclubs that exemplified all the glitz and glamour (and occasional grime) of eighties revelry – including Tunnel, Palladium, Club USA, and the daddy of them all – Limelight.
Billy Corben’s “Limelight” tells the story of Gatien and his clubby kingdom, one that, at the best of times, transformed after-hours culture and thrust new and different music genres into the ears of more than just club-goers and, at the worst of times, simply killed people. Limelight could pull in over 50,000 patrons in a single weekend, but that all changed when Rudy Giuliani took office and made it his business to clean up the city’s darkest, and most glamorous, streets. The story of Limelight has it all – drugs, sex, murder, crimes, crimes, more crimes, joy, pain, and even a deportation.
The first trailer for the film hints at the fantastic stories that both Limelight and Gatien have to tell, no matter the cost. The film opens on September 23. Check out the trailer over at Apple.
Cool cars, rushed moviemaking, and the controversy around the indie smash
Portraying two friends whose plans to rule after the apocalypse -- bolstered by their DIY flame-throwing muscle car Medusa and their respect for 'The Road Warrior' bad-guy Lord Humungous --- are disrupted by love and hate, "Bellflower" is one of the most strong indie film debuts in years -- a bold departure, full of terrible wonder and swaggering monstrousness. Evan Glodell plays Woodrow, the lead lover and loser; he's also the director and writer. We spoke with Glodell at a cafe in Los Angeles about muscle cars, stupid men and the drive to succeed with a low budget; part two will run tomorrow.
Which came first: The car or the film?
Glodell: The film.
You have to think, 'We have a limited budget. Having the car's a necessity. We can't pour too much money into the car.' At what point does the car start to feel like a journey into the jungle of 'Heart of Darkness' where you can't stop making it?
Glodell: That definitely happened. How far in? I can't remember. The car started quite a bit before production did. I almost had a full-on revolt from the majority of the crew, overspending on the car. We didn't have money to eat and stuff. I'd be like, 'We have to do this to get the car to the next step.' People would be like, 'F--- the car. No one cares.'
How often were you terrified you were going to die?
Glodell: Pretty often, actually.