Introducing the new Joker

3 12 2007

The Dark Knight doesn’t hit theaters until next June but here is a glimpse at the masked avengers most dangerous villian. Leave your thoughts on the classic villians’ makeover. I personally like it.


Spiderman breaks records

8 05 2007

Five years after Spider-Man made box office history, the franchise amazed again, breaking the same records of the first movie and then some.

Landing on the same early May slot as the original, Spider-Man 3 spun $151.1 million on over 10,000 screens at 4,252 locations, the biggest opening weekend and widest release ever. The litany includes all-time daily grosses for its $59.8 million Friday, $51.3 million Saturday and $39.9 million Sunday, fastest to $100 million and the mightiest IMAX debut: $4.8 million at 84 sites (included in the weekend total), topping 300’s $3.6 million.

The previous weekend title holder, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, reaped $135.6 million on over 8,500 screens at 4,133 locations last July. As impressive as Spider-Man 3 was, it was expected to eclipse that record, given its timing and the popularity and the precedents of its franchise. The first Spider-Man nabbed $114.8 million on 7,500 screens at 3,615 venues in 2002, and was the first movie to crack $100 million in three days. Adjusted for ticket price inflation, its start would equal over $130 million today.

Ultimately, Spider-Man grossed $403.7 million (or nearly $460 million adjusted), while the Pirates sequel closed with $423.3 million. Muted by a Wednesday start and Independence Day release, Spider-Man 2 had an $88.2 million first weekend and it wound up with $373.6 million (or around $396 million adjusted).

Distributor Sony, which claims Spider-Man 3 cost $258 million to make, hoped to at least match the first Spider-Man’s opening or hit the $120 million range, according to president of distribution Rory Bruer. “The majority of audiences we polled liked this one better than the first two,” Bruer added, while opening night moviegoer pollster CinemaScore’s grade was “B+.” Sony’s polling further indicated that the audience was 54 percent male and 63 percent under 25 years old.

The market as a whole grossed $189.6 million over the weekend, with Spider-Man 3 accounting for 80 percent of that tally. Indeed, the gap between Spider-Man 3 and second place Disturbia was the largest on record. That’s no slight on Disturbia, a hit in its own right enjoying the weekend’s strongest hold among wide releases, but a sign of how low the box office fell the past two weeks.

Overall business saw a 72 percent improvement over last summer’s kick-off, when Mission: Impossible III opened, and attendance was on par with 2002 when the first Spider-Man debuted with 70 percent market share.

Drew Barrymore and Eric Bana in Lucky You

The weekend’s other wide release, Lucky You, folded out of the gate, drawing $2.7 million at 2,525 venues. It was among the weakest starts ever for a very wide release. Distributor Warner Bros. had batted the poker romance around the release schedule since 2005.

At the foreign box office, Spider-Man 3 captured another record: biggest overall weekend, with $230.5 million from 107 countries since Tuesday. Add in domestic’s $151.1 million and, all told, Spider-Man 3 generated $381.7 million, which tops Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith’s $303.9 million as the highest-grossing worldwide debut of all time—a notable feat but one achieved mostly through the sheer mass of the release. (

Behind the Lens: David Lynch

26 04 2007

David Lynch has been selected to be featured in our latest installment of “Behind the Lens.” This is a special acknowledgment to directors who have made us think and refuse to give into the current trend. What they have offered us are original, daring visions often ignored or misunderstood by the masses. We salute you.

David_Lynch.bmpDavid Lynch
Born: January 20, 1946
Best Known For: 1986’s Blue Velvet
David Lynch is one director who refuses to dumb-down his work. He firmly believes movies should be thought-provoking, controversial and that he shouldn’t have to sacrifice his vision for a few more dollars at the multiplex. Lynch’s project are infused with shifting plots, high art and stellar performances. He has been making films since the late ’70s and has maintained a loyal fanbase who pick up anything the director associates himself with. Lynch scored cult hits with Eraserhead, Blue Velvet and most recently Mulholland Dr. In Inland Empire, Lynch played with the conventions of film making by shooting the feature without a working script. Each morning he would wake and write for that specific day of shooting then his cast (which included Lynch-veteran actress Laura Dern) would act it out. The director has been nominated for three Academy Awards for Best Director (Mulholland Dr., Blue Velvet and The Elephant Man) and won various other accolades. For his constant bravery and innovations in film, we salute David Lynch and hope to see more in the future.
Must See

Mulholland Dr.
Blue Velvet
The Elephant Man
Inland Empire
Wild at Heart

Worth a rent
Lost Highway

Dern relives infamous kiss

26 04 2007

Movie star Laura Dern was boycotted by Hollywood for more than a year after she played Ellen DeGeneres’ girlfriend in the gay comedienne’s controversial “coming out” TV episode a decade ago. Dern appeared on DeGeneres’ TV talk show Monday to mark the 10th anniversary of the pop culture moment when Ellen came out of the closet in real life and in her TV sitcom. The couple kissed on the show – and Dern now reveals her part on the controversial TV episode cost her her career for a year. The Jurassic Park star says, “There was certainly a backlash… It was awfully terrifying.” But Dern will never regret appearing on the episode, which she calls “an extraordinary experience and opportunity.”

Crossing Over: LL Cool J

25 04 2007

This is a new feature about musicians who have made the leap to acting and the results. Some have gained acclaim while others have become Razzie hall-of-famers. Either way when a musician tackles the silver screen we all take notice and savor the outcome.

455592_ll.coolj2_200x200.jpgJames Todd Smith
Born: January 14, 1968
Musicial Credits: Solo Artist
1986: Radio (Peaked at #46, Platinum)
1987: Bigger And Deefer (Peaked at #3, Double Platinum)
1989: Walking With A Panther (Peaked at #6, Platinum)
1990: Mama, Said Knock You Out (Peaked at #16, Double Platinum)
1995: Mr. Smith (Peaked at #20, Double Platinum)
1996: All the World: Greatest Hits (Peaked at #29, Platinum)
1997: Phenomenon (Peaked at #7, Platinum)
2001: G.O.A.T. (Peaked at #1, Gold)
2002: 10 (Peaked at #2, Gold)
2004: The Definition (Peaked at #4, Gold)
2006: Todd Smith (Peaked at #6, Gold)

LL Coo J came to the forefront of Hip Hop when he was still a teenager. He scored multiple platinum records and hit singles before he was even old enough to legally drink. LL Cool J was one of the artist responsible for expanding raps’ appeal beyond its core audience.
With good looks and even tighter rhymes, LL Cool J tallied hit after hit and slowly began to make a name for himself outside of the Hip Hop realm. By 1990, the rapper had 4 platinum records under his belt and was developing a persona that would eventually bring the artist to the silver screen.
With the rap world under control, LL Cool J stormed the multiplexes with a string of not-so-memorable performances in a few not-so-good films, Halloween: H20, Deep Blue Sea and Any Given Sunday – just to name a few. The rap star tried to turn himself into a double-threat, but it just wasn’t so. And while he plugged away making numerous film appearances, the rap climate changed, leaving LL Cool J out in the cold.
G.O.A.T., 10, Todd Smith all underperformed on the charts barely achieving gold status (sales of 500,000) and failed to released any memorable hit singles.
His latest film, Slow Burn tanked bringing in a rather unimpressive $778,123 during its opening weekend. The subsequent weekend was even more horrifying as the film plummeted 84.7 percent to a marginal $119,150.
LL Cool J should just take a very long hiatus from acting and focus on re-mastering his craft, then maybe after a few hundred-thousand acting lesson return to the small screen. It is very clear, LL Cool J is not going to be the next movie star.

Top Tracks
“Around the Way Girl”
“Mama Said Knock You Out”
“Hey Lover”

>Almost always wears a hat, and wears one of his pant legs rolled up.
>LL Cool J stands for “Ladies Love Cool James.”
>Hosted the 2001 American Music Awards with Britney Spears. [2001]
>Has four children (one boy and three girls): Najee (b. 1989), Italia (b. 1990), Samaria (b. 1995), and Nina Simone (b. 2000).
>Wrote and performed the first ever rap love song “I Need Love” in 1985.

Here is the trailer from the Slow Burn:

The Simpsons replace Back to the Future at Universal

25 04 2007

A new ride tied to the Simpsons movie will launch in Spring 2008 at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort. The deal also includes provisions that allow actors dressed like Simpsons characters to roam the parks, and the creation of new souvenir stores dedicated to selling Simpsons-themed merchandise. ”The ride is designed to duplicate the Simpsons home-viewing experience, only at high speed and with lots of screaming,” said Simpsons creator Matt Groening. The ride will replace the long-running Back to the Future attraction, which will shutter at both parks after Labor Day. (Variety)

Kevin Bacon to star in HBO Iraq War film

25 04 2007

HBO has tapped Kevin Bacon to star in Taking Chance as Lt. Col. Michael Strobl, an officer in the Iraq War who accompanies the body of fallen U.S. soldier Chance Phelps as it is returned home for a burial in Wyoming. Ross Katz, who produced In the Bedroom and Marie Antoinette, will make his directorial debut on the movie. Katz is also writing the script with Strobl, adapting it from the soldier’s short story of the same name. The project is set to start shooting this summer with HBO planning to air it some time in 2008. (Variety)