In its second week, Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" managed to hold off comedy sequel "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" which opened strong on Wednesday.
'Smaug' dropped 57% to $31.5 million, with a domestic total now at $127.5 million and worldwide one at a whopping $403.8 million.
Opening on Wednesday, the "Anchorman" sequel managed a five-day domestic haul of $40 million, $26.8 million of which came from the Friday-Sunday total. In comparison the first film opened to $28.4 million over three days.
Internationally is where the surprise is. While domestically the first film made $85 million, overseas it hauled in an absolute pitiful $5 million. Thanks in part to a very strong international promotional campaign, the film opened in just five overseas markets this weekend and managed $13.4 million in them.
After hitting a couple of screens last week, "American Hustle" opened wide this week to $19.1 million, coming in almost equal third with Disney's "Frozen" (it's so close the actual amounts tomorrow will tell the tale). The animated "Frozen" continues to impress with a $344 million global haul through Sunday.
On the flip side Disney's "Saving Mr. Banks" under performed, opening in fifth place domestically to $9.3 million. Internationally though it's doing better than expected.
The real outright flop was the costly $80 million "Walking with Dinosaurs" movie which opened in eighth place domestically to $7.3 million. Internationally the film is also not performing well with just $13.8 million from forty markets.
It's Dracula vs. Bane as Luke Evans' name has been added to the mix for Doug Liman's "The Summit" at Sony Pictures.
An adaptation of Jeffrey Archer's historical novel "Paths of Glory", the story deals with the mystery of George Mallory's ascent of Mount Everest. The mountain climber made several attempts to be the first to reach the summit before that of his Australian rival George Finch.
However Mallory and partner Andrew 'Sandy' Irvine never returned from their June 1924 climb. In 1999, Mallory's frozen body was found near the summit on the North Face, and debate has raged ever since about whether he was actually on his way down or up.
Tom Hardy was previously linked for the role of Mallory, seemingly dropped out due to scheduling, but is now apparently back onboard. Luke Evans ("The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," "Fast and Furious 6") was one of numerous names said to be in contention for the role of Finch back in October, and now it sounds like he's emerged as a potential front runner.
Liman is aiming to go into production on the film by mid-March. He's currently putting the finishing touches on the upcoming Tom Cruise sci-fi action thriller "Edge of Tomorrow" at Warners.
It's hard to believe but Marvel Studios still hasn't confirmed that Vin Diesel will be be playing the motion-captured talking tree character Groot in next year's "Guardians of the Galaxy".
Diesel isn't so hesitant though, posting on Facebook today the following image of himself with a human-sized bust of the character. The film's director James Gunn also tweeted the image saying: "Vin Diesel is a super awesome dude. I can't tell you how much I like this guy."
Gunn went on to confirm that Diesel is in the role and has begun recording sessions for the film: “He was never announced. He said he wanted to do it and we said we were talking to him. Everything else was people guessing and thinking they knew what was going to happen. I hope this puts to rest all the silly Thanos-Vin stuff which people just seemed to make up out of nothing.”
Update: FINALLY, Marvel.com has officially confirmed the news.
A new casting breakdown is rumored to be circulating in which Marvel Studios is looking for a key supporting role in the upcoming "Avengers: Age of Ultron".
Latino Review reports that the part is that of a physically imposing Caucasian man in his 40s. What is that role? Baron Von Strucker.
In the comics, the seemingly immortal Strucker is one of the leaders of HYDRA, and an enemy of both S.H.I.E.L.D and The Avengers.
POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD
They also talk about the role in the film with Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch apparently working for him. They also claim Marvel has shown interest in both Marton Csokas and Dougray Scott for the role.
Need for Speed
One of the things that the upcoming film based on the "Need For Speed" video game series is most proud of is its reliance on practical stunts. A new featurette for the upcoming "Need For Speed" film explores that aspect with the help of the film's stunt co-ordinator Lance Gilbert:
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Peter Jackson closes out the 'Smaug'-related production video blogs this week with a look at the writing and recording of the film score for 'Desolation of Smaug'.
Are you a fan of the "X-Men" films, but not the comics, and so are still confused about who the hell this arch-nemesis Apocalypse is? IGN has pulled together an effective five-minute video talking about the character's backstory which you can check out below:
Chuck Norris: The Epic Christmas Split
Forget Channing Tatum, a computer-generated Chuck Norris does the best spoof to date of the already legendary Jean Claude Van-Damme "epic split" stunt for Volvo.
Filmmaker Peter Segal ("Get Smart," "Grudge Match") says that the long-gestating live action movie based on the classic 1960's Hanna-Barbera sci-fi adventure series" Jonny Quest" movie is still in the works.
Segal has been attached to the Warner Bros. Pictures project since 2008 and tells ComingSoon that he hopes it'll be the next film of his to go forward:
"I would love to make that my next movie. We just hired a writer to do another pass. We already have a very good script. Then we go through budgeting hell and trying to get it into shape."
"Quest" told the thrilling stories of a young boy who accompanied his scientist father on extraordinary escapades investigating scientific mysteries around the world.
Joining him was his adopted brother from Calcutta, his pet bulldog pup, and the government agent assigned to protect them. The original one-season series was revived in the 80's and 90's on the Cartoon Network.
Dan Mazeau ("Wrath of the Titans") penned an earlier draft of the film's script with both Zac Efron and Dwayne Johnson rumored for the roles of Quest and Bannon respectively back in 2009. Richard Donner and Lauren Shuler Donner previously attempted to bring 'Quest' to the big screen in 1994.
Ice Age 5
20th Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios have scheduled a July 15th 2016 release for a fifth film in the "Ice Age" animated film series. Collectively, the four films to release so far have grossed more than $2.8 billion worldwide.
Due to that "Ice Age" announcement, Fox has pushed back its previously announced "Anubis" to March 23rd 2018. An adaptation of Bruce Zick's novel "The Anubis Tapestry: Between Twilights," the story follows a boy's attempt to save his father's spirit from being sent to the Egyptian Underworld by a mummy's curse.
Focus Features have moved up Jason Bateman's dark comedy "Bad Words" from March 21st 2014 to March 14th. Bateman directs and stars in the tale of a 40-year-old man who uses a legal loophole to enter his former school's spelling bee to avenge his loss there as a kid.
Focus Features have also moved up Jake Kasdan's comedy "Sex Tape" by a week. Originally slated for August 1st 2014, it'll now open on July 25th. Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz star in the tale of a couple whose homemade porn they created the night before goes missing, and they set off on a city-wide hunt to find it.
XLRator Media has has acquired North American distribution rights to the sci-fi action thriller "The Scribbler" starring Katie Cassidy, Michelle Trachtenberg, Eliza Dushku, Gina Gershon, Garret Dillahunt and Billy Campbell. A Fall 2014 release is being targeted.
The Green Inferno
Open Road has set Eli Roth's horror-thriller "The Green Inferno" for a U.S. theatrical release on September 5th 2014, almost a full year after its debut at last year's Toronto Film Festival. The story centers on a group of student activists who, after crash-landing on a remote location, are held hostage by the native tribe they set out to help save.
Lionsgate have announced a January 30th 2015 release for the horror thriller "Lazarus" starring Olivia Wilde, Mark Duplass, Donald Glover, Evan Peters and Sarah Bolger. The story follows a group of research students who accidentally kill a colleague and unwittingly unlock a deadly force by bringing her back to life.
Turns out the Johnny Depp trailer for "Transcendence" the other day was just another of those viral teasers. The proper teaser trailer, complete with actual footage from the Wally Pfister-directed sci-fi epic starring Depp, Morgan Freeman and Rebecca Hall.
After that comes a second trailer for David Ayer's loose action ensemble take on the Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None" formula. This time it's an elite special forces squad, is being picked off one by one by one of their own. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Worthington, Olivia Williams, Terrence Howard, Joe Manganiello, Josh Holloway and Mireille Enos star.
Starz has unveiled a bunch of new photos from its new series "Outlander," baed on Diana Gabaldon’s series of novels. The action follows a WW2 British combat nurse (Caitriona Balfe) who finds herself whisked back through time to war torn Scotland in the 1700s where she falls for a Scottish warrior (Sam Heughan). [Source: Facebook]
History has announced that the ten episode, second season of its top-rating adventure drama series "Vikings" will return on February 27th.
The show, which averages 4.3 million viewers in its first season, follows in the wake of Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) forming an alliance against King Horrik (Donal Logue) against the Earl in Gotaland and possibly his own brother Rollo (Clive Standen). [Source: History]
The CW has released a longer version of the promo for January's midseason premiere episode of "Arrow". The new footage involves Arrow's hunting down of Brother Blood and his foot soldiers.
SPOILERS AHEAD FOR THE XMAS SPECIAL
A major character is set for a key cameo in the upcoming Christmas special "The Time of the Doctor". The Daily Star reports that "the spectre of a huge favourite from the past appears in the TARDIS".
The cameo is major as the scene in question is reportedly the regeneration scene, the 'spook' wishing Matt Smith's Doctor "good night" just before he transforms into Peter Capaldi's Doctor. The two most common guesses so far are either River Song and Amy Pond.
Rawson Marshall Thurber ("We’re the Millers," "Dodgeball") has been hired to direct the spy comedy "Central Intelligence" which is now set up at New Line.
Ed Helms is attached to star and executive produce the project which Thurber will also re-write. The previous script was worked on by the likes of Ike Barinholtz, Dave Stassen, Peter Steinfeld, Sean Anders and John Morris.
Dean Parisot was originally slated to direct the film when it was at Universal, but Helms' commitment to "The Hangover Part III" shut down the project at the time. New Line acquired it only recently.
The "Chuck"-esque scenario has Helms playing an accountant whose reconnecting with an old friend through Facebook throws him head first into the world of international espionage.
Scott Stuber, Peter Principato and Paul Young are on board as producers.
24: Live Another Day
"True Blood" recurring star Giles Matthey and "The Wire" alum Gbenga Akinnagbe will play two new series regulars on Fox's London-set event series "24: Live Another Day".
Akinnagbe plays Erik Ritter, an arrogant and ambitious CIA field operative. Matthey plays Jordan Reed, a smart and sophisticated CIA computer tech. [Source: Deadline]
Reece Ritchie ("Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time," "The Lovely Bones") has scored a starring role in Fox's 13-episode series "Hieroglyph" which aims to debut next season.
Set in an ancient Egypt where fantasy and reality mix, the story follows a notorious thief who is plucked from prison to serve the young and ruthless Pharoah (Ritchie), navigating palace intrigue, seductive concubines, criminal underbellies and even a few divine sorcerers. [Source: Spoiler TV]
Josh Hamilton ("American Horror Story: Coven," "The Bourne Identity") has joined the cast of "Gracepoint," Fox’s remake of acclaimed British hit "Broadchurch".
The story follows the investigation into the shocking small town murder of an eleven-year-old boy. Hamilton plays Joe Miller, the husband of female lead Detective Ellie Miller (Anna Gunn). [Source: Spoiler TV]
Ahead of the premiere of this new original series, Showtime has launched The Penny Dreadful Production Blog at Penny-Dreadful.com. The blog provides an in-depth look into the creation of the series, and offers unprecedented access from the series’ creative team and producers. They've also released the second production video blog which deals with the literary roots of the series.
Director Bryan Singer has revealed that one of the old "X-Men" trilogy's characters that won't be back for the upcoming "X-Men: Days of Future Past" is Anna Paquin's Rogue.
Paquin shot a couple days worth of footage on the film, and Singer now tells EW that he has had to cut this 'rescue sequence' which contained her only screen time.
The reason for the cut? The film reportedly already has so much in it that the sequence is ultimately unnecessary:
"Through the editing process, the sequence became extraneous. It’s a really good sequence and it will probably end up on the DVD so people can see it. But like many things in the editing process, it was an embarrassment of riches and it was just one of the things that had to go. Unfortunately, it was the one and only sequence Anna Paquin was in, the Rogue character was in. Even though she’s in the materials and part of the process of making the film, she won’t appear in it."
Singer has already informed Paquin of the news:
"She completely understood. It’s very disappointing, but she’s very professional and she knows that stuff happens, particularly with material you shoot early on in production. Films evolve... She did a fantastic job, she was awesome in the sequence."
As glimpsed in the trailer, Chris Cooper is set to play Norman Osborn in next year's "The Amazing Spider-Man 2". While the character looks deathly ill in the preview, don't expect him to be so for too long. He recently spoke with Moviefone about his role in the sequel:
"This is a very strange introduction for Norman Osborn. I just can't reveal why it's that way, but this is not the beginning of Norman. It is the introduction, but it's not the beginning, and I think that's as far as I can go.
Asked if he was signed up for the third movie, he says Osborn's introduction is. "going to lead to other things down the road. He goes on to say:
"I'm under the impression that this is going to carry on... An actor has to do these big tentpole productions something like once every five years. It just keeps the name alive, as some of these smaller films that may not make it around the world tend not to do."
At the same time, The Daily Bugle tie-in viral site for the movie goes a little bit more into the role of the Osborns in the new film.
It appears Norman is in seclusion and has not been seen in public in months, leading to mounting speculation about his health and concern over when his son Harry will take over. Harry meanwhile is living it up on the French Riviera with supermodels while pressure mounts on him to assume control of Oscorp.
ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." is introducing another comic villain into its narrative - Blizzard.
The episode "Seeds" on January 14th sees the return of the villainous Ian Quinn (David Conrad) and the debut of Donnie Gill (Dylan Minnette). In the comics, Gill dons a battle suit that contains cryogenic circuitry allowing its wearer to generate and focus intense cold.
At the same time, Marvel Studios has finally and officially confirmed that Paul Rudd has signed on to star in Edgar Wright's "Ant-Man". In an official statement, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige says:
"When Edgar Wright came to us with the idea of Paul Rudd, we felt a huge sense of relief because the first step in creating any Marvel Studios film is finding the right star. We knew early on that we had found the right person in Paul.
When he not only agreed to do it but became as enthusiastic as any actor we'd ever met with about doing the work, we knew we'd found the right guy. We couldn't be more excited for our audiences to see what he's going to do to bring Ant-Man to life."
"Ant-Man" hits cinemas on July 31st 2015.
A couple more posters have premiered over the past two days, staring with the Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sam Worthington-led action thriller "Sabotage" and Akiva Goldsman's magical fantasy story "A Winter's Tale".
There's also two more "300: Rise of an Empire" posters, these focusing on the primary hero and villain of the piece - Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton) and Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro).
Formerly going by the far better title of "Red Machine," David Hackl's new film "Endangered" follows a deputy (Thomas Jane) who teams with his estranged brother (James Marsden) to stop a rogue grizzly bear terrorising an Alaskan community.
Today, a bunch of photos from the film have gone up showcasing the bear and the cast, including a severely injured Billy Bob Thornton as an infamous bear hunter out to get the bear for himself. No U.S. release date is yet set.
Following on from yesterday's Johnny Depp-centric teaser trailer, two viral videos for Wally Pfister's artificial intelligence-themed sci-fi drama "Transcendence" have gone online.
These ones focus on his co-stars Kate Mara and Morgan Freeman basically offering portents of doom about the rise of computers so smart that they become self-aware and try to destroy us (ala Skynet). Check them out below:
How I Met Your Mother
After nine seasons, CBS has announced a one-hour series finale for long-running sitcom "How I Met Your Mother" to air at 8pm on March 31st. CBS will premiere new comedy "Friends With Better Lives" immediately after at 9pm. [Source: CNN]
Showrunners Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss have given a brief interview in which they hype the upcoming third series. They also speak a bit about the new nemesis for Sherlock who appears in the third episode.
AMC have posted another a new promo for their American Revolutionary War-set spy thriller series "Turn" which premieres in the Spring.
Jamie Bell plays a farmer living behind enemy lines in British-occupied Long Island, who bands together with a group of childhood friends to form an unlikely team of secret agents who would help turn the tide of the war in favor of the Rebels.
NBC have posted an animated short film to promote the upcoming fifth season of their sitcom "Community". In the short, Jeff is home alone for the holidays when he gets an unexpected surprise from all of his friends at Greendale.
The best animated series on the air, FX's often outrageous spy comedy "Archer," returns January 13th. To celebrate FX has posted some beautiful "Miami Vice"-inspired poster art and a commercial promo for the new season which promises a major shake-up this season according to the producers.
"Man of Steel" costume designer Michael Wilkinson is back for Zack Snyder's upcoming currently untitled sequel which is still being dubbed "Batman vs. Superman".
With production to begin in February, Wilkinson tells Cinemovie that they are now finalizing the costumes for the film:
"We are now in the stage where we’re refining our designs with the last series of camera tests and doing our final tweaks in preparation for shooting."
Not only does he have to create the looks for Batman and Wonder Woman, he's also "made some tweaks" to Henry Cavill's Superman costume for this outing.
Wilkinson has also worked on such films as "300," "Watchmen," "TRON: Legacy," "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn" and more recently "American Hustle" and "Noah".