How the Mighty Have Fallen: Brendan Fraser Unable to Pay $900k in Child Support

Thanks to an avid listener of our podcast, known only as Jf1, for clueing me into this tid bit of celebrity gossip. I’m a huge Brendan Fraser fan, and this news does nothing to quell my love for the man. Apparently though, he can no longer afford to pay the $900,000 a year alimony and child support for his ex-wife and three kids. In fact during his divorce he claimed he was going to be making $0 as an actor in the near future, he later said that was from not having any definite movie deals. He cites medical bills as an issue as well. All this despite having three movies unreleased as yet this year, Gimme Shelter, A Case of You and Split Decision.

If Segal can make millions a year on DVD releases surely Fraser can as well, and he still has a shot at theatrical releases. Granted his latest release is voice work in Escape from Planet Earth and his last theatrical release was 2010’s Furry Vengeance. If we goes into the courtroom with that then I’m sure any judge or jury will agree the guy can’t afford a million a year.

It’s crazy that these Hollywood actors can spend so much, I understand they have a certain lifestyle but with how many of these guys are going broke they need to learn to manage their finances a little better. Fraser should take the lead from Nicolas Cage and just start whoring himself out for any old role, or maybe that’s exactly what he’s trying to avoid. Do I smell a fourth Mummy in the works? Universal, get ’em whiles he’s cheap!
(more…)

Will J.J. Abrams Ruin Star Wars, Or Will He Unite The Star Trek / Star Wars Fan Base As Director?

For those that haven’t heard, The Wrap is reporting on some gossip it got from someone close to the production of the new Star War film that J.J. Abrams has been selected to direct. They also say Ben Affleck was up, so this must have been a real hard choice for them. Abrams has already resurrected an old space sci-fi franchise, Star Trek, so it kind of makes sense. Plus he’s in good with the fanboy crowd already with movies like Cloverfield, Super 8 and of course the TV series LOST.

Regardless of his success though, Abrams has had failures, many of which go hand in hand with the previously mentioned work. Think about the lens flare in Mission Impossible III, Super 8 and at its worst Star Trek. Now imagine a Star Wars movie with all that light saber lens flare. Kinda ruins it.

Then we can push onto the fact that Abrams doesn’t end his stories well. Cloverfield has a crap ending, Super 8 is ok but not great and LOST is horrible. Star Trek is his only saving grace for endings. What does this mean? Well, the trailer and ads for the film will get us all psyched up, then we’ll watch the first two-thirds of the film in wide-eyed wonderment of what’s to come, and then the ending will crash and burn and everyone will be let down.
(more…)

Y The Last Man Gets Greenlight With Dan Trachtenberg Directing

Y the Last Man is going ahead at New Line with Dan Trachtenberg set to direct. Trachtenberg is a commercial (as is advertisements) director best known for a recent short film based on the video game Portal. While I liked the look and feel of the short, it is in no way a complete story with similarities to that of a commercial ad. I’m not sure if Trachtenberg can handle a feature film, and I tend to dislike filmmakers that have an atmosphere over story style.

Y the Last Man is in my favorite genre – the post-apocalyptic genre. The story centers around the last surviving man and his male monkey companion after all other male mammals were killed by a plague targeting animals with a Y chromosome.

If you’re not one of the millions that has viewed Trachtenberg’s short, you can do so below. I’m not sure that everyone that makes a short that hits millions of views on YouTube deserves to helm a film, but so far Hollywood has been impressed and we’ve seen quite a few people getting their foot in the door this way. What do you think?

Independence Day 2 Still Possible Without Will Smith, Says President Bill Pullman

Before playing a fake president in NBC’s new comedy 1600 Penn., Bill Pullman was the fake President Thomas Whitmore in Independence Day. In a recent interview with Crave Online Pullman has said that plans are being made to put this through with or without star Will Smith.

The Will Smith part of it may be ongoing, but I think there’s strategies for both. I like what I have to do in both of them. I’m not in an old age home in a wheelchair being wheeled out for one more moment. It’s a very interesting conception of what happens to Whitmore between then and when it picks back up.

Sounds like Whitemore’s alien fighting days aren’t over yet. As for Smith, I hope he returns, this is the movie that cemented him as a Hollywood star and proved that he could open big blockbusters. Earlier Fox pulled the 3D retrofit for Independence Day from its theatrical release schedule, something that happened with another Will Smith starrer I, Robot. We did at least get that as a 3D Blu-ray release, and I’m still hopeful that Independence Day still gets a 3D Blu-ray release, it’s one of the few 3D retrofits I was excited about, especially with the awesome July 4th slated release.

Anyone excited about the possibility of ID2?

Godzilla Reboot to Feature Two New Monsters

CHUD has reported that through a source that has heard a Warner Bros webinar for their advertisers that the Godzilla reboot will feature two new monsters. They’re also saying that the story follows a soldier but is way different from the Toho Godzilla films.

Currently Frank Darabont is taking a crack at the script, which means this could change, but that’s doubtful. Chances are we’ll be seeing Godzilla tear up the landscape against two other monsters. Exciting? I think so. I was excited back when David S Goyer was working on the script/story.

I like Darabont, and the only thing that gets me a little nervous is his misstep with the horrible ending on The Mist. Regardless this is good news and means this will be a true big budget version of Godzilla, as long as Taylor Kitsch isn’t cast we’ll be ok.

Mon Update: Box Office Analysis: The Expendables 2 #1, Bourne Tumbles to #2, ParaNorman #3, Sparkle #5

Monday Actuals Update

Box Office estimates for the August 17-19, 2012 weekend are coming in a little luke warm for The Expendables 2. I suppose we can still blame these numbers on the shaky turnout at theaters after the Aurora incident and now we had bomb threats this weekend. Estimated at only $28 million for the weekend that’s under both our predictions of $37 and $38 million and the originals opening weekend of $34.8 million. There’s a big chance this doesn’t go over $100 million domestic total. It is getting a CinemaScore of A-, but there’s something strange that happens with this movie that may erode the good word of mouth. People are making a lot of exceptions and excuses for this film having a bad or no plot saying that the explosions and fun more than make up for it. The majority of the reviews say that this second outing has all the same problems the first one did. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t see this having that strong of a hold.

The Bourne Legacy looks to fall a tad more than 50% in its second weekend for $17 million. Better word of mouth probably could have had it in the 40%’s. This should ease up to around $100 million, not sure if its the hit Universal wanted.

ParaNorman had a Friday that was right in line with Coraline‘s. That film went on to make $16.8 million in its opening. As other kid movies moved to a summer release this pulled in a little low at $14 million. With a CinemaScore of B+ word of mouth should be warm but not hot.

Another B CinemaScore earner fell just 50% in its second weekend. The Campaign comes in at $13 million and like most comedies won’t make triple digits.

Sparkle, Whitney Houston’s last performance, earned $11.6 million which is both my $14 million prediction and Jason’s $13 million. A CinemaScore of A was unable to bring in any more of an audience.

Rounding out the new releases The Odd Life of Timothy Green made a surprising $10.8 million. That’s close to my $8 million prediction, but a stones throw from Jason’s $4 million. The film has already made $4.3 million since its Wednesday opening, a smart move to get out of the way of the other releases this weekend. It used to be a special release for big films to add a few more days to a weekend, but we’ve seen this happening more and more with smaller films to get outside of the weekend.

Hope Springs had a great hold of around 37% for a $9.1 million weekend. This is looking to prove to be a minor hit, much like The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was earlier this year. Granted Hope Springs will spring past Marigold‘s $45.4 million total, but it did have a much larger release and more well known domestic stars.

Total Recall is just a little bit behind Underworld Awakening at this point. Recall has $51.7 million to Awakening‘s $54.3 million. I have always said these two would be comparable in the box office, not only because the talent is practically the same, but the film appeared to be a small Screen Gems type sic-fi actioner rather than a big Sony produced blockbuster. I like director Len Wiseman, and he’s proved he can make big budget flicks with the last Die Hard movie, but he’s got to break out of casting his wife, the beautiful Kate Beckinsale, in leading roles in his flicks. While I’m sure Paul WS Anderson is happy, he’s stuck in Screen Gems jail right now because of constantly casting his wife, the lovely Milla Jovovich, in everything he does. Or at least get someone bigger than Collin Farrell (I have nothing against Farrell, but he’s a dud at the box office) to headline.

Universal Denies THR Report of Kristen Stewart Being Kicked Off the ‘Snow White’ Sequel

Kristen Stewart / Chris Hemsworth

SHEEEEE’S BAAAAAACK!!! Well, maybe. Deadline is reporting that Universal is now denying The Hollywood Reporter report on Kristen Stewart being kicked off the Snow White and the Huntsman sequel. This is why reporting on hearsay crap that other outlets are saying gets us into trouble. But this one was too juicy to pass up.

Universal Co-Chairman Donna Langley: “We are extremely proud of Snow White And The Huntsman and we’re currently exploring all options to continue the franchise. Any reports that Kristen Stewart has been dropped are false.”

David Koepp is still not writing the sequel, which Universal still has not solidified any plans on how to go about creating. The Huntsman spin-off is one choice still on the table. As I said in my earlier article Chris Hemsworth is a rising star. In all honesty I think it’s the best move the studio has. Hemsworth will be a star and a box office draw at some point, while Stewart’s box office power is still somewhat in question.

And what of SWATH director Rupert Sanders? His job appears to be pretty safe with Universal buying the rights to a project about Dean Unkefer book 90 Church: The True Story Of The Narcotics Squad From Hell. Sanders will be working with SWATH producers Joe Roth and Palak Patel on this, so he’s already dug his boots in deep enough to save himself.

No word yet about this dispute on The Hollywood Reporter site.

Universal Shuffles Release Dates Again, We Get Jurassic Park 3D Now 3 Months Early!

Universal has decided a major shuffle of its release schedule next year, this all looks to accommodate the Keanu Reeves’ 47 Ronin. The Carl Rinsch (Ridley Scott’s son-in-law) directed samurai action flick has had some trouble with reshoots that originally pushed its November 2012 release date back to February 2013, and now it’s scheduled for a Christmas 2013 release.

Seth Gordon’s (Horrible Bosses) new comedy starring Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy, Identity Thief, will move into the February 8 spot vacated by 47 Ronin, and Richard Curtis’ (Love Actually) sci-fi time travel comedy starring Rachel McAdams, About Time, will move from Christmas 2013 to May 10. Since there’s still no official synopsis of About Time I’m going to guess it’s not romantic, because if it were this switch up is a little silly. A romantic comedy with Rachel McAdams may play better in February, and a Horrible Bosses type comedy will probable fare better in summer. Especially considering McCarthy’s breakout Bridesmaids did gangbusters in its May release and likewise for McAdams The Vow on its February release. Of course I’ve seen neither of these films, but Universal has screwed up release dates before so who knows if there’s a good reason for their choices.

The Ryan Reynolds’ and Jeff Bridges’ action comedy R.I.P.D. is being nudged back three weeks to July 19 to make room for Kick-Ass 2 on June 28. Both good dates in my opinion. Mark Wahlberg’s second film with director Baltasar Kormakur after Contraband, 2 Guns, gets a release date of August 16. I’m not sure why, they must think it’s going to be good, but after Contraband did so well in the off season I’d expect this would do better as an early or late year release. Wahlberg just isn’t a huge summer draw, but maybe after Ted they want to keep the guy around.

The truly exciting new is the push up of Jurassic Park 3D from July to April 5, 2012. I can’t wait to see this in 3D, I’ve been a fan since it originally came out in theaters on June 9, 1993. I guess they were scared of other summer movies pushing this one out and decided an off season release would be better. Plus this is the weekend after Easter Sunday, and I’ve always thought Jurassic Park played well to the family crowd. I hope these 3D rereleases continue to do well as there are many more older films that today’s audiences haven’t seen on the big screen, and many more that I’d like to revisit.

Watch Joe Carnahan’s ‘Daredevil’ Pitch to Fox, Now Disney/Marvel Will Take Back the Rights

I’m not going to discuss this too much, as I think the videos below speak for themselves. I’m very intrigued by director Joe Carnahan’s ideas for the Daredevil reboot, and I understand Fox wanted to reboot Fantastic Four first, as it’s more of a family comic book movie. But after seeing this pitch I really want to watch this version of Daredevil. The 70’s crime scene is great, I like the grittiness and the energy of the cuts and music. I’m not so sure Disney would want to make this version though, which is worrisome as Fox is letting the rights expire and move back to Disney/Marvel. This just doesn’t fit in with the rest of the Marvel brand as it stands now. Isn’t just like Hollywood to find something that works and then beat it to death. Family friendly super-hero movies are great, but look at what the last Batman movie is taking away from the box office. Hollywood, don’t put all your eggs in one basket, it’s gonna back-fire on you.

Check out the pitch videos below, they’re essentially a bunch of flicks, including the Ben Affleck Daredevil, with some voice over you’ll recognize (stollen from another flick) intercut with some Daredevil comic panels. The strange thing is, it gets the point across so easily of what Carnahan’s vision is. There’s an NC-17 one first, then a cut down PG-13 version below.

Kristen Stewart Removed From ‘Snow White’ Sequel, Planned Now as Just a ‘Huntsman’ Spin-off

Kristen Stewart / Chris Hemsworth

The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Universal will not be asking Kristen Stewart to return to the role of Snow White in the Snow White and the Huntsman sequel. Instead they have plans to continue on with a spin-off movie starring Chris Hemsworth as the Huntsman. Also of note an “insider” is saying director Rupert Sanders is likely to return (he should be canned as well, not for the affair, but just because the first flick is so mediocre). Screenwriter David Koepp is smart enough to get out of this one, he’s being bought out of his contract to pen the sequel. Smart move since he could barely handle writing the last one. Honestly was anyone truly impressed with Snow White and the Huntsman?

Snow White and the Hunstmans has racked up $154 million domestic and $389 million worldwide. Considering the film has a negative cost of $170 million to produce, that’s not a huge hit. But this is Universal, and anything that make $150 million domestic is considered ripe for a sequel and probably a franchise. Can Hemsworth carry the film without Stewart? You can probably guess what I think (yes, of course). And it seems as though Hollywood sees it the same.

Hitching their wagon to Chris Hemsworth is a smart twist by Universal. Hemsworth is a hot property at the moment and will only get hotter. People love him as Thor, he definitely helped make Snow White bearable, and in many scenes simply over-shadowed Stewart. Just look at his upcoming slate, Red Dawn this November, Rush (with possible Oscar nods on this flick) in late 2013 followed by Thor 2 and then he’s rumored to be in Spielberg’s next popcorn flick Robopocalypse in 2014. Taking over the Snow White franchise will only make his star shine brighter, or at least it will look brighter.

Somewhere Robert Pattinson is smiling. What do you think about this new direction?

Nicolas Cage, Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford and Wesley Snipes Possible for ‘Expendables 3’

Expendables producer Avi Lerner recently spoke with Total Film and rambled off a few names they’ve already approached for Expendables 3.

We’ve approached Clint Eastwood to be one of the guys,” he tells the outlet. “We’ve got a character in mind for him. We’re talking to Harrison Ford. Wesley Snipes when he comes back from prison… [W]e’ve got Nicolas Cage to play [one of the characters]…And we’re going to bring Mickey Rourke back, if he won’t be too crazy. I like Mickey. And of course, all the existing stars [will return]

Simon West will probably return as well, I imagine that’s why Cage is in this mix, as the two previously worked together on West’s directorial debut Con Air. I have to say though, that Expendables is kind of becoming an old man’s club. Snipes can probably still do some moves, but these other guys are not only pretty old, they’ve never really had any moves to begin with. Regardless of that, I would really like to see these guys make at least a cameo in the third flick.

Who do you want for the third installment?

First Official Pic of Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger Together in ‘The Tomb’

If you don’t know what Stallone’s and Schwarzenegger’s The Tomb is about yet, you’re obviously not a fan, but here ya go:

Ray Breslin (Stallone) is the world’s foremost authority on structural security. After analyzing every high security prison and learning a vast array of survival skills so he can design escape-proof prisons, his skills are put to the test. He’s framed and incarcerated in a master prison he designed himself. He needs to escape and find the person who put him behind bars. Schwarzenegger plays Emil Rottmayer, a complex inmate with multiple shades of gray. He’s the guy who fights to keep the prisoners from losing their humanity in their darkest hour as they struggle together to stay alive.

I’m really looking forward to these two guys being in a movie with each other that’s not an ensemble pic. I grew up watching their flicks, so this is right up my alley. Although I’m a little worried about director Mikael Håfström, whose past work I’m not very fond of (The Rite, 1408, Derailed). I don’t think Schwarzenneger or Stallone will allow the guy to mess up, hell if anything they’ll be running the production and giving Håfström an ulcer. No word yet on a release date.

Mon Update: Box Office: Renner Rejuvenates ‘Bourne’ Franchise for #1, Ferrell’s and Galifianakis’ ‘Campaign’ a Success at #2, ‘Dark Knight’ #3, ‘Hope Springs’ #4, ‘Total Recall’ Crashes to #5

Jeremy Renner in The Bourne Legacy

Monday Actuals Update: Mon @ 2:15pm.

All numbers below are actuals.

Box Office estimates for the August 10-12, 2012 weekend are coming in hot for Universal and their Bourne re-boot sans the title character and substituted with another actor in the lead role. While I’m still not convinced Jeremy Renner has much weight in the box office, he does seem to be choosing the right roles. With $38M this is far over our predictions of $22-$27M and, while under the last two installments (Supremacy $52.5M, Ultimatum $69M), this isn’t a horrible opening considering it’s a reboot. Universal will more than likely try to continue the franchise.

Editorial: From Timothy Dalton to Jeremy Renner, ‘Bond’ is ‘Bourne’ Again

The Campaign proves to be another hit for Will Ferrell and nudges Zack Galifianakis closer to being somewhat of a box office draw. It’s $26.6M puts it just under Jason’s $28M prediction, but a bit off my $32M. Depending on word of mouth this could go over $100M, but it’s too soon to assume a multiplier over 3x for this.

Both CinemaScores for The Campaign (B-) and The Bourne Legacy (B) put them in the ‘ok’ range, just as we’ve been seeing most of the year. Don’t expect word of mouth to be huge helpers for these in coming weeks, it’s luke warm at best.

Hope Springs opened on Wednesday giving it a 2 day lead earning $4.3M going into this weekend’s box office. Seems to have paid off for Sony, considering I feel like this is targeting the same generation as Bourne, although obviously a different sex. It’s $14.7M is less than our predicted $17-$20M, but with the Wednesday and Thursday grosses it falls right in line.

The most interesting fight this weekend was over 5th place as Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Dog Days proved a worthy adversary for Total Recall. In the end though, Recall won by a measly $100k and with what’s being reported as the total, it’s no wonder Sony didn’t post numbers for the big sci-fi action movie over the weekend. Recall has completely faltered in its second weekend with only $8M after posting a decent opening weekend in line with previous Len Wiseman (produced) and Kate Beckinsale flick Underworld Awakening. That movie only fell 50% in its second weekend though, but had weaker weekday numbers than Recall which puts them neck and neck out of this weekend. Recall is looking at about a 70% drop and it’s all due to horrible word of mouth. Sad to say that Underworld Awakening will likely gross more than Total Recall. The one thing this film would like to forget is its $125M budget.

View Our 2012 Box Office Predictions Here

#1 The Bourne Legacy (NEW)
Fri $13.9M     Sat $14.5M     Sun $9.7M     Weekend $38.1M
CinemaScore: B

#2 The Campaign (NEW)
Fri $10.2M     Sat $9.5M     Sun $6.9M     Weekend $26.6M
CinemaScore: B-

#3 The Dark Knight Rises
Fri $5.6M     Sat $7.8M     Sun $5.5M     Weekend $19M     Total: $389.6M

#4 Hope Springs (NEW)
Fri $4.6M     Sat $6.1M     Sun $3.9M     Weekend $14.7M

#5 Total Recall
Fri $2.5M     Sat $3.2M     Sun $2.3     Weekend $8.01M     Total: $44.1M

#6 Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
Fri $2.9M     Sat $3.1M     Sun $2M     Weekend $8M     Total: $31M

Albert Pyun Starts Shooting ‘Cyborg’ Prequel ‘Cyborg: Rise of the Slingers’

We’ve heard Albert Pyun talking about his ideas for a Cyborg prequel for awhile. Originally titled Red Moon, he has described Cyborgs: Rise of the Slingers as an original story leading up to the events in Cyborg, told in an operatic way. I’m excited to see exactly how he envisions this universe being created, and wonder just how far back before Cyborg he plans on going.

Pyun stated on his Facebook page today:

We begin shooting CYBORGS: Rise of the Slingers today! At long last. This is just the early vefx work before assembling the star cast for the full run. The Cyborg title design is by Artifex in Montreal.

You can see the title design as the header image to this post above. Pyun also commented that he will reach out to 80’s and 90’s action star Michael Dudikoff (most known for the American Ninja series, but worked with Pyun on Radioactive Dreams) about a part in the film.

Albert Pyun directed the original cult classic Cyborg starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. While this is the first prequel to the 1989 film, there have been two sequels. The second starred Angelina Jolie and the third had Malcolm McDowell and Zach Galligan.

Who else is excited about seeing another entry in the Cyborg universe?