The Hobbit increases box office lead; Disney’s Frozen to debut next Thanksgiving; Jack Reacher fans displeased on Chris McQuarrie to choose Tom Cruise as the leading character


Welcome to the pre-Christmas edition of Gene Scallop’s Box Office Report! Here’s what’s at the box office this week!


Since Fish Head’s very busy at home, I rather sub in for him since this the last report of 2012. Here’s how the hobbits are doing…


With Santa doing his double gifting work, The Hobbit’s Journey dropped 73% the last time we looked. It’s still tops the box office for the 2nd week. As of Friday, the Middle Earth hit scored 113 million smackers. Now, it’s up to 303 million smackers as it continues its worldwide run.


Jack Reacher starring Tom Cruise gives movie goers an A- as he guns down the bad guys with 18 million smackers! Speaking of guns, the movie was delayed a week because of the Sandy Hook school shooting. Hollywood was gunned down by the NRA calling it haunting and disturbing as a result of the horrific event. As for the movie, there have been some snarky remarks that Tom Thumb was replaced by Cruise. Remember Pete Tilden’s casting mistake? Fortunately, that didn’t happen. We’ll have more on that in a moment. Both Paramount and Sky Dance Entertainment kept saying that casting only costs 60 million smackers. Will it top the 100 million smacker mark or will Argo and Honest Abe stay on the list? Although Cruise’s previous flick MI:4 really paid off just in case David Ellison is wrong!


Universal’s adult film This Is 40 gave audiences a B- as Judd Aptow fans show disbelief due to the critics reaction to the movie. Like Jack Reacher, this 12 million smacker movie follows the same path even though it’s a soft opening.


Hollywood is still taken advantage by the Guardians as it continues being outclassed by previous animated movies. So much for that rebound.


Monsters Inc. 3D prepares for the holidays as this 2001 revamp which took in 257 million smackers years ago, could be eclipsed by Monsters U. in Summer 2013.


For the last recap of 2012, The Hobbit scrambles for more smackers 1st, Jack Reacher uses his secret agent prowess in 2nd, This Is 40 softens 3rd, The Guardians get outgunned in 4th, and Monsters Inc. 3D scares with screams once again in 5th.


Disney unveiled their next movie blockbuster Frozen scheduled for next November. With thousands of stars on hand, Perch gives the scoop on the mouse’s next animated adventure!


Perch Perkins (via Toon Zone)- BURBANK, Calif. (December 19, 2012) — Walt Disney Animation Studios (WDAS) has given voice to its extreme mountain man from the comedy-adventure “Frozen.” Tony Award® nominee Jonathan Groff (Broadway’s “Spring Awakening,” TV’s “Glee”) is on board to help bring Kristoff to life in the epic journey slated for the big screen November 27, 2013.
Groff appears in the independent feature “C.O.G.,” which is part of 2013 Sundance Film Festival. The Pennsylvania native made his big-screen debut in Ang Lee’s “Taking Woodstock” and went on to appear in the independent drama “Twelve-Thirty” and “The Conspirator.” His TV credits include Fox’s “Glee,” the Starz series “Boss” and CBS’ “The Good Wife.” On stage, in addition to the Tony Award®-winning musical “Spring Awakening,” Groff appeared in the Public Theater’s revival of “Hair” and off-Broadway plays “Prayer for My Enemy” and “The Submission,” among others. He made his West End debut in Ira Levin’s “Deathtrap,” and appeared in the 2010 Tony Award®-winning “Red” by John Logan at the Mark Taper Forum this year.
Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, and produced by Peter Del Vecho, “Frozen” will be presented in Disney Digital 3D™ in select theaters.


Getting back to the casting problem, Jack Reacher fans have been waiting a week for their hero to make his appearance. Now finally at the big screen, some fans say that Cruise shouldn’t been the leading character. Angie, what’s wrong with this picture?


Angie Angelfish (via Entertainment Weekly)- In the popular Lee Child thrillers from which Jack Reacher has been fashioned, the title character’s physical dimensions are integral to his mysterious-loner-silent-drifter-violent-hero stature: He’s 6′ 5”, brawny, and blond. So Tom Cruise, who is not, has his work cut out for him in his mission to impress both those who already have strong notions about how Reacher ought to look and those just now meeting the freelance one-man justice league and trying to take his measure.

That Cruise fails to make a case for Reacher’s allure, though, has less to do with physical dissonance than it does with the film’s inability — stupefying inability, really — to otherwise make a case for the character’s originality in a movie so choked with visual clichés and dreadfully moldy dialogue. Written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie (who previously worked with Cruise on Valkyrie), Jack Reacher stumbles around looking for a unifying narrative tone, while the star soldiers on, offering up his generic action-hero stance of calm, opaque concentration. (An obligatory shirtless shot of Cruise confirms that his famous discipline in all things physical and mental still pays off.)

The story, meanwhile, is run-of-the-mill muscular pulp. While all evidence points to a former military sniper in the apparently random shooting of five victims, JR follows his own instincts — calmly, opaquely, except when he’s a coldly violent fighting machine — and draws his own conclusions. Along the way, he crosses paths with a Russian mobster sinister enough to sound exactly like Werner Herzog, maybe because Herzog plays said mobster with lip-smacking gusto and a display of tiny teeth. And Reacher works side by side with a Blond Lady DA — probably as good a name for her as any, since British beauty Rosamund Pike (An Education) is given a Jane Doe of a role to work with. Jack Reacher doesn’t play well with others; Jack Reacher is an argument to leave the guy alone.


Let’s do our last check of the Penguins tally for 2012! So far 333 fans have signed in as Team Skipper takes a holiday break before heading into awards season next year.


Well, that wraps up this box office and gossip report for this year TV and movie fans. All you have to do now is enjoy the holidays! We’ll be back January 2nd, 2013 for news and gossip around the toon world. Until then, Merry Christmas and Happy 2013 from Gene Scallop!

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