The Warner’s bail out the convicts! I’m Realistic Fish Head. After a stiff battle from Insidious Chapter 2, Warner Bros., prison break film Prisoners came out on top with 7 million escaping a close race from last week’s horror surprise. The Warner’s have tried desperately to escape from the clutches from other films dating back to 2008, but came up short most likely due to past events from that year up to last year. Has the shield make good on their escape bid Gene?
Warner Bros. reports that Prisoners grabbed an estimated $7.01 million in its Friday debut, putting the drama on track for a $20.5 million opening weekend. The ensemble flick led by Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal marks the first offering for adult audiences in over a month–since Lee Daniels’ The Butler began its very successful run. Strong critical reviews (currently at 79 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) have helped propel Prisoners to its healthy opening. Although the film has been somewhat divisive among early crowds, its Flixster score still sits at a strong 88 percent after one day.
Last week’s number one film, Insidious Chapter 2, tallied $4.675 million to kick off its second frame. The horror sequel from director James Wan has amassed an impressive $51 million in eight days. Although the film is proving to be significantly more front-loaded than its 2011 predecessor, there’s no question that FilmDistrict has a hit franchise on its hands as fans eagerly await the forthcoming third installment. Insidious Chapter 2 is projected to gross $14 million this weekend.
Relativity’s The Family added $2.09 million on Friday, boosting its domestic total to $20.7 million since opening last week. BoxOffice is projecting a $6.7 million sophomore weekend for the Robert de Niro flick.
Sleeper hit Instructions Not Included added $1.36 million yesterday for a new domestic cume of $29.9 million. That represents an incredible drop of just 3 percent from last Friday. The Latino-driven comedy has proven to be a much stronger performer on weekends versus weekdays. This weekend’s take should ring up close to $5.3 million.
Sony’s Battle of the Year is failing to catch fire. The dance flick starring Chris Brown and Lost’s Josh Holloway was targeting teenagers in a bit of counter-programming this weekend, but most of them are rejecting the flick judging by the film’s $1.5 million first day take. Not surprisingly, critics have lambasted the film with a 6 percent Rotten Tomatoes score while early audience word of mouth has driven Battle’s Flixster user score down to a more reasonable, though still disappointing, 65 percent. Last year’s Step Up Revolution wound up as the lowest grosser of that franchise, and with Battle’s performance it’s evident that fans of the genre clearly aren’t itching for just another generic dance movie. Look for Battle of the Year to pull around $4.3 million this weekend.
WB’s Wizard of Oz re-release fared well in IMAX and 3D to start the weekend. The family classic brought in an estimated $751,000 yesterday. Expected to perform even stronger throughout the weekend as parents and kids make their way to theaters, the film should take in $3 million this weekend. Wizard of Oz continues to prove its enduring appeal even after 74 years.
Lastly, Universal estimates a strong $66,000 opening day for Ron Howard’s Rush, which opted for a platform release in 5 theaters this weekend ahead of its wide release on September 27. Strong buzz for the film is helping in addition to Howard’s credentials as well as star Chris Hemsworth. Rush is aiming to earn around $220,000 this weekend for a strong per-theater-average of $44,000.
To recap, the Prisoners get bailed out 1st, Insidious 2 moves 2nd, The Family gets a boost in 3rd, Instructions Not Included drops 4th with a 3% drop, and Battle of the Year gets bashed in 5th as critics say they can’t afford another dance movie like Step Up Revolution.
Disney is yet hit another setback as the director for their next hit The Good Dinosaur leaves the studio, pushing the film up to 2015. While Finding Dory gets pushed up to 2016 allowing Universal to pull the Minions movie and Jurassic World up to next summer and into 2016, the good news with Disney is that Pirates 5 will be the last film under Jerry Bruckheimer and the last voyage of Captain Jack Sparrow. It also means since 2005, Pixar will get the shaft and the other movie companies fill the blanks for next year. With Disney/Pixar’s Planes 2 the only flick on the 2015 movie schedule, Who fills up the blanks for 2015 Danny?
Danny Angelfish (via L.A. Times Entertainment)- The animation exodus from 2014 is continuing as Universal Pictures announced that it will move its “Minions in 3D,” a spinoff from the blockbuster “Despicable Me” franchise, from December 2014 to July 10, 2015.
The move comes the same week that Disney said it was moving its troubled Pixar Animation Studios title “The Good Dinosaur” from May 2014 to November 25, 2015.
Pixar is replacing the film’s director, Bob Peterson, and the resulting production delays will mean that Pixar will have no theatrical release next year, the first time since 2005 that the studio will go a calendar year without a new movie.
Universal said it was postponing the “Minions” release date not because of production issues but to maximize the film’s box office revenue. “Despicable Me 2,” released on July 3, has grossed more than $840 million worldwide. It trails only “Iron Man 3” as the year’s most popular release.
To make room in its 2015 schedule for the “Minions” movie, which is produced by Universal’s Illumination Entertainment, the studio is moving a different, untitled Illumination release from July 2015 to February 2016.
Sony Pictures will now have to decide whether to move its “Smurfs 3,” which is scheduled to come out just two weeks after the “Minions” movie, to safer ground. The last “Smurfs” film was trounced by “Despicable Me 2” at the box office.
Sony did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
Competition among animated films is skyrocketing. This year, 11 animated movies will be released widely, up from six a decade ago. Even with “Minions” and “The Good Dinosaur” moving out of next year, 2015’s animated slate still includes “Mr. Peabody & Sherman,” “Rio 2,” “How to Train Your Dragon 2” and “Planes: Fire & Rescue.”
Noah Baumbach, the director behind Fantastic Mr. Fox and Madagascar 3, will come to the director’s chair for DreamWorks newest animated feature Flawed Dogs. What’s the scoop behind this dog-tastic film Johnny?
Johnny Trout (via Slash Film)- Noah Baumbach‘s last film, Frances Ha, was shot and finished without many people knowing about it; the director’s involvement was only revealed just before the film premiered at Telluride. He’s currently in production on the film While We’re Young, about which we also know little.
Now it seems like the Greenberg and The Squid and the Whale director is taking a similar approach with another film; the difference is that this is an animated project, for a major studio. Even better, the film, Flawed Dogs, is based on recent work by cartoonist and author Berkley Breathed. The adaptation was announced a couple years ago, but this is the first we’ve heard of Baumbach’s involvement.
Bleeding Cool reports that Baumbach has been “secretly” working on an adaptation of the Flawed Dogs novel The Shocking Raid on Westminster. The film isn’t a 100% straightforward adaptation of the novel, according to BC, as there are some reworked plot details and that title, which suggest material taken from the early Flawed Dogs children’s book.
Here’s the description of the novel The Shocking Raid on Westminster:
Sam the Lion is actually a priceless dachshund, bred to be a show dog. More important, he is Heidy’s best friend—and she needs one like never before. Living with her reclusive uncle is hard, but Sam has a way of making her feel soft and whole. Until the day Sam is framed by the jealous poodle Cassius, and is cast out by Heidy’s uncle, alone on the wild streets, where he is roughed up by a world he was not bred for. Sporting a soup ladle for a leg, Sam befriends other abandoned dogs and journeys all the way to the Westminster Dog Show, where his plan for revenge on Cassius takes an unexpected turn when he and Heidy spot each other after years of being apart.
This isn’t Baumbach’s first foray into animation, as he co-wrote both Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted and Fantastic Mr. Fox. There’s no word on when we might see Flawed Dogs, but given that DreamWorks Animation has a pretty full schedule for the next couple years, it’ll probably be 2016 at the earliest.
Checking the Penguins tally, 137 fans sign in as Team Skipper continues to fill in the blanks on their last missions on Sunday mornings to make up during summer break.
And speaking of award winners, tonight’s Emmys day until Fall arrives on Monday as Fall TV season arrives officially right on schedule. Fish Head and I will be at the Emmy’s tonight with Dr. Blowhole himself, Neil Patrick Harris. I’ll be here to dish out the winners in our Emmy results edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report. Until then, I’ll see you soon!