Hunger Games, Hunger Games, Hunger Games! Okay, there’s been more to this past week than The Hunger Games, but there’s no denying that that film really rocked this industry.
Meanwhile, there’s been quite a bit of talk about that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle film, as director Jonathan Liebesman has been out and about promoting Wrath of the Titans. In other remake news, Carrie is just about to lock a lead, the list cut down to just two options, Chloe Moretz and Haley Bennett.
Also in the casting realm, we’ve got reports that Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho has added even more big names to its already impressive cast while Project X’s Thomas Mann just scored another leading role in King Dork.
You know what else? Hunger Games, Hunger Games, Hunger Games! Read all about that and much more in your weekly Movie News Cheat Sheet.
1. Ninja Turtle Meltdown: We’ve known of the plan to bring the Ninja Turtles back to the big screen for Christmas 2013 for a little bit now, but when Michael Bay dropped the alien bomb, there was an uproar. While chatting to the press at the Nickelodeon Upfront, Bay said, “When you see this movie, kids are going to believe, one day, that these turtles actually do exist when we’re done with this movie. These turtles are from an alien race and they are going to be tough, edgy, funny and completely lovable.” In case you’re unfamiliar with the Ninja Turtle backstory, they didn’t crash land on earth. They were real turtles that came in contact with toxic ooze. Clearly, there’s a big difference there. The film’s director, Jonathan Liebesman, recently told me, “Anything new or expanding the universe is all coming from [co-creator] Kevin [Eastman] and is true to the mythology and will tie in with the mythology and people can rest assured their childhoods are safe.” Liebesman also hinted at the potential of using motion capture, á la Rise of the Planet of the Apes, to bring the turtles back to life.
2. Cate Blanchett and Mia Wasikowska to Direct: As reported by THR, 17 directors are coming together to adapt the short stories in Tim Winton’s The Turning. The venture will mark the directorial debut of Cate Blanchett, Mia Wasikowska and David Wenham. Each of the 17 directors will handle a chapter in the novel and then hand the material over to producer Robert Connolly to string together. Each chapter is a self-contained story, but there is some overlap, as they focus on “the extraordinary turning points in seemingly disparate but connected people’s lives.”
3. Still No 24 Movie Anytime Soon: And so it continues. Years after the concept of a 24 movie arose, the start date was pushed back several times and now it’s happening again. Last week Deadline reported that 20th Century Fox axed plans to shoot the film this year due to budgeting issues involving Kiefer Sutherland’s unsatisfactory pay. Apparently the actor was offered $1 million assuming there’d also be a great deal of backend money. Now, via The Wrap, they’ve come to an agreement and made new plans to shoot in 2013 rather than after Sutherland finished up Touch, which was the original plan. In the meantime, another writer will rework Billy Ray’s script.
4. Making of Psycho Adds Jessica Biel, Toni Collette and More: Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho: 9. The Girl: 2. The film about Hitchcock while making The Birds may have Toby Jones and Sienna Miller, but now the one focusing on Psycho’s got Jessica Biel, Toni Collette, Michael Stuhlbarg, Danny Huston and Michael Wincott on top of Scarlett Johansson (Janet Leigh), James D’Arcy (Tony Perkins), Anthony Hopkins (Hitchcock) and Helen Mirren (Hitchcock’s wife, Alma). According to Deadline, Biel’s on board to play Vera Miles while, via Variety, Collette is in negations to take on the role of Hitchcock’s assistant Peggy Robertson, Stuhlbarg his agent Lew Wasserman, Huston Alma’s friend Whitfield Cook and Wincott Ed Gein, the killer upon which Norman Bates is based.
5. Thomas Mann is King Dork: After the success of Project X, star Thomas Mann scores another leading role. According to Variety, Mann is about to wrap up negotiations to star in Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s co-production, King Dork. Matt Piedmont will direct Mann as Tom, one of two high school outsiders who come together via their passion for rock and roll in the 80s. Apparently the filmmaker’s have their eye on Keir Gilchrist to step in as Sam, Tom’s other half. Say what you want about Project X, but whether or not the film was for you, Mann offered up a notably genuine performance. Pair that with Gilchrist’s awkwardly subtle work in It’s Kind of a Funny Story, and we could have a pretty charming duo here.
6. Chloe Moretz or Haley Bennett for Carrie: After early rumblings of Megan Fox or Hailee Steinfeld, amongst others, taking on the lead role in the remake of Carrie, the list has been narrowed down to just two options – Chloe Moretz and Haley Bennett. According to Vulture, both beat out a list of top-notch young talent including Dakota Fanning, Emily Browning, Bella Heathcote and Lily Collins, but are also second choices as apparently Shailene Woodley turned down an offer. Regardless, Mortez and Bennett seem like solid options. Moretz has shown us what she’s capable of time and time again and would likely do the role justice, but there’s something intriguing about Bennett as she’s got a look that’s somewhat reminiscent of Sissy Spacek circa 1976. I’ve only seen her in Kaboom and while she’s good in that, there’s really no linking her role in that to Carrie. There are also reports that director Kimberly Peirce has approached Jodie Foster for the role of Carrie’s mother and Julianne Moore is interested as well.
7. Warner Bros. Release Date Shuffle: Warner Bros. is loading up the summer of 2013. As reported by THR, the studio has set The Hangover Part III for a May 24th release, which puts it up against Fast & Furious 6. Pacific Rim ventures deeper into the summer season, going from May 10th to a July 12th slot, which is also occupied by Grown Ups 2. Lastly, Warner Bros. announced plans to release the 300 2 on August 2nd, which puts it up against a pair of sequels, Red 2 and The Smurfs 2. Is that enough sequels for you?
8. The Hunger Games Madness: Clearly The Hunger Games will be mentioned in the Box Office slot of the Cheat Sheet, but you don’t score $155 million in March and not earn your own section. First the film posted the top midnight debut ever for a non-sequel, taking in just under $20 million. Then, thanks to its $68.25 million Friday, The Hunger Games was also named the fifth highest one-day earner, right behind The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’s $68.5 million. Now that the weekend has wrapped, The Hunger Games can also call itself the third highest opener ever with $155 million in the bank, topping all of the Twilight movies and Alice in Wonderland. The only two films that surpassed it are Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, which earned $169.2 million opening weekend and The Dark Knight, which took $158.4 million. The strong performance will likely continue as it only saw a minimal 25% decline from Friday to Saturday. On top of that, The Hunger Games has a far wider audience attracting a 61% female crowd while the Breaking Dawn Part 1 had one that was 80% female. Quite appropriately, The Hunger Games also filled seats with a slightly older crowd than the Twilight franchise, most audience members being 25 years old and up. (via Box Office Mojo)
9. Trailers: The Host, Cosmopolis, Madagascar 3: Thanks to The Hunger Games, it’s tough to call anything “the next big thing,” but The Host could attract some solid YA to film attention. The teaser for the Stephenie Meyer adaptation just arrived and while it’s got zero material from the actual film, it does serve its purpose and pumps you up for what’s to come. On the other hand, the Cosmopolis teaser reels you in by flaunting its main asset, Robert Pattinson. While Twilight diehards will undoubtedly fall for every move he makes, this teaser’s also packed with curious imagery that’ll make just about anyone interested in seeing more. On a far more innocent note, we’ve got the new trailer for Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted and, in true Madagascar fashion, this one looks to be oozing with harmless silly fun.
10. Box Office: Can I say it again? The Hunger Games opened huge with $155 million! While you’d think that number would take attention away from some of the box office veterans, 21 Jump Street actually held on rather strong, only dropping 41.3% and taking another $21.3 million to the bank. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax also saw another moderate drop, falling about 42.5% (roughly the same from week one to two and two to three) for a $13.1 million week four intake. John Carter, however, continues its landslide decline, dropping 63.1% after its 55% week one to two decline. It only made $5 million, which brings its domestic total to about $62.3 million. Luckily its international haul now sits at about $172 million, which brings its grand total just short of its $250 million budget. Act of Valor just edged out Project X’s $1.95 million with $2.06 million for the final spot on the top five. (via Box Office Mojo)