The Hunger Games continues to make headlines. Not only did it have a commendable third weekend at the box office, but its star, Jennifer Lawrence, is now free and clear to shoot the sequel, Catching Fire. Director Gary Ross, on the other hand, is bowing out of the franchise.
Naturally, we’ve got even more sequel news to report, The Mummy getting the reboot treatment courtesy of Universal Pictures and The Woman in Black 2, The Woman in Black: Angels of Death, moving into development. But that doesn’t mean we’re devoid of original material this week. In fact, Animal Kingdom director David Michod is finally ready to move forward with a new feature, Rover, which is based on an original idea he came up with with Joel Edgerton.
Adam Sandler, on the other hand, should just give up all together – original idea, sequel or whatever other nonsense he comes up with. The once hilarious actor snagged not one, but every single Razzie of 2012.
Read all about that and much more in your weekly Movie News Cheat Sheet.
1. Gary Ross is One and Done with The Hunger Games: It was too good to be true, wasn’t it? After actually doing the beloved source material justice, director Gary Ross is opting out of The Hunger Games franchise. THR reports that Ross had a rough time going through negotiations for the first film and came out with a rather disappointing arrangement, just $3 million upfront. But, he also got 5% of the backend, which sounds pretty good to me considering the film’s snagged over $300 domestically thus far. Anyway, the problem now is that Ross wants more money for Catching Fire and the studio won’t deliver. However, according to The Playlist, the squabble isn’t over money, rather the fact that Ross just doesn’t want to commit to spending another two years in the Hunger Games. Regardless of the reasoning, the hunt is officially on for a new director.
2. Mystique vs. Katniss Battle Comes to an End: On the other hand, Jennifer Lawrence is all ready to go for round two. There was a bit of a scheduling debacle between the X-Men: First Class sequel and The Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire, but, according to THR, 20th Century Fox has settled on shooting dates for X-Men that won’t interfere with Catching Fire. Apparently Fox told talent agencies that the plan is to begin filming the new X-Men movie in January, right after Catching Fire is expected to wrap. Had Fox opted to film X-Men in the fall as originally planned, it undoubtedly would have clashed with Catching Fire’s August/September start date, perhaps enticing Fox to exercise its option on the contract with Lawrence, an agreement that was made well before she assumed the role of Katniss Everdeen.
3. Bully Gets a PG-13 Rating After All: After fighting a very public battle, The Weinstein Company got its way and Bully now has a PG-13 rating. What did the trick? Apparently just cutting out three uses of the F-word. The Weinstein Company didn’t even end up altering the particular scene that was the center of this uproar, the one during which Alex Libby is bullied on a school bus. Apparently the final decision was supported by a strong urgency from the MPAA Chairman, Chris Dodd. A thrilled Harvey Weinstein stated, “Senator Dodd’s support gives voice to the millions of children who suffer from bullying, and on behalf of TWC, the filmmakers, the families in the film and the millions of children and parents who will now see this film, I thank him for recognizing that this very real issue cannot afford to go unnoticed.” Now that The Weinstein Company can show Bully at schools and organizations as planned and fulfill its 55-market expansion, attention is being turned towards the support of the Safe Schools Improvement Act, a legislation that’ll address bullying and harassment.
4. The Mummy to Get the Reboot Treatment: Who’s ready for another reboot we don’t really need? According to Variety, Universal Pictures plans to bring The Mummy back to life. On the bright side, the studio hired Prometheus writer Jon Spaihts to pen the script. Sure, Prometheus hasn’t even hit theaters, but those trailers are pretty impressive and I honestly do think Spaihts got shafted when it came to The Darkest Hour. Then again, we’ve still got the issue of whether or not there’s a point in rebooting The Mummy. Yes, the films made a nice chunk of cash, but why can’t Universal just come up with a semi-original idea about mummies?
5. The Woman in Black to Come Back for More: The Woman in Black opened with a solid $20.9 million, but only went on to accumulate $54 million at the domestic box office. Does that really warrant a sequel? No, but $118.1 million worldwide does. The Woman in Black is actually the highest-grossing British horror film of the past 20 years and apparently that honor enticed Hammer and Talisman to make another. The sequel will find its roots in Susan Hill’s original story, The Woman in Black: Angels of Death and is currently in development with Jon Croker penning the script. The film’s only major foreseeable pitfall? It takes place 40 years after the events of The Woman in Black with a new couple arriving at the Eel Marsh House, so no Daniel Radcliffe.
6. Adam Sandler Dominates The Razzies: Sorry, Adam Sandler, but after Grown Ups, Just Go with It and now Jack and Jill, I’ve got no sympathy for you. Not only did Jack and Jill snag the Worst Picture dishonor, but Worst Actor, Worst Actress, Worst Supporting Actor, Worst Supporting Actress, Worst Screen Ensemble, Worst Director, Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-Off, or Sequel, Worst Screen Couple and Worst Screenplay. Can you see the big picture? Jack and Jill swept The Razzies making it the first film ever to do so. Can he achieve this feat two years in a row? By the looks of That’s My Boy thus far, he might have a chance.
7. Ashton Kutcher is Steve Jobs: Steve Jobs may be long gone, but he’ll be resurrected on the big screen by none other than Ashton Kutcher. Jobs comes from the pen of Matt Whiteley and follows Jobs’ journey from first becoming the co-founder of Apple to monumental fame, fortune, reverence and success. Variety calls the Joshua Michael Stern film an “indie pic,” which is of note because that clearly sets it apart from the Steve Jobs project Sony is developing. Kutcher is a rather unexpected choice for the lead role, so it should be interesting to see who Sony pits him up against.
8. David Michod Gets Back Behind the Lens: David Michod may not be a household name, but perhaps after Rover he might be. Michod directed and wrote Animal Kingdom, which only made about $1 million stateside via its limited release, but the film is downright fantastic and earned Jacki Weaver a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nod. Animal Kingdom hit theaters back in 2010, so Michod has clearly taken his sweet time picking another feature. But now, according to Variety, Michod has landed on Rover, a piece Michod is writing that stems from an original idea he developed with his Animal Kingdom star Joel Edgerton about a man determined to retrieve his stolen car, which has something incredibly important to him inside. David Linde’s Lava Bear and Porchlight Films are producing the project, which is eyeing a fall start date in Australia.
9. Trailers: Ted, Lola Versus, Savages, High School: Looking for a good laugh? Both the red brand and the green band trailers for Seth MacFarlane’s Ted are wildly satisfying. Just imagine what the full feature will have to offer. The same is true of the Greta Gerwig-starrer, Lola Versus, which features the actress as a woman suffering from a bad breakup, but, for our own amusement, also frolicking in a field of quirky hilarity. Next on the list is something that looks like an absolute blast, but in a totally non-comedic and rather dark way, the trailer for Oliver Stone’s Savages. But wait; there’s more! This week you’re getting a bonus trailer, the trailer for John Stalberg Jr’s High School, something that rocks a stellar cast and looks to offer a nice spin on your average stoner comedy.
10. Box Office: The odds are still in The Hunger Games’ favor. The springtime smash hit continues its strong run, dropping just 42.8% and taking another $33.5 million to the bank, which brings its domestic total to just over $300 million. American Reunion had a so-so start, bringing in $21.5 million on a $6,736 per theater average while Titanic 3D didn’t attract as many moviegoers as expected, only earning $17.4 million. As anticipated, Wrath of the Titans took a hefty 55.1% hit, leaving it with just over $15 million for its second weekend out. Mirror Mirror on the other hand, held on rather well, only losing 39.3% of its opening weekend profits for an $11 million total its second weekend out. (via Box Office Mojo)