We’ve got less than a month left of the summer of 2012 and while “The Avengers” likely has the title of King of the Box Office locked, “The Dark Knight Rises” is certainly its prince. The film’s $36.4 million third weekend out not only earned it the #1 spot, but brought its domestic total to over $350 million.
What could be the summer of 2013’s big winner? We’ll have to wait and see, but the summer of 2014 could certainly be ruled by “The Hobbit.” Yes, it’s been confirmed; Peter Jackson will get behind the lens of a third “Hobbit” film. Should that film hit in the summer of 2014 as expected, it might go head to head with “Prometheus 2,” which could bow that summer or in 2015.
In non-summer news, there’s a good chance Jimmy Fallon could take the stage to host the Academy Awards in February and that the January release, “Scary Movie 5,” could feature a pair of our favorite infamous tabloid whores, Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan.
Looking for the details on those stories and more? You can find it all in your weekly Movie News Cheat Sheet.
1. “World of Warcraft” Gets A Rewrite: Sam Raimi may be long gone, but Legendary Entertainment is still pushing forward with the long awaited big screen adaptation of the Blizzard Entertainment videogame “World of Warcraft.” According to Variety, the studio recently opted to reteam with “The Seventh Son” scribe, Charles Leavitt, hiring him to give this script another go. Apparently Leavitt’s take on the tale “sparked” something that could mean big leaps forward for the “World of Warcraft” movie in the coming months, which might include the hunt for a new director.
2. Jimmy Fallon May Host The Oscars: Billy Crystal is cool and all, but coming from a younger generation of movie lovers, I’d much prefer, well, someone who hadn’t hosted the Academy Awards back in the early 90s. Then again, James Franco and Anne Hathaway didn’t do us much good now, did they? However, Jimmy Fallon is another story. As reported by the LA Times, despite ABC’s disapproval of having an NBC late night talk show host getting the gig, Fallon is currently in talks to host the Academy Awards in February. Too bad for ABC, the Motion Picture Academy makes the decision, so the network rivalry won’t become an issue. However, the LA Times article also notes that an Academy spokeswoman wouldn’t confirm that talks with Fallon were underway and the outlet couldn’t get a response from Fallon’s representatives. Regardless of the obvious ABC, NBC rift, hiring Fallon to host really seems like a no-brainer. His show does well, he’s particularly amiable and should manage to attract and please both older and younger demographics more so than other options. I’ll tune in no matter what, but should Fallon earn hosting honors, I’ll be exponentially more excited for the show.
3. “Prometheus 2” Is Coming: “Prometheus” may have been a bit of a disappointment financially and creatively, but its $303 million worldwide haul is enough to get Fox to commit to a sequel. As reported by THR, the studio is “pushing ahead” with Ridley Scott on a second film, but they’re considering other writers because there’s a chance Damon Lindelof might not be able to return. Fox president of production Emma Watts tells THR, “Ridley is incredibly excited about the movie, but we have to get it right. We can’t rush it.” “Prometheus 2” likely won’t arrive until 2014 or 2015.
4. “Kick-Ass 2” Gets John Leguizamo: Need more proof that “Kick-Ass 2” is nearing production? Casting has finally moved beyond talk of the original gang’s return and on to new faces, specifically John Leguizamos’. According to Deadline, Leguizamo is on board to play Javier, Red Mist’s (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) bodyguard. On top of that, Leguizamo is also joining the cast of Ridley Scott’s “The Counselor” in which he’ll play a low-level drug dealer opposite Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Penelope Cruz and Cameron Diaz.
5. “The Hobbit 3” for Summer 2014: After 18 months of principal photography, you’d think Peter Jackson might need a break, however, as suspected, he will indeed move on to a third “Hobbit” film. Jackson announced the news himself on his Facebook page, revealing, “… two films will become three.” “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is due in theaters December 14, 2012 followed by “There and Back Again” on December 13, 2013 with the third installment likely to arrive in the summer of 2014.
6. “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” Finds a Mags: And so “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” saga continues! After reports that Melissa Leo was up for the role of the District 4 victor Mags, it should come as a nice surprise that Lynn Cohen is the one who officially nabbed the role. Yes, Leo is a stellar actress and has the Academy Award to prove it, but for those of you who’ve read the book, it’s obvious she doesn’t really fit the part. Cohen, on the other hand, appears much older and more suitable for being carried on Finnick’s back for a good portion of the story. Speaking of Finnick, while no announcement has been made, more rumors continue to pop up proclaiming that Sam Claflin’s casting is just short of being a done deal. Even though Claflin isn’t my top choice, if the decision came down to Claflin, Ben Walker, Boyd Holdbrook and Tyler Hoechlin as Deadline suggests, I’m glad Claflin is the frontrunner.
7. Drew Barrymore Finds Next Directing Gig: There’s been quite a bit of talk of Drew Barrymore getting back behind the lens for a “Whip It” follow-up, but nothing seems to have progressed with any of her projects. There’s been no word on the adaptation of “Heist Society,” the status of “Surrender Dorothy” is unknown and “How to Be Single” is still in the script stage. Perhaps Barrymore’s latest directorial venture, “The End,” will be on a faster track. As reported by THR, Barrymore recently closed the deal to direct the Aron Eli Coleite-written piece about your standard big screen apocalypse, but viewed via a 180-degree storytelling method. “The End” will tell that tale of several different people on the Earth’s final day. Of the bunch will be an older radio host determined to broadcast until the last possible second, a father desperately trying to get home to his wife and baby, and a teen couple threatened to be pulled apart by their families.
8. Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen for “Scary Movie 5:” With a franchise known for taking jabs at pop culture, who better to cast in the fifth installment than Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen? The once promising starlet’s rep said Lohan has yet to sign on the dotted line, but E! notes that word on the street is that it’s a done deal. Their sources also say that the formerly out-of-his-mind-and-maybe-still-is Sheen will be back for round five despite being offed in round four. No word from the studio on whether or not their casting if official, but regardless, “Scary Movie 5” will hit theaters on January 11, 2013.
9. Trailers: “Red Dawn,” “Paranormal Activity 4,” “Killing Them Softly:” It’s been nearly three years since the remake of “Red Dawn” wrapped filming, but the movie is finally approaching a release and we finally have our very first trailer. The video actually isn’t available online just yet, but I did get the chance to catch it ahead of “Total Recall” and while it was decent, it wasn’t enough to suggest it was worth the wait. The fact that Josh Hutcherson and Chris Hemsworth have both certainly experienced a star power boost since filming will undoubtedly up its chances at the box office, but I couldn’t help but to consider whether the production was delayed so significantly for a reason. Sadly the first trailer for “Paranormal Activity 4” evoked a similar sensation. It’s exactly what you’d expect from the franchise, but it’s missing that little something that makes you look forward to experience another sliver of Katie and Kristi’s twisted lives. Last up is the first trailer for the Brad Pitt-starrer, “Killing Them Softly.” While the piece exhibits a unique flare and suggests the full feature will have quite a bit to offer as far as gritty violence goes, it’s a little too sparse on details to dig in deep and really make you need more.
10. Box Office: There was a good chance “The Dark Knight Rises” would earn enough to maintain the top spot at the box office, but Christopher Nolan’s third Batman film wound up blowing newcomer “Total Recall” away. “The Dark Knight Rises” dropped a mere 41.3% for another $36.4 million while “Total Recall” only managed to take $26 million to the bank, a mere fraction of its $126 million budget. “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days” got off to a rough start, only earning $14.7 million, making it the franchise’s weakest opener. “Ice Age: Continental Drift” continues to hold on strong, dropping just 37.1% for an $8.4 million fourth weekend out. After a disappointing start, “The Watch” suffered a tough hit, it’s opening weekend profits slashed in half for a minimal $6.4 million second weekend haul. (via Box Office Mojo)