So, it seems these Terminators from the future and all that aren’t quite as tough as they would have you believe. Indeed, Terminator Salvation was taught a pretty tough lesson over the weekend as Ben Stiller and friends trounced McG’s franchise effort.
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian essentially managed to get all the kids and families into its hollow web of fun to rack up $53.5m over the weekend, an unbelievable result when considering it was up against Terminator Salvation.
The Christian Bale-starring, McG-helmed fourth instalment took $43m, meaning Night at the Museum topped it by $10m, enough in 1984 to make the original Terminator and have significant change. That’s a meaningless fact but, still, that’s quite a big defeat for Terminator given its $200m budget and very high business expectations.
Star Trek managed to stay close to top spot with $21.9m, just pipping Angels & Demons in fourth with $21.4m. They were followed up in fifth by Dance Flick, the horrible-looking Wayans-run spoof, which made a horrifying $11.1m.
The top ten is rounded out by X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, Obsessed, Monsters vs Aliens and 17 Again.
George Clooney has signed on to star in A Very Private Gentleman, the adaptation of the Martin Booth novel being helmed by Anton Corbijn, the famed photographer and director of the excellent Joy Division biopic Control.
Sean Penn is to star in the English language debut of Paolo Sorrentino, the director of Il Divo, called This Must Be the Place. Penn will play an aging rock star who becomes bored in retirement and makes a decision to track down the killer of his father.
The trailer has shown up for Sherlock Holmes, the Guy Ritchie-directed take on the character, and features another comic tour-de-force from Robert Downey Jr.
Ben Stiller has been talking up Zoolander 2 in an interview with the UK’s own Screenrush.
Akira Kurosawa’s Kagemusha is to be released in a brand-spanking-new Blu-ray edition through Criterion.
Chris Hemsworth, who made a genuine impression in his ten minutes in Star Trek, is to play Thor.
Dustin Lance Black, the writer of Milk, has lined up Liam Neeson and Jennifer Connelly for his directorial debut, What’s Wrong with Virginia?
John Goodman has apparently joined the cast of The Cross, the new sci-fi from Andrew Niccol starring Orlando Bloom, Vincent Cassel and Olga Kurylenko.
Ben Stiller has dived into the Black List from last year to become attached to Help Me Spread Goodness, a screenplay by Mark Friedman which was included on the aforementioned list of the best unproduced screenplays.
The story follows a banker in Chicago who is duped into giving away his son’s college fund by email spammers and then travels to Nigeria to confront those who have wronged him.
It sounds like an interesting project but I can imagine the key will be Stiller finding the right tone for the story. This wouldn’t really be something you would like to see a Will Ferrell-like lead take on, I don’t think. It also doesn’t want to be too serious or sincere about a movie in which a banker loses all his money within the current climate of Wall Street distrust.
Stiller himself is currently also attached to The Trial of the Chicago 7, previously under the control of Steven Spielberg, which of course tells the story of the protests and subsequent trials at the 1968 Democratic Convention in the city. That project seems a similar challenge for Stiller to step outside of his comic zone and produce a serious, politically-motivated drama. That in itself is difficult for most directors to do and Stiller, with Reality Bites the only remotely serious project under his belt, will have to show a new side to pull that off.
For Help Me Spread Goodness however, he may have a chance to revisit the blackly comic tone of The Cable Guy, a somewhat unsuccessful but still interesting work which has now garnered a pretty strong cult following. Maybe this will provide some better material and a more opportune moment for Stiller to show those chops.
Rachel Getting Married star Rosemarie DeWitt has joined the cast of Company Men, the John Wells movie starring Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones and Kevin Costner. Chris Cooper is also in talks.
Noah Baumbach has begun shooting a new film, starring Ben Stiller, about a man who house-sits for his brother.
Night of the Creeps is finally coming to DVD.
Edward Furlong has signed up for the new Uwe Boll project about aid workers in Darfur. Seriously.
Alex Billington at First Showing has some thoughts on the new Woody Allen movie.