Monica Bellucci has joined the likes of Nicolas Cage and Jay Baruchel in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, the story of a young man with job noted in the title who is left to look after a magic workshop when his master leaves him in charge. The apprentice, being played by Baruchel, will have a broom do the majority of his chores until this cushy arrangement is broken when the broom takes on a life of its own.
The Sorcerer will be played by Nicolas Cage, fresh of a run that no one would ever envy in the terrible likes of Knowing, Bangkok Dangerous and Ghost Rider. Adaptation a few years back showed he could be good still but he seems entirely determined to prove that film wrong. He does have the curious Bad Lieutenant reimagining with Werner Herzog to come though, and I’ve have high hopes for a truly ridiculous performance from him in that one.
Bellucci is to play his love interest in the film, a role which will surely require her to act to the fullest of her ability as Cage does his thing in scenes with her.
The story itself is reportedly based on a section of Fantasia, the surreal Disney musical from 1940, and the elements of that film which concerned Mickey Mouse. The film is due to come out next year on the same weekend as Christopher Nolan’s Inception, surely a chance for people to measure up the relative box-office draws of Nolan and Cage.
Monsters vs Aliens had no problems in making to the top of the UK box-office in the past weekend, taking £4.3m over the three days to trounce Richard Curtis’ The Boat that Rocked.
The latter managed £1.8m to come in second, but that might be considered a slight disappointment given the normal box-office dominance of Curtis-involved films in the UK.
Knowing dropped from first to third with £968,664 followed up by Marley & Me and The Haunting in Connecticut.
Monsters vs Aliens was no big surprise but Curtis’ movie suffered from its weak reviews. When the economy hits a downturn, it’s less likely people will take a chance on seeing a film which has been given a mixed reception, something which wouldn’t have harmed other Brit-coms during the boom years.
Um. Yeah. So, apparently Paul Walker + Vin Diesel + Jordana Brewster + Michelle Rodriguez = box-office gold. Fast & Furious, the unlikely four instalment of the diminishing series, racked up a quite ridiculous $72m over its opening weekend. That’s more than Monsters vs Aliens, more than Watchmen. Cinematical notes further this is higher than the entire domestic gross of the third film, Tokyo Drift, by $10m. It is, indeed, the biggest opening weekend achieved since The Dark Knight.
Monsters vs Aliens dropped by 44 per cent in its second weekend with $33.5m, taking its cumulative gross in ten days to over $100m. It will be interesting to see how well Fast & Furious does on its second weekend.
The Haunting in Connecticut held on to third with $9.6m followed by Knowing and I Love You, Man. Adventureland failed to capitalise on any box-office capital held by Greg Mottola, and strong reviews, making only $6m over its opening weekend.
Nicolas Cage has screamed and inappropriately raised his voice all the way to the top of the charts in the UK over the weekend. Knowing racked up £2.5m over the three days, knocking Marley & Me down to second with £1.7m.
The Haunting in Connecticut comes in at three with £1.1m, showing the continued appetite for barely passable horror films for cinema-goers around the UK. Paul Blart: Mall Cop has slammed in fourth with £1m while The Damned United, the Peter Morgan/Michael Sheen project about Brian Clough’s tenure as Leeds manager, came in fifth on its opening weekend with £618,929.
It seems Cage is an unstoppable box office machine with his superdumb, sci-fi mystery thriller things. Why? How? Don’t ask me.
Monsters vs Aliens was by far the blockbuster release of the week in the states, and it lived up to part of its name with a dominating $58.2m, the biggest debut of the year thus far, topping the $55.2m racked up by Watchmen. Not only did it top the charts, it managed to do so with 58 per cent of the gross coming from 3D screens, working out to enough to take it top of the charts on 3D tickets alone, according to figures gleaned from ComingSoon.net.
The Haunting in connecticut, the new Lionsgate horror filler, managed $23m with Knowing taking a 40.2 per cent second week drop to take $14.7m. I Love You, Man came in fourth with Duplicity rounding out the top five.
The Monsters vs Aliens blockbuster opening is likely to bring about new talks of the potential for 3D movies, although I would argue that there still remains a long way to go before 3D comes headlong into the mainstream when you have something to open against and it’s not squarely aimed at the young children market.
Knowing, the new Nicolas Cage film, a genre in itself these days, reigned supreme at the US box-office over the weekend, racking up an impressive $24.8m over the three days. This was enough to knock I Love You, Man into second, taking a slightly disappointing $18m with Duplicity, the return of Julia Roberts (although she kind of returned with Charlie Wilson’s War a little way back), was another disappointment, taking only $14.4m despite relatively good reviews. This has prompted a few commentators to question the bankability of Roberts in the modern day.
Outside of that, Race to Witch Mountain slightly under half in its second week to $13m with Watchmen propping up the top five with $6.7m. It means the total gross of the latter currently remains under $100m for its domestic take.