With WHAT LIES BENEATH slowly sinking, THE X-MEN have claimed debut victories around the globe. In Spain, the mighty mutants premiered in first with a gross of US$2.02 million. In its second week in Spain, THE CELL fell to third, grossing $997,797 thus elevating its cume to $2.02 million. Dropping 46%, HOLLOW MAN placed sixth with a gross of $381,275, lifting its Spanish cume to $8.86 million. In eighth, NUTTY PROFESSOR II: THE KLUMPS fell a humongous 52%, grossing $315,201 and raising its Spanish cume to $1.65 million.
In February, Warner Bros. will start shooting their live-action adaptation of SCOOBY-DOO. Raja Gosnell, director of HOME ALONE 3 and the Drew Barrymore comedy NEVER BEEN KISSED, will direct the film from a script by James Gunn, with Chuck Roven producing. The picture will shoot in Australia and no cast has been announced. The story will feature the gang of Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby, but no specific plot summary has been release.
With live-action films MEET THE PARENTS and REMEMBER THE TITANS reclaiming their first and second spots respectively, the debut of New Lines LOST SOULS only managed to place third. The anti-Christ adventure, with primary visual effects by Cinesite, grossed US$7.95 million. The reissue of THE EXORCIST slipped to sixth with a gross of $5.24 million. The horror classic, with digital clean-up by Pacific Title Digital, has scared up $30.53 million thus far. When the dust cleared, ALMOST FAMOUS edged out live-action mockumentary, BEST IN SHOW, to claim ninth place, grossing $2.19 million.
Director of the original TRON, Steven Lisberger, has said that he is in the early stages of developing TRON 2.0 for Disney. Apparently, two scripts have been written for the sequel one by Lisberger and one by Richard Jeffries, who penned the unproduced screen adaptation of Marvel Comics, SILVER SURFER. Lisberger said, "Its been an interesting experience for me, certainly, to go back to that film after 20 years and really study it and see what it was about from this perspective. I learned a lot about my own film.
With Denzel Washingtons football flick, REMEMBER THE TITANS, firmly taking the top spot, the reissue of THE EXORCIST repossessed second place. The classic horror flick, with digital clean-up by Pacific Title Digital, scared up another US$7.21 million, levitating its cume to $17.67 million. Taking third for the second straight week was ALMOST FAMOUS, with a gross of $5.57 million. The rock n roll romp, with primary visual effects by Manex and Pacific Title Digital, raised its cume to $17.83 million.
Like in the U.S., WHAT LIES BENEATH is showing its legs at the international box office, while HOLLOW MAN is fading fast. In its German debut last week, WHAT LIES captured US$3.46 million. FINAL DESTINATION crashed to second, with a gross of $2.6 million, lifting its German cume to $5.01 million. LITTLE VAMPIRE in its German premiere week brought home $969,183. In fifth, THE NUTTY PROFESSOR II: THE KLUMPS gobbled up another $878,918, lifting its German cume to $1.8 million. X-MEN materialized in seventh, grossing $683,497 thus raising its German cume to $11.56 million.
MORTAL KOMBAT director Paul Anderson will direct, produce and scribe the live-action feature adaptation of the popular RESIDENT EVIL video game franchise. Constantin Films AG will produce the film and handle international distribution. Anderson and his production partner Jeremy Bolts Impact Pictures will handle the North American distribution. Along with Anderson, Bolt and Constantin Films AGs CEO Bernd Eichinger will produce the picture. Filming has a start date of January in London.
Disney vice chairman Roy Disney has shut down production on the CGI feature WILD LIFE. According to the online magazine INSIDE, Disney decided to bail on the film because it had "an inappropriate adult sensibility" for a Disney animated feature, "sexual innuendo" and a "gay-friendly" tone. Reportedly the film had already eaten through US$20 million, spurring Disney chairman Michael Eisner to request reviews of every project in development.
With premieres in the U.K. and France, HOLLOW MAN emptied the pockets of moviegoers world wide in this weeks international box office. In the U.K., the updated Invisible Man tale scared up US$2.4 million at #1. SCARY MOVIE slipped from second to third, with a gross of $1.08 million, lifting its British cume to $12.5 million. In 5th place, SNATCH grabbed $735,482, raising its British cume to $16.12 million. SPACE COWBOYS floated in at #6, grossing $497,398 and bringing its British cume to $1.67 million.
HOLLOW MAN holds on as WHAT LIES BENEATH makes top notched debuts in France and Brazil. The Harrison Ford starrer scared up US$3.26 million in its French premiere. SPACE COWBOYS fell to second with a gross of $1.51 million, escalating its French cume to $3.56 million. Falling from second to finish in fourth, GONE IN 60 SECONDS raced in with $1.28 million, advancing its French cume to $13.31 million. Slipping one to sixth, U-571 surfaced another $706,419, lifting its French cume to $1.83 million.
URBAN LEGEND II: FINAL CUT just edged out the impressive release of the directors cut of THE EXORCIST to claim the top spot at the U.S. box office. The teen terror sequel, with primary visual effects by Pacific Title Digital, scared up US$8.51 million. The horror classic, THE EXORCIST, with some creepy new stop-motion animation and digital clean-up by Pacific Title Digital, made an amazing $8.18 million on only 664 screens. Adding 1,062 screens to last weeks 131, ALMOST FAMOUS jumped up to third with a gross of $6.93 million.
A British spec script about two rival gangs of gnome neighbours has been put on the fast track in Hollywood. The trade paper SCREEN INTERNATIONAL reports A GNOME'S STORY, written by Rob Sprackling and John Smith, has been acquired by Walt Disney Feature Animation and Rocket Pictures, the production outfit owned by pop star Elton John and David Furnish. The big-budget project "may use TOY STORY-esque digital effects." Disney has a first-look pact with Rocket, and is funding development on GNOME'S STORY.
PI director Darren Aronofsky is set to helm the newest in Warner Bros. BATMAN franchise, BATMAN: YEAR ONE. Aronofsky will write and develop the screenplay with Frank Miller, writer of the graphic novel BATMAN: YO from which the film will be based. The noir-styled graphic novel was originally published by DC Comics in 1987 and chronicles the trials and tribulations of Bruce Waynes first year as Batman. Aronofsky as director is an interesting direction for Warner to take with the BATMAN movie franchise.
With newcomers like thriller THE WATCHER and black comedy NURSE BETTY finishing #1 and #2 respectively, THE CELL slipped to fourth at the U.S. box office. Finishing right after the former two-week champion BRING IT ON, THE CELL, with primary visual effects by Toybox, grossed another US$3.65 million, raising the films cume to $51.34 million. Finally fading at #5, SPACE COWBOYS made 51% less than last weekend with a gross of $3.34 million. The senior citizen space saga, with primary visual effects by ILM, has floated $78.83 million thus far.
This past weekend the international box office saw the Miramax record breaker, SCARY MOVIE, hold strong in the U.K. and Australia, while HOLLOW MAN and GONE IN 60 SECONDS premieres topped charts around the globe. In the U.K., SCARY scored another US$2.04 million, lifting its British cume to $7.6 million. Holding on in second, SNATCH by Guy Ritchie summoned $1.54 million, raising its homeland cume to $11.96 million. Another shoot 'em up flick took third - SHAFT's debut drew $1.22 million in the U.K. THE CELL made a less than flashy premiere in fifth, with a gross of $776,039.
With early reports having WHAT LIES BENEATH in fifth, once the dust cleared, SPACE COWBOYS showed its legs with a top F/X flick finish at the U.S. box office. With live-action films ruling the top four, COWBOYS, with primary visual effects by ILM, held its ground at #5 with a gross of US$2.52 million, lifting its cume to $82.2 million. The space spaghetti western has remained in the top ten while the #1 film HOLLOW MAN -- of COWBOYS debut weekend has disappeared quickly. THE CELL finished in sixth despite earlier reports placing it a slot lower.
Los Angeles-based Look! Effects recently finished 30 visual effects shots for the upcoming Universal Pictures release THE PAVILION OF WOMEN. Based on the novel by Nobel Prize winner Pearl S. Buck, the movie is about a frustrated woman in a traditional Chinese marriage and the American missionary who tries to help her achieve personal liberation. The drama stars Willem Dafoe and Chinese actress Luo Yan, who is also the writer, producer and director of the picture. Look! Effects had to create a sequence depicting Japan's invasion of China in the early days of World War II.
The international box office this past weekend saw a strong debut by SCARY MOVIE in the U.K. and THE TIGGER MOVIE bounced high in its Swedish nod. Disneys orange idol landed in #2, with a gross of US$280,418. Slipping to fourth, CHICKEN RUN laid another $184,548, bringing its total take in Sweden to $589,026. THE PERFECT STORM sank from #2 to sixth with a gross of $146,588, raising its Swedish cume to $834,053. X-MEN fell from fifth to eighth, with a gross of $78,087, lifting its Swedish cume to $1.43 million.
Columbia Pictures has optioned the feature film rights to Image Comics POWERS, created by writer-artist Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming. Financial terms of the deal were listed as the duo receiving low six figures up front leading to high-six figures following the films release. The comic follows the cases of two homicide detectives -- who live in a world full of superheroes and villains assigned to the "powers" division to investigate superpower-related murders. Bendis will either receive a co-producing or an associate producing credit on the film.
Mexico-based Ollin Studio, an animation and visual effects, post-production, Internet and multimedia house, has finished production on their first in-house project an all-CGI animated short entitled, CAKE, which looks like it is animated using clay. Carlos Iturriaga, director of the 3D-animation division at Ollin, directed the film. CAKE is the story of a little girl whose hunger brings her to act upon her primitive impulses without considering the consequences. Power Modeler was used for modeling, Maya for animation and Renderman for rendering and partial illumination.
Award winning filmmakers, Derek Lamb & Jeffrey Hale are teaming up with Toonz Animation India to produce THE LAST BRITISH COLONEL IN INDIA, a short animated comedy film. The flick is based on an original song by Derek Lamb and satirizes the British Empire days in India, bringing to light for the first time the real reason why the British quit India in 1947. "This entire project began to percolate at last years Week with the Masters hosted by Toonz Animation in India. Both Derek and Jeffrey thought it was time to tell this previously unknown story.
Digital Film @ The Moving Picture Company has completed the opening title sequence for LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS-director Guy Ritchie's new gangster film, SNATCH. The titles, created by Digital Film and designed by So, a division of Picasso Pictures, depict the main characters in the movie. Spinning and strobing images, glimpses, flashes, quick cuts, flipped images, jump frames and freeze frames were added to create a hard-edged look for the opening.
With the special effects-light fall schedule starting, the top two spots were claimed by newcomers BRING IT ON and THE ART OF WAR, leaving THE CELL holding on to third. The stylized shocker, with primary visual effects by Toybox, grossed US$9.68 million, bringing its cume to $33.75 million. Meanwhile, SPACE COWBOYS continues to orbit around the top with a stop in fourth this weekend. After four weeks in theatres, the wrinkled space wranglers, with primary visual effects by ILM, lassoed another $6.51 million, raising its cume to $63.71 million.
With the live-action comedy, BRING IT ON still claiming the #1 spot, New Lines THE CELL jumped up a spot to second in the U.S. box office charts over the Labor Day holiday. The serial killer mind trek, with primary visual effects by Toybox, grossed another US$9.1 million, raising its cume to $46.4 million. Also moving up a slot to third, SPACE COWBOYS showed that old guys have box office pull with a gross of $8.3 million. The aged astronauts, with primary visual effects by ILM, have wrangled up a total of $74.2 million thus far.
Famed graphic artist and novelist Jean "Moebius" Giraud, the man behind the dark designs in the ALIEN series, will be hatching his own 3D animated feature entitled, THRU THE MOEBIUS STRIP. "Its been a life-long dream of mine to create a feature film of my own," said Giraud. "Although its an unknown adventure in some ways, this film presents an opportunity for me to express my many different signature attitudes." The main backer of the film is Global Digital Creation Group.