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‘Dark Knight Rises’ Trounces ‘Total Recall’ $36.4M To $26.0M; Batman #1 For Third Weekend; ‘Diary Of Wimpy Kid 3′ Soft

August 3-5 Weekend Actuals

1. Dark Knight Rises (Legendary/Warner Bros) Week 3 [4,242 Runs] PG13
Friday $10.2M, Saturday $14.3M, Sunday $11.2M, Weekend $35.7M (-43%), Cume $353.9M

2. Total Recall (Sony) NEW [3,601 Runs] PG13
Friday $9.1M, Saturday $9.3M, Sunday $7.1M, Weekend $25.6M

3. Diary Of A Wimpy Kid 3 (Fox) NEW [3,391 Runs] PG
Friday $5.8M, Saturday $5.1M, Sunday $3.7M, Weekend $14.6M

4. Ice Age 4 3D (Fox) Week 4 [3,542 Runs] PG
Friday $2.5M, Saturday $3.4M, Sunday $2.7M, Weekend $8.6M (-36%), Cume $132.1M

5. The Watch (Fox) Week 2 [3,168 Runs] R
Friday $1.9M, Saturday $2.5M, Sunday $2M, Weekend $6.5M (-49%), Cume $25.5M

6. Step Up Revolution 3D (Summit/Lgate) Week 2 [2,606 Runs] PG13
Friday $1.9M, Saturday $2.2M, Sunday $1.8M, Weekend $5.9M (-50%), Cume $23.7M

7. Ted (Universal) Week 6 [2,767 Runs] R
Friday $1.6M, Saturday $2.3M, Sunday $1.7M, Weekend $5.6M (-23%), Cume $203.6M

8. The Amazing Spider-Man 3D (Col/Sony) Week 5 [2,425 Runs] PG13
Friday $1.2M, Saturday $1.7M, Sunday $1.4M, Weekend $4.4M (-34%), Cume $250.7M

9. Brave 3D (Pixar-Disney) Week 7 [2,110 Runs] PG
Friday $806K, Saturday $1.2M, Sunday $996K, Weekend $3M (-31%), Cume $223.4M

10. Magic Mike (Warner Bros) Week 6 [1,202 Runs] R
Friday $474K, Saturday $542K, Sunday $398K, Weekend $1.4M (-46%), Cume $110.9M

SUNDAY AM, 6TH UPDATE: Theatrical grosses are still not returning to normal. Instead of the Aurora shooting tragedy spooking box office, the red-hot London Olympics (“NBC Holds American Viewers Hostage: Day 10″) is distracting filmgoers. Total moviegoing this weekend looks like $120M which is down yet again (-25%) from last year. Sony Pictures’ reboot of 1990′s  Arnold Schwarzenegger actioner Total Recall now starring Colin Farrell couldn’t give Warner Bros’ and Legendary Pictures’ third-weekend-veteran The Dark Knight Rises the tight race Hollywood expected. (Nice to hear from my opinionated gurus again…) Right now it looks like TDKR (4,242 theaters) bounced back for #1 its third straight $36.4M or a domestic total of $354.6M. This weekend IMAX did an estimated $5.7M in North American with a cume now standing at $48M.

Creeping in softly to begin with, Total Recall (3,601 theaters) “performed in line with tracking and expectations,” Sony said of its $26.0M opening. Actually, the studio had expected more: $28M-$30M. Problem is, as rival studios pointed out, this weekend’s take won’t be enough to make up the pic’s $150M cost unless it hits big overseas. There, the film opened #1 in India, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand and took in $6.2M from 12 markets. In North America, the CinemaScore was only a ‘C+’ which doesn’t bode well for word of mouth. Exit polling showed 58% of the opening weekend audience was male and 42% was female; 47% was under age 30 and 53% was 30 and over.

I don’t know why Hollywood keeps thinking Colin Farrell can carry a movie. He’s just not box office, and this pic proves that again. And Total Recall was a completely unnecessary remake that ignored the elements that made the original worth watching. The last version directed by Paul Verhoeven starred Ah-nold at the height of his film career. The marketing even made fun of his iconic status by promo-ing the hell of that scene putting him in a dress as he sneaked into Mars. This new version directed by Len Wiseman is still based on Philip K. Dick’s seminal short story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” but without Arnie or Mars or the campiness. There are five credited writers, including the scribes of the original film: screen story by Ronald Shusett & Dan O’Bannon and Jon Povill and Kurt Wimmer, with screenplay credited to Wimmer and Mark Bomback. The producers are Neal H. Moritz and Toby Jaffe. The campaign for Total Recall focused on men and therefore on sports programming, the American Idol finale, the MTV Movie Awards, and other male-centric TV like Anger Management, Louie, Wilfred, and Brand X. Digital centered around the WelcomeToRekall.com interactive website. Sneak peeks and special spots ran in WWE Raw, Breaking Bad, Falling Skies, and a UFC fight on Fox. The cast rolled out the film at Comic-Con, followed by a press day in Miami, an international tour in France and Brazil, and a junket and premiere in Los Angeles, as well as the daytime and late-night talk shows. The talent will continue to promote the film as it rolls out internationally with a tour to Russia, Spain, Germany, the UK, Ireland, and China.

On the other hand, Fox’s PG-rated Diary Of A Wimpy Kid 3 (3,392 theaters) was made on only a $22M negative just like the first two. When Fox 2000 first bought the books, there were 1 million in print; now there are 75 million in print in 40 different languages. Author Jeff Kinney has been involved in all 3 films. Fox 2000′s Elizabeth Gabler, always a huge advocate, worked closely with the production when its longtime executive Carla Hacken left for New Regency. This is the first time any installment of this successful Wimpy Kid franchise isn’t releasing in March. Bad decision. While the original and sequels scored $22.1M and $23.7M respectively, the new one called Dog Days opened for only $14.7M. The CinemaScore of ‘A-’ could mean stronger numbers from the excellent word of mouth. Fox and producers Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson combined Books 3 and 4 but used the title of the 4th book, Dog Days, “because we wanted to make a movie both set and released in the summer,” Jacobson told me. This installment pumps up Steve Zahn’s role, which the producers had been wanting to do. Pic was directed by David Bowers; screenplay credit goes to Maya Forbes & Wallace Wolodarsky.

Here’s the Top Ten based on weekend estimates:

1. Dark Knight Rises (Legendary/Warner Bros) Week 3 [4,242 Runs] PG13
Friday $10.2M, Saturday $14.4M, Weekend $36.4M, Cume $354.6M

2. Total Recall (Sony) NEW [3,601 Runs] PG13
Friday $9.1M, Saturday $9.4M, Weekend $26.0M

3. Diary Of A Wimpy Kid 3 (Fox) NEW [3,391 Runs] PG
Friday $5.8M, Saturday $5.1M, Weekend $14.7M
Read More »

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‘Dark Knight Rises’ Still Dominating Online Movie Ticket Sales; ‘Total Recall’ Weak

Dark Knight Rises Box OfficeAccording to MovieTickets.com, domestic online box office ticket sales for Warner Bros’ and Legendary Pictures’ The Dark Knight Rises are strong heading in to its 3rd weekend of release with the film accounting for 56.6% of all transactions for Wednesday. Sony Pictures’ Total Recall accounts for only 7.41% and Fox’s Diary Of a Wimpy Kid 3: Dog Days accounts for just 3.71% of all transactions yesterday.

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Hot Trailer: ‘Total Recall’

By | Wednesday June 27, 2012 @ 6:05pm PDT

Here’s a new trailer for Sony’s Len Wiseman-directed version of Total Recall, which stars Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Bryan Cranston, Bill Nighy, Jessica Biel, Ethan Hawke and John Cho. Opens August 3rd:

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‘Bourne Legacy’ Delaying Release Because Of ‘Total Recall and ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

BREAKING… Universal just announced that it is moving The Bourne Legacy starring Jeremy Renner off its August 3rd release date to August 10 to get out of the way of both Sony’s Total Recall and Warner Bros/Legendary’s The Dark Knight Rises. In addition, the studio says it also wants to take advantage of an The Bourne Legacy Release Dateextra week of London Summer Olympics promotion. But the studio insists this move has “nothing” to do with some recent reshoots starring Renner who’s introducing a new character in what used to be Matt Damon’s signature action franchise. Deadline learned that, with less than two months until its release according to crew sheets, the pic reshoots went from June 8th to 14th in Vancouver. Director Tony Gilroy, who wrote the screenplays for the first three Bourne films and this one, wasn’t on location. But second unit director and stunt coordinator Dan Bradley was helming the reshoots which Universal keeps insisting were merely “two days of pickups. There was one shot that we needed to get. It was a beat. It was nothing.” Bradley was also a second unit director and stunt coordinator on 2007’s Bourne Ultimatum.

Word is screenings have gone very well for the reworked fourth film in the hugely successful espionage franchise that has earned almost $1B at the
global box office. But this is the first pic not starring Damon as Jason Bourne so there is understandable anxiety within Universal about the pic’s prospects. Renner plays CIA agent … Read More »

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Sony Presents Slick Product Reel: CinemaCon

By | Thursday April 26, 2012 @ 9:42am PDT
Pete Hammond

Wednesday night was Sony‘s night to shine at CinemaCon in Las Vegas as they became the first major studio to simply present a straight and slickly produced product reel rather than a more elaborate dog and pony show in which stars, directors and producers are trotted out to briefly plug their movies in front of the assembled exhibitors. For Sony  though it was strictly business beginnning with a dry plug for their digital efforts ready to play in top notch and newly equipped theatres. Get the hint, theatre owners? President of World Wide Distribution Rory Bruer led the charge for Sony’s 2012 slate. He mentioned the studio had a record five films slated for IMAX presentations this year and a “kick-ass product reel” that rivals anything he has previously seen in his quarter century at the studio. As for the nuts and bolts of the slickly produced reel, it is clear Sony is largely playing it safe with titles that will be easily recognized by consumers with The Amazing Spider-Man reboot, another James Bond, Men In Black 3, Total Recall and an 11th Adam Sandler comedy. This is the kind of slate that doesn’t keep studio execs up at night wondering if their job will be on the line. It is full of sure things and Sony topper Amy Pascal has shrewdly created a mixture … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: Colin Farrell In ‘Total Recall’

By | Sunday April 1, 2012 @ 2:36pm PDT

Sony Pictures posted the trailer today for its new version of Total Recall following the spot’s TV debut during the ABC broadcast of the NBA game between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat. Based on Philip K. Dick’s short story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” and directed by Len Wiseman, it stars Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, John Cho and Bill Nighy.

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Kate Beckinsale Offered ‘Total Recall’ Role

Mike Fleming

UPDATE: Insiders are telling me I jumped the gun on this, but I’m sticking with my story about Kate Beckinsale being asked to join the film. I am persuaded that she will be starring alongside Jessica Biel when all is said and done. Stay tuned.

EXCLUSIVE: Kate Beckinsale has been offered one of the female lead roles alongside Colin Farrell in the Sony Pictures remake Total Recall. I’m told she’s been offered to play Lori, who was portrayed in the 1990 Paul Verhoeven-directed actioner by Sharon Stone. In fact, that role really launched Stone’s star after she transformed from the happy spouse of Douglas Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger) into someone completely different.

Both that role and the role of Melina (played in the original by Rachel Ticotin) has drawn high interest from actresses. I’ve heard that Eva Mendes and Rosario Dawson are the serious contenders for the latter role. Beckinsale wasn’t among the names most often mentioned among actresses who read for Lori. But she certainly has a track record with the film’s director, Len Wiseman. They’re married, and before that, worked together on the Underworld films. Beckinsale, who just wrapped Contraband with Mark Wahlberg, is also attached to star in The Trials of Kate McCullough, to be directed by Karen Moncrieff. She is currently shooting Underworld 4: New Dawn, so we’ll have to wait a beat to see if … Read More »

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TOLDJA! MGM Makes Distribution Deal With Sony Pictures That Includes James Bond

Sony Pictures and MGM have finally announced the worst kept secret in Hollywood. They’ve reached an agreement that will return Sony Pictures to its role as distributor of the James Bond movies. Sony, along with studios like Warner Bros, Paramount and Fox, all engaged in talks with the reconstituted MGM on a deal that came at a hefty price. Deadline reported previously that MGM walked away with the right to be co-financier on several plum Sony films, including the David Fincher-directed The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, as well as others to be added to the mix, including the remake of Total Recall. The latter film might be particularly painful for Sony because sources tell us that MGM gets to distribute Total Recall in the highly valuable international TV market. This is considered a huge benefit to MGM in that it enhances the value of its international TV portfolio and robs Sony’s existing international TV partners of a title that is expected to be big overseas. Neither Sony nor MGM would comment on the horse-trading part of the deal.

Clearly, Sony wanted the Bond franchise back badly, and now Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton have brought 007 back into the fold. Deadline reported last summer that MGM was being reconstituted as a pure production play and shedding its distribution operation. That immediately put the studio’s most valuable title, 007, in play. Bidders began mobilizing before MGM made it out of bankruptcy. By January, several of the studios vying for Bond rights became increasingly frustrated by the attempts by MGM’s  new chiefs Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum to leverage 007 distribution rights to get co-financing rights to plum projects at whatever studio won the deal. This came even after MGM had offered the villain role to Oscar-winner Javier Bardem, a courtship that is still going on (Anthony Hopkins has also been rumored as a potential participant on the evil side of the Bond dossier). Sony Pictures eventually got the upper hand and moved close to a deal in early February, after Sony threw co-fi rights to Dragon Tattoo and other titles into the pot. The announcement doesn’t deal with other MGM titles, but there are expected to be more that get distributed by Sony Pictures, which separately partnered with the studio on the Kevin James-starrer The Zookeeper. That film moved over to Sony when MGM went into deep freeze because of its crushing debt burden, and Sony moved it to the heart of the summer, with a July 8 release date. While Sony was winning that deal, rival suitors like Paramount (which has a strong relationship with Barber and Birnbaum over Star Trek) bristled at MGM’s asking price, plus a relatively low 8% distribution fee on the 007 film that Sam Mendes will direct and which Sony will release November 9, 2012, with Daniel Craig reprising. Here is the official announcement: Read More »

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Bryan Cranston In Talks For Bad Guy Role In ‘Total Recall’

By | Wednesday March 30, 2011 @ 1:36pm PDT

Emmy winner Bryan Cranston is in talks to play the villain in Columbia’s remake of Total Recall. Colin Farrell is starring in the sci-fi action pic, which is being directed by Len Wiseman and produced by Neal Moritz’s Original Films. (The main female roles have not been cast, though we know some names are in play.) Cranston’s casting would add to the Breaking Bad star’s growing lineup of film roles, which include parts in the recent The Lincoln Lawyer as well as the upcoming Larry Crowne with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts and next year’s John Carter of Mars from Disney.

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Who’s Reading For ‘Total Recall’ Gals?

Mike Fleming

Sony Pictures is casting up its Total Recall remake, which Len Wiseman will direct with Colin Farrell starring in the role originated by Arnold Schwarzenegger. There are two major female roles in the film, and several top actresses are vying for them. First, there is the role of Lori, who started out the 1990 Paul Verhoeven-directed original as the happy homemaker wife of Douglas Quaid, only to transform into the bride from hell. That’s the role that really launched the star of Sharon Stone (who would star in Verhoeven’s Basic Instinct)  and I’m told that Kate Bosworth and Inglourious Basterds‘ Diane Kruger [UPDATE: Kruger's reps said she opted out of the reading] are reading this week for that role. Those readings began yesterday.

There is also the role of Melina, which was originated by Rachel Ticotin, playing the woman who helps the protagonist get to the bottom of the futuristic scandal on Mars. I’m told that Eva Mendes and Paula Patton are reading for that role. Studio insiders warn me that list is not inclusive, and I’ve heard that Jessica Biel could be in contention for Melina, Eva Green too, and that Mendes is also being considered for the Lori role. Neal Moritz is producing.

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CAA Signs Director Len Wiseman

By | Friday February 11, 2011 @ 4:47pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: CAA has signed director Len Wiseman, who is following Live Free Or Die Hard by helming the remake of Total Recall with Colin Farrell playing the Arnold Schwarzenegger role for Columbia Pictures. Wiseman launched his feature directing career with Underworld and the sequel Underworld: Evolution, also recently directed the pilot for the hit CBS drama Hawaii 5-0. Wiseman had been repped at ICM, but his primary longtime agent, Nick Reed, exited the agency in 2009.

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Sony Sets Wiseman For ‘Total Recall’ Redo

Mike Fleming

Yes, this is a reimagining of the Arnold Schwarzenegger blockbuster. Sony announced today that Len Wiseman is in final negotiations to direct Total Recall. (Funny how, two days ago, Wiseman’s agency ICM denied  anything substantive was going on…) Doug Belgrad and Matt Tolmach, the presidents of Columbia Pictures, said the film will be a new, contemporized adaptation of Total Recall, which was based on the story, “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” by Philip K. Dick.  Kurt Wimmer is writing the screenplay.  Neal H. Moritz will produce through his Original Film banner. Toby Jaffe will oversee production on behalf of Original Film. Columbia Pictures secured the rights to Total Recall from Miramax. He most recently directed the pilot for “Hawaii Five-O” and is co-writer and producer of the upcoming Underworld 4. If this is Wiseman’s next film, it would be a blow for Fox’s hopes to have Wiseman return and direct Die Hard 5. As recently as last week at Comic-Con, Bruce Willis was quoted as saying he’d love to do another with Wiseman, after their collaboration on Die Hard 4 put vigor back into that franchise.

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