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Box office report: 'If I Stay' is No. 1 on Friday

Teen tearjerker If I Stay (Cinema Score: A-) set the pace at the box office on Friday, but Guardians of the Galaxy may have enough fuel left to pass it and top the box office by Sunday night.

If I Stay, based on the novel of the same name by Gayle Forman and starring Chloë Grace Moretz, proved a draw for young audiences. Its $6.8 million opening day put it ahead of Marvel’s latest blockbuster, which added an estimated $4.8 million to its domestic total of $239.1 million. But tracking suggests the lead for the YA adaptation directed by R.J. Cutler may not hold up over the next two days.

Coming in at No. 3 was the pizza-loving pack in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with an estimated $4.54 million. Starring Megan Fox and Will Arnett, the comic book reboot has held strong for three weeks running, and its domestic total stands at an estimated $133.3 million. And there may be more in store for the half-shell heroes: the film has yet to open in international markets including Korea (Aug. 28), Spain and the U.K. (Oct. 17), and Japan (Dec. 19).

Fox comedy Let’s Be Cops came in at No. 4 with $3.2 million, bringing its domestic total to an estimated $35.7 million—a boon for a film that cost a reported $17 million to produce. When the Game Stands Tall, a biopic about an inspirational high school football coach played by Jim Caviezel. The sports flick took in $3 million, rounding out the top five. But it still outpaced disappointing newcomer Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For (Cinema Score B-), which came in at No. 6 with an estimated $2.6 million from 2,750 locations.

Here are the top five films:

1. If I Stay - $6.83 million (new)

2. Guardians of the Galaxy - $4.83 million ($239. 1 million total domestic total)

3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – $4.54 million ($133.3 million total domestic total)

4. Let’s Be Cops – $3.23 million ($37.5 million domestic total)

5. When The Game Stands Tall – $3.0 million (new)

Behind Sin City 2 at No. 7 was The Weinstein Company’s The Giver at an estimated $2.1 million, followed by The Expendables 3 with $1.9 million (its estimated domestic gross currently stands at $22.8 million). Foodie flick The Hundred-Foot Journey brought in $1.6 million on Friday, bringing its estimated domestic gross to $28.8 million.

Check back Sunday for full weekend estimates.

'Horrible Bosses' co-writers to produce 'All Day and a Night'

Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, the writing team behind Horrible Bosses, have a new project on their hands.

EW has confirmed that Goldstein and Daley are producing All Day and a Night for Relativity. According to The Hollywood Reporter, All Day and a Night is a police comedy, written by Paul Ruehl and the last Lester Lewis, about a TV news crew that follows two prison guards through their daily lives, right up until a riot causes the crew to be stuck inside. The idea behind the film reportedly came from Goldstein and Daley.

Sandra Bullock joins David Gordon Green's 'Our Brand Is Crisis'

Sandra Bullock is set to star in David Gordon Green’s Our Brand Is Crisis, sources have confirmed. The film, written by Peter Straughan, is based on the 2005 documentary of the same name. The doc followed American political campaign marketing tactics in the 2002 Bolivian presidential election, which saw Evo Morales lose to Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada.

According to Variety, which first reported the news, Bullock has been in talks for the political dramedy for months now. Bullock will also serve as an executive producer on the film alongside George Clooney and Grant Heslov’s Smokehouse Pictures.

Box office preview: Will teen drama 'If I Stay' top 'Sin City' sequel?

It takes a special kind of sequel to be able to withstand a nine-year gap between releases, and unfortunately for Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez, Sin City: A Dame to Kill for doesn’t appear to be up to the task. Instead, the YA adaptation If I Stay looks poised to take first place this weekend.

Here’s how things might play out.

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Poster for 'Island of Dr. Moreau' doc 'Lost Soul' is manimal crackers

One of the oddest tales this writer has ever reported on involves 1996’s box-office bomb The Island of Dr. Moreau, the third big-screen adaptation of H.G. Wells’ novel about a scientist who tries to turn animals into people. The movie was a passion project of director Richard Stanley who had made a splash with his debut movie, the sci-fi action film Hardware, and who assembled a remarkable cast for his Moreau, which included Val Kilmer, Marlon Brando, David Thewlis, Fairuza Balk, and Ron Perlman. After just a few days of principal photography, he was fired from the film and ultimately replaced by veteran auteur John Frankenheimer (The Manchurian Candidate), but allegedly returned to haunt the set disguised as one of Moreau’s semi-human beasts. Despite, or more likely because of, such dedication to the cause, Stanley hasn’t made a feature film since, and sci-fi fans have been left to ponder what might have happened with both the film and his career had he been left in charge of the project.

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John Stevenson to direct animated comedy inspired by Noah's Ark

John Stevenson, the Academy Award-nominated director behind Kung Fu Panda, has found his next project.

Stevenson will direct Unified Pictures’ first CG-animated feature, which is inspired by the story of Noah’s Ark. According to a press release, “The animated comedy adventure is inspired by the classic tale, but tells the story from the point of view of the animals. The story follows an outcast aardvark by the name of Gilbert, who becomes the reluctant leader of a ragtag group of misfit animals that need to be led to the mighty ark before the impending flood. Along their journey, they band together to conquer unforeseen obstacles, and ultimately, Gilbert discovers within himself the inner strength and ingenuity to prove that in a world of ‘twos,’ he was truly destined to be ‘the one.'”

“As soon as Kurt and Keith approached me with the idea of taking the classic tale of Noah’s Ark and telling a more personal story within the story, I jumped at the chance,” Stevenson said in a press release. “It’s so exciting to work with everyone at Unified Pictures and we’re fortunate to have assembled such a stellar group of artists to help make the film.”

Written by Philip LaZebnik and Glen Dolman, the film is slated for completion in 2016.

Why the cast of 'Fury' got in fistfights every day on set

Most directors do their best to prevent actors punching each other. But during last year’s U.K. shoot for the World War II tank movie Fury, filmmaker David Ayer had his five principals—Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman, Shia Labeouf, Jon Bernthal, and Michael Peña—start the day by engaging in fisticuffs.

“We put them through martial arts training and physical combat classes,” says Ayer, whose film is released Oct. 17. “It’s a great ice breaker for actors. There’s something very honest about being punched in the face.”

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There's monster mayhem in the poster for 'Exists'

EXISTS

What is it that “exists” in Eduardo Sánchez‘s new horror film, Exists? Well, judging by the poster for the Blair Witch Project co-director’s movie—which you can exclusively see above—it ain’t the Easter Bunny.

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Joan Allen has a secret in trailer for Stephen King's 'A Good Marriage'

good-marriage-poster

There have been umpteen adaptations of Stephen King’s works, but very few arrived with a screenplay penned by the Top Dog of Terror himself. One that does is A Good Marriage, the tale of a terrible family secret.

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Chinese cinemas may allow audiences to text comments onto screens

Would you go to a movie theater to see a film as the entire audience livetweets it? Where your fellow filmgoers’ comments are displayed onscreen along with the film?

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Chinese theaters are testing what they call ‘bullet screens,’ which allow filmgoers to use their phones to send text messages commenting on the film, which would then be broadcast onscreen—for a small price.

Since many Chinese citizens already watch films via mobile devices, where they can communicate with one another about what they like or dislike, the idea makes sense: it’s the same thing, only bigger. Since bullet screens, in their current incarnation, can only be used with studio approval, attendees could presumably interact with filmmakers if the practice ever takes off. But public opinion remains split so far—while some enjoy the opportunity for interaction, others find it distracting. After all, why go to a theater for an experience you already have at home?

The test echoes a similar debate in American cinemas over the past few years as theaters and studios conduct their own experiments with second-screen experiences, prompting a similar divide in public opinion: Some see it as a disrespectful nuisance, while prominent tech pundits suggest a filmgoing experience that’s friendlier to those who prefer to multitask. Ultimately, theaters will likely try everything and anything available in order to fill seats, and along the way, inevitably, some ideas will be more appealing than others.

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