Chris Hemsworth is about to get slammed – by a giant CGI whale. READ FULL STORY
Chris Hemsworth is about to get slammed – by a giant CGI whale. READ FULL STORY
As a title, In the Heart of the Sea doesn’t really capture the intense action and drama of Ron Howard’s upcoming seafaring movie, which stars Chris Hemsworth as an early 19th-century whaler locked in combat with a gigantic sperm whale.
At some point during the trailer, which points out that the true disaster tale contributed to Melville’s inspiration for Moby Dick, the leviathan runs deep after being harpooned by the crew of the S.S. Essex—toppling masts and sending the ship sideways. You almost expect the level-headed member of the crew to mutter, “Ye shall require a bigger boat, matey.” READ FULL STORY
Inferno, the fourth book in Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon series, is getting the movie treatment, Sony confirms to EW. Tom Hanks is set to reprise his role as Langdon when shooting begins in April.
Inferno follows Langdon as he tries to stop someone from unleashing a plague on the world, all while dealing with amnesia and working with a doctor to piece together the memories he has left. The book was released in 2013; its predecessor, 2009’s The Lost Symbol, will not be adapted into film.
Ron Howard, who directed the second movie in the film series—Angels & Demons, actually the first Langdon book Brown wrote—will return to direct Inferno. Also returning: Brian Grazer, who produced both The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons.
Ron Howard, who named the production company he co-founded with Brian Grazer after the John Lennon song “Imagine,” will direct an authorized documentary of the Beatles. It will focus on the band’s years of hectic touring around the world, which began in the Cavern Club in Liverpool, exploded after they performed on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, and culminated at Candlestick Park in San Francisco in 1966.
“I am excited and honored to be working with Apple and the White Horse Pictures team on this astounding story of these four young men who stormed the world in 1964,” Howard said in a statement. “Their impact on popular culture and the human experience cannot be exaggerated.” READ FULL STORY
Ron Howard and Brian Grazer are partnering with Warner Bros. to adapt The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair, a European best-seller from Swiss author Joël Dicker. Published in 2012, Quebert has sold more than 2 million copies across the Atlantic. It will be released by Penguin Books in the U.S. at the end of May.
Set mostly in New Hampshire, Quebert tells the story of a successful — but blocked — writer who visits his mentor, Harry Quebert, for help meeting his deadline. While there, Quebert is implicated in a 33-year-old cold-case of a murdered young woman — a young woman with whom he had an affair. Critics have compared the story to Gone Girl and Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
Warner Bros. just acquired the book, and there still is no script. Howard, who will direct, is busy completing Heart of the Sea, the true 1820 whale-versus-man tale featuring his Rush star Chris Hemsworth.
• The Kings of Summer breakout actor Nick Robinson is currently in talks to join the cast of Universal’s Jurassic World. Robinson, who also stars on ABC Family’s Melissa & Joey, is slated to play Ty Simpkins’ (Iron Man 3) older brother in the upcoming installment of the Jurassic Park series, which also stars Bryce Dallas Howard (The Help). Jurassic World, produced by Steven Spielberg, Frank Marshall, and Pat Crowley, will be released June 12, 2015. [The Wrap]
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Four years after the original Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs stormed theaters, Sony’s $78 million sequel Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 topped the chart once again, earning $35 million in its first weekend. The film opened in an ultra-wide 4,001 theaters, and it notched a strong $8,748 location average.
The first Cloudy scored $30.3 million in its debut frame on the way to a $124.9 million finish. Most prognosticators were expecting Cloudy 2 to finish above the $40 million mark — in the same range as Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania, which opened last September with $42.5 million, the best September debut in history. Cloudy 2 finished a bit below that, but it still notched the fourth best September bow of all time behind Transylvania, Insidious Chapter 2 ($40.3 million), and Sweet Home Alabama ($35.6 million).
The film benefited from a lack of animated competition in the marketplace. Planes, the last animated title to hit theaters, debuted nearly two months ago, and moving ahead, Cloudy should endure quite well due to a dearth of family films in October. The next kiddie flick entering theaters is the Thanksgiving-themed Free Birds on Nov. 1. Thus, Cloudy, with its “A-” CinemaScore grade, should have no trouble playing to parents and children for weeks to come.
Last weekend’s champion, Prisoners, locked up another $11.3 million in its second frame, with a 46 percent drop from its $20.8 million debut last weekend. Warner Bros.’ $46 million revenge thriller, which stars Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, has now earned $39 million. Despite great reviews, though, the drama is facing serious competition from other well-reviewed adult fare such as Rush and Don Jon (and next weekend’s Gravity), which could limit its final box office potential.
That said, Ron Howard’s Formula One racing drama Rush raced off with a rather lackluster $10.3 million in its expansion from five theaters into 2,297 locations. The Universal-distributed film, which stars Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl, marks a major decrease from Howard’s last sports drama, Cinderella Man, which punched up $18.3 million in its 2005 debut. For Hemsworth, Rush (obviously) started off slower than both Thor and The Avengers, but it also under-performed compared to his non-superhero vehicles The Cabin in the Woods ($14.7 million) and Red Dawn ($14.3 million). The film will need great word of mouth to drive it to profitability, and given its strong “A-” CinemaScore, it may achieve that. Also working in Rush‘s favor? Its relatively low $38 million budget.
Two newcomers rounded out the Top 5, though both finished the weekend with rather lackluster totals. The Paula Patton-starring romantic comedy Baggage Claim flew away with $9.3 million from 2,027 theaters, while Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s porn-addiction comedy Don Jon pulled in a more tepid $9 million from 2,422 theaters. Baggage Claim‘s “A-” CinemaScore grade suggests it could find an audience in the weeks to come, though Don Jon’s weak “C+” grade may signify challenging word of mouth (despite strong reviews) down the road. Fortunately, Don Jon cost only $6 million to produce, so it should turn a nice profit for Relativity. Fox Searchlight did not disclose the budget for Baggage Claim.
1. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 – $35 million
2. Prisoners – $11.3 million
3. Rush – $10.3 million
4. Baggage Claim – $9.3 million
5. Don Jon – $9 million
Further down the chart, Eugenio Derbez’s Spanish-language comedy Instructions Not Included scored another $3.4 million from 948 theaters, for a remarkable $38.6 million cumulative total. The film surpassed Pan’s Labyrinth ($37.6 million) this weekend to become the highest-grossing Spanish-language film in U.S. box office history. It’s a major winner for young distributor Pantelion, a joint venture of Lionsgate and Mexican media company Televisa.
This weekend, Sandra Bullock’s ultra buzzy sci-fi thriller Gravity floats into theaters — as does the rather unbuzzy Justin Timberlake-Ben Affleck thriller Runner Runner. Check back to EW to see how both films fare at the box office.
November too long of a wait to get your Hemsworth brother fix?
Never fear: Liam’s brother Chris will be in theaters this September with Ron Howard’s Rush, the true story of two great rivals: English playboy James Hunt (Hemsworth) and his methodical opponent, Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl). The 1970s-set picture focuses on the competitive and elite world of Formula One racing, with a script by heavyweight Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon, The Queen).
“People ask what has Rush been like and I say, from a filmmaking standpoint, it’s been kind of like a cross between Apollo 13 and Backdraft,” Howard previously told EW. “In the case of Apollo 13, that’s for the complexity and the authenticity and the intent to capture an era and an endeavor that blends technology, action and danger.”
Check out the trailer — which, yes, does feature plenty of shots of Hemswoth without the helmet on — below:
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The year, make, and model were quite different but Rush filmmaker Ron Howard has felt the rumbling power of iconic cars when it comes to engines of cinema and symbolism. It was 40 years ago this summer that one of the ultimate automobile movies, American Graffiti, rumbled into box office history and steered Howard toward television and Happy Days.
Howard is a two-time Oscar-winning filmmaker and with Rush (featured in the first-look poster above with star Chris Hemsworth) and its fact-based tale of Formula One racing rivalry in 1976 he found himself feeling like he was covering some familiar road — but it wasn’t films about wheels on asphalt that hit close to home.
“People ask what has Rush been like and I say from a filmmaking standpoint it’s been kind of like a cross between Apollo 13 and Backdraft,” says Howard, who other films include The DaVinci Code, Splash and A Beautiful Mind. “In the case of Apollo 13, that’s for the complexity and the authenticity and the intent to capture an era and an endeavor that blends technology, action and danger.”
• Jada Pinkett Smith is set to star in and co-produce a new drama for Overbrook Entertainment — the production company that she started with Will Smith. Entitled La Escribana de Uraba, the film tells the story of a journalist reporting on the murder of an employee of a multinational corporation and will shoot in Colombia this fall. Smith has not been on screen all that much lately, but is producing both After Earth and Will Smith’s directorial debut, The Legend of Cain. [Variety]
• We noted the negotiations last week, but it looks like Brad Pitt is officially staring in the WWII drama Fury, which was just acquired by Sony Pictures. David Ayer (End of Watch, The Fast and the Furious) will direct. [Deadline]