Turner and Hooch

This Week’s Anniversaries

The Neverending Story is celebrating its 30th anniversary this week. Released on July 20th, 1984, The Neverending Story went on to make 20M at the box office, and spawn two sequels (which didn’t outgross the original). Many people may not know that The Neverending Story was directed by Wolfgang Peterson, who is more well known for directing action packed films like Das Boot, Air Force One, The Perfect Story, Troy, and Poseidon. Barret Oliver, who played Bastian in The Neverending Story, stopped acting in 1989, and is now a professional photographer. The Neverending Story is often recognized as a childrens classic, and has an 80% on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 7.4 on IMDB.

Monday will be the 25th Anniversary of Turner and Hooch, the comedy classic featuring Tom Hanks, and his partner… a dog. Turner and Hooch opened at #1 in 1989, and went on to make 71 million domestically. It was the 16th highest grossing film of 1989, and at the time it was Tom Hanks’ second highest grossing film of his career (following Big). It would be dethroned in 1992 by A League Of Their Own. Turner and Hooch received mixed reviews from critics and has a 52% on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences enjoyed it a bit more, with a 5.9 on IMDB.

It’s the 20th Anniversary of The Client, starring the late Brad Renfro, as well as Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones. Sarandon was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in the film. The Client made 92M domestically, and another 25M overseas. It was the 13th highest grossing film of 1994. Despite her long career, it’s actually Susan Sarandon’s 3rd highest grossing film of all time (not counting voice-over work). When adjusted for inflation, The Client rises to 2nd with 179.6M in todays cash. The Client also did well with critics, landing an 80% on Rotten Tomatoes.

This is the 15th Anniversary of The Haunting, the PG-13 horror flick that served as a nice launching point for the careers of Catherine Zeta Jones and Owen Wilson. It opened to 33M, against the release of Inspector Gadget, which made 21M its first weekend out. The Haunting is far from beloved, it has only a 4.8 on IMDB, and a 17% on Rotten Tomatoes. Inspector Gadget didn’t fare much better, with a 21% on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 4.1 on IMDB. The Haunting went on to make 91M domestically, and 177M Worldwide. Adjusted, that would be 146M today, domestic. Inspector Gadget made 97M domestic, 134M worldwide, and 156M adjusted domestic.

This is the 10th Anniversary of The Bourne Supremacy, which opened to 52M in 2004. The Matt Damon sequel would go on to make 176M domestically and 288M worldwide. It was the 8th highest grossing film of 2004, and is in the Top 200 of All Time. It outgrossed The Bourne Identity (121M) and would be outgrossed by the third installment, The Bourne Ultimatum (227M). Critics liked the film, with an 81% on Rotten Tomatoes, as did audiences with a 7.8 on IMDB. Adjusted for inflation, The Bourne Supremacy is the 5th highest grossing film of Matt Damon’s career at 231M. It had very little competition from the awful Catwoman, which managed a 16M opening, despite an abysmal 9% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 3.3 on IMDB. It killed the career of director Pitof, and at 40M total domestic gross, is the 14th highest grossing film of Halle Berry’s career.

Five years ago, was extremely uneventful. Disney opened G-Force, Katherine Heigl tried The Ugly Truth, and Vera Farmiga was better than her Orphan. G-Force opened to 31M, for a first place finish, onto a domestic gross of 119M. Impressive, but surprisingly not enough for a sequel. Maybe it was the 22% on Rotten Tomatoes. It did well overseas and ended up with a 292M worldwide take. The Ugly Truth opened to 27M for a 3rd place opening, onto an 88M domestic total. It did extremely well overseas (for a comedy), and ended up with 205M worldwide. Orphan opened in 4th place with 12M and critics didn’t completely hate the movie, giving it a 55% on Rotten Tomatoes. Orphan made 41M domestically, and ended up with an IMDB score of 7.0, higher than both Ugly Truth and G-Force.

The CW Launch Party 091806

TV Casting: Lancaster, Perlman, Collins, Ashmore, & More

Aaron Ashmore (Warehouse 13) and Luke Macfarlane (Brothers and Sisters) are set to topline the new SyFy original series Killjoys, a new drama set in space. Killjoys is targeting a 2015 premiere.

Lynn Collins (Wolverine) has been tapped to recur on Covert Affairs later this season, playing a rival agent that will cross paths with Piper Perabo’s lead character.

Sarah Lancaster (Chuck) has landed a recurring part on Witches Of East End. She’ll appear later in the season as Raven Moreau, who bears a deep secret.

Rhea Perlman (Cheers) will recur next season on The Mindy Project as Danny’s mother.

Elizabeth Rohm (Law and Order: SVU) has been upped to a series regular to Stalker. She is in the pilot, she just wasn’t officially a regular until now.

Regina King (Southland) has booked a recurring arc on midseason drama American Crime, from Oscar winner John Ridley.


Anthony Hopkins

Anthony Hopkins Heads To ‘Westworld’

Anthony Hopkins makes his US TV series debut in a new pilot from JJ Abrams, based on the 1970′s sci-fi classic Westworld. He has signed onto the HBO pilot, along with Evan Rachel Wood, instantly grabbing the pilot a ton of attention it didn’t necessarily have.

Hopkins is just the latest in a long line of excellent grabs for the pay network, following Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson for the first True Detective (and a rumored Colin Farrell for the second).


Favorite Franchise Finale?

A poll on IMDB inspired me. What a great topic. The given choices were:

The Dark Knight Rises, The Return Of The King, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt 2, Saw 3D, Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi, Star Wars: Revenge Of The Sith, The Matrix Revolutions, Shrek Forever After, Twilight: Breaking Dawn Pt 2, The Hangover Part 3, Rocky Balboa, Back To The Future Part 3, High School Musical 3, Godzilla: Final Wars, The Human Condition 3, The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly, The Godfather Part 3, Once Upon A Time In Mexico, Battle For The Planet Of The Apes, Death Wish V, The Dead Pool, Vegas Vacation, Lethal Weapon 4, Delta Force 3, 3 Ninjas: High Noon At Mega Mountain, The Next Karate Kid, Killer Tomatoes Eat France, and Toy Story 3.

From that list, I would say the five best franchise enders were:

1) Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows pt 2

Let’s face it. Harry Potter went out on a strong note, which is more than I can say for most of the franchises on that list.

2) The Return Of The King

While Two Towers was my favorite of the trilogy, the finale is also quite epic. Another solid way to end the franchise.

3) The Dark Knight Rises

Like the Lord of the Rings franchise, my favorite was the 2nd film, but that doesn’t mean the third film wasn’t good. I really enjoyed the third film, and thought Tom Hardy was a great incarnation of Bane.

4) Toy Story 3

I wrote a while back about how Toy Story 3 wasn’t as good as the first two, but it was a good way to wrap up the franchise… which is more than I can say for the bulk of the films on that list.

5) The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Possibly the most recognizable Man With No Name film. Clint Eastwood at his finest.

I’m leaving off both Star Wars films, because I don’t really consider Revenge Of The Sith to be a series ender, and Return Of The Jedi is generally recognized as being a step down in quality from The Empire Strikes Back and A New Hope. Not a terrible film, and would rank in the 6-10 category, but not strong enough for the Top 5.

And… some that weren’t great. (And I have to admit I haven’t seen everything on the list).

1) Saw 3D

This franchise lived way too long. Once you lost Jigsaw, you lost your point. They could have done a trilogy, and made it solid, but instead they tried to cash in and do as many as possible, and by the time this franchise ended, everyone wanted it to stay dead.

2) The Godfather Part 3

Probably better than some of the films on this list, but in no way in the same league as 1 and 2.

3) Shrek Forever After

A little bit of a rebound from Shrek The Third, but 3 and 4 in this series are awful compared to 1 and 2.

4) The Hangover Part 3

There really should have only been one Hangover.

5) 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain

Awful. I loved the first 3 Ninjas as a part of my childhood, but by the time this came out, they weren’t even the same 3 Ninjas anymore. None of the original 3 Ninjas did High Noon. When you can’t get the original 3 Ninjas, who basically have no other credits to their name, to return to your film… you’ve got problems. Fun fact: Victor Wong did return to play Grandpa!





Now On Netflix: The Immigrant

Starring: Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Renner

Directed By: James Gray

I know that James Gray and Joaquin Phoenix have a long history together. Gray has cast Phoenix in We Own The Night, Two Lovers, and The Yards, and now The Immigrant.

Phoenix does a decent job here, but in the grand list of Phoenix performances, this is not near the top. As a matter of fact, are any of his James Gray roles even in the Top 10?

A quick survey would rank Her, The Master, Walk The Line, Buffalo Soldiers, Quills, Gladiator, Return To Paradise, To Die For, Inventing The Abbotts, as nine of the top ten performances.

My point is, that James Gray doesn’t seem to challenge Joaquin Phoenix the way other directors do. To be fair, he didn’t really offer Jeremy Renner much of a challenge either. Marion Cotillard, however, is really good. She’s probably one of the best actresses working in Hollywood, and the film is written to give her a great performance.

She plays a woman who comes to America to live a better life, and ends up working as a prostitute for Phoenix’s character, and falling in love with a wannabe magician (Renner).

As far as the film itself, it is an interesting look into the past. It’s not a particularly engaging plot, and the love triangle is not engaging at all. You know Joaquin Phoenix is a villain, and Jeremy Renner isn’t. Cotillard is in a bad way, and needs someone to help her, so she gravitates to men with power.

It’s a slow film. I probably would have trimmed about 10-15 minutes off of the film. It ends up being more melodramatic than it really needed to be. Cotillard is the one reason to watch.


Corey Stoll

Casting: Stoll in ‘Ant-Man’, Spielberg Fleshes Out Cold War Cast, More

Corey Stoll, who was rumored to be cast in Edgar Wright’s version of Ant-Man, has confirmed that he is still cast in Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man.

Steven Spielberg has added Amy Ryan and Alan Alda to the cast of his upcoming Cold War drama with Tom Hanks. Hanks plays an attorney enlisted by the CIA to negotiate the release of a spy plane’s pilot.

Gotham producers have teased their intentions to bring to life two iconic Batman villains. Dr Hugo Strange and Harvey Dent. Neither roles have been cast, but both are intended at some point in the series. Strange will serve as a catalyst for the development of Arkham Asylum, and Dent will play the good-guy friend role to Jim Gordon.

And, just in case you were wondering, Vin Diesel just confirmed that XXX3 is still happening, albeit… after he shoots The Last Witch Hunter and Kojak.



Is There A Summer Box Office Slump?

Well… kinda.

Let’s face it. When we’re in July, and the #1 grossing film of the year opened in April, we’ve got some problems.

Slumps are difficult to define, because going down from the previous year (which happens a lot) can be defined as a slump. Look, when you don’t have a mega-blockbuster like The Avengers making over 500M, you’re gonna feel like you’re in a slump.

But the truth is… the top TWO movies weren’t released in the summer. The summers highest grossing film so far is X-Men: Days Of Future Past at 230.4M (and counting). Last year, Iron Man 3 had that dubious title, and it made 409.1M. Last summer also had bonafide hits in Despicable Me 2 (368M), Man Of Steel (291M), Monsters University (268M), and Fast and Furious 6 (238M). That’s FIVE films that completely outgrossed X-Men, and FOUR of them have outgrossed 2014′s top film Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

In fact, 19 summer films broke 100 million at the box office. This year? So far, only 10 films have done it. If you go with the assumption that Edge Of Tomorrow is close enough to eek out 100M, you could say 11. I doubt Tammy hits 100M, its too far away and grossing too little.

No other films in release are likely to hit 100M. So in order to hit the promised land of 19, we will need to get 8 more films across the 100M mark.

Guardians Of The Galaxy. Obviously.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? That’s a possibility.

Hercules? Depends on whether or not it sucks.

Lucy? It could be a sleeper hit, like Salt. The formula is there, if the film is any good.

The Expendables 3? Doubtful. The second one only made 85M.

I suppose it is possible that Get On Up or The Hundred Foot Journey could have the appeal that drew people to movies like The Help, Julie and Julia, and The Butler in August. So, if one of them broke 100M, somehow…

And, let’s just assume that Lets Be Cops is a massive smash hit, ala We’re The Millers, and skates across 100M and launches a new franchise.

I don’t really see eight films here though. I see one sure-fire bet, and a bunch of maybes.

But even with only 12 films breaking 100M, it would tie 2012, the year The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises soaked up all the box office money.

And if it gets one more, it’ll tie 2010, the year Toy Story 3 and Iron Man 2 reigned.

So as far as creating 100M hits, this hasn’t been quite that big of a failure year. It just hasn’t created a mega hit. That’s true.

In fact, to find a year where a summer film didn’t break 300M, you have to go all the way back to 2001, where the highest grossing summer film was Shrek at 267M. So, in that regard, we have a slump.

Unless Guardians Of The Galaxy has the ability to be a true game changer in every way. The pressure is now on for Guardians to overperform, because that would change the entire perspective of the summer. If Guardians could become a bonafide 300M hit, then all this talk of a box office slump becomes kinda moot.

Because 400M hits don’t happen every year. 2011, 2007, 2005, and 2003, were void of summer hits breaking 400M. And just because a summer film doesn’t break 400M, doesn’t mean The Hunger Games: Mockingjay won’t do it.

So, is there a box office slump?

Depends on how you’re measuring it.


Sons Of Anarchy

‘Anarchy’ adds Warner, ‘Revenge’ adds Hallisay

Sons Of Anarchy has recruited Malcolm Jamal Warner for its final season. He’ll play a member of the Grim Reaper crew. Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson are also guest starring in the final season.

Brian Hallisay (The Client List, Mistresses) is set to heavily recur next season on Revenge. He’ll be playing Ben, a local cop, who is a friend of Jack’s, and a potential love interest for Emily.


Buying Naked

What’s Up With All The Naked Programming?

I just watched an ad for Buying Naked, a show about house hunting in a nudist community in Florida. It’s on TLC.

There’s also Dating Naked, which just premiered on VH1.

And there’s Naked and Afraid on Discovery, and also Naked Castway on Discovery.

What’s the deal? Why is everyone naked all the time?

Sex sells.

Or at least, they thought it would. Dating Naked premiered only to 826,000 viewers, which pales in comparison to VH1′s most watched series, Love & Hip Hop In Atlanta which pulls in 3.5M viewers.

Movie audiences turned Sex Tape into a 4th place flop, opening to only 15M, below the sequels to both The Purge and Planes.

So I suppose the question is, does sex still sell?

I know the producers of the upcoming Fifty Shades Of Grey film are certainly hoping so.

And what’s next in the Naked series? Maybe that’s what Rising Star is missing. Nudity. How about a singing competition series where everyone is naked? Or a naked season of Survivor? Dancing Naked With The Stars?


One Chance

Yahoo Screen will debut ‘One Chance’

With the success of Snowpiercer, which debuted day-and-date on VOD and in theatres, Weinstein Co. will now tread into uncharted waters with their upcoming Paul Potts bio One Chance. The film, starring James Corden, will see its release on Yahoo Screen, for free, 10 days before it hits theatres.

One Chance has already been released in several international markets, and has earned about 10M so far.

Will this new strategy help build a strong word of mouth for an underdog film? Or, more importantly, for an underdog streaming service like Yahoo Screen?


FX Renews ‘Fargo’, ‘Louie’

FX has ordered a second cycle of Fargo, which will feature a new cast, a new story, and a new time period. The time period part could be interesting. How far back in time (or forward?) will we go?

Also, FX has renewed Louie for a 5th season. The 4th season was delayed, but Season 5 won’t be. It’ll be a shorter season instead. 7 episodes have been ordered for a Spring 2015 debut.

Both are Emmy nominated shows.



What’s Up With All The Random Animated Movies On Netflix?

As we know, Animation is hard. So many attempts at creating Animated works have failed. Most notably, Food Fight. But, if you peruse your Netflix Instant… you might find yourself asking… where did all these movies come from? They don’t look awful. Are they all knockoffs?


Tad The Lost Explorer

Tad is actually from Spain, it’s an original theatrical release there. Don’t worry, it’s been redubbed with Ariel Winter and Cheech Marin, but it was actually quite successful in Spain. It made 51M in worldwide box office, without ever being released theatrically in America. It was nominated for five Goyas (the Spanish equivalent of the Oscar), and won three. It won Best Animated Film, Best Screenplay-Adapted, and Best New Director. Could you imagine an animated film winning Adapted Screenplay here?

A Turtle’s Tale

This franchise hails from Belgium, co-produced by Studio Canal out of France. It was redubbed with voices from Melanie Griffith, Anthony Anderson, and Dominic Cooper among others. It’s apparently about global warming, and teaching kids that we are destroying the ocean.


Khumba might look like a Madagascar knockoff, but it’s actually a South African release that did moderately well overseas. It’s actually¬†not a Straight-To-Video release here. It was ditched into two theatres, and made about a thousand dollars in theatres. Likely, it was a contractual agreement. Box Office Mojo reports that it has earned 11M worldwide.


Also a South African production. Not a direct rip off of Rio. It wasn’t as big of a hit in Hungary, only getting 10M.

Open Range 2

OK. So this is an American production, and it went straight-to-video here. However, it went theatrical in Iceland, Russia, Czech Republic, and Slovakia. The Tinkerbell movies have seen theatrical releases too… in other countries. The most recent Tinkerbell film, The Pirate Fairy, was released theatrically in 39 countries, and has made over 50M so far worldwide.

Speaking Of…

Did you know that Escape From Planet Earth is still in theatres… in Austria?

Belgium was the lucky country that got Step Up All In this weekend, where it went #1. Don’t freak out. They also have Khumba.

Brazil is a hot country for unique releases, like Khumba, and this weeks hot new release, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints.

Bulgaria has the horrible looking new Tarzan film that is both motion capture and computer animation. And it looks awful.

Chile has the South Korean animated film Dino Time. It’s only made about 4M worldwide, so nothing to get excited about. They also have The Haunting In Connecticut 2 (now on Netflix), which has made a little over 4M worldwide.

China just saw the release of The Company You Keep. Of course, it’s really hard to get released in China, so it is understandable that it took this long.

Colombia has something awful looking called The Games Maker, which stars Joseph Fiennes and the kid who is about to be Bruce Wayne in Gotham. This hasn’t been doing well, and only has about 2M in worldwide grosses.

Germany has a cute looking animated film called The House Of Magic, which comes from Belgium, and has made of 35M worldwide so far. Not bad. They also still have Escape From Planet Earth.

The people of Greece like a completely different type of film. Their top two movies are Fading Gigolo and The Railway Man. They also have The Homesman in advance of its US opening. The Tommy Lee Jones/Hilary Swank movie has been getting some awards buzz.

Italy opened And So It Goes to #1. They also have the brazilian hit Foosball, which has done well worldwide, as well as last years flop The Big Wedding. Oh, and they also have Synecdoche New York. You remember that film. It came out in 2008? There was apparently a big legal battle fight that kept this from being released in Italy, for six years.

Mexico is always a fun country to pay attention to. They have some of the aforementioned films, like The Games Maker and The Haunting In Connecticut 2, but they also have Justin and the Knights Of Valour, a spanish release featuring the voices of Antonio Banderas and Freddie Highmore.



Now On Netflix: Mindhunters

Starring: Kathryn Morris, LL Cool J, Jonny Lee Miller, Christian Slater, Eion Bailey, Val Kilmer, Patricia Velasquez, Clifton Collins Jr, Will Kemp

Directed By: Renny Harlin

There’s a really good plot here. I’d absolutely love to remake this movie. I’d have to throw away a lot, but the idea about FBI profilers being caught in a real trap, on a deserted island, could have been so much better if left in the right hands.

Unfortunately, it was left in Renny Harlin’s hands.

I did love Die Hard 2, and Deep Blue Sea is one of my favorite guilty pleasures, but Renny Harlin has a ton of misfires. Basically, once a film is spinning out of control, he has no ability to course correct.

He can’t fix the bad acting, he can’t see that anymore. He doesn’t feel bad dialogue. He thinks being given Val Kilmer, Christian Slater, and LL Cool J is a gift.

It’s not.

Some of the traps are cool, and the idea that the traps are set up for their weaknesses is smart. Like I said, great idea, but horribly executed. It’s a notorious film, abandoned by the studio, pushed back on the release calendar for a few years… and now it’s on Netflix for your enjoyment. Or non-enjoyment.


Dawn Of The Planet

Weekend Box Office: ‘Apes’ Still Rule, ‘Sex Tape’ Falls Apart

1) Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes- 36M Weekend, 138.9M Total

The Apes lead again, easily winning, and dipping only 50% from last weekend. It’s not a bad drop considering how high it opened, and how most big films drop more than 50% in their 2nd weekend. It will face more direct competition next weekend from both Lucy and Hercules, drawing the action audience in.

2) The Purge: Anarchy- 28.3M Weekend, 28.3M Total

The Purge sequel opened below the original, but still did a good job, all things considered. It’s just a matter of time before they announce a third Purge. These things are super cheap to make.

3) Planes 2- 18M Weekend, 18M total

With a budget of 50M, Planes 2 is still on track to be a profitable sequel. Even if it opened slightly below the original.

4) Sex Tape- 15M Weekend, 15M Total

This was kind of a flop, and also opened below Cameron Diaz’s The Other Woman. A C+ cinemascore doesn’t bode well for the future.

5) Transformers 4- 10M Weekend, 227.1M Total

Transformers dropped only 38%, meaning that it is finally developing some legs.

6) Tammy- 7.6M Weekend, 71.2M Total

7) 22 Jump Street- 4.7M Weekend, 180.5M Total

8) How To Train Your Dragon 2- 3.8M Weekend, 160.6M Total

9) Maleficent- 3.3M Weekend, 228.3M Total

10) Earth To Echo- 3.2M Weekend, 31.9M Total

11) Begin Again- 2.7M Weekend, 9.4M Total

12) America- 1.7M Weekend, 11.4M Total

13) Deliver Us From Evil- 1.5M Weekend, 29.2M Total

14) Jersey Boys- 1.2M Weekend, 44.4M Total

15) Boyhood- 1.1M Weekend, 1.8M Total (36,303 PSA)

16) Chef- 1.1M Weekend, 25.9M Total

17) Edge Of Tomorrow- 1.1M Weekend, 96.6M Total

18) Think Like A Man Too- 1.1M Weekend, 63.9M Total

19) Persecuted- 0.9M Weekend, 0.9M Total (1,303 PSA)

20) The Fault In Our Stars- 0.8M Weekend, 121.5M Total

??) Wish I Was Here- 495K Weekend, 495K Total (7,279 PSA)

??) Snowpiercer- 456K Weekend, 3.4M Total (2,161 PSA)

??) I Origins- 28K Weekend, 28K Total (7,125 PSA)



Too Cool For Comic-Con


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