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Sunday
Jun012008

'Sex' Overcomes Slow Saturday and Sunday, Wins Box Office

We've been tracking the performance of Sex and the City all weekend, and after all that - the $20 million Friday replaced by a $26 million Friday and what that could mean for Saturday and on through the weekend - turns out our initial hunch on Thursday was closest to its actual production.

Easily the number one movie in large part because of its very big Friday night, Sex and the City made $55 million in its debut, so says Box Office Mojo, a comfortable $20 million over some projections, and yes, that is the biggest opening of all time for a romantic comedy.

Indiana Jones, which we suggested would make about $47 million prior to the weekend, did just that (OK, $46 million...), recovering from a rather puny Friday to actually win the box office on Saturday and Sunday. It has now earned over $215 million, so it should or at least could catch Iron Man in the summer sweepstakes.

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Sunday
Jun012008

Video: Keira Knightley Singing in 'The Edge of Love'

It's not the maybe-she-chose-the-wrong-career revelation of Reese Witherspoon putting on her best June Carter, but prior to the release of The Edge of Love, there has been a bit of talk about Keira Knightley singing on film for the first time.

In the film, which co-stars Cillian Murphy, Sienna Miller and Matthew Rhys, Knightley plays Vera Philips, the lover of poet Dylan Thomas. Part of preparing for the role required Keira to take singing instruction, since she would be warbling the standards "Blue Tahitian Moon," "Drifting and Dreaming," and "Maybe It's Because I Love You Too Much."

"I did some lessons with a voice coach because I can’t sing. It was live. There were 100 extras and the director John Maybury was like, ‘Now you’re going to sing,'" remembers Knightley.

"I’ve never been so frightened in my entire life. I never want to do it again. I don’t want to be a rock star."

So how'd she do? Watch and learn.

So it's not awful. I mean, it fits the song at least. Probably wouldn't sell a lot of albums with that voice, but I've heard worse singing in a movie.

On a side note, The Edge of Love was written by Keira's mother, playwright Sharman MacDonald, which makes me wonder how on Earth Keira ever got the role. The film hits theaters in the UK on June 20th, with an American release to follow later in the year.

Saturday
May312008

Christian Bale Calls Working with Heath Ledger "Intense"

For a lot of people, the first 10 weeks of the summer movie season are all filler until The Dark Knight is released. It looks like a simply terrific sequel, and all the talk that immediately followed the casting of Heath Ledger as The Joker went away instantly once the first trailer went public, and now there's so much anticipation for not only his performance but also the film in general, that it's kind of hard not to keep bringing it up. It's the other shoe, and we're all kind of waiting for it to drop.

Christian Bale recently spoke to Details about working with Ledger, who, based on the little we've seen absolutely reinvents one of the world's all-time great villains of literature. Gone are the Nicholosonian sense of humor and the rather flimsy Cesar Romero embodiment of evil. Heath Ledger appears to be an absolute misanthrope in this role.

"He was incredibly intense in his performance but incredibly mellow and laid-back," remembers Bale of Ledger. "Certainly there was this great anarchistic streak to it - just getting dirtier than anybody’s envisioned the Joker before. This character has power because he has no limits - absolutely nothing to lose."

As we know, The Dark Knight arrives on July 18th, which is too long to wait, frankly. Between now and then, we'll probably see plenty of clips and read a lot more interviews about the film and Ledger. And just to keep you up-to-date with all the latest marketing imagery, check out these British banners for the film, courtesy of IMP Awards.

Saturday
May312008

New Doors Documentary "The Anti-Oliver Stone Movie"

Just in case you didn't know, Oliver Stone's 1991 Jim Morrison bio-pic, The Doors, is not exactly the movie the rest of the Doors wanted. In fact, keyboard player Ray Manzarek says the band has been working on a mammoth new documentary that he hopes will shed some light on the real glory days of the band.

"This is the anti-Oliver Stone [movie]," proclaims Manzarek. "This will be the true story of the Doors. That's the whole point of it."

Manzarek vows to offer never-before-seen footage of Morrison and the band, which blazed a new trail of cryptic acid rock during the late 60s before breaking up in 1972, a year after Morrison's death. Both Morrison and Manzarek were students at UCLA film school once upon a time, which should give Manzarek a little extra credibility while assembling the documentary.

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Saturday
May312008

Box Office - 'Indiana Jones' Can't Beat Up a Bunch of Girls

We will have a new number one movie this weekend. Yesterday we reported that early indications suggested that Sex and the City was set to bring in $20 million or so on opening day. That number was wrong.

The real total may be as high as $26 million, as Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and the other one more than doubled up on Indiana Jones Friday, according to Box Office Mojo, clearing the way for Sex to have the biggest debut ever for a romantic comedy.

The Strangers, the week's other release, which was hoping to make most of its $10 million-ish budget back this weekend, opened very strong as well, placing third on Friday with over $7 million in U.S. ticket sales. Iron Man has finally started to show signs of slowing down; with $3 million and change on Friday, the Marvel movie will do well to go a little north of $10 million in its fifth weekend of release, no doubt the last weekend it will place in the top five.

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