Friday Box Office: NO GOOD DEED Rewarded with First Place; DOLPHIN TALE 2 in Second

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After a deadly-slow start to September, the box office is showing signs of life this weekend.  To start, a new title will claim the top spot for the first time since Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles debuted five weeks ago.  Actually, three new releases are expected to have decent showings this weekend.  Honors go to thriller No Good Deed, which earned an estimated $8.8 million on its first day in theatres.  Through Sunday, the Sony/Screen Gems release could earn as much as $24 million, or well above its high-end projection of $20 million.  Dolphin Tale 2 took second place yesterday with an estimated $4.2 million.  With a Saturday bump from family audiences, the sequel should earn close to $16 million through Sunday.

Full story and Friday’s top five films after the jump.

TOP 5: BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE Batmobile, JOHN WICK Trailer, IRON MAN 4 Not Currently Planned, MAPS TO THE STARS, TIFF 2014

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The Top 5 will take a brief hiatus next week as I’ll be in Austin for MondoCon on Saturday. As someone who has little to no available wall space thanks to its namesake, I’m genuinely thrilled to have the opportunity to attend the convention and meet artists like Tim Sale, Francesco FrancavillaJock, and more. The analogy “like a kid on Christmas” comes to mind, but there’s a solid chance that there will be more alcoholic beverages consumed during my brief stint in Austin than would be appropriate for a child’s Christmas festivities. At any rate, Top 5 and I will return in two short weeks and I’ll likely use the opening paragraph to hit on some of the high points of my MondoCon experience then. This is important because it will not only mean that I enjoyed safe travels but also that my wife let me back in the house in spite of the posters and collectibles that I’ll inevitably bring home.

My prelude to MondoCon out of the way, this week’s installment includes a detailed look at the Batmobile from Zack Snyder‘s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the first trailer and poster for Keanu Reeves‘ revenge actioner John Wick, word from Robert Downey Jr. that there are currently no plans for Iron Man 4, a new trailer for David Cronenberg‘s Maps to the Stars, and all of our TIFF 2014 coverage to date. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

ANNABELLE TV Spot Packs a Ton of Scares Despite a Brief Runtime

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On the heels of a teaser trailer and a more plot-heavy full trailer, Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line have released a TV Spot for The Conjuring spinoff, Annabelle.  So far this movie looks pretty good to me.  There’s no way it can top The Conjuring, it just doesn’t have the time, resources and cast that film did (nor does it have James Wan directing), but it could be a great diversion nonetheless. Director John R. Leonetti shot The Conjuring (and a ton of other Wan films) so he was able to learn from the current master of the genre.

At the very least, the film will have a lot of creepy imagery and jump scares.  And who knows, maybe we end up with another smash?  Hit the jump to check out the new Annabelle TV Spot.  The film stars Annabelle WallisAlfre WoodardWard Horton, Tony AmendolaEric Ladin and Brian Howe, and hits theaters on October 3rd.

Will Ferrell Says Mugatu Is in ZOOLANDER 2, Cast Assembling to Read Script Soon

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It’s been thirteen years since Zoolander first hit theaters, conquering our hearts but not the box office.  The interim has seen the invention of the iPod and the decline of the DVD market.  Infants born on that day are in the eighth grade and are probably smoking futuristic cigarettes I don’t even know about.  And yet, talk of Zoolander 2 keeps humming along (despite the aforementioned DVD decline, which is just about the only way the first film turned a profit).

Last month co-writer Justin Theroux confirmed that he and Ben Stiller had completed a script for the film and were in the midst of polishing it up.  Now Will Ferrell, who played the ever-essential antagonist Mugatu in the first film, has offered up even more encouraging news.  Hit the jump for more on Zoolander 2.

THE BOXTROLLS Clip and New Featurette Covering the Creation of the Boxtroll Language

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The folks at Laika have already done such an incredible job making the Boxtrolls feel like real, living, breathing creatures that it’s easy to forget that there’s actually human beings in a sound booth voicing them.  Now, thanks to the brand new The Boxtrolls featurette, “Trolls Rights Off the Tongue,” you get to meet the men responsible for configuring the Boxtrolls’ language, Dee Baker and Steve Blum.

On top of that, we’ve also got a new clip from the film featuring Winnie (voiced by Elle Fanning) trying to teach Eggs (Isaac Hempstead Wright) to dress like a proper boy with a little help from the Boxtrolls.  Hit the jump to check out The Boxtrolls clip as well as that featurette.  The movie also features the voices of Ben KingsleyToni ColletteNick FrostSimon PeggRichard AyoadeTracy Morgan and Jared Harris, and is due to hit theaters on September 26th.

Richard Linklater Setting Cast for THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT; Wyatt Russell, Blake Jenner, and Tyler Hoechlin May Star

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Filmmaker Richard Linklater is indeed planning on next directing his “spiritual sequel” to Dazed and Confused, a baseball-themed film called That’s What I’m Talking About.  Linklater has been discussing making the college-set project for years now, and coming off the massive success of Boyhood (and after dropping out of The Incredible Mr. Limpet), it appears that the time has finally come.  The filmmaker previously said the pic was hard to put together because he didn’t want to cast “stars” in the film—much like Dazed and Confused—and indeed, a report has surfaced that offers for three leads have gone out to Wyatt Russell (22 Jump Street), Blake Jenner (Glee), and Tyler Hoechlin (Teen Wolf).  More after the jump.

Ang Lee Could Direct Iraq War Satire BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK

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It’s been a couple of years now since Ang Lee won the Best Director Oscar for his ambitious 2012 drama Life of Pi.  The filmmaker initially signed on to quickly follow it up with the FX pilot Tyrant, but subsequently dropped out due to exhaustion over the awards campaign for his VFX-heavy adaptation.  Just over a year ago, Lee committed to next directing a 3D boxing film for Universal which would depict classic fights—including the Thrilla in Manila—using cutting-edge technology, but word on that film has been very quiet in the ensuing months.  Now another project appears to be vying for Lee’s attention, as the filmmaker is reportedly being eyed to helm an adaptation of the Iraq War novel Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.  More after the jump.

Oscar Beat TIFF 2014: Reese Witherspoon Enters Frustratingly Thin Best Actress Race with WILD

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While the Toronto International Film Festival is a regular launching pad for awards season fare, this year’s fest lacked any one big breakout film like last year’s 12 Years a Slave and Gravity.  TIFF 2014, instead, was all about the performances.  I’ve already written about the awards prospects of the incredible work in Foxcatcher, The Imitation Game, and The Theory of Everything, not to mention a potential dark horse in Jake Gyllenhaal’s Nightcrawler, and now it’s time to discuss Reese Witherspoon’s raw, naked lead performance in director Jean-Marc Vallée’s pleasantly surprising and refreshing drama Wild.

You can read my full review of the film right here, but in this TIFF 2014 edition of Oscar Beat, I consider Witherspoon’s chances in the frustratingly weak Best Actress race.  Read on after the jump.

Rooney Mara and Dane DeHaan to Star in Musical ZIGGY

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Though Dane DeHaan recently made his superhero movie debut, it appears that he’s keen on switching things up in the near future by leading a full-on musical.  The actor is attached to star in the original musical Ziggy alongside Rooney Mara, which will revolve around a hunchback escape artist (DeHaan) who arrives in New York in the late 1920s and falls in love with the fiancé of a powerful media mogul.  Mara will play the aforementioned love interest, and the story will chart Ziggy’s rise to stardom and subsequent fall “amid a romantic world crashing down on its own impossible idealism.”  The picture comes from writer/director Diesel Schwarze, a protégé of Baz Luhrmann.

Hit the jump for more on Ziggy and the schedules of DeHaan and Mara.

Elizabeth Olsen Joins Tom Hiddleston in I SAW THE LIGHT; Morgan Freeman Set for BEN-HUR Remake

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Tom Hiddleston is getting some company in the upcoming Hank Williams biopic.  Deadline reports that Elizabeth Olsen has joined the cast of I Saw the Light, which sees Hiddleston taking on the life of the legendary country music star who gained notoriety for classics like “Your Cheatin’ Heart” and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” before dying of heart failure at the age of 29.  Olsen will be playing Williams’ wife Audrey Mae, who split from her husband after seven years of marriage due to Williams’ alcohol, morphine, and painkiller addictions.  Their relationship was a turbulent one to say the least, and I imagine Olsen will be a swell fit alongside Hiddleston in the film.  Marc Abraham is directing, and Hiddleston will be doing all of his own singing.

Hit the jump for some big casting news concerning the upcoming Ben-Hur remake.

TIFF 2014 Acquisitions: TOP FIVE, BEFORE WE GO, STILL ALICE, PAWN SACRIFICE and More

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The Toronto International Film Festival is starting to wrap up, so we’ve got quite a few sales to report.  Here’s what’s coming at a glance:

  • RADiUS took the US rights to Adult Beginners starring Rose Byrne.
  • RADiUS also snatched up the US rights to Chris EvansBefore We Go.
  • Sony Pictures Classics closed a deal for the Julianne Moore-starrer, Still Alice.
  • Saban Films picked up the US rights to American Heist with Hayden Christensen.
  • Bleecker Street snagged Pawn Sacrifice starring Tobey Maguire.
  • Paramount put up $12.5 million for Chris Rock’s Top Five.

Hit the jump for more.

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BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE Set Video Shows the Batmobile in Action

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First we got those unofficial images of the new Batmobile on the set of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and then Zack Snyder followed those up with the real deal, a hi-res shot of the vehicle courtesy of film set photographer Clay Enos.  Now we’re moving on to a video of the Batmobile in action and for that, we’re going back into unofficial territory.

Hit the jump to catch the Batman v Superman Batmobile zipping down a street during filming.  Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice stars Ben AffleckHenry CavillGal GadotJesse EisenbergAmy AdamsLaurence FishburneJason MomoaHolly HunterScoot McNairy and Jeremy Irons, and opens on May 6, 2016.

James McAvoy Will Likely Go Bald in X-MEN: APOCALYPSE

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Brace yourselves, X-Men fans: a staple of the comic books may be emerging in director Bryan Singer’s upcoming sequel X-Men: Apocalypse.  Ever since James McAvoy was first cast as the young Professor X in X-Men: First Class, fans have been asking when he’ll be taking on Charles’ signature Mr. Clean-esque hairstyle.  It’s kind of a silly thing to harp on (does it really matter that much if Professor X has hair or not?), but following the events of the recent X-Men: Days of Future Past, it appears that the character may start to look more like his comics counterpart, as McAvoy recently said he thinks Apocalypse is when his character will finally go bald.  More after the jump.

Mark Ruffalo Says NOW YOU SEE ME 2 Begins Filming in November

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It’s been well over a year since Now You See Me accumulated more than $350 million at the worldwide box office, but things are finally coming together for the sequel.  Lionsgate just gave Now You See Me 2 a June 10, 2016 release date, and while talking to Mark Ruffalo at the Toronto International Film Festival, he confirmed that “everyone’s in.”

The original centered on Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher and Dave Franco‘s The Four Horsemen, but considering how that film wrapped up, Ruffalo’s role is bound to take an interesting turn in the sequel.  Hit the jump for more on Now You See Me 2.

James Franco Options Chuck Palahniuk Novel RANT as Possible Starring Vehicle; Pamela Romanowsky to Write and Direct

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James Franco keeps his slate full with notable literary adaptations like The Sound and the Fury, Child of God, and Zeroville.  Franco will add another, as Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk tells Lit Reactor that Franco optioned his book Rant: The Oral Biography of Buster Casey.  Set in the near future, the story centers on recounted memories of Buster “Rant” Casey, the leader of an urban demolition derby who “will die a spectacular highway death, after which his friends gather the testimony needed to build an oral history of his short, violent life.”

Deadline adds that Franco is eying the title role and Pamela Romanowsky is in line to write and direct the adaptation.  Hit the jump for Palahniuk’s full quote and the book synopsis:

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