Weekend Box Office: MAZE RUNNER Leads with $32.5 Million; TOMBSTONES Soft in Second with $13.1 Million

by     Posted 29 days ago

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Among this weekend’s three new releases only Fox’s The Maze Runner showed strength.  The sci-fi thriller brought in an estimated $32.5 million from 3,064 locations for the sixth-biggest September debut of all time.  Way back in second place with $13.1 million from 2,712 locations, A Walk Among the Tombstones suggests that audiences may be tiring of Liam Neeson and his now-familiar tough guy roles.  Finally, despite an ensemble cast that includes Jason Bateman and Tine Fey, This Is Where I Leave You failed to hit its very modest $15 million target.  In short, it was business as usual for the September box office.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  The Maze Runner $32,500,000 $32.5
2.  A Walk Among the Tombstones $13,126,000 $13.1
3.  This Is Where I Leave You $11,860,000 $11.8
4.  No Good Deed $10,200,000 $40.1
5.  Dolphin Tale 2 $9,005,000 $27
6.  Guardians of the Galaxy $5,180,000 $313.6
7.  Let’s Be Cops $2,675,000 $77.2
8.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles $2,650,000 $185
9.  The Drop $2,050,000 $7.7
10.  If I Stay $1,835,000 $47.6

Full story after the jump.

Friday Box Office: THE MAZE RUNNER Sprints Past A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES on Opening Day

by     Posted 30 days ago

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The Maze Runner, a big screen version of James Dashner’s 2007 novel,  will not be the latest YA adaptation to go down in box office flames.  Bucking the trend that saw page-to-screen conversions like Vampire Academy and The Giver open to disappointing numbers, The Maze Runner looks like it may actually exceed expectations.  The Fox release was originally projected to open to $27 million but, after earning a strong $11.2 million on Friday, the sci-fi thriller is now looking at an opening weekend of $35 million or above.  That’s not quite the level that Divergent hit back in March ($54.6 million) but it is well above the $27 million that Ender’s Game claimed last November.

Details and Friday’s top five after the jump.

Liam Neeson Talks A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES, Collaborating with Scott Frank, and More

by     Posted 32 days ago

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Opening this weekend is director Scott Frank‘s crime thriller A Walk Among the Tombstones.  The film stars Liam Neeson as a troubled ex-cop who investigates the kidnapping of a heroin drug lord’s wife, teaming up with a heroin trafficker (Dan Stevens) and his brother to hunt down the men responsible for the crime.  Unlike his Taken role where Neeson is nearly impossible to pin down, A Walk Among the Tombstones takes place in the real world, where the characters need to use their brains and not rely on an endless supply of bullets to get the job done.  Frank has a number of great credits as a screenwriter (Minority ReportOut of Sight), and he did great work directing The Lookout.  I’m happy to say I really enjoyed A Walk Among the Tombstones and definitely recommend checking it out this weekend.

During my video interview with Liam Neeson he talked about why he wanted to be part of A Walk Among the Tombstones, how his character can’t kick everyone’s ass like inTaken, how he collaborated with Scott Frank on the character, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Dan Stevens Talks A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES, Scott Frank, THE GUEST, Being an Action Star, and More

by     Posted 33 days ago

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If you go to a movie theater this weekend, there’s a good chance you’re going to see Dan Stevens.  That’s because in a weird turn of events, he  has two films coming out this week, director Adam Wingard’s The Guest and director Scott Frank’s A Walk Among the Tombstones.  Both films are excellent and worth seeing, and Stevens is able to show that can lead an action movie (The Guest), and hold his own against Liam Neeson in a key supporting role (A Walk Among the Tombstones).  For more on The Guest, read Matt’s review.  For more on A Walk Among the Tombstones, click here for our previous coverage. 

During my recent video interview with Dan Stevens, he talked about Scott Frank’s script for Tombstones, his character, being an action star in The Guest, meeting Adam Wingard for the first time, future projects, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Check out a Liam Neeson “Kill Map” Charting His Murders across His Movies

by     Posted 33 days ago

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With the release of the Liam Neeson crime-thriller A Walk Among the Tombstones set for release this Friday, eONe, the film’s U.K. distributor, has released a “Kill Map”.  The map shows what Neeson has killed in his various movies, his weapon of choice, and also notes if those killings were against non-humans (e.g. battle droids in Star Wars: Episode I).  I was shocked to learn that he kills zero people in Nell.  Really thought that movie had a higher body count.

Hit the jump to check out the Liam Neeson Kill Map.

Writer/Director Scott Frank Talks A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES, Casting, Soderbergh’s Advice in Post-Production, the Pivotal Gun Scene, and More

by     Posted 35 days ago

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After more than a decade in development, writer/director Scott Frank has succeeded in turning best-selling novelist Lawrence Block’s signature book into a harrowing suspense thriller with an intriguing premise in A Walk Among the Tombstones.  Liam Neeson stars as Matt Scudder, a troubled former N.Y.P.D. officer turned private detective whose quest for redemption leads him to help a heroin trafficker (Dan Stevens) track down the men (David Harbour, Adam David Thompson) who brutally murdered his wife.  Adapted for the screen by Frank, the crime drama also stars Boyd Holbrook, Brian “Astro” Bradley, Sebastian Roché, Mark Consuelos, and Ólafur Darri Ólafsson.

At the film’s recent press day, Frank talked about how the project first came together, why it took so long to bring to the screen, what convinced Neeson to come on board, casting Stevens into the dark role of a drug trafficker, the pivotal gun scene between Liam and Astro’s characters, the decision to portray the killers and the protagonist in two very different lights, how director Alan Pakula and films like Rosemary’s Baby and Klute inspired the film’s tone, style and pace, Steven Soderbergh’s advice in post-production, and why Frank decided not to do Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report TV series.  Check out the interview after the jump:

Dan Stevens Talks A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES, Evoking Sympathy for the Bad Guy, Love of 70s Thrillers, THE GUEST, and More

by     Posted 36 days ago

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It’s been two years since Dan Stevens departed Downton Abbey and he’s not lost any time actively pursuing some amazing new roles in theater, film and television.  In his latest movie, A Walk Among the Tombstones, he stars opposite Liam Neeson playing a heroin trafficker bent on revenge who hires a private investigator (Neeson) to hunt down the serial killers (David Harbour, Adam David Thompson) that brutally murdered his wife.  Opening September 19th, the crime drama also stars Boyd Holbrook, Brian “Astro” Bradley, Sebastian Roché, Mark Consuelos, and Ólafur Darri Ólafsson.

At the film’s recent press day, Stevens discussed why he finds it exciting to explore new and different roles, the challenge of transforming himself for each one, the appeal of playing a bad guy who’s a victim, his love of 70’s noirish thrillers like Klute, Dirty Harry, and The Conversation, his collaboration with director Scott Frank on the darkness of his character, how music helped him prepare for his role in The Guest, and what it’s been like working with his childhood heroes – Neeson, Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler and John Travolta — on Tombstones, Night at the Museum:  Secret of the Tomb, The Cobbler and Criminal Activities.  Hit the jump to read the rest of the interview:

Liam Neeson Talks A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES, Doing Action Movies in his 60′s, and the Enduring Appeal of THE GREY

by     Posted 42 days ago

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In his fifth major film release this year, Liam Neeson delivers a riveting performance in Scott Frank’s fast-paced thriller, A Walk Among the Tombstones, adapted from Lawrence Block’s best-selling series of mystery novels.  Neeson plays Matt Scudder, a disgraced ex-NYPD cop turned private investigator operating outside the law who’s approached by a heroin trafficker (Dan Stevens) to find the men (David Harbour, Adam David Thompson) who brutally kidnapped and murdered his wife.  Opening September 19th, the crime drama also stars Boyd Holbrook, Brian “Astro” Bradley, Sebastian Roché, Mark Consuelos, and Ólafur Darri Ólafsson. 

At the film’s recent press day, Neeson revealed why he’s attracted to these larger than life roles, how he draws his inspiration from cinematic heroes like Robert Mitchum, Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson, the appeal of playing a character like Scudder, his research and preparation for the part, what it was like shooting the opening flashback that establishes his character, the careful choreography that goes into every stunt sequence, why he enjoys doing action movies at this point in his career, how he keeps in shape as a global action star, his thoughts on the awards process, and why he’s proud of his work in The Grey.  Check out the interview after the jump.

New A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES TV Spots Has Neesons Threatening Your Worthless Lives

by     Posted 55 days ago

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Universal has released a couple of new TV spots for Scott Frank‘s upcoming crime thriller A Walk Among the Tombstones.  The film stars Liam Neeson as an alcoholic ex-cop who investigates the kidnapping of a heroin drug lord’s wife, teaming up with a heroin trafficker (Downton Abbey‘s Dan Stevens) and his brother to hunt down the men responsible for the crime.  Judging by the TV spots, it looks like Taken meets Saw, a concept that’s amusing enough for me.  Bring on the Neesons.

Hit the jump to check out A Walk Among the Tombstones TV spots.  The film also stars David Harbour and Boyd Holbrook.  A Walk Among the Tombstones opens in theaters on September 19th.

New A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES Images: Liam Neeson and Dan Stevens Are on the Hunt

by     Posted 59 days ago

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Universal Pictures has released some new A Walk Among the Tombstones images from director Scott Frank’s (The Lookout) upcoming dark crime thriller.  The film stars Liam Neeson as an alcoholic ex-cop who investigates the kidnapping of a heroin drug lord’s wife, teaming up with a heroin trafficker (Downton Abbey‘s Dan Stevens) and his brother to hunt down the men responsible for the crime.  While on the surface this could be seen as another cash-in on Neeson’s “badass hunting down bad people” movie genre, I’m highly encouraged by the involvement of Frank.  He penned the scripts for Out of Sight and Minority Report and I was a big fan of his previous directorial effort The Lookout, so it’s with some degree of anticipation that I’m looking forward to this one.   Moreover, Stevens proves in The Guest that he’s more than capable of handling a darker role, so his turn in Tombstones should be quite interesting.

Hit the jump to check out the new A Walk Among the Tombstones images.  The film also stars David Harbour and Boyd Holbrook.  A Walk Among the Tombstones opens in theaters on September 19th.

First A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES Trailer, Poster, and Images Feature Liam Neeson Working Outside the Law

by     Posted 144 days ago

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Universal Pictures has released the first A Walk Among the Tombstones trailer, poster, and images for director Scott Frank’s (The Lookout) dark crime thriller.  The film stars Liam Neeson as an alcoholic ex-cop who investigates the kidnapping of a heroin drug lord’s wife, teaming up with a heroin trafficker (Downton Abbey‘s Dan Stevens) and his brother to hunt down the men responsible for the crime.  Despite a pretty awful-looking wig on Neeson at the beginning of the trailer, this actually looks like a much darker, more interesting film than your standard “above the law” actioner.  Frank has a number of excellent credits as a screenwriter (Minority Report, Out of Sight), and I was a big fan of his previous directorial effort The Lookout, so I’m certainly looking forward to seeing what he’s put together here.  So far so good.

Hit the jump to check out the A Walk Among the Tombstones trailer, poster, and images.  The film also stars David Harbour and Boyd HolbrookA Walk Among the Tombstones opens in theaters on September 19th.

Universal Unveils 2015 Release Dates & Synopses for PITCH PERFECT 2, CRIMSON PEAK, and EVEREST; Also Slates OUIJA, WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES, More

by     Posted 263 days ago

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Universal Pictures has announced a slew of release dates for some of its upcoming films, unveiling the first synopses for some highly anticipated pics (including the latest from Guillermo del Toro) in the process.  Briefly:

  • As Above, So Below – From Legendary Pictures, the psychological thriller directed by John Erick Dowdle (Quarantine) will open August 15, 2014.
  • A Walk Among the Tombstones – The Liam Neeson/Dan Stevens thriller directed by Scott Frank will hit theaters September 19, 2014.
  • Ouija – Universal’s adaptation of the popular board game produced by Michael Bay is slated for October 24, 2014.
  • Everest – Director Baltasar Kormakur’s (2 Guns) survival drama starring Jason Clarke, John Hawkes, and Jake Gyllenhaal will be released in 3D and IMAX 3D February 27, 2015.
  • Pitch Perfect 2 – The music-centered sequel, directed by Elizabeth Banks, will be aca-released May 15, 2015.
  • Crimson Peak – From Legendary Pictures, filmmaker Guillermo del Toro’s next directorial effort, starring Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, and Charlie Hunnam, will haunt traditional theaters and IMAX on October 16, 2015.

Hit the jump to read the synopses for the aforementioned films.

Dan Stevens Talks THE FIFTH ESTATE, How His Career Has Changed Since DOWNTON ABBEY, What He Collects, Adam Wingard’s THE GUEST, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 6 days ago

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Opening this week is director Bill Condon’s WikiLeaks drama The Fifth Estate.  The pic centers on the relationship between Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Daniel Brühl) and Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch), as the story follows the early days of WikiLeaks, culminating in the release of highly controversial information leaks.  I caught the film at the Toronto International Film Festival, and Condon has done a great job crafting a fascinating and entertaining look at WikiLeaks and the current landscape of news and information sharing.  The Fifth Estate also stars Laura LinneyStanley TucciAnthony MackiePeter CapaldiAlicia Vikander, Dan Stevens, and Carice van Houten.  For more on the film, read Matt’s review or watch these clips.

At this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, I landed an extended video interview with Stevens.  He talked about his exit from Downton Abbey, how his career has changed since starring on the show, making The Fifth Estate, what changed during production, what he collects, how he got into acting, future projects like Scott Frank’s A Walk Among the Tombstones and Adam Wingard’s The Guest, and so much more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Production Begins on Scott Frank’s A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES Starring Liam Neeson and Dan Stevens

by     Posted 1 year, 221 days ago

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Cross Creek Pictures has announced that production is underway on writer/director Scott Frank’s (The Lookout) crime thriller A Walk Among the Tombstones.  Filming is taking place in New York on the pic, which stars Liam Neeson as an alcoholic ex-cop who investigates the kidnapping of a heroin drug lord’s wife, teaming up with a heroin trafficker and his brother to hunt down the men responsible for the crime.  Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) and Boyd Holbrook (Milk) star as the trafficker and his brother, respectively.

The film is based on one of a series of Matt Scudder crime novels by author Lawrence Block. David Harbour (End of Watch), Mark Consuelos (American Horror Story), and Astro (The X-Factor) round out the cast. Hit the jump to read the full press release, which includes the official synopsis.

Ruth Wilson and Boyd Holbrook Take A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES with Liam Neeson

by     Posted 1 year, 248 days ago

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Casting for Scott Frank’s A Walk Among the Tombstones continues to fill out around star Liam Neeson.  The adaptation of the Lawrence Block novel recently added Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey); we can now report that Ruth Wilson (Luther) and Boyd Holbrook (Milk) will also be joining the cast.  The story centers on private investigator Matthew Scudder (Neeson) who is hired by a drug lord in order to find out who kidnapped him and murdered his wife.  Hit the jump for more on A Walk Among the Tombstones.

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