After leading the biggest Memorial Day box office of all time, Fast & Furious 6 remained on top for a second weekend with an estimated $34.5 million. The film’s 65% drop left plenty of room for a new release to take over top honors – provided that new release wasn’t Sony’s After Earth. The sci-fi adventure was aiming for a $35-$40 million debut. Instead, the combined star-power of Will and Jaden Smith was only good enough for third place behind Now You See Me… a genuine upset for a film from the supposedly ‘cursed’ genre of magic.
|| Fast & Furious 6
|| Now You See Me
|| After Earth
|| Star Trek Into Darkness
|| The Hangover Part III
|| Iron Man 3
|| The Great Gatsby
All of the hooplah surrounding Arrested Development Season 4′s debut on Netflix last weekend got me waxing nostalgic for another beloved series that was all too short-lived: Paul Feig‘s Freaks and Geeks. When you consider its impressive shelf life, it’s hard to believe the series only aired on NBC for one season and consists of merely 18 episodes. For the sake of comparison, ABC Family’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager will air its series finale this Monday and will finish with five seasons and 121 episodes in hand. Continuing down that path, Freaks and Geeks averaged just above 6.5 million weekly viewers during its run while Secret Life‘s most watched episode to date (the Season 2 premiere) garnered a little over 4.5 million viewers. In addition to the frustration I feel for having 103 more Secret Life episodes to never watch than Freaks and Geeks episodes to cherish, this also provides an interesting example of the ratings expectations/requirements of a network series in comparison to that of a cable series.
I could go on and on doing my best Brendan Bettinger: Stats Genius impersonation but the real reason I’m here is to present this week’s Top 5. In this installment you have at your disposal our visit to the set of Man of Steel, Allison watching the Indiana Jones movies for the first time, After Earth interviews with Will and Jaden Smith, another set visit for The Wolverine, and Matt’s review of the aforementioned fourth season of Arrested Development. As you’ve grown to expect, a brief recap and link to each of the above makes its home after the jump.
With director M. Night Shyamalan’s After Earth opening this weekend, Sony Pictures invited us to the Virgin Galactic Spaceport in New Mexico for the press junket. As you can imagine, it was an amazing place to talk about the movie. If you’re not familiar with the plot, After Earth stars Will Smith and Jaden Smith as a father and son who crash land on a post-apocalyptic Earth, and it’s up to the son to fight for survival when the father is seriously injured. For more on the film, watch three clips and some behind-the-scenes footage. After Earth also stars Sophie Okonedo and Zoe Kravitz.
During our interview with Will Smith, he talked about how After Earth is the first film on which he’s received a “Story By” credit, how the project changed along the way, getting to work with his son, how the project came together, doing press at the Virgin Spaceport, and more. In addition, I’ve heard rumblings that Smith is done with the Men in Black franchise, so I asked him the status of a Men in Black 4. The way he talked about the franchise, it sounds like he’s cool with the third film being the last installment. Hit the jump to watch.
The metaphor of a young bird leaving the nest is a lesson all children learn, and usually at a young age (it’s just not enforced until much later). Someone looked at this lesson, must have thought, “I like it, but how can we make it cost over $100 million?”, and the result was After Earth. It’s not a bad lesson, but it’s hardly enough to support an entire movie. Resting almost entirely on lead actors Jaden and Will Smith, director and co-writer M. Night Shyamalan surrounds the picture with sub-par special effects and bland action scenes. Jaden Smith provides a strong lead performance, but his character is undermined by the story’s laughably literal moments, and a journey that rarely enthralls and never surprises.
With director M. Night Shyamalan’s upcoming sci-fi film After Earth opening May 31st, Sony Pictures has provided us with three clips and over three minutes of behind-the-scenes footage from the making of the film. The film stars Will Smith and Jaden Smith as a father and son who crash land on a post-apocalyptic Earth, and it’s up to the son to fight for survival when the father is seriously injured. While we’ve previously posted some of the clips, you can now watch them all in one place. In addition, the behind-the-scenes footage is great if you’d like to see what it was like on set. After Earth also stars Sophie Okonedo and Zoe Kravitz.
Hit the jump to watch the clips and look for exclusive video interviews with Will and Jaden Smith the week of release.
Will Smith is setting his sights on a reboot of a classic Western in the near future. Warner Bros. has been developing a remake of Sam Peckinpah’s classic 1969 film The Wild Bunch for a couple of years now, with Tony Scott most recently attached to take the helm. Scott sadly passed away before his iteration of the film could make it to the screen, but Warner Bros. is still keen on getting this thing going and they’re roping in some major star power to move it forward as Will Smith is currently in negotiations to star in and produce the Wild Bunch remake. Hit the jump for more.
Sony Pictures has released the first clip from director M. Night Shyamalan’s upcoming sci-fi film After Earth. The pic stars Will Smith and Jaden Smith as a father and son who crash land on a post-apocalyptic Earth, and it’s up to the son to fight for survival when the father is seriously injured. This debut clip shows how all of the action is put into motion, as we see Will Smith’s Cypher Raige (I still can’t get over that character name) explaining to his son that in order to get to the plane’s distress beacon, he will have to travel a very long distance over an incredibly harsh terrain.
Hit the jump to watch the clip. The film also stars Sophie Okonedo and Zoe Kravitz. After Earth opens on May 31st.
To this point, all of the marketing for After Earth have highlighted Will and Jaden Smith, which is understandable. They’re the lead actors, and Will Smith is a movie star. But there are other actors in the movie, and we now have the first images of co-stars Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda) and Zoe Kravitz (X-Men: First Class). The film centers Kitai Raige (Jaden Smith) and his father Cypher (Will Smith), who crash land on a post-apocalyptic Earth, and it’s up to Kitai to fight for survival when Cypher is seriously injured. Okonedo plays Cypher’s wife, and Kravitz plays their eldest daughter. I don’t know the size of their roles, but I appreciate the film for having a primarily black cast since that never happens when it comes to blockbuster action films.
Hit the jump to check out the images. After Earth opens May 31st.
Sony Pictures has released a couple of new high-resolution images and a new TV spot for director M. Night Shyamalan’s upcoming sci-fi film After Earth. The pic stars Will Smith and Jaden Smith as a father and son who crash land on a post-apocalyptic Earth, and it’s up to the son to fight for survival when the father is seriously injured. The images don’t really reveal much by way of the film’s environment, but the Earth Day-centric TV spot does feature some new footage that gives us a look at the evacuation of Earth that occurs in the film.
Hit the jump to check out the images and TV spot. The film also stars Zoe Kravitz, Sophie Okonedo, and Isabelle Fuhrman. After Earth opens on May 31st.
Just two days after signing on to topline Focus, Will Smith seems intent on keeping himself busy, with two films possibly lined up after the grifter pic. The action star is reportedly considering two projects he’s had on his radar for quite a while, the first of which is the drama American Can, where he’d be taking the role of a “reluctant hero” during the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina for director Edward Zwick (The Last Samurai). On top of that, there is the possibility that Smith would also star in the thriller The Accountant. Hit the jump for more.
Sony is making a last-minute release date change for director M. Night Shyamalan’s sci-fi film After Earth. The film will now open a week earlier, on May 31st, instead of its original June 7th date. The pic only faced the comedy The Internship on its original release date, but Man of Steel is poised to open a week later on June 14th. It’s safe to assume that Sony is trying to give After Earth a bit more time in theaters before Superman comes in and dominates the box office for who knows how long. Buzz on Man of Steel is incredibly positive, and if the Warner Bros. film turns out to be as good as everyone’s saying, it will most definitely have very long legs.
After Earth, which stars Will Smith and Jaden Smith as a father/son team stranded on a deadly, apocalyptic future Earth, will now open opposite the magician action/adventure pic Now You See Me and Universal’s horror film The Purge starring Ethan Hawke. Hit the jump for the film’s poster and synopsis.
Will Smith is reportedly in final talks to join Focus, a con artist picture set up at Warner Bros. The story follows a young woman who’s just getting into the con game and teams up with a seasoned veteran to gain experience. Ben Affleck was previously attached to star, but dropped out in order to work on his next project. Recent reports also have Kristen Stewart, who had previously been attached, departing the picture. Glenn Ficarra and John Requa of Crazy, Stupid, Love wrote the film and will direct. Hit the jump for more.
Will Smith was Quentin Tarantino‘s first choice to play Django in Django Unchained. It was a great opportunity for the actor to finally take a chance in his safe career, but he decided to pass on the role. In November, Tarantino said that while he met with Smith, “It just wasn’t 100 percent right, and we didn’t have time to try to make it that way.” Smith is slightly notorious for coming in and rewriting scripts, but no one gets to rewrite Tarantino.
Smith has now commented on his side of the story, and why he chose to pass on the Oscar-winning picture. Hit the jump for more.
The long-gestating remake of the 1970 sci-fi film Colossus: The Forbin Project is now seeing new life with a new screenwriter. Reports have Ed Solomon (Men in Black) set to rewrite the script of Colossus, which is expected to star Will Smith. Blake Masters and Jason Rothenberg previously turned in drafts of the sci-fi screenplay, which centers on Smith in the role of Dr. Charles Forbin, the creator of a computer that has taken over the world and the only scientist who can stop it. THR reported that Solomon will once again team on a Smith-starrer with the rewrite.
I realize that it’s a little too March to be discussing my favorite holiday gifts, but I only recently had the opportunity to dive into one of mine and, as a result, I feel the need to share it’s greatness with our readers. The ESPN 30 for 30 Collector’s Set Blu-ray is an outstanding collection of sports documentaries that is rife with social commentary and almost sure to have something for sports and/or documentary fans alike. Before I get accused of paid programming, I’ll disclaim that all thirty of its films aren’t home runs (that’s right, a sports pun). Moreover, I’m fairly sure that all of the series’ entries are available to watch instantly on Netflix right now making the physical collection redundant for some. Regardless of how you partake, I encourage you to sift through the series, find a topic that interests you, and give it a shot.
All recommendations aside, this week’s Top 5 features a healthy portion of Iron Man 3 coverage (including the new trailer), Oz the Great and Powerful interviews with Sam Raimi, James Franco, Mila Kunis, and more, the first trailer for The Hangover Part III, a sizable Justice League movie rumor, and the new trailer and poster for Will Smith and Jaden Smith‘s After Earth. As you may be expecting, a brief recap and link for each of the above waits after the jump.