Tuesday, 22 March 2011 Written by Ivan Radford
Rango has reached the top of the UK Box Office after a lukewarm week that saw no-one make very much money. But don't worry: Submarine didn't sink, even if it did surface in 12th place. More on that later.
Dreamworks' animated Western took the number one spot from Battle: Los Angeles, dropping 32% down to £1.05m. That's not a lot for a chart-topper, but it's got a healthy £5m running total now, which it's clocked up outside of half term and without 3D uplifts.
It's also the only film to take more than £1 million this week, as it doesn't look like many people went to the pictures over the weekend: Rango's £500k drop is more than most of the new releases made in their first week.
Chalet Girl sloped in at number four (the highest of the debuts) with an alright £677k. Taking into account the usually reliable demographic of teenage girls, though, it's a bit of a downhill run for the rather excellent rom-com (that's right: it's excellent). Still, its Wednesday-Thursday previews helped it jump over The Lincoln Lawyer, which came in fifth with £571k.
The week's other popular release was Anuvahood, which had a solid opening, taking £536k from around 149 cinemas. That's an average of £3,600 per screen, the best of the UK Top Ten, which not only beats Felicity Jones and Matthew McConaughey but also makes it look bare easy, blud, you get me? Regardless of negative reviews and the limited print run, the audience for the gangsta comedy clearly liked the film - even more than I liked using the word 'blud' in that last sentence.
Tuesday, 15 March 2011 Written by Ivan Radford
Battle: Los Angeles stormed the UK Box Office this weekend with an opening of £1.79m. That’s just ahead of Rango, which took £1.54m in its second week.
Jonathan Liebesman’s crap alien invasion didn’t light up the UK as it did the US ($36m across the pond should have led to £3.6m here), but Aaron Eckhart’s chin stuck out just far enough to hold off Nickelodeon’s Sergio Chameleone – and that’s no mean feat, given that the gun-toting lizard dropped a microscopic 6.02%. That’s a difference of just £98k from its £1.64m opening, proving that people are still enjoying Rango outside of half term.
The week’s other victory belonged to Unknown, as Liam Neeson leapfrogged Matt Damon into third place. Neeson’s amnesiac revenge thriller had the higher screen average last week and continues to pack in the punters, even though The Adjustment Bureau holds around 100 more screens. So while Damon dropped a typical 35%, Neeson shaved off only 23%. Bourne meets Aslan. Aslan wins.
Tuesday, 08 March 2011 Written by Ivan Radford
Rango has wrangled the UK Box Office ahead of The Adjustment Bureau, with an opening of £1.64m. Phillip K. Dick's sci-fi story came in second with £1.36m.
It's a solid start for Gore Verbinski's Western, which risked opening at the end of half-term after achieving the highest opening of 2011 so far in the US ($38m). It was a hard sell, too, given the adult-friendly nature of the gun-toting cartoon, but Paramount will be pleased to walk off with CGI stetson held high.
The timing of Rango's release was key. If it did open a week earlier, it would have faced tough competition from Yogi Bear, Gnomeo & Juliet and Tangled - all of which saw drops close to 70% as kids headed away from the multiplexes and back to school. As a result, Rango is now the animated film with the most screens in the UK (suck on that, Disney's Tangled, down in 12th place).
Friday, 04 March 2011 Written by Selina Pearson
Director: Gore Verbinski
Cast: Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin
From the director of Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (hurrah!) and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (erm, perhaps not), Rango is an animated oddity. The trailers were cryptic to say the least - hello, clockwork fish - but Gore Verbinski's latest effort is an excellent existential Western. Sadly, there aren't more wind-up fish.
Tuesday, 28 September 2010 Written by Ivan Radford
Gore Verbinski is in talks to reunite with his Pirates of the Caribbean star Johnny Depp and take the helm of The Lone Ranger.
Disney's take on the Western has had Depp attached for some time as Tonto, the Ranger's faithful sidekick. And now the man who directed Depp's Jack Sparrow is looking to spur on the project, which previously looked to be headed up by Mike Newell.
This would be the second time Depp and Verbisnki have worked together since Pirates, because the two of them re-teamed on wacky chameleon cartoon Rango - that one with the clockwork fish. Verbinski didn't fancy rebooting Pirates and that ship sailed over to Rob Marshall, but the actor and director are clearly keen to work with each other.
Depp's looking at Dark Shadows with Tim Burton in the near future, but Disney could quite easily rope Depp into a shooting schedule if Verbinski officially confirmed. Then Gore would be one step closer to usurping Tim Burton. Which presumably has been his evil plan all along.
Sunday, 26 September 2010 Written by Ivan Radford
As public booking opens this week, the London Film Festival gears up for its biggest seller: the Surprise Film. Last year, the surprise was a fat man with a beard. Michael Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story was actually a decent documentary, but it was hardly the Wild Thing the room wanted or expected. As seasoned LFF-ers groaned at the "surprise", Cilla Black was in the back with Sandra Hebron laughing her ginger arse off.
So how do you go about following that? Hunt through the UK release schedule and pick out all the big festival-friendly films that haven't made the LFF's line-up. But there are some you can discount straight away. Tron Legacy? No way. Narnia's Voyage of the Dawn Treader? Not before the Queen - that's this year's Royal Premiere in November. And Meet the Parents: Little Fockers? Well, there are better reasons for me to shoot myself, so fate won't let that one happen.
Then there are other candidates, like Monsters, but after its high profile slot at Film4 FrightFest, it won't grace the capital again before its delayed December release. Deathly Hallows wouldn't want to dent its box office impact. The Tourist has a high profile December release for its stars to focus on. Burke and Hare is too close to release. And as for the long-awaited Paul? That would be just a little too out of the blue.
So what stands a good chance of surprising everyone this year? Well, there's talk of December's Love and Other Drugs (a viagra rom-com from Edward Zwick) and even Paul Haggis' The Next Three Days (out next year - already press screened), but here are some of the films I think are more likely to be on Sandra's shortlist.
Wednesday, 30 June 2010 Written by Ivan Radford
Gore Verbinski - the man responsible for the weirdest trailer of all time - has signed on to direct The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. 20th Century Fox tweeted all about it, announced Verbinski as the man to bring the remake the 1947 film after years of development limbo.
Ron Howard and Steven Spielberg were both attached at one point or another, with stars like Owen Wilson and Jim Carrey, even Mike Myers, lined up as the titular comic book writer. Living in a world of daydreams, Mitty is given clues to the hidden location of the Crown Jewels of Holland by a mysterious lady.
Steve Conrad is picking up the pen for this one. Now all Verbinski needs is a lead actor - judging by past efforts, he should have quite a few men to choose from.
Wednesday, 30 June 2010 Written by Ivan Radford
Remember Rango? The chameleon with the identity crisis? That freaky video with the clockwork fish? Well, now we have more trippy stuff to enjoy. Like a full-length trailer.
Johnny Depp voices the befuddled lizard. whose life is constantly under threat. Animated by ILM and written by Gladiator's John Logan, Gore Verbinski's mind-bending cartoon also features vocals from Ray Winstone, Abigail Breslin, Timothy Olyphant and Bill Nighy.
With Depp pulling his most confused and terrified face, Rango's journey of self-discovery, winding across deserts, past cacti and through one giant vat of psychotropic substances, looks to be something to remember. Or, more accurately, forget in the happy haze of a drug-addled stupour.
The trailer's over at Apple, but you can read on for the full video and check out Rango's eye-catching Hawaiian shirt on the rather colourful poster (thanks for FirstShowing for that one).
Thursday, 10 June 2010 Written by Ivan Radford
No. I don't understand what the hell is going on here either.
Rango, Gore Verbinski's animated movie, stars Johnny Depp as a chameleon with an identity crisis, alongside Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Alfred Molina, Bill Nighy, Harry Dean Stanton, Ray Winstone, and Timothy Olyphant, It's released over here next April.