Box Office Mojo is reporting today that this past weekend’s box office was off 44% from the same time period last year, but one film still opened strong. “Identity Thief,” the new overrated comedy starring Melissa McCarthy (“Bridesmaids”), grossed about $36.6 million. Its “B” Cinema Score should hopefully keep it from grossing too much, but studios are estimating it will cross $100 million (undeserved). “Warm Bodies” fell to second place with $11.5 million, and now the romantic zombie movie has grossed about $36.7 million. The best movie of the weekend, “Side Effects,” opened in third with $10.02 million, and its disappointing “B” Cinema Score will keep it from growing too much more. In fourth was “Silver Linings Playbook” which grossed another $6.9 million, and will have grossed over $100 million by the Oscars. “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” rounded out the top five with an estimated $5.75 million, and has grossed a decent $43.8 million. I expected it to do a lot worse considering its subject matter, but I guess people accepted the enjoyable premise.Critically acclaimed director Quentin Tarantino (“Pulp Fiction”) has had many wondering what his next project would be, and thanks to Empire we have a little insight now. Quentin has always said he was thinking about making a trilogy out of his “rewritten history” films, which to date include “Django Unchained” and “Inglourious Basterds,” and he looks to be continuing that trend with his next film. At a press conference for BAFTA winners Quentin said, “This [rewritten history theme] begs a trilogy; it begs to have a third movie on this theme. I haven’t decided about what yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised…” Keeping in mind he has been talking a lot lately about making an “The Untouchables” style 1920s gangster flick I wouldn’t be completely thrown off if that is what he did next, but he also has “Killer Crow.” The latter grew out of his miniseries-length script for “Inglourious Basterds,” which would focus on a group of black soldiers who go AWOL in 1944 after the invasion of Normandy. As long as Samuel L. Jackson is in it I’m sure this movie will be fantastic, and whatever he does I will be the first in line to see it.
THR has learned that the long-in-development adaptation of Jonathan Tropper’s novel “This is Where I Leave You” is finally seeing some movement. Originally Adam Shankman was set to direct the project, but now Shawn Levy (“Real Steel”) has signed on as director and Jason Bateman (“Identity Thief”) is now on board to star (again). The book tells the story of a dysfunctional family that is forced to reunite when their father requests they sit Shivah for seven days following his death. The incredibly gorgeous Mary Elizabeth Winstead (“The Thing”), the incredibly overrated Zoe Saldana (“Avatar”), and the incredibly crazy Isla Fisher (“Wedding Crashers”) are all reading for the role of Penny, the love that got away. The talented Amy Adams (“Trouble with the Curve”) is in the mix for a part also, but (of course) isn’t being asked to read for the role. I was worried Levy would be selling himself short by signing on to direct “Night at the Museum 3,” but now that he is doing this character driven drama first I have more faith in his choices.
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