Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

Russell Crowe the $200 million man at foreign box office

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russell2Russell Crowe’s career may cooled a little in North America, but the New Zealand-born Australian resident remains a firm favorite with international audiences.

His latest release, “Robin Hood,” just passed the $200 million mark at the foreign box office, the first time he has hit a double-century since his Oscar-winning “Gladiator” ended up with $270 million in 2000.

On a worldwide basis, including respectable U.S./Canada sales of $104 million, the period action-adventure has earned $305.7 million. The only films ahead of it in Crowe’s canon are “Gladiator” ($457 million) and “A Beautiful Mind” ($313.5 million). Crowe will likely have to wait until later this year to see if “Robin Hood” can move up to No. 2. The film has yet to open in just one market — Japan, in December. 

According to “Robin Hood” distributor Universal Pictures, top foreign markets so far include: Britain ($22 million), France ($17 million), Australia ($16 million), Italy ($14 million), Germany ($14 million), Spain ($12 million), Russia $12 million, South Korea $10 million, Mexico $9 million, Brazil ($8 million) and China ($7 million).

Love and Marriage … the box office equation?

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The top three directors at the North American box office have walked down the aisle a total of 11 times, leading to the decidedly unscientific conclusion that romantic comedies may be better for your marriage than heavy dramas.

garryGarry Marshall (pictured at left), the man behind last weekend’s champion “Valentine’s Day” as well as “Pretty Woman” and the sitcom “Happy Days,” let the team down by being married just once, to the same woman since 1963 (per Wikipedia).

Hugh Grant, Sarah Jessica Parker movie flops — few noticed

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“No” appears to be the resounding response when someone mentions the new movie “Did You Hear About the Morgans?” The interrogative fish-out-of-water comedy starring Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker, earned just $7 million at the weekend box office in North America, coming in at No. 4.

hughThe good news is that few fans seemed to really noticed, because all eyes were on “Avatar,” which opened to $73 million. It was a savvy scheduling move by Columbia Pictures that just didn’t work out. If “Morgans” had done well, the studio could have hailed it as a bold counterprogramming move.

Vampires + romance = box office love

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twilight-fans(Reporting and video by Marc Price)

Since when did girls start liking guys that stay up all hours at night — drinking? Blood, no less. Since when? Since always. And if a vamp knows how to bite more than her neck, all the better.

Vampire flicks have come a long way since Bella Lugosi, and while we’re a little young to have seen Lugosi in theaters, we do remember Jim Carrey and Lauren Hutton in “Once Bitten” (Today, that would be titled “Cougar Vampire”). We remember “An American Werewolf in London” and “Teen Wolf” — we’re allowed to mention werewolves given “New Moon” and its pack. And we can say, the beasts are doing far better today romancing the gals.

Sandra Bullock scores touchdown at box office

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It’s been a wild year at the box office for Sandra Bullock, whose report card this decade has been middling at best.

sandyThe actress, 45, returned to theaters for the first time in more than two years in June with the romantic comedy “The Proposal,” which went on to become the biggest film of her career (before accounting for inflation), with $164 million in domestic ticket sales. But then came her September stinker, “All About Steve,” which was one of her weakest entries with $34 million in ticket sales. She is pictured at the premiere of the latter film, looking happier than she should have been.

Fans seek midnight romance under light of “New Moon”

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lautner2Fans lined up Thursday night at movie theaters to be among the first to get bitten by the “New Moon” phenomenon, the sequel to last year’s “Twilight.” The vampire romance movie ended up setting a box office record of $26.3 million for those midnight screenings by drawing fans like the ones profiled in our Fan Fare video below.

Who will go to “New Moon?” Lots of teen girls, for sure, but also moms who are into the story, young women and the men they drag along on dates. Those groups are expected to snap up tickets to the tune of about $100 million at U.S. and Canadian box offices this weekend. That’s a lot of howling at the “New Moon.”

Michael Jackson’s “This Is It,” was it at box offices

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Michael Jackson movie “This Is It” has finally come, but it is not quite gone — not yet.jackson6

In fact Columbia Pictures, the movie studio behind the film that looks at Jackson’s rehearsals for the London concerts that were to have been his comeback, said on Sunday it would extend the run in theaters.

Box office gets “Wild” as adults groove with kids’ tale

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whild-thingsDirector Spike Jonze’s movie adaptation “Where the Wild Things Are” proved naysayers wrong this past weekend with a strong opening at U.S. box offices, making $32.5 million. The film brought Jonze’s hipster ethic to a popular 1963 children’s book, and managed to attract both adults and kids.

Of course, other movies have done that before, including this year’s Disney/Pixar film “Up.” But the doubters were particularly vocal about “Where the Wild Things Are” because early in the production process there were questions about whether the film was too scary for young kids and not scary enough for adults. You can read about some of it here, but none of those past concerns seemed to matter over the weekend.

Four months of summer end in a Hollywood haze

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hollywood-signThe summer movie season is officially over with the end of this weekend and — much like a hazy day in Hollywood –  results were mixed. Box office was up based on higher average ticket prices, but attendance was down, which generally speaking has been the case for years as movies competed with other forms of entertainment.

The expected big hits, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” and “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” paid handsomely at box offices. Some movies flopped: “Land of the Lost,” “Year One.” Others were big surprises: “The Hangover.” And the indie market did well with “500 Days of Summer” and “The Hurt Locker.”

‘Harry Potter’ sales fail to live up to opening weekend hype

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Remember the breathless reports concerning the record-breaking opening of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” in July?

emmaThe sixth movie in the fantasy franchise surpassed “Spider-Man 3″ to set new worldwide ($394 million) and foreign ($236 million) records, and its North American tally ($158.0 million) was $18 million higher than that of “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” two years earlier. (Note: Data are slightly different in the link as they were estimates, and the final figures were issued the following day.)

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