‘Congeniality’ Guns for Top Spot
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Warner Bros. Pictures is taking the unusual step of opening the broad comedy “Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous” on Thursday, the day before Good Friday.
That move should put the welcomed sequel in the top spot at the boxoffice for the Easter weekend. But Sony Pictures also will be out to lure a wide audience this weekend with its racially themed comedy “Guess Who.”
The original “Miss Congeniality,” which opened during Christmas 2000, grossed $106 million domestically. The sequel could double the original’s opening four-day weekend take of $13 million.
This time around, Sandra Bullock is forced to go undercover in Las Vegas to find pageant host Stan Fields (William Shatner) and Miss United States Cheryl Frazier (Heather Burns). Gone from the sequel is Bullock’s original co-star Benjamin Bratt, who is replaced by Regina King as Bullock’s ballsy new partner. The film was directed by John Pasquin, whose credits range from Tim Allen’s “Joe Somebody” and “The Santa Clause” to the Bullock-produced TV show “George Lopez.”
The screenplay is from Marc Lawrence, who in addition to writing a number of Bullock features — including “Two Weeks Notice” and the original “Miss Congeniality” — serves as a producer along with Bullock. The PG-13 film will bow in 3,183 theaters Thursday (March 24).
Sony Pictures’ “Guess Who” reinvents the iconic 1967 film “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” as a modern-day comedy starring Bernie Mac and Ashton Kutcher. Flipping the issue of race relations on its head, “Guess Who” stars Mac as a protective father who is horrified when his daughter brings home fiance Kutcher.
Working with a screenplay by Jay Scherick and David Ronn (“National Security,” “I Spy”) and Peter Tolan (“America’s Sweethearts,” “Analyze This”), Kevin Rodney Sullivan (“Barbershop 2: Back in Business,” “How Stella Got Her Groove Back”) directs the two comedic stars.
Mac, who has had significant success on the small screen, has yet to score big as a feature lead. In his most recent time out, in Buena Vista’s “Mr. 3000,” he failed to bring in much of an audience, with the film generating only $21.8 million after opening to a disappointing $8.6 million.
Kutcher, who is slated to star in several films this year, has had significant success in various genres, including last year’s supernatural thriller “The Butterfly Effect,” which grossed $57.9 million, and the romantic comedy “Just Married,” which grossed $56.1 million.
Industry insiders expect “Guess Who” to open in the $15 million range. It is set to open Friday in 3,147 theaters.
SECRET AGENT GIRLS
In limited release, Samuel Goldwyn Films will open “D.E.B.S.” in seven markets with 45 runs. Rated PG-13, the film is based on the short film of the same name by writer-director Angela Robinson. It revolves around four plaid-skirted high school girls who are drafted to be secret agents because of their unique abilities to lie, cheat and fight. The film bowed at last year’s Outfest film festival.
IFC this weekend will open Rebecca Miller’s drama “The Ballad of Jack and Rose” in New York and Los Angeles. The film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, stars Daniel Day-Lewis as a single father raising his teenage daughter, Rose (Camilla Belle), on a secluded island in the Pacific Northwest. Catherine Keener co-stars in the R-rated film.
“Mondovino,” from ThinkFilm, is opening Friday in New York. The PG-13 documentary centers on the wine industry and how American capitalism has affected this centuries-old business.
Tartan Films is opening “Oldboy” on Friday in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. From Korean director Chan-wook Park, “Oldboy” was the grand prize winner at the 2004 Festival de Cannes. The thriller centers on a man who, after being kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years, must find his captor in five days.
‘Congeniality’ Guns for Top Spot