The holiday comedy FOUR CHRISTMASES held the top spot at the nations box-office for the second straight weekend, pulling in $16.7 million for a two week total of $69.4 mill. The films co-star, Reese Witherspoon, pocketed a cool $14 million to do the movie which should make her Christmas pretty joyful.
TWILIGHT placed second, grossing $13 mill in ticket sales for a three week total of $138.4. In an interesting footnote, Summit Entertainment and Catherine Hardwicke jointly announced on Sunday night that she would not be coming back to direct the films sequel, FULL MOON. Despite the huge success with their collaboration, it appears bad blood developed between the two parties.
Other box-office items of interest: PUNISHER: WAR ZONE bombed pulling in a paltry $4.3 mill on a budget of $35. Forget the fact that most critics weren’t kind, Lionsgate did a horrible job of marketing the film as trailers never revealed any story arc, only showing gunfire aplenty. Still I’m surprised it had such an anemic turnout. Here’s a LOOK at the weekends Top ten
With only a handful of days before its release there’s not a single review posted on Rotten Tomatoes for THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL. My gut feeling – NOT a great sign. With its current trailers less than spectacular, one has to wonder if 20th Century Fox’s holiday tent pole film is set to lay a massive box-office egg.
According to an interview with comingsoon.com, Producers Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy said plans have fallen through on JURASSIC PARK 4. While I have mixed feelings about this news it’s most likely for the best. There’s not really much more that can be done with the concept that hasn’t already been explored, and the element of pure wonder pretty much dissipated after Spielberg’s amazing original. Still, with the enormous fan base this franchise has, I wouldn’t say another Jurassic Park film won’t materialize sometime down the road.
10. 24- While last season was somewhat of a creative disappointment, mostly in the later episodes, I still love the Jack Bauer character. The first five seasons were top notch entertainment with the producers having the guts to take the subject of terrorism head on. An interesting fact in a post 9-11 world. Kiefer Sutherland revived his career as Bauer and he’s never been better. With the recent Two Hour TV movie 24: Redemption getting things back on track, I’m thoroughly looking forward to season seven in January.
9. TERMINATOR: SARAH CONNER CHRONICLES- When they first announced the production of this series, which takes place in the time period between Terminator 2 and 3, I never thought it would be very good. Boy was I wrong! This is a terrific show that takes the terminator mythology very seriously and features a very solid cast lead by Lena Headey as Sarah Conner. Its action sequences are TV’s best!
8. RESCUE ME- Denis Leary might be an acquired taste for some, but I really like him and his FX show about a group of NYC fire fighters and their turbulent personal lives. Sometimes funny, sometimes serious, this is a slice of life that feels very real.
7. ENTOURAGE- The fastest moving half hour on television. The Mark Wahlberg produced HBO program continues to be highly entertaining and is anchored by the brilliant work of Jeremy Piven who plays super agent Ari Gold. The shows at a creative highpoint!
6. FRINGE- This JJ Abrams produced program plays like a cross between the X-Files and House with a touch of the Twilight Zone thrown in for good measure. Extremely well thought out, the show keeps getting better with each episode in its first season on Fox. Newcomer Anna Torv is terrific as the lead FBI investigator, Olivia Dunham. John Noble, an actor mostly known for stage work, is an absolute revelation as the mentally unstable scientist Walter Bishop. He fascinates with every scene he appears in. I smell Emmy award in his future!
5. BROTHERS & SISTERS- A highly enjoyable melodrama that never misses a beat. Sally Field at her neurotic best leads the cast as family matriarch, Nora Walker, in the best melodrama since Knots Landing back in the 1980’s. Highly enjoyable week after week!
4. NIP TUCK- One of the great guilty pleasures on television. This FX show is definitely geared to an adult audience. It focuses on two of television’s most interesting characters, plastic surgeons Sean McNamara (Dylan Walsh) Christian Troy (Julian McMahon). What makes this so much fun is that nothing is taboo and it does a great job exploring the duality of human nature. I love it!
3. FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS- The 2004 Billy Bob Thornton film about a small Texas town and its love affair with High School football was very good, but the show is even better. Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton are terrific as the teams head coach and his wife. This is the best program on air about ordinary people. It continues to be overlooked during Emmy awards season.
2. DEXTER- Writing doesn’t get any better than this Showtime program. The show explores the character of Dexter Morgan, a blood splatter expert by day and an empathetic serial killer who takes out bad guys by night. Michael C. Hall is brilliant in the title role and all the supporting characters including, Jennifer Carpenter (his sister Deb), are all top notch. MUST see TV!
1. LOST- Easily the most inventive mind-bending program since Rod Serlings Twilight Zone in the 1960’s. It’s amazing how the writers have managed to keep the show about a stranded group of people on a mysterious island fascinating week in and week out. But they have! The introduction of flash forward scenes two seasons ago was a brilliant move. This is the ONE I cannot miss!