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December 3, 2007 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | December 3, 2007 |

5. Hitman: I just took a gander at the top 25 video-game films of all time, and aside from the fact that there is not one single quality film on the list, only one has even broken the $100 million mark (Tomb Raider). So, why? Why do Hollywood studios continue to drink from a muddy well? Hitman looks to reap around a $50 million take before it’s all said and done, which will actually put it around number five. Whatever. Lost in the shuffle here is the presence of Dougray Scott in Hitman — what happened to that guy? Heading up to Mission: Impossible II, he was poised to be the next big action star. And then he just sort of vanished. I wonder if he’d be doing tacky Broadway musicals if he’d taken the role of Wolverine in X-Men instead of opting to do MI:II? I suppose we’ll never know. (Weekend: $6 million; Total: $30 million).

4. Awake: On Friday, I began my review of Awake by dismissing the “I wish I were asleep” angle, in some part because I assumed it would’ve been a popular tack among other critics. And hell if I wasn’t right. The one thing about most movie critics is that they will never pass up an opportunity to either make a pun or a play on words. I checked just a few reviews of Awake and discovered the following gems from various publications, online and off: 1) “You’re better off sleeping than sit (sic) through Awake”; 2) Awake is more likely to put you to sleep”; 3) “The filmmakers of Awake have crafted a domestic thriller that just may end up putting you ASLEEP”; 4) I will admit that I didn’t have a problem staying awake during Awake, which is saying something considering I was running on only one hour of sleep”; 5) “Awake review: Best stay asleep”; 6) “You really might want to sleep through it”; 7) “Far from the epitome of time well spent, Awake will probably make you wish you hadn’t been”; 8) “A thriller that can put viewers to sleep”; and 9) then there was The Hollywood Reporter, the only major publication that liked Awake, though that didn’t stop their critic from using the easy line, writing: “Awake didn’t deserve the big sleep.” I think I may have turned my face inside out groaning at those.

Anyway, how many people knew that Jessica Alba got her start on “Flipper” on the PAX Channel? Seriously.

(Weekend: $6 million.)

3. Beowulf: The Hollywood Reporter released its list of highest-paid actresses last week. Atop the list: Reese Witherspoon, who is 31. Second on the list was Angelina Jolie, who is 32-years-old. Is it just me, or is Jolie a hard looking 32? I mean, Brad Pitt is 44, and I never would’ve thought those two were more than a few years apart. And yeah, I have absolutely nothing left to say about Beowulf, except that — as it approaches $70 million — it’s got a long damn ways to go if it expects to break even on its budget of $150 million. (Weekend: $8 million; Total: $68 million.)

2. This Christmas: Has anyone ever stopped to consider just how ridiculous it is that there are so few black directors in Hollywood? There are, to my immediate recollection, three marquee African-American directors: Spike Lee, John Singleton, and Tyler Perry (the latter I include only because of his box-office draw). Forrest Whittaker and Denzel have a few mediocre to bad directing credits to their name, but then the next level of African-American directors includes a list of mostly unfamiliar names: Tim Story, Kevin Rodney Sullivan, Malcolm Lee, Carl Franklin, George Tillman, Jr. and the director of This Christmas, Preston Whitmore. I’m sure I’m missing someone, but for shits and giggles, can anyone name a black director — not on the above list — that’s made a film that has grossed more than $40 million domestic (and no, Chris Rock hasn’t managed it, either). (Weekend: $8.5 million; Total: $37 million.)

1. Enchanted: Holy shit! Who remembers that Amy Adams was in Drop Dead Gorgeous? Take a gander:

Note to self: Drop Dead Gorgeous needs to get the Underappreciated Gem treatment. Soon. (Weekend: $17 million; Total: $70 million.)

On DVD this week, you can have your choice of the regular edition of Superbad, the special edition of Superbad or even the unrated edition. Go ahead and buy all three, mix ‘em up, stick them in the DVD player blindly, and try to guess which is which. It’d be more fun that watching the other two releases, The Nanny Diaries and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.

Hey Hey, Miss Penthouse '98, Close Those Legs. I Could Drive a Boat Show In There

Box-Office Round-Up / Dustin Rowles

Industry | December 3, 2007 |

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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