Box Office: MONSTERS hold, HEAT exceeds, WHITE HOUSE goes DOWN!

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Two female-slanting action films saturated the market this weekend to varying success, but neither would take the crown. MONSTERS UNIVERSITY maintained its Pixar chokehold on general audiences, but female buddy-cop film THE HEAT (starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy) did very well on its opening weekend with over $40 million.

Disaster master Roland Emmerich’s newest film (and second “DIE HARD in the White House” film this year) WHITE HOUSE DOWN earned a meager $25.7 million, much less than OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN did back in March. MAN OF STEEL won a respectable $20 million, and is now the #2 film in the nation for 2013 behind IRON MAN 3. WORLD WAR Z kept a great hold on audiences, suggesting some impressive word-of-mouth.

Here are the figures from Collider:
1. Monsters University $46.18M
2. The Heat $40.00M
3. World War Z $29.8M
4. White House Down $25.7M
5. Man of Steel $20.82
6. This Is The End $8.7M
7. Now You See Me $5.5M
8. Fast & Furious 6 $2.41M
9. Star Trek Into Darkness $2.04M
10. The Internship $1.42M

Box Office: MONSTERS will reign, HEAT & WHITE HOUSE DOWN will duel!

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The predictions from Box Office Mojo are in and it looks like last week’s 14th consecutive Pixar win, MONSTERS UNIVERSITY, will be holding onto the box office crown. The real battle will be second place, where two heavy-on-female-appeal films will duke it out for Number 2. Box Office Mojo says that THE HEAT will take second by a sliver, but I think the PG-13 summer vacation and male push will get WHITE HOUSE DOWN the silver medal.

Forecast (June 28-30)
1. Monsters University – $44.8 million
2. The Heat – $42.2 million
3. White House Down – $38.3 million
4. World War Z – $31.7 million
5. Man of Steel – $20.3 million

New TERMINATOR film set for June 26, 2015, launching new trilogy!

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He’ll be back in 2015. Paramount, Annapurna Pictures, and Skydance Productions have announced that the new TERMINATOR movie will be released on June 26, 2015, adding yet another massive release to that year’s calendar. The pic is described as a “rebooted Terminator movie,” and the press release notes that the new film will be the first in a stand-alone trilogy, so it certainly sounds like connectivity to the previous films will be light if not absent altogether.

Despite this fact, Arnold Schwarzenegger has repeatedly said that he’ll be in the film and the most recent rumors have Dwayne Johnson possibly going toe-to-toe with The Governator. The press release doesn’t lie, though, and it sure does make this Terminator sound like a wholly separate thing. Laeta Kalorgridis and Patrick Lussier wrote the screenplay, and with a firm release date set, the next order of business will be attaching a director. Let the speculation begin! Hit the jump for more.

But seriously, you guys, 2015 is going to be nuts. In addition to THE AVENGERS 2, INDEPENDENCE DAY 2, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 5, FINDING DORY, THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 2, THE FANTASTIC FOUR, ANT MAN, JURASSIC PARK 5, possibly STAR WARS: EPISODE VII and AVATAR 2 and probably MAN OF STEEL 2, we now have a new TERMINATOR movie slated for release. You should probably start saving up now.

Mark Wahlberg to star in Peter Berg’s AMERICAN DESPERADO!

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Though they only just finished working together on the Navy SEAL thriller LONE SURVIVOR, director Peter Berg and actor Mark Wahlberg are already planning a reunion project. Fresh off a new adaptation by Oscar-winning THE DEPARTED screenwriter William Monahan, Wahlberg has become attached to star in AMERICAN DESPERADO with Berg (BATTLESHIP) directing. The book is based on a series of interviews between Generation Kill author/journalist Evan Wright and super-criminal Jon Roberts, the focus of the documentary “Cocaine Cowboys”.

Roberts’ life story can be filed under “stranger than fiction,” as he recounts being born into Mafia royalty, running guns for the CIA, smuggling cocaine for the Medellin cartel, and brushing elbows with the likes of Richard Pryor and Jimi Hendrix. As for Wahlberg, he’s currently filming the starring role in Michael Bay’s TRANSFORMERS 4, and Universal is still hoping to possibly begin production on TED 2 later this year. AMERICAN DESPERADO certainly sounds like an incredibly promising project, and the caliber of talent materializing behind the scenes is impressive. Here’s hoping everything comes together.

Phil Lord and Chris Miller to develop NINJAGO movie and THE REUNION!

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After the first teaser trailer for writers/directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s upcoming animated film THE LEGO MOVIE was met with a wildly positive response last week, Warner Bros. is already looking to move forward with another LEGO toy adaptation: NINJAGO. Heat Vision reports that the studio is developing a feature film adaptation of the Eastern-infused, ninja themed LEGO toy line Ninjago.

This is in keeping with Warner Bros.’ new strategy of releasing one “high-end” animated film per year, as they have been developing a number of propertieis with talented filmmakers like Lord/Miller and Nicholas Stoller. Lord and Miller will act as producers on NINJAGO alongside Dan Lin and Roy Lee, and the project is reportedly close to landing a director.

Lord and Miller, who wrote 21 JUMP STREET (and now 22 JUMP STREET, due June 13, 2014) will also be working on a comedy involving a high school reunion that is sure to be a hilarious hit if they keep on their impressive streak in Hollywood. In many ways, the writing-directing duo is following the career path of the Farelly Bros in the 90’s, so let’s hope these two keep delivering the goods for a long time to come.

CAPTAIN PLANET to get a feature film adaptation!

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Sony is reportedly in final negotiations for CAPTAIN PLANET AND THE PLANETEERS, a live-action feature based on the 1990s environmentally-oriented cartoon series. The adaptation was initially reported almost two years ago, but the involvement of a major studio is a big win for Cap fans. The series centered on five teens from around the world who were chosen to be the bearers of powerful elemental rings which would help them battle looters and polluters. When the threat was too great for them to handle on their own, they combined their powers to summon the mighty Don Cheadle Captain Planet, who then took pollution down to zero (see the “Captain Planet” skits on FunnyOrDie.com, you won’t regret it).

Heat Vision reports that CAPTAIN PLANET is all but locked up for Sony. It’s far too early to report on screenwriters and possible story angles, let alone directors and cast members, but at the same time, this is a great moment in time for this particular tale. Not only are there plenty of real world events for screenwriters to draw from (ie franchisability), an almost guaranteed international box office success to bank on (with leads taken from all of the world’s major markets), and a rare opportunity to educate a new generation of environmentalists, there’s a chance here to darken the tone of the story and make it resonate with more real-world implications.

“What kind of lame superpower is Heart, anyway?”