Coming Soon: Natalie Portman stars in “Annihilation”

The trailer for this one looks interesting. Natalie Portman stars as a biologist signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition where the laws of nature don’t apply.

Based on Jeff VanderMeer’s best-selling Southern Reach Trilogy, “Annihilation” stars Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny and Oscar Isaac. It was written and directed by Alex Garland (“Ex Machina,” “28 Days Later”).

The film will be in theaters February 23, 2018.

  

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Weekend box office: “No Strings Attached” receives benefits from female filmgoers

Things this weekend went pretty much exactly according to what I wrote on Thursday. Still, there was some nervousness out there.

Ashton Kutcher, Natalie Portman, and Cary Elwes in Nikki Finke tells us the studios were skittish because of the commercial track record of leading man Ashton Kutcher; it seems I’m not the only male audience member to have a deep, lizard-brain level allergy to the Kutcher. Fortunately for Paramount, young women are the dominant (70%, possibly) audience here. The simplicity of the premise and the balancing presence of the widely beloved, sure-to-be-Oscar-nominated Natalie Portman seems to have been enough to earn “No Strings Attached” — originally, presumably very tentatively, titled “Fuckbuddies” — an estimated $20.3 million for Paramount. I didn’t care for the movie, pretty obviously, but I sort of expected it to do reasonably well. It delivers what’s advertised, has some mildly funny moments, and we’ve all been trained to think of romantic comedies as light-brained affairs. That last part just makes me sad.

Scrolling down the Box Office Mojo chart, “The Green Hornet” suffered a very typical 46% drop it’s second week. It therefore managed a respectable $18.1 million estimate for Sony, putting more than it half-way to making back its $120 million production budget. Ron Howard’s first comedy in many moons, “The Dilemma,” dropped roughly the same amount and continued on track with its soft opening at an estimate of $9.7 million for luckless but now ultra-powerful Universal, thanks to the mega-merger with Comcast.

A cluster of likely Oscar contenders are holding down the next several spots, led by “The King’s Speech.” The press loves a horserace and speculation on the very real possibility of an Oscar sweep for “The Social Network” has been slowed somewhat by the Producer’s Guild awarding of its top prize to the historical tale last night.

Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter in

With a first-rate combination of director (Tom Hooper) and star (Colin Firth) the drama is apparently getting some outstanding word of mouth. It suffered almost no drop at all from last week and it’s estimate for the Weinstein Company is bubbling under $9.2 million. It’s going to be crossing the $60 million threshold probably by mid-week, many times it’s $15 million budget.

It was kind of a funny week in limited release. Indiewire has the details, but Peter Weir’s “The Way Back” disappointed somewhat in about 600 theaters. Probably getting a significant boost from star Paul Giamatti‘s surprise Golden Globe win, “Barney’s Version” led the week in per-screen averages, earning about $10,000 each on 16 screens. Not bad for a movie about a creature thought to be as hard to find as a yeti, an occasionally rude Canadian.

  

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Weekend box office preview: Will the Kutcher and Natalie Portman swarm “The Green Hornet”?

There’s only one major new release this week and, yeah, I kind of hate it, but that’s never prevented a movie from making a nice sum at the box office.

No Strings Attached” features easily my last favorite star of this, or really any, generation, Ashton Kutcher. It also features the vastly more talented and likable Natalie Portman, a really strong supporting cast, and what I see as really lousy screenplay that can’t be salvaged by director Ivan Reitman or anyone else. The film is an attempt to do an Apatow-style comedy for youngish women and, leaving aside my personal dislike of the film, I have a hunch it will do rather well. It’s actually splitting critics which, considering it’s an Ashton Kutcher film, is probably the equivalent of an Oscar sweep.

Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman have

Given the film’s positive tracking among women discussed by THR’s Pamela McClintock, Ben Fritz says that the conventional wisdom is the movie will make roughly $20 million. That makes it a real threat to the #1 status of “The Green Hornet.” The action comedy earned roughly $33 million last weekend and, for that kind of film, a 50% week #2 drop is actually not doing at all badly. Also, considering the very modest budget of “No Strings” ($20 million), it’s almost sure to be profitable for Paramount.

A couple of interesting and well reviewed movies are also getting much more aggressive than usual limited releases. Director Peter Weir (“The Truman Show,” “Witness”) returns with Ed Harris in tow in the Gulag escape drama, “The Way Back” from Newmarket and the very topical star-driven “The Company Men” from director John Wells is out from the Weinstein Company. The real mystery is why these well-regarded, if not quite ecstatically received, films weren’t at least given a shot at awards with a pre-2011 Oscar-qualifying run.

  

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Friday trailer: Pardon my Kutcher

I guess at this point I’ve chosen my destiny to the extent that, barring some miraculous talent infusion, I will probably never interview Ashton Kutcher. It’s not just that he’s a mediocre actor, I’m just allergic to the guy. Something about his onscreen persona — a sense of entitlement backed up by pseudo intelligence, perhaps — just sets my teeth on edge and makes me want to punch him, and I am a very bad puncher who should never be punching anyone.

Nevertheless, I present this red-band trailer for his latest rom-com, “No Strings Attached.” It’s completely NSFW because it’s a bit fuck-happy, both in terms of the act and the heavy and loud use of the word itself, and it does have some chuckles. There’s a bit of Kevin Kline as Kutcher’s father at the beginning, heretical though the thought is that one of my favorite extant actors could begat a Kutcher. Also, for those of you to whom this is an inviting or repellent thought, be advised this trailer also contains a brief moment of what may be naked Kutcher keister. Natalie Portman is, at least, underclothed in many of the shots even if no specific naughty bits are revealed.

h/t Jay A. Fernandez of THR.

  

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Tuesday trailer: Natalie Portman is “The Other Woman”

Holiday frivolity and actual labor has me hellaciously hurried today, so the chatter will be minimal.

If John Cameron Mitchell’s upcoming “Rabbit Hole” doesn’t fulfill your acclaimed-yet-underrated-filmmaker dealing with a couple dealing with the death of a child needs, then here is Don Roos (“The Opposite of Sex”) taking on the topic in “The Other Woman.”


‘Other Woman’ Other Woman Trailer @ Yahoo! Video

H/t Deadline.

  

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