Monday News Round-Up (February 12)

Watchmen, Pirates 4 rumblings, US B.O.


Zack Snyder has only just started his publicity tour for 300, but most of the web's focus is already on his next project, Watchmen. When probed about the Alan Moore / Dave Gibbons adaptation, he said to "We're trying to get a budget together now that I feel like the movie is in a very cool place. I think the script is starting to become pretty cool. I've been talking to some actors - I'm not going to say who - but it's cool, because in some ways you can get real actors. You don't have to go Hollywood. So that's all going along. I've been drawing away, so I think it's coming along. They have talked about maybe shooting in the summer."


There's still a lot of love in America for Eddie Murphy in a fat suit, as Norbit has conclusively proved. The comedy took $33.7 million over its opening weekend, which was enough to comfortably secure top spot. Very comfortably, in fact – Hannibal Rising was a distant second, managing only $13.4 million. Diane Keaton's control-freakery held decent ground, managing just over another $9 million, while paranormal thriller The Messengers did ok despite a 51% drop-off, rounding out the top five with $7.2 million. The rest of the chart went as follows: Night At The Museum (just keeps hangin' in there), Epic Movie (arsing hell, we know some people will pay to see anything, but there's no excusing three weeks in the charts), Smokin' Aces (one more week and it'll have doubled its budget), Pan's Labyrinth (yay!), Dreamgirls (whatever snaps fingers three times in a 'z' shape), and The Queen (has made almost as much money in twenty weeks - $49 million - as the Royal family spend in two*).

*Probably not in the slightest bit true.


Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest continued its dominance of the technical trophies, picking up six gongs at the Visual Effects Society Awards on Sunday night, including the two biggies, Outstanding Visual Effects In A Visual-Effects-Driven Picture (we're guessing it's a big bastard if it's got to fit that on the plaque) and Single Visual Effect Of The Year. In a disappointing move, Industrial Light And Magic sent some real people up onto the stage to collect. In the special effects category, Chris Corbould shut out his own brother Neil, when the voters deemed Casino Royale victorious over Superman Returns. Host John Landis also gave one of the quotes of the year at the show, when he quipped "When I started in movies, exploitation pics were often pretty good up until the monster or spaceship turned up. Today, you see absolutely amazing visual effects. The difference is the movies are shit." Now, now, John – remember Blues Brothers 2000?


Our friends over at Moviehole caught up with screenwriter Terry Rossio recently, and when they touched upon the possibility of a fourth Pirates Of The Caribbean movie, he said "It's like the fourth Indiana Jones movie – there are forces in play to make it happen, and forces in play to make it not happen. I think we will try to write a screenplay. I can't say if we'll be able to solve the challenge of making a good fourth film, or if our screenplay will be enough to get a film made." Pretty much sews up the ending of Pirates 3, then.


Paul Greengrass is still ace.