"Paranormal Activity 2" Spooks Movie Fans with $41.5 Million Opening 

Moviegoers loved to be scared, and took "Paranormal Activity 2" all the way to the top! The sequel debuted at No. 1 with $41.5 million!

The film is essentially a prequel to "Paranormal Activity" and is on track to follow its $100-million box-office total.

"Paranormal Activity 2" has escaped the "Blair Witch Project 2" curse! Most film sensations like "Blair Witch" are deemed to be one-note wonders. The horrible "Blair Witch" sequel flopped with $13 million total.

But not "Paranormal Activity 2." Paramount was wise enough to improve on the template created by the first one without totally revamping the franchise.

It worked! I enjoyed the sequel (yes, yes, prequel) as much as I did the first one. Sure, I found the first film more intimate in its characterizations, but the second movie doesn't disappoint. Not one bit!

Meanwhile, Paramount is also rejoicing the fact that "Jackass 3D," which opened in first place last weekend, sold another $21.6 million worth of box office tickets, sliding to No. 2 with its 10-day total of $87.1 million! More than either of the earlier two "Jackass" films! (Click here for my movie review of "Jackass 3D." For my fun one-on-one interviews with the entire cast and director Jeff Tremaine, click here)

At No. 3 is the action comedy flick "Red" starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, and Helen Mirren. The film took in $15 million with a 10-day total of $43.5.

Clint Eastwood and Matt Damon must settle for No. 4 for their supernatural drama "Hereafter" which sold $12 million tickets in wide release. (For my review of "Hereafter," click here)

Here's the estimated Top 10 Box Office films for weekend of Oct. 22nd:

1. "Paranormal Activity 2," $41.5 million.

2. "Jackass 3D," $21.6 million.

3. "Red," $15 million.

4. "Hereafter," $12 million.

5. "The Social Network," $7.3 million.

6. "Secretariat," $6.9 million.

7. "Life as We Know It," $6.2 million.

8. "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole," $3.2 million.

9. "The Town," $2.7 million.

10. "Easy A," $1.8 million.

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Watch My "Hereafter" Movie Review! It's Ghostly! 

To read my written "Hereafter" movie review, click here. Here's more info on the film from Yahoo:

Three people are touched by death in different ways. George is a blue-collar American who has a special connection to the afterlife. On the other side of the world, Marie, a French journalist, has a near-death experience that shakes her reality. And when Marcus, a London schoolboy, loses the person closest to him, he desperately needs answers. Each on a path in search of the truth, their lives will intersect, forever changed by what they believe might--or must--exist in the hereafter.

Genres: Romance, Science Fiction/Fantasy and Thriller
Running Time: 126 hr.
Release Date: October 22nd, 2010 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG 13 for mature thematic elements including disturbing disaster and accident images and brief strong language.
Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution
U.S. Box Office: $220,322

Cast and Credits
Starring: Matt Damon, Cécile De France, Jay Mohr, Bryce Dallas Howard, George McLaren
Directed by: Clint Eastwood
Produced by: Tim Moore, Peter Morgan, Frank Marshall

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Holy Cannolis! "The Godfather" Tops Zagat's Best Films List! Check Out the Top 20! 

From animated flicks to epic dramas, Zagat Survey has released The World's Best Movies! 20,773 moviegoers voted and they collectively watched 2.4 million films this year. Wow!

Did your favorite films resonate with the survey participants?

Take a look at the article below taken from Zagat.com:

Make Him an Offer He Can't Refuse: Each film in the guide has been rated on Zagat's signature 30-point scale in four categories: Overall Quality, Acting, Story and Production Values, followed by an editorial review complete with surveyor comments in quotation marks. In addition, the guide boasts over 60 top lists and indexes ranging from genre and year of release to Oscar winners.

"This new Survey puts the ratings and reviews of over 20,000 avid moviegoers at your fingertips so that no matter what your age, sex or preference, there's an easy way to find the perfect film for every occasion," said Tim Zagat, CEO and Co-Founder of Zagat Survey. "In fact, this collection of 1,000 movies is really 'the stuff that dreams are made of.'"

I Coulda Been a Contender: The top 20 films based on Overall Quality (with year of release) include:

1) The Godfather (1972)
2) The Godfather Part II (1974)
3) Casablanca (1942)
4) Schindler's List (1993)
5) Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
6) To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
7) Star Wars (1977)
8) The Wizard of Oz (1939)
9) Lady Eve (1941)
10) Singin' in the Rain (1952)
11) Rear Window (1954)
12) It Happened One Night (1934)
13) Citizen Kane (1941)
14) Shawshank Redemption (1994)
15) All About Eve (1950)
16) The Pianist (2002)
17) African Queen (1951)
18) Third Man (1949)
19) Finding Nemo (2003)
20) Dr. Strangelove (1964)

Go Ahead, Make My Day: Here are the top films in each genre category. To eliminate duplications, we’ve listed the number 2 winners on those categories marked by asterisks:

Action/Adventure: Lawrence of Arabia
Americana: To Kill a Mockingbird
Animated: Finding Nemo
Biography: Man for All Seasons*
Children/Family: Wizard of Oz
Comedy: Some Like It Hot
Crime: The Godfather
Cult: Star Wars
Drama: The Godfather, Part II*
Dramedy: All About Eve
Epic: Bridge on the River Kwai*
Fantasy: Lord of the Rings/Return*
Film Noir: Third Man
Horror: The Exorcist
Musical: Singin' in the Rain*
Romance: Casablanca
Sci-Fi: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial*
Thriller: Rear Window
War: Schindler's List
Western: High Noon

Rosebud: Here are the top films by director, with Overall Ratings of 28 or better:

Frank Capra: It Happened One Night
Charlie Chaplin: City Lights
Francis Ford Coppola: The Godfather
Michael Curtiz: Casablanca
Stanley Donen: Singin' in the Rain
Victor Fleming: Wizard of Oz
John Ford: Grapes of Wrath
Alfred Hitchcock: Rear Window
John Huston: African Queen
Peter Jackson: Lord of the Rings/Return
Elia Kazan: On the Waterfront
Stanley Kubrick: Dr. Strangelove
Akira Kurosawa: Seven Samurai
David Lean: Lawrence of Arabia
George Lucas: Star Wars
Sidney Lumet: 12 Angry Men
Joseph L. Mankiewicz: All About Eve
Roman Polanski: The Pianist
Steven Spielberg: Schindler's List
Preston Sturges: Lady Eve
Orson Welles: Citizen Kane
Billy Wilder: Some Like it Hot
Robert Wise: Sound of Music
William Wyler: Best Years/Our Lives
Fred Zinnemann: Man for All Seasons

Play it, Sam. Play 'As Time Goes By': Here are the best movies from each of the last 9 decades:

1920s: The General
1930s: Wizard of Oz
1940s: Casablanca
1950s: Singin' in the Rain
1960s: Lawrence of Arabia
1970s: The Godfather
1980s: Raiders of the Lost Ark
1990s: Schindler's List
2000s: The Pianist

All Right, Mr. Demille, I'm Ready for My Close-Up: Surveyors named Cary Grant as their all-time favorite actor, with Johnny Depp and George Clooney coming in second and third, respectively. Meryl Streep is not only the most Oscar-nominated actress in history, but she's also surveyors' favorite leading lady. Following Streep are Sandra Bullock and Katharine Hepburn. The all-time favorite director is Steven Spielberg, followed in order by Martin Scorsese and Alfred Hitchcock.

Fasten Your Seatbelts: For the film fanatics who prefer staying at home, 37% say they now watch movies on a portable device such as a laptop, portable DVD player or on the iPad or iPod Touch. Furthermore, 35% rent movies online that arrive in the mail, 21% watch movies that are on or recorded from TV, 12% rent a movie at a store and 12% go out and buy a movie.

May the Force Be With You: The 3-D film has reemerged this year, with blockbusters including Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland and James Cameron's Avatar. Surveyors have responded favorably to this enhanced experience, with 54% agreeing that a movie in 3-D is fun occasionally and 9% wish more were offered. However, 65% say they're not interested in having 3-D technology at home.

Not in Kansas Anymore: The guide also includes top foreign language films. Japan's acclaimed and influential Seven Samurai came out on top. Another Japanese film, Rashomon, came in second, while the top five are rounded out by Germany's 2007 drama Lives of Others, the French film Children of Paradise and the 1940s, pre-Disney version of Beauty and the Beast.

Here's Looking at You, Kid: The World's Best Movies guide ($14.95) was edited by Curt Gathje and coordinated by Larry Cohn. The guidebook breaks top lists out by genre, actor, director and other special features. For information on all of Zagat's products, please visit http://www.zagat.com. Be sure to follow Zagat on Facebook and Twitter @ZagatBuzz for daily news and updates.

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M Night Shyamalan to Work with Will Smith for Next Project 

M. Night Shyamalan keeps on getting a job! This time, he's working with Will Smith.

But Papa Smith will not be starring but his baby Jaden will.

This is not the top secret Shyamalan production being shopped around in June. (See Ssshhh....M. Night Shyamalan is Shopping a Top Secret Movie!) That one had Bruce Willis, Bradley Cooper, and Gwyneth Paltrow attached BUT it never found a buyer according to The Hollywood Reporter.

This one's called "One Thousand A.E." and it's being developed at Overbrook, Smith's production company he runs with James Lassiter, Ken Stovitz, and Mama Jada Pinkett Smith.

And this may be good news -- Shyamalan did not write this project!

He will be merely directing from a script by Gary Whitta, the guy who gave us "The Book of Eli."

Jaden will star in the film, but THR is saying that there's also an adult male role and Daddy Smith will not star.

Wow, this Smith family is really busy developing their empire. Not only are Will, Jada, and Jaden are busy with their respective careers, but baby daughter Willow is currently taking over the pop charts with her seriously addictive song "Whip My Hair."

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Johnny Depp Wants to Remake "The Thin Man!" 

Johnny Depp is collaborating with Rob Marshall to develop a remake of the private eye classic "The Thin Man" for Warner Bros. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Depp and Marshall are going to try using the "Sherlock Holmes" vibe meaning, this version will retain its period setting but will have a contemporary feel.

Based on the classic Dashiell Hammett novel, "The Thin Man" revolves around former private eye-turned-drunk Nick Charles and his socialite wife Nora. Oh, let's not forget their cute doggie Asta. The 1934 film starred William Powell and Myrna Loy which proved to be very popular that it spawned five sequels and a TV show in the 1950s.

Can you picture Depp in the Nick role? Take a look at the original "The Thin Man" trailer below:

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