"Avatar" Opens Worldwide with $232.2 Million Box Office Take 

James Cameron must be feeling a lot like the king of the world again. "Avatar" debuted at No. 1 with $73 million domestic, and $159.22 million overseas, for a grand total of $232.2 million worldwide!

Many insiders were saying that "Avatar's" box-office take could have been higher but bad winter storms in the east coast prevented some moviegoers to enjoy Cameron's masterpiece.

(Check out my review of "Avatar" here)

Produced at an earth-shattering budget of $400 million, distributor 20th Century Fox was happy with the film's weekend box-office take. The film, starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, and Sigourney Weaver, bumped previous weekend winner, "The Princess and the Frog," to No. 2.

The Walt Disney flick took in $12.2 million. "The Blind Side," featuring Golden Globe award nominee Sandra Bullock, came in at No. 3 with $10 million.

Buoyed by its Golden Globes nominations, Paramount's "Up in the Air" broke into the top 10 at No. 8 with $3.1 million. From director Jason Reitman and starring George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, and Anna Kendrick, "Up in the Air" is one of my favorite films of 2009.

(Check out my review of "Up in the Air" plus my interviews with Reitman, Farmiga, and Kendrick right here)

"Up in the Air" opens nationwide Wednesday.

Another film shining in limited release is the musical "Nine." (Check out my movie review of "Nine" right here)

The Weinstein Co. flick opened big with $246,933 in just four theaters! That's roughly $61,733 per cinema.

1. "Avatar," $73 million.
2. "The Princess and the Frog," $12.2 million.
3. "The Blind Side," $10 million.
4. "Did You Hear About the Morgans?", $7 million.
5. "The Twilight Saga" New Moon," $4.4 million.
6. "Invictus," $4.2 million.
7. "Disney's a Christmas Carol," $3.4 million.
8. "Up in the Air," $3.1 million.
9. "Brothers," $2.6 million.
10. "Old Dogs," $2.3 million.

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Casting Call Alert: Coen Brothers Looking for Mattie Ross in "True Grit" 

As we mentioned before, the Coen brothers and Paramount are remaking "True Grit" based on Charles Portis novel. Now, they've launched their search for the young female lead, Mattie Ross, played by Kim Darby (pictured) in the original 1969 film that won John Wayne a Best Actor Oscar.

They're looking for a girl between the ages of 12 and 17. If you're interested, you can apply by self taping or by attending an open call in Arkansas, Mississippi, or Oklahoma in the coming weeks.

You can go to the "True Grit" casting call's official site right here.

And click here for a three-page scene from the script that you can use to practice.

This character will tag along two marshals -- to be played by Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon -- to hunt for the man who killed her father -- to be played by Josh Brolin.

Applicants, study the Mattie Ross character well, and good luck!


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Check Out New "Shrek Forever After" Trailer 

So far, my favorite "Shrek" film is the second installment. Let's see if the fourth one will win us over. But the trailer looks cute, and makes me want to see the film when it opens May 21st.

Here's a short description from DreamWorks:

After challenging an evil dragon, rescuing a beautiful princess and saving your in-laws’ kingdom, what’s an ogre to do? Well, if you’re Shrek, you suddenly wind up a domesticated family man. Instead of scaring villagers away like he used to, a reluctant Shrek now agrees to autograph pitch forks. What’s happened to this ogre’s roar? Longing for the days when he felt like a “real ogre,” Shrek is duped into signing a pact with the smooth-talking dealmaker, Rumpelstiltskin. Shrek suddenly finds himself in a twisted, alternate version of Far Far Away, where ogres are hunted, Rumpelstiltskin is king and Shrek and Fiona have never met. Now, it’s up to Shrek to undo all he’s done in the hopes of saving his friends, restoring his world and reclaiming his one True Love.

Mike Myers ("Shrek"), Cameron Diaz ("Fiona"), Eddie Murphy ("Donkey"), and Antonio Banderas ("Puss 'N Boots") are set to reprise their roles.

Here's the fun trailer for "Shrek Forever After":

Shrek Forever After

Trailer Park | MySpace Video

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Bryan Singer to Direct "X-Men: First Class" 

Twentieth Century Fox has confirmed -- Bryan Singer is directing "X-Men: First Class." Singer is returning to the franchise that he helped build. He directed the first two installments.

Variety tels us that the the "deal was made after the studio sparked to a detailed treatment he wrote for the film. Jamie Moss was hired to write the script, and the studio will move aggressively."

"This is the formative years of Xavier and Magneto, and the formation of the school and where there relationship took a wrong turn," Singer said. "There is a romantic element, and some of the mutants from 'X-Men' will figure into the plot, though I don't want to say which ones. There will be a lot of new mutants and a great villain."

"X-Men: First Class" will feature young Xavier and Magneto, and will be a reboot of the franchise, if you may. Singer also said he enjoyed "X-Men Origins: Wolverine."

Right now, the director's slate is getting full. He's been attached to the following films:

*** "Jack the Giant Killer" -- New Line is still working on the visual development of the giants

*** "Battlestar Gallactica"

*** "Excalibur" -- still working on the tricky rights issue

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"Toy Story 3" Gets Imax Release Date! 

Disney's "Toy Story 3" will get an Imax 3D treatment simultaneously with its June 18 wide release! Much like "Avatar," you can choose how you want to see the third installment of the super-popular "Toy Story" franchise.

"Toy Story 3" is directed by Lee Unkrich (co-director of "Toy Story 2" and "Finding Nemo") from a script by Michael Arndt, screenwriter of "Little Miss Sunshine."

Here's a full Imax slate of release dates for 2010:

"Alice in Wonderland" -- March 5
"How to Train Your Dragon" -- March 26
"Shrek Forever After" -- May 21
"Toy Story 3" -- June 18
"The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" -- June 30
"Inception" -- July 16

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