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Henry Cavill 'Immortals' Workout Pays Off & 'Twilight Saga' Rules Via Greek Mythology

Kellan Lutz work out ImmortalsThe Kellan Lutz workout in 'Immortals': Poseidon's pecs.

'Immortals' tops North American box office: Henry Cavill & Kellan Lutz star

Nov. 13, '11, update: These days, it doesn't take much to “easily” top the North American box office. But then again, if money is scarce – like it is for the 99 percent – and you have the choice between watching Adam Sandler in drag and a semi-naked Henry Cavill or Kellan Lutz, who would you – regardless of your gender/sexual orientation – rather go see?

Toplining Henry Cavill's worked-out pecs, abs, and legs, and with strong support (bad pun intended) from Kellan Lutz's equally worked-out pecs, abs, and legs, Tarsem Singh's Immortals grossed more than expected last week, though less than expected yesterday: as per studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo, the period fantasy adventure collected $32 million this weekend (Nov. 11-13, '11), including $1.4 million from Thursday midnight showings. Last week, many pundits were predicting a $25 million or so opening; yesterday, there was hope Singh's movie might reach as high as $38 million.

Why didn't it? Well, Immortals was down 32 percent on Saturday – 25 percent after deducting Thursday midnight figures – and is expected to be down 33 percent today. The Sunday downturn is normal; the Saturday downturn isn't exactly a great omen.

Trailing '300'

For comparison's sake, Zack Snyder's 300, which featured tons of male pecs, abs, and legs, was down 12 percent on Saturday (only 4 percent after deducting Thursday midnight figures). The semi-historical actioner starring Gerard Butler ultimately took in $70.88 million (approx. $82 million today) on its North American debut weekend in early March 2007. (Coincidentally, Zack Snyder is directing Man of Steel, which stars Henry Cavill as Superman.)

Note: Unlike 300, Immortals has the advantage of 3D surcharges, as 70 percent of the 3,112 theaters showing the film are doing so in 3D.

Another comparison: Louis Leterrier's 3D epic fantasy Clash of Titans, featuring Avatar's Sam Worthington, collected $61.23 million on its opening weekend in early April last year (or approx. $62 million today).

'Immortals': Relativity Media's best debut weekend ever

Though way behind its two brawn-and-sandals predecessors, Immortals now boasts Relativity Media's best opening weekend ever, having far surpassed previous record holder Limitless. Starring Bradley Cooper and Abbie Cornish, Limitless earned $18.9 million on its debut.

Immortals has also had the third-biggest opening for an R-rated release this year, trailing only The Hangover Part II with $85.94 million and Paranormal Activity 3 with $52.56 million.

Promising international box office

Immortals' international figures look more promising. The film has already collected $36 million overseas, including China, Germany, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. It'll likely become a major international hit, helping Immortals to surge above and beyond its domestic take.

In fact, Hollywood studios know that, with relatively few exceptions, their movies can earn back their costs at the box office only after doing well overseas. Singh's fantasy adventure cost a reported $75 million after rebates.

'Immortals' cast

In addition to Henry Cavill as Theseus and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 player Kellan Lutz as Poseidon, Immortals features the following:

Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire). Stephen Dorff. Luke Evans. John Hurt. Mickey Rourke. Stephen McHattie. Isabel Lucas. Daniel Sharman. Joseph Morgan.

Coincidentally, Henry Cavill was Stephenie Meyer's initial choice to play the lovestruck vampire Edward Cullen in the Twilight Saga movies. Robert Pattinson has since become identified with the role.

 

Shirtless Kellan Lutz Immortals image: Jan Thijs / Relativity Media.

Nov. 12 evening

Henry Cavill shirtless ImmortalsHenry Cavill shirtless in 'Immortals': Dedicated work out pays off at box office.

Muscular Henry Cavill lifts 'Immortals' above and beyond box office estimates

Starring Henry Cavill, who must have been working out on an hourly basis, Tarsem Singh's Immortals grossed more than early estimates published last night (Nov. 11, '11). New official studio estimates has the film pegged at $15 million on Veteran's Day Friday (including $1.4 million from Thursday midnight showings), which indicates the period fantasy adventure may bring in as much as $38 million over the weekend. That would be about $12 million above what “tracking” had indicated.

For comparison's sake: Zack Snyder's 300, which also featured lots of muscular legs and chests, took in $70.88 million (approx. $82 million today) on its debut weekend in early March 2007. (Coincidentally, Snyder is directing Man of Steel, which stars Henry Cavill as Superman.)

Note: Unlike 300, Immortals has the advantage of 3D surcharges. About 70 percent of the 3,112 theaters showing the film are doing so in 3D.

Another comparison: Louis Leterrier's 3D epic fantasy Clash of Titans, featuring Avatar leading man Sam Worthington, collected $61.23 million on opening weekend in early April last year.

'Immortals' cast

Besides Henry Cavill, Immortals features:

Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire). Kellan Lutz (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1). Stephen Dorff. Luke Evans. John Hurt. Isabel Lucas. Mickey Rourke. Stephen McHattie. Daniel Sharman. Joseph Morgan.

The fantasy adventure cost a reported $75 million.

Adam Sandler drag comedy also beats expectations

Directed by Dennis Dugan and starring Adam Sandler, Katie Holmes and Al Pacino, Jack and Jill also performed above early estimates. Despite a 0 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics (though I spotted two fresh tomatoes on the list), the lowbrow comedy earned an estimated $9.85 million on Friday.

If weekend estimates of $25 million are correct, Jack and Jill will be the second-lowest opening for an Adam Sandler comedy in the past five years. Released in 2009, Funny People debuted with $22.65 million.

Puss in Boots, featuring the voices of Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek, was the no. 3 movie, with $9 million. Before the weekend is over, the DreamWorks Animation feature may end up ahead of Jack and Jill.

'Tower Heist' down despite Oscar to-do

Down 39 percent from last Friday, Brett Ratner's Tower Heist came in fourth place. The action caper drew in $4.9 million, slightly above early estimates. Cast: Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Gabourey Sidibe, Matthew Broderick, Casey Affleck, Judd Hirsch, Michael Peña, Téa Leoni, and Alan Alda.

Despite all the Academy Awards ceremony headlines featuring both Brett Ratner and Eddie Murphy, Tower Heist is expected to gross only $13-$14 million by Sunday evening, down about 45–50 percent from opening weekend.

 

Shirtless Henry Cavill Immortals image: Jan Thijs / Relativity Media.

Nov. 12 early morning

Immortals Henry Cavill work out'Immortals': Henry Cavill work-out pecs.

'The Twilight Saga' to rule weekend box office via 'Immortals': The Henry Cavill-Kellan Lutz connection

The Twilight Saga will rule the North American box office this weekend, Nov. 11-13, '11. Well, in a manner of speaking. Fans are already lining up days before the world premiere of Bill Condon's The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1, but that's not what I'm talking about either. See, two Twilight-connected performers have top roles in this weekend's box office champion, Tarsem Singh's Immortals:

  • Henry Cavill, who happened to be author Stephenie Meyer's original choice for the role of Edward Cullen (which went to a guy named Robert Pattinson).
  • Kellan Lutz, who plays Edward's big brother Emmett Cullen in the Twilight Saga movies.

Greek gods were gym rats

Distributed by Relativity Media, which is also handling Singh's upcoming Snow White project, Mirror Mirror, the R-rated Immortals features Greek gods fighting, romancing, and showing off their heavily worked-out pecs and other physical endowments.

That seems to be what moviegoers want today: the adventure epic earned about $13.5-$14 million on Veteran's Day Friday (including $1.4 million from Thursday midnight showings) according to The Hollywood Reporter. That should translate into approximately $33-$35 million for the weekend, or about $8-$10 million more than indicated by (often unreliable) tracking.

'Immortals' vs. '300'

Good news for Hollywood? Absolutely. But Nikki Finke puts things in perspective at Deadline.com, remarking that Zack Snyder's 300 took in $70.88 million (not adjusted for inflation) when it opened in early March 2007. (Coincidentally, Snyder is directing Man of Steel, which stars Henry Cavill as Superman.)

Also worth noting: 300 cost a reported (and unadjusted) $65 million, whereas, as per Deadline, Immortals cost $75 million. And unlike 300, Immortals has the advantage of 3D surcharges; you'll need to shell out more dough for 3D glasses at 70 percent of the 3,112 theaters showing the film.

'Immortals' cast

In addition to Henry Cavill and Kellan Lutz, Immortals features:

Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire). Luke Evans. Stephen Dorff. Isabel Lucas. Mickey Rourke. Stephen McHattie. Daniel Sharman. Joseph Morgan. Greg Bryk. Alan Van Sprang. Two-time Oscar nominee John Hurt (The Midnight Express, The Elephant Man).

 

Image of Henry Cavill and his work-out pecs in Immortals: Jan Thijs / Relativity Media.

Kellan Lutz ImmortalsKellan Lutz in 'Immortals.'

Kellan Lutz movies: 'Immortals'

Best known as Robert Pattinson's big and muscular vampire brother Emmett Cullen in the Twilight Saga movies, Kellan Lutz plays the big and muscular Greek God of the Sea, Poseidon, in Tarsem Singh's late 2011 release Immortals.

The hot-looking Lutz is one of the gods who manipulate the shepherd Theseus (Henry Cavill) into waging war against the mad king Hyperion (Mickey Rourke), who is about to set free the fearsome Titans. It's all about good old-fashioned politicking: the Titans' once lofty position of power had been overtaken by Poseidon and all the Olympus dwellers.

Woe is Phaedra

Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire) plays Phaedra, described as an oracle with the power to see possible futures – which I'm sure makes things very confusing, as possible futures are just that: possibilities. And who needs an oracle to predict that?

There's another problem as well: Phaedra is tired of being a virgin, but must remain so in order to help Theseus. (It's unclear whether or not Theseus must also remain a virgin.)

If this sounds too much like TwilightKristen Stewart's virginal Bella Swan, Ashley Greene's vampish oracle Alice Cullen – it's possibly no coincidence. Stephenie Meyer was huge in Ancient Greece.

EW.com has posted a few of Immortals' first images, including Kellan Lutz above and the equally hot-looking (and angry-looking as well) Henry Cavill below.

Henry Cavill ImmortalsHenry Cavill in 'Immortals.'

Superman-to-be Henry Cavill as Theseus

Henry Cavill, recently cast as Superman in Zack Snyder's reboot of the superhero tale, is the actual lead in Immortals. Now, looking at the image above, either Cavill is in fantastic shape or CGI looks more realistic than ever.

One of the stars of Showtime's The Tudors and Stephenie Meyer's original choice for the role of Edward Cullen (which eventually went to the aforementioned Robert Pattinson), Henry Cavill stars as Theseus in what looks suspiciously like a Clash of the Titans spin-off. (Last year, Sam Worthington starred as Theseus' fellow demigod Perseus in Louis Leterrier's official Clash of the Titans remake.)

'Immortals' cast

Besides Kellan Lutz, Henry Cavill, Freida Pinto, and Mickey Rourke, the Immortals cast features the following:

Luke Evans as Zeus. Stephen Dorff. Isabel Lucas. Robert Maillet. Stephen McHattie. Two-time Academy Award nominee John Hurt (Midnight Express, The Elephant Man).

Immortals is scheduled to open on Nov. 11 in the U.S. and Canada.

 

Images of Kellan Lutz as Poseidon, Henry Cavill as Theseus in Immortals: Jan Thijs / Universal Pictures.

Nov. 12

Adam Sandler, drag queen, Jack and Jill
Adam Sandler, Jack and Jill

Directed by Dennis Dugan and starring Adam Sandler, Katie Holmes and Al Pacino, the widely panned comedy Jack and Jill – 0 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics (despite a couple of fresh tomatoes on the list) – earned $26 million in second place at the North American box office this weekend, as per studio estimates. If estimates are correct, Jack and Jill had the second-lowest opening of an Adam Sandler comedy in the past five years; released in 2009, Funny People debuted with $22.65 million.

Now, if estimates aren't exactly correct, there's a not inconsiderable chance that this weekend's actual no. 2 movie was/is Puss in Boots. Featuring the voices of Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek, the DreamWorks Animation feature was officially the no. 3 movie, with $25.5 million. That's one of those too-close-to-call scenarios.

Puss in Boots, in fact, is expected to be ahead of Jack and Jill both on Saturday and Sunday. (Whereas Jack and Jill was down 2 percent on Saturday, Puss in Boots was up nearly 10 percent.) Puss in Boots passed the $100 million mark on Saturday; its current domestic cume is $108.8 million. Internationally, Puss in Boots has added $48.1 million. Worldwide total: $156.9 million. Cost: $130 million. (Remember: cost figures don't include marketing/distribution expenses; studios get about 50-55 percent of domestic grosses and about 40 percent of foreign grosses.)

Adam Sandler is a much bigger star in North America than abroad – overseas, people have their own local favorite lowbrow comedies and comedians. With the exception of Just Go with It, which features a strong co-star – Jennifer Aniston – and the fantasy/adventure tale Bedtime Stories, Sandler's movies have almost invariably performed much better in the US than elsewhere. That means Jack and Jill may have trouble finding an audience abroad. So far, it has earned a reported $2.7 million in seven Latin American territories, including Mexico ($2.48 million – or nearly all of the film's foreign take so far). Sandler's comedy cost $80 million.

Down 45 percent, Brett Ratner's Tower Heist came in fourth place, with $13.2 million. The action caper features Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Gabourey Sidibe, Matthew Broderick, Casey Affleck, Judd Hirsch, Michael Peña, Téa Leoni, and Alan Alda. Domestic total: $43.9 million. Worldwide: $64.5 million. Cost: $75 million. Universal has one more box office disappointment in its hands.

Jack and Jill photo: Tracy Bennett / Columbia Pictures.

Previous post

Adam Sandler in drag, Jack and Jill
Adam Sandler in drag/not in drag, Jack and Jill

“Guess what's playing in movie critic hell?” asks the Boston Herald's James Verniere. Here's what:

Directed by Dennis Dugan and starring Adam Sandler, Jack and Jill has a 0 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics (though I spotted two fresh tomatoes on the list). The lowbrow comedy is expected to open in second place in North America this weekend, with about $25-$26 million after grossing $9 million on Friday. If estimates are correct, that'll be the second-lowest opening for an Adam Sandler comedy in the past five years; released in 2009, Funny People, which debuted with $22.65 million, should maintain its bottom-of-the-barrel slot.

Apparently much funnier than Jack and Jill, which also features Katie Holmes and Al Pacino playing himself, were the tweets posted today by the fake Twitter account @JackNJillMovie. It has since been shut down.

In third place on Friday, DreamWorks Animation's Puss in Boots, featuring the voices of Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek, remains a reliable box office performer. The Shrek spinoff collected $8.5 million on Friday and should bring in $23 million for the weekend. In fact, don't be too surprised if Puss in Boots ends up ahead of Jack and Jill when final weekend figures are tallied.

Down 42 percent, Brett Ratner's Tower Heist was no. 4. The action caper featuring Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Gabourey Sidibe, Matthew Broderick, Casey Affleck, Judd Hirsch, Michael Peña, Téa Leoni, and Alan Alda drew $4.6 million on Friday. Despite all the Academy Awards ceremony headlines featuring both Ratner and Murphy, Tower Heist is expected to gross only $13 million by Sunday evening, down nearly 50 percent from opening weekend.

Jack and Jill photo: Tracy Bennett / Columbia Pictures.

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