October 17, 2005

Fog rules over US box office

The Fog, a story of a coastal town invaded by inclement weather and bloodthirsty ghosts from a 100-year-old shipwreck, scared overhyped rival Elizabethtown to third place, and last week's champ Wallace And Gromit to the second. The newcomer earned about $12.2 million in its first weekend, which is noteworthy, as the film cost just $18 million.

The high profile Elizabethtown, directed by Almost Famous helmer Cameron Crowe, and starring Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst, received mixed reviews. A longer cut of the film received a tepid welcome at the Toronto International Film Festival.

1. The Fog

Cast: Tom Welling, Maggie Grace and Selma Blair.
Director: Rupert Wainwright.
Young cast, atmospheric camerawork.

Boring, for the most part.

Number of weeks: New.
BO Verdict: Average.

2. Wallace & Gromit In The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit

Cast: (Voices) Helena Bonham Carter, Peter Sallis and Ralph Fiennes.
Director: Nick Parker and Steve Box.
Superb entertainment, exuberant animation, lovable lead players.

Too sweet natured.

Number of weeks: 2.
BO Verdict: Success.

3. Elizabethtown

Cast: Orlando Bloom, Kirsten Dunst, Susan Sarandon, Alec Baldwin, Jessica Biel.
Director: Cameron Crowe.
Decent performance by the lead players. Few touching moments.

Too long and suffocating.

Number of weeks: New.
BO Verdict: Disappointing.

4. Flightplan

Cast: Jodie Foster, Peter Sarsgaard, Erika Christensen, Sean Bean.
Director: Robert Schwentke.
The formidable Jodie Foster; some suspenseful moments.

Story has too many bumps; the suspense nosedives soon.

Number of weeks: 4.
BO Verdict: Hit.

5. In Her Shoes

Cast: Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette and Shirley MacLaine.
Director: Curtis Hanson.
Interesting chemistry between the lead players, strong life lessons and mild comedy.

Takes time to warm up.

Number of weeks: 2.
BO Verdict: Disappointing.

6. Domino

Cast: Keira Knightley, Mickey Rourke.
Director: Tony Scott.
Fascinating story about a female bounty hunter.

Too confused, unfocussed and violent.

Number of weeks: New.
BO Verdict: Flop.

7. Two For The Money

Cast: Al Pacino, Matthew McConaughley and Rene Russo.
Director: DJ Caruso.
Intriguing twists, many smart lines.

Very predictable Al Pacino, overlong and overdrawn drama.

Number of weeks: 2.
BO Verdict: Flop.

8. A History of Violence

Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello, Ed Harris.
Director: David Cronenberg.
Intriguing story, solid performances, gripping narration.

A bit harrowing at times.

Number of weeks: 4.
BO Verdict: Art house hit.

9. Corpse Bride

Cast (Voices): Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter.
Director: Tim Burton.
Imaginative setting; story with heart; wonderful voices.

Appeal is limited to die-hard Burton fans.

Number of weeks: 5.
BO Verdict: Success.

10. The Gospel

Cast: Boris Kodjoe, Idris Alba, Nona Gaye.
Director: Rob Hardy.
Feel-good movie, low-keyed for most part. Unpretentious, too.

Too preachy.

Number of weeks: 2.
BO Verdict: Hit.

  Text: Arthur J Pais
  Design: Uday Kuckian

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