Carrie Underwood (Associated Press photos)
Kings of Leon
The nominations for the People’s Choice Awards 2010 were announced today at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., by Kris Allen (“American Idol”), Cat Deeley (“So You Think You Can Dance”), Johnny Galecki (“The Big Bang Theory”), Jeff Probst (“Survivor”) and Sofia Vergara (“Modern Family”).
For the first time, fans voted at www.peopleschoice.com and cast more than 16 million votes to determine the nominees in categories such as favorite movie, favorite breakout artist and favorite TV obsession.
Among the Oklahoma stars nominated: Checotah native Carrie Underwood for favorite female artist and favorite country artist; Rascal Flatts, which includes Joe Don Rooney of Picher, for favorite country artist; and Kings of Leon, which includes two Oklahoma City-born members, for favorite rock bands.
Among the multiple nominees are “Star Trek,” “Twilight” and Taylor Swift.
Winners will be revealed during the live broadcast of the People’s Choice Awards 2010 Jan. 6 from its new home, the Nokia Theater, L.A. Live on the CBS Television Network. Queen Latifah will host the People’s Choice Awards 2010, the only major awards show that honors fan favorites in movies, music and television.
Voting begins today at www.peopleschoice.com and www.myspace.com/peopleschoiceawards for all 35 categories and will end on Dec. 8, except for favorite new TV drama and favorite new TV comedy, which will remain open for voting until the night of show.
A complete list of the People’s Choice Awards 2010 nominees follows the break.
John de Lancie teaches at the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute. (Photo by Ashley McKee/The Oklahoman)
Valerie Naranjo performs at Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain in 2008. (Photo by Amy Rymer/The Oklahoman Archives)
The 2009 Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain resort near Lone Wolf came to a close last Friday and Saturday with the high school students attending the rigorous academy putting on performances.
Among the professional instructors at this year’s institute were actor John de Lancie, known for the role of the impish godlike alien Q on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and his recent guest-starring turn on “Breaking Bad,” and Valerie Naranjo, percussionist for the “Saturday Night Live” band and the Broadway musical “The Lion King.”
Check out the NewsOK interviews with de Lancie and Naranjo here. I especially love de Lancie talking about his first encounter with “Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry.
Photo gallery: Leonard Nimoy and other celebrities entertain fans Saturday, June 27, at Trek Expo 2009 in Tulsa
Actress Marina Sirtis poses on stage for photographs Saturday, June 27, during Trek Expo 2009 in Tulsa. Sirtis played ship’s counselor Deanna Troi on the television series “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” (Photo by Renee Lawrence/The Oklahoman)
Science-fiction is the focus of the annual Trek Expo in Tulsa, but exhibitors also offered for sale items such as these dragons and fantasy figures. (Photo by Renee Lawrence/The Oklahoman)
Convention-goers stand in line Saturday, June 27, to get their photo taken with actor Leonard Nimoy of “Star Trek” fame at Trek Expo 2009 in Tulsa. (Photo by Renee Lawrence/The Oklahoman)
Actor John de Lancie, who played Q on the television series “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” answers questions from fans Saturday, June 27, at Trek Expo 2009 in Tulsa. (Photo by Renee Lawrence/The Oklahoman)
Actress Denise Crosby, who played Tasha Yar on the television series “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” meets with fans at the Boy Scouts of America booth Saturday, June 27, at Trek Expo 2009 in Tulsa. (Photo by Renee Lawrence/The Oklahoman)
Actress Marina Sirtis takes issue with a “Women of Star Trek” T-shirt Saturday, June 27, during Trek Expo 2009 in Tulsa. Sirtis, who played ship’s counselor Deanna Troi on the television series “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” teased the woman, whose convention tag at first covered Troi’s face, and then wondered aloud why Troi’s face was so small and off to the side while the face of T’Pol from the show “Enterprise” was front and center. (Photo by Renee Lawrence/The Oklahoman)
Actor Leonard Nimoy laughs while telling a “Star Trek” story to fans Saturday, June 27, at Trek Expo 2009 in Tulsa. (Photo by Renee Lawrence/The Oklahoman)
Actor Leonard Nimoy entertains a crowd of fans Saturday, June 27, during Trek Expo 2009 in Tulsa. Nimoy who played Spock on the 1960s television series “Star Trek” and recently reprised the role for director J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek” movie. (Photo by Renee Lawrence/The Oklahoman)
Actress Marina Sirtis poses on stage for photographs Saturday, June 27, during Trek Expo 2009 in Tulsa. Sirtis played ship’s counselor Deanna Troi on the television series “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” (Photo by Renee Lawrence/The Oklahoman)
Some science-fiction fans are shown in costume Saturday, June 27, at Trek Expo 2009 in Tulsa. (Photo by Renee Lawrence/The Oklahoman)
Actor Leonard Nimoy jokes with fellow actor John de Lancie while on stage Saturday, June 27, at Trek Expo 2009 in Tulsa. Nimoy, who played Spock on the 1960s television series “Star Trek,” recently reprised the role for director J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek” movie. De Lancie just wrapped up nearly two weeks of teaching acting students at the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain, near Lone Wolf. (Photo by Renee Lawrence/The Oklahoman)
Actor Leonard Nimoy of “Star Trek” fame receives a homemade T-shirt as a gift from a fan Saturday, June 27, during Trek Expo 2009 in Tulsa. Another fan gave Nimoy a Burger King Spock collectible glass that contained a Burger King Spock kid’s toy. When he put the glass holding the toy beside a dragon given to him earlier, Nimoy quipped, “Have to be careful. I don’t want the dragon to bite me in the glass.” (Photo by Renee Lawrence/The Oklahoman)
This is an extended version of a story that appeared in The Oklahoman and on NewsOK.
Documentaries explore world of Trekkies
TULSA – Trekkies or Trekkers?
When it comes to the name for the devoted fans of the science-fiction megafranchise “Star Trek,” Denise Crosby calls herself a purist and sides with Trekkies.
At least that’s what the actress who originated the role of security chief Tasha Yar on the television show “Star Trek: The Next Generation” titled her two hilarious documentaries (“Trekkies,” 1997, and “Trekkies 2,” 2004) that explore the world of “Star Trek” fandom.
In a recent telephone interview ahead of a three-day appearance sponsored by the Boys Scouts of America at Tulsa’s Trek Expo this weekend, Crosby, 51, said at the time of the first documentary she polled friends who knew little to nothing about “Star Trek” and asked them what they call those fans. They universally said Trekkies and none had heard the term Trekkers, Crosby said.
“So, the film I wanted to stand on its own as a film that could play in the cinema and appeal to a broad audience, not just a fan film, and Trekkies is sort of the universal, global expression of ‘Star Trek’ fans,” she said.
Because she was someone from the “Star Trek” family, Crosby said, fans granted her access to their private and sometimes very public passion for all things Trek. It also allowed her to approach other actors and get them to talk candidly about fans. But Crosby said she didn’t want to offend fans because they had been burned before (William Shatner’s “Get a life” skit on “Saturday Night Live”) and was concerned about how “Trekkies” would be perceived.
“It’s a fine line because you don’t want to put on kid gloves and make a recruiting film here for ‘Star Trek.’ I really wanted to have a look into this world of fandom and this particular show, which is unlike anything else and has been sort of the granddaddy of them all. At the same time, I didn’t want to be cruel or judgmental … so I had to figure out how to really make that real for the film,” she said.
Crosby said she got the idea to make the documentaries after attending some fan conventions, and she became more interested in the fans than they were in her. She wanted to “flip the camera around.”
She teamed with friend and director Roger Nygard to make the films, which show the admittedly extremes of fandom, from a Florida dentist whose office has a “Star Trek” theme to 14-year-old Gabriel Koerner, who created special effects on his computer and has since become a movie and television digital effects artist.
Koerner’s work can be seen in the upcoming Martin Scorsese film “Shutter Island.” Crosby said she and Koerner have kept in touch over the years.
Then there’s the Minnesota man who re-creates “Star Trek” devices and technology, resulting in amusing footage of his driving a motorized Captain Pike box beside a busy street as cars whiz by.
“When Roger came back and he showed me, I fell on the floor laughing, I mean dying of laughter. I said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me. This is the funniest damn thing I’ve ever seen,’” she said.
Crosby said following the popularity of the new “Star Trek” film, she’s hoping to make a “Trekkies 3″ that will touch on the new film and its actors and fans as well as visit places not covered by the previous films.
“Our intention was always to make a ‘3,’ to have a triple box set. And there are areas I still want to go to. ‘Trekkies 1′ was domestic and ‘Trekkies 2′ we went global, but we didn’t get everywhere,” she said. “And I’m curious still, to make it a full circle about Asia, Africa and India, like what’s going on there, sort of our ‘Lost in Translation’ version of ‘Trekkies.’ ”
Q. There are so many great candid moments in your documentary “Trekkies.” Were you ever surprised by the people you interviewed?
A. Oh, yeah, you are always looking for those moments of revelation or surprise. Sometimes people would be completely off the cuff, like when I went to interview the dentist in Orlando, Fla., and he and his wife talked about how they like to dress up, you know, and it’s like good for their sex life. … One dresses up like me, and it was like, “Oh, OK, that’s great. We don’t need to say anymore.” But the look on my face, that was completely by surprise. When one of the guys mentioned that if he had the money he would have his ears surgically altered, and his wife said, “You would?!” Oh, my God, those are just priceless moments.
Q. Did you have a concrete plan in place when you finally decided to start shooting “Trekkies”?
A. The only concrete plan was let’s go to a convention; we know we want to let the fans speak for themselves but stay open to where it might take us. We also knew that almost the entire original cast was going to appear at this particular convention because of it being a charity event. And let’s see if we can get Nichelle Nichols and George Takai and Jimmy Doohan to sit down and talk to us and get their perspective on it, as well. And, of course, because I was an actor on the show, I was able to approach them and get them to talk to us. But mainly the film began to take shape once we went to a couple of conventions, and we then found a couple of interesting people to kind of isolate and follow.
Q. What is the actors’ take on fans?
A. You know, it’s an interesting one because it’s unique. … It’s such a fan-driven show, “Star Trek,” so if you’re disliked by fans, they’ll really let you know it. But at the same time, if you’re embraced by them, they are just the most loyal, devoted people. I did a play last year off-Broadway — I had “Star Trek” fans show up for it. I didn’t promote it as such, but they found out. And they will support anything you do. They are really, truly loyal to you and the show and because they have these unique kind of gatherings – some of these conventions have been going on for 30 years – and they’ve spawned all kinds of things: marriages, children, friendships, die-hard relationships. And I think the actors in the beginning have a little bit of an adjustment to make from it because it’s overwhelming. It can feel oppressive in some ways or controlling in some ways, almost too involved, too obsessive. But then you realize they are going to be there; they are there for you, take it or leave it. You can get involved, you can stay uninvolved, you can do as much as you need to to get into it.
Q. Do you have a favorite fan story of your own?
A. There’s always the one where the guy comes up like if I’m doing a signing and he’s now 30-something, and he comes up and says, “You were my first crush,” something like that. I always blush and am overwhelmed by it. But I think the wildest thing was, years and years ago, I think it was when I was still doing the show (“Star Trek: The Next Generation”). … The host of the convention came to me and said, “I’ve got to introduce you to … our friend Danny. You’re not going to believe it. I’m not even going to say anything; you’ve just have to meet Danny. He’s such a big fan; there’s no bigger fan than Danny of yours.” I said, “Oh, well, yeah, sure. Let’s go.” So they took me through this hotel, down into the bowels around this kitchen and inner workings, and then out comes this young guy named Danny. And they said, “OK, Danny, take off your shirt, and I’m thinking, “Oh, my God, what are they doing?” The guy strips off his shirt, and he has my entire face of Tasha Yar tattooed on his back from his neck to his waist, covering his entire back. It was like my head shot on his back. I was actually speechless; all I could say was, “Do you have a girlfriend that I hope she doesn’t mind.” I didn’t know if I should run or shake the guy’s hand. And I still think of this guy. This guy is walking around with me on his back. How about that?
Q.You just have to hope he hasn’t gained a 100 pounds. …
A. Yeah, exactly, and I look like Jabba the Hutt … on his back now, big jowls.
Q. What is it about “Star Trek” do you think that generates that kind of fandom?
A. Boy, if you could bottle that one, every TV executive in the world would be on your side. It’s certainly a unique take on science fiction that there is a future that will actually be better than the present. You know most science fiction is pretty bleak, and that we’ll eventually annihilate ourselves or have to leave the planet altogether. It’s not a very pretty picture, the future, in most science fiction. So here along came a really optimistic, peaceful experience of mankind, that they will actually get better and figure out some of their mistakes and learn from them. And also, of course, Gene Roddenberry was able to address these really moral, social issues in a way that especially for television, you couldn’t in the day. You couldn’t talk about mixed races, different cultures mingling and heavy arms races and medical issues, the God question, is there a god and religion – all these topics that were extremely taboo in the ’60s when television was on, and he was able to do it in this very clever way with science fiction. So I think people got it, and they were touched by it, and it wasn’t lost on them. They appreciated the intelligence of it, and “Star Trek” also inherently embraces the difference in people. The message is that you don’t need to look like Britney Spears to have everything going for you. You can be whoever you are and whatever you do and build on that strength. And there’s a lot of people that don’t quite fit in to how society dictates. That you’ve got to have this kind of car, this kind of outfit, this kind of body and this kind of thing, and we are just so driven by that. And it’s just shoved in our faces constantly. So where do people fit in? And “Star Trek” gives this support and this message. And then, of course, the fan world is a tangent that’s come from that show and that message that has been gleaned from that show, and it’s created its own support system and world and place where people can feel part of something when they don’t sometimes feel part of their own culture.
Q. It sounds like you have a deep appreciation of that. … Were you a fan of the original show?
A. Oh, yeah. I had seen all of them, not when they first aired in the early 1960s. I was a little too young for it to grab me. But when it first went into syndication and they played it every night at 5 o’clock here in L.A. on one of the local stations, I had a little ritual with my neighbor. … I was all of about 19 years old, and he was this 83-year-old Italian immigrant. And he and I would every day would watch together “Star Trek,” which was just this odd little gathering of these generations come together, but we loved watching “Star Trek.” And I would come in and check on him and visit him and make sure he had his oxygen tank nearby and his heart pills, and we would watch “Star Trek.”
Q. Do you have any regrets now about leaving “Star Trek: The Next Generation”? (Crosby left the show during its first season.)
A. You know, at the time it was so very frustrating for me. It was just wearing thin that we were a big ensemble cast and so many days and weeks were spent where I’m just going “Aye, aye, captain” and just sort of standing around and not having a story line. I think I was 29 or 28, and you are really hungry then to have some meat to chew on. So for me it was “What is going to happen? Where are we going to go with this?” and I just couldn’t see spending six more years doing that. Now at that time, you’re young; I don’t have children to put through school or house payments to make or all that stuff that gets you to a different place financially. So if you’re going to take a shot and roll the dice, that’s when you do it. But little did I know how much more involved I would continue to become in this show. I would come back, I would play another character, I would make two documentaries about it. And of course I didn’t realize then how this character of Tasha Yar really impacted people. You don’t know those things when you’re doing it. A lot is revealed through time.
Q. What did bring you back for those guest appearances?
A. I got a call from one of the producers that a script had been written where Tasha is alive on this ship and would I be willing to come in and play. And I said, “Well, yeah. It sounds really intriguing.” And they sent me the script, which was “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” and it was incredible. It was absolutely one of the best-written “Next Generation” scripts, and I was thrilled to do it. And then that coming back opened up the idea that what if, because you don’t really know, she volunteers to go back on this ship to fight this battle where everyone dies. But what if she was captured? I came up with this whole idea if maybe she had this baby, and I pitched this story to the producer. And he kind of looked at me, and I thought … well that’ll be it. A couple of months later they wrote the character of her daughter, so I just kept going. I’m always thinking of new scams. What else can you do here? Again, because the genre lends itself to all these possibilities.
And it’s intriguing with the new film being so popular and igniting a whole new generation of fans, and all the little kids are discovering “Next Generation” just like we did the original. It’s really funny. I have a, well he’s soon to be 11 actually, my son. So his friends, sometimes I’ll pick them up for the carpool, and they go, “Were you really on the ‘Next Generation’?” I went over to visit his school the other day … and this boy said, “Were you really on ‘Star Trek’? I said, “Yeah, actually.” And he said, “What did you play?” And I said, “Well, I was Lt. Tasha Yar on ‘The Next Generation.’” He said, “Wow! Your mom really is cool!” He said that to my son. It was so funny, I mean priceless, priceless.
Q. The best thing is that he thinks it’s cool.
A. Yeah, exactly. It could have gone the other way – just awful. I could have been a principal on “iCarly” or something and he would run away from me.
Q. Do you think it’s cool to be a “Star Trek” fan?
A. Well, I think it’s finally OK to be a geeky, sci-fi nerd, with all of the – and it’s taken a lot of stuff to happen for this to be OK – and that’s all of the technogadgets and all of the incredible computer stuff that we’ve experienced, quickly, in the last 25 years and all of the supergeeks who are like the bazillionaires of the universe and all of this stuff to have happened.
Q. Have you seen the new movie?
A. No, I have not. I tried to; we were invited. I was invited by the Roddenberry family; they had a screening at Paramount, and my son had a lacrosse tournament that day. So I said after lacrosse, “Why don’t we go see ‘Star Trek.’ He said, “I don’t want to see that. That’s not the real ‘Star Trek’ – you’re not in it. And I said, “Oh God, no, no, no, no, no.” So it was so sweet; it was the sweetest thing. “That’s not real ‘Star Trek’! That’s like fake ‘Star Trek.’ You guys are the real ‘Star Trek.’” I had to explain, “Well there’s been a few of us.”
Q. What else are you working on?
A. I’m doing a recurring role on a new show called “Southland” on NBC, and we’re on hiatus right now. And we just got picked up for the fall, so start back in July, and I’m playing one of the main detective’s wife. And where it’s going, I’m not sure. We’ll see.
Q. How many conventions to you attend each year?
A. Maybe four. This one (Trek Expo in Tulsa) is pretty great because it’s really as a guest of the Boy Scouts.
Q. How does that work?
A. Well Trek Expo, the convention itself, has been going on for a number of years, and one of the regional directors of the Boys Scouts is a huge “Star Trek” fan. So he, I guess, last year tried to create a tie-in, have a booth set up at the convention, and have a breakfast – they are supporting a boys home (Tulsa Boys Home). And then the boys can come and visit the convention with the Boys Scouts and proceeds from a breakfast go to the Boys Scouts of America. So it’s trying to combine the two, sort of a charity fundraiser for the Boys Scouts kind of tied in with the convention. I’m more a guest of the Boys Scouts this time, but I can happen to be at the convention, as well.
Hope everyone comes out to support the Boy Scouts.
My advice is to run away from “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.”
In this week’s entertainment podcast, features/entertainment intern Nathan Poppe and I break down the new movies in Oklahoma City theaters.
Click here to listen to our entertaining evaluation of the new movie options.
John de Lancie of “Star Trek” fame teaches a class at the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain. (Photo by Ashley McKee/The Oklahoman)
From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
Sessions fit Q to a T at state arts institute
Actor John de Lancie is accustomed to playing many roles, from acting in TV shows, films and stage productions to directing radio plays and operas.
So, it’s not surprising that de Lancie, best known for playing the impish, godlike alien Q in “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” worked in some multitasking when he accepted a teaching position at this month’s Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute.
For the past two weeks, the 61-year-old performer has been training aspiring actors at the rigorous academy for Oklahoma high school students. The intensive program takes place “out on the frontier” at Quartz Mountain Resort Arts and Conference Center near Lone Wolf in southwest Oklahoma.
“I roll out of bed, go and teach, have a little something to eat for lunch, go and teach and have a little something for dinner, and listen to lectures. So, I’m arts-immersed … just like the kids,” he said with a laugh during a recent phone interview from Quartz Mountain.
Once his students give their final acting performance tonight, de Lancie is headed to Tulsa, where he will appear Saturday and Sunday at Trek Expo 2009.
Though he doesn’t do much teaching these days, he accepted the Quartz Mountain job because of the quality of the program. His usual instructor jobs involve professional actors rather than students – “you know, people who you can pressurize without any compunctions,” he said with a laugh.
“When you’re teaching young kids, a lot of them just haven’t done this … and they certainly haven’t done it at a level with somebody like myself who is coming from the point of view of saying, ‘Listen, this it’s how done and let me explain to you and show you,” he said. “There’s no coddling here because we’re putting up a show and it’s being done very quickly.”
A first-time instructor at Quartz Mountain, he said the program teaches students that just because they’re not in a scene doesn’t mean they’re not engaged in a performance. His students will perform tonight a spoofy adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Lost World,” a sort of performance art homage to radio shows, complete with musical ditties for commercials.
“We’re going to give a nod to the notion of a radio show, but there’s also a great deal of movement. … It is much more a play than it is a radio play,” he said. “It’s a three-ring circus.”
The multifaceted performer said his wide-ranging roles not only make him a better teacher, they make up just the kind of career he had in mind when he got into the entertainment business.
“I’m no good after about three months at anything. I am ready to move on, so the notion of seven years on a TV show is just not particularly something that I would be wanting to do,” he said. “My idea of a great year would be a play, a half dozen readings, a couple of movies, three or four TV shows to pay the bills.”
His Internet Movie Database page lists more than 130 acting credits, including the movies “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle,” “Reign Over Me” and “Crank: High Voltage” and the TV series “Hill Street Blues,” “The West Wing” and “Days of Our Lives.” But for many people, Q remains his most memorable role, though he only played it in a few episodes of the “Star Trek” spin-off series “Next Generation,” “Voyager” and “Deep Space Nine.”
In the 1980s, he made one of the first of his many” Star Trek” convention appearances at Tulsa’s Trek Expo, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. He compares interacting with Trekkies to encountering theater fans who come to the stage door – only “amplify that by 400 or 500 or 2,000 or 3,000 and you have the same thing over a show that in this case I shot 20 years ago.”
“The world of ‘Star Trek’ has been really kind to me. And the people that I’ve met there have been great,” he said. “They’re not as weird as sports fans, who when their team loses the game, they go and burn cars and torch the downtown and when their team wins the game, they also burn cars and torch the downtown.”
Becoming so closely identified with a role such as Q has its advantages and disadvantages, but he doesn’t regret playing the “wonderful character.”
He thinks actors sometimes just need another breakout part, and de Lancie may have found his: He lately has received rave reviews for his recent three-episode guest-starring role as the father of a doomed drug addict in the acclaimed AMC series “Breaking Bad.”
“He loves her desperately but he just doesn’t know which way to turn, he’s done everything, tried everything. It’s a role that I understand that a lot of parents out there … have (sent in) mail about,” he said.
Quartz Mountain Onstage Weekend
When: Public student performances begin at 7 tonight and 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Quartz Mountain Resort Arts and Conference Center near Lone Wolf.
Trek Expo 2009
Where: John Q Hammons Arena, 6836 S Mingo, Tulsa.
Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds’ romantic comedy “The Proposal” scored the No. 1 spot at the weekend box office.
“The Proposal” opened with $34.1 million, according to the Associated Press. The Disney rom com notched the biggest opening ever for Bullock, whose previous best was $17.6 million for the 2007 paranormal thriller “Premonition.”
“The Proposal” snatched the top spot from the Warner Bros. bachelor-party comedy “The Hangover,” which dropped to second place with $26.9 million. The comedy smash was made $152.9 millio over the past three weeks.
The Disney/Pixar animated adventure “Up” stayed aloft at third place, taking in another $21.3 million over the weekend. The 10th Disney/Pixar film’s total take soared to $224.1 million. ”Up” became the second 2009 film to cross the $200 million mark, after Paramount’s “Star Trek” reboot.
Prehistoric times have proven uninteresting comedic fodder for movie audiences. Sony’s caveman comedy “Year One,” the other big wide release besides “The Proposal,” had to settle for fourth place with $20.2 million. The film stars Jack Black and Michael Cera, but apparently, many were not interested in seeing their Neanderthalish shenanigans.
Will Ferrell’s remake of ”Land of the Lost” earlier this month had to make due with a third place opening at the box office.
Box-office revenues this weekend were up slightly compared to the same period a year ago, after three straight weekends of declining box-office receipts, according to the AP.
For the year, revenue remains up a solid 10 percent, though summer ticket sales are dead even with last year’s, the AP reported, citing Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for Hollywood.com.
Hollywood’s summer doldrums are expected to turn around this week with the opening of the blockbuster sequel “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” from Paramount. Industry analysts predict it could score the year’s first $100 million opening. The movie opens Wednesday, and I’ll be bringing you my review here.
Here is the weekend top 10, from the AP:
1. “The Proposal,” $34.1 million.
2. “The Hangover,” $26.9 million.
3. “Up,” $21.3 million.
3. “Year One,” $20.2 million.
5. “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3,” $11.3 million.
6. “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian,” $7.3 million.
7. “Star Trek,” $4.7 million.
8. “Land of the Lost,” $4 million.
9. “Imagine That,” $3.1 million.
10. “Terminator Salvation,” $3.07 million.
The Warner Bros. comedy “The Hangover” made it a double over the weekend, narrowly coming in at the top spot at the box office for the second week in a row.
The tale of a Vegas bachelor party gone awry made an estimated $33.4 million over the weekend, according to the Associated Press. That boosts its overall take to $105.4 million after 10 days in theaters.
It also become the summer’s first movie to finish at No. 1 for two weekends in a row – for real. Last week, Pixar Animation Studio’s “Up” was awarded the top spot at the box office based on estimated ticket sales, but “The Hangover” proved the real No. 1 movie after the tallies were completed.
Pixar’s “Up” again came in a close second with $30.5 million, lifting the animated film’s total to $187.2 million after three weekends.
Sony’s action remake “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3,” reuniting Denzel Washington and director Tony Scott with John Travolta as a baddie, opened in third place with $25 million.
The other new wide release, the Paramount family comedy “Imagine That,” starring Eddie Murphy, debuted at No. 6 with a meager $5.7 million. That’s a shame since the film was much better than some of Murphy’s previous family-friendly efforts that have been box-office successes.
According to the AP, the overall box office numbers fell drastically compared to the same weekend a year ago, when “The Incredible Hulk” smashed to a $55.4 million weekend. Total revenues this weekend came in at $140 million, off 22 percent from last year’s, the AP reported, citing Hollywood.com box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian.
It was the third straight weekend that Hollywood revenues have dropped, according to the AP. Earlier in the year, revenues zoomed ahead 15 percent compared to 2008, but the box office now is ahead by just 11 percent.
“The growth rate for the summer box office is stalled. Every week we’re systematically dropping down,” Dergarabedian told the AP. “That doesn’t mean things are terrible. It just means that compared to last year, it was a great weekend for a `Hangover’ but not a great weekend for the industry.”
Some movies that did wellover the weekend in limited release: Francis Ford Coppola’s drama “Tetro,” which made $31,339 in two theaters for a solid average of $15,670 a cinema. (That compared to an $8,133 average in 3,074 theaters for “Pelham 1 2 3″ and $1,895 in 3,008 cinemas for “Imagine That,” according to AP.)
Pictures Classics’ sci-fi tale “Moon,” starring Sam Rockwell, pulled in $145,218 in eight theaters for an $18,152 average.
Magnolia Pictures’ documentary “Food, Inc.” pulled in $61,400 in three theaters for a $20,467 average.
Here are the top 10 movies, from the AP. (Note that J.J. Abrams’ reboot of “Star Trek” is still going strong at No. 7.)
1. “The Hangover,” $33.4 million.
2. “Up,” $30.5 million.
3. “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3,” $25 million.
4. “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian,” $9.6 million.
5. “Land of the Lost,” $9.2 million.
6. “Imagine That,” $5.7 million.
7. “Star Trek,” $5.6 million.
8. “Terminator Salvation,” $4.7 million.
9. “Angels & Demons,” $4.2 million.
10. “Drag Me to Hell,” $3.9 million.
Pixar continues to fly high with the studio’s latest animated feature.
“Up,” the 10th film from Disney/Pixar, stayed at No. 1 at the box office for the second week in a row. The tale of a senior citizen who uses thousands of balloons to convert his home into an airship floated up with another $44.2 million over the weekend, according to the Associated Press.
“Up” made $137.3 million in just 10 days, so the film is racing toward the $200 million mark achieved by such previous Pixar hits as “WALL-E,” “Ratatouille,” “Cars” and “Toy Story 2.”
The AP noted that revenues for most big movies drop 50 percent or more in the second weekend, but the audience for “Up” was down only 35 percent from its opening. That puts it in line with “Finding Nemo,” the top-grossing Disney-Pixar animated tale, Chuck Viane, head of distribution for Disney, told the AP.
“Up” likely will finish in the top three among Pixar flicks, Viane said. Currently, the top three are “Finding Nemo” with $339.7 million in domestic receipts, “The Incredibles” with $261.4 million and “Monsters, Inc.” with $255.8 million.
The high-flying Pixar adventure was the first movie of the frantic summer season to keep the No. 1 spot for two consecutive weekends.
The Vegas bachelor-bash comedy “The Hangover” staggered in at a close second with a $43.3 million in its opening weekend.
Distributor Warner Bros. expected “The Hangover” to come in at No. 3 behind “Up” and the film version of “Land of the Lost.” But “The Hangover” attracted a broad audience split almost evenly between men and women and those younger and older than 25, Dan Fellman, Warner head of distribution, told the AP.
“The Hangover” was directed by Todd Phillips, whose 2003 comedy “Old School” featured a breakout role for Ferrell.
Ferrell’s action-comedy take on “Land of the Lost” got lost in third place with a $19.5 million debut.
It was one of his weaker openings. It was loosely based on the 1970s children’s TV show about adventurers hurled back to an age of dinosaurs. But most critics found it a crude update and gave it poor reviews.
In narrower release, Fox Searchlight’s rom-com”My Life in Ruins” had a mediocre debut of $3.2 million, coming in at No. 9. The movie stars Nia Vardalos (“My Big Fat Greek Wedding”) who unexpectedly finds love in Greece.
Focus Features’ road-trip romp “Away We Go,” starring John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph and directed by Sam Mendes, really took off in limited release, drawing in $143,260 in four theaters for a healthy average of $35,815 a cinema.
Overall box-office revenues dropped for the second weekend in a row, according to the AP. The top 12 movies took in $164 million, down 6 percent from the same weekend last year, when “Kung Fu Panda” opened on top with $60.2 million, according to box-office figures compiled by Hollywood.com.
For the year, Hollywood has taken in $4.3 billion, up 12.5 percent from 2008 revenues. But studios have been unable to maintain the promising pace of the first four months of 2009.
“Definitely, things have slowed,” Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for Hollywood.com, told the AP. “But there are some potential saviors on the horizon.”
Three huge sequels – “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” and “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” – open within three weeks of one another, with the “Transformers” leading the way on June 24.
Here are the top 10 movies, according to the AP:
1. “Up,” $44.2 million.
2. “The Hangover,” $43.3 million.
3. “Land of the Lost,” $19.5 million.
4. “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian,” $14.7 million.
5. “Star Trek,” $8.4 million.
6. “Terminator Salvation,” $8.2 million.
7. “Drag Me to Hell,” $7.3 million.
8. “Angels & Demons,” $6.5 million.
9. “My Life in Ruins,” $3.2 million.
10. “Dance Flick,” $2 million.
Disney/Pixar made it a perfect 10 in a row, flying the animated adventure “Up” to No. 1 at the box office with a $68.2 million opening weekend.
All 10 films from Pixar Animation Studios have opened in the top spot and gone on to become commercial and critical hits.
“Up” had the third-best opening for a film from Disney-owned Pixar, just behind the $70 million debuts for “Finding Nemo” and “The Incredibles.” Last summer’s Disney-Pixar release, “WALL-E,” debuted with $63.1 million, according to the Associated Press.
“Usually things that are very popular with audiences don’t necessarily go over that well with critics. These things do both, and pretty much consistently every time,” Hollywood.com box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian told the AP. “The Disney-Pixar collaboration is probably the closest thing to box-office perfection out there.”
“Up” features the voice of Ed Asner as a lonely widower who ties helium balloons to his house and flies to a South American adventure with an unexpected 9-year-old stowaway, Russell (newcomer Jordan Nagai).
Factoring in higher admission prices, earlier Pixar movies such as “Toy Story 2″ and “Monsters, Inc.” sold more tickets than “Up” over their first weekends, according to the AP.
“Up” drew both family crowds and adults without children, and the film’s 3-D release accounted for 51 percent of the total gross, the AP reported. “Up” is the first Pixar film to be released in 3-D.
The weekend’s other new wide release, director Sam Raimi’s return to horror, “Drag Me to Hell,” opened at No. 3 with $16.6 million. It wasn’t muc commpared to the blockbuster opening weekends for Raimi’s ”Spider-Man” movies but pretty good considering his previous efforts like the “Evil Dead” films, known as cult classics rather than blockbuster powerhouses.
The previous weekend’s No. 1 film, the family-friendly sequel “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian,” came in at No. 2 with $25.5 million. The sequel raised its 10-day total to $105.3 million.
“Star Trek” continued to boldly go toward box-office greatness, coming in at No. 5 with $12.8 million. Director J.J. Abrams’ reboot of the venerable sci-fi series raised its domestic total to $209.5 million, becoming the first 2009 release to cross the $200 million mark, according to the AP.
Hollywood finished off May with record revenues of $1.02 billion, coming in slightly ahead of the previous high in May 2007, the AP reported.
While May revenues came in 4.7 percent above those of May 2008, Hollywood has yet to see a soaring opening comparable to last year’s action hits “Iron Man” and “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” which both topped $300 million domestically.
Overall weekend revenues were at $167 million, virtually even with the same period last year, according to the AP.
Total revenues for 2009 rose to $4.1 billion, up 13.7 percent. Movie attendance was about 11 percent ahead of last year’s.
Here is the top 10 list, according to the AP:
1. “Up,” $68.2 million.
2. “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian,” $25.5 million.
3. “Drag Me to Hell,” $16.6 million.
4. “Terminator Salvation,” $16.1 million.
5. “Star Trek,” $12.8 million.
6. “Angels & Demons,” $11.2 million.
7. “Dance Flick,” $4.9 million.
8. “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” $3.9 million.
9. “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past,” $1.9 million.
10. “Obsessed,” $665,000.