Yuma Scores at Boxoffice
James Mangold and producer Cathy Konrad‘s follow-up to their Walk the Line, the western 3:10 to Yuma starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale, took top stop at the boxoffice over the weekend. Variety reports that it played on the high-end of expectations with Ben Fritz writing that it was moved up to “give it more breathing room” before the release of Brad Pitt’s The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Read about how the rest of the pics played here.
Cates to Produce Oscars, Again
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences is standing by its lucky guy Gil Cates who has signed on to produce the Oscarcast again next year. It will be his 14th time driving the Oscar train, a job that in itself has garnered 99 Emmy nominations and 25 wins, Variety reports.
Variety on Blanchett, Elizabeth
On the heels of her best actress win at the Venice Film Festival, Cate Blanchett made her way overseas to Toronto to tout a return to the throne in Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Variety‘s Todd McCarthy is happy to see her reprise the role that made her famous, but that’s about it. “Without the pleasure of watching Cate Blanchettâ€¦there would be little to recommend this latest of many cinematic and television accounts of the celebrated monarch’s lifeâ€¦” If you care to read on, click here.
Penn to Go Gay for Gus
Gay helmer Gus Van Sant is pushing Sean Penn and Matt Damon for a biopic about openly gay politico Harvey Milk. Penn is attached to play Milk with Matt attached to play the assassin who guns him down, reports THR out of Toronto. Sideways Michael London is producing.
Lionsgate loves Mandate
In other Toronto news, Lionsgate said in THR Monday that it has made a buy to acquire Mandate Pictures for $56.3 million in cash and stock. The trade paper writes that the deal reunites Lionsgate with Joe Drake, who prior to launching Mandate served as head of Lionsgate’s international distribution. Since he left, he has been involved in Mandate pics like Stranger Than Fiction and the upcoming Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium.
– CHRIS GARDNER