'The Social Network' Recent News

It’s Not Too Late For Rooney Mara, Unsung Star of “Social Network”

With all due respect to the actresses in the running for this year’s best supporting actress Oscar, the 2010 field is far from the deepest field in the history of the category. Nobody is — or, frankly, should be — a sure thing at this point, which inherently means that everybody still has a shot. For this reason, I’d like to discuss a name that’s been on my mind a lot lately: Rooney Mara, the 25-year-old actress who gives a brilliant performance as Erica Albright — a B.U. student whose decision to dump her Harvard boyfriend Mark Zuckerberg indirectly leads him to create Facebook — in the critical and commercial hit/best picture Oscar frontrunner “The Social Network.”

I am totally convinced that Mara would be generating serious awards buzz right about now if she, like all of the other people competing for a nomination, could have been in the United States at the time of her film’s release to promote it and, in so doing, herself. She could not be, though, because she was needed on the Sweden-set of the film that will probably make her a household name less than a year from now, the American version of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” (Incidentally, the director David Fincher cast her in that film’s title role — which was more highly-coveted than any other for young actresses in years — because she had so greatly impressed him during the making of “The Social Network.”) Continue reading It’s Not Too Late For Rooney Mara, Unsung Star of “Social Network”

'The Social Network' Review

‘Social’ No. 1 for 2nd straight weekend

Disney’s “Secretariat” may not prove a hopeless nag, but it certainly wasn’t a quick-starting thoroughbred in its domestic debut as a sturdy rival ended up in the winner’s circle after a lackluster box-office derby.

Sony’s “The Social Network” fell a modest 31% in its second outing to nab the weekend laurels, with a $15.5 million performance yielding $46.1 million in cumulative coin and bolstering hopes of a leggy run by the critically lauded legal drama. Warner Bros.’ romantic comedy “Life as We Know It” — starring Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel as a couple contrived via involuntary parenthood — adopted an estimated $14.6 million to place second in its opening frame, while “Secretariat” was third with $12.6 million.

Whether that puts the high profile horse-racing drama in the money is another matter.

“Secretariat” was produced for just $32 million, but as a major movie release it also carries hefty marketing expenses. Disney wouldn’t disclose the costs of its campaign, though a studio insider put marketing outlays at $30 million-$35 million, or notably below the Hollywood norm.

In many cases, a movie reaches the break-even point once its U.S. and Canadian box office matches production costs. If it fetches a similar sum abroad, that equates to exhibitors’ split of receipts, while ancillary revenue from home entertainment and TV distribution can be viewed as a means of recouping marketing expenses.

Picture profitability aside, Disney needs a decent theatrical ride with “Secretariat” to salvage corporate pride. So execs now will look to the next couple of weekends to pad the film’s poor opening stake.

The Burbank studio hasn’t had much recent luck at the multiplexes, except for summer’s Pixar-produced “Toy Story 3.” Disney will screen the 3D animated family-fantasy “Tangled” for exhibitors attending the annual ShowEast confab in Orlando on Monday night.

Directed by Randall Wallace (“We Were Soldiers”), “Secretariat” stars Diane Lane as the 1973 Triple Crown winner’s middle-aged owner Penny Chenery. Opening audiences were comprised 65% of couples, while females represented 54% of the PG pic’s support, and 60% of patrons were aged 35 or older.

“The people who have seen it loved it,” Disney distribution boss Chuck Viane said. “So we’re going to hope that it will have legs.”

“Secretariat” lagged its historical comparison in its first frame. Universal’s 2003 racing drama “Seabiscuit” debuted with $20.9 million and grossed $120 million overall domestically.

Rated PG-13 and helmed by Greg Berlanti (“The Broken Hearst Club”), “Life” was produced for an estimated $35 million and was co-financed by Village Roadshow.

Its opening audiences skewed 68% female, with 70% of patrons aged 25 or older.

“We had a nice weekend,” Warners exec vp distribution Jeff Goldstein said.

Two other movies opened wide during the weekend to dismal results.

Rogue Pictures’ Wes Craven-penned and –helmed 3D horror pic “My Soul to Take” took fifth place on the frame, scaring up just $6.9 million despite premium ticket prices in more than 1,900 locations playing the R-rated pic in 3D. Its 3D venues contributed a whopping 86% of opening grosses.

Universal distributed Stateside and Alliance in Canada, attracting audiences comprised 54% of females and 52% of moviegoers aged 25 or older. “Soul” was produced for an estimated $25 million.

Also, Uni’s specialty division Focus Features unspooled “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” — a dramatic comedy rated PG-13 and starring Zach Galifianakis — in a barely wide 742 theaters and grossed $2 million, or a disappointing $2,712 per venue. Support came 54% from females and skewed 52% to patrons under age 25.

Collectively, the pre-Columbus Day weekend’s top 10 movies rang up $77.3 million, or almost 17% less than top performers in a comparable frame last year, Rentrak said. (Though a federal holiday, Columbus Day isn’t considered part of the box-office weekend, which remains a three-day session.)

Among the weekend’s limited bows, Overture unspooled “Stone” — a dramatic thriller starring Robert De Niro, Edward Norton and Milla Jovovich — in four New York locations and two in L.A. and grossed $73,000, or a solid $12,167 per site. The R-rated pic represents the last Overture release before its operations are swept up into Relativity branding.

Sony Pictures Classics bowed the Stephen Frears-directed “Tamara Drewe,” an R-rated comedy starring Gemma Arterton, in two locations in New York and two in L.A and grossed $19,282, or an acceptable $4,820 per site.

The always-prolific specialty distributor also debuted financial-crisis documentary “Inside Job” in a pair of New York theaters to gross $42,017, or an auspicious $21,008 per venue.

The Weinstein Co. opened “Nowhere Boy,” a biopic about John Lennon’s boyhood days, with $56,065 from four playdates. That represented a tuneful $14,016 per engagement.

Looking ahead, two pics open wide on Friday – Paramount’s youth-seeking 3D threequel “Jackass 3D” and Summit Entertainment’s adult-targeting action comedy “Red.”

Source: Hollywood Reporter

'The Social Network'

‘Social’s’ $23 mil solid start tops box office

A curious box-office creature, Sony’s “The Social Network”appears more tortoise than hare.

The David Fincher-helmed drama about the creation of Facebook posted an estimated $23 million to top the domestic box office during the weekend. Yet the “Social” launch fell in the lower end of projections, despite showing broad demographic bandwidth.

Prerelease interest in the PG-13 pic was keenest among younger males, even though dramas tend to play older. But as things turned out, opening audiences for “Social” were comprised 53% of females, with 55% of patrons aged 25 or older.

The older-skewing profile could be good news for the film’s longer-term prospects. Such pics often show sturdy legs, and dramas also tend to stretch grosses over a longer play period.

“It’s playing very broadly, and this is a terrific start,” Sony distribution president Rory Bruer said. “This is a movie you can’t walk down the street without hearing people talking about it, and the film should permeate in the public consciousness for weeks to come for young and old alike.”

“Social” stars Jesse Eisenberg (“Zombieland”) as youthful Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, with Andrew Garfield (“The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus”) portraying his onetime best friend and business partner and Justin Timberlake cast as Napster creator Sean Parker. Rooney Mara — recently tapped to star in the American remake of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” — plays Zuckerberg’s college girlfriend.

Produced for less than $40 million, “Social” will seek to build on its solid early start, bolstered by gathering kudos-season buzz. Almost unanimously positive reviews clearly helped to broaden the film’s bow, while non-traditional marketing included a promo page on Facebook-rival MySpace in tacit acknowledgment of the movie’s withering portrayal of Zuckerberg.

“For an adult drama, this is a terrific opening,” Bruer said. “It’s not going to open like a romantic comedy or an action adventure, but it’s going to stay around longer.”

Elsewhere among the top rankings, the 3D family adventure “Legend of the Guardian: Owls of Ga’Hoole,” from Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow, dipped just 33% from its week-earlier opening for a surprisingly strong $10.9 million in the silver-medal position and $30 million in cumulative coin. Fox’s Michael Douglas starrer “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” declined 47% to fetch $10.1 million in third place in its second weekend with a $35.9 million cume, while the Warners/Legendary heist thriller “The Town” finished fourth with $10 million and a $64.3 million cume through three frames.

Two other new wide releases settled for modest debuts: Paramount Vantage’s demonic-possession pic “Case 39” fetched $5.4 million in seventh place, and Overture’s vampire thriller “Let Me In” grabbed $5.3 million in eighth.

Collectively, the weekend top 10 registered $83.8 million, or 7% less than top performers in the same frame last year, Rentrak said.

In a limited bow, MPI/Vitagraph’s unrated horror pic “Hatchet II” grossed $68,000 from 68 playdates for a bloodless $912 per engagement.

Fox Searchlight’s dramatic thriller “Never Let Me Go” — starring “Social’s” Garfield and “Money’s” Carey Mulligan — added 17 theaters for a total 43 to ring up $188,497. That represented an acceptable $4,384 per venue and pushed pic cume to $725,816.

Sony Pictures Classics expanded Woody Allen’s “You Will Meet a Tall, Dark Stranger” by 23 playdates for a total 29 to gross $232,424, or a solid $8,015 per engagement. “Stranger” cume climbed to $518,909.

“Case 39” stars Renee Zellweger as a social worker trying to help a mysterious young girl. Co-stars include Bradley Cooper, with German helmer Christian Alvart (“Antibodies”) directing.

Opening audiences for the R-rated pic skewed 53% female, with 55% of patrons aged 25 or older.

Produced for an estimated $27 million, “Case 39” has rung up $17 million in foreign box office since bowing abroad last year.

Helmed by Matt Reeves (“Cloverfield”), “Let Me In” stars Chloe Moretz, Richard Jenkins and Kodi Smit-McPhee and is based on the 2008 Swedish horror film “Let the Right One In.” The R-rated film drew audiences comprised 53% of females, with 50% of patrons under age 25.

Its production costs totaled less than $20 million, with Hammer Films co-producing.

Looking ahead, three movies open wide on Friday, including yet another horror movie — Wes Craven’s “My Soul to Take” from Universal and Rogue. Also bowing wide: Disney’s sports drama “Secretariat” and Warners’ dramatic comedy “Life As We Know It.”

Disney’s 804 sneak previews on Saturday of “Secretariat” played to 59% capacity audiences comprised 55% of patrons aged 35 or older. Warners’ 811 sneaks of “Life” the same night drew similar results, with 60% capacity audiences and half its support from moviegoers aged 30 or older.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

'The Social Network' Recent News Review

The Social Network is About Social Upheaval. Forget Everything Else

There is a wide backlash from new media professionals about The Social Network. Jose Antonio Vargas says that the movie shows how much Hollywood doesn’t understand Silicon Valley. Jeff Jarvis thinks it vilifies nerds and is the new “anti-geek movie.” People who want absolute allegiance to the “truth” of Facebook’s founding are offended by the dramatization of it all, although nobody actually knows the truth.

After seeing the movie last night, I take those criticisms to heart. But I didn’t enjoy the movie for any of those points. IMHO, the movie speaks to this generation’s definition of the new media industry more than anything else.

The Social Network is about social upheaval in the digital age. It’s about the ability of a new media class to deconstruct centuries worth of privilege and access that would’ve won in every other generation but now. Continue reading The Social Network is About Social Upheaval. Forget Everything Else

'The Social Network' Video

‘Social Network’ Exclusive Clip: Rooney Mara Chastises Jesse Eisenberg

That tagline “You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies” is especially fitting in this exclusive clip new from ‘The Social Network,’ in which Erica Albright (‘Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ star Rooney Mara) gives Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) a piece of her mind after reading nasty comments Mark wrote about her on the Internet. Among the damage: snide remarks about her bra size and family name, as well as flat-out calling her a, well, not-so-nice word.

Check out the clip after the jump, then be sure to see ‘The Social Network’ when it hits theaters this Friday, Oct. 1.

Source: Movie Fone

'The Social Network' Public Events

‘Social Network’ to open Tokyo

David Fincher’s “The Social Network” will open the Tokyo Intl. Film Festival, the fest announced on Tuesday.

Ben Affleck’s suspenser-actioner “The Town” is skedded to close the 23rd edition of the fest, which will unspool Oct. 23-31 in Tokyo.

The lineup of guests has yet to be announced, but given the fest’s track record as a B.O. launch pad for its opening and closing pics, talent from “The Social Network” and “The Town” will no doubt be present in force.

The opening pic last year, “Avatar,” finished its Japan run with nearly $180 million.

“The Social Network” is skedded for release by Sony on Jan. 15, while Warner will bow “The Town” sometime in 2011.

The Tokyo fest also announced a special screening of Claude Chabrol’s 2009 pic “Bellamy,” as a tribute to the late helmer, who died on Sept. 12, as well as the 10-pic lineup of its World Cinema section, which will include Roman Polanski’s “The Ghost Writer” and Michel Gondry’s “Thorn in the Heart.” Pics in this section have screened at major fests around the world, but have not yet secured a Japan distribution deal.

Source: Variety