What's Popping: 'Hunger Games', Alien Turtles, 'John Carter', 'Midnight Run 2'

The Hunger Games

Everyone knew The Hunger Games is going to open big, it's just a matter of figuring out how big. Conservative estimates had the movie opening in the $82-$115 million range, but it could also open somewhere up there in $125-$135 million range. Now that the Friday estimate is in, it appears the movie will outdo even the most optimistic box office projections. With an estimated $68.25 million for Friday, The Hunger Games is on track to make somewhere between $135-$160 million.

Michael Bay's seemingly innocuous description of the upcoming live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie to ad buyers in New York caused an uproar with the fan base on the interwebs. Bay said the Turtles in movie are "tough, edgy, and completely loveable." He also said they are of an "alien race." That last tidbit is what caused the fans to bring out the torches and pitchforks.

Back in the days, before the internet was disrupting business models of dead tree publishers, Variety sat at the top as Hollywood's premier trade mag. Fast forward to the here and now, Variety is a shell of its former self and has announced that it's looking for a buyer.

According to estimates, Disney's sci-fi epic John Carter cost $350 million to make and market, but has, so far, only made $185 million at the box office worldwide. Disney said that it expects a writedown of $200 million for the movie, which makes it the biggest box office bust of all time.

Robert De Niro is back for another Midnight Run. Work for the sequel was announced back in 2010, but the movie appears to be picking up steam with Universal out talking to directors. The one they're eyeing is none other than Brett Ratner. Supposedly, the sequel will pair De Niro with a younger comedic foil.

Other News & Notes:

Todd Phillips says Hangover 3 will be the last one.

The Expendables 3 will shoot this fall, according to Randy Couture.

Juan Carlos Fresnadillo is no longer directing Bioshock.

Chloë Moretz & Haley Bennett are on the shortlist to play the title character in the Carrie remake.

George Orwell's 1984 is getting another feature adaptation.

Martin Campbell replaces James Cameron for The Dive.

Abigail Breslin joins Halle Berry in the thriller The Hive.

Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn will return to the big screen with supernatural elements.

Reese Witherspoon developing Pennyroyal's Princess Boot Camp and may eye a supporting role.

David O. Russell takes on the undercover sting operation on Congress in American Bullshit.

Uwe Boll strikes again with The Bailout, a movie about the 2008 Wall Street financial meltdown.

Russell Crowe finalized deal to play Noah in Darren Aronofsky's bibilical tale.

Legendary to develop modern day dragon-slaying pic.

The Wolverine teaser poster may have leaked online.

Anthony Head will play Chiron the centaur in Percy Jackson sequel.

Director Jack Bender exits Paramount's Jack Ryan reboot.

Chronicle director Josh Trank will direct The Red Star for Warner Bros.

Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase team for comedy.

Binh Ngo's Latest Blog Entries:

Sony has dated The Sinister Six, The Amazing Spider-Man spin-off that will be centered on a group of villains, for November 11, 2016. The studio has also...
A new writer has come on board to pen Warner Bros.' live-action take on Akira, the 1988 animation about a youth's emerging, but dangerous, psychic powers and...
This week on The Download, we talk about Universal taking Marvel's approach in reviving its classic movie monsters and the new Ouija trailer. Come and join in...
Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan are leading the charge to revive Universal's classic movie monsters. Instead of stand-alones, these movies will have...
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are teaming up for a drama called By The Sea, according to Variety. The movie is said to be about a couple's relationship. Besides...

John Carter Photo Gallery

More John Carter News