Taking on the social outcasts are Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig in the thriller The Invasion; There's the post Roman Empire drama The Last Legion (reviews); And finally death takes a holiday in the comedy Death at the Funeral (reviews), which starts a limited run...
Pamela McClintock and Dave McNary of Variety:
As the summer races to a close, Sony's R-rated teen laffer "Superbad" will try to live up to its buzz and beat out holdovers "Rush Hour 3" and "The Bourne Ultimatum" in what could be a tight race at the domestic box office.
"Superbad," directed by Greg Mottola and produced by Judd Apatow, opens today in 2,948 locations. Jonah Hill and Michael Cera star.
Warner Bros. quietly enters the market after an extended delay with Nicole Kidman-Daniel Craig starrer "The Invasion," a remake of sci-fi classic "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" that bows in 2,776 theaters. Likewise, the Weinstein Co. quietly opens historical epic "The Last Legion," starring Colin Firth and Anthony Hopkins, in 2,002.
With awards season approaching, Picturehouse opens Sundance docu "King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters," about two men vying for the vidgame Donkey Kong championship, in five theaters in New York and Los Angeles.
Warner Independent Pictures bows environmental docu "The 11th Hour," narrated and produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, in four Gotham and Los Angeles locations.
And MGM opens Sidney Kimmel Entertainment's family dramedy "Death at a Funeral," directed by Frank Oz, in 374 locations in key markets. Ensemble cast includes Matthew Macfayden, Keeley Hawes, Andy Nyman and Alan Tudyk.
With "Superbad," Sony is borrowing a page from Universal, which has enjoyed strong success with lower-budgeted raunchy laffers, including this summer's sleeper hit "Knocked Up," directed by Apatow. "Superbad" cost $18 million to produce, according to the studio.
Sony expects "Superbad" to be a strong builder in the manner of comedies like "Knocked Up" and New Line's "Wedding Crashers." Challenge will be to lure a broader aud beyond younger men and the teenage set. The pic's hard R-rating could also dent box office receipts.
With the majors essentially done rolling out their summer fare, "Superbad" should have through Labor Day to play out.
No one is predicting whether "Superbad" will be able to best "Rush Hour 3," which heads into its second frame, or "Bourne," which heads into its third.
"Invasion" faced several hurdles in getting to the bigscreen. Oliver Hirschbiegel wrapped lensing in early 2006 -- before Craig filmed "Casino Royale--but the studio and producer Joel Silver decided they needed to do reshoots. Andy and Larry Wachowski were brought in for rewrites, with filmmaker James McTeigue directing the new scenes.
Neither "Invasion" nor "Last Legion" is expected to pose strong competition...
Meanwhile, on the foreign front...
Nicole Sperling of Entertainment Weekly:
Expect the heavily promoted coming-of-age comedy to open on top, easily beating Kidman and Craig's ''Invasion''
Given all of invasion's reported difficulties, it's a wonder the film got finished....
Next Up: Resurrecting The Champ, The Nanny Diaries and Mr. Bean's Holiday get in the game before Summer calls it quits a week later...