That’s smaller than the openings for other recent Disney live-action fairy tales like Alice in Wonderland ($116.1 million) and Oz the Great and Powerful ($79.1 million), but bigger than the opening for Snow White and the Huntsman ($56.2 million), which was produced by Universal.
Box-office update: Angelina Jolie, X-Men set new records, while God’s Not Dead passes Son of God in N America
The big news yesterday was that MGM is thinking of making yet another film version of Ben-Hur — and that was just one week after it was reported that Brad Pitt was thinking of starring in a movie called Pontius Pilate. But there have been a few other reports over the last few days about films in development with a Greco-Roman theme.
First, last Wednesday, the Hollywood Reporter said Ang Lee, the Oscar-winning director of Brokeback Mountain and Life of Pi, was interested in directing the Cleopatra movie that Angelina Jolie has been attached to for the past couple years.
If no one had told you that Wanted was based on a series of comic books, you probably could have guessed it. The film occupies a very familiar space between the sublimely silly and the oddly profound, using lots of visual razzle-dazzle to trick you into lowering your expectations and settling for little more than a fun ride, and then it hits you with plot twists that make you think, “Whoa.” Or at least, “Huh!”
First, for the handful of obsessive film buffs out there who never read the tabloids, Mr. & Mrs. Smith has nothing to do with the 1940s screwball comedy of that name directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Instead, it is a curious hybrid of action movie and domestic comedy that stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as professional assassins who are married to each other but have kept their jobs secret from one another. Each spouse has all sorts of gadgets and weapons hidden around the house, and each assumes the other has a regular, boring job. And perhaps, in trying to live up to their suburban disguise, they have let things become too boring.
Years ago, when I was a teenager obsessed with history, I began to wonder why Christ had come to Earth at the particular time that he did. Why not a century or two earlier or later? I eventually settled on the idea that he had come at the time that would have been most opportune for spreading the gospel — a time after the Greeks had unified many of the world’s cultures and bestowed on them a common language, and a time after the Romans had unified many of the world’s governments. It seemed unfair, then, that the Bible had almost nothing to say about the Greek empire; the Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian and Roman empires all had major roles to play, but apart from an obscurely-written prophetic passage or two, the Greeks fell into that gap between the Testaments.