Carrey the ‘Almighty’ Takes on ‘Matrix’

By Paul Martin May 27th, 2003, in The Matrix Reloaded

Keanu Reeves’ Neo may be the future savior of the human race, but Jim Carrey is prepping his role as a stand-in for God in a much more contemporary context.

Either way, the two would-be deities will face off this weekend at the Memorial Day box office, when moviegoers choose between the postapocalyptic world of Warner Bros. Pictures’ reigning champ “The Matrix Reloaded” and the world of Carrey madness in Universal Pictures’ Friday opener “Bruce Almighty.”

“Reloaded,” which added biggest first-week grosser to its list of accolades earned since last weekend’s box office bonanza, has reaped $151.9 million in its first six days of release, surpassing Sony’s “Spider-Man” record set last summer. The R-rated film from producer Joel Silver and writer-directors Larry and Andy Wachowski could be in for a steep fall, resulting in some serious competition for the top spot from “Almighty.”

Co-produced with Spyglass Entertainment, “Almighty” returns Carrey to what his fans love him for: gut-busting physical comedy. That seems to be reflected in the tracking numbers, which show broad appeal across all demographics. Some speculate that the PG-13 “Almighty,” which will bow in 3,482 theaters, could gross in the $50 million range, possibly hitting $60 million over the four-day period. The film co-stars Jennifer Aniston as Carrey’s wife and Morgan Freeman as God.

Carrey’s box office draw with “Almighty” is likely to eclipse his 1997 comedic hit “Liar Liar,” from Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment, which grossed $181 million after opening to a $31.4 million weekend. But the film will have a tougher time crossing 2000’s “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” which opened to a $55 million weekend and grossed $260 million.

Fortunately, “Almighty” reteams Carrey with director Jim Shadyac; the duo has made some of Carrey’s biggest hits, including “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” and “Liar Liar.” In “Almighty,” Carrey plays an unsatisfied television reporter who criticizes God one too many times and is granted the powers of the Almighty to see if he can do any better.

The only other wide release this holiday weekend is “The In-Laws” from Warner Bros. Pictures. A remake starring Michael Douglas and Albert Brooks as rival fathers of a soon-to-be-married couple, “In-Laws” is looking to score big with older audiences.

Directed by Andrew Fleming (“Dick”), the PG-13 comedy will bow in 2,652 theaters and is likely to score in the single-digit/low-teen range for the four-day weekend.

Some industry insiders speculate that with all that’s in the market this weekend, including such strong holdovers as “X2: X-Men United” and “Daddy Day Care,” “In-Laws” might get lost in the shuffle.

On the limited-release front, Italian filmmaker Emanuele Crialese’s latest, “Respiro,” from Sony Pictures Classics, will bow in New York and Los Angeles. A 2002 Cannes award winner, the film has received rave reviews and is a favorite among the indie crowd. Filmed on Lampedusa, an island off western Sicily, “Respiro” centers on a young mother whose free-spirited attitude causes rumors to spread around the small town.

“Gigantic: A Tale of Two Johns,” an unrated documentary from Cowboy Pictures, will bow in two locations. Profiling the career of music group They Might Be Giants, the film mixes footage from videos, performance, interviews with band members and various celebrities reciting the band’s lyrics.

Opening in Los Angeles and New York this weekend, IFC’s “Manic” stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, best known for his role as Tommy Solomon in NBC’s “3rd Rock From the Sun,” and indie faves Zooey Deschanel and Don Cheadle. The film, which, garnered critical acclaim at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival, centers on disturbed youths serving time at a mental institution.

By Nicole Sperling

Source: Yahoo News

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