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I have managed to sneak in another update before Christmas, and I’m glad I did – I’ve capped (and watched) Reese’s interview with Chelsea Lately, and it was a great interview! It felt a lot more relaxed than some talk shows do, and was very funny (well, most Reese interviews are funny, I know ). So, 200+ screencaps from the show have been added to Reese-Pics.com for your viewing pleasure!
This will be the last update before Christmas, but I will be back next week (or the week after) with lots more Reese goodies for you to enjoy
Opening in eighth place, James L. Brooks’s comedy How Do You Know, starring Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson, and Jack Nicholson, collected $7.6m at 2,483 locations. How Do You Know’s average per site was a mere $3,061.
Brooks’ comedy cost a reported $120m. Thus, How Do You Know has become one of the year’s major box-office disasters.
It’s nearly impossible to compare How Do You Know to the performances of Brooks’ early hits Terms of Endearment (1983) and Broadcast News (1987) because distribution patterns were different in those days and movie theaters were different (generally much bigger, i.e., more tickets could be sold per theater) back then as well.
But How Do You Know performed even worse than Brooks’ previous box-office disappointment, Spanglish (2004), which starred Adam Sandler and opened with $8.81m at 2,438 sites. Spanglish cumed at $42.72m.
Meanwhile “How Do You Know” opened at No. 8 with just $7.6 million in the United States and Canada, far short of modest expectations in the $12 million range. The Columbia Pictures project cost about $100 million to make, with half the budget spent on salaries for Witherspoon, co-stars Jack Nicholson, Owen Wilson and Paul Rudd, and writer/director James L. Brooks. Extensive reshoots also drove up costs.
Executives at the Sony Corp unit were despondent about the opening, although the film had suffered bad buzz for some time with no help from a forgettable title.
How do you know it’s not working? Ask Reese Witherspoon, who goes on the date from hell in “How Do You Know.”
In real life, she says, “once I went on a blind date and he corrected my grammar. I knew in the first 10 minutes that the date was over.”
In the new romantic comedy, Witherspoon plays an athlete who must chose between two suitors played by Paul Rudd and Owen Wilson.
Q. What was it like to play a more non-sentimental woman who is confused about love?
A. It was interesting. I’ve done a lot of comedies where the woman talks about the man. She runs around going, “What should I do?” She cries to her girlfriends about love. The woman I play in this movie has a hard time conveying her own emotions. She doesn’t even really want to talk about things. She says to her boyfriend, played by Owen Wilson, “If I wake up in the middle of the night crying, just ignore me.” No woman would say that in real life to her boyfriend! I usually play more verbal characters. This woman is more internal.
Q. You play a woman who is not that interested in settling down and getting married. Can you relate?
A. I have a lot of friends like that. This role was written so beautifully. I love that she’s not afraid to be honest about not wanting what other women want. Obviously, it’s not like me. I have two kids and a very settled-down life.
Q. Your softball player character must leave the sports biz because she’s getting older. Ever worry about aging in Hollywood?
A. It’s a parallel to being an actor. As a woman, we have a time. It’s our time to work, we work a lot, and then hopefully you shift and become the Meryl Streeps or Diane Keatons of this business. I do know actresses have a shelf life and an expiration date.
No such luck when it came to audience scores for the new James L. Brooks romantic comedy How Do You Know, starring the likable trio of Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, and Owen Wilson, which pulled in just $2.5 million. It’s been a while since moviegoers have rallied around a rom com and the tender-hearted among us hoped Brooks $100 million-efforts (youch!) would mine some of his past gold. Alas, reviews were decidedly dismissive, and CinemaScore audiences slapped it with a C-. Even more depressing, the film was nudged from the No. 5 spot by The Tourist‘s equally languid numbers. Somewhere, Brooks is moaning of a broken heart.
1. “Tron: Legacy” – $18M
2. “Yogi Bear” – $4.7M
3. “The Fighter” – $3.8M
4. “The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader” – $3.7M
5. “How Do You Know” – $2.9M
6. “Black Swan” – $2.7M
7. “The Tourist” – $2.6M
8. “Tangled” – $2.5M,
9. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt 1″ – $1.5M
10. “Unstoppable” – $675K
SheKnows: You’ve obviously worked with Jack several times. Do you ever write with a specific actor in mind?
James L. Brooks: I have. In As Good as it Gets there was no way the movie could be made with out Jack Nickolson. I think that was true and I knew it from the beginning. In Starting Over I was hoping Jack would do that movie and it didn’t happen. Tea Leoni is someone I approached early on for Spanglish. Reese [Witherspoon] on this movie. I think that’s pretty much it, where I started with an idea for somebody.
SheKnows: Working with Reese Witherspoon, I know you said that you thought of her for this role. When an actress like that says yes let’s do it, that’s got to infuse you with excitement for the project.
James L. Brooks: It’s not quite like that, actually [laughs]. It’s like I feel myself a slave to the project. I feel that I feel an enormous responsibility to the actors. I think one of the most devastating things that could happen to me, and there are a lot of devastating things that can happen to you when making a movie, is that if an actor was unhappy with having been in a movie. I feel that responsibility very much. But my job is to serve it. This is not about me. It’s out there and we’re all together out there. So I don’t think about it quite that way. If you do feel that stuff, it falls to the side of the work very quickly. You’re a human being trying to get it right.
Watching Reese Witherspoon work the red carpet at the premiere of her new film, “How Do You Know,” like a cheery little munchkin, 5 feet nothing and shrinking, you can’t help but think:
This girl is so not a member of Team USA Softball.
But that’s exactly what the actress plays, and believably, in the film from Academy Award-winning writer-director James L. Brooks (“Terms of Endearment,” “As Good as it Gets”). The old-fashioned romantic-comedy (in theaters Friday) hinges on Witherspoon’s Lisa, a hyper-driven USA Softball stalwart who, at 31, is forced to re-examine her life — and her relationship with a happy-go-lucky Washington Nationals relief pitcher played by Owen Wilson — when she’s cut from the team.
“Coming in, my softball skills were slim to none,” Witherspoon said. “Now, they’re better. Definitely not good, but better.”
For that, Witherspoon gives credit to some of the sports biggest names. The Oscar-winner (for “Walk the Line”) didn’t take the role lightly, enlisting gamers like Jennie Finch and Natasha Watley and legendary UCLA women’s softball coach Sue Enquist to help her climb into her character’s skin. Cleats, too.