Casey Affleck, Oscar nominated for “Manchester by the Sea,” is neck and neck with Ryan Gosling, of “La La Land,” in the Oscar race. His latest film, “A Ghost Story,” with Rooney Mara, screened Jan. 22 at Sundance. “Manchester” cost $8.5 million and already has grossed over $50 million. That will double after the Oscars, which is a far cry from Casey’s last film, “Triple 9,” which opened last February, with Chiwetel Ejiofor, Anthony Mackie, Aaron Paul, “Wonder Woman” Gal Gadot, Woody Harrelson and Kate Mara. It cost $20 million to make and grossed only $23 million. Casey’s brother, Ben Affleck, would’ve been thrilled with those grosses for “Live by Night,” which he wrote, produced, directed and starred in. It cost $65 million and grossed just $16 million ... ouch!
*** Armie Hammer will have six films out this year. His last film, “Nocturnal Animals,” with Jake Gyllenhaal, was a hit, with his next film, “Free Fire,” opening March 31 in England. June 16 brings the animated “Cars 3,” with Owen Wilson and Cristela Alonso. “Call Me by Your Name,” Hammer’s “Brokeback Mountain,” screened Jan. 22 at Sundance. It’s a 1980s love story between an American summer guest (Hammer) in Italy and a local 17-year-old (Timothee Chalamet), which contains explicit sex scenes. You can be sure it’ll get a release date soon.
Another British film, “Final Portrait,” directed by Stanley Tucci and co-starring Geoffrey Rush and Tony Shalhoub, is in post-production. Hammer currently is filming “Hotel Mumbai,” with “Lion” Oscar-nominee Dav Patel, and is awaiting a release date for “Mine,” co-starring “The Mummy’s” Annabelle Wallis. The Italian-American psychological thriller opened in Italy to lukewarm reviews in October.
*** Are you ready for another award show hosted by another talk-show host? James Corden hosted the Grammy Awards Feb. 12 on CBS, and Jimmy Kimmel hosts The Oscars Feb. 26 on ABC. He also hosted the Emmys in 2012 and 2016 on ABC. Jimmy Fallon hosted in 2010, Seth Meyers hosted 2014 on NBC, and Stephen Colbert now has been named to host the Emmy Awards on Sept. 17 on CBS. See a pattern here? At least Colbert has won nine Emmys (for “The Colbert Report” on Comedy Central), while Kimmel has never even appeared in a movie!
*** The sequel for “Jurassic World” (which grossed $1.67 billion) will be unleashed June 22, 2018. Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and B.D. Wong are returning, along with (reportedly) the raptors. A new addition is Toby Jones. He’s the voice of Dobby in the “Harry Potter” films, and also starred in the recent BBC “Sherlock,” and the “Captain America” and “Hunger Games” franchise. It won’t be long before they create one of these parks for real ... hopefully, I’ll be too old and tough to be eaten by a T-Rex!