Articles from July 2006

SLEEPY HOLLOW, starring Johnny Depp, released on high-definition DVD

Paramount Home Video has announced that it released SLEEPY HOLLOW, the 1999 release directed by Tim Burton, on high-definition DVD on July 25th. SLEEPY HOLLOW features Johnny Depp’s memorable portrayal of the nervous but insightful police constable Ichabod Crane. DVD reviewer Mark Zimmer writes, “The high-definition widescreen transfer has its high points; the closeups of important manuscripts in particular are stunning in their clarity and definition. Much of the rest of the film has heavy grain and is swathed in fog [. . .]. Although the characters generally look fine, the backgrounds have an unfortunate tendency to shimmer. [. . .] It is, nevertheless, a huge improvement over the murky original DVD, and the blacks and whites are nice and crisp throughout.” You can read the full review on the Zone’s News & Views forum; thanks to theresa for posting it. Amazon currently offers the high-definition SLEEPY HOLLOW for $19.95; you can order it HERE.

Johnny Depp a delight on THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN

Johnny Depp delighted host David Letterman and a warmly appreciative crowd in his appearance on THE LATE SHOW on Thursday night, July 27th. Letterman began with a standard inquiry about whether the Disney executives had “any second thoughts” about Johnny in the leading role of Captain Jack Sparrow. “Oh, yeah–second, third, fourth,” Johnny replied, smiling. “They were concerned that I was–in their words–‘ruining the movie.'” Replied Letterman, “Yeah–you ruined it $330 million worth,” as the audience roared with laughter.

Letterman then persuaded Johnny to divulge what he did to the giant billboard of himself as Officer Tom Hanson that graced the 20th Century-Fox studios on Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles in the early days of 21 JUMP STREET. “There was a massive billboard of me with a gun,” Johnny admitted, “with a slogan that said, ‘Other kids pack lunch.’ I knew right away that something had to be done about it. [. . .] I thought the gun was bad news, and I thought my mug up there was worse.” So what did Johnny do? “I commandeered a friend of mine, and we went to a hardware store and bought some paint.” You can hear what Johnny did with that paint at two in the morning HERE. Choose “Johnny Depp’s Billboard Caper” in the “Big Show Highlights.”

You can see a larger version of the picture of Johnny with Letterman HERE, and a different shot of Johnny HERE. Thanks very much to AnaMaria and bonnie for the great pictures. And thanks to David Letterman for delivering such a charming interview with Johnny. We loved every minute of it.

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp arrives at the taping of THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN

The photo at left shows Johnny Depp as he arrived this afternoon, Thursday July 29th, outside the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City, to tape his appearance tonight on THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN. Johnny was wearing a white Henley shirt, jeans, a black jacket with white trim, and purple sunglasses (but no hat). The black jacket is a longtime favorite; you can read its history in previous photoshoots in a thread called “Letterman and NYC Picture Discussion” on the Pit forum. Johnny waved to the large crowd outside (including several dozen paparazzi), but did not have time to stop and sign autographs before the taping. You can read about the experiences of Zoners who waited outside the theater on the Porch. To see a larger version of our thumbnail, click HERE, and to see a head-to-toe photo of Johnny showing his full ensemble, click HERE. Thanks very much to bonnie and AnaMaria for the pictures!

TV ALERT–Johnny Depp to appear on THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN tomorrow night!

Johnny Depp will return to THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN after a three-year absence on Thursday night, July 27th–this will be Johnny’s first interview with Dave since he appeared to promote PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL in June 2003. Johnny was scheduled to appear a month ago but had to cancel his New York trip due to illness. It is a testament to the remarkable box office success of DEAD MAN’S CHEST that Johnny will appear on Thursday night as the star of the (still) #1 movie in the country. We expect some pirate jokes from Dave, and are hoping for some discussion of the joys of fatherhood as well, since Letterman has joined the ranks of doting dads since Johnny’s last visit to the show. Watch for reports from Zoners who are planning to wait and greet Johnny outside the Ed Sullivan Theater tomorrow!

A new gallery for BY FILM–PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST!

We couldn’t resist, mate–we had to add a gallery to the Johnny Depp Zone’s BY FILM section to celebrate the fantastic success of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST. You can explore our collection of 52 beautiful publicity photos and screen captures by clicking on the GALLERIES button above, selecting BY FILM, and scrolling to the final entry on the index. Many thanks to sleepy, bonnie, AnaMaria, Aisha, emma, Susanne, Carasun, sjc, Hiro3, and theresa, who generously contributed scans and screencaps for this gallery. We hope you enjoy the photos . . . but please do not hotlink to this or any of the Zone’s galleries. That uses up the bandwidth we need to keep the Zone online. Save the photos to your own computer, webspace, photobucket, or other image service before posting them elsewhere–and if you do repost our scans, please acknowledge the Zone as your source. Thanks!

Join ONBC for their exclusive question-and-answer session with Joanne Harris, author of CHOCOLAT!

Oprah Noodlemantra’s Book Club invites everyone to stop by for their exclusive question-and-answer session with Joanne Harris, the author of CHOCOLAT. Ms. Harris created the beloved characters of Vianne, Roux, Armande, Anouk, Josephine, Luc, Caroline, and Reynaud, and brought that French village to life for us in her unforgettable novel. She has graciously replied to a dozen questions submitted by the Noodlemantras; Liz and DeppintheHeartofTexas will feature a new question every day on the ONBC forum, beginning on Monday July 24th. Thanks very much to Joanne Harris for her kind attention, and to Liz and DeppintheHeartofTexas for making this interview possible. Well done, Noodlemantras! We can’t wait to read what Ms. Harris has to say.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST tops weekend box office for a 3rd consecutive week!

Johnny Depp’s PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST trounced the competition at the North American box office in its 3rd weekend of release, easily retaining the number #1 spot over its closest competitor, the new release MONSTER HOUSE. DEAD MAN’S CHEST earned an estimated $35 million this weekend–the 3rd-highest 3rd weekend total on record–and accomplished the rare feat of staying #1 for three consecutive summer weekends. The last summer movie to accomplish this was Mel Gibson’s SIGNS in 2002. With total domestic earnings of $321,733,000, DEAD MAN’S CHEST now ranks at #16 on the all-time domestic box office chart.

International audiences are also eagerly supporting Captain Jack Sparrow and his pirate crew. DEAD MAN’S CHEST has set box office records in many countries and has yet to open in several major markets. This weekend, DEAD MAN’S CHEST earned an estimated $62 million overseas, nearly 4 times the earnings of its closest competitor, SUPERMAN RETURNS. Johnny Depp’s DEAD MAN’S CHEST has earned $217 million in international markets so far; total earnings (domestic and overseas) are nearly $539 million in just three weeks of release. Disney head of distribution Chuck Viane told Variety that about 10% of DEAD MAN’S CHEST domestic ticket sales have come from repeat customers. “When you get to this level, you also are seeing it draw the kind of viewer who goes to the movies maybe once or twice a year,” he added. Thanks to emma and DeepinDepp for the box office updates!

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp's PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST becomes fastest movie ever to $300 million

Box office records continued to fall as PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST, starring Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, lured moviegoers to the theater in droves. On Saturday, July 22,its 16th day of release, DEAD MAN’S CHEST passed the $300 million mark in domestic earnings, beating the previous record-holder, STAR WARS EPISODE III–RETURN OF THE SITH, by a day. By Saturday, DEAD MAN’S CHEST had earned $311,322,000 . . . more than PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL earned in its entire six-month run in North American theaters in 2003. That’s incredible! Thanks to FANtasticJD for breaking the news.

"You don't know what he's going to do next:" D. Allan Kerr describes the genius of Johnny Depp

A critical appreciation of Johnny Depp by D. Allan Kerr is must-reading for all Deppheads. “The rulers of Disney are no doubt thrilled with the unprecedented success of installment No. 2 in the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN series,” Kerr begins; “after pulling in the biggest weekend in box-office history this month, the movie is already the champion blockbuster of the year.” But what amazes Kerr even more than DEAD MAN’S CHEST’s boffo box-office is the “mainstream recognition (and appreciation) of genuine genius,” and the genius is Johnny Depp.

“Most who are deserving of this title are only anointed by a relatively small, enlightened portion of the population, and even then only after suffering years of obscurity and hardship,” Kerr writes. “What Johnny Depp has done here is inspiring–instead of sacrificing himself on the public altar to win over the masses, he has brought the masses to him. He created something so original and with such panache that the entire world not only has to pay attention to it, they can’t get enough of it. [. . .]

“The genius of Johnny Depp is that when you’re watching him on the screen you don’t know what he’s going to do next,” Kerr observes. “It might be a roguish smile at an unexpected moment, it may be an inflection of speech that catches you off guard. He has a comic flair that invites you to root for him even when his character is decidedly unheroic. He brings to his characters a humanity that convinces audiences they are watching a true-to-life, quirks-and-all character, and not a performer playing a role.”

You can read Kerr’s inspiring analysis of Johnny’s work on the News & Views forum; the Zone thanks emma for finding this gem and posting it. Kerr even compares Johnny to his late mentor Marlon Brando, seeing them as two peas in a pod: both share the gift for making movie scenes look “unscripted and spontaneous, and therefore real.”

Keith Richards to play Teague in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 3!

An official casting notice confirms that Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones will indeed be appearing in the third PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN film. Keith will be playing a pirate named Teague. Thanks very much to emma for breaking the news! Whether Teague is in fact Captain Jack Sparrow’s father, some other relative, Jack’s mentor, or just a very cool dude, is not clear at this point. Although early rumors always suggested that Keith would be playing Captain Jack’s father, which seems quite logical given Johnny Depp’s acknowledgement that Keith inspired his portrayal of Captain Jack, in recent interviews the writers and producer have refused to confirm that relationship, and have only said that Keith will play “a pirate.”

Here’s what Jerry Bruckheimer told journalist Emmanuel Itier: “[W]e are planning on shooting Keith in September. In the third movie there is a pirates council, and he’s going to be one of the pirates in the council. That will be a lot of fun for everybody. We’ve had him in costume and he looks fantastic.” Thanks to Joni and Alix for the Bruckheimer interview; you can read it on the Porch.

In an interview with EMPIRE Magazine, Keira Knightley confirms that she has scenes scheduled with Keith Richards, but that Orlando Bloom doesn’t. You can read EMPIRE’s dual interview with Keira and Orlando HERE; thanks very much to gilly for posting it on the Porch.

Johnny Depp talks about kissing Keira Knightley and singing in SWEENEY TODD

In an interview with Ruben V. Nepales for the promotion of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST, Johnny Depp got to answer a few fresh questions. For example, Johnny was surprised to hear that co-star Keira Knightley had rated him a better kisser than Orlando Bloom. Asked to describe the mood when they kissed, Johnny diplomatically replied, “It is always awkward when you are kissing someone you are not romantically involved with. It is acting and it is fake. Kissing scenes are always strange to me, especially since Keira is twentysomething years younger. But she was a good sport. We did what we had to do . . . and moved on to the next thing. You can almost compare kissing scenes to stunts,” Johnny added. “It is a strange moment before and after. And then it is just done.”

And will Johnny feel equally awkward singing in the film version of the musical SWEENEY TODD? Johnny expressed enthusiasm for the project, calling the chance to make a sixth film with good friend Tim Burton “a great opportunity.” However, he warned the reporter that he “is not a singer.[. . .] I would never ever claim to be a singer but I am willing to give it a shot, to see if it works,” Johnny explained. At a time when he could easily rest on his accolades and enjoy his box-office success, Johnny instead is finding new ways to stretch as an actor: “It is important to try stuff.” He is even considering Marlon Brando’s advice that he play Hamlet: “It is one of the more frightening ideas ever but I think it would be great to do Hamlet in a very small theater.”

The Zone thanks gilly for posting the Nepales interview on the News & Views forum.

DEAD MAN'S CHEST tops the box office for 2nd weekend, earns $62.2 million

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST, starring Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, easily bested all competition in its second weekend, topping the North American box office charts with a hefty $62.2 million in ticket sales. DEAD MAN’S CHEST has now earned $258.2 million in 10 days of release–a new record–and is the highest-grossing movie of 2006, speeding past X-MEN: THE LAST STAND, which has earned $232 million in eight weeks. DEAD MAN’S CHEST has also earned more than $125 million in overseas markets. “It’s really fun when you’re riding a comet like this,” Chuck Viane, the head of distribution for Disney, told the industry press. “This thing is just unbelievable.”

The first PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN film, THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL, earned $305 million domestically in 2003; current box office projections indicate that DEAD MAN’S CHEST will surpass that total by the end of next weekend. Thanks to sandstorm, eandh, storminla, emma, sleepy, and Shadow for box office stories, and to DeepinDepp for constantly updating the box office totals and the list of box office records DEAD MAN’S CHEST has broken. You can find the latest updates on the News & Views forum, and they are very impressive indeed.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST claims all-time weekly box-office crown

Continuing it successful assault on the box-office record book, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST, starring Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, has now posted the biggest opening week in the history of movies! DEAD MAN’S CHEST earned $196,019,502 in its first week of release in the U.S., comfortably outdistancing the second-place film, SPIDER-MAN 2, which made $192,085,360 in its opening week. Thanks to ack for posting the news. DEAD MAN’S CHEST also claims the box-office title as the fastest to earn $200 million domestically, a milestone it passed on its 8th day of release. Congratulations to Disney, Jerry Bruckheimer, Johnny Depp, and the cast and crew of DEAD MAN’S CHEST!

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp to appear on THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN on Thursday, July 27th!

Good news! Johnny Depp will return to THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN on Thursday evening, July 27th, for his first interview with Dave in three years. Johnny had been scheduled to appear at the end of June, but cancelled his New York trip due to illness. We can’t wait to hear the two doting dads swap stories about their offspring . . . and of course Johnny will probably bring a clip from PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST. The Zone thanks Gilbert’s Girl, who broke the news of the rescheduled Letterman appearance, and Damaris56, who confirmed the date.

Yo ho! Shooting for PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 3 to resume August 3rd!

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 3, starring Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, will resume shooting on August 3, 2006 and will continue until November 30, 2006. All shooting locations will be in southern California: in Los Angeles, Palmdale, and Long Beach. There will be no shooting in the Caribbean this go-round . . . thank goodness, since it is hurricane season once again. POTC 3 as yet has no official subtitle: although writers Terry Rossio and Ted Elliott have expressed a preference for AT WORLD’S END, a Disney spokesman told FilmForce that AT WORLD’S END is not the title of the third installment. Thanks to emma and sleepy for the news.

Sande Alessi Casting, which handles the extras for the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN films, is once again looking for actors to play pirates–a sure sign that filming will resume soon. The agency has an open casting call through August 15th. They are seeking men age 18+, all shapes and sizes and all ethnicities, who are “extreme character types.” Unfortunately for all the lasses who would love to crew on a pirate ship, the call is for men only. You can read the announcement on the Zone’s News & Views forum–thanks very much to Junebaby for posting it.

Johnny Depp greets Tokyo crowds for the Japanese premiere of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST

Elated by the news that PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST had shattered the U.S. box office record this weekend, Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and producer Jerry Bruckheimer greeted a very large, very enthusiastic crowd of supporters in Tokyo at the premiere of DEAD MAN’S CHEST. Johnny wore a black short-sleeved shirt, tortoise-shell glasses, and his favorite gray fedora. Modestly, he took no credit for DEAD MAN’S CHEST’s box-office triumph, saying, “I haven’t broken anything personally. I just showed up along for the ride.” Said Bruckheimer about the box-office record: “We never expected it and that is the best thing. I love it, everyone is screaming and yelling and we are thrilled to be here. Thank you.”

Johnny told the press that he was very pleased with the public’s reaction to the new film. “To have not only the film but the character to be embraced to such a degree by a kind of a very surprisingly [. . .] wide range of people is very touching. To me the five-year-old kids that start to imitate captain Jack [are] very moving,” he said. “I feel very proud to have done these films.”

To see a larger version of the photo at left, click HERE. To see a photo of Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom greeting the crowd in Tokyo, click HERE. The Zone thanks emma and DeepinDepp for the news stories and bonnie and AnaMaria for the photos. You can read first-person accounts of the red carpet from Zoners in Japan on the News & Views forum and the Porch. Thanks to GAO and Charlotte Depp for sharing their encounters.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST hauls in $132 million in opening weekend, sets new box-office record!

Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow is now a box-office champion, as the opening weekend of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST smashed numerous box-office records. Industry estimates show DEAD MAN’S CHEST’s earning a record $132 million in its first three days, easily outdistancing the previous best performance, when SPIDER-MAN took in $114.8 million on its opening weekend in 2002.

DEAD MAN’S CHEST also holds the single-day box office record, earning $55.5 million on Friday to dethrone the previous champion, STAR WARS: EPISODE III–REVENGE OF THE SITH, which made $50 million. DEAD MAN’S CHEST is also the first movie in history to sell more than $100 million in tickets in just two days.

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer told the Associated Press that he had not anticipated the box-office record; he expected DEAD MAN’S CHEST to perform like THE DA VINCI CODE, which earned $77 million in its debut weekend. “I didn’t think we’d get near these numbers,” Jerry admitted. The movie’s broad-based appeal certainly helped: Chuck Viane, Disney’s head of distribution, notes that the audience was equally divided between males and females, and that it attracted all age groups. “It is straight across the board,” says Viane. “Everybody’s coming.”

Disney must be thrilled. Their previous biggest opening weekend was THE INCREDIBLES with $70.5 million; now Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow has brought home the bragging rights to the biggest opening weekend of all time.

The Zone thanks Shadow, emma, ack, and Lady Ashleen for box office stories–you can read all the details on the News & Views forum.

BREAKING NEWS–new photos as Johnny Depp arrives in Japan for DEAD MAN'S CHEST premiere

Johnny Depp greeted a large crowd at the New Tokyo International Airport when he arrived in Japan on July 9th. Johnny will join co-star Orlando Bloom and producer Jerry Bruckheimer for a press conference and the premiere of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST on July 10th. To see a larger version of the photo at left, click HERE, and for a picture that shows more of the crowd, click HERE. The Zone thanks GAO for breaking the news of Johnny’s arrival, and Mrs. Pink, CarrieKY and Gilbert’s Girl for sharing photos. Watch the News & Views forum for updates from Japan.

BREAKING NEWS–PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST earns $55.5 million and smashes U.S. opening-day box-office record!

Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow brought home a chest full of box-office gold on Friday: the $55.5 million opening day of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST shattered the all-time U.S. box office record. Yes, DEAD MAN’S CHEST easily topped the previous record-holder, STAR WARS EPISODE III–REVENGE OF THE SITH ($50.0 million) and earned $10 million more on its opening day than the third-place film, X-MEN: THE LAST STAND ($45.1 million). For those who have been following the media-hyped “battle” between DEAD MAN’S CHEST and SUPERMAN RETURNS, the honors go to the pirate: DEAD MAN’S CHEST earned as much on its opening day as SUPERMAN RETURNS earned on its opening weekend.

What is Disney’s reaction to its pirate treasure? “We’re obviously thrilled beyond belief,” said Chuck Viane, head of distribution at Disney. “Anytime you break an industry record . . . the word ecstatic comes to mind.” And speaking for the movie industry, Paul Dergarbedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations, told the Associated Press, “This goes a long way of dispelling the notion that people don’t want to go to movies anymore. People aren’t waiting for the DVD on this one. They are going out to see it.”

Congratulations to the cast and crew of DEAD MAN’S CHEST for giving us all a reason to go to the movies! The Zone thanks sleepy and Holden for constant box-office updates–you can follow DMC’s progress on the News & Views forum.

BREAKING NEWS–PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST opens, sets Fandango box office records

Thousands upon thousands of moviegoers jammed North American multiplexes for midnight showings of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST as the movie went into wide release just before the stroke of midnight on July 7th. On-line ticket agency Fandango reports that DEAD MAN’S CHEST is now their top day-before-opening ticket-seller, besting the previous record-holder, HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE, and knocking STAR WARS: REVENGE OF THE SITH down to third place. Fandango sold more tickets on Thursday than any other day of the year, surpassing the opening day sales for THE DA VINCI CODE, X-MEN: THE LAST STAND, and SUPERMAN RETURNS.

Fandango adds that DEAD MAN’S CHEST broke Fandango’s hourly sales record for the day before a film’s opening, and that for several hours on Thursday, DEAD MAN’S CHEST was selling an average of seven tickets per second. On Thursday, 91% of all the ticket sales recorded on Fandango were for one movie: DEAD MAN’S CHEST.

“PIRATES’ advance ticket sales have been truly extraordinary,” says Chuck Davis, the Chairman of Fandango, “and we expect to break even more records on Friday. You don’t usually see this kind of enthusiasm until the final installment of a franchise, so this bodes well for the series’ future.” Congratulations to the cast and crew of DEAD MAN’S CHEST! You can read all the box office news on the Zone’s News & Views forum, and Zoners’ reactions to the film on the Porch.