Today in film and television: The Rum Diary had a no good, very bad weekend, Justin Timberlake has been offered a role in the new Coen Brothers movie about folk singer Dave Van Ronk, and CBS is Americanizing one of Israeli's TV's most popular shows.
- The Rum Diary grossed just $5 million over the weekend, despite opening on 2,272 screens. That's an average of $2,205 per screen, which isn't what you want from a project with a reported budget of about $45 million and Johnny Depp in the lead. The project's defenders will invariably point out that the actor's first film adapted from a Hunter Thompson book, 1998's Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, didn't open strong either, but went on to secure a cult following on home video. This is true, but according to Box Office Mojo, Fear & Loathing grossed $3.1 million in its first weekend on 1,126 screens for a per-screen average of $2,965. Even before you adjust for inflation and the increase in ticket prices over the last 13 years, that's a better average than what The Rum Diary did over the weekend. And Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas only cost $18.5 million. [The Hollywood Reporter]
- Justin Timberlake has received an offer for "one of the lead roles" in the Coen brothers' upcoming 1960s-set folk music movie Inside Llewyn Davis. Timberlake be playing a folk musician named Jim who is married to a woman named Jean, played by Carey Mulligan. The Coens have already cast Oscar Isaac -- who appeared with Mulligan in Drive -- in the title role, which is "loosely based on Dave Van Ronk, a folk singer who was friends with Bob Dylan, among other famous musicians." [Variety]
- 3:10 to Yuma director James Mangold agreed to direct The Wolverine over the summer, taking over for Darren Aronofsky, who decided he didn't need the paycheck for making an X-Men spinoff about Wolverine going to Japan after Black Swan turned into such a commercial success. In a new interview with The Playlist, Mangold insists his film is less tentpole and more 1970s character piece. “I actually think it has more in common with The Outlaw Josey Wales and Chinatown, than the conventional, ‘will Wolverine and his compatriots save the world from this thermonuclear device’ question," the director said. He also revealed that "half of the characters in this movie speak Japanese" and that he "spoke to [Aronofsky]" before signing on to direct. We're not sure the Chinatown comparisons will put the folks at 20th Century Fox at ease. [The Playlist]
- CBS has bought a pitch for an Americanized version of the Israeli sitcom Hahaim Ze Lo Hakol (Life Isn't Everything) which just ended a hugely successful nine-year run on Israel's Channel 2. (According to Deadline, the series finale was viewed by 33 percent of all Israeli viewers.) American TV gobbling up successful foreign properties isn't new, but show creator Daniel Lappin will be "involved in the writing of the U.S. version" of the sitcom, which centers on a middle-aged couple going through a messy divorce. HBO's In Treatment was also based on an Israeli show, as was CBS' short-lived 2008 series The Ex List. [Deadline]
- Arnold Schwarzenegger's movie comeback -- on hold as recently as last May -- has certainly been picking up steam. In addition to a role in the sequel to The Expendables and the lead in the western Last Stand, he'll also be appearing in the similarly titled Black Sands as "a loner who wages war against a ruthless weapons manufacturer and his private army in the Southwest." According to Deadline, the film's "tone is Man on Fire meets High Plains Drifter." Production is scheduled to begin in April with Scott Waugh and Mike McCoy directing [Deadline]