The sequel to 2001's Ocean's Eleven opened bigger than the original movie starring George Clooney, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts and a host of other stars. Eleven opened with $38.1 million, and went on to make $183 million.
"That ensemble cast is tough to beat," says Paul Dergarabedian, president of Exhibitor Relations box office tracking firm. "They've assembled some of the biggest names in Hollywood, and audiences love it. The whole concept is very hip and cool, and it's a one-stop shop for movie stars."
Warners distrib prexy Dan Fellman said of the "Ocean's" bow: "We're extremely thrilled to have that number. It is behind only the 'Lord of the Rings' films as the biggest December opening."
He praised producer Jerry Weintraub for keeping intact the cast -- which includes George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon -- that made the 2001 remake a hit.
"When I called Jerry Weintraub in Paris this morning," Fellman said, "I told him, 'I'm ready for "Thirteen."' And he said, 'Kid, I'm working on it.'"
And now, it looks like we could lose another one. Martin Scorsese plans to shoot "The Departed," a drama with Leonardo DiCaprio and Cambridge native Matt Damon. The script features the Boston underworld and the people who police it. However, there's no guarantee the movie will actually be shot here.
Robin Dawson, head of the Massachusetts Film Bureau, says she met with Damon a few days ago to talk about "The Departed." She says Damon is willing to do what he can to ensure the movie is shot locally. But budget issues could easily send the production somewhere else.
The one-standout performance in "Twelve" in a glittery ensemble (and that's a very hard thing to do) has to be Matt Damon's magnificent turn as Linus Caldwell, a sort of Danny Ocean-in-training. Linus wants to be more involved with the heists this time, and its hysterical watching him fumble through learning the ropes, and you can't help but cheer when it finally comes time for him to step up and take the lead. If there is any justice in my world, Matt Damon would be nominated and win the Best Supporting Actor Oscar this year for his performance of Linus Caldwell, it was that good.