Books & the Weekend Box Office

The major film adaptation opening tomorrow is based on a picture book, Mars Needs Moms. Author Berkeley Breathed describes in the L.A. Times what it was like to see his 38-page book become a big-budget 3-D Disney movie (the filmmakers added back a segment that Breathed’s “lily-livered publisher” axed). In another piece, the L.A. Times says the movie may suffer at the box office, partly because of its potentially frightening ending. People magazine’s review gives it a lowly 1 of 4 possible stars, objecting to a “vicious caricature of a feminist” but sister mag. Entertainment Weekly completely disagrees, awarding it an A-.

A better landing is expected for Catherine Hardwicke’s…

Red Riding Hood. It’s not based on a book, and only tangentially on the fairy tale, but the novelization is on the NYT children’s best seller list.

Opening in a limited number of theaters is the new version of Jane Eyre. It gets a lowly B- from Entertainment Weekly, which is rhapsodic about Mia Wasikowska (The Kids are All Right and Alice in Wonderland) as Jane, but feels the chemistry is lacking between her character and Rochester as played by Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds). It receives a much stronger 3.5 of a possible 4 stars from People.

Also with a limited opening is Kill the Irishman about mob violence in Cleveland in the ’70’s (if the words “Cleveland” and “mob” in the same sentence cause you to do a double take, you’re not the only one, says the L.A.Times). Based on a To Kill the Irishman by Rick Porrello, who is now chief of police in the Cleveland suburb of Lyndhurst, the film will open in Cleveland as well as New York and LA, followed by Detroit (which offers attractive incentives to movie makers) and Boston (it’s the Irish mob we’re talking about).

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