24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

Category: The Three Stooges

Box Office: 'Three Stooges' unable to topple 'Hunger Games' [Video]

April 16, 2012 |  3:08 pm

The Hunger Games beat The Three Stooges at the box office
No movie has yet to topple "The Hunger Games" at the box office, though "The Three Stooges" came close over the weekend.

The fantasy epic starring Jennifer Lawrence pulled in $21.5 million, while the trio of jokesters grossed $17.1 million. The reign of "The Hunger Games" will likely come to an end next weekend with the debut of Zac Efron's romantic tear-jerker, "The Lucky One."

Meanwhile, "Stooges" marked the biggest debut in more than a decade for Bobby and Peter Farrelly, the brother directing team behind the movie. The filmmaking pair have struggled to find their footing at the box office in recent years after the blockbuster success of their early '90s films like "Dumb & Dumber" and "There's Something About Mary."

For more on how their new film fared at the box office, check out this week's video report.


'Hunger Games' slaps 'Stooges' silly

'The Three Stooges': How did the Farrelly brothers get here?

'Battleship' solid in foreign debut but 3-D 'Titanic' breaks records

— Amy Kaufman


Photo: Will Sasso, left, Chris Diamantopoulos and Sean Hayes star in "The Three Stooges." Credit: 20th Century Fox.

'The Three Stooges' draws laughs, shrugs and rebukes from critics

April 13, 2012 |  1:24 pm

The Three Stooges

"The Three Stooges," a new comedy based on the vaudeville trio, has been a passion project for brothers Peter and Bobby Farrelly ("There's Something About Mary," "Dumb & Dumber") for years.

Reviewers of the film, which opened Friday, tend to fall into three camps: those who find it lighthearted and funny enough to appeal to Stooges fans and newcomers alike, those who find it harmless but mostly unnecessary except for aficionados, and those who find it a complete waste of time.

Among the first group is L.A. Times film critic Betsy Sharkey, who says "it's almost impossible not to be won over by the eye-poking, head-slapping, nose-twisting shenanigans that pepper nearly every scene." The film isn't ironic or winking, just silly, and it "simply requires that cynicism be temporarily shelved and the thinking side of the brain shut down." The Farrellys, Sharkey says, are "a good fit" for the material, and two of the three lead actors — Chris Diamantopoulos as Moe, "the film's anchor," and Will Sasso as Curly — perform admirably. Sean Hayes is less successful as Larry, but the film remains "a very amusing escape."

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The Three Stooges: Cher as a nun? And Benicio del Toro's not out ...

February 16, 2011 |  1:21 pm

Larry, Curly, Moe and...Cher?

Even as they continue to seek the three leads for their big-screen version of "The Three Stooges," Peter and Bobby Farrelly say they have an unusual idea for one of the lead female roles: The brothers are aiming to put Cher in the movie. 

The goal is for the singer-actress to play Mother Superior, the nun whom the Stooges terrorize.

Cher had a cameo in the Farrellys' Siamese-twin comedy "Stuck on You" back in 2003. At the time, the writer-directors spoke to the diva about a part in the "Stooges" film, which they'd hoped to shoot next. (They've been developing it for a long time.) She agreed, they said.

"Cher is just the coolest chick ever," Peter Farrelly told 24 Frames. "It's hard to describe. You meet a lot of celebrities in our business. We're not cowed by many of them. But Cher is bawdy, she's fun, she's cool, she's lived a life, she's got experience, she's humble. It's the humility that struck me the most. She's not really a diva."  A representative for Cher did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Casting for the Fox film -- which aims to shoot, after years of development holdups, this spring -- is entering the homestretch.

Cher In an interview for their upcoming infidelity romp "Hall Pass" (more on that soon), the Farrellys say that while their initial "Stooges" trio of Sean Penn (Larry), Jim Carrey (Curly) and Benicio Del Toro (Moe) has broken up, casting may yet move in an unexpected direction. Del Toro, for instance, is someone "we're still considering," Bobby Farrelly said.

(Incidentally, Penn dropped out of the nyuk-nyuk-fest when he decided to concentrate on his charitable efforts in Haiti. Carrey chose  not to star in the film even after gaining more than 40 pounds for the role, though the Farrellys didn't exactly have a chance to convince him to stay. "We never heard from him, but we read it," Peter Farrelly said. So he never picked up a phone to call them? "Now that would have been nice," Farrelly said of the actor whose career was given a big boost when he starred in the Farrellys' "Dumb & Dumber" in 1994.)

As for the rumors that Andy Samberg and Johnny Knoxville were on the shortlist to star in "Stooges," don't be quick to rule that out.

"We like both of those guys," said Bobby Farrelly. "We always thought Samberg looks a little like he could play Larry. And Knoxville is a real-life stooge. He's a real-life Moe."

The casting challenge for the filmmakers is to find actors with a rare mix of skills: a flair for comedy and a capacity for imitation to go along with an innate physicality.

"We need to get the voices. The Stooges had very specific voices and we need to get as close as we can to that," Bobby Farrelly said. But, he added, "We've seen some guys come in that are pretty spot-on, but at the same time there's something about them that's not funny. Just because they can do a great imitation doesn't mean you're going to burst out laughing when you watch it."

What's more, the roles require a difficult balance of originality and imitation, Peter Farrelly added.

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