Release Date: September 26, 2003

'Martha Focker!!'

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Danny DeVito is demented. We know this to be true because the ads and trailers for his recent box-office flop, Death to Smoochy, blatantly stated as much.

In his history as a film director, DeVito's filmography includes the aforementioned Smoochy, where an insane former children's television host tries to kill his replacement; War of the Roses, in which a recently divorced couple's spat over who gets to keep their home leads to tragi-comic results; and Throw Momma from the Train, where two men each agree to murder someone that the other one wants dead. Black comedies, particularly those involving death and/or murder, are somewhat of a specialty for DeVito, so it seems natural that a film about two young people attempting to murder an annoying neighbor would be the logical next step in his directing career.

Early reports on the plot indicated that Drew Barrymore and Ben Stiller would play a young couple who have discovered a perfectly gorgeous duplex in a wonderful New York neighborhood, but have to bump off the nice old lady currently residing there before they can have an opportunity to move in. A recent review of Larry Doyle's script indicates that the story is actually just a bit different (and more in keeping with the film's title). The story actually begins with the couple moving into the duplex, but quickly learning that the elderly woman in the rent-controlled upstairs half of the building is a neighbor-from-hell. Pushed to their limit, the couple decides to take the nonagenarian out, Home Alone-style.

Whichever way the plot turns out, there's ample reason for high hopes, as screenwriter Doyle was the writer for several episodes of The Simpsons, including the helper monkey "pray for mojo" installment and the recent Comic-Book Guy-centric "Worst Episode Ever." Though black comedies often suffer at the box office, Duplex does have the power of the Miramax marketing machine behind it, which bodes well for the film's prospects. It's really going to depend on whether they push it as the next Home Alone or the successor to Death to Smoochy. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for Duplex
Main Cast Ben Stiller, Drew Barrymore, Eileen Essel
Supporting Cast Harvey Fierstein, James Remar, Justin Theroux, Amber Valletta, Robert Wisdom
Director Danny DeVito
Screenwriter Larry Doyle
Distributor Miramax
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site http://www.miramax.com/duplex/
Rating PG-13
Running Time 97 minutes
Screen Count 2,189
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for Duplex
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Home Alone 2 11/20/9231.13 45.23 2222 14010.00 19580.2 172.70 250.93 5.55
Meet the Parents 10/6/0028.62 32.01 2614 10949.00 11781.9 166.23 185.96 5.81
Cable Guy, The 6/14/9619.81 27.02 2657 7456.00 9783.9 60.17 82.08 3.04
Wedding Singer, The 2/13/9819.10 24.55 2821 6771.00 8373.5 80.25 103.17 3.66
Home Alone 11/16/9017.08 24.40 1202 14210.00 19530.3 285.76 408.32 16.73
Zoolander 9/28/0115.70 16.75 2507 6262.00 6428.2 45.16 48.19 2.88
Burbs, The * 2/17/8911.10 16.77 1951 5689.00 8269.7 35.38 53.46 3.19
War of the Roses, The 12/8/899.69 14.64 1259 7697.00 11188.6 84.13 127.14 8.68
Royal Tenenbaums, The 1/4/028.51 8.84 751 11344.00 11344.0 52.35 54.42 4.72
Home Alone 3 12/12/975.09 6.68 2147 2371.00 2996.0 30.64 40.25 6.02
Death to Smoochy 3/29/024.27 4.43 2164 1972.00 1972.0 8.36 8.69 1.96



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