we wait for Dan to bring us the weekend box office report, I wanted to give you two bits of exciting news about friends of the site: The Messengers, the first film written by former CHUD journalist Smilin’ Jack Ruby (Mark Wheaton to his bank) debuted this weekend at #1. Morrissey may hate it when his friends become successful, but here at CHUD there’s nothing more exciting. Hopefully this big opening is just the start for Mark’s sure-to-be-skyrocketing career.

Meanwhile, this weekend saw Pan’s Labyrinth, the masterpiece from Guillermo del Toro, hit an important milestone – it become the highest grossing Spanish language film in US history, beating out Like Water For Chocolate. The trajectory of Pan’s has been nothing short of amazing, making hundreds of “best of” lists, winning awards from critics around the country, and taking seven Goyas, Spain’s version of the Oscars. And the movie has been nominated for six Oscars, including Best Foreign Language and Best Original Screenplay. This Friday I spoke to Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, the 12 foot tall director of The Lives of Others, Germany’s entry in the Best Foreign Film category, and he said he wasn’t even writing a speech because he knew Guillermo would take the award… and that there was no way to feel angry when someone as nice as del Toro was taking the win.