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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Trailer Park Summer

In anticipation of the release of The Hobbit, a barrage of trailers have been released among the masses. Most of these are films scheduled for Summer. 
     The Croods is by Dreamworks and their first film being released under Fox. Croods is about a prehistoric cave family that must venture out and explore the world after an earthquake destroys their cave. The Croods is released March 22, 2013 and Spring 2013 worldwide. The Croods.
     Man of Steel, the new Superman effort by Warner Bros is their biggest next up release after The Hobbit. Originally slated for December 2012 (now), Steel was pushed back to the summer for more time with post production and to give Hobbit the holidays. Steel looks to have plenty of action and emotional value and should please audiences who enjoy explosions and building collapses, but also enjoy an actual deep story. Man of Steel. Supe's flies into theaters June 14, 2013 in the US, June 2013 worldwide and July 12, 2013 in Brazil.
     Star Trek Into Darkness is the sequel to the 2009 summer hit. Judging by the trailer, the stakes are higher, the bar has been raised, they've up'ed the ante- however you want to put it. This trailer is considered an "announcement" trailer so it's more of a montage of lasers, people screaming, and scenery accompanined by a dramatic background speech, but it is still a great trailer and should produce a lot of "I have to see that next year!" quotes. Look for Trek 2 on May 17, 2013 in the US and various summer dates worldwide 2013. Star Trek Into Darkness.
      The Lone Ranger is a tentpole for Disney starring Armie Hammer and none other than Johnny Depp. The Lone Ranger may be unfamiliar with many and the trailer doesn't help that, but it does give an establishment that Disney wants this to be a franchise and expecting that Depp will draw in the crowd. The Lone Ranger is expected July 3, 2013 in the US alongside Despicable Me 2.
     Oblivion is Tom Cruise's next effort and his first forae into sci-fi since 2005. Expect Oblivion worldwide April 2013.
     World War Z; have you ever wondered "what would Brad Pitt do in a zombie apocalypse?" Well if you have then you're in luck as that thought will be answered June 21, 2013. WWZ.
     Pacific Rim is the latest from WB and Guillermo del Toro. PR has been getting major buzz from the internet crowd, but how will the general audience feel about this? PR is aliens from the ocean vs 200 foot tall robots controlled by humans. Not-Atlantic Rim lands July 12, 2013 and July 2013 worldwide.
     GI Joe: Retaliation. Self-exclamatory. 3D, stylized-ism, Channing Tatum. GI Joe Retaliation.
     After Earth doesnt include TC, but instead his conterpart- Will Smith. Set in the future, Will and his son Jaden must survive and reunite after a crash landing on an Avatar-esque Earth. After Earth arrives June 2013.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

'Twilight 2': Twi Harder

     The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 sucked even more life into the already lively box office this weekend. Breaking Dawn Part 2, Skyfall, Wreck It Ralph, Lincoln, Flight, Argo, and even the 7 week old Taken 2 helped propel last weekend into the 6th highest grossing and most attended weekend ever.
     Breaking Dawn Part 2 opened to $141 million and was only $1 million shy of setting the franchise record; nonetheless, it was the 2nd largest opening for November, even adjusted for inflation. Breaking Dawn didn't seem to have the finale factor that you see with franchise movies. Given that it is the last Twilight movie (at least starring Stewart, Pattinson, and Lautner) and how consistent Twilight plays, it should have opened higher than New Moon, but given Breaking Dawn's better reviews and more positive feedback from fans, it should end up grossing higher when it's all said and done. Through three, or technically four days for people picky about Thursday previews, Dawn has already brought in $340.6 million worldwide; Twihards are not confined to just America.
     It's hard for many fans to see the Twilight series (for now) end. The franchise through five movies has brought in so far $1.212 billion dollars in America and Canada alone. Of the top 10 opening weekends, Twilight occupies three spots- New Moon was at #3 before summer 2011. The franchise most likely would have also occupied a 4th spot if Eclipse had opened on a Friday. The series is known for being notoriously front loaded. Even though New Moon had the #3 opening ever, it failed to pass $300 million, which 31 movies had done, with only two opening above New Moon. Fans still show up for the series and that is the amazing fact. Twilight has stayed remarkably consistent. Twilight 2-4 ended up between $280-$300 million, and Dawn 2 will likely do the same. Even the biggest franchises such as Shrek, Spider-Man, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Chronicles of Narnia have seen in-steady inclines and declines. Congratulations to Twilight and Summit for accomplishing that- even though they couldn't accomplish a fresh rating for any of the movies.
     Maybe Abraham Lincoln really is America's favorite president and always will be- though Bill Clinton beats him in saxophone. Lincoln, starring Daniel Day-Lewis, opened to an impressive $21 million, above mid-teen projects. Lincoln currently holds 91% on RT and is getting buzz for possible Oscar contentions. Lincoln should live on on our five dollars bills, and at the box office throughout the holiday season.
     Skyfall didn't fall from the heavens this weekend, only dropping 53.5% to $41.1 million. In 10 days, 007 has raked in $160 million domestically, and will pass the last 007 outing, Quantum of Solace, by mid-week. Skyfall is also being helped by great reviews, currently holding 92% on RT. Its a foregone conclusion that Skyfall will become the highest grossing bond- domestically and overseas, and most likely will rank #4 all time in attendance for James Bond. Quantum ranks 12th. Skyfall is also setting a blistering pace overseas; worldwide Skyfall has amassed $668 million, surprising audiences and analysts across the world.
     Wreck It Ralph is still keeping families, only dipping 47.3% to $18.5 million, bringing it's total $121.7 million. Ralph may lose some players when Rise of Guardians and Life of Pi open on Wednesday. Argo crossed the $90 million mark over the weekend, still playing strong with adult audiences. Flight landed with $8.8 million and Taken 2 is surprising everyone with its late legs.
     Like I said earlier, the Twilight series has brought in over $1.2 billion worldwide and they are Summit's most profitable movies by far, so it would be hard to imagine Summit to let this completely end until the Cullen's have sucked all life out of the public. Summit has talked about a TV series or possible spin off movie that won't include the main three actors. Will Twihards still show up? Will Stephanie Meyer write another book? Will Summit make anything else? Nothing is yet official, just speculation, but we shall see. If you're a loyal follower of Steph Meyer, her book The Host will be coming to the screen in March. Find the trailer here!

Monday, November 12, 2012

4 Is The New 3 and 3D Is The New 1 Billion

     There used to be a time where it was hard to predict what movie would number one for the year. Superheroes, sequels, and book adaptions weren't the biggest of the year. Movies about dinosaurs, toys, World War II, holidays, Beverly Hills, and Tom Cruise flying planes were the top attended, but by the turn of the century that has changed. Since 2002, 8 of the number one movies for the year were sequels. Another thing that used to be the norm was trilogies. It used to be 3 and out; seeing four movies in series was not too normal. That is changing as trilogies are becoming 4-quels.
     This year has seen the release of Ice Age: Continental Drift, Bourne Legacy, American Reunion, Underworld 4, Step Up Revolution, and Paranormal Activity 4. Last year it was Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Mission Impossible- Ghost Protocol, X-Men First Class, Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1, Tyler Perry's Big Happy Family, Scream 4, and don't forget Shrek Forever After from 2010 and Terminator Salvation from 2009. Transformers 4, Last Friday, and Mockingjay Part 2 have been confirmed.
     So why? Why 4? It seemed like three was the perfect number. Well for some it had to happen- after Spider Man 4 was cancelled, Sony had to make The Amazing Spider Man in order to keep the film rights- yes it didn't have to be a reboot though, but it still made $752 million worldwide, so Sony doesn't really care. Some were planned from the beginning, like Shrek 4, and most, were for the surprise money aka Transformers and Pirates. Some also just don't make sense- yes we love Scream, but who asked for Scream 4? [chirps]. Twilight of course because their are four books- now is splitting it into two parts necessary though? No, but it's more money for the studio so Summit doesn't care either.
     3D may be slowly getting shunned domestically, but overseas audiences are embracing it like hugs. Avatar from 2009 started it all, making $2.7 billion, which wouldn't of been possible with 3D- though it would have still been a monster. Ever since, Hollywood has been backing the format full force, even to the point of forcing directors to slap it on there film. Before 2009, only 5 films made $1 billion WW, all 2D. After 2009, 8 more films have, with only 1 not in 3D. Grosses don't lie.
     Transformers 3 made a surpise killing overseas, $771 million with help from 3D, which is around what the original made with overseas and domestic combined. Paramount wasn't just going to let it end- even if the ending of TF3 made it seem that way. Disney too, once they saw how 3D had taken over and how Pirates was still strong, they made On Stranger Tides. Tides dropped majorly from At Worlds End domestically, but it did justice overseas. Alice in Wonderland was released in the right time. Coming three months after the 3D mammoth Avatar, audiences here and overseas yearned for more 3D. Alice grossed $1.024 billion worldwide and $690 million overseas which many believed was goodwill from Avatar. No non-sequel has broken the billion barrier since.
     There have been talks for Madagascar 4, Toy Story 4, Rush Hour 4 and Austin Powers 4 (forever), and if Iron Man 3 blows past that $1 billion barrier next year, or comes close, Iron Man 4 shouldn't be a surprise.
     Not a surprise is that 4th movies usually, but not always, fail to match the critical and financial success of their predecessors, but yet they're still made? Franchises may get tired here in the US, but again overseas, the next entry expands into a larger audience since the box office has been expanding wildly overseas. It's highly probable that sequels will make higher than theyre predecessors overseas. If Ice Age 5 is made, it won't be because kids in the US just cant fulfill their need for Scrat, it will be because kids in Latin America, Asia, and Europe can't. Animation has seen the biggest benefit; that is why Madagascar 4 and Ice Age 5 are on the table even though their franchises are growing old. Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks, and Blue Sky- all animation companies- have also practically made it a rule that ALL their future releases will be 3D. Until 4D comes out of course. At least you won't expect this from live action movies. Ted 3D anyone?
     It's safe to say now that 4-quels will become more common practice. This is not necessarily a bad thing- Mission Impossible 4 and X-Men 4 were considered one of the best in their franchises. Though Pirates 4, American Reunion, Terminator 4, and Scream were seen as disappointments and/or cash grabs. Transformers doesn't really need to go on, but if there's a high probability that it will make $1 billion worldwide again- it will.
     As long as the 4th movie brings fourth (pun intended) good quality and it actually makes sense to make, then the extra number on the title won't matter. If Hollywood keeps churning out fours though just to keep the money train going and the fourth movies keep sucking, then the public may take notice of the extra number- and may skip it. Here's hoping Transformers 4 can finally break "fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Disney Plans To Air "Episode 7"

     In arguably one of biggest film industry related announcement of the year, Walt Disney Studios has bought Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion. Coming with the announcement, they tentatively have Star Wars Episode 7 set for release in 2015.
     You will find very few people who believed this sequel would happen. I gave up on a sequel to The Spongebob Squarepants Movie back in 2007, and now look; I guess you can't rule out anything in Hollywood. From Justin to Kelly 2 or Superbabies 3 is still a possibility apparently.
     Disney already has ABC, ESPN, Pixar, and Marvel under there belts. The Walt Disney Company made $40.8 billion last year, so adding Lucasfilm is just adding that already ridiculous total.
     In 2010, Disney bought Marvel Studios for $4 billion. Considering Disney has already made almost $3 billion with just 4 movies, only including worldwide theater grosses- that was a good buy. Disney and Marvel currently have 6 movies planned from 2013 to 2015, including The Avengers 2.
     George Lucas said in a statement, "It's now time for me to pass Star Wars' on to a new generation of filmmakers." He will be a creative consultant on the new film.
     It would be a huge waste for Disney to acquire Lucasfilm and not develop another Star Wars movie- or trilogy. Star Wars is still a worldwide phenomenon and spans multiple generations and starting a new trilogy will just add another. Disney also wins with merchandise and will likely make billions off that alone. Star Wars is and most likely always will be the highest grossing and attended film series of all time, adjusted for inflation. Episode I: The Phantom Menace was released in 1999 and no movie domestically still has beaten in it attendance.
     The 2015 release date for Star Wars 7 is a questionable one. 2015 is almost only two years away. The only way Star Wars 7 can have three years of production is if it is released in November 2015. Plus the fact that The Avengers 2 is set for May 2015, Disney most likely would have to put Episode 7 in the holiday season. It will not be surprising if this is delayed to summer 2016, but either way, we can expect it sooner than later.
     Lucas claimed years ago that Episode 3 would be the last in the saga, but given that Star Wars is still so recognizable and popular, that claim could only last for so long. No announcements have been made on how Episode 7 will tie in with the others and whether new characters will be created or old ones will be brought back- image Darth Vader again, just imagine. Expect Episode 7 in 2015 or 2016, and also expect to see your favorite Star Wars character soon at a Walt Disney theme park near you!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Game of Hollywood Chicken

     2012 is churning into the 4th quarter. In 92 days, 2013 will take the stage. The 2013 schedule seems very promising right now. Not surprising, there are a lot of sequels, but many of these sequels are ones that I actually want to see; same should go for many people. Many of the original movies that have been announced also seem like they could take the box office by surprise. That's the thing about original movies though, the reception to them is going to be a surprise, but with sequels, it is easy to get a general consensus of how the movie may do since it is an established brand. 
     Star Trek 2, Iron Man 3, Smurfs 2, Grown Ups 2 (Adam Sandler's first sequel), Scary Movie 5, 300 2, Catching Fire, Hobbit 2, GI Joe 2, and Kick Ass 2 are a handful scheduled for next year, but there are two sequels coming out, that is attracting a lot of attention- The Hangover Part 3 and Fast and Furious Six.
     Why is this so with these two movies? Because Warner Brothers and Universal are playing "chicken" with them. Both are slated to be released on May 24, 2013, Memorial weekend in the US. Why is this a problem? Every weekend of the year has more than one movie being released right? Well, right, but when it comes to movies of this caliber, it is not a good idea.
     The Hangover Part 2 was the sequel to the 2009 mega surprise hit. Hangover 2 was so anticipated that it became the 2nd highest R-rated opening weekend of all time, even though opening on a Thursday (Thursday is not considered part of the OW). But Hangover 2 seemed to disappoint the masses after it ended up being more of Hangover 1: The Asia Remix. Hangover 2 still did insane, finishing #4 for 2011, but it was off from Hangover 1, and left an iffy feeling in most people's head. Fast Five was a surprise last year when it broke the April record, finished #6 for the year, and scored positive critic reviews. This bodes well for the sequel; if people liked the 5th, theyll show up for the 6th. Both franchises are extremely popular, but both being released on the same weekend could absolutely kill each others potential.
     Both movies appeal to everyone, but the teen/adult male crowd is what would have the most impact. Guys want to see raunchy comedy, but they also want to see explosions and cars and exotic women, and I doubt too many would pay for both so close together. Hangover 3 I am 99% sure will be R and Fast Six im 99% sure will be PG-13, but still both attract adults and with today's prices and most people having lives, seeing two movies so close together, especially on a holiday weekend, is a big stretch. Also, Star Trek 2 is slated for release a week before, Man of Steel two weeks ahead, and Iron Man will be heading into weekend 4. That's a lot of action movies very close together. A family film and adult action film can work together (Wall E and Wanted), or a thriller film and romantic drama (Safe House and Vow), but two movies that attract basically the same audience on the same weekend? Someone is going to pay. WB and Uni are playing hard chicken. One of these movies needs to move and the studios are waiting to see who will flinch first, if either does. The Hangover franchise found success in June and Fast and Furious 1-5 has found success in the Spring, so why is May 24 so holy? No big reason really.
     Hollywood releases most "tentpoles" on holiday weekends because the extra day off means more people at the movies, but that logic in a way is flawed. A movie that makes $15 million on Memorial Monday can still make that same $15 million over the course of days if it was released on a normal date. Hollywood seems to think that if they miss out on this, then that $15 million wont be accounted for; they are wrong. All people want is a good product. Make a truly good movie and market it well and people will show up, no matter the date. The reason these holidays are so big is because its a holiday; people off of work and kids out of school, but if the movie is good, then most people will find time to see the movie if they really want too. No one is going to say "I am not seeing that movie because it comes out on April 30, but I will see the ones that come out on May 1."
     I personally would chose to see Fast Six over Hangover 3, but Fast Six should be the car that swerves this time. Fast has shown Universal that it can succeed especially in June or April, though the latter is a better option. July 19th-21st is also a weekend that would not be a bad choice. Even if Hangover 3 gets the "coveted" Memorial weekend, there is a great possibility that F6 can make more bank in the longrun. That July date or a Spring date will also treat F6 with less competition as June is starting to look insanely full as well. This has happened before, studios will both chose a date and wait for one another to bail out, most often, one does, and if Universal and Warner Brothers wants to save their two prime jewels from slaughtering each other throughout their runs, one needs to make the sacrifice. A weekend is a weekend; pump out a great movie and the audience will be in the seat with jumbo popcorn. Its only Fall, next Summer is a while away; a decision may not even be made until next Spring, but in this situation, you, the studio, wont be considered a "coward" if you move, especially if your millions is involved, and us moviegoers, may thank you.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Old is the New New

     Hollywood seems to lately been reviving many sci-fi movies; Total Recall, Robocop, Conan, but another genre Hollywood has been vieing is old animation. Looney Tunes, Spongebob Squarepants (he's been on TV since I was 5 so I consider the show old), Jetsons, Mister Peabody and Sherman, and more are eying futures back on the big screen.
     Warner Brothers announced that Jenny Slate from SNL is going to pen a script for a Looney Tunes reboot. The Looney Tunes have been out of the cinema since 2003. After the disappointing returns of Looney Tunes: Back in Action, Warner Brothers decided that the Tunes were loosing their appeal. I guess that has changed; another aspect that has changed- the Tunes will not be traditionally drawn, but created with CG.
     Warner Brothers, Disney, Fox, and Universal have found success in animation, now Paramount wants to hop on board. They want to start up an animation department and release animated films on a regular basis. Arguably the most popular cartoon character of the 21st century is who they want to start this project up. Paramount wants a Spongebob Squarepants sequel for late 2014. I gave up on a Spongebob sequel after 2007, but miracles do happen. There are no details so far about the plot, but a Hasslehoff cameo is still possible. Universal also plans to start releasing multiple animated movies per year.
     Dreamworks is bringing Mister Peabody and Sherman to the screen next year. This is interesting since Peabody and Sherman isn't a Flintstones or Jetsons or Rugrats in terms of awareness, but don't doubt DWA. I'm sure many adults who grew up with them pair will enjoy taking there kids next year.
     The Jetsons, Marvin the Martian, and Tom and Jerry were planned for theatrical releases, but WB has silently pushed them aside.There is still possibility these projects will be revised. The library of old animation, from Hanna-Barbera to Disney to MGM is stocked, so I'm sure Hollywood start checking them out in the future and making every single one into a movie. Bring on the real Scooby Doo remake!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Is 2012 Turning The Wrong Way?

     2012 was getting off to blazing start from weekend one; now we're heading into weekend 34 and the fast pace has seemed to loose some steam. The first quarter of the year was one of the most attended first quarters ever, but attendance has dropped out of the top 10 for every summer month. There were many summer disappointments; Battleship, Dark Shadows, The Watch, Rock of Ages, and Thats My Boy. Ted, Magic Mike, Madagascar 3, Brave, and Avengers were the summer surprises; The Dark Knight Rises and Amazing Spider Man did what they were expected to do. August has also been dull; Bourne Legacy has been the highest opener at $38 million, and Total Recall, Expendables 2, Diary of a Wimpy Kid 3, Sparkle, and the July holdovers haven't helped this month much, except for Batman.
      September and October look interesting for 2012. The only sequels are Resident Evil 5, Paranormal Activity 4, Taken 2, and Silent Hill 3D. November in my opinion should be strong, but December looks pale in comparison to past Decembers. The Hobbit should do gangbuster numbers, but everything else looks like hit or miss.
      So why is 2012 waning? The year was shattering records, now 2011, which was one of the slowest years since the early 90's, is outpacing it in some weekend totals. Most sequels and remakes this summer fell short or well short of their predecessors; 17 movies have crossed the $100 million mark so far, this time last year 20 movies had passed. The price of ticket sales hasn't changed much and 3D actually cant be blamed this time. Less appealing movies can be a factor, plus the improvement of the economy and the Olympics could have played a small role. There have also been unfortunate events that have happened over the summer that in a way could've affected box office.
     Will the fall and holiday movie seasons recover? Many original movies have broken out this year; Ted, The Vow, Lorax, 21 Jump Street, and Safe House to name a few; will September-December be able to duplicate? The public has been seeming to want more original movies and less 3D, sequels, prequels, and re-releases, but original movies can be a tricky sell and mostly open less and depend on good word of mouth, reviews, and competition to make top dollar. 2012 is still tracking ahead of 2011 when adjusted for inflation by 3.8%, but it is now lagging behind 2008, 2009, and 2010. I believe 2012 will pick back up. I doubt the year will see the blistering pace again that we saw from January-March, but I believe that the remaining four months of the year will produce a few more breakout original hits and hopefully will get 2012 back ahead of 2008 and 2009. Twilight and Hobbit are sure to be big and there seems to be a lot of variety in the next few months. From Avengers to John Carter to Hunger Games, 2012 has seen its ups and downs at the box office, the last four months will be very interesting or "muy interesante" as I like to say.

Monday, July 30, 2012

So Many Superheroes

     There are many genres of movies; action, comedy, drama, sci-fi, horror, and recently it seems like superhero should be added. Superhero movies have been dominating the box office the past decade particularly and they don't seem to be letting up. Even non comic book movies like Chronicle and Hancock have done well.
     Iron Man 3, Captain America: The Winter Soilder, Thor: The Dark World, The Amazing SpiderMan 2, Guardians of the Galaxy, Man of Steel, The Wolverine, Kick-Ass 2, and X Men: First Class 2 are all in planning, pre production, or production stages. An Ant-Man, Justice League, and Flash movie, and Fantastic Four and Batman reboots are all being rumored.
     Superhero movies have always been around, but 2002's Spider Man seems to be the movie that kicked off superhero movies into blockbuster status. That movie became the first to gross $100 million in one weekend and held the opening record for 4 years. Since then, the opening weekend record has been broken 5 times; 3 times by superhero movies. In the top 15 openings; 6 are superhero movies. Batman has also broken the opening record 4 times and Spider Man has done it twice. The Avengers is sitting at #3 highest grossing movie of all time, and The Dark Knight is reclining at #4. The Dark Knight Rises is currently #1 around the world and will finish in the domestic top 10. Superhero movies have also became increasingly popular overseas in the last few years. Throw in 3D, which is a lot more popular overseas, and it's a two and a half hour thrill ride.
     Superhero movies have been successes lately, but why? Well since superheroes aren't real, the movie cant be practical, and since the majority of superheroes come from comic books, the films are more elaborate. Elaborate equals more special effects, bigger action scenes, better storylines (most of the time), more characters, heighten fantasy elements, are more epic scale set pieces and scope. A movie about people falling in love is practical because that happens to everyone, but a movie about alien humanoids with gravity shifting capabilities coming to destroy New York and only being able to be stopped by a flying man with magnetic powers is something no one will ever see in real life, so seeing it on the big screen is a novelty. Superhero movies also tell broader stories and have been marketed more fiercely in the recent years.
     Superhero movies can be serious, like The Dark Knight or comical, like Hancock, or even both, such as The Avengers. Hollywood has noticed that audiences are taking a liking for them so the studios are supplying these movies with bigger budgets. The average cost for a superhero movie is now spilling into over $200 million, not including marketing costs. If you ever see a road trip comedy or period drama cost that much, then well, the studio is just waving a big "SOL" sign over there heads. In order for these movies to be elaborate and have the special effects and epic scope that they have, they have to have a bigger budget. This $200 million usually covers the special effects- which seems to be the most expensive aspect, salaries, regular production costs, filming costs, and 3D and IMAX costs. Marketing usually isn't covered, but a way studios help alleviate marketing costs is through product tie-ins, tv rights, and merchandise. Studios have a lot of faith in superhero and comic book movies because they sell toys, games, clothing, books, supplies, collection items, posters, food, cartoon series', etc., something a regular movie cant do as well. These guaranteed sales that go beyond just ticket receipts are why studios beef these movies up.
     Even though Hollywood has done some really stupid things the past years, one thing they usually don't do is let the quality of these movies slip up. The last three Batman movies have all scored over 85% on RT, the two Iron Man's have scored 94% and 74% respectively, Spider Man 1 hit 89%, while Spidey 2 hit 93% and the other two have stayed fresh, Thor scored 77% and Cap Am scored 79%, The Avengers rolled in with 93% approval percentage, and The Incredibles landed on 97% in '04, X-Men has also done consistently well. There are some stinkers, such as the Ghost Rider movies, Batman and Robin, Superman 4, and Elektra. The pressure is always on for these movies to be great; since the bar seems to be raised after every release. Thor and Captain America weren't guaranteed to be successes, but Marvel made sure those movies were done right, and they did pretty well as an end result. If a superhero movie is bad, it may still open big, but it'll most likely drop off the earth, such as Origins Wolverine, which is the highest opening movie not to make $200 million, or Hulk from 2003.
     The demand for superhero and comic book movies is only getting bigger. You can almost expect one every first weekend of May, Memorial weekend, Independence weekend, mid-June, mid-July, or holiday season. If your favorite character doesn't have a movie in production yet, you don't have to write Paramount or Warner Bros. an angry letter, you'll see them on the screen in no time. Marvel and DC Comics are becoming the play-makers in Hollywood.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Re-Finding Nemo?

     It was announced yesterday by Andrew Stanton, the man behind John Farter, whoops I meant John Carter, is bringing Finding Nemo 2 to life. Yes, I said Finding Nemo 2. As you read this you are either jumping for joy and tweeting about it, or you are cussing out Pixar and Disney.
     Why would one cuss out Pixar and Disney? Well why does a Finding Nemo 2 need to exist? Are they really going to lose him again? My guess is no; since fish don't live as much as humans and since the original movie is 9 years old, and will be 13 in four years, Pixar can maybe go the Toy Story 3 route and have Nemo grow up, or a "Finding Dory" concept would be pretty cool, and Ellen DeGeneres would be more welcomed back than Billy Crystal as Mike in the upcoming Monsters University (even though Crystal will likely bring down the house with that character). In the end, Finding Nemo 2 probably won't be the title. I hope.
     The earliest we would see Finding Nemo 2 at this point is 2015 or 2016, most likely the latter, so why release it 13 years after the original? Maybe for money? Finding Nemo is still a popular movie and character and one of the most beloved Pixar titles, and Pixar's most attended movie ever, and still makes millions a year for Disney through merchandise and TV rights. Or maybe Stanton and Co. have really came up with an intriguing concept for Nemo 2, but they're just keeping it under wraps?
     Pixar, like Adam Sandler, used to be against sequels, but lately they have churned out Toy Story 3 and Cars 2 and Monsters University is set for next year. There have also been Incredibles 2 rumors for years. Toy Story 3 scored a 99% on RT and became Pixar's highest grossing movie, but Cars 2 was not well liked, dropped significantly from its predecessor, and was the lowest grossing Pixar movie since 1998. Cars 2 was an obvious cash grab for Disney, being made simply because the Cars brand is the most profitable for Disney. I'm hoping that this is not the reason Nemo 2 is being considered; I hope its because they've came up with a stellar idea and theres real passion for the project. Finding Nemo became and still is one of my all time favorites; I saw it at 9 years old, even my bathroom was decked out with Nemo stuff; I hope Disney will really deliver with this project and not disappoint, since this sequel is honestly unnecessary.
    Nemo 2 will most definately be a smash with audiences, as Pixar will probably be more careful with this movie than they were for Cars 2. With inflation, Nemo 2 may be able to overcome its predecessors $340 million total, possibly by a strong margin, but attendance will be extremely hard to be matched. You can also count on Nemo 2 being in 3D. Andrew Stanton is the only person officially signed on; everyone who voiced characters for 2003's Nemo have not, but can you really imagine this project without Ellen Degeneres? No.

The 3D re-release of Finding Nemo also treads into theaters in the fall.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

'The Amazing Spider Man' Review

  The Amazing Spider Man is the new release from Columbia Pictures and Marvel, which brings Spider Man back to the big screen after a 5 year hiatus. No, this is not Spider Man 4, but it is no Spider Man 1.2, as some people are portraying it as.
      The Amazing Spider Man features Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Dennis Leary, and Sally Field. It is a reboot for the Spider Man franchise and features the origin story being retold. This is however, still a completely different movie than 2002's Spider Man.
     Amazing Spider Man begins with Peter Parker as a young kid; his parents have to leave him, for a reason we're not presented, and after they leave, it switches to Peter as he is now. Peter is going through high school, living with his aunt and uncle, and crushing on Gwen Stacy. He stumbles upon an old briefcase that belonged to his father. Its like "Scooby Doo" to him; he finds so many new clues that leads him to Oscorp. He investigates and soon encounters Dr. Connors and also gets in closer with Gwen. Obviously, he is bitten by a spider and soon after develops his "spider sense". True to the comics, his web does not shoot out of his arms. As he explores this new found power, he neglects various tasks that he was supposed to do; he also gets into an incident at school which starts to strain his relationship with Uncle Ben. I don't want to go much deeper from here because I don't want to spoil, but in the meantime; Gwen invites him over for dinner, he develops his suit and web shooters, and Dr. Connors regeneration program is shut down, leaving him to try the experiment on himself, which in turn turns him into the Lizard on and off. Peter, knowing that Connors is the Lizard, must now find a way to stop him from terrorizing New York, show the police that Spider Man is not a reckless vigilante with a hidden agenda, and he also throws Gwen into the mix.
     The acting was stellar from the cast. All the main actors brought their A-game. Garfield plays a more "true" Peter Parker and the chemistry between him and Emma Stone is very believable and realistic. The action was also a step above. Spider Man and the Lizard had great chemistry fighting and the scenes were well choreographed. Ranging from the sewers to a high school to the top of Oscorp; the fights provide great action that crowds now a days want to see. You also get scenes with Spider Man trying to evade the NYPD, which makes things interesting.
     Even though an overall a good movie, one of the main faults of Amazing Spider Man was the story. The plot did jump around at times. Dr. Connors went from trying to regenerate his arm to transform New York seemingly fast with little transition. There were also a few plot holes that may make you say, "I knew that was gonna happen" or "I knew it was gonna be that guy." And even though the die hard Spider Man fans who have been waiting for the webslingers return will not be dissapointed in the movie; the average movie goer who doesn't care, they just want to go see something, will probably brush this off as "been there, done that", even though this movie does a well enough job at supplying itself with a new identity. The laws of box office will prevent this movie from reaching the levels domestically or attendance wise of the original, but Amazing Spider Man should do big business with worldwide numbers, thanks to overseas 3D fad, the popularity of the character, and inflation. The movie has obtained an "A-" cinemascore and 74% on RT, so word of mouth should carry this on for a few weeks, but Spider Man may get tangled in his webs when Dark Knight Rises hits on the 20th. Either way, Amazing will finish with amazing numbers and should be able to secure the #3 spot for summer releases.
     The only other release coming out now until Rises is Ice Age 4, which is already out in most other countries, so to all the Americans, you still have plenty of time, check out The Amazing Spider Man, its an overall great movie, and a great way to beat some of the record heat this summer.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Weekenders- June 29-July 1

     This weekend, June 29-July 1, is looking to be a very surprising one at the box office. Ted, Magic Mike, People Like Us, and Madea's Witness Protection are all opening. Brave will be enjoying its second weekend after a stellar opening. The Amazing Spider Man also swings into cinemas on Tuesday. This is one of those not-so-often weekends that will appeal to everyone; Magic Mike will have adult females (at least I hope that), Ted will have adult males and teens, Brave will have kids and girls too young for Mike (sad day), Madea will have the African-American crowd, and People Like Us will have the drama crowd. See, something for everyone.
     2012 has been a strong year for Channing Tatum and its getting even stronger. If GI Joe 2 had kept its first release date, Channing would have two movies out this weekend. Maybe Paramount moved GI Joe because girls wouldn't be able to handle double the Channing? Magic Mike stars Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, Alex Pettyfer, Olivia Munn, and Cody Horn. No Mike is not a magician, he's a stripper. Of course Magic Mike will include more than just stripping, it will have an actual story; Mike currently has a 79% score on RT, but stripping seems to be the main focus of the advertising. The R rating will actually help this movie, but the lack of male interest will not; Sex and the City 2 was 90% female on opening weekend, Mike should be in that ballpark. Magic Mike is also not in 3D ladies.
     Mike's main competition is Ted. Ted is from the Family Guy creator, Seth MacFarlane. It stars Seth, Mark Wahlberg, and Mila Kunis. Mark's character has grown up with Ted as a child, and now Ted is foul-mouth, stoner/slacker. Yes, a teddy bear is smoking and drinking in this! It may sound absurd, but the trailers and previews have been getting great reactions and Ted has been getting good reviews as well, currently sitting at 71% on RT; so most critics obviously don't mind. Ted is looking to be a good summer comedy and counter programming for Mike, as Ted will attract more males, plus the Family Guy crowd, (Ted even sounds like Peter).
     Madea's Witness Protection is Tyler Perry's latest. Madea Goes To Jail opened to an outstanding $40 million in 2009, but 2011's Big Happy Family stumbled with a $25 million opening, and eventually earning a little over half of Madea's Jail. Witness Protection will be missing much of the cast you'd usually see in a Madea movie, plus the "witness protection" story may feel off to some every-release Madea viewers. Strangely, no reviews are currently on RT for this, even though it opens tomorrow, but judging by past Madea releases, critics will likely stomp on Witness Protection.
     People Like Us stars Elizabeth Banks and Chris Pine. It is about Chris Pine's character who must find his sister, who he never knew he had, and deliver a 6 figure sum to her. This sounds like a road trip comedy, but it is actually a drama. Reviews have been standard, with a current 68% on RT, but lack of promotion and the saturated market may leave People Like Us shoved to the side for the weekend.
     Pixars Brave opened to a $66 million last week and with positive word of mouth and reviews, and being the only new children's movie out, Brave should have a good drop this weekend, and if Mike isn't a sudden box office surpise, then Brave should retain its #1 spot. Girls, this is in 3D.
     The Amazing Spider Man swings into over 4,000 cinemas on Tuesday in 3D. Starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, and Dennis Leary, this is the reboot of the 2002 Spider Man. Even though this is a reboot, most of the aspects of this movie are new, you will not feel like your watching Spider Man 1 over again. The RT score is at 76% so far, but that will fluctuate and can either go up or down, but regardless, Amazing Spider Man will be a nice summer blockbuster and should please everyone who's been waiting to see him back on screen for 5 years.
     My weekend predictions are that Brave and Magic Mike crack over $40 million, and Ted should see a stellar opening in the mid $30 million's. Madea should end up somewhere between $18-26 million, and People Like Us should land in with a sub $12 million opening. Great weekend all around.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

How High Will 'The Dark Knight' "Rise"?

     On July 20, 2012, fanboys across the world will all feel like they have died and gone to comic book movie heaven. The last installment in Christopher Nolan's Batman series, The Dark Knight Rises, will finally be released after four years of anticipation.
     The advanced IMAX ticket sales for this film went on sale a few weeks ago and the websites crashed. Fans truly are ready for this. Avengers was a runaway success and has now grossed so much, its highly unlikely that Rises will match it, but settling for #2 does not mean the film is a slouch, as Rises could end up the better film critically and could still come near, gross wise.
     Batman Begins was released in 2005, and even though it grossed $205 million domestic, and $372 million worldwide, it was still on the low end for a Batman movie when prices are adjusted. Then in 2008, the world was in awe when The Dark Knight set the then opening weekend record and went on to become the then #2 movie of all time, improving a massive $328 million domestic and $629.2 million worldwide on its predecessor. The Dark Knight is also considered one of the best films ever on IMDB and it managed a 94% on RT, which is amazing for a summer blockbuster. The film won several awards, including the late Heath Ledger for his performance as the Joker. Dark Knight is now an instant classic and has redefined how many comic book movies are now made.
      That success has led to high expectations for The Dark Knight Rises. It held a high probability of setting the opening weekend record, again, but since The Avengers opened so high, its hard to imagine Rises to reach that level without 3D. Most 3rd movies are considered disappointments to their predecessors; Nolan should be able to avoid that. This movie features Bane and Catwoman as the villains, and judging by the trailers, this will not only be a non stop physical movie, but a very emotional one. Critics love emotions, and Nolan has done well delivering with the first two with 85% and 94% RT scores respectively.
     2012 has been a strange year. This year has improved greatly over last year, its good Rises comes out this year instead of last. Rises features virtually no competition; July 2012 is relatively empty and Rises gets the entire July 20th weekend to itself.
     Rises will not benefit from 3D surcharges, but it will have IMAX. There is also no Joker, which is no doubt the biggest villain draw, but Bane and Catwoman should both give a good showdown. Rises may also be hindered by the tone. The Nolan series have contained a darker tone, which may turn off some parents taking kids, as opposed to Avengers or Spider Man, and the movies runtime may be too much for some people at 2 hours and 45 minutes. Honestly Rises has few drawbacks, but a plethora of benefits, which is the reason it will be a box office mega monster.
     When Rises is released in one month, the box office will crash; Rises is poised for an opening of at least $150 million, and thats on a bad day, and the sky is really the limit with the total; the reception of the film will determine that. My personal opening prediction is $185 million. Midnight shows will be big, opening day will be big, opening weekend will be big, July and August will be big, and big is an understatement for this.
     Here is a link for the latest trailer! Rises is released worldwide July 20 and is rated PG-13, obviously. It stars Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon- Levitt, and Garry Oldman. Directed, written, and produced Christopher Nolan, and music by Hans Zimmer. On July 20, if your movie theater is being shut down by fire marshals or if your internet crashes, or if you see everyone in costume at your local Wal-Mart or superstore, blame The Dark Knight Rises; a fire will rise.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

'Madagascar' and 'Prometheus' Land On A Record

     Madagascar: Europe's Most Wanted, and Prometheus together have set a Hollywood milestone. Madagascar 3 opened to $60.3 million and Prometheus opened to $50 million; which makes last weekend only the second time in history that two movies have opened to $50million on the same weekend. The first time this has happened was the June 27-29 weekend when Wall-E opened to $63 million and Wanted opened to $50.9 million. There have been other weekends where two movies have finished above $50 million for the 3-day, but only one was an opener.
     June so far has been off to a great start; Avengers and MIB3 have held up well, and Snow White and the Huntsman opened to an impressive $56.2 million without 3D or IMAX boosts. June still has Rock of Ages, That's My Boy, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (lol), Brave, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Ted, Magic Mike, Madea's Witness Protection, and People Like Us. Surprisingly none of these movies are sequels and the only recognizable character is Madea. Nonetheless, this month should still be a steller one, leading up to an even bigger July.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Joes Conversion Shack

     GI Joe hit stores in 1964, but a live action movie did not come about until 2009. Today it seems like 95% of movies have sequels, and this was in the 95%; GI Joe: Retaliation was set to come out June 29, 2012, right in the middle of the summer season. A few of the characters such as Duke, Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow (even though he died, apparently), and the President are returning, while Ripcord, Baroness, Scarlett, and Cobra Commander are not (again, apparently). Dwayne Johnson, as he's been doing a lot lately, has seemed to have taken over this new sequel, along with action veteran Bruce Willis; Channing Tatum has been shoved to the side. A plethora of promotion for this movie has been going on since late 2011, which includes a Super Bowl trailer and toys.
     Many people who have been to the movies this year knew that Retaliation was coming out this year, as the trailer seemed to have been played in front of every release. Seriously, ive seen the trailer so many times at the theater, I can reenact act. Anyways, for those of you who had your hearts set on Retaliation this summer, unfortunately, you're going to have to wait, as Paramount is having a baby; the movie has been delayed exactly 9 months to March 29, 2013.
     Why the delay you ask? Well because of everyone's favorite gimmick, 3D. I couldn't believe this wasn't a 3D movie to begin with. “We’re going to do a conscientious 3D job because we’ve seen how it can better box office internationally,” was a quote by an exec at Paramount Pictures. North America has been slowly dismissing 3D since 2010, but overseas countries are still putting on the glasses full force, so that statement by the exec is an accurate one, but is it what people wanted?
     If there was any problem with Retaliation, it was its competition; The Amazing Spider Man swings in a meager few days later and The Dark Knight Rises tumbles into theaters on the 20th of July in NA, but the rest of this years July is relatively empty, but the March date is still not guaranteeing Paramount success; this is a summer popcorn movie, not an April one, and next years March is already housing some high profile releases.
     I watched Rise of Cobra on TV last night, and even though it was campy and looked like a simulation game, it kept me unbored, and Retaliation looks like a bigger, more realistic, and proper sequel and adding Dwayne Johnson, Bruce Willis, and Adrianne Palicki doesn't hurt either. The movie looks like fun, but I am disappointed in the studios. Adding 3D does not guarantee this or any movie success. The sinking of Battleship can seem like a reason Paramount and Hasbro would want 3D, but even if Battleship was in 3D, it still would have failed. Retaliation has been building up hype with its advertising lately, but I feel now that most of that hype will die down and come March, people wont have the same mentality about this movie as they would in June. Retaliation should still be a somewhat success and pull in dough, but many feel this was a poor and possibly costly decision by the studios. I personally feel that the conversion move is unnecessary and dumb, especially since people have been aware of the date and millions has already been spent on marketing (they might have to make a whole new Super Bowl spot!), but I am not a studio executive so oh well. GI Joe: Retaliation now comes out March 29, here is a link for the trailer, and something tells me that come March, this movie may look a little different, and we may be seeing a little more Channing; happy girls?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

How "Amazing" Will 'Spider Man' Really Be?

     Spider Man is one of the most recognizable characters in pop culture. Comics, TV shows and cartoons, toys and merchandise, soundtracks, a theme park attraction, a broadway musical, books, board and video games, and of course movies. The three Spider Man movies that have been released have grossed $2.5 billion and they were #1, #2, and #1 in their respective years. Spider Man 4 was in the works, but after turmoil in production, the movie was cancelled in early 2010. Of course this is Spider Man, and Sony, who owns the rights to the movies, wasnt going to just let this property sit, so they decided to reboot the series instead.
     The Amazing Spider Man, which is released July 3, has a new cast, new characters, new tone, semi new story, new costume, new soundtrack, new director, new crew, and new technology as this was filmed in 3D. With less than two months until release, Sony has vamped up marketing; three trailers, with one more coming, a four minute preview in last nights Americas Got Talent, posters, commercials, and merchandise; im sure a BK kids meal tie in is also coming.
     Now to me personally, everything i've seen so far about The Amazing Spider Man has been pretty great. Spider Man has been my favorite character since I was 8 years old and it will be hard for that to change. Most of the critism that TASM is getting is the fact that this is getting rebooted only 10 years after the first film. Yes this is a reboot, but like I said, there are many differences between this and Sam Raimi's Spider Man. The difference may not be as noticable as Batman and Robin to Batman Begins, but you will notice it. The reboot personally does not bother me, I just want to see Spider Man on the big screen, and judging by early news, Spider Man 4 didnt sound so great; Amazing Spider Man "refreshes" the franchise in a way.
     Most predictions I have seen for this movie have been under $300 million domestically (US and Canada), but I have faith that this movie can score over that. It is being released on the Tuesday before Independence weekend, which is one of the most lucrative weekends of the year to movie studios. Spider Man 2, Transformers 1 and 3, Independence Day, Twilight 3, War of the Worlds, and Hancock have all found success on this weekend. Disney's marketing for Avengers was A+ and if Sony can have a similar effect then awarness and interest for TASM will rise; also this is Spider Man! People will go check this out just to check it out; he has a fanbase of millions and he is one of the most family friendly superheroes. Also 3D will give this movie a boost, and the fact that it was shot in 3D and Spider Man does a lot of acrobatics, 3D reception could be very positive. TASM's success may be cut short because of the release of The Dark Knight Rises on the 20th of July, but I am sure TASM will not drop off the earth and will still have enough steam to push on pass $300 million, reboot or no reboot; we shall see come July. The way box office works, the chances of Amazing Spider Man making as much and having as high of attendance as the movies of the original triliogy is miniscule to none domestically, but it still should be a success in its own right, especially worldwide, kicking off the new series. The Amazing Spider Man 2 is also set for May 2014.
     Here are links for the second trailer, the latest trailer, the 4 minute preview, new images, and the Lizard featurette. The Amazing Spider Man is released late June in 4 countries, and beginning July 3 worldwide.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The "A" In 'Avengers' Means A+

      [Spoiler Free Review] Hulk, Smash! There's a movie out now, I saw it Saturday, whats the name of it again? Ohh yeah, Marvel's The Avengers. And there's something that that movie was, gosh I've forgot! NO, I remember, it was the best cinematic experience I have ever had at the theater and it was the best film I have seen. I am not saying this because the hype is in the exosphere for this right now and because it seems to be every other person's favorite movie too; it is my true honest opinion.
     The Avengers, directed by Joss Whedon, finds Hulk, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and SHIELD coming together to fend off Loki and the Chitauri, who are after the "tesseract", a complex cube capable of many dangerous things. The film is 2 hours and 22 minutes, but it is paced beautifully; every scene has drama or humor to keep you invested. The film start with a quick intro that basically explains the tesseract and we are then taken to SHIELD. We do not see all of the heroes come at once, each has his or her own introduction scene, and they are all well crafted.
     Each character has a purpose in the movie and a special skill, no one is wasted. When bringing together a group of people who don't know each other, ie. Real World, Big Brother, or an Olympic team, there is bound to be conflict and tension; Whedon utilizes this perfectly and the characters give off perfect chemistry. Tony and Steve, Iron Man and Thor, Hawkeye and Black Widow, Tony and Bruce, Tony and Loki, Thor and Loki, Loki and everyone, Bruce and Natasha, the team and Nick Fury; its incredibly done.
     The acting from all the stars was also superb. Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk, Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark/Iron Man, and Tom Hiddleston as Loki were brilliant, but everyone brought their A game. You may see one character more than the other in the marketing, but in the movie they all have surprisingly equal amounts of screen time and no one is under used. For example in the trailers it looks like all Black Widow does is roadhouse everyone and shoot 9mm's, but shes is really given some unexpected tasks and action scenes; true for all of the characters, even Loki and the SHIELD characters.
     Another huge part of the movie was the humor. At times I did not know what genre of movie I was watching; action/adventure or comedy? The Avengers provided some of the loudest and longest laughs I have heard since 21 Jump Street from March and The Hangover Part II from last May; yes, I said the Hangover; I rolled out of my seat once or twice. Each character had at least one funny quip. There were plenty of quips, one-liners, witty banter, and physical comedy, and yet it's able to keep a serious tone when the chaos is amuck. This is the first movie I have ever attended, and I've attended 11 this year, where people were leaning forward in there seats staring at the screen; the action, especially the climax is superb in the "whats gonna happen next!?"
     Joss Whedon's directing and writing was top bar; from the cinematography to the special effects, the production team was stellar. Well paced, well acted, well scripted, well directed, well filmed, well edited, this movie just needs to change it's title to "Marvels Well", because well, it a pleasing experience. Whether you see the film in IMAX, conventional, 3D, or 2D, you are in for a thrill ride; just ask the the moviegoers that have already gone twice- or more, in the films 5 days in North America so far. I saw the film in conventional 2D and I plan on seeing it again, its worth it.
     My final grade for Marvel's Avengers is A+; it is now my favorite movie of all time and the most thrilling 2 plus hours I have spent in a theater seat. The Avengers also does a good job at appealing beyond the comic book crowd; males and females, teens and seniors; everyone will eventually understand the movie and characters and hopefully enjoy them. After the films all time monumental opening in America and across the world, stellar reviews, user ratings, and word of mouth, its going to be in theaters for longggg time, and I personally believe it will end up #2 or #3 all time in America, behind Avatar and maybe Titanic. If you haven't gone, go, if you have gone, go again, this is a true blockbuster experience and its worth the ticket. A+. Stay tuned for the mid and after credits for surprise scenes!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The 'Avengers' Have Assembled in a Huge Way

     Its May 5, 2012, do you know what that means? Its means Marvel's Avengers was finally released in North America and is out across the world! Earlier yesterday, the opening day estimates for Avengers was at $65 million, but that was before west coast night showings; now the official estimate via Deadline is $80.5 million! That gives Avengers the second highest opening day and Friday- ever. The opening weekend record looks pretty certain now.
     So why is The Avengers enjoying massive success? Iron Man 2 decreased from Iron Man 1, Thor and Captain America couldn't pass $200 million, even with 3D, attendance for The Incredible Hulk was down from the disappointing 2003 version, and Hawkeye and Black Widow did not even get their own movies, even though Black Widow was a big part of Iron Man 2. So why is Avengers all of a sudden a contender to break many records?
     1. May - Avengers opened at just the right time; the first weekend of May is prime, especially for these type of movies. Spider Man opened on this weekend 10 years ago and today marks the day it became the first movie ever to make $100 million in one weekend. The Avengers is facing little competition and wont have many threats for a while. Summer is getting closer and colleges have let out and grade schools will be letting out soon (im done May 24th!).
     2. Characters - A good thing about Marvels characters; they're colorful. Iron Man is red, Hulk is green, Cap Am is blue, even Loki has vibrant attire. Colorful characters are good for younger viewers. Having a bleak, typical tone can make a movie feel dark and less engaging, but these vibrant characters are easier on the eyes and are more attractive. They are also three dimensional characters, which keeps attention and interest up.
     3. Tone - Avengers is not too graphic for younger viewers, which gives this a leg up over The Dark Knight Rises; the family audiences will likely be lower as that movie will have a more serious tone and violence will be a little more graphic. Avengers also has humor; Avengers is dramatic and does have high action violence, but it also has humor, something that's a win with audiences. The witty, one-liner, action humor is perfect, especially for this; Tony Stark alone makes the money worth it. That gives this another leg up over The Dark Knight Rises, which is definitely more serious, but that movie will be more grounded.
     5. Marketing - Id give Disney an A+ for marketing; The Avengers is on everything; my local radio station, candy wrappers, cardboard cutouts, the internet, and TV- the ads, especially the Dr. Pepper, Target, and Red Barron ones have been amazing. Adults see these and kids have the toys, that raises the awareness; kudos to Disney.
     6. Ensemble - Having all these characters together is something that hasn't been tried in Hollywood before. What Marvel did so well was making all these characters familiar and connecting them to form Avengers. This strategy worked a lot better than just putting them all together without their former movies. Having all these characters together raises the scope which makes this more appealing.
     7. Feedback - Avengers scored a 93% and 8/10 on RT, which for a summer blockbuster, is outstanding. Critics love it, and judging by moviegoer feedback on Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo, Fandango, box office forums, and people I've spoken to personally, everyone is beyond pleased. This means that Avengers will have a long life in theaters.
     A $400 million total is certain at this point, just how high it will go above that is a big question mark now; the sky's the limit. My OW and total prediction for Avengers is $185.4 million and near or above $440 million.
     Go see Avengers this weekend, 2D or 3D, IMAX or conventional, just go; you will not be dissapointed! I mean its already made $500 million worldwide!

Follow my movie Twitter here! Reel Movies 2012

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Its A Trailer Park

     A barrage of trailers has hit the world the past few days; my guess is so a few can precede The Avengers.
      The Amazing Spider Man , The Dark Knight Rises, Expendables 2, This Is 40, Madea's Witness Protection, Prometheus, Brave, Magic Mike, GI Joe Retaliation, Step Up Revolution, Rock of Ages, and Hope Springs, have brand spanking new trailers, which after seeing them, makes 2012 look even more like the best year ever (Magic Mike not so much, but for females maybe).
     Check them all out for laughs, cries, ooohhs, and ahhhs. And as a bonus, the trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 for the gameboys.
     The summer movie season starts May 4th with The Avengers and will unofficially carry on until Labor Day weekend. We're in for plethora of great movies, better than last year. Save some cash for the cineplex this summer! Follow my movie Twitter, Reel Movies!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

How Much Can The 'Avengers' Assemble?

Marvels Avengers is hitting theaters in North America and 42 other markets in 6 days, and it has already been released in various countries in the eastern hemisphere, and those openings have been massive. Avengers is smashing records in Australia, where it opened 214% higher than Iron Man 2 and in Australia, Phillipines, and Argentina it has bungeed to second biggest all time opening. The UK is where it scored the third highest opening day ever. In New Zealand and Taiwan, it managed the biggest opening day ever. All together it has so far earned $36 million overseas. The Avengers features Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and Nick Fury; the latter three do not have their own movies, though Black Widow was a big part of Iron Man 2. Anticipation and buzz has been escalating tremendously lately, mainly thanks in part to Disney's marketing campaign. I have seen and heard ads for Avengers on candy wrappers, the radio, TV commercials, cardboard cutouts, the internet, soda bottles, I mean everywhere. Another good thing for Avengers is that it is also gaining a lot of female interest. Females make up 51% of America, so its pretty important to get them in the theater, and eventhough Avengers is an explosion filled, violence present, anti romantic spectacle, I have conversed with many girls that cant wait till May 4, and whats even better is the that the ones I have talked to want to go because its The Avengers, not because they think Chris Hemsworth is "hot." Also families will play a big role; Disney is making its name present, the characters are colorful and known with kids, and the violence and tone wont be too graphic or dark for younger kids. The movie is also sitting at 97% and 8.1/10 on RT, and critics are saying this one of the top of the line superhero flicks theyve seen, ever. With only 55 reviews in so far, those numbers may go up, go down, or stall come opening day; either way, practically everyone whos viewed it so far has been beyond pleased. The opening record is currently held by the last Harry Potter, at $169.1 million, can Avengers top that? A plus for Avengers is 3D and IMAX, which will boost prices, and tracking is through the roof thanks to the internet and community hype, many analysts believe the record will be broken or come close. Also in ticket presales, The Avengers has sold more than Thor, Cap Am, and Iron Man 1 and 2- combined. Like whoa. I personally believe Avengers will break the record; my predicted opening is $173 million. Even if Avengers falls short of HP's record, Avengers will most certainly make a lot, lot more domestically. There are so many factors that suggest that the record will go down and this summer doesnt feature another superhero spectacle until July. Around 20 milion people could be watching Avengers in North America this weekend, and many millions more will be watching across the globe; this seems to be one of the must see movies of the summer and the year, so check it out! Avengers is PG13 and is 2hr 22 minutes. If you're a cinephile, as a bonus, new trailers for The Dark Knight Rises and Amazing Spider Man will be attached! Dont miss the previews!

Monday, April 23, 2012

'Think Like a Man' and 'Lucky One' Surprise

     Last weekend was an unexpected one at the box office as Think Like a Man, Lucky One, and Chimpanzee all opened higher than expected.  
     Think Like a Man, the new comedy starring Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, Taraji Henson, and others opened to $33.6 million, higher than the big budget, $350 million John Carter; Think Man a Man only cost $12 million to produce. That's just awful for John Carter, beyond embarrassing, but marvelous for Think Like a Man. That opening is even higher than all of Tyler Perry's 50,000 movies, except for Madea Goes to Jail, and Think Like a Man will make in around 5 days what Jumping the Broom made it its 56 days of release, among comparable movies. Think Like a Man's per-theater average was also the third best for the year so far as it was only released in 2,015 theaters, which is on the low end for a wide release. Audience reviews have been positive, with great tweets and an "A" cinemascore, so this movie should have a nice life in the theater, and what was the majorities favorite part of the movie? Kevin Hart of course.
     The Lucky One also attracted females into theaters with $22.5 million, which is the second highest for a Nicholas Sparks movie and #5 for romantic dramas when unadjusted. Zac Efron doesn't have the draw power that Channing Tatum has now- yes ladies he has a stripper movie coming out, but The Lucky One's opening was still very good for a romance themed movie and for April.
     Chimpanzee also opened strongly with $10.6 million and The Hunger Games held well with only a 30.5% drop with $14.6 million. Hunger Games is now ranked #19 all time and it should finish between #12-#15 all time, which is amazing these days for a non-sequel.
     The top 12 this weekend made $126.1 million, which is a slight increase over last year, but 2012 is ahead of 2011 by $509 million and 69.3 million tickets. 2012 is even ahead of 2008 and 2009, and would be ahead of 2010 if it wasnt for that little movie, Avatar.
     Next weekend is romantic comedy The Five Year Engagement, The Raven, Safe, and The Pirates! Band of Misfits, and two weeks later, Marvel's The Avengers! Yes, yes I am excited.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

'Thinking' Like a 'Lucky One'

     This weekend features two releases that include emerging stars; Kevin Hart in Think Like A Man and Zac Efron in The Lucky One. Both have been gaining in popularity everyday; can they attract audiences this weekend?  Kevin Hart is becoming a world famous comedian, he is one of my favorites; Kevin's voice alone makes many things he says funny, even if he's not trying to be. By what I've seen, a vast majority of people of who want to see Think Like A Man want to see it because of Kevin Hart. There's no doubt he will be the show stopper and scene stealer in this movie, and Screen Gems is noticing; all of the television spots and most of the trailer is mostly lines from Hart, theres even a whole television spot just about him. Think Like A Man will mostly cater and is aimed at African-American's, but Kevin Hart is known and fanned by multiple races, so will he help lure an even broader audience to the theater? 
     Zac Efron is adored by most females; ever since the High School Musical days, Zac Efron has been emerging in Hollywood. Now that his Disney days are over, hes been capturing broader projects. Hairspray, Charlie St. Cloud, New Years Eve, 17 Again, and even this year's Lorax. Hairspray had an ensamble cast, so 17 Again is really the only movie that you can say was a nice success because he was the lead. Will The Lucky One, also starring Taylor Schilling be the exception? Channing Tatum has proved to be a draw with the wild, unexpected success of The Vow, now its Efron's turn. The Lucky One is obviously geared toward females and many girls seem to be excited for this even though the hype isnt as high for this one as it was for The Vow. What if an unknown male was the lead in this instead of Efron, would that affect girls wanting to go see it? I say yes. 
     I feel both movies can do over $20 million for the weekend; I feel Hart and Efron will be influences. How well both movies do in the long run will depend on how well audiences like them, but for the weekend, both stars should be driving forces to get people into theater seats. Also, if you're a monkey lover, Chimpanzee is being released by Disney this weekend, I hope that made your day, chimp fan.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Is America Re-Released Out?

     Titanic, Jurassic Park, Finding Nemo, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Monsters Inc, Star Wars: Episode 1, Toy Story; what do all of these movies have in common? They all have been or will be re-released in 3D.
     When Avatar was released ages ago in 2009-its already been 2 1/2 years!? It revolutionized the movie industry. Avatar made around an extra $200 million dollars off of just higher ticket prices and charging people for 3D glasses! Soon basically every "major" movie of 2010, and "every other movie" of 2011 was filmed or post-converted into 3D. The 3D frenzy is still in high gear in Hollywood, but the popularity of it overall has dropped. Are re-releases having any effect?
     The 3D re-release of Toy Story did a middling $30 million, but it was a limited engagement. Though on the other hand, The Lion King, which was supposed to a limited release, soon got a full run after its successful opening, and went on to make $94 million, which was enough to push it back to #9 all time. Soon a wave of new re-releases were announced, most from Disney. 3D is doing just fine overseas, but does America really care? Beauty and the Beast and Episode 1 did somewhat "disappointing" numbers, and Titanic was re-released last weekend and finished #3; its 5-day opening total was a somber $25 million.
     Titanic's problem was that it is still aired regularly on television, I watched it in February on cable, and plus the facts that it is over 3 hours long and many theaters not offering 2D showings probably turned people away. Is this a sign that 3D re-releases are failing? In my opinion, not necessarily; I do believe 3D is fading fast and most people, especially families, are resorting back to the typical 2D format, and I feel moviegoers are wanting more original ideas like Safe House, Chronicle, and The Vow, but I think the fails of Titanic and Star Wars were mostly that they're just too long and too expensive to view again when they are still widely available.
     3D is becoming a thing of the past, again, but re-releases for now should be fine. My advice to Hollywood, add 2D options! Shoot even 4D, just don't make 3D the only choice for the movie goer, or they will wait.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Mega March Millions

     March is the best thing to happen to 2012 so far. March 2012 was the highest grossing and second highest most attended March ever; ever. Now a days, monthly records can easily be attained because of ticket price inflation, but attendance has still been decreasing. July 2011 is the highest grossing month of all time, but ranks #9 in attendance. 2011 also had the highest grossing May and September, but May ranks #7 in attendance, and September doesnt even rank in the top 10. 2012 is helping beat that trend. 
     February's attendance was ranked #4 and March is #2. March only needed 12 million more tickets to claim #1. Thanks John Carter and A Thousand Words. If 2012 continues on this blazing trend, itll be one of the most attended years since 2004. Thanks to the over-performances of The Hunger Games, The Lorax, Project X, 21 Jump Street, and decent performance of John Carter, and the late entry of Wrath of the Titans, March claimed the record. With Hunger Games still going strong, Wrath of the Titans, Titanic 3D and American Reunion opening this week, the April record has a possibility of being nabbed, but most April movies will have to exceed expectations. 2012 box office keeps on steam rolling, with the first quarter ranking fifth best ever; lets see if this year can keep it up!