After weeks of sub-par offerings at the box office, it looks like 2010 is finally getting its act together. Three high-profile releases are entering theaters this Friday, and they should each find varying degrees of success. Valentine’s Day will be huge. Percy Jackson And The Olympians: The Lightning Thief will probably perform solidly. The Wolfman might not do so well. All told, the new movies should inject some much needed life into the film industry, which has been living off of 2009’s leftovers for the last few weeks. Click on inside for a quick preview of those films, as well as a whole lot of news about potential sequels for Fast And Furious, Kill Bill, and Enchanted, a Daredevil reboot, and a great documentary about The Princess And The Frog. This is Monday, and this is New And News.
I had never heard of the Percy Jackson novels until my most recent summer as a camp counselor. A few of my campers were reading the final installment (which had just hit shelves) in the apparently super-popular series, and they were enthralled. They told me all about the young Percy Jackson, and his adventures with the mythic Greek gods of Mount Olympus in the middle of New York City. They told me how he discovers his status as a demi-god and finds himself in the center of a battle between the gods. They told me they loved the books and couldn’t wait for the movies. Fox is hoping to capture some of that magic in The Lightning Thief, which could launch a major franchise if it succeeds. Unfortunately, I don’t know that it will be able to do so. To me, Percy Jackson falls into the same category as movies like Eragon and The Spiderwick Chronicles: potential fantasy franchises that rely too much upon a built-in audience of readers to support the film. Advertising hasn’t been especially strong, and though early reviews are positive, Fox hasn’t showcased this film as an event enough. Personally, I’d love to see this inventive story succeed, because, believe it or not, we’re just one year away from living in a post-Potter world.
Last year, He’s Just Not That Into You earned $94 million after a February release. The romantic comedy featured about half of Hollywood’s A-list in a dozen miniature story lines about falling in love. It was a strategy popularized by sleeper-hit-turned-into-everyone’s-favorite-holiday-movie Love, Actually, and Valentine’s Day has made its resemblance to that movie very clear. With a star studded cast featuring Jennifer Garner, Jamie Foxx, Julia Roberts, Ashton Kutcher, Queen Latifah, and Jessica Alba (and that’s seriously only naming a few), you can expect this to be the number one choice this Valentine’s Day weekend. I think this is going to be huge- I’ve honestly heard just as many guys talking about this as girls, and the widely appealing premise will lead to major success. Plus, Taylor Lautner will draw in the legion of Twi-hards and Taylor Swift will pull in everyone else.
A remake of the classic 1941 film that launched the werewolf genre in the film industry, 2010’s The Wolfman looks like a dark take on the shape shifting story, and it features a rockin’ cast with Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Hugo Weaving, and Emily Blunt. With a hefty $85 million price tag, The Wolfman will have to work very hard to earn back its negative cost, and Universal’s advertising hasn’t done much to draw in the casual moviegoer. With dark (literally, not in tone), confusing commercials, and no real box office draws, I don’t see many people choosing The Wolfman over the breezier offerings this weekend. Maybe it should have waited until a full moon to debut- Valentine’s Day is a New Moon!
Looks like we’re getting a Fast And Furious sequel called Fast Five, another installment of Disney’s Enchanted franchise, and possibly a final Kill Bill film. You know what? I honestly wouldn’t mind any of those!
ow can you tell that studio’s are scared to risk too much money during the recession? They’re determined to produce sequels and reboots of existing franchises before investing a penny in any new idea. In step with the current trend of rebooting unsuccessful superhero movies (see Hulk, Spider-Man, Batman), Fox is looking to bring Daredevil back to the silver screen after the critically and financially disappointing 2003 treatment.
/Film is doing an absolutely fantastic series about the revival of Disney’s classic 2D animation. The video series chronicles the elaborate process of creating The Princess And The Frog, as well as the larger scope of animation at the Walt Disney Company. The series is absolutely fascinating and chalk full of insightful interviews with passionate animators. Part one is right here, but be sure to check out the rest of the Frogumentary on /Film.