Archive for the ‘Angelina Jolie’ Category

The New And The News: The End Of The World Will Involve Foxes And Pirates… Probably

November 9, 2009

It’s Monday, which means it’s time for the New and the News.  This week, we’ve got three new wide releases hitting theaters and a slew of interesting news about the world of film.  Come on inside and check it all out!

The New

2012 (Sony) – 3,000 theaters – Reviews
Roland Emmerich is one of those high-profile Hollywood directors that only produces big budget popcorn flicks like Independence Day, Godzilla, The Patriot, The Day After Tomorrow, and most recently, 10,000 BC.  With the release of 2012, Emmerich is probably hoping to erase any memories of the universally disliked 10,000 BC by hopping 12,012 years into the future.  I’m sure there is a story somewhere inside 2012, but basically, it is an epic disaster movie that will showcase a global cataclysm in the year that the Mayans famously predicted would be the end of the world.  A Summer-style action film in the middle of Winter, 2012 looks like an expensive, exciting thrill ride, and it should do very well at the box office.

Fantastic Mr. Fox (Fox) – Wide Release? – Reviews
As if Roald Dahl was not strange enough, his book is getting the big screen treatment from cinema’s resident oddball, Wes Anderson.  Fantastic Mr. Fox looks like a visual treat, as its animation style looks like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It is some sort of mixture of stop motion and traditional animation, and it looks pretty interesting. That being said, I do not think that this animation will help it out very much.  I think it will be visually exhausting to watch this unconventional visual style for almost two hours, for it seems more fit for a YouTube video, and I will be surprised if this is actually a hit.  This is a movie that appears to have been made much more for Anderson-loving critics than the public.  On another note, I’m not sure what to believe about Fox‘s release.  Yahoo! Movies states that it will be getting a wide release on Friday, though Box Office Mojo’s theater counts only have it being released into 4 theaters.  I think it actually will get a wide release, but I can’t be sure. 

Pirate Radio (Focus) – 900 theaters – Reviews
This story follows a group of 8 rogue British DJs who defied authority in the name of rock ‘n roll music in the 1960s.  Broadcasting from a boat in the North Atlantic, this “pirate radio” station had to avoid the British government to play the music they loved.  I’m not much into these movies about drugs, rock music, and liberation, and I’m not sure I can buy the studio’s provided synopsis that “the songs that they played united and defined an entire generation.”  That seems like a bit much.  Anyway, this is probably a little too off-beat to be a huge hit, but the ads have been strong and interesting, and it should be able to carve out a small slice of box office pie for itself in the coming weeks.

The News

Avatar’s New Trailer

James Cameron’s long-in-the-works, psychotically expensive science-fiction epic, Avatar, has been surrounded by huge buzz for years.  Reports of groundbreaking technology, incredible 3D sequences, and an incredible story had people very excited.  Thus, when a lackluster trailer debuted a few months ago, people were more than a little disappointed.  Thankfully, a new trailer has been cut for the film, and it’s is so much better.  It gives a strong sense of the story, and it features some pretty dazzling special effects.  It’s hard to not be excited.  Watch the new-and-improved trailer below.

Baldwin And Martin To Host Oscars

Hugh Jackman declined the offer to return as host of the Oscars this year, but the LA Times was quick to report that the Academy had contracted Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin to co-host the Oscars this year.  In an era of dwindling ratings for the Oscar telecast, you would think that the Academy might want to try to appeal to a younger crowd, but who knows how these decisions are made… The early reaction has been more than a little mixed, and many people are downright unhappy with the decision.  As a hater of the Oscars, that makes me very happy!

2012 in Theaters = 2013 on TV

If 2012 succeeds in theaters this weekend, it is appearing increasingly likely that we’ll see an ABC spinoff on screens this Fall.   Director Roland Emmerich told EW, “The plan is that it is 2013 and it’s about what happens after the disaster…”  Producer Mark Gordon claims that ABC “will have an opening in their disaster-related programming after LOST ends.”  Interesting for sure, but I’ve never seen this type of movie-into-a-TV-show stunt work.  Anyone remember My Big Fat Greek Life?

“The Tourist” Is Suddenly Very Intriguing

Tom Cruise, Sam Worthington, and Charlize Thereon are out, and THR writes that Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, and Alfonso Cuaron are in.  Suddenly, The Tourist, a remake of a 2005 French thriller, has gone from white bread to dark and edgy.  This could be a magical combination that makes for a very cool movie.

The Top Ten Box Office Stars (Allegedly)

January 6, 2009

Each year, the Quigley Publishing Company conducts a poll to answer the question: Who are the top ten box office draws? Via Quigley’s website:

“The Quigley Poll, conducted each year since 1932, is an annual survey of motion picture theatre owners and film buyers, which asks them to vote for the ten stars that they believe generated the most box-office revenue for their theatres during the year. Long regarded as one of the most reliable indicators of a Star’s real box-office draw because the selections are done by people whose livelihood depends on choosing the films that will bring audiences to their theatres.”

Normally, I’m not a huge fan of these generic “End of the Year Top Ten” lists, but the above explanation shows that this is not just a list founded on emotion and trendiness- it’s founded on economic viability, as concluded by the collective group of theater owners. Plus, the poll does hold a certain degree of authority, since it’s been published in the International Motion Picture Almanac for the past 77 years. So without further ado, here’s the list of stars, along with the 2008 films in which they starred:

1. Will Smith (Hancock, Seven Pounds)
2. Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man, Tropic Thunder)
3. Christian Bale (The Dark Knight)
4. Shia LaBeouf (Indiana Jones; New York, I Love You; Eagle Eye)
5. Harrison Ford (Indiana Jones)
6. Adam Sandler (Don’t Mess With The Zohan, Bedtime Stories)
7. Reese Witherspoon (Four Christmases)
8. George Clooney (Leatherheads, Burn After Reading)
9. Angelina Jolie (Kung Fu Panda – voice, Changeling, Wanted)
10. Daniel Craig (Quantum Of Solace, Defiance)

I think that the list is pretty accurate overall, though I would question how much drawing power Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig actually have. I’m more inclined to give the edge in drawing power to Indiana Jones and James Bond over the actors who play them. Yes, they each had a blockbuster that came out this year that made a ton of money, but their stars definitely didn’t make big hits out of 2006’s Firewall ($48 million), or 2007’s The Golden Compass ($70 million vs. its $205 million budget) and The Invasion ($15 million). Sometimes you can be in many successful films, but not be a huge draw in your own right- just ask Elizabeth Banks. In fact, if you look only at raw box office numbers, you know who the biggest star of this entire decade is? Stan Lee.

What about you? Who is your personal box office draw? Mine is definitely Ryan Gosling- I’ve been a total convert ever since I saw him in Lars And The Real Girl.