Archive for the ‘Trailer’ Category

New And News: This Week Brings Disney’s First Black Princess And Nelson Mandela; Coincidence?

December 7, 2009

Welcome to the Monday column, New And News, where I go over this week’s new releases, as well as some of the best news articles from the past week.  Opening in theaters this week we have two movies that deal interestingly with race.  The oft-criticized black-princess-showcasing Disney release, The Princess And The Frog, and the racially themed Nelson Mandela biopic, Invictus.  After summarizing those two films, keep on reading for news about sequels in the Harry Potter, Twilight, and Bourne franchises.

New:

The Princess And The Frog (Disney) – 3,300 theaters – Reviews

The Disney we all know and love is back to doing what it does best: telling romanticized fairy tales with beautiful music and traditional animation.  Five years after Disney’s rather foolish statement that it would no longer produce traditional 2D animation, the studio is back with another sure-to-be-a-classic princess tale, The Princess And The Frog.  Equipped with jazzy New Orleans music, iconic Louisiana bayou scenery, a voodoo witch-doctor villain, cute animated animals, and the first black Disney princess, this film has a lot of buzz around it, and it’s sure to get nostalgia points from audiences of all ages.  I mean, who wasn’t excited by the first five animated minutes of Enchanted back in 2007?  As a college student, I know that tons of my friends are ready to go see this, and parents and kids alike are sure to be drawn to the theaters.  I know I’ll be taking my little sister once I come home for Christmas!  The Princess And The Frog has done extremely well in its limited release of just two theaters, and it will play very well over the holidays.  My very early estimate for this has it earning somewhere between $150-$200 million, with a $50 million opening.  That will probably change over the course of the week as I do some more research, but for now, that’s what I’ve got.

Invictus (Warner Brothers) – 2,150 theaters – Reviews

Morgan Freeman portrays South African President Nelson Mandela in this presitigious Oscar-bait.  Freeman is beloved by audiences, though he rarely has a major leading role, so there’s a considerable amount of excitement around this feature.  Matt Damon also stars as famous rugby player Francois Pienaar, and between star power, good reviews, strong advertising, Clint Eastwood (who the academy loves… see Million Dollar Baby‘s win for Best Picture in 2004), and racial drama (which the Academy loves…. see Crash‘s win for Best Picture in 2005), this should be a considerable hit for Warner Brothers.  If it does well in the beginning of its run, strong word-of-mouth and awards nominations will carry Invictus to becoming a major financial victory.

News:

Final Twilight To Be Split Into Two Movies

Following in the footsteps of The Hobbit and the final Harry Potter (more on that below), Summit has decided that it will split the final Twilight film, Breaking Dawn, into two films.  Unfortunately, whereas the book versions of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows and The Hobbit have extremely dense and complex plotsthat merit such a split, it appears that Breaking Dawn will simply be an even more drawn out affair, in which Bella and Jacob stare meaninglessly out into the drab, rainy forest.

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Teaser

Warner Brothers has attached a new teaser for the first part of their final Harry Potter installment.  It’s getting me pretty excited!  A little less than a year away, Deathly Hallows is coming out next Winter.

Greengrass Backs Out Of Fourth Bourne Movie

This news broke out on The Playlist blog, and far too many people on the internet have scooped it up, claimed it as their own, and failed to give credit where credit is due.  Paul Greengrass, director of all three films in the Bourne franchise, has backed out of directing a fourth edition.  Where this puts the state of the franchise and Matt Damon’s involvement is unknown at this point.  Personally, I’m cool with this.  The Bourne Ultimatum was a tremendous ending to the stellar action franchise.  I say, why not end on a high note?!

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Prince Of Persia and Clash Of The Titans = The Mummy 4 And 5?

November 11, 2009

Two very high profile trailers hit the web this week.  First up was the Jerry Bruckheimer produced video game adaptation, Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time.  Then just a few days later was Louis Letterier’s epic remake, Clash Of The Titans.  I was pretty excited for both trailers… until I saw them.

I’m willing to concede that Prince Of Persia actually looks like a fun time, and the effects look pretty cool as well, but Clash Of The Titans‘ trailer really disappointed me.  It’s as if the filmmakers wanted to take the opposite trajectory of Prince Of Persia and turn the classic Clash Of The Titans into a video game.  The teaser includes almost no dialogue, and between the hard rock music, the endless fighting, and the campaign of monsters we see (none of which look as real or as terrifying as the original Medusa above), Letterier’s film looks rather soulless.  Let’s hope Clash can pull an Avatar and cut a better trailer that’s more story-driven in the future.  Still, my main thought about each of the trailers was this: With an abundance of swords, sand, and crumbling temples, both trailers reminded me a lot of The Mummy franchise, and that’s not really a compliment.  Don’t get me wrong, when these come out, I’ll turn off my film critic switch and have a good time anyway, but wouldn’t it be nice if I didn’t have to do that?  Watch the trailers below and let me know what you think of them in the comments.

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.

News That Caught My Eye: Moses Meets 300? Toy Story 3, Star Trek, And X-Men

October 19, 2009

It’s Monday, and that means it’s time for News That Caught My Eye, where I round up some of my favorite news articles about the movie world from the past week.  In this edition, we have have news about some sequels, a brand new trailer for a hotly anticipated Summer 2010 release, and the most delightfully strange idea ever!

Star Trek Sequel in 2012?

Lots of great information in this one from TrekMovie about the future of the Star Trek franchise.  J.J. Abrams will definitely be back as a producer, but it’s not clear if he’ll produce.  A Summer 2012 release seems likely.

Toy Story 3 Trailer Released

Alright, so this really isn’t a news article, but the blogosphere was all in a tizzy when Disney released the trailer for the latest Disney-Pixar masterpiece.  Toy Story 3 comes out this Summer, and I can’t wait!

The Ten Commandments, 300 Style?

Variety reports that Peter Chernin, over at Twentieth Century Fox, has purchased a treatment of the story of Moses to be told in the style of Zak Snyder’s 300?  This could be amazing, but it may also have “fail” written all over it.  Either way, I’m intrigued!

Bryan Singer To Return To X-Men?

You realize you want to come back to the franchise, now?  Couldn’t you have come to this conclusion before X-Men: The Last Stand?!  Oh, well.  Better late than never, I guess. Via THR.

Is "Where The Wild Things Are" Too Hipster To Be Successful?

September 17, 2009

For the past few weeks, everyone and their great aunt seems to be fawning over the trailer for Spike Jonze’s Where The Wild Things Are, the much-buzzed-about film adaptation of the beloved children’s book.  With synthy hipster music pumping, the trailer shows an extended montage of a boy in the famous pajama suit surrounded by whimsically wonky monsters galore.  The film-buff community is telling me I must like this.  My inner pretentious film critic is salivating.  But still, I’m just not that excited.  Here’s why:

I’m a box office analyst.  I look at a film, and I say, “Is this film going to do well?  Is it going to make money?”  Oftentimes, I decide that a movie is going to be a financial disaster, and so I should therefore ignore it completely.  Take a movie like Stranger Than Fiction, a 2006 release starring Will Ferrell and Emma Thompson.  I thought it looked witty.  I thought it looked funny.  I thought it looked creative.  I was so excited!  But then it went and underperformed at the box office, earning just $40.6 million over the holiday season.  Suddenly, I wasn’t so keen on seeing the film.  Now, I know that’s a terrible philosophy, and artistic value should never be judged based on commercial appeal, but I think it’s definitely a factor for most people.  For instance, if a TV show pulls in poor ratings in its premiere, many people will jump ship by the next episode, not wanting to commit to something that isn’t popular, relevant, or successful.  It applies to movies as well, and I think that’s why I’m not excited about Where The Wild Things Are: I don’t believe it’s going to be a big box office success.

 
Call me crazy if you want, but I don’t see great box office numbers for Where The Wild Things Are when it debuts on October 16th.  This film falls very much into the category of what I like to call “hipster films,” and while those films are usually artistic and interesting, they are not bona fide box office successes.  With the rare exception of Juno, most indie-music-playing, snarky-dialogue-touting, dream-sequence-filled, cartoon-title-over-a-drab-background-having, film-blog-buzzed-about, shaky-camera-shot hipster flicks aren’t going to top the box office.  Yes, the fact that Where The Wild Things Are is based on an immensely popular kids book will provide some built in business, but when you watch the trailer above, does it really look like a widely appealing kids movie?

The trailer brings to mind one movie in particular: Marie Antoinette, Sofia Coppola’s much talked about historical update of the famous French queen.  Both trailers are relatively dialogue-free.  Both trailers were filled by quick moving images set to quirky music.  Both trailers were talked about endlessly by the film world.  And yet, despite all the buzz, Marie Antionette only grossed $16 million back in 2006.  Other recent hipster movies that come to mind would be Garden State ($28.4 million), Adventureland ($16 million), (500) Days Of Summer ($30.2 million), and Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist ($31.5 million).  All of these films were well-received by critics, and audiences generally liked them, yet, while these are far from box office bombs, they’re not exactly smash hits either.  This is the typical fate for a hipster film: a modest, though very buzzed about, theatrical performance, followed by a solid performance on DVD from a passionate, loyal, college-aged following.

I’m expecting a similar trajectory from Where The Wild Things Are.  The numbers will be better because of the book-factor and the family-factor, but this looks like a movie made more for adults than children, and families = money at the box office.  Furthermore, it doesn’t look nearly mainstream enough to be a blockbuster.  We live in a world where Alvin And The Chipmunks breaks the $200 million barrier and G-Force breaks $100 million.  There was nothing subtle or artistic about these films, and yet, this is the type of family entertainment that more average American consumers would rather watch.  Really, can you imagine a rural Kentucky audience getting super excited about Where The Wild Things Are?  I can’t.  So for now, I’m not buying into the buzz.  I’m guessing that critics will love it, audiences will like it, people will watch it and feel nouve-riche for doing so, but it won’t be as huge as many people are thinking.  My very early prediction is about $65-70 million.

What do you think about all this?  Is Where The Wild Things Are too hipster to break out?  Are you excited to see Spike Jonze’s film?  I’ll admit, some of the released shots of the film are just beautiful, but I’m not positive I’ll be attending.  Let me hear your thoughts in the comments!

Grading The Super Bowl Movie Trailers

February 2, 2009

The Original Cast Is Back For "Fast And Furious." Can They Rev Up The Franchise?

January 15, 2009

“Original Parts, New Model.” This is the tagline that runs at the end of the new trailer for Universal’s Fast And Furious, the fourth installment in the popular (to varying degrees) street racing franchise. For this one, the original cast of The Fast And The Furious has come back, and at this point in their careers, they’re sort of a motley crew of former stars. We have Vin Diesel, who turned his back on the franchise after the first film, but is now desperately in need of a hit, considering his last success was 2005’s Disney film The Pacifier ($113 million). I guess that’s what you get when you bite the hand that feeds you… Also returning is Paul Walker. Though Walker appeared in 2 Fast 2 Furious, he did not appear in The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift, and his career has stalled since 2006’s Eight Below ($81 million). Finally we have, Michelle Rodriguez, who seems to have replaced her headshots with mugshots in the last few years, after getting killed off of Lost. Suffice it to say, these three actors could use some box office success. But will they be able to fight off the diminishing returns the franchise has witnessed over the years? Take a look at what I mean:

2001 – The Fast And The Furious – $144 million

This was a nice surprise for Universal, as the film only cost $38 million to produce. The breakout hit put Vin Diesel on the map, and took Paul Walker out of his high school stage after She’s All That and Varsity Blues. A franchise was born.

2003 – 2 Fast 2 Furious – $127 million

Although the budget doubled to $76 million, people had trouble getting as excited about a sequel that was missing one of the main characters, since Vin Diesel did not return. Although, 2 Fast 2 Furious did give us Eva Mendes, so I can’t be too hard on it…

2007 – The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift – $62 million

Universal’s attempt to relaunch the franchise with new face Lucas Black did not work out so well, and the third installment, which featured none of the original cast, grossed less than half of its predecessor. People did praise director Justin Lin for some eye-popping chase scenes, though.

Personally, I’m rooting for them! Maybe it’s because I was 12 years old, and finally allowed to go to the movies by myself, when The Fast And The Furious came out, but I just can’t help but support this franchise. (I think there is something about entertainment you watch between the ages of 8 and 13 that makes you ever-nostalgic for it. Power Rangers, Lizzie McGuire, where have you gone?) These films don’t take themselves too seriously, the chase scenes are pretty amazing, stuff blows up, the dialogue is ridiculous, I have a ton fun, and now I’m finding myself so excited that the original cast is back. Fast And Furious has wisely chosen a Spring release date of April 3, 2009, away from the crowded Summer action slate, and Tokyo Drift director, Justin Lin, has returned to helm the reboot. The stars seems to be aligned for a speedy (hah!) comeback, and I think that Fast And Furious be headed for at least $100 million, and probably more. Vin, Paul, Michelle, you’re going to get your careers back on track because I know there are other people out there who are just as excited as me! Right?! Right? …right? …..oh gosh, this is embarrassing.

Hannah Montana Vs. The Jonas Brothers: Disney Channel’s Box Office Battle Royale!

January 13, 2009

Last week, The Walt Disney Company released trailers for two of their highly anticipated spring features. Highly anticipated, that is, if you are a 8-14 year-old girl. Disney has long been in the business of grooming (programming?) an army of massively marketable pop star sensations, but their two biggest success stories come from Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana and The Jonas Brothers. For the last year, it seems like everything that these kids touch turns into gold, and Disney is wisely striking while the iron is hot, before the tweens move onto the next pop star on the production line.

After the incredible success of 2008’s Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best Of Both Worlds Concert Tour 3-D, which grossed an amazing $65 million, Disney is giving the Jonas Brothers pretty much the exact same treatment, and on February 27, Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience will debut. It’s fascinating how quickly The Jonas Brothers have taken over the tween set, considering just one year ago they were the opening act of the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus…Tour 3-D. I’d be willing to bet that Disney plans on giving Demi Lovato (who opens for The Jonas Brothers in this film) her own 3D movie in the near future. Here’s the trailer:

Then in April, Miley Cyrus will return to the big screen, but this time, it’s not exactly a concert movie. Giving the wildly popular television show the film treatment, Disney will open Hannah Montana The Movie on April 1o, 2009. Disney successfully did this once before in 2003 with the Hilary Duff vehicle, The Lizzie McGuire Movie, which earned a solid $42 million, but served mostly as a merchandising platform and star-showcase for Miss Duff, who went on to sell millions of records and start a girls fashion line. Hannah Montana The Movie will tell the deep story of the fictional pop star having to move from Hollywood back to her home in Tennessee. The trailer for the film is below. (Watch for the hilarious moment at the end of the trailer, when some random, deep-voiced cowboy encourages you to see the film! )

Here’s what I want to know: Which of these films will earn more? I’m going to give the edge to Hannah Montana The Movie, mostly because Miley Cyrus has established herself as a family fixture for longer than the JoBros, and parents will be more willing to sit through an actual scripted movie, rather than just a concert film. But will either of them be able to outgross Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best Of Both Worlds Concert Tour 3-D? Hmm. This is tough, but I actually don’t think so. Best Of Both Worlds benefited from hefty $15 tickets across the country, and unless Disney pulls a similar stunt this time around, I think the $65 million total will be tough to match. Plus, I think Miley may have already hit her peak last year. I want to hear from you all though! Which film do you think will earn the most? Comment away!

Also, Tyra Banks managed to capture a role, and Taylor Swift is pimping herself out to Disney! You see her in both trailers! She’s trying to play both sides of the fence here, but Taylor, you’ve got to choose: Jonas Brothers or Miley Cyrus- you can’t have it both ways! And why has Disney decided to drop the hyphen in 3D?

Walt Disney 2009 Preview: Things Are Looking Up!

December 17, 2008

I’ve never shied away from my deep affinity for all things Disney, so I was understandably excited when I saw that Walt Disney Pictures has released their 2009 preview package to some major movie websites. (Maybe one day, The Box Office Junkie will be on that mailing list, but not just yet…) It includes the Mouse House’s full release schedule for 2009, as well as synopses and pictures for all of most of the films. Ropes Of Silicon has a great feature on the package. You should head over there and check it out. I’m personally most excited for Up, the upcoming Disney-Pixar film about an old man who ties thousands of balloons to his house, so he can float away, only to find that a cheery 9-year-old boy scout has tagged along for the ride. Like all other Pixar films, the characters look dynamic, the story hilarious, and the visuals incredible. After Wall-E, the Pixar team can truly do no wrong in my book. Anyway, check out the 2009 release schedule (and the Up trailer) below, and then head over to Ropes Of Silicon for the full preview.

February 13, 2009 – Confessions of a Shopaholic

February 27, 2009 – Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience

March 13, 2009 – Race to Witch Mountain

April 10, 2009 – Hannah Montana The Movie

April 22, 2009 – Earth

May 29, 2009 – Up

June 12, 2009 – The Proposal

July 24, 2009 – G-Force

Summer 2009 – When in Rome

September 25, 2009 – Surrogates

October 2, 2009 – Toy Story

November 6, 2009 – Disney’s A Christmas Carol

November 25, 2009 – Old Dogs

Christmas 2009 – The Princess and the Frog

And here’s the whimsical, wonderful Up trailer:

"I Love You, Man" Trailer- I Already Love It!

December 17, 2008

Let me take a moment to thank Dreamworks for making I Love You, Man. This is definitely the new film atop my must-see list. Just look at the cast! Seriously, could it get any cooler?

It’s got the always great Paul Rudd, whose star continues to rise with his latest turn in Role Models. It’s got the hilarious Rashida Jones from “The Office”. It’s got Andy Samberg, “SNL” regular and star of Hot Rod, a terrible movie that I absolutely love. And then there is Jason Segel, who not only stars in my favorite show on TV, “How I Met Your Mother,” but also wrote the screenplay to the truly awesome Forgetting Sarah Marshall. It’s like the funniest people on TV decided to get together with Paul Rudd and make a movie. On top of all that, the film actually looks really good! It looks like a funnier, more clever, more artful spin on that gag-inducing MTV show, “Bromance”, that’s debuting in January. Here’s the trailer:

What do you all think? Is my gushing premature, or are you as excited about I Love You, Man as I am?