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David Poland

By David Poland

BYOB: Heading To The Beach


200 Responses to “BYOB: Heading To The Beach”

  1. Krillian says:

    WB is really thinking global first, domestic second, aren’t they? You look at the budgets for Wrath of the Titans and Dark Shadows and they seem way too high, but globally, they might not be that bad a bet. But I would also think Dark Shadows could’ve been made for about $40 million less and not lose anything.

    Although Wrath still underperformed globally too.

  2. Tuck Pendelton says:

    Wrath lost its audience to the Hunger Games repeat viewings. Hard to predict the movie would do THAT well.

  3. Paul D/Stella says:

    Does Depp mean that Dark Shadows will make a lot of money overseas? It doesn’t seem like something that would have wide global appeal.

  4. Triple Option says:

    You don’t think Wrath’s underperfomance had anything to do with how crappy Clash was?

  5. Krillian says:

    Part of it was Clash’s crappy quality, but hey, Pirates 4 made $1 billion.

    Another WB title – Journey 2 – has earned enough to justify a Journey 3. And Project X made enough to justify Project Y.

  6. Don R. Lewis says:

    Loving the news on the front page that Lonergan’s MARGARET is coming out in his intended directors cut via Amazon DVD in July. Another strike against traditional distributers who can’t see the forest through the trees.

    In other news…
    I’m still on location producing a new feature in rural Tennessee. it’s been an incredible, insightful and fun adventure and I’m really, really exited about the film. However it’s brutally tough being away from my wife and child. I don’t know how people do this for a living. It’s exhausting yet really cool. It’s also extremely conflicting because I love films and filmmaking but love my family more. I wish I was in a place to pull a Spielberg and have them all here with me. Oh well…onward! Finally get to see THE AVENGERS tonight after dinner at Cracker Barrel so I got that going for me.

  7. chris says:

    Actually, it’s coming out via Fox DVD (which means at least the distributor cares enough to release it the right way on DVD). Amazon just has an exclusive on it at first.

  8. NotDavidPoland says:

    Check out!/notdavidpoland

    It’s funny because he is pompous. Perfect tone.

  9. storymark says:

    Funny? Not so much. Kinda sad, really.

  10. Joe Leydon says:

    It is kinda-sorta funny. But I would like to go on record: I had nothing to do with this. Understand? Nothing. Nada. Zip.

  11. Not David Bordwell says:

    Neither did I! Can I be insulted that two-thirds of my handle has been misappropriated if I never asked Actual David Bordwell permission to use two-thirds of his real name?

    It’s not like it’s my shtick to impersonate the Good Dr., either. “See how I deftly parse the visual cues in this lame-assed flotsam of pop-culture effluvia by arranging a series of screencaps in a thoroughly convincing way that makes it hard to argue with unless you have completely misunderstood the theory behind my technique and at the same makes you question the way you have been passively processing every image you have ever received from any screen on which you have watched what we commonly refer to as cinema” would be tough to keep up for more than a post or two.

    Fat fish, small barrel, NDP.

    Whew, I feel better now.

  12. bulldog68 says:

    Just got back from Dark Shadows, and I gotta say, I was bored. I got to thinking that I would love to see Tim Burton do a movie without the trappings of sfx, and quirky performances from Depp and Helena B Carter. For once I’d actually like to see Burton play in the real world and bring his sensibilities to that. A romantic comedy, a coming of age drama, (something I think he’d excel at because he has always treated teenagers with respect.)

    The well for the Burton/Depp combo to me has been exhausted, and now it is a shadow of it’s former self. I like Burton, I like Depp, but I just got very bored watching Dark Shadows.

  13. sanj says:

    discovery channel has a new non reality show called earth from space . they explain the crazy stuff that happens from
    space satellites … its pretty good –

    watched all episodes of punk’d on mtv — they upgraded the cameras – 6 out of 21 people who got punk’d seems real and funny – they’ve got way too many people from mtv shows playing jokes on other mtv shows . its just one stupid promotion….mtv don’t punk people over 40 or actors who are nobodies . that’s the power of being a movie star – some idiot on mtv can make fun of you .

    avengers made 1 billion – i wonder how many people from third world countries bought tickets ? they want high quality entertainment too – where are the numbers for people in poor countries like Africa …

  14. Fitzgerald says:

    I liked the first Clash and really never understood the zealous shitting on it. And somebody else liked it, because the week to week dropoffs were good, if I remember correctly. (Bit of a boxoffice obsessive, I, guilty.) On the other hand, simply, Wrath had no hook and seemed to take itself way too seriously, something I don’t think even haters can say of the first.

  15. lazarus says:

    Some days you just have to be thankful that you’re not Sanj.

  16. sanj says:

    i’ve seen 5 different interviews with Sacha Baron Cohen’s The Dictator and he’s in character but it feels like bad standup comic routine … he was pretty good with alig and borat … also doesn’t help that his beard looks so fake…

    this dude just can’t do normal interviews without a character….. he’s an upgrade to Adam Sandler …but SBC has more voices and is a bit funnier .

    he’s married to Isla Fisher and both haven’t done any dp/30’s …Fisher isn’t that famous so she should get one.. plus she looks like Amy Adams ..SBC is too famous to do a dp/30 …

  17. Don R. Lewis says:

    Saw THE AVENGERS last night and liked it, didn’t love it. It was much, much better than I had originally guessed but I think the bottom line (for me) is that THE AVENGERS just aren’t all that interesting as a group in my opinion anyway. I think Whedon did a fantastic job though and it was overall, pretty fun.

    I saw a 6:20 screening here in Tennessee last night (Tuesday) and the theater was PACKED. Still, and I don’t know if this was discussed elsewhere because I’m so late to the party, but how is this film making so much money?? Repeat viewings? IMAX? I mean, are there people who skipped IRON MAN because they were waiting for THE AVENGERS? My hats off to them for crossing the $1 billion mark but how they did it is beyond me.

  18. sanj says:

    Robert Downey Jr.’s ‘Avengers’ Pay To Reportedly Hit $50 Million

    “”The Avengers” continues to smash through box office records and recently surpassed the $1 billion mark in global earnings, so the $50 million payout is unlikely to put a big dent in Marvel’s balance sheet”

  19. christian says:

    Don, nobody skipped IRON MAN given its own near billion status. But THE AVENGERS is IRON MAN PLUS. And the action scenes are so much more satisfying. But given Storymark and my own “anecdotal” experience, multply us by millions and it will give you a billion.

    And the 3D was pretty good for a change as opposed to CAPTAIN AMERICA where I forgot it was in 3D as I was watching it.

  20. berg says:

    SBC interview on Howard Stern was without charater, i.e. as himself

  21. sanj says:

    2 minutes interview. funny and weird.

    Battleship” Director, Peter Berg to Israeli journalist.

  22. sanj says:

    watched take me home 2011 ..

    girl gets into a guys cab and road trip adventure ..

    its a more realistic version of a Keigl or Aniston romantic comedy …

    there’s not much romance here but it gets predictable at
    the end …

    this is basically a tv movie ….nothing special . it just
    drags on … some acting is just horrible with some of the cast.

    take me home trailer

  23. tbunny says:

    Script and storyboard for millionaire tea-party porn/Citizens United protected corporate speech. Features: hatching chick, big voodoo blackamoor Jeremiah Wright, Eisenstienian montage, “Apology tour” etc.

    I just have trouble believing the 12th ride on the good ship J. Wright is really the key to beating Obama. To me it looks more like vanity press duds from the wealthy and asinine.

  24. christian says:

    You’d think the GOP would get that their “guilt by association” tactic means super pac anti-Romney ads featuring Ted Nugent…

  25. sanj says:

    it pays off being a fake reporter person on e! channel …
    plus all that idol money helps out …

    Ryan Seacrest Buys Ellen DeGeneres’ Beverly Hills Mansion For $39 Million

  26. Krillian says:

    Romney went to Ted Nugent concerts for 20 years? Far out.

    The Dictator was #2 on Wednesday. But we all coulda guessed that. The Avengers will pass $400 million domestic tomorrow.

  27. sanj says:

    Billy Bob Thornton Talks Angelina Jolie

    “But you write that you didn’t think you were good enough for her.
    She’s in a different class than I am. I think I’m a guy who has a talent for certain things. I’m thankful that I’ve been successful with it, but she’s a true star. She’s a real magical person. I think she’s part of providence, part of what makes the world go around. I’m just sort of a guy who scratched and clawed and made some opportunities to work. I had no business probably ever thinking that I should be with someone like that. It’s like the janitor marrying Audrey Hepburn.”

    You’re not a big fan of the Internet.
    “I was always a critic’s darling till the Internet came along and that’s when every fucking mouth-breathing idiot on earth was able to have their own blog and talk about who they don’t like. If you’re just somebody with a computer and suddenly your voice matters, then how much does that water our society down? That’s the people I’ve had the most problems from — the guy down in his basement who jerks off to pictures of Cameron Diaz”

    more interview here.

  28. Breedlove says:

    Thanks for that link, Sanj, good interview. Love Billy Bob. Guy had a sick run a while back where he was knocking out great movie after great movie for years. I’d like to see him get back into the game. And I’d kinda like to read that book.

  29. sanj says:

    i just want my pants back on mtv just got cancelled –

    i liked it – Kim Shaw can act …asked two times for dp/30.

    i was also impressed with the minor characters they had on too…

    good news – watch the entire series on – 3 hours

    not everything on mtv is total garbage …


  30. sanj says:

    blown faces pictures .. something Tim Burton would make ..

    have a quick look

    the facebook story isn’t over … we need a social network 2 … the biggest oscar bloggers hyped this movie and then forgot about the rest of the story ..
    which is just crazy….

    “Facebook stock jumps in first day of trading after raking in $16 billion in IPO”

    “U2 singer has more than two-percent stake in Facebook, worth $1.5 billion.”

    “Facebook Underwriters Said to Split About $176 Million in Fees”

    “Facebook sued by users for $15 billion over online tracking”

  31. anghus says:

    So Battlefield opens soft and Taylor Kitsch is now the lead in two of the least profitable blockbusters of the year.

    Its nice when Hollywood gives someone new a shot but it proves the theory that you cant bank a 200 million dollar movie on an unknown.

  32. sanj says:

    battleship is getting some really bad reviews

    can’t blame Taylor Kitsch from taking 2 big roles…the writing might be horrible but he gets paid the big bucks.
    same thing with K-Stew and twilight …

    Channing Tatum – bad writing / acting in Dear John and G.I Joe …. makes a comeback with The Vow and 21 Jump Street.

    if your in a 100 million dollar film – DP don’t want you in a dp/30. thems the rules. the last 6 dp/30’s are small indie movies .

    DP didn’t geek out early enough – no interview with Joss Whedon when he made buffy and no J.J. Abrams when he making Alias or Felicity or even Lost ..

    DP could have gotten Peter Berg for Hancock dp/30

    Prometheus is 100 million + movie – 3 actors have already done a dp/30 …so it might be easier to get …

    MIB 3 – 100 million movie – impossible to get Will Smith for dp/30 – Josh Brolin dp/30 maybe

    Rock of Ages – big money – easy to get Paul Giamatti for dp/30 – impossible to get Tom Cruise for dp/30

    i guess i watch way too many dp/30’s and i can predict who’s coming and who’s not …

  33. leahnz says:

    for movieman (and any other fans of the man and sluizer)

  34. Joe Leydon says:

    Maybe [Name Redacted] sold his soul to the devil to make sure The Avengers would not only out-gross every other summer movie, but cause every other summer movie to post “disappointing” grosses? First Dark Shadows, now Battleship

  35. sanj says:

    it’s the guy who made John Carter …

    DP/30 – Andrew Stanton – the lighting sucks

    he talka about making risks for Wall-e

    John Carter hits dvd/bluray in a few weeks – so maybe
    it’ll do better ..

    not sure if John Carter will ever make it’s money back ..or even Battleship …

    computer graphics seem to be very expensive … there doesn’t seem to be a 99 cent app and does everything.

    Prometheus – more crazy aliens or not … Ridley Scott
    makes a world thats easy to understand from the trailer …

    if your making a spcce alien movie – make it easy to understand what the aiiens want – assuming its not humans. then it’s always stuff earth has – minerals or water …

    is there a space alien movie where aliens took earth’s water or minerals and actually put that stuff on thier world and everything went okay ?

    there’s a ton of cool alien stories that have yet to be made that are fresh and new .. instead of aliens taking our gold or water …why not take salt ?

  36. sanj says:

    Dan Harmon left community – the tv series .

    i’m a fan – watched every episode – a few i didn’t like but overall nice tv series.

    he took some risks and stuff – isn’t that worth talking about in a dp/30 ? it never did seem to win major emmys..

    here’s the letter…. nbc vs dan.

  37. anghus says:

    Joe, i said last week after Dark Shadows that it feels like The Avengers is just absorbing all light and sound in the media and there’s so little mention of Battleship, MIB 3, or anything else outside the basic 30 second spots that these films aren’t getting that weekly faux hype most new releases get.

    Everything’s getting railroaded.

    Good for the Avengers, bad for the industry. When it’s a month later and people are still talking about Avengers, it’s a bad sign for the rest of the Summer. They launched this Summer season with the best reviewed, most enjoyable Summer blockbuster in ages. Now everything else seems underwhelming. Good for the Avengers, bad for everybody else.

    It also lionizes the theory that you can’t open a $200 million dollar film every week. There has to be some spacing.

    Look at the next couple of weeks:

    Memorial Day – MIB 3
    June 1st – Snow White & The Huntsman
    June 8th – Prometheus
    June 15th – First Weekend since May 4th without a movie with $200 million plus in budget
    June 22nd – Brave (But it’s Pixar. All their movies cost 200 million these days)
    June 29th – GI Joe: Retaliation (No budget confirmation, but the first one was 175 million)
    July 3rd – Amazing Spiderman
    July 13th – Ice Age 4
    July 20th – Dark Knight Rises
    July 27th – Everyone smart enough to open nothing of consequence
    8/3 – A bloodbath between the overbudgeted Total Recall and The Bourne Legacy

    So just take those films right there, those ten movies.

    2 billion+ dollars in production budgets and advertising.

    Most of which has the space of a week to hurdle whatever opened the week before and try to bang the drum for an amazing opening with, at best, 3 weeks to make 80% more of it’s final take domestically.

    How many of those movies will realistically get to 400 million or more worldwide?

    Dark Knight Rises, Ice Age 4, and Amazing Spiderman are a lock.

    I guess you could say The Brave since Pixar films are usually a mortal lock for 200 million domestic and at least that overseas.

    It just seems nuts that the studios are putting out a 200 million dollar movie every single week for almost 12 consecutive weeks. Nothing has time to get traction, and you get this scrum where one movie comes out with the ball and everyone else gets bloody.

  38. spassky says:

    There is SO much talk about Prometheus in so many different circles — will this translate? Does it feel like a hit?

    While it’s feeling like a great film that I feel is ‘must-see’ (I don’t really go to big multiplexes, but I will for this film), but does it feel like a hit? Right now it’s feeling like breaking just 150 million domestic… looks to be a huge hit internationally, though. Will be interesting to see how much of Avengers box office will affect Prometheus, as it obviously will attract adults, but how many? hm…

  39. hcat says:

    I think both Snow White and Promethus are under the 200 range, and I don’t see R rated Promethus taking the weekend from family friendly Madagascar (though I do think Promethus will have better legs and overtake it).

    And I would call everything listed except Bourne and Recall (which will do Battle Los Angeles business if its lucky) Huntsman a mortal lock for 400 WW. If I had to make a guess I would say Huntsman will do 700 worldwide, but of all the titles listed its the one that could easily be lost in the mix.

  40. anghus says:

    Snow White feels like it could break out. I hear a lot of women saying they want to see it.

    Not all the films are at production costs of 200 but factoring in P and A puts most at or above that level.

  41. Joe Leydon says:

    I dunno. I still like the image of [Name Redacted] kneeling within a pentagram he has drawn on the floor in chalk (or, better still, ram’s blood) with Avengers action figures clutched in his hands, fervently calling upon Satan to aid him in his victory over DP and other unbelievers…

  42. christian says:

    Then again, likely BATTLESHIP sucks and nobody is saying, “Ya gotta see this!”

  43. Joe Leydon says:

    Christian: Well, sure, there’s that possibility, too. But aren’t you amused by the prospect of [Name Redacted] proffering his immortal soul to The Great Confuser so that his heroes can emerge triumphant?

  44. christian says:

    Given that I’ve seen THE AVENGERS three times already, I can only assume I’ve been POSSESSED!

  45. bulldog68 says:

    So much for that CinemaCon Male Star of Tomorrow award doing anything for your career. Battleship is opening to less than John Carter. Ouch. It’s a really just an empty shell of a movie, save the old veterans and the real life veteran amputee Gregory Dadson. Lets hope for Taylor’s sake Savages does well, otherwise he could become the male equivalent of Nicole Kidman really really fast, and next thing you know, he’s the new Nicolas Cage.

    I think Avengers is all but guaranteed to be #3 Domestic now, and will put up a good fight and probably win for #3 Worldwide.

    Any guesses on MIB3’s opening gross next week? And can Avengers pump a few dollars into a ‘see it again on Memorial Weekend’ campaign?

  46. Joe Leydon says:

    Bulldog58: “[C]an Avengers pump a few dollars into a ‘see it again on Memorial Weekend’ campaign?”

    If the Prince of Darkness commands it, it will be done.

  47. sanj says:

    its Mila Kunis drinking Starbucks..

    Mila went on this rant in the dp/30 she did how she doesn’t like it when she gets photographed and chased around when shes doing minor things like this .

    movie critics are you allowed to drink / eat with any big
    actors ?

    Avengers – regardless of the review i was expecting DP to get Renner and bring ScarJo with him for a dp/30 .
    didn’t happen.

  48. Krillian says:

    Finally caught Avengers today. Loved it.

  49. hcat says:

    Joe, any incantation regarding the Avenger’s will not be drawn with Ram’s Blood but with Code Red Mountain Dew.

  50. hcat says:

    And is someone else posting under Christian’s name, I have never remembered him so giddy about anything (except for a certain Preminger movie) before. He’s moving into Stephen Kaye territory.

  51. Joe Leydon says:

    Hcat: “I have never remembered him so giddy about anything (except for a certain Preminger movie) before.”

    That’s what happens when you submit to Beelzebub.

    BTW: Think you may be right about that Code Red stuff.

  52. bulldog68 says:

    So a guy gets a smack from Will Smith, but not exactly the kind of smack he wanted. Funny stuff though.

  53. christian says:

    Hcat, you can’t hit a moving target.

    But comparing me to Stephen Kaye…that makes me mad…you won’t like me when…grrr….no…..nooooo…ARRRGGHHHHHHHH —

    (Name Redacted) SMASH!!!!!!

  54. JS Partisan says:

    Who drinks soda? What is it, 1985?

  55. hcat says:

    Who calls it soda? You work in a 1950’s pharmacy?

  56. JS Partisan says:

    Actually, we call everything “Coke” in the South, but Soda is horrible. Great for cleaning batteries though!

    Quick hits:

    Jay Gerrick, Barry Allen, and Wally West are very interesting characters, who should have their own movie.

    Also, everything is not getting railroaded as much as it’s one movie being so much better than the others, that no one wants to see subpar junk.

    Finally, Snow White and the Huntsmen and Prometheus still seem like better bets than Amazing Spidey. Spidey has to deal with the second weekend of a franchise relaunched by the Rock and two weeks later, it has the TDK-R freight train coming down it’s track. It will be lucky if it gets 700m Worldwide.

  57. sanj says:

    when Roger Ebert finally retires from his mega monopoly movie review empire – do you think he’ll get his own museum ? he’s got like 50,000 reviews of movies and they have to go someplace ..

  58. martin s says:

    MIB3 should win because they’re taking enough 3D screens away.

    The visuals in the Snow White trailer has a very Coppola aesthetic to me. The shot of Theron screaming is the first time I’ve ever seen that comic/animated facial expression pulled off accurately for live-action.

    Prometheus will do very well, but I’m with hcat; Madagascar FTW. Don’t underestimate the appeal of the penguins. They’re getting their own movie for a reason.

    …and it’s still soda on the east coast.

  59. cadavra says:

    “It just seems nuts that the studios are putting out a 200 million dollar movie every single week for almost 12 consecutive weeks.”

    You could rebuild a small town for that kind of money. It’s obscene that so much money is spent on even a single film, much less over a dozen. All that BS about austerity and making movies for a price makes me want to spew.

  60. Jerryishere says:

    What’s wrong with making movies for 200 mil?
    Why would that make anyone want to spew?
    The aim is to entertain and make money.
    Oh, and also put many many many many people to work.
    An industry without tentpoles isn’t an industry, it’s a hobby.

  61. hcat says:

    Sanj, Ebert might not get his own museam but a bronzed cast of his thumb could be in the Smithsonian.

  62. Ray Pride says:

    At Ebertfest, each presenting guest is given The Golden Thumb.

  63. sanj says:

    this is cool for 1 minute

    best violin EVERbest violin solo

  64. christian says:

    “What’s wrong with making movies for 200 mil?”

    Losing 200 mil?

  65. sanj says:

    1 hour podcast with Tina Fey ..

    overall – standard interview – was expecting this to be a lot more funnier .

    so after listening to this – Tina Fey no dp/30 for you.

    just don’t think DP could make Tina Fey do funny stuff for
    the entire interview.

    audio interviews are fun to listen to with actors – they have less pressure and they open up about random things.

    i’d say 90% of the dp/30 would work in audio only format – if you have 3 people talking it gets tough ..

    maybe DP will cash in big time with the dp/30’s like 10 years from now … selling them on infomercials .

    how many of the 200 million dollar movies will get an oscar nomination this year ? if you spend more money your supposed to get a better story than some small indie movie right ? if dark night rises doesn’t get any oscar nominations there’s gonna be millions of people angry ….the expections are way to high for this .

  66. anghus says:

    There’s nothing wrong with spending 200 million on a movie. My question is can the market support this many 200 million dollar films.

    According to most analysts there are six 200 million dollar films this summer (though no one seems to factor The Brave into those six). Don’t know if Hobbit will cost 200 million since it’s two movies. Skyfall will probably be around 200 million. You also have six more films at around 150 million. And again, this is without factoring in P&A.

    I think my point is, if i have one: is Hollywood capable of making an event picture without spending 175 – 200 million dollars anymore?

    Hunger Games springs to mind and, um…..

    I was looking over some math and found something interesting. Of the top 20 films of all time, only four cost less than $100 million to make. The three Lord of the Rings films and The Lion King.

    Then the charts go wonky because so many of the movies were made a long time ago. E.T. cost 10.3 million to make in 1980’s dollars.

    Here’s something else interesting. The top 100 films of all time, the 100th biggest film of all time grossed $485 million worldwide.

    450 – 500 million is what these massive 200+ million dollar films have to get to in order to succeed. So basically with a little room for error, you have to crack the top 100 films of all time for your tent pole to be a hit.

    Last year that happened to 11 films.

    Looks like the math may have invalidated my theory.

    Of those eleven, about half are animated films (Smurfs isnt all animated but it kind of fits the bill). Most of the animated films cost 100 – 150, The live action ones were all around 200.

    So i guess if you want to crack the top 100 and pass 485 million as a live action film, you are almost required to cost around 175 million dollars.

    The lowest budget live action film to crack that list (from 2011) was Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1.

    I suppose, based on this, you gotta spend money to make money. But 2012 is going to have John Carter, Dark Shadows, and Battlefield in the red. It’ll be interesting to see where the rest end up.

  67. cadavra says:

    It’s obscene to spend $200 million on a film because IT’S NOT NECESSARY!! Too much of that money is spent on unnecessary horseshit (actors’ trailers, personal trainers, et al) or simple overpaying (like those $1600 toilet seats the Pentagon bought years ago). F’chrissake, people are STILL paying Harrison Ford $20 mill a picture when he hasn’t had a hit (save the INDY sequel) in over a decade! If more studio heads took a real stand–if you can’t do it for this price, then it’s not gonna happen–you’d get the same quality films for a lot less. To paraphrase Martin Mull, show business is kindergarten with money.

  68. sanj says:

    Tony Kaye dp/30 talks about making movies on a budget –

    pretty fun mini rant

    fast forward to 13:00

  69. Triple Option says:

    I call it both soda and pop. But never use both terms together. Oh, I’ll also use coke generically.

    I only mind the thought of the $200M movie when I think of some of the smaller movies that could’ve been made. I think a big chunk of my favorite movies over the years were probably the mid range movies of the dependents or at least that pricing. I know indies aren’t cheap but those can get really masterbatory. Some of the large budget films try too hard to please everyone and are yawners w/like visual tourettes. Give me a Quiz Show, Easy A, Spartan, Glenngary Glen Ross, I’ll be fine. Not that I didn’t really dig the Avengers but some of these two bill mill films just seem so self aggrandizing. “Well, it’s $180 mill budget, ego it must be an event film that we all must see.” Uck!

  70. Joe Leydon says:

    As recently as 8 years ago, a movie like Spartan could get theatrically released by a major (Warner Bros.). Does anyone out there think that could happen today? Are we now talking Magnolia VOD, or what?

  71. sanj says:

    Joe – all you need is one star in a movie and it’ll somehow find its way in theatres – like LOL with Miley Cyrus.

    i’m guessing you mean adult dramas getting a tough time getting into theatres ? nah they get in too….
    a lot of them even get oscar nominations…
    every old time british drama seems to get into theatres ..

    it’s the non english titles that have a hard time getting into theatres …and sticking around – good or bad reviewed.

    check the first 5 minutes of the road – the director
    finally gets his non english movie into theatres

    but it’s also titles like the lady and flowers of war
    – 50% of its in english – who stick around for a very short time into theatres. the only reason i know about
    those films is cause DP did a dp/30 with them

    girl with dragon tatto and let the right one in – people
    don’t want to read subtitles for 2 hours so they remake them – get some decent director + english only and they
    have some success.

    Joe – how many non english movies do you watch a week ?
    every year during the oscars – DP has to do international non english movies

    right now if Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – non english version was on 1000 screens do you think people would go ? it’s aleady proven hit….but 2 hours of reading substiles ? hmmm…

    also Eva Longoria in recent pictures looks like Kate Beckinsale – they should do a movie together and play sisters in a drama and finally get a oscar nomination for both . DP use your movie connections and make this happen.

  72. JS Partisan says:

    Joe, they still put movies like Spartan out during September and October. That’s where those movies get relegated these days.

  73. Joe Straatmann says:

    Teaser for Skyfall’s up.

    As usual for teasers, tidbits of potentially awesome stuff that makes me hate waiting 6 months for it.

  74. hcat says:

    Joe, wasn’t Spartan a Franchise/Morgan Creek production that went through WB through a release agreement? So even then it wasn’t like a major greenlit it. The equivelent now would be something released by milineum or relativity.

    As for the 200 million arguement, like professional sports, movies cost so much money because they make so much money. Now that a billion WW is becoming more of the norm for big 3D releases you are going to see more 300 million dollars films aiming for that mark. BUT you can’t make the arguement that a smaller film can still cross the billion dollar barrier when so far none has.

  75. anghus says:

    After reading a lot and looking at the math it’s hard to argue that hcat. You want big money you gotta spend big money.

    I think the great unanswered question is now that the number of 200 million has doubled and will double again, how many of these films will get there?

    Interesting tidbit, so far the most expensive movie ever made (based on available data) is Spiderman 3 at 258 million.

  76. hcat says:

    I thought Avatar had reached upwards of $300 million, but I don’t recall what source I read that in so who really knows.

  77. sanj says:

    if avengers made 1 billion – how much money did Joss Wheadon make ? 100 million ? 50 million ? 25 million ?

    these 200 million films – somebody gets very lucky and somebody also gets fired.

  78. hcat says:

    So as I said above i am looking forward to Snow White/Huntsman BUT given the failure of Battleship and this conversation regarding large budgets, I am starting to get a little more hesitant because there seems to be a inverse relationship when it comes to budget and quality at Universal.

    Since jumping in the 100 million dollar pool in a big way with Waterworld here are the 9 figure budget films that Universal has made.

    Waterworld, Dante’s Peak, End of Days, Grinch, Hulk, Cat in the Hat, Van Helsing, Riddick, King Kong, Miami Vice, Bourne Ultimatum, American Gangster, Incredible Hulk, Evan Almighty, Mummy 3, Land of the Lost, Public Enemies, Wolf Man, Green Zone, Robin Hood, Little Fockers, Fast Five, Cowboy and Aliens, Battleship.

    Now some of these are quite good. I really enjoyed Gangster, Fast Five, and Enemies and found a lot to like in Ultimatum, Vice, and Robin Hood. But thats six of twenty four with the others ranging from hoo-hum (Zone, Hulk, Wolf man) to crimes against cinema (Evan, Cat). So no matter how impressed I am with the marketing for Huntsman there is now a little voice nagging me, ‘don’t get too excited, Universal should never spend more than $85 on a movie.’

  79. christian says:

    You folks are sad. How much did films like PULP FICTION, BLAIR WITXH PROJECT and PARANORMAL ACTIVITY cost and their profits were near half a billion apiece. Just saying.

  80. anghus says:

    They say Avatar cost $300 million but no one has ever confirmed the budget.

    Spiderman 3 at $258 million is the highest posted.

    I’m sure there are ones that cost more, but Hollywood isn’t known for being honest or forthright with the numbers all the time.

    I think sanj hit the nail on the head. 200 million an up are the high stakes games. An in the high stakes game there is usually 1 or 2 winners and a handful of losers.

    This year the clear winner is Avengers.

    The clear losers so far are John Carter and Battleship. Dark Shadows cost 150 million before Advertising, so i’d group that in as well.

    In 2012 the 200 million dollar chip has been played 4 times and there’s one winner. By the end of the summer i would expect Avengers, Dark Knight Rises, Amazing Spiderman, and maybe Men In Black 3 (saved by international box office) to walk away winners.

    Edit – i was just in a conversation where someone suggested Will Smith has the most mediocre filmmography of any living actor.

    My kneejerk reaction was disagreement. But then i started thinking back and couldn’t think of one Will Smith film that makes me go ‘that’s a great movie’.

    Is there such a thing as a great Will Smith movie?

  81. cadavra says:

    A friend of mine who used to work at Fox told me TITANIC’s final negative cost was actually $315 million, but they hushed it up because they feared the stockholders would be screaming for everyone’s heads…even after it became a monster hit.

  82. hcat says:

    Christian – Three films in the nearly two decades that you mention is not a compelling trend.

    For arguements sake lets say a 50 million movie knocks it out of the park and does half a billion worldwide. This returns $250 million minus exhibitors cut to the studio, total profit 200 million. A $200 million dollar film that does a billion ww brings back $500 back, profit of 300 million. So while the smaller film has a better return for investment and less risk the larger film brings in a lot more money.

    But the major problem in all this is that studios used to justify their silly B movies by saying the profits help offset the costs of their prestige A pictures. But since all the profits from a loud silly B movies success is used to offset the losses of a different loud silly B movie, the studios have mostly gotten out of the A movie business altogether.

  83. hcat says:

    Dark Shadows was $150? Christ, talk about not needing to spend that much. Just like Land of the Lost a few years ago they spend huge amounts of money on a property whose enduring charm is owed partly to the fact that each episode looks like they cost $29.95 to make. That’s like someone deciding to drop $250 million to update Gamera.

  84. anghus says:

    i never understand why they spend 150 million on stuff like Land of the Lost or Dark Shadows, which to me are basically the exact same project.

    You take an outdated property, update it and inject it with comedy, spend an ungodly amount of money and expect what exactly?

    And hcat, you’re right about B Movies. Look at the last couple of years. I would call the Twilight Movies, The Fast and the Furious Movies, and Hunger Games the modern evolution of the B movie.

    For awhile it seemed like Jason Statham was the entire B movie industry, but his films do not perform well at all anymore, even overseas.

  85. Not David Bordwell says:

    Dark Shadows is up to $130m worldwide — any chance it will hobble into the black, or is a writedown inevitable?

  86. anghus says:

    Depends on how many territories it’s already opened in. The worldwide box office seems like it used to be slower roll, but these days of massive multi-continent releases it feels like it’s 4 weeks and you’re done.

    It looks like Dark Shadows hasnt opened in China, Russia, or Japan which are all big markets. I don’t think itll be the 170 million they need. Feels like a lot of red ink on that one.

  87. martin s says:

    Cadavra – I heard the same in 2k.

    This all starts with Titanic. Not because of what it grossed, but because Cameron had finally completed his 180 from when he made Terminator. You can find interviews with him from ’83/’84 where he talks about indie film as the future and large budgets are a wastes.

    When Spider-Man frozen at Carolco/MGM, Cameron moved onto Titanic and sold it to Mechanic as a period romance he wanted to do in-between blockbusters. Then he went nuts.

    His interviews at the time were less about the story, and more about his new business philosophy; less movies, higher budgets. He was hellbent on dragging the industry along, because he doesn’t believe most filmmakers are worth shit, so they don’t deserve eight or nine figures to play with.

    What he didn’t count on was the DVD explosion, which slowed the move towards his model. He then focused all his resources on 3D, makes Avatar, and here we are; the transition of mid-tier productions to cable.

    As for the bomb known as Battleship. Nothing personal to Berg, as I think it will do fine on BR, but this is what happens for going along with casting Rhianna. Blatant “urban” stunt-casting of a woman whose fame is based on pity.

    Casting choices are hurting more movies than I can recall. One reason The Huntsman looks good is because the roles were cast plausibly, thereby removing that audience leap.

    If I was Disney, I’d be stocking up on Imodium over Lone Ranger.

    …and if Universal moves ahead with Worthington as Dracula, they should be shut down. It’s a solid project with good people involved, but holy fuck, is that a mistake on everyone’s behalf. The dude has got to step away and realize that he’ll be the Keanu idiosyncracy in Dracula, not the immersed Oldman.

  88. christian says:

    “If the new normal is a world in which a studio is releasing a $150-$250M movie every single weekend and three of those movies are failing for every one that strikes it rich, the studios are going to run out of money really quickly.”

  89. Triple Option says:

    Shouldn’t a film like Battleship be above a miscast like Rhianna? I mean it’s not like she’s got her name above the title. I rolled my eyes when first heard she was in but it wasn’t like people would have a preconceived notion of who should be in that roll. Like the sort of rebellion stage when people heard Tom Cruise was going to play Lestat. Obviously, she didn’t help but I don’t think she hurt either. She’s really not the one who has to sell the movie. I think if they got Melanie Rodriguez, Zoe Saldana, some no-name out of Yale Drama I think it would’ve been the same results. Would you have thought Jennifer Lawrence would’ve moved the needle much? I don’t think it still would’ve crossed $30M. Movies like that are sold on snap, crackle, boom!

    I could see Worthington flatlining a big budget film if sold on his name. But if going in people are there for the concept, creatures or FX, like Avatar, it shouldn’t seem like that huge of a deal. I mean, he obviously didn’t hurt Avatar. The Hulk w/Ed Norton just kinda sat there. Norton is a more recognizable name but I still would think it’d be the big green dude laying waste people were going to see, not so much Norton, despite the rep on his skillz.

  90. anghus says:

    Lone Ranger feels like it has a target painted on it.

    Old school western story that feels eerily similar to John Carter.

    Depp in heavy makeup reminiscent of Dark Shadows.

    I think they had it right the first time when they shuttered it due to budget concerns. I think thats when it was at $250 million and they trimmed it to 200.

    Lets hope Arnie Hammer ain’t Taylor Kitsch

  91. sanj says:

    nobody is forcing people to go out and watch movies on
    the opening weekend ….some people can wait and some people can’t .

    it’s a great first world problem to have right now – which 200 million dollar blockbuster do i want to see ?
    Hunger Games ? Battleship ? Avengers ?

    whats also interesting is some actors get lucky and end up with 2 major films in theatres like Emily Blunt with The Five-Year Engagement and Salmon Fishing In The Yemen
    – one movie has a bigger budget for promotion then the other and one just doesn’t get talked about enough even if it got better reviews .

    Chloë Moretz in Dark Shadows and Hick on VOD … maybe she talked enough about how amazing Johny Depp is but
    has a hard time getting smaller film Hick promoted.

    Charlize Theron has 2 films at the same time – Prometheus and Snow White and the Huntsman ..

    Snow White and the Huntsman seems interesting – Director:
    Rupert Sanders first feature film ? imdb shows he’s done nothing else …its got 5 writers + 6 producers nobody has really heard of. Theron and K-Stew must beleive in this movie a lot.

    here’s a 5 minute clip

    after watching that – it’s in a forest with a lot of hobbits – why didn’t Peter Jackson direct this or M. Night Shyamalan.

    also seems weird DP not jumping in and telling everybody how wrong everybody is with the movie numbers …


  92. anghus says:

    Hunger Games only cost 75 million.

  93. Hallick says:

    “As for the bomb known as Battleship. Nothing personal to Berg, as I think it will do fine on BR, but this is what happens for going along with casting Rhianna. Blatant ‘urban’ stunt-casting of a woman whose fame is based on pity.”

    And not at all on the record sales, airplay, or digital downloads…

  94. sanj says:

    Rhianna could have been in John Carter kicking alien ass..
    also Justin Bieber turns alien for Men In Black 3

    does is bug movie critics when musicians turn up in movies for no other reason than
    star power ?

    new dp/30 previews ..

    CANNES 2102 SNEAK: Talking about “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

    2 non actors talk about being in a movie – 9 minutes

    Wes Anderson on “Moonrise Kingdom” dp/30-

    nice beach location – they should have gone swimming .

    5 minutes

  95. Joe Leydon says:

    Anghus: Now tell the truth: Just five years ago, did you think you would ever see the words “only” and “75 million” in the same sentence?

  96. Krillian says:

    Dark Shadows was fun in parts, but the ending felt like they lost the last 20 pages of the script so they just improvised a giant showdown with everyone.

  97. sanj says:

    it would help if actors who actually like the big blockbuster films actually helped promoted the movies..
    Jennifer Lawerence – she has the media attention for a few weeks – she could spend those weeks telling every reporter to go see the Grey … it might get a bump in
    sales for the dvd … and somehow Liam Neeson hears about it and likes her and put her in Taken 2 ..that movie ends up making 100 million and everybody is happy.

    Channing Tatum – Taylor Kitsch have been in some badly review movies …somehow they made millions of dollars.
    they should team up wtih Adam Sandler and K-Stew and make the worst movie ever.

  98. Yancy Skancy says:

    Yeah, I’m with Triple: Rihanna had lots of hits before Chris Brown knocked her around. Sure, her casting in BATTLESHIP is pointless, but I’m not sure it hurt anything, unless a significant number of people thought her presence was the key indicator that the film would suck (as if the very concept weren’t enough to figure that out).

  99. JS Partisan says:

    If Battleship did not appear to be a Transformers clone, then it probably would have had a chance. Trannys 3 made a lot of cash last year, but it also pissed off a lot of people. Once you burn people with a movie and the next year try to sell them more of the same shit in a new package, then you are just asking for problems. This is Universal though. They do stupid shit like this all the time.

    That aside, the first Hunger Games cost 75m. Catching Fire and Mockingjay will probably cost double if not triple that, but they should be able to swing it. Hopefully.

  100. RealLexG says:

    Battleship is an American masterpiece and EASILY the best film of 2012.

    Kitsch is GOD. Even cooler than Worthington.

  101. hcat says:

    I thought it was the second transformers that was despised, at least I know I hated it. I thought the third was the best of the three and the only one I would recommend to anyone.

    And isn’t it sort of strange that the knock-offs (Battleship, John Carter)cost a bit more than the material they are apeing? Isn’t the whole ride a hit’s coattails idea to spend less money, i.e. ‘If we move Die Hard onto a Battleship we could make it for half the cost!’

  102. cadavra says:

    “unless a significant number of people thought her presence was the key indicator that the film would suck”

    Exactly. The Frankenheimer Rule: “75% of a film’s success or failure is determined by the casting.” When Universal released a teaser for THE FLINTSTONES showing John Goodman in full costume and make-up shouting, “Yabba Dabba Doo!”, the film instantly went from a flop to a hit, because the audience knew that if they got the perfect guy to play Fred, the rest of the picture would follow and turn out at the very least okay.

  103. martin s says:

    I admit I should have phrased it so it didn’t read like it’s all Rhainna’s fault; it’s not. But she’s embodies everything idiotic about this project, and a number of us recognized that from the beginning.

    If film-people like you, roll your eyes at her casting, then what about the average male kid – Battlehip’s demo – who doesn’t give a shit about her music and only knows her from a beatdown. Rhianna was wedged in believing she would appeal to a different demo. Instead, the two negated each other.

    This isn’t on Berg, it’s about whoever at Hasbro came to believe they’re sitting on an IP goldmine and how, to segue into another part of this thread, we’re no longer living in a film era where some Corman/Golan-Globus derivative can take that kind of gamble.

    Say to the average person that “Hollywood” is actually considering making a Slinky or Monopoly movie, and expect a headshaking scoff. That should tell anyone involved how steep a climb it’s going to be to find a paying audience.

    For something like Battlehip, Monopoly, whatever, to work, you’ve got to embrace what people know when they hear the name. “Battleship” is WW2 shit, not cyberaliens. Monopoly would have to be Mad, Mad, Mad World meets Brewster’s Millions…but looking at Battlehip, I’d bet some jackass is laboring over a National Treasure knockoff, with agents eyeing it as the possible vehicle for the next Shia they’re going to get jammed down our throats.

    Consider Stretch Armstrong. The easiest idea in the world; remaking The Mask with better VFX.

    So you need a comedian. Who was attached forever? Taylor Lautner. That makes perfect sense…

    And Triple – Re: Worthington. I see where you’re coming from, but that approach with Worthington will now make people think Clash/Wrath, and then it’s DOA. You could get away with Gerard Butler as Vlad. And this is actually the role Jason Momoa would have been much better suited for, instead of Conan.

    If a movie cannot be cast correctly because of agency/studio cabals, excuse me, “relationships”, then expect pain.

    One more example – Highlander remake. Again, Gerard Butler with a sword. Easy.

    No. Ryan Reynolds. Holy fuck….

  104. christian says:

    What was dumb about the BATTLESHIT trailer is showing some cool alien tech then revealing our attack plan – missiles from a big boat. Yawn. Thanks Hasbro.

  105. JS Partisan says:

    Hcat, it depends on who you ask, because the first Trannys film is tolerable. While the next two are headache inducing. Hopefully Transformers 4, changes the entire design of the robots, and focuses on them instead of a stupid human proxy.

  106. bulldog68 says:

    “For something like Battlehip, Monopoly, whatever, to work, you’ve got to embrace what people know when they hear the name. “Battleship” is WW2 shit, not cyberaliens.”

    Totally agree. A retro Battleship could have been awesome. A combination of Master Commander and Saving Private Ryan would have been Oscar fodder. Liam Neeson would have rocked in the lead role.

  107. hcat says:

    Universal should have just rereleased U-571 with a new name.

  108. Foamy Squirrel says:

    “You could get away with Gerard Butler as Vlad. ”

    Didn’t they already do this for Dracula 2000? Or was that your point, cos Butler did that well before he became famous with 300 or even Tomb Raider.

    “Totally agree. A retro Battleship could have been awesome”

    I haven’t seen Battleship, but I read a review which said that there’s a sequence towards the end where some retired veterans bring a WW2-era battleship into the fray (or something), and the review claimed it’s the best sequence of the movie and wished the whole thing had been the vets instead of Kitsch and his Young Guns.

    “it’s about whoever at Hasbro came to believe they’re sitting on an IP goldmine”

    That would be CEO Brian Goldner. His current strategic plan is to bring Hasbro IP across a spectrum of media, from “analogue” (toys) to “digital” (any transmittable media). Previously they’ve been throwing EVERYTHING at the wall (based on the overwhelming successes of Transformers and My Little Pony), but in the latest conference call he said that they’re looking to focus on just a few IP at a time.

    Of the 8-movie contract with Universal, I think Universal’s paid Hasbro to drop all of them except Ouija.
    – Battleship’s released
    – Ouija’s been dropped to a ~$5mil “found footage” film
    – Stretch Armstrong’s been moved to Relativity (although Universal will probably still distribute)
    – Candyland’s at Sony with Adam Sandler
    – Monopoly’s out (I’m not sure if Ridley Scott is still attached)
    – Clue’s out (ditto for Gore Verbinsky)
    – Magic: The Gathering has apparently been in development for over 5 years, with all the scripts turned in eventually getting tossed

    I think there’s an 8th, but I can’t think of it off the top of my head. In any case, Goldner confirmed at the start of the year that Hasbro would be receiving no further payouts from Universal from the contract.

  109. hcat says:

    ‘they’ve been throwing EVERYTHING at the wall based on the overwhelming successes of Transformers and My Little Pony’

    Lorne Micheals needs to have a side consulting business where he sits down to explain to these CEO’s “Look just because you have an initial success doesn’t mean everything you spin will be gold. Go slowly and make sure you have top notch people. If you flood the market with inferior projects you will become a laughing stock and not be able to get back in the game for years”

  110. Foamy Squirrel says:

    Given that only about 2 weeks ago they announced they’d be scaling back their Hasbro Studio’s division, they may have come to that conclusion (albeit unwillingly – from the looks of it, no-one is that keen to play with them any more).

    Interestingly, Hasbro recently signed a contract with Zynga to try and move into the mobile app space too. This is despite Zynga acquiring the “Draw Something” app, which is a direct competitor for Hasbro’s Pictionary.

    Given Zynga’s reputation for ruthlessly pillaging the IP of anyone it comes into contact with, it’ll be interesting to see if Hasbro fares any better in this partnership than with Universal.

  111. storymark says:

    “One more example – Highlander remake. Again, Gerard Butler with a sword. Easy.

    No. Ryan Reynolds. Holy fuck….”

    I want to stab someone in the neck over this. Its like they’re trying to find the worst possible fit for the role.

    And I even *like* Reynolds. But NO.

  112. christian says:

    BATTLESHIP was sunk when every trailer I saw was greeted with laughter by the promise: “From Hasbro, the company that brought you TRANSFORMERS…”

  113. sanj says:

    finally watched avengers – theatre was half empty …

    i liked Renner…Hulk was good too.

    30 minutes too long .

  114. cadavra says:

    Just got back from DARK SHADOWS at the Lincoln Square IMAX (102′ wide screen, over 50 sears per row).

    I loved almost every second of it. What a shock.

    I can see why people under 49 hate it, and it’s not just because of its ’60s TV roots–it’s a very traditional, classic-style horror film: leisurely-paced, character-driven, beautifully designed (mostly real sets, not CGI), music used as a humorous or ironic underline, not particularly violent (there’s more blood in the 1970 version), perfectly cast with superb actors, and of course a nice sense of humor to balance the horror. No jump scenes, no shaky camera or ADD editing, no teens sliced to pieces by some mask-wearing non-entity, just good old-fashioned story-telling. It’s more like HUGO than HOSTEL, and not just because it shares cast members and underperformed.

    And as for the much-derided third act: the complaints are horseshit. Everything that takes place in the climax is logically built up to in what precedes it. Yes, the werewolf is a surprise, but it shouldn’t be given the family history and that character’s behavior, and the explanation is eminently reasonable. In an era where BRIDESMAIDS is considered award-worthy writing, it’s no surprise that many people have forgotten what a well-made script can be like.

    So fuck all the haters. DARK SHADOWS lived up to my expectations (no small feat), and should be seen by everyone who still appreciates quality, grown-up, Old Hollywood-style filmmaking.

    Cadavra has spoken.

  115. Paul D/Stella says:

    “I can see why people under 49 hate it”

    My mom is 62 and she hated every second of Dark Shadows. She very much enjoys grown-up, quality filmmaking. But I will tell her to fuck off for being a hater.

  116. cadavra says:

    Mothers are always exempt!

  117. Mic Anti cadavara says:

    Cadavra you are absolutely nuts. Dark Shadows is a mess of epic proportions. Something went wrong during shooting that film. Its obvious Burton screwed the pooch and how in the world did the studio release that pile of crap is the real mystery. The last half of the film makes no sense. Its like they were making it up as they went along. Its an embarrassment an a example of why the movie business is losing its audience. The anti cadavrta has spoken.

  118. movieman says:

    Amen, Cad.

    I know everybody digs dumping on “Battleship” (Rihanna was a complete non-issue for me: plus, she has a very small role), but I thought it was the very model of a contemporary wannabe-franchise/tentpole popcorn movie. (Think a 21st century “Top Gun.”)
    It’s also much smarter and better constructed (the screenplay actually has a first, second and third act!) than it had to be (hey there, “Transformers 1″ and especially “2”).
    Gotta admit that I feel a little bad for Kitsch. He was perfectly fine in both “John Carter” (another underrated movie) and “Battleship.”
    Blaming him for the b.o. flop of two costly failed blockbusters seems a tad unfair. And since “Savages” is almost preordained to sink (what’s an R-rated, early September/late April Oliver Stone movie doing opening on the 4th of July weekend anyway?), does that mean he’ll never get the chance to headline a big-bucks H’wood super-production ever again?

    P.S.= I had a much better time at “Battleship” and (for sure) “Dark Shadows” than I did at this month’s Marvel Miracle.

  119. Krillian says:

    Transformers 2 was awful. Trans 3 by comparison wasn’t half bad.

    I thought the Transformers-cousin sell might work for Battleship, but when I think about it, Transformers has a whole built-in fanbase. Seeing the special effect of cars turning into giant robots is cool.

    With Battleship, it’s aliens. Okay we had aliens in Skyline; what makes these special or unique? The marketing never conveyed. And Massey or Rocchi or someone tweeted it last week, but having “character posters” for the cast of Battleship makes no sense. You do character posters when it’s “Batman” “Catwoman” Bane”, not “This Woman” or “That One Guy”.

    I will back up a bit on what I said about Dark Shadows to clarify. yes, they set up some of the reveals and how storylines conclude, but it’s as though they lost the script and improv’d what they needed to do from memory. The pacing of the showdown was all wrong. I kept thinking the whole time “Where’s [name redacted]?” And then when that one person opens their eyes and says a different name, I thought, “So what happened to the original person’s soul?”

    Anyway, I gave it 2-1/2 stars in my review.

  120. Triple Option says:

    I did see Battleship and I didn’t think it was half bad. Totally mixed reaction coming out of the theater. There were some cliché things in there. A scene based totally off a clip you probably saw on some Totally Whacky Criminals when flicking channels on a Saturday afternoon. Also random setups you know pretty much how they’re going to play out in the end. It never really set itself out to distinguish itself as being a film worth the budget/hoopla. The one element they did extrapolate from the board game actually worked pretty good.

    As far as Rihanna goes, she wasn’t bad. They didn’t put her in a position where you really had to suspend your disbelief, like Denise Richards, nuclear physicist. It wasn’t a huge part for her. She could have all the talent to act in the world but you wouldn’t have known it from here either way.

    What I wonder is really how she got in there. I wonder if it wasn’t more of a deal where they want a Black actress and they say who’s a known commodity in her early 20s? After a room full of “duh”s, some pipes up, “Rihanna!” Then like an episode of Family Feud, everyone around the table claps “good answer! Good answer!” Maybe someone speaks up and says she’s a singer but they don’t care, they can’t justify putting in a no-name. At least that’s what they’d say to themselves. I bet they thought it’d be worth a few more tickets to the urban market and maybe even tween girls. Which, maybe she was. I do think even if the target teen males didn’t listen to her music, even before the Chris Brown incident, her name was fairly well known.

    Who knows, maybe Rihanna turns out to be a viable force in front of the camera. It just seems like Universal, and other studios are guilty of this, was too myopic in their casting. Seems to me like this would be the perfect spot to drop a relatively unknown as a way to introduce her to the general public. Then when they want to cast more people of color in romcoms or TV dramas, they’ve got a person w/an easy identifier. “What’s this film w/Sam Worthington and Rihanna?” “Oh yeah, she was the chick from Battleship. The one who was on the boat.” “Oh yeah.” And you’re on your way.

    But no, they’ll just continue to cast rappers and singers then shrug their shoulders when the complaints about lack of diversity in casting rise up.

    I think Battleship could’ve been better if it was more of an action/thriller than wannabe Bruckheimer. They talk about being on the most advanced fighting vessel in the history of the earth but when the battle starts they never show like how badass some of the weaponry is or the strategy one would engage when deciding what to use. Like when a missile flies out one of those silos, it probably wouldn’t happen w/out approval from the Commander in Chief. Show some of the chess and tension. They could do it w/out slowing the overall pace and action. But eh, that’s just me. Haha.

  121. martin s says:

    Didn’t they already do this for Dracula 2000? Or was that your point, cos Butler did that well before he became famous with 300 or even Tomb Raider.

    Kudos to you. I totally forgot about that movie. I have a tendency to separate Butler’s career off of 300.

    Previously they’ve been throwing EVERYTHING at the wall (based on the overwhelming successes of Transformers and My Little Pony)

    And there lies the problem. Does anyone not know the history of Transformers?

    It was a Japanese product, brought over by Hasbro, then handed to Marvel, who had two writers create the entire backstory and characters. It had years of development before Murphy got hold, so to compare that concept to a frickin board game is braindead.

    Same thing with GI Joe. Marvel created the bible and characters for the toyline before publishing a single comic, just as He-Man was developed by DC for its initial rollout.

    – Monopoly’s out (I’m not sure if Ridley Scott is still attached)

    He officially bailed during Prometheus.

    It’s not that I think you can’t do IP mining with Hasbro, they just need to understand the limitation of the IP.

    Look at that list.

    How far can you push Ouija before people start guffawing? It’s closer to Haunted Mansion than Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark.

    Clue’s been tried twice, but it doesn’t work because the idea requires interactivity or else you’re watching a Masterpiece Theater where you already know every characters name, environment and possible weapons before the opening credits.

    Candyland…sweet Christ. That’s, at best, a cartoon for the Hub.

    So unless they’re willing to make Monopoly as a Roaring 20’s, set in 2k, type of farce, Magic is the only one that would be worth pursuing on a big scale.

    As for who makes the call, agents. WME reps Kitsch and had Rhianna at the same time, along with Berg.

    Good points by all.

  122. Glamourboy says:

    Cadavra, I often agree with your movie assessments but I could not disagree with you more on Dark Shadows. I love Tim Burton movies, I love Dark Shadows and hell I’m a big Johnny Depp fan too, but this movie was a train wreck. PROBABLE SPOILERS FOR ANYONE WHO MIGHT CARE. First off, we are given the love story that the entire movie hinges on in the first ten minute flashback of the film…certainly no way for us to get invested in the love relationship. Flash forward to the present and we are introduced to the Collins family–none of them even remotely likeable, and we are given no time to really get to know them. Dr. Hoffman, played by Bonham Carter is reduced to playing a ‘knocking into walls’ lush…just one instance where the TV series actually had a more developed character than the film. Barnabas returns and we get all of the typical ‘fish out of water’ schtick that started to grow tiresome post-Splash (a TV is strange, but what does he think of cars? Or refrigerators? Or airplanes? Or the Twilight movies?). Yes, Burton never commits to the fish out of water section and it is here that the movie starts to feel choppy. What is it about? What is at stake? Is this a comedy? Suspense? A send-up? Then…strangely enough, the movie twists to this odd plot point of Barnabas wanting to regain control of the Collins Family seafood canning plant??? He does this to irritate the tiresome witch who has been cursing the family because of her obsession to Barnabas..(really? This witch has been alive for hundreds of years and she’s never found anyone else to interest her?). Barnabas makes the canning factory run again, even though we know that Angelique (the witch) can fuck it up anytime she chooses. For some reason she puts on her ‘foiled again’ face when the seafood cannery opens…but easily sets it on fire later in the second act (third? fourth? who’s counting). When Barnabas kills Dr. Hoffman and forces a father to abandon his son, we truly start wondering who we are supposed to root for here. The third act, as has been widely reported, is a total mess…a tedious fight between Angelique and Barnabas (the curtains are set on fire…didn’t see that one coming)…aided by one of the characters who, bizarrely turns into a werewolf. Who wins? Who cares? I guess the real winner is Helena Bonham Carter who, through a brief epilogue, hints that she may return in a sequel that (obvious to everyone other than Burton), will never happen…promising to Bonham Carter that she has, perhaps a few more movies before Burton dumps her, a la Lisa Marie, for his next actress muse.

  123. movieman says:

    Who else is positively besotted with the “Great Gatsby” trailer?

  124. Ray Pride says:

    2000xMOULIN ROUGE.

  125. anghus says:

    I think Moulin Rouge is akin to ear and eye rape.

    How anyone likes that attention span killing mess is beyond me.

    With that said, im curious about Gatsby but Luhrman scares me. He’s a weird filmmaker more prone to make me cringe than smile

  126. Foamy Squirrel says:

    “As for who makes the call, agents. WME reps Kitsch and had Rhianna at the same time, along with Berg.”

    Sadly, this. Hasbro signed with WME to package their properties, and while WME certainly has a fantastic talent stable it’s by no means comprehensive and comes with more than a little tendency to push certain agendas. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen at other agencies, it’s just when you restrict your options you may get some questionable decisions.


    “I think Moulin Rouge is akin to ear and eye rape.

    How anyone likes that attention span killing mess is beyond me.”

    I love Moulin Rouge, but at the same time I loathe the first 20 minutes or so until “Your Song” hits, for the reasons you state – it’s just assaulting you with as much stuff as possible in as short a time span as possible.

    I’ve had friends say that this is the intention – as it’s putting the audience in Christian’s shoes as he’s swept along by events out of his control, but I still think it makes the first section nigh-unwatchable.

    EDIT 2:
    “(Transformers) had years of development before Murphy got hold”

    Don can feel free to correct me, but I believe Tom DeSanto did the scriptwork for pitching it to studios.

  127. anghus says:

    Foamy, I walked out of Moulin Rouge in the theater. I begrudginly watched the whole thing on dvd after being told i had ‘given up on it too quickly. It wasnt any less painful.

  128. Foamy Squirrel says:

    *shrug* Fair enough, it may be that the film is Not For You ™ .

    On a side note, I do tend to get annoyed by people who urge you to keep trying something because “eventually you’ll get it” or something. Look, I gave it a chance, it didn’t grab me, tough luck. The product isn’t going to change if I try a little harder.

  129. cadavra says:

    Glam: Most of your assessment is correct, but what you see as liabilities I see as assets. Most genre films have conventions–some might call them cliches–but they are part and parcel of the experience. Just as you expect most westerns to end with a showdown between white hat and black hat, most classical horror movies have their expected tropes, and SHADOWS’ climax has plenty of them: howling mob of angry villagers, castle burning up, two or more monsters locked in epic battle, innocent characters fleeing in panic, local police looking on helplessly? Check, check, check, check and check. It’s what’s expected. (A few years ago, Aretha Franklin was touring and elected not to sing “Respect.” She got so much negative feedback after a few shows that she added it back to the set list.) I’m truly sorry it didn’t work for you. BTW, Burton had already said he wasn’t interested in a sequel, so given the numbers, it’s safe to say we won’t be seeing one unless Depp really wants to do it and Burton gives his blessing to another director.

    On another topic: I honestly don’t think the cast matters one whit on a picture like BATTLESHIP. It’s all about the effects. Did anyone go to the TRANSFORMERS movies for the cast? Of course not. Rhianna could have been replaced with, say, Zoe Saldana; wouldn’t have made a dime’s worth of difference.

  130. Thuan Dang says:

    I must come in and defend Transformers 2 here because it is just outright awesome. The narrative structure of the action segments are a thrill to watch. LeBeef and sexy girl running through the desert with robots chasing them at the end had me on the edge of my seat. The part in the forest was bonkers and my heart just sank so low when megatron got nasty. The scenes with the old deception robot was stupid and yet funny all the same as it reminded me of anime scenes that played out exactly the same way. Naruto has a bunch of those moments. Tangent: LeBeef should have been speed racer.

    Onto something else silly, Battleship. Should have taken place in space. No aliens, two groups of ships from the same federation fight each other blind thinking the other is the enemy as some strange space event jams both their communications and visibility. In the end the last ship standing realizes they were set up by their own federation as a test to find the best commander to head a war they want to start but he instead kills the president of the space federation and runs away as outlaw. Battleship 2 is him being called back into action by aliens to fight his own human race like The Last Samurai. Yeah.

  131. Thuan Dang says:

    “Magic: The Gathering has apparently been in development for over 5 years, with all the scripts turned in eventually getting tossed”

    I would love to see a Magic: The Gathering movie. I used to read their novels when I was younger. My favorite was the Chainer/Kamahl story. That could make a cool movie I always thought.

  132. Glamourboy says:

    Cadavra, I’m a big fan of genre films (especially 40’s screwball comedies), so I know exactly what you’re saying…but maybe this is what I don’t understand from your post. Just having certain conventions doesn’t mean that a film uses them well–in fact, that is the bench mark of a good genre film. Yes, DS had the creepy house and the secret passage and the angry villagers..but just having them show up didn’t do anything for me. They weren’t used in any interesting or clever way. But my biggest problem was that there was no character work and no investment to the story. Did it really matter whether Barnabas ended up with Josette/Victoria (and what the hell..were they the same person…a reincarnation…never explained)…conventions just washed over me as I felt absolutely nothing. And if just having genre conventions were enough then wouldn’t almost every genre film be good? Somehow this hundred plus million dollar movie made the rickety TV series look like an act of genius.

  133. Edward Havens says:

    Lorne Micheals needs to have a side consulting business where he sits down to explain to these CEO’s “Look just because you have an initial success doesn’t mean everything you spin will be gold. Go slowly and make sure you have top notch people. If you flood the market with inferior projects you will become a laughing stock and not be able to get back in the game for years”

    Ironically, the best SNL movie was the only one that didn’t involve Michaels.

    Michaels needs to just keep finding great talent for the show and keep letting them make appearances on other shows whenever possible and make movies during summer hiatus while still tied to their seven year contracts.

  134. JS Partisan says:

    Movieman, let your readership know that you loved Battleship and Dark Shadows more than The Avengers just to see what happens.

    While I enjoyed Dark Shadows, it’s another demonstration that Burton makes movies about things without doing thinking about the genre they are in. When a Robert Sean Leonard vampire movie, works better at being a vampire movie, then this film. You know there are problems.

    Those problems stemming from how hard it is to be sympathetic to a character, that straight up murders people for no reason outside of plot contrivance. There’s absolutely no reason to have Barnabas kill anyone in this film. Zero. The only reason why those kills exist, is to set up the ridiculous BOSS BATTLE ending. If you are going to be paint by numbers like that, then make it interesting, and avoid putting people through a plot that’s all set-up, and no substance.

    Dark Shadows has a lot of soul and humor, that’s almost strangled out of it by that script. How that final product happens with everyone involved, is a fucking mystery.


    Transformers 2 is a racist and moronic piece of crap, that’s followed up by an even more racist and moronic piece of crap. If you want to know why Battleship failed, that’s where you start with them tying it to Transformers. Yes, I know Trannys 3 made a billion dollars, but a billion dollars does not always mean people loved that film coming out of the theatres.

    Oh yeah, Moulin Rouge is a wonderful film that keeps on being one of those films that stays with me every single day. Also, the Gatsby trailer is craziness, but in that wonderful Baz way.

  135. sanj says:

    saw the great gatbsy trailer – so much stuff going on …look great but not for me…i never was forced to read
    the book for high school.

    Carey Mulligan will be super easy to get for a dp/30 but somehow Leonardo DiCaprio will not do a dp/30…Leo is just too famous.

    nice supporting cast too.

    movie critics over 40 will automatically have to love this movie ….there will be a huge push at oscar time .

    sometimes it seems easy to predict what will happen to a movie that will be out in 6-8 months.

  136. anghus says:

    “On a side note, I do tend to get annoyed by people who urge you to keep trying something because “eventually you’ll get it” or something. Look, I gave it a chance, it didn’t grab me, tough luck. The product isn’t going to change if I try a little harder.”

    The same thing happened with Glee. And Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. To be fair i watched a couple of episodes of Studio before declaring it hot garbage.

    The one time it has worked for me was Edgar Wright’s Spaced. The first time i watched it nothing clicked. The second time i liked it. Now ive watched each episode a dozen times.

  137. Paul D/Stella says:

    I feel that way about House and Community. I gave both a fair shake, watched a bunch of episodes. Strongly dislike both.

  138. martin s says:

    “Thuan Dang says:
    May 22, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Onto something else silly, Battleship. Should have taken place in space. No aliens, two groups of ships from the same federation fight each other blind…”

    Absolutely would have worked.

    I keep thinking back to the Trek episode “Balance of Terror”, where they intro the Romulans.

    That was Battleship, perfected.

    Only issue would have be Battleship Yamato, but still workable.

  139. cadavra says:

    Well, Glam, I guess we agree to disagree. I thought those conventions did work well, and helped make the film more than just another vampire movie. (I also love the little grace notes, like Angelique looking into a car mirror and pushing her face into a smile, or Elizabeth yipping at a rat while Barnabas is speaking, and so on).


    It’s pretty obvious to me that Victoria is the reincarnation of Josette. I don’t know how else you could interpret it. And the film’s quasi-happy ending is a stark departure from both the series and the 1970 feature. Pretty gutsy, if you ask me.


    JSP: Seriously? HE’S A VAMPIRE! He’s compelled to drink blood! How else is he supposed to get it other than by killing people? That’s not even a convention–it’s a rule.

  140. tbunny says:

    The Gatsby novel always seemed pretty noirish to me. I’m not sure it works as pop-musical.

  141. Krillian says:


    Wasn’t Josette the ghost that kept visiting Victoria? That’s why reincarnation didn’t occur to me because even if Bella played them both, Victoria and Josette are two separate souls.

  142. Glamourboy says:

    But 99.99999% of movies have Happy Endings. So DS having an unhappy ending would have been gutsy. And some of the best Burton films don’t have obvious happy endings (Sweeney Todd, Ed Wood, even Edward Scissorhands, which has a bittersweet ending). So DS having a happy ending is not only in line with almost every main stream every made and goes 100% against the grain of the source material….certainly doesnt’ seem gutsy to me…more of a disappointing sell-out.

  143. sanj says:

    oh hey – a new movie without superheroes

    Holy Motors trailer – getting awards buzz

    french but english subtitles

  144. Ray Pride says:

    Published here yesterday, Sanj.

  145. JS Partisan says:

    Cad, he’s a CURSED VAMPIRE. There’s a difference, and excuse me for loving the perfectly fine end run around KILLING PEOPLE, used in My Best Friend Is A Vampire. Seriously man, those kills were plot contrivances, and that’s just hokey given how much we are supposed to sympathizes with Barnabas.

    Also, what is up with moving Retaliation to March 29? Do Paramount really believe that a 3D conversion for a MARCH MOVIE, will get them more money? What a bizarre move, but that’s Paramount for you. How they, along with Universal, stay in business is a mystery like how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll pop.

  146. sanj says:

    maxim hot 100 list is out …

    10 out of 100 girls have done a dp/30

    Leonardo DiCaprio & Bar Refaeli Split up – yes – Leo can get the #1 girl and breakup with her.

    Stephen Colbert is # 69 – power of the internet voting.

    the whole list is full of reality tv stars and not real actors – it would be so easy to kick off the reality stars and put people in just based on the dp/30’s alone
    like Carey Mulligan – Brit Marling – Greta Gerwig –
    Katie Aselton and lots of others. it’s gotta suck that
    nobody at maxim magazine watches the dp/30’s .

    the list is nothng but LOOK AT HER!!! – not LOOK AT HER Acting talent. somehow i would think LexG would approve
    this list

    1. Bar Refaeli
    2. Olivia Munn
    3. Mila Kunis
    4. Katy Perry
    5. Olivia Wilde
    6. Jennifer Lawrence
    7. Emma Stone
    8. Megan Fox
    9. Malin Akerman
    10. Adrianne Palicki

    check entire list here with pictures .

  147. cadavra says:


    Krill: I believe the “ghost” Josette leaves Vicki’s body to warn her.

    Glam: It’s gutsy within the concept of the franchise; as I said, there have been no happy endings in any of the previous incarnations. And it’s not REALLY happy: they’re still vampires! It’s a make-the-best-of-a-bad-situation kinda deal.


    JSP: Aren’t all vampires by definition cursed? And a vampire who doesn’t kill is as pointless as a song-and-dance man who doesn’t sing or dance.

  148. sanj says:

    so google put up some piano type music on the front page

    lots of people are now creating music and putting videos up

    quick video

    google exposes millions to music … sure its simple but lets see facebook do this ..

  149. hcat says:

    Paramount must have gotten the notion somewhere that opening a toy movie two weeks after a long awaited superhero film is a bad idea.

    Perhaps it just sucks and they need time to attempt to fix it.

    I’m guessing both.

  150. JS Partisan says:

    Cad, his name is Angel, get to know him to understand how wrong you are. Seriously, those kills in that movie, are hokey and plot contrivances. This does not mean that I hate the movie. This just means that, if you are going to have a vampire act like a goofy vampire, then have it be done for something other then RECORDING THE CONFESSION OF HIS CRIMES ON A TAPE RECORDER!

    Also, no, they are not all cursed. Sometimes, they think they are cursed, but are only SPARKLY!

  151. Fitzgerald says:

    This reeks of all kinds of weirdness. I’d love to get David’s take. This makes no sense as a purely financial play, does it? A lot of sunk costs already.

  152. martin s says:

    I cannot believe Par ran that far away with Joe.

    Must be something bigger besides 3D conversion.

  153. Glamourboy says:

    CAD, but this is what you’re missing…because Burton goes against the grain of the franchise, it’s not a gutsy move, it’s a sell out. For example…if someone made a film of A Streetcar Named Desire and gave it a happy ending, I doubt anyone would consider that gutsy…just ridiculous. And totally against the nature of the project. In Frank Oz’s Little Shop of Horrors, the original film, the stage version and the original cut of Oz’s film had the unhappy ending where all the main characters are killed by Audrey 2. Warners (same studio by the way), after test screenings demanded a happy ending, which was reshot. No one was accusing Oz of being gutsy…just giving in to the average audience expectations that a film must have a happy ending. I think the 70’s versions were much gutsier in having the downbeat sticks true to the project AND goes against the norm for mainstream cinema. Interestingly enough, the only film experience I can compare DS to is Frank Oz’s bizarre misstep of The Stepford Wives remake.

  154. cadavra says:


    Aw, come on! He didn’t know he was being recorded!!

  155. cadavra says:

    Glam: I hate tacked-on happy endings as much as anyone. (Remember Disney’s version of THE SCARLET LETTER?) But this isn’t a stand-alone like STREETCAR; it’s a franchise that has never had a definitive ending and thus has some sort of flexibility.


    He has gotten Josette back, but at what cost? Was it really worth it? Where do they go from here? This is left for us to decide. That very equivocality is what makes the ending so haunting. It just feels right. IMHO, of course!

  156. hcat says:

    ‘Must be something bigger besides 3D conversion’

    They might be hoping to grab the Alice In Wonderland, Hunger Games, Big Spring Hit slot. They would have to open a little earlier than that but given that Die Hard opens a month and a half beforehand they probably need to give Willis a little breathing room if they want him to do any promotion for it.

    But I still stand by the liklihood that once they saw the final product and edited it down, they probably ended up with an 80 minute pile of candy colored nonsense and they need to do a massive overhaul. Has this director done anything other than Step it Up sequels? Is there any reason we should have faith that they could deliver a great sequel to a medicore first installment. I think The Rock is a compelling action guy, but he’s been at it for a decade and has managed to appear in exactly two films (Rundown, Fast Five) that actually work.

    And related to what I was saying about A and B movies above, just finished Contraband and loved the hell out of it. Here is a smart movie that keeps its tension throughout staring an established name and a strong group of charecter actors and it gets dropped in the dead of winter while TV pup vs the Spacemen gets a $200 million budget and a summer release. Though I know its not going to happen Universal needs to look at how much they will make on Contraband and how much they will lose on Battleship and change course accordingly.

  157. hcat says:

    And I didn’t think that the voice of a Vampire could be recorded, just as their picture cannot be taken.

    I mean as long as we are talking about the rules here.

  158. Glamourboy says:

    I’ve really enjoyed chatting DS with you CAD! Yes, we must agree to disagree, but it has been fun.

  159. bulldog68 says:

    “I think The Rock is a compelling action guy, but he’s been at it for a decade and has managed to appear in exactly two films (Rundown, Fast Five) that actually work.”

    I don’t see how you arrive at that. Are you talking about working creatively, or financially? I think Rundown and Fast Five are the best films he has in his filmography, but stuff like Game Plan and Tooth Fairy was not aimed at me, but was well liked by my daughters and did well financially. Gridiron Gang was a minor hit. And just this year, Journey 2 has displayed the best legs of any major release thus far. I’m not even mentioning the stuff that he was not the major star in like Get Smart, The Other Guys, or Be Cool, the last of which he received very good notices for.

  160. hcat says:

    Perhaps I am being a bit hard on The Rock and GI Joe. Though it is ironic that I am being overly derivitive of a Willis vehicle because I am juiced up on his brand of vodka.

    But I was talking quality, not just financial (where for instance The Rundown would fail). He has turned in fantastic supporting perfs in other peoples movies. He is beyond great in Be Cool which is otherwise a completely dreadful movie. But the bad choices I refer to are the kiddie films you mention. Perhaps I am too quick to judge since I have avoided Game Plan, Journey 2, and Tooth Fairy. Sure they might be liked by the young’uns but they don’t seem to be very heavy lifting for the guy who should rightly be THE NEXT BIG ACTION STAR.

    So I have avoided the movies where he wears a tutu or is chased by giant frogs or whatever, and have seen his other work and lament that Hollywood really doesn’t know what to do with the man. But just trying to say in my bit of a haze is that The Rock’s involvement is not a sign of quality but a sign that he is willing to accept a nice big check.

  161. Foamy Squirrel says:

    So for GI Joe:

    Assume ~$10mil for 3D conversion costs (I haven’t looked at the numbers for ages, but I think it’s in the region of $100k per minute, plus costs for additional editing/fx)

    Assume ~$10mil for sunk marketing costs that will need to be respent (the big hit is the 4 weeks prior to opening, it’s likely the actual figure will be higher but we’ll run with $10m for now)

    Assume ~$5-10mil for penalties and makegoods. International rights holders, domestic theatre chains, product tie-ins, pulled advertising.

    Assume ~$5-10mil for carrying costs (holding a $125mil bag for an extra 9 months before realizing any revenues)

    So you’re probably looking to add ~$35mil to costs, supposedly for a modification which will only bump theatrical revenue. So from these back-of-the-envelope calculations, they’re wanting to add ~$70mil global BO to break even, and ~$100mil to make it worth their while.

    I… just can’t see how they can justify this. And that’s absent Hasbro putting toys on shelves for a non-existent release, since this can’t have been delayed without their approval.

    EDIT: Feel free to adjust the numbers if you think my guesstimates are off.

  162. bulldog68 says:

    The thing though is that THE NEXT BIG ACTION STAR might be one of those Bigfoot sightings we keep hearing about. The audiences palette has changed, and the guys that are all action see the movies top out at $30m if they’re lucky. (I’m looking at you Statham.)

    People want the unwilling hero who can crack a joke and has a sensitive side. (I think Bruce Willis in Die Hard changed the action star landscape forever.) Stallone and Arnold, for better or worse, always looked more imposing than their adversaries. Now it’s Damon, and Wahlberg, and Renner has now stepped up to bat.

    Stallone is now resorting to Dancing with the Action Stars to get butts in the seats because the old stuff isn’t selling anymore.

    Having said that, I wish when they decided to do a new Predator and now Total Recall, they had went with The Rock. He is still the only one that can adequately do what Arnie did and bring the humor as well.

    On a side note, I am very happy that the Comic Action Hero thing has given us a rejuvenated RDJ and has found a way to make Mark Ruffalo into an action star.

  163. Krillian says:

    The ending of Demi Moore’s The Scarlet Letter might be one of the biggest crimes in cinematic history. Why not remake Of Mice & Men where George & Lenny run away, run into two hot chicks, and live happily ever after?

    Jason Statham needs to take a page out of Mark Wahlberg’s playbook as far as doing your action movies but mixing it up with other projects. Make that “Academy-Award nominee” Mark Wahlberg.

    And I agree, the next Arnie movie they remake, it should star The Rock. My understanding was they wanted him for the Conan the Barbarian remake years ago but he felt The Scorpion King was too similar. Coming Summer 2014: “Dwayne Johnson in… The Running Man.”

  164. sanj says:

    the rock – everybody forget he was in wwe / wrestling ?

    the good news is the rock stays out of the tabloids and isn’t on some reality show…which would be easy for him to do …

    John Cena also did some wrestling – went into acting ..

    favorite film from Cena –

    Twelve Rounds – revenge movie with cops ..

    check the trailer

    people who wrestle and there are a lot of them never
    seem to do any dp/30’s … they aren’t real actors .. the rock could have a dozen big budget 100 million dollar movies …the only way the rock gets a dp/30 is if he makes a small indie movie thats in sundance ..

    i can’t really think of one wrestler that got a dp/30 in the last 3 years.

  165. Yancy Skancy says:

    sanj: Does Mickey Rourke count? :)

  166. cadavra says:

    Glam: Yes,it’s always fun to debate movies (or anything, for that matter) in a positive, good-natured way.

    Hcat: That’s a valid point about the tape recording, one which had not occurred to me. But show me a movie that didn’t have at least one gaffe in it! :-)

  167. Krillian says:

    When was the rule established a vampire’s voice could not be recorded?

  168. martin s says:

    Foamy/Hcat –

    I could understand a move to August; get out of the way of the monsters and tap the last vestige of summer gold.

    But, I think hcat is onto something with Hasbro.

    Hasbro has the Marvel license, and is the only game in town for Avengers tie-in products. No standard, Disney/McD’s Happy Meal toys, no video game. Nothing one normally expects with a legit blockbuster. Walk by a display, and you’ll see toy shelves have been pillared.

    And Hasbro has said they’re doing Avengers products in waves throughout the summer.

    Then, you have Battlehip. Fully-owned disaster by Hasbro.

    TDKR is Mattel, but Amazing Spidey is Hasbro. That’s going to sell well as Avengers will create a “rising tides…” effect.

    So, on one hand, you have exclusive domain over the summer’s cash cow – which, on the other, just happened to wreck your big banner into film production.

    So maybe…Hasbro is the one who asked the for push-back/conversion and are going to eat whatever costs associated with it.

    Maybe, GI Joe now becomes Hasbro’s film excursion, a retroactive excuse to continue the IP development since, as you pointed out, everything else is going bottom up and, as Christian pointed out, the Hasbro/Tranny’s Battlehip credit came across as desperate. No one associates them as being behind Trannys or Joe.

    As for Par going along with this, it makes sense when you consider the piece of the Avengers action they’re getting for nothing.

    Otherwise, running all the way until next year, after buying Superbowl spots and getting some solid buzz going, is suicidal.

  169. hcat says:

    I think when the Hammer films updated the vampire lore to the 60’s and 70’s they expanded the no reflection rule to include photographs and audio recordings.

    I seem to recall that in Anne Rice’s interview with a vampire they werent able to be tape recorded.

  170. movieman says:

    The last-minute addition of 3-D as the official reason for moving “Joe” to March 2013 smells fishy to me, too.
    And haven’t we passed the point–oh, like maybe two years ago–when
    3-D is still considered an add’l marketing angle/selling point to the average consumer?
    What I found equally strange was Universal moving “Ted” up by two weeks so that it can open opposite three other films (“Magic Mike,” “People Like Us” and Tyler Perry’s latest Madea abomination) rather than have the grown-up market completely to itself opposite “Ice Age.”
    I guess moving “Savages” to July 13th is pretty much out of the question at this point, even if the Stone movie has a better chance of attracting an (adult) audience oppositet “IA” than it will against the “Spider-Man” reboot behemoth.
    Dumb, dumb, dumb.

  171. hcat says:

    3D is still HUUUGE internationaly so this may justify the additional cost and give them cover for the retooling. Unlike something like Jonah Hex where it all went wrong and Warner’s knew they were going to take significant loss but they didn’t think it was worth more money and time to try to save it, Par and especially Hasbro need this thing to work since this franchise is more infomercial than movie and it is not just a plus or minus on a studio ledger but the lynchpin of a mini-industry.

  172. JS Partisan says:

    Martin S, you make good points, but Hasbro already made Retaliation products. They already have some figures out in stores. I doubt they are happy about storing countless GI JOE figures and other products in their warehouses for the next nine months. This screams like Paramount fucking over Hasbro, and Hasbro just having to take it.

    It also is rather confounding, that Paramount really believe GI JOE: RETALIATION can make as much as Titanic 3D did abroad. They’ve even said as much, and that’s unbelievably ridiculous on every level. GI Joe is not Titanic and the Chinese are probably not going to react the same to it. This is a bad decision on every level for Paramount, but their execs live to make these very bad decisions.

  173. Triple Option says:

    Weren’t Snake Eyes and Vantage Point slated summer releases moved to the 1st qtr of the following year? It seems odd that it wouldn’t go into the fall but those I thought might be somewhat similar. Were there problems w/either of those or just not tracking well or what?

  174. sanj says:

    so gi joe 2 is already finished but needs the 3d only ?

    its gotta suck for the actors – not the main ones but the supporting cast

    2 more weeks till mtv movie awards – ain’t nobody excited ?actors doing silly stuff + lots of promotion for upcoming movies….. DP should go down and grab some new dp/30’s ..grabbing at least 6 actors who haven’t done any dp/30’s before…

  175. hcat says:

    And now Universal has scooped up a movie about Lego robots. Way to learn from your mistakes. I can picture an exec from Wham-O camped out in front of the Uni offices hoping to get in on the action with a pitch for Jarts: Death Catch.

  176. anghus says:

    Snake Eyes opened late Summer, early August i believe.

  177. Krillian says:

    Surprised that Lego chain got a movie before Bionicles.

    Having typed that… Gun. Mouth. Squeeze. Sweet release.

  178. JS Partisan says:

    HC, the Hero Line at least could make for an interesting movie, if they decide to go an interesting direction, and not into Transfomers rehash territory. This being Universal, get ready for the freaking TRANSFORMERSHIP REVENGE FALLEN MOON LEGO MOVIE In 2015!

  179. cadavra says:

    Krill: Two schools of thought. You could argue that the rules were established before the discovery of electricity, so they don’t apply. Or you could stipulate that no reflection means no reflection, regardless of medium. A subject for further research, to be sure.

    And David/Ray/Laura/Whoever: I’m gobsmacked to see my original diatribe posted on “Quote Unquote.” Thank you for a most flattering pat on the back!

  180. martin s says:

    Martin S, you make good points, but Hasbro already made Retaliation products. They already have some figures out in stores. I doubt they are happy about storing countless GI JOE figures and other products in their warehouses for the next nine months. This screams like Paramount fucking over Hasbro, and Hasbro just having to take it.

    True…unless they’re now looking at it like advanced marketing.

    Think of the Marvel Hasbro lines for the previous individual films, and how they’re still on display with the Avengers stuff.

    I see what you’re saying, but I’m having a hard time squaring the circle if it was Par’s decision….

    …Wait…here’s Par’s motivation…

    Good Day To Die Hard – Feb 14

    GI Joe 2 – March 29

    Pain & Gain – April 12

    …and Wrestlemania 29, which Rock is signed for, is April 7.

    Pain & Gain is also Par.

    So they were looking at publicity for P&G, crossing it with Wrestlemania, saw Willis would be out schleping for Die Hard, and voila, time to convert and shuffle.

  181. christian says:

    Cut to DAVID POLAND, shaded under a canopy on the beach, tweeting 140 characters as his mood and wi-fi pocket dictates.

    “What’s French for ‘ennui’?” he says to no one at all.

  182. Joe Leydon says:

    At the megaplex where I saw Chernobyl Diaries tonight, there’s still a humongous lobby display for G.I. Joe: Retaliation. Guess they didn’t get the word yet.

  183. Joe Leydon says:

    I post a comment about G.I. Joe, and it requires moderation? WTF?

  184. Foamy Squirrel says:

    No GI Joe slash fic please Joe.

  185. Joe Leydon says:

    All I said in my post is that I saw a humongous lobby display for that flick still in the lobby when I went to a screening of Chernobyl Diaries tonight. Guess someone didn’t get the message.

  186. Joe Leydon says:

    Damn. That one WASN’T held for moderation. Go figure.

  187. Joe Leydon says:

    BTW: Saw on ESPN tonight an Avengers ad encouraging audiences to “see it again.” Could it possibly beat out Men in Black 3″ for the holiday weekend?

  188. scooterzz says:

    i’m wondering if, much like the disney ‘tinkerbell’ debacle, we might see ‘g.i.joe: retaliation’ merch at the 99-cent store before the movie even comes out…

  189. scooterzz says:

    leydon — how’d you like ‘hatfields and mccoys’?…i was pleasantly surprised…

  190. Joe Leydon says:

    Check out the Cowboys & Indians magazine website this weekend. That’s when they’re posting my review. No kidding.

  191. scooterzz says:

    aw, c’mon…thumbs up or down?

  192. JS Partisan says:

    Martin S, you probably nailed Paramount’s reasoning along with the Titanic 3D success abroad, but Hasbro still have to be bothered with all of this. They already sold the Retaliation figures and other products at Toy Fair with most of the cast of the movie in attendance to push the product. Their previous series of GI Joes are being put on clearance or have already been replaced by early Retaliation waves. Hasbro also cannot replace these figures with their Joe series from next year, because the machining is probably not in place.

    All of this leaves Hasbro, sitting on six to seven months worth of product, that they have to release into stores or risk losing that isle space to something else. Paramount has really fucked them on this, rather Hasbro admits to the proper fucking or not, is another story altogether.

  193. Yancy Skancy says:

    Joe: You said you saw the movie at the megap_ _ _. I’m guessing those last three letters were the problem.

  194. Foamy Squirrel says:


  195. Paul D/Stella says:

    I’m looking forward to Hatfields & McCoys. Costner and Paxton. Interesting story. I’ll be checking it out. Joe how bad is Chernobyl Diaries? It’s going to make like $6 million this weekend. There seems to be no buzz or anticipation.

  196. Wilt Buchananbunny says:

    Wow del Toro said Prometheus is basically an At the Mountains… derivative, hence his already passed over 250mm monster, with attached Ethan Hunt, is definitively toast. Says he loves the film but sort of looks like he’s stepping on the merchandise. I guess that’s what you get for reading a blog before the premiere huh.

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