Posts Tagged ‘Box Office’

China Yanks Avatar

January 19, 2010

According to the LA times, after making 75 million dollars and becoming China’s most successful movie of all time, James Cameron’s overrated epic Avatar is being pulled from all of its 2-D screens in China.  Sighted by some to be a defensive political move in response to a feared backlash against recent Chinese government upheavals, the decision to pull the film could very well be much less extravagent.  China has a mere 4000 screens and they allot preference to domestic Chinese releases.  The L.A. Times cites David Wolf in that “most foreign films get a 10-day run before being pulled. Executives at Fox had expected “Avatar” to play much longer, however, due to its massive popularity.”  China has done this multiple times in the past, and has recently sighted the upcoming Chinese New Year as the motivation to pull Cameron’s Blue-Cats-R-Us.  Regardless of the intent, this is one of the handfuls of times that I side with the Chinese Government and find myself strangely appreciative of their non-reverential status towards the film.  Maybe we should put sanctions on how long movies can run here.  Hahaha, I kid, I kid. 

But seriously…



December 4, 2009

What happens when you cross this:

With this?:

Answer? You get this:


Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow in Iron Man 2. Oh ho ho, that movie will be good based on the cast alone. Casting WIN! The above is payback for my recent unexcused absense. Though I will now try to further excuse it. It has been a BUUUUUUUUUUUUSY last two weeks, boys and girls. No excuse for blog-laziness, I know, but still, its been crazers these past few weeks. That being said, time for shway updates!  SHWAYDATES!  Copyright! Here is a quick list of randomness I have found around the internets that is incredibly wunderbar.

The /Filmcast: After Dark has a wonderful discussion about film criticism and whether it is a dead/dying/overtaken by noobs art. Spoiler alert for  Children of Men, American Psycho, and Blade Runner Blade Runner? Really?

/Filmcast After Dark Ep. 77

Cinematical has a pretty spiffy article about the ability of gay actors to openly come out of the closet and what it will mean to their career in the long run. The article focuses on Rupert Everett, which is a shame, because Everett is known in the community as a whiny, narcissistic, troublemaker and giving him any agency to represent the LGBT community is a bad idea. Make sure to read the comments below the article, as well.


Sundance is coming up and indieWire has a decent account of the action that is in the works.


Though it was published over two years ago, I stumbled upon a pretty great little article on /Film that had an excellent little spiel about the proliferation of promising directors from the late 90’s and what the hell actually happened to them. Short, yet to the point, the article ponders what factors are contributing to this general content malaise and what can be done to prevent it. Funny that two years later we just now seem to be getting back to a formidable level of content across the board, rather than just waiting anxiously for the next Pixar or Superhero franchise.  Which I wouldn’t have a problem with if they each released 2 films a month.

Vintage /Film!

And finally, ANOTHER /Film article (I just love them so much) written by the always-well-versed Hunter Stephenson. A new futures trading market named the Cantor Exchange is attempting to soon go public. The Cantor Exchange will be the first system to trade futures on box office gross’. /Film has a very well written and interesting article on what this overt commoditization will have on the entertainment industry and the art of filmmaking itself.



_Zombieland 2 has been greenlit

_Justin Timberlake will star in the story of Facebook, The Social Network.

_Alec Baldwin insists that after 30 Rock he’s done acting. Personally? Not such a bad thing.

_Robert Duvall MAY be Don Quixote in Gilliam’s re-attempt at the tale.

_Spielberg drops his remake of Harvey.

_Oh, and did I mention that Comcast bought NBC Universal? No biggie, just wanted to put that out there…

Board Games+Hollywood=FAIL

November 16, 2009

This absolutely blew me away.  If I ever need proof that the last 10 years of Hollywood have been mostly devoid of originality, I no longer have to search any farther.  /Film recently authored a post responding to Wikipedia’s listing of the top 50 highest grossing movies of the past decade.  Of the top 50, only NINE were original titles.  That is, not based on a previous story whether that be a comic book, TV show, play, clothing line, Disney Ride, whatever.  In fact, in the top 20 only one title (#15) emerged without owing allegiance to a previously liscensed property.  That being: Finding Nemo.  It’s absolutely staggering to think that since 1999 eighty percent of the highest grossing films were adaptations of some sort. 

Now, while it is imperitive to keep in mind that this list constitutes highest grossing box offices and not ALL of cinema over the last 10 years, it does still make a very declaritive statement about the state of film as we have come to know it.  The box office numbers drive production and Hollywood’s willingness to greenlight projects.  And if you were a number’s analyst, wouldn’t you lean more heavily towards projects you knew were going to profit for the studio?  With adaptations and revamps becoming a monetary must for studios, it seems fair to assume that we have a long way to go through the storm of upcoming adaptations.  In case you hadn’t heard the apocalypse-inducing news, Hollywood just recently went on a greenlighting frenzy to board game and toy properties, each of which makes the one before it look less and less absurd.  The laundry list goes as such:


And those are just the movies about BOARD GAME adaptations. When you take into account the multitude of ALL upcoming adaptations, the figures are staggering. What’s even more interesting is the cast and crew that are attached to these projects. Ridley Scott is directing Monopoly. Etan Cohen (writer of both Idiocracy and Tropic Thunder) is writing Candyland. And when I last checked, Gore Verbinski was attached to Clue! It sounds insane but these big budget, fully backed films are even getting certified production teams. So while the most prudent reaction would be to sit back and give each production its due and allow these upgrades to try to speak for themselves and deliver a compelling revamped storyline to a priceless piece of Americana, I can’t help but worry that this is going to plunge us into a period of unoriginality the likes of which Hollywood has never seen. The question I’m most concerned with is, do we really want our generation of cinema-storians to be remembered as the era of the remake and revamp?

The Top 5 Hardest Working Actors in Show Business

November 10, 2009


It’s easy to mock celebrities, actors in particular, who stress to the public how difficult and important their lives are and how much fame belabors those facts. Especially when we see them living such pampered and extravagant lives. I’m here to discuss five men in Hollywood who actually DO live rather industrious existanses and yet fail to ever complain about them. In fact, most are as hard-working as they are due to their love for what they do, and wouldn’t have it any other way. Now, check all your false pretenses at the door, this list takes NO monetary statistics into account to tabulate this list. I’m simply conducting an opinionated grouping of five actors who I feel have taken on more than most men can handle in the show biz…biz, and I’m compiling this list in relation to this point in time, Autumn of 2009. Yes, Seth Rogen has appeared in MULTITUDES of films over the last five years, but after Funny People and Observe and Report of this year, the guy has been laying pretty low. This list tabulates the mainstreamers who have been racking up leading role credits in muliple expansive flicks. So, without further ado…


5. Johnny Depp

To say that I respect this man would be an intense understatement. His acting prowess is some of the best of our time, so it makes me EXTREMELY happy to see him inundated with work. If you’ve been living under the sea (visions of The Little Mermaid just popped into my head. Walt Disney prevails) for the past year then you probably haven’t heard of Depp’s numerous forays into film he has recently undertaken. Public Enemies was the only work he appeared in that was released in ’09, however, he has been fast at work on massive cinematic staples of the 2010 movie-going season that will almost-assuredly dominate the market. The first being Tim Burton’s reiteration of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Depp plays The Mad Hatter in Burton’s CGI-laden could-be-wonderful-could-be-terrible still up-in-the-air retelling of the classic story. Headlining next to Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Matt Lucas, and Alan Rickman, the film has all the makings of a complete cinematic win, the screenshots and trailers, however, leave doubt in my mind, as CGI-laden, as I said before, is putting it nicely. Time will tell. Depp also was involved in Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, filling one of the three roles created after lead actor Heath Ledger’s passing. Depp, along with Colin Farrell and Jude Law, will stand in for Ledger as alternate versions of Ledger’s character, to help the stroy along despite the events that took place prior to the film’s completion. The next chapter in the Hunter S. Thompson chronicles, The Rum Diary, is also in post, in which Depp will reprise his role as the gonzo-journalist.
In addition to these films that Depp has finished, the newest film in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is slated for a 2011 release date and is currently in the earliest stages of pre-production. Sin City 3, which Depp has been rumored to be involved with basically from its inception, is also geared up for a 2012 release (funny considering Sin City 2 is still stuck in developmental hell).
And here’s the kicker. IMDB lists Depp as in development with FOURTEEN new titles, as well. Among them, a Dali biopic and The Lone Ranger. Wow, simply wow. While these developmental deals can fall through at any time, they can also usually indicate desire and co-involvement between the parties of the actors and the producers. It will be interesting to see where Depp’s career goes looking towards these titles.


4. Brad Pitt

Here’s another guy with developmental deals in spades. The ‘ole rusty, trusty IMDB has Pitt pegged with sixteen deals, the most I could find. In addition to being attached to The sequel to Downey Jrs Sherlock Holmes vehicle, Pitt is also listed with World War Z and a Steve McQueen biopic. Goo.
Pitt tore up the screen in Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds this summer, and has currently been attached to the fledgling project Moneyball, which is listed as being in the earliest stages of production, despite the fact that it has no director. Pitt is further attached to The Tree of Life and The Lost City of Z, as well as providing a voice to the upcoming animated flick Oobermind. He’s also rumored to be apart of 2012’s upcoming The Odyssey and The Sparrow.


3. George Clooney

The former Sexiest Man in America has never slowed down since his rocket-propelled rise to fame in the mid-to-late 90’s as well. Clooney most recently has released The Men Who Stare at Ghosts, a loosely based adaptation of the book of the same name which regards a 1970’s to 1980’s military experiment that documented telepathic phenomena. In addition to this recent film, though, Clooney finished up providing voice work for the titular role in Wes Anderson’s upcoming The Fantastic Mr. Fox, alongside Bill Murray, Meryl Streep, and Jason Schwartzman, as well as polishing off his role in the Jason Reitman-helmed Up in the Air, which is also currently in post. These are merely his acting credits for 2009, though, the man also executive produced the Matt Damon vehicle The Informant! and Playground, a movie I honestly couldn’t find too much on. As far as his queue list goes, IMDB has him cited with ten in-development deals.


2. Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey is a man of many faces. The actor became famous for his rubber-faced persona that landed him a slew of comedic work in the mid-to-late 90’s and a career launching pad that ANY actor would be proud of. By the turn of the century, however, Carrey was becoming far more versatile as an actor. Already dabbling in the dramatic with The Truman Show, Liar Liar,, and the INCREDAMAZING Andy Kaufman biopic, Man on the Moon. Carrey then went on to tackle the serious side of life full-tilt in Charlie Kaufman’s magnificent Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, opposite Kate Winslet, The Majestic, and the box office blunder The Number 23. He has returned to comedy in recent years, however, and, as always, has fully immersed himself in his roles. Recently released is the Zemeckis-penned adaptation of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in which Carrey provided the movements and voices to Scrooge at all ages of life AND the three spirits that visit him! Encompassing multiple accents, multiple ages of life, and multiple SPIRITUAL BEINGS, Carrey tackled the project head-on while keeping busy with multiple other projects, such as I Love You, Philip Morris, the tale of an escaped homosexual convict who goes on a quest to find his lover that was released from prison before he was. The film has been receiving stellar reviews and co-stars Ewan McGregor opposite Carrey in this bold and self-titled dark comedy. All the while that these two flicks have been in post, Carrey has both been bulking up and studying up to play Curly Howard in the upcoming Three Stooges revamp with Paul Giamatti and possibly Benecio Del Toro. This was all considered fact for the longest time and was referenced multiple times by Carrey’s apparent weight gain in the tabloids and public citings, but, as of late, Carrey has been described as withdrawing from the project. It doesn’t negate the fact that the man was taking on multiple roles immediately after finishing his previously mentioned two. Further, has Carrey listed in FOUR different upcoming development deals. Which may seem normal for a star of his status, but when you consider the work load he will indefinitely take on with these upcoming roles, it makes a profound statement on his desire to never be bored.
In addition to his films and the launch of a fully-functioning personal website that has actually made the rounds and received a warm/geeky reception from the film/internet blogosphere, Carrey and his wife Jenny McCarthy have consistantly maintained their involvement in the charity Generation Rescue, which strives to find alternative ways to treat autism in children. Not bad for a man who was talking with his butt a little over 10 years ago.


1. Nicolas Cage

Go ahead and laugh (you’ve earned it) but the man has yet to produce a dull movie (I said ‘dull’ not ‘bad’) and his work output is something for ANY actor to admire, regardless of how badly he phones roles in. Before I continue, most of you know, but for those who don’t, everything I joke about Nicolas Cage comes from a place of sincere reverance. Yes, the man takes part in AWFUL movies (which, given his current economic situation could just be to keep the lights on) but in each film he’s in he is always FULLY committed to the story being told. And I’m sorry, but I’d rather watch Cage run around in a Bear suit any day FULLY EMBRACING THE ROLE than see Tom Hanks win ANOTHER Oscar for appearing in some adaptation of a story set in the 1940’s. ALL TANGENTS ASIDE, Cage has kept himself QUITE stacked as of late. In early 2009 the CGI-Fest known as G-Force dropped with Cage providing a voice as well as Cage’s vehicle Knowing, in which he played the lead. Throughout the remainder of the year he has worked on The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Matthew Vaughn’s Kick-Ass, Season of the Witch, and Werner FOOKING Herzog’s Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. Did I mention the voice that he provided for Astro Boy? No? Well, lump that in there as well.
IMDB has him attached to 4 deals in development, one of which being (GET READY!!!) Ghost Rider 2! Which creators have said will distance itself from the original as a revamp, not a sequel. Yet, it still stars Cage as the lead. Oh, how I LOVE this man! It simply amazes me what Hollywood will greenlight.

And speaking of hard working, (and by hard-working, I mean shameless self-promotion!) visit my sketch troupe’s Youtube or Facebook and comment/subscribe/hate/love/befriend/never talk to us again/enjoy our attempts at making you laugh!

Paranormal Saw

October 26, 2009


I LOVE Shwayblog, and I love all you little Shwayites out there who have at least accidentally clicked on this blog site at some point or another in your internet-cruising lives.  To those of you that actually check in on this thing more often than once, I owe you a super-big, non-creepy hug later.  The fact of the matter, though, is that I have been sluggish-at-best lately at posting any content whatsoever.  What with school and applications and pretending that I still have any creative ability left, my time has been squandered on “grown-up stuff.”  So in an effort to attempt to produce more entries, I’m going to strive to write a post a day.  This is the positive.  The negative is that these posts are going to be considerably shorter than my rants (which might be a good thing) and will most likely take on a “Video of the Day” type format, which I have conveniently stolen from /Film.  Speaking of plagiarising off of /Film, today’s post revolves around Funnyordie’s newest video, Paranormal Saw.  For those who didn’t hear, Paranormal Activity, the $15,000 upstart indie darling beat out Saw VI at the Box office.  Needless to say, this development made me incredibly happy.  Down with torture porn!  Anyway, to celebrate these two titans of terror’s box office brawl, Funnyordie created this mash-up that hilariously puts that silly little doll in its place.  Oh, Jon Lithgow.

Paranormal Saw from FOD Team – Video.

And You Thought Indiana Jones 4 Was Egregious…

April 29, 2009


This is insane. Absolutely insane. I have been bitching about the dearth of creativity in Hollywood for years now, blubbering about the black hole of originality that the studios seem content to simply stew in. Unfortunately, the viewing public doesn’t seem to mind. Box office sales for that trainwreck Indiana Jones 4 hit $700 million worldwide. I got news for ya, people, studios see a number such as 700 million and instinctively go, “WE NEED MORE!”

To prove my point further that there really and truly is a glut of unoriginal, hack writers, producers and directors owning Hollywood right now, take a look at this incredibly long, sad, and pathetic list of upcoming sequels:

Predator sequel entitled: “Predators”
Alien prequel
Drop Dead Fred remake
Wall Street 2 starring Shia LeBeauf
Clueless sequel
Who Framed Roger Rabbit sequel
Adventures in Babysitting remake
Indiana Jones 5
Fast and the Furious sequel
Tron reboot
Robin Hood reboot
Terminator: Salvation
Transformers 2
DaVinci Code prequel: Angels and Demons
Clash of the Titans reboot
Odysseus reboot
Night at the Museum reboot
Twilight sequel
2 Harry Potter sequels
Wanted sequel
The Mechanic remake
Star Trek reboot
S. Darko: the Donnie Darko sequel
H2: Halloween remake
Crank 2
Nightmare on Elm Street remake
Videodrome remake
Tintin sequel
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot
Toy Story 3
G.I. Joe remake
Sin City 2
Spider-Man 4
Sherlock Holmes remake
X-Men: First Class
Batman 3
Iron Man 2
Ghostbusters 3

Now granted, some of these films I am EXTREMELY excited for. Ghostbusters 3, Batman 3, Sherlock Holmes, TMNT, and a few others (most of the bottom of the list), but it only further serves my point that all we have to look forward to are reboots and revamps of previous franchises. Where’s the new material? Other than Humpty Dumpty and Sucker Punch there is absolutely nothing up-and-coming and original that has me excited. How in the world can this many people involved in “the art of film” come up with this mega-list of repackaged material? A good remake or sequel here and there is wonderful. I loved The Dark Knight. But this? Yikes.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

April 25, 2009


Woo boy.  This is going to be a problem.  I am one of a growing group of people that find Beyonce Knowles to be an incredibly annoying and overrated songstress. But after her latest little stint at the box office (Beyonce’s movie Obsessed grossed the biggest last-weekend-in-April gross ever) it may become harder and harder to keep Beyonce off the big screen. The only silver lining is that the last weekend in April is usually the weakest weekend of the year in terms of box office returns. It immediately precedes the first weekend in May which ushers in the legion of blockbuster summer flicks, producing a lackluster April closing. However, sensational news such as record-breaking always seems to find its way to the wrong executives with the right amount of power to do something about it. I have a bad feeling that it will become harder and harder to regulate Ms. Knowles to a recording studio for much longer.

I Think I’m Going to be Sick…

April 8, 2009


Donnie Darko was one of my all-time favorite movies.  Everything about that film screams genius and tends to resonate with an intensely large fan base.  When first released, Darko performed absolutely horribly in the box office.  First seen as a small loss (it only cost 6 million to make, and only netted $517,000 in its original box office run), Darko was released on DVD with little hope to turn  a profit.  But turn a profit it did!  Darko found new life and a cult following on DVD and has amassed quite a little loyal fanbase.  Which in Hollywood-land can mean only one thing: Sequel.

When I had first heard that a sequel was being made to Richard Kelly’s masterpiece, I was livid.  This kind of Hollywood tidbit is something right out of a joke.  Donnie Darko is literally the opposite of a franchise film.  I won’t ruin the ending for those who haven’t seen it, but let’s just say that there is very little room for continuation at the end.  The only light at the end of the tunnel was that no one, let me repeat that, NO ONE, from the original had returned to work on the sequel except for Donnie’s younger sister, played by, Daveigh Chase,who I have lost an exponential amount of respect for. 

ANYWAY…the movie has been getting far more press than it should for its upcoming straight to DVD release, and on Bloody Disgusting I just found a front-page article interviewing actress Briana Evigan about the film. 

Welcome to my nightmare.

First, let me try to condense this next part of my rant so you don’t walk away.  This girl represents the physical manifestation of everything that is wrong with Hollywood.  She clearly did not understand anything that the first film had to offer and clearly barely understands the movie that she was JUST in.  She is an absolutely moronic, unintelligible bafoon who cannot possibly grasp the concepts and themes dealt with in the first film, let alone help to carry them into a sequel!

Here’s where my grievances begin.  When asked what she thought of the film, Briana’s highly enlightend review was…

I got to see S. Darko recently and really loved the way Corey came off in the movie. The movie as a whole to me is awesome, but it’s really weird and it’s kinda slow and sciency. I hope that people who are not interested in the science of it will check it out.

Exact quote. “It’s kinda slow and sciency.” AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! In what ring of hell do they find these people? Next manner of business: Please, Briana, explain to the nice reporter man why they had to change the look of Frank the Bunny in the sequel.

I don’t know why it looks the way it looks. I’m guessing that they just had to go different from the first one because they weren’t going to be allowed to use any of the same stuff. The bunny looks very cool, it’s very like hard looking as opposed to the other once.

See, to me, as a traditionalist and purest, if the author of the movie you are producing a sequel to refuses to give you any rights or licenses to even use images resembling the first, well, I would say that you are doing it wrong.

Finally, irony comes full circle to smack me in my face as my jaw hangs off the floor. When asked whether or not our little brain surgeon, Briana can imagine a third movie in the franchise, she dares to actually respond…

I cannot imagine them doing a third, if anything a prequel, but I cant imagine them doing that.

Now, I wonder why she cannot imagine a sequel? Could it be that she feels so strongly about this piece that she cannot fathom anyone adding anything to it without taking something away in the process? ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! MY BRAIN, WHY? WHY? IT HURTS SO BAD!!! So this is how Nic Cage felt at the end of The Wicker Man.

In closing, I would just like to make this plea. Please, people, please, do something about this horrendous mash up of an abortion they’re trying to pass off as a movie. Hit Fox in the only place it hurts them. DO NOT SEE IT. Don’t rent it, don’t download it, hell, don’t even bootleg it. If no one gives this thing a single, shiny penny that it found on the floor of the Blockbuster they’ve just walked into, Fox will take a hint. And if you’re really livid, like me, never watch a single movie this mindless creten Briana Evigan’s in either. There are WAY too many much more talented actressess trying to make it in this industry for THIS girl to be getting cast. Grr…I’m gonna go make myself a bitter sandwich and wash it down with an irate shake.