Just a few short months ago, we took a look at how Hollywood's 3D re-release trend was shaping up so far. With a couple of early successes--The Lion King and Titanic, most notably--the returns have certainly diminished. Beauty and the Beast and Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace drew very modest interest, while September's Finding Nemo 3D took in $41.1 million domestically and an additional $19.5 million overseas. Monsters, Inc. 3D hasn't fared any better in its current run ($32.5 million domestic and less than $3 million overseas so far) despite the advantage of additional buzz surrounding its upcoming sequel this summer.Read more
If October's news about Disney's Lucasfilm buyout wasn't exciting enough, then yesterday's did the trick. Despite initial signs pointing against it, J.J. Abrams will direct Star Wars: Episode VII. The Internet is abuzz, fans are debating and Disney is going to break the bank.
Money aside for a few moments, this writer finds himself in a fan's dilemma. There are a lot of Star Wars fans out there. There are also a lot of Star Trek fans. But there aren't nearly as many of us who are fans of *both*--at least not at the level I was growing up (and probably still am in some ways). No two series combined had as much influence on me as a child.
J.J. Abrams is now on board to direct to Star Wars: Episode VII. Can he help the franchise reach a new high-water mark at the box office?
Sarcastic pundits will quickly joke that if Disney hired a monkey to direct Episode VII people would still line up around the block. And they wouldn't be entirely wrong. The Star Wars brand holds such a sacred spot in the hearts of so many that even if fans question artistic choices--and they do that quite a bit--it doesn't stop them from forking over hard-earned cash. The documentary The People vs. George Lucas is full of stories of people who hated Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace but still saw it several times in theaters.
We're edging closer to February and that means 2013's first bona fide big budget movie is around the corner. A Good Day to Die Hard, the fifth installment in its series, hits theaters on Thursday, February 14. Where's the online buzz been at compared to recent action flicks?
Let's start with the good news: For the period representing four weeks out from release (January 17-21), A Good Day to Die Hard tallied 6,670 tweets. Some of the surge in that number on January 20 and 21 (which accounted for a combined 71 percent of the tweet share) was due to the announcement of Die Hard movie marathons in theaters across North America.
On Monday, we dissected the recent and upcoming slate of fantasy movies that have generated some of Hollywood's big bucks over the past decade. With most of the big franchises having ended and/or peaked for now, fantasy has some competition from its younger, sometimes more ostracized sibling: science fiction. While many fans of the two genres crossover, 2013 is poised to showcase the financial potential of sci-fi better than ever before.
We can pinpoint sci-fi's current era of ascension in 2009. No, not just with Avatar--but that's playing an influential role of its own. Rather, until May of that year it was nigh unfathomable (outside of the film's creators) that a Star Trek movie could ever be a blockbuster player at the box office. J.J.
If nothing else, the goal of Number Crunch is to serve as a financial report card on where Hollywood has been while also cautioning the studios on where they're going. In this edition, it's time for the "fairy tale revival" to go under the microscope. And surprisingly, so far, the results aren't that bad.
The movement didn't begin with a good send-off in 2003. The Peter Pan re-imagining aimed for a big Christmas audience and instead was met with poor critical reviews and an even worse box office performance. Pulling less than $50 million domestically and reaching $122 million worldwide, the film failed to break even during its theatrical run when considering its $140 million negative costs (production plus marketing budgets).
Hollywood is no stranger to a changing of the guard. It can come between one generation of actors and another. Creatively speaking, traditional hand-drawn animation gave way to the rising popularity of computer animation in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Sometimes, the box office itself sees a major shift when one genre reaches its peak and another takes its place. Are we in the middle of such a transition between go-to genres for Hollywood?
No, we're not referring to comic book adaptations. After dominating the box office for several recent years, it's clear that their reign is supreme for the moment. But over the last few years, there have been a growing number of science fiction box office hits -- a genre that has usually struggled outside of a niche fan base in the past.