$1 Billion Month

Add Comment on February 02, 2009 by Phil Contrino

Thanks to the surprisingly high level of success that the likes of Gran Torino, Paul Blart: Mall Cop and Taken were able to reach, January turned out to be an incredibly strong month at the box office. The total box office haul from January 1 to January 31 (apparently we didn't get the memo that February 1 is now part of January) reached $1.014 billion. That's a particularly impressive haul considering that 2008 was able to gross approximately $835 million during the same period of time.

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The Commercials

Add Comment on February 01, 2009 by Phil Contrino

The Super Bowl is a prime opportunity to launch a strong marketing blitz for some of this year's most anticipated films. Here's a list of which new movies received some exposure during the biggest sporting event of the year. . Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Distributor: DreamWorks SKG Release Date: June 26 A solid little teaser. It'll get the word out for sure. So far it's the film with the latest release date to have placed an ad. Race to Witch Mountain Distributor: Disney

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Opening Against the Big Game

Add Comment on January 31, 2009 by Phil Contrino

The gross that Taken is on pace to reach this weekend will place the action flick on the higher end of recent Super Bowl weekend grosses. In 2008, Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: The Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour represented the perfect bit of counterprogramming considering it brought in a whopping $31 million. Looking back to 2007, The Messengers, a horror flick that starred Twilight 's Kristen Stewart and Dylan McDermott, was able to claim the top spot with $14.7 million. Because I Said So, a romantic comedy with Mandy Moore and Diane Keaton, finished in a close second with $13.1 million.

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Voicing The Villain

Add Comment on January 30, 2009 by Amy Nicholson

You play an evil alien -- what does it take to be truly evil? Megalomania helps. How do you express that in a character’s voice? I think these characters love to hear the sound of their own voice – that’s a starting point. How did you put that into action as Gallaxhar? I don’t know, I just played around. When I started the process, the voice was goofier and more comic. And then we realized over the sessions and as they were putting the character together that he needed to be a really evil villain – he really needed to be a worthy adversary and be kind of actually scary.

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Splendor in the Brass

Add Comment on January 29, 2009 by Steve Simels

Okay, I promise this is the last time. But speaking, as we were yesterday and the day before, of semi-ridiculous phallic movie single entendres: Constant reader Kurt B , in comments, noted an odd similarity between the plot point in Wednesday's movie in question, the 1947 Columbia cliffhanger Brick Bradford, and a certain defense program beloved of a certain former president with a Hollywood background. "Hmm. [In the serial], Dr. Tymak's Interceptor Ray sounds suspiciously similar to Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative plan (a/k/a Star Wars). Was Reagan at Columbia in 1947?" Uh no, Kurt, but therein lies a tale.

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The Financial Impact of the Oscars

Add Comment on January 27, 2009 by Phil Contrino

When the Oscar nominations were announced last Thursday morning they instantly set off a chain reaction across not only Hollywood, but the entire country. Suddenly, a group of films and specific artistic accomplishments went from having a lot of buzz to being a part of history. Agents began to drool when thinking about how much the asking prices for their nominated clients would increase. Housewives in Indiana suddenly felt the desire to see a film about fate that stars no recognizable Hollywood actors. The result, in the end, is more money in the bank.

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Clint vs. Clint

Add Comment on January 26, 2009 by Phil Contrino

After a slow theatrical unveiling, Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino has become a massive box office hit. Now in its 7th week of release, Torino has grossed $97.8 million. Thanks to extremely positive word of mouth, the Warner Bros. release has held its audience very well. During its first weekend of wide release Torino grossed a staggering $39 million, then it dropped only 23% the following weekend and 47% this past weekend. All of that without garnering even a single Oscar nomination. Considering that mainstream audiences are checking off Oscar nominees from their must-see lists, the lack of support should have hurt Torino. It hasn't.

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