By Shawn Robbins
Warner Bros. wants to bring Wonder Woman to the big screen. That's been a known fact for some time, but yesterday's reaffirmation from Greg Silverman, the studio's president of creative development and worldwide production, was welcome news for fans of the DC Comics character.
So, when's the right time to make it happen? The studio is currently neck-deep in its part-sequel/part-reboot that is Zack Snyder's still-untitled Superman/Batman flick. While their priorities should be on crafting the best possible version of that movie, the future is now--and the future of movies, if you haven't been paying attention, is in bringing women to the forefront.
Perhaps more than any other studio right now, Warner Bros. knows that. Their Gravity is still the talk of the town three weeks after release, and Sandra Bullock's turn in the film's lead role is a major contribution to its phenomenal global success (having banked $286 million and counting).
Disney and Marvel know it, too. Just hours before Silverman's comments were published, Movies.com's Erik Davis posted an interview with Marvel's Kevin Feige--the executive mastermind behind the success of the Avengers franchise--in which he confirms that there are no current plans for a female-led superhero film coming out of Marvel. Not before 2016 or 2017, at least. (Sorry, Scarlett Johansson/Black Widow fans.) It's not that they don't want to, but logistically, their slate is already packed for the next few years.
Note to WB: that window opening in front of your eyes is one of significant opportunity.
Aside from the mega-success of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, Warner and DC have been playing eternal second-fiddle to Marvel in the cinematic realm for more than a decade. Green Lantern failed in 2011, and several possible iterations of a Justice League film have fizzled out in recent years. Man of Steel was the first best hope in launching their own Avengers-like film universe, but fans aren't quite as enthusiastic about the potential of it as they were after 2008's Iron Man set the stage for Marvel's Cinematic Universe.
A would-be Justice League universe needs a game-changer, and not just the one Snyder and writer David Goyer are concocting for July 18, 2015. They need something to keep them ahead of Marvel's curve. Now is the time to put serious resources into making a Wonder Woman movie happen; one that fans and average moviegoers can both take seriously.
Why? Take this statistic for an example: despite space-set films being historically male-centric, 46 percent of Gravity's opening weekend audience was comprised of women--2 percent more than Man of Steel, and a whopping 17 percent more than the year's highest grosser thus far, Iron Man 3. As noted, Bullock's star power and recent successes were major components in that. It's not a stretch to say that a Wonder Woman film mixing narrative depth and visual spectacle, while led by a dramatically-capable star actress, would bring out more than just male comic nerds.
Such a project shouldn't be rushed, either. The studio has been wise to explore all options carefully, and the first option that should be tossed immediately is any involvement of Wonder Woman in the 2015 Superman/Batman pic (beyond a brief setup or cameo). That project has enough mountains to climb, and the task of establishing a new heroine would likely be narrative overkill.
Instead, scour the industry (or fans, for that matter) for writers and directors that know how to give women a voice on screen. Let them pen a standalone film completely dedicated to the origins and development of a strong female character not well-known by today's audience. The first studio to do the concept justice will reap the rewards, while the other will be left to ponder the opportunity they missed as they watch the competition be the first to embrace the future, and rule the box office in the process.
Discuss this story on the BoxOffice Forums
Cypress, California -- It's "all Christie, all the time" as Southern Theatres selects Christie®, the dominant brand in the digital cinema market, to power every auditorium in its new, state-of-the-art 14-screen theater complex at the Esplanade Mall in Kenner, Louisiana.
The Grand 14 Esplanade, scheduled to open December 12, will be the first to feature the "complete Christie experience," fitted exclusively with Christie Solaria® Series digital cinema projection technology and the Christie® Vive AudioTM systems. Christie's Managed Services team is providing complete support, from designing the technology floor plan, to installing and integrating all of the products, as well as providing 24/7 remote monitoring, maintenance and support through Christie's own Network Operations Center.
"We're excited to bring the latest developments in digital cinema projection and audio technology to our guests with the opening of the Grand 14 Esplanade in Kenner," said Ron Krueger II, President and Chief Operating Officer, Southern Theatres. "We're the first theater to power every auditorium with Christie Vive Audio, a revolutionary leap in cinema loudspeaker design that provides the benefit of improved sound coverage for every guest in every seat in the house."
The Grand 14 Esplanade will offer Southern Theatres' branded Grand Premium Experience (GPX) auditorium, equipped with the Christie® DuoTM dual-projection system using Christie CP4230 4K DLP Cinema® projectors, ensuring that the RealD 3D images on the huge three story screen are the crispest and brightest possible. The GPX auditorium will also feature Christie Vive Audio configured for 46 channels using Dolby® AtmosTM, a new audio solution that revolutionizes the experience of sound in entertainment. The groundbreaking new Christie Vive Audio system features speakers with an innovative single enclosure line array design combined with ribbon driver technology and high-powered Class D amplification - the first to be used in a cinema environment.
The combination of two Christie Solaria projectors and the Christie Duo integration kit is significantly less expensive than other branded ‘big screen' industry solutions. With lower upfront costs, and no ongoing revenue sharing, Christie Duo is the global solution for creating an affordable, premium large screen movie experience.
"Interest has been exceptionally strong since our launch of Christie Vive Audio in July, with the postproduction and exhibition communities recognizing a unique opportunity to gain a competitive edge by unleashing the full potential of the new generation of digital cinema surround sound technology," said Patrick Artiaga, director of Business Development, Audio Solutions for Christie. "We're proud that Southern Theatres has made the Grand 14 Esplanade the world's first all-inclusive Christie Vive Audio complex, flawlessly complementing it with the crisp images and spectacular video offered by Christie DLP® digital cinema projectors - giving their audience the ultimate movie-viewing experience."
Specifically created and built for the digital cinema environment, Christie Vive Audio's unique parabolic line array design envelopes audiences with dynamic, richly detailed and enhanced audio where speech, special effects, music, and alternative content sound incredibly natural and lifelike.
Added Mr. Krueger II, "The GPX auditorium will really allow our guests to fully immerse themselves into a 3D movie- with the unparalleled brightness of Christie 4K resolution digital projection and the combined power of the Christie Vive Audio and Dolby Atmos systems, viewers will experience every sight and sound as if they are actually ‘in the picture.'"
"Christie's Managed Services team has been involved exclusively since the beginning of the project, providing unparalleled professional consultation, integration, installation, and design services for all of the auditoriums," said Sean James, vice president of Managed Services at Christie. "We supplied the complete, ‘one-stop-shopping' solution, developing specifications for audio, projection, screens, power, system/network infrastructure, special audio support, and theater-wide automation solutions."
Added James: "Our job is not over when the installation is complete. Managed Services will continue to provide the entire theater with 24/7 remote monitoring through Christie's Network Operations Center, once the site is live."
Chicago, IL -- NEC Display Solutions of America, a leading provider of commercial LCD display and projector solutions, announced today the NC1100L Digital Cinema projector, a laser-light source projector targeted to exhibitors with small screens or projection booths as well art houses, mobile cinemas, theaters in universities and public buildings.
As part of NEC's Digital Cinema Projector Series, the NC1100L projector using a laser-light source delivers 2K DCI-compliant cinema quality, which translates to an image brightness of 14-ft-L (using a 1.8 gain screen) on screens up to 36ft./11m in DCI color. It is the world's first Digital Cinema-compliant projector with laser light source built-in.
The NC1100L Digital Cinema projector will be demonstrated at ShowEast on October 21-24 at the Westin Diplomat & Spa in Hollywood, Fla.
"Driving innovation in Digital Cinema is part of what NEC Display does on a daily basis, and as part of our mandate, we're offering a projector that meets the needs of more exhibitors," said Jim Reisteter, General Manager of Digital Cinema at NEC Display Solutions. "Our new NC1100L projector is the light source of the future. The unit's reliability, maintenance-free operation and approximately 20,000 hours (*) of lifetime result in an overall lower total cost of ownership."
The NC1100L projector features 2K (2048 x 1080) resolutions, 3D capabilities and 3-chip DMD reflection method. It is easy to operate with user-friendly accessibility.
The NEC Integrated Media Server (IMS) offers a trouble-free, one-stop solution for exhibitors and other organizations, while the projector's High Frame Rate (HFR) capability offers excellent picture quality. Its all-in-one Integrated Media Server (IMS) and 2 TB RAID5 Storage Server offer versatile connectivity and savings with fewer peripheral devices needed.
Among the key features of the NC1100L Digital Cinema projector:
Lower total cost of ownership (TCO) with up to approximately 20,000 hours of expected light source usage
2048 x 1080 resolution and 1600:1 contrast ratio
Several bayonet lens options for easy installation, enabling motorized zoom, focus and shift capabilities
Suitability for floor and ceiling installation with no exhaust system required
Air cooling with dust-preventing electrostatic filter
Built-in 2 TB RAID5 Storage Server, 2 x 3GSDI, and 1 x HDMI Interfaces, advanced network and built-in GPIO functions
The same IMS (NP-90MS01) for NC900C available with the NC1100L
The NC1100L will be available in March 2014 with a two-year limited warranty (for U.S. and Canada only), including parts and labor. (*) Targeting 20,000 hours expected lifetime. To be finalized in early 2014. This lifetime may vary depending upon environmental conditions.