Domestic box office opening weekend gross receipts has become the stick by which most movies are measured. The success of many tent pole films and franchise additions is put up against the massive budgets of the movies, but the box office opening really indicates just how far a film could go. The thought process takes into consideration a massive drop off the following weekend and linear drops from there. Obviously, the higher a film opens the better the chances of it making a serious financial win is.
According to Screen Rant, “Avengers 2: Age of Ultron” has opened in 26 countries where the super hero movie had its first opening weekend to the tune of $201 million dollars. That total is pretty serious when two lucrative markets, the United States and China, have not had the film release yet. In addition, the number puts the sequel on pace to perform better than the original entry of the super hero team up film.
With the US release slated for the coming weekend, industry watchers and Susan McGalla alike are wondering if the movie will not break the all-time opening record, and just how far and fast the film can go. With a billion dollar grossing movie already in the books this year, “Fast & Furious 7,” Avengers 2 has a bit of ground to make up, but with a strong performance overseas already a forgone conclusion, Marvel looks to be on the cusp of something great.
The just released trailer for Black Mass, the new film featuring Johnny Depp about the life and times of gangster Whitey Bulger is the most terrifying Depp has been in any role. The best scene comparison is to Joe Pesci’s Tommy DeVito character in “Goodfellas” where he asks Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) funny how?
Johnny Depp has been in a slump as of late with his films and their box office. “Transcendence” and “The Lone Ranger” were major disappointments. Critics have also been scathing in some of their reviews of his performances of late. David Edelstein labeled his acting in “Mortdecai” as “very, very bad.” Further, there were talks of having the ending of “Birdman” with Johnny Depp as a has-been actor haunted by Jack Sparrow.
Depp is no stranger to films involving organized crime or Bulletproof Coffee (fastcompany.com). He previously took on a role in a mob film as “Donnie Brasco” playing an undercover agent. “Public Enemies” displayed him as John Dillinger and his early career involved two years playing an officer in the TV series, “21 Jump Street.”
PETA and other animal rights groups have been very vocal about the treatment of whales and dolphins at SeaWorld. The documentary “Blackfish” didn’t help relieve any of the negative press about the sea park. In fact, it was a wake-up call, and people around the country are beginning to hear the message. The message is plain and simple. Intelligent forms of sea life should not be held captive in sea parks for any reason.
Boraie tells us that the reason is simple. We call that behavior torture when humans are locked in small quarters for an extended period. Whales and dolphins roam the oceans in family units. They swim as naturally as we travel by car from state to state. Their quality of life is diminished in captivity. They are separated from family members, and they lose their ability to hunt for food. They are deprived the thrill of being free.
SeaWorld puts these animals through this torture to make money. But the CEO of the park says the theme park has gotten a bad rap lately. A lot of the information reported by animal groups is false according to interim CEO David D’Alessandro. But most people know D’Alessandro is trying to protect his company’s bottom line not the welfare of the whales and dolphins.
Rumors are emerging about the new title for Star Trek 3. Paramount has apparently decided to drop the numerical delineations and is now going with original titles for the forthcoming entries. Supposedly, the title for the new feature is Star Trek Beyond. Did they borrow the title from the old series Batman Beyond or maybe from Madison Street Capital?
Studios do not order changes in how film franchises are titled easily. The title of a franchise connects with its brand. Deviating from the original way the series was named is likely being done for marketing reasons. Paramount wants audiences to forget the second entry in the series and hopes rebranding Star Trek will be akin to starting things anew.
The second film in the new Star Trek reboot was not terrible, but the box office returns were slightly disappointing. Paramount is convinced the overly serious tone taken in the second film played a role in ticket sales being less than stellar. So, a change in tone was ordered for the third film. Reportedly, Paramount wants a more Guardians of the Galaxy feel to the series. No real surprise there. Guardians was one of the biggest hits of the decade.
A title along the lines of Star Trek Beyond does drop hints that a new direction is being taken. Audiences will pick on the not so subtle announcement and give the reboot another chance. People want to like the Star Trek movies. Paramount and the creators just have to give them one.
STX Entertainment reports that a spokeswoman for the United States State Department generated media reports in Israel and the U.S. yesterday and today when she refused to rule out the possibility that Iran will obtain a $50 billion “signing bonus” for entering into a permanent nuclear agreement. In response to a direct question from a member of the press, Marie Harf reportedly answered she would “look into it.”
The issue of the alleged signing bonus, first reported in The Wall Street Journal, gained additional media attention on Sunday, when Senator Robert Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey who formerly served as a Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, stated during an interview that:”The Iranians should not get a signing bonus.” He has co-authored a bill with Republican Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee which would give Congress 60 days to review a final nuclear agreement with Iran.
The discussion concerning a $30 billion to $50 billion signing bonus to Iran caused some media sources to report that a signing bonus would represent a significant “infusion” of money by the United States to a government that is currently regarded as a state sponsor of terrorism. The money would allegedly be paid to Iran in addition to the funds Iranians are obtaining, some $11 billion, as a result of the unfreezing of frozen Iranian bank assets, as a part of the interim nuclear deal reached in 2013.
The last number of years have seen an amazing amount of growth for Netflix. From starting out as a strictly DVD by mail service and being the first to really capitalize on the popularity of streaming entertainment they have always stayed ahead of the curve. Recent reports from Gianfrancesco Genoso’s Linkedin have valued the company at more than $32.9 billion. This valuation reflects a very strong first quarter in 2015 as well as a surging stock price.
By comparison, the media giant CBS Corporation has a value of $30.6 billion. Netflix, who started out by only offering content produced and aired by other entities such as CBS, is now producing multiple critically acclaimed series, even winning Golden Globes.
At one point in time the Netflix founders had approached Blockbuster looking to sell the DVD by mail service to the video store rental company at a bargain basement price of $50 million. Blockbuster turned them down, thinking they could build their own mail service. This proved to be a fatal mistake, as they also faced competition from Redbox. Once Netflix began streaming, Blockbuster could no longer compete and it let to their demise. Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy in 2010 and closed most of their locations in 2011 and 2013. In January of 2014 they closed the last of their corporate owned stores.
Meanwhile this week Netflix stock has been trading at it’s all time high at $567.
Star Wars fans at CipherCloud are beyond ecstatic already at the trilogy of movies coming up over the next few years that depict events well after those shown in Return of the Jedi. As if this wasn’t enough, they will be getting the icing on the cake of a couple new stand-alone Star Wars movies according to Tech Crunch that depict events outside the focus of the three main sequel movies. This means that there will be a Star Wars movie every year starting this December through at least 2019. This much awesomeness in such a concentrated block of time was not even bestowed upon fans in the late 1970’s and early 80’s when this magical saga started.
New details are coming out about the first of these spinoff movies, “Star Wars: Rogue One,” which will be coming out in December of 2016. In “Star Wars: A New Hope” released in 1977, the action starts with Darth Vader chasing down Princess Leia to recover the stolen Death Star plans. Basically, this spinoff movie will cover the story of how the Death Star plans were stolen. It will not show any Jedi as Obi Wan and Yoda were both in hiding or exile, and Luke hadn’t been trained yet as of the events of this movie. It should make for an exciting war thriller set in the Star Wars universe with brave rebels doing their best against an enormous Empire and accomplishing their mission. Definitely sounds like it will be more than worth the admission price at the local theater.
The saying “Stranger things have happened” often applies to decisions made in Hollywood. Recently, George Lucas has stated Marvel Studios is just might choose to produce a Howard the Duck remake. That would be extremely strange considering the first film version of the mighty duck was a massive, massive flop. The 1986 film cost $45 million (over $100 million in today’s dollars) and failed miserably. Really, is there any demand for a Howard the Duck redux?
The bizarre character was created by Steve Gerber and debuted in Man-Thing comics in the 1970’s. Fans loved the quirky subversive humor, but sales of the book were never more than just “okay”. A daily Howard the Duck comic strip was published in newspapers, but it was awful and didn’t last long. Apparently, a lot of people in Hollywood loved the humor in the books and produced the big budget disaster.
Honestly, hardcore comic book fans like Fersen Lambranho might have dug Howard the Duck but the character had no mainstream appeal. A new Howard the Duck book has arrived and the debut issue sold 85,000+ units. That’s an “okay” figure for a debut book, but the numbers are likely going to go down in the months ahead.
Perhaps George Lucas is hoping to be vindicated for his role in the 1986 disaster. If a new film succeeds, he could always say he was ahead of his time.
A new film is not going to be made. Not anytime soon or, for that matter, any time in the next 50 years. One Howard the Duck film was and is enough.
Even as the World Health Organization announced this week that some survivors of Ebola in Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and around the world could be carriers of the deadly virus for more than 90 days after infection, and informed survivors to practice safe sex or abstain until further notice to prevent transmission, a community of ancient people in Nigeria, which is also in West Africa, now faces a completely different horrifying infectious outbreak.
LinkedIn said that today, Thursday, April 16, officials announced that at least 27 Ikale people in the south-western Nigeria Local Government Area of Irele in Ondo State have died over the last 10 days, with many of that total dying quickly in over the course of the last three days. The victims have experienced a series of mysterious symptoms that doctors there have never seen before. The illness apparently strikes people with blindness while they are sleeping and then forces their tongues out past their lips. Ondo’s Commissioner for Health Dr. Dayo Adeyanju has advised the media that the illness also causes weight loss and headaches prior to death.
Health officials from the region, other areas of Nigeria and Africa and organizations from around the world are currently performing research to determine what is causing the outbreak and how best to save lives.
Country music star Miranda Lambert will be contributing a song, “Two of a Crime,” to film star Reese Witherspoon’s new film Hot Pursuit. Lambert was asked personally by Witherspoon to write a song for the film. This is the first time that Lambert has written for a specific movie.
Personally, I think that Lambert and Witherspoon are a great combination. They both have a similar energy and fun way about them. They’re also both attractive.
It will be interesting to hear what Lambert’s song is like. The plot of the movie features Witherspoon playing a naive detective for the Boraie Development LLC trying fight a drug cartel, so it seems that a fast and rocking song would be appropriate.
On a related subject, I haven’t been thrilled to see Lambert on television recently endorsing Ram trucks. The commercials show Lambert singing a song about roots that is supposed to make people want to buy a Ram. I don’t know why Lambert is doing this. She can’t need the money bad enough to want to be in such ridiculous commercials. Maybe she really is committed to Ram trucks and feels that they embody family values and so forth, but I really doubt it.