New York Comic-Con: EVIL DEAD Panel Recap; Self-Mutiliation, The New Ash, and Bruce Campbell Dazzles the Crowd

by     Posted 2 years, 18 days ago

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I spent a full day at New York Comic-Con watching panels, and the one with the best footage was easily Fede Alvarez‘ remake of Sam Raimi‘s Evil Dead.  Not so much as an image had leaked from the movie, and while it had Raimi’s stamp of approval (he hand-picked Alvarez to write and direct), we still didn’t know what to expect.  Judging by the trailer we saw, he came up with something truly terrifying that’s strong enough to stand on its own.  But even if the audience at the IGN Theater at the Javits Center were wary of a remake before they saw the footage, they were completely taken with the original Ash, Bruce Campbell, who also served as a producer on Alvarez’ film.  Half of the panel was Campbell just owning the crowd.  At one point, Evil Dead remake star Jane Levy broke out her iPhone to record what was happening and said, “I’m sorry.  I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Hit the jump for my recap of the Evil Dead panel, and click here for all of our New York Comic-Con coverage.

Director Tom McCarthy Talks WIN WIN, THE MILLION DOLLAR ARM, Working for Pixar & Making UP, More

by     Posted 3 years, 204 days ago

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After three weeks of rave reviews in selected cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Dallas and Phoenix, Win Win expanded to a host of new cities this weekend.  It paid off with $5,398 per theater, (in the top 5 averages over the past 3 days) and $1.22 million overall.  We’ve spread out our interviews with the film’s Oscar-nominated stars Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan and newcomer Alex Shaffer through the platform release because highly praised independent films which actually exceed that hype are rare and deserve all the extended support that sites like the one you’re reading can provide.

That brings us to our fourth installment: an interview with the film’s Oscar-nominated filmmaker Tom McCarthy (The Station Agent, The Visitor and Up).  For a writer, director and actor who is so meticulous about his work on both sides of the camera, he was surprisingly open about his process in all three disciplines.  Hit the jump for the interview’s audio and transcript, including a look inside Pixar, the latest on The Million Dollar Arm, how Patricia Clarkson one-upped him on The Station Agent and his memories of an indie film trailblazer.  Continued after the jump.

Weekend Box Office – MEGAMIND Wins Second Week On Top with $30.1 Million; UNSTOPPABLE Skids Into Second

by     Posted 3 years, 352 days ago

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After narrowly beating Megamind for first place on Friday, Unstoppable lost some momentum as it rolled through the weekend. The thriller placed second with an estimated $23.5 million while Dreamworks’ 3D animated Megamind enjoyed a second week at number one and a new estimated domestic gross of nearly $90 million.

Title Weekend Total
1 Megamind $30,100,000 $89.8
2 Unstoppable $23,500,000 $23.5
3 Due Date $15,500,000 $59
4 Skyline $11,700,000 $11.7
5 Morning Glory $9,600,000 $12.2
6 For Colored Girls $6,800,000 $31
7 Red $5,000,000 $79.7
8 Paranormal Activity 2 $3,000,000 $82
9 Saw 3D $2,900,000 $43.6
10 Jackass 3D $2,300,000 $114.7

Friday Box Office – UNSTOPPABLE Runs Off with $8.1 Million in First Place; MEGAMIND Outsmarts Debuts of SKYLINE and MORNING GLORY

by     Posted 3 years, 353 days ago

Unstoppable opened to $8.1 million on Friday which was good enough for first place – barely. The PG-13 thriller is the fifth film pairing of Denzel Washington and director Tony Scott, and the second in a row to feature a runaway train as its dramatic centerpiece. Though projections indicate that Unstoppable will be anything but a runaway hit, the film should at least match the $23.4 million opening weekend of Denzel and Scott’s last train thriller, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3. Too bad that won’t be enough to outsmart Megamind. The 3D comedy came in second on Friday with $7.9 million and is poised for its second weekend at number one thanks to higher ticket prices and a general lack of interest in this weekend’s other new titles. That includes Universal’s Skyline which debuted in fourth on Friday with $4.7 million on its way to a weekend in the $14 million range – a far cry from this week last year when 2012 earned $23.4 million on its first day alone. Finally, Morning Glory opened early to get out of the way of all that testosterone. It didn’t help. The romantic comedy’s Wednesday-Thursday gross stands at just $2.6 million and its Friday take of $3.1 million was only good enough for fifth place.

Title Friday Total
1 Unstoppable $8,100,000 $8.1
2 Megamind $7,900,000 $67.6
3 Due Date $5,500,000 $48.9
4 Skyline $4,700,000 $4.7
5 Morning Glory $3,100,000 $5.7

Roland Emmerich Plans to Shoot Asimov’s FOUNDATION Trilogy Using 3D Motion Capture

by     Posted 4 years, 263 days ago

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If you thought Roland Emmerich (2012) was a bad fit for adapting Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy, now MTV is reporting that the director is planning to shoot it using 3D motion-capture technology.  First off, let me ask: is anyone surprised?  Emmerich is making a big 180 with his Elizabethan political thriller Anonymous, but his home is spectacle and nothing is more visually spectacular than the 3D mo-capped Avatar.  I actually fear an Emmerich film in 3D because it would cause sensory overload.  Imagine seeing 2012 in 3D.  It would look amazing at first but by the end of the film your eyeballs would be nothing but ash.

Hit the jump to read what Emmerich had to say about 3D as well as what he told Steve about Foundation back in November.

Seven Features Still in Running for VFX Oscar Race

by     Posted 4 years, 299 days ago

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Are there really six other movies this year that can compete with the visuals of Avatar, which is clearly on a mission for world domination? According to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, apparently so.  The Academy has announced these seven films remain in the running in the Visual Effects category for the 82nd Academy Awards: Avatar, District 9, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Star Trek, Terminator Salvation, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, 2012.

Thursday, Jan. 21, all members of the academy’s Visual Effects Branch will be invited to view 15-minute excerpts from each of the seven shortlisted films, and then pick the three they think should make it to the final round on Oscar night. The Oscar nominations will be announced Tuesday, Feb, 2, at 5:30 a.m. PT.
Having seen all of these except 2012 (I just couldn’t bring myself to do it), if I were a betting man, I’d put my money on Avatar, District 9 and Star Trek being the final three, with Avatar being the big winner. What do you think?

Yahoo! Movies Lists the 10 Most-Watched Trailers of 2009

by     Posted 4 years, 308 days ago

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Yahoo! Movies has listed the top 10 most streamed trailers from their site in the past year.  They’re all blockbuster movies except for one.  You’ll know which one it is and after you see the trailer, you should know that the movie is available on Netflix “Watch Instantly” and you should add it to your queue.

But since it’s mostly blockbuster movies, there aren’t a lot of surprises.  Of course, sometimes Yahoo! Movies gets an exclusive trailer and sometimes Apple.com gets it.  Since they’re tracking video streaming numbers, their list may not match Apple’s (if Apple ever released a list, which I doubt they will).  Also, keep in mind that this isn’t a list of the year’s best trailer, just the ones that got the most hits.  If you want a countdown of the best trailers, come back later today when I’ll list my top five.

Hit the jump to check out all ten of the year’s most-watched trailers.

Hollywood Tops $10 Billion for First Time in 2009

by     Posted 4 years, 313 days ago

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With Avatar the reigning champ and Sherlock Holmes still to come, Hollywood crossed the $10 billion line for the first time in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales for 2009.  Through Sunday, the total stood just $36 million short of crossing the $10 billion line, according to tracking firm Hollywood Box Office, and was set to plow across it Tuesday night.

The year’s top box office attractions were Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, and with hits like Harry Potter and The Hangover, Warner Bros. was the North American box office champ among studios.  And with both Robert Downey Jr.’s take on Sherlock Holmes and the return of those rascally rodents in Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel coming in time for Christmas, the final take is expected to top $10.4 billion.

Hit the jump for a list of the top 20 domestic box office hits of 2009.

Weekend Box Office – THE BLIND SIDE Scores Another $20.4 Million

by     Posted 4 years, 330 days ago

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After two weeks of solid second-place finishes, Alcon Entertainment’s The Blind Side posted its first number one win this weekend, taking the lead with an estimated $20.4 million from its 3,326 locations. After two weeks of steroid-pumped box office dominance New Moon could not catch up – closing its third weekend with another $15.7 million domestically. All in all it was kind of a dull weekend, with new releases failing to drum up much interest. But that is all about to change with the official start of the holiday movie season next weekend. Let’s just call this week the calm before the storm.

Title Weekend Total
1 The Blind Side $20,440,000 $129.2
2 New Moon $15,700,000 $255.6
3 Brothers $9,700,000 $9.7
4 A Christmas Carol $7,520,000 $115
5 Old Dogs $6,900,000 $33.9
6 Armored $6,600,000 $6.6
7 2012 $6,600,000 $148.7
8 Ninja Assassin $5,030,00 $29.7
9 Planet 51 $4,300,000 $33.9
10 Everybody’s Fine $4,000,000 $4

Weekend Box Office – It’s a Tidal Wave of Money for 2012: Breaks $200 Million Worldwide

by     Posted 4 years, 351 days ago

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If the world really does end on December 21, 2012, at least one guy is gonna go out happy. Director Roland Emmerich saw his latest disaster epic rake in an estimated $65 million domestically and over $160 abroad for a grand total of $220 million worldwide. That puts the film in the top ten international launches of all time. I always thought that Sony had made an odd choice by scheduling 2012 for a mid-November release. That’s the time of the year that we usually see more high-brow fare in theatres… and teenaged vampires, of course.  But it looks like the studio knew exactly what they were doing. Not only did 2012 manage to blow away all its early estimates, the tsunami of money the film is surfing this weekend brought a taste of summer blockbuster back to the box office.

Title Weekend Total
1 2012 $65,000,000 $65
2 A Christmas Carol $22,300,000 $63.3
3 The Men Who Stare at Goats $6,200,000 $23.3
4 Precious $6,090,000 $8.1
5 This Is It $5,100,000 $68.2
6 The Fourth Kind $4,744,000 $20.5
7 Couples Retreat $4,253,000 $102.1
8 Paranormal Activity $4,200,000 $103.8
9 Law Abiding Citizen $3,932,000 $67.3
10 The Box $3,185,000 $13.2

Friday Box Office – Disaster Rules! 2012 Brings In Over $23 Million on Opening Day

by     Posted 4 years, 352 days ago

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It looks like Roland Emmerich had at least one more catastrophic hit left in him. 2012, the latest paean to exploding landmarks from the director of Independence Day, brought in a whopping $23.7 million on its opening day on 3,404 screens. That’s the highest opening ever for Emmerich and it puts 2012 on track for a weekend total of over $55 million – a figure that the box office hasn’t seen since mid-July. Second place went to Disney’s A Christmas Carol, down a reasonable 38% with $5.5 million. And though estimates have The Men Who Stare at Goats barely edging out Lee Daniels’s Precious for Friday’s third place, the momentum is all on the side of the indie sensation. The drama doubled its total gross just one day after expanding into 175 theatres. Check back tomorrow for full details on these films plus news on the box office fate of new releases Pirate Radio and Wes Anderson’s The Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Title Friday Total
1 2012 $23,700,000 $23.7
2 A Christmas Carol $5,500,000 $46.5
3 The Men Who Stare at Goats $1,950,000 $19.2
4 Precious $1,940,000 $4.7
5 The Fourth Kind $1,800,000 $17.6

2012 Review

by     Posted 4 years, 354 days ago

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If you have seen a single advertisement for 2012, you know what this movie is.  I’m not saying you know the plot (as if it mattered) or anything like that.  You know that the world ends in a spectacular fashion and all you have to do then is extend that out to 2 ½ hours and you have a movie that is exhilarating to the point of exhaustion.  If you grouped 2012 with director Roland Emmerich’s previous disaster films, Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow, then 2012 would be the crowning achievement of an unofficial “I Hate Earth” trilogy.

Director Roland Emmerich Exclusive Video Interview 2012. Plus He Talks About His Upcoming Shakespeare Movie

by     Posted 4 years, 354 days ago

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Opening tomorrow is director Roland Emmerich’s 2012.  As you probably know, 2012 is about a global cataclysm that causes massive destruction to our planet.  If you’re keeping count, this is Emmerich’s third time blowing up the world (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow) and I think he’s learned from his previous efforts to deliver his biggest spectacle yet.  Trust me, this movie is loaded with some of the craziest special effects you’ll see this year and if you want to have some fun, go to a movie theater this weekend.

Anyway, to help promote the film, I recently covered the international press day for our partners at Omelete.  So after the jump you can watch our exclusive interview with Roland Emmerich where he discusses going to Brazil to film part of the movie, the alternate ending that will be on the DVD/Blu-ray, and he talks about his next project which will be a film about William Shakespeare.  He says he starts to shoot this March and the budget is around $30 million.  He also told me he’s using the same special effects people from 2012.  It’s a great interview so take a look:

Amanda Peet Exclusive Video Interview 2012

by     Posted 4 years, 354 days ago

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When you sit down to conduct an interview with someone, you never know what’s going to happen.  Sometimes, you can have the best questions, yet the interview is boring.  Other times, you can walk in with nothing prepared, and the interview is amazing.  It all depends on the person you’re speaking to and how interested they are in talking.

So when I walked in to interview Amanda Peet as a reporter for our partners at Omelete, I had a few questions ready, but was prepared for anything.  And thank God I was, because the interview you’re about to watch is one of the craziest I have ever done for a major movie release as we did not talk about the movie once!  Keep in mind I tried…but when I attempted to ask a 2012 question, she just wasn’t having it.  So instead of talking about John Cusack or Roland Emmerich, we discussed Brazil and the differences between Twitter and Facebook.  Seriously. While you’re not going to learn anything about 2012 in this interview, I suggest watching it just to see how crazy this conversation was.  Hit the jump to check it out.

John Cusack Exclusive Video Interview 2012

by     Posted 4 years, 355 days ago

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If you ask any interviewer, they’ll tell you the same thing: some people are easy to interview, and some are John Cusack. While I love Cusack’s work, I’ve interviewed him a few times and none of them are what I consider great interviews. I don’t know his deal, but every person I spoke to at the 2012 press junket had the same thing happen: we walked in ready to talk, and we walked out wondering if anything was usable. Thankfully, I got him to answer a few of my questions, but compared to some of the other interviews I did for this movie, this didn’t turn out as well as I hoped.

Saying that, if you’re a fan of John Cusack, I think it’s still worth watching.  He talks about all the 2012 stuff and does he believe in any of it, making the movie, working in Vancouver, and a bit on Hot Tub Time Machine.  Finally, a big thank you to our partners at Omelete for making this interview happen.  Take a look after the jump:

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