THOR and THOR: THE DARK WORLD by the Numbers

by     Posted 1 year, 15 days ago

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It’s easy enough to make a live-action movie about a billionaire, a scientist, or a soldier.  But to realize The Avengers, Marvel first needed to bring a god to the silver screen.  Thor has been a Marvel Comics mainstay for over five decades, but in 2011′s Thor, Marvel needed to prove that the fantasy mythology that worked in the comics would translate.  Thor proved a crucial stepping stone to the cultural dominance of The Avengers in 2012.  Now Thor is a standalone draw, with sequel Thor: The Dark World the proud owner of an $86 million opening weekend.

Hit the jump for Thor by the Numbers, a numbers-based feature that tracks how Marvel turned the comics god into a viable screen superhero.

ENDER’S GAME by the Numbers

by     Posted 1 year, 23 days ago

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Orson Scott Card published “Ender’s Game,” a futuristic science fiction short story about a young genius training to be a military commander, in 1977.  Card developed the short story into a Hugo Award-winning novel published in 1985, and Hollywood has tried to make an Ender’s Game movie ever since.  As recently as last week, Card called the book “unadaptable [because] the book takes place entirely inside Ender’s head.”

However, writer/director Gavin Hood (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) was up to the challenge, and teamed with producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Star Trek Into Darkness) and Summit Entertainment to try to adapt the “unadaptable” book.  Hit the jump for Ender’s Game by the Numbers, a numbers-based feature that tracks the three-decade journey of Ender’s Game from page to screen.

Pixar by the Numbers – From TOY STORY to MONSTERS UNIVERSITY

by     Posted 1 year, 157 days ago

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This weekend, Monsters University becomes Pixar’s 14th feature film, the latest addition to an exceptional body of work that started nearly 20 years ago with Toy Story.  Pixar is coming off 2 movies that did not quite live up to the impeccable reputation built by the first 11, so it is up for discussion whether the animation studio can ever recapture that magic or must settle into a new phase.  At this fork in the road I present Pixar by the Numbers, a feature that provides a numbers-based snapshot of each Pixar movie and its place in the filmography by looking at the box office, critical reception, and miscellaneous facts.

Hit the jump for a comprehensive review of Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, Monster’s, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, WALL-E, Up, Toy Story 3, Cars 2, Brave, and Monsters University.

Superman by the Numbers – From SUPERMAN to MAN OF STEEL

by     Posted 1 year, 163 days ago

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This summer offers five superhero movies.  Such is common now, but the Comic Book Age is still a relatively recent phenomenon in cinema, one that traces its roots back to 1978.  Superheroes had appeared on the big screen before, but 1978′s Superman established the template for how to make a big superhero blockbuster.  The sequels ran the franchise into the ground over the next decade, by which point Batman took over the reins in 1989.  After a false start with Superman Returns in 2006, Warner Bros. is pulling out all the stops to revive the character with Man of Steel.  I try to capture that journey with Superman by the Numbers, a feature that provides a numbers-based snapshot of each Superman movie and its place in the filmography by looking at the box office, critical reception, and miscellaneous facts.

Hit the jump for a comprehensive review of Superman, Superman II, Superman III, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Superman Returns, and Man of Steel.

Iron Man by the Numbers: IRON MAN, IRON MAN 2, and IRON MAN 3

by     Posted 1 year, 204 days ago

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Just five years ago, Iron Man was on the fringes of pop culture.  Marvel Studios capitalized on the opportunity to make Iron Man the flagship superhero of Phase 1 on the way to The Avengers, and with the help of a resurgent Robert Downey Jr. and an eager Jon Favreau, turned Tony Stark into a household name.  I try to capture that journey with Iron Man by the Numbers, a feature that provides a numbers-based snapshot of each movie and its place in the filmography by looking at the box office, critical reception, and miscellaneous facts.

Hit the jump for a comprehensive review of Iron Man, Iron Man 2, and Iron Man 3.

Middle-earth by the Numbers: From LORD OF THE RINGS to THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY

by     Posted 1 year, 343 days ago

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The Lord of the Rings trilogy stands as a singular achievement in the history of cinema.  Peter Jackson would have to be crazy to return to this world in the shadow of the enormous financial and artistic success of the Rings series.  Thankfully Jackson is crazy, and just kicked off another Tolkien-based trilogy with the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. To explore the legacy of The Lord of the Rings and how The Hobbit matches up, I tried to capture how the series has evolved over the last decade with Middle-earth by the Numbers.  The feature provides a numbers-based snapshot of each movie and its place in the filmography by looking at the box office, critical reception, and miscellaneous facts.

Hit the jump for a comprehensive review of Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, Return of the King, and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Bourne by the Numbers: From THE BOURNE IDENTITY to THE BOURNE LEGACY

by     Posted 2 years, 105 days ago

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The Bourne franchise is at a crossroads. Does the success of each movie depend on Matt Damon, or can Universal turn Bourne into Bond, an evergreen series that rotates in fresh blood every few movies? To explore that question, I tried to capture how the series has evolved over the last decade with Bourne by the Numbers. The feature provides a numbers-based snapshot of each movie and its place in the filmography by looking at the box office, critical reception, and miscellaneous facts.

Hit the jump for a comprehensive review of the Bourne movies, featuring The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum, and The Bourne Legacy.

Batman by the Numbers – From BATMAN: THE MOVIE to THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

by     Posted 2 years, 125 days ago

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I can’t say who is the biggest superhero in comics, but when it comes to their big screen counterparts, the debate is short: It’s Batman. With the release of The Dark Knight Rises, the collection of nine Batman feature films over the last six decades is on its way to $3 billion in worldwide gross. To celebrate I present Batman by the Numbers, a feature that provides a numbers-based snapshot of each movie and its place in the filmography by looking at the box office, critical reception, and miscellaneous facts.

Hit the jump for a comprehensive review of Batman at the movies, featuring Batman: The Movie, Batman, Batman Returns, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, Batman Forever, Batman & Robin, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises.

Pixar by the Numbers – From TOY STORY to BRAVE

by     Posted 2 years, 153 days ago

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This weekend, Brave became Pixar’s 13th feature film, the latest addition to an impeccable body of work that started nearly twenty years ago with Toy Story.  Given the storied history of everyone’s favorite animation studio, I think this is the perfect opportunity to try out a new feature, By the Numbers.  Essentially, I will go one by one through each of the Pixar movies and provide a numbers-based snapshot of its place in the filmography by looking at the box office, critical reception, and miscellaneous facts.  Four thousand words later, I hope you’ll agree this is a comprehensive review of Pixar’s work over the last two decades.

Hit the jump for a detailed look at Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, Monster’s, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, WALL-E, Up, Toy Story 3, Cars 2, and Brave.

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