15 August 2008

The Dark Knight Makes Harry Potter Disappear



By now, word that Harry Potter 6 has moved from this November to next July is old news (its been like 18 hours after all). But why? and why now? WB says the move is to fill in a hole in next summers line up resulting from last years Writers Strike. Just last week I had the stretch to find 7 films to look forward to next summer, and really, only 5 fell into the summer season. July was completely void. The requisite summer Pixar film Up, was listed and Wolverine filled the superhero quota. Star Trek and Transformers 2 were the only other strong films listed and there was GI Joe (WB also has T4 opening, but I am personally not too pumped for it).

So, the move kind of makes sense. Then again, money now is at least as good as money later, right? This holiday season really only has Bond 22 and that weird teen vampire movie Twilight. Potter would be assured a hefty take.

So, either Potter 6 needs massive retooling - which I don't think is the case, or there is an even lamer reason for the change. Two weeks ago, the first real trailer for Harry Potter 6 was released. So, obviously the plan was still in place to release Potter 6 in November, as of 2 weeks ago. So, what changed? Batman.

You see, both Potter and Batman franchises are owned by Warner Brothers. Before The Dark Knight opened, WB probably expected to earn around $550 to $600 between the two movies. They will almost do those numbers with Batman alone, and with its huge success, stockholders will be happy. Padding the yearly revenues with another $300 million is a diminishing return as the company is already riding high on good PR. Sure, Batman was already tearing up the charts. as of HP6's trailer debut (it had hit $340 million as of the trailers release) but the gears in the heads of the WB execs had already begun to turn.

Two pretty good years will make stockholders happier than a year of plenty followed by a year of lean. On the other hand, next year looked quite lean with only T4 in the line-up. That is why WB was pushing so hard for a teen Justice League movie by the director of Happy Feet in spite of endless rumors of terrible scripts and preproduction problems. Justice League of any quality was their best bet for a Summer '09 blockbuster. Again, the success of Batman made them rethink the idea of a steaming pile of crap featuring Batman (albeit a different flavor of Batman played by a different and "hipper" actor). Unfortunately, at this late hour, nothing else was far enough along to be ready by next summer.

The Dark Knight has saved their precious balance sheet and the only ones that would suffer were the fans. Presto. Harry Potter disappeared from the schedule just like that.

14 August 2008

Batman & Robin - Ultra Horrible Edition

A couple years back I read about a "De-Assified" Edition of Batman & Robin. Essentially, like the Phantom Edit Cut of The Phantom Menace, most of the cringeworthiest parts were trimmed away leaving a much improved, though still bad film. Well, I have stumbled upon a collections of all those trimmings. Imagine, all of B&R's most outrageous moments stuffed into 10 minutes! Well you dont have to imagine, here they are:

Radar Blips - The Island


The Year: 2005

The Players: Ob1 Kenobi, Scarlett Johansson, Neelix, and Boromir

The Take: $36 Million

What is "The Island" anyways?
The island is where the winners of a lottery for post-apocalyptic survivors get to go to repopulate the Earth.

Why you should see it: This movie is kind of a Logan's Run ripoff, where the main characters don't buy into the society in which they are living. Being a Michael Bay flick, there are some over the top action sequences including a freeway chase involving giant metal axles and a skyscraper freefall. Also, the first half of the film is pretty intriguing as it sets up this post apocalyptic world, even if what could have been a smart sci-fi movie devolves into a bunch of explosions.




What Coraline's About

Another day, another featurette. The plot thickens with a button eyed mom-clone.

13 August 2008

Sweeeeet Coraline

From the director of The Nightmare Before Christmas comes Coraline. This film looks like it may have captured that same essence of Nightmare where The Corpse Bride came off as a little less fun. I am excited.





Radar Blips - Paycheck


The Year: 2003

The Players: Daredevil, Poison Ivy, and Two-Face in another one of those Dick (Philip K.) movies. Oh, and Cleveland Heep gets to pitch in as well.

The Take: $54 Million

So, is it a big paycheck or what? Actually, there is no paycheck. Thats what gets Affleck all riled up. After spending 3 years building a secret machine and wiping his own memory to forget the details, Ben expected big bucks...

Why you should see it: In a lot of ways this is a poor man's Minority Report, which was a great film, so a poor man's is still ok. Like Dick's other film adaptations (Total Recall, Blade Runner, Minority Report) the film has an interesting premise that carries the film even if there are some logical hiccups. Affleck ends up with no memory, an envelope of junk, and people trying to kill him. Its a lot of fun seeing how the various pieces of junk may come in handy at just the right times. Also, the fate of the villains henchman alone is hilarious and worth the price of admission.


The Spirit Proves that Toilets Are NOT Always Funny

Is The Spirit destined for the crapper? Geez this looks bad.

10 August 2008

Another Dark Weekend


The Dark Knight was able to mitigate new openers The Pineapple Express and Traveling Pants for a 4th consecutive weekend win. Atta boy Bats! Batman has also also passed up Pirates 2, The Phantom Menace, E.T. and Shrek 2 on the all-time list., and now sits in the #3 spot.

Pretty much nothing else interesting happened on the top 9 list. Next week is Tropic Thunder.


Standings:


#1 The Dark Knight - $441,541,000
#2 Iron Man - $316,448,000
#3 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - $314,746,000
#4 Hancock - $221,709,000
#5 Kung Fu Panda - $211,315,000
#6 Wall-E - $210,112,000
#7 Sex and the City - $151,615,130
#8 The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian - $140,889,245
#9 The Incredible Hulk - $133,823,000