April 23, 2014

Tag Archives: james cameron

From 1997 to 2009 there were five $1 billion film grossers. Between 2010 and 2012, we added an additional ten such films.

Just a few years ago, had I written a piece entitled “There are no films guaranteed to gross $1 billion this year”, you likely would have laughed and said “Of course not!”. As recently as 2010, the idea that any movie could or would gross $1 billion in worldwide ticket sales was somewhat of a pipe dream.
From 1997 to 2006, there were just two films to reach that milestone, they being Titanic (the biggest movie of all-time with a seemingly insurmountable $1.8 billion) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, the Oscar-winning chapter to what can be argued is the finest screen trilogy of our time (that’s a debate for another day). In 2006, we saw the powerhouse success of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest which parlayed the unexpected popularity of the first film into an even larger haul for its sequel, breaking the domestic opening weekend record at the time ($135 million) and earning a massive $423 million in America and $642 million overseas.
In 2008, The Dark Knight pulled another “massively popular sequel to unexpectedly well-liked original” trick to the tune of $533 million in America (good for the second biggest grosser of all time in America, if only for a year) and just over $1 billion worldwide despite not playing in China due to that pesky “Chinese gangster hides Gotham mob money” subplot. 2009 saw James Cameron do that trick that James Cameron does yet again, with Avatar earning $1 billion worldwide in about seventeen days and going on to earn an eye-popping $2.7 billion.
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After- parties and more after-parties at the Golden Globe Awards

By the time the Golden Globes were over, the whole Beverly Hilton was bursting to party. On the 6th floor of the Hilton leading to the roof, I was nearly run over by the cast of “Les Miserables,” all of whom were in high spirits after their big wins in the Comedy/Musical category.
Anne Hathaway led the charge down a narrow passage into the party carrying her Globe and smiling wildly. Director Tom Hooper and star Hugh Jackman were next, followed by co-stars Eddie Redmayne and Amanda Seyfried, as well as Sacha Baron Cohen with wife Isla Fisher.
“Les Miz” is a coup now for Universal Pictures chief Ron Meyer and his lieutenants Donna Langley and Adam Fogelson. It’s been a long time since Universal won anything, and now they can boast of a $200 million plus box office plus lots of shiny gold statues.
For Hooper it’s also a real vindication after some tough reviews and a snub by the Academy Awards. The director of “The King’s Speech” looked a little exhausted at this point. “It’s been a long haul,” he said, recalling the very first screening on November 24th at Lincoln Center.
Meanwhile, the Universal party was also home to “Zero Dark Thirty” director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal, who lost the Globes but finished their first wide release weekend at number 1. Today they head to London to launch “Zero Dark Thirty” in the U.K. Even though Bigelow makes serious movies, she has a good sense of humor. I asked how she liked Tina Fey’s joke about the “torture” of being married once to “Titanic” director James Cameron. It was the hit of the night. “It was very funny,” Bigelow conceded.
For a second Hugh Jackman showed us his Globe statue and said, “This is so great I can’t tell you.” And then we headed down to Club 55 in the basement of the Hilton, where HBO was literally teeming with celebrities from the casts of “Girls” and “The Newsroom” to miscellaneous stars like Jon Hamm and Jennifer Westfeldt to Jeff Garlin of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and Steve Buscemi of “Boardwalk Empire.”
Jeff Daniels, his wife, Kathleen, Hollywood legend Jane Fonda and boyfriend Richard Perry (famed record producer of hits by Carly Simon, Rod Stewart, and Ringo Starr) and Sam Waterston were all having a fine time, while elsewhere a stunning Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban were chatting [...]

The Hunger Games topped the box office for the third time in a row

HollywoodNews.com: Whatever my issues with The Hunger Games in terms of its quality as a film, its continued box office might can only be a good thing. Considering the current trend of studios basically remaking/rebooting/rehashing every remotely popular property over the last thirty years, the fact that this NEW adaptation from a NEW novel is going to be among the top three grossing films of the year by a healthy margin can only be a good lesson. Anyway, The Hunger Games topped the box office for the third time in a row this weekend, dropping a perfectly reasonable 43% in weekend three, for a weekend haul of $33.5 million. This gives the film a massive $302 million in seventeen days, which is the second-largest such haul for a film outside of summer in history. That’s the fifth-biggest seventeen-day total in history, and 11 days ahead of Alice In Wonderland, the closest non-summer competitor and just two days behind Avatar. Forget Twilight comparisons, it’s already passed Eclipse, which is the highest-grossing entry in the series. And forget the majority of the Harry Potter series, as it’s $14 million away from surpassing Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and it’s already tied with the $303 million 17-day total of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part II with significantly larger second and third weekends to boot. At this point, it’s playing like Spider-Man 2 and the last Harry Potter film, with stronger weekends but lighter weekday grosses. The second Spidey pick ended its third weekend with $302 million and ended its domestic haul with $373 million, while Harry Potter 7.2 ended with $381 million. Factoring a rather busy April and the coming summer onslaught, that’s as good a place to predict as to where the first The Hunger Games ends up.
The top opener, one of two wide releases, was American Reunion. The unasked-for sequel is the fourth theatrical entry in the American Pie series but the eighth chapter counting the four direct-to-DVD films. This ‘most of you need a paycheck because none of you really broke out’ rehash opened to $21 million, which is almost identical to the $19 million debut this time last year of Scream 4. To be fair, at least some of the cast has worked relatively steadily since 1999, with Alyson Hannigan going from one [...]

Bradley Cooper vehicle “Paradise Lost” is dead

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: This is surprising news: Legendary Pictures has pulled the plug on director Alex Proyas’ planned adaptation of “Paradise Lost,” which was to cast “The Hangover” star Bradley Cooper as Lucifer.
Previous reports made note of the film’s expansive budget, and sources close to the production tell THR that the cost and the enormity of the planned special effects were the ultimate downfall of “Lost.”
“Legendary is realizing it needs to be more fiscally prudent in the movies it greenlights,” the trade notes.
“Legendary also realized that in order to effectively bring to life Milton’s war between heaven and hell, it was going to need ‘Avatar’-like special effects. But ‘Avatar’-like effects call for an ‘Avatar’-like budget, and execs realized the technology wasn’t there to make the movie in the budget range in which they were working.”
Part of me admires the studio’s ability to bail on a project before getting in way too deep. But on the flip side, I really wanted to see Proyas bring this sprawling vision to the big screen. It’s unlikely this will ever happen, unless George Lucas or James Cameron decide they’d like to mount the project. Which is unlikely.
So for now, “Lost” is dead … and “The Hangover 3” is way more likely to happen now than ever before.
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“Titanic 3D” Valentine’s Day screenings reportedly sold out

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: A ton of “Titanic” fans would like their heart to go on, but they’ll need Paramount’s servers to step up their game before the Feb. 14 preview screenings of James Cameron’s Oscar-winning masterpiece.
According to a release, “Titanic” fans rushed the web in the last 24-hours — crashing multiple servers in the process — to secure advance tickets for the now sold-out preview screenings of “Titanic” in 3D.
“In a matter of hours, sell-out screenings were reported throughout the United States and in countries around the world, following the launch of the special screening program on Jan. 31,” the studio reported. “Moviegoers who were lucky enough to secure a seat will now be among the first people anywhere to see the newly re-mastered TITANIC in 3D, in advance of the film’s worldwide release on April 6th.”
These special fan screening are being presented exclusively in RealD 3D and will be held in the following cities: Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Toronto, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Dallas, Boston, Phoenix, Seattle, Houston, Atlanta, Miami, Detroit, San Diego, Denver, Sacramento, Orlando, Tampa, Minneapolis, Montreal, Vancouver, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Baltimore, Portland, Kansas City, West Palm Beach, Raleigh, San Antonio, Hartford, Charlotte, San Antonio, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Austin, Edmonton, Milwaukee, Norfolk, Grand Rapids, Calgary, Columbus, Fresno, Ottawa, Cincinnati, Nashville, Indianapolis, Jacksonville and Oklahoma City.
Internationally, these special one-time only preview screenings will take place in the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan and the UK.
The re-release of “Titanic” also coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Titanic setting sail on April 10, 1912.
Written, directed and produced by Cameron, “Titanic” is the second highest grossing movie of all time. It is one of only three films to have received a record 11 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director; and launched the careers of stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.
Learn more about TITANIC in 3D at http://www.titanicmovie.com/
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James Cameron exec producing a 3D Cirque du Soleil movie

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Cirque du Soleil is heading to the big screen, and the self-proclaimed King of the World will help usher the visual spectacle to a theater near you.
Paramount announced that James Cameron, the genius behind “Titanic” and “Avatar,” will help bring an original Cirque story to audience members. The studio acquired worldwide distribution rights to “Cirque du Soleil Worlds Away,” which will be written and directed by Andrew Adamson, whose credits include the first two “Shrek” and “Chronicles of Narnia” films).
This will be a 3D presentation that, according to the statement, will capture the “artistic and acrobatic performances from some of the most elaborate Cirque du Soleil productions.”
“The coupling of filmmaker James Cameron’s groundbreaking 3D visual accomplishments and Andrew Adamson’s beautiful direction, combined with a timeless original story written especially for this movie, will make for a truly amazing movie going experience for audiences of all ages,” said Rob Moore, Vice Chairman of Paramount Pictures.
The film, slated to hit theaters in 2012, does not have an official release date yet.
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Tom Cruise is back! Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol

By Scott Mendelson
HollywoodNews.com: As is often the case, the last weekend of the year is basically a repeat of last weekend, both in general ranking and numbers, as the holiday weekend tends to keep drops low, if often absent. Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol led the pack of major Christmas and holiday releases that actually went up from last weekend. The Brad Bird spy thriller earned $31 million over Fri-Sun, with an eye towards a likely $40 million four-day holiday weekend. At the end of its third weekend, the first of which was IMAX-exclusive, the crowd-pleasing Tom Cruise vehicle will have grossed $140 million by Monday, which means it has already outgrossed the $134 million-grossing Mission: Impossible III. Overseas, the sequel is doing even bigger business, with a worldwide total of $324 million as we close out 2011. The $215 million gross of John Woo’s Mission: Impossible II is likely out of reach, but surpassing the $181 million gross from Brian DePalma’s Mission: Impossible is not only possible but plausible. Worldwide, the film is shaping up to be $600 million earner, the respective totals, speculative as they may be now, would make this film Tom Cruise’s third-biggest domestic grosser and his biggest worldwide earner ever. MI4 already ranks ninth on both lists.

Coming it at a strong second place was Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Both it and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked debuted below expectations two weeks ago, but both have used the holiday season to pick up lost ground, proving again that the last two weeks of the year are great for leggy runs. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows grossed $22 million, for a new total of $132 million. Combined with Monday’s grosses, that should put the second Sherlock Holmes picture exactly where the first was at the end of its New Year’s weekend, albeit with an extra seven days to get there. Point being, if the film can avoid complete collapse in the mostly barren January (and said mediocre January slate will boost every single film discussed here today), it may get closer to the $209 million domestic total of Sherlock Holmes than anyone thought possible two weeks ago. Alvin and the Chipmunks 3 earned $18 million for the weekend, giving it $94 million with the strong possibility of crossing the $100 million mark on [...]

James Cameron heading back to the Titanic for 2012 TV special

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: “Titanic” will rise again next year, in various formats.
You probably already know that James Cameron has been hard at work on a 3D conversion for his Oscar-winning epic, which followed young lovers Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Rose (Kate Winslet) aboard the ill-fated ship. The 3D version of Cameron’s “Titanic” reaches theaters on April 6, 2012.
But that’s not Cameron’s only “Titanic” trip planned for next year. THR reports that the Oscar winner will host a two-hour TV special with National Geographic that returns to the bottom of the sea for the director’s final words on the sunken oceanliner.
“He is a freak about the Titanic,” says Michael Cascio, executive VP of programming for National Geographic Channel. “He is obsessed with trying to find out why exactly it sank. He’s actually comparing his research with his film to see what we’ve learned since then and what can advance the story.”
Cascio also said that some information obtained in filming this special could change people’s minds as to why the seemingly “unsinkable” ship actually sank.
“Titanic: Final Word with James Cameron” will air on National Geographic Channel in April, to coincide with Cameron’s 3D release as well as the 100th anniversary of the ship’s tragic end.
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Martin Scorsese, James Cameron talk 3D, “Hugo” – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
hollywoodnews.com: Tonight, I’m catching up with two films that have been picking and choosing their “spots” in the ongoing Oscar race.
Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” earned headlines earlier in the season when the auteur brought an unfinished print of “Hugo” to the New York Film Festival. Tonight’s version should be completely finished, and I’m dying to see what he conjures for his first foray into 3D storytelling.
Right after, I’ll run into a theater showing Jason Reitman’s new “Young Adult” so I can interview the director, his screenwriter (Diablo Cody) and cast over the weekend. Paramount has concocted a clever marketing strategy for Reitman’s dark comedy, taking it on the road with cast and crew Q-and-A sessions in select cities.
Oh, and Focus Feature’s “Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy” is on this weekend’s menu (finally!!), but more on that as we get closer.
Three highly-anticipated films in a 48-hour span. And an invite to “War Horse” in the inbox. It’s beginning to look a lot like the Oscar season.
As we scramble to get all of this great coverage up on the site, here’s a great feature with Scorsese and James Cameron talking 3D. I haven’t been a fan. But between “Hugo,” Spielberg’s “Tintin” and the work Cameron continues to tinker on, we might be turning a corner with this technology. As an expert recently blogged, if these tree can’t figure out how to use 3D, no one can.

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“Titanic” 3D release gets trailer, poster

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: The “King of the World” is about to soar off of the screen and into your lap.
James Cameron has been preparing a 3D retrofit of his Academy Award-winning epic “Titanic” for years. And now, with the film’s re-release inching closer, Paramount is mounting a campaign to lure audiences back to the ship of dreams to experience it like they never have before.
The updated “Titanic” sails into theaters on April 6. A new trailer celebrating the high-tech conversion recently landed online. The studio also shared the below poster, with an original design featuring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.
Released in 1997, Cameron’s masterpiece recreated the legendary ocean liner … just so it could be damaged and sunk to the bottom of the ocean. The film earned $600.7M domestically, making it the highest-grossing picture of all time. (Cameron surpassed his own record with “Avatar” in 2009.) Maybe this “Titanic” re-release can reposition the romance ahead of Cameron’s sci-fi thriller?
Here’s the trailer and poster.

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