April 21, 2014

Tag Archives: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

‘Despicable Me,’ ‘Predators,’ ‘Kids Are All Right’ open well as holdovers thrive. Weekend box office

By Scott Mendelson
hollywoodnews.com: It was an ‘everybody wins!’ weekend at the box office, as the openers all performed at or above expectations and the holdovers didn’t quite crash as badly as expected. First off, Universal scored its first probable domestic blockbuster since The Bourne Ultimatum three years ago, and its first animation smash since, I dunno, An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, with Despicable Me. Opening with $60.1 million, the film had the fifteenth-largest opening weekend for an animated feature ever. It is also the first $60 million+ opening for a cartoon not released by Pixar, Dreamworks, or Fox (the second Ice Age picture and The Simpsons Movie). It is the ninth-largest opening for a non-sequel cartoon, with six of those openings coming from Pixar alone. Say what you will about the 3-D price-bump, but this is double the opening of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and about four times the opening weekend of Coraline. It is a case of almost instant profitability for the $69 million production.
Bolstered by rock-solid reviews, the film had saturation-level marketing and a multi-quadrant ad-campaign. The super villain vs. super villain narrative and celebrity casting appealed to older audiences, while the orphan children and little yellow henchmen (minions) worked like gangbusters to bring in the young kids. And, after weeks of ‘you don’t REALLY need to see this in 3-D’ reviews for films both great (Toy Story 3) and terrible (The Last Airbender), the Despicable Me reviews emphasized that the 3-D was actually worth the surcharge this time around. The film received an ‘A’ from Cinema Score and played 55% to kids under 12 and their parents. There has never been an animated film that grossed $200 million not released by Disney or Dreamworks. Despicable Me could be the first. Point being, this is going to be a massively profitable venture for Universal and a big win for their often-lambasted marketing department.
If Despicable Me was a lesson about smart budgeting (not every major animated film needs to cost $150-200 million), then Fox’s Predators was a lesson in frugal, pinpoint marketing. While most moviegoers didn’t even know this movie was even coming out until a week or two ago, Fox unleashed their targeted marketing campaign just a week before the release date, and the result was a $25 million opening weekend without the usual $50-100 million six-month marketing tsunami. Budgeted at just $38 [...]

‘Twilight’ dominates 4th of July holiday weekend box office

By Scott Mendelson
HollywoodNews.com” To the surprise of no one with a pulse, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse dominated the July 4th holiday weekend, as the third installment of the popular teen-lit romantic soap opera series (IE – Moody with a Chance of Vampires) debuted with $69 million over the Fri-Sun portion and $82.5 million over the four-day holiday weekend. That’s the third-biggest Independence Day opening weekend in history, behind Spider-Man 2 ($88 million) and Transformers ($70 million). Now, while one might argue that the number is a few hundred-thousand dollars less than the opening weekend of the first Twilight, and it’s actually three million less than what New Moon scored on its first day, let’s not forget that this Twilight picture was opening on a Wednesday, not Friday. So for its first six days, the film has amassed a scorching $175 million (the fifth-biggest on record, just $3 million behind the first five days of New Moon). The picture is the eighth-fastest sprinter to $150 million, and its six-day total is the . If you recall, Spider-Man 2 opened over the same period in 2004, and it amassed $88 million on its Fri-Sun weekend, with $151 million in the first five days and $180 million in the first six days. What Spider-Man 2 and Transformers didn’t have was a mammoth $68.5 million opening day, the second biggest on record behind the $72 million Friday gross of New Moon last November.
Obviously, if Summit wanted another crack at the three-day opening weekend record, they would have opened this picture on a Friday as well. The last film opened with $142 million, so the superior reviews and added ticket price for IMAX theaters certainly gave this third film a solid chance of taking down The Dark Knight ($158 million). What Summit did was rather interesting. Since we all know that this franchise has shorter legs than any ongoing franchise to date, they figured they could open over a long weekend, in the hopes that fans would see the film on Wednesday and then see it again over the holiday. Of course, the downside of that is that now Summit has to hope for three-peat viewings from the fans, lest this film has an even shorter shelf life than the second film (New Moon grossed $296 million, or 2.08x its opening weekend). At the end of the day, the Twilight series has a large niche [...]

Tom Cruise, Jerry Bruckheimer look to cook ‘Top Gun II’

Hollywoodnews.com: The sun may have set on Tom Cruise’s “Knight and Day” at the box office. Jerry Bruckheimer’s “Prince of Persia” was assassinated at theaters, but put Cruise and Bruckheimer together and what do you get?
“Top Gun II.”
Translation: Global box office resurrection for both creatives after their bombs this summer.
That’s right, the British press and MTV news have been buzzing that there’s a “Top Gun” sequel in the works.
Cruise would reprise his role as Lt. Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell. An insider tells the Sun: “The idea is Maverick is at the Top Gun school as an instructor – and this time it is he who has to deal with a cocky new female pilot.”
“We tried to develop [a sequel] and we couldn’t do it– I was with my partner Don Simpson,” Bruckheimer tells MTV News,
“And then Tom took it over and he tried to develop something and it never quite happened.”
“We were recently approached again to start talking about it but, you know, nothing yet,” Bruckheimer adds. “We kicked around some ideas because the aviation community has completely changed since we made the movie a long time ago. So we have to find a way in and how to incorporate the Maverick character into it.”
The first “Top Gun” was released in the summer of 1986 and went on to earn $354 million worldwide.
Already Bruckheimer’s next production, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” is earning low tracking scores.
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“Common Law” gets green light

HollywoodNews.com: USA Network has given a cast-contingent green light to the pilot COMMON LAW, it was announced today by Jeff Wachtel, executive vice president, USA original programming & co-head, original content, Universal Cable Productions.
COMMON LAW (working title) is from CBS Television Studios and Junction Entertainment, and is executive produced and written by Cormac & Marianne Wibberley. (“National Treasure,” “National Treasure: Book of Secrets,” “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle”). Jon Turteltaub (“Harper’s Island,” “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” “Jericho,” “National Treasure,” “National Treasure: Book of Secrets”) will executive produce. Dan Shotz and Karim Zreik (“Harper’s Island,” “Jericho”) of Junction Entertainment will serve as co-executive producers.
“If you’re going to do a cop show, it better be something special -and we believe this one is,” said Wachtel. “It’s funny, it’s fresh, and the writing is just fantastic. We’re thrilled to be working with the Wibberleys and Jon.
“COMMON LAW, a comedic take on the buddy cop genre, centers on Wes Mitchell and Travis Marks, two cops with a problem … each other. As partners, they were LAPD’s dream team. Now Wes, a methodical former lawyer with a passion for cars, gardening and his ex-wife, and Travis, a maverick ladies’ man who served time in juvie, can’t stand each other. To revive their flagging professional relationship, their Captain sends them to couples therapy. We soon learn that a successful relationship or partnership doesn’t mean you have to like the same things; you just have to hate the same things.
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Wondercon ’10: Nicolas Cage, Jay Baruchel and Jon Turtletaub discuss ‘Sorcerer’s Apprentice’

BY TODD GILCHRIST
On Saturday Walt Disney dominated the early hours of programming in the 5000-seat Esplanade Room at San Francisco’s Wondercon: the studio brought out cast members and filmmakers from Prince of Persia, Toy Story 3, and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Prior to their public panel, however, the cast and crew of their new filmThe Sorcerer’s Apprentice, including stars Nicolas Cage and Jay Baruchel and director Jon Turtletaub, spoke directly to journalists, offering additional insights about what was involved in making the movie’s magic come to life on screen.
[Note: Although "Hollywood News" is used to distinguish questions from answers in the text below, our journalist was just one of many reporters asking questions of the filmmakers.]
Hollywood News: What aspects of Fantasia find their way into the film? Stylistic, physicality, any inspirations from the original animation?

Jon Turtletaub: Jay is the apprentice and Mickey Mouse wasn’t available so we went with Jay. Jay was cheaper. Not a lot. We knew we couldn’t make it a whole movie and it wasn’t just the story that we had to get in the film, but there’s a segment of the movie that somewhat recreates, in a relevant way to our film, that section. We didn’t just want to do a little nod and say, “Aren’t we cute? Here’s a little nod to Fantasia.” We wanted to make it also have some kind of relevance to the plot. So that’s all there. Obviously the fun is, as you may know, Nic really developed this. Nic hired me, came to me. When he talked about it, the notion of taking advantage of CG and new technology to do this was great. That’s the excitement of it. But we also spent a lot of time looking at the cinematography of Fantasia, the use of light.
Jay Baruchel: There’s some shot for shot recreations in that sequence I think.
Turtletaub: And in wardrobe and things like that to suggest. Jay had to play that.
Baruchel: Basically, I will infuse any part I’m playing with physical comedy, so when I get to do something like pay homage to one of the great funny sequences in film history, I just kind of was chomping at the bit and so I tried my best to kind of give my respect to that sequence and to what Mickey did but to kind of do my own thing as well.
Hollywood News: Nic, what draws you to [...]

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