April 20, 2014

Tag Archives: warner bros.

“Justice League” Just Focus on Heros

So here’s the $250 million question… Even if Warner Bros. eventually gets its proverbial act together and finds a decent script and a willing director how exactly do they make Justice League more than just ‘the one that came second’?
Warner Bros. is now in the unenviable position of trying to follow up what is basically the superhero team-up film that everyone always wanted to see. Oh sure, you can argue that Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are bigger and more iconic characters than Thor or Iron Man, but Marvel did the work and kudos to them for herding the necessary cats in order to make it happen.
The irony is of course that Warner Bros. and DC Comics already have the ingredients to make Justice League matter in a movie world that has already seen The Avengers. They have the ingredients, and the manner in which they mix them will potentially allow Justice League to be different enough and unique enough to stand on its own. They just have to be willing to do what Marvel has so far been unwilling to do, which is to focus on heroes that aren’t quite the ones you’d expect to take center stage.
To read more go to Mendelson’s Memos
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Veronica Mars Film Coming Next Summer

30,000 people donated an average of $64 during a several hour period yesterday, and thus we will be getting a Veronica Mars movie sometime next summer.
Creator Rob Thomas and star Kristen Bell used Kickstarter to basically prove to Warner Bros. that there is indeed an interest in a continuation of the cult detective drama that ran for three low-rated seasons on the CW back in 2004-2007.
The deal was basically to raise $2 million in a month and Warner Bros. would agree to distribute and market the film, giving it a limited theatrical release and the various home-viewing options. They hit their target at 5:55 pm this evening. I made a bitchy joke earlier in the day about raising money to find domestic ‘food insecurity’ among American children by calling such an initiative ‘Save Firefly!’ or something to that effect. My first instincts were ones of priorities and what this said about our ‘entitlement culture’. Upon reflection (I purposely didn’t write anything immediately), I’m still not sure how I feel about this. This is indeed very interesting, it may even be *news*. But is it good news overall.
To read more go to Mendelson’s Memos
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Christopher Nolan’s “INTERSTELLAR” will be co-produced and distributed by Paramount Picts and Warner Bros

Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures jointly announced today that writer/director Christopher Nolan’s “INTERSTELLAR” will be co-produced and distributed by the two studios, with Paramount Pictures handling Domestic distribution and Warner Bros. Pictures distributing the film Internationally. “INTERSTELLAR” will be released beginning November 7, 2014, in theaters and IMAX®.
Directed and written by Academy Award-nominee Nolan (“INCEPTION,” “THE DARK KNIGHT RISES”), “INTERSTELLAR” is based on a script by Jonathan Nolan. The film will be produced by Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan of Syncopy Films and Obst of Lynda Obst Productions. Kip Thorne will executive produce. The film will depict a heroic interstellar voyage to the furthest reaches of our scientific understanding.
Brad Grey, Chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures said, “As a filmmaker and storyteller, Chris has continuously entertained the world with his extraordinary and unparalleled talents. I am pleased beyond measure to welcome him to the Paramount Pictures family. Partnering with Chris, Emma, Lynda and Warner Bros. to release this original idea next November is the perfect way to start the Thanksgiving and holiday movie season for audiences around the world.”
Jeff Robinov, President, Warner Bros. Pictures Group, said, “Christopher Nolan is truly one of the great auteurs working in film today, and we’re extremely proud of our successful and ongoing collaboration with him and Emma Thomas. We are excited to be teaming with Paramount, and look forward to working with the Nolans, and producer Lynda Obst, on this extraordinary new project.”
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Delaying the inevitable – “Jack the Giant Slayer”

As most of you know, Warner Bros. intended to release Bryan Singer’s Jack the Giant Killer in June of 2012 before pulling it from release, ordering reshoots and the like, and calling it a more kid-friendly Jack the Giant Slayer.
I don’t know what the film’s budget was prior to the date change and related reshoots, but it was probably a lot less than the $195 million that they ended up with. And for what? The film opened this weekend to $28 million.
If patterns hold for this kind of release, it’ll likely top out at $70 million domestic at best and around $250 million worldwide as a best case scenario. But point being, how much better of an opening could Warner Bros. expecting for a half kid-friendly/half dark-and-violent retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk starring absolutely no one of any box office worth? How much worse of an opening would Warner Bros. be looking at had it just gone ahead and opened it in June of 2012 as they intended?
Is it really worth the extra tens-of-millions of dollars that they ended up spending on the picture? Delaying the inevitable oftentimes merely gets you the same result at a greater cost.
To read more go to Mendelson’s Memos
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“Jack the Giant Slayer” bombs!

Pretty much everything I said last March about John Carter applies to Jack the Giant Slayer. There are a few differences.
Jack and the Beanstalk is technically a well-known property and Bryan Singer had the live-action track record that Andrew Stanton did not. But otherwise it is pretty much the same fallacy with pretty much the same result: $200 million cost plus who knows how much in marketing for $27.9 million on opening weekend. No stars, source material no one really cared to see onscreen, marketing that didn’t convince them that they should, a release date that put them within one week of a likely juggernaut, and mixed reviews.
Like John Carter and Battleship, Jack the Giant Slayer was basically a $200 million variation on ‘Generic Blockbuster: The Movie’. Unlike Disney and Universal respectively, Warner Bros. seemed to see this one coming well in advance. They changed the release date from June 2012 to this weekend and changed the title from Jack the Giant Killer to ‘appeal to families’. Yet they still spent $200 million on a would-be family film that I can’t take my daughter to because it’s PG-13 and (allegedly) features slightly toned down Lord of the Rings type violence.
To be fair, some of that $200 million cost was due to reshoots and the date change, but why bother? Warner spent untold extra millions to get the exact same terrible result they got this weekend. And really the film’s cost is as usual the prime offender.
To read more go to Mendelson’s Memos
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“Gangster Squad” Review by Kirk Honeycutt

“Gangster Squad” is a western masquerading as a gangster movie. It takes place in the Wild West — a virtually lawless 1949 Los Angeles — and some very bad dudes hold the town hostage.
All the law can do is round up a bunch of good guys willing to be as bad as the bad guys and then run ‘em out of town.
As these things go, this Warner Bros. production has an unusually starry cast and striking look with vintage cars and glistening period effects that pop off the screen.
To read more about ‘Gangster Squad’ go to honeycuttshollywood.com
Opens: January 11, 2013 (Warner Bros.)
Production companies: Warner Bros. Pictures presents in association with Village Roadshow Pictures a Lin Pictures/Kevin McCormick production
Cast: Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Nick Nolte, Emma Stone, Anthony Mackie, Giovanni Ribisi, Michael Peña, Robert Patrick, Mireille Enos
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Screenwriter: Will Beall
Based on the book by: Paul Lieberman
Producers: Dan Lin, Kevin McCormick, Michael Tadross
Executive producers: Ruben Fleischer, Paul Lieberman, Bruce Berman
Director of photography: Dion Beebe
Production designer: Maher Ahmad
Music: Steve Jablonsky
Costume designer: Mary Zophres
Editor: Alan Baumgarten, James Herbert
R rating, 113 minutes
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Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby” exits the Oscar race – ANALYSIS

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Once the awards season gets underway (which annually happens right around this time), we spend a decent amount of our time separating the titles with Oscar potential from the titles with simple Oscar hopes. Usually, this requires a screening of the film, we can judge its awards potential on merit. But every once in a while, a studio makes the decision for us by removing a particular movie out of the Oscar heat, for various reasons.
That appears to be what has happened with Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby,” which officially moved its release date from the Oscar-friendly Dec. 25 to an undisclosed date in Summer 2013, according to a Warner Bros. release.
“Based on what we’ve seen, Baz Luhrmann’s incredible work is all we anticipated and so much more. It truly brings Fitzgerald’s American classic to life in a completely immersive, visually stunning and exciting way. We think moviegoers of all ages are going to embrace it, and it makes sense to ensure this unique film reaches the largest audience possible,” said Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution for Warner Bros. Pictures.
In one sense, “Gatsby” is getting away from some very stiff competition. Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” and Seth Rogen’s “The Guilt Trip” were set to open on that day. They also are arriving in theaters one week after Paramount’s “Jack Reacher” (with Tom Cruise), Judd Apatow’s “This is 40,” and Kathryn Bigelow’s untitled Hunt for Osama Bin Laden thriller.
“Gatsby” also would be competing for Oscar eyeballs against “Les Miserables” (Dec. 14), Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” (Dec. 14), and Focus Features’ “Hyde Park on the Hudson” (in limited release on Dec. 7).
So “Gatsby” is out of this year’s Oscar race, where a colleague and I recently argued it would compete for technical nominations, at the very least, and the big prizes – Picture, Director, Actor and so on – if it connected on all levels.
And the race rolls on.
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Oscars: ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ a Best Picture contender

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises” isn’t even in theaters yet, and already, someone has dropped the “O” word.
Oscars.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we have a contender,” Clayton Davis of The Awards Circuit Tweeted after his “Rises” screening. I doubt it will be the last time that we hear Nolan’s trilogy capper in the same breath as the Academy Awards.
After all, it’s widely believed that Nolan’s last Batman movie, “The Dark Knight” – and its absence in the Best Picture category – led to the changes in the number of potential Best Picture nominees we can have each season. Will “The Dark Knight Rises” capitalize on the new BP regulations and compete for Oscar’s top prize early next year?
To do so, it’s going to have to rise above a series of fellow contenders … some of which are coming right out of Warner Bros.’ pipeline. As was noted in The Hollywood Reporter, Warner has a handful of titles that will come to the table with awards “buzz.”
Perennial Oscar contender Clint Eastwood plays a baseball scout on a trip with his daughter (Amy Adams) in “Trouble With the Curve” (Sept. 28). Ben Affleck’s back in the director’s chair for “Argo” (Oct. 12), a political thriller with a tremendous cast. And then there are two heavy hitters racing to theaters in December: Peter Jackson’s opening chapter to “The Hobbit,” and Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby,” with Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire.
This weekend, the attention falls on Nolan’s “Knight” as we analyze its Oscar potential. The truth of the matter, though, is that it’s one of several options Warner has as the Oscar season kicks into high(er) gear.

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Rock of Ages New Photos – Tom Cruise, Julianne Hough

HollywoodNews.com:Under the direction of Adam Shankman (“Hairspray”), New Line Cinema’s feature film adaptation of the smash hit Broadway musical “Rock of Ages” comes to the big screen.
“Rock of Ages” tells the story of small town girl Sherrie and city boy Drew, who meet on the Sunset Strip while pursuing their Hollywood dreams. Their rock ‘n’ roll romance is told through the heart-pounding hits of Def Leppard, Foreigner, Journey, Poison, REO Speedwagon, Twisted Sister and more.

The movie musical stars Julianne Hough (“Burlesque”), with actor/singer Diego Boneta in his feature film debut, Russell Brand (“Arthur,” “Get Him to the Greek”), Oscar® nominee Paul Giamatti (“Cinderella Man”), Academy Award® winner Catherine Zeta-Jones (“Chicago”), Malin Akerman (“The Proposal”) and R&B queen Mary J. Blige, with Oscar® nominee Alec Baldwin (“The Cooler,” TV’s “30 Rock”), and Oscar® nominee Tom Cruise (“Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” “Magnolia,” “Jerry Maguire”) as Stacee Jaxx.
Shankman directs “Rock of Ages” from a screenplay by Justin Theroux and Chris D’Arienzo and Allan Loeb, based on D’Arienzo’s musical of the same name. The film is being produced by Matthew Weaver, Scott Prisand, Carl Levin, Tobey Maguire, Garrett Grant and Jennifer Gibgot, with Toby Emmerich, Richard Brener, Michael Disco, Samuel J. Brown, Hillary Butorac Weaver, Janet Billig Rich, Shankman and D’Arienzo serving as executive producers.
Rounding out the “Rock of Ages” creative team are director of photography Bojan Bazelli (“Hairspray”), production designer Jon Hutman (“It’s Complicated”), editor Emma E. Hickox (“A Walk To Remember”), Oscar®-nominated costume designer Rita Ryack (“How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “Hairspray”), Grammy-nominated music supervisor Matt Sullivan (“Dreamgirls,” “Nine”), and Emmy Award-winning choreographer Mia Michaels (“So You Think You Can Dance”). The original score is by executive music producer Adam Anders and Peer Astrom (TV’s “Glee”).
New Line Cinema presents, a Corner Store Entertainment production, in association with Material Pictures, in association with Offspring Entertainment, an Adam Shankman film, “Rock of Ages.” Opening in theaters and IMAX on June 15, 2012, the film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Photos Courtesy of Warner Bros
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Ben Affleck new film trailer – ARGO

HollywoodNews.com: I haven’t read the true story that this film is based on (if you want to, here’s the WIRED story). But the general idea seems like just the sort of great story that lends itself to a fun movie. And the film is filled to the gills with terrific character actors (John Goodman, Bryan Cranston, Victor Garber, Kyle Chandler, Tate Donovan, Phillip, Adrienne Barbeau, and my personal favorite, Zeljko Ivanek, etc).

And while I’m among those who didn’t care for The Town, I’m a big fan of Affleck’s Gone Baby Gone so he’s still batting a solid 0.500 so far. My only carp is with the trailer itself. It’s a 150-second spot that clearly divided into three acts. The first 45-seconds or so explains the time, setting, and political crisis that kicks the story into gear, while the middle 45-seconds goes into the actual scheme that made this story worth telling. Instead of ending at the 90-second mark, with the story fully explained and the stakes completely established, Warner Bros. felt the need to tack on an additional 45-seconds of montage footage, set to ‘Dream On’ that serves no purpose other than to reestablish the seriousness of the situation and spoil various bits of character and plot that likely goes down in the second or third acts.
The film looks fine, and kudos to Warner Bros for letting this clearly adult-skewing drama go out with an R-rating. But the trailer is 2/3 terrific and 1/3 pure needless spoilers. If you feel like watching purely out of curiosity, I suggest you stop right at the 90-second mark. Okay, your turn to share.
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