When is a flop not a flop at the Box Office

Box office is a good indicator of popularity.


Box office figures are not an indicator of the quality of a movie.


Some Box Office hits are mythically etched in stone as financial failures.


Some films are just complete financial disasters from the outset.


We also have the sleeper hits.


There are the Box Office underachievers that make huge profits from the home market.


Finally there are international hits.


It’s frequently, maybe even usually not the “profit center” for any movie. It’s a start, though. Box office starts to fill the “cost” bucket for the studio.

Rather, the bills tend to actually get covered after theatrical release, via licensing/DVD and so on. Essentially, forever. Every time Elysium gets itself onto HBO or TBS or into your hotel room set top box etc etc etc.

So everyone in the history of IMDb that is trying to tell us the magic box office number that turns a flop into a hit without counting up the actual studio revenue from Netflix and so on…is not actually hitting the nail on the head.

Box office is just more fun to track, because it looks more like a horserace. It’s fun for fans to follow the “competition.” But we tend to never actually see the final ongoing accounting ledgers mapped to a title.

Not to mention…flops are not “all movies that aren’t hits.” Just as hits are not “all movies that are not flops.”

The majority of movies are neither, in fact. But instead do moderate box office and land somewhere around break even, which is what the box office of Elysium indicates so far. It’ll go down as neither a hit nor a flop.

An IMDb troll will have you believe that every film has to make back three times it’s budget to count for marketing costs and how much studios and theatres actually take percentage wise. Nobody truly knows for sure apart from the accountants.



Review: ‘Getaway’ With Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez & Jon Voight’s Voice

All good things must come to an end, and Ethan Hawke‘s glorious summer of 2013, in which he starred in the most universally beloved indie darling of the year (“Before Midnight“) alongside a bona fide horror movie hit (“The Purge“), has now come to an inglorious finale with his starring role in the ridiculously stupid car chase movie “Getaway.” As artless as “Before Midnight” was arty and plodding as “The Purge” was thrilling, “Getaway” is like slamming your foot on the gas while the car is still in park. There’s a whole lot of wheel spinning but it never really goes anywhere.

At least “Getaway” lets you know what you’re getting into immediately: the first ten minutes or so serve as an incoherent jumble that perfectly preps you for the rest of the movie. We see Hawke coming home to his apartment in an as-yet-unnamed European location (later it’s revealed to be glamorous Bulgaria); there’s blood on the floor, the Christmas tree is overturned (yes, it’s set at Christmas) and his wife is missing. Also it’s in black-and-white for some reason. This is intercut with Hawke, in a supercharged Mustang, racing down crowded European streets. If that isn’t enough audio/visual/Bulgarian overload, we’re also briefly brought up to speed (pun!) on why Hawke is driving like an asshole all over the place: apparently his wife has been kidnapped by an unseen villain with an iffy accent and Hawke has to do whatever he says or else said villain will kill his wife.

Other things that are revealed and/or insinuated during this annoying opening jumble: that Hawke’s character was a former professional NASCAR driver but fucked up horribly and is now in this position (something Ethan Hawke, actor, will probably sympathize with whenever he watches “Getaway”), the villain sounds an awful lot like Jon Voight, and Hawke’s facial hair is somewhere in between a handlebar mustache and an overgrown goatee. These are the things you’re forced to think about while watching “Getaway.”

Anyway, a half dozen car chases later and the mysterious voice that sounds like Jon Voight instructs Hawke to pull into an underground parking garage, where he’s accosted by a young girl (Selena Gomez), whose character isn’t even dignified enough to be awarded with a name. Besides being the least convincing carjacker in the history of movies, with her chipmunk cheeks and Disney Channel spunk, her presence in the movie is so clunky and perfunctory if the filmmakers were to give her a name it might as well be Expository Plot Device. She stays in the car because Voight-Voice commands her to, and also because it gives Hawke someone to jabber with. Then it’s back to car chases.

There are more car chases in “Getaway” than probably the last three “Fast and Furious” movies combined (well, maybe not this last one), but they’re so punishingly shot and edited that it’s hard not to feel terribly bored. One of the many rich conceits of the film is that the bad guy has installed tiny digital cameras both inside and outside of the car, so whenever Hawke is dangerously driving through busy urban environments, the great thinkers behind the movie (chiefly director Courtney Solomon, a grade-Z action movie hack who was previously responsible for the borderline unwatchable “Dungeons & Dragons” movie) cut around to really awful digital photography. It adds an even more disorienting sense of chaos to sequences that have already been so chopped up and over processed that they barely constitute scenes as we classically know them. Solomon doesn’t give a shit about spatial relationships or the geography of any given scene, instead overloading each sequence with a lot of phony “intensity” that doesn’t actually amount to much (the drab Bulgarian setting doesn’t exactly help). There is as much visual clarity to these sequences as a glass of chocolate milk, and makes you appreciate sequences like the car chase from last year’s underratedJack Reacher,” which had an elegant, old school vibe that recalled the work of imprisoned action auteur John McTiernan.

Equally unclear is what, exactly, Hawke thought he was getting out of taking on the role. He recently compared “Getaway” to a tiny Richard Linkleter movie that nobody has really seen. “I was doing ‘Tape‘ in a car,” Hawke said, trying to convince himself and others that this movie won’t end up a huge blight on his career. Hawke looks uninterested to the point of almost being frustrated with the lack of material (in the same interview he admitted to suggesting a tattoo on his character’s hand, just so the audience would have something to look at during the twenty minutes devoted to watching him switch gears). You can tell how restless he is by the fact that he wears a hat for a lot of the beginning of the movie. Nothing says a movie star has given up like wearing a hat.

Gomez, for her part, doesn’t fare much better. Earlier this year she was part of Harmony Korine‘s gonzo “Spring Breakers” ensemble and she equipped herself well amongst the cotton candy-colored ski masks and twisted Britney Spears sing-alongs. In that film she exposed a steely toughness underneath her oven-fresh Disney exterior; you can tell that the filmmakers were trying to get a similar performance out of her here, but the material just didn’t allow for it. There’s no truth to “Getaway,” so all she does is posture and pose (both poorly). By the time she becomes a willing participant in the world’s dreariest road rally, your suspension of disbelief has all but snapped, and this is after her hacker whiz character has stolen a gag from the infinitely superior Keanu Reeves movie “Speed” (other movies it shamelessly rips off include “Die Hard with a Vengeance” and “Taken“).

There is literally nothing redeemable about “Getaway,” besides the fact that, at 97 minutes, you won’t waste your whole day on it. What’s even more flabbergasting is that, in the film’s final moments, it seems to haphazardly try to set up some kind of franchise, with Voight slinking off into the night and Hawke and Gomez united to fight evil (or something) once again. It’s understandable that larger scale movies will want to spawn sequels, but this is about two degrees away from being a movie that premieres on Cinemax on a Friday night, sandwiched between two soft core porn movies with funny titles. “Getaway” is stuck in neutral. And that’s where it’ll stay. [F]

World of Warcraft is slated to begin production in January 2014

world warcraft movie start date Warcraft Movie to Begin Filming in January 2014

Renowned filmmaking talents have long recognized that there is real cinematic potential in the intricate dark fantasy characters, settings and storylines featured in the World of Warcraft video game series. Indeed, 4-5 years ago a WoW movie adaptation was being planned from screenwriter Robert Rodat – who scripted director Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan and created the Falling Skies TV show – with Evil Dead and Spider-Man trilogy director Sam Raimi lined up to call the shots.

That version didn’t come to fruition, but the currently-developing Warcraft boasts a similarly-impressive writer/director pairing, with scribe Charles Leavitt (Blood Diamond) collaborating alongside filmmaker Duncan Jones (Source Code). Warner Bros. got the hardcore geek community buzzing about the project back during the 2013 International Comic-Con, where the studio and Jones premiered conceptual teaser footage from the high-fantasy adventure.

We’d previously heard that WB and Legendary plan to release Warcraft in theaters sometime in 2015, with this film being one of their last joint ventures (following the schism between the studios). The newest update from Production Weekly lends additional credibility to that assertion, seeing how they are reporting that Legendary has begun setting up offices for Warcraft at the Canadian Motion Picture Park (CMPP) in Vancouver – with principal photography scheduled to begin on January 13th, 2014.

Rumor has it that Levitt’s Warcraft script draft will draw inspiration largely from the first two installments in the WoW game series, being titled Warcraft: Orcs & Humans and Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness; though, it’s also “common knowledge” that Jones has plans to reinterpret the source narratives, rather than just slavishly replicate them on the big screen. That ought to be for the best, given that having a storyteller with a distinct voice (read: auteur) leave their stamp on a property adaptation often yields results that are more interesting – and often truer in spirit to the source material – than being a stickler for every single detail (example: compare the first two Harry Potter movies versus subsequent installments).

Warcraft Orc Warcraft Movie to Begin Filming in January 2014

In our eyes, Jones has proven himself to be a skilled and thoughtful director with his previous films – as evidenced by his sci-fi features Moon and Source Code both making our list of “10 Best Sci-Fi Films of The Last 5 Years” – meaning, on those grounds alone, we’re interested to see his Lord of the Rings-eque take on the Warcraft games when it opens in theaters. Moreover, if this film and next year’s Guardians of the Galaxy movie both turn out well, then that should help to open the floodgates wider for more fantastical geek properties to make the jump to cinematic form (despite having previously been dubbed “too weird for audiences”).

As far as casting for Warcraft goes, we should be getting updates on who’s playing the non-human inhabitants in the upcoming months (assuming that the January 2014 start date is accurate); likewise, it’s feasible that Warcraft could be finished in time for the Summer 2015 movie season. However, given the competition on the schedule – which includes the Assassin’s Creed movie and more blockbuster franchise sequels than you can shake a stick at – there’s a reasonable chance that Legendary will settle on a Fall or Winter date instead (though Spring 2015 isn’t an impossibility… yet).


Warcraft is slated to begin production in January 2014, so look for more concrete details about the project to be made available over the next few months.

Source: Production Weekly

Todd McFarlane Says ‘Spawn’ Remake Could Shoot In 2014

Hell Spawn

Todd McFarlane has been talking about rebooting Spawn for the big screen for years, and apparently he’s now closer than ever to reaching that goal. The Gate reports that McFarlane is close to completing the script, and is hopeful that production can begin as early as next year. A 2014 production date seems ambitious at best, but that would likely give the film a 2015 release date alongside superhero blockbusters such as Avengers: Age of Ultron, and the yet to be named Superman/Batman movie. I would love to see Spawn contend with the big two, but if I had to put my money on it, I’d say Rob Liefeld’s movie about his career at Image Comics has a better chance of being made in 2014.
“The thing that keeps slowing it down is that the negotiation I’ve done is I write, produce, direct, but I’ve got to push a lot of my other endeavors off to the side so I can just get tunnel vision on it,” McFarlane told The Gate website during the Toronto Fan Expo this weekend. “Everybody at my company is now going, ‘We’ve got to find Todd the time to finish all this.’”

He went on, “I think it’s a quick shoot. It’s not going to be a giant budget with a lot of special effects, it’s going to be more of a horror movie and a thriller movie, not a superhero one. I’ve got so many people phoning now that I’ve got to get it done. I’ve made some promises to people this year.”

“We’ve had some big names… come into the office and go, ‘We want to be in it,’” McFarlane continued, “Sometimes they give me their pitch, I give them my pitch, I go, ‘We can get in it, this is how it goes,’ and so those types of actors–Academy Award guys–they’re going, ‘As soon as that scripts done, we’re going.’ So once we get this thing done, we’ll get it off the ground with some big names.”

But when will this actually happen? McFarlane says, “[The producers] want me to deliver the script by the end of the year,” he said, “which would basically mean we’d be shooting next year. So, that’s the goal right now.”

Bradley Cooper to voice Rocket in Guardians of the Galaxy

Bradley rumored to be front runner for James Gunn's 'Rocket'
Bradley rumored to be front runner for James Gunn’s ‘Rocket’

With Vin Diesel all but confirmed to voice Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy, Rocket Raccoon is the only member of the Guardians roster that’s yet to be filled. Well that is until now.

While filming for the Marvel space epic is very much underway in the U.K., Latino Review’s El Mayimbe has learned of  director James Gunn’s “dream guy” for the role. According to his sources in England, it seems that the studio has made an offer to Oscar-nominated actor Bradley Cooper to have him voice Rocket in Guardians of the Galaxy.

No word on whether he will accept Marvel’s offer or not yet.

But what do you think of the choice?

Guardians of the Galaxy is scheduled to hit theaters August 1, 2014.

Source: Latino Review

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