Category Archives: movies

5 Bold Options For Spidey In The Wake Of Amazing Spider-Man 2

Well, this ain’t good. This past weekend, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opened to a tidy $92 million. Those are monstrous numbers, sure, only a whisker below Captain America: The Winter Soldier for the year’s biggest opening. And overseas, the numbers are robust, a possible threat to $500 million if the pace continues, and anytime your film can approach half-a-billion outside of America, it’s impressive. 

But a closer look reveals that Sony has trotted Spider-Man out five times thus far, and these last two films show a downtrend. The $92 million take severely trails not only the monster opening of 2007’s Spider-Man 3 but even the $115 million scored by Sam Raimi’s non-3D Spider-Man on the same weekend twelve years ago. The Amazing Spider-Man was the lowest grossing film of the series, and this next one might perform even weaker, despite the boost received from the biggest box office weekend of the year. 

This bodes poorly for Sony’s plans, give that there is a third and fourth film in this series scheduled for 2016 and 2018, and intentions for spinoff Venom and Sinister Sixmovies in the coming years. The studio has crowed about having a Spidey movie every year, with some at the studio expecting a billion dollar global gross for this entry. Clearly that’s not going to be the case at all, and Sony needs to examine their options if they want the wallcrawler to remain viable. So, what can they do? Here are 5 bold options: 


Option 1: Stay The Course

Sony’s got four more prospective blockbusters coming down the pike, four more movies with Spidey that can make half-a-billion worldwide each, at least. But it’s suggested that Amazing Spider-Man 2 cost $250 million, with an additional $180 million spent on marketing. If those numbers are accurate, then the new film would have to gross in the neighborhood of $800 million worldwide to generate theatrical profit. Fortunately, while it will probably fall short of that benchmark, the film will ultimately register solid numbers in ancillary markets, like TV deals and merchandising. 

So smart business says that there’s still plenty of life in Spider-Man. It’s worth noting that the original plan for The Amazing Spider-Man was to make a much smaller, more intimate picture that would cost far less than the mega-budget Sam Raimi films. There’s no reason they still can’t try that: there are sets and animatics already designed from these previous Spidey films, and a bit of added fiscal responsibility can get the budget underneath $200 million. If Amazing Spider-Man 2 cost, say, $180 million to produce (the usual budget for Marvel’s films over at Disney) and something like $140 million to promote, then it would only need to approach $600 million to break-even, a number the movie should surpass soon. 

Yes, it’s a bit implausible that future Spider-Man films could be that much cheaper than the recent entry, but Hollywood makes scads of blockbusters each year at a more responsible cost. Heck, Michael Bay has brought each apocalyptic Transformersmovie in underneath $200 million thus far, and it seems far more complicated to put the Autobots onscreen than it does a skinny guy in full-bodied pajamas swinging around the city. With no real above-the-line talent aboard these films (compared to Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst, who negotiated for top dollar in the earlier films), having these pictures cost so much is downright irresponsible. This enterprise can continue with a little less money and a little bit more ingenuity. 


New Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes Trailer Sets The Stage For War

The Apes are coming, and you’re a damned fool if you think you can do anything about it. The summer’s 800 lb. gorilla is (almost) a literal one, and it’s Dawn Of The Planet of The Apes. The sequel is beginning its final leg of marketing, and with that comes a brand new trailer, hitting ahead of the film’s July 11th opening. 

It’s a pretty stark look at the new ape world. Whatever’s left of humanity isn’t much in the shutdown of our infrastructure in the wake of Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, which according to this trailer, was four years ago. Regardless, it appears Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes is going to depict pockets of peace, with a happy, loquacious (!) band of apes living off the land and slowly building their own societies. 

Since the moment the film was announced, there has been confusion centered on who would really be the lead character, but it looks like there might be an even share between Jason Clarke and Andy Serkis. Serkis is of course reprising his role fromRise Of The Planet Of The Apes as Caesar, who apparently has some misgivings about the fairly-extreme tact the apes have taken in basically wiping out civilization. He even misses home, judging by the brief snippet of footage he watches on a camcorder of his former friend Will Rodman (James Franco, making an oopsie cameo). 

Jason Clarke’s character is simpatico with Caesar and sees peace on the small planet between the two of them. However, the humans seem divided between his rhetoric and the fire-and-brimstone hatred that comes from Gary Oldman, here infuriated by the ruthlessness of the apes in decimating his world. It’s an interesting conflict: how far can you pursue peace before you’re wiped out? It’s never a one-to-one correlation: Clarke and his fellow ape peaceniks are likely at the mercy of whatever militaristic tactics are employed by Gary Oldman’s people. Guns, guns, guns! 

city apes
Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes roars into theaters following a fairly weak July 4th slate that includes Deliver Us From EvilTammy and the second weekend ofTransformers: Age Of Extinction. Opening against the film is the Michael Douglas/Diane Keaton counterprogrammer And So It Goes and the standup comedy picture The Fluffy Movie, neither of which are expected to do blockbuster numbers. With marketing material like this and a 3D boost, the film is a sure bet to top the $54 million taken during the first film’s opening weekend. 

James Cameron Admits He Pretty Much Hates Those Other Terminator Movies

James Cameron Admits He Pretty Much Hates Those Other Terminator Movies image
Man, this was a busy week for Ask Me Anything conversations. Hollywood iconHarrison Ford opened up for a (somewhat) candid conversation that we playfully broke down here on CinemaBlend. And legendary blockbuster director James Cameron also took to Reddit to discuss his various projects, past and present.

You can skim through the complete conversation here. Cameron weighs in on the threeAvatar movies he’s in the process of making (simultaneously, basically). He discussesTitanic and Prometheus. But his comments about the Terminator franchise really caught our eye. Obviously, Cameron launched the Terminator series with Arnold Schwarzenegger back in 1984. Thirty years ago. Let that soak in. The duo made a sequel, but Cameron moved on, even as Hollywood continued to explore his world in assorted sequels. And it turns out, Cameron didn’t care much for what directors like Jonathan Mostow and the auteur McG came up with. When asked about the Terminatorfranchise, Cameron candidly stated:

Well, I have to be objective, or as objective as possible about that. I’m not big fans of the films, I think that the big ideas of the first movies – I didn’t make the second film until I had an idea as big as the first film, and it had to do with the moral complexity of the story, and asking the audience by the end of the film to cry for a Terminator. I don’t think that the 3rd or 4th film lived up to that potential. Sarah Connor Chronicles, I never really watched much of it, so I never gave it a chance… to get hooked, like you have to with a TV series.”

Which is interesting. Because Cameron’s not opposed to a sequel, by any stretch. I mean the dude is cranking out multiple Avatar films. His comments about waiting until you have a “big” idea are encouraging. He must have massive ideas for Pandora if he’s going back to that well for three additional dips.

Cameron does acknowledge the fifth Terminator movie, Terminator: Genesis, that is in the works, and says:

I’m hopeful that the new films, which are being made right now as a reboot, but still involving Arnold, will be good. From what I’ve seen from afar, it looks like they will be quite good.”

He must have participation points. Don’t bad mouth potential profits! When it comes to working with his Terminator again, however, Cameron throws cold water on the Avatarrumors stating, “As of right now, [Arnold] and I have not discussed it, and I don’t see a role as the scripts are coming together that would be appropriate for him, so I would say probably not.”

You know what would be magical? If Cameron could direct Arnold in one moreTerminator movie. To bring the series to proper closure. The word on these newTerminator movies is that it’s setting up a fresh trilogy. Can they get Cameron out of Pandora long enough to possibly helm a future (and final) Terminator movie? We can always hope.

Terminator: Genesis Has Started Production

Terminator: Genesis Has Started Production image
It all starts here. We have been waiting four years since the last installment of theTerminator franchise, and while the anticipated sequel won’t be out until next year, today the project made a very important step forward. Skydance Productions has reveled the slate you see above on their Facebook page, announcing that Alan Taylor’sTerminator: Genesis has officially entered production. The picture came along with a message reading:

In case you’re curious about why it says R.I.P. Sarah at the top of the slate, it’s part of a memoriam for Sarah Elizabeth Jones, a second camera assistant on the upcoming Gregg Allman biopic Midnight Rider who died in a tragic incident on set. As a way of remembering her, filmmakers have posted pictures of production slates to the Slates For Sarah Facebook page.

Over the last few months the film has been collecting a cast of all stars who will be playing some very familiar characters. Arnold Schwarzenegger will be back, once again reprising his role as the titular robotic killing machine, and he will be joined by Emilia Ckarke as Sarah Connor, Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese, Jason Clarke as John Connor and Dayo Okeniji as Danny Dyson, the son of Cyberdyne engineer Miles Dyson fromT2: Judgement Day. Also joining the cast will be J.K. SimmonsByung-hun Lee, Sandrine Holt, and Michael Gladis.

What’s unfortunate is that we know very, very little about Terminator: Genesis‘ plot. The script was written by Patrick Lussier and Laeta Kalogridis, but the studios behind the film have yet to release an official plot synopsis. It was confirmed last summer that the movie is going to work as a reboot of sorts and that it is expected to be the first in a whole new trilogy. Schwarzenegger has said that production will be taking place over the course of four to four-and-a-half months, and that the crew will be shooting mostly in New Orleans. The director is best known for his work on HBO shows like Game of Thrones, and most recently did some work for Marvel Studios making Thor: The Dark World:

Following its long shoot, Terminator: Genesis will go into post-production aiming to have the finished product ready for the July 4th weekend next year. Are you amped? What are you hoping to see in the reboot? Let us know your thoughts, speculation and excitement level in the comments section below.

Summer Movie Box Office Predictions: Blockbusters To Bombs



Godzilla – Few summer films have had marketing as impressive as this monster mash, which is seeing release after two more frivolous summer entertainments (Amazing Spider-Man 2Neighbors). Ads have obscured the monster, but favored the disaster footage, a money-shot heavy approach that likens this picture to, ironically, a film like the ones made by 1998 Godzilla director Roland Emmerich, albeit more serious. That film, by the way, grossed $379 million globally despite being hated by just about everyone. With an inflated overseas market, this thing could be looking at upwards of $200 million domestically, and $600 million global. 

X-Men: Days Of Future Past – Strangely enough, the X-films haven’t broke out like other superhero franchises: the highest grossing effort is the $459 million registered byX-Men: The Last Stand. Because it’s eight full years later, because the overseas market has changed, because this is in 3D, and because this is following the Fast And Furious model of filling the cast with characters from all previous films, there’s reason to believe this film will obliterate that number. Last year’s The Wolverine was extremely well-received internationally, grossing $414 million worldwide, but it was a smaller, lower-budgeted affair. This new film promises armies of mutants, killer robots and time travel, basically the exact opposite elements that made The Wolverine the lowest grossing X-film domestically. X-pect (EL OH EL) grosses close to $275 million domestically, and $600 million worldwide. 

How To Train Your Dragon 2 – The animated sequel bump doesn’t always occur for some films: Kung Fu Panda 2 and Happy Feet Two are two recent examples of animated sequels that lacked the domestic success of the originals. But consider the case of Shrek 2 and Despicable Me 2, and realize that Dreamworks’ Dragonsfranchise has had a presence on television with the Riders Of Berk series, and you’re looking at the first animated kid flick of the summer obliterating the original’s $494 million take, with possibly a $700 million worldwide tally. 

Transformers: Age Of Extinction – Transformers: Dark Of The Moon was weaker domestically than its predecessor, though the strong global numbers took the film over the billion dollar mark. The signs would suggest a slightly shrinking appeal, but no studio dared to challenge this franchise’s dominance over the 4th of July weekend. Not only is it opening a full week before Independence Day, but there’s very little to challenge the picture on that date, giving Age Of Extinction two full weekends to most likely cross $200 million domestic, on its way to a $300 million franchise-standard domestic gross and at least $800 million worldwide. 

Dawn of The Planet Of The Apes – The earlier film was an August surprise, coming out of nowhere to gross $481 million. This one comes two weeks after Transformersdominates the marketplace, and does so with the added strength of 3D, and an arguable upgrade at director in Matt Reeves. This franchise remains beloved by fans – even 2001’s hated reboot earned $362 million worldwide – and as they move closer to territory established by the original films, expect new fans and baby boomers to be intrigued, to the tune of $525 million global. 

Tom Cruise To Attend Three Edge Of Tomorrow Premieres In Three Countries In One Day

Tom Cruise To Attend Three Edge Of Tomorrow Premieres In Three Countries In One Day image
Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt will be everywhere at once later this month for the premiere of Warner Bros.’ Edge of Tomorrow. Ok, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but they’re aiming to attend three premieres of the film in three separate countries in a single day. That’s the U.K. premiere in London, the France premiere in Paris and the U.S. premiere in New York. It should be quite a feat, but the stars are apparently up for it.

Variety lays out the timeline for these premieres, stating that the London red carpet is scheduled for 7:00 a.m. followed by a 9:00 a.m. screening. Cruise, Emily Blunt and director Doug Liman will head off to Paris from there for the 2:00 p.m. red carpet and 4:00 p.m. screening, after which they’ll jet off to New York, hopefully in time to catch the 10:00 p.m. red carpet and 11:59 p.m. screening. Time zones should be working in their favor once they’re westbound, but that’s a lot of traveling, smiling, question-answering and waving in one day. And it’s a lot of Edge of Tomorrow — assuming they sit for the entirety of all three screenings. Sitting through the same movie three times in one day might start to feel like a real Groundhog Day experience.

Speaking of which…

Edge of Tomorrow will have Tom Cruise’s character, Major William Cage, experiencing a time loop. The story is set in the near future amidst an alien invasion and assault. No military on the planet is capable of dealing with this enemy. Cage is an inexperienced soldier who’s dropped into what’s essentially a suicide mission. He dies almost right away. You’d think that’s a spoiler, but that’s where the time loop comes in. He’s forced to live out the same brutal combat over and over, fighting and dying again and again. Pause for Murray…

Here’s where things in the Edge of Tomorrow plot get interesting through — as if aliens, battles and a time loop aren’t already enticing enough. With every battle, Tom Cruise’s character gets a little bit better at engaging the enemy. With the help of Special Forces warrior Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), Cage continues to get closer, bit by bit, to defeating the aliens. And it sounds like he dies a lot.

Admittedly, my interest in Tom Cruise isn’t enough to to draw my attention to Edge of Tomorrow, especially amidst so many other promising summer movies, however CW (partially owned by Warner Bros., it’s worth noting) aired the full trailer during last night’sArrow, and that got my attention…

While Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt might actually get to see the movie three times in one day, later this month, the rest of us will have to wait until June 6 when Edge of Tomorrow arrives in theaters. Let’s hope it lives up to its promising premise and thrilling trailer!

Watch Godzilla Make A Convincing Argument For 3D Conversion

The biggest debate in 3D filmmaking is, and has always been, whether post conversion efforts are worth the time or if native 3D filmmaking is the only way to go. The argument for native 3D has been the more strongly supported argument for a while now, but a new featurette for Gareth Edwards’ upcoming Godzilla film has made probably the best argument for 3D post-conversion processing ever.

Cinema Procinal has the video on their official YouTube channel, which features several key figures from the film’s production. The film’s director is the most enthusiastic about the entire process, which is best summed up in one of his initial thoughts in the video.

“I think it’s better, because you have more control. When you convert it afterwards, you can push things back, pull them forwards, shape things more, and you can finesse it a lot more in post.”

Producer Thomas Tull had an even grander statement to make regarding the advancements of technology that have made this film possible, stating that:

“In the end, when you see the finished product, you’re gonna see Godzilla in detail and in movement that were not possible 15 or 20 years ago.”

Mr. Tull’s claim seems like an obvious dig at Roland Emmerich’s Godzilla, but is it as easy of a dig as we think? After all, Jurassic Park boasted computer graphics in 1993 that still hold up to this day. To accurately compare the Godzilla of the past to Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla, we’ll need to consult footage from the former for comparison to the latter. Here’s footage from one of the 1998 film’s chase scenes, presented as evidence.

Judging that footage by the cinematography alone, we see that we have a very limited view of the character. It’s almost as if the filmmakers were either hampered or uncomfortable with presenting the creature outside of a certain range of focus. From a special effects standpoint, the older Godzilla looks more like a modified tyrannosaur model than a more imaginative, or even traditional, take on the character. Godzilla ’14, on the other hand, looks truly monstrous in scale and in actual detail. It nods to the style of the original film, while doing its own thing with the character.

Finally, there’s a little bit of new footage included in this segment, including a hint towards the film’s ending. At least, that’s what it looks like at 01:43 into the video, as Aaron Taylor-Johnson looks exhausted and beaten up as a gigantic (possibly nuclear?) flash goes off in the background. We also get more of a glimpse at Muto, the “other” monster in the picture, as it stomps around and knocks over a fire truck. Cap everything off with some new establishing shots of Godzilla from the water, and a sampling of Alexandre Desplat’s score for the film, and you have a nice look at next weekend’s possible box office champ.

Godzilla opens in theaters next Thursday night.