The last decade saw two separate attempts to transform the Hulk into a big-screen movie star. First came Ang Lee’s splitscreeny Hulk; then came Louis Leterrier’s Norton-y The Incredible Hulk. Neither film really connected with moviegoers. But Mark Ruffalo put a distinctive spin on the character in last year’s Avengers, giving troubled scientist Bruce Banner a wry sense of humor. (He also got the best line in the movie.) It seemed like an easy bet that Marvel would spin-off the Ruffalized Hulk into his own solo movie. But the big green rage monster has so far been absent from Marvel’s Phase Two movie series. Yesterday, Ruffalo himself took to Twitter to speak about the status of a Hulk-centric movie: READ FULL STORY
Tag: The Avengers (21-30 of 121)
Peter Jackson’s first Hobbit movie may not have gotten much love from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, but the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Horror Films saw things differently, lavishing the fantasy epic with nine Saturn Award nominations today. The awards, now in their 39th year, honor the best genre films, TV shows, and home entertainment. They’ll be presented in June, though the ceremony’s exact date and location have yet to be announced.
Here’s a partial rundown of this year’s Saturn nominees, including the movies honored in its new independent film category. Visit the awards show’s website for a full list.
Best Science Fiction Film
Marvel’s The Avengers
The Hunger Games
Best Fantasy Film
The Amazing Spider-Man
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Life of Pi
Snow White and the Huntsman
There’s no arguing who won the 2012 box-office: The Avengers smashed the competition, making $623.4 million. The Dark Knight Rises, The Hunger Games, Skyfall, and Breaking Dawn Part 2 also recorded blockbuster grosses, and the executives responsible for these hits can pat themselves on the backs for delivering the goods, which in these cases did not come cheap. The top 10 movies on last year’s box-office list cost, on average, more than $175 million each to produce — and that’s before a dime was spent on the marketing of a film and all the other fine-print considerations that eat into the profits.
But there’s more than one way to judge a film’s success, and while every producer might prefer to be in The Avengers‘ position, other, more modest films can claim victory as well. Back in 2005, EW devised a Popularity Index, which measured a film’s staying power in theaters; we’ve tweaked it only slightly this year to recognize the increasing number of platform releases. To get the index, we simply divided a movie’s total domestic gross by its biggest weekend tally — normally its opening frame, but not always.
The result is 10 movies that didn’t have record-breaking opening weekends, but they had legs. Many of them started slowly and gained steam as awards season heated up. Others were initially seen as disappointments, but then they just refused to go away, playing week after week to decent crowds. Most all of them had that rumored-to-be-extinct Hollywood creature: The Movie Star. Beancounters might prefer to be on that other box-office list, but the Popularity Index captures elements of quality that studios shouldn’t overlook.
Click below for the 2012 Popularity Index Top 10. READ FULL STORY
Does this mean onstage shawarma?
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today that Avengers stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner, and Mark Ruffalo will present together at this year’s Oscars ceremony Feb. 24. The group has garnered six Academy Award nominations cumulatively; only Captain America Evans has yet to earn a nod. Fellow Avengers Scarlett Johansson and Chris Hemsworth will apparently be absent from this cast reunion; perhaps coincidentally, they’ve also never been nominated for Oscars (though Johansson has earned four Golden Globe nods).
Marvel’s The Avengers was by far the top grossing movie of 2012, setting a record with its $207.4 million opening weekend and earning $623 million domestically in total. The movie’s cast joins a slate of Oscar presenters that already includes last year’s acting winners, Mark Wahlberg, and host Seth MacFarlane’s CGI creation Ted.
Meryl Streep, Jean Dujardin, Octavia Spencer and Christopher Plummer to present at the Oscars
Mark Wahlberg and CGI costar Ted to present at the Oscars
Seth MacFarlane serves up a martini for James Bond in Oscars promo
When Robert Downey Jr. brings Tony Stark back to the screen on May 3 in Iron Man 3, he’ll be wearing a new upgrade of his weaponized wardrobe, this one with a brassy, reduced-red color scheme that could be viewed as color commentary. These are, after all, golden days to be Downey, the movie star who is ranked No. 1 in the latest Forbes listing of Hollywood box-office heroes. The 47-year-old actor was once the film industry’s most talented and frustrating question mark, but now he’s Hollywood’s human exclamation point, and as the rakish Stark, the world’s favorite canned ham.
EW caught with the two-time Oscar nominee by phone not long ago for a lengthy conversation about the new film, his career, and Marvel Universe after the success of The Avengers.
We’ll run installments from the interview all week. In this first part, he talks about new additions to the franchise (led by writer-director Shane Black, the Lethal Weapon screenwriter whose hiring was championed by Downey) as well as familiar faces (such as Don Cheadle, who returns as Stark’s military pal Rhodey, who will be using some warfare wardrobe of his own). READ FULL STORY
Any kid can tell you that one of the great pleasures of any toy is unpacking that sealed box for the first time and putting all the parts and stickers together.
Visual effects house Industrial Light & Magic has given EW’s CapeTown a video that might give fans of The Avengers that same feeling.
The collection of behind-the-scenes clips reveals everything from the simulated Mark Ruffalo they created to morph into The Hulk, to the fact that most of New York in the movie was a digitally painted backdrop.
Joss Whedon's 2013 to-do list: 'The Avengers 2,' 'Much Ado About Nothing,' and maybe more 'Dr. Horrible'
Will 2013 finally be the year that Joss Whedon’s legion of fans get to sing along with the long-awaited sequel to his 2008 Internet sensation Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog starring Neil Patrick Harris, Felicia Day and Nathan Fillion? The geek pop polymath who gave us Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Firefly, and a surprisingly successful indie about a band of superheroes no one had ever heard of called The Avengers made no promises when Entertainment Weekly caught up with him late last year, but he did say that putting a crooning Doogie back in a lab coat is on his “to do” list. “We really want to shoot it next year. We feel strong about the idea and we have a bunch of stuff written,” said Whedon, who is currently directing the pilot episode of Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D. series while also writing the script for the sequel to The Avengers, plus prepping the release plan for his film adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, due in theaters this summer. In between: The occasional napping.
The economy may be teetering on the edge of a fiscal cliff, but such dire financial woes were nowhere to be found at the box office in 2012. Over the past 365 days, Americans spent many of their hard-earned dollars at the movies — paying to see everything from Channing Tatum’s abs to a foul-mouthed talking teddy bear, and as a result, the box office had its best* year ever.
Movie theaters sold an estimated $10.84 billion worth of tickets domestically in 2012, beating the previous record of $10.59 billion set in 2009 (when Avatar led a late-December surge), and marking a new record in terms of revenue earned in a single calendar year. All told, the 2012 box office finished 6.6 percent ahead of 2011’s $10.17 billion take and 2.5 percent of 2010’s $10.57 billion cume. 3D and IMAX surcharges, which have now become a common part of the moviegoing experience, no doubt helped the box office reach such heights, though this year’s average ticket price (it stood at $7.94 through Q3, per the MPAA) just barely increased over 2011’s ($7.93).
So, it was those surcharges coupled with a boost in admissions that helped the industry achieve record-breaking grosses. An estimated 1.365 billion tickets were sold in North America this year. That’s 6.3 percent higher than 2011 (when 1.283 billion were sold) and 1.9 percent higher than 2010 (1.339 billion tickets sold), but 3.4 percent lower than 2009 (1.412 billion tickets sold) and a full 13.4 percent lower than 2002 (1.576 billion tickets sold), which was the most attended box office year of the past three decades. (BoxOfficeMojo has a handy chart that sums up much of this info.)
Of course, ticket admissions wouldn’t have increased unless there were new releases that moviegoers wanted to see — and this year had no shortage of blockbusters. The Avengers was the year’s biggest hit, grossing a thunderous $623.4 million — and over $1.5 billion worldwide — and The Dark Knight Rises finished in second place with $448.1 million. Those two films ruled the summer, but it was The Hunger Games that ruled the spring. Games exploded out of the gate in March with $408 million, thereby becoming the year’s third-biggest hit. Skyfall ($289.6 million) and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 ($286.1 million) rounded out 2012’s Top 5.
This year saw its fair share of flops, too. John Carter bombed with only $73.1 million against a $250 million budget, which forced Disney to publicly announce an expected $200 million loss. Battleship, another film starring Taylor Kitsch, sank as well, finding just $65.2 million against a $209 million budget. The $150 million production Dark Shadows drained a lackluster $79.7 million, and the $125 million Total Recall remake proved D.O.A. with a weak $58.9 million. Oh yeah, and The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure had the worst debut weekend of all time.
Still, for the 655(!) movies released in theaters this year, the impressive box office performances far outweighed the bad ones, and now the industry has its sights set on 2013, which — thanks to Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, The Hangover Part III, World War Z, Star Trek Into Darkness, Despicable Me 2, and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire — could give 2012 a run for its money. Bring it on, Hollywood.
*As is always the case in box office writing, “best” is a relative term. For as long as the media has covered the box office, the film industry has (shrewdly) reported grosses instead of ticket sales — that way, Hollywood can keep claiming “record-breaking” years, even if ticket sales aren’t record-breaking. (I bet the music industry wishes it had set that precedent when it started reporting sales.) I understand the inherent flaws in this system, so I’ve done my best to include as many specifics about ticket sales and ticket price as possible.
For more box office musing, follow me on Twitter.
The title of the movie might be Man of Steel, but the star of the latest clip from Zack Snyder’s franchise reboot isn’t actually Superman. It’s Clark Kent, the alien boy who grows up to be a (hipster-bearded!) man, learning along the way some tough lessons about power, responsibility, and the cost-benefit bottom line of using his super strength to save all his schoolmates from a submerged bus. Which makes it official: Man of Steel isn’t just going to be another superhero movie. It’s going to be everyone’s — yours, mine, Hollywood’s — favorite kind of superhero movie: an origin story.
Why exactly do we love watching our favorite heroes begin again (and again)? Do we get some kind of parental joy from seeing their tall-building-spanning baby steps? Were scientists right about the Twitterfication of our attention spans? Maybe, but there’s also a deeper-seated reason: creation stories show the exact moment when a normal guy goes from being Just Like Us to being somehow better, faster, stronger. It’s the bridge between the relatable and aspirational parts of the hero myth. It’s also a handy way for filmmakers to pay their dues to a brand’s fan base (“See? I know my stuff!”) before sending its character off on a splashy villain-fighting quest that might diverge wildly from anything in the sacred comic book canon.
And so, having found that origin stories are a handy narrative tool for kicking off a franchise, Hollywood decided that every superhero movie should be an origin story, dropping our spandex icons into a Groundhog Day loop of childhood traumas, first kisses, and clumsy jumps off high roofs. The intro portion that used to take 10 minutes at the beginning of a movie is now filling entire movies — franchises, even. READ FULL STORY
It’s a common theme for superheroes to stand for more than just their own powers.
In the DC universe, Superman is famously synonymous with “truth, justice, and the American way,” while Batman is a darker symbol of vigilante justice, inspiring citizens to resist the things they fear the most.
In Marvel’s realm, Spider-Man stands for every puny kid who ever got pushed around, and learned how to use brains as well as brawn, the Hulk is the anger inside all of us, fighting to get out, if only we can channel it for good. Wolverine is the rebel without a cause, looking for something he cares enough about to fight for.
But what does Iron Man stand for? READ FULL STORY
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