Have you ever officiated at a zombie wedding? Of course you haven’t. But do you know who has? Bruce Campbell! The Evil Dead star and all-round horror icon recalls his lead role at some deliberately nightmarish nuptials in a new film, Doc of the Dead. Directed by Alexandre O. Philippe (The People vs. George Lucas), the documentary tracks the rise of the zombie phenomenon and, in addition to Campbell, features contributions from Shaun of the Dead actor-writer Simon Pegg, Walking Dead makeup overlord Greg Nicotero, and George A. Romero, among others. READ FULL STORY
Tag: World War Z (1-10 of 25)
Juan Antonio Bayona, the Spanish filmmaker who directed The Impossible, the disaster movie about the 2004 Asian tsunami starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, will direct Brad Pitt in the sequel to World War Z. A source close to the zombie project confirmed the news, first reported by the Hollywood Reporter.
Based on Max Brooks’ novel and planned as a franchise, World War Z overcame production complications to become a summer blockbuster, grossing $540 million worldwide, and a solid critical hit. Director Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace) and Pitt didn’t always see eye-to-eye, and the original ending was trashed, requiring dramatic and expensive reshoots. At the end of the first film, Pitt’s United Nations employee is reunited with his family in Canada after he heroically found a solution to protect humans from zombies. “This isn’t the end,” he says. “Not even close. Our war has just begun.”
Bayona, 38, has a background in horror (The Orphanage), and The Impossible, which grossed more than $180 million worldwide, had an apocalyptic look and feel.
Brad Pitt’s zombie epic World War Z arrives on DVD/Blu-Ray/etcetera next Tuesday, and we’re excited to share a clip from the movie’s special features. The clip focuses on a sequence toward the end of the movie (minor spoiler alert!) where Pitt confronts one of the film’s most terrifying undead walkers and makes a pivotal decision. Watch the video below:
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World War Z may be closer to getting that zequel.
“We’re certainly talking about it, yes,” Pitt told Variety at the Toronto Film Festival. “We have so many ideas on the table from the time we spent just developing this thing and figuring out how zombie worlds work.”
The blockbuster adaptation of Max Brooks’s 2006 novel was famously addled with reshoots, rewrites, and a massively bloated budget. But despite bad buzz and an enormous $170+ million price tag, World War Z ultimately grossed $474 million internationally — making more Z movies a distinct possibility. (Before trouble struck, execs planned to make World War Z the first of three related films.)
When it comes to Hollywood’s summer blockbusters, most of the press, including critics, is a little bit schizophrenic. From early May until the middle of August, the red carpet gets rolled out, each week, for one or two or three mega-budgeted releases that are aiming to be summer smashes, and though much of the media fanfare is noise and hype and advertising, there’s a lot of sincere enthusiasm mixed in there, too. Why wouldn’t there be? Summer movies, when they’re good, are a special form of entertainment — there’s nothing else like them, really — and reviewers aren’t shy when it comes to giving them a hearty thumbs up. Sure, certain films get more or less universally trashed, whether it’s the Transformers movies of the Hangover sequels or The Lone Ranger. But those tend to be the exceptions. If you read reviews of summer movies from week to week, you’d hardly come away thinking that the critics are snobs. READ FULL STORY
All the way back in 2009, eager studio executives eyed Avatar‘s $2.8 billion worldwide gross and gushed “I see you” to the film’s groundbreaking 3-D technology. A few months later, Alice in Wonderland became a $1 billion hit, and before Johnny Depp had even wiped the makeup off his face, the industry had decided 3-D would be its savior.
Fox, Paramount, Disney, and Universal collectively shelled out $700 million to help equip theaters with new projectors, and the number of 3-D releases jumped from 20 in 2009 to 45 in 2011. Perhaps most importantly, audiences proved willing to pay an extra $3.50 per ticket, so Hollywood made a point of “enhancing” every film into a “premium” 3-D experience. Oh, what a difference four years makes: 3-D box office receipts are taking a serious tumble these days, and audiences are increasingly opting for cheaper 2-D tickets. So how did the format fall so far so fast? READ FULL STORY
World War Z, Brad Pitt’s hit zombie apocalypse epic, will debut on Blu-ray and other home-viewing formats on Sept. 17. The action-thriller was envisioned as a trilogy, and after grossing $474 million around the world, Pitt can expect another date with the dead. The Blu-ray Combo will include an unrated cut of the film and several featurettes. “I’m really excited for fans to see the new unrated version of World War Z on Blu-ray,” said Pitt, in a statement. “We were thrilled with the audience response to the film in theaters and wanted to give viewers even more of the action and intensity that they loved when they watch the film at home.”
Z was subjected to some on-the-fly rewriting and the original ending was completely abandoned. It will be interesting to see if portions of those scenes are restored in the unrated cut, or if Pitt & Co. discuss those decisions in the extras.
For fans who can’t wait until Sept. 17, World War Z will become available as a digital-download a week earlier, Sept. 10. Click below for a description of the Blu-ray extras.
Blockbuster sequel Despicable Me 2 earned $143 million over the extended Fourth of July weekend — and although its debut marked a high point at the summer box office, it also marked a low point for 3-D ticket sales.
According to Universal, only 27 percent of Despicable Me 2‘s opening-weekend gross came from 3-D tickets, the lowest 3-D share in modern box office history. Notably, the record low comes just two weeks after Monsters University notched a 31 percent 3-D share on its opening weekend, which at the time was the worst 3-D performance ever. Poor 3-D ticket sales aren’t just plaguing recent animated films, either. Brad Pitt’s live-action zombie thriller World War Z only earned 34 percent of its debut total from 3-D tickets, and The Great Gatsby fared even worse. Despite the fact that Baz Luhrmann’s use of 3-D was a primary selling point for Gatsby, 3-D ticket sales only accounted for 33 percent of its opening weekend.
These percentages mark a decisive downturn in 3-D’s popularity with American moviegoers, who have generally embraced the enhanced format over the last five years.
In 2009 and 2010, during the heyday of 3-D, films like Avatar (71 percent share), Alice in Wonderland (70 percent), and Tron Legacy (82 percent) added tens of millions of dollars to their opening-weekend grosses with 3-D ticket sales. Hollywood quickly doubled down on the format — sending the number of 3-D wide releases skyrocketing from 15 in 2009 to 36 in 2012. By 2012, though, it already appeared that 3-D was losing some of its luster, as the industry observed lower shares for films like Transformers: Dark of the Moon (60 percent), Thor (60 percent), and The Avengers (52 percent). These days, even highly anticipated box office titans like Iron Man 3 (45 percent), Star Trek Into Darkness (45 percent), and World War Z have trouble cracking the 50 percent threshold.
Family films have been hit particularly hard lately. Of course, it should be noted that they’ve never been quite as popular as live-action films in 3-D — presumably because it costs so much to purchase 3-D tickets for an entire family — but animated titles like Shrek Forever After (60 percent), Toy Story 3 (60 percent), and The Lorax (52 percent) did prove that moms and dads were willing to shell out big bucks on the format. Not so much over the past year, though. Recent films like Brave (34 percent), The Croods (38 percent) and, obviously, Despicable Me 2 haven’t connected with 3-D ticket-buyers despite the fact that they succeeded at the box office.
Many think the 3-D gimmick has lost — or is losing — its novelty due to over-saturation and shoddy execution, and Avatar director James Cameron agrees. “I do not think Hollywood is using the 3-D properly,” Cameron remarked at the TagDF conference in Mexico City last week. “Man of Steel, Iron Man 3 and all those movies should not necessarily be in 3-D,” he continued. “If you spend $150 million on visual effects, the film is already going to be spectacular, perfect.”
What do you think? Is the 3-D fad officially ending?
Over the extended 4th of July weekend, a lot of Americans lit up the grill and spent time with family. A lot unfolded lawn chairs and watched a fireworks show. And a whole lot bought tickets to see Despicable Me 2.
The $76 million animated film from Universal and Illumination Entertainment crushed the competition in its first five days in theaters, earning a jaw-dropping $142 million — $82.5 million of which came in during the traditional Friday-to-Sunday frame. In fact, Despicable Me 2, which features the voice work of Steve Carrell and Kristen Wiig, led the box office to the best July 4th weekend of all time. Over the Friday-to-Sunday period, the Top 12 movies grossed $220.7 million, which marks the 10th-strongest weekend in box office history.
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Box office report: 'Monsters University' stays on top with $46.2 million; 'The Heat' hot, 'White House Down' not
It’s been a great June at the domestic box office — and thanks to a jam-packed slate of robust earners, the month finished strong this weekend. In fact, the top five films all earned over $20 million.
Monsters University stayed on top of the chart with $46.2 million, marking a slim 44 percent drop over the Friday-to-Sunday period, which was lower than the second weekend declines of Brave (49 percent), Cars 2 (60 percent), and Toy Story 3 (46 percent). The well-received family film has earned $171.3 million total after ten days — and it will definitely surpass the original Monsters Inc.‘s $251 million cume. The film will face a formidable challenge next week, though, when Despicable Me 2, which has been cleaning up overseas (it’s already earned over $50 million from just seven countries), hits theaters on July 3.
In second place, Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy’s buddy-cop comedy The Heat scored an excellent $40 million — a career-best debut for both stars. The film, directed by Bridesmaids helmer Paul Feig, cost Fox only $43 million to make — and it will surpass that figure by Tuesday. The Heat‘s great debut trumps the opening weekend of McCarthy’s other 2013 hit, Identity Thief, which began its run with $36.3 million on the way to a $134.5 million finish.
As might be expected, adult women drove business for The Heat, which carries an R-rating. According to Fox, audiences were 65 percent female and 67 percent above the age of 25. Crowds issued the film an “A-” CinemaScore grade. READ FULL STORY
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