Do You Remember When The Movie, Not The Trailer, Was The Event?

The halcyon days when trailers simply existed to inform viewers about a particularly movie, as opposed to being events in and of themselves, is pretty much a thing of the past.  If I had any doubts, then the email I received from The Hollywood Reporter removed them.

It explains that the trailer for the J.J. Abrams-directed Star Wars: The Force Awakens (I still can’t stand that subtitle) will be shown in 30 theaters from one end of the country to the next.

And I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to hear that there are instances where people attend showings just to see it, and leave as soon as it’s finished.  I am not sure what such a hunger for movie-related information means, though I have a feeling that it’s not a good thing because it reflects a preoccupation that is perhaps better reserved for more tangible, more real things.

Then again, keep in mind this is coming from someone who had has a huge nerdgasm whenever a new Marvel Studios movie (or Guillermo del Toro directs a new feature) turns up, so perhaps I am not the best person to make such points.

Reasons For And Where A Potential Tron: Legacy Sequel Could Begin

Tron: Legacy movie poster

 

  • Demand

I am still reasonably sure that there will be a sequel to the 2010 Joseph Kosinski film, Tron: Legacy.  The original earned over $400 million worldwide, on a budget of $170 million.  When you take into account promotional costs–which I don’t have access to, but I’ll add on another $100 million, which sounds fair–then Tron: Legacy actually wasn’t that profitable, if at all.

But you have to also keep in mind that it earned over $400 million, which shows is that there’s definitely interest in the property, and demand for a potential sequel, with the caveat being if Disney can build on that demand.

  • Disney Has Few Homegrown Options of Its Own

Disney, as a movie studio, is in a pretty unique position.  There’s their Marvel Studios arm, which produced the recent box office hit, Guardians Of The Galaxy, as well as the upcoming The Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Ant-Man, and many others.

Then there’s Pixar, which creates cutting edge CGI features that manage to be extremely profitable, which isn’t easy to do (if you think so, take a look at DreamWorks SKG’s releases sometime, which if it weren’t for the success of How To Train Your Dragon 2, would be bleak).

And there’s also Disney Animation, which ever since John Lassiter, the head of Pixar, began running things, has become a hit-making machine with movies like  Wreck-It-RalphFrozen and most recently Big Hero 6 which has managed, domestically, to outgross Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar.

And I haven’t even gotten into Lucasfilm, which has the potential to be massive with the new Star Wars films they have in the pipeline.

So what becomes of Disney?  Are they a holding company for their more successful branches, or can they produce unique content of their own (Maleficent‘s success to this day is something of a mystery to me, as in I don’t see, considering how relatively niche the movie is in some ways, how it did as well as it did)?

I think that they can, and a sequel to Tron: Legacy would be a great way to show it.

Now on to where the story of Tron can go.

There’s a moment during Joseph Kosinski’s Tron: Legacy that could have defined the entire series, though it’s a relatively small (and unfortunately wasn’t built upon) and easy to miss if you weren’t paying attention.  When Quorra (Olivia Wilde) takes Sam (Garrett Hedlund) to see his father, Kevin (Jeff Bridges).  Kevin exlains that he brought in Tron, and created Clu to keep an eye on things when he couldn’t be on the Grid.

Flynn eventually uttered this line:  “It was a coup.  Clu had been corrupted.”

This is an important line because it leads to the most seminal event in the entire movie, which is Clu overthrowing Kevin and taking control, and if there’s a sequel it’s the perfect point for it to begin.

Because it leads to the question:  How did Clu become corrupted?  If you recall earlier in the movie, you meet Edward Dillinger (Cillian Murphy) who’s a star programmer at Encom.

The point being that Edward Dillinger is the son of Ed Dillinger (David Warner), who in the original movie was Sark though more importantly he’s the creator of the MCP (Master Control Program).

So, going to back to Tron: Legacy, the question of the day is:  How was Clu corrupted?  Let’s, for argument’s sake, say that it wasn’t a random event, but the work of Edward Dillinger!  This means that he’s not only aware of the Grid, but intends to take it over in his father’s name.

And how would he do so?

After corrupting Clu, he would then go about trying to create a new MCP which serves two goals:  It gives him control of the computer world, as well as, potentially, control of Encom.

But most importantly such a direction by Disney completes the journey began in Tron, continued in Tron: Legacy and brings it full circle, and toward what could be a very sastifying conclusion that pleases fans of the original film, its sequel, and others the world over.

And if Disney charts the course I have so carefully mapped, I hope that they also bring back Wendy Carlos, who’s talent, genius and ability defined the original film, and was sorely missed in the sequel.

The Avengers: Age Of Ultron Trailer – Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Edition

Kevin Feige, you cheeky bastard.  It appears that you pulled a fast one.  When the trailer for The Avengers: Age Of Ultron was leaked prior to it appearing on Marvel’s Agent’s Of S.H.I.E.L.D. I assumed that that was the end of this story.  Sure, Marvel Studios handed things pretty gracefully, but I thought it was time to move on.

How wrong I was.

The trailer that was released during S.H.I.E.L.D. is quite similar to the leaked trailer, but not the same, and as anyone knows, the Devil is in the details.  The fist, and most noticeable difference is that there’s an extended party scene (which the first trailer only touches upon), where Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr) and Jim Rhodes (Don Cheadle) attempt to lift Thor’s hammer.Tony and Rhody Attempt to lift Thor's hammer

Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) doesn’t bother, because she knows that boys will be boys.

Though things get interesting with Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), otherwise known as Captain America, tries.

Thor's expression

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) appears mildly concerned, especially since he knows that one has to be deemed worthy by the magics that permeate the hammer to lift it, and who’s worthier than Captain America?

From that point on, the trailer mostly follows similar beats as the first one, though there are small differences.

Such as the image below of Black Widow staring at something…

Black Widow staring

Which was followed by this image of the Chituari scepter from 2013’s The Avengers (and what we learn give the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver their abilities from Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Ctharia weaponCombined with earlier scenes of Captian America breaking into a castle, I believe that they show his his search for the origins of Winter Soldier, and that he finds the hideout of Baron von Strucker (Thomas Kretschmann).

Though there’s an image that appears in both versions that I am very curious about, which is of an attractively-lit room that’s serving as a ballet studio, though why is it in the trailer?  Did Joss Whedon (who may not have cut it) want to add a scene of beauty to contrast all the larger-than-life heroics that proceeded it?

Ballet Dancers

Maybe, but I doubt it because it’s too obvious.  I suspect that the dancers may have something to do with the Scarlet Witch, if only because it’s not exactly the style of Black Widow or Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders).

Now This Is How You Announce A Production Schedule (Not At A Lame Shareholder’s Meeting)!

Marvel Studios has just released their production slate up to the year 2020, and it goes without saying that unlike their Distinguished Competition they did so not at a shareholder’s meeting, but at a press event dedicated for that purpose.

Marvel, led my mastermind Kevin Feige, have announced a lot that will have fans of Marvel Studios salivating, such as movies based upon The Black Panther, The Inhumans and Thor: Ragnarok and many more!

The Black Panther

 

The Inhumans

 

Thor: Ragnarok

Though that’s not all!  Check out all the latest news at Superherohype.com.  And while you’re there, check out as I reveal my Marvel love for all the world to see in their Comments section!

 

The Avengers: Age Of Ultron Had Over 50 Million Views, But What Does That Really Mean?

According to the Hollywood Reporter and technology firm Zefr (they track trailer viewing numbers) the trailer for The Avengers: Age Of Ultron had over 50 million views in its first week. Prior to Age Of Ultron the title was held by Fifty Shades Of Grey (and speaking of Fifty Shades Of Grey, is anyone else getting a Showgirls-like vibe from what we know–which is admittedly little–so far?).

It’s an interesting number but what does it mean beyond the obvious?  I mean, it’s certainly not individual viewers, because if I haven’t watched it at least ten times since its premiere, I haven’t seen it at all.

Now, if you multiply by all the comic book geeks out there, then it seems to me that you have numbers that can rather easily be manipulated by any group with the goal of promoting a movie that they like.

Which isn’t to say that I watched it as many times as I did with any agenda in mind–I thought it was awesome and only wished that the movie were being released sooner than May of next year–but if bunch of like-minded people were to watch a particular video often enough, they could skew those numbers pretty much any way they wanted.

And it doesn’t take any sort of conspiracy, just a bunch of people who like the same things.

Benedict Cumberbatch Is Doctor Strange!

Doctor Strange  Sorceror SupremeBy the way, is Benedict Cumberbatch’s last name pronounced ‘Cum-ber-batch’ or ‘Cum-ber-boch?’  I have been leery of such things every since what I like to call the “Bruce Cockburn Incident,” which by the way, isn’t pronounced at all how it’s spelled.

Kind of like ‘St. John,’ which if James Bond movies have taught me anything, is in some instances is pronounced Sin-Jinn (unless you’re talking about the actual saint).

Anyway, according to sources like Variety he’s going to play Doctor Strange, though what bothers me about Cumberbach in the role is that he has always appeared too tall, though that may have more to do with him in many instances playing against relatively short actors.  That being said, his voice is perfect, though I am still not too crazy about his overall look.

Then again, maybe seeing him in costume will change things.

Though he is a sought-after actor, and I think that Marvel Studios may have wanted him also because it keeps him out of Warner Bros/DC’s hands for the foreseeable future.

Then again, Marvel Studios elevated the game of Tom Hiddleston, so maybe they’re on to something.

More Reasons (As If You Needed Any) Why Marvel Studios Is Awesome

A few days ago I caught a pirated version of the trailer for Marvel Studios’ upcoming The Avengers: Age Of Ultron and noted in a post that it looked particularly good for a pirated trailer.

Since that time Marvel has released a HD version that was watched by over 34.3 million people in the first 24 hours, beating the last record holder, Iron Man 3, which had 20 million views in the same period.

So, in case you were somehow not among those millions, or living in a cave–which doesn’t explain how you happen to be reading this post–here it is.

Marvel Studios originally planned to release it during a showing of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which has been hurting in the ratings lately, so it could have definitely drawn a few more eyes.

Though when they learned that it was released prematurely, Marvel could have done quite a few things, such as pull the clip from anywhere it was live, and then sic their legal department on anyone else.

Such tactics aren’t unheard of, after all.

Instead Marvel sent this tweet, and released an HD version of the pirated trailer.

Marvel Studios TweetPretty awesome and classy, though it also managed to get millions of people not only very excited about the movie but managed to preserve a lot of goodwill.