Words matter, so if you read ‘China Box Office: ‘Solo’ Bombs With Third-Place $10.1M Opening’ from The Hollywood Reporter you’re likely to assume that the movie failed there.
And in a sense it did, though Star Wars movies since being purchased by Disney have underperformed in the Middle Kingdom before–Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ($69 million) and The Last Jedi ($42.5 million), notice the downward direction of those figures?–with perhaps the exception The Force Awakens ($124 million).
So, my question is why Solo: A Star Wars Story would be any different?
In fact, what should worry Lucasfilm is not it’s performance in China but it’s domestic take which at just over $83 million is problematic.
And it’s worth remembering that Ron Howard’s reshoots likely added somewhere in the ballpark of $50-100 million to the budget (that’s a guesstimate though I wouldn’t be at all shocked if it weren’t even higher),
A similar thing happened to Warner Bros Justice League when Joss Whedon replaced Zach Snyder.
So it’s not impossible that Solo will have the weakest opening of any of the Star Wars films under Disney, but could still eke out a profit when all is said and done though I but I wouldn’t be so quick to call–or imply–that it’s a bomb (even in China).
I just read in The Hollywood Reporter that Apple is reportedly vying for the rights to distribute James Bond (along with Amazon, Sony and Warner Bros) movies, which I am trying to get my head around.
Now keep in mind such a move would likely give Apple exclusive access to Bond’s entire back catalog (as well as future releases) though doesn’t Apple–via iTunes–already have this (on an unexclusive basis)?
It’s worthy repeating that Apple isn’t buying the right to produce Bond movies (that would be a serious coup) but the right to distribute them, though seeing that movie theaters will continue to be with us (though perhaps the window from theaters to digital would shorten) there would have to be a considerable effort to expand to other media; a risky effort because not only would you have to be not only concerned about the failure of a particular venture, but of diluting or damaging the franchise as well).
After all, do you remember a cartoon called James Bond Jr (Nor does anyone else; that’s not a bad thing if you’re able to digest the uber-cheesy theme song)?
I suspect part of what makes James Bond such an institution is it’s exclusivity, which seemingly would directly conflict with Apple’s (and Amazon’s long-term plans).
Besides, if Apple Apple really wanted content, they could relatively easily buy a film studio.
Reviews have begun to drop for Luc Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, and while it’s early days yet, let’s just say they haven’t been charitable.
The Hollywood Reporter’s Todd McCarthy was particularly tough on Besson’s latest effort, saying, ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets really is that bad, bad enough you don’t know for longest time that Valerian is one of the lead characters and not a planet or a spaceship.’
Steve Pond of The Wrap was slightly more charitable, saying ‘(Luc) Besson takes all that fun and color, along with a wild array of fantastic creatures, and deploys (them) in service of a big, dopey story that remains resolutely uninvolving and quite often annoying.’
Now, as I said earlier, it’s early days yet and a few mediocre reviews aren’t likely enough to torpedo Valerian’s chances at the domestic box office (after all, it’s taken five movies before many moviegoers in the United States noticed that the Transformers movies are really, really bad).
Though I get the feeling at that we’re not going to see Spider-Man: Homecoming-type box office when the movie goes into wide release.
Fantastic Four reviews have begun trickling in, and if they’re any indicator, the movie is in trouble.
Todd McCarthy at The Hollywood Reporter says that Fantastic Four “offers glimmers of good things to come in its final moments, but only after the audience has slogged through yet another dispiriting origin story and yet another Earth-rescuing battle in a bland, CG-created nowhere land…”
Alonso Duralde of The Wrap begins his review with, ” A sense of heaviness, gloom and complete disappointment settles in during the second half…”
And that’s the first line of Duralde’s review, so it’s pretty easy to see where he’s going from there.
That being said. you shouldn’t judge whether or not you see a movie based on what someone else thinks about it, though it’s worth taking into account when you’re deciding what movie to see this weekend.
I expect that the hard core comic geeks will turn out, but don’t be surprised if, like the Human Torch, Fantastic Four flares brightly, then quickly vanishes from the box office.
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.
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.
The Hollywood Reporter has reported that Underworld is being rebooted. It’s been eight years since first entry in the trilogy (and two since the last film, Underworld Awakening).
And while I don’t necessarily think that eight years is a long time between reboots, at least it’s more than between the transition from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 to Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man.
The thing is, a reboot of Underworld is not a bad thing, especially since the original films were little more than (visually speaking) Matrix knockoffs with vaguely supernatural overtones.
This time around I hope that filmmakers spend less time finding out ways to better arm werewolves and vampires than to have them rely on their ‘natural’ abilities and leave the weaponry to humans, who need the assist.
I also hope that the new movies are more on the horror side, as opposed to (somewhat generic) action films.
It’s not like there’s anything wrong with action films, though we could always use more horror films featuring werewolves and vampires.