11 items from 2016
Can studios really expect theater audiences to keep coming back to old franchises decades after their original release? Looking at data over the last couple decades, the answer has become a resounding yes. This is an in-depth look at why that is.
We all know that sequels are rarely better than the original film. And sequels of sequels tend to be even worse. Audiences are aware of this fact, which is why traditionally sequels usually gross less in theaters than the original film. If audiences don’t respond to the sequel as well as the original film, they are less inclined to see it more than once, or tell their friends to go see it.
It becomes a matter of diminishing returns; studios try to eke out as much business from one franchise before it no longer makes financial sense to release another sequel. And with each sequel making less money, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (G.S. Perno)
Can you believe it? It's been seven years since Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan-Tatum said I do! Each of the gorgeous stars took to social media to share sweet and swoon-worthy messages about their relationship, and from the looks of this anniversary photo the actress shared on her Twitter today, it seems like these two lovebirds are eternally in the honeymoon phase of marriage. The brunette beauty posted two photo strips of the couple in a photo booth doing all sorts of adorable poses. From a humble hug, to a side kiss, and even a little Lady and the Tramp-esque tongue touching, the pair's palpable love has us feeling all kinds of ways. Jenna captioned her »
15 years ago today, Fast and Furious started its engines. It was on June 22, 2001 that the first film in the massively successful franchise hit theaters. The franchise began with a movie about a police officer who goes undercover into the world of street racing and semi-truck hijacking. It’s since morphed into a series of heist films, boasting crazy stunts, a tight-knit team in Dom Toretto’s crew, and an admirably diverse cast. The soaring box office achievements of the most recent film, Furious 7, have been attributed in part to the fact that 75% of the audience for the film in North America was non-white — it managed to connect with a diverse audience and looks to be leading the way for the rest of the industry. “There is literally someone within the cast that is relatable on some level to nearly every moviegoer around the world, and this has paid big »
- Emily Rome
Disney is one of the most recognizable symbols in the entire world. It doesn’t matter if you’re American, there is a Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Hong Kong, a Shanghai Disney resort, a Tokyo Disney resort, and a Hawaii Disney resort and spa in addition to the original Disneyland in Anaheim and the Disney World resort in Florida.
The magic that is Disney and all of its cartoons is a magic that transcends culture, entrances people, compels them to drive hundreds of miles in a vehicle that’s been through a life of love and hard-earned miles, and draws people back into reminiscing about their childhoods. Disney is basically synonymous with happiness. Those who grew up watching the classics learned a lot of valuable life lessons. Though there are many, here are just 6 things fans took away from the Disney classics:
The Circle of Life Moves Us All
Of all of the Disney classics, »
- Jennifer Gretson
Annecy — For years, CG animation has driven to emulate reality. Technological standards are now so high, however, that animation can now begin to emulate art, even the squash and stretch comedy of hand-drawn classics.
One result: DreamWorks Animation’s “The Boss Baby,” starring Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow, set for a March 2017 release via 20th Century Fox. Directed by Tom McGrath, helmer of the “Madagascar” movies and “Mastermind,” “Boss Baby” had an Annecy audience in stitches at a June 16 sneak preview which unveiled a clutch of never-seen-before sequences to a privileged audience including Guillermo del Toro.
McGrath’s peformance-led comedy style goes with his territory. He watched “Bugs Bunny” with his dad on Saturday mornings. “I laughed at the slapstick, my father at the dialogue,” he recalled, presenting “The Boss Baby” to an Annecy Fest audience. He graduated from the character animation program at Cal Arts. At the time, the old Disney animators, such as Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, as well as Chuck Jones, were still teaching there.
“Now we’re kind of going back to our roots in animation and looking to the past to move forward,” McGrath said. “‘Boss Baby’ is very much a cartoony sensibility. There’s a lot of squash and stretch. In “Madagascar,” while many animators on other films were emulating live action, pushing for realistic lighting and textures, “we really wanted to do something cartoony, but the technology wasn’t quite there. Rigs broke if squished too much.
”’Boss Baby’ is the first film where I could capture things that 2D was able to capture sixty years ago,” he enthused.
In a first sequence shown at Annecy, which McGrath screened to whoops of applause, Tim happens upon baby brother in his cradle, in a executive suit, talking by phone. “I know how important this mission is. You’ve got the right man on the job,” the baby is saying by phone, telling Tim straight off when he realises he’s been outed that he’s the boss, not Tim, and there’s only so much love to go round.
Boss Baby has been sent by Baby Corp. to investigate an evil plot of PuppyCo., to put babies out of business in favour of pets. He spouts businessese: “Think outside the box,” “If you think you can, or if you think you can’t — you’re right,” a Henry Ford dictum. When their parents are captured, however, the siblings finally pull together.
“The theme of the movie, and I don’t think it’s a spoiler, is that there’s plenty of love to go round and it’s not about getting love but giving love,” McGrath said in Annecy.
One example: In one climax sequence, as the young brothers escape from the villain’s brother, Eugene, disguised as a nanny. they do so cycling through a white picket suburb, set against a broad stretch of blue sky and green grass.
One pudgy baby friend, Jimbo, has the body of as mini sumo wrestler. As boss baby and elder bro escape to get to Vegas to save their parents, Eugene running after the babies in frantic pursuit attempting to grab a firetruck with Jimbo in it. But it runs away from him down the road, Eugene’s body stretching in desperation as he tries to hold on.
For McGrath, current animation is rapidly widening its gamut. “As Guillermo del Toro put it in his masterclass yesterday at Annecy, animation is not a genre but a medium. There are a lot of different works: Drama, horror, adult-oriented stuff,” McGrath said.
If McGrath is right, as in live-action, a future animated movie’s success is likely to depend more and more not on its being the latest offering from a big Hollywood studio but on that movie’s originality.
- John Hopewell and Emilio Mayorga
Dr. Maura Isles (Sasha Alexander) is not like the rest of us. Rizzoli & Isles' preeminent medical examiner is more familiar with Lady and the Tramp than Lady Gaga, has an overactive brain that just won't quit, and her social cues are a little... off. But that's exactly why we -- and Jane (Angie
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- Joyce Eng
The concept of meditation is simple enough, but finding one's zen is easier said than done—just ask Lena Dunham! The Girls creator can write, direct, produce, act and everything in between, but she is completely incapable of turning off her thoughts. In a Vogue video called "The Lena Dunham Guide to Meditation," she attempts—and hilariously fails—to relax. After only a few seconds of trying to focus and breathe, Lena's boyfriend Jack Antonoff interrupts her thoughts. "Should we do like Thai tonight?" he asks, then proceeds to do a solo imitation of Lady and the Tramp's spaghetti-slurping scene. This prompts Lena to wonder, "Are Jack and I ready for adulthood? »
The icon-establishing performances Marilyn Monroe gave in Howard Hawks’ Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) and in Billy Wilder’s Some Like It Hot (1959) are ones for the ages, touchstone works that endure because of the undeniable comic energy and desperation that sparked them from within even as the ravenous public became ever more enraptured by the surface of Monroe’s seductive image of beauty and glamour. Several generations now probably know her only from these films, or perhaps 1955’s The Seven-Year Itch, a more famous probably for the skirt-swirling pose it generated than anything in the movie itself, one of director Wilder’s sourest pictures, or her final completed film, The Misfits (1961), directed by John Huston, written by Arthur Miller and costarring Clark Gable and Montgomery Clift.
But in Don’t Bother to Knock (1952) she delivers a powerful dramatic performance as Nell, a psychologically devastated, delusional, perhaps psychotic young woman apparently on »
- Dennis Cozzalio
There will be tears! Although the actual episode is far from the sob-fest that the preview insinuates, as this season of the “The Bachelor” gets down to the wire, Ben and the final six women get emotional — and, no, not because they heard Adele perform at the Grammys.
After Olivia’s dramatic departure last week, the final six take a trip to Ben’s hometown, Warsaw, Indiana. The show really emphasizes how quaint the small town is, but don’t worry — Ben actually lives in Denver, so compared to the last Bachelor’s home on a farm in Iowa, the stakes this time around are much lower. Warsaw: slightly less boring than a cornfield! As our adventure begins, Ben rolls around in a pickup truck. “Good to see ya!” he yells out the window at no one in particular.
Before the waterworks commence, the whole first hour is mostly tear-free, »
- Seth Kelley
Reel-Important People is a monthly column that highlights those individuals in or related to the movies that have left us in recent weeks. Below you'll find names big and small and from all areas of the industry, though each was significant to the movies in his or her own way. Paul Aratow (c. 1937-2016) - Producer and director. He produced the B-movie comic book adaptation Sheena (see below) and the 1987 TV movie version of The Spirit and directed the horror film Doctor Dracula. He died on November 15. (THR) Frank Armitage (1925-2016) - Animator. While employed at Disney, he worked on backgrounds for Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, Mary Poppins and The Jungle Book and parts of Lady and the Tramp. He died...
- Christopher Campbell
Frank Armitage, who contributed artwork to Disney classics like The Jungle Book and Mary Poppins, has died at the age of 91. The famed illustrator died on Monday of age-related causes at his home in Paso Robles, California, Disney Animation Studios VP of Communications Howard Green announced, according to The Hollywood Reporter. In addition to his work in animation, Armitage contributed to murals and theme park designs around the world along with his wife, Karen Connolly Armitage, according to their website Armitage Images. The Melbourne, Australia, native began working for Disney in 1952 and his first project involved working on animation for Lady and the Tramp. »
- Michael Miller, @write_miller
11 items from 2016
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