10 items from 2017
Simon Brew Jan 31, 2017
Live By Night is now a big flop, apparently. Sony is writing its film business down by $1bn. This is all headline news. But at what cost?
Last week, a story started doing the rounds that Ben Affleck’s latest directorial outing, Live By Night, has been a major financial failure for Warner Bros. The film, reported Variety, has left a $75m hole in Warner Bros’ pockets, off the back of less than chipper reviews and – more pertinently for Warner Bros – weak box office. The film cost $65m to make, with marketing and distribution costs on top. The current worldwide takings for Live By Night are sat at just shy of $20m, and thus the red ink.
It was disappointing, though, in the aftermath of that news to see it become almost widely-celebrated headline news, to the point where even the BBC knocked together a list of ‘costly film flops’. Ben Affleck, »
Publicly, studio executives tend to be a rosy bunch, predicting that each year’s crop of movies will be better than that which preceded it. But behind closed doors, few in the business were expecting much from 2016.
When the final numbers are tallied, the global box office will probably fall short of last year’s record-breaking $38.9 billion. Most observers expect ticket sales to fall roughly 2% to just over $38 billion. That decline is reason for some alarm, particularly as the shortfall is largely attributable to a slowdown in China. After years of explosive growth, in which returns were expanding at a 40% clip annually, revenue in China was essentially flat in 2016 — a disappointment for the world’s second-largest film market, which had been expected to surpass the U.S. in terms of revenue in a matter of months.
“As China goes, so goes the international marketplace,” notes Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at ComScore. »
- Brent Lang
Something strange is happening in South Korea. While Hollywood is churning out dismal remakes and teen-friendly jump scare franchise films, South Korea, for the past decade or so, has been producing intelligent, highly-original and truly effective horror films – including monster movies, zombie thrillers and nerve-shattering psychological mysteries.
The latest is The Wailing, a scary and sometimes funny supernatural epic that mixes police procedural with terrifying occult horror to devastating effect. The film features a bumbling cop investigating a spate of killings that may or may not be linked to a strange man living in the woods, and is packed with incredible set pieces and shocking twists – cementing South Korea’s growing reputation for world class horror. Here are some more that will turn you into a SoKo horrorphile…
A Vietnam war film featuring a platoon of ghosts, this is a genuinely creepy and atmospheric horror film directed by Kong Su-chang, »
- Phil Wheat
The drought of new releases is over, with no fewer than six new DVD and Blu-ray Disc releases debuting among the top 20 on the national home video sales charts for the week that ended Jan. 15.
Lionsgate’s “Deepwater Horizon” and Warner’s “The Accountant” bowed at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, on both the Npd VideoScan overall disc sales chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart.
“Deepwater Horizon” is the dramatization of the April 2010 explosion of the offshore drilling rig of the same name, which created the worst oil spill in U.S. history. The film grossed $61.4 million in U.S. theaters and also debuted at No. 1 on Home Media Magazine’s top disc rentals chart.
“The Accountant,” with a domestic box office gross of $86.3 million, is a crime thriller starring Ben Affleck as a forensic accountant who tracks down inside embezzlers for various criminal enterprises. »
- Thomas K. Arnold
Sinclair Broadcast Group and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer will soon launch Charge!, an action-based network with more than 2,000 movie titles such as Dances with Wolves and Platoon and 2,300 hours of TV series content like In the Heat of the Night and The Magnificent Seven. The round-the-clock Charge!, debuting this spring, follows Sinclair and MGM's first network partnership, the science fiction multi-channel network Comet that launched in 2015. The announcement was made today by… »
First announced in 2014, MGM, seemingly uninterested in fresh, novel, original ideas, continues to mine its library for remakes/reboots. You’ll recall the recent “RoboCop,” “Carrie” and “The Magnificent Seven” remakes, as well as the “Rocky” spin-off movie “Creed,” with remakes… Continue Reading → »
With few new releases in the first week of the new year, the top five disc sellers are unchanged from the previous week.
Sony Pictures’ “The Magnificent Seven” enjoyed a third week at No. 1 on the Npd VideoScan disc sales chart, which tracks combined Blu-ray Disc and DVD sales, for the week ended Jan. 8.
The highest-ranking newcomer was Lionsgate’s “Blair Witch,” the belated third installment in the “found footage” horror franchise that began with 1999’s “The Blair Witch Project.” The film, with a domestic gross of $20.8 million, debuted at No. 7 on the overall disc sales chart, behind Paramount’s “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” which again finished the week at No. 6.
On the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart, »
- Thomas K. Arnold
Sony Pictures’ “The Magnificent Seven” enjoyed a second week at No. 1 on the Npd VideoScan First Alert sales chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, the week ended Jan. 1.
The Western remake had debuted the previous week as the top title on both the overall sales chart and VideoScan’s dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart.
However, in the week-after-Christmas sales period, Warner’s “Suicide Squad” took over the top spot on the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart, pushing “Magnificent Seven” to No. 2. The superhero adventure was No. 2 overall in its third week on shelves.
Rounding out the top five were Universal Pictures’ “The Secret Life of Pets” at No. 3 on both charts, Warner’s “Sully” at No. 4 (No. 5 on the Blu-ray chart) and Warner’s “Storks” at No. 5 (No. 4 Blu-ray).
The top new releases for the week were the Sony Pictures thriller “When the Bough Breaks” at No. »
- John Latchem
The Walking Dead was never a show one would attempt to describe as being light-hearted, but this latest season has been its darkest yet by far. Fans of the source material had been waiting anxiously for the debut of the villainous Negan, but even they had to have been taken aback by just how gruesome and disturbing things got when Jeffrey Dean Morgan finally made good on his sinister promise of retribution, via a barbed wire-wrapped baseball bat he’d christened Lucille.
The deaths of Abraham and Glenn (particularly the latter) left so many viewers shell-shocked that they swore they were going to stop watching The Walking Dead altogether, and this coupled with the amount of complains the showrunners received might well have prompted them to plan a less intense final batch of season 7 episodes.
The Walking Dead Season 7 Gallery 1 of 95
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During a recent interview with EW, »
- Mark Cassidy
Kevin Costner is certainly no stranger to westerns, having appeared in the likes of Silverado and Wyatt Earp, as well as directing and starring in the Oscar-winning Dances with Wolves and 2003’s Open Range. And, it seems he’s keen to get back get back in the saddle for both a return to the genre and the director’s chair, revealing to Variety that he’s been developing an epic ten-hour western.
“I’ve been working on it,” said Costner. “It’s about 10 hours long, how about that? Maybe I’ll make three features out of it. There’s a fourth one, too, so it’s truly a saga. I could do TV, or I could also make it like every six months, have a big western that’s tied together like Jean de Florette and Manon of the Spring. I think those are fun to watch.”
The western has »
- Gary Collinson
10 items from 2017
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