Home Alone 3 (1997) - News Poster

(1997)

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Why do we repeatedly watch trashy films during the festive season?

George Chrysostomou on Christmas viewing habits…

It feels like finally, the Christmas period has rolled around and the collection of assorted chocolate, wine and badly wrapped presents have begun to collect ready for December 25th. And with this season comes the one thing that most people have in common regardless of your religion, traditions or where you live. I am of course talking about the festive film, so called because of its reliance on Christmas comedy, family feuds or Santa in one form or another.

No matter what you do during the month of December, one certainty is that you will turn on the TV to watch a film that you know, deep down, isn’t very good. Yet, this is the fifteenth year you have watched it so why turn back now? (it would have been sixteen in a row except for that year you had to go to the in-laws…
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

My 5: Pop Culture Moments That Shaped 'Conversations With People Who Hate Me' Host Dylan Marron (Exclusive)

My 5: Pop Culture Moments That Shaped 'Conversations With People Who Hate Me' Host Dylan Marron (Exclusive)
Most people want to run away from comment sections and bullies (and the bullies in comment sections), but Dylan Marron isn't most people.

The New York-based writer and performer may be best known as the voice of Carlos in the beloved mystery podcast, Welcome to Night Vale, but as the host of his very own podcast, Conversations With People Who Hate Me, Marron is taking a break from fictional narratives to, as the title suggests, take on his haters.

"Online comment sections feel like a microcosm of our current political climate. As a writer and performer whose work exists mostly on the Internet, I would get a ton of hate messages and comments," Marron tells Et. "Initially, I wanted to just block out the negativity, but as I realized that (some of) these negative comments were opportunities for actual conversation, I didn't want to keep turning these people away from my digital front door. So I let some
See full article at Entertainment Tonight »

Run The Series: Want to appreciate the original Home Alone? Watch the terrible sequels

With Run The Series, The A.V. Club examines film franchises, studying how they change and evolve with each new installment.

By the time the Home Alone series reached its fourth installment, no one from the original film’s creative team was on board. No John Hughes screenplay. No Christopher Columbus direction. No Daniel Stern, Joe Pesci, Catherine O’Hara, John Heard, or Macaulay Culkin in the cast. And yet even though 1997’s Home Alone 3 had introduced entirely new characters, 2002’s Home Alone 4 (sometimes subtitled Taking Back The House) was inexplicably presented as in-continuity with the first two movies; once again, a grade-school-aged kid named Kevin McCallister found himself thwarting a home invasion by a crook named Marv. It had been 12 years since the first movie became a surprise blockbuster hit, but the producers of part four apparently figured the “child outsmarts criminals with elaborate ...
See full article at The AV Club »

Freeform's 25 Days of Christmas Is Here! Check Out the 2016 Lineup

Freeform's 25 Days of Christmas Is Here! Check Out the 2016 Lineup
Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal...or whatever it is that Kevin says in Home Alone 3. Merry December, TV lovers, and welcome to another season of Freeform's 25 Days of Christmas, with the network playing almost non-stop Christmas programming every single day through Christmas, with the line-up officially kicking off at 3:30 p.m. Et today. This year's line-up includes perennial favorites, like Elf, Tim Burton's A Nightmare Before Christmas and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, as well as animated classics. Two holiday classics that are Mia? Home Alone 1 and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, with two of the franchise's other offerings in the mix.  So brew up a fresh cup of...
See full article at E! Online »

Warner Bros, and its disastrous movie summer of 1997

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Warner Bros has struggled with its blockbusters of late. But back in summer 1997 - Batman & Robin's year - it faced not dissimilar problems.

Earlier this year it was revealed that Warner Bros, following a string of costly movies that hadn’t hit box office gold (Pan, Jupiter Ascending, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., In The Heart Of The Sea), was restructuring its blockbuster movie business. Fewer films, fewer risks, more franchises, and more centering around movie universes seems to be the new approach, and the appointment of a new corporate team to oversee the Harry Potter franchise last week was one part of that.

In some ways, it marks the end of an era. Whilst it retains its relationships with key directing talent (Ben Affleck, Clint Eastwood, Christopher Nolan for instance), Warner Bros was, for the bulk of the 1990s in particular, the studio that the others were trying to mimic. It worked with the same stars and filmmakers time and time again, and under then-chiefs Terry Semel and Robert Daly, relationships with key talent were paramount.

Furthermore, the studio knew to leave that talent to do its job, and was also ahead of the pack in developing franchises that it could rely on to give it a string of hits.

However, whilst Warner Bros is having troubles now, its way of doing business was first seriously challenged by the failure of its slate in the summer of 1997. Once again, it seemed to have a line up to cherish, that others were envious of. But as film by film failed to click, every facet of Warner Bros’ blockbuster strategy suddenly came under scrutiny, and would ultimately fairly dramatically change. Just two summers later, the studio released The Matrix, and blockbuster cinema changed again.

But come the start of summer 1997? These are the movies that Warner Bros had lined up, and this is what happened…

February - National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation

Things actually had got off to a decent enough start for the studio earlier in the year, so it's worth kicking off there. It brought Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo back together, for the fourth National Lampoon movie, and the first since 1989’s National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Interestingly, it dropped the National Lampoon moniker in the Us, and instead released the eventual movie as Vegas Vacation. It was a belated sequel, back when belated sequels weren’t that big a thing.

The film was quickly pulled apart by reviewers, but it still just about clawed a profit. The production budget of $25m was eclipsed by the Us gross of $36m, and the movie would do comfortable business on video/DVD. Not a massive hit, then, but hardly a project that had a sense of foreboding about it.

Yet the problems were not far away.

May – Father's Day

Warner Bros had a mix of movies released in the Us in March and April 1997, including modest Wesley Snipes-headlined thriller Murder At 1600, and family flick Shiloh. But it launched its summer season with Father’s Day, an expensive packaged comedy from director Ivan Reitman, starring Robin Williams and Billy Crystal. It had hit written all over it.

Father’s Day was one of the movies packaged by the CAA agency, and its then-head, Mike Ovitz (listed regularly by Premiere magazine in the 1990s as one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, if not the most powerful man). That he brought together the stars, the director and the project, gave a studio a price tag, and the studio duly paid it. Given Warner Bros’ devotion to star talent (Mel Gibson, then one of the biggest movie stars in the world, and a major Warner Bros talent, was persuaded to film a cameo), it was a natural home for the film. It quickly did the deal. few questions asked.

That package, and CAA’s fees for putting it together, brought the budget for a fairly straightforward comedy to a then-staggering $85m. The problem, though, was that the film simply wasn’t very good. It’s one of those projects that looks great on paper, less great when exposed on a great big screen. Warner Bros has snapped it up, without - it seems - even properly reading the script.

Premiere magazine quoted a Warner Bros insider back in November 1997 as saying “when [CAA] calls and says ‘we have a package, Father’s Day, with Williams and Crystal and Reitman, we say ‘great’”, adding “we don’t scrutinise the production. When we saw the movie, it took the wind out of us. We kept reshooting and enhancing, but you can’t fix something that’s bad”.

And it was bad.

The movie would prove to be the first big misfire of the summer, grossing just $35m in the Us, and not adding a fat lot more elsewhere in the world. Warner Bros’ first film of the summer was a certified flop. More would soon follow.

May - Addicted To Love

A more modestly priced project was Addicted To Love, a romantic comedy starring Meg Ryan and Matthew Broderick. Just over a year later, Warner Bros would hit big when Meg Ryan reunited with Tom Hanks for Nora Ephron’s You’ve Got Mail. But here? The film was a modest success, at best.

Directed by Griffin Dunne (making his directorial debut), and put together in partnership with Miramax, Addicted To Love was based around the Robert Palmer song of the same name. But whilst it was sold as a romcom, the muddled final cut was actually a fair bit darker. There was an underlying nastiness to some moments in the film, and when the final box office was tallied, it came in lower than the usual returns for pictures from Ryan or Broderick. Counter-programming it against the release of The Lost World: Jurassic Park didn’t massively help in this instance either, especially as the Jurassic Park sequel would smash opening weekend records.

Addicted To Love ended up with $34.6m at the Us box office. It would eke out a small profit.

June - Batman & Robin

And this is when the alarm bells started to ring very, very loudly. Summer 1997 was supposed to be about a trio of sure-fire hit sequels: Batman 4, Jurassic Park 2 and Speed 2. Only one of those would ultimately bring home the box office bacon, the others being destroyed by critics, and ultimately leaving far more empty seats than anticipated in multiplexes.

Batman & Robin, it’s easy to forget, came off the back of 1995’s Joel Schumacher-steered Batman reboot, Batman Forever that year's biggest movie). It had one of the fastest-growing stars in the world in the Batsuit (George Clooney), and the McDonald’s deals were signed even before the script was typed up. You don’t need us to tell you that you could tell, something of a theme already in Warner Bros' summer of '97.

That said, Batman & Robin still gave Warner Bros a big opening, but in the infancy of the internet as we know it, poisonous word of mouth was already beginning to spread. The film’s negative cost Warner Bros up to $140m, before marketing and distribution costs, and it opened in the Us to a hardly-sniffy $42m of business (although that was down from previous Batman movies).

But that word of mouth still accelerated its departure from cinemas. It was then very rare for a film to make over 40% of its Us gross in its first weekend. But that’s just what Batman & Robin did, taking $107.3m in America, part of a worldwide total of $238.2m. This was the worst return for a Batman movie to date, and Warner Bros had to swiftly put the brakes on plans to get Batman Triumphant moving.

It would be eight years until Batman returned to the big screen, in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins. Warner Bros would undergo big changes in the intervening period.

As for the immediate aftermath of Batman & Robin? Warner Bros co-chief Robert Daly would note at the end of '97 that “we’d have been better off with more action in the picture. The movie had to service too many characters”, adding that “the next Batman we do, in three years – and we have a deal with George Clooney to do it – will have one villain”.

Fortunately, Warner Bros’ one solid hit of the summer was just around the corner…

July - Contact

And breathe out.

Warner Bros bet heavily again on expensive talent here, with Robert Zemeckis bringing his adaptation of Carl Sagan’s Contact to the studio for his first film post-Forrest Gump. Warner Bros duly footed the $90m bill (back when that was still seen as a lot of money for a movie), a good chunk of which went to Jodie Foster. It invested heavily in special effects, and gave Zemeckis licence to make the film that he wanted.

The studio was rewarded with the most intelligent and arguably the best blockbuster of the summer. I’ve looked back at Contact in a lot more detail here, and it remains a fascinating film that’s stood the test of time (and arguably influenced Christopher Nolan’s more recent Interstellar).

Reviews were strong, it looked terrific, and the initial box office was good.

But then the problem hit. For whilst Contact was a solid hit for Warner Bros, it wasn’t a massively profitable one. Had Father’s Day and Batman & Robin shouldered the box office load there were supposed to, it perhaps wouldn’t have been a problem. But when they failed to take off, the pressure shifted to Contact.

The movie would gross $100.9m in the Us, and add another $70m overseas (this being an era were international box office rarely had the importance it has today). But once Warner Bros had paid its bills, there wasn’t a fat lot over for itself. Fortunately, the film still sells on disc and on-demand. Yet it wasn’t to be the massive hit the studio needed back in 1997.

July - One Eight Seven

From director Kevin Reynolds, the man who helmed Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves and Waterworld, came modestly-priced drama 187, starring Samuel L Jackson (in a strong performance). Warner Bros wouldn’t have had massive box office expectations for the film (although it can't have been unaware that the inspirational teacher sub-genre was always worth a few quid), and it shared production duties on the $20m movie with Mel Gibson’s Icon Productions. But still, it would have had its eye on a modest success. What it got in return was red ink.

The film’s not a bad one, and certainly worth seeking out. But poor reviews gave the film an uphill struggle from the off – smaller productions arriving mid-summer really needed critics on their side, as they arguably still do – and it opened to just $2.2m of business (the less edgy, Michelle Pfeiffer-headlined school drama Dangerous Minds had been a surprise hit not two years before).

By the time its run was done, 187 hadn’t even come close to covering its production costs, with just under $6m banked.

Warner Bros’ summer slate was running out of films. But at least it had one of its most reliable movie stars around the corner…

August - Conspiracy Theory

What could go wrong? Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts were two of the biggest movie stars in the world in 1997, at a time when movie stars still equated to box office gold. Director Richard Donner, one of Warner Bros’ favourite directors, had delivered the Lethal Weapons, Maverick, Superman, The Goonies and more for the studio. Put them altogether, with Patrick Stewart (coming to wider public consciousness at the time off the back of his Star Trek: The Next Generation work) as a villain, and it should have been a big hit.

Conspiracy Theory proved to be one of the more ambitious summer blockbusters of the era. It lacks a good first act, which would be really useful in actually setting up more of what’s going on. But Gibson played an edgy cab driver who believes in deep government conspiracies, and finds himself getting closer to the truth than those around him sometimes give him credit for.

Warner Bros was probably expecting another Lethal Weapon with the reunion of Gibson (who had to be persuaded to take Conspiracy Theory on) and Donner (it’s pretty much what it got with the hugely enjoyable Maverick a few years’ earlier), but instead it got a darker drama, with an uneasy central character that didn’t exactly play to the summer box office crowd.

The bigger problem, though, was that the film never quite worked as well as you might hope. Yet star power did have advantages. While no juggernaut, the film did decent business, grossing $137m worldwide off the back of an $80m budget ($40m of which was spent on the salaries for the talent before a single roll of film was loaded into a camera). That said, in the Us it knocked a genuine smash hit, Air Force One, off the top spot. Mind you in hindsight, that was probably the film that the studio wished it had made (the cockpit set of Warner Bros' own Executive Decision was repurposed for Air Force One, fact fans).

Still: Warner Bros did get Lethal Weapon 4 off Gibson and Donner a year later…

August - Free Willy 3: The Rescue

Yeah.

Warner Bros opened its third Free Willy film on the same day as Conspiracy Theory (can you imagine a studio opening two big films on the same day now), but it was clear that this was a franchise long past its best days (and its best days hardly bring back the fondest of memories).

Still, Free Willy movies were relatively modest in cost to put together, and Warner Bros presumably felt this was a simple cashpoint project. But in a year when lots of family movies did less business than expected (Disney’s Hercules, Fox’s Home Alone 3, Disney’s Mr Magoo), Free Willy 3 barely troubled the box office. It took in just over $3m in total, and Willy would not be seen on the inside of a cinema again.

August - Steel

Not much was expected from Steel, a superhero movie headlined by Shaquille O’Neal. Which was fortunate, because not much was had.

It had a mid-August release date in the Us, at a point when a mid-August release date was more of a dumping ground than anything else. And even though the budget was set at a relatively low $16m, the film – and it’s an overused time – pretty much bombed. It took $1.7m at the Us box office, and given that its appeal hinged on a major American sports star whose fame hardly transcended the globe, its international takings did not save it (it went straight to video in many territories).

It was a miserable end to what, for warner bros, had been a thoroughly miserable summer.

So what did hit big in summer 1997?

Summer 1997 was infamous for big films failing to take off in the way that had been expected – Hercules, Speed 2, and the aforementioned Warner Bros movies – but there were several bright spots. The big winner would be Barry Sonnenfeld’s light and sprightly sci-fi comedy Men In Black, starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. Star power too helped score big hits for Harrison Ford (Air Force One), Julia Roberts (My Best Friend’s Wedding) and John Travolta (Face/Off).

This was also the summer that Nicolas Cage cemented his action movie credentials with Face/Off and Con Air. Crucially, though, the star movies that hit were the ones that veered on the side of 'good'. For the first of many years, the internet was blamed for this.

Oh, and later in the year, incidentally, Titanic would redefine just what constituted a box office hit...

What came next for Warner Bros?

In the rest of 1997, Warner Bros had a mix of projects that again enjoyed mixed fortunes. The standout was Curtis Hanson’s stunning adaptation of L.A. Confidential, that also proved to be a surprise box office success. The Devil’s Advocate didn’t do too badly either.

However, two of the studio’s key filmmakers failed to really deliver come the end of 1997. Clint Eastwood’s Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil failed to ignite (although many felt he was always on a hiding to nothing in trying to adapt that for the screen), and Kevin Costner’s The Postman would prove arguably the most expensive box office disappointment of the year. No wonder the studio rushed Lethal Weapon 4 into production for summer 1998. Oh, and it had The Avengers underway too (not that one), that would prove to be a 1998 disappointment.

The studio would eventually take action. The Daly-Semel management team, that had reigned for 15 years, would break up at the end of 1999, as its traditional way of doing business became less successful. The pair had already future projects that were director driven to an extent (Eyes Wide Shut), and it would still invest in movies with stars (Wild Wild West). But the immediate plan of action following the disappointment of summer 1997 – to get Batman 5 and Superman Lives made – would falter. It wouldn’t be until 1999’s The Matrix (a film that Daly and Semel struggled to get) and – crucially – 2001’s Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone that the studio would really get its swagger back...

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Movies Feature Simon Brew Warner Bros 16 Jun 2016 - 05:19 Conspiracy Theory Father's Day Addicted To Love Contact National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation One Eight Seven Steel Batman & Robin Free Willy 3: The Rescue
See full article at Den of Geek »

‘Pretty in Pink’ at 30: The Best and Worst Films of John Hughes

‘Pretty in Pink’ at 30: The Best and Worst Films of John Hughes
Before movies like “Say Anything” and “Perks of Being a Wallflower,” and TV shows like “Dawson’s Creek” and “My So Called Life,” John Hughes’ classic high school romance “Pretty in Pink” dared to depict teenage love with a poignancy and truthfulness that felt both natural and wildly sentimental. Released on February 28, 1986, it remains one of Hughes’ most beloved movies. On the 30th anniversary of “Pretty in Pink,” here’s a look back at John Hughes’ 10 finest films, plus five that didn’t quite make the grade.

The Best…

10) Uncle Buck (1989)

John Candy played the title role of a lovable oaf whose babysitting skills are put to the test in this lightweight yet undeniably funny family comedy. The fifth of eight Hughes films in which he appeared, Candy showed winning chemistry with 9-year old Macaulay Culkin in what remains a career highlight. Though a 1990 “Uncle Buck” sitcom starring Kevin Meaney
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The complete Home Alone retrospective: Home Alone: The Holiday Heist

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Er, a Home Alone film that won't even call itself Home Alone 5? This doesn't bode well - does it?

Spoilers lie ahead.

You could be forgiven for thinking that Home Alone 4 was the pitiful last gasp of once-majestic franchise. But time heals all wounds, including (apparently) fatal ones. Ten years after Home Alone 4, someone willed the series back to life. And this time they were determined not to squander the lingering goodwill that anyone might feel for the series.

The good news is that, over 20 years since the original was made, many of the kids who watched Home Alone now have kids of their own. And do you know what Gen Y adults like? Anything they remember from their childhoods. So it is that in the wake of Transformers, GI Joe and My Little Pony, we find ourselves the audience for a new Home Alone.
See full article at Den of Geek »

The complete Home Alone retrospective: Home Alone 3

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Macaulay Culkin was gone, Alex D Linz and Scarlett Johansson were in. Home Alone 3? Er, not many people's highpoint...

Spoilers lie ahead.

Readers, can you believe that Home Alone 2 – crappy though it was – did box office almost as high as the first? Sure you can, because you probably saw them both in the cinema. A third movie was inevitable.

But times change. By 1997, the world was no longer high off the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the freeing of Nelson Mandela, and Macaulay Culkin had quit the acting biz to become… whatever he became. The optimistic kids that dragged their parents to Home Alones 1 and 2 had become cynical, jaded teenagers uninteresting the continuing adventures of Kevin McCallister. What the franchise needed was a new hero. A new star. A new child star for America, and the world, to clasp to its collective bosom.

I
See full article at Den of Geek »

The complete Home Alone retrospective: Home Alone

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The first Home Alone movie remains the best. Here's the case as to why...

Spoilers lie ahead.

Compile a list of archetypical Christmas movies and sooner or later, you’ll have to put Home Alone on it. Whether you love or hate the film that made Macaulay Culkin a one-man cultural trainwreck, you have to admit that the basic concept – lone kid fends off attackers using household goods – is about as perfect a children’s movie as you can conceive. A mixture of wish-fulfilment and slapstick comedy, it’s a premise that’s virtually built to be done again and again.

Clearly someone agrees with this, because there have been four further Home Alone movies since the first was released in 1990. I know, because I was asked to watch them all and report back for Den of Geek. And I’ve done it. I’ve stared into the abyss,
See full article at Den of Geek »

25 Things You May Not Know About Home Alone, 25 Years Later

  • PEOPLE.com
25 Things You May Not Know About Home Alone, 25 Years Later
Twenty-five years ago, Macaulay Culkin taught the world that a home invasion can result in physical comedy magic and family fun for all. Yes, Home Alone first opened in theaters on Nov. 16, 1990. Of course, Home Alone taught us other lessons too. For example, you can accidentally abandon your child without getting in trouble with Child Protective Services. We learned that a scary old man next door just might be a lonely guy who's handy with a snow shovel. And perhaps most important of all, Home Alone proved you can make a successful movie starring one child actor onscreen alone for
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

A Very Murray Christmas: a fun, bizarre, festive cocktail

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Bill Murray festive special, A Very Murray Christmas, is available on Netflix now. Here's what we made of the musical variety show...

Bill Murray has become something of an enigmatic figure in recent years; he has a freephone number instead of an agent, is notorious for crashing private parties, and is inextricably linked with the phrase ‘No-one will ever believe you’. It’s perhaps appropriate, then, that the best word to sum up the actor’s new Netflix special A Very Murray Christmas would be ‘bizarre’.

One part comedy, two parts musical special, A Very Murray Christmas begins with the story of a doomed live holiday special, whose special guests have all had to pull out due to the dreadful weather. Despite his reservations, Murray is contractually obliged to go ahead with the performance. However, when further disaster strikes, he winds up spending his Christmas Eve
See full article at Den of Geek »

Why Props Matter, First and Last Frames, Success of ‘Beasts of No Nation,’ and More

Dailies is a round-up of essential film writing, news bits, videos, and other highlights from across the Internet. If you’d like to submit a piece for consideration, get in touch with us in the comments below or on Twitter at @TheFilmStage.

Netflix’s Ted Sarandos talks with Deadline about the success of Beasts of No Nation:

It is worth sharing that this movie, in North America alone, has over 3 million views already. Which I think is a bigger audience than any specialty film could ever hope for in its first two weeks of release, and maybe for its entire run. And we’re just starting. We are just thrilled with the total audience reach of this film, not just in North America but the world. In the first week of release, Beasts Of No Nation was the most watched movie on Netflix, in every country we operate in.
See full article at The Film Stage »

'Home Alone' Returns to Theaters This November

  • MovieWeb
'Home Alone' Returns to Theaters This November
To mark the anniversary of one of the best live-action comedies of all time, Fathom Events and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment present Home Alone 25th Anniversary, coming to select cinemas for two dates on Sunday, November 8 and Wednesday, November 11. What better way to get into the holiday spirit than by enjoying this Christmas comedy blockbuster with the whole family on its original home of the big screen. In addition to the full-length feature, the event will also include a special introduction that will be exclusive to cinema audiences.

Tickets for Home Alone 25th Anniversary can be purchased online by visiting FathomEvents.com or at participating theater box offices. Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in more than 600 movie theaters through Fathom's Digital Broadcast Network. For a complete list of theater locations visit the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change
See full article at MovieWeb »

The 1990s comedy sequels that deserved better

Bill & Ted, Addams Family Values, Wayne's World 2 - the 1990s wasn't short of good comedy sequels. It's just not enough people watched them.

In recent times, Hollywood has enjoyed going back into the 1990s to come up with belated sequels to previous hit movies. So, we finally got Dumb & Dumber 2, for instance, whilst a third Clerks, a second Mallrats, a new Sister Act and a Naked Gun reboot are being cooked up somewhere. Further belated sequels? Zoolander 2 finally arrives next year, and Anchorman 2 celebrates, quietly, its second birthday this Christmas.

It was only at the end of the 1990s that comedy sequels suddenly really took off. There were exceptions beforehand of course, but few things raise the eyebrows of Hollywood high brass than lots of cash. This, whilst the enormous box office takings of Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me were in part down to an utterly inspired marketing campaign,
See full article at Den of Geek »

How to fix a failing movie franchise

Paramount tried a few approaches in the new Terminator reboot. But if a franchise hits the doldrums, how can a studio resurrect it?

Fingers are being crossed at Skydance and Paramount Pictures that the critical mauling handed out to Terminator: Genisys last week won't be reflected fully in the box office numbers. So far, the plan for a new trilogy of Terminator films is arguably just about alive, courtesy of a total gross for the new film of $131m worldwide. That's below expectations, but if it can eventually crawl its way to $400m, that's probably enough to move ahead with a Genisys sequel (it'd be more than the hugely-acclaimed Mad Max: Fury Road).

But even if a new film gets greenlit, it's clear that things have to change again. As many have pointed out, the consensus is now that there have been more bad-to-middling Terminator films than good ones,
See full article at Den of Geek »

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Scarlett Johansson

Born on November the 22nd in 1984 in New York, Scarlett Johansson is a highly successful actress, model and sometimes singer. She is 5′ 4″ tall, part Danish, part Polish and part Russian.

Having begun acting as a child, she made her film debut at just nine years old, playing Laura Nelson in Rob Reiner’s North. She has since gone on to star in critically acclaimed movies like Hitchock and Lost in Translation, big budget blockbusters like The Avengers and Lucy, and a few she’d probably rather forget like like Home Alone 3 and Eight Legged Freaks.

The gorgeous star was voted by readers of FHM as the “Sexiest Woman Alive” in 2006 and “Sexiest Celebrity of the Year” by Playboy readers in 2007 and has dated the likes of Jared Leto, Josh Hartnett and Ryan Reynolds. She is now married to Frenchman Romain Dauriac – the owner of an independent advertising agency – and
See full article at Obsessed with Film »

Marian Seldes, Broadway Legend, Dies at 86

Marian Seldes, Broadway Legend, Dies at 86
Marian Seldes, the Tony Award-winning star of A Delicate Balance who was a teacher of Kevin Kline and Robin Williams, a muse to playwright Edward Albee and a Guinness Book of World Records holder for most consecutive performances, died Monday at age 86. She died peacefully at her home after an extended illness, her brother Timothy Seldes said. "It is with deep sadness that I share the news that my dear sister Marian Seldes has died," he said in a statement. "She was an extraordinary woman whose great love of the theater, teaching and acting was surpassed only by her deep love for her family.
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Female-Fronted Hollywood Remakes We’d Like to See

The calls have been heard loud and clear, both on stage and off at the Oscars or in the annals of the web and at the box office: the world demands more movies with women, about women, by women and for women.

Every week a movie seems to be failing the Bechdel test, and every week a separate movie ends up walking away with the lion’s share at the box office. From hits like Maleficent, The Fault in Our Stars and Lucy to monster franchises like The Hunger Games, the old notion that teenage boys are the ones driving the demand at the movies is rapidly eroding. The Hollywood Reporter pointed out that Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy opened to a 44 percent female audience on the film’s opening weekend, the highest share for any Marvel movie to date.

And although they’ve taken their sweet time, Hollywood
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Garby Francis Leon, Fox Executive Who Developed ‘The Matrix’ at Silver Pictures, Dies at 66

Garby Francis Leon, Fox Executive Who Developed ‘The Matrix’ at Silver Pictures, Dies at 66
Garby Francis Leon, an executive at 20th Century Fox who developed “The Matrix” while at Silver Pictures, where he also worked on “Lethal Weapon IV” and “The Manchurian Candidate” remake, died April 21 after a long battle with cancer. He was 66.

Leon had been a story analyst at Fox since the mid 2000s. Before that, from 1997-99, he was VP of production at Fox Family Films, where he developed “Ever After,” “Home Alone III” and “Anastasia.”

He was director of development at Silver Pictures in the mid-’90s and before that a story analyst at Columbia Pictures and Lorimar. He was VP of production at Dan Curtis Productions in the mid 1980s.

Born in New York City, he earned a B.A. from Marlboro College and a PhD in music from Harvard U.

In the mid 2000s, Leon was a union organizer at the Motion Picture Editors Guild.

He is survived by his wife,
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Pat Healy Discusses the Pains of ‘Cheap Thrills’

Director E.L. Katz‘s Cheap Thrills was the first movie to get picked up for distribution at this year’s South by Southwest, and it’s also the third movie in a row actor Pat Healy has had at the festival, following Compliance and The Innkeepers. All three movies have featured Healy in a starring role, but, according to Healy, that doesn’t mean he still isn’t crashing on people’s couches to make it to a film festival. Healy has been acting for quite a while now, making small appearances in Payback, The Assassination of Jesse James, to, who could forget, Home Alone 3. Even with a steady stream of working coming his way recently, Healy still struggles, and and that struggle is something Cheap Thrills is very much about. When I sat down with Healy in Austin he was playing with his sweater, which was made by his brother’s clothing company, Toddland
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