7 items from 2014
With almost 40 years of history - encompassing films, TV, comic books, video games and novels - there's a wealth of interesting facts and information about the vast universe hatched by George Lucas.
Here are ten fast facts we've discovered from a galaxy far, far away…
1. Inspired by the swashbuckling Flash Gordon adventures that began in the '30s, a young George Lucas initially wanted to bring that serial to the big screen, but found the rights to the character difficult to untangle. From there he began to fashion his own space epic - a project that would eventually become the Star Wars we know and love.
However, things could have been a lot different as Lucas's first draft script was »
Togas-to-go and abs to die for atop the UK box office, while Grand Budapest Hotel books in a surprise third
• More from UK box office
Seven years after the original 300 film, and with Gerard Butler's slain character missing this time around, it was by no means certain that audiences had an appetite for second helpings. But backers Warners and Legendary Pictures will be plenty happy with the opening numbers for 300: Rise of an Empire in the Us and internationally. In the UK, the film, from director Noam Murro (Smart People) and starring Australian actor Sullivan Stapleton (Animal Kingdom), achieved a robust £2.76m debut. While that's well down on 300's opening salvo – £4.75m including previews of £784,000 – it's not bad for a film that seemed short of marketable elements other than the 300 brand name.
Rise of an Empire knocked The Lego Movie off the top spot after a three-week run. »
- Charles Gant
What's the biggest winner at the box office this week?
Is it "300: Rise of an Empire," which debuted atop the chart with an estimated $45.1 million? Maybe, but that film did about as well as expected, and certainly nowhere near the $70.9 million opening of the original "300" seven years ago. Is it "Mr. Peabody & Sherman," which opened in second place with an estimated $32.5 million? That, too, was on the lower end of expectations, and well behind the $43.6 million debut of original cartoon "The Croods" at this time a year ago.
Was it "Frozen," which earned an Oscar bounce of $3 million after winning trophies last weekend for Best Song and Best Animated Feature -- an impressive figure, considering that the movie is already playing at home on many cable providers' video-on-demand services? Was it "12 Years a Slave," which saw a post-Oscar bounce of 123 percent and added another estimated $2.2 million to its theatrical »
- Gary Susman
Oscars buzz boosts UK box office and whether growling on a plane or voicing an animation, it's Liam Neeson's moment
• Review of The Lego Movie
• Review of Non-Stop
• More on the UK box office
Adding another £4.79m in the past seven days, The Lego Movie now stands at a sturdy £26.67m after three weeks of play. That puts it level with the lifetime tallies of blockbusters including Spider-Man 2 (£26.72m) and Ocean's Eleven (£26.47m), and ahead of fellow animations including Ratatouille (£24.80m) and Wall-e (£22.91m). The Lego Movie will pretty soon overtake the likes of Shrek (£29m) and A Bug's Life (£29.45m) and is clearly headed into the mid-30s (£m).
Although box office for The Lego Movie is certainly skewed to the weekend, its decent performance in the Monday-to-Thursday period suggests that it is picking up a true adult audience, rather than merely adult chaperones of children. »
- Charles Gant
Back in the day, every Pixar movie was accompanied, during the closing credits, with a series of "bloopers." These freshly animated pieces, either combining real in-the-recording-studio bloopers with new animation or wholly invented comedy bits, pushed the metatextual realism to wacky new heights (see the bugs from "A Bug's Life" are actors making a movie!), with some of the outtakes working better than others (my personal favorite are the ones from "Monsters Inc."). Pixar discontinued the bloopers a few movies ago, citing their reluctance to ever fall into a "predictable" pattern (and they would seem horribly out of place on something like "Up" or "Brave"), but it makes sense that "The Lego Movie" would carry that idea forward, with a wonderful blooper reel just as charming and hilarious as the actual movie.
To give away the outtakes would be a punishable offense, but I'll just say that they seem to »
- Drew Taylor
News Simon Brew 14 Feb 2014 - 06:25
Harking back to the days when Pixar did this, the team behind The Lego Movie have released some outtakes...
Remember when early Pixar films used to have fake outtakes at the end of them? When they debuted them at the end of A Bug's Life it was both a surprise and a treat, and whilst Pixar would stop after a few movies, its fake outtake work remains quite brilliant.
Well, The Lego Movie - which arrives properly in UK cinemas this weekend - is now getting in on the act. It's probably best you don't watch this until you've seen the movie, but if you have, then you might just enjoy these. We particularly like the fact that they appear to have gone to the effort of animating moments where the voice cast fumbled. That's dedication...
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If you didn't check out The Lego Movie last weekend, you really owe it to yourself to see it. The movie is funny and one of the all around best animated movies in a long time. The sense of humor is great for all ages with some nice easter eggs for adults. Until the Blu-ray hits and the already announced sequel hits, we can enjoy the various clips and such available online. Newly released is a blooper reel for The Lego Movie. Unlike the reels for movies like Toy Story or A Bug's Life, »
- Alex Maidy
7 items from 2014
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