4 items from 2014
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
Feature Mark Harrison 5 Mar 2014 - 06:39
For every animated movie that gets made, there are dozens more that never make it. Mark looks at some failed Disney projects...
In the age of the internet, Hollywood studios are much quicker to announce the projects they have in development than they used to be. Now that the demand is there, there's a huge turnover of movie-related news every day, and if you follow it in any significant way, there are probably a whole bunch of projects that you've heard about, maybe even gotten excited about, that never came to fruition.
Still, it's not only via the easier availability of such information that we know about projects that never came to be. At a studio like Disney, projects will get as far as being fully developed in animatic form before falling apart, and the artefacts left behind from such abridged projects have made for some fascinating reading. »
As Hollywood has increasingly turned to eyebrow-raising sources for feature films in recent years (Grumpy Cat, anyone?), it seemed like the latest flick to be centered around a popular product, "The Lego Movie," would be yet another lazy attempt at making money by a greedy studio. But, as it turns out, "The Lego Movie" is pretty great -- though one of its co-animation directors, Chris McKay, doesn't begrudge anyone for having doubts about the film's quality.
In an interview with Esquire, McKay said that when he first explained the idea for the film, friends were skeptical.
"When I told people I was working on 'The Lego Movie,' they were like, 'That's the sh*ttiest idea I've ever heard of.' They thought it was like 'Battleship,' and I don't blame them," McKay told the magazine's Culture Blog.
McKay added that that opinion also briefly seeped into Warner Bros.'s psyche, »
- Katie Roberts
Aardman and Studiocanal announced Thursday that cameras have begun to roll in Bristol, the U.K., on animated comedy “Shaun the Sheep Movie,” a big-screen stop-motion adventure toplining the character first seen in Aardman’s Oscar-winning short “A Close Shave.”
Marking the first teaming of Europe’s biggest animated feature forces, European film-tv group Studiocanal and Aardman (“Chicken Run, “Wallace & Gromit”), “Shaun” will hit cinemas worldwide in 2015.
Richard Starzak (aka Golly) and Mark Burton will write and direct. Aardman produces.
Studiocanal will finance and also distribute in U.K., France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand, where it owns distribution operations. It has also handling sales to the rest of the world outside these territories, closing heavyweight deals at Cannes last year: Latin America and Spain with Universal, Japan with Tohokushinsha, the Cis with Volga and Svensk Industry for Scandinavia,
Billed as an “epic big screen adventure,” “Shaun the Sheep” sees Shaun (pictured, »
- John Hopewell
4 items from 2014
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