Category Archives: Movies

Watch the Latest ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Trailer

Spider-Man: Homecoming is in theaters July 7.

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A First-Look at the ‘My Little Pony: The Movie’ with a 360° Introduction

Fans awaiting the release of My Little Pony: The Movie were just given a HUGE treat today with the release of a never before seen image from the movie!

In the photo, you’ll be able to meet Princess Skystar (voiced by Kristin Chenoweth) and Queen Novo (voiced by Uzo Aduba). You’ll also have the chance to see the Mane 6: Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Applejack, Twilight Sparkle, Rarity and Pinkie Pie. The film also features an all-star cast with voice talents of Emily Blunt, Taye Diggs, Michael Peña, Zoë Saldana, Liev Schreiber and Sia, including an original song performed by Sia.

A new dark force threatens Ponyville, and the Mane 6 – Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, and Rarity – embark on an unforgettable journey beyond Equestria where they meet new friends and exciting challenges on a quest to use the magic of friendship and save their home.

Where the Data Ranks 2017’s Comic Book Films

Last week we wrapped up our coverage of 2016’s comic adaptations and this week we begin to look at 2017 where there’s already been six films released in just five months.

Already, there year is an interesting one with two clear successes and a whole lot of mixed otherwise. Logan and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 have done well this year, The LEGO Batman Movie and Smurfs: The Lost Village are in that debatable area, and Wilson and Ghost in the Shell are generally disappointments.

Here’s where this year’s movie crop stands as far as the actual numbers:

Total Domestic Gross: $787 million
Total International Gross: $1.213 billion
Worldwide Gross: $2.0 billion
Total Reported Budgets: $552 million
Total “Profit”: $1.448 billion

Average Domestic Gross: $131.2 million
Average International Gross: $242.7 million
Average: Worldwide Gross: $333.4 million
Average Budget: $92 million
Average Profit: $241.4 million

Below is where the films released stand when it comes to being compared to this year’s averages. Those in green are above average while those below are red.

Alien: Covenant Narrowly Beats Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

We predicted last week that it’d be a close one between Alien: Covenant and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 at the weekend box office and we were right. Alien: Covenant debuted with an initial reported $36 million compared to Guardians‘ $35.1 million.

That $36 million was far below Prometheus‘ $51.1 million debut back in 2012, however, its budget was far less, $97 million compared to $130 million. Alien: Covenant has already earned $81.9 million at the foreign box office for $117.9 million so far total. The film should do fine in the long run overall, though it’s domestic total may be disappointing. The film earned a “B” CinemaScore and the audience was 62% male, 66% age 25 and older, and 51% Caucasian.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was second, earning an estimated $35.1 million in its third week. The film has earned $301.8 million domestically, $430.8 million at the foreign box office for $732.6 million so far. It’s possible the film crosses $1 billion. With a $200 million budget, it’s one of Marvel Studios’ more expensive films. They tend to have sequels balloon in budgets. It’s their sixth highest earning film (not adjusted for inflation).

In third place was Everything, Everything which did very well with an estimated $12 million. That was the higher end of estimates and the film earned an “A-” CinemaScore, so should do well off of word of mouth.

Snatched was anything but this weekend with an estimated $7.6 million to come in fourth place. The film cost an estimated $42 million and so far has earned $32.7 million domestically. It’ll need the foreign box office to make a profit.

Rounding out the top five was Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul which debuted with an estimated $7.2 million. That’s just half of the last film’s debut back in 2012, and that was about 50% less than the previous two films. This film will have to rely on kids getting out of school if it hopes to pick up business.

When it comes to comic adaptations…

Smurfs: The Lost Village continues to smurf along earning an estimated $520,000 to come in at #14. The film has earned $43 million domestically and $180 million worldwide. For a $60 million budget, that’s not too bad.

Logan came in at #25 and added $180,000 to its domestic total to bring that to $225.9 million. Worldwide the film has earned $607.3 million.

Though the film isn’t charting, The LEGO Batman Movie earned about $200,000 domestically over the past week to bring its total to $310.3 million.

And finally, Ghost in the Shell added about $1 million to its total to bring that to $169.6, there’s still some life in there it turns out.

We’ll be back in an hour for further analysis of 2017’s comic adaptations!

Director Glenn Fleming Discusses the upcoming Jack Kirby: My Personal Journey

Glenn Fleming is the director of the upcoming documentary Jack Kirby: My Personal Journey which will be available through his website. I had a chance to talk about the film and legendary creator.

Graphic Policy: Congratulations Glenn, on reaching your goal, so please tell us how you got into filmmaking?

Glenn Fleming: Thanks. As of this writing the Kickstarter project has reached almost £2,000 and 101 backers. This is well over my goal and I’m grateful to everyone who has backed the project. In answer to your question, I suppose i got ‘into’ filmmaking the same day I saw my dad filming us on holiday with his Super 8mm cine camera – when I was about six years old! I dabbled in photography at Art College many years later, movies and still, and I’ve produced many short films which are on You Tube, but I wouldn’t say I was a professional ‘film maker’; I’m really an artist and writer.

GP: Is this your first documentary? If not, where have we seen your work before?

GF: This film is not really a ‘documentary’ of sorts. As it says in the title, the film is about my journey to meet Jack.

GP: So, what inspired you initially to do this film?

GF: In the mid 80s, having not read a comic for 15 years, I found Kirby’s ‘Silver Star’ and ‘Captain Victory’. I also bought ‘The Comics Journal’ and read about Jack’s efforts to get his original art back from Marvel. I was surprised, but glad, he was still alive and thought wouldn’t it be cool to meet him. From there I met some Californians on holiday who lived near Jack. One thing led to another and I ended up knocking on Jack’s door. This is all covered in the film!

GP: Can we expect any interviews with some comic book writers or artists?

GF: Maybe. I would do it, of course, but my passion for the work of others is not the same; Jack was the best of the best, the most innovative comics creator in history. Everyone else just copies his blue print. I have interviewed other creators and published those interviews in my magazines ‘Crikey! The Great British Comics Magazine’, hard copies of which are still available and more recently in my on-line magazine, ‘Comics Unlimited’. Readers can still get all this stuff, should they wish it.

GP: At what point growing up and going to their house, did you realize just how much of a star, Jack Kirby was?

GF: I knew he was a star the first time I read those Marvel comics. They were, and remain, the best. No-one has come forward with Jack’s eye for storytelling, character deigns, layout or just sheer imagination. You can never say never, but I have to doubt there will ever be a force like him again.

GP: Please tell us one of your fondest memories of Jack and Roz Kirby?

GF: I have a lot of memories! I went to his house twice, so I was with him around 12 hours in total. Not long enough! My first memory is of how small he was; such a small frame, but so powerful and upright. His imagination was the size of a planet, but such a small man. My main memory of Roz was how beautiful she was. And such a lovely woman, you couldn’t help but fall in love with her. And strong – she protected her man and family. Roz Kirby is the reason we have Jack Kirby; she stood behind him every step of the way and let him get on with telling his stories. Another memory that brings a smile to my face was his grandson, Jeremy. Jeremy was about 12 at that time and he came around for his lunch when I was there. I remember Roz telling us he liked his pizza ‘napalmed’. Funny things stick in your head!

GP: Were you ever at their house, at the genesis of one of his characters that we all know?

GF: No! I was there in the late 80s and Jack had retired from the mainstream by then. It would have been cool to stand behind him and watch him draw Galactus for the first time – but no, I wasn’t there for any of that.

GP: Do you remember any characters that he created that did not quite work out, but he spent inordinate amount of time working on it?

GF: I think some of his peripheral characters could have been some of his best. This is my opinion and Jack never mentioned any of this: the character ‘Him’ from the FF was going to be better than the Surfer; the guy was incredible, another ‘god’ (and Jack was full of gods!). I don’t imagine Jack spent a lot of time on that character, but his potential, like all of Jack’s creations, was incredible. Sadly, the character didn’t go the way Jack would have taken him, by any means. Another character I always liked who never went as far as he should, was ‘Mantis’ from ‘The New Gods’. I always liked that character. I thought there was a lot of potential in ‘Silver Star’, but that only lasted six issues.

GP: When you were at their house, did you meet any famous writers/artists?

GF: No – it was just another day at the Kirby household! Jack talking about the war, Roz making lunch and me open jawed, in total awe and wanting to stay there for the next ten years.

GP: Do you remember any specific issue of his, you held, that is now considered classic?

GF: Many. I had them all. FF, Spidey, Avenger, X-Men – I had all the first issues. Unfortunately, my mother had me throw them away. Yep – she made me get rid of them when I was sixteen. Six hundred of them. Six hundred. I have a few that I managed to keep hold of, but not the full series that I could have, and should have, saved. Imagine if Jack had signed that FF #1 for me!!

GP: In your interview with Mr. Kirby, what was his favorite book when he worked at Marvel?

GF: I didn’t ask him specific questions. Jack had been ill and I didn’t want to pressure him or upset him. I just let him talk. The results are, I think, better than a set of questions. The best interviewers are the people who let people talk, let them go where they want to go. It’s more revealing that way.

GP: In your interview with Mr. Kirby, what was his favorite book when he worked at DC?

GF: Jack said DC were a fine company to work for, though he didn’t mention specific books or characters. I think he was honoured to draw Superman, but he preferred to write and draw his own characters. If you look at his ‘Jimmy Olsen’, an established DC character, you can see Jack taking that character way and above anything that had gone before. The same with ‘Superman’ – such a famous, iconic and powerful character, with a long and great history, pushed almost into the background, almost a secondary character, when he appeared in ‘Forever People’. That’s how good Jack was; he took established things and did things that pushed it further and further.

GP: In your interview with Mr. Kirby, what was his favorite book when he did not work at DC or Marvel?

GF: I think Jack enjoyed whatever he was working on at the time. I truly believe that.

GP: In your interview with Mr. Kirby, what was his favorite book that he worked on, period?

GF: I don’t know if he had any ‘favourite’ book, but my money would be on ‘Captain America’.

GP: Do you remember where you were, when you heard of his passing?

GF: I do. I was about to go into my office when a colleague of mine blurted out, “Jack Kirby’s dead.” Talk about sensitivity. I didn’t do much work that day.

GP: Before he passed, when was the last time you saw him? And do you remember what was the last thing he told you?

GF: I last saw Jack in October 1991. As I shook his hand, his last words were, “Thanks for coming by.” I wish I’d said what I had said the first time I was leaving. I said, “I hope we meet again.” Jack replied, “We will.” And we did. I wish I’d said that again and maybe it would have happened.

GP: What was your favorite book that he worked on?

GF: ‘The Fantastic Four’ and ‘The Eternals’. Going back to a previous question, ‘The Eternals’ should have been Jack’s second hundred issue series; what a ride that would have been.

GP: What was your favorite character that he created?

GF: Again, too many, but if you held me down… Captain America. The proof is longevity. Cap is as iconic as Superman and Batman. They are the three most enduring characters in comic history. And will continue to be.

GP: What can we expect from this documentary?

GF: Just Jack talking about his life, his service in the Army and general chat. As I said, I didn’t go armed with specific questions. I wanted the talk to be free and easy for Jack. Jack liked to talk and was a funny guy. This is revealed in the film. I often think about him; how such a simple, loving and talented man could pull entire universes from his imagination, draw them out and entertain us all. In realty, Jack was entertaining himself. All we had to do was watch while he had a great time. And, the more people watched, the happier he was and the further into his mind he ventured. Maybe he was trying to get away from us all!

GP: Is there anything in the documentary that the public and even die hard Kirby fans, would be surprised to find out about?

GF: A fifteen-year-old Jacob Kurtzburg flying upside down in a small aircraft over the skyscrapers of Manhattan! That would make anybody’s hair stand on end – guaranteed!

GP: This week, which would be his 100th birthday, what do you think he would say about the state of comics today? The state of his creations?

GF: I haven’t read a ‘new’ comic in thirty years and I know Jack didn’t look at his after they were published. He told me so. As for the ‘state’ comics are in today… well, I see a lot of exaggerated posing, exaggerated chests pushed out and exaggerated bad anatomy and, to top it all, very poor storytelling. Sure, Jack’s anatomy was exaggerated, but he knew the real stuff, so he was able to exaggerate; his woman were beautiful, though not semi pornographic, and his storytelling was… well, second to none. Jack knew how to tell a story. Without good, dynamic and clear storytelling it doesn’t matter how well the figures are drawn, how much ‘shine’ is shown on armour and how great the explosions are rendered. The story is everything. Jack Kirby was the master of that. He was the master at storytelling. And pretty good at drawing, too!

GP: Do you think he would still be making comics?

GF: No. I think he had said all he had to say and left enough for us to mine for the next hundred years. I think any sadness he may have had was that someone else hasn’t come forward to pick up his ‘pencil’ and move the medium on, rather than simply rehash his work. Tall order, though!

GP: Lastly, what do you think is the biggest misconception of Mr. Kirby?

GF: In my opinion, the biggest misconception of Jack Kirby is that people still believe, too many people still believe, that he was ‘just’ a penciler. As he told me, he created them all and he wrote them all. To me, this is plain to see, take a long look at his career time line. Jack Kirby was a genius, and, like all true genius’, he was a simple and honest person, doing his best and, in his words, “Having a great time!”

Where the Data Ranks 2016’s Comic Book Films. Over $5 billion in 2016.

I had declared a few weeks ago that 2016’s comic adaptations had wrapped up, but was proven wrong. I’m officially declaring them done after a few weeks of no new dollars in.

2016’s comic adaptations earned over $5 billion worldwide, a record beating the previous record of $4.9 billion set in 2014. Nine films were released in 2016 earning on average $558.5 million. When the two limited release films are removed, the remaining seven earned $717.5 million.

In 2016 on average, DC films earned the most domestically and combined have earned the most domestically. Marvel films earn more on average and total internationally and by enough worldwide as well. What’s really interesting is due to the budgets for Fox’s “X” films the difference between gross and budget on the average is not that different from DC.

Here’s where this year’s movie crop stands as far as the actual numbers. Numbers are presented with and without The Killing Joke and Officer Downe which did not have an international run or wide release, so was not included in that average to start:

Total Domestic Gross: $1.901 billion ($1.897 billion without Killing Joke and Officer Downe)
Total International Gross: $3.126 billion
Worldwide Gross: $5.026 billion ($5.022 billion without Killing Joke and Officer Downe)
Total Reported Budgets: $1.215 billion ($1.211 billion without Killing Joke and Officer Downe)
Total “Profit”: $3.812 billion ($3.812 billion without Killing Joke and Officer Downe)

Average Domestic Gross: $271.0 million ($211.2 million with Killing Joke and Officer Downe)
Average International Gross: $446.5 million
Average: Worldwide Gross: $717.5 million ($558.5 million with Killing Joke and Officer Downe)
Average Budget: $173 million ($151.8 million with Killing Joke and Officer Downe)
Average Profit: $544.5 million ($476.5 million with Killing Joke and Officer Downe)

Lets look at how things have shifted since 1989, the year Batman came out. None of the below is adjusted for inflation or ticket prices.

Things have clearly changed over the 27 years. While 2016 didn’t have a record number of comic adaptations released (that was 2014), it did set a record of worldwide gross and difference between gross and budget. 2016 also saw a record domestic gross of $1.9 billion (beating 2014’s $1.7 billion), but it only had the second highest international gross of $3.1 billion. 2014 holds the record of $3.2 billion. 2016 also saw budgets of roughly $1.2 billion (two films’ estimated budgets are not available). That was the fourth-highest total, the record being 2014’s $1.5 billion for 13 films (2016 had 8).

But, how did the average film do?

Things are a bit mixed when you look at the average earning in 2016 (in this case all nine films released). On average the films earned $211.2 million domestically, the second highest amount ever. The record was set in 2012 with $263 million. That year saw 6 films released. Internationally, 2016 saw a record set with $446.5 million on average earned. The second highest amount was 2012 with $429.5 million. Worldwide, 2016 saw the second highest average amount earned with $558.5 million. The record was set in 2012 with $692.4 million. While budget in 2016 were high with the films costing $151.8 million on average, that’s only the third highest amount. The record was set in 2006 wiht $178 million and 2012 saw the average being $172 million. 2016 was also only the second most profitable on average for films. In 2016 the average film earned $476.5 million and the record was set in 2012 with $520.4 million.

2017 is already off to an interesting start and we’ll begin our focus on the year beginning next week.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Drops 57% But Remains #1 at the Weekend Box Office

The weekend wasn’t too surprising as to the rankings, but the hard numbers are the story for the past box office weekend. As shouldn’t be a surprise, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 remained first at the box office earning an estimated $63 million. The film dropped 57% from the previoust week but that’s generally in line with Marvel sequels. The film has earned $246.2 million domestically in two weeks and $384.4 million in three weeks. So far, the film has earned $630.6 million worldwide. The film has now opened in all markets, so we’ll see how it does from here. The film is already third for worldwide grosses for 2017 passing Logan.

In second place was Snatched which brought in an estimated $17.5 million which is about the $18 million low end of the projections. The film was far short Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck which opened to $30 million in 2015. The film’s audience was largely women with 77% and 72% of the audience 25 years or older. The film also received a “B” CinemaScore. It’ll likely struggle to get to its $42 million budget.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword fell far short of its projections coming in third with an estimated $14.7 million. Expectations had the film opening with $23 to $25 million. The audience was 59% male and 56% under the age of 35 and the film recieved a “B+” CinemaScore. With a $175 million budget, this film’s success relies on the foreign box office. There it has earned $29.1 million. With only $43.8 million so far, Warner Bros. will probably be worried about this one.

The Fate of the Furious dropped from #2 to #4 with an estimated $5.3 million in its fifth week. The film has earned $215 million domestically and $1.19 billion worldwide so far. The movie is about $14 million behind Beauty and the Beast to take over the highest grossing film of 2017 (so far) title.

Rounding out the top five was The Boss Baby which added an estimated $4.6 million to its total to bring its domestic earnings to $162.4 million and $456.4 million worldwide.

This week Alien: Convenant opens up domestically and the film has already earned an estimated $42 milllion through international markets. I expect the film to come in first place though expect Guardians to give it a run for its money.

In comic movie news….

Smurfs: The Lost Village added $1.2 million to its domestic total bringing it to $42.2 million. Worldwide the film has earned $178.9 million. The film is far short of the previous two films, earning about half of the lowest earning film so far.

Logan continues to bring in dollars adding $285,000 to its domestic total to bring it to $225.5 million. Worldwide the film has earned $606.8 million and with a budget of just $97 million, that’s a solid return for Fox.

Ghost in the Shell added $100,000 to its total to bring its domestic earning to $40.4 million. Worldwide the film has brought in $168.7 million and with a $110 million budget the film will wind up not being quite the disaster some predicted and looks like it won’t be the story of the year but just one example of numerous films which tanked at the box office.

The LEGO Batman Movie continues to bring in dollars adding about $1.3 million to its worldwide total.

We’ll be back in an hour for further analysis of comic movie adaptations.

Listen to GP Radio Goes to the Movies to Discuss Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 on Demand

On demand: iTunes ¦ Sound Cloud ¦ Stitcher ¦ Listed on podcastdirectory.com

Graphic Policy Radio is joined by filmmaker Brandon Wilson to discuss Guardians of The Galaxy, Vol 2, Marvel’s latest box office hit.

Brandon Wilson is a filmmaker and teacher. Born and raised in Los Angeles, he attended UCLA where he took a B.A. in African-American Studies and an M.F.A. from the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television.

Wilson has made several short films and written numerous screenplays. In 2005 he made his feature debut The Man Who Couldn’t… for under $10,000 on standard definition digital video. The ?lm debuted at the 2005 Pan-African Film Festival and won the Oscar Micheaux Award at the Bare Bones Film Festival in Oklahoma.

Last year his second feature SEPULVEDA world premiered in New York City at the Urbanworld Film Festival. It has gone on to win a Special Achievement Award at the Culver City Film Festival and a Best Ensemble Acting Award at the Silicon Beach Film Festival. SEPULVEDA was improvised with non-professional actors and co-directed and co-edited by Wilson and his wife Jena English.

Wilson also maintains a blog at geniusbastard.com where he writes about films, pop culture and politics and tweets at great length about the same.

Everette Hartsoe’s Comic Series Razor Gets the Green Light

It has been announced that Rob Cohen will direct Razor based on the screenplay he wrote. Based on the bestselling comic book franchise Razor, Cohen is partnering with producer Jeff Most of Most Films to produce the film. Number 11 Films is fully financing and handling worldwide sales on Razor as the first film under a new sales and financing partnership it has established with Lotus Entertainment. The companies will be introducing the project to buyers at the upcoming Marché du Film.

Razor is based on two of Everette Hartsoe’s comic book series, Razor and Stryke.

Razor helped define the genre in comics known as “Bad Girl” comics, and remains one of the biggest bad girl comic book characters of all time with sales of over 6 million comic books sold worldwide. Cohen is best-known for creating and directing the debut films for The Fast and the Furious and XXX franchises. His career box office exceeds $1.4 billion. Inspired by his experience writing and developing Razor, Cohen has recently become a successful comic book creator with his critically praised comic book series Red Dog.

Other producers on Razor include Philip Lee, Jim Steele, and Sean Lydiard.

Lotus Entertainment and Keith Wells’ Number 11 Films are setting up a sales and financing partnership to produce and finance 3-4 films annually. The partnership will look to finance and produce 3 to 4 films annually, with budgets in the $5M-$40M range.

Graphic Policy Radio Goes to the Movies to Discuss Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 LIVE this Wednesday

Graphic Policy Radio is joined by filmmaker Brandon Wilson to discuss Guardians of The Galaxy, Vol 2, Marvel’s latest box office hit.

Listen to the show LIVE this Wednesday at 10pm ET.

Brandon Wilson is a filmmaker and teacher. Born and raised in Los Angeles, he attended UCLA where he took a B.A. in African-American Studies and an M.F.A. from the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television.

Wilson has made several short films and written numerous screenplays. In 2005 he made his feature debut The Man Who Couldn’t… for under $10,000 on standard definition digital video. The ?lm debuted at the 2005 Pan-African Film Festival and won the Oscar Micheaux Award at the Bare Bones Film Festival in Oklahoma.

Last year his second feature SEPULVEDA world premiered in New York City at the Urbanworld Film Festival. It has gone on to win a Special Achievement Award at the Culver City Film Festival and a Best Ensemble Acting Award at the Silicon Beach Film Festival. SEPULVEDA was improvised with non-professional actors and co-directed and co-edited by Wilson and his wife Jena English.

Wilson also maintains a blog at geniusbastard.com where he writes about films, pop culture and politics and tweets at great length about the same.

We want to hear what you think. Tweet us questions @graphicpolicy.

I am Groot!

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