Category Archives: Movies

Where the Data Ranks 2016’s Comic Book Films

The summer movie season is over and we’ve seen an interesting year when it comes to comic book films. For months debates have raged as to who is more successful, Marvel or DC, which movies were successes, and which were flops. The answers aren’t so simple and black and white, which is why I like to turn to data to give actual rankings as to who were winners and losers.

So far this year, seven films have been released based on comic books (counting Batman: The Killing Joke). This feature will be weekly until the end of the year, as some films are still in the box-office and there’s till more to come.

Of note:

  • Doctor Strange currently sits at $659.1 million. The film is about $9 million behind Man of Steel which it may pass when it opens in Japan which is later this month. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is $50 million ahead so it’s not likely it’ll close that gap. It also will remain far behind Suicide Squad‘s $745.6 million worldwide total putting it in fifth for this year’s comic films.
  • Captain America: Civil War looks to be the top grossing film worldwide for 2016 though Rogue One is challenging that. The film earned $1.153 billion worldwide, over $100 million more than the next film. There’s still a chance that Rogue One catches up, but it’s unlikely to happen with $130 million to go. Rogue One did pass the film when it comes to domestic earnings and is the top domestic film of the year. Civil War is third for the year, the best performing comic film.
  • Officer Downe continues to look like it hasn’t earned any more money. When it comes to the below stats, the film is being treated like Batman: The Killing Joke. The film is mostly a video on demand release, so it likely won’t see a wide release.
  • The Chair is currently not included in these stats. While the film is based on a comic, its release was done so through a service where receipts aren’t tracked in traditional ways.
  • DC’s films average $315.5 million a film domestically compared to Marvel’s $302.4 million. Internationally, Marvel earns $476 million and DC earns $446.8 million.

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: $1.899 billion ($1.895 billion without Killing Joke and Officer Downe)
Total International Gross: $3.108 billion
Worldwide Gross: $5.007 billion ($5.004 billion without Killing Joke and Officer Downe)
Total Reported Budgets: $1.215 billion ($1.211 billion without Killing Joke and Officer Downe)
Total “Profit”: $3.793 billion ($3.793 billion without Killing Joke and Officer Downe)

Average Domestic Gross: $270.8 million ($211 million with Killing Joke and Officer Downe)
Average International Gross: $444.1 million
Average: Worldwide Gross: $714.9 million ($556.4 million with Killing Joke and Officer Downe)
Average Budget: $151.8 million ($173 million with Killing Joke and Officer Downe)
Average Profit: $541.9 million ($474.2 million with Killing Joke and Officer Downe)

Now that we have those numbers down we can get a better idea as to how films have actually done this year. Below are various rankings of where films stand so far and if the films are above average (green), below average (red), or above the overall average but below the adjusted average (yellow):

comic-films-1-16-17-1 comic-films-1-16-17-2 comic-films-1-16-17-3 comic-films-1-16-17-4 comic-films-1-16-17-5

Hidden Figures Wins the Weekend Box Office

hidden-figures-750x315_origHidden Figures won the weekend box office with an estimated $20.45 million in its fourth week of release. The film has earned $54.8 million domestically so far getting a nice boost from award season buzz.

In second place was another film getting award buzz (and wins) with La La Land which earned an estimated $14.5 million after six weeks. The film has earned $74.1 million domestically and $54.8 million at the foreign box office for a worldwide total of $128.9 million.

In third place was Sing which sat in the same position last week. That film earned $13.8 million to bring its domestic total to $233 million. Its worldwide total stands at $397.3 million.

In fourth was Rogue One: A Star Wars Story which dropped from last weekend’s second place. The film added $13.8 million to its total and its domestic total is now $498.9 million. Worldwide the film has earned $979.95 million. It’ll likely cross the billion dollar mark in the next week or two. The film is now the number one domestic film of 2016.

In fifth was the new film The Bye Bye Man which debuted with $13.4 million. With a budget of just $7.4 million the folks behind that film should be quite happy with that debut and the film will make a nice profit by the time it wraps up.

Monster Trucks was another debut opening at #7 and earning $10.5 million. The reportedly $125 million film is an utter disaster already causing issues for Paramount and Viacom.

Opening just behind that film is Sleepless at #8 with an estimated $8.5 million.

Doctor Strange is still earning some dollars coming in at #27 with an estimated $197,000. The film has earned $231.2 million domestically and has earned $427.9 million at foreign box offices. The film is currently at $659.2 million worldwide.

We’ll be back in an hour to further discuss 2016’s comic film adaptations.

A New Look at the Big Screen Justice League

Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

This new photo features Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Ezra Miller as The Flash and Jason Momoa as Aquaman.

Justice League is out November 17, 2017.

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Preview: The Official Making of Big Trouble in Little China HC

The Official Making of Big Trouble in Little China HC

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writers: Tara Bennett, Paul Terry
Cover Artist: Drew Struzan
Price: $39.99

We’ve shaken the pillars of Heaven and paid our dues to put together the only official, comprehensive behind-the-scenes look into the making of the 1986 cult classic film Big Trouble in Little China.

To commemorate the film’s 30th anniversary, we’ve assembled a wealth of material, including hundreds of never-before-seen photos, exclusive new cast and crew interviews, filming secrets behind the film’s iconic action sequences, original set designs, and much more!

Features a Foreword by Big Trouble in Little China director John Carpenter and an Afterword by Kurt Russell!

makingofbigtrouble_hc_cover

Justice League Dark’s New York and LA Debuts Announced

justice-league-darkWarner Bros. Home Entertainment has announced the he bi-coastal premieres of Justice League Dark, the next entry in the popular, ongoing series of DC Universe Original Movies, at The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills on January 23, 2017 and at the Director’s Guild of America in New York on February 2, 2017. Filmmakers and members of the voice cast will attend the event for red carpet media interviews and a post-screening panel discussion.

Matt Ryan, the voice of Constantine, and Nicholas Turturro, the voice of Deadman, will attend both the Los Angeles and New York premieres and take part in the panel discussions along with supervising producer James Tucker, director Jay Oliva and character designer Phil Bourassa. Ray Chase, the voice of Jason Blood/Etrigan, joins the World Premiere festivities in Los Angeles. Additional talent participating at the two premieres will be announced as confirmed.

Both screenings will begin at 7:00 pm. The Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles is located at 465 North Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills. The Director’s Guild of America is located at 110 West 57th Street in New York City.

A limited number of free tickets are available to the general public. Please note that Justice League Dark is Rated R for “some disturbing violence.” Anyone under 17 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian.

Fans wishing to receive free tickets to the Los Angeles event on January 23 must RSVP via email to JLDarkLA@gmail.com.

Fans wishing to receive free tickets to the New York event on February 2 must RSVP via email to JLDarkNY@gmail.com.

The body of all fan RSVP emails need ONLY include the (1) name of the entrant, (2) valid email address, and (3) name of the media outlet/website by which the entrant learned of the screening, and the number of tickets being requested (limit four per entry). Fans should keep their entry simple – here’s an example of exactly how the body of the RSVP email should appear:

Bruce Wayne

2 tickets

DarkKnight@gmail.com

NameOfWebsite.com

Tickets to the event will be distributed on a “first come, first served” basis, and fans will be notified via email.

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About Justice League Dark …

When innocent civilians begin committing unthinkable crimes across Metropolis, Gotham City and beyond, Batman must call upon mystical counterparts to eradicate this demonic threat to the planet. Enter Justice League Dark, reluctantly led by the Hellblazer himself, John Constantine. Like Batman, Constantine is a cunning, often cynical loner who is the best at his chosen profession – but quickly realizes the sinister forces plaguing the planet will require help from other supernatural alliances. Forming a new “league” with sorceress Zatanna, otherworldly Deadman, and Jason Blood and his powerful alter ego Etrigan the Demon, this team of Dark Arts specialists must unravel the mystery of Earth’s supernatural plague and contend with the rising, powerful villainous forces behind the siege – before it’s too late for all of mankind.

Actor Matt Ryan, who set the standard for the role of Constantine on the Warner Bros. live-action television series, returns to the role in animated form alongside Jason O’Mara (Terra Nova, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) as Batman, Camilla Luddington (Grey’s Anatomy) as Zatanna, Nicholas Turturro (NYPD Blue, Blue Bloods) as Deadman, Ray Chase (Final Fantasy XV videogame) as Jason Blood/Etrigan, Roger R. Cross (24, Arrow) as John Stewart/Swamp Thing, Jeremy Davies (Justified, Constantine) as Ritchie Simpson, Rosario Dawson (Daredevil, Luke Cage, Sin City) as Wonder Woman, Jerry O’Connell (Stand By Me, Crossing Jordan) as Superman, Enrico Colantoni (Flashpoint, Veronica Mars) as Felix Faust, and Alfred Molina (The Da Vinci Code, Spider-Man 2) as Destiny.

Justice League Dark is directed by Jay Oliva (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns).  Story by J.M. DeMatteis and Ernie Altbacker (Green Lantern: The Animated Series) and teleplay by Ernie Altbacker.  Sam Register is Executive Producer.  Benjamin Melniker & Michael Uslan (The Dark Knight trilogy) are co-executive producers.  James Tucker (Batman Bad Blood, Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders) is Supervising Producer.

Produced by Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation, Justice League Dark will be distributed February 7, 2017 by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Blu-ray™ Deluxe Giftset (featuring an exclusive Constantine figurine), Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD. The film will be available to own on Digital HD starting January 24, 2017.

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Where the Data Ranks 2016’s Comic Book Films

The summer movie season is over and we’ve seen an interesting year when it comes to comic book films. For months debates have raged as to who is more successful, Marvel or DC, which movies were successes, and which were flops. The answers aren’t so simple and black and white, which is why I like to turn to data to give actual rankings as to who were winners and losers.

So far this year, seven films have been released based on comic books (counting Batman: The Killing Joke). This feature will be weekly until the end of the year, as some films are still in the box-office and there’s till more to come.

Of note:

  • Doctor Strange currently sits at $658.9 million. The film passed Big Hero 6 this past week by $1 million. It is and $9.2 million behind Man of Steel which it’ll likely pass when it opens in Japan which is later this month. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is $50 million ahead so it’s not likely it’ll close that gap. It also will remain far behind Suicide Squad‘s $745.6 million worldwide total putting it in fifth for this year’s comic films.
  • Captain America: Civil War looks to be the top grossing film worldwide for 2016 though Rogue One is challenging that. The film earned $1.153 billion worldwide, over $100 million more than the next film. There’s still a chance that Rogue One catches up, but it’s unlikely to happen with $200 million to go. Rogue One did pass the film when it comes to domestic earnings (and it has a chance it’ll be first at the end of this coming week if not the next). Civil War is third for the year, the best performing comic film.
  • Officer Downe continues to look like it hasn’t earned any more money. When it comes to the below stats, the film is being treated like Batman: The Killing Joke. The film is mostly a video on demand release, so it likely won’t see a wide release.
  • The Chair is currently not included in these stats. While the film is based on a comic, its release was done so through a service where receipts aren’t tracked in traditional ways.
  • DC’s films average $315.5 million a film domestically compared to Marvel’s $302.4 million. Internationally, Marvel earns $476 million and DC earns $446.8 million.

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: $1.899 billion ($1.895 billion without Killing Joke and Officer Downe)
Total International Gross: $3.108 billion
Worldwide Gross: $5.007 billion ($5.004 billion without Killing Joke and Officer Downe)
Total Reported Budgets: $1.215 billion ($1.211 billion without Killing Joke and Officer Downe)
Total “Profit”: $3.793 billion ($3.793 billion without Killing Joke and Officer Downe)

Average Domestic Gross: $270.7 million ($211 million with Killing Joke and Officer Downe)
Average International Gross: $444.1 million
Average: Worldwide Gross: $714.8 million ($556.4 million with Killing Joke and Officer Downe)
Average Budget: $151.8 million ($173 million with Killing Joke and Officer Downe)
Average Profit: $541.8 million ($474.1 million with Killing Joke and Officer Downe)

Now that we have those numbers down we can get a better idea as to how films have actually done this year. Below are various rankings of where films stand so far and if the films are above average (green), below average (red), or above the overall average but below the adjusted average (yellow):

comic-films-1-9-17-1 comic-films-1-9-17-2 comic-films-1-9-17-3 comic-films-1-9-17-4 comic-films-1-9-17-5

Rogue One is First Again, But Hidden Figures is a Close Second

rogueone_onesheeta_1000_309ed8f6Rogue One: A Star Wars Story repeated in first place for the fourth weekend in a row earning an estimated $21.97 million for the weekend. The film has earned $477.3 million domestically and now stands at $914.4 million worldwide. That has had the film move into fifth place for worldwide earnings for a film released in 2016.

In a close second was Hidden Figures which received its national release. The film earned $21.8 million for the weekend bringing its total to an estimated $24.8 million after three weeks. The film had a budget of $25 million so should do quite well especially after lots of buzz and positive word of mouth. The film’s success was driven by a diverse audience that was 64% female, 56% of the audience under the age of 35, and 43% of the audience Caucasian, 37% African-American, and 13% Hispanic.

In third place was Sing which added an estimated $19.6 million to bring its domestic total to $213.4 million and worldwide total to $356.9 million. The film is doing quite well, especially with a budget of just $75 million.

In fourth was Underworld: Blood Wars which earned an estimated $13.1 million. The film debuted with the lowest opening for an Underworld film and received a “B+” CinemaScore. It’s unknown what the international earnings are so far. With a budget of $35 million, the film will likely make a slight profit by the time things are done.

In fifth was La La Land which was boosted due to awards season. The film earned an estimated $10 million for a domestic gross of $51.7 million. With a budget of just $30 million, the film will do quite well in the long run and make a nice profit.

In comic book films, Doctor Strange was #19 earning $330,000 as the film begins to wrap up its domestic run. The film has earned $230.9 million domestically and $658.9 million worldwide. The film still needs to debut in Japan so it’s unknown how it’ll look when it’s completely over.

We’ll be back in an hour with an updated look at comic book movie adaptations released in 2016.

Justice League Gets a New Teaser Image featuring Flash, Batman, and Wonder Woman

Warner Bros. Has released a new image from the upcoming Justice League film. The image features Ezra Miller as The Flash, Ben Affleck as Batman and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman.

Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat.  But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

The film comes to theaters November 11, 2017.

Justice League HAR_DM_FIRST LOOK RND F04

GP Radio Goes Rogue One: With Film Critics Charles Pulliam-Moore and Shaun Lau on Demand

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

On this special edition of Graphic Policy Radio, Elana is joined by two of the freshest nerd-savvy voices in film criticism for a look at what might be Star Wars’ most political film to date.

We discuss LGBTQ coded relationships and other issues of representation in the film, whether the film succeeds artistically and what made us misty-eyed.

Charles Pulliam-Moore is a blogger at Fusion where he writes about race, sexuality, and inclusion in nerd culture (including this piece on Rogue One) . Twitter is his social media drug of choice.

Shaun Lau is an Asian-American activist and host of the No, Totally Podcast about film and social issues. Listen at http://nototally.com/ and follow him on Twitter

Underrated: Fantastic Four (2015)

Before you start yelling at me for writing a column about why the worst reviewed Fantastic Four movie doesn’t entirely suck, I’m not saying the movie is the best thing since sliced bread. It’s not. But it is unfairly shit on by so many of us, and that’s the whole point of Underrated. This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character.

The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are underrated in some way.

fantastic four featured

This week I wanted to talk about the much derided Fantastic Four movie from 2015. Or Fant4stic, as the stylized logo goes, which is how I’ll be referring to the movie from here on out. The flick was directed by Josh Trank and starred Micheal B. Jordan as Johnny Storm, Miles Teller as Reed Richards, Kate Mara as Sue Storm, Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm and Tobey Kebbel as Victor Von Doom. The relatively unknown director Josh Trank had previously directed the cult hit Chronicle and one other movie that I’ve never seen before being handed the reigns to Marvel’s first family, but based on Chronicle there was hope that Fant4stic would be on par, with, or better than, the other superhero flicks of the year.

Obviously that wasn’t the case. But was the movie really as bad as we think it was?

Sure it was certainly disappointing when it came out, almost entirely failing to meet the vast expectations heaped upon on it – of course, I’m being facetious, because almost from the get go it seemed this movie was doomed to fail. From the way people turned their nose up when talking about the rumours swirling about choices made around Doom’s origin, at one point he was supposed to be a Russian hacker called Victor Von Domashev; the reprehensible reaction to the casting choice of Micheal B. Jordan as the Human Torch (yes, there were some who were more worried about the lack of perceived blood relation between the Storm siblings rather than the colour of their skin, but the sense that many – myself included – got was that the outcry was a bit more racially tinged); and the dreaded Studio Involvement toward the end of the filming and editing process.

By now I’m sure you’ve heard of the strife between the director and the studio (if you haven’t there’s a good account of it here), but when Trank tweeted his frank tweet about Fant4stic you could hear geekdom cry “I knew it! It’s so bad even the director hates it!” And Tobey Kebbel seemed to agree with Trank in an interview given last year, saying that “the honest truth is [Trank] did cut a great film that you’ll never see.That is a shame. A much darker version, and you’ll never see it.”

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Kebbel goes on to say that much of the footage of Doom in the movie isn’t him, due to the amount of the film that was reshot “I played Doom in three points: Walking down a corridor, killing the doctor and getting into the time machine, and lying on the bench. They were the only times I played Doom. Everything else was some other guy, on some other day… doing some other thing. I was infuriated that he was allowed to limp like that!”

With all the vitriol surrounding the movie prior to it’s release there was realistically no hope for the movie (indeed it barely made enough money to cover the budget, let alone the marketing costs), and many people took a rather large shit on the movie because they felt that they had the right to do so – whether they’d actually watched the movie or not.

Almost a year after the movie came out, I sat down and watched it on Netflix for the first time. And you know what? It wasn’t anywhere near as terrible as I expected it to be.

Fantastic Four The ThingNow I did go in with some pretty low expectations but, dare I say it, I actually enjoyed the movie; even though it seemed to do everything possible to prevent that from happening. Yes, there are moments that seem contrived only to move the plot from point A to B in the most straight forward manner, and there is a sense that there are two visions on display here due to the reshoots, but this isn’t as bad a movie as you’d expect based on the hatred and criticism that Fant4stic received upon it’s release.

While some of the acting is questionable, the performances of Jordan and Teller (and Bell’s vocal performance) are pretty solid. While we’ll never get to see the original version of the movie, the one we did get does have a visual punch that’s better than you’d think. As a slow burning action movie, this isn’t too bad.

Was this a great Fantastic Four movie? Hell no.. but it’s not as bad as you’d think, and if you look at it as a movie very loosely based on the Fantastic Four rather than an actual Fantastic Four movie, then it’s actually watchable.

That’s why it’s Underrated.

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