For many movie fans, international trailers are an afterthought, an attempt to repackage previously released footage for a new market. But given the popularity of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies abroad, it’s probably safe to say that Disney takes its international footage pretty seriously. After all, the previous film in the franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, grossed a total of $240 million domestically and $804 million internationally. Put another way: the film failed to make back its budget ($250 million) in the United States but tripled it abroad.
With Hugh Jackman’s Logan opening in theaters this weekend, the top spot of this list was never in doubt. The questions were always whether audiences would respond well to the first major R-rated superhero movie. Was the big opening of Deadpool an abberation or a sign of things to come? If today’s numbers are any indication, the answer is, maybe a little bit of both.
Isn’t it just like Ryan Reynolds to upstage a colleague? After listening to critics sing the praises of Logan for the past few weeks, fans around the country took their seats on Friday night ready to watch Hugh Jackman strap on his metal claws one last time. And so it came as quite a surprise when the first superhero to appear onscreen wasn’t Wolverine but Deadpool, everyone’s favorite violent and profane superhero — and, if we’re being honest with each other, the entire reason an R-rated Wolverine movie was greenlit by 20th Century Fox.
As a teenager in the ’90s, no actor better represented blockbuster movies than Bill Paxton. Although Paxton wasn’t typically a leading man in those movies — he would often play the brother, the second-in-command, or the comic relief — he served as a kind of talisman of quality. If you saw Paxton’s name in the opening credits of a movie, you knew that the film was going to be better for it.
While Marvel has a reputation for valuing continuity on both sides of the camera, it’s easy to forget that the first two phases of Marvel movies were essentially put together by hired guns. The early days of the Marvel Cinematic Universe were populated by directors like Alan Taylor, Kenneth Branagh, Joe Johnston, and Shane Black, one-and-done filmmakers who were either not invited or not inclined to go a second round with the studio.
Over the past few weeks, Josh Gad has systematically been chipping away at the defenses of Murder on the Orient Express co-star Daisy Ridley to try and get his hands on a few tasty Star Wars: The Last Jedi spoilers. We’ve checked in on the series three times over the past month as Gad quickly escalated his efforts, bringing in ringers such as Dame Judi Dench — seriously, how to say no to Judi Dench? — to try and guilt Ridley into letting something slip. And now, for his last-ditch effort, Gad has pulled out all the stops.
While moviegoers tend to treat American cinema as existing outside the government channels we see in other countries, the truth is far more complex than that. The National Endowment for the Arts affects the industry in any number of ways: from directly supporting actors and playwrights in American theater to supporting organizations focused on education and exhibition, the NEA plays an important role in ensuring that filmmakers are given the tools they need to make their vision a reality. So when The Hill recently reported that the current administration was considering privatizing PBS and eliminating the NEA entirely, artists and educators were rightfully terrified.
It wasn’t until just a few weeks ago that I finally found time to catch Moonlight in theaters, so you’ll excuse me if the buzz around Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney’s film hasn’t quite worn off yet. Moonlight isn’t just a powerful story of one person’s struggle with his sexuality, it is also one of the most powerfully acted and beautifully shot films of the decade. In my professional opinion as a film critic, we should just throw awards at that movie until both filmmakers are forced to move into bigger houses just to store them all. That’s my professional opinion, mind you.
It’s been nearly 17 years since Bryan Singer’s X-Men movie ushered in a new era of superhero movies, and in that time, we’ve seen studios crank through actors with alarming frequency. We’ve seen three Spider-Man, a handful of Batmen, three Punishers across the big and small screens, and dozens of big-budget Marvel and DC movies break records at the box office. In the midst of all this chaos has been Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, the one actor-character combination that seemed immune to bad reviews and flagging box office numbers. And with Jackman set to take one final turn as Wolverine in Logan, the actor is taking a little time to stop and reflect on his impact in Hollywood.
This past weekend, fans from around the world flocked to the Javits Convention Center in New York City to attend the annual conference put on by the Toy Industry Association, Inc. In recent years, Toy Fair New York has become a hot spot for movie fans as well, with new action figures and toy sets offering first looks at the comic book adaptations of the following summer. One of the big hits of this year’s conference was Spider-Man: Homecoming, with a few new character designs and even a potential look at the film’s final battle.
There’s just a few months left until Wonder Woman hits theaters, which means it’s time for Warner Bros. to get down to the business of promoting the crap out of this movie. When I saw Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in theaters, the crowd greeted her character during the climactic fight scene with wild cheers and applause, suggesting to me that audiences are ready to embrace the first standalone superhero movie. We’ve had the first two rounds of movie trailers; now it’s time to open the floodgates on teasers, TV spots, and production rumors. Let the games begin!
Although it’s been years since I stopped collecting comic books, I can still remember the excitement and frustration of variant covers. Nothing triggered the collector in me quite like the multiple variants of a key issue; instead of owning just one copy of issue #500 of whatever, I found myself weighing the options of picking up multiple copies of the same thing, especially when I really enjoyed one or more of the variants. It was the perfect way for Marvel or DC to bait the hook in me, and it wasn’t long before they realized they could do the very same thing with their movie posters.
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