The Playlist

5 Unnecessary, Unwanted Sequels That Bit The Dust & 5 More That Are Somehow Getting Made

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 13, 2012 3:33 PM
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  • 27 Comments
Earlier today, producer/enemy of quality Neal Moritz confirmed what anyone with a brain and cursory knowledge of the box office charts of early 2011 was aware of: a sequel to "Green Hornet," his Michel Gondry-directed, Seth Rogen led superhero movie of last January, isn't happening any time soon. The film wasn't a giant flop -- it made a good-but-not-great $98 million domestically, part of a total $227 million worldwide haul. Not a bad number, but considering the movie cost $120 million plus whatever they poured into the extensive marketing campaign, the profit margin was likely razor thin.

SXSW '12 Interview: 'Frankie Go Boom' Director Jordan Roberts On The Inspiration Behind Putting Ron Perlman In A Dress

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 13, 2012 1:57 PM
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  • 1 Comment
We weren't sure what to expect of "Frankie Go Boom," the sophomore directorial feature from director Jordan Roberts. There were the helmer's diverse previous credits, from directing ensemble dramedy "Around The Bend," which starred Christopher Walken, Michael Caine and Josh Lucas, to writing the narration for the hit documentary "March of the Penguins." Then there was the film itself: with cast members like Chris O'Dowd and Lizzy Caplan, it seemed like it could be a post-Apatow comedy, but then came that teaser poster, of Ron Perlman in a dress. What on Earth was this thing?

SXSW '12 Interview: Matthew McConaughey & Tracy Letts Talk Working With William Friedkin & NC-17 Rating For 'Killer Joe'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 13, 2012 1:05 PM
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  • 0 Comments
"Killer Joe" is a film primed to mark a comeback for its director and star. Not only has William Friedkin made his best movie in decades with the sordid Texan crime tale, but Matthew McConaughey continues to add to his recent renaissance of fascinating work that has seen him team with with filmmakers like Richard Linklater, Steven Soderbergh and Jeff Nichols.

Anatomy Of A Flop: 10 Things That Went Wrong With Disney & Andrew Stanton's 'John Carter'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 12, 2012 1:48 PM
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  • 38 Comments
The first mega-tentpole of the year arrived on Friday, with the release of Disney's "John Carter," the adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' classic sci-fi pulp hero. The film was the live-action debut of the Oscar-winning director Andrew Stanton, the Pixar veteran who brought the world "Finding Nemo" and "Wall-E," which are among the top rank of Pixar's accomplishments both creatively and financially. But in the weeks and months leading up to release, the talks wasn't of a sure-fire hit, it was of a hugely expensive film that wasn't connecting with prospective audiences. The vultures circled, and as expected, "John Carter" opened to hugely disappointing numbers at the North American box office this weekend -- $30 million in three days, less than the $1 million budgeted "The Devil Inside" managed back in January. Overseas, the numbers were a bit sunnier with $70 million coming in, but all told, the studio is far cry from the $600 million they need to for this to start making a profit.

5 Great Eddie Murphy Performances

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 9, 2012 3:46 PM
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  • 7 Comments
You might not have noticed, but Eddie Murphy has a new movie in theaters today. That's a slightly loaded sentence: "A Thousand Words" was shot four years ago, has been barely screened for critics (those who have seen it have been vicious), and is being put into a mere 1900 theaters, nearly half as much as the week's biggest opening, "John Carter." And all this for a man who was once the biggest star on the planet.

10 SXSW Soundtracks To Look Out For Including Scores By Members Of Pearl Jam, Vampire Weekend, Menomena, Tortoise & More

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 8, 2012 2:31 PM
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  • 1 Comment
SXSW is barely 24 hours away from starting (catch up with part one and part two of our preview pieces here), and at this point, it's important to be reminded that one of the things that makes it unique is a particular focus on the crossover between music and film, something that's been a particular interest of ours since the very earliest days of The Playlist. It doesn't just have a whole sidebar dedicated to music documentaries (with this year's batch including films around LCD Soundsystem, Paul Simon and Big Star), and a music festival that runs alongside, but it also seems to attract a disproportionate number of scores by indie and rock musicians to its fictional entries.

Discuss: After 'Project X,' 'Chronicle' & Universal's $5 Million Retool Of 'Ouija' Is Low-Budget The New Mega-Budget?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 7, 2012 2:58 PM
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  • 3 Comments
After a brutal year at the box office in 2011, with many seemingly sure-fire things underperforming, the studios have been breathing a sigh of relief in 2012 so far. For each of the nine weekends of 2012 so far, takings at U.S. theaters have been significantly higher than the equivalent weekendsin previous years, and two movies, "The Vow" and "Safe House," have already crossed the psychologically vital $100 million barrier, with "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax" a dead cert to join them by the end of next weekend.

14 SXSW Movies We've Already Seen Including '21 Jump Street,' 'Marley,' 'Killer Joe,' 'Bernie' & More

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 7, 2012 12:59 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Yesterday, we ran through fifteen movies that we're dying to see at this year's SXSW, but the Austin, Texas festival doesn't just have world premieres: there's also a selection of films that have played film fests elsewhere in the world over the last months, from Venice and Toronto to Sundance and Berlin.

Willem Dafoe Talks Wearing Stilts & Working With Taylor Kitsch In Disney's Blockbuster 'John Carter'

  • By Jeff Otto
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  • March 7, 2012 12:04 PM
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  • 0 Comments
At this point in his career, Willem Dafoe has the luxury of doing the films he wants to do. The actor’s tastes generally stray towards indie, but he’s unafraid of the mega-blockbuster when he does venture from his comfort zone. It’s hard to imagine Dafoe wasn’t offered other “big” films after his acclaimed turn as the Green Goblin in “Spider-Man,” but for the most part, following the superhero franchise, the actor reverted back to his roots of smaller scale filmmaking. But this spring finds him back at the multiplex in Disney’s “John Carter.” “I’m always happy to make a movie no matter what the size of it that looks like it’s got a pedigree and has a chance of being beautiful,” Dafoe tells The Playlist during a recent interview in Carefree, Arizona.

15 Most Anticipated Films Of SXSW 2012: From Will Ferrell In Spanish To The Lost Duplass Bros. Movie & More

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 6, 2012 3:03 PM
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  • 3 Comments
While Sundance still gets the headlines, the last few years have seen the film strand of South By Southwest, the Austin, Texas cultural conference, become just as vital to the movie world as Robert Redford's baby. The past few festivals alone witnessed some of the best movies of their respective years debut, from low-budget indies like "The Puffy Chair," "Beeswax," "Tiny Furniture" and "Cold Weather" to more mainstream fare like "I Love You Man," "Adventureland" and "Bridesmaids," to international genre hits like "Kill List," "Attack The Block" and "Monsters."

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