The Playlist

Watch: Unreleased Documentary 'The Sweatbox' About The Troubled Production Of Disney's 'The Emperor's New Groove'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • March 23, 2012 10:21 AM
  • |
  • 8 Comments
Though they end up on screen as cheery, bright eyed films for the whole family to enjoy, the truth is that behind the scenes, bringing an animated film to life is an arduous, exhausting journey. Freed from the constraints and demands of live action filmmaking in which you have a set script and a short window of time to make it happen, animation studios will routinely spend months and years developing, tweaking, editing and refining a project before voicework and production begins. But few films faced when Disney went through on 2000's "The Emperor's New Groove."

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

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • March 12, 2012 1:48 PM
  • |
  • 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.

Weekend Box Office: 'The Lorax' Tops Again, While 'John Carter' Fulfills Its Prophecy & Underperforms, Underwhelms Domestically

  • By Gabe Toro
  • |
  • March 11, 2012 1:01 PM
  • |
  • 8 Comments
There's no real joy in reporting on a massive bomb. Mostly because, why hate? Usually the participants involved will cry into piles of hundred dollar bills why you return to your menial workday job, gloating seems like a waste of energy. It's especially disconcerting when it comes from someone like Andrew Stanton, who previously directed "Wall-E" and was making his transition to live-action with the uber-expensive "John Carter." Analysts have been predicting doom for a long time now, in a way fueling the negative buzz with their irresponsible reporting, leading to a soft opening only slightly surpasses similar boys-n-sand actioner "Prince Of Persia," and that's mostly due to 3D prices.

'A Better Life' And 'Twilight: New Moon' Director Chris Weitz To Rewrite Disney's 'Cinderella' For Mark Romanek

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • February 29, 2012 12:33 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Boy, Disney are keen for us not to give up on their new live-action version of "Cinderella." When first announced a couple of years ago, we were pretty ho-hum: fairy-tale movies were already ten-a-penny after the success of "Alice in Wonderland", and the creative team of producer Simon Kinberg ("Jumper," "This Means War") and writer Aline Brosh McKenna ("The Devil Wears Prada," "Morning Glory") wasn't especially enticing. But last year, the studio announced that "Never Let Me Go" helmer Mark Romanek was attached to direct, and suddenly we got interested.

'The Blind Side' Director John Lee Hancock In Talks To Direct Disney's 'Mary Poppins' Making-Of 'Saving Mr. Banks'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • February 28, 2012 10:40 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
It's now over two years since since "The Blind Side" came from nowhere to not only become a surprise box-office smash, but also earn a Best Picture nomination at the Academy Awards, and a Best Actress statuette for Sandra Bullock. As such, it's somewhat surprising that it's taken so long for its writer-director, John Lee Hancock, to get another project going.

Discuss: With A New Trailer Arriving, Does 'Brave' Mark The Start Of A New Act For Pixar?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • February 23, 2012 9:01 AM
  • |
  • 5 Comments
For a company unaccustomed to anything but bountiful praise and spectacular box office, 2011 must have been a little tough for Pixar. This is a relative term: while "Cars 2" might have had the company's lowest ever admissions domestically (and second lowest gross), it performed well overseas, coming in as their sixth most successful film worldwide. But it's not the financial takings that must have been breaking hearts over at the animation giant's Emeryville headquarters.

Edgar Wright To Direct Johnny Depp In Disney's Reboot Of '70s Horror Series 'The Night Stalker'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • February 22, 2012 2:21 PM
  • |
  • 9 Comments
It's been a year-and-a-half since "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World" hit theaters, and director Edgar Wright has continued to remain mum on what might be next. He's been busy, for certain, with Marvel movie "Ant Man," and original scripts for "Baby Driver" and "Shaun of the Dead"/"Hot Fuzz" follow up "The World's End" all percolating, but with little firm news on any as they continued to be developed. Well, it's unlikely to be his next film, but it's just been revealed that Wright's got another project, and it's with the biggest movie star on the planet.

Disney Lines Up Black List Script 'Saving Mr. Banks' About Making Of 'Mary Poppins'; Tom Hanks & Meryl Streep Eyed To Star

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • February 8, 2012 1:23 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
There's been a trend of late on the Black List, of scripts that, due to various rights issues, stand little chance of ever being made. Two years ago, it was topped by "The Muppet Man," a biopic of Jim Henson, which was bought by The Henson Company in order to essentially bury it, while last year "In the Loop" scribe Jesse Armstrong penned "The Murdochs," a fictional comedy drama about Rupert Murdoch's family jockey for succession when he's diagnosed with a terminal illness -- despite the mogul's recent troubles, it's unlikely it'll ever make it before cameras. Similarly, this year saw "Chewie," a take on the making of "Star Wars" seen through the eyes of Peter Mayhew who played Chewbacca, which placed highly, but has yet to be picked up by anyone.

Despite Reports, 'Chronicle' Director Josh Trank Doesn't Know Anything About Those 'Fantastic Four' Reboot Rumors

  • By Joe Cunningham
  • |
  • January 30, 2012 10:40 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
There’s quite a bit of buzz surrounding the release of “Chronicle” later this week, and that’s not without good reason -- because according to early word, it turns out it’s a pretty damn good movie. Not only does it put a new spin on the saturated superhero genre, but it also brings a credibility and quality to found-footage movies that they’ve been sorely lacking in recent years. It’s not surprising then that some of that buzz has extended to it’s director Josh Trank, and screenwriter Max Landis.

Weekend Box Office: Audiences Smuggle 'Contraband' Into The Number One Spot Over 'Beauty & The Beast 3D'

  • By Gabe Toro
  • |
  • January 15, 2012 1:43 PM
  • |
  • 2 Comments
After a year which sported the lowest attendance numbers in sixteen years, studios are looking for all the bright sides they can find. Thus far, 2012 has provided them, with big number one debuts for a cheap horror acquisition and, now, a solidly mid-budgeted star vehicle. "Contraband" nailed the top spot this weekend, of the four day holiday weekend, that was slightly down from last year. However, this is a solid win for Universal, who spent $40 million on the Mark Wahlberg project, gambling that the film would open uncharacteristically big for an R-rated January offering.

Email Updates

Recent Comments