The Playlist

NYCC: James Wan Developing & Considering Directing 'Insidious 2,' Talks The True Story Of 'The Conjuring'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • October 15, 2012 1:19 PM
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  • 1 Comment
James Wan is having a moment right now. The director behind “Saw” and “Insidious” just had the release date for his next picture, “The Conjuring,” moved from early winter 2013 right into blockbuster season. But even he didn’t expect the audacious release date change, a recent shift that puts the film at the heart of next summer. “Warner Bros. has given us Chris Nolan’s slot, July 19th,” he said in awe when we caught up with him at New York Comic Con. “I’m very flattered and honored!”

James Wan & Leigh Whannell Get Moving On The Inevitable Sequel To Surprise Horror Hit 'Insidious'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 3, 2012 9:40 AM
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  • 2 Comments
In a time where profitability for even the biggest movies is still a roll of the dice, there's one vein of gold than remains consistently reliable -- low-budget horror. You can make a picture for only a few million dollars, without stars, and even if it doesn't do great business (see something like "Apollo 18"), you'll still make a tidy return on your investment. And if it becomes a phenomenon, like "Paranormal Activity," then, well, it's time to order your platinum-covered limousine.

Weekend Box Office: 'Fast Five' Starts Off Summer With $83 Million Weekend

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • May 1, 2011 5:21 AM
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  • 27 Comments
Hooray for Hollywood, or something. The 2011 box office finally snapped out of its doldrums with more reheated crap, “Fast Five” opening to a spectacular-for-Universal $83 million. The car blockbuster’s weekend surpasses “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” as the biggest opening weekend in Universal history, and with spectacular overseas results, the film is poised to do upwards of $400-$500 million globally, topping the $353 worldwide take of “Fast And Furious,” the last film in the series.

Weekend Box Office: 'Rio' Defeats 'Madea' Before The Summer Onslaught Begins

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • April 24, 2011 4:56 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Hollywood doesn’t really recognize the seasons as clearly as you. Which is why even though you’re in school, summer begins in May, and even though you still have a full month of spring, that period usually closes in Hollywood around this time every year. In 2011, “summer” is beginning even earlier with next week’s release of “Fast Five,” sure to be the year’s biggest opener, which means that “Rio” effectively gets its licks in before the hot season begins, scoring a second straight weekend at #1 with a $26 million take.

Box Office: 'Rio' First 2011 Release To Crack $40 Million Opening Weekend; 'Scream' Goes Quiet

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • April 17, 2011 6:18 AM
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  • 9 Comments
There’s no way to sugarcoat this: it’s been a dismal year at the box office. Studios have their fingers crossed in regards to a tepid-looking summer schedule, but many were hoping the season could be kick(punch)-started early with a strong April, as two new films were tracking well over $40 million this weekend. And it looks like those hopes are for naught, as the number one movie for this period looks to be Fox and Blue Sky’s animated “Rio,” clocking in juuuust about at $40 million for the three day weekend. Yes, Hollywood, it's taken more than four months to register year's first $40 million opening weekend.

Weekend Box Office: 'Hop' Defeats Four Newcomers; 'Your Highness' Flops Loudly And Rudely

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • April 10, 2011 4:48 AM
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  • 12 Comments
Earlier in the year, the tepid box office returns were something to be ignored, as 2011 was competing with the previous year, with both “Avatar” and then the anomaly of “Alice In Wonderland” each raking in a cool billion. Well, it’s April, and it’s time for Hollywood to panic. There have been no genuine out-of-the-box hits so far this year and lots of flops, and the two (barely) $100 million grossers considered underperformers (“Rango” and “Just Go With It”). Let’s face it, part of it is a failure of marketing, but the blame must be laid on inadequate product. Even when it comes to the early year doldrums, this has been a banner year for garbage.

Weekend Box Office: Kids Come Out For 'Hop,' 'Sucker' Thoroughly 'Punch'ed

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • April 3, 2011 5:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
While Universal’s animated division remains behind Disney and Dreamworks, “Hop” became their second straight surprisingly big opening this weekend, collecting $39 million. Most called the heavily-promoted film in the high 20’s, low 30’s, but like “Despicable Me” before it, the film definitely connected with family audiences in its first frame. While “Despicable Me” eventually collected $544 million globally with a much bigger opening, “Hop” isn’t expected to bust the doors down. But due to the seasonal and family appeal, expect this thing to have legs, and while they initially weren’t counting on $100 domestic, that should be easily surmountable from here, with $150 million being a solid preliminary target. Fanciful returns for the studio, who have kept the budgets for the partly-animated “Hop” and the fully animated “Despicable Me” well under the industry-standard $100 million.

In Theaters: 'Hop' Will Try To Deprogram 'Source Code' & Scare Away 'Insidious'

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • April 1, 2011 5:51 AM
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  • 0 Comments
TGIF! With a crop of new releases we are finally, FINALLY released from our bonds requiring us to flagellate poor "Sucker Punch" to death. Why were you a failure, "Sucker Punch"? Was it the marketing/storytelling/CGI/demographics/Zack Snyder?! Do we have to worry about "Superman"/girls/original source material??? We may never know. Moving on! We've got a new futuristic sci-fi, based-on-an-original-script, helmed-by-a-hot-new-piece-of-director-ass film to fret over! That's right, it's "Source Code" from Duncan Jones! In the other corner, we've got the ace-in-the-hole, aimed squarely at the kid demographic, "Hop," and quivering outside the wide release ring is horror thriller "Insidious" from "Saw"-originator James Wan. It's gonna be an interesting box office report this week!

Review: 'Insidious' Is A Haunted House Movie That Leaves Us Cold

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • March 31, 2011 12:08 PM
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  • 2 Comments
The following is a reprint or our review from the Film Comment Selects program at Lincoln Center.

Interview: Rose Byrne Talks The Similarities Of Horror & Comedy In Making 'Insidious'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 30, 2011 11:42 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Say what you will about James Wan and Oren Peli, but with "Saw" and "Paranormal Activity" under their respective belts, it's hard to deny that they have been a major force in Hollywood, helping to shape much of the direction of contemporary horror films. So when the two decided to team on "Insidious" -- with Wan directing from a script by "Saw" co-creator Leigh Whannel and Peli producing -- curiosity about what they would conjure ran high. So who knew that it would be an old school haunted house flick in the vein of "Poltergeist"?

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