The Playlist

NYCC: Mark Neveldine & Brian Taylor Diss First Film, Say 'Ghost Rider' "Re-quel" Has Huge Body Count

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • October 16, 2011 2:58 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Directors Say They've Thought About Direct-To-DVD Character Spinoffs For The 'Crank' SeriesSony had a superhero franchise on their hands in “Ghost Rider.” Curiously, though first film that turned a solid profit, but no one particularly fell in love with it, leaving them in a position to experiment with a second film about Johnny Blaze. So it only makes sense that they would turn to Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, the architects of the gonzo, hard R-rated “Crank” series to recapture the magic of a beloved Marvel Comics’ “superhero.” We sat down and talked with Mark and Brian at the New York Comic Con to talk about the approach to “Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance,” their thoughts on their first movie, and how a PG-13 rating wasn't a hurdle to their usually risky brand of filmmaking.

Steve Jobs' Life To Become An iMovie At Sony

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 7, 2011 10:49 AM
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  • 5 Comments
"...but there's one more thing."

Weekend Box Office: 'Dolphin Tale' Flips Over Another Batch Of Weak New Releases To Score #1

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • October 2, 2011 4:38 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Break it down however you want, but its simple economics. The last month has been absolutely saturated with product, so few of it appealing to mainstream America. These movies aren’t bad. And, in most cases, the marketing isn’t all that faulty. It’s pure numbers. The market can’t withstand this over-saturation. In September, eighteen films entered wide release of 1500 or more theaters, and only six crossed $30 million domestic, two of them benefiting from inflated 3D prices. That’s a poor record of success, even as we keep the bar exactly that low.

Because 3D Doesn't Cost Enough, Sony May Make You Pay For Your Own Glasses In 2012

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 28, 2011 2:52 AM
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  • 13 Comments
Is This Really The Best Move When 3D Audiences Are Declining?It seems every month or so, a new trend or blip on the radar is hailed as the new box office savior at the multiplex. In the past couple of weeks, "The Lion King" has spurred conversations that studios may find new revenue streams by dusting off their catalog titles and bringing them back to the big screen. Earlier this year, backed by the surprise box office success of "The Adjustment Bureau," "The Lincoln Lawyer," "True Grit," "Black Swan" and later in the summer, "Midnight In Paris," the minor budget adult drama was seen an untapped and lucrative market. But before all of this, 3D was heralded as the game changer for the industry that kick new life into tanking ticket sales. The nearly $3 billion worldwide success of James Cameron's "Avatar" ushered in a wave of 3D movies that, early on, did indeed give studios a considerable revenue bump. While the actual quality of these (mostly converted) movies was wildly uneven, it seemed audiences were embracing the format. Theater owners who invested millions in buying digital projectors and upgrading their cinemas breathed a sigh of relief, but something strange happened in 2011. No one was rushing to 3D anymore.

Weekend Box Office: 'Lion King' Beats Back 'Moneyball,' Boy Brawler 'Abduction' To Keep #1 Slot

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • September 25, 2011 4:35 AM
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  • 8 Comments
"Hakuna Matata!" proclaims Disney, discovering what amounts to an entirely new revenue stream. “The Lion King 3D” has taken the crown decisively for the second straight weekend with $22 million, amidst some otherwise heavy fall competition that was a lot buzzier and, without a doubt, more expensive. The original plan was to play the film for two weeks, but after ten days, it’s been far and away the biggest movie attraction, and the film will be extending its stay at the multiplexes which could add nearly $40 million to the coffers.

'Ghostbusters' Returns To Theaters For A 3 Night Stand In October

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 22, 2011 9:21 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Everywhere you look nostalgia seems to be big these days (please see every indie band that broke up in the '90s reuniting), and this was abundantly clear this past weekend when "The Lion King" roared back into theaters taking the number one slot. There are two ways to look at that: it's either a depressing sign that audiences would rather flock to the familiar than take a chance on something new or maybe the fresh movies being served up just aren't worth those hard earned dollars. We'll put that debate aside, but you can bet Hollywood is licking its chops to see what other movies they can dig up from the vaults and make premium bucks off of. And that's where Sony comes in, as they will be unleashing "Ghostbusters" back into theaters just shy of three decades since it first made its way to the multiplex.

Weekend Box Office: Families Complete The Circle Of Life, Pack Theaters For Movie They Own On DVD

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • September 18, 2011 3:49 AM
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  • 17 Comments
Right now, some jerk at Disney is finding a way to use the term “circle of life” to define how they can release “The Lion King” anytime, and it will always make money. A 3D re-issue of the film became the number one weekend attraction by a very wide margin with $29 million, a huge middle finger to those who claim audiences are looking for something “fresh” or “new.”

Weekend Box Office: Three Straight Weeks At #1 For 'The Help'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • September 4, 2011 3:53 AM
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  • 3 Comments
There are all sorts of qualifiers to this summer becoming the most financially robust in box office history. Chief amongst them are both the inferior product, but also the illusion of 3D prices, which do an excellent job of covering up the consistently-dropping attendance numbers. In other words, money is money, inflated or otherwise, and not enough people balked at the enhanced prices, even though a number of 3D films loudly flopped this summer.

Weekend Box Office: 'The Help' Defeats Tepid Newcomers And Hurricane Season For Another Week At #1

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • August 28, 2011 4:37 AM
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  • 10 Comments
Usually, studios will look for any possible reason to blame the weather for a film’s poor box office showing. Heat waves only mean audiences will seek the air conditioning of a theater, at least when something exciting is playing. And people will withstand non-apocalyptic snowstorms simply to get away from the cold while enjoying the blockbuster of their choice. But there aren’t a whole lot of options when almost half of a movie’s proposed locations are under siege by a vicious hurricane. Many large chains didn’t even bother to stay open during Irene’s reign, meaning that these quiet end-of-August releases could find no traction heading into the typically-comatose Labor Day weekend.

Weekend Box Office: Audiences Stay Home In Droves As 'The Help' Defeats Weak New Releases

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • August 21, 2011 4:53 AM
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  • 6 Comments
Credit a canny expansion strategy that nabbed “The Help” the number one spot at the box office in its second weekend of release. Disney wisely banked on the film having more buzz than the slate of underwhelming new releases (not all of it positive), and after two weekends, it’s easily one of the season’s big success stories, as the picture has crested $70 million after only twelve days of release. The establishment has been encouraged - stories of the struggles of minorities highlighted by the heroism of a plucky white person of higher social strata are surefire earners, particularly if you market to families. Institutionalized racism at its most efficient.

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