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The Playlist

Good Summer/Bad Summer: Who Were The Victors & The Victims Of The Blockbuster Box Office This Year?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 12, 2013 1:27 PM
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  • 11 Comments
Summer 2013 Blockbusters: Hits & Misses
While we're only a few weeks into August, summer blockbuster season is pretty much winding down for the year. Last weekend brought "Elysium," the last major tentpole for the moment (albeit an underperforming one), and the rest of August is mostly made up of lo-fi programmers and would-be-franchises that, if their studios had any confidence in them, would be coming out at a different time. So it seems like a good time as any to take a look at the summer box office over the last few months, and discuss who had a good May-August in 2013, and who really didn't.

Johnny Depp Blames Critics For 'Lone Ranger' Flop, Damon Lindelof Mourns Blockbuster Formula & No One Likes 3D

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • August 6, 2013 9:39 AM
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  • 12 Comments
From “Man of Steel” to “Star Trek Into Darkness,” incoherence in Hollywood filmmaking has attained new heights in the past few summer months, to the point where a mid-level actioner like “2 Guns” can garner appreciation simply by not leveling a city in its final reels. The center of fault seems clear—the studios and their paralyzing business models—but a recent slate of industry dealings has instead exposed confusion and frustration in all ranks.

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer Says 'The Lone Ranger' Will Eventually Be Looked Upon As A “Brave, Wonderful Film”

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • July 30, 2013 9:38 AM
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  • 7 Comments
The Lone Ranger Jerry Bruckheimer
The decision was likely decided upon for some time, but when Johnny Depp revealed he'd been toying with plans of retirement, it was difficult not to think of Disney's “The Lone Ranger” as a deciding factor. Three weeks on from its tepid $50 million opening, critics have both continued to bury it and risen to its defense, and while the dust slowly clears for everyone involved to move on, producer Jerry Bruckheimer believes in the end that distance will prove the best perspective.

Podcast: Cancelling The Apocalypse! The Playlist Assesses The 2013 Summer Movie Season, So Far

  • By Erik McClanahan
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  • July 16, 2013 5:25 PM
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  • 8 Comments
..and the podcast is back. On this latest episode, host (yours truly) and contributor Erik McClanahan is joined by Editor-In-Chief Rodrigo Perez and Managing Editor Kevin Jagernauth for an in depth assessment of the summer movie season so far this year. After you give it a listen, don't forget to chime in with your thoughts in the comments section, we'd love to know what's worked and what hasn't for you this year, trends you're noticing, etc. How has your summer been at the movies?

The Underseen & Undercelebrated Roles Of Johnny Depp’s Career

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • July 11, 2013 1:00 PM
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  • 16 Comments
Johnny Depp movie
“I didn’t sell out, I bought in,” is one of our favorite movie quotes, and we’ll leave it to you to decide if it applies to a certain oddball-turned-A-lister. The career of Johnny Depp is an interesting one, to say the least, and with the outright flop of “The Lone Ranger” last weekend (which did less opening business than “John Carter” did), Disney (and presumably Depp too, to a degree) are likely still feeling the burn of that failure. “Remember when Johnny Depp could do no wrong and was one of the most adventurous actors on the planet creating a body of work that most actors could only dream of?” we wrote recently of Depp’s career. It seems like another lifetime ago, but Johnny Depp was once a relatively uncompromising actor who decided to eschew Hollywood in favor of his own weird and wonderful path.

What Went Wrong? The Good, The Bad & The Weird Of Disney's 'The Lone Ranger'

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 8, 2013 12:24 PM
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  • 69 Comments
The Lone Ranger
Disney's "The Lone Ranger," a lavish period epic directed by Gore Verbinski, starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, had kind of a rough weekend. It began with an unprecedented critical pile-on (there have been some to leap to the film's defense, like Matt Zoller Seitz, who described the movie as a "personal picture, violent and sweet, clever and goofy... as obsessive and overbearing as Steven Spielberg's "1941' — and as likely to be re-evaluated twenty years from now, and described as 'misunderstood'") and ended with a limp box office tally that couldn't even top the middling opening weekend gross of Disney's forgettable franchise nonstarter "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time."

Box Office: Families Love 'Despicable Me 2'; 'The Lone Ranger' Bites The Dust, Kemosabe

  • By Diana Drumm
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  • July 7, 2013 1:09 PM
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  • 5 Comments
The Lone Ranger,  Johnny Depp
This was a 4th of July weekend for the record books, and we're not talking about fireworks. With an estimated $220 million worth of tickets sold (a 12% increase from last year's 4th of July), moviegoers set a new three-day weekend record for the holiday. As for the films themselves, this weekend marked a predicted upset. If we had said a few years ago that a non-Pixar animated sequel would trample a Johnny Depp-starring Disney reboot, you would have called us crazy and gone to the comment section to remind us how critics also snickered at a little theme-park-attraction-turned-movie called "Pirates of the Caribbean." Well, it looks like that day has come and the not-so-mighty "The Lone Ranger" has fallen to an über-successful "Despicable Me 2."

Oh, That Guy: 15 Character Actor Villains You Love To Hate

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 3, 2013 3:03 PM
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  • 45 Comments
Character Actors You Love To Hate
When we talked to William Fichtner about his role in "The Lone Ranger," as reptilian villain Bartholomew "Butch" Cavendish (a character boldly reimagined from the character's original incarnations), he told us, "I've played some characters who are rough in nature but I've never looked at a character like, 'Oh I can't wait to play this bad guy.'" Well, we can't wait for him to play the bad guy. Fichtner is one of countless character actors, many who were steadily employed in the '80s and '90s, whose oversized personalities and penchant for playing villainous goons, made them unforgettable (even if you couldn't quite place their names). Those of us who would study movie posters like they were the stats on the back of baseball cards, would easily recognize, identify, and follow their careers, but for many, these actors would appear and be met with a knowing, "Oh yeah, it's that guy..." For those guys everywhere, and to celebrate Fichtner's truly awesome villain, we thought we'd run down some of our favorite character actor creeps.

Ready To Draw: 9 Showdowns Between Western Classics And Their Remakes

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 2, 2013 1:12 PM
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  • 7 Comments
Western remakes header
When you read the words "remake" or "reboot," what comes to mind? If you're lucky, "Ocean’s Eleven," which took a solidly made Rat Pack heist movie and updated it for the new millennium. If you're not so lucky, "Arthur," which taught a valuable albeit obvious lesson: cheeky British comedians are not interchangeable. At worst, you're still shaking from flashbacks to the first time some hack bashed your childhood memories to a pulp. In either case, remakes are a mixed bag and should be taken with something between a grain and pound of salt, and the process of making one is a double-edged sword: the remake's task is to rework a tried and true concept without stepping on the original's toes or alienating its built-in fan base.

How The West Was Almost Lost: Inside Near-Death Experience Of 'The Lone Ranger'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • July 1, 2013 1:25 PM
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  • 3 Comments
The Lone Ranger
In August 2011, the unthinkable happened: "The Lone Ranger," Disney's proposed $200 million + revamp of the fabled radio serial, was canceled (the exclusive Deadline post started with the word "SHOCKER," in all caps, and described the news as a "stunning development"). The movie had a proposed December 21, 2012 release date and the participation of the team that had transformed "Pirates of the Caribbean" from a theme park staple into one of the most viable film franchises on the planet – Oscar-winning director Gore Verbinski, super-producer Jerry Bruckheimer, and megawatt star Johnny Depp. But the studio deemed the project too costly and risky, especially in the wake of the big budget western bomb "Cowboys & Aliens." In the final version of "The Lone Ranger," the one that opens in cinemas nationwide this week, the character is one who is brought back from the brink of death, enriched and heightened by the experience. The same could be said for the movie itself.

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