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3-D Resistance, Teen Stars Disappoint at Box Office, Justin Bieber Biopic, New Idol Judges

by Sophia Savage
August 3, 2010 5:40 AM
6 Comments
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Thompson on Hollywood


- The ultimate Hollywood truism these days: if you can't make it good, make it 3-D. The NYT considers the pull for and push against 3-D domination. At Comic-Con, several directors played to anti-3-D sentiment in the cavernous Hall H. J. J. Abrams believes that “when you put the glasses on, everything gets dim." Joss Whedon loves 3-D, but at the same time was against MGM turning his production of The Cabin in the Woods 3-D: now Whedon hopes being the only non-3-D horror flick could make it special. With almost 60 3-D films set for release in the next two years across some 5,000 digital screens, now 2-D is old-school-cool. Some filmmakers are resisting 3-D; it complicates shooting and, according to both Whedon and Abrams, typically does little or nothing to improve cinematic storytelling. Christopher Nolan resisted making Inception 3-D, while tech-savvy Michael Bay has admitted to making Transformers 3 only partially 3-D.

- The third dimension is not the only thing facing resistance. Many teen stars are failing to prove their box office power, despite numerous teenage devotees. The Wrap looks at Zac Efron's disappointing Charlie St. Cloud, a movie that was "supposed to prove that his appeal was beyond teen girls," writes B.O. analyst Jeff Bock. But the movie failed to do so. Both Rob Pattinson's Remember Me and Miley Cyrus's The Last Song fell short of their teen sensation franchise flicks Twilight and Hannah Montana. You can take the teen star our of the teen movie, but you can't expect them to lure an audience on their own - their names are known because of the franchises--and characters-- that made them. Proving themselves as stand-alone actors is another matter; it requires a larger leap of faith from audience members having to shell out a dozen bucks or more.

Thompson on Hollywood


- If you want more 3-D and teen pop idols, Paramount Pictures has the movie for you. The studio just greenlit a feature on the life of pre-pubescent-pop-sensation Justin Bieber, for possible release Valentine's Day 2011. Super-serious Oscar-winning doc director Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth, the upcoming education expose Waiting for Superman) is in negotiations to direct the biopic, reports Deadline. HarperCollins garnered a deal for a memoir about the teen's life and rise into YouTube stardom (he is their most-viewed recording artist; his recent video Baby nabbed 270 million views).

So who needs American Idol? During Fox's Q & A at the TCA press tour, Peter Rice admitted that the network has yet to nail down the new judges for the show in the wake of the departures of both Ellen DeGeneres and Simon Cowell. Reportedly playing hardball in negotiations: vet rocker Stven Tyler and movie/pop/marketing star Jennifer Lopez. In a world where contenders no longer need American Idol to make them stars, what they really need, it seems, is good advice.

6 Comments

  • SB | August 4, 2010 11:22 AMReply

    I didn't think you would buy into that silly article at The Wrap. Instead of writing a long comment, I'll just leave you an article from The Huffington Post which illustrates my opinion perfectly:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/scott-mendelson/zac-efron-robert-pattinso_b_670354.html

  • Bob | August 4, 2010 5:22 AMReply

    Ahem (cough, cough)

    Without getting too clinical or graphic here -- I hardly think that Justin Beiber can be classified as pre-pubescent. Probably hasn't been for a couple of years. Just sayin' . . .

  • jamais | August 4, 2010 1:42 AMReply

    I love 3D but I hate what Hollywood is doing with it.

    Most people I talked to who were willing to spend a moment and analyse the stereospace in Avatar agreed that the most stunning scenes 3D-wise were the claustrophobic intimate ones filmed in man-made confined spaces - the link, the cryo chamber, inside of the shuttle, the holding cell etc. NOT the big battle scenes where the 3D effect was "flattened" to allow for faster editing.

    The key for the future is not to film bombastic films like Transformers 3 in 3D, but use the effect for films with small cast and very few reclusive locations.

    I so wish such films as Buried were 3D! Or the original Cube, or Moon. There are some projects where 3D will be used exactly how I like it - Sanctum and The Dive, for starters. But unfortunately it seems that it's still only Jim Cameron who "gets it".

    With the added cost of 3D filming, big studios will not go for small films done in this technology, and ironically these small films would be ones which would make the best use of the effect...

    Even Cameron realises this sad fact and is working on 3D version of Titanic instead of converting the more niche The Abyss - which claustrophobic feel just begs for 3D!

  • Deborah | August 4, 2010 1:04 AMReply

    I cannot imagine how one can compare Twilight box office levels with an indie movie like Remember Me. A movie based on a best-seller teen romance book vs. a romantic drama with an original script by an unknown scriptwriter. (And unfortunately, an adult-themed indie marketed wrongly to a teen audience by the studio.) No comparison should be made on earnings potential. Also, hidden to the reader, is Remember Me earned $60 million worldwide, on a production budget closer to $14. This was a very successful indie movie, for a first time outing for the star, Robert Pattinson.

  • Wyatt | August 3, 2010 12:10 PMReply

    I don't get these comments about Zac Efron. He's proven himself box office wise in 17 Again. Yes it was a teen oriented film but it clearly drew an audience outside of that to get to $24 million on OW. It just had more universal appeal since it was a comedy. Few of these weepy Sparks or Sparks-like melodramas break out of the teens, especially when they usually get such tepid reviews, no matter who stars in it (even the double whammy of Keanu and Sandra in The Lake House couldn't do it at $13.6 million OW). This has nothing to do with Zac Efron's box office draw, you put him in a genre that makes less money across the board, his box office will correspondingly be lower. What is wrong with people that they are being so obtuse about that.

  • Joe Valdez | August 3, 2010 11:30 AMReply

    I am a 3-D hater. J.J. Abrams is right on the money here. Even movies that deliver -- like UP or AVATAR -- look like garbage when you put on glasses to watch them. A third dimension adds nothing and actually takes my focus off characters or action in the foreground and puts it on the background. ACK!

    Then there's the financial underpinning. Nobody should be forced to pay 3-D premiums for movies shot in 2-D. I'm not saying anything that Roger Ebert and others aren't crusading against, but I hope 3-D goes away quicker than THE LAST AIRBENDER.

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