Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Kristen Stewart Is First American Actress Nominated for César Awards in 30 Years; 'Saint Laurent' Leads with Ten Kristen Stewart Is First American Actress Nominated for César Awards in 30 Years; 'Saint Laurent' Leads with Ten How They Sustained the Times Square Momentum in 'Birdman' VIDEO How They Sustained the Times Square Momentum in 'Birdman' VIDEO 6 Things to Know About Sexy Sundance Breakout 'Diary of a Teenage Girl,' Part of Sundance's Women's New Wave 6 Things to Know About Sexy Sundance Breakout 'Diary of a Teenage Girl,' Part of Sundance's Women's New Wave Sundance Raves About Ewan McGregor as Jesus and the Devil in 'Last Days in the Desert' Sundance Raves About Ewan McGregor as Jesus and the Devil in 'Last Days in the Desert' Watch: Jason Segel on Playing David Foster Wallace in Sundance's 'End of the Tour' (Exclusive Interview) Watch: Jason Segel on Playing David Foster Wallace in Sundance's 'End of the Tour' (Exclusive Interview) Filmmakers, Give Us Your Numbers! Sundance and Cinereach Unveil The Transparency Project Filmmakers, Give Us Your Numbers! Sundance and Cinereach Unveil The Transparency Project Sundance Market Explodes with 'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl' and 'Diary of a Teenage Girl' Sundance Market Explodes with 'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl' and 'Diary of a Teenage Girl' Top Ten Takeaways: Polarizing 'American Sniper' Speeds Past $200 Million; Lopez Trounces Depp Top Ten Takeaways: Polarizing 'American Sniper' Speeds Past $200 Million; Lopez Trounces Depp Arthouse Audit: Panic Time? 'Mommy,' 'Red Army,' 'Black Sea,' 'Cake,' 'Duke of Burgundy' All Disappoint Arthouse Audit: Panic Time? 'Mommy,' 'Red Army,' 'Black Sea,' 'Cake,' 'Duke of Burgundy' All Disappoint 2015 PGA Winners: 'Birdman' Steals 'Boyhood''s Awards Season Thunder 2015 PGA Winners: 'Birdman' Steals 'Boyhood''s Awards Season Thunder Watch: Nicole Kidman Talks 'Strangerland' at Sundance (Exclusive Video Interview) Watch: Nicole Kidman Talks 'Strangerland' at Sundance (Exclusive Video Interview) Sundance Acquisitions Market Heats Up with 'The Bronze' and 
'The Witch' Sundance Acquisitions Market Heats Up with 'The Bronze' and 'The Witch' Sundance: Netflix Inks Four-Picture Deal with Duplass Brothers Sundance: Netflix Inks Four-Picture Deal with Duplass Brothers Early Reviews Portend Sundance Breakout in Stylish Historical Horror 'The Witch' Early Reviews Portend Sundance Breakout in Stylish Historical Horror 'The Witch' Sundance: 5 Things to Expect From Alex Gibney's Damning Scientology Doc 'Going Clear' Sundance: 5 Things to Expect From Alex Gibney's Damning Scientology Doc 'Going Clear' Martin Scorsese Breaks Long-Awaited 'Silence,' Set to Begin Filming This Month Martin Scorsese Breaks Long-Awaited 'Silence,' Set to Begin Filming This Month Watch: Meet the Women of 'Birdman' (Exclusive 4-Minute Featurette) Watch: Meet the Women of 'Birdman' (Exclusive 4-Minute Featurette) Watch: Hitchcock's Thwarted Holocaust Documentary Comes to HBO Watch: Hitchcock's Thwarted Holocaust Documentary Comes to HBO Best Actor Oscar Predictions 2015 UPDATED Best Actor Oscar Predictions 2015 UPDATED Oscar Predictions 2015 Oscar Predictions 2015

Hollywood Produces More of Same as Box Office Dwindles

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood March 25, 2011 at 9:46AM

"It's content," says Warner Bros. distribution chief Dan Fellman of the continuing downward trend at the box office in 2011. What that means is that the movies being churned out by the studios during the first quarter are not connecting with audiences. Fellman denies that the young male demo has departed the multiplex: just wait until Hangover 2, he says, along with all the commercial films coming this summer. Warners will present a show reel of their upcoming product to exhibitors at the new NATO-controlled CinemaCon next week, where Paramount is expected to screen 22 minutes of J.J. Abrams' Super 8, among other reels.
4
Thompson on Hollywood

"It's content," says Warner Bros. distribution chief Dan Fellman of the continuing downward trend at the box office in 2011. What that means is that the movies being churned out by the studios during the first quarter are not connecting with audiences. Fellman denies that the young male demo has departed the multiplex: just wait until Hangover 2, he says, along with all the commercial films coming this summer. Warners will present a show reel of their upcoming product to exhibitors at the new NATO-controlled CinemaCon next week, where Paramount is expected to screen 22 minutes of J.J. Abrams' Super 8, among other reels.

But the studios should really be afraid of their slates of same-looking content. Why would anyone leave the house to see a movie that looks just like something they've already seen before? How to choose between Battle: LA and Skyline, Kick-Ass and Super, or yet another revisit of a Houdini biopic or age-old fairy tale, from Red Riding Hood to Peter Pan?

Thompson on Hollywood

For better or worse, at least Sucker Punch looks original, even if Zack Snyder gets repetitive as he goes. The guy has ideas, powerful cinematic images in his head that he knows how to execute. I was compelled to check out the movie because even while Snyder's Watchmen was often silly or incomprehensible, it was always watchable, and hallucinogenic images such as a hulking blue Dr. Manhattan walking in slow-motion are unforgettable.

The same is true of Sucker Punch, which starts off strong--I love the premise--and though it loses steam as it veers off track with too-similar action fantasy episodes starring his girl-pal team of provocatively clad babes, the acting is fine (except for mustachioed bad-guy Oscar Isaac, who also chewed the scenery in Robin Hood) and the visuals are splendid. (See this story about Sucker Punch and the fanboys.)

Presumably Warners and Legendary will ride herd on Snyder with a strong script (from David Goyer and Chris Nolan) and casting for his reboot of Superman. Story is not his strong suit. But man, the guy can deliver arresting visuals.

Andrew O'Hehir of Salon is among the critical minority with praise for Sucker Punch's "twisted stupid brilliance." He agrees with me to a degree:

"Sucker Punch" doesn't all work by a long shot, but it confirms my sense that Snyder belongs near the top of a very short list of directors who are trying to reinvent a personal, auteurist vision of cinema at the most commercial, mass-market, attention-disordered end of the spectrum.


This article is related to: Box Office, Franchises, Genres, Spring, Superman, Comics, Action


E-Mail Updates