Here come the superheroes! We’ve got The Avengers plot details as well an update on Fox’s Fantastic Four reboot. On top of that, there are a slew of new stills floating around out there including a few from The Dark Knight Rises and a shot of a duo that might as well be superheroes, Sylvester Stallone and Yu Nan in The Expendables 2.
Over in awards season territory, Jennifer Lawrence nabbed the opportunity to unveil the Academy Award nominees alongside Tom Sherak while the critics already revealed their favorite films of the year, which consisted of The Artist, The Help and more. Looking further into the future, James Cameron’s next Oscar contender could be a ways away as, according to producer Jon Landau, we won’t see Avatar 2 for another four years.
Back to the present, Contraband tore up the box office this weekend while Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom made quite the impression in trailer territory.
Catch all that and much more in your weekly Movie News Cheat Sheet.
1. Lionsgate Takes Summit: It’s official; Summit Entertainment now belongs to Lionsgate. As reported by Deadline, Lionsgate paid $712.5 million for the studio, which breaks down to $412.5 million equity and roughly $300 million of debt. Summit co-chairs Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger have yet to make employment arrangements, but the article suggests it’s likely they’ll board and join forces with Lionsgate chairman Jon Feltheimer and vice chairman Michael Burns. While this does mean a nice windfall for the folks at Summit and some much needed cash for those at Lionsgate, should The Hunger Games not become the monstrous franchise the company is hoping for, it could be detrimental.
2. Critics’ Choice Awards: The critics love The Artist! Not only did the silent feature earn the Best Picture honor, but Best Director, Best Costume Design and Best Score, too. The Help took home a trio of accolades, too, Viola Davis winning Best Actress, Octavia Spencer winning Best Supporting Actress and the cast taking the Best Ensemble award. George Clooney put The Descendants on the board for winning Best Actor and Christopher Plummer did the same for being named Best Supporting Actor for his work in Beginners. So what does all of this mean for the Academy Awards? Based on these winners as well as those on the other lists that have come in, Clooney, Plummer, Davis and Spencer all certainly look to be in good shape for their respective categories. Beyond that? Perhaps this Sunday’s Golden Globes will give us a fairly solid outlook. Click here to see the full list of Critics’ Choice winners.
3. Avatar 2 Four Years Away: When a movie makes as much money as Avatar, a sequel is practically a guarantee and, sure enough, Avatar 2 is on the way – but it’s four years away. Bleeding Cool spoke to producer Jon Landau at a screening of Titanic 3D and he spilled the news. 2013 or 2014 was one thing, but 2016? Avatar came out in 2009; will anyone care so many years later? Yes, Landau did mention that Avatar 2 will show off some new technology including the results of an advanced 3D camera system and performance capture, but even that just feels too far away at this point to up the anticipation in the least.
4. Jennifer Lawrence to Announce Academy Award Nominees: An Academy Award nomination last year, the hottest role in Hollywood this year, what else could Jennifer Lawrence ask for? How about slapping Oscar nominee announcer on her resume? The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed that Lawrence will join President Tom Sherak on Tuesday, January 24th to unveil the nominees in ten of the 24 categories at 5:30am PT at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. The winners will get their Oscars on Sunday, February 26, 2012 at the Kodak Theatre and, of course, The Hunger Games hits theaters on March 23rd. Because that’s just as important, right?
5. New Stills: Warm Bodies, Magic Mike, The Dark Knight Rises, The Expendables 2: Is Warm Bodies Twilight for zombies? It might look that way based on these new images, but as someone who read the book, I can at least confirm he matches Isaac Marion’s description of R and what I pictured while reading. Plus, what’d we really expect? Nicholas Hoult is a good-looking guy! And, speaking of good-looking guys, check out these images from Magic Mike. I hope this movie is three hours long. Also in are three new images from The Dark Knight Rises, one of which gives us an up close and personal look at Tom Hardy as Bane, another of Bane in a scuffle with Batman and last up, a shot of Gary Oldman armed, but looking a little freaked out. Could Bane have him cornered? Two new images from The Expendables 2 also surfaced and they give us our first look at the first female expendable, Yu Nan.
6. The Avengers to Center on Steen Rogers’ Perspective: Maybe I just don’t know comics well enough, but ever since The Avengers was first announced, I always wondered how they’d bring all the characters together plot-wise. We can’t just be expected to believe the whole crew would just magically come together regardless of where their own individual movies left off, right? Well, apparently there is a method to this superhero madness and that method puts Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) right in the middle of things. Captain America: The First Avenger wrapped with Captain America waking up decades after WWII, in modern times with S.H.I.E.L.D. looking to bring him back into society. Director Joss Whedon told EW, “So much of [The Avengers] story takes place from Steve Rogers’ perspective, since he’s the guy who just woke up and sees this weird-ass world.” He added, “Everyone else has been living in it. He’s the guy that feels that sense of loss.” While we may go through The Avengers from Rogers’ point-of-view, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) all get their fair share of screen time. We’ll get the chance to see how everything comes together for ourselves when The Avengers hits theaters on May 4th.
7. Chronicle Director for Fantastic Four: With The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, The Amazing Spider-Man and Super Man Returns, I almost completely forgot about that Fantastic Four reboot. Apparently that project is still on the table over at Fox because according to Variety, the studio has had meetings with Chronicle director Josh Trank to go from super powered teens to the real deal, getting behind the lens to direct Mister Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, Human Torch and The Thing. However, the article also notes that Chronicle is still a few weeks away from its release, so Fox is treading lightly, waiting to see how the film does before making anything official. Similarly, it’s tough for us to judge Trank, but if you’ve seen his TV show The Kill Point, perhaps you’ve got a better sense of what he’s capable of. As for another Fantastic Four movie, the original films (more so the second) soured the quartet enough, but Fox did pretty well with X-Men: First Class, so perhaps a second go around could work out fairly well.
8. Kill Your Darlings Adds Three: Killer Films and Benaroya Pictures already have Daniel Radcliffe for Kill Your Darlings and now Elizabeth Olsen, Chronicle’s Dane DeHaan and Boardwalk Empires’ Jack Huston are joining up, too. The film is about a murder at Columbia University back in 1944 that inspired a group of young writers to join together and ultimately kick off the Beat Revolution. Radcliffe is set to play Allen Ginsberg while Dehaan will assume the role of Lucien Carr, Ginsberg’s classmate. Huston snagged the role of Jack Kerouac and Olsen will play Edie Parker, his girlfriend. Lensing is set to begin on March 12th at Columbia University and, as a current student in the school’s film MFA program, I’ll most certainly have my eye on it! (via Variety)
9. Trailers: Moonrise Kingdom, Friends with Kids, LOL: I may not know what to make of the trailer for Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola’s Moonrise Kingdom, but I like it. Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman and team of seemingly talented young actors in an unusual, but mesmerizingly stylistic feature? Count me in. Friends with Kids, on the other hand, looks like more of the same – actually, it looks like Bridesmaids 2. Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig, Jon Hamm and Chris O’Dowd are back together again, not to tell the story of a maniacal group of bridesmaids, rather two best friends who want to keep a platonic relationship, but have a kid together, too. Lastly, and very much the least, is the trailer for Miley Cyrus’ LOL. This one just has mindless teenage romcom written all over it, oozing with tacky dialogue, lines like “I feel so real with him,” bad grades and a character literally named LOL. Oy.
10. Box Office: We’ve got yet another solid January opening – actually, we’ve got two of them. Contraband snagged the top spot with ease, posting a total of $24.1 million with a solid $8,418 per theater average. Also performing rather well is the 3D re-release of Beauty and the Beast. It couldn’t match The Lion King’s $30.2 million weekend one intake, but it did start its run with $18.5 million. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol managed to hold onto the third spot in its fifth weekend out, dropping 42.1% and taking another $11.5 million to the bank. Following right behind with $11.3 million is the week’s third new release, Joyful Noise. Rounding out the top five is Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, which enjoyed a mere 38.6% drop even in its fifth weekend out. (via Box Office Mojo)