Happy Oscar day, Shockya.com readers! We’re just hours away from the telecast and while I’d like to bet the large majority of your film talk this week will be about the big winners, just in case you feel the need to branch out, the industry is still oozing with juicy news.
The Weinstein Company just lost its battle with the MPAA, either forcing the company to accept Bully‘s R-rating or to a leave from the MPAA. Other rather controversial subject matter includes Lou Dobbs branding The Lorax as Hollywood fair that’s indoctrinating children.
On the tamer side, we’ve got casting updates for Turbo and Kathryn Bigelow’s Osama bin Laden movie, both of which are rocking incredible star-studded rosters. Summit is getting the ball rolling on their Night Circus adaptation while Lionsgate is enjoying The Hunger Games‘ record-breaking presales, topping The Twilight Saga’s numbers. But no hard feelings, right? Summit and Lionsgate are one big happy family now!
Check all of that out and much more in your weekly Movie News Cheat Sheet.
1. On the Set of Star Trek 2: Not so fast. We’re not going to make this The Dark Knight Rises all over again. Originally this first news tidbit was dedicated to sharing some shots of Zachary Quinto, Benedict Cumberbatch and Zoe Saldana hard at work on the set of J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek 2, but a recent statement from Saldana reminded me that leaking set photos is just not cool. While at the Independent Spirit Awards, Saldana told MTV, “J.J. was very upset,” and, “I have to say that. It’s not going to stop people from intruding, but they are, and it’s such a bummer because it only hurts them by stealing away the surprise.” Perhaps it’s just because I’m not particularly in the know when it comes to Star Trek narratives and characters, but the images didn’t really spoil anything for me. Then again, that still doesn’t give shutterbugs the right to take and release any unapproved images. Respect the craft and the incredible amount of work that goes into making a movie, folks!
2. Bully’s R-Rating Stands: The Weinstein Company wasn’t happy when the Motion Picture Association of America slapped Blue Valentine with an NC-17 rating, but an appeal ultimately resulted in an R rating. However, in the case of the company’s upcoming release, Bully (formerly known as The Bully Project), what the MPAA says, goes. The documentary was branded an R-rated film, so Harvey Weinstein went in to appeal. He even brought along one of the film’s subjects, 14-year-old Alex Libby, to explain how important it is for kids his age to see the film. Regardless, the MPAA stands by its original ruling and its 18 and up without a parent or guardian only for Bully. Still, The Weinstein Company isn’t backing down, declaring a potential leave of absence from the MPAA. Should the company go this route, it’ll be up to theaters whether or not to show an unrated film. So, will Bully hit theaters on March 9th as planned? We’ll see. (via Deadline)
3. Sacha Baron Cohen vs. The Oscars: Or should I say The Dictator vs. the Oscars? When word got out that Sacha Baron Cohen has plans to show up at the Academy Awards as Admiral General Aladeen, it raised a major red flag as The Academy is careful to keep upcoming film promotion out of the telecast. After talk of Cohen being banned from the event, even though Hugo is up for a number of awards including Best Picture, an Academy spokesperson announced Cohen is not banned, but they are waiting on the details of what exactly he plans to do. Apparently those plans are tame enough because Extra reports that Cohen will arrive as the Admiral. Now not only will Cohen pull off one of the biggest stunts yet later tonight, but The Dictator gets a double dose of promotion courtesy of this pre-event uproar.
4. Hunger Games Tops Twilight in Presales: Since day one, many have pitted The Hunger Games against Twilight in every way possible – in terms of the story, the love triangle, the appeal and potential box office earnings. As for the film’s cash flow, while there’s been quite a bit of buzz of the franchise becoming a major moneymaker, a number of predictions put its earnings below Twilight’s. However, that might not be the case, as Fandango announced that The Hunger Games has topped the first day advance ticket-seller record held by The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. Fandango Executive Vice President and General Manager, Rick Butler announced, “Yesterday we saw the biggest first day advance ticketing sales in our company’s nearly 12-year history – which is especially impressive for a March release and a non-sequel.” Did you get your hands on Hunger Games tickets yet? No? Don’t worry because with all of this hype, theaters are continuing to add showtimes! (via Fandango)
5. More for Kathryn Bigelow’s Bin Laden Film: She’s already got Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, Edgar Ramirez, Jason Clarke, Mark Strong, Chris Pratt and Kyle Chandler, but the roster for Kathryn Bigelow’s film about SEAL Team 6’s hunt for Osama bin Laden continues to grow. She’s got one Edgerton, why not add another? As reported by Entertainment Weekly, Joel’s brother Nash is on board as is Contagion’s Jennifer Ehle. We’ve also got Deadline reporting that Lost’s Harold Perrineau joined the cast as well. Incredibly talented roster and a December 19th release? Could Bigelow’s Hurt Locker follow-up land her another Oscar? We’re still a ways away, but I’m betting on it.
6. Lou Dobbs Calls Out The Lorax and The Secret World of Arrietty: Parents, shield your children! According to Lou Dobbs, both The Lorax and The Secret World of Arrietty are out to indoctrinate your kids. Dobbs claims that The Secret World of Arrietty demonizes the one percent and The Lorax espouses the virtue of green-energy policies. Seriously? Sure The Lorax does have an agenda, but that’s just what the story is about. What’s wrong with that? Apparently Dobbs couldn’t even figure it out for himself because after pointing a finger at The Lorax, he cuts to a series of clips of President Obama talking about fair play, something that fails to establish a justifiable connection. Feels a bit like trying to make something out of nothing to me. (via Cinemablend.com)
7. Turbo Gets an All Star Voice Cast: Forget the voices of Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Michael Pena, Luis Guzman, Bill Hader, Richard Jenkins, Ken Jeong, Michelle Rodriguez, Maya Rudolph, Ben Schwartz, Kurtwood Smith, Snoop Dogg and Samuel L. Jackson; Turbo the snail is too cute! Clearly I’m a sucker for animated animal movies. Reynolds will lead as Turbo himself, a snail with a need for speed who dreams of becoming the greatest racer in the world. His passion makes him a snail community outcast, but Turbo refuses to let the nonbelievers, including his brother, Chet, dash his dreams. David Soren is set to direct and is co-writing the script with Robert Siegel and Darren Lemke. Turbo is due to hit the big screen on July 19, 2013.
8. Summit to Get Moving on The Night Circus: Just because a studio snags the rights to a book, doesn’t mean the film version will become a reality. Back in July, Summit spent some time supporting its properties at San Diego Comic Con, but after that, the film adaptation of Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus seemed to fade away. However, as reported by Deadline, not only did Summit just pick up the worldwide film and TV rights to the project, but the studio also hired Moira Buffini to write the script. Where does Lionsgate stand on all of this? Lionsgate Motion Picture Group production president Erik Feig and Summit creative executive Jeyun Choi are set to oversee the venture for the studio together. Looks like The Night Circus was just bumped up to the top of my to read list.
9. Trailers: Brave, Wrath of the Titans, The Moth Diaries: Is this a trailer or a clip? What’s being dubbed as the second trailer for Pixar’s Brave is really just one scene from the film. It’s a pretty engaging moment, but when comparing Brave to the studio’s long list of unforgettable features, it’s yet to prove it’s got that same spark. We’ve also got trailer two for Wrath of the Titans and it suggests that if you liked the first one, you’ll most likely fall for the sequel, too. Monsters, fireballs, sword battles, the action’s certainly all there, but we’ll have to wait until March 30th to see if this one pays as much attention to its narrative. In limited land, we’ve got a trailer for Mary Harron’s The Moth Diaries. It’s got a novel blend of high school best friend drama and the supernatural, a combination that’s particularly dark and notably intriguing.
10. Box Office: We’ve had some pretty big moneymakers at the box office this February. Chronicle and The Woman in Black both opened the month with $20 million+, then The Vow and Safe House took $40 million+ in weekend two and followed it up with $23 million+ last weekend, and now Act of Valor closes the month on top with $24.7 million. Good Deeds is a little on the low side for Tyler Perry, but $16 million on a $7,505 per theater average is still pretty solid. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island took another minimal hit, only losing 32.1% of its weekend two earnings for $13.5 million this time around. After incredibly strong starts, both Safe House and The Vow saw their weekend two earnings slashed in half, Safe House wrapping weekend three with $11.4 million and The Vow taking another $10 million. (via Box Office Mojo)