Got San Diego Comic Con on the brain yet? The film industry certainly does.
A bunch of new material has hit the web in the past week and the large majority pertains to films making an appearance in Hall H. We’ve got posters from Dredd, Pacific Rim, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and more, as well as early looks at Elysium and Iron Man 3.
While Comic Con is clearly taking over, there are a few non-SDCC news bits to report including Jena Malone’s casting as Johanna Mason in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and the unveiling of a 13-minute Dark Knight Rises featurette.
With Comic Con just days away, sit back, relax and soak in what you can because this time next week, just ten items on the Movie News Cheat Sheet likely won’t be enough.
1. SDCC 2012: With San Diego Comic Con right around the corner, both Melissa and I have our bags packed and are ready to go (er, maybe take that as a figure of speech) so we can bring you the best of the best from the San Diego Convention Center. In honor of the event, a number of studios have been teasing big panels by releasing brand new posters and images from their highly anticipated productions. We’ve got some concept art from Iron Man 3 that Marvel plans to distribute at the event while Pacific Rim follows up this first shot of Idris Elba with another featuring Charlie Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi as well as a brand new poster. Oz: The Great and Powerful just got a new poster as well, a particularly gorgeous design, while Karl Urban sentences you to death in the new Dredd motion poster. We’ve also got the very first shot of Matt Damon in action in Neill Blomkamp’s District 9 follow-up, Elysium, as well as an especially stunning poster of Gandalf (Ian McKellan) for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Aching for more? We’ve still got a few more days to go before SDCC begins, but, in the meantime, keep an eye out for a special pre-SDCC piece from Melissa and myself highlighting the events we’re aiming to cover.
2. Buy Movies on Google Play: Netflix, Hulu, iTunes and Amazon Instant Video better watch out; Google Play has arrived and it’s expanding its territory. Originally, the service was the app store, Android Market, and was limited to phones, but, back in March, Google Play made the move to computers. Just like with the aforementioned services, you could access movies, TV shows, books, games and more on Google Play, however, back then, movie lovers could only rent what they wanted. Now they can actually purchase features. What does this mean for the on-demand digital marketplace? Your guess is as good as mine. As an iPad owner, I prefer iTunes and plan to stick with it, but who knows? Should Google’s partnerships with Disney, ABC Studios, NBC Universal, Sony Pictures, Paramount, Hearst, and Conde Nast result in a program being available on Google Play that I can’t access elsewhere, I might have to give it a go. (via Cinemablend.com)
3. Jena Malone is Johanna Mason: After swimming in rumors for weeks, we’ve finally got our first big piece of casting news for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Despite reports that model-actress Zoe Aggeliki was the frontrunner, film vet Jena Malone was the one who received the offer to portray District 7 victor, Johanna Mason, in the Hunger Games sequel. In an attempt not to spoil much, I’ll keep the character description light; Katniss crosses paths with Johanna while back at the Capitol and while Johanna doesn’t outright threaten her, her rather course demeanor rubs Katniss the wrong way. As you probably know, I can go on an on about even the slightest bit of Hunger Games news, so rather than blow this paragraph up into a monstrous editorial, I direct you to my thoughts over at Movies.com.
4. Marvel Gets Short: Marvel may be sitting pretty on its $600 million+ domestic gross for The Avengers, but big budgets and big returns doesn’t mean the studio can’t repurpose their resources to produce something small. Or should I say short? The studio has been hard at work on a series of short films called “One-Shots” and Entertainment Weekly has the first look at one of their latest, the 12-minute long Item 47. The piece stars Jesse Bradford and Lizzy Caplan as Benny and Claire, a couple struggling through hard times. When the pair winds up coming across some alien guns, ones from The Avengers’ grand finale, they make some very poor decisions and two S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are dispatched to put an end to their rampage. You can catch Item 47 when it hits shelves as part of the Avengers Blu-ray on September 25th, but if you’re in San Diego for Comic Con next week, you’ll have the opportunity to see it in full there. (via EW)
5. The Amazing Spider-Man to Start a Trilogy: Step one; make a big budget blockbuster. Step two; get your potential blockbuster to actually become a blockbuster and make a lot of money. Step three; announce that your film is really part of a trilogy. Really, can a studio ever produce a moneymaker and just call it quits there? Actually, I should stop being snarky with this one; of all the potential franchises out there, The Amazing Spider-Man is a world I’m rather excited to revisit. Producers Avi Arad and Matt Rolmach broke the news to SuperHeroHype just the other week explaining, “We knew that it was going to be more than one, and at the very least three. We’re going to let this movie tell us what the story is.” On Monday, just before The Amazing Spider-Man made its big screen debut, Sony went ahead and posted this on the film’s Facebook page: “It’s finally here! The Amazing Spider-Man is the first installment in a movie trilogy that will explore how our fave hero’s journey was shaped by the disappearance of his parents.” Looks like Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone will be booked up for quite some time
6. 13-Minute Dark Knight Rises Featurette: The Dark Knight Rises may not be making much of an appearance at SDCC, but Christopher Nolan is making up for the absence with a 13-minute featurette. A combination of behind the scenes footage and filmmaker interviews, the pieces jumps into a slew of plot details and insight into the characters’ mentalities. At the midpoint the video switches gears and focuses more on technical nuances, production design including building the Gotham sewer system, what it takes to film a number of complicated action sequences and the inclusion of thousands of extras. Check out the full piece for yourself over at batman-news.com. Need even more Dark Knight Rises in advance of the July 20th release? Fourteen minutes of Hans Zimmer’s score is also available online.
7. Theater Employee Spoils Prometheus: Avoiding spoilers is absolutely key when reviewing films and reporting movie news, and the same should be true between family, friends and anyone offering big screen recommendations. However, an employee at the Regal Cinemas Thornton Place Stadium 14 in Seattle felt it was his duty to warn moviegoers that – SPOILER ALERT: Highlight text to reveal quote – “Halfway through the movie, the main female character will perform a self-induced abortion.” If you’ve seen Prometheus, you’re aware that that’s a pretty big bomb to drop. When the theater manager did nothing to remedy the situation, an unnamed customer went to Regal Entertainment Group, which sent him two free tickets, but did not acknowledge the situation. Still fed up, the customer returned the tickets after which a Regal spokesman stated, “A negative experience like this is taken seriously.” (via The Stranger)
8. Say Hello to the New ED-209 of RoboCop: No word on RoboCop making an SDCC appearance, but Columbia Pictures and MGM have offered up a first look at the ED-209, a piece of machinery responsible for protecting the battlefields and now the cities, too. The film is a remake of the 1987 original, which has Joel Kinnaman taking on the role of RoboCop, originally played by Peter Weller. Director Jose Padilha is due to get behind the lens for production soon with the film heading towards an August 9, 2013 release. In the meantime, check out the ED-209 on RoboCop’s growing viral site, OmniCorp, based on the mega-corporation featured in the film.
9. Trailers: Rise of the Guardians, Jack Reacher, Compliance: We’ve got a brand new trailer from the animated Rise of the Guardians to share and while it still suggests DreamWorks’ latest will be packed with stellar visuals, it puts the Guardians in the background to highlight the protagonist, Jack Frost (voiced by Chris Pine). Prefer action star Tom Cruise to Stacee Jaxx Tom Cruise? The new teaser for Jack Reacher might be for you. Then again, if you’re someone who prefers to see a character rather than a superstar merely playing a character, this might come as a disappointment. Wrapping this section up on a high note is the new trailer for the Sundance hit Compliance. An effective presentation of the troubling scenario, natural performances and a notably eerie tone will leave you desperate to uncover the whole story.
10. Box Office: Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man may not have come close to the opening earnings of the Sam Raimi trilogy, but $65 million is a pretty solid start. Tack on the $75 million the film took in prior to the weekend and that brings its domestic gross to a stellar $140 million. While Ted managed to hold on incredibly strong, dropping just 40.1% for another $32.6 million, Magic Mike fell hard, losing 60.1% of its opening profits for $15.6 million its second weekend out. That landslide decline left more than enough room for Brave and Savages to sneak in and steal the 3rd and 4th spots respectively. Brave had another powerful weekend, dropping just 40.9% and taking another $20.2 million to the bank. Savages only managed to accumulate $16.2 million its first weekend out, but a $6,150 per theater average is a respectable start. (via Box Office Mojo).