Thursday, June 02, 2005

You know the name, fame of King Kong...

Per Variety.com:

"By the time Universal releases Peter Jackson's vision of "King Kong" on Dec. 14, the first DVD edition of the original 1933 pic is expected to be on store shelves. Except it won't have a Universal logo on it. Warner Bros. has long been working on restoring the pic for DVD release. Although it hasn't announced when the DVD will go on sale, it is expected to be near Jackson's "Kong."



About friggin' time.

Zatoichi TV series coming to DVD next year...

With the release of all of Shintaro Katsu's 26 Zatoichi movies to DVD--except for Zatoichi's Pilgrimage, the rights to which are owned by Mirimax, apparently because at one point Quentin Tarrantion was interested in doing a Zatoichi movie--along the recent Beat Takashi remake, there was little for fans of the blind wandering swordsman to look forward to.

However, Katsu starred in a TV show based on the character too, which ran about 100 episodes. Now Media Blasters has obtained the rights to the show, and is releasing the first season on DVD some time in 2006. If that sells well, the other seasons will follow.

Very cool.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

It's the Pitt's...

Referencing the prior item, director Limen might be engaging in some butt covering in case the film bombs. Certainly Brad Pitt doesn't have the impressive career numbers that you might expect from someone widely considered a major star:

One thing to remember about grosses is that the studio receives only about half of them back. The theaters showing the films generally keep the rest. So a $100,000,000 gross means the studio got back (very roughly) $50,000,000.

Also, advertising and prints for major films now costs tens of millions of dollars each. So just listing the production budget is understating the cost of making and releasing a film. When no marketing figure is mentioned, keep that in mind. As well, production budgets are routinely underestimated to exaggerate how well a film did, or to officially reduce how much they lost.


Hits

Ocean’s 11 ($85 million production budget; $30 million marketing / $450 million grossed worldwide; $183 million domestically)

Se7en ($33 production budget / grossed $327 million worldwide [$100 million domestic])

Interview With the Vampire ($60 million production budget / $224 million grossed worldwide [$105 million domestic]


Made a goodly amount

Twelve Monkeys ($29 million production budget / $169 million grossed worldwide [$57 million domestic])

Legends of the Fall ($30 million production budget / grossed $160 million worldwide [$67 million domestic])

Troy ($175 million production budget; $50 million marketing / grossed $500 million worldwide [$133 million domestic])

Snatch ($10 million budget / grossed $83 million worldwide [$30 million domestic])



Made Some Money / Broke Even but considered disappointments

Fight Club ($63 million production budget / grossed 100,000,000 worldwide [$37 million domestic]; popular on home video)

Sleepers ($44 million production budget / $167 million grossed worldwide [$53 million domestic])

Ocean's Twelve ($110 million production budget / grossed $362 million worldwide [$125 million domestic])]


Didn’t Do Well

The Mexican ($57 million production budget / grossed $147 million worldwide [$67 million domestic])


Bombs

Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas [Provided voice of Sinbad] ($60 production budget; $30 million marketing / grossed $74 million worldwide [$26 million domestic])

Meet Joe Black ($90 million production budget / grossed $143 million worldwide [$47 million domestic])

Seven Years in Tibet ($70 million production budget / grossed $131 worldwide [$34 million domestic])

Spy Game ($135 million production budget / grossed $143 million worldwide [$62 million domestic])

The Devil’s Own ($90 million production budget / grossed $141 million worldwide [$43 million domestic])

Kalifornia ($9 million production budget / ONLY DOMESTIC GROSS AVAILABLE: $2.4 million)

Director promotes, er, fears his own film's hot sex scenes...

Per the IMDB:

Liman Fears Jolie and Pitt's Sex Scenes Will Spark Movie Boycott

Director Doug Liman fears the shocking sex scenes between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in new movie Mr. & Mrs. Smith are so realistic, fans of Pitt's estranged wife Jennifer Aniston will boycott the film. Pitt and Jolie have repeatedly denied reports they started a passionate affair on the movie's set, causing the heart-throb's high-profile split from Aniston in January. But Liman is terrified Aniston's loyal admirers will see the graphic onscreen love-making and presume he has captured their moment of betrayal on film. And his anxieties sparked a vicious war of words with producer Dave Matalon, who wanted to delete the scenes to avoid losing audience figures. Liman says, "Matalon said, 'I don't want to lose that audience of people who are huge Jennifer Aniston fans, who are going to hate Angelina Jolie because the sex scene's too sexy. People will see the sex scene and say, 'Oh that's how Angie did it'. It'll be like , 'She used her wiles to seduce him'."

So...Limen "is terrified" by the sex scenes in his movie, but also had "a vicious word of wars" with his producers who supposedly wanted to cut the scenes.

Man, does this smell of...baloney. My favorite bit is the intimation that the scenes are so completely hot that people will think he actually filmed the actors in the midst of actually having sex. Not just sex, but the very "moment of betrayal."

Er...yeah. Sure.

This week on home video...

Attack of the Virgin Mummies: Yes, it’s started: People are making imitation Misty Mundae movies.

Bedtime for Bonzo: The Gipper’s immortal comedy where he adopts a monkey and wackiness ensues.

Best of Dudley Do-Right / Best of Mr. Peabody & Sherman: Complete season sets of Rocky & Bullwinkle are available, which include these, but hey, maybe you only have a thing for talking dogs with time machines. Seriously, though, buy the R&B sets.

Boogeyman: It’s May, and forgettable horror films released in 2005 are already hitting the home video shelves.

Bullit Special Edition: 2-Disc set of the essential Steve McQueen policer, including a director’s commentary and documentaries. The film also features perhaps the best car chase this side of The French Connection.

Case of the Scorpion’s Tale: Italian Giallo, if that’s your bag.

Cincinnati Kid: Cool maven Steve McQueen plays a young cardsharp who takes on the older Edward G. Robinson. It’s sort of the card player version of The Hustler.

The Complete James Dean Collection: That’s right, this one set contains ALL of Dean’s movies…all three of them. Still, nice package for fans. Comes with a bonus disc on Dean. The three films are also available separately, but why bother?

The Essential Steve McQueen Collection: Collects six movies, including some of the separate titles listed here. Includes Bullit, The Cincinnati Kid, The Getaway, Never So Few, Papillon and Tom Horn.

Harper Valley PTA: Barbara Eden takes on the snobs on the local PTA board in this adaptation of a popular country novelty song. (Really.)

Ice Cream Man: Clint Howard is a nutty ice cream man who murders numerous persons in this gory, b-movie-star studded flick.

Jules & Jim: Truffaut’s most famous film gets the Criterion treatment.

Moonlighting Season 1 & 2: Well, that must be like eight episode all together. (If you’re old enough, you’ll get the joke.)

Over the Top: Sly Stallone’s remake of Rocky, other with the even cooler focus of arm-wrestling, finally hits DVD. And moves several notches up my ‘review soon’ list.

Submerged: The long awaited Steven Seagal on a submarine with monsters, or zombies, or some damn thing, movie is finally out.

Test Tube Babies: Alpha Video puts out a no-doubt crappy but cheap edition of this essential laugh-riot ‘social menace’ film.

Viva Knievel: Man, this is a kick ass day for camp. Evel plays himself in this infamous cheese classic, co-starring Leslie Nielsen and Gene Kelly (!).