A Moment In History

The History of Film
Part 3 - The Introduction of Colour

Colour in film, as we know it today, did not appear until the late 1930s. However, there was a colourful history (pardon the pun) of its use before that time.

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Dec 17

'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Opens to Near-Record $220M in U.S., Hits $450M Globally

by Pamela McClintock

Disney and Lucasfilm's Star Wars: The Last Jedi delivered an early Christmas present for Hollywood and theater owners over the weekend with a near-record $220 million debut in North America, the second-best showing of all time behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The Last Jedi opened a mere 11 percent behind The Force Awakens' record-shattering domestic launch of $247.9 million on the same weekend in 2015, a rare feat in the age of sequelitis. Revenue for the weekend spiked more than 30 percent over the same weekend last year, helping to narrow the yearly gap from 4 percent to 3 percent.

Internationally, director Rian Johnson's tentpole took in $230 million from 54 markets for a worldwide launch of $450 million. The Last Jedi came in 18 percent behind Force Awakens overseas, where sci-fi can be a tough sell. The big question mark is China, where The Last Jedi doesn't open until Jan. 5. Imax theaters turned in $40.6 million globally.

Disney distribution chief Dave Hollis said the studio expected the film to come in behind The Force Awakens by as much as 20 percent around the world (its running time is a hefty two hours and 30 minutes). He said its stellar performance is a reflection of Star Wars' cultural influence, as well as the film's diverse cast.

"The results speak to the power of representation. It's a movie that is relatable, both because of the characters and the conflict," Hollis said, noting that the weekend pushed Disney past the $2 billion mark domestically for a third consecutive year.

Buoyed by glowing reviews and an A CinemaScore, The Last Jedi is one of only four films to open to $200 million or more domestically after The Force Awakens, Universal's Jurassic World ($208.8 million) and fellow Disney title The Avengers ($207.4 million), not accounting for inflation. And the Star Wars series is now the first film franchise in history to see two installments clear $200 million in another win for the Disney production empire and marketing team.

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

Dec 15

The Poster for the All-Female Ocean's 8 Is Out

Poster for next year's Ocean's 8 (image courtesy Twitter)

by Laignee Barron

Warner Brothers has revealed the first movie poster for its upcoming, female-dominated Ocean's reboot, Ocean's 8 - and make no mistake, this is a lady-led heist. Not a single man's name was included on the action film’s poster.

The Ocean's sequel features a star-studded cast of eight women: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Rihanna, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina and Helena Bonham Carter.

The plot centers around Debbie (played by Bullock), conman Danny Ocean's estranged sister who is plotting a caper at New York's annual Met Gala. But first, she must assemble the perfect crew.

"Every con has its pros," the poster promises, and in this case, the experts are all women.

The cast is not exclusively female - Matt Damon and Richard Armitage are both expected to appear in the film, which is directed by The Hunger Games' Gary Ross.

Continue Reading at: Time

Dec 14

'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Soaring to Huge $45M-Plus in Thursday Previews

by Pamela McClintock, Ashley Lee

Just as Disney wields its might by proposing to buy most of 21st Century Fox, The Last Jedi is tipped to score the top opening of 2017.

Disney and Lucasfilm's Star Wars: The Last Jedi is soaring to a near-record $45 million in Thursday previews, according to early estimates.

That would be the second-best preview number of all time behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens. A final tally will be released Friday morning, and could come in higher.

The franchise's eighth installment is expected to make a domestic debut in the $200 million range, making it the strongest opening of the year so far. The Force Awakens - bringing the franchise back to life following Disney's acqusition of Lucasfilm - began opening in select foreign markets midweek, and is projected to gross $425 million-plus through Sunday to secure one of the five best worldwide openings of all time, not accounting for inflation.

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

Dec 14

The 15:17 To Paris Trailer Focuses On Three Real Life Heroes

by Adam Holmes

Clint Eastwood is no stranger to directing biographical movies, having previously delivered Invictus, J. Edgar, American Sniper and Sully, to name a few. But his next biopic differs from the rest, as it will star the men who were actually the heroes of the the real life event. The 15:17 to Paris will tell the story of how Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler and Alek Skarlatos helped thwart the Thalys train attack in 2015, and you can get your first taste of how these three men fare at playing themselves in the movie's first trailer below.

For those of you unfamiliar with this event, Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler and Alek Skarlatos, who at the time were members of the U.S. Armed Forces, were on board a train heading from Amsterdam to Paris, France on August 21, 2015 when an assailant named Ayoub El Khazzani came into the train car and started firing bullets at the passengers. When Khazzani's assault rifle jammed, Stone, Sadler and Skarlatos used that opportunity to charge and subdue him. Three people were injured during this attack, but there were no fatalities, and the three American men were later awarded for their bravery. The movie that will shed a cinematic light on their heroism is based off the book The 15:17 to Paris: The True Story of a Terrorist, a Train, and Three American Heroes, which they co-wrote with Jeffrey E. Stern. Originally The 15:17 to Paris was going to go the conventional route and have professional actors portray Stone, Sadler and Skarlatos, but at the "eleventh hour," it was decided that the men would be brought in to reenact what they went through.

Continue Reading at: CinemaBlend

Dec 13

If Disney buys Fox assets, your TV, movie and sports watching could change

by Eli Blumenthal

Playing soon: A deal between two U.S. entertainment icons that could change what sports you watch at home and even what superheroes battle it out on the big screen.

Walt Disney Co. (DIS) is expected to be the acquirer of 21st Century Fox (FOX) assets put up for sale by Fox's Murdoch family as it streamlines Fox's holdings and focuses on the news business.

The asset sale, which may be worth up to $60 billion in a deal CNBC says could come Thursday, would shift some Fox television- and movie-making studios to the acquirer as well as rights to some characters from the Marvel comic book universe that Fox now holds.

Such a deal would bulk up the kinds of shows Disney can provide viewers over one of its forthcoming streaming networks, essential as Disney gets ready to yank its shows off Netflix in 2019. It could give Disney a bigger stake in television-streaming service Hulu, and give it part-ownership of an international network to distribute movies like "Beauty and the Beast."

And it could make it easier for subscribers to the soon-to-be launched streaming service of ESPN, the sports network owned by Disney, to watch local sports. Part of the asset sale may include Fox Sports' vast regional networks.
Buying 20th Century Fox's film and TV studios could help Disney fulfill many comic book fans' long-awaited dream: A return of the X-Men and Fantastic Four characters to the original owner. Before Disney bought Marvel in 2009, the comic-book publisher sold off rights of several popular characters - including X-Men's Deadpool and Wolverine - to Fox and other studios.

Continue Reading at: USA Today

Dec 12

Golden Globes shock: 3 nominations for a movie almost nobody has seen

Michelle Williams, left, and Mark Wahlberg in "All the Money in the World", a movie that no longer co-stars Kevin Spacey (image courtesy Sony / Tristar)

by Stephanie Merry, The Washington Post

When the Golden Globes nominations were announced Monday morning, one surprising title kept popping up: All the Money in the World, which received three nods, for best director, best actress and best supporting actor.

It's not that the movie doesn't have an excellent pedigree and a star-studded cast. Four-time Oscar nominee Ridley Scott directed the film, which revisits the real-life saga of John Paul Getty III's 1973 kidnapping. But the movie has been most buzz-worthy because portions of it were very recently reshot. After actor Anthony Rapp and others alleged that Kevin Spacey sexually harassed or abused them, Scott recast the actor’s role as billionaire tycoon J. Paul Getty - the grandfather of the kidnapped teenager - even though the movie was already essentially finished. Instead of Spacey, viewers will see another Oscar winner, Christopher Plummer.

Scott reshot Spacey's scenes from Nov. 20 to 29 while simultaneously editing those bits into the finished movie. As he told Entertainment Weekly, "I move like lightning." He was convinced that he would still have the drama ready for its scheduled Dec. 22 release. In the end, he had to push things back, but only a bit - the movie is to be released on Christmas. That's important for awards purposes: He needed to have the movie finished in time for a 2017 release to be considered for this season's trophies.

Still, it's amazing that a movie that finished shooting less than two weeks ago is up for three Golden Globes, including nods for Scott, Plummer and his co-star Michelle Williams. Apparently, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association members got rush copies of the finished product. On social media, some wondered if HFPA members were just rubbing it in about getting a sneak preview.

Still others questioned whether the voters actually saw the film.

Continue Reading at: The Toronto Star

Dec 10

Weekend Box Office: 'The Disaster Artist' Trounces 'Just Getting Started'

by Pamela McClintock

James Franco's The Disaster Artist is the latest specialty release to thrive at the U.S. box office.

Shooting up the chart to No. 4 in its second frame, the dramedy grossed $6.4 million as it expanded nationwide into 840 theaters over the weekend for an early total of $8 million. A24 is handling the film domestically, while New Line/Warner Bros. - where the project was initially developed - has overseas duties.

The critically acclaimed pic, which initially launched in 19 theaters, recounts the making of Tommy Wiseau's 2003 film The Room, considered one of the worst movies ever made. In addition to directing, Franco stars as Wiseau. David Franco, Seth Rogen, Alison Brie, Ari Graynor, Josh Hutcherson and Jacki Weaver co-star.

Disaster Artist trounced the weekend's only other new nationwide offering, Just Getting Started.
The first two weekends of December are always quiet in terms of major releases as the studios gear up for the year-end deluge of holiday titles.

Overall, Disney and Pixar's Coco stayed No. 1 in its third weekend, taking in another $18.3 million and bringing the film's domestic total to $135.5 million. Overseas, the animated tentpole danced to another $55.3 million for a foreign cume of $253 million - including more than $100 million in China alone - and $389.5 million globally.

Warner Bros. and DC's Justice League held at No. 2 in its fourth outing with $9.6 million for a domestic total of $212.1 million and a global haul of $613.4 million. On Saturday, Warners became the first studio this year to clear the $2 billion mark at the North American box office. (Disney dominates globally with well north of $5 billion, although Warners has now crossed $5 billion as well.)

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

Dec 9

James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez's 'Alita: Battle Angel' Gets Creepy First Trailer

by Taryn Nobil

The first trailer for Robert Rodriguez's "Alita: Battle Angel" has arrived.

Rodriguez, James Cameron, and Laeta Kalogridis wrote the screenplay for the film, based on the manga series "Gunnm" by Japanese artist Yukito Kishiro. "Alita: Battle Angel" is an action-packed sci-fi story of a woman's discovery of her own abilities and her fight for global change.

Cameron originally wrote a 186-page screenplay accompanied by 600 pages of notes and eventually shared both with Rodriguez, who tried his hand at cleaning up the draft to transform it into a shooting script. Satisfied with the result, Cameron also asked Rodriguez to direct the movie.

"Robert and I have been looking for a film to do together for years, so I was pumped when he said he wanted to do 'Battle Angel,'" Cameron said in the 2015 announcement of the film. "He's very collaborative and we're already like two kids building a go-kart, just having fun riffing creatively and technically. This project is near and dear to me, and there's nobody I trust more than Robert, with his technical virtuosity and rebel style, to take over the directing reins. We're looking forward to learning a lot from each other while we make a kick-ass epic."

The trailer depicts live-action clips featuring computer-animated actors, such as Rosa Salazar (who, in a motion-capture suit, plays the titular character), communicating directly with non-animated actors. The entire film was shot on practical sets at Rodriguez's Austin, Texas, studio lot.

See the trailer here:

Continue Reading at: Variety

Dec 8

'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' Trailer Sells Dino Rescue Mission

by Scott Mendelson

In a skewed way, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is in a somewhat similar situation as was The Lost World: Jurassic World in May of 1997. In a less hyperactive age, the four-year gap between Jurassic Park and The Lost World was more-or-less normal, while the three-year gap between the two Jurassic World movies now feels almost generous in a post-Harry Potter/Lord of the Rings age. And both sequels find themselves having to measure up to what of the biggest-grossing movies of all time.

Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park earned a breathtaking $357 million domestic and $915m worldwide over a year+ theatrical run, arguably the last major blockbuster to take real advantage of the second-run market as said theatrical window was dying. It was the second-biggest domestic earner of all time, behind Spielberg's E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial ($399m including reissues) and the very biggest grosser ever worldwide. By the time The Lost World opened four summers later, it was the second-biggest domestic grosser, with the "Special Edition" of Star Wars taking that film's domestic cume to $460m.

James Cameron's Titanic was just around the corner, but that's a conversation for another day.

The trailer looks solid, even if we'll lose the uniqueness of both the first Jurassic Park movie in 14 years and the last film's killer hook ("the park is open") in exchange for more conventional "folks trapped on dino island trying to escape with their lives" theatrics. We'll see if the franchise appeal was real or if it was rooted in curiosity, but when the last film made $1.67 billion worldwide, that's a lot of curiosity. And, hey, this may turn out to be the best episode of Dora the Explorer of all time

Check out the trailer here:

Continue Reading at: Forbes

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