Posts by Leslie Gornstein
- lesgorn at Yahoo Movies1 day ago
Less than a week after the tragic accident that killed Paul Walker and his financial planner Roger Rodas, many questions remain about what happened on the road that day, and what will happen to the actor's beloved "Fast & Furious" franchise (Universal announced yesterday that it is shutting down production on the seventh installment for an unspecified "period of time"). Here's a roundup of what we know so far.
Could the film's insurers end up deciding the fate of the film?
Most major film productions have something called completion insurance; if a movie suffers a major loss — say, its star, or a key location or set piece — that's when the insurer is supposed to step in. Producers and insurers meet to decide whether a production can survive. If it can’t, the insurance company is supposed to kick in for production costs already spent.
- Yahoo Movies2 days ago
Q: With "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" set to arrive later this month, Ron Burgundy is everywhere — local newscasts, Twitter, radio shows, book signings, and no less than 70 car commercials. Is this the future of movie marketing?
A: Don't forget the Ben & Jerry's ice cream, the new-slash-fake autobiography excerpt in the New Yorker, the commentaries on Australian politics, the presentation at the MTV's European Music Awards, an appearance right here on Yahoo, even a contest to join the Anchorman news team. It's all in character, folks.
- Leslie Gornstein at Movie Talk1 mth ago
Coming soon to a theater near you: "The Starving Games," a spoof of "The Hunger Games." Why do filmmakers keep doing parodies like this and does anyone still see them?
It's a legitimate question, especially given how very, very referential these flicks can be. Would anybody even know what that drippy-looking taffy pull of a mask was in "Scary Movie" without having seen "Scream" first? How about the door that opens and closes by itself in "A Haunted House?" That’s a direct reference to "Paranormal Activity," a flick that was popular, sure, but not exactly a blockbuster franchise like "The Avengers" (which does not, as of yet, have its own send-up by the Wayans Brothers).
Also: Saying that these movies tend to be bad is like saying that Kanye West likes himself a little. The contemporary spoof, unlike classics such as "Airplane!" or "The Naked Gun" series, are generally terrible — lazy with the writing, heavy on the fart and toilet jokes, mainstays of the Razzie Awards.
- Leslie Gornstein at Movie Talk1 mth ago
Q: With "Gravity" scoring $55 million in its opening weekend (a record for an October release), is Sandra Bullock officially the most bankable actress on the planet right now?
A: Well, technically, according to industry experts, and current conventional wisdom, there are a few other actresses who...
Oh, forget it: Let's crown Sandra, already.
If you're talking biggest box office for least money down, Natalie Portman and Kristen Stewart are, as of the last Forbes "Bankability" list, still the reigning queens of bang-for-one's-buck. K. Stew, for example, took only about 9 percent of the total earnings of her last film, mega-blockbuster "Breaking Dawn: Part 2."
Will Bullock top the new list? Quite possibly. She's already outpacing the two stars at the top of another list, the Ulmer Scale, which measures star bankability.
- Leslie Gornstein at Movie Talk2 mths ago
Q: Another Christian-themed movie is on its way — this one most likely for theaters — based on the story of Jesus's resurrection. Is there really enough of an audience to sustain the recent resurgence of Bible-themed entertainment?
Well, let’s take a look at the slate, here: Mark Burnett is producing a sequel to his massively popular History Channel series "The Bible," this time for an even bigger audience on NBC; Ben Kingsley is set to star as King Herod in the Lionsgate-produced film "Mary Mother of Christ;" and there’s the freshly announced project mentioned above: a theatrical film based on the New Testament account of what happen after Jesus was crucified directed by Kevin Reynolds (whose credits range from "Waterworld" to the TV hit miniseries "Hatfields & McCoys").
Now, that may feel like an influx of biblical proportion, but it’s really just a case of supply rising — Noah's flood style, if you will — to meet an equally large surge in demand.
- Leslie Gornstein at Movie Talk3 mths ago
Q:With so many movies being shot and edited digitally now, are studios tightening their security against hacking? How do they prevent all their works in progress from leaking out?
A: Sometimes it is nearly impossible. Just ask the hapless folks behind the final two installments of the "Twilight" movie series; if you were one of the Twihards who got to critique Bella Swan’s wedding dress online before her official wedding day of Echemendia, you had a leaker to thank for that.
Then there was Hugh Jackman, said to be “heartbroken” after his first solo Wolverine flick was briefly leaked a month before its box office debut in 2009.
And I should also mention "Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith," "Hulk," "Iron Man," "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," "The Wolfman," "Sex and the City," "The Simpsons Movie" and "The Happening." Those movies all saw their scripts, photos or footage leaked ahead of official releases.
Why does Denzel Washington get so many box office hits in a row? Is he the biggest A-lister in the world right now? - I. Gilbert, Vermont
Denzel does have a habit of delivering more than $20 million in box office receipts whenever one of his movies opens. The latest release, "2 Guns", is no exception, having logged $27.4 million this past weekend. That's certainly not as stellar as, say, "Safe House" ($40.2 million) or "The Book of Eli" ($32.8 million) but it's better than "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3" ($23.4 million). Even the Oscar-bait movie "Flight" has made money, and that's saying something for a movie where all the action comes in the first 15 minutes.
Burning Question: Why do summer blockbuster movies always partner with fast food companies when it comes to marketing? Why not healthier foods? — Miss M., Utah
Because most superhero movies are family movies, and kids have a weakness for chicken nuggets and fries, not carrots and hummus, at least, not during their vacations.
Fast food companies know this. Film studios know this. And hence, every summer, we are told that nobody loves a good burger more than a superhero ... even though Spider-Man looks like he's never seen a Krispy Kreme donut in his life, and there apparently were no complex carbs at all on Krypton.
[Related: The Dumb Reasons We Dislike Movies]
Burning Question: Should we feel sorry for Ryan Reynolds for having two flops in a single weekend or should we be asking why he's still getting lead movie roles? — U.B., Toronto
You speak of "R.I.P.D." —you know — "Men in Black" but with ghosts — and the animated snail picture called "Turbo," in which Reynolds voices the lead gastropod. We're looking at two big disappointments, all right — at least, for an opening weekend. Universal's $182 million "R.I.P.D." brought in a paltry $12.8 million, and DreamWorks Animation's $135 million "Turbo" scored only $28.5 million. Both big budget flops were trounced by the much cheaper "The Conjuring," which made a tidy $41.5 million and only cost $20 million to make.
- Leslie Gornstein at Movie Talk5 mths ago
Burning Question: One word about Johnny Depp's new Lone Ranger movie: Ouch! It totally bombed right? Is this the end of Johnny Depp's reign as king of Hollywood? — Zebra Man, Utah
If you're tired of Johnny Depp raking in tens of millions of dollars every time he puts on a funny hat, you're apparently not alone. Because, yeah, that movie bombed horribly. Like, "John Carter" horribly. As in, $48.9 million in its first five days (and just $24.3 million internationally so far). That may sound OK, until you realize that the film production alone cost $250 million and its worldwide marketing campaign carried a hefty $175 million price tag (approximately).