Chinese Audiences Are Getting Mad About 3D Gouging

Jason Bourne 3D China release

As the international box office and especially the Chinese box office becomes ever more important to Hollywood’s bottom line, studios and filmmakers have been bending over backward to find ways to pump more money out of overseas audiences. That could mean moving a shoot’s location or teaming with homegrown talents or companies; other times it might take the form of region-specific Easter eggs or additional scenes. And sometimes it’s a matter of charging more for admission by cranking out a 3D conversion.

But that latter strategy can backfire, as Universal Pictures has now learned. Earlier this week the studio released Jason Bourne in 3D in China, and while initial figures were good, audiences are apparently none too pleased with the film. If you guessed that it’s because 3D and shakycam make for a literally nauseating combination, congratulations, you’re already one step ahead of the studio.  Read More »

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China Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

The reaction to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in China is apparently mixed. So who is the world’s second-largest film market not excited for this new Star Wars movie?

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Suicide Squad box office

Suicide Squad might be a mess of a film, bashed by critics and fans alike, but that hasn’t stopped moviegoers from buying tickets opening weekend. David Ayer‘s comic book adaptation had a huge opening weekend, earning a massive $135 million domestically, shattering the previous August US box office record (Guardians of the Galaxy has held the crown for two years with its $94.3 million opening in 2014). The film has also grossed over $267 million worldwide, but it will need three times that to break even. If the movie’s Saturday numbers are any indication, the bad word-of-mouth buzz for this film will only result in dramatic diminishing returns in the coming weeks. Let’s take a look at the Suicide Squad box office, after the jump.

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SUICIDE SQUAD

For most films, a $872 million global gross would be cause for wild celebration. For Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, though, it was considered a slight disappointment. Yes, it’s a lot of money — but Warner Bros. had been counting on this one to do even better, considering it starred all three of DC’s most iconic heroes, cost at least $250 million to make, and many, many millions more to market. The fact that it didn’t even come close to $1 billion was cause for concern.

Fortunately for Warner Bros., though, there may be a bright spot right around the corner. The studio’s other big DC movie of 2016, Suicide Squad, is reportedly tracking for an opening domestic weekend upwards of $100 million. Should it hit that mark, it’ll be comfortably ahead of the previous August record-setter, Marvel’s Guardians of the GalaxyRead More »

Will ‘Ghostbusters’ Get to Open in China?

Ghostbusters

Paul Feig‘s Ghostbusters finally arrives in U.S. theaters this weekend, and will spend the next few weeks rolling out across the world. But one country may not get the chance to answer the call. As of now it’s unclear whether Ghostbusters will open in China, thanks to a somewhat obscure censorship guideline prohibiting certain supernatural elements. A rejection could have a major impact on the film’s box office take as China is the second-biggest movie market in the world.  Read More »

summer 2016 sequels

One of the big stories of this summer is what Hollywood is calling “the sequel slump.” The average sequel makes more than eight times the average original release, which explains why we have more of them than ever before. But the sequels of summer 2016 are failing to find audiences. Why aren’t movie theatergoers flocking to sequels as they have in the past? Let’s examine the possible reasons.
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steven spielberg directing The BFG

Steven Spielberg‘s The BFG hit theaters this weekend and landed with a “gigantic” thud. The $140 million Roald Dahl adaptation earned a measly $19.6 million in its opening weekend, which is a huge disappointment anyway you look at it. Is Spielberg, credited for creating the summer blockbuster with 1975’s Jaws, no longer the big box office draw that he once was?

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star trek beyond images 3

It’s been a brutal summer at the box office. We’ve seen one high-profile studio release after another open to disappointing figures, if not outright awful ones, prompting concerned conversations about “sequelitis” and “superhero fatigue” and the like. So will this trend extend into the rest of the season? Or could July be the month that Hollywood turns its fortunes around?

Well, only time will tell. But one of the next big-budget sequels to try its luck will be Star Trek Beyond. Early tracking indicates the sci-fi adventure is on track for a domestic opening in the $48-60 million range, which puts it behind the two previous Star Trek films but ahead of a lot of other movies that have hit so far this summer.  Read More »

MoviePass Statistics

MoviePass is a great idea, a monthly membership (starting at $30) that gives you access to see up to one movie a day in one of its 33,000 qualifying screens nationwide. It has basically been marketed as Netflix for movie theaters, and if it worked that simply it would be amazing. Unfortunately, I have found there are many sticking points in using this service. And it seems like MoviePass is finally trying to address some of them.

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