Hobbit Battle of Five Armies teaser

A movie’s budget has little correlation to success or quality. Films that costs just tens of thousands of dollars have gone on to great success; probably more films that cost tens of millions of dollars have failed horribly. It’s when films that cost hundreds of millions of dollars fail horribly that studios start worrying about their well-being.

But you have to spend money to make money and audiences today demand spectacle. Despite that demand, they also need it to be sold to them. So a film that costs $250 million might end up costing $500 million once the studio pays for TV commercials, billboards, press junkets and more. It’s a crazy, crazy business and there’s always a gamble even on the biggest properties.

When Warner Bros. decided to make J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit into movies, the gamble was a little smaller. Peter Jackson had already turned three Lord of the Rings movies into massive hits and a return to Middle Earth would certainly attract audiences. However, with a decade or so of new technology to work with, those movies were going to be expensive. They were going to be even more expensive when the decision was made to do not two, but three films in the series. Now, with the third film on its way to theaters, we have an idea of what that commitment cost. It is historically staggering. Read more about The Hobbit budget below. Read More »

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Terminator 2

On paper, James Cameron has nothing to do with 2015′s Terminator Genisys. It’s a film based on characters he created, starring an actor he cast, but that’s about it. A few months ago, he did reveal he was “loosely attached” in an advisory role, but wouldn’t be credited. He said his biggest contribution was in regards to the role of the Arnold Schwarzenegger Terminator 5 character. But what exactly did that mean?

Apparently, a lot. In a new interview Cameron revealed his contribution to Terminator Genisys was the seed that made it possible for a 67-year-old Schwarzenegger to return to his iconic role as the T-800. Read the specifics below as well as what Cameron thought of the script and his feelings on returning to the franchise. Read More »

Avengers Robert Downey Jr. Cube

It’s not unheard of for actors to take home souvenirs from their projects — whether by stealing props from the set, buying them from the production company, or receiving them as gifts. But Robert Downey Jr.‘s memento from The Avengers definitely ranks up there in terms of uniqueness.

Downey reportedly received the 30-foot-tall “A” from the Stark Tower shot at the end of the 2012 movie, after asking for it as a joke. Guess he’s never heard of the saying “Be careful what you wish for.” Hit the jump for more on the Robert Downey Jr Avengers A.

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the emperor

It’s just one of those things you never think about. First he was The Emperor. Then he was Senator Palpatine, followed by Chancellor Palpatine and then revealed as Darth Sidious. But never once did this Star Wars beacon of evil, the Phantom Menace himself, played perfectly by Ian McDiarmid, have a first name.

In the new canon novel Tarkin by James Luceno, that’s finally changed. After years of waiting and speculation, it can finally be revealed that  Palpatine’s full name is… JOE PALPATINE. No, not really. Read Emperor Palpatine’s real first name below. Read More »

The Blair Witch Project

It’s hard to overstate the impact of The Blair Witch Project. These days, movies like it are a dime a dozen. Online viral marketing? Pretty passé. But fifteen years ago, a found footage movie marketed primarily through the Internet was not only radical, it was revolutionary. On a budget of just $25,000, the film grossed $250 million worldwide, making it the most profitable film in the history of cinema.

For those of us who were lucky enough to be a part of it, the impact of Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez‘s film is a door into our own pasts. For those who may not have been there — who didn’t experience lining up for screenings and the confusion over what was real and what wasn’t — the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has created a short little documentary about how The Blair Witch Project changed movies forever.

Below, watch a video about The Blair Witch Project history and read a first hand account of what it was like on the ground floor. Read More »

Remember The 1990 Uncle Buck TV Show? It Was Horrible

1990 Uncle Buck TV Show

Earlier today we told you that ABC and MadTV alums Steven Cragg and Brian Bradley were planning to turn John Hughes’ 1989 comedy Uncle Buck into a new multi-camera half-hour series. I almost included TV Show adaptations of popular 1980′s and 1990′s movies as the 10th entry on my list of Current Movie Trends I Hate (read the list of nine, if you haven’t already). The only reason it didn’t make the list is that Fargo ended up being my favorite television series this year, thus as annoying as the announcements are and as horrible as it may sound, it may be too early to “hate.” But I thought now would be a good time to look back at the original Uncle Buck television show from 1990. You might not remember it because it only lasted one season and was pretty horrible.
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David Fincher

From what we’ve heard, J.J. Abrams was always the director Kathleen Kennedy wanted to direct Star Wars Episode VII. Abrams had the ability and the insane Star Wars fandom to please executives and fans alike. However, don’t forget, he initially turned it down. History gets murky after that, with an incredible list of A-list directors who were rumored to, and reported to, have been contacted. Brad Bird, Matthew Vaughn, Jon Favreau, Guillermo del Toro and many others were mentioned in tandem with the film. Then, of course, J.J. Abrams changed his mind and the rest his story.

Probably the most interesting name mentioned in regards to Star Wars Episode VII was David Fincher. We published a rumor about Fincher meeting with Lucasfilm in November 2012 and, it turns out, that was correct. In a new interview, Fincher confirmed he met with Kennedy about the film but has a much different view of Star Wars than what she had in mind. Read the David Fincher Star Wars 7 quote below. Read More »

Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow in Captain America The Winter Soldier

Marvel Studios has turned unknown characters like the Guardians of the Galaxy into major stars, but we still don’t have a Black Widow movie. It’s a touchy subject, considering Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has told the fans a Widow film is in development for sometime. They have one of the most popular actresses in the world in the role – Scarlett Johansson - who just starred in a superhero-esque action film, Lucy, which became a big surprise hit. You’d think all the boxes are checked, but it still hasn’t happened yet.

The interesting thing is, it almost happened in 2004. Ten years ago, and four years before Marvel Studios hit the scene with Iron Man, X-Men and X2 writer David Hayter wrote a Black Widow movie that was almost made. But Hollywood politics cut it off at the pass. Read the full story below. Read More »

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