Movie Review: Evan Almighty

Evan Almighty

When we last saw Evan Baxter (Steve Carell) in Bruce Almighty, he was Jim Carrey’s hard working smug Buffalo newscaster rival. Baxter has since been elected to Congress, winning on the campaign promise that he would “change the world”. When he asks God for his help, God (Morgan Freeman) not only listens but responds by asking Baxter to build a ark, Noah style. Most of the comedy in Almighty stems from the humorous reactions of normal people (and his family) to Evan’s newfound craziness, animal antics, and injuries he sustains while constructing the ark.
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Video Clip: 8 Minutes of Evan Almighty

Evan Almighty

Universal Pictures has uploaded an eight-minute clip from the Steve Carell comedy sequel Evan Almighty. I just caught the film last night and was pleasantly surprised (hey, I wasn’t expecting much going in). The movie hits theaters this Friday, and the only other movie in nationwide release is the John Cusack horror flick 1408. Obviously both films target entirely different audiences. One is a strict family comedy, while the other is a psychological horror. So chances are you already have one of the two movies picked out (if any). But if you have any interest in seeing Evan Almighty, check out the 8-minute clip after the jump. I feel it gives you a good indication of the film’s story-line, tone and humor.
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 Evan Almighty

Did You Know: Evan Almighty is now the most expensive comedy ever made. The studio initially planned to not cross a $140 million limit. But with the special effects and logistical problems (having real live animals on set can add up), the cost went over $175 million. That means, after press, advertising, prints, and all marketing expenses, Evan Almighty will sport a price tag of over $250 million.

But it’s a smart bet. Bruce Almighty made over $80 million in its opening weekend, and over $484 million worldwide by the end of it’s run. Evan is not only tracking higher than the first film, but is also tracking above huge summer blockbusters such as Transformers and Live Free or Die Hard.

For Evan Almighty, the magic number would be $500 million. That’s how much the film needs to make before it is deemed even. Note: Many people don’t know this but the studio only gets around 50% of the ticket sales (that’s right, those huge box office numbers reported every Monday morning). But that doesn’t take into consideration DVD sales. Bruce made over $77 million in rentals (as of 2/08/04) and over $250 million in home video sales (as of June 2004). So realistically, Evan only needs to earn $250 million at the box office to eventually break even on DVD.

June Tracking Numbers are Shocking

Evan Almighty

Jeffrey Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere has published the late June industry tracking numbers. To make things easier, we have filed the numbers in this neat little table below:

Film General Awareness Definite Interest First Choice Definately Not Interested
1408

56%

30%

9%

12%

A Mighty Heart

44%

22%

6%

 
Evan Almighty

89%

40%

15%

 
Live Free or Die Hard

92%

36%

5%

 
Ratatouille

78%

36%

7%

 
Sicko

38%

22%

3%

22%

License to Wed

69%

22%

2%

 
Transformers

87%

41%

12%

 

Here are the things that we immediately notice: More people are interested in Pixar’s Ratatouille than we originally thought. It appears that more people have that film listed as their first choice than Live Free or Die Hard, A Mighty Heart, Sicko or License to Wed.

Live Free or Die Hard has the most awareness by far (with 92%), but is not the film people want to see (36% interested, 5% top choice).

What shocks us the most is that Evan Almighty is tracking slightly higher than even Transformers. How can this be? Is it that we are stuck in our online geek web bubble not able to see the outside world’s interest in the Bruce Almighty sequel? Possibly.

People seem to be pretty disinterested in political movies. A Mighty Heart and Michael Moore’s Sicko have a low 22% interested rate. As expected, the conservatives are very uninterested in seeing Moore’s new film, giving the movie a huge 22% definitely not interested number. It doesn’t help that the people who were interested in seeing the movie have probably already illegally downloaded it off the internet.

Of course, all these numbers will change as the marketing picks up on the early July flicks. I would expect Transformers numbers to increase.

Evan Almighty Movie Trailer

evanalmightybig1.jpg

The new movie trailer for Evan Almighty is now online. I wasn’t a fan of the first one but Steve Carell can work wonders and the new trailer shows promise.

[flv:http://www.slashfilm.com/wp/wp-content/trailers/almighty.flv 450 330]

Director Tom Shadyac’s follow-up to Bruce Almighty stars Steve Carell, Morgan Freeman, Lauren Graham, John Goodman, John Michael Higgins, Jimmy Bennett, Wanda Sykes and Jonah Hill. Evan Almighty hits theaters on June 22, 2007.

Evan Almighty

The trailer for Universal Pictures’ Bruce Almighty sequel, Evan Almighty, will premiere during NBC’s Night at the Office three hour marathon event.
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Ghost Rider

Mark Steven Johnson explains why Ghost Rider sucks so bad: “It was a hard R and bleak in my opinion, Johnson says of David Goyer’s early script. “But then the studio says to you, ‘I’m going to let you make your movie, your vision, but you’ve got to make sure it’s a PG-13. We’ve got to make money.’ Which is fair.” So don’t expect the unrated directors cut on DVD: “There’s not an R-rated version, We didn’t shoot that.”

Possitive early reviews of Evan Almighty are streaming in. The Bruce Almighty sequel starring Steve Carell is “funny, heart warming and impactful film – it is a close encounters of the almighty kind,” according to one audience member.

DreamWorks has hired Carter B. Smith (Love Rome) to direct the big screen adaption of Scott Smith’s novel The Ruins. The horror thriller follows four American friends on vacation in Cancún who find themselves lost in the jungle. A Simple Plan author/screenwriter Scott Smith is writing the script.

Night at the Museum helmer Shawn Levy is getting handed everything now-a-days. Next up will be an adaptation of the canine bestseller Marley & Me. This sounds more Levy’s speed than Flash. I hope he has to drop out of The Hardy Men, because that film has potential. Shooting will start in late April in Los Angeles.

Pop Quiz: How much does it cost to buy an advertisement during the Academy Awards?
Answer: $1.6 million, up from $700,000 in 1995.

New Star Wars video game will hit stores in November. The game allows players to become Darth Vader’s “secret apprentice” and promises to reveal new secrets about the Star Wars galaxy. George Lucas has no shame.

Zooey Deschanel (Elf) has been cast as the Tin Man in SCI FI Channel’s miniseries retelling of The Wizard of Oz. Alan Cumming is playing the Scarecrow-like character of Glitch. Sounds interesting.

Forest Whitaker, Kate Beckinsale, Guy Pearce and Dakota Fanning will star in the ensemble drama Winged Creatures, about “survivors of a brutal restaurant murder who are left to divine their own individual paths to understanding their mortality and connection to society.”

Warner Bros. are moving back the remake of Takashi Miike’s One Missed Call from August 2007 to January 4, 2008. The movie follows a bunch of people who receive terrifying cell phone messages of their own final fatal moments. The film is directed by Eric Valette, and stars Ed Burns, Shannyn Sossamon, Ana Claudia Talancon, Ray Wise, Azura Skye, Johnny Lewis, Jason Beghe and Margaret Cho.

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