Spider-Man 3

 In a summer full of big blockbuster movies, adaptations, sequels and threequels, you would think that Hollywood would have made some record scratch. Not so! According to the AP, attendance is running behind last summer’s and has even fallen below that of the summer of 2005. According to Media By Numbers, 279 million tickets had been sold thus far compared with 315 million at this same point in 2002.  But this is not what was supposed to happen. Industry analysts predicted the first $4 billion summer in history,  but we’re at the midway point and it’s not looking probable. As of this past weekend, Hollywood has made $1.9 billion since the first weekend in May. And $945 million of that number comes from just three movies (Pirates 3, Spider-Man 3, and Shrek the Third).

And there are a few biggies waiting in the bull pen: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, The Bourne Ultimatum, Rush Hour 3, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, The Simpsons Movie and Hairspray. But as you might notice, most of them are medium sized majors, not on the same level with a Spider-Man 3. Potter is likely to make $300 million domestically, but the rest probably won’t come close.

May-be the problem is that none of the huge releases really connected with the audiences. Most of the films resulted with bad reviews and bad word of mouth. And the good flicks (Ratatouille, Once, Sicko) got buried in the mix.

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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

A 13 minute video of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix aired on HBO last night and is now available on GoogleVideo. The preview contains a bunch of new footage inter-cut with the usual cast and crew interviews. Check it out after the jump. Although, I must warn you, they reveal a lot about the plot of the film. So if you haven’t read the book, or want to be surprised, I would stay away.

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Harry PotterAccording to a report in The Daily Mail (ie, we can’t completely trust this information), Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe is being paid $50 million for the final two Harry Potter films (Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince and The Deathly Hallows). Of course this number is before tax, commission, and agents and manger fees, but who cares – that’s a lot of cash for a young actor. In perspective, Radcliffe made less than $29 million for the first four films combined. So a $25 million pay day per film for the last two films is a huge jump in pay-grade. The actor only made $250,000 for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, $3 million for Chamber of Secrets, $11 million for Goblet of Fire, and $14 million for the upcoming Order of the Phoenix.

But interestingly enough, this still doesn’t put Radcliffe on the highest paid actors list. Keanu Reeves was paid an estimated $160 million for The Matrix Reloaded/The Matrix Revolutions due to a deal that gave him 15% of the gross. Bruce Willis also took in over $100 million on The Sixth Sense with the same type of deal.

Harry Potter and The Order of The Pheonix PosterThe London Times has published the first review of Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix. Leo Lewis calls the film:

“a solid, occasionally spectacular set-piece that struggles unsuccessfully to give us thrills and fun we have not already had in previous installments.”

That doesn’t sound very positive, does it? This is too bad, I’ve been really looking forward to this one. Lewis goes on to write:

“overall there is a shortage of those joyful little glimpses of the wizarding world’s furniture that punctuated and perked up the previous films.”

You can read the whole review now at the TimesOnline.co.uk.

 Kreasher

At the London press conference for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, one of the big topics of conversation was which character was cut, than added back into the film’s screenplau under JK Rowling’s advisement.

“Jo reads each draft,” David Heyman said, “she reads each screenplay, and she said, ‘You know, I wouldn’t do that if I were you. Or you can, but if you get to make a seventh film, you’ll be tied in knots.’”

MTV has been doing a little investigating and finally got a definite answer.

“It was Kreacher, actually,” director David Yates confirmed to MTV. “We took Kreacher out, and Jo said, ‘Listen guys, you don’t have to put Kreacher back, but I’m just telling you, if you want to kind of keep a thread going for six and seven, you might want Kreacher to come back.’ She basically told us Kreacher plays a role in Seven, in a sense. She hinted. We thought about it for five seconds, and he came back.”

What role could Kreacher play in the seventh and final book? We have no idea. Read more about the story and the disappearance of the mysterious locket at MTV Blogs.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Warner Bros has released a final batch of new Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix production photos. Below we have put together a collection of all the Phoenix photos, 75 in all, that have been released thus far. Some are old, some are brand spanking new, and some are even behind the scenes set photos. As always, left click to see any of the photos enlarged.

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The Dark Knight

AICN and many other sites around the web are reporting that a teaser trailer for the Batman Begins sequel, The Dark Knight, will premiere before Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Unfortunately we have received word from a VERY GOOD SOURCE that this is completely 100% untrue. So mark this rumor as killed. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix hits theaters on July 13.

1408

Earlier today we reported that The Weinstein Co/Lionsgate had decided to release Michael Moore’s Sicko up against Disney/Pixar’s Ratatouille and Live Free or Die Hard. A bad release date if there ever was one. Now The Weinstein’s Dimension Films is finally making a smart move. They have moved the John Cusack Stephen King adaptation 1408 (photos, movie trailer) up from it’s original release date of July 13th 2007, to June 22nd. The film was originally set to go head to head with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and the Liv Tyler horror flick The Strangers. In the summer of sequels, no release date is prime property – everything is already taken.

1408 will not go up against the Steve Carell comedy Evan Almighty, Captivity and the limited release of Black Sheep. Wait a second… They have moved the film’s original release away from a huge family fantasy adaptation to go head to head with two other horror based films? I’m not quite sure this is a good idea after all.
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