From time to time, we like to point out articles in other publications and websites which might be of interest to the /Film readers. This weekend the Los Angeles Times published an article titled “Hollywood’s little secret: movie purgatory” which uses the recently released Case 39 (the supernatural horror film starring Renée Zellweger and Bradley Cooper which was shot in 2006) to talk about the growing Hollywood practice of shelved movies.
“Case 39” was stuck in a little discussed corner of the industry: movie purgatory, where films with marketable stars — not just Cooper but Matt Damon, John Cusack, Eddie Murphy and Mel Gibson — can linger for months, even years, trapped by marketing disagreements, creative clashes, executive shuffles, money shortfalls or the judgment that they are such surefire flops that it makes no sense to throw good money after bad and distribute them.
In a larger sense, experts say, the trend speaks to the financial house of cards that is the feature film these days. Although they seem to arrive by the bundle at the multiplex every weekend, studio-produced movies now take more time and money to make and market than ever before — and then go before an ever-smaller and more fickle theater-going audience. In the old days of movie distribution — say, the early 2000s — many orphaned movies might have been granted a pass out of purgatory with a direct-to-DVD release. But the cratering of the home video market makes that less economically attractive. A direct-to-DVD release also risks offending the sensitivities of stars and other creative people the studios want to work with again in the future. These shelved movies often have their champions, who might note that at least one modern classic, “Diner,” and one recent Oscar winner, “Slumdog Millionaire,” were temporarily orphaned. But often these champions find themselves speaking into a void.
You can read the full article on LATimes.com.
If the trailer for Case 39 looks like a time capsule, that’s because it is. The film was shot in 2006, at a point when it looked more weird to see Bradley Cooper in a leading role, and less weird to see Renee Zellweger onscreen at all. Now the film is finally close to being released, on October 10, and so there’s an all-new trailer for the rather old film. Read More »
The original plan was that I would be commuting home to Oxford from Frightfest every night. After one night of that, I simply had scrap the plan and find somewhere – anywhere!- in London to stay. Back-to-back horror movies can be quite a tiring experience and staying up afterward trying to make sense of them, and write these posts? Killer.
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Ever had one of those days where everything you read seems to be about things going bump in the eternal night of deep, dark space? I’m having one right now. Not only is there an Alien remake-reboot-rehash on the cards, as reported by Peter, there’s a freshly minted full trailer for Christian Alvart‘s Pandorum doing the rounds. The film stars Ben Foster and Dennis Quaid as two crew members waking from suspended animation on a deep space jaunt to face… a creepy situation that I won’t spoil right here. You can see the trailer below the break and decide for yourself if it’s more Pitch Black than Alien, or vice versa.
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It has now been almost three years since Case 39 went into production. That’s some delay and seeing as the best information we have on a release date simply indicates a vague 2010 (I’m told that you shouldn’t believe the September ’09 you will see in some places) I’m surprised to see a trailer online at all but one has turned up unofficially within the last hour on YouTube.
To get you ready for the trailer – embedded after the break – here’s the official synopsis from the placeholder page now constituting an official site:
…a horror film starring Renée Zellweger as family services social worker Emily Jenkins. Emily thinks she has seen it all until she meets her newest, most mysterious case, troubled 10-year old Lilith Sullivan (Jodelle Ferland). Emily’s worst fears are confirmed when the parents try to kill Lilith, their only daughter. Emily saves her and decides to take her in herself until the right foster family comes along. Then the real horror begins…
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Last week Paramount and Fox announced major post-writers strike schedule shuffles. I speculated that because of ‘the rule of threes’, that one more studio would announce a reshuffled calendar by Friday. And here we are on Wednesday, with a bunch of new dates from Disney. Let’s take a look at the new Disney schedule:
The big screen adaptation of the popular video game Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, has been moved forward from mid-June to July 10th 2009. Michael Bay’s Transformers 2 hits theaters two weeks earlier on June 26th. Disney believes they will make more at the box office with the head start.
The sci-fi adventure comedy sequel/remake Race to Witch Mountain starring The Rock will hit theaters on March 13th 2009, up against Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Lovely Bones.
Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland 3-D will hit theaters a week later on March 19th 2010.
The Jonathan Mostow Sci-fi action adaptation The Surrogates starring Bruce Willis has been given a holiday release: November 20th 2009. The film with counter DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon. Set in a future world where humans live in isolation and interact through surrogate robot avatars, a cop (Willis) is forced to leave his home for the first time in years in order to investigate a murder mystery.
The Wild Hogs sequel titled Old Dogs starring John Travolta, Robin Williams and Seth Green, has been pushed back from a 2008 TBA to April 10th 2009. The original film was released in March, so it’s likely that Disney didn’t want to deviate from the marketing formula. Dogs will go up against Paramount’s RenÃ©e Zellweger horror/thriller Case 39.
The Hannah Montana Movie will now counter Fox’s comic book prequel X-Men Origins: Wolverine on May 1st 2009. This means that Disney’s animated 3D movie G-Force had to be moved to July 24th. Not a great date considering that it will now go head to head with New Line’s animated Planet 51 and The Weinstein Co’s horror remake Piranha 3D.
The big screen adaptation of Confessions of a Shopaholic starring Isla Fisher has been bumped from it’s October 9th 2008 date to a prime 2009 Valentine’s Day release. In effect, the Sandra Bullock/Ryan Reynolds romantic comedy The Proposal will now get a September 25th release.
Earlier we told you how Paramount/Dreamworks had pushed JJ Abrams’ Star Trek back to May 2009 as part of a major studio schedule reshuffle. Lets take a look at some of the other films in this huge reshuffle:
- Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s Shutter Island starring Leonardo DiCaprio will now hit theaters on October 2nd 2009. No release date had previously been announced
- David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button starring Brad Pitt will move from November 26th to December 19th 2008.
- The Ben Stiller comedy Tropic Thunder has been moved from July 11th to August 15th
- Sam Mendes’ Revolutionary Road starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, will now be distributed by Paramount Vantage.
- A new yet-to-be-titled Wayne Bros comedy has been given a February 6th 2009 release date. The movie follows a rich, white girl from the suburbs who finds herself on a series of misadventures when she moves to the mean streets of the inner-city. Sounds hilarious! </sarcasm>
- The RenÃ©e Zellweger horror/thriller Case 39 originally scheduled for release on August 22nd 2008 will now be released on April 10th 2009. The film centers on an idealistic social worker who saves an abused 10-year-old girl from her parents only to discover that the girl is not as innocent as she thinks.
- Eddie Murphy’s Nowhereland, which was originally set to hit theaters on September 26th 2008 will now be released on June 12th 2009. Murphy plays a financial executive who can’t stop his career downspiral is invited into his daughter’s imaginary world, where solutions to his problems await.