realistic movie explosions

Even though special effects have never been better than they were today, there’s always room for improvement. For example, even though we’ve had stellar digital visual effects at our disposal awhile now, there have been plenty of disappointments on the big screen. In fact, one area where Hollywood sometimes had difficulties was in creating realistic movie explosions. But thankfully, science stepped up to help.

A new video from Theodore Kim, professor of Media Arts, Technology and Computer Science at the University of California, explains how Hollywood has been able to create realistic explosions in movies, and it’s all thanks to a fancy algorithm. Read More »

Disney Logo evolution

Ethan Jones has created a series of compilation videos showing how various animated logo openings have changed and evolved over the years. Most recently Jones has released videos of the Walt Disney Pictures and DreamWorks logo openings.
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LOL: Monsters vs. ALIENS

Monsters vs. ALIENS

If DreamWorks Animation greenlit a sequel to Monsters vs. Aliens featuring the crossover with the Alien film franchise, it might look something like the above image imagined by Jacob Sparks.

via: superpunch

Dreamworks Say No Way to Monsters Vs. Aliens 2


Despite reasonable success in homeland theatres theaters and on shiny little discs, Monsters vs. Aliens has apparently underperformed internationally and, as a result, Jeffey Katzenberg has nixed any notion of a sequel. Nice to know that we’re being listened to, Mr. K. Or, at least, that our little foreign wallets are.

Katzenberg was speaking on a conference call with various ‘analysts’, who asked him why there’d be no more B.O.B or big tall Susan. Here’s his reply:

I’d like to tell you there’s a perfectly rational, clear and easy answer as to why not, but there isn’t. There was enough of a consensus from our distribution and marketing folks in certain parts of the world that we would be pushing a boulder up a hill.

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This Week in DVD & Blu-ray is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD and Blu-ray releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy and Fry’s.

Buy It

While just about every other sitcom today is either suffering from total creative bankruptcy or striving as hard as possible to steer away from the accepted sitcom format, How I Met Your Mother somehow manages to retain the style of the latter while not at all being subjected to the former. It’s a show that I fully expected to loathe upon my initial viewing of it (A laugh track? What is this, the Middle Ages?), only to find myself slowly taken in by its clever writing, recurring gags, and a hilarious cast of characters (with the two highlights of course being Neil Patrick Harris and Jason Segel). This winning combo continues throughout Season 4. From a storytelling perspective, the season stumbles a bit, but frankly, that’s never been the selling point of the show. This series has always succeeded on the basis of individual episodes, and in that regard, this season doesn’t disappoint.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: DVD & Blu-ray – Audio commentaries on four episodes, “Barney Stinson: That Guy’s Awesome” Music Video, Eriksen’s Fight Club, and Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Panel Discussion.

Target Best Buy Fry’s
$24.99 $27.99 $23.99
Amazon – $24.99

Target Best Buy Fry’s
$32.99 $34.99 $33.77
Amazon – $32.99

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monsters vs aliens

Last week when we reported that after the success of the Madagascar Penguins spin-off tv show, Nickelodeon had picked up an animated television series based on DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda. In the comments someone joked that, at very least, Monsters vs. Aliens wouldn’t be coming to the small screen. That commenter obviously spoke too soon.
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monstervsaliensposterIn this episode of the /Filmcast, David Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley debate the retitling of The Karate Kid, praise the tremendous new trailer for Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are, ridicule the changed subtitles of Let the Right One In’s home video release, and delve into the merits of Universal Soldier: The Return.  Special guest Matt Singer joins us from IFC.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us next Wednesday night at Slashfilm’s live page at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST as we review Fast and Furious.

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monsters vs aliens

Jeffrey Katzenberg and Dreamworks Animation have definitively proven that Digital 3-D is a blockbuster format. Not only has Monsters vs. Aliens seized a monstrous $58.2M in opening weekend ticket sales, Real-D (the technology provider) and Dreamworks have revealed that $25M or so of that gross was generated specifically from 3-D and IMAX 3-D. Fox is reporting that fully 43% of the total take was from the estimated 2,218 Digital 3-D screens.

That means that the Per Screen Average for the movie in 3-D was about $11,700, while the 4,800 or so traditional 35MM 2-D engagements had a Per Theatre of just an estimated $4,780. Exhibitors who figured out a way to overcome the credit crunch and pay the estimated $100,000 to convert a traditional theatre into one that can show Digital 3-D made a killing this weekend.

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monsters vs. aliens

It is an excellent weekend for Dreamworks Animation. Although the credit crunch prevented financing that would allow exhibitors to undertake the digital conversion of more of its theatres, Monsters vs. Aliens is benefiting spectacularly from the 2,075 or so standard Digital 3-D engagements and the added 143 Digital IMAX runs. The audaciously ambitious animated send-up of 50’s B-movies has used the “bleeding edge” of technology to milk an estimated $16M in opening day ticket sales, which could translate to $56M or so for the 3-day weekend according to competing studio execs. (They all explained that we are in uncharted territory here with 3-D upcharges and the widest 3-D IMAX release ever. Everyone that I have spoken with has the movie over $55M.)

If that number holds, and, if anything, they could drift higher as family audiences flood America’s multiplexes, Monsters vs. Aliens will be the all-time third-best opening in the month of March.

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monsters vs aliens

Jeffrey Katzenberg has been the film industry’s strongest proponent of 3-D over the past few years, and this weekend his advocacy will start paying dividends for Dreamworks Amimation. Monsters Vs. Aliens will debut with 4,104 playdates. That makes it the 13th-widest release in modern film history, and it becomes the biggest non-summer debut of all-time.

– with summer defined as May 1 – August 30 –
1. 3/27/09 – Monsters Vs. Aliens – 4,104 playdates
2. 11/07/08 – Madagascar 2 – 4,056 playdates
3. 10/01/04 – Shark Tale – 4,016
4. 3/31/06 – Ice Age: The Meltdown – 3,964
5. 3/14/08 – Dr. Suess’ Horton Hears A Who – 3,954

Many of those playdates are multiple screen engagements. In fact, MVA will be on over 7,000 screens. Screen counts are generally treated as “state secrets” at studios. Sony was able to secure a reported 10,000 screens for Spider-Man 3 with its 4,252 playdates back in May of 2007 (that’s an average of 2.35 screens per playdate). The all-time playdate record still belongs to The Dark Knight last July with 4,366, but TDK’s screen count was just over 9,200 (2.1 screens per location). Based on that calculation, Dreamworks/Paramount has on average 1.7 screens at each of its playdates.
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