Just a quick roundup on end-of-2016 events…most notably that it’s been the biggest U.S. box office year for movies ever, taking in $11.13 billion with a few days of strong tracking to go. Leading the pack was Disney/Pixar’s Finding Dory at $486 million, followed Rogue One: A Star Wars Story which had $424M, and Captain America: Civil War at $408M, giving Disney’s divisions the box office trifecta for 2016. Rogue One also looks to keep running into 2017, as it reached it’s mark in only 16 days!
While slower at gaining a box office following, Arrival, which cost much less to make than Rogue One and faced a lot of competition after its release, passed $150 million in the global box office, which is not bad for a “thinker” science fiction movie.
What happens when you mash up a superhero story with Doctor Who on Christmas Day? You get the most watched program in 2016 for BBC America. “The Return of Doctor Mysterio” had 1.7 million viewers in the Live+3 ratings and topped all the key demographics, as well as being the channels most active program on social media. Still not sure when the upcoming season will begin, but we are thinking around April.
At the recent TCAs, ABC entertainment president Channing Dungey said that talks are still ongoing between the network and Lucasfilm, two divisions of corporate parent Disney, for live action prime time series based on Star Wars. “We have had conversations, and we will continue to have conversations with Lucasfilm. It would be wonderful to extend the franchise.”
This comes as no surprise as Disney has been going full-Death Star with the franchise since acquiring Lucasfilm in 2012. A second animated series, Rebels airs on Disney XD, Episode VII was released last year, the first anthology film, Rogue One releases this December, Episode VIII is in production, and Disney’s theme parks are greatly expanding the presence of Star Wars in the parks.
In addition, Disney has already brought two of its other acquired properties, Marvel and the Muppets, to ABC although the latter had trouble finding an audience, not helped by creative issues with the production.
But what will the possible series entail? It could be anything – they may be discussing the possibility of the setting as part of the negotiations. But we are reminded of how five years ago George Lucas was hot on a live action series so much that they wrote as many as 50 multiple draft scripts for a series set between Episodes III and IV, which may still be available. At the time it was too expensive to actually produce. However, this is the same time period already covered by Rebels as well as the upcoming Rogue One and the second anthology movie about Han Solo, making it a crowded space – and it is possible that some of the plots were re-tuned for the other projects.
Personally, with the expanded timeline that the Star Wars universe already has, I’d like to see them explore a completely different time period, perhaps dealing with the initial reformation of the Sith and the early Republic, whether they use the former Expanded Universe as the basis or not.
Some tidbits as I get a break from vacation/traveling…
On the movie front, Oprah Winfrey is near set to star as Mrs. Which in a new adaptation of A Wrinkle In Time to be directed by Ava DuVernay (Selma) for Disney. Amy Adams and Kevin Hart are also in talks.
Speaking of Disney, Disneyland is about to rebuild it’s Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction with a whole new theme based on Guardians of the Galaxy. The new attraction will be called “Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout” and be ready for next summer. Here is a video of Joe Rhode explaining the attraction:
Also on the Disney park front, if you can get to Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World in Florida, you have to check out the “Star Wars Galactic Spectacular” fireworks and light show. It is AMAZING!
The new Captain Marvel has been announced, and it will be Brie Larson. Kevin Feige made the announcement at Comic Con, but wouldn’t say what movie she might first appear in.
Syfy renewed Wynonna Earp for a second season.
Lastly, Fox has tapped Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) to adapt Isaac Asimov’s Caves of Steel, which has been in the works for a few years with Simon Kinberg with Henry Hobson. Ironically, Akiva Goldsman co-wrote 2004’s I, Robot, which is often mistaken as an Asimov story due to similar themes with a collection of stories Asimov wrote with the same title, but the movie was based on a short story by Eando Bender.
As of Tuesday’s haul at the domestic box office, Captain America: Civil War has reached over $206 million, in just 5 days. This, coupled with Disney’s Jungle Book holding as the #2 movie after four weeks and passing $300 million soon, you would think Disney would be up on the news – but after an earnings report that didn’t meet expectations, owing in large part to the television business, especially ESPN, softening, saw stock its stock prices take a 4% hit, and Disney announcing it would close down its console gaming business, primarily the Disney Infinity line, and taking a $147 million charge to do it.
So how was the movie? [very minor spoilers perhaps ahead] On a rare occasion that I was able to see it opening weekend, I enjoyed it overall. It relied less on the incessant barrage of fighting action that was the hallmark of Avengers: Age of Ultron, and more on the story. However, some of the justification for what was ripping apart the team seemed contrived, and I think a lot of people may generally dislike the idea of friends taking differing sides and fighting each other, and at times be jovial about it. But that joviality also lightens the movie up, which otherwise be a major downer. It does, however, seem to be setting the stage for Infinity War, which is sort of expected…
Walt Disney World plans Opening Night event for Star Wars: The Force Awakens at Disney Springs and Hollywood Studios
From our sister site, WDW Untangled…
On the opening night of Star Wars: The Force Awakens on December 17th, Walt Disney World Resort will host a special ticketed event at Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) and Disney’s Hollywood Studios park for fans who want to be among the first viewers of the movie and celebrate with other fans.
Guests will have a confirmed seat at the AMC Disney Springs 24 theater for a showing between 7pm-8pm, and then celebrate over at Hollywood Studios at a private party afterwards until 2am. The party will include special access to the new Star Wars: Launch Bay exhibit, the Star Tours: The Adventures Continue attraction, a DJ dance party, and a preview of the all new fireworks display set to Star Wars music. Costumes are encouraged! But follow standard Disney guest costume guidelines – if you dress like a Disney character, for instance, you may not pose for pictures with other guests or sign autographs, etc.
Characters will also appear at Launch Bay – it is sounding like a private mini-Star Wars Weekends!
Tickets will go on sale immediately after the latest trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens airs tonight during Monday Night Football. And in fact, tickets for showings at theaters around the country will go on sale at the same time!
Ticket prices will depend on which format you see the movie in: 2D ($94.99), 3D ($98.99) and 3D ETX ($99.99).
Note: Direct transportation between Disney Springs and Hollywood Studios will NOT be provided. Parking is free at Disney Springs, and parking at Hollywood Studios is included in the price of the ticket. Guests staying at a WDW Resort will be able to take transportation from Disney Springs to their resort, and then on to Hollywood Studios.
More FAQs can be found here.
Check out the article on our sister site for details, but if you have been waiting for a bigger theme park experience than Star Tours, you’re going to be very happy…
The news last month that stars Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde along with director Joseph Kasinski were in for a third installment of Tron, gave hope even after several years had already passed since Tron: Legacy, but Disney said today that it never officially gave a green light for the project, and has in fact pulled it from the development slate.
No specific reasons were given, but given the relatively soft worldwide box office ($400 million against an approximately $180 million budget, not including marketing), and the subsequent failure of the animated Tron: Uprising, and with expected blockbusters from Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the next several years, Disney probably sees the slate pretty clogged with high budget features with likely better returns.
Update: There have been various reports that this was due to the poor opening of Tomorrowland, but there is no real reason they would be connected.
Last week Ben and Ray Lai, owners of Horizon Comics Productions, filed suit in the Federal Court of Massachusetts against Marvel and parent company Disney over claims that Marvel lifted the design of the Iron Man body armor designs from their own title, Radix.
The two allege that after they created Radix in 2001, they worked for a time for Marvel as artists, and that Radix materials had been distributed within Marvel. Then, in 2008 after the Lai brothers left Marvel, the first Iron Man movie came out, with a full mechanized body armor.
In the suit they say that “Marvel’s “Iron Man” comic book character first appeared in 1963. From that time until the first movie in the franchise was released, the comic typically depicted Iron Man wearing simple spandex-like attire and minimal armor.” But with the movie’s updated look and Marvel employees having access to the Radix designs, they believe their designs were lifted for the movies’ more modern high-tech armor.
However, it appears that their description of the “traditional” Iron Man armor isn’t quite accurate. Going all the way back to the first appearance of Iron Man in “Tales of Suspense #39”, we see him in full body armor…pretty clunky, and not unlike the armor Tony Stark built to escape his captors in the beginning of the 2008 movie. And through the years, although artistically you could probably mistake the depiction as being spandex, showing musculature, it was originally stylized full armor. And if you need other examples of full body armor with anatomical design, just do a Google image search for “George Clooney nipple suit” and witness the destruction of a franchise. 🙂
We’ll see what becomes of it. There is in fact a clear resemblance between a poster shot of Stark/Iron Man in a three point stance to a Radix promotional image…
This time we get to see glimpses of the plot – it seems that some group (Universal executives? 🙂 ) don’t want Britt Robertson and George Clooney to escape to Tomorrowland, which looks even more like the 50s/60s Disney-esque future city we thought we’d have by now…with a touch of steampunk to get between the worlds…
From Disney comes two-time Oscar® winner Brad Bird’s “Tomorrowland,” a riveting mystery adventure starring Academy Award® winner George Clooney. Bound by a shared destiny, former boy-genius Frank (Clooney), jaded by disillusionment, and Casey (Britt Robertson), a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity, embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space known only as “Tomorrowland.” What they must do there changes the world—and them—forever.
Featuring a screenplay by “Lost” writer and co-creator Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird, from a story by Lindelof & Bird & Jeff Jensen, “Tomorrowland” promises to take audiences on a thrill ride of nonstop adventures through new dimensions that have only been dreamed of.
The film also stars Hugh Laurie as brilliant scientist David Nix, Raffey Cassidy, Tim McGraw, Judy Greer, Kathryn Hahn, Keegan-Michael Key and Thomas Robinson.
“Tomorrowland” is produced by Damon Lindelof, Brad Bird and Jeffrey Chernov and directed by Brad Bird, with John Walker, Brigham Taylor, Jeff Jensen and Bernard Bellew serving as executive producers.
The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Tron Legacy stars Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde, along with director Joseph Kasinski, will return for Tron 3.
It is unclear if the movie has been given a green light yet by Disney, but it does appear that they are aiming to start filming this Fall in Vancouver.
Tron Legacy showed an updated, higher resolution world of that introduced in Tron, the 1982 film that wasn’t a success financially but was cutting edge and became a iconic cult hit, often cited as an influence by other filmmakers. The second film picks up decades later, where Flynn (Jeff Bridges) has been missing for some time, and his son (Hedlund) heads into the system to find him…
Tron Legacy was more of a success, garnering $400 million worldwide, but development on a followup has been slow thus far.