Archive for Movie Industry

Avatar Tops One Billion Dollars Worldwide

Twentieth Century Fox’s Avatar brought in a worldwide figure of $1.02 billion – making it the most profitable Christmas season ever. The movie is also the fourth highest grosser in history, right behind James Cameron’s Titanic ($1.8 billion), The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ($1.12 billion) and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest ($1.07 billion). Experts say Avatar could surpass the latter two with its widespread popularity and buzz.

The domestic box office over the New Year’s weekend raked in an estimated $68.3 million from 3,461 runs – which is the best figure ever for a movie running into its third weekend. Avatar, on its 17th day earned a whopping $352.1 million.

Foreign figures for the 3D science fiction fantasy brought in $133.5 million, bringing a foreign total of $670.2 million in three weeks of release. The global cumulative figures include $66.4 million from IMAX theatres.
Avatar while being in top spot as a mega-grosser – also made room for other movies to unleash their fury over the holidays.

Warner Bros.’ Sherlock Holmes featuring Robert Downey Jr. dropped by 38% to $38.4 million of 3,626 runs to bring in a domestic total of $140.7 million in its initial ten days. In foreign markets, the movie grossed around $37.6 million, bringing its global figure to $229 million.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, another production by Fox recorded domestic figures of $157.3 over the weekend, bringing worldwide figure to $256.4 million.

The global figures of Universal’s romantic flick, It’s Complicated stood at $72.9 million while Paramount’s Up in the Air, starring heart throb George Clooney grossed approximately $11.4 million in domestic figures.

Movie Tickets Tops in ’09

The numbers are in and movie tickets sales have overtaken the retail sales of movies on video, an occurrence that has not been witnessed since the mid 1990s. A recent report released by Adams Media Research confirmed the change in trend, which is mainly attributed to the recession. “…the reversal of fortunes of the theatrical and retail businesses can be laid at the feet of the recession” said AMR president Tom Adams. The theory is quite acceptable, as it seems that American consumers were interested in getting “more bang for their buck” in the face of the ongoing recession.

Theatrical ticket sales ended on $9.87 billion representing a 9.8 % growth, while DVD and Blu-ray movie sales ended on $8.73 billion representing a drop of 13.3 %. Although Blu-ray sales rose by 100 %, it failed to help the dwindling DVD movie market in 2009. But even though it was down in the movie category, DVD sales as a whole (movies, TV series, etc) still heads the entertainment category with a whopping $13 billion.

Rentals seem to be another preferred alternative to purchases; DVD and Blu-ray rentals were up 0.5 % raked in $8.15 billion, while cable, satellite and Telco rentals recorded a 16.3 % growth, totaling up to figures of $1.27 billion. Online movie purchases went up by 72.8 % and online rentals were up with a 60.1 % growth bringing in $250 million and $111 million respectively.

Whether the balance will be restored between the box office and movie disc sales as the recession ebbs is unclear. For the moment the cinema rules supreme.

Summit to Release Polanski’s Ghost Writer

Summit entertainment plans on releasing Roman Polanski’s latest film in the US sometime in early 2010. The film originally titled “The Ghost” will now be released as “The Ghost Writer.” Polanski is the director behind great films like “Chinatown” and “Rosemary’s Baby.”

Polanksi has been in Sweden on house arrest while awaiting an extradition hearing. He is expected to be extradited to face charges of having sexual intercourse with a minor. The alleged offense happened in 1977. He has avoided the US since the charges were first filed. If he is convicted, 77-year old Polanski will most likely face prison time ending his career as a successful film director.

The film stars Pierce Brosnan, Ewan McGregor, and Kim Cattrall. The screenplay was adapted from the novel, “The Ghost” written by Robert Harris. The book won the International Thriller Writers’ Award for best novel of 2008 setting this up to be a great film.

The movie will be focused around Brosnan’s character, Adam Lang a former British Prime Minister, writing his memoirs. His aide drowns, and he hires a ghostwriter (Ewan McGregor) to help finish the book. The story quickly evolves into a mystery that includes political and sexual intrigue, and the threat of Lang facing a war crimes trial. A mystifying secret is hanging over Lang that threatens to damage fragile international relations.

Summit Entertainment was originally only a sales agent for the film, but after seeing a cut of the film, they have decided to handle distribution. The entertainment group is the distributor of the Twilight teen vampire films.

The Academy unveils visual effects contenders

The Motion Picture Academy recently unveiled its list of 15 visual effects contenders for next year’s Academy Award. Notably missing from the list this year are “Night at the Museum 2” and “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”, both of which are visual effects heavy films and were expected to be in contention.

Heavily represented on the list with five pictures is Lucas Film’s Industrial Light & Magic with “Avatar,” “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince,” “Star Trek,” “Terminator Salvation” and “Transformers 2.” Digital Domain, who won the coveted prize last year with “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” comes in a close second with four films in contention “2012,” “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra,” “Star Trek” and “Transformers.”

Three of the films in contention this year are in stereoscopic 3D. “Avatar,” “Coraline” and “G-Force.” Stereoscopic 3D is a technique that creates an illusion of depth and you need special 3D glasses to be able to view it properly.

Below is the entire list of 15 films in contention:
Angels & Demons
Disney’s A Christmas Carol
District 9
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Sherlock Holmes
Star Trek
Terminator Salvation
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Where the Wild Things Are

The executive branch of the visual effects committee will select seven finalists from the current list of contenders. The winner of the much sought after statue will be announced at the Academy’s Goldwyn Theater on January 21, 2010.

2009 Oscar Movie Picks

The Oscars in February this year heralded in the beginning of the 2009 award show season. The movie picks for this year included the following:

Slumdog Millionaire – winning the Oscar for Best Picture, this story revolves around an 18-year old boy in Mumbai, India competing in the game show ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’. All the questions he has to answer offer a look back at his life. The show’s host insists the boy is cheating and forces him to admit to it. His reasoning – that a boy from an impoverished background could not possibly possess the knowledge to win the show’s top prize.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – starring Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall and Ceán Chaffin, the movie is set at the close of World War I, where Benjamin Button’s life begins. He is born with the body of an old man, and as the years pass, he finds himself growing younger as he grows older in wisdom and experience.

Frost/Nixon – Following the life of Richard Nixon, the movie begins with his 1974 resignation, he withdraws from public life. Talk show host, David Frost persuades him to participate in a series of television interviews with the offer of a sizeable payment. This offers Frost the chance to establish himself as serious journalist, while Nixon wants to re-establish himself in the political arena.

Milk – set in the 1970s, as the Gay Pride movement gathers momentum, Harvey Milk becomes its first champion and public face to make him the country’s first openly gay man to be elected to public office.

The Reader – revolves around an affair with 15-year old Michael Berge and Hanna, in her mid-thirties. Her past contains a dark secret, the revelation of which shocks Michael and forces him to confront his country’s history.

Top Movie Download Sites

Listed here are the top three movie download sites for 2009. Rated by users worldwide, these sites have the best selections, unlimited downloads and of course, the lowest prices.

1. CinemaNow – the site gives you a selection of new releases on offer, giving you options. The search facility is well liked as one can search based on the director, film or actors. Boasting of over 1,400 titles, CinemaNow has one of the largest selections, and adds new releases every Tuesday. Subscribers gain access to extra titles as well. The software provided for downloading, watching and managing movies is exemplary and provides a lot of interesting features and is simple to use. The most interesting aspect of this software is the range of devices you can watch your downloaded movies on. CinemaNow also offers a ‘synch’ license which entitles every download an optimized version for portable devices.

2. Blockbuster Online Movie Downloads – offering top notch service and a wide selection of titles, this site has a few things to grumble about. However, the browsing mechanism is superb showing thumbnails of DVDs and a hover over the picture gives you a synopsis of the movie. Search options also include the ability to search within age ratings. The software while making downloading and managing movies easy allows you to download only one movie at a time. Blockbuster unfortunately does not support multi-pc playback or the wide range of devices offered by CinemaNow.

3. Amazon Video On Demand – offers the same ease of use everyone is familiar with when it comes to the Amazon brand. This website is integrated seamlessly with the rest of the Amazon site. It comes complete with customer reviews, recommendations, previews and everything we are used to with Amazon. Unfortunately, this site does not provide a search facility for only rental movies or purchasable ones. However, the much-loved 1-click option is available here as well. The software includes a neat Remote Load feature.

Watching movies is the perfect to while away your time. For those who are caught up in the rat race, and constantly miss out on their favourite movies and TV shows, the concept of online DVD rentals is in fact alluring. While being easily accessible, efficient and convenient, it allows you to watch your favourite movies at your convenience, because:

Unlimited – there is no limit to the number of DVDs you rent. Membership plans and schemes allow one to rent out 10 or more DVDs per month.
Accessible – DVDs are easily accessible to check availability, all at the convenience of your PC. You don’t have to scurry around like you do at DVD rental shops in search of movies.
Shipping – a number of online DVD rental companies have a two-way shipping scheme. The DVD you pick will be mailed to you, and also picked up once you’re done. Your geographical location doesn’t matter.
Subscription – depending on which plan you choose, you can rent two or more DVDs at a time, and opt to pay monthly or annually.
Review – movie reviews and trailers can be watched before you choose the DVDs you want to rent, making it that much easier for you.
Availability – if the DVD you want to rent out is unavailable, the online DVD rental company lets you add it to your rental list, so that you will be next in line.

Thus, online DVD rentals save time, money and energy, revolutionizing the concept of renting out DVDs.

Video Streaming Shows Dramatic Six-month Increase

When Ipsos, a market research company specializing in media content and technologies, released the latest survey results in their report on Online Video Streaming earlier this month, no one should have been surprised at the direction the numbers were heading. The magnitude of the increase, however, revealed how quickly America’s entertainment behaviors are changing. Not only were the numbers up, they were up dramatically.

Over one-fourth of Americans who used the Internet in the past month watched a streaming TV show. Fourteen percent had streamed a full length film or movie. The data collected in April of this year (2009) showed a phenomenal doubling of the numbers collected during the previous September.

The highest percentage of streaming video viewers was found among young adults, ages 18 -24. Within this demographic group, the numbers soared to twice the national average for watching streaming video—51% for TV shows and 30% for viewing full length movies.

Experts attribute the swelling percentages to a corresponding growth of digital video web sites, citing Hulu in particular. Most typically, these sites are “free” to the consumer with costs being compensated through advertising. Brian Pickens, Senior Research Manager at Ipsos, believes that streaming video “is becoming an important distribution channel where any type of full-length video can be instantly accessed for immediate consumption without a fee.”

The appeal of streaming video to consumers is found in its on-demand flexibility for being available exactly when the viewer wishes, and its value of providing free entertainment in a capricious economy.