As of last Friday, Iron Man 3 has become the latest film to gross more than $1 billion at the worldwide box office. It has become only the 16th film in history to do so (at least, not adjusted for ticket price inflation), and did so in only 22 days. Now, Shane Black has become the most unlikely of candidates to have directed a billion-dollar flick.
It’s a club that’s becoming slightly less prestigious with every passing year. Foreign markets are becoming even bigger box office draws to the studios than the domestic one, and greater advertising pushes, bigger and more bloated sequels, and effects-heavy action (not to mention rising ticket prices) are leading to bigger and more top-heavy opening weekends. And it’s becoming more common: Four of these films (a full quarter of the list) were released in 2012.
Here are the 16 films that make up the Billion-Dollar Club, from the lowest- to highest-ranked on Flickchart:
Following last week’s announcement that the Walt Disney Company has purchased Lucasfilm for over 4 billion dollars and scheduled Star Wars Episode VII for release in 2015, the Internet has been in a flurry of speculation over the future of the saga. Far be it from us not to jump on the bandwagon.
Even more than questioning where the story is supposed to go in the future, everybody seems to be talking about who will direct the next episode of the franchise, given that George Lucas himself is reportedly leaving Star Wars behind (to serve merely as a consultant on Episode VII). Rather than offer any actual suggestions here, let’s take a look at some possible contenders in true Flickchart fashion: two at a time.
I’ve been a fan of the Alien film series since my first encounter of catching glimpses of Jim Cameron‘s sequel. Between finger-shielded eyes, transfixed from across the room, I was likely much too young to be watching these scary, vicious creatures on VHS. In the years to come, I’d find their genesis in Ridley Scott‘s original, Alien, and then eagerly anticipating the opening nights of Alien³ and Alien Resurrection. Even the Alien vs. Predator comic-fan mash-up detours have claimed their running times from my life. To this day, I’m a dedicated fan. I’m writing this review wearing a Weyland-Yutani t-shirt. I’ve poured through hours of commentaries and behind the scenes features; from the Special Edition Laserdisc, to the DVD Quadrilogy, and the latest Blu-ray Anthology.
The common thread through it all has been the horrific H.R. Giger creature design and its environments – from my impressionable young age to adulthood – striking me as beautiful and intricate as they are the origins of nightmares. As dedicated as ever, Scott’s love of visual storytelling in cinema bring these ghastly, yet gorgeous visions to our sight once again in Prometheus - but probably not in the way you’d expect.
In Flickchart terms, “Marvel vs. DC” is the ultimate match-up, made very clear by the fact that the Big Two occupied the two largest booths at the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo this year. Marvel’s booth was dominated by a stage with a backdrop of The Avengers release poster, in front of which guests were invited to be photographed with props of Captain America’s shield and Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir.
Across the floor, DC Comics was surprisingly light on movie content; The Dark Knight Rises was represented almost entirely by a single, modest placard with the current poster and a TV loop of promo clips and ads that included the movie’s trailer. Where Marvel wants to emphasize the synergy between the printed page and the screen, DC is clearly trying to reassert itself as a comic book publisher and not an idea farm for Hollywood. It was with this dichotomy in mind that I set about exploring the relationship between the comic book industry and film. Read the rest of this entry »
Disney’s John Carter has a lot going for it. Which makes it unfortunate that the film has such a big handicap: All John Carter wants to be is an adaptation of Edgar Rice Burrough’s A Princess of Mars, and on that front (though I’m not personally familiar with Burrough’s work), I think it succeeds. But despite the fact that the source material this film is based on is nearly 100 years old, many average film-goers are likely to experience the feeling that they’ve seen it all before. Read the rest of this entry »