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:
The year was 2009. After 17 years of consecutive production, there had been no Star Trek actively airing on television for four years, no feature film in theaters since Star Trek Nemesis died a painful box office death in 2002. One of the most dominant science fiction franchises in pop culture history was on life support.
Then J.J. Abrams unleashed his sequel/prequel/reboot, Star Trek, and everything changed. The film quickly became the highest-grossing in the history of the franchise, and was almost universally acclaimed by audiences and critics alike. It is the second highest-ranked film of 2009 on Flickchart. And now, four long years later, it’s finally time for a second helping.
The creators of the new Star Trek films have said they look to Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight as the right way to make a sequel, and it is apparent that they have really taken this attitude to heart. For their sequel, they are banking on heavy action, a diabolical and memorable villain, and have even thrown the “Dark” right into the title.
Such is the hype behind this sequel that it was voted the Most Anticipated Film of 2013 at our 2nd Annual Flickcharter’s Choice Awards. It’s already playing overseas, but North American audiences get their first look at special IMAX screenings tonight, with the film in wide release tomorrow.
It’s finally time for a Star Trek Into Darkness.
So much for the rumors that he might direct the 24th James Bond movie.
Christopher Nolan, the hit-making director behind Memento, Inception and the Dark Knight trilogy (all the top-ranked films of their respective years on Flickchart), has set his sights on his next project. Nolan is in talks to direct a sci-fi project entitled Interstellar, from a script written by his brother and past collaborator, Jonathan Nolan. The project is currently set up at Paramount Pictures, but will be a co-production between Paramount and Warner Bros., where Nolan’s production company, Syncopy, is based.
The script for Interstellar is based on theories by Kip Thorne, a theoretical physicist, gravitational physicist and astrophysicist at Caltech. The story apparently involves parallel dimensions, time travel and characters traveling through a wormhole; in other words, it sounds like a complex, multi-layered tale that might be just right up Nolan’s alley.
Steven Spielberg was originally attached to direct Interstellar, but set about creating a different sci-fi project, Robopocalypse, instead. However, Robopocalypse has recently been indefinitely delayed, so it is unclear whether Spielberg might remain involved with Interstellar.
Christopher Nolan has ruined everything.
The success of The Dark Knight - now bested by its own sequel, The Dark Knight Rises - has caused a shift in big-budget movies, particularly in the comic book superhero genre. Its sense of grittiness has so reverberated through Hollywood that more and more films seem to be adapting a “darker is better” attitude.
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 »