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.
Since it was announced that Star Trek and Super 8 director J.J. Abrams would be taking the reigns on Disney’s Star Wars: Episode VII, speculation has abounded on the Internet about the forthcoming continuation of the saga. Now, Abrams himself has confirmed one key piece of the puzzle: Composer John Williams will return to write the score for Episode VII.
Many had speculated that Abrams’ longtime composer, Michael Giacchino, would be given the opportunity to pen a Star Wars score, but when asked yesterday at a press conference in Berlin, Abrams confirmed that Williams would write the score “because apparently he was there long before I was.” (Sounds like Disney was not giving J.J. an option on this one.)
Giacchino has scored all of Abrams’ four feature films so far, and several of his television projects. He was already given the chance to rework an iconic science fiction score with Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek film and its forthcoming sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness. One wonders what he might have come up with had he been given the opportunity to play in a galaxy far, far away. Still, at the same time, there’s something comforting about knowing Williams will continue to provide the soundscapes for the saga.
via Cinema Blend
Disney is not mucking around with their new LucasFilm rights. Beginning with the J.J. Abrams-directed Episode VII in 2015, the House of Mouse plans to release a Star Wars film every year. Revealed at CinemaCon in Las Vegas yesterday, the plan involves releasing a standalone film in 2016 – presumably one of the planned Boba Fett or Han Solo spinoffs – and alternating between spinoffs and numbered episodes every year.
Too much of a good thing? After paying over $1 billion to acquire LucasFilm, Disney is obviously looking to start turning a profit in a big way, and they’re not messing around.
Does the prospect of an annual Star Wars film excite you? Or turn your stomach? Is it a brilliant scheme, or over-saturation? Let us know in the comments below.
Well before the original Star Wars film (later subtitled A New Hope) became a reality, George Lucas‘s original treatment for The Star Wars was quite a bit different. It was a story of Jedi Annikin Starkiller and General Luke Skywalker facing evil Sith Knights, with “lazer swords” and a six-foot-tall lizard named Han Solo.
Writer J.W. Rinzler discovered Lucas’s original screenplay, and though it took some convincing, managed to get Lucas’s blessing to flesh out the story in comic form, in a new series commissioned by Dark Horse Comics. “While researching in the Lucasfilm archives I’ve found many treasures — but one which truly astounded me was George’s rough draft for The Star Wars. His first complete imaginings were hallucinating to read — mind blowing,” Rinzler said. “While working with George on another book project, I once asked if we could adapt his rough draft. He was hesitant. Years later, with Dark Horse’s invaluable help, we showed him a few drawn and colored pages of what it might look like. He gave us the OK.”
Rinzler has collaborated with artist Mike Mayhew on the eight-issue comic series, which promises Star Wars fans something new to chew on while we wait for the J.J. Abrams-directed Star Wars Episode VII. Above are a few of Mayhew’s panels for The Star Wars, which launches in September.