Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Bits Journal #43


One bit's big, one bit's tiny, another one is also tiny...


A while back, it was announced that Steven Spielberg was going to adapt Roald Dahl's classic The BFG into a live-action film for Disney...

However, given the fact that Spielberg is one of the founders of DreamWorks SKG and that studio's releases - including Spielberg's - are handled by Touchstone, I assumed his BFG film would be another Touchstone release, much like his War Horse and his upcoming Bridge of Spies. However, those films are more adult-skewing while The BFG is obviously going to be a family film - something Touchstone rarely touches. (Gnome & Juliet and Strange Magic excepted.)

That can only mean one thing...

The BFG is going to be co-produced and released by Walt Disney Pictures!

It's a much-needed addition to the live-action studio's current slate that consists mostly of re-imaginings of their animated classics and sequels to previous hits. The project is in the filming stages, and it's tentatively set for a July 1, 2016 release. That date's a bit crowded, but we'll see what happens. David Yates' Tarzan, even if it's PG-13, could be a slight problem as all the teens will go see that. There's also The Purge 3, which will get the teens and the adults. Family audiences could help The BFG, let's just hope the budget won't be huge in the end so it makes a tidy profit, even if it doesn't set the box office on fire.

Also... This will be the very first Disney-branded (not Touchstone) film to be directed and made by Steven Spielberg...

Now if he can one day write and direct a film for Walt Disney Animation Studios or Pixar, that would be ideal!

On a side note, I saw the 1989 animated TV movie based on the film back when I was in second grade. That film was made by the long-running Cosgrove Hall studio, notable for Danger Mouse and Count Duckula.

Next up, Inside Out's first 56 minutes were met with great praise!

A recent still showcasing the "personality islands"
inside Riley's brain.

This screening was a bit similar to what Pixar did with Toy Story 3. They took the first 65 minutes or so of that film and showed it to college campuses across the nation, and many groaned in disappointment when the film abruptly stopped. Some critics are already singing the praises of this film, most notably Collider's Perri Nemiroff. He said the film could be "one of Pixar's best"... Whoa!

And this is - I think - a bit different from what they did with Monsters University. Some screenings showed the first thirty minutes of the film and those thirty minutes were met with praise, but when the actual film came out...

Anyways, I'm sure Inside Out will be fantastic. I'm the boat that actually really likes Brave and Monsters University, so I don't think Pixar has lost their way at all. This just adds to my optimism...

On top of that, we've had the full cast for a while. It's particularly cool to see Richard Kind do another Pixar voice, as he voiced Molt in A Bug's Life and Van in the Cars films. The new stills and details make the project look even cooler.

Now on the Marvel side of things... The Ant-Man trailer is finally here!


I absolutely loved this trailer. This trailer completely blows the serviceable if not lackluster teaser out of the water, and HOW! To be fair, the premise of Ant-Man is perhaps a tough sell, so the teaser had to be as basic as possible. With Guardians of the Galaxy, they really had no choice, they simply couldn't make a "basic" or "normal" teaser for that film, so they went with the smartest option. I'll still sing the praises for that teaser. Ant-Man's teaser did one thing: Introduce the idea itself, and some of the story and Scott Lang's background. Again, basic, save for the punchline at the end.

This trailer, on the other hand, shows that the film will certainly be quirky and weird, even without Edgar Wright behind it. The action looks very cool, the suits and tech are all very neat, and it looks like the film will indeed be going the Guardians of the Galaxy route. It's going to bask in its inherent goofiness but yet still deliver a solid story.

Plus, there's so much you can do with the whole premise... So, there's a thrilling fight scene set on a Thomas the Tank Engine train set! What more could you ask for?

Another Marvel home run in the making, folks! If people are still writing the obituaries for this film because Edgar Wright left it last year, then I feel bad for them...

Now onto a Home box office update...


On its second weekend it took a slight hit, thanks to Furious 7, but now it's got more room to breathe once again. This past weekend it dropped a great 31%, making a solid $18 million. The film now sits at $129 million domestic, it has outgrossed Rise of the Guardians and Mr. Peabody & Sherman in its third weekend alone. It's amazing how many wonders a great opening weekend gross does for you...

Right now, it seems to be performing like Monsters vs. Aliens. That film pulled a good 3.3x multiplier, so if Home scores that, it'll end up with around $170 million domestically. That's pretty damn good, especially for an original that isn't from Disney Animation or Pixar! However, I think it'll really recoup and make more than that. I say it lands in the mid 180s...

Overseas it's doing good, with $112 million. It's sure to top Mr. Peabody & Sherman's $162 million overseas total in no time, and I'm sure it'll go past Rise of the Guardians and Turbo's international numbers. It's got three more markets left: France, China, and Venezuela. I guess this can make about $250 million overseas, making for a grand total of over $420 million.

It could go much higher though. After all, The Croods ended up making way more than what I expected half way through its run. Let's hope it goes super high!

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