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WHAT DID YOU SEE OVER THE WEEKEND?

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Entries in Ghost in the Shell (8)

Tuesday
May302017

Mid-Year Report: Blockbuster Bombs - Why Did They Flop?

by Séan McGovern

If 2017 is showing any consistency in audience tastes over the last few years it's that no amount of star power, budget or marketing gimmicks can force audiences to buy tickets, with news that the US Memorial Weekend was the lowest grossing since 1999. I've been told variances of the rule that for every production budget on a bockbuster, you can expect the marketing budget to be half if not equal to that - meaning that managing to break even is still a loss.

The year is noticeable once again for some high profile box office casualties - King Arthur, Ghost in the Shell, Power Rangers, Baywatch, possibly Alien: Covenant and the latest Pirates of the Caribbean, which regardless of its #1 spot at the Box Office has a budget of $230m (!) to recoup and turn into profit.

There is plenty of speculation that the way we watch films is contributing to the losses, but how to explain Star Wars, Guardians of the Galaxy and the Marvel Universe - huge financial successes that tick many of the same boxes as the recent failures? If we like to believe that audiences are more selective or that we truly consider the reviews, then why do the Transformers films keep getting made? (seriously please someone explain)

Full figures (and reader speculation welcome) after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Apr042017

And the Link Goes To...

Daily Mail Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman reunite... but for an interview series, not a film
The Muse Rich Juzwiak talks to Anne Hathaway about Colossal and the very tired subject of 'Hathahaters'... as I've always said: their loss, she's awesome.
Deadline omg Toni Collette has a lead role again (opposite Thomas Haden Church)
Criterion Director Amy Heckerling (Clueless) visits the Criterion Closet. She loves Federico Fellini, the story of Billy Wilder and Tokyo Story


Coming Soon Director Sam Mendes is considering a movie based on the graphic novel My Favorite Thing is Monsters  about a little girl trying to solve her neighbors murder
Towleroad there's a new documentary about Heath Ledger
This is Not Porn and speaking of... polaroids from the set of Brokeback Mountain
Hollywood Reporter 4 Japanese actresses discuss Ghost in the Shell. This is a fun conversation but I wish they'd engaged more with the central twist of the Scarlett Johansson character because that's something I would love to hear people discuss apart from the white-washing issue. It is a separate thorny issue actually and not entirely unlike Get Out's existential horror about race relations and bodies at odds with souls... or "ghosts" in this film's parlance.

Oscar Dates 
I'm not sure why the internet treated the news that the next Oscars would be held on March 4th, 2018 as "news" today but they did. The Academy announced the date two or three years ago (they normally announce multiple dates at once). For example: in the latest press release they've added the next four Oscar ceremony dates. It's the other dates (nominations, luncheon, etcetera) that we never know until we're in the film year

Next Four Oscar Nights

  • 90th Academy Awards - March 4th, 2018 (nominations on January 23rd)
  • 91st Academy Awards - February 24th, 2019
  • 92nd Academy Awards - February 23rd, 2020
  • 93rd Academy Awards - February 28th, 2021  

Off Cinema
MNPP on the subtle importance of Zachary Quinto's public romances
Variety the Lucille Lortel nominations (Off Broadway)
Theater Mania I've been so bored that NYC's free summer theater tradition Shakespeare in the Park has been strictly Shakespeare for a few years now. Despite the name they used to mix in non-Shakespeare stuff which made it less basic. But they get good casts. This summer: A Midsummer Night's Dream with two of Broadway's very best performers (Danny Burstein & Annaleigh Ashford) and Julius Caesar with Corey Stoll, Nikki M James, Elizabeth Marvel and more
Vox interesting piece on Sanrio's most popular character since Hello Kitty
Mic new study suggests cats like humans more than food. Great article punchline.
EW Lots of online furor when Marvel VP suggests that their recent diversity push has hurt comics sales. Oh Marvel. That is not the problem. You have so many of them but that ain't it. 

Sunday
Apr022017

Bossy Babies & Ghostly Shells at the Box Office

What did you see this weekend?

I caught the three top new titles and we'll share feelings about them over the next few days along with reactions to tonight's forthcoming Feud and Big Little Lies episodes. So much to talk about. It's going to be a big week at The Film Experience, so stay tuned and return often.

TOP WIDE
01 The Boss Baby $49 new
02 Beauty & The Beast $47.5 (cum. $395.4) Review
03 Ghost in the Shell $19 new
04 Power Rangers $14.5 (cum. $65)
05 Kong Skull Island $8.8 (cum. $147.8)  Review

TOP LIMITED 
01 The Zookeeper's Wife $3.3 new 541 screens
02 T2 Trainspotting $400K (cum. $1.1) 140 screens
03 The Devotion of Suspect X $330K new 43 screens
04 The Last Word $212K (cum. $1.4) 289 screens
05 Kedi $165K (cum. $2) 105 screens Review 
06 Personal Shopper $159K (cum. $791K) 150 screens Review

That's a good start for The Zookeeper's Wife which risked a nearly-wide opening despite not being "bankable" in the current ways (i.e. not being an animated comedy or franchise-oriented or effects driven). 

A lot of people online have been gleeful about Ghost in the Shell's lukewarm start (given the controversies over whitewashing Asian stories) but we're rarely gleeful about failure considering Hollywood often learns the wrong lessons from it. We would love casting to be more racially appropriate -- we've been shouting about giving Asian actors more roles forever here at TFE -- but we would also really love ambitious provocative sci-fi pictures and female-driven genre pictures to do well and knowing Hollywood they'll probably blame the failure on "too female" and "not enough action" rather than the more optimistic takeaway that the internet is pushing, i.e. "people want Asian leads in Asian stories"

Tuesday
Nov152016

YNMS: "Ghost in the Shell"

by Chris Feil

Coming with a wave of whitewash casting controversy and mini teases over the past month, Ghost in the Shell finally has a teaser trailer. The Rupert Sanders directed manga adaptation opens in March, and you can expect to hear more and more takedowns on the casting of Scarlett Johansson as an asian character before then - especially Disney screws up with their coming Mulan revamp. But will the film offer anything to draw our attention beyond the controversy, as much as we do love Johansson?

Take a look at the spooky opulent teaser below and check out our Yes No Maybe So analysis after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Mar032016

Link Becomes Her

Anya Taylor-Joy photographed by Gregory HarrisThe Washington Post interesting visual analysis of Tom McCarthy's Oscar winner Spotlight
Interview M Night Shyamalan interview Anya Taylor-Joy from The Witch
Pajiba Agent Carter in limbo after second season finale. (Is limbo the new code word for cancelled? I've never seen a network burn off that many episodes that quickly if they weren't going to cancel something)
My New Plaid Pants "I would like to talk about... Madeline Ashton." YES. Death Becomes Her is getting a special edition BluRay next month
Kotaku Ghost in the Shell finally adds a famous Asian actor to its cast list, Beat Takeshi. 
Playbill This is cool 15 ambassadors from the UN saw a special performance of Fun Home The Musical. Can we please get a film version? That show is sublime
Film School Rejects looks back at Oliver Stone's The Doors (1991) for its 25th anniversary
NY Times profiles Sarah Paulson who talks about her Marcia Clark role, her romance with Holland Taylor, and why she's drawn to older people in her life. 
The Playlist Matthias Schoenarts will star in Kursk, a Russian submarine survival drama 
MNPP on Kenneth Lonergan's new play Hold on to me, Darling starring Timothy Olyphant 
MTV briely, with wit, on Leo's Oscar win 
Tracking Board Joseph Gordon-Levitt developing a movie called K Troop, about a US Army division assigned to take the Ku Klux Klan down during their rise. 

Finally...
By know you've probably read that Amy Adams has confirmed what those  leaked Sony emails suggested that she was quite unhappy on the set of American Hustle. It was her second film with David. O. Russell but I suspect there won't be a third given what she told British GQ.

Photo by Norma Jean Roy

I was really just devastated on set. I mean, not every day, but most. Jennifer [Lawrence] doesn’t take any of it on. She’s Teflon. And I am not Teflon. But I also don’t like to see other people treated badly.. It’s not ok with me. Life to me is more important than movies. It really taught me how to separate work and home. Because I was like, I cannot bring this experience home with me to my daughter.

 

 

Friday
Apr242015

A.I. "Ghost in the Shell"

Artificial Intelligence Week, our way of saying "hey, Ex-Machina and soon Age of Ultron are in theaters so it's trending, sort of" continues with Tim Brayton on an anime classic...

If we're going to talk about artificial intelligence in animation - sci-fi in animation generally, to be honest - we can't help but eventually find our way to the wonderful world of anime. Something about the combination of Japan's willingness to see animation as a medium for all kinds of storytelling, not just kiddie flicks, along with Japan's longstanding obsession with high-tech toys, makes Japanese animation a miraculous breeding ground for complex, philosophically overheated stories of life in the future and the impact of technology on humanity.

And possibly no movie in all of anime is so eager to explore the weirdest, thorniest issues of human vs. robot life, of consciousness vs. the electronic simulation of consciousness, and of self-determined identity as it is constrained by or transcends the body, as director Mamoru Oshii's Ghost in the Shell...

Click to read more ...