Disney’s John Carter Flops Hard

The New York Times has an article up on John Carter, which opened this weekend. The headline, “‘Ishtar’ Lands on Mars“, tells you the tack they’re taking. The facts are damning: “cost an estimated $350 million to make and market”, took in just over $30 million this weekend, will require Disney to “take a quarterly write-down of $100 million to $165 million”. Because of its enormous cost and the way ticket sales are split with theaters, analysts say the film […]

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UltraViolet Digital Copies on Sale: Movie Companies Continue to Overvalue Their Product

When the UltraViolet program was first announced, one of its goals was to give studios a way to sell digital versions of movies direct to customers, without having to use iTunes. The aim of the program is “digital portability”, which they believe will convince customers to buy instead of rent. Not at these prices, it won’t. Paramount opened its direct sales site, ParamountMovies.com. There, more than 60 recent and classic movies are priced from $12.99 – $22.99, depending on age […]

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The Secret World of Arrietty Out Next Month

On February 17, Disney will release the newest Studio Ghibli movie: The Secret World of Arrietty. Here’s the trailer: As pointed out, this is based on the classic series of novels that began with The Borrowers by Mary Norton, about a family of little people who live in the walls of houses and live off items “borrowed” from the Big People. It’s a wonderful choice for a cartoon, since animation allows the various-sized characters to interact realistically without a layer […]

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Lionsgate Buying Summit

According to the NY Times, Lionsgate Entertainment, the movie studio best-known for the disgusting Saw horror franchise, will be buying Summit Entertainment, responsible for the Twilight films. Wikipedia calls Lionsgate “the most commercially successful independent film and television distribution company in North America.” Their slate has included American Psycho, Dogma, Fahrenheit 9/11, the comic book movies Kick-Ass, Punisher: War Zone, and The Spirit, the Conan the Barbarian remake, and the upcoming Hunger Games film adaptation. Summit’s other releases have included […]

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Warner Brothers Talks About Plans for UltraViolet, Flixster

Warner’s new digital movie scheme, UltraViolet, gets an article in the NY Times positioning it as a way for the studio to compete with rentals, especially Netflix. This strikes me as misguided. People who simply want to see a film for a buck or two for the night are not the same audience as those who want to own a copy. Wait, let me revise that — from the studio’s perspective, buying a plastic disc isn’t ownership, it’s just a […]

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New UltraViolet Digital Copies Annoying Some Customers

Green Lantern was the second home video release to carry the UltraViolet cloud-based authentication system for providing digital copies across devices. (Horrible Bosses is the first; both came out the same week, but HB was on Tuesday and GL on Friday.) When I tried UltraViolet, I first had a complete failure, but once my Flixster account was reset, I found the process smooth and easy (aside from having to install yet another application and set up yet another username and […]

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The Summer of Conan

It seems like, every few decades, someone decides that it’s time for another look at Robert E. Howard’s barbarian warrior Conan. Although he first appeared in 1930s pulp stories, I became aware of the character in the early 80s, when the aptly-cast Arnold Schwarzenegger headlined the movie and its sequel. That film also comes to Blu-ray for the first time next week on August 2. This summer, Conan returns in three formats: The Movie Conan the Barbarian opens August 19. […]

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Disney to Release Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Tales From Earthsea

A year ago, in March 2010, Disney began a series of Hayao Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli DVD releases in conjunction with Ponyo coming to DVD and Blu-ray. Since then, there haven’t been any more discs put out in that line — until now. On March 8, Disney will release two more Studio Ghibli films. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind Tales From Earthsea Blu-ray/DVD Combo PackList price $39.99 US DVD onlyList price $29.99 US The early Hayao Miyazaki film and environmental […]

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