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30 Jan 2012 02:23


Tech: Megaupload data could get deleted as soon as next week

  • 3 days until your family photos get deleted source
  • » But only if you used Megaupload to store them. Megaupload wasn’t just a place to share pirated movies; it also served as webspace for people to store their personal documents, pictures, hard drive backups, and the like. But Megaupload didn’t actually own the servers on which its data was stored–they outsourced that two other companies. Now that Megaupload’s been shut down, its assets have been frozen, and so it can’t keep paying the storage centers their fee. So, according to a letter from the US Attorney’s Office, the two data centers could start deleting the data as soon as this Thursday. That would be a shame for many, many people (although it should have been clear from the outset that Megaupload wasn’t the wisest place to back up one’s data). An attorney for Megaupload says he’s “cautiously optimistic” that they’ll be able to keep the data from being erased.

26 Dec 2011 10:43


U.S.: 2011 box-office’s big drop: Major stars, horror flicks, family films flop

  • $500 million the expected drop in box office between 2010 and 2011
  • 4.5% decline the fall in box office this year, partly blamed on the lack of “Avatar”
  • hits The biggest hit of 2011? “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” which scored $381 million in the U.S. alone. The latest “Transformers” and “Twilight” movies also scored this year.
  • bombs On a $150 million budget, “Mars Needs Moms” only made $39 million worldwide. Horror films struggled, and even major stars like Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts were no longer bankable.
  • surprises The two biggest were “Bridesmaids” (a female-focused twist on the Apatow film) and “The Help,” both of which had solid box-office runs. The secret? Both were aimed at older audiences. source
  • » Better news in 2012? Possibly. With such high-profile films as “The Hunger Games” and a remake of “21 Jump Street” hitting the theaters, it’s entirely possible that 2012 could hold up way better than 2011. And as “The Lion King” showed this year, 3D remakes are proving to be especially financially sound. Two fairly large ones — “Star Wars: Episode One” and “Beauty and the Beast” — will hit the box office in 2012.

11 Dec 2011 21:11


Culture: Box office has worst weekend in three years — so, what’s to blame?

  • $78 million the amount the entire box office made over the weekend, with the strongest movie being the objectively awful “New Year’s Eve”
  • $68 million the amount the entire box office made on Labor Day weekend 2008, the last time the box office dipped this low source
  • » A bad crop of films, or something else? With a bunch of also-rans in the theater and two weak films — a movie that scored 7 percent on Rotten Tomatoes in the lead and a Jonah Hill vehicle, “The Sitter,” right behind — to hold up the box office, it may not have been the best week for films … but December is a very strange time of year for the box office to struggle like this. One analyst blames a lack of male-oriented films. We blame a lack of exposure for Foozie Bear, who is by far the the best part of “The Muppets.”

02 Aug 2011 16:37


Culture: DreamWorks CEO speaks out about why movies suck

  • Let’s have a semi-realistic rat in a kitchen cooking shit to eat. No one in their right mind is going to say, ‘Well, that’s a good idea.’ It’s a bad idea, but it’s so beautiful in its execution and such a great piece of storytelling. And actually, I think it’s one of the great pieces of animation of our time.
  • Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation • In a really good speech about why movies today suck. Here he’s saying that “Ratatouille” was a bad idea that was executed perfectly, but most movies today are focused too much on marketability. That is, producers don’t care so much about the story, they only care about how much money they can make out of it. Katzenberg goes on to say that movies should get better, based on consumer response to the crap that’s come out lately.  source

17 Jul 2011 19:45


Politics: Sarah Palin’s “The Undefeated” loses its throne right away

  • $169M the amount Harry Potter’s final film made — the biggest single weekend gross ever, BTW, but one that was very front-loaded
  • $75k the amount Palin’s “The Undefeated” made this weekend in 10 theaters (roughly — see, the distributor didn’t report exact estimates)
  • .04% share of Palin’s box-office take to Harry Potter’s take, which is like comparing an ant to an elephant, but still pretty fun source
  • » A huge amount of spin here: ARC Entertainment threw out a press release today claiming that “The Undefeated” actually did quite well amid adversity.  “We expect word-of-mouth to keep ticket sales strong and we will definitely expand the film to a wider national audience,” said  Trevor Drinkwater, the distributor’s CEO. “With merely three weeks of preparation and a virtually non-existent traditional advertising spend, the film did exceptionally well.” The distributor also noted that the film did the kind of business a film would normally require millions in advertising for. Which, let’s put it simply, isn’t true. Two fairly low-budget films this weekend — Errol Morris’ “Tabloid” and the poorly-reviewed “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” — still managed to have larger grosses than Palin’s film despite the fact that all three films showed in less than 30 theaters. And on top of that, the movie has gotten plenty of traditional media coverage in part due to its star. A dud is a dud. Sorry.

22 Jun 2011 21:19


Tech: 3Dcrease: New glasses take you back to two dimensions

  • If you think 3D movies are gimmicky, ubiquitous, and annoyingly underlit, you’re right. You’re also in luck, as these Rivers Cuomo-esque glasses will eliminate that third dimension from 3D films, making you feel as if you’re back in the pre-Avatar days of moviegoing. They don’t work on most home systems, but really, who would buy a 3DTV and then get glasses to make it a normal TV? For that matter, who would buy a 3DTV at all, for any reason? source

22 May 2011 15:36


Culture: Latest “Pirates of the Carribean”: Big in the U.S., bigger worldwide

  • $90 million opening for Johnny Depp’s latest meal ticket
  • $46M the amount the first “Pirates of the Caribbean” made in its opening weekend
  • $135M the amount “Dead Man’s Chest” opened at — the most successful of the franchise
  • $114M the amount “At World’s’ End” opened at; it had a bigger foreign gross than the first two source
  • » Look beyond the U.S.: While it wasn’t a super-impressive opening weekend compared to other “Pirates of the Carrribean” movies, worldwide it’s a juggernaut — earning over $256 million this weekend alone, which is the largest foreign weekend ever. Also of note: It’s still the largest domestic opening weekend of the year so far, which we credit to Michael Bolton being a major cinephile.

04 May 2011 15:01


Biz: Warner Bros. buys up Rotten Tomatoes, Flixster

  • A conflict of interest on the side? One of the internet’s most popular movie review websites will now be owned by one of America’s major movie and entertainment studios. The acquisition has less to do with Rotten Tomatoes, however, than it does Flixster, a movie review/streaming company that counted RT as one of its subsidiaries — Warner Bros. wanted Flixster to push a competitive advantage against Netflix, and their new ownership of the widely-known review aggregator is a byproduct of that. So, if Warner Bros. makes a piece of utter dreck, hopefully you’ll still be able to see that not-so-fresh “tomatometer” rating. source

16 Jan 2011 14:31


Culture: Seth Rogen’s “Green Hornet” reboot does kinda OK at box office

  • $34 million the opening for “The Green Hornet,” his biggest live-action opening ever – barely topping “Superbad” and “Knocked Up”
  • $120 million the reported budget for the film, which is six times the size of the “Superbad” budget; Rogen also produced “Hornet” source

14 Dec 2010 23:29


Culture, U.S.: A year’s worth of movies in one six-minute YouTube video

  • This is really, really cool: Some very talented editor by the name of “Gen I” took all (or close to all) of the films released in 2010, and truncated them down to this six-minute montage. What’s impressive about this is a) the seamless blending of the clips, and b) the sheer variety of films represented. We spotted a clip from “Animal Kingdom,” a film we’re pretty sure was seen by about ten people total. The music is spot-on, as well, and it’s really fun to try and spot your favorite flicks as they pop up. Film buffs owe it to themselves to check this out.