Odeon/UCI back down in Alice in Wonderland dispute
The news that Odeon had refused to show Alice in Wonderland was discussed earlier this week, dependent on your viewpoint the good/bad newsis that the cinema chain announce today that they now WILL be showing the Tim Burton remake after an agreement was struck between the two parties. Full story here.
Cooper chooses another hangover over war
Bradley Cooper has pulled out of This Means War, a rom-com directed by McG and also featuring Reese Witherspoon. Initial reports suggest that Cooper pulled out because of scheduling conflicts between this and The Hangover 2, not because the plot of This Means War sounds pants.
New Nightmare on Elm Street Trailer
Looks pretty pointless and in parts looks like a shot for shot remake. Also features the most ridiculous villain voice since The Punisher.
A shortlist for Paranormal Activity 2 directors is announced….
…. and there is one definite surprise in Brian De Palma. While I would be interested to see what the Scarface director would come up with, my inclination is with Brad Anderson, the director of two fantastic films Session 9 and The Machinist (possibly Christian Bale’s best performance). Full shortlist here.
Marlon Wayans on playing Richard Pryor
This is something I am completely on board with. While he was in the Scary Movie series, White Chicks and Little Man, it’s easy to forget he was also fantastic in Requiem for a dream. I had him down on my list for “Actors We Could Make Great” and I think this could be the film to do it. In this article with the LA Times, Marlon defends some undefendable films, talks about getting the role ahead of Eddie Murphy and discusses why Pryor deserves a film about him. Note: White Chicks and Little Man grossed $215 million in total and a White Chicks 2 is on the way.
Zach Galifianakis is a miracle worker!
He must be, he carried everyone in The Hangover! Galifianakis is set to star in a supernatural buddy comedy (might sound like a made up subgenre, but check out the fantastic The Revenant when it finally manages to get released – makes Shaun of The Dead seem as funny as Epic Movie). Will be good to see ZaGa (it may catch on if I use it enough) shake his comedy muscles and no doubt I will be completely onboard by the time a director is announced.
Wow! Who saw this coming?!
Cinema chain Odeon & UCI Group, the largest cinema chain in the UK, has announced that it will not be showing Tim Burton’s take on Alice in Wonderland. This announcement is a reaction to Disney’s plan to cut the time between the cinema and DVD release to only 12 weeks, down from the standard 17. At writing, there are no plans by other cinema chains to follow suit.
This is a massive call by Odeon and they are sure to lose a lot of cinema takings down to this move. Maybe it is just a threat to try and get Disney to retract their plans for fear of harming the $150 million remake, but trying to call The Mouse’s bluff is a risky game. While Disney claims the plan to reduce the showing time is not the shape of things to come, Odeon obviously sees this as a threat to the future of the medium. Ironically, the premiere of the movie is still to go ahead in Odeon Leicester Square!
While the stakes are obviously high it will be exciting to see the takings for the movie (obviously with 3D premium to top it up) as somehow there is still demand for Tim Burton remakes after the offensively terrible Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, also starring Johnny Depp. Maybe the chain is hoping for higher returns for films such as Legion (due out the same day as Alice in Wonderland), Green Zone, Shutter Island et al to accommodate for the loss.
Disney has chosen this shorter window allegedly to boost DVD sales. The question remains on how well a 3D movie will look on the small screen and whether the 2D will be lacking from the 3D version. Secondly it reeks of desperation – surely a film that is good enough on it’s own merits will get people going to the cinema and then buy it on DVD when it is released.
So what do you think of Odeon’s decision? Is Odeon/UCI cutting off its nose to spite its face? Is it fighting a losing battle with Disney? Does it have a right to expect a return on its investment in 3D screens? Or, do you think Disney is the distributor and should call how long a cinema is allowed to show its movie?
The film is the upcoming Tim Burton-directed, Johnny Depp and Anne Hathaway project scheduled for release in March next year.
Given the huge success enjoyed by Monsters vs Aliens over the past weekend, 3D is becoming somewhat more viable and, with Pixar’s Up coming in the next two months and opening Cannes, it can’t be stopped.
The only question this raises though is whether live action can match the kind of visual artistry that is shown by animated studios given the freedom that medium gives to filmmakers to create weird and wonderful worlds.