- Vancouver, British Columbia - When Titanic hit the theatres in 1999 and became the highest grossing film in Hollywood history, it opened the door to a new generation of blockbuster films never seen before. Blockbusters have been around for a considerable amount of time, but huge tent pole releases were not nearly as commonplace as they became in the first decade of this new millennium. In general, most blockbuster films have been very profitable for studios, while some have been utter financial catastrophes, nearly bankrupting some of the biggest film studios in the business. This year's candidate for blockbuster failure early on was viewed to be Disney's John Carter. The film is estimated to have cost nearly $250 million, while the marketing behind it has been rumored to have cost Disney nearly an additional $100 million. Some box office analysts have been on record as stating that for John Carter to be considered a success, it will need to recoup some $700 million in box office revenues internationally. This is big money on the line for Disney, and sadly, after John Carter's first two weekends in the theatres, it looks like it will fall extremely short of that threshold and forever be remembered as one of the greatest box office bombs. But does it deserve that title? Did it get a fair shake?
Film Reviews and Commentary
Entries in Disney (13)
- Vancouver, British Columbia - For those of you Witch Mountain fans out there, it may be a pleasant surprise that John Hough directed both of the original Disney features: Escape To… and Return From… For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, they’re a series of movies about twins who are actually aliens and need to race around or something. But this isn’t about that franchise. John Hough was an extremely popular director in the late 1970s through the 1980s, and although he doesn’t have a huge filmography, he certainly makes up for it by having a strangely eclectic one. It seems at times he was a favourite of Disney’s, but at other times he went into the macabre. The Legend of Hell House, based on the book, was one of the latter, from a very early point in his career.
- Vancouver, British Columbia - I can imagine that few of you reading this will have ever heard of this film, or if you happen to have stumbled upon it via Google, maybe you were searching it out specifically. In any event, if you're a faithful Sour Grapes Winery reader, Shipwrecked stands out as something of a special piece of memorabilia, as it was the first film that I ever saw in a theatre. My parents had managed to get free tickets to an advanced screening to the film and as I came from a large family, going to the cinema was not something that was regular, let alone possible, for my parents to afford. Later when the film came out on VHS, my parents purchased it and I re-watched the film countless times, memorizing every line of the dialogue. It occurred to me recently that it had been probably at least 14-15 years since I had seen the film, so I sought out a DVD copy on Amazon and managed to order it with the intention of reviewing it, which is where I find myself today.
- Vancouver, British Columbia - Mars Needs Moms is a flop. A box office disaster. It's opening weekend pulled in just over $6 million, which didn't even come anywhere near it's preposterously high budget of $150 million. At the time I'm writing this, it has only made just over $20 million, three weeks after it opened. Disney will not make their money back... no time soon anyway. Someone is in big trouble for this failure and I'm pondering as to who would be responsible for it.
- Vancouver, British Columbia - There were talks of a Tron sequel for many years before Tron: Legacy hit the big screen. Disney hesitated to invest money into the project given how much it would cost them and how long it had been since the original film was in theatres. Though it had been good to Disney through the years thanks to a steady cult following, Tron was originally considered a box office disappointment. To put their fears to rest Disney funded a test teaser trailer to debut as a surprise at the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con. The crowd went insane and Disney was sold on the investment.