Director Bryan Singer told Deadline yesterday that Emmy-winning actor Peter Dinklage will play a “key role” in X-Men: Second Class Days Of Future Past. This is, of course, great news for the spiffily dressed but not terribly interesting Mad Men mutants. Fans of Game of Thrones, Elf, 30 Rock, and The Station Agent have long known that Dinklage brings intelligence, gravity, and a scary-sharp wit to every production. In fact, I’d go so far as to declare that Dinklage is such a valuable asset every tentpole this year should add him to its cast. The Words of Peter need to spread far and wide.
2012 was a strong year for film, delivering numerous high quality event movies and also a ton of very excellent serious fare as well. But perhaps it's the overall high quality that made us take note of the moments in which we were wrenched out of our suspended disbelief, or maybe it's just that the gods of moviedom knew something had to be done to prevent people from taking themselves too seriously. Either way, the year was blessed with some rather amazeballs moments of unintentional awkwardness that really forced us to step back and gasp, "Did that really happen?!" [SPOILERS!] more »
Year on year, Hollywood's box office receipts rise. And while the 2012 numbers came in higher than 2011, the year marked a specifically good turn for the movie industry: the number of actual tickets sold went up for the first time in three years.
The year's big numbers come despite a generally slow summer blockbuster season.
The number of admissions have had a general decline for a decade, with the number of tickets sold flat lining in 2011 with 1.29 billion, which was the lowest number since 1995, according to A.P. Dollar amounts typically rise despite the decline of audiences numbers due to the rise in ticket prices. But for 2012, ticket sales rose 5.6 percent to 1.36 billion by December 31.
The number is still significantly below the peak of 1.6 billion sold in 2002. On the overall revenue side, the domestic box office should top out 6 percent ahead of the $10.2 billion figure last year and also top Hollywood's previous $10.6 billion record set in 2009.
Leading the list of box office hits was Disney's The Avengers with $623 million domestically ($1.5 billion worldwide) and Warner Bros.' third Batman installment The Dark Knight Rises with $448 million domestically ($1.1 billion worldwide). Lionsgate's The Hunger Games grossed over $408 million ($686.5 million) while Sony's James Bond pic Skyfall reached nearly $280 million as of Sunday (and will likely surpass $1 billion this week); The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 has a domestic total so far of nearly $282 million ($759.1 million worldwide); The Amazing Spider-Man topped out at just over $262 million in the U.S. ($752 million worldwide). Other big 2012 titles included Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted ($216 million) and Ice Age: Continental Drift ($161 million).
And Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has totaled $157 million domestically since opening December 14th in the U.S.
While it's good news for Hollywood, the future of the box office dollar continues to like overseas. International audiences used to amount to less than half of a typical release, but that figure has swelled to two or even three times dollars spent domestically. Even pics such as Battleship and John Carter which tanked in the U.S. came out decently overseas ($209.7 million abroad for John Carter and $237.6 million for Battleship).
The domestic market has also been hampered with the advent of ever-sophisticated home entertainment systems, portable devices and video games. Still, most agree the big screen experience with an audience is the best way to see a movie.
"Every home has a kitchen, but you can't get into a good restaurant on Saturday night," Dan Fellman, head of distribution for Warner Bros told A.P. "People want to escape. That's the nature of society. The adult population just is not going to sit home seven days a week, even though they have technology in their home that's certainly an improvement over what it was 10 years ago. People want to get out of the house, and no matter what they throw in the face of theatrical exhibition, it continues to perform at a strong level."
The Hunger Games, The Dark Knight Rises, The Muppets, Midnight In Paris and even last year's Oscar winner for Best Picture, The Artist are up for awards this year, but this time it's for the 55th annual Grammy Awards.
Theatrical titles dominated this year's Grammy categories dedicated to visual media with The Hunger Games receiving two nominations for Best Song ("Abraham's Daughter") and Taylor Swift's "Safe & Sound." The Muppets also scored two nominations, including Best Song for "Man Or Muppet" in addition to a nomination for Best Compilation Soundtrack. Others in the category include this year's Marley documentary and 2011's The Descendants and Midnight in Paris.
Trent Reznor received a Best Score nom for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo along with Hans Zimmer for The Dark Knight Rises and John Williams for The Adventures of Tintin - The Secret of the Unicorn.
The Black Keys' "Lonely Boy," Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)," Fun's "We Are Young" Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know," Frank Ocean's "Thinkin Bout Your" and Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" are the Grammys' nominees for Record of the Year.
The Grammy Awards ceremony will be broadcast February 10th on CBS.
55th Grammy Awards' Visual Media-related nominees follow with information provided by the Recording Academy (for other categories, visit the Grammy's website).
Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media:
[Sony Classical/Fox Music]
(Bob Marley & The Wailers)
Midnight In Paris
[Madison Gate Records, Inc.]
[Walt Disney Records]
Rock Of Ages
Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media:
The Adventures Of Tintin - The Secret Of The Unicorn
John Williams, composer
Ludovic Bource, composer
The Dark Knight Rises
Hans Zimmer, composer
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, composers
Howard Shore, composer
Austin Wintory, composer
[Sony Computer Entertainment America]
Best Song Written For Visual Media:
Abraham's Daughter (From The Hunger Games)
T Bone Burnett, Win Butler & Régine Chassagne, songwriters (Arcade Fire)
[Universal Republic; Publishers: Régine Chassagne, Absurd Music, Win Butler, Henry Burnett Music, Baffle Music]
Learn Me Right (From Brave)
Mumford & Sons, songwriters (Birdy & Mumford & Sons)
[Walt Disney Records/Pixar; Publisher: Pixar Talking Pictures]
Let Me Be Your Star (From Smash)
Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman, songwriters (Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty)
[Columbia; Publishers: Winding Brook Way Music, Walli Woo Entertainment]
Man Or Muppet (From The Muppets)
Bret McKenzie, songwriter (Jason Segel & Walter)
[Walt Disney; Publisher: Fuzzy Muppet Songs]
Safe & Sound (From The Hunger Games)
T Bone Burnett, Taylor Swift, John Paul White & Joy Williams, songwriters
(Taylor Swift Featuring The Civil Wars)
[Big Machine Records/Universal Republic; Publishers: Sony ATV Tree Publishing, Taylor Swift Music, Sensibility Songs, Absurd Music, Shiny Happy Music, Baffle Music, Henry Burnett Music]
Francis Lawrence, who is directing the second installment of The Hunger Games franchise, Catching Fire will come on board for the final two in the series, Mockingjay - Part 1 and Mockingjay - Part 2.
Your worst Halloween nightmare has come true. You've been invited last-minute to a costume party by your boss, who just loves letting his freak flag fly for the occasion. It's a command performance, and your year-end bonus could damn well depend on what you throw together in the next hour. The thing is, you hate costume parties. Well, wipe that flop sweat off your brow, fire up your color printer and follow me to the next page. more »
The Hunger Games' Wes Bentley & Brit Marling Join Cast Of Sci-Fi-Sounding Lincoln Tale, The Green Blade Rises
First, Abe Lincoln was a vampire hunter. Now he sounds like he might have been a very early member of the Green Lantern Corps. The 16th president's tough formative years will be explored in The Green Blade Also Rises, which will mark the directorial debut of Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life) protege A.J. Edwards who also wrote the screenplay. Malick will produce the film, which despite its sci-fi-sounding title, will depict the hardships that molded young Abe into the man who became one of America's most influential presidents.
Lincoln has yet to be cast, but the filmmakers announced on Friday that Wes Bentley (The Hunger Games) will play the president's first teacher, and Brit Marling (Another Earth) will play Nancy, Lincoln's biological mother. Diane Kruger (Inglourious Basterds) and Jason Clarke (Public Enemies) are also on board as Lincoln's step-mother and father. Edwards got his start as an editorial intern on Malick's The New World and served as the editor on his most recent film To The Wonder.
The Hunger Games Lures The Masses For DVD Sale; James Gunn To Direct Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy: Biz Break
Also in Monday morning's round-up of news briefs, Cosmopolis lead a weekend of specialty release titles in the box office. Samuel L. Jackson is joining an upcoming Spike Lee project. And remembering Gregory Peck's widow who has passed away.
Reports that Target — Target! — will sell a limited-edition $999 Mockingjay pin to coincide with the DVD release of The Hunger Games later this month has visions of P.T. Barnum dancing in my head. If there are movie lovers who are willing to pony up that kind of dough for such a simple bauble, then surely their must be a market for the following memorabilia: more »
Also in Tuesday afternoon's round-up of news briefs, a new actor joins the next Hunger Games. A surreal comedy by electronic musician Quentin Dupieux is headed to screens. Reese Witherspoon boards a new romantic comedy. And a man is arrested in Ohio for bringing in weapons into a screening of TDKR.
In Tuesday evening's round up of news briefs, Emily Blunt teased she would consider the second Devil Wears Prada under one condition. Also, the Austin Film Festival added details on its October event while Outfest rounds out its upcoming edition next month. The Avengers passes a domestic high water mark and Catherine Keener is set for role opposite Mark Ruffalo.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will be released via IMAX on November 23rd. Director Francis Lawrence will make use of IMAX cameras in filming portions of the second installment of the franchise, Lionsgate is touting. Oscar-nominee Jennifer Lawrence will reprise her role as Katniss Everdeen along with fellow cast members Liam Hemsworth, and Josh Hutcherson.
Movies reigned where once music videos played... MTV hosted its annual Movie Awards in L.A. over the weekend from the Gibson Amphitheatre, morphing the venue into a futuristic drive-in of sorts. Russell Brand MC'd the show, which featured four "Golden Popcorn" wins for The Hunger Games, an on-stage performance by Johnny Depp and a roasting for Trailblazer award-winner Emma Stone.