Not even the arrival of fast-selling sequel Mario Kart 8 could rev up sales of the Wii U game console, as one-time video game king Nintendo continued to struggle in its first quarter. Operating losses of 9.47 billion yen ($92.2M) were twice as bad as expected in consensus analyst estimates, while sales dropped more than 8 percent to 74.7 billion yen ($72.7M) despite sales of more than 2.8 million units of Mario Kart in the quarter.
There were modest signs of hope, as Wii U sales spiked more than three times from the same quarter a year ago, hitting 510,000 units. That still leaves the Wii U far behind Sony’s next-generation game console, the PS4, which has racked up 8.7 million units sold since its debut in November 2013, a year after the Wii U. Nintendo has sold fewer than 6.7 million units in 19 months.
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The fanboy Super Bowl is over. Who made the most of San Diego Comic-Con and who spit the bit? Here’s the view from Deadline staffers who endured endless movie and TV show presentations. We’ll start with features:
WARNER BROS: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Mad Max: Fury Road, Jupiter Ascending, The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
The best Comic-Con panels show fans things they’ve never seen before. From that standpoint, Warner Bros changed the game by making the Hall H experience seem larger. It turned the dark curtains covering 450 feet down the sides of the auditorium into a wraparound multimedia visual experience that left jaded geeks looking left and right in wonder at images that complemented the onstage presentation. Expect others to rip this off. For star power: Zack Snyder introduced his Batman v Superman stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, and Gal Gadot and offered glimpses of the film. Warner Bros also wowed with explosive footage from Mad Max: Fury Road, a film that looks like it could be the answer someday to this Trivial Pursuit question: What movie transformed Tom Hardy from a great actor into a big fucking movie star? Warner Bros also brought Middle Earth excitement to Hall H with a lengthy Hobbit: The Five Armies panel and footage that had LOTR fans aflutter.
Related: Q&A: Peter Jackson On His Middle Earth Exit And A Disguise That Let Him Haunt Comic-Con
MARVEL: Ant-Man, Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Guardians of the Galaxy 2
Marvel is always the must-see panel; not so much this year. Maybe it was DC Comics’ turn to shine, and maybe being a sequel factory imposes limits on the surprise front. They trotted out the superstar Avengers lineup — been there, done that! — with additions Josh Brolin, Aaron Johnson, and Elizabeth Olsen. No Black Widow Scarlett Johansson, who was busy bitch-slapping Hercules at the box office in the Luc Besson film Lucy. Footage was OK, but Kevin Feige set a high bar for himself in past Cons, and this year he couldn’t clear it. Ant-Man brought Corey Stoll and Evangeline Lilly (already knew they were in the movie), and plans for a Guardians Of The Galaxy sequel were greeted by a collective “Duh!’ Feige could have told us what movies will fill all those release dates he recently staked out. He didn’t. Better luck next year, Marvel Man.
Related: Marvel Sets ‘Guardians 2′ For 2017; ‘Avengers 2’ Footage Draws Standing O
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EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that British actor Simon Kassianides (Quantum Of Solace) has joined the second season of Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. in a major recurring role. He will play Bakshi, a confident right-hand man who’s not afraid to do the dirty work. Season 2 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premieres September 23. Kassianides, repped by Don Buchwald & Associates and Sanders.Armstrong.Caserta Management, is one of several new cast additions, along with Lucy Lawless, who will play longtime S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Isabel Hartley; British actor Nick Blood, playing a mercenary; and Reed Diamond. Kassianides will next be seen in Relativity’s Desert Dancer.
To quote the Thing from the Fantastic Four – “It’s clobberin time!” Just two days after Jack Kirby was honored at Comic-Con, lawyers for the heirs of the comic legend have replied to Marvel and Disney with a pummeling brief filed at the Supreme Court. “Respondents, although called to respond, do not address the legal issues. Instead, they focus on the wrong questions and the wrong court,” say lawyer Marc Toberoff and Tom Goldstein, a new attorney on the case, today. After failing repeatedly in lower courts, Lisa Kirby, Neal Kirby, Susan Kirby and Barbara Kirby petitioned the High Court on March 21 for a hearing. The heirs want SCOTUS to rule in favor of their assertion that they had the right in 2009 to issue dozens of termination notices to Marvel and others on the artist’s characters under the provisions of the 1976 Copyright Act. Read More »
3RD UPDATE, MONDAY 3:10 PM PT: All studios have reported actuals for the international weekend with no major discrepancies between the cumulative estimates reported Sunday and what’s come across today. Across the top titles, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes was up a tick to $54.84M from an estimated $54.4M; Transformers: Age Of Extinction was slightly lower at $36.9M versus $37.5M; Hercules was smack on with $28.7M; and How To Train Your Dragon 2 was up a whisker at $24.4M versus the $24M estimate.
One notable factoid is that for the 2nd weekend in a row, numbers on Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore comedy Blended are higher than expected. Yesterday, they were estimated at $3.8M in 47 markets. Today, Warner says the actuals are $4.25M. That takes the overseas cume to $66.6M – the domestic cume was $45.4M. In Brazil, the film has been especially strong, adding $1.7M this weekend for a local cume of $6.8M and a slight 18% drop from last frame. When I asked what the deal is with Sandler, Blended and Brazil, I was told that his films are roundly popular there where family fare is also big – and this one is now bigger than Grown Ups, 50 First Dates, Bedtime Stories, Don’t Mess With The Zohan and Chuck And Larry.
Along with the above films, all figures throughout the below have been updated on: Planes: Fire & Rescue, Godzilla, Step Up All In, Sex Tape, The Purge: Anarchy, Maleficent, The Fault In Our Stars, Mrs Brown’s Boys D’ Movie, 22 Jump Street, Deliver Us From Evil, Neighbors, Kick, Edge Of Tomorrow, and Boyhood. Read More »
15th UPDATE, Monday, 2:00 PM: Lucy ended up the weekend just shy of $44M while Hercules did better on Sunday to get $29.8M and several other films did a notch better than expected from Sunday moviegoers. And So It Goes ended up right at $4.6M. Ugh. The Fluffy Movie was on only 432 screens and will remain on those going into the weekend (results below).
Next weekend, all eyes are on the new openers — Marvel/Disney’s Guardians of the Galaxy and Universal’s James Brown biopic Get On Up — to lift the box office out of its summer slump. And Guardians is likely to do just that. It’s tracking right now between $65M and $75M and veteran distribution executives think it could go higher. It’s 100% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes right now and seems to be getting positive reaction on all sides. And why not? It’s a really entertaining film, filled with unexpected humor and a raccoon character that kind of steals the show. Right now, Get On Up is tracking around $15M to $20M so between that and the second weekend of Lucy, Universal should end up with the No. 2 and No. 3 spots. Here’s the Top 20 chart … until next weekend when the Star Lord arrives:
1). Lucy (UNI), 3,173 theaters / 3-day cume: $43.9M / Per screen average: $13,835 / Wk 1
2). Hercules (MGM/PAR), 3,595 theaters / 3-day cume: $29.8M / Per screen: $8,289 / Wk 1
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“For me, it is very important for this show to have Latin characters and Mexican characters that defy the stereotype of gang bangers,” said Guillermo del Toro today at Comic-Con about his series The Strain.
In what was a wide-ranging panel discussion of the new show, the Mexican-born director wasted no time revealing to a packed Hall H his specific intentions for the characters of the vampire series. “I want Gus to become not only a complex character but a full-fledged hero who will kick some ass,” del Toro said of the just-out-of-juvie Augustin “Gus” Elizalde role played by Miguel Gomez. The director also noted that the sense of cultural difference was part of the casting of Mia Maestro and the Dr. Nora Martinez character she plays. “Her being a Latin woman and me being a Latin man, we are very aware of otherness and I thought she could be a good counterpoint to Eph’s (Corey Stoll’s Dr. Ephraim Goodweather) scientific method. “God willing, next season, we have a masked Mexican wrestler to also kick ass,” del Toro added to big laughs.
The vivid and highly stylized The Strain chronicles the NYC head of the Centers for Disease Control Canary Team Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, played by Stoll as he, fellow scientists and others try to figure out a mysterious viral outbreak that seems to have arrived in America via a European-originated plane of seemingly dead passengers. There … Read More »
After being prodded by a fan’s question, Quentin Tarantino confirmed that he is moving forward with his feature western The Hateful Eight. The announcement was made at Dynamite Comic’s panel for the Django Unchained-Zorro crossover comic-book. Everyone in Room 6BCF erupted with cheers.
In fielding fan questions, Tarantino also teased that he’s working on an extended cut of Kill Bill that would include animated footage that was cut out of the original 2003 film.
Taking the stage this afternoon, Tarantino also earned the second biggest standing ovation at Comic-Con this weekend after Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron clip in Hall H. The whole idea for a Django Unchained-Zorro crossover comic book sparked when Dynamite CEO and publisher Nick Barruci phoned Django producer Reginald Hudlin prior to the film’s release and pitched “Django meets Zorro.” (Zorro has been one of the titles in Dynamite’s library for some time as well as The Long Ranger). When Hudlin brought the idea up to Tarantino over dinner, the filmmaker immediately took to it. It was always part of his vision to have a Django western paperback series.
“I loved this idea, not only because I like western comics in general, but I also loved Zorro in all his iterations whether it was the Disney series or the William Witney films. I thought it was a great idea of taking the most famous, fictional Mexican western hero and putting him together with the newer, famous black western hero,” said Tarantino.
“I don’t want to make a ton of Django movies so this offered me a chance to keep control of the mythology, but to tell different … Read More »
The hottest panel following Marvel’s one-two punch of Ant-Man and The Avengers: Age Of Ultron, American Horror Story finally made its Comic-Con debut, except way across from Hall H in Room 6DE, one of the smaller rooms at the San Diego Convention Center. AHS exeuctive producer Tim Minear described the fourth season of the series, Freak Show, as ”(director) Douglas Sirk meets the movie Zodiac.”
One by one, each of the actors revealed their new identities: Emma Roberts is Maggie, Sarah Paulson will play Siamese twins Bette and Dot, Michael Chiklis is Evan del Toreado, Angela Bassett is his wife Desiree Dupre, and Evan Peters will play del Toreado’s son Jimmy Darling. Minear said that there will be “a villain who will rival the rubber man and the minotaur from previous seasons. John Carroll Lynch will play him, and he will scare the shit out of you.”
Related: TCA: FX’s John Landgraf Talks ‘AHS: Freak Show’ and More
Missing from the panel was Jessica Lange, who is over in Spain shooting the Weinstein Company comedy Wild Oats. Also missing: any teaser or glimpse of Freak Show. Boo! Nonetheless, the fanboy crowd didn’t mind as they stormed the cast for autographs after the panel. Read More »
We finally know the first of the Marvel films that Disney has been setting aside dates for: Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 will arrive July 28, 2017. That leaves five unidentified superhero flicks between November 2017 and May 2019. The announcement came during Marvel’s Comic-Con panel tonight. Guardians star Chris Pratt and director James Gunn appeared via video from London, where they are promoting the first movie’s release overseas.
Related: Comic-Con: Marvel Teases New ‘Guardians’ Animation Series
The panel also included the Avengers cast, who were introduced one by one and asked what it’s like to be in the third-highest-grossing film of all time. Throwing roses out to the Hall H crowd, Robert Downey Jr introduced all those in Avengers: Age of Ultron sans Scarlett Johansson: Jeremy Renner, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Cobie Smulders, Samuel L. Jackson, Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Quicksilver), Paul Bettany (The Vision), James Spader (voice of Ultron) and Elizabeth Olsen (as Scarlet Witch).
Related: Comic-Con: Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Cast Pic
Whedon couldn’t be here because of an injury. Feige said, “Scarlett couldn’t be here because she’s pregnant.” Then she introduced a clip via video from Age of Ultron in which the team, in a penthouse, play a round of trying to pick up Thor’s hammer. Tony Stark puts his Iron Man hand on, Captain America makes a go. Then Ultron crashes the party. Iron Man gets in a big super suit as apocalypse dawns again. A lot of crash-bang-boom, like the finale of the first film. Playing throughout the trailer is a child singing, “I Got No Strings” from Disney’s Pinocchio. Last shot in the clip shows all the Avengers lying dead in a massive heap against a black sky, with Tony Stark the only one standing alive. The audience gave the clip a standing ovation. Amplifying the room’s mood was Josh Brolin walking in as Thanos. Read More »
At Comic-Con on Saturday, Marvel officially introduced Evangeline Lilly and Corey Stoll onstage alongside the central cast of Ant-Man, the stand-alone superhero flick that director Peyton Reed took over from the recently exited Edgar Wright. Marvel honcho Kevin Feige revealed that Lilly, already in town for Warner Bros’ Hobbit panel earlier in the day, will play Hope Pym, daughter of Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), who is looking to pass the Ant-Man mantle on to Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) in the pic. Stoll will play Darren Cross, a colleague of Pym’s who obtains Pym particles and dons the villainous mantle of Yellowjacket.
Related: Comic-Con: ‘Ant-Man’ Stars And Director Talk Hall H Virginity, Paul Rudd’s Abs (Video)
There’s just one hitch: Lilly said she hasn’t even seen a script yet. ”I can’t tell you anything else about her because I don’t know,” she said. “I’ve been evading the press over the last two days at Comic-Con about who I’ll be playing.”
Related: Will Risky ‘Ant-Man’ Be Marvel’s Waterloo Or Greatest Triumph?
She’s not the only one who may not have the latest Ant-Man info. Lilly was at first introduced as playing the role of “Hope Van Dyne” instead of Hope Pym, causing confusion for some fans. Read More »
A new backstage video featuring the cast and crew of Ant-Man hit the web just ahead of Marvel‘s panel at Comic-Con. Stars Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas and Corey Stoll and director Peyton Reed discuss their first time — at the Con, that is. The actors all are at the San Diego fanfest for the first time, though Reed notes it’s his 20th time. They also talk about Rudd’s ripped bod, among other things. Judge for yourself:
Related: Comic-Con: Evangeline Lilly & Corey Stoll Join ‘Ant-Man’ Stars As Marvel Screens Very Early Footage
The Marvel Studios panel is set to kick off any minute and the cast of Avengers: Age Of Ultron is ready to go. Check out the pic:
Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller returned to Comic-Con with Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, the next month’s sequel to their 2005 graphic novel-based groundbreaker — and already began stumping for a threequel. “Robert and I are already talking about Sin City 3. so you’d better show up to 2,” Miller told the Hall H crowd, with most fans waiting for today’s late-afternoon Marvel presentation.
Related: Hot Trailer: ‘Sin City: A Dame To Kill For’
Not that Comic-Con doesn’t love Sin City. Con-goers first glimpsed the pair’s first film a decade ago. By now they’ve been hearing Rodriguez and Miller talk up their DIY greenscreen process for years. While nobody lost their geek marbles over Saturday’s subdued panel conversation with Rodriguez, Miller, and stars Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin, and Rosario Dawson, it wasn’t until they screened new dazzling footage from the film’s opening sequence and a “montage” teaser reel that Hall H-ers woke up.
The original Sin City won the Technical Grand Prize from Cannes when it screened there in 2005, and in the nine years since Rodriguez and Miller have added more crispness to the series’ black-and-white comic book aesthetic. They screened an opening sequence tracking the bloody shenanigans of returning character Marv (Mickey Rourke) … Read More »
The late-night talk show host’s pet side project won’t make a cameo on the upcoming Primetime Emmys telecast that he’s hosting, but Seth Meyers mentioned during The Awesomes panel at Comic-Con that his team is writing “filmed segments featuring many of this year’s nominees.”
Season 2 of his animated superhero Hulu series is upping its profile with the addition of his Saturday Night Live pals Amy Poehler, Maya Rud0lph and Will Forte voicing new characters. While Season 1 focused on a ragtag misfit superhero team (inspired largely by DC’s Justice League), in Season 2 we find The Awesomes getting more respect. Meyers’ lead toon hero Prock falls in love with a fierce lawyer, Jaclyn Stone (Poehler), who when it comes to fighting adversaries in court will “sue their dicks off.” There’s also a new vigilante hanging around, Metal-fella, who is a lot like Marvel’s Iron Man. Whether the production will face any litigation from Marvel, Meyers quipped: “No one knows who came up with which one first. Maybe we’ll sue people.” We’ll also see the family members of Season 1 villain Dr. Malocchio (fellow SNL alum Bill Hader) including Lady Malocchio (Rudolph) and Malocchio Jr. (Forte), the latter plotting revenge. Other zany plotlines for Season 2 include Perfect Man (voiced by brother Josh Meyers) getting in a bind and learning he needs the help of The Awesomes in court. Said Seth Meyers: “Perfect Man is a racist because he’s stupid. He’s even against Atlantic Islanders, the people from Nantucket.” Read More »
The Blacklist star James Spader may have been snubbed for an Emmy nomination this year, but he got a lot of love today from the Comic-Con crowd. The actor drew a roar from the more than 1,000 fans in the packed room 6A of the San Diego Convention Center. “It’s been quite a journey, this craziness — and the craziness really started last year right here at Comic-Con,” Spader said after the applause died down. Then again, one year after his debut at the confab and with a breakout show success in the crime drama, the man who plays former super-fugitive Raymond Reddington is a geekfest multitasker this time round thanks to his part as the primary villain in next year’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron pic – which got a big cheer when Spader mentioned his work on the Marvel movie.
Related: TCA: NBC Drama Series Showrunners Tell TV Critics How It’s Done
Not that the panel didn’t cut to the Blacklist chase. There was a big casting announcement with the revelation that Mary-Louise Parker would be joining the NBC series in Season 2 in a recurring role as a character named Naomi Highland. EP/creator Jon Bokenkamp didn’t reveal any more details of the former Weeds star’s Blacklist involvement, but he described the character as “completely tied to Reddington.”
Related: Emmy Snubs: ‘The Blacklist,’ James Spader And More
Then there is the question of relationships on a show all about unknown relationships. “The question of who is Reddington to Elizabeth Keen is the central conceit to the show,: responded Bokenkamp to questions of whether Reddington is the rookie FBI agent’s father, “but we’re really not going to answer that.” From burn marks to pocket photos and the secrets of a dying man, the May 12 Season 1 finale set up a lot for the show’s return – especially about who Reddington really is and what his relationship with Keen might be. Spader himself had some thoughts on the big question. “The real relationship is their present relationship,” the lead actor said. “Destinations aren’t enough. The ultimate answer should be that looking backwards.” Read More »
The Marvel Animation universe just got a lot bigger today. With perfect timing to the upcoming live action pic, the superhero giant revealed a new Guardians Of The Galaxy animation series this morning at Comic-Con. No news on when the series will debut but it will be on Disney XD . A literally explosive 1-minute preview of the series was shown today with the Rocket Raccoon and Star-Lord characters appearing. The GOTG movie, of course, debuts next week on the big screen.
Of course, Marvel being secretive Marvel they didn’t say much more about the GOTG series but the applauding fans seemed cool with that. “Enjoy the cartoons, that’s what you are supposed to do on a Saturday morning,” Marvel TV chief Jeph Loeb joked with the crowd earlier as he introduced the event.
The panel in the San Diego Convention Center’s near full huge Room 6BCF was hosted by Marvel Animation VP Stephen Wacker, SVP Eric Radomski and VP Cort Lane. Fred “the voice of Hulk” Tatasciore in the green giant’s animated series joined them too.
Besides the announcement of the new series, most of the panel was full of screening some of Marvel Animation’s already established jewels in the crown projects. There was a full first-ever showing of Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors which premieres on Disney XD in September. There were also clips from the upcoming now officially confirmed upcoming … Read More »
Zack Snyder brought his new Batman Ben Affleck, Superman Henry Cavill, and Wonder Woman Gal Gadot to Hall H – and the fans to their feet – right off the bat at the top of Warner Bros.’ two-hour Comic-Con presentation this morning. And with the superheroes came a groundbreaking first for the convention itself: Curtains on either side of the main jumbotron crawled back to reveal supersized wraparound screens extending down both sides of the massive hall, giving the 6,000+ attendees an immersive aural and visual peek at a first teaser for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Snyder also timed a Twitter post to reveal the first look at Gadot’s Wonder Woman (check it out here.)
The original build for Warners’ Hall H presentation added 450 feet we’re told and it took four people just to open the curtains. The planning for the install began months ago and the build took about a week. Too bad it’s not permanent though: The curtains closed again immediately following WB’s panel — bummer for Legendary, Marvel, and the other studios who have to follow. Read More »
Looks like the greater Marvel Universe is officially coming to the upcoming Marvel’s Agent Carter – at least behind the camera. It was announced today during the Marvel TV panel at Comic-Con that Captain America: The Winter Soldier directors Joe and Anthony Russo will be helming the second and third episodes of the ABC series set to debut in 2015. Captain America: The First Avenger director Joe Johnson will helm the fourth episode, with Marvel Studios co-president Louis D’Esposito set to direct the first one.
Related: TCA: ABC Sets Fall Premiere Dates
The announcements were made after a short teaser video was shown to a packed Ballroom 20. Mostly a voice-over via President Harry Truman, the post-WWII-set series promised fans that they would discover a “different side of the Marvel Universe.” Agent Carter picks up in 1946 and the first version of S.H.I.E.L.D. coming together as the Cold War heats up. Marvel TV boss Jeph Loeb said the show hasn’t started stated filming and the writers room opens next week.
The cast of Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. was also on the panel with Clark “Agent Phil Coulson” Gregg coming out to a thunderous standing ovation. The panel confirmed Lucy Lawless will join the show in the second season as a longtime S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Isabel Hartley. British actor Nick Blood will also join as a mercenary, and Reed Diamond, who appeared on Joss Wheldon’s 2009 Fox series Dollhouse, will also be added. The panel was treated to a specially made video of Patton Oswalt in his S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Billy Koenig role jokingly lecturing the crowd on security.
Related: ABC Picks Up ‘Marvel’s Agent Carter’, Renews ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’
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