I spent Oscar week in Los Angeles, and after lengthy chats with film executives and agents, I detail below the long-term issues concerning Hollywood. But first, to sum up: I’m convinced they’ve never seen their business in a greater state of disarray than it is right now. Vets who’ve done this for decades admit they feel less confident than ever about the formula to create hits, and are perplexed why it has become next to impossible to create movie stars anymore (Channing Tatum was on all their lips after The Vow, Chris Pine and Tom Hardy less so after This Means War, but beyond Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Tom Cruise, Denzel Washington, Adam Sandler and Will Smith, do any actors draw reliably at the box office?). And there was a palpable lack of excitement for the Oscars, which is clearly hamstrung not by the imagination of its producers, but rather the Academy’s unwillingness to get off its high horse and start showing audiences around the world what they really want to see.
We are in a period where major studios have been burned enough by tentpole bets that nearly all have become infatuated with making films that cost under $10 million. One exec held his arms wide to express the divide that has become the priority for studios. One side represented films that cost nothing and had no stars, while the other represented $100 million-$200 million bets that … Read More »
Paramount has moved Titanic 3D a couple days earlier to Wednesday, April 4 from Friday, April 6. James Cameron’s remastered 3D version of his 1997 worldwide megahit will get a head start on Friday openings of Universal’s American Reunion and Summit’s thriller The Cold Light Of Day. Paramount has also shifted A Thousand Words from April 20 to March 9 where the comedy will face Disney’s sci-fi epic John Carter and Open Road’s horror movie Silent House.
UPDATE: Paramount has moved release dates for three of its movies. Paramount’s and MGM’s action comedy Hansel And Gretel: Witch Hunters in 3D, starring Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton, is getting the biggest bump — moving from March 2, 2012, to January 11, 2013. “This should really set up the international,” a studio exec explains to me. ”Jeremy Renner’s international profile should be in great shape after being in Mission: Impossible 4 now, then The Avengers in May, then The Bourne Legacy in August. As this past weekend shows, January is great play time internationally, and we haven’t done too bad domestically in January, either.” The film, which also stars Famke Janssen and Peter Stromare, picks up the fairy tale 15 years after Hansel and Gretel’s evil encounter at the gingerbread house. They’ve become bounty hunters tracking and killing wicked witches. Tommy Wirkola directs and co-wrote the script with Dante Harper; Will Ferrell’s and Adam McKay’s Gary Sanchez Prods are producing.
The studio also moved the wide release of Eddie Murphy’s comedic drama A Thousand Words to April 20, 2012, down from March 23. Paramount Vantage’s Jay and Mark Duplass-directed comedy Jeff Who Lives At Home, starring Jason Segel and Ed Helms, will get a limited release on March 16, 2012, back from its original March 2 slot.