Friends and fans of Roger Slifer are asking police and the public for their help in tracking down the hit-and-run driver who ran down Slifer in a Santa Monica intersection, leaving him in critical condition. Police say the animation and comic book veteran was crossing 5th Street early Saturday morning when he was mowed down by a white sedan with tinted windows. The driver fled and Slifer remains hospitalized. Slifer, a member of The CPL Gang, began working for Marvel in the mid-1970s, moving to DC Comics in 1981. He later transitioned into animation, working for Sunbow Entertainment as a producer, story editor and writer on series including Jem And The Holograms, Transformers and G.I. Joe Extreme.
Just two days after The Avengers became the third most successful movie of all time, production has started on Iron Man 3 in North Carolina. Marvel and Disney released this first photo …
Marvel’s The Avengers on Thursday set a new domestic speed record, reaching the $400M box office threshold in 14 days. Worldwide, it has passed Toy Story 3 and Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest to become …
Rebecca Hall is in talks to join Iron Man 3. The Town star would take over the role in the Marvel franchise that Jessica Chastain was up for until this weekend. “I’m sorry to say that …
Marvel execs are notoriously tightlipped and no formal announcements have been made. But now SVP Marvel licensing Paul Gitter tells Forbes magazine that he and his colleagues have been “pleasantly surprised by the phenomenal response” to the Hulk already &mdash&; even before The Avengers opened. “His sales are up in a major way. We repositioned him from where he was always misunderstood to now depicting him in a more heroic and aspirational manner.” Now fanboys have their first look at Mark Ruffalo’s iteration of the Hulk and they like what they see. Gitter says Marvel “will spin him off to a stand-alone program next year,” which Forbes says is “presumably supported by another big budget franchise movie in 2015. The entertainment studio is also exploring ways to promote Hulk as a ‘corporate icon’ similar to MetLife’s usage of Peanuts’ Snoopy, with Hulk’s image conveying a message about channeling strength to overcome workplace challenges.” This is a marked change from what Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige told Collider recently. “…Every time I see a good take or a good storyline or read some good pages, I think, ‘Oh should we make a movie about this?’ But with the Hulk we’re gonna play it very carefully. We had varying degrees of success on those first two movies, so we’re not gonna say, ‘Oh we did it! Another one!’ We’re gonna be smart about it and play it out. There are no plans right now to do another Hulk. Hulk might be just the special guest in Avengers movies, who knows?” Feige also told The Huffington Post that Marvel put “everything they had and everything they were going for into Hulk’s appearance in Avengers” so it’s “mission accomplished at this point.” According to Collider, a Hulk TV series is in development by Guillermo del Toro and Battlestar Galactica producer David Eick that would develop the original story of Bruce Banner in his mid-20s, and Jeph Loeb, head of Marvel Television, recently confirmed that the live-action show is in active development at ABC.
BREAKING… MONDAY 7TH UPDATE: Still more countries are reporting grosses, and the superhero super-blockbuster opened #1 in every foreign market. It doesn’t come out in the U.S. until May 4th but already it’s scooping up 60+% of all pre-sold movie tickets online and more than all the previous Marvel films combined. Overseas, Disney is reporting $185.1M box office in the film’s first 5 days of release in 39 territories. Marvel‘s The Avengers from Disney now is playing in approximately 70% of its foreign run. Latin and South America dominated with the highest opening weekend of all time in major markets like Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Central America, Peru, and Boliva. As well as the Asian makets which had the highest opening weekends in Hong King, Taiwan, Malaysia, Philippines. Big ticket nations like Russia, China and Japan are still to open, and upcoming May Day is a huge holiday. The pic is already grossing ahead of Alice In Wonderland, Pirates Of the Caribbean 4, Iron Man 2, and The Dark Knight. The Avengers scoored the biggest opening days in New Zealand, Taiwan, Iceland and Malaysia. Cumes for key territories include: UK $25.5M, Australia $19.8M, Mexico $16.9M, France $13.9M, Korea $13.0M, Brazil $11.3M, Italy $11.0M, Germany $8.1M, Taiwan $7.5M, Spain $6.9M, Philippines $6.6M, and Hong Kong $4.7M.
With the Chinese government’s relaxation of its film quota system and a theatrical market that’s projected to hit $5 billion by 2015, the Santa Anas are increasingly blowing east. Today, The Walt Disney Company China, Marvel Studios and DMG Entertainment announced that Iron Man 3 will be co-produced in China. This follows last week’s news that Disney is partnering with the culture ministry and Chinese Internet giant Tencent to develop the mainland’s animation business. The Mouse has long been active in China and the Iron Man plan highlights the growing cross-flow between the two countries. The Shane Black-directed Iron Man 3 is the 3rd big franchise picture to shoot in China in recent memory. (Paramount’s Mission: Impossible III shot there in 2005 and Universal’s The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor was there in 2007.) DMG, a co-producer on Rian Johnson’s Joseph Gordon-Levitt/Bruce Willis starrer Looper, will manage the Chinese location production of Iron Man 3 with shooting expected there in late summer this year. Disney has a May 3, 2013 release date set for the US.
Shanghai/ Beijing and Los Angeles, CA – The Walt Disney Company China, Marvel Studios and DMG Entertainment today announced the intention to co-produce IRON MAN 3 in China. Under the arrangement, DMG Entertainment will make an investment in the production of IRON MAN 3, manage the Chinese co-production process, and jointly produce the film in China. The Chinese portion of IRON MAN 3’s production will run through DMG Entertainment in coordination with Marvel Studios’ production and creative teams. DMG will also distribute IRON MAN 3 in China in collaboration with The Walt Disney Company China.
BREAKING… EXCLUSIVE: Marvel’s The Avengers just came on early tracking this morning “incredibly strong” exactly as Hollywood thought it would, my industry sources are telling me. This is the first Marvel film to be marketed and distributed by Disney so this is great news for the studio. The numbers tell the story: it has 23% ‘First Choice’ and 62% ‘Definite Interest for all audiences – incredibly high among men, and solid among females. With so many well known characters coming together for the first time in this PG-13 film directed by Joss Whedon in Digital 3D, RealD & IMAX 3D, the movie’s opening on May 4th timed to the official summer season start in North America will be an event. As a result, not only will this type of action film normally skew young and older male, but the early tracking is looking strong as a three- and possibly four-quadrant movie, too. One expert provided me with a box office guesstimate that this assembly of Marvel superheroes should open during its 3-day non-holiday weekend to $100+M domestic. That would make the film Marvel’s biggest opening, and its highest-grossing since Iron Man 2 ($128M opening weekend which ultimately made $312.4M domestic/$311.5M international for $623.9M worldwide). The non-holiday 3-day record is held by Warner Bros’ Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 with $169.1M. Right now Disney and theatre owners are adding screens every day for the release whose online pre-sales of tickets are already selling out. Midnight show business is expected to be phenomenal. Exactly how much the studio can gross for the first weekend depends on how many screenings each theater can pack into 72 hours by finding enough staff willing to work the extra hours and keep the pic running continuously.
The marketing campaign kicked into high gear Wednesday night for the world premiere in Hollywood at the El Capitan Theatre last night.(Text continues below)
Trailers for the film broke iTunes records twice for the most viewed trailer in a 24-hour period first in October 2011 (with over 10 million views), and then broke the record again in February 2012 with 13.7 million views in the first 24 hours. Advance tickets for the ‘Ultimate Marvel Marathon’ (5 movies in a row) leading up to the midnight release of Marvel’s The Avengers sold out in a month ahead of the release of the film in major U.S. cities and in Canada, prompting AMC to add shows to meet the demand.
The Marvel superheroes pic is written and directed by Joss Whedon, which only serves to ramp up expectations among the fanboy set. So does the cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgard and Samuel L. Jackson. Here’s the second …
Rights to the flaming-skull motorcycle-riding Ghost Rider belongs to Marvel Comics, a federal judge ruled. The vigilante played by Nicolas Cage in a 2007 movie and its upcoming sequel debuted in 1972 after Marvel freelancer Gary Friedrich first conceived …
In one of the last big drama deals this buying season, Fox has handed a put pilot commitment to The Punisher, a series based on the Marvel comic from Ed Bernero and ABC Studios. This is one of two high-profile sales for former Criminal Minds showrunner Ed Bernero. He also has high-concept Western spec The Eye set up at ABC.
The Punisher is described as an hour-long procedural with a Marvel signature and a new take on one of the comic book giant’s iconic characters, Frank Castle, a rising star detective with the New York Police Department who moonlights as the vigilante Punisher, seeking justice for those the system has failed. Bernero will executive produce along with Marvel. This marks the first sale this season and the first one ever outside of ABC for Disney-owned Marvel, which is developing TV series based on its properties through ABC Studios. Last season, the company set up Hulk with Guillermo del Toro and David Eick and AKA Jessica Jones with Melissa Rosenberg at ABC. Those projects have been moving on a slower development track at the network.
Marvel Studios has released its first full trailer for The Avengers, its Joss Whedon-directed dream teaming of Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and team leader Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), who team up against Loki (Tom …
Disney Announces Two New Pixar Films
Who needs Comic-Con when you can do it yourself?
That must be exactly what Disney is thinking as it continues its massive second annual Disney D23/ Expo, the “ultimate fan event” taking place all weekend long at the Anaheim Convention Center right next to Disneyland (the name refers to 1923, the year Walt Disney started his studio). It’s an offshoot of the official Disney Fan Club and includes a ginormous exhibition center with every imaginable opportunity to buy Disneyana, numerous fan events and celebrity-sighting opps, and then there was today’s centerpiece: a near-three-hour preview of movies in the pipeline from Disney, Pixar and Marvel (which announced a partnership with the company in 2009 that is just now gearing up).
Call it “Mickey Con”. It’s all a bit overwhelming, so no wonder it takes three days just to get through it all. The event continues through the end of Sunday.
After his major presentation of the new Disney slate in the gargantuan arena in front of 4200 seemingly rabid fans (and a few more restrained press members), I caught up with Walt Disney Studios chairman Rich Ross in the Green Room for an exclusive interview in which he talked about the possibilities of a fifth Pirate.s of the Caribbean film as well as his first comments on the demise of Pirates team Johnny Depp and Jerry Bruckheimer’s about-to-shoot Western The Lone Ranger, which Deadline’s Mike Fleming first reported had been dropped by Disney due to budgetary concerns on the pricey pic. When I asked Ross if there was anything new to report he said, ”Nothing definitive. There is nothing new. I’m hoping to do it, I’m certainly hoping. I think it’s a compelling story and no one wants to work with Jerry and Johnny more than me, so we’ll see how it works.” And about the possibility of a fifth Pirates? The situation is obviously clouded with the Lone Ranger situation, but again he used the word “hopeful.”