'The Umbrella Academy' movie develops. 'The Spirit' gets trounced at the box office. New images from 'Transformers 2' and more! A smattering of comic book movie news to help fill the holiday break.
This weekend 'The Spirit' claimed the dubious distinction of being the lowest-ranked opening comic book movie in the year of comic book movie blockbusters. According to weekend estimates published by Box Office Mojo, the film debuted at #9, placing one spot lower than the dismal opening for 'Punisher War Zone' earlier this month.
However, the film still out-performed 'War Zone' by taking in some $10 million over the long holiday weekend. That's a number the Marvel vigilante pic still hasn't reached.
Contributing to the low-ranking were four other high-profile films opening the same day, all landing in the top four. They were, 'Marley and Me', 'Bedtime Stories', The Curious Case of Benjamin Button' and 'Valkyrie', all ringing up healthy eight digit sales figures.
Also holding 'The Spirit' down were overwhelmingly negative reviews (the film holds a measly 16% on Rotten Tomatoes). When I saw the movie my impression was that it would be a polarizing movie. You'd love it or hate it but few would be in the middle of the road on it. I suspected I was wrong when the Rotten Tomatoes score started firming up and when Mania reviewer Frank Hejl turned in a middling review.
However, the moviegoer opinion poll Box Office Mojo bears out the theory of a polarizing movie. Readers there rated it an "A" or an "F" in equal numbers, with 34 readers casting their votes at each extreme. Likewise the next largest reader block was another tie, with 13 readers each rating the film a "B" and "D". The smallest group of readers was in the middle with 11 votes calling it a "C".
At any rate, the poor performance of 'The Spirit' punctuates a trifecta of action hero under-achievers for Lionsgate. 'Transporter 3' opened to weak numbers at the end of November, but has since gone on to gross a respectable $32 million. 'Punisher War Zone' came in a week later and failed to top $8 million before being yanked from theaters.
One of my favorite graphic novels of the year is the unexpectedly awesome 'Umbrella Academy' from Dark Horse Comics. Written by My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way and illustrated by Gabriel Ba, the first collected volume "The Apocalypse Suite" is on sale now with second series currently running as floppies in comic shops.
Way spoke with Newsarama about plans by Universal Studios to develop 'Umbrella Academy' as a film.
Way says the studio is keeping him involved throughout the process. "That’s been really nice – it hasn’t been the situation where they optioned it, and they say, 'See you at the premiere!' It’s quite the opposite."
Way says the project is "definitely...fast tracked" and has momentum.
"We’re at the stage now where writers are pitching their take on it, and how they see it as a film. As someone who is a fan of comics, I know that this movie will be different than the comics," Way said. "To me, the comics will always be what they are – I wrote them, they are what they are. I told the studio that I understood that they will want to make changes, and I will embrace those kinds of things, because they do what they do, and I do what I do, because I’m not writing the screenplay for this.
"I wrote this story already, and I don’t want to write it again."
Empire Magazine paid a visit to the Cairo set of 'Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen' earlier this year. The new issue will feature a report from that. As an enticement they've revealed three exclusive new images on their website.
ComingSoon.net chatted up director D.J. Caruso about the home release of his movie 'Eagle Eye'. Of course, they took a moment to ask about 'Y: The Last Man', a movie that the director has been talking about since before the release of 'Distrubia'.
As in the past, Caruso assures us that work is underway on the script and they're getting close to getting it into shooting shape. However, it's not there yet and he's not apt to sit idly waiting for it.
"I think we'll probably do [another movie] in between if we don't get the script going soon, but we'll see. I have not found a movie that's there yet. I just think if we turn in 'Y' after the holiday and it came in and got going quick then it would be up for sure. I'm open to it, but I need to eventually make a living," Caruso said.
As far as that script development goes Caruso said, "We're going to get it and we'll get it right, but we had a pretty good breakthrough a couple weeks ago in the final act, and hopefully we'll get there."
Finally, QuickStopEntertainment.com is giving away copies of 'The Dark Knight' on DVD. Visit the link below for your chance to win.