January 04, 2015

Top Films of 2014

Back in January of 2014 I took a look at what I thought would be the top genre films of 2014. Was I right, was I wrong? take a look below and see how far off I was. (all amounts are in Millions of dollars)

#1 Guardians of the Galaxy $332 I think everyone underestimated this film, I predicted it to fall in the $175 - $190 range and be #13. It nearly doubled that and shook the late summer box-office.

#2 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 $313 This film did less money than I expected, but only dropped it one spot from where I expected it to be. I was estimating a little over $400. As I said in my 2015 predictions, I think the influx of teen books adapted to the big screen is hurting this markets. I think Mockingjay Part 2 will do just slightly less.

#3 Captain America: The Winter Soldier $259 I predicted $220 - $250 so I was close on this one, I just didn't expect it to be as high on the list as #3, I was predicting #5.

#4 The LEGO Movie $257 This movie came out of nowhere. I put at #14 on my list with a mere box-office total of $159, I was off by $100 and a hugely catchy tune.

#5 Transformers: Age of Extinction $245 Not far off on this one, I was calling for $253 and the #6 spot.

#6 Maleficent $241 Ops did Disney just discover the untapped female market? Not that Frozen didn't and not that men didn't go see this movie, but in a market full of big male dominated blockbusters this film broke the expectations of $100, as a matter of fact I had it doing only slightly better than Edge of Tomorrow (which I was off by $1). It was also off my chart at #17.

#7 X-Men: Days of Future Past $233 I thought this film would fare much better. I thought this would be the #2 film pulling in about $305.

#8 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes $208 I don't think I could have called this one any closer, I called it at $209 and #8.

 #9 Big Hero 6 $204 I am so glad I put this on my list last year, this was a film and property that no one had heard of. I called this little know gem to come in at #13 with only $179.

#10 The Amazing Spider-Man 2 $202 If this film had done the $262 I predicted it would have come in at the #3 spot I predicted, but somehow Sony messed up on this one. What did they do wrong? They lost the story and added too many villains, just like Spider-Man 3 (the emo Spidey).

#11 Godzilla $200 Another one I was near enough to being bang on. I called for the #11 spot at $199. I am surprised that we haven't heard Warner Bros. talking about a follow up film.

#12 The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies $198 Yes this film is still in the box-office, and yes it will easily break Godzilla's numbers, but this is just for what it did in 2014. My prediction called for about $20 more and a #7 spot.

#13 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles $191 I really didn't think this movie would do as well. I called for $72 and the #23 spot. This film made the biggest jump vs. my predictions.

#14 Interstellar $180 What a differance 10% can make, that's how much lower this film did from my prediction. Had it done the $199 I had seen, it still wouldn't have made the #9 spot.

So what about films that I predicted and didn't make the top 14? That would be How to Train Your Dragon 2 at #15, from my estimated #4 (biggest fall), and Divergent #16 from #11. The biggest over prediction I made was for February's Vampire Academy that scored a measly 10% of what I was hoping for. Biggest under predictions were Maleficent, at 135% more than what I called for and TMNT at 160% more.

Don't forget to subscribe, and I'll see you at the box-office.

January 01, 2015

Top 6 for 2016

This maybe a bit premature, but I wanted to take a look at the what is on the horizon for the film industry as I wait for the numbers to be tallied for 2014. I did my Top 15 for 2015 and will do Top 16 for 2016, when the time comes. This is just an advanced look at where the box-office is going.

1) Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice This film will set everything up for the new DC Comics Cinematic Universe; Justice League films, Suicide Squad (#7), Wonder Woman, ect. This film had the audience at Comic-Con 2013 going ballistic. Warner Bros.

2) Avatar 2 Filming started on this recently in New Zealand and like the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies, will continue for a while as they shoot parts 2, 3, and 4 back-to-back. James Cameron can do no wrong in the eyes of Hollywood, as his Titanic and Avatar sit number 1 & 2 on the all-time box-office list. Fox

3) Captain America: Civil War Marvel's first film of 2016, (Doctor Strange #9 in November) could see Spider-Man return to Marvel Studio's control, as a share deal is being worked out with Sony. Disney/Marvel

4) Star Wars: Standalone While the making of Star Wars 7-9 has been on everyone's radar for awhile, the news that most people are missing is that between these bi-annual films are a series of Standalone or Solo films. What characters they'll be about hasn't been revealed, but most think they'll be Yoda, Han Solo, and Boba Fett. Disney/Lucas

5) Finding Dory The Pixar movie that everyone have been waiting for. Back under the sea with Nemo, Marlin and the fish that speaks whale, Dory. I think this film will do as much as both of Pixar's 2015 films. Disney/Pixar

6) X-Men: Apocalypse 20th Century Fox returns with the next installment of the X-Men franchise. Weather or not the February Deadpool (#15) movie will lead into this film or not is uncertain, but I'm sure the end-credit sequence will tease something with Apocalypse. Fox

Do you think I'm right, wrong or somewhere in between? Comment below what you think the top films of 2016 might be.

December 13, 2014

Top 15 Films 2015

Last year I looked at the top 14 for 2014, and I show the results in January, but now I want to look at what I think will be the top performing films of 2015.

NameDateTheir predictionTheir RankMy PredictionMy Rank
Avengers: Age of Ultron1 May 2015$ 483.90
16$ 500.001
Star Wars VII18 Dec 2015$ 335.61
64$ 400.002
The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay 220 Nov 2015$ 306.51
$ 306.513
Ant-Man17 Jul 2015$ 146.06
154$ 300.004
Minions 10 Jul 2015$ 173.80
36$ 210.005
Jurassic World12 Jun 2015$ 179.27
20$ 199.276
Tomorrowland22 May 2015$ 134.82
15$ 150.007
Cinderella13 Mar 2015$ 117.40
30$ 147.408
Insurgent20 Mar 2015$ 140.66
$ 140.669
Mission Impossible 525 Dec 2015$ 121.55
18$ 140.0010
Inside Out19 Jun 2015$ 148.86
-24$ 125.0011
The Fantastic Four7 Aug 2015$ 121.05
$ 121.0512
Hotel Transylvania 225 Sep 2015$ 62.44
58$ 120.0013
Jupiter Ascending6 Feb 2015$ 63.10
50$ 113.1014
Kung Fu Panda 323 Dec 2015$ 101.27
$ 101.2715

Who is they? Their Prediction comes from Hollywood Stock Exchange as of Dec 13/14, while HSX is  a game, its a game that does well at predicting the box-office results of Hollywood films. I don't agree and that's how I earn H$ in the game. All dollar amounts are in Millions ($62.44 = $62,440,000)

1) Avengers: Age of Ultron $500 - Since Guardians of the Galaxy, people have been itching for the next instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Age of Ultron brings the core members of The Avengers back to the screen. It is also rumored to be the end of this team of Avengers, by the time Infinity War rolls around in 2018, we'll see Doctor Strange, Black Panther and Ant-Man on the team. We should also get a good look at Ant-Man in this film, if not in a guest roll, then in the end credits.

My prediction may actually be a little low, I've seen Box Office Frontier and some IMDB predictions call for $700. Trailer

2) Star Wars: The Force Awakens $400 - Anticipation on this film is huge and there is a massive fanbase in existence, but it is also a fanbase that was burned by over anticipation in 1999 with Phantom Menace and wasn't overly please with what JJ Abrams did on the last two Star Trek films. Trailer

While I've seen predictions of $1Billion, I just don't see this film wowing audiences that much. The teaser trailer already sent ripples of disapproval through the community with the triple-bladed lightsaber. I think it was a year-ago I heard someone say that if Abrams screws-up Star Wars, he'll be forever called Jar Jar Abrams.

3) The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay 2 $305 - The big, from-book franchise films are starting to weigh each other down. Mocking Jay pt 1 has done about 3/4 of what the first two films did, this last film in the series should do about the same. But first-part films like Maze Runner and Divergent while having green-lit the whole series for production, haven't performed as expected. This could hurt Hunger Games final film.

4) Ant-Man $300 - This is where I hugely diverge from "their" predictions. The average Marvel film has made $356. I see no reason for this film to do less-than half of that. It could do Winter Soldier numbers ($259), but following up after Age of Ultron I think will boost it closer to Guardians results ($332)

5) Minions $210 - Based off the little yellow helpers in Despicable Me 1 & 2 this film is sure to please audiences of all ages. That's a big job in a crowded box-office summer. Opening a week before Ant-Man will help and hurt Minions. The help will be a week without the juggernaut Marvel in the theatres, but once Ant-Man is on the screen, it may really hold back Minions. Trailer

6) Jurassic World $200 - Its been 22 years since Jurassic Park came to the screens, and now we get a theme park of living dinosaurs, and danger lurks with a new breed. Again a week before another big Disney film, but the action of a dinosaur film for a new generation could trump a troubled Pixar picture. Trailer

7) Tomorrowland $150 - An original film that caught me off guard with its first trailer. This film is set for the week after the new Mad Max film, which I'm not expecting much from. Tomorrowland could easily revisit the box office to spend the money they asked for back from Max. Trailer

8) Cinderella $147 - A classic tale in live-action, with top notch stars like Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter and Derek Jacobi. This film will appeal to the often forgotten members of the cinematic audience, the women. Trailer

9) Insurgent $140 - Based on the second book in the Divergent trilogy, written by Veronica Roth. It is the sequel to the 2014 film Divergent which pulled in $150 in March of 2014. This film should do about the same. Trailer

10) Mission Impossible 5 $140 - The fifth outing of the IMF crew stands to do a little less than the franchise average, as it faces off against JJ Abrams other December release, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. If they moved the release back a month into November I think it could do the average and score $180-$200.

11) Inside Out $125 - This film hasn't been plagued with as many issues as Pixar's other 2015 release, The Good Dinosaur, but it wasn't tracking well, until its first trailer released. Timed perfectly for when the kids finish the school year in June, this film, done right could double my prediction. Trailer

12) The Fantastic Four $121 - And, another comic book reboot. Buried at the end of the summer, where in 2014 TMNT only saw $72. This film from the studio that has been giving us the X-Men, now a fresh look at the Fantastic Four, with a fresh Director you've never heard of and a fresh cast, you've barely heard of.

Being nearly a month after Ant-Man may actually help this film, with nothing else of note coming before college and school kids are back in.

13) Hotel Transylvania 2 $120 - The first Hotel Transylvania was the highest box office opening in September. I'm hoping that this version can do as well and open with a $40 weekend.

14) Jupiter Ascending $113 - Having been pushed from its original July 2014 release date adds to the doubt of this film. Word was that effects weren't ready and needed the extra time. Hopefully seven months has been sufficient to render the needed visuals and the Wachowski's have gone back to their storytelling roots on this one. Trailer

15) Kung Fu Panda 3 $101 - Jack Black hasn't given the best performances in recent outings, hopefully the christmas opening will fill with kids, as the parents go see M:I5

December 07, 2014

No to Cosplayers!

Cosplayers are ruining Comic Cons

You may have seen a variation on this headline over the past few days, after Pat Broderick posted on his facebook page a rant against Cosplayers.

todays heads up. If you're a Cosplay personality, please don't send me a friend request. If you're a convention promoter and you're building your show around cosplay events and mega multiple media guest don't invite me....You bring nothing of value to the shows, and if you're a promoter pushing cosplay as your main attraction you're not helping the industry or comics market..Thank you..

The 61 year old comic book illustrator, best known for Marvel's Micronauts in 1979-84, now works as an instructor at The Art Institute of Tampa. When doing shows, namely Comic Cons, he is put out by the large number of attendees and guest that aren't there for comics. Comic Cons have grown to include many forms of entertainment media as comics themselves have gotten shoved to the back.

Pick up a copy of Diamond Distribution's monthly Previews magazine, and there are scores of Comic Publishers, but where are they at the conventions? Hidden behind Sony, Disney, Microsoft, Hasbro, and Blizzard. Yeah they're still at the conventions, but you have to get past the big companies, that have nothing to do with Comics, to see them.

I understand the frustrations of Broderick and Dave Dorman's wife Denise, in attending these events and getting little to nothing out of it. If you're going to call your event a Comic-Con or Comic Festival then lead and promote comics, otherwise call it a Cosplay Cavalcade, or Mega Movie Meet-Up, but Comics and Graphic Novels are a different entity, with a different audience.

Two Days ago I expressed a personal opinion and a request on my facebook page in relation to cosplay and conventions which are heavily loaded with LARGE media guest and Cosplay events... While I understand disagreements to my statement what followed in the tabloids was a very loaded over exaggerated tabloid handling of my comments. I've been in this industry for well over 40 years now and have attended many conventions during this time and have witnessed the growth of what began as a few fans showing up in costume into this cult which we call cosplay today.I've received a great amount of support from both professionals and fans on my stated opinion and to those supporters I say thank you, I've also received a great deal of negative responses to my statements which I accept also. Comic cons today are more media events than comics oriented shows, and that would be fine except these shows are promoted as comic cons yet comics appear to have become a shoved into a corner part of the event. If that's the direction these shows want to go,fine, but stop calling them comic cons. To the injured parties here, I apologize,as this was meant to be a heads up to those type of show promoters as to not waste their time contacting me as after this last years show experience I will decline their offer. To those offended cosplay characters participating in these events, while I admire the efforts and time spent in producing your costumes, well done, but keep in mind that these shows started and continue to be GP rated family friendly events so consider the children who attend with their parents and the uncomfortable position you're putting the parents in with your designs. To those who antiquate their time and investment as an equaled effort to the years artist and writers have put into their trade, that's just wrong and untrue. To those who have no problem blocking the isles at the shows for your photo opps, move your interested parties away from the showroom floor to open the space for the fans who want to get to the tables they're interested in approaching. To all of the tabloid rags out there who like to throw your particular spin on the comments you cut and paste, try looking up what journalism is all about. You can strive to be accurate and unbiased, which would be a refreshing turn of events.. Now I'm off to continue doing what I've done my whole life, advancing my art skills....
Click to Enlarge

At the same time I understand those that reacted to what Broderick said. This is the ever changing industry that is the multi-media. Comic Books are now on TV, in cartoon and prime-time live-action. They're the biggest thing in movie theatres and most Comic Stores carry RPGs, Board Games, DVDs, Manga, Anime or other interconnected medium, and they and the Comic Books inspire the Cosplayers. Do you think Todd McFarlane or Stan Lee are getting ticked every time some kid shows up at their booths in a self-made Spawn/Spider-Man costume? No way! Todd and Stan are congratulating the hard work and shaking his/her hand.

I agree that cosplayers, or anyone, blocking the aisle of a small vendor/merchant is a pain in the ass, and more needs to be done to educate people in the ways of courteously moving about in a crowd, or convention space period. Education is what we need, not chatter about Cosplayers being jerks and ruining the show for everyone else. They are loyal fans, they want to meet and impress the people that created the fandoms that they follow, and each other. They are attention seekers just like the guy signing autographs at a Comic Con.

If they are overshadowing you, maybe you like any business, need to change your game, appeal to the customer. When you think that those that attend aren't your customer, you've lost the game. To win, find out what they want that you can provide, engage your customers, and they will engage with you. This is why the stores and cons have changed, they needed to engage the people that pay and attend.

Cosplayers aren't ruining the show, they have shifted the focus and become the show, how do you win them over, provide the things they want. How do you find out what they want, try talking to them. In a world of Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Facebook these "kids" want to engage, routinely on their phones, and sometimes with anyone that will listen. So telling the very people coming to the shows you attend that... "If you're a Cosplay personality, please don't send me a friend request." is the exact opposite of what you need to do. Advance your skills and connect with them.

So to any convention personality that thinks their sales are lacking due to some other element that is gaining ground, don't ask that huge element to go away. Get to know it and what it wants from you. Don't lash out and attack it, it will return the favor a hundred fold.

November 16, 2014

Doctor Who: Children in Need

BBC Children in Need  is the BBC's UK charity. Since 1980 it has raised over £600 million to change the lives of disabled children and young people in the UK. One of the highlights is an annual telethon, held in November and televised on BBC One and BBC Two. Every year it features skits and clips from various BBC programs.

This year a teaser to the Doctor Who Christmas Special was part of the show. This isn't a spoiler, its more like a minisode prequel to the December 25th special. Unfortunately there are no Sontarans included.