Bond 23 Gets Release Date

04/15/2011 at 1:11 am | Posted in Flik/Spec, | 2 Comments
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Great news for James Bond fans:

Owned by MGM – but distributed by Sony – Bond 23 (actual title not yet released) will come to theaters on November 9, 2012.

More good news.  Despite having multiple franchises going – Cowboys & Aliens, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – Daniel Craig will be returning as James Bond.

Enjoy the press release:

LOS ANGELES, CA., April 13, 2011 – Sony Pictures Entertainment will remain in the James Bond business after reaching an agreement with MGM to co-finance and theatrically market and distribute Bond 23 worldwide, it was announced today by MGM Co-Chairmen and Chief Executive Officers Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum and Sony Pictures Chairman and CEO Michael Lynton and Co-Chairman Amy Pascal. Sony will release the next film in this iconic franchise on November 9, 2012 throughout the world except for select International territories, where MGM will directly oversee distribution.

Sony Pictures and MGM look forward to Sony Pictures co-financing and distributing Bond 24 on a similar basis.

Additionally, MGM and Sony Pictures have agreed to explore co-financing opportunities on future motion pictures produced by each of the respective studios for the next five years.

The two studios have collaborated directly and indirectly in recent years on numerous films, including Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, 21, Yours, Mine and Ours, The Pink Panther, and the forthcoming Kevin James comedy Zookeeper.

The announcement of the agreement to distribute Bond 23 adds another high-profile title to Sony’s 2012 slate, which also includes Men in Black 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man, as well as I Hate You, Dad, starring Adam Sandler, Here Comes the Boom, starring Kevin James, 21 Jump Street, Resident Evil 5 and Total Recall.

“Sony Pictures is the ideal studio partner for us as MGM re-enters the filmmaking business. We have longstanding relationships with Michael and Amy and look forward to what promises to be a prosperous future together,” said Barber and Birnbaum.

“In addition to working together on Bond, this deal expands our relationship with MGM as we explore co-financing opportunities on other high-profile projects,” Lynton said. “Gary and Roger are incredibly thoughtful and experienced leaders who are outstanding creative executives and respected moviemakers. While we are excited to be back in the Bond business, we also look forward to future collaborations and I am confident that this agreement will be long-term, lucrative, and beneficial to both studios.”

“After successfully working on the re-launch of the James Bond franchise with Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, we could not be more proud or privileged to continue our association with Barbara Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson, Daniel Craig, and the talented teams at EON and MGM,” said Pascal.

When Sony released Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, the films had record-high grosses for the Bond franchise, with Casino Royale taking in $599 million in worldwide ticket sales and Quantum of Solace generating $577 million.

That 70’s Success

03/19/2011 at 2:47 am | Posted in Flik/Spec,, Net/Spec | 6 Comments
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In 1998, FOX launched That 70’s Show – a sitcom starring mostly unknown talent (Danny Masterson had established himself in the film industry prior to being cast) – and it became a hit, turning the main cast into household names practically overnight.  The show lasted for 201 episodes (8 seasons), but not everyone stayed for the entire run.  Both Topher Grace & Ashton Kutcher (both were the highest paid of the group) wanted to leave early to pursue a movie career.  Grace left after the 7th season finale, only showing up briefly in the series finale; Kutcher appeared in five episodes of the show’s final season.

With the surprising underperformance of Topher Grace’s latest vehicle Take Me Home Tonight (it debuted outside of the Top 10), I thought it would be the perfect time to see which That 70’s Show alum has had the most film success so far.  We’ll see if the old saying “Hindsight is 20/20” is proven in this study, or if leaving the show early was the right thing to do for the two men.

A few disclaimers:  Producing credits aren’t going to be counted; same goes for writing.  Only acting credits count in this tabulation.  Also, included in the calculations are movies released during the course of the sitcom’s run.  The three actors with the greatest amount of film activity (by a large margin) are Topher Grace, Ashton Kutcher, & Mila Kunis – so Danny Masterson, Laura Prepon, & Wilmer Valderrama were not included in this study. 

The final thing to note is Topher Grace will have two calculations.  The reason for this is that (due to Spider-Man 3) there will be those that argue such a huge franchise already had the built-in audience, so it might contaminate the water.  I personally believe it’s justified staying in, but felt it was worth it to cover both bases.

The numbers will be based on seven films for Kunis, 14 for Kutcher, and eight films for Grace (seven without Spider-Man 3).  Six movies were excluded in the Kunis count due to not enough information on either the budget or the box office – the movie Milo was left off because she was uncredited.  Six movies were kept out for Kutcher – five due to insufficient budget information, and Cheaper by the Dozen was left off since he was uncredited.  Topher Grace has two left off with lack of budget information.  All budget and box office figures were gathered from and 

So let’s crunch the numbers:

The first thing we’re going to look at is the gross in the domestic Box Office.  The order from highest to lowest in total dollars – $756.5 million for Topher Grace (with SM3), $690.3 million for Ashton Kutcher, $426 million for Mila Kunis, & $420 million for sans-SM3 Grace. 

Lest you be fooled by these numbers, remember how many more films Kutcher has in these calculations.  What would be more telling (and comparing apples-to-apples) is showing the average B.O. gross for their films- $94.6 million for Grace (w/SM3), $60.8 million for Kunis, $60 million for Grace without SM3, and $49.3 million for Kutcher.

Let’s dig a little deeper with the domestic numbers.  See, different films have different expectations.  In the film industry, those expectations translate into the budget for the movie.  Therefore, to get an even clearer picture of the actors’ results, we should expose the overall profit (gross minus budget) ranking – $231.5 million for Grace w/SM3, $183 million for Kunis, $153 million for Grace without SM3, & $145.3 million for Kutcher. 

This movie hurts Kutcher's domestic numbers

Going farther into the average movie profit – $29 million for SM3 Grace, $26.1 million for Kunis, $21.8 million for no-SM3 Grace, and $10.4 million with Kutcher.

So far we have Mila & Topher neck-and-neck, the winner depending entirely on whether you include Spider-Man 3 or not.  For the domestic tiebreaker, let’s view the average percentages on how each actor’s movies have over-performed from their budget – Kunis jumps to the lead with 75% – then no-SM3 Grace with 57%, Grace with SM3 at 44%, and finally Kutcher with 27%.

If it’s confusing how Grace without Spider-Man 3 is higher than with the movie, it would be helpful to note that (with costing around $300 million), the film only passed its budget by 30%.  Conversely, Black Swan flew (no pun intended) well above its budget by 716%.

According to my calculations, the domestic winner is:  Mila Kunis




What about global Box Office numbers?  If we look at worldwide figures, would the results show a different victor?  Let’s find out using the same path as we did with domestic numbers.

From the highest to the lowest gross, the global Box Office rankings would be – $1.67 BILLION for Grace w/SM3, $1.33 billion for Kutcher, $802.4 million for Kunis, & $775.2 million for no-SM3 Grace.

One thing to note is that both Take Me Home Tonight (for Grace) and Texas Rangers (for Kutcher) are not included, since they don’t appear to have been released globally.

Once again, remember that Kutcher has 5 more films that qualify for this study.  The order of the average gross would be $238 million for SM3 Grace, $129.2 million for no-SM3 Grace, Kunis at $114.6 million, and finally $102.6 million for Kutcher.  With or without the franchise, Grace has the higher average.

Next layer into the study is overall profit – SM3 Grace is $1.14 billion, $788.7 million for Kutcher, Kunis has $559.4 million, and finally $508.2 million for Grace w/out SM3 – the same order as the gross ranking.  But is the average profit the same?  Yup – $163 million for SM3 Grace, $84.7 million for Grace non-SM3, Kunis has $80 million, and finally Kutcher with $60.7 million.

Moment of truth:  Looks like Topher is still coming out ahead.  How does that average worldwide profit percentage play out?  Grace with SM3 overacheived the budget by 233%, Mila’s films at 230%, Grace without SM3 at 220%, and Kutcher trails at 163%.

By my count, it looks like the global champion is: Topher Grace if you count Spider-Man 3


King of the World (Thanks to Spidey)


If you are one of those that want the franchise excluded, then Mila Kunis is the most successful movie star to come out of That 70’s Show.

So was it the right thing to do for Ashton and Topher to leave the show before it concluded?  Have their movie careers not panned out as they would’ve hoped?  I think it depends on their ultimate goals.  Kutcher has been a successful producer, along with his multiple endorsement deals; Grace has also gotten into the writing/producing world too.

One thing is for sure: Mila Kunis has done just as well – if not better – than her two fellow co-stars.  And her future just keeps getting brighter.

The good old days

UPDATED: Pack Your Bags for Another Journey!

05/27/2010 at 3:52 pm | Posted in Flik/Spec | 2 Comments
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UPDATED 5/27/10:  Fraser is a no-go for the sequel.  Turns out he’s not wanting to make this journey (so to speak) without the original director – who is busy with the 3D Yogi Bear.

Original Post 4/28/10:  Sequels, sequels everywhere!

New Line and Walden Media are moving forward with a sequel to the Journey to the Center of the Earth – set for next year.

Brendan Fraser may not be along for that ride.  The reason is that the studio is considering hiring another director for the sequel, since Eric Brevig is currently working on Yogi Bear (in 3D) – meanwhile, Fraser doesn’t want to move forward without Brevig helming it.

That may not stop the studio for centering the story around the son of Fraser’s character.  While this would save money, it may be a risk to launch a movie without any star power behind it – which has hurt many movies lately.

And OF COURSE this movie will be in 3D, as was the first one.

Aniston & Rudd in Lust?

05/12/2010 at 3:49 pm | Posted in Flik/Spec | Leave a comment
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Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd will be starring in the comedy Wanderlust.

Judd Apatow will produce.  Rudd, Ken Marino, & David Wain will be writing and producing.  Wain will also be directing.

The movie will be coming from Universal, which hopes to start the production this fall.

The Hollywood Reporter describes the story as “a married couple who tries to escape modern society and ends up in a hippie commune.”

Wain, Rudd, and Marino also wrote Role Models, with Wain directing  – so count me in to see this movie.

Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston played opposite one another in The Object of My Affection, and he appeared in 18 episodes of Friends as Phoebe’s boyfriend/(spoiler alert)husband.

The Object of My Affection

Hype Debunk #2

05/12/2010 at 3:36 pm | Posted in Flik/Spec, Hype Debunking | Leave a comment

Technically, this is a “comeback debunking”.  Recently, an example of why you shouldn’t believe everything you read in editorials crossed my path:

A recent article from a well-known entertainment site was FULL of flaws – to which I was more than happy to correct in their comments section.

Basically, the article was talking about how this is the summer of comebacks for movie stars, and his list included a lot of stars.  I had expected to see names like Murphy, Carey, or Kidman.  Instead, the list had me scratching my head – though I agreed with two of them.

Click here to go to the article, read both the list of examples (and their logic) and my corrections in the comments section.  While I tended to simplify my thoughts (and those typos!  whoops!), the facts are pretty straight-forward.

Can you guess which one is on the list? Nope. Guess again.

After reading it:  What did you think?

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