|Venom: a scary dude|
Sony Pictures announced that it has plans to release a Spider-Man movie every year. The idea is to expand on the Spidies' world and include other linked comic characters. "We are expanding the Spider-Man universe with the inclusion of the Sinister Six and Venom, so that we have Spider-Man movies every year for the foreseeable future", Amy Pascal, Sony Pictures co-chairperson told CMG.
Venom, an alien symbiote, is a good character for Sony to key in on as Venom can go it alone (sans Spider-Man) and have its own adventures. The Sinister Six, includes: Doctor Octopus, Sandman, Electro, The Vulture, Mysterio, and Kraven the Hunter. These characters provide Sony a stable of baddies to thwart Spider-Man.
Sony is playing catch-up to Disney in its use of comic characters. Sony owns the rights to Marvel Comic's Spider-Man and several other characters, like Venom. Disney, which now owns Marvel and pretty much all of the other famous Marvel superheros, started the annual sequel gimmick in 2010 with Iron Man. Disney has released an Iron Man inspired movie each year since.
Ghostbusters III - Still on Track
|Murray, Ramis, and Aykroyd in 'Ghostbusters'|
A sequel to 'Ghostbusters' has been in the works for sometime and the recent, and untimely death, of Harold Ramis, who was to play a cameo role in 'Ghostbusters III' (along with original cast members Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd), may actually jump-start the project.
'Ghostbusters' (1984) and 'Ghostbusters II' (1989) were very popular at the box office, and after a 25 year hiatus 'Ghostbusters III' is ready to roll. Dan Aykroyd has been the prime-mover of the movie, with Bill Murray less so, but Sony Pictures recently released a statement saying that Murray was now on board.
Both 'Ghostbusters' and 'Ghostbusters II' were written by Ramis and Aykroyd.
More American Than Apple Pie
What's more American than Apple Pie? The Western movie of course. The 'old' West is truly All American and has been depicted and glamorized as so in the movies since almost the beginning of motion pictures. All the great movie actors, both male and female have starred in Westerns - from Tom Mix to Will Smith, Marilyn Monroe to Jane Honda - Hollywood brought the Old (and Wild) West into the American mindset and way of life.
The cowboy, a lonesome and independent figure, and the American cinema grew up together and Western films are some of the best movies ever to hit the big screen. In fact, many are must-be-seens, for any serious moviegoer (fan). My must see Western film recommendations are:
- The Searchers (1956), Shane (1953), The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly (1966), Unforgiven (1992), The Wild Bunch (1969), Magnificent Seven, High Noon (1952), Django Unchained (2013), One-eyed Jacks (1961), Cat Ballou (1965), The Quick and The Dead (1995), True Grit (1969).
Disney Unveils 'Disney Movies Anywhere'
Consumers owning movies that are cloud-based is crucial to Hollywood's future. So, as promised, Disney Entertainment this week introduced a 'free service' aimed at making collecting their films in the cloud easier. 'Disney Movies Anywhere' allows consumers to buy a Disney, Marvel, or Pixar movie once and watch it on any web-ready TV, mobile device, or computer.
Disney had refused to go along with the other major studios in joining the digital movie storage and management system called 'UltraViolet' as Disney felt becoming part of the 'UltraViolet' group would diminish its brand. Disney also wanted to enter the cloud-based market in sync with Apple - which is not part of the'UltraViolet" consortium either - but which controls 60% of digital movie purchases.
Disney and Apple have had very close ties since 2006 when Steve Jobs, Apple's then CEO and founder sold Pixar to Disney and joined the Disney Board of Directors. Jobs served on Disney's board until his death - his widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, remains Disney's largest shareholder. Additionally, Bob Iger, Disney's CEO, sits on Apple's board.
Hollywood wants consumers to collect movies and form cloud-based digital libraries, the modern day equivalent to living room shelves stocked with DVDs. The reason is that selling a digital movie is three times more profitable for studios than renting a movie, as a typical digital movie sells for $15. Spending on digital movies and TV shows surged 46% last year to $1.19 billion, and to push sales the studios have started to make new movies available for digital purchase two weeks before selling then on DVD or BluRay discs - and the new 'Disney Movies Anywhere' system will also prod consumers to shift to the digital library concept.
The introduction of 'Disney Movies Anywhere' coincides with the digital release of 'Frozen', which has grossed over $980 million worldwide. Additionally, Disney, for a limited time, will provide a digital copy of 'The Incredibles' to those who activate 'Disney Movies Anywhere' and link to their iTunes account.
To use the service: download an app or visit the 'Disney Movies Anywhere' website. Users can then import Disney, Marvel, or Pixar films from their iTunes accounts. Lucasfilm, another Disney unit, is likely to join the service next year, with the release of a new 'Star Wars' movie.