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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Avatar 2 - Will It Break The Box Office Record?


'Avengers: Endgame' surpassed James Cameron's 'Avatar' as the highest-grossing film of all time at $2.79b (vs. $2.78b for 'Avatar' - note: its total was enhanced due to a re-release).

The sequel, 'Avatar 2: The Way of Water' is scheduled for a December 2021 holiday release. Then 'Avatar 3, 4, and 5 are set for 2023, 2025, and 2027 releases.

We all hope A2 will be as successful as the A1 and soars at the box office.

Cinema Industry Fights Back!

 'Black Widow' rocked the box office at an $80m debut weekend in the U.S. and scored the biggest gate since the pandemic struck. Opening in 4,160 screens it posted the largest box office since 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' in December 2019.

This performance demonstrated that consumers are ok with the idea of returning to cinemas - as in the U.S., 76% polled that they are now comfortable going back.

Disney went with a hybrid release. The 'Widow' opened in cinemas day-and-date with Disney+ streaming (for a $30 surcharge). This added $30m to surpass a $100m opening. 

Marvel fans, superhero fans, and critics all raved about the film. Exiting polling was a 4.5 out of 5 overall.

The 'Widow' was a great success for Disney and exhibitors as it demonstrated that moviegoing is returning and in a BIG way. 'F9' has generated over $541m globally. 'A Quiet Place - II' has gated $258m and 'Cruella' $205m. Moviegoing is back! The industry is recoiling and the second half of 2021 should be steller at the box office. 

As of July 7th, Comscore has reported that 90% of cinemas around the world are now open. According to a Comscore press release, "As the studios continue to ramp up the rollout of their most anticipated films, audiences are showing up at their local cinemas to enjoy the big screen experience."

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Mouse Moves From 'Golden' to 'Sunshine State'

 California, the Golden State, is losing its luster. More and more people and companies are moving out of CA and into other, more 'friendly', states. CA lost over 136,000 residents in 2020. 

                                               Walt Disney and Pals

Disney has decided to transfer over 2,000 jobs to Florida. A new 'campus' near Orlando is now open and ready to receive the Californians. The plan to move these high-salaried jobs has been in the works since 2019.

Florida offers a great climate, a lower cost of living, a safer environment, no state income tax, to name several reasons for the move. Employees will have 18 months to make the move. 

In a letter, Josh D'Amaro, Head of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products stated, "In addition to Florida's business-friendly climate, the new campus gives us the opportunity to consider our team and be more collaborative from a creative and operational standpoint." 

Disney employs over 203,000 worldwide of which over 60,000 are in Florida.

                                   Epcot Center at Disney World, Florida

Ever wonder why there are no mosquitos at Disney World? Over 52 million people flock to Disney World Park each year - the Magic Kingdom alone had over 20 million visitors.

Disney World is huge. It is twice the size of Manhattan, at 25,000 acres. Currently, only half the land is used and one/third is preserved for conservation.

But no mosquitos! The trick, don't kill the adults but their eggs - it's a policy of prevention. Hence, there is no still water in the Park of any kind and all of the water and water features are kept flowing 24/7. 

Sunday, July 04, 2021

Academy Invites 395 To Become Members in 2021

 The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences invited 395 people to join its ranks in 2021. 

According to the Academy, the '21 Class consists of 45% women, 39% under-represented ethnic communities, and 53% from 49 countries outside the U.S. Of the 395, 89 are former Oscar nominees - 25 of which were winners. 

Membership selection is based upon professional qualifications with inclusion and equity remaining a priority.

The Academy had previously announced, "that in an effort to enable steady growth and support for all members" it was reducing yearly membership invitations. This year roughly half were invited vs 2020, which had 819 invitees.

To view the complete list of invitees go to the following.

Fast and Furious: Where Do You Go From Here?

F9 was total make-believe. To me, in a bad way. A Pontiac Fiero in outer space? Cars free-falling off 1,000 ft. cliffs and the drivers walk away? Dom and the familia have gone the superhero, total fantasy route.

Where does one of the most successful franchises in movie history go from here? The final episode, F10 is planned and it should move quickly, as the Toretto family members are getting a bit long-in-the-tooth and look silly in totally unbelievable roles as invincible superheroes.

Super great special effects and superb cinematography were offset by a ridiculous storyline, feeble script, and bloated cast (from Helen Mirren to Kurt Russell). The extended family is too big, too complex, and too 'who cares anyway'. 

F&F needs to get back to its roots. Perhaps we'll see this in the final installment, as the last scene in F9 has the family partaking in the familiar final scene BBQ at a partially rebuilt Toretto LA home. Suddenly, a blue Nissan Skyliner pulls into the driveway - the car driven by Brian O'Conner (who was played by the deceased Paul Walker). Hey, you never know what can happen in the F&F world.

                                 Main F&F cast with heights

F10 is supposedly the last film in the franchise. But, don't be so sure. F9 has racked up over $445 million and by the end of the 4th of July weekend let's put that at over $600 million globally. The cost of production and marketing $200 million. Making it hard to stop the momentum of the franchise.

 F&F the next generation. Don't forget, there is another generation of 'Torettos' waiting in the wings. Brian and Mia have two children: Jack and Gisele, Dom and Elena (deceased) had Brian, Hobbs has Samantha, and Vince (also deceased) had a son called Dom.

Whatever happens please just make it real!