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This week we see the under sexed Inbetweeners going head to head with Disney trying to make cash from one of it's many franchises.
The Inbetweeners have become a pop culture phenomenon, there is no doubt, what started out as a adolescent comedy on Channel 4 turned into a £45 million grossing movie.
This week they are back for more of the same, only in Australia, and if the opening day gross of £2.75 million is setting the trend for this film then it will knock Guardians of the Galaxy from the top in style.
Make no mistake, this will be the number one film this week, it's simply a case of how much it can gross on it's debut.
Also out is Disney trying to milk their Planes franchise. One for the kids and one that should have been a video debut, Planes: Fire and Rescue will be a modest hit.
Released timely in the holidays it goes up agains How To Train Your Dragon 2 and The Nut Job, both old now, but should be a top 5 hit, if only for the familiarity and the Disney name.
Come back next week to see how well they did at the weekend box office.
New at UK cinemas this week there are four new releases, although only one of them is destined to do big business and take the majority share of the box office gross.
X-Men Days of Future Past, which sees the merging of both eras of the X-Men series in one film, is set to take over at the top from Godzilla.
The massively hyped film has a huge following across the globe and is set for a big world wide release. The strong British cash including Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen will help it no so expect a UK debut of £10 million plus.
The previous films for the X-Men, First Class (2011) and The Last Stand (2006) grossed £5 million and £7 million respectively.
Blended is the latest film from Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore and is their first pairing in 10 years. The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates were both big films so expect this to get into the top 3 and gross somewhere in the £2 million mark.
Postman Pat makes it to the big screen this week in Postman Pat The Movie, a timely release over the UK half term holiday could see this gross higher than expected, a top 5 hit for sure?
Also out this weekend is
Finding Gigolo - the latest film starring and directed by John Turturro.
A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far Far Away a prequel to a successful franchise of films came out and on the whole massively disappointed fans, and that film was a conventional film in what has been the traditional 2D, the the film maker was unhappy with that like many of his previous films and wanted it in 3D, and in 2012 he will get his wish.
Put another was Lucasfilms has announced that the first Episode of Star Wars, as in The Phantom Menace will get its 3D theatrical debut on February 10th 2012. The press release doesn't specify location but I suspect the UK release on or around the same time.
Back in 1997, 20 years after the original Star Wars came out, Lucas pushed the cash cow back into cinemas with updated special effect that he claimed gave the vision closer to what he wanted to do in 1977. Now 12 years after the release of The Phantom Menace he has converted in to 3D, and the other 5 films are bound to follow.
As Star Wars fans now understand, we haven't seen Star Wars, any 6 of the films, in reality yet, the narrative of the film wont change again, but we will have to, about every 10 – 15 years or so, re-experience the series using greater technology.
Remember that also this year we have the Blu-ray versions of the films coming that will give us the most visually stunning version of the films to date which can go on the selves along with the original VHS release, the re-mastered video release, the ultimate box set, the special edition VHS release, the original DVD releases, the re-releases with the original theatrical versions (did I miss any) and so on and so on, actually I have already made space on my shelf for the 3D Blu-ray box set.
So for now, until we get holographic cinema, the 3D version of the 6 film saga are set to be released in cinemas starting February 10th 2012, see you there.
It's an old trick used by the film distribution companies to keep a steady flow of cash coming in by re-releasing old films, and each time in a different way, whether it be in the VHS days of suddenly discovering some new footage and releasing longer or directors cuts, or the more modern way of an improved picture and more extras. When a new format come along, like Blu-ray it give a whole new life to old films, just askGeorge Lucas, he's made a mint from the idea.
Studios are now suggesting that with some of the older films it isn't financially viable to re-release them again on Blue-ray, as Bill Hunt from The Digital Bits website writes in his daily “My Two Cents” column on his site.
It seems that the public these days expecting so much from High Definition that the amount of time and money spent on the disk production doesn't justify the return resulting in many a catalogue title maybe never seeing a release in high definition.
I think many of us are in this situation, you bought the VHS version of your favourite film say, The Breakfast Club. That version cant be played with your current hardware (who has a VHS player anymore?) so you bought the DVD version and enjoy it over and over again, the pictures as crisp today as the day it was bought. You now decide to buy an HDTV and Blu-ray player and find the Blu-ray version of the film, but is it really worth another purchase when your current disk will still play in your new player, and maybe even improve it?
It's an old argument, and when it comes to big Hollywood blockbuster a really good HD remastered transfer will make a huge difference, and I as much as anyone else will be lining the pockets of Lucasfilms when the virtually announced Star Wars Blu-ray films are released, but relatively speaking the list of film I need in HD is probably quite small, although my Blu-ray collection is growing at an alarming rate.
Sony and online DVD/Blu-ray rental company Lovefilm have today announced that it will be delivering movies via the internet to owners of Sony internet TV's.
In the same week that bricks and mortar video rental company Blockbuster announce that unless they have an injection of cash they will go bankrupt, one of the more successful online rental companies announce a deal that could amount to the final nail in the video shop coffin.
Movie rentals via the likes of the Playstation Network via a Playstation 3 or XBox Live via an XBox 360 have been with us for a while and proved successful, the internet TV delivers is in essence an extenuation of this.
Samsung are also in negations to offer a similar service and as people replace their TV's the replacement will most likely be internet enabled allowing the service to grow in time.
Is this another example of the physical media being a thing of the past, in the future will our film collection be in the "cloud" and we stream the movie when we want to watch it, will our film collections be Lovefilms catalogue?
I personally still like the idea of physical media, it's still fun and exciting, maybe I'm just an old fossil that needs to accept the future?
Whatever happens it looks like the video shop is going to be a thing of the past, no-one knows this more that Blockbuster Video the once king of the rental market who didn't move with the times and will go bust by the end of the year. As a former employee of the company I cant help but feel sad about that.
Disney are causing a bit of a storm with cinema distributors because they want to release the forthcoming Tim Burton adaptation of Alice in Wonderland on DVD/Blu-ray only 13 weeks (about 3 months) after it hits the cinemas in the UK and Netherlands.
The usual window is between 4 and 6 months depending on the film, and as Alice in Wonderland is expected to be a big hit it will most likely be 6 months which would give the multiplexes more time to make money, so chains like Vue Entertainment Ltd are threatening to pull the film altogether.
Is this window too short? The cinema's argument is that this will reduce the number of bums on seats in theatres as the cinema goes will be aware they can buy the film soon and hence reduce the money taken for a film at the box office, which also could have a knock on effect on cinema ticket prices for all.
10 years ago the window was 6 months or more, and there was a time when the window was even up to a year, although the market back then was more leaned towards the rental market and the internet was not about, hence no digital downloads, and piracy although an issue wasn't by any means as big as it is now.
Why then does the likes of Disney want such a short window? Is it to tackle piracy? Is it to cash in on the hype of a film in such a fickle here today gone tomorrow market? Or is it simply that home cinema can fulfill the movie goers as readily as an expensive visit to the cinema these days?
Just think if Avatar has a 13 week window it would be scheduled for release around 15th March during a time which it will surely be still riding high at the cinema, or maybe that would be the best time to release it?
I can see the argument for and against this, but I must admit that I did prefer it in the days when you were unable to watch a film for a period of months after leaving the cinema and then enjoy it even more when the VHS of the film was available for rent.
This one could have been predicted, and it seems that the love of Harry Potter has not been lost by the world in the 2 years since the last film as Harry Potter and the Half Blood Price breaks opening weekend records across the world.
With a world taking of nearly $400 million which beats former record holder Spider-Man by a good $20 million dollars. This figure further cements the Potter series of films as the most successfull series in history with each film performing as if it could have been the first in the series proving interest just isn't waning.
In the US the film took just shy of $160 million since it's opening last Wednesday to Sunday. Uk figures are yet to come in but there is good money on it breaking the opening weekend record set by previous Potter film The Prisoner of Azkaban which took £23,882,688 in 2004.
With Warner Bros. splitting the last book of the series into 2 film to milk the series just a little further this little cash cow is coming to an end, but the shame is the quality of the films is increasing and like The Lord of the Rings I think that cinema will miss this series of films when it's gone.