December 30, 2013 |
Some critics are calling 2013 the best movie year in a decade. And although critical darlings don't always produce profits, it will also be the highest-grossing year on record - barely. After a shaky spring and a summer of high-profile hits and misses, the box office is projected to reach $10.9 billion this year, up slightly from last year's record of $10.8 billion. That's partly the result of a fourth-quarter surge of awards contenders that are also popular with moviegoers, among them the space saga "Gravity," the antebellum drama "12 Years a Slave" and the disco-era romp "American Hustle.
November 10, 2013 |
With its god of thunder "Thor" lighting up the box office this weekend, Marvel has struck again at the multiplex. The 3-D sequel "Thor: The Dark World" debuted with a healthy $86 million, according to an estimate from Marvel distributor Walt Disney Studios. That's the fourth-highest opening of the year, but well behind another Marvel property, "Iron Man 3," whose $174-million debut is still the biggest of 2013. Heading into the weekend, prerelease audience surveys suggested the comic book adaptation would debut with a minimum of $90 million -- and given strong early interest, even a $100-million launch didn't appear impossible.
November 3, 2013
Re "U.S. calls for 'Iron Man,'" Oct. 31 As a mother, I cringe at the onslaught of violent entertainment in our culture. But then I think, "What a great way for people - especially men - to get their aggression out by simulating war, violence and destruction with their imagination. " But when I read about defense contractors trying to create an "Iron Man" suit for soldiers, my heart sinks. The only imagination at work here is by those continually betting on humans being perpetually embroiled in a state of war. War is a failure of the imagination, the saying goes.
October 30, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Army Capt. Brian Dowling was leading his Special Forces team through a steep mountain pass in eastern Afghanistan when insurgents ambushed his patrol, leaving two of his soldiers pinned down with life-threatening wounds. After a furious firefight, the two men were rescued, but that episode in 2006 would change Dowling's life. Now employed by a small defense company, he is part of a crash effort by U.S. Special Operations Command to produce a radically new protective suit for elite soldiers to wear into battle - one with bionic limbs, head-to-toe armor, a built-in power supply and live data feeds projected on a see-through display inside the helmet.
October 14, 2013 |
A new Stone Age children's comedy and a Disney classic have debuted at the top of the DVD and Blu-ray sales chart. "The Croods," the DreamWorks computer-animated movie about a prehistoric family, was the top-selling title in its first week in release after bringing in big numbers at the box office earlier this year. The movie, distributed by 20th Century Fox, drew more than $187 million in ticket sales domestically and $585 million worldwide. In second place was the new Diamond Edition of Disney's 1989 hit "The Little Mermaid.
October 7, 2013 |
The year's biggest hit movie has landed in the home entertainment market. "Iron Man 3," the Marvel superhero movie starring Robert Downey Jr. in the titular role, was the top-selling DVD and Blu-ray title in its first week in release. That shouldn't be at all surprising. The mega-grossing sequel is the No. 1 movie of the year so far at the box office, having earned $409 million domestically. "Iron Man 3" unseated the summer smash "World War Z," the apocalyptic zombie movie starring Brad Pitt.