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Movie Sequels

September 2, 2003 | PATRICK GOLDSTEIN
It must've been ages ago -- OK, maybe it was 1999 -- when I was at New Line, watching a pair of perky young screenwriters pitch then-New Line production chief Michael De Luca on their idea for a smack-talking showdown between horror moviedom's two titans of evil, Freddy Krueger from "Nightmare on Elm Street" and Jason Voorhees from "Friday the 13th."
July 20, 2003
Sequels are swell things. Humans love them. How many wars have we had to end wars? But we return to the premise of armed conflict over and over again. So excuse our midsummer suspicions when movie studio execs start wringing their hands and moaning over the "failure" of certain movie sequels this summer. Sounds like rehearsal for a tax audit meeting. Let's examine the alleged problem: Just because the public has fallen for -- what?
It's a pretty scary proposition, but is it possible that the average 16-year-old has better taste in movies than most of the rich, Ivy League-educated studio executives who've flooded us with a deluge of movie sequels this summer? Ever since the arrival of "The Matrix Reloaded" in mid-May, which was a box office success but a huge disappointment to most fans and critics alike, the retread market has taken a nasty bearish turn.
June 30, 2003 | Lorenza Munoz, Times Staff Writer
Despite a media-saturation campaign for the slick action flick "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle," the sexy girl-power trio of Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu and Drew Barrymore landed with a thud. "Angels," again directed by McG, arrived at No. 1 one with an estimated gross of $38 million, roughly $2 million less than the original, which opened with $40.1 million in November 2000.
June 6, 2003 | Seema Mehta, Times Staff Writer
It's the dead of night on the industrial edge of Ontario, and the streets are abandoned. From the darkness, more than 100 pairs of headlights appear in the distance, a conga line of souped-up Nissan Sentras, Honda Civics and Acura Integras speeding this way. With minutes, the screech of tires and acrid smell of burning rubber fill the air along Greystone Drive, a lonely straightaway paralleling the Pomona Freeway and now lined with a pumped-up crowd of cheering, beer-drinking spectators.
May 24, 2003 | Claudia Eller and Richard Verrier, Times Staff Writers
Lizzie McGuire and Walt Disney Co. are getting divorced -- Hollywood style. After weeks of rancorous negotiations over the future career of teen sensation Hilary Duff, the star of the Disney Channel's hit "Lizzie McGuire" sitcom and movie spinoff, the two sides confirmed Friday that they are splitting up amid accusations of greed and squandered opportunities.
November 12, 2002 | Patrick Goldstein
In recent years, everyone in the movie business has been scrambling to churn out sequels, remakes and retreads, justifying the unseemly artistic results by trumpeting the killing they've made at the box office. Well, if you've been keeping tabs over the past six weeks, the scorecard reads: Moviegoers: 5. Risk-Averse Studios: 1. If you'd put your ear to the door at almost any studio in town last week, you could've heard someone saying, "Geez, maybe getting audiences to spend $9.
The other night I had a terrible dream. I'd gone to see "Austin Powers in Goldmember," but instead of showing the movie, the theater just ran one long Taco Bell commercial. Some people would say I wasn't dreaming. It's the height of the summer movie season, a season when movies are products created to sell other products. According to Newsweek, "Scooby-Doo" got a green light when Warner Bros.'
November 20, 2001 | PATRICK GOLDSTEIN
In a comic outtake at the end of "Rush Hour 2," Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan toss a bad guy out of a hotel window. Tucker then jokes: "Guess he won't be around for 'Rush Hour 3'!" In the 1930s, Hollywood's best movies were musicals and screwball comedies. In the 1970s, films were full of loners, losers and brooding antiheroes. But the movies that exemplify the spirit of our time are part of a genre that has more to do with corporate profits than content: the Franchise Film.
The sequel business was alive and booming this summer. Most of the season's sequels (six in all) were successful--five of six are expected to gross $100 million or more--laying the groundwork for yet more installments. In addition, several new films emerged with spinoff potential, including "Shrek," "Planet of the Apes," "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" and "The Fast and the Furious." In Hollywood, familiarity breeds content.
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