Welcome to On The Radar! This weekly post will be your premiere destination for a comprehensive roundup of items that may be developing stories we’re watching, Twitter commentary, or other relevant news that wasn’t quite ready for prime time just yet. In short, a grab bag of geek items which are sure to please.
Let’s see what blips are on the radar this week.
‘Zombieland’ devours video rentals
Zombieland dominated the video lists this week, “…on the Nielsen VideoScan Blu-ray Disc chart, “Zombieland” went three for three, bowing at No. 1 and …racked up 31% of its total first-week sales from the Blu-ray Disc.” Way to go Zombieland, we can’t wait for the sequeal.
‘Avatar’ 3D boosts Cineplex ticket sales in Canada
3D showings of Avatar did wonders for Cineplex’s bottom line in Canada, “Despite running for only 13 days during its latest financial frame, “Avatar 3D” was Cineplex’s biggest boxoffice performer during the fourth quarter to Dec. 31, and has done around $74 million in Canadian ticket receipts to date.” No surprise really given the popularity of this film and the fact 3D showings are still being sold, out or causing line-ups.
Geek flicks drive Viacom profits
DVD and Blu-Ray disc sales from Star Trek, Transformers 2 and G.I. Joe stimulated Viacom’s fourth quarter earnings to the tune of $694 million. Not bad considering the $173 million it made in the same quarter in 2008. Also helping was the indie hit Paranormal Activity which increased operating expenses by 24%.
‘Terminator’ rights get sold
The Terminator rights found a new home with Santa Barbara-based hedge fund Pacificor. Pacifi-who? While Lionsgate and Sony were fiercely competing for the rights, the winner ended up being the very company that forced the previous owner, Halcyon Holding Corp, into bankruptcy. Halycon owed Pacificor $30 million but ended up giving up the rights to…wait for it…terminate their debt.
‘Robocop’ reboot on hold
The Wolfman writer David Self gave up some information on the status of Robocop, “I’m still involved with it and Darren Aronofsky’s still involved with it…but we’re waiting for MGM to sort things out…” What MGM is sorting out is potential bankruptcy. Self also stated the new film would be a reboot. He also noted that Marvel‘s film adaption of Deathlok is currently in a holding pattern.
On Twitter Stan Lee talks ‘Ant-Man’ and other Marvel movies on deck
@smilinstanlee: “To make up for my previous grievous error, here’s a little item that may have escaped you. Marvel is prepping a movie starring– Ant Man!”
@smilinstanlee: “I had lunch with the cool , young director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) and, as you’d imagine, we had fun discussing the tiny hero”
@smilinstanlee: “Ant Man is just one of the many wild treats Marvel has planned for you, such as Iron Fist, Dr. Strange, Black Panther and more, more, more!”
‘Cowboys and Aliens’ gets a release date
Steven Soderbergh gets contagious
Based on a script by Scott Z. Burns, Steven Soderbergh will be shooting Contagion. This film, about a virus outbreak, will tie multiple story lines together much like Traffic. Contagion is set to star Matt Damon, Marion Cotillard, Jude Law and Kate Winslet.
‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith’ may renew their spy vows
Someone at Fox thinks Mr. and Mrs. Smith needs a reboot. Apparently “…the new movie would involve a pair of 20-something secret agents who are set up in a fake arranged marriage as covers after graduating the academy.” The obvious question is, does this film need to be remade? I’m on the fence.
Captain America’s new threads
Director Joe Johnston provided some details on Captain America’s costume in the upcoming Marvel film, “The costume is a flag, but the way we’re getting around that is we have Steve Rogers forced into the USO circuit,” For those concerned this may come across as a tad cheesy, don’t worry, Johnston’s got you covered, “In the first USO sequences, the frustrated patriot will be wearing a version that is closer to the classic Jack Kirby-designed costume, but then later as the super-soldier hits the war zone he will be wearing a sturdier, more muted version that he makes himself that is more like battle togs. The stripes across his mid-section, for instance, will be straps, not colored fabric.”
Looks like the radar is clear until next week. See you then!