The Flickcast’s ‘On the Radar’

This was a big week for news, especially of the comic book movie variety. Surprisingly, even with all that coming out we still have even more items worth talking about on the radar. Batman beats Superman…again, a Star Wars character makes a bid for a mascot job, MGM is still looking for money, Brian De Palma may get paranormal and what cities will Michael Bay reign destruction upon next?

Batman trumps Superman on the auction block

Looks like Batman wasn’t content with beating Superman at the box office, he had to do it at an auction as well. The 1939 first appearance of The Dark Knight sold for a whopping $1,075,500. This beats Superman’s first appearance in comics which sold for 1 million. Sorry, Supes…but, hey, you did land an awesome writer for your upcoming reboot.

Blockbuster struggles to remain relevant in the digital age

Video rental store Blockbuster continues an uphill battle to compete against digital alternatives.  The brick-and-mortar business reported a “$435 million in the fourth quarter, compared with $360 million in red ink in the year-ago frame. Revenue dropped 18% to $1.1 billion.” As companies like Netflix and Redbox continue to steal market share some believe Blockbuster has some merit left:

“The drying up of retail competition from the ongoing closures of most Movie Gallery and Hollywood Video stores; major studios aren’t making their new releases immediately available to Redbox; and Warner Bros. will begin a 28-delay before giving Netflix access to new-release DVDs.”

Personally, I don’t see a rebound at this point and beyond the legit competition Blockbuster still has piracy to content with. Is this the end? We’ll see.

MGM pushes for second round of bids from investors

Debt-strapped MGM Studios is seeking a second round of bidders for mid-March:

“The historic Hollywood studio is exploring a sale after failing to make payments on $3.7 billion in debt. Suitors are trying to assess the value of MGM assets that include a 4,100-movie library, future ‘Bond’ movies and rights to co-distribute films based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit.'”

Hard to believe someone hasn’t already snapped up this studio considering the very bankable franchise in it’s roster.  Rest assured, someone will acquire them and in turn put all the Bond and Hobbit fans at ease.

Admiral Ackbar, Mascot?

Since the defeat of the Empire at the hands of the Rebel Alliance I imagine a lot of jobs in the military were lost.  So, what is an Admiral named Ackbar suppose to do?  Well, some students in Mississippi want him for their mascot.  Unfortunately, “Officials say there’s virtually no chance the fish-faced leader of the Rebel Alliance in Return of the Jedi could become the on-field mascot for the Rebels of Ole Miss.”

Ah, come on!  Oh well, I applaud the student body’s tenaciousnous and promotion of such a notable Alliance hero. Okay, now you can [insert your “It’s a trap!” joke here].

Conan O’Brien joins Twitter

Conan may have had a bad exit from television but Twitter is welcoming him with open arms. O’Brien officially joined Twitter and fans of the former late night talk show host are eager to hear what he has to say. With opening tweets such as:

@conanobrien: “This morning I watched Remington Steele while eating Sugar Smacks out of a salad bowl. I was naked.”

…what’s not to love. Welcome aboard Conan!

Will Brain De Palma get paranormal?

With the resounding success of Paranormal Activity it should come as no surprise a sequel is in the works.  Directors for the next film are being sought out and one name on the list is Brian De Palma.  Yes, the director of The Untouchables and Mission: Impossible could take the helm of one of the most successful ghost movies ever made.

While it remains to be seen if De Palma will take on the project the studio has to move fast.  Paranormal Activity 2 is set to hit theaters Oct. 22 this year.

Michael Bay looking for carnage in Moscow and Chicago in Transformers 3

Director Michael Bay has a polarizing effect on film goers.  Most either love him or hate him.  One thing we can all agree on though is that he knows how to blow stuff up.  Now, it seems, he’s looking to bring that destruction to two major cities:

“Spoke with Michael today and got some little info on TF3: there will be big action sequences shot in Chicago and Moscow this time around.”

If only destruction equated to quality.

Avatar scores big at 3D awards

James Cameron’s Avatar won half a dozen awards at the International 3D Society’s inaugural event.  I have only two things to say about this: 1) Was there even any question of this film winning, and 2) Are there any industries left that don’t give out awards anymore?

Michael Sheen talks Tron: Legacy

Actor Michael Sheen gave us a little bit of news about his character in the highly anticipated Tron sequel:

“I run the nightclub,” Sheen said. “I am the host of the nightclub and a showman, this sort of very over-the-top character.  The nightclub has some retro-Tron cred, too. Steven Lisberger, the original writer/director of Tron, performs a cameo role in the club. “I met Steve,” Sheen revealed. “We’re in the same scenes together, or one of the scenes. He has a little cameo, yeah.”

Retro night club, Daft Punk music and light cycles!  Tron: Legacy is going to be brilliant.

Todd McFarlane talks TV project via Twitter

Comic book artist and toy manufacturer Todd McFarlane tweeted some vague information about a possible TV show he’s working on:

@Todd_McFarlane: TV: Will be meeting with a television executive today about a potential TV series (from one of the bigger cable networks). Update you after.”

One might guess this has something to do with his hit comic, Spawn. However, as a reboot of the original film may be underway this TV project is probably something else entirely.  On a personal note, still waiting for you to come visit us in Toronto, Todd.  You are Canadian after all and yet to appear at our great big comic book event. Hint, hint!

Bonus Blip: Is there a hypen in “Spider-Man”?

@smilinstanlee: “Spidey’s official name has a hyphen—“Spider-Man.” Know why? When I first dreamed him up I didn’t want anyone confusing him with Superman!”

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