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Posts posted by DudeAsInCool


    Sun Mar 7, 7:00 PM ET

    Carl DiOrio

    (Variety) If the summer of 2003 was a bacchanal that left Hollywood hung over, then summer 2004 could be the flight of Icarus.

    Translated from the Greek, that means studios are betting big on films that defy the usual rules.

    For one thing, big-budget sequels are relatively scarce.

    Scheduled are mega-titles like Sony's "Spider-Man 2," DreamWorks' "Shrek 2" and Warner Bros.' "Harry Potter (news - web sites) 3" that could have better playability than last year's "2 Fast 2 Furious" or "Bad Boys II." Car chases, so rampant last year, have all but disappeared.

    The overall slate is marked by an array of pricey and risky ventures. All, in their way, are aiming to be this year's "Pirates of the Caribbean," satisfying a hunger for fare that's still high-concept but more offbeat --- with appropriate blockbuster flourish, but with strong character and vibrant storylines.

    Consider the fantasy and sci-fi offerings.

    Universal's "Van Helsing" and "Chronicles of Riddick," Fox's "Day After Tomorrow" and "I, Robot"; Disney's "King Arthur" and Paramount's "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow." A third "Potter" installment isn't exactly new, but it is the first in the franchise to bow in the summer, and director Alfonso Cuaron (news) is an unconventional choice.

    A bushel of original comedies will mix with unorthodox releases like DreamWorks' "The Terminal," Disney's "The Village," Universal's "Two Brothers," Par's "Stepford Wives" and "Manchurian Candidate" remakes, and Warners' "Troy."

    Throw in the Athens Olympics in August and you've got the recipe for an offbeat season.

    That's saying a lot coming off a summer whose notion of diversity was represented by "Seabiscuit."

    "Every movie has a different quality and different pedigree. There's a little bit for everybody," says Chuck Viane, distrib chief at Disney, whose roster includes "Princess Diaries 2" and "Raising Helen" but, for the first time since 1993, no original animated release.

    "It's not just a boys-with-toys kind of movie."

    Grosses last summer totaled $3.76 billion, up slightly from summer 2002, but down roughly 4% when ticket price hikes were factored in. Even more ominously, the ratio of first-week business to the total cume reached an all-time high of 41%, with the average second-week drop hitting 51% and swoons like "Hulk's" 70% falloff no longer rare.

    It was also a summer of marketing burnout, starting with "Matrix Reloaded," whose stellar numbers were spun as disappointing by rabid pundits. Critics also pounced, and the combo suppressed returns on "Matrix Revolutions" in the fall.

    In their bid to put some heat back into summer, the studios are in an unusual race. In past years, studios staked out opening dates for pics that promised to be mega-hits, such as Sony's 2002 "Spider-Man" and Universal's 2001 "The Mummy Returns." This year, it's a more level playing field and the studios have plenty of potential in May and June before the July 2 bow of "Spider-Man 2."

    Disney ran away with the market-share crown last summer, though few had predicted that in the spring.

    "It will be a very crowded marketplace," stresses one top distribution exec. "May and June will be really strong months, but you also have a lot of very recognizable titles in July and August.

    "Every weekend in June looks like a weekend from hell. But we really could have the makings for a record-breaking season because of the numbers of big titles we will have right through."

    Agrees Viane, "Each weekend has a special brand of firepower."

    The number of 3,000-playdate releases surged to 18 in 2003, up from 13 the year before. Pics had bigger openings, on average, and launched in more theaters.

    "That's one area of summer that has really grown, plus with all of the available demos, it's usually multiple big movies every week," says DreamWorks' distrib chief Jim Tharp.

    Gone are the days of high-octane face-offs between two movies angling for similar audiences. Instead, summer is one big chessboard, with studios moving knights in position against their opponents' queens.

    That said, some especially packed weekends include:

    June 18: Steven Spielberg (news)'s Tom Hanks (news) starrer "The Terminal" squares off against Jackie Chan (news) adventure "Around the World in 80 Days" and Ben Stiller (news) comedy "Dodge Ball: A True Underdog Story."

    June 25: Fox's CGI-live action "Garfield" faces Sony's "White Chicks" and Paramount's "Sky Captain." n July 23: Sony comedy "Cheer Up," Universal spy sequel "The Bourne Supremacy" and Warner Bros.' "Catwoman" get in the ring.

    Aug. 6: Tom Cruise (news)'s "Collateral" opposes a cluster of contenders, including "Code 46," "Shall We Dance?" and "Thunderbirds."

    Diversifying the portfolio has never been more essential for studios with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake.

    Universal seems to be following that strategy, with "Two Brothers," a family film about a pair of tigers, "Thunderbirds," an adaptation of a popular British puppet TV series; and "Chronicles of Riddick," a sequel to "Pitch Black" that pairs Vin Diesel (news) with Judi Dench (news).

    If there is one dominant genre, it is sci-fi, particularly at Fox.

    Asked if that emphasis is intentional, Fox distribution prexy Bruce Snyder jokes, "We're not that smart. It's just about the projects coming together at the same time."

    He adds, "If sci-fi pictures are good they can do great in the summer, and we're looking at real quality with these."

    Will Smith (news) starrer "I, Robot" was bumped to July 16 once Sony slotted "Spider-Man 2" over Independence Day, which the "Robot" topliner once claimed to own after bowing successive blockbusters on the holiday.

    This July appears more robust than the '03 edition, which began with a soft July Fourth crop and included missteps like "Tomb Raider 2" and "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen."

    "There's enough fresh product in July that maybe we won't see what we did last year, which was a stronger August than July," says Tharp of DreamWorks, which plans "Anchorman" and "Collateral" in late July and August.

    Tharp believes the nine-hour time difference between the U.S. and Greece will keep many of the live broadcasts out of primetime, making them less of a threat to the film biz.

    Copyright © 2003 Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. Variety is a registered trademark of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc. and used under license. All Rights Reserved


  2. Peer Evolution (TBG so far) has launched a offical boycott against Napster 2.0 Music Pay Service.  We feel that this is a total rip off against consumers around the U.S. and other countries that use Napster 2.0. 

    Reason we feel this way is because we feel that the RIAA is cheating consumers and artist.  Sign the boycott here

    Napter isnt the Napster it used to be...but its not the RIAA. I'd rather people use Napster at Penn State and other schools than be threatened by the RIAA for downloading. Ok, its not free..but at least they're making an effort... I dont think trying to start an online business for music makes them evil... The recording industry has been stonewalling any efforts by anyone to get anything going on line...until Napster and ITunes. If you truly want to see artists get the money, then the whole RIAA deal structure has to be changed..which Napster, et tal, have nothing to do with.

  3. I wouldnt say Im close pals, but ive been to his studio when hes recording. He's been to my office and for lunch a couple times.. He really is a poet--he could give a shit about money...whether we like his new stuff or not, hes sincere about what hes trying to do.

    I have a special affection for the doors. When I was 15, I used to play The End over and over and over..well, you can guess what I was smoking...lol.

    One of these days, Im gonna invite him here.. So people be nice... B)

  4. Your Results:

    You got 7 correct.

    Good try, but true nerds can't float by on mainstream technology references and stylish gadgets. Stay in school, take your vitamins, and know the answers are not always "C" or "42." Go back to Nerd Nation.

  5. JUCIFER!!!!! This band consist of 1) one girl playing speedy distorted electric guitar while she screams like the devil... or worse 2) and a dude pounding the drums so hard that you think his heart is going to explode at any second! T]JUCIFER[/url]

    These guys reminded me of early Black Sabbath meets early punk. Very raw... Not my thing, but they do it with conviction. I did kind of like the videos, though

    These guys reminded me of early Black Sabbath meets early punk. Very raw... Not my thing, but they do it with conviction. I did kind of like the videos, though

  6. Thanx, Method. Looks pretty nifty..and I need one as the lighter in my car died.

    I like these features and the safety tip:

    1?Pop-out with a push-button;

    2?Charge cell phone and power CD player;

    3?Drop cigarette ash or settle a beverage tin at ease

    Warning:  Do not touch Cigarette Lighter after it is heated!

    Do you need an address to send it to???? :dudeasincool: :change note:

  7. i actually brought ray maczarek to ucla to perform alone once--it was a very nice performance. hey, if nothing else, you gotta hand it to guys who are 65 and still playing... I really dont think hes the kinda guy thats in it for the money--he still drives around in a vw beetle

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