Category Archives: Movies

‘D&D’ Trial Begins

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The trial to decide who owns the movie rights to Dungeons & Dragons opened in federal court in Los Angeles Tuesday, with the two sides introducing their cases, as reported by Deadline.  The case, which began in May 2013, will turn on the question of whether Sweetpea Entertainment, which had the D&D movie license since TSR was an independent company (two acquisitions ago), satisfied the “use it or lose it” clause in the contract with its 2010 Syfy movie based on Book of Vile DarknessDungeons & Dragons owner (Hasbro subsidiary) Wizards of the Coast moved to suit when it looked like Sweetpea was going to make a film with Warner Bros. based on Chainmail, a precursor to D&D.
 
The judge ruled that Chainmail would have been an infringement had it been made, but in the meantime Sweetpea signed a multimillion dollar deal with Warners to make a new D&D movie this summer.  Warners even kicked in around a million dollars for legal fees in the battle with Hasbro, which wants to make a movie with Universal, making this what Deadline called a “proxy war” between Warner Bros. and Universal.
  
It looked for a while like the two sides were moving toward a settlement, but talks apparently broke down and the case was scheduled for trial.
 
The two sides presented their positions on Tuesday (i.e., Book of Vile Darkness was/was not a film sequel), and in the process got in an exchange about Hasbro/Wizards of the Coast’s plans for the property if it prevailed.  Hasbro wants the rights back so it can “sell it to their new best buddy, Universal,” Sweetpea’s attorney argued; but “Hasbro has no agreement with Universal,” Hasbro’s attorney replied.  That’s surprising, given that Hasbro said back in 2013 that it had a D&D movie set up at Universal with Chris Morgan to direct.  Hasbro does have an umbrella deal with Universal.

Witnesses began testifying today, and the trial will continue through the week.

‘Guardians’ Tops Box Office for the 4th Time

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In its sixth weekend of release James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy topped the box office for the fourth time, a feat that only The Dark Knight, Avatar, and The Hunger Games have been able to accomplish in the past decade.  However, it must be said that Guardians is accomplishing this feat against pretty weak competition—this weekend’s box office was down 25% from the same frame last year when Riddick opened with $19 million.  The weekend after Labor Day is traditionally one of the worst movie-going frames of the year, but the overall gross, estimated at $63.9 million is the worst for this weekend since 2000, and given ticket price inflation it means that Hollywood just had one of its worst weekends in a long, long time.

Guardians’ latest triumph was expected—the only new film to open this weekend, the Christian-themed The Identical, bowed at #11—but it still reinforces the magnitude of the achievement by Marvel Studios in launching a new franchise that is not only successful, but the #1 film of the summer.  Guardians is shedding theaters now (down 241 this weekend), but it still managed the best per-screen average (#3,154) of any film on over 100 screens.  Guardians, which dropped 40%, but still earned $10.2 million over the weekend, is the #1 film of the year in North America so far with $294.6 million, and will be over the $300 million mark by this time next week.  Guardians has now earned more than Man of Steel ($291 million), making it the highest grossing domestic superhero film ever that didn’t feature Iron Man, Spider-Man, or Batman.  The Hunger Games Mockingjay, Part I will quite possibly earn more here in the domestic market, but for a new franchise, Guardians’ performance has been simply brilliant. 

Terminator 5 title confirmed: Terminator Genisys

terminator_4[1]The new Terminator film is officially called Terminator Genisys. Honestly.

The now-in-production new Terminator film brings Arnold Schwarzenegger back to the cast, alongside Emilia Clarke, Jason Clarke and Matt Smith. Alan Taylor, off the back of Thor: The Dark World, is directing, and the film is due in cinemas next summer.

For some time, it’s been believed that the film was called Terminator: Genesis. Then, it seemed to revert back to Terminator. Clarification has now arrived.

That’s because the name of the new film has been officially announced. Er, it’s Terminator Genisys. We’ll type it again in case you think we make this stuff up: Terminator Genisys.

We’ve got nothing really we can add to that. So we might just leave that one there if it’s all the same, short of to say just remember it’s only a title…

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Here’s almost every Easter egg from Marvel’s first eight films

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None of Marvel Studios’ films are entirely original. That isn’t a criticism: the storyline and characters are adapted from years of comic books, films, TV shows, etc. Each film embraces the past with an insane number of Easter eggs that acknowledges both the source material and the other films in the wholly-interconnected Marvel Cinematic Universe. In a 13-minute montage, MTV breaks down all the Easter eggs from 2008’s Iron Man through 2013’s Thor: The Dark World— meaning no Captain America: The Winter Soldier, no Guardians of the Galaxy, and nothing from Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD television show. Is it complete? “Absolutely not,” say someone who knows comic books way better than us. But we still enjoyed watching.

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And if you want to skip ahead to your favorite:

  • 0:14 – Iron Man
  • 2:03 – The Incredible Hulk
  • 4:16 – Iron Man 2
  • 5:42 – Thor
  • 6:47 – Captain America: The First Avenger
  • 8:09 – The Avengers
  • 9:43 – Iron Man 3
  • 10:50 – Thor: The Dark World

First Appearance Of Howard The Duck Rockets In Price

A 9.4 CGC graded copy sold for $157 back in May.

At the end of June , a 9.0 copy sold for $110.

At the beginning of July, a 9.2 copy sold for $99.

Then… the event occurred.

And now a 9.0 CGC copy just sold for $595.

A 9.4 version is currently listed for $995. Will anyone buy it?

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There are twelve copies of this comic graded at 9.8 on the CGC list (and none above). Last year a 9.8 sold for $776, I think it might go a little higher now…

And with Howard The Duck issues suddenly being made available digitally from Marvel, along with the reissuing of the Howard The Duck Omnibus, after being out of print for years causing those prices to skyrocket as well, this does appear to be Howard’s time…

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