What happens in Vegas (this week) will soon be in movie theaters around the country. On the eve of the Cinecom convention, some looks at the movies and issues on the minds of exhibitors and studios...
Steve Weintraub wanders around the convention hallways in Las Vegas snapping photos of new posters, banners and standee theater displays designed to tell theatergoers (and theater owners) which new movies will be the most awesome and most worthy of seeing (of booking). Most minimalist is Tom Hanks' "Larry Crowne," which has prestige plus Tom and Julia, so it doesn't even need headshots or a snappy tagline. Flashiest is the standee for "Thor," which pretty much consists of an enormous hammer. And the old-friends award, which basically says "you know us by now, so we don’t need to tell you the actual title of our movie" goes to "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2," which has a new poster that abbreviates the name thusly: "HP7 Part 2." (Collider)
That 3D upcharge so beloved of theater owners hasn't exactly turned out to be the industry savior that some were hoping, because it turned out that $19 for movies like "Mars Needs Moms" really is too much to expect moviegoers to pay. So what about a crab-Rangoon-dip upcharge or a personal-call-button upcharge? Pamela McClintock looks at the luxuries some theaters are installing in an attempt to justify higher ticket prices, from reserved seats to fancier food to premium services. The conclusion seems to be that a little luxury (and a small upcharge) works better than the kind of deluxe but pricey service provided by Gold Class Cinemas (with their $25-plus ticket prices), and that theaters need to do something in the face of shortening theatrical windows and accelerated video-on-demand. (The Hollywood Reporter)
Now that Peter Jackson's films of "The Hobbit" are underway in New Zealand, illustrator and "Spiderwick Chronicles" creator Tony DiTerlizzi guests at the L.A. Times' Hero Complex blog to remember what he says is "the 1960s masterpiece that could have been": a version of J.R.R. Tolkien's story illustrated by "Where the Wild Things Are" author Maurice Sendak. DiTerlizzi calls Sendak "the perfect visionary to reinterpret Tolkien" for the 1960s, but says the collaboration didn't get further than two sample pen-and-ink sketches that Tolkien rejected, apparently because an editor mislabeled the drawings and made it appear as if Sendak couldn't tell a hobbit from a wood-elf. "Had Sendak's edition been released, I have no doubt it would have been a smashing success," writes DiTerlizzi – although you might have to take his word for it, because the one Sendak "Hobbit" illustration that he includes does not, at least to these eyes, make a persuasive case (HeroComplex).