Comics Creators

Box Office Mojo


I’m firmly on the opposite side of that equation. I love to switch my brain off, suspend my disbelief, and enjoy the popcorn.

I think it’s reactionary to having to over-think all the time at work.

I’m far pickier, however, in every other form of entertainment - comics, books, games, TV. But, I just like big, dumb blockbusters, that I can enjoy without having to think about them too much. So long as they are well made, and aren’t outright stupid, I’m good to go.


Which is why I lead with…



100 people is a long read, even if they all get just a a paragraph or two plus a few Q&A details, but it’s fascinating stuff (just one magazine’s opinion of course).




With ‘Valerian’ Looming, EuropaCorp Posts Record Losses of $135 Million

Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp has posted record losses of 119.9 million euros ($135 million) during the fiscal year ending March 31, driven by a series of English-language flops and its costly U.S. distribution operations.

The 17-year-old film studio released its financial results Wednesday, just weeks before the opening of its enormously expensive sci-fi thriller “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” which EuropaCorp desperately needs to be a hit.

The company said that this year’s losses – more than triple the $44-million loss it posted in 2010 – were due to the under-performance of its U.S. slate. The studio cited the poor showing of “9 Lives,” “Shut In,” “Miss Sloane” and “The Circle.”


CEO Marc Shmuger told Variety recently that, “in the past year or so, we recognized that EuropaCorp strayed too far from its core strength, which is producing slick genre films for the right price that travel successfully around the globe.

A return to profitability will depend in large part on the performance of “Valerian,” even if the company has limited its risk by raising roughly 90% of the film’s budget through pre-sales and equity investment. With an estimated budget of $180 million, “Valerian” is considered to be the most expensive independently financed movie ever made.

Pavel Govciyan, an analyst at Natixis, said “Valerian” would have to gross about $400 million worldwide to help EuropaCorp get back in the black. Govciyan added that he was optimistic “Valerian” could reach that target.

I wish them luck, and I’m going to see ‘Valerian’.


‘Lord Of The Rings’ Lawsuit Settled Between Warner Bros. & Tolkien Estate

After a grueling five-year court battle, Warner Bros. and the estate of author J.R.R. Tolkien have settled an $80 million rights dispute over The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings.

“The parties are pleased that they have amicably resolved this matter and look forward to working together in the future,” said a statement from the estate and the studio today, with no details of the deal they finally struck. No doubt on that “amicably” part with more Rings projects in the pipeline to add to the Peter Jackson helmed trilogy that made over $3 billion at the box office.

The Tolkien estate and publisher HarperCollins filed the massive multi-million lawsuit in November 2012 against Warner Bros., its subsidiary New Line and Rings‘ Hobbit rightsholder the Saul Zaentz Co., Middle Earth enterprises division, claiming copyright infringement and breach of contract over video games, online slot machines and other digital merchandising.

“The Complaint, the Warner Amended Counterclaim, and the Zaentz Amended Counterclaim are dismissed in their entirety with prejudice as to all parties thereto,” notes a filing in federal court made by the lawyers for both sides late last week, “and no Party is entitled to recover any fees or costs (read it here)


Homecoming forecasts:

Around US$100m in the US, and around US$200m worldwide. Marvel will be happy with that.

And I think word of mouth will be so good that it could actually beat the predictions.




The Last Knight, on the other hand, has been pilloried on Chinese social media, particularly for the product placement and the confusing plot, and this audience kiss of death is what is likely to dash any hopes the film had of beating Age of Extinction’s box-office score.

On Sina Weibo, one of the larger social media platforms, user Lu Lihao RS summed up a general feeling about the confusing nature of the film, writing, "I didn’t understand anything except advertisements for all the brands."

Another Sina Weibo user named Wang echoed the issue with product placement: “Even though it is normal to add Chinese elements into the Hollywood blockbusters, it still makes the audience uncomfortable when there are too many Chinese brands.”


It reads to me like they just did it badly, but that they did the plot and characters badly too, which (in a stunning surprise for a Transformers film) turned out to be just as much of a problem!

The concept of appealing to China is probably just as sound as the concept of shape changing robots, but you have to do them both well to get the full benefit.


The other possible element is it has just been in very recent years China has been exposed to Hollywood films and that means bigger budgets and effects. A pleasant surprise at first but is it now starting to wear off and they are asking for more?

We shall see. I think the studios should be wary of thinking some spectacle and a cameo of a HK or Chinese actor will work every time.


Seems a bit odd to complain about product placement when you’ve gone to see a two-hour advertisment for a line of toys :confused:


Don’t be silly David.

It’s two-and-a-half hours.


I’m assuming this is teething problems and that we’ll see a more films that get the balance right. Bring in the great Chinese actors and the range of Chinese locations in an organic way, which means that the proportions will ebb and flow.

Something like ‘The Great Wall’ isn’t a bad idea; Chinese setting, fantasy premise, mostly Chinese cast and a few westerners in interesting roles as mercenaries. It’s not like westerners never did that for real after all. Unfortunately they made a film that wasn’t very appealing to people.

There was a period where producers would put together films in Europe, that mixed stars and locations purely as a way to qualify for subsidies and (hopefully) appeal to local audiences in their native countries. The films were often less than wonderful and they earned the nickname “europuddings”.

So now we have some Chinese puddings. Not a healthy diet, but it’ll improve.


I really want to call them Rice puddings but that is probably non-pc.


It’s a global dish;


Typical Dodsworth racism. :smile:

He hates people from Devon.


Goddamn Devonians…


According to Wired, Besson and his producing partner (and wife) Virginie Besson-Silla made a presentation to foreign distributors at Cannes that consisted of the finished screenplay and some 80 sketches of the “Valerian” characters and universe. The pitch raised nearly $80 million in pre-sales in one day. Besson eventually sold the rights to the film in more than 100 territories.

While pitching financiers at Cannes is how countless independent projects get funded every year, you won’t find anyone else offering equity stakes in $180 million sci-fi blockbusters at the Marche du Film. Because “Valerian” was financed like an indie, Besson doesn’t have to worry about losing hundreds of millions of dollars for an individual studio and risking a major career setback. He also didn’t have to deal with a stack of script notes from studio execs, a certainty for any filmmaker shooting a Hollywood movie for upwards of $200 million.

I doubt the movie will do well box office-wise, but I can’t wait for it.


I don’t understand Hollywood Mumbo Jumbo but did he Springtime for Hitler this?


If it tanks, it’ll hurt him. He has to raise the money for his next film after all.