Walt Disney Pictures/Marvel
The summer movie season is changing. What used to be a predictable tide of releases, with wanes and surges at certain spots on the calendar, has become a far less predictable swell of films. Captain America: The Winter Soldier opened in April, way ahead of the usual start of the season, and while big blockbusters are beginning to creep further back into the spring, they are also creeping ahead, later and later into the summer as well. While the month of August usually sees the big summer releases starting to wind down, this August features one of, if not the biggest film releases of the year. Marvel’s space epic Guardians of the Galaxy is hitting theaters August 1, and will be the first Marvel studios film to be released in the late summer month. So what's happening here? Is the summer movie season just expanding out from its traditional boundaries? There's certainly a case to be made for that conclusion. August 2014 may be the biggest August for blockbuster movies ever: along with Guardians of the Galaxy, the Michael Bay-produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, and The Expendables 3 are all being released this August. Compare this to August 2013, where the two biggest releases were Kick-Ass 2 and We're the Millers, two R-rated movies that don't nearly have the same mass appeal as something like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Guardians of the Galaxy. It's possible that we've reached a point of saturation for these films, where it doesn't make sense to cram your hundred million dollar production into June or July where it can be easily cannibalized by other hundred million dollar films. Last year, big productions like After Earth, White House Down, R.I.P.D, and The Lone Ranger all struggled to recoup their budgets while competing in May, June, and July. Why not spread out into months with less traffic? 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes premiered in August of that year, and did surprisingly well in a month not known for launching blockbuster franchises. But the surprise success of of that film brings up an even bigger question: Does the summer movie season even matter anymore?
In the past few years, several films have proved that there is a lot of money to be made at the box-office outside of summer. Just this year, Captain America: The Winter Soldier opened to a $96 million dollars at the beginning of April, a solid month before Memorial Day weekend. Elsewhere, the Hunger Games franchise has proved that it's possible to make summer blockbuster money in November, with the second installment in the series grossing $158 million on its opening weekend. That film went on to become the tenth highest grossing film of all time in the U.S. It's becoming increasingly apparent that the time of the year a film releases isn't nearly as important as the film itself, and that people will chase down tentpole movies regardless of their spot on the calendar. Would the Hunger Games: Catching Fire have done any better had it been released in May 2013 alongside Iron Man 3? It's much more likely that both films would have done worse.
Despite the long-standing tradition, it's becoming increasingly clear that crowding most of the year's spectacle-laden blockbusters into a small handful of summer weekends doesn't make sense anymore. There are just two many movies clogging up the summer while other parts of the year lay untouched. Studios think blockbusters have to come out during the summer because that's how it has always been, but audiences are proving that they'll line up at any time of the year to watch Captain America save the day.
Three upcoming TV series are hitting the streets of New York City today. Here's a closer look what you can expect from each show and where you can find them filming.
Marvel recently announced Daredevil will premiere on Netflix in May 2015, forcing fans to wait longer than they had anticipated to check it out.
The 13-episode series will follow the Marvel superhero Daredevil, a blind lawyer named Matt Murdock who fights for justice in the courtroom by day before transforming into a vigilante crimefighter by night. The new adaptation stars Charlie Cox as Daredevil, Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page, Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson, Vincent D'Onofrio as Wilson Fisk, and Rosario Dawson in an undisclosed role.
You can catch Daredevil filming at Murray and Church St in NYC right now.
The Mysteries of Laura
Debra Messing is back in NYC to star in this NBC series about a homicide detective who has to balance the pressures of work with the pressures of raising rambunctious twin boys as a single mom.
Today, The Mysteries of Laura is filming at 37th St and 5th Ave in New York.
This new CBS series stars Tea Leoni as the Secretary of State who is determined to get thing done, even if it means breaking a few rules. Like The Mysteries of Laura, the series also follows her character home where she has to contend with her husband and two teenage children.
Madam Secretary is filming at E 52nd and 3rd Ave in Manhattan today.
Check out more filming locations in NYC and around the country in my Daily Filming Locations.
Bryan Singer's sex abuse accuser Michael Egan has been dropped by his lawyer after changing his mind about accepting an out-of-court settlement from the director. The X-Men filmmaker became the first power player named by Egan in a series of lawsuits linked to "sordid" sexual exploits at a number of industry get togethers over a period of two years, when the plaintiff was aged between 15 and 17.
Singer's attorney Marty Singer, no relation, was quick to respond to the allegations, calling them "absurd" and "completely without merit", and he filed a motion for dismissal in May (14).
Egan subsequently withdrew his suits against Bryan Singer's co-accused, Hollywood executives Garth Ancier and David Neuman and Broadway producer Gary Goddard, last month (Jun14), but he is refusing to back down over allegations the director sexually abused him at a party in Hawaii in 1999.
According to TMZ.com, Egan's lawyer Jeff Herman negotiated a settlement deal worth $100,000 (£58,824) with Singer, but Egan had a change of heart after signing the agreement, stating, "This exact kind of take-it-and-shut-up deal is why I decided to stand up in the first place."
His decision has now cost him Herman's services.
The news emerges days after another teen sex abuse lawsuit against Singer, filed by an unidentified British actor, was dismissed on Friday (25Jul14).
Theatre mogul Andrew Lloyd Webber is set to sue the promoter behind the failed North American revival of Jesus Christ Superstar to recover his costs. Poor ticket sales prompted Michael Cohl to scrap the new production in May (14) as cast members John Lydon, Michelle Williams, Brandon Boyd and J.C. Chasez were in rehearsals for the 51-date tour.
Now Webber and his partners at the Really Useful Group have announced plans to launch a lawsuit against Cohl in a bid to recover the production costs for the project, which was due to hit the stage two weeks after the abrupt cancellation.
Lloyd Webber's spokesperson says, "(RUG) is taking legal action against Michael Cohl’s Options Clause Entertainment following his cancellation of the 2014 North American Tour of Jesus Christ Superstar.
"The Really Useful Group (RUG) has no option but to proceed with legal action to recover its costs associated with the project and, in turn, satisfy outstanding payments to suppliers and contractors."
Cohl has yet to respond to the lawsuit news.
Weinstein Company via Everett Collection
Quentin Tarantino has confirmed he will direct The Hateful Eight despite planning to scrap the project when an early draft of the screenplay was leaked.
The Pulp Fiction filmmaker filed a $1 million (£588,235) copyright infringement lawsuit against editors at Gawker.com, accusing them of facilitating the leak after publishing a report about the script drama, but he withdrew the legal papers in May (14).
With the court battle behind him, Tarantino used an appearance at San Diego's 2014 Comic-Con on Sunday (27Jul14) to tell fans the film is moving forward.
During a panel for the comic book Django Meets Zorro, a fan asked Tarantino if The Hateful Eight will be his next feature, and he replied, "Yeah - we're going to be doing The Hateful Eight."
Earlier this year (Apr14), Tarantino spearheaded a live reading of the script at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, featuring a cast of stars including Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen and Bruce Dern.
Friends of George Michael fear he is living as a hermit following his collapse earlier this year (14), according to a report. The former Wham! singer was hospitalised in May (14) after reportedly falling ill at his London home, and now several pals and neighbours are worried about his wellbeing.
He is reportedly rarely seen outside of his house and only one friend, record producer David Austen, is seen visiting, according to neighbours.
One friend tells Britain's Sunday People newspaper, "People are worried sick about him. He's just cut himself off from everyone."
Another adds, "He hasn't been seen out for months, he's self-conscious about the scars on his throat and head... and he's put on weight."
Michael was left with the scars from a near-fatal car accident last year (13), when he fell out of a moving vehicle on a highway.
Watchmen star Patrick Wilson has dealt the producers of new Marvel film Ant-Man another blow by exiting the project. He joins Matt Gerard and Kevin Weisman as part of an exodus that began when director Edgar Wright left in May (14) due to creative differences.
Peyton Reed was hired to replace Wright last month (Jun14).
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter scheduling conflicts led to Wilson's departure.
Paul Rudd is attached to star in the superhero project, which will also feature Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly.
A teen sex abuse case brought against moviemaker Bryan Singer by an unnamed British actor has been dismissed. The plaintiff, identified only as John Doe, filed suit against the X-Men director in May (14) in Los Angeles, prompting Singer to file a motion to dismiss several weeks ago, insisting there was no legal basis for the suit.
The case was dropped on Friday (25Jul14), according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Singer's lawyer Martin Singer tells The Hollywood Reporter, "We are pleased the case was dismissed."
Jeffrey Herman, the plaintiff's attorney, has yet to release a statement concerning why the suit was dropped.
The moviemaker is not yet completely clear of the sex abuse scandal that has been swirling around him for months - Michael Egan III's case against him is still pending.
Egan claims Bryan Singer sexually abused him at a party in Hawaii in 1999, when the plaintiff was still a teenager.
YouTube/Fifty Shades of Grey, Focus Features
Anastasia Steele may be a timeless literary hero. She may be a beacon of female agency in the realm of modern sexuality. She may be a vessel for the release of personal frustrations for readers the world over. She may be any and all of these things. But a good interviewer she is not. At least that's what we've gleaned from the first trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey:
We're not claiming to have all the answers behind a seamless interview, but we do know a few basic rules. Rules that Dakota Johnson, as the spiritually lukewarm Miss Steele, so callously breaks in this first look at the film. Steele pays a visit to the nauseatingly sleek office building of one Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) in order to conduct "an interview for the newspaper," as she so facelessly introduces. What's to follow is an onslaught of cardinal sins and groan-worthy slip-ups on the part of the would-be reporter.
Always look your subject in the eye.Nerves are understandable, but keep your nose out of your notebook. Steele's face barely reaches sea level.
Keep the discussion going.Any conversation is bound to hit a few lulls, but Steele allows for a pause so diabolically long and piercing that it's sure to kill any momentum in what otherwise might be an engaging back-and-forth.
YouTube/Fifty Shades of Grey, Focus Features
Don't make yourself the focus.While it's not a crime to inject a personal reflection here or there in the interest of forging an empathy and connection with your subject, Steele allows the chat to switch gears entirely and begins lamenting her own meaningless life. If you do insist on talking about yourself, keep it upbeat!
You probably shouldn't go and have sex with the person you interviewed.Although this one has its detractors.
Follow @Michael Arbeiter | Follow @Hollywood_com
The stage adaptation of Gwyneth Paltrow's Oscar-winning movie Shakespeare In Love has won over sceptics to become the toast of London's West End. The theatrical version of the 1998 film, which starred Paltrow alongside Joseph Fiennes and Dame Judi Dench, opened at the Noel Coward Theatre in London on Wednesday night (23Jul14) and won a standing ovation from critics.
The Guardian's Michael Billington praises Shakespeare In Love for successfully transferring from the big screen and transcending the cinema, writing, "I've often attacked our modern mania for turning movies into plays. But, in the case of Shakespeare in Love, the transformation is fully justified... (This) new version is a love letter to theatre itself... This is a play that stands on its own two feet."
The London Evening Standard's Henry Hitchings gives the show five stars out of five and applauds the lead actors, Lucy Briggs-Owen and Tom Bateman, for taking over the roles made famous by Paltrow and Fiennes.
He writes, "While they may not eclipse the memory of Joseph Fiennes and Gwyneth Paltrow, there's an easy chemistry between the tousled, rather earnest Bateman and Lucy Briggs-Owen... There are rich laughs, flickers of mischief and peachy spurts of surrealism. A few heavy-handed moments aside, Shakespeare in Love has a fizzy, infectious exuberance."
Paul Taylor of The Independent also awards the play five stars, along with The Daily Telegraph's full marks review, which adds, "At a time when so many stage shows are based on films, it is odd that it has taken so long for Shakespeare in Love to arrive in the West End. But boy has it been worth the wait... The Oscar-laden movie... was terrific, but in (director) Lee Hall's delightful stage adaptation the piece seems to have found its true home."