Tagged: the avengers

Obviously Robert Downey Jr. Will Accept Gobs Of Money To Star In “Avengers” Sequels

For a brief period of time following the arrival of “Iron Man 3,” there was a small but persistent story that kept cropping up on various movie and/or nerd-centric sites, one that focused on how Robert Downey Jr. was no longer under contract with Marvel and so maybe now that he had made $50 million dollars for “The Avengers” it was not a sure thing that he would play Iron Man again. If you heard about this, you probably thought about it for all of three seconds before moving on with your life, which is the proper thing to do if you are a person with zero horses in this race, but it was this tiny lingering thing that was mentioned every so often and even Joss Whedon weighed in on the matter. You might think that after starring in four movies that earned a combined $3.9 billion dollars worldwide — movies he made for a studio that is now part of Disney, a multi-multi-multi-billion-dollar company — that clearly this was just a case of a very wealthy person negotiating to get a huge sum of money from a mammoth corporation, and that even if he was negotiating in this case with a notoriously frugal movie studio, that obviously the parties involved would get it done and so obviously in the end the studio would fork over a stack of gold bullion the size of a small town and this would all be over and done with.

Anyway, I mention all of this to say that today Marvel announced that Downey had signed on to star in the second and third “Avengers” movies, because obviously. (There’s no mention of a fourth “Iron Man” movie, if you are curious.)

Joss Whedon and Marvel are making a “S.H.I.E.L.D.” TV show

When Joss Whedon signed a new deal with Marvel to write and direct “The Avengers 2” (or whatever it will be called), he also signed up to help develop a live-action Marvel TV series. (That is to say, a TV series set in the same universe as “The Avengers” and the related movies, not a TV series about Marvel.)

What would the show be about? Nobody knew! But most people figured it might have something to do with S.H.I.E.L.D., the spy organization headed up by Samuel L. Jackson in the movies. And yep, that’s exactly what is happening.

The Toldja Tribune reported on Tuesday night that ABC has ordered a pilot for “S.H.I.E.L.D.” (ABC, like Marvel, is owned by Disney.) Whedon will co-write the pilot with his brother, Jed, because apparently Joss Whedon has a brother named Jed Whedon, and despite my many years of Joss Whedon fandom, I had no idea that he had a brother named Jed Whedon. One more time: Jed Whedon. Anyway, Joss could also direct the pilot.

We don’t know anything else yet about the show’s premise. Will it be about lower level S.H.I.E.L.D. agents? Maybe it will be set in the S.H.I.E.L.D. cafeteria? Will Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury or any of the other stars make very rare appearances, presumably during sweeps? (I’m already imagining every episode beginning with “Okay, so we just talked to Nick Fury, and he said…” or “Man, that was a crazy fight we just had with the Hulk, am I right?”) Something else to ponder: How will it tie into the chronology and storylines of the movies, considering there are currently four interconnected but distinct film franchises (“The Avengers,” “Iron Man,” “Captain America” and “Thor,” each with at least one sequel in the pipeline, and presumably more to come) and other Marvel movies on the horizon (like 2014’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” and any other movie they might make, i.e. “Ant Man” or something)? And we also don’t know when the show will premiere.

But we do know that Joss Whedon is working on another TV series, so that’s good enough for now.

Alternate Opening for “The Avengers”

Yahoo! posted the alternate opening scene for “The Avengers.” SPOILER ALERT: It’s a huge bummer. Agent Robin Sparkles looks super sad, and she’s also really mad at Samuel L. Jackson, probably because she realizes she is only going to get a handful of lines and make no impression at all? (Cobie Smulders is great, but she was barely in that movie.)

Anyway, here’s the axed original opening of “The Avengers”:

Joss Whedon will make “The Avengers 2,” develop Marvel TV series

Okay so OBVIOUSLY you already know this news because it broke on Tuesday and it made the rounds very quickly and by this morning you were tired of the news, you had already heard the news and processed the news and wanted new news, but at the same time I wanted to comment on this for obvious reasons: Joss Whedon has signed up to write and direct another “Avengers” movie. And there’s more!

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Weekend Box Office Roundup: “The Avengers” Tops $1 Billion

WEEKEND OF MAY 11-13, 2012

“The Avengers” is huge, as we all know. Gigantic! Everybody knows the movie has made basically all of the money and there is no money left for anything else, because all of the money everywhere is going towards tickets for “The Avengers.”

But it’s helpful to have a little context. So we’re going to take a peek at how “The Avengers” performed over its second weekend, exploring what the numbers mean — and take a stab at figuring out where this movie will wind up.  Continue reading

Joss Says Thanks

I’ve thought, “maybe I’m over; maybe I’ve said my piece”. But never with fear. Never with rancor. Because of y’all. Because you knew me when. If you think topping a box office record compares with someone telling you your work helped them through a rough time, you’re probably new here. (For the record, and despite my inhuman distance from the joy-joy of it: topping a box office record is super-dope. I’m an alien, not a robot.)

So this is me, saying thank you. All of you. You’ve taken as much guff for loving my work as I have for over-writing it, and you deserve, in this our time of streaming into the main, to crow. To glow. To crow and go “I told you so”, to those Joe Blows not in the know.

Joss Whedon was — until very, very recently (as in over the weekend) — primarily known as the creator of entertainment beloved by small but devoted band of weirdos, oddballs, freaks, geeks, maniacs and zealots. These entertainments weren’t meant solely for these people — after all, no television network pays for a show with the goal of airing a critically-acclaimed cult hit that gets canceled after 14 episodes — but they were consumed by this crowd, very often only this crowd, the same people that have long supported and championed him.

Whedon’s adaptation of “The Avengers” — a movie steeped in all of the elements that have become his trademark, a film soaked through with his wit and inventiveness, a movie that seems to be hitting a very particular cultural nerve due to his particular gifts, a movie it is hard (if not impossible) to imagine coming from another storyteller — is now a huge, record-shattering behemoth, a phenomenon of pop culture en route to earning a billion dollars. So he took the time to post a message on the fan site that bears his name, thanking the devoted and the faithful for supporting his various cult hits, doomed shows and online forays. (And to plug his forthcoming adaptation of “Much Ado About Nothing.” But mostly to say thanks.)

The Pentagon opted out of “The Avengers” for a terrific reason

Spencer Ackerman at Wired has this wonderful story about why, exactly, the Pentagon halted its cooperation with “The Avengers.” It’s because the movie is just too unrealistic. Was it the two Norse gods? The guy who gets dosed with gamma radiation and becomes the Hulk? The super-soldier frozen in ice for seven decades and now up and running? Maybe it was the guy flying around in a metal suit of armor? Or maybe it was the massive alien invasion that is the movie’s third act? It was probably the massive alien invasion.

Nope, none of that. It was due to the unclear bureaucracy:

“We couldn’t reconcile the unreality of this international organization and our place in it,” Phil Strub, the Defense Department’s Hollywood liaison, tells Danger Room. “To whom did S.H.I.E.L.D. answer? Did we work for S.H.I.E.L.D.? We hit that roadblock and decided we couldn’t do anything” with the film.

That is wonderful. The Defense Department — which cooperated with movies like “Transformers” (about alien robots who transform into cars and jets) and “Battleship” (about aliens who attack naval ships) — just couldn’t get behind the murky chain of command involving S.H.I.E.L.D., the spy agency headed up by Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury. That one minor bit of “unreality” was just too much to handle. It was fine in “Iron Man” — a movie with which the Pentagon did cooperate, and which also featured S.H.I.E.L.D. (albeit in a minor role) — but it just won’t play if they don’t know to whom Samuel L. Jackson reports.

The Pentagon was happy to cooperate with “Battle: Los Angeles,” which also featured an alien invasion. (Maybe the Pentagon is trying to tell us something here about aliens who want to invade.) There was also “Top Gun,” way back in 1986 — the Navy cooperated with that movie, which ended with Tom Cruise shooting down presumably Soviet jets (and, one assumes, causing a minor international incident or a world war or something).

The Pentagon isn’t alone in working on movies that stretch the boundaries of “reality.” The CIA’s Hollywood office worked with shows like “Alias” (I’ll spare you a full recitation of the show’s unrealistic scenes, but trust me, it veered into sci-fi territory multiple times), while the NASA liaisons similarly helped paragons of reality like “Armageddon,” which was basically a documentary.

Invading aliens? Norse gods? Those things are fine. But if you don’t explain where Samuel L. Jackson sits in the chain of command, you’re just being ridiculous.

No, “The Dark Knight Rises” won’t beat the opening of “The Avengers”

In the wake of “The Avengers” and its ridiculous opening weekend haul of $200 million (or more), a very particular subset of people turned to the next logical question: Okay, so what about “The Dark Knight Rises”? (I had a couple of friends ask me what I thought about this over the last day, because I am exactly the type of weird person who gives this kind of thing serious thought.) After all, “The Dark Knight” broke the opening weekend record when it debuted with $158 million in July 2008, and people are incredibly eager to see the sequel. If “The Avengers” opened with $200 million, shouldn’t “The Dark Knight Rises” be able to earn at least that amount?

The answer is no. The main reason — really, the biggest reason, though there are others — is 3-D.

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Weekend Box Office Roundup: “The Avengers” demolishes the opening weekend record

Weekend of May 4-6, 2012

MONDAY UPDATE: The final haul is actually $207.4 million. Disney underestimated it by $7 million bucks, no big deal, just another $7 million dollars. Studios are often too optimistic with their Sunday estimates, but maybe Disney just didn’t want to brag.

Original Post:

“The Avengers” finally hit theaters this weekend. The movie itself is very, very good (seriously, it’s so good — and so stuffed with enjoyable little moments and asides — that I am actually considering seeing it again in theaters, something I never do), which is mighty nice. It follows four years of box office successes like “Iron Man,” its sequel, “Thor” and “Captain America,” so we always knew this movie would be a big moneymaker. But I don’t think anybody really expected it to be this big.

Let’s get to it: “The Avengers” debuted in the U.S. with an absurd, record-shattering estimated opening weekend of $200.3 million dollars. That is two hundred million actual dollars we’re talking about, easily surging past the previous opening weekend record holder: “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part Two,” which opened with $169 million last summer.

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