Technology and techniques in the making and distribution of movies have progressed immensely in the last few years. But there is, and could be, much more on the near horizon. This article takes a look at some things that have recently come to, or may be coming to, the movie industry.
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The definitive ranking of the 'Mission Impossible' movies
Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt in the first entry into the Mission Impossible movie franchise (image courtesy Paramount)
By Kelly Lawler
Tom Cruise is off on an impossible mission ... again.
That’s right, folks, Mission: Impossibe – Rogue Nation, the FIFTH entry in the M:I franchise, hit theaters this weekend, [with] just as many death-defying stunts and impossible gadgets as ever before.
And while Cruise is off trying to take down the Syndicate, our mission, and we definitely chose to accept it, is to try to rank the four very good movies (and one not so good one) in the spy franchise. So please enjoy our definitive ranking of the Missions Impossible. Feel free to disagree, but then you’d be wrong.
Click the Continue Reading at link to see USA Today's ranking of the Mission Impossibles.
'The Martian' to have world premiere at Toronto film festival
Matt Damon in a scene from Ridley Scott's epic space movie 'The Martian' (image courtesy Fox / AP)
by Lindsey Bahr, AP
The blockbuster summer movie season is still going strong, but the Toronto International Film Festival provided a peek Tuesday at some of the movies and performances that could help set the tone for the upcoming awards season.
One of the fall's most hyped films, Ridley Scott's space epic "The Martian," starring Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain, will have its world premiere at the festival in advance of its Oct. 2 release.
Other premieres in the biopic heavy schedule include "The Program," Stephen Frears' film on Lance Armstrong starring Ben Foster as the disgraced athlete; Jay Roach's "Trumbo," with Bryan Cranston as the blacklisted screenwriter; and Peter Sollett's fact-based, marriage rights drama "Freeheld," with last year's best actress winner Julianne Moore and Ellen Page.
The festival will kick off its 40th year Sept. 10 with the romantic drama "Demolition," starring Naomi Watts and Jake Gyllenhaal.
"Demolition," from "Dallas Buyers Club" director Jean-Marc Vallée, is not set for release until April and will not be among award contenders later this year.
In addition to Foster's turn as Armstrong, other powerhouse performances are expected from Eddie Redmayne as the transgender artist Lili Elbe in Tom Hooper's "The Danish Girl," and Johnny Depp, who takes an unglamorous, sinister turn as notorious gangster Whitey Bulger in Scott Cooper's "Black Mass."
Jake Gyllenhaal's 'Demolition' to open Toronto Film Festival
The Toronto Film Festival has unveiled its first selections, with Wild director Jean-Marc Vallee's drama Demolition, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts, set to open the event on September 10.
Directors of the festival, which runs September 10-20, announced on Tuesday the inclusion of Demolition as a world premiere, one of 49 galas and special presentations on a slate that will eventually include several hundred films and television shows, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Demolition is a story about the disintegrating emotional life of an investment banker. Fox Searchlight released the winner of this year's best picture Oscar, Birdman, as well as Wild, which was directed by Vallee and received Oscar nominations for two of its stars, Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern.
The 2015 edition of the festival will also host world premieres for Ridley Scott's The Martian, Roland Emmerich's Stonewall and Stephen Frears' Lance Armstrong biopic The Program, starring Ben Foster as the disgraced cyclist.
Those titles are among the first 13 features tapped to receive gala treatment at Roy Thomson Hall, with Matt Damon, Liam Hemsworth, Salma Hayek, Julianne Moore, Ellen Page, Donald Sutherland and son Kiefer Sutherland, Christopher Plummer and Kate Winslet among those set to walk its red carpet.
'Ant-Man' wins box office for second straight week
This photo provided by Disney shows Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man in a scene from Marvel's 'Ant-Man.' (image courtesy Disney / Marvel)
"Ant-Man" crept past new opener "Pixels" to claim the top spot at the box office this weekend by an ant-sized margin. The Disney and Marvel superhero pic brought in $24.8 million over the weekend, bringing its domestic total to $106.1 million according to Rentrak estimates Sunday.
"Pixels," meanwhile, just barely missed first place with a $24 million debut. While studios always hope for the bragging rights of a No. 1 debut, the real issue here is whether or not the Adam Sandler end of the world comedy will make up its $88 million production budget.
"It's been a little competitive in the marketplace when you consider the extent of the performance of 'Jurassic' and 'Inside Out,'" said Sony's President of Worldwide Distribution Rory Bruer. "To get to where we opened to was quite good."
Critics were not fond of "Pixels," which shows 1980s video arcade game characters attacking Earth, but younger audiences still turned out to theaters — an estimated 62 percent were under the age of 25.
Jurassic World thunders past The Avengers to number 3 on all-time box-office list
Bryce Dallas Howard in a scene from 'Jurassic World' (image courtesy Universal)
by Andrew Pulver
Box office records continue to tumble for Jurassic World, the fourth in the series of dinosaur-theme-park thrillers which began with Jurassic Park. Having recently claimed the title of 2015's most successful film so far, Jurassic World has now overtaken The Avengers to grab the number three spot in the list of all-time biggest earners.
Directed by Colin Trevorrow, and starring Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, Jurassic World's worldwide box-office total has now reached $1.522bn; The Avengers finished on $1.52bn after its release in 2012. Jurassic World, however, still has some distance to go before catching the top two: Titanic ($2.19bn) and Avatar ($2.79bn).
The spectacular results would seem to have allayed the fears expressed by Trevorrow that the film's marketing tactics may put audiences off, or at least lead them to expect a different film from that which he delivered. Trevorrow had described the inclusion of certain shots in the film's trailers as "bananas", but had acknowledged that "this kind of marketing has historically been able to get a lot of people into theatres". That would appear to have been proved the case.
American superhero film Ant-Man made $58 million in ticket sales at the weekend box office in North America, marking it Marvel's 12th consecutive comic adaptation to open in the #1 spot.
An estimated 42 per cent of overall grosses of the Ant-Man at the weekend came from 3D version screenings, Xinhua reported on Monday.
Opening at 3,856 locations, this Paul Rudd-led superhero film has an "A" CinemaScore from first-night moviegoers. Critics gave it a 79 per cent in approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The audience breakdown for the film skewed towards male moviegoers (58 per cent) and towards moviegoers over the age of 25 (55 per cent). Family audience made up an estimated 28 per cent of the film's overall audience.
Ant-Man, with a budget of $130 million, also opened in about half of the world's movie markets and raked in another $56.4 million overseas this weekend, according to box office tracker Rentrak.
Universal's Minions dropped 57 per cent in ticket sales compared with last weekend and took the second place at the box office. It added another $50.2 million this weekend.
The new Amy Schumer led R-rated comedy, Trainwreck opened in the third place at 3,158 locations in North America this weekend with an estimated $30.2 million in ticket sales.
Did 20th Century Fox Leak Comic-Con Trailers for "X-Men: Apocalypse" and "Deadpool"?
Lots of upcoming superhero films premiered the first footage at the San Diego Comic-Con. And while it was meant as a treat for Comic-Con attendees, the footage quickly leaked online in bootleg format.
Warner Bros fought back by releasing official versions of "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" and "Suicide Squad," despite the fact that the studio says that it never initially planed on doing that.
But is it possible that these studios leaked the trailers themselves?
In a new interview, "X-Men: Apocalypse" producer and former 20th Century Fox executive Hutch Parker commented on whether Fox leaked the trailers for "X-Men: Apocalypse" and "Deadpool" as part of its marketing strategy.
"The problem with the theory about the marketing is, I don't actually think it's good marketing," he told Collider. "Leaking footage a year in advance of a movie's release is not such a good thing. The reason you don't see footage out that far is you run the risk of it getting stale. Generally speaking, and I can't speak for other studios, I can't even speak for Fox any more, but I don't believe their intention is [for footage to be leaked]. I think their intention is to get the most important opinions and opinion-makers in this community engaged in the promise of what's coming."
Miramax for sale -- but $1 billion pricetag may be too rich
By James Rainey
Miramax, the once-gold plated studio that owns films like "Shakespeare in Love" and "Gangs of New York," is looking for a buyer, sources familiar with the situation confirmed.
The brand created by Harvey and Bob Weinstein could be a significant plum for buyers starved for content to fill expanding digital platforms, because Miramax controls a library of about 700 films that includes "My Left Foot," "Sex, Lies and Videotape" and "The Piano."
A report from Bloomberg quoted sources saying the studio hopes to attract bids of up to $1 billion, though the current owners -- led by Colony Capital and Qatar Holding -- declined to comment. The studio was said to be interviewing investment banks about a transaction.
Qatar, Colony and builder Ron Tutor bought Miramax in 2010 from Walt Disney Co. for $660 million, though Tutor later sold his stake to Qatar Holding. The studio theoretically could be of interest to expanding streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon or to studios like MGM and Lionsgate that are looking to bulk up their libraries.
An individual connected to Lionsgate said the company had eyeballed Miramax as an aquisition target "again and again" in recent years. But the company known for "The Hunger Games" and the "Divergent" films felt that Miramax wanted too much. The $1 billion pricetag floated this week is also "wildly inflated and should be something like half of that," said the Lionsgate source, who declined to be identified while discussing sensitive financial dealings.
Ian McKellen calls 'Superman' franchise 'a joke,' James Bond a 'silly twit'
Sir Ian McKellen doesn't care so much for Superman and James Bond (image courtesy WENN)
British acting icon Ian Mckellen has taken a swipe at the Superman franchise, dismissing the superhero as "a joke", while branding fictional superspy James Bond a "silly twit".
The Lord of the Rings legend makes his feelings about the popular franchises known during a candid interview with Uproxx.com, revealing he took an immediate liking to the first X-Men film script because he identified with the ongoing theme of the series, unlike the storylines in Superman and Bond releases.
McKellen says, "X-Men was about something. Superman isn't really about anything. It's a joke. The nerd changes his underpants and becomes a Superman.
"That's James Bond: 'Shaken, not stirred', silly, stupid, British twit... and then, Action Man! But X-Men is about the problems of being a mutant. And we've all felt we're mutants on occasion. So, that was the hook for me."