Movies & TV / Columns

The Big Screen Bulletin 02.04.13: Warm Bodies Takes the Box Office!

February 4, 2013 | Posted by Steve Gustafson


Welcome to the Big Screen Bulletin! My name is Steve Gustafson and this is where we hit the big movie news from the weekend and anything else going on in the world of Hollywood! Have you taken a second to vote for Leola Bell? As you may or may not have heard, voting for Playmate of the Year! has started. Leola has been a friend of mine and a friend to and she gets endorsement.

I took a few minutes to interview The Canyons’ JAMES DEEN!! We talked about the Lindsay Lohan situation, Cowboys & Engines, and Betty White! I also participate in the Fact or Fiction for Movies/TV this week!

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1. Warm Bodies – $20 million ($20 million total)
2. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters – $9.2 million ($34.5 million total)
3. Silver Linings Playbook – $8.1 million ($80.4 million total) READ THE REVIEW!
4. Mama – $6.7 million ($58.3 million total) READ THE REVIEW!
5. Zero Dark Thirty – $5.3 million ($77.8 million total) READ THE REVIEW!
6. Bullet to the Head – $4.5 million ($4.5 million total)
7. Parker – $3.2 million ($12.4 million total) READ THE REVIEW!
8. Django Unchained – $3 million ($151 million total) READ THE REVIEW!
9. Les Miserables – $2.4 million ($141.5 million total)
10. Lincoln – $2.4 million ($170.8 million total)

Box Office Survey!
Instead of me just repeating what you can see, how about we ask some questions about the weekend box office? Answer in the comments and NO CHEATING!

* Will Warm Bodies inspire of wave of Twilight-like horror films?

* With Sylvester Stallone’s Bullet to the Head and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s The Last Stand both bombing, where do these two go from here?

The boys are back in town! Mark Wahlberg spoke to MTV News about the recently announced Entourage movie, which is based on the HBO show that ran for eight seasons.

On how hard it was to get a green light: “[Series creator] Doug [Ellin] wanted to go off to do another show, and HBO liked the idea of doing it, but to have Doug actually have time to sit down and write the script … I always knew the fans wanted a movie. Everywhere I’d go, people are always asking me, “What about Entourage? What about Entourage? When’s the movie coming?” So it just took a long time. It took a long time to get it written, get it right, and we got a fantastic script. Warner Bros. is very excited about it. All the guys are excited. Getting everybody in the same place at the same time has been tough as well.”

On what kind of release date they’re looking at: “Well, hopefully [we’ll shoot in] spring. Spring or summer. May, June, depending on scheduling. But hopefully as soon as possible. And then release, I mean, either a summer movie or a fall movie, depending. But I like the summer. I like April, May [next year].”

On if the script warrants a film: “Absolutely. I mean, we always felt like it was a movie, but we had to just make these 30-minute episodes. That was one of the one of the frustrating things. It always felt like we left the audience wanting more, which is a good thing in doing television. I think its story and its characters were a world people really missed and really enjoyed.”

The question is…

Casting of the Week!
Duncan Jones is set to make a lot of geek dreams come true, with the sci-fi director having been given the greenlight from Warner Bros to helm their forthcoming World Of Warcraft adaptation.

One of the most popular computer games of all time, Warner has been attempting to adapt the open-ended fantasy for some time, with Sam Raimi initially attached to direct before eventually dropping out. “The gauntlet was thrown down ages ago,” commented Jones on Twitter. “Can you make a proper MOVIE of a video game. I’ve always said it’s possible. Got to DO it now! ;)”

Jones is thought to be receiving a $100 million budget to make this one happen, representing a significant step up in scale for the director. A script is also in existence, with the latest version having been written by Charles Leavitt.

No casting has been announced as yet, although Hollywood rumors are linking Johnny Depp to the starring role. Producers Thomas Tull and John Jashni are looking at a fall start date and opening in 2015.


Empire Online interviewed director Robert Zemeckis for their podcast, and Zemeckis revealed the talked about sequel from his earlier hit movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit now appears to be no longer happening due to changes at Walt Disney Studios and loss of support for the project.

Zemeckis stated: “There’s been a lot of changes at Disney Studio. I don’t think it’s on the cards, I don’t think it’s going to happen.” Zemeckis would not go into more detail or reveal more info about the script, but there’s still a small outside chance it could get made.

But DO you want to see it made?


J.J. Jedi!
Let’s get caught up! J.J. Abrams’ unveiling as the new Star Wars director was such a surprise because he made a number of denials that any such deal could come about, but Kathleen Kennedy has spilled the beans on just how she managed to persuade him to take the gig.

Abrams had publicly stated that he would rather remain a fan of the Star Wars series, but when Kennedy made her approach, Abrams was apparently swayed by the fact that screenwriter Michael Arndt and producer Lawrence Kasdan were already involved.

“J.J. was flipping out when he found out that Michael and Larry were on the movie already,” says Kennedy of the three-hour meeting that took place in secret back in December. “J.J. was just on the ceiling when I walked out the door.” However, there were still fears concerning his other commitments to allay, and so Kennedy turned to her ace-card: the ability to play on a fanboy’s love for the series.

“We spent a lot of time talking about how meaningful Star Wars is and the depth of the mythology that George has created and how we carry that into the next chapter,” says Kennedy. However, the proposed 2015 release date is thought to have been a sticking point with Abrams, and it sounds as though the director may have got his own way on that score. “Our goal is to move as quickly as we can, and we’ll see what happens,” says Kennedy. “The timetable we care about is getting the story.”

Seems like Robert Rodriguez wants to get his name in the rumors with his admission that he’d be up for directing a Han Solo spin-off. In a chat with MTV, the filmmaker said, “I don’t mind them doing more Star Wars. I also like the whole idea of them doing off-shoot films, like you just have a Boba Fett movie over here…There’s so much you can do. George has built such an enormous world… Who’s going to live up that? It’s almost like they should just branch it out, and let people play with those characters. There’s such rich stuff.”

Rodriguez admits that, if pressed, he wouldn’t be able to resist doing a Han Solo movie. “If there was something that somebody said, ‘Here, Han Solo, his own adventures.’ I’d go do that.”

Good luck finding someone who could fill Harrison Ford’s shoes!


Michael Bay recently spoke about Transformers 4. Here are some of the highlights:

On Introducing a New Cast: “There’s a brand new cast. To freshen the franchise, we’ve redesigned everything from top to bottom. The history of the first three movies is still there. We start four years later and there’s a reason why we’re meeting a new cast.”

On Working With: Mark Wahlberg: “Mark is really excited about it and it’s a great redesign,” Bay continues. “I said that 3 was going to be my last one. Paramount was letting me do Pain & Gain and the Transformers ride was opening at Universal and it was bitter sweet to think of passing it off. I wanted to set it up on a really sure footing and to bring someone else in on that, it would have been overwhelming.”

On Changes to the Transformers: “We keep the Transformers the way they were,” he says. “It’s just four years later. There’s a reason the Transformers are redesigned. We’re trying to broaden the franchise and give it more places to go.”


Mark Millar is the creative consultant for Fox’s Marvel properties and previously has with about the highly-anticipated X-Men: Days of Future Past and he has high praise for the film’s script.

(Bryan) Singer is excellent at working with ensemble casts. So with this one I feel it is all fine. I have read the screenplay and it doesn’t feel rushed and it doesn’t feel like it is too many characters.” Ever since the film has been announced, former cast members have been confirmed to appear weekly and Millar says that everyone will get their fair share.

“I think the best comparison I can give is to Star Trek– that is an ensemble but it never feels as if there is not enough time with any one character. Or maybe Lost– that is an ensemble but every character gets their own moment to shine. So as long as everyone is there for a reason there doesn’t need to be a problem with so many characters. This is a beautifully structured film, and it is a time travel story so the structure has to be especially strong.”

Fans will be glad to hear that we’ll finally get to see the Sentinels in all their glory in the film. “I don’t really want to give too much away but the Sentinels are a big feature of this story. They will be cool and this will deliver on all of the teasers. We’ve all been waiting for this ever since X-Men: The Last Stand showed us one of their heads. Now it is finally coming, and we only have to pay ten quid to see it in the cinema.”

If you’re read the source material for the film, you’ll know that Kitty Pryde plays a big role in the story. Singer confirmed Ellen Page will be returning in the role for the film, and while Millar won’t say specifics, he did say “Kitty Pride fans will not be disappointed.”

On another note, Millar also confirmed that a third Kick-Ass film is being planned. “Kick-Ass 3 is going to be the last one though. I told Universal this and they asked me, ‘What does that mean?’ I said, ‘It means that this is where it all ends.’ They said, ‘Do they all die at the end?’ I said, ‘Maybe’ – because this is a realistic superhero story. And if someone doesn’t have a bullet proof vest like Superman and doesn’t have Batman’s millions then eventually he is going turn around the wrong corner and get his head kicked in or get shot in the face [laughs]. So Kick-Ass needs to reflect that. There has to be something dramatic at the end, he cannot do this for the rest of his life.”

Kick-Ass 2 opens on June 28 and X-Men: Days of Future Past is set to open July 18, 2014.


A Good Day…
A Good Day To Die Hard has released a new featurette including some new footage from the movie as well as a few more nuggets of info surrounding the plot. “It is a way of life that trouble finds John McClane” says Bruce Willis, demonstrating a significant mastery of the understatement. This time around, his son is staring down the barrel of a prison sentence in Russia, so John naturally heads out there to smooth things out.

Little does he know that there’s far more to the situation than first meets the eye, with McClane Jr. embroiled in a fiendish plot involving some nasty Euro-baddies. Fortunately, his Pa has plenty of experience in that field, and is soon rolling up his sleeves to lend a hand.

Take a look at the new featurette:

Captain America!
Deadline is reporting that Marvel Studios has found its female lead for the sequel Captain America: The Winter Soldier. They are in talks with Emily VanCamp, who makes the leap to the big screen after starring in such series as Revenge, Everwood, and Brothers And Sisters. She joins Chris Evans in a sequel that doesn’t have a firm start date, but will be released April 4, 2014. The film is directed by Joe and Anthony Russo. There is also talk that Scarlett Johansson will bring her Black Widow character to the mix.


Trailer Talk
Did the Twilight-eque Warm Bodies leave you cold? Take a look at World War Z’s Super Bowl trailer throws a few new surprises into the undead mix. The latest 30-second spot brings the global problem into sharp contrast, with countries being wiped out (“China’s down!”), zombies wreaking havoc in planes mid-flight, and a split-second shot of a zombie leaping horizontally into the screaming masses.

What do you think?

Before I say GOODBYE!
Playboy has been kind enough to release me on the lovely Playmates. Here’s some interviews to keep you entertained!
Miss January 2012
Miss February 2012
Miss May 2012

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That’s all the time I have. See you next week!


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Steve Gustafson

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