unknown New Poster for the new biopic about Steve Jobs, starring Twitter pioneer Ashton Kutcher.  The tagline, “It only takes one person to start a revolution.”

The New York Times lampoons the current state of Hollywood, or “Hollywood” as it chases down the deep pockets of international box office, the ever-growing hispanic audience here in the US and men, who are the primary ticket-buyers. As usual, the most outspoken player is Lynda Obst. Some choice quotes from the story:

“Hollywood’s popcorn season has long meant superheroes, destroyed cities, epic explosions and animation. Bigger! Louder! Faster! More! Especially more: From May 1 to July 4, studios will have released 13 movies costing $100 million and up (sometimes way up), 44 percent more than in the same period last year.”

“’Girls will go to a guy movie if it’s good, but guys will not go to a movie if it appears to cater to girls,’ [Obst] said. ‘In other words, if a movie is supposed to be for everyone — and that’s always the goal these days — you target it toward men. Cut the Nicholas Sparks. Pull back on the mushy stuff.

‘The stakes need to be much, much higher,’ she continued. ‘A gun battle? How cute. We need hotter weapons. Huge, big battle weapons — maybe an end-of-the-world device. And what about the cars? Are they disguised? Is it the future and they can fly? The visual effects are going to be your stars.'”

“‘International’  in Hollywood increasingly means one country: China. It’s now the largest foreign market, with $2.7 billion in ticket sales last year, a 36 percent increase from 2011. New movie screens are being added there at a pace of roughly 10 a day. By decade’s end, China is expected to become the No. 1 movie market, surpassing North America, which had ticket sales of $10.8 billion last year.


the comments make the piece.

Steven Spielberg and Dreamworks maybe thinking about remaking John Ford’s The Grapes of Wrath – does the movie need to be made, asks Anne Thompson?

Nathaniel Rogers at the Film Experience has put together a top ten list of those who deserve honorary Oscars. Doris Day is among them. I hope that Kathleen Kennedy, who should have won last year instead of Ben Affleck, George Clooney and Grant Heslov, wins in competition. She is not old enough yet to get an honorary Oscar.   But I’ll back the other choices 100%.

Buzzfeed takes a good long look at the demographics of the Academy and makes handy pie charts to illustrate how much they are trying to diversify. It’s startling, actually, how much they’re trying to involve women and other minorities – the times, maybe they are a-changing?

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  • The Pope

    Couldn’t agree with you more. Kathleen Kennedy is long, long, long overdue an Oscar. I suppose they’ll give her the Thalberg. But I’d like to see her win outright (Lincoln was sooo much better than Argo).
    But I wouldn’t like to see a new adaptation of The Grapes of Wrath. Ford did well enough with it as is.

  • Duke

    Kennedy should not have won for Lincoln.

  • Sounds like the “blockbuster epidemic” is the fault of producers rather than audiences.

  • Bob Burns

    white males give up control when they stop caring.

    I’m skeptical that we can predict the Chinese film market ten years hence or that current trends will not change over that time.

    but there is a way in which these two connect. American society is admired internationally for its diversity. The white boys that run the US film industry are better served (make more money) if its public face plays to those positive perceptions. It’s not as if they otherwise care very much.

  • moviewatcher

    Wow, I must say I am impressed that 55% of the new actor invitees are “people of color”. Well done Academy! (as long as you didn’t invite Tyler Perry…)

  • SallyinChicago

    That pie chart is veryyyy telling….now we know why movies like BOTSW don’t have a chance in hell of winning.

  • steve50

    For the honorary Oscar, I’d like to see it go to someone whose chances of winning a competitive one are nil. Kennedy is still very much in the game.

    A director (Denis, Varga, Wertmuller, for example) would be an encouraging choice. If they want to go with an actor, Deneuve has been a consistent mega-star for 40+ years, which is remarkable, and Gena Rowlands a consummate pro who could represent the indie roots behind today’s Hollywood.

    I would agree with the gang Amir polled, though, this year – Actor/writer/director Liv Ullmann.

    And please let’s stay away from the hobby actors and producers like Oprah and keep it with the ones whose life center is the screen.

    Remake Grapes of Wrath? Why? Are there no original stories of hardship behind our own recent economic implosion, like people losing their savings to the Wall Street pirates or families living out of their cars because both parents lost their jobs in the meltdown?

    Grapes of Wrath is a brilliant film, all the more so because it gives us a visualization of a real socio-economic event that occurred pretty much at the time. Who will do a representation of current times and stories?

  • Jpns Viewer

    “Well done Academy! (as long as you didn’t invite Tyler Perry…)”

    Never meant to ruin your day, “moviewatcher” . . . my friend . . . .
    But in 2009, along with suuuch talented actors xD as Hugh Jackman, Seth Rogen, Mike Cera, to name a few, the uuuber talented xD director Tyler Perry [unfortunately, no bvll] reportedly was already invited to join the Academy.

    Here’s your sign. . . . : )

  • Jpns Viewer

    ‘The tagline, “It only takes #one person# to start a revolution.”’

    And among Kutcher’s fangirldoms around the world, they go, (“)Finally, my Ashton’s received recognition he deserves(”). . . . xD

    Pardon my cynicism, but I’m soooo looking forward to seeing how this will turn out among critics, as well as (other) casual moviegoers. . . .

    Anyway, thanks for the bits and bites, as well as the link(s), Sasha. Always a good read.

  • Bryce Forestieri

    Ian McKellen

  • TOM

    Remaking TGOWrath? My initial impression – it seems that SS desperately wants to tie/outdo the 4 Best Director awards of John Ford (and be considered ‘the world’s most acclaimed…) He surely believed that he’d have award #3 with Lincoln (deservedly awarded to Ang Lee.) Now, it seems that he will win for a film that JF won for. He probably figures that ‘I can do better.’ If he doesn’t win for that remake, will he redo The Informer, How Green Was My Valley or The Quiet Man next? Why not just film another Steinbeck story that haven’t been done yet?

  • Nick

    I read a similar article to the potential remake of Grapes, but It said SS would only executive produce. Not direct. If done right, it could be a stellar movie. Remember, Spielberg produces the True Grit remake with the Coens directing, and it turned ou better then the original. A least I thought so. As did many others. I wouldn’t count it out from being good.

  • TOM

    Follow-up – Rethinking his decision to redo TGOW – SS has the industry clout to get certain as-of-yet literary projects made – What Makes Sammy Run or The Catcher in the Rye.(Even You’ll Never Eat Lunch In This Town Again.) Why redo a film that most people would consider ‘great’ when other past literary-to-film bombs (The Fountainhead) probably could be corrected.

  • Yogsss

    Well, I disagree (for now) with Kathy Kennedy getting an Honorary Oscar. She deserves one, but I’d rather see her getting a competitive Oscar.
    Of that list is a huge crime Angela Lansbury doesn’t have an Oscar. Listen Academy! Listen before is too late.

    That Jobs film looks bad as hell. I will wait for the supposed Sorkin version.

  • eb

    Don’t agree that Kennedy should have won. If the film had ended with Lincoln leaving the White House, it would have been perfect.

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