Dying Star Trek Fan to Be Given Special Chance by J.J. Abrams – A very heartwarming story surfaced this week that may restore your faith in the goodness of those in the film industry. A few weeks ago, a woman posted a message on Reddit asking for someone to help her dying husband see the first nine minutes of Star Trek Into Darkness that was playing in front of The Hobbit. Her husband, Dan, battled leukemia for three years before being diagnosed with an entirely different cancer that is attacking his liver. The couple went to see The Hobbit in hopes of seeing the nine-minute preview, but the theater they went to did not show the footage.
Just one day after her post appeared online, J.J. Abrams (director of Star Trek Into Darkness) contacted her with thrilling news. Abrams has discussed a deal with Paramount Pictures that will allow him to set up a private screening of at least the first nine minutes of the new film — and possibly the whole thing (I hope the whole thing). Time is of the essence, as the Reddit post says that Dan has only weeks to live.
With an industry that always seems so obsessed with making money, it’s nice to see a director and a studio come together and not worry about leaked information about their film and just grant the wish of a fan. If Dan gets to see the whole film, he will be seeing it six months earlier than everyone else. Prayers go out to him and his family.
Theater Makes Accommodations for Rude Audiences – One of my biggest gripes with going to the movies is the insensitivity of some of the audience members around me. Despite the fact that cell phones are not new technology and that turning them off in a theater should be common sense by now, people still let their mobile devices ring and buzz during movies. Just the other day, when I saw Django Unchained, some schmuck was texting throughout the entire film, and since he had a Galaxy S III, the immense screen acted as a spotlight in an otherwise dark theater.
To prevent these wretches of society from bothering polite people, the Guthrie Theater in St. Paul, Minnesota has begun setting specific seats aside for people who feel the need to text or tweet during the film. These seats will be out of the way of other patrons, so as not to disturb those who aren’t oblivious jerks. Texting in the theater does come at a small price though, as a “texting ticket” costs $15, which is more than a normal ticket price. My question is: How are they enforcing this policy? What if someone simply buys a regular ticket and goes on texting anyway from his normal seat? This sounds like a good idea in theory, but I don’t know how it will turn out in practice.
Older AMPAS Members Can’t Figure Out Online Voting – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has finally made the leap into the digital age by instituting an online ballot system. Previously done with paper ballots, this new technique was no doubt instituted to create faster response times and easier calculations. When the change was announced, the first reaction was to worry about hackers breaking into the system and changing all the votes (“and the award for Best Picture goes to… The Guilt Trip”). But it would appear an even greater force is working against the system: The older members can’t figure it out.
Every member received a letter in the mail (regular, not email) that explained how to vote online, as well as giving him or her a unique voter number. In order to vote online, they need to enter their voter numbers and create passwords. Sounds simple enough, but for anyone who has ever had to help a grandparent or parent set up an email account, you may already see where this is going. An Academy spokesperson says that many of the complaints from members regard “forgetting or misusing passwords.” The problem has gotten so bad that voter turnout is expected to be at its lowest level in years.
With so many of the older voters now unable or refusing to vote, does this mean a slightly younger crowd will nominate some “younger crowd” movies? Will we see The Avengers in the Best Picture race?
Highest and Lowest Grossing Films of the Year – Now that 2012 has pretty much wrapped up, we can look back and see which films were the most successful during the year. The highest grossing film of the year may be obvious: The Avengers. The superhero epic took in over $623 million domestically and $1.5 billion globally. Taking second place is The Dark Knight Rises, which earned $448 million in the US and just over $1 billion with overseas included. The highest grossing original film of the year (not a sequel, prequel, remake, reboot, etc.) was Brave, which took in $237 million domestically (7th place) and $535 million worldwide (11th place).
On the other hand, the lowest grossing film of the year is Playback, a horror thriller starring Christian Slater. The movie opened in one theater in the US and earned $252. Worldwide, the film tacked on another $12, bringing its grand total to $264. This paltry box office was not enough to dethrone Tom Sizemore’s and Katherine Heigl’s Zyzzyx Road as the lowest grossing film of all time. That 2006 film earned only $30 globally.
Birthdays – Sissy Spacek (63), Jared Leto (41), Gérard Depardieu (64), Emilie de Ravin (31), Denzel Washington (58), Maggie Smith (78), Noomi Rapace (33), Sienna Miller (31), Ted Danson (65), Jude Law (40), Mary Tyler Moore (76), Jon Voight (74), Eliza Dushku (32)
Weekend Box Office – Film Title (Weekend Gross/Cumulative Gross)
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey ($32.9 mil/$223 mil)
- Django Unchained ($30.7 mil/$64 mil)
- Les Misérables ($28 mil/$67.5 mil)
- Parental Guidance ($14.8 mil/$29.6 mil)
- Jack Reacher ($14 mil/$44.7 mil)
- This Is 40 ($13.2 mil/$37.1 mil)
- Lincoln ($7.51 mil/$132 mil)
- The Guilt Trip ($6.7 mil/$21.1 mil)
- Monsters, Inc. 3D ($6.36 mil/$18.5 mil)
- Rise of the Guardians ($4.9 mil/$90.2 mil)