Monthly archives: May, 2010

The puzzling plot to the upcoming Green Lantern movie

Ryan at The Reader’s film blog has the official plot to the Green Lantern movie, and it seems to put about 87 carts before the green horse:

(basic plot spoilers after the jump) (more…)

DC Adjusts Some $3.99 Books

Rich Johnston is reporting that starting in August DC will be dropping the page count on some of their newer books priced at $3.99.  This is a change from the standard DC had set for its $3.99 books which would all have at least 30 pages of content.  So far it looks like only lower tier titles will be effected.  Some of the titles being changed are Emerald Warriors which spins out of Green Lantern Corp, Time Masters which in a mini series companion to the Return of Bruce Wayne and continues what Dan Jurgens was doing in Booster Gold, and Mighty Crusaders which sees the Red Circle characters being folded into one book.  I would assume the strategy is to try and generate more for less given that these books are not going to be top sellers.  These are the kind of books that sell at a level that Marvel cancels books at.   (more…)

Hollywood Exposure Helping Comics

There is a very clear trend now with comics that are made in to movies or TV shows.  No matter how well the property does, especially in the case of a movie, it still helps drive sales of the comics they are based on.  This is a interesting trend now as traditionally print comics have not been able to capitalize on Hollywood success.  April’s Book Scans top 2o and the most recent NY Times Best Sellers lists helps illustrate this trend.  The collected version of Kick Ass has topped both despite the movie not doing quite as well as the producers hoped.  The most surprising on the lists is that first volume of the Losers.  Even before the movie came out it was doing well with the NY Times list showing that interest only grew after the movie’s release.  Early hype of the Scott Pilgrim movie has lead to the first volume of the comic to jump in sales as well.  The Walking Dead already does well in collected form but those numbers will likely grow as well with the TV show coming to AMC later this year.  It will be interesting to see how Jonah Hex does once the hype for that movie kicks into full gear.  I should stress these are sales outside the direct market.  It is a trend among the average bookstore shoppers.  It is very good to see this happening, as it is likely being helped by the steady decline of manga related titles and the general acceptance of the graphic novel as something more then the old disposable entertainment view comics uses to have.

Who the Heck is Thor?

ultimate thorOver the weekend, I was talking to a friend of mine about Iron Man and the eventual Avengers movie, including a discussion of who the main characters are going to be and what movies are going to be released before the big team-up in 2012.

He doesn’t read comic books, so he knows nothing about any of the Avengers aside from what’s been shown in the movies. He asked me who Captain America is, and I explained it to him with relative ease. I say “relative,” because it’s not everyday that you can tell somebody that a character survived several decades while frozen in suspended animation inside a block of ice all that easily.

When the topic turned to Thor, though, I found myself scratching my head. I said, “Uh…well, he’s a god or something like that.” Yeah, real smooth. Thing is, I’ve never regularly read Thor comics, so I don’t know doodley squat about the guy (really, though, who has regularly read Thor comics? Come on.).

In an attempt to redeem myself, I am now going to write out an explanation for my clueless friend (as well as for all of you faithful readers!) entitled, “What I Kind of Know About Thor (But Not Really).” Enjoy. (more…)

Fun with Box Office Numbers!

iron man 2It’s fairly safe to say that everybody expected Iron Man 2 to blast open the doors of summer with a huge opening weekend box office take, and it did not disappoint.

The total estimated tally for the new flick came in around $134 million for its first three days in wide release, compared to the $98.6 million that the original opened with in 2008.

This puts Iron Man 2’s opening at the fifth biggest of all time, behind only The Dark Knight, Spider-Man 3, New Moon, and Pirates of the Caribbean 2.

In terms of total attendance based on ticket sales, though, it would come in quite a bit lower, probably around ninth or tenth. Keep in mind that on the list of all-time biggest opening weekends, the only movies in the top 100 that aren’t from the year 2000 and beyond are: The Lost World, The Phantom Menace, Toy Story 2, Austin Powers 2, Batman Forever, Men in Black, and Independence Day (and only four of those are from before 1999). Ticket prices are way more expensive these days – – who knew?!?

What’s interesting is that Iron Man 2 only out-performed the original by roughly 35%, which is a significantly smaller growth for the sequel than we saw with X-Men 2 or The Dark Knight or any number of similar movies. It’s surprising when you consider how we look back on the original Iron Man with such praise. You’d think that, with the same director and cast returning for the sequel, that audiences would be more open to the idea of putting money down to see the latest installment based off goodwill from the first.

The only thing I can think of that would account for such a relatively small bump over the first is that, in the previews, we didn’t see a whole lot of Iron Man or Whiplash or, to be frank, much of anything new to speak of. If the previews didn’t do a very good job of establishing a reason to care about the central conflict of the movie, then why should audiences rush to the theater?

Maybe I’m underestimating the influence of critics on the movie-going public. Iron Man 2 got fairly middling reviews, with a 75% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes (nowhere near as gushing as the first installment), so maybe that’s why this number isn’t higher than it is.

Nah. That can’t be right. The sequel to Twilight got a 27% fresh rating, and that sucker grossed $143 million on its opening weekend. Oh well. I guess you can’t account for crazy.

Credit to Box Office Mojo for the numbers.

Spoiler-Free Iron Man 2 Review

iron man 2 posterI just got home from the midnight showing of the brand-new sure-to-be-blockbuster Iron Man 2. I’m going to attempt to give you my reaction without necessarily giving anything away (because, really, where’s the fun in that?), but you could probably argue that any sort of reaction to the movie could be considered a potential spoiler.

With this in mind, I’m going to try to save my thoughts on the movie until after the jump; however, I can’t just put the jump in here, because then the format of the post will be goofy looking. Skip down the page to the jump if you want. I’m just gonna waste some time until then.

Before I went to the theater tonight, I re-watched the original Iron Man film. Thought you might like to know that. Man, I really like that movie. So good. I especially like the ending. What a great way to OK that’s enough, let’s jump into this. (more…)


When Rich Johnston made a post, not long back, about how HTMLComics was hosting pirated comics the countdown clock in my head went off as to when the site would get taken down.  Johnston’s post meant the major comics publishers would suddenly notice the site was there.  This week the site was official taken down through a consortium of publishers.  The official statement from the lawyers can be found here.  It’s entertaining to read their statement as they try their best to spin this as a major victory, when in truth HTMLComics meant little to the actual piracy of comics.  The guy that ran the site just happened to have a very poor understanding of copyright law.  He believed his site fell under fair use and in his mind he was streaming comics and not letting people download them.  It was a easy take down for the publishers as HTMLComics was hosted in the US and the guys name was all over it.  He never stood a chance.  Even the FBI was involved.  Now I don’t have a problem with piracy but this guy was asking for it with his missguided understanding of what he could do.  Perhaps part of the misunderstanding is because of the many manga based websites that host translated files the same way that HTMLComics did.  The manga sites are no more legal then anything else, they simply fly under the radar as Japanese publishers are primarily worried about what happens directly in the Japanese market. (more…)