Tag Archives: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Avengers: An Unstoppable Record Smashing Machine

The Avengers has been destroying records left right and center and I will be listing all of them below so bathe in the glory that is the Avengers.

The most impressive record they surpassed was the one for the biggest opening weekend of all time, that’s a big one. Disney estimates the film raked in $200.3 million at North American theaters over the weekend, compared to the previous largest opening of $169.2 million ($172M after inflation) for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (loser). It would have probably done even better if IMAX theater had enough seats to meet demand, apparently this was a problem in many places and raises the question would it have made even more money on its opening weekend? But I can live with it beating nearly every record.

Courtesy of Gamma Squad

They made an estimated $80.5 million on its first Friday, the second-largest one-day total of all time after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 ($91.1M). CinemaScore reported on the first Friday that moviegoers were giving the film an average grade of A+, which suggested there were great sales through the weekend from word of mouth. Sure enough, The Avengers did even better than the opening day numbers suggested it would do, and now analysts estimate it will take over Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 for 3rd highest grossing film of all time. The film hasn’t even opened yet in some profitable markets (like for example Japan on August 17th).

The movie also made an additional $151.5M overseas that weekend. The film’s worldwide gross now stands at $1.29 billion. It passed $600 million in sales in only 12 days. It only needs $34M more to be 3rd highest grossing films and will take that spot from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. I doubt it will make it near avatar or titanic though you never know.Walt Disney Pictures announced this weekend that the global blockbuster has crossed the $500 million mark domestically in a record 23 days (the previous record of 32 days was held by Avatar).

It passed the global box office totals for Iron Man ($585M), Iron Man 2 ($624M), Thor ($449M), and Captain America ($364M) within its first 12 days. It also has the highest per-theater average for a nationwide release, $46,063 per theater which is a lot. Highest domestic Saturday gross of all time ($69.7M). And this lot fastest to $100M, fastest to $150M, and fastest to $200M. When will it end Avengers? When?

It accounted for 82.7% of grosses for the top 12 movies, which is the second-largest market share ever. It was the biggest superhero midnight show opening (8th highest-grossing midnight movie). Highest grossing IMAX opening weekend ever (one of them was me!). The biggest opening weekend of all time in North America, Central America, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, and the Philippines (wow).

I think they are imagining money raining over them:

Funny facts from GIZMODO about how it would actually cost the city of New York for the damage that happened in The Avengers final battle if it were to happen in real life. The damage to NYC in would cost $160 Billion to repair! Ouch! (Don’t think that it’s going to make that much at the cinema).

It was calculated that the physical damage alone would cost $60-70 billion, with economic and clean-up ramifications adding $90 billion. To put that in context Hurricane Katrina cost $90 billion, and the tsunami in Japan last year cost $122 billion.

This is an open thank you letter from Joss Whedon sent out for the people who went to see The Avengers and it’s a great read if you have really liked some of his previous work (Buffy the Vampire Slayer., Angel, Firefly) because he really deserved this win and I hope he only does better in his future projects.

Dear Friends,

Well, it’s been quite a weekend. Someday, long from now, I will even have an emotional reaction to it, like a person would. I can’t wait! But before I become blinded by this “emotion” experience, there’s a few things I’d like to say. Well, type.

People have told me that this matters, that my life is about to change. I am sure that is true. And change is good — change is exciting. I think — not to jinx it — that I may finally be recognized at Comiccon. Imagine! Also, with my percentage of “the Avengers” gross, I can afford to buy… [gets call from agent. Weeps manfully. Resumes typing.] …a fine meal. But REALLY fine, with truffles and s#!+. And I can get a studio to finance my dream project, the reboot of “Air Bud” that we all feel is so long overdue. (He could play Jai Alai! Think of the emotional ramifications of JAI ALAI!!!!)

What doesn’t change is anything that matters. What doesn’t change is that I’ve had the smartest, most loyal, most passionate, most articulate group of — I’m not even gonna say fans. I’m going with “peeps” — that any cult oddity such as my bad self could have dreamt of. When almost no one was watching, when people probably should have STOPPED watching, I’ve had three constants: my family and friends, my collaborators (often the same), and y’all. A lot of stories have come out about my “dark years”, and how I’m “unrecognized”… I love these stories, because they make me seem super-important, but I have never felt the darkness (and I’m ALL about my darkness) that they described. Because I have so much. I have people, in my life, on this site, in places I’ve yet to discover, that always made me feel the truth of success: an artist and an audience communicating. Communicating to the point of collaborating. I’ve thought, “maybe I’m over; maybe I’ve said my piece”. But never with fear. Never with rancor. Because of y’all. Because you knew me when. If you think topping a box office record compares with someone telling you your work helped them through a rough time, you’re probably new here. (For the record, and despite my inhuman distance from the joy-joy of it: topping a box office record is super-dope. I’m an alien, not a robot.)

So this is me, saying thank you. All of you. You’ve taken as much guff for loving my work as I have for over-writing it, and you deserve, in this our time of streaming into the main, to crow. To glow. To crow and go “I told you so”, to those Joe Blows not in the know. (LAST time I hire Dr. Seuss to punch my posts up. Yeesh!)

Mr. Joss Whedon participated in a Reddit AMA recently, touching on everything from a Dr. Horrible sequel to season two of Firefly, to Scarlett Johansson’s prevalence as a “sex object” in much of the marketing for The Avengers.

First off is his answer to a Dr. Horrible Sequel (yay there might be sequel):

“We’re not shooting right now; we’re still in the early stages of writing. But we hope to make a great deal of progress this summer. And you can expect the death of someone you love… Yes, the original cast will be back for Dr H 2, but Penny will be… um… I don’t want to say ‘decomposing…”

Secondly his answer to Scarlett Johansson’s prevalence as a “sex object” in much of the marketing for The Avengers which I thought was actually a good idea because it was a shock when she wasn’t just some hot girl but actually a good character.

“All I can say is that Scarlett gets to do a lot more than be hot in Avengers. It’s definitely dispiriting to have a woman play a heroic role and then be reduced to body parts by fan commentary, but that can only change slowly. And is.”

The one most people want to know about is will there be a second season of Firefly? You have to kind of agree with what he says as sad as it makes me. The first step is a Kickstarter project.

“Step 2: Cancel Castle. Step 3: Cancel Homeland. Step 4: Generally destroy everybody’s careers. Step 5: Avoid Step 2.”

Next, we have this low budget video which was actually really funny and well thought out… Nah it’s just some good YouTube fun which I would have loved to have seen at the cinema straight after The Avengers finished. The best parts from this video would definitely be the fat Captain America with a small shield and Nick Fury dropping the f-bombs everyone wanted Samuel. L Jackson to do in the film (might just be me).

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2012 Oscar Nominations are Out! Cue the Fart Sounds!

Today around 8:30 am Eastern time, the 2012 Academy Award Nominations were announced by the lovely Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique Jr.) and some old guy I did not want to research his name or title on.

With that, talking to the good Dr. Kronner, I think on my end, it basically ended in a few shrugs. He was bit more incensed because his beloved Fast Five [LIES!] was not nominated because the Academy does not recognize ‘general public movies’. The list is typical with the favorites (The Artist, The Descendants) while a few pleasant surprises entered in (seriously, go watch A Better Life and Demián Bichir’s performance) and then a few what-whats?! (see: 9/11 movie I refuse to mention).

Martin Scorcese’s Hugo leads the way with 11 noms, followed by the movie no one wants the see that everyone should see – The Artist with 10 nominations. I am sure there will be a post on what we all thing got snubbed (where the crap is Drive?), and who does not belong (according to the good Doctor, Bridesmaids doesn’t deserve to be part of the party, so debate away) so I will not go into major detail about those. All I know is there is a reason for the comments section below so have it…

With that, I have your nominees for the 2012 Oscars on February 26th via EW because I like copy & paste:

Continue reading 2012 Oscar Nominations are Out! Cue the Fart Sounds!

Grizzly Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two!

The series that sucked in the lives of millions of people worldwide has finally reached its conclusion.  It’s not even the weekend yet, and the franchise has already pulled in a cool $126 million.  Millions of fans dressed as wizards have crowded the midnight halls of local movie theaters for the last time.  Some have been die-hard fans of the books (as I am), and some just wanted to see Voldemort bitch-slapped in his creepy snake face.  Whichever the case, Warner Brothers turned out a final film that young and old, casual or die-hard fan, could sit back and enjoy.

SPOILERS AHEAD..

The film opened exactly where the last one left off.  Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) had just buried Dobby at Shell Cottage and is preparing his strategy against Voldemort (who is off rifling through Dumbledore’s grave for the Elder Wand).  Harry’s mission, left to him by the late Albus Dumbledore, was to hunt down Voldemort’s horcruxes (pieces of his soul left in inanimate objects to anchor him to immortal life) and destroy them.  Up until this point, three of the horcruxes have been destroyed  – Tom Riddle’s Diary in the Chamber of Secrets, Slytherin’s locket in Deathly Hallows Part One, and Marvolo Gaunt’s ring by Dumbledore.  It has been assumed that Voldemort split his soul into seven pieces including himself, which would leave three left to be destroyed – Hufflepuff’s Cup, Nagini the snake, and an unknown object.  Harry believes that one of the objects is hidden in the Lestrange family vault in Gringotts, the wizarding bank run by goblins.

Griphook – The most awesome banker you’ll ever meet.

We have also learned in the previous film the importance and identity of the Deathly Hallows.  The Deathly Hallows were unspeakable gifts given by Death himself to the three Peverell brothers.  The first brother was given the Elder Wand, which made whoever owned it unbeatable.  The second brother was given the Resurrection Stone, which could temporarily bring back loved ones from the dead.  The youngest brother was given a Cloak of Invisibility.  Whoever owns all three becomes the Master of Death.

“So you’re saying no more Harry Potter movies? Ever?”

Here at Shell Cottage, Harry is given a choice.  In one room is Griphook (Warwick Davis), a goblin who holds the key to breaking into the Gringotts vault to keep destroying Horcruxes.  In another room is Ollivander (John Hurt), a wand maker, who holds all the knowledge he needs to retrieve the Elder Wand, the only Deathly Hallow not in his possession.  In the end, Harry chooses his selfless mission over power, and gains the necessary knowledge from Griphook to break into the vault of Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter).

After breaking in and destroying the horcrux (Hufflepuff’s cup), Griphook betrays Harry, Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) in order to steal the goblin-made sword of Gryffindor.  They escape on the back of a dragon and end up in Hogsmeade.  With the help of Dumbledore’s brother, Aberforth (Ciaran Hinds), they make their way into Hogwarts to find the unknown Horcrux, which they believe is an object belonging to Ravenclaw.  Luna Lovegood (Evanna Lynch) suggests that the object is Rowena Ravenclaw’s diadem, a type of crown.  Harry goes to the Grey Lady, the ghost of Helena Ravenclaw (Kelly Macdonald), and she tells him where the diadem is hidden.

Harry retrieves the diadem but is met by Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) and his goonies, one of which starts a raging fire.  Harry saves Draco from the fire (why anyone would save that ferret-faced bastard is beyond me) and manages to destroy the diadem in the process.  Ron and Hermione find their way down to the Chamber of Secrets to find Basilisk fangs (because, conveniently, basilisk venom destroys Horcruxes) and destroy Hufflepuff’s cup.  And then, to celebrate, they start making out.

“I’m a terrible Death Eater guys… will you hold my hands?”

Meanwhile, Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) and his Death Eaters have breached the defenses of the castle and are reigning their terror over the students and teachers.  Voldemort, who is now in possession of the Elder Wand, realizes that the wand has not given allegiance to him.  Believing that Snape had become owner of the wand during his murder of Dumbledore, Voldemort uses his snake to attack Snape.  While Snape is dying, he places his tears in a vial and tells Harry to take them to the Penseive.

Harry does, and much is made clear to him through Snape’s memories.  He discovers that Dumbledore was right to trust Snape, that all these years there was one very real reason Snape could not swear allegiance to Voldemort ever again – Snape was passionately in love with Lily, Harry’s mother, who was killed by Voldemort himself.  Makes sense why he hated Harry so much, then, since Harry was supposed to have been the spitting image of his father (who looks like a math teacher apparently).  He also discovered something much more heartbreaking – that he, Harry, was also a Horcrux, and he must also be destroyed in order for Voldemort to be defeated.

Harry then meets Voldemort in the forest, where Voldemort uses the killing curse on him.  Harry is transported to a train station, an interim location between life and death, where he speaks with Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) about all that has happened.  Harry is given the choice to move on to death, or to remain in life and finish the job he started, without the piece of Voldemort’s soul within him.  So he returns; and with the help of new Hogwarts resident badass, Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis), and his snake slicing skills, Voldemort is defeated!  Hooray!

I try to have an open mind going into these films.  If anyone out there is as into reading as I am, you know how disappointed you can be if the film deviates from the story you love.  It’s natural.  However, this film was as close as you can get to the line between following the story and making a good film in itself.  I was pleasantly surprised that much of the script was lifted from the book itself, including most of Snape’s memories and the scene with Dumbledore at King’s Cross.

“Not my daughter, you BITCH!” (Actual quote)

The pacing, the music, and acting were all perhaps the best I’ve seen in the franchise.  There was so much that could have gone wrong in this, the culmination of this long beloved story, that it was refreshing to see the filmmakers do it right for a change.  My one complaint is that this still felt like half of a movie, and there was little to tie in the story from Deathly Hallows Part One.  I imagine the two will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray as one big film (taking a page from the consecutive style of Lord of the Rings).

There were several things I was worried wouldn’t translate to film, or wouldn’t be handled properly or glossed over.  The first and most important being the heartbreaking story of one Severus Snape.  Alan Rickman stole the show on this one.  He owned that character.  He had known before anyone, before the final few books were even released, what his character’s inner torment was and where his motivations lie.  He brilliantly has managed to keep that knowledge a secret in his performance while still making it believable, so the film audience would be just as invested and just as surprised as those who had read the books.

My second worry was that the ending, the imminent downfall of He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named, would be glossed over and cheesy.  However that, too, was given sufficient story-telling time and consideration.  Although I didn’t really understand why Harry and Voldemort were flying through the air hugging each other, their duel was action-packed and interesting.  There was enough time spent on the Elder Wand for the casual film-watcher to understand why Voldemort’s wand had failed him, although I missed Harry’s “Expelliarmus!”

“Booyah! I mean, Expelliarmus!”

The third and final worry of mine was their treatment of the epilogue at King’s Cross station, and how they were going to make a group of kids in their late teens and early twenties look like real live grownups.  With a little CGI and a little makeup (though none for Emma Watson, apparently), they managed to look….ALMOST right.  I thought Draco Malfoy was the worst; he looked like the star of the school play.  But it was cutesy, it provided closure, and it was just as weird and awkward as it was in the book.

Bwahahaha! Fail!

All in all, I really enjoyed the film.  It has that little something for everyone – intrigue, action, drama, and romance.  The story is much darker than the others, even in the books, and provides for less comedy which is unfortunate.  And with all the important people who died (albeit, without death scenes), it makes for a huge downer at times.  But that’s war, and that’s life sometimes.

I give the film 4 bears (it was 4.5, but I deducted the .5 for the lack of Jim Broadbent)!