Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Reel Facts & Opinions: THE HUNGER GAMES needs a director, and TITANIC's haul.

FACT: After weeks of back-and-forth, director Gary Ross has bowed out of taking the helm to the sequel to THE HUNGER GAMES, CATCHING FIRE. Ross, whose first installment was No. 1 at the Box Office for a third straight week (total haul: $302 million) is taking a pass on the follow-up citing an already fixed schedule that he couldn’t work with.

OPINION: As someone who was completely underwhelmed by THE HUNGER GAMES, this Blogger finds this to be a bit of good news. Ross, who has turned in some impressive films in the past in the form of SEABISCUIT and PLEASANTVILLE, just seemed unsuited to THE HUNGER GAMES film adaptation, which seemed to pander to the book-crowd and segregate itself from the outsiders. It felt like more chances needed to be taken; chances that may have angered the hordes of tweens, but pleased the average movie-goer unfamiliar with the GAMES universe. While there is no word on who will take over the next film, this Blogger submits that the producers would be well-served poaching a director from the HARRY POTTER films; Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuaron, and Mike Newell have proven they can fare well in an alternate universe with young actors. Just keep that wanker David Yates away from it.

FACT: The (goddamn) 3D release of TITANIC did not sink, but didn’t quite make its port either. The re-release on the big screen drew in $17.3 million this past weekend (good for third place), just shy of the $18 million spent to convert the 15-year old film into the third dimension.

OPINION: To be fair, TITANIC went up against a juggernaut in the form of THE HUNGER GAMES, and an established franchise in the form of AMERICAN REUNION (which finished second). Aside from the cynical dickheads who brush off the film because they know the boat sinks, audiences seem to be drifting away from these (goddamn) 3D re-releases. With other avenues of less-expensive viewing such as DVD, cable, Netflix, and (glorious) blu-ray, smart folk are veering away from having to deal with stupid clunky glasses and overpriced tickets. While those audiences may have been cheating themselves a little (the conversion was outstanding), they can make a good argument that TITANIC is good enough to be viewed without the added dimension; despite the fact that the film still has yet to see a blu-ray release (get on that, Jim).

What say you?

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