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27 June 2011

Superhero Movie Box Office And Comics News, by Greg Tingle - 27th June 2011


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Hulk And Thor Help Raise £1,000 In UK...

Rare American comics donated to a charity shop made more than £1,000 at the John Taylors annual Toy and Doll Sale in Louth, UK, last week. A man handed 1,000s of superhero comics to the Oxfam shop in Market Rasen which decided to put them up for auction to raise money for the charity. The comics from the 1960s and 1970s featured Marvel heroes like Captain America, Spiderman, the Hulk and Thor and DC heroes like Superman, Batman and Swamp Thing. Other highlights of the sale included an early 20th Century mohair plush bear that made £700 and a collection of early Steiff bears that all made upward of £500. Train sets and other toys also proved that big kids were all in attendance at the Woolmart auction rooms with Trix, Hornby and Schuco items all
making above their estimates.

Marvel Comic's Ultimate Spider-Man Dies Via Green Goblin...

The popular American newspaper, Huffington Post, reports that the end has come for Peter Parker, the high school student bitten by a radioactive spider whose web-slinging antics have made him a touchstone of the Marvel Comics' series. The publisher recently announced that Parker's alter ego, Spider-Man, will finally be killed off by The Green Goblin in the final issue of "Ultimate Comics Spider-Man". The death, while dramatic, is not entirely unexpected. In November, Marvel said that the Ultimate Spider-Man was going to face an uncertain fate in the latest storyline by writer Brian Michael Bendis fittingly titled "The Death of Spider-Man," an eight-issue arc that saw the return of original series artist Mark Bagley. Bendis and Bagley had worked together on the series for 111 issues. Bendis told The Associated Press that in issue No. 160 Parker fights valiantly but will pass on, heroically, in a pitched fight. "He will pass heroically, but he will die at the hands of The Green Goblin," Bendis said, recalling his nearly 11 years writing the title, which debuted in October 2000. The death is real and in Marvel's Ultimate Comics imprint, death is not something taken lightly. Characters in that universe are dead and gone, never to return. The roll of the deceased already includes Magneto, Wasp and Wolverine, among others. "Ten years ago, Brian Bendis and Mark Millar changed the way people saw super heroes with the birth of the Ultimate Universe. With `Death of Spider-Man' the two have done it again, creating a story just as big, and something that would really resonate with fans," said Mark Paniccia, Marvel senior editor. "But Peter's death doesn't signal the end of their larger plan - it's the start of one of the most ambitious stories you've ever read in comics." Bendis said that Parker's death won't be in vain and hinted that the Ultimate Spider-Man may not be gone forever. But what exactly is to come, that's something he's not willing to share, at least not yet. Parker will live on in Marvel's Amazing Spider-Man series, however.

'Daredevil' Writer Gives The Scoop...

Marvel Comics has teased the opening storyline for the new Daredevil ongoing series from writer Mark Waid and artists Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin. The series sees Matt Murdock return to New York City after his self-imposed exile in the wake of Shadowland, and Waid revealed that it will quickly become apparent that something
is wrong with the superhero. "There's something not right about Matt from the very get-go, now that he's come back to New York," Waid said, according to IGN. "There's just something off about Matt and that's going to drive [his relationship with Foggy Nelson] for the near future." Waid also explained that in terms of supporting characters, Foggy Nelson is the most important, but noted that Dakota North will still show up as a new assistant district attorney, and is set to play a big role in the series moving forward. The writer also elaborated on the premise of the new series, which aims to integrate Daredevil more with the rest of the Marvel Universe. "Without jettisoning the street level of the book, without getting rid of the noir feel of the book, without getting rid of the realism of it - let's take the superhero dial and move it up just a few notches to get back to a bigger sense of adventure," he explained. "Let's fold him a little more rigidly into the Marvel Universe." Daredevil #1 is due out on July 7 from Marvel Comics.

Patrick Dempsey Wants to Play Doctor Strange...

Patrick Dempsey has already revealed he won't be returning to Grey's Anatomy after next season. The ultra talented actor is looking to take his career back where it began...movies. Dempsey isn't looking to return to movies like Can't Buy Me Love and Lover Boy that jump-started his career in the 1980s, but, instead, Dempsey is hoping to continue his association with comic book themed movies that began with his role in this summer's Transformers: Dark of the Moon. In April, Dempsey revealed an interest in the Marvel Comics character of Doctor Strange, saying he would "love to play" the role. In a recent interview with MTV, Dempsey reiterated his interest in the role, admitting, "I really want to do it." I mean, it's a tricky character. The hardcore fans know this world and this character specifically — I don't know if the rest of the world does. So, it's like, how do we enter into that and get it so it doesn't lose its essence, but, at the same time, how do you do it with the right story? And I think the fans really need to speak up and say, hey, what do they want to see. When quizzed if Dempsey was a fan of the character and was knowledgeable of the comic book universe, the actor gave a (somewhat) informed answer, though he sounded like he wasn't sure of what to say. Well, there's different incarnations, and there's a whole philosophy behind how they wrote it, what messages is in it, and all of that. I mean, I would like to see him being the cocky surgeon, having the accident, going on a spiritual journey, and then becoming the Supreme Sorcerer. I think that's really what I would like to see — and see that journey initially and to see that arc. And, you know, developing how he does his thing and how you do the incarnations and stuff like that. So, to make sure we've got this straight: Dempsey is interested in playing Doctor Strange in a movie that would explain the character's origins? It's a safe bet that's what Marvel tasked Conan: The Barbarian reboot screenwriters Thomas Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer to do when they hired them to write a Doctor Strange script last June. Also, Paddycakes? It's "Sorcerer Supreme," not "the Supreme Sorcerer." So what does Dempsey do next? Contact Marvel and express his interest? Exactly. "Yeah, you definitely do that," said Dempsey. He also said that he'll "check out the websites" and "check out the blogs" to weigh fan responses. It may not be me. I mean, there are some people who are like, "yeah, you should do it," and then there are some people that say, "no" — there's a great debate. And I think that's always entertaining to see what people's feedback is. The actor is aware that he may not be seen as the ideal choice, but nevertheless is in full support of a Doctor Strange movie. "I think it's a good character that should be made anyway," he said.

Green Lantern Turning Fanboys Off Green...

In the season’s latest superhero spectacle director Martin (Casino Royale) Campbell ironically displays the same inexplicable affliction which affects his main character: A total failure of imagination. Given $150 million to play with, the filmmaker is at a loss to deliver a single memorable image or moment. Given a ring with the power to create anything his mind can envision, newly recruited savior of the universe Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) finds himself incapable of thinking up anything terribly interesting. For a movie named after a light source, Green Lantern suffers from an appalling dearth of ideas anyone over the age of ten would be inclined to characterize as bright. How does this DC adaptation disappoint? Let me count the ways. First, its writers appear to have scoured more than 70 years worth of back issues in order to distill the least intriguing elements of the emerald-suited figure’s mythology. Before Jordan begins his career as a superhero, he’s employed as a test pilot for a corporation that manufactures military aircraft. This part of his story actually might have been good for a few cheap thrills but the movie’s creators couldn't’t resist the temptation to turn it into a cheap imitation of Top Gun. No need to bring the oven mitts. Green Lantern serves up the least sizzling screen romance in recent memory. Jordan has a thing going on with the daughter of the company’s owner (a completely lost Jay O. Sanders). Carol Ferris is played by Blake Lively and together the two have all the chemistry of a pair of mannequins. But we didn’t buy a ticket to watch Hal Jordan make a love connection. We bought a ticket to watch him save the world. Which is why the second half of the film is an even bigger letdown than the first. The Green Lantern gets possession of a ring and a matching lantern which basically functions as its battery charger. The ring in turn brings him in contact with an intergalactic peacekeeping organization known as the Green Lantern Corps, based on the distant planet Oa. This may be the first movie to get its effects at a used CGI sale as another reviewed put it. The creators of Green Lantern might be happy with what they have created, but most audiences are non to impressed. Next time we hear about green in a comic book movie we will be hoping its the return of The Hulk.

Captain America: The First Avenger May Save Face For Comic Book Movie Genre...

Releasing trailers late in the game, keeping things under wraps as long as possible and staying out of the limelight to let others glow is an interesting tactic. Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger may just be the comic book movie of the year. Captain America seems to be everything that Green Lantern isn't. Captain America has balls and doesn't feel like it was made for kids. Both movies debut little over a month apart. Green Lantern was about giving you as much as possible as early as possible, debuting the first image of the hero in costume almost a year before the movie’s release, as opposed to Captain America doing so 6 months later. The trailers for Green Lantern seemed designed to dazzle with special effects and colors as opposed to really giving any idea of the plot beyond “Ryan Reynolds is comedy screw-up who gets magic ring, things explode,” whereas each of Cap‘s three trailers have focused on the – for want of a better term – emotional journey the character has to go through to become the hero. There’s actually something odd about the feeling of still learning new things, or seeing new visuals, about a big blockbuster movie this close to its release; it seems so counter to the way these things are generally sold to us, with the "important" images and plot points signposted way, way in advance so as to already have that feeling of inevitability and nostalgia by the time the movie actually gets released. Should Captain America be a success studios may start realizing that less can be more and later can be better when it comes to trailers and promotion in the future. Should Captain America die in box office, one should expect more movies to give the entire game away in the first full trailer and then just move scenes around for each new trailer, like in Pirates of The Caribbean, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon and almost every other big release this year. Comon Captain America, we are entrusting you to make us feel a whole lot better about the comic book movies that we've been getting feed lately.

Thor And X-Men First Class Tipped To Hammer Home Results...

Thor and X-Men: First Class got great reviews and we're awesome, and Captain America: The First Avenger seems set to hit the spot to, but big questions remain about Green Lantern, and the vibe is not particularly good. Green Lantern with Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively is getting very reviews. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes has a 23% approval among movie critics, according to the 153 reviews counters. But 72% of the 62,000 plus user reviewers say that they "liked it" with it just premiering in the U.S theaters Friday after a midnight release on late Thursday/early Friday. Comic Book Movie.com indicates are pretty negative on the flick. One reviewer called the movie "inert, artificial and dead on arrival." During the midnight release on Thursday, the film drew $3.35 million 0 the same region that alike movies that were recently released did; X-Men: First Class brought in $3.37 million on June 2nd, and Thor did $3.25 million on May 5th. X-Men: First Class and Thor both had a budget significantly less than Green Lantern; the former had a budget of $160 million while Thor had exactly half the budget of Green Lantern — $150 million. While the flick will likely end up eventually surpassing its budget, the fact the other comic book movies had much less budget isn’t a great result. Ultimately, X-Men: First Class raked in $55.1 million in its opening weekend while Thor did $65.7 million. With this being the third comic book-based movie released in a month-and-a-half and mixed reviews, will Green Lantern under perform this weekend, or will the hardcore - fanboy type audience that has been largely ripping on it, check it out at the cinema?

Our top picks: Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger looks like a safe bet.

Be it movies, comics or games, we think that Marvel Entertainment leads the pack, followed by DC Comics, with Dark Horse Comics getting a third, based on the positive news leaks and insider tip offs we've been getting.

As Marvel living legend Stan Lee would say, Excelsior!

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