The upcoming “John Carter” is hoping to be the year’s first blockbuster, but much of the public’s pre-release chatter has dwelled on the film’s ballooning budget, the visual similarities to other films (even though it’s based on a book that predates “Avatar” and the “Star Wars” prequels by nearly a century) and the clumsy marketing campaign (where did “of Mars” go in the title?). However, things may be starting to turn around at the 11th hour. The official site is offering a ten minute clip to entice viewers. The early reviews are generally positive, and leading man Taylor Kitsch could soon make the leap from TV start to movie hero, backed by a solid supporting cast, which includes Lynn Collins, Willem Dafoe and Mark Strong. Could Disney have gotten it right after all? If successful, could a franchise really materialize out of “John Carter”?
As for the rest of this week’s list…
March 8, 2012
1. “John Carter” (Last week: No. 9)
We’ll find out this weekend if Disney’s big gamble has paid off.
2. “The Hunger Games” (Last week: No. 2)
Hey, author Suzanne Collins likes it. That’s a good sign.
5. “Men in Black III” (Last week: Not ranked)
If the swoon-worthy Benedict Cumberbatch says it’s going to be amazing, who are we to argue?
Ridely Scott’s upcoming film is looking more and more like a proper “Alien” prequel.
“There Will Be Blood” auteur Paul Thomas Anderson’s next epic may be released in October. How about right now instead?
Let’s hope that director of photography Wally Pfister has learned a thing or two from Christopher Nolan — he’s making his directorial debut later this year.
Here’s some non-non-triumphant news, dudes — Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter are both happy with the new script from the original films’ writers. Station!
Burton and Depp are at it again, and we’ve got more pictures to prove it.
What do you think of this week’s rankings? Share your thoughts below.