Monthly Archives: July 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 is a 2011 epic fantasy film directed by David Yates and the second of two films based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. It is the eighth and final installment in the Harry Potter film series, written by Steve Kloves and produced by David Heyman, David Barron and Rowling. The story continues to follow Harry Potter’s quest to bring down his archnemesis Lord Voldemort once and for all. The film stars Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, alongside Rupert Grint and Emma Watson as Harry’s best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.

Principal photography began on 19 February 2009, and was completed on 12 June 2010,with the final day of reshoots taking place on 21 December 2010, marking the series’ closure of ten years of filming. Part 2 was released in both 2D and 3D cinemas worldwide on 15 July 2011. It was also screened in IMAX cinemas from the same date.

The film opened to instant critical acclaim, and it is currently among best reviewed films of 2011. At the box office, Part 2 is currently breaking records in the US and Canada, including highest-grossing midnight opening of all-time with $43.5 million,opening day with $92.1 million, and opening weekend with $168.5 million.As a result, the film experienced the most successful opening of the entire franchise. It also broke the opening day record in several other countries, including the United Kingdom, and the worldwide opening weekend record.

Storyline

The final chapter begins as Harry, Ron, and Hermione continue their quest of finding and destroying the Dark Lord’s three remaining Horcruxes, the magical items responsible for his immortality. But as the mystical Deathly Hallows are uncovered, and Voldemort finds out about their mission, the biggest battle begins and life as they know it will never be the same again.

Visual effects

Visual effects companies that worked on Part 1 (including Framestore, Moving Picture Company and Double Negative who created the Gringotts Dragon) also worked on the visuals for Part 2. Visual Effects Supervisor Tim Burke said that “It was such a major job to stage the Battle of Hogwarts, and we had to do it in different stages of production. We had shots with complex linking camera moves from wide overviews, to flying into windows and interior spaces. So, we took the plunge at the end of 2008, and started rebuilding the school digitally with Double Negative.” He went on to say that “It’s taken two years – getting renders out, texturing every facet of the building, constructing interiors to see through windows, building a destruction version of the school. We can design shots with the knowledge that we have this brilliant digital miniature that we can do anything with. With a practical Hogwarts, we would have shot it last summer and been so tied down. Instead, as David Yates finds the flow and structure, we are able to handle new concepts and ideas.”

On the quality of 3-D in film, Burke told Los Angeles Times, “I think it’s good, actually. I think people are going to be really pleased. I know everyone’s a little nervous and sceptical of 3-D these days, but the work has been done very, very well. We’ve done over 200 shots in 3-D and in the visual effects as well, because so much of it is CG, so the results are very, very good. I think everyone’s going to be really impressed with it, actually.” Producer David Heyman spoke to SFX magazine about the 3-D conversion, saying that “The way David Yates is approaching 3-D is he’s trying to approach it from a character and story point of view. Trying to use the sense of isolation, of separation that sometimes 3-D gives you, to heighten that at appropriate moments. So we’re approaching it in a storytelling way.

Box office

The film has grossed an estimated $168.5 million in the US and Canada, as of July 17, along with $307 million in international markets, as of July 17, for a worldwide total of $475.6 million. Part 2 grossed a record $475.6 million worldwide on its opening weekend, breaking the previous record set by Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in 2009 ($394 million).

With a record breaking opening day in 26 countries on July 13, 2011, Deathly Hallows – Part 2 grossed $43.6 million, placing it 86 percent ahead of Part 1 and 49 percent higher than Half-Blood Prince. The film broke the record for the biggest opening day gross in history in Australia ($7.5 million), New Zealand, Italy ($4.6 million), Sweden ($2.1 million), Norway ($1.8 million), Denmark ($1.6 million), the Netherlands ($1.7 million), Belgium ($1.4 million), Finland ($749,000), United Kingdom ($14.8 million), and Mexico ($6.1 million). It also established new Harry Potter records in Japan ($5.7 million), Brazil ($4.4 million), Spain($3.3 million) and Poland ($1.25 million). With a foreign opening weekend of $307 million, Deathly Hallows – Part 2 broke the record previously held by Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides ($262 million). In the UK, it brought in a record $36.6 million, marking the biggest three day weekend gross ever and biggest single day gross ever (Saturday). In Australia, it made $26.7 million from 754 screens, marking the biggest opening weekend ever and the only film ever to reach A$20,000,000 in just four days. While in Russia, it raked $19.5 million claiming the biggest Warner Bros. opening weekend of all time and the 3rd biggest opening of 2011.  The average 3D share of Deathly Hallows – Part 2 was 61 percent, which was lower than the 3D share for Transformers: Dark of the Moon (70 percent) and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (66 percent).

In the United States and Canada, the film grossed a record $32 million in advance ticket sales.Part 2 became the biggest midnight opening of all-time with $43.5 million, breaking the previous record set in 2010, by The Twilight Saga: Eclipse ($30 million). It also broke Deathly Hallows – Part 1‘s record ($1.4 million) for the biggest IMAX midnight opening, grossing an estimated $2 million. On its opening day, the film grossed a record $92.1 million, marking the biggest opening day of all-time, and the biggest single day gross of all-time, both of which were previously set by The Twilight Saga: New Moon ($72.7 million).Based on estimates by Warner Bros., Deathly Hallows – Part 2 grossed $168.5 million on its opening weekend, surpassing The Dark Knight ($158.4 million) to become the biggest opening weekend in box office history. Although 3D enhanced the film’s earning potential, only 43% of the opening gross came from 3D venues.


The Lion King 3D (2011)

The Lion King 3D

Walt Disney Pictures has confirmed that a 3D version of the studio’s 1994 animated classic “The Lion King” will hit theatres on September 16th in a limited re-release for two weeks before the Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D hit stores on October 4th.

Here’s an excerpt from the press release, along with the announcement trailer:

“Simba, Mufasa, Nala, Timon and Pumbaa are back and better than ever this fall when Disney’s “The Lion King” roars into theaters and homes in breathtaking 3D. A special two-week theatrical extravaganza kicks off Sept. 16, 2011, showcasing the Oscar®- and Golden Globe®-winning film on the big screen in Disney Digital 3D™ for the first time ever, and its highly anticipated home entertainment debut kicks off October 4, celebrating the Diamond Edition release of the epic movie “The Lion King” in high-definition Blu-ray™ and Blu-ray 3D™.

“‘The Lion King’ is the best-selling home entertainment release of all time—and this is ‘The Lion King’ like never before,” said Bob Chapek, president of distribution, The Walt Disney Studios. “The all-new 3D format immerses viewers in the epic settings and puts them face-to-face with these beloved characters. We’re showcasing one of the all-time favorite Disney movies in theaters and making it available in Blu-ray hi-def and in Blu-ray 3D—it’s the must-see, must-own title for everyone.”

Nearly a decade since “The Lion King” last appeared on the big screen, the upcoming theatrical release invites new generations into the “Circle of Life.” The two-week, 3D-only presentation is a planned wide domestic release—the biggest since the film’s 1994 debut—and the film’s first-ever 3D release.

The Blu-ray debut marks the first time “The Lion King” has been available in any form since 2004. Featuring pristine high definition picture and sound, the Blu-ray creates an incredible at-home experience with a host of picture and sound enhancements, interactive features and bonus content, including a new set of hilarious animated bloopers. ”

Blue Ray Trailer 


Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (also known as Transformers 3) is a 2011 Americanscience fiction/action film, part of the Transformers film series, directed by Michael Bay and produced by Steven Spielberg. It is the sequel to Transformers and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and was released on June 29, 2011. The film is presented in regular 2D, Real D 3D and IMAX, featuring Dolby Surround 7.1 sound.

Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson and John Turturro reprise their starring roles, withPeter Cullen returning as the voice of Optimus Prime and Hugo Weaving returning as the voice of Megatron. Ehren Kruger, who collaborated in the writing of the last film, was again involved in the writing. Despite having been initially confirmed for the film, and with the film already into principal photography, it was announced that Megan Fox would not be reprising her role from the previous two films. With Fox’s character Mikaela being dropped, Sam was assigned a new love interest, portrayed by English model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Also, Roberto Orci andAlex Kurtzman, having written the last two films, did not return for this installment in the series, which Orci had earlier somewhat anticipated, fearing the duo would “risk getting stale”. Bay has stated this would be his last installment in the series. In May 2011 it was announced that Paramount Pictures had bumped Transformers: Dark of the Moon’s release date of July 1, 2011 two days earlier, June 29, in order to receive an early response to footage. The film officially made its premiere on June 28 in 3D and IMAX theatres, nationwide.

Storyline

The Autobots learn of a Cybertronian spacecraft hidden on the Moon, and race against the Decepticons to reach it and to learn its secrets

Video game

Main article: Transformers: Dark of the Moon (video game)

Activision is set to develop a video game for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS.The trailer for the Dark of the Moon video game was released in February 2011.The game will be developed by High Moon Studios, who previously developedTransformers: War for Cybertron. It has also been announced that the game will also feature “Stealth Force”. Autobots Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Ironhide, Ratchet, Sideswipe, Warpath, Stratosphere, Breakaway and Mirage have been confirmed to be in the game, and so have Decepticons Megatron, Soundwave, Laserbeak, Starscream, Mixmaster and Shockwave.

Release

Transformers: Dark of the Moon premiered at the Moscow International Film Festival on June 23, 2011. Linkin Park performed a special outdoor concert at the Red Square in Moscow on the same night in celebration of the event.[1] The film was released on June 28, 2011 in 3D.[3] Originally set to be released in both conventional and IMAX theaters, it was announced in November 2010 that no IMAX 3D shots were made for the film.

Critical reception

Dark of the Moon received generally mixed to negative reviews from film critics, with many praising the film’s visual effects and 3D action sequences, but criticizing the below average acting and script; film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives Dark of the Moon a score of 37% based on 167 reviews and a rating average of 4.9/10, saying “Its special effects — and 3D shots — are undeniably impressive, but they aren’t enough to fill up its loud, bloated running time, or mask its thin, indifferent script”.

Roger Ebert gave the film one out of four stars, calling it “a visually ugly film with an incoherent plot, wooden characters and inane dialog. It provided me with one of the more unpleasant experiences I’ve had at the movies.” Richard Roeper likewise panned the film, giving it a D and saying that “rarely has a movie had less of a soul and less interesting characters.”

In a more positive review, Ain’t It Cool News called it “the best entry in the Michael Bay-directed franchise.”IGN gave the film a 7 out of 10, also stating that it was the best of the franchise. E! Online graded the film a B+ while noting if this is truly the end of a trilogy, its main antagonists should have played more of a part.

Charlie Jane Anders of io9.com believed that some elements of the film were deliberate self-references to Michael Bay’s own sense of under-appreciation after the backlash to Transformers 2. “After a few hours of seeing Shia get dissed, overlooked and mistreated, the message becomes clear: Shia, as always, is a stand-in for Michael Bay. And Bay is showing us just what it felt like to deal with the ocean of Haterade — the snarking, the Razzie Award, the mean reviews — that Revenge of the Fallen unleashed.” She went on to say that the film’s frequent, often jarring shifts in tone were an intentional endorsement of Michael Bay’s own filmmaking style. “Tone is for single-purpose machines. Consistency is for Decepticons. Michael Bay’s ideal movie shifts from action movie to teen comedy to political drama with the same well-lubricated ease that his cars become men. By the time you’ve finished watching Transformers 3, you will speak Michael Bay’s cinematic language.”

Box office

Transformers: Dark of the Moon has earned $64.7 million in North America, as of June 30, 2011, and $36.6 million in other territories, as of June 29, 2011, for a worldwide total of $101.3 million.

In the USA and Canada, from its early Tuesday screenings (9 pm showings), Dark of the Moon brought in $5.5 million. It also earned $8 million in midnight showings, which is lower than what its predecessor made ($16 million). In its first two days, Dark of the Moon has grossed $64.7 million, with a $37.3 million Wednesday (including $8 million from Tuesday-midnight showings), making it the best opening-day gross of 2011 and the sixth best Wednesday opening day of all time. But it’s still behind Revenge of the Fallen which grossed $62 million on its opening day.

Overseas, the film grossed $32.5 million on its opening day, pacing 38% ahead of its predecessor and marking the largest opening day for a 2011 film (out-grossing the $18.5 million record set by Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides). Including some early Tuesday previews, it earned $36.6 million in one-and-a-half days. In Russia, it made $4.2 million on its opening day which was the second-largest of all time behind On Stranger Tides ($5 million). In South Korea, it earned $5 million, where it was the largest opening day of all time.