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Old 01-30-2014, 05:36 AM   #1
Le Saboteur
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Big Hero 6

“America has only three cities: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans.

Everywhere else is Cleveland.”


The above is courtesy of the late, great Tennessee Williams. Y’know, the cat who wrote Sweet Bird of Youth, Night of the Iguana, and, that most American of plays, A Streetcar Named Desire. I could list his entire list of works, but that should suffice. I could add in The Glass Menagerie and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof for good measure, but that might seem overkill.

Well, then.

I would substitute Chicago for New York personally, but taken at its most basic level it’s hard to argue with the playwright. In a country that is striving for architectural and cultural homogeneity very, very few places stand apart from the crowd. Albuquerque looks like Dallas which looks like Houston, and they all share strong similarities with Dubuque, Kansas City, and Phoenix. Rapid City is a kissing cousin of Atlanta; Boston vomited up Los Angeles, with just enough left over for Honolulu. You could almost be mistaken for confusing one with the other as they’ve replaced their regional identity for the same glass-and-steel monstrosities, a Gap, and a Super Wal-Mart or Target.

Despite whatever problems Frisco, NYC, & NOLA have, and they do have them, it’s virtually impossible to forget where you are. Not only do they scream at you architecturally & aesthetically, but they’ve cultivated a cultural identity that’s hard to ignore. Sure, the money-minded tech-set are actively trying to kill San Francisco’s sense of egalitarianism, but it’s still there rapidly boiling beneath the surface. Hurricane Katrina tried to wipe New Orleans from the map, but its sense of community and spirit* brought it roaring back.

*- Won’t kneel. Won’t bow. Don’t know how.

Yeah, so? What does this have to do anything?! In The Oscars thread, Attila and I touched upon a subject worthy of further discussion: The cinematic representation of place. In a sense, film acts as the document of record in chronicling the changes of a place. Take the excellent Thieves Highway. Set in San Francisco’s now razed produce markets (today: a park, a teevee station, and a tennis club), it would be a bit of history lost to the curious and the concerned. But does film contribute to a city’s cultural preservation and its evolution? Feel free to start that thread, but I wanted to focus on one upcoming flick in particular.

Welcome to San Fransokyo.



San Fransokyo is the setting of Disney Animation's Big Hero 6. Set to debut in November of 2014, the high-tech city is the home of Hiro Hamada, robotics wunderkind, and his team of first time heroes.



Full sized image here.

The angle doesn't quite look like, but I would put money on that being the view from Nob Hill looking back at the California Street cable car and the western span of the Bay Bridge. The mokoshi-style and hipped roofs common throughout Japanese architecture are a wonderful touch. What's really interesting are the amount of vertical highrises, the blend of Chinese and Japanese characters with the normative English, and the Victorian-like architecture typically associated with San Francisco. It all works quite well together. Neon is fairly common in the Bay Area -- it's still visible in heavy fog -- but the coupling with the digital billboards and the incoming fog give it a touch of film noir as well, a 'classic' San Francisco element.

Check it out in motion. Watch it a few times.



Did you see the taco menu? How about Wreck-it Ralph playing on the big screen? Did you notice the bridge? How about the fog horn? Disney Animation has really, really created a solid sense of place in just those thirty seconds of footage. From a purely aesthetic standpoint, this is my must see movie of 2014. It also helps that Disney Animation is branching out from their staple, the animated musical. Oh, and that whole kaiju thing.

Yeah, man.
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Old 01-30-2014, 09:48 PM   #2
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Do you know the backstory? Is it the Chinese have kicked the Japanese off their islands and the refugees fall back to San Fran? If so, kinda reminds me of Michael Chabon's most excellent Yiddish Policeman's Union. That could be a very cool alternate reality.

Otherwise, I can't figure a future reality where anything Japanese is dominant/ ascendant. We're not in the early '80's anymore and we gotta put the Bladerunner pipe down sometime. Japan's GDP numbers are going to keep them up there for some time among the world's top economies but they are atrophying as a society more than us in the U.S. Heck almost all foreign automakers don't even play in the market because the Japanese are so quirky. And as for their tastes, the Japanese are modern and not all that into Kitsch. I'd say future San Fran will look more like Star Trek's future with big old Rem Koolhaus type buildings instead of overblown Pagodas (and yes, the selection of building in Beijing was intentional).



As for the animation, I'm right there with you -- it's great and the overall effect with the sound is fantastic -- BUT it succeeds for one reason: the almost total lack of people -- and one look at the one dude in the street car brings the whole thing down a notch. Yup, still a cartoon.

Oh, and the bridge? Very nice too, but I bet in the future there'll be a bigger light show on that thing -- something that will put the Eiffel Tower act to shame.
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Old 01-31-2014, 03:37 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Le Saboteur
The angle doesn't quite look like, but I would put money on that being the view from Nob Hill...

You're a fartknocker. It took you all night to write that and you still forgot to correct that bit?! No excuses about not actually working on it all night long.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Brody
Do you know the backstory? Is it the Chinese have kicked the Japanese off their islands and the refugees fall back to San Fran? If so, kinda reminds me of Michael Chabon's most excellent Yiddish Policeman's Union. That could be a very cool alternate reality.

No idea how Disney plans to explain this very intriguing geographic marriage, but they've obviously psychically and spiritually linked Tokyo and San Francisco for a future generation. The only worthwhile comment on the mash-up I found was from the project's director, Don Hall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Hall
Marvel properties take place in the real world. We were looking for something to do where we could make our own world — bring in the Japanese influences, have recognizable landmarks mashed up with a Japanese aesthetic.

Yes, it's a Marvel property; a very obscure one that came to life in the late nineties when anime/manga/manhwa really seized the attention of American pop culture for the first time. I'm sure you remember it. For a spell, everything seemed to have been influenced by anime and manga. It didn't last long either, which is why the animation team went for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Hall
For Hall, the absence of a detail-obsessed fan base for the series was part of its appeal, as it left every character and setting open to interpretation.

“I was looking for something on the obscure side, something that would mesh well with what we do,” Hall said. “The idea of a kid and a robot story with a strong brother element, it’s very Disney.”



Full sized image here.

From what I understand, the original team was based out of Japan; the government wanted their own Avengers, and Big Hero 6 is what they wrought. There have been several members one the team at one time, but it looks like they'll be focusing on:

Hiro Hamada (originally called Hiro Takachiho), a robotics wunderkind with a *ahem* gift for creating highly advanced battle suits. On the surface it doesn't appear that the two universes will intersect, but I have a hard time seeing Marvel-Disney not working in some sort of Iron Man hero worship here.

Baymax, a synthetic robot bodyguard/mentor/whatever. Think C-3PO, but instead of Protocol & Languages, laser blasters and other wicked awesome robot capabilities.

Wasabi-no-Ginger, a trained sushi chef who fights with various bladed implements. He can also harness his Chi energy into psychic knives a la Psylocke and render his opponents unconscious.

Honey Lemon, a super hot blonde with a magic purse! Seriously, her Power Purse has been infused with Pym Particles that allow her to access multiple dimensions through microscopic wormholes. No matter how big or outlandish it is, she can store it for later use.

GoGo Tomago, another battle suit wearing hero. Except she can absorb kinetic energy and ricochet around the battlefield gaining speed and power with each and every impact.

Fred, a slacker-looking dude with a hidden secret. He can harness the powers of a suspiciously Godzilla-like creature!

It should be noted that I'm merely guessing based on the character silhouettes on display @ D23.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Brody
Yup, still a cartoon.

Sure, but if they manage to strike the right tone it will be absolutely massive. The target audience will turn out in droves. More on the architectural developments at a later time, though.

Part of me think that part of the reason behind the change is to provide a backdrop for a more diverse cast of characters rather than having them all be Japanese.
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Old 01-31-2014, 06:40 PM   #4
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Based on this art, I'm predicting this will be solidly in the "see it on the big screen for the visuals alone" category for me. Seriously, just stunning.

Last edited by Attila the Professor : 02-01-2014 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 02-01-2014, 04:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Attila the Professor
Based on this art, I predicting this will be solidly in the "see it on the big screen for the visuals alone" category for me.

Your first 'look' at Baymax. It's been sourced from dark corners of the 'net, so it's not as clear a look as one would like, but it hints at great things. The Hellenistic model is reputed to work for the Mouse, so this could be a production team shirt as opposed to an eventual piece of merchandise.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Attila the Professor
Seriously, just stunning.

I know, right? Since that first bit of footage came out of D23, I find myself repeatedly checking it out looking for details. For example, if you see that pinkish-red looking line coming from the Financial District and eventually bisects California St. at a 45-degree angle? Yeah, that's an elevated light rail line! It's, of course, endemic to Tokyo, but extremely similar to what San Francisco wants to build. The biggest difference, of course, is that 'Frisco wants to put it below ground and on a very similar guide path.

When Disney acquired Marvel in '09, I know a lot of people were eagerly anticipating the animated output, as opposed to the live-action stuff, but I am deeply curious to see what they do with a Marvel property that's practically a full-blown anime at heart. It's going to be very interesting to say the least.

Hopefully this isn't B-Roll footage and they release a full production video detailing the creation of San Fransokyo even if it is on the eventual Blu-ray release.

With no D-23 this year, I expect to see more footage/character designs/something at Wonder Con in... uh, April. Following that, I expect to see a lot more at San Diego, but it might be consumed by Guardians of the Galaxy since that explodes on theatres just after the convention ends.
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Old 02-01-2014, 04:36 PM   #6
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I'm really looking forward to this. I admit I've never read the Marvel comics, but from the looks of it it doesn't seem to be the conventional superhero origin story that we've seen 14,000 times the past 14 years, so I'm ok with it being a comic adaptation. And yes, the animation looks great.

Disney Animation really has come back strong, even topping Pixar with Tangled, Winnie The Pooh, Wreck-It-Ralph and Frozen. Pixar's latest, The Good Dinosaur, was apparently so bad they had to delay it another year.

Of course, I wasn't that crazy about Frozen, largely because at the end of the day, it was just another princess film which we've seen too much form Disney recently(in terms of merchandise, park stuff as well as the movies). This film though, feels like Wreck-It-Ralph in that it's pushing Disney Animated into exciting new directions. Count me as excited.
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Old 02-02-2014, 11:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Brody
Do you know the backstory? Is it the Chinese have kicked the Japanese off their islands and the refugees fall back to San Fran? If so, kinda reminds me of Michael Chabon's most excellent Yiddish Policeman's Union. That could be a very cool alternate reality.

MC should had the Pulitzer for that not C&C.

Looks neat - I am so out of touch with what is happening with movies
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Old 05-21-2014, 04:29 AM   #8
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So while I was sleeping, Disney Animation released the first three promotional images from their fall release, Big Hero 6!

Dig it! Feel free to click on each image for the full size, or click through to the movie's site.







A teaser trailer is set to debut this coming Thursday, so there's only a couple of days before we get to see it in motion! And as we learned from the Marquis, motion is Nature's primary and most beautiful quality.

In the meantime, the USA Today provides a "sneak peek" for your reading pleasure as well as something of a synopsis. We can add this to our brief database of knowledge including a couple of people behind the voices:
  • T.J. Miller (Silicon Valley) voices Fred;
  • Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids) has an unannounced role;
  • Jamie Chung (The Hangover II & III) voices GoGo Tomago.
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Old 05-22-2014, 04:48 AM   #9
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So, like, I've seen the teaser and it's absolutely charming. Keep an eye on this space or on YouTube for further developments! In the meantime, dig the really groovy poster! It has a strong Up-like vibe to it.


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Old 05-22-2014, 01:20 PM   #10
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The teaser looks charming...can't wait to see more developments with this.
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Old 06-06-2014, 03:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsarino
The teaser looks charming...can't wait to see more developments with this.

Isn't it?! It reminds me a lot of that Incredibles teaser featuring Mr. Incredible.

Has it really been ten years?!




It lacks some of the color of that first look footage, but, man, dig on that detail.



Now feel free to go back to blathering on about Star Wars.
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Old 06-06-2014, 10:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Le Saboteur
Isn't it?! It reminds me a lot of that Incredibles teaser featuring Mr. Incredible.

Has it really been ten years?!

It IS crazy that The Incredibles is going on 10 years!
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Old 07-15-2014, 12:04 PM   #13
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Le Sab is snoozing, so I'm going to post the full Big Hero 6 trailer. You can thank me later.

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Old 08-05-2014, 04:17 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsarino
Le Sab is snoozing, so I'm going to post the full Big Hero 6 trailer. You can thank me later.

While I was quite literally snoozing when you posted the trailer - thank you, by the way - it's not why I refrain from posting/stay away/whatever.

A couple of new posters were released over the past couple of weeks playing up the comedic aspect of a "boy and his robot" angle that they've been promoting thus far.



Check them both out here.

The French, however, are getting the really cool posters so far!

Dig it! Tell me they don't look spectacular?!






A lot of the key art looks good too, but it looks like my original suspicions were correct: the action was relocated to the fictional San Fransokyo from Japan in order to provide for a multi-cultural ensemble. While the reasoning is fine, I'm rather curious how Wasabi-no-Ginger went from a trained sushi chef to a... black "beatnik" in parachute pants. Voiced by a lesser Wayans to boot.

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Old 08-28-2014, 03:44 AM   #15
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Speaking of toys, Big Hero 6 is going to be a merchandising bonanza.




A couple of weeks ago Marvel's Fall solicitations were announced to the public. In short, it's what Marvel's releasing to the comic buying public. Big Hero 6 was surprisingly absent from that list. Which has led some to speculate that there was a rift between Marvel & Disney. Marvel's VP of Television Animation Development & Production told Newsarama in 2013 that Big Hero 6 "truly belong to Walt Disney Animation Studio." Not only is Marvel not doing anything tying into the movie, but the team is being benched.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollywood Reporter
Not only is Marvel not planning any reprints or new material to tie in with the Disney movie released Nov. 7, but it turns out that the characters aren’t scheduled to make appearances in any other Marvel comic titles in the foreseeable future, either. A spokesperson for Marvel confirmed that it has "no plans" for the property when contacted by THR, following up on an earlier report from Newsarama.

Full disclosure: I really only know who the team is because they appeared in an issue of The Amazing Spider-Man a couple of years back. It would also be the last time they appeared in a comic.

John Lasseter poopooed the idea of a rift at a recent sneak peek for the press.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollywood Reporter
Hero is the first film made on Disney's new high-powered, patented rendering system, which produces images of a greater photo-realistic quality than has been possible before. It is also the first time since Disney's $4.24 billion purchase of Marvel in 2009 that Disney animators have dipped into Marvel's comic-book library, where they discovered the new movie's eponymous six superheroes — or "supernerds," as Lasseter called them — which were first featured in Japanese comic books of the same name. While Lasseter emphasized that the film was "made 100 percent here in the Walt Disney Animation Studio," he also noted that Disney "worked very closely" with Marvel and dismissed any notion of a rift between the two companies. "We have a fantastic relationship with them," he said.

Right now we'll have to wait until the end of October where Big Hero 6 will have its world premiere at the Tokyo International Film Festival.


Last edited by Le Saboteur : 08-28-2014 at 03:50 AM.
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Old 09-04-2014, 03:35 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Le Saboteur
Right now we'll have to wait until the end of October where Big Hero 6 will have its world premiere at the Tokyo International Film Festival.

In the interim though, Disney is gradually ramping up their advertising for the flick. They've released a series of shorts (like, 18 seconds short) featuring Baymax in a series of amusing bits, and now they've released the first clip from the movie featuring -- you guessed it! -- Hiro & Baymax. It's funny.



If I may make a bold prediction, Baymax us going to rank right up there with Dancing Baby Groot in the pop culture zeitgeist.

The animators even labeled the correct genes responsible for puberty!

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Old 09-27-2014, 04:06 PM   #17
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Disney released a 2nd trailer over the weekend. Must say I like how this is turning out.



In related news, Disneyland is offering a "Sneak Peak" at the Magic Theatre, where Captain EO plays(they did the same for Guardians of The Galaxy a couple months ago, and that turned out well). I was there the day it opened, but it was only open to Annual Passholders unfortunately. It should be open to the general public now, so I'll probably will see it tomorrow.

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Old 09-27-2014, 05:30 PM   #18
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If this movie had a princess in it, and became a hit...I wonder if Raveners would lament the loss of good ol' classic manliness in entertainment?

Just noting an annoying double standard.
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Old 09-27-2014, 09:17 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kongisking
If this movie had a princess in it, and became a hit...I wonder if Raveners would lament the loss of good ol' classic manliness in entertainment?

Just noting an annoying double standard.

Don't know about a Princess or what, but it has plenty of Geoengineering images in it, right from the start with the Disney Logo. The process of normalising continues.
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Old 09-28-2014, 04:59 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kongisking
If this movie had a princess in it, and became a hit...

I'll hold Joe Brody down and you can pummel him with your pom poms.

Sound good?




Quote:
Originally Posted by Forbidden Eye
Disney released a 2nd trailer over the weekend. Must say I like how this is turning out.

It remains a visual cornucopia -- I think that goes without saying -- but I'm expecting a massive age gap in terms of story and the appreciation of said story. My concern is that it's going to play heavily for the "selfie" generation and subsequently date itself.
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Old 09-28-2014, 08:50 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Le Saboteur
I'll hold Joe Brody down and you can pummel him with your pom poms.

Sound good?


I think I know why that thread turned into a condescending dismissal of the movie and people who like it. Because The Raven is full of patriarchy/stereotype-enforcing anti-progressives. Damn, Detective Holmes should hire me...

Anyway, I am really excited for this too. Though I still wish Baymax was mute, as he seemed to be in the teaser. I love the idea of a big, quiet marshmallow robot superhero who's like a big cute baby but can kick ass. Hilarious.

Then again, the brief clip shown during that ABC documentary about the making of The Film That Shall Not Be Named featured a scene of him talking, and it was incredibly funny anyway. Whatdoiknow...
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Old 09-28-2014, 01:30 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kongisking
I think I know why that thread turned into a condescending dismissal of the movie and people who like it. Because The Raven is full of patriarchy/stereotype-enforcing anti-progressives. Damn, Detective Holmes should hire me...

Way to tar everyone with the same brush. Anyhow, if you think so, pick up a shovel and dig.
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Old 09-28-2014, 06:03 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kongisking
If this movie had a princess in it, and became a hit...I wonder if Raveners would lament the loss of good ol' classic manliness in entertainment?

Just noting an annoying double standard.

[Laughingly] Dude, I will start lamenting right now without even having seen the film and without it having a Princess. I watched the last BH6 trailer with my kids a couple of days ago, and I get the story. And while I respect Le Sab's confidence about the film's prospects, I can't share it.

Less Bruckheimer (and even his stuff has gone bad), Disney has a spotty track record on male targeted films -- I'm thinking Treasure Planet and Atlantis -- and the Cars franchise has always been repugnant to me. I would say there's a decent chance Disney again misses the mark with this film and it's squeezy robot angle because young boys will reject it because it's either a little creepy or lacking (I don't know to say this) an edge.

I've got an easy going nine year old boy who likes best to whale on things in Minecraft -- and he's not interested in BH6. But anything coming out of my household is likely bad data (we spent Saturday night watching the President's U.N. speach, which we couldn't watch earlier due to tests, soccer and music lessons), so let's take a step back and look at how the competition will impact BHG: I note that BH6 has less than two weeks in early November until Katniss and her crew come out swinging and bombing everything in sight with what looks like a bona fide big budget war flick. That film is going to vacu-suck up every last PG-13 filmgoer with an ounce of Testostrone on the planet for several weeks. Anyone afraid of explosions will take their kids to the cute (safe but entertaining) Penguins of Madacasgar. So what am I saying? BH6 will be the choice that will only have lukewarm support in family debates about what film to see over the Turkey holiday -- in other words BH6 has pressure on both sides and if BH6 ain't raking it in over Thanksgiving, it isn't going to do bofo box office.

I also think there is risk to BH6 on possible holdover action from October. I think Dracula Untold went with the PG-13 rating. If so and if the film is good, than that film is going to deprive BH6 of critical tween and teen revenue (now obviously, Dracula won't be a holdover threat if it sucks but I know my kids want to see it). Also, every guy that I've talked movies with over the past three-to-four months that has an ounce of Testostrone has Fury carved into their calendar with Lt. Aldo Raine's Bowie knife. Clearly, Fury is not direct competition but there are a helluva lot of military families in this country that will don't do first fun films but will spend to see Fury on date night and than wait to take the kids to a film over Thanksgiving (which takes us to the dilemma presented above). Similary, I think that Alexander very whatever horrible day film, if it is good, could hurt BH6 among some families that don't go to the movies every month.
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Old 09-28-2014, 06:59 PM   #24
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. . .sorry for the double post but my son just raised another point relevant to my threat-from-the-marketplace analysis.

I just asked him if he wants to see BH6 and he said he'd rather see Guardians of the Galaxy again (a lot of his friends saw it several times in theatre but I'd have none of that -- apart from Cherry Bomb I'm not the biggest fan of the film).

My point? Kids in BH6's target age don't distinguish between live action and animation. And all these kids have just come off recently watching a wildly entertaining and edgy blockbuster. So right now, Guardians sets the bar and I'm afraid the goofy, adventurous BH6 will come up short (especially with Katniss looming on the near horizon).

I went and saw that BH6 is still unrated. I know a lot of films do that, but to me this is a sign of weakness. Clearly can't go 'G.' Go PG and no tweens and teens go. Get a weak PG13 and you alienate some of the tweens and teens who go and see it but who are coming off of a Guardians high. I think BH6 may be a good film that may be a victim of its slot on the release schedule -- even though it has little direct competition.

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Old 09-28-2014, 07:09 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Attila the Professor
Way to tar everyone with the same brush. Anyhow, if you think so, pick up a shovel and dig.

Okay, I confess to using angry hyperbole. But it was starting to enter that direction. Horsey flat-out said he was willing to let the thread drift into a conversation about 'masculinity' dying off in fiction, which I'm fairly certain would just turn into a one-sided roast of 'little girl' media (because Disney movies can never be appreciated by guys, apparently), and I'd be there, unable to say a dissenting word and be taken seriously.

I know, I know, I should go somewhere else with my tampons...
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