by Shane “Multi-Hundredaire” Hnetka
Thanks to the box office success of Fast & Furious 6 and Despicable Me 2, Universal Studios crossed the $1 billion worldwide mark this year for the first time in its 101-year existence. Which sounds crazy — how has the studio that produced movies like E.T. and Jurassic Park not made a billion in a year?
Oh wait, my mistake — I just re-read the press release, and Universal made TWO billion this year.
Last year the studio only made a measly $1.75 billion, though.
Weep for them.
SUPER STUDIO EXTREME FUN HAPPY TIME
Speaking of obscene fortunes, Wang Jianlin (the richest man in China) announced plans to build an $8.2 billion movie studio in his home country. But this is no ordinary movie studio! It will be a SUPER STUDIO, with “the world’s largest” production facilities — including 20 soundstages, several permanent outdoor sets built in European, Middle Eastern and historical Chinese styles, an underwater soundstage and an IMAX research facility. There will also be hotels, museums, restaurants and other attractions, and to top it off: a theme park à la Universal Studios.
Looking at these dazzling plans, I think I know where Saskatchewan went wrong with its film patch. We didn’t drive the industry out by cutting tax credits — the problem is we’ve never had a Saskatchewan theme park fund.
Theme parks! I’m sure that’s the key to a successful film industry.
LOOK OUT, VENEZUELA: HERE COMES THE SPIDER-MAN
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro blames Spider-Man for his country’s apparently epidemic youth violence. Yes, really: Maduro recently watched Spider-Man 3 and somehow concluded that crapulent wreck was making Venezuelan teenagers shoot people.
I agree that Spider-Man 3 is terrible — it’s one of the few films in the last 10 years I almost walked out of. It has random “evil dance” scenes and a stupid, touchy-feely ending with the main villain, The Sandman, turning into sand (as opposed to being shot with a gun).
Even supporting villain Venom (who, again, doesn’t use guns) was super lame — he was defeated by noisy metal pipes (also not guns).
I think Venezuela’s successor to Hugo Chavez might be looking for easy scapegoats for complex social problems.
He’s not going to solve anything by pretending he’s J. Jonah Jameson.
Shane Hnetka hates crappy movies more than the Daily Bugle’s publisher hates webslingers. He writes Dog Blog’s Sunday Matinee column every weekend at www.prairiedogmag.com.