by Shane “Make Mine Marvel” Hnetka
Well, it looks like Rupert Murdoch has passed on buying Time Warner for the time being. Passed? More like was told, “fuhgeddaboudit!” After Warner rebuffed his takeover bid, Fox’s stock dropped and Murdoch said continuing wasn’t worth the risk to his shareholders.
Given that Murdoch’s family is the controlling shareholder in Fox, I guess he’s in a good position to appreciate that risk.
Speaking of Warner Bros., they’ve moved the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice release date again. The film was initially targeted for a July 2015 date, then, weirdly, bumped to the same May 6, 2016 date MarvelStudios was widely known to have picked for Captain America 3.
For months, both studios refused to budge on either films’ release dates. It was obvious someone would blink, and almost as obvious that the blinkers would be the disorganized bros at Warner.
Studios don’t usually cannibalize other studios’ audiences — which is why you don’t normally see two big-budget blockbusters opening on the same day. Movies are expensive to make and studios like money, and two big-ticket flicks opening on the same day means less cash for everyone. That’s why the two crappy Hercules movies released this year didn’t open against each other. That’s why this wasn’t going to happen.
The move finally came after Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy opened on an untraditional day in August with record numbers, despite being based on a little-known (at best) comic. Seeing that, Warner finally pulled the stupidly named BVS:DOJ out of the path of this blockbuster box office train-wreck.
BVS:DOJ will now open earlier that year — March 26 — which, like Aug. 1, isn’t a traditional big-budget movie release slot. I guess they figure if Rocket Raccoon can buck the trends, Batman will obliterate them. We’ll see.
AN EXPENDABLE FILM
I don’t how The Expendables 3 did at the box office (I write this column early) but it’s a moot point. A copy was released to the Internet wilds a few weeks ago and has quickly become the top-downloaded pirated movie. The studio, Lionsgate, is suing websites offering it and people downloading it, but really, the damage is done: once a movie hits the Web, it’s pretty hard to put that genie back into the bottle.
I don’t like people illegally downloading movies, but instead of suing for lost income, Lionsgate should’ve made sure the leak never happened in the first place. And maybe, just maybe, the studio should have changed their plans and released The Expendables 3 on video-on-demand the day it opened. Which, yes, kind of sucks. But at least then, people who’d rather watch a new movie at home would have the option of not stealing it.
Besides, a good soldier knows when to fight, and when to fall back and re-group.
Shane Hnetka is a Regina movie and comic book nerd. He also writes Dog Blog’s weekly “Sunday Matinee” column at prairiedogmag.com.