Nicholas Hoult hopes to bite into Twilight’s tween market in zombie flick Warm Bodies.
If you want to know what we can expect from the new year, simply look back over the last couple of years and take note of what made money. Just as The Last Of The Mohicans begat Rob Roy, Braveheart and ultimately Gladiator, anything that looked cool and broke $100 million will have people clamouring to rip it off, especially if said rip-off can be produced in 3D to inflate ticket prices.
The success of Les Misérables - which made more money in its first week than the recent big-screen adaptations of The Producers and Nine made in their entire theatrical runs - will send Hollywood back to Broadway, snapping up every viable musical property... and a few that aren't so viable. On the upside, Don McKellar and the rest of the Drowsy Chaperone crew will be able to buy bigger houses.
The pursuit of the next Twilight will see half a dozen young-adult adventures trying to recapture the excitement - and the revenue stream - of Stephenie Meyer's tween juggernaut. Building buzz already are the zombie romance Warm Bodies (February 1), Toronto-lensed supernatural adventure The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones (August 23) and the second Hunger Games movie, Catching Fire (November 21).
But I'm most looking forward to The Host (March 29), an adaptation of Meyer's alien-invasion novel directed by Andrew Niccol, who wrote The Truman Show and directed the intriguing sci-fi thrillers Gattaca and In Time. That could be interesting.
Large format's a big deal
After the acclaim for Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master, shot on 70mm film, and the strong returns for the IMAX run of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises, someone else will shoot a movie on large-format film. But it'll probably be Michael Bay or Brett Ratner or M. Night Shyamalan, and we'll all be very, very sorry.
Still more superheroes
The Marvel superhero machine will leap into high gear. This is less a trend than an inevitability; sequels to Thor and Captain America are already in production, and the films leading up to The Avengers 2 already have release dates. Fortunately, Marvel and Disney have retained Avengers whiz kid Joss Whedon to oversee everything. I can't wait to see what he and Edgar Wright do with Ant-Man.
Vin Diesel endures
Universal will release a sixth Fast And The Furious movie this summer. You will not know anyone who sees it, but it will earn $600 million globally and keep Vin Diesel from descending into porn for two more years, so that's something.
Big screen will not rule
Though the megaplex once again proved a wasteland for innovative pop entertainment, the combined miracle of social media and alternate distribution paradigms - two things the studios neither fully understand nor want to accept but are desperate to exploit - will drive more people to discover terrific films like Looper, Pitch Perfect and Premium Rush now that they're on disc, iTunes and various on-demand services. (While they're at it, here's hoping they look up Moonrise Kingdom and The Deep Blue Sea.) Big-screen box office shouldn't define a movie's success - or at least it no longer needs to.