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SXSW 2010: Directing the Dead: Genre Directors Spill Their Guts

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Horror, Filmmaking,

Directing the Dead SXSW

The anticipation of being in the same room as Quentin Tarantino and Eli Roth at Film was worth the very long wait in line, but within 20 minutes word had spread that Tarantino and Roth were no shows.

They were both supposed to accompany other notable directors Ti West (The House of the Devil), Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland), Matt Reeves (Cloverfield).

Many people jumped out of line before they could learn that Robert Rodriguez (Planet Terror/The Faculty) and Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers/The Descent) were going to be the replacements on the panel. When people found out Rodriguez was on the panel the room quickly filled up! Especially since he just debuted the preview for his upcoming movie Predators.

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This Week on DVD and Blu-ray: February 2, 2010

Zombieland DVDHere are some of the options available this Tuesday:

  • Adam: DVD
  • Amadeus (Director’s Cut): Blu-ray
  • Amelia: DVD, Blu-ray
  • An American in Paris: Blu-ray
  • Casablanca: Blu-ray
  • The Departed: Blu-ray
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: Blu-ray
  • Gangs of New York (Remastered): Blu-ray
  • Gigi: Blu-ray
  • The Godfather (Coppola Restoration): Blu-ray
  • The Godfather Part II (Coppola Restoration): Blu-ray
  • The Last King of Scotland: Blu-ray
  • Love Happens: DVD, Blu-ray
  • Maid in Manhattan: Blu-ray

Click to continue reading This Week on DVD and Blu-ray: February 2, 2010

Read More | Amazon

Sequel News: Zombieland, Jackass and More


Here’s the latest scoop on the sequel buzz spreading across Hollywood:

Zombieland: Prepare for another attack of the walking dead—this time in 3D. Sony has already greenlighted a follow-up to Zombieland, the recent comedy starring Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg. “Everyone had fun watching (the first) Zombieland; making it a more visceral experience can only make it better,” producer Gavin Polone said. “I don’t think you want to see Ordinary People in 3-D. But Zombieland is clearly one movie that will benefit from (the technique).” Director Ruben Fleischer has been confirmed for the sequel while discussions are being had with the two main stars.

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Box Office Breakdown: Saw Outdone by Paranormal Activity

Paranormal Activity

Have audiences seen enough Saw?

Although Jigsaw is known for slaying his competition, the serial killer was no match for Katie Featherstone and Micah Sloat. This weekend, those two unknowns saw their small project, , finally top the box office charts. The movie, which was produced for approximately $15,000, reached that position after a steady climb up the ranks. (Aren’t films supposed to go down?) The horror flick also had a higher per screen average than any entry in the Top 10 despite fewer engagements.

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Read More | Variety

Box Office Breakdown: The Wild Things Are #1

Where the Wild Things Are

Who knew a 10-sentence long story could do so well?

It may have taken over three years for Where the Wild Things Are to officially debut, but the long journey was apparently worth the wait. The Spike Jonze project, which was once rumored to be too scary for children, finally unfolded over the weekend and soared to first place. The Maurice Sendak adaptation, which earned approximately $32.7 million, also gave Warner Bros. its best October open ever.

Even though Gerard Butler didn’t bother to promote during his recent Saturday Night Live stint, the film managed to survive on its own. The actioner, which also starred Jamie Foxx, raked in just over $21 million and won a close race for 2nd place. Meanwhile, word-of-mouth hit Paranormal Activity grossed another $19.6 million and moved up one rung to the third spot.

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Read More | Variety

Box Office Breakdown: Audiences Escape to Couples Retreat

Couples Retreat

Depending on how you look at the numbers, the winner this weekend was either or Paranormal Activity.

In the comedy corner, we have a Peter Billingsley-directed film that earned $35.3 million and a first-place finish. The movie - which combined the efforts of Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau and Jason Bateman - pulled in the best numbers for any Columbus Day weekend entry ever. It also gave Vaughn his 2nd best opening behind The Break-Up.

Meanwhile, on the horror front, made a huge splash despite being in limited release. The Blair Witch-esque movie scared up a shocking $49,000 per screen average. It also raked in nearly 500 times more than its budget. (It only cost less than $16,000 to produce.)

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Read More | Variety

Box Office Breakdown: No Sluggish Start for Zombieland

Zombieland

Watch out, vampires…there’s still life in the other undead.

Although he was previously known as a director for Jimmy Kimmel Live, Ruben Fleischer now has a new title: box office champ. This past weekend, Ruben saw his first major feature, , attack the competition with a $24.7 million debut. The movie - which only cost approximately $24 million to make - had the highest open for any zombie-themed flick since Dawn of the Dead in 2004.

Meanwhile, another director had an entirely different result with her debut feature. , a roller derby comedy helmed by Drew Barrymore, rolled into 6th place finish with only $4.7 million. (When your film’s been topped by Pixar entries from 10+ years ago, there might have a problem.) Hopefully in a few more weeks, the Ellen Page vehicle will at least cover its $15 million production tab.

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Read More | Variety

In Theaters This Weekend: October 2, 2009

The Invention of Lying

Here are a few selections in theaters this weekend:

  • Capitalism: A Love Story** (R): starring Michael Moore (directed by Michael Moore)
  • The Invention of Lying (PG-13): starring Ricky Gervais, Jennifer Garner, Jonah Hill (directed by Ricky Gervais, Matthew Robinson)
  • Toy Story/Toy Story 2 in 3D (G): starring Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, John Ratzenberger (directed by John Lasseter)
  • Whip It! (PG-13): starring Ellen Page, Drew Barrymore, Juliette Lewis (directed by Drew Barrymore)
  • Zombieland (R): starring Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone (directed by Ruben Fleischer)

Click to continue reading In Theaters This Weekend: October 2, 2009


Woody Harrelson: Zombie Hunter

Woody Harrelson

felt “accomplished” killing zombies.

The actor admitted he had a great time in Zombieland, which sees his character Tallahassee hunt down and kill the undead beings who feast on human flesh. “It was really fun and really cathartic. You get through the end of the day, you’ve killed a couple hundred zombies, you feel like you’ve accomplished something,” he said.

Woody relished the action and even had his favorite “killing.”

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Zombieland and the Red-Band Trailer


Combine I Am Legend with a little Natural Born Killers, some 28 Weeks Later, and a giant heaping of Shaun of the Dead, and you might just get .

In this new film from Ruben Fleischer, survivors of a zombie plague journey across the country to an amusement park. (Because we should always feel safe in a land of clowns.) The horror comedy stars , Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin and features cameos from Bill Murray and Mike White.

It’ll be time to “nut up or shut up” on October 9.

Read More | Zombieland

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