News / Arts & Entertainment

US Summer Movie Fare Rakes in Money from Around the World

Daniel Craig in Cowboys & Aliens
Daniel Craig in Cowboys & Aliens

Multimedia

Penelope Poulou

Every year, from May until September, Hollywood rolls out high action and high budget films. These escapist movies are the industry's goldmine, often raking in hundreds of millions of dollars from domestic as well as international release.

The legendary Jack Sparrow, played by legendary actor Johnny Depp, returns in Pirates of the Caribbean on Stranger Tides, the fourth installment. This time our hero is searching for the fountain of youth.

It cost $400 million to make this swashbuckling adventure, and producers believe they will make their money back and more. So far the franchise has yielded almost $3 billion worldwide. That includes movie-related merchandise and Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean theme parks. For this installment, Disney added a 3D ticket premium ranging from $3 to $5.

These lavish productions follow a formula. You take a charismatic leading man, in this case Johnny Depp, an exciting cast of high brow actors like Goeffrey Rush, an alluring leading lady, like Penelope Cruz.  Add to that grand cinematography and a phantasmagorical plot. Then throw in a bonus of 3D visuals and you've got movie success.  

Another film that follows the recipe is Thor. Thor is an arrogant young god banished by his father Odin and forced to live among humans.

The film cost $150 million, but it's a box office hit. Since its release a few weeks ago, it has grossed about $250 million worldwide.

Anthony Hopkins plays Thor's anguished father and Oscar winner Natalie Portman plays Thor's love interest on Planet Earth.  Chris Hemsworth plays Thor, but doesn't share those credentials although he's a convincing superhero.

So far, Thor has hammered the opposition at the box office, but it is not expected to outlast ole Jack Sparrow in the theaters.

X-Men: First Class is another superhero film expected to dominate the summer blockbusters. It's the prequel to the franchise and it cost about 200 million dollars to make.  James McAvoy leads a star-studded cast as young Professor X. The film has impressive special effects and action-packed scenes where the famous mutants help defuse the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

Cowboys and Aliens is the most outlandish of the summer fare. This action-packed production is based on a 2006 novel. The film is a western and sci-fi hybrid. Apparently, the 20th and 21st centuries do not have exclusive rights to UFO sightings.   

This production was directed by Ironman filmmaker Jon Favreau and produced by Steven Spielberg and Ron Howard.

The actors are action genre heavyweights.  Daniel Craig  plays Jake Lonergan, a gunslinger in 19th century Arizona. He wakes up in the desert shackled and with amnesia.  Suddenly, his town is attacked by aliens.  He joins forces with Colonel Woodrow Dolarhyde, that's Harrison Ford,  to destroy the UFOs.

Cowboys and Aliens will be released at the end of July and is expected to bolster Hollywood's summer cache.  

Those who are not tempted to see these movies can wait till October when Oscar contenders start lining up.

You May Like

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

Video One Year After Massacre, Iraq’s Yazidis a Broken People

Minority community still recovering from devastating assault by IS militants which spurred massive outrage More

‘Malvertisements’ Undermine Internet Trust

Hackers increasingly prey on users' trust of major websites to delivery malicious software More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Wayne Casey – “KC” of KC and the Sunshine Band – comes to VOA’s Studio 4 to talk with "Border Crossings" host Larry London and perform songs from his new album, “Feeling You! The 60s.”