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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the latest edition of "Beyond Category" blues singer and guitarist Corey Harris performs with his band and talks about his travels in West Africa tracing the roots of the blues.