Last week, The New York Times published an article about Hollywood studio executives blaming the influence of Rotten Tomatoes for its failures at the box office. This seemed silly, and it was practically an admission that the movies these execs are making suck. Well, now we have data that shows the critical consensus on movies is not killing profits.
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Hollywood is struggling through a particularly rough financial patch at the moment, and it's throwing blame in every direction. Its favourite target over the last ten years has been technological disruption. Netflix, home theatres and MoviePass in the US have all been cited as box office grim reapers. The latest target, Rotten Tomatoes, is the dumbest excuse yet.
One of Hollywood's top contract management firms was sent scrambling this week after informed of a breach involving a wealth of confidential and proprietary data. Contained in the leak was invaluable information about the earnings of some of the world's biggest musical talent during the era of Now That's What I Call Music! 45 through 74.
Over the past decade, a clear pattern has emerged in Hollywood: Direct a successful, small movie and get a large blockbuster in return. That small movie doesn't even have to be that successful, either -- it just has to be good, and your next film can have a budget up to 200 times the size. And also, you pretty much have to be a man.
Today, Ayn Rand is perhaps best known as your virgin cousin's favourite author to fawn over during Christmas dinner. But back in the 1940s, Rand was better known for helping root out Communists in Hollywood. She testified to US Congress and even wrote an entire pamphlet about how to make their movies as pro-America as possible that was sent to movie producers. Or at least, Rand's version of "America".
Indiana Jones proved just how useful a good bullwhip can be, both as a tool and as a weapon, but people are still surprised when neuropsychologist Jessica Cail tells them that one of her favourite hobbies is practising whip-cracking. She talks about this peculiar sideline in the latest instalment of the NOVA video series, Secret Life of Scientists.
If this year's Sundance Film Festival is any indication, virtual reality is about to hit the mainstream. Under a program called "New Frontier", the festival is promoting eleven independently produced VR films. The finalists have been chosen from hundreds of entries and among them are some short documentaries, horrifying acid trips and even a Reggie Watt music video.
Screw 360-degree film cameras on drones or Vines on 16-megapixel smartphones. Kodak's going old school with these little beauties. The design is inspired by the Super 8 fad from half a century ago, and these new cameras that shoot film on, well, actual film.
Most robots don't have IMDb pages. Geminoid F isn't most robots.
The scene was set: a surveillance camera, a safe full of money in a Las Vegas casino, a pair of thieves with lock picking tools and a laptop. I watched in awe as the skinny geeks clipped wires and rewired the feed so that it would loop ad finitum. Basically, they recreated the climax of Ocean's 11 before my very eyes.
Camera-equipped drones swoop and shoot aerial shots for TV and movies with gorgeous Planet Earth grandeur. Now, director James Cameron's backing a new contest in New Zealand to find drone designs to make the flying cameras even better-suited to Hollywood.