Film Fanatic: Gerard Butler Goes Bodhi, DVD Biz Bump, and The Biggest Film of 2013

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Gerard Butler in Final Negotiations for Point Break Remake

Remakes to most films are inevitable.  One day, heaven forbid, they will remake Die Hard and Road House and Speed.  Another beloved male testosterone fueled classic from that era is Point Break.  This remake is already in the works and they’ve apparently found their Bodhi.

Film fanatic - Butler goes Bodhi, DVDs sell, and Hunger Games won 2013
Gerard Butler could be the new Bodhi. | (screencrush.com)

Originally played by Patrick Swazye, the new incarnation will be played by Gerard Butler.  Butler is in final negotiations to star in the remake which will be directed by Ericson Core (Invincible) and written by Kurt Wimmer (Law Abiding Citizen, Salt).  Butler seems to be focusing more on action-driven films after the success of last year’s Olympus Has Fallen.  Before jumping, or surfing, into Point Break, he will be making a sequel to Fallen, aptly titled London Has Fallen.

In the new version, according to Heat Vision, Butler’s Bodhi will be “an expert extreme sports athlete who also seeks to find nirvana through the conquest of a series of athletic feats such as surfing 100-waves.  He saves Johnny Utah, the undercover FBI agent, and brings him into the fold of international criminals.”

The part of Utah, previously played by Keanu Reeves, has not yet been cast.  More importantly, someone will have the difficult task of improving upon Gary Busey’s insane performance as Utah’s partner, Pappas.  If they get anything right with this film, it has to be with that casting.

Home Entertainment Industry Sees an Improvement in Revenue in 2013

If you’ve spent any time in a local Best Buy over the past year, you may have noticed that they’ve downsized their home entertainment section in favor of more boutique-like areas for Apple products and cell phone companies.  That’s because the market for home entertainment, DVDs in particular, has been declining year after year.

But for the second year in a row, the home entertainment industry as a whole grew ever so slightly in 2013, generating $18.3 billion in consumer spending on Blu-rays, DVDs and electronic copies of films and TV shows, according to a report by IHS Screen Digest.

Film Fanatic: The 2013 Blockbuster, DVD Sales Rise and So Does Bodhi
Blu-ray disc sales continue to drop while digital spending rises again. | (thewrap.com)

The increase in revenue isn’t eye-popping, less than 1 percent from the previous year, but it’s still encouraging considering the DVD business saw a decline in numbers for seven consecutive years prior to 2012.

“It’s the best health the business has been in for half a decade,” Tom Adams, a home entertainment analyst at IHS, told TheWrap.  “That’s encouraging even though it was very modest growth.”

The main reason behind the increase is due to electronic sales which jumped nearly 39 percent to $1.3 billion.  This is the first time that figure has been above the billion dollar mark.  Overall, digital spending, which includes rental, subscription services such as Netflix and video on demand rose nearly 25 percent resulting in $6.5 billion.

The digital video industry being the main reason behind the increase isn’t surprising.  More and more consumers seem to be following the music-purchasing model by renting and buying their movies digitally.  Total spending on physical discs, both DVDs and Blu-rays, were down 9 percent.

Who knows how long the physical disc market will be a viable business practice.  As a cinephile, I prefer purchasing discs because I like that tactile feeling of being able to hold something in my hand and admire it and put it on a shelf.  There’s a whole generation of vinyl enthusiasts who feel the same way about music.

As long as there’s aisles to wander through at my local Best Buy or Target, I’ll be there.  With the release of these positive numbers, I might just have a couple more years to enjoy it thanks to the people who prefer digital spending.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Becomes Top Grossing Film of 2013

Lionsgate announced today that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has now grossed $409.4 million domestically, which means it has surpassed Iron Man 3’s $409 million total to become the highest-grossing film of 2013.

Film Fanatic: Hunger Games - The 2013 Blockbuster, DVD Sales Rise and So Does Bodhi
‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ tops 2013 in box office revenue. | (Collider)

What makes the film’s success even more astounding is the fact that the film was not released in 3D which in this day-and-age, accounts for a lot of business.  Catching Fire’s worldwide total box office currently stands at $832.7 million.

There’s two other interesting facts to take away from the film’s success.  It’s the first film with a solo female lead to take the top box office spot since The Exorcist all the way back in 1973.

The second fact which is truly incredible is that Catching Fire’s success marks the first time the first two installments of a franchise have each topped $400 million at the domestic box office.  

Think about that.  Iconic franchises like Star Wars, Harry Potter and The Lord of the RIngs didn’t even accomplish that feet.  In fact, none of the Harry Potter or RIngs films even surpassed $400 million and only two of the six Star Wars films managed to do it.

With two more installments, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and 2, coming in 2014 and 2015 respectively, this franchise will eventually go down as one of the most successful in history.

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