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The Avengers (2012)

Joss Whedon

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#201 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 12:48 PM

In that vein, Susan Raab (via HogwartsProfessor.com):

My husband asked why the movie lingers over the one-on-one “get to know you” battles between each pair of characters. To me, each battle was a mini-purification: a burning away, illumination and transformation in each relationship until transcend-and-include unity is attained. This inner battle is the fascinating heart of the movie; the generic aliens are just one more ho-hum symbol for the ruthless external furnace of life.



#202 Timothy Zila

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 12:35 AM

I found the first half of the film pretty fun/interesting, but this is all I could think about during the last hour:


Edited by Timothy Zila, 11 May 2012 - 12:37 AM.


#203 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 01:08 AM

You wouldn't believe how often I find myself singing that song at the end of that sequence, whenever I wonder if I should have taken accounting classes in high school instead of the university-track stuff... "It's fun to charter an accountant / And sail the wide accountancy / To find, explore the funds offshore / And skirt the shoals of bankruptcy..."

#204 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 01:40 PM

I had a feeling this would come up.

MSNBC asks if one of the jokes in this film was "cruel" to the adoption community. I didn't see it that way at all, because the point of the joke is not that adoption made Loki a bad person (of course it didn't), but the fact that Thor is conflicted between his feelings of loyalty to his brother and his need to distance himself from Loki's actions.

Bizarrely, the article quotes Chris Hemsworth (the actor who plays Thor) to the effect that he had no idea the line would be so funny; he just didn't see what the joke was. And, coincidentally, last night Steve Sailer linked to some old interviews in which Whedon blames actors and directors for getting the tone of his dialogue wrong (e.g. Storm's "toad" line in the original X-Men). So I can't help wondering if there is something about the way Whedon's scripts are written that just doesn't come across to some people.

At any rate, it's a good thing Whedon got to be his own interpreter this time!

#205 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 10:46 AM

Whoa. Various sites are reporting that The Avengers could gross $100 million in this, its SECOND weekend in North America. That would beat the previous record for best second weekend (i.e. the $75 million earned by both Avatar and The Dark Knight), and it would put The Avengers' North American earnings (after just 10 days) at about $370 million, or about half-way to Avatar's North American total.

Meanwhile, globally, they're saying the film COULD reach a billion bucks by Sunday (after 19 days in international release). Only eleven other films have ever grossed a billion dollars worldwide -- and two of them (The Dark Knight and The Phantom Menace) didn't reach that milestone until after they went into re-release.

#206 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 08:15 PM

Ah, I was hoping we'd get to see this. Remember that article on Thor by the guy who actually worships the Norse gods? He has now weighed in on The Avengers:

There is a scene near the end of the first act where the heroes have captured Loki, God of Mischief and the film’s central antagonist, and are flying him back to base in an airplane. Suddenly, in the film’s most transparently contrived sequence, Thor, carrying Mjolnir and an impressive red cape, arrives and steals Loki away. Captain America, the film’s point-of-view character, prepares to jump after them. As he grabs his parachute, he’s told by the Black Widow, one of the Avengers without her own movie, that Loki and Thor are “basically gods.”

“There’s only one God, Ma’am,” says Cap, “and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that.”

The line got a big laugh in our theater—including from me. Cap is from 1940′s Brooklyn, after all. The modern revival of Norse paganism was decades away. The first Norse church, Iceland’s Ásatrúarfélagið, didn’t register until 1973. The character would naturally dismiss the thought of genuine pagan deities.

What is more telling is that the film never really challenges that line. Though there are a few more mentions of the G-word—Iron Man refers to Thor as a “demigod,” for example—the idea of these manifested entities as subjects of worship is never brought up, much less endorsed. They are the most powerful of the superhuman characters, sure, but if they are gods, they are gods without religion. This seems unlikely to me. I expect that if somebody who looked like Thor, acted like Thor, and saved New Mexico from rampaging suits of armor like Thor appeared on the news, Asatru’s stock would rise. But the film never addresses this issue. The one character for whom the religious implications seemed to matter—the Scandinavian scientist, Erik Selvig, who was on the verge of a religious epiphany in the Thor film—has little screen time in The Avengers where he’s not acting as a plot device. . . .



#207 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 12:52 AM

Well, that was fast. The Avengers is now the #6 film of all time in North America, and the #7 film of all time overseas, and somehow this adds up to being the #4 film of all time worldwide -- behind only Harry Potter 8 and a couple of James Cameron films.

FWIW, the film ranks behind the following films domestically:
  • Avatar (2009) -- $760.5 million
  • Titanic (1997) -- $658.5 million
  • The Dark Knight (2008) -- $533.3 million
  • Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999) -- $474.5 million
  • Star Wars (1977) -- $461.0 million
  • Marvel's The Avengers (2012) -- $457.1 million
  • Shrek 2 (2004) -- $441.2 million
  • E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) -- $435.1 million
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006) -- $423.3 million
  • The Lion King (1994) -- $422.8 million
And here is how it ranks overseas:
  • Avatar (2009) -- $2,021.8 million
  • Titanic (1997) -- $1,526.7 million
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011) -- $947.1 million
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Strange Tides (2011) -- $802.8 million
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) -- $771.4 million
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) -- $742.1 million
  • Marvel's The Avengers (2012) -- $723.3 million
  • Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009) -- $690.1 million
  • Alice in Wonderland (2010) -- $690.1 million
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010) -- $660.4 million
Oh, and as a footnote to the domestic list, a moment of silence for Star Wars as it is about to sink down to the #6 spot for the first time since its original 1977 release.

(A brief history of Star Wars' rise, fall, rise, and fall again: It quickly became the #1 film of all time upon its original release. Then, in 1982, it was knocked down to #2 by E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial; in 1993, it was knocked down to #3 by Jurassic Park; and in 1994, it was knocked down to #4 by Forrest Gump. Then, in 1997, the "special edition" shot the film back to #1. And then, in 1998, it was knocked down to #2 by Titanic; in 2008, it was knocked down to #3 by The Dark Knight; in 2010, it was knocked down to #4 by Avatar; in early 2012, it was knocked down to #5 by the 3D re-issue of Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace; and now, it is only a couple days away from being knocked down to #6 by Marvel's The Avengers.)

Also worth noting is that this film now has the record for fastest $450 million in North America, having reached that milestone in 17 days; the previous record, of 27 days, was set by The Dark Knight.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway, 21 May 2012 - 12:58 AM.


#208 Cunningham

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 12:39 PM

A fun little heads up that Ebert's editor, Jim Emerson, linked Leary's Filmwell review of Avengers in his Scanners blog :)

#209 Tyler

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 02:08 PM

The Official Marvel Cinematic Timeline.

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Edited by Tyler, 21 May 2012 - 02:10 PM.


#210 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 08:00 PM

It's interesting that they'd date things "Before Iron Man" and "After Iron Man". I mean, the events in Captain America -- which themselves spanned 3 years -- take place within a fairly narrow span of time, i.e. the 5 years between the Nazi invasion of Norway and the end of World War II. (I can't remember if Captain America got any more specific than that.) If the Crimson Skull got the Tesseract during the initial Nazi invasion of Norway, that would date the beginning of that film to 1940 -- and that, in turn, would date the events of Iron Man to 2007, according to this timeline (though the film itself did not come out until 2008).

Extrapolating further from that, it would seem that the events of Iron Man 2, Thor and The Incredible Hulk all took place no later than 2008, too. So the big question now is how big a time-gap there is between all those films and The Avengers. If memory serves, at the beginning of the current film, Bruce Banner says it has been a year or so since he last transformed into the Hulk -- but are we to assume that the transformation in question was depicted in The Incredible Hulk? Or have there been other transformations in the interim? And how long would we expect Tony Stark and Pepper Potts to "go out" without, y'know, getting married or something? (They still have sort of a "new couple" vibe in The Avengers, do they not?)

#211 Anders

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 08:44 PM

So, IRON MAN 2, THOR, and THE INCREDIBLE HULK all occurred during the same week? Also, why does the chart give no date for how long after IRON MAN the events in THE AVENGERS occur? There are an awful lot of events all marked "Before AVENGERS."

#212 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 08:55 PM

Anders wrote:
: So, IRON MAN 2, THOR, and THE INCREDIBLE HULK all occurred during the same week?

Yeah, that much was implicit in Iron Man 2 itself. If memory serves, Agent Coulson mentions that he's got to go to New Mexico to check something out (which, of course, turns out to be Thor's hammer, glimpsed in the post-credits tag); plus, when Nick Fury has his final meeting with Tony Stark, we can see footage from The Incredible Hulk playing on a screen in the background, as if it were very recent news footage. We had a few posts about that in our Iron Man 2 thread.

#213 Anders

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 09:30 PM

Anders wrote:
: So, IRON MAN 2, THOR, and THE INCREDIBLE HULK all occurred during the same week?

Yeah, that much was implicit in Iron Man 2 itself. If memory serves, Agent Coulson mentions that he's got to go to New Mexico to check something out (which, of course, turns out to be Thor's hammer, glimpsed in the post-credits tag); plus, when Nick Fury has his final meeting with Tony Stark, we can see footage from The Incredible Hulk playing on a screen in the background, as if it were very recent news footage. We had a few posts about that in our Iron Man 2 thread.


Somehow that slipped my mind. Now that you mention it, I remember the Hulk footage. I only saw IRON MAN 2 once, so it's not fresh in my memory.

#214 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 09:37 PM

Well, that was fast. The Avengers is now the #6 film of all time in North America, and the #7 film of all time overseas, and somehow this adds up to being the #4 film of all time worldwide -- behind only Harry Potter 8 and a couple of James Cameron films.

FWIW, this is still the #4 film of all time worldwide, but it has inched up to #4 on the North American chart and #5 on the foreign chart. And, yesterday, it set a new record for fastest $500 million in North America; it reached that milestone in 23 days, whereas it took previous record-holder Avatar 32 days to reach that mark.

#215 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 02:15 PM

This is going back a few weeks, but...

So apparently Samuel L. Jackson was already the highest-grossing actor in history (i.e., the actor whose movies did the best box office, irrespective of the significance of his role in them or what he got paid) before The Avengers. So said the Guinness Book of World Records last October, per this EW story.


Today, I came across this article on Gary Oldman's latest gig, which mentioned, in passing:

With movies such as Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy and the Harry Potter series under his belt, Oldman has the distinction of being the top-grossing actor of all time.


Anyone here think Oldman is a contender for this title? And what accounts for the discrepancy between these two claims: a focus on domestic vs. worldwide grosses, perhaps?

#216 Rachel Anne

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 05:14 PM

I don't know who else tracks this sort of thing, but according to Box Office Mojo:

http://www.boxoffice...uelljackson.htm
Samuel L. Jackson: US total $3.342 billion, Worldwide total $6.431 billion

http://www.boxoffice...=garyoldman.htm
Gary Oldman: US total $2.265 billion, Worldwide total $5.219 billion

So by Mojo, it's Jackson in a walk. (And if Jackson keeps on showing up in every Marvel movie, he's going to be tough to catch.)

Edited by bowen, 31 May 2012 - 05:17 PM.


#217 Darryl A. Armstrong

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 08:23 PM

Maybe someone wasn't counting cameo appearences. Or animated features. Or maybe The Hollywood Reporter mistakenly credited Oldman for appearing in all the Harry Potter films.

ETA: Just on a whim, according to Box Office Mojo...

Harrison Ford beats Jackson in domestic totals, but not Worldwide:

US: $3.556 million, Worldwide: $5,968.4 million

And Daniel Radcliff beats Jackson in Worldwide, but not US:

US: $2,444 million, Worldwide: $7,833.5 million

And then there's Tom Hanks...

US: $4,045 million, Worldwide: $7,946.5 million

Edited by Darryl A. Armstrong, 31 May 2012 - 08:42 PM.


#218 Tyler

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 12:09 AM

Why Loki Won in The Avengers. (Spoilers, natch.)

I don't know enough about the Marvel universe to follow everything in the post, but the thesis seemed to make sense.

#219 SDG

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 06:16 PM

Why Loki Won in The Avengers. (Spoilers, natch.)

I don't know enough about the Marvel universe to follow everything in the post, but the thesis seemed to make sense.

Bah. I'm willing to listen to some variation on this theme, but this particular variation—that Loki tempted the wrath of the Chitauri and embarked on an insanely complex and difficult plan that could have gone wrong any number of ways simply in order to get a ride home to Asgard doesn't pass the smell test. The comment from Mewo Me at May 29, 2012 at 12:39 pm decisively refutes this, and none of the subsequent comments are credible rejoinders. There are other good critiques as well.

#220 M. Leary

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 08:29 AM

I agree SDG. In fact, that was the first thing I thought while reading the linked article. I watched Thor again this weekend to confirm that suspicion, and it is exactly the case. In fact, the entire Thor/Loki exchange in Avengers is meaningless if Loki could not have gone back with Thor at that moment.





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