MARVEL'S EMBARRASSMENT OF RICHES
Iron Man was pure gold for Marvel Entertainment in the company's third quarter, with revenue pouring in from theaters faster than the company had expected. Profits were up 39 percent to $50.6 million on revenue of $182.5 million. Marvel had originally advised investors not to expect much revenue from its Iron Man feature until next year. However, the company said that $60 million of its third-quarter gross came from the superhero movie. Today's (Wednesday) Hollywood Reporter observed, however, that the windfall from the movie this year forces Marvel to reduce its revenue projections for next year when it will have no films in theatrical release. (Iron Man 2 and Thor are due to be released in 2010.)
NETFLIX TO OFFER HD MOVIES VIA THE WEB
Accelerating its move into online delivery of film rentals, Netflix announced Tuesday that it will soon offer about 300 films in high definition that can be streamed through Microsoft's Xbox 360 game console and the $100 settop box being produced by Roku. In order to access the films online, customers must also subscribe to Netflix's regular mail-delivery program. Some analysts have pointed out, however, that high-definition delivered via broadband is a far cry from high-definition delivered via Blu-ray disc.
STUNTMAN'S WIDOW CALLS FOR GREATER CONTROLS
The widow of a stunt technician who was killed during the filming of The Dark Knight in September 2007 has told an inquest in England that his death might have been prevented had the studio initiated adequate safeguards. Derryn Chase testified that Warner Bros. ought to have assigned a health-and-safety coordinator to the set. Later, in an interview with the New Zealand Press Association, Chase said, "Warner Brothers are a huge multi-million dollar company. Why are they cutting corners? These guys are under pressure because the director will say he wants something and they have to respond as quickly as possible. It is the culture of the industry and it needs to change. I just want to see the big companies take health and safety seriously in the movie industry." Her husband, Conway Wickliffe, was killed during the filming of a scene in which the Batmobile was blown up. The New Zealand native had previously worked on such films as Batman Begins, Children of Men, Casino Royale, and Die Another Day.
VETERAN INDIAN DIDRECTOR CHOPRA DEAD AT 94
Producer-director B.R. Chopra, one of Bollywood's most prominent filmmakers, died today(Wednesday) in Mumbai (Bombay) at the age of 94 after a long illness. Stepping away from a career as a journalist in Lahore following the partition of India, Chopra made his way to the film capital of India and directed his first film in 1951. He soon earned a reputation for making socially relevant films that had widespread popular appeal.