Indiana Jones and the missing co-star
Disney’s announcement this week that Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg will reunite for a fifth Indiana Jones film was telling for what was not said. As in who will co-star. You may recall that in the previous installment, 2008’s “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” Shia LaBeouf played Indy’s son, and everyone was speculating that he would wear the fedora from then on. Well, even the stars admitted that Indy No. 4 was not worthy of the series. And lately, LaBeouf’s career has shattered like, well, crystal. So it looks like Ford will need to whip this one into shape himself. The as-yet untitled sequel is set for July 19, 2019, a week after Ford turns 77. “Raiders of the Lost AARP”?
Someday my ‘Prince’ will come
After the animated “The Little Prince” won a Cesar Award (the French Oscar), an English-language version, including the voice of KC’s Paul Rudd, was set to open here March 25. But now Paramount Pictures has backed out of distributing the film in the U.S., director Mark Osbourne said on Twitter. The film, an update of the Antoine de Saint-Exupery children’s classic, also features the voices of Jeff Bridges and Rachel McAdams. One obstacle: Disney’s animated “Zootopia” continues to dominate the box office, reports ThompsonOnHollywood. And Paramount is suffering from its R-rated “Anomalisa,” which, though nominated for an animation Oscar, has grossed less than $3 million.
It’s no wonder “The Little Prince” is bailing. Bloomberg reports that 2016 will see a glut of animated films, with 16 major titles on the calendar. Said one analyst: “It’s highly unlikely they’re all going to work.” Sony’s “Angry Birds Movie” will launch in May, just before Disney/Pixar offers up “Finding Dory,” with another ocean epic, “Moana,” due in November. 20th Century Fox is sliding out a new “Ice Age” in July. And DreamWorks has the retro “Trolls.” (Presumably, Seth Rogen’s R-rated animated “Sausage Party,” co-starring Paul Rudd, will draw a different audience.) What’s the attraction? Though they’re expensive to make, animated films are the most profitable movie genre.