Kung Fu Panda

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Post by Gligarman » June 6th, 2011, 2:02 am

It's really unfortunate that Kung Fu Panda 2 isn't performing well. In many ways it surpasses the original. I blame the fact that it shared the opening weekend with Hangover Part 2 and the fact that it has one of the most misleading trailers I've seen in recent memories. (I should know, I'm a projectionist and have to watch trailers all the time!) They don't even explain the plot, they only concentrate on Shen and his cannon and the "end of Kung Fu." That's the subplot. The real plot is Po finding out who he is and where he came from.

It's sad, but hopefully video sales and overseas revenue will help them out.

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Post by Ben » June 6th, 2011, 3:56 am

I just can't believe, given the baaad reviews and even fans of the first film saying it's not very good, The Hangover II's box-office numbers. Everyone must be rushing at once to see it, but how are they feeling afterwards? I didn't like the first film (it wasn't nearly as clever as it thought it was) but a lot of my friends did, and they're saying it's basically a remake, they felt cheated.

I think KFP2 goes for an obviously younger audience, but the counter programming hasn't worked here since a lot of adults liked the first film too. I've yet to see it, but must admit I was worried when DWs announced six films in the series and whether it would sustain it. I wonder how long it will take DWs to backtrack the six films option now?

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Post by EricJ » June 6th, 2011, 4:37 am

Ben wrote:but must admit I was worried when DWs announced six films in the series and whether it would sustain it. I wonder how long it will take DWs to backtrack the six films option now?
Well, it didn't take long for them to turn Shrek 4, 5, & 6 into "The Final Chapter"...

There are any number of reasons (even flimsier now, in these days of Blu-ray, 3-D weariness and Blu-ray 3-D) why a film doesn't do well in June--
But one fact is up there, and that's that even the most popular Dreamworks movie just isn't as popular as Jeff thinks it is...Nothing COULD be. :roll:
And while I normally disapprove of the Cars Factor ("What happened?--It didn't make $200M on its opening weekend like we thought it would!"), in DW's case, it's usually well-deserved: Every time Jeff crowd-dives into the "loving arms" of an audience that gave an unexpected DW movie the benefit of the doub--and gives us the six-movie instant franchise we "wanted"--it parts neatly and he hits the floor face-first.

Every other studio, trying to compete with DIsney/PIxar for an identifying brand image, is trying to follow DW's lead, and turn one hit into a House Brand, but y'know....given a little patient observation, that might not be such a smart idea. :P

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Post by Ben » June 6th, 2011, 5:43 am

Films not doing well in June? That's news to me and probably the producers of Pirates 4 (nearly $800m) and Hangover II ($200m first week).

KFP2's problem was that it was attracting those audiences in the same release frame: kids and families that wanted to see Pirates (and again) and adults that unsurprisingly but strangely went to HII. Panda's two demographics were otherwise engaged, leaving only core fans to go and see the new installment.

And there's nothing to say that Panda couldn't have been a good franchise and maybe make it to three decent films...but six? That's just stretching something for the sake of it. Maybe the audience smelt that? Maybe the filmmakers were holding back some of their best ideas for future movies? If so, that's a shame, since it looks like those might not happen, at least in theaters.

It still has worldwide grosses to come in, which is what has been keeping Pirates afloat to that $800m, so it could still be saved, but it's interesting to note that less than half its take is coming from 3D screens, a number which is increasingly diminishing as audiences seem to move away from headaches and having to pay more for less.

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Post by EricJ » June 6th, 2011, 1:25 pm

Ben wrote:Films not doing well in June? That's news to me and probably the producers of Pirates 4 (nearly $800m) and Hangover II ($200m first week).
Uh, Pirates 4 opened in May. Just before Memorial Day.
(Which isn't quite what it used to be, now that the "big" movies try to crowd First week in May, but still a sweet spot.) And Hang2, well, even you admitted that was just a name over a door.
The Big weekends for summer are now First-May through Memorial Day, and the first two weeks of July, and everything else is....in-between. Which the studios now use for In-Between movies. (At least until cult-movie August.)
And there's nothing to say that Panda couldn't have been a good franchise and maybe make it to three decent films...but six? That's just stretching something for the sake of it. Maybe the audience smelt that?
[/quote]

Also, I'm admit I'm alone in being mystified over the first movie's "holy" popularity (why, no, really, WHY were we supposed to be sympathetic to Black's character?--They never once made a convincing argument)...But even for those who did, you can smell a disgruntled audience thinking "Look, we just didn't like it THAT MUCH, okay??"
Which I suspect will also be the case with any slickly franchise-written sequels to HtTYDragon.

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Post by Ben » June 7th, 2011, 3:59 pm

Yep, Pirates opened in May...and it's still taking more money than newly opening films in June! X-Men: First Class just came second to P4 internationally.

Agreed on Hangover, though, and on HTTYD's franchise hopes. It's such a shame that DWA doesn't have a studio to fall back on now. Every film not only needs to be a hit, but they need to turn them into franchises. Like KFP, I enjoyed HTTYD, but I don't think I need to see three of them, as is the current plan. Even their franchises have franchises: I bet JK is hoping that Puss does well later this year, or that ambitious slate of actually very cool sounding movies may well evaporate.

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Re: Kung Fu Panda

Post by Dacey » June 10th, 2011, 3:46 pm

Finally saw this yesterday, and I really wish that I could've seen this on opening day like I was originally supposed to. Not only would've I had seen it on a bigger screen then, but I also would've been able to spread strong word of mouth sooner. And boy, is this film ever worthy of strong word of mouth!

Make no mistake about it: This was a truly worthy sequel that thankfully didn't feel like the quick cash-grab that it may have seemed like when it was first greenlit. Rather than just being a new wacky adventure for Po and his pals, this was an actual continuation of the original's story. They didn't simply repeat the first film's plot here, which is something that at least one other sequel this summer has apparently been guilty of (although, to be fair, I haven't seen "The Hangover: Part II" yet).

Lord Shen's character animation was simply amazing! Loved his fighting style, loved the way that he walked, and loved how he appeared to be both graceful and deadly at the same time. And I appreciate how these movie really understand the importance of having a strong villain. Shen was a foe who had a connection to Po on a personal level, making him a true enemy instead of a mere obstacle. And I loved how they gave him a motive behind his actions. Like Tai Lung in the original, we always understood why Shen was acting the way that he was (although I couldn't really understand why he never had the fortune teller who was causing him so many problms killed, but maybe he just wanted the pleasure of proving her wrong). And, needless to say, Gary Oldman did a great job voicing him.

I was also blown away by the ammount of action that the movie had. There was surprisingly a lot of it, and it was all good. I only kinda wished that Po's final battle with Shen could've been a little "bigger," but that's a minor quibble. This movie was huge in terms of scope, and I really wasn't expecting that.

As I indicated earlier, I kept wishing that I could've seen this one on a bigger screen. The original looked amazing, but this one looked even better, so I can only imagine what it must look like in a big theater. Especially in 3-D, which gave it real depth.

I was also amazed (jeez, I'm sounding like a broken record here) by how the movie handled the emotion. DreamWorks actually took a few risks with this one with having some pretty dark moments, but the emotional payoff that they supplied made it worth it. And I'm sick to death of people saying that Pixar is the only animation company that can pull off genuinely heartfelt stories. The first KFP did that, and HTYTD did that, and now this film has really done that.

Honestly, I should probably shut it before I start being boring, but I will say that I was kinda dissapointed by the lack of Master Shifu, who's always been my favorite KFP character. The original was just as much about him as it was about Po, so it was a bit sad that he only got a few scenes here. I'm glad that he at least got to do a bit of fighting at the end.

But still, that's a minor quibble. While this might not make everyone's list of greatest sequels of all time, it does what every sequel should aspire to do. It may not have topped the original, but it came pretty darn close, and that's more than good enough for me. :)

Now if only the recent lazy "Pirates" movie could've been more like this one...
Last edited by Dacey on June 14th, 2011, 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by estefan » June 10th, 2011, 10:07 pm

How do you feel about the treatment of the Furious Five in these films? While I understand it's Po's story, they just seem to fade into the background at times. Admittedly, they do develop Tigress a tad more here, but the other four are still minor characters. Seriously, what's the point of getting people like Jackie Chan and Seth Rogen if you give them five lines a piece? That's where DreamWorks' celebrity-obsessive casting backfires on them.

But, I agree with just about everything else you said. A very strong, emotionally-satisfying film.

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Re: Kung Fu Panda

Post by Dacey » June 10th, 2011, 10:13 pm

Well, I've always felt that Chan's been in these films as a cameo more than anything. ;)

And as for Rogen, hey, at least he got the funniest line in the film. :)
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Re: Kung Fu Panda

Post by Darkblade » June 13th, 2011, 3:47 pm

I saw this a few weeks ago, they have improved with it. They even included hand-drawn sequences in the film.

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Post by Dacey » June 13th, 2011, 5:06 pm

There was traditional animation in the original film as well, Darkblade. :)
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Re: Kung Fu Panda

Post by Darkblade » June 13th, 2011, 6:39 pm

I know there was Dacy, but it wasn't used for the usage of a flashback.

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Post by Ben » June 14th, 2011, 5:09 pm

But they did do that in Secrets Of The Furious Five.

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Re: Kung Fu Panda

Post by CGIFanatic » June 15th, 2011, 2:36 pm

I especially liked those cut-out shadow puppets at the beginning of the movie...

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Re: Kung Fu Panda

Post by LotsoA113 » December 3rd, 2011, 7:21 pm

Ok so, just enforce the sequel hits home video, it seems Best Buy has the first panda on 3D Blu ray. So they converted it to 3D. Huh. Wonder if the first one will get rereleased in 3D like The Lion King.

Ether way, I'd like to see the result of the conversion.
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