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Friday, May 3, 2002

SPIDER-MAN MOVIE UPDATE

Spider-Man opens in 3,615 theaters nationally on Friday, with early estimates oF a weekend box-office take as high as $80 million.

"Nobody ever wants to make any predictions in this business that turn success into failure, so I won't even try," Sony's Jeff Blake told Variety. "We're certainly aware of the fact The Mummy Returns threw off one of the biggest openings ever on the same date last year, and we'd like to be in that ball park or better."

In other Spider-Man movie news:

* Spider-Man star Tobey Maguire appeared on CBS' The Late Show with David Letterman on Thursday night.

"I'm very excited," Maguire said about the opening weekend. "I probably won't get into hearing how it's doing too much. But I'm kind of curious become people have been asking me a lot."

* Spider-Man gets another piece of the cover of the new Entertaiment Weekly, which features comic-book heroes and comics writer/filmmaker Kevin Smith.

* Joanne Allor's Barking Dogs Promotions is the event marketing and special events company hired by Sony Pictures Entertainment to create a 60-foot inflatable Spider-Man that is affixed the sides of buildings around the world, including the film's world premiere on Monday.

The inflatable Spidey is constructed of over 388,800 square inches of vinyl-coated nylon material. There are over 120,000 individual stitches holding him together -- about 80 miles of thread. The inflatable is 34 feet wide and 15 feet deep and weights 400 pounds.

* Maguire will appear on NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Monday.

MARVEL MOVIE ROUNDUP

The first trailer for The Hulk movie appeared on Entertainment Tonight and on the film's newly opened web site on Thursday night.

The trailer shows the film's star, Eric Bana, as he begins to transform into the Hulk. The Hulk is never fully shown.

The Hulk's new site can be found at www.thehulk.com. The trailer will also be shown before the Spider-Man movie.

Click the thumbnails below for larger images from the trailer.

In other Marvel movie news:

* Fox will air the world broadcast premiere of the first Blade movie on Friday, May 24 at 8 p.m. Wesley Snipes stars as the vampire hunter, and the cast also includes Kris Kristofferson, N'bushe Wright, Donal Logue and Stephen Dorff.

Blade previously aired on TNT.

SMALLVILLE SEASON-ENDERS

The final three episodes of the first season of The WB's Smallville will be "Crush" on May 7, "Obscura" on May 14 and "Tempest" on May 21.

For more information on the episodes, including 20 photos, CLICK HERE.

MARVEL FIRST LOOKS

For covers and four-page previews of Marvel Comics titles shipping on Wednesday, CLICK HERE.

Titles include Black Panther #44, Cable #105, Marvel Mangaverse #2, X-Treme X-Men #13, Morlocks #2, Marvel Knights Double-Shot #2, Captain America #2, Spider-Man: Blue #1 and The Order #4.

MARVEL'S THE CALL

Marvel Comics plans on an extensive licensing program for its upcoming The Call property.

"One that we've announced is THQ for electronic games, the one that we're announcing today is Toy Biz doing a toy line," Marvel's Bill Jemas said on Thursday during a press conference concerning the property. "The reason we're choosing to announce those two now is that those are normally the two toughest product categories to get nailed. Obviously in the past, Toy Biz had been an in-house company, now it's a licensee. They've made a commitment to The Call.

"THQ is a videogame company that has made a multi-million dollar commitment to take on a game, and that's before they even start to pay Marvel. They came in early. Beyond that, deals are in negotiation."

Jemas said that the games and toys should come out within two years or so.

The first story in the series, entitled The Call of Duty: The Brotherhood, focuses on life in a New York City firehouse. It is written by Chuck Austen, with art by David Finch.

"I've always wanted to write a series with a realistic take on firefighters because I've always been what firemen call a 'buff'. Fortunately, Marvel has given me the freedom to depict the most realistic aspects of the heroic profession," Austen said. The truth is, I'm more proud of the work I've done on this series than anything I've ever done in my life."

To give the series maximum exposure to its growing fan base, Marvel will serialize the first story and deliver it as a free insert across half of its May titles, reaching over 3 million readers. A super-sized, 48-page premiere issue will follow on June 5 for the suggested retail price of $2.25.

"Alan Fine, the President of Toy Biz, Marvel's toy division, urged all of us to take notice of America's shift in ideals and to recognize the bravery of our country's public servants," Jemas said "The stars are the police officers, EMS workers and firefighters who risk their lives everyday for us. The real superheroes who's essence we've been trying to capture in our pages for decades, but haven't been able to until now."

Explaining the inspiration for the series, editor-in-chief Joe Quesada said, "The Call is a definite response to 9-11. In the fifties and sixties, everyone's greatest fear was nuclear radiation. Now everyone's greatest fear is terrorism, and our entertainment has changed to reflect that. In the same way that Hulk and Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four were a result of their times. In 2002, The Call is the comic series for its time."

The Call of Duty: The Brotherhood will be followed by the release of two additional chapters in The Call series: The Call of Duty: The Precinct and The Call of Duty: The Wagon. Each of these stories will focus on different characters that share the common thread of living as emergency aid workers. The Precinct will be released on July 10, while The Wagon will hit shelves on Aug, 21.

Below are five pages from The Call of Duty: The Brotherhood, penciled by David Finch, inked by Art Thibert and colored by Matt Mila. Click on the thumbnails for larger images.

Come back to The Continuum on Saturday for more on The Call.

GIVE'EM A CLICK



BRIEFLY

  • UPN has released another image from the two-part season finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

  • Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada said that an announcement regarding a new Kevin Smith project will be announced at one of the summer's major conventions.

  • Coming Saturday: TV news -- and much more!!!
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