This was certainly an interesting weekend for comics and Hollywood. Three separate stories collided in one weekend.
First, this last Friday saw the debut of "Blade II," the sequel to the 1998 Marvel Comics film "Blade." The first film was a surprising hit, pulling in over $70 million dollars domestically and going on to be a great success on DVD and Video rentals and sales. The second film was expected to deliver big opening weekend numbers and it didn't disappoint. According to the Associated Press initial estimates have "Blade II" taking in $33.1 Million dollars, beating out "Ice Age" which took in $31.1 million in it's second weekend and also the highly publicized re-release of "E.T. The Extra Terrestrial" which took in $15.1 Million. "Blade II" helped set records this weekend, making it the largest March weekend ever. "Blade II" debuted on 2,707 screens across the country and averaged an very impressive $12,228 a theater. These numbers may be revised Monday morning as it's unclear how the Oscars telecast on Sunday night affected movie going.
Second, tonight's telecast of the 74th Annual Academy Awards, known better as the Oscars, saw artwork by acclaimed comic artist Alex Ross displayed to billions of viewers world wide. As we reported back in January, Alex Ross provided the official poster artwork for the Oscars. Titled "The Gold Knight Returns," the poster was an homage the DC Comics' Batman. During red carpet arrivals and throughout the telecast when you'd find announcers Glen Close or Donald Sutherland voicing teasers from Hollywood Blvd., you could see Ross' artwork displayed prominently atop the Hollywood/Highland complex which houses the Kodak Theater.
Ross' artwork could be found all over Hollywood the last couple of weeks. We've included a number of pictures from locations around Hollywood. The full poster artwork could be found outside the Hollywood/Highland complex near the Kodak Theater entrance on Hollywood Blvd. and high-atop Hollywood, 5 stories above the Hollywood/Highland complex on a massive banner that could be seen for a good half mile down Highland and Hollywood Blvd.'s. Additionally the image of Oscar holding the sword adorned light posts up and down Hollywood Blvd., Highland Blvd. and Vine Blvd.
Finally, comics were directly recognized during the telecast. Daniel Clowes' "Ghost World" screenplay, by Clowes and Terry Zwigoff, was nominated for an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay category. It was in a tough category and ultimately the Oscar went to this year's Oscar sweetheart "A Beautiful Mind" and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman, Interestingly, Goldsman also wrote the screenplay's for 1995's "Batman Forever" and 1997's "Batman & Robin" which most comic fans blame for the destruction of the Batman film franchise. Goldsman is attached to another comics property as one of the producers of the upcoming "Constantine" film based on the DC/Vertigo comic "Hellblazer."