New on DVD, Blu-ray and streaming this week: 'Bourne' is back, 'Ice Age: Continental Drift' tries to keep a franchise warm, plus the raucous comedy of Seth MacFarlane's 'Ted' and Christopher Nolan's first film 'Following' gets the Criterion treatment.
Ice Age: Continental Drift
Consider this weekend a study of three animation companies. Temporarily forget about 'The Amazing Spider-Man' and 'Ted' and 'Moonrise Kingdom.' What do the box office numbers of 'Ice Age: Continental Drift,' 'Brave' and 'Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted' tell us about their respective studios? 'Ice Age' won the weekend, but is it actually a winner?
Each of the three previous 'Ice Age' movies earned between $175 and $200 million at the domestic box office. Each did even better internationally; the last installment, 'Dawn of the Dinosaurs,' made an incredible $886 million worldwide. In other words: at this point an 'Ice Age' movie is a sure thing. This franchise doesn't need to do anything but show up, and it's guaranteed to make money. In other other words, an 'Ice Age' movie has no reason to take any risks, or vary its formula in any way, and as a result 'Ice Age: Continental Drift' feels less 'Ice Age 4' than 'Ice Age 1.4,' a meager software update on an old, well-worn program.
Animated shorts seem to finally be making their much wanted comeback in theaters. Disney used to do them back in the day and it wasn't until Pixar started doing shorts in front of their films that other animated studios finally realized that audiences still enjoy watching them. A new Simpsons short will now be making its way to theaters in front of 'Ice Age: Continental Drift.'
Happy 'Dark Knight Rises' and 'Amazing Spider-Man' month, everyone! You could tell us that you're not into either of these comic book heroes and we wouldn't believe you, but we'll still give you plenty of other new movie releases to choose from for July 2012. That is, if you insist on lying about how much you despise Bruce Wayne and Peter Parker.