Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Guide to the guide" live on yahoo.com + Robbie Stamp online chat + Empire six pages features

As you all know, the movie will open on the movie screens in UK, US, Australia and New Zealand at the end of April, and afterwards all over the world in the following weeks and months. For this movie, the guys at Disney chose to communicate a lot on Internet to create some buzz around the movie. During the last weeks, they have made an Internet trailer and they have launched great versions of the US and UK official websites.

Now, they show online a great interactive version of the Book only on yahoo! Movies. Lucky bastards! Anyway, this flash version of the Hichhiker's Guide is great and will provide you a lot of fun. You will be able to enjoy some (too short) extracts of the Guide read by Stephen Fry voice, and see some of the graphics made by Shynola for the guide entries.

So come on, I know you can't wait anymore CLICK HERE


It's a little late to announce that, but I just spotted the news on MJ Simpson's Planet Magrathea! Robbie Stamp will be taking part in an online chat Wednesday the 30th for the australian website incinemas.com.au The chat will begin at 4 PM Australian Est. The Hitchhiker's guide chat page will become active thirty minutes before to allow people to begin entering their questions


Still according to the Big MJ, Empire features a six pages article about the Hitchhiker's movie which is one of the biggest article printed till now about the Hitchhiker's movie.

Monday, March 28, 2005

One month before the long awaited release date in US and UK. One big question : Can we expect a blockbuster?

We now know for sure that the h2g2 movie will be released the 28th April in the UK and the 29th in the US. These are undoubtedly the main markets for Hitchhikers, and the ones which will allow us to say if Hitchhikers is a success or a failure.

So did Disney choose the good release dates? Well some says that in recent years the first weekend of May has been the first biggest pre-summer weekend ( "Mummy returns" opened the 4th May 2001 with $68 millions). It was the release date that Disney first announced before deciding to release one week sooner. But the 6th May 2005 there is already a big movie which will be released in the US and UK. It's Ridley Scott's "Kingdom of heaven". This history/war/drama stars Orlando Bloom (Legolas in the "Lord of the rings") and is about a man who fights for his people during the 12th century crusades.
So what about the 28th-29th May? The Hitchhiker's movie will struggle in UK and US against "XXX : State of the Union". This is the sequel of 2002 spy movie XXX who made $141 millions in the US.

But Vin Diesel (main actor) and Rob Cohen (director) will not be in that sequel. The movie stars instead Ice Cub and Samuel L Jackson (who was already in the first movie) and is directed by Lee Tamahori ("Die another day"). It is a potential good commercial success, even if I don't think it will make more money than the first. This kind of big budget action movie (Vin Diesel was paid $20 millions for the first movie) could achieve $200 million dollars in the US but the first XXX didn't make it so.... Besides the absence of Vin Diesel annoys a lot the fans of the first movie. And Ice Cube is still much more popular as a singer than an actor and is regarded as a poor substitute (a point of view shared by Samuel L Jackson). - Let's notice however that "Fast and Furious" also with Vin Diesel and Rob Cohen made $144 millions in the US and that "2 Fast 2 Furious" the sequel without them made nevertheless $127 millions.

The Hitchhiker's movie has no big name but it's obviously more original than XXX, and the critics will for sure be better for Hitchhikers. Hitchhikers will attract a broader audience (for the US market, Hitchhikers is PG and XXX is PG 13) but teenagers and young adults are the main audience for both movies. SF comedy against Action Movie. Well that's a tough struggle.

Anyway, Hitchhikers has got his chance against XXX. But we have to see also what kind of movies comes before and after the 28-29th May.

In the US, the week before (22th April), several movies will be released. "The Interpreter" (a drama thriller directed by Sidney Pollack, with Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn) is a big release even if Sidney Pollack didn't direct a big success movie since "The firm" (1995) with Tom Cruise. There are also several other movies like "A lot like love" a british kind of comedy directed by Nigel Cole (Calendar girls, Saving Grace), "The Sandlot 2", a family comedy and childhood movie directed by David M Evans. It is the sequel to the 1993 movie already directed by Mr Evans (Beethoven 3 & 4). At last maybe we can forget "King's ransom", a big fat Crime comedy directed by Jeff Byrd with Anthony Anderson?

After The Hitchhiker's release date, the biggest movie to come on the movie screens is Ridley Scott's "Kingdom of heaven" which will open the 6th May. Let's remember that the next big SF movie "Star Wars III" will only open the 19th May, three weeks after the release of the Hitchhikers, which is quite a good thing. "War of the worlds", the other big summer SF movie will open the 29th June.
So I think that these release dates in US and UK are a good choice for the Hitchhiker's movie which is rather a risky bet for Disney.

Now, how many million dollars the Hitchhiker's movie must earn? Well I think a succes in the US market would mean at least $80-100 millions. But I think we can expect a better result, depending on the first week-end results (at least $20 M please !!) and the word of mouth. Such a good movie should become at least a $150 M hit, but the best movies don't get always the biggest success.

Of course, the movie could miss the US and UK markets and be a big success in other countries. A movie like "King Arthur" made a lot of more money overseas than in the US. Let's remember than in several other countries the movie will be released several months later during the summer.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Robbie Stamp's presentation in Brussels

Robby (Stuck Chocolat) has seen Robbie Stamp in Bruxells. He kindly sent me his report - There are indeed several interesting informations (don't forget to read five and six) :

"Today I went to Robbie Stamps presentation in Brussels. Since it was at 4 o'clock in the afternoon there were only about 50 people as audiencee; I know that's not really much, but giving we're a tiny country and the fact that decent Belgians have to work on 4 o'clock on thursday; I thought 50 was a reasonable number.

I didn't learn much new, but I think Robbie said some things we didn't know up till now. I'll keep it short.

1) Robbie showed us a 360° view of the HOG escape pod. These 360° views should be available on the internet in a few weeks 2) Robbie watched part of the movie yesterday. Some pieces are completely finished now: the soundtrack has been recorded completely is and now being mixed.

3) We got to see a rough cut of the demolition of earth. No CGI, and the score not completly finished in that part. After the Earth exploxed we got to hear the first notes of the Yourney of the Sorcerer. The video clip was than stopped. I think we can be sure though, that the Yourney of the Sorcerer wil be there after Earth is demolished

4) To the question if it was Douglas' idea of the way the arranged Zaphods 2 heads Robbie didn't give a clear answer. He said Douglas wanted it done differently from the TV-series since the 2nd head was horrible. Robbie said Douglas was "higly involved" if it came to the way they've arranged the heads now.

5) the HOG will have speaking doors as it should be. The voices of the doors are not done by famous people but just by the audio crew. The voice of Eddy the shipboard computer will be "Tom Lennon". I don't know who Tom Lennon is, but could it be this guy? http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0502073/

6) Since the internet trailer seems to be such a big success, also in the USA; it has been decided that not the USA international, but the internet trailers will be played in the cinemas in the US...
For the rest I thought it was a very interesting afternoon. We've seen a lot of footage which could be part of bonus material for the DVD (behind the scenes, the actors talking, ...). Most of the time Robbie spoke so we actually didn't got to see a lot of pieces of the movie...

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

UK official website now online !

The Hitchhiker's movie opens now the 28th April in the UK and we were still waiting for an official UK website. Here it is now. And it's quite different from the US official website we know. A lot of new contents and new stuff to discover. The design is great. The music is quickly boring but you can stop it. So come on : GO NOW !

Monday, March 21, 2005

Sorry about any inconvenience + official website huge update + other news

I'm sorry about the mess with Marvin. In fact it seems that someone thought it was very funny to attack my forum on a Sunday. I had a bad time with this phpBB stuff, couldn't repair it straight away so I asked Marvin to deal with the website during a few hours. My mistake! Well, everything is back online now. It's not the first time that a Hitchhiker's fan website is being attacked by fools.

DouglasAdams.se and Planet Magrathea got problems too. Why this damn bast***s attack amateur websites? Isn't it too easy for their huge brains?

And now for something completely different... As you sure all know already, the official website has been updated. And it's not the usual small kind of update but a brand new website featuring a lot of goodies (360 views of sets, games, characters and their voices,...) and a great design. So, go here and have fun!

DarthBastard (from Douglasadams.se forums) has spotted an interesting article by Craig Hill, managing director with Digital Outlook. The guy is in charge of the Hitchhiker's movie Internet buzz and he talks about the Hitchhiker's movie case study here.

You can also watch small size new pics from the movie. You can discover them on http://www.incinemas.com.au/ (Coming soon/Hitchhikers) - thanks to Nikki Green and Jenz for that one.

You can also see a great big size new pic with Marvin and Arthur on IGN Filmforce (thanks to MJ for this one)

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

UK opening date the 28th Apri

In the UK, the movie is going to be released one day earlier on April 28th!! So the movie will now open the 28th in UK, Australia and New Zealand. Right now the movie is still opening the 29th in the US.

Also 11 new official websites should appear soon (the first one should be launched next week)!! In fact, these 11 websites are localized versions of the same website for 11 European countries. They "will have lots of information about the film and its heritage as well as games and curios for everyone to get excited about". It seems that Tim Browse, former member of TDV (the digital village created by Douglas Adams and Robbie Stamp), has worked very closely with Disney on these websites.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Hellen Mirren is Deep Thought + New US unofficial movie website on the way

Deep Thought will be finally played by a woman. So no deep voice for the second most intelligent computer in the Universe. Fans of the TV and Radio series will maybe be quite upset by the news. But anyway the great news is that it's the english actress Helen Mirren who got the part. Helen is a big movie star and a very talented actress. She has played in many american and english movies (like "Gosford park", "the Mosquito Coast", "2010", "Excalibur"...) and many TV series.

There is also a new unofficial website about the movie. Now an american guy Jake Russell is going to launch his own website the 20th March. Right now it's difficult to tell how good his website will be but it is promising even if there are maybe too many links right now to actual things on other websites. But his site is still under construction so Wait and see. If you want infos about the movie you can also check the official website of course, but also the excellent Planet Magrathea (run by MJ Simpson) and Douglasadams.se, an excellent website about Douglas run by sweedish fan Jenz. You can also check of course imdb. And if you speak sweedish, Totta, an other sweedish fan, made an excellent one (in sweedish only sadly for the non sweedish guys including me).

Thursday, March 10, 2005

London Premiere the 20th April + UK Students contest to win tickets to the premiere + Robbie Stamp still tours the world (with Zaphod?)

MJ "eagle eyes" Simpson has spotted (on Save the Rhino's website) the movie's World Premiere date which will be the 20th April in London. So, let's face the horrible truth, some lucky ones will be able to see the movie nine days before everybody else.

Buena Vista and Easy Jet have launch a contest for the UK Students. The winners will get tickets to the UK premiere and an EasyJet Freedom Passes. Of course you will have to do something to win these prices. Your challenge as a team (a guy and a girl) will be to Hitchhike back to the UK from a mistery European destination with only £100 and a pair of pyjamas ! My gosh, poor UK Students! The rules don't tell if they will be alowed to bring their towels, and it seems that dressing gowns are definitly not allowed.

On the other side of the galaxy, executive producer Robbie Stamp is still touring the universe to talk about Hitchhikers. Robbie Stamp will be in Belgium the 17th March (for the Brussels International Fantasy Film) and in Melbourne, Australia, the 29th March.

Zaphod Breeblebrox' presidential campaign site announced some days ago that the real Zaphod (not the fake one played by Sam Rockwell !) could appear in Melbourne with Robbie Stamp.

Thursday, March 3, 2005

The Hitchhiker's Adventure Game on Radio 4 wins BAFTA Best Online Entertainment Award.

This year's Interactve Bafta Awards gave the award of Best Online Entertainment to "The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy Adventure Game - The 20th Anniversary Edition". The original Hitchhiker's Adventure game has been created by Douglas and Steve Meretzky in 1985 for Infocom. It has been a big commercial success for a text only adventure (250.000 copies sold) and remained a quite popular version of H2g2 during all these years (for more infos about the original game check this place).
Douglas, who was quite proud of the game, had an online playable version of the game on his official website. And when Radio 4 decided to launch a big website for the upcoming broadcasting of the new radio series based on the last three books of the Hitchhiker's series, they chose to work on a new version of the Hitchhiker's Adventure Game which would be playable on their website.

But Radio 4 did not just put the old version of The Adventure Game online. They asked to Rod Lord (the guy who created the guide graphics in the TV series) and to Sean Sollé (from Douglas' company The Digital Village) to work on a brand new version to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the game (if you want to learn how they made such an exploit check here).

In fact, the new version of the Hitchhiker's adventure game is one of the reasons why the Radio 4 website is so succesfull. The graphics are great, and Sean made a wonderful work to update it and attract new players to this wonderful game.

You can notice that there is now two versions of the game with some new graphics from the young artists Nolan Worthington and Andrew Wyld.

The new version of the game is excellent, has well deserved this prize and we all hope that Radio 4 will let it online after the broadcasting of the new series this spring.

Tuesday, March 1, 2005

The UGO trailer is now on the official website ! + winners of the Dentrassi contest announced !

Well, this is a little complicated but as you know there have been an official UK trailer shown on Sky Movies news Saturday the 27th February. This one has got a narrator and it is much funnier and better than the US one shown on Amazon some weeks ago. It should be still avalaible in a poor quality version on Sky Movies website. I think it should appear on the UK official movie website soon once it will be ready to be launched.

Some guys found an other version, slightly different, on UGO website. This one is also introduced by The Narrator but this time there is a girl in bikini, a joke about the voice of the guys who usually speak on trailers, and there is no more "Journey on the Sorecerer" song at the end. This one should be called The UGO or better the Internet Trailer. It seems to be the one Robbie Stamp, executive producer of the movie, shown at Wondercon the 19th February, in San Francisco. This new exciting trailer (and not only for the bikini bit) is avalaible now in different formats and full screen quality on the Official Website !


The 28th January, I launched a Dentrassi contest with the help of those kind guys at Random House. You had to answer to two easy questions and find a good recipe for the Dentrassi. SIX of you have won a prize. Those who have won something and didn't send me their adress are welcome to do it now. The prizes will be sent to the winners as soon as they are released (let's remember the lucky winners won some h2g2 movie tie in editions of the first Hitchhiker's book with Robbie Stamps exclusive introduction). ALL THE WINNERS' RECIPES WILL BE SOON PUBLISHED IN THE DENTRASSI SECTION OF THIS WEBSITE.

The answers were (and almost everybody found the good ones) : 1. which songs Douglas Adams played on stage with Pink Floyd? "Eclipse" and "brain damage" 2. when was first broadcasted the first episode of the Hitchhiker's radio series aka Fir the First ? Wednesday 8th march 1978

WINNER (all five Hitchhikers books + the US movie poster) : The Hitchhiker´s Supremo Cake – Emily Crabtree

These other guys made some nice recipes too and won an Hitchhiker's book (the h2g2 tie in edition of the first book with Robbie Stamp 92 bonus pages about the movie) :

- Pound Cake – Michael Walker - "The Pain – The Soup That Will Kill You" – Supercharlie/Charles Campbell - Vogon Ill-Tempered Stew – Tom Condor - Puddeling-grand forum – Thomas Krohn - A College Gals Recipe for Freshman Year Chilli – Summer Sparacin