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Random House posted a 64 percent increase in operating profit for the first half of 2012. According to Variety, the publisher also boasted a 20 percent increase in revenue–rising to $1.2 billion.
Here’s more from the article: “The titillating [50 Shades of Grey] trilogy sold more than 30 million copies between March and June, with sales evenly divided between the trade paperback and e-book editions. The Social Network producers Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti are producing the big-screen adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey the first book in the trilogy, for Universal Pictures and Focus Features.”
Random House also credited the growth in eBook sales and the popularity of some of their biggest bestselling authors including George R.R. Martin (A Song of Ice and Fire series), John Grisham (Calico Joe), Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) and Dr. Seuss (The Lorax).
A timeless classic. I haven’t seen the movie, and I don’t plan to; it’s one of those cases in which the book is perfect just as it is. – Melissa Fox
because “UNLESS someone like you / cares a whole awful lot, / nothing is going to get better. / It’s not.” - Philip Nel
Previously #83 our little Lorax take an almighty leap and goes up fifty places to #33. Undoubtedly the film helped to give him a bit of a push. That’s the way a list like this works sometimes. Classics with recent tie-ins move up faster because of their new status. So here he is, ladies and gentlemen! The little guy who starred in a made-for-TV movie that I saw when I was eight and have been effectively traumatized by ever since. If I’m a good environmentalist, it’s because The Lorax made me so. Violently.
Basic plot: The Once-ler moves to town, takes advantage of all the natural resources he can get his grubby hands on (and the guy is mostly hands) and ignores the pleas of The Lorax to stop before it’s too late. Too late it becomes and The Lorax takes off for greener pastures. Hope then resides in a small boy and the single seed of a Truffula Tree that The Once-ler has saved in spite of everything.
Said School Library Journal, “The big, colorful pictures and the fun images, word plays and rhymes make this an amusing exposition of the ecology crisis.”
So the recent movie . . . I haven’t seen it myself, though I was a little perturbed that none of the commercials showed anything closely resembling pollution in them. Even more disturbing? A commercial that may well be remembered as the most ironic children’s literature/movie tie-in of all time.
I hate to say it, but give me that old creepy hand drawn version any day of the week.
And I’d show you the pretty Lorax statue but . . . well . . .
An animated film led the US box office for the second week in a row: Illumination Entertainment’s The Lorax dropped 44% from its first week for an estimated earning of $39.1 million. Its two-week total now stands at $122 million, making it the top grossing film of the year to date. It is currently pacing $3.5 million ahead of Illumination’s biggest hit Despicable Me, which went on to earn $251.5 million domestically.
This weekend also saw the debut of John Carter, the first live-action feature from Pixar director Andrew Stanton (WALL·E, Finding Nemo). The megabudget sci-fi film, with a reported production cost of $200-300 million and marketing costs of $100 million, was positioned as Disney’s next “tentpole” property, along the lines of the Pirates of the Carribean franchise. It opened weakly, as expected by most industry observers as well as the Disney studio itself, with an estimated $30.6 million, on a par with the opening for Disney’s Prince of Persia, which opened with $30.1 million. It trailed the debut of last year’s sci-fi Cowboys & Aliens which opened with $36.4 million. The film’s saving grace may be its overseas performance, where it has opened powerfully, especially in Russia, and has already racked up over $70 million.
One can’t even begin to imagine the pressure that Stanton is under, but he hasn’t been particularly graceful in dealing with the film’s critical reception. In interviews, Stanton has been defensive about the film’s budget, and over the weekend, he wrote an oddly worded tweet that blamed moviegoers as “jaded” if they didn’t enjoy his film:
Studio Ghibli’s The Secret World of Arrietty added an extra $402,000 boosting its US total to $17.6 million. It is the fourth highest-grossing anime film ever released in the US, behind only Pokemon: The First Movie, Pokemon: The Movie 2000, and Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie.
In a rare trifecta, animation artists ruled the top three spots at the box office this weekend. The number one spot, with an estimated $35 million, belonged to the TV adaptation of 21 Jump Street. It heralded the live-action feature directing debut of Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who were the co-creators of MTV/Teletoon’s Clone High and the directors of Sony’s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Second place went to Illumination Entetainment’s The Lorax which earned an estimated $22.8M in its third weekend, pushing its total to a robus $158.4M. Rounding out the top three was Andrew Stanton’s John Carter, which dropped 55% from its first weekend to an estimated $13.5M. The Disney flop’s two-week total is $53.2M and is headed to a final domestic tally of $90-100M.
A bronze statue of The Lorax has been stolen from the grounds of the late Dr. Seuss‘ San Diego estate. The statue reportedly weighs 300 pounds and stands three feet tall.
The San Diego Union Tribune reports that Lark Grey Dimond-Cates, Seuss’ step-daughter and the sculptor who created the art piece, wants “very badly to get our little Lorax back home where he belongs.” Dimond-Cates made two Lorax statues; one for the San Diego estate and one for the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden (pictured).
In an interview with Reuters, San Diego police lieutenant Andra Brown revealed that the police have not yet determined whether this is a prank or a theft. The police have observed that the ”evidence at the scene suggests that the thieves rolled the statue down the hill to an adjacent property, where it was likely loaded onto a waiting vehicle.”
It’s a Seuss trifecta today, as we celebrate Dr. Seuss’ 108th birthday, kick off Read Across America, and The Lorax (one of my all-time favorite Seuss stories) opens on the big screen.
15 years ago, the National Education Association (NEA) created Read Across America to celebrate reading and provide inspiration for kids of all ages to discover the joys of reading. What better date than March 2nd, Dr. Seuss’ birthday, to bring kids and books together.
Every year Read Across America gives special emphasis to a classic Seuss title and 2012 is going green with The Lorax. First published in 1971, The Lorax quickly became a classic with an environmental message that was ahead of its time. Now, the original gets a modern twist with a fun new pop-up edition of the book and, of course, the blockbuster movie adaptation. At my house, we’ve been reading the book and I’m excited to take my daughter to see The Lorax movie, with its star-studded cast and larger-than-life animation--I'm particularly in love with the Truffula trees, fluffy and bright, just as I'd imagined from Dr. Seuss’ pages. I may even have to spring for 3-D...
And speaking of pages, let’s kick this thing off--grab your kid and a book, tip your hat to a tree, and settle on down to a grand reading spree. Remember, "You're never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read with a child."
Here are some of my favorite Dr. Seuss stories--which of his books do you love the most? --Seira
The Lorax, anyone? I’ll be seeing it an an Asifa-Hollywood screening next week, so I’ll reserve judgement. I’m not trying to be negative, but the L.A. Times’ Kenneth Turan says “most of it not very good and not in keeping with the spirit of the Seuss original”. Claudia Puig disagrees in her 3-stars (out of four) write-up in USA Today, saying “it remains faithful to the spirit of Seuss”. A.O. Scott at the NY Times sums it up this way: “The movie is a noisy, useless piece of junk”!
How about you? As usual our talkback posts are open to those who have actually seen the film, in a theatre, and have an opinion, pro or con.
As I’m sure many of you heard Jan Berenstain, half of The Berenstain Bears, passed away recently. The Gothamist called us up at NYPL and wondered if we had any Berenstain goodies in our collection. We don’t but we knew who did. You can read their obit here. The SLJ obit is also well worth seeing since they managed to work in that crazy What Dr. Freud Didn’t Tell You book the Berenstains worked on years ago and full credit to Leila at bookshelves of doom for discovering THAT gem. In fact, Leila has posted what may be the cutest picture of the Berenstain humans I’ve ever seen. A-dor-able.
Meanwhile the good folks at TimeOut Kids New York gave me an impossible challenge: Come up with the Top 50 Best Books for Kids. And while I’m at it, balance the classics with some contemporary stuff. Just to be cheeky I added some nonfiction, poetry, graphic novels and works by people of color. The result is a list you will enjoy but not entirely agree with. I think that that’s sort of the point, don’t you? Everyone has their own list. This one’s mine.
Let me just put it this way: If I were in the publishing business and I saw this (created by the hugely talented Kate Beaton of Hark, A Vagrant) I would run, not walk, to the nearest cell phone and put in a call with her agent. Stat.
I think we’ve all seen at least one dead-to-irony Lorax ad by this point, yes? Seems to me that about the time you have a Lorax shilling for SUVs it’s time to throw in the towel. Or, at the very least, to try to wrest the Seuss rights from the widow (fat chance). And we thought the Cat in the Hat movie was the low point! Ha! Rocco Staino translates his disgust into a Huffington Post piece that speculates on what other famous children’s book characters might want to get some lucrative corporate sponsorship going.
I like illustrator Scott Campbell anyway but when I saw him illustrate the cast of one of my favorite movies, that just clinched it. Check it out. The man does a darn good Elijah Wood.
Re: Hunger Games, I only advise you to look at Capitol Couture if you have a couple hours to kill. Darn thing sucked me in and was mighty reluctant to let me go. Had to break out the pruning shears to make my escape. True story. Thanks to Marci for the link.
Fun Fact: Remember that Re-Seussification Project I posted? And how it happened to come out the day before the birthday of the good doctor himself? Total coincidence. I had no idea. At the same time The Lorax has come out in theaters. Know how I know? Because every other minute there’s an ad on my television featuring the Lorax. Seems he’ll sell anything these days. Chaps my hide. Chaps Stephen Colbert’s too, I’m happy to report.
Full credit to this next link. This compilation of Judy Blume pop culture references has earned my respect, partly because it included the two I already knew of (Sawyer reading her book on LOST and the Saturday Night Live skit). Very fun to watch.
Which, naturally, leads to this. And I suppose it isn’t workplace appropriate. But it is sweet.
That was recorded almost half a year ago. I assume they’ve met by now, yes? I mean, she is married to a Newbery winner.
I think this is applicable to our usual subject matter today. After all, I suspect that there are a few authors out there for kids that still use typewriters. I used one as recently as 2006 in conjunction with my job. Plus this is a great little piece.
I’ve shown the video of Christopher Walken reading The Three Little Pigs before. This one, though, is new to me. We never see him who I’m not wholly convinced it’s actually him. It’s a possibility, though. A distinct possibility.
Dr. Seuss’ ‘The Lorax’ nabbed the top spot at the box office this weekend (garnering $70.7 million — the best opening of the year so far — and becoming the best debut ever for a non-sequel animated film! Although the movie didn’t... Read the rest of this post
Illumination Entertainment’s The Lorax exceeded expectations and debuted in first place with a stunning $70.2 million last weekend. That places it in eighth place for all-time biggest openings for an animated film, and fourth-best for a non-sequel animated film. The success of the film validates the producer-driven approach to animated filmmaking taken by Illumination head Chris Meledandri, who exercises tight control over the casting, writing and creative direction of his films. It’s a page straight of Jeffrey Katzenberg’s DreamWorks playbook and, for better or worse, Meledandri is proving that it can work for producers without the initials JK.
Meanwhile, in its third weekend, Studio Ghibli’s The Secret World of Arrietty grabbed $1.5 million from 1,431 US theaters. The film landed in 14th place, but had the lowest per-theater average of any film in the top 20. Its US total now stands at $16.8 million.
If you’re gonna crap all over The Lorax, you might need this:
The Lorax became the number #1 movie in the country last weekend, and part of that success was establishing merchandising tie-ins with numerous licensees. But here’s one even last year’s Winnie The Pooh (a more appropriate match) didn’t think of. Apparently the 7th Generation company is selling all sorts of eco-friendly Lorax products including these “Lorax-approved” baby diapers. For those Seuss collectors who have to have everything, you better hurry: they are a limited edition – and yeah, images of the little orange Danny Devito voiced creature are printed on the tab fastener of the diaper.
I'm not always a huge fan of book-to-movie adaptations, but though I haven't even seen The Lorax yet, it looks adorable. And, at this point, anything about the environment aimed at kids is probably an important movie to see.
If your kids (or yourself) are loving on The Lorax right now, David A. Carter has created a beautiful pop-up book, using the Dr. Seuss story and illustrations, in honor of the release of the movie. 8 gorgeous pop-ups and a Dr. Seuss book. Sold.
I thought it was really nicely done and would make a great gift to a child that loved the movie (or hasn't even seen it yet) or an adult that collects pop-ups. Everyone needs a little Dr. Seuss in their collection!
The Lorax, Pop-up Dr. Seuss/David A. Carter 18 pages Pop-up picture book Random House Children's Books 9780375860355 January 2012 Review copy
His book became a cornerstone of the environmental debate, but since this is an ongoing struggle without quick remedies, this real life Lorax has updated his book, now with a 21st urgency and mindset. Stone makes a case for the voiceless trees, oceans, wildlife and environment, arguing they should have legal rights.
The following excerpt discusses the case of an 80s oceanic catastrophe in Germany, and how in the long run, advocating for the environment paid off. In his chapter conclusion, he argues that an institution like the Global Commons Trust Fund is best fitted to get results for cases like these.
As Dr. Seuss wrote, “UNLESS someone like you cares an awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Words to keep in mind as you read the excerpt below.
A case in Germany invoked the guardianship concept in a case with global implications. In 1988, approximately 15,000 dead seals mysteriously washed up on the beaches of the North and Baltic Seas. Widespread alarms were sounded, amid considerable concern that the massive deaths were portent of an impending ecological disaster. The most flagrant insult to the North Sea’s chemistry was widely considered to be titanium and other heavy metals that were being produced by incineration and dumping on the high seas by permit of the Western German government.
Conceivably, any of the states bordering the sea might have tried to challenge Germany’s action. But recall that, so long as the harm was being done on, or affecting life only in, the high seas, the authority of any nation to sue was (and is) doubtful. For Poland, say, to trace through a legally compensable injury would have been nearly hopeless. From the point of view of national fishing interests, the reduction—even elimination—of the seals might even have been regarded as an economic benefit. (The harbor seals involved, unlike fur seals, are themselves commercially valueless but compete with fishermen for commercial fish stocks.) Moreover, all the sea-bordering nations were contributing to the pollution, and thus, had any of them objected their case might have been met by Germany with an “unclean hands” defense: “you can’t complain, because you’re as guilty as we are.”
Who, then, was to speak for the seals—and, in so doing, represent all the elements of the ecological web whose hazarded fortunes were intertwined? In comparable situations in the United States, courts have shown willingness to interpret the Administrative Procedure Act and other laws as giving a public interest group standing to challenge the government’s actions. German law, however, is much more stringent about allowing “citizen’s suits.”
The solution was for a group of German environmental lawyers (with the encouragement and advice of the author) to institute an action in which the North Sea seals were named the lawsuit’s principal plaintiffs, with the lawye
By now we've all seen the studies on "green teens," trend pieces on eco-friendly campuses and stats revealing tweens who volunteer more than Mom and Dad. It's official: this generation of youth has helped raised our collective environmental... Read the rest of this post
Years ago, I discovered Fred Meyer, a giant everything-in-one-place store similar to Super Walmart but with less evil and awesome childcare. A few years later, the single California store in a predominantly Northwestern chain closed its doors. The mammoth building sat empty, in view of the freeway, forever while rumors swirled about its future. And then one day I came over a rise on the off-ramp and saw that the entire building had been leveled overnight. I was swept by nausea as I absorbed the magnitude of such obscene waste. Demolishing a ten year-old, up-to-code building merely because new commercial tenants (a Lowe’s built virtually in the footprint of the bulldozed warehouse) want something specific enraged me. I was angry for years. I’m still angry. I experienced a similar sucker-punch moment the first time I drove past Chico’s old Downtown Plaza Park and saw it laid bare in the name of progress, raped of all the beautiful trees allegedly so “diseased” they had to be removed for public safety but healthy enough to be replanted on the property of the developer. I happen to unexpectedly like the metropolitan feel of the new plaza, but it took me weeks to picture the gaping hole where the gazebo had been without tearing up. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax is not subtle. I guess the narrative master wanted the message to get through loud and clear: Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.
Actor Danny DeVito will voice an orange environmentalist in an animated adaptation of Dr. Seuss‘ beloved book, The Lorax. The film joins a long list of Seuss adaptations: The Cat in the Hat, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, and Horton Hears a Who.
Today is the anniversary of Dr. Seuss' birthday--and Read Across America Day. How are you celebrating? Last year we made green eggs benedict. Tonight I think I'll made this green egg and ham frittata, from Eating Well magazine. My kids have been asking me to take them to the bookstore or library. I have been putting it off as I've been in the midst of a couple of freelance jobs but . . . given that today is Read Across America Day it would be a shame not to go, don't you think?
I'll be back later in the week to with some more Seussian goodness. Until then, please enjoy my other Dr. Seuss-related posts:
Dreamworks’ The Croods, Rise of the Guardians and Madagascar 3, Sony/Aardman’s The Pirates and Illumination’s The Lorax are among the properties being showcased this week at the International Licensing Expo in Las Vegas. The gang at ComingSoon.net have snapped a bunch of photos (click the bottom three for a larger image):
Someone on the Chinese video site Sina posted this work-in-progress trailer for The Lorax from Illumination Entertainment, whose earlier films were Despicable Me and Hop. Some shots are incomplete and unfinished, but it’s worth a look:
The Lorax, which is slated to open March 2nd, 2012, is directed by Chris Renaud and Kyle Balda. It’s the second Seuss adapation for Illumination founder Chris Meledandri, who previously produced Horton Hears a Who! while running 20th Century Fox Animation. Danny DeVito voices the Lorax, and Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, Ed Helms and Betty White provide additional voices.
The leap from picture book to silver screen couldn’t come at a more opportune moment. We’re at a point in time where the naysayers can no longer claim that the “green movement” is simply a fad that will run its course. Instead, its importance has been solidified in the collective consciousness.
The Lorax is about to send out his call-to-action yet again. If you haven’t already sprung into action, isn’t it time you did?
The marketing team behind film adaptation of Dr. Seuss‘ The Lorax have made more than 70 deals for promotional product tie-ins.
Comedian Stephen Colbert gave a sarcastic pitch (written in verse) asking for more: “I’m demanding more branding of Loraxian stuff!” The pitch included suggestions such as Lorax-themed SUV’s, oil drills and McDonald’s meals.