News Column

Were the Mayans Right About End of the World? Hollywood Thinks So

Dec 21, 2012

Sharon Hoffmann

Will Smith stars in "Independence Day',' just one of many 'End of the World' movies.
Will Smith stars in "Independence Day',' just one of many 'End of the World' movies.

Were the Mayans right?

If you're reading this, we've apparently avoided the predicted Dec. 21 end of the world. But apparently Hollywood doesn't care. Every weekend in June is scheduled to be taken over by one sort of apocalypse or another:

-- "After Earth" (June 7): Will Smith and son Jaden crash land on a hostile, human-free Earth 1,000 years in the future.

--"The End of the World" (June 14): While attending a party at James Franco's house, Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen and other celbs face the apocalypse.

--"World War Z" (June 21): Brad Pitt battles a zombie pandemic.

--"White House Down" (June 28): Channing Tatum has to save President Jamie Foxx from a terrorist takeover. (This comes after "Olympus Has Fallen," where Gerard Butler fights terrorists at the White House on March 22.)

And if we survive June, aliens will try to destroy the world July 12 in "Pacific Rim."

Magnificent Melissa

One of the best parts of the new "This Is 40" comes with the end credits, when we get to see stars Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann cracking up over Melissa McCarthy's ad-libs in her tiny role as a crazy mom.

And now comes the new trailer for "Identity Thief" (Feb. 8), in which McCarthy steals the credit cards and life of Jason Bateman. KCK's Eric Stonestreet makes an appearance, in his tighty-whities. Watch the trailer on

After that McCarthy plays a cop in the action/comedy "The Heat" (April 5), teaming up with uptight FBI agent Sandra Bullock to take down a drug lord.

3-D galore

This week's 3-D re-release of Disney/Pixar's "Monsters, Inc." will be followed in 2013 by plenty more conversions of 2-D movies into a new dimension. It's all to bring in more box office and to promote 3-D Blu-ray editions.

In case you didn't hear last week's news, Tom Cruise's 1986 fighter pilot thriller "Top Gun" will return in 3-D IMAX starting Feb. 8. After that:

--"Jurassic Park 3D" (April 5): Steven Spielberg redefined computer animation with this 1993 dino thriller.

--"The Little Mermaid 3D" (Sept. 13): Everybody sing: "Ah-ah-ah, ah-ah-ah ..."

--The "Star Wars" prequels "Attack of the Clones" and "Revenge of the Sith" will come out in 3-D almost back-to-back: Sept. 20 and Oct. 4.

Will Smith's "Independence Day" was getting the 3-D hype for next summer, but the studio inexplicably pulled it from the schedule. Maybe we couldn't handle yet another apocalypse.

Source: (c)2012 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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