The cinema is a magical place where audiences can have a visual experience of what it’s like to be in an entirely different world, and it’s all thanks to the costumes, makeup, computer-generated imagery, and other special effects. The industry has really gone far in terms of visual effects. Nowadays, big budget films are able to create humongous robots, an armada of spaceships, or even spine-crawling monsters with a couple, or a lot, of tweaks in front of the computer. The generation of today has King Kong to thank for. In the industry of movie special effects, many regard it as the single pivotal point in animation.
Through the years, numerous remakes of the classic have been done, but there can only be one original. The first movie went out in 1933. It was directed and produced by Merian Cooper and Ernest Schoedsack. King Kong tells the tale of a gigantic ape wreaking havoc in downtown New York. No one could ever forget the scene wherein King Kong kidnaps the heroine and climbs up the Empire State Building, only to be shot down tragically.
Willis O’Brien used stop motion animation throughout the entire film. Puppets no bigger than two feet and shooting techniques such as double exposure and matte painting brought it to life. Thirty years later, a Japanese director decided to do a remake. This time, the film used a man in a rubber suit to emulate the mighty monster. It is no exaggeration to say that King Kong was the frontier in movie special effects.
The King Kong franchise now totals to eight theatrical adaptations with a ninth film slated to be released sometime in 2020. Thus far, the franchise has already amassed total box office earnings (not adjusted for inflation) of more than $1 billion, making it one of the most successful film franchises in history. The 2017 reboot was released only this month, titled Kong: Skull Island, and grossed more than $60 million in its opening weekend in the U.S. and Canada alone. It stars Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson, Jing Tian, Toby Kebbell, John Ortiz, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Shea Whigham, Thomas Mann, Terry Notary, and John C. Reilly.