Another weekend without much worth discussing.
The Devil Wears Prada finally cracked $120 million.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man
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Why would Paramount be moping about World Trade Center? I haven’t heard anyone (except maybe some of the media who were against Stone and the movie from the get-go) upset about how it’s done or trying to spin it negatively. $55 million seems pretty decent after three weeks for a movie that involves such a touchy subject matter and $70 million is more than I thought it would make. It should be out on DVD by the holidays (will that be the mixed message holiday gift of the century or what?) and I’m sure Paramount will send it to anyone who gets to vote on anything like they did with War of the Worlds last year.
Although I think Maggie has the best chance at getting a supporting nod for this movie, I’m kind of hoping that she’ll get nominated in the lead category for Sherrybaby instead. I’ve interviewed her a few times and she’s definitely mellowed out since getting pregnant, and I think her personality is getting to the point where people will want to vote for her.
hoot and How to Eat Fried Worms really show just how essential good marketing to the kids demographic is, and how much better Disney is at it than anybody else. Maybe it’s endless Disney channel promotions, maybe it’s the Disney name, maybe it’s Disney’s marketing also targets parents so they’re aware the movie is coming out (and looks good/bad/indifferent), but regardless, these two movies simply never seemed to have a voice (and Hoot had a godawful trailer, How to Eat Fried Worms at least had a semi-funny trailer) in the marketplace to begin with.
When you’re dealing with kids movies, there are no stars to sell it, so you have to give it a compelling reason to be seen. For effects movies that’s easy, but here are two books that a ton of kids have read and whether or not you have effects you should at least make the movies appear to be interesting to see. Perhaps that’s why fantasy (including non disney animation w/ child leads) children’s movies do better, they have the appeal of effects, plus have trailers that make them seem more interesting to watch and include a good kid-ploitation (kid saves the world/day) element.
It’ll be interesting to see how Disney chooses to sell Bridge to Terabithia, they had quite a bit of success with Tuck Everlasting and Holes, and I’m curious how they’ll do.
Paramount should be proud of the way WTC performed. It is a remarkable piece of adult pop entertainment. Like U93, it should get nods for editing and sound.
I’m really disappointed by the way Idlewild performed. It is a goirous mess of a movie. It may a spotty at times, but it has more energy and imagination any almost any American movie I’ve seen this year. I’d rather see a movie that swings for the fences than a movie that plays it safe. Everyone is terrific. It starts out fluffy but quickly settles down with the arrival of the great Terrence Howard. He amps up the tension and makes you care about the characters. Paula Patton is a movie star. Andre 3000 and big Boi give fine actoryly performances. The movie is a celebration of African-American entertaineers and culture. Idlewild is like a hip hop Cotton Club. It’s a heady mix of violence, romance and music. The fact that audiences won’t take a risk on it says more about the public than the state of movies.
Poor Warner Brothers . . . not even their frat comedy can make money. They are having the year from Hell right now. And Warner Independent had an underperforming Linklater as their only summer entry (I’m not counting The Promise, which came and went from theaters in the blink of an eye without any promotion). Granted, A Scanner Darkly will make it’s money back through DVD, but come on. Poseidon, Superman, Lady in the Water, Ant Bully, and now Beerfest? Gotta say, ouch.
Lady in the Water and Idlewild both failed for the same reason. They had an unreliable marketing tool (Shyamalan, Outkast) and their films were generally too far out there for people to grasp. Hindsight will show these two as better than most of the movies this summer simply because they were bizarre and daring and not conventional.
Accepted seems to have decent legs, which I found very surprising. Would $30 mil be a good gross for something that looks as cheap as that? I don’t mean that as a dig, but there are barely any names to go with the movie, so it shouldn’t be too costly for Universal.
Barnyard and Monster House seem to have negated each other to mid $60s while completely destroying Ant Bully. I only feel bad for Monster House. Would an October release have helped it or hurt it?
And Talladega Nights continues to be the juggernaut of August. If this was a surprise to anyone, they need to go to the movies more.
How much can NL afford to keep losing before it has to lay people off? Can anyone remember their last hit?
Ah Jimmy, don’t feel bad, Idlewild was #1 per screen (and I’m repeating what I said in Friday ests.): I had a perfectly good time at Idlewild, I’d hate to have waited for the small screen, it’s wildly inventive and satisfying, using digital intermediate art happiness to bring viz effects to life without choking the movie to within an inch of its life.
TH: I’m sure that the money made from Wedding Crashers and the Lord of the Rings movies can keep them solvent for awhile despite releasing so many bombs. (Not to mention their back catalogue, DVD sales, etc.)
They gotta get going on Freddy vs. Jason 2 already. That’ll save them.
New Line should turn that re-release of the original Nightmare on Elm Street into a one-week evernt. I think they could a nice $10 million out of it. I’m sure they’ll do well with Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning. They’re smart enough to release it before Saw III, which everyone seems to assume will clean up its opening weekend. You what happens to people who assume?
I think Monster House would’ve done slightly better if released around October, a la Nightmare Before Christmas back in 1993. I’m not sure it would’ve made more money, but at least people wouldn’t be dumping on its performance as being disappointing. It’s summer numbers would be considered a surprise hit in October. It’s amazing what a difference 3 months can make when it comes to perceptions.
Just saw The Illusionist and thought it was an excellent way to round out the summer.
An adult film about an original special effects artist that did not have to rely on them to be compelling.
Norton was excellent and low key as the lead while Biel proved she was more then just fodder for the AICN crowd.
Giamatti also gave a great turn as a police officer who plays both sides.
My only gripe was the end…but even that was not enough for me to say I did not enjoy myself.
A fine piece of adult cinema.
Marky Mark, back on top, with a cliched sports movie no less.
Beerfest, like all things Broken Lizard perfoms horribly. i’m amazed these guys keep getting theatrical releases. put them on the direct to dvd route. it’s the only place their brand of humorless comedy has a prayer of finding an audience or making a dime.
Seeing BROKEN LIZARD in front of a movie is worth about as much as NATIONAL LAMPOON these days. I loved it back when Super Troopers came out, that they had BROKEN LIZARD in front of the film, as if they tried to market something as a brand before people even knew who the hell they were. At least they did me a service: seeing Broken Lizard before any movie title is a clear sign to run screaming from the theater.
Good for Little Miss Sunshine. Hopefully it’ll hold a few more weeks and be a respectable indie release and can warrant more films like it.
Idlewyld… i’m not sure how to call this one. Best per screen average in the top 10, and it ends up at #9. Weird. I can’t imagine it’s good, as i can’t see the film holding on for anything more than 20 million. ATL did almost double in it’s first week.
Lady in the Water was unconventional and bizarre, yes. But it was still awful and it just goes to show that a director tryiing too hard to be ‘unconventional’ can just as easily go into egotistical and pretentious as daring and bold. That said I really want to see Idlewild based on word of mouth.
I’m really glad WTC is getting shrugged off by audiences since that’s what it deserves. Not good, not bad, just in the middle.
Sooner or later Bob Shaye needs to come to work and stop directing long enough to know the marketing department at New Line needs to go. It’s just sad what they put out. Their posters are awful, their trailers are HORRIBLE, (although the new Todd Fields is a damn good one.) It’s just run by an old man or something. What is going on there? Is it Russell? Does he need to be put to bed? Is it Shaye?
….Invincible will trail off fast. Marky Mark can’t get too happy about this one. I know he’s in Scoreses’s next though.
I like the HWD reporter story that Sandler is the one true box office star. Too funny. How many hits is it for this guy? I love that so many people hate him too…
Toronto looks like a joke this year BTW. Sad. Although THE QUEEn which opens NY is AWESOME!!
Yeah it’s Russell Schwartz. He needs to go!!!!!!!!!
Being New Line must be frustrating as all hell.
you have this massive influx of cash thanks to Lord of the Rings, and the only hit in almost 3 years is Wedding Crashers. PLUS, youre unable to capitalize on the most hyped movie of the year.
what the fuck are they huffing over there?
anghus it’s more like who NL fired and shouldn’t have. LOTR was started Looong ago and post 2001 regime cannot take credit for it.
Wow, no Broken Lizard love on here? Beerfest isn’t quite as funny (or idiosyncratic) as Super Troopers but it’s perfectly amusing, slapdash comedy. A little too long and too skewed towards the “R-rated comedy!!!” excitement (their other movies are R but less blatant about it), but pretty funny (I laughed out loud at least eight or ten times). I had a good time. I can’t imagine it cost much and it will probably do really well on DVD.
I even half-like Club Dread. They’re a little workmanlike but the troupe-based silliness of their movies is ingratiating.
By the way, I think Klady means “Glory Road,” not “Passing Glory.”
WTC is going nowhere come awards season unless this fall’s releases are worse than can be imagined.
It told an interesting story in an uninteresting way and really went out of its way to NOT come to grips with 9/11.
I liked WTC very much but do not think it beyond criticism.
It was certainly not the cinematic achievment of United 93 and I also understand how people were bothered by how it went out of its way to not really deal with 9/11 in a way that made anyone happy.
As another person said a while ago, it was done in such a way where it could have been about any disaster, not necessarily 9/11 and 30 years from now it might not make much sense to a young person who doesn’t already have historical context.
That said, it is a very good film and I am glad it will do 70 million. It is a film for adults and does provide an uplifting story of true heroes that most of time does not come out Hollywood. Nothing wrong with that at all.
I also like seeing Stone again with a critical and financial hit. He truly is one of cinemas greats whether he is acknowledged as such or not.
Does anyone think WTC could get a 911 5th anniversary boost?
Or are we as a culture so 911ed out that we’ll be immune to that hype?
If people didn’t feel like seeing it in August, I don’t know why they would want to see it in September.
Very unspectacular box-office. I was hoping more people would take a punt on Idlewild.
Happy for The Devil Wears Prada though. It finished within, what? less than $60mil of Superman Returns.
Jimmy, I highly doubt that the Nightmare on Elm Street rerelease would get $10mil if it was out for an entire weekend. Not with all the new horror titles out like the Saw and Texas Chainsaw and Grudge movies.
I wish New Nightmare would get a good DVD release though instead of redoing the original for the twentieth time.
Invincible is tops at the box office, that’s good to see. I went to see it over the weekend and I liked it. Between that and Little miss Sunshine, it was a scarce box office in terms of interest personally.
New Nightmare got a perfectly good DVD release in Region 1. I think original Nightmare could make $10m if it was out for the entire Halloween season but it appears New Line doesn’t want to cut into their DVD business.
BTW, is anyone actually looking forward to TCM2/Grudge 2/Saw 3? Yeesh.
Too bad that How to Eat Fried Worms bombed this weekend. I actually enjoyed it. It’s very different from the book but still entertaining on its own.
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