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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

BYOBox Office

Can’t get a chart posted on the iPhone, but Klady’s estimates should be on the MCN front page… have at it.
My short response is that Harold & Kumar 3, which is terrible (especially compared to the glorious original), opened off its DVD love and the number is about right. And a strong campaign by Universal for a not very good movie worked on Baby Mama.

61 Responses to “BYOBox Office”

  1. marychan says:

    Congrating Warner Bros for having first success on releasing New line’s movie theatrically.

  2. doug r says:

    So Harold and Kumar make almost as much on Friday as they did for the opening weekend of their first movie? Sweet…at lest 4.20 million on Sunday, man…

  3. Lynch Van Sant says:

    For the first time, given the earlier crappy trailer, the Hancock tv spot on American Idol actually makes it look like it will do over $200mil now. http://www.firstshowing.net/2008/04/24/new-hancock-extended-trailer-actually-looks-good/
    Still no idea who or what he will be fighting at the climax though.

  4. movielocke says:

    ah Harold and Kumar wasn’t that bad, it was pretty funny in most of the ways the original were (the sub for freakshow wasn’t quite as over the top, but it still worked).
    but when was the last time three comedies were the top three films in a weekend?

  5. Zac Bertschy says:

    I think the only way the second Harold & Kumar movie is “terrible” in comparison to the first is if you honestly thought it was “glorious”. They’re practically the same movie with slightly different gags.

  6. movieman says:

    I’m curious to know how the Errol Morris doc opened.
    The reviews were mostly ecstatic and Morris has a major cult following (thanks in part to the early cheerleading efforts by Roger Ebert), but the subject matter could make it as tough a sell as “Taxi to the Dark Side” which couldn’t sell tickets even after winning the Oscar.
    Nice opening for two mediocre movies (“Baby Mama” and “H&K”); excellent hold for “Sarah Marshall;” worrisome slippage for “Forbidden Kingdom;” and a predictably disastrous bow for “Deceived.”
    Not a whole lot of surprises here.
    Anybody want to take a stab at guesstimating the opening weekend figure for “Iron Man”? Between Paramount’s terrific marketing campaign, the excellent early reviews and pent-up demand for a really “big,” summer-type movie, I’m thinking
    $70-million.
    Or could it go even higher?
    “Made in Manhattan” should gobble up the “Baby Mama” audience, so it’s a good thing Tina and Amy opened so well this weekend.
    And looking ahead to the weekend of May 9th, will “Vegas”
    cannibalize the “Made” audience? Or is going to suffer from being the fourth rom-com to open in as many weeks and be d.o.a.?

  7. I was tempering my Iron Man expectations because of Comic Book fatigue, but a lot of my non-geek friends want to see it, which is usually a good barometer of awareness, so I’m guessing between $60-$70 million.
    Also, why did they release Harold and Kumar in the middle of exam season? The one time when certain stoners (such as myself) won’t smoke up? It could mean long legs though. That being said, I’m seeing it tonight with friends that haven’t been to the theatres to see a movie for the entire school year. Something has to be said for a movie that can do that.
    Speaking of comic books, anyone else think the trailer for Frank Miller’s The Spirit has a way-too-similar-to-Sin City look to it?

  8. THX5334 says:

    Anyone else wondering if Iron Man’s opening weekend might be tempered by the release of Grand Theft Auto IV?
    (I for one, will be spending all of Tuesday, it’s launch day, playing it..)

  9. Does anyone know why War Inc. is already out in Canada? I can’t even begin to fathom a reason.

  10. PastePotPete says:

    I don’t think a videogame debut will ever really hurt a movie’s box office. With the Harry Potter books(the only non-sporting or weather event that really affects box office as I recall, and isn’t even that debatable?) the reason everyone read it all weekend was to find out what happened, and avoid spoilers. With GTAIV(which I’ll be getting as well) you can just hit pause.

  11. THX5334 says:

    Pete, I don’t disagree with your logic, and I myself don’t think it will hurt the opening either.
    However, and I don’t recall which film, but weren’t they blaming the release of Halo 3 on some poor box office performance? Or was that some kind of spin?

  12. sloanish says:

    HAROLD AND KUMAR OWN YOUR ASS. You will submit to their cockmeat sandwich and you will enjoy it. Those guys get more than any of you will ever dream of and I love it. The dude who played Bush DETONATED on your face. So much vagina, but not enough KUNIS.
    Lex hadn’t posted yet, just thought I’d give it a shot. Movie really wasn’t that good as you can imagine.

  13. IOIOIOI says:

    If you enjoy those two actours together in a film. The film was rather good. John Cho is freaking hilarious in this film.

  14. Krazy Eyes says:

    What’s up with the release of ROGUE way down at the bottom of the list? I’m assuming this is the Wolf Creek director’s killer crocodile movie starring Radha Mitchell. I didn’t see a single ad but I had heard this was going DTV anyways. Was this a typical “let’s fulfill our theatrical contract with the producers while releasing it with as little fanfare and on as few screens as possible” type release?
    I’ve never been a big fan of the Weinsteins but since going out on their own they can’t seem to release a genre film to save their lives.
    I did rent their DTV INSIDE the other night and thought it kicked major ass. Why didn’t that get a theatrical release? I find it very ironic that you can only find the (I’m guessing) chopped up R-rated version under the “Exclusive” deal with Blockbuster while Netflix will happily rent you the NC-17 version even though they’re not supposed to rent it at all.

  15. Why has nobody mentioned the 50%+ slip for Expelled: No Inteligence Allowed (which, by the way, I thought was meant to be a college-set comedy when I first saw the title). Can’t get to $10mil, surely.
    Good numbers for the week before “summer”. I’m guessing $70.1mil for Iron Man. If it’s anything around $68mil they wil just bump it up. They always do.

  16. movieman says:

    Krazy- I think the Weinsteins must have forgotten everything they ever learned about the motion picture business while running Miramax. It’s just been one sorry dud for them after another (whether “genre” fare like “Grindhouse” or “upscale” Oscar bait like “Bobby”) since leaving Disney.
    It’s kind of sad actually; I always admired their chutzpah.
    Guess the Iraq Movie curse has struck again. If that’s the best “Standard Operating Procedure” can do in tony Manhattan arthouses with a slew of rave reviews, Sony Classics definitely has their work cut out for them.
    And I’m still waiting for Netflix to send me “Inside.”
    It’s currently listed as a “long wait” which means that it could be another six months before they mail it to me.

  17. True story, Inside has probably tripled its business since that one guy mentioned it like 2 weeks ago.

  18. Bennett says:

    I wonder what the true story behind Deceived is….I saw the trailer before Leatherheads and thought “maybe I will check it out….at least Netflix it” Then I saw that it was DUMPED this weekend….umm….why….Granted it looked like something that was written during the 1990s..A mixture of The Game and Basic Instinct/Fatal Attraction/hell name your own Michael Douglas thriller….It seemed that even if the movie was totally crap…they could still open it in late August or September to maybe The Brave One(another crappy thriller) numbers or at least open to ten million…….at this rate it will not even get to ten million…I am sure that it will be quite a loss for the studio…
    Granted McGregor has had his fair share of bombs in his past, but Jackman is a pretty big star…
    Was it foreign financed???? It just makes me wonder WHY???

  19. Bennett says:

    whoops I meant to write Deception….I guess that is just how good the marketing campaign is…..Who knows maybe this will push a remake of that crappy Goldie Hawn thriller Deceived?

  20. movieman says:

    “Inside” is one of those movies that sounded interesting in Toronto last fall…but that you never quite get around to seeing.
    I didn’t even know that it was bypassing a (token) theatrical release and going straight to DVD until reading Dave Kehr in the NY Times the morning of its “official” street date.
    If I’d had a head’s-up, I could’ve Netflixed it earlier and probably seen it by now. That whole “very long” versus “long” and “short” wait thing continues to annoy the hell out of me.
    Does anyone know a reliable website for a thorough listing of upcoming dvd releases? Neither IMDB or Box Office Mojo does a particularly good job of it.

  21. Chucky in Jersey says:

    All the Alpha Males are dissing Baby Mama because it is a Chick Flick. Good trailer + clever poster + no name-checking = #1 Debut!
    The Errol Morris docu had the same per-theater average as “Baby Mama”. SPC relies on Name-Checking + Oscar-Whoring. Box Office Poison!
    To movieman: The pic opening opposite “Iron Man” is “Made of Honor” and looks like poo based on the trailer.

  22. Krazy Eyes says:

    Movieman . . . my copy of INSIDE was tagged as “very long wait” by Netflix too but then they ended up sending it almost immediately. I do wonder how/where Netflix is getting copies of these since technically they’re not supposed to rent them. I had a chuckle when a “This DVD is for sale only” screen appeared before the beginning of the movie.
    How much did Blockbuster pay for this complete failure of a promotion — especially when they’re forcing customers to go to someplace like Netflix if they want to see the unrated version?

  23. Joe Leydon says:

    Chuck: Was in a bookstore yesterday. Saw that A Thousand Splendid Suns is “A Novel by the Author of The Kite Runner.” Does this qualify as Name Checking and Pulitzer whoring?

  24. movieman says:

    I thought “Baby Mama” was a mild disappointment, but I’m glad it’s doing well. Hopefully Tina Fey will write her own script next time.
    Krazy- Does Netflix enjoy playing mind games with you like they (apparently) do with me? For example, mailing you a movie from a far-flung location, thereby guaranteeing an extra 3-5 days before delivery? It’s bad enough when that happens with an older, hard-to-locate title, but when it’s a brand-new release it’s just maddening.

  25. Krazy Eyes says:

    Movieman . . . I’ve actually had great luck with Netflix’s shipping. I live very close to one of their major distribution points and I can count on one hand the number of times a DVD has taken more than a single day to arrive. Only twice have they had to ship something especially obscure from another location and even then it was only an additional day or two.

  26. movieman says:

    You’re a lucky man, Krazy.
    Maybe it’s my damn fault for living in northeastern Ohio…or for watching movies too quickly.
    Cleveland is my usual Netflix shipping location, but increasingly I’ve been getting things mailed to me from Palo Alto, California and cities even farther away.
    I love the whole Netflix concept, but the reality (for me anyway) is becoming a major drag.
    Are you in LA?

  27. SJRubinstein says:

    “The Visitor” is hanging on with a half-million take after expanding out a little more and is now at $800,000-something. It’s doing better than “Young @ Heart,” but here’s the question – start spending to expand that release and gamble that it’ll counter-program trough May enough to warrant the costs? Or be thrilled that your take-home will pass a million and call it a day knowing you’ll have a solid home video release?

  28. jesse says:

    Chucky, have you ever even explained what “name-checking” is? I know what “Oscar-whoring” is, even though your thesis about it affecting box office in a negative way is beyond ridiculous. But “name-checking”… would that be showing an actor’s name in the ads? Or what? Cause, uh, Baby Mama did that. The trailer says “TINA FEY” and “AMY POEHLER.” Prominently. The poster says “TINA FEY” and “AMY POEHLER” with big pictures of their faces. Their names are pretty much checked, dude.
    If that’s *not* “name-checking,” could you elaborate on what the difference is?
    Either way, could you elaborate on why saying who is in the movie is bad? If an action movie shows explosions in the trailer, is that “explosion-checking”? Unless you’re arguing for more inventive, less cliched trailers… but I don’t think you’d agree that it’s the most inventive trailers that get people interested.
    Oh, and Baby Mama was good enough; not well-directed, but thoroughly amusing. I agree it would’ve been better if Tina had written it herself (and it seems like she did the movie because the subject interests her), but if Baby Mama is a mediocre comedy in her universe, then her career will be A-OK.

  29. Nicol D says:

    “Does anyone know why War Inc. is already out in Canada? I can’t even begin to fathom a reason.”
    War Inc. has different production companies that invested money in it and various distributors to cover different territories.
    The Canadian distributor is VVS Films. They do more low-end productions and I believe War Inc. will be the biggest thing they have distributed yet (though I could be wrong).
    The American distributor is First Look International. They also do more low end stuff like Jessica Simpson’s Blonde Ambition. Although they also seem to have distribution rights in the States to the Farrelly Bros 3 Stooges. I do not know if that is a blessing or a curse.
    Most major films distributed in North America are released by the same distributor but in this case, since they are two smaller players over different territories, that accounts for the different release pattern.

  30. jeffmcm says:

    “All the Alpha Males are dissing Baby Mama because it is a Chick Flick. Good trailer + clever poster + no name-checking = #1 Debut!
    The Errol Morris docu had the same per-theater average as “Baby Mama”. SPC relies on Name-Checking + Oscar-Whoring. Box Office Poison!”
    Bullshit. It’s a comedy From The Stars of 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live with a clever hook (Odd Couple 2000 with ladies) and Universal has been running TV ads like crazy.
    Standard Operating Proceduure is a documentary about a depressing subject (Abu Ghraib) with a tiny marketing budget that rolled out on 2 screens in NYC. To compare them isn’t just an odd thing to do, it crosses the line into intellectual dishonesty in order to contrive an argument for something totally insane.

  31. abba_70s says:

    H & K 2 was pretty disappointing but I’m def. not the target demo….sigh…

  32. brack says:

    “”Iron Man” is “Made of Honor” and looks like poo based on the trailer.”
    But Chucky, there is no name-checking for MoH, so it should be golden in your book.

  33. movieman says:

    …if they’re really desperate, Sony can say, “Oscar winner Sydney Pollack” and “2-time Oscar nominee Tony Pierce-Roberts”
    in their “Made of Honor” ads.
    I forgot whether the topic was “Oscar-baiting” or “name-checking.”
    Or are they really just the same thing?

  34. brack says:

    I don’t think Chuck realizes that not everyone is up to speed with everyone in the film industry and that name-checking can be helpful to people who possibly have seen some of the work that the people in the movie have been involved with. OMG, the horror, the horror!!!!111!!!11!!!!1

  35. PastePotPete says:

    THX5334,
    The movies out the week Halo 3 were released(last week of September, 2007) were Feast of Love, The Game Plan, and The Kingdom.
    I can imagine someone trying to make the case that the Kingdom was affected but it still opened decently considering the subject matter and lack of reliably bankable stars. I don’t think Halo 3 was a real factor.

  36. scooterzz says:

    movieman — re: the netflix issue….the theory seems to be, ‘keep a short queue and the long-wait stuff ships earlier than expected’….it really does appear to work…….
    re: a thorough, reliable list of dvd releases, i use comingsoon.net ……it’s never let me down…..

  37. marychan says:

    According to Warner Bros’ distribution president, the second Harold & Kumar movie was originally produced as a straight-to-video title….. So I think this movie’s is doing very well at box office so far.
    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/film/news/e3i302baa51d85f0debc0667104981cc6e9?pn=2

  38. Bennett, Deception‘s US release was indeed more of a token release. It was apparently meant for an Australian theatrical release and a direct-to-DVD release in America, but Fox thought it’d be best to keep Jackman on their good side and take it a shitty release with no press.
    It has however already won back it’s budget. Jackman’s production company financed it outside of the studio system and have already made the budget back with foreign sales.

  39. movieman says:

    Comingsoon.net, huh?
    Thanks for the tip, Scooter. I will definitely check it out!

  40. hcat says:

    I have also had luck with Reel.com’s list of upcoming releases.
    I live in Maryland and Netflix has shipped me the obscure titles from as far away as texas but overall I can’t compalain about the service, I average about 20 a month and get almost every new release I have in the queue (they ship the new releases on Monday so just time your returns accordingly).

  41. movieman says:

    I’ll have to check out reel.com, too, hcat; thanks.
    Yeah, I figured out a few years back that the key to getting new titles from Netflix is to make sure that they have your return(s) by Monday morning–the day before the official “street date.”
    If you’re sending a dvd back to California or Texas from Ohio, it’s sometimes hard to predict exactly when it’ll actually arrive, though.
    That’s when you can get tripped up.

  42. Chucky in Jersey says:

    SJR: Bookings for “The Visitor” and “Young@Heart” scream Arthouse Ghetto. The AMC Empire in NYC was to have played “Young@Heart” but their booking got pulled.
    In a recession your local megaplex will not be inclined to show arty fare. It’ll show “Iron Man”, “Speed Racer”, Narnia 2 and Indiana Jones 4.

  43. movieman says:

    There’s nothing new about that, Chuck.
    A typical Middle America multiplex would rather play four prints of “Indy,” three of “Narnia,” two of “Iron Man” and one of “Speed Racer” Memorial Day weekend rather than bother finding room for a solo print of a “Visitor” or “Young @ Heart.”
    That’s the way it’s been for years–or at least since movies started opening on 3,000+ screens at the same time.
    Yeah, it sucks, but that’s the reality of the present situation, and I don’t see it changing anytime soon.

  44. LexG says:

    “Deception” wasn’t THAT bad. Beautiful cinematography, two endlessly charismatic stars, a sexy hook… Its main problem was beginning with this fun, intriguing angle and quickly squandering it merely as entree into a wholly generic thriller plot, replete with offshore accounts and money transfers and obvious twists.
    Still, and I know this puts me squarely in the minority among Hot Bloggers and moviegoers in general, but 9 times out of 10, I’ll take a “February movie” or an “April movie” or a “September movie” over the big guns of summer.
    Maybe it’s just having grown up on the smaller movies of the ’70s, or the star vehicles of the ’80s, or on the actors and genres of the ’90s… either I’m stuck in the past or I’m turning into a middle-aged man already.
    But Jackman and McGregor in an adult thriller, or Pacino in a potboiler, or Keanu in a gritty cop movie… even if they’re middling examples of played-out genres all their own, that still appeals to me more than Prince Caspian or some “world of wonder.” And I like superhero movies as much as the next guy, but I don’t know… come mid-July, I’ll be tired of sitting in PACKED HOUSES with over-responsive children of all ages, chomping popcorn and kicking my chair and every seat being filled with 9 to 90s… I’ll be fucking clamoring for shit like LAKEVIEW TERRACE, where there’s five middle-aged couples in a mostly empty matinee, watching some perfectly enjoyable B-scale potboiler.

  45. Stella's Boy says:

    Lex I sort of liked the Lakeview Terrace (unofficial sequel to Unlawful Entry) trailer and I like the cast, but why oh why is it PG-13? Are that many teens going to want to see it? It seems like it should be R and I have to assume that the rating is going to hurt it a little bit.

  46. LexG says:

    Completely agree on the rating (especially since it’s LaBute), and on its similarity to “Unlawful Entry”… down to bad guy Jackson working on a muscle car in his spare time.
    Apparently in my middle age, that kind of thing is like my “Spider-Man.”

  47. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Guess movieman doesn’t read posts very carefully …
    In a recession (US is in one now)
    your local megaplex (any cinema with 16+ screens, definition per Variety)
    will not be inclined to show arty fare.
    A good number of megaplexes played “Waitress” alongside Pirates of the Caribbean 3. These same megaplexes might not be playing “Son of Rambow” alongside Indiana Jones 4.

  48. jeffmcm says:

    Waitress was hardly arty fare and certainly had broader appeal than Son of Rambow.

  49. movieman says:

    Chucky- The corporate-owned ‘plexes will generally give a screen to a “Miss Pettigrew” or “Shine a Light” during the off-season; unless it’s a “March of the Penguins” (or “Little Miss Sunshine”), it’s extremely rare for them to squander valauble real estate on iffier propositions like “The Visitor” or “Young @ Heart” when they can just fill the space with a fourth print of “Indiana Jones.” It’s the way it’s been done ever since the multiplex building boom of the 1990s–and since Hollywoo began to routinely open their “big” films on more than 3000 screens at a time. “Waitress” tried gaining a foothold in late May last year, but was out of most ‘plexes in a week or two (particularly in smaller markets like mine where “Penguins” and “Sunshine” both did exceedingly well in previous years).
    And all this talk about “Lakeview Terrance,” “Unlawful Entry” and the what-were-they-thinking? PG-13 rating is giving me a case of deja vu. I made the exact same comments on this board a week or two ago. (Great minds think alike, lol?)
    But I definitely know where Lex is coming from. The prospect of the summer movie season traditionally fills me with more fear than awe (this year more than usual).
    Give me those slutty fall Oscar-baiters anytime!

  50. I kind of agree with Lex too, but even more than that, when was the last time a conventional Hollywood movie became blockbuster without a built in audience? There’s no more Jaws or Star Wars type surprises tlike there was 20-30 years ago. Everyone needs a reason to see a movie beyond a good trailer. Raiders of the Lost Ark wouldn’t be a hit if it was released today.

  51. Blackcloud says:

    ^ The Matrix certainly did not have a built-in audience. I don’t think it was conventional, either. Spider-Man was a comic book movie, but I doubt anyone expected that level of success for it. POTC also was an iffy proposition. Maybe they don’t meet your definition of conventional.

  52. brack says:

    I think all the trailers for the “big summer movies” have been pretty good except for Get Smart and The Love Guru. Sex and the City’s wasn’t that good either, but maybe they’re saving the good jokes for the theater. Here’s to hoping anyway.

  53. brack says:

    I’d also add The Sixth Sense to the list of no built-in audience.

  54. Blackcloud says:

    ^ Yes. Good call.

  55. movieman says:

    Speaking of “Sex and the City,” I read on Filmjerk that the run time is 135 minutes. Could that be a typo? It seems inconceivable that a frothy rom-com could run 2 hours and 15 minutes. Or is that the price we pay for living in the Judd Apatow era of ass-busting romantic comedies?
    In the pre “hype-till-it-hurts” days of film marketing, “Gremlins,” “E.T.” and the original “Raiders” were all sneak previewed across the USA in towns large and small to create buzz. And it worked; brilliantly.
    Can you imagine “Iron-Man,” “Speed Racer” or “Hancock” getting the sneak preview treatment today?
    Studio marketing gurus will tell you that sneaks are irrelevant in the internet age. To me it speaks of arrogance and creative bankruptcy: “Who needs bonafide word-of-mouth spread by real people who actually saw our movie(s) when we can create phony buzz/heat on the ‘net built on rumor, innuendo and a widely distributed trailer?”

  56. Bennett says:

    Thanks for the heads up on Deception…I was curious about the dump…but since Fox had little financial interest in it…I guess it makes sense….That is the kind of heads up you don’t get anywhere else. Thanks again K.C.
    About Netflix…..I go through three a week or so and I seem to be waiting alot for movies…Still waiting for I am Legend, Valley of Elliah and Juno…..Does the size of the Queue really make a difference? I am the type of guy that just says that sounds good and put something on my list…I think I have over 200 on my list…

  57. Bennett says:

    Also, maybe I am just an old fogie…But I just do not think that any of the big summer movies these days(with exception of Pixar and Pirates Pt.1) are that good….I think that the word of mouth of last May’s Trifecta of Threesomes(Spidey,Shreky, Piratey) would have been hurt with word of mouth…
    Sex & The City movie is over 2 hours….With travel time and trailers..that is going to end up to be a three hour commitment…You better believe that I will bring that up to the wife next time she complains about seeing a baseball game….Maybe her work friends can go with her….Seeing a 51 year old Kim Catrell hit on men half her age is not a good night out….Kim we will always have those Mannequin days….She Rocked that City on Rock N Roll….

  58. movieman says:

    …and don’t forget the 15 minutes of commercials you’ll have to sit through even before reaching the trailers (and the uh, movie), Bennett.
    If “S&TC” really is 2 hours and 15 minutes–a fact I still refuse to believe (what is that? five or six episodes of the HBO series back-to-back?)–you’re definitely talking about close to three hours at the ‘plex.
    Ahhh, summer movies.
    Am I the only one old enough to remember the days when “summer movies” meant “Chinatown,” “Nashville” and “The Man Who Fell to Earth”?

  59. “Seeing a 51 year old Kim Catrell hit on men half her age is not a good night out”
    Not to be a pedantic bitch about it, but boo-freakin-hoo. If I were a woman and looked as good as Kim Cattrall then I’d be trying to bag a man half my age too. And I’m not even gonna go into the whole “if it were a 51-year-old man…” train of thought.

  60. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Update: The AMC Empire in NYC gets “Young@Heart” this Friday along with “Iron Man” (5 film/2 digital) and “Made of Honor” (4 film).
    Speaking of sneak previews, Cameron and Ashton have one this Saturday night. Chick Flick!

  61. leahnz says:

    spot on, kam

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“Well, actually, of that whole group that I call the post-60s anti-authority auteurs, a lot of them came from television. Peckinpah’s the only one whose television work represents his feature work. I mean, like the only one. Mark Rydell can direct a really good episode of ‘Gunsmoke’ and Michael Ritchie can direct a really good episode of ‘The Big Valley,’ but they don’t necessarily look like The Candidate. But Peckinpah’s stuff, even the scripts he wrote that he didn’t even direct, have a Peckinpah feel – the way I think there’s a Corbucci West – suggest a Peckinpah West. That even in his random episodes that he wrote for ‘Gunsmoke’ – it’s right there.”
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“The thought is interrupted by an odd interlude. We are speaking in the side room of Casita, a swish and fairly busy Italian bistro in Aoyama – a district of Tokyo usually so replete with celebrities that they spark minimal fuss. Kojima’s fame, however, exceeds normal limits and adoring staff have worked out who their guest is. He stops mid-sentence and points up towards the speakers, delighted. The soft jazz that had been playing discreetly across the restaurant’s dark, hardwood interior has suddenly been replaced with the theme music from some of Kojima’s hit games. Harry Gregson-Williams’ music is sublime in its context but ‘Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots’ is not, Kojima acknowledges, terribly restauranty. He pauses, adjusting a pair of large, blue-framed glasses of his own design, and returns to the way in which games have not only influenced films, but have also changed the way in which people watch them. “There are stories being told [in cinema] that my generation may find surprising but which the gamer generation doesn’t find weird at all,” he says.
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