MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady

The Weekend Report: August 9, 2009

Weekend Estimates: August 7-9, 2009

Title Distributor Gross (averag % change Theater Cume
G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra Par 56.6 (14,120) 4007 56.6
Julie & Julia Sony 19.6 (8,320) 2354 19.6
G-Force BV 9.7 (2,790) -45% 3482 86
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince WB 8.9 (2,570) -51% 3455 273.8
Funny People Uni 7.8 (2,600) -65% 3008 40.4
The Ugly Truth Sony 6.6 (2,220) 2975 2975 68.7
A Perfect Getaway Uni 5.7 (2,620) 2159 5.7
Aliens in the Attic Fox 3.9 (1,260) -51% 3108 16.2
(500) Days of Summer Fox Searchlight 3.7 (4,490) 32% 817 12.3
The Orphan WB 3.7 (1,610) -51% 2270 34.8
The Hangover WB 3.4 (1,990) -35% 1690 262
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Par 3.0 (1,550) -36% 1948 393.7
The Proposal BV 2.8 (1,490) -44% 1870 151.6
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs Fox 2.5 (1,440) -55% 1727 187.7
The Hurt Locker Summit 1.2 (2,320) -35% 535 9
The Collector FreeStyle 1.2 (960) -66% 1270 6.3
Public Enemies Uni 1.0 (1,060) -62% 906 95.5
Up BV .061 (1,410) -48% 431 287.4
Night at the Museum 2 Fox .44 (1,340) -21% 329 174.8
Du Pere en flic Alliance .42 (4,560 -28% 92 7
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $141.90
% Change (Last Year) 23%
% Change (Last Week) 15%
Also debuting/expanding
Paper Heart Overture .20 (5,330) 38 0.2
In the Loop IFC .18 (3,680) -37% 50 0.87
The Cove Roadside Attract. .16 (2,724) 174% 58 0.24
Adam Searchlight .10 (5,060) 49% 20 0.24
Cold Souls IDP 81,300 (11,610) 7 0.08
Thirst Focus 52,600 (6,580) -6% 8 0.14
Bliss First Run 6,150 (6,150) 1 0.01
Beeswax Cinema Guild 5,750 (5,750) 1 0.01
I Sell the Dead IFC 4,100 (4,100) 1 0.01

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“I suddenly couldn’t say anything about some of the movies. They were just so terrible, and I’d already written about so many terrible movies. I love writing about movies when I can discover something in them – when I can get something out of them that I can share with people. The week I quit, I hadn’t planned on it. But I wrote up a couple of movies, and I read what I’d written, and it was just incredibly depressing. I thought, I’ve got nothing to share from this. One of them was of that movie with Woody Allen and Bette Midler, Scenes From a Mall. I couldn’t write another bad review of Bette Midler. I thought she was so brilliant, and when I saw her in that terrible production of ‘Gypsy’ on television, my heart sank. And I’d already panned her in Beaches. How can you go on panning people in picture after picture when you know they were great just a few years before? You have so much emotional investment in praising people that when you have to pan the same people a few years later, it tears your spirits apart.”
~ Pauline Kael On Quitting

“My father was a Jerome. My daughter’s middle name is Jerome. But my most vexing and vexed relationship with a Jerome was with Jerome Levitch, the subject of my first book under his stage and screen name, Jerry Lewis.

I have a lot of strong and complex feelings about the man, who passed away today in Las Vegas at age 91. Suffice to say he was a brilliant talent, an immense humanitarian, a difficult boss/interview, and a quixotic sort of genius, as often inspired as insipid, as often tender as caustic.

I wrote all about it in my 1996 book, “King of Comedy,” which is available on Kindle. With all due humility, it’s kinda definitive — the good and the bad — even though it’s two decades old. My favorite review, and one I begged St. Martin’s (unsuccessfully) to put on the paperback jacket, came from “Screw” magazine, which called it “A remarkably fair portrait of a great American asshole.”

Jerry and I met twice while I was working on the book and spoke/wrote to each other perhaps a dozen times. Like many of his relationships with the press and his partners/subordinates, it ended badly, with Jerry hollering profanities at me in the cabin of his yacht in San Diego. I wrote about it in the epilogue to my book, and over the years I’ve had the scene quoted back to me by Steve Martin, Harry Shearer, Paul Provenza and Penn Jillette. Tom Hanks once told me that he had a dinner with Paul Reiser and Martin Short at which Short spent the night imitating Jerry throwing me off the boat.

Jerry was a lot of things: father, husband, chum, businessman, philanthropist, artist, innovator, clown, tyrant. He was at various times in his life the highest-ever-paid performer on TV, in movies, and on Broadway. He raised BILLIONS for charity, invented filmmaking techniques, made perhaps a dozen classic comedies, turned in a terrific dramatic performance in Martin Scorsese’s “The King of Comedy,” and left the world altered and even enhanced with his time and his work in it.

That’s an estimable achievement and one worth pausing to commemorate.

#RIP to Le Roi du Crazy

~ Biographer Shawn Levy on Jerry Lewis on Facebook