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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“When Bay keeps these absurd plot-gears spinning, he’s displaying his skill as a slick, professional entertainer. But then there are the images of motion—I hesitate to say, of things in motion, because it’s not clear how many things there are in the movie, instead of mere digital simulations of things. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that there’s a car chase through London, seen from the level of tires, that could have gone on for an hour, um, tirelessly. What matters is that the defenestrated Cade saves himself by leaping from drone to drone in midair like a frog skipping among lotus pads; that he and Vivian slide along the colossal, polished expanses of sharply tilting age-old fields of metal like luge Olympians. What matters is that, when this heroic duo find themselves thrust out into the void of inner space from a collapsing planet, it has a terrifyingly vast emptiness that Bay doesn’t dare hold for more than an instant lest he become the nightmare-master. What matters is that the enormous thing hurtling toward Earth is composed in a fanatical detail that would repay slow-motion viewing with near-geological patience. Bay has an authentic sense of the gigantic; beside the playful enormity of his Transformerized universe, the ostensibly heroic dimensions of Ridley Scott’s and Christopher Nolan’s massive visions seem like petulant vanities.”
~ Michael Bay Gives Richard Brody A Tingle

How do you see film evolving in this age of Netflix?

I thought the swing would be quicker and more violent. There have been two landmark moments in the history of French film. First in 1946, with the creation of the CNC under the aegis of Malraux. He saved French cinema by establishing the advance on receipts and support fund mechanisms. We’re all children of this political invention. Americans think that the State gives money to French films, but they’re wrong. Through this system, films fund themselves!

The other great turning point came by the hand of Jack Lang in the 1980s, after the creation of Canal+. While television was getting ready to become the nemesis of film, he created the decoder, and a specific broadcasting space between film and television, using new investments for film. That once again saved French film.

These political decisions are important. We’re once again facing big change. If our political masters don’t take control of the situation and new stakeholders like Netflix, Google and Amazon, we’re headed for disaster. We need to create obligations for Internet service providers. They can’t always be against film. They used to allow piracy, but now that they’ve become producers themselves, they’re starting to see things in a different light. This is a moment of transition, a strong political act needs to be put forward. And it can’t just be at national level, it has to happen at European level.

Filmmaker Cédric Klapisch