MCN Blogs
Kim Voynar

By Kim Voynar


Over at All These Wonderful Things, AJ Schnack posted a piece over a week ago about the Justin Bieber flick, Never Say Never, breaking into the top 10 all time moneymaker docs list at number 8. Apart from my own neglect in thinking of the Bieber film as a doc — which I guess it is, in a manner of speaking — the most interesting tidbit from the piece is this:

Anthony D’Alessandro has some interesting details on Bieber’s full-court publicity press over at Thompson on Hollywood, noting that his appearances on the likes of Extreme Home Makeover, Saturday Night Live and Jon Stewart “drove the P&A spend for NEVER SAY NEVER down to an estimated $20 million. That’s cheap. Typically it costs double that to open a film at $30 million.”

So there are two interesting things about this. 1) Bieber is a known entity with a substantial fan base, and he STILL had to get out there and bust his hump to publicize this film. So what do you think YOU need to be doing, indie filmmaker? And 2) if it typically costs $40 million P&A to open a film at $30 million, that is INSANE.

I’m not bitching about the relative merits of a Justin Bieber doc here. I know people — grown-up people who write about film for a living, not preteen girls — who actually liked the film. I am bitching about the very idea that spending $40 million on P&A is a normal and good thing.

I’m reminded (again) of the Roger Corman doc at Sundance and Corman saying that it’s just abhorrent for Hollywood to spend $30 million making a movie — he wasn’t even talking about the P&A, folks. Just the actual production costs. And yet we’re tossing around $30 million, $40 million figures for freaking P&A and nobody bats an eye at this and says, “Holy crap, that’s ridiculous!” $40 million is enough money to make 80 $500K indie films, folks.

Just saying.

One Response to “Bieberiffic”

  1. Ju-osh says:

    I took my two gay nephews (aged 13 & 14) two towns over to see it, thinking I’d come away from it having plenty of ammunition to make fun of their guilty pleasure with. While I DO have some stuff to harass them about (Bieber’s almost Tourette’s like hair-whipping tick; the way Bieber’s handlers use Chicken McNuggets the way Shaggy used Scooby Snacks, to get their charge to do what they want, when they want; Bieber’s bizarre need to be carried around for the first quarter of the flick…), I’ve gotta admit, I WAS NEVER BORED. The kid’s a fidgety, charismatic, unselfconscious ball of teen-pop energy. Hell, he could easily have been in the Monkees had he been conceived in Davey Jones’ mother’s womb 50 years prior. Sure, his songs are instantly forgettable, but to the filmmaker’s credit, they rarely (ever?) played a song all the way through. Will I go back to see the re-released film with the 40 minutes of extra footage? Fuck-to-the-hell-shit-no. But I didn’t regret going that first time, which is waaay more than I can say for 25% of the movies I see.

Quote Unquotesee all »

“We don’t have any idea what the universe is. Wise people have always told us that this is proof you shouldn’t think, because thinking leads you nowhere. You just build over this huge construction of misunderstanding, which is culture. The history of culture is the history of the misunderstandings of great thinkers. So we always have to go back to zero and begin differently. And maybe in that way you have a chance not to understand but at least not to have further misunderstandings. Because this is the other side of this question—Am I really so brave to cancel all human culture? To stop admiring the beauty in human production? It’s very difficult to say no.”
~ László Krasznahorkai

“I have a license to carry in New York. Can you believe that? Nobody knows that, [Applause] somebody attacks, somebody attacks me, oh, they’re gonna be shot. Can you imagine? Somebody says, oh, it is Trump, he’s easy pickings what do you say? Right? Oh, boy. What was the famous movie? No. Remember, no remember where he went around and he sort of after his wife was hurt so badly and kill. What?  I — Honestly, Yeah, right, it’s true, but you have many of them. Famous movie. Somebody. You have many of them. Charles Bronson right the late great Charles Bronson name of the movie come on.  , remember that? Ah, we’re gonna cut you up, sir, we’re gonna cut you up, uh-huh.


One of the great movies. Charles Bronson, great, Charles Bronson. Great movies. Today you can’t make that movie because it’s not politically correct, right? It’s not politically correct. But could you imagine with Trump? Somebody says, oh, all these big monsters aren’t around he’s easy pickings and then shoot.”
~ Donald Trump