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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by Chainsawed vs Unchained Klady

Chain is my heart… ay yi yi yi yi.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D couldn’t manage 3x opening Friday… or even close… which kinda sucks. But no killer thriller can complain about a $20m opening weekend. Unless you have a sequel with a huge following, 20 is the target and everything over it is gravy.

The Hobbit is doing well, even though it had the biggest drop (45%) in the Top 10. It also has 2.5x more in the domestic bank than any other December release at this point. So the pain can surely be withstood.

On either side of the little guy, awards chasers Django Unchained and Les Misérables. Django passed Les Mis‘ overall domestic this weekend and the trend looks to continue as Django is one of the strongest holders and Les Mis on the weaker side. As noted yesterday, one can’t take away the success of Les Mis. But the phenomenon pitch has turned out not to hold much water.

In other awards fighting, Lincoln continues to hold like a champ, just under $145m domestic after a 27% drop this weekend and Oscar nominations on the way. Silver Linings Playbook will hit $35m on Monday in its painfully slow expansion. No doubt, Weinstein is planning on getting nominations this next week that will more than double that number, powering a national expansion. Life of Pi keeps pushing along, perhaps a few weeks (and a Best Picture nod) away from $100m domestic. The Impossible had a somewhat rough expansion to 572 screens. Zero Dark Thirty continues to kill on a limited – but less limited – 60 screens. Argo crossed the $110m mark this weekend. And Amour had a strong, but not overwhelming weekend on 3 screens.

74 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by Chainsawed vs Unchained Klady”

  1. etguild2 says:

    LINCOLN continues to amaze. When all is said and done, coming close to THE HELP and TRUE GRIT would be fantastic for such a wonky film.

  2. movieman says:

    Those figures for “Not Fade Away” are simply astounding.
    It’s a classic example of a film that wasn’t released, but (barely) escaped.
    I doubt whether David Chase will be allowed to direct any add’l features.
    I’m starting to worry that the theater I’m planning to drive an hour out of my way to see it will have cancelled all performances for the rest of the week.
    That’s scary.

  3. etguild2 says:

    Didn’t see a single ad for it. Glad “The Impossible’s” expansion went okay, given that I haven’t seen ads for it here either.

    I really think word on “Impossible” is going to be outstanding, and Summitgate left awards and money on the table.

  4. movieman says:

    Summit seems to be repeating the same mistake they made w/ “Perks.”
    That is, underestimating the b.o. potential of a terrific film, and dooming it to “arthouse ghetto” ignominy.
    Maybe a few key Oscar nominations will make a difference in their future release plans for the movie.
    One can only hope.
    But “Fade Away” is officially D-E-A-D.
    Who would have guessed that David Chase would have made the grown-up equivalent to “Oogieloves” (b.o.-wise, that is)?

  5. etguild2 says:

    Makes me wonder if they held it under 600 theaters so it didn’t get in the record books. It would have been among the top 5 lowest grossing ever if it had.

  6. Rob says:

    Was the Perks strategy really a mistake? $18 million seems like a good number for that movie. It could have gone out wide the first weekend and done Fun Size/Chasing Mavericks business.

    The size of the Not Fade Away rollout is baffling. They had to see this coming after the shitty averages in limited release. I saw it in a decently crowded Boston theater last weekend and people seemed to be into it (more than I was, actually).

    Just read somewhere that Life of Pi is at almost $400m worldwide now, which seems better than I would have expected. What does that movie need to gross to turn a profit?

  7. antho42 says:

    Apparently, the Django Unchained, The Hobbit, and Skyfall DVD screeners leaked.

  8. movieman says:

    Summit’s initial platform for “Perks” was fine. (Hey, it worked for the odious “Pitch Perfect.”)
    It was their unwillingness to ever go beyond 600-odd theaters that was mystifying.
    I truly believe they left money on the table.
    “Perks” was a film that even audiences unfamiliar w/ the book fell (passionately) in love with. WOM was through the roof.
    It’s comparable to Universal handling “The Breakfast Club” like an art film back in 1985.

  9. spassky says:

    Saw ‘Lincoln’ a second time Saturday @5. Crowd absolutely packed. Definitely made up mostly of people who don’t frequent a theater very often… And I gotta say, I wasn’t very impressed by ‘Lincoln’ upon second viewing (performances and writing are stellar, but the rest is so uneven). Good, not great.

    So what’s the limit for ‘Django’? In the end, can it reach 200m, pick up 100m overseas and equal ‘Inglorius’ numbers? It looks like it might be becoming a phenomenon. Everywhere I go I hear people talking about it (the women at the DMV f’ing LOVED it).

    Oh, and ‘Not Fade Away’ was very enjoyable, but I think that they should have released this in the summer. It’s easier to drool over gear and encyclopedic use of garage rock in the summertime. Think of all the young men these days who like love Nuggets and want to look like Brian Jones….

  10. Js Partisan says:

    Dave, you know where things are going with Les Miz. Seriously, it will have a real chance at that bump that novelty silent movie never got last year! Also, Django is playing ridiculously well in the African American community and any success it is having, is really thanks to that audience going all out for the film.

    Oh yeah, Pitch Perfect is a musical and could make more than a film like Perks, which is a movie that has a premise they never really explain all that well until the end of the film. Perks had a limited window and they are lucky it made what it did because if it went wider, a lot more people would be bringing up the goofy aspect of making “Heroes” a song these kids have never heard before, and that god awful ending.

  11. etguild2 says:

    Yeah, I am in Richmond, VA at the moment, and ran into the 79 year old former mayor in a theater restroom…asked him if he was seeing LINCOLN, as it was filmed here. Nope…DJANGO! He looked dazed, and was covered in popcorn, and says “Damn, what a movie!” Definitely seems both films are expanding beyond the target audience one would think of.

    I still also think PERKS had a chance for more…there are people I know who read the book, and loved it, who never had a chance to see the movie.

  12. movieman says:

    …and “PP” was dreadful, Partisan; worse than even the weakest episode of “Glee” (which is saying something since virtually every ep of “Glee” these days is bad).
    The characters–with the possible exception of the Aussie gal–were enormously unlikable (even the normally adorable Anna Kendrick came across like a shrew), the musical numbers sucked (again I’ll make the “Glee” comparison; even the worst “Glee” eps have at least two production numbers better than anything in “PP”) and it was 20 minutes too long.
    “Perks” really was “pitch perfect:” a high school movie that got just about everything right (to quote Gleiberman in EW, lol).
    Mock the choice of Bowie’s “Heroes” all you want.
    But in every era you’re going to find a percentage of HS students who actually prefer the oldies to Top 40 music.
    I just don’t understand why some people insist upon flogging the movie for using that song. (Tarantino put Bowie’s theme song from “Cat People” in “Basterds,” and didn’t receive nearly as much grief for mix-and-matching musical eras.)

  13. chris says:

    “The Impossible” terrific? Ugh.

  14. Tuck Pendelton says:

    zero desire to see The Impossible – but my wife is dying to see it so that’ll come next.

    Can’t wait to see Rust & Bone.

  15. movieman says:

    “The Impossible” felt like the greatest ’70s disaster movie never made (back in the ’70s), and Bayona’s direction was like “classic” Spielberg; and I mean that in the nicest possible way.

  16. In Venezuela they finally relased “Cloud Atlas,” I believe ’cause they’re waiting to see if they can make their money back. And cable TV is running full steam with ads for “Life of Pi.”

  17. Lex says:

    Would’ve enjoyed The Impossible more had the blowsy Yenta soccer mom assign-seated next to me in a sold-out theater not spent the entire first hour seething, gasping, “ohmygod”-ing, twitching, clutching her armrest, burying her face, and otherwise having the vapors at EVERY SINGLE SHOT of Naomi Watts’ wounds or a child in peril. Like, cool your balls, lady. So distracting.

    Also I NEVER give a shit about these kind of PC racial observations, so you know a movie’s done something vaguely wrong when even I’M asking if any actual THAI PEOPLE died in the THAI TSUNAMI. Because per Impossible, it sure was a good day to be white and beautiful at that spot. Even the EXTRAS all seem to be Caucasian supermodels or precocious white kids, and the only “ethnic” characters are saintly local natives or hospital workers who exist to aid the gorgeous white family at the center of things.

  18. bulldog68 says:

    Dave, I think you mean Argo crossed the $110m mark, as it crossed $100m weeks ago.

    Re Rob and the profitability of Pi, I was wondering the same about Guardians. I read that it’s box office run is projected to be a $96m write off for Dreamworks, but it seems like wonky math to me, and people just looking to dance on a proverbial grave.

    While no one proclaimed Bourne Legacy a box office phenomenon, it was almost as costly, is being outperformed by Guardians when worldwide box office grosses are all said and then, and yet it wasn’t viewed as a franchise ending performance. Yet Guardians is being talked about as a company wrecking release.

    If anyone here can give some insight, or provide a credible link, on what percentage of international grosses come back to the studio, I’d love to read.

  19. David Poland says:

    Yes, 110… typo… sorry

  20. Rashad says:

    Bulldog: It’s because the disappointing Rise numbers did cause the company to lose money, as the stock dropped because of it.

  21. jesse says:

    The Impossible is a crystal clear example of filmmaking skill amounting to very little. It’s very well-made and technically impressive, and sure, I felt for that family in the moment; who wants to see nice-seeming people played by Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts suffer horrible injuries, oh the humanity, etc.?

    But what, exactly, was that movie ABOUT?

    I’m surprised to hear it described as a tearjerker. Do people really just tear up when they see bad stuff happening? I guess that’s admirably empathetic, but I need to have some kind of an idea, however simple, before I start weeping. An idea of love or sacrifice or whatever beyond “he loves her a lot” or “she loves her kid” or “their kids love them” or whatever. It’s a weird mix of manipulative and not manipulative enough; manipulative in that all of this money is going to show us something horrifying, yet not manipulative in that it doesn’t offer anything more involving than observing that this (white, as Lex points out — and quite posh, from the sound of the dull expository dialogue) family having a rough time.

    Also, movieman, I’ve only seen a few episodes of Glee, but they were all a lot worse — worse jokes, far worse musical numbers, less enjoyable — than Pitch Perfect, which in my experience plays like gangbusters with an audience.

    And yeah, seems to me it would make sense to bring Perks to at least 1,000 theaters within a few weeks, not treat it like an arthouse movie that’s lucky to escape with $10 million. By those standards, it’s a big success, but why use those standards on that movie?

  22. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Jesse not sure I get where you’re coming from. It’s manipulative filmmaking to be able to show exactly how traumatic a natural disaster is? That’s manipulative filmmaking? Isn’t manipulation expressed in terms of emotional manipulation? Like how the movie cheats us, or fools us, or persuades us into feeling something. So your comparison of it does and it doesn’t is a bit off I think.

    I do know where you’re coming from about people balling at simple setups.. parents love kids, shit happens.. waterworks. I mean I think I could make people cry with a series of 7 b&W images and the right music in less than 90s. Why does a disaster film have to be anything more about the basic need of survival? Isn’t that the most primal instinct of all? Isn’t that enough meat for you? Wouldn’t it be manipulative to have other contrived layers to it? Does it really matter that the film revolves around a good looking white family? You don’t think the casual viewer can empathize with what happened with the populace over there because of that focus? I spent a week with someone awhile back who got married on one of the worst hit beaches and had to live through seeing her just pronounced husband disappear into the sea. She’s white and attractive too. Does her perspective not count? This is not aimed at you per se as I got the sense Lex had issues with this aspect too. I guess I’m a bit close to all this since I had a few friends affected by it.

  23. Actionman says:

    The Impossible is easily one of the best films of the year. It’s a shame that it’s being completely dismissed.

  24. Think says:

    Most people I know aren’t seeing THE IMPOSSIBLE because it’s about white people. They’re right for doing so.

  25. jesse says:

    JBD, it’s manipulative in the sense that the movie obviously wants you to feel for this (fictionalized) family, but it doesn’t address anything about them except that it really, really sucks to be in the middle of a tsunami (which is also where the odd simultaneous lack of manipulation comes in). That is, I don’t feel like I’m being steered by the filmmaker’s point of view, or by any kind of theme — just the expectation that I will cry when I see a family in danger. Maybe manipulative is the wrong word (and really, I don’t mind manipulation in movies; as I mentioned, I might’ve enjoyed something MORE directly manipulative in The Impossible, rather than a movie that pretends to be a straightforward account but is also tear-trolling). Maybe “cheap” would be better. I just don’t think the movie justified its reason for being — unless you think recreating a disaster is enough. It was definitely impressive. But so is the real-life news footage, so if I’m seeing a movie about it, I feel like it should have more depth. I’m flabbergasted that people are talking about Naomi Watts for an Oscar. For what? For appearing to be afraid and injured? She’s an excellent actress but I’m not seeing the character she creates here, especially after the first half minutes (and frankly, the character-building stuff the movie tries to give us pre-tsunami, again, kind of feels neither here nor there: not so fleshed out that anyone could accuse the filmmakers of turning these people into obvious movie characters, but obviously wanting to make some gesture toward backstory/feelings/etc.).

    I mean, yes, in the realm of disaster movies, this one feels more real and more honorable than a Roland Emmerich picture. But is that all it takes? Make a more heartfelt version of an Emmerich picture and you’ve got something great?

    Actionman, why do you think it’s one of the best movies of the year?

  26. jesse says:

    Sidenote: whenever I see an adult-targeted drama that doesn’t do it for me but has gotten decent reviews, I find myself thinking, oh, I bet I would’ve liked the Steven Soderbergh version a lot more.

  27. cadavra says:

    The dumping of the Chase film is just another example of the studios’ suicidal contempt for older audiences. I went to an early screening that was packed with boomers, and they all adored it. There was money to be made–not tons, but certainly enough to more than cover the negative–had they even tried selling it to its key demographic.

  28. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Jesse I do get where you are coming from. I also enjoy being manipulated in film especially by those who are operating with some intellect. No one should be impressed by the dog dying school of tear-jerking but many are and you can’t knock em for being so easily wrung. I’m not sure about all that Watts action for awards either, she aint no Shelly Winters in Poseidon Adventure right? I think the film is far from perfect but it knocked me out. I do acknowledge that I was carrying some baggage into the screening.

    I’ve seen features before where great documentaries exist already and you ask yourself why bother? **cough ** Atom Egoyan ** cough cough. Well they bother because 99% of the public don’t watch documentaries and they think by focusing and fictionalising the story they can reach more people. What is the point of The Impossible you still ask? Well I ask in return, what is the point of The Avengers?

  29. jesse says:

    A fair question — and yeah, I guess you can ask “what’s the point?” about any number of movies. But I had fun at The Avengers. I didn’t have fun at The Impossible. Which is fine… if it has something else to offer. I didn’t feel like I was getting anything particularly insightful or interesting out of it, and while I admired the filmmaking, it also wasn’t enough of a pure style exercise to work on that level. And actually, my one problem with The Avengers was its lack of any kind of even cursory thematic touchstones; I was a little disappointed that Whedon, such a smart and talented guy, could only really come up with “teamwork is great!” as his movie’s undercurrent.

  30. etguild2 says:

    Re: bulldog, while I don’t know the ins and outs of foreign revenue, the different take on GUARDIANS vs WRECK IT RALPH is telling.

    GUARDIANS is considered a bomb, with $279 million worldwide currently, on a $145 million budget. RALPH is considered a big hit with $311 million on a $165 million budget. The difference (and I will concede Ralph has a few places places left to open) largely hinges on the percentage of foreign revenue, I assume.

  31. palmtree says:

    I’m with Lex on this one. The Impossible shows the destruction of Thailand and yet refuses to show any Thai people affected by it who aren’t merely there to aid the non-Thai tourists. I mean, it’s their country! They live there! Imagine any American natural disaster (Hurricane Katrina, Sandy, etc.) being portrayed in a film from the POV of a tourist. Sure, it’s a valid perspective, but it’s ridiculously skewed.

    And no, it’s not about being politically correct; it’s about this movie’s flat out denial that makes it far less compelling than it could have been.

  32. movieman says:

    At least some holiday movies are beginning to find their sea legs.
    Even “Guilt Trip” posted an almost $2,000-per-screen average this weekend, bringing its cume to $31-million-and-change. I guess people are finally discovering it. Or have heard that it really isn’t terrible. (Which it’s not.)
    And “Parental Guidance” (which IS pretty terrible) could turn out to do as well as “We Bought a Zoo” ($75-million) after all is said and done.
    Who knew? It’s currently at $53 million, and just turned in another $10-million-plus weekend.
    I’m particularly happy to see how rock-steady “SLP” remains (STILL on only 745 screens, though).
    It did $4,847 per this weeked, and has racked up $34.6 million without ever widening beyond its current puny (only 180 more screens than “Not Fade Away”!) screen count.
    Very “Descendants”-like.
    I wonder how many screens Harvey adds post-Oscar nominations.
    1,000? More? And how will that effect its per-screen grosses?

  33. nathan says:

    cadavra: Not only that — I’m a gen-Yer but the period depicted in “Not Fade Away” is to me as the “Midnight in Paris” period is to Owen Wilson’s character in that film. I saw the trailer for NFA at “Lincoln” and thought it looked wonderful, I really looked forward to it. Lots of friends my age and older I talked to felt the same. It came nowhere near me.

    Also factor in Sopranos fans (a group in which I don’t include myself)… I can’t understand what happened on this one with marketing or in any other sense. Still hope I get to see it somehow.

  34. Smith says:

    I’m surprised at how quickly Wreck It Ralph faded out, actually. First four weekends were gangbusters, it survived the competition from Rise of the Guardians, made $150m through its first four weekends, good reviews. I figured, with limited competition, it would play straight through the holidays, easily top $200m. Instead it fell off a cliff right after Thanksgiving.

  35. storymark says:

    It lost a lot of 3D screens after Thanksgiving, and while its anecdotal, I know some folks who intended to see it, but passed when they heard they could only see it in 2D.

    Which, granted, with the level of animosity toward 3D from some quaters, seems backward – but I think the video-game roots of the story lent itself well to 3D.

  36. movieman says:

    Cad and Nathan: With “NFA” it wasn’t even a case where “the audience” (whoever they are) rejected a film–thereby resulting in its staggeringly bad b.o.
    Paramount pretty much made certain that nobody would ever hear of it, know what it was about, who made (or was in) it, or even how/where/when they might possibly see it.
    Surely there’s a fascinating story to be told one day about their (Paramount) complete abandonment of the film.
    Specifically, “Why?”
    I truly can’t remember the last time a movie with such an illustrious pedigree (Chase/”The Sopranos;” centerpiece of the NYFF; yadda-yadda) was treated so disdainfully and cavalierly by its distributer.
    You’d swear they wanted it to fail.

  37. jesse says:

    On the other hand, if you actually watch Not Fade Away, it’s pretty much a mess — and surprisingly confusing for what seems like a straightforward narrative. I was looking forward to it, and really liked parts of it, but I can’t imagine this movie doing over $25 million in even the best of wide-release circumstances… which Paramount probably realized they were not getting.

    Then again, I’m often confused by when studios decide it is or isn’t worth it to at least wring a halfway decent wide opening weekend out of movies that seem like they could get there if you just play up a certain factor or two in ads and don’t mind a fast fade.

  38. movieman says:

    Never thought “NFA” would/could be a b.o. barn burner.
    Or even a 3,000+ screens wide release.
    I thought at least it might receive as “sensitive” a platform roll-out as previous Vantage movies like, well, last year’s “Like Crazy.”
    Or a “Margot at the Wedding,” “Into the Wild,” etc.
    But the overriding sense one got from the film’s ignominious dump-“release” was that (a) somebody at the studio must have really, really hated it; (b) someone at the studio must really hate Chase and wanted to publicly humiliate him; or (c) a combination of (a) and (b).

  39. Lex says:

    Irregardless of the movie’s quality and with all due respect to Cadavra and movieman….

    It’s not like the film world has been hurting for Boomer nostalgia over these past, er, FOUR decades. This is a rant of mine so stale everyone here has surely heard it, but we’re on YEAR 40 (since American Graffiti) of the Movie Brat-generation filmmakers essentially running Hollywood, and we’ve had roughly a zillion nostalgic movies and TV shows mooning over early rock n roll, the Beatles, and of course Boomer landmarks like Nam, Watergate, Woodstock, etc etc.

    It’s going on a half-century now of the “nostalgia” frame of reference for American cinema being almost entirely dictated by the collective memories of the Zemeckis, Spielberg, Levinson, Reiner set– hell, even PARENTAL GUIDANCE is all moony for BOOK OF LOVE and the Shot Heard Round the World, etc.

    I always ask when that’s ever gonna catch up. It’s like we’re in 2013 and still getting movies about OH NOES IT’S NIXON! Which we started getting 25, 30 years ago. It’s just STARTING to move up, with a lot of recent movies (Detention, Perks of a Wallflower, Rock of Ages some Sandler stuff) using late ’80s/early ’90s popcult signifiers– and those aren’t exactly deeply serious movies really delving into the time period.

    But not 15, 20 years after disco or Watergate, we were getting big-canvas ’70s period pieces with phony wigs and staches and Oliver Stone or Zemeckis behind the camera.

    Where’s the great WHITE RAPPER IN 1989 version of “Boogie Nights” or a movie about the Clinton administration or grunge or the LA riots… hell, that stuff’s TWENTY YEARS OLD and you’d think some 45-year-old director’d be all over it as subject matter. But, nope, more movies about the ’60s and ’70s from the same 65-year-old directors.

  40. sanj says:

    at least Not Fade Away got a dp/30 –

    DP/30: Not Fade Away, writer/director David Chase

  41. Bulldog68 says:

    Lex you have said it before, but it still rings true. Could it be that the Clinton years and the 80’s have not truly been defined as to what they were. I’m no history major, but the 60’s and 70’s are so identifiable to most, even those who did not live in that generation. What events or defining moments shaped what the 80’s were about? What music, and not just the stuff you liked, stamp the 80’s as it’s own, so that you can build a movie around it that can be sold internationally and not just something that only a few people would get.

    These are honest questions and as I type it, I’m thinking what possible answers I could come up with. Great subject for an interesting debate and a screenplay or two.

  42. chris says:

    Weird postscript on “Not Fade Away.” Today, at work, I — and I assume others who write about entertainment — received a package that must have cost Paramount several dollars to mail, containing the soundtrack (double-album on vinyl — nice touch) and a t-shirt, advertising a movie that’s already dead.

  43. christian says:

    Gee, what about HOT TUB TIME MACHINE?

  44. David Poland says:

    I got mine before it died, Chris.

  45. chris says:

    (Now that I think of it, I was not in the office Friday, so I may have, too, David. Still, an odd expenditure on a movie that was being dumped.)

  46. cadavra says:

    Lex, nostalgia for that era is not in short supply, I’ll grant you that. But for every movie that pines for the 60s, there are four or five riffing on the 80s and 90s, and the megaplexes are filled with comedies and horror films that are of nearly zero interest to anyone older than 35–and deliberately so. As GUILT TRIP proves, the two generations do not play well together, and us fogeys are massively outnumbered week after week. PARENTAL GUIDANCE may not be HIS GIRL FRIDAY, but it was the only comedy this holiday season which specifically appealed to the boomers and was thus amply rewarded. We have no real objection to Adam Sandler if the kids want to waste their money on his crap, but a few more pictures aimed at The Harry’s Law Generation is simply good business. I have no idea why NOT FADE AWAY was dumped, but as I said before, it had a shot at making a few bucks if they’d at least tried.

  47. Bulldog68 says:

    Cadvara, where are the Oscar bait movies about the Challenger disaster, or the fall of the Berlin Wall, or the assassination of Indira Ghandhi, or the Ronald Reagan biopic.

    Is it too early to have a Soderbergh or Eastwood directed OJ Simpson pic. Or biopics on Eric Clapton and Metallica. Or the shooting of that abortion doctor in Florida, and then his predecessor was shot a year and a half later.

    At lease we got Black Hawk Down. Where’s the movie about the final approval of Viagra in 1998? You know, stuff we take seriously.

  48. nathan says:

    I dunno, I think there’s a right way and a wrong way to do nostalgia for the period. At least for me. What I saw of Not Fade Away looked like something deeper and more personal than the general studio “Remember When??” propaganda. Could be wrong of course. I say this as someone who’s never cared much for “American Graffiti” for various reasons. My 1962-centric movie is Joe Dante’s “Matinee.”

  49. Don R. Lewis says:

    NOT FADE AWAY seemed incredibly personal to me and that may have been the films only fault (in my eyes) because Chase was so attached to these people/characters, he didn’t really flesh them out all that well. Maybe because when you’re *that* close to a character or story, you kind of miss ways to bring the audience in.

    And the film is an amazing piece of work. At once a straightforward coming of age story but also, some great “art house” flourishes (I love when the girlfriend is giving a little speech and before she gets to her point, she stops to light a cig, take a drag, and then keeps talking) as well as some great closeups (I like the ears ones for the main character) and then that last 2 minute….wow.

    Such a shame the films being dumped in a heavy movie season. I wish this and PROMISED LAND came out on some lazy spring weekend. Ah well.

  50. JAB says:

    Is it too much to dream of a day when torture porn s**t like “Chainsaw” isn’t blasted down our throats like erectile dysfunction ads during sporting events or anything else broadcast before midnight?
    It gives that walking corpse of a NRA president crediblity when he cites “Hollywood” & company as the real cause for the latest mass shooting.
    Thank God & Spielberg & Kushner (& Kearns-Goodwin &…) & Affleck & Terrio (&…) & Nolan & Nolan (&…) for movies like “Lincoln” & “Argo” & TDKR. (I haven’t seen ZDT yet.)

  51. Joshua says:

    Bulldog68: What about “Love and Other Drugs”?

  52. cadavra says:

    Bulldog: Some of the topics you mention were covered in cable-TV movies, which is where they likely belong. GAME CHANGE and TEMPLE GRANDIN probably would’ve tanked as theatricals. Time and a place, y’know.

  53. Js Partisan says:

    There are great movies (to me at least) about the 90s, that came out in the 90s. Those movies would be “Singles,” “Reality Bites,””Empire Records,” and I would even throw in a movie like “Get Shorty” for no other reason than it always reminds me of Premiere magazine.

    There are also some movies from the 80s that are very 80s. You can go with two Michael Douglas films, “Black Rain,” and “Wall Street.” One is about the cultural and economic influence of Japan on the US, and the other basically summed up the greed and corruption of our financial system in 1987! Other very 80s movies from the 80s are films like “Gotcha,” “Valley Girl,” and “Working Girl.” Hell, let’s throw in “Return of the Living Dead” for no other reason than it’s a tremendous horror movie, that screams, “THE 80s!”

    Now to address something bulldog wrote, “Lex you have said it before, but it still rings true. Could it be that the Clinton years and the 80′s have not truly been defined as to what they were. I’m no history major, but the 60′s and 70′s are so identifiable to most, even those who did not live in that generation. What events or defining moments shaped what the 80′s were about? What music, and not just the stuff you liked, stamp the 80′s as it’s own, so that you can build a movie around it that can be sold internationally and not just something that only a few people would get.”

    MTV. Why they have not made a movie about MTV from that book that came out a couple of years ago, is a mystery to me. That network is a defining moment for people all over this globe and a movie went from bringing music to the masses then became a shitty reality TV juggernaut, is a tale that could fit on screen.

    The same goes with the Reagan years because people would love to know more about the president we had, that basically was as out of it as Woodrow Wilson was after he tried to create the League of Nation. The same goes with the Challenger, hands across america, we are the world, and countless other moments that defined that decade. There are a lot of movies to be made about the 80s, but few people seem to want to make them. This probably has to do with the era being tied to Reagan, greed, and compulsions far and wide. Why the story of a kid growing up in 1984, listening to Prince, and loving Joe Montana means less to Hollywood than a kid growing up in the 60s is another mystery. Sure, the 60s were more of a decade of change but there’s a lot of interesting shit going on in the 80s, and it should be examined. Hell, the entire war on drugs beginning and the hell that wrought on the inner city should be a TV show, and an Oscar bait movie at the very least.

    Fewer people want to make movies about the 90s and that’s ridiculous. The 90s were an era of great change in this country that only got sidetracked because of Monica Lewinsky. It’s not all her fault but that one blue dress changed everything, and that alone could be a movie.

    If you want to ignore that, fine, but the 90s were a time of this country transforming from conservatism to progressiveness. Sure, there were still cock ups but overall, the country was heading somewhere, and then it went to shit. It went to shit in a major way. Nevertheless, the more I think of the 90s. The more I realize how they were more of a hopeful time than any year in this century. If a writer could figure out a way to put that hope on screen, I’d pay my money to see it.

  54. Mij Grebso says:

    Went and saw “Not Fade Away” last night before it’s gone. I was the only person in the theater for a 7:10pm show. Liked the movie but it is uneven. The first half is much stronger than the second half but in the movie’s defense that’s also a reflection of the material and how the story plays out.

  55. The Big Perm says:

    There’s been a movie about Clinton, Primary Colors. It’s maybe not as sexy to do a movie about Reagan as it is about JFK or Nixon because those had a solid downbeat ending already written in by history. How does the Reagan movie end? All of the types of movies that would have been theatrical about the 80s and such would just go to HBO now, not theatres. Like the Steve Jobs/Bill Gates story, or the Letterman/Leno movie.

  56. christian says:

    They made a movie about a 90s White Rapper called COOL AS ICE – a comedy that summed up white rapping.

  57. anghus says:

    Didn’t the Wackness do a pretty good job with the 90’s?

  58. Bulldog68 says:

    JS I meant to say the 90’s as well but did not say so, so I totally I agree with you. the 90’s have been relatively ignored as a era that you can make movies with some gravitas about. Not just the ‘oh gosh remember when’ type shit, but movies that could be viewed as time capsule, so that when the aliens land, they can watch it and know what the 90’s were like. :-)

  59. christian says:

    Wasn’t SINGLES punishment enough?

  60. Don R. Lewis says:

    Up yours buddy, I LOVE SINGLES!! Or, did when it came out. Wonder if it’s aged well :-/

  61. christian says:

    It aged bad when it came out. Oooo, will the engineer get his light rail project approved AND find love? With Matt Dillon as Gen X ROLLING STONE Grunge Boy! Or is that Gen-eric X?

    Of course, seeing SLACKER before SINGLES killed whatever cultural cache it could have in a sea of bullshit…and I like Crowe.

  62. StellaPD says:

    I got some serious ’90s nostalgia while watching Pearl Jam Twenty. Good doc.

  63. Lex says:

    “Liking Things,” featuring Christian.

  64. christian says:

    Not to be confused with BI-POLAR CONTRADICTORY RANTS featuring the Two Faces of Lex.

  65. movieman says:

    I know it’s a little late to chime in on what’s clearly a dead horse, but I finally got the chance to see “Not Fade Away” at the one Akron theater showing it this afternoon (it was a private screening, natch).
    If I’d had a chance to see “NFA” before filing my best list in mid-December, it would have surely claimed a spot.
    Would an HBO mini-series version of Chase’s (clearly) autobiographical story have had more novelistic heft? Perhaps.
    But when a film rings this true emotionally (you can practically spot all of Chase’s cherished “madeleine”‘s in every scene), conventional criticism seems superfluous.
    I can’t remember a 1960’s set movie that got so many period details so unerringly right.
    (The restaurant scene between Dougie and his old man might be my favorite in the entire film: I know it’s one I’ll never forget.)
    It’s a shame we’re unlikely to ever see another Chase feature.
    Or Chase surrogate John Magaro starring in the (apparently abandoned) film version of “Jersey Boys.”

  66. Lex says:

    Plus Bella Heathcoate is the most beautiful woman in the history of cinema.

    Also wheeling out Pretty Ballerina ruled.

  67. sanj says:

    wait LexG – isn’t K-Stew the hottest ever ? don’t these actresses get mad at you for moving them down the list and when a hotter one comes along ?

  68. Lex says:

    Yeah they get furious.

    Bella H is K-Stew level hot.

    The most perfect women, for future reference:

    K-Stew, Bella Heathcoate, Rachael Taylor, Keira Knightley, Rooney Mara, Emma Stone, Chloe Grace Moretz. If somehow you could combine all of those, you would have the ultimate woman.

  69. sanj says:

    LexG – Bella H only started acting a few years ago – have you seen everything she’s done ?

  70. Js Partisan says:

    Yeah, sorry Christian, but “Slacker” and “Singles” exist in two different worlds. One is a more metaphysical discussion about existence, and the other is about living in the early 90s. It’s a literal apple and oranges discussion between those two films.

  71. Joe Leydon says:

    Wouldn’t the flood of remakes of movies from the ’80s and ’90s — and the many “original” movies that pointedly reference movies from that era — qualify to a large degree as indications of “nostalgia” for the period?

  72. al says:

    this may be a very superficial point to make but could it be that those periods aren’t appealing to the people for whom they weren’t formative on an aesthetic level? that when you look back at the 90’s (perhaps slightly less so for the 80’s) it just doesn’t scream sexy or beautiful or cinematic, certainly not in the way that gets people excited about revisiting and re-designing and reinventing and re-exploring the 60’s/70’s?
    Having said that the hipster neighbourhoods in london (which are usually ground zero for fashion and a good indication of what’s to come down the mainstream in the next few years) have been all about 80’s and 90’s nostalgia/fashion for the past couple of years, so it’s entirely possible that these kids that were born in the late 80’s may yet give these eras their day
    unless, of course, they move on to the next trend (fashion is a fickle….)

  73. christian says:

    No JS, SLACKER is the reality of the cultural 90’s and SINGLES is the Romanctic MTV Movie version of the 90’s. That’s why there’s no pressing need for flashback films to the era, since SLACKER already nailed the subcultural tropes- just as PULP FICTION sums up the decade in real time better than likely anything a film could try to mimic today. The films of the 60 tended to reflect with less specificity like BONNIE AND CLYDE and THE WILD BUNCH. 90s filmmakers were cataloging the era so well that a 90s recreation would look as phony as…SINGLES. Or REALITY BITES. I can name half a dozen filmmakers influenced by SLACKER – who lists SINGLES as seminal? But its an intersting topic…

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