20 Weeks Archive for May, 2007

20 Weeks: The Sequel

The point of this column is not to shovel dirt on the past, but to look to the quite immediate future. There is an entire summer ahead of us that looks a lot like one of the strongest summers ever without The Big Three being any more than The Big One.
Last summer, it was Pirates 2 followed by Cars in #2 slot with $244 million domestic. In 2005, it was Star Wars 6/III followed by $234 million domestic for War of the Worlds. In 2004, it was Shrek 2 and Spider-Man 2 in the ether and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban with $250 million domestic in third.
The closest thing to this summer was 2002, with Finding Nemo and The Matrix Reloaded huge in May and Pirates of the Caribbean huge in July with Bruce Almighty at $243 million for #4 and X2 with $215 million domestic at #5. But that was so very different also. Nemo opened to “just” $70 million and did almost 5 times that opening. Bruce Almighty was a surprise with a $68 million opening and about 3.5 times that total domestic.

The rest…

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20 Weeks… A Month In

Back to the suckage …
Spider-Man 3 … Shrek The Third … Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End …
The irony is that all three of the triquels suffer from many of the same diseases. The most significant one is the confused disease of trying too hard to be people pleasers. All three add characters that really have nothing to do other than to be new. The two non-animated films add massive special effects, some of which really don’t work, although they are well done in and of themselves. All three seem to forget what is at the core of why people love the previous movies.

The rest…
And the not-much-changed chart

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Quote Unquotesee all »

“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.
~ Hideo Kojima

“They’re still talking about the ‘cathedral of cinema,’ the ‘communal experience,’ blah blah. The experiences I’ve had recently in the theatre have not been good. There’s commercials, noise, cellphones. I was watching Colette at the Varsity, and halfway through red flashes came up at the bottom of the frame. A woman came out and said, ‘We’re going to have to reboot, so take fifteen minutes and come back.’ Then they rebooted it from the beginning, and she had to ask the audience to tell her how far to go. You tell me, is that a great experience? I generally don’t watch movies in a cinema at all. Netflix is the future. It’s the present. But the whole paradigm of a series, binge-watching, it’s quite different. My first reaction is that it’s more novelistic, because if you have an eight-hour season, you can get into complex, intricate things. You can let it breathe and the audience expectations are such that they will let you, where before they wouldn’t have the patience. I think only the surface has been touched with experimenting with that.”
~ David Cronenberg