The Hot Blog Archive for January, 2005

Great Herzog Quotes…

From The San Francisco Chronicle

The Thai food at this Sundance party was paid for by the Discovery Channel, which sponsored "Grizzly Man." Lena Herzog, Werner’s beautiful, formidable Siberian wife, describes an agreement made a few years ago between television’s two nature giants — National Geographic and the Discovery Channel: When showing animals mating, show no more than three thrusts. "Three! " Lena cries, incensed. "Now they are censoring the animals! And," she continues, in the hushed tones of a spy, "in the last year we noticed the thrusts have been reduced to one. One thrust!"

"It’s Bush," Werner Herzog mutters.

"It’s appalling," Lena continues. "No wonder American women are frustrated. What’s worse is that no one has said anything — not a single word."

To think that this, of all cultures, would not notice.


Weekend Box Office

Hide & Seek continues a one of those rare trends that actually might have an effect on the long run at the multiplex. Meet The Fockers, White Noise, Coach Carter, Are We There Yet? ,and now this… five (six, if you count Fockers three times) straight weekends of very specific genre movies topping the charts, the last three of which performed above expectations. 

Yes, genre gets tired and the mediocrity of the films that come from these genres often lead to short legs.  But the key in the film business these days is delivering an opening weekend.  And two thrillers, one feel good urban cross-over drama, one urban cross-over comedy and one flat out comedy sequel. 

How can you not be programming your line-up with the power of these films in mind?

On the Oscar front, Million Dollar Baby came out of the gate strong, with a reported $5800 per screen and a total over $10.5 million.  The fight between The Aviator and M$B is now engaged, especially combining this start of wide release with Clint Eastwood’s DGA win on Saturday.

On the down side, Sideways looks like it may, sadly (for me, at least) be moving out of contention for the win after an expansion to 1694 screen led to only an estimated $6.3 million… which is not bad, but not a power move.  The gross and the per-screen were not far ahead of In Good Company… not good company for a film that wants to win Best Picture.

More to come….


Sundance Day 2 Photos – Group One

Inside Deep Throat Party
(Parental Guidence Required)


Deepbrian Deeproom_1 Reems_1 Deepscreen


Sundance Day 2 Photos – Group Two

Inside Deep Throat Party
(Parental Guidence Required)


Deepwatch6 Deepwatch4 Deepwatch_1


Sundance Photos – Day One, Group 2

Gogville1 Dogville2 Color1_1 Color2 Color3 Color4


Photos – Day One, Group 1


Street1 Street2 Tropic


Blogging At The Dance

Hey all –

The blog will become a photo space during Sundance.  I may do some regular blogging along the way… but for now… photos!!!


Alive In Park City

I made it… let the fun begin!!!


BAFTA Announces…

… and joins the list of irrelevant precursors.

Just as Sideways competing against no major candidate at the Indie Spirits makes that award show irrelevant, BAFTA’s The Aviator-only position means that the award means nothing… unless it loses, in which case it’s an embarrassment.


Why Michael Moore Wasn't At The Globes

In a classic case of turnabout is not-so-fair-play, Dick Clark decreed from his hospital bed that Michael Moore, whose Fahrenheit 9/11 was ruled ineligible for the Globes this year, could not even attend the awards and pressured the HFPA into enforcing his decree. 

That’s right… Harvey Weinstein was told “no” by the HFPA.  Michael Moore was not allowed in the room.

You may recall the confrontation with Dick Clark in Bowling For Columbine.  Oops.


Yes, I Will Be Commenting On Globes

But not until Hot Button tomorrow… don’t want to spoil it for west coasters and heading to parties at 8…


Kinda Funny



A Surprise, A Car Wreck & A Horse Of Two Stripes

For the second straight weekend, there is a pleasant surprise (at least for the distributor) at the top of the box office charts.   This weekend, it’s  Paramount’s Coach Carter, which looks to pass the $20 million mark, just as White Noise did last weekend.  It may even challenge Save The Last Dance’s $24.4 million as the best January opening ever for Paramount. Funny how things get better when an administration seems to be headed out the door…

On the other hand, Elektra and Racing Stripes are both looking at under-$15 million starts… which is probably more of a problem for Elektra than for Racing Stripes, which could build a loyal pre-teen audience that returns to the film repeatedly over the next two months.  Even with Disney/ABC spending insane amounts of money on TV spots and an outdoor campaign for Jennifer Garner and Alias that comes just short of a direct offer of kinky sex, Elektra hasn’t found an audience any bigger that the core of geeks that show up no matter what they read on Ain’t It Cool News.  One wonders whether they would at least have stirred a greater interest in the public if the film was darker and R rated. 

It’s hard to figure out what’s going on with The Aviator.  The film feels like it’s playing out.  1867 screens is not a terribly wide release.  But how much milk is there in the next 1000 screens?  A $4 million weekend will take the film close to $50 million.  But whether an Oscar nomination is going to be the kind of accelerant that Miramax needs to get the film to $100 million… I don’t know…

Spanglish is still drawing some folks and will pass $40 million sometime in the next week or so.  Surprisingly, it has held up better than Closer, which has found its way into the low $30 millions and should top out under $40 million.

Sideways passed Finding Neverland in daily gross late in the week despite being on one-third of the screens.  The strategy of continuing to hold and even reduce screen count for Sideways, even after three months in the marketplace, is going to prove itself to be genius or an oops in two more weeks.  Million Dollar Baby added 15 whole screens this weekend.  Again, an expansion in two weeks.


When Good People Do Bad Things To Old Movies


  • Due to the upcoming release of Steven Spielberg’s THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, the 1953 print is no longer available for public exhibition. A ticket purchased for THE WAR OF THE WORLDS can be redeemed for the HIGH NOON screening or any other of the AFI at ArcLight 2005 AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Movies screenings. A refund will also be awarded by ArcLight either the night of or by contacting Linda Thompson at 323.464.1465 x109. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Erin Anderson at 323.856.7771 or by e-mail at eanderson@AFI.com.

Gunner Aims At MPAA

The Gunner Palace vs MPAA Press Release

I love Gunner Palace.

I think the world of Mike Tucker.

I will make my 15 year old nephew and 13 year old neice watch the film.

It should be rated R.  There is nothing about this movie that is PG-13. 

M*A*S*H* was rated R.  Three Kings was rated R. 

Kids should see this movie.  But it should be rated R… and it should be happy to be rated R… more kids will see it that way.


The Hot Blog

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“I run a movie for myself the first time, and if I can forget I had anything to do with the picture, and I’m halfway through the movie and I’m just the audience, then that is my litmus test for a film working. It doesn’t mean it’s going to work for anybody outside of myself, but when I lose the aesthetic distance between the screen and where I’m sitting, the first time I run a picture that I’ve directed for myself, if I’m aware to the very end that I’m the director, and all I can do is find things to fault, then I know I have my work cut out for me. And I have to roll up my sleeves and fix everything. But when I can watch a movie and I can forget that I made the movie, that’s the first sign that I’m going to be pretty happy with it, that I’m going to be able to live with it.”
~ Steven Spielberg On When He Thinks A Movie Is Working

“I was brought up on newspapers. I love newspapers. I love old-fashioned newspapers, but today I read them on the Internet because of time. And in New York, I read the morning papers, then I read the London papers on my iPad. But entertainment is very important. With broadband coming, everything is changing. People now spend four or five hours on their iPhones, their smartphones, which is changing the world totally. I found it with my young children. They are on their iPhones while they are watching television, doing two things at once. The fact that now we have 2.5 billion people with smartphones, with access to knowledge all over the world, with access to each other, government is going to change, the world is going to change. And it’s going to change very fast. We’ve only had smartphones for eight years, and now we have 2.5 billion of them. In another eight years, we will have 5 billion. The whole world will be on them… If newspapers have opinions, if they are really well-written, if they’re very reliable, people will pay for them. Then they are viable. We found [that] with the Wall Street Journal. You have newspapers on the Internet which are so good people will pay for them. There are people who steal things, rewrite them and put them out, like Google, but they are not reliable at all.”
~ Rupert Murdoch