The Hot Blog Archive for May, 2005

Early Box Office Analysis

Early Friday Boxoffice Numbers
1. The Longest Yard – $15.7m
2. Star Wars III – $15.5
3. Madagascar – $14.4m
4. Monster-in-Law – $2.7m
5. Kicking & Screaming – $1.3m
6. Crash – $1.3m
The only real news about Friday

226 Comments »

The Island Shoes

pumablog.jpg
DreamWorks’ 40 minute preview of The Island came with a pair of shoes… really cool shoes. It turns out, they are $110 retail and the other three colors that Puma’s “Mostro Garment FS” shoes come in are virtually unwearable by men without extreme fashion daring. Yet, they are incredible comfortable.
I guess we’ll see how long it takes to make my white shoes gray.

57 Comments »

Weekend Warning

I’ve been expecting a lot from this weekend based on what seems like some sure bets coming into the multiplexes combined with Star Wars: Weekend Two – Return Of The Cash.
But word on the street is not only that the tracking is soft (by blockbuster standards) on both The Longest Yard and Madagascar… it is weak.
How weak? Well, even giving the animated film the benefit of the limits of tracking on kids, neither film is expected to crack $40 million in 4 days.
That would be the worst showing since the last Star Wars, in combination with Spider-Man, kept all but Insomnia, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, and Enough out of the marketplace. Both Bruce Almighty and The Day After Tomorrow did more than $80 million on their own opening on Memorial Day.
$43 million would be Adam Sandler’s best opening ever… but still, this is his first time in a May film, much less in the Memorial Day Weekend slot.
Anything under $42 million would be DreamWorks’ worst CG animated opening since their very first film, 1998’s Antz. Scary punchline? If this film doesn’t do at least Shark Tale business, it could mean that someone from outside the company has to come in and buy out Paul Allen.
If both of these films are at around $40 million and Star Wars is around $75 million, we’re looking at a likely under-$200 million 4-day weekend. That would make it the weakest Memorial Day since 2001, the year of Pearl Harbor.

115 Comments »

This Just In…

I haven’t clicked on my bookmark for The Huntington Post all week…
Kind of sad, really.

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Just Why Is Joe Roth In Need Of A Fluffing?

Patrick Goldstein’s Tuesday LA Times column explaining that Joe Roth doesn’t really need all this hard core show biz stuff…
Why?
Why now?
Is this the first sign that negotiations in the Sony deal have taken a turn for the worse and Joe is ready to sell the failure of Revolution Studios as a good thing?
Ot perhaps he is setting himself up to be the next pope…
The only reason that this isn’t the first topic of most conversations in town is that everyone is too busy trying to figure out who forgot to feed Tom Cruise his pill before he went on Oprah.

16 Comments »

M.I.A.

Sorry I’ve been missing…
Seeing a lot of movies… but things will be quieter next week… in no small part because I will be out of town… but still working every day.
Jim Jarmusch’s Broken Flowers is not mainstream, but it is wonderful.
I can’t comment on The Bat… but fans will be happy, happy, happy.
Lords of Dogtown is a strong indie-style drama.
Cinderella Man IS Seabisuit… but people seem to like it anyway.
Vince Vaughn is not what you’d expect in Wedding Crashers… which works wonders.
The first 40 minutes of The Island is strong… the car chase in the second act is one of the best “smash-em-up” car chases ever, with the best gimmick we’ve seen in a long time… way better than Bay’s Bad Boys II epic.

47 Comments »

Roger Friedman: Still The Biggest Jackass of Them All

How is it that Roger Friedman can take a story that everyone is already all over, Cruise & Holmes, and somehow add such a vain, idiotically conspiratorial twist that he makes you root for Tom and Katie to straighten out their love forever?
Roger now doubts the international box office, assumes that War of the Worlds is a repetition of Minority Report (a fine film, perhaps too dark and smart for its own box office good) and is sure that the Holmes/Cruise relationship is a sham because Katie Holmes didn’t confess it to him. I have news for El Moronico… you can fall in love in three weeks as easily as you can set up a publicity stunt.
Does his suspicion about world box office mean that he can’t comprehend that The Last Samurai grossed about $90 million less than Mission: Impossible II did worldwide and that it cost about $80 million less? Is he just too dumb to realize that there have been at least 6 films that cost more than War of The Worlds to make in the last three years?
And Roger shows his courage by blaming CAA for the allegedly fake hook up and not Scientology. Nice.
When a man is such a blatant ass that he has me defending big popcorn movies, CAA, and (dear God!) The Last Samurai, you know he has gone somewhere small, wet and dark… where rats belong.

63 Comments »

Two Surprisingly Gay Mainstream Commercials

In the last few days, I

11 Comments »

Badagascar or Maddisaster???

Which is the better title?

67 Comments »

Sunday Wars

MCN’s Len Klady estimates a $105.5 million 3-day weekend for Sith.
Fox offered up $108.5 million.
Why?
$108,037,878.00
That would be the 3-day for Shrek 2 last year on the same date.
I have always said there is about a 10% lean available to studio numbers before they start having other studios talk about the lie, as, a) everyone does it, and b) the finals aren’t really final when they are marked final.
And so, the $3 million lean – which is about what the other studios quietly had as the difference between Fox’s official $50 million Thursday and their numbers – will not cause any stir at all.
Of course, the whole thing is academic and only an issue of what non-industry types will say on air and in papers tonight and tomorrow.
The number is almost $25 million ahead of any other 4-day opening. And this is where the changing face of the box office is a story. The opening is the opening. But how long before one of these openings leads to a $500 million gross, much less Titanic

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Early Box Office Analysis

Aw, that rarified air…
Before anyone loses their mind and starts talking about the Friday dip for Star Wars: Episode III

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A Hot Blog Sneak Peak & Feedback Fest…

Next week, the filmmaker who brought us some really cool coverage from the NY Film Festival last October will be launching a new series of films on MCN… take a look at the teaser and let us know what you think…
http://crossoverfollowing.com/spec/mutinyteaser.mov
(it’s not a small load.)

10 Comments »

Star Wars Opens

50 million geeky dollars.
What do you think?

173 Comments »

One More Bush/Vader Perspective

Thank goodness For Alex Jones… he brilliantly puts the entire Bush/Vader thing in proper booby hatch perspective.
And as soon as he gets out of the booby hatch, he’s heading for The Alamo Drafthouse. Yahoo!!!

84 Comments »

Is Crash A Powerful Take On Race Or Patronizing Glop?

It’s generated a lot of e-mail at The Hot Button this week… I hated Crash.
And in this case, the anger expressed by readers is as based on race and politics as some of you guys can make… well, anything.
So have at it… and if you want to call someone a name, just think about a bigger target and make it less personal… please.

36 Comments »

The Hot Blog

Quote Unquotesee all »

What do you make of the criticism directed at the film that the biopic genre or format is intrinsically bourgeois? That’s the most crazy criticism. That’s an excuse for not engaging with the content of the movie. Film critics sometimes, you know, can be very lazy.

Come on, formal criticism is valuable too. But I’m amazed when this is the thing they put in front of the discourse. My situation is that I’m dealing with a highly explosive subject, a taboo subject that nobody wants to deal with.

Karl Marx? Yes, this is the first film ever in the Western world about Marx. And I managed to make an almost mainstream film out of it. You want me at the same time to play the artist and do a risky film about the way my camera moves and the way I edit? No, it’s complicated enough! The artistic challenge — and it took me ten years with Pascal to write this story — was the writing. That was the most difficult part. We were making a film about the evolution of an idea, which is impossible. To be able to have political discourse in a scene, and you can follow it, and it’s not simplified, and it’s historically true. This is the accomplishment. So when someone criticizes the formal aspects without seeing that first, for me, it’s laziness or ignorance. There’s an incapacity to deal with what’s on the table. I make political films about today, I’m not making a biopic to make a biopic. I don’t believe in being an artist just to be an artist. And by the way, this film cost $9 million. I dare anyone in the United States to make this film for $9 million.
Raoul Peck on The Young Karl Marx

“The Motion Picture Academy, at considerable expense and with great efficiency, runs all the nominated pictures at its own theater, showing each picture twice, once in the afternoon, once in the evening. A nominated picture is one in connection with which any kind of work is nominated for an award, not necessarily acting, directing, or writing; it may be a purely technical matter such as set-dressing or sound work. This running of pictures has the object of permitting the voters to look at films which they may happen to have missed or to have partly forgotten. It is an attempt to make them realize that pictures released early in the year, and since overlaid with several thicknesses of battered celluloid, are still in the running and that consideration of only those released a short time before the end of the year is not quite just.

“The effort is largely a waste. The people with votes don’t go to these showings. They send their relatives, friends, or servants. They have had enough of looking at pictures, and the voices of destiny are by no means inaudible in the Hollywood air. They have a brassy tone, but they are more than distinct.”All this is good democracy of a sort. We elect Congressmen and Presidents in much the same way, so why not actors, cameramen, writers, and all rest of the people who have to do with the making of pictures? If we permit noise, ballyhoo, and theater to influence us in the selection of the people who are to run the country, why should we object to the same methods in the selection of meritorious achievements in the film business? If we can huckster a President into the White House, why cannot we huckster the agonized Miss Joan Crawford or the hard and beautiful Miss Olivia de Havilland into possession of one of those golden statuettes which express the motion picture industry’s frantic desire to kiss itself on the back of its neck? The only answer I can think of is that the motion picture is an art. I say this with a very small voice. It is an inconsiderable statement and has a hard time not sounding a little ludicrous. Nevertheless it is a fact, not in the least diminished by the further facts that its ethos is so far pretty low and that its techniques are dominated by some pretty awful people.

“If you think most motion pictures are bad, which they are (including the foreign), find out from some initiate how they are made, and you will be astonished that any of them could be good. Making a fine motion picture is like painting “The Laughing Cavalier” in Macy’s basement, with a floorwalker to mix your colors for you. Of course most motion pictures are bad. Why wouldn’t they be?”
~ Raymond Chandler, “Oscar Night In Hollywood,” 1948