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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.

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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

59 Comments »

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 »

“The core fear is what can happen to you, personally. Your body. That’s what horror films deal with, precisely. We are a very thin skin wrapped around a pumping heart and guts. At any given moment it can come down to that, be it diseases, or somebody’s assault, or war, or a car wreck. You could be reduced to the simple laws of physics and your body’s vulnerability. The edged weapon is the penultimate weapon to disclose that reality to you.”
~ Wes Craven, 1996, promoting Scream

MAMET
Well, that, to me, is always the trick of dramaturgy; theoretically, perfectly, what one wants to do is put the protagonist and the audience in exactly the same position. The main question in drama, the way I was taught, is always what does the protagonist want. That’s what drama is. It comes down to that. It’s not about theme, it’s not about ideas, it’s not about setting, but what the protagonist wants. What gives rise to the drama, what is the precipitating event, and how, at the end of the play, do we see that event culminated? Do we see the protagonist’s wishes fulfilled or absolutely frustrated? That’s the structure of drama. You break it down into three acts.

INTERVIEWER
Does this explain why your plays have so little exposition?

MAMET
Yes. People only speak to get something. If I say, Let me tell you a few things about myself, already your defenses go up; you go, Look, I wonder what he wants from me, because no one ever speaks except to obtain an objective. That’s the only reason anyone ever opens their mouth, onstage or offstage. They may use a language that seems revealing, but if so, it’s just coincidence, because what they’re trying to do is accomplish an objective… The question is where does the dramatist have to lead you? Answer: the place where he or she thinks the audience needs to be led. But what does the character think? Does the character need to convey that information? If the answer is no, then you’d better cut it out, because you aren’t putting the audience in the same position with the protagonist. You’re saying, in effect, Let’s stop the play. That’s what the narration is doing—stopping the play… It’s action, as Aristotle said. That’s all that it is—exactly what the person does. It’s not what they “think,” because we don’t know what they think. It’s not what they say. It’s what they do, what they’re physically trying to accomplish on the stage. Which is exactly the same way we understand a person’s character in life—not by what they say, but by what they do. Say someone came up to you and said, I’m glad to be your neighbor because I’m a very honest man. That’s my character. I’m honest, I like to do things, I’m forthright, I like to be clear about everything, I like to be concise. Well, you really don’t know anything about that guy’s character. Or the person is onstage, and the playwright has him or her make those same claims in several subtle or not-so-subtle ways, the audience will say, Oh yes, I understand their character now; now I understand that they are a character. But in fact you don’t understand anything. You just understand that they’re jabbering to try to convince you of something.
~ David Mamet

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