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.

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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.)

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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 »

“Let me try and be as direct as I possibly can with you on this. There was no relationship to repair. I didn’t intend for Harvey to buy and release The Immigrant – I thought it was a terrible idea. And I didn’t think he would want the film, and I didn’t think he would like the film. He bought the film without me knowing! He bought it from the equity people who raised the money for me in the States. And I told them it was a terrible idea, but I had no say over the matter. So they sold it to him without my say-so, and with me thinking it was a terrible idea. I was completely correct, but I couldn’t do anything about it. It was not my preference, it was not my choice, I did not want that to happen, I have no relationship with Harvey. So, it’s not like I repaired some relationship, then he screwed me again, and I’m an idiot for trusting him twice! Like I say, you try to distance yourself as much as possible from the immediate response to a movie. With The Immigrant I had final cut. So he knew he couldn’t make me change it. But he applied all the pressure he could, including shelving the film.”
James Gray

“I’m an unusual producer because I control the destiny of a lot of the films I’ve done. Most of them are in perfect states of restoration and preservation and distribution, and I aim to keep them in distribution. HanWay Films, which is my sales company, has a 500-film catalogue, which is looked after and tended like a garden. I’m still looking after my films in the catalogue and trying to get other people to look after their films, which we represent intellectually, to try to keep them alive. A film has to be run through a projector to be alive, unfortunately, and those electric shadows are few and far between now. It’s very hard to go and see films in a movie house. I was always involved with the sales and marketing of my films, right up from The Shout onwards. I’ve had good periods, but I also had a best period because the film business was in its best period then. You couldn’t make The Last Emperor today. You couldn’t make The Sheltering Sky today. You couldn’t make those films anymore as independent films. There are neither the resources nor the vision within the studios to go to them and say, “I want to make a film about China with no stars in it.”Then, twenty years ago, I thought, “OK, I’m going to sell my own films but I don’t want to make it my own sales company.” I wanted it to be for me but I wanted to make it open for every other producer, so they don’t feel that they make a film but I get the focus. So, it’s a company that is my business and I’m involved with running it in a certain way, but I’m not seen as a competitor with other people that use it. It’s used by lots of different producers apart from me. When I want to use it, however, it’s there for me and I suppose I’m planning to continue making all my films to be sold by HanWay. I don’t have to, but I do because it’s in my building and the marketing’s here, and I can do it like that. Often, it sounds like I’m being easy about things, but it’s much more difficult than it sounds. It’s just that I’ve been at it for a long time and there’s lots of fat and security around my business. I know how to make films, but it’s not easy—it’s become a very exacting life.”
~ Producer Jeremy Thomas