“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
The Hot Blog Archive for July, 2005
Strong word of mouth is still driving Wedding Crashers to an excellent hold. It will probably end up being off more like 25%, but still
The only thing not crashing is Crashers, Wedding Crashers.
“Lindsay Lohan is an attractive girl, but she’s not one of the world’s great beauties. But when she bounces down the hall in Mean Girls, she is magnetic. And it is way to simple to say, “Men like breasts.” Men do like breasts. But the bounce and the unaware way with which Ms. Lohan walked
Okay… silly one…
Who is the hottest woman in the movies today?
Who is the hottest man?
Who is the hot name most likely to be utterly forgotten by 2007?
What is your standard for the great summer movie experience?
Do you need to be daxzzled (or bedazzled) or do you just wanna have fun?
LATE ADDITION: An excellent piece on DW by Kate Kelly and Merissa Marr at the WSJ brought up a key element that has escaped me… a major piece of the value of DreamWorks live action is that they have distribution rights to all the DreamWorks Animation films. That alone could add $50 million to $100 million a year in net revenue to DreamWorks SKG. Interesting….
Guess it’s time to start the wrestling…
The Top Seven Early Contenders
Memoirs of a Geisha
The New World
Walk The Line
All The King’s Men
There was a terrific little film at Sundance a couple of years ago that I still tell people about called Dirty Work. The film by David Sampliner and Tim Nackashi follows three men who deal with our unpleasant business — Darrell, a septic tank pumper, Russ, a bull semen collector, and Bernard, an embalmer.
So I get a promotional e-mail about a show called Dirty Jobs on Discovery Channel and was kind of happy for the filmmakers… they obviously converted their doc into a series, a la Morgan Spurlock.
The TV show is kind of Spurlockian, but the doc filmmakers are not associated. More money for someone else. They know a good idea when they steal one. Sigh.
The Discovery Channel series is on Wednesday nights. And perhaps by coincidence, the doc, Dirty Work, is on Sundance Channel at 12:30a on Friday night… set those Tivos.
What kind of idiot would hold March Of The Penquins, which could do maybe $30 million, as the “surprise smash of the summer?”
Chris Connelly, on a lame late piece on The Slump on Nightline, compared to it to My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Huh?!?!?! There is no $100 million-plus surprise this year. There were two last year.
Isn’t it odd how being nice to the Penguins is a way of being dismissive of the theatrical business?
Of course, the most galling thing is that after it taking 16 years for the video window to get down to four months, all of a sudden it’s about piracy or marketing costs. It has never been about either. It has always been about big corporations and quarterly revenues. And the shortened window is a direct result of the long move towards the opening weekend obsession, so the theatrical window is almost never more than 8 weeks of significance, regardless of the DVD release date. If the theatrical window is only 8 weeks, the shortened window for DVD seems, from a distance, to make sense… but it doesn’t.
To have Walter Parkes on, happy to blame a very serious problem for DreamWorks on The Island on The Slump… oy. There is good reason for people at DreamWorks to be more nervous than he has ever seen them.
The industry has worked itself into this “window situation” since Batman in 1989. And it has succeeded in sucking more money out of the world’s pockets than ever before. The danger isn’t where we are. The danger is that some people don’t think it’s enough.
Veterans (and Matt Drudge) are up in arms about the mock notion of using a Purple Heart as a tool to remove the panties from a bridesmaid.
Is this even worth commenting on?
So, here it comes… Stealth, Must Love Dogs, and Sky High…
Anyone planning on going to the movies?
Posted: Sun., Jul. 24, 2005, 10:00pm PT
Mel tongue-ties studios
‘Apocalypto’ to be filmed in obscure Mayan dialect
By MICHAEL FLEMING
When production chiefs from selected studios trooped to Icon Prods. headquarters after an invite to read the film Mel Gibson planned for summer 2006, they were surprised at the very first page of the script.
“The dialogue you are about to read will not be spoken in English.”
Gibson, who last made the most successful Aramaic-language film ever, is at it again.
“Apocalypto” hardly fits the traditional definition of a summer film. Set 500 years ago, pic will be filmed in an obscure Mayan dialect, presumably with the same kind of subtitles Gibson reluctantly added to “The Passion of the Christ.” It will star a neophyte cast indigenous to the region of Mexico where Gibson will shoot in October. And it likely will carry an R rating, unless Gibson tempers the onscreen depiction of violent scenes he wrote in his script.
Since Gibson’s bankrolling his pic and will sell foreign himself, studios were offered only a rent-a-system deal, such as George Lucas had with 20th Century Fox for his last three “Star Wars” films. And because “Apocalypto” is not a religious pic, there’s no guarantee of an encore turnout of the church groups and hardcore Catholics who made “The Passion of the Christ” a nearly $1 billion box office/DVD bonanza.
At least three studios passed on the project before Disney bought it. Nevertheless, the fact that more than one studio bid for the project shows Gibson’s viability and makes laughable last year’s prediction by the New York Times that Gibson would be blackballed by Jewish executives after the “Passion” controversy.
That charge never really had much traction, said sources within Gibson’s agency, ICM. There was a post-“Passion” pile of scripts with $20 million-plus offers for Gibson’s acting services. While that paper piled up on ICM co-prexy Ed Limato’s desk, Gibson was accumulating pages of his own, scribbling “Apocalypto” in his office and becoming so passionate about it that he changed his plans to star in the Icon-produced drama “Under and Alone” for Warner Bros.
Even though studios including Paramount and Universal walked away from “Apocalypto” either for creative reasons or because Gibson’s asking price of a high P&A commitment was too high, Disney’s agreement to step up shows how much things have changed for Gibson since he struggled to get backing for “Braveheart.” Gibson felt he was too old to play William Wallace, preferring to cast Jason Patric, but he was hard-pressed to raise coin even when he agreed to star.
Paramount wouldn’t make “Braveheart” without a partner, and before Fox (which passed on “Passion”) stepped up, Gibson had a demoralizing meeting with his longtime haunt Warner Bros., which wanted another “Lethal Weapon” as a condition of the deal. Gibson made “Braveheart” on a shoestring, won picture and director Oscars and made money for both Paramount and Fox.
Happy with Disney
Now content to bankroll his vision and armed with his own overseas distribution and sales company, Gibson no longer goes hat in hand. Sources said at least two studios wanted the pic, but Gibson liked Disney, where he has a good relationship with Dick Cook, chairman of the Walt Disney Studios. For its part, Disney agreed to Gibson’s tough deal terms.
Already, there is talk that Disney will program “Apocalypto” against the Warner Bros. film “Lady in the Water,” which just happens to be the first M. Night Shyamalan-directed film Disney hasn’t financed since the filmmaker’s breakthrough, “The Sixth Sense.”
For his part, Cook said he was confident “Apocalypto” fits the summer bill.
“We couldn’t be more excited about working again with Mel and his team,” said Cook. “This is one of the most original and unique scripts we’ve had the opportunity to read recently, and we plan for this to be an anchor of our summer schedule.”
The Slump Is Back!!!
Actually, this weekend is a very good example of why Slump Chat is silly.
While Charlie & The Chocolate Factory held okay (read: not embarrassing) for a large opener and Wedding Crashers held exceptionally well, The Island smashed into the wall. It is the failure of The Island that makes this a down weekend. So
I am hardly the guy to be defending anyone at Paramount. But I found a Page Six item to be so unpleasantly inaccurate and inherently unkind that I feel I have to respond
And if you want to see the QT version of these selected (read: remotely worth watching) moments from the new Into The Blue trailer… it’s here.