The Hot Blog Archive for May, 2006

Deconstructing New Mythology

Studios drop big hints if a film is a potential bomb
Updated 5/30/2006 10:11 PM ET
By Scott Bowles, USA TODAY
LOS ANGELES

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Scared For A Minute

Reading a Variety.com story,. I saw a link,

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Broken Break-Up

“The ability to combine sadness and light in a movie is rare. But the ability to go from broad comedy to heavy, mean, real anger and hurt – while keeping the audience engaged – is near impossible. And it proves to be the death of this well-intended movie.
They didn’t want to make The War Of The Roses II and they didn’t want to make How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days. They didn’t even want to do When Harry Met Sally. This is a movie about a couple that splits based on a whim and then proceeds to allow its characters to behave in endless stupid, if occasionally funny, ways.”
The rest…

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Key Art Bizarre

Empire Magazine gathered some international posters for Superman Returns that are interesting…
supermakeover.jpg
What is wrong with his face? Bad plastic surgery victim? (He is more butch here.) Will his face be madeover in the movie too?
supesjapan.jpg
I think this is the best of the posters so far…
supergermanlove.jpgsuperlex.jpg
Individual character posters are pretty well expected and in this case, I think it would be a good idea… especially the flying romantic, which targets the audience that the movie is not locked into… women. As for Mr. Spacey, I wonder why Pinky was cropped out of the shot?

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When Harry Left Sony

The central reason for Sony to be part of the MGM acquisition in the first place was to acquire the MGM library to force the issue on Blu-Ray vs what was then Red-Ray and is now known as HD-DVD.
The

20 Comments »

What Day Is It?

I am shaken and stirred by the long weekend… I have no sense of what day of the week it is or whether writing about the movie business is a sane choice. All I know is that watermelon was served every-damned-where I went this weekend and while I have some waiting in my refrigerator, it may become mush before my taste for it returns.
Anyway…
Superman Returns is moving up to a Wednesday launch, on the 28th. What is curious about this is whether it is a show of faith, that the weekend will be that good and therefore a Wed start will be an advantage in clearing out the die-to-sees before regular people que up on Friday night or whether this is a move to avoid uncomfortable comparisons to X3, as in “Well, we opened on Wed… you can’t compare the openings.. we did about the same by the end of the first weekend as they did.”
Added – The 14 Five-Day Openings Of More Than $100 Million
1. Revenge of the Sith | $172,802,507 | $380,270,577 | 5/19/05
2. Spider-Man 2 | $152,411,751 | $373,585,825 | 6/30/04
3. The Matrix Reloaded | $144,391,066 | $281,576,461 | 5/15/03
4. Spider-Man | $135,840,755 | $403,706,375 | 5/3/02
5. Shrek 2 | $128,983,060 | $441,226,247 | 5/19/04
6. The Passion of the Christ | $125,185,971 | $370,782,930 | 2/25/04
7. The Return of the King | $124,100,534 | $377,027,325 | 12/17/03
8. Attack of the Clones | $120,829,572 | $310,676,740 | 5/16/02
9. Harry Potter /Goblet of Fire | $119,743,524 | $290,013,036 | 11/18/05
10. Harry Potter/ Azkaban | $109,363,094 | $249,541,069 | 6/4/04
11. The Phantom Menace | $105,661,237 | $431,088,297 | 5/19/99
12. Harry Potter / Sorcerer’s Stone | $104,590,892 | $317,575,550 | 11/16/01
13. The Two Towers | $102,046,212 | $341,786,758 | 12/18/02
14. War of the Worlds | $100,561,125 | $234,280,354 | 6/29/05
Italicized are the 2 pre-July 4 openers… both opened Wednesday…

23 Comments »

The Race For Drudge!

Wonder why Box Office Mojo is suddenly leaping to posting earlier in the day on the weekends and coming out with Memorial Day Weekend Saturday estimates?
Wonder why Roger Friedman And Nikki Finke are making the same title mistake in their box office coverage that includes “Star War – Attack of the Sith?” (That would be Revenge… the clones Attacked)
Well, it all seems to come down to the race for Matt Drudge’s attention.
There is no other news kicker like Drudge. If he links, your numbers go up. In the cases of all of these players, Drudge creates the chance to reach beyond the film industry. Box Office Mojo has a strong core business, but it has boundaries, since only a small percentage of the world cares about box office numbers. A Drudge link brings in civilians who see ads and more pages views equals more money. Roger Friedman is a lowlife gossip. My estimate would be that a Drudge link – which also has the advantage of being a real link and not just a quote, a la Page Six – multiplies his audience on that day by five to ten times. And Ms. Finke, who has given up any pretense of being a journalist to become a professional gadfly, probably owes more than a third of her total traffic in the three months her site has been in business to a half dozen or so links on Drudge.
For better or worse, Mr. Drudge has refused to link to any site I have been associated with since I wrote an Entertainment Weekly story about him and the Sidney Blumenthal lawsuit a decade ago. Of course, I was just a reporter working News & Notes and being shaped by editors. But with the exception of a couple of times when he decided to send his minions against me to shut me up about some opinion he considered too left wing, not a noise since.
Being stuck behind this wall is not helpful to me or my business. But this latest go round in the Drudge placement game is not about me, any more than being against test screening reviews was about me. It is, simply, the ugly incursion of capitalism into the idea of independent editorial on the internet. It’s not new. But the lie of it is fresh.
When I started writing this, Drudge hadn

123 Comments »

Sunday Update

First, we have your Cannes Palm D’ Or winner… and once again, the festival (as most do) finds a way to make it all seem irrelevant (which is the happy opposite of selling out, I guess) by going with Ken Loach’s The Wind That Shakes The Barley, which is surely smart and surely of importance. But Loach’s last three films didn’t get American distribution, and the last one that did, Sweet Sixteen, grossed $316,319.
Almodovar’s Volver grabbed a couple of awards and Inarritu’s Babel got one. Good for the Volver sell, which is all arthouse and not so great for Babel, which now has a tag that will do them no good in selling a movie that hopes to be commercial, yet will be in every ad they make.
The Full List
At The Box Office

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Friday Estimates by Klady

Now…. that’s a muthafuckin’ opening….
Second highest opening day ever. And for all of those who have foolishly pointed to a lack of originality as a problem with theatrical box office… bzzt… WRONG!.
X-Men: The Last Stand reminds us of the central truth of today’s movie market… give audiences something they want and they will come.
Based on the history, the four-day should be at least $120 million for the film. It

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Are You Seeing Movies This Weekend?

This would be the entry in which to offer your opinions on X-Men: The Last Stand, An Inconvenient Truth, or anything else you are seeing this weekend.

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A Filmmaker Responds… Wildly

This came in from the FilmMonthly.com website.
Apparently, they reviewed a film called Buddha Wild … I have never heard of it before… and they didn’t much like it.
And then the filmmaker, Anna Wilding, responded.
You can see her e-mail on the page. And Del Harvey, an editor on the site says, “When we posted the review, we were bombarded with some very rude and offensive emails and a few phone calls from Ms. Wilding herself, claiming we had committed slander, were total idiots, and so on.”
The magic of the internet, eh?

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Don't Trip On The Hype

I like Anne Thompson a lot, but I found myself snickering through here latest

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Anyone? Anyone?

As far as I can tell, for the first time in memory, the Cannes closing night awards are not scheduled to be televised anywhere in America. Anyone know different?

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Images Of Marie

The funny thing about all the Marie Antoinette clamor is that it sounds like Ms. Coppola delivered exactly the movie she promised and intented. The trailer tends to confirm this. The question is whether there are many people who will value a movie about a spoiled brat… especially when Ms. Coppola shows her so much love.
It’s all sounding a little Spanglish to me. But we shall soon see…
In the meanwhile, these two images seem to me to be the key to the film.
marie1.jpg
Lonely.
marie2.jpg
Horny.

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In The Year 2000….

Will this communal experience replace the movies… or the image of an audience with 3D gasses?
Vladmaster.jpg
This image actually comes from a blog entry from The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

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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