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

32 Comments »

Scared For A Minute

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

13 Comments »

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…

16 Comments »

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?

34 Comments »

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

24 Comments »

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

97 Comments »

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.

31 Comments »

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?

37 Comments »

Don't Trip On The Hype

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

30 Comments »

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?

13 Comments »

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.

27 Comments »

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.

5 Comments »

The Hot Blog

Quote Unquotesee all »

This is probably going to sound petty, but Martin Scorsese insisting that critics see his film in theaters even though it’s going straight to Netflix and then not screening it in most American cities was a watershed moment for me in this theatrical versus streaming debate.

I completely respect when a filmmaker insists that their movie is meant to be seen in the theater, but the thing is, you got to actually make it possible to see it in the theater. Some movies may be too small for that, and that’s totally OK.

When your movie is largely financed by a streaming service and is going to appear on that streaming service instantly, I don’t really see the point of pretending that it’s a theatrical film. It just seems like we are needlessly indulging some kind of personal fantasy.

I don’t think that making a feature film length production that is going to go straight to a video platform is some sort of “step down.“ I really don’t. Theatrical exhibition as we know it is dying off anyway, for a variety of reasons.

I should clarify myself because this thread is already being misconstrued — I’m talking about how the movie is screened in advance. If it’s going straight to Netflix, why the ritual of demanding people see it in the theater?

There used to be a category that everyone recognized called “TV movie” or “made for television movie” and even though a lot of filmmakers considered that déclassé, it seems to me that probably 90% of feature films fit that description now.

Atlantis has mostly sunk into the ocean, only a few tower spires remain above the waterline, and I’m increasingly at peace with that, because it seems to be what the industry and much of the audience wants. We live in an age of convenience and information control.

Only a very elite group of filmmakers is still allowed to make movies “for theaters“ and actually have them seen and judged that way on a wide scale. Even platform releasing seems to be somewhat endangered. It can’t be fought. It has to be accepted.

9. Addendum: I’ve been informed that it wasn’t Scorsese who requested that the Bob Dylan documentary only be screened for critics in theaters, but a Netflix representative indicated the opposite to me, so I just don’t know what to believe.

It’s actually OK if your film is not eligible for an Oscar — we have a thing called the Emmys. A lot of this anxiety is just a holdover from the days when television was considered culturally inferior to theatrical feature films. Everybody needs to just get over it.

In another 10 to 20 years they’re probably going to merge the Emmys in the Oscars into one program anyway, maybe they’ll call it the Contentys.

“One of the fun things about seeing the new Quentin Tarantino film three months early in Cannes (did I mention this?) is that I know exactly why it’s going to make some people furious, and thus I have time to steel myself for the takes.

Back in July 2017, when it was revealed that Tarantino’s next project was connected to the Manson Family murders, it was condemned in some quarters as an insulting and exploitative stunt. We usually require at least a fig-leaf of compassion for the victims in true-crime adaptations, and even Tarantino partisans like myself – I don’t think he’s made a bad film yet – found ourselves wondering how he might square his more outré stylistic impulses with the depiction of a real mass murder in which five people and one unborn child lost their lives.

After all, it’s one thing to slice off with gusto a fictional policeman’s ear; it’s quite another to linger over the gory details of a massacre that took place within living memory, and which still carries a dread historical significance.

In her essay The White Album, Joan Didion wrote: “Many people I know in Los Angeles believe that the Sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969, ended at the exact moment when word of the murders on Cielo Drive traveled like brushfire through the community, and in a sense this is true.”

Early in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, as Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt’s characters drive up the hill towards Leo’s bachelor pad, the camera cranes up gently to reveal a street sign: Cielo Drive. Tarantino understands how charged that name is; he can hear the Molotov cocktails clinking as he shoulders the crate.

As you may have read in the reviews from Cannes, much of the film is taken up with following DiCaprio and Pitt’s characters – a fading TV actor and his long-serving stunt double – as they amusingly go about their lives in Los Angeles, while Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate is a relatively minor presence. But the spectre of the murders is just over the horizon, and when the night of the 9th finally arrives, you feel the mood in the cinema shift.

No spoilers whatsoever about what transpires on screen. But in the audience, as it became clear how Tarantino was going to handle this extraordinarily loaded moment, the room soured and split, like a pan of cream left too long on the hob. I craned in, amazed, but felt the person beside me recoil in either dismay or disgust.

Two weeks on, I’m convinced that the scene is the boldest and most graphically violent of Tarantino’s career – I had to shield my eyes at one point, found myself involuntarily groaning “oh no” at another – and a dead cert for the most controversial. People will be outraged by it, and with good reason. But in a strange and brilliant way, it takes Didion’s death-of-the-Sixties observation and pushes it through a hellfire-hot catharsis.

Hollywood summoned up this horror, the film seems to be saying, and now it’s Hollywood’s turn to exorcise it. I can’t wait until the release in August, when we can finally talk about why.

~ Robbie Collin