The Hot Blog Archive for February, 2009

Remember The WGAlamo

You know… I hate the idea of rubbing a soft success in the WGA’s face,
I think that the Strike Committee did what they sincerely felt they HAD to do. I think that most of them continue to believe that the deal they got wouldn’t have happened without a strike.
I disagree.
The minor improvements on the DGA contract and the additional WGA-centric elements that WGA got were, I believe, available to the union through negotiating without a strike.
I don’t agree with anyone who says that strike was “self-destructive.” It certainly wasn’t taken on lightly or without serious intent. However, I would agree that the strike cost a lot of WGA members real money and didn’t come close to making up the difference with improvements to the ultimate deal. The timing was completely wrong-headed, in my opinion.
But the greatest cost of the WGA Strike is being paid by SAG, which has no chance to convert its issues – more serious than any other union – into a contract that isn’t, unlike the WGA contract, significantly destructive to the union’s future.
Was it WGA’s responsibility to look out for SAG? No. Did going out on strike when WGA did and, ultimately, settling when they did, doom SAG in its pursuit of a deal that more seriously addressed the death of re-runs? Yes.
The great unanswerable question of The WGA Strike of

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Saturday's Poll



(The story where these quotes and many other idiocies can be read.)
Results after the jump…

Read the full article »

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Friday Estimates by Klady, 22809

friest022809.jpg
Is there really anything to say?
The Jonas Bros. generated a strong number, which was overhyped going into the weekend.
The last Madea was off 57% in Weekend Two, 67% Friday-to-Friday..
Slumdog is getting a boost – not as all Oscar winners do, but as films that win and directly benefit from the new sense of public familiarity do – and has an outside shot of chasing down Juno ($143.5m domestic) to become Searchlight’s biggest grosser. Slummy is a near-lock to be bigger than pPreggo worldwide,with about $50 million to go and lots of big territories still yet to open.
The skinny former cop (Taken) cracks $100 million and the fat not-a-cop (Paul Blart) will crack $125m this weekend.
Coraline took a Jonas Bros. and 300 screen loss hit this weekend, but I actually expect it to recover and move up a slot or two this weekend as well as to remain in the Top Ten next weekend and perhaps longer.
And finally, a shout out to the Italian neo-realist thriller Gomorrah, which has done great at the IFC Center in NY for a few weekends now. For whatever reasons, it has not been coming up here on Saturdays as a big winner, but it really has been very strong.

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Trying A Tweet Poll – Watchmen




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BYOB Friday

The Jonas Brothers.
Uh…
Did my parents feel this way about The Monkees when my older sisters were into them?
The poor Beatles never had Live At Shea Stadium: The Motion Picture.
Nothing much to say, really..
Less, really.
Peter Scarlet, who never did much with Tribeca except spend money, is out. No great surprise… or loss… there.
Defamer.Gawker.com ran a note from the former editorial cabal that someone found a few bucks to buy the old Movieline name, logo, and URL and that there will now be a Defamer-type site there. I wish them luck – I really do – and I wonder why they think they will be ok launching a site like that in the middle of a recession. They do have the advantage of less infrastructure – half the revenues minus payments on Nick Denton’s multi-million dollar condo = enough for these guys to live on – but getting half the revenues will not be so easy. Micropublishing is not dead… but the niche better be nichier than “Snark About Showbiz.”
Speaking of snark, I quite enjoyed the Nikki Finke interview in I Want Media. When someone so passionately owns their own little patch of reality like that, you just have to sit back, relax, and appreciate the power of modern pharmaceuticals.
We did find this rare image from an interview Nikki did with Letterman during the WGA strike which never aired

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Eddie's Oscar?

EW broke the lingering news today that it looks like Bill Condon

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BYOB Thursday

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Review – Watchmen

Will have to wait until I see it next week.
Yes, Virginia, I have been relegated by the very confident WB to seeing their mega-smash in what will surely be an overbooked all-media next week. When I spoke to the responsible on the film, not asking for a screening time, but actually trying to confirm a negative story floating around about the film (I still haven

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The French Connection in Blu

Wow.
The French Connection on Blu-ray is one of the great additions to the highest shelf of my Blu-ray library, up there with The Godfather, the Kubrick films, and Pixar

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Return To The Dark Knight

One of the blog commenters can’t seem to separate why Slumdog won from why The Dark Knight was not nominated. In response, I found myself explaining my TDK issues

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BYOB – Catching Up…

The days after the Oscar season end feel a bit like the first days getting back to school after months of summer vacation… waking up on a different schedule… new people, many familiar, but different… work to do but somehow, not as quick to get out the pen… even the feeding schedule (and the food itself) is different.
It’s a hangover, but not unpleasant that same way. Just an “Oh yeah… there is something else other than the Oscars and Watchmen going on….”
Then there is the real downside

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Remember When…

August 28, 2008
searchwb.jpg
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES AND WARNER BROS. PICTURES
TO JOIN FORCES ON THE NORTH AMERICAN RELEASE OF
DANNY BOYLE

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A Shout Out…

To TJ Simers… who has long been one of the few reasons to pick up the LA Times… for naming names and speaking his truth.
And Ken Turan… for speaking his truth, even if he smeared the internet and not the real source of ugliness in his own yard.
And to the LA Times readers… a committed group… who spoke their own truth this morning.
Beyond my own smugness, the interesting lesson here should be that people looking to find problems have become really good at finding problems. But thinking beyond the immediate moment to the bigger picture… to the longer term picture… and not just trying to ride the internet snark train… is harder and requires some getting used to. Saying whatever you think when you think it is okay for civilians. But it is not okay for professional writers who have readers. We have a responsibility. Every one of us, online or off. And perspective is part of that responsibility.
Unfortunately, the result of this push back against a guy like Patrick is likely to be him trying to rationalize why he was right and others were wrong for years to come, with films and actors and whomever he associates with the smack back to pay the price of his futuresnark.

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The Weekend That Was

Things have changed a lot over the years

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The Oscar Ratings…

Up in overnights… we’ll see what the finals are.
Still… irrelevant to the issue of whether the show worked.
Very relevant as to whether the producers this year created, with The Academy, a sense of anticipation that has been missing in recent years.
I wish the ratings obsession and the shallow reporting on it would disappear.

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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