The Hot Blog Archive for April, 2011

The Massive DirecTV Campaign For Home Premiere

There is not a word about the program on the service’s website. And the only indication of its existence you will find on your DirecTV HD-equipped service is the above. $29.99 for Just Go With It… no mention of the early release… nothing special compared to the many other promoted pay-VOD offerings… and right next to the offer of “400 new releases & 6000 shows an movies.”

So you tell me… are the studios or DirecTV seriously expecting anyone to buy something that’s premium priced, but not even being sold?

Oh wait… ““We’re testing a price point and testing a window in the early days of this product, and we’ll see how it takes,” Chang, DirecTV’s head of content strategy and development, said today in an interview. “Down the road, if the window gets tweaked and changed, I think we all cross that bridge when we get to it.” (Blooomberg)

I guess it’s good that someone is pretending that the next step isn’t already planned for 45 days and $20, followed by 30 days and $15 when that fails.


Adam Curtis’ “It Felt Like A Kiss”


MTV’s The Real World & Gay Porn


I spent part of this evening Googling gay porn.


The reason for the excursion was the story from The Real World that one of the guys on the show turns out to have been a celebrity in internet gay porn videos. The business is called Fratmen, which seems to be, like many straight porn businesses, a grouping of young people willing to have sex on camera and pretending to live together, eat together, shower together, etc. And this guy claims to have done it for the money and that he identifies as straight.

But why this was interesting for more than the first 3 minutes – in which I found out that this issue has been much discussed on the web already and the kid from the show long identified by his fake porn name – is that MTV, in cahoots with the Fratmen site, seems to have managed to disappear a video that involves this guy performing a sex act with skills rivaling Linda Lovelace. And, it seems, the hundreds of web sites that ran images of this event, which were once free promotion for Fratmen, all scrubbed.

I find this fascinating. Because it’s really, really hard to scrub ANYTHING from the web.

Now… there were sites claiming to have the video for download. But I never download from any of these kinds of sites. So maybe it exists somewhere. Maybe it doesn’t.

But 15, 20 Google search pages into a variety of versions of this subject and nothing out there except for a few photos of the guy sitting on a bed naked with an erection and another guy.

Viacom is deeply invested in scrubbing the web of its proprietary content. But can you imagine making the phone call to the online experts to ask them to bury a number of gay porn videos? What would HR make of that?

Moreover, it seems that there are videos seen on the web during the course of the production of the show. So did they know the porn films were out there and wait for his showmance girlfriend to find it, and then start the scrub? Did they scrub and then drop a dvd in the girl’s inbox?

How will this play on Fox News when the show gets into the subject in detail? Will a gay porn kid living the straight high life in Vegas on MTV be seen as worse than Ms Hilton or Ms Kardashian? (According to a few web chat boards, he performs the act in question with more skill than either celebuslut.)

Anyway… odd evening. But still very interesting, especially as there’s been so much coverage of the disappearing content in the gay press and i have not heard a peep about it in the straight press.


The End of Days: April 20, 2011

This morning, TMZ announced Lindsay Lohan’s exit from the (alleged) Gotti movie.  This afternoon, TMZ announced her return to the (alleged) Gotti movie.  So… what kind of stupid you want to believe TMZ is will guide whether you believe, A) They were just used by first-time (alleged) producer Mark Fiore to negotiate with Lohan, B) The entire thing was just a stunt by Fiore’s publicists and TMZ was the lucky sucker to be used like journalistic toilet paper by the (alleged) producer, or C) this was all a scam by Lohan’s people to explain why she was playing such a small role in the film and showing how very responsible she really is. Or maybe someone explained to the (alleged) producer after the press conference that he couldn’t get insurance against Lohan flaking out if she was in a major role, but could get her covered – or was willing to take the chance she’d show and show sober – for a few days work. Welcome to Whack-A-Moron… Where Everyone Loses, But Is Sure They Won!

A day before launch, “Home Premiere” is nowhere to be found on DirecTV or their website.

Fox Searchlight continues to invest in the Brit Marling business, picking up the second of her Sundance films, The Sound of My Voice, almost four months after they first saw it. Sounds like a DVD buy. But more importantly, the question seems open to what Searchlight’s model is these days. Sundance pick-ups for Searchlight include Marling’s Another Earth, now this film, Martha Marcy May Marlene, and The Film Formerly Known As “Homework” (The Art Of Getting By)… with the last one the only one with anything close to major commercial upside. Meanwhile, according to Mojo, they are releasing Dum Maaro Dum sometime this year, Malick’s Tree of Life which is expected to have one solid movie act and two acts of film critic yummies that actual ticket buyers will sleep through, Wayne Wang’s Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, The Bengali Detective and the two likely late-year hits, The Decedents, by Alexander Payne and with George Clooney and More at The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, aka Cocoon With British Accents. In other words, when did Searchlight become Sony Classics? (not that there’s anything wrong with that!)

Tim Hetherington was killed in Libya. Yes, working in war zones is actually life threatening. I think we forget this too often. Of course, this is magnified by the many in the media who met Hetherington last year because of Restrepo. Someone we know died. And now, Libya is a little more personal to entertainment media. (RIP, Mr. Hetherington. You had the balls to do the serious work and made the ultimate sacrifice.)

Jodie Foster commits the ultimate act of feminism… calling out female movie execs who are just unlikely to hire a woman to direct a big film as any man. It sucks. But it is institutional, not misogynist. Though there is also the niggling truth that most big studio movies are made for teen boys… so why would you hire a woman or emotionally mature man to direct any of them?

Netflix is handing out raises… salaries of top execs doubling. After all, the stock price went through the roof, revenues were up 25% or so… and let’s not mention the part where streaming acquisition costs went up about 40 times (so far) over the pre-Relativity deal number. Cash out!

Variety ran a story about Tribeca’s for-profit acquisitions business, making it sound like Tribeca has launched or might launch some commercial movies after a decade as a very-well funded wannabe major fest. Of course, it wasn’t really about theatrical pick-ups, since there are virtually none out of the festival. But there are movies headed for the VOD and streaming market. And Tribeca does hide behind the skirts of their for-profit festival, pretending to have the best interest of the filmmakers in mind. The piece really comes down to Cinetic, which is also in that game, hating on Tribeca… and the piece leaves out Cinetic’s biggest beef, which is that Tribeca takes ownership of the films, while Cinetic, amongst others, does deals that allow the rights to stay with the filmmakers. And by the way, I don’t think there is a single picture on the Tribeca Online slate that is premiering at Tribeca. Some were Sundance titles… some Toronto 2010. It’s a very weird story…. lots of quotes that don’t seem to be attached to any specific allegations on specific movies… just shit being thrown against a somewhat sticky wall, sponsored by American Express.


BYOB 42011


Stephen Fry Kinetic Typography – Language


The End of Days: April 19, 2011

So far, Thor is the best reviewed studio movie of the year… 94% on Rotten Tomatoes… Oscar, here The God Of Thunder comes!!!

VOD launches tomorrow.  Adam Sandler is the first one to be shoved out of the nest.  Interestingly, I have DirecTV, their newest boxes, every premium movie channel they offer, and no sign of Premium HD anywhere to be found on the DirecTV Cinema or anywhere else on the service.  Nothing on their web home page either.  Plenty on HBO GO and UFC though.  Is Premium VOD’s 60 day window the end of the world?  No.  But Sarah Palin could easily see the end of the world from her house on Premium VOD.   Failure or success is equally dangerous, as the door is now open to experimentation… an opportunity to do to theatrical what they did to the DVD business.

Mark Cuban is ready to sell Magnolia and Landmark Cinemas.  So much for the might of VOD.  Cuban told Bloomberg that valuations are high and that is why he is considering selling.  There might be a small amount of truth to this.  Money is getting loose again around the movie business.  There are all kinds of players with no experience looking for a way onto the playing field.  Magnolia, which has been great, is also stuck as a nickel & dime business.  If he can get a premium price from some sucker, he can shift that focus elsewhere.

Game of Thrones’ renewal was announced in the now classic HBO way… as a day-after-premiere non-event.

Cannes has announced its full jury of really cool people you’d love to hang out with for a week… but who you don’t get to hang out with at all.  Maybe Uma Thurman will wear a see through dress or something… or more scandalously, not.

Jim Cameron offered up a classic “get off of my lawn” quote, “With everybody going through their lives bent over their Blackberries all day long, you could even argue the machines have already won.”  TMZ, being the serious journos they are, turned it into, “Terminator’ Creator: Cell Phones Are The New Skynet.”  Idiot writers republished it as though it was a more considered opinion than your dad might offer in your elevator, as someone chatters away on their Blackberry.  Proud moments.

John August gave Fox a $10m idea for free… have the ape at the end of the Rise of the Planet of the Apes trailer speak.  Smart.  Now maybe he could consult on name changes to Sundance-bought films.  Homework was not a great title, unless there was a teacher or tutor sexing up Freddy Highmore.  But The Art of Getting By is about as memorable as… what’s that new show on… is it ABC… with the 30 year olds… uh…


DP/30 Sneak Peek: Bill Mechanic On VOD & Windows

Bill Mechanic was at Disney as President, International Distribution & Worldwide Video from, 1984 – 1994. In 1994, he went to Fox as Chairman/CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment. He currently produces movies via Pandemonium Films. And he produced the Oscars 2 years ago.

“It’s not whether it has to happen or there’s a natural evolution of things. You can cause things to fail.”

“If you’re telling someone, ‘You’re going to be executed tomorrow,’ and there’s a gun pointed at our forehead, then you’re going to have problems. If you say, ‘There’s no problem… don’t worry about tomorrow,’ then you get to lure them into the execution without problems.”

“Piracy is stupid. If your business is still at record levels… then piracy is having an impact, but it’s not killing your business, so why would you kill your business to stop piracy?”

“If you fail in this market, you don’t fail all the way. You can make that clunker that doesn’t really work for $200 million, you’re still getting a large portion of your money back… you’re earning money in every subsequent market. You take away every subsequent markets and you fail (in theatrical) and essentially… cataclysm.”

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MVODBS (More VOD Bulls***)

The “We’re All In This Together, So It’s Your Damned Turn To Spin This Ridiculous Story To The Media This Week” Tour of studio heads continues this week with WB’s Jeff Robinov and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group prexy Kevin Tsujihara talking to Variety (appropriately, a digital disaster story itself).

“We view exhibitors as our partners. We view them as a very important part of establishing the value of the movies, which is really important,” Tsujihara said. “If you look at the things we think have devalued movies — and our company has been pretty upfront about this — we think that services like Netflix and dollar rentals like Redbox devalue from a consumer’s perspective the value of the movie. Re-establishing premium content at a premium price helps not only the prior window in theatrical but also ancillary markets afterwards. That’s a key part of the thought process Warner Bros. had in establishing the wholesale price that drives the ultimate retail price of this product.”

You’ve already blown this one, guys. And Premium VOD will just make it worse, not better.

Who was actually responsible for driving down the value of the DVD market and how? The studios. They flooded the marketplace, kept cutting the prices, and when Netflix was being built, took stock in the company in return for price breaks. The mainstreaming of $1 rentals and streaming are obstacles that reared their heads long after the horses were out of the barn. Years after.

Studios told consumers to expect ever lowering prices in the post-theatrical environment. And now they are trying to reverse the result of their actions. Understandably. And they are asking us to believe that “this is just a test,” when the long history of all of these businesses is that once the cherry is broken, the appetites increase exponentially and irrationally.

If WB or anyone else can name a consumer product that was able to rebound significantly on price after grinding the price point down, please let us know. An industry can increase revenues by adding new products within its business that are associated with the core business. VHS and DVD are an example of this. Wireless on your phone is an example of this. But it is cheaper now to get access to the internet than it ever has been. Your phone bill may not have changed, but that’s because you are using multiple kinds of web access in 2 or 3 or 4 places and not just plugged into your one computer at home.

The only example I can think of having a major price leap after years of price competition is razor blades, which have done the trick by changing the product significantly, from 2 blades to 3 blades to 4 blades and now, 5 blades. But a Premium VOD 60 day window in not a product improvement. It is, ironically, just another window on the same old product. It adds no value to the 120 day released product. The only thing it can do, as a matter of value perception, is devalue the opening day value.

Here are your options to buy Black Swan, the Oscar nominee and winner for Best Actress, on Amazon today. Blu-ray, $21.99, DVD, $13.99, Own it digitally, $13.99, Rent it digitally, $3.99. And in 8 days, you’ll be able to get it on Netflix or Redbox.

Want the Inception Blu-ray? 17 bucks. Toy Story 3? $18.49 Iron Man 2? 20 bucks.

There are exceptions. Alice in Wonderland in Blu is still $25. But you know what I, as a consumer, think of as the standard price for a Blu-ray in 2011? About 20 bucks. And it’s getting lower every year.

None of these numbers are going up. Why would they? Should theaters double ticket prices? Would that help increase the way people value the Home Entertainment market?

“(C)onsumers came out very bullish on willing to pay a premium at 60 days.”


Have you figured out how to get them to use PPV on a consistent basis yet?

“Nearly 21% of consumers surveyed in a new report from NPD Group saying they have used paid VOD through their TVs to watch a movie over the last three months.”

That one is Variety’s “reporting.” Why is Variety running a survey if WB and DirecTV are going on record? Because this number is skewed. What is “paid VOD” and how are “consumers” defined by NPD Group? These are big questions, especially in light of the rest of the press release for the survey: “Over the past three months, 77 percent of consumers reported watching a movie on a DVD or BD, which is unchanged from last year. Those who viewed movies from physical discs reported watching an average of four hours per week, which is also unchanged from the prior year. By comparison 68 percent watched a movie on a TV or cable network channel, 49 percent at a theatre, and 21 percent used paid video on demand through their TVs.”

I haven’t been able to get an answer from NPD, but my guess would be that a “consumer” is qualified as someone who has consumed at least one movie in the previous 3 months in some way. And does “paid video on demand” include HBO, for instance, whose VOD I only have access to only because I pay for their pay-tv service? There are many kinds of VOD… and all of them are paid.

The clearer fact is, less than 1% of revenues on a film, on average, are being generated by VOD these days. Not 10%. Not 1/3. 1%.

I still think that WB should go day-n-date on Hangover 2 and Harry Potter 7A. Let’s just get it all out on the table. These will be the strongest possible titles, period. Let’s see what the top end looks like right now… this summer. Bad Teacher…. promote it with an unrated version in just 60 days! Mr. Popper’s Penguins comes home right NOW!

And then we can wonder how Cedar Rapids will do on VOD two months after it barely sold in theaters. Contrast and compare! Let’s see the studios put some skin in the game!

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The End Of Days: April 18, 2011

Nic Cage gets in trouble… but it seems like a good day for the actor in reflection of the cumulative grosses of his three films of the last year – Drive Angry 3D, Season of the Witch, and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – opening to less than $35m combined and the totaling out at less than $100m domestic combined.

LAT asks the stupid question, “Just how dominant could animation get?” Answer: If they average under $250m worldwide each time out, not very dominant. In a less pithy response, where the hell has the LAT been? (That is, aside from selling The False Slump: 2011) Five of the top ten grossers worldwide last year were animated. The year before it was five of the top eighteen (not counting Avatar), the same as 2008 (the year before). Hollywood is a copycat down. Animation has been the best and safest big bet for years. Disney/Pixar and DreamWorks Animation have been on top. Fox has had some mega-hits. Universal had its first last year. Sony is hot in pursuit for years. WB is the only studio that hasn’t really been able to get on track, though its sequel to the one big animated hit, Happy Feet, is due this November and the third run at resurrecting Termite Terrace is underway.

Gotti: Three Generations continues to have all the hallmarks of a privately funded car wreck. They just announced the film last week, co-starring Lindsay Lohan, who can’t work in traditionally funded movies because she can’t be insured at this point. And now, they have no director. Why are Travolta and Pesci involved? Cha-ching! They each have to be getting a premium of 50% or more over their current market values, in escrow, to put their reputations on this particular line.

Speaking of hard to employ actresses, Winona Ryder is getting back on the horse as a lead – she was brilliant in a small turn in Black Swan – with more private money from the newly launching Waterstone Entertainment. Again, cash out, limited chance of a good – or even releasable – movie coming out of it. For starters, this one has a director… who has made 7 films, not one of which has gotten theatrical distribution. Oy.

Thor premieres in Sydney, forcing the door open on reviews by the trades and the geeks. They don’t hate it. They really, really don’t hate it. (Congrats to Paramount on threading the needle with 4 reviews… whether these reviews are reflective of eventual overall ideas of the film or not.)

Spider-Man: Turn Of The Cash Bleed is taking a few weeks off to retool. Generous of them, no? It will cost them a few million not to have construction work and rehearsals going on in the theater while an audience watches. Look for some publication to turn up within days of previews starting up again reviewing whether anything has improved.

Cannes announced their Critics Week schedule, which consists of one film – Take Shelter, already with Sony Classics – that will ever be in the United States on as many as 40 screens at one time.


(Un)Intentional Racial Overtones?

When this turned up in my e-mail inbox, my first thought was that the title of this film was a spin on “N-word… PLEASE!”

Then I realized that it was meant as a pun, on “insecure.”

But then, I thought, is it a movie about insecure black people? Is it a movie about a service that either provides security in the black community or a movie about a service that provides protection from the black community?

After looking at the e-mail on a computer that showed the jpg and reading the synopsis – a jealous husband story – I have to think it is meant to refer to “the N word” somehow…

Weird, no?


Weekend Estimates by Screaming Rio Klady

The top 3 openings of 2011 are animated films. Why? Because that’s what the studios have offered so far.

Sony has had the best non-animated showing, owning opening slots #4 – #6 with Battle: LA, which they did a nice job opening with little box office star power in front of or behind the camera (and which won’t do 3x opening), the resurrected Green Hornet (which may even break even… and could spawn a cheaper sequel, now that they know the formula for a $200m+ worldwide), and Sandler.

After that, only WB has really shown any big ambitions for the pre-summer season, even if failing to launch Sucker Punch, Arthur, or the virtual Taken sequel, Unknown. (Don’t feel too bad on that last one. Pierre Morel”s actual next film after Taken, From Paris With Love, opened even worse, even with Travolta as a wild baddie.)

Disney’s only non-animated release was the first DreamWorks release via Disney, I Am Number Four, which may have wanted to be a Shia LeBeouff movie, but didn’t have any remotely familiar movie name to help it get out there.

Universal has taken fiver shots, aside from their animated Hop. The Dilemma felt like it leaked out, defeated spiritually by the “so gay” controversy. The Adjustment Bureau did okay, considering how hard they had to work to not make it look like what it was… a long Twilight Zone episode. Paul is a mixed bag. It’s easily the best opening and best gross from the Pegg/Frost pairing. But it was also the most expensive. Mostly, however, it was not the launching pad to big things that the core of fans keeps anticipating. Sanctum was a throwaway. Your Highness, like Paul, seems to be an effort to turn a small niche into a mainstream comedy base. It seems we have gone from The Apatow Comedy School making $100m movies to $60m movies and the spin-offs doing half of that or less.

Paramount kept a somewhat low profile. The threw that Bieber concoction into the marketplace and did well, considering. But not a muscular effort for the studio. They released the spawn of Up In The Air, the Montecito film, No Strings Attached, which did a decent, if not thrilling number. And there is the #2 animated opening of the year, Rango. But only Rango was really shooting for the stars.

Fox threw two sequels into the market. Wimpy Kid 2 did almost exactly what it was expected to do on paper. And Big Mommas didn’t revive the franchise. (Should have paid for that Tyler Perry cameo as Madea.) Their only really ambitious push out was, again, the animated film, Rio.

Looks to me like Q1 has been the grand old dumping ground that it always was. (Did the studios meet and agree to tank the quarter to make the excuse for “having” to launch Premium VOD? Hmmm…) Kudos to WB for at least trying to steal the market, in terms of anyone over 12.

Scream 4 is a tricky argument. You can’t say it’s a happy number, as it is well off of both sequels. On the other hand, like Big Momma 3, is there really any nostalgia out there for this group of actors or the series at this point? If they reinvented the idea, great… but that’s not what was sold to the public. Really, not a lot was sold to the public, as TWC didn’t spend a ton on marketing. I feel like the return of Scream kinda needed a return of horror/slasher films to prominence for at least a moment before satire on the genre was needed. All that is left right now is a 15 year old franchise that beat us to death with the first 2 sequels and a lonely ghostface, who has no slashed pals in the market. Had they somehow converted it all into a commentary on horror porn, maybe it would have worked better. But that’s played out as a genre too.

Right now, 2011 is a milder extension of December 2010… the only thing to really cheer about is the strength of the middle class… though right now, that means “$40m – $60m domestic,” in December it meant closer to $100m domestic, and what is missing now as it was then are the couple of blockbusters that make the numbers go up each year. Forget just comparing this year to the Avatar/Alice year… just a single $200m grosser would make everyone clam down a lot.

Note: How many $100 million domestic grossers were there before summer two years ago? Answer: Three. Watchmen, Fast & Furious, Monsters Vs. Aliens.
The year before that? Answer: One. Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!
Before that? Three. Ghost Rider, Wild Hogs, 300.
This year? Two so far. Hop, Rio and Fast Five likely to come. I believe that will be the best ever in that category.


Friday Estimates by Rio de JaKlady

Well, the Rio opening is a little scary. I’m still not ready to jump on the idiot train of screaming, ‘Slump” every time I start a box office story. (Maybe I just did. Yipes!)

This is a perfect example of how studios get in their own way and use it as an excuse for terrible, potentially destructive ideas like Premium VOD.

2010: First Wide Animated Release – 3/26 – How To Train Your Dragon
Second Wide Animated Release – 5/21 – Shrek Forever After

After that, there was a typical summer pile up. But even then, it was four weeks until Toy Story 3 and 5 weeks after that until Despicable Me.

2011: First Wide Animated Release – 2/11 – Gnomeo & Juliet
Second Wide Animated Release – 3/4 – Rango
Third Wide Animated Release – 3/11 – Mars Needs Moms
Fourth Wide Animated Release – 4/1 – Hop
Fifth Wide Animated Release – 4/15 – Rio
Sixth Wide Animated Release – 4/29 – Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil

And then, we get a full month’s break until Kung Fu Panda 2 for Memorial Day.

Last year, alone in the category for months on either side, Dragon opened to $44 million. This year, in a pile-up of five titles. so far, none of the films has opened to as much as $40 million… none of them have been as leggy as Dragon… and only Mars Needs Moms has opened to less than $25 million.

In the end, the first five animated movies of 2011 will gross, domestically, $425m – $450m, about double what Dragon did last year. So is that encouraging or discouraging? Is anything more really possible when you shoehorn five movies from the same niche into the market space of one quality film from that niche the year before? And does anyone actually question whether a single animated franchise title, whether by itself or in the midst of the animation chaos of this first five months, would blow all the others out of the water and do the business we expect of it (ice Age 4, for example)?

Box office is math. But it is also much more complicated than just the math. For instance, even though Chris Meledandri isn’t working with Blue Sky anymore, isn’t opening two Chris Meledandri movies in three weeks kinda stupid? Cause you can’t really think that the Easter Bunny and comedy birds, live-action involved or not, isn’t all blending in about now. It’s almost worse than opening two movies starring the same actor in the same 3 weeks (which almost never happens, as the big actors have it prohibited in their contracts… for a reason).

I submit to you that if any 2 of the Rio, Hop, and Rango films were the only 2 widely released animated films released between Jan – May, each would have opened closer to $50 million and either hit $200m domestic or come close. But that was not an option because the market was flooded with reasonably high quality product and a market that expanded, but was never going to expand to 5x previous years.

(Add 12:16p)
The Scream 4 opening is another “we thought maybe it would be big” moment for this spring. Seriously, kids, who is coming out to see Courtney Cox and David Arquette and Neve Campbell unless they are having a 3-way and even then, it would be on the web soon enough. And how do they pad the celebrity level? A bunch of kids who are seen more often on the red carpet than doing movies or even much television that anyone cares to remember for more than a day or two.

The idea for the Scream series is what drove the Scream series. Drew Barrymore was a boost the first time around. But in a franchise that is about mocking the gag, how many times can you repeat the gag?

The DVD will rent well. But getting people to rush to a theater to see this… in 2009 or 2010 or 2011… not so much. So hopefully the budget is as low as they claim and the movie will do slightly better overseas. But wait… Scream has never done better overseas than here. Oh well.

Insidious and Source Code are the “happy at $40m domestic” movies of the season.

A couple of million for Ayn Rand… non-story… but we’ll be hearing about it… endlessly… the movie won’t ever crack $10m.

Arthur is well on its way to covering 70% of its domestic marketing costs. Your Highness, not so lucky.


The Cameron Digital Argument

As I wrote from CinemaCon, what’s interesting about what Cameron is now arguing is not that 3D is this cool thing that will draw people into theaters.

He is now arguing that ALL film/television will be enhanced by 3D production in much the way color enhances the experience. He doesn’t want it to be special. He wants it to be the norm. Just the way we see every show.

And the fps thing, ramping it up to 48 fps or 60 fps is about enhancement, in much the same way. A denser image is not terribly expensive in digital and it may enhance the experience.

So rather than the alleged and now, failed, 3D revolution, this is a true revolution… if it takes.


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“Well, actually, of that whole group that I call the post-60s anti-authority auteurs, a lot of them came from television. Peckinpah’s the only one whose television work represents his feature work. I mean, like the only one. Mark Rydell can direct a really good episode of ‘Gunsmoke’ and Michael Ritchie can direct a really good episode of ‘The Big Valley,’ but they don’t necessarily look like The Candidate. But Peckinpah’s stuff, even the scripts he wrote that he didn’t even direct, have a Peckinpah feel – the way I think there’s a Corbucci West – suggest a Peckinpah West. That even in his random episodes that he wrote for ‘Gunsmoke’ – it’s right there.”
~ Quentin Tarantino

“The thought is interrupted by an odd interlude. We are speaking in the side room of Casita, a swish and fairly busy Italian bistro in Aoyama – a district of Tokyo usually so replete with celebrities that they spark minimal fuss. Kojima’s fame, however, exceeds normal limits and adoring staff have worked out who their guest is. He stops mid-sentence and points up towards the speakers, delighted. The soft jazz that had been playing discreetly across the restaurant’s dark, hardwood interior has suddenly been replaced with the theme music from some of Kojima’s hit games. Harry Gregson-Williams’ music is sublime in its context but ‘Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots’ is not, Kojima acknowledges, terribly restauranty. He pauses, adjusting a pair of large, blue-framed glasses of his own design, and returns to the way in which games have not only influenced films, but have also changed the way in which people watch them. “There are stories being told [in cinema] that my generation may find surprising but which the gamer generation doesn’t find weird at all,” he says.
~ Hideo Kojima