The Weekend Report Archive for November, 2007

Some Enchanted Turkey …

November 25, 2007 Weekend Estimates Domestic Market Share The Thanksgiving holiday frame was definitely rich on stuffing with the time travel princess ofEnchanted emerging most magical with an estimated $34.8 million during the weekend and $49.5 million from its Wednesday launch. The table was overflowing with new entrees and scant on sides. The Afrocentric This…

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Wulf at the Door

November 18, 2007 Weekend Estimates Domestic Market Share The venerable Nordic saga Beowulf handily led the frame with a debut estimated at $27.5 million. However, other premieres proved less fulsome including just fair results of $9.9 million for the family friendly Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium and a dull $1.9 million for the long gestating adaptation of Love in…

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Sting Like a Lion, Float Like a Santa

November 11, 2007 Weekend Estimates Domestic Market Share Last weekend’s leaders switched positions with the animated yellow jacket Bee Movie edging out the crime saga American Gangster with respective estimates of $25.7 million and $24.5 million. That left weekend freshmen scrambling for patrons with holiday family entry Fred Claus corralling a solid $18.5 million while political thriller Lions for…

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Honey in the Bank …

November 4 , 2007 Weekend Estimates Domestic Market Share The multiplexes were abuzz with American Gangster leading the frame on an estimated $46.5 million tally and the animated Bee Movie adding a stinging $38.9 million to a turnaround session at the box office. The leaders didn’t leave much more for the national debut of Martian Child that ranked…

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“The important thing is: what makes the audience interested in it? Of course, I don’t take on any roles that don’t interest me, or where I can’t find anything for myself in it. But I don’t like talking about that. If you go into a restaurant and you have been served an exquisite meal, you don’t need to know how the chef felt, or when he chose the vegetables on the market. I always feel a little like I would pull the rug out from under myself if I were to I speak about the background of my work. My explanations would come into conflict with the reason a movie is made in the first place — for the experience of the audience — and that, I would not want.
~  Christoph Waltz

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.