The Weekend Report Archive for November, 2008

Jingle All the Way

It was a gift exchange as Americans rose from Thanksgiving tables to make the turkey trot to Four Christmases, which topped holiday viewing with an estimated $46.6 million for the five-day span. Though shy of a record breaker, business was brisk; experiencing a slight boost from 2007 but falling short of earlier sessions in 2005…

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Fang You Very Much

Twilight, the teen vampire romance sensation, bit down hard to debut with an estimated $72.7 million and command about 44% of weekend ticket buying revenues. The session also saw the bow of the animated family film Bolt, which ranked third with $26.8 million in a frame that saw the sort of expansion Wall Street dreams…

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Shakin’ All Over

Five decades of good will added up to a staggering estimated debut of 00-$71.1 million for the 22nd James Bond (under the Broccoli imprimatur), Quantum of Solace. It was the biggest bow-wow for the enduring series domestically and wound up selling about 46% of all movie tickets; its anticipated potency had potential competitors steering clear…

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The Lion in Autumn

The animated antics of Madagascar: Back 2 Africa roared to an estimated $63.3 million to corral about 45% of weekend ticket sales. Despite its dominance, there was still ample room for a potent bow for the teen comedy Role Model of $19.1 million to rank second. The third national newcomer – the urban musical comedy…

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Boo!

All Hallow’s Eve spooked the box office with debuts and holdovers crushed Friday as the nation dressed up and hit the streets but not the multiplexes. Even with a Saturday bounce back overall and individual performances were tepid with High School Musical once again leading the session with an estimated $14.8 million. Slacker comedy Zack…

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“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