The Weekend Report Archive for December, 2008

Christmas Caroling with Marley

The other Marley — Marley and Me — proved no Scrooge at the box office with an estimated $51.5 million gross that barked to the top of the box office charts for the four-day seasonal span. In what was technically a box office record-breaking frame, four other films bowed on Christmas day to primarily upbeat…

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The Big Chill

The battle of the stars pitted debuts of Jim Carrey in the comedic Yes Man against Will Smith in the three-Kleenex yarn Seven Pounds with laughter prevailing. Yes Man emerged from the weekend with an estimated $17.9 million to top the session charts, with Smith’s weighty affair ranking second on box office of $15.2 million….

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The Day the Box Office Stood Still

A sturdy debut estimated at $31.4 million for The Day the Earth Stood Still wasn’t enough to stave an overall box office downturn as 2008 creeps toward closure. The session also featured an okay bow of $3.7 million for the seasonal Nothing Like the Holidays, which ranked sixth in the lineup. However, it was no…

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Silent Night, Silent Matinee

While the first weekend of December is traditionally not quite the lowest grossing weekend of the year … it is pretty close to the bottom. This year is no exception as distributors continued the tradition of releasing movies with limited potency as evidenced by the opening of Punisher: War Zone, which ranked eighth in the…

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“Ten years ago at Telluride, I said on a panel that theatrical distribution was dying. It seemed obvious to me. I was surprised how many in the audience violently objected: ‘People will always want to go to the movies!’ That’s true, but it’s also true that theatrical cinema as we once knew it has died. Theatrical cinema is now Event Cinema, just as theatrical plays and musical performances are Events. No one just goes to a movie. It’s a planned occasion. Four types of Event Cinema remain.
1. Spectacle (IMAX-style blockbusters)
2. Family (cartoon like features)
3. Horror (teen-driven), and
4. Film Club (formerly arthouse but now anything serious).

There are isolated pockets like black cinema, romcom, girl’s-night-out, seniors, teen gross-outs, but it’s primarily those four. Everything else is TV. Now I have to go back to episode five of ‘Looming Tower.'”
~ Paul Schrader

“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
~ Eric Allen Hatch