The Weekend Report Archive for January, 2009

Subterranean Mallsick Blues … Greens

You can keep a bad man down … but not by much. The bow of Underworld: Rise of the Lycans was top of the pops on its opening day but lost ground as the weekend progressed; finishing with an estimated $20.5 million. But bragging rights went to the second-weekend gross of Paul Blart: Mall Cop,…

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Manled to the Max

Paul Blart: Mall Cop was intent to serve and protect and delivered an estimated $32.9 million during the three-day portion of the Martin Luther King holiday frame. Blart out-performed expectations as did another freshman release, the musical biography Notorious that ranked third with a $22.2 million gross. There were also solid returns for the two…

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Granier Old Man

The national launch of Gran Torino shot down the competition with an estimated $29 million weekend box office. Still, the first trio of 2009 debuts fared well in the marketplace. The distaff comedy Bride Wars ranked second with $21.4 million; followed closer by low-budget chiller The Unborn, which bowed at $21 million. Debuting ninth with…

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Barking Up the Same Tree

The opening salvo of 2009 looked a lot like the last gasp of 2008 with cuddly Marley and Meleading ticket sales with an estimated $24.2 million. Despite the absence of new national releases box office rose 9% from last year’s first weekend. Initial data pegs domestic revenues for 2008 at $9.79 billion and a slight…

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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