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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The Atlantic: You saw that the Academy Awards recently held up your 2001 acceptance speech as the Platonic ideal of an Oscar speech. Did you have a reaction?

Soderbergh: Shock and dismay. When that popped up and people started texting me about it, I said, “Oh, it’s too bad I’m not there to tell the story of how that took place.” Well. I was not sober at the time. And I had nothing prepared because I knew I wasn’t going to win [Best Director for Traffic]. I figured Ridley, Ang or Daldry would win. So I was hitting the bar pretty hard, having a great night, feeling super-relaxed because I don’t have to get up there. So the combination of a 0.4 blood alcohol level and lack of preparation resulted in me, in my state of drunkenness crossed with adrenaline surge. I was coherent enough to know that [if I tried to thank everyone], that way lies destruction. So I went the other way. There were some people who appreciated that, and there were some people who really wanted to hear their names said, and I had to apologize to them.
~ Steven Soderbergh

 

“I have made few films in a way. I never made action films. I never made science fiction films. I never made, really, very complicated settings, because I had modest ambitions. I knew they would never trust me to have the budget to do something different, so my mind is more focused on things I know. So they were always mental adventures I wanted to approach and share. Working for cinema with no – not only no money, but also no ambition for money. I was happy and proud [to receive the honorary Oscar] because of that, that [the Academy] could understand what kind of work I have done over 60 years. I stayed faithful to the ideal of sharing emotion, impressions, and mostly because I have so much empathy for other people that I approach people who are not really spoken about. I have 65 years of work in my bag, and when I put the bag down, what comes out? It’s really the desire of finding links and relationships with different kinds of people. I never made a film about the bourgeoisie, about rich people. about nobility. My choices have been to show people that are, in a way, more common and see that each of them has something special and interesting, rare and beautiful. It’s my natural way of looking at people. I didn’t fight my instincts. And maybe that has been appreciated in the famous circle of Hollywood.“

Agnes Varda