The Weekend Report Archive for June, 2009

Transformers: Triumph of the Risen

The tracking was great … just not this seemingly boffo. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen smashed the competition with an estimated weekend gross of $110.8 million and a five-day near record gross of $200 million. That left the frame’s other wide release — the decidedly femme-centric, weepy My Sister’s Keeper — picking up scraps of…

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Wedding Bell Green

The Proposal was an offer the audience couldn’t refuse as the romantic comedy romped to an estimated $34.4 million debut to gain weekend bragging rights. The frame’s other national freshman — the caveman comedy Year One — grunted $20.1 million to finish fourth overall. New titles in limited or regional release had a few bright…

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Sub-way Stories

Hangover and Up once again dominated weekend ticket sales with respective grosses of $33.1 million and $30.7 million and that put the kibosh on new releases. The highly anticipated The Taking of Pelham 123 pulled into third spot with a just passable $24.6 million gross while the $5.6 million box office for Imagine That was…

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Land of the Loss

Belmont be damned … it was a photo-finish at the weekend box office with initial estimates giving the animated adventure Up a slight edge on the debut of the gonzo comedy The Hangover. First blush pegs Up with $44.5 million for a $200k lead on the new “boys’ night out” misadventure. The weekend’s other major…

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“When Bay keeps these absurd plot-gears spinning, he’s displaying his skill as a slick, professional entertainer. But then there are the images of motion—I hesitate to say, of things in motion, because it’s not clear how many things there are in the movie, instead of mere digital simulations of things. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that there’s a car chase through London, seen from the level of tires, that could have gone on for an hour, um, tirelessly. What matters is that the defenestrated Cade saves himself by leaping from drone to drone in midair like a frog skipping among lotus pads; that he and Vivian slide along the colossal, polished expanses of sharply tilting age-old fields of metal like luge Olympians. What matters is that, when this heroic duo find themselves thrust out into the void of inner space from a collapsing planet, it has a terrifyingly vast emptiness that Bay doesn’t dare hold for more than an instant lest he become the nightmare-master. What matters is that the enormous thing hurtling toward Earth is composed in a fanatical detail that would repay slow-motion viewing with near-geological patience. Bay has an authentic sense of the gigantic; beside the playful enormity of his Transformerized universe, the ostensibly heroic dimensions of Ridley Scott’s and Christopher Nolan’s massive visions seem like petulant vanities.”
~ Michael Bay Gives Richard Brody A Tingle

How do you see film evolving in this age of Netflix?

I thought the swing would be quicker and more violent. There have been two landmark moments in the history of French film. First in 1946, with the creation of the CNC under the aegis of Malraux. He saved French cinema by establishing the advance on receipts and support fund mechanisms. We’re all children of this political invention. Americans think that the State gives money to French films, but they’re wrong. Through this system, films fund themselves!

The other great turning point came by the hand of Jack Lang in the 1980s, after the creation of Canal+. While television was getting ready to become the nemesis of film, he created the decoder, and a specific broadcasting space between film and television, using new investments for film. That once again saved French film.

These political decisions are important. We’re once again facing big change. If our political masters don’t take control of the situation and new stakeholders like Netflix, Google and Amazon, we’re headed for disaster. We need to create obligations for Internet service providers. They can’t always be against film. They used to allow piracy, but now that they’ve become producers themselves, they’re starting to see things in a different light. This is a moment of transition, a strong political act needs to be put forward. And it can’t just be at national level, it has to happen at European level.

Filmmaker Cédric Klapisch