The Weekend Report Archive for October, 2009

Saw-ed in Half

The little chiller that could — Paranormal Activity — ascended to the top of the movie-going charts with an estimated $21.6 million. That was bad news for the launch of the latest installment of the Saw horror franchise with its sixth installment drawing less than half the box office of the prior edition with $14.8…

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Law Abiding Wild Thing

The weekend surprise was not the estimated $32.6 million grossed by Where the Wild Things Are that led ticker sales but the torrid $21.4 million debut of the legal thriller Law Abiding Citizen, which had high end expectations of a $15 million bow. The session’s third national launch generated a respectable $12.2 million for the…

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Advance to the Rear

Comedy ruled as the debut of Couples Retreat shattered expectations with an estimates $35.2 million opening to lead weekend ticket sales. The film had the unusual good fortune of being the only new national release in a session that includes holiday Mondays in Canada for its Thanksgiving as well as some Eastern states that celebrate…

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Daze of the Dead

Zombieland sprung to life to lead weekend ticket sales with an estimated $24.8 million. The session also saw good results of $12.6 million for a 3-D combo of the Toy Story films but there were lesser signs of stamina for the comic The Invention of Lying of $7.3 million and a $4.8 million tally for…

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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