Posts Tagged ‘Starship Troopers’

Just in Time for the Holidays in Seattle: Heaps of Movie Magic

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Holy cow, do we have a lot of awesomeness coming up at SIFF Cinema, which is one of the very best reasons to live in in Seattle. I was just perusing a list of upcoming screenings and events, and here are some of the highlights, my fellow cinephile Seattleites (or non-Seattle friends who’d like to pop up here for a weekend of fun):

SIFF Cinema has your Willy Wonka Smell-o-vision Action coming your way. Plus? The Labyrinth Quote-Along, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: an audience participation version of one of my favorite movies ever. You’ve got your goblins, you’ve your David Bowie as the Goblin King in tight-tight pants and huge hair, you’ve got subtitles for quotable moments, and lyrics to all the songs, all the better for you to get your Labyrinth audience-participation action on. I know some Seattle film writers I’d love to see cosplaying the Goblin King, too. You know who you are.

My teenager is hot to see Kuroneko (and can I just brag that she knew that translated to “Black Cat” before I read that bit to her … all that manga and anime is paying off!). Demons, samurai, and revenge melodrama. Oh yes, bring it on.

Perhaps the most intriguing event slated (for me anyhow) is the dual screening of The Wizard of Oz/The Dark Side of Oz. The former is exactly what it sounds like, but the latter? A merger of the film The Wizard of Oz paired with Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon. What?! Sounds trippy and fascinating … I never knew there were connections between the two in lyrics, song titles, even the timing of the music. Intrigued to check this one out.

In February we have a ton of sci-fi/action coming our way. Escape from New York paired with Dark City; Forbidden Planet, followed by a double feature of Serenity and Starship Troopers; Time Bandits paired with Galaxy Quest; and a Spaceballs Quote-Along.

That’s about more movie fun than you can shake a stick at. Between SIFF Cinema, NW Film Forum, our amazing film festival, our seven Landmark theaters, Scarecrow Video, grey and rainy days that encourage movie-watching and, of course, the best coffee you will find anywhere (sorry, Stumptown in Portland, you did not measure up to my beloved Vivace), Seattle is cinephile heaven.

Man, do I love this town.

It's Monday! If You Want the Box Office Figures, Try Yahoo

Monday, December 22nd, 1997

Next studio on our Hot Button Web tour is Disney. Ah, Disney! The sweet siren of kids entertainment. If you click here, you’ll find the whole parade of Disney kids stuff. But oddly enough, Eisner & Co. have ripped the adult movies off the site. And I don’t mean porno. I mean anything for anyone over 12. To find Disney’s other product, you have to go to, which would appear to be a site dedicated to Disney only, but with no name attached. The conspiracy continues! If you want to go international, sneak over to Disney’s international site where they are running a Starship Troopers contest right now. (Yes, it was a Sony movie in the U.S.)
Despite themselves, Disney has made one of the smartest investments in art films possible by buying Miramax. Great studio and great marketing. You’ll find the hits and Oscar contenders to be Jackie Brown and Good Will Hunting.
The freaky site of the day should tweak the nose of Disney even more than Mouse Hunt did last weekend. The Natalie Portman Countdown To Legality counts the moments — down to the second — to moment when Hollywood’s sexualization of a teen turns men from pedaphiliacs to stalkers.
E-mail works though the holidays. Try it. You’ll like it. The Whole Picture is all new for the holidays. But if you’re good boys and girls, you will unwrap each section as the appropriate holiday comes around. Too much Whole Picture at one sitting will rot your teeth.

Anastasia at the Box Office

Monday, November 24th, 1997

While Fox was busy worrying about big, bad Disney blowing down their Anastasia, they got kicked in the side of the head by Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, easily the worst film in the Top Ten, but powerful enough to drag in $17.5 million in business to take first place (Brady Rainey was the only reader to have MK:A on top, but he missed most of the rest). Anastasia opened nicely, with $15 million for second, but next week the big guns come out and hell hath no fury like a Flubber scorned. Francis Ford Coppola’s name was probably at least as important as John Grisham’s in opening The Rainmaker to the tune of $11 million for third.
The Jackal held up almost exactly as expected ($9 million for fourth), but was upstaged by the new product, as was The Little Mermaid, who got her tail kicked, dropping 34 percent to $5.8 million to swim into fifth place. Midnight in the Garden of Good And Evil did well considering the small release Warner Bros gave it, averaging over $6,300 on each of its 824 screens for a $5.2 million total and sixth place. Starship Droopers fell 50 percent again, bugging out with just $5 million and a seventh place finish. The Man Who Knew Too Little was a little smarter than expected, dropping just 33 percent in a strongly competitive marketplace, adding $3 million to the pot. Finally, IKWYDLS knows box office, making its last appearance in the Top Ten with $2.8 million for tenth after a glorious $60 million-plus run.
Want to see how my predictions faired?
This week, Box Office Preview will run on Wednesday due to the long weekend. So e-mail your predictions to me early so I can have some crow to go with my turkey on Thanksgiving night.

It's Time for Anastasia to Put Up or Shut Up

Friday, November 21st, 1997

All the whining about Disney means nothing. This weekend is wide open without another truly major release in it’s way. Next week, Alien Ressurection and Flubber blow, bite and bounce into theaters. So, this is it! That said, I think that Fox’s animated Meg Ryan will do about what last year’s real Meg release, Courage Under Fire did: $14 million for first place. Last week, the big dropper was Starship Troopers with a 55 percent plunge. This week, The Jackal should combine bad word-of-mouth with an R-rating to lose 40 percent and fall to a $9.1 million second place finish. And despite all better judgment, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation should open in third with about $9 million.
My Butt-Biter-Of-The-Week could be The Rainmaker, which I’m projecting at $7 million in fourth, even though it could do much worse. I love Coppola and even I’m not that anxious to see it. The second and last week of The Little Mermaid should survive Anastasia to the tune of a 30 percent drop into fifth with $6.9 million. The fall of Starship Troopers should slow to about 35 percent with $6.5 million for sixth.
The last of our newbies is Clint Eastwood‘s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which may suffer the same box office fate as L.A. Confidential, though the buzz isn’t as good. Warner Bros. choice to start with 800 screens should limit the box office to a seventh place finish with about $5.6 million or worse. Bean isn’t exactly the cultural phenomena here that it’s been overseas, but it should pass the $40 million mark with another $5.3 million for eighth. And in ninth and tenth, the evil twins of fall, The Devil’s Advocate and I Know What You Did Last Summer, should both hover around the $2.5 million mark.
Master Wok has already sent in his box office take. He likes Anastasia, Mortal Kombat and The Jackal to lead things. E-mail me your predictions now!

Jackal Opens at Number One

Monday, November 17th, 1997

Got a lot of challenges to my box office prognostication throne this week, but all things considered, I don’t think anyone knocked me off the hill. Aaron Simpson did predict that The Jackal would be the top picture, but he got sucked into The Hollywood Reporter’s vortex of over-expectation, guessing at a $23 million opening. Jackal ended up taking first with just $15.6 million, much closer to my $14 million guess. Starship Troopers dropped off the face of the earth, losing 55 percent in week two to take second with $10.2 million. In third, The Little Mermaid did as Master Wok predicted, taking in $10.2 million. Marc Andreyko‘s prediction that Mermaid would come in first was under the sea.
The middle of the chart held no surprises with Bean coming fourth with $8 million. The Man Who Knew Too Little did too little business: just $4.7 million for fifth. The Horror Movie Formerly Known As “From The Makers Of Scream” (IKWYDLS) continued at a normal pace, slicing another $4.1 million off the box office pig for sixth. The Devil’s Advocate did $3.6 million for seventh. And Red Corner, about China and not a neighborhood in hell, grabbed $2.6 million for eighth.
My first surprise was that Mad City dropped so rapidly — more than 50 percent to disappear from the Top Ten in just its second week. Boogie Nights took ninth with a 33 percent drop to $2.6 million. And Eve’s Bayou, the little movie that could, stayed in the picture with $2.5 million for tenth.
One of the most contested of my predictions, a weak opening for One Night Stand, came true. The film ended up with just over 400 screens and not the 800 originally reported, probably due to multi-plexes finding room for Starship Troopers and three big new films. Soft reviews would seem likely to make this poor showing a trend for ONS’s future. New Line must be hoping that Mortal Kombat: Annihilation opens big, because if they thought the reviews for ONS were bad, just wait for these!
Any box office questions? E-mail them to me.

Sony Takes the BO Lead

Saturday, November 15th, 1997

Sony Pictures (a.k.a. Columbia/Tri-Star) has broken the box office, passing the previous record of $1.2 billion in domestic grosses for one year. The studio hit the record high six weeks earlier in the year than the previous record-holder, Disney, leading the box office pack for the first time in over 25 years. How’d they do it? Bugs! Men In Black‘s aliens were pretty buglike. Julia Roberts went buggy in My Best Friend’s Wedding. And Starship Troopers proves that bugs and tight pants mix just fine. Just one fly in Sony’s ointment. The run of hits is the product of the past administration and the deja-vu will continue until next Memorial Day Weekend’s release of Godzilla. Well, at least next year’s monster is a reptile. Thank goodness for evolution.
Former b.o. king, Walt Disney Studios, is going through its next evolution. Studio chief Joe Roth says that the studio will cut back to 22 releases next year after putting 40 flicks in theaters this year. By 1999, he says Disney will release only 15 films. As Roth told The Hollywood Reporter, “You have to make your shots count.” All of this would seem to make a lot of sense since no matter how cheaply you make a film, releasing the film costs at least $20 million and close to $40 million on average these days. This year, that’s about $1.2 Billion (with a capital “B”) out of Disney’s pocket before you even pay for the movies! If they cut 25 films from the schedule, saving $800 million, even missing one Men In Black-size hit and a few other moderate hits would leave the studio in better financial shape than they’re in now.
Finally, studio-moguls-to-be, Charlie Sheen and Bret Michaels, have started production on No Code of Conduct, their latest venture as Sheen/Michaels Productions (The first was a cheesecake calendar). Michaels will direct the film that he and Charlie wrote, with Charlie acting his butt off as a former vice cop. How original! One novel thing. The boys will be served legal papers in a few days that claim they refused to make good on their oral contract with Alexander Tabrizi and Anthony Esposito, a couple of producers who helped initiate the project on this, their maiden voyage.
Anything on your mind? Don’t be shy, e-mail me.

Predicting the Box Office Gets Tough

Friday, November 14th, 1997

This weekend is the hardest I’ve had to predict in quite a long time. Why? Big stars, low want-to-see. The Jackal features Bruce Willis and Richard Gere, but there’s less buzz around than in a decaf latte. Disney hasn’t had big results from its re-releases since they became so video friendly, but The Little Mermaid may be special. Or not. And Bill Murray is far from a guaranteed opener in a film that isn’t as easily defined as his last hit, Groundhog Day.
So here’s my take. Starship Troopers drops just 20 percent to $17.6 million, taking first for a second week. The Jackal opens with a nice, but not overwhelming $14 million for second. The Little Mermaid surfs to a third place finish with about $12 million. Bean flatulates to the tune of $9.6 million, dropping 25 percent for fourth. Bill Murray’s The Man Who Knew Too Little will stay undercover with a soft $8.5 million for fifth.
The Second Five should all be repeat visitors, with New Line’s One Night Stand opening at only 700 screens. I Know What You Did Last Summer slices another $4.2 million — a 35 percent drop — for sixth. Also dropping about 35 percent should be The Devil’s Advocate ($3.3 million for seventh) and Red Corner ($3.2 million in eighth). Mad City should make its second and last Top Ten appearance in ninth with a 25 percent drop to $3.5 million. And Hot Button fave Boogie Nights should dance into 10th with a 20 percent drop to $3.1 million. Trailing closely should be surprise hit Eve’s Bayou with about $2.6 million.
And make sure to go to the movies this weekend, because the holiday onslaught will start burying you next week with Clint Eastwood’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Anastasia, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation and Francis Ford Coppola’s Grisham entry, The Rainmaker. And your Thanksgiving plans will probably include Flubber or Alien Resurrection or both.
Don’t think I’ve pegged this weekend’s results? Let’s see your Top Ten. If you beat me you will … “Win David Poland’s Money!” Well, no, but I might tell our readers about it.

The Big Noise Starts this Weekend with Starship Troopers

Friday, November 7th, 1997

Twenty-five million is my estimate. A big number, but doable. Even surpassable. With all the people going to genre movies (see slots three, five and seven), the stage is set for this one, by far the biggest, brashest entry in the category since Men In Black last July. There are some worries about Bean stealing some of Troopers’ opening thunder, but I see these as separate audiences. I think Bean will open around $10 million, with longer legs than Troopers, but a far less explosive impact.
The numbers amongst the holdovers should make them look a bit like leftovers. With 30 percent drops, look for I Know What You Did Last Summer to pass the $50 million mark with $6.6 million, Red Corner to take fourth with $5.2 million, and The Devil’s Advocate to hit fifth, also with about $5.2 million.
Boogie Nights should drop modestly (gambling on you guys again), about 20 percent to $3.7 million for sixth place. Seven Years In Tibet finally hits the seventh slot with a 30 percent drop to $2.3 million. Fairy Tale: A Running Gag should drop about 25 percent to $2.2 million for eighth spot. Kiss The Girls may finally get slashed with a 40 percent drop to $2.1 million for ninth. And Gattaca may actually pass the magical $10 million mark adding another $1.6 million to it’s take for tenth.
Think you have a clearer view of the future? E-mail me.

BOO-gie Nights is Here!

Friday, October 31st, 1997

(Happy Halloween, kids!) Go now, before you get distracted by Starship Troopers and The Little Mermaid, ’cause it’s gonna happen. I wish that I could say that Paul Thomas Anderson‘s feel-good, feel-all epic will take Number One with $20 million, but $10 – $11 million seems a lot more likely. (We’ll have to wait for Tarantino’s Jackie Brown to get a $20 million weekend out of a ’70s flick).
The rest of the line-up should be pretty familiar by now, despite two other wide openings. IKWYDLS (I’m tired of all those words!), the summer slasher, should pass the $40 million mark with another $8.75 million this weekend. Al & Keanu look to scare up another $7.66 million in The Devil’s Advocate. Last week, there was a $5 million gap between Devil’s second place showing and Kiss The Girls’s third place finish. This week, it should be about $4.3 million, with Morgan Freeman kissing $3.34 million for fifth, leaving a gaping hole for Paramount’s grossly undersold Switchback to take fourth place with around $5 million.
All the talk about China may hurt Seven Years in Tibet by way of saturation, but look for a sixth place finish with a 30 percent drop-off to about $3.3 million. Richard Gere should be back-to-back with Brad with Red Corner, which is good for copy and bad for business. It’s an oppressive seventh place open with about $3 million. Gattaca stays flat-aca with a 35 percent drop to about $2.8 million for eighth. Fairy Tale tails off 30 percent to $2.5 million for ninth . And In & Out is in one last time with $2.1 million, pushing the $60 million mark overall.
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