Sunday, December 31, 2006

Box Office Report: 12-31-06

Dude here again, with the last box office weekend of the year. Indeed, it has been a crazy year. A year that saw Big Momma top the charts, and Snakes on Planes, and Pirates breaking every conceivable record possible, and lots of big openings and steep drop offs. And I reported on most of these. (There was a long stretch when I wasn't). But what's important to know is that while there were a lot of numbers, there was also a lot of love.

This weekend audiences stuck with the same releases. A few newcomers thrown into the mix, but overall kind of like a rehash. This is just for the Friday through Sunday weekend, not for the four day holiday weekend. In order to report that, I would have to recover mighty quick from my New Year's hangover, and I'm not gonna lie to you, that ain't happenin'. Let's go to the numbers, shall we? (All in millions, remember, and these are the studio estimates, the actuals will be available sometime later this week).

1. Night At The Museum (Fox) - $37.8, 3768 screens, week 2, $116.855 total

2. The Pursuit of Happyness (Sony) - $19.3, 2870 screens, week 3, $98.3 total

3. Dreamgirls (Par/DW)- $15.5, 852 screens, week 4, $38.46 total

4. Charlotte's Web (Par) - $12.0, 3745 screens, week 3, $52.858 total

5. Rocky Balboa (MGM)- $11.35, 3019 screens, week 2, $48.82 total

6. The Good Shepherd (Uni) - $11.245, 2218 screens, week 2, $35.3 total

7. Eragon (Fox) - $8.475, 2985 screens, week 3, $56.689 total

8. We Are Marshall (WB) - $8.0, 2606 screens, week 2, $25.06 total

9. Happy Feet (WB) - $7.8, 2565 screens, week 7, $176.15 total

10. The Holiday (Sony) - $6.78, 2698 screens, week 4, $50.0 total

Ok, those are the numbers, but what do they mean? Well, it means that last week I was right when I said that everything would have a nice holiday boost. Everything is making a large amount of money, which is nice. Good for Dreamgirls for making number 3 there. There's nothing to really analyze about it. People had free time and went to the movies. The choice is clear.

Below the radar, two of my favorite/best of the year flicks opened up. Children of Men opened on 16 screens, to the tune of $532,000, bringing it's grand total since Monday to $1,114,000. And Pan's Labyrinth opened on 17 screens and pulled in $595,000. It had the highest per screen average of the weekend, pulling in $35,000. And have I mentioned that both movies are utterly fantastic?

And in the "just because it's there and because I can" series: Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan took in $900,000 on 399 screens, bringing it's grand total to $125,931,000 in 9 weeks

There you have my break down. Next week looks to bring around more of the same numbers and top movies, along with the additional releases of crappy movies, and the expansion of "awards season" movies. Man, I love this business.

Until next weekend.... Happy New Year everybody! Don't get too wasted, and remember there's no shame in taking a cab.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Kickin Back With A Holiday Classic

Ahhh, the Happy Hannukwanzmas season. It's a time of great stress, filled with good timeries and joyous festivities. Mostly involving alcohol. Sometimes gifts are involved.

Anyway, it's been a crazy couple of weeks out here in La La land, and I apologize for my lack of posts. I finally got work, and that's been kicking my ass. It's nothing glamorous at all, but it's fun and vaguely inspiring at the moment, if you can believe it.

I have seen some flicks lately that I need to get some reviews up, but let me give you the ultra short version regarding Apocalypto: It's horrible. I couldn't believe it. I also caught Casino Royale again, and I must say that movie kicks a lot of ass. I'll have my Top Ten of the year soon, because I'm arrogant and I love letting it be known what I think of movies and how I rank them. But I have to see a few more movies first that I think are contenders for my affection, so I shall give them their fair share.

So, it being my predominant holiday of Xmas, I decided I'd offer some fun holiday movie traditions I have. There's only one, really. Although if I were still in New Jersey, I feel that Becca and I would be sitting down to enjoy Elf right about now.

But there's only one real Xmas movie that towers over all. I speak naturally of DIE HARD!!!

Die Hard kicks an obscene amount of ass, as it manages to become an across the board holiday favorite. Sure, you may tire of the overabundance of Christian decorations, and the obnoxious way cashiers and barristas insist on saying "Happy Holidays" everywhere. But there's no denying how people of all faiths can put their support and love behind that loveable rascal John McClane.

Quite possibly the only cool advantage to staying out here in LA for Xmas is that I get to celebrate it so close to Nakatomi plaza. I actually got to go there the other day, and seeing it all decked out for the holiday makes me want to renact scenes in the lobby. (I mean I'd do it it if I wouldn't get arrested, although THAT would be something worth getting arrested for. Along with soliciting myself to PAc Man fetishists for cash).

So Merry Xmas everybody. And Yippee kay yay, motherfuckers!

Oh, and may your Boxing Day be the boxiest.

Box Office Report: Xmas Eve Edition

Dude here again, with some abbreviated weekend numbers for the holiday weekend. I'm bogged down with all my Decemberween festivities, so I'm sorry this isn't that exciting. Plus there are some films opening up tomorrow, on Xmas day. So all the numbers are going to be a little weird this week.

This weekend audiences chose Ben Stiller and an evening of history defeated all others, making twice as much as the number 2 film. Rocky also attracted a lot of people, but a lot of people ignored my buddy Matthew McConaughey and his new movie. It had heart. And possibly a robot. And sideburns. Let's go to the numbers, shall we? (All in millions, remember, and these are the studio estimates, the actuals will be available sometime later this week).

1. Night At The Museum (Fox) - $30.8, 3685 screens, week 1, $30.8 total

2. The Pursuit of Happyness (Sony) - $15.0, 2863 screens, week 2, $53.287 total

3. Rocky Balboa (MGM)- $12.5, 3017 screens, week 1, $22.2 total

4. The Good Shepherd (Uni) - $9.979, 2215 screens, week 1, $9.979 total

5. Charlotte's Web (Par) - $8.0, 3728 screens, week 2, $26.8 total

6. Eragon (Fox) - $7.15, 3030 screens, week 2, $37.6 total

7. We Are Marshall (WB) - $6.6, 2606 screens, week 1, $7.7 total

8. Happy Feet (WB) - $5.1, 2565 screens, week 6, $159.1 total

9. The Holiday (Sony) - $5.0, 2635 screens, week 3, $35.09 total

10. The Nativity Story (NL)- $4.65, 1824 screens, week 4, $31.3 total

Ok, those are the numbers, but what do they mean? Well, I don't really have time to get into it all right now. I apologize, but there's a baked brie in the oven that's about ready to explode. With a lot of people on vacation for the holidays, everything will make a fair amount of money over the holidays, and it looks like Night at the Museum stands to make the most. Charlotte's Web held fast, and will rake in money. Everything else, there aren't very exciting numbers. They'll enjoy a post holiday boost, but will ultimately disappoint.

Below the radar, Letters From Iwo Jima, Clint Eastwood's second WWII film in three months, opened on 5 screens, taking in $76,500. Also, Curse of the Golden Flower, with Chow Yun Fat, opened up on 60 screens to take in $489,000.

And in the "just because it's there and because I can" series:The Queen took in $433,000 on 302 screens, bringing it's grand total to $26,471,000 in 13 weeks

There you have my break down. A few things are opening up throughout the week, but nothing large, mostly awards consideration movies, including Pan's Labyrinth which looks awesome.

Until Next Weekend...

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Box Office Report 12-17-06

Dude here again, with one more in a long series of weekly box office numbers. Someday, I will publish volumes of these. Someday, I will be famous. In a small bookstore, many years from now, a small boy will discover my words. They will profoundly impact his life. He will grow up, and convince many others to see these words. He will become a great leader. All because of my amazing words.

This week, I take back what I said about last week, as there doesn't seem to be a dragon in the number one film. My money was on the dragon. Metaphorically. (Literally, my money went to the Apocalypto fiasco). But audiences chose heartwarming and trusted over spectacle and nonsense. Let's go to the numbers, shall we? (All in millions, remember, and these are the studio estimates, the actuals will be available on Monday).

1. The Pursuit of Happyness (Sony) - $27.0, 2852 screens, week 1, $27.0 total

2. Eragon (Fox) - $23.45, 3020 screens, week 1, $23.45 total

3. Charlotte's Web (Par) - $12.0, 3566 screens, week 1, $12.0 total

4. Happy Feet (WB) - $8.5, 3335 screens, week 5, $149.4 total

5. The Holiday (Sony) - $8.5, 2614 screens, week 2, $25.3 total

6. Apocalypto (BV)- $7.7, 2465 screens, week 2, $27.9 total

7. Blood Diamond (WB) - $6.27, 1910 screens, week 2, $18.39 total

8. Casino Royale (Sony/MGM) - $5.7, 2437 screens, week 5, $137.57 total

9. The Nativity Story (NL)- $4.7, 2574 screens, week 3, $23.056 total

10. Unaccompanied Minors (WB) - $3.675, 2775 screens, week 2, $10.2 total

Ok, those are the numbers, but what do they mean? Well, if you're Will Smith, it means you can do no wrong. People will flock to see you in anything, dude. Sci-Fi robot movies, romantic comedies, heartwarming tales "Inspired by true events" , the man can do it all. And this weekend proved it, as The Pursuit of Happyness took in quite a lot of money. This is like Departed numbers. More money than a movie like this would ever do if it didn't have the star power.

If you're Eragon, you had an impressive debut. I guess Eragon is based on a book that a lot of people have read. It has a dragon in it. It got a lot of bad reviews. I'm not sure if it will sustain well over the holiday season. It might. Time will tell.

If you're Charlotte's Web, you could have done better. Let's be honest. But it looks like a heartwarming movie, and it's getting the best reviews out of the top three new releases. Let that sink in. The adaptation of the beloved children's book failed to capture the crowd's attention this weekend. However, I bet it will eventually turn a nice coin in the end.

Everything else dropped, but Blood Diamond dropped 27% from last week, so there could still be a bit of interest for this film. Stranger things have happened. On the other hand, Apocalypto dropped 48%, which I think is grand, because this was seriously one of the dumber movies I've seen lately. Seriously. I'm getting angry thinking about it.

Ok, I've calmed down now.

Below the radar, the highly anticipated Dreamgirls opened up on 3 screens, taking in $360,000, with a healthy per screen average of $120,000. Slightly skewing these numbers, however, is the fact that this special "pre-release engagement" is charging $25 per ticket for these shows. With the purchase of this ticket, you get a special commemorative program, or some nonsense. Still, these locations making $120,000 on people willing to pay that much to see a movie is pretty impressive.

Also, The Good German, the latest Steven Soderbergh/George Clooney collaboration, opened on 5 screens to take in $78,600. Not bad. I must say, though, that more people should see this movie. I haven't seen it yet, and I don't know if it's any good, but my roommate Dan and my friend Brian are extras in it. As soldiers. In fact you can see Brian in the preview. There's a brief shot of soldiers marching in a parade. It you freeze frame that brief shot, Brian's the soldier who's mad short. Just giving my friends a little credit.

And in the "just because it's there and because I can" series: Shut Up and Sing, the Dixie Chicks documentary, took in $47,000 on 71 screens, bringing it's grand total to $1,006,000 in 8 weeks

There you have my break down. Next week, we get a whole bunch of new movies. One of them has McConaughey. Sans dragon, though. Plus the return of Rocky. And the one with the museum. And I'm sure another one.

Until next weekend....

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Monday, December 11, 2006

Box Office Report 12-11-06

Dude here again, fighting difficult computers and dodgy internet service, all in an attempt to report the weekend box office numbers. I do it out of love, not money. A love of reading numbers and typing them up in a humorous fashion. And making witty asides about what they mean in the larger picture of an unloving and uncaring Hollywood.

This week, I actually have to do some work and move the numbers around a little bit. It's taxing, sure, but it's what I do. Happy Feet can't remain number one forever. Let's go to the numbers, shall we? (All in millions, remember, and these are the studio estimates, the actuals will be available on Monday).

1. Apocalypto (BV)- $14.166, 2465 screens, week 1, $14.166 total

2. The Holiday (Sony) - $13.5, 2610 screens, week 1, $13.5 total

3. Happy Feet (WB) - $12.7, 3650 screens, week 4, $137.7 total

4. Casino Royale (Sony/MGM) - $8.8, 3161 screens, week 4, $128.89 total

5. Blood Diamond (WB) - $8.5, 1910 screens, week 1, $8.5 total

6. Unaccompanied Minors (WB) - $6.2, 2775 screens, week 1, $6.2 total

7. Deja Vu (BV) - $6.0, 2742 screens, week 3, $53.0 total

8. The Nativity Story (NL)- $5.575, 3083 screens, week 2, $15.769 total

9. Deck The Halls (Fox) - $3.9, 2766 screens, week 3, $30.076 total

10. Santa Clause 3 (Disney) - $3.3, 2226 screens, week 6, $77.2 total

Ok, those are the numbers, but what do they mean? Well, if you're Mel Gibson, you can sort of breathe a sigh of relief. Sort of. At least don't go celebrating in Malibu with some tequila. (Couldn't resist that one). Apocalypto managed to squeak by The Holiday and take the top spot for the weekend. Pretty impressive for a subtitled movie that I've heard is almost a snuff film... Kind of like Gibson's last directorial effort, the one with the Jesus. (As my dad likes to call it).

If you're The Holiday, you didn't quite come in first, but I have a feeling that it will continue to perform strongly through the holiday season, as it seems to be nice, warm and fuzzy. People like fuzzy romantic movies. I'm not one of them. But I've heard that some people enjoy these films.

Alright, so I wanna see The Holiday. Sue me, I've got a Kate WInslet thing. And on some days a Jude Law thing.

If you're Blood Diamond, you didn't do so well. Perhaps people weren't into the idea of a movie about the morals involved with getting diamonds from the mines in Africa to your girlfriend's finger. Or perhaps (like me) you felt that Leo's accent was pretty laughable, and couldn't take the idea of two hours of it. Either way, the film failed to perform. There's still hope for making more if awards are kindly to the film, but I don't see that happening.

If you're Unaccompanied Minors, you managed to take in a little bit of money. I doubt it will holdover. However,
if it performed less, then the last four movies in the top ten would all be Christmas themed films. As it stands, only the last three are Xmas related.

It's the little things in life that make it worthwhile, ya know?

Below the radar, a movie opened up called Screamers. It took in $23,000 on 4 screens. This Screamers, however, is not the kickass one with Peter Weller about the underground robots. Oh well.

And in the "just because it's there and because I can" series: Babel took in $458,900 on 373 screens, bringing it's grand total to $17,607,000 in 7 weeks

There you have my not so wonderful break down. Next week a whole lot more movies are coming out, one of which will probably take over the #1 spot. I have a sneaking suspicion that it might involve a dragon. Call it a hunch.

Until next weekend....

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I still don't know if I like Babel yet.

Babel. The latest film from director Alejandro González Iñárritu and writer Guillermo Arriaga (the team behind Amores Perros and 21 Grams) tells another intertwined tale of bleak narrative threads. This film centers on the principles involved in a shooting in Morocco. Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett are an American couple on a tour bus. They are depressed and barely holding on due to the SIDS related death of their child. They are trying to get away and reconnect, but the trip isn't working. When all of a sudden, a bullet cracks the window of the bus where Blanchett sits. Pitt then tries desperately to save her in this foreign land.

In California, Pitt and Blanchett's surviving children (one of whom is played by a Fanning) are under the care of their maid Amelia (Adriana Barraza). Amelia's son is getting married, and she wants to go to Mexico to be there for it. But with the shooting and what not, she has to tend to the children. After exhausting every possible option (save for the last resort option which would involve snakes on aircraft) she decides to bring the kids across the border, driven by her nephew Gael Garcia Bernal.

And there's also the story of the mountain children, who were simply learning how to shoot a rifle to protect their goats from jackyls. Their consequences.

Oh, and then there's the story of Chieko (Rinko Kikuchi), a deaf-mute Japanese girl, who's involvement with the other story threads is kind of shaky at best, but then again that could be part of the point.

Here's the thing, from a technical point of view, the movie is VERY good. The acting is splendid, even if Brad Pitt spends most his segments crying. (And there's serious Oscar talk about this man). The best is Rinko Kikuchi as the deaf mute. I thought I heard somewhere that she is actually deaf and mute, but found out that I was misinformed. I found myself wanting to watch a movie about her, and not just because she's naked for a fair portion of her story.

It's beautifully shot by Rodrigo Prieto (Brokeback Mountain, 21 Grams), and the music works perfectly.

And yet, it doesn't quite work as a whole. There doesn't seem to be a driving force behind any of these events. As a result, some of the scenes feel uneven, especially with the fragmented narrative, which doesn't work nearly as well as the puzzle pieces of 21 Grams. (Even though if 21 Grams were to run linearly, it, too, wouldn't add up to much more than bleak melodrama).

Take what you will of this half hearted review. For what it's worth, like I said, everything is pretty good. It doesn't feel like you're being preached too, and there are certainly are compelling moments. But not all the moments add up to a satisfying whole. I'm sure many will disagree with me, and tell me how I didn't get it. (I actually had flashbacks to my senior year film studies course, talking about globalized filmmaking, and thought I could write a good paper about this if I cared enough.) But that doesn't matter. It should have made me feel more.

So I still don't know if it's a good movie or not. Certainly well done, and worth it for Rinko Kikuchi alone it should be seen. But this is a movie I feel has been over hyped by Oscar bloggers who feel hip in finding it so damn good.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Which Kevin Smith movie are you?

I'm not surprised.

Which Kevin Smith Movie Are You? by jennablue! textarea>

Mel, Rip, and me

I am now forever pissed that I couldn't get my mug shot to look like this.

Best of luck, Rip. I would have loved to been the arresting officer, and get some of his patent vocal abuse.

Oh, speaking of segue, I made it into Defamer's Privacy Watch! I wrote the bit about the Crab Man!

Some Xmas cheer

Hey, I love that whole Michael Richards racist tirade as much as the next guy. And I love Xmas. And I love embedding video of You Tube things I think are funny, which sometimes (and often) parody recent events in the popular culture to varying degrees of success.

And this manages all three.

Is it 2007 yet?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I got your Wii beat

All you high tech kids can have fun with your interactive Wii system.

Me, I'm kickin it "Old School".

Thanks to Dan, for the cool birthday treat.

The LA Auto Show

Ahhh, there's nothing to get the testosterone flowing like a giant room full of cars. Lots of cars. Cars that you can climb into and play around in, and make stupid noises pretending that you're driving them.

This is me in front of the new Dodge Challenger. It looks like the General Lee. I want one.

I must say, this and the Charger impressed me. They're kinda badass.

On a side note, I'm impressed with the increasing models becoming available as Hybrids. The Hydrogen powered cars are looking pretty solid to boot.

But none look as cool as my Serenity.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Box Office Report: 12-3-06

Dude here again, in a quest to report numbers that matter to Hollywood bean counters but have no impact on anything else. Seriously, if a movie succeeds or fails, what impact does it bear on you? Unless you had a bet with someone, but there are more fun things to bet on. For instance, if you're in a cold location (with freezing temperatures) you could put a cup of water outside, and one in the freezer, and hold bets on which will freeze first. It's fun!

This week, we have a few newcomers that made absolutely no impact whatsoever upon release, which could mean a few things. Let's go to the numbers, shall we? (All in millions, remember, and these are the studio estimates, the actuals will be available on Monday).

1. Happy Feet (WB) - $17.0, 3804 screens, week 3, $121.0 total

2. Casino Royale (Sony/MGM) - $15.1, 3386 screens, week 1, $115.86 total

3. Deja Vu (BV) - $11.0, 3108 screens, week 2, $44.09 total

4. The Nativity Story (NL)- $8.0, 3183 screens, week 1, $8.0 total

5. Deck The Halls (Fox) - $6.65, 3205 screens, week 2, $24.991 total

6. Santa Clause 3 (Disney) - $5.0, 2617 screens, week 5, $73.15 total

7. Borat (Fox) - $4.8, 2237 screens, week 5, $116.3 total

8. Turistas (Fox Atomic) - $3.5, 1570 screens, week 1, $3.5 total

9. Stranger Than Fiction (Sony)- $3.4, 1804 screens, week 4, $36.955 total

10. National Lampoon's Van Wilder: The RIse of Taj (MGM) - $2.295, 1979 screens, week 1, $2.295 total

Ok, those are the numbers, but what do they mean? Well, if you're me, it means that the cutting and pasting I do from week to week is less so, as I haven't changed those top 2 spots in 3 weeks. I'm a lazy man, you see.

If you're The Nativity Story, you probably should have had more incessant beatings and blood. Pulling in perhaps 10% of the opening gross for the movie of Jesus' death, the story of his birth failed to attract a large audience. This throws a wrench into the recent mindset that religious themed films can do no wrong. Poor reviews didn't help either. It's possible that the closer it gets to Christmas, the film could keep posting solid numbers, but I don't see that happening.

If you're Turistas. you should feel shame. Ok, that's kind of harsh. Nonetheless, the "torture porn" film (which I'm told was pretty good, from someone I trust) failed to draw the numbers of similarly toned Hostel, Saw 3, and The Texas Chainsaw prequel. Perhaps people are growing tired of excessive gore and torture. I dn't think I'm one of those people, though.

If you're The Rise Of Taj, you should just be happy Kal Penn said yes. Taj follows the recent glut of R-rated comedies that haven't lived up to any expectations, and barely made any coin. (Let's go to Prison, Tenacious D), of which I blame Borat. In fact, they should have a team up, like Alien Vs. Predator. Borat Vs. Taj.There's the movie. Hollywood, I'll take cash, check or groceries.

Below the radar, a motion picture with Morgan Freeman called 10 Items Or Less opened up on 15 screens taking in $40,200 for the weekend.

And in the "just because it's there and because I can" series: Shortbus took in $40,900 on 27 screens, bringing it's grand total to $1,809,000 in 9 weeks

There you have my not so wonderful break down. Next week a whole lot of movies are coming out, one of which will probably attract more viewers than Happy Feet and take over the #1 spot. And that means next week I'll have to do more work on the list. Damn you, Hollywood.

Until next weekend....