Sunday, February 25, 2007

Box Office Report: 2-25-07

Dude here again, coming at you with an exciting set of numbers on this lovely Oscar weekend. Out here in kinda cloudy California, you'd think God was coming to town, this place is a madhouse. Traffic is nonsense, and people are dressing up in shiny outfits. I'm going to a party tonight that's going to be far more ornate than any Super Bowl party I've attended. People love these Oscars. Except me, because they caused me a lot of hassle on Friday, when all I was trying to do was work, and deliver something to the building with the pretty girl I don't have the cajones to ask out. Stupid Oscars.

This weekend, I can tell you with great authority that the top films this week will NOT receive any Oscars tonight, mainly because they came out this year, but also because they're not very good. (Not that THAT seems to matter to Academy members, given the lack of recognition for Children of Men). But I digress. 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. Just to prove me wrong).

1. Ghost Rider (Sony) - $19.7, 3620 screens, week 2, $78.66 total

2. The Number 23 (NL) - $15.1, 2759 screens, week 1, $15.1 total

3. Bridge to Terabithia (BV) - $13.57, 3139 screens, week 2, $46.2 total

4. Reno 911!: Miami (Fox) - $10.4, 2702 screens, week 1, $10.4 total

5. Norbit (DW) - $9.7, 3145 screens, week 3, $74.67 total

6. Music and Lyrics (WB) - $8.0, 2955 screens, week 2, $32.06 total

7. Breach (Uni) - $6.159, 1493 screens, week 2, $20.468 total

8. Tyler Perry's Daddy's Little Girls (LG)- $5.25, 2111 screens, week 2, $25.567 total

9. The Astronaut Farmer (WB)- $4.5, 2155 screens, week 1, $4.5 total

10. Amazing Grace (IDP) - $4.3, 791 screens, week 1, $4.3 total

Ok, those are the numbers, but what do they mean? Well, it means that you just can't stop the Ghost Rider. Sure, you can slow him down (to the tune of almost 57% less than last week), but he's still the Duke, A number 1.

The news of Ghost Rider taking the top spot with $19 million and change is bad news for New Line, where I envision every executive would have gotten something shiny had The Number 23 opened with $23 million. It did not achieve this feat (although, if it tanks horribly in the next week, it still could just gross that much), but came in second. Respectable, but I'm sure this means that people are going to insist Jim Carrey stick with comedies (which he shouldn't) and that Joel Schumacher should stop making movies. (I'm indifferent on this, mainly because I feel that the screenwriter of Batman and Robin is to blame, and he should have his Oscar taken away from him on general principle).

Reno 911: Miami took in a respectable amount, but will not be a huge shock to the industry, thus sparing me the torture that would have been "Mind of Mencia: The Movie". Still, I like the Reno guys, and I wish the movie well in the following weeks, in the hopes it gets repeat viewers. (Despite the fact that this movie has cult classic written all over it).

The Astronaut Farmer took in a small amount, but it was the best reviewed flick of the week, so if quality and money have an inverse proportion, then I guess anyone could have seen this coming from a mile away. (Much like the ending of the film, which is given away in the trailers). And Amazing Grace took the tenth spot. What is Amazing Grace? It's a British film, I think. It's got the guy who played Mr. Fantastic Reed Richards. (You try spelling his name), and it's a landmark case in Britain, or something. I don't know, but it took in an impressive amount of money for something I had no idea existed. So, there's surprises for us all, huh?

Wow, I learned something today!

And in the "Because It's There" series: Children of Men took in $217,000 on 154 screens, bringing it's grand total to $34,924,000 in 9 weeks.

There you have my break down. Next week, we get Zodiac, which looks pretty cool considering it's Fincher, and he's a solid fellow. But more importantly, we are that much closer to the release of 300, which will OWN ALL. I have spoken.

Until next weekend....

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Box Office Report: 2-18-07

Dude here again. After recovering from the disturbing shock of last week's Norbit #1 (and the subsequent dollars it made while I sit here clipping coupons and counting pennies) , I am finally prepared to bring you some more numbers of many new releases. And I do it a day early, too, given that it's a three day weekend.

This weekend, though, the news isn't that much greater. We also had five movies open in wide release, covering a wide variety of genres and audiences. And yet, Ghost Rider still took in an obscene amount of money. Even more than Norbit did last week. 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, then Tuesday with the 4-day totals for aforementioned holiday weekend. Just to prove me wrong).

1. Ghost Rider (Sony) - $44.5, 3619 screens, week 1, $44.5 total

2. Bridge to Terabithia (BV) - $22.075, 3139 screens, week 1, $22.075 total

3. Norbit (DW) - $16.8, 3138 screens, week 2, $58.88 total

4. Music and Lyrics (WB) - $14.0, 2955 screens, week 1, $19.5 total (Wed opening)

5. Tyler Perry's Daddy's Little Girls (LG)- $12.1, 2111 screens, week 1, $17.79 total (Wed opening)

6. Breach (Uni) - $10.37, 1489 screens, week 1, $10.37 total

7. Hannibal Rising (MGM) - $5.465, 3003 screens, week 2, $22.1 total

8. Because I Said So (Uni) - $4.99, 2446 screens, week 3, $33.2 total

9. The Messengers (ScrGems)- $3.8, 2183 screens, week 3, $30.5 total

10. Night At The Museum (Fox) - $3.7, 2042 screens, week 9, $237.333 total

Ok, those are the numbers, but what do they mean? Well, it means that no matter how bad a film looks in the trailers, people will pay exorbitant amounts of money to see the crap. Seriously. Last week Norbit, this week Ghost Rider takes in $44 million?!?! While I'm happy that a comic book movie featuring a character not THAT familiar with most people took in money (as it will definitely allow future obscure characters to come to the big screen), this movie looks just plain bad. I blame the marketing once again. But anyway, I'd expect a very large drop off next week for this one.

Bridge to Terabithia took in an impressive $22 million this weekend in a nice bit of counter-programming. I expect this will tie into a lot of school vacations, and parents will take children to see it because it's based on a book most of the parents read a long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away), as I once did. Haven't seen the movie yet, but I have heard that the film is not what it's being marketed as, and it has a lot more heart, and deals with a lot of serious issues that the fantasy-laden ads would never lead you to believe. It sounds like a PG Pan's Labyrinth, when I put it like that.

Tyler Perry's Daddy's Little Girls and Music and Lyrics both opened on Wednesday to get a head start on the weekend (and in Music's case, to provide a cute date movie for Valentines all over.. stupid holiday) and managed to pull in some decent numbers. However, I think the audience for Tyler Perry movies only come out in droves when his Madea character is involved, which film does not seem to have, given that this film took in significantly less than previous Perry outings.. But it does have Lou Gossett Jr, and he's just solid all around.
Oh, and Music and Lyrics is actually quite decent for a romantic comedy, and worth it for Hugh Grant alone.

And now we come to Breach, a film I was supposed to see last week but got stuck in lots of traffic, and then a slight run-in with Johnny Law prevented me from doing so. (Oh, and this is how I'm informing the staff why they haven't gotten my review for it yet. Been a helluva week, guys, sorry.) The spy thriller took in $10 million, which is pretty good for a spy thriller, and it's even more impressive that it wasn't thinned from the herd with the other releases this week.

And in the "Because It's There" series: The Departed took in $350,000 on 320 screens, bringing it's grand total to $131,441,000 in 20 weeks. (What makes this more impressive is that the film was released on DVD this week, and it STILL took in this much).

There you have my break down. Next week, we get an unfunny Jim Carrey, who will hopefully provide me with a series of "23" jokes depending on how much money it pulls in (I'm hoping for $23 million, or $2.3, or $230 million, or something just shy of either number). And we also get a bunch of funny fake cops, uncensored, which should be a fun time, even if the movie is just a variation on Police Academy 5 (my personal favorite of the bunch).

Until next weekend....

Friday, February 16, 2007

Appy Polly Logies

I did a dick move the other day. By which I mean I acted in a rude, selfish manner to a friend. Not that I managed to make my wang jiggle. (It does that on it's own).

Here's the situation: A long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away...) I borrowed my friend Rob's copy of "Story", the screenwriting tome carried by many professionals and amateurs alike in this town. It was also prominently featured in the motion picture Adaptation, where the wonderful Brian Cox portrayed the real life author Robert McKee. (Cox would a few months later surprise us all, and kick a fair amount of ass in X2: X-Men United. There's no point in mentioning that aside from pointing out how much ass X2 kicks. Seriously).

Where was I? Oh yeah, so Rob lends me his copy of the book, and then he moves back to New York. I naturally never gave him the book back. I began reading it, when Rob began calling me to ask for it back. Because I'm a lazy man, this takes me a supremely long time. Because I am a poor man, I send it the cheapest, slowest way possible, when I finally DID get around to sending it.

Now, here's the thing, Rob and I have a long tradition of inscribing messages to one another in books, you know, for the ages. And his copy of Story was to be no exception to this rule. However, I decided to write it in the voice of Robert McKee, letting Rob know that he is a no-talent hack and will never make it anywhere in this business. It was pretty funny, if I remember it correctly. (I wrote it awhile ago, and then the mail did take an awfully long time).

To properly ensnare Rob, and thus the prank, I was planning on an elaborate set-up telling him how I attended one of McKee's screenwriting seminars and had managed to get him to sign the book. It was a reasonable set-up, and the payoff, while not immaculate on the level of one being "punk'd", was still fairly humorous.

What I didn't count on, was how touched by this gesture Rob would be. That I would actually get his copy signed for him and then send it is foreign, and he found that to be noble and cool. I sensed actual human emotion in his voice, so different from the robotic monotone he often affects. So now, Rob is looking forward to a signed copy of Story. But alas, it was signed by me. Being a dick. A funny dick, but still.

Naturally, I waited until after he's received the book (because it's still pretty funny) to apologize. And even that I'm only doing on my blog. With pictures of Wolverine.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

A Classic To Start Your Weekend...

This is brilliance. And in honor of Reno 911 Miami coming out next week, it's fun to see where the guys began.

Something funny to note: It's quite possible the line "Barry... Sagittarius", was directly (if subconsciously) responsible for my all time great (horrible) pick-up line "Ladies, I'm Mike, Single, Sagittarius... awwwwwwwww yeah!" Fun things to think about.

Yesterday was Valentine's Day

It wasn't the worst one (that was 2 years ago), and it wasn't the best one (which is a tie between last year and the BOSSOME year that Holmes and I went to MONSTER TRUCK JAM!!). There was nothing of note worth reporting about. I did laundry. (And some jerk moved my clothes out of the washer after like, a minute. Then he left his shit in there all through the time I used the dryer. What a jerk.)

But what is of note is that for the past few years in Jersey on Valentine's day, I would always hang out with Becca. Usually go see the cheesy romantic movie that was coming out (especially if it starred Drew Barrymore). Last year, I had a special lady friend, but this year I'm out here on my own. And I don't even get to go the movies with Becca, and this year there's a cheesy romantic comedy with Drew Barrymore AND Hugh Grant. (I like Grant. You like Grant? You don't like Grant? What're you a xenophobe? Go fuck yourself).

So since I didn't get to see it, I present this.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Stuff I'm Digging Lately

As always, the best part of writing for my own web-based journal is pimping out all the fun stuff I seem to be enjoying at the moment. And because I can, I share it with you, my unsuspecting public. Please feel free to discuss, but more so, feel free to enjoy these things, and talk to me about them. Share your opinion. Get a discussion going.

Unless you disagree with me, in which case you should always know that you are wrong, and I am always right.

The Shins - Wincing The Night Away
The new album kicks a fair amount of ass, retaining the lyrics and harmonies that make the Shins so appealing while exapnding on their sound scape. It takes a few go-rounds to truly get into it. Because I'm crazy, I listened to it four times in a row. Personally, while I'm a little played to death with Phantom Limb (although, it is pretty cool to hear the Shins on the radio), I think the best songs are Phantom Limb, Red Rabbits (which has a nice "Young Pilgrims" feel to it, as well as a possible Star Wars reference), and Sealegs.

Other Music: The soundtracks to Me, You and Everyone We Know, and The Descent, Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins, and this Aphex Twin ambient stuff that's pretty darn good.

The Knights of Prosperity
I love this show. Every week, it continues to get better and better. Which means that it will probably be cancelled very soon. But it shouldn't matter. You should try and catch it while you still can. The writing is sharp as hell and quite hilarious to boot ("My baby's so white, she's like a nurse's uniform), and the cast is top notch. Just check out this little video of the theme song.

Each episode lays out one more section of the plan that the knights usually have to overcome. It's like a low rent Ocean's 11.

Along these TV lines, I'd like to point out the bossomeness of Heroes, as well as the NBC Thursday night comedy line-up. Heroes is fast becoming a favorite (even if last week's episode was a little weak), as it has fun with it's premise, and it respects it's continuity without alienating itself from viewers. Plus, it's a lot of fun. Not the best written show, but a lot of fun. I'm hoping for two things from Heroes: a Whedon written/directed episode, and a "stand alone" episode, like in comics, where they focus on just one person, who's not necessary to the whole thing. I would enjoy an episode about a Hero with a useless power. Like the ability to grow a beard really fast, or a hero who can generate heat from his hands, but only enough to really make a grilled cheese sandwich. And the Earl-Office-Scrubs-30 Rock combo is Solid. The episode of 30 Rock with Paul Ruebens was fantastic. I should also point out that in this past week's Office, the opening where Jim has Pavlovian trained Dwight to take an Altoid whenever he heard the start-up noise of the computer, yeah I laughed for about five minutes straight on that one.

Other TV of note: Lost (yeah, last episode was pretty good, and it looks like it will be good again), and MythBusters. Of note mainly for one reason: Kari Byron. Yummy.

In DVD, I'm really enjoying Idiocracy and The Science of Sleep. I never did a proper review of either (although I did write up something on Idiocracy for Home Theater Magazine, but I can't reproduce that here), and the only reasoning I can think of behind that is I'm lazy. Idiocracy is not a great film, but it's funny as hell, and even more than that, I fear that it's an accurate prediction of where we as a species are headed. And Science of Sleep is just gorgeous, but it breaks my heart to watch it. It really does.

And if you're looking for a good old fashioned Van Damme-esque craptastic flick, check out The Marine. It's not a good movie, by any means, but it just tries to kick a little ass. And it succeeds. Entertaining, and sometimes that's all you need.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention this: THE DESCENT KICKS AN UNHOLY AMOUNT OF ASS!
Easily one of the most frightening films I have ever seen. Highly entertaining. This is a movie where the hype is justified as well as deserved. It's good, solid horror filmmaking. The best part is, it goes on for about an hour on pure suspense, then the gore comes into play. Well worth checking out. So good, I might have to add it to my top films of the year, at about the same spot as Hard Candy.

In theaters: Children of Men. It holds up better with multiple viewings. Its lack of most award recognition is criminal, but hopefully enough Academy members will have had a chance to check it out and reward it for what they can. The last sequence is so amazing, and it gets me every time. And besides, it has the sure sign that a film is good: Chiwetel Ejiofor.

On this Oscar-type tirade, I'll tell you who else I want to win Academy Awards: Mark Wahlberg for The Departed and Thomas Newman for The Good German. Wahlberg rose to the top and stole the show, so much so that when you start to realize that he might not be coming back into the story, you miss his presence. His is truly a supporting performance, and he does a damn fine job with it. (I will accept an Jackie Earl Haley win over Wahlberg, but that won't happen). And Thomas Newman, even though I haven;t heard his score for this film, is one of my favorites, and deserves it. He deserves it for his Little Children score this year (and for the American Beauty and Shawshank Redemption and Green Mile and Finding Nemo, and the list goes on). It's his 8th, and I feel like he won;t win, but it would be nice.

I'm currently reading Chuck Klosterman IV, which is a lovely collection of articles the man has written for various publications (if the moviemaking career never panned out, I would love to follow in Chuck's footsteps, but I fear I would always be viewed as a pale imitation of the man, when really I've been writing like him all along). He has great views, and a good enough sense of humor to keep things lively and interesting, even if at times it feels like he's that friend who really DOES know all about music, but never shuts up about it, and it gets kind of annoying after awhile.

I also read this book about M Night Shyamalan, about the making of Lady In The Water. It's a damn fine read, but it doesn't really forgive Night for making a crappy movie. It just sort of gives a weird kinnd of "shrugging off" of the film as to why it's so weak. But it's worth checking out. I'm also getting on with World War Z!

And despite the fact that we have quite a selection of games for the Xbox 360, I can't stop playing Burnout: Revenge. It's an amazing game. Too much fun.

That's stuff I'm digging lately.

Oh, and I'm really digging this picture of Chow Yun Fat from the third Pirates movie.

And just in case you're wondering as to the opposite end of the spectrum, stuff I'm not digging lately: Fuckin' Jerks who do stupid things all the time to you without realizing it, and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Those are things that suck. I tried to give them fair chances, but alas, I can't do it anymore. I'm done.

Box Office Report: 2-11-07

Dude here again. I... I just don't have it in me today. Not knowing what I have to report.

This weekend... well, let's just go to the numbers and see for ourselves, shall we? (All in millions, remember, and these are the studio estimates, the actuals will be available on Monday. Just to prove me wrong).

1. Norbit (DW) - $33.7, 3136 screens, week 1, $33.7 total

2. Hannibal Rising (MGM) - $13.35, 3003 screens, week 1, $13.35 total

3. Because I Said So (Uni) - $9.0, 2529 screens, week 2, $9.0 total

4. The Messengers (ScrGems)- $7.2, 2529 screens, week 2, $7.2 total

5. Night At The Museum (Fox) - $5.75, 2702 screens, week 8, $232.1 total

6. Epic Movie (Fox) - $4.45, 2806 screens, week 3, $35.47 total

7. Smokin Aces (Uni) - $3.79, 2199 screens, week 3, $30.85 total

8. Pan's Labyrinth (PicHse) - $3.5, 1143 screens, week 7, $26.59 total

9. Dreamgirls (Par/DW)- $3.09, 2284 screens, week 9, $97.1 total

10. The Queen (Mir) - $2.5, 1564 screens, week 20, $49.0 total

Ok, those are the numbers, but what do they mean? Well, it means that a lot of people saw Norbit. $33 million dollars worth of people. While I shouldn't be surprised, I'm still allowed to show my dismay. Disappointment, really. I mean, seriously. Norbit? $33 MILLION DOLLARS!?!? And those who opted for Hannibal Rising enough to give that movie $13 million dollars?!?!? And Night at the Museum is still in 5th place, and has taken in $232 million dollars in 8 weeks! What the hell is going on here? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!!

I can't go on anymore. I really can't. Shame on you. Shame on you all.

And in the "Because It's There" series: NORBIT took in $33,740,000 on 3136 screens, bringing it's grand total to $33,740,000 in 3 DAYS.

There you have my break down. Next week, we see if Norbit will continue it's reign on your money. If it does, well, I might just have to give up on this crazy movie business and teach kindergarten in Oregon. Maybe I can train them well, and prevent future generations from allowing Norbit 2: Electric Boogaloo.

Until next weekend, may whomever is at the end have mercy on our souls....

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Fuckin' A

I enjoyed "Shining". I thought "Brokeback to the Future" was pretty damn great. But all the other trailer mash-ups of late have been severely lacking. Trying to hard to make things work, or not even caring if they work at all. (I blame MySpace for making anyone with an editing program believe that they have the talent to pull this off. I also blame MySpace for global warming, car insurance hikes, and the recently announced news of Anna Nicole Smith's death. Fuckin MySpace. You just don't care who you hurt, do you?)

But this one is different. It helps that it's one of my favorite movies of all time. See for yourself.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Helping a friend out...

Hi all. All 6 of you who read this, even though it's only been box office reports because I'm too damn busy to see movies or write, well, do ANYTHING anymore. (I apologize for that, and I promise to have some new stuff up soon, including a new semi regular feature, maybe, if I have the time).

My friend Brian informed me of this:I just recently edited a short spec commercial for the Southwest Airlines “Wanna Get Away” Sweepstakes with a director-friend of mine out here in L.A. The winner has their spot become part of their national campaign. I’m asking if you could take the time to go to the following URL and vote for our spot.

I've seen it. I love it. I voted for it. All I ask is that you check it out for yourselves and vote according to your conscience. By which I mean you vote for my friend's entry, because you couldn't bear the guilt of betraying us all like that.

For your efforts, here's a picture of the terminator.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Box Office Report: 2-4-07

Dude here again. writing to you on this Superbowl Sunday. I'm sure the... team of one city is going to dominate the team of another city. But don't discount that other team, they could prove to be the underdogs we never expected. And if this were a movie, they would wait until the last minute to finally overcome the dominant team. Ok, truth is, I don't give a damn about any sporting event that doesn't involve the Mets. Seriously. My godson could have a little league game and I wouldn't care. Unless his team was called The Mets. Which I think his dad would approve of.

(I know his Dad would NEVER let his son be on a team called the Yankees, and if he did, well, it might be time to seriously re-evaluate our friendship).

This weekend, lower numbers prevailed, as only two new movies opened up, and too many people are caring about the Stanley Cup tonight. In a surprise to anyone who has never read one of my columns, a horror movie took the top spot. 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. Just to prove me wrong).

1. The Messengers (ScrGems)- $14.5, 2528 screens, week 1, $14.5 total

2. Because I Said So (Uni) - $13.0, 2526 screens, week 1, $13.0 total

3. Epic Movie (Fox) - $8.2, 2840 screens, week 2, $29.369 total

4. Night At The Museum (Fox) - $6.75, 3003 screens, week 7, $225.365 total

5. Smokin Aces (Uni) - $6.3, 2219 screens, week 2, $24.955 total

6. Stomp The Yard (Scr Gems) - $4.2, 2169 screens, week 4, $56.0 total

7. Dreamgirls (Par/DW)- $4.0, 2797 screens, week 8, $92.795 total

8. Pan's Labyrinth (PicHse) - $3.66, 1082 screens, week 6, $21.696 total

9. The Pursuit of Happyness (Sony) - $3.1, 2233 screens, week 8, $157.35 total

10. The Queen (Mir) - $2.7, 1850 screens, week 19, $45.5 total

Ok, those are the numbers, but what do they mean? Well, it means that nobody really cared about going to the movies this weekend, opting to spend time with their friends and enjoy the soccer match. The Messengers, another of the PG-13 Ghost House flicks that Sam Raimi produces, once again made some coin, providing the low budget affair with enough coin to keep the cycle going for years to come. (That reminds me, I think Boogeyman 2 is coming out next year, featuring Tobin Bell from Saw).

(Off topic, the word "Boogeyman" is recognized by my spell-check program. What a strange word to include in that dictionary.)

Because I Said So, my award for dumbest title of the year, took in a surprising $13 million estimated. I'm sensing that a lot of analysts will attribute this to a largely female audience that doesn't care for the World Polo finals. (I have to keep the gag going, folks, deal with it). This number might actually increase if what I just wrote turns out to be true, but given the poor reviews, I don;t think there's much hope for this flick.

The Academy Awards... blah blah blah... Dreamgirls... ramble ramble ramble...The Queen... etc... Pan will rule your world... Epic Movie and Night at the Museum...WHY!

And in the "Because It's There" series: Breaking and Entering took in $15,400 on 2 screens, bringing it's grand total to $47,600 in 8 weeks.

There you have my break down. Next week, we see if Eddie Murphy can single handedly ruin his Oscar chances with a movie that looks even more terrible than Epic Movie, if you can believe that

Until next weekend....

Saturday, February 03, 2007

I love this British Shit

This is worth noting because of the sheer amount of UK comedic talent involved. It's several years old, and I believe it was for Britain's Comic Relief.

This is the first part.

This is the second.

I should have been a dick, and switched them, just to confuse you. But in the end, that didn't seem as funny as it was in my head.