Sunday, October 28, 2007

Box Office Report: Special SAW weekend edition

Dude here again. Doing my laundry. Wondering what happened with Daylight Savings Time. It usually occurs this time of year. (According to my past box office reports). How does that happen? I mean, I know it's an arbitrary date set for farmers, but still, how can we just decide to change it? Sometimes my brain hurts from thinking things through too much.

This weekend, in a shock to absolutely nobody at all, Saw IV took the top spot at the box office. It's rather predictable at this point. Almost kind of sad. Almost. 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. Saw IV (LGF) - $32.1, 3183 screens, week 1, $32.1 total

2. Dan in Real Life (BV) - $12.0, 1921 screens, week 1, $12.0 total

3. 30 Days of Night (Sony) - $6.7, 2859 screens, week 2, $27.3 total

4. The Game Plan (BV) - $6.2, 3342 screens, week 5, $77.0 total

5. Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married? (LGF) - $5.7, 1897 screens, week 3, $47.3 total

6. Michael Clayton (WB)- $5.0, 2585 screens, week 4, $28.7 total

7. Gone Baby Gone (Mira) - $3.9, 1713 screens, week 2, $11.3 total

8. The Comebacks (FoxA) - $3.45, 2812 screens, week 2, $10.0 total

9. We Own The Night (Sony) - $3.4 2402 screens, week 3, $25.0 total

10. Nightmare Before Christmas 3-D (BV) - $3.3, 564 screens, week 2, $10.0 total

So those are the numbers, but what do they mean? It means that not even death can stop Jigsaw. Apparently dying at the end of Saw III (oh, spoiler for a year-old movie you shouldn't care about) is no match for major box office success. In fact, the movie is so successful that they've already begun back-to-back productions on Saw V and VI, meaning I can just cut and paste this paragraph for the next two halloweens! Lethargy rules!

It should be noted that the success of this movie means all those "torture porn movies are waning in the public eye" people are going to be silenced, and we're gonna have a few more down the pipe again.

Dan In Real Life, the movie that asks us to believe that Steve Carell and Dane Cook are brothers, came in second, taking in around $12 million. Not bad, considering that it was released on less than 2000 screens. Pretty impressive, as it's also the movie getting the best reviews of the week.

The rest of the holdovers continue to underperform, which is no surprise.

Below the radar, the latest film from cinematic legend Sidney Lumet, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, opened up on 2 screens and took in $73,500, making it the highest per screen average of the week. (Finally besting the average of the Blade Runner cut that's been out for several weeks).

And in the "Because It's There" series: Halloween took in $156,000 on 271 screens, bringing it's grand total to $57,971,000 in 9 weeks.

There you have my break down. Next week, we have a highly anticipated animated movie, and the re-teaming of the cast of Virtuosity, which should lead to some record breaking box office weekends. Or not. This business is totally unpredictable.

Until next weekend....

Sunday, October 21, 2007

DanSpeak 10-21-07

On the recent news that the remake of Barberella (to be directed by Robert "Planet Terror" Rodriguez) is losing it's funding because the studio doesn't think Rose McGowan is a big enough draw at the box office: Rodriguez is getting sidetracked by the poon.

Box Office Report: This weekend

Dude here again. Halloween is approaching, you know. Have you selected your costume yet? This year, I can't decide if I'm going to go as "Bad Borat" (which involves the world's worst Borat impersonator) or Ms. Pac Man, which involves putting a red bow on last year's Pac Man costume. Or could go as your mom. (BURN!)

This weekend, there were 8 movies released in rather wide capacity. It was allegedly a record. And none of them really did any well. Even the number one performed a little below expectations. 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. 30 Days of Night (Sony) - $16.0, 2855 screens, week 1, $16.0 total

2. Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married? (LGF) - $12.0, 2034 screens, week 2, $38.8 total

3. The Game Plan (BV) - $8.1, 3301 screens, week 4, $69.1 total

4. Michael Clayton (WB)- $7.1, 2585 screens, week 3, $21.9 total

5. Gone Baby Gone (Mira) - $6.0, 1713 screens, week 1, $6.0 total

6. The Comebacks (FoxA) - $5.8, 2812 screens, week 1, $5.8 total

7. We Own The Night (Sony) - $5.5, 2362 screens, week 2, $19.7 total

8. Nightmare Before Christmas 3-D (BV) - $5.1, 564 screens, week 1, $5.1 total

9. Rendition (NL) - $4.1, 2250 screens, week 1, $4.1 total

10. The Heartbreak Kid (Par/DW) - $3.9, 2782 screens, week 3, $32.1 total

So those are the numbers, but what do they mean? It means there are far too many movies out there these days. Too many choices, and no sure things. Unpredictable business, this is. 30 Days of Night took the top spot over all the newcomers, tricking enough people into thinking the movie would be good, and not disappointing film that was released before us all. Still, at a low budget, the film should make a decent profit before the next Saw movie comes and obliterates this.

Gone Baby Gone, the directorial debut of Ben Affleck, was the next best performer of the newbies, with The Comebacks hot on it's toes. The re-release of Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas in 3-D performed well, being that it's fourteen years old. Which really makes me depressed every time I walk past a Hot Topic, actually. (Amongst other reasons).

Oh, and Rendition came out and once again confirmed the theory running around Hollywood circles that people don't want to see movies of a topical nature. Which is something I could have told them a long time ago, and gotten them to invest their money is smarter things. Like my magnum opus motion picture "Burger Academy 2 The Vengeance"! When will you learn, Hollywood?

Below the radar, Things We Lost In The Fire, a movie that looks pretty depressing, but is still probably pretty good, opened up and took in $1.6 million on a little more than a thousand screens. Something called Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour took in $561,000, also on a little more than a thousand screens. An animated version of The Ten Commandments allegedly opened up, too... You know what? Far too many movies opened up, and I can't keep up with it. I'm tired, and I got an Uwe Boll movie to see.

And in the "Because It's There" series: Balls of Fury took in $88,400 on 150 screens, bringing it's grand total to $32,721,000 in 8 weeks.

There you have my break down. Next week, they somehow found a way to make more Saw movies despite pretty much killing every character from the previous three. It might be worth checking out solely to see how they do it. Then again, I have to remember how much I hated that last one. There's also a movie with Steve Carell and Dane Cook, so I'm completely mixed straight down the middle on whether or not to see it.

Until next weekend....

Friday, October 19, 2007

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The reason I've been slackin in my movie reviews...

Is because I've been watching TV. Lots of TV. There's a lot of good stuff on there this season. There's also a lot more I'm missing, but here's a quick rundown I want to post. I'll get into more detail... well, if more people watch these shows and let me know.

(The Lost forums will return when that show does, but right now, there are so many damn shows, I'm kinda glad I get to wait for a bit).

Chuck: Slow to start off. But it's getting better, and I think it will turn into something good.

Journeyman: Decent idea... when it was called Quantum Leap. I find this show joyless and stopped watching after the pilot. But roommate Dan (he of DanSpeak) continues to watch and enjoy. So we'll see.

Reaper: It's kind of like a better Chuck, but with the sensibility of Buffy. Plus, it has the extra added bonus of KROGER! Actually, Tyler Labine, who plays Sock, and almost steals the entire show, if Ray Wise (Laura Palmer's killer - spoiler) didn't already do it. Fun times, I hope they can stick with it.

Heroes: If there's enough interest (from T-bone), I'll start recapping and discussing theories of this show. I really dig this show, and not just because I have a crush on a girl I know who works on it. (Which is good, because she used to work for Gray's Anatomy, and I just couldn't bring myself to watch that show.) This season is interesting, and it's just starting to take off after three weeks of set up. And Sylar is fast becoming my favorite character. (Hiro lost points because his story is kind of going nowhere).

Prison Break: Apparently it's in its' third season. I avoided the show because Brett Ratner was involved. I fully admit I was wrong. I haven't seen the other two seasons yet, but this third season is pretty damn kick ass. Highly enjoyable.

NBC Thursday Night Line-up: Hands down, the greatest night of television. My Name is Earl is still as consistent as always, even if it still prefers sap to absurdity. You still can't beat Jason Lee's mustache. The Office is almost as brilliant as the UK version taht spawned it. (Almost). But 30 Rock is turning out to be genius. This past episode was on par with Arrested Development in terms of comedic brilliance. From the "You Do The Meth" pamphlet (which advocated Crystal Meth as a viable weight loss option) to the presence of Will Arnett (pure gold, even in lesser works like Brothers Solomon and Let's Go To Prison), I almost wet myself with laughter.

The most brilliant bit of all, though? Werewolf Barmitzvah.

The Simpsons/Family Guy- Both shows I feel I have to love, but lately, I'm not feeling it. Simpsons really is hit and miss (although the episode with Maggie a few weeks back was the Lincoln) on a week to week basis. And Family Guy, it always makes me laugh, but ever since that South Park episode pretty much nailed what every joke in the show is, I haven't been able to watch it properly. The Star Wars episode, while awfully funny in parts, was damn weak. They should have just played it straight. (They practically did anyway). Still, both series have their moments, and I am forced to watch them.

I haven't seen too many other shows yet. (Pushing Daisies episodes are adding up on the DVR). Any suggestions? Besides Rock of Love and America's Next Top Model?

Boys becoming men. Men becoming wolves.

Monday, October 15, 2007

30 Days of Night might possibly be...

One of the GREATEST MOVIES EVER. I cannot wait to see this thing. The trailer itself is creepy as hell (the scene where the nail goes on the record player makes me cringe with delight, if that's at all possible).

PLUS, it's directed by David Slade, who brought us the amazing Hard Candy last year.

But check out that clip and try to defy my logic.

You can't.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Box Office Report: The Rock...Dethroned!!!

Dude here again. Just finishing up a lovely omelette and thinking back upon my actions of the past weekend. Which honestly consist of nothing more than hanging in my chair and watching TV. In my pajamas. Which ruled. If there was a job where I could do that all day, I would. Sure, typing up a box office report is something that can be done sans pants (which I am doing right now), but to get paid not to wear pants to work... well, I guess that's the ultimate dream, isn't it?

This weekend, my devotion to The Rock is short lived, as someone else knocks his movie down a peg and takes the top spot, despite ample competition from numerous, more "adult minded" fare. 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. Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married? (LGF) - $21.5, 2011 screens, week 1, $21.5 total

2. The Game Plan (BV) - $11.5, 3128 screens, week 3, $59.4 total

3. Michael Clayton (WB)- $11.01, 2511 screens, week 2, $12.0 total

4. We Own The Night (Sony) - $11.0, 2362 screens, week 1, $11.0 total

5. The Heartbreak Kid (Par/DW) - $7.4, 3233 screens, week 2, $26.0 total

6. Elizabeth: The Golden Age (Uni) - $6.1, 2001 screens, week 1, $6.1 total

7. The Kingdom (Uni) - $4.5, 2836 screens, week 3, $39.9 total

8. Across The Universe (Sony) - $4.0, 954 screens, week 5, $12.9 total

9. Resident Evil: Extinction (SGems) - $2.6, 2249 screens, week 4, $51.4 total

10. The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (Fox) - $2.1, 3173 screens, week 2, $7.1 total

So those are the numbers, but what do they mean? It means that Tyler Perry has his fans. And they come out to support his movies. Even if these last two didn't feature Perry's signature cross dressing granny Madea. (His last film, Daddy's Little Girls, didn't fare as well, but I think the public was just getting used to no Madea. And they really preferred to see Ghost Rider instead, which is all sorts of unsettling.) Yeah, so Perry's new film made a lot of money, and everybody at Lionsgate is happy to call itself the house that Tyler Perry and Jigsaw built. And Haggis.

(Not for nothing, but has anyone seen the poster for Why Did I Get Married? It looks surprisingly similar to the Men in Black 2 poster. Don't believe me? Use the internet, and just try to prove me wrong. You can't do it. I rule.)

Michael Clayton, expanding to over 2000 screens (versus last week's 15) came in third with $11.01, while the Mark Wahlberg police drama We Own The Night took in $11.00. Expect these numbers to fiddled with. While I can't speak for We Own The Night, I can say that Clayton is one of the best pictures of the year so far. Top notch all around.

The other newcomer of the week, Elizabeth, came in sixth, and does not bode well for it's financial future. Unless, of course, it begins to garner awards, in which case it will stick around for a while and make a lot of money. Or not. It's really in your hands people.

The Rock moved down to second place, Across the Universe made it back to the top ten on an expansion, and it looks like Resident Evil Extinction may wind up taking the most out of all the Resident Evil movies. The success of the three-quels spilled over into October. How groovy is that?

Below the radar, there were some movies that opened up on a limited basis. Lars and The Real Girl, about Ryan Gosling and his love of a sex doll, opened up on 7 screens, and took in $85,000. Sleuth, the remake of a British film starring Michael Caine (who also stars in the remake, albeit in the opposite role) took in $50,100 on 9 screens. And Control, the biopic of Joy Division lead singer Ian Curtis, took in $27,000 on one screen, thus giving it the highest per screen average OF ALL! (Oh, that's not true, once again, the Blade Runner reissue took in $31,500 each on it's 2 screens.)

Why do I tell you lies? Because it's easy. Why don't I just go back and delete the wrong part? Because I'm lazy.

And in the "Because It's There" series: The Bourne Ultimatum took in $648,000 on 611 screens, bringing it's grand total to $225,578,000 in 11 weeks.

There you have my break down. Next week, 30 Days of Night. And that's all anybody can really ask for now, isn't it?

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Darjeeling Limited!

If you're a die hard Wes Anderson fan (and there are some fanatical ones out there) then you'll know whether or not you'll enjoy The Darjeeling Limited. If you accept the whimsical eccentricities of his previous efforts (and at this point, you should know if you do or not) then you will absolutely adore The Darjeeling Limited. I know because I did.

If you find Wes Anderson's films precocious, annoying, and/or pretentious then you will have a serious problem on your hands. So much so, that I might be forced to pen the horrible pun (that will most likely be used time and time again in reviews for this film): It won't be your cup of tea.

The Darjeeling Limited tells the story of three brothers, Francis (Owen WIlson), Peter (Adrien Brody), and Jack (Jason Schwartzman). They have not seen each other, and have hardly spoken, in over a year, since their father's funeral. Francis, the oldest and most overbearing, has arranged for the three of them to travel through India on a train (The titular Darjeeling Express) with the hopes of gaining a "spiritual experience". Naturally this involves lots of opiate based medication, alcohol, cigarettes, squabbling, mace, and at one point a deadly cobra. And a possible spiritual awakening, but saying that might spoil the ending for you.

I found a lot to like in this movie. It's certainly gorgeous, as India is a vibrant place to film, friendly to any camera lens. And it's filled with those awesome little things that make Wes Anderson films so damn precocious (slow motion shots with excellent music played over, elaborate set design), but it's not overstuffed with them, like his previous effort The Life Aquatic. There aren't any quick cut montages that showcase the tiniest details of a character's life. Also, there aren't nearly as many characters as there have been in previous films, which is helpful as it's the story of the brothers, and no one else's.

As the brothers, Wilson, Brody and Scwartzman are terrific, if a bit off putting. They're not the nicest of guys, but you have to endure them for this trip. As they go along, you can see their bond and recognize that they could very easily pull off being a family. I particularly liked Brody, and his penchant for stealing items. It's a nice running gag.

This is not a film necessarily about story as much as it is about emotion. Like all good art, it provides a window into a character's lives, then lets you decide it from there. Kudos to Anderson and his talented crew for making something as fantastic (and not overly whimsical) as the Darjeeling Express. I can honestly say this is one of the best films of the year, and I can't wait to see it again.

Fun Fact: Over on the interweb, you can hunt down "Hotel Chevalier", a short film Anderson made about Schwartzman's "Jack". It takes place before the events in Darjeeling, and it involves an artfully nude Natalie Portman. It's good to check this out before seeing the film as it, a) gives a bit more understanding to Jack and his state of being; b) sets up a great gag involving music that's used in Darjeeling; c) explains Portman's presence in the end of the film; and d) did I mention the tastefully nude Natalie Portman yet?

This might possibly be...

...the greatest news in the history of modern cinema.

Words fail me as to how brilliant an idea this is. Try to defy my logic on this one. Just try.

You can't.

And because I can, come view a life size X-Wing Fighter. There's no real sound, so those of you viewing at work can watch it without disrupting the sales report meeting. Or something. TPS reports? - Watch more free videos

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Box Office Report: The Rock OWNS your asses!

Dude here again. Remember a few weeks back, when I started going all nutty about Krull? You do? Well, have you watched it again? No? Why not? I spent an entire Box Office Report going on about how awesome that movie is. But I think I found one thing that could defeat Krull. And that's Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

This weekend, The Rock lets the world know that even though he's in a Disney movie with a little kid, he'll still kick your ass. Face it. There's just no stopping the Rock. It's best to let him do what he wants, and not try to stop him. Ben Stiller is the unfortunate victim who refused to believe this. 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 Game Plan (BV) - $16.2, 3105 screens, week 2, $42.8 total

2. The Heartbreak Kid (Par/DW) - $14.0, 3329 screens, week 1, $14.0 total

3. The Kingdom (Uni) - $9.3, 2802 screens, week 2, $31.3 total

4. Resident Evil: Extinction (SGems) - $4.3, 2848 screens, week 3, $43.4 total

5. The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (Fox) - $3.7, 3141 screens, week 1, $3.7 total

6. Good Luck Chuck (LGF) - $3.5, 2476 screens, week 3, $29.0 total

7. Feel The Noise (BMG)- $3.4, 1015 screens, week 1, $3.4 total

8. 3:10 to Yuma (LGF) - $3.0, 2562 screens, week 5, $48.5 total

9. The Brave One (WB) - $2.2, 2358 screens, week 4, $34.3 total

10. Mr. Woodcock (NL) - $2.0, 1950 screens, week 4, $22.3 total

So those are the numbers, but what do they mean? It means bow down before the Rock, people! Face it. He is here to take charge. And it's about time he does, too. Start showing the masses "what's up"! Dropping only 29% from last week's opening, The Rock easily claimed his rightful atop the Hollywood throne. For this week, anyway.

The Heartbreak Kid opened to less than anticipated numbers, to bring in a mere $14 million. The main problem here? No The Rock! If it were The Rock on a disastrous honeymoon with a psycho wife and involves urinating on a jellyfish sting, the crowds would come in droves. Alas, the film did not contain such brilliance, and is therefore left on the vine to rot off and die.

Speaking of rotting off and dying, the poor performance of "The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising," which manages to invoke Harry Potter AND a heavy metal album in it's title, does not bode well for future fantasy book adaptations that don't include the words "Potter," "Narnia", or "Rings". Even if The Rock were somehow involved, I don't think the movie could have performed that much better. (But it still would've been a much better movie based on his presence and charisma).

There's some movie called Feel The Noise, and it has nothing to do with Quiet Riot. (Although, technically that would be called Feel the Noize). I don't know what it is, but I vaguely heard Jennifer Lopez's name involved, and not a certain Mr. "The Rock" Johnson. Anyway, it did pretty poor as well.

Below the radar, George Clooney's legal thriller Michael Clayton opened up on 15 screens and took in $704,000, with a per screen average of just under $47,000. This would be the highest of the week, if it wasn't for a 2 screen release of Blade Runner: The Final Cut, which took in $95,000. (Per screen average: $47,500). Allegedly the last tinkering by Ridley Scott of his much praised sci-fi vision from 1982, the Final Cut will be released on home video (in all formats, I believe) in December. If Scott does decide to go back and mess with the movie after that... well, I bet you can figure out what I want digitally inserted into the film. Give you a hint: It sounds like Bwayne"The Sock" Johnsom.

And in the "Because It's There" series: Superbad took in $825,000 on 756 screens, bringing it's grand total to $120,281,000 in 8 weeks.

There you have my break down. Next week we see if the Rock shall continue his reign, or if I find someone new and exciting to turn to. Or maybe I'll just watch Krull again.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Radiohead has a new record.

It comes out next Wednesday. Only as a download. For now.

This is the good news that offsets the bad from today. Rock rock on!