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David Poland

By David Poland

Box Office Sunday Estimates Analysis

The Slump Is Back!!!
Just kidding.
Actually, this weekend is a very good example of why Slump Chat is silly.
While Charlie & The Chocolate Factory held okay (read: not embarrassing) for a large opener and Wedding Crashers held exceptionally well, The Island smashed into the wall. It is the failure of The Island that makes this a down weekend. So

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115 Responses to “Box Office Sunday Estimates Analysis”

  1. joefitz84 says:

    The slump is back thanks to Michael Bay. Even his bombs come back to haunt us.

  2. Rory says:

    ‘Craptastic Four?’, oh David, your cattiness ranks slightly below Jeff Wells. As does your tan, but you can work on that. The power of the sun’s rays are always amazing. Or if you are Hulk Hogan. You just put a tanning machine in your house.
    Aside from the slump redux, one just has to look at the heat haze from outside your window. To realize, that, some folks might have stayed at home this weekend. Instead of driving all over the place to see a film. This might be just as likely as a locust invasion causing poor theatre turn out in biblical times. Nonetheless, I am just throwing it out there.

  3. Clay says:

    I’m happy for Vince and Owen — that’s the lowest week-to-week drop I’ve seen in a long time. Wonder if they can get this thing to $175M.

  4. Martin says:

    Not to disagree with Dave’s argument, which I think is mostly on the $$, but perhaps comedies/romances ARE theatrical experiences because they are communal. Date movies and comedies in general play well with large groups of people. Arty/sci-fi stuff is more of a solo experience, which can be enjoyed, perhaps more so, at home. Granted, the Island was sold as a smart action movie, with emphasis on the action. But the DVD argument could hold up if audiences saw the Island as a not-so-great communal experience and better left for rental. I’m very curious as to how it will do next weekend though. Bay movies have generally had pretty good legs, so if this movie does $70 or 80 mill., after this opening, that would seem a modest success (or at least not outright failure).

  5. David Poland says:

    My tan?

  6. Martin says:

    it’s easy to say this now, but I honestly believe that Bears in the fall would have been a solid hit and Island starting off the summer instead of Kingdom would’ve done much better. At this point people start getting burned out on the movies and its the unique/genre stuff that starts pulling in OK numbers. Stuff like Island and BNB is just too generalized and not unique to compete with similar competition in the marketplace.

  7. joefitz84 says:

    The release date for The Island is going to take muc h of the blame. Since the reviews are decent.

  8. Jeff says:

    Dodgeball came out with an unrated DVD a few months ago, and I am pretty sure that was PG-13

  9. Stella's Boy says:

    Prior to Dodgeball, White Chicks went from PG-13 theatrical to unrated on DVD.

  10. joefitz84 says:

    A lot of comedies do the PG 13 in theatres to Unrated DVD’s. If the studios had their druthers they would release the unrated versions but they’re bound by this No R for comedy thing. Maybe a success like Crashers will help that.

  11. Goulet says:

    After KICKING & SCREAMING and REBOUND, was anyone psyched about another comedy star coaching kids sports? I didn’t think so. I love Billy Bob and Linklater, but I’ll wait for DVD and go see HUSTLE & FLOW instead.

  12. Joe Leydon says:

    Goulet: Definitely think you’re on to something. I vividly remember being in a megaplex lobby a few months back, seeing posters for those three movies — Kicking and Screaming, Rebound and Bad News Bears — displayed side by side. At the time, I thot: Jeez, what is this, great minds think alike? (Note: I was being ironic.)

  13. Chad says:

    My Boss’s Daughter went from PG-13 to Unrated about 2 years ago.

  14. LesterFreed says:

    Hustle and Flow was the best movie opening of the week. My boy Terence Howard has Oscar written all over him now. He just owned.

  15. tuc says:

    “…Ewan MacGregor and Scarlett Johansson, while great actors, are simply not box-office draws on the level of Will Smith, Bruce Willis, Nicolas Cage, and Ben Affleck

  16. Josh says:

    What has SJ ever opened? She’s not a bomx office star. Yet.

  17. Angelus21 says:

    The unrated versions on dvd’s are usually just adding one or two scenes. I don’t think it effects the movies that much.

  18. Josh Massey says:

    For history’s sake, I believe “Nutty Professor 2” was the first PG-13-to-Unrated DVD.

  19. David Poland says:

    Coming into a blog and quoting yourself is grotesque, Tuc. I don’t mind you self-promoting, but engage with people like a person and then indicate where we can enjoy even more of your insights, please.

  20. sky_capitan says:

    I really enjoyed The Island. Should’ve been released earlier…
    ****** SPOILER ALERT *******
    ****** SPOILER ALERT *****
    ****** SPOILER ALERT *******
    why didn’t they show ewan meeting his double in the commercials? until I read it here, I didn’t know that happened… instead I saw the same commercial over and over…
    more importantly, in the movie, why couldn’t they have Scarlett find her double? I’d rather see two Scarlett’s than two Ewan’s… and I would’ve put that in the commercial
    ******END SPOILER ALERT*******
    ******END SPOILER ALERT*******
    ******END SPOILER ALERT*******

  21. Martin says:

    ******SPOILER ALERT*******
    ******SPOILER ALERT*******
    ******SPOILER ALERT*******
    *******FAIR WARNING*******
    why didn’t they show ewan meeting his double in the commercials? until I read it here, I didn’t know that happened… instead I saw the same commercial over and over…
    more importantly, in the movie, why couldn’t they have Scarlett find her double? I’d rather see two Scarlett’s than two Ewan’s… and I would’ve put that in the commercial
    That might have been a monetary thing, cost enough to shoot the 2-Ewan scenes. But the impression I’m getting is that The Island is a series of missed opportunities, and that is just one of them. I don’t necessarily think the idea of Cloning is box office poison, I just think it was handled in a less than commercial way here.
    Island could have modeled itself, and it’s trailers, on a movie like Face/Off and done good business. Clearly people aren’t interested in an action-packed version of THX1138. When you’ve got a concept as distant as clones escaping a medical prison, you need something that regular folks can grab onto, more than just the “need to escape”. Conflict between clones and originals is a start. But clones and policemen is a dull sell.
    ******END SPOILER ALERT*******
    ******END SPOILER ALERT*******
    ******END SPOILER ALERT*******

  22. Angelus21 says:

    Spoiler alerts for a movie that opened a day ago?
    That defines classless.

  23. Lota says:

    Dave P has had up SPoiler alerts also in the blog recently–the entire POINT of putting up the highlighted word SPOILERS,or SPOILER ALERT warning is so people know to skip down and not read it.
    It’s a common practice on many sites including IMDB

  24. Lota says:

    Has anyone seen the Penguins or You me and everyone you know? Just wondering. The penguins rock, had some misgivings about YMAEWK.
    and saw a great documentary today except it doesn’t have a distributor yet, so I can’t talk about it. pity.

  25. Nat says:

    ****** SPOILER ALERT *******
    ****** SPOILER ALERT *******
    ****** SPOILER ALERT *******
    Were you not paying attention when you watched the Island? Scarlett Johanson’s double was in a coma, waiting for Scarlett’s body parts. That’s why she won a trip to the island. It’s sort of one of the points of the movie. You know…when she was talking to the kid, you were supposed to be realizing that she was basically talking to a kid whose mother she killed with her actions.
    ******END SPOILER ALERT*******
    ******END SPOILER ALERT*******
    ******END SPOILER ALERT*******
    I love Penguins and MYAEWK, but Murderball is still the best thing going on right now.

  26. Angelus21 says:

    Spoiler alerts in Daves column is MUCH different than some poster on here. That is terrible and does a disservice to anyone who hasn’t seen the movie. It’s been one day!
    How can you defend that practice? When did this become Ain’t it Uncool News?

  27. Panda Bear says:

    Murderball was really good. Hope it gets into more theatres.

  28. Stella's Boy says:

    I’m jumping on the Murderball bandwagon. Outstanding movie. One of this year’s best.

  29. David Poland says:

    I think a well marked spoiler discussion is okay… but I would be more visually aggressive than Martin & Sky… editing their entries now…

  30. scooba steve says:

    Just got out. Someone could do a term paper on how The Island resembles Freejack with Emilio Estevez… right down to the bounty hunter who switches sides at the end.
    For the first time I can say that Michael Bay is really quite gifted with special effects. That bike chase across the LA skyline packed more of a wallop than anything in Star Wars 3. Who knows, Transformers might be the perfect vehicle for him.

  31. Joe Leydon says:

    OK, let’s play a game: Someone holds a gun to your head and tells you have to name, right now, your Top Ten movies of 2005 so far. Don’t bother equivocating, don’t bother making excuses — and for pity’s sake, don’t bother commenting on anyone else’s picks, because they don’t care what you have to say. YOUR TOP TEN. IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER. NOW.
    Mine: Downfall, The Year of the Yao, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Crash, Hustle & Flow, Layer Cake, Cinderella Man, Batman Begins, War of the Worlds, Unleashed.

  32. Lota says:

    that’s hard to do because I haven’t seen everything yet. in no order
    Batman begins
    Charlie and the chocolate factory
    Mad hot ballroom
    march of the penguins
    The beautiful country
    the beat my heart skipped
    (ANd now finally) murderball
    and I can’t name a 10th that I liked enough to be ten, but maybe barely Sin City
    I did see anbother doc I would put in the list but it won;t be released until 2006.
    and then I’m going to take the gun away and hit “someone” upside the head with it. hate guns.

  33. Lota says:

    by the way I am still undecided if Beautiful country should even be in my top ten since some aspects were a mess. But some things I really liked to.

  34. Lota says:

    and (directed to anyone who’d know)does this Emily Rose movie oming up have anything to do with Audrey Rose from the 70s?

  35. joefitz84 says:

    It would take me too long to come up with a Top Ten list right now. Just hasn’t been enough good movies so far.

  36. David Poland says:

    Emily Rose is a true story… as far as I know, it hasn’t been done before. It’s an exorcism flick.

  37. Rory says:

    It’s not a tan? Hooray for your genetics then. I also always have a feeling that films like The Island, make certain people uncomfortable. That could be total conjecture on my part. The problems The Island has suffered will give some execs all at Warners and DW digestive problems tomorrow morning. Sometimes, this boz office stuff, makes absolutely no sense.
    IF we are going to go with a top ten of the Summer so far. Would it be too much to assume, that no sort of insults will come from these list? If so, here are mine so far in no particular order.
    Revenge of the Sith
    Batman Begins
    Fantastic Four
    The Island
    Land of the Dead
    Layer Cake
    The Sisterhood of Travelling Pants
    and now Im drawing a blank…yay!

  38. jeffmcm says:

    What are you thinking makes people uncomfortable about The Island? Don’t say clones.

  39. Rory says:

    Maybe not cloning but the background clutter that revolves around the issue. Again, conjecture, because the Island not finding a foothole in the weekend. Sort of confuses me. Leading to the higher-brain functions trying to figure why exactly this happened.

  40. KamikazeCamel says:

    For my top 10 it would probably look something like this
    1. 2046
    2. Mr & Mrs Smith
    3. The Upside of Anger
    4. Batman Begins
    5. Crash
    it gets tricky here
    6. Sin City
    7. Bride & Prejudice
    8. The Hidden History of Homosexuality in Australia
    …I can’t think of any more.
    I like the bit on The Island’s ads where Ewan and Scarlett are inside the giant R that’s falling next to the helicopter. Looks fun to me. Hard to see why this really flopped as bad as it did. I mean, we can say it was the lack of stars, the bad advertising, whatever, but consider this:
    CATWOMAN opened to more. XXX2 opened to more. ELEKTRA opened to more.
    And not only were the stars and advertising of those pretty mediocre, they had the stench of mediocrity all over them. And Catwoman was directed by a nobody, as was Elektra and I doubt many care about Lee Tamahori.
    I actually doubt that having this start the summer would’ve helped (not taking into account that it was probably impossibly for it to do so…) because look at XXX2. And Island had decent reviews! Oh well…
    Good to see Batman Begins is probably going to get to $200mil. Wedding Crashers looks pretty good at at least $160mil. Mr & Mrs Smith should top out at $185mil.
    Why is nobody mentioning F4’s drop of less than 50%? I figure around here people would be spewing. Looks like it’ll definitely get to $150mil. Kind of strange, but whatever…

  41. bicycle bob says:

    u can make a good case that fantastic four is one of the stories of the summer. savages by critics and word of mouth and it keeps chugging along.

  42. Bruce says:

    I can’t take anyone seriously who puts The Sisterhood Of Travelling Pants in their Top list. I just can’t do it.

  43. Terence D says:

    I don’t think anyone would have expected the poor showing by The Island. The movie isn’t as bad as the numbers it has made now. It must be something with cloning pics. They don’t do well.

  44. jesse says:

    I like this game.
    1. Revenge of the Sith
    2. Batman Begins
    3. Millions
    4. Sin City
    5. Me and You and Everyone We Know
    6. War of the Worlds
    7. Crash
    8. Kung Fu Hustle
    9. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
    10. Hustle & Flow
    Judging by past years, only about half of these will be on my ten-best list.
    Guys, go see Me & You & Everyone We Know; it’s well worth your time.
    I also really enjoyed Nine Songs, Mysterious Skin Land of the Dead, Wedding Crashers, Unleashed, Hitchhiker’s Guide, Layer Cake, and Constantine. So I don’t think it’s been such a lousy year.
    And Bruce, Sisterhood, while not a great movie, was fine for its genre.

  45. Stella's Boy says:

    I didn’t care for Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, but it has plenty of admirers. It is certified fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, with an 82% rating out of 104 reviews. That is pretty damn good.

  46. Lota says:

    thank you Dave for information re. Emily Rose. Something I read reminded me awfully of Audrey Rose and I know a number of creepy 70s movies are in dev for remakes so I thought it may be one of them.
    Yes Camel I had a hard time making a top 10 list even though I put one up.
    Several movies I felt were trying to “snow” me somehow so I would list them with reservation–Like Sin City is more style than substance and The Beautiful country may well be too. And as much as I like Terrence Howard, I didn’t entirely like Hustle & Flow; and Upside of Anger(Joan Allen is very good) and YMAEWK & Wedding Crashers I also had misgivings about re. ‘the big picture’. I suppose the movie viewing word for the last few months is AMBIVALENCE (mine).

  47. BluStealer says:

    The Upside of Anger was just not a good film. It was the worst thing a film can be. Boring.
    I will eb upset if Terence Howard doesn’t get a nomination. He was that good.

  48. Stella's Boy says:

    The new talk is that horror movies are out this summer, due to the box office take of High Tension, Land of the Dead, Dark Water and now Devil’s Rejects. What the story fails to mention is the low cost of these movies and the fact that they reach at least a majority of their target audience (with the exception of Dark Water). And two out of those four are really not even horror movies. More lazy journalism.

  49. BluStealer says:

    Whats this talk?
    Horror movies are always in because they are cheap to make and make money overseas and on video. There is a reason that new ones come out every month and even more are put into production.
    Now if the talk said that some failed because of amatuerish production values and crappy stories then I would buy it.

  50. Lota says:

    it was a lazy article in the sense that there is no analysis of why each of the movies didn’t catch on with a very large group (remake vs. foreign movie etc). For some of the low budget movies the earning performance wasn’t bad.

  51. Josh says:

    Making a Top Ten list in July just doesn’t cut the mustard for me. I have to wait to at least a few fall movies come out. I’d cry if I had to place War of the Worlds on a top ten list.

  52. Josh says:

    I wouldn’t have seen any of this horror movies if you paid me to. They looked terrible.

  53. Stella's Boy says:

    If a movie nearly makes its entire budget on opening weekend, can it really be considered a failure?

  54. Lota says:

    I think the writer’s are failing to take budget +P&A into account. I think there were high expectations for House of Wax, but I cannot think why. I think it was overestimated how many people wanted to see Paris Dead or Alive, and there was way too much focus on her in interviews etc.

  55. Justin says:

    Bay in the LA Times last week —

  56. BluStealer says:

    No. It can’t. Maybe by writers but they’re unimportant. The only people that matters is the studio and the executives and the ones making the money. They don’t care if a movie “fails” as long as it makes a profit. All the other stuff is for people like us to comment on and review.

  57. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Paramount went upmarket/arthouse on “Hustle & Flow” where it could. The Clairidge Cinema (Montclair NJ) and the Loews Lincoln Square (Upper West Side) opened it. The Loews Village VII (lower Manhattan) and the AMC Hamilton (NJ) got 2 prints each. Surprisingly the UA East Hampton (Long Island) didn’t open it.
    Correction: “Hustle & Flow” is in the Loews 42nd Street E-Walk, not the AMC Empire.

  58. Panda Bear says:

    Hustle and Flow has got a good deal of marketing. Helps the cause that MTV owns the rights to it.

  59. Aaron says:

    I don’t know about any other regions, but here in the Midwest I saw a bevy of adverts for The Bad News Bears, Hustle and Flow (a more limited release), and even The Devil’s Rejects (an even more limited release). But I don’t recall seeing one advertisement for The Island. Either I’m watching the wrong TV channels, or they’re advertising on the wrong ones. Perhaps ‘lack-of-advertising’ can stand beside ‘bad advertising’ as reasons why The Island fared poorly.

  60. Terence D says:

    The Island was everywhere. SJ and EM were on every talk show hyping this up. Covers of magazines. I don’t know why it is bombing this bad. The one weird aspect of the summer so far. This not getting to at least 50 million.

  61. Mason says:

    The Island is practically a Heaven’s Gate like Bomb. Hell, it’s even worse. It cost at least 125 mil to make before P&A and will probably top out at 40 domestically. That’s insane.

  62. LesterFreed says:

    Ouch. Who is going to be blamed for this fiasco?

  63. Stella's Boy says:

    This is on The Drudge Report right now. Thought it was interesting.

  64. Eric says:

    Yeah, I think the only statist that could possible console Mr. Bay and the folks at Dreamworks is that Titanic only made 21% of it’s total gross during its opening weekend. If they can drum up that type of holding power The Island can come away with $250 Million…but the odds of that happening are about the same as Bay’s Transformer movie containing ZERO explosions. Sorry, Mr. Bay…no consolation here.

  65. bicycle bob says:

    the island is the new titanic? keep dreaming.

  66. Lota says:

    The Hollywood reporter has the information re. the fines and apology Sony/BMG has to pay re. “improper conduct” (re. “payola” post above)

  67. grandcosmo says:

    Math must not of been your best subject in school. If The Island’s $12.1 million opening weekend turns out to be 21% of its total gross it still won’t reach $60 million. Where did you get $250m?

  68. jeffmcm says:

    And if Titanic had made 21% of its $600 million domestic in its opening weekend, that would have been a $126 million weekend.

  69. bicycle bob says:

    hes hoping it stays in theatres for 25 yrs and continues to make 10 mill a month.

  70. Josh says:

    I still can’t believe the crappiest movie of the summer, FF, continues to make money.

  71. Lota says:

    The kids seem to really like FF Josh (I didn’t)

  72. BluStealer says:

    At least they’re assured of a sequel. And Jessica Alba gets some box office cred.
    But does this mean Julien McMahon now has a good shot at the Bond role?

  73. Lota says:

    I can’t see Julian McMahon as Bond, but that’s just my personal preference.
    I would see Will SMith or Javier Bardem or even Benecio as Bond because they are masculine & seem able to do the stunts. If CLooney were a little younger he might not be half bad either.

  74. Stella's Boy says:

    He is playing Rutger Hauer’s role in the remake of The Hitcher.

  75. BluStealer says:

    I think he’d make the perfect Bond. he is mroe than handsome enough. Got the charm. Now has big screen appeal and credibility. If you doubt him even a little just pick up Nip Tuck. It’s a great show and he is exceptional on it.

  76. Lota says:

    AHHHHHH! NO WAY. The first Hitcher was bad enough. That really should have been the prototype Terminator since Rutger just kept going no matter what. The Hitcher=BOMBS away
    Handsome is as handsome does(i.e. not much). The best Bond, COnnery was BOND like in the books because he was masculine, fairly plain, not a pretty boy, and he was physically believable at the stunts.
    Just because he’s good on Nip & tuck doesn’t make him perfect Bond, but that’s just my opinion. I just don;t think he or Jackman (also proposed at one time) would do.

  77. bicycle bob says:

    benicio del toro already played a bond villian once. i don’t think they’d go for a spanish or black guy for an english secret agent that the world knows as white. even if bardem would be a good choice.

  78. Terence D says:

    I can see McMahon playing Bond. They signed up Timothy Dalton so I think any actor can play it. My personal choice is Dougray Scott.

  79. Josh says:

    Who can bad mouth The Hitcher? C Thomas Howell was great in that. Did we watch the same movie? Buy iy now. It’s 7 bucks at Amazon. Worth the buy.

  80. RP says:

    Joe Leydon wrote: OK, let’s play a game: Someone holds a gun to your head and tells you have to name, right now, your Top Ten movies of 2005 so far. >>>
    So far…
    10. War of the Worlds
    9. Batman Begins
    8. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
    7. Mad Hot Ballroom
    6. The Interpreter
    5. Crash
    4. The Wedding Crashers
    3. Murderball
    2. Layer Cake
    And the number one movie of 2005, released to date, is…
    1. Hustle & Flow

  81. Mark says:

    The Interpreter? That shouldn’t make a Top 25 List.

  82. Niki says:

    Emily Rose has nothing to do with Audrey Rose.
    I saw a screening — it’s quite scary and intense. Strong performances by Laura Linney and Tom Wilkinson and the newcomer who plays ER.
    I have no idea how they are going to market this movie — it has strong/thriller horror elements but is also a courtroom drama with actors like Linney & Wilkinson and Campbell Scott. Marketing to the group who’d appreciate one part of that equation is likely to turn the other group off.

  83. Stella's Boy says:

    Mark, where’s your list?

  84. Mark says:

    1. Batman Begins
    2. Sith
    3. Wedding Crashers
    498. Interpreter

  85. Stella's Boy says:

    Holy shit! You have seen 498 movies this year? Or is The Interpreter not even the last movie on your list?

  86. jeffmcm says:

    So I guess you hated it? I thought it was too mediocre to hate. Care to explain?

  87. Stella's Boy says:

    I thought it was good until the last 15 minutes or so, which I hated.

  88. Walker says:

    Scarlett Johanson is a magazine cover star, not a movie star. At least not yet a movie star.
    Foreign film box office won’t save The Island once the DVD pirates get rolling.

  89. Rory says:

    No. SJ is a movie star. The Island might be chalked up to one subject; “CLONES.” Whomever brought that up, it might have been Clement, might have a point.
    Also, we no longer live in an age where any film can get slammed as being a “bomb.” Each week produces too much product to go back to the last week, and try to figure out why such and such movie failed. Though, EW, and their presumptive reporting (Yes. Dakota Fanning is SOOOOOOO successful. They take idiotic to new levels sometimes) might want to make a case for the film being a bomb.
    Unlike years before, there are still more revenue streams available to turn this duck into a swan. Whenever The Island opens up abroad. The grosses possibly coming in will be very interesting.
    A few things left with jeff; when did mediocrity exclude films from dislike/hate? Lota: Julian McMahon more of a man than those four actors you mentioned. Though a fan, Im sticking with my contention that Daniel Craig should be Bond. He’s the closest that 24 loving isle would ever get to their very own Jack Bauer. And the Fantastic Four continues to roll. The sequel, hopefully, will be given to Peyton Reed.

  90. Lota says:

    It is not the frickin CLONES.
    Many movies have cloning/aspects of cloning as a feature! CLoning has been around for > 20 years. The modern age of cloning: the ever fantastic Blade Runner [EMS recombination–very cloning hip for the time], alas not a big hit when it first came out…possibly on marketing indecision).
    Maybe Michael bay has been TYPECAST by the prospective audience–he did the same type of movie too many times. Maybe the powers that be vested in the Faceless national audience want the regular Bay-tacular ‘no-thinking required to figure it’ out type of action movie. This looked like They (faceless prospective audience) had to “pay attention” for a change.
    I think it;s his best picture. really a shame in a way. He gets rewarded for stealth asteroids, and then a pretty neat idea for a movie gets blown out of the water by John Q. Public ignoring it completely.

  91. RP says:

    Mark wrote: The Interpreter? That shouldn’t make a Top 25 List. >>>
    It won’t by the end of the year, but for now it’s fine. As noted elsewhere in this thread, the movie is solid until the last 15 mins, where it loses the courage of its convictions. Still think it’s a decent, adult thriller.

  92. joefitz84 says:

    Did you happen to see The Interpreter? How can anyone put that on any best list? Even Fantastic Four was better. I’m tempted to add in Devils Rejects but thats going overboard.

  93. Stella's Boy says:

    What was so awful about The Interpreter, other than the lame conclusion? It is light years ahead of Devil’s Rejects. No comparison.

  94. joefitz84 says:

    Ok Stella’s Boy I’ll bite. Did you really like The Interpreter? Is it one of your favorite this year because Mark hated it? Is that what its come to with you? You’re going to get behind a lame so so thriller just to get some convo going?

  95. Josh says:

    Didn’t Sean Penn have to give back his Oscar statue for doing that movie?

  96. Stella's Boy says:

    joefitz, do you know how to be civil? Why do you get so angry and aggressive right away? Why would I like something just because Mark didn’t? In my opinion, it is a well-written and entertaining movie until the last 15 minutes, when everything falls apart. It’s not one of my favorite movies of the year, but overall I did enjoy it. Is that OK with you?

  97. Panda Bear says:

    What’s next? Fantastic Four cracking Top Ten lists or The Island?

  98. Rory says:

    The Island received decent enough reviews. May I point out again, that if you are into very interesting arguments about the differences of medical and anthropological science. You just might find this film stimulating. This film also contains some of the better FX used in any non-SW show by ILM in years. If any WETA film receives a nomination this coming year for FX. Shocked, might not be the right word to describe my feelings on that matter.
    Lota, to quote Howard Stern; “What’s it about?” Robin: “It’s about clones…” HS: “I don’t want to see that.” Im willing to conjecture some people feel the sameway about a film with clones as Howard does. Though, your point at Bay, are very well stated.

  99. jeffmcm says:

    What is anthropological science?
    I still think blaming ‘clones’ for the movie is nonsense. Howard Stern says stuff just for the sake of saying stuff a lot of the time. It was sold as a sci-fi action movie and that’s what people know it as. By that logic Attack of the Clones should have been an enormous bomb.

  100. jeffmcm says:

    I want to know why Mark hated The Interpreter too, merely because he seemed to have very strong negative feelings about it that remain mysterious, and it didn’t seem to be interesting enough to provoke emotions one way or the other.

  101. jeffmcm says:

    I would LOVE IT if FF2 was given to Peyton Reed. He’s a better director by far. Probably won’t happen though, those bridges may have been burnt.

  102. KamikazeCamel says:

    Jesse, you liked 9 SONGS? Holy fucking hell.
    …:( Hitchhikers are rotten too.

  103. ah says:

    1 Upside of anger
    2 hustle and flow
    3 batman begins
    4 enron smartest guys
    5 crash
    6 war of the worlds

  104. jesse says:

    Camel — yeh, I did like 9 Songs. I was surprised how interested I was in the non-sex, non-rock scenes (and there were more than I had assumed from all of the early press)… it got a little overly dour at times, and the narration was a bit flat, but generally I thought it was pretty interesting. More interesting than most rockumentaries *and* most porn, heh. I tend to enjoy movies that capture little moments. And I’m a fan of sub-70-min running times, too 😉

  105. bicycle bob says:

    how does one have upside of anger as the top movie of the yr?

  106. Stella's Boy says:

    Didn’t Ebert give Upside of Anger four stars? I guess some people really like it. Personally, I think it’s a three star movie.

  107. jesse says:

    While we’re talking Upside of Anger, can I say how much the sense of time and age in that movie completely bothered me and yanked me out of the movie (which I thought was well-acted, funny, entertaining, but didn’t exactly hold together)?
    How old were those three daughters supposed to be? I eventually came to a vague conclusion, but the middle two (Erika Christiansen and Keri Russell) both seemed to be perpetually in the fall of their senior year of HS… except the movie took place over at least twice that amount of time, and neither of them seemed to ever actually be in school! So I guess it was more like the year after their senior year of high school (nevermind the fact that they’re not exactly the same age), except, again, the film covers more time than that, and if the Erika Christiansen character is just telling her mom, early in the movie, that she decided not to go to college… well, wouldn’t the mom have had an inkling of that, if she was out of high school and not, you know, *IN* college yet??? Maybe she was taking a year off, but would it kill the movie to someone slip that in, make it clear?
    I know that’s a minor nitpick, but it really bothers me how shockingly few movies are able to be clear or vaguely accurate in terms of how and when high school, college, years off, etc., typically happen.
    (Another example is Real Women Have Curves, where the main character’s college application/admission process is beginning in the JUNE of her senior year! They address this a little by having her teacher say that he “knows someone” at Columbia, or something to that effect, but wouldn’t a concerned teacher with an ins at Columbia bring up college before his gifted student’s HS graduation??)

  108. Stella's Boy says:

    I believe Keri Russell’s character had graduated high school and was in ballet or dance school. We see her practicing a few times. And Christensen had also graduated and got the job at the radio station rather than go to college.

  109. Rory says:

    jeff, Howard seldom says stuff just to say stuff. He does not have the title, ‘the voice of the common man’, for nothing. HS aside. Attack of the Clones does rank as the only SW film not to be the biggest grossing film during it’s Summer release. It also appears, that giving people 20 years of clone stories. Might prepare them a bit for a film dealing with clones. Evil, backstabbing, and betraying clones.
    And jeff, anthropology a branch of science, but I should have typed ‘cultural’ science to be more accurate.

  110. jesse says:

    Stella, those both defnitely describe where the characters were at certain times in the film… but where they start out at the beginning of the film is unclear.
    We see Russell get an acceptance letter to some kind of dance school about halfway through the film. Maybe she was in a specialized arts-centric HS, and this was a college acceptance? Or she was at college and this was for a postgrad dance school? Since neither of these situations are particularly conventional, it’s odd that the movie seems to expect us to either understand it or not wonder.
    And even with a HS-graduated Christiansan, there isn’t really an explanation of how at the beginning of the movie, it’s fall, and she’s just telling her mom about her intention not to go to college. Her mom is shocked… but why? The school year has already begun (her sister goes back to school at the beginning of the movie… either for the first semester, or after fall break; either way, it’s Sept-Oct). So what was Christiansan doing all through the summer? As I said, it’s possible she was taking a year off, but the movie never makes this clear, so I was distracted trying to figure out that stuff.
    This isn’t a truly crippling flaw, but the timeframe of the film is still muddled overall. I recall a scene preceded by a weather-highlighted “fade” to winter, and then almost immediately followed by a “fade” back to spring! Was it really so necessary that this one scene take place in the dead of winter?? That they go through two season changes for about two minutes of screentime??
    I think that’s generally a problem with movies that take place over a year, though… awkward snatches of time have to stand for a lot. Saved! is another example… it couldn’t help but feel underdeveloped with that awkward school-year timeline more suited to a TV series than a film. The Harry Potter films do this, too.

  111. LesterFreed says:

    Kevin Costner needs a new agent. He needs to stay with sport movies where he is the King.

  112. jeffmcm says:

    I still refuse to believe this idea of blaming The Island’s failure on cloning. It suggests that audiences are frightened and skittish and possibly superstitious.
    And the reason Attack of the Clones didn’t do as well was because it had story and performance problems, not because of one word in its title. Also cloning movies have been around for longer than 20 years so I don’t know what you mean there.
    Oh, and back to The Island, it does have some interesting science in it but it’s obvious that Bay is more interested in the action scenes. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone looking for super-smart sci-fi.

  113. KamikazeCamel says:

    You DON’T think Hugh Jackman is masculine enough for Bond? Okay, I’m taking away your medication.
    Kevin Costner, i thought, was finally getting back on track. “Open Range” was pretty exceptional for me because I usually dislike the western genre but I really enjoyed that one. That final shootout is surely one of the best non-scifi shootouts ever filmed, non?
    And I really liked Upside of Anger and him in it.
    To each their own I suppose.
    But why the utter hatred of The Interpreter (yes, back to that). It had some suspenceful moments, good performances, fine direction, it certainly looked great, and it had the extra bonus of curiousity because it was actually filmed in the UN.

  114. Lota says:

    never had medication, nor have i ever seen a shrink (I’m not very American am I).
    Jackman is capable of being Bond if he bulks up a little more (way too thin these days) like in his early wolverine days. in that case, I’d take him.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon