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David Poland

By David Poland

Sunday Update

First, we have your Cannes Palm D’ Or winner… and once again, the festival (as most do) finds a way to make it all seem irrelevant (which is the happy opposite of selling out, I guess) by going with Ken Loach’s The Wind That Shakes The Barley, which is surely smart and surely of importance. But Loach’s last three films didn’t get American distribution, and the last one that did, Sweet Sixteen, grossed $316,319.
Almodovar’s Volver grabbed a couple of awards and Inarritu’s Babel got one. Good for the Volver sell, which is all arthouse and not so great for Babel, which now has a tag that will do them no good in selling a movie that hopes to be commercial, yet will be in every ad they make.
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24 Responses to “Sunday Update”

  1. the keoki says:

    BO Mojo has X3’s sunday at 29mil for 107 over three days. Damn thats a spicy meatball.

  2. Blackcloud says:

    And Cannes would have been slightly less irrelevant if one of those other movies had won? Or it would be relevant if it had sold out? I got the impression from your objections to Anne Thompson’s story, David, that you think Cannes is irrelevant no matter what happens there. What did I miss?

  3. David Poland says:

    The beat goes on, BC.
    It’s not like I think nothing can ever change. It happens all the time. And I tried to make the point that other fests, like Sundance, also seem to focus awards choices based on what needs help, never supporting what is popular under any circumstance. This should not be a surprise anymore. But that doesn’t mean that it couldn’t have been different.

  4. TJFar67 says:

    I predict at least a 30% drop for X Men 3 next weekend.

  5. Blackcloud says:

    “But that doesn’t mean that it couldn’t have been different.”
    You’re right about that, of course. And about the other festivals also awarding what needs it, and avoiding a choice that would be popular even if it would be a deserving recipient.
    So we’re left with deciding whether it’s more disheartening that things could be different but aren’t, or that they couldn’t be other than what they are. Some choice.

  6. jeffmcm says:

    So what did you want at Cannes? For them to make their selection based on ‘what movie will prove to the world that our festival is relevant?’

  7. Eddie says:

    I saw A Fond Kiss in the theaters (I think that was after Sweet Sixteen), so that one got distributed too.

  8. RoyBatty says:

    On Cannes:
    If they want to keep the festival relevent by having people pay attention to the announced winners, they’ll need pick a better date. Out of ignorance, pride or stubborness, they have made it a battle (in their eyes perhaps) between art and commerce by going head to head with the official start of the summer box office.
    As more films get worldwide day & date releases this will only become more accute. Anyone who tries to tell you that even the Europeans hold film as art over commerce hasn’t lived there or studied the overseas box office numbers lately. Most of their domestic box office winners are the same mass-audience pleasers that ours are (NIGHTWATCH anyone?).
    On X-3:
    Just the fact that next weekend follows a holiday rules out a 30% drop. Plus, even without the exit polls (which must be on hold until tommorrow) it is apparent from the board chatter that the fan base was not blown away by this installment. I’d say Fox should count themselves lucky if it only drops about 45%.
    A large measure of that will be due to X-3 having virtually no direct competition for weeks. Outside of CARS and maybe F&F:TOYKO DRIFT the only film that targets the same audience is CLICK before SUPERMAN RETURNS. Four or Five weeks to wring as much coin as Fox could possibly hope for. Has any studio gotten this fucking lucky before?
    I’d say X-3 is headed towards a $250-275M total even with what I think will be only a so-so word of mouth. It will become the default film to see. I firmly believe if they had worked with Singer and his team, the resulting better film would have gotten them another $50M and made Singer the first director to have back-to-back summer blockbusters. C’est la vie.

  9. jeffmcm says:

    Cannes was a festival in May before summer was major box-office territory.
    Europeans do have more of an interest in art over commerce. That’s why so much of European film production is funded by their governments.
    “…made Singer the first director to have back-to-back summer blockbusters.”
    This doesn’t make sense. For one thing, Spielberg has made back-to-back summer blockbusters before (Raiders in 1981, E.T. in 1982) and so has Stephen Sommers (Mummy in 1999, Mummy Returns in 2001), Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump in 1994, Contact in 1997, What Lies Beneath in 2000)…?

  10. RoyBatty says:

    What does it matter if Cannes gets to say “but we were here first!”? If they want people to pay attention they need to get away from the distraction, otherwise only those truly interested will notice. It’s kind of a double-edged sword I admit, because on the other hand I don’t advocate them shutting out the out-of-competition crap like DA VINCI and X-3. It draws attention to the festival.
    Back-to-back meaning in the SAME summer. The way I heard it was that Singer felt he could do both, but Fox said ours or theirs – pick one.
    Also, even if I had meant in consecutive summers, only Speilberg would apply as Summers and Zemeckis have years between theirs. And you left out the most obvious current champ, Shyamalan.

  11. djk813 says:

    A film festival jury consists of a fairly small group of people so the dynamics in coming up with a winner can vary wildly. There can be a consensus formed pretty easily, there can be films that divide the jury winding up with a compromise winner that was no one’s favorite, they might go with a film that they liked and felt didn’t get the coverage it deserved to help it over a film they liked that got a lot of coverage.
    I don’t know how much direction Cannes specifically gives the jury about what they’d like to see in a Palm d’Or winner, but I’m guessing that once they select the jury, the jury is on its own so the Palm d’Or winner is simply the film that those nine people decided to give it to for whatever reason.
    As to what relevance it has, it can’t hurt the film’s chances of getting distribution in the US and around the world. Besides, Loach has paid his Cannes dues. This was his 8th film in competition, and though he’s won other prizes, this is his first Palm d’Or. He’s a director respected around the world if not so much in the US. Cannes, like other big festivals, tries to find the balance between attracting big stars and big films to bring in the press and rewarding (whatever that year’s jury decides is) the best in the art of film.
    I realize I’m in the minority, but a Palm d’Or still makes me more interested in a film. Of course, I was already interested in the “new Ken Loach” film anyway.

  12. jeffmcm says:

    There’s no way Singer could have made Superman and X-Men in the same summer. If he said that, he was on crack. Spielberg, Zemeckis, and Soderbergh making two hit movies in a single year should be enough.

  13. Josh Massey says:

    John McTiernan had two movies in the same summer – “The 13th Warrior” and “The Thomas Crown Affair.”
    Look how well that turned out.

  14. jeffmcm says:

    Justin Lin already had Annapolis this year and Fast and the Furious Go Tokyo in a couple of weeks. Yeah!

  15. Filipe says:

    The thing one should have in mind about Cannes is that it’s a big event done for European Market far more than America. It’s relation to Hollywood is pretty much use and be used. It gives big movies like Da Vinci Code and X-Men 3 a huge lunchpad for an European Premiere (one that guarantees a bigger media impact than they would get on their own) and in exchange they got some big hollywood names to sell to the european audience to keep than interested. The studios are happy because it’s good for business (that’s why they keep having one or two of those big movies there every year regardless of bad reviews they often get there) and Cannes organization is happy because the Hollywood names still works as hook for the european market. The american impact is a relative afterthought, the fact that Ebert, Variety and Ny Times are there year after year show that the festival still works as a media event even in America (there’s really no reason for a guy like Ebert to go to Cannes since every film that he likes there is pretty much a sure thing to be in Toronto in September, still he is always there).
    A Golden Palm win pretty much guarantees that the film will get pick-up for distribution in all major markets, it doesn’t matter that much to a guy like Loach whose film would probably be pick-up to the majority of them anyway (there’s always an arthouse audience for left movies that let the audience feel good about their believes). Historically a Golden Palm also does seen to help the filmmaker’s future films (to give an example, only one Abbas Kiasrostami film previously to his Golden Palm win in 97, had find American distribution, he direct four features after that, three got distributors even tough he got progressivelly more uncommercial).

  16. jeffmcm says:

    “(there’s always an arthouse audience for left movies that let the audience feel good about their believes)”
    I hope you agree that this is true everywhere on the ideological spectrum.

  17. Blackcloud says:

    “The american impact is a relative afterthought, the fact that Ebert, Variety and Ny Times are there year after year show that the festival still works as a media event even in America (there’s really no reason for a guy like Ebert to go to Cannes since every film that he likes there is pretty much a sure thing to be in Toronto in September, still he is always there).”
    That says something about Cannes and the likes of Ebert et al., and it’s not very flattering. But I won’t use the words “Old Media” to say it.

  18. JBM... says:

    “Justin Lin already had Annapolis this year and Fast and the Furious Go Tokyo in a couple of weeks. Yeah!”
    Yeah, but Annapolis had been in the can for at least a year before its January dump.

  19. jeffmcm says:

    So had The 13th Warrior.

  20. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    What about the no-name director of Basic Instinct 2? He had two movies open on the same weekend! And there was the director of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre prequel who was rumoured to be directing the now defunct Friday the 13th remake for a Oct 13 release… one week after the TCM prequel is to be released.
    But then that also had Patricia Clarkson as Mrs Voorhees, so…
    About Cannes: A film winning at Cannes makes me take notice but if the film doesn’t interest me then it doesn’t really bother me. The Three Burials… winning two last year piqued my interest but then I saw footage and heard more and upon it’s release here last week I merely went “meh” and moved on.

  21. jeffmcm says:

    That’s too bad, Three Burials is an excellent movie.

  22. Spacesheik says:

    Spielberg can shoot SCHINDLER’S LIST during the day in freezing temperatures while editing JURASSIC PARK f/x shots – sent via satellite – at night from his editing deck in Poland – not everyone can work that way, but even that led to 2 flicks same year not same summer.
    But anyway, THE 13TH WARRIOR..interesting film, had a lot of potential, but it was shelved for more than 1 year I think (could have been more)was reshot by McTiernan or edited by the studio (dont remember which). I preferred the original title EATERS OF THE DEAD (based on the Crichton book) but I guess it sounded too much like a zombie flick.
    Wasn’t a bad film , had some thrilling scenes: Banderas was decent, Omar Sharif’s cameo was welcome and Jerry Goldsmith’s score was awesome. The premise, an Arab explorer living among Vikings, fighting some unseen “monster” was cool. Pity it didn’t live up to all that.

  23. lawnorder says:

    Kamikaze Camel,
    Michael Caton Jones is hardly a no name director. Check out his credits on IMDB. I have no idea why he opted to direct BASIC INSTINCT 2, but he’s made some stellar films like ROB ROY, THIS BOY’S LIFE and SCANDAL.

  24. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    lol… sorry? pfft, whatever. I hate This Boy’s Life so ‘tev.

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