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By David Poland

Box Office Hell LIVES!


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43 Responses to “Box Office Hell LIVES!”

  1. IOIOIOI says:


  2. Tofu says:

    It’s taking the second weekend record. Everything else is guessing.

  3. Baudolino says:

    That Box Office Prophets for X-Files 2 seems a little…high.

  4. Baudolino says:


  5. IOIOIOI says:

    If X-Files made 45 million dollar with that shitcan premise. The Fox execs may crap themselves.

  6. Wrecktum says:

    Box Office Prophets are high.

  7. Blackcloud says:

    False prophets.

  8. Joe Leydon says:

    Prophets without honor, Blackcloud?

  9. Blackcloud says:

    Haha, Joe, I think on the interwebz that’s pretty much every prophet!

  10. Joe Leydon says:

    You may be right!

  11. I read Box Office Prophets’ weekend predictions before I came here and I thought it was a typo.
    On the matter of The Dark Knight, I must say that the only place I’ve experienced the feverish “OMGBESTMOVIEEVAH!!!!” response to it has been on the ‘net on places like this. Anybody else experience that?

  12. Geoff says:

    Fantasy Mogul and Nikki Finke are projecting about $25 million yesterday for Dark Knight – good, but not great, but right in line with what any one could have reasonably expected – probably about $75 and about 50% off of last weekend. It’s thundering towards $400 million and $500 million is a distinct possibility.
    Mama Mia held well and is on its way to Hairspray-like grosses – do you think it might be time to to start giving Meryl Streep some credit for her later career box office success?
    Step Brothers opened well and is probably going to do over $30 million, this weekend – looks like the stink of Semi-Pro has worn off.
    As for TDK, I finally saw it, last night – packed crowd in downtown Chicago. Fantastic movie – tense, propulsive, heady stuff. Honestly, I think Nolan deserves special credit for pulling off what almost no other director except for James Cameron can pull off – sustaining tension over a very long screen time with escalating climaxes. Along the lines of Titanic or Aliens in that way. Very good performances, dazzling visuals, very good writing for the most part. Now, was it a perfect masterpiece? No, infact I only thought it was marginally better than Batman Begins – I happened to love Batman Begins, though.
    Some of the writing was a little too on the nose, like in Begins – speechifying and stuff, I mean, I got the points about white and dark “knights” the first 10 tens times they brought it up. Was it nice that Oldman had more of that type of dialogue, as opposed to Holmes in the last movie, sure?
    Also probably a bit overstuffed, but I disagree with many who say that the Two-Face stuff was tacked on. I actually think it went right along the momentum of the movie – and Nolan is a smart guy, I have a feeling that he realized the the character and his menace would not have been enough to sustain a whole other movie – a two hour film with Eckhard running around, half-burnt, on his mission of vengeance would probably not have worked. Just not enough there
    and it would have gotten tiresome with the whole vengeance angle.
    The climax with the S.W.A.T./hospital workers and Batman’s SONAR, going around that building, got a bit confusing, but I kind of forgave that because of the nicely done stuff on the ferries at the same time. Is it me or even with this whole great cast, does “Tiny” Lister actually deliver the best moment in the film??? You all know what I am talking about – it’s moralistic, but just grabbed me.
    Gyllenhal was an obvious upgrade over Holmes and did a good job, so did Eckhart. Bale is getting the negative side of most reviews and it is not deserved – the character, as written, can be somewhat thankless, but he does a good job of making you buy it, even with the McGruff Crime Dog voice in his scenes as Batman.
    As for Ledger, he DID live up to the hype, as far as I’m concerned – you could not take your eyes off the guy. It is a showy performance? Sure, but that’s the character, as written – the Nolans deserve some credit, too, for how well they wrote the guy. I really liked the touch of his passing out different origins to different people – they lobbed a softball to Heath and he just knocks it out of the park. The lips, the tongue, the eyes, the walking – Ledger makes this a truly unpredictable character with real menace and who creates true tension in every scene.
    It’s a fantastic movie, the best of its kind, it WILL get some Oscar nominations, bet on it. There were some small issues and I felt exhausted after watching it – did it fall a bit short of the ambitions, yes? But really, Nolan and company deserve enormous credit for pulling off a dark, exciting pop entertainment that’s actually better than 95% of the films that are nominated for Oscars every year.

  13. repeatfather says:

    “Is it me or even with this whole great cast, does “Tiny” Lister actually deliver the best moment in the film??? You all know what I am talking about – it’s moralistic, but just grabbed me.”
    I’m not sure it quite topped the Joker prancing around in the nurse’s outfit with the detonator in his hands, but I do agree that it’s a great little moment that’s generally been overlooked.

  14. jackfly11 says:

    $25M is right in line with the day-to-day decay experienced by Pirates 2 (which has been constant all week). And DK is still tracking 33% higher (DK is earning $4M+ more per day than Dead Man’s Chest). At the end of Friday, DK is almost $50M ahead of Pirates 2, $64M ahead of Spider-Man 3 and $122M ahead of Iron Man.
    If the trend holds on Sat/Sun (which I think it will), it’s reasonable to expect an $82-83M weekend (or as little as a 48% drop). Which means the cume could be as high as $320M by Sunday night.
    $500M is a very real possibility. $450-475M looks apparent, but you can bet that Warner will push very very hard if the half billion mark looks to be in reach.
    Frankly, I’m surprised Heat hasn’t been writing more about this possibility.

  15. Geoff says:

    Repeatfather, that scene with Ledger in the nurses outfit is great stuff, but I kind of saw it coming. The moment with Tiny Lister completely caught me off guard.
    You know, something else about “perspective” when it comes to this movie: there are a lot of people out there crying “blasphemy” with the comparisons of TDK to Heat or The Godfather Part II. Well, I happen to think this movie compares very favorably to both and don’t see what’s so crazy about that. Just my opinion, but I don’t find either of those movies to be perfect “masterpieces,” either – they both had their flaws.
    Heat’s biggest flaw was the Val Kilmer character – not interesting enough to get the screen time he did and also, I did not buy how his character evaded the law, in the end – that scene does not gibe well with the logic of the rest of the movie: Hannah has this top crew and they get fooled by a fake I.D???
    And Godfather Part II, sorry, and I am in the extreme minority on this – the film comes off as choppy at times. I think Coppola actually hurts the narrative momentum of Michael’s story (which is extremely compelling) by continuously cutting back to Vito’s story. Watch it again, sometime, and maybe you’ll agree with me….or not.
    So can The Dark Knight hold a candle to these two movies? Of course – it’s flawed, but a fantastic crime epic in its own right. I don’t get sometimes how if you give a film 10 or 20 years, it all of a sudden becomes untouchable.

  16. “do you think it might be time to to start giving Meryl Streep some credit for her later career box office success?”
    I thought she got the majority of the credit for The Devil Wears Prada especially, no?
    Geoff, some thoughts about your words. I, in all honesty, can not for a second agree with you about your James Cameron comparison. Agreed that Nolan does an exceptional job with the throughline stuff between action sequences, and that opening bank scene was very well done (although it could have been better with a bit more time, actually) but Nolan’s direction lets down the action scenes, as impressive as they are in a general way there’s not really any that stick in my mind the way even a lackluster James Cameron action scene does. Perhaps I misread what you said though.
    And it’s not that I thought the Two Face storyline was tacked on, it was obviously built into the storyline from the opening scene, it’s just that Eckhart barely has enough screentime as Two Face to justify the expense.
    One thing that would’ve sent a spray of !!!!s above my head if I were in a cartoon while reading your comments was the use of the word “propulsive”. I hadn’t heard that word used to describe the movie, but it’s such a spot on adjective.

  17. Geoff says:

    Kamikaze, I certainly didn’t come up with the word, “propulsive” and could have sworn I have heard critics use it, but thanks regardless.
    You know, you have a point about Cameron – NOBODY, and I mean nobody, can direct an action sequence like he does. The Abyss was on, recently, and I know that movie is far from perfect, but wow, does he do a great job with that underwater face-off between Ed Harris/Mary Elizabeth and Michael Bean – I mean, portraying action and a senses of geography underwater is extremely difficult to do – any remember that clunky sequence at the end of Thunderball???? Cameron is the master.
    Am I saying that Nolan is on that level, when it comes to directing action? No way. But, The Dark Knight is not an action movie, it’s a thriller – Nolan does a masterful job of sustaining rising tension (from the S.W.A.T truck chase all the way to Two-Face’s face-off with Gordon and Batman) for what has to be over 80 minutes of screentime, and it didn’t feel like it. The music, the editing, the characterization – the thing just grabs you and does not let go.
    Like I said, there is some stuff that is clunkily filmed, especially that high-rise stuff with the Sonar, but I was certainly sitting at attention, with my stomach flipping through this thing, as it seemed was the rest of the audience.
    Nolan is a master filmmaker, but he’s still young with some things to learn – putting him in the same league of Mann and Cameron(I know, VERY different filmakers), at this point, is not so far-fetched.

  18. The Pope says:

    Had to skip through your post – I don’t see TDK until tomorrow morning – but I have to disagree with you about Godfather II. I think perhaps what makes Michael’s story all the more compelling is in a large part due to the fact that Coppola cuts us back to Vito’s rise. And because we see him gathering together a life and a family and a business, we can see how much Michael is failing. It is as if the more Michael feels things slipping away, he seems to try to remember the things his father told him (recall the scene when he goes to see Frankie Pentangelli… “My father told me many things in this room”)… and what Vito told him is what we see… and that makes Michael’s story all the more tragic. Personally, I think G2 is one of the five greatest American achievements in cinema. It is as if Coppola wrote a sequel to Hamlet.

  19. Geoff says:

    Pope, it’s all a matter of opinion and I am sure most will agree with you. I agree with you about what Coppola was trying to do, but I just don’t think he pulled it off with the direction – it’s all about the editing, just didn’t work for me.
    Look, this has always been a pet peeve of mine, when it comes to movies – keeping up momentum or consistency of tone. It’s one of the reasons I was the only person I knew who was NOT impressed with Saving Private Ryan when it first came out – three different movies, as far as I’m concerned. Not trying to be contrarian, just my pet peeve.
    Back to The Dark Knight and Nolan, I like how it was his first full-on straight narrative film – less of his usual tricks and he pulled it off.

  20. lazarus says:

    I think I fall somewhere in between you guys on both counts; The Godfather is a more consistent and better organized film, perhaps (certainl easier to sit through), but it’s very much Puzo’s and the studio’s film.
    With Part II, Coppola was able to do exactly what he wanted, unchecked, and even if you think it’s choppy, you can’t deny the sprawling ambition and density, which winds up saying SO much more than the first one, and does it in so many more ways, with so many more characters. I’m not placing it in some all-time Top 5 like The Pope, but it is a quintessential “American” film and I respect the hell out of it.
    As for TDK, does it deserve comparison? Well I think it’s fair. Because we’re dealing with a franchise, a trademarked character, etc., there’s only so far the Nolans could go. And while some of the things are hammered into your head and written broadly, it’s a comic book film first and foremost. I haven’t seen any other adaptation from that genre written with any more subtlety. Dealing with myth, you can’t put too fine a point on it.
    What I admired is that all the major characters were faced with their own ethical dilemmas, and dealt with them in different ways, with varying consequences. It’s what makes the thing a tapestry that draws comparisons to the best of other genres, which is why titles like Godfather II and Heat come into the conversation.

  21. doug r says:

    My $.02:
    I think $70 million second weekend is realistic-It’s playing at over 4,000 screens and I think most fans have seen it already. I am personally planning an IMAX noon showing today.
    The perfect use of “Tiny” Lister.
    Stepbrothers should make some serious coin-that $31 million looks about right.
    X-Files Returns-sounds like an extended episode-yawn-about 19 million.

  22. The Pope says:

    Apologies to everyone visiting. It appears I read a post on a thread about TDK and inadvertantly hijacked it onto the Godfather II. Since I haven’t seen TDK, I’d better sign out until I do.
    I agree with you Geoff. A key to success of storytelling in film is about consistency of tone. Chinatown. Taxi Driver. Unforgiven. Silence of the Lambs. Although where would that leave most anything from the Nouvelle Vague? Or Pulp Fiction for that matter.
    Ooops. Done it again!

  23. mutinyco says:

    Funny. I always thought the problem with The Godfather, Part II was in Michael’s story, not Vito’s. Vito’s, to me, is the compelling one — starts off a small boy in Sicily and we view his rise in America until he returns for vengeance. Michael’s story doesn’t go anywhere — he’s dark and morally corrupt, and in the end he’s more dark and morally corrupt.
    I always thought the reason Francis did Part II is because the original novel had Vito’s origin, and he was interested in exploring that — but I think Michael’s story, or at least whatever was interesting about it, was told in the original.

  24. Hallick says:

    “Is it me or even with this whole great cast, does “Tiny” Lister actually deliver the best moment in the film??? You all know what I am talking about – it’s moralistic, but just grabbed me.”
    Maybe not the best moment, but definitely one of the most wanted ones. I thought his scene could go either way and it was an armrest-smacker when it went the way I was hoping it would.
    “I’m not sure it quite topped the Joker prancing around in the nurse’s outfit with the detonator in his hands, but I do agree that it’s a great little moment that’s generally been overlooked.”
    I thought the Joker’s best moment, and the funniest line in the movie, was just him sitting down in the hospital room and saying “hi” to Harvey Dent. That was the exact point when Ledger/The Joker (God forgive me for using this word, because nobody here will, and rightly so) owned the entire audience in my theater. It was also one of the points where you have to say that Ledger was acting his ass off to bring this character to life and then some. Even setting aside the hype, he damn well earned himself a nomination with detail work like that.

  25. Spoilers…
    For me, the tension wasn’t during the action scenes, it was the several incredibly potent montages towards violence. The three-part montage of the Joker’s first three victims being targeted/murdered, the sequence leading up the mayor’s attempted assassination, the cross-cutting between the two failed rescues and the Joker’s escape from prison, those were uncommonly gripping sequences of rising tension, to the point where the pay-offs were almost a let down in comparison (specifically The Joker’s penthouse attack, where really nothing of consequence actually happened – and we all know my issues with the end of that sequence).
    For the record, has anyone read the Gotham Central story: Soft Targets? If so, am I the only one that thinks that Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka should get some kind of credit for basically writing the second act of the picture? Obviously, any Batman story is going to take a little here and a little there. Aside from the obvious sources like The Killing Joke, Long Halloween, and Batman Vs The Joker, Brubaker’s Joker story: The Man Who Laughs also plays heavily in the second and third acts. But I was shocked how similar the middle hour of the movie was, especially in regards to grand plans and minor details (avoiding spoilers because if you’re a fan of the movie, I highly recommend buying the trade – Unresolved Targets, which has the two best arcs of the 40 issue Gotham Central series).
    Also, the Dent arc seemed a nice combo of The Long Halloween and Eye Of The Beholder (Batman Annual 11 – 1990), a superior origin story for Dent. Long Halloween is a terrific, character-filled epic, but for a story truly centered around Harvey’s fall, Eye Of The Beholder is under heralded classic (it’s also similar in that Dent’s downfall is primarily due to a single mass murderer, not an entire organized crime ring).

  26. David Poland says:

    To mention The Dark Knight in the same breath as The Godfather or The Godfather Ii is inane.
    As for Oscars, The Dark Knight can best be compared to Gladiator… except that Gladiator had a strong central performance, it was not the box office champ, and it revived (briefly) a genre that aging film lovers were happy to explore again.
    As I keep explaining, Oscars are what they are… a specific group of people. Of course The Dark Knight will get its 5 nominations… just as the Pirates and Spider-Man films did. But Best Picture is a non-starter. And let’s not forget that it’s July, not November. Those months are hard on the pictures that most pander to the Oscar crowd. For Dark Knight… nope.

  27. LexG says:

    A relevant sidenote:
    It’s interesting to note, since it’s been mentioned here, it’s obviously an inspiration for TDK, it’s from the same studio, and it’s now considered a major, classic film of its day…
    HEAT did not receive a single Academy Award nomination. Dave would remember better than anyone, but I don’t even remember a particular push or campaign from WB for any awards. Despite its stellar reviews and high-caliber cast and crew, I seem to remember that the studio treated it less like an Oscar hopeful than simply their traditional December big-action release (Tango, Boy Scout, Rookie, etc.)
    Obviously times have changed and there will be a huge push for TDK, but thought it was interesting that back in the day, one of its inspirations and now a modern classic was treated by its studio as simply an upscale action movie with seemingly no real Oscar potential.
    Of course, I seem to remember that ’95 film year/’96 Oscars season as The Year Bob Dole Messed Up the Oscars, so maybe that had something to do with it.

  28. Hallick says:

    I don’t see a lot of “Heat” in “The Dark Knight”. The bank robbery sequence isn’t really on the same playing field. When I watch “Heat”, I feel like the filmmakers know bank robbing inside and out, to the point where they could be blindfolded and BUILD the machinery to open a vault in a matter of minutes. Not that that is the reality, but the illusion of absolute mastery in the details is one of the things that holds “Heat” above and beyond most any other crime movie.
    The movie that seems to resonate the most in this one is “Se7en”; especially where The Joker is concerned, insofar as having an antagonist who’s got an axe to grind against the hypocrisy of society itself and wants to force the protagonist to cross his own moral line just to prove the point. His plans (as much as he denies making plans at all) are nearly just as elaborate and diabolical as the ones Spacey’s character orchestrated in his film.

  29. Geoff says:

    You know, Dave, we were actually having a respectful discussion about TDK and Godfather II and then you have to come in with it’s “inane?”
    Why is it inane to talk about Dark Knight and Godfather II in the same breath? That movie is 30 years old – I know it’s revered – but is it really that much of a sacred cow that it can’t be compared to a Batman movie?
    I’m sure a lot of critics could have looked back at your praise of Matrix Reloaded, five years ago, as “inane.” And the fact that you put Titus on the top of the list for ’99, one of the best recent years of cinema, a movie that has really not aged well, as “inane.”
    To each his own, remember?

  30. aframe says:

    WB did stage a pretty big awards campaign for HEAT. I have a bunch of Variety and THR issues lying around from the era, and there are a lot of FYC ads not only for the film in general but a lot of the actors–not just the leads, but also Diane Venora, Ashley Judd, and Mykelti Williamson. Actually, WB had some crappy awards luck that year as their two huge guns, HEAT and THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, came up with only one Oscar nod between them (Meryl, of course).

  31. David Poland says:

    Geoff… obviously, to each their own.
    Still, there are some fundamental truths. And while there might be someone who actually puts The Dark Knight up there amongst the best dramas of all time in their mind, right now it is nothing but a reactive notion. It’s an 18 year old who tattoos his girl’s name on his arm after they have been dating for 2 months.
    I am not daddy. You are still entitled to your opinion. And I am still entitled to rate Titus as a masterpiece… and Matrix Reloaded as remarkably influential (stolen from this summer in no fewer than 3 big movies).
    And I am entitled to argue that The Dark Knight would have a hard time cracking the top 100 movies of all time – even for most of the people who are feeling that way right now – much less the top 10. If you don’t like Godfather II, that is your right too. But that is how I see the argument.
    I really like The Dark Knight. I really think it would have been even better as 4 hours instead of 2.5. And had The Godfather and The Godfather, Part II been 4 hours total, I might well have said the same thing. But they are not. They are 6 hours and 15 minutes without a single section with the “this is getting long” feeling of the last half hour of The Dark Knight.
    But hey… that’s just me…
    And about Heat… it was a movie that underperformed a bit at the box office, had actors who were not press, screening, or LA friendly, and whose director was not Academy friendly either (Mohicans got nothing but a sound nod)… and by Heat, he was still “the Miamia Vice guy.”
    There is no question that Nolan grabs many images and ideas from Heat (the bank robbery isn’t close) and The Untouchables and many other films. But one of the real genius elements of Heat is that there is balance between the two sides and a real exploration of the dichotomy in the men who represent both sides. The Dark Knight fails to do that, first in Joker v Batman and then even more so with Harvey Milk/Two Face, whose part is too underwritten to even start to explore the issue.

  32. The Pope says:

    One of the things I loved about Heat (besides its scope, pace, characterization, look and sound) was the decision to neither open nor close with a gun battle, but that Mann had the confidence and skill to pull off a gun battle in the middle of the film. Up until that point, we had not seen anything like that… (Saving Private Ryan was another three years away). Okay, Peckinpah did, but that was a different genre set in a different age. To see that gunfire ripping about the streets of downtown LA… I remember seeing it on the opening weekend in NY (I’m from Ireland) and hearing the audience take a collective shock of air. For me, it the high point of heist movies.

  33. mutinyco says:

    “Harvey Milk/Two Face”

  34. Geoff says:

    Dave, my point was that you can love a movie despite its flaws or hate it because of its flaws, but even the most canonized movies have flaws – I don’t hate Godfather II, it’s an excellent film. But I think it has some serious flaws – if it came oiut in the internet age, I’m sure a lot of people would be jumping on them, too.
    But let’s not get silly, here – of course, it’s hyperbole to get all crazy and excited about TDK and put up there with the greatest drama’s ever. But that’s going to happen whena a new film comes out and people get excited about it. I mean, jeez, would you rather people just hold off on discussing the film, wait six months, and THEN the hyperbole is ok? Dude, this is the internet, you have a blog, the reaction is supposed to be instantenous. No one’s getting tattoo’s, here – it’s a blog, designed for INSTANT reaction, good or bad.
    And wow, talk about the pot calling the kettle – Dave, try reading your first review of V for Vendetta. You were positively jazzed for that film and the effect it would have on people, and the Oscars it could win…and it came out in MARCH. Everybody gets the fever sometimes, even you.
    By the way, I loved V for Vendetta and Matrix Reloaded, but I am at a loss as to how influential ‘Reloaded was – what films are you seeing it in, this summer? Just curious.
    And Pope, I really liked Heat, too, but it DID end with a gun battle between Pacino and DeNiro at the airport, remember? Great scene, regardless, and I loved the Moby song that closed it all out.

  35. Spoilers –
    Harvey Milk? Funniest typo I’ve read all day, unless there’s symbolism I missed. Yeah, the reason Heat didn’t get any Oscar traction is that it only made a tad over $67 million on a $75 million budget. In the days just before overseas revenue mattered in the mainstream entertainment press (it did over $120 million overseas) and DVD sales, WB had to deal with the stigma of ‘under performer’. And, if I recall, the reviews weren’t that superlative. Lots of 3.5 stars, not a lot of four-star/A ratings from the major critics. But that’s just my memory so feel free to correct me. I remember liking the film but not thinking it was anything approaching a masterpiece. Even at 15, I thought it was odd that De Niro’s team was supposed to be a group of master criminals, but every crime they pulled was a sloppy botch that resulted in innocent people being unintentionally killed.
    As for the comparison, it’s always been silly. The bank robbery sequence in The Dark Knight is nothing like the one in Heat (different tactics, different cinematic look and feel, and far less mundane in its plausibility). As for the alleged Pacino/De Niro = Batman/Joker, again not the same idea. Nolan intentionally avoided any insight into The Joker behind what he told us when he was committing a crime or confronting his foes. Did any of us really want scenes of The Joker debating with his men whether to take that score or Ledger accidentally falling into a relationship?
    Truthfully, if Nolan really wanted to go that route, he would have told the film far more from Jim Gordon’s point of view or he would have given us actual scenes of The Joker in his planning and his non-crime leisure time. Neither of which would have made much sense in terms of Nolan’s goals. Although one of my nits with Dark Knight was that Gordon didn’t get a single dramatic scene with his wife, played by an actress who I like (Melinda McGraw of The Commish and The X-Files), thus rendering her existing merely to be a hostage.
    Basically, the whole opening bank robbery vaguely resembled Heat when everyone saw it in December and the line became – The Dark Knight = Heat with superheroes. It never made sense and now that I’ve seen the movie a couple times it makes even less sense. Both are very good movies (I actually think The Dark Knight improved on a second viewing), but they are different films with different ideas at their roots.

  36. LexG says:

    I think there’s more than just an opening bank robbery to the HEAT comparisons; there are whole shots that are virtual copies of HEAT shots (Gordon’s wife in the front seat of a car, lit and concealed EXACTLY like Kilmer in HEAT and Jurgen Prochnow in the beginning of THE KEEP springs directly to mind.)
    The sound design and score also seem to be blatantly paying homage to Mann in spots; There are ambient synth drones throughout, and Nolan intentionally drops the sound low in spots exactly as in HEAT (think the scene where McCauley’s crew discusses taking the score.) There’s a shot in TDK of Nestor Carbonell in his office that’s almost a match of the oceanfront house scene in HEAT both sonically and visually, not to mention the shot of Crockett looking longingly at the ocean in MIAMI VICE.
    Any number of rooftop and parking garage scenes are pretty explicit echoes of Mann’s crime movie mise en scene– one clearly copying the early scene between Voight and DeNiro post-opening robbery, another (the one with the swirly camera) highly reminiscent of the scene in Vice where C&T meet Cirian Hinds and get put on the case.
    It’s way, way more than just the robbery and presence of Fichtner.

  37. Fair enough… maybe I’ll have to re-watch Heat. To be fair I was thinking more of storytelling and character development, but I’ll have to look for the visual similarities next time.

  38. On the Batman/Oscars thing, I would cautiously bring up that the Batman series is the most nominated franchise of it’s kind.
    Best Art Direction (won)
    Batman Returns
    Best Visual Effects
    Best Makeup
    Batman Forever
    Best Cinematography
    Best Sound Mixing
    Best Sound Editing
    Batman Begins
    Best Cinematography
    Not the mention that Begins got nominations from the cinematography, costume design, art direction, sound editing and visual effects guilds so it’s a fair bet to assume The Dark Knight will do just as well in the precursors (SAG, GG, BFCA noms for Heath seem incredibly likely, no?) so while a Best Picture nom may be a bit much to ask, I can see it doing very well with Oscar.

  39. Chucky in Jersey says:

    What a difference a weekend makes.
    First weekend of “Dark Knight”: Sellouts in big cities and medium markets Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
    Second weekend of “Dark Knight”: Plenty of seats available at every show.

  40. Blackcloud says:

    That’s frontloading for you. I suspect IMAX screenings don’t have so many seats available as regular screenings.

  41. Cadavra says:

    Yesterday morning ’round 11:45, I went to the Mann Plant in Van Nuys (which caters to a mostly Latino aud) and is generally sparsely attended. The 8:30PM show of TDK already had a SOLD OUT sign on it–and it’s on three screens total, plus the big auditoriums are huge. That shocked me.

  42. hcat says:

    and yet still made 75 million, which would cause people at Universal to shit kittens if the Mummy even approaches those heights this weekend.

  43. jeffmcm says:

    I think Chucky is suggesting some kind of ‘Word of mouth is terrible on The Dark Knight’ or ‘it’s a huge disappointment’ subtext (presumably not having seen it) but since he’s insane it seems fair to let it go.

Quote Unquotesee all »

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