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David Poland

By David Poland

BYOB Weekend

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78 Responses to “BYOB Weekend”

  1. Machina de La Verdad says:

    Mr. Poland spends post after post telling his readers what the “truth” is about box office performance and how certain studios are performing. Is he accurate? If so, why isn’t he better read? Do the filmmakers care what MovieCityNews has to say?
    Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. But, beware of men.

  2. Lota says:

    MovieCity News is one of the best one stop reads about Hollywood and it is widely read by people who work in movies/entertainment even though most don’t post. One does not have to agree with Dave to admit that it is an excellent digest.

  3. leahnz says:

    well, aren’t you mr. bossy boots, scripture-quoting jules from ‘pulp fiction’

  4. BurmaShave says:

    Machina de La Verdad is a bright new douchebag on the scene. There hasn’t been such an unappealing commenter on film blogs since the days of Ian Sinclair. Marvelous!

  5. Can we all pretend Machina is someone in the industry with a grudge against Dave. That makes it funnier.
    And, yeah, there are a lot more people reading MCN and the blog than the comments suggest. Maybe they’re being scared off – 😉 – or maybe they just don’t want to participate in something they’re a part of. I recently got a Facebook message from someone quite well known that put a big grin on my face.
    Although not quite as big a grin as when I got an email from Rina Riffel thanking me for praising her on my blog. Bless Rina Riffel. Bless.

  6. doug r says:

    Local rock station CFOX has their Santa Fox food drive every year just before Christmas. Last year a movie crew came by and dropped off a massive pile of food, said they were working on a movie called “Watchmen”.
    Anybody hear anything about this picture?

  7. Also, I know a few people on here have asked about the bushfire stuff happening near me and while it’s almost all over with, today had a string of irony to it. In Melbourne and Sydney two concerts are being held simultaneously called Sound Relief. Artists performing include Coldplay, Kings of Leon, Kylie Minogue, Split Enz (reforming), Crowded House (reforming), Jack Johnson, Midnight Oil (reforming), Taylor Swift, Jet, Wolfmother, Gabriella Cilmi, Architecture in Helsinki, The Presets, Icehouse (reforming), Barry Gibb with Olivia Newton John and many other locals acts nobody here would’ve heard of. It’s perhaps the greatest concert ever.
    Irony? Today also happened to have the largest downpour of rain in five months. It’s actually quite comical that a concert to raise money for fire victims should be help on a day where rain has drenched the state.

  8. THX5334 says:

    I have a question about this Watchmen box office prognosticating…
    Dave and the other detractors against Watchmen; and essentially everyone else, are all judging Watchmen as to being a financial success or failure based on the theatrical gross primarily, with home video and other ancillary markets bringing in the rest of the revenue.
    Now; the criteria we are using and have always been using is – compare the amount of revenue the film generates versus the amount it costs to make and market the film.
    Dave and the other film’s detractors – are judging the profitability of the film using this criteria –
    Meaning comparing the combined costs of the budgets for Production and P&A and comparing that to the actual revenue generated (or projected to be generated)
    So here’s the question I have that I don’t understand:
    If Watchmen, from my understanding, was always intended to have a four hour extended edition that filled in every nook and cranny of the book – to be released on Blu-Ray/DVD later –
    If that’s the case; is it fair to hold an entire features worth of costs that have been factored into a budget for what is really a four hour film
    – Should those costs, which the audience hasn’t even seen yet, and will be used to generate revenue through a different distribution model (Home Video) be held against Watchmen and factored into this taint of it being a failure or a risky proposition in the first place?
    Since almost half of the whole budgeted production isn’t going to debut until the Blu-Ray release – wouldn’t it be more fair to gauge whether Watchmen is a success or failure once those home video figures come in?
    In other words, is it fair to judge a movie that has been cut down to 2 1/2 hours as a failure when the theatrical grosses are being accounted against a movie that was budgeted to be a four hour film?
    I mean all those costs for that 90 minutes, you’re holding it against Watchmen now as projecting the film a failure when that content hasn’t even debuted!
    Either the business model/criteria for gauging a film’s profitability based on theatrical needs to be adjusted somehow or the verdict shouldn’t come in until after the home video release.
    WB and others are trying this business model of bringing in different parts of a story content through different mediums. The Wachowski’s were the first with the Matrix sequels.
    I applaud these exploring these ideas and avenues. But in multi-platform releases, where different parts of one story are told through different mediums – Or where a significant amount of content budgeted is to be debuted as an extended edition via Home Video or other delivery methods,
    perhaps the model in which we judge a film’s financial success on theatrical revenue needs to be adjusted as well.
    It’s like only opening the first half of Che and judging it’s box office take against the cost of the whole film and using those costs to paint the film a failure – even though only first half has debuted.
    Or judging the gross of Matrix Revolutions and comparing it to the entire budget of Revolutions and Reloaded.
    Unless someone can explain to me what I’m missing.
    Martin S? Dave?
    (For the record, I have not seen the film yet. And have always felt ambivalent about the comic)

  9. jeffmcm says:

    I don’t think that ‘final running time’ means as much for budgeting and cost comparisons as you seem to – it’s not like they had to pay the cast twice, for example, or re-build sets. Short movies can be insanely expensive, and long movies can be cheap.
    Plus, the standard model for computing DVD and other ancillary revenues is based on theatrical gross, and while I’m sure that Watchmen will do well in those arenas, I don’t see it transcending that formula.

  10. THX5334 says:

    But Jeff, I’m not talking about a running time.
    I’m talking about the days scheduled and budgeted for that comprise that running time.
    Didn’t you take Production Planning with Robert Browne? It doesn’t matter if they used those sets twice or not, more days to film for more content costs more money.
    And those costs are being held against the film now when those costs that compromise that extra content of a more complete product, haven’t even debuted or been released to the public.
    They planned and budgeted for a movie that covered every aspect of that comic. That extra filming and footage comprised 90 minutes of what the director consider’s his cut or the “Artist Cut” for lack of a better term. Not the best cut for exhibition purposes.
    So is it fair to judge Watchmen’s take based on a budget where almost another whole features worth of content still hasn’t hit the audience?
    I mean, to be fair, all the excised content that had been PLANNED for the film from the beginning that is being saved for Blu-Ray – you’d have to cut those portions of the overall budget and compare the take on the budget for what is used on screen.
    Or, wait until the full version is released, add those numbers to the theatrical take and judge the success or failure on those final numbers compared to the costs.
    But to project it based on theatrical when more than 1/3 of the budgeted content hasn’t been released to the audience, but compare it to that total budget doesn’t seem right.
    Am I making sense? It’s not about running time. It’s about the costs of all those days scheduled to film that extra content that comprise those costs.
    And JeffMC, I am not going to get into an argument with you about the semantics of production planning or budgeting. You know better. They spent money for a four hour movie, that costs time and days, that’s more days you have to pay crew and actors, that affects your insurance, etc. And that’s not even getting into Post costs.
    They didn’t get a four hour movie on a movie budgeted at 2 1/2. No fucking way.
    But the success of that 21/2 hour cut is being judged against a budget that was comprised to film enough content to make a four hour film.
    Is it fair? How is that reconciled?
    Get it?

  11. Lota says:

    Kam, hope you don’t get anymore bushfires, and at least my pals have their baby pictures and furry bunnies (I wonder what people on this blog would save from the home-on-fire…maybe I don;t want to know) but being able to rebuild financially looks like a minefield for my friends.
    Too bad Bon Scott isn’t alive for your concert. Now that’s some great mullets. [ I feel guilty how much I love AC/DC.]
    I don;t want most 80s trends to come back. I was a young rebel. I had long straight hair to by butt and refused to wear make-up. I hate poodle haircuts and shoulder pads crack me up. Hideous.
    The suits women wore in BIG and WORKING GIRL are cringeworthy now. I make an exception for BLADE RUNNER where Rachel’s suits were tres 1940s.

  12. Lota says:

    BY the way Kam, say hi to Kylie for me. I’m not so fussed on her music (except her rockin’ duet with Nick Cave. Brilliant.), but she is a nice wee broad. we were trying on the same trousers in a London shop about 12 yrs ago I think and since there was one pair of trews left our size and I wasn’t about to pay 300 quid for a pair of trousers, I graciously let her have them : )

  13. christian says:

    “There hasn’t been such an unappealing commenter on film blogs since the days of Ian Sinclair.”
    Don’t sell yourself short BS.

  14. ManWithNoName says:

    Machina brings to mind a certain Hollywood producer . . .

  15. doug r says:

    How about sequels shot on the same sets? R&D with things like computer software? Isn’t a lot of the cost of Incredible Hulk development for the other Avenger stories?

  16. Martin S says:

    THX – I see what you’re getting at; the portion of the budget that’s on screen may not equal the budget, en totale. So while the budget may be 180Mil, the theatrical edits budget may only be 150Mil, with a remaining 30 not seen until Ultimate Editions and whatnot.
    It’s an interesting thought, but I don’t think WB filled the books that way. The money for Black Freighter and the Docu had budgets separate from the movie. It’s possible WB lumped them in with the movie for an over-arching cost, but that combined with how many companies are getting some points could make it an accounting nightmare. For example, if WB threw Black Freighter into the movie budget, does that mean Fox is entitled to Freighter revenue? Fox could argue that by making one giant budget, WB is acknowledging its one big project and not separate creations. It would then come back to what Fox is entitled to – money from a Watchmen production or money from a theatrical production of Watchmen? Splitting hairs, but that’s what whore lawyers are paid for.

  17. Martin S says:

    This is the end
    Beautiful friend
    This is the end
    My only friend, the end

    Of our elaborate plans, the end
    Of everything that stands, the end
    No safety or surprise, the end
    I’ll never look into your eyes…again

  18. Hallick says:

    “…Midnight Oil (reforming)…”
    Given the context of this concert, would it be sensitive or unintentionally insensitive of them to play “Beds Are Burning”?

  19. chris says:

    I just watched “Black Freighter.” It’s fine, but it’s definitely better-done in the comics, which take advantage of the limitations of the form, than on film. I’d say it was a good call not to try to work it into the film.

  20. Hallick says:

    “But the success of that 2 1/2 hour cut is being judged against a budget that was comprised to film enough content to make a four hour film.
    Is it fair? How is that reconciled?
    Get it?”
    It’s somewhat unfair, since the media always diagnoses a movie’s life or death profitability by the box office and never (explicitly) makes any kind of allowance for what a film will make in the post-theatrical market.
    Personally, I don’t think the extra content is a maker or a breaker for Watchmen’s DVD/BD release. The majority of the people who are going to buy the discs are fans who were already going to buy the discs anyway. 60% more movie isn’t going to get the film 60% more buyers.

  21. Hallick says:

    “I just watched ‘Black Freighter’. It’s fine, but it’s definitely better-done in the comics, which take advantage of the limitations of the form, than on film. I’d say it was a good call not to try to work it into the film.”
    I’m curious about how something that was woven into the comics as a counterpoint to or commentary on the Watchmen story itself could work on stand alone.

  22. IHeartThatCurtis! says:

    Oh snap! Lindsay Lohan is WANTED! “WANNNNNNNNNNNTED!” DEAD OR ALIVE! “Really?” No, Richie, but she is wanted. “Damn.” Indeed… damn.

  23. chris says:

    I don’t think it would work for anyone who isn’t already familiar with the comics, actually. But, even without the parallels to the Watchmen, it’s still a fairly engaging story on its own.
    Oh, and the “Under the Hood” documentary is really good, I think. Terrific art direction — the ’50s HUAC testimony footage looks great, the faded-colors of the supposedly ’70s or ’80s interviews are gorgeous — and we get more of several characters that were eliminated or all-but-eliminated in the film. (Lotsa Gugino, too.)

  24. Joe Leydon says:

    Well, as big as Witch Mountain opened, I kinda expected it would open even bigger. Judging from what I’d heard from some female friends, I thought Dwayne Johsnon might expand the movie’s, er, appeal beyond the family audience. Guess this is what David is talking about when he warns against anecdotal evidence.
    And Great God Almighty! I thought the trailers and TV spots for Miss March looked awful — but it’s not even reaching the horny teen audience. Maybe they’re all off watching Watchmen for the second or third time?

  25. Blackcloud says:

    Blu-ray prices dropping? If these numbers are correct, they are still way too high.

  26. Machina de La Verdad says:

    Drew McWeeney Discusses the truth about David Poland and judges Watchmen as a success:
    I take great issue with the way David has categorized and portrayed my work over the years. I think he’s been openly untrue when writing about me, and no matter how many times I’ve corrected him on certain factual things, he continues to sell his manufactured rap on me because, at this point, that’s what he does.
    He’s dug his heels in, and no matter what, he’s never going to back off the things that make him wrong. It’s been so personal for so long that I have a real problem with civility. There are only so many times you can shake it off when someone writes very personal, very direct attacks on you and your character. And sure enough, I found it uncomfortable to a huge degree to have to sit and wait for the appearance with Poland, and then even to have to small talk afterwards. Overall, while we were on the air, I think all of that sort of went away, and I focused on just engaging in the conversation with Kevin.

    A few points.
    I have a hard time being patient with talk about box-office, especially on this film. I don’t care how much money the film makes, because there’s no sequel. There’s no spin off. There’s no nothing. This was it. Big weird arthouse superhero movie. And they made it. So no matter what, the movie exists, and the other longer cuts exist, and so that’s that. What it earns would matter to me if I was getting a piece of it, or if I treated box-office like a statistic that means anything about either (A) the quality of a film or (B) people’s affection for that film. And it’s not. Box-office is about marketing and scheduling and luck. That’s it. The quality of a film and how people feel about that film… that’s time. Only time can really shake out the way a film lives or dies, survives or fades. Box-office doesn’t mean anything, which is why I don’t write about it and why I tune out most of what’s written about it. I understand it… but I don’t care.
    I hate film reviews or film reviewers that use the word “you” over and over in a review. “You don’t care about these people. You don’t care what happens to them. You don’t engage emotionally.” Really? Is that an order? Stop telling me what I’ll feel. Stop telling me that my reaction is a given. It’s not. You may feel it is narcissistic to use the word “I” in a film review; I think it’s the other way around. I review a film by expressing what my experience with it is and what my understanding of it is. Whether that’s worth anything to you or not is up to you. But when a reviewer uses “you” in a review, it’s like they’re telling you that they know better than you do, and here’s how you should feel… or you’re wrong. It’s obnoxious.
    I love when people throw around numbers that they’ve decided are real, and there’s just no budging them. Talking about budgets is a sucker’s game, because I guarantee you that unless you got a number from someone in the actual accounting department, someone with an eye on the actual final total, most of the numbers you hear people discuss are fiction. I wish we’d had longer to get into it, because I’d love to hear David Poland tell me, for the record, what “Watchmen” cost. And “Terminator Salvation.” And “Land of the Lost.” And “Transformers 2.” Because I guarantee his guesses, the numbers he’ll use when writing all of his “journalism” for the rest of the year, will be the same exact creative fiction, based on the guesswork and gossip of others, as the numbers he’ll attack and belittle when writing about his competitors. David’s “Watchmen” budgets of $150 million and up are fantasy-land. Even before the film was a legal hassle, the costs were pretty tightly controlled on the film, and one of the reasons it took forever to get someone to pull the trigger is because every single dollar was negotiated and fought for. The fact that people think this film cost $150 million or more is a good sign for Snyder, who has the ability to make his films look like they cost more than they do. I don’t write about budgets precisely because it’s like counting sand grains in the desert. Everything’s in flux, and unless you have absolute control over those sand grains, it’s just empty effort.
    And finally, I don’t believe the ultimate goal of all drama is to make me “care” about characters, and I don’t think the only benchmark of success in a story or a narrative is whether or not I identify with the people I’m watching. I don’t care if I like anyone in a story… I just want to be interested. Poland goes on and on about how “you don’t care about anyone,” but I still don’t see how that’s even an absolute negative. So what? I’m not really going to empathize with a godlike naked blue energy being, but I’m interested in him. And that’s enough. When did every critic in America become a lame development executive giving notes? “Can you try to make his arc more dramatic so he’s more likable and we like him more? Maybe have him do things people like. That way they’ll like him. I’d like that.” Puh-leeeeze.
    When Poland says that “Blade Runner” appealed to a lot more people than “Watchmen,” it’s a completely bizarre and incorrect thing to say. At least “Watchmen” had a big first weekend. “Blade Runner” was a movie that should have had that first big blast when it opened. After all, here’s Han Solo and Indiana Jones, in his first big SF adventure movie away from those series, right? And… it turns out… it’s a movie… about a mumbling guy with a bad haircut who lives in a city where it rains all the time and he gets his ass kicked by a bunch of girl robots for a while. Then the bad guy dies. The end. And that didn’t even open. That movie stiffed from day one. That summer, “Blade Runner” and “The Thing” both died. Just belly up. And I’m sure people could have written articles on those Monday mornings after release, slamming the films, damning the studios for the choices to make them, second-guessing the filmmakers. I’m sure it would have been easy. But it also reduces the entire conversation about film to a tally sheet.
    And that’s what I don’t like. At all.
    So I don’t think you can “win” an appearance like today’s. I just know that I managed to not yell at David, and I think I made my points clearly, and I’m pretty sure they said the name of the site a couple of times. So mission accomplished.
    So Mr. Poland, where do you get your budgets from? I think you make them up out of your fucking ass. I think you think so highly of yourself that you believe your shit smells like turkey gravy. Legendary wishes the film had done better but are happy they made it. If one of the financiers is happy,where the hell do you get off filling the ethernet with your hate and garbage? People can speculate who I am but I am simply a reader who decided to call you on your absolute bullshit. Answer the question- where did you get he Watchmen budget from???? Because I KNOW where it came from and you made it up.
    Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. But, beware of men.

  27. mutinyco says:

    No offense, Machina, but your posts are really long and boring and emotional. You like Watchmen, and you’re upset it’s being criticized because of its b.o. performance. We get it. But nobody really cares. I haven’t even seen it, so I don’t have a horse in the race.
    And, just to note, the major difference between Watchmen and Blade Runner is that Blade Runner was considered an instant aesthetic classic regardless of its financial success. In fact, I’d argue that’s the only real reason it’s been so popular for so long — because its visuals have been consistently influential, not because anybody really cares about the empty drama or terrible acting. Blade Runner was one of those movies everybody bought when they first got a DVD player because it was a good-looking movie.

  28. Machina de La Verdad says:

    Mr Mutiny Co – While I could argue with you since most posts are really short, there is no sense arguing with someone on the ethernet. So I offer you a suggestion- DON’T READ THE POSTS if they are too intellectually thought out for your small brain capacity.
    Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. But, beware of men.

  29. BurmaShave says:

    christian, it’s not really the time or the place, but I’ve never understood what you’ve got against me. I probably slagged off on some vintage kitsch film you were beaming about, but I was almost certainly just being a jerk. I’ve always thought it was cool the way you were coming at things, and you seemed like one of the smarter guys around.

  30. THX5334 says:

    Martin S,
    Thanks for answering my question. I see what you mean about how that won’t work accounting wise.
    The thing I thought is, and I could very well be wrong on this is – Wasn’t there a bunch of stuff filmed for the movie away from the black freighter stuff and the Docu? And it’s that stuff that fills in and brings it up to the rumored 4 hours?
    Or are they just adding those two ancillaries into one package (albeit edited together)?
    I don’t know I haven’t looked at the comic in years even though my girlfriend just bought a copy because she’s interested in the movie and how it compares to the book. She’s heard the hype on both and has seen nor read neither.
    So I could be very wrong on that.
    Now my question is this: While lumping ancilliary content into one budget might be an accounting or legal nightmare;
    Suppose; no matter how unlikely, that a film comes along that does have %60 more filmed content contained in the Home Video release.
    And that content doesn’t just fill in branches of the story, but actually becomes a major contribution to the whole piece and adds depth or enjoyment or what have you to the theatrical release and tells the complete story as intended by the filmmakers.
    Going by that, suppose (though even more unlikely) that because of this added content the home video release becomes some kind of cultural and sales phenomenon and radically brings in a substantial more amount of money than theatrical putting it into say – one of the top five most profitable films of all time,
    THEN – would the pundits (Poland and his colleagues) have to reconsider this model on which they judge a film’s success by projecting theatrical based on opening weekend?
    I know it will unlikely ever happen; the way the sheep of the masses are conditioned to go hit that opening weekend no matter the quality of the product.
    Watchmen may be well made, but if it’s not connecting, it’s not connecting.
    Wouldn’t it also be fair to say, that Watchmen is essentially just a Comic and/or Film Noir with Super Heroes? And how many film noir’s have been really profitable of late?
    Not to sound like some story development marketing dick, but after 8 years of negative and passive dictatorship a la the Bush regime, no general audience member wants to see a movie where it’s people that are all shades of grey and out for themselves. They see that everyday in the real world.
    Nobody wants to see a Noir when living under those conditions.
    They want to escape and imagine and feel and be inspired by a story that makes them feel like there is something worth getting up for everyday instead of believing the cable news and the fear mongers that we’re running out of everything and we’re all dead by 2025.
    That doesn’t mean that everything has to be Disney, or that you can’t do dark. But it does mean that you need to have someone like-able or that the audience can feel empathy for.
    If Obama turns things around, in 3-6 years people will be clamoring for Noir’s and thrillers and Drama’s and heavy Action. Because by then they’ll all be sick of hope and sunshine.
    And that’s just how we’re wired. Maybe Watchmen just came out at the wrong time, and will age well and be seen in a different light down the road.
    I hear it all the time about Serenity. So many people that don’t dig Sci-Fi have caught that on cable and fallen in love with it. (Especially, ladies. But I loved that fucking movie and that show from Day 1, so I’m biased)
    But I will say this. Nathan Fillion is THE ONLY GUY who could have a shot at replacing Harrison Ford as Indy if they decided to go Bond style with him when Ford has either passed or is done with the character.
    Though they shouldn’t. They should just retire the character with Ford.

  31. mutinyco says:

    Your posts aren’t too intellectually challenging, they’re just boring and emotionally argued. And nobody on this blog really cares.

  32. Lota says:

    Hi THX,
    I think Watchmen isn’t connecting because the comic was interpreted to appease lowest common denominator–excessive violence/ugliness that wasn’t in the issues (for a reason). I wasn’t happy with its interpretation-to-the-screen at all. Noir/grimness doesn’t put people off if it is appropriate/well done like A History of violence or No Country. It wasn’t appropriate or well done–I couldn’t empathize with the characters I was supposed to.
    Watchmen must not have connected with the readers or the uninitiated in *any* way since a 78% drop is pretty shocking; wouldn’t have expected it to be that big.
    These types of stories aren’t meant for big budget.

  33. THX5334 says:

    Ha! I’m cracking up because I see I totally read like those dudes that Machina hates. I think we’re saying the same thing. When I mean empathize, I don’t mean you have to like them, but there as to be an understanding or connection with the audience for them to want to stick with it.
    I kinda had a similar experience with this new downloadable episode of Grand Theft Auto IV. Usually, even though these games feature stories about criminal and morally corruptible people, either they had an need or drive that created empathy with the player, or they were just a well written anti-hero.
    But in the latest episode, the characters the story is based on are such flat out one dimensional dicks, that I lost all desire to keep playing even though it’s better gameplay than GTA IV.
    One more thing on games. Any PS3 owners here that game (or Blu-Ray owners who want one game to try or show off their system)
    Killzone 2 is a must buy. The first game on the PS3 any 360 owner could be legitamately jealous of.
    Though parents be warned. It is very M+ rated. With very violent cut scenes and F-Bombs and cussing dropped everywhere. This is not a game for kids.
    (Though if I was a parent and had a seemingly socially normal or developed 15-16 year old, I’d probably let them play it)

  34. martin says:

    I didn’t think McWeeny could ever be a more annoying nerdy asshole, but he just took it up a notch with that post. And anyone that compares Watchmen to a true sci-fi classic like Blade Runner or 2001 has their head so far up their ass it’s impossible to have a rational discussion. It’s not a bad film, it’s a great translation of better source material, but sci-fi classic? Come on.

  35. THX5334 says:

    Ahh, good points on A History of Violence and No Country Lota. I hadn’t considered either of those films when putting my hypothesis out there.
    That kinda kills that.
    Oh well, I can at least tell you that “Verdad” does mean truth, tu Pince Babosos y malechos y ranas y sapos
    (That was crude language fun meant for the boys, and not intended for the ladies reading the blog. Though feel free to procure those insults and hurl them at anyone that offends you. Just make sure if they’re Latino, that you say it right 😉
    No Mamas, Vato.

  36. Lota says:

    “anyone that compares Watchmen to a true sci-fi classic like Blade Runner or 2001 has their head so far up their ass it’s impossible to have a rational discussion”
    Thank you.

  37. Lota says:

    by the way…reason why I bring up AHOV and NCFOM is that they had a level of noir-dom that is familiar to graphic novels, the release pattern was subdued/niche like Watchmen should have been targeted for IMUHO, hence, AHOV & NCFOM probably made their money back + a bit at domestic and Intl BO before DVD.
    AHOV never went much above 1300 theaters (I think) and NCFOM not must above 2000 or 2200, can’t remember exactly but not above 2200 for a significant period.
    There are only a handful of batman-type properties that will ever work on big budget/big appeal. Everything else will lose money and why lose money?
    Just make graphic novels the way they were meant to be hence their appeal–strange B movies with amazing characters and surreal events and target that niche with the advertizing. if WOM is good then platform, if not, you didn’t lose money at least.

  38. jeffmcm says:

    THX –
    “Didn’t you take Production Planning with Robert Browne?”
    No. I don’t even know who that is.
    Yeah, more shooting days costs more money, but it doesn’t cast another order of spending, which is what you seem to be suggesting. Paying the crew and spending more on film is probably one of the cheapest things on a film set, these days, especially when the scenes being left for the DVD are mostly character-based exposition not involving a lot of effects work (of course if they really did go full-out on the Black Freighter stuff, that might have been more costly).
    But this happens all the time. Didn’t Charlie Wilson’s War have like an hour of footage that they shot and then chopped for the final release cut? Nobody held them to a different budgetary standard either.
    So my point is, yes, there’s money that they spent that we haven’t seen yet, but I don’t imagine that it’s enough to really knock this discussion into a different realm. And Martin put it more concisely than I did.

  39. THX5334 says:

    Martin also seemed to understand my point better than you did, as well.
    I guess he wins the Pimp O’the day award.

  40. David Poland says:

    THX – I agree that part of the story is not the whole story. But studios do what they call “ultimates” and have been doing them for years and they project every dollar expected in from a movie. They do them before the movie is released, then adjust them as numbers come in. It is very rare that the ultimate is off by much. You would be shocked by how much studios actually understand about what they are releasing. It is a reminder of how stupid they are not… and how much risk is involved with the decisions that are made.
    That said, no one cares how many bars of soap were made. They care about how much money went in and how much money came out. And the further they are from having their hands on the film, the more simplistic the analysis becomes.
    For Zack Snyder & Co, it’s life and death.
    For Jeff Robinov, it’s “if you can’t have a Dark Knight, at least don’t embarrass me” and if it’s not a big winner, on to talking Harry Potter. (Watch for the Potter mania to ramp up soon.)
    The next move internally is to make sure it doesn’t make any quarter look bad and to determine how to position DVD for max effect, which may mean pushing it all the way to 3rd quarter (away from Potter’s theatrical cash flow) or rushing out sooner than expected to do the same.
    The loss on this movie – much smaller than Speed Racer, yes – will not have a big effect on the company’s bottom line. The loss just isn’t going to be big enough. But the lost opportunity cost will be a real concern… for about 2 more weeks.
    For “The guy” at Time-Warner, “he” only cares about whether the film is perceived as a loser because it may hurt his stock price by a 100th of a cent and he cares whether he will see red on the quarterly report from the division. “He” would have been just as happy if Horn sold Watchmen to Fox for a profit and never released the film… so long as it didn’t become a massive profit center for Fox.
    As for Drew… 1. He can speak very nicely for himself and if he wishes to engage in this blog or privately, I am always happy to go there with him, preferably at low decibels.
    2. In general, it has NEVER been about Drew or Harry or AICN in anything close to a personal way. But Drew has taken this position of it being personal for more than a decade now.
    What AICN was… what AICN is… how Drew and Harry and others played the game… how they helped and hurt… none of this is remotely personal and it is not really a matter of controversy, except in Drew’s head. Ask people who hate them and ask people they consider good friends and the reality is not terribly different.
    We have a major philosophical disagreement about how information should be valued and offered to the public. Period.
    And – My sources of information are not people who have a vested interest in positioning themselves or self-aggrandizing by telling things to me. Those who do have those interests don’t get much sway with me. And both groups know this… which is why they talk – or don’t bother talking – to me.
    They are not the same sources who feed most of the other entertainment writers out there. And if you knew who they were, then I would be betraying their trust.
    I have been in the trenches for a long time. I have bit on enough budget lies and found out that I was right in the first place to know how often that line is crossed. I have almost always erred on the side of caution, not drama.
    I have even stood down when I know I am being lied to because when people lose their shit about this kind of thing, they are almost always lying and almost always in a serious bind. And in the end, it doesn’t much matter. History is not very smart in this industry.
    I am not a servant to my readers. I am not a servant to my ego, which is not tiny. I try my hardest to be a servant to the truth. And I am a smug jerk sometimes also. Those are not mutually exclusive.
    As for the movie itself, Drew can argue it into the ground if he likes. It’s just not very good. Sorry. You are welcome to feel differently.
    I do believe that GroupThink invades criticism sometimes. So I feel his pain a bit. But I actually think Watchmen is given more than its due going in because the wish of virtually every film critic is for something new and fresh and exciting. The visuals here make one hopeful. And then, the movie – for most – makes the crash that much worse… which may make some responses too harsh.
    Finally… back to THX… I will most certainly return to the issue of Watchmen if there is a way to black ink on the film… as I have for many other films over the year… some which I liked… some which I disliked.
    Money is money. Art is art. I have no problem separating them. I’m not sure why so many others seem to be unable to handle that.
    Or maybe I do… because it always seems that when the same things I have done for over 10 years reflect poorly on something “they” care about, I am suddenly the devil on earth. And when it reflects well on something “they” love, “they” quote me like the f-ing bible.
    Both ends of that spectrum are too far.
    P.S. Machina con Queso… you are a bore and a wannabe bully under whatever name you go by… you are not man enough for the truth… you aren’t really interested in the truth… you are interested in trolling. Everyone gets it, man.

  41. jeffmcm says:

    THX, to be perfectly honest, I couldn’t get through your whole 4:29 am post (what are you, Lex?).

  42. leahnz says:

    “I hate film reviews or film reviewers that use the word “you” over and over in a review. “You don’t care about these people. You don’t care what happens to them. You don’t engage emotionally.”‘
    drew or ‘machina la freaky’ or whoever it is that quote came from have one point: while hating the reviewer is scary overkill and irrational, i agree a critic should avoid using the word ‘you’ at all costs and replace it with ‘i’, because it is only one person’s opinion, after all.

  43. christian says:

    The worst is the royal “We” used far too much by the Kael-ites…and by others looking to justify their opine…We do hate that, don’t we?

  44. Blackcloud says:

    Maybe it was the tapeworm speaking.

  45. Crow T Robot says:

    “Money is money. Art is art. I have no problem separating them. I’m not sure why so many others seem to be unable to handle that.”
    That’s just it, brother… if you write of both on your website with equal passion, you DON’T separate them.
    After all these years you still don’t understand that when you trump up the money every weekend, you undermine everything you love about movies. You confirm what the bad guys believe to be true.
    In a way, you’re like Jim Cramer on Jon Stewart a couple nights back… you claim to cover the industry to serve the greater good of the artists (his investors) but by confirming the bottom-line cynicism of the studio big wigs (Wall Street) with Saturday numbers talk, you undermine the very same artists (investors).
    Thus, to talk weekend numbers with such fervor is to spit in the face of the art you talk of with such fervor.
    How is this not common sense?

  46. “Given the context of this concert, would it be sensitive or unintentionally insensitive of them to play “Beds Are Burning”?”
    They did sing it. Lyrics in tact, too. Peter Garrett is actually a politician now so it’s even more amusing to hear him singing about governments raping the earth when he is the Prime Minister’s environmental minister.

  47. IOIOIOI says:

    Mutiny: what the hell ever. Machina is bring the PAIN to Dog Balls. Who has become such a whiny and spiteful bitch of a man, that it’s shocking anyone would back him up. HE GOT OLD.
    Machina calling him out is the best thing to happen to this blog in a long long time. Someone might as well get Dog Balls to admit he’s posting out of his ass most of the time, and has no clue about what cost what. He’s as clueless as any one of us. That’s the facts. Rather he cares to be honest or not.
    This being Dog Balls. I doubt he cares to be honest, because his ego will not let him. Remember: he’s still a real journalist and critic. While he hardly ever reviews movie, and twist stats to his will.
    Oh yeah: you would have to have your head up your ass not to realize what an astounding feat Watchmen represents as a film.

  48. jeffmcm says:

    IOI…why keep coming back, if DP is such a fool as you claim him to be?
    Also, and this is asking for trouble, but why is Watchmen-the-film so ‘astounding’ aside from that it got made at all? I can’t quite seem to see why because of all this colon in front of my eyes.

  49. IOIOIOI says:

    Jeff: I have stated this once, and I will state it again. I will never ever explain myself to you. Bugger off, Jethro.

  50. jeffmcm says:

    That’s fine, but this is why everybody calls you crazy and irrational.

  51. leahnz says:

    hey crow t, what is your stain? (i don’t know, my 10-yr-old boy said that to me the other day so i thought i’d try it out and be down with the kids instead of a hipster dufus) if david poland’s juggling act of ‘show’ and ‘business’ annoys you so much, why do you read it/comment here? do you think your persistent whinging is going to get dp to change his modus operandi?
    (and io, unless you hail from the commonwealth, leave out the ‘bugger off’ unless you want someone from the commonwealth to tell you you sound like a silly bugger)

  52. Martin S says:

    THX – I don’t think Snyder had fours hours of different material. He recently said the director’s cut would be around three. IMO, the four hours comes from pure raw scene length, from action to cut on everything he shot. But, if you take the director’s cut, splice in Freighter and possibly stuff from the docu, you’re pushing four.
    As for the additional content taking a movie into a higher bracket of critical acclaim, I’ve always said that this would be the property to do it. I truly believe that if the Ultimate is done right, it should feel like something Burroughs would have made.
    Green Machine – please. Drew had the chance to go after Dave, didn’t he? But he passed because he’d come across like an unstable, 40-year old fanboy. Except this time, he’d be a Youtube sensation and would’ve ended his career because who the F would take him seriously after that?
    The vitriol against Dave for being right about Watchmen shows how many people were hoping to throw huge amounts of OPM at insular, narrow-casted projects. Eventually, these same people will publicly turn on the audience for not carrying their water. They’ll blame the sheeple en masse, and then turn on the geeks the next time a fanboy project gets stuntcasted or truncated. I can see it now, “IF YOU %^*&% SUPPORTED WATCHMEN, SHIT LIKE THIS WOULDN’T HAPPEN!!!!
    Because, as we all have seen, it’s never, ever the producer’s fault. The director F’d up. The studio is an evil monger. The audience has no understanding as to what it takes for a movie to get made. So on and so forth.
    I’ve said before I wish Tull and Legendary well, and I think they do have a guarantee against losses on WB-produced properties versus self-produced, so they shouldn’t eat anything on this. But in high-risk investment, having a number of projects break-even is just death by a thousand cuts.
    What disgusts me about this Green Machine bullshit is how it’s the same cabal surrounding Levin/Gordon for years upon years now. They’ve always denied it, always acted like no actions were duplicitous or morally ambiguous. First, it was denied. Then, it became projection – you’re just jealous/bitter/etc…now, when the project all the eggs were placed in doesn’t pan out – here come the long knives.
    So let me say, on behalf of the genital public to all the fanboys cum wannabe players, I’m sorry we didn’t have the foresight to prop up your banal projects. I’m sorry you’re going to have to settle for slashed budgets and tighter scrutiny. I apologize for not realizing your feelings of inadequacy were so powerful that no level of success was ever going to satiate until you felt all had bowed. Forget your personal life – marriage, children, pish-posh. Some people would place a premium on having that in thier lives. No, what matters most is Watchmen was wronged.
    And let’s all ignore the fucking fact that Snyder has already moved the fuck along with his life.

  53. leahnz says:

    speaking of snyder, i was watching him on something the other day and he’s a bit of a honey (meaning good-looking), plus he’s not afraid to show some dick. i like him.

  54. Blackcloud says:

    “So let me say, on behalf of the genital public to all the fanboys cum wannabe players . . .”
    Genital public? Typo? Freudian slip? Double entendre?

  55. Lota says:

    Forget the genital public ‘Cloud, I am concerned about the “pish-posh”.
    I would guess you didn’t attend secondary state school in Salford then? : )

  56. Martin S says:

    Blackcloud – Carlin. Live. Early 90’s.
    Lota – um, no. I like how it reads. Some words when read become audible.

  57. Martin S says:

    leah – he’s got six kids.

  58. Lota says:

    pish posh is a commons saying in parts of London Town [and for some reason has been picked up by alot of skate punks in the USA].

  59. jeffmcm says:

    Zack Snyder has 6 kids?
    And all this time I thought he was just an overgrown fanboy.

  60. leahnz says:

    ‘leah – he’s got six kids.’
    wow, snyder really is fond of dick. good for him…and the missus, to whom he’s obviously putting the wood but good

  61. IHeartThatCurtis! says:

    Jeff: I am not a fan of anyone on your side. So you can think I am a crazy and irrational, but it’s your side. You guys and gals are the wackiest bunch on this entire board, and there is no denying it.
    Mr. S: Dog Balls has to be taken down a notch. Until it’s either shut down, or he admits to his shenanigans. He will be called out on the carpet every freakin day. You don’t pull a knife to a sword fight, and all Dog Balls carry these days is knives.

  62. Machina de La Verdad says:

    Mr. Poland you need to apologize for calling the Hayter letter whiney since you have listed no whines. You need to apologize for stating Larry Gordon wrote a public letter when he did no such thing. You need to do so NOW brother and get right with this truth you claim to care about.
    And for the latecomers, his answer to the one and only question I asked appears to be “I got the budget number from a good source and I believe that source.” Well I say that the budget of WATCHMEN was $94 m and I believe my fucking source. Ain’t no thang, but I’ve got just as much truth in my heart as Poland.
    And no sir, I ain’t no troll- I’m just a reader who is devoted to calling you on your bullshit for as long as you care to sling it.
    Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. But, beware of men.

  63. leahnz says:

    hey scripture-quoting jules de la doodah,
    since you want david poland to quote the source for his figures, why can’t you set an example and quote the source for yours if you’re so anxious to prove him wrong? i hope ‘watchmen’ did only cost 94 mil for all involved, because i hate to see a huge creative endeavour like that lose money, whether the film is critically acclaimed or not. if there are lessons to be learned, so be it, but gloating isn’t necessary.
    and perhaps this is a good time to pause and reflect on the fact that 20 odd years ago, ‘aliens’ – arguably the last great ‘in-camera’ action flick before the cgi revolution and a film that still puts 90% of movies today to shame with it’s seamless, ingenious effects – was made for $18 million and came in on budget. more of that, please. these 100 mil + budgets are getting to be beyond a joke.

  64. Blackcloud says:

    Is the Tin Machine trying to say something? All I hear is an endless drone. Maybe Doofus ex Machina would be a more appropriate name.

  65. LexG says:

    Christ. I would usually go on a booze-and-rant bender on a night light this… but I can’t even compete with this shit.
    Drew’s right about the “we” shit though. A certain WORST FILM CRITIC IN THE CIVILIZED WORLD (Hint, he writes for a major L.A. newspaper) uses that shit all the fucking time.

  66. leahnz says:

    drew actually said ‘you’, christian was the one to chastise the use of royal ‘we’

  67. LexG says:

    Oh, yeah. I’m including and emphasizing the “you” then. Seems like that squeamish dork Turan is always admonishing that a film “takes YOU/US PLACES YOU/WE DON’T WANT TO GO.” Like, how does his old gravy-bearded ass know where I want or don’t want to go?
    Not my fault he’s an old pussy.

  68. leahnz says:

    yeah, turan does seem like a bit of a big girl’s blouse when it comes to violence. wake up and smell the blood-spatter, turan! geeze louise

  69. leahnz says:

    i wish i had called him ‘kenny’ – i bet he hates being called ‘kenny’ because it’s so babyish

  70. LexG says:

    Just in case she READS THE HOT BLOG:
    If LINDSAY LOHAN needs a place to HOLE UP and DRINK and PARTY, consider my front door OPEN. SAM can come, too.

  71. Leah, but what was the budget for Aliens? That’s a better example of this type of filmmaking.
    Deus ex machina is exactly what’s wrong with the internet. People who hang around websites and blogs despite NOT ACTUALLY LIKING THEM and only staying so they have further reasons to not like them. As much as I hate the shit Perez Hilton pedals I simply don’t read it, and yet on the few times I have gone there the comments are filled with people just paying the shit through him. Why are they even there? Why are they even here?

  72. I just reread that and “exactly what’s wrong with the internet” seems to imply that there is nothing else wrong with it when there is, quite obviously, a lot. It is but one part of what’s wrong, but it’s a bloody annoying one.

  73. ployp says:

    Here’s to Leah for bringing up Aliens and its special effects (which are indeed worthy of being called ‘special’). I watched it a couple of weeks ago and couldn’t bring myself to believe that it was made over 20 years ago.

  74. leahnz says:

    yes, ployp! (not to me for bringing it up obviously but for your shout-out for ‘aliens’, a standard-bearer in film-making excellence. stan winston’s ‘alien queen’ puppet is a classic for the ages, and the alien queen vs. ripley/powerloader ‘battle to the death’ is the best example of a seamlessly edited action sequence alternating between live-action full-size models and miniatures ever filmed. just perfection)
    kam, the budget for ‘aliens’ was 18 mil. lean and mean

  75. ugh, i’m an idiot. I read it as Alien. Nevermind me.

  76. leahnz says:

    not an idiot, kam, just blind to ‘S’s, apparently 😉

  77. christian says:

    I’ve never understood this “why read if you don’t agree” philosophy. Is everybody supposed to agree with David then? If you hate him and the site, then it is masochistic, but challenging his opine is not the same thing. I think David wants the hits.
    And Burma, my take on you was formed when you wrote about me that “your values are cancer” among other bon mots at Wells site along with your glee at his Stalinist/Daily Kos style-banning. But thanks for acknowledging you appreciate my take. Onward.

  78. hcat says:

    Given this weekend’s drop off for Watchmen it is reasonable to assume that word of mouth is not very positive. I know the extra footage was planned all along but I don’t think the studio is going to generate a secondary interest in the property with a DVD cover stating “Watchmen- even longer edition”. The extra footage is for the faithful who were probably already going to be buying a version of the dvd in the first place, and while the increase in the sales of the graphic novel might have created some converts, I can’t see them expanding its appeal enough to cover its costs.
    THX seems to be talking about the long tail theory in his earlier post and I can see the four hour take on Watchmen being played over and over on Sci-fi and FX in two and a half years but those sales (and the sale to HBO) are impacted by the amount it makes on theatrical. So why theatrical is not the only revenue stream, it sets the tone for all the future revenue streams from the amount of shelf space the retailers are willing to give the dvd to the amount of showings it will be given on Pay per View.

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Venom 33 4250 NEW 33
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Night School 3.5 3019 -63% 37.9
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A Simple Favor 1 2408 -50% 46.6
The Nun 0.75 2264 -52% 111.5
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The Predator 0.25 1643 -77% 49.3
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Project Gutenberg 36,000 17
Love Yatri 22,300 41
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Studio 54 5,300 1
Loving Pablo 4,200 15
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