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David Poland

By David Poland

Questions: Twilight…

I was thinking about it the other day and it struck me that Twilight is, perhaps, the niche-iest phenomena ever.
I’m not discounting its existence. But it seems to me that those who care are insanely rabid – including Bryce Dallas Howard, whose talk show stories about her feeling about the books before she was case are a little scary – and those who are not have absolutely no connection to the material whatsoever. None.
Am I just projecting? It’s possible. Having seen the second film in a theater and bought the Blu-ray of the first film, I have less interest in this series than I do in, say, who is fighting who in WWE Wrestling this weekend.
When I saw the trailer for the last two Harry Potter movies and they referred to it as the movie event of a generation, I scratched my head a little. Really? And really, it may not be an overstatement. And The Twilight Saga is, it seems, the event of a generation of girls and part of a generation of women over 20.
The 30% difference, it seems to me, is all the people outside of the heavily-committed niches for both of these series, who are willing to be dragged along to the beautifully-made, pleasant Potter, but require before-and-after sexual favors or a sleeping pill or a lot of ice cream to get them in to see any Twilight film.
I know some object to my use of the word “niche” to describe a specific group that can power a film to $700m worldwide. But that is what it is. A movie might motivate as much as 10% of a niche, normally, in finding great success. But when a series like Twilight or a family film that seems to be overperforming can inspire its niche to a large percentage of participation, if drawing no one else, that is when you can get these massive numbers, disconnected utterly from the rest of society.
We had this discussion about whether this movie of that movie influences culture or not, whether The Dark Knight or Avatar. I would argue that both of those films found a much broader audience than Twilight… or Harry Potter, for that matter. And still, the question of being influential is still complicated.
Yours thoughts?

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83 Responses to “Questions: Twilight…”

  1. D says:

    It’s actually encouraging that there’s a movie out there that isn’t trying to appeal to all four “quadrants”, just really well to a targeted group. Or, just as good, maybe it’s just taking a chance on simply trying to be what it is, regardless of who it might appeal to.
    Joe (don’t know why Google is calling me “D”)

  2. dietcock says:

    I agree with Joe. While “Twilight” is decidedly not MY cup of tea, I think it’s a healthy thing that a movie can be wildly successful without appealing to the “four quadrants/all things to all people” mania that has been Hollywood’s simultaneous Holy Grail/biggest undoing. He who pleases everyone pleases no one.

  3. Sam says:

    Sounds about right to me. A $700 million niche is a heck of a niche, but your experience is also mine: the people that care about Twilight CARE about Twilight, and nobody else cares at all.
    I also agree with D — although I’m in the “don’t care at all” category in this case, I LOVE that these movies weren’t made to try to appeal to everyone under the sun. I truly believe that Hollywood’s image problems stem from trying to chase all four quadrants at once.
    It’s common sense. If you start with a story and then start obeying directives about what should be wedged in (action for the men, romance for the women, slapstick for the kids, whatever else for whoever else), two things are gonna happen: (1) The particular appeal of the original idea will be watered down if not lost entirely; (2) It will look exactly like all the other movies that acquiesced to the same exact series of demands.
    Twilight, for better or worse, is not like anything else out there. I love that it got made.

  4. LexG says:

    Kristen Stewart.
    Dakota Fanning.
    Bryce Dallas Howard.
    Any guy who isn’t down with Twilight is gay.

  5. Joe Straat says:

    Then call me Harvey Fierstein.

  6. The Big Perm says:

    I think you could see those actresses in other movies, ones in which they wear less clothes, and be all man…instead of watching teenie vamps moping. Lex, if you go by yourself to see Twilight, sit way in the back and wear a hood because that has got to be some embarrassing shit.
    DP, you are right and you are wrong. Can you really get to 700 million only by reaching people who are REALLY into it? I’d say no. This is liek saying Harry Potter is niche or Star Wars is niche because like Twlight, the people who care about those movies really care…and others go just to see the spectacle or have a good time or whatever.

  7. Joe Leydon says:

    I posted this elsewhere, but this may indicate the appeal of the Twilight isn’t quite as limited as you think:

  8. Eric says:

    Tangent to the main discussion: like David, when that new Harry Potter trailer claimed the series was “the movie event of a generation” or whatever, I cringed. So ridiculously wrong.

  9. Is Twilight nichier than Tyler Perry?

  10. D says:

    I think Joe Leydon is right… the appeal of the Twilight movies quietly goes beyond their stated target. But I think that’s because all those bonus, on-the-down-low fans (okay, I’m one of them) just like the thing for some reason, but NOT because we’re being catered to. Myself, as well as liking all kinds of fantasy movies (horror, SF, whatever), I also seem to like- or at least find interesting- any movie with the integrity and enthusiasm to just be itself.

  11. Eric, I think you’re just in the wrong generation. I am to, but I’m just saying.

  12. bmcintire says:

    Sorry to break this to you Lex, but the TWILIGHT series is huge with a substantial segment of The Gays. You, as an allegedly heterosexual male, are pretty much ALONE on this one.
    Hilariously, if either K-Stew or Dakota were made aware of your postings here (which, in actuality, could one day happen), they would never be able to stop shuddering.

  13. jasonbruen says:

    Interesting to think about. I agree with DP. Which brings up another interesting question, how big are each quadrant? One film specifically targeting one quadrant (or niche) could really perform well ala the Twilight movies. What is also interesting is if there is a way to compare or see how well a movie has done targeting it’s niche. For example, obviously the Twilight movies have done a fantastic job targeting their niche, but what about a movie like Watchmen? Did it target its’ niche well enough, or was the nice just not as big?

  14. Brian Aranas says:

    I think people do bitch when a movie is trying to hard to please everyone and ends up bland so it’s good to see a series or film please only a certain segment.
    It was kind of nice to drop off my brood at the theatre this afternoon and not feel like I “had to see it”.
    Make sense?

  15. Brian Aranas says:

    Oops…”too” hard. Ugh!

  16. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Out in Omaha a midnight premiere of “Eclipse” was aborted. A 35mm film print was being interlocked through 2 projectors and got stuck.
    When the Lord of the Rings series came out, New Line vowed to take theaters off service immediately if they were caught interlocking a print. Summit didn’t get the memo.

  17. tjfar67 says:

    The straight guys who are going are going with their girlfriends in hope of getting laid after wards. I don’t think there are groups of straight men going there to check out the hot under aged and barely legal chicks in the flick. I can imagine the teen aged girls seeing Lex sitting by himself and giggling at ‘that weirdo’ know that he doesn’t belong there.

  18. tjfar67 says:

    The straight guys who are going are going with their girlfriends in hope of getting laid after wards. I don’t think there are groups of straight men going there to check out the hot under aged and barely legal chicks in the flick. I can imagine the teen aged girls seeing Lex sitting by himself and giggling at ‘that weirdo’ knowing that he doesn’t belong there. The packed theater with the only empty seat are the ones surrounding Lex G must be quiet and image.

  19. I’m with DP in that I simply do not care either way about anything having to do with these movies and books, but the craze (and it’s a full-on craze) is bigger than a niche. I’m frankly stunned at how many varied women (age, race) I work with and know that were seeing ECLIPSE at midnight or taking a long lunch break today to see it then.
    Good for the franchise though, I don’t mind. Could be worse and for me, if a huge group of people is loving a movie or franchise, at least I can talk to them about that and not like, WIpeout or something.

  20. Blackcloud says:

    Of course Harry Potter is magnitudes bigger than Twilight. Just check out the publishing numbers. Potter appeals to way more people than Twilight. Whole families read the Potter books. I doubt that happens with Twilight on more than on rare occasions (or when the family is bigger than a single mom and her tween daugthers). If that’s a niche, please tell me where I can sign up to have my niche books sell 400 million copies world wide.

  21. christian says:

    David is really committed to his theory.

  22. IOv2 says:

    1) Twilight is a niche but who cares? I agree with those who have stated that the film appealing to who it appeals to is a refreshing thing. I also love that they piss off some guys that are just so MAD that these films exist. God, dudes are such douchebags.
    2) This next question I am asking for a year from now. What will it take for Potter 7 pt 2 to do a billion domestic?

  23. christian says:

    “This next question I am asking for a year from now. What will it take for Potter 7 pt 2 to do a billion domestic?”
    IO, seriously, why do you care?

  24. IOv2 says:

    If we had an edit function this would have been attached to above, so apologizes for the double post. What has to happen for a film to get to 800m, 900m, or 1b? Avatar got close to 800m, so what will it take to get a film to 1 billion domestic and do we have the possibility to see it with the last film of an epic series that’s in 3D?

  25. IOv2 says:

    Christian, you have been a douche lately. Why do I care? I am just curious about what’s feasible in this day and age in terms of a film now dubbed THE FILM GOING EVENT OF A GENERATION! Again, I am just asking a question. If you want to be rude to me then remember Christian. Remember.

  26. LexG says:

    FIVE STARS, A-PLUS, BEST OF THE SERIES. Excellent cinematography, awesome Howard Shore score, BRYCE POWER, K-STEW 4 EVER.
    Only complaints were: They never showed Kristen’s feet, and her WIG was SO BAD through the whole movie. Jesus, I know she had Runaways hair through most of the time they shot 2 and 3, but can’t they get my girl a BETTER WIG?
    Also: NOT ENOUGH DAKOTA, and why is she wearing some stupid cloak instead of some heels?
    But this one definitely had a harder edge, right from the opening logo, to the grainier cinematography… In total Slade-Scope, looks exactly like his two previous movies, but especially liked the snowbound last third.
    I also think I’ve switched from Team Edward to TEAM JAKE.
    Also: There were a SHITLOAD of dudes in the theater at the Arclight today at the matinee. Dudes off by themselves all over the theater… This one really DOESN’T feel like a chick flick at all, but THESE MOVIES ARE FILLED WITH ALL DIFFERENT FLAVORS OF TAIL:
    Kristen. Dakota. ASHLEY GREENE (BONER), Nikki Reed, Anna Kendrick, that cute new Indian chick… and if you like COUGARS, it’s got Reaser and the Nina Myers chick from 24.
    My personal suggestion is to add in A HOT ASIAN CHICK, like maybe Jamie Chung as a little bikini vampire or something. Mmmm.
    It’ll make 300 by Monday. You dudes are MISSING OUT.
    Oh, one more thing about the audience. When it was over I LINGERED AROUND BY THE DOORS to try to wink at the chicks. There was some HOT white-girl Latina (like a Latina, but like an Alba Latina, not Salma Hayek style.)
    She had gone by herself to the big show and was wearing FLIP FLOPS, so I waited for her to walk by and I flashed a BIG, CHEESY TEAM EDWARD SMIRK.
    She walked right on by though. I don’t get it.

  27. LexG says:

    This one has CIVIL WAR FLASHBACKS. You’re watching a regular Twilight movie, then Slade starts busting out all these INSANE-ass flashbacks that respectively look like PATHFINDER, AGE OF INNOCENCE, and GETTYSBURG, all detailing how this shit went down in OLDEN TIMES.
    CIVIL WAR. And funny, I don’t think the dude who has the CIVIL WAR flashback was even SOUTHERN in the first two movies, but suddenly in this one he has some cornpone accent like Ulysses S Grant or something.
    And actually Nikki Reed’s flashback to 1895 or WHATEVER the fuck that was, was even funnier. Especially the guy WITH THE STACHE in Victorian times.

  28. jeffmcm says:

    What is Christian supposed to remember?
    Anyway, it won’t happen. The Harry Potter movies have ranged consistently between $250 and $318 domestic. That’s a pretty specific range, meaning that in order to do a billion, the final movie would have to make over 3 times as much as the highest-grossing of the group so far. Which is obviously ridiculous.

  29. jeffmcm says:

    Oh, and IMDB, with approx. 3700 votes (presumably the hardcore fans who saw it last night/earlier today) it has a rating of 3.2/10.

  30. christian says:

    How is my question rude? You hated AVATAR and attacked those who made it the biggest hit in recent memory. But then you act like you hold the secret to film generations. So if POTTER makes billions it means the audiences are always right? Or you’re right? Or what?

  31. Blackcloud says:

    Are the criteria for a “niche” property constant over media? Because if anything is “niche” it’s video games. Twilight is four quadrant compared to Modern Warfare 2, which had the biggest debut of any entertainment property in history when it was released last November. And I say that as someone who has been playing video games for almost all of his soon-to-be thirty-seven years, since, in fact, my parents got my a Magnavox Odyssey 4000 way back in the days when Star Wars was Star Wars, and nothing else.

  32. Bob Burns says:

    Can’t imagine either film series will be influential on their niche or on a generation in any meaningful way…. unless of course these dedicated fans somehow develop supernatural powers.
    Saying this as a big-time Potter fan, btw.
    Screenplay is the bottom line – popularity isn’t enough. You really can’t talk about a movie being influential unless it has a great screenplay…. IMO.
    Interesting though…. looking back, no film comes close to Woodstock as an influence on my life – great screenplay?

  33. David Poland says:

    A couple of things (besides saying, generally pleased with the discussion and most of the tone)…
    Tyler Perry is just as niche-y, but has a much smaller niche, which doesn’t translate much overseas.
    Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Avatar, etc, found that 4-quadrant audience. $700m is absolutely possible, if you are motivating a huge percentage of the niche. It’s not unlike the massive number for Da Vinci Code… those people were motivated, no matter what the reviews. Not so much the second time… as was true of the book’s sequels, very successful, but not as successful.
    As for video games, it’s kinda interesting, as Wii expanded its business by going for more quadrants… women, adults… and Rock Band has been an expanding influence, it seems.

  34. The Big Perm says:

    Sam Raimi’s horror movies influenced thousands, and those screenplays could have been written on a napkin. Blade Runner is a great movie but is the screenplay generally given as the reason why? Jackie Chan wouldn’t know what a screenplay is.

  35. Lou Luscious says:

    K-STEW is on Lopez Tonight and SHE TAKES OFF HER SHOES during the interview.

  36. LexG says:

    Lou, you are a KING AMONG MEN for that heads-up. Seriously, I never would’ve caught that because I never watch Lopez and rarely click TBS, so THANK YOU, THANK YOU.
    Heart is racing, VCR is set. PLEASE show her feet.

  37. The Big Perm says:

    Aren’t there plenty of pictures of her feet on the internet? I bet there are.

  38. The Big Perm says:

    I found one, it’s not the best picture but you could still whack off to it, I’d think.×400-jpeg.jpg

  39. LexG says:

    Of course there are (and I have the barefoot pot pic, but never really gets old, so thanks), but it’s always fun to see her in NEW OUTFITS and NEW HAIR. Plus they might show the feet from different angles, which is important.
    Which is why when there’s an actress I like, I see ABSOLUTELY EVERY MOVIE they make, because you have to see them in every conceivable pose and little outfit.

  40. LexG says:

    “Hilariously, if either K-Stew or Dakota were made aware of your postings here (which, in actuality, could one day happen), they would never be able to stop shuddering.”
    Hey, if you chime back in, or anyone wants to take a crack… how could this “one day happen”? And how can I get to that point in life where Dakota and especially Kristen know who I am?
    Just curious how you’re envisioning my low-rent internet ramblings ever resulting in my meeting either of them, or how or why they’d ever read them. Because it is a THRILLING thought… So, are you saying you think I will get FAMOUS enough from this shtick to be in the position to meet them, kinda like the DATE WITH DREW guy, or PEREZ HILTON, or something?
    Actually I am really starting to wonder if I shot myself in the foot with all this idiocy over the last few years… If D-Fan or K-Stew did see this dumb shit, they probably wouldn’t think I was cool AT ALL.
    Especially Kristen, who seems pretty sensitive and wary of creepy fans.
    I need to hurry up and get actually famous so the Borat levels of put-on can be revealed and all can breathe a sigh of relief…
    Hopefully this will coincide with Dakota’s 18th birthday.

  41. Jeff, I think it’s fair to assume that 3.2/10 rating on IMDb is not the result of Twilight fans, but actually sulking non-fans who can’t stop whingeing about how their precious movie landscape has been usurped by teenage girls (and Lex).
    That’s all.

  42. IOv2 says:

    KC is right on the above. Seriously Jeff, go to Itunes, and read the reviews of Scarlett Johansson’s record. People literally organized to slam it and it would seem they have done the same with Twilight. The fact that you had no idea that this is how some people on the net works, once again shows the group that you must be hanging out in the very nice and tranquil part of the net, where people being rude to one another is as far as it goes. Go visit 4Chan and get an education.
    Jeff, you stating it’s ridiculous is missing the point. It’s the last film for the biggest selling book series ever. The last one. You think about that while you are over at 4Chan having your mind blown.
    Christian, it just means that it’s the last Potter film possibly ever. It’s like you folks have no idea how big Potter is. Seriously, if a ridiculous and very much disliked film about blue people with firewire sticking out of their backsides can make that much. The boy wizard should be able, in his last film, to take that record out. Especially given the fact that it’s in 3D, there are more and more 3D screens showing up everyday, and it’s Harry Freakin Potter.
    The Hot Blog: Where People Question How Big Harry Potter and Twilight Are!
    Oh yeah David, remember that your Wii is made from conflict minerals. Have fun playing Wii tennis with that knowledge!

  43. christian says:

    The Hot Blog: Where People Question How Big Harry Potter and Twilight Are!
    From the guy who slammed AVATAR and predicted its failure, you shouldn’t act so self-pleased. Carry on.

  44. Christian is on a grumpy ROLL!

  45. Also, I kinda like Twilight just for making the fanboys squirm. Last year when they were all crying at Comic Con over Twilighters getting in the way of their little Avatar circle jerk? Classic.

  46. IOv2 says:

    Christian, the amount of people who saw Trans 2 saw Avatar. That’s what happened. Keep being grumpy but that 3D BUMP is only going to grow bigger and put the blue smurf people back in the tree they crawled out of… REMEMBER!

  47. Blackcloud says:

    Craig, remind me again which one annihilated the all-time box office record. I don’t think it was the one with vampires.

  48. christian says:

    Duly noted IO. I’ll file your AVATAR prophecies under REMEMBER. So you won’t forget.

  49. jeffmcm says:

    IO, I will NOT go to iTunes to read reviews of an album by Scarlett Johannsson (which I hadn’t heard of until you mentioned it). I just don’t give a crap about some things.
    As for the IMDB ratings, it’s true that people who rate movies on IMDB skew more male and probably older than the Twilight fanbase. And indeed, there are roughly twice as many males voting for it than there are females. Still, This is opening weekend, when you’d expect there to be the most enthusiastic people coming out to support it, plus it’s still the lowest-rated movie of the three so far (Twilight is at 5.7/10, New Moon is at 4.6/10) which has to mean SOMETHING, right?
    IOI, I will bet you anything, any item or dollar amount of your choosing, that Harry Potter 8 will not gross a billion dollars domestic. $400-$500? Possibly. But what you obviously don’t understand is that the fanbase for this series is very, very stable. The same people are coming out for the movie everytime, and by now people know if they like the series or not. Last movie or not, a franchise doesn’t SUDDENLY get THREE TIMES as many people to come out for a movie, especially one as complicated as the HP franchise with so much backstory and complications that you only understand if you’ve been following along from the beginning.
    I mean…are you crazy or just blinded by passion?

  50. torpid bunny says:

    Strolling down memory lane…
    “If Avatar does 700m. I am finished with film because it will be dead in my eyes at that point.
    Posted by: IOIOIOI [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 17, 2010 12:11 PM”

  51. IOv2 says:

    Torpid, congratulations on not having a life. Seriously. I do not run this board and I got mad and posted something. Oh my god! Apparently you cannot even be human on the hot blog. How petty you are.
    Christian, David Poland runs this blog and his procrastinations are worse than mine. I am sorry that you love a film as lacking as blue people sticking their tails in other creatures but the film is what it is, and I really hoped the American people did not buy into it. Hold on. They did not buy into it and the 3D Bump helped. Seriously Christian, you should learn the word MAGNANIMOUS because you sure as heck do not get what it means. That’s what you should remember because unlike you, I have a reason to light this place up like the 4th of July, but I show magnanimity and proper respect to all of you, even though you tend to not do the same.
    Now let’s get onto the biggest jerk in this entire blog, who apparently looked in the mirror, and liked the jerk that he saw.
    No Jeff, the IMDB rating does not mean anything. It’s the IMDB. If you knew anything about the internet and it’s obvious now that you do not, you would know that there are twilight boards all over the net, and if the fans are going anywhere to post, they are going to post at boards with other Twilight fans, because too many people are rude to them elsewhere.
    This also demonstrates how out of you are, “IO, I will NOT go to iTunes to read reviews of an album by Scarlett Johannsson (which I hadn’t heard of until you mentioned it). I just don’t give a crap about some things.” Again, her record is not that bad but people got together to slam her album on Itunes. This is what people do. It could be started at a board somewhere and then they go post bad reviews, or it could start as a twitter topic or something else, but this is what people do Jeff. They slam things so you missed a good example of a barometer of the rudeness on the net.
    You also once again insult me but since you are a jerk and absolutely ignorant person. We will call it even.
    No Jeff, I am not crazy, but they are in 3D. If Imax 3D/3D could help Avatar the way that it did, are you going to tell me that Harry Potter will not be helped the same way? Come on man, it’s not crazy, but putting two and two together.
    You also thinking the fan base has not expanded, sort of ignores that the book makes fans everyday, the films make fans everyday, and that means that more people could possibly check out the LAST FILM EVER FROM HARRY POTTER! Do you not get how anything works? Are you that inept with technology and pop culture that you miss how knowing the END these days is a big deal? Geez man.

  52. christian says:

    “That’s what you should remember because unlike you, I have a reason to light this place up like the 4th of July, but I show magnanimity and proper respect to all of you, even though you tend to not do the same. ”
    IO, I don’t take your breathless pronouncements of what everybody is supposed to love or not seriously, and I even like you for your child-like enthusiasms. But I never drop the swear bombs you used to (tho you’ve thankfully stopped) so no dap yet for proper respect, yo.

  53. jeffmcm says:

    IO, I will bet you ONE MEEEELYON DOLLARS that the final Harry Potter movie will not gross a billion domestic.
    Anybody not made insane by blind, breathless enthusiasm would see that this is just a lunatic notion. You want to know what the growth pattern has been for the last several movies? From Prisoner of Azkaban ($250 million) to Goblet of Fire ($290 million) to Order of the Phoenix ($292 million) to Half-Blood Prince ($302 million). At those rates, the remaining two movies won’t go beyond $350 million, and of course, none of these movies have outgrossed the FIRST one in the series.
    I am making myself stupider by arguing this stupid point with you.

  54. Blackcloud, my statement wasn’t intended as a commentary on Avatar. It was a reference to specific instances of fanboy grousing at Comic Con last year over the Twilight event interfering with the Avatar event.
    Your defensiveness over the whole issue sorta supports my whole point.

  55. torpid bunny says:

    “Torpid, congratulations on not having a life.”
    Ugh, how I wish that were true.

  56. storymark says:

    You guys stop picking on IO with stuff like facts, math and logic. You’re all just jerks who don’t get it.

  57. Blackcloud says:

    I wasn’t aware that pointing out Avatar (or Harry Potter) is a bigger deal than Twilight makes me defensive or a fanboy. Except of the obvious, maybe. But if I had paid money (I imagine Comic Con tix aren’t cheap) to see something and another thing I had no interest in was getting in its way, I’d probably complain, too. As I do weekly when whatever game I’m not interested in has gone long on ESPN and delayed SportsCenter.

  58. IOv2 says:

    Christian, I own more DVDs and CDs than everyone in this blog combined not named David Poland. That’s not mean to brag or to boast but it’s to make this point: I love a lot of things. Seriously. I have never once stated what any of you folks can like or not like. Why all of you, or many of you, have bought into this line of thinking is as perplexing to me as the line of thinking that implies I love every superhero film/genre film blindly without equivocation. It’s simply not true so not insinuating that it is.
    It’s also not child-like enthusiasm. IT’S JUST ENTHUSIASM! The world tries and tries to punch me in my head but that does not dull my enjoyment for pop culture. I love it, it’s fantastic, and it’s fun. Many of you, even for OSCAR FILMS, rarely ever post something that has any enthusiasm in it. If it were not for Lex and I, anyone coming here for the first time would think David Poland has the most dire and dull people posting here.
    Story, again, I am one poster that generates more post counts than anyone. This does not mean I run this blog, or that I have tremendous chest hair, and rock kicking salt and pepper hair. Picking on me for asking a question, a hypothetical question, is absolutely ridiculous.
    Torpid, I wish very hard you can stay at home and smoke a bowl all day. Really hard.
    Blackie, come on. 3D bump. Seriously, if you put Eclipse in Freakin 3D, it would have made 100 million IN A DAY! Avatar remains what it remains. If you disagree then that’s fine but think of it this way: if Shrek 4 were not in 3D. It would have been an epic failure. If Knight and Day were in 3D. It would have opened to more than 20m over a weekend. The fact that this blog cannot accept this carries onto the next point.
    Finally, Jeff, you are not that clever and need to pull it back. It’s sort of embarassing. Again Jeff, I asked a question, a hypothetical question, and like the rude and mean person you are, you blew it out of the water.
    Seriously Jeff, both parts of the Deathly Hallows are in 3D. The 3D bump exist and that’s where my question came from, especially given the fact that these are the last two Harry Potter films that come from the biggest book series in history. The fact… the absolute fact… that you continually ignore this to try to insult me, not only nullifies your argument, but makes you dense in particular.

  59. Joe Leydon says:

    “I own more DVDs and CDs than everyone in this blog combined not named David Poland.”
    Er, word, IO. Word.

  60. IOv2 says:

    Oh yeah Joe, I am going to go out on a limb and state that it’s very possible my Last Airbender predictions were just very freaking wrong.

  61. Blackcloud says:

    IO, inflation and 3D don’t explain the whole of Avatar’s huge gap over the boat flick. Part of it? Yeah. All of it? Nope. There just aren’t enough 3D and IMAX theaters in the US, let alone the world, to make up the magnitude of the difference. They helped, no question. But it’s impossible to say they were decisive.

  62. IOv2 says:

    Cloudy, they have Cameron stating that close to 279m of that gross came from IMAX/3D theatre. You know from anecdotal evidence from this very blog that the mark up on the tickets varied from a two dollars all the way up to double ticket price. I could go on and on but there is way too much evidence to support the statement that the 3D/IMAX bump helped Avatar out tremendously. Seriously. It’s out there and it continues to be proven with all of these 3D films just sustaining in ways, that we all should know from coming to his blog for six years, non-3D films do not.
    The 3D bump is a huge aspect of Avatar’s gross and while many of you think I am crazy to believe this, it will have to be brought up in the future when 3D goes away as to explain how all of these films made crazy money. Seriously, I just sat in sold out theatre that loudly sighed at everything being in 3D and I would think my theatre was not alone in sighing during any mention of 3D.

  63. Blackcloud says:

    IO, we agree 3D was a factor, even a significant one. We disagree over how significant. You think maybe it was 50%, while I think maybe 33%.
    On the other hand, I do agree with you that 3D is giving movies a cushion in terms of their weekly grosses. The “premium” can help make up some of the loss of screens and decrease in attendance. There I do think 3D is making a difference.

  64. christian says:

    “If it were not for Lex and I, anyone coming here for the first time would think David Poland has the most dire and dull people posting here.”
    Only if all CAPS paens to 16 year old girls, suicide threats, TDK box office and disgusting taunts is your thing.

  65. Joe Leydon says:

    No, IO: I was talking about your bold talk about DVD and CD ownership. I am old enough to be your father, and I cannot help thinking I own more freakin’ Beta and VHS tapes and Laserdiscs than you own CDs and DVDs.
    BTW: Have you seen Memphis Beat yet? What do you think?

  66. IOv2 says:

    Christian, you really think that posting like an old curmudgeon is good for this blog? Do you also really think that Lex and I were the only ones responsible for nasty taunts? Again sir, call torpid, use the search engine, and get an education on the truth, sir BECAUSE IT WOULD SEEM YOU CANNOT HANDLE IT… booyah.
    Blackie, I think it’s a 60/40 deal with Avatar. Again, if you put Twilight in 3D, it’s Wednesday is the biggest single day in the history of cinema, that’s the power of 3D. 3D made a movie that should have been relatively as big as Transformers 2, the top grossing film in history.

  67. IOv2 says:

    Joe, please go into detail about the Beta tapes and the Laserdiscs. There are things I enjoy more than people discussing Beta tapes and Laserdiscs. Seriously.
    That aside, Memphis Beat is hard to watch as a Memphian because it’s CLEARLY shot in New Orleans. Everything about it screams New Orleans more than Memphis. The scenery is too flat, the houses look wrong, and all of the livery and iconography of the Memphis police is horribly horribly wrong.
    Why they set a show about Memphis in New Orleans and not even try to make it look like Memphis, is beyond me.

  68. The Big Perm says:

    So IO, where do you get that 60/40? Did you simply pull that out of your ass? I think it’s 38.5/52.3. I realize there are percentages missing…that’s the mystery.

  69. christian says:

    IO, nobody else I know of has repeatedly called folks FAGS or HOMOS or broken into good movie convos to demand we KILL OURSELVES because k-stew don’t care about us. And you sir have called folks bitches and cunts because they dont like what you do. Anybody can search out your and lex’s horrid attacks. So please bro, you lose this round.

  70. torpid bunny says:

    “That aside, Memphis Beat is hard to watch as a Memphian because it’s CLEARLY shot in New Orleans. Everything about it screams New Orleans more than Memphis. The scenery is too flat, the houses look wrong, and all of the livery and iconography of the Memphis police is horribly horribly wrong.
    Why they set a show about Memphis in New Orleans and not even try to make it look like Memphis, is beyond me.”
    Interesting comment. Of course even NYC gets treated this way sometimes.

  71. IOv2 says:

    Christian, you miss the point once again. I have never ever gone after anyone who did not start it first. Seriously, go read it and realize that not only have you been wrong this entire time, but you are holding something against me because you think that I fired off without provocation and that simply is not true.
    Torpid, I have been to New York enough to realize when someone uses Montreal for New York instead of New York. This is why I could not watch NYPD Blue. It’s supposed to be about NYPD and they cannot even go out of their way to set it in the freakin NYC? Come on.
    Permie, it’s just math. If IMAX/3D accounted for 300 million or more of that gross and Avatar grossed 795 million, that’s roughly 40 percent of the gross.

  72. The Big Perm says:

    Is there anywhere that actually breaks that down, though? Where are you getting that 300 million number?

  73. Cadavra says:

    Wow, people fighting over who owns the most DVDs and CDs! Who says the Internet ain’t enlightening?

  74. IOv2 says:

    Cad, I was trying to disprove a point and Joe has still not shared with me how awesome his tape and laserdisc libraries are. I WANT TO KNOW JOE! I WANT TO KNOW!

  75. Joe Leydon says:

    IO: Not only do I have Beta and VHS tapes and Laserdiscs — I have RCA SelectaVision VideoDiscs. I also have a still-functional Kaypro 2X computer.

  76. IOv2 says:

    Joe, seriously, a Kaypro and SelectaVision? Oh that’s just awesome. The Selectavision remains one of the truly bizarre lost video formats of the last 35 years. Truly a bizarre bit of tech that thing.
    The fact that the Kaypro still runs also amazes me.

  77. Joe Leydon says:

    The really annoying thing is: I have about ten years’ worth of Wordstar-format stuff on those old 5 1/4-inch floppy disks that I wrote on my Kayrpo 2X — that I still cannot figure out a way to transfer to Word format.

  78. Joe Leydon says:

    Oh, and I have to admit: I bought the SelectaVision player primarily because Gene Kelly was the TV pitchman for it.

  79. IOv2 says:

    Joe, I cannot remember where I read it or heard it, but I could swear that someone out there figured away to transfer Kaypro data to modern machines. If I remember correctly, it’s complicated as hell, but I believe it can be accomplished.
    Yeah, Gene selling that machine is classy. Seriously, Gene Kelly needs a revival of some sorts because that dude is still awesome.

  80. Joe Leydon says:

    Had only one chance to talk with The Man back in the very early ’80s. He told me that he had been approached to direct the movie version of Cabaret, but had to turn it down because, at the time, his wife was seriously ill — so he recommended Bob Fosse for the project.
    It has not been a bad life. I’ve interviewed folks from Bette Davis to Helen Mirren to Kristen Stewart, from Don Ameche to Michael Caine to Seth Rogen, from Benny Goodman to Johnny Cash to Brad Paisley. Mind you, I’m not bragging, because I fully realize that, sooner or later, some of you reading this will have an even more impressive range of folks you’ve interviewed if you live long enough. But, hey, on Independence Day Weekend, when we celebrate what a cool place America is, consider: This immigrant’s son from the Ninth Ward of New Orleans has had a nice run.

  81. christian says:

    Joe FTW! Boom Boom!

  82. Lota says:

    “And how can I get to that point in life where Dakota and especially Kristen know who I am?”
    Lex, if you stand around after a movie-showing winking at young girls at your age, it sounds like D & K will know who you are when you are required to appear in court.
    Twilight series is a soap opera teen beat, but I am not opposed to it. Like a Dark Shadows for the juniors, and a bit ponderous but not terrible. It doesn’t really deserve all the bashing. I rather bash Airbender but I can’t since i haven’t seen it and I don;t know if I could ever see a Shyamalan film again. I think we are through, me and him.
    After seeing LET THE RIGHT ONE IN I found it hard to think Twilight a good movie I guess, since LTROI was such an awesome but sad dark fantasy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~ David Simon