The Weekend Report Archive for June, 2013

The Weekend Report

A couple of new films enlivened weekend moviegoing, but it was moola-moola at the top for the second frame of Monsters University, with an estimated $46.1 million. That left the bridesmaid slot to debuting The Heat with $39.3 million and position four for incoming White House Down with $25.3 million.

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The Weekend Report

Monsters University picked up considerable steam in the days prior to its release and breezed past World War Z in industry tracking. When the dust settled, MU bowed to an estimated $81.3 million and WWZ packed a wallop of $66.2 million. Together they propelled weekend business to another industry record for the month of June.

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The Weekend Report

Man of Steel reset the record book with an opening weekend estimated at $111.6 million. The session’s sole brave national counter-programmer debut was apocalyptic comedy This is the End, which Raptured second place with a solid $20.2 million. Bright were a couple of exclusive newcomers. Nonfiction yarn of session singers 20 Feet from Stardom opened to $51,200 at three spotlights and the youthful felons of The Bling Ring made off with a big haul of $197,000 from just five crime scenes.

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The Weekend Report

Well, no one saw that coming … or did they? It was the scrappy little sci-fi thriller The Purge that emURGEd as the weekend movie favorite with an estimated debut of $36.3 million. Meanwhile, its presumed competition The Internship mustered less than 50% of its opening to rank fourth overall with $18.2 million.

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The Weekend Report

Fast & Furious 6 was dominant in second gear as it sped away to an estimated $34.5 million. That propelled a couple of newcomers to a tight race for second place with the unexpected winner the offbeat caper tale Now You See Me prestidigitating a gross of $27.9 million. A disappointing step behind with $27.2 million was the futuristic survival lesson After Earth.

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The Weekend Report

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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