Posts Tagged ‘Boogie Nights’

Things That Resonated

Thursday, November 27th, 1997

It’s time to give thanks to the things that really hit my hot button in 1997.
Boogie Nights and L.A. Confidential, the two best studio releases to date in 1997.
Warner Bros., for putting the Batman franchise on hold before “Batman 4” ended up set in San Francisco starring Rip Taylor and Matthew McConaughey as supervillains Bald Guy and Overhyped.
Jennifer Love Hewitt’s push-up bra. This girl is brimming over with talent!
The return of greasy popcorn. I hope those nutrition guys never investigate coffee cake.
Only one Billy Crystal movie in 1997.
The summer troika of My Best Friend’s Wedding, Face/Off and Contact (despite Matthew McConaughey), for making Jurassic Park: The Lost World just a bad memory.
Roman Polanski and Luc Besson, keeping the world safe for cradle robbers everywhere.
Speed 2 for assuring that Jason Patric will never be described as Brandoesque again.
Universal, for getting their crappy volcano movie (Dante’s Peak) out before Fox got their crappy volcano movie (Volcano) out.
The Star Wars re-issue for proving once again that it ain’t the effects, it’s the icons.
James Brolin, for marrying Babs, so I can finally stop making alimony payments.
Harvey and Bob Weinstein, for keeping the film business interesting.
Jennifer Lopez and Salma Hayak, for bringing women with shape back to the movies.
Mel Gibson‘s fans, for smacking me into submission.
Siskel’s hair and Ebert’s waist. They make me look good.
And you, my readers. You make it all worthwhile. Happy Thanksgiving.
What do you have to be thankful for … other than The Hot Button? E-mail me and let me know.

Jackal Opens at Number One

Monday, November 17th, 1997

Got a lot of challenges to my box office prognostication throne this week, but all things considered, I don’t think anyone knocked me off the hill. Aaron Simpson did predict that The Jackal would be the top picture, but he got sucked into The Hollywood Reporter’s vortex of over-expectation, guessing at a $23 million opening. Jackal ended up taking first with just $15.6 million, much closer to my $14 million guess. Starship Troopers dropped off the face of the earth, losing 55 percent in week two to take second with $10.2 million. In third, The Little Mermaid did as Master Wok predicted, taking in $10.2 million. Marc Andreyko‘s prediction that Mermaid would come in first was under the sea.
The middle of the chart held no surprises with Bean coming fourth with $8 million. The Man Who Knew Too Little did too little business: just $4.7 million for fifth. The Horror Movie Formerly Known As “From The Makers Of Scream” (IKWYDLS) continued at a normal pace, slicing another $4.1 million off the box office pig for sixth. The Devil’s Advocate did $3.6 million for seventh. And Red Corner, about China and not a neighborhood in hell, grabbed $2.6 million for eighth.
My first surprise was that Mad City dropped so rapidly — more than 50 percent to disappear from the Top Ten in just its second week. Boogie Nights took ninth with a 33 percent drop to $2.6 million. And Eve’s Bayou, the little movie that could, stayed in the picture with $2.5 million for tenth.
One of the most contested of my predictions, a weak opening for One Night Stand, came true. The film ended up with just over 400 screens and not the 800 originally reported, probably due to multi-plexes finding room for Starship Troopers and three big new films. Soft reviews would seem likely to make this poor showing a trend for ONS’s future. New Line must be hoping that Mortal Kombat: Annihilation opens big, because if they thought the reviews for ONS were bad, just wait for these!
Any box office questions? E-mail them to me.

Predicting the Box Office Gets Tough

Friday, November 14th, 1997

This weekend is the hardest I’ve had to predict in quite a long time. Why? Big stars, low want-to-see. The Jackal features Bruce Willis and Richard Gere, but there’s less buzz around than in a decaf latte. Disney hasn’t had big results from its re-releases since they became so video friendly, but The Little Mermaid may be special. Or not. And Bill Murray is far from a guaranteed opener in a film that isn’t as easily defined as his last hit, Groundhog Day.
So here’s my take. Starship Troopers drops just 20 percent to $17.6 million, taking first for a second week. The Jackal opens with a nice, but not overwhelming $14 million for second. The Little Mermaid surfs to a third place finish with about $12 million. Bean flatulates to the tune of $9.6 million, dropping 25 percent for fourth. Bill Murray’s The Man Who Knew Too Little will stay undercover with a soft $8.5 million for fifth.
The Second Five should all be repeat visitors, with New Line’s One Night Stand opening at only 700 screens. I Know What You Did Last Summer slices another $4.2 million — a 35 percent drop — for sixth. Also dropping about 35 percent should be The Devil’s Advocate ($3.3 million for seventh) and Red Corner ($3.2 million in eighth). Mad City should make its second and last Top Ten appearance in ninth with a 25 percent drop to $3.5 million. And Hot Button fave Boogie Nights should dance into 10th with a 20 percent drop to $3.1 million. Trailing closely should be surprise hit Eve’s Bayou with about $2.6 million.
And make sure to go to the movies this weekend, because the holiday onslaught will start burying you next week with Clint Eastwood’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Anastasia, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation and Francis Ford Coppola’s Grisham entry, The Rainmaker. And your Thanksgiving plans will probably include Flubber or Alien Resurrection or both.
Don’t think I’ve pegged this weekend’s results? Let’s see your Top Ten. If you beat me you will … “Win David Poland’s Money!” Well, no, but I might tell our readers about it.

The Big Noise Starts this Weekend with Starship Troopers

Friday, November 7th, 1997

Twenty-five million is my estimate. A big number, but doable. Even surpassable. With all the people going to genre movies (see slots three, five and seven), the stage is set for this one, by far the biggest, brashest entry in the category since Men In Black last July. There are some worries about Bean stealing some of Troopers’ opening thunder, but I see these as separate audiences. I think Bean will open around $10 million, with longer legs than Troopers, but a far less explosive impact.
The numbers amongst the holdovers should make them look a bit like leftovers. With 30 percent drops, look for I Know What You Did Last Summer to pass the $50 million mark with $6.6 million, Red Corner to take fourth with $5.2 million, and The Devil’s Advocate to hit fifth, also with about $5.2 million.
Boogie Nights should drop modestly (gambling on you guys again), about 20 percent to $3.7 million for sixth place. Seven Years In Tibet finally hits the seventh slot with a 30 percent drop to $2.3 million. Fairy Tale: A Running Gag should drop about 25 percent to $2.2 million for eighth spot. Kiss The Girls may finally get slashed with a 40 percent drop to $2.1 million for ninth. And Gattaca may actually pass the magical $10 million mark adding another $1.6 million to it’s take for tenth.
Think you have a clearer view of the future? E-mail me.

Boogie Nights Opens at Number Four

Monday, November 3rd, 1997

Ouch! I know you can’t see it in my photos, but I am bleeding profusely from the nose after getting tagged hard by Boogie Nights‘ number four opening with just $5.1 million! I guess Middle America wasn’t ready for a film about porn that didn’t include porn. And I wish I could blame it on New Line being a small studio, but their magnificent Money Talks opened with $10.65 million just weeks ago! Argh! The one salvation here is that the picture should end up doing so little business (my guess: under $30 million total domestic) that if New Line plays its cards right, it could become the Oscars’ “Little Movie That Could” for 1997.
Meanwhile, the unstoppable slasher films continue to do big box office. I Know What You Did Last Summer camped out at number one for the third week, dropping just 20 percent to $10 million. Devil’s Advocate, where Al Pacino slashes the scenery with his tongue before chewing it up real good, dropped a modest 25 percent to summon another $7.6 million for third place. And Kiss The Girls slashed-n-smooched its way to fifth place with another $3.6 million, dropping just 30 percent in week five.
Another surprise, though not as unpleasant, was the success of Red Corner. I guess the China visit worked for the film — which got roundly panned by the critics — rather than against it. Pretty Man Richard Gere got a liberal $8.3 million to take second place. Also, Switchback, Paramount’s quiet entry into the All Hallows Eve thriller market, stayed quieter than I thought it might, pulling in just $3 million for seventh place.
The rest of the Top Ten is made up of holdovers, all of which I came pretty close to predicting. Big deal! I’m already bleeding. Anyway, Brad was glad that Seven Years in Tibet took in another $3.4 million in its fourth week for sixth place. Fairy Tale: A Forgotten Release, grabbed another $2.9 million while the grabbing was good for eighth. Gattaca ran out of puns — $2.7 million for ninth. And In & Out took tenth with $1.8 million.
Check out what my predictions were on Friday. Email is your way of showing me you feel my pain. Or maybe you just want to rub it in.

Countdown to Boogie Nights Minus 1

Thursday, October 30th, 1997

Boogie Nights is ready to bring porn to a cable network near you. New Line is shopping a late-night series that would bring the antics of Dirk, Amber, Rollergirl and Buck into your house every week. HBO was the first cable net to produce original sitcoms with “Dream On,” the show that had almost every gorgeous up-and-coming actress in Hollywood sleeping with a short, average-looking book editor within 10 minutes of meeting him. In Boogie Nights: The Slut-Com, it won’t take 10 minutes. Watch Dirk as he measures his new apartment in the nude! Will Amber ever get her hair really clean? See Rollergirl face off against Suzanne Somers in a Thighmaster competition! Watch Buck read and use multi-syllabic words! (Someone has to be politically correct!)
Boogie Nights burnt up the box office charts in limited release last weekend, but from every second week, a pattern emerges. In Los Angeles, the film was dropping quickly in the big multi-plexes, while still growing in the smaller venues. Of course, even while dropping, the numbers were pretty damned good. In New York, there wasn’t much change on the Westside and downtown, but there was a drop on the Eastside. This is the first indication that Boogie Nights may have a hard time with the mainstream in the long run. But in the short run, it still looks solid as a… well, just solid.
Boogie Nights doesn’t have the exclusive on bare bodies. The Full Monty passed Four Weddings and a Funeral this weekend as the most popular British film ever in the U.K. It took Monty just eight weeks to pass the $45 million that Weddings took 22 weeks to acquire. The Pantless Ones have taken just over $25 million here in the US. But England’s dance with flesh is far from over. The Spice Girls movie, Spice World, is due on U.K. screens before the end of the year. It’s enough to make you drink warm beer.
Tomorrow, Boogie Nights leads the weekend preview . Meanwhile, check out the disco dancing on Rough Cut weekly.
Email is fun. And this week I tell you why I love L.A. Let me count the ways on The Whole Pictures in one!

Countdown to Boogie Nights Day 2

Wednesday, October 29th, 1997

Boogie Nights makes porn stars look far too pathetic according to ’70s artistes du penetration Bobby Astyr and Candida Royalle, as quoted in the New York Daily News. However, they say, the slick producers, bad dialogue and poor production values are right on target. So, the 19-year-old from Iowa who’s getting paid $1,000 by a guy with leather pants and a gold chain to have sex with three men while saying “Oh baby!” six or seven hundred times in front of cheap wood paneling isn’t pathetic. The lighting of the scene is what’s pathetic. OK. Warning: Objectification may appear closer in real life than in the rear-view mirror.
Boogie Nights star Mark Wahlberg’s price is going up. Way up. Sources say Wahlberg will pull down almost $2 million to team up with Hong Kong superstar Chow Yun-Fat (star of The Killer and the upcoming The Replacement Killers) in The Corrupter, for Boogie studio New Line Cinema. In the thriller, Walberg plays the good-guy partner to Chow’s rogue cop. Then the two have sex on screen with a family of … Oops. Wrong movie.
Boogie Nights’ home studio, New Line, also has the next Mike Figgis movie, One Night Stand, coming to screens soon. At the recent junket for the film, Stand star Wesley Snipes edged around some inside info without giving too much away. First, he made funny noises while talking about his upcoming Blade, which he produced and stars in, which those of us in the room assumed were sounds of excitement. Little did we know that the night before, Snipes had suffered through a disastrous screening of the film, as related by a screening attendee who wrote into the Ain’t It Cool Web site. Then, he said that the film he’d really like to do is the Miles Davis story. Two days later, producer Marvin Worth (Malcolm X, Lenny) announces that he’s acquired the rights to make Davis’ life story for Sony. I wonder who’ll be playing Miles. Hmmm.
Tomorrow, Boogie Nights TV. Talk about your prime time!
Connect with email, read The Whole Picture, or carve a pumpkin. It’s up to you!

Countdown to Boogie Nights Day 3

Tuesday, October 28th, 1997

Boogie fever is catching on other film sets. At least according to Netizens. While the mainstream media may sit back and wait for a final print of John McNaughton‘s new movie, Wild Things, the twin terrors of the URLs, Matt Drudge and Harry Knowles are already all over it. The news? Kevin Bacon shows his penis! Drudge ran a story, giving his column inches exclusively to Bacon’s column inches, quoting a Variety source making the industry connection to Boogie Nights and saying “Does (Bacon) really want to draw comparisons between his and Dirk Diggler’s ? …”
Knowles and one of his test screening sneakers offer a fuller view of Wild Things, which got a thumbs down. “First off, let me put to rest the question which most of you male types will be dying to know: NEVE IS NOT NAKED IN THIS FILM.” Pretty much my priority in every film. My new book, “Who’s NOT Naked!” will soon be available in bookstores everywhere. Knowles’ mole continues, “Words fail me for what we see next. Through the steam, we see a naked body from behind. Yes folks, that’s right, it’s Bacon doing his token, Hollywood, ‘bare-ass’ shot. But does it end there? No, I’m sorry to say, not when you are Kevin Bacon, executive producer of Wild Things. Kevin has seen Boogie Nights and he knows how to create a ‘buzz’ about his film. He turns toward the camera a la Dirk Diggler revealing, to a shocked audience, his manhood. Unlike Dirk, this shot was all Kevin. The horror, the horror…”
This is not why the studios test screen movies. But according to Boogie Nights director, Paul Thomas Anderson, they shouldn’t be testing at all. “Test screenings are the most asinine, ridiculous thing that ever happened to movies. That’s a grand, sweeping comment, but it’s true. It’s fucking ridiculous. On Boogie Nights, I went, but I didn’t get anything out of it. Test screenings are a fucking waste of time and massive amounts of money. They cost a lot of money. And it’s not a test because it doesn’t hold up to any scientific standards. People don’t get to see movies for free. They pay $7.50 to see a movie. People know what they are going to see when they go see a movie, so the process of recruiting is totally biased from the get go. People will easily walk out if they don’t pay $7.50 for something. If people think they are coming to see a sort of raucous exposé of the porn industry, they are probably gong to be disappointed. If they don’t know that it’s two hours and 37 minutes long, they are going to fucking be bored. They are going to say, ‘I have dinner plans.'”
Tommorrow, Is It Real? Or Is It Boogie Nights?
Connect with the hot button button, read The Whole Picture or check out Hasbro’s new Hot Button Dave doll. Ten percent of every doll sold goes to the U.N.

Not Many Surprises at the Weekend Box Office

Monday, October 20th, 1997

At least not for me. Despite the big names (Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves) and big publicity push, The Devil’s Advocate came in just an OK second, conjuring up $12.2 million. The good news is, it may be another Pacino scenery-chewing camp classic. The easy winner of the weekend was teen horror romp I Know What You Did Last Summer with a ripping $16.1 million. Despite a last-minute agreement by Sony not to abuse the “from the makers of Scream” tag, their marketing department grabbed teen attention with big ad buys and clever gimmick promos, like a two-minute “special preview” hosted by Sarah Michelle Gellar during last week’s episode of her WB series, “Buffy, The Vampire Slayer.” The only other wide release, Playing God, caught me once again overestimating the drawing power of non-movie star celebrities. Last week, it was Tupac. This week it’s Mr. Duchovny’s Doofus, which I predicted would reach fifth, but came in tenth with a weak $2 million.
The strength of the new product damaged the returning hits a little more than expected. Kiss The Girls ($7 million) and Seven Years in Tibet ($6.5 million) both dropped a little over 35 percent from last weekend. In & Out passed the $50 million mark in its fifth week, pulling in $3.9 million to become one of only two returnees in the Top 10 to drop less than 30 percent. Soul Food is now leftovers, dropping over 35 percent to $3.5 million for sixth place. Rocketman went according to plan, dropping to earth with $3 million on its way out of the Top 10. The Peacemaker is suffering nuclear fallout, dropping a substantial 44 percent to take eighth with $2.8 million. And in ninth, L.A. Confidential quietly dropped 27 percent, adding another $2.7 million to its haul.
In other box office news, the magnificent Boogie Nights, now in a 30-screen limited release in 13 cities, pulled in a throbbing $27,016 per screen over the weekend, compared to averages around $6000 a screen for this weekend’s top two hits. Boogie Nights won’t be in a theater near you, unless you are very lucky, until October 31. Hopefully, this won’t lead to flaccid box office the way it did for the also-excellent L.A. Confidential.
So, have you listened to my ringing endorsements? Have you seen L.A. Confidential yet? Email me and let me know what you think.

Bart the Bear

Wednesday, October 1st, 1997

Bart makes as much as $10,000 a day for his movie work, before residuals. He’s had major parts in over 20 movies to date, yet has never had to learn a line of dialogue. And he contributes a part of his earning to charity every year, but never signs a check. Sounds like a guy who you’d want your daughter or sister to date, huh? I forgot to mention that he weighs 1,800 pounds and eats his sushi with the skin on. Bart is the bear who hunts Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin in The Edge. Good thing he can’t fit in a Beemer or he’d be tooling around Rodeo Drive, cruising for fur coats. But, he can get you Sir Anthony Hopkins‘ home phone number.
Stone is back and it ain’t Sharon! Twentieth Century Fox is bringing the Romancing the Stone series back, probably as a Michael Douglas vehicle. Given the fact that Douglas is now old enough to be the stone, let’s try some new titles: “Romancing Alone,” “My Hair Has Stopped Grow’n,” “Romancing Old Crones,” “I’d Like To Be Prone,” “Romancing The Clone” or “Romance Without Bone.” Please feel free to email your new titles.
The proliferation of meteor films — Armageddon and Deep Impact — is no longer concentrated on U.S. shores. Continuing a diverse acting repertoire, Mike Myers has agreed to star with Brenda Fricker and Boogie Nights star Alfred Molina in Meteor, a drama written and directed by Irish playwright Joe O’Byrne. Variety says it’s a dark coming-of-age story about three children in a Dublin slum whose lives are changed when a huge meteor crashes into their backyard. Shooting starts November 10, when Myers completes his work as disco denizen Steve Rubell in 54, and before he stars in MGM’s remake of The Court Jester.
The Whole Picture delves into the dark side of entertainment journalism this week.
E-Mail Dave with the issues that get your button hot!