No Box Office Battles for More Than a Month


Just because it’s a close race at the box office this weekend doesn’t mean it’s very interesting at all. My immediate reaction was, “Wow, How to Train Your Dragon came back to #1, that’s impressive!” but then I realized that $20 million is right about in line with what it should be doing this week, it’s just that everything else is coming back to it. That means it’s a disappointing opening for Kick-Ass.

proof times have changed in hollywood

proof times have changed in hollywood

Every time I hear another story about a movie “only” opening to about $19 million, I think of one of the first episodes of Entourage where Vince is treated like a king by Ari and all the other Hollywood types because he just had an opening of like $16 million or something. Because of that opening, he got a huge mansion, can support his three idiot friends, turn down every money-making script that comes to him, make crappy black and white movies with a psychotic director and get the Aquaman role two years later that every actor in Hollywood apparently wanted. Will Ferrell opened Land of the Lost to about $19 million last year and people started talking about how his career could be over.

Actually it’s going to be really boring around the box office competition slate until the last weekend in May when Prince of Persia and Sex and the City 2 come out:

April 23: The Back-Up Plan vs. The Losers. I know I’ve said this before, but The Back-Up Plan truly looks like the worst movie ever made. Ever, ever, ever. I’m thinking of hanging out at the movie theater this weekend to laugh at every guy who walks in to this movie. Not like there are many better choices, mind you. This could be the most boring movie weekend in a while.

April 30: Nightmare on Elm Street vs. Furry Vengeance. Whoops, sorry, Back-Up Plan. Furry Vengeance might be the worst-looking movie ever. Nah. I’m sticking with Back-Up Plan. I never liked the original Elm Streets, but for some reason this one makes me curious. It will completely destroy Furry.

May 7: Iron Man 2. Wisely, there are no other wide releases that weekend.

May 14: Robin Hood vs. Just Wright vs. Letters to Juliet. Don’t feel bad, this is the first time I’m hearing about the latter two movies too.

May 21: Shrek 4 vs. MacGruber. Counter-programming at its best, but don’t expect there to be any real competition. Shrek probably opens somewhere around $90 million, and MacGruber won’t be more than $30 million, if that. I’m still trying to figure out how/why it got made into a movie.

May 28: Prince of Persia and Sex and the City 2. A Jerry Bruckheimer movie vs. the ultimate chick movie. Persia will open at $70 million, SITC2 opens at $60 million and I have the number for the suicide hotline posted at various locations around my desk and home. It might be an interesting battle, but this is the weekend I board up my windows and watch out for raining frogs Magnolia-style.

But why am I bothering predicting the box office figures off the top of my head when I can just use Twitter to do it?

The most accessible, convenient major film festival for us peons tucked away here in the Poconos is Tribeca. At least it was, I haven’t been there in a couple years and can’t vouch for whether it still is or not. This year, it’s so accessible you don’t even have to leave your home since the festival will be putting a bunch of movies OnDemand. Seems like a weird way to do it, since the original intention of Tribeca was to get people out walking around the Tribeca area of Manhattan again after the Twin Towers collapse. But a big “Yay!” to them for trying something like this. The culture of movies and cinema is changing, so if you’re going to experiment to find out where the business is going, better to do it with the newest Ed Burns movie than with Toy Story 3.

This is getting absolutely ridiculous. Criminal even. George Lucas needs to be stopped. He’s preying on the fans that made him a katrillionaire and he needs to stop. Right now. I quit buying Star Wars stuff years ago, a helpless victim of the release of the first three movies in 1997, the second edition of the VHS set and the atrocity known as Phantom Menace. I would highly suggest other fans also stop, but I know that’s just crazy talk to some people. I got news for Star Wars fans — at the end, the Death Star still gets blown up, no matter what kind of format it’s in. Actually, I’m surprised it’s taken this long to get a Blu-ray version. But you know right around the corner is the 3-D version in which Lucas will claim there is new material that amounts to an extra squeak out of CP3O or something. OK, so I wrote that last sentence without knowing for sure, then found this. At this point, you can almost forgive Lucas for coming out with all this “new” stuff and start blaming Star Wars fans for gobbling it all up without questioning it. Almost.

oochie coochie!

oochie coochie!

Normally I’d make fun of something so stupid as the TV Land Awards — but for such a meaningless award show, they nailed a pretty good lineup, didn’t they? Tom Hanks, Mel Brooks, Ray Romano, Charo … this show had it all! I’m 100 percent giddy just thinking about what Charo looks like now, and am just as happy that I don’t get TV Land in high def or else I’d probably have to cover my eyes to see Donna Dixon and Charo in high def on the same night, on the same show. I thoroughly apologize if you’re under 35 and have no idea what I’m talking about right now. But for those saying this is the first reunion of Peter Scolari and Tom Hanks — doesn’t anyone remember a little movie called That Thing You Do? I think it’s more important than a forgettable TV sitcom that lasted two years.

It certainly seems like Charlie Sheen is gone from Two and a Half Men the way even his co-stars are coughing up details about what he’s doing. I’m terribly biased because I’ve never even cracked anything resembling a smile watching this show so I think it would be pretty easy for anyone to step right in and take his place and it will be just as funny. Like Tracy Chapman said, starting from zero got nothing to lose.

This was reported about a month ago that Aziz Ansari was likely going to be hosting the MTV Movie Awards, but it’s official now when it ends up on the MTV Web page. Great choice for MTV, great career move for Tom Haverford— win-win for all involved. If MTV thinks Russel Brand is funny, then there’s no reason they shouldn’t think Ansari is funny enough to host MTV’s “other” award show. Maybe if he’s funny enough, MTV will think twice about bringing Brand back for a third time. Fingers crossed.

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