Good news for people who like good movies! That’s all of us, by the way. Planet of the Apes, buoyed by reviews that went out of its way to give the overriding message of, “It actually doesn’t suck, you know, like some other movies!!!” managed to scare up about $54 million, far ahead of the $30-35 million projections people had been estimating. Good to know that good reviews can equal surprising performances.
Maybe this could lead to a good movie, Amazing Spider-Man 2 will now come out in May 2014, an announcement that comes about 10 months before Amazing Spider-Man hits next July 4 weekend. Nothing but upside on this one. Sequels used to be rushed, to get them into the theaters ASAP so that people didn’t forget about them. On the Die Hard 4 DVD, Bruce Willis talks about this as to why Die Hard 2 sucks (even though I like it). So studios started taking their time with them, and of course, waiting until after the movie actually made money to see if it warrants a sequel. A couple years ago, The Hangover got greenlit for a sequel about a month before it came out because it was tracking so well. In that case, you get the actors signed up right away, no one can hold out for more money since the actors don’t wanna gamble the the movie is a bomb. If they sign, they get paid even if the sequel doesn’t get made. This is less of a gamble though. They can start the process, give them enough time to make a good movie and still have it out less than two years after the first one. You might see more studios start moving this way. It still bears repeating that the first movie isn’t coming out for more than 10 MONTHS!!!
Wanna know why I barely ever mention Desperate Housewives, other than the fact that it’s not in my weekly rotation? Because it’s almost impossible for me to spell “desperate” right on the first try. It’s just one of those words that kills me every time I type it (“accommodate” and “maintenance” are two others, I’ll be spell checking those bad boys later). But since it’s a long-running show that says it’s leaving after this year, then it’s my contractual blogging duty to mention it. For as stale and tired as people say it is, there are still 12 million people watching every week. It premiered just around the age when streaming video and DVRs came into play, so you have to wonder — will it be the last scripted show to come in and get huge ratings? It’s lost half of its audience, but when it started, it was getting almost 24 million people a week to watch. Now when something averages 15 million a week for a whole season, it’s the biggest thing on TV. The end of Desperate Housewives could be the end of that era.
And here comes the dividing line between network shows and basic cable shows. Desperate Housewives still had 12 million people watching every week last year, but you knew the writing was on the wall for ABC to get it off the schedule. But over at FX, about 1.4 million people watch Wilfred every week, and it’s getting renewed for a second season. Less than a million watch Louie, but it’s getting a third season. Always Sunny gets about 1.5 million a week, and it’s getting two seasons of renewals, for 2012 and 2013-- making it the longest-running live-action comedy on basic cable. What is basic cable doing that the networks can’t emulate financially? I’m sure someone’s told me in the past, or I’ve read it somewhere, and it has something to do with how the casts will work for slave wages, but how can the measures of success be so out whack with the ratings? Oh, and FX just started replaying last season’s Always Sunny, a season I didn’t like that much. But rewatching at least the first two episodes over the weekend … they were pretty funny. Couple times I laughed embarrassingly loudly and almost woke up the kids. Dennis’s reaction to Charlie and Frank getting married, “Huh … that’s weird” and then just exiting stage left was the funniest thing I’ve seen on TV for a couple weeks. Actually, the funniest thing before that was Wilfred yelling, “GIVE HIM A BODY BAG YEEEEAAAAHHHHH!!!” when Ryan was playing hardcore ping-pong with Oz/Dusty Dinkleman/Paul Meltzer/Chris Klein. So maybe whatever the financial measuring stick is, let’s just be happy that cable stations like FX are willing to produce and air shows that would never have a home on network TV.
Might as well just stay down on my knees for FX for a couple seconds here. The new TV season looks pretty good so far, I’m giving at least 10 new shows a shot (Ringer, Terra Nova, Grimm, Secret Circle, etc.). But I don’t see anything getting me more excited right now than American Horror Story. FX doesn’t seem to wanna shut up about it — as per the usual — but it just seems really cool. I’m probably expecting too much, and I’ll probably be mad by the December when I notice Glee’s precipitous drop-off since Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk likely devoted much of their creative time to AHS instead of Glee. But I’m ready to anoint that AHS the new show I’m looking forward to most in the upcoming season.
In case you didn’t know already, Gregg Allman won’t be making his scheduled stop at the Sherman Theater in September. He had to postpone much of his tour through mid-September for health issues. However, the Sherman’s website says they expect to reschedule the show.
Speaking of canceled shows, was anyone at the INXS show at Pocono Downs over the weekend? Apparently the show had to be shut down when a storm knocked out the electrical system at the concert. Sucks for anyone that was there. Hopefully the casino gave everyone that bought tickets for the show a $100 chip and you all won playing blackjack.