a pro script reader ponders movies, reading, writing and the occasional personal flashback

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Kong Isn't On Life Support Yet...

So there was much hand-wringing in Hollywood over the fact that King Kong only made $50 million on its opening weekend.

Personally, I think the movie will do fine. I just think they opened it on the wrong weekend.

Why? Because most Americans (like me) are lazy-ass procrastinators, and last weekend was the last real shopping weekend before Christmas.

So the reason why no one was at the movies? They were all frantically running all over the place, buying last-minute gifts so they could get them in the mail on Monday.

(Trust me, I saw them all at the mall. And then at the post office).

If King Kong opens the day before Thanksgiving, it makes $120 million on that long weekend, easily.

Instead, it opened on the Wednesday before the biggest shopping weekend of the year; whose bright idea was that? And people wonder why it underperformed.

I know that's why we didn't see it.

But we'll see it sometime in the next 11 days. And I think a lot of other people will too.

I don't see any reason why it won't be the number one movie for at least the next three weekends. I think it'll make a run at $300 million, and if it can get some Oscar nods and hang around a little, it could do much more.

Of course, sometime in January, the gay cowboys will finally hit #1. Just watch.


At 6:10 AM, Anonymous Dave R. said...

Hollywood is trying to force BBM down the publics throat and it's not going to work.

I know people will label it homophobia, but I think its a matter of not being interested in the subject matter.

It's funny to me how "Open Range" was ignored by the public and the academy and people brushed it off saying "Cowboy movies just aren't popular anymore".

If BBM fails at the BO they will say "Americans aren't ready...or Americans are too homophobic for a film like this"

People want to see films about people like themselves(Rocky, Office Space, Every John Hughes film minus Curly Sue), or people they want to be like(Office Space, Fight Club, any Batman not directed by Joel Schumacher).

A good argument could be made about films showing us new worlds or different sides of the human condition, this is very true, but they aren't primary reasons.

A person goes to see the "Godafather" becuase he/she's loved Marlon Brando since he/she saw him in "The Wild One" and/or he/she knows the story is about the type of people that he/she's has only read about in the paper.

Themes like family and trust and what it means to be an immigrant in America are important, but they don't get butts in the seats.

I probably won't see BBM for the same reason I wouldn't see "The Fast and Furious 3", the subject matter doesn't interest me.

Of course if I choose not to see "FF3" I won't be mocked by liberal elists. Which is actually the other reason I won't see BBM, its the reason that knocked me off the fence.

Hollywoods liberal finger wagging is just going to drive more people away from the theaters. They did it to me.

At 6:24 AM, Blogger Fun Joel said...

I think Narnia has a chance at another number one slot one of those weekends, too. The kids are all home from school, and the parents got to take 'em somewhere!

At 7:32 AM, Blogger Konrad West said...

Dave R:

You don't see a great film because people mock you? Are you an idiot?

At 10:03 AM, Anonymous Dave R said...

Actually no one mocked me. Not really sure what you are talking about?

You haven't even seen the film and you are already calling it great?

Are you an idiot?

At 10:44 AM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

Dave R. --

I have no idea why you think Brokeback Mountain is being forced down the public's throat. It's a movie, just like any other.

If you are uncomfortable with the subject matter, don't go see it.

But when it is nominated for Best Picture, don't think it is due to some liberal agenda. More than likely, it's just due to the fact that apparently it is a very well-made, very moving movie about two characters trying to deal with their feelings.

The statement that people want to see films about people like themselves, or people they want to be, doesn't really add up. I don't want to be Shrek. I saw that. (And pretty much no one saw Office Space, at least until it hit DVD).

People want to see well-told stories. Or they don't. But it's not about an agenda.

(And no flame wars, or I'll just start deleting).


At 12:57 PM, Anonymous Eddie said...

Make all the excuses you like,Scott, we all wanna be Shrek. :)

I do think that in the PC world we live in today, many fear reprisal for criticizing BBM. I haven't heard anything negative (not that I've looked for it particularly) about BBM. Everything I hear is about how wonderful it is and how it is breaking down walls. This buzz has been going on for months now, and who the hell has actually seen this film?

Getting behind a gay cowboy movie for political reasons is fine, but let's be honest about it. I'm not excited about BBM myself, a gay cowboy flick just isn't up my alley. I may watch it on DVD because of all the hype, and if I do, then the hype worked. That's cool.

Hopefully, a day will come when a gay cowboy or gay anything movie won't raise eyebrows, but until then the makers of these movies can have their cake and eat it too.

It might just be an excellent flick based on traditional standards anyhow. Only time will tell. Sorry about the long comment. Love the blog.

At 8:58 PM, Blogger Patrick J. Rodio said...

It'll be interesting how the Konger does. I just read that Narnia has been catching up all week (with the kiddies getting out from schools) and actually beat it on Weds.

Not too sure about Kong's legs. The parents seem to be taking their kiddies to Narnia, not Skull Island. Maybe it's the downer ending of Kong that the parents already know about and don't wanna get the kids all depressed. I just don't know.

At 9:01 PM, Blogger Patrick J. Rodio said...

Oh, and Brokeback isn't gonna fail at the box office. It's gonna do great and I still think it'll do 90 if not more.

The Crying Game did well when it came out (pun intended).

When the folks hear how good it is and see the awards piling up, they'll go.

And I did like Open Range, thought Costner did great with that one (it did have ok legs and made 50 million but should have gotten an award or 2. Fucking Warner Brothers.

At 11:03 PM, Blogger writergurl said...

Dave R. & Eddie...

BBM, while a good movie (certainly a moving one) is not anyone's idea of a political agenda movie. It's about loving someone and being constrained by whatever your life situation is from being able to fully develop that love.

Sadly, there are people in the world who refuse to acknowledge that two men can be in love with each other, while actively fantasizing about two women together in a sexual situation. This doen't compute fellas, it's the same thing. A person of one gender falling in love and expressing that love with another person of the same gender.

Finally, I'll leave you with this thought... what my Moma said when I came out to her...

"In this day and age, if you can find someone to love you, genuinely love you, I don't care if they're pink with purple polka dots and I certainly don't care if it's a boy or a girl. Just as long as they love you and you love them back."

Btw, BBM has not "failed" at the box office... it's doing quite well. Especialy on a per theater basis, given that it's not in wide release.

At 6:02 PM, Blogger Dixon Steele said...

First of all...

Dave: OPEN RANGE was a surprise hit and grossed about 60M. And Patrick, don't hate WB; it was distributed by Disney.

And I'm glad you liked the cult hit OFFICE SPACE (I didn't, except for Stephen Root's brillant perf.). But it stiffed at the box office, so people DIDN'T want to see it.

As for BROKEBACK...all this stuff about shoving down the throat. Hmmm. Let's think of another metaphor, shall we?

Plus it's already a money maker as it only cost about 13m to make and was presold all over the world thanks to the names involved (Ang Lee, the cast).

But I thought CAPOTE was better...

At 8:58 PM, Anonymous Donald McRonald said...

I think you're a bit mistaken Dave. Brokeback Mountain is doing huge business in its limited release. It appears as if it's going to make a lot of money.

Is the film being forced down the public's throat? Certainly no more than the movies it's competing against.

Anyhow, I think it will win Best Picture. Part of that may be political, but many would argue that the function of a film is not only to entertain, but also to generate discourse on pertinent social and political topics. I don't think that rewarding a film for successfully doing so is akin to "forcing it down the publics [sic] throat."

Whether you're interested in the subject matter or not, BBM is generally getting good reviews. Most people who have actually seen it consider it to be an excellent film, which probably isn't the case for the Fast and the Furious 3.

At 9:52 PM, Blogger Phillip said...

Patrick wrote:

"The Crying Game did well when it came out (pun intended).

When the folks hear how good it is and see the awards piling up, they'll go."

I think you’re missing a key point here. The Crying Game did well because they advertised the hell out of the twist. I think The Crying Game’s success has more in common with the success of The Sixth Sense than BBM. I also think if the average moviegoer knew the hot chick in the flick was really a dude and they were gonna see some penis it wouldn’t have made nearly as much as it did.

Also, what folks? Gays and hip couples in urban areas. No group of twenty something males is gonna go (unless it's to rag on the movie and/or the audience), no groups of teenage girls (who drove the success of Titanic) are going to go to watch dreamy Heath have sex with not so dreamy but still cute Jake. And I can’t see some 38 year old construction worker in Omaha opening up the movie section on a Friday night and turning to his 36 year old grade school teacher wife and saying “Gee, hon. Let’s go see the gay cowboy move. Ebert gave it thumbs up.” It might happen but I doubt it.

writergurl wrote:

"BBM, while a good movie (certainly a moving one) is not anyone's idea of a political agenda movie."

There’s a lot of people who think that anything that presents gays as normal and deserving of respect automatically has a political agenda.

I think it’s great that you have such a supportive mother. You’re very lucky. And I hate writing this because it doesn’t make logical sense but to most people (and remember we’re talking everywhere not just big cities) two women having sex ain’t the same as two men having sex and it never will be. Never.

writergurl wrote:

"Btw, BBM has not "failed" at the box office... it's doing quite well. Especially on a per theater basis, given that it's not in wide release."

donald wrote:

"I think you're a bit mistaken Dave. Brokeback Mountain is doing huge business in its limited release. It appears as if it's going to make a lot of money."

Limited release is where this film is gonna make its money. Gays, artists, and all the other assorted sophisticated city dwellers. No way it’s gonna pull anywhere near those kind of per theatre numbers once it rolls out into the suburbs and smaller cities and towns.

I have no interest in seeing it (but if it was hot cowgirls I’d feel the same. Small angsty flicks about people in love aren’t my thing.) but kudos to all involved. I wish success for any movie that takes risks.

And, Scott, if it breaks 50 million, I’ll happily buy you your single limed Corona, clink your bottle in toast and say “Damn. I guess I don’t know a fucking thing.”

At 8:42 AM, Blogger Thomas Crymes said...

I understand where the fear of being labeled for not wanting to see BBM comes from.

Just because I don't want to see a gay cowboy movie doesn't make me a homophobe, but that is the feeling some people get.

Does not wanting to see two men get intimate make you a homophobe even if you don't have a problem with gay relationships?

It will be interesting to see how the movie does in wide release. Combine the homophobe element with people who just don't want to see a movie about gay cowboys and I think you have a movie that won't make much money. But America has surprised me before.

At 9:31 AM, Blogger Thomas Crymes said...

I also have serious concerns about Kong.

Every "averae joe" person I talk to gripes about the length. I personally looked forward to the length and I found the movie to be flawed but enjoyable. Jackson really knows how to ratchet up the tension in his action scenes. Wow.

Also, the downer ending may prove to be a problem. Everyone knows Kong dies, and when people are trying to decide what movie to go see, are they going to say to themselves: "I know. Lets go get emotionally invested in a large ape and watch him get shot off of a skyscraper!"?

Oh, and how bout this for kickers. I don't think I've ever seen the 1759 version of King Kong. I've only seen the presumably awful one in the 70s. I say presumably because I saw it when I was a kid, and I felt so sad when Kong died. Kind of like when that boxer died at the end of Champ, but not as teary. Years later before the dark times, I was in NYC and I went to the World Trade Center. At that point I had forgotten I had even seen 70s Kong. I walked on that area in front of the building and then it hit me. I had this flood of emotion and memory come back from the movie. I could almost see Kong lying there in the courtyard. Wierd. Eerie. Just goes to show you, when your a kid, you like just about anything with a monster in it.

At 3:07 AM, Blogger Lab Lemming said...

I can't convince my wife to see Kong. In fact, I think that part of its problem is that its core target audience is movie buffs. Unlike Potter or Narnia, it isn't the visualization of a widely popular story from another media.

It is a remake of a classic film. And the people who get excited about it are film geeks like us.


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