ALLIGATORS IN A HELICOPTER

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

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Corpses of Movies Litter the Multiplex

So it really wasn't a good weekend for new releases.

30 DAYS OF NIGHT did do about $16 million, though that was below some expectations, and mediocre for this kind of movie. Solid, but not spectacular.

THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS did an impressive $5.1 million in only 564 theaters.

THE GAME PLAN and WHY DID I GET MARRIED? continued to do well. MICHAEL CLAYTON dropped only 32%, which is encouraging.

Otherwise, carnage.

GONE BABY GONE made only $6 million, despite playing on over three times as many screens as NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS.

THE COMEBACKS made only $5.9 million, averaging only about $2000 per theater. Awful.

RENDITION completely tanked, with only $4.1 million from 2250 theaters. Huge bomb. So was THINGS WE LOST IN THE FIRE, which despite playing in over 1100 theaters made only $1.6 million.

The biggest flops were SARAH LANDON AND THE PARANORMAL HOUR and the animated TEN COMMANDMENTS, which made about $560,000 and $480,000 -- averaging a respective $499 and $578 a screen.

If they had done five times as much business, they still would have been flops. As it is, they are two of the worst-performing wide releases of all time.

RESERVATION ROAD tanked on only 13 screens, while WRISTCUTTERS averaged an encouraging $12,000 each in three theaters.

What's the message learned this weekend? People don't want to see dour dramas, bad comedies, family movies without a hook, or cheesy-looking animated movies with Christian Slater(!) doing the voice of Moses.

******

I saw WE OWN THE NIGHT over the weekend, for one of the best/worst of reasons: the wife and I went to the multiplex to see INTO THE WILD, it was sold out, and WE OWN THE NIGHT was only movie starting in the next 45 minutes that we remotely wanted to see.

I liked the movie. It's melodramatic and hamfisted in spots, and Joaquin and Mark Wahlberg mumble too much, and there are a slew of dumb story points. But I got drawn into the tale anyway, and there are some great sequences here, particularly a car chase through the rain, which is one of the most visceral, harrowing things I've seen in a long time.

Worth checking out if it's your kind of thing, though the climax doesn;t really work that well.

6 Comments:

At 3:38 PM, Blogger Brett said...

I remember reading the script for THINGS WE LOST a year or two back when everyone was saying it was one of the "it" scripts floating around.

I found it absolutely forgettable. While it was a technically credible piece of work, it struck me as maudlin, cliched, uninspired, unoriginal, plodding, predictable, and lacking any real emotional pitch and variation.

Looks like the finished product didn't improve upon that.

Some of those premieres you reffed I swear I have never heard a peep about. hats off to those marketing geniuses who could make a new release hit and disappear without a ripple like a lawn dart into the deep end-- "plooonk!"

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At 5:36 PM, Blogger MaryAn Batchellor said...

Saw Reservation Road at the Austin Film Festival. It's not a bad film even though the basic premise is somewhat contrived.

 
At 6:26 PM, Blogger E.C. Henry said...

Thanks for the mini review of "We Own the Night," Scott. That movie interests me alot. Was surprised that "Gone Baby Gone" didn't do better. I'm with Brett, "Things We Lost in the Fire" looks COMPLETELY forgettalble. I can't believe there was ever any buzz about it. "Things We Lost in the Fire" looks like a snorer.

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

 
At 6:47 AM, Blogger Christian M. Howell said...

Scott, this is funny.

What's the message learned this weekend? People don't want to see dour dramas, bad comedies, family movies without a hook, or cheesy-looking animated movies with Christian Slater(!) doing the voice of Moses.



Seems like we shoul dhave known this before. I mean, Superbad, Knocked Up, Why Did I... etc are cleaning up as even a drama has to have some light hearted scenes.

I guess it proves the adage that Oscar movies ALWAYS TANK. I think it's that writers get wrapped up in structure and emotion but forget about excitement and laughter.

No one's life is completely sad or completely happy. We have to reflect that.

I am surprised at "Gone" though, as Ben recently stated that this maybe it for him. There have been sterling reviews of Ed Harris and Morgan Freeman, but this summer skewed very young.

I guess people didn't want to go from Transformers to a widow and a missing child.

Quoth the Goldman: "No one knows anything."

 
At 10:07 PM, Blogger Patrick J. Rodio said...

Slater should do Kuffs 2.

Reservation Road (dopey title) just looked like something we've seen before (like The Crossing Guard meets Little Children).

As for Rendition, well, A Mighty Heart bombed, The Kingdom underperformed, whioch just shows that people don't want to see Iraq-themed stuff when we're right in the middle of it.

I'd like to see Gone, Baby Gone. Hopefully it'll have some kind of legs and make more $$$. Don't give up, Benny!

 
At 3:15 AM, Anonymous a. m. said...

Things We Lost in the Fire is an excellent movie. Del Toro deserves a nomin. I hope it will do well on DVD - most people prefer to cry in private. And THINGS did make me cry. Story held my interest till the ending.

Only director Susanne Biermann deserves to be hit upside her big fat swollen head. Story needs to be more important than personal "style". Her meaningless close-ups added nothing to the story. Rather, they were something one had to just get used to and not ponder in order to enjoy the film.

I thought Michael Clayton was okay but nothing more.

There's a lot of buzz re: GONE and Casey Affleck's perf. I'll definitely watch it.

 

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