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

Friday, October 12, 2007

Weekend Box Office #53

Another passle of movies opening this weekend, some looking pretty good.

MICHAEL CLAYTON (2511 theaters, up from 15). This is opening wide, and I have a feeling that it'll be number one; it has a vibe of a must-see movie that the others don't have as much. Call it $17.5 million for the weekend.

WE OWN THE NIGHT (2362 theaters). This is getting solid reviews, but the vague good brother/bad brother storyline seems very familiar. It should do about $11.8 million this weekend.

TYLER PERRY'S WHY DID I GET MARRIED (2011 theaters). Tyler Perry is a force of nature; he has his fan base, who apparently don't care that his movies aren't actually all that good. Figure this one will do about $12.7 million for the weekend.

ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE (1951 theaters). I actually saw ELIZABETH with my wife on our first date, so I guess we should see the sequel. Feels too serious to pull in really big numbers though. $10.3 million for the weekend.

THE FINAL SEASON (1011 theaters). There is a dearth of family films out now, but it's hard to believe that too many people will care about this baseball tale, which has no real hook to it. $2.7 million.

In limited release, the remake of SLEUTH opens in 9 theaters, while LARS AND THE REAL GIRL opens in 7.

Notable expansions are ACROSS THE UNIVERSE (from 364 theaters to 954), JESSE JAMES (from 61 to 163), INTO THE WILD (135 to 153) and THE DARJEELING LIMITED (19 theaters to 95).


At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would you say something like Tyler Perry's movies "aren't all that good?" Exactly what about them would you say "isn't that good?"

At 3:18 PM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

Okay, I'll 'fess up; I've never actually seen a Tyler Perry movie. So I have to go on what I've heard and read.

But the honest consensus seems to be that the movies are melodramatic, not very well told, with on-the-nose, obvious dialogue. And that he doesn't direct them very well either.

Other than that, I guess they're fine.

At 4:29 PM, Blogger dannyboy52472 said...

I saw Across the Universe last weekend ... there were a couple of subversively fucking buh-RILLIANT moments (there's a great sequence where a character is recruited by the army - if you're sneaking in, it comes at about the halfway point) ... but for the most part, I just kept thinking of Moulin Rouge, and how I wish I was watching that instead.

It is worth a look, though, if you're lookin'.

-danny boy

At 8:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 9:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I (anonymous #1) didn't post the above. I don't think you're racist. I like this blog, and read it regularly. I just wondered what you had against TP's films is all. You answered my ? and that was good enough for me.

At 9:23 AM, Blogger E.C. Henry said...

"We Own the Night" looks like it might be interesting. The previews on TV for "Michael Clayton" aren't real discriptive of it's plot to solicit interest by me. BUT the Seattle Times had rave reviews for the pale faced actress (her name escapes me) who played the wicked witch in "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe."

Drove 50 miles north to Seattle last night to see Michael Hauge talk about movie beginnings. Would have went again today to see Michael's 8 hour session, but then my truck overheated on the way home. Now I have to TRY to fix it. I say that cuz my Toyota has 370,000 plus + on it, and its been rough for a while...

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

At 10:02 AM, Blogger Christian M. Howell said...

Well, I'm black and I have never seen a Tyler Perry movie. But I'm not into the whole cross-dressing thing or "overly-cultural" portrayals.

Heartbreak Kid was a bad movie according to reviewers.

A bad movie is a bad movie. A movie with flaws is a movie with flaws. Maybe he should let me write his dialog.

Anyone got his number?

At 10:20 AM, Blogger Emily Blake said...

If a movie has black people in it and you don't like the movie, you are definitely a racist. It's in the Constitution.

I'm disgusted with your haterism.

The actress of whom you speak, e.c., is Tilda Swinton.

And I plan to see the Darjeeling movie on Sunday.

At 7:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scott's never seen a TP movie and will never see a TP movie because it's a "black" movie. That's racist.

At 9:00 PM, Blogger Christian M. Howell said...

To anonymous:

What's a Black movie? Is it like a Chinese movie?

At 9:04 AM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

I have nothing against black movies. I don't make my film choices according to race, but to whether a movie is actually good, or seems like it is going to be good.

Until Tyler Perry proves himself, it's unlikely I'll seek out one of his movies. But the same thing goes for white filmmakers with a string of movies to their credit that don't inspire confidence, like Ed Burns or Eric Schaeffer.

But I'll give Perry his props: his movie made an estimated $7.7 million on Friday, more than double any other movie in release.

So his audience is out there, and though I haven't seen the numbers, it's probably largely a black audience, because he's making movies that they can identify with, full of black characters. Which is great, more power to him, and of course it raises a debate about whether different races prefer movies that cater to them.

Probably so. It doesn't make the people who are less interested in this kind of movie racist, in my opinion. It just makes his core audience more tolerant of the movies' medicrity; it they want to see movies focusing on a lot of black characters, often Tyler Perry is the only choice, and they'll go see it even if it isn't good. Because what the hell.

And if a Tyler Perry movie ever got a bunch of really solid reviews, I'd go see it. It hasn't happened yet. Is it because critics are racist? I really don't think so. I think it's because he's not a great writer or director, but his core audience doesn't care.

I do, enough to avoid his films until he does one well.

At 12:42 PM, Anonymous bianca said...

The main popularity behind Tyler Perry's films is that he's the only person making movies with black characters that aren't about the hood or the ghetto or humiliating stereotypes ala Norbit. It's a basic example of niche filmmaking which can be a very successful formula if you find a niche that has been ignored long enough. In Tyler Perry's case his niche is black people looking for positive films about black families.

At 12:54 PM, Blogger Grubber said...

Sitting here thousands of kilometres away and not knowing who TP was I had no idea that Scott was making racist movie going decisions. I certainly did not get that from what he wrote.

Better add me to that list as well then. I have never seen a TP movie either.

Personally I can see the apppeal of Harry Potter movies and books but they are not a must see for me. Ergo I must be biased against witches and warlocks.

Anon, pony up and put your name to such damning accusations if you are going to make them. From everything I have seen of Scott's actions over the last year or so he is nothing but a very decent guy. Feel free to come and visit me and discuss further off Scott's blog, as I am being extremely polite at present. Not my preferred demeanour with someone of your ilk.

At 10:06 PM, Blogger shecanfilmit said...

For the record, I really don't think it's fair to say his movies "aren't all that good" until you see one yourself. That's why I'm not going to opine until I actually sit my butt in the theater and check out his work. This is the 3rd (or 4th?) film he's made that's brought in an audience, I think all us white amateurs could give the guy some respect and go check out his stuff.

At 10:24 PM, Blogger lad said...

Team Scott. Although, I believe Tyler Perry is a great business man with a positive message, I do believe his films aren't very clever and most of the jokes are extremely obvious. But he's doing much better than I am.

At 10:58 PM, Blogger Patrick J. Rodio said...

Anon #2 is just a dope, trying to start a fight, and it ain't gonna happen.

I tried to watch a Perry movie (something about Madea) on cable and it didn't do it for me at all, not because it was a black movie because it was pretty lame. But I don't doubt the guy has got talent, I just think his first couple of flicks are his growing pains perhaps (Ed Burns' movies have gotten better - when you look back at Brothers McMullen, it's painful to watch).

At 10:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think on issues like this, blacks and whites are just different. I myself, being black, grew up watching an equal amount of black and white actors in main and non-mainstream films, but it sounds like alot of the subscribers to this blog may not have. Like Pat says "he tried to watch" (a TP film) but found it "lame", so it sounds like he didn't finish, but on the other hand, the Ed Burns film, which he found "painful" he was still able to sit through. As aspiring writers, all of you (us) should be open to at least sit through any film at least once. It seems most of you will sit through the white film--even if it's trash, but you won't give a black film a chance? And to say "black film" is inaccurate. It's just a film with a majority of black actors, isn't it? But Scott's never even bothered to see one, and this is TP's 2nd time opening at #1. I guess keeping in touch with what the movie-going public--or what films are doing brisk business is not important to most of you, even though Scott blogs about it every Friday. TP's films/writing may not be the best, but he's doing something most of you (us) wish we could do. If anything, give him 90 mins. and learn something, either it being what to do...or what not to do.

At 12:23 PM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

I agree that "black movie" is usually a misnomer, but I think that if any movies can be qualified as that, Tyler Perry's are where to start, fair or not.

If I had the time to see a third of the movies out there now, this would be on my list (for the sheer reason that it is so successful), but I really don't think I'd be surprised by the movie at all.

And I've seen a lot of films in the past with largely-black casts, so I don't avoid these movies. Hell, I've even read a large number of scripts intended for black casts.

But if I have a chunk of time to actually go to a movie this week, I have to say that things like Michael Clayton, Into the Wild or 3:10 To Yuma are ahead of it on the list. Not because the cast is white, but because they are simply supposed to be much better movies.

At 9:15 PM, Blogger Patrick J. Rodio said...

Thing is, when I saw the T. Perry flick, I didn't want to lose the same 2 hours I lost with Burns.

At 12:08 PM, Blogger Laura Reyna said...

I've seen one Ed Burns movie (Bros McMullen, his 1st) all the way thru. Not gonna repeat that experience. The other day I caught 5 min of the one with J Anniston. Horrible, stilted dialogue. As soon as I realized it was an Ed Burns movie, I changed the channel.

He's a very cute white boy who makes shit boring movies.

I'm Latina. I like to see my Raza on screen, but I don't watch Latino movies just b/c there are Latino actors in it.Not gonna see A Day Without a Mexican b/c I heard it was shit.

I avoid Robert Rodriguez movies-- esp his kids movies-- b/c I think they're lame, immature and I don't enjoy them.

But I'll watch a Cuaron, Gonzalez Inarritu, & del Toro movie without hesitation. ...& other Spanish lang films if they have a high chance of being good.

For me, It's about the quality (& other factors), not the race/ethnicity.

At 8:20 AM, Blogger Tom said...

Got to love the Internet, it's the only place those of us without a backbone can spew their hate without having to face a response. All you have to do is hide behind an anonymous handle.

I've never seen any of Rob Zombie's movies because I've heard from reviews and word-of-mouth that they're not very good. I guess I'm a Zombie-ist.


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