Back In The Saddle Again
So I've returned to the (relatively) sunnier climes of California, after a five-day visit to my parents on Long Island, New York.
This year my mother-in-law tagged along with the wife and I, which could have been an awkward proposition, but it worked out well. And though it was cold, it didn't rain until the last day.
Though getting through airport security was a happily-quick process (we got there way early, and killed lots of time in the terminals as a result), we flew American Airlines, which is one of the airlines that is trying to cut costs by charging extra for the bad food they serve.
They also charge $2 for the "headphones" to watch the inflight programming, though the headphones now consist of some remarkably-uncomfortable earbuds. They say you can keep them and reuse them, but it's hard to believe that anyone would want to.
On the way there, they showed an episode of "The Big Bang Theory", and then they showed "High School Musical 2", which I think the entire plane pretty much ignored; I didn't see anyone between the ages of 5 and 20 on the plane anyway.
My wife kept putting her earbud in, tuning into a few minutes of the movie, and just shaking her head.
Flying back was moderately better; I actually invested in the uncomfortable earbuds to watch "No Reservations" (completely formulaic and predictable, but not terrible) and an old episode of "How I Met Your Mother".
And a million commercials.
Which of course begs the question of whether the writers are getting paid for any of it, particularly the TV episodes. Because the $2 is for the headphones, and the commercials are just sort of there.
And I can see the AMPTP arguing that the airing of "How I Met Your Mother" was "promotional".
Word has it that the negotiations yesterday went well, but they were basically just catching up on all the stuff they had already pretty much agreed on. And that today is the big day, because today is when they start wrestling over the other stuff.
Though, according to some sources, groundwork has already be laid, and progress has been made.
Here's hoping it gets settled this week.
I was almost dead-on with my ENCHANTED prediction; it made $49.0 million in its first 5 days. Other movies, I wasn't so close.
THIS CHRISTMAS quietly made a very-impressive $26.3 million. It's interesting that black movies seem to have largely taken over the genre of amiable family comedy-dramas.
HITMAN made a solid $21 million, though I thought it would do more. THE MIST only made $12.9 million; I thought it would do a lot more, though I don't think they did a very good job selling it.
AUGUST RUSH somehow beat The Mist, taking in $13.2 million. NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN did a very strong $10.7 million, in only 860 theaters.