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

Friday, April 24, 2009

Weekend Box Office #131

Another Friday already. Where does the time go?

OBSESSED (2514 theaters). Yet another iteration of FATAL ATTRACTION, in which we're supposed to believe that anyone would even think of cheating on Beyonce. Still, the specter of Beyonce kicking some white girl's ass will bring in some viewers. Maybe $12.3 million for the weekend.

FIGHTING (2310 theaters). I guess young men have to go see something, and Terrance Howard helps give this some pedigree. Still, it all seems so familiar. $9.1 million.

THE SOLOIST (2024 theaters). The LA Times trashed this movie, but only because the critic knows the character Robert Downey Jr. plays, and couldn't divorce the truth from the movie. Stupid critics. I read the script, and it's okay. Figure $11.7 million.

EARTH (1804 theaters). This opened on Wednesday, and did $4 million, so obviously people are into it. I still think this would have been a cool horror movie title. Figure $10.6 million for the weekend.


Last weekend, 17 AGAIN did a solid $23.7 million. STATE OF PLAY (which I saw, thumbs up) did $14 million. CRANK stumbled in with only $6.9 million.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Contest Season

For some reason, most of the major contests have their deadlines in the next couple of weeks.

I'm not a huge contest guy, at all. I've submitted to the Nicholl a couple of times, and made the semis in 2006, though that experience was ultimately not all that satisfying: a double-handful of read requests, mostly from managers, that didn't go anywhere.

I submitted to Bluecat, and as chronicled here that was a disaster; when I finally got their vaunted feedback with the script (weeks after it didn't make the next round), it was a rave without a single critical note. Oy.

When I bashed them about it here, they sent me an unhappy e-mail, though they did offer me free entry to their next competition. I didn't take them up on it. Just because I have another eye, doesn't mean I'm going to let them jam their fork in that one too.

But it's contest season again.

The Nicholl semi thing didn't ultimately lead anywhere, but at the same time it does look nice in an e-mail when I'm trying to get someone to read my stuff. It establishes that I'm not a complete noob.

But unless I dust that script off and send it in again, I don't really have anything that's Nicholl-friendly. In the last few years I've written a couple of dark thrillers and a TV pilot, but nothing that is liable to do well in that kind of competition.

It's the TV pilot that I'd like to get out there into the world; it's whining to me about sitting on the shelf all the time.

There aren't all that many contests that cater to TV pilots though. Austin takes specs of existing TV shows, but snubs pilots completely. Nicholl doesn't do TV at all.

There are Scriptapalooza and PAGE, both of which have deadlines coming up soon, and which are both possibles. Anyone have any experience with them?

Share stories here, as well as tales of any other contest experiences, good or bad.

Because it's contest season, and though it's always a longshot, it is one way to be a little proactive with the writing career thing.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Weekend Box Office #130

So it's fair to say that this blog has slipped into a state of low priority. I just seem to be too busy every day, and not getting nearly enough done.

For those who want more insight into the reading/writing business, dig back into the columns from 2 or 3 years ago, when my mind was springy and I hadn't emptied it.

I'm a bit underwhelmed by this weekend's offerings:

17 AGAIN (3255 theaters). In what universe does Zac Efron grow up to look like Matthew Perry? Do you think that gives Zac nightmares? This movies for young women only, though there may be enough of them to let this do about $16.5 million for the weekend.

STATE OF PLAY (2803 theaters). The interesting thing about Russell Crowe is that his best movies always take place in the past. This one doesn't, and there just isn't anything to really distinguish it. Prediction: $8.3 million for the weekend.

CRANK: HIGH VOLTAGE (2223 theaters). The premise is funny, but the quick-cutting, washed out look trailer gave me a headache. Still, it should do about $12.9 million.


Last weekend, HANNAH MONTANA did a solid $32.3 million (ensuring that Miley isn't going away any time soon, for better or worse).

OBSERVE AND REPORT did $11 million. DRAGONBALL: EVOLUTION did $4.6 million.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Weekend Box Office #129

Finally went to the movies last weekend, and saw I LOVE YOU MAN (good) and KNOWING (ultimately didn't quite work).

This weekend's offerings aren't all that tempting:

HANNAH MONTANA (3118 theaters). Her concert movie made a lot of money, but it's going to take a lot of little girls to make this one hit big. Look for it to do about $17.1 million for the weekend.

OBSERVE AND REPORT (2727 theaters). Word on this one is that it's a lot darker than they are selling it as; it could be this generations THE CABLE GUY (which isn't a good thing). Though Seth Rogen has his fans, the hard-R rating (for profanity and non-Seth penis) might knock down the crowds. Call it $15.9 million, and look for it to drop like a stone on its second weekend.

DRAGONBALL Z (2181 theaters). Apparently fans are miffed at all the changes from the manga, including the absense of the main characters' big spiky hair. Oy. $7.4 million.


Last weekend, FAST & FURIOUS made a brain-frying $71 million. ADVENTURELAND only did $5.7 million.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Weekend Box Office #128

So finally the dust from the move is clearing, and I can focus on paying more attention to this blog.

And, you know, writing. Though I made a choice about a new character in the script I'm working on that I think is going to help me crack the story, finally.

Meanwhile, movies keep coming out:

FAST AND FURIOUS (3462 theaters). It seems really weird to have a titel so incredibly similar to the title of the first film, while no one in the cast has had a hit for a while. Still, apparently it pays off on an action level, and the marketing is working. Prediction $27.4 million for the weekend.

ADVENTURELAND (1862 theaters). This is getting great reviews, so word of mouth might be good, though it's hard to imagine it's going to do huge numbers opening weekend, particularly as a teen movie with much of a cast or story hook (except for TWILIGHT's Kristen Stewart). Figure it'll do about $8.3 million for the weekend, but hold well.


Last weekend, MONSTERS VS. ALIENS did a strong $59.3 million. THE HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT did a solid $23.0 million. 12 ROUNDS limped in with only $5.3 million.