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

Friday, May 29, 2009

Weekend Box Office #136

Two fairly big movies opening today, and I have no real idea how well they might do. Which of course won't prevent me from taking a guess.

Plus it's my birthday today. For some reason, I'm getting older every year. There's gotta be some way to address that.

UP (3766 theaters). On the one hand it's Pixar, which is a big plus. On the other hand, it features a kid, a dog and a crusty old man, and seems to skew a little young to really grab the adult audience. Still, it should do fine. My guess: $56 million for the weekend, and it'll hold well.

DRAG ME TO HELL (2508 theaters). On the plus side it's a good title, it's Sam Raimi, and it's getting very good reviews. But a PG-13 horror movie? Let's call it a solid $22.6 million.


Last weekend, NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 2 did $70 million. TERMINATOR: SALVATION did only $51 million. I saw it, and it's not great or terrible; it just is, and it'll probably drop pretty quickly.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Shaking The Tree

So work has been slow, times are tough, and they just got tougher: my wife's car (the good car - or it was) died for good today.

So I need to start busting my can and making some money.

Anyone who has enjoyed my notes service in the past, and has offered to spread the word, now is the time. Give me a plug on a website or a blog; send people to

For the near future, that's the price again: $60.

Still the best deal on the web. 4-6 pages of notes. I will make your script better.

Thanks --


Friday, May 22, 2009

Weekend Box Office #135

It's Memorial Day weekend, and theaters should be packed. Though I predict STAR TREK will hold pretty well, because the new stuff is a bit underwhelming.

NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: BATTLE AT THE SMITHSONIAN (4096 theaters). The reviews have been unexciting, while it seems like a clone of the first movie, which wasn't that good. Still, there isn't much out there for family audiences. Call it $54 million for the 4-day weekend.

TERMINATOR SALVATION (3530 theaters). This is also a sequel to a movie that wasn't that great, not to mention a TV series that never found much of an audience. Reviews have been pretty sour, and though people will see this (because things blow up) I think it'll underperform expectations. Call it $42 million for the 4-day weekend.

DANCE FLICK (2450 theaters). It's supposed to be a little better than most of the parody movies of the past few years (though the bar is really low), and the Wayans' brothers name will help. $18.6 million for the 4 days.


Last weekend, ANGELS AND DEMONS did $46.2 million, narrowly beating out STAR TREK in its second week.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Title Page

So there was a question in the comment section of the post below, that I figured I'd repost up here so that I could get some input on it.

The question is about what to put on one's title page, copywright info or WGAw or nothing. Whether it's seen as amateurish to do so -- or whether a producer won't read your script if it doesn't have it on it.

I can't speak to the latter, but I can speak to the former -- it always seemed a little amateurish to me, a sign that the newbie writer is trying to validate the script by putting these signs-that-this-is-an-actual-screenplay on the cover. Or that he/she thinks that a producer definitely won't steal their idea because look, there's the WGAw number, but if it's not on there they definitely might swipe it all and your girlfriend too.

Not a break-the-bank, sway-my-opinion-going-in thing. But a sign of an amateur, definitely, because pros don't do this -- and I think a lot of the more experienced amateurs just don't bother.

But I have no idea if a producer would require the scripts be registered before reading the script. I think registering one's script is probably a good idea in general, but I can't speak to anyone in the business requiring you to have that protection and plastering it on your title page.

Title, name, maybe an address, phone number. That's all mine ever have. Though that's just me. I can't say that has helped me or hurt me in any significant way whatsoever.

But if anyone can speak to any aspect of this, feel free to weigh in.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Weekend Box Office #134

So yeah, big overestimatage on STAR TREK last weekend. Forgot that it's still sort of a cult property -- though $75 million is nothing to sneeze at.

This weekend's big movie is ANGELS & DEMONS, which opens in 3,527. Let's see, factor in Tom Hanks, multiply it by action, divide it by somewhat mediocre reviews (and a somewhat mediocre first film) but boost it a couple of levels because the over-40 crowd might turn out for it and there isn't much else out there for them.

Let's call it $63 million for the weekend. Feel free to toss in your best guess; that one was out of my ass.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Weekend Box Office #133

So I lobbed a script into the Nicholl Fellowship competition at the last minute, the same one I semi'd with back in 2006, albeit with a few minor tweaks.

Gotta be in it to win it.


This weekend, it's all going to be STAR TREK (3849 theaters). Reviews are solid, and I'll just randomly guess it'll do $100 million for the weekend, $115 million when Thursday night is counted in.

NEXT DAY AIR (1138 theaters). Haven't gotten much real sense of this one yet. Call it $5.2 million.


Last weekend, WOLVERINE pounded out a solid $85 million. GHOSTS OF GIRLFRIENDS PAST did an okay $15.4.

BATTLE FOR TERRA sadly tanked with only $1.1 million.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Weekend Box Office #132

So anyone rushing to get something in for the Nicholl Fellowship, the deadline has been pushed back at least one day, to late May 2.

I have nothing new, though I may lob an old script or two in, just for the heck of it.


Opening this weekend:

X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE (4099 theaters). It's hard to believe that the online leak is going to hurt this all that much; it's still the kind of movie that a lot of people will want to experience in a theater. Call it $51.1 million for the weekend, though who knows -- it could do a lot less, or a lot more.

GHOSTS OF GIRLFRIENDS PAST (3175 theaters). If you think there have been a lot of movies riffing on "A Christmas Carol", you should see how many scripts I've read that do the same thing, that never got made. This one will probably do well enough. $18.7 million.

BATTLE FOR TERRA (1159 theaters). I've met one of the producers, so I hope this does well, but it's very low-profile, and I just don't sense enough wanna-see factor here. $4.0 million.


Last weekend, OBSESSED made $28.6 million. One more reason why Hollywood doesn't think it needs to be all that original any more.

FIGHTING made $11.0 million, and THE SOLOIST only did $9.7 million. So much for serious star vehicles.

EARTH made $8.8 million.