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

Friday, January 29, 2010

Weekend Box Office #170

I'm swamped with work, though I'm not complaining. It's better than the alternative.

This weekend, opening in wide release:

EDGE OF DARKNESS (3066 theaters). It's hard to believe that it has been 8 years (since "Signs") that Mel Gibson starred in a movie. This one is getting decent reviews, and looks like the kind of thing that people will turn out for. Prediction: $23.4 million for the weekend.

WHEN IN ROME (2456 theaters). This looks like a rather generic romcom. $7.8 million for the weekend.


Last weekend, LEGION did a solid $17.5 million. THE TOOTH FAIRY did $14.0. EXTRAORDINARY MEASURES limped in with 6.0.

AVATAR continued to roll with another $35 million weekend.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Weekend Box Office #169

Been writing a lot the past week, trying to get my pilot into shape (and reading and watching a lot of pilots as well) and also brainstorming a low-budget horror thing with a friend for him to direct.

New in movieland this weekend:

THE TOOTH FAIRY (3344 theaters). Once upon a time I wrote a tooth fairy script, and this will probably kill it for all time. Not given to critics to review, which is a bad sign. The family audience is out there, but it makes me yearn for the Rock to blow stuff up. Call it $18.5 million for the weekend.

EXTRAORDINARY MEASURES (2549 theaters). They are doing what they can to shill this, but it feels like a TV movie, and Harrison Ford looks like hell. $7.5 million.

LEGION (2476 theaters). Will find some audience. $14.4 million.


Last weekend, AVATAR continued to roll, while BOOK OF ELI made a very solid $38.1 million for the weekend, and LOVELY BONES managed a nice $19.9 million. SPY NEXT DOOR did $12.8.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Weekend Box Office #168

Another January weekend, this one a long one, with plenty of Oscar holdovers and some new films trying to carve out an audience. Figure AVATAR may still swipe the top spot.

THE BOOK OF ELI (3111 theaters) -- though this movie might take a shot at it. The print ads are nicely teasing, though the problem with this movie might be that it just doesn't look that original, sort of like MAD MAX meets THE ROAD with a dash of THE POSTMAN. Still, it's Denzel, and the reviews are decent. Figure $27.4 million for the four-day weekend.

THE SPY NEXT DOOR (2924 theaters). This looks a little stupid to bring in a ton of adults and kids, though there aren't a huge number of family movies out there. Call it $11.6 million.

THE LOVELY BONES (2563 theaters). This is finally going wide, without the Oscar buzz it was hoping for. It's supposed to be tonally very uneven, but the ads make it look interesting. $13.9 million.


Last weekend, DAYBREAKERS made a very solid $15.1 million. LEAP YEAR did $9.2 million, while YOUTH IN REVOLT did $6.9 million.

Friday, January 08, 2010

So It's A New Year

It's time to rededicate myself to my writing, something I do this time every year. This time I mean it. Hopefully.

It always seems like it is going to easy to bang out 3-4 projects during the course of the year. In practice, not even close.

Currently I'm trying to back my Nicholl semi script into a TV pilot, via my screenwriting group, which is an interesting process, and coming along pretty well.

I've also started early brainstorming on a low-budget horror script I'd write with a friend of mine, for him to direct. Previous attempts to write with someone didn't work out so well, though neither was really the optimal spend-time-in-a-room-together writing process that likely works the best. So we'll see.

Meanwhile I have a few scripts that are in good enough shape to be circulating around in minor fashion, though no nibbles yet. Still no agent or manager; it's tough out there.

I also have a double-handful of scripts in various stages of completion. My script group is bad with that: if I have pages due, often I'll just bang them out without actually have had the time to plot things out. So there's some amusing takes on things, looking for a lot more direction.

There's also this blog, which has been on life support for way too long. I'll try to post here a little more.

I'm also in the process of cleaning up the links -- I'm sure there are websites on there that stopped being active years ago -- and adding new ones. I know I promised to do that months ago and didn't, but now I am, so if you want to be linked give me a shout-out.

And may this be a good writing year for all of us --


***Update -- I just visited every link, to see which blogs were still active, and it was a humbling experience to realize I probably hadn't visited most of them in well over a year. Apologies to those who are still going strong (I'll try to check you out more often), and R.I.P. to the blogs who died along the way.

The sidebar is now up-to-date.

Weekend Box Office #167

Saw I saw Avatar, in Real-3D, and yeah the story is just a rehash of the whole Pocahontas/Dances With Wolves thing.

But visually, it's so amazing that it would be worth the money if it was just a tour of this planet. So the fact that there is any kind of plot just adds to it. Plus the blue girl is cute.

See it.

This weekend is a bland mixed bag of items, while there's still plenty of holdover stuff to see. Look for Avatar to hold in the top slot, by a wide margin:

DAYBREAKERS (2523 theaters). I haven't seen enough on this to make me want to see it, while Ethan Hawke's getting top billing doesn't have much cache. Prediction: an underperforming $7.2 million for the weekend.

LEAP YEAR (2511 theaters). Pluses: Amy Adams is likable, and probably has romcom appeal. Minuses: reviews are fairly dire, and it isn't a leap year. Call it $6.5 million for the weekend.

YOUTH IN REVOLT (1873 theaters). This has been sitting on the shelf for a few years, while Michael Cera doesn't seem to be stretching. Reviews are okay, but it's hard to see this doing all that much. $4.2 million.