I had to meet some friends Thursday night, and I shot a text message saying that I’d be there as soon as possible. And it’s struck me that ASAP, which stands for “as soon as possible” presents a different reality. In abbreviation ASAP says “right the fuck now, please.” But otherwise, it means “It’s next on the list.” Funny how language works like that

Also, single gents, a bit of advice. My mom sent me some of those Valentine’s Day cards that kids give out. I wasn’t planning on it, but an incident on Wednesday night led to the “Eureka!” moment. Giving those out to girls as an adult goes over like gangbusters if you got some game. But results, as they say, vary.



THE STRIKE IS OVER, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?

This is good news for almost everyone. Almost. The machine that is Hollywood is like a luxury liner, it doesn’t brake well, and it takes a while to get back up to speed. So much of the machine is built on inertia.

A lot of projects were purchased and started to make sure the studio had product. They play it safe. Many got going without finished scripts, or with scripts that needed work, with many started in the hopes of the strike ending during production. The strike has ended, but the practical realities of what’s going on right now are not necessarily promising. Some problems are unfixable, because the product may have been high concept to begin with, but flawed from the start. The model of comparison are the summers of 2001 and 2002, where films like Tomb Raider, Planet of the Apes, Pearl Harbor, and Men in Black II hit. These were films that, to put it nicely, needed some work.

Jeremy broke the story the other day about Star Trek getting bumped. With the people involved having mentioned that they were unsatisfied and hampered by the strike restrictions, this bump and shuffle is either a sign of Paramount’s confidence in what it could be, or an act of desperation. Cloverfield opened huge, but could not double its opening weekend total. The six-month delay will likely help leak a lot more info than the crew currently wants out there, and hiding (as Cloverfield has shown) is only good for the short term, but this has to mess heavily with the game plan laid out for marketing, re-issues of the original films, etc. But having more time to get things right is better for the long term, even if Paramount gave up prime real estate for less terra firma. Either it’s brass balls, or the knowledge that even with tinkering it’s unsalvageable, and the best thing to do is let it get swept up in the summer months.

Again, remember the lyrics to the song “Heat of the Moment?” That was the studios and filmmakers. In the heat of the moment it shone in their eyes. But now, well, the passion has been reduced to strained “hello’s” and everyone’s wondering if it’s “me they’re looking for” They’re wondering if they can see it in their eyes, if they can see it in their smile, if they’re all they ever wanted, if their arms are open wide. Basically, studios went last calling, and it’s Noon on Sunday now. 

And – so far – Star Trek is the most public “we gotta fix this” title of the strike wreckage. A lot of scripts purchased will never see the light of day (same as it ever was). They were purchased in the effort of stockpiling, and that that they won’t be got to is meaningless if it means less money is thrown away (it’s a mercurial business). But with the hot button titles – from the Christmas films of this year to the 09 tentpoles – you’re going to see pictures that likely could have used some tweaking but got finished cause momentum is a bitch.

Whereas for the returning writers, that’s better for staff members of TV shows, but it’s going to take a while for the shark to get its appetite back while it tries to salvage what it’s already purchased. From the evidence of previous strikes or strike threats, it’s going to take a while for the system to get back on the track, to get back in fighting shape. To the strugglers, it’s going to take a while, and if SAG acts up (its thunder was stolen, so they probably won’t), there may still be some tumult. But just the same, everyone’s orbits need re-alignment. Good luck to us all.

IS THE PREDICTION WARM? YES, LISA.

Jumper is likely the title to beat. With the TV ads, and the book, and whatever, even the stumbling block of Anakin “Horrible” Christensen won’t be enough to keep this title from the number one slot. You can blame the weak competition, though Definitely Maybe has three hot chicks, an attractive male lead and Elizabeth Banks in it. Thank you. Be here all week. Elizabeth, call me. Serious. Hopefully it finds an audience because Nick loved it.

There’s also Paramount’s Spiderwick Chronicles, which should play long, and possibly get some Indy boosting, though I’ve seen the trailer fourteen times now, and I ain’t paying to see that shit. Too bad, studios, I’ve got good internet now, cause I paid to see Romeo + Juliet just to see the Star Wars Re-release trailer back in the day. Well, I was on a date, and I got the trailer. But it helped. Back on point, Spiderwick’s a kids movie and should have a somewhat hungry audience, cause there’s nothing else out there.

It wasn’t until this week that I realized that Step Up 2 The Streets was a sequel to Step Up. Then again, it appears there are no returning cast members, so who is more right? Step Up was a surprise hit, and hopefully (for the makers) the heat of the original will get it over, as How She Move Fell The Fuck Off. What this likely means is a good opening weekend.

Fool’s Gold might hold a little better than expected, while we’re at it, simply because it’s a more guy friendly date movie this weekend, vs. the more girl friendly Definitely Maybe. But “Healthy” is how I would describe this weekend. “Robust.” “Huge… tracks of land.” And this is for the three day:

1.    Jumper - $26.5 Million
2.    The Spiderwick Chronicles - $20.7 Million
3.    Step Up 2 The Streets -  $14.4 Million
4.    Fool’s Gold - $14.3 Million
5.    Definitely Maybe - $10.2 Million

And Roscoe Jenkins might hold and bump Maybe, but we shall see.

And on Sunday, well, do you want him? Or do you want me? Cause I want you. Said I want you.