Last night I went to the New Beverly to see the double feature of Mondo Cane (pronounced Kahn-Nay) and Zulu. Joe Dante introduced each film, Quentin Tarantino laughed his way through Cane, and Edgar Wright not only introduced Joe Dante, but stuck it out all night. Tonight promises Joe Dante, Jon Davidson, Dick Miller, Johnathan Kaplan, and others for Hollywood Boulevard and Truck Turner. Though Robby the Robot is such a diva, it’s hard to know whether he’ll come or not (fingers crossed). Truck Turner has a handful of my favorite lines ever in it. And if you can’t make Friday, Saturday the late show is a triple bill with Gremlins 2: The New Batch, with Joe Dante in attendance. This is what’s great about Hollywood.
HORROR FILMS: CAN SOMEONE EXPLAIN THIS TO ME?
The short answer is name branding, ad buys, and off-season successes, but my question is this: Why are so many not scary horror movies successful? Prom Night opens this weekend and should outgross (handily, at that) The Ruins. And yet I have no doubt which one is the better horror film. Audiences have, for the most part, rejected torture porn, and its success may have been a fluke more than actual interest in gore. but if you watch any of these films, from When a Stranger Calls, to The Messengers (sorry Mark), to – likely – Shutter and One Missed Call, you’re dealing with a lot of cat scares and non-dead teenagers.
It used to be that these would partly be date movies, drive-in films, et cetera, but the steady business of the Friday the 13th films has been replaced by the steady business of the PG-13 remake. These films are background noise, usually at best. And yet people turn out. This, though, will partly be essayed in an upcoming May DDBO. Look for it soon. This is going to be extra short. I’m sorry about that, especially if work is dragging on a Friday, and you’re looking for anything to fill that hole. But this weekend is boring at the BO. But I would love to hear people’s thoughts in the comments below why they honestly think these films do the business they do, while effective horror films tend to struggle.
BUT IT WASN’T A PREDICTION, IT WAS A PREDICTION LOBSTER!
This weekend you’re better off either going to the New Bev, or creating your own, personal, film fest. There are three films going this weekend, with Prom Night the most well known, and should be entirely dreadful. And not in a good way. It’s PG-13, you see. That’s grade A bullshit. Street Kings is being let the fuck go, and I’d be interested if James Ellroy hadn’t intimated that his story had been given the business. Then again, it also sounds a slight rehash of Dark Blue. Sans Kurt Russell, I can understand why he might want a remake. Then again, Kurt is awesome in that film. Smart People is going little over 1,110 screens, and if it was good, it’d be sold the fuck out of. Ellen Page is coming of an Oscar film, and a $100 plus hit. If it were anything, it’d be something.
Warm it up Kris. I’m about to Warm it up, Kris. That’s what I was born to do:
1. Prom Night – $15.7 Million
2. 21 – $11.2 Million
3. Street Kings – $9.5 Million
4. Nim’s Island – $7.5 Million
5. Leatherheads – $7.2 Million
And then on Sunday we’ll do what we gotta do. We’re gonna do what we gotta do.