Like a sound you hear that lingers in your ear but you can’t forget from sundown to sunset.
AUDIENCES GET SMART?
Who would believe it? The tracking suggests that Get Smart is looking to trump The Love Guru. I can’t believe this. And yet, there is a reason for this, if it does come to pass.
Mike Myers came out the cinematic gate swinging. He had done some TV stuff and a bit role here and there, but when Wayne’s World hit in 1992, the Saturday Night Live player hit with a huge off-season success that suggested he was something of the next Eddie Murphy. Alas, his follow ups included the cultish favorite So I Married an Axe Murder and Wayne’s World 2, which no one involved with even liked.
When Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery came out in 1997, it did all right. Theatrically it was a modest hit. But when it hit home video, the word spread. I remember working at a video store at the time, and we could not keep it on the shelves. And when the sequel came out in 1999, its opening weekend was bigger than the first film’s final gross. and while there may have been a sense of diminishing returns, by the time 2002’s Goldmember hit screens, people were still happy to make the “let’s shag” jokes enough to make it a blockbuster.
In between that franchise, Myers became Shrek with his Scottish voice, and played an animated green ogre. This turned into a cash-cow for Myers as the series paid him a great deal of money for voice work. 54, and various cameos did little to further his career. The Cat in the Hat is a cluster-fuck, to which he might be blamed, but it also strikes as a poor cash-in on the strange succces of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.
But in the interim the most famous thing Myers did was look shocked when Kayne West said that George Bush doesn’t care about black people. And that absence has likely alienated audiences who would be happy to see him do the same schtick as Austin Powers (or maybe would have been more amused if he returned two or three years ago) than to see a character that seems a not so subtle variation on the same thing he’s been doing for nearly twenty years.
And nothing was sadder than to see Myers trot out Wayne Campbell on the MTV movie awards, doing jokes that not only seemed stale, but woud have seemed stale fifteen years ago. As the Onion’s AV club noted this week, an audience does want their stars to do the same thing over and over, but they also want them to do it the same but different. And perhaps this reheated meal of Myers-isms is not enough to convince an audience to return to something both foreign and familiar. If so, I’d be surprised.
I’M BRINGING PREDICTIONS BACK, THEM OTHER BOYS DON’T KNOW HOW TO ACT
Get Smart is set to open. The Love Guru is set to fail. The Incredible Hulk is looking to drop. Kung Fu Panda is looking to play. The Happening is done. James Ellroy writes short sentences. Or he did?
Get up off of that thing, if it makes you feel better:
1. Get Smart – $40.5 Million
2. Kung-Fu Panda - $24.1 Million
3. The Incredible, Edible Hulk - $22.8 Million
4. The Love Guru - $21.5 Million
5. The Happening - $11 Million
The spoiler is The Love Guru. I wouldn’t be surprised if it does better this weekend than predicted, and gets near $30 or higher, even if word of mouth is rancid. But then Sunday, I’m gonna stick a fork in it. And by sticking a fork in it, I mean, well, that should be apparent.