Will people be offended if I goes as Robert Downey Jr. in blackface in Tropic Thunder for Halloween? Gosh, I hope not. Unless some celeb dies right beforehand and they go as that. But it’s a joke on a joke on a joke. Man.
NOTES AS THE SUMMER CLOSES:
1. Valkyrie has moved to 12/26. This is the smartest release date this picture has ever had. Originally it was scheduled for October, then February. If the film is to make any money at all, it needs to look like a prestige picture, even if it isn’t. Sure, films that were supposed to be prestige pictures, like All the King’s Men, have flopped like the rich kid pushed into a pool in every 80’s class-comedy ever, but you could see the studio being cagey with their bets on that one. It went September. The funny thing is that prognosticators aren’t necessarily the high beacons for taste that studios think they are, even if they do bully some of the choices. Make no mistake, I don’t doubt that Jeffery Wells, Sasha Stone, David Poland, and even lil’ Kris Tapley don’t handicap things to a certain extent, but I think they mostly just give the members a short list. If such people were kicking in 1990, would Dances with Wolves or Awakenings made the cut? Or is this just a transitional thing? Did the internet force the academy’s hand with Lord of the Rings? But, for MGM, if they have a picture that is Academy bait, the only way to conceivably make money on it is to treat it as such. The stink was on Memoirs of a Geisha, but it got not only nominations but wins. And if those wins get more copies to Netflix and Best Buy, then it’s all good. I have no doubt that Valkyrie is not going to be good (if it was, they wouldn’t have moved it as they have), but if it were to come out in February, then everyone would know it’s a piece of shit. It sounds as though Tom Cruise will rebound a bit with the success (?) of Tropic Thunder, or, he’s one of the best parts of the film. In the end, people want to like him. It’s not like he had sex with a thirteen year old. Anally.
2. When I was a youth, I watched the Ewoks TV movies because it was tangentially Star Wars. Hell, I was talking to a geek friend who watched Mishima at an inappropriate age because it was produced by George Lucas. I saw – dutifully – the entire prequel trilogy in the theater. I saw the first film two and a half times, the second once, and the third once. Theatrically, that is. I paid for three of those screenings. But, I believe, that much of the fiscal success of that franchise had to do with goodwill, and the original trilogy. The iconography of the new series is oft putting, and regardless of embargoes, Harry Knowles poison pen letter to the new film leaked, whilst Devin’s review is likely shortcoming, and is likely no nicer (even if it offers more platitudes). The film is akin to a Pokemon film, in that it’s essentially for the faithful, but also advertising for a TV show that’s about to air. My guess is that no one involved cares how much money this makes, even if there’s been a bedrock of advertising. So when I go low (and it could chart in the 20’s) it’s because I think that the franchise has hit ennui status. This isn’t canon, and this isn’t art. It’s merchandising.
3. Tropic Thunder cost around $100 Million. Which is absurd. It cost this much because Ben Stiller is that guy, and ultimately the film will turn a profit, but still, that’s ridiculous. It opened to $7 Million-ish, and Pineapple Express opened to $12, and did $23 for the three day. Sure, some will tell you that it was soft because people didn’t know it was coming, but still, the studios are hoping for $30’s, and I don’t think that’s possible.
4. The summer is pretty much over. Unless reviews are awesome on some shit, it looks like until Toronto and Venice that we’re going to be given nothing but shit for the next month. Sadness. But that means it’s almost time for the summer wrap up. SEXY.
LOOKOUT WEEKEND, CAUSE HERE I COME. BECAUSE WEEKENDS WERE MADE FOR PREDICTIONS
Though The Dark Knight is still performing, I doubt it can hold off a 30% drop. And 30% would put the film under $20 Million and I think it’s fair to guestimate that at least Tropic Thunder has that sort of juice in it to take the top slot. If it doesn’t then maybe Clone Wars will. I doubt that. But I’m low-balling the film, as I’ve already suggested – kids films usually get inflated estimates because kids don’t track. But this could be a Speed Racer sitch where estimates were inflated to compensate for something that wasn’t there. Pineapple should have doubled its cost and then some by the end of the weekend, though getting to $100 may take some limping. Then again, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan might get there this weekend. How? Moons, tides. Hey, Mirrors opens. The Friday number should be it’s finest moment, and that, even that, won’t give much joy.
Hope it was cheap.
You on point Tip?:
1. Tropic Thunder - $22.6 Million
2. The Dark Knight - 18.5 Million
3. Pineapple Express - $14.7 Million
4. Clone Wars - $13.9 Million
5. Mirrors - $10.5 Million
And then Sunday we’ll do a little dance. Mak a little love. And get down.
Behind every great book adaptation is a forgettable first try. — By Ryan Covey