Currently, I’m pouring out some Colt 45 for Devin (naturally, in slow motion). Cause it’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday.



THE SUMMER THAT WAS 2010: THE YEAR WE MADE CONTACT (1997, DIR: ROBERT ZEMECKIS)

Film Total (to date) Opening weekend Global (to date) listed prodcution budget (in millions)
1 Toy Story 3 $404,488,263 $110,307,189 $985,088,263 $200
2 Iron Man 2 $312,128,345 $128,122,480 $621,730,345 $200
3 The Twilight Saga: Eclipse $297,439,330 $64,832,191 $654,139,330 $68
4 Inception $264,851,540 $62,785,337 $622,351,540 $160
5 Shrek Forever After $237,834,535 $70,838,207 $693,372,996 $165
6 Despicable Me $232,958,410 $56,397,125 $298,158,410 $69
7 The Karate Kid $175,514,424 $55,665,805 $299,691,080 $40
8 Grown Ups $159,070,490 $40,506,562 $218,478,284 $80
9 The Last Airbender $130,152,768 $40,325,019 $225,071,276 $150
10 The Other Guys $92,732,460 (approx $120) $35,543,162 (N/A) $100


Out of the top ten, but over the $100: Salt, Robin Hood. And possibly limpingly, The Expendables.

HOW DID DELLAMORTE DO: Of my predictions, I got eight of ten of the top ten, with both the two outliers (Despicable Me and The Other Guys) targeted as possible 100+ ers. Was most wrong about The Sorcerers’ Apprentice (off by $100 Million), and Sex and the City 2 (off by $60). Had the top five picked from the outset, though the order was slightly different (first two right on, but Shrek underperformed). Post-Avatar and Alice in Wonderland, went higher on most titles. Was most on the money with Grown Ups, Twilight, and The Last Airbender. Considering that I hold myself to the Premiere Standard (which was always wrong), I feel pretty good.

The past couple years, I’ve run top fifteens because the numbers were so good. Well, this is a recession summer. And though Avatar, and Alice in Wonderland primed us for excellent numbers, that’s just not the case. The big winner was – of course – Toy Story 3. That was as sure a thing as could ever be sure, and it almost had a 4x multiplier, which is great, steady business. International should get it to a billion global, so that’s a big win for Pixar but suggests their road to sequels may run its course. I thought it might hit a half a billion domestic, but like everything this summer, expectations were tampered. And this ties into The Last Airbender‘s not-terrible but also not-great performance. This is the summer that killed 3-D, as it didn’t have the same oopmh it did in the spring or for Avatar. But apples don’t taste like oranges.

Iron Man 2 had the benefit of starting the summer, which if it had the Spider-Man 2 release date might have lost $100 domestic. Somewhat disappointing in quality, the film managed to do similar business to the first one, which – considering the film – is impressive in its own way. Twilight is a near $300 francise now, so expect similar numbers for the next one. Speaking of franchises, Dreamworks – perhaps indifferent to its parent company, and involved in a fracas – underperformed in a very profitable way. A successful film with very little heat, Shrek 4 is what you get with kids franchises, which suggest – terrible as it may be – that Pixar is following a successful business model with its multiple sequel future, but also a creatively indifferent one.

If any film triumphed this summer, it was Inception, which became the conversation piece of all ten. Of all the films it was the one that people analyzed, read essays and argued about. The brilliance of Christopher Nolan’s film – in my mind – is that he throws a lot of distractions at the audience. What does the top mean? It’s not the main character’s totem. But that sort of sleight of hand is his driving force, so that how the machines work within a dream isn’t the question people are asking. Whatever your interpretation, this adult mindfuck of an action movie may improve on The Matrix, though probably won’t lead to shitty sequels. Yay us. Yay, Christopher Nolan. Also, of the originals, props to Universal for getting Despicable Me to work. Perhaps it was the sequel heavy summer, but the film connected and played, which – considering Universal’s shakey marketing of late – is a miracle unto itself.

Grown Ups and The Karate Kid were smart sells, The Last Airbender was a cash grab, and The Other Guys (not done) was a comedy.

Sequels were the most front loaded of the bunch (some of these were five day openings), but if there was any takeaway from the summer, it’s that people didn’t know what they wanted to see. For the most part, people responded to the sequels and tie-ins, but for every Karate Kid, there was a more expensive than needed film like The A-Team. 40% original content is pretty good, though you could argue that animation, Christopher Nolan with Leonardo Di Caprio, Adam Sandler and Will Ferrell are known quanities. Inception was a hard sell, but Warner Brothers knew they had a star, and they spent a lot of money so there were money shots to market. Other films that had a similar awkward sell (like The Sorcerer’s Apprentice) did not click. And Prince of Persia could have worked a couple years ago, though it may have been directed by Simon West. International and DVD have long been a savior, but DVD is folding in on itself, and Blu-ray is a young man’s market. This summer was like going out with someone who was cold all night, fucked your brains out and then didn’t communicate for days afterward. Everything that suggests something positive can also be construed as a negative. Had Iron Man 2 been better it might have been a $400 dollar film, but it might have also done that had it been 3-D.

But that ties into the big thing I get out of this is that 3-D is being turned against. Of course, people will turn out for some upcoming films like Tron Legacy, but it’s no longer a selling point. Of course, Hollywood is a zombie that way as so much is already in production. After seeing a shitty projection of Piranha 3-D, I’m of the mind that I don’t give a shit about seeing films this way at all. I think studios like the ticket bump of 3-D and Imax, but in a recession culture it can’t be good for business in total.

ROCK AND ROLL HOOCHIE PREDICTIONS

A weekend of blah, right before the offical end of summer, which is also a blah. The Last Exorcism should have the oomph to take it, though Takers could sneak in there. Avatar is being reissued, the tracking is high, but I don’t see it cracking the top ten. I think the film cracks $750, and maybe gets to $760 because of the re-release, but that’s it.

1. The Last Exorcism - $15.5 Million
2. Takers - $14.7 Million
3. The Expendables - $8.7 Million
4. Eat Pray Love - $7.5 Million
5. The Other Guys - 6.6 Million

And then Sunday I’ll do some erotic gardening.