Right now I think the greatest thing in the world is The Larry Sanders show. I’ve thought so for a while now, but I can’t wait for the box set to come out that features every episode. Such riches to mine.



GETTING TOO OLD FOR THIS SHIT

Jackass 3-D may be the last in a line. For Jonathan Knoxville and his cohorts, it’s getting to the point where they can no longer take the hits with as much elasticity as they once did. The big news on this one is that Steve-O is clean and sober, and so the whole gang had to go about this film sans supplements as well. A lot of things are proved to be more palatable while in a state of intoxication, and that’s not just limited to pain.

That’s too bad, at least for Paramount. The first film cost $5 Million, and grossed $64 Million domestic, while the second cost $11.5, and made $73. That may not account for back end, but then also both films were likely very, very successful when it came to the DVD releases. As with all sequels, it’s likely that the third film cost the most of the bunch, and it’s hard to say at this juncture how much added or lost revenue there will come from the 3-D. But the picture will open. It should be front loaded (as they’ve all been), but just the same.

It’s also unfortunate, because there’s little chance Paramount can replicate the success. This was a phenomenon that is contained, with its own branding, and audience. Can you get Knoxville to shepherd a new group to do similar things? Doubtful. Perhaps money or boredom will draw the crew out for one more adventure (there’s been consistent four year gaps), but signing off when there’s still some dignity has merit.

Speaking of age, this weekend also offers Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Ernest Borgnine, Helen Mirren, and Morgan Freeman shooting and killing people in Red. It will be interesting to see how this performs, simply because this is one of those pictures that should appeal to a cross section of the public. And yet it may be a jack of all trades, and a master of none. The picture should open respectfully, but that’s par for the course will the most recent output from Willis, who has been off his game. The AV Club nailed the problem: Willis doesn’t seem to give a shit any more and it shows on screen. Say what you will for Stallone, at least he still seems to have a showman’s heart.

It’s hard to love smug, but Willis needs a director who won’t let him get away with it. And from everything Kevin Smith said about Cop Out, it sounds like Willis walked all over him. You see it with a lot of aging talents, where they just don’t want to do any heavy lifting, but can’t give up the ghost. Audiences have responded to his lackadaisical approach by not exactly falling for his more recent star turns, excepting Live Free or Die Hard. It’s been since Sin City that he seemed in an okay film and engaged in the material. I love Bruce Willis, and think he can be great, but it’s been a while.

OH WHAT A FEELING, TO PREDICT ON THE CEILING

The Social Network should go from first to third, but that’s not a bad fate. Sony’s got to hold on, but it’s nice they won’t have that much to weather for the next couple – at least in terms of adult drama. They’ll be able to get to $60 by the end of the weekend, so if Sony goes with an Oscar re-push, they’ve got a shot at $100, but my math puts it at $90-ish right now. That may be enough for a good solid limp, but when 11/5 hits, they’re going to start bleeding screens.

Clint Eastwood’s latest, Hereafter, hits six screens. This seems like folly. The film was slayed in the festival circuit, and though Eastwood has his defenders, this also stars Matt Damon, and could get to a ten to twenty opening just on his laurels. They’re expanding next week to over 2000 screens, but the picture is going to have to overcome that initial stink. Fortunately, critics are mostly giving it a pass, and some are calling it another great Eastwood film. But more on that next week. The per screens on this should be reasonably good, so it has that for now.

And then it’s on:
1. Jackass 3-D - $27.5 Million
2. Red - $15.7 Million
3. The Social Network – $11.3 Million
4. Secretariat – $8.5 Million
5. Life as We Know It - $7 Million

It’s possible that the horse movie and Life will be closer, but I’ll give Secretariat the edge, just for the target demo. That’s the film’s last minor victory. More Sunday.