“Haters want to hate, lovers want to love, I don’t even want none of the above…” This has been stuck in my head for a week. Great.
EVEN NERDS WATCH THE SUPER BOWL
The geek/nerd/fan community is a strange one. As we’ve seen the landscape of nerdom change over the last two decades, what it means to be a nerd has gone through different variations, though all iterations are defined by a near addiction-level interest in what fascinates them. Indeed, some people like to segregate what a nerd is (I would describe this as someone who’s obsessive with his interests to the point of social alienation, but generally has a depth of knowledge of his love that is staggering) from a geek (more of the awkward guy who loves things too much, but doesn’t go about it in as organized a fashion) but they sort of mean the same thing for most people. But with both it’s meant to suggest regardless of levels of interest that said person is awkward and has non-existent relationships with either the opposite or (because we’re modern) same sex. Being monastic is usually the core component.
Sports and being a fan of sports is usually considered the antithesis of nerdery because it’s a fascination with athleticism and competition and enjoying yourself in a large arena of like-minded. In being number one. What the internet has taught us is that sports fans are just as nerdy as film/comic/book nerds. They often compile stats and are filled with a similar amount of useless information. The internet – with it’s fantasy leagues – has made this more evident, but the proof was always there. Saturday Night Live had the famous “Da Bears” sketch that mocked a certain sort of Chicago sports fan. You could easily redress that sketch and replace “Da Bears” with “Wolverine” and the joke is the same. Fanatical devotion is the same in all cultures, and there’s no way to suggest that hard-core sports fans are in any better shape than hard-core comic book nerds. Patton Oswalt wrote something in Wired that suggested as much, and people get as nerdy about American Idol as anyone ever has about anything written by Brian Michael Bendis or Joss Whedon.
Comic book movies are blockbusters, and the Twilight franchise has made horror a mainstream obsession by appealing to women, something also represented in The Vampire Diaries and True Blood. Yes, male fans may blush at the notion of Edward being compared to anyone in Near Dark, but it’s all a variation on a theme. Though starlet/hotties like Olivia Munn have made a career out of dressing like Slave Leia, and both excited and annoyed nerds in equal measure (most people I know think she’s a phony, though anyone who felates a hot dog on live television is interested in unsavory attentions –sorry guys, she’s supposedly in to Justin Timberlake), there are porn stars out there who play Dungeons and Dragons, and girls who wear glasses and librarians are now as likely a sexual fetish as any other sort of code of conduct/dress. There are girls who are way into reading comic books that are also attractive. The landscape is changed.
And yet one thing that hasn’t is that Superbowl weekend is not a good weekend for movies. EXTENDED PROLOGUE/SHORT RESOLUTION. But let’s look at that too. What are geek sites talking about right now? Super Bowl TV spots. Disney sent out a ten second clip of their Super Bowl ad for Pirates IV. We’re going to see footage from some of the most anticipated films of the year. Some people will watch the show just for the ads (I have). And as we see more of, some nerds will watch and enjoy both. The streams are crossed. And so we’re not realy seeing nerd counter-programming this weekend, because anything that might appeal to them is coming out during the more remunerative times of the year.
FORTY OUNCES OF PREDICTIONS MAKE ME WANT TO TELL YOU SOMETHING
The Roommate is PG-13. Fuck that noise. Still, they’ve done a good job of selling this to the market they’re going to sell it to, and hot sexy movies are a real gamble box office-wise. Sanctum has the James Cameron imprimatur but his involvement seems to have more to do with promotion. If they thought they had anything, they would have not put it out this weekend. Since the cast is international, and the film is 3-D, this is likely a pickup, and not that expensive.
So, on the one’s and two’s, let’s go:
1. The Roommate – $12.7 Million
2. Sanctum – $9.9 Million
3. The King’s Speech – $8 Million
4. The Rite – $6.8 Million
5. No Strings Attached – $6.7 Million
It’s possible that The Rite will fall harder and No Strings will go up to fourth. The Roommate doesn’t look like much, but it’s going to be a quick win at best. I made my mom take me to see Single White Female back in the day. Bad idea. And then Sunday, some people will be ready for some foosball.