Monday, October 27, 2008

Quick clips for Monday October 27

Signs it's a slow news day part one: I blog about a musical

I'm only speaking about this because (A) really, honest-to-God, there's nothing going on right now, as everybody has "election fever" (which involves a rash, profuse vomiting, and the belief that your candidate will win no matter what any poll says), (B) "Wicked" is coming to Omaha next year and my wife wants to go...so as soon as I figure which organ to sell, I'll get some tickets, and (C) I find it interesting to compare apples and oranges every once and a while because who doesn't like a good fruit salad with some marshmallows (but keep your coconut out of the salad...God help me if I find coconut in there). It was just revealed that Universal Pictures (who haven't cleared $250 million domestically with a movie since 2000 with How the Grinch Stole Christmas) has made more money from producing the musical "Wicked" than from the worldwide grosses of any of their films (including Jurassic Park). The stage musical has grossed $1.2 billion. Yowza! This could be due to the fact that purchasing tickets to the show feels an awful lot like getting mugged (without the intimacy of human contact), but still, this is really eye opening. Even if you figure that it costs slightly more than a movie to put on a show this regularly (which I'm not sure it does), this is highly lucrative and explains why Spiderman is headed to Broadway along with Shrek and others. We all know that copycatting is the only way that studios have survived (it will also likely be their downfall, when one studio begins lighting its own buildings on fire and all of Hollywood scrambles to commit arson), so are we in for more movie-to-stage musicals or is this just me wasting time on a Monday? (I think we all know the answer).

Signs it's a slow news day part two: I consider the Russian movie market

I think we should deputize the empty Hollywood suits and allow them to continue diplomatic relations because, so long as money is on the line, they could really care less what you look like or where you're from. Case in point, now that Russian theaters are set to rake in over $800 million this year (which, I believe in Russian money, is 1.5 billion rupees...wait, that's the money in "The Legend of Zelda"), a quick peek at the deals set up recently point to several interesting things. First, Paramount has announced a distribution deal with Moscow's Central Partnership, and Disney Russia (wait, what? Since when is there a Disney Russia? Does Comrade Mickey Mouse wear a funny fuzzy hat? Does Goofy go around invading former members of the Soviet Union?) has announced they are shooting the first local-language film, The Book of Masters. They also have their own version of High School Musical over there called It's the Music, which makes me laugh because, much like nuclear proliferation, the threat of a global tween invasion will keep us all in check. What interests me most about this stuff is the movies do seem to be the one cultural touchstone that circles the globe. Don't get me wrong, I know that censorship happens and whatnot, but I guess my point is that we laugh at celebrities who talk about issues as though they aren't the best recognized people from our country. I'd love to think that the Russian people would value Senator Joe Biden's foreign policy experience, but they'd likely listen to Denzel Washington's theories than good ole Joe the Senator. No matter the country, we all speak box office.

Weekend Box Office Results: WOOOO HOOOOO! I think I cleared the Mendoza line (with apologies to all Mendozas)!

Well, well, well, I may not have gotten things 100% accurate but the top 5 movies I predicted were all in the top 5! This makes me so happy I probably won't even lament the continued presence of the talking dog movie on this list. The reason this is particularly good news is (A) I don't have to jiggle the game at this point to figure a way to make me look better and (B) I get to feel like I know what I'm talking about for a whole week. Why, that news is good enough to make me forget about how I feel like a dump truck parked on my face while I slept (come to think of it, I assumed the beeping was from my next door neighbor robot but I suppose it could have been a truck). Let's get to it!

Here are the results:

1.) High School Musical 3: Senior Year - $42 million (Accuracy of prediction - 99%)

I don't even care that this wretched, awful monstrosity walked away with huge piles of cash, I knew that it would and it did very, very close to what I said. For the first time, that kid with the huge eyebrows is dreamy to me too! Look for this one to have pretty awful legs, collapsing in the next frame (but don't hold me to that...I'm not 100% sure and reserve the right to change everything).

2.) Saw V - $30.5 million (Accuracy of prediction - 91%)

When I saw the Friday returns, I got nervous, because this posted like $16 million that first night...then all the freaks were sated and it dropped precipitously, which I appreciated. Now, for those asking "how can they keep making these movies" here's some knowledge for ya: The budget was under $11 million and it just made $30.5 opening weekend. Get ready for Saw VI-XLCVII.

3.) Max Payne - $7.5 million (Accuracy of prediction - 84%)

Marky Mark hung in there okay, but this one is already fading fast. It will likely be profitable though, as the budget was only $35 million and many are waiting for DVD. I am greatly indifferent to this film, so I wish it neither success nor failure.

4.) Beverly Hills Chihuahua - $7 million (Accuracy of prediction - 90%)

Please, please make this the last week I have to spell Chihuahua.

5.) Pride and Glory - $6 million (Accuracy of prediction - 55%)

I think both Collin Farrell and Ed Norton are thinking "at least that's over with." Now they can return to making movies that don't sound and look drrrrty.

Overall accuracy of prediction - 84%

That's a B average baby! That's good enough for Honor Roll! I'm sticking this one on the fridge.
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