Sunday, May 11, 2008

Trying to dress up a pig

That's one Hwood wag's comment on the dubious claim that Speed Racer made even $20 mil this weekend. Here's Nikki Finke:

"WHAT A DISASTER! 'Speed Racer' $20M Weekend Half What Warner Bros Hoped; Rival Studios Accuse WB Of Inflating #s
SUNDAY AM: Showing just how fiercely competitive the summer box office is right now, rival Hollywood movie studios are complaining to me they don't believe Warner Bros' domestic gross numbers released today claiming its disastrous Speed Racer came in 2nd behind Marvel's Iron Man in the weekend's Top 10 contest. All the other majors -- Fox, Sony, Paramount, Universal, Disney, and MGM -- have the anime actioner opening only 3rd. And they dispute WB's reporting that Speed Racer made $20.2 million for Fri-Sat-Sun because its projected Sunday number isn't seen as possible.


"But all the other studios have Fox's romantic comedy What Happens In Vegas in 2nd place with $20 million, and Speed Racer only 3rd with $19.7 million.


"Besides a too-long running time and a too-small audience of younger boys, the Wachowski siblings spent at least $160M making the pic, whereas Fox's What Happens in Vegas cost only $35 million. Hollywood is convinced Warner Bros has a major writedown on its hands."

Ed here: The talents of writer-directors Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski have always eluded me. Mostly eye and ear noise but little else. Boom and more boom. I realize I'm in the minority and I don't say this to dance on their weekend grave. A lot of people in and around the film will be hurt.

I say this after watching an Ovation documentary on Steven Speilberg. The first part focused on how Jaws ushered in the blockbuster, the weekend as Event. Things have never been the same since.

As I've said before, I think small. I've never had any great aspirations for fame or fortune and I've never been much interested in popular art that flaunts its pedigree or its cost.

So given my green eye-shade mentality, when I see a $160 mil price tag I'm stunned. I know you got to spend money to make money but with wordo f mouth pretty bad (so far) on the upcoming Indy Jones picture I wonder how much'll be lost this summer. Not to mention the film that resulted from putting Edward Norton (one of my all-time favorite actors) in charge of a blockbuster (though word is he's now "allowed" the studio to lend a hand in the final edit).

I'll still take The Departed, Juno and The Orphanage any day to a blockbuster.


Vince said...

When the Wachowskis think small, they do their best work. Bound, the first film they directed as well as wrote, is a hugely enjoyable movie.

pattinase (abbott) said...

It looks like a bleak summer for any movie of substance. I didn't even much like Iron Man. How much time do you need to spend on a superhero's costume. Try about 1/3 of the movie.

Ed Gorman said...

You're right Vince. I forgot Bound. Which I did enjoy quite a bit. And I agree with you too Patti, though Iron Man does have wit unknown in comic book movies. .

Todd Mason said...

Yes, I, too, have been waiting for the Bros. to do something remotely as good as BOUND again...and IRON MAN did have also more...heart...than most comics movies, even with the fetishization of the suits. And Paltrow in near-fetish heels, which always distracts me in the bad way, I tend to cringe sympathetically. (We've just seen it, my housemate and I...there's not a whole lot out in the theaters right now...)

Anonymous said...

the movie overall looked and felt like a cross between anime, a kaleidoscope, that Flintstones movie, a video game and the Dukes of Hazard