Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Weekend Box Office

There be numbers here!

You might think that all interest in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise had been drained away during the lackluster final chapter.  Somewhere in those 5 hours of Part 3, you had probably said "enough already with the pirates" and vowed to never come back. You broke that vow this weekend.

On Stranger Tides, the fourth film in the trilogy, came in at #1 with $90 million dollars.

Also notable under an onslaught like that, Bridesmaids had a pretty good second week, dropping only 20% to $20 million. Doesn't seem like much in comparison, but remember that Kristin Wiig doesn't cost as much as Johnny Depp. Everything else in the top ten sank like a frigate in the thrall of a Kraken.

Friday, May 20, 2011

American Politics Isn't So Bad

"Vice speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, Adam Martynyuk, on the right, throttles deputy Oleg Lyashko during a session in the chamber of the Ukrainian parliament in Kiev on Wednesday, May 18, 2011. According to reports, Lyashko had just asked Martynyuk to let him make a speech, which Martinyuk refused to do on procedural grounds. Lyashko then apparently called his interlocutor a Pharisee, at which point it was on."

- h/t bOING bOING

RIP Randy Savage

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Weekend Box Office

These numbers are nice, but I'm not married to 'em.

God of Thunder/Superhero Thor holds on to the top spot (what is wrong with you people!) but coming in a strong second place is Bridesmaids, the Kristin Wiig-penned comedy about chicks being as bad a dudes man. $26 million! Me, I still haven't seen The Hangover but I don't get out enough. At #4 is Priest, another comic-book-based property but not presold enough - it only made $14 million.

I think I'll award worst title honors to Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives which debuted last week at #116 but now languishes at #119. I can't imagine how this would have been more appealing in Thai, but in any event here it needs work. Hello Strand Releasing! "Uncle Bobby" is all you need! Then you can sell the remake rights to George Clooney! Say.... "Uncle Clooney." There, I saved you a step.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Lantern Quote Of The Day

"They gave me an expandable sarong... Army ingenuity! "

Glenn Manning, The Amazing Colossal Man

Shrinking Wasteland

I have been worrying for years (worrying about/reveling in) about the decline in broadcast network ratings. My assumption has always been that viewers have been siphoned off by the Golf Network and VH1 and whatever other narrowcast concerns are out there. But today I just had my attention called to this.

For the first time in 20 years, the number of homes in the United States with television sets has dropped.

The Nielsen Company, which takes TV set ownership into account when it produces ratings, will tell television networks and advertisers on Tuesday that 96.7 percent of American households now own sets, down from 98.9 percent previously.

There are two reasons for the decline, according to Nielsen. One is poverty: some low-income households no longer own TV sets, most likely because they cannot afford new digital sets and antennas.

The other is technological wizardry: young people who have grown up with laptops in their hands instead of remote controls are opting not to buy TV sets when they graduate from college or enter the work force, at least not at first. Instead, they are subsisting on a diet of television shows and movies from the Internet.

That second reason is prompting Nielsen to think about a redefinition of the term “television household” to include Internet video viewers.
This has been a prodigious growth curve, and for it to reverse is serious. For an increasing number the question will no longer be "what do you want to watch tonight" but rather "what do you want to do tonight?" The idea that Americans might actually choose to participate in activities is a crazy notion that will take some getting used to.

When I first got divorced and moved into my own hovel across town, I quickly determined that I could do without cable AND television until I was back on my feet again. If I wanted to watch something, I had the iMac. Eventually I broke down and bought a flat-screen digital but the only difference was it was twice the screen size and it didn't crash when I was fetching email. And indeed, once in a while I use the TV as a second monitor.

You can live without a TV. But can the TV industry? As more and more channels try to carve up a shrinking market, you'll see cheaper shows and more reruns. TV is going to look a lot different in 5 years my friend, and you probably won't notice because you're doing something else.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Weekend Box Office

The hammer of the Gods helps you crunch the numbers.

Let me say right now that I was mistaken. I said nobody's going to turn out for the opening weekend of a big-budget movie based on the Thor comic books because Thor is silly. I was half wrong. Thor IS silly, but  the movie debuted at #1 and made $66 million. Can't wait to see how much of that it holds on to next weekend. If it's solid, I may even see the thing myself!

At #3 Tri-Star release Jumping the Broom makes $15 million. Urban romantic comedy, thanks for asking. Right behind it with almost $14 million, Something Borrowed. I'd be interested in finding out why two studios would think this is the weekend to release wedding competing wedding comedies. Mother's Day? Really? Doesn't make sense to me.

Keep an eye open for Rutger Hauer vehicle Hobo With A Shotgun, which made $12 thousand bucks and has gotten more press than a movie this size normally does. You'll probably be streaming this on Netflix before you know it.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Weekend Box Office

Box Office Mojo is down; I had to go to a different source for my numbers!

Producers should probably be grateful that certain big news items didn't really emerge until late Sunday, after the box office weekend was more or less over. Surely they would have hurt the grosses of Fast Five, which had a similar target audience. This 5th sequel to The Fast and The Furious boasted both Vin Diesel AND Dwayne "I'm Not The Rock anymore!" Johnson, two guys who could use a hit. They got it! FF premiered at #1 with $86 million.

Meanwhile at #5 is Prom, a movie the Boston Globe calls "deeply unthreatening".  And indeed, it only made $5 million, a sign that they only bought ads on the Disney channel. Crawling in at #6 is Hoodwinked 2: Hood Vs. Evil, a sequel that nobody apparently wanted. It made $4 million, despite being both CGI and 3D.