Monday, July 28, 2008

Ocassonally I write a story to pay my rent

Here are two of them, one a profile of comic Bo Burnham and the other a filler piece on movie comedies revolving around elections. Burnham is the real deal -- check out some of his 13 videos on MySpace.

Friday, July 25, 2008

"X-Files" -- The Buzzless Movie Of The Summer

That's the tag one friend of mine gave to the film months ago. Now keep in mind, I was a huge fan of the show -- even though it got so convoluted and crazy that I stopped watching, especially after Mulder left. But it took nine years to do what Lost did in half a season and for the first five years The X-Files was a top-notch drama and is easily one of the best sci-fi shows of all time. (Not a very long list.) And so on to the weekend box office. I have no access to tracking numbers but audiences seemed utterly indifferent to the new X-Files movie. And now suddenly it's opening on the second weekend of one of the biggest steamrollig box office hits of all time. The Dark Knight is going to gross $100 million in its second weekend, almost unthinkably given how huge it opened last weekend and a feat no film as has ever done. But no film as ever grossed $78 million in four days (Mon-Thur) on nonholiday. That's right, practically $80 mil during the week. Everyone I know has seen the film, has purchased tickets for the film, wants to purchase tickets for the film, wants to see it in IMAX or simply wants to see it again. My mother probably won't see it (she's in her 70s) but she asked me if she should. I think it's almost a given after these weekday totals that The dark Knight will become only the second film in history to gross more than $500 million. (Titanic grossed $600 mil. and Star Wars grossed $460 million over several reissues.) It might even beat Titanic. We'll know better next Tuesday or Wednesday, but at the moment I wouldn't be surprised if it demolished that record. Demand for this film isn't even close to being met. All of which is to say, that the reliable Box Office Prophets is crazy when it suggests that The X-Files movie will gross $45 million. No one cared about it before, the reviews are middling and all anyone wants to see is The Dark Knight. That estimate is way, way too high. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. Now if I'm wrong at least I'm on the record and can take the blame.

NOTE: OK, The Dark Knight grossed $23 millon on Friday, so another $100 million weekend is out of the question. But if it grosses $75 million, that's a 50% drop which is very minimal for a massive movie like this. And at least I was right about The X-Files. It grossed $4 million on Friday, so a weekend of $14 million is likely, as opposed to the ludicrous $45 million predicted by Box Office Prophets.

Monday, July 21, 2008