Archive for the ‘Film Industry’ Category

5 Movies That Prove That Ali Larter Is The Hardest Working Woman In Hollywood

April 22, 2009

A lot of people don’t know who Ali Larter is. Most people just know her as that really hot girl they’ve seen in a bunch of movies, even though they don’t know her name. Truth of the matter is, I’ve been of fan of Ali’s for quite some time, and I’ve always appreciated the way that she has never acted too good for any role. In fact, Ms. Larter has historically been willing to star in just about every role she’s been offered in order to climb the ladder of success. Now, I’m not implying that the vixen is co-starring with Jenna Jameson in the next great porno, but judging by the ads for this weekend’s Obsessed, which feature Ali and Beyonce rolling around on the floor in a catfight, the hardworking Larter has once again proved to me that she is an unpretentious actress who’s realistic about her best selling points (read: her looks). Forget artistry! There’s something relatable and attractive to me about actors who just treat their jobs as their jobs, and not as platforms for political and personal artistic expression *gag*. Thus, since it’s List Wednesday, let’s take a look at five Ali Larter productions that prove she’s been paying her dues for a good, long while.

5. Heroes
Thought this is certainly the most consistent gig she’s ever had, and I’m sure she’s happy to have the consistent work, the fact that Ali Larter has had to stick with the atrocity that the television show, Heroes, has become is rather remarkable. Gosh, I don’t know if you watch it, but it is just a trainwreck!

4. Final Destination (2)
An ultimate guilty pleasure of mine… I straight up love these movies because they don’t pretend to be anything more than what they are, which are simply excuses for watching people get caught in hilariously cool death traps. In a way, the Final Destination franchise is a lot like Ms. Larter, who starred in the first two films; both the films and the actress are unpretentious, fun to watch, and they get the job done.

3. Straight-to-DVD titles like Homo Erectus and Three Way
I think the titles speak for themselves. The even better part about her roles in these films is that debuted in 2004 and 2007, well after she’d had some success on the big screen. Most actresses would be a bit too big for their britches to go back to the home market, but not Ali!

2. Drive Me Crazy
Larter played the goth girl in this 1999 Melissa Joan Hart (remember her?) comedy, and she was still a babe. Ten years later, and I remember her character, Darcy (see? I really do remember!), way better than whoever hart played!

1. Varsity Blues
Like I said, Ali Larter knows the main reason she has a career, and it’s not because of her acting. In 1999, she starred in the football flick, Varsity Blues, and donned the famous whipped cream bikini that so many adolescent boys have emblazened into their mind.

There you go! I hope this list has cleared up any ambiguity about who Ali Larter is, and perhaps now you’ll think of her as more than just the hot convict from Legally Blonde. Anyway, Im interested to hear: Did you know who Ali Larter was? I asked a bunch of my friends today, and no one (even Reed) could put a face with a name until I explained it to them!


New Feature: The Current Cultural Popularity Index

April 7, 2009

For a while now, I’ve been wanting to compare how much money movies are earning versus the amount of buzz that surrounds them with some sort of measurable statistic. You see, for every Taken, which arose out of relative obscurity to earn $24.7 million over its opening weekend, there’s a Snakes On A Plane, which everyone was talking about, yet it could only muster $13.8 million in its opening frame. Often the media is ablaze with thousands of articles about a film, only for it to fall flat upon its release. Often the media doesn’t bother to report much upon a film, yet it does very well financially. Often (and probably most often), the media reports endlessly on a film, and it consequently goes on to make hundreds of millions of dollars. I simply wanted a way to document this relationship of buzz and box office. Therefore, I’ve created the Current Cultural Popularity Index.

Here’s how the Current Cultural Popularity Index will work. On Friday, I will look up the title of each film in Google News. I will enter the title in quotations to assure the most accurate results. For example, I would write “Fast And Furious” or “The Haunting In Connecticut.” If the title is a single generic word, I will also include the last name of the lead actor or actress, so that I don’t get every single article that includes that word in the results. For example, for the movie Knowing, I would look up: knowing cage. The number of results that Google News accrues will serve as the Buzz Rating for the Index. I hope all that makes sense. The rest is pretty simple.

Once I have gotten the Buzz Rating for each film, I then look at the weekend gross for each film. Obviously, this will makes up the box office part of the Index. The final step is to divide the weekend box office by the Buzz Rating for each film. This resulting number is something I will call the Current Cultural Popularity Number. The higher the CCPN, the more that a certain film actually matters to audiences at any given time. The CCPN illustrates the extent to which audiences are consuming what the media is presenting them. I will rank the films by their Current Cultural Popularity. Here’s my very first version of the chart:

The Current Cultural Popularity Index
Box Office
Buzz Rating
(# Of Articles)
Current Cultural
Popularity #
1 Fast And Furious $70,950,500 2,801 25,330 1
2 Monsters Vs. Aliens $32,609,165 8,733 3,760 2
3 The Haunting In Connecticut $9,481,647 2,612 3,411 3
4 Knowing $8,146,156 2,779 2,931 4
5 Sunchine Cleaning $1,807,164 759 2,371 10
6 Adventureland $5,722,039 2,634 2,172 6
7 I Love You, Man $7,722,468 4,025 1,918 5
8 12 Rounds $2,260,906 1,543 1,465 9
9 Race To Witch Mountain $3,212,602 2,504 1,282 8
10 The Last House On The Left $1,259,325 1,272 990 12
11 Duplicity $4,174,240 4,466 934 7
12 Taken $1,544,471 2,022 763 11

Here are my immediate thoughts:
1. Fast And Furious is definitely the most popular movie out right now. By a lot.
2. Sunshine Cleaning has breakout potential. It’s really exceeding its buzz.
3. The media cares about Julia Roberts and Duplicity. The public does not.
4. The Buzz Rating for Taken was tough to calculate. I tried to filter out all the articles that were actually about Liam Neeson’s late wife, Natasha Richardson, but I don’t know how well I did.

Now, I want your feedback. Scratch that- I need your feedback! Do you think the Current Cultural Popularity Index is interesting/useful? Is this something I should keep doing? Any suggestions for different ways I could calculate the statistics that might make this chart more helpful and informative? Trust me, this is going to be a learning process for me too, but as for this trial edition, I personally found it fascinating. I’m fully planning on continuing. But hey, you might not agree. Please give me a piece of your mind in the comments!

MPAA, Average Ticket Price, And The Recession: Theater Statistics for 2008.

April 1, 2009

The MPAA just released their annual Theatrical Stats Report. The document is pretty fascinating. It’s filled with the typical blurbs about how healthy and thriving the film industry is, and based on the whopping 9% increase in attendance so far this year, it’s tough to argue with them. Maybe the recession is exactly what Hollywood needed to buck the trend of decreasing attendance and increased ticket price, but we all know ticket prices are not going anywhere but up. All that’s clear right now is that the recession is hurting almost everyone, but not Hollywood. Escapist entertainment is thriving. Here are the most interesting facts from the press release, which you can download and read in its entirety here:

-The average ticket price in 2008 was $7.18, an increase of 4.4% of 2007’s average ticket price of $6.88. Ticket price has increased by $2.10 over the last decade.

-There were 1.364 billion admissions in 2008, down 2.6% from 2007. In the last decade, 2002 has the most admissions, with a whopping 1.597 billion.

-Overall box office revenue hit an all-time high last year with $9.791 billion, an increase of 1.7% over 2007.

-Worldwide box office for increased 5.2% in 2008 to reach another historic high, at $28.1 billion, compared to $26.7 billion in 2007. International box office ($18.3 million) made up 65% of the worldwide total, while domestic – the U.S. and Canada ($9.8 billion) made up 35%.

-There are currently 6,269 theaters in the United States, which is pretty much flat with the year before. Within those theaters, there are 40,194 screens, 5,474 of which are digital screens. This is big 33% increase in digital screens in 2008.

Any of these statistics surprise you? I think its all pretty amazing, but hey, I’m a movie geek. Let me know what you’re thinking in the comments!