Archive for the ‘Golden Globes’ Category

New And News: The Rock Will Go To Extraordinary Measures To Bring Legions Of Fans To Theaters. Plus, My Golden Globes Recap!

January 18, 2010

It’s Monday, and that means it’s time for New And News!  This week, we’ve got three new releases, and true-to-January form, none of them look very good!  Tooth Fairy looks likea film that knows its bad, but doesn’t care because it can make a lot of money.  Legion looks like a film that’s bad because all horror movies look bad.  Extraordinary Measures looks like a film that’s bad, but it’s okay because it was sincerely trying to be good.  After a quick summary of those films, I’m going to do something a little bit different with the News section of this column.  Instead of linking to articles across the web, I’m going to do a quick recap of the Golden Globes, the last half of which I actually managed to sit through last night, despite my extreme distaste for awards shows!

New:

Tooth Fairy (Fox) – 3,000 theaters – Reviews
 A cocky man that is skeptical of unbelievable fantasy characters like the tooth fairy is punished by actually having to become a tooth fairy.  He mustn’t tell anyone who he is, and he cannot expose himself.  He must make the world believe in the tooth- Wait, wait, wait!  Haven’t I heard this plot before?  Oh yea, it’s the exact same thing as Toothless, starring Kirstie Alley.  This time around, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars as the tutu-wearing fairy, and his star power should carry this fish-out-of-water story effectively.  Just like last week’s The Spy Next Door, this film reminds me very much of 2003’s The Pacifier, as each film stars an action star attempting to appeal to a family audience.  Tooth Fairy has been advertised well, and it’s family-friendly nature should equal some pretty good business.

Legion (Sony) – 2,400 theaters – Reviews

This movie claims to tell the story of God sending his angels down into a diner to begin the Apocalypse and end mankind, but judging from the commercials, you’d think the whole movie was about a creepy grandma that turns into demon and crawls up the wall.  With Dennis Quaid, Paul Bettany, Tyrese Gibson, Lucas Black, and Kate Walsh, the films has some stars, but no real box office draws.  Just like The Book Of Eli, Legion hasn’t emphasized its overtly religious themes too much, instead framing itself as a conventional January horror release.  I’m not expecting huge things from it, but I’m not expecting an outright flop either.  Like most most January horror films, Legion should see some alright box office results before debuting on DVD a few months later and then debuting on the $5.99 DVD rack at Wal-Mart a few months later.

Extraordinary Measures (CBS Films) – 2,450 theaters – Reviews

It seems appropriate that this film was produced by CBS Films because it looks like a made-for-TV movie.  “Inspired by a true story,” Extraordinary Measures follows the story of a loving couple (Brendan Fraser and Keri Russell) who find that two of their children have a rare and fatal disease.  Determined to save his children, the father teams up an unappreciated scientist (Harrison Ford) to research and develop a drug that will cure his kids.  The two men take on the whole medical world, fighting an unsympathetic system in order to provide a solution to the awful crisis.  Cheesy but goodhearted, this film seems pretty hard to dislike, and I actually am a big fan of both Brendan Fraser and Keri Russell.  I’m not sure why, but I just love them!  Even though it won’t, I’m hoping Extraordinary Measures does well!

News:

The Golden Globes weren’t nearly as unbearable as the Oscars, and the show actually ran pretty quickly.  Maybe it was because the awards cover both film and TV, but I thought the show was fairly efficient.  Don’t get me wrong- they were still ridiculously douchey and self-important, but I actually didn’t tune away, and that says something.  You can see a full list of winners here, but first, here are some general impressions:

-Ricky Gervais was an awful host.

-Only 90 people vote for these awards?! Why the heck do they matter do much?

-Mo’nique is pretty tough to dislike.  The Precious star has a fire in her eyes and passion in her words, which is a welcome change on a night when you could probably narrate most speeches with the TV on mute.

-Beards are back!  Jon Hamm, George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr., Jeff Bridges, Christoph Waltz, and William Hurt were all sporting facial hair.  Take that, No-Shave-November-disliking-grandparents!

-James Cameron may make some incredibly successful movies, but man, is he unlikable!  The director came across as cocky (“I used the restroom, so I’m going to take my time, so if the music comes on, we’re going to have a problem…”), which was obnoxious enough, but when he used his own Na’vi language from Avatar while talking about himself, it was too much.  James, if you want to be cocky and endearing, please take lessons from Robert Downey Jr..

-Jason Reitman, writer and director of Up In The Air, looks like a cross between Andrew WK and Dave Grohl.

-Hopefully, Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler exhibit more chemistry in The Bounty Hunter than they did while presenting an award.  I know that the teleprompter-induced banter is always awkward, but not saying anything is even more awkward!

-Originally, the only reason I tuned in was to see if Neil Patrick Harris or Lost would win.  I was disappointed to learn that I had missed NPH’s category altogether, even more disappointed to learn that he lost, and hugely disappointed to learn that Lost wasn’t even nominated!

-Sandra Bullock won Best Actress for her work in The Blind Side.  This is a problem.  Sandra must not win the Oscar.  The Best Actress Oscar transforms women into box office poison, and Bullock was just named the biggest box office draw of 2009.  I’ll talk about it more in the Thursday column.

Oscar Bait Roundup + Golden Globes Effect

January 13, 2009

The Golden Globes were last night, and as I’m sure you have already heard, the evening undoubtedly belonged to Fox Searchlight’s Slumdog Millionaire, which picked up the fimmaker’s trifecta of awards: Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay. The other big story was Kate Winslet, who nabbed the trophies for both Best Actress and Best Suppoting Actress, for Revolutionary Road and The Reader, respectively. For Best Actor, comeback kid Mickey Rourke was awarded for The Wrestler. Also, Wall-E won Best Animated Picture, which is kind of a backhanded compliment, considering it’s good enough to be Best Picture, without the “animated” stipulation… But anyone could tell you the winners of the night- let’s get to the main point of this post: How will the Golden Globes victories affect the box office performance and Oscar chances of the Oscar bait films?

As you can see below, all of the winners in the Comedy/Musical categories are no longer playing theaters, so they won’t be included in this discussion. I’ll post a list of the winners at the bottom, but first, let’s analyze film by film:


Gran Torino – With a $29 million weekend, Clint Eastwood doesn’t need to worry too much about the fact that he didn’t win any awards. Reviews aren’t really good enough to merit huge Oscar attention, but with a massive $10,000+ venue average, it’s well on its way to $100 million.

The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button – It fell 49% this weekend, and with no major award victories, it will probably continue its descent. Still, it’s made $94 million, and $125 million seems like a likely final total. With or without an Oscar, this is a major financial success for Paramount.

Slumdog Millionaire – I gush about this film enough, as it is, so I’ll keep this short. After $34 million worth of great word-of-mouth and three Golden Globes, Fox Searchlight would be fools to not expand this in the very near future. It’s $6,206 per theater average (in its ninth week!) is strong enough to sustain an expansion, especially with the free advertising that comes from the Golden Globes.

Doubt – It’s banked a surprisingly good $22 million, but it’s $1,945 average isn’t great, and without much awards attention, I doubt it will make it past $30 million.

Revolutionary Road – Could the picture that’s so depressing it’s nigh-unmarketable turn into a success? The awards recognition will certainly help, but the reality is, this is not a story that many people are excited to see on the big screen- they go to see the acting. While it’s $10,667 per theater average looks great on paper, keep in mind that Gran Torino basically matched it, and that film is two weeks older and playing in 20 times as many theaters! Road probably won’t make it past $15 million.

The Reader – This film has more to gain than any other after the Golden Globes, because it hasn’t exactly been blowing up in the last few weekends, and mediocre reviews probably aren’t helping. Out in 507 theaters, it ony managed a $1.3 million weekend, which gave it a fairly poor $2,667 venue average. Weinstein needs to sell the Kate Winslet full force and hope for the best.

Milk – I continues to plug along rather steadily, and it’s earned a pretty good $19 million thus far, but Slumdog Millionaire has really taken away it’s Oscar mojo. If it can manage to pick up an Oscar or two, it might have a chance yet, but it’s momentum is definitely slowing down.

Frost/Nixon – It’s still doing alright, but it’s hardly the flashiest title of the bunch. With $7.6 million so far, it should be able to hit $15 million overall. After that, it’s anyone’s guess.

The Wrestler – Mickey Rourke’s Golden Globes win should give this the much needed exposure it needs in order to continue expanding. It’s got a nice venue average right now and about $3 million already, and if Fox Searchlight can play their cards right, they could be looking at a modest hit here. At least $10 million seems likely.

Here are the winners (full list here), with numbers below:

2009 Golden Globe Winners In Film

Best Motion Picture – Drama
Slumdog Millionaire

Best Director
Danny Boyle –
Slumdog Millionaire

Best Screenplay
Simon Beaufoy – Slumdog Millionaire

Best Actress – Drama
Kate Winslet –
Revolutionary Road

Best Actor – Drama
Mickey Rourke –
The Wrestler

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Best Actress – Musical or Comedy
Sally Hawkins –
Happy Go Lucky


Best Actor – Musical or Comedy
Colin Farrell – In Bruges

Best Supporting Actress
Kate Winslet – The Reader

Best Supporting Actor
Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight

Here are the numbers:

Oscar-Seeking Titles for January 9-11 2009
# Movie Title Wk
3-Day Gross
Change Theaters
PTA
Total
Reviews
1 Gran Torino 5 $29,025,000 +888.4% 2,808
(+2,724)
$10,337 $40,065,000 75%
5 The Curious Case
Of Benjamin Button
3 $9,450,000 -49.4% 2,947 (-41) $3,207 $94,330,000 72%
11 Slumdog Millionaire 9 $3,730,000 -20.5% 601 (-11) $6,206 $34,075,000 94%
14 Doubt 5 $2,503,000 -49.9% 1,287 (-) $1,945 $22,941,000 76%
16 Revolutionary Road 3 $1,440,000 +46.1% 135 (+97) $10,667 $3,170,000 67%
17 The Reader 5 $1,352,000 -15.4% 507 (+109) $2,667 $5,516,000 60%
19 Milk 7 $1,251,000 -33.8% 295 (-14) $4,241 $19,125,000 92%
20 Frost/Nixon 6 $912,000 -34.9% 205 (-) $4,449 $7,652,000 90%
21 The Wrestler 4 $874,000 +99.6% 60 (+42) $14,567 $2,848,000 98%
26 Rachel Getting Married 15 $179,805 +7.9% 98 (+31) $1,873 $10,379,000 87%
All Numbers Courtesy Of Exhibitor Relations

Golden Globe Winners Come From All Over The Globe

January 14, 2008

     In case you weren’t one of the people who tuned into the hour long half-hour press conference that announced the Golden Globes recipients, here’s a rundown of the winners.  I’ve listed the big categories below, but check out the full list of winners here.
     My reactions?  All the winners are very deserving.  The choices might be a bit out of touch with the average American’s movie taste (no love for Juno?), but that’s the case every year.  What really strikes me is the internationalization of the award winners.  This year, it looks like the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has earnestly tried to live up to its name, presenting a very European list of victors.  Atonement is a British film, and Julie Christie, and Daniel Day-Lewis both hail from England as well.  La Vie En Rose‘s Marion Cotillard and Julian Schabel’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly are both French imports.  Finally, Javier Bardem (pictured), winner of Best Supporting Actor – Drama, hails from Spain.
     Hollywood has been emphasizing the globalization of the film world for a while now (most notably with the incessant glorification of Babel last year), but these Golden Globes are a clear sign that Americans are very slowly beginning to accept foreign films as credible works of art.  

Best Motion Picture – Drama
Atonement

Best Actress – Drama
Julie Christie Away From Her

Best Actor – Drama
Daniel Day-Lewis There Will Be Blood

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Sweeney Todd

Best Actress – Musical or Comedy
Marion Cotillard La Vie En Rose

Best Actor – Musical or Comedy
Johnny Depp Sweeney Todd

Best Director
Julian Schnabel The Diving Bell And The Butterfly

Writers Strike Update: Golden Globes Cancelled!

January 9, 2008

     In case you’ve been living under a rock lately, you know that the Writers Guild of America (WGA) is currently on strike.  Seeking their fair share of profits on all revenue-generating media, the WGA has stuck to the pickets lines for about nine weeks, putting them at odds with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).  From the very beginning of the strike, the public has come to the side of the writers, but it isn’t until recently that people have started to become downright outraged at the AMPTP.  Everyone wants this strike to end, and fortunately (for the writers and crews, not us) on January 7, 2008, the WGA won a major battle in the ongoing war with the producers- the Golden Globes ceremony was cancelled.
     This news comes after the announcement that members of the Screen Actors Guild refuse to cross the picket lines to attend the Golden Globes.  Seeing as pretty much every star in Hollywood is a member of the SAG, and the whole reason people watch the ceremony is to see their favorite stars, the show was wisely cancelled.  NBC (who really could have used some good ratings…) will instead air a one-hour news conference that will announce the winners.  See a list of nominees here.

     This is great news for the writers.  The cancellation will not only create fear that the all-important Academy Awards will be cancelled, it is sure to cause even more uproar against the AMPTP and bring the strike one step closer to an end.  Personally, I’m a bit sad to see the Golden Globes cancelled.  They’re infinitely less pretentious more enjoyable than the Academy Awards, but I’m perfectly happy to give them up if it helps out out the thousands of writers and crew members who are presently out of work.  What do you all think?  Happy?  Sad?  Bitter?  Give your opinion in the comments below.

Golden Globes Nominations

December 13, 2007

     The Golden Globes nominations were announced this week, and there are definitely some things that make me very happy! Atonement led the pack with 7 nominations, and got nominated in all 5 major categories: Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor, Actress. Charlie Wilson’s War, the Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts film coming out next weekend, garnered 5.  No Country For Old Men got 4, and Michael Clayton, the annual politically-conscious George Clooney movie, got 4 as well.

     Other nominations that boosted my spirits?  James McAvoy for Best Actor – Drama.  Amy Adams for Best Actress – Musical or Comedy.  Ryan Gosling for Best Actor – Musical or Comedy.  Ratatouille and The Simpsons Movie for Best Animated Film.  Juno got 3 nominations, including Best Picture – Musical or Comedy, Best Screenplay, and Best Actress for the 17 year-old Ellen Page!  (It goes wide on Christmas and I can’t wait!)  Also, it’s kind of cool that three of the five movies up for Best Picture – Musical or Comedy are actually musicals- that almost never is the case.  I was hoping Once, a fantastic musical film from this summer, would make that category, but I suppose it was just too small to be noticed.  Here are the big categories, while a full list of the nominations can be found here.
Best Motion Picture – Drama
American Gangster
Atonement
Eastern Promises
The Great Debaters
Michael Clayton
No Country For Old Men
There Will Be Blood
Best Actress – Drama
Cate Blanchett  Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Julie Christie  Away From Her
Jodie Foster  The Brave One
Angelina Jolie  A Mighty Heart
Keira Knightley  Atonement

Best Actor – Drama
George Clooney  Michael Clayton
Daniel Day-Lewis  There Will Be Blood
James McAvoy  Atonement
Viggo Mortensen  Eastern Promises
Denzel Washington  American Gangster

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Across the Universe
Charlie Wilson’s War
Hairspray
Juno
Sweeney Todd
Best Actress – Musical or Comedy
Amy Adams  Enchanted
Nikki Blonsky  Hairspray
Helena Bonham Carter  Sweeney Todd
Marion Cotillard  La Vie En Rose
Ellen Page  Juno

Best Actor – Musical or Comedy
Johnny Depp  Sweeney Todd
Ryan Gosling  Lars and the Real Girl
Tom Hanks  Charlie Wilson’s War
Philip Seymour Hoffman  The Savages
John C. Reilly  Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

Best Director
TIm Burton  Sweeney Todd
Ethan Coen & Joel Coen  No Country For Old Men
Julian Schnabel  The Diving Bell And The Butterfly
Ridley Scott  American Gangster
Joe Wright  Atonement