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Monday, June 27, 2005

Hollywood becoming Deadwood?

Hey Movie Fans!

I just read in CNN news today that last weekend was a record slow weekend for movie ticket sales. Did you go to the movies this weekend? Why or why not? We actually tried to see Mr & Mrs Smith but it was sold out. What do you think is the cause of this trend?



  • At 10:25 AM, June 27, 2005 , Anonymous Kathy said...

    I think the alleviation of ticket sales for this year’s films come from the DVD market, the increase of ticket sales and the failure to connect with a broad range of audiences with familiar remakes and comic book capers.
    I saw Mr. and Mrs. Smith over the weekend. It was entertaining fueled with action, romance and comedy.

  • At 6:12 PM, June 27, 2005 , Anonymous DaveW said...

    I dont' know, I kind of like the comic book based movies - at least when they are well done such as "Batman Begins" which I thought was great.

    In general, I agree with Kathy though, there may be some failure to connect with the broad audience - but it is difficult to predict what an audience might want to see a year or more into the future given the length of the film making process. Thus, the dependence on remakes and other familiar material.

    Of course, in my area where you have to drive to the nearest theatre, the price of gasoline could be starting to have an effect - especially when combined with the relatively high price of a movie ticket. At as much as $20 per person, when snacks are added, going to the movies is no longer a "cheap date."

  • At 12:12 AM, June 28, 2005 , Blogger Christopher Showerman said...

    Thanks Dave and Kathy! Excellent points! I know here the average price of a movie ticket is about $11 but can go as high as $14. I remember when we use to go to the movies for a buck! (I just sounded like someone's grandfather!)

    David, You're absolutely right about studios trying to hedge their bets on tried and true formulas. I do hope that this dip in audience interest teaches the studios that they are going to have to take some risks and tell some new stories.

    But what was the last movie where you said "I have to see this movie in the theater as soon as it is released"? What motivates you to pay more to see a movie in a theater as opposed to your home theater?

    For me, I love to see big movies on a big screen with big sound. I find though that lately in the BIG movies, the story is sacrificed for spectacle. The next movie I really want to see is a documentary about Penguins called March Of The Penguins.

  • At 8:03 AM, June 28, 2005 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I've got to throw my two cents in here... because that's all I've got left after taking my family to the movies last weekend! We had a great time seeing Madagascar. We came out of that movie singing, "You've got to move it, move it." I'd recommend that movie to anyone with small kids as it's very entertaining.

    But you adults out there, be sure to see Mr. and Mrs. Smith, that was a GREAT movie. And not just because of the hype around the two stars of the movie, but because it was very entertaining.

  • At 9:58 AM, June 28, 2005 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I agree, I enjoyed Mr and Mrs Smith also.I wouldn't mind going to see War of the worlds when that comes out.

    You know i must say though the only movie that's made me want to go and see on the big screen in a while is Star Wars 3. That movie was awesome!

  • At 8:19 PM, June 28, 2005 , Anonymous DaveW said...

    Actually, the last movie I said "I have to see that as soon as it comes out" was "Batman Begins." But in my case I am a comic book/cartoon junkie and go to and/or buy movies based on them frequently (including "George of the Jungle, 2" naturally).

    And, I have been known to make the statment that for my money I expect to see some spectacle! I do agree with Christopher though that in far too many cases, story is sacrificed for spectacle and special effects. In my opinion, the best movies, plays, television shows, etc. are those whose stories are character driven - regardless of how fantastic the settings or situations.

    When I was in college, I did often take a chance on small "art house" films, but these days it seems that to find those films I have to drive to the nearest art museum. Which is kind of sad since I am sure a lot of good movies are being missed by a lot of people, including myself.

    So next time I'm at the movie rental place I think I'm going to look for a non-blockbuster film and give it a shot!

  • At 1:05 AM, June 29, 2005 , Anonymous Kathy said...

    I'm anticipating the release of Superman myself - which I believe Chris should have gotten the part for-But that's just my oppinion.He did such a fantastic Job playing George In GOTJ2.

  • At 6:55 AM, June 29, 2005 , Blogger Christopher Showerman said...

    Thanks for the Superman vote, Kathy! I'm curious about that movie too.

    David, do you have any Laemmle or Odeon theaters near by? I know out here in Los Angeles, we are spoiled with movie theaters almost as prolific as Starbucks.


  • At 6:59 AM, June 29, 2005 , Blogger Christopher Showerman said...

    One more thing for Dave -

    The ComicCon is happening in a couple of weeks down in San Diego - you may be interested as it is a HUGE comic book convention with lots of the writers and some stars sprinkled in for glitz.

  • At 8:13 AM, June 29, 2005 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Speaking of ComicCon, are you going?

    K in the O.C.

  • At 3:59 PM, June 29, 2005 , Anonymous DaveW said...

    I was excited about the new Superman movie, until I saw a few of the publicity stills. I hope it was just the computer screen that I was viewing the picture on, but they didn't get the colors or design of the Superman costume right. Which, though it might seem like a little thing, makes me wonder about the rest of the movie. Well, just gotta have faith and see what happens. By the way Kathy, I think Chris would do a great job as Superman, too.

    Chris, to answer your question about movie theatres here in my area (between Ann Arbor, MI and Toledo, OH - so I can choose theatres in either city) National Amusements is by far the dominate chain - operating under the names Showcase and Cinema DeLux - though there are a couple other chains in the area the National Amusements theatres are the ones with the nice big screens and stadium seating which is a big plus with me!

    I've heard of ComicCon in San Diego, and have always wanted to go but haven't. I understand it is a blast and I do have some vacation time coming to me - so who knows, maybe I need to make a trip to San Diego in a couple of weeks. Has anyone here ever attended?

  • At 7:28 PM, June 30, 2005 , Anonymous DaveW said...

    Oh no! Did I kill this thread? I didn't mean to - has anyone seen "War of the Worlds" yet? Looks like another big budget spectacle, but I hear that the story is good, too even though it falls into the realm of "tried and true" concepts.

  • At 11:12 PM, June 30, 2005 , Blogger Christopher Showerman said...

    LOL! No Dave, I don't think you killed anything! I'm looking forward to going to the ComiCon with a couple of buddies who's work we are all enjoying on this site. I read a scathing review of War of the Worlds but I'll reserve my own comment until I get to see it myself (for free) in late July.
    As for my interest in comics other than a failed attempt at Supes, my friend Allan Heinberg writes for Marvel Comics on a great new series called "The Young Avengers". Allan use to be the head writer on The OC. He is a truly amazing talent. If any of you comic fans get a chance, check out "The Young Avengers".

  • At 4:32 AM, July 01, 2005 , Anonymous DaveW said...

    I'll vouch for the "Young Avengers" - only 5 issues old and it's already one of my favorite books!

  • At 8:05 AM, July 04, 2005 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Everyone on vacation?

  • At 9:20 PM, July 05, 2005 , Anonymous DaveW said...

    That would be my guess as to where everyone is! I was gone all weekend myself - didn't do too much of great interest though (visited relatives, rode some roller coasters).

    I hope to see a couple of movies this weekend though - including "Fantastic Four" (since we seem to still be talking about comic books). I hope it's well done!

  • At 9:24 AM, July 06, 2005 , Anonymous Kathy said...

    I hope so too Dave.I want to see that movie also.

  • At 8:35 PM, July 10, 2005 , Anonymous DaveW said...

    Well, I saw both "Fantastic Four" and "War of the Worlds" this weekend. "FF" was okay, but not as well done as I would have hoped and, unfortunately, because I am a comic book "afficinado" some of the changes made to the villian's character - Dr. Doom - for the movie just didn't work for me.

    I thoroughly enjoyed "War of the Worlds" and though very intense at times I think it was well updated while remaining true to the author's (H.G. Wells) original story.

    By the way, I heard on the radio that "March of the Penguins" which Chris mentioned earlier in this thread is now out and playing within driving distance of me. The reviewer really liked it and though it is a documentary, thought it might be a little intense for younger veiwers as it doesn't hold back on what happens to a lot of the Penguins in the wild.

  • At 4:34 AM, July 11, 2005 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I do not think Tom Cruise helped matters any.

  • At 8:26 AM, July 11, 2005 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Saw the "new" superman pics and the costume is ridiculous, if not disrespectful to the creators of Superman. The guy playing supes is too "pretty" - sorry whoever you are, I'm sure you're good for other roles. I just think that Christo has the look, feel and "type" that would proudly carry on the amazing job Reeves did (wasn't his fault the writing was terrible for III and IV) and also the character we grew to love in the comics.
    Well, I'm done spouting off.
    - Irritated in Amsterdam

  • At 3:22 PM, July 11, 2005 , Blogger Christopher Showerman said...

    Hey Amsterdam! Thanks for the vote!! Is there a link to the pics of the new Superman?

    Dave, I got to see March of the Penguins this weekend and it is AWESOME!! (Not to mentioned SOLD OUT for a Saturday Matinee show.) I loved it, I think you will too. I'm pleased it is playing near you. Be sure to stay through the credits.

  • At 9:52 PM, July 11, 2005 , Anonymous DaveW said...

    Well, "Penguins" is still about an hour or so drive away from where I live, but given your strong endorsement I'll try to get up to see it!

  • At 9:53 PM, July 11, 2005 , Anonymous DaveW said...

    Oh, and by the way, I see that FF did pretty well this weekend - despite the reviews - guess a good marketing campaign does work on occasion. We'll have to see if it has "legs" for the long run though!

  • At 9:40 PM, July 16, 2005 , Anonymous DaveW said...

    Just got back from seeing "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and I have to say I was surprised. This is one "remake" that is better, in my opinion, than the original. I haven't read the book yet but this movie felt more like I think the book must be in both tone and message.

    Plus I have come to the realization that Johnny Depp is an amazing actor and, without taking anything away from Gene Wilder's great performance in the earlier film, his Willy Wonka comes across as being very human and believable (of course the script offers much to work with more than the earlier film did).

    The 70s film is, and always will be, a classic but both films are clearly products of their time. It's fascinating to see how the same story can be interpreted to make it fresh again.

    And Chris, don't worry, "Penguins" is still on my list of "must sees!"


  • At 12:26 AM, July 17, 2005 , Blogger Christopher Showerman said...

    Glad to hear that the new Chocolate factory film is getting some thumbs up! It is risky remaking a movie that has been so ingrained in popular culture already. I haven't seen anyone try to remake Citizen Kane or Gone With The Wind - and for good reason! I totally agree that Johnny Depp is a phenomenal performer and hope that Hollywood isn't encouraged too much to continue to rehash their old stories.

    That said, I'm still curious about it, especially after your endorsement! Thanks Dave!


  • At 8:39 PM, July 17, 2005 , Anonymous Davew said...

    After seeing "Charlie" I have been giving some more thought to Hollywood's rehashing of old stories and/or borrowing ideas from other media (television, plays, comics, etc.) and am now thinking that as long as the film is well done, I don't really have a problem with it.

    True, there are some movies that were so good to start with - such as "Citizen Kane" and "Gone with the Wind" which Chris mentioned - that there really isn't a way to top or improve the original. But, maybe it's okay if others get a facelift as it were. Hollywood has a long history of using source material from other media to create films - and frankly it works the other way around, too. For example, there are several movies that have been turned into plays and quite well ("Thoroughly Modern Millie" - which I thoroughly enjoyed - and "Beauty and the Beast" come to mind).

    So, though I think we can all agree that it's better for Hollywood to look at new works, I think that sometimes it's okay to revamp and old idea. As long as it doesn't lead to a remake of Porky's!

    Anyway, that's what I'm thinking at this point - what do other folks think?

  • At 1:51 PM, July 20, 2005 , Anonymous Jaschenka said...

    I think the remakes are really interesting because since the 'old days' so many new techniques were invented and it gives filmmakers a whole new range of possibilities. On the other hand, sometimes I feel movies can get 'too big' for their own good. I'm always fond of good solid acting, firm dialogue, and not just cars (airplanes, skycrapers, continents) flying around. For instance I found the latest StarWars absolutely stunning with special effects, but it was pretty overwhelming and I came out of the theatre feeling slightly dizzy. (Could have been I was just airsick of course..)

    Another risk with remakes is the constant comparing. You always think back to what the 'old' movie was like, no matter how good the new one is. And there are just things in the originals that you'll always like (so WHY are the Umpa-Lumpa's NOT in the new Charlie & the Chocolate Factory..I loved the Umpa-Lumpa's!! Still know their song by heart to this day!!)So in my opinion a good remake is the one that makes you forget the original, at least for a little while!

    By the way, am I the only one getting confused with all the pre-quels? (Although I wouldn't mind a prequel to Lord of the The Hobbit, or even The Silmarillion..yeah for more elves.)
    I still need to go see 'Charlie' and I'm really looking forward to 'The Chronicles of Narnia; The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe', which is coming this Christmas. And of course 'Pirates of the Caribbean II'. Let's see if that's a sequel that can top the first one!

    (PS IF there will be a remake of 'Wuthering Heights' can I please please please do the costumes, LOL?!!)

    Be Inspired.

  • At 5:20 PM, July 20, 2005 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Jaschenka, who told you there were no Umpa-Lumpa's in "Charlie?" Not to reveal too much, but don't worry - they may not look or sing like the "old" umpas, but they are there!


    PS I'm with you on a "Hobbit" movie! If Peter Jackson and company will do it of course.

  • At 2:28 AM, July 21, 2005 , Anonymous Jaschenka said...

    @Dave: Ah, that's good to know! Now that I think of it..nobody actually said there were no Umpa-Lumpa's in it. All they said was that they missed the old ones.
    And about 'the Hobbit'; is there anybody else BUT PJ who could do it? ;) Another remake I'm looking forward to (and how could I forget!): King Kong!

  • At 9:18 PM, July 22, 2005 , Anonymous DaveW said...

    I saw a preview for King Kong and it looks like another quality work from PJ (as you call him) the only one who could do "Hobbit" justice!


  • At 6:00 PM, December 02, 2005 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hey yeah um like chris is so fine and i would like to say i would have his children.


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