Tuesday, December 30, 2008

More Long Tailin' It

Blockbuster Openings, Lackluster Box Office
By Michael Cieply

"What a year for movie openings.

I mean, who could forget 'Twilight'? Teenagers screaming for free tickets outside the dual-theater Westwood premiere here. Mayhem in the malls. Girls thirsting for Robert Pattinson. Box-office projections growing bigger and bigger as online vendors sold out theater after theater.

It was amazing. When all is said and done, maybe 24 million tickets will be sold to that movie, based on current sales. That makes it almost as big as, what?

'Patch Adams,' the No. 10 movie of 1998. Or roughly the size of 'George of the Jungle,' which placed No. 13 the year before."


"Looking back, in fact, 2008 may be remembered as the year when Hollywood succeeded in redefining the Big Event."


"It’s all great fun — and, in the heat of the moment, can seem tantalizingly real. Remember the high-heeled stampede toward 'Sex and the City'? What a romp! Cosmopolitans. Bus tours. Girls’ nights out.

Eventually, about 22 million tickets were sold. That puts it on a par with 'Steel Magnolias' in 1989 or 'The First Wives Club' in 1996 — movies that played to about the same number of viewers, but did so with considerably less noise."


[o.k., I LOVED seeing Twilight, because I saw it with my niece and that meant so much to me. But as a movie it was missing some pluck*. Thriller had so much more punch packed into 14 minutes.**]

* -- "pluck," is a word I just learned, or at least heard for the first time in this usage, when listening to some Canadian lady read the Émile Zola book Thérèse Raquin that my wife has in the car on cd. It's so peculiar -- pluck -- and "retro" as a colloquialism to no particular time...I wonder what the original french word is they've translated it from?

** -- y'know this isn't really true, but it just sounds like something a forty-something person should say in a blog. So I'm doing it in some kind of hip-to-be-square kinda way, y'know? It's bad and awkward like an "old" tape of Britney Spears on a Michael Jackson special. Do we want the blockbuster back?

Oh, she's got pluck in this one. That's for sure.

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