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Box Office

Paramount Continues to Tap Fort Knoxville

In what has to be deemed a very clever move, Paramount Pictures shot enough footage while making Jackass 3D to then use either as DVD Extra material if the film did moderately well or as a stand-alone separate product if the film did really well.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock tumbled onto you by a slack-jeans wearing daredevil, you know that Jackass 3D was a monster profit-margin hit. And so, in March 2011, Paramount will follow with digital sequel Jackass 3.5. For some, these digits are where the film will rank, at best, on the critical rating scale of one to 10. But for the folks at Paramount, there is no doubt about the standing of Johnny Knoxville (pictured) and co.

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Black Ops First Day Gross: $360 Million

Forget about Harry Potter. The real star of the small screen this fall carries an automatic weapon, not a wand, and racks up first day North America-UK sales for its Santa Monica based creator of $360 million.

The Activision game Call of Duty: Black Ops benefited from some good viral buzz thanks to a realistic combat ad featuring Kobe Bryant and Jimmy Kimmel. Still, the numbers generated beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, November 9th are staggering, especially when you consider they are for just three countries.

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The Crown Prince of IMAX

Claudia Koerner of The Orange County Register has a nice little Q&A with Greg MacGillivray, the 65-year-old Laguna Beach resident who recently became the first documentary filmmaker to cross the $1 billion mark at the worldwide box office.

MacGillivray Freeman Films have made 35 large-format films for IMAX, led by the 1998 multi-protagonist docudrama Everest, which has grossed $145 million. MacGillivray (pictured, with wife Barbara) says he has never felt the urge to move the 25-person company he founded in the 1960′s with the late Jim Freeman away from the OC.

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Aaron Sorkin Defends His Women

Veteran Hollywood TV writer-director-producer Ken Levine got a nice surprise over the weekend via his personal Blogspot page. On Saturday night, October 9th, The Social Network screenwriter Aaron Sorkin took time to send over a comment in response to another reader’s concerns about the lack of good female roles in the number one movie at the box office for two weekends running.

“Tarazza – believe me, I get it,” Sorkin begins. “It’s not hard to understand how bright women could be appalled by what they saw in the movie but you have to understand that that was the very specific world I was writing about… Mark [Zuckerberg]‘s blogging that we hear in voiceover as he drinks, hacks, creates Facemash and dreams of the kind of party he’s sure he’s missing, came directly from Mark’s blog…”

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‘Sex and the City 2″ Opens Big Despite Awfulness

“Sex and the City 2″ opened last night at midnight and banked $3 million despite awful reviews. That figure is a 20% improvement over the $2.5 million from the last film’s midnight opening — this despite a 10% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

As for the aforementioned awful reviews, we like this one from LA Weekly’s Ella Taylor:

Sarah Jessica Parker is now 45 years old, and, frankly, I cannot stomach another moment of the simpering, mincing, hair-tossing, eyelash-batting little-girl shtick she’s been pulling ever since she emerged, with considerably more verve and charm, as a high-colonic Malibu Barbie opposite Steve Martin in L.A. Story. It goes without saying that Carrie has been assigned the movie’s big-ticket issue: What to do with marriage once the newlywed bliss is over, especially if you don’t want children? That’s a very good question, but one that’s promptly dumbed down with bogus dilemmas, trumped-up crises, and much ancillary footwear chatter.

‘Avatar,’ ’2012′ Rake in Big Money at the Chinese Box Office

Even though you can buy bootlegged DVDs for 30 cents cents on just about every street corner, China’s box office ballooned to $440 million since this past November — more than doubling the take from the three months prior.

Variety has the story:

The big boost to earnings during the period came from two Hollywood films — “2012″ which has taken 461 million yuan ($67.5 million) in China, and, of course, “Avatar,” which has taken 1.2 billion yuan ($180 million) so far.

China Film Group said that there were 30 new films screened during the period, and said that January’s B.O. in China was a boffo 1.19 billion yuan ($170 million), a new record.

Is Twitter Affecting the Box Office?


Is being able to instantly syndicate an opinion on a film to thousands of your closest friends affecting the opening weekend of less-than-great films?


Michael Sragow at the Baltimore Sun writes:

This summer, movies such as “Bruno” and ” G.I. Joe” have had unexpected tumbles at the box office – just within their opening weekends – while “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” survived blistering critical reaction to become a blockbuster.

Box-office watchers say the dramatic swings may be caused by Twitter and other social networking sites that can blast instant raves – or pans – to hundreds of people just minutes after the credits roll.

Later in the article Gregg Kilday of the Hollywood Reporter is quoted:

“Even if you don’t have Twitter, a lot of people, especially kids, have long had the ability to text each other, sometimes from within the theater,” he says. “And for a lot of the mass-market movies, the potential audience will go whether friends tell them they’re good or not.”

Yeah but no one wants to see a panned Twitter trending topic. Unless it sucks but there are robots who turn into cars and Megan Fox is running in slo mo apparently…


Here’s What GLAAD Should Be Objecting To

It seems the film ‘Bruno’ has placed an uncomfortably bright spotlight not just on our culture’s homophobia, but our unimaginative headlines. Richard Lawson over at GAWKER calls the press out on this one, and offers a little sampling of their work:

These are from many places – the New York Times, the AP, the AFP, and others. The multiple use of “sashays” just speaks volumes about how that word will never be used to describe anything but outrageous gay men. And the topping jokes! Oh the topping jokes do, actually, indicate that people are a little more “with it” when it comes to gay man parlance (topping is a sex reference, children) than some of us thought.


Who Watches The Watchmen?

Watchposter.jpgAccording to a Fandango survey this past weekend, Watchmen watchers are mostly guys between the ages of 18 to 34. Hardly surprising. And it seems they purchase their tickets in advance- Midnight screenings on opening day are selling out across the country. Nikki Finke at brings us the stats from the Fandango survey:

- 60% have read the Watchmen graphic novel
- 85% say the online clips and trailers made them more excited to see the movie
- 57% plan to see Watchmen with a group of friends
- 71% are planning a get together before or after the movie
- 85% had seen director Zack Snyder’s previous movie 300 on the big screen
- 73% are male
- 65% are aged 18 to 34

Wonder what percentage still live with their mothers?

Oh, we kid because we can. Pandora still has her first edition Watchman comic books from 1986, and has been waiting for this movie for a long damn time.

Previously on FBLA:
Wil Wheaton Screened Watchmen
Good News For Nerds
Watchmen Dispute: Alan Moore’s Work is Jinxed
The Watchmen Panel

W. Gets Beat By a Three Week Old Chihuahua

rottentomotoes.pngWhat does it say about the 43rd President of the United States that even a movie associated with you tanks to new levels? Every time Dubya goes on TV, the stock market plunges. Now Oliver Stone‘s latest film finishes FOURTH in weekend box office receipts…It got beat out by Beverly Hills Chihuahua for crying out loud.

We went and watched W. in a theater this weekend. It was like having your town destroyed by a tornado then escaping into a theater to watch Twister. It wasn’t the subject of the movie that was maddening and frustrating – it was the fact that after we left the theater the rubble was still falling.

Is that a recommendation? No. An explanation? Perhaps.