Box Office Guru Wrapup: Puss in Boots Beats New Comedies for #1 Spot



In a surprise upset, the animated comedy Puss in Boots held onto the box office crown thanks to an astonishingly strong hold in the second frame while the competing new comedies Tower Heist and A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas debuted in the silver and bronze positions, both performing on the lower end of expectations. The overall marketplace remained slow resulting in the worst gross for the first weekend of November in at least nine years.

Barely shedding any business from its softer-than-anticipated opening last week, the Shrek spinoff Puss in Boots grossed a stunning $33M this weekend according to studio estimates making for a scant 3% decline. The low drop was caused by many factors including the opening frame being hurt by snowstorms and Halloween activities, plus strong word-of-mouth that helped the DreamWorks Animation hit pick up lost business now that the pumpkin holiday has passed. Many, including numerous Wall Street analysts, wrote off the $34.1M debut last week since it was one of the lowest bows ever for the animation giant. But DreamWorks and distribution partner Paramount are all smiles as the audience is coming now that it is more available. Puss averaged a remarkable $8,336 from 3,963 locations and saw its ten-day cume climb to a stellar $75.5M.

The Antonio Banderas-voiced film is now on course to reach at least $160M and could even approach the $200M mark if it can continue to show good legs this month. Declines are likely to get bigger next week, though. But still there is Veterans Day on Friday which is always a potent school holiday plus Thanksgiving coming up to help keep the cat going into December. Also the next major direct competitor doesn't debut until November 18 when Warner Bros rolls out its own 3D animal franchise toon Happy Feet Two. 3D screens contributed 48% of the weekend gross for Puss and IMAX helped too. Overseas, it grossed an additional $15M from just four markets upping the early total to $39M with most major territories yet to open. International appeal is sizable and the overseas appetite for 3D toons is huge so a robust global tally is likely by year's end.

Widely expected to debut on top, Universal's final release of the year Tower Heist instead opened in second place with an estimated $25.1M finishing the frame on the low end of industry expectations. The PG-13 pic starring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy as leaders of a group trying to rob a wealthy criminal's penthouse averaged a good $7,450 from 3,367 locations. But the first weekend of November kicks off the busy holiday moviegoing season and big star-driven comedies with broad appeal often show more muscle. Produced for $85M, Heist also starred Casey Affleck, Alan Alda, Matthew Broderick, Téa Leoni, Michael Peña, Judd Hirsch, and Gabourey Sidibe with top-dollar filmmakers Brett Ratner and Brian Grazer directing and producing, respectively.

Reviews were mixed but generally upbeat on Tower Heist, but paying customers gave only a CinemaScore grade of B. Females made up 56% of the audience while 62% were 30 and older. Stiller and Murphy have both seen larger debuts with their past comedies and combining the two into one film opened the door to growing the upfront fan base for the film. Heist will now have to hope it can have legs although a mediocre audience grade and a competing mainstream comedy from the always reliable Adam Sandler this Friday (Jack and Jill) will make it tough.

Opening in third place was the second new comedy of the frame - A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas - which collected an estimated $13.1M which fell a bit below expectations. The bow was 12% lower than the $14.9M debut of its predecessor Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay from April 2008. Warner Bros. averaged a mild $4,544 from 2,875 theaters and with most screens offering the extra dimension, the 3D share of the gross was a very high 95%. Reviews were good for Christmas but moviegoers were not as impressed as the R-rated film earned a B grade from opening day patrons, according to CinemaScore. Saturday sales slumped 13% while all other films in the top ten went up by at least 20%. As expected, young men made up the prime audience with 62% being male and 73% being under 35. Young males have become extremely difficult to attract this year and high 3D ticket prices have scared away many potential audiences from films that are not part of a top-level brand like Harry Potter or Transformers. Both of these factors became challenges for Harold & Kumar which was fairly inexpensive to produce with a $20M budget.

The horror threequel Paranormal Activity 3 fell another 53% to an estimated $8.5M putting Paramount at $95.3M after 17 days of play. The low budget chiller is now running 24% ahead of its predecessor from last fall. Fox's sci-fi thriller In Time followed with an estimated $7.7M, down 36%, for a $24.2M ten-day total. The dance remake Footloose remained incredibly strong with its female audience easing a slim 17% to an estimated $4.6M. Paramount has collected $44.8M to date.

Rounding out the top ten were four winners of the oh-so-prestigious Sexiest Man Alive award from People magazine. Hugh Jackman's leggy robot boxing hit Real Steel dipped a mere 29% in its fifth round for a $78.8M cume for Disney. The Johnny Depp flop The Rum Diary continued to be ignored by audiences taking in an estimated $3M, down 42%, giving FilmDistrict a puny $10.4M in ten days. A $15M final seems likely for the rookie distributor which is now going through a reorganization of its executive ranks.

Ocean's Eleven pals George Clooney and Brad Pitt followed with estimates of $2M for The Ides of March and $1.9M for Moneyball. Both Sony titles held up very well with declines of 29% and 20% respectively and now stand at $36.8M and $70.3M.

There was no shortage of activity in the specialty marketplace as numerous films expanded into new cities hoping to become players in this winter's awards race. Paramount's romantic drama Like Crazy widened from four to 16 sites and grossed an estimated $270,000 for a terrific $16,875 in its second weekend of play. Fox Searchlight's Martha Marcy May Marlene expanded from 32 to 98 theaters for an estimated $471,000 and $4,806 average. Totals stand at $448,000 and $1M, respectively with more markets to come.

The Wall Street thriller Margin Call went from 140 to 178 playdates in its third round and grossed an estimated $774,000 for a $4,348 average. Roadside Attractions has taken in $2.6M from the Kevin Spacey-Zachary Quinto pic even though it is also available to audiences at home on VOD and other digital platforms. With Antonio Banderas topping the charts two weeks in a row with his kid-friendly toon, the actor's darker adult drama The Skin I Live In continued to invade more arthouses with an estimated $326,000 from 78 sites for a $4,179 average. The Pedro Almodovar pic from Sony Classics played in 31 locations last weekend and has now banked $1.3M. Big Sony doubled the run of its Shakespeare thriller Anonymous which has fared poorly in the U.S. with an estimated $1.3M from 513 theaters for a dull $2,485 average and $2.7M total.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $102.3M which was down a sharp 26% from last year when Megamind debuted in the top spot with $46M; and off 1% from 2009 when A Christmas Carol opened at number one with $30.1M.

Follow Gitesh on Twitter.

Comments

2d colorblind

2d Colorblind

I said (about H&K)! You can't make a joke about 3D today. 3D has turned into a joke already a good while ago.

Nov 6 - 05:46 PM

Abraham Smith

Tyler Lublin

the world's 1st 3d stoner comedy. So sad, so expected to fail. Hollywood, this is a lesson to ya, no more 3d stoner comedies!

Nov 6 - 06:03 PM

MAMOVIES

Matheus Cassiano

I already knew that

Nov 6 - 06:07 PM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

Could it have come out any differently? (rhetorical question)

Eddie Murphy is not as family-oriented as Puss N Boots.

(Obviously) the wider the audience the film appeals to, the more money the movie will make.

yet: $25,000,000.00 domestic take on Tower Heist isn't bad. After Eddie Murphy hosts The Academy Awards, we will probably be entering

"The Year of Eddie!" (Entertainment Weekly will do a cover-story sometime in 2012 about Eddie's Beverly Hills Cop project and Eddie's Dramatic project and Eddie's Stand-Up comeback and Eddie's "Untitled Eddie Murphy/Brett Ratner Project."


Nov 6 - 06:48 PM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

) I'd love to see "48HRS. Part III" with Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy directed by Brett Ratner. "The Boys Are Still In Town" by The Bus Boys is the theme song.

Nov 6 - 06:50 PM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

) I'd love to see "48HRS. Part III" with Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy directed by Brett Ratner. "The Boys Are Still In Town" by The Bus Boys is the theme song.

Nov 6 - 06:50 PM

The Dude

Gene Arnold

Man, too bad for Harold and Kumar. I still need to see that this next weekend. I won't get J. Edgar so defiantly on my must watch list.

Nov 6 - 06:57 PM

Irukandji

Chris Skoufis

Well, it sucks that neither Tower Heist or Harold & Kumar could steal the #1 spot. But at least there's a respectable movie holding the #1 spot :)

Nov 6 - 07:05 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

Maybe a great hold like this will convince Dreamworks to put more effort into sequels. Imagine if they had not soured the Shrek name, how much money Puss would have collected with the great word of mouth it is getting.

Not surprised to see Tower Heist only have a modest debut; it did not really look extremely exciting or funny. Of the clips I saw, the only one that got a real laugh out of me was the one where Gabourey Sidibe is teaching Murphy how to crack a safe.

I guess it is good for 3D that 95% of H & K's gross came from the format, but bad for the actual movie when you factor how many people actually saw it with a surcharge added on.

This weekend is looking a little disappointing for wide releases, as J. Edgar is getting sub-par reviews, and Immortals is either going to be so over the top and stupid that it is awesome, or just reeeeeeeeally bad. Jack and Jill looks so bad it does not deserve elaboration on why I will be avoiding it. So it looks like I will have to spend my free time with Skyrim this weekend.

Nov 6 - 07:27 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

"J Edgar" only has 9 reviews posted right now, so it's hard to gauge. I wasn't feeling the Edelstein pan, very superficial, classic example of a critic more preoccupied with the motivations of the filmmakers than the drama on the screen.

Nov 6 - 08:02 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

True, but even the fresh reviews are saying that it sort of fails as a whole, but is worth seeing for the performances. Most of the fresh reviews are rated around the 3/5, B range.

Nov 7 - 01:54 PM

Manuel G.

Manuel Granados

Jack and Jill looks like the biggest insult to intelligence out there. I hope it flops so bad that it drives Adam Sandler to a buddhist temple for at least 5 years. Immortals looks like it will be stupid mindless fun, but there's also a big chance it'll turn out as bad as Clash of the titans.

Nov 7 - 09:23 AM

King Crunk

King Crunk

I might go see Immortals if it falls more on to the 300 side of the spectrum and not Clash of the Titans. I like a good over the top, mindless blood orgy from time to time (the R-rating is a plus for me on this kind of flick), so if it gets decent reviews, I might check it out.

Nov 7 - 01:56 PM

misterkyle1901

kyle T

I hope it isn't going to be ridiculously mindless. Tarsem Singh is a brilliant visual director, yes, but there is, at least, a little more to his movies. I thought The Fall was brilliant. Check it out if you haven't. There was a lot of intelligent ideas in it (for example, the way the little girl imagined the story, changing meanings because of a slight language barrier). That's not to say that I have much of a desire to see the movie as of now though

Nov 7 - 04:12 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Agreed. "The Fall" is very good.

Nov 8 - 01:57 PM

MisterVile

Mister Vile

agreed on Jack & Jill. If that movies makes good money we might as well just give up.

Nov 8 - 12:18 PM

Isaac

Isaac H

I saw Tower Heist this weekend and really enjoyed it (check out my review on my profile). Hope it can keep up some decent legs with Jack & Jill competing, which looks like typical Sandler BS.
Shocked by PiB's tiny decline. It's insanely rare to see a drop of less that 10% outside the Christmas season, let alone a 3% drop. Wow!

Nov 6 - 07:40 PM

Noah James

Noah Kinsey

I'm just surprised that Moneyball has held on in the Top 10 this long!

Nov 6 - 07:42 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

Seriously, it is definitely the sleeper hit of the season.

Nov 7 - 01:57 PM

Manuel G.

Manuel Granados

The perfect timing with a great baseball playoffs and world series sure helped it.

Nov 7 - 10:39 PM

Noah James

Noah Kinsey

Right??

Nov 8 - 02:32 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

"The overall marketplace remained slow resulting in the worst gross for the first weekend of November in at least nine years." Can't you see, Hollywood, that we really do love you, and we want the best for you, but we just can't stand to see you this way? As much as it hurts us, we're trying to send the message that an intervention is overdue. You need a creative rehabilitation. (Maybe a REAL rehabilitation, depending on whatever it is you guys are smoking, and I'm guessing it isn't medicinal.) These box office returns since August have left an unambiguous truth: You're out of control, and someone needs to take away the keys. OCCUPY DISNEY! Sure, the fumes of 3D got you a hundred extra miles, but the fact is inescapable: "Young males have become extremely difficult to attract this year and high 3D ticket prices have scared away many potential audiences from films that are not part of a top-level brand like Harry Potter or Transformers." There simply is no rationale remaining to distract the studios from understanding this. You must submit to a Higher Power (STORY!) and have the serenity to know you cannot change audiences based on 80s nostalgia alone. Bitter may be the shock of confrontation, but sweet is the dawn of realisation. And on another note: "Tower Heist" collapsed because of Karma. Brett Ratner brought it on himself due to his utter lack of Class (and napkins). He is exactly what's wrong with spoiled Hollywood 'legacies' - a hack who has never made a film worthy of his subsidised ego. Yet he gets to produce the Oscars, almost out of the pitiful charity that knows his never-to-be-fulfilled dream of ever winning one himself. (Excuse my Jimmy Cagney impersonation)

Nov 6 - 07:47 PM

Ryan H.

Ryan Hoffman

Your post = NEEDS MOAR INTEGRITY. ;D

Nov 18 - 11:40 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

"J Edgar" only has 9 reviews posted right now, so it's hard to gauge. I wasn't feeling the Edelstein pan, very superficial, classic example of a critic more preoccupied with the motivations of the filmmakers than the drama on the screen.

Nov 6 - 08:02 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

True, but even the fresh reviews are saying that it sort of fails as a whole, but is worth seeing for the performances. Most of the fresh reviews are rated around the 3/5, B range.

Nov 7 - 01:54 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Anyone who pays money to see Jack and Jill is a retard.

Nov 7 - 04:40 AM

redrooster0

Charlie Voelker

It's going to be strange to see what gets a higher tomatometer next weekend. Because we all know Jack & Jill is going to be shit and Immortals probably will get decent reviews (40%-50%) but J Edger is not looking great either. Granted it only has 10 reviews, but I don't expect it to get much higher than 65%.

Nov 7 - 06:41 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

I'm not sure about Immortals getting good reviews. It screams Clash of the Titans at me everytime I see it. When is Hollywood going to figure out they don't have to change up the myths so much to make them interesting. They've survived for 3,000 years for a reason, because they're good stories and I can't remember in modern times a good Greek/Roman myth being made directly into a movie without them trying to bastardize it the way they did with Clash or Immortals. Watching that preview and knowing the actual story of Theseus I would have never guessed he was what that movie was about. It's like they want to take all the great heroes of Greek Myth and morph them into generic action hero #7. Give me a minotaur slaying, pan creas loving, Athens founding killer of Sinis, Periphites, Sciron, Cyrcyon and Procrustes just because they got in his way hero I know, not Sam Worthington Light as he appears in Immortals. Its simple math, in 2500 years people aren't going to be talking about thw works of Louis Leterrier or Tarsem Singh. Stick with the original stories.

Nov 7 - 08:43 AM

Manuel G.

Manuel Granados

You know what I do hate? When they try to update the myths. You see these guys from 5000 years ago fighting for liberty and equality for everyone, or them defending women's rights...I mean, 40 years ago we started recognizing they had the same rights as men, why do they insist that 3000 years ago they were equals or something? That's what bugs me about the mythical and "historical" movies (a la Robin Hood with Lady Marion clad in battle armor)

Nov 7 - 09:26 AM

King  S.

King Simba

Well, truth to be told, if historical epics portrayed their heroes as they actually were, it'd probably be hard to relate or sympathize with most of them, given that they were simply men of their time not ours. Heck to many of them, seeing their enemies decapitated and their heads planed on spears was the perfect idea of evening entertainment. 300 was probably one of the more realistic ones in terms of its portrayel of its heroes, and during that movie I kept wondering who am I supposed to be cheering for - the guys who threw their weaker babies off cliffs or the guys with the social structure of a king and everyone else being his slave.

Nov 7 - 12:42 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Agree. I thought the same thing when I first saw the trailer, "Well, I guess they're just using Greek names for all new stories now". And I hated the way "Clash" diminished Andromeda, making Perseus' affection towards Io instead, who, for some reason, is given Athena's protective and warrior attributes rather than the seduced cow that Io is in the actual Greek myths. (Maybe Leterrier just has a serious problem with women, and these are his little private digs, who knows?) And the Djinn (as I know from my namesake) were not sorcerors at all but spirits of the desert - "Genie" is derived from Jinni. But I have a little hope for "Immortals". I thought Tarsem's "The Fall" was very good.

Nov 7 - 12:49 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

@King S: I agree, it's just that I think it's better for audiences to have an understanding of historical context than it is to relate to them. The Greek myths have survived thousands of years because they are rich archetypical allegories that represent essential human follies - pride and power, etc. It's also what's enduring about Shakespeare. I don't have any problem with adapting them for modern audiences, but the changes in "Clash" were idiotic, and served no purpose (or else the purpose is to reinforce jingoistic pride). Historic Sparta is similarly, as you say, not worthy of admiration, so did that film, and its success, say more about what Americans wanted to see at the time that the Iraq War was unraveling (and its honorable intentions were evaporating)? Without getting all Armond White about it, isn't it worth looking at what these films are implying about imperial tendencies compared to the classic Greek myths, composed from the more civilised neighbor Athens, has to refute about such vanity? Wait. I forgot I was on Rotten Tomatoes for a second. Never mind.

Nov 7 - 03:51 PM

2d colorblind

2d Colorblind

People who discuss historic Sparta usually forget this is an image created by historic Athens. Just saying!

Nov 8 - 10:21 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

HA! Good point Colorblind. Can't say you're wrong. If only the Spartans had valued literacy, they could have written their own classics...

Nov 8 - 01:55 PM

2d colorblind

2d Colorblind

They valued literacy, Janson J. They kept it laconic!

Nov 8 - 05:43 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Double Ha! Laconophile are you? I thought you might have pointed out that, without Sparta, Athens may have written their classics in Persian. That would also be a good point.

Nov 9 - 12:40 PM

2d colorblind

2d Colorblind

With all my love to Lacedaemonia, there were also Thespians and Thebans at Thermopylae. There are many good points about Ancient history that never make it to the movies. Hopefully we'll return to some of them next week after Immortals BO debut.

Nov 10 - 07:16 PM

redrooster0

Charlie Voelker

It's going to be strange to see what gets a higher tomatometer next weekend. Because we all know Jack & Jill is going to be shit and Immortals probably will get decent reviews (40%-50%) but J Edger is not looking great either. Granted it only has 10 reviews, but I don't expect it to get much higher than 65%.

Nov 7 - 06:41 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

I'm not sure about Immortals getting good reviews. It screams Clash of the Titans at me everytime I see it. When is Hollywood going to figure out they don't have to change up the myths so much to make them interesting. They've survived for 3,000 years for a reason, because they're good stories and I can't remember in modern times a good Greek/Roman myth being made directly into a movie without them trying to bastardize it the way they did with Clash or Immortals. Watching that preview and knowing the actual story of Theseus I would have never guessed he was what that movie was about. It's like they want to take all the great heroes of Greek Myth and morph them into generic action hero #7. Give me a minotaur slaying, pan creas loving, Athens founding killer of Sinis, Periphites, Sciron, Cyrcyon and Procrustes just because they got in his way hero I know, not Sam Worthington Light as he appears in Immortals. Its simple math, in 2500 years people aren't going to be talking about thw works of Louis Leterrier or Tarsem Singh. Stick with the original stories.

Nov 7 - 08:43 AM

Manuel G.

Manuel Granados

You know what I do hate? When they try to update the myths. You see these guys from 5000 years ago fighting for liberty and equality for everyone, or them defending women's rights...I mean, 40 years ago we started recognizing they had the same rights as men, why do they insist that 3000 years ago they were equals or something? That's what bugs me about the mythical and "historical" movies (a la Robin Hood with Lady Marion clad in battle armor)

Nov 7 - 09:26 AM

King  S.

King Simba

Well, truth to be told, if historical epics portrayed their heroes as they actually were, it'd probably be hard to relate or sympathize with most of them, given that they were simply men of their time not ours. Heck to many of them, seeing their enemies decapitated and their heads planed on spears was the perfect idea of evening entertainment. 300 was probably one of the more realistic ones in terms of its portrayel of its heroes, and during that movie I kept wondering who am I supposed to be cheering for - the guys who threw their weaker babies off cliffs or the guys with the social structure of a king and everyone else being his slave.

Nov 7 - 12:42 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Agree. I thought the same thing when I first saw the trailer, "Well, I guess they're just using Greek names for all new stories now". And I hated the way "Clash" diminished Andromeda, making Perseus' affection towards Io instead, who, for some reason, is given Athena's protective and warrior attributes rather than the seduced cow that Io is in the actual Greek myths. (Maybe Leterrier just has a serious problem with women, and these are his little private digs, who knows?) And the Djinn (as I know from my namesake) were not sorcerors at all but spirits of the desert - "Genie" is derived from Jinni. But I have a little hope for "Immortals". I thought Tarsem's "The Fall" was very good.

Nov 7 - 12:49 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

@King S: I agree, it's just that I think it's better for audiences to have an understanding of historical context than it is to relate to them. The Greek myths have survived thousands of years because they are rich archetypical allegories that represent essential human follies - pride and power, etc. It's also what's enduring about Shakespeare. I don't have any problem with adapting them for modern audiences, but the changes in "Clash" were idiotic, and served no purpose (or else the purpose is to reinforce jingoistic pride). Historic Sparta is similarly, as you say, not worthy of admiration, so did that film, and its success, say more about what Americans wanted to see at the time that the Iraq War was unraveling (and its honorable intentions were evaporating)? Without getting all Armond White about it, isn't it worth looking at what these films are implying about imperial tendencies compared to the classic Greek myths, composed from the more civilised neighbor Athens, has to refute about such vanity? Wait. I forgot I was on Rotten Tomatoes for a second. Never mind.

Nov 7 - 03:51 PM

2d colorblind

2d Colorblind

People who discuss historic Sparta usually forget this is an image created by historic Athens. Just saying!

Nov 8 - 10:21 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

HA! Good point Colorblind. Can't say you're wrong. If only the Spartans had valued literacy, they could have written their own classics...

Nov 8 - 01:55 PM

2d colorblind

2d Colorblind

They valued literacy, Janson J. They kept it laconic!

Nov 8 - 05:43 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Double Ha! Laconophile are you? I thought you might have pointed out that, without Sparta, Athens may have written their classics in Persian. That would also be a good point.

Nov 9 - 12:40 PM

2d colorblind

2d Colorblind

With all my love to Lacedaemonia, there were also Thespians and Thebans at Thermopylae. There are many good points about Ancient history that never make it to the movies. Hopefully we'll return to some of them next week after Immortals BO debut.

Nov 10 - 07:16 PM

John H.

John Hurson

It may be a considered a flop, but Rum Diary was the movie I took my girl friend to see last weekend, & we both enjoyed it. It may not have had the most focused narrative I've seen on the screen, but it was never boring.

Nov 7 - 07:04 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

I'm not sure about Immortals getting good reviews. It screams Clash of the Titans at me everytime I see it. When is Hollywood going to figure out they don't have to change up the myths so much to make them interesting. They've survived for 3,000 years for a reason, because they're good stories and I can't remember in modern times a good Greek/Roman myth being made directly into a movie without them trying to bastardize it the way they did with Clash or Immortals. Watching that preview and knowing the actual story of Theseus I would have never guessed he was what that movie was about. It's like they want to take all the great heroes of Greek Myth and morph them into generic action hero #7. Give me a minotaur slaying, pan creas loving, Athens founding killer of Sinis, Periphites, Sciron, Cyrcyon and Procrustes just because they got in his way hero I know, not Sam Worthington Light as he appears in Immortals. Its simple math, in 2500 years people aren't going to be talking about thw works of Louis Leterrier or Tarsem Singh. Stick with the original stories.

Nov 7 - 08:43 AM

Manuel G.

Manuel Granados

You know what I do hate? When they try to update the myths. You see these guys from 5000 years ago fighting for liberty and equality for everyone, or them defending women's rights...I mean, 40 years ago we started recognizing they had the same rights as men, why do they insist that 3000 years ago they were equals or something? That's what bugs me about the mythical and "historical" movies (a la Robin Hood with Lady Marion clad in battle armor)

Nov 7 - 09:26 AM

King  S.

King Simba

Well, truth to be told, if historical epics portrayed their heroes as they actually were, it'd probably be hard to relate or sympathize with most of them, given that they were simply men of their time not ours. Heck to many of them, seeing their enemies decapitated and their heads planed on spears was the perfect idea of evening entertainment. 300 was probably one of the more realistic ones in terms of its portrayel of its heroes, and during that movie I kept wondering who am I supposed to be cheering for - the guys who threw their weaker babies off cliffs or the guys with the social structure of a king and everyone else being his slave.

Nov 7 - 12:42 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Agree. I thought the same thing when I first saw the trailer, "Well, I guess they're just using Greek names for all new stories now". And I hated the way "Clash" diminished Andromeda, making Perseus' affection towards Io instead, who, for some reason, is given Athena's protective and warrior attributes rather than the seduced cow that Io is in the actual Greek myths. (Maybe Leterrier just has a serious problem with women, and these are his little private digs, who knows?) And the Djinn (as I know from my namesake) were not sorcerors at all but spirits of the desert - "Genie" is derived from Jinni. But I have a little hope for "Immortals". I thought Tarsem's "The Fall" was very good.

Nov 7 - 12:49 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

@King S: I agree, it's just that I think it's better for audiences to have an understanding of historical context than it is to relate to them. The Greek myths have survived thousands of years because they are rich archetypical allegories that represent essential human follies - pride and power, etc. It's also what's enduring about Shakespeare. I don't have any problem with adapting them for modern audiences, but the changes in "Clash" were idiotic, and served no purpose (or else the purpose is to reinforce jingoistic pride). Historic Sparta is similarly, as you say, not worthy of admiration, so did that film, and its success, say more about what Americans wanted to see at the time that the Iraq War was unraveling (and its honorable intentions were evaporating)? Without getting all Armond White about it, isn't it worth looking at what these films are implying about imperial tendencies compared to the classic Greek myths, composed from the more civilised neighbor Athens, has to refute about such vanity? Wait. I forgot I was on Rotten Tomatoes for a second. Never mind.

Nov 7 - 03:51 PM

2d colorblind

2d Colorblind

People who discuss historic Sparta usually forget this is an image created by historic Athens. Just saying!

Nov 8 - 10:21 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

HA! Good point Colorblind. Can't say you're wrong. If only the Spartans had valued literacy, they could have written their own classics...

Nov 8 - 01:55 PM

2d colorblind

2d Colorblind

They valued literacy, Janson J. They kept it laconic!

Nov 8 - 05:43 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Double Ha! Laconophile are you? I thought you might have pointed out that, without Sparta, Athens may have written their classics in Persian. That would also be a good point.

Nov 9 - 12:40 PM

2d colorblind

2d Colorblind

With all my love to Lacedaemonia, there were also Thespians and Thebans at Thermopylae. There are many good points about Ancient history that never make it to the movies. Hopefully we'll return to some of them next week after Immortals BO debut.

Nov 10 - 07:16 PM

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Good Friday
Good Friday

50 movie posters gallery

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