Box Office Guru Wrapup: Cruise Claims #1 Spot at Christmas



Scoring his first number one film in a lead role since his last turn as Ethan Hunt, Tom Cruise scaled to the top of the charts over a sluggish Christmas session with his latest spy sequel Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol which topped the North American box office in its first round of wide release. The top three spots were all sophomore sequels playing musical chairs from last week's rankings as the batch of new holiday releases were met with more modest turn-outs settling for slots in the middle of the top ten. Overall sales were disturbingly slow but studios are hoping that the week ahead will see heavy traffic at multiplexes thanks to the extra time off so many people will have. Monday is a national day off and should see a strong spike in activity for all films.

Christmas Eve is always a soft moviegoing day due to last-minute holiday distractions and theaters closing early so with it falling on the prime day of Saturday this year, weekend grosses took a beating for every movie. But what was alarming was that total ticket sales even dipped below grosses from 2005 when the calendar was the exact same even though ticket prices were lower back then and there were no 3D surcharges added to the mix.

Expanding nationwide after five days of exclusive play on large-format screens, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol was the top film among moviegoers over Santa weekend grossing an estimated $26.5M over the Friday-to-Sunday period. The fourth installment in the long-running Paramount series averaged $7,696 from 3,448 theaters which was good given the hit all films took on Christmas Eve. Adding in the earlier limited run in IMAX and other large-format venues, the cume stands at a solid $59M with a red hot holiday week still to come when everyday behaves like a Saturday. Ghost Protocol will easily beat the $134M domestic final of the last film, 2006's Mission: Impossible III, and although it is too early to conclude, it also has a shot at challenging the $215.4M of 2000's MI2 to become the top-grossing installment of the series. After the disappointing results five years ago of the last flick, and all the negative publicity Cruise attracted in recent years, most thought this franchise could not make a comeback like this.

Dropping 55% in its second weekend to second place was the tentpole sequel Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows with an estimated $17.8M raising the ten-day tally to $76.6M. Even factoring out the Christmas Eve effect, it was a large decline for a pricey pic coming off of a softer-than-expected opening. All the new choices for grown-ups certainly affected the turn out and teens are not contributing significantly to the grosses. Shadows currently is running 45% behind the pace of the first Sherlock although that film had a much stronger playing period in its first ten days since it debuted on Christmas Day.

Fellow sophomore sequel Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked fared better dropping 43% from its opening frame to an estimated $13.3M ranking third for the session. The Fox release has taken in $50.3M in ten days and is running 40% behind the first Alvin from 2007 which had a very similar pre-Christmas calender. With kids now out of school and on break, the studio is expecting stellar daily grosses for the next week.

Sony's much-hyped The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo opened in fourth place with a mediocre start grossing an estimated $13M over the Friday-to-Sunday weekend and $21.4M since debuting on Tuesday night. Directed by David Fincher, the R-rated remake of the hit Swedish film averaged only $4,461 from 2,914 locations and like other films is hoping to pick up solid numbers during the holiday week ahead. The studio projected a very aggressive 133% Saturday-to-Sunday jump while other major adult-skewing films estimated 50-80% boosts. Reviews were quite good and the Daniel Craig starrer has even scored some notices during awards season, however the dark and violent subject matter coupled with intense competition for the attention of mature adults led to an underwhelming result over the happy and cheery yuletide holiday. Still, a domestic final of $100M cannot be ruled out this early in the run.

Steven Spielberg had a bumpy start to his Christmas double feature offering for North American movie fans. The animated actioner The Adventures of Tintin bowed to just $9.1M this weekend, according to estimates, with $13.9M across the five-day debut period of Wednesday-to-Sunday. The domestic total including the earlier run in Quebec which began on December 9 is $17.1M. The 3D Paramount release played in 3,087 theaters and averaged a weak $2,956 but with sensational reviews is hoping to find American audiences over time. The property is not too well-known in the United States which always posed a challenge. Tintin opened in Europe and most international territories in October and has banked a stellar $240M+ overseas already making the U.S. not too important to the overall picture. Other films generated more excitement with parents and kids have been turning up in bigger numbers for the more familiar Alvin and the Chipmunks pic even though it is in its second weekend.

Also slow out of the gate, but well-positioned to gain some ground during the holiday week ahead, was the Matt Damon drama We Bought a Zoo which opened on Friday and collected an estimated $7.8M over the weekend from 3,117 locations for a dull $2,502 average. The PG-rated film was not based on any brand that would lead to upfront excitement and Damon is not much of a box office draw outside of the action genre so Fox has been counting on positive buzz from regular moviegoers to help it sell the film. Two rounds of sneak previews weeks ago and the two days of nationwide release before Christmas Day were intended to get the feel-good film in front of ordinary people who would then spread strong word-of-mouth over the holidays allowing those recommendations to kick in from December 25 onwards. An encouraging A grade from CinemaScore indicates that the product is indeed pleasing ticket buyers so Zoo numbers will have to be watched in the days and weeks ahead. Reviews have been mixed and won't help the cause too much, but working in the film's favor is that it is the only truly American film for grown-ups among all the major films this holiday week. Other films feature some combination of foreign settings, charcters, and actors.

Holdovers with modest grosses rounded out the top ten. The Warner Bros. comedy New Year's Eve tumbled 59% to an estimated $3M giving the ensemble pic a disappointing $32.3M to date. With its namesake holiday having arrived, the 3D toon Arthur Christmas dipped only 24% to an estimated $2.7M for a lackluster $44.2M cume to date. Audiences are notorious for losing interest in Santa-themed films from December 26 onwards. Disney's The Muppets followed with an estimated $2M, down 43%, for a $75.6M sum. Off 43% was another PG-rated Thanksgiving leftover, Martin Scorsese's acclaimed 3D drama Hugo, which also collected an estimated $2M giving Paramount a not-too-impressive $43.7M to date.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $97.3M which was down 22% from last year when Little Fockers opened in the top spot with $30.8M; and down a steep 62% from 2009's record frame when Avatar stayed at number one with $75.6M.

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Comments

dethburger

dethburger hates Flixster

Saw "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" last night.

Very good.

B+ film.

Dec 26 - 10:16 AM

Gediminas Au?kalnis

Gediminas Au?kalnis

tl; dr

Dec 26 - 10:36 AM

George K.

George Kovka

Too self-important; don't care.

Dec 27 - 04:51 AM

Mr. Dufresne

Chip McNair

I can't speak for the others, but Mission Impossible 4 was fantastic. Glad to see it's done pretty well.

Dec 26 - 10:45 AM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

YESSSSS! MI:4 IS AWESOME!!!! I wouldn't have seen it had I not read one of your posts, Mr. Dufresne.

Dec 26 - 11:20 AM

Mr. Dufresne

Chip McNair

Glad you feel that way! Thanks for taking my recommendation! :)

Dec 26 - 07:31 PM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

YESSSSS! MI:4 IS AWESOME!!!! I wouldn't have seen it had I not read one of your posts, Mr. Dufresne.

Dec 26 - 11:20 AM

Mr. Dufresne

Chip McNair

Glad you feel that way! Thanks for taking my recommendation! :)

Dec 26 - 07:31 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

Ghost Protocol was excellent; hope it holds up very well in the next few weeks.

It looks like a third Sherlock Holmes will either be the last we see of him for a while, or may not happen at all if the international take is as weak as its domestic run.

I'm seeing The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo this week, but if it does not have an incredible, Avatar-esque hold over the next frame, this movie is going to be a massive blunder, as the budget was 100 million. Looks like all that talk of Fincher doing the sequels was a little too early. Hugo falls into the same boat in many reguards. A very respected director taking on a big budget film and it is underperforming at the box office. Movie-goers avoiding quality cinema from great filmmakers like this is the reason studios get cold feet about green lighting ambitious projects from them.

Finally, I'm so glad Chipmunks is running behind the previous entires, and by a wide margin, too. Same goes for New Year's Eve.

Dec 26 - 12:07 PM

dudemeister

dude meister

I'm not too worried about Dragon Tattoo, all the pundits are saying this is a film with legs, and I agree, I have a feeling it'll be a sleeper hit, staying in the top ten for months. And come on, opening a movie like that on Christmas week was a bold, but dumb move. Hell, it's my most anticipated film of the year, and I haven't watched it yet. Word of mouth has been FANTASTIC, and though I hate some of their scores with a passion, as it just reminds me of how dumb audiences are, the movie got an A on CinemaScore. As much as I hate to admit it, it's a good barometer for box office. I don't think I've ever heard of a film flopping with an A CinemaScore

Dec 26 - 12:54 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

I'm hoping it does keep the good legs, too, as I would like to see Fincher improve the subsequent films if he continued with the trilogy. Also, while it was not really a flop, The Muppets got an A cinemascore and it opened better than Dragon Tattoo, but it is only going to finish around 80 million (which is a little disappointing, because it was a great movie).

Dec 27 - 10:16 AM

dudemeister

dude meister

I think it'll be fine. The daily box office numbers are raising daily. If it flops I will truly be devastated. http://boxofficemojo.com/daily/chart/
Hahahah if you think about it, this old school Fincher reception, mid 80s and mild box office.

Dec 27 - 01:43 PM

King  S.

King Simba

Sadly, even though its running well behind the previous films, Alvin 3 is still going to end up being the biggest family movie since The Smurfs. Heck, it beat Tintin, despite being in its second weekend. There must be something about singing chipmunks that I'm missing. Glad to see MI:GP doing so well. It's arguably the only film released in the last couple months that managed to surprise. Every other film has dissapointed, most of the time by a wide margin (except Breaking Dawn, which matched expectations, more or less) I'm curious as to the cause of this slump we've been seeing over the past few months at the box office. Normally one would blame the film, yet that can't be the case here, given the number of solid to great films we've been seeing over the past few weeks.

Dec 26 - 02:03 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

The middle-class is still in virtual recession, and with a bountiful hoiday take by retailers from this 'season of giving', there's less money in most people's pockets for the theaters. My guess, anyway.

Dec 26 - 02:23 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

I agree with Janson that the poor economy is the main factor in these films disappointing. When people cannot pay their bills, are they going to be ready to shell out for overpriced movie tickets? Of course not. If theaters and studios thought logically, they would drop theater prices in order to try and regain solid business. Instead, they re going to jack ticket prices up even further if the slump continues.

Dec 27 - 10:23 AM

JS

j s

Well said

Dec 29 - 10:20 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

"Dragon Tattoo" was very good. It's also very dark and emotionally jarring. Not exactly holiday fare. I think an October release would have satisfied box office expectations, maybe. Audiences act very tight-fisted with some films, but are so willing to throw their green at crap like "Twilight" and "Paranormal Activity". I watched some of the high-rated, but low low LOW IQ-rated "American Horror Story" (very creative name, guys!), and my opinion of popular tastes couldn't be more corrosive. Maybe it's the tap water these days. A lot of people really are kind of dull. Anyway, movies like "Tattoo", "Hugo", and maybe even "Drive" (still on my list) are just too good for audiences willing to subject themselves and their precious brood to the likes of Chipmunks.

Dec 26 - 02:18 PM

Brad H.

Brad Hadfield

I don't know why you decided to attack a TV show on here and describe fans, myself included, as low low LOW IQ (how fucking pompous) - but I'd love to know what engaging, provocative shows you watch on basic cable. Sure, AHS may think it's smarter than it is, but it sure beats another dumb sitcom, reality show or Lost-clone. As for the name, it's perfectly subdued, and the show IS an ongoing story - that's the point. It's about the house, not the current occupants, and it encompasses almost 100 years of Americana. Perhaps you'd have perferred something hip? Maybe "Freaked!" would've drawn you in more.

Dec 26 - 10:38 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

If you're referring to the 1993 movie "Freaked", yeah, I admit, that's more in my lane. I had family over the holidays wanting to SHARE this new show with me, so I watched a couple episodes. I felt like I had been hit in the head with a brick. Nonsense. This gimp over here, Quinto acting like a bitchy swish ("queening" is the term for over-the-top gay caricature), everybody over-acting to the Nth, this is basically a ghost soap opera. I just wasn't buying it. I've sat through my share of silly horror films, and I would similarly mock this in the same catagory as, say, "Unborn", "Orphan" or "Dream House" (and that last one sounds very familiar to this show). One example: the admittedly lovely Connie Britton (talent is not the show's problem) goes to the hospital for pains related to her pregnancy, the nurse doing the ultra-sound COLLAPSES on the floor. Cut to commercial. We come back, and neither the nurse nor the collapse are mentioned again, and despite this, no other staff are attending to Brittan's care, and we see the couple leaving the hospital to attend to...gambling debts or something like that. What kind of lazy-ass hospital let's people come in and out like this? The show strains credibility. I suspect everyone's actually dead anyway (what a twist!). I admit, I'm not a big TV watcher, outside of some late-night comedy. But I started "Breaking Bad" on DVD recently, and I was impressed with that show. The acting gets very "pitchy" as well, a perennial TV problem, but the plotting has maintained some momentum. I hear it gets better, we'll see. I also enjoyed some others, like "Heroes" and "Battlestar Galactica" and "Rescue Me" over the past few years. But, as 'pompous' as you'll find it, the only "engaging, provocative" shows on TV are documentaries - Frontline, Dan Rather Reports, and various shows from Documentary Channel.

Dec 27 - 09:54 AM

King Crunk

King Crunk

@Janson - I agree with you that most TV is garbage ( I don't watch American Horror Story, though, so I side with Brad or you on that one), but I think saying that the "only" engaging and provacative TV shows are documentaries is a bit harsh; there are great programs out there that do not fall under that category. You already mentioned Breaking Bad, but I would add to that Mad Men, The Walking Dead (gets a little melodramatic at times, but I like that the show is about the humans and not the zombies; Jon Bernthal is one hell of an actor, too), The Killing, Game of Thrones, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Dexter, Boardwalk Empire, and others that I cannot think of. There are also repeats of classic shows like The Sopranos and Seinfeld that air almost daily. And finally, I do not think HBO airs it often any more, but The Wire is among the best, if not the single best, TV show that has ever aired; makes most crime movies and TV look like Sesame Street.

Dec 27 - 10:53 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

@King, I should have said "engaging, provocative" for me. And I was deliberately omitting pay-cable, since Brad asked about basic cable. I know there are decent shows from time to time. I just try to keep my ear out for some things. I do prefer DVD seasons to weekly 'appointment TV', which is why I'm always late on these things.

Dec 27 - 11:08 AM

Brad H.

Brad Hadfield

You know, it is possible to enjoy Frontline AND a show like AHS. Don't you ever like dessert after your dinner? And I didn't call you pompous for liking Frontline, I called you it for dismissing anyone who likes something that you deem "nonsense" as low low LOW IQ.

FYI, the collapse and the nurse play out in a later episode, as not everything on the show follows chronological order. Also, surprise, some gay people do fit that stereotype. Also, the creator of the show is gay, so I doubt he needs lessons from you on gay culture.

Dec 27 - 11:12 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Man, if you like the show, have at it. Obviously a lot of people do. That's just my take on it, and I sincerely find it dumb. No offense. I'll try to be more respectful. As to the gay culture thing, a gay friend of mine was telling me that there are some who are not impressed with Quinto's swish, and some are claiming Quinto timed his 'coming out' to promote the show. Gay folks are a diverse bunch too. The "queening" term came from such performances as Sean Hayes and Carson Kreesly. I didn't invent it, gay people did. Some gay folks don't like certain stereotypes reinforced. Some reinforce them. All I can say is that Quinto's characterization is exaggerated from the gay people I know. I should probably get out more...

Dec 27 - 11:59 AM

King  S.

King Simba

Okay I'm not someone to bring up previous posts, but I distinctly remember you furuiously slamming Hollywood for looking down on its audiences and assuming that its dumb movies that sell tickets. Now you're doing the exact same thing you were criticizing hollywood for.

Dec 27 - 12:20 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I'm a complex individual. Seriously though, over the holidays, outside of my usual peer group of similarly keen, curious, and creative types (for example: they make fun of me for engaging in "comments" posts), I have to reckon with the fact that 'popular taste' is not quite so keen and curious. It's a synergy between dumb programming and dumber audiences. Watching a documentary about LA's legendary art-film station Z Channel, there was a great quote by critic F.X. Feeney. Paraphrased, he said that if an artist can connect with the smartest members of the audience, the rest will follow that lead. I believe that was true for many years. Maybe most people didn't read Norman Mailer or James Joyce or Buckminster Fuller, but they deferred to the judgement of those who did. I think what has recently emerged is that 'intellectuals' are not being granted that same respect, but rather than reading them and judging their work by the flaws in them (and all artists have flaws to be found), they're being dismissed solely for being intellectuals. This lack of cultural curiosity is nothing new, but it is more encouraged. To reverse the classic quote from "Breakfast Club": 'Does it make me an idiot for not reading books?' 'No, you're a genius for not reading books!'

Dec 27 - 10:19 AM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

Tintin didn't have as much advertising as it needed neither did War Horse; Steven Spielberg must realize he's slowing-down

Mr. Steven Spielberg aka "The Manipulator" is losing his touch--at least with Tin Tin and War Horse . . . "audiences will NOT be manipulated by Mr. Spielberg"; just as The United States will not negotiate with terrorists even though the US secretly conducts drone-bombing raids in foreign countries thus terrorizing foreign-populations).

Last week I wrote of Steven Spielberg's directorial-style as Steven "Charming" (Seducing) audiences into enjoying his films and coincidentally a reviewer for another website wrote that Steven Spielberg actually Manipulates his audiences into liking his films.

The "Pavlov Dog" approach Spielberg used in Jaws by having the two-note music warning the approach of The Shark MANIPULATED the audience to fear The Shark,

Spielberg resorts to a Carl Jung "symbolism" in Schindler's List to MANIPULATE the audience (i.e. the candles at the beginning, the little girl in the red coat; the cacophonous strikes of the piano keys when a Jew is shot to death during the Poland-liquidation, etc)

In ET-The Extra Terrestrial, Spielberg uses (Carl) Jungian archetypes to MANIPULATE the audience: ET being "killed" by government intervention and then Rising From the Dead (is a Judeo-Christian Archetype of the Romans "intervening" with The Biblical Christ's Crucifixion and Resurrection--E.T. eventually stands above Elliot and hos friends donning a white robe and a phosphorescent-red heart indicating E.T.'s approaching "ascension" into outer space . . . like E.T., Jesus Christ also Ascended into the heavens--illustrating an Archetypical connection between E.T. and The Synoptic Texts by chance or design.

Spielberg MANIPULATES the audience via Religious Archetypes ALSO in Raiders of the Lost Ark . . . in the Hebrew Texts God (once) Occupied The Ark of the Covenant containing the shattered remains of The Ten Commandments delivered to Moses upon Mt. Sinai. The (Satanic) Nazis open the Ark and are confronted by The Spirit of The Most High God and are literally melted away . . .

lastly, both in Duel and Jaws when both "creatures" are destroyed, Spielberg mixes in the sound of a roaring dinosaur into the soundtrack further MANIPULATING the audience into BELIEVING giant BEHEMOTHS have crashed over their respective cliff and descended into their deep abyss.

Eventually AUDIENCES GET TIRED of being MANIPULATED ALL THE TIME by a director; it feels like Steven Spielberg has out-worn his welcome . . . because usually Spielberg's movies open at #1 .

Steven Spielberg is "ABOUT" one thing only:
MANIPULATION . . . his REIGN IS OVER!

Dec 26 - 12:22 PM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

Umm, it seems like your manipulation argument could be applied to ANY movie and the "intentions" of their filmmakers?

Dec 26 - 12:43 PM

Matanuki

Matanuki .

He's off his meds again.

Dec 26 - 05:44 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

MANIPULATION is riding high. (Have you seen these Pavlovian commercials on TV?) Spielberg may have (temporarially?) lost his touch.

Dec 26 - 02:27 PM

Matanuki

Matanuki .

What's stupid about the manipulation argument is stories are SUPPOSED to manipulate in some way or another. They otherwise would not be compelling. smh.

Dec 26 - 06:09 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Obviously image manipulation has been a hallmark of film since "Battleship Potemkin". Eisenstein's 'montage theory' is a fundamental to the language of cinema. Not to speak for Gordon, but when Spielberg is criticised for his manipulation, it has more to do with the way he makes his movies that minimizes interpretation in favor of a more homogeneous experience for the audience. Personally, it depends on the kind of film you're doing. With Spielberg, you cannot compare the expert manipulations of "Jaws" and even "E.T." with such things as "Hook", perhaps the worst of his attempts to elicit an automatic emotional response.

Dec 27 - 10:28 AM

Brian LaVoie

Brian LaVoie

Lol, manipulation of an audience is a director's job. Orson Welles was the master.

Dec 26 - 11:47 PM

King  S.

King Simba

If War Horse is any indication, audiences are hardly getting tired of Spielberg. According to early estimates the film made 15 mil on Sunday and Monday alone. That total was enough for it to enter the top 5 friday-monday grossers this weekend, despite all the other films having an extra two day advantage over it. It's too early to tell where it's going to end up, but given that it's a feel good crowd pleaser, you can expect it to have amazing holds (sort of like Blind Side) and should easily end up one of the biggest hits this month. Who would have guessed that out of the two Spielberg films released this month War Horse would end up being the bigger hit (I guess it shows how unpopular motion capture is if audiences would prefer to see a movie starring a horse over a movie starring a motion capture character)

Dec 27 - 12:16 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I do think the box office results were wobbly because Christmas fell on Sunday. I was already reading the receipts early Sunday afternoon. No surprise then that they had to refigure the results after tallying the actual Sunday evening ticket sales (and it ended up working out in MI4's favor).

Dec 27 - 10:31 AM

King Crunk

King Crunk

I wouldn't call motion capture unpopular, as Avatar made a ludicrous amount of money, and the majority of it was mo-cap. I think Tintin debuting to mild results has more to do with it being rather obscure to American audiences. It has done much better worldwide.

Dec 27 - 02:41 PM

dj Mark

Mark Marquis

TinTin was never expected to do as well in the States as it did overseas. Add to that the strange aversion American audiences have early 20th Century adventure fantasies (that don't have the words "Indiana" and "Jones" in the title) and you have your reason why TinTin bombed here. I saw it as well as War Horse this weekend and enjoyed both, though they're definitely not some of Spielberg's finest work. War Horse was enjoyable once I realized it was going to be a throwback of sorts. The early parts of the film reminded me of the quaint live action Disney movies from the 1960's. The film as a whole reminded me the most of The Color Purple. Neither of which faint praise. It was nice to see Spielberg recapture some of the sappy sweetness his early movies were known for. TinTin didn't have the most compelling story but considering I knew next to nothing about the source material, I enjoyed the set pieces and the pacing quite a bit.

Dec 27 - 05:44 PM

whoooop

whoooop ruiz

That damn T-Rex manipulated the f*ck out of me.

Dec 27 - 10:29 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

"Clever girl"

Dec 27 - 10:32 AM

bigbrother

Bigbrother .

That was the raptor that was a clever girl, T-Rex didn't have to be clever, he was three stories tall with razor sharp teeth, though I guess attacking a guy while he was on the crapper was a pretty swift tactical maneuver :)

Dec 28 - 09:09 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I took liberties.

Dec 29 - 08:54 AM

Peter W.

Peter Winters

When did you escape from the insane asylum?

Dec 29 - 10:03 AM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

Gonna be seeing MI4 today in IMAX, still wanna see Sherlock 2 and Girl with Dragon Tattoo. Spielberg can kiss my ass.

Dec 26 - 12:28 PM

Movie Monster

Bentley Lyles

Hope you enjoy it. The film is worth every penny in IMAX!

Dec 26 - 12:41 PM

MAMOVIES

Matheus Cassiano

I wish I had IMAX here where I live.

Dec 26 - 04:42 PM

dethburger

dethburger hates Flixster

have you seen the new Plinkett review?

Dec 26 - 05:07 PM

Movie Monster

Bentley Lyles

Mission Impossible deserves the top spot. I saw it in IMAX (with TDKR Prologue) this past Tuesday and it was great. I plan to see Tintin this week with the Movie Gift Cards I got for Christmas. I hope word-of-mouth helps boost Tintin's gross. I'm also surprised with Dragon Tattoo and I read that War Horse did well yesterday. What a great weekend it has been! HAPPY NEW YEAR, RT!

Dec 26 - 12:40 PM

Matanuki

Matanuki .

I almost wish I bought into the whole IMAX craze, man. MI4 was THAT good! Maybe I"ll give it another go in IMAX when I return from my vacation. I have no problem supporting a well made film with the honor of several viewings. I just really really really don't want to see that prologue, man. The trailer alone has me hyped for TDKR. If I see the prologue, I'll probably have insomnia for the next six months or so. lol

Dec 26 - 05:48 PM

Movie Monster

Bentley Lyles

Hope you enjoy it. The film is worth every penny in IMAX!

Dec 26 - 12:41 PM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

Umm, it seems like your manipulation argument could be applied to ANY movie and the "intentions" of their filmmakers?

Dec 26 - 12:43 PM

Matanuki

Matanuki .

He's off his meds again.

Dec 26 - 05:44 PM

dudemeister

dude meister

I'm not too worried about Dragon Tattoo, all the pundits are saying this is a film with legs, and I agree, I have a feeling it'll be a sleeper hit, staying in the top ten for months. And come on, opening a movie like that on Christmas week was a bold, but dumb move. Hell, it's my most anticipated film of the year, and I haven't watched it yet. Word of mouth has been FANTASTIC, and though I hate some of their scores with a passion, as it just reminds me of how dumb audiences are, the movie got an A on CinemaScore. As much as I hate to admit it, it's a good barometer for box office. I don't think I've ever heard of a film flopping with an A CinemaScore

Dec 26 - 12:54 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

I'm hoping it does keep the good legs, too, as I would like to see Fincher improve the subsequent films if he continued with the trilogy. Also, while it was not really a flop, The Muppets got an A cinemascore and it opened better than Dragon Tattoo, but it is only going to finish around 80 million (which is a little disappointing, because it was a great movie).

Dec 27 - 10:16 AM

dudemeister

dude meister

I think it'll be fine. The daily box office numbers are raising daily. If it flops I will truly be devastated. http://boxofficemojo.com/daily/chart/
Hahahah if you think about it, this old school Fincher reception, mid 80s and mild box office.

Dec 27 - 01:43 PM

dudemeister

dude meister

As someone who'll defend him to the death, I'm glad to see Tom Cruise is back, MI4 was awesome, absolutely deserves it. I don't think TGWTDT will bomb at all, word of mouth has been great, the film got an A CinemaScore (we all hate the scores, but let's face it, they're good forecasts of box-office). I think Dragon Tat will be a sleeper hit, and stay in the top ten for weeks. I expect a minimal drop next week.

Dec 26 - 01:01 PM

Brad H.

Brad Hadfield

I'm on your side with Cruise. Don't really understand the hate, and I'm glad it seems to be waning. He does what a movie star should do - deliver a great movie. I can't think of a Cruise movie I've ever hated, really. So what if he has mad-crazy love for Katie Holmes (I would too), and his Scientology is not my business. To me, it's all out there. Aliens vs. invisible man in the clouds. His religion hasn't persecuted millions and suckered millions out of their money, either.

Dec 26 - 10:45 PM

dethburger

dethburger hates Flixster

Scientology is ALL about suckering people out of their money. They also use teenagers and young adults as slave labor holding them hostage. There are a lot of things about scientology that you are unaware of. Read Paul Haggis' story in the New Yorker about his thirty plus years in this cult. It will startle you I promise.

Dec 26 - 11:12 PM

Brad H.

Brad Hadfield

Even if there are some reported bad incidents regarding the Scientology church, why should that reflect on Cruise? So the next time a priest touches a kid, I should denounce practicing Catholics DeNiro or Wahlberg, and their movies? Just because his beliefs don't match the norm, it is no reason to dismiss him. And those that do, well, as evidenced above, most would be hypocritical.

Dec 27 - 12:01 AM

Brian LaVoie

Brian LaVoie

You are simply misinformed. The media often presents Scientology negatively (in overt or covert ways) because most media outlets are connected to international bankers, who have various nations in debt to them and are also directly connected to the AMA and psychiatric institutions around the world, and use these institutions to execute various national programs, get laws passed for them, and follow certain (unsavory) agendas (for more specifics, feel free to research). Psychiatry, viewing Scientology as a threat, because it actually has proven technologies to handle mental issues (as opposed to the harmful and disgusting psychiatric drugging of children, electro-shock therapies, "we don't know how to cure mental illness", BIG business, pseudo-science Psychiatry is), makes a general point to send out black propaganda about Scientology though media outlets in an attempt to undermine this. You'll notice that the RESULTS of Scientology are not what's attacked, because they can't be. For evidence of what Scientology DOES, just look at the actual statistics of its offshoot programs: The Way to Happiness Foundation, Narconon, WISE, ABLE, CCHR, Youth for Human Rights. As regards, "suckering people out of money", that's absurd. Where are all the refunds (which Scientology offers upon request)? You can actually check this if you want: do a survey of actual Scientologists and you will find hundreds that are totally satisfied (usually well beyond expectations) for every 1 that says they're not. The success rate of Scientology is far greater than you'll find the media admitting, which is why it is by far the fastest growing religion in the world today, and has been for the last 50 years. And this stuff about aliens and a man in the cloud and so forth comes from an episode of South Park. Is this really our source of information these days? You can walk into any Church of Scientology around the world and will find this supposed belief/propaganda to be utterly non-existent.

Dec 27 - 12:15 AM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

You wouldn't happen to have any pamphlets on Scientology in your glove box would you?

Dec 27 - 01:48 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I agree that Tom Cruise should not be judged by his religion, but I believe the issue that arose between him and Sumner Redstone was that Cruise was operating Scientology booths on his film sets to proselytize his religious beliefs. I think that does cross a line, and makes him more vulnerable to criticism. I'm not worried about Scientology, now that Xenu is out of the bag. You have to remember that Xenu was a top secret in the church, the 'Advanced Technology' revealed only to OT III's. In other words, by the time you were supposed to hear about Xenu, you've already sacrificed too much time and resources (and mental defenses) to reject the idea. Remember that the Church denied the existence of Xenu for decades. Scientology is basically a Beta Program for the emerging alien-based religions (the worship of ET entities that have guarded and guided human life and civilization) that will be the next theological paradigm. It's crazy, sure, but it's gonna happen, folks. Teach your children well.

Dec 27 - 10:43 AM

JC Martel

JC Martel

Here we go. Tell us more about your cult Xenu ?

Dec 27 - 12:00 PM

dethburger

dethburger hates Flixster

Read the article...it IS verified. Also, Tom Cruise uses a lot of the slave labor on his estate. Scientology is very secretive. You have to advance to a very high level before a lot of what they do is revealed. READ THE ARTICLE THEN COME BACK AND TALK. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/02/14/110214fa_fact_wright

Dec 27 - 11:11 PM

dethburger

dethburger hates Flixster

Read the article Brain...the man was in the Church for thirty years, I think he would have the insight. Plus, denial is Scientology's forte'.

Dec 27 - 11:15 PM

Dave J

Dave J

Brian L., any religion that involves control and hypocrisy is labelled as a cult- I don't give a f-ck how many people it helped, it helps people by using peoples own private and personal information about them against them. I also think Ron Hubbard may be a great Science-fiction writer but he's also a serious quack that should've been on meds himself! And to remind you that Travolta's son died because he wasn't on his meds since Scientology is against any type of drugs of any kind, this includes tylenol for headaches and flu vaccines whether it'll be rabies or mental relapse! Scientology is a f-ckin' cult- there's no ifs and buts about it! And the way you're promoting Scientology, no offense but you sound like a square yourself!

Dec 28 - 02:52 PM

Dave J

Dave J

Actually, saw somewhere that Scientology wasn't even called a religion until Travolta intervened, threatened former President Bill Clinton that the film about him "Primary Colors" would be compromised unless he granted the same benefits to a normal church by calling Scientogy a religion instead of a cult, so to save Bill Clinton some respect, he went and did just that and the film about Bill Clinton was toned down. And hardly anyone saw Primary Colors. In some retrospects it's sort of like blackmail if you ask me!

Dec 29 - 03:27 PM

dudemeister

dude meister

Oh shit, I really hope I haven't started a religious debate here. Sure Scientology is a weird-ass religion, and I don't believe in it in the slightest, but hey, people can believe whatever they want too. Many actors have far worse personal lives, yet people love them. I've disliked some Tom Cruise movies, but I don't think I've ever disliked a Tom Cruise performance. The man is a good actor, simple as that, and I enjoy watching him on screen.

Dec 27 - 12:34 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

A true natural star. I don't like everything he's in, but what is obviously effortless for him is what eludes many other actors. He has that something. But wearing his religion on his sleeve, effectively making his personal life public, opens him up to more criticism than he may deserve.

Dec 27 - 12:41 PM

dudemeister

dude meister

I agree. Cruise has never been very good at handling the media and I think that's a big reason for most of the criticize he gets.

Dec 27 - 02:34 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

@dudemeister - Actually, up until several years ago, Cruise was very good at handling the media. He got into trouble when he fired his long time publicist, because she advised him to try and avoid talking about scientology and things associated with it in interviews. He replaced her with his sister (maybe sister in law? Don't really remember), who did not keep him on a leash, and that is around the time he started jumping on Oprah's couch and getting into arguments with people during interviews, etc. This is where the public turned on him and his career took a hit, which caused him to fire the sister and get a real publicist back. Notice that he avoids a lot of the scientology and "out there" topics now that he is getting his career footing back.

Dec 27 - 02:51 PM

dudemeister

dude meister

Damn it! Criticism*

Dec 27 - 03:20 PM

Matanuki

Matanuki .

dude, you have been guilty of worse things on these boards than starting religious debates. lol. ;)

Dec 27 - 01:10 PM

dudemeister

dude meister

Hahaha I'll consider boycotting 21 Jump Street.

Dec 27 - 01:12 PM

Matanuki

Matanuki .

Don't consider it, dude. Decide right now and commit! lol

Dec 27 - 02:58 PM

dethburger

dethburger hates Flixster

I'm the guilty one dude. Notice all the Cruise defenders. I never mentioned him in my original post.

Dec 27 - 11:19 PM

dj Mark

Mark Marquis

Don't sweat it dude... we're not all Cruise apologists so your statements are appreciated. Besides when it comes to religious controversy Honey Badger don't care.

Dec 29 - 06:59 PM

dethburger

dethburger hates Flixster

Honey Badger don't give a shit.

Dec 30 - 02:00 PM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

Ghost Protocol's success for me
TOM CRUISE is SUCH AN AWESOME ACTOR!!!

(Tom Cruise is UPBEAT, CONFIDENT, HANDSOME, and has INFECTIOUS ENTHUSIASM, I really can't see how anyone could be a "hater" of Tom Cruise; like, in a comic book store in Virginia, the girl behind the counter refused to see War of the Worlds because Tome Cruise stars in it--even though War of the Worlds is a Victorian-Era serial-come-novel, War of the Worlds is an ULTIMATE comic-book movie and (again) here's a comic-book sales lady refusing to see it because of Tom Cruise??? ["Hatred" towards Tom Cruise caused her to miss an awesome movie)

Then there was "that deal" (that occurrence)of Tom Cruise LEAPING over the couch on the Oprah Winfrey Show and then getting "fired" from Paramount---"what's up with that?" Tom Cruise was EXCITED and ENTHUSIASTIC over a girl and then got "canned" for jumping on a couch? noooooo waaaaayyy--I say.

Then there was "The Time" (the Occasion) at Blockbuster Video (somewhere in London) where the clerk refused to rent ("hire-out") a videocassette to Tom Cruise because Cruise forgot his photo-I.D. . . . Tom Cruise's face is on at least 15 video covers (video-jackets) and The Guy (the Clerk) behind the counter still wouldn't hook Tom up with the movie.

Tom Cruise is Generous and Gracious to fellow actors and people in general and is known for giving actors roles and going out of his way for people--there is no reason to HATE Tom Cruise.

Ghost Protocol is such a LIKABLE FILM that THRILLED EVERYBODY in the theater yesterday here (in Ithaca, New York) and everybody else ACROSS THE ENTIRE PLANET . . .the story was concise and easy to follow (unlike the first installment) and took place in 7 or 8 different countries and the performances were genuinely ensemble. I LOVE MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL.

and there's none of the MANIPULATION present in M.I. IV that Steven Spielberg resorts to in order to like Spielberg's movie (I described Steven Spielberg's MANIPULATIVE-DEVICES in an earlier post).

SIMON PEGG STEALS THE SHOW. . . ACTION-MAN tee-shirts AWESOME!!!!!

(Tom Cruise has had a couple of duds like Knight & Day but other than that TOM CRUISE IS The Paul Newman of this generation whether "the haters" agree with me or not)

I like how Ethan Hunt's next mission is described as a terrioist taking-over a fleet of Drones!!!! (I say The Drones should be in TOP GUN 2 3-D with Tom Cruise returning as The Flight Commander assigned to lead his flight-jockeys on a mission to take-down the nuclear armored drones)
------
OCCUPY!!!!!!

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA NOT ONLY SUSPENDED The Drone Bombings over Pakistan, he APOLOGIZED for the destruction caused by The Drones (affectionately known as Hunter Killers) to Pakistan's President;

this coming after The Hancock 38 (ANTI-DRONE PROTESTERS) went on trial for attempting to STOP THE DRONES from leaving Hancock Air Guard Base 78 Miles from here in Syracuse, New York.

DRONES ARE DEVICES OF TERROR!
Imagine if CUBA had DRONE-PLANES and wanted to kill someone in Sarasota, Florida . . . The Drones would Kill their target and ALSO KILL 25 or so non-Targets as well . . . the non-targets being United States' citizens.

Here in America, if Cuba used Drones on us-Americans neither we nor Cuba would NEVER hear the end of it.

Dec 26 - 01:09 PM

justjoustin

Joshua G

That was hilarious.

Dec 26 - 02:23 PM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

Lastly; earlier director Kevin Smith seemed to be trying to drum-up support for his RED STATE to win an award (Smith was surprised that RED STATE didn't win any awards).

RED STATE IS A FLAWED CLASSIC (to me); in the sense that Kevin Smith obviously wants to make a statement but the "Preacher-Fella" is TOO OUTRAGEOUS (essentially he crucifies members of the gay community in his sanctuary and quotes the scriptures good and well enough but Kevin Smith doesn't "tell" the audience the "Mad Preacher" is misusing the scriptures and inadvertently indicted the scriptures as well as evangelical preachers as being homicidal in nature.

So, the crazy preacher-man basically tries and condemns members of the gay community whom he's captured via the internet and EXECUTES them on his pulpit when the scriptures "say:"
John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
and
Matthew 7:1 -2 Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again
and
Romans 12:19 Vengeance is Mine Sayeth The Lord

2 John 1:6 - 7 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

So, Kevin Smith makes RED STATE out to be ANTI-BIBLE and ANTI-GOVERNMENT when he has John Goodman lead an "Extermination-Team" (so to speak) of the ATF to totally Wipe-Out the Preacher's Compound.

There's nobody to like in RED STATE and then RED STATE is too low-budget and too "indie" to support its ambitious attempts at making sociological statements.

Usually in order to win any awards a director's film must be likable as well as the director themselves.

The Trumpets blowing and "The Two Witnesses" lying on the ground with head-wounds is awesome and funny . . .

to win Awards, it seems that Kevin Smith will have to study the craft of directing under people like Johnathan Demme and/or Ron Howard.

Again, to Win Awards you can't ALIENATE both sides of your audience and both Kevin Smith and RED STATE are ALIENATING entities unto themselves.

Kevin Smith asking someone to give RED STATE an award reminds me of the time Spike Lee called Warner Bros. a COTTON-PLANTATION and then moaned and groaned when MALCOLM X didn't receive as much as an Academy-Award nomination; don't curse the person you are looking to win an award from.

Dec 26 - 01:43 PM

Peter W.

Peter Winters

Can you stop posting. It takes too much time scrolling.

Dec 29 - 10:10 AM

King  S.

King Simba

Sadly, even though its running well behind the previous films, Alvin 3 is still going to end up being the biggest family movie since The Smurfs. Heck, it beat Tintin, despite being in its second weekend. There must be something about singing chipmunks that I'm missing. Glad to see MI:GP doing so well. It's arguably the only film released in the last couple months that managed to surprise. Every other film has dissapointed, most of the time by a wide margin (except Breaking Dawn, which matched expectations, more or less) I'm curious as to the cause of this slump we've been seeing over the past few months at the box office. Normally one would blame the film, yet that can't be the case here, given the number of solid to great films we've been seeing over the past few weeks.

Dec 26 - 02:03 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

The middle-class is still in virtual recession, and with a bountiful hoiday take by retailers from this 'season of giving', there's less money in most people's pockets for the theaters. My guess, anyway.

Dec 26 - 02:23 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

I agree with Janson that the poor economy is the main factor in these films disappointing. When people cannot pay their bills, are they going to be ready to shell out for overpriced movie tickets? Of course not. If theaters and studios thought logically, they would drop theater prices in order to try and regain solid business. Instead, they re going to jack ticket prices up even further if the slump continues.

Dec 27 - 10:23 AM

JS

j s

Well said

Dec 29 - 10:20 AM

Isaac

Isaac H

I saw Tintin and Arthur Christmas this weekend and really enjoyed both. Weird how sluggish the season is, because there are a lot of great films out.

Dec 26 - 02:08 PM

Victor Alexander

victor alexander

Uh, what happened to War Horse?

Dec 26 - 02:12 PM

misterkyle1901

kyle T

As far as I can tell, it only had the one day (Christmas). I think estimates put that one day at 7.5 Million.

Dec 26 - 02:23 PM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

It was packed when I saw it opening day.

Dec 26 - 05:36 PM

dj Mark

Mark Marquis

Ditto.

Dec 27 - 05:50 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

"Dragon Tattoo" was very good. It's also very dark and emotionally jarring. Not exactly holiday fare. I think an October release would have satisfied box office expectations, maybe. Audiences act very tight-fisted with some films, but are so willing to throw their green at crap like "Twilight" and "Paranormal Activity". I watched some of the high-rated, but low low LOW IQ-rated "American Horror Story" (very creative name, guys!), and my opinion of popular tastes couldn't be more corrosive. Maybe it's the tap water these days. A lot of people really are kind of dull. Anyway, movies like "Tattoo", "Hugo", and maybe even "Drive" (still on my list) are just too good for audiences willing to subject themselves and their precious brood to the likes of Chipmunks.

Dec 26 - 02:18 PM

Brad H.

Brad Hadfield

I don't know why you decided to attack a TV show on here and describe fans, myself included, as low low LOW IQ (how fucking pompous) - but I'd love to know what engaging, provocative shows you watch on basic cable. Sure, AHS may think it's smarter than it is, but it sure beats another dumb sitcom, reality show or Lost-clone. As for the name, it's perfectly subdued, and the show IS an ongoing story - that's the point. It's about the house, not the current occupants, and it encompasses almost 100 years of Americana. Perhaps you'd have perferred something hip? Maybe "Freaked!" would've drawn you in more.

Dec 26 - 10:38 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

If you're referring to the 1993 movie "Freaked", yeah, I admit, that's more in my lane. I had family over the holidays wanting to SHARE this new show with me, so I watched a couple episodes. I felt like I had been hit in the head with a brick. Nonsense. This gimp over here, Quinto acting like a bitchy swish ("queening" is the term for over-the-top gay caricature), everybody over-acting to the Nth, this is basically a ghost soap opera. I just wasn't buying it. I've sat through my share of silly horror films, and I would similarly mock this in the same catagory as, say, "Unborn", "Orphan" or "Dream House" (and that last one sounds very familiar to this show). One example: the admittedly lovely Connie Britton (talent is not the show's problem) goes to the hospital for pains related to her pregnancy, the nurse doing the ultra-sound COLLAPSES on the floor. Cut to commercial. We come back, and neither the nurse nor the collapse are mentioned again, and despite this, no other staff are attending to Brittan's care, and we see the couple leaving the hospital to attend to...gambling debts or something like that. What kind of lazy-ass hospital let's people come in and out like this? The show strains credibility. I suspect everyone's actually dead anyway (what a twist!). I admit, I'm not a big TV watcher, outside of some late-night comedy. But I started "Breaking Bad" on DVD recently, and I was impressed with that show. The acting gets very "pitchy" as well, a perennial TV problem, but the plotting has maintained some momentum. I hear it gets better, we'll see. I also enjoyed some others, like "Heroes" and "Battlestar Galactica" and "Rescue Me" over the past few years. But, as 'pompous' as you'll find it, the only "engaging, provocative" shows on TV are documentaries - Frontline, Dan Rather Reports, and various shows from Documentary Channel.

Dec 27 - 09:54 AM

King Crunk

King Crunk

@Janson - I agree with you that most TV is garbage ( I don't watch American Horror Story, though, so I side with Brad or you on that one), but I think saying that the "only" engaging and provacative TV shows are documentaries is a bit harsh; there are great programs out there that do not fall under that category. You already mentioned Breaking Bad, but I would add to that Mad Men, The Walking Dead (gets a little melodramatic at times, but I like that the show is about the humans and not the zombies; Jon Bernthal is one hell of an actor, too), The Killing, Game of Thrones, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Dexter, Boardwalk Empire, and others that I cannot think of. There are also repeats of classic shows like The Sopranos and Seinfeld that air almost daily. And finally, I do not think HBO airs it often any more, but The Wire is among the best, if not the single best, TV show that has ever aired; makes most crime movies and TV look like Sesame Street.

Dec 27 - 10:53 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

@King, I should have said "engaging, provocative" for me. And I was deliberately omitting pay-cable, since Brad asked about basic cable. I know there are decent shows from time to time. I just try to keep my ear out for some things. I do prefer DVD seasons to weekly 'appointment TV', which is why I'm always late on these things.

Dec 27 - 11:08 AM

Brad H.

Brad Hadfield

You know, it is possible to enjoy Frontline AND a show like AHS. Don't you ever like dessert after your dinner? And I didn't call you pompous for liking Frontline, I called you it for dismissing anyone who likes something that you deem "nonsense" as low low LOW IQ.

FYI, the collapse and the nurse play out in a later episode, as not everything on the show follows chronological order. Also, surprise, some gay people do fit that stereotype. Also, the creator of the show is gay, so I doubt he needs lessons from you on gay culture.

Dec 27 - 11:12 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Man, if you like the show, have at it. Obviously a lot of people do. That's just my take on it, and I sincerely find it dumb. No offense. I'll try to be more respectful. As to the gay culture thing, a gay friend of mine was telling me that there are some who are not impressed with Quinto's swish, and some are claiming Quinto timed his 'coming out' to promote the show. Gay folks are a diverse bunch too. The "queening" term came from such performances as Sean Hayes and Carson Kreesly. I didn't invent it, gay people did. Some gay folks don't like certain stereotypes reinforced. Some reinforce them. All I can say is that Quinto's characterization is exaggerated from the gay people I know. I should probably get out more...

Dec 27 - 11:59 AM

King  S.

King Simba

Okay I'm not someone to bring up previous posts, but I distinctly remember you furuiously slamming Hollywood for looking down on its audiences and assuming that its dumb movies that sell tickets. Now you're doing the exact same thing you were criticizing hollywood for.

Dec 27 - 12:20 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I'm a complex individual. Seriously though, over the holidays, outside of my usual peer group of similarly keen, curious, and creative types (for example: they make fun of me for engaging in "comments" posts), I have to reckon with the fact that 'popular taste' is not quite so keen and curious. It's a synergy between dumb programming and dumber audiences. Watching a documentary about LA's legendary art-film station Z Channel, there was a great quote by critic F.X. Feeney. Paraphrased, he said that if an artist can connect with the smartest members of the audience, the rest will follow that lead. I believe that was true for many years. Maybe most people didn't read Norman Mailer or James Joyce or Buckminster Fuller, but they deferred to the judgement of those who did. I think what has recently emerged is that 'intellectuals' are not being granted that same respect, but rather than reading them and judging their work by the flaws in them (and all artists have flaws to be found), they're being dismissed solely for being intellectuals. This lack of cultural curiosity is nothing new, but it is more encouraged. To reverse the classic quote from "Breakfast Club": 'Does it make me an idiot for not reading books?' 'No, you're a genius for not reading books!'

Dec 27 - 10:19 AM

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