The Washington Post yesterday reports on a study by MarketCast which estimates ticket sales for R rated features are down as much as 30% since the whole Lieberman crap began last year. The study concluded that “significant numbers” of children under 17, principally younger girls, were being deterred from seeing R-rated movies such as The Mexican and Angel Eyes, causing them to lose a major share of the audience that ordinarily would have been attracted to them. The report, however, seemingly failed to notice that the two of the top three films released this year as of this writing, Hannibal and Traffic, were handed R ratings. Granted, neither of them are primarily aimed at the allegedly all important teen audience. But neither were Gladiator or Bridget Jones’s Diary, and they didn’t have much of a problem sustaining long term business. Maybe, and I know I am going out on a limb here, the quality or perceived quality of the film is more important when it comes to R rated films than how many dick jokes and tit shots there might be.
Brother, Can You Spare $25M?
In all the fucking poo-pooing for Pearl Harbor not grossing seven hundred billion dollars this past weekend, very few people have noticed that this past weekend became the biggest weekend ever for movies. With the top two films combining for nearly $130M in ticket sales, this past weekend beat be the previous record holder, last Memorial Day weekend, by about $5M in ticket sales.
As some of you know, your valiant editor has spent some time in the filmmaking game himself, slowly climbing the ladder of failure. While doing some research for potential interview subjects and rants, I came across the web site of one film I worked on… sort of. Submitted for shits and giggles, allow me to take you behind the scenes of a no budget film make solely to try to capitalize on the potential success of a Hollywood film.
Some jackass kid lights himself on fire because he saw someone else do it on MTV. Never mind the guy on TV was wearing a flame retardant suit. Never mind there were other guys standing a few feet away from the cameras with fire extinguishers, ready to put the Human Flame out after a few seconds. Never mind the TV show has numerous warnings throughout its airing urging these jackasses not to do what they are about to see. This jackass does it anyway.
The 54th annual Festival International du Film de Cannes has ended, and yet another film you will likely never see won the Palme d’Or. The Son’s Room, Italian director Nanni Moretti’s tragicomedy about a psychoanalyst whose happy family life is shattered when his teen-age son dies in a freak diving accident, snagged the Boot’s first top Cannes prize in almost a quarter century. The film, which opened March 8th in Italy, has already earned $3.5M in its native country.
Yesterday, as part of the “Short Bits”, I mentioned Oscar winning screenwriter Bill Condon of Gods and Monsters fame had been hired on to do a rewrite… oh, hell, I’ll just reprint what I said: