Sunday, May 21, 2006

"'Da Vinci' opening this big just tells you that people do want to go to the movies, they just need the right movie to go," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations.

Sure, they went and saw it, but NOBODY liked. I've heard back from some 20 different people and I hear things such as: "Not a single second of tension in the entire film." "Worst role of Tom Hanks' career." Congrats, you made millions. But so did Ice Age 2 and Final Destination 3.

Yes, people DO want to go to the movies, and yes we do need the right movie, but this wasn't it. Without all the controversy (thank you crazy churches) there wouldn't have been half as many people.

Lesson learned: the next time you have a movie coming out, leak a story that it was written by Satan and make sure your lead actor has a mullet. Even Joe Dirt got the second part right.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I See Tom Hanks More Than My Wife

Seriously, is there any entertainment medium that this boy has NOT been on in the past two weeks? I like Tom Hanks and all, but I've seen his face more times in one week than I've seen my own face. It is dang near impossible to go a single day without seeing him SOMEWHERE. A billboard on a bus, a talk show, a magazine cover, an article on Yahoo, he's everywhere.

I watch Conan, there he is. Good appearance, funny. Very next day he's on Leno. Okay, new jokes, same Da Vinci Code clip, but he feels kind of worn out, like you had a great time with a friend yesterday and they're trying to recapture it again. Very next day I'm listening to "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" on NPR and there he is again. Seriously? Radio? Your promoting on the freakin' radio? There he is on Ellen and then Regis and Kelly followed up with Letterman. Heck I'm half expecting him to show up on Maury claiming he's not the baby's daddy.

Friday, May 12, 2006

The Decline of Western Theaters

Here's a topic I've been ridiculously interested in for the past few months: the consistent fall in theater attendance. Studios and theater chains are freaking out. Not as many people are going to see movies as much. Why? Well according to the "experts" out in Hollywood, here's the top reasons, in particular order.

1. Cell phones ringing during films
2. Lack of advertising
3. People would rather watch DVD's and iPods
4. Price of tickets
5. Bad movies

Which of course is further evidence that Hollywood is crazy. Cell phones? That's numero uno? Sure, it's annoying, but that doesn't happen enough to make it number one. I can count how many times it's happend to me on one hand. But the biggest joke of them all: lack of advertising. Would you describe movie advertising as "lacking?" I tell you, I just can't get enough of these commercials for that groundbreaking gymnastics movie Stick It and it's hilarious trailer line "It's not called gym-nice-tics." My favorite is when movie advertisements take over whatever web page your on. You thought you were looking up Yahoo and then suddenly Freddy Krueger slashes through the page, "Check out my trailer or I'll cut you in your dreams!" Thanks Freddy, I wasn't in the mood to read FoxTrot today anyways. But if you don't want to see the ad, don't worry, there's that microscopic Close link hidden somewhere on the ad, which of course is much harder to find than Waldo or Bin Laden.

I could be wrong, but the iPod? You're really blaming it on the iPod? Would you rather watch Spider-Man 2 on a theater screen or your iPod. Who's taking that two and half inch screen over theaters? Sure DVD's might take a bit away, but that's only because 1) you don't leave movies in theaters long enough so we probably missed it (see previous post) or 2) you can buy a DVD for the same price as 2 tickets to the theater (and then sell it to Blockbuster if it sucks to make a few bucks back.) Which brings us to the conclusion and CP's Top 5 list of reasons for the demise of theater attendance:

1. Bad movies
2. Bad movies
3. Bad movies
4. Bad movies
5. Price of tickets

Movies are awful ninety percent of the time. Make better movies, we'll pay to see them. Keep making bad movies, then you better lower those ticket prices so we don't feel like we're taking such a gamble. Example: Stealth. Otherwise known as Jamie Foxx's quick paycheck. A robotic fighter jet that turns on it's creators. The only thing I will pay $9.00 to go see that's THAT bad in this town is the Pirates, and that's because the OTHER team might do something exciting. What can a good movie accomplish? Look at the original Star Wars. Most people went and saw that +5 times in the theater. I racked up 15 myself. That's $135 bones for ONE MOVIE. What about the new Star Wars movies? Once. Saw them once, and even that was too much. That's $9 Mr. Lucas. Better movies are more profitable.

But sure Hollywood, keep on pumping out stuff like The Day After Tomorrow, Pink Panther, Final Destination 3, Big Momma's House, and RV. And we'll keep NetFlixing things like Casablanca, Lawrence of Arabia, Chinatown, and Rear Window.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Let Them Sit a While

Everyone's busy. I know my weekends are full. Why is it then that every movie studios feel that if people didn't come and see their movie the first or second weekend it plays that we're NEVER going to go see it? Why do they think we're going to drop EVERYTHING we're doing to go see the freakin' Da Vinci Code? I got my own mysteries to figure out this weekend, which can be solved easily with this code: do the dishes or my wife will yell at me. Quit assuming we go to the movies EVERY WEEKEND. We don't. In fact this weekend I'll be seeing the movie "Cutting the Grass or My Landlord Will Add $25 to My Rent."

Ron Howard's last film, Cinderella Man was an example of this. They released it in the summer amidst War of the Worlds (boo), Batman Begins (boo²), and Star Wars (boo x 10³). Did Cinderella Man look good? Yeah. We're people interested in seeing it? Yep. We're they so interested in seeing it that they were willing to go see it on the exact date you wanted them to? No. We were all at Myrtle Beach that weekend. We wanted to see it when we got back, but it was gone faster than the SV lunchroom snickerdoodles.

If you don't let the movie sit a while then if I go see it and I tell others about it, there's a good chance it won't be there when they follow up on my advice. Was there no lesson learned from My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Word of mouth takes time. Not every film is going to have an opening weekend record breaking spectacle like Star Wars or the first Spider-Man.

People spend years working on a film and you're only going to give it a week or two to work? Let the films sit a while. I may have been busy the weekend it came out.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

New Design Concept

One of the problems we've been experiencing with the poster and DVD cover is that lots of people mistake the movie for a cartoon. That's a fair mistake considering the title. With us coming to the end of our first batch of 1,000 DVD's and a potential new batch in the near future alone with upcoming treatment/press packet covers I've begun to rethink the Blasto design/poster/cover. Here's a rough concept:

What I'd like to do is get some good publicity photos of Colin and Daryl to put on the DVD. So instead of a drawing of Colin or Blasto, it would be a photo. We'll still be sticking with the black, red, and white color scheme. Not only does that tie in well with the opening credits, but it was such a vibrant and stark color scheme that it captured attention.

Now before anyone makes any references to the Star Wars: Episode I teaser poster I'll have you know the idea for this poster is a variation on an old "More to Come" title card from the Tonight Show way back in the Johnny Carson days. I saw it when I was little. It was the image of a boy in pajamas, a towel cape around his neck, with a lamp and an oscilating fan at his feet. The shadow he cast on the wall was that of a muscle bound hero. There were a series of cards like this. A kid with a hat and a hose projected the shadow of a firefighter, and so on. I think that concept captures the entire feel of our movie perfectly. We may not be heroes, but we are the shadow of one.