This is what happens when you're bored and buy a guitar for no reason...

on Tuesday, July 27, 2010   6 comments

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It's not that I haven't been writing...

on Monday, July 19, 2010   10 comments

...it's just that I've just been posting a lot on EW.com! Now, before you get all judgmental on me about abandoning my own blog, consider this:

–I haven't abandoned TBOJ, though admittedly, posting has been less frequent.
–I am only at EW for this Summer.
–It is an incredible opportunity, and I'm trying to take advantage of it as much as possible.
–I've been doing a lot of writing in the past few weeks.
–Once I'm done with this internship, I should be back to TBOJ full time.
–I still very much care about all of you.
–I'm considering bringing on a few more writers to assist me in the next year. That way, I can focus on doing a few good box office articles a week, while making sure there is lots of fun content, and also not going crazy.
-I met Snooki.

Now that I feel a little bit better (because really, whenever anyone has an "I feel so guilty" post online, it's usually more about their guilt than their audience's supposed anger), let me get to what I have been up to. Here's a list of all the articles I've written for EW in the past few weeks (including my reaction to Inception):

Daniel Radcliffe and Tom Felton sign up for their first post-'Harry Potter' movies (Read)

'Inception': What was the best scene? (Read)

Since when were female law enforcement officials the hottest commodity on TV? (Read)

Krispy Kreme Cheerwine doughnut announced: Let's brainstorm other ultimate Southern collaborations (Read)

'Jersey Shore' red carpet: On the scene at the soundtrack release party (Read)

Exclusive: 'Iron Man 2' DVD/Blu-ray special features focus on the future of the franchise (Read)

'Tosh.0' attracts 2.4 million viewers: The best pop culture clip show out there? (Read)

Forget all the 'X-Men: First Class' casting rumors: What mutants do YOU want to see? (Read)

What movie makes you proudest to be an American? Least proud? (Read)

Entertainment Weekly intern: A day in the life (Read)

'Pawn Stars': Rick Harrison talks about cable's most unlikely hit! (Read)

Go ahead and give them a read–it's fun stuff! Again, I'm sorry about TBOJ's relatively inactive Summer, but I'm sure you understand! ....right?

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Weekend Preview: Inception will be HUGE!

on Friday, July 16, 2010   6 comments

Alright, I have to get to work, so for now, this post will be short and to the point. I think Incpetion is going to be way bigger than anyone realizes. Read on for my predictions.

The legion of Chris Nolan-obsessed males aren't necessarily the kind to get online and buzz about a movie, but The Dark Knight won their allegiance, and as Adam Sandler has proved, once you find male loyalty, it never goes away. So, even though Inception is tracking around $50-60 million, I think an $80 million weekend is in store. Dream-tastic!

The Sorcerer's Apprentice won't fare so well. If Percy Jackson and Prince of Persia's box office performances taught us anything, it's that boy-driven, super-produced popcorn flicks aren't gelling with audiences right now. After $3.8 million on it's opening day, I'd expect about $23 million over the weekend, for a five day total of $30 million. We'll see if legs kick in for Apprentice later, but this one looks like it will just sort of fizzle. Don't people like fun movies anymore?!

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Weekend Fix: The least 'Despicable' box office anyone could have imagined!

on Monday, July 12, 2010   1 comments

Ah, it's that time again. Time for another very-late-because-Grady-was-traveling-all-weekend-and-then-had-to-actually-do-some-work-but-it's-okay-because-he-wrote-this-article-for-EW.com-which-is-always-exciting recap of the box office! Despicable Me had no trouble dethroning The Twilight Saga: Eclpise from the top spot, grossing an astounding $56.4 million in its opening frame and leading the Top 12 to a $183.9M total, a big 36% bump over the same weekend last year. Maybe there's hope for this Summer after all!

Did anyone expect Despicable Me to reach the heights it did? I found the initial trailers (which showed the stealing of one of the Great Pyramids) exceedingly confusing, and I questioned how appealing this was. Still, advertising picked up, Universal explained what was going on to audiences (he's a bad guy, but you should love him), they showcased the little yellow minions, and audiences bit. 3D ticket prices certainly helped up the gross, and after the over-expensive under-performing Robin Hood, Green Zone, and Wolfman, Universal must be relieved that one of their projects is actually doing well! Despicable Me only cost $59M to produce.

Predators opened just about as well as it could have expected to, with a strong $24.8M. Considering Fox basically didn't advertise the film, instead relying on the built-in legion of Predator fans, this is a great number. The R-rated film will likely fall quickly from here, as horror fanboys tend to rush out to the theater, but a $60M gross wouldn't be half bad for the $45 million production. Predators, I'll see you on FX...

The other notable opener is all the buzz in the film industry: The Kids Are All Right, which earned $504,888 out of just seven theaters, for a blazing per theater average of $72,127. With critical love, strong word of mouth, and solid box office, it looks like we've got an early contender for Best Picture. (Ugh. Am I really thinking about the Oscars? This is not like me at all!)

The rest of the box office was filled with strong holds, that demonstrated that Summer 2010 is, in fact, capable of depth! The Twilight Saga: Eclipse fell 51%, a small drop considering the massive fangirl appeal, to $31.7M. With $235M in the coffers (or, in this case, coffins), if Eclipse keeps seeing reasonable drops, it will match or surpass New Moon's $293M total. Toy Story 3 fell only 31% to $21M, which is especially impressive against Despicable Me. The Disney-Pixar film has now outgrossed Finding Nemo to become Pixar's highest-grossing movie with $339.2M.  

The Last Airbender's 59% drop is not strong, admittedly, but did anyone even expect this critically-ravaged Shyamalan film to earn $99.7M? I'm sort of impressed, even though this won't show a profit. Grown Ups, meanwhile continued to validate my theory that Americans love a simple, dumbed-down comedy that's full of crude jokes and a moral message. With a tiny 17% drop to $15.8M, the Adam Sandler flick crossed the $100M plateau and has now earned $110.7M overall. This is Sandler's 11th $100M film in 12 years. Wow.

What about you, junkies? What do you think about this weekend's not-so-despicable box office? Check out the full chart here, and sound off in the comments.

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Box Office Headlines 07/08/10

on Thursday, July 08, 2010   4 comments

Warner Bros claims Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix lost $167 million
Riiiiiiight. Or maybe you just don't want to pay your cast and crew the money they deserve? Clearly, something is fishy here. Adam Quigley explains:

According to the statement, the film shows a loss of $167+ million. Even with one of the top 10 worldwide grosses of all time, the film’s distribution, advertising, and print costs—which are listed as being the film’s greatest expenses—are apparently enough to negate every dollar of that achievement.
I don’t think it’s even necessary for me to spell out what a shady business practice this is. If these numbers were accurate, Hollywood wouldn’t bother making movies, because none of them would be profitable. One of the reasons the numbers have been tallied this way is to justify not paying anyone who’s set to make a percentage of the net profits (meaning, revenue minus expenses).
Slashfilm

Pattinson, Stewart, and Lautner each guaranteed at least $25 million for final two Twilights
The article states that each actor will probably earn $41 million for his/her work, but that won't happen if Summit pulls the same shiz that Warner Brothers did on the Harry Potter movies! Still, $25 million as a base salary ain't that bad!
Insiders tell us that Summit will pay stars Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner each a whopping $25 million against 7.5 percent of the theatrical gross for starring in the next and last two Twilight movies, Breaking Dawn, Parts One and Two.
 NY Mag

New Spider-Man, Andrew Garfield, accepts a relatively humble payscale
Sony is wisely avoiding a Twilight-sized salary issue, but this kid is earning way more than $3.5 million in the form of a jumpstarted career. I also have to applaud the studio for making a conscious effort to keep costs low for these films. The first is budgeted at just $80 million, which is tiny for a superhero tentpole.
I'm told Garfield's pay scale on the film is around $500,000 salary on the first film, $1 million for the second one, and $2 million for the third film.
Deadline

Disney close to selling Miramax for $700M
Kudos to Disney for trimming the fat. In the last few years, they've reduced their number of theatrical releases per year, focused on building solid channels, considered dropping an increasingly struggling ABC, and now, they may jettison the long-stale Miramax.
Richard Nanula who's now leading the Tutor negotiations with the Mouse House point man on the Miramax sale, has organized a team of "25 guys working on it 24 hours a day" to get the deal done "like a bullet train", I've learned -- maybe as soon as next week. My insiders tell me that Disney could get very near to the $700 million price it's recently wanted for Miramax -- a big raise from the $625M, maybe even $650M max, which the Weinstein brothers/Ron Burkle/Fortress-Colbeck partnership seemed ready to pay until talks broke down.
Deadline

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Weekend Fix: The Last Airbender prevents Twilight from totally Eclipsing the box office

on Wednesday, July 07, 2010   3 comments

If you've read this site for a long time, you know that my main determinant for judging the strength of the box office is depth. When there are a lot of movies turning out solid grosses, I get excited. Unfortunately, that has not been the case this summer, as the box office has relied on each week's big opener to do most of the heavy lifting. This week was a little bit different, as two movies, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and The Last Airbender, successfully opened to strong numbers, but if I know anything about fangirls and fanboys, it's that these movies will plummet next frame. Let's not get ahead of ourselves, though. Let's check out the real winners and losers from the past holiday weekend:

Winners

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
The vampire franchise performed fantastically over it's six-day debut. After opening on Wednesday to a gargantuan $68.5 million, Eclipse fell 64% on Thursday to $24.2M, but then rebounded nicely (shockingly?) to $28.2M on Friday, which led to a $64.8M three-day weekend, an $83.6M four-day weekend, and $176.4M total. New Moon had earned a slightly better $178.9M at the same point in its run, so the fact that the Twilight fad hasn't totally run its course must be thrilling for Summit. Eclipse can expect a similar $290-300 million overall.

The Last Airbender
M. Night Shyamalan's latest "comeback" has been ravaged by critics, picked apart by blogs, criticized by box office analysts (guilty!), and generally written off by everyone for months. That didn't stop hordes of curious fans from rushing out to theaters to see their favorite TV show's live action adaptation, though. The Last Airbender performed far beyond anyone's expectations, pulling in $69.3M over it's five-day opening. $17.5M of that came from Wednesday, while $40.3M was the three-day gross. It must be fairly vindicating for Paramount and Shyamalan to overcome so much bad buzz, but I can't cheer too much just yet. With a $150M price tag and a $130M advertising budget, The Last Airbender has a long way to go before it can be deemed any sort of success.

Toy Story 3, Grown Ups, The Karate Kid
Not too much to say here, except that all three movies performed exactly as expected. Adam Sandler's Grown Ups saw a hefty drop (for a comedy), but it's $84.6M gross is strong. Toy Story 3 crossed the $300 million mark on Monday, and at this point, $365 million looks achievable. Not to discount from its success, but I wonder how much of that revenue is due to 3D ticket prices... The Karate Kid hasn't gotten much media attention, but it's more than held its own at the box office. The kung fu movie has earned a terrific $154.5M.

Cyrus
The indie comedy posted strong numbers in 77 theaters, earning a per theater average of $10,058. If Fox Searchlight plays their cards right (and they often do), they could have another Little Miss Sunshine on their hands this Summer.

Losers

Knight & Day
Albeit, not as big of a loser as the media wants everyone to believe. Knight & Day's $49.5M is certainly underwhelming, but it's not an all out disaster, just a fizzled comeback for Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz.

Sunday
When July 4th falls on a Sunday, it messes with the whole weekend, and Sunday grosses were way down across the board. That accounts for some larger than expected drops. I didn't realize that going into the weekend, but I'm glad I know now. I love learning new things about the box office!

The A-Team, Prince of Persia
The disappointing grosses for these movies have me wondering if young men are going to the movies this Summer. Maybe the World Cup is distracting male audiences, or maybe they're just waiting for Inception. Not quite sure.

Weekend Box Office – July 2-5, 2010
Rank Movie Studio Theaters Gross
(4-Day)
3-Day
Chg
3-Day
AVG.
Total
1
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Summit 4468 $64,832,191
($83,637,242)
New$14,510 $176,382,220
2
The Last Airbender Paramount 3169 $40,325,019
($51,804,232)
New$12,725 $69,315,329
3
Toy Story 3 Disney 4028 $30,280,024
($43,057,129)
-49%$7,517 $301,883,298
4
Grown Ups Sony 3534 $19,049,602
($26,052,792)
-53%$5,390 $84,634,307
5
Knight & Day Fox 3104 $10,443,233
($14,151,734)
-48%$3,364 $49,460,348
6
The Karate Kid Sony 3109 $8,000,259
($11,031,522)
-49%$2,573 $154,554,780
7
The A-Team Fox 2153 $3,190,024
($4,403,057)
-49%$1,012 $70,494,007
8
Get Him to the Greek Universal 884 $1,233,220
($1,723,840)
-61%$1,395 $57,965,435
9
Shrek Forever After Dreamworks 957 $890,166
($1,275,957)
-71%$930 $232,664,432
10
Cyrus Fox Search 77 $774,472
($1,094,111)
157%$10,058 $1,811,985
11
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Disney 340 $690,501
($884,816)
-76%$1,151 $88,338,986
12
Iron Man 2 Paramount 600 $638,314
($875,834)
-56%$1,223 $308,530,297
All Numbers Provided By Exhibitor Relations Co.

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Thursday Box Office: Eclipse $25M, Last Airbender $16M, Toy Story 3 $8M

on Friday, July 02, 2010   3 comments

That's all I know for now (thanks to Deadline), but I need to get some sleep. More details in the morning.

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Andrew Garfield cast as Spider-Man in reboot: My (few) thoughts

on Friday, July 02, 2010   7 comments

I've cooled off quite a bit since I first got the news that Sony was completely rebooting the Spider-Man franchise, and I have to admit, I've become moderately interested in the teen retelling of the tale. Well, after a long casting process, Sony has cast 26 year-old British actor Andrew Garfield as the new Peter Parker. Considering I know nothing about this actor (other than what I can learn on imdb), it's not really fair to judge his potential, but I do have a few thoughts:

1. He looks like a cross between Orlando Bloom and Ewan McGregor, right?

2. It's so typical of Hollywood to cast a 26 year-old in the part of a high school student. Wouldn't Josh Hutcherson, who I loved in Bridge to Terabithia, have been more appropriate?

3. He'll probably do fine! Unknown actors always make projects more interesting.

I'm trying hard to stay neutral–Spidey is my favorite hero, and I feel protective–but what do you think of the new Spider-Man? Let me know in the comments!

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Update: Eclipse earns $68M on Wednesday, The Last Airbender finds $3M at midnight

on Thursday, July 01, 2010   5 comments

With The Twilight Saga: Eclipse coming out on Wednesday, The Last Airbender coming out on Thursday, the weekend starting on Friday, and everyone having work off on Monday, I'm not sure how many updates will be necessary to cover the box office this weekend, but I'm ready for all of them. I love this stuff! Today, we're looking at Wednesday's eventful box office happenings, and they're making me very excited for this weekend! It's honestly anyone's game for the #1 spot!

Eclipse lived up to its name, shutting out all other movies at the box office on Wednesday with a tremendous $68.5 million gross. This is slightly lower than the $72.7 million that New Moon pulled in on its Friday debut last year, but impressive nonetheless. Summit Entertainment doesn't need to be too worried, but I'll say it now: I am expecting Eclipse's gross to fall short of New Moon's. The inflated midnight showing grosses ($30M vs. New Moon's $26M) and the deflated opening day grosses make me think that Eclipse is going to burn out even quicker than New Moon did, and though I understand Summit's desire to crank these movies out quickly for their short-attention-spanned fanbase, the buzz machine tends to work better when there are a few years between sequels, rather than a few months. (Pirates of the Caribbean 101) Eclipse might earn $150 million over the five-day frame, and I still say that Toy Story 3 has a great shot at winning the three day weekend.

The Last Airbender opened to $3 million during midnight showings, which would seem a whole lot more impressive if Eclipse hadn't earned ten times that the day before. But for a movie directed at young boys, who aren't usually up that late, it's a pretty great figure. Avatar: The Last Airbender has a gargantuan built-in audience, and analysts have been underestimating their buying power. I think this has a great shot at $50 million over the next four days. Kids don't care about wretched reviews! Of course, that's not enough to offset the $200 million negative cost ($145M production budget, and at least $50M for promotion), but it seems like there any big-budget movie that actually turns out a profit from its domestic run anymore? I don't see this hitting $100 million, and Airbender will probably have to rely on international grosses to save it. As far as M. Night Shyamalan? I don't know that anything can save him at this point...

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