Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Round Up : September 28, 2008

Here’s this weekend’s box-office estimates:

1. Eagle Eye $29.2 million
2. Nights in Rodanthe $13.6 million
3. Lakeview Terrace $7 million
4. Fireproof $6.5 million
5. Burn After Reading $6.2 million

9. Miracle at St. Anna $3.5 million

14. Choke $1.3 million

Well, that’s a pretty decent weekend! I’m sure that everyone over at DreamWorks (both employees) is extremely happy with Eagle Eye’s opening weekend performance, especially since everyone has been paying close attention to the studio in the last few weeks. It’s also testament to Shia LaBeouf and his general box office power. Obviously, he’s had bigger opening weekends with Transformers and Indy 4, but this is his biggest weekend to date on a movie that didn’t come from a recognizable property. Way to go!

I’d have to assume that some people at Warner Brothers are wishing that Nights in Rodanthe performed better than it did. But even with $13.6 million this weekend, it’ll probably make everything back during it’s theatrical release. I wonder if it’ll have some legs over the next few weeks. I could see this being a sleeper hit thanks to word of mouth. People really do like to see Diane Lane and Richard Gere in pictures together. I was in an elevator at the Grove, where there was a Rodanthe one sheet hanging. The two women riding with me immediately started talking about it, ultimately saying that they’d go to anything the two of them did together. I understand too, Diane Lane and Richard Gere have chemistry. Are you listening, Warners? You should be feeling pretty good about that.

Lakeview Terrace holds over at number four, losing about 50% of it’s previous weekend’s audience.

Fireproof, the movie starring Kirk Cameron round off the top five. Kirk Cameron is back, y’all! But seriously, Kirk Cameron is back. I have a feeling that he probably decided to get back into acting if he could do movies with a good “message.” This one’s about a hero firefighter who’s letting his marriage burn to the ground. The movie’s tag line is “Never Leave Your Partner Behind.” Talk about a message. I have to congratulate Mr. Cameron on being number five, and for getting this movie made and released in theaters because movies like this are very difficult to get made at all. Movies like this are generally straight to DVD. It is telling that even in the preview, five production companies are slated. Five! I guess that’s their lucky number…

Miracle at St. Anna comes in at number nine, unfortunately. This is the new Spike Lee Joint about African American soldiers in WWII. I wonder how big the marketing budget was for this movie. I was well aware that Spike had shot this movie, but had no idea that it came out this weekend until last week. It sort of came out of nowhere – which is always bad news for movies if you ask me.

Sailing gently into number fourteen was Choke, based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk [Fight Club] and starring Sam Rockwell. It’s only on 435 screens right now, yet somehow I expected it to do much better than it did. This picture had ads online everywhere. Everywhere! I guess we’ll have to keep watching it over the next few weeks to see where it goes.

I’ve said before that The Dup isn’t really about this, but I may be wrong. Or I may only write about these kinds of events when I feel that can’t not write about them, or when not writing about them wouldn’t feel honest. We’ll take it as it comes. Friday, Paul Newman died of lung cancer at the age of 83 in his home in Westport, Connecticut. Joanne Woodward was there to the end. There is no way to overstate the fact that Paul Newman was a great, and that the motion picture industry would not have been the same without him. Looking back at his movies, so many of them were a favorite of mine at one point in my life. Pixar’s Cars, Road to Perdition, The Hudsucker Proxy. Hell, he won an Oscar for a role in a sequel, he’s that money! Plus, he directed and starred in the single best staging of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town. Shit, I had read that play and seen it performed a few times and his was the only one that made any sense. Back in elementary school we were shown Cool Hand Luke as a way of looking at life in the sixties and understanding prison life as well. I was blown away even then. As a performer, I didn’t know what I had just seen, I just knew I had to do that. Paul Newman is one of a couple of people I wish I had gotten the chance to work with. My hat it off to you, Paul. You really were something else.

That’s the weekend.

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