Monday, March 19, 2012

The Jackass Games

You know, they often say that any publicity's good publicity... but this may be the exception. Yes, Disney's going to lose 200 million on John Carter. Or maybe they can make it disappear by taking some of Pixar's budget away! That'll learn those greedy computer nerds over there. Gotta hand it to James Cameron in a way: who else can get away with an unrated version of Avatar with Na'vi bumping uglies, yet maintaining the dignity of family-oriented Hollywood storytelling? Reminds me of Larry Niven's Ringworld novels. They'd be perfect if not for the Halo adaptations on the horizon. Then again, the novels themselves are rife with sex scenes! There's inter-species sex used as a greeting, there's Teela and Louis Wu getting it on a couple times... what else? Louis and Prill too, if I remember correctly (Ringworld Engineers). What price dignity, John Carter? 200 million, that's what. That was also the problem with Disney's other box office dinosaur, 2000's Dinosaur. The budget has come down in the interim but it was supposed to be another $200 million turkey. So much for advertising. Should've taken a page from the The Land Before Time series... are they up to Land Before Time XIII yet?
So the family entertainment's not selling during Spring Break, go figure. The Spring Break-type stuff, on the other hand, is doing gangbusters business. 21 Jump Street jumps to #1. The 80s live on anew, and the new thin Jonah Hill is still riding high off his Oscar nomination. Take heed, Seth Rogen... take heed. Meanwhile, in other bad publicity news, Project X (2012) joins the ranks of Fight Club, The Program and Natural Born Killers, as someone has died as a result of life imitating this "art." I didn't even bother to read what the prank was, but I did think of that one Simpsons where Homer's watching a similar movie. A character says to another character who thinks he tapped a beer keg, "Dude! You tapped the septic tank!" Homer says "If he really did that, he'd be dead!" When Homer's smarter than you, there's a problem. And of course, the untold story of this box office: Safe House crosses the 100 million mark. Yeah! Safe House! Denzel! 100 million! Someone's getting a career boost, and it probably ain't Fuqua. And last but not least, Will Ferrell's fair weather fans abandoned him in his hour of need. Hard to say if Casa de mi Padre is one of those indie films he does in between the big comedy blockbusters, but Will seems to think it's a big comedy blockbuster, despite the mere $6 million budget. I guess he freaked out his anti-immigrant fan base too much... not that he can legally admit to having one, but they're not going to see this one, that's for sure. No way! No way, José!

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