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  1. #1
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    Staff and agencies

    Monday July 25, 2005



    After a hopeful fortnight of improving box-office returns, slump seems to have returned to US cinemas this weekend. The week's big opener, The Island, failed to make much of a splash, leaving Charlie and the Chocolate Factory narrowly clinging to the top spot.

    The Island boasts a stellar cast including Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johannson, but the cloning-themed action movie from Pearl Harbor director Michael Bay could only manage fourth place in its opening weekend with a paltry $12.1m (£7m) haul.





    It was unable to overtake comic book adaptation Fantastic Four, which managed another $12.3m (£7.1m) in third, and was a long way off the $26.2m (£15m) taken by the second-placed Owen Wilson/Vince Vaughn comedy Wedding Crashers.

    The top 12 films took $128.9m (£74m), which means Hollywood has fallen back into the slump which had characterised 2005 before it managed to buck the trend with year-on-year rises in the previous two weeks.



    Dreamworks, which distributed The Island, was at a loss to explain the film's disappointing return, which came despite reasonable reviews for the often-derided Bay.



    Head of distribution, Jim Tharp, said: "Clearly, it's a disappointing opening. We can only hope the film finds its audience in the next few weeks."



    Even worse off was the Billy Bob Thornton comedy remake Bad News Bears, about a washed-up ballplayer coaching a team of Little League misfits. It took fifth with just $11.5m on debut.



    Meanwhile Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds climbed past the $200m mark with an extra $8.8m. Only Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, has done better this year, with $376m.

  2. #2
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    Even worse off was the Billy Bob Thornton comedy remake Bad News Bears, about a washed-up ballplayer coaching a team of Little League misfits. It took fifth with just $11.5m on debut.



    Meanwhile Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds climbed past the $200m mark with an extra $8.8m. Only Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, has done better this year, with $376m.

    <div align="right">Quoted post</div>

    [/quote]



    Isn't Bad News Bears a remake of a 1970s Walter Matthau outing ? And as for the abysmal version of WOTW avec Monsieur Cruise, then I can understand the slump.... [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/rotfl.gif[/img]



    SMUDGE



    [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/devil.gif[/img]

  3. #3
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    Too many remakes, spin-offs and sequels full stop.

  4. #4
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    Originally posted by DB7@Jul 25 2005, 03:14 PM

    Too many remakes, spin-offs and sequels full stop.

    <div align="right">Quoted post</div>





    Too much bad cinema for mine DB7, maybe just maybe they might try producing films that actually relate to the world we live in, or at least tell us something about ourselves. It could turn out to be a good thing, I live in hope.



    One thing I detest is 'popcorn movies' once in a while OK, but personally I demand more from my cinema.

  5. #5
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    A Mozzer or Diana Dors fan?

  6. #6
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    Originally posted by DB7@Jul 25 2005, 03:52 PM

    A Mozzer or Diana Dors fan?

    <div align="right">Quoted post</div>





    Both. [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif[/img]



    Still trying to track down Yield To The Night.

  7. #7
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    Originally posted by DB7@Jul 25 2005, 03:14 PM

    Too many remakes, spin-offs and sequels full stop.

    <div align="right">Quoted post</div>

    I wholeheartedly agree with you. I have whinged about this issue on this site for ages, so now will the film industry on both sides of the pond replace marketing people with proper film directors who put their creative desires well above getting rich quick!



    Projected box office takings and DVD spin off sales should not be the chief reason why a film is made! Pride in the ability to produce something memorable should be the priority, that's why many people on here spend so much time talking about the old movies, Powell and Pressburger etc because there's virtually nothing new in the movies to admire!



    I will always boycott remakes, TV series spin-offs, and sequels because it shows a sad lack of wit, imagination, vision and creative ability which to me should be pre-requisites for working in the industry in the first place!



    Perhaps in film schools they should give out pencils and paper notebooks and also offer library facilities for students to learn how to read a good book!

  8. #8
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    Seems the only gambles producers are prepared to take these days are with established helmers or for 'star vehicles' but even then we get simarly themed films like Troy, Alexander and Kingdom of Heaven. Do they all meet up and decide to cash-in on the success of Gladiator but go more 'epic' in the hope of impressing the Academy. Next they'll all make 'epic' biopics given The Aviator bagged a handful of Oscars.





    Kudos to Jim Carrey as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was a complete headspin.... although I was feverish at the time...

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by samkydd@Jul 25 2005, 07:16 PM

    Perhaps in film schools they should give out pencils and paper notebooks and also offer library facilities for students to learn how to read a good book!

    <div align="right">Quoted post</div>



    So let me get this straight - you'd boycott remakes, spin-offs and sequels (missing out on many superb films in the process, though it's your loss) but you'd actively encourage more literary adaptations?



    I'd argue that this slavish reliance on the printed word is one of the things that has bedevilled the British film industry for much of its existence. There was a provocative piece by James Park in the Summer 1990 Sight & Sound which opens with the following argument:



    </div><div class='quotemain'>"British scripts are not all that wonderful," remarks the writers' agent Julian Friedman, "and they're certainly not as wonderful as most people think they are." The weakness of their scripts does, in fact, explain the failure of most recent British attempts at popular cinema. People blame over-emphatic directing or uncertain performances, but much of what is seen as bad acting or bad directing is actually bad writing. And they ask how anything could be seriously wrong with the writing in a country that has always prided itself on its literary and theatrical tradition, even though screenwriting is about writing images that trigger emotions and has little to do with novel-writing or play-writing.[/b]


    The piece goes on to lambast British producers for both failing to understand the specific demands of screenwriting and for failing to put enough money into development - sadly, though fifteen years old, Park's piece could be republished today with no changes other than updating his late-1980s examples. And he's absolutely right - this is the sort of attitude that's endemic in British film, from producers through critics and audiences: this notion that unless a project is based on a firm literary bedrock, it's somehow not worthy of being taken seriously.



    So instead of handing out "good books", I'd encourage students to watch good films - ones made with a genuinely cinematic imagination and which wouldn't work half as well in any other medium. And the rest of the time should be spent reading scripts - ideally proper shooting scripts, not published transcripts of finished films.

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by Wetherby Pond@Jul 26 2005, 06:54 AM

    So let me get this straight - you'd boycott remakes, spin-offs and sequels (missing out on many superb films in the process, though it's your loss) but you'd actively encourage more literary adaptations?



    I'd argue that this slavish reliance on the printed word is one of the things that has bedevilled the British film industry for much of its existence. There was a provocative piece by James Park in the Summer 1990 Sight & Sound which opens with the following argument:

    The piece goes on to lambast British producers for both failing to understand the specific demands of screenwriting and for failing to put enough money into development - sadly, though fifteen years old, Park's piece could be republished today with no changes other than updating his late-1980s examples. And he's absolutely right - this is the sort of attitude that's endemic in British film, from producers through critics and audiences: this notion that unless a project is based on a firm literary bedrock, it's somehow not worthy of being taken seriously.



    So instead of handing out "good books", I'd encourage students to watch good films - ones made with a genuinely cinematic imagination and which wouldn't work half as well in any other medium. And the rest of the time should be spent reading scripts - ideally proper shooting scripts, not published transcripts of finished films.

    <div align="right">Quoted post</div>

    Watching bad films would be better, then a remake would be justified!

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by DB7@Jul 25 2005, 03:14 PM

    SNIP

    slump seems to have returned to US cinemas this weekend.

    SNIP<div align="right">Quoted post</div>



    I'm not surprised, with the dirge they've been churning out in recent years.

  12. #12
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    Originally posted by Billy Liar@Jul 25 2005, 04:55 PM

    Both. [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif[/img]



    My fave would have to be


  13. #13
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    Originally posted by DB7@Jul 31 2005, 02:34 PM

    My fave would have to be



    <div align="right">Quoted post</div>





    I love these two, the second sleeve Morrissey posed for as Stamp had initially refused permission to use a still from The Collector. He later relented.








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