May 2006 Archive

Box Office

Da Vinci Code Hits $500 Million This Week

I'm told Sony's Da Vinci Code will hit the magic $500 million mark worldwide later this week. To date, the religious thriller has racked up over $465 mil worldwide since opening a little more than a week ago, $320 mil of it from international. The foreign front was bolstered by huge holds in Europe and Japan. Belgium was down only 2% from its opening weekend, Holland just 9%, Germany 18%, Japan 19%, and France 30%. Before Da Vinci opened, Sony execs were praying for a… Read

Two Puff Profiles of Sony's Sir Howard

Jeez, the Sony corporate flacks are working overtime. But don't bother reading The New Yorker's just published profile of Sir Howard Stringer in the June 5th issue. Or The New York Times' profile of Sir Howard in Sunday's edition. Egads, haven't there already been enough puff jobs penned about this guy that we don't need two more? (If I have to read one more description of how diplomatic he is, I'll puke.) At least the NYT doesn't contain the usual pages of pablum… Read

Cannes Film Festival: Palme D'Or to Ken Loach's The Wind That Shakes The Barley

PALMARÈS DU 59e FESTIVAL DE CANNES - 59TH FESTIVAL DE CANNES AWARDS May 17th – May 28th 2006 LONGS MÉ TRAGES/FEATURE FILMS PALME D'OR: THE WIND THAT SHAKES THE BARLEY réalisé par Ken LOACH GRAND PRIX: FLANDRES réalisé par Bruno DUMONT PRIX DU SCÉNARIO/BEST SCREENPLAY: Pedro ALMOD"VAR pour VOLVER PRIX DE LA MISE EN SCÈNE/BEST DIRECTOR: Alejandro González I'ÁRRITU pour BABEL PRIX D'INTERPRÉTATION MASCULINE/BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR: Jamel DEBBOUZE, Samy NACÉRI, Roschdy… Read

Box Office

UPDATED: X-M3 Busts Record For Biggest Mem Weekend Opening Ever; But Da Vinci Bigger Overseas and Set for Half-Billion $$$ Gross Worldwide This Week

3rd Update: *So here's one for the record books! The superhero movie X-Men 3: The Last Stand had a superheroic gross of $120.1 million for the biggest opening ever for a U.S. Memorial Weekend. The comic book franchise also posted the 4th best three-day opening ever and second-biggest one-day gross ever on Friday. Needless to say, 20th Century Fox was super-delirious over the box office, which far exceeded their expectations for the holiday.* 2nd UPDATE: *X-Men 3 boasted… Read

NYT: Studios Go Sane & Pull Plug On $112 Mil Jim Carrey/Ben Stiller Comedy. Wow!

The terms “fiscal responsibility” and “movie biz” rarely appear in the same sentence. That's why I'm thinking there might still be hope for Hollywood after reading Sharon Waxman's story in Friday's New York Times. It's all about how 20th Century Fox and Sony Pictures pulled the plug on the movie Used Guys because… Read

Come Back, Howard, All Is Forgiven?

As everyone expected, that CBS vs Howard Stern lawsuit officially ended today. Now the clock's ticking: how long before Howard does a deal to get himself back on FM as well as Sirius satellite radio? God, how I miss him in Los Angeles. For seemingly forever, we'd heard about him here. Occasionally, we'd see him - that tall gawky guy with the Prince Valiant hair and the Prince of Darkness face, showing up as a guest on David Letterman (circa NBC's Late Night) and… Read

Ovations and Catcalls for Sofia's Marie

Today, Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette screened for the world press this morning and for the VIPs tonight at the Cannes Film Festival, then opened big in France today. (It doesn't open wide in the U.S. until the fall.) Frankly, I always thought the idea of debuting this film in the country that helped invent the class revolution — with a plot that presents Miss Let-Them-Eat-Cake as Paris Hilton, only more sympathetic  — was crazy talk. (I, for one, found her Lost in Tran… Read

AFI's Uninspiring “Inspiring” Movie List

Please, someone, anyone, stop them before they whore themselves yet again. CBS on June 14th will air AFI's latest b.s. list, this time the 100 “most inspiring” films. And, again, the “jury” composed of VIP moviemakers and movie critics and movie academics only got to pick from a short list of 300 films weighted heavily towards studio product, which isn't fair to deserving indies. Amistad, The Color Purple8 MileErin Brockovich, Dead Man Walking, Rocky and The Karate Kid… Read

Finke/LA Weekly: The Passion of the Cash

Here's my latest column,  The Passion of the Cash: Da Vinci Cannes the World, about how I've seen the future of Hollywood, and it is foreign, as demonstrated by the craptastic Da Vinci Code. This time, I'll tease you with the ending (and, by the way, if we can have a Gay Vito, why not a Gay Superman?): “So what can we expect from the rest of the summer, here and foreign-wise? 20th's X-Men 3 will fare well, though Brett Ratner's violent, Hard-R direction was ridiculously… Read

Gore's Cannes Screening Serves Up Sherry

There was a surprise at the Cannes Film Festival screening of Al Gore's ecodoc An Inconvenient Truth. No, it wasn't the packed Salle Bunuel on the fifth floor of the Palais des Festivals giving Gore a standing ovation before and after the screening. (“In all my years of politics,” Gore modestly told the crowd, “I've never had that long a standing ovation.”) No, it wasn't how he was the model of self-deprecation. (“I never thought in a million years that my little… Read

Pellicano: Limp NYT H'wood Lawyer Angle

As I promised you, The New York Times has a new Pellicano scandal story, this time focusing on the Hollywood lawyers. Frankly, it's not even worth your time reading; it's all dated stuff, wrapped around an old premise. Without naming names, reporters David Halbfinger and Allison Hope Weiner claim that the fraternity of lawyers located in LA's Century City “are… Read

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