Thursday, November 22, 2007

My Poster Collection - Zardoz.

This poster is from a bad 70's movie starring Sean Connery. I can't remember exactly what this is but I think it's an Australian poster. It's almost as tall as a regular one sheet but about half the width and folds in three.
I remember buying this poster but I'm not sure why. I guess I figured it might be worth money at some point.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Next Week's Movies

Across the Universe was finally available. I decided to put it in for both shows. This is the last playweek before classes end and the students will start to study for finals. I haven't had this many questions about whether a film was coming since Borat so I expect it to be really busy.

Into The Wild and Gone, Baby Gone were also available. There is basically nothing else to come off so I've booked them in for the following playweek.

I didn't really plan to play Into The Wild but Rainbow did quite well with it and kept it for 4 weeks. We'll see what happens here.

After the next couple weeks I'm not sure what will happen, American Gangster may get pushed off by new films, other than that most films playing now will continue through Christmas.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Movie Review - Beowulf

I've been wanting to see this and finally got to see it plus a bonus. The second trailer for a movie called Cloverfield I've been wanting to see. The first trailer played in front of Transformers. It's some sort of monster movie. The 2nd trailer made it look cool, but predictably still doesn't give a lot of concrete info.

Beowulf was done in an interesting style. It was shot with motion capture technology then animated over. The same technique was used in Polar Express. It still has some of the same problems with the characters looking waxlike. Personally I think they should stick to unfamiliar faces. I didn't recognize the actor that played Beowulf so I didn't have a problem with him but the characters played by Robin Wright and the others I recognized looked weird except for Angelina Jolie, maybe she already looks like a cartoon.

The story was quite interesting. Some people are upset it differs from the original source but I don't know how the story goes so that wasn't a problem for me.

Overall it was a good fantasy film with some epic action scenes. It's showing in some places in 3-D which was obvious sometimes when things were flying at the camera. It was gorier than I thought it would be. It will be playing at Western Film, probably sometime in January. We are only open for 4 more weeks then we shut down for the holidays.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Some interesting films coming out.

I receive the release schedules each distributor puts out. They often go 2 to three years ahead but are usually only accurate for the next few months. Today I got the one for Alliance Films, a Canadian company that distributes for some American distribs as well as Canadian product.

There's some interesting looking stuff coming out. Of course these lists are very subject to change and sometimes aren't right on purpose. Paramount's mystery monster movie that had a short trailer run in front of Transformers doesn't show up on it's release schedule.

No Country For Old Men the newest film from the Coen Brothers which is getting rave reviews and doing huge business in the few theatres it's playing in goes wide on Nov 23rd which means it will probably play in London. I'll be there.

They are distributing a film called Mad Money about three women ( Keaton, Queen Latifah,Katie Holmes, ) who plot to steal the money being taken out of circulation at a bank. It looks funny and open Jan 18th.

Be Kind Rewind- this comedy with Jack Black and Mos Def looks really funny and opens Jan 25.

Some movie called Superhero! starring Leslie Neilsen opens on March 28th. I'm assuming it's one of those parody movies. Let's hope it more like Naked Gun than Scary Movie 4.

Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay- the title says it all. I'll be there Apr 25th.

Sex and The City opens may 30th.

Sometimes you get the generic titles:

Untitled Ice Cube Family Comedy opens Jul 25th. Do you think he's getting typecast?

A film called Scanners is being released on Oct 17th 2008. Given that it's being directed by the guy who did the Blade films and is coming out around Halloween the odds are good it's a horror film and may be a remake of the Canadian film from 1981 directed by David Cronenberg.

The guy who did Supersize Me, the documentary about eating only McDonalds for a month is releasing a documentary called "Where is Osama" sometime in 2008. That could get interesting.

Something called El Superbeasto is being released at a date TBD. It's called an 'adult animation' and being directed by Rob Zombie who did the recent remake of Halloween. It sounds like another film I'll have to turn people away at the theatre who automatically assume animation = kids.

Looks there are some things for movie buffs and theatre runners like me to look forward to.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Blade Runner the Final Cut might be coming to Western Film.

There is a 5 disc DVD set for Blade Runner coming out in December. It includes all the versions of the film including the newest and final version. It includes some digital cleanup of wires and stuff and some scenes were re shot. Most notably the scene where Joanna CassidyAKA the Snake Lady is running away from Deckard. Joanna came back to reshoot some scenes that in the original film it was pretty obvious was a stunt double.

Blade Runner is one of the seminal films of all time. In my film classes it was discussed all the time. I've seen it about 8 times.

To promote the new release the film was released in two theatres in the US, one in LA, one in NY. That was all that was planned initially. The business was astronomical. I heard these showings were digital prints only not 35mm.

Based on how well it did a further roll out was decided on. If you look at the official site there's bookings up until February which is interesting since the DVD comes out Dec 18th.

There is one reason for this. Blade Runner is one of those films that just has to seen on the big screen, the amount of detail and spectacle is astounding.

Initially there were no plans to release it theatrically in Canada but there was enough interest they have brought in 2 prints.

Warner specifically asked if we would be interested in playing it. I honestly don't know how well it would do but I'm willing to take the risk. Maybe I can get the film department to help push it.

I told Warner we would play it in November or early December. After that the students will be busy studying for exams or leaving. Since there's only two prints they may want to play through the bigger cities first.

The interesting question is whether to play it after Christmas and the film has come out on DVD. I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Next Week's Movies

The choice for next week wasn't too difficult. There were some new films available.

30 days of Night- a cool film which was of interest to a lot of the students but strikes me as one that most everybody who wanted to see it has already seen it. That's part of the reason we don't play Horror films any more.

Martian Child- apparently quite a good movie but died a quite horrible death with no promotion.

We Own the Night- I booked this in as the early show. People have been asking about it and I figure it will do quite well.

There wasn't anything obvious to play for the late show. I decided to bring Superbad back for a third week. It did better the second week than the first which is really rare and I heard a lot of students say they wanted to see it but didn't have time. Even if it does half the business it did the second week it would still be worth playing.

Across the Universe was almost available this week so the odds are good it will be available next week.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

It's nice to be right.

The playweek that just ended was Elizabeth: The Golden Age and the second week of Superbad. Some people questioned my logic in bringing in Elizabeth since it didn't do that well first run and was generally not that high profile. My experience told me it would do well at Western Film. Mid -range serious films are one of the types of film that do well here. Some also wondered about bringing Superbad back. It did well the first weekend but not enough to keep normally. I book on Monday for the next week so I only have the weekend numbers to judge how I think the film is going to do overall. I decided to keep Superbad because students tend to go more during the week. I knew from my staff and what I had heard other students say that last week was a peak busy time so many wouldn't have time to go to the movie.

So was I right?
Elizabeth did better than most films played at Western Film, even better than the higher end of the range I expected it to fall in.
Superbad did better the second week than the first. Good enough that I may play it again if I there isn't anything good available.

There are always the times I am almost wrong. Like when I almost didn't play Moulin Rouge because I didn't know much about and it turned out to be one of the highest grossing films of that year for Western Film.

My memory is probably being selective but I honestly can't remember ever being really really wrong. There have been many movies that didn't do as well as I expected but not disastrously.

I suppose it'll happen sooner or later.

Roger Ebert

I'm really glad film critic Roger Ebert got over his health problems and is back to writing reviews. Other than scanning headlines the only reviews I read before seeing a film are his. Generally I don't even read his unless I'm not sure if I want to see a film. We almost always agree on how good the film is. His reviews are written in such a way that not too much is given away. One reason I don't read reviews in general is I find they alter my perception of the film. Elements of the film the critic didn't like stand out more than they would have. I prefer to form my own opinion and then read reviews. For some reason Ebert's don't seem to have this affect on me.

Monday, November 05, 2007

An example of the unpredictability of the movie business.

There are general patterns within the movie business and particular to each theatre. Western Film has some general patterns. Movies that cater to adults sell less food, movies that cater to students tend not to do well late show Saturday night etc.

One normal pattern is that the late show on Sunday is pretty dead. Especially if the film hasn't been really busy. Last night my staff figured the late show of Superbad would be quiet so they didn't even bother to make any more popcorn. This is a decision I would have agreed with. Friday and Saturday it did about 30-40 each show. Not bad for the second week of a film. Based on that I would have predicted about 10-15 people for Sunday's show.

Needless to say they were surprised when 77 people showed up.

Movie Review - Michael Clayton

I booked this movie for next week so I thought I'd post my review. I heard a lot of good things about this film. I heard George Clooney did an Oscar caliber performance. It was a really good movie, quite intriguing. I think Tilda Swinton is a great actress so her part was well done. There wasn't anything really exceptional about the film but it was well done and worth watching. The last shot is quite interesting.

My Poster Collection - Pretty Baby

Another poster I got somewhere and probably tried to sell at some point. This film was pretty controversial when it was released as Brooke Shields played a child prostitute. There were also some pics of her in a bathtub and stuff naked but wearing heavy makeup. There was an issue of French Photo magazine that had the pictures inside and on the cover that was worth quite a bit of money pre-internet. There's tons of these on ebay for about $10.00 each.

Next Week's Movies

Next week was a pretty easy choice. There were only 2 new films to choose from.

Rendition- a good film but I'm not sure it would draw any people. I'm keeping it in my reserve.

Michael Clayton - I booked this in for the early show next week. It's one of those serious films that gets a lot of press but not a lot of people go to see first run. It is however one of the kinds of films that Western Film does best with.

I booked The Kingdom in for the late show. It was available last week but I choose to keep Superbad. The Kingdom is more of a late show kind of movie. I'm not sure how it will do.

Still waiting on Across the Universe.