Steven Soderbergh‘s Che is off to a strong start at Manhattan’s Ziegfeld and L.A.’s Westside Pavillion, I’m told. In LA the entire weekend was sold out before the first show started, and the big Ziegfeld show (i.e., both films plus intermission) sold out an an hour in advance. People cheered during the Ziegfeld intermission. When Soderbergh dropped by for a q & a, he got a standing ovation. He spoke for about 40 minutes, and almost everyone stayed.
What Doesn’t Kill You director-writer Brian Goodman invited me to a post-screening soiree last night at Almond, a noisy, reasonably priced restaurant on West 22nd near Broadway. By the time everyone arrived around 9:45 or so the news had broken about Bob Yari , the producer-distributor of Goodman’s film, having gone into Chapter 11.
This is bad news for WDKY, which is only just starting to be seen and talked about, and for Rod Lurie‘s Nothing But The Truth , a Yari movie that’s also been caught with its pants down. It would be one thing if they both blew chunks, but they’re well-written, high-calibre tweeners with award-quality performances. Tough deal.
I broke the news to Goodman when he came in, showed him the story on my iPhone. It kind of took the energy down until WDKY star Ethan Hawke showed up and then it was a “hey!” environment again. Hawke and Goodman and three or four others were playing pool on a fair-sized table with a brown-felt top. Goodman, it should be noted, is a very accomplished player. Not Eddie Felson level, but he made 70% or 80% of his shots.
The American public will hand over roughly $31,524,000 to the makers of The Day The Earth Stood Still this weekend. The second place Four Christmases will make $12,234,000 for a cume of $86,900,000.
The third-place Twilight will take in $7,334,000 — $149,129,000 as of Sunday night.
And the fourth-place Bolt will take in $6,946,000
Nothing Like the Holidays, the Hispanic holiday comedy, bombed with a projected total of $4,035,000 and $2400 a theatre. Baz Luhrman‘s Australia will earn $3,865,000 — now to about $37 million domestic. Madagascar will follow with $2,879,000.
The only limited opener that looks like it has legs is Clint Eastwood‘s Gran Torino, which will take in $268,000 at six situations and about $44,000 per theatre. The best limited starter is Doubt — opened in 15 runs, 32,000 per screen, $492,000 by Sunday night. That’s actually fairly decent.
Gus Van Sant‘s Milk will do just fair after expanding to 330 runs — it’s projected to earn $2,539,000 and $7700 a print. Issue-driven political drama, gay-themed story, etc. I lost the figure for Quantum of Solace but I know it’s expected to come in slightly under the Milk figure.
Slumdog Millionaire expanded to 169 runs, having dded 91 theatres — it’s projected to take in $2,067,000 and $12,000 a print. Okay, not sensational. Frost/Nixon went from 3 runs to 30 runs, $15,000 a print, $605,000 for the weekend — okay, not wonderful. Doubt opened in 15 runs, 32,000 per screen, $492,000 by Sunday night.
The animated Delgo is projected to earn $400,000 — 2300 theatres,.$185 per theatre.
The Reader is playing in 8 situations and is projected to earn $165,000 or about $28,000 a print.
Asked what he thinks the Obama administration “will do about Cuba,” Che director Steven Soderbergh tells Politico‘s Jeffrey Ressner the following:
“What they ought to do is really obvious. Whether they’ll do it is one of these questions in which you have a lot of people with certain beliefs controlling the dialogue, and therefore the problem is not getting solved.
“How many years are you supposed to give a bad idea? Would you stay married for 45 years to someone you hated? It’s obvious what we’re doing isn’t working. The answer is [to] lift the embargo and flood that place with tourists, put the onus on them and call their bluff. The people of the U.S. are the best advertisement for its ideals — not its government.”
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