Been remiss in posting links to various stories that have kept me busy the past few months. In no particular order: Here are two stories I did for ShoWest, one on this summer’s tentpoles and the other on potential sleeper hits. (Attempting to answer, in other words, what this summer’s “Devil Wears Prada” might be.)
I did a story on successful mystery novelists that may finally be emerging from Hollywood development hell. Maybe. One of those profiled: Fellow Lord Jeff Harlan Coben. His book “Tell No One” was finally made into a movie in France and now in the process of being remade by producer Kathleen Kennedy.
Four of the best picture nominees dealt with infidelity of one form or another. So I wrote about it, comparing cinematic cheating to the reaction to Tiger’s marital woes. Also did a report on the Film Finance Forum earlier this month (harder than ever for those without domestic distribution to get financial backing they need to make the film in the first place) and ongoing shakeout in the PR ranks.
What else? The tension between creativity and client control in branded entertainment, that’s what.
Three years after “An Inconvenient Truth,” eco-docs are struggling to replicate its success at the box office, the LAT reports. Latest case in point: “The Cove,” a powerful doc exposing dolphin killing in Japan; despite glowing reviews, it barely made a dent at the B.O. opening weekend. “It’s not what we would have hoped,” Roadside Attractions’ Howard Cohen admitted to the paper. Read it
“G.I. Joe” dominated the weekend box office, and coverage of it, but “The Proposal” passed a marker of its own: It surpassed “Sex and the City’s” domestic BO haul, the NYT points out. “The Proposal,” a movie that reminded Hollywood of Sandra Bullock’s comedic prowess, has racked up $155 million at U.S. theaters, quietly becoming one of the decade’s most successful rom-coms. NYT
Paramount felt vindicated after “G.I. Joe” raked in the coin its opening weekend. Good enough, the LAT reports, to move forward on a sequel, with stars obliged to return. (Director Stephen Sommers is not.) Par vice chair Rob Moore told AP that movie critics can have a hard time getting their arms around movies like “G.I. Joe” and “Transformers,” an earlier hit for the studio. “But the audience got exactly what it was: A fun summer movie, a great way to end your summer. You just relax and have a good time,” he said. “You don’t have to worry about global politics or global warming.” Don Harris, executive VP of distribution for Paramount, seconded that emotion in an interview with The Wrap. “The audience took this movie for what it was,” Harris said, “a big piece of popcorn fun.”
Time’s Richard Corliss doffs his cap to Sony for recognizing unlikely boss office potential in a movie about a best-selling writer and public television personality from decades gone by. He then puckishly suggests a few other PBS graybeards worthy of attention, namely “The Firing Line” host, Alistair Cooke and David Attenborough. “How about a Lawrence Welk retro-musical?” he continues. “Or ‘Bachelor Friends Forever: The Bert & Ernie You Never Knew?'” Feel free to suggest your own unlikely projects.