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Monday, October 13, 2008

Weekend B.O.

October 10–12, 2008 (thanks sergio!)

1) Beverly Hills Chihuahua BV $17,511,000 Total: $52,541,000

2) Quarantine SGem $14,200,000

3) Body of LiesWB $13,120,000

4) Eagle Eye P/DW $11,015,000 Total: $70,551,000

5) Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist Sony $6,500,000 Total: $20,810,000

6) The Express Uni. $4,731,000

7) Nights in Rodanthe WB $4,610,000 Total: $32,366,000

8) Appaloosa WB $3,340,000 Total: $10,886,000

9) The Duchess ParV $3,322,000 Total: $5,620,000

10) City of Ember Fox $3,200,000

11) Fireproof Gold. $3,189,000 Total: $16,924,000

12) Lakeview Terrace SGem $2,650,000 Total: $36,197,000

From IW: The Ernie Davis Story aka "The Express" at 4 million. Wow. But you know good and well thick-headed Hollywood won't get the message for the 20th time that no one is checking for this ish. One reader, "anonymous" (sorry) sums it up well:

"Now it's Louis Armstrong. I swear, this shit never ends. Black actors always have to play real people in order to land a meaty script (and an Oscar nod), because nobody will write them a comparable part based in fiction. And it's not only our entertainers who've led cinematic lives, either. This overused source material only reinforces our place in society - we have no substantive contributions to make besides those of our singers and point guards. What about films concerning Frederick Douglas, James Baldwin, Mae Jemison, Mandela, etc.?"

I cosign (even tho I think there was a Mandela movie with Sidney Poitier if I'm not mistaken; too lazy to look it up right now). I have said several times that if someone can't come with an original idea for Black Cinema, there is plenty of source material out there. Plenty. I would also love to see a film about Frederick Douglas, or James Baldwin, or Harriet Tubman, or countless others that are not sports or "feel-good" related. Who do we have to f*ck to get a movie like that made? jeesh.

"Nights In Rodanthe", George C. Wolfe's film (he directed Lackawanna Blues, btw) while not a blockbuster, has done a respectable 32 million, considering the source material. This amount, however, is not respectable for the Kerry Washington/Samuel Jackson vehicle "Lakeview Terrace" with it's head throbbing ad campaign and 1000's of theatres only topping out at about 36 million. That probably paid for Samuel's salary and the catering.

On another note, "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" is doing gangbusters; even Invisible Poppy (my father) saw it. I would have thought "Blindness" would do a bit better, but since it's been called a brilliant political allegory I guess I'm not surprised America has little interest. :-( Does the fact that "The Duchess" made only 5 million in 2 weeks mean that Keira Knightley's bony ass will finally go away? One can only hope....


madame z said...

Kiera's ass ain't going nowhere. Hollywood loves her emaciated self. I must be cruel to be kind, but chica needs to EAT. She damn near said she, too, was an anorexic like her mother and mother's mother before her. *sigh* I find her hard to look at, not because of her body, but her face. When I watched the last Pirates feature and she and Will got married, I was almost like, who are these two dudes tying the knot? LOL. Yeah. She's just that 'meh'-looking. I'm such a hater though LOL

I loved Lackawanna Blues so much. Nights is something I probably won't be watching though as I can't embrace Nicholas Sparks' books. I missed drinking the kool-aid on that one. Lakehouse I wanted to go see, but it takes so much for me to get motivated to go the theater these days. I'll most definitely rent it. LOL @ your comment about the 36 mil. covering Sam's salary and craft services.

Question: Why are people flocking to see this Chihuahua flick? I mean...why?

Allegory or no, I can wait on Blindness. Watching the trailer frustrates the sh*t out of me. And on some unrelated/yet related level it reminds me of The Happening. Just bleaker (and probably boring) than a m.f.

I too would LOVE to see someone's take on James Baldwin, particularly. Definitely wouldn't be feel good; definitely wouldn't be sports-related but angst-filled and the actor would have to go-gay... LOL...

Let's take a moment and cast this role. Who could effectively portray James Baldwin's poetry, writerly, gay-ity self? Who? And he wasn't a big man, short-ish....who could do it?

I am unfamiliar with Express....

La Diva Sim said...

Blindess isnt going to be for everybody. Its pretty blunt in its depiction of humans and the lengths we'll go to survive. But I always have to appreciate a film that leaves you with something to think about so I recommend it.

I love me some George C. Wolfe mostly because he loves Angela Bassett! HAHAHA! I'm only half joking.

But I'm hoping the best for his romance film. I always love when two actors keep their chemistry going through the years like Diane and Richard have done so well.

I'm doing my own personal boycott of that Chihuahua movie. Its a darn shame its number 1 while Spike isnt getting any love. Sad sad day in cinema...

Qadree said...

Sergio told me that he wrote an article on why serious black films don't do well at the box office. I looked for the article and never found it, but the point remains, serious black films haven't done well at the box office.

Look at The Great Debaters, black bloggers were down talking the film before it ever came out, and when it did come out it seems like people went in looking for reasons not to like it because I didn't see a single review on a black blog that addressed what the film was actually about.

The issue is not why there aren't more films, there are good black films produced every year, the question is why aren't people going to see them. Right now there are good black films that you can only find discussion about on blogs run by non-black people and if you go to the screenings you'll often be the only black person there.

This has all been said before, it's nothing new. At some point we have to hold ourselves accountable and not blame Hollywood or the filmmakers, especially when the films do exist and are primarily supported by people who aren't black.

I guess when people say "films" they don't actually mean all films, but only what's going on in Hollywood.

Tambay is the only one I've seen really open up discussion about films that are made outside of Hollywood. I'll add to the mix soon enough, but you won't hear me talking about a lack of creativity or anything like that. There are so many films that haven't been talked about that is frustrates me when I hear people talk about the lack of good black films. I'm not saying that we are swimming in an overabundance of quality black films, but the ones that get made are totally ignored and it just becomes a vicious cycle when they can't get anyone to see their films.

How many negative reviews can be written about Tyler Perry before people get over it? He isn't the only one making films.

Invisible Woman said...

@mdame z: I LOVE your comments--you are so insightful--and you make me chuckle too. I think Anthony Mackie would be a good candidate, though he played a gay guy in a film about a former Harlem Renaissance writer...the name of the film escapes me right now...but since almost nobody saw it, it wouldn't hurt for him to do it again.

@ladiva: i knew you had to include AB in there somewhere! lol

yeah dogs over a Black war is kinda sad, ain't it?

@Qadree: I hear what you're saying. I do my best to try to include eveyone on my blog, as I don't like to exclude some from the dialogue. I have a huge range of film interests, this is just some of it. I usually post what's on my Black Cinema radar here--if you have some info, feel free to share it with me as tambay, michael dennis, and sergio do.

Anonymous said...

It's not all about "Black films" per se. We live in a multicultural society. That should be reflected in films that happen to have Black protagonists. It's about time to see white folks as supporting players in OUR lives.

Qadree said...

If I think something needs to be put out there I will generally leave it in the comments like I did with Medicine for Melancholy, but I'm not about to leave comments and send emails for every film that I see. There will always be a film here and there that goes under the radar, but what I'm talking about is a general attitude that I come across on the web and with people I know personally.

I can't count how many times people ask me to suggest some good black films and the first question they ask when I suggest something is "who's in it?" People are star struck and the enthusiasm that people have for Hollywood films just isn't there for other films, especially if the film is challenging.

If the filmmaker is present at a screening someone is bound to ask the same dumb, pointless question that Hollywood has trained everyone to ask. "What was your budget?" This is the dumbest question to ask at a Q&A, but it's bound to come up and I don't even think people know why they are asking. That information is totally useless to the audience, but they feel compelled to know because Hollywood has made it the norm along with the stars names and box office numbers.

Generally, people who like the films that don't get talked about a lot will know when similar films are coming out. It's not some tightly held secret, you just have to be interested. Finding out about screenings is something you have to do locally, if you're relying on people who don't live near you you're bound to miss out on a lot.

What bothered me the most about this particular post is that it makes it seem as though these other films don't exist. Talking about Oscar nods, the lack of meaty scripts, and the lack of original ideas leads me to think that the focus is just on Hollywood.

madame z said...

@ IW - I saw the film with Mackie and I too can't think of the title! LOL. But yes, he would be a perfect candidate. ;)

Malika said...

I have read your comments and if you weren't so full of vinegar you would realize that Invisible Woman was inviting you to share your thoughts and information about Black Cinema she and others may not know about. Not offering you a job.
On the same token it is not her job to write a blog for your specific tastes only. There are plenty of people here that enjoy her information and her style. The way I see it, if you are having difficulties with the content you can either stop reading or start your on blog, then you can write about Independent Black Film all day.

Qadree said...

Well Malika, if you've read my comments you should know that sharing my thoughts and information is exactly what I've been doing.

I'm not here to flatter people, but if "vinegar" bothers you why aren't saying anything about the overall negative attitude that permeates the discussion of black cinema? You obviously don't follow cinema criticism very much because the attacks professional critics level at one another make my comments look like child's play, but it all stems from a passion for cinema.

I am interested in progress. We cannot have progress if all we do is sit around patting each other on the back. Unlike many of the malicious comments directed at Tyler Perry, Spike Lee, and others, my comments are generally constructive and have a purpose that goes beyond sheer ridicule. I challenge you to find any comment I've made that attacks someone without being constructive.

As far as having my own blog, been there, done it, and will do it again. I am not asking anyone to cater to my tastes, if you focus too much on Hollywood you will automatically exclude the majority of black films and if that's the direction you want to go in don't expect a whole lot, but don't say that no one ever warned against it.

The way I see it, if you are having difficulties with the content you can either stop reading or start your on blog

Apply this same logic to cinema, reread the original post, then take another look at the comments.

Ehav Ever said...

I would love to see a film done about Crispus Attucks. When I was a kid I had a comic book about him, and it was the bomb. I am going to have to call my mother and see if she still has it. I would also love to see a film about the Buffalo Soldiers. On some level Posse was the best African American western I have seen, but there is always room for something bigger and better.

In terms of Mandela I think that was Danny Glover.

Sergio said...


I wrote the article for N'Digo but unfortunately they only had it up on their website for a week since they only post ALL articles for a week and don't archive anything (WTF is up with that?)

But e-mail your address and I'll send a copy of the article to you