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Monday, November 23, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"THIS WEEKEND Multiplex cash registers were overflowing as the hotly-anticipated vampire sequel The Twilight Saga: New Moon opened to gargantuan numbers generating the third largest opening in box office history and led the overall marketplace to the second biggest weekend tally of all-time. Debuting far back in second, but also surging past industry expectations, was Sandra Bullock's new football pic The Blind Side which got off to a fantastic start. The two new female-driven films attracted over $175M in combined ticket sales leading the top ten to soar to a jaw-dropping $245M. Audiences wanted monster love as The Twilight Saga: New Moon stunned the film industry by beating what were already sky-high expectations opening to an estimated $140.7M over the Friday-to-Sunday period. That gave Summit the third best opening weekend ever trailing the super hero duo of The Dark Knight ($158.4M in July 2008) and Spider-Man 3 ($151.1M in May 2007). However, New Moon did break the all-time records for highest post-midnight grosses on the night before opening day with $26.3M and the best opening day with $72.7M. The records were formerly held by Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and The Dark Knight with $22.2M and $67.2M, respectively. The Twilight sequel cost only $50M to produce while the others cost well over $200M each." (Boxofficeguru)



"President Obama’s nine-day trip to Asia is worth a look back to fix two potent problems, past and future. First, the trip’s limited value per day of presidential effort suggests a disturbing amateurishness in managing America’s power. On top of the inexcusably clumsy review of Afghan policy and the fumbling of Mideast negotiations, the message for Mr. Obama should be clear: He should stare hard at the skills of his foreign-policy team and, more so, at his own dominant role in decision-making. Something is awry somewhere, and he’s got to fix it." (Leslie Gelb/TheDailyBeast)



"Working at Spring Creek was really an education because, as an assistant you sit behind a desk, and I would watch the spec scripts come in. And I was reading all these spec scripts, and that really helped me understand what people were looking for. I had written a very dark, very personal thesis script that nobody was ever gonna buy because it was about a dead body rotting in a cornfield. But I knew that I wanted to write something that sort of had a commercial appeal. I loved romantic comedies, and I wanted to write a romantic comedy. I left Spring Creek to really write spec scripts and took a job working outside the industry, so I had a job I didn’t take home with me at night. During that period of time, you know, I sold my CDs for my gas, and I bugged my parents for money, and they were as supportive as they could be in a world in which they thought their daughter should be going to graduate school. I had gotten an agent coming out of film school who was very patient with me, and when I finished my spec script we put it out, and I remember sitting there thinking, I don’t really have a Plan B. If this doesn’t work, I’ve gotta leave town because I can’t do this very much longer. I wanted to be able to do something. The waiting to be noticed, the waiting for somebody to think your work is any good -- it was painful. And then it sold. My spec script sold in eight hours. It never got made, but it got put in turnaround twice, so I got paid for it twice, and that fed me for quite some time." (Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rimes/TheWrap)



"Matthew Groff and Ami Horowitz’s doc 'U.N. Me,' which had its world premiere here this weekend in the festival’s First Appearance Competition, is a full-scale indictment of the world body’s rampant corruption, ineptitude and downright perversity. I have to admit, when I first read the film’s description, I was skeptical. Hating the U.N. has long been a pet enemy of the far right in the United States and flashbacks to tired old diatribes about 'creeping internationalism,' 'loss of sovereignty,' 'international socialism,' and those mysterious 'black helicopters' instantly came to mind. I have heard about corruption at the U.N., and although any corruption is never acceptable, I assumed its extent was wildly exaggerated by American right-wingers who seem to think any engagement with the world community beyond the U.S. simply dictating the rules is tantamount to traitorship. I have to say, this is one of those rare moments when a film seriously has challenged my personal view." (IndieWIRE)



"Friday night down at Indochine, they were celebrating their 25th anniversary as the laid back chic and casual go-to destination for the rich, the chic and the shameless not to mention the hip, the pips, the art crowd, the rockers and the movie stars ... co-owners Jean-Marc Houmard, Michael Callahan and Huy Chi Le staged a '1920s Shanghai' bash. It started at 9 pm and like the invitation read, it ran til 'late.' And they were all there, taking it all in, the passing parade and the trays of the Indochine gourmet celebration." (NYSocialDiary)



"Ben Silverman was quick on his feet when asked why he paired sneakers with a gray business suit at the launch party for Notional, IAC's new production shop helmed by CollegeHumor.com's Ricky Van Veen. 'We're always moving. This is a company on the go!' Silverman, the former NBC Entertainment chairman who is now running his own company at IAC called Electus, said to Page Six. Also in attendance were 'New Moon' star Elizabeth Reaser, Nick Cannon, Dan Abrams and actress Regina King." (PageSix)

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