Theater Watch: 2007-08-17

by Paul William Tenny

At some point I'll figure out a better name for this series of posts. Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments or email/instant message them to me if you'd prefer.

Last Friday it was Rush Hour 3 and Stardust, even though The Bourne Ultimatum raked in almost as much as did Brett Ratner's latest franchise pic. I've been reading that Ratner is really unhappy with what he was paid for doing Rush Hour 3 (seven million) because a big chunk of his deal was on the backend, meaning after the film made a profit, he'd get a percentage. The schemes by which these decisions are made is complicated and never worth the risk, so Ratner is now demanding ten million for his next directing fee (not necessarily for Rush Hour 4, if there is to be one.)
Yes, that weird sound you just heard was about 340,000 people collectively laughing in Los Angeles.

There are three big flicks hitting the silver screen today with another seven smaller jobs looking to pick a fight. My gut tells me that Sony's comedy Superbad is going to clean up, not because it's funny, simply because there isn't much else that's going to do well this weekend. The Invasion has getting bad press since day 1, and the reviews confirm what everyone feared: this one stinks. Thankfully, the budget is a reasonable $50 million which will make the pain easier to ignore when the studio execs kick over their $50,000 plasma TV set once they start seeing the returns.

Superbad is another Seth Rogen/Judd Apatow comedy that, based on their recent success, leads me to believe it's going to do very well, even if it looks like total junk from the trailers. It certainly won't hurt that it had a paltry budget of just $18 million. It could very well make half that back in its first weekend, after the theaters take.

Bringing up the rear more often than not, The Weinstein Company (man, you guys should have so stuck with Disney) brings us a historical war epic called The Last Legion. If I've seen trailers for it, they weren't very memorable, because I don't have a clue what this flick is about. That's really bad news for TWC, who need nothing worse than a couple of big winners in a row before they go under.

Your best bet for this weekend is either Superbad, or catching the new Potter flick now that the theaters will be half empty and much more comfortable.

Other films debuting this weekend in extremely limited release are: 7 Dias, Death at a Funeral, Delirious (wed), The 11th Hour, The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, Love for Sale: Suely in the Sky and Manda Bala.


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