Tag Archives: Movies

2011 Ticket Sales Down, Even with Higher Prices

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

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With just a few days left in 2011, ticket sales in North America are running about $500 million behind last year, despite higher prices.


Analysts say that 2010 benefited from holdover sales for “Avatar,” which was released late in 2009. Over all, North American ticket revenue for 2011 is projected to be about $10.1 billion.


That is only a 4.5% falloff from 2010, but studio executives are alarmed by the downturn, in part because the real picture is worse than the raw revenue numbers suggest.


Revenue, for instance, has been propped up by a glut of 3-D films, which cost $3 to $5 more per ticket. Studios made forty pictures in 3-D in the last twelve months, up from twenty-four last year, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com. Theaters have also continued to increase prices; moviegoers pay an average of $7.89 each, up 1% over last year.


Attendance for 2011 is expected to drop 5.3%, to 1.27 billion, continuing a slide. Attendance declined 6% in 2010.


Hopes that a group of releases would supercharge the Christmas box office fizzled. “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” was a solid number one, taking in $26.5 million in its second weekend for a total of $59 million. “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” was second, with $17.8 million in ticket sales, lifting its total to $76.6 million.


“Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked” struggled in third place, taking in $13.3 million for a total of $50.3 million. “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” was fourth, taking in $13 million for the weekend and $21.4 million since opening last Wednesday. Steven Spielberg’s “Adventures of Tintin” was fifth with about $9.1 million ($22.3 million since opening last Wednesday). “We Bought a Zoo” came in sixth, taking in $7.8 million in its opening weekend.


Young people, defined by studios as teenagers and people in their twenties, powered some of the biggest movies of 2011, including “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” the year’s number one release with $381 million in domestic ticket sales. “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” was second with more than $352 million, and “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1” was third with more than $269 million.




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Victim’s Parents Object to Oscar Nomination of West Memphis Three Documentary

The parents of a child killed in the West Memphis Three murder case have asked the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to refuse Oscar consideration for the documentary Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, saying that it celebrates the three defendants.

In a letter reported by The Associated Press, Todd and Dana Moore, whose eight-year-old son was murdered with two other boys in West Memphis, Arkansas, in 1993, told the academy the defendants were “unjustly able to” obtain their freedom because of “public pressure that exploded due to gross misrepresentations of fact” in the films.

The men known as the West Memphis Three, Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, were teenagers when they were convicted of the murders. The films, directed by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, helped raise awareness about the defendants and raised questions about the evidence and testimony presented at their trials.

Mr. Echols, Mr. Baldwin and Mr. Misskelly were freed from prison in August under a deal that required them to plead guilty to the murders even though they maintain their innocence. Paradise Lost 3, which chronicles events leading up to their release, was announced as a film on the Academy’s shortlist for its best-documentary Oscar.

The Moores previously protested the Paradise Lost series, dating back to the original film, which they appeared in.

Mr. Berlinger and Mr. Sinofsky said in a statement that they “cannot imagine the pain” of the parents of the murder victims, and expressed “deep sympathy for their loss,” despite “many incorrect statements contained in Todd and Dana Moore’s letter to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.” They added, “We stand behind the integrity of our journalistic process and the information contained in our films which demonstrates the innocence of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley.”

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Comedian Patrice O’Neal Dead at 41

Comedian Patrice O’Neal died Tuesday morning of complications from a stroke he suffered one month ago. He was forty-one.

Mr. O’Neal was a regular guest on several TV and radio shows, including Tough Crowd With Colin Quinn and The Opie and Anthony Show. He appeared in films, guest-starred on several popular television shows (you may remember him as T-Bone the “flamer” on Arrested Development) and helped grill Charlie Sheen during his Comedy Central roast.

Comedy Central has set up a tribute page to the comedian and will air his special, Elephant in the Room, tonight at 8 p.m. and again at midnight.

Mr. O’Neal’s death has triggered an outpouring of condolences, shock and grief from fans on his official Facebook page and on Twitter.

Via The Washington Post.

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Netflix Abandons Plans to Split into Two Companies

In 1998 Reed Hastings founded Netflix, the lar...

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Netflix has abandoned plans to split into two companies, the service announced today.

Netflix, which has distribution centers across the country, in September it would split into two companies. It planned to use the Netflix brand for its emerging business in online streaming of movies and move its DVD-by-mail service to a new brand, Qwikster.

The company now says it was hasty in its decision.

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Cheney: “Go Ahead. Call me Vader. See If I Care.”

Dick Cheney, Vice President of the United States.

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During an appearance on Laura Ingraham‘s radio show last week, former Vice President Dick Cheney said he enjoys being nicknamed Darth Vader. (Umm… he did see those movies, right? I only ask because I’m pretty sure that Vader is the bad guy, and it’s weird to be happy about being called the bad guy… unless Mr. Cheney’s daughter Liz is going to bring balance to the Force, in which case, I guess I can see his point.)

Ingraham also mentioned that, after Darth Vader, Chewbacca is the most interesting character in the series.

I’m glad they got right down to the brass tacks.

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On This Day…

Roscoe Conkling Arbuckle (1887-1933)

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In 1921, a bootleg-booze-soused party took place in room 1219 at San Francisco’s Westin St. Francis Hotel. As a result of this party, an actress named Virginia Rappe ended up dead.

The man charged with her death was Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, Hollywood‘s first one-million-dollar star.

Arbuckle had ended up at a party in a luxury suite on the twelfth floor of the St. Francis during a break from a hectic filming schedule. Among the guests was Virginia Rappe, a thirty-year-old struggling actress.

Arbuckle and Rappe ended up together in a bedroom. A few minutes later, others heard her screams. Guests rushed in to find Rappe, fully dressed, writhing in pain on the bed.

 Arbuckle said he had gone to the bathroom and found Rappe passed out on the floor. He insisted that he had carried her to the bed, and she had fallen off it. Rappe said, “He did this to me.”
When Arbuckle left, the other guests assumed the actress was just drunk, but her condition worsened until her friend took her to the hospital three days later and told the doctor Arbuckle raped Rappe. A medical examination found no evidence of sexual assault.
Nonetheless, a day later, Rappe died from peritonitis caused by a ruptured bladder. Arbuckle was charged with first-degree murder. Morality groups demanded he face the death penalty.

Arbuckle was never tried for sexual assault, but the notion that he raped Rappe endured because of the way the trial was reported. The star was portrayed as a fat brute who had pinned down his prey, rupturing her bladder. The actor faced trial three times. The first two trials ended in hung juries.

After a third trial in 1922, the jury took just a few minutes to acquit Arbuckle. “Acquittal is not enough for Roscoe Arbuckle,” the jury said in a written apology. “A grave injustice has been done.”

Roscoe Arbuckle spent more than a decade trying to make a comeback after being blacklisted from Hollywood. In 1927, he discovered Bob Hope in Cleveland.

Finally, in 1933, he was offered a feature-film contract. He said it was the best day of his life. That night, he died of a heart attack at age 46.

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“The Help” Takes Number One Spot at the Box Office

The Help is cleaning up at the box office, taking the number one spot with $20.5 million in its second weekend. It is extremely rare for a move that did not open at the number one spot to take the number one spot later in its run.

Meanwhile, Rise of the Planet of the Apes dropped to number two.

The Help, like the novel that predated it, is making more money as audiences are raving to their friends about it.

Movie revenues often drop 50% or more in the second weekend, but receipts for The Help were only down 21%.

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