Well, The Year of the Flop continues in Hollywood. Someone should write a book about this. This is getting truly ridiculous, the number of flops Hollywood has churned out this year. I was watching Radio-Canada tonight and they had yet another story about it, with these French-speaking filmgoers telling reporters they'd rather stay at home and watch DVDs than pay to watch the garbage at the theatres.
The problems are so obvious to me: there's nothing fresh at the theatres. We're seeing the same old cookie-cutter formulas and same old remakes, with the same old actors sleepwalking through their parts. The final nail in the coffin for Hollywood this year, though, is that even the reliable big name directors including Steven Spielberg are unexpectedly serving up the least memorable films of their careers. It's as if everybody in Hollywood chose 2005 as the year to mail it in.
The latest bomb is The Island from famed director Michael Bay, about a bunch of clones on an island. Bay has directed some of the biggest blockbusters from Hollywood, stuff like Armageddon and Pearl Harbor. His movies have made huge fortunes and the National Post speculated that the studio was gambling that people would rush to see The Island, just because it was a "Michael Bay" movie. If anyone could have turned the situation in Hollywood around it was him. Fat hope that was.
The Island finished fourth in its opening weekend behind a couple of movies that have been out for a couple of weeks already, and a sad Bay calls it a debacle. It made something like 14 million dollars or something last weekend and probably won't make its money back. It's the biggest flop of Bay's career, truly his 1941. (I don't think I have to explain 1941, you can find out for yourself.) So much for his ability to pack them into the theatres, his big winning streak is over. The Year of the Flop eats Michael Bay for dinner along with everyone else. The losing continues.
The Bad News Bears, yet another retread, also opened to a bunch of yawns, I hear, so this whole summer is a washout. At least Steven Spielberg got his money back for War of the Worlds, thanks to the European audiences. But the North American audiences were a big help.
I guess it's all up to The Dukes of Hazzard to save Hollywood now, and all I will say about that is good luck counting on these idiots the Dukes to bail the movie industry out. The fact that Burt Reynolds is in the movie tells you all you need to know about its prospects. Already you have former cast members from the TV series trashing the movie, religious nuts are trashing Jessica Simpson, and I've seen critics, who haven't even seen it yet, call the film trash. They'll probably get good business for the first weekend but after that I'm sure it will be business as usual. The year is already a washout and the sad people running the theatres are all going to have to wait for King Kong to bail them out.
The Dukes are going to be in Toronto by the way, this weekend. The actors, Jessica Simpson and everyone, will be at the ChumCity building on Queen and John to be on TV this weekend. and they're having a big event there. So look forward to seeing these big actors in town.