Sunday, September 23, 2007

LOUSY MONTH OF SEPTEMBER AT THE BOX OFFICE (BLAME TV)


Well, I finally got to go to a movie on Friday night. Unfortunately it was Good Luck Chuck. Terrible.

I dunno how many people were at the theater -- must have been about twenty people. Anyway, that was a real comedown from the full house that was there for The Simpsons Movie when it opened, which tells you all you need to know right there.

Actually, it's pretty funny, but there was a scene in the movie where a hot blonde (Chelan Simmons) took off her top on the beach and showed her breasts for all the world to see on the silver screen. And one of the guys in there was in a state of shock at seeing this and he walked out of the movie! I live in a pretty religious area these days here in Manitoba, so you get this sort of thing happening. But I found it to be really hilarious.

Maybe he didn't walk out for that reason, maybe he just went out to buy some popcorn or Milk Duds or something, and then came back in. But it was still kind of funny.

I don't know what it is about September that makes it a lousy time at the theaters. You would think the box office would be better. But September is widely regarded as a throwaway month in the movie industry -- the time of year to bury your worst movies and flicks that are not expected to sell any tickets. You sort of throw these horror movies and these "art" flicks into theaters in September and hope they grab an audience, but you really don't expect them to do very well and usually they don't. It's too bad, but that's September for you. These days the top grossers aren't likely to make more than 24 or 25 million dollars. This week's box office champ, Resident Evil: Extinction, only made $24 million. And it's because it was released in September.

September just seems to be a big month for other forms of entertainment. For instance, it's a big month for TV because all the networks roll out their season premieres. Tonight was the season premiere for The Simpsons, and Shark, and a host of other shows. Tomorrow is the start of a big week of season premieres and new shows --- all week in fact. Last week they rolled out K-Ville, Kid Nation, Back to You and a host of shows, all of which did well enough to avoid the axe, for now.

The joke about Back to You, which stars Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton as TV co-anchors, is that the cast is old and the audience is going to be old, too. But I sure hope that show does well, for no other reason than because I want to see sitcoms come back on TV. There aren't enough sitcoms on the air as it is, and too many reality shows and game shows in prime time.

Whether they will make any more sitcoms remains to be seen. Whether they make any more TV shows or movies, period, is a big question because the whole movie industry is all set to be shut down by a strike-- several of them, actually.

The Writers Guild of America- West is set to walk off the job in October, and everyone has been talking about this for months. And apparently a couple of other unions are set to walk out, too. The studios have stockpiled all of these movies and TV shows for months, hoping to ride out the big walkout. But if this thing goes for too long we could be in for a really lousy 2008 in terms of the movies and TV shows we see.

Also, I think we could see a lot of these TV shows being put on hiatus this year instead of being cancelled outright --- because they'll have to bring them back from the vault because of the strike. That is something I never factored into my "death pool" predictions but I think it makes sense to consider it.

Since summer is officially over as of today, here's a link to a story that ran in the Herald-Tribune ages ago, wrapping up how the summer went for everyone and all that. And also previewing the big strike. Not fun times in Hollywood.

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