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August 20, 2006

MSM On Snakes On A Plane Disappointment

Sorry for all the SOAP stuff; this should just about be the last of such posts.

"Snakes On a Plane" Fails to Charm, runs the hed.

So much for the Internet hype.

"Snakes on a Plane," a camp thriller that generated an unprecedented tsunami of online hysteria during the past year, crawled into the No. 1 slot at the North American weekend box office with estimated ticket sales of just $15.3 million, its distributor said on Sunday.

New Line Cinema had hoped the movie would open in the low-$20 million range, a spokeswoman said. While the Time Warner Inc.-owned studio was disappointed, she said the film would be profitable. Hailed by celluloid cognoscenti as being so bad that it's good, "Snakes" cost about $30 million to make, a relatively modest sum.

The sales figure covers actual data from Friday and Saturday, as well as an estimate for Sunday. It also includes $1.4 million from Thursday-evening screenings.


"This tells you that you need to have a compelling story or premise to get an audience for your movie," [an analyst at boxofficemojo.com] said.

Really? You think? Let me write that down. "Compelling... premise... or... story... to get... an audience."

Hm. Well, it sounds crazy, but it never hurts to get a fresh take, no matter how counterintuitive and "out there."

Senior New Line executives were not available for comment.

Not a good sign.

The project had been in development since 1999, going through several studios, rewrites and directors. It became a cause celebre last year when Jackson publicly assailed New Line for changing the title to the nebulous "Pacific Air 121."

The studio backed down, empowering Jackson and adoring online fans to complain that the film was not violent enough. Scenes were added ratcheting up the gruesome quotient. The bloggers' victory ensured plenty of media coverage, seemingly turning the little B-movie into a preordained must-see hit.

Sigh. This is the sort of crap the Ain't It Cool News morons are always pushing -- more tits, more graphic violence. I think I've established my bona fides as being tit and graphic violence friendly, but these morons are just kneejerk geekwads who never stop bleating, "Make it more exxxxxtreme! More gore! More knockers! Now that's storytelling! Exxxxtreme storytelling!"

Uh, yeah, whatever. If that was the key to box office success, Friday the 13th Part X: Jason Takes Manhattan would be aheaad of Return of the Jedi on the all-time box office list.

Why the hell do they listen to these morons?

Has anyone seen Arachnaphobia? This movie was terrifying (despite having no "brown people" in the cast), and it was well-made, and it was funny. Even the character development was interesting, a completely unexpected bonus in a movie about a maurauding army of hybrid Warrior Spiders. And yet-- the violence in it was pretty much limited to spider-squashing. (Not completely, but pretty much.)

Really, I don't mean to go all cliche on everyone, but while graphic violence has its uses, it's really the anticipation of violence that gets people in the sense of manipulating emotions. The actual graphic violence elicits a wince by most and an emotionally-disengaged cry of "Yeah Boy, dat was exxxxxtreme!" from fourteen year old retards.

I remember reading Ain't It Cool News' gushing, ecstatic preview-review of Rollerball remake. Now, if you've seen this movie, you know it's one of the most inept films of all time, easily in top fifty worst (major release) films in Hollywood history. For reasons unfathomable, there's a six minute chase sequence shot entirely in night-vision film (or made to look that way). And for reasons even more unfathomable, it stars Chris Klein as the Toughest Meanest Kill-Crazy Athlete In the World.

And the reviewer's main reason for giving it such a glowing review? It had Rebecca Romaijn's tits and a lot of gore. Look, if I do the Ace of Spades Lifestyle (TM) schtick, I'll say "YEAH!!! BEST MOVIE EVER!!!" about Rollerball too, but, you know, unlike Knowles and crew, I'm joking around.

They say that "nobody knows anything in Hollywood," but there is one group who knows less than nothing, and that's the Ain't It Cool jagoffs and the internet geeks in general.

Basically, Snakes On A Plane was juiced up with nudity and violence to satisfy a demographic -- fourteen year old boys -- who may see the movie, but they can't actually buy tickets for it, so their ticket sales go not to SOAP's tally but to some random PG movie that just happened to be playing at the same time.

To quote Otter from Delta House: Hollywood, you fucked up. You trusted us.

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posted by Ace at 07:14 PM

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