It's All About The Movies
Week of July 15th to July 21st 2013 - Volume One, Issue Twenty-Three.
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Movie Watch
Star Turn
Did You Know?
Back Talk
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Dear Movie Lover,
No, we don't mean "Bring Your Own Bottle." We do mean Box Office Bomb!  
Two of the most eagerly awaited Summer blockbuster releases---Man of Steel and The Lone Ranger---have all but bitten the dust.
The fatal wounds  to the Man of Steel are most obviously self-inflicted by over-dependence on green screen and video game-like effects. One wonders, just how many buildings can one be thrown through or cause to collapse before le grande ennui sets in? No matter how delicious the snack stand nachos may be?
Galloping into the almost-ran sunset goes the Lone Ranger.
In spite of Johnny Depp's super-camp war paint and Spirit Messages, the Lone Ranger falls short. Unrecognizable story line and gratuitous violence causes this American Western icon to fall from grace. Big time.
Is The Hobbit lurking behind Harvey Weinstein's battle with Warner Brothers over the title of his soon-to-be-released film?
Maybe. Maybe not.
What we do know for sure is it all boils down to $$$ (isn't that always the way?)
Seemingly, Warner Brothers is objecting to Weinstein's use of the name  The Butler for his new film, citing a Motion Picture Association of America regulation that says no two movies can have the same title. Seems they own a 1916 short subject coincidentally so-named.
According to Weinstein, who points to several films that share the same names (too numerous to mention here) it's all about his control of rights to The Hobbit realm---books, movies, etc. So says Weinstein: Warner Brothers wants me to relinquish control of The Hobbit Empire  and The Butler can do it---debut on the silver screen, that is".
Stay tuned for the next move in this Battle of the Movie Moguls!
Discover Tune In and Watch
Connect with every day with the Tune In and Watch program guide delivered weekly to your inbox. You'll never miss a movie. Plus, it's filled with celebrity news as well as behind the scenes  film views of what happens on and off the sets to stars, writers, directors and all the people who make movies even better than ever.


Movie Watch

Monday, July 15, 2013

12:00 am Victory At Sea Vol 2
12:26 am Bedford SPRINGS (Drama)
01:53 am Coffin (Thriller)
03:20 am McLintock (Western)
05:27 am Rescue From Gilligans Island (Comedy)
07:02 am Mademoiselle Striptease (Drama)
08:45 am High Plains Drifter (Western)
10:30 am Secret at Arrow Lake (Drama)
11:53 am Real American Hero (Drama)
01:27 pm Holyman Undercover (Comedy)
02:49 pm God Created Woman (Drama)
04:21 pm Evil Knievel
05:48 pm Gung Ho (Drama)
07:15 pm My Name Is Nobody (Western)
09:11 pm Blue Blood (Drama)
10:29 pm Adios Amigo (Western)

Click here for the complete schedule
Star Turn:
Bombs Away! Some of the Biggest
Box Office Flops Of All Time 
In Hollywood terms, it's a bomb, a turkey, a dud, a big old stinkeroo! As you ponder this list, remember that it's ever-adjustable. There's bound to be another gem coming along soon to theaters near you.

With a negative cost of $85 million (cost of the actual film before copies and promotion) and grossed only $6.7 million at the box office after one month, Town & Country holds the offiicial title of the biggest flop of all time. This turkey did nothing for the career of Warren "Ishtar" Beatty, who is now associated with not one, but two of the biggest movie flops ever.

Riding the wave of Oscar success for The Deer Hunter, director Michael Cimino insisted on full creative control for an epic Western depicting the bleak struggle between wealthy landowners and impoverished farmers. Kris Kristofferson and Christopher Walken both did fine work as the idealistic lawman and hired gun, respectively. But the cost of the location shoot climbed to a then-unprecedented $36 million.

Today, Heaven's Gate may be regarded as a flawed classic. But it came as at an incredible price.
Cimino never got to handle another A-list project; the Western virtually disappeared as a genre for an entire decade. And United Artists, the studio founded by Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford, went bust. Perhaps worst of all, an entire generation of directors like Coppola and Scorsese were forced from the driver's seat as Hollywood no longer agreed to bankroll risky big-budget projects.

A complete filming fiasco, Cleopatra brought the profitable cycle of 50's sword and sandal epics to a decisive close. The movie spanned a four-year production odyssey encompassing two Elizabeth Taylor illnesses, her affair with Richard Burton and one shooting location where the harbor was still riddled with mines from World War II.

Despite constant cuts in length, dismissive reviews (not to mention studio heads that rolled) and other creative negatives, Cleopatra---unlike other bombs on our list---remains the 38th highest-grossing film of all time in real money. It's made more than any of the Pirates of the Caribbean or Lord of the Rings movies. As disastrous as the shoot may have been, it finally became profitable, thanks to DVDs and overseas release.

ISHTAR (1987)
Produced by Eliane May and Warren Beatty, who also co-starred wth Dustin Hoffman, the film was shot on location in Morocco and New York City. The production drew media attention before its release for substantial cost overruns on top of a lavish budget . Reports of clashes between director, producer and cinematographer also surfaced. A change in studio management at Columbia Pictures during post-production also led to professional and personal difficulties that undermined the film's release.

A notorious failure at the box office, critics called it everything from "truly dreadful" to "studio suicide" and according to one reporter..." a perfect example of ego trumps logic in Hollywood." A financial as well as creative flop, Ishtar grossed only $14.3 million against its $55 million budget.

You have to give her credit---Halle berry took this flop in stride. This campy superhero epic brought in just under $40 million domestically on a $100 million budget and was considered one of the worst movies of 2004. Berry even won a Razzie for her performance, which she picked up in person.

But no Loser List would be complete without...

GIGLI (2003)
This vehicle for the former couple Ben Afflick and Jennifer Lopez gained notoriety in 2003 for its callousness and general atrociousness. To make matters worse, the two leads broke off their real-life relationship shortly after the movie failed to win over audiences. It cost $54 million to make and brought in only a small fraction of that at the box office. As a Los Angeles Times reviewer put it,
"The pair should reconsider working with anyone who thought well of a movie hinged on jokes about the disabled, switch-hitting lesbians and the sight of a dead man's brain splattered across an aquarium".
Did You Know?
When Is A Flop Really A Hit?
What do Gone With The Wind, The Wizard Of Oz and Citizen Kane have in common?
They're all box office flops! Or at least were when they first came out.

The Wizard of Oz, one of the most treasured films in cinema history, didn't actually make money until 20 years after its release. Gone With The Wind, at the time the most expensive movie ever produced, couldn't even come close to recouping its production costs at its first run in the cinema. Two re-releases in the 1940's and 1950's saw the Civil War classic limp towards the black. But it took television in the late 1950's to see MGM into the money.

Orson Welles may have directed Citizen Kane, what many regard as the greatest film of all time at the tender age of 25, but his thinly-disguised biopic of newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst ran into booking problems when the media magnate pressured theater owners not to show the film---meaning Citizen Kane couldn't get enough screen time to recover production costs.

The cemented positions of these all-time classics in the film world could never be described as flops. Neither, believe it or not, could Waterworld. A notorious 1995 would-be epic about 20th century civilization destroyed by the sea, it was hit by a tsunami of negative publicity and crippling production costs when its floating sets where destroyed, the sea. The common assumption is that this Kevin Costner turd sank without a trace. But Waterworld proved to be a plucky little floater, eventually doing Kev proud after worldwide TV and video sales came rolling in.

So what is a flop? In a business in which most films fail to make money, or even fail to get a thumbs-up from jaded critics, a true flop has to fail in every sense of the word. Inflict lasting damage on all concerned with it. Financiers haven't just lost but gone bust...critics and audiences haven't just snuck out of cinemas quietly but exited in droves.
Back Talk
We welcome our readers' thoughts, comments and opinions to our Tune and Watch forum. We look forward to getting yours. Simply contact and let us know what's on your mind.


See you on every day. Where the films are always fabulous and always free. On desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones.
Mike and Monika


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