Friday, June 13, 2008

Hulk v. The Happening

$48 million

The Happening
$29 million

Interesting slate of movies this week: Hulk v. The Happening.

Hulk comes five years after the widely panned Ang Lee / Eric Bana version, do people want to give this franchise another shot? Are there still Hulk fans out there? Is this movie just a weird stopgap between Iron Man and The Dark Knight? How much is Edward Norton being paid for this? I’m dying to hear about his deal, does anyone know of a site where you can track this kind of stuff? Also, is it just me, or is Hulk the most phallic thing of all time? He gets aroused and he gets bigger, isn’t that what a penis does?

The Happening. I have tons and tons of thoughts on this one, so much so that I’m going to bullets for this:

- Three weeks ago, the studio announced it was opening this as an R-rated movie, the first time an M. Night movie hasn’t been PG-13. This could mean a number of things obviously, but my take is that they saw the movie and thought it was absolutely awful, knew they’d never make their money back and decided to pump up the shock value and position the movie as a gory, gruesome Saw-like movie.

- There's this strange conception that all of M Night's movies are colossal failures. However, when you look at the numbers this is totally false. First off, his movies always make money; Lady In the Water was his first movie not have a worldwide net higher than $100 million (yes you read that correctly) Due to a combination of factors, mostly b/c a) his movies are fairly cheap and b) he’s still riding the Sixth Sense wave – M. Night is actually one of the most successful directors of the last ten years. Take a look at this list plotting the worldwide gross of his films vs. production budgets:

Lady In the Water
Budget: $70 million
Worldwide Gross: $72 million
Net: $2 million

The Village
Budget: $60 million
Worldwide Gross: $256 million
Net: $196 million

Budget: $72 million
Worldwide Gross: $408 million
Net: $336 million

Budget: $75 million
Worldwide Gross: $248 million
Net: $173 million

The Sixth Sense
Budget: $40 million
Worldwide Gross: $673 million
Net: $633 million

Totals (for 5 movies)
Budget: $317 million
Worldwide Gross: $1.66 billion
Net: $1.3 billion

- $1.3 billion! The fucking guy has made the studios more than a billion dollars since 1999! I remember reading the story about M. Night throwing a tantrum when Disney didn’t like his script for Lady in The Water and demanding out of his deal so he could bring the movie to Warner Bros, and thinking, what a fucking prick this guy is. But look at the numbers, the guy made a billion dollars for Disney and they still don’t trust his value, no wonder he stormed off.

- The thing with M. Night is that more than anything else he’s a victim of his own success. Not only was Sixth Sense a massive, massive hit – over $600 million net! – but it was nominated for a bunch of Oscars and everyone crowned M. Night the new Spielberg. So everything he does is judged by those accolades and that kind of success is nearly impossible to replicate (unless of course you are actually Spielberg who could direct a Cheetos commercial and make $100 million)

- Now, with all that said, I think the Happening looks absolutely awful. Lady in the Water looked horrible and the Village is in my top ten worst movies off all time. However, his name is still good, the R factor will help, and horror movies always seem to open well – The Strangers opened with 20+ a few weeks ago – something that M. Night should easily be able to top. I’m giving him $29 but wouldn't be surprised with high 30s, low 40s

- I know I say this every time he’s in a movie, but are we just supposed to just forget about the Funky Bunch? I mean, are we really supposed to take this guy seriously? I’ll never get this…

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Barry Freed read some reviews that indicate that The Happening is one of the worst movies ever made.