Thursday October 07, 2010
Moses Speaks; Goldstein Scribbles
Patrick Goldstein needs to work on his follow-ups.
In this post, he begins well. He notices that Ron Howard's film, “The Dilemma,” with Vince Vaughn, Kevin James, Jennifer Connelly and Queen Latifah, opens in January—the traditional dumping ground for crap movies. He wonders: Has a Ron Howard film ever opened in January? He answers his question: Nope.
So he goes to Universal Pictures, Howard's longtime studio, and asks why they're dumping “The Dilemma” in January.
Michael Moses, Universal's co-president of marketing, tells him: “We really believe that there are 52 good opportunities a year for the right movie. It's gotten to the point where you can have success in virtually any month of the year, if you position the film correctly.” Then he points to the success Universal had in 2009 with “Fast and Furious” (April) and “Couples Retreat” (October) as examples.
Quick quiz: What's the follow-up question? Here a a few off the top of my head:
- “Even so: Why 'The Dilemma'? Why not another Universal pic?”
- “Yeah, but 'Fast and Furious' wasn't a star-powered film and 'Couples Retreat' wasn't funny. Both are B- or C-grade films, and it makes sense to push a B- or C-grade films into weaker months. Is that what's going on with 'The Dilemma'? Is it just not very good? Is it tracking badly?
- ”Would you ever open a tentpole film in January?"
Instead Goldstein asks...nothing. He has no follow-up. In the post, he accepts what Moses says as gospel; as if it came from the other Moses.
Well, he does have a few follow-ups. Unfortunately, they're asked of his readership:
So what will become the new dump month? With the Oscars moving up, could it be February? With global warming increasing each year, could it be August? If anyone wants to nominate a deserving new month, I'm all ears.
All ears. I remember when writers were more than that.
Some of the great, great films that were positioned correctly last January.