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Kong Bomb?
December 16, 2005 7:25 PM   Subscribe

Is it too early to start throwing out the phrase "Kong Bomb?" Is Peter Jackson the next Michael Cimino?
posted by JPowers (162 comments total)

 
That would be too bad. Especially since it's getting a lot of positive critical attention. With the notable exception of Denby the major reviewers are all behind it, which is pretty astonishing for a three hour hollywood epic.

I'm still going to go...
posted by lumpenprole at 7:30 PM on December 16, 2005


Are you on drugs? (and if so can I have some?)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:30 PM on December 16, 2005


Who cares? Do you like the movie? Does anything else matter?
posted by wilful at 7:32 PM on December 16, 2005


Yeah, it's been getting awesome reviews. Look for weekend attendance to go through the roof in response.
posted by mr_roboto at 7:33 PM on December 16, 2005


Answer to your question in my humble opinion: yes.

I think word will get around that it is entertaining. It ain't no Citizen Kane, but it is good fun, it was worth my $8.00. Not as good as the original, but few films are.
posted by marxchivist at 7:34 PM on December 16, 2005


This movie is flat-out incredible. Kong is the most life-like cgi character ever created. I'm actually shocked by the numbers it is posting at the box office. I'll try to do my bit to keep PJ afloat by telling you all to go see it if you haven't already. Yes, the first few minutes (about 45 to be exact) kind of drag, but once you see Kong himself you never look back. I'm not one that minds a three hour epic so maybe that's why I liked it so much but that shouldn't keep someone from seeing the film altogether. Go see "King Kong"!
posted by Anizev at 7:34 PM on December 16, 2005


Is Peter Jackson the next Michael Cimino?

um....I'm going to guess "No".
posted by 40 Watt at 7:35 PM on December 16, 2005


Well, it was certainly packed at a 9pm viewing last night in Burbank, for what that's worth. It's a fun (if overlong) movie, but I'm shocked that none of the critics seem to be willing to mention the 900-lb. gorilla in the room that is the most atrocious dialogue this side of an Ed Wood movie. Seriously, it's not even campy bad -- it's just bad.

Great special effects, though. And Naomi Watts has the best hair ever.
posted by scody at 7:36 PM on December 16, 2005


Interesting. I assumed it was HUGE and I just wasn't interested. Leftover anti-LOTR feelings, I think. (And ironically, the good reviews have made me want to see it now)
posted by smackfu at 7:36 PM on December 16, 2005


Weird, the one review I've heard says that the character development and dialogue are great, particularly for an epic/action-adventure/big ape movie. Huh. Well,l we'll be seeing it anyway.
posted by Medieval Maven at 7:40 PM on December 16, 2005


So it's made $17 Million on two school nights when there have been bad weather over lots of the country? And that's just the US. And only box office not DVD, Cable and TV rights. And Burger King glasses. I think that Peter Jackson will be OK. Plus, it's a great f...ing movie, I had a blast.
posted by octothorpe at 7:40 PM on December 16, 2005


People actually read movie reviews?

I mean, do other people force them to read them or something?
posted by wakko at 7:41 PM on December 16, 2005


If the theater next door is any indication, Peter Jackson ain't got no worries.
posted by dirigibleman at 7:41 PM on December 16, 2005


Anizev's review is much better if you read the last sentence in the voice of Gene Shalit.

(Maybe add an 'I loved it!' at the end)
posted by lumpenprole at 7:41 PM on December 16, 2005


"I loved it!"
posted by Anizev at 7:44 PM on December 16, 2005 [1 favorite]


It's not too early at all. While Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr. were ground-breaking games, Donkey Kong three was a weak Galaga rip-off, and deserves its ignominity. Some would argue that the jury is still out, but I think twenty-two years is sufficient time for history to render its verdict.
posted by L. Fitzgerald Sjoberg at 7:44 PM on December 16, 2005


"So it's made $17 Million on two school nights when there have been bad weather over lots of the country?"

Consider that 20 other movies (including "Pokemon: The First Movie," which went on to gross under $86 million domestically) had a bigger Wednesday night opening.
posted by JPowers at 7:47 PM on December 16, 2005


Scody: I think that the clunky dialog was intentional along with some of the stiff acting. A lot of the lines, especially Jack Black's were directly from the first one. Jackson was trying to give it some of the flavor of the original. Go back and watch the 1933 version, I love it but the acting is totally over the top and the dialog is very silly.
posted by octothorpe at 7:47 PM on December 16, 2005


I don't think Peter Jackson should be losing any sleep over the box office. The movie has summer blockbuster written all over it - sure it cost a lot of money to make, but every dollar ends up on screen somewhere.
My potted review: despite the special effects (which are the best I have ever seen), the movie just isn't that great. The script keeps the plot of the original while trying to change the theme and (IMHO, I don't have any Oscars) it just does not work. Its length also works against it. I put it in the OK but not classic bin.
posted by AndrewStephens at 7:48 PM on December 16, 2005


Wait till everyone gets bored on the day after Christmas. Numbers through the roof.
posted by 23skidoo at 7:51 PM on December 16, 2005


Consider that 20 other movies (including "Pokemon: The First Movie," which went on to gross under $86 million domestically) had a bigger Wednesday night opening.

You're really reaching here. Movies like Pokemon are incredibly front-loaded even when compared to blockbusters. I think we can safely say that even the worst possible plausible scenario has the movie making back its $200 million cost. Did Heaven's Gate do that?
posted by Hubajube at 7:53 PM on December 16, 2005


People actually read movie reviews? I mean, do other people force them to read them or something?

Sure, I do -- but usually only after I've seen the movie!

Octothorp, that's a good point -- it's been easily 25 years since i saw the original, so it was impossible for me to tell what was lifted directly from the original and what was more along the lines of homage. (I did love the reference to a busy actress named Faye, though!) Either way, though, I found it pretty distracting at times (especially in the first 45 mins. while the action's still in NY -- the dialogue seemed noticeably less painful once they get on the boat).
posted by scody at 7:53 PM on December 16, 2005


Wow Lore, that's approx. one level geekier than I expected from you. I felt pretty bad about understanding the Donkey Kong 3 reference until I noticed your name attached to the comment.

On the "Kong Bomb" thing, well note that it's *Fox News* making the proclamation, and that it's not the weekend yet. The movie's also going up against yet another huge manufacturered opening, that of Narnia, which is going out using pages ripped from the LoTR playbook.

And 22nd best opening isn't exactly horrible either -- you gotta really feel sorry for the shlubs who made the 23rd best opening movie, oy.
posted by JHarris at 8:02 PM on December 16, 2005


why do they wait 75 minutes to bring out the big monkey? 75 minutes? wtf?
posted by matteo at 8:07 PM on December 16, 2005


"And 22nd best opening isn't exactly horrible either..."

Well, 22 is pretty bad if you're talking about "the sixth most expensive film ever made by Hollywood."
posted by JPowers at 8:09 PM on December 16, 2005


I rather enjoyed it in a rather combination action/sappy memories/testimonial way. It certainly didn't seem to drag much for me.

When I had to make a run to the facilities, I glanced at my watch and was surprised to find an hour and a half had passed.

And, yes, Naomi Watts was a knockout, but I liked her best as Jet... (Yes, I make passes at women who wear glasses, mother's advice be damned...)
posted by Samizdata at 8:10 PM on December 16, 2005


It is a three hour movie. It is limited to one showing per night on most of its screens. The evening shows are the biggest ones. So it starts out right away unable to make the same money that a regular length movie can make.

Titanic never had monster weekends. It just kept putting up very large numbers, week after week. Three hour movies have a hard time setting any daily or weekend records. As LOTR and Titanic show, they certainly can do well in the long run. And I expect this will do very well in the long run.
posted by flarbuse at 8:16 PM on December 16, 2005


I'll throw in with the crowd that thinks the dialog was mostly pretty crappy. I'll also agree with those who think the reason for that was because he was trying to stay true to the original and that it failed in the new context.

But holy cow were the animal fight scenes awesome! Lots of really fun ideas with how the fights progressed.

However, deus ex machina was used far too many times for my taste (granted, once is too much for my taste).
posted by ddf at 8:22 PM on December 16, 2005


I claim this post for the Kingdom of Duh.
posted by VulcanMike at 8:26 PM on December 16, 2005


Fox News? Fox News?? We're linking to "Fox News" for ... you know ... facts and stuff?

As a majorette in the Peter Jackson Bandwagon since "The Frighteners" (an excellent movie that bombed at the B.O.), all I can say is that Hollywood needs more "failures" like that.
posted by RavinDave at 8:27 PM on December 16, 2005


Plugged In actually seemed to like it, surprisingly.
posted by Captaintripps at 8:28 PM on December 16, 2005


"It is a three hour movie. It is limited to one showing per night on most of its screens. The evening shows are the biggest ones. So it starts out right away unable to make the same money that a regular length movie can make."

"Fellowship," which "Prior to the debut, Universal had suggested...as a benchmark [for "Kong"]," was 2 hours and 58 minutes long. Nonetheless, it opened, on a Wednesday in December, to $18,214,211 -- that's three times "Kong's" opening night numbers.
posted by JPowers at 8:28 PM on December 16, 2005


Any unless you've got shares in the relevant movie studio, how does how well it does at the box office fundamentally matter in our lives? Unless you only like to watch popular movies to be cool. If you like the movie, tell your friends. If you don't, tell them as well.
posted by wilful at 8:36 PM on December 16, 2005


in DK3, you shoot caulk at kong's cock.

/pj majorette since bad taste
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 8:37 PM on December 16, 2005


I loved it.
posted by Quartermass at 8:38 PM on December 16, 2005


I plan on seeing it this weekend (between work and xmas shopping, I haven't had any extra time during the week).

Then again, I'm hoping for a $100 million re-make of Meet the Feebles, someday.
posted by stifford at 8:48 PM on December 16, 2005


Man did Drudge play up this movie. I wonder if he was paid to do so?
posted by caddis at 8:51 PM on December 16, 2005


I think his coverage has been pretty fair.
posted by JPowers at 8:53 PM on December 16, 2005


NERRRRRRDDDDSSSSDSSSSSSSSSDSSSSSSSSSSS!!!
posted by destro at 8:54 PM on December 16, 2005


Oh Man it looks like Michael Jackson is in his 11th hour of financial peril.
posted by svenvog at 8:59 PM on December 16, 2005


I hear that Michael Jackson is in his 11th hour of financial peril.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 9:00 PM on December 16, 2005


Not long until the midnight hour for Michael Jackson's financial future.
posted by Jimbob at 9:03 PM on December 16, 2005


This is why we can't have nice things.
posted by JPowers at 9:04 PM on December 16, 2005


< derail>
Lore, will you please bring back the SMC?
posted by jmgorman at 9:05 PM on December 16, 2005


So the question is: How much money does this woman need?
posted by svenvog at 9:05 PM on December 16, 2005


Just walked in the door after seeing it here in Raleigh. It's clearly too long by about 30-45 minutes (the opening section is the problem, not the middle, which flew by), but it is still an amazing sci-fi/action flick by any standard you can imagine, with heart and soul that are undeniable. It's a total family movie (11 and up, I'd guess) that starts a bit hokey and has a few obvious concessions to the dumb mainstream, but still fully delivers on all the classic Kong lessons about love, beauty, violence and heartbreak. The scenes between Kong and Ann will have anyone with half a brain laughing *and* tearing up (Naomi Watts does a great job, especially as she starts to realize just how sensitive Kong can be), and the pathos of the final battle far surpasses that of the original. Any parent with kids who can handle pulse-pounding dinosaur action shouldn't hesitate to take the family to this one. It provides tons of food for thought/discussion about a variety of topics, including (hello, O'Reilly crowd) the shallow, insidious amorality of Hollywood.

Plus it has giant monkeys. :)

The Kong CGI is astonishingly realistic, the action scenes are far superior to anything in any of the Jurassic Park movies, and the movie has a heart as big as...well, this movie's heart is enormous (try saying that about Jurassic Crap). Kong's a beast, sure, but mainly because he lives in such a beastly world. When confronted with something funny/friendly/beautiful, he rises to the occasion immediately. What makes the film so heartbreaking is not so much its unrequited love story as the achingly brief hints we get that Kong's appreciation for beauty is just beginning to flower when he gets ripped from his world and then murdered. I cried.

Twice.

And I'll see it again. I might come to the theater 45 minutes late next time, but I'll definitely see it again.
posted by mediareport at 9:06 PM on December 16, 2005


Btw, JPowers, you're foolish for posting this before the opening weekend has seriously begun. In future, sit on your hands for a day or so.
posted by mediareport at 9:09 PM on December 16, 2005


Yeah, mediareport, I was gonna say... I've never seen a movie declared a "bomb" after a single night in theaters.
posted by brundlefly at 9:23 PM on December 16, 2005



Any unless you've got shares in the relevant movie studio, how does how well it does at the box office fundamentally matter in our lives?


A lot of things that people care about don't 'fundamentally matter.' For example, rarely has a sporting event at any level, in any sport, anywhere in the world, mattered to me more than the lifespan of a flea that I might accidentally step on as I'm putting on my shoes in the morning.

Some people, including me, are interested in the business of the movie industry. If that bothers you, go bang your head against a wall.
posted by bingo at 9:29 PM on December 16, 2005


it's way too early
posted by spunk at 9:35 PM on December 16, 2005


Well I, for one, didn't even know it was OUT YET. I thought it wasn't out until the 20th.
posted by Malor at 9:55 PM on December 16, 2005


At the risk of turning Metafilter into my own personal Bat-Signal, I'll reply to jmgorman:

I never wrote the Self-Made Critic, so I'm the wrong person to ask for a comeback.
posted by L. Fitzgerald Sjoberg at 9:57 PM on December 16, 2005


fuckyazall. Tracking the numbers is sometimes fun, but usually depressing. at best, it could come in handy at Trivial Pursuit later on, I suppose.

The movie I liked least from Jackson so far is the Frighteners, and that got a LOT better the second time I saw it. (and that theatre was empty, like 5-8 people on opening weekend). and really, isn't slinging shit at this stage kind of like Wile E. Coyote swallowing the entire bottle of tornado pills because he doesn't feel their effect immediately? jeez.

Kong ran a little long, but the only scene I thought was way too over the top was the bug scene. I loved the character development and attention to detail in 1930s NYC. He made this movie for grander fucking reasons than revenue generation, (not what the execs want to hear) the love he has for the subject oozes out of every frame.

I understand the studio worrying and all, but damn, I'm really fucking glad the movie was made, because I enjoyed the hell out of it.
posted by Busithoth at 10:03 PM on December 16, 2005


I won't be seeing it. And at 3 hours the time it would take to download the crappy cam would definetly not be worth it.

Brokeback Mountain and Narnia are going to kill kong. Then do him.
posted by AMWKE at 10:10 PM on December 16, 2005


Kong is tremendous fun, but the best movie of the season is Munich.
posted by muckster at 10:19 PM on December 16, 2005


Whether it reaches the box-office stratosphere that was predicted for it or not, I don't think the comparison with Cimino is in any way apt.

Cimino and "Heaven's Gate" were in trouble way before the film even opened. He was getting bad press, and had been alienating his studio with terribly high handed behavior and an undisciplined producer. The worst I've heard of Jackson is that he spent a lot of money, but everyone knew he would going in. On top of that, the advance press I was aware of was almost uniformly positive.

There is a very good book from the 80's called "Final Cut" that was written by one of the studio heads at United Artist's whose career was pretty much torpedoed by his experience with "Heaven's Gate". The Trio cable network put out a pretty good video rendering of that book a couple years ago as part of month long feature on flops. It was paired up with a showing of the long cut of "Heaven's Gate", which in retrospect is a much better movie than people gave it credit for at the time. It is at times achingly beautiful to watch.
posted by hwestiii at 10:36 PM on December 16, 2005


There's this phrase on the tip of my tongue, what is it ... oh yeah!

Jumping the gun.
posted by teece at 10:38 PM on December 16, 2005


The dinosaur sequences left me in awe. Amazing.

Why does the right wing want it to fail so bad? Because it is liberal in its view of capitalism/militarisim?
posted by The Jesse Helms at 10:45 PM on December 16, 2005


Why does the right wing want it to fail so bad? Because it is liberal in its view of capitalism/militarisim?

They're just afraid to admit that Kong/Darwin could kick the crap out of Aslan/Jesus.
posted by homunculus at 10:59 PM on December 16, 2005


Fucking brontosaurus stampede.
posted by sohcahtoa at 11:00 PM on December 16, 2005


Brokeback Mountain and Narnia are going to kill kong.

I'm sorry... are you suggesting that a movie about GAY COWBOYS is going to do better at the box office than King Kong?
In the USA?
Where 51% of the population voted against all logic for Bush because they were grossed out about the idea of 2 dudes kissing?

Now, if you're suggesting that Brokeback is a better movie, that I'll believe...
posted by papakwanz at 11:12 PM on December 16, 2005


I'm suprised no one here has mentioned that this version feels more racist than the original.
posted by piratebowling at 11:43 PM on December 16, 2005


Oh GOD, I just clicked on the Drudge link and saw the first column on the page asks, "IS 'KING KONG' RACIST?"

Anyway, scratch what I said. I don't want to associate myself with the Drudge.
posted by piratebowling at 11:45 PM on December 16, 2005


I went in skeptical, left thankful.
posted by furtive at 11:48 PM on December 16, 2005


This movie needs to make $600 million worldwide to make a profit. It will easily reach that especially considering how easily this movie will be to market overseas.

Keep in mind, Shrek 2 made *just* $11m in it's opening day on a May wednesday and made over $400m domestic. By comparison, Kong's $9.8 for a movie that is twice the length is forgivable. I fully expect this to play well throughout the holiday season.
posted by my sock puppet account at 11:54 PM on December 16, 2005


I heard that it opened in "select cities," is that incorrect? Could account for something, if true...
posted by Tikirific at 11:55 PM on December 16, 2005


It opened in 3,568 theaters -- which is the 36th widest opening in film history.
posted by JPowers at 12:05 AM on December 17, 2005


This movie is a huge stinker. I never walk out of movies, but this one, I up and left in the middle.

People saying the graphics are good have very poor vision! The animation is jerky and stilted, it looks terrible.

Sensibility of a psychopathic five year old playing with dolls.
posted by Osmanthus at 12:14 AM on December 17, 2005


Then again, I'm hoping for a $100 million re-make of Meet the Feebles, someday.

I am "about to blow my cookies" just thinking about it.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 1:21 AM on December 17, 2005


I won't be seeing it. And at 3 hours the time it would take to download the crappy cam would definetly not be worth it.

Err.. well you shouldn't be downloading films anyway (at least not crappy cam ones... go for the TC telecine copy instead - Joke)

Brokeback Mountain and Narnia are going to kill kong. Then do him.

Combined maybe... I'm really looking forward to brokeback tho...

The dinosaur sequences left me in awe. Amazing.

The Spiderpit sequence got me - the worm things! Kong also crazy-good.

I'm suprised no one here has mentioned that this version feels more racist than the original.

I'm not... Because it isn't racist in any wat what soever... As has been said many times - if you read racism into the film that probably says more about you then the filmmakers...

This movie is a huge stinker. I never walk out of movies, but this one, I up and left in the middle.

Then you left before then best parts of the film

People saying the graphics are good have very poor vision! The animation is jerky and stilted, it looks terrible.

I have no idea what film you walked into - we all saw KING KONG, are you sure you didn't walk into Power Rangers the Movie.. the animation in that film is indeed stilted.

Sensibility of a psychopathic five year old playing with dolls.

No idea what that means.

But overall - this film will not bomb... with such posititive reviews and word of mouth (plus the massive amount of screens) and it being a great movie.
posted by Meccabilly at 2:01 AM on December 17, 2005


piratebowling writes "I'm suprised no one here has mentioned that this version feels more racist than the original."

Not seeing the Drudge page now. What precisely is more racist with the new one? The original was one step away from the natives eating watermelon. Not knocking it. I love the original, but it's a creature of its time...

I can see the someone crying "racist" over the fact that Kong has been eating women for years, then decides not to the first time a white chick shows up... but that's inherent in the story. I don't see how you can avoid that in a remake, really... How is the new version more racist? Haven't seen the flick yet, so I'm just curious.
posted by brundlefly at 2:12 AM on December 17, 2005


Just got back from seeing it and the audience applauded at the end. Maybe a tad too long, but it's no "Heaven's Gate".
posted by gallois at 2:41 AM on December 17, 2005


It's a third remake.

Do I really need to see this AGAIN?

He's still a giant gorilla, right?

And she's still some blonde tottie?

Special effects? Boy, that's new.
posted by HTuttle at 3:22 AM on December 17, 2005


Actually I agree with HTuttle. I don't understand why Peter Jackson wanted to do a story that has been done to death. What is the point?

I mean, I am sure Jackson did it well and beautifully, but sheesh.
posted by konolia at 4:31 AM on December 17, 2005


I thought it was pretty refreshing to see such a huge movie done sooooo incredibly well. It's really pretty great for what it is--the best of its kind I've seen in years.
posted by ghastlyfop at 4:45 AM on December 17, 2005


Anti-Skull Islander prejudice will surely be inflamed by their orc-like portrayal in this very long movie. But we should wait to hear from Skull Islander community leaders before denouncing it as racist - or so at least the filmmakers would probably tell us. They did throw in a thoughtful black guy to counterbalance that stuff, and his relationship with Jamie Bell was a bit of a bum note. Also the Conrad stuff. Apart from that I thought it pretty much rocked. My wife, who seemed sceptical about going to see a giant ape film, was in tears by the end. And it was good to see a cage marked 'Sumatran Rat Monkey' on their ship.
posted by Mocata at 5:33 AM on December 17, 2005


Actually I agree with HTuttle. I don't understand why Peter Jackson wanted to do a story that has been done to death. What is the point?

I mean, I am sure Jackson did it well and beautifully, but sheesh.


well, how about correcting a wrong?
the 1976 Kong, while it appealed to my 4-year old sensibilities, (established a huge affection for Jessica Lange and a totally irrational hatred for Charles Grodin), I saw it a couple of years ago, and boy, it stinks.

there's some good moments, but they're mired in utter crap.

I'm suprised no one here has mentioned that this version feels more racist than the original.
posted by piratebowling at 2:43 AM EST on December 17


Is that because it isn't and you'd like to berate a fool who thought so? Or is that your belief and you just can't think of an instance to support it?
posted by Busithoth at 5:45 AM on December 17, 2005


I don't know if King Kong is racist as such--and I haven't seen the new one--but the original was a film made in 1933 about a big black ape who must be killed for loving a beautiful white woman. Race is so obviously part of the subtext of the movie that denying it is just silly. Miscegenation, anyone?

I'm not saying it's bad--it was 1933--just that it's, well, weird.
posted by josh at 6:06 AM on December 17, 2005


What a horrible life these people live when making $16M back on a $200M investment in 48 hours of traditionally slow days is a "bomb."

The worst you can say about it is that Kong is not going to be some huge record-breaking paradigm-busting marketing nightmare of a film with people lined up for hours to get tickets. And if that is what was expected, well Kong was a longshot: long, a remake, and in the middle of a long-term downturn. In spite of that, the BO will probably top $200 domestic before the end of the holiday season, and the game, marketing tie-ins, and international sales will finance next big blockbuster for Universal and Weta.

But, to those people who see the BO numbers as a race of ape vs. lion, it probably is a bomb.

Meanwhile, Brokeback Mountain, a movie I put on my list months ago, still has not opened locally in spite of winning early awards. Gee, is it too much to ask that they take one screen away from something like Family Stone? Or even, Walk the Line which has been running multiple screens for weeks?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 6:06 AM on December 17, 2005


Best fight scene ever. I give it two non-opposable thumbs up, way, way up.
posted by blue_beetle at 6:14 AM on December 17, 2005


three hour hollywood epic

Three hours?!? That's just ruled it out for me. I don't have three hours to devote to a damn dirty ape movie, not unless I can pause it at home and go do something else.
posted by meehawl at 6:23 AM on December 17, 2005


Kong has been eating women for years

Kong eats women? Since when? The bodies had been pulled apart, but the skulls weren't crushed. I took it to mean he played with them, like he played with Ann at first. She may not even have been the first he fell for over the years; she's just the first to have a film crew with her.

I don't understand why Peter Jackson wanted to do a story that has been done to death. What is the point?

He's about the most successful filmmaker in the world and it's been a lifelong dream to remake Kong. Duh.

*shrug* I'm with furtive; I went in skeptical (on the spur of the moment after work), and left very thankful. It's just so great that someone has taken this classic story and handed it to a new generation with the heart intact. How many kids would know this heartwrenching story only from secondary references without this remake? Why on earth would such a remake be a problem for anyone? It wouldn't have been my call for Jackson's Next Project, sure, and I think using Jack Black was a mistake, but I haven't made billions of dollars for movie studios so I'll just sit back and enjoy a thrilling blockbuster. With giant monkeys.
posted by mediareport at 6:25 AM on December 17, 2005


He's about the most successful filmmaker in the world

He was successful with his Lord of the Rings trilogy, but I think overall Steven Spielberg is more successful.
posted by caddis at 6:54 AM on December 17, 2005


brundlefly, something about seeing a group of "natives" being portrayed in what appeared to be blackface, with bones through the nose and a seemingly instinctive tendency to violently attack, bite and kidnap the first (I'm assuming) white people they see just smacked of a racist tendency to me. In the "creating of the Other" Edward Said sense.

However, I fully admit it may just be my "liberal guilt" chip malfuctioning. I just thought Jackson was a brave man to make such a portrayal.
posted by piratebowling at 6:59 AM on December 17, 2005


I'm surprised to see such a relatively low take after all the predictable OMG-amazing-cgi-jeebus-willyalookitthat-its-a-big-gorilla ravings from the usual crop of ADHD stunted adolescents who lke their movies to give them the same comfort they find when someone waves a big shiny thing in front of their faces.

Since about 1990, if the words "amazing", "special" and "effects" occur in more than fifty percent of a movie's reviews I generally assume the film is going to be a vapid display of empty spectacle for the masses. On the occasions when I've tested this theory I've almost always been right. There were one or two honourable exceptions.

The other reason I wouldn't dream of watching this thing is that I don't think I could stand watching Jack Black playing Jack Black again.
posted by Decani at 7:02 AM on December 17, 2005


I'm surprised to see such a relatively low take after all the predictable OMG-amazing-cgi-jeebus-willyalookitthat-its-a-big-gorilla ravings from the usual crop of ADHD stunted adolescents who lke their movies to give them the same comfort they find when someone waves a big shiny thing in front of their faces.

*spits coke on monitor

*get's distracted by a shiny thing
posted by caddis at 7:09 AM on December 17, 2005


This movie features an oversized ape? Why did *anyone* ever tell me about it...

I bet Mofi approves if this movie -- good enough for me.
posted by NewBornHippy at 7:10 AM on December 17, 2005


konolia: Actually I agree with HTuttle. I don't understand why Peter Jackson wanted to do a story that has been done to death. What is the point?

Well, two things:

1: People who have been following Jackson for a while know that he's a huge fanboy of classic cinema. At least in the interviews I've seen going back before LotR, he comes across with a really deep and honest love of the subject.

2: King Kong makes perfect business sense for Jackson as a driving force behind the production/effects company Weta, which has this novel technology for building digital characters from the expressions of human actors. King Kong is a great vehicle for this. The original was the proof of concept behind O'Brien and Harryhausen's stop-motion animation that dominated creature effects for 50 years.

From a business standpoint, you can argue that the Hensons (and yes, I think Brian is Jim's creative equal) and Lucas are even more successful for creating production companies than their actual movies. ILM, Skywalker Ranch, and The Creature Shop get contracts for a large number of blockbuster films. You might have to wait 5 minutes to see the line in the credits, but each line in the credits is a hefty chunk of cash in the bank that does not depend on BO gross. And of course, Jackson has been rather upfront about his vision of Wellington as one of the big places for Hollywood to produce movies as well.

So beyond the creative aspects, I think that Jackson has a lot of political and financial incentive to make a King Kong now rather than another Heavenly Creatures.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:22 AM on December 17, 2005


KirkJobSluder: Brokeback Mountain, a movie I put on my list months ago, still has not opened locally in spite of winning early awards.


Has nothing to do with your local theatres. It's on limited release until sometime in January, when it goes nationwide.
posted by papakwanz at 7:27 AM on December 17, 2005


The logic of this post is amazing.

The movie that is currently at the top of the box office right now, eclipsing its nearest competitor by a factor of three, and the #3 movie by a factor of 9, is being called a bomb 2 days after opening?!

It's being called a bomb because it isn't making the money that LOTR made, when LOTR is one of the biggest earning movies of all time.

and we're getting our opinions from foxnews.

I swear to God, it's like living on fucking bizarro world or something.

Oh, and having the 22nd highest opening of all time IS a good thing, EVEN if it's the 6th most expensive film. what day of the week did it open on again? a wednesday? oh that's right, the day no one goes to the movies. the next time fox tells you something is dubious, and you want to let everyone know how dubious fox just told you it was... just smack yourself around a little instead, till you've come to your senses.
posted by shmegegge at 7:27 AM on December 17, 2005


Er, sorry to repost so quickly... what I meant, Kirk, is that the film's distributor has it on limited release until January. Why? Don't know, but that's their plan.

Also, re: Jackson's love of Kong-
He was set to do the remake even before LOTR, but the poor performance of The Frighteners made the big film execs nervous, so they cancelled the project.
posted by papakwanz at 7:30 AM on December 17, 2005


Oh, I thought it had been opened up a bit to wider release. My fault.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:32 AM on December 17, 2005


Kirk- I believe it is is NY, SF, LA, and maybe a sprinkling of art house theatres in select markets. I think around Jan 13th is the nationwide release for it.

Anyway, this post is totally crazy, for all the reasons shmegegge said. There's also a strange bit of schadenfreude, at least on the part of that Fox News article. Why are people so obsessed with finding the next big box office failure?
posted by papakwanz at 7:37 AM on December 17, 2005


This movie is the most awesome remake ever made. The CGI is totally believable and the characters well developed. I will see this multiple times on the big screen and will own the DVD when available. Top 25 movie on my personal list. I don't really care what everyone else thinks although I want to see Peter Jackson make money and continue to knock my socks off with amazing CGI and quality adaptations. If this is a bomb then thank you sir, may I have another?
posted by HyperBlue at 7:43 AM on December 17, 2005


Is anyone else just getting movie burnout? I mean, I love Peter Jackson, and have since I rented "Dead Alive" (AKA Braindead) a decade ago without a clue what I was getting into. I've been excited about Kong, and I'm going to see it today. (After catching the original on TCM this afternoon)

But I'm just not that HYPED. I'm not EXCITED by the movie. If it wasn't PJ doing it, I might not even bother going. I'm just going, really, because I know I'll enjoy it and I don't really have anything better to do with the day.

And the other movies out at the moment? I can't even bring myself to be interested in Narnia, and I'm a fan of the books. And... uh... oh yeah, the gay cowboys one.

It just seems like the last two or three years have been SO poor, overall, in terms of films coming out that I've finally about given up. My DVD purchasing has become a tiny fraction of what it was a few years ago, and I have to actively look to find film projects coming up that I'm the least bit interested in.

Is it just me? Or is anyone else feeling this complete apathy towards the industry?
posted by InnocentBystander at 7:45 AM on December 17, 2005


a vapid display of empty spectacle for the masses

I'm off to see it now. You'd better be right.
posted by cillit bang at 7:50 AM on December 17, 2005


Kong eats women? Since when?

Seriously, Kong's diet was the best part of the movie. Kong eats bamboo, like Gigantopithecus blackii. He's a scientifically accurate giant impossible gorilla!
posted by queen zixi at 7:59 AM on December 17, 2005


InnocentBystander:
I agree.

Now, there are a good handful of movies out that I am interested in seeing, but even the best stuff that comes out these days seems only to merit "Pretty Good" on my list. The few things that exceed that rating are usually independent films or foreign films (and I don't consider myself a movie "snob"). I think that the film industry is severly hampered by its creative model, which is overall very low risk (minus the occassional Kong exception). It's highly imitative, for the most part sticking with known quantities and repetitive formulas; see the glut of superhero movies following X-Men's success, all an attempt to get gold from the same mine. Narnia would never have gotten made if it weren't for LOTR and Harry Potter, and the film borrows pretty heavily from both in its marketing strategy and visual style. It'll do well, but its just not that exciting because, as with most movies out now, it feels like its been done before. It gets boring to go to the movies, when it should be thrilling.
posted by papakwanz at 8:02 AM on December 17, 2005


shmegegge : "Oh, and having the 22nd highest opening of all time IS a good thing, EVEN if it's the 6th most expensive film. what day of the week did it open on again? a wednesday? oh that's right, the day no one goes to the movies. "

Does no one RTFA?

"Wednesday's weak $9,755,745 opening day. Kong ranks now as the 21st best Wednesday opening ever"
posted by Gyan at 8:07 AM on December 17, 2005


I'm so glad that everyone is buying, hook line and sinker, into the right-wing media machine that desperately wants Kong to bomb and Narnia to be the big hit of the holiday season.

On a more practical note, y'all are forgetting about DVD sales, which make up an increasing percentage of total film revenue these days. I don't think PJ is losing any sleep over this.
posted by mkultra at 8:10 AM on December 17, 2005


Papakwanz - for bonus points, look through the upcoming movies for next year and try to find major studio films that are NOT adaptations, sequels, or remakes.

But really, it seems like NONE of the media companies are willing to be the least bit daring at the moment - and it's KILLING them. Look at the slump in music sales. What can you seriously point at except the absolute dearth of quality music\acts? (and please don't say "piracy.") I mean, there haven't even been any exciting new acts this last year. The record industry was afraid to even try to launch a new Britney. And video games? I saw the list of launch titles for the X-Box 360 and just laughed. EVERY SINGLE ONE, with one exception, was a sequel to an existing game. (and that one exception was "Gun," and was available for all the last-gen consoles as well) If I had actually needed another reason NOT to buy one, that would have pretty much cemented it. "Hey kids! Pay $500 for the EXACT SAME THING with prettier graphics! Huyuk! Yeah!"

And then they wonder why there's rampant consumer apathy and why sales of nonessential crap are down pretty much across the board.
posted by InnocentBystander at 8:21 AM on December 17, 2005


It just seems like the last two or three years have been SO poor, overall, in terms of films coming out that I've finally about given up. My DVD purchasing has become a tiny fraction of what it was a few years ago, and I have to actively look to find film projects coming up that I'm the least bit interested in.

I don't even think you'll have to go back that far, just last year you had some really interesting Hollywood films, like Eternal Sunshine, The Incredibles and Spider-Man 2, which I remember being really thrilled by, but nothing like that has grabbed me this year. Even acclaimed "art" films by directors I really like such as Kore-Eda and Cronenberg have been "okay" this year but haven't really blown me away.
posted by bobo123 at 8:30 AM on December 17, 2005


meehawl writes "three hour hollywood epic

"Three hours?!? That's just ruled it out for me. I don't have three hours to devote to a damn dirty ape movie, not unless I can pause it at home and go do something else."


What's with the anti-epic mindset? Doesn't anyone appreciate long movies? Are our attention spans so shortened by TV that we can't watch long movies anymore? Give me a good, long movie anyday over a 90 minute short. Distended bladder be damned. A good post movie piss feels better than sex (sometimes).

I wanted this movie to last longer. The theatre that I watched it at had two showings. One starting at 10:30 and the other at 11:00. I went to the 10:30 and when it was over at 1:39am I walked over to the later showing and watched the last 30 minutes again.

Yes, I got teary both times. (38 yr old male). Awesome flick, only gripe is the aforementioned brontosaurus stampede.
posted by HyperBlue at 8:30 AM on December 17, 2005


It's so cute how the little bald apes love seeing their characteristics emulated by the big hairy ape.
posted by Blue Stone at 8:33 AM on December 17, 2005


Bobo123 - Meh. I'll admit that I didn't see Eternal Sunshine, but I found Spider-Man 2 to be a real letdown. About half of it was a good action movie, but the angsty parts in the middle went on for FAR TOO LONG, and how the hell does Kirsten Dunst continue to get roles? I've known china dolls who were both prettier and more emotive. (Seriously, she has *dead* eyes. It's like gazing into an abyss whenever she looks into the camera.) I mean, Alfred Molina was really great, but he was missing for far too much of the movie.

And the Incredibles? I'll admit that I enjoyed it a lot when I first saw it... but it sort of fell apart upon inspection. All he really did was mix n' match cliches. "What if we took the trappings of a Superhero movie, but filled it with the ideals and convictions of Leave It To Beaver?" And then what was "original" in it was mainly borrowed from The Watchmen. (I will confess that the action sequences, especially the climax, were rather astounding.)

Now, Brad Bird's first movie, The Iron Giant, was an incredible film. (despite being based on a book) I still think that, outside of Miyazaki's work, it's the best animated film in a decade.
posted by InnocentBystander at 8:37 AM on December 17, 2005


hm... number one at the box office and 21st best all time opening overall? doesn't sound exactly shabby.
posted by 3.2.3 at 8:38 AM on December 17, 2005


queen zixi: "He's a scientifically accurate giant impossible gorilla!" Wow, that should be the movie trailer tag line!

I actually enjoyed this movie. However, the first act felt like three hours (until they reach Skull island) and the final two acts like 30 minutes. King obviously did not eat the sacrifices. Their bones seemed undisturbed. I figured they died from mishandling and Kong's boredom. They were dolls to him. I thought it was a good touch to show the similar piles of the bones of Kongs ancestors.

The film's real weakness was mentioned by ddf. The movie set up at least two "impossible" tasks and then simply skipped showing us how they were accomplished.

Kyle Chandler's "Bruce Baxter" was a hoot, and the subtle love story between "Lumpy" and "Choy" was a well-played reference to "Bareback Mountain."
posted by ?! at 8:51 AM on December 17, 2005


Went in prepared to come out disappointed. I was shocked at how good it was. I had entertainment fatigue when the lights came up. Is it perfect? No. Is it worth $9? Every penny.
posted by mania at 9:08 AM on December 17, 2005


3.2.3 : "and 21st best all time opening overall?"

Arrgghhh.
posted by Gyan at 9:21 AM on December 17, 2005


I blame Godzilla. Seriously. That movie sucked and people don't want to be duped again. Too bad too, because KK looks fantastic.
posted by kfury at 9:37 AM on December 17, 2005


I wonder if females and more specifically teen aged girls are going to see it? If they don't pull in the females it won't meet expectations. I imagine that one of the reasons that the LOTR films were so succsefull was because they had people like Bloom and Mortenson. Nobody like that in Kong
posted by Justin Case at 9:41 AM on December 17, 2005


Three things great in the new Kong:

1. Set in 1930's like the original. Story very similar too original

2. Kong

3. The last 30 minutes.


Three things that drag down the new Kong:

1. The stampede scene (way too long, ridiculous, and rubbery looking CG dinosaurs)

2. The bugs scene (also way too long and ridiculous)

3. It plays like a kid's movie but some scenes way too freaky scary for children (eg. the natives ambush)
posted by StarForce5 at 9:50 AM on December 17, 2005


papakwanz, InnocentBystander: Completely in agreement. I've only seen two movies this year (that I can remember) and only one of them was I excited about. Revenge of the Sith because I'm a member of any generation which grew up in the last 30 years and the second was Firefly.

I like Whedon, but had never watched Firefly and did not plan on seeing it until a very close friend called me about five minutes after seeing it and I couldn't get her to shut up about it. She had also never watched Firefly (or Buffy).

I think much of the success of this Brokeback Mountain is probably predicated on the same exact kind of word of mouth, but most movies coming out in the last 5 years just don't seem to get that kind of attention from moviegoers.

I'm disappointed, too. I LOVE going to the movie theater (especially now that I can pay for a child's ticket on the automated machine and the minimum-wage guy tearing the tickets doesn't care).
posted by Captaintripps at 9:53 AM on December 17, 2005


I just use the old stand by - the pee test.

I felt the urge to pee as the ship set sale for Skull Island, and yet, could not compell myself to budge until the credits rolled.

My bladder is now entirely ruined, and I may have to pee into a plastic bag for the rest of my life, but it was worth it.

It was three hours and twenty-seven minutes that shot by. It was a great, great movie.
posted by kbanas at 9:58 AM on December 17, 2005


One question, though -

Almost every review I've read, and several comments here, make mention of the spider pit.

I... feel like maybe I missed something. There were spiders? Where were there spiders? There were dinosaurs. There were giant insects. There were big swamp monsters. There were scorpion looking things. There was Kong.

Spider pit? Did I blink and miss it?
posted by kbanas at 10:01 AM on December 17, 2005


kbanas, I think that was the term applied to a scene cut from the original KK, but known to Kong freaks.
posted by Busithoth at 10:10 AM on December 17, 2005


Metafilter:wait 75 minutes to bring out the big monkey
posted by CynicalKnight at 10:13 AM on December 17, 2005


Stuff about original spider pit sequence here. The lost footage from the original Kong has been referred to as "the spider pit" sequence. I remember reading about it in Famous Monsters of Filmland.
posted by marxchivist at 10:16 AM on December 17, 2005


Anyone notice the bug scene in the new Kong had no music? I thought that made it creepier. That sequence didn't bother me as it seems to have other people. The stampede went on a bit long and I got a little tired of the trapeze artist T-Rexes.
posted by marxchivist at 10:18 AM on December 17, 2005


Actually I loved the brontosaurus stampede. I wasn't snarking in the above. I agree they were a little rubbery, but, shit, brontosaurus stampede.
posted by sohcahtoa at 10:22 AM on December 17, 2005


David Mamet once wrote that the new national sport was becoming watching box office numbers. I understand the desire, it is sort of a massive crap shoot with billions of dollars, and watching films win or fail can be massively entertaining, but at the same time I think it re-enforces everything nasty about Hollywood and the way Americans treat stories.
posted by Football Bat at 10:27 AM on December 17, 2005


I also liked the stampede.
I drooled from keeping my mouth agape, and thought, "so THAT'S how you out-do everyone else!"
posted by Busithoth at 10:27 AM on December 17, 2005


I thought the trailers looked really dull, and I really have no intrest in seeing this movie. Glad other people are enjoying it, though.
posted by delmoi at 12:26 PM on December 17, 2005


Just in: "Kong" did $14.2 million Friday night.

This means it will likely do around a total of $40 million this weekend, which comes out to a five day opening of around $55.9 million. That is not even within the top 40 all-time five day opening totals (in fact, "Kong" is $15.3 million away from #40 on that list). The 6th most expensive film of all time must be in the Top 40 here.

As posted above, a film typically must make around 2.5 times its original negative cost to simply break even. This means that everything after around $517.5 million will be profit for "Kong" ($207 times 2.5).

At this rate, "Kong" is going to struggle to do $300 million at the box office, worldwide. I would say that it should come in at around $280 ($40 times the typical 2.8 multiplier, double that for international, and add about 25% of that, which is $56 million). That means they've got to make an additional $237.5 million on DVD sales, rentals, merchandising, and television rights. $237.5 is certainly possible, in fact it is probably likely, but, the point of all this is, Universal, while they will get their money back, is not going to make very much dough off of this picture at all.

(BTW: I'm changing my MeFi handle to "NegativeNancy")
posted by JPowers at 12:48 PM on December 17, 2005


When I had to make a run to the facilities, I glanced at my watch and was surprised to find an hour and a half had passed.

You may want to check with your doctor.

JPowers: I understand and agree, but do note that Titanic isn't on that list, either. And we all know where that ended up.

I really think the weather may have been a factor here. We had a major snowstorm across the Midwest this week (still digging out), we had an ice storm in the Southeast. I wonder what the New York totals are (in historical context) -- that might be a more accurate measure.
posted by dhartung at 1:07 PM on December 17, 2005


Hey, here's a startling new idea: there are some people who see a movie on the basis of how good they heard it was. Many of these same people don't see movies on opening weekends, and don't pay a lot of attention to professional reviews. Whether or not this group of people turns out in droves to see King Kong next weekend depends mostly on whether or not the movie sucks.

Yes, it's true that this phenomenon doesn't apply to most movies. That's because most movies are understood to be worthless pieces of crap from the beginning, and the number of people who see them is almost completely a function of the success or failure of the marketing machine that attempts to pre-sell them before they open.

In the case of a three-hour movie from a director known for critically and commercially successful epics, all that's really important is that enough people go this weekend to generate word of mouth positive reviews.
posted by bingo at 1:29 PM on December 17, 2005


People still go to the movies? /snark
posted by mrgrimm at 1:30 PM on December 17, 2005


btw, I don't think that a first-place movie can be called a bomb. That's just silly. Perhaps if it drops off 60%+ next week ...
posted by mrgrimm at 1:32 PM on December 17, 2005


i'm probably a pj dickrider, but how can people not like kong.. it's what the big screen was invented for
posted by suni at 2:03 PM on December 17, 2005


The problem with comparing it to Titanic is that movies don't have that kind of staying power any more. Titanic stuck around because untold millions of teenage girls faithfully went to see it weekend after weekend.

There's no way that's going to happen with a 3 hour long movie.

I thought it was fun, and very much a summer popcorn movie. But...I dunno...is she some sort of superhuman? Because the way Kong kept flinging her around made me think she had to be.
posted by graventy at 2:51 PM on December 17, 2005


viral advertising, anyone?
posted by Citizen Premier at 2:58 PM on December 17, 2005


Well, no, this guy has posted other things. But it's the same effect.
posted by Citizen Premier at 2:58 PM on December 17, 2005


Actually, to be more exact, Titanic stuck around because the following three months of films was one of the worst periods in box office history. People kept going back to see Titanic because there was *nothing else* remotely worth watching.

And really, based on what I've seen of the upcoming movie months, it could be a similar situation. There's absolutely jack coming soon. AFAIK, there isn't even a big Christmas event flick this year.

So Kong could still do well in the long run.
posted by InnocentBystander at 3:07 PM on December 17, 2005


My movie is bigger than your movie , it's a fun game ... but just a game .. Though it is interesting to see the pandemonium created globally on how people spend money.

I've always wanted to see a "Popular Culture" Sales chart Movies vs DVD vs Books vs Games vs Music ... Wonder how these compare .

If only other products could generate this amount of hype and excitement how does box office compare to the Latest Pepsi Blue release ?
posted by doogyrev at 3:11 PM on December 17, 2005


There's absolutely jack coming soon. AFAIK, there isn't even a big Christmas event flick this year.There's absolutely jack coming soon. AFAIK, there isn't even a big Christmas event flick this year.

Narnia, man. This is all about lowering the perceived success of KK so that the Christian Right's darling can be the big holiday hit.
posted by mkultra at 3:30 PM on December 17, 2005


Mkultra - I suspect you're correct, but one article does not a campaign make. Can you point to any other pieces that dump on Kong in support of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe?
posted by d-no at 4:52 PM on December 17, 2005


The 6th most expensive film of all time must be in the Top 40 here.

Why must it?

... but, the point of all this is, Universal, while they will get their money back, is not going to make very much dough off of this picture at all.

How sad that a movie that is likely to make a profit gets called a "bomb" for being the highest grossing movie of the weekend. Funny me, I always though the "bombs" were the high-budget films that studios couldn't pay people to watch.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 4:55 PM on December 17, 2005


Titanic isn't on that list, either.

Just for reference, here are the other all-time top 40 grossers who don't make JPowers' top 40 opening weekends list:

E.T.
Lion King
Sixth Sense
Forrest Gump
Home Alone
Shrek
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Jaws
Batman
Twister
Raiders of the Lost Ark

I really don't have a clue how this movie's going to wind up, and think it's fair to wonder if Jackson's self-indulgence on his expensive lifelong dream may doom Universal to a relatively small Kong profit. C'est la cash. But to post numbers and posit a flop on the front page before the first weekend is over is just plain ridiculous, no matter what the movie winds up doing.
posted by mediareport at 5:07 PM on December 17, 2005


It's the first movie I've ever walked out of
posted by klue at 5:17 PM on December 17, 2005


The problem with comparing it to Titanic is that movies don't have that kind of staying power any more... There's no way that's going to happen with a 3 hour long movie.

Um... you do know how long Titanic is, right?
posted by jjg at 5:22 PM on December 17, 2005


graventy writes "The problem with comparing it to Titanic is that movies don't have that kind of staying power any more."

Has the movie going public really changed so much in 8 years?
posted by Mitheral at 5:39 PM on December 17, 2005


Just in: "Kong" did $14.2 million Friday night.

This means it will likely do around a total of $40 million this weekend, which comes out to a five day opening of around $55.9 million.


There is also something a bit odd about this math given $30 estimated gross for Wed-Friday, and $40 million for Sat-Sun comes to $70 million. I'd place the 5-day total at closer to 60m, with Saturday around $18m and Sunday a $12m.

But even given your estimate, Kong is on a good track for December releases. Oceans 12 pulled a $40m opening weekend on a similar release date and cleared $360m international. Given the current love-fest for Jackson, an Oscar nomination early next year will give Kong legs.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 6:39 PM on December 17, 2005





mrgrimm writes "People still go to the movies? /snark"

Only those without 75-foot-wide screens and forty thousand dollar THX sound systems in their homes.

Sure I'll dl a divx rip or bittorrent, and I watch dvds and HDTV on my modest 5.1 system. However, for a blockbuster with massive special effects I'm going to the best big screen I can find every time. I even get there early to sit in the middle-right in the audio/visual sweetspot.
posted by HyperBlue at 6:50 PM on December 17, 2005


Do you think jpowers will go into therapy if Kong becomes a financial success? He seems really bent on insisting it'll fail.
posted by shmegegge at 8:59 PM on December 17, 2005


Mitheral : "Has the movie going public really changed so much in 8 years?"

Yes, I think so. Movies don't stay nearly as long in theaters as they used to. This is partly because every big movie opens in more and more theaters (what are they up to now, 3600? that's like, 3 screens in most of the multiplexes here in MN). The screens get rapidly cut down to make room for more big openers, and within a few months the movies get relegated to the discounts.

How fast did 40-year old virgin (which came out this week, as an example) go from in theaters to on DVD? 5 months. Studios practically push movies out of the theaters to get them onto DVD.
posted by graventy at 9:01 PM on December 17, 2005


Titanic's box office pattern was an anomaly even compared to other movies at the time. It's virtually unique. So not great for comparisons.
posted by smackfu at 11:04 PM on December 17, 2005


I loved Jackson's new take on Kong's origin (spoiler): "Story goes, these great big rats come scuttling off the slave ships and raped all the little tree monkeys!"
posted by moift at 12:42 AM on December 18, 2005


I saw it yesterday, and thought it was excellent. Very well done; very moving.

I wouldn't be surprised if it fails to become one of the biggest box office movies -- it's long; it's sad; it isn't a traditional blockbuster -- but it was very special nonetheless. I am looking forward to buying the Extended Edition next November....
posted by subgenius at 7:41 AM on December 18, 2005


smackfu: Titanic's box office pattern was an anomaly even compared to other movies at the time. It's virtually unique. So not great for comparisons.

True, I also think that comparing Kong to summer holiday releases like Independence Day is also misleading. December is a weak month for Blockbusters

Kong is only slightly underachieving in relationship to its price tag and if you expected it to be bigger than LotR. Any other movie pulling in $30m on three wintry school days would be considered strong performance.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:43 AM on December 18, 2005


Pfft. Here it is Sunday at noon, and Box Office Mojo is estimating Kong has so far taken in over $66 million dollars domestic. Looks like making JPowers' oh-so-precious list of top 40 5-day opening weekends isn't going to be much of a problem after all.
posted by mediareport at 9:20 AM on December 18, 2005


Ah, the $66 million estimate includes projected Sunday tickets. Sorry.
posted by mediareport at 9:33 AM on December 18, 2005


It's fascinating how people are taking this personally. "oh-so -precious"????? You'd think you were an investor in the film or something.
posted by smackfu at 9:37 AM on December 18, 2005


*sheepish grin*

Ok, but what I was really taking personally was the rush to judge on the front page, and the continued insistence that the movie was doomed to flop. It just doesn't fit the facts we're seeing at all.
posted by mediareport at 9:38 AM on December 18, 2005


(Plus, I like monkeys.)
posted by mediareport at 9:39 AM on December 18, 2005


smackfu, I agree. I checked myself, thinking I was taking it personally, but it kind of comes down to whether you like Kong or not (this version or original). If you really like it, you are invested.

I could really give a flying frig about them recouping the money. I have little doubt Jackson will get ample backing for whatever his next project may be.

I'm just glad the movie exists.
posted by Busithoth at 10:06 AM on December 18, 2005


how can people not like kong.. it's what the big screen was invented for

Because I'm not at all interested in the story, and blowing it up to 3 hours doesn't make it more attractive.

The trailers looked pretty and my boss has demanded that all the artists go see it. I'm a programmer though, so I'm exempt. I might go if my wife and I want an excuse to go to the restaurant we like that's next to the theater we like.
posted by Foosnark at 11:08 AM on December 18, 2005


How in the world did the compositing on the island scenes (especially the brontosaurus sequence) get through quality control? Other than that, it was dead good, though very very stupid.
posted by cillit bang at 12:10 PM on December 18, 2005


Puts it in a good spot on the December charts. Kong also is looking at an additional $80m overseas.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 12:48 PM on December 18, 2005



Good film, see it. I don't really like the story, but I will admit it was fantastic, and it avoided all those scenes I was dreading it to have.
posted by lundman at 7:50 PM on December 18, 2005


King Kong has two main factors working in its favor as it moves into day six and beyond - strong word-of-mouth and the holidays. Studio research showed that a very high 92% of the audience found the film to be "excellent" or "very good," according to Marc Shmuger, Vice Chairman of Universal Pictures. Plus, Saturday sales jumped 40% from Friday indicating that those who are seeing the film are liking it and recommending it to others...Exit polls showed that 53% of the crowd was male and 55% was age 25 or older.

The upcoming holidays should also work in favor of Kong reaching its potential. With more students getting out of school each passing day, theaters will become more crowded and weekday grosses will become stronger. As with the Rings pics, Christmas is expected to keep things going on the sophomore weekend and New Years will ensure a solid third frame...

Exciting women has been a marketing challenge from day one as the action-adventure tale lends itself to a more male following. The studio has focused much of its advertising on highlighting the love story between the beauty and the beast in hopes that women will come along for the ride too...

Rival studios have steered clear of Kong for the most part and have not slotted any direct competitors in the coming weeks meaning the road ahead should give Universal the time it needs to reach those excited about the monster movie, but who still have not come out yet. For the most part, the movies entering the marketplace over the holidays are alternative options like comedies or awards contenders looking to get noticed.

Internationally, King Kong was a giant this weekend grabbing an estimated $80.1M over five days from 8,123 playdates. It bowed at number one in all but two of its 55 territories settling for second in Japan and Italy. Standouts include $11.9M from the United Kingdom, $7.3M from France, $6.1M from Germany, $5.1M in Russia, $4.6M in Australia, and $4.3M in Korea...For Universal, King Kong represented its largest worldwide opening gross ever with $146.3M in five days.

posted by mediareport at 9:28 PM on December 18, 2005


However, for a blockbuster with massive special effects I'm going to the best big screen I can find every time. I even get there early to sit in the middle-right in the audio/visual sweetspot. catch all the ads. /snark^2
posted by mrgrimm at 8:33 AM on December 19, 2005


Nope, I usually bring the headphones and PocketPC or Ipod (along with a flask). That way I don't have to watch or listen to the ads...and I can mix a good cocktail to make that $6 coke a bit more peppy. (I also hate to read reviews or see previews before I see a pic so this allows me to concentrate on something else until the lights go down)
posted by HyperBlue at 9:04 PM on December 20, 2005


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