Monday, November 08, 2004

Another Hollywood Excuse

New York Times reports about this weekend's US box-office results and here is interesting part about one of big disappointments:

Paramount's "Alfie," a remake of a romantic comedy about a roguish womanizer starring Jude Law, opened to a dismal $6.5 million in more than 2,000 theaters, far below expectations. The tepid response was the latest blow to Sherry Lansing, the chairwoman of Paramount who last week announced her plans to leave the job when her contract expires in 2005, and whose movies have performed poorly this summer and fall.

Wayne Llewellyn, the president of distribution at Paramount, said that the conservative ethos reflected in last week's election results might have hurt the film.

While it is tempting to blame Bush for everything, this one rests solely on Paramount's own shoulders. Unable to come with original stories and ideas of their own, Hollywood studios are trying to remake everything that ever appeared on big and small screen in past 50 or so years. Most of those remakes were dismal failures, but that didn't discourage Hollywood from continuing to ruin reputations of classic films. They keep ignoring the common sense that tells about stuff that worked 40 years can't work now.

Alfie is just one manifestation of such phenomena. Original film, based on the stage play, was serious drama dealing with important social issues of 1960s London. Forty years ago Paramount is ignoring the fact that the fans of the original are people in their 60ies – not likely to flock to theatres; teenagers who tend to ignore any film made more than five years ago, won't "get it". Paramount tried to solve this problem by setting the plot in contemporary New York and marketing the film as "romantic comedy". It didn't work, partly because Jude Law, despite all his talent, couldn't light a candle to Michael Caine.

"Conservative ethos" failed to prevent Michael Moore from earning huge pile of money with Fahrenheit 911.


Post a Comment

<< Home