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©05 The Media Desk
http://themediadesk.com

prancing asses

      The Desk was looking forward to seeing last year's movie called Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. It had made plans to take the entire family up to the mall and stand in line and even spring for the suitable amount of junk food to keep them happy during the twenty minutes of previews and commercials before the feature started.
      Then Jude Law ran his mouth about the election and those plans simply were forgotten about. Opinions are one thing, being an English ignoramus is something else.
      The Desk still hasn't seen the movie. It still doesn't want to give Mr. Law any of its money.

      At Farpoint in February they had movie posters for the remake of War of the Worlds. The posters were really cool. The Desk took a couple of them and even has one hanging on a bulletin board at its day job. Once again, there were plans afoot for it to drop upwards of twenty bucks for it and its wife to go see it at the theater.
      Then Tom Cruise goes out of his way to act like a flaming jackass in public at the premier. Not to mention his well publicized expertise on women's post partum depression.
      One of these days it'll get up the ambition to take the poster down and run the top of it through the shredder just past where his name appears.

      Shades of Russell Crowe and his tantrum around the opening of Cinderella Man.

      OK, stars will be stars. The bigger the star, the more Prima Donna blood they have in them.
      They pose and show off for the paparazzi, then cry and throw things when an unflattering picture of them appears in the tabloids.
      They claim they just want a private weekend with their sweetheart, but they make sure their publicist tells every reporter in town which ski lodge they'll be staying at and where their dinner reservations are. Then they complain when flash bulbs interrupt their staged kiss outside while they wait on their limmo.
      We expect them to act like that. And they seldom disappoint us.

      But throwing cel phones at waiters is a bit over the top.
      Hamming it up is one thing. Almost literally showing your backsides at the premier is another.
      But how can a line be drawn?

      It's simple.
      The studios need to put a clause in the contract that if a star generates negative publicity within two weeks of the opening of their picture or the DVD release, the star is liable to the studio for the difference between the expected ticket sales and the actual numbers generated.
      That, or something like it, would most likely curb some of the outbursts.
      "If you the so called star do something so danged stupid it costs us the studio real money, you're on the hook too buddy, so controlest thineself."

      Yes.
      Some of these dimwits will still have their public tantrums, but many will suck their thumbs and sulk instead of throwing things.

      Yes Jude Law has the right, even though he's British, to say anything he wants to about American Politics. Yes he does (at least he's not french). And equally, we have the right to NOT go see Alfie or anything else he's in once he goes out and stomps around calling Americans names if they vote for one Candidate or the other.
      And it would seem Americans did vote on that film with their pocketbooks. Nobody went to see it. Which caused Paramount some consternation.

"It could be the mood of the country right now. It seems to be the result of the election. Maybe they didnít want to see a guy that sleeps around."
      Wayne Llewellyn- president, Paramount distribution

      Well, yes sir. It could be that the country had taken a slight step to the Right. It could also be that your star shot his mouth off and made people that might have gone to see it mad enough to skip it and go bowling or something.
      It could also be that it was simply a really lousy movie, but that seldom stops people from going to see it unless there was another reason on top of it.
      Face it Mr. Llewellyn. Before anybody that works for a living plunks down eight bucks a ticket to a movie, they're gonna think about it...

  • If one of the stars of that movie has gone out of their way to call the rest of us bigots and fools, we might not do it.
  • If they've thrown a cel phone at somebody else that's just doing their job, we might stay home.
  • If they've gotten arrested for shoplifting when they make more showing up for a talk show than we do in a year, we may reconsider buying that DVD.
  • If they hire a hooker, spit on an interviewer, carry drugs through an airport, call our troops baby killers, or any of the other things Hollywood stars seem to do more than anybody with a real job we might leave our money in our pocket.
And that.... Mr. Llewellyn and other studio top brass, will get you attention.

      Now that we've mentioned it.
      WE ARE LEAVING OUR MONEY IN OUR POCKETS! And it has gotten your attention.

      Look at the numbers tickets sold (attendence), not the gross receipts (box office dollars), those numbers are down. Even while the total of screens and the average ticket price are up. The number of people going to movies is down.
      Part of that is competition from other sources. Part of it is that the price of a ticket is simply too high. Part of it is that the majority of the movies being offered simply stink.
      And Part of it is that many actors are blooming idiots in public.

      Given all the other reasons for the public to NOT go to the theater to see these movies, do they really want Mr. Crowe and friends giving us one more?

      Thank you for your time.

-30-


[NOTE: The Desk is not affiliated with ANYTHING in Hollywood and if it ever has to cast an actor for a production of one of its stories, it believes at this point it would hire somebody from Bollywood in India. thank you]

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