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Studios have to battle snarky media reports (Blame Drudge for Bad Year!)
Hollywood Reporter ^ | 12/30/05 | Gregg Kilday

Posted on 01/02/2006 2:14:48 PM PST by wagglebee

It's far too early to write any obituaries for Universal Pictures' "King Kong." As of Tuesday, the end of its first two weeks in release, Peter Jackson's remake had amassed $128 million domestically and $153.6 million abroad, for a combined worldwide haul of $282.1 million. With those numbers, it's just about halfway home to recouping its $207 million production costs, give or take the added millions spent on marketing as well as the participations earmarked for Jackson.

Still, the fact that "Kong" didn't automatically prevail as king of the jungle -- but instead has found itself in a day-to-day battle with "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe" -- has created its own suspense.

One of the problems for "Kong" is that the much of the media covers the boxoffice battles with all the subtlety of color commentators at a demolition derby.

At one holiday gathering this past week, when the conversations turned to movies, one friend mentioned that her sister said she wouldn't be going to see "Kong." When he asked her why, her woman replied, "Because I read on Drudge that it was bombing."

In fact, the always hyperventilating Drudge Report first responded to the early, ecstatic reviews of "Kong" by reporting unrealistic expectations that it could challenge "Titanic" as the biggest film of all time -- a feat that no movie has come anywhere close to since "Titanic" set sail in 1997. Then, on Dec. 16, Drudge headlined the first reports of "Kong's" less-than-record-breaking first day with the ominous words " 'King' Bomb?"

Now, if there's someone out there saying she doesn't plan to check out "Kong" simply because Drudge was erroneously hinting it was dead-on-arrival, it's quite possible that person never seriously intended to see the movie in the first place.

But the anecdote also suggests that in this media-saturated moment, Hollywood doesn't just have to worry about genuine word-of-mouth coming from moviegoers who actually attend a movie before spreading the word -- good or bad -- it also has to defend against secondary word-of-mouth based on little more than a half-baked opinion or a snarky headline.

Webmaster Matt Drudge actually tried something similar this season as "Brokeback Mountain" rode onto the scene, trying to scare the horses, if you will, with the alarmist tone of one headline that read "Hollywood Rocked: Gay Cowboy Movie Becomes an Oscar Frontrunner." In the story itself, he ratcheted up rhetoric, describing the film as "arriving with nudity and explicit gay sex scenes" as if it were just one step short of a campfire orgy. To date, though, media attempts to turn "Brokeback" into a raging controversy haven't really taken hold -- the filmmakers, a dignified bunch, never rose to the bait, and the movie has been able to speak to itself.

That isn't the case for Steven Spielberg's "Munich," which has moved to the center of the media circus. "Now Israeli Spies Blast Spielberg's 'Munich,' " our man Drudge shouted Tuesday. The headline linked to a Reuters story in which a former Israeli field agent questions a scene in which a Mossad officer orders his operatives to keep track of their receipts.

Certainly, a movie like "Munich" invites serious debate. The only problem is that most Americans aren't knowledgeable about Israel's anti-terrorist operations. Every man on the street might have had an opinion about "JFK," because the Kennedy assassination is central to our history. But the "Munich" debate has rapidly devolved into the esoteric as the movie turns into a punching bag as all the self-appointed experts go at it.

It almost makes you feel some sympathy for the filmmakers, whose work is disappearing amid a foggy war of words.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: boxoffice; drudge; drudgereport; hollyweird; hollywood; homosexualagenda; kingkong; mattdrudge; moviereview; movies; munich; narnia; newmedia
This is so pathetic it's hysterical.
1 posted on 01/02/2006 2:14:50 PM PST by wagglebee
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Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: wagglebee

Everyone has to deal with the effects of publicity.


3 posted on 01/02/2006 2:18:28 PM PST by BunnySlippers (Happy Festivus!)
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To: wagglebee

Haven't we been putting up with snarky critics in the MSM for years?

Maybe Hollyweird should try making something that doesn't suck.


4 posted on 01/02/2006 2:20:16 PM PST by A.Hun (Democrats suck worse than ice storms.)
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To: wagglebee
I'm thinking the reporter doesn't realize that the Internet is word-of-mouth on steroids. Why read some supercilious critic when you can ask your friends?

I was at the theater over the holiday break - at least in my area The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe was absolutely jammed, and King Kong was as empty as a beer can with a BB in it. And it wasn't Drudge that is to blame.

5 posted on 01/02/2006 2:21:24 PM PST by Billthedrill
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To: wagglebee

It almost makes you feel some sympathy for the filmmakers, whose work is disappearing amid a foggy war of words.


Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm......................NAH!


6 posted on 01/02/2006 2:21:28 PM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: wagglebee

Hollywood is now condemning wild speculation, rampant hyperbole, and lurid allegations? Just what do they think built Hollywood in the first place?


7 posted on 01/02/2006 2:24:18 PM PST by atomicpossum (Replies should be as pedantic as possible. I love that so much.)
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To: A.Hun

Suck (what?) or 'snark'? I usually snark vigorously when I've a head cold. I tried to write the editors but they didn't want to hear from me. I'll stay here.


8 posted on 01/02/2006 2:24:29 PM PST by dhuffman@awod.com (The conspiracy of ignorance masquerades as common sense.)
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To: wagglebee

Ninety-five percent of the reviewers gave Kong and Brokeback positive reviews, and many of the same reviewers disparaged Narnia.

Sorry, but not even Drudge is powerful enough to fix a Brokeback Movie.


9 posted on 01/02/2006 2:29:05 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: wagglebee

If King Kong were an hour and 45 minutes long it would be winning by a mile. It's just that at three hours, it not only can't be shown as many times per day but it's such a huge time commitment for the viewer that it hurts repeat business. And Narnia is (somewhat) more appropriate for an under 10 audience.


10 posted on 01/02/2006 2:30:00 PM PST by Mr. Jeeves ("When the government is invasive, the people are wanting." -- Tao Te Ching)
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To: dhuffman@awod.com
Suck (what?) wind

I usually snark vigorously when I've a head cold

snarky

SYLLABICATION: snark·y PRONUNCIATION: snärk ADJECTIVE: Inflected forms: snark·i·er, snark·i·est Slang Irritable or short-tempered; irascible. ETYMOLOGY: From dialectal snark, to nag, from snark, snork, to snore, snort, from Dutch and Low German snorken, of imitative origin. OTHER FORMS: snarki·ly —ADVERB

11 posted on 01/02/2006 2:30:51 PM PST by A.Hun (Democrats suck worse than ice storms.)
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To: Billthedrill

We took our granddaughter to see Narnia on a Thursday at 3:15. The theater was full... the only people I saw were going to Narnia.

I had a wonderful conversation with my gd(she's five) before Christmas. Her parents don't take her to Sunday school but she said, "Grandma, St. Nicholas died." I said, "Oh really?" She said, "Yup, but he came back to life as Santa Claus." Relieved, I said, "oh, good." She then asked, "How do you suppose he did that?" I just asked her how she thought it had happened. She brightened up and said, "Aslan did it!" I told her that was probably what happened.


12 posted on 01/02/2006 2:31:05 PM PST by Mercat (sometimes God calms the storm, sometimes he lets the storm rage and calms the child)
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To: wagglebee
Certainly, a movie like "Munich" invites serious debate. The only problem is that most Americans aren't knowledgeable about Israel's anti-terrorist operations. Every man on the street might have had an opinion about "JFK," because the Kennedy assassination is central to our history. But the "Munich" debate has rapidly devolved into the esoteric as the movie turns into a punching bag as all the self-appointed experts go at it.

As if he's not. These people are just losing it over the fact that intelligent, educated people have choices in info gathering and make up their minds based on a new media. Eat your hearts out you petty, self-important liberals.

13 posted on 01/02/2006 2:39:58 PM PST by 101st-Eagle
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To: wagglebee

Sounds as if Greggy is a bit jealous of Matt


14 posted on 01/02/2006 2:40:06 PM PST by mylife (The roar of the masses could be farts)
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To: Cicero
Best as I can tell, this is the prevailing logic in Hollywierd:

Hollywierd executive #1: Nobody is going to the movies anymore, we need a blockbuster that will bring the crowds in. Any ideas?
Hollywierd executive #2: Well it would have to be something new and original, like a love story that will appeal to the "little people" in flyover country.
Hollywierd executive #1: How about an old-fashioned western with a love story?
Hollywierd executive #2: I've got a script right here about homosexual cowboys.
Hollywierd executive #1: That sounds great, let's go with that one.

15 posted on 01/02/2006 2:40:54 PM PST by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: dhuffman@awod.com

Snarky headlines? Well, I sort of agree with this criticism. King Kong was much better than Drudge implied. However, the media and Hollywood have been leading their movies, stories, and headlines with snarky comments for years and years. Wasn't the movie 'Platoon' snarky? Or how about this headline; "Military leaders Fear up to 30,000 US Soldiers Will Die in Iraq." That is the gand pubah of snarky.

In fact, the last three years of Iraq coverage has been snarky. I started to read a story about how the 'innocents' in Iraq have suffered so much over the last three years. I expected to get a 'suicide bombing story' or perhaps an 'Al Qaeda is Evil' kind of thing. Instead, it was an expose of how a child was shot by a stray US marine bullet. It was a whole 'Snarky' story from top to bottom....nevermind that 90% of the innoncence killed in Iraq are at the hands of the terorist (In my mind, the other 10% killed are also the fault of the terorist as well....What about that angle media?)

In closing, the left getting a taste of its own medicine really doesn't bother me. I'm rather happy today.


16 posted on 01/02/2006 2:40:58 PM PST by Firefox1
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To: wagglebee
it's quite possible that person never seriously intended to see the movie in the first place.

That seems to be the problem, Hollywood. You're wasting Millions on a plethora of rancid dreck that no one wishes to spend $$$ to see!

Let's not just blame Drudge, Hollywood. When there's also Rottentomatoes.com, Boxofficemojo.com and dozens of other sites to shine some light on potential Turds-In-A-Punchbowl. Jack.

17 posted on 01/02/2006 2:40:59 PM PST by Jack Deth (Knight Errant and Disemboweler of the WFTD Thread)
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To: Mercat
Isn't age five wonderful? There was some serious sniffling in the theater I was in when Aslan "died."

Well, OK, that was me. But the fivers were at it too...

18 posted on 01/02/2006 2:43:31 PM PST by Billthedrill
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To: wagglebee

Now, if there's someone out there saying she doesn't plan to check out "Kong" simply because Drudge was erroneously hinting it was dead-on-arrival, it's quite possible that person never seriously intended to see the movie in the first place.

I recall at the start of the war in Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein the MSM erroneously trumpeting that the war was a dead-on-arrival quagmire. Despite embedded reporters witnessing a hugely successful victory to oust Saddam. Did the reporters seriously intend to see the war in the first place?

I recall toward the end of Kerry's 04 campaign a political analyst said the MSM reporting positive for Kerry vs negative against Bush gave Kerry ten points at the Presidential election. 

That's the large Main Stream Media influence on an important matter.

The lone Drudge Report with one headline couldn't effect a trivial matter as a movie by even 1 percent.

19 posted on 01/02/2006 2:48:00 PM PST by Zon (Honesty outlives the lie, spin and deception -- It always has -- It always will.)
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To: wagglebee

If you add that both executives are probably gay, you have it about right.


20 posted on 01/02/2006 2:51:34 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Jack Deth
"rancid dreck" - LOL

More dreck dredged up by Drudge?

21 posted on 01/02/2006 3:00:14 PM PST by Paladin2 (If the political indictment's from Fitz, the jury always acquits.)
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To: Zon

For the rest of his life, Matt Drudge will be hated by the left for breaking the Lewinsky story. The media was desperate to figure out a way to protect BJ, they knew that they would have to report it sooner or later but they were looking for a way to downplay it. Then Drudge came along and stole their thunder and let everyone know that the media was trying to bury the story of the century.


22 posted on 01/02/2006 3:02:06 PM PST by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: wagglebee
Hollywierd executive #2: I've got a script right here about homosexual cowboys.
______________________________________________________
Yeah; and they don't even get the part about them being sheep herders right!

Mrs Bear and I went to see Narnia a few days ago. We loved it!
23 posted on 01/02/2006 3:08:47 PM PST by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
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To: wagglebee
This is so pathetic it's hysterical.

LOL, yes. I'm surprised Kong is doing as well as it is.....we're talking a remake of a remake here folks....you go for the special effects, everyone on Earth already knows the story. Narnia is new and apparently faithful to the C.S. Lewis books.

That being said, I thought the best movie of the year was Serenity......then again I'm into space rouges, starships, one liners and good looking 18 year old super weapons being hunted by government assassins.....

24 posted on 01/02/2006 3:10:48 PM PST by Decepticon (The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day (NRA)
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To: Decepticon

"Cinderella Man" didn't do well in theaters, but it was an incredible movie.


25 posted on 01/02/2006 3:11:44 PM PST by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: wagglebee
"Cinderella Man" didn't do well in theaters, but it was an incredible movie.

Haven't seen it, I'll give it a try this weekend. Thanks.

26 posted on 01/02/2006 3:15:04 PM PST by Decepticon (The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day (NRA)
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To: wagglebee

Why does this guy elevate Drudge to such supreme importance? Drudge isn't even a professional movie critic. Why doesn't this guy object to the power and influence of the regular movie critics? Or why doesn't he object to the power of Time or Newsweek to create negative impressions about President Bush, impressions which are on display at every checkout stand in the country?


27 posted on 01/02/2006 3:15:53 PM PST by Steve_Seattle
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To: wagglebee
I honestly think American Folk are feed up with rewarding those SELF LOVING buttholes stars! NO matter how great the script is, if one of those Susan Surrenwrap type clymer actor is on the movie it will be dead before it arrives on the screen near you!
28 posted on 01/02/2006 3:17:01 PM PST by RoseofTexas
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To: 101st-Eagle
"As if he's not. These people are just losing it over the fact that intelligent, educated people have choices in info gathering and make up their minds based on a new media. Eat your hearts out you petty, self-important liberals."

Well said. Liberals - the so-called champtions of "diversity" - simply cannot deal with real-life diversity in the realm of public opinion.
29 posted on 01/02/2006 3:20:18 PM PST by Steve_Seattle
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To: dhuffman@awod.com

I have no idea what a 'snark' is, but I was told that a 'snarf' is someone who takes pleasure in sniffing women's bicycle seats.


30 posted on 01/02/2006 3:21:17 PM PST by PeoplesRepublicOfWashington (How long do we have to pretend that the vast majority of Democrats are patriots?)
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To: wagglebee
the filmmakers, whose work is disappearing amid a foggy war of words

Whose work is disappearing into the foggy muck from which it sprang.

And being edged out by some really good movies coming from outside the H-box mentality, morals, and muck.

31 posted on 01/02/2006 3:27:33 PM PST by GretchenM (God made you. He will also take you out. Better to go on His terms, that is, through Jesus.)
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To: Billthedrill
King Kong was as empty as a beer can with a BB in it.

I went to King Kong last night, and the line was the longest I've ever seen at that particular theater.

32 posted on 01/02/2006 3:48:23 PM PST by glorgau
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To: wagglebee
To date, though, media attempts to turn "Brokeback" into a raging controversy haven't really taken hold -- the filmmakers, a dignified bunch, never rose to the bait, and the movie has been able to speak to itself.

HAHAHAHAHAHAH! Yeah - - right!


33 posted on 01/02/2006 4:01:53 PM PST by SkyPilot
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To: wagglebee
Studios have to battle snarky media reports (Blame Drudge for Bad Year!)

Heh-heh.

34 posted on 01/02/2006 4:03:35 PM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: PeoplesRepublicOfWashington

I did not need to know that.


35 posted on 01/02/2006 4:16:09 PM PST by Lady Heron
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To: Grizzled Bear
Why not call them Shepard's? All the misdirection from press releases appear to be an attempt to bait us into a reaction that they can exploit.
36 posted on 01/02/2006 5:33:34 PM PST by Domangart (editor and publisher)
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To: Billthedrill
There was some serious sniffling in the theater I was in when Aslan "died.

I cheated. I told my granddaughter before the movie that Aslan dies but comes back to life. I knew I had to warn her about that. I forgot to tell her that Tumnus was frozen. She was really more upset about that since her favorite book right now is the picture book about Lucy having tea with Mr. Tumnus.
37 posted on 01/02/2006 6:19:52 PM PST by Mercat (sometimes God calms the storm, sometimes he lets the storm rage and calms the child)
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To: GretchenM

Good news! Narnia's box office beat Kong's this week...Narnia is #1 again!


38 posted on 01/02/2006 6:49:37 PM PST by Miss Marple (Lord, please look after Mozart Lover's son and keep him strong.)
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To: wagglebee
Would you pathetic Gollywood pinkos like some cheese to go with that whine???
39 posted on 01/02/2006 9:24:20 PM PST by Babu
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