i>GRINDHOUSE PATRONS NOT GETTING MONEY'S WORTH
Some moviegoers who bought tickets to see the Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino "double bill" Grindhouse were apparently unaware that the feature comprised two separate movies -- and walked out after the first one, Rodriguez's Planet Terror, ended, published reports said today (Tuesday). "I don't think people understood what we were doing," Weinstein told today's New York Post. "The audience didn't get the idea that it is two movies for the price of one." The walk-outs could offer another partial explanation for the film's disappointing performance at the box-office. Critics unanimously agreed that the second movie, Tarantino's Death Proof, was the superior of the two. Daily Variety also reported that The Weinstein Co. is overhauling its ad campaign but will be facing stiff competition next weekend when seven -- count 'em, seven -- new films open. The Post added that the company is also considering re-releasing the two movies as separate offerings in longer versions, as it had already decided to do overseas and on DVD.
The top ten films over the weekend, according to final figures compiled by Media by Numbers (figures in parentheses represent total gross to date):
1 Blades of Glory, Paramount, $22,522,330, 2 Wks. ($67,905,237); 2. Meet The Robinsons, Disney, $16,715,437, 2 Wks. ($51,947,271); 3. Are We Done Yet?, Sony, $14,262,724, 1 Wk. ($18,517,017 -- Opened Wednesday); 4. Grindhouse, Weinstein Co. $11,596,613, 1 Wk. ($11,596,613 -- Opened Wednesday); 5. The Reaping, Warner Bros., $10,025,203, 1 Wk. ($11,958,518 -- Opened Thursday); 6. 300, Warner Bros., $8,368,382, 5 Wks. ($193,402,459); 7. Wild Hogs, Disney, $6,644,971, 6 Wks. ($145,260,566); 8. Shooter, Paramount, $5,856,494, 3 Wks. ($36,712,076); 9. TMNT, Warner Bros., $4,825,445, 3 Wks. ($46,607,331); 10. Firehouse Dog, 20th Century Fox, $3,838,916, 1 Wk. ($5,101,907 -- Opened Wednesday).
TIME WARNER BOARD, UNDER SCRUTINY, CUTS PARSONS' BONUS
Since he had achieved so many of his targeted goals, Time Warner Chairman-CEO Richard Parsons was entitled to receive a $41.4-million performance bonus for 2006, the New York Post observed today (Tuesday), noting that it was reduced to $8.5 million by the company's board of directors. According to SEC filings on Monday, Parsons received total compensation in 2006 of $22.5 million, a 40.6-percent hike from the previous year. Shares in the company have risen 28 percent during the past year.
SOME HI-DEF DVD DISCS SELLING IN THE HUNDREDS
While much has been made of the strong high-definition DVD sales of such films as Casino Royale, The Departed, Batman Begins and Superman Returns, sales charts show a steep drop-off below the top level, with some films selling fewer than 200 copies since they were released, according to the website HighDefDigest.com. Citing figures from VideoScan, the website noted that during the week ending March 18, when Casino Royale topped the sales charts with 28,233 units sold, the top-ten list included one title that sold just over 3,000 units, while all the rest sold fewer than 2,000, including three that sold fewer than 1,000. The website concluded that the sales figures are "a sobering reminder" that the HD DVD and Blu-ray formats "have a long way to go in their shared quest to supplant standard-def DVD."
MORE "BOTHER" IN POOH LAWSUIT
The Walt Disney Company has declined to participate in a mediation conference aimed at settling a complicated lawsuit over copyright royalties brought by the estate of Stephen Slesinger, which owns the rights to Winnie the Pooh. Disney's attorney in the lawsuit, Daniel Petrocelli, told the Associated Press that he had informed the court that a settlement conference "would not be meaningful" because "there's really nothing to settle." The Slesinger estate issued a statement saying that it is now prepared to proceed with its lawsuit seeking $2 billion in damages and the termination of licenses granted to Disney. Slesinger attorney Barry Slotnick said: "Disney's chance to resolve Slesinger's claims through settlement rather than risk potentially catastrophic losses is behind us. Disney walked away from the table."
WIRE SERVICE GIVES THUMBS DOWN TO APPLE TV
Apple TV, the $299 device that Apple began distributing last month to link home computers to TV sets, does not deliver high-definition quality to HDTV monitors, according to the Associated Press. Warning that an HDTV set is almost a requirement in order to connect with Apple TV, the wire service commented, "It's surprising, then, that videos from Apple's online iTunes store look horrible on an HDTV set. The movies and TV shows have the same nominal resolution as DVDs, but look much blurrier, approaching the look of standard-definition broadcast TV." By contrast, Microsoft's competing Xbox, although offering a confusing interface, provides pictures from download video that are "absolutely stunning," A.P. said, "better than most broadcast HD, and almost indistinguishable from HD DVD or Blu-ray discs."