Saturday, August 16, 2008

Month Twenty-Seven

Yes, it's been a long time since I've posted, probably the longest in the history of this blog, going on 5 years now...hard to believe the L & N has been up for that many.

The summer has been pretty busy, as you guys probably know. I've had to dust off my Titanic memories in the discussion of The Dark Knight, which will be the 2nd highest grossing film of all time when it's all done. Of course, The Dark Knight will not be seen nearly as much as Titanic was, and the way Titanic made its money was way different. If there was ever a sharper contrast to how people watch movies today as compared to back then, you look at 1997, itself a different era from decades past. While The Dark Knight is going to quickly make its money before finally crashing, Titanic took several months of consistent 20-30 million weekly grosses. Titanic was never a "fastest to 100 million" or "record breaking opening weekend" movie.

I recently read an article that made mention that "no one knows why Titanic made so much money," and the answer is pretty simple. Tons of little girls came to watch the movie over 10 times, bragging about it much like Nelson and Milhouse do about the Itchy and Scratchy Movie in that classic Simpsons episode. They liked Leonardo DiCaprio...a lot. The love story was Shakespearean even though the dialogue was not. And men liked watching the action spectacle and thus had reason to attend. But the disguised fact about the little girls coming to watch the movie over and over is that likely they had a parent come with them, adding to the gross.

It's phenomenal to look at inflation and realize The Dark Knight would have to make around $900 million to beat Titanic's individual tickets sold. But like all things, inflation is an overrated tactic by the purists to keep legendary movies at a lofty perch, like Gone With the Wind. The reason it's overrated is that if you released any of these "most tickets sold" movies today, they would have no chance of selling that many. There's no way to measure how these movies would have done today, or probable de-flation.

As for New York, since I last wrote my theatre has undergone many changes. My General Manager was transferred to another Queens location to replace the GM spot there, and we got a promoted GM from a theatre in Brooklyn to take over. Since then, original managers have been moved or they are quitting or going back to school. In a nutshell, I'm the last remaining original manager at the place. It has been hard getting used to it.

Over the summer I've been learning the IMAX projector in a town called New Rochelle, which is just north of NYC in Westchester County, the southeastern tip of New York state. IMAX is completely different, although there are a couple of similarities. By the way, if you like The Dark Knight you should definitely watch it in IMAX. It's breathtaking.

I've also upgraded myself. I've got an iPhone and I plunked down and got a Sony Vaio laptop. Their predecessors had become completely unacceptable. This was a pretty fun day of shopping: I went to the 5th Ave Apple Store and obtained a voucher to get my phone, and then walked around the block to the Sony Style store on Madison and scooped up my new computer, then went back and stood in line for the phone. When I got back that day I didn't know where to start.

Driving: While there are certainly many aspects of driving in NYC that are ridiculous and nerve-wracking, it beats trains and buses for the most part. It is something I only do when I do something work-related, because I can fill out expense reports for parking, tolls, and mileage (when I'm away from my home theatre, which isn't that far away, rarely have to pay for parking, and there are no tolls). There was a time I was in traffic and I thought that taking the subway would have been faster, but I was wrong. It's a balancing act sometimes, deciding whether you're going to take mass transit or the car depending on the trip. All I can say is that I'm glad I can just go home after a closing shift and get there in 15 minutes as opposed to sometimes an hour and a half or two with the walking/waiting combination.

I'm still committed to giving this at least until next April, by then it will have been 3 years. I have not made a decision as to whether I'll extend it further. There are a lot of changes in the wind and I'll just have to see where it goes.


At 8/26/2008 02:00:00 PM, Anonymous Doc said...

Good to know you're holding it down up there. Congrats on your success, and I'm sure it'll continue to your future career replacing Ebert and Roeper as film critics.


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