Morning Call Sheet: Box Office Analysis, 'Twilight Zone', and Bogie

BOX OFFICE ANALYSIS

1. Dolphin Tale: $14.3M – Family films rule. Shallow nihilism and conformity posing as “edginess” do not. Yet Hollywood keeps right on making them. Yes, someone somewhere is currently squandering millions of dollars on “Margot At the Wedding 2: Narcissism Is a Virtue.” They might not call it that, but you get the idea.

2. Moneyball: $12.5M – More proof the adult drama is not dead, just a certain kind of adult drama — like, say, “Margot At the Wedding 3: I Hate the parents Who Gave Me Everything.”

3. The Lion King: $11M – Never in a million years did I expect this kind of haul and I’m sure the studio would’ve been happy with half this. In fact, they probably chose to go with a re-release mainly as a way to gin up publicity and anticipation for tomorrow’s Blu-ray release. But this is a fantastic film released late enough so that many of those who enjoyed the experience with their parents can now pass it on to their own children. Disney = magic.

4. 50/50 $8.9M – One of those neither fish nor fowl flicks people probably had a hard time grasping. Is it a comedy? Is it a tragedy? Is it a drama? I think the casting of Seth Rogen really threw people off. He’s only been associated with raunch-fests and junk like “Green Hornet,” so the fit was odd and the whole “cancer” thing certainly would’ve turned off his following to whatever degree he has one.

5. Courageous $8.8M – Well, well, well… An openly Christian film with no stars — not even Kirk Cameron, and based on what I’ve been told about the production and marketing budget, it’s already in the black. This comes from the makers of “Fireproof” (which I liked) and “Facing the Giants” (which I loathed) and what you have here is a filmmaker learning his craft, building an audience, and showing others the way. Someone stopped complaining, went out and did it and succeeded. Can hardly express how much respect I have for that.

CHRISTOPHER NOLAN IS WB’S FRONTRUNNER TO DIRECT NEW ‘TWILIGHT ZONE’ MOVIE

Apparently the idea behind this new adaptation is to avoid the four-story approach the 1983 film used and focus on a single storyline that touches on familiar “themes” from Rod Serling’s original series.

Oddly enough Warners is also looking at Michael Bay and Alfonso Cuaron. In other words, Warners has no idea what kind of movie they want to make because those two directors are as different from each other as the Obama administration is from “success.”

The original “Twilight Zone” is one of my favorite television shows and I hated the 1983 film which essentially remade a bunch of episodes in a way that added nothing to them. Rod Serling’s creation just isn’t the stuff of tent poles. It’s meant for the small screen, meant to be told in short morality plays with a twist.

You can call it “The Twilight Zone,” or if Bay ends up directing “The TZ,” but it won’t be “the Twilight Zone.”

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CLASSIC PICK FOR TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4

TCM:

10pm EST: In a Lonely Place (1950) — An aspiring actress begins to suspect that her temperamental boyfriend is a murderer. Dir: Nicholas Ray Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frank Lovejoy. BW-93 mins, TV-PG, CC.

Bogart, Grahame, black and white, and directed by Nicholas Ray equal pitch-perfect noir.

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