Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Hix In Stix Nix "Grindhouse"--And So Does Everyone Else

So the movie that almost every Friend of Felt Up has been eagerly anticipating for some time, Grindhouse, did reallly terribly at the box office over the weekend for some reason. The Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino "double feature" came in fourth with just $11.591 million dollars, after Blades of Glory ($23 million), Meet the Robinsons ($17.004 millio) and Are We Done Yet? ($13 million). From Defamer:

We generally reserve the above-the-jump slot for the weekend's first place finisher, but Grindhouse's shocking--shocking!--and disappointing opening (really, the situation requires that double cliché to communicate its unexpected bombiness) merits the lead slot on this Monday morning. What happened? A movie that features Rose McGowan as a one-legged go-go dancer with a combination machine gun/grenade launcher prosthesis should have been good for $15 million on its own. Perhaps the buzz was hurt somewhat when word got out that Tarantino's contribution to the double-bill opens with a unbroken, twenty-minute shot of Sydney Tamalia Poitier's naked feet perched on the dashboard of a moving car, an homage to 1978 cult film Barefoot Bunny's Road Trip to the Valley of the Toe-Suckers so obscure that audiences were sure that the rest of the movie's too-clever references would alienate them.

Barring any voodoo dolls created by Rodriguez' estranged wife after he cavorted around on set with Rose McGowan, I wonder if this is actually just another case of The Austin Curse™? The Curse used to apply only to music acts (see Sexton, Charlie, et al), but with the (weird, horrific) chart-topping hits of Los Lonely Boys and the more deserved success of Spoon, Okkervil River, ...And You Will Know Us By Trail Of Our Dead, etc etc, The Curse seems to have shifted from bands to movies.

I'm not saying every single Austin movie is doomed to commercial failure, but a great many movies filmed in or around Austin have had a tendency to stink up the box office--from Nadine to The Newton Boys to The Underneath to Hope Floats to The Alamo. Even such critically acclaimed Austin movies as The Coen Brothers' Blood Simple or Richard Linklater's Slacker or Douglas McGrath's Infamous (aka The Other Truman Capote Movie), didn't exactly set box office records, and the ones that did do well (other Rodriguez movies, especially the Spy Kids franchise, and Linklater's School of Rock, etc) tended to be made by Austin auteurs who filmed far, far away from their hometown.

Not that box office success is that important or anything, it's just...odd. Is it something in the refried beans at Tamale House? Any thoughts, fellow Austinites? Am I forgetting some homegrown movie that was a huge smash hit?

Well, Curse or no Curse, go see Grindhouse, for god's sake!


impychimp said...

Yeah, I saw Grindhouse last weekend.The gore is good, but there's no sex (the third time the 'missing reel' card comes up it's like...okay, we get it.) The worst part is it's booooring. The fake trailers are great, and the last half of Tarantino's film (meaning, 1/4 of the whole movie) is so good, it's almost worth suffering the previous 2 1/2 hours where dialog
Almost. I give it two Meh's.

Anonymous said...

I saw it last night and enjoyed it. The theater was crowded (on a weekday night!), but it WAS an Alamo theater, which probably isn't representative of the general public.

I'm also pleased to report that my 1985 crush on Michael Biehn has been reinstated. Hot stuff!

Terri R.

Anonymous said...

Let me say that "How To Eat Fried WOrms", filmed right here in A-town, is one bona fide hit with the 6to 11 yr old set; my nieces have watched it over and over and over and I have,too! SO maybe the curse is only for grown-up movies?.....Hopefully it won't hurt tv shows, cuz I be lovin' me some Friday Night Lights AND they film at my ghetto school sometimes (Go, Reagan! Home of Kids Who Would Really Enjoy Living in Ancient Times BY the Way They All Watch and Encourage Violent Fighting a la the Roman Coliseum! Whoo!)

Anonymous said...

Leave us not forget Idiocracy. Oh wait everyone all ready did. Poo on the public, Poo I say!! erica v.