Tag: Hanna-Barbera

Weekend box office: “Tron: Legacy” leads a slow weekend; “How Do You Know” when you’ve made an expensive bomb? Not hard this weekend.

It came in at the top spot without  breaking a sweat, but if Disney was expecting “Tron: Legacy” to turn a cult-hit 1982 science fiction concept masquerading as a movie into an instant mega-franchise, they made a problematic bet. On the other hand, while it doesn’t explain the miserable performance of the latest from James L. Brooks (“Broadcast News”), Nikki Finke points out that this is a weekend when an awful lot of people are busy traveling and shopping and movies tend to take a back-seat.

Tron: Legacy

So, that leaves it to the young fanboys to support something like “Tron.” They shelled out the money for those expensive 3D tickets and Anthony D’Alessandro says that 3D accounted for an unsurprising 82% of the tickets. This is not a movie you see for the story and characterization. The total estimated take for the Mouse House was $43.6 million according to Box Office Mojo, well short of the 50 million La Finke says they were hoping for. This includes a Friday morning 12:00 A.M. opening, by the way.

The #2 film this weekend was “Yogi Bear.” In its favor, it is a partially CGI animated family comedy. In its disfavor, it’s a cheap looking knock-off of a character that kids love and adults remember fondly — but rarely watch because, to an adult, those old Hanna-Barbara cartoons aren’t hugely funny. On the other hand, it’s always fun to say “pic-a-nic basket.” With unsurprisingly lousy reviews, the 3D film was able to get enough families in the door to earn an estimated $16.7 million for Warner Brothers.

In its second weekend, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” managed to keep its drop-off to 48.3% and earned an estimate of $12.4 million for Fox in the #3 spot. The $150 million film is benefiting from decent business overseas.

Going wide for the first time this week, “The Fighter” punched slightly above its weight and earned a very solid $12.2 million estimate. With a total so far of roughly $12.6 million, the award-contending David O. Russell crowd-pleaser has already won enough purses to get more than half its $25 million budget back. “Black Swan” which expanded much more modestly in terms of theater counts, also did extremely well with an estimated $8.3 million in the #7 spot, despite being in only about 1/3 as many theaters as most of its competition.

Jack Nicholson phones home in And then we get to “How Do You Know” — a movie I once had hopes for. Still, I knew something was up with word that it cost $120 million but, as I’ve joked before, couldn’t even afford to purchase the correct punctuation for its title. As Brooks is a more reliable Oscar nominee than a money maker and the movie is, after all, a romantic comedy and not an EFX showcase, this seemed weird. With poor reviews and no award nominations, this is a movie without a constituency other than whatever power the all-star cast led by Reese Witherspoon can muster. Jack Nicholson, in particular, is being accused of a phoned-in performance. At a salary of $12 million, that’s one expensive toll call.

Lifelike Yogi


Sometimes a news story falls through the cracks and, since I don’t have Lewis Black working for me, they just kind of stay there until someone points them out. In this case, the fine cinephile blogger Peter Nellhaus of the well-named Coffee, Coffee and More Coffee alerted me via Facebook that I’d missed this item on the possible casting of Anna Faris, Dan Aykroyd, and Justin Timberlake for an upcoming CGI/live-action adaptation of the really not all that classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon adventures of Yogi Bear. (Any fond childhood memories I had left were quickly erased by actually trying to watch one.)

Admittedly, this idea for a film kind of sets my teeth on edge, but at the same time, that’s how I reacted when I heard they were doing a new “Battlestar Galactica” TV show. The first was so horrible, why revive it? “To make it really good this time” turned out to be the answer. Ideas are just ideas, the execution is where it’s at, and this could be brilliant for all any of us know, though the immutable laws of the entertainment universe — and a seemingly less than inspired choice for the director — indicates that it has at least a 90% chance of stinking. I have to say that the idea of Justin Timberlake doing the voice of Boo-Boo does kind of make me smile, however.

Only time will truly tell, but I’m using this opportunity to present an ancient video for “Life Like Yogi,” the anthem of the long defunct, highly ironic Hanna-Barbara obsessed punk bank, Stukas Over Bedrock — a group whose mid-Wilshire home I used to sometimes hang out at a long, long ago — led by my esteemed fellow cinephile John P. Garry III. A real walk down Punksville’s memory lane.

Ursine bonus videos after the flip.


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