Hollywood’s Disconnect

Maybe Hollywood should look at the video game industry to see what is selling to American audiences. Despite Hollywood’s best efforts, there is no audience for a movie that portrays American soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines as criminals, thugs, and dishonorable cowards, and Hollywood’s version of “dramatics” is clearly not what audiences want. One would think that Hollywood would stop producing movies that clearly have no mass market appeal, but apparently the only applied aspect of capitalism in that town has to do with salaries.

Meanwhile over in video games, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare continues it’s winning streak, landing in 2nd place on Xbox 360, 3rd place on PS3, and 3rd place for PC games for week 10 of 2008. CoD4 was also the top selling game for the month of Feb, shipping 296,200 units, which at retail is about $15 million in sales, and the title has been out for 8 months. Activision originally projected they would sell 7 million units of this title, translating into a total take of $350 million.

Friday’s No. 7 Stop-Loss fell a spot to 8th after it opened to only $1.7 million Friday and Saturday from a limited 1,291 plays. It eked out a $4.5M weekend. Although the drama from MTV Films was the best-reviewed movie opening this weekend, Paramount wasn’t expecting much because no Iraq war-themed movie has yet to perform at the box office. “It’s not looking good,” a studio source told me before the weekend. “No one wants to see Iraq war movies. No matter what we put out there in terms of great cast or trailers, people were completely turned off. It’s a function of the marketplace not being ready to address this conflict in a dramatic way because the war itself is something that’s unresolved yet. It’s a shame because it’s a good movie that’s just ahead of its time.”

[From Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily » ‘21? Holds Winning Hand At Box Office; ‘Superhero’ Is Superflop; ‘Stop-Loss’ DOA]

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Zimbabwe “Elections”

I won’t hold my breath about a change of power in Zimbabwe. Reports of voter intimidation and the regular “irregularities” are already rolling in, suggesting that Mugabe’s thugocracy will continue unabated.

For those of you who wonder why Zimbabwe has gotten under my skin the way it has, all I can say is that every Somalia, Sudan, Congo and Rwanda begins with a Mugabe. As is the case with Rwanda, the world is silently watching a human catastrophe and will only act when the body bags become too many to count.

Sec. of State Rice said it best:

“But really, the Mugabe regime is a disgrace to the people of Zimbabwe and a disgrace to southern Africa and to the continent of Africa as whole,” she said.

[From World news Feed Article | World news |]

On the bright side, it is beyond question that Zimbabwe will continue to hold their leadership seat on the UN Commission on Sustainable Development. I guess the world body, in their infinite wisdom, believes this is something they are probably qualified for given the complete collapse of their economy, chronic fuel shortages, a few hours of electricity per day, and 80% unemployment has certainly reduced their carbon footprint.

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Willie Fiddles While T5 Burned

UPDATE: hat tip to Jackie Danicki for sending me this link via twitter.

yeah, I always have a string quartet at my “staff communication events”. Seriously, did this spokeswoman comprehend the idiocy of that statement before saying it? With so many flights canceled in the first three days, 20% of the European flights yesterday alone, they must have a warehouse full of those “free gifts” on hand.

A spokeswoman said: “It was not a party – it was a staff communication event. There was a string quartet, doughnuts and food but we would not describe that as a party. Free gifts were given out but they were the same items passengers received on the plane.

[From BA’S bosses partied as as Heathrow Terminal Five crashed – Sunday Mirror]

(note the red footprints on the floor behind Willie, most surely a sign of the blood that will be spilled as a result of this massive PR disaster, the financial bill owed to passengers under EU rules, and embarrassment to the UK government.)

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