The Year of ‘The’

If you read this blog frequently, you know I always post MY Oscar predictions around this time of year. While recently posting the Golden Globe nominations it became crystal clear to me that lots of 2010 films have ‘the’ in their title.

As a screenwriter myself, I started to wonder if I should include ‘the’ in my title! Might have better chance of it getting produced!

Truthfully, the only reason why I noticed this word is because I hate repetition. If writers eliminated it, they could add more essential information to their stories, screenplays or news scripts.

Below is a list of some films released this year that have ‘the’ in their title. It’s nutsoid!

(And as a side note, it’s also apparently the year of Mark Wahlberg. He is listed in three different films.)

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The American with George Clooney, Thekla Reuten, Violante Placido, Paolo Bonacelli

The Other Guys with Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes, Michael Keaton, Dwayne Johnson, Samuel L. Jackson, Steve Coogan, Ray Stevenson, Rob Riggle, Damon Wayans Jr., Andy Buckley, Ben Schwartz, Bobby Cannavale

The A-Team with Bradley Cooper, Liam Neeson, Jessica Biel and Patrick Wilson

The Lovely Bones  with Rachel Weisz, Mark Wahlberg, Saoirse Ronan, Stanley Tucci, Susan Sarandon, Michael Imperioli, Rose McIver, Carolyn Dando

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo with Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Lena Endre, Peter Haber, Sven-Bertil Taube

The Back-Up Plan with Jennifer Lopez, Alex O’Loughlin, Eric Christian Olsen, Michaela Watkins, Melissa McCarthy

The Karate Kid with Jackie Chan, Jaden Smith, Taraji P. Henson

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse with Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ashley Greene, Peter Facinelli, Jackson Rathbone, Kellan Lutz, Billy Burke, Elizabeth Reaser, Nikki Reed, Dakota Fanning, Catalina Sandino Moreno

The Last Airbender with Dev Patel, Noah Ringer, Nicola Peltz, Jackson Rathbone, Jessica Jade Andres, Aasif Mandvi, Shaun Toub, Cliff Curtis, Keong Sim

The Expendables with Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Mickey Rourke, Randy Couture, Dolph Lungdren, Steve Austin, Charisma Carpenter, Brittany Murphy, David Zayas, Terry Crews, Giselle Itie, Eric Roberts

The Town with Ben Affleck, Jon Hamm, Rebecca Hall, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively, Chris Cooper, Pete Postlethwaite

The Next Three Days with Russell Crowe, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Neeson, RZA, Brian Dennehy, Olivia Wilde, Lennie James, Aisha Hinds, Daniel Stern, Jonathan Tucker, Ty Simpkins

The King’s Speech with Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Jennifer Ehle, Guy Pearce, Derek Jacobi, Timothy Spall, Michael Gambon

The Tourist with Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, Rufus Sewell, Timothy Dalton, Steven Berkoff

The Fighter with Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Melissa Leo, Amy Adams, Jack McGee

The Chronicles of Narnia: the Voyage of the Dawn Treader with Ben Barnes, Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, Peter Dinklage, Eddie Izzard, Will Poulter

Bon Jovi Tops 2010 Tour List, followed by AC/DC, U2 & Lady Gaga

The concert business was hit in 2010 by some of the same tough economic times that have been gripping other factions in the music industry in recent years, but New Jersey rock group Bon Jovi has reason to pop the Champagne anyway.

The band posted the highest grossing concert tour of the year not only in North America, but across the globe, topping the $200-million mark worldwide, according to figures released Tuesday by Pollstar, the concert-tracking publication.

Bon Jovi posted total concert revenue of $201.1 million, a little over half that figure — $108.2 million — from the North American dates on its world tour.

Behind the group on Pollstar’s worldwide ranking is AC/DC with gross ticket sales of $177 million, followed in the top 5 by U2 ($160.9 million), Lady Gaga ($133.6 million) and Metallica ($110.1 million).

Looking only at North American tour numbers, Roger Waters and his remounting of Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” was second to Bon Jovi with a tour gross of $89.5 million, followed by the Dave Matthews Band ($72.9 million), Canadian pop crooner Michael Bublé ($65.7 million) and the Eagles ($64.5 million).

The big guns, however, couldn’t bring up the entire concert business over last year’s numbers. The top 50 North American tours combined for an overall take of $1.69 billion, down about 15% from $1.99 billion in 2009. The story was only marginally better throughout the world, where the top 50 total tour gross of $2.93 billion was off about 12% from $3.34 billion a year earlier.

U2 was tops on Pollstar’s list of 2009’s biggest tours, posting $123 million and another 1.31 million tickets sold. The Irish quartet was the only act to top the $100-million mark last year, with Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band coming in second with $94.5 million, Elton John and Billy Joel’s duo tour pulling in $88 million, Britney Spears at $82.5 million and AC/DC fifth with $77.9 million.

LA Times

Library of Congress Adds 25 Films to Registry

 BAFTA

“The Empire Strikes Back” and “Saturday Night Fever” are among the 25 films selected for preservation this year by the Library of Congress.

Each year, the library adds 25 films to the National Film Registry to preserve films with artistic, cultural or historical significance. There are now 550 films in the registry, which began in 1989.

This year’s selections were announced early Tuesday. They include one of the first motion pictures ever made, a clip of a young man swinging Indian clubs, which were an exercise aid. The film was made in 1891 at the Edison Laboratory in West Orange, N.J.

Also selected was a 1913 film called “Preservation of the Sign Language,” one of the first motion picture recordings of American Sign Language.

“The Empire Strikes Back” joins “Star Wars” in the registry.

 National Film Registry: http://www.loc.gov/film

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

Looking to Breakup? Just a Handy Graph!

The chart above shows breakups announced by Facebook users' status updates plotted over time. The most likely breakup periods were just after Valentines Day and just before Christmas.

I heard about this nifty little thing while driving to work one day last month.

I’m not breaking up with my boyfriend. No, the first thing I thought of was how I could use this information for screenplays.

Yeah, I guess I’m a true writer then.

From NY Daily News –

Today is Christmas, one of the most likely times for relationships to breakup, according to British journalist David McCandless.

McCandless, also a graphic designer, has analyzed over 10,000 Facebook status updates to produce the “Facebook Breakup Chart,” a graphic representation of the most likely times of the year for couples to split.

To create the graph, he and colleague Lee Bryon searched users’ status updates for the terms “breakup” and “broken up,” then mapped the frequency of the terms as they correspond to the days of the year.

The graph spikes most notably just after Valentine’s Day and right before Spring Break.

Breakups also start to climb in the two weeks before Christmas, though Christmas Day appears to be relatively safe.

“The lowest day of the year of course – Christmas day. Who would do that?” McCandless asked his audience during a talk at the TED idea conference last July, where he first presented his discoveries.

Mondays also show small spikes in breakup frequency, as do the months when students are on summer vacation.

McCandless, known for his creative data visualization, features more of his work on his website informationisbeautiful.net, and writes a monthly column for The Guardian’s data blog.

He and Bryon created the controversial graphic in 2008 for the book “The Visual Miscellaneum: A Colorful Guide to the World’s Most Consequential Trivia,” but in recent days the chart began to make the rounds on the internet, prompting McCandless to post it on his site himself.

Though his methodology has been criticized by bloggers such as Digital Society’s Paul Crowe, McCandless believes the amount of data generated by modern life could lead to fascinating breakthroughs.

“There’s a titanic amount of data out there now, unprecedented,” McCandless told his TED audience. “But if you ask the right kind of question or you work it in the right kind of way, interesting things can emerge.”

Seems the Grinch Stole This Year’s Holiday Movies

Have a happy holiday. But don’t look for much help from Hollywood.

For the first time since 2001, Christmas Day arrives without a holiday-theme movie from the major studios, or even most of the minor ones.

Paramount is offering vengeance in “True Grit” and a bloody comeback in “The Fighter.” Disney has “Tron: Legacy,” its video game gone wild. Fox has released “Gulliver’s Travels.”

But “Jingle Bells,” eggnog and family fights that turn into warm and fuzzy moments around the tree are almost nowhere to be found in the films left behind by executives, who have mostly abandoned Burbank for Brazil and all points of the compass.

“I think it’s just weird, because it looks like a real missed opportunity,” said Paul Dergarabedian, who monitors film box office results for Hollywood.com.

Every year in the last eight has brought a Christmas-theme film or two, including some real hits.

In 2003, for instance, New Line Cinema went on to snag a startling $173 million in domestic ticket sales when it put Will Ferrell in tights for “Elf.” Disney took in $139 million at the domestic box office with “The Santa Clause 2” in 2002, and nearly $138 million last year with “A Christmas Carol.”

The most impressive Christmas-theme hit in recent memory was “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” which took in $260 million for Universal after its release in November 2000 and became that year’s best box office performer.

Christmas films have an obvious advantage in that much of the audience has already warmed to the seasonal subject matter. But studio executives are somewhat wary of the genre, because even a slight hitch in the production process can force them to hold a movie for a full year.

Something like that happened to DreamWorks SKG, for instance, when it shot “Surviving Christmas,” with Ben Affleck, in early 2003, then bumped the release to late 2004, to avoid competing with a thriller, “Paycheck,” in which Mr. Affleck also starred. (“Surviving Christmas” was a flop.)

This year brings a dollop of Christmas-Hanukkah cheer at the end of Universal’s “Little Fockers,” in which a nurse, played by Ben Stiller, squares off against his ex-C.I.A.-operative father-in-law, played by Robert De Niro.

“The Nutcracker in 3D,” from Freestyle Releasing, is also playing in a small number of theaters, as is “Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale,” from Oscilloscope Laboratories. (A Finnish import, “Rare Exports,” according to Jeannette Catsoulis, who reviewed it for The New York Times, “turns Santa into a savage troll and his elves into naked, wrinkly graybeards.”)

And Warner Brothers is back in a few Imax theaters with another re-release of “The Polar Express,” which was the studio’s big Christmas hit in 2004.

Otherwise, it’s a matter of waiting for Hollywood to get its holiday groove back.

That will happen, Mr. Dergarabedian predicted, on Nov. 23, 2011, when Sony Pictures expects to release its “Arthur Christmas.” It is an animated extravaganza, in 3-D, about toys and elves and a high-tech distribution operation based at the North Pole.

This year is probably just an oversight, Mr. Dergarabedian said, adding, “I don’t think there’s a conspiracy against Santa.”

NY Times

Festive Music for the Ears!

Every time I hear this Target commercial I can’t help but think of Burning Man and how great it would be to blast this there. Of course, I’d have to a whole Christmas village – otherwise it’d be weird…..

And this song – well, it just grew on me the more I watched it. Because of this I now want to decorate my truck with lights! 

For some reason I’m really excited about the holidays this year. Candy cane tea, yummy truffles, festive decorations, tree trimming, the whole thing. And the funny thing is I still worked during Christmas week! Maybe the kid in me is finally showing through (again!)

Happy Holidays!

BEE GEE

Just be careful where you put that Christmas sweater.