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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Why All the Hype on "Brokeback Mountain" Movie?

It's the talk of the town among the intellectualoids on the right and left coasts, but the rest of America apparently isn't all that impressed with a film about a gay cowboy and a gay sheep herder.

Here's how BM ranks on the charts after being in theaters for nine long weeks (thanks to John Hawkins of Right Wing News for compiling these numbers):

1) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: $285.5M
2) The Chronicles of Narnia: $271.9M
3) King Kong: $209.9M
4) Polar Express: $173.6M
5) Chicken Little: $133.4M
6) Walk the Line: $102.1M
7) Fun with Dick and Jane: $101.4M
8) Flightplan: $89.5M
9) Cheaper by The Dozen 2: $78.1M
10) The Family Stone: $58.6M
11) Yours, Mine, & Ours: $52.6M
12) Memoirs of a Geisha: $51.2M
13) Syriana: $45.4M
14) Hostel: $42.7M
15) Brokeback Mountain: $42.1 M

Notice, too, that George Clooney's "Blood for Oil" potboiler isn't exactly a gusher at the box office, either. So when do we see the critics and Hollywood trades admit that these propaganda pieces masquerading as movies appeal to extremely narrow slices of the movie market?

And how long before we see genuinely independent film makers who are much more in tune with the general public's tastes going around the existing distribution system by showing their products only on pay-per-view Internet sites?

Just think how much cheaper tickets would be and how much more convenient "going to the movies" would become with Internet-only distribution. And most important, can you imagine how much artistic creativity would be unleashed among movie makers by their being freed of Hollywood's conventions?

The mainstream media and popular music industries have been shaken to the core in recent years by the Internet. Hollywood could be next. Are you listening, Mr. Gibson, Mr. Anschutz?

Hawkins has more here.

UPDATE: Note to Commenters

Don't expect your comment to appear if it contains a personal attack on another individual. My Comments policy is to publish anything and everything so long as it doesn't contain a libel, defamation or otherwise include personal insults like calling somebody a "moron."