Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Direct Current #11/Box Office 1981

ITEM!  Star Trek Fan Companion - Enterprise 2x11 "Precious Cargo"
There are two reasons to watch this episode: one is Charles "Trip" Tucker, who receives his first spotlight episode of the season.  The other is guest-star Padma Lakshmi.  Hopefully that one explains itself.

Read more here.

THE BEST OF WHAT'S AROUND

Derek Fridolfs writes about writing a comic for Subway.

PT Dilloway shares a pitch for a new story.

Mock! got some awesome birthday gifts.

Read a prologue for a new story from Dan Head.

Wanna go political with Meme Express?

SOAP BOX

My box office chronicle continues with 1981:

1. Raiders of the Lost Ark ($212 mil)
Still one of the most legendary creations of modern cinema lore, the debut of Indiana Jones via Harrison Ford, Steven Spielberg, and George Lucas.  I had a friend in college who was absolutely obsessed, had a fedora and everything.

2. On Golden Pond ($119 mil)
Golden Age stars Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda in the last blockbuster of their careers.

3. Superman II ($108 mil)
Kneel before Zod!  This is how you continue a superhero franchise, by bringing in a villain no one expected to steal the show totally dominate.  It's safe to say that The Dark Knight continued that tradition.

4. Arthur ($95 mil)
Perhaps last year's Russell Brand flopped because people are still beholden to Dudley Moore?  Okay, okay, it could be because of Russell Brand.  It's not because today's audiences are all that familiar with the legacy of Moore.  Or maybe I'm selling him short?

5. Stripes ($85 mil)
Ivan Reitman and Bill Murray in their second collaboration (following Meatballs and preceding Ghostbusters).  Murray has a lot of movies that a lot of people remember, and his popularity from hits like this is a huge reason why.  Dudley Moore he is not.

6. The Cannonball Run ($72 mil)
Burt Reynolds was a huge star.  Today people remember him less for this than Smokey and the Bandit, however.

7. Chariots of Fire ($58 mil)
Won the Best Picture at the Oscars.  Some people still remain polarized about it.  But a lot of Best Picture winners end up with that fate.  Featuring Olympic running, memorable score, Ben Cross.

8. For Your Eyes Only ($54 mil)
Roger Moore's fifth turn as James Bond.

9. The Four Seasons ($50 mil)
The fact that I'd never heard of this movie suggests that it hasn't aged well.  No doubt its success at the time is attributed to starring Alan Alda and Carol Burnett, huge TV stars at the time.

10. Time Bandits ($42 mil)
A Top Ten hit for Terry Gilliam?  Safe to say that this is probably the reason he's gotten regular work in Hollywood, because Hollywood does not seem to widely appreciate him otherwise.

Other notable releases: Clash of the Titans ($41 mil), Reds ($40 mil), Excalibur ($34 mil), History of the World, Part I ($31 mil), The Great Muppet Caper ($31 mil), Halloween II ($25 mil), Escape from New York ($25 mil), Friday the 13th Part 2 ($21 mil)

Source: Box Office Mojo

2 comments:

PT Dilloway, Superhero Author said...

You know who else is obsessed about "Raiders of the Lost Ark?" Dr. Dan Dreyfus, in my book. There's a reference to the movie in Chapter 2. I just remember being freaked out by the melting faces at the end. Ick!

Seriously, what was the difference between "Smokey and the Bandit" and "Cannonball Run?" Was there a lack of Smokeys in the one? Or did he just drive a different kind of car?

Am I right in thinking Zod wasn't even much of a character in the Superman franchise until that movie came out?

I guess in the Richard Donner version he turns back time to save the day but really it seems the other version worked better. Him outsmarting Luthor and Zod is a lot less deux-ex-machina. I'm just saying.

Tony Laplume said...

Zod didn't have near the mystique he enjoys now prior to his movie debut. And his depiction in the comics after was a huge battle as to whether or not it would adhere to this legacy. Perhaps not unsurprisingly, the closest interpretation came from Donner himself, working alongside Geoff Johns.

I loved the Richard Donner cut of Superman II. It helps the time travel gimmick in the first film make greater thematic sense.

Not having cared much for Burt Reynolds, I have little experience with his films. I have never seen Cannonball Run. Maybe the first two Smokeys.

Indy has a long list of characters he's inspired, which is ironic, because his debut was based on earlier films. Shows what getting all the elements right (and melting faces) gets you. I've got a scene set in a museum in my first book, but it has nothing to do with Indy.

I'll still keep an eye out for the reference.

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