Fahrenheit 9/11 has box office mojo

I’ve never seen this site before: Box Office Mojo has all of the monetary stats you could want, organized in a very easy to access way. For people interested in this kind of data, it looks great.

Speaking of great, Fahrenheit 9/11 had a great opening on Friday. In one day it became the 4th highest grossing documentary with more than $8M banked. If that kind of score holds up, it could end the weekend as the highest grossing documentary ever, beating out Michael Moore’s own Bowling for Columbine.

Super Size Me: is anyone surprised?

There’s been a lot of positive press for Super Size Me. I haven’t seen the movie, and it may very well be a well-made, entertaining documentary. That aside, the subject matter seems so obvious that it doesn’t warrant creating a movie about it.

The movie tracks the filmmaker’s (Morgan Spurlock) month of eating nothing but McDonald’s food. Obviously, he wasn’t eating McDonald’s salads every day, because he gained 25 pounds and got rather sick. Gee, big news there…

He could have just as easily done an expose on how your grocery store is a deathtrap, what with all of the cheeseburgers and fries you can make with ingredients from there, topped off with a Hostess Ho Ho for dessert. In fact, check out the quote from the NY Times critic that mentions that Super Size Me is a statement of the obvious.

While I can appreciate the sacrifice the filmmaker made for his art, I really have to wonder if he had any other expectation going into this.

By many accounts the movie is a very entertaining view. That’s great… but for me the whole notion of watching a documentary based on the premise that eating unhealthy food all the time is bad for you just doesn’t sound like a great use of my time.

Return of the King sweeps the Oscars

Lord of the Rings scooped up a few Oscars in the past couple of years, but this year Return of the King won all 11 that it was nominated for. Miramax had reportedly tried to get Peter Jackson replaced as director before deciding to just hand the series over to another studio. That other studio, New Line, took a $300 million gamble to film all three at once. Worldwide box office for the three films is approaching $3 billion. Add in video sales, plus a bit of Oscar cred, and you’ve got yourself a $300 million bargain.

I can’t wait to see Return of the King. Having a 7 month old is not very conducive to getting out to the theater.

Super Size Me: foolish anti-McD documentary

Super Size Me is the documentary created by a guy who ate nothing but McDonald’s food for a month:

Within a few days of beginning his drive-through diet, Spurlock, 33, was vomiting out the window of his car, and doctors who examined him were shocked at how rapidly Spurlock’s entire body deteriorated.

This seems amazingly obvious, particularly because he was probably trying to eat unhealthy food. Tell ya what… try another experiment. Spend 30 days eating nothing but Wendy’s (assuming he’s too sick of McD to go back there), and have nothing but salads (with low fat dressing) and grilled chicken. I’ll bet he comes out a lot better in the end, and I bet he could do the same at McDonald’s.

Having unhealthy food is always fun from time to time, but eating obviously unhealthy food frequently is just plain dumb.

NYTimes on Harry vs. Hulk

Last week, I wrote about Harry Potter’s defeat of the Hulk in terms of revenue produced opening weekend. The New York Times has an article now, Harry Crushes the Hulk which talks not only of the financial aspect but of how Harry is more “naturally” successful:

The book’s success bubbled up spontaneously from below, propelled by kids’ word of mouth, rather than being imposed by synergistic browbeating from above.

Book beats movie

What was the biggest thing in entertainment this past weekend? Could it be the long-anticipated, quite hyped Hulk? Hulk grossed more than $62 million to have the biggest June movie opening to date. But, this weekend, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix debuted in bookstores around the world. Scholastic reports that it sold 5 million copies on Saturday (including preorders). Even with the common 40% discount, that still marks a $90 million debut! This is probably the first weekend that a book has outgrossed a big, new movie release!