The Golden Compass (now with Reviews!)

New movies! Old movies! B-movies! Discuss discuss discuss!!!

Golden God or Pyrite Pile?

10
0
No votes
9
1
5%
8
5
24%
7
1
5%
6
2
10%
5
1
5%
4
2
10%
3
2
10%
2
0
No votes
1
2
10%
God told me not to see this
5
24%
 
Total votes : 21

Postby thomasgaffney on Sun Dec 09, 2007 3:21 pm

RogueScribner wrote:I read an article in EW where the director stated that he had filmed the book's ending but then decided to end on an upbeat note so he rewrote the ending and hopes to put the filmed ending as the beginning of the next movie.

Hmmm.

I've never read the books, but this seems all kinds of wacky to me.


I read that too (that he filmed everything, but decided not to use the book's ending). I think they wanted the movie to not have a "downer" ending in case this makes no money (only $8 million on Friday - ouch!) and the other two movies aren't greenlit. They want this to be able to stand on it's own, just in case.....
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Postby Maui on Sun Dec 09, 2007 3:35 pm

thomasgaffney wrote:
RogueScribner wrote: I read an article in EW where the director stated that he had filmed the book's ending but then decided to end on an upbeat note so he rewrote the ending and hopes to put the filmed ending as the beginning of the next movie.

Hmmm.

I've never read the books, but this seems all kinds of wacky to me.


I read that too (that he filmed everything, but decided not to use the book's ending). I think they wanted the movie to not have a "downer" ending in case this makes no money (only $8 million on Friday - ouch!) and the other two movies aren't greenlit. They want this to be able to stand on it's own, just in case.....


C'mon, I'm sure that everyone in the theatre wanted to see Roger bite the dust at the end of the movie. No pun intended.
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Postby Logan5 on Mon Dec 10, 2007 4:17 am

WTF?!

Why the hell did they change the order of events when the official game kept the entire storyline (up to Asriel taking off with Roger) intact?

I'm talking about Bolvangar escape being after the Ragnar Iorek fight. Makes no sense.

I was pissed that the game ended just before lyra goes to the top of the mountain to find Asriel and Roger, but was happy that it was faithful to the book.
Didn't expect the movie to be such a hack job.
A lot of scenes seemed cut out.

I'm hoping that the movie gets an extended cut on DVD treatment, seeing that all the scenes are filmed already.
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Postby DinoDeLaurentiis on Mon Dec 10, 2007 12:25 pm

thomasgaffney wrote:(only $8 million on Friday - ouch!)


Yes... those putzes over at a the New Line, holy crappa they pissed, no? They were hoping she was a gonna to break a the $30 million mark over a the weekend a 'cos a the budget, she was a so high, eh?
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Postby Maui on Mon Dec 10, 2007 12:54 pm

Logan5 wrote:WTF?!

Why the hell did they change the order of events when the official game kept the entire storyline (up to Asriel taking off with Roger) intact?

I'm talking about Bolvangar escape being after the Ragnar Iorek fight. Makes no sense.


Yeah, it was sliced and diced and rearranged.
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Postby Vegeta on Mon Dec 10, 2007 3:23 pm

DinoDeLaurentiis wrote:
thomasgaffney wrote:(only $8 million on Friday - ouch!)


Yes... those putzes over at a the New Line, holy crappa they pissed, no? They were hoping she was a gonna to break a the $30 million mark over a the weekend a 'cos a the budget, she was a so high, eh?


And with little competition no less (Disney's Enchanted opened the week before). I wonder if New Line will make the sequels? They have poured a ton of money into marketing and it doesn't look like it is panning out thus far.
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Postby Peven on Mon Dec 10, 2007 6:32 pm

DinoDeLaurentiis wrote:
thomasgaffney wrote:(only $8 million on Friday - ouch!)


Yes... those putzes over at a the New Line, holy crappa they pissed, no? They were hoping she was a gonna to break a the $30 million mark over a the weekend a 'cos a the budget, she was a so high, eh?


i have been selfishly rooting for this movie to tank, i confess, in the hope that it will put the squeeze on New Line to make the deal with Jackson to make "The Hobbit". after this they are going to need a winner and they KNOW a Jackson-made "Hobbit" would be a huge money-maker for them.
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Postby The Vicar on Mon Dec 10, 2007 6:33 pm

thomasgaffney wrote:
RogueScribner wrote: I read an article in EW where the director stated that he had filmed the book's ending but then decided to end on an upbeat note so he rewrote the ending and hopes to put the filmed ending as the beginning of the next movie.

Hmmm.

I've never read the books, but this seems all kinds of wacky to me.


I read that too (that he filmed everything, but decided not to use the book's ending). I think they wanted the movie to not have a "downer" ending in case this makes no money (only $8 million on Friday - ouch!) and the other two movies aren't greenlit. They want this to be able to stand on it's own, just in case.....


Looking like the right call about now - GC drops lower than third next week and their fears will be comfirmed.
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Postby bamf on Mon Dec 10, 2007 6:58 pm

When I walked out of the theater in 2001, after seeing Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, I recall thinking the story was interesting, wondering what happens next. I had yet to be captured by the books of Rowling, and to that point really the only exposure I had were bits done on The Daily Show mocking it. It was in 2003 when HP: Prisoner of Azkaban came out that I left with the feeling that I had to know what happens next. The Golden Compass did not elicit from me either reactions by story's end. In fact it was one of those rare times where mid-way I thought if I got up and left right now, I really wouldn't mind.

Heads will roll after the dust settles from this one. What I see is a director who has all the resources needed to make a great adaption story, but failed to coherently produce something that would ignite the populace into wanting more. The production on The Golden Compass is truly well done. Costuming, hard sets and CGI rival even the standards set by Pirates of the Caribbean. In my minds eye I could see a figure of numbers like ones set on a cash register in the corner of the screen. With each passing minute I could see the numbers rise like a Grad student's debt in spring time. The money was there for this, so why doesn't it work?

At two hours long, the pace of the film is reckless with the amount of information it attempts to inject into the audience -- it plays like the longest prologue I have ever seen. I am very much interested by detail-rich plots, and dimension-shifting realities, so this story should be right up my alley, but what it misses on is a character to connect to. I never felt any personal investment in Lyra*, her lost friends, or lost narrative. Nicole Kidman's** most sensuous Ms. Coulter is the only character that really jumps out at you, and gives a very mature To Die For performance. Other than that, I have not much good to say about the The Golden Compass.

The film cuts both ways; if you are a fan of the series, then most certainly you will be put off by five chapters being truncated into two minutes of dialogue, and if you know nothing of the series then you will be left cold, confused, and possibly wanting a Coke. Neither are a win, and the Box office shows it because word of mouth is the only thing that will get the film legs. Just over 26 million came in for opening weekend, that's Wild Hogs booty there -- err -- that's second week of Wild Hogs booty there. At a 180 million dollar price tag, these are dire looking numbers. My guess is the opening take barely covered advertisement costs; someone is going to be fired if the world gross isn't able to pick the slack.

And they probably should be, they created a picture that alienates the fan and the uninitiated. Maybe the distilment that was accomplished on most of the Rowling books is a task that cannot be cloned when dealing with such an ambitious tale of daemons, barely present Christian subtext, and cross dimensional travel. My entire negative reaction may very well be that my interest in Fantasy has waned. Perhaps I have become too cynical about the genre when all I can think about during the buildup to the clash of Iorek Byrnison and Ragnar Sturlusson was the Action News Team from Anchorman yelling "Bear Fight!"
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Mon Dec 10, 2007 7:39 pm

bamf wrote:...the Box office shows it because word of mouth is the only thing that will get the film legs. Just over 26 million came in for opening weekend, that's Wild Hogs money there -- err -- that's second week of Wild Hogs money there. At a 180 million dollar price tag, these are dire looking numbers. My guess is the opening take barely covered advertisement costs; someone is going to be fired.


well, I heard the international take was about double that (not sure how many territories it opened in).

so figure first weekend, globally, it made around $75million.

even that will barely cover the marketing campaign...though I read some New Line flunky say that after selling the international rights, tax breaks, etc, the think it'll make some $$.

I'm kinda torn...I don't want it to do well 'cuz Weitz has proven he can't handle that material, but, being such a stanboy of the books that I am, I would go see THE SUBTLE KNIFE, even with that incompetent boob behind the lens.

I don't get how LOTR: Fellowship had a, what, 2 and 1/2 hour runtime (extended cut, what, 3hrs?) and yet the, to paraphrase Hubert Farnsworth w/r/t studio interference...

"The asinine morons who cut the run-time should themselves be fired for incompetence.
And not just fired, but beaten up, too; and pretty badly.
In fact, most of them should die from their injuries.
And then be ground up into a fine pink powder."
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Postby bamf on Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:00 pm

Keepcoolbutcare wrote:I don't get how LOTR: Fellowship had a, what, 2 and 1/2 hour runtime (extended cut, what, 3hrs?) and yet the, to paraphrase Hubert Farnsworth w/r/t studio interference...

"The asinine morons who cut the run-time should themselves be fired for incompetence.
And not just fired, but beaten up, too; and pretty badly.
In fact, most of them should die from their injuries.
And then be ground up into a fine pink powder."


I think because the director (by way of studio pressure?), gave this film a pace that was not conducive to the weight of the plot. He tried to make this like Treasure Island, with a kid getting a bit of information and propelling forward, but it just is not that kind of story. At least I think it's not, I have not read the one.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:17 pm

bamf wrote:I think because the director (by way of studio pressure?), gave this film a pace that was not conducive to the weight of the plot.


Weitz, to me at least, committed the cardinal sin of telling, not showing.

especially during the voice-over at the beginning...egads, that stuff should've been shown during the course of the film.

I've read, though, that Weitz original 158pg. draft was a hell of a lot better than what was shown.*

while I didn't loathe it to his degree, Walter Chaw stuck a gun up it's ass and pulled the trigger til it went click.

*maybe not quite as good Frank Darabont's first draft, of course... (that's funny if you read the AV Club's comments)
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Postby Maui on Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:24 pm

Keepcoolbutcare wrote:I'm kinda torn...I don't want it to do well 'cuz Weitz has proven he can't handle that material, but, being such a stanboy of the books that I am, I would go see THE SUBTLE KNIFE, even with that incompetent boob behind the lens.


I'd likely see the other films as well, being such a fan of the trilogy - however how are they going to strip out the religious themes in Knife and Spyglass? I cringe just thinking about it.

Perhaps the actress that plays Lyra can get some more acting lessons too.
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Postby Cha-Ka Khan on Mon Dec 10, 2007 9:34 pm

Peven wrote:i have been selfishly rooting for this movie to tank, i confess, in the hope that it will put the squeeze on New Line to make the deal with Jackson to make "The Hobbit". after this they are going to need a winner and they KNOW a Jackson-made "Hobbit" would be a huge money-maker for them.


ROFL - That would be some serious Humble Pie to have to choke down on New Line's part. And Jackson probably wouldn't even give them a glass of milk either.
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Postby Cpt Kirks 2pay on Mon Dec 10, 2007 9:41 pm

I weren't too impressed with this film. Sketchy and incoherent (or maybe it's me not being focused enough? But STILL!) which left me questioning the movie's sense of purpose throughout. Too fast and light on the characters too, does not help make this film as solid as it should be.

SO - will it break even to guarantee a second chance for the director and over hungry editing powers that be, to make a follow up?

Word of mouth is gonna sink this movie over the following weeks I would NORMALLY suspect - but this is the Christmas season where weekend tallie for films can sometimes go up. I do wonder if domestically this film could ever reach $180 milly even with a Christmas boost. Internationally I hope it can be a convincing BO finish line crosser though.


There's a substantial film in there somewhere!!!!!!!!!! (Thinks about Lyra's acting.) - Er, maybe not.
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Postby Fried Gold on Fri Dec 14, 2007 2:41 pm

It's not the terrible film some have made it out to be and in general I quite liked it. I thought the acting was one of the stronger points of the film and I honestly feel that there were no weak performances, There is some beautiful imagery, marvellous visual effects and this probably elevates the film above it's eventual impact.

HOWEVER....while it's certainly not shallow, you could tell that there was a lot of stuff being held back and there was certainly room and time for greater depth. Which leads me on to.... For a two hour running time, it did seem awfully short. In fact just as I was really involved with the story it ended. It didn't leave me desperately wanting to wait two years for the next one. Was it poorly edited, originally longer and then cut down...or was it intended this way? (I doubt we'll find out till DVD)

I reckon choice of Chris Weitz as director is the key here. As he originally thought when he first resigned from the film, maybe he wasn't quite up to the challenges of the film.

another HOWEVER though...I do think once the next two films are made and we can see the whole story in it's entirety, The Golden Compass may seem a great deal more worthwhile.
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Postby Fried Gold on Mon Dec 24, 2007 2:18 pm

...I've seen it again. It came over a lot better on second viewing.
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Postby Cpt Kirks 2pay on Mon Dec 24, 2007 2:41 pm

I'd rather see St Trinian's then go see GC again, FG. Ain't you got better things to do with your Cineworld card, like go see St Trinian's?
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Postby Fried Gold on Mon Dec 24, 2007 2:49 pm

I wouldn't want to sully the good reputation of my Cineworld card by seeing it.
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Postby Cpt Kirks 2pay on Mon Dec 24, 2007 2:54 pm

I reckon you took your schoolkids that you teach to see it.
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Postby Fried Gold on Wed Dec 26, 2007 10:46 pm

Cpt Kirks 2pay wrote:I reckon you took your schoolkids that you teach to see it.

If you'd seen half the stuff I've seen in schools, you wouldn't need to see St Trinians.
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Postby Peven on Thu Dec 27, 2007 12:41 am

Cha-Ka Khan wrote:
Peven wrote:i have been selfishly rooting for this movie to tank, i confess, in the hope that it will put the squeeze on New Line to make the deal with Jackson to make "The Hobbit". after this they are going to need a winner and they KNOW a Jackson-made "Hobbit" would be a huge money-maker for them.


ROFL - That would be some serious Humble Pie to have to choke down on New Line's part. And Jackson probably wouldn't even give them a glass of milk either.


i wonder how that pie tasted..........
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Postby DinoDeLaurentiis on Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:28 pm

Hehehehe... goddamn putzes. They bit a the goddamn bullet onna this a one, no?
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Postby so sorry on Wed Jan 02, 2008 5:05 pm

So does the lackluster earnings mean no sequels? (I'm sure this has been discussed to death in this thread, but I don't have the energy to go thru all these pages to find the answer).
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Postby Ribbons on Wed Jan 02, 2008 5:25 pm

so sorry wrote:So does the lackluster earnings mean no sequels? (I'm sure this has been discussed to death in this thread, but I don't have the energy to go thru all these pages to find the answer).


I can't find anything on the matter, but my guess (for whatever that's worth) would be no sequels...
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Postby DinoDeLaurentiis on Wed Jan 02, 2008 5:29 pm

It alla depends onna the Inna'ternational box office anna the DVD sales, eh?
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Postby so sorry on Wed Jan 02, 2008 5:51 pm

I'm a little bit upset that our Lyra hasn't come here to this thread to share her thoughts....
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Postby lyra belacqua on Wed Jan 02, 2008 6:51 pm

so sorry wrote:I'm a little bit upset that our Lyra hasn't come here to this thread to share her thoughts....


I swear that I thought I already had! I talked about it somewhere I guess I just don't remember where...

The Golden Compass, movie version of a book that I love like no other (except the other books in the series), was just...

...okay.

It didn't suck. And I thought the girl playing Lyra was really a rather good actress, but Daniel Craig (although attractive and a fine actor in his own right) was no Lord Asriel. And Kidman was flat-out wrong as Mrs Coulter. I looked forward to seeing the spark of their pasts in them (to see what attracted them to each other in the past) and there was nothing. Not that I thought the script should've let on, but never did I look at Nicole Kidman and think "Yes! that's the fiery spirit and glint in her eye that made her a perfect opposite of Asriel." Of course, I never got that from Daniel Craig either. They were too flat. Too plain. Too fucking awful! See, now I'm getting upset!

Yes, it's Lyra's story and if her Asriel and Coulter could have not been in the movie at all, then I might have enjoyed it much more than I did.

And I HATED Ian McKellen as Iorek's voice. It was almost painful to see suck a magestic beast having to sound so wrong.

Aw, fuck. It could've been great. Fucky fucky fuck.

Now I'm depressed. I think I might have to go cry.
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Postby so sorry on Wed Jan 02, 2008 7:04 pm

so sorry I asked! :oops:
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Postby lyra belacqua on Wed Jan 02, 2008 7:45 pm

so sorry wrote:so sorry I asked! :oops:


Sorry. I got kind of melodramatic. I'll keep it down next time. :lol:
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Postby Shan on Fri Jan 11, 2008 10:18 am

Well, boxofficemojo says that even though the film has only made about $66 million in the US, the foreign take has pushed the global total to just over $300 million.

I generally use a crude calculation of taking the highest quoted figure of the budget (in this case $180 million) and multiplying it by 3, that's the minimum I think a film needs to make from all revenue streams to be sure of breaking even.

Is that a reasonable (even if crude) way to approximate profitability? Do we think this film will make it?
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Postby beastie on Fri Jan 11, 2008 10:24 am

Shan wrote:Well, boxofficemojo says that even though the film has only made about $66 million in the US, the foreign take has pushed the global total to just over $300 million.

I generally use a crude calculation of taking the highest quoted figure of the budget (in this case $180 million) and multiplying it by 3, that's the minimum I think a film needs to make from all revenue streams to be sure of breaking even.

Is that a reasonable (even if crude) way to approximate profitability? Do we think this film will make it?


I had this discussion on another board. Some one informed me that apparently, New Line sold off the Foreign distribution rights for about $60 million to The Golden Compass, so they don't see any profit that it might make oversees.
I think that a sequel should happen, if New Line wants to see any gains from this franchise. If New Line gave a greenlight to The Subtle Knife (still haven't read it), they should bring the budget down to about $100 million, keep the foreign distribution rights, and open on fewer domestic screens. I think, this way, they could actually come out on top of this supposed financial debacle.
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Postby RogueScribner on Fri Jan 11, 2008 11:45 am

Yeah, with big blockbuster franchise movies like this, foriegn usually makes more than domestic. I wonder why New Line sold that off vs. domestic? Maybe they couldn't find a domestic buyer, or couldn't enough to warrant the loss, and they really wanted a big chunk of their return back before release.

I remember when Fox sold domestic rights to Paramount for Titanic. Paramount made a lot of bank ($600 million), but Fox made more ($1.2 billion).
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Postby Maui on Fri Jan 11, 2008 2:17 pm

As much as Compass was a mess, I still would like to see Subtle Knife and Amber Spyglass. Maybe New Line/Weitz will get it right for the next two.
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Postby Shan on Sat Jan 12, 2008 8:02 am

Well, I still seem to remember that Paramount got the foreign distribution rights for Titanic for $65 million, so in terms of net profit, they might actually have made more on the deal for all I know.

If that's accurate about the Golden Compass, I'm a bit mystified as to why they'd sell the foreign rights to The Golden Compass off for $60 million when the film cost $180 million (and possibly more when you add marketing). History has shown a lot of these types of films (Potter series even) have actually made more money outside the US + Canadian domestic market.
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Postby Seppuku on Sat Jan 12, 2008 8:37 am

so sorry wrote:so sorry I asked! :oops:


Heh, have you been waiting two and a half years for the right opportunity to make that post?
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Postby RogueScribner on Sat Jan 12, 2008 1:48 pm

Shan wrote:Well, I still seem to remember that Paramount got the foreign distribution rights for Titanic for $65 million, so in terms of net profit, they might actually have made more on the deal for all I know.

If that's accurate about the Golden Compass, I'm a bit mystified as to why they'd sell the foreign rights to The Golden Compass off for $60 million when the film cost $180 million (and possibly more when you add marketing). History has shown a lot of these types of films (Potter series even) have actually made more money outside the US + Canadian domestic market.


Paramount paid Fox $65 million for domestic distribution (all media); Fox retained foreign rights. They knew which side their bread was buttered.
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Postby Shan on Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:04 am

Oh, OK. Well at least I correctly remembered that Paramount paid $65 million for something; even if not what it was.

From an old EW article on the net ...

"Swim: Paramount. Yes, the studio has watched its prestige film ram an iceberg, but Cameron's escalating budget isn't its problem. The studio's coproducing deal with Fox (which gives Paramount domestic-distribution rights and Fox foreign rights) caps its investment at $65 million. Looks like studio head Sherry Lansing has been reading The Art of the Deal. Sink: Fox. Every day that Cameron doesn't deliver, Fox reaches further into its wallet. Its share now hovers somewhere between $115 million and $150 million."
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Postby Fievel on Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:38 pm

Golden Compass passes the $300 Million Mark

I wonder what the Top 10 movies are that did fairly shitty in the US, but fantastic overseas are?
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Postby RogueScribner on Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:40 pm

This movie would have to pass $400 million to possibly recoup its costs. That's certainly not going to happen domestically. Can it do another $100 million overseas?
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Postby thomasgaffney on Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:44 pm

Fievel wrote:Golden Compass passes the $300 Million Mark

I wonder what the Top 10 movies are that did fairly shitty in the US, but fantastic overseas are?


You have to set up better parameters than "fairly shitty". Casino Royal, with a budget of $150 million, only made $160 million US. Not shitty, but obviously the $427 million overseas helped make it the #38 all-time, worldwide box office grosser at $594.2 million...

Troy, perhaps? Budget of $175 million. Only $133 million US. But an additional $364 million overseas for $497.4 million worldwide.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Tue Jan 15, 2008 4:03 pm

how 'bout the 130million dollar difference between how PERFUME performed in the States vs. the rest of the world?
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Postby TonyWilson on Tue Jan 15, 2008 4:07 pm

Keepcoolbutcare wrote:how 'bout the 130million dollar difference between how PERFUME performed in the States vs. the rest of the world?


Holy crap that's crazy. Only 2mil from the US. Damn heathens. :D
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Postby Maui on Tue Jan 15, 2008 4:09 pm

That is nuts!

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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Tue Jan 15, 2008 4:11 pm

TonyWilson wrote:
Keepcoolbutcare wrote:how 'bout the 130million dollar difference between how PERFUME performed in the States vs. the rest of the world?


Holy crap that's crazy. Only 2mil from the US. Damn heathens. :D


well, the widest release saw it only play on 280 theaters, and the reviews were 'prolly pretty mixed.

but, yeah, we suck.
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Postby Lady Sheridan on Sun May 04, 2008 2:56 am

I'm reviving this thread because I feel I must declare how utterly crap this film is.

Usually, I can find *something* to enjoy in a big budget fantasy film. And ok -- I guess I did because Sam Elliott was cool, Eva Green was beautiful, and the polar bears were neat.

But that's it. Otherwise, it couldn't end soon enough.

There is no possible way to have done a *worse* job adapting this book. Ok, they could have only done worse if they opened the book, threw darts at it, and then just adapted the pages with holes in them.

From the idiotic intro, to the bad CGI, to the cheesy daemons and their voices, to the non-existence of Lord Asriel, to the moronic dialogue, to the nonsensical and flat story, to the smattering of LOTR actors because hey, it'll be more like LOTR that way...argh!!

Little Dakota Blue, I hope you have an alternate game plan, because you'll never act again. Talk to Jake Lloyd, see what he's studying in college. She did manage to pull off the intercision scene fairly well...but maybe they told her they were really going to do surgery or something, because anything else left her vacant. Oh, someone has grabbed Pan, let me stare open faced to express "shock" and "horror." Blech.

Maybe I shouldn't blame her entirely -- because it's obvious they thought the audience was too stupid to grasp the story, so they dumbed down Lyra accordingly so she could be Lyra Exposition. But oops, that takes away any of her lines, so her dialogue was rendered painfully into stupid questions. "Wot's it for, Pan? Wot are they doing, Pan? Who do you think they are? Wot's it about? Wot's it do?" (Or they realized Blue couldn't carry a scene, so they had to have all the characters act for her?)

New Line, karma paid you back for this one. Yikes.

Even more annoying, my sister was utterly fixated on this movie, how "The REAL ending better be on there!!" Before we even hit play, I said "What the fuck would it matter? I hear they screwed it up entirely, what the hell would it matter if they have a deleted scene?" Apparently, that was enough to make or break it for her. Not me, I would have been wincing at "Wot's the bridge for, Pan?" which would have inevitably been the closing line.

I hope someone gives it 10 years and tries again.
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Postby Lady Sheridan on Sun May 04, 2008 3:00 am

Wow, rereading this thread, everyone was alot more positive than I was!

I should mention I thought Kidman was very good as well -- one of several performances absolutely wasted on this film.
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Postby Tyrone_Shoelaces on Sun May 04, 2008 6:40 am

I liked the film. What there was of it. I give Mr. Weitz points for trying but it came off as the Cliff's Notes version. They mention the prophecy of the witches a few times but he cut one of the key scenes of the prophecy, which would be at the witches' consul in the north. Sure, there were horrible things happening at Bolvanger but maybe you should have left in that scene in where Lyra finds out just how horrible. The decision to end the film where they did was a mistake in my opinion. Ending it like the book would have been a bigger moment and would have made the audience more interested in what happens next. I'll say that I liked the performances in this film, including Miss Dakota. It's easy to cast Kidman as the icy bitch but I do think she brought a bit of nuance to the role. Miss Dakota may not get another chance to play Lyra (through no fault of her own) but I'll hire her any chance I'll get. Asriel only shows up at the beginning and the end of the book so there's not a whole lot to judge Craig on, though I liked what he did.
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Postby Peven on Sun May 04, 2008 10:09 am

imo the fundamental problem in adapting the books was the books themselves, or rather, the real motivation behind the author in writing them. he came up with a story to weave with his personal manifesto. thats it. he didn't sit down to write a great story, the story is secondary to his "message". LOTR, and other books like it, are vastly superior and will stand the test of time much better because they are not trying to preach or lay down some clever subversive commentary. they are telling great stories, period.

when you ask a film maker to adapt a book that is nothing more than a dressed up anti-religious allegorical manifesto there are two possible outcomes; they stick strictly to the book and those who buy into the message of the books like it but the "masses" don't because they paid a ticket to see a fantasy movie for entertainment not to have their beliefs mocked, OR you remove enough of the message so as not to offend people, but since the book's heart is its message you effectively remove the core of the story leaving an empty shell, while visually pretty, that fails to draw viewers in or evoke any emotional investment in what happens.
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Postby tapehead on Sun May 04, 2008 8:10 pm

Peven wrote:imo the fundamental problem in adapting the books was the books themselves, or rather, the real motivation behind the author in writing them. he came up with a story to weave with his personal manifesto.


But Peven, not having read these books, as you have previously admitted elsewhere, how would you know?
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