Black Actress Update: Hollywood’s Shrinking Box Office

I know if I made money the way Hollywood did, I’d be ecstatic. Especially when you have the most creative accountants in the world who can turn billions earned into “losses”. All legally, of course. That’s what you get for having the US Congress in your back pocket. I expect when their earnings decline even more, they will be asking for public funds to keep the business afloat (See General Motors). That will occur right after they make it illegal for anyone to say or watch anything on the Internet (pending legislative as of now).

But I digress, imagine being able to push garbage at people and compel them to head to a filthy, loud and uncomfortable theater just to sit through crappy schlock for nearly three hours? That clearly takes genius to run this con year after year, week after week and day after day. If they think they are losing money now, wait until everyone can download a film in the blink of an eye and re-create a movie theater at home without the nuisance, annoyance and hassle of a public one.

Nothing To See Here, Move Along

The box office take for Hollywood has been weak: headlines blurb about the lower attendance rates. A money quote from the BBC article:

“It’s unbelievable how bad it is,” said Hollywood.com analyst Paul Dergarabedian.

Are we supposed to weep for them? I thought this would be a bonanza year, since they have defenders, who say that films with too many black people – men and women, not just the guys – wont make money. This was the year of the whitest films around.

I’m usually a movie fiend, but this has been the year where I missed many of the “blockbuster films”, except for X Men: The Lamest Generation and Mission Impossible: Making Tom Cruise Hot Again. There may have been another, but I often forget a film the minute I leave the theater.

Come Back, Again, Ya Hear!?!

This was the year of sequels, remakes, prequels, comic books and animation. Proof of Hollywood’s emptiness.

The top 20 films of 2011, according to Box Office Mojo. I have a page that shows the same content of all the Top 100 films.

1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 $381.00 WB
2 Transformers: Dark of the Moon $352.00 P/DW
3 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 $272.00 Sum.
4 The Hangover Part II $254.00 WB
5 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides $241.00 BV
6 Fast Five $209.00 Uni.
7 Cars 2 $191.00 BV
8 Thor $181.00 Par.
9 Rise of the Planet of the Apes $176.00 Fox
10 Captain America: The First Avenger $176.00 Par.
11 The Help $169.00 BV
12 Bridesmaids $169.00 Uni.
13 Kung Fu Panda 2 $165.00 P/DW
14 X-Men: First Class $146.00 Fox
15 Puss in Boots $143.00 P/DW
16 Rio $143.00 Fox
17 The Smurfs $142.00 Sony
18 Super 8 $127.00 Par.
19 Rango $123.00 Par.
20 Horrible Bosses $117.00 WB (NL)

 

The fresh entries: The Help, Bridesmaids, Super 8, Horrible Bosses, Rio and Rango. So, out of the top 20, roughly 6 of them were “original”, fresh-out-of-the-box material. Heh.

The Non-Mystery of the Twilight Lure

Honestly, doesn’t Breaking Dawn sound like a porn title, or is that just me? 😀

Breaking Dawn In

The funniest thing I’ve read were reports of women having “seizures” at this latest Twilight film, and no one knew what it was. It’s called an orgasm, people. Sheesh. It’s the 21st century and female biology is still a mystery. Um, women like Twilight and Vampire flicks, because of the eroticism. The yearning, withholding and anticipating. He’s a bad boy, and an eternally powerful man who bites and licks the neck, targeting one of the erogenous zones of the female body.

Yeah, “seizures.” Okay.

The Black Actress: Inclusion or Exclusion?

Forgive me for not listing all shows, or movies with a black actress. If you find some with a black actress of interest, please add it to the comments section. Let’s look at the top films of the year and see if that hypothesis is true, you know: less black women (or nice black male actors) equals more money per film.

When I glance at cast credits, I look at the first 5 to 10. They get the most speaking roles, so even if a black actress gets one line and is part of the scenery – to me – that doesn’t count.

Films that include black women in starring roles also (animation doesn’t count):

1. The Help – love it or hate it, we got a film about being maids, in 2011. Thank you, Hollywood. Thanks so much. All we black women can do is still be maids in the 21st century. A black woman is First Lady, but these people have us doing roles cleaning some white woman’s toilet with dignity! whilst pretending that’s got something to do with civil rights. Alrighty, then.

2. Bridesmaids – big hit – from the people that brought us Hangover. Not sure how much of a role she played, but Kali Hawk (love the name) is in it.

Update: Somehow I missed Maya Rudolph, and she’s one of the stars!

Thank you for the tip, Vonnie!

3. X-Men – Does not have a black actress with two black parents, but a half-half of two half-half was in it. So, I flipped a coin and decided to include Zoë Kravitz.

 Here’s the bottom 20 movies of 2011 for comparison:

80 In Time $36.00 Fox
81 Colombiana $36.00 TriS
82 Sucker Punch $36.00 WB
83 J. Edgar $36.00 WB
84 Larry Crowne $35.00 Uni.
85 The Descendants $35.00 FoxS
86 50/50 $35.00 Sum.
87 Drive (2011) $34.00 FD
88 A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas $34.00 WB (NL)
89 Courageous $33.00 TriS
90 The Rite $33.00 WB (NL)
91 Arthur (2011) $33.00 WB
92 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) $32.00 Sony
93 The Adventures of Tintin $31.00 Par.
94 The Debt $31.00 Focus
95 Priest $29.00 SGem
96 The Mechanic $29.00 CBS
97 Abduction $28.00 LGF
98 Beastly $27.00 CBS
99 Winnie the Pooh $26.00 BV
100 Killer Elite $25.00 ORF

 

Anything Else We Need to Know?

An action film with a black actress is a miss, but the black actress as a maid might be up for an Oscar? Oh well.

1. Columbiana – Zoe Saldana. Perhaps she should stick to romances or something. Seriously, no one is going to believe that a 55 pound woman – soaking wet – can kick anybody’s ass.

2. Drive – Tiara Parker – don’t know if she has much of a role.

3. Larry Crowne – Tarina Pouncy – don’t know if she has much of a role.

4. Courageous – Eleanor Brown – don’t know if she has much of a role.

Notice that a lot of the big stars made spectacular flops this year? People are tired of them too.

Some of the bottom films are likely new releases, so those numbers will change for next year.

And that’s all folks….

Happy New Year. 😀

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Premiere’s List: 40 Most Handsome Hollywood Men

Chopped, modified, and borrowed from premiere.com. By: Premiere.com Staff, 08/21/2009 11:51 am

Mentally, I cross off the guys that still look like kids (at least to me). What’s left are these guys – in no particular order – that are a little rough around the edges (some might be geezers to y’all):

  • Bradley Cooper,
  • Ryan Reynolds,
  • Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson,
  • Johnny Depp (I just love him, it’s not about the looks anymore),
  • Eric Bana (goofy sexy),
  • Aaron Eckhart (slobber / drool),
  • Idris Elba (sorta has a sneaky vibe, but nice to look at),
  • Daniel Craig (fugly sexy),
  • Dennis Quaid,
  • Ed Burns (I can’t stand him, but yeah, I’d do him),
  • and old school handsome George Clooney (I like looking at him, not really interested in touching).

The other guys: Meh.

My snarky comments are under the picture captions.

Update: I tell you, the ladies added way way hotter additions than what Premiere came up with. See the comments section. 😀

1. James Franco

Mr Petulant and Sulky

2. Robert Pattinson

Here today. Gone tomorrow.
Here today. Gone tomorrow. Keep that hope alive.

3. Bradley Cooper

This picture does him no justice. I'd hit that.

4. Hugh Jackman

He's likeable. Handsome? Sorta.

5. Josh Duhamel

The guy leaves me dry. He's okay.

6. Ryan Reynolds

He really should stop wearing clothes.

7. Jake Gyllenhaal

I want to lobby Congress to pass legislative to keep him from "acting." Dude cannot act his way out of a paperbag. Always the same expression throughout an entire movie. As for being handsome: Meh.

8. Christian Bale

He's good looking, but the "crazy" wipes it away. How could Premiere leave out Sam Worthington?

My addition: Sam Worthington

He's not on the list! Are these people nuts?

9. Channing Tatum

Is it the steroids? Is he John Cena's mini-me? Probably.
John Cena will kick your ass!

10. Orlando Bloom

He's never going to look like an adult.

11. James Marsden

Good looking guy, he just never looks right on screen. Do they do it on purpose?

12. Brad Pitt

Mr. Smug, Smirky, and Annoying

13. Jamie Foxx

Chinese Shar Pei aka Jamie Foxx

14. Gerard Butler

Not actually handsome, but he is an entertaining actor.

15. Joseph Gordon Levitt

He's been an old man his entire life. Ease up on the recreational drugs dude.

16. Zac Efron

My how he's grown.

17. Chris Pine

I give him props for nailing the Captain Kirk-a-tude correctly.

18. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

I wont hold my breath that half-negro will ever co-star a real black woman as his love interest. He's still fine though.

19. Jonathan Rhys Meyers

I don't get the attraction for this guy, but I wont hate on him. He's a good actor.

20. Jay Hernandez

¿quién es este? Who is this? Never heard of the guy.

21. Robert Downey Jr.

Downey's got "crazy man" eyes.

22. Denzel Washington

At least he's not afraid of co-starring with a black actress. Much love, Denzel!

23. Johnny Depp

Ever since 21 Jump Street, still love the guy. Don't be afraid of the sisters Johnny, at least co-star with one in a major flick (the pirate franchise doesn't count).

24. Leonardo DiCaprio

For the longest time I still thought he was in his 20s. He is an old man though!

25. Emile Hirsch

Sorry. He looks like a woman to me.

26. Chris Messina

Who?

27. Paul Rudd

He reminds me of Jason Bateman.
The brother of Paul Rudd?

28. Eric Bana

So hot. And I forgive him for the Hulk movie.

29. Tyrese Gibson

Think we'll ever see a black woman with his features get work like him? Oh, I didn't think so either. I was wondering if he now has in his contract to not have any black women as his co-star. Just wondering.

30. Aaron Eckhart

(Drool / slobber) I forgive him for working with Gwenyth Paltrow, I guess he needed the work.

31. Gael García Bernal

Great actor. Willing to do any role. To the point where it is disgusting. Is he handsome? After a few drinks. Probably.

32. Idris Elba

Good looking, but he has such a "I'm sneaky" vibe about him.

33. Daniel Craig

Totally fugly. Totally sexy. Watch him walk.

34. Ryan Gosling

He lacks gravitas. He cannot carry a film.

35. Josh Lucas

The little brother of Matthew McConaughey. Just kidding.

36. Dennis Quaid

Looking good old man. I would hit that.

37. Milo Ventimiglia

Meh. I suspect he got Simone killed off of Heroes.

38. Ed Burns

Irritating voice. Irritating man. Yeah, I'd do him.

39. George Clooney

Great actor. Nice to look at.

40. Ewan McGregor

Like Rhys Meyers, I don't get the attraction factor, but he's a decent actor.
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Twilight

Pretty guy alert: Bella’s friend Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner).

Twilight was unintentionally funny, yet disturbing. I saw it on DVD, and this film would be a wonderful source of parodies for years to come.

I think what may have sounded great on paper (Twilight comes from a series of books about a teen in love with a vampire), but on screen: B-film quality, melodramatic, creepy, campy, and downright corny.

I Think I’ve Seen This Before

As an old reader of “she loves her murderous, dangerous, super-strong, pale, he-can’t-read-her-mind, uberman (Ubermensch) vampire” stories, I’m reminded of Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire series. It’s on cable as True Blood. I haven’t watched the series yet, so I don’t know how close that adheres to the books.

It was enjoyable to watch Twilight for two reasons: the director (Catherine Hardwicke) made Forks, Washington look like the most beautiful place on earth, and the music was rather nice. The cinematography of this flick was simply awesome. Makes me want to visit Washington state just to take a look-see.

This movie follows Isabella Swan (Bella played by Kristen Stewart) who decides to live with her father, Charlie (Billy Burke), because her Mom’s new husband is a minor league baseball player. The choice for the mother was either stay home to look after a teen in Phoenix, Arizona, or travel with her man. Bella decided to make her Mother happy and seek out Charlie.

Census Count: Check

Overall, the casting was surprisingly inclusive, every demographic was in this film: Asian, black, white, Latino, and Native American. I don’t think I can recall a movie this inclusive, and I’ve seen too many to count.

I only wish that Charlie was having a relationship with the black waitress, Cora, (Ayanna Berkshire). She seemed sweet on him. Plus, I find it hard to believe that a Sheriff as good looking as this guy could be single. I hope she’s in the sequel.

Kiddie Pool
: Deeper Than Suspected

As for dialogue, I find gasps for breath, hangdog, open mouth expressions, not being quite able to say what they feel, and excessive pauses in dialogue to be irritating. The flow of conversation could have been handled better. It came across as overdone, campy, and silly.

You know what though? I think this film is something that pre-teens (and younger) shouldn’t be exposed to. Although the film was rated PG, I felt there was something unseemly being conveyed. I’m not a prude. I’ve read some hardcore stuff at an early age, but I grew up closely supervised and protected. I can only imagine what kids are free to do today.

Predators ‘R Welcome!

What was unseemly in the film? Straight up, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) was a weird, creepy stalker. Despite the bad boy saving a helpless damsel in distress, James Dean vibe or hairdo, he was way way older – nearly a century – than Bella.

He admits, he’s killed. He claims he’s a monster.

And Bella’s response to these nuggets of information? “I don’t care.

Initially, from the way they behaved, I couldn’t discern mutual attraction, or that they were even in love.

He has cold hands. He’s the undead. There’s no warmth in his body. If only the writers understood how uncomfortable and unattractive cold hands, a mouth and body is. Even in the beginning of the movie Bella admits she doesn’t like cold wet things. When they kiss, I’m thinking, A cold mouth? That’s repulsive.

Vampire or not, he’s essentially a cannibal. He’s telling her has to constantly control his urge to eat / drink her dry / kill her.

Does that sound romantic to you?

Our Alternate Universe

I twisted this scenario to a real world scenario: image an older guy, a killer, a rapist, a sadist, telling a young girl he can’t stay away, because he needs to kill her?

What’s the young girl supposed to feel? Attraction and flattered? GTFOOH.

Aren’t there enough missing young women about? I’m not saying young girls are all airheads, but some (as well as boys) are emotionally vulnerable, the right kind of attention and pressure could get them into a lot of troubling situations.

For Adults Minds Only

It’s an adequate film for the mentally stable, hard to impress, media resistant, and with a healthy ability to recognize schlock when they see it. I’m hoping there’s no suggestion lurking in any mind that anything that’s presented as a relationship in this movie is something worth emulating.

And with that said, I look forward to the sequel when it is eventually released on DVD.

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