How long have they been holding on to that headline?

You almost have to think that film journalists were hoping that the newest film adventure of the ill-fated Poseidon was gonna be a stinker. (David's comment? "Why would anyone even get on a boat called that? I mean, you gotta know.")

Now, understand: I'm not actually commenting on the movie. I haven't seen it and will in all likelihood wait until it comes to a movie channel near you (tm). I loved the original major release Poseidon film (1972), but you might have to cut me some slack on that: I was a little kid perhaps partially dazzled by it being the first movie I ever went to see with just my dad. (My mom did so not want to go!)

I remember sitting in the dark enthralled by that Poseidon Adventure for a really long time. Some of the images have even stayed with me. And what a cast! Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Red Buttons, Carol Lynley, Roddy McDowall, Stella Stevens, Shelley Winters, Jack Albertson and more and more. Kind of like this year's
Poseidon, except -- you know -- with different people and critics singing praises.

This time out, though, I think the critics have been sitting on their hands just waiting for the release of this film. Waiting to trash it so they could use up all the cool headlines they've had sitting around in the cool headlines file for over three decades.

Which brings me to the first -- though not best -- kooky Poseidon headline: This one is from Florida's Marco Island Sun Times: "New 'Poseidon' begs the question: 'Where's Gene Hackman?'" (And who says you can never go back?)

My favorite thus far comes from New Zealand. Check it out: "Poseidon sinks at North American box office."
Honestly, they have to have been waiting a really long time to use that one.

The Age from Australia came up with "Poseidon steers into not-so-calm waters." Which is not much more than a yawn, I guess.

And someone had to say it, but in this case Elites TV in Texas did the honors: "'Mission: Impossible' Sinks ' Poseidon ' To Stay Atop Box Office," which is a comment on the fact that Tom Cruise's newest MI movie debuted last weekend and pretty much smoked the sad, sinky boat.

BBC news said exactly the same thing in a different way: "Poseidon fails to sink Tom Cruise," as did Australian Empire Online who chimed in with: "Cruise sinks Poseidon," and even managed to sneak in the sub-head, "Disaster pic capsizes at US box-office," (thus managing to cram in two-two-two insults in one).

All these headlines make it sound as though the new Poseidon (they opted not to use the word Adventure in the title of the remake) crashed and burned. From what I gather, it did not. In the film industry, it all comes down to how much loot everyone takes home in the end. And even though loads of media-types bandied around words like "tanked," and "sunk" to describe the film's opening weekend, in reality it was second only to Mission Impossible III, which opened with $24.5 million to Poseidon's $20.3 million and -- for a touch of perspective -- Robin Williams' current vehicle, RV, brought in $9.5 million at the box office last weekend.

OK, so
Poseidon cost a boatload of dough to make. (Sorry. I couldn't help myself.) Something like $150 or $180 million, depending on who you listen to. But, even if the film doesn't earn out, I still don't think that's a comment on the movie in this case. Really: why can't these guys think these things through? If you're going to spend a really, really huge amount of money making a move, maybe you should have the presence of mind not to open opposite the most successful action adventure film franchise ever. I mean, I don't know anything about all this stuff, but even I would have though of that.


Sandra Ruttan said…
Maybe they opened opposite MI3 because they'd get these headlines - now I know this movie is out. Yesterday, I didn't.

But then, I'm actually ecstatic to see the take so low for both. No $70 mill weekend for Tom or anyone.

Because most of the movies they're making anymore aren't good. Oh that big, dumb one this weekend will probably rake it in, but I won't go see it either. And I may just put my head under a pillow and scream until people start talking about something else.

Aren't I horrid? Hollywood's worst nightmare!

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