Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Dark Knight Strikes Again

According to E! Online, in an article I read here, the Dark Knight is set to hit theaters again in January as a "reminder" for all Academy voters. As a huge fan of The Dark Knight (and all things Batman), I have this to say:


Yet, I have to wonder a bit about the decision. Dark Knight should be hitting DVDs well in time to cause a few mad dashes and tramplings around holiday season when stores open before the sun rises. Heath Ledger's performance, though by this point exposed to the world for almost two months, is still quite a hot topic of discussion among cinephiles and pop cult fans alike. I personally think that his Joker is by far one of the best screen villains I've ever seen. I challenge you to name 10 better.

At this point, though, a move like that - "returning" a film to theaters that is still ranking in the top 5 weekend earners in box office data is a bit odd. Sure, it will eventually have to leave theaters. But will it just return weeks later? It's an odd mix of factors at play, I think. Some people who were waiting for the DVD - why would anyone do that? - will probably like it so much they'll pay to see it on the big screen in January. Other people, myself not necessarily left out, might seek out the opportunity to go with friends who weren't around over the summer.

At the end of the day, though, if you asked me, I'd say the move was most about money. Dark Knight is about $78 million from matching Titanic*. (*Due to inflation, DK would have to hit about $900 million in ticket sales to sell the number of tickets Titanic did.) $78 million is a lot of money for most movies. Actually, it's a phenomenal amount of money for a majority of films to make it onto screens in this country. Yet for movies like Dark Knight, Titanic, and anything Star Wars, $78 is an opening day's pay (well, at least a Friday and Saturday). Can it be achieved with another month in theaters in early 2009? Is WB trying to just break Titanic's record? Do we really need a reminder about how good Heath Ledger was? Or does none of that matter?

Will you see it in theaters next year?

Brooklyn Book Festival this Sunday

The annual Brooklyn Book Festival takes place on Sunday, September 14th. These guys do a great job rounding up hundreds of vendors, author signings and Q&A events every year. One event of particular interest to screenwriters:
2:00 p.m. PENUltimate Lit: Literature and the Small Screen. Join authors A.M. Homes (The L Word) and Richard Price (The Wire) as they discuss the challenges and opportunities that arise when fiction writers take their talents from page to the small screen.

Participating speakers run the gamut from Walter Mosley to Brian Wood to Thurston Moore. The full event lineup is here.