Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Brandon Gray of Box Office Mojo wrote a great piece this time.

While not much of a writer, he's an awesome box office analyst, and has been a guest on radio and television , as well as interviewed by print news publications, to discuss the box office aspect of Hollywood films. He knows his box office stuff and I avidly read his reports every Monday morning. I am fascinated down to my geeky core by box office data and he's my fav disseminator of it.

His Monday morning focus is always on the numbers: which film hit the #1 slot. Which film dropped by the lowest percentage. Which film had how much of a budget, etc. In the midst of this otherwise dry number crunching, Brandon livens things up a bit by tossing in LOTS of really bad puns. Such as, in April of 2005, he wrote about the mediocre ticket sales for the opening weekend of Fever Pitch, "Not many were hot for Fever Pitch, which loaded $12.4 million at 3,267 bases." And just a few weeks ago, here's what he said about the #1 slot going to 300 for the second week in a row, "300 bleeds but leads." Yes: he has no shame. That's his style. And it somehow works. Not GREAT writing, but not terrible either. And when it comes to writing about numbers ya gotta try and spark them up SOMEHOW, right?

This week, he wrote a SUPERB report that went beyond his admittedly above-average and clever capacity to toss puns around.

Here's an excerpt where he analyzes the disappointing numbers that Grindhouse netted over Easter:

"Much of the promotional campaign was dedicated to explaining the term "Grindhouse," blanking out on the point of emulating niche cinema from the '70s in the first place. It couldn't work as a spoof because it lacked identifiable references for today's audiences that patronize similar trash, and it suffered the usual horror comedy dilemma that afflicted Snakes on a Plane and Slither among others: too funny to be scary, too scary to be funny.

What's more, Grindhouse was essentially a horror anthology, and that sub-genre has never been big business. Grindhouse was also a self-referential movie about the movies, and such navel-gazing often leaves the public cold. The promise of lurid thrills can only take a picture so far. "


Too funny to be scary, too scary to be funny.


This is his better stuff. I'm not saying I want him to ditch the puns. But writing of THIS level separates him from so many others. I wish he was consistently this sharp with the keyboard.

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