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Monday Morning Mixer: We're back!

Posted Monday, September 10, 2012 at 2:53 PM Central

by John Couture

Did you miss us last week? I know that I missed you. Well, that's only a partial truth. I mean, I didn't miss you much on Monday while we celebrated Labor Day with a refreshing day off.

But, I did miss you as the week wore on and I realized that we missed a lot that happened over last weekend.

The Tuesday Morning Mixer just doesn't have the same ring to it, does it? And while it's true that Tuesday was the first day of work for the week, it didn't feel like a normal first work day given the short week.

So, I made an executive decision and punted the MMM until this week. Do you appreciate the football metaphor? At least it's timely.

So, what did we miss? At the box office, not much. It was abysmal, but nowhere near as bad as this week, but we're getting ahead of ourselves. We did lose a big man in Hollywood when Michael Clarke Duncan passed away much too soon.

He was a mountain of a man, but his smile hinted at his teddy bear interior and he was really good at playing characters with a tough exterior and a heart of gold. In no other role did this come through than in his career-defining performance as John Coffey in The Green Mile.

You'll be missed Big Mike!

Box Office 411

What happens when you move the only big title from the weekend and no other film rushes in to fill the void? You get a meager box office that is so bad that it's on par with the greatest modern tragedy in this country.

The total box office "haul" is just north of $60 million - that's for all films together. Not since the weeks following 9/11 has the box office been so anemic. The weekend of September 21-23, 2001 the box office brought in a combined $59.7 million.

Those numbers are actual numbers. So, without factoring in inflation for the last decade or so, you start to get an idea just how miserable business was at the megaplexes this weekend.

Usually, September is a slow month anyhow with the end of Summer and the start of school, but this past weekend was almost a perfect storm of conditions that led to the historically poor performance. First, the weekend's big release Gangster Squad was pulled after the Dark Knight Rises shooting because it featured a pivotal scene of gun play in a packed theater. Gangster Squad is refilming critical scenes and will release on January 11, 2013.

No other film rushed in to take its place, so the "big" release for this weekend by default was The Words. Other factors played into this weekend's performance, namely the return of the NFL and kids returning to school.

While The Words opened with a disappointing $5.0 million in third place, the top spot belonged to holdover The Possession with $9.5 million. Combined with last weekend's win, it upped studio Lionsgate's yearly total to eight weekend wins. Believe it or not, that mark is currently tops among all studios for weekend wins in 2012.

Universal and Sony are tied in second place with seven weekend wins apiece.

In other box office news, The Bourne Legacy broke $100 million over the weekend, but it will still fall short of the original The Bourne Identity's $120 million. That's about the only time where I would say that earning $100+ million is a negative. Lawless earned just over $6 million to bring its two week total to $23.5 million.

What's a Mineral King?

It's no secret that we have a great affinity for Disney around here. As Tim and I are both parents, they have and will continue to keep our kids entertained for years to come.

He and I both grew up on Disney and are aficionados on Disney's animated classics as well as Pixar's new animated classics. And now that we have a working relationship with the studio, I think it's fair to say that we both appreciate their unique brand of company synergy.

So, when I happened upon this awesome chart of the company's organizational flow from 1967, I just knew that I had to share it with you.

Of course, I can figure most of it out. WED is most likely shorthand for Walt E. Disney, but I'm having trouble with trying to decipher the "Mineral King." I think it's the secret nougat that makes Disney run, Tim thinks it's their version of Soylent Green.

Either way, it's intriguing. What do you think it is?

UPDATE: It turns out that a bit of Internet sleuthing is all that was needed. Mineral King was a proposed ski resort that Disney was planning to build in the southern part of Sequoia National Park. Huh, I guess that explains all those Goofy skiing cartoons that were all the rage around then, eh?

Al Pa to play Joe Pa

Deadline broke the news late Friday that Al Pacino is returning to the celluloid gridiron to play Penn State coaching great Joe Paterno in a biographical movie. Pacino last played a football coach in Any Given Sunday.

Had the whole Jerry Sandusky affair not come to light, this would be huge news and top-notch casting, but now, much like Paterno's legacy itself, the film will be tainted. While filmmakers are quick to point out that the majority of the story follows Paterno's rise to the top of college football coaching ranks, to completely ignore the Sandusky situation would be irresponsible.

In a vacuum, I like the casting of Pacino and think it's inspired, but given the scope of the allegations in the case and the ramifications that are still being felt, it's going to be hard to get this film on the big screen. Sure, having Pacino attached will help its chances, but at the end of the day, I think it will be too difficult to secure financing, so this will most likely end up as another project that never sees the light of day.

I think on that note, I will close this MMM. I know it's a bit late and a whole lot of rusty, but I'll be in top game shape next week. Or something like that. Tune in then to see me continue to make a fool out of myself. Until then, mix well!