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September 18th, 2000

Slow box office (with "Almost Famous" ramblings) and new reviews!

Wow... what a bad weekend at the box office. It set a new record... with the number one movie having the smallest weekend gross for number one all year. With the exception of "Almost Famous", there were many underperformances. I guess everyone was home watching the Olympics.

Anyhow, the top movie was "The Watcher", the Keanu Reeves stinker, which brought in a really small 5.7 million. In second was the Jamie Foxx action comedy "Bait" with a mere 5.5 million, and coming in third was "Bring It On", Universal's popular cheerleader comedy with 5.1 million. "Nurse Betty" went to four with 4.7 million, and the movie in fifth place was this summer's hit "What Lies Beneath", which moved up to five with 2.5 million.

Yet this weekend's big winner was "Almost Famous" coming it at number eight. It made 2.3 million, and was playing in only 131 theaters, meaning the average was a really healthy $17,557. The movie opens wide next week, and is already getting awards buzz, so it should perform really well and be in the top 10 for a long time. I predict it will do very well and make money steadily. I hope it makes back the somewhat large budget of 60 million. I did see the film myself on Saturday, and I absoltuley loved it, truly one of the best movies I've seen in a really long time. Dreamworks has yet another hit on their hands. Anyhow, it wasn't what I expected it to be, but was really enjoyable. The mix of humor and drama were excellent, and Crowe's sharp script was wonderful. There was never a dull moment in it, and when things started to go just a little slow, Crowe knew what to do and made things more interesting and the pace picked up. The cast was also excellent, everyone gave performances that are Oscar® worthy. Billy Crudup, Frances McDormand, Kate Hudson, Jason Lee, newcomer Patrick Fugit... it was just so incredible. Once again, I highly reccomended this movie to everyone. It's a different kind but really entertaining coming of age story. I honestly felt like I was in the 1970's, Crowe's direction and script (as mentioned) were really wonderful. I'll probably see it again when I get the chance... can't wait for the DVD (which I heard would have a director's cut, making the movie 2 hours and 50 minutes long). Everyone, go see this movie!

Back on topic... coming in tied for ninth and tenth respectively, were two Disney movies. "Duets", the delayed Gwyneth Platrow road comedy-drama performed with 2.0 million, making over $3,000 per screen and in 581 theaters. The movie was directed by her father Bruce, and I think I mentioned on Friday it was supposed to be released on May 5th, but there were two violent scenes so Disney was going to drop the movie if they weren't cut or something. The reviews for the movie were not so favorable, and I think this is going to be a bomb... and also making 2.0 million was the re-release of "Scary Movie". Disney stuck it back into a few theaters, just to bring the gross up a little more. They do that a lot, as many of us can recall.

As far as things on the site go, Ren has prepared a few new reviews of us today. They're all great reviews, and you Bruckheimer, Weird Al and Madonna fans should all be happy. Armagedon: The Criterion Collection, Weird Al Yankovic: The Videos and Madonna: Video Collection 1993-99 are all now in the database for your reading enjoyment.

Well, that's it for today. And remember... go see "Almost Famous"!

- Zach B.

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