Jon Schnaars's blog

Box Office Special: Trends for 2009

As the resident "guy who talks about the movie business," I have felt a little slack in my duties for not getting a 2008 year in review post up. But, with several factors conspiring against me, I'm taking a pass on the whole issue. Besides, it's already the middle of January, and around BGH, we look forward, not backward (and always, twirling, twirling, twirling toward freedom). So in that effort, I'd instead like to look at several box office trends related to horror that I'll be keeping an eye on throughout 2009.

Rogue Pictures Sold, Horror Fans Rejoice

Tucked inside the Arts section of this weekend's New York Times was a little story that caught my eye: "Universal Sells Rogue for $150 Million." As a connoisseur of fine cinema, the name Rogue Pictures immediately jumped out, as it might to you as well. The reason?

BGH Book Club: Come Closer

Unlike horror movies, horror writing -- be it novels, short fiction, or what have you -- doesn't really have a high powered hype machine to drive consumers to hot new content. In fact, if the part of the web devoted to championing obscure or independent horror movies is a Panzer tank, the part of the web that champions new or rising horror writers is something akin to a stroller full of recyclables being pushed by a decrepit homeless person.

BGH Book Club: The Pale Blue Eye

Writing this past August in my review of "Mirrors," I linked the mystery and horror genres as structural siblings — literary kissing cousins, if you will. The overarching point was that in both types of film there's something hidden or unexplained that an inquisitive soul — who we could call the detective — tries to explore or explain away.

Family Reunion... of Tears!

I had the chance to catch Argento's "Mother of Tears" on the big screen during its incredibly brief and limited theatrical run. Walking out into the sunlight, I basically just felt confused. For a theater going experience, "Tears" was almost too bad to be believed. And not just like, "Oh, that actress wasn't, you know, real" bad, but downright "Was the director high?" bad.

Box Office Special - The Year the Violence Died

In the interest of some more prolonged horror discussion, I'm going to pass on this week's top 5. Bang it here if you want to see the box office numbers for the week. My brief assessment:

Winners: "HSM3," for maintaining the top spot; "Changeling," for widening with moderate success; "Chihuahuas," for straying relevant in week 5 of release; "Secret Life of Bees," for staying relevant in week 3, and "Max Payne" and "Eagle Eye" for making their investment back domestically.

An Ode to Fancy Jon

The following sonnet, as we talked about on this week's podcast, was sent to the BGH main contact email by a longtime listener and friend of the show. Clearly, we have some erudite listeners.

Without any further ado, here's a poem by Changwa Steve.

How Schnaars Saved the Internet: An Ode to Fancy Jon

The internet's a sticky Stygian lair
Where seed through fierce grips is vainly spilt
While fleshy buttocks squirm in padded chairs
And crusty gymsocks mop away the guilt

And selfsame wankers turn with claws befouled
To forums where they air their fetid brains

BGH Book Club: The Devil in the White City

I've been planning on rolling out the unofficial BGH Book Club for a while, so what better day to kick things off than Halloween.

Box Office Special - Bringing the Payne

Most of us have gotten pretty comfortable with the video game to movie adaptation. Sure, there's still some hurdles to overcome, but by and large directors are starting to figure out how to turn small-screen button-mashing into cinema that is at least watchable if not good. So while it seems that "Max Payne," the most recent in the long line of video game film adaptations, may not be particularly good, it was good enough to take home the top spot at the box office this weekend with a comfortable margin.

Box Office Special - International Delights

'Tis the season. For horror, that is. With All Hallows Eve a scant three weeks away, ghosts and ghouls are starting to take their place in the spotlight of popular culture. Horror is also creeping back into the theater, starting this week with "Quarantine." And, with a second place finish, the first-person zombie flick marked a successful return to the box office for horror.

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