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Eastwood's Trouble with the Curve placed 3rd at the Box Office this week, behind two movies nobody's ever heard of. It's also garnering some very unimpressive reviews. Even with a 32% Red State bailout (Red Staters flocked to the movie on Saturday), Clint's movie couldn't pull into the top spot over relatively weak competition (reminds me of the GOP primary).

End of Watch with Jake Gyllenhaal cost only $7M to produce while House at the End of the Street cost only around $10M. They held the #1 and #2 earnings slot. I wasn't able to pin down how much Eastwood's movie cost to make at this time, but I'm almost certain it was more than either.

One wonders what Hollywood studios think about the public's initial reaction to Eastwood's film after the RNC debacle, and if the words "Mel Gibson" are crossing anyone's lips.

Clint Eastwood's war against furniture continues in the baseball-themed "Trouble With the Curve," in which he kicks an innocent table to death because it got in his way.

In fact, it's a little hard to see the baseball through the character's rage at the way the indignities of old age are robbing him of purpose.

Personally, Clint Eastwood used to be the kind of guy I'd go see in a movie. Same with Mel Gibson. But once I learned more about who they really are, all of a sudden their films just didn't interest me as much. Some of them are still good films, technically, but once the person in them has so much unappealing baggage tied to them, it's difficult to impossible to divorce that from the characters they play.

If Eastwood's latest movie continues to flop, I'm sure he and his team will try extra hard to right the ship next time and focus on creating a new masterpiece. If anything, Clint Eastwood seems to be obsessed with his own legacy. It's going to be tough for him now though. I can't count the number of people I talked to that said they were just "disappointed" in the guy Eastwood turned out to be. Movie stars spend absurd amounts of money and time tailoring their image so that people want to see them on screen, sometimes despite the character they're playing. But once that goes wrong, it's very difficult to come back from it. Ultimately, movie studios know that if the public wants to see the star in the movie, that's almost all of it.

And that's why they waited to release House at the End of the Street until after Hunger Games came out - they knew Jeniffer Lawrence was the reason people would come see it, and it turned out they were right - more people even than Clint Eastwood, a guy with a huge career and what should be a huge advantage when it comes to drawing in the crowds.

All that now seems to have gone down the drain. And given what Eastwood did, he probably deserves for this potential decline in his career towards the end to be a big part of the way he's remembered. Just like Mel Gibson.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Theaters were full of chairs for Clint to talk to (31+ / 0-)

    (romney)/RYAN 2012 - Look at those clouds. It's beautiful. Just look at those things!

    by Fordmandalay on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 07:05:03 PM PDT

  •  It's Not A Strong Trailer, Looks Self Indulgent (14+ / 0-)

    Clint Eastwood should give some other character actors a chance.  He's such a stock character, you can pretty much predict every line he'll say before you see them movie.

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 07:07:11 PM PDT

    •  Saw it. Enjoyed it. Clint is a great actor period, (8+ / 0-)

      the chair debacle is so overrated by both sides. To wish ill on the film is just petty. You want to boycott or speak out against filmmakers/celebrity politics? Well start with DW Griffith and 'Birth of a Nation' and work your way down. Sorry but Clint's old man rant ranks pretty low on the list of questionable public figure/celebrity behavior. What's telling is the fact that no one seems to know exactly who's side he's on. Sheesh. Really gonna have to give Clint - 1, everyone else - 0.

      If I knew it was going to be that kind of party, I'd have stuck my ---- in the mashed potatoes! - Paul's Boutique

      by DoctorWho on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 08:32:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Clint Ruined Million Dollar Baby (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wonderful world

        It was not a good movie by any stretch of the imagination, but wouldn't it have been better with any of a hundred character actors rather than Clint? Not that he's bad, but his presence makes it a "Clint Eastwood movie" whenever he's on screen.  "Gran Torino" was like Clint's version of "The Shootist."  "The Shootist" was a "John Wayne movie" in every sense of the word, but it really worked at that level, and "Gran Torino" was similar.

        There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

        by bernardpliers on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 09:15:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good luck convincing the world (0+ / 0-)
          Million Dollar Baby It was not a good movie by any stretch of the imagination,
          Your lance, my Don. Windmills await.
          •  That Was An Embarrassing Academy Award Gimme (0+ / 0-)

            Which is really sad because Clint went on to make much better movies for which he will never get nominated because the Academy squandered his award on MDB.

            And seriously, you need Morgan Freidman to narrate a boxing movie? Would he have made Rockie better? How about On The Waterfront?

            There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

            by bernardpliers on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 10:17:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Clint who™? n/t (18+ / 0-)

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 07:07:39 PM PDT

  •  I take no joy in this (28+ / 0-)

    I'm not thrilled that Clint Eastwood decided to appear at the RNC and make such a weird spectacle, but I continue to believe that the real loser out of the whole debacle was Mitt Romney.

    Eastwood's current movie has some flaws to it that well pre-dated any RNC appearance.  

    Ultimately, I don't think Hollywood is looking at Eastwood the same way they're looking at Gibson, and rightly so.  

    I won't stop watching Eastwood films.   It's enough to me that Mitt Romney won't be elected.

  •  This is sad. He could not get out of his (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ardyess, Tonedevil, Bailey, kurt

    character.  He a great actor but the RNC was an actor in character in a rage filled role, not Clint Eastwood, the man.

    At least that is what I am going to tell myself, I may skip this turkey, but I have been a fan since Rowdy Yates on Rawhide which predates the Spagetti Westerns that gained him fame.  There have been few of his movies I have mised so I can't hold a grudge.  Not so John Voit or something like that, never again.

    Never promote men who seek after a state-established religion; it is spiritual tyranny--the worst of despotism. It is turnpiking the way to heaven by human law, in order to establish ministerial gates to collect toll. John Leland

    by J Edward on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 07:11:20 PM PDT

    •  He lives and dies by being his characters (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      J Edward, CorinaR, blueoasis, greengemini, kaye

      But now that the real Clint Eastwood is known, things like Gran Torino are just creepy to a lot of decent folks.

      It puts it in a whole new light, trying to make a hero out of a racist.

      These are the problems that a guy like Clint will now face, because many of his most famous characters have always been basically just him, with a few modifications.

      The question now will be whether people can put the distance between real life and the movie that's necessary, and I don't think they'll be able to. Especially if Clint keeps making the kinds of movies that always made him fascinating.

      You hated to love his characters, but somehow you did. Maybe it was that dark lizard brain part of us that gets a kick out of some of the darker parts of our culture, even though we know it's wrong. But now it's all just too real, you just feel dirty for even entertaining the idea when it comes to Eastwood.

      •  "now that the real Clint Eastwood is known" (4+ / 0-)

        Oh sheesh.

        Message received. You profundly dislike Clint Eastwood, the person, because of his appearance at the RNC. But I have serious doubts you know the "real" man.

        •  Politics are the distillation (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Aunt Pat, wonderful world

          of a person's real self. I believe that very much. They tell us what people often are too afraid to admit in public, either because it might hurt their career, or simply their personal relationships.

          But when people get political and you couple that with a sincere sort of adamant proclamation, then you're getting right at the soul of a person.

          Whatever else there may be about the "real" Clint Eastwood, it won't be more real than the way he behaved on that stage.

          That got right to the core of who he is. The fact that after all of the things Romney did that he was still so eager to get up there and do it tells you quite a bit before Eastwood ever opened his mouth.

          Whether Eastwood treats his dog nicely or whether he's pleasant with people at the grocery store, those things don't interest me. Many of the world's worst monsters were quite kind to the people they thought deserved it.

          A person's politics, and more specifically what spectrum they're in in terms of that politics, now that tells me who and what they really are.

          •  Presumed as much before posting (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Clint Eastwood made some crummy movies, and he made some excellent movies. The positive messages from his best movies will be longer-lasting than anything he said at the RNC. Which, in terms of messaging, also resulted in positive results as witnessed by Americans. Iif not in the form Mr Eastwood intended.)

            Well, back to the show. You may ad hom when you are ready Gridley.

            •  So did Mel Gibson (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              nellgwen, greengemini, CocoaLove, Sylv

              He made some great movies with characters quite appealing to liberals.

              It just didn't matter.

              If you go racist, or you go too far right, you alienate a big part of the movie going public, one that movie studios won't bank on losing. That's why there's so few conservative movie stars, or they aren't so vocal.

              Liam Neeson is a smart conservative. If average folks knew the real guy and he did what Clint did, he'd have a much harder time putting women and minorities in those seats.

              And I'd argue Neeson is Clint's heir in many ways.

              As you see in this movie's release, Red State culture flocked in to fill the void, but if you aren't putting 15-40 year old urban butts in those seats, you ain't gonna be competing with the big boys.

              That's why a far left liberal can still do the big movies and a far right conservative has a harder time. Rural conservatives will see a big movie with a liberal in it, because ultimately they're really hungry for pop culture, while urbanites have much more to choose from and more ways to get access to culture. Carving out Mel Gibson movies wasn't a problem for us but just imagine conservatives trying to carve out George Clooney. They can't help themselves. Conservatives more than anyone want what commercials and daytime TV tell them they're supposed to want.

              Jon Voight, great movies from decades ago that any liberal could love.

              But what urban person with a degree is going to line up for him knowing what they know now? What movie studio is going to bet on it?

              I think Clint will have an easier time than either Mel or Voight, but it's risky.

              He could have done more damage than you'd think.

              •  I agree with you. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                 Last night someone posted a diary about movies.
                  I mentioned one of my favorite movies was The Odessa File. It still is one of my favorite movies even though it has that pesky Jon Voight in it.
                   Actually I would recommend that people see it because the message in that movie transcends anyone in it.
                  Maximilian Schell is also in it. But it's a message movie it goes far beyond personalities.
                  It's one of those movies that could have been made yesterday.

                "Is that your vegetarian leather jacket?" George Harrison

                by nellgwen on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 08:40:39 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Liam Neeson is a conservative? (0+ / 0-)

                Hasn't he talked about wanting to convert to Islam?

              •  And Clint Eastwood is not Mel Gibson (0+ / 0-)

                So why don't you just indulge yourself in your hatred for Clint Eastwood without trying to make excuses for yourself. You hate the man. We heard you the first 10 times.

        •  I worked at a bookstore Eastwood came shopping at (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Quicklund, Sylv

          About 15 years ago. The staff ran, he was not a nice person to try and work for (as it were). Now that said, I still liked his movies. I gather woody harrelson is not a nice guy either, but he plays one on tv. The time may have come where he should stick to directing. We know he's not stupid, although his speech at the rnc was not evidence of it. Just take time to let the 'hateful old man' thing fade away. Everyone is a little hyped up about the election, and Clint did himself no favors.

          "And while it was regarded as pretty good evidence of criminality to be living in a slum, for some reason owning a whole street of them merely got you invited to the very best social occasions."

          by Shippo1776 on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 11:21:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe someone else. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aunt Pat, 88kathy, nellgwen

        You hated to love his characters, but somehow you did.

        Maybe someone else did, but not me.  I understood the subtexts of "Dirty Harry" from day one, and I tuned him out then and there.

        Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

        by ActivistGuy on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 07:56:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I didn't get it right away, but noticed after (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ActivistGuy, nellgwen

          it was pointed out, that I had spent the entire 4 hours cheering death.

          Same with America's sweetheart, Pretty Woman, someday I hope she has to look in the eye all the young girls she deceived.

          Hey Ryan, where you goin' with that trans-vaginal probe in your hand

          by 88kathy on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 08:00:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Dirty Harry and Magnum Force (0+ / 0-)

          The interesting point to these films is not the gunplay but the reflection of American society in the 1970s. People forget how big a political issue street crime was back then. Most people do not realize how drastically crime rates have dropped between then and today. The vigalente theme was strong in American cinema in the 1970s. Like always, Hollywood films reflect American society.

          Neither of those films are masterpieces. I own Magnum Force on DVD thanks to the discount bin, and it is not anywhere close to a great movie. But it is interesting from a historical perspective.

      •  Er, his new movie has an ethnic character that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Retroactive Genius, Quicklund

        gets the last laugh in the film's subplot. Once again people seem to think his RNC appearance was some sort of teabag showcase, which would be the opposite of his ENTIRE film career. Conservative, yes. grump old man, YES. Some hate-filled nutwing, no.

        Amazing people are still being played by the one appearance.

        If I knew it was going to be that kind of party, I'd have stuck my ---- in the mashed potatoes! - Paul's Boutique

        by DoctorWho on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 08:36:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Don't be so sure (0+ / 0-)

          Businessmen are just that. Clint tends to sell rightwing ideas dressed up in characters designed to somehow appeal to all Americans. His looks, his ability to project sincerity, his smile, they don't hurt. They usually redeem themselves in some way, which acts as a validation for the overall rightwing theme. Think Dirty Harry. Or Gran Torino.

          I'm not saying he's stupid. Hollywood knows what sells. They have to appeal to the non-racists too, and some can be quite clever in how they do that.

          Be careful in giving Clint too much credit for simply knowing what sells and the limits to the lines he can cross publicly.

          He does such a good job walking them in public, and selling it, one wonders how much experience he has testing them out.

    •  Clint as Rowdy Yates was my first indication (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ... I couldn't have been more than 5 or 6 ... that I was very much heterosexual.  I had the biggest childhood crush on him until I discovered Paul Newman. Then Mr. Newman became my crush, one that lasted his entire life.

      I've liked much of Eastwood's work even after my crush on him waned.  But his work has always been uneven.

      "A pride of lions" "A murder of crows" "A wunch of bankers"

      by Glinda on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 10:51:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  looking at the commercials for it (9+ / 0-)

    as I didn't see it and probably won't... it looks like a remake of Ted Danson's career in television.  An old Sam Malone's career combined with an old Becker's temperament. Not exactly an interesting combination.

    A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

    by dougymi on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 07:12:16 PM PDT

  •  my cop buddies all wanted to see End of Watch (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, MKSinSA
  •  Whatever Became of Red State? (9+ / 0-)
    --He's over there---> Image Hosted by

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 07:18:40 PM PDT

  •  I was never a big fan of his and (5+ / 0-)

    will never pay to see anything of his in the future.  

    Stop it. This is hard.

    by chicago minx on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 07:28:38 PM PDT

    •  You missed Bronco Billy --- there are a few (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nickrud, nellgwen

      more worth mentioning.

      Hey Ryan, where you goin' with that trans-vaginal probe in your hand

      by 88kathy on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 08:04:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Too bad. Gran Torino and his newest are more (4+ / 0-)

      nuanced and diverse than you can imagine. He is the only, ONLY filmmaker to tackle the Laotian/Hmong/Southeast Asian community/gang issues. Anyone from the Midwest, particularly Minneapolis knows all about this. Gran Torino took it on with a lot of heart and both myself and my gf were surprised at how good it was and how nuanced.

      His newest film also goes out of its way to include a subplot highlighting subtle, very subtle racism

      If you are writing him off by the RNC you are doing yourself a disservice.

      If I knew it was going to be that kind of party, I'd have stuck my ---- in the mashed potatoes! - Paul's Boutique

      by DoctorWho on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 08:40:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think people give him too much credit (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gramofsam1, chicago minx, Sylv

        for finding clever ways to make racists and men who beat up on minorities into characters America will love. Dirty Harry, Gran Torino, etc.

        Sure, every villain can have a redeeming moment, blah blah blah characters are more nuanced. Every villain can be a hero and every hero can be a villain. Blah blah blah. It's not exactly rocket science. It's barely even clever at this point.

        It's relatively formulaic to create characters that Americans will embrace. Curmudgeons sell pretty well. Couple curmudgeon with any host of other stories and you've got a Clint Eastwood movie. His looks never hurt.

        The guy repeatedly finds ways to make Americans think, "Hey, my rightwing Tea Bagging neighbor might not be such a bad guy, because he did one nice thing, at one point in his life. Actually he's kind of cool, because he's gruff."

        I find it all a bit lowbrow at this point, but also I'm skeptical of it and what it's designed to do.

      •  He wasn't a favorite before then (0+ / 0-)

        and the RNC sealed it for me.  

        Stop it. This is hard.

        by chicago minx on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 03:21:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed Dr. Who. I am in the pro-Eastwood Camp (0+ / 0-)

        Not politically, of course, though I must say, I think his Man Vs. Chair monologue gave us a moment of absurdist political theater history that will never be forgotten!

        He's a libertarian loonie, sure. You listen to his criticisms of the invisible Obama and he's actually criticizing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan!  But he's not a plutocrat, nor a racist, and tried to deal with racial issues as well as other complex issues such as death with dignity, etc. in his films.

        Here are some of the good things I know about Clint Eastwood, the actor/director:

        1) He is a consummate professional
        2) He suffers no fools
        3) He's 82 and is driven to work until he drops (I admire that.  He doesn't sit around.  He's a doer. He works hard but not obsessively)
        4) Actors who work with him love him.  He lets them do their thing and has no directoral ego.
        5) He brings his films in under budget and on schedule.
        6) He knows exactly what he wants on the set, gets it, and moves on (much like Woody Allen.)
        6) He is aware of his strengths as an actor but even more aware of his weaknesses.

        As an actor, I think he's a treasure.  He has a very limited range, but what he accomplishes within that range is wonderful and seems to fill a need in the American movie going public.  Emblematic, shall we say?  He's an American archetype, in all his incarnations.

        He has a lot of weaknesses professionally, of course.  He's stubborn and dug in.  Hey, he's 82.
        1) As he gets older, he works faster.  One of the reasons J Edgar was such a mess was he asked for no changes in the script, just went ahead and filmed it.  And it was flawed. That's pretty much his MO now, I hear.  He says, "I like the script, let's make it"...he gets his money...he does it, doesn't mess with it much after the first cut, then moves on.
        2) When he's acting, you pretty much only get two takes with him.  If you need more as a director, he's going to be directing that third take himself.  Note the director of "Trouble with the Curve" was his producer.  Probably one of the only folks who knows exactly how Clint likes to work and could deal with him.
        3) "Trouble with the Curve" was a lousy film.  The problem was the script (and the slow-paced directing.)  Not Clint.  Not Amy Adams.  Don't get me started on Justin Timberlake...suffice it to say I'm not a fan of his acting.  But it wasn't his fault either. It was just a flat, totally predictable, paint-by numbers script.
        4) Nobody says "No" to him anymore.  He doesn't take criticism.  (Also common in 82 year olds!) Which is why the score for "J Edgar" sounded suspiciously like the score from "The Unforgiven."  Clint wrote them.  Clint is not a great composer, to put it mildly.

        Clint is beloved by Hollywood for the good reasons listed above - he makes films quick, for a price, and they make money.  He is a no-drama guy, professionally anyway.  His personal life has had some not so pretty drama in it.  But then, he is an actor, after all.  That's how they tend to be.

        Personally I love the fact that he is working his ass off into his 80's and shows no signs of stopping.  I admire that.  I hope I'll be like that someday.

        It was hard to watch him in his new movie without flashing back to the chair monologue.  But he wins you over anyway.  So what if you're always waiting for him to hike up his pants a la Bill Hader and yell "Get off my lawn!"  

        He's earned it.  IMHO.

        "When a man tells you that he got rich through hard work, ask him: 'Whose?' Don Marquis

        by hopesprings on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 11:50:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  And this idea had such potential. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MKSinSA, Bailey

    Especially to a baseball person.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 07:39:38 PM PDT

  •  I am less inclined to see one of his movies now (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chicago minx, MKSinSA

    By the same token, I never make it to the end of a Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood song on the radio - on to a different station as soon as either asshole is recognized...

    Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore

    by Minerva on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 07:40:19 PM PDT

    •  It's amazing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aunt Pat, yoduuuh do or do not

      There's several new Mel Gibson movies out on Netflix (old movies just being released online), and I won't view them.

      I used to LOVE them. I even sort of still want to watch a few right now, but I won't.

      I'm at the far left, so that's probably not  how everyone's going to feel, but I think quite a few actually do.

      I just feel dirty with my mouse hovering over them, so I keep scrolling until I find something else. Ultimately, I'm not missing out on anything. There's way too many movies to see anyhow. Losing Clint or Mel Gibson isn't something I'm going to sweat in any way shape or form.

      What the hell do I owe them? Zip.

    •  Underwood? (0+ / 0-)

      Clarkson is a Paulbot, but as far as I know Underwood hasn't made any endorsements, and she's an advocate for LGBT rights and the Humane Society.

      I don't listen to her since I'll dig my key into the side of my ear if I have to listen to that awful karaoke song one more time.

  •  well i won't be seeing the new clint movie (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but it's not due to his political leanings as i was always aware of that.  i always enjoy his movies and find him to be a top notch director.

    but his performance with the chair made me start to doubt his abilities and question what his new movie might be like as a result.

    hope springs eternal and DAMN is she getting tired!

    by alguien on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 07:56:42 PM PDT

  •  Mel Gibson's best movie was one of his first. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kerflooey, nellgwen

    Tim 1979  

    Clint Eastwood lucked out with spaghetti in Spain.  Otherwise you would have never heard of him again after he bust into song painting wagons.

    Hey Ryan, where you goin' with that trans-vaginal probe in your hand

    by 88kathy on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 07:56:54 PM PDT

  •  Ha. Ha. I wouldn't even go for FREE tickets...... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snowcity, Bush Bites

    may have ruined his career.....what's left of it.

  •  here's to box office poison. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and me?" - Don Van Vliet

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 08:02:33 PM PDT

  •  Nah. Disagree with most of this. (10+ / 0-)

    I think you're reading way too much into this.  It was a bad weekend for the box office overall, and Eastwood's movie - a middling thing by a first-time director, clearly aimed at a (ahem) older audience - did about as well as the top two films (the margin was negligible) and outright doubled the amount of the #5 film, just two slots below.  The week's other debut, Dredd, brought in less than half of Eastwood's.

    Did people come out and/or stay home over politics?  Maybe.  But all indications were that this was going to be a tepid performer: that's why it was released in September, one of the most notorious of down months, instead of during the summer or during awards season.   From a quick scan of box office predictions, it looks like the film underperformed a bit, as did every other film this weekend apart from the surprisingly strong End of Watch.

    Anyway.  It's hard to call this a sign of a "career in decline" when this is a rare departure for Eastwood.  He hasn't been in a film he didn't direct in 20 years, and this was clearly a favor to a first-time director who used to do his second unit work.  I'm not a big fan of Eastwood's own directing work (one or two exceptions), but it's hard to argue that he isn't as strong now as he's always been.  His legacy is just fine.

    This is nowhere near Mel Gibson territory.  Just for comparison: his last film has made, in its entire run, less than Trouble with the Curve's opening weekend.  The last thing of his that could be called a success was the deeply problematic Apocalypto, already 6 years ago and before the full extent of the meltdown.

    Then again Mel Gibson was a slobbering drunk, abusing his wife and declaring war against the "fucking Jews" (his words), so ... Not really a fair comparison.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 08:05:05 PM PDT

    •  Yes, this had little to do with the RNC speech. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pico, Bailey, Quicklund, hopesprings

      Even Nikki Finke downplays that theory in the linked article.

      If anything, the speech's backlash may have motivated a few more seniors into going on opening weekend- as opposed to waiting for a later midweek matinee.  I just can't imagine too many younger moviegoers were planning to go see Trouble With The Curve before "Eastwooding" became a meme.

      As it stands, the movie opened more or less the way all of Eastwood's films have for the past decade.  For example, Million Dollar Baby was around $12 million, while Space Cowboys- which was considered a surprise hit at the time- only managed $18 million.  Gran Torino's $29 million was a stunning exception, probably because it was marketed as if Eastwood were playing a geriatric version of Dirty Harry.

      Unlike those films, Trouble had little in the way of buzz- either as an Oscar contender or crowd-pleaser.  In that respect, it was closer to Blood Work and True Crime- two Eastwood films which barely made it out of the gate ($7 million and $5 million, respectively).

  •  Georgia's Taxpayers Paid Dearly (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snowcity, Bush Bites

    This latest Clint Flick was filmed in Georgia, now a Top Five movie making state. That's because Georgia gives a 35% tax credit for all receipts for production of movies and TV shows filmed in the state.

    Meanwhile, the state's teacher's face more pay cuts and furlough days, universities are under budget cuts, the technical schools just had a 13% tuition hike, the State Troopers, DNR Wildlife Resource's Division (Game Wardens and Wildlife Technicians), DNR Environmental Protection Division, Department of Family and Children's Services, Public Health, State name it.. all suffering budget cuts. EPD and DNr have had a 40% cut i their budgets over the last few years..but the movies are flocking here.

    Delta is loving it. Of course they got a special $30 million tax cut last year so Governor Deal could join the Mile High Club.

    But this isn't Clint's biggest heist. He got a 42% kick-back out of struggling Detroit for his film exploring exploitation and racism, Gran Torino.

    What a guy.

    No legitimate economic analysis shows movie subsidies actually pay for themselves, and most states have dropped them...after losing big.

    States Weigh Cuts in Subsidies for Hollywood -
    Jan 19, 2011 ... Government subsidies for film and television productions proliferated in flush times as more than 40 states competed for entertainment work. 2011/ 01/ 20/ business/ media/ 20incentives.html?pagewanted=all

    •  LOL @ BS. Eastwood responsible for GA teachers (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Yes I am certain Clint Eastwood personally pushed through all these laws in 40 states. 40 states? Might there be some reason for these widespread laws? Something larger than the guy who talked to a chair?

      Perhaps you should be pointing your finger at a 40 state legislatures? Or is that too logical?

      •  You might read the article... (0+ / 0-)

        and see that most of the states have repealed these tax kick-backs. They don't bring net money to the states. All economic studies show these "laws" to be a loser.

        When states give money to outsiders (the money leaves) and other real needs go  unfunded, like the services mentioned. Remember, these GOP leaders are opposed to all taxes, especially increases to fund essential services.

        The point you choose to miss is that Mr. Eastwood, while decrying socialism and government, sure uses those government hand-outs.

        And what does logic have to do with conservative politics?

        •  Of course Mr Eastwood does (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Your problem is with the legislatures who established these practices.

          You accusation here is just the same Republican dodge that makes no sense, just flipped on it's side.

          Democrats: Tax rates are too low.

          Republicans: Then you personally should pay more taxes! Neener neener!

          Well, one person donating more does not change the systematic flaws. Not when a Republican hurls this nonsense argument. Not when Nimblewell hurls it.

        •  They're not always losers (0+ / 0-)

          They keep entertainment in the USA, for one thing.  For most of the 90's, lower and middle low budget movies were moving to Canada and Eastern Europe.

          And many states have not repealed the kick backs because production brings a lot of money into those local economies.  New Orleans, for example, has had some really impressive success with their tax credits.  I was there for a film last summer and everyone was working - hotels, caterers, limo drivers, short-term home rentals - many industries that had taken a dive after Katrina were brought back by it.  Crew people from Louisiana working all the time, animal trainers - I know several LA production people (producers as well as below the line) who have bought houses in New Orleans so they can work there locally.

          It's generally Republicans, not Dems, who are against Hollywood tax credits.   Ironic, because American filmmaking is one of the few consistently profitable exports this nation still has.  Runaway production to Canada and overseas was greatly costing us.

          I'm biased because I'm in the industry and would rather make a movie about New York in New York than in Toronto, or a movie about Boston in Boston than in Quebec.  Talk about losing American jobs - I know people (directors and actors and production designers and directors of photography) who became Canadian citizens in the 90's simply so they could continue to have steady work in the business.

          Tax credits are not kickbacks that go into someone's pockets.  They go back into the budget and sometimes make it possible for a certain film to get made.  And we're not always talking big budget films...many of these incentives keep us smaller, TV & indie filmmakers working.

          "When a man tells you that he got rich through hard work, ask him: 'Whose?' Don Marquis

          by hopesprings on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 12:08:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Clint Eastwood is on my "do not see" list (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    S F Hippie, snowcity

    for the forseeable future. He is free to espouse his political beliefs. And I am free not to go see his movies.

  •  And movies are ripping NY schools... (0+ / 0-)

    Georgia is the EMpire State of the South, but the Empire State is seeing the NYC schools ripped for movie making, too:

    As Schools Sacrifice, TV Shows Flourish - The New York Times
    Nov 11, 2011 ... Michael Kamber for The New York Times ... million a year in subsidies it provides the film and television industry to ... 2011/ 11/ 13/ nyregion/ big-city-while-filmmakers-flourish-schools-sacrifice.html?

    Parents in New York City, including those at Arts and Letters, a school in the Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn, are now routinely depended upon to supply classrooms with paper towels, tissues, crayons, cleaning products and so on. Increasingly and inconceivably in the city’s public schools, volunteerism is expected to keep the system upright. As one father proclaimed to the crowd, boiling the issue down to its essence: “You can’t sell $1.4 billion worth of cupcakes.”

    From August of last year through the end of 2014, as it happens, the state will have given away considerably more than that — $2.1 billion — in the form of another dubious tax advantage: the $420 million a year in subsidies it provides the film and television industry to keep production from going elsewhere. Film tax credits came into vogue in the early aughts to compete with financial incentives offered by Canada. Forty states deployed them last year; New York accounted for about a quarter of the money spent across the country. More recently, several states have ended their programs or suspended financing.

    In 2008, the state increased the credit to 30 percent from 10 percent of production expenses unrelated to the costs of creative talent.

  •  Politics aside I like Eastwood as actor/director (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I haven't seen Trouble with the Curve mostly because it looks pretty routine. I'll wait for DVD.

    I also like Mel Gibson in the same way, even though he's more of a despicable sexist and racist and his career is dead. Gallipoli will always be one of my favorites.

    Eastwood is liberal on social issues and against imperial wars, including the Korean war he served in. He described himself as a mixture of Milton Friedman in his economic views and Noam Chomsky in foreign policy. On that basis, I'd have more respect for him if he voted for Gary Johnson.

  •  Cowboy and Cop movies bore me. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    So I was never much of an Eastwood fan anyway.

    Really dumb of him to alienate half the movie-going public, though.

    Repubs started up the car, hit the throttle and sent it over the cliff, and now they're complaining that the black guy hasn't fixed it fast enough.

    by Bush Bites on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 09:21:46 PM PDT

  •  I'm guessing that the republican base 65+ crowd (0+ / 0-)

    probably don't go out to the movies as much and everyone else is an Obama demographic....Probably not wise to piss off the vast majority of movie goers if ya want to take their money for seeing your damn movie. not get the fuck off my lawn.

  •  Seriously? You write as if (5+ / 0-)

    Clint stood you up on a date. Get over it already.

  •  Did anyone see End of Watch? (0+ / 0-)

    Was it any good? Please avoid all spoilers.

    "You have to understand Neo, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged, and many of them are so inert, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it." Morpheus - The Matrix

    by pot on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 10:55:13 PM PDT

  •  If I stopped watching movies or listening to (3+ / 0-)

    music or viewing the artwork of all the people who might be assholes I think my life might be much the poorer.

    "I smoke. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your fuckin' mouth." --- Bill Hicks

    by voroki on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 02:57:38 AM PDT

  •  What Eastwood did was stupid. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rich in PA, Quicklund

    What Gibson did was reprehensible. They are not the same.

    Yes, Eastwood bought into the angry black man stereotype a little bit... on the other hand, Eastwood-as-caricature treats everyone as either an angry person or a wimp, so I don't see the surprise there. He's socially liberal, and horribly misguided as to the nature of what's going on in Hollywood.

  •  So much for the old Hollywood adage... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...that there's no such thing as bad publicity.

    Time to retire, Clint!

    "If you're looking for somebody with George W. Bush's economic policy, Dick Cheney's foreign policy, and Rick Santorum's social policy, then Mitt Romney's your man." -- James Carville

    by terabthia2 on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 06:07:26 AM PDT

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