The biggest fight being picked today is a "whose threequel is bigger" one between Sony and Disney over the super, ultra impressive box offices numbers being claimed for "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End." According to Andrew Clark at the Guardian:
In a rare public spat between the two Hollywood studios, Sony has accused Disney of including a seventh day of takings in figures purporting to show unprecedented six-day takings of $401m (Â£202m) for the third part of the series, At World’s End.
Previews in several countries were rolled in to the total, though Disney said this did not amount to many filmgoers. Sony said that including a seventh day, its recent hit Spiderman 3 grossed $418m.
Now, if that doesn’t make you want to go out and buy pirated DVDs of both those bloated efforts just out of spite, what will? In older business surliness, Anne Thompson at Variety cornered Harvey Weinstein to discuss those rumors of financial trouble at the Weinstein Company ("This is done out of jealousy. Execs and people I know who look cool and have a big office just say nasty shit."). She also outlines Weinstein’s recent tiff with Luc Besson:
Besson claimed at Suicidegirls.com last week that the Weinsteins butchered the release of the animated family film "Arthur and the Invisibles": "Its American distributor was the worst I have worked with in my entire life, in any country, because they changed so much of the film and tried to pretend the film was American."
Harvey responded in the New York Daily News by calling Besson a "has-been" and offering him $1 million if he could prove that he made the film for the $85 million he originally claimed.
That’s one way to win friends and influence people.
Kaleem Aftab at the Independent catches Harvey trying to fend off negative comments from Kurt Russell regarding the de-"Grindhouse"ing of "Death Proof" at a press conference at Cannes: "What we did in cutting those films down for Grindhouse was a mistake. It removed the very essence of the movies. See these movies, they will dwarf Grindhouse."
Over at London Times, Stephen Dalton chides George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh for having grand plans of subverting Hollywood pressures with their Section Eight production company and ultimately succumbing to the bloat of the season’s next threequel, "Ocean’s Thirteen": "They fought the mainstream, but increasingly it looks as though the mainstream has won."
In less moneyed news, Stephen Totilo at MTV talks to former "Donkey Kong" world-record holder Billy Mitchell about his unflattering portrayal in the upcoming doc "The King of Kong": "It’s funny â€” if ‘funny’ is the right word, which it isn’t. They paint Steve [Wiebe] as the family man and I guess they paint me as a son of a gun." At Variety, the film’s editor Michael Levine speaks up in defense of another doc on the festival circuit, "Billy The Kid," after John Anderson, in a scathing review, accused it of staging scenes and being exploitative.
The often upset country of Iran is also upset about something: According to Variety‘s Ali Jaafar, country officials are protesting the Cannes jury prize given to Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud‘s "Persepolis," calling it an example of Islamophobia and "another example of U.S. attempts to "encourage forces opposed to the authorities in any way possible."
+ Sony accuses Disney of inflating Pirates takings (Guardian)
+ Harvey Weinstein answers critics (Variety)
+ Weinstein and Tarantino fall out over major edit (Independent)
+ One last drop in the Ocean? (London Times)
+ Ex-‘Donkey Kong’ Champ Finally Speaks After Getting Bruised By New Doc (MTV)
+ In defense of ‘Billy The Kid’ (Variety)
+ Iran decries ‘Persepolis’ jury prize (Variety)