EDITORIALS

That Unique Grindhouse Theatrical Experience Just Got Rarer

by
April 9, 2007

Grindhouse

Are you one of those people that love to brag to your friends about seeing Fight Club or The Matrix in theaters before it blew up into the cult (and even mainstream) success once it hit DVD? Well, if you haven't already, then you need to go see Grindhouse right away! It's going to become an even rarer experience in its 3-hour-and-10-minute double-feature exposition, as news just came in early today that The Weinstein Company may split each film up individually, just as they're going to do in Europe. But they're going to do it quickly, maybe even this weekend, right here in America.

The whole "Grindhouse failure debacle" (an article coming soon on that) has sparked a flurry of discussion on every major movie discussion website on the internet. It only made a shallow $12 million over Easter opening weekend. Over at Nikki Finke's Deadline Hollywood blog, she caught up with the big man Harvey Weinstein and got him to spill the beans about their reaction after such a poor opening weekend.

"First of all, I'm incredibly disappointed. We tried to do something new and obviously we didn't do it that well," Harvey told me today. "It's just a question of how is it going to hang in there. But we could split the movies in a couple of weeks. Make Tarantino's a full-length film, and Rodriguez's too. We'll be adding those 'two missing reels' that's talked about in the movie."

Wow, I have to just sit back and exclaim "wow!" How did we get to this? One of the best reviewed films of 2007 so far, plus one of the most widely publicized and hyped films (at least on the internet) with two solid weeks of emphasis, and it turns out such a poor weekend? That whole argument is another story, this one is all about what we're looking at for the future, and the destruction of the experience that made Grindhouse so unique - the double feature!

Nikki says this should've been done all along, the rest of us, those who embrace movies as they should be, believe that this is a bad idea - it will ruin the experience. Unfortunately, Harvey is right, it will probably make them more money in the end. So far, with a combined cost including promotion and advertising of upwards of $100 million to make this entire feature, The Weinstein Company is sure to be concerned about losing money with such a bad opening weekend, but Harvey is a bit more confident.

"We're smart businessmen. Thank God, we protected ourselves economically. I've spent the last year diversifying the company. We're making profits everywhere but the movie business. But on DVD sales, we're doing well," he claims.

Will this split actually happen and how soon is all up in the air. But for now, the least we can do here at FS.net, is stress to get your ass to the theaters to be one of those people who will grin at their friends and exclaim "I saw Grindhouse in its full double feature first as well as individually." I know, I know, not everyone can handle a zombie movie, and not everyone can handle a revenge, slasher, car chase flick, but this movie cannot go overlooked. We've already had our share of those this year: Children of Men, Perfume, Little Children, and Zodiac, and we can't keep tossing more good movies down the drain!

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  • The Great Alien-Hating Star Wars Geek
    Bomb, Grindhouse, BOMB! I feel like an ewok dancing over the flaming wreckage of an AT-ST.
  • Charlie
    This movie just came out on a bad weekend. The mistake was releasing it on Easter weekend. You all but lose Sunday with many families who celebrate Easter (and even a lot who don't) taking the time to spend time with their families. Additionally, a good chunk of their best audience is college age kids who wanted to spend the weekend seeing friends returning from college and not go to the movies. A week or two ago, this movie would have made twice as much.
  • Donald
    The Weinsteins NEVER know how to release a movie...who wants to spend 3hours in a movie theater on Easter Weekend? And no one was clear anyway on what exactly it was (i heard a ton of "so what it is, two 30-minute shorts" type of conversation) This would have been the perfect release on a hot summer day in July. Period.
  • http://turbobuicks.net Joe
    I laughed when 2 people left during the "intermission". But I thought it was a great movie, not only was it 3 hours, it was a fun 3 hours.
  • Harvey
    I find it funny how people are making all kind of excuses why it bombed last weekend. How bout this one... the film and its concept was a dud. Best Reviewed movie of the year? How do you criticize a movie that intends to be a "bad 70's film", no matter what anyone says about it there is always the pat reply: "It was supposed to be ______ (FIll in the blank with your choice... cheesy, silly, dumb, ridiculous, etc...)
  • http://www.napiersnews.blogspot.com Napiers News
    1. It opened on a bad weekend 2. It played in less theatres because of its length forcing people to see other movies that were showing 3. Are We Done Yet? opened on Wednesday! Check out my review: http://napiersnews.blogspot.com/2007/04/grindhouse.html
  • Chalmers Aquaduck
    Let's face it, it was poorly marketed, people still didn't understand the "Grindhouse" concept, and Rodriguez's movie wasn't that great. Both movies could have benefitted from some judicious editing for time. Release the full length movies with tons of extras on DVD and they'll find their audience. Three hours is a hell of a long time to sit in a seat for even a great movie, man.
  • http://www.glyphjockey.com/glyphblog.html Lex10
    I could've seen a third feature if they included it. Awesome experience all the way. Stupid Hollywood accountants masqueradiong as artists poised to butcher a classic - they'll get their 100 million and then some.....
  • Cherry Darling
    This was the BEST $10 I have ever spent, I cannot believe it did so poorly. I can tell you half of San Francisco saw it this weekend, although, we're not exactly representative of the country as a whole. Don't make them 2 films!!!
  • http://www.youtuberoast.com Trott Felipe
    Bullshit. Absolute bullshit. Maybe they shouldn't released it Easter weekend. Duh.
  • Pete
    This movie is amazing. It will be a symbol for our generation. What they are doing is blasphemy. It simply opened on a bad weekend, was marketed wrong, and does not appeal to most people between the ages of 13-30. Breaking them might actually hurt the company--I know I wouldn't spend the money on either of them separately, and I will discourage others to do the same if these two movies get split.
  • Maven
    WTF is it that every scumbag and douche-nugget on the PLANET is basing their ENTIRE LIFE on whether or not "Grindhouse" succeeds financially at the box-office? You know, the fact that "Grindhouse" flopped so badly is just about the only thing that gives me ANY hope for humanity these days. It proved that not everyone is a mouth-breathing, inbred jerkoff. Hell, I didn't need to see any more than Eli Roth's "Thanksgiving" segment to know that nobody with even an once of humanity left in their body would go see "Grindhouse".
  • sloan
    Honestly, I don't think it has to do with it being a double feature or too long or the marketing or the weekend. The movies themselves don't appeal to a mass audience. They are glorified B-Movies and certain people will love it and enjoy it, but to think they would be huge hits seems odd.
  • cybergosh
    Planet Terror was amazing. Even more amazing the second time. Death Proof was a let down. Luckily, it's second. I plan on going back this week for a third round of some TERROR plus the trailers...and then leave when Death Proof starts. While seeing the missing reels would be cool...i can wait for DVD. I do not think these should be split up. Bad, Harvey. Bad!
  • Dissapointed
    Grindhouse was just a bad movie. Planet Terror was a mishmash of horror movie types instead of characters, and Death Proof was full of extended, self-indulgent dialogue segments. Of course, that's not why the movie did so poorly: the trailers and the promotion all focused on the idea of the grindhouse experience, and not enough on the actual movies itself. From the trailers' absolute lack of information on Death Proof, I assumed the Weinsteins were ashamed on that particular movie. And what did anyone really know about Planet Terror before going in aside from the fact that it was a zombie movie and that Rose McGowan gets her leg replaced with a gun? There was nothing put out their to entice people's curiosity. All the average public knew was that there was some zombie movie and another movie with Kurt Russel where he's probably a serial killer, but its not quite clear, but there's definitely a car involved. In my opinion, the only truly enjoyable thing about the whole movie was the Machete trailer - which I was hoping they were going to turn into a full length movie (and there was plenty of talk about that before Grindhouse came out), but with the dreadful returns, who knows if it will even happen now?
  • sAwItAndItSucked
    These movies were both horrible. I expect more in a plot from both these directors. Enough with the zombie movies already. Not everything that you do can be golden I guess.
  • http://www.entertainmentgeekly.com Eros Welker
    I really do not understand why people feel that Tarantino's Death Proof was worth watching. I totally dug the car chase scenes, but those two hours of obnoxious girls talking made me wish for death myself. I hate you QT, I hate you for taking Kurt Russell who rules and putting him in that position!!! As much as I want to see the missing reels, to see how the fire got started and the lapdance (despite not finding her all that hot), I probably never will see the latter as I can't imagine suffering through that again.
  • Kill Weinstein
    There are only threatening to split the movies so people will rush to the theaters so they can make up for the stupid ads.
  • Matt
    This movie split is a marketing ploy and I find it hard to believe in the first place as they will have to ask theaters to cut there own film or have to have the film re-released, only costing more money... The movie was an instant classic from my point of view. Most entertainment Ive had in a long while coming from the box office. PS-Don't believe all the hype.
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  • m
    HaHaHaHa! wow! $12 million is bad??? it's supposed to be a bad 70's B-movie. that's the artfullness of it all. i was laughing prior to some of the dialogue and actions and reactions, because i was already predicting what was going to happen. it was great! they reproduced everything just right. awesome!
  • Matt
    It makes me so fucking mad. I hear that they might split them for DVD!!!! That makes me sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo mad. I hope they don't do that! They can't!!!! It will ruin the whole experience!
  • Love Zombies, Love Kurt
    Loved it!, Oowee-goowee Zombie Movie and likable Psycho-killer Stuntman Driver. I want the Special Edition "Grindhouse" DVD. Movie just as first shown in theaters, All previews, both movies together, and give me both movies separate with additional material. I'll pay for and watch all of it. Loved this movie and saw it twice this weekend. Both times audience clapped at the end. If they split the movie in the USA I'll see the movies again. I'll give you girl talk was long in "Deathproof" but Kurt is too good to miss! Zoe Bell was awesome hanging on to the car.
  • http://chump-style.blogspot.com Wezzo
    Yeah I've been so looking forward to seeing it - but I could always see it bombing.
  • DillDoe
    splitting it is a STUPID move. It just shows that they care more about ticket sales than movies itself. Look at this logic, if you think people don't want to see your movie, then they sure as hell will pay two times to see it!
  • http://www.therecshow.com Ray
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  • http://www.cyclechaos.com/blog/ Motorcycle Guy
    I would think people assume its just two b movies combined together. I mean the general public probably can't see any better reason to do a double feature. I'm not sure I can either.
  • http://www.keyblack.com Anthony
    The problem wasn't with the movie, it was with the advertisment. I for one thought it was going to be a stupid, poorly put together, cheap movie. But then I found out it was a poorly put together, cheap move that was making fun of other movies. I went to see it in theaters and it was the best 3 hours I've ever paid 8 bucks for. The movie was misadvertised in my opinion and splitting the movie and taking out the fake trailers was an even bigger mistake than not properly advertising this film. I hope they release the full version on dvd for the sake of film and all those who missed it.

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