Misbegotten Munich Mess-ups Metastasize

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Steven Spielberg's lavishly—promoted film Munich almost is making me reconsider my opinion on abortion. This project should have been killed in the editing room. It so ill—conceived that even the process of promotion has been badly bungled.

According to Box Office Mojo, after 18 days in release over the holidays, Munich has garnered a paltry $26 million in ticket sales, despite heavy advertising and critical praise. Yesterday, it pulled in only $445 per screen, a level at which theater owners start asking themselves if there are any new slasher films with an extra print or two available on short notice. Munich has not appeased anyone this time around. It is a bomb.

Is there a Demon Seed at work? Spielberg's golden boy phase is obviously over. What else can we make of the following information, sent to me by Kate Wright, whose critique of Munich has garnered attention all over the world? From the UK Guardian:

...the man who put a capital B into the contemporary blockbuster, whose films have grossed billions and whose name is usually the stamp of glorious cinematic success, has been humbled. By a button. Pushed, it seems, mistakenly.

This has had a profound effect on the director's latest opus, at least as far as the members of Bafta are concerned. By tomorrow they have to nominate the films they think worthy of accolade, and Spielberg's Munich was expected to be among them, tipped for awards both in Britain and at the Oscars.

But the preview DVD sent to the academy's members is unplayable on machines used in the UK. As a result the majority of Bafta's 5,000 voters will not have seen the film, due to be released in Britain on January 27, and can hardly be expected to recommend it for acclaim.

Sara Keene at Premier PR, the company coordinating Munich's Bafta campaign, blamed the mistake on human error at the laboratory where the DVDs were encrypted. "Someone pushed the wrong button," she said. "It was a case of rotten bad luck." She insisted that the film's distributor, Universal, was not at fault.

Blame it on a little guy — fire him. Absolve the honchos, who are in charge of quality assurance. Don't you just love liberals?

Thomas Lifson  1 11 06

Steven Spielberg's lavishly—promoted film Munich almost is making me reconsider my opinion on abortion. This project should have been killed in the editing room. It so ill—conceived that even the process of promotion has been badly bungled.

According to Box Office Mojo, after 18 days in release over the holidays, Munich has garnered a paltry $26 million in ticket sales, despite heavy advertising and critical praise. Yesterday, it pulled in only $445 per screen, a level at which theater owners start asking themselves if there are any new slasher films with an extra print or two available on short notice. Munich has not appeased anyone this time around. It is a bomb.

Is there a Demon Seed at work? Spielberg's golden boy phase is obviously over. What else can we make of the following information, sent to me by Kate Wright, whose critique of Munich has garnered attention all over the world? From the UK Guardian:

...the man who put a capital B into the contemporary blockbuster, whose films have grossed billions and whose name is usually the stamp of glorious cinematic success, has been humbled. By a button. Pushed, it seems, mistakenly.

This has had a profound effect on the director's latest opus, at least as far as the members of Bafta are concerned. By tomorrow they have to nominate the films they think worthy of accolade, and Spielberg's Munich was expected to be among them, tipped for awards both in Britain and at the Oscars.

But the preview DVD sent to the academy's members is unplayable on machines used in the UK. As a result the majority of Bafta's 5,000 voters will not have seen the film, due to be released in Britain on January 27, and can hardly be expected to recommend it for acclaim.

Sara Keene at Premier PR, the company coordinating Munich's Bafta campaign, blamed the mistake on human error at the laboratory where the DVDs were encrypted. "Someone pushed the wrong button," she said. "It was a case of rotten bad luck." She insisted that the film's distributor, Universal, was not at fault.

Blame it on a little guy — fire him. Absolve the honchos, who are in charge of quality assurance. Don't you just love liberals?

Thomas Lifson  1 11 06