Extra Cheese: While this promotion isn't earning any points with the Abramovitches, VanAirsdales and Buchanans of America, all of you anonymous, overeducated Joneses out there may have an interest in LucasFilm's memo currently making the rounds: "Greetings, On behalf of our promotional partner Papa John's, I wanted to make sure you received the news about their fun Indiana Jones promotion to celebrate today's DVD and Blu-Ray release of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It offers a free Papa John's pizza to anyone in the United States named 'Dr. Jones' — and if they live in Indiana, they'll get a DVD as well!" Bon appetit, or something. [TOH]
Though George Lucas has dashed the hopes of a scant few Indiana Jones fanboys already camping out in line for Mutt Williams and the Search For Elvis, series add-on Shia LaBeouf is man enough to take the bad news on the chin (if not on the reconstructed pinkie). In fact, while promoting his new film Eagle Eye to MTV News, he took time out to defend his much-derided Indy 4 vine swinging, blaming the "changed viewer" for negative reaction to a hallowed film franchise that, somehow, LaBeouf compares to 80's sex comedy Porky's.Might "nuking the fridge" have been more palatable if it were followed by a scene where Indy, Mutt, and Ray Winstone spy on Cate Blanchett through a peephole in the high school locker room? Or are we subtly being prepared for an Indy 5 involving the mythical Quest for Teenage Tail?
Remember last month when we took a moment to consider the potential back-end windfalls for Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Harrison Ford
should Indiana Jones 4 turn when Indiana Jones 4 turns a profit? "Crystal Skull will have to generate around $400 million for Paramount for the studio to make its money back and earn its distribution fee," Claudia Eller wrote in the LA Times. "Only at that point will Lucas, Spielberg, Ford and smaller profit participants, including screenwriter David Koepp, begin collecting their portion. Paramount will take 12.5 cents from every dollar thereafter, while Lucas and company will earn 87.5 cents." With the worldwide total pushing $332 million in five days, the film could drop 75% percent globally this weekend and still be pouring money on the principals by Sunday night. A more likely 50% drop would still split $86 million among them — with another solid month of box office ahead. Elsewhere in percentages: The likelihood of Indiana Jones 5 climbed to 100% while we wrote this.
Defamer Attractions returns today with another round of movie scanning for your Memorial Day weekend. We already know you're planning at least two excursions to view Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (once out of drunken impulse, and once to make sure that really was the ending you saw before blacking out), but Indy alone does not a holiday make! At least one of the poor bastards sharing this opening weekend is bound to tank the worst, and yet another is a fine bit of foreign-language counterprogramming worth your consideration. And of course we've got a few new DVD choices for the agoraphobic, hungover and/or the cheapskates among us. As always, our opinions and projections are A) our own and B) impeccably fail-safe. Where should we start?
Even as our Indiana Jones PlunderWatch ticker moves inexorably closer to $9.5 trillion, a proportionately huge response to the new film is also taking place in high-traffic piracy circles around the globe. A bit of Defamer research (as well as a few winks from seedy, trench-coated informants in the digital shadows) reveals a surge in foreign-language torrents, including France's dynamite adaptation Indiana Jones et le Royeaum du Crane de Cristal. Another look at the soaring box-office, though — $250,000 in Belgium alone! Incroyable! — hints that little (if anything) will slow the hero's conquest as the weekend rolls on.
No one combats Indy 4 fatigue like our batty, beloved gossip aunt Cindy Adams, who today grilled one of the blockbuster's key consultants in an attempt to discover the sexy mystique of — wait for it — the bullwhip. Not just any bullwhip, of course, but Harrison Ford's $1,000 bullwhip — all 13 feet and two-and-a-half pounds of it, said whipmaster Anthony De Longis:
Even as Indy 4 is poised to do mammoth B.O. this weekend, it seems that one member of the LaBeouf Snow Cone Family Circus is a bit down on his luck. Shia LaBeouf’s father, whom Shia has already outed as a former drug dealer who used to smoke him out at 10 years old, has allegedly been crashing in Indiana Jones Jr.’s garage all winter long and has yet to return to his warm weather teepee in Montana (yes, really). As Shia puts it, "We've got this little air mattress set up for him. It's very comfortable. But now it's not winter anymore and he's still there. But I can't go there and go, `Hey dad. Listen it's time to go back.' I can't make him leave." So isn’t it time we finally figure out who this longshot Father Of The Year candidate is already? You know, before he inhales too many fumes while sleeping next to his superstar son’s pricey cars?
Paramount interns are plucking rose petals as we speak for Brad Grey's arrival at the office tomorrow, by which time Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Do We Really Have to Write it Out Again will be on its way to the top five — and possibly even an all-time record — for a five-day opening weekend. Most midnight screenings around the country tonight are already sold out, with at least one prognosticator firming up his tracking to reflect a $173 million opening. The number would bump the final Star Wars installment Revenge of the Sith from the number-one spot and, paired with Iron Man, give Paramount the best May in its history.
With all the magnetized baked potatoes and dancing chihuahua sequences in store in this weekend’s Indy 4, it’s no surprise Harrison Ford’s next on-screen project is as simple and easy to understand as possible. As we noted weeks ago, Ford was filming spots for an environmental group that prompted him to step in as copywriter and retool the scripts. And thank goodness he did — who else could have come up with this illuminating dialogue between the grizzly manscaping actor and, well, himself? Apparently, even big boys like Ford wince when hair is ripped from their shiny manly chests using hot wax. And that’s how the environment feels. So get thee to the nearest beauty parlor, shoot the unsmiling waxer a charismatic flirty smirk or two, and save the planet already.
Looking remarkably sober and well-recovered from last weekend's Cannes-diana Jones sojourn, Harrison Ford returned home Tuesday for the film's long-awaited Harlem premiere (yes, Harlem) and a requisite visit with David Letterman. The conversation quickly turned to Ford's piloting hobby — particularly his fondness for taking off in a Beaver. What? No, not a late-model Calista Beaver, but rather a vintage de Havilland model — the bulletproof kind flown covertly by the CIA during Vietnam. Naturally Letterman's audience followed his train of thought straight into the gutter, but an unfazed Ford stuck to the high road with tales of his soaring journeys into the bush. If only Kevin Spacey had shown the host so much class the night before. [The Late Show With David Letterman]
After intrepidly (and only somewhat confusedly) parsing the fourth installment of the Indiana Jones franchise yesterday, we've looked on in amazement as the phenomenon continues its global siege. To wit: If ever we actually wanted to see Harrison Ford return for a fifth Indy film, we can only hope it extrapolates the promise of the accompanying trailer for Indiana Jones and the Curse of the Gay Rabbi. Which looks suspiciously more influenced by the 1979 Harrison Ford/Gene Wilder vehicle The Frisco Kid, but still — it's not like George Lucas is going to come up with anything better. (via The Hot Blog)
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull has been unveiled at last for international critics, and with most verdicts coming in mixed to above-average, our discriminating tastes still found much left to be desired. Defamer editor Seth Abramovitch and senior editor S.T. VanAirsdale attended yesterday's screenings in Los Angeles and New York, respectively, after which the slow process of psychological reckoning and franchise restoration began the only way they knew how: via instant messaging.
After only three days, the teaser trailer for Twilight — that highly anticipated franchise initially classified as the "new Harry Potter" — racked up more than two million views on the film's MySpace page. As industry insiders have noted, the vampire flick may break the record of 4.1 million first week views set by Indy 4 earlier this year. But after viewing Twilight's trailer for ourselves, we couldn't care less about records or the fate of Indiana What's His Name. Why? The folks at Summit Entertainment managed to create excitement (and widespread teen titillation) not by appealing to HP dorks or Narnia obsessives, but rather by going the Gossip Girl route and putting together an ensemble cast comprised of barely known and ridiculously hot actors. Take a gander at what appears to be a fantastical and surprisingly romantic Tim Burton-esque world after the jump.
We're not surprised at the news that Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is locked in at a running time of 140 minutes — at least 20 minutes longer than it should be to achieve that coveted $300 million mark Paramount wants for it. But that's nothing compared to the film's production stills, the most dismaying of which we found couched over at Hollywood Elsewhere and you can check out after the jump.
The curse plaguing Indiana Jones and the Mysteriously Bedazzled Skull has visited another hardship upon the super-secret production, as the theft of computers and photographs—they're so paranoid at DreamWorks that they won't even say where and when the heist occurred—has closely followed the tragic leaking of plot points that has left the career of one loose-lipped extra dead. And Steven Spielberg's publicist has already served notice that the studio will unleash the face-melting fury of a thousand prematurely opened Lost Arks upon any outlet looking to exploit the purloined material: "We want to warn the media that anything that is offered is stolen property. We know it is out there." UPDATE: More info here. [LAT]
Just in case the poor, overexcited extra who unwisely spilled George Lucas and Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull secrets to his hometown paper last week was clinging to any crazy hopes that all would be quickly forgiven and forgotten, one look at this image jumping from studio inbox to inbox will probably confirm his darkest fears that his Russian dancing days could be over before they really began.