Friday movie roundup – April 13

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‘Tis a busy weekend at the movies, and none of the options are very good! It’s like going to an all-you-can-eat buffet at T.G.I. Friday’s!

The best of the new releases is “Disturbia,” and that’s only a C+. They get worse from there: the absurd Halle Berry thriller “Perfect Stranger”; the tiresome and padded-out “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” movie; and the laughable Vikings-vs-Indians epic “Pathfinder.”

Two more opened without being screened first, which suggests they may be as bad as the things they DID screen. “Redline” is about street-racing, and “Slow Burn” is a “Usual Suspects”-style thriller about a prosecutor who shoots a man she claims was trying to rape her. Look for reviews early next week, theoretically.

A note on the “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” movie. From a business standpoint, I’m perplexed that it even exists. The show it’s based on is a hit in Cartoon Network’s “Adult Swim” programming, but “hit” is a relative term when we’re talking about basic cable. The TV series averages about 380,000 viewers between the ages of 18 and 24. If every single one of them buys a ticket to the movie, with the average ticket price in America being $6.58, that’s a gross of only $2.5 million. I can’t imagine anyone who isn’t already a fan going to see it, and I doubt every single one of the fans will go, either. Granted, that 380,000 number is only for 18-24-year-olds, but even if there were an equal number of viewers older than 24 — which is doubtful — that’s still a MAXIMUM gross of only $5 million.

Basically, I’m wondering how they’re going to make any money on this film. Production costs, advertising, and so forth must have been at least $2 million. Then they had to pay another $2 million to the city of Boston over that ridiculous “bomb scare” in January (where little boxes meant as promotions for the movie were mistaken for explosive devices). That’s $4 million. On average, movie theaters keep about half of the box office gross, with the other half going to the distributor. So “Aqua Teen” has to gross at least $8 million for it to turn a profit, and I just don’t think that’s possible. I mean hey, good luck to them, but I’m glad it’s not my money they’re spending.

This week’s “In the Dark” podcast can be found here. If you do not know what “In the Dark” is, or if you know but have not yet subscribed to it, then you can remedy either situation here.

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