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update: harvey, holding out for cannes

update: harvey, holding out for cannes

hwbwiwSM.jpgHarvey may be down, but is he out?


The crash-and-burn Easter weekend grosses for “Grindhouse” have had biz bloggers buzzing for the past 24 hours (STV even ranked the reportage). Just below the surface is the fact that the film’s poor performance raises questions about the future of the young Weinstein Company in the wake of such a high-profile blunder.

In a timely piece today, Nikke Finke talks with Weinstein about the film’s debut. He takes the blame and talks about a plan to resurrect the films via separate releases. Industry types will likely lament the “Grindhouse” performance in the coming weeks, but come Cannes, if all goes according to plan, the Weinsteins could be basking in the spotlight with both Wong Kar-Wai‘s “My Blueberry Nights” and Michael Moore‘s “Sicko” among the most anticipated fest titles and Weinstein promising he will be “back to being Harvey” in France…

We’ll see if the new films deliver; they are the two I am currently most excited about…

UPDATE: In Thursday’s NY Times, MIchael Cieply takes a closer look at the state of Weinstein Co. and Bob Weinstein tells him:

If “Grindhouse” had people asking ” ‘Wow, what’s going on with the Weinstein Company?’ ” he said, “I’ll use the opportunity to say, ‘Wow, the kids are all right.’ “

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This hand wringing and second guessing is ridiculous. Grindhouse could earn tons this coming weekend if industry “psychics” would stop declaring it DOA. Weinstein sounds like an idiot to me. You don’t open this kind of movie on Easter weekend. And it’s going to be a specialty project by its very nature. Those who enjoy grindhouse fare are not the masses who want to see blockbusters. This was a marketing gimmick from the get go and people who don’t appreciate “garbage cinema” will likely never “learn” to appreciate it. Borat did better than anyone could have foreseen because of its limited budget, high concept and specialty marketing. Grindhouse should have aimed for the same limitations rather than packaging itself as a ready made blockbuster mainstream Americans who could care less about the history or vernacular of purposely grade-Z cinema would somehow embrace en masse.

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