The Möbius Strip: ‘Madea’ wins myopic weekend

Image courtesy Lionsgate.

Despite scoring just 7 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, Boo 2! A Madea Halloween led the weekend box office with $21.2 million. Geostorm was no. 2 with a dismal $13.7 million. No other film, including the three other new releases, topped $10 million. It was an incredibly weak showing for theaters in general, as the top 12 films combined for just $81.3 million, $30 million behind the same weekend last year- Box Office Mojo

Geostorm’s negligible return on a staggering $120 million budget make it Warner Bros.’ second monumental flop of the year after May’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, budgeted at $175 million, opened at no. 3 with $15.4 million and dropped below 2,500 theaters after just three weeks. Exploring Geostorm’s marketing, it’s little wonder why. In the wake of hurricanes that ravaged Houston, Florida and Puerto Rico, Warner Bros. had to scramble to pull marketing material that showed off tornadoes and tsunamis and recut trailers to focus less on the natural disaster elements, which were the film’s main draw. The movie was also not screened for critics and even withheld from Thursday night preview showings to keep it off of Rotten Tomatoes — where it sits at a putrid 10 percent — as long as possible- The Hollywood Reporter

Its poor critical showing is little wonder, given the film’s troubled three-year production- Deadline

Given Geostorm’s subject matter — a satellite that controls the weather going haywire — the National Weather Service was prepared for an influx of questions and conspiracy theories about their being able to control the weather in real life, but so few people saw the movie that influx never came- Motherboard

The weekend’s other major disappointment, The Snowman, landed at no. 8 with just $3.4 million after being eviscerated by critics to the tune of an 8 percent Rotten Tomatoes score. Director Thomas Alfredson blamed it on not having enough time on set to get everything he needed, despite an initial production that lasted two and a half months and the opportunity to get additional footage a year later. After that blatant lie, he went off on how he wasn’t making a map of Norway and we should ignore all geography-based criticism of the movie. What a prick- The Wrap

Hollywood continues to reel from the Harvey Weinstein scandal as more and more of his victims speak up. On Monday, the number of women accusing him of sexual misconduct topped 50- USA Today

In the wake of the scandal, clear changes are emerging. In the past few weeks, sexual misconduct allegations have been levied against dozens of influential filmmakers, most notably writer/director James Toback- Newsweek

Weeks after The New York Times broke the Weinstein scandal with evidence of at least eight out-of-court settlements, The Los Angeles Times published a report with no less than 38 first-hand accounts of misconduct from Toback. The next day, about 200 more women stepped forward with stories about the director’s conduct- The Los Angeles Times

Writer/director Quentin Tarantino, whose celebrated career is composed almost exclusively of collaborations with Harvey Weinstein’s Miramax or its successor, The Weinstein Company, said he knew enough to do more than he did- The New York Times

Kevin Smith, who similarly owes his career to Weinstein, said he will donate all further residuals from his projects with Weinstein to the non-profit Women in Film- Indiewire

The cult of silence surrounding sexual assault is due in no small part to the practice of attaching ironclad non-disclosure agreements to any and all settlements, allowing rich predators to effectively buy their victims’ silence. Weinstein’s former assistant, Zelda Perkins, made waves by violating her NDA last week- The Hollywood Reporter

New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman filed a subpoena against The Weinstein Company on Monday. Schneiderman says he wants to find out if Weinstein’s behavior is systemic in the company that took his name. When the scandal broke, it was initially thought that the company may have been involved in the payouts- Deadline

Weinstein was removed from the Academy of Film Arts and Sciences and the Producer’s Guild of America for his alleged actions, making him the first person ever to be removed from either group for sexual misconduct. Raising the question — who else could or should be removed on similar grounds?- The Associated Press

Netflix continues to steer hard into the more unique points of its new media consumption paradigm. Last week, executives coined the term “binge race-” Forbes

How Blade Runner 2049 is both a perfect sequel and a singular creation- First Showing

In one of its less visually impressive scenes, 2049 dramatically raised the bar for digitally recreating human beings in film. Here’s how they did it- Indiewire

Promoting his new film Only the Brave, Josh Brolin opened up about the death of stuntwoman Joi Harris on the set of Deadpool 2- Deadline

And finally, Wisecracked explores how the Saw franchise details and rejects early Christian theory on faith and suffering- Youtube

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