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Going to the cinema alone…

I’ve done it and it’s not a bad experience. But when I did it it was nothing quite like this…

Over its opening weekend at the beginning of March, only around a dozen people went to see Motherhood, a semi-autobiographical account of parenting in New York written and directed by Katherine Dieckmann.

The film took just £88 at the British box office on its opening weekend.

Sounds like a load of solipsistic chick-flickery about bugger-all but 88 quid is Ashoka*. It gets worse.

On its debut Sunday, takings at the box office were just £9 – the price of a ticket for one person.

Wow! But hey! She did buy popcorn and a hot-dog and a large Diet Coke so it’s not all bad. Aside. Is it just me or has a cinema trip become really pricey over the last few years? The Manchester Odeon Imax 3D is £12.50 for a decent seat and the food is outrageous**.

Only one British cinema was given permission to launch the film earlier this month, with the film’s producers hoping that exclusivity would generate a buzz and lead to box office success by word of mouth.

What marketing genius came up with that one? They ought to do the decent thing and fall on their sword. In Japan that would probably be expected quite literally.

Motherhood, which also stars Jodie Foster and Minnie Driver, is thought to have made only £40,000 when it opened in America last year, despite costing around £3.4 million to make.

Personally, I’d pay good money not to see the ludicrously monikered and lantern-jawed Minnie Driver. So, maybe it isn’t the marketing folks to blame. Maybe, just maybe, the film is utterly dreadful. It sounds sort of like an extended episode of Friends without the lads. I know what they can do! They can flog it to the US Military and they can show it at Gitmo. The jihadis will spill all the beans before the second reel and no need for the tedious old waterboarding.

When Jana Edelbaum, one of the producers, was told how badly it had fared at the British box office, she said: “You’re kidding? We must have broken a new record for grosses.”

But she defended the film, insisting that Metronome [marketing] was to blame and that she would demand a full explanation.

She said: “Think how much crap succeeds at the cinema. Motherhood is not bad. I’ve seen movies that are not half as good.”

That’s a spirited defence from the producer is it not? She’s basically saying, it’s not that crap, really. From the producer!

Barry Norman, the film critic, said: “I have never heard of anything like this before. This is not some small, independent movie. It’s astonishing that only about 11 people could be bothered to go and see Uma Thurman.

Now Barry I might have an explanation…

That’s Uma Thurman in Motherhood. This is how we are used to seeing Ms Thurman…

You decide. All I’ll say is that in the first picture Ms Thurman seems to have borrowed Cameron Diaz’s fright wig from Being John Malkovich and in the second picture… Well a beautiful woman with a sword and a gun does it for me.

We go to the cinema to be entertained. Not to hear Uma, Jodie and Minnie wittering on about the difficulties of finding affordable child care or some such nonsense. I want car chases, explosions, sexy birds, bad-ass leading men and fights. I want Bruce Willis in a dirty vest and Scarlett Johansson in as little as possible. And probably, Dear reader, so do you.

Full story here.

*Traditional Indian epic. Pronouced as though by a Celtic fan who has just seen his team go down 5-0 to Hamilton Academicals.
**Ashoka again but this time Rangers going down 9-0 to Stenhousemuir.

15 Comments

  1. RAB says:

    PU! Sounds like a real stinker dont it?

    Yes a visit to the cinema has become pricey, unless you go on an Orange wednesday or something.
    The wife and I went to see Alice in Wonderland the other week. It cost about a tenner each and £1.50 for the 3D glasses.
    Buy the food??? are you mad?! We always take our own, or you can always pick up a Burger King on the way home.

    A but dear boy, contrast it with a proper night out!
    Tonight we are going to the Theatre Royal, Bath to see Spike Milligan’s Adolf Hitler, my part in his downfall.
    The tickets are a fiver each on standby, the interval drinks will cost a fiver and the car parking is £2.50.
    Theatre is so much more, well real! dont you think?

  2. NickM says:

    RAB, I don’t buy the food either. But people do and munch all the way through which annoys me. Not as much as daft biddies asking plot-related questions – “Is he a goodie or a baddie then – him in the glasses?”

  3. HSLD says:

    This is why I never go to the cinema…..

  4. RAB says:

    The smell of the popcorn actually makes me feel ill, and as for the taste, well you might as well chomp on the polystyrene balls you get in electrical packaging.

    What do you think of 3D then?
    I think it still needs some work myself. The Cheshire Cat worked well, but I got a bit irritated by the obvious, it’s coming straight at you stuff. It reminded me of the early days of Stereo sound, when they were bouncing riffs and instruments back and forth across the channels just to give it a wow! factor.

  5. Sam Duncan says:

    As PJ O’Rourke said, every story needs a car chase or a swordfight. (He went on to point out that even Shakespeare knew that, but since the car hadn’t been invented yet he was forced to rely on the swords.)

    Funnily enough, there’s an Indian restaurant chain in Glasgow called Ashoka. Always struck me as a risky name. And Partick Thistle used to be sponsored by Ashoka West End; the gags write themselves.

  6. Sam Duncan says:

    As PJ O’Rourke said, every story needs a car chase or a swordfight. (He went on to point out that even Shakespeare knew that, but since the car hadn’t been invented yet he was forced to rely on the swords.)

    Funnily enough, there’s an Indian restaurant chain in Glasgow called Ashoka. Partick Thistle used to be sponsored by one branch, Ashoka West End; the gags write themselves.

  7. Sam Duncan says:

    Bugger. Typing this lying on my side, with drops in my ear for wax. Stupid ear.

  8. El Draque says:

    3-D won’t work for me, I only have one eye working.
    So if the world goes into 3D in a big way I’ll feel like deaf people when talkies came in – I won’t see what the fuss is about.
    Literally.
    As for car chases and sword fights – there is a saying that the quality of a film is inversely related to the number of helicopters in it.
    Not true in every case – think about Apocalypse Now – but it often holds good.

  9. Sunfish says:


    As for car chases and sword fights – there is a saying that the quality of a film is inversely related to the number of helicopters in it.

    Blue Thunder only had one, and it sucked.

    OTOH, you’re right about Apocalypse Now. Dah dah dah DAH dah…

  10. NickM says:

    I reckon Arcauplence Now is seriously over-rated. Apart from the helos it’s pretentious guff. And that fat man is truly embarrassing. The bit when he’s talking about the Ohio River and comes out with something about a part of it and says, “It looks like Heaven fell to Earth… in the form of gardenias”.

    The Huey assault is brilliant though.

    Put on psy-war ops and make it loud. This is a Romeo Foxtrot, shall we dance?

  11. HSLD says:

    I want some 20 mike mike vulcan right along the tree line…..

  12. JuliaM says:

    You can never have too many helicopters…

  13. NickM says:

    Col Julia Kilgore,

    What’s your scent of choice: Napalm No5?

    But only in the mornings.

    Seriously though, “You can never have too many helicopters” ought to be the motto of the British Army’s current rumble in the ‘stan.

  14. Uma Thurman was like a thousand times drop dead gorgeous when she was still younger.-.;

  15. Joe Mason says:

    i seen Uma personally and she is quite a tall lady,.:.-

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