August 5, 2010

"Crossing Over"

Like most people, I totally missed the Weinstein Brothers' Crash-like undocumented worker movie Crossing Over. It stars Harrison Ford as a heroically conscience-stricken border control officer, scary-looking Ray Liotta as an evil conservative, Ashley Judd as a nice white lady, and Cliff Curtis from New Zealand as, of course, some kind of Middle Easterner and/or Hispanic. It was directed by Wayne Kramer, an immigrant from South Africa. 

When it came out in 2009, it reaped less than $500,000 at the box office. To understand the chasm between what the Weinsteins think the public thinks and what the public actually thinks, you must watch its trailer.


Anonymous said...

Wayne knight, not wayne kramer.

Anonymous said...

I think you mean Wayne Knight...

Whiskey said...

Well, yes Steve. I've written extensively over the last week about Hollywood's changing economics.

Basically, the Weinstein model does not make money any more. Shakespeare in Love? Pulp Fiction? The value of each movie, all the cash coming from them via DVD, TV rights, etc. is probably less than 900K total (that's into the future, NPV). Neither do they make money from release.

What makes money is giant toy commercials, wherein families buy sons or daughters colorful animated characters like Woody or Buzz Lightyear or Doug the Talking Dog, or Ariel or the Little Mermaid or Iron Man, bedsheets, and lunchboxes and toys and the like.

Disney expects around 3X the gross revenue from toys/licensing from Toy Story 3D as box office.

Foreign box office is a joke. Even China and India, growth rates of over 300%, are less than 5% of the global box office. Figure out how to get proper reporting and money due from exhibitors with that much fragmentation.

Lesson: Globalization is not always profitable, destruction of the home audience (immigration also plays a part) means even with cheap actors/production values you can't make a film like "Die Hard" now and make money. Much less any film with a "movie star" like Ford.

Kylie said...

From the Crossing Over trailer..."Ask yourself: why do so many risk so much to cross over our borders?"

Um...would goodies and bennies not available to them in their countries, provided to them by the US gov't and paid for by the US taxpayer have anything to do with it?

I didn't think so. It's all about freedom, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

no one dragged out pronouncing Newman's name

Anonymous said...

Wayne Knight is the Newman guy. Wayne Kramer is the South African director.

DCThrowback said...

It was directed by Wayne Kramer.

Anyways, it's got to be a bad movie. Any movie that shows Alice Eve naked for several scenes and can only gross $500k must be a real turkey. How can you mess that up? She's smokin'.

As usual, Tyler Durden has the goods:

Of course, he was wrong about it being a good movie, but whatever.

Harry Baldwin said...

When you mentioned this movie, I thought it was another one I had seen a trailer for, "The Visitor," about a depressed white man who gains a new purpose in life when he meets illegal aliens from Africa who plays drums and are in all ways vibrant. However, this movie looks even worse.

Robert Rodriguez' "Machete," slated for a Labor Day release, ups the ante with what looks like a call for an all-out insurrection against the oppressive Anglos.

Perhaps he'll hold off release until after the November mid-terms. Under the circumstances, it might be counterproductive.

Fred said...

Somebody with video editing skills and a sense of humor could make a hilarious movie by Frankensteining Harrison Ford scenes from Crossing Over with some of his scenes from Blade Runner. The tag line writes itself: "One lawman. One city. Two depressing futures".

Anonymous said...

Whiskey, you are a fucking retard who knows absolutely NOTHING about the economics of the movie business. Watching you get schooled every week on te Deadline Hollywood threads by people who actually work in the industry has apparently taught you nothing.

Fred said...

"Whiskey, you are a fucking retard who knows absolutely NOTHING about the economics of the movie business. Watching you get schooled every week on te Deadline Hollywood threads by people who actually work in the industry has apparently taught you nothing."

Getting schooled by Greg Cochran here hasn't had an impact either. It must be that thick Scots-Irish skull Whiskey has.

William1066 said...

Director Wayne Kramer, ''an immigrant from South Africa'' - more accurately (and relevantly) a refugee from South Africa.

Justin said...

My favorite line from the trailer: "She's illegal, she's removable." Niiice.

Whiskey said...

Right, I'm a retard when Hollywood can't figure out how to make money.

Why then do most movies FAIL to make money. Why did Miramax, with 700 movies in the library, get sold for $660 million? Why is Disney predicting 3X the gross revenues for merchandising vs. box office for Toy Story 3D.

Newsflash -- people in movies don't know squat. Most of their movies fail. That's not news, none of the Wall Street CEOs knew (or know today) about the hedging strategies and daily choices their traders make that pay off big or lose big. Otherwise Lehman, Saloman, Bear Sterns, and Merrill Lynch would still be around in the former selves. Goldman Sachs is so smart, they painted a big fat target on themselves.

MGM cannot even make it as a going concern (and they have the Bond franchise) and is looking for their what, ninth buyer in fifteen years?

Oliver Stone is so smart he's not had a hit since Wall Street or Platoon, whatever came last. It was definitely the Reagan Administration.

If Hollywood is so smart, how come they're closing divisions, laying off people, reducing actor salaries, going out of LA/America for production, all the cost cutting measures?

There's no special insight to see how bubble Hollywood is. They rode the VCR/DVD wave as long as they could, and now are screwed like GM and Chrysler. Expecting Hollywood to carry on forever the way it is ... is like figuring the Housing Bubble would last forever. Or the Dot-Com bubble. Or the China Bubble.

Whiskey said...


If Hollywood is so smart, how come they fail to match "event" programming like the Superbowl (average viewer size -- 100 million) and post a fraction (20 million) of what CBS drew in the late 1960's with 100 million fewer people (even with audience fragmentation)?

If the people over at DHD are so smart, how come the same idiot "diversity = viewers/dollars" equation is in play every season, which fails? If the people at DHD are so brilliant, how come about 75% of new shows fail, and about 80% of pilots never make it to schedule?

AFAIK Greg Cochran has never posted here. At any rate, argument by authority is like taking the Rating Agencies word for subprime mortgages being transformed into Investment grade material.

If you're right you're right, and if you're wrong you're wrong.

Mega media corps like Time-Warner, or Viacom-Paramount, can probably run the deficit like GM for decades. Sony is in trouble with its parent, earnings down, no new products, Universal-NBC-Comcast looks weak, and News Corp is perennially laden with debt and depends on Fox News to generate cash to pay coupons. Everyone is more interested in protecting current revenue base of (rapidly) declining DVD sales, and rentals, and box office. Instead of making broad, cheap movies.

Only Pixar gets it, and if Lasseter is not there, Disney under Rich Ross (openly gay and about as in tune with Middle America as Harvey Fierstein) will screw that up.

Lasseter is the only guy who gets the new Hollywood economics: broad-based story (to Middle America) + technology to lower costs = profits. With story king, more dominant than technology. He's the closest there is to Louis B. Mayer or Jack Warner or Sam Goldwyn.

Do you honestly think someone who works for Larita (formerly Larry) Wachowski or Roman Polanksi has a clue?

Steve Sailer said...

People in Hollywood are very good at making money for people in Hollywood. For shareholders, not so much.

Steve Sailer said...

"AFAIK Greg Cochran has never posted here."

Right, the extremely brusque commenter "gcochran" is actually a twelve year old girl in Bhutan.

Anonymous said...

That trailer was biased beyond belief.

I wonder why millions of people aren't trying to get into India, China, Russia, Israel, or Mexico?

Oh yes, I remember now.....its because they wont let you in and will kick you out with uneccessary roughness if they catch you trespassing.

That trailer sealed the Weinstein brothers' commercial fate with me, I wont be seeing any of their stuff again.

anony-mouse said...

I'm puzzled.

The Weinsteins lost a lot of money on a pro-immigration movie that had no pro-immigration effect and people here are so angry and unhappy.


Anonymous said...

Cliff Curtis is from the Te Arawa tribe, as is this guy another Maori actor in Hollywood.

Sometimes referred to by other tribes as the Maori Jews for their success in the music and entertainment fields and for seeing the potential in Rotorua as a thermal tourist resort.

Svigor said...

Instead of making broad, cheap movie

Why in God's name would Hollywood prefer cheap films? Cheap filmmaking sounds waaaay to close to "lowered barriers to entry" for Hollywood. No, I think they're going to cling to their big budgets; doesn't hurt to run banking, too.

Expensive filmmaking helps the tribe.

Kylie said...

anony-mouse said..."The Weinsteins lost a lot of money on a pro-immigration movie that had no pro-immigration effect and people here are so angry and unhappy."

Typically disingenuous. First, the movie is not "pro-immigration" but "pro-illegal immigration", a very different thing to those of us who recognize national borders and sovereignty.

I find the tagline alone offensive: "Every day thousands of people illegally cross our borders... only one thing stands in their way. America."
From the IMDb entry: Crossing Over

Second, the fact that the film made no money does not necessarily mean it had no pro-illegal immigration effect.

Third, it's not over till it's over. And as the recent judicial decision blocking most of AZ's law, SB 1070, demonstrates, it's not over. And that makes me angry and unhappy.

Mitch said...

I can't tell if Steve is aware that his post is in error, despite the various comments? To be explicit: Wayne Knight did not direct the movie and was born in Georgia.

Wayne Kramer directed The Cooler. That trailer was dreadful; I imagine the movie itself was probably better.

Anonymous said...

@Anon - I wonder why millions of people aren't trying to get into India, China, Russia, Israel, or Mexico?

Actually 20 million Bangladeshi muslims and 1 million Pakistani muslims have illegally crossed over into India

The Pakistan border is desert and the entire 1000km length has been double electric fenced with Israeli tech

The Bangladeshi border is riverine and harder to fence and about 1000km has been double electric fenced with Israeli tech

And no alien is as toxic as muslim aliens

Mr. Anon said...

"Steve Sailer said...

""AFAIK Greg Cochran has never posted here.""

Right, the extremely brusque commenter "gcochran" is actually a twelve year old girl in Bhutan."

Hey, that's funny. So am I. Small world.

Mr. Anon said...

When quote Harrison Ford as Han Solo about Harrison Ford: "Where did they dig up that old fossil?"

How many times now have they cast this white-haired old man as a cop? Who ever saw a 66 year old cop? Almost all cops retire as soon as they put in the minimum 20 or 25 years. Nobody stays in that job longer than they have to. Hollywood occasionally used to strive for some kind of verisimilitude. Now we get Samuel L. Jackson as a mathematician, Harrison Ford as a cop, Martin Sheen as a world renowned economist President, and this chick:

as a veteran mountain guide. I can't even stand to watch most movies now, given how agressively stupid they've become.

Anonymous said...

Hollywood of late seems to enjoy demonizing the Border Patrol. Every 2-3 years now we get an expensive movie with big stars with a Border Patrol officer as villain - Tom Hanks in "The Terminal," Tommy Lee Jones and Barry Pepper in "Three Burials," and now this. None did particularly well. "Three Burials" grossed $5 million and "The Terminal" grossed $77 million, but for a Hanks/Spielberg flick that's a letdown.

Interesting that the "Crossing Over" trailer got more viewers on YouTube (611,000+) than dollars at the box office (<$500,000). Even if all 611,000 who watched the trailer had paid 8 bucks to see it, it would only have grossed $4.9 million. That wouldn't even cover the catering bill.

If anything this is political propaganda dressed up as entertainment for the couch potato set. They're hoping it'll get played over and over on Saturday afternoons on random cable channels, and convince people who probably don't even bother to vote. Meanwhile, the stockholders - not to mention Americans - get screwed.

I'm waiting for a movie that'll start looking at why the hell these people are leaving their home countries to begin with and realize that it's because of them.

But all they have to do is come to America and inhale the Magic Air, drink the Magic Water, and stand on the Magic Soil, and suddenly all of their problems (and ours) will disappear.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a real blockbuster to me. I have no idea why it didn't gross more.

kudzu bob said...

"AFAIK Greg Cochran has never posted here."

Like Tennessee Williams’ Big Daddy, I smell the odor of mendacity, and it’s wafting from your direction, Whiskey/Testing99/Evil Neocon.

On this thread you asked, “Who the hell is Gregory Cochran?”

I recall that pregnant question so well because you directed it at me. I had trouble believing that you didn't really recognize Cochran's name, and said so in the very same thread. So did Svigor (who, I have to say, might also turn out to be correct about your lack of honesty regarding your ethnicity, a matter regarding which I had previously given you the benefit of a doubt).

Well, at least you now confess to knowing who the eminent Gregory Cochran is. That's progress.

But when will you finally admit that on several of Cochran's all-too-rare appearances here, he has dropped by solely to take you to task for your intellectual laxity? Do you remember this recent thread, for instance, in which Professor Cochran pointed out that you are a quote pinhead unquote?

If somebody of Cochran's stature publicly reprimanded me in such a manner for running my mouth, you bet your ass I would never forget it, not to my dying day. I might even attempt to learn something from the experience. But I guess that's just not your style.

David Davenport said...

Regarding Svigor's movie maker barriers to entry:

I wonder if it's really true, as of the present era, that the movie makers have lost control over movie distribution channels.

One is also instructed that this is the case:

(from Wikipedia)

United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc., 334 US 131 (1948) (also known as the Hollywood Antitrust Case of 1948, the Paramount Case, the Paramount Decision or the Paramount Decree) was a landmark United States Supreme Court anti-trust case that decided the fate of movie studios owning their own theatres and holding exclusivity rights on which theatres would show their films. It would also change the way Hollywood movies were produced, distributed, and exhibited. The Court held in this case that the existing distribution scheme was in violation of the antitrust laws of the United States, which prohibit certain exclusive dealing arrangements. ...

But I wonder. All the big multiplex movie theater in the US are owned by about three corporations. Same for HBO and Showtime and the rest of cable TV -- probably a few controlling owners behind the scens.

Easie4r to get by with crummy movies if one controls the distribution outlets.

Anonymous said...

What we need is a sequel to Idiocracy called Illegalocracy, this movie showing that countries are like they are because of the people that live there; that moving people a few thousand miles doesn't really change who they are, and that they recreate their mess wherever they go.

Mr. Anon said...

"Mr. Anon said...

When quote Harrison Ford as Han Solo about Harrison Ford: "Where did they dig up that old fossil?""

To correct my typo, should have been "To quote....."