The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 17, 1998 · Page 8
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 8

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, May 17, 1998
Page 8
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A8 SUNDAY. MAY 17, 1998 ENTERTAINMENT THE SALINA JOURNAL T MOVE RELEASE Photo courtesy of TriStar Pictures The giant creature, Godzilla, Is shown coming face to face with an Instantly terrified TV cameraman played by actor Hank Azaria. The monster movie roars Into Sallna on Tuesday. 'Godzilla' returns Perennial movie monster rises for newest debut By MICHAEL FLEEMAN The Associated Press LOS ANGELES — "Godzilla" will rage through theaters this week, stomping out a swath of destruction and blazing a trail of money. If there's such a thing as a sure thing in Hollywood, this angry reptile is as close as it gets. After more than a year of relentless hype, "Godzilla" opens Tuesday night in a record 3,310 theaters on a record 7,363 screens. Produced by the people who brought us "Independence Day," the $120 million "Godzilla" launches the summer season, and it's up against just one big studio film, Warren Beatty's political farce "Bulworth." With all this going for it, could Sony Pictures' "Godzilla" fail to succeed? "In one measure, it's already considered a success because the marketing campaign is so widely visible," said movie industry analyst David Davis, vice president o€ investment bankers Houlihan, Lokey, Howard & Zukin. "It's likely to be one of the top-opening films in history." Of course, there is no such thing as a sure thing in the movie business — as "Batman & Robin" T CANNES FILM FESTIVAL "It's likely to be one of the top-opening films in history." David Davis movie industry analyst showed — and there is still some low-level suspense over whether "Godzilla" will live up to the standards set by its own "Size Does Matter" publicity campaign. If "Godzilla" doesn't open to record or near-record ticket sales, it will lose bragging rights to "The Lost World: Jurassic Park," the reigning champ of the openers with $90.2 million over last year's Memorial Day weekend. Analysts have said that for "Godzilla" to be officially considered a "hit" it needs to gross more than $200 million in the United States — covering both the production and marketing costs — a tough task no matter how many screens it's on. Indeed, the buzz in Hollywood is that "Godzilla" might not last — or not have legs, in industry jargon — and could fall prey to the "Lost World" syndrome. Although "Lost World" opened to huge numbers, it didn't do well enough in the long haul for the tastes of theater owners, who make the bulk of their money after the debut weekend. "It's obviously going to open big, but does it have the legs of a 'Jurassic 2" or the legs of a 'Titanic'?" said analyst Art Rockwell of Drake Capital Securities. "That's really the major issue. It's got theater owners nervous." But while theater operators may be skeptical, they're snatching up as many "Godzilla" prints as they can get their hands on, a fact not lost on Jeff Blake, Sony's distribution chief. "No theater is going to put a movie on six, seven or eight screens that they don't think is going to do terrifically well," he said. "We are not that good of salespeople. The picture sold itself to the theater-owner community." "We're just anxious to throw the door open and have a lot of seats and hope they come," said Blake, estimating there could be as many as 2 million -seats available for "Godzilla." ' A trickle of ticket buyers lined up outside the Cinerama Dome theater in Hollywood when the box office opened Friday to get first dibs on tickets for Wednesday, the official opening after Tuesday night sneak previews. Featured films see mixed reviews Writer sizes up reaction to work of Depp, Loach at Cannes Film Festival By JOCELYN NOVECK The Associated Press CANNES, France — One is a perennial bad-boy actor who draws attention with every step at Cannes. The other is a veteran British director who earns respect but little commercial reward. Johnny Depp and Ken Loach both made Cannes appearances this week. The festival's early buzz: one flop, one promising success. Depp and Loach are familiar figures at Cannes. The scruffy, fine- featured Depp, known for his offbeat portrayals, was trashed here last year for his directing debut, "The Brave." Still, Cannes suits Depp's sun- Bullock grateful for her 'Speed' to the big time By The Associated Press NEW YORK — Sandra Bullock is grateful she hit the big time in the thriller "Speed." She's just as grateful the sequel bombed. "I'll be the first one to tell you it was a stinker," Bullock says of "Speed 2" in Sunday's Parade magazine. "The first time I saw it I just kind of laughed. ... But after the high of the first, having it not do well was a blessing in a way. It gave me the ammo to be able to say, 'No! Let's not do it that way.' " Bullock has starred in such films as "While You Were Sleeping," "A Time to Kill" and "In Love and War." Upcoming is "Hope Floats" and "Practical Magic," co-starring Nicole Kidman. The 33-year-old charmer is a dog lover still mourning the apparent theft of her beloved Jack Russell terrier, Luigi. "I can't get another Jack Russell," she said. "I have four other dogs, mostly found on the street." glasses-and-cigarette.« style, and female onlookers roared when he appeared Friday night for the premiere of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." Directed by American Terry Gilliam of "Monty Python" fame and starring Depp, "Fear and Loathing" was one of the most hotly awaited entries this year. Based on the book by ReVlBW Hunter S. Thompson, the dean of gonzo journalism, it chronicles Thompson's 1971 trip to Las Vegas, ostensibly to cover an auto race. Thompson outraged and entertained with his counter-cultural writings, but this film, though quite funny at times, seemed to bore and annoy more than entertain. "Ugly and repetitive," judged the local paper, Nice-Matin. "Dunderheadedly inane," said The Hollywood Reporter. And there was Variety's headline: "Bedtime for Gonzo." Though Depp is absorbing, Gilliam's film feels like a very unpleasant, two-hour drug trip. The viewer is taken on a way-too-long amusement-park ride. Drugs also play a role in Loach's film, "My Name is Joe," but otherwise the works couldn't be more different. Though less appreciated at home, Loach is truly a Cannes darling — this is the Briton's 10th appearance here. Known for his class-conscious films, in "Joe" he again champions the working- class man, this time a good-hearted ex-alcoholic in Glasgow. The early buzz on Mullan: watch him for a possible best actor award. The buzz on Depp: whatever happens this year, he'll be back. 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