UPDATE SUNDAY AFTERNOON: “Curve” did very poorly, with $12.7 million for the weekend.
Friday: Clint Eastwood’s “Trouble with the Curve,” a baseball movie, is going to strike out this weekend. Last night it made a paltry $4.1 million on over 3,000 screens. The movie, with Amy Adams and former singer Justin Timberlake, is suffering the consequences of bad timing.
Clint, a national landmark, a great great guy, director and actor, is taking the consequences of his now infamous speech in front of the Republican National Convention. He addressed President Barack Obama by using an empty chair on stage. Ridicule and parody followed. And now this.
You could say that Clint has a double whammy this weekend. Ths speech is not the only problem for “Curve,” a baseball movie. It’s not about the Blackberry Curve. It should have been released in late August, with a graduated pattern like his masterpiece, “Gran Torino.” Instead, Warner Bros. pushed it out to a wide, wide number of screens–over 3,000–a week before the end of official baseball season. And it flopped. “Curve” did about $4.2 million on Fright night. Strike one.
Strikes two and three will come tonight and Sunday, and then “Curve” will be out. “Gran Torino” made $148 million. “Curve” will be lucky to do half that.
The whole thing is a shame. Clint Eastwood and I do not share the same politics, and it doesn’t matter. I am among his biggest fans. His Oscar winning “Unforgiven” is among the besf films of all time. A classic. “Million Dollar Baby” and “Mystic River” are solid, memorable films. “Gran Torino,” I thought, was a masterpiece. And these are just his recent works. Much of the early, iconic stuff–the Dirty Harry movies, “In the Line of Fire” and so many more rank among Hollywood’s best.
Eastwood has always been a maverick film maker. Even though Warner Bros. has released most of his films, he produces them himself. He fell in love with Nelson Mandela and made “Invictus.” And while I’m not crazy about his family’s reality TV show, now is not the time to ditch Clint because of a chair. Go see “Curve” this weekend. And remember: everyone loves Neil Diamond, and he once sang “I am, I said, to no one else, not even the chair.” We forgave him for that.