Giving a rat his due.

Two months ago, I mentioned that Ratatouille was seen as something of an “underperformer” by Pixar standards. Now that the movie is coming out on DVD tomorrow, I figured a little update might be in order.

It is true that, of the eight films produced by Pixar to date, the rat movie ranks way down at #6 in terms of domestic box office. The film has grossed $205.6 million in North America, which would ordinarily be considered pretty good, but every other Pixar movie since 1999 has grossed between $244.1 million and $339.7 million. What’s more, Pixar films have been earning less and less ever since the studio peaked with Finding Nemo in 2003. So you can see why a cloud might hang over the current film.

However, Variety reported yesterday that Ratatouille has been #1 overseas for the past five weeks, and has so far raked in $371.8 million from outside North America — making it the #2 Pixar hit of all time internationally, after Finding Nemo, which made $524.9 million overseas in 2003.

Put the two figures together, and Ratatouille has so far grossed $577.4 million worldwide — making it the #3 Pixar hit of all time worldwide, after Finding Nemo (2003; $339.7 million domestic + $524.9 million overseas = $864.6 million worldwide) and The Incredibles (2004; $261.4 million domestic + $370 million overseas = $631.4 million worldwide).

So take heart, Ratatouille fans. The film is doing quite well, all things considered. Though I guess the naysayers can always grumble that it hasn’t done much business in the way of merchandising.

Canadian box-office stats — November 4

Here are the figures for the past weekend, arranged from those that owe the highest percentage of their take to the Canadian box office to those that owe the lowest.

Rendition — CDN $1,540,000 — N.AM $9,283,593 — 16.6%
We Own the Night — CDN $3,420,000 — N.AM $27,648,264 — 12.4%

30 Days of Night — CDN $3,560,000 — N.AM $33,970,509 — 10.5%
Gone Baby Gone — CDN $1,340,000 — N.AM $14,786,017 — 9.1%

Michael Clayton — CDN $2,740,000 — N.AM $33,083,619 — 8.3%
Bee Movie — CDN $3,050,000 — N.AM $38,021,044 — 8.0%
Saw IV — CDN $3,680,000 — N.AM $50,398,835 — 7.3%
The Game Plan — CDN $5,930,000 — N.AM $82,035,100 — 7.2%
American Gangster — CDN $3,110,000 — N.AM $43,565,135 — 7.1%
Dan in Real Life — CDN $1,500,000 — N.AM $22,695,653 — 6.6%

A couple of discrepancies: We Own the Night and Rendition were #7 and #9 on the Canadian chart, respectively (they were #13 and #20 in North America as a whole), while Martian Child and Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married? were #7 and #9 on the North American chart, respectively.

BC Christian News — November 2007

The newest issue of BC Christian News is now online, and with it, my film column, which looks mainly at 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days but also includes a mini-review of Lars and the Real Girl.

King David modernized for the boob tube

Variety reports:

NBC has greenlit production on “Kings,” an modern retelling of the King David story penned by Michael Green (“Heroes”) and directed by Francis Lawrence (“I Am Legend“). . . .

“It’s a really great hook and an incredible mythic story,” Silverman told Daily Variety, adding that the script was “brilliantly written.” People familiar with the script said “Kings” could work well as a companion to “Heroes.” . . .

“Kings” will be set in a modern city that’s a sort of meta-New York City (think Gotham City, but not as dark). City will the the center of a kingdom financed by a wealthy entrepreneur who’s benefited from the constant state of war in the kingdom.

First season plot will have a young solider catapulting to fame via a heroic act that pits him as a David vs. a much stronger Goliath. He’ll ultimately end up running the kingdom.

“For me, it’s a chance to do a contemporary retelling of a story that’s very part of our cultural DNA, and that’s hopefully netiher red state nor blue state,” Green said.

He said that the pilot also has elements of “new blood taking over for old power,” with his hero having elements of a young Bill Clinton or JFK.

“Somewhere in the back of my head, this has a little bit to do with the upcoming election,” Green added. . . .

NBC, incidentally, is owned by the same corporation that owns Universal Studios. And Universal is the studio that recently hired Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski to write a big-screen epic about the biblical David. Opportunities for synergy, anyone?

Martian Child — the review’s up!

My review of Martian Child is now up at CT Movies.

If blogging is a little light these days …

… it could be because my wife and I have bought a new apartment and are going to be moving there this weekend, while juggling work assignments and doctor’s appointments, etc. (Just in case I haven’t mentioned it here before, we are expecting another addition to the family in mid-January. The twins, meanwhile, are just a few days shy of 21 months. My, how the time flies.)

Just because I like embedding things, here is the route that Google Maps recommends taking from our old place to the new one, with a pit stop in the middle marking the neighbourhood where we have lived for the past several months, while we fixed up the old place so we could rent it out and looked for the new place: