Well I’m heartened to see a nice response regarding Outlander. The feedback on Amazon is nice – average 4.5 stars, and the feedback on itunes is good also, averaging 3.5 stars. So if you liked it and haven’t left a rating yet, please do so! (And if you didn’t like it, well do as your mama said, and keep that to yourselves.)
What’s so nice is that these are from actual people, not critics. What I’ve painfully learned recently is that critics often have their head so far up their ass they can watch their own heart beat
My oh my, it’s been a long time since I wrote anything about Outlander. Well I guess I was a little stung by the absolute dump that TWC perpetrated on the movie. I don’t know if I mentioned in any of the previous posts but to my knowledge, there were no posters for the movie available on opening weekend. Spectacular, no? Ah well. So anyway, it’s now out there on DVD, complete with commentary, deleted scenes, concept art and some very cool animatics. I hope everyone who has been following this gets a chance to rent it. (But even on this I have to bitch – what the fuck is with that cover they designed? You can’t even tell it’s a creature movie.) Hopefully it’ll do well out there – as you can perhaps see from the pic up top, as of this writing, it was the number 3 rental on itunes, and that without the slightest bit of promotion.
Well, after all is said and done, we have a movie we can be proud of. Is it the finest movie in the world? No. Does it have merit? I think so. Plenty of mistakes made all around, and for those of you wondering about certain budget issues, yes, we lost $10,000,000 not long before shooting and simply had to make do with what we had. It meant moving the production from New Zealand to Canada, and the FX from WETA to Spin. It meant limited extras and just 50 shooting days. It meant not being able to recover from some catastrophically bad 2nd unit days. It meant not being able to even shoot the opening sequence as written, which was a battle between the hero and the creature inside the falling space ship, not just an exterior shot of its crash. It meant Howard, the producer and myself paying for the underwater sequences because we ran out of money. It meant 2 or 3 takes, not ‘do it until it’s right’. It meant limited coverage so some scenes couldn’t be edited properlY.
And for those wondering about the running time, we were told we could not run a single frame over the contractual running time, which is where it stands now. I mean that literally. Not a single frame. As a result, we had to cut out some scenes dear to my heart . (No big; all scenes are dear to the writer’s heart). But it also meant we couldn’t edit certain things properly because we couldn’t spare the frames. And, if you’ll notice, the credits roll by extra fast. This is because we needed the time.
Funny business, no?
In the end, I have a good movie, some terrific memories of great people and a lawsuit that’s still going on
Well the folks at TWC have sent me not only the theaters for today, but have also included a few that they managed to book for next weekend. I think I’ve finally figured out the release strategy. We’re in the middle of a teaser campaign which is going to culminate in us opening wide against Watchmen. You goin’ down, Zack.
Enough merriment. So our first theater is…
Merrick Funeral Parlor, Brownsville, TX
Ooops. No, here they are.
1 Carmike 10 Newnan, GA
2 Bellevue 8 Nashville, TN
3 Carmike Wynnsong 10-Madison Madison, TN
4 Bell Forge 10 Antioch, TN
5 Carmike Johnson City 14 Johnson City, TN
6 Greenwood 10 Bowling Green, KY
7 Grand 16 Pier Park Theatre Panama City, FL
8 Carolina Pavilion 22 Charlotte, NC
9 Concord Mills 24 Concord Mills, NC
10 Grand Four Seasons 18 Greensboro, NC
11 Carmike 20 Edinburg, TX
12 Sikes 10 Wichita Falls, TX
13 Premiere 18 Theatre El Paso, TX
14 Cocowalk 16 Theatres Coconut Grove, FL
15 Indian River 24 Vero Beach, FL
16 Regency 24 – Jacksonville Jacksonville, FL
17 Merchants Crossing 16 North Ft. Myers, FL
18 Tallahassee Mall 20 Tallahassee, FL
19 Spring Hill 8 Cinemas Spring Hill, FL
20 Las Vegas 5 Drive-In North Las Vegas, NV
21 Horizon Stadium Cinema 9 Laughlin, NV
22 Fiesta Square 16 Fayetteville, AR
23 Carmike 14 Fort Smith, AR
24 Sugar Creek Bella Vista, AR
25 Nova Cinemas the AMP Theatre Oxford, MS
26 Palace Theatre 16 – Westbank Harvey, LA
27 Carmike 10 Lafayette, LA
28 Crossroads Mall 16 Oklahoma City, OK
29 Southroads 20 Tulsa, OK
30 De Anza Four Drive In Tucson, AZ
31 Frontier Village 10 Prescott, AZ
32 Glendale 9 Drive-In Theatre Glendale, AZ
33 Odyssey Theatre Twin Falls, ID
34 St. Charles 18 St. Charles, MO
1 De Anza Starlight D/I Theatre 6 Atlanta, GA
2 Royal Palm 20 Bradenton, FL
3 Galaxy Theatre – Cary Cary, NC
4 Cinema 10-Huntsville Huntsville, TX
5 Colonial Mall 12 Myrtle Beach, SC
6 20 Grand Omaha, NE
7 Village Pointe Cinema Omaha, NE
8 Cinemark Movies 10 Sandusky, OH
With a song in my heart, I give you the following cities and theaters for this weekend’s Outlander extravaganza. I’m sorry it’s so last minute, but I just got it in from TWC. They must only have solidified it today. Oh wait… the bottom of the document is dated February 2. But if they knew the theaters Monday, why did they only send it out to me now? Ah, the impenetrable mysteries of the universe. I hope those of you who voted get your chance to see the flick. Enjoy!
Salisbury 9/ Salisbury
Carmike 12 Fayetteville
AMC Newport on the Leve/ Newport
West Chester 18/West Chester
After voting, (which hundreds have, thank you!) take a look at the following theaters where Outlander will be showing this weekend. Hopefully your request has been fulfilled. There are a few holdovers in the list. Feel free to post this anywhere. Sorry I couldn’t get it out sooner, but I just got this list this morning. So go, bring your friends, sneak in outside food, get raucous, yell at the screen. Have fun.
1. AMC Barrett Commons 24 Theatres Kennesaw, GA
2. CARMKE Wynnsong 16 Knoxville, TN
3. CARMKE Carmike 12 Dothan, AL 4. IND-US Madison Square 12 Huntsville, AL 5. IND-US Madison Theatre 7 Albany, NY 6. INDTB Carousel Greensboro, NC 7. AMC Woodfield 20 Schaumburg, IL 8. CINMRK Valley View 24 Valley View, OH 9. COOPOH Atlas Diamond Centre Cinemas 12 Mentor, OH 10. FLORIN Tower City 11 Cleveland, OH 11. AMC Grapevine 30 Theatres Grapevine, TX 12. AMC Huebner Oaks 24 San Antonio, TX 13. AMC Mesquite 30 Theatres Mesquite, TX 14. CINMRK Legacy 24 Plano, TX 15. AMC Star Southfield 20 Southfield, MI 16. MUVICO Hialeah 14 Hialeah, FL 17. MUVICO Paradise 24 Davie, FL 18. MUVICO Centro Ybor 20 Tampa, FL 19. MUVICO Baywalk 20 St. Petersburg, FL 20. BRENDN Brenden Palms 14 + Imax Las Vegas, NV 21. CINMRK Century 18 Sam’s Town Las Vegas, NV 22. GALAXY Neonopolis 11 Las Vegas, NV 23. GALAXY Galaxy Cannery Casino 16 North Las Vegas, NV 24. CARMKE Carmike 14 Mobile, AL 25. CARMKE Carmike 10 Pensacola, FL 26. WALLCE Stadium 18 Mobile, AL 27. AMC Mission Valley 20 San Diego, CA 28. BRENDN Brenden Modesto 18 Modesto, CA 29 BRENDN Brenden Pittsburg 16 Pittsburg, CA 30. CINMRK Century 16 Theatre – Laguna Elk Grove, CA 31. CINMRK San Francisco Centre 9 San Francisco, CA 32. THBKGS 3rd Street Cinema 6 Santa Rosa, CA 33. MUVICO Egyptian 24 Hanover, MD
First off, OUR poll (followed by results of actual polls taken at the theater):
And now, thanks to everyone who saw the movie. We hope you enjoyed it. Outlander obviously didn’t set the box office on fire but it’s hard to do so when no one knows about you. I can report that there were no posters up in certain theaters in Chicago, Seattle, Boston, Houston and San Diego. I suspect, although do not know for sure, that TWC simply didn’t provide them.
I saw the movie in San Diego on Friday night (Shoutout to Mae Lin, Amy, Karen and Cassandra!) and the audience liked it. Ooohed at the right places, laughed when they were meant to.
As you know, we have gotten some very nice reviews (I’ll be posting more) plus some pretty harsh ones. I can respect that people don’t like the film but my goodness, some of them have found the stupidest things to fault. My personal favorite is the one who disliked our choice of dates for the movie. Somehow “709 AD” just ticked him off. And then there was the bright light who thought we shouldn’t have bothered showing our hero learn “Old Norse” in order to speak with the locals because when he got there they already spoke English. It seems he didn’t understand the time-honored convention of rendering foreign languages in English for the English-speaking audience. But such is the life of a critic – they get to rain down excrement while living under umbrellas.
There has definitely been a dichotomy in the reviews. Many of those who had a negative, snarky reaction did not realize that we had based the movie on the poem Beowulf, and had actually designed it as the “sci-fi origin” of that early monster tale. They simply thought we were kitchen-sinking the idea. Like we sat around one day and said “gee, let’s have an alien creature attack Des Moines. No, too boring. How about… Norway, in the 8th century? Then we could have Vikings and stuff, and what fanboy doesn’t love Vikings?”
Didn’t happen that way.
On the other hand, those who did see what we were aiming at may have taken us to task but absolutely had a warmer spot for the movie. But the reviews that matter the most came from the real human beings who saw the movie, and they were very good. According to exit polls:
64% found the film Very good or excellent (the norm is 55%)
85% would Probably or Definitely recommend the movie to friends
59% thought it was better than expected (the norm is 50%)
70% would Probably or Definitely rent the DVD
56% would Probably or Definitely buy the DVD
I’d say those are very good reactions and heartening to us as filmmakers.
And so, if you would like to see the film, here are some new markets for next weekend
1. Mobile-Pensacola , AL
2. Knoxville, TN
3. Huntsville-Decatur, Fl
4. Greensboro-H. Point-W. Salem , NC
5. Dothan, AL
6. Cleveland , OH
7. Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY
There will be some holdovers, but I don’t know what they are.
Kainan on the Hunt
Crowd Waiting to Get Into Outlander. (okay, just kidding.)
Before the reviews, our POLL – tell TWC you want Outlander in more theaters!
I’m going to try to keep tabs on some of the nice reviews and feature them here, with quotes and links.
Ray Bennett/The Hollywood Reporter
“major league special effects, larger-than-life characters and inventive monsters.”
“Tonight go to see the movie that is so badass, so unapologetically fun, that the characters actually fight a battle with swords forged from the hull of a spaceship.”
Tasha Robinson/The Onion
“Surprise number one: It’s smarter than it looks. Surprise number two: That doesn’t entirely ruin it as an action film.”
Mack Guffin/Movies For Guys
“ It’s a B-movie with A-movie production values, and it’s fun.”
Movies For Guys
Capone/Ain’t It Cool News
“It certainly surprised the hell out of me how much
of it worked.”
Aint It Cool News
“Vikings vs. aliens… Outlander is probably the best possible version of whatever movie you’ve already made in your head from reading those first three words.”
Curt Holman/Creative Loafing
“Remember in Talladega Nights when Will Ferrell said that Highlander won the Oscar for “Best Movie Ever Made”? Outlander could steal that title. There can be only one.”
Guy Haley/Death Ray
“This year’s Pitch Black.”
Brian Orndorf/On Screen, Oh My News
“Outlander” is a fluid genre exercise that satisfies cravings for action and Norse mythology in one fell swoop.”
Oh My News
“Unashamedly crowd-pleasing is Howard McCain’s epic science-fiction/fantasy OUTLANDER, the final film seen in Cannes. Jim Caviezel is an intergalactic astronaut who crashes his spaceship in 700 A.D. Norway and unleashes a giant alien creature on the local Viking population. Big, glossy and hugely enjoyable, it commingles fun adventure cliches with wildly unhistoric abandon, all acted with solid conviction by Caviezel, John Hurt, Perlman and Sophia Myles. There’s gore aplenty, the thrills are nonstop and the neon-etched CGI monster is pretty damn good too.”