Friday, July 23, 2010

I think it's time we had the Prince of Persia talk...

Oh, Jake fans.  You grow up so fast!

I can't shield you from the world forever.  And I know you talk amongst yourselves and already know all of this.  But I kinda have to tell you anyway. 

So.  Prince of Persia.

Not quite the "box office bet" that Family Circle thought it would be when they published the article to the left in early May.

It's Friday today, which means our good pal Dastan has run out of sand and is almost assuredly no longer at your local theater.

Yes, yes, I know it's the "top grossing movie based on a video game of all time," meaning that in 2010, with ticket prices higher than ever, Prince of Persia made more globally (though not domestically) than Laura Croft:  Tomb Raider did nine years ago...

But, erm, the extent to which that matters right now is not so much.  We're trying really hard to make Prince of Persia look good, Jake fans.  We're spinning the numbers, we're stockpiling good reviews, we're reassuring ourselves that the movie did well enough overseas to counteract the poor U.S. box office gross (and trying to convince ourselves that that U.S. gross really isn't that bad).

But who are we really trying to convince here?

Alright, it didn't Gigli-level bomb.  But it certainly wasn't a Day After Tomorrow-level hit either.  Hell, it wasn't a You Don't Mess With the Zohan-level hit.  Box Office Mojo's all time domestic box office chart doesn't even extend far enough for Prince of Persia to be on the list.

True, it did better overseas.  But not as great as, say, Alvin the Chipmunks:  The Squeakquel.  It's been two months and Prince of Persia is gone.  Out of here.  Disappearing from theaters and the public's consciousness.  Jerry Bruckheimer has already moved on to his next underperforming movie, that is how over Prince of Persia is.

As fans, we like to see the good in things because we want Jake to succeed.  But I don't think any of us truly believes this was a success on the level anybody was hoping for.  And I realize that movies fizzle on a weekly basis, but this type of thing has never happened to Jake.  Not like this.  He's been in his fair share of low-grossing films, but he's never headlined a major blockbuster before and he's certainly never headlined a major blockbuster and then had it not reach blockbuster status.

Prince of Persia was a pretty damn big deal in terms of The Career of Jake Gyllenhaal. 

It also did not definitively signify one way or the other which way that career goes from here.

As much as we like to joke, underneath all that Jake Gyllenhaal-ness there's a real guy out there who just saw two years of his life rush by in eight short weeks.  We aren't talking about sequels right now, we're talking about Disney's profit margins relying on DVD sales.

So before we, like him, move on to waiting for next film, I wanted to take a moment here to say that I, personally, wish the movie had done better.  I don't want to sugar-coat it, I don't want rationalize it, I just want to say:  I wish it had done better.

And I'm guessing I'm not the only one here who feels that way.

Are we good now?  Fantastic.  Countdown to Love and Other Drugs starts now!

"Family Time" from my mom's Family Circle.  "Critics" page from my Newsweek.


gyllenhaalisgr8 July 23, 2010 at 12:17 PM  

Your blog really made me sad, like when a kid learns that there is no Santa Clause. But remember: Tom Cruise made Legend, possibly worse than that G movie and his career hasn't been too shabby. All we can do is be confident in Jake's talent and likeability (I hope he remembers that, too). And buy the dvd! In the age of home theatre (and high ticket prices), many people commonly wait for a movie to be released before they see it. I saw it four times and I will still buy the dvd ASAP. I'm sure you all will do the same. And if ever Jake didn't "take himself too seriously", I hope it is now. God bless him.

Becky Heineke July 23, 2010 at 12:42 PM  

^^^ Excellently said. And I hope I didn't make it sound like I thought this was a career-killer because that's not even possible! :) But it was a big risk for him to do something so outside of his comfort zone and he seemed to have a lot of fun doing it and then...what happens now?

I'm totally in for the DVD! Not even a question. :)

Anonymous,  July 23, 2010 at 1:15 PM  

PG, you put into words exactly how I feel about POP: I wish it had done better. For Jake and for us. I think it was an OK film, not a great one, but with so much hype and promo and such a big budget and talking about sequels even before it was out, anything but a huge box-office succes would have made it look like a disapointment anyway.

Jake seemed to have a lot of fun making POP and I think his fans had a lot of fun following the making of it and it's promotion, so at least there's that. We almost overdosed after 2 years of nothing. :) Although I am a little disapointed, I admire Jake for taking a risk with POP. It was something completely different for him and he worked really hard to make it as best as he could.

I'm really looking forward to LAOD and SC and I can't wait to see what his next project will be. :)


Miffed67 July 23, 2010 at 1:16 PM  

You know, I wondered about this too, and kind of gave a passing thought to how PoP was doing at the box office but didn't dig any deeper than that. I wonder if the sink or swim attitude we've been seeing in TV over the last few years has now extended to movies. And are theaters so hard up for real estate that they can't let a film stay on the marquee for a couple extra weeks? I mean, really.

Jake will always do excellent work and people know that, I think. I don't think this will exclude him from getting job offers (matter of fact, filmmakers are probably beating his door down - he's Jake!), or even exclude him from the action/adventure genre. There's plenty more left in him yet.

Vanessa,  July 23, 2010 at 2:16 PM  

Wow, this post really got to me, PG, you really know how to sock it to us, woman! But also mostly due to PoP being a majorly favorite movie of all time of mine now. I could watch it a gazillion times & still never tire of seeing it. Of course the fact that he is SO beautiful in it doesn't hurt any. I know not all Jake fans will agree with me that it was a fabulous movie for several reasons, but imho, it was excellent. & definitely not Jake's BEST movie of his career, that imo was BBM, but still he worked his heart out to make this the best movie ever, talk about dedication. Well, actually he does that in every movie he makes, right? I have beat my head against a wall for the last several weeks trying to figure out WHY this movie was not a blockbuster in the states & I know part of the reason are the horrid critics that ripped it up. But there has to be more than that to why it was not embraced by American audiences. I have my suspicions, but truly we will never know & so to not keep beating a dead horse, I will let this go & enjoy the beauty of it on the blu ray when it comes out (hopefully with a great extended version with lots of extra good shit). I know as you all do too that Jake is a phenomenal actor that has the uncanny talent of becoming each character he portrays & can show an emotional range like nobody's business. So, that said, here's to you, Jake & all your future endeavors, we will all be here to support you in any way we possibly can! (& I am still going to hope against hope that some day they will see fit to give us a PoP sequel!) >;-)

Sam July 23, 2010 at 4:36 PM  

*hugs* to Jake... and *slap on the back* to Jake because even though the numbers arnt there he did an INCREDIBLE job.. and im not just being bias!

thedailyyillenhoolehay July 23, 2010 at 9:04 PM  

I'd been waiting for this movie for about two and a half years to come out... since they made the first announcement that they were adapting my favorite video game into a film... YES, that's right - before Jake was even attached to the project. My anticipation built when I heard Bruckheimer was going to produce... and then, when I found out that Jake was going to play the title character, I was convinced that that this movie was destined to be my favorite film of all time!

... Unfortunately, that was not the case. My friend and I went to the PopSugar screening and from the second the film started, I knew it was not going to do so hot. The opening sequence looked like a PowerPoint presentation, for the love of Nancy. Oyyy. Don't get me wrong - the movie was entertaining and not terrible by any means... but it wasn't anything special. I mean, that super-hyped shirtless bit lasted all of three seconds (INJUSTICE) with a hairy dude's nipple chillin' in the background for the better part of the shot. If I heard the words "Noble Prince" one more time, I was going to stab forks in my ears. LAWD. As a person who LOVED the video game, it was pretty sad. Adopted? No zombies? Whut? It was a little light - no idea why - they'd gone pretty dark with Pirates, so I didn't really get why the undead were fully out of the question. Jake was freaking sexy though... I pretty much screamed when he walked down the steps in that scene towards the very end of the film, when his biceps were freaking BULGING forth from his heavenly arms. And I got to sit less than foot away from him when he was taking the pics with that lucky girl that won the contest, so the night was pretty awesome regardless of the quality of the film. Hee hee.

Luckily, I also got to see an advanced screening of Love and Other Drugs back in March and that movie is DABOMB.COM. I wanted to have babies with it. Lots and lots of babies... yizzz. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that loads of other people feel the same way and crowd the theaters to see all the beautiful Jake nekkidness that lies therein...

thedailyyillenhoolehay July 23, 2010 at 9:07 PM  

Aaaand feel free to delete the multiples of that comment that my lame computer posted. FAIL. The intranetz hates me. Oy vey.

Becky Heineke July 24, 2010 at 12:09 AM  

^^^ It's probably just Blogger being lame. As usual. :)

YOU'VE SEEN LAOD?!? DUDE. First of all, you clearly have the hookup if you're sitting within licking distance of The Gyllenhaal with the PopSugar crew and secondly, since you've been one of the lucky ones to see his next movie then I am just jealous beyond measure. Such things never happen to me!! I haven't been back through all of your blog, so forgive me if all of this is discussed there...but if it's not, WE NEED DETAILS!!! :D

I completely agree with your (and the general) assessment that PoP wasn't all it could be. :-/ It was definitely entertaining...but something was missing... To the rest of the world, it was a cookie-cutter action film, whatever, move on. But to us, it was a really big deal that didn't quite deliver, and I'm really glad I'm not the only one who has these lingering feelings of disappointment about it.

I agree 100% with what Olympia said about the hyping. My God, THE HYPE! Jake always downplayed it, but a lot of other people didn't. It was a lot of pressure, and I also think Miffed is onto something with the way these huge undertakings are given a quick chance to be a hit and then swept away for the next thing. I know it happens all the time, but it's just different when the person involved is someone you think about (or write about) on a daily basis... :-/

Becky Heineke July 24, 2010 at 12:20 AM  

I FAIL AT TUMBLR. Sorry, dailyyillenhoolehay. :( I tried to figure out how to respond to your comment, but I feel like I need lessons in basic communications skills right now. I'll look into remedial tumblr classes tomorrow!

thedailyyillenhoolehay July 24, 2010 at 1:04 AM  

You don't fail at tumblr! It's tumblr that fails. As of right now, there's no way to reply to replies. WHERE'S THE INTERACTIVITY IN THAT, HUH? Major lameskies.

YIZ! I lived near enough to Los Angeles to be a decently professionalish stalker! But now, alas, I am in Northern California so I shall have to stalk from afar. BOO. But LaoD is so brilliantly amazing that it will make up for any PoP-related disappointments, I'm pretty sure... unless it's been edited into something poopy since the screening, which would be ridonkulous. It's funny and moving and there are (hopefully not "were" if those editors have any souls) SO MANY NEKKID SCENES, OH MA LAWD. I didn't even mind seeing gratuitous shots of Anne Hathaway's boobs because it meant I got to see Jake's bootay just as often! WOO!!

KD,  July 24, 2010 at 3:39 AM  

So sad too because I really did love the movie. Oh well, it will always be dear to the hearts of Gyllenhaalics everywhere!


(Sorry my comments are rushed. I'm at an internet cafe in Bangkok right now and time is of the essence.)

KD,  July 24, 2010 at 3:42 AM  

Anne Hathaway's boobs are glorious.

Havoc and BBM, anyone? *O*

Lucy,  July 24, 2010 at 10:37 AM  

I know how you feel. I was earnestly hoping that the movie would do well. And it wasn't at all a bad movie. Just to cheer you up here's a image of jake

Becky Heineke July 24, 2010 at 11:02 AM  


KD, it's so good to hear from you, rushed or not! I hope you're having the best time ever!!

True story, I went to college with, and was friends with, someone who went to high school with, and was friends with, Anne Hathaway. That's pretty much the closest I've ever come in life to being "connected"...

dailyyillenhoolehay, a) I feel so much better about not being technologically incompetent, and b) you are making me so excited right now for LAOD that it's ridiculous!!! I've got my fingers crossed that if they're already doing screenings and it's great four months in advance (or more, depending on when you saw it), then it's going to stay great. And I'm hearing Oscar buzz already, so that can't hurt either... :D

Vanessa,  July 24, 2010 at 1:43 PM  

Hey traveling girl, KD! Glad to see you back even if only for a sec. Hope you are enjoying everything as much as possible.

& a huge thanks for being a part of the "Love PoP camp". I don't feel so alone now... >;-)

Take care & have a blast gallivanting the globe! Don't forget, we want pics!

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