ANOINTING ALITO

Yep, this is where judicial hearings are headed. Hey, this is all about God, isn’t it?

ABRAMOFFZZZZ: The Cornerites are bored by the Abramoff scandal. They were bored by the torture scandal. They were bored by the illegal wire-tapping scandal. But not all conservatives are quite as sleepy.

BROKEBACK BREAK-OUT? The Kaus-Rich argument about the box office viability of “Brokeback Mountain” has some more data to crunch. Before Christmas, Brokeback averaged a take of $58,000 per theater, compared to King Kong’s $20,000. Yes, it was restricted to very few theaters in blue states. But from the latest Variety report:

“Brokeback” gained an amazing 61% in its fourth frame despite adding only 52 theatres. Focus’ Ang Lee-helmed gay cowboy love story lassoed up $4.8 million at 269 playdates, giving it a three-day per-screen average of $13,407.
Pic expanded to just a few additional mid-sized cities and made boffo grosses in all of them, including $37,000 in Nashville, $44,000 in Columbus, and $32,000 in Milwaukee. Lowest grossing theatres are in the suburbs, where “Brokeback” is averaging mid-single digits, similar to moderately performing wide pics like “Geisha” and “Rumor Has It.”

Today, the movie moves into the redder of red states, but the New York Daily New’s critic, Jack Matthews, doesn’t think that will make a big difference. Money quote:

A studio spokesperson says the producers are encouraged by the advance buzz from red state critics. “Brokeback” has won the Best Picture award from critics groups in Florida, Dallas/Fort Worth, Las Vegas and in the state of Utah (the last presumably using a secret ballot).
According to exit polls, “Brokeback’s” audience started as women in their 30s and now is about evenly split along gender lines. Straight men may be leaving shoe-leather skidmarks on the way into the theaters, but they’re going. Like “Curb Your Enthusiasm’s” Larry David, who voiced his tongue-in-cheek objections to “Brokeback” in a recent New York Times op-ed piece, I felt that “cowboys would have to lasso me, drag me into the theater and tie me to the seat” to make me watch a pair of range riders steam up in a pup tent. But I’ve now seen the movie three times (twice with my wife, if you have to know) and it is one of the most devastating Hollywood love stories of all time.

We’ll see how this progresses – but the idea that a movie with bareback gay sex in it would have been this successful even five years ago seems unlikely to me. That bareback sex would be a way of revealing deeper love is even more astonishing.

THE LIBERACE POPE: Say what you will about his theology, but his couture is fabulous!

– posted by Andrew.

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