Current Cinema is Growing 



So some time after this I get a call from the media planner at our parent company, dear old Hachette. It seems that the Fox News program “Your World With Neil Cavuto” wants me to go on some afternoon very soon and discuss the box office prospects for Mel Gibson’s film in Asia, where it’s due to open soon. (It’s already made all the money in the world in America.) I’m a little bemused by this, since as a box office analyst I’m a pretty good third baseman for the Yankees, but I’ve been told to say yes to these pitches and the answer to the question seems pretty simple: fewer Christians in Asian than in the West means maybe not so great box office over there. So, I go. More –


I gotta tell you people: Neil Cavuto has the most exquisite manners of anyone I have ever met in television ever. Aside from looking super-crisp in those suit jackets and shirts and ties (contrast him with O’Reilly some time; he makes Bill look like one of those poor encyclopedia hawkers in the Maysles Brothers’ Salesman), he’s just terribly nice and kind. He even sent me a THANK YOU NOTE after the whole semi-debacle. So they’ve got this setup where even though I’m in the same studio as Neil, I’m not going to be in the frame with him; it’s a three camera setup, one for Neil, one for me, and one for the third guest who nobody had told me about. Who’s this third guest, I ask one of the people with clipboard bustling around me. “Oh, it’s Larry Thompson, veteran film producer, who’ll be chiming in from L.A.” Okay, I shrug. And soon it’s show time. It starts off genially enough, with Neil talking about how Mel’s movie is a box-office behemoth that has silenced the doubters, or something, and saying it’s soon to open in Asia. Cut to me, I talk about how it CERTAINLY IS a SPECTACULAR and UNEXPECTED SUCCESS but we might not want to expect too much from the Asian market because filmgoers in Japan, Korea, and China aren’t too big on the Jesus and maybe China doesn’t want much to do with the movie at all. Then Neil is like, for another perspective we go to Hollywood, where veteran film producer Larry Thompson, blah blah blah. I see Larry Thompson in my monitor and he’s kinda sweaty and leaning to one side and he looks like a guy who just walked away from an auto accident that didn’t cause any grievous physical harm to anyone but DID wake him up behind the wheel, placing him in a disoriented state. And Larry starts laying into me, saying how can this critic who called Mel Gibson’s wonderful movie “Satanic” sit here and try to disparage the wonderful message that it’s bringing to Christians the world over.