November 12th, 2007

Irrumivictory Part 2

Please Come to Boston, continued


As an addendum to my post about how Boston seems to be winning everything (punctuated by the Patriot’s victory over the Colts last weekend), the New England Revolution boy’s soccer team just reached the MLS Cup Final. I’m not sure when this game is played, but given the Boston community’s recent winning streak, I’d bet on the Revolution taking the Cup.


Think Outside the Box Office


I have a pet peeve involving movie box-office reporting. I’m fascinated by the box office. I think the numbers reflect some really interesting things about American society. For years, I’ve checked the box office numbers every Sunday or Monday to see how that weekend’s films fared. However, there is a recent trend of focusing not so much on the ticket sales per film and moreso on the overall box office draw, which I think is completely irrelevant. Case in point, see the following excerpt from this Sunday:


After ending a six-week losing streak last weekend, overall year-on-year sales fell once again. The top-12 films earned $99 million, down 11 percent from the year-ago period, according to tracking firm Media By Numbers.


Other than firms like Media By Numbers that track overall box office performance, who cares? Who benefits from that knowledge? Does DreamWorks, which produced the number one movie this week, Bee Movie, care about how this weekend went for all other movie studios combined? Not at all. DreamWorks cares about how movies similar to Bee Movie fared in the past, especially on the same weekend in the past, and how other films (like the polar-opposite, R-rated American Gangster) fared. DreamWorks cares about who bought tickets to their movie versus other movies, and they care about how much money their movie made compared to the cost it took to produce their film.


What really irks me is the terminology “losing streak.” Who, exactly, is losing? Individual movies either make money or lose money, but it doesn’t matter how the collective group of all movies does. Was it a victory for the movie industry when Shrek III broke a “losing streak” this past year when it hauled in over $120 million the first weekend? Not at all—there’s no one to receive that award. Shrek III was victorious, DreamWorks was victorious, movie theaters that carried Shrek III were victorious, but the industry? Come on!


Stout’s Honor


Last year, my office (may it rest in peace) held the latter half of its Christmas party at the Chocolate Bar in Layfayette Square in St. Louis. Wonderful little place on weekdays. Horrible place to go on the weekends, because the wait is usually unfathomably long.


Surrounded by chocolate, I ordered a chocolate brownie with a glob of ice cream on top. I was pleased with my decision until a coworker offered me a taste of his drink, which he said was the best thing on the menu. Simply put, it blew me away.


The drink: The Chocolate Bar’s Signature Stout Beer Shake.


Sounds weird, doesn’t it? Beer and ice cream mixed together. Usually you mix ice cream with milk or soda. But think about it: adding milk or soda just makes the ice cream milkier or sweeter. If you add beer instead, the creamy goodness of ice cream (cinnamon flavored) is balanced with the carbonation and bitterness of beer (they use a chocolate stout for the beer).


The result is effervescent.


Give it a try the next time you’re there. You think you want something else, but you don’t. Just go ahead and order the Stout Beer Shake. Trust me on this one.




Scrub It Out

Michael Moore Strikes Back

So Does the WGA