Posts Tagged ‘movies’

Question: What is the difference between a woke movie for kids and a non-woke movie for kids:

That is the difference between the take of the Movie Lightyear and the take of Minons the Rise of Gru

Let me point out that when Lightyear started slow excuses were made about the timing and of COVID etc etc etc, but Minions was released just two weeks later and has managed to out preform lightyear by hundreds of millions with two less weeks to do so.

A more significant fact is this one:

The general rule of thumb is a movie has to earn double its production budget in order to break even. By that metric, Lightyear needs $400 million globally to recoup its costs. Going by Pixar’s history, it should be able to cross that figure without many issues. Prior to Onward’s pandemic-shortened theatrical run, Pixar’s Toy Story 4 and Incredibles 2 both hit $1 billion. The studio’s original film Coco grossed $807 million globally. While Pixar does have some notable duds on their résumé (Cars 3 and The Good Dinosaur), it’s extremely rare for one of their films to perform poorly at the box office. Given Lightyear’s ties to the Toy Story franchise, it should prove to be a hit. Box office projections point to a modest (by Pixar standards) $70-85 million debut, but it could always surpass those expectations a la Top Gun: Maverick. It’s facing minimal competition for its target demographic.

So by these standards Lightyear is 185 million in the red as of 7/23/22

IMDB estimates for Minions on a free site the estimated budget via IMDB is $80 Million. Even if we figure another 80 million in promotion in 14 less days Minions has not only turned a tidy profit but had done so on its domestic take alone. That makes the $342 million overseas take all gravy.

That my dear friends is the difference between making a movie “Woke” and making a movie for Children.

Sooner or later studios will decide losing 180+ a shot is a bad idea.

I still enjoy going to the theater for a movie. My last in-theater movie was Dune, and while I have a good sound system at home, nothing can compare to giant theater speakers making your chair shake as a sandworm travels across the screen. Theaters have had to up their game compared to when I was a kid. Back in my day, you were lucky to get hot popcorn with something resembling butter and a seat that was cleaned a few hours ago. Now your seat is cushy, was reserved in advance (no rushing to the theater), and at my local theater you can order alcohol and dinner from your seat!

Movies are finally starting to up their game as well. We went through a drought of movies after Avengers: Endgame that just seemed didn’t inspire spending the money to go to a theater. On top of that, the movies went both woke and China-censored at the same time (which ironically often conflicted with itself). But times are changing, and Hollywood seems to be waking up to the realization that it should make solid movies and worry less about pleasing the Chinese or the woke mobs.

Apparently, its big enough that even CNN is recognizing it.

Look at the Top Gun sequel. Rather then make a movie about a sad Tom Cruise now working as the top DEI enforcement officer at the Pentagon, or cut out the Taiwanese flag on his iconic jacket, Hollywood decided to just make a solid movie. And it sold, bigly, now well over 1 billion dollars. Or look at Spider-man: No Way Home, another solid movie that just focused on being a movie. Or Dune, which took complicated source material and pieced it into an action-packed film.

My point is, if you make a solid movie, more often than not you’ll make money. That holds true across many other disciplines: make a solid product, and you’ll make a solid profit.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency. If you like this post, why not listen to the author narrate his epic tale of woe to you by purchasing his book on Audible?

Today is the feast day of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas Moore who choose to die rather than betray the faith for gain in the world.

Given what we’re seen from the church lately with Bishops and priests (with some notable exceptions) unwilling to stand for the faith and Public servants either not enforcing the laws or enforcing them selectively based on political allegiance they seem to be saints critical for our time.

I’m shocked they haven’t been dropped from the calendar.


My wife is a blueberry person and would regularly buy muffins at Hannaford market. However a bit ago she cut open her muffin and there were no blueberries inside. This is despite the fact that the price for the Muffins has gone up considerably.

It led to some drama when we cut open the 2nd Muffin of the two pack:

All of this brings to mind Casino:

This is actually the “broken windows” theory of enforcement where if you take care of small things you cut down on large one.

Under the left this has become passé and we’re paying for it.


There have been a lot of excuses for the failure of Lightyear by the defenders of Disney, none on them involved the decision to push homosexuality in a film for kids.

Alas for the woke crowd unlike schools they can not compel attendance in theatres so if parents don’t want to push this junk on their kids they don’t have to.

The real fun is going to come with the new movie Minions: The Rise of Gru. You see if all the Disney apologists are right then this movie should do just as badly as Lightyear because all of the same issues they claim are holding back Lightyear’s take will still be in play when it comes out.

Of course if Minions The Rise of Gru is as big of a hit as it seems likely to be it will just be another proof of the media as the lying propagandists that they are.

Not that they care anymore, they’ve given up on worrying about the pretense of being objective.


Speaking of schools here is another bit from that stuff I hinted at earlier that they are teaching elementary school kids in the Lawrence school system.

More of that Critical Race Theory that doesn’t exist

Funny for something that the left/media claimed was just a right wing fantasy there sure seems to be a lot of prepared items ready to be disseminated to public school kids in lieu of teaching thing useless things like reading, writing and arithmetic, particularly in schools were the parents don’t have a lot of other options.

I had planned to write something more extensive today about but I had forgotten about Juneteenth being a national holiday so the school crowd I tried to contact for comment might not have been in so I figured it would be fair to give them another day just out of fairness.

Of course I suspect I’ll be a tad busy the next few days…


…as PintasticNE begins tomorrow night and I plan on enjoying myself to the fullest.

As a teaser I have an interview with the owner of Cape Cod and Beyond a company that rents out machines who came down the house to pick up the Batman 66 machine that my sons and wife rented me for my birthday.

I suspect that you’ll see a lot more of these rental companies and the price of Pinball machines and the potential for investment continues to grow, but I think the real driver is the problem of where do you store these things if you don’t have to room for it.

The nice thing about a rental is there is always a fresh machines in your hands.

For the next four days I’ll be knee deep in pinball and I’ll forget about Biden, the Gas prices, Bad Government, and the lot.

We all need a few days away from it.

Blogger in Marathon, Texas.

By John Ruberry

“There’s no law west of Dodge and no God west of the Pecos.”
James Pepper (Ben Johnson) in Chisum.

“The devil in hell, we’re told was chained
A thousand years he there remained
He neither complain nor did he groan
But was determined to start a hell of his own

Where he could torment the souls of men
Without being chained in a prison pen
So he asked the Lord if he had on hand
Anything left when he made this land

The Lord said yes, there’s a plenty on hand
But I left it down by the Rio Grande
The fact is ol’ boy, the stuff is so poor I don’t think you could use it as the hell anymore

But the devil went down to look at the truck
For after lookin’ that over carefully and well
He said this place is too dry for hell
But in order to get it off his hands

The Lord promised the devil to water the land
So trade was closed and deed was given
And the Lord went back to his home in heaven.”
Johnny Cash, Mean As Hell.

Earlier this month Mrs. Marathon Pundit and I spent ten days in Texas, mostly West Texas. And yes, there is law there and there is a God west of the Pecos too.

I covered my economic and political observations of our Texas trip, including what I noticed in the boom towns on the Permian Basin, Midland and Odessa, in a post at Da Tech Guy that is available here. 

Our first stop on note was on the oil producing basin, Monahans Sandhills State Park, where we found the type of dunes you’ll encounter on the Sahara. 

Our first West Texas overnight stop was west of the Pecos, in Fort Stockton, home of what was once the World’s Largest Roadrunner, Paisano Pete.

Then of course we had to visit Marathon, after all, I am the Marathon Pundit. Parts of a sadly overlooked movie, Paris, Texas, were filmed there.

Then it was on to Terlingua, a former mercury mining settlement, turned ghost town, which is now the closest thing to a tourist gateway town to our main destination, Big Bend National Park, where you will discover desert, mountains, and lots of thorns, Cash discusses “thorns” later in his spoken word Mean As Hell piece that I excerpted above.

Big Bend was our main destination for this trip, a gorgeous but little-visited national park because of its isolation. Perched on the border with Mexico on the Rio Grande, it is a seven-hour drive from Dallas and a five-hour drive from San Antonio.

To the west of the national park is Big Bend Ranch State Park, Texas’ largest state park, where we kayaked and spent our last day in the Big Bend region. It’s a beautiful park too and well worth at least a day of your time.

The biggest dud of the trip was our attempt to witness the Marfa Lights. Well, we were in Marfa, where much of the George Stevens’ classic Giant was filmed, and the lights, which some people compare to the will o’ the wisp, were not to be found, as is usually the situation every night, despite a viewing stand. Marfa is a leftist outpost where we encountered a human thorn. When picking up a pizza, Mrs. Marathon Pundit was scolded by a cashier in because she was not wearing a mask. In Texas! But my wife held her sandy ground. 

On Easter Sunday it was on to pentagon-shaped Jeff Davis County; yes, it’s named for Jefferson Davis, the president of the confederacy, where we toured historic Fort Davis, a frontier fort that seems to be a time capsule from a John Ford western movie. And we drove on the Davis Mountains Scenic Loop, among the sites of worth there is the McDonald Observatory.

On our way back to Dallas-Fort Worth, we met a Facebook friend in Sweetwater. 

The next day we were back in the Chicago area, the home of grifters, high taxes, and high crime. 

And many human thorns.

Related post:

Texas is success and Illinois is failure.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.