In 1789, the total U.S. federal government debt was $190,000.
By 2009, total U.S. debt grew to $11.6 trillion, highest in the world.
( Mr and Mrs Harvey Weinstein )
Weinsteins Sell 'Basterds' to the Masses -- Cool!
Say what you like about Harvey Weinstein.
Here are the raw elements:
But thanks to some very savvy salesmanship, you wouldn’t have known any of that from the poster, the trailer or any of the cast interviews.
The trailer was all about Aldo Raine (Pitt) indoctrinating his band of Jewish soldiers in the cult of brutality (scalping! cool!) they intend to impose on the Nazis.
But in reality, that’s a minor piece of the film.
Instead, Tarantino has made an extremely sophisticated World War II fantasy, layered with rich characters, taut dialogue and (in my book) at least two scenes that will be written about in cinema study classes (the opening scene, and the one in the bar; if you haven’t seen the movie I’m not going to ruin it for you).
Brad Pitt is in neither of those scenes.
But the Weinsteins needed young males to open this movie.
“We had two very marketable elements -- Quentin and Brad Pitt,” Tom Ortenberg, president of theatrical marketing at The Weinstein Company, told me on Sunday.
But here’s the thing about good filmmaking.
Exit polls were high, the Cinemascore was A-. Score one for good story-telling.
My 15-year-old son went on Friday afternoon with a bunch of his pals; they were expecting rock-and-roll violence.
Twitter helped too.
And it seems pretty clear that a “Twitter effect” at the box office helped propel the word of mouth to a much higher box office total -- nearly $38 million -- than was anticipated.
Which reminds me: With Tarantino’s success this weekend, it’s hard not to notice the failure of the film of one of his oldest chums, Robert Rodriguez.
That film is the first and last collaboration between Warner Bros and the Abu Dhabi Media Company’s Imagenation film fund.
Perhaps Rodriguez could use a little of that Harvey marketing magic.