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Scorsese vs. Kermit! Two Men Enter, One Frog Leaves!

Nordling here.

Bummer!  I was hoping HUGO CABRET would be a BNAT movie!  Oh well.
Looks like Paramount has the domestic rights to HUGO CABRET, Martin Scorsese's 3D family film, and has moved it up to the day before Thanksgiving, November 23rd, for release, according to Deadline.  This puts them smack dab in competition with Disney's THE MUPPETS, which is scheduled to be released the same day.  Two very big family films indeed, scheduled for right before Thanksgiving.  I'm not sure if either movie is going to flinch and move to another date, but for now, looks like it's Scorsese vs. Kermit!
Who will win?  If Scorsese brings his bat-wielding thugs at the end of CASINO with him, well, I think Kermit might be destined to be in a hole in the middle of the Nevada desert... but Kermit's got ANIMAL... and Professor Honeydew... and the Swedish Chef... so they may be evenly matched. Either way, I'm there for both that weekend.
Nordling, out.
Readers Talkback
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  • Feb. 20, 2011, 12:36 a.m. CST

    Scorsese and a family film???

    by vettebro

    Say it ain't so...

  • Feb. 20, 2011, 12:36 a.m. CST

    Islands in the stream

    by RedBull_Werewolf

    That is what we are

  • Feb. 20, 2011, 12:39 a.m. CST

    The Godfrogger vs Muppet Island

    by xevoid

  • Feb. 20, 2011, 12:39 a.m. CST

    The Mupparted vs Goodmuppets

    by xevoid

  • Feb. 20, 2011, 12:40 a.m. CST

    The Muppets of Money vs The Last Temptation of Gonzo

    by xevoid

  • Feb. 20, 2011, 12:40 a.m. CST

    Almost 2nd is what you meant...

    by vettebro

    Chachi! ; )

  • Feb. 20, 2011, 12:41 a.m. CST

    Fozzie the Raging Bull vs Cape Piggy

    by xevoid

  • Feb. 20, 2011, 12:43 a.m. CST

    the Swedish Chef of Innocence Vs Gangs of Dr. Bunsen Honeydew

    by xevoid

  • Feb. 20, 2011, 12:43 a.m. CST

    (Those would be good movies methinks...)

    by xevoid

  • Feb. 20, 2011, 1:03 a.m. CST

    I think this film will be Scorcese's equivalent to "Hook".

    by little_lebowski

    Just kind of the vibe I get from everything...

  • Feb. 20, 2011, 1:49 a.m. CST

    Muppets FTW

    by Longtime Lurker

    Miss Piggy will sort out this Scorsese fellow. :)

  • Feb. 20, 2011, 1:59 a.m. CST

    Mupper Island vs Raging Kermit the Bullfrog

    by Shubniggorath

  • Feb. 20, 2011, 2:04 a.m. CST

    Hugo Cabret is a hell of a book

    by FeralAngel

    It's brilliant and weird in a way that has nothing to do with Tim Burton, thank god (nothing against the guy, but you'd think he invented quirky the way some go on about him). It got me interested in automata (look it up, wise guy) and damn, that's some cool nightmare fuel. There was this magician named Houdin (whose name Harry Houdini borrowed for his stage moniker) who built some incredible clockwork organisms. Think steampunk Frankenstein. Another mad scientist of automata was Maillardetnel one of his works was found and restored in 2007. It's a clockwork man that can draw extremely detailed ships and write poems in French and English. You just wind it up and it does its thing. Here's a link to a video of it: Anyway, the Cabret book, if done right, could be an amazing fantasy film. I'm definitely seeing it. The Muppets? Feh. They're the kind of automata (or is that *armotata) I can easily do without. Their day is done.

  • Feb. 20, 2011, 4 a.m. CST

    u dont fuck wit da frog.

    by vulturess

    back off marty.

  • Feb. 20, 2011, 6:10 a.m. CST

    Marty's last 'family film' was 'ItalianAmerican'...

    by workshed

    ...thirty-seven years ago.! Unless you count 'Cape Fear', of course.

  • Feb. 20, 2011, 6:25 a.m. CST

    There's a lot of holes in the desert...

    by Briestro

    and a lot of problems are buried in those holes. But ya gotta do it right. Ya gotta have the hole already dug, before you show up with the package in a trunk. Or else you are talkin about a half hour, 45 minutes of diggin. And who knows who's gonna come along in that time. Before ya know it.. ya gotta dig a few more holes.. you could be there all fuckin night! Miss Piggy notwithstanding, (oh the goombahs will take care of her piggy ass), Kermit is fuckin doomed. There's a hole already dug. :) I'm really looking forward to a very different film from Marty, I'll be there opening day. B

  • Feb. 20, 2011, 7:52 a.m. CST


    by Nordling

    I don't want either to fail. Knowing me, I'll see both that weekend and other releases too. ARTHUR CHRISTMAS is scheduled to open that day as well, so that's three family films in one weekend. One of them, sadly, will suffer.

  • Feb. 20, 2011, 7:57 a.m. CST

    Muppets have VASTLY more name recognition

    by AlienFanatic

    Disney is more adept, also, than Paramount at selling films for children. Parents are also going to be nostalgic to see a new Muppets movie, as many if not most are of the age that grew up watching the Muppets. In other words, Hugo will get CRUSHED on opening weekend, but if word of mouth is strong, it'll have a decent run. If they just waited a week, they'd almost certainly have a better opening weekend.

  • I've stated this many times before in other talkbacks -- I think the AICN viewership is increasingly skewing older (30s males, pushing 40, some already heading toward 50; some are fathers now) and this has affected what are perceived as the "cool" movies that actually appeal more to this older crowd verses the current young generation (teens and 20s) who are into rather slightly different geek genres. The AICN demo seems to be becoming increasingly fixated on nostalgia -- movies that remind them of the time when they were kids growing up during the Reagan-Spielberg movie era. The Muppets were part of that era. Do The Muppets hold much sway with kids today? To me it looks like Paramount is betting no.

  • I think people may be overstating the appeal of the Muppets toward the current generation of kids. The AICN crowd (and I am probably part of this group and fall into the demographic) have been overestimating a lot of movies that seem more geared to our generation in the past few years, and overlooking the stuff that children today actually like. Most kids do not care that much for the things that their parents enjoyed as children. Did you?

  • Feb. 20, 2011, 9 a.m. CST

    Hey, Nordling. What happened to Beaks?

    by Der Aggravated Piscine

    Did he and his buddy William_Faulkner join a fat farm? Is he in the hospital in a semi-private room with Harry? Inquiring minds want to know.

  • Feb. 20, 2011, 10:35 a.m. CST

    Speaking of Casino...

    by Ronald Raygun

    I remember Casino and Toy Story both opened the day before Thanksgiving back in '95, and both did good numbers (Casino not being a family film, though). Both also had Don Rickles in supporting roles, oddly enough.

  • Feb. 20, 2011, 11:12 a.m. CST


    by awardgiver

    I just had an image of Animal flying thru the air (looking obviously like someone just threw a puppet) and falling on top of Scorsese's goons from Casino and Goodfellas. He pretty much just chomps their baseball bats like carrots.

  • Feb. 20, 2011, 11:24 a.m. CST

    If by win you mean boxoffice, this won't even be close.

    by Shepard Wong

    Most American parents won't take their kids to a movie with a title they won't know how to pronounce. A film set in Paris based on a book inspired by early 20th century French cinema. That's gonna be huge in The Heartland.

  • Feb. 20, 2011, 11:37 a.m. CST

    I think the Professor is right

    by FeralAngel

    Prof Pop-Cult, that is. Too many guys on this site are older and pathologically nostalgic towards stuff they grew up with, that their kids and kids' kids have zero interest in. I personally know no parents whose kids have the slightest interest in a new Muppets movie, and yes I have asked, out of curiosity. My nephews think the Muppets are for babies. Of course, I have no idea if the same kids have any interest in the Hugo Cabret movie either. However, those kids are HUGELY interested in Happy Feet and the new Chipmunks movie that's gonna premiere like a couple of weeks before Muppets, so it's going to be a very crowded field for holiday movies. Could be wrong but I think the Muppets are going to underperform. We'll see.

  • Feb. 20, 2011, 11:54 a.m. CST

    Muppets "kids' movie"? Missing the point.

    by mrgray

    Nordling at least has the right idea by saying "family movie". The problem that some of the commenters are having here is that they keep referring to the Muppet movie as a kids' movie when it's not. Segel emphasized this in interviews. It's in the spirit of the original Jim films, which is a family film that appeals to a wider age range. I agree with you, Prof Pop-Cult, that the nostalgia factor is a big thing here on AICN and I do believe that it sometimes colors our view of a project's potential. But that same nostalgia, as has been pointed out, is what's going to get parents excited to see a Muppet movie. It's the fault of Disney and their idiotic approach to the Muppets that makes today's kids think that the Muppets are for babies. Of course they'd think that when the last few Muppet projects have been wrongheaded, tame adaptations of fairy tales and nursery rhymes (despite the presence of Quentin Tarantino). More young people today may have read Hugo Cabret and that will certainly count for something, but EVERYONE has heard of the Muppets, even if they have sadly not been exposed to the classics.

  • Feb. 20, 2011, 2:31 p.m. CST

    Muppets will win based on the titee alone

    by TheMcflyFarm

    Both parents and children will be confused by "Hugo Cabret".

  • Feb. 20, 2011, 2:31 p.m. CST

    I meant "title"

    by TheMcflyFarm

  • Feb. 20, 2011, 3:04 p.m. CST

    Kids thinks Muppets are for kids...LITTLE kids

    by FeralAngel

    That's the rub. Today's kids have seen the Muppets on Sesame Street, and they don't make distinctions between Sesame Street Muppets and the Muppet Show Muppets. They're all Muppets to the kids, and to them Muppets are baby stuff. And it's not that hard to see why they think that way. True, Muppets are amazing for what they are, but computer-generated creatures like the dragons in How To Train Your Dragon outclass them. That's progress for you. And speaking of progress, I bet if Jim Henson were alive today, he'd dump puppets altogether and use CG, or enhance his characters with it. Unless he was a nostalgic old fogey like some people are here, which doesn't seem in character for him. Although it appears to be in character for Jason Segal, who's weirdly obsessed with puppets IMO. Anyway, it'll be interesting to see if an old-school, UN-ENHANCED product like the Muppets can find a sizable new audience. I sincerely doubt it. But anything can happen.

  • Feb. 20, 2011, 3:21 p.m. CST


    by Harry Weinstein

    Remember when Universal thought it was a good idea to open SCOTT PILGRIM VS THE WORLD against THE EXPENDABLES? Opening HUGO CABRET against the Muppets reminds me a lot of that episode of studio foolishness.

  • Feb. 20, 2011, 4:57 p.m. CST

    do parents take their kids to the movies..

    by sonnyhooper

    ....or do the kids take the parents? thats the question. and what i mean by that is, will parents go see the hugo movie because the kids wanna see it, or will the parents make the kids sit through the muppet movie beause the parents are "nolstagic"?

  • I still cannot totally put my finger on as to why this is, but SP really seemed to have more of a positive affect on the older, Gen-X and Gen-Y geeks than younger. Maybe it's because it feels like to me the kind of movie that would have been made in the early 80's had the level of CG FX we have today -- along with the pop culture of Nintendo, Playstation, and anime -- existed then. (Yeah, I acknowledge this may be a stretch to imagine.) Think about movies like The Goonies, Gremlins, Explorers, The Last Starfighter... SP kind of reminded me of those movies but exploiting the technology and geek pop culture of today. And The Expendables... well, that was of course 80's action movie nostalgia all the way. Nuff said.

  • Feb. 20, 2011, 6:31 p.m. CST


    by maxjohnson1971

    If Ms. Piggy has a wardrobe malfunction, the Muppets could win based on the titee

  • Feb. 20, 2011, 6:34 p.m. CST

    I say it's the kids who have more sway

    by Prof. Pop-Cult

    Most parents take the kids to the movies they want to watch. And as somebody else pointed out, kids today seem to regard the Muppets as merely puppets and the same ones they saw on Sesame Street. They may not be able to tell the difference between the "worlds" that Elmo and Fozzie occupy. They just see puppets. As for Hugo, it's a popular kids book that was published during their young lifetimes. It features a kid having an adventure (kids seem to dig watching actual kids on screen adventuring). Although I myself am not familiar with the book, the movie seems like it could remind the mainstream family audience of the Night At The Museum flicks, which this audience simply ate up and enjoyed immensely.

  • to Jason Segal? He has name recognition but no credibility when it comes to performing with and writing muppets.

  • Feb. 20, 2011, 7:46 p.m. CST

    how about a spoiler alert

    by Timmy Chicago

    for the rotten jokes in this post

  • Feb. 20, 2011, 9:07 p.m. CST

    taxi driver is on amc right now

    by stu_pickles

    so good. first time i saw it was in high school. best psychology class and teacher ever. rock on Mr. Bishop

  • Feb. 20, 2011, 10:03 p.m. CST

    absentee parents....

    by sonnyhooper

    ...take the kids to what they WANT to see. real parents take their kids to what they NEED to see. <P> hopefully the muppets win the day imo.

  • Feb. 20, 2011, 10:59 p.m. CST

    Um, but why do kids NEED to see Muppets?

    by FeralAngel

    Do they need to see a toothy stoner puppet lust after women, or something? A pig get insulted for her ethnicity, at which she reacts with violence? Monsters eat little bunnies? A wild-eyed terrorist blow things up? I can see why some people are amused by those things, but why would kids *need* to see all that, instead of a good (hopefully) adaptation of a brilliant book?

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 12:51 a.m. CST

    Muppets have this

    by kitkats99

    Its Thanksgiving weekend. People go to the movie that will please everybody from the kid, to grandma, and thats the Muppets this year, especially in middle America.

  • Seriously, who cares? Jason Segal's "Muppets" sounds like it's going to be a hell of a lot of fun, and Scorsese's "Cabret" might be brilliant (I'm especially fascinated to see what Scorsese does with 3D, especially since it's with a film that allows him to explore his more Italian magical realist side, and it's always great when he gets into that). Gonna see both - as I'm sure most of America will do. Yeah, so one will "win" the first weekend, while the other won't - it will probably be the Muppets getting more cash the first weekend just out of name recognition alone. Is this really worth a debate or discussion? Really? THE SHOCK!!!!

  • Feb. 22, 2011, 12:14 a.m. CST

    oh, feralangel, I remember you now

    by mrgray

    That's right, you were the one on here before talking endless shit about the new Muppet movie. Aren't you supposedly a teacher or something? Anyway, if your theory is that kids today think of Muppets as Sesame Street characters and thus somehow "beneath" them, then I guess it's conceivable that they won't think that way when they see that these AREN'T the same puppets, right? Or is your supposition that these same kids will recognize Henson's particular style and make the connection between this movie and that children's show AND then automatically consider this new movie also "beneath" them? That's a lot of supposition. Versus what we know to be true, which is that movie studios, particularly Disney, put a lot of money into market research that tells them whether a movie is a good idea or not. Disney isn't known for taking huge risks, so there must be SOME viable data telling them that a new cross-generational Muppet movie is a good idea. And if you actually knew a damn thing about Henson, you'd know that he DID try CG and wasn't against it, nor are most people who treasure the man's work. What he would want, and what most of us want, is CG that actually looks real when interacting in a real environment and storytellers who use CG as a tool and not a fucking crutch. Which is 98% of the idiot hacks who use it.

  • Feb. 23, 2011, 11:39 a.m. CST

    yeah, I remember you too, mrgray

    by FeralAngel

    Damn, do you like have a shrine to Jim Henson in your secret closet or something? Grow the fuck up, join the 21st century, something. And give kids some credit. They've seen Kermit on Sesame Street, so he's part of that, as far as they're concerned, and so he's baby stuff, at least to the kids I've talked to about it. Puppets are baby stuff to them. I guess that's progress, dude. And screw the market research stuff. Have you actually read the story about how this Muppet movie got greenlit? Press releases were all over the place. Disney had no initial interest in it. Zip zero nada, until Jason Segel got wet over the idea during a discussion with Disney about a different project altogether. And then Disney dragged their feet over it for months. Finally, according to Segel, Disney was like "let's just do it, it's not going to cost that much", etc. This film is Segel's baby, and Disney is hoping like heck it makes some dough because it's stuck with a bunch of characters Michael Eisner bought at a discount during his crazy last days at Disney, during which he almost alienated Pixar for good. Genius! And hey, I complimented your holy god when I said he'd probably would totally have gotten into CG had he lived long enough. He actually had this CG character, I think I remember, in this crappy show he did, or maybe it's that show at Disney world, the character was something that flew around. Anyway, what I said was that he might have dumped puppets altogether in favor of CG. Like most people have done, especially special-effects houses. And good thing too. I got stuck watching Cats and Dogs once, and I believe the Henson people did some of the effects, and god damn they were lame. The puppet dogs and cats looked like the real thing but they moved stiffly and unconvincingly. Looked cheap as hell. Anyway, I would like to think that Jim would have seen the potential of CG, but who knows. And ultimately, who cares? Enjoy your Muppet movie dude.

  • Feb. 24, 2011, 1:40 a.m. CST

    Why would I have a secret shrine?

    by mrgray

    Why would anyone need to hide their love of Jim Henson? The only one who seems to find it shameful is you. Everyone else on the f'ing planet really seems to be okay with admitting their love for his work and his influence on their lives. If you asked any CG artist living today if he or she was influenced by Jim Henson, I guarantee you 99% of them will answer a resounding "Yes!" You talk about Pixar almost being alienated, but I'll bet most of those Pixar people were *thrilled* when Disney got the Muppet rights. Because? That's right, because most people love the Muppets. Why you have such a bizarre, arch hatred of them (and don't bullshit me, this continued auto-response shitty attitude you have to any and every AICN post about this movie is 100% hate) is beyond me. Incidentally, how is it a compliment to state a fact? Yes, Henson DID get into CGI. Um... is that a compliment?