Monday, July 06, 2009

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen = Biggest Second-Weekend Drop in Michael Bay's Career

I saw an opening-day midnight showing of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Like many I was, shall we say, less than impressed. Other similarly disappointed friend noted ruefully that it would still probably make boatloads of money. This is true. For a film like this, the audience is more or less built in. It can't not make money.

However, that night I also claimed that if Team America: World Police came out next year, they wouldn't be singing about how much Pearl Harbor sucked anymore. I predicted that once the build-in audience had done their duty, and word spread about how bad it was, we would see the largest second-week slump in Michael Bay's career.

Called it.

Transformers 2 had an opening weekend gross slightly shy of $109 million. The second weekend saw that figure drop to a bit over $42 million, for a week-to-week change of 61.2%, placing it currently ranked #252 on Box Office Mojo's list of the Biggest Second Weekend Drops - the highest of any Bay-helmed movie.

(Also worth noting: Those figures only count the actual weekend part of the first weekend. They do not include the more than $91 million made on that previous Wednesday and Thursday. If those were included, the drop would be even more severe)

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Non-Specific Thoughts and Worries

Lately I've found myself feeling kinda antsy. Like there's something sneaking up behind me, and I'm not ready for it. I can't quite pin it down.

I could certainly point to a lot of factors. Money is definitely one. Today I went through the required online "exit counseling" for my student loans. While mine are relatively modest compared to many others, seeing the number I owed staring me in the face was still a little intimidating. Last month my dad took me down to the Blue Cross/Blue Shield office on McKnight to get me on my first in-my-name medical insurance policy. The monthly fee for that is pretty low, all things considered (the statistical benefit of being young, male, and more or less healthy), but it's still another recurring expense to consider (albeit one that my dad has generously covered the first couple months for).

There are other expenses looming in the future as well. It's highly likely that I'll be purchasing a much-needed used car from my grandparents in the near future. They're willing to let me pay it off in installments, but that's still an additional expense, not even considering state-required auto insurance, maintenance, gas, etc.

Naturally, all of these money woes tie into my job search. I've made a few bucks doing the odd freelance video job on Craigslist, but that is anything but sustainable over the long-term. I need a job. And as time goes on, my "stockpile" of money from graduation and my available credit line will only continue to diminish. (And starting in September, that credit card will start accruing interest - further incentive to pay it off sooner rather than later) My chosen industry is an interesting one. Checking for job openings is highly unlikely to actually find anything. While there are a number of post-production shops in Pittsburgh, they don't exactly plaster openings all over the internet and wait for resumes to roll in. The name of the game is networking - and as of yet I don't have too many "ins" to that game. However, I have recently thought of some ways I might leverage my existing contacts to put me in touch with the right people. We'll see how that goes.

Additionally, as I alluded to a couple posts back, Christine and I are both looking at our futures, hoping they will coincide in Pittsburgh - and hoping that will be soon. We're both tasked with finding jobs here. (And of course, moving out of my parents' house also carries the obvious cost of finding a place to live, something I'm currently trying to "feel out.")

I'm also definitely feeling the universal, powerful urge shared by nearly all college graduates, to "escape" my childhood home and live more or less on my own. (The half-sheltered experience of independence at college, of course, being the "tease" that cannot be forgotten). But I won't go too in-depth with this on a public blog.

All of these are legitimate concerns, but none completely describe my anxiety. Anyone who knows me remotely well knows I can be a pathological worrywart. I'm never wanting for things to fret about. (Not all too long ago it was finals, a professional certification test, and a housemate who seemed to be doing everything possible to get the landlord to evict us. But that's another story altogether...) Something is making what I feel now "different" from my usual worries.

Last night I was thinking about this, and I think I've put my finger on it: It's the slow, subconscious, terrible realization that this is my life. Up till now, I've essentially been traveling on a train. At some stations, I could choose which of several tracks to guide the train down. While I'm onboard, I could choose to get up and go to the dining car, look out the window and enjoy the scenery, or even just sit back and take a nap. But regardless of what track I was on, or what I did within the train... my life was still on rails.

Now it's the end of that line. There isn't another train. From here on out, I'm in charge of where I go, how I get there, who I go with, and what I do when I get there. There's no printed up timecard of upcoming stops. There's no track to follow to the horizon. There's just me, and the world I live in.

Yeah. I think that might have something to do with my anxiety. Just a little.