Notes on Tarantino/Rodriguez/Weinstein‘s great Grindhouse debacle: 

Facts on the Ground. From Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily: “[Harvey] Weinstein admitted to spending at least $30 million on U.S. promotion and advertising for  Grindhouse, which, added to what I’d already heard was a $67+ mil budget and not the low-50s cost he has claimed, makes this at least a $100 mil movie. So the first weekend’s take of just $12 mil is all the more disastrous.”

Stix Nix Hix Pix. “We didn’t educate the South or Midwest. In the West and the East, the movie played well. It played well in strong urban settings. But we missed the boat on the Midwest and the South.” –Harvey Weinstein on Grindhouse‘s marketing strategy flaws (per DHD interview)

Say It With Haiku. Over at the Hot Blog, David Poland’s soliciting comments “in 25 words or less” on why Grindhouse has been floundering so spectacularly. Among the more penetrating apercus: “It’s a Kurt Russell movie” and “Wrectum. Knock knock – McFly? / The title ‘was’ the concept. / It was flawed and it got floored.”

The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant. For its European release (again per DHD), “Harvey says The Weinstein Co. is already intending to split [Grindhouse] into two separate pics. … ‘Quentin’s movie goes out first in competition at Cannes. He’ll do an extensive 4 to 5 month tour. And the trailer will be all Quentin’s. … Then we’ll release Robert’s a couple of months later. By splitting it up, we’re going to do a hell of a lot better internationally than we did here.”

Is This the End of Rico? From an unnamed “marketing analyst” at Hollywood Elsewhere: “It’s starting to look like it might be over for the Weinsteins now. It’s almost time for the fire sale and the funeral. … The Weinsteins have fucked a lot of people and are hated. They have to go to festivals to get films. Too many people are allied against them.”

Never More Himself Than Now. DHD again: “But Harvey is adamant that the flop will not be a body blow to The Weinstein Co. ‘We’re smart businessmen. Thank God, we protected ourselves economically. I’ve spent the last year diversifying the company. We’re making profits everywhere but the movie business. But on DVD sales, we’re doing well.’ … Harvey admitted [that] his attention may have been too diverted from the movie biz. … ‘This Cannes, I’m going to change all that. I’m back to being me. We wanted to diversify immediately. Now I have to go back to being Harvey.'”

The Archangel Effect. From the comments board at GreenCine Daily: “One thing I haven’t seen mentioned is that GRINDHOUSE is basically a big budget experimental film. With all the scratches, missing frames and sound dropouts, it’s as if Guy Maddin set out to make a 70s exploitation movie.”

Isabella Rossellini, where are you?