Monday, April 03, 2006
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The last time "Basic Instinct" man-eater Catherine Tramell prowled the big screen, the studio erotic thriller was hitting box office heights. The first "Instinct" took the top spot when it debuted in 1992, with an opening weekend of $15.1 million, the equivalent of $20.45 million in today's dollars.
By comparison, "Basic Instinct 2" limped into 10th place upon its arrival this weekend, grossing just $3.2 million.
In the years between the two films, a string of high-profile flops, including MGM's "Body of Evidence," United Artists' "Showgirls" and Paramount Pictures' "Jade," have all contributed to the cooling off of the erotic thriller, a genre that had once sizzled at the box office.
Paul Verhoeven, director of the first "Basic Instinct" (which scored $353 million worldwide) as well as the widely ridiculed "Showgirls" (now regarded as something of a camp classic), attributes the genre's demise to the current American political climate.
"Anything that is erotic has been banned in the United States," said the Dutch native. "Look at the people at the top (of the government). We are living under a government that is constantly hammering out Christian values. And Christianity and sex have never been good friends."
Scribe Nicholas Meyer, who was an uncredited writer on 1987's seminal sex-fueled cautionary tale "Fatal Attraction," agrees, noting that the genre's downfall coincides with the ascent of the conservative political movement.
"We're in a big puritanical mode," he said. "Now, it's like the McCarthy era, except it's not 'Are you a communist?' but 'Have you ever put sex in a movie?'"
So it can't be that sequels generally don't fair well or that the script was bad or that the movie just sucks or that the average movie-goer has caught on to Sharon Stone being one of the most overrated actresses in the business.
It must pertain to one thing and one thing only: Blame Bush.
Posted by Mr. Grey Ghost at 3:56 PM