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Monday, December 11, 2006

The Sublime Inflections of Varietyese

While I'm on about Variety (please, no jokes about it being the "Show Biz Bible"), if you've ever read even a page or two of the fabled entertainment periodical, you'd know that the people at Variety speak a very peculiar brand of the Queen's English.

Take for example this article, on Mel Gibson's new film Apocalypto (which is not about Jesus going on a blind date). There are several terms in it that would baffle people who aren't film buffs, producers, or Jiminy Glick. In order to help you, our dear readers, make sense of the article, I have included a handy list of terms and definitions, in order of appearance:

  • pic - Short for picture, or film
  • helmer - Director
  • offset antics - Run in with police that couldn't be covered up by the studio
  • notices - Reviews, includes both legitimate reveiwers and those so desperate to appear on the DVD boxed set that they include the word "Oscar-lypto-riffic" in their review
  • PR push - Public Relations drive, usually consisting of attempts to get members of the media drunk enough to forget what they were covering before they saw the film
  • $370 million domestically - More money than you and I will ever see in our lifetime, even if we win the lottery twice
  • Cameron Diaz - Box office gold (also an instant 30% uptick in hits on this blog)
  • rookie - new film, OR L.A. police who've never encountered a celebrity
  • frame - A set period of time, such as the weekend, over which grosses are counted (Not related to bowling...no one in Hollywood bowls except in the movies)
  • B.O. - Box office, unless the subject is Steven Segall
  • self-distribbed - independently distributed by the film's creator (Admit it, you thought it was something to do with thingy)
  • foreign front - Kate Winslet
  • cume - Cumulative total (You were worried about that one, weren't you?)
  • rollout - the introduction of a motion picture to a particular market, OR Jack Black, just after the bar closes
  • demo - demographic, OR what every celebrity who wants to be a singer is currently working on


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