I got a text message some time on Saturday:

mike: josh hartnett sucks

That would be my friend Mike, checking in from Toronto, probably after seeing The Black Dahlia. That puts Mike firmly in two separate camps: People who think Josh Hartnett isn't a very good actor (or even an interesting screen presence) and the smaller group of people who actually paid money to see The Black Dahlia.

Maybe that's how they marketed Jackass: Number Two: "You'll see morons do idiotic things, but, we promise, no Josh Hartnett!" Something has to explain why Jackass can be number one at the box office, doesn't it? Actually, this is kind of what I hate about box office reporting -- there's rarely any discussion in the mainstream media about how many prints of a film were out there: When you realize that there were over 3,000 prints of Jackass: Number Two on the streets, the question is how could it not be at the top of the box office? I always find per-screen average as interesting -- or more interesting -- as which film pulled in the most money. For example, Jackass: Number Two made about $9,187 for every movie screen it played on; The Science of Sleep made $24,785. That's not a story, though -- it involves math, it involves talking about the real economics of movies and it involves looking at the business of show business. So it's a lot easier to just look at who made the most money -- doesn't matter how -- and trumpet that film as a success.

Sigh,

J.