• In most ways, it was a pretty slow weekend at the box office, with the exception of Precious, which came out of the gate like a rocket in limited release in 18 theaters. As Box Office Mojo points out, it managed the 12th biggest per-screen weekend average ever. Note that it carried that average over significantly more theaters than the other movies that appear on the list of highest per-screen averages, most of which made their money at only one to three theaters. Put it this way: It is the highest reported per-screen average ever for a movie in more than six theaters.
• I'm a big fan of Amy Heckerling, who directed Clueless and Fast Times At Ridgemont High, but I have to agree with Slashfilm that news that her new venture is a vampire movie just makes me tired.
• Finally someone has applied mathematical exactitude to the problem of why on earth Basic Instinct 2 wasn't a huge success. Now I can get some sleep.
The art of writing (ugh), ignoring the Internet because you got in a fight there once, and a wonderful story about editors' revenge, after the jump.
• This piece about London's Native Spirit Film Festival, which features films by members of indigenous populations about their own experiences, could have been a real snoozer, all respectful admiration and no spark. Instead, it's a terrific, vibrant piece of writing — not to mention a good story.
• Here'a A.O. Scott, in The New York Times, talking about unnecessary hand-wringing over children's movies: "Sometimes we make too much of the division between generations, which is after all not a gap but a continuum. Every adult is a former child, just as every child is an incipient adult, and at their best, children's film and literature (which of course are almost never made by children themselves) is an attempt to communicate across this distance. Young viewers may see a premonition of what lies ahead as well as a sympathetic rendering of what they already know, whereas adults may find pleasure in recalling old hurts and relief that they are not at the mercy of them." The whole thing is marvelously thoughtful.
• Hoo boy. I've found that "never make editors angry" is a pretty good rule of thumb to follow; The Toronto Star has now discovered the same thing. (I admit that is not strictly pop-culture/entertainment news, it's just so awesome that I could not leave it behind.)
• I very much enjoyed this Bookninja takedown of this Wall Street Journal piece about how writers write. All this cutesy business about the detritus with which writers surround their creativity — what Bookninja calls "fetishizing" of the process — will never explain imagination, perseverance, or how much, on some days, writing is like any other job, in that you do it because it is your job, and you hope you will love it more tomorrow. "Writers struggle with the daily work of writing"? So does everyone else with a job.
• Interesting little piece about TV writers having some fun explaining why the Internet is stupid and negative and they don't pay any attention to it. Good luck with that, guys.