Polanski Speaks

Add Comment on May 02, 2010

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In an attempt to clear his name, Roman Polanski has released a statement via Paris friend and author Bernard-Henri Lévy, director of the French magazine La Règle du Jeu:

Throughout my seven months since September 26, 2009, the date of my arrest at Zurich Airport, where I had landed with a view to receiving a lifetime award for my work from the representative of the Swiss Minister of Culture, I have refrained from making any public statements and have requested my lawyers to confine their comments to a bare minimum.

I wanted the legal authorities of Switzerland and the United States, as well as my lawyers, to do their work without any polemics on my part. I have decided to break my silence in order to address myself directly to you without any intermediaries and in my own words.

I have had my share of dramas and joys, as we all have, and I am not going to try to ask you to pity my lot in life. I ask only to be treated fairly like anyone else.

It is true: 33 years ago I pleaded guilty, and I served time at the prison for common law crimes at Chino, not in a VIP prison. That period was to have covered the totality of my sentence. By the time I left prison, the judge had changed his mind and claimed that the time served at Chino did not fulfil te entire sentence, and it is this reversal that justified my leaving the United States.

This affair was roused from its slumbers of over three decades by a documentary film-maker who gathered evidence from persons involved at the time. I took no part in that project, either directly or indirectly.

The resulting documentary not only highlighted the fact that I left the United States because I had been treated unjustly; it also drew the ire of the Los Angeles authorities, who felt that they had been attacked and decided to request my extradition from Switzerland, a country I have been visiting regularly for over 30 years without let or hindrance.

I can now remain silent no longer!

I can remain silent no longer because the American authorities have just decided, in defiance of all the arguments and depositions submitted by third parties, not to agree to sentence me in absentia even though the same Court of Appeal recommended the contrary.

I can remain silent no longer because the California court has dismissed the victim's numerous requests that proceedings against me be dropped, once and for all, to spare her from further harassment every time this affair is raised once more.

I can remain silent no longer because there has just been a new development of immense significance.

On February 26 last, Roger Gunson, the deputy district attorney in charge of the case in 1977, now retired, testified under oath before Judge Mary Lou Villar in the presence of David Walgren, the present deputy district attorney in charge of the case, who was at liberty to contradict and question him, that on September 16, 1977, Judge Rittenband stated to all the parties concerned that my term of imprisonment in Chino constituted the totality of the sentence I would have to serve.

I can remain silent no longer because the request for my extradition addressed to the Swiss authorities is founded on a lie. In the same statement, retired deputy district attorney Roger Gunson added that it was false to claim, as the present district attorney's office does in their request for my extradition, that the time I spent in Chino was for the purpose of a diagnostic study.

The said request asserts that I fled in order to escape sentencing by the U.S. judicial authorities, but under the plea-bargaining process I had acknowledged the facts and returned to the United States in order to serve my sentence. All that remained was for the court to confirm this agreement, but the judge decided to repudiate it in order to gain himself some publicity at my expense.

I can remain silent no longer because for over 30 years my lawyers have never ceased to insist that I was betrayed by the judge, that the judge perjured himself, and that I served my sentence.

Today it is the deputy district attorney who handled the case in the 1970s, a man of irreproachable reputation, who has confirmed all my statements under oath, and this has shed a whole new light on the matter.

I can remain silent no longer because the same causes are now producing the same effects. The new District Attorney, who is handling this case and has requested my extradition, is himself campaigning for election and needs media publicity!

I can no longer remain silent because the United States continues to demand my extradition more to serve me on a platter to the media of the world than to pronounce a judgment concerning which an agreement was reached 33 years ago.

I can remain silent no longer because I have been placed under house arrest in Gstaad and bailed in very large sum of money which I have managed to raise only by mortgaging the apartment that has been my home for over 30 years, and because I am far from my family and unable to work.

 

Such are the facts I wished to put before you in the hope that Switzerland will recognize that there are no grounds for extradition, and that I shall be able to find peace, be reunited with my family, and live in freedom in my native land.

 

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This week the Summer season officially gets kicked off with Iron Man 2. The buzz for the film has been the massive, and appears to be steadily building over the past few weeks.

Iron Man 2 had 56,036 tweets on its lead-up frame last week. Yes, over 50,000, a truly impressive feat. Only The Twilight Saga: New Moon received more tweets in its leadup week since last September 2009 with 78,268. It has been by far the biggest pull on Twitter over the last few weeks and it consistently pulls more than 30% of all tweet traffic for all openers in the next 4 months. It has brought in around 40,000 tweets for both Friday and Saturday this week also which is a good sign that its Monday will be north of 50,000 given usual jumps. That should give it a 200,000 - 250,000 tweet week next week. New Moon had a full week ratio of 5,171 but Iron Man 2 should be a ways under that since it has a broader appeal and much less of the buzz is about the actors (no Twihard nation here). At this point I'm going to go with a predicted ratio of 3,500 and a Friday of $60 - $65 million.

Check back Monday night for analysis of the Monday tweet totals. Follow @AlexBOXOFFICE on Twitter for additional updates.

Twitter tracking history. (For 2009's ratio history please check here.)

alltweets043010.jpgThe ratio is the number of tweets per $1 million of Friday Box Office gross. A film with 1,000 tweets and a $10 million Friday would therefore have a ratio of 100. In general, films that appeal to very young or older audiences have lower ratios since those audiences are not big users of Twitter. By comparison, films that appeal to younger audiences (18-35) have much higher ratios since those audiences are much more active users of Twitter.

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According to Paramount, Iron Man 2 has already grossed $100.2 million from 6,764 locations in 53 territories. The sequel boasts the 2nd biggest international opening for Marvel behind Spider-Man 3.

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Some highlights:

UK: $12.2 million from 528 locations, which marks a 49 percent increase over Iron Man in local currency.
Korea: $10.8 million from 855 locations, which is 25 percent more than Spider-Man 2, 125 percent better than The Dark Knight and 79 percent ahead of Iron Man.

Iron Man 2 also helped IMAX set a new international 2D record with $2.25 million from 48 screens.

BoxOffice.com is currently predicting a $150 million opening weekend for the film when it hits North America.

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A Nightmare On Elm Street grossed $15.8 million on Friday, which gave it a Twitter ratio of 1,003. This was pretty much bang on with my prediction of $16 million. The film received 17,428 tweets on Friday, 3,575 of which were positive (20.51%) and 2,188 negative (12.55%). In general a good yardstick for reviews for a film is 25% so this really wasn't an overly positive showing, and certainly nothing to think it that it might outperform the usual horror multiplier of ~2.2 - 2.4. As such expect a weekend of $37 million.

Furry Vengeance opened to $1.7 million on Friday, which gave it a Twitter ratio of 929. This was even lower than my prediction of $2.4 million. The film received 1,370 tweets on Friday, 173 of which were positive (12.63%) and 196 of which were negative (14.31%). This is a pretty pitiful showing, especially for a film catering to families. Expect a full weekend of $6.5 million.

Check back tomorrow for a preview of Iron Man 2 and what will no doubt be the biggest week on Twitter since New Moon came out last November. Follow @AlexBOXOFFICE on Twitter for additional updates.

Twitter tracking history. (For 2009's ratio history please check here.)

alltweets043010.jpgThe ratio is the number of tweets per $1 million of Friday Box Office gross. A film with 1,000 tweets and a $10 million Friday would therefore have a ratio of 100. In general, films that appeal to very young or older audiences have lower ratios since those audiences are not big users of Twitter. By comparison, films that appeal to younger audiences (18-35) have much higher ratios since those audiences are much more active users of Twitter.

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apr04302010.jpgA Nightmare On Elm Street had a massive Thursday with 6,244 tweets or 14.4% of the total Twitter buzz for all films opening in the next 4 months. By comparison, The Crazies had 2,134 tweets its Thursday before release (5,012 for the full week), Shutter Island had 5,340 (13,273 for the week), and Saw VI had 4,359 (8,975 for the full week). Of those 6244 tweets, 1,216 were positive (19.47%) and 590 negative (9.45%). While this 6,244 number is indeed impressive (9th biggest Thursday for a Friday opener) it is a ways below my expected 9,000 as it didn't have the explosion in the later hours as I had envisaged. The end result is a week tally of 15,843 for the film. The good news is the explosion on Thursday for films in this genre usually drive the ratio up significantly, but since its expansion this week was much more metered (6.83 Monday to Thursday) this should bring its ratio down a ways. This 6.83 week expansion brings it closer to Shutter Island's 7.25 than it does to Saw VI's 7.66 or The Crazies' 6.00. As such I'm going to bring its predicted ratio down slightly to 1,000 to be more in line with Shutter Island. The net result is my This should prediction remains the same from yesterday: ~$16 million on Friday and $39 million for the weekend.

Furry Vengeance again had a poor return with 641 tweets, 1.50% of the total tweet market share (tweet share?). This gave it 1,580 for the full week. By comparison, The Spy Next Door had 623 tweets its Thursday before release (1,452 for the full week), and The Tooth Fairy had 640 (1,720 for the full week). Of those 641 tweets it had yesterday, 114 were positive (17.78%) and 63 negative (9.83%). The writing has been on the wall for a while that this was going to under perform, its just a matter of how poorly. The poor ratings coupled with the theater count leads me to believe it is going to perform much more similar to Spy Next Door than Tooth Fairy. As such I'm going to go with a ~650 ratio estimate and $2.4 million Friday, $8 million for the full weekend.

Check back Saturday to see Friday's numbers and the actual Twitter ratios for the weekend and follow @AlexBOXOFFICE on Twitter for additional updates.

Twitter tracking history. (For 2009's ratio history please check here.)

alltweets042310.jpgThe ratio is the number of tweets per $1 million of Friday Box Office gross. A film with 1,000 tweets and a $10 million Friday would therefore have a ratio of 100. In general, films that appeal to very young or older audiences have lower ratios since those audiences are not big users of Twitter. By comparison, films that appeal to younger audiences (18-35) have much higher ratios since those audiences are much more active users of Twitter.

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