Insanity Wrap: I Know Hollywood’s Dirty Little Secret

News & Politics

Maybe we got it backward: Hollywood is Washington for beautiful people. That’s the lead crazy on today’s Insanity Wrap, an entire week’s worth of the best bad news.

Before we get to today’s big story, here’s a short video to make you lose whatever little faith you might still have in humanity.


How Long Can You Stand to Watch?

In this week’s “How Long Can You Stand to Watch?” challenge, I made it all of 12 seconds before closing the tab with extreme prejudice.

How long did you last?

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Anyway, at age four, my eldest (now 17) tried to convince everyone that he was a scorpion. He got better.


Hollywood: Money Laundering, Inc.

Imagine you’re a Hollywood studio that just spent nearly $300 million on an unwanted sequel to an unloved superhero movie about a secondary character whose power is that he can run really fast, annoyingly played by a creeper credibly accused of assault, burglary, disorderly conduct, harassment, and grooming of minors.

What’s the best you could hope for after “The Flash” belly flops just as hard as pretty much everybody — inside and outside of Hollywood — predicted?

Maybe tell people you “only” spent $200 million so that nobody looks too closely at the books.

The Hollywood Reporter revealed a few days ago that despite “The Flash” having a budget of around $200 million (according to IMDB), the movie “collected just $268 million at the global box office against a $300 million budget.”

Emphasis added. The telling detail in the THR story is that the movie’s Batman toys — Michael Keaton reprised his 1989 role as the Caped Crusader opposite Ezra Miller’s Flash — are outselling actual Flash toys.

Hollywood knows marketing the way fish know water: they live and breathe it. It’s impossible to believe that no one at Warner Bros understood that if anything starring the execrable Miller was going to make any money, it had better not cost much money to produce and market. Like, maybe four dollars.

But the story is bigger than one big-budget Hollywood flop, according to the trusty big brain at Nerdrotic.

Hollywood Finances

I’ve written before about the “Snow White” live-action remake coming out next year and that it’s going to cost a minimum of $200 million before marketing costs. $200 million for a costumed children’s movie about a young maiden and her painfully diverse collection of magical friends?

$200 million, bare minimum, for this?

My wife and my themed New Year’s parties have higher production values and with a budget of maybe four figures, not nine.

So how the hell did anyone authorize spending nearly $300 million making something like “The Flash” or “Snow White” and another $100 million or so marketing it?

Maybe they didn’t. Maybe, like so much money in Washington, it simply can’t be properly accounted for. Maybe the important thing is that all the right hands got greased and all the proper pockets were heavily lined.

Hollywood’s business practices have always been questionable at best. Oscar-winning leading man Cliff Robertson got blacklisted by the entire industry for five years for revealing in 1978 that a single producer, David Begelman, had embezzled more than $60 grand from his studio. That kind of comparatively small-time theft was de rigueur, however, and so Hollywood circled the wagons to protect Begelman. Robertson was made to pay for revealing another man’s crime in order to protect all of Hollywood’s other executive-level criminals.

But when somebody is signing nine-figure checks to put a suspected pedo on the screen wearing skintight red leather, it can’t be because they’re expecting to make bank at the box office. It certainly can’t be explained away on penny-ante embezzlement like Begelman’s.

This is big-time money we’re talking about now, and it isn’t resulting in big-time box office — and it certainly isn’t reflected even in the production quality of the movies.

Old Clinton hand Paul Begala joked years ago that “Washington is Hollywood for ugly people.” But what if he got it backward? What if Hollywood — with its ruthless pursuit of political power, with its grooming and abuse of young talent, and above all with its lust for other people’s money — is Washington for beautiful people?

Beautiful on the outside, that is, but as rotten at the core as an evil queen’s poisoned apple.


Previously On Insanity Wrap: Meet Billy Joel, Florida Man


Before We Continue, Here’s a Short Video to Restore Your Faith in Everything…

I’m literally figuratively dying of laughter.


The Craziest Person in the World (This Week)

Hawaii Fires
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer
In deadly Maui fires, many had no warning and no way out. Those who dodged barricades survived

When I first came across this headline on Twitter today, there wasn’t a link, so I thought maybe it was fake. But I did a little digging and it turns out this is a legit AP report on the Maui fires that killed more than a hundred people and maybe a thousand more still missing:

As flames tore through a West Maui neighborhood, car after car of fleeing residents headed for the only paved road out of town in a desperate race for safety.

And car after car was turned back toward the rapidly spreading wildfire by a barricade blocking access to Highway 30.

One family swerved around the barricade and was safe in a nearby town 48 minutes later, another drove their 4-wheel-drive car down a dirt road to escape.

There are stories of terror and heroism throughout the report, and you really should read the whole thing.

A bad situation can quickly turn into a total disaster. Be prepared.


Your Weekly Dose of Mostly Peaceful Protest

They’re just trying to feed their hungry kids who also need a good skincare regimen.


Exclusively for our VIPs: The Doctor Can’t See You Right Now, Would You Like to Kill Yourself Instead?


A quick little something before we get to the closing meme…

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And don’t miss tonight’s GOP Primary Debate Drunkblog, starting at 8:45-ish p.m. Eastern, sharpish, right on the PJ Media homepage.


One More Thing…

Don’t worry, folks, the ‘Vette is fine.


That’s a Wrap for this week.

Come back next week for another Insanity Wrap… assuming we make it that long.

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