Before today’s blog, I wanted to quickly remind everyone about the fund raising campaign for Theater Hopper: Year Three over at Kickstarter.

There wasn’t a whole lot of traction on pledges last week and that may have been due in part to the fact that I wasn’t promoting the campaign as hard as I could. We had a really great week two weeks prior and maybe it left me feeling a little too comfortable.

So instead of burying a blog post about the campaign below the main blog, I wanted to take the proactive approach and remind you of it right away.

Please visit the campaign page at Kickstarter and if you have any money to pledge, please consider doing so today. I know here in America it’s going to be a short week because of the Thanksgiving holiday. So if you’re thinking about pledging, sooner is probably better than later.

Right now we’re 35% funded with 38 days to go. Let’s see if we can get that a little closer to 50% before all the turkey and tryptophan settles in and makes us sluggish!

Now, onto the blog!

Today’s comic is sad, but also a little bit true. I mean, who wouldn’t want awesome abs – especially it impressed your wife?

The only piece of fiction in this comic is that Cami knows/cares anything about Taylor Lautner. Even if she did, what are you going to do? I can’t compete with the metabolism of a 17 year-old. Hell, I don’t think I could compete with Taylor Lautner even IF I was 17 years-old.

As it has been widely reported, New Moon broke all kinds of box office records this weekend, taking in over $140 million and coming in third behind The Dark Knight and Spider-Man 3 for the biggest 3-day weekend opening ever.

There was some outrage in the blogosphere early Saturday when it was reported New Moon shattered The Dark Knight’s opening night tally with $72.7 million, besting The Caped Crusader’s $67.2 million – and it did it on 342 fewer theaters than The Dark Knight.

Some of the outraged comments I read online were particularly hilarious. And although part of me kind of wants to be outraged along with them, to do completely ignores two factors:

1.) The increasing escalation of box office reporting and one-upsmanship. If it wasn’t New Moon that overtook The Dark Knight’s record, it would have been some other movie. If not by popularity, but by sheer inflation alone.

2.) New Moon found success by virtue of an audience that was made up nearly 80% by women. When you consider Sandra Bullock’s The Blind Side drew a respectable $34.5 million (the best opening of Bullock’s career, by the way) with an audience made up of nearly 60% women, it is (as Entertainment Weekly put it) “of the most lopsidedly female-driven weekends in Hollywood history.” Any way you slice it, that’s impressive. So, good on ya, ladies!

At this point it would be very easy to delve into the debate that popularity does not equal quality. But at this point I’ve taken a very live and let live attitude about things.

Do I understand the Twilight phenomenon? Do I want to see New Moon? Do I even want to see The Blind Side. The answer to all of those questions is “No.” It’s not my world. I don’t understand it.

I don’t mean to put that out there as an excuse for perpetual willful ignorance. If, for example, Cami wanted to see either movie – if it was important to her – I would go. My point is, these films are not important to me. Just as Transformers 2 wasn’t important to her.

Now perhaps as a “critic,” it’s my job to go out and watch these films so I can tell you guys what I thought and if you should go see them or not. But Theater Hopper has never been about film criticism in a traditional sense. My opinions are not based in any kind of formal education and neither are they driven by a motivation to fit within a social or artistic context.

Simply, they are what they are. I present them to you as a friend might present his or hers to you. No one is holding me to some kind of invisible journalistic standard that demands objectivity and fairness. So if I make the decision that I’m not going to see a movie for whatever reason, I believe I have that latitude- so long as I can at least attempt to explain what lead me to that conclusion.

Besides, considering New Moon’s 29% rotten rating at Rotten Tomatoes, I think it’s safe to say that the film is essentially critic-proof. What kind of influence could I hope to express?

I’m sure we’ll be talking about New Moon’s success and more on The Triple Feature tonight at 9:00 PM CST on TalkShoe. Be sure to join us live if you want to participate in the conversation.

In the meantime, you can always leave your comments here. What were your thoughts about New Moon? Did it live up to your expectations or did it leave something to be desired?

And speaking of desire, what about Taylor Lautner’s abs? Amirite, ladies? Leave your comments below!

↓ Transcript
You were totally right, Jared! Taylor Lautner is sooo hot! Those abs! MY GOODNESS!

At home that evening...

What are you DOING in there?