America Can Still be Attracted to Three-Eight Charlie Despite the Box Office of "Amelia"8:19 PM
"I know that all of America was queasily captivated by the bizarre "is it real or isn't it?" Balloon Boy escapade. But here in Hollywood, heads are being scratched over an equally puzzling mystery: How did Fox Searchlight, which has easily the best box-office batting average of any specialty film company in the business, get stuck with a turkey like "Amelia," which earned a disappointing $4 million box office at the film's weekend?"
I still believe that the story of Jerrie Mock's success as a aviator in her 1964 flight around the world will come completely out of left field and will be well-received by the public. It will be the fact that she is completely unknown that will pique the ticket buyer's interest - they will HAVE to learn more. Jerrie's story will be one not just about a pilot and her plane, but about a woman's determination to achieve what most said was unachievable.
My promise to Jerrie Mock when we signed our Life Story Rights Agreement was that I was the one screenwriter on this planet who could look out for her best interests as "Three-Eight Charlie" was being made. But after watching "Amelia" come to market as a pretty "Big Studio" picture that is getting terrible reviews, I know now that the only way to make "Charlie" correctly is to pursue the project as an independent film. It is critical to this creative process that I stay in control to insure the audience that there won't be any bikini scenes, car chases, fighter jet attacks, exploding pyramids or camel races.