The 40th anniversary 4K-cut of Stop Making Sense continues to make a lot of cents.
In the wake of the Talking Heads A24 re-release racking up the biggest grossing Imax live event ever with close to $641K, we’re hearing that showtimes for this weekend’s Imax run are already selling out.
Move over, Barbie (which is getting her first release in Imax this Friday for one week), because you’re going to have to contend with the Talking Heads in the house, not Ken.
Originally the re-release of the 1984 Jonathan Demme concert film was bound to run in around 150 Imax auditoriums, now it’s 300. That’s a nice appetizer for any pop rock aficionado waiting in the lobby for the Taylor Swift: Eras Tour concert to start. Stop Making Sense expands again next Friday, Sept. 29.
After dancing in their seats at their TIFF reunion last week, the Talking Heads came to the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica to bring down more houses, Tuesday night’s sellout seeing tickets priced as high as $32. While Oscar winner Spike Lee moderated the band’s get-together in Toronto, their prior being 21 years ago, 11x Oscar nominee Paul Thomas Anderson got his nerd out with the post-punk band.
Also in attendance for what’s hopefully not a once in a lifetime event, were John C. Reilly, Everything Everywhere All at Once Oscar nominee Stephanie Hsu, Adam Scott, Phoebe Bridgers, Beck, St. Vincent, China Chow, Jeff Probst and “Mickey” crooner herself, Toni Basil.
The band shared more stories about the making of the movie, i.e. the Pantages where they shot the movie back in 1983 proved to be an ideal location. “You had to have a lot of wing space,” said lead singer David Byrne about the venue, especially with “risers hidden on the side.” The conceit of the concert is that the production design builds up as each song amps up. In addition, the band’s management believed they could sell out four nights despite the fact that they had already played the market. Unveiled last night was the original LA Weekly ad to get people to show up to the concert’s filming.
In addition, Stop Making Sense stands apart from other concert films in having several cameras capturing each bandmember’s emotions and glances during the shoot. Shared drummer Chris Frantz, “(Producer) Gary Goetzman said ‘Don’t look at the camera and for God’s sake, don’t pick your nose! So, I didn’t.”
Anderson asked the group if it was true that the oasis Tom Tom Club number in the film, “Genius Love,” was bound to be cut out. Tom Tom Club was a side project band of Talking members Frantz and wife Tina Weymouth. “Genius Love” has been ampled or re-covered by the likes of L’Trimm, Redman, Funkdoobiest, Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers in “Tumblin’ Down”, the 12″ Remix, and of course, Mariah Carey in her hit single “Fantasy”.
“I only ask because it’s so magical when it comes up,” said Anderson.
Deadpanned Weymouth, “It was so David could change into his big suit.”
Joining the band on stage last night were the pic’s percussionist Steve Scales, and famed back-up singers Lynn Mabry & Ednah Holt.
Not including the Imax live event of Stop Making Sense which satellited from TIFF, the concert film has a current lifetime box office of $5M.