"I don't know how accurate this is but Box Office Mojo is reporting Beer League's weekend at $320,000. As you probably know, Artie needs to make a million to bring the movie to a national release in October. If you were planning on seeing it and haven't gone out yet, do it today. We've heard reports of Artie fans from across the country simply buying a ticket through Fandango even though they can't see it. If you are one of them, let us know about it..."
The above email from "Mutt" that arrived in the Tabloid Baby offices this afternoon is the latest reason why Howard Stern will begin syndicating parts of his show on “free” radio sometime soon. Because there was a time when a Howard Stern Radio Show connection could add a little push to the box office-- at least get it to more than 164 theatres and rake in a measly million dollars.
But that was a time when Howard Stern mattered, when his new radio sidekick Artie Lange and his sad march to a blubbery booze and drug-soaked Farleyesque death was, if not a national obsession, at least common knowledge, heard on the radio in various cities around the country-- and generating enough publicity to sell out the stand-up gigs he wobbled to in joints around the country.
But now of course, Howard Stern is playing to a paid crowd, and has no cultural influence or juice at all because the millions who used to listen to him forgot about him soon after he took his ball and went home last December. We realized it the other morning, when we were stuck in rush hour traffic on the freeway, punching the radio buttons between Stephanie Miller and Mark & Brian and Kevin & Bean (pausing to smack it because Stern's nimrod successor Adam Carolla was wasting airtime with his deadly unfunny “Deaf Frat Guy” character) and we realized, amid all these cars, stopped for miles on the freeway— probably no one is listening to Howard Stern.
Because we’re not going to pay for car radio. Sorry.
Beer League seals Stern's Rupert Pupkin basement door.
Artie Lange got star billing and his name in the movie's title because of his Stern connection. We’re surprised Howard didn’t ante up a quarter million bucks to boost the box office and save face. But he’s probably in the Hamptons, enjoying his hundreds of millions of dollars and his new anonymity.
In any case, this is why Howard will soon syndicate his show on what’s become known as free, “terrestrial” radio.
Because when the New York Times takes the time to label a gross-out sports comedy as “close to being that rare film that is perfectly bad-- i.e., that has not a shred of social, entertainment or even curiosity value,” a Howard Stern push should be able to avoid embarrassment.