Yes Inglorious Basterds opened at number 1 and has reaped its share of publicity and box office. And then it was all downhill from there.

3rd week in and Basterds is in 3rd place with under a 100 million dollars. Despite being in almost 4000 theaters, more than every movie above it. Which wouldn't have been such bad news, if Inglorious Basterds had cost under 10 million to make like Pulp Fiction. The bad news is that Tarantino's budgets have gotten fat. Inglorious Basterds cost 70 million million to make and half again that to market. The movie has pulled in 135 million worldwide, so it wouldn't be such completely bad news, if the Weinstein Company hadn't faced a cash crunch and sold half the movie to Universal, while taking on all of the marketing budget alone.

The math on that isn't hard to do, even by Hollywood standards. The Weinsteins can't expect to take home any money from Basterds, but Basterds wasn't supposed to be a profit center, but an investor come on, selling investors on the idea that the Weinstein company isn't a complete bag of failure.

TWC has suffered from too many failures, which means the Weinstein era may be on the way out. Independent studios are giving way. The Weinsteins themselves sold out to Disney before finding Disney too confining. WB has absorbed New Line from head to toe. When the Weinsteins struck out on their own, they might have made a difference, but for a slate choked with movies no one wanted to see, like Factory Girl.

The only hope on the horizon comes from Michael Moore's Capitalism doc, but unlike his previous agit prop pieces, there's no Bush Administration to hate on now, which all but kills the audience appeal. And ranting about the bailouts not only divides his core audience, because Obama and the Dems had as much to do with those as Bush and pubs, but worse yet it's late to the game. Had Michael Moore taken another whack at the auto industry, it might have been a little timelier, but the Wall Street bailouts are last year's news.

Then there's Nine, which suffers from being a musical. Hoodwinked 2, a sequel to an animated movie no one actually liked. The Road, which has all the appeal of Terminator 4, minus the robots, though I'm sure it'll be a big draw to the Cormac McCarthy "pointless novels that go nowhere and assume the audience has the IQ of a turtle" fanbase. And Youth in Revolt, which will rise of all based on whether the audience now hates Michael Cera, and whether TWC can put more marketing dollars behind it than they did for Zack and Miri.

For the Weinsteins, the overall picture isn't good and only getting grimmer. If they can make it 2010, they might be able to get back to the original power of Dimension to move slasher and horror sequels like Scream and Halloween around. But 2010 is millions and millions of dollars away.