Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights

Release Date: February 27, 2004

Believe it or not, I'm walking on air.

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
45/92 David Mumpower I will buy the soundtrack. I will never watch the movie again.
95/126 Kim Hollis I love Diego Luna, but this flick is pretty laughable.

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Dateline: 1987. "Nobody puts Baby in a corner." Movie audiences have the time of their lives with dialogue just that awful as the movie Dirty Dancing becomes a multi-media blockbuster of epic proportions. It earned $170.3 million worldwide and launched two different multi-platinum soundtracks. The first of them sold over 20 million copies and was number one on music charts for almost five months. So dominant was the success of the music from the movie that Patrick Swayze, the star of Dirty Dancing, even managed a top ten single with She's Like the Wind. It was one of most synergetic productions of the past quarter century since Grease was released in theaters, and is often a centerpiece of discussions about profitable cross-marketing for movies.

Dateline: 2003. A confident voice asks, "What does looking have to do with it? Just feel the music," as a trailer runs in theaters advising audiences to rediscover music, rediscover rhythm and rediscover the time of your life in the retelling of a classic love story.

Since this is Hollywood, hugely profitable is synonymous with sequel, which means that 2004 will see the release of Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights. Of course, co-distributors Artisan and Miramax have decided it's better to describe the new title as a re-make rather than sequel, but that's an argument of semantics we're not here to debate. What is important is that Romola Garai and Diego Luna have been cast in roles eerily similar to those made famous by Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze.

Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights is set in 1958, and it tells the story of Katey, a teenage American who has just moved to Cuba. She knows only a smattering of Spanish, but that's okay for the most part as she mainly interacts with fellow rich American teens at the posh Oceana Hotel in Havana. It is there where she studies ballroom dancing and also where she meets the dashing young Javier, a waiter at the hotel. As fate would have it, only Javier has the talent to partner with Katey in a dance competition being held at the hottest nightclub in the city, The Palace. Unbeknownst to her parents or his friends, they meet in private to practice for the competition and of course fall in love. But in Cuba, a man named Castro is ready to lead a revolution, and Americans are soon to be unwelcome in his country. Will the young lovers be torn apart by circumstance?

As you can readily see, the plot is straightforward for the genre. Everything done in the film is little more than than a time killer for the extended dance sequences along with the soundtrack sales that will coincide with Dirty Dancing's box office. As the locality indicates, the music in the re-make will have a predominantly Latin flavor as is shown off in the trailer. No matter the performance of the movie, the soundtrack sales alone are justification for the sequel. I will be surprised, though, if Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights doesn't find a similarly successful niche as the original, thereby making this a very profitable endeavor for Artisan and Miramax. (David Mumpower/BOP)

Vital statistics for Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights
Main Cast Romola Garai, Diego Luna
Supporting Cast Mika Boorem, Jonathan Jackson, Sela Ward, January Jones, John Slattery, Rene Lavan
Director Guy Ferland
Screenwriter Ronald Bass
Distributor Artisan Entertainment
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site http://www.dirtydancinghavananights.com
Rating PG-13
Running Time 86 minutes
Screen Count 2,042
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Princess Diaries, The 8/3/0122.86 24.39 2537 9011.00 9250.2 108.24 115.52 4.73
Lizzie McGuire Movie, The 5/2/0317.34 17.34 2825 6138.00 6138.0 42.67 42.67 2.46
Crossroads 2/15/0217.01 17.68 2380 7149.00 7149.0 37.19 38.66 2.19
Moulin Rouge 6/1/0113.72 14.64 2279 6019.00 6178.8 57.22 61.07 4.12
Walk To Remember, A 1/25/0212.18 12.66 2411 5051.00 5051.0 41.23 42.86 3.39
What a Girl Wants 4/4/0311.43 11.43 2964 3858.00 3858.0 35.99 35.99 3.15
Chicago 2/7/0310.79 10.79 1841 5859.00 5859.0 170.68 170.68 10.94



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