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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Sunday Estimates – 11/20

So yes

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29 Responses to “Sunday Estimates – 11/20”

  1. Angelus21 says:

    Over 100 for Harry Potter. Impressive.

  2. Mr. Emerson says:

    One of the happiest weekends the industry’s had all year, and yes, very impressive numbers for a film based on probably the weakest book in the Rowling oevure. I see the weekend as a mix of both a) a true “event” movie…in an age where the huge best-sellers aren’t automatically transformed into “prestigious, big-money big-studio pictures anymore Goblet of Fire stands out all the more…and b) the presence of several truly good movies being out at the same time for what might be the first time all year and all of them doing well, especially Walk the Line and Pride and Prejudice…darn fine job that amount of theatres!

  3. Blackcloud says:

    “One of the happiest weekends the industry’s had all year, and yes, very impressive numbers for a film based on probably the weakest book in the Rowling oevure.”
    I didn’t realize I’d just seen the film adaptation of Half-Blood Prince. Boy, that was fast, the book and the film in the same year.

  4. Blackcloud says:

    Although maybe I was, since Goblet of Fire the movie suffers from some of the same problems as Half-Blood Prince the book. I did like the movie (can’t say the same for HBP), but overall I’d have to say it wasn’t the best year for Harry Potter, at least in terms of quality.

  5. PandaBear says:

    Anymore “Slump” talk????

  6. Josh says:

    The Half Blood Prince was a great addition to the Potter series. Goblet was maybe the weakest.

  7. Blackcloud says:

    Goblet of Fire is by far the best book in the series, with Order of the Phoenix coming in second. Half-Blood Prince was a significant descent from those heights.

  8. RDP says:

    At this point, the slump talk will continue regardless. Even if all records are broken and 2005 ends up surpassing 2004’s yearly box office totals, the idea of the “slump” is ingrained and will continue to rear its head whether truth or not.
    Once something makes it into the public consciousness, the actual truth doesn’t matter anymore.

  9. Scooba Steve says:

    So my question is how does Daniel Radcliff play in this? If the studios were to switch him and the other two out because of age, would the numbers show it?

  10. Josh says:

    Half Blood was ten times better than Goblet. Any real fan knows that.

  11. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    They can NOT change Daniel Radcliff (or the other two either). It would just look silly. But I doubt the future of the franchise financially would be dependant on him.
    Good to see Flightplan finally leaving the Top 10, but it’s still grossing over $1000 per cinema. So odd.
    Good to see P&P didn’t die in it’s second week.
    Grown men arguing about Harry Potter now. God, what doesn’t this blog have?

  12. Adam says:

    According to the Steve Kloves article in the LATimes today they’re going to try to film 5 and 6 as close to back to back as they can. They can do this since the writer of the recent Peter Pan is adapting Order of the Phoenix and Kloves is back on board for Half Blood Prince, so both are being worked on simultaneously. If 5 shoots from January to May 2006 (or thereabouts) then I imagine everyone would have a few months of break before starting up shooting on book six in late 2006 or early 2007. If they take that sort of schedule, the only problem is negotiating salaries and backend deals for the three leads–considering the amount this series is grossing, I hope WB doesn’t balk. And everyone in the world is conditioned to accepting 29 year olds play 16 year olds or younger, I don’t think people would be too upset if Radcliffe and co. are 19 or 20 when they shoot book 7, which won’t be until 2008 or 2009.

  13. Wrecktum says:

    Is Radcliffe planning on leaving the franchise? I hadn’t heard that. If so, It would definitely be a stumbling block, but not a killer. Batman Forever outgrossed Batman returns, for instance.

  14. Blackcloud says:

    “Half Blood was ten times better than Goblet. Any real fan knows that.”
    I’m sure Jo Rowling sleeps easier at night knowing you’re keeping the ranks of Potter fandom pure of heresy.
    As for changing the cast, I’m sure there would be a lot of guys who would be sore to see Emma Watson go.

  15. Josh says:

    Hersey? It’s herse being one of the elitists who think she peaked on number 4, cloud. Sorry bout that.
    You can’t change the cast this far along. No one will care if they’re 23 playing 17. It happens on every single movie or tv show anyway. Why ruin a good thing?

  16. jeffmcm says:

    Purely for informational purposes since I have read only the first Harry Potter book and have absolutely no vested interest…
    How is it ‘elitist’ to prefer book 4 over book 6? Does it contain complex psychological discussions while 6 has face-eating zombie chicks?

  17. jeffmcm says:

    By the way, I would have totally forgotten about the ‘slump’ if not for Poland’s constant rebuttal of it.

  18. jesse says:

    I’m shocked by all of this Goblet vs. Half-Blood debate… I could’ve sworn Order of the Phoenix was, if not the worst of the six, *definitely* the worst of the three fat ones. (Chamber of Secrets seems kind of inconsequential in retrospect, but at least it’s not bloated like Phoenix.)
    Rowling is not so great at writing action/pandemonium (and pandemonium only really enters into it because she’s not so great at writing action), so the climax of Phoenix feels like a huge, ridiculous free-for-all… I think Phoenix could be cleaned up into something way cooler for the movies, actually.

  19. Blackcloud says:

    I thought the same thing about the climax of Phoenix. As I read it, I thought, “I bet this would look a lot better on the screen than it reads on the page.” It’s just confused and cluttered. Too much going on. It reads like it was designed to be a film spectacular. Which it may well be. But it’s not so good in a book.
    On the other hand, Phoenix does have a lot of good stuff in it. I like the revelation about James Potter being as bad as Snape says he was. I loved Umbridge (Slughorn isn’t a quarter as interesting, although he shows there are decent Slytherins). I found it very strong in character development (e.g., Neville), which HBP is not, unless you count Ron and Hermione and Ginny and Harry finally getting together.
    My main problem with HBP is that it is all exposition. It’s literally like doing homework, since that is what Harry does. JKR took the Pensieve, a creation of great imagination, and made it dull and trite. Dumbledore shows Harry everything, so we lose that vicarious thrill of seeing things forbidden. Therefore, it’s not nearly as interesting. It’s all set up, set up, set up. And what we do see isn’t all that interesting. All the stuff about Tom Marvolo Riddle may pay off in book 7, but it doesn’t here. So he grew up in an orphanage. Big deal. The atmosphere seemed off, too. What happened to the danger from the last two books? It starts slow and never picks up, through 600 pages. HBP I’ll be glad to see cut in half or more for the movie. It’ll be an improvement.

  20. AgentArc says:

    I think the pandemonium in the climax of Order of the Phoenix was done well if you don’t focus on Harry, but Half-Blood Princes pandemonium climax is near terrifying. An indulgent director could pull off some wild one shots with that sequence.
    As for my rankings…
    Half-Blood Prince > Goblet of Fire > Prisoner of Azkaban > Order of the Phoenix > Chamber of Secrets > Sorcerer’s Stone, like anyone cared. 😀
    So, these are some WONKY estimates. $92 million, or $105 million weekend? These are my most anticipated actuals ever.

  21. jesse says:

    But HBP is less heavy on the *repeated* exposition from other books — I know they’re children’s books at heart, but I don’t understand why, especially in Books 4 and 5, Rowling spends SO much time recapping information from the previous books. Maybe kids need reminders or whatever, but it’s so excessive, especially when the books are so long anyway.
    I found Umbridge over-the-top. I’m sure it’ll work well in the movie, but in the book it feels like they’re pushing it too far, too extreme, for it to maintain any kind of plausibility.
    Book 6 on the whole feels less over-the-top than Book 5, and I felt the feeling of foreboding in terms of the world at large — the opening chapter, describing (essentially) terrorist attacks, is very well-done (and the book also cuts down on the dreaded and repetitive Durdsley-house openings).

  22. jesse says:

    Hey, speaking of Box Office Mojo (in Dave’s original post)… I know this has been touched upon by Dave in the past, but it’s usually more in the context of newspaper articles quoting Brandon Gray (who does run a very informative database — not just for box office, but fairly accurate release schedules, which I’ve found can be hard to come by, screen counts, etc). Has anyone else here been annoyed by the “analysis” in Brandon Gray’s write-ups on the site? Specifically, the fact that it assigns reasons for films underperforming with a disturbing degree of certainty considering that the analysis is almost never backed up by actual facts (except that the movie in question did underperform; it’s the reasons that are always stated as fact when nothing has been documented).
    He *loves* to say definitively which movies looked “appealing” to audiences. The only semi-facts cited are elements of previous hit movies in the same genre. For example, in his “analysis” of Just Like Heaven’s underperformance:
    “If guys can’t relate to the male lead, then they’re less likely to get dragged to these movies. Not to mention, strong characters are more appealing to women as well.”
    Then he critiques the trailer:
    “First impressions are crucial when courting audiences, and Just Like Heaven’s initial trailer was too gloomy for a movie meant to be uplifting and romantic. The set-up depicts Witherspoon’s doctor as hard-working and good-natured, but then, not only is she apparently killed off and turned into an ineffectual ghost, she never had a life to begin with because she didn’t have a boyfriend. That wrong-headed and morbid emphasis rendered the rest of the trailer lame, especially the tacked-on comedic stylings of Napoleon Dynamite’s Jon Heder. The second trailer lightened things up, suggesting the situation wasn’t as grim as first thought, but the characters were still mostly passive and bickering.”
    Not that there’s anything necessarily wrong with these observations (or stating them as fact, because obviously you don’t have to preface everything with “in my opinion” or whatever), but they are presented as if he has any evidence to back this up besides that the movie opened weakly. It’s all very 20/20-hindsight.
    (I’m not particularly defending Just Like Heaven, here; just using it as a particularly egregious example of Gray’s my-opinion-as-reporting style.)
    I know I should just, ya know, not read his analysis, but I’m compelled by its wrongheadedness (this is also why I’m unable to just ignore “Mallard Fillmore” if I’m looking at the comics page).

  23. bicycle bob says:

    harry potter single handedly killed the slump. hes that good.

  24. Paul Hackett says:

    Of course, WB was partially to blame in creating the “slump” talk in the first place by releasing Azkaban in June last year. If they released it in November like the other 3, the hole wouldn’t have been nearly as deep over the summer. Of course, with the way things happened, we had the ‘slump’ and now the ‘comeback.’

  25. Terence D says:

    Half Blood Prince is my favorite in the series. I think they get better and better.

  26. BluStealer says:

    The next month should be really good for the box office numbers with King Kong and Narnia coming out. If Narnia ends up being a huge hit, 2005 could be a big year.

  27. jeffmcm says:

    Jesse, I agree. Gray’s page has a ton of great statistics, and then his movie reviews are biased and not well thought-out. It’s too bad because it really takes away from his strengths.
    And Mallard Fillmore sucks.

  28. Bruce says:

    Mallard Fillmore. Is there a worse comic?

  29. Angelus21 says:

    The film version of Book 6 will be phenomenal if they get that last act on film.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

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