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David Poland

By David Poland

Sunday Estimates/Analysis 11/27/05

Using BoxOfficeMojo, it is impossible to be sure, since their in-depth numbers only go a few years back, but it looks like this 5-day Thanksgiving may break the record set in 2000 when the second weekend of The Grinch combined with $80 million combined launch of Unbreakable and 102 Dalmations.
For clarity, the $162.1 million 3-day is second to the 2000 record-holding Grinch weekend. But the 5-day may be the best ever, given that Rent, Just Friends and others were a bit front-loaded at the box office.
If indeed this is the second straight record-breaking weekend at the box office, what angle will the boo birds use to keep the dream of a box office apocalypse going? Bet on a lot of chatter about ticket prices being higher than ever and a focus on approximated numbers of ticket sold (since there are no public reports on the actual numbers of tickets sold, expect for the MPAA

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13 Responses to “Sunday Estimates/Analysis 11/27/05”

  1. Jeremy Smith says:

    I’ve seen JARHEAD twice, and that second viewing was downright interminable. There’s just no meat on the bone. Like Mendes’s past two films, it’s a simple tale feigning depth.
    CINDERELLA MAN is a very simple movie, too, but at least it’s honest about its ambitions, and, on a classical storytelling level, succeeds rousingly. It would’ve been a contender had it been released this month – and made things very difficult for Universal what with KING KONG and MUNICH crowding the inside track.

  2. jeffmcm says:

    You mean, Mendes’ only two films.
    I thought The Polar Express in Imax was not much more than a big amusement park ride.
    It strikes me that tickets sold is a much more important number than unadjusted grosses.

  3. David Poland says:

    Tickets sold are just one variable. More importantly, none of us have real statistics on this. Per screen average is inaccurate as it goes, since theater count is not a firm stat, and numbers of shows is also variable.
    It would be great to have stats like seats available, seats sold, city by city breakouts, etc. That is not available to us. And ticket sales are nothing but an estimate.
    The only stat that is remotely confirmable outside of the studio accounting offfice is the gross.
    Additionally, a legitimate analysis of the health of the industry would involve foreign and home entertainment, plus other ancillaries, every time.
    The idea that domestic theatrical is happening in a vacuum is false. Studio-financed films are all taking all markets into account when budgeting. So The Island is not close to being the disaster worldwide that we see it as here. But at the same time, we don’t know exactly what the deal between WB and DW is on the film, so we all tend ot be shooting in the dark a bit.

  4. EDouglas says:

    Actually, the estimated Top 10 for the 3-day weekend was about a million less than the Top 10 during the 3 day last Thanksgiving….
    SLUMP!!!!!!!!! 🙂
    It’s going to be a shame when January comes around and we won’t be able to incite David so easily. 🙂

  5. David Poland says:

    Next year I’ll be pissed off about the false “up” trend. Or alternately, the lack of any focus on choices that are made by the studios since they are not as easily thrown into the “it all sucks… better watch Tv on an IPod” pot.

  6. jeffmcm says:

    Can you explain that last sentence, DP? Too many clauses.

  7. David Poland says:

    The “slump,” which only became a story in the summer, even though the first quarter was waaaaay off, has become an easy target. When the target is more complex, it becomes uninteresting to those who are just trend hoppers.
    So, if next year we start to see certain kinds of erosion that are not as easily quantified, I suspect that there will be very little mainstream coverage. And that will piss me off too, as it has for years. The horrid irony of all this “moving to new technology” trend hopping is the alleged probelms with the business were caused by the shortened window… which no one bothers to think about as they suggest an even shorter window = salvation.

  8. jeffmcm says:

    Thanks, makes sense.

  9. Angelus21 says:

    We have to start giving Walk the Line it’s due as an award contender with the box office it is doing now.

  10. EDouglas says:

    Actually, I wouldn’t expect January to be much better, since this past January seemed like one of the strongest ones in years, and the line-up so far looks pathetic at best. At least I remember having more $20 million openers this past January than we did in October, and remembering what an oddity that was.

  11. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Angelus, I’ve had the firm belief that Walk The Line was the strongest contender for BP out of all of them. Munich and Brokeback Mountain and Memoirs of a Geisha and all the others all have big IFs hanging over them. And now that will reach $100mil and, hell, it could do A Beautiful Mind business and reach $160mil, it’s in its best position yet. It’s good to see a movie that was critically liked get the corrosponsive box-office.
    And, Douglas, I do remember how everyone was so shocked at how well 2005’s January went. Multiple $20mil openings. And for silly lame movies like Boogeymen that if it had opened now would probably get around $5mil and a quick exit to DVD.

  12. Hopscotch says:

    The most sold out movie I saw an my hometown cineplex was Pride and Prejudice, the early afternoon showings were selling out. I think that it’ll be the big sleeper hit this month.
    I’d say Walk the Line is definitely now a serious Awards Contender on all fronts. It’s a crowd pleaser for sure.

  13. Wendy Firman says:

    there are a a lot of weblog accessible on that theme but your greatest so far…that’s why I am commenting here

Quote Unquotesee all »

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.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon