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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Box Office

This was a surprisingly strong box office weekend. Date Movie was a PG-13, it was targeted at older teens, so it probably didn

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55 Responses to “Weekend Box Office”

  1. waterbucket says:

    Freedommland doesn’t suck.
    You suck!

  2. Wrecktum says:

    You’re insane, Poland. Pink Panther smelled like a dud in production (a desperate move by MGM) and was pronounced DOA after Sony moved it out of its late summer berth. Eight Below, a small film with no stars, is perfect for the 4-day Presidents Day holiday and has been on that date for a long, long time.
    After Panther opened stonger than expected last weekend, what was Disney supposed to do? “Uh oh, Sony’s got a small hit on their hands here that plays right to our demo. Let’s move the doggie movie!” Of course not. Especially after Eight Below was previewed two weeks ago to full houses and awesome exit interviews.

  3. martindale says:

    How does Pink Panther manage to hold up well this weekend? I figured that it would suffer from poor word of mouth. I saw a matinee of this movie about 5 days ago, and there were zero laughs from the audience, though I did hear a chuckle during the hamburger scene. It must be the kids. They must love the slapstick humor.

  4. jesse says:

    Martindale, yeah, it totally is the kid/family audience. I ducked into it after another movie last weekend, and it was sort of surreal, how there were pockets of the audience laughing heartily throughout, as well as pockets sitting, more appropriately, in stony silence.
    I’m not surprised it’s a family hit, though — it actually makes sense — kids like the broad slapstick, and if I had a kid, I’d be more interested in seeing a Steve Martin comedy (even a crummy-looking one) than Nanny McPhee or Hoodwinked or Curious George.

  5. Joe Leydon says:

    So what were the numbers for “Brokeback Mountain”?

  6. Martin S says:

    Stacey Snider is leaving on her own – my ass.
    Her track is mediocre at best. Grey would have to be nuts to keep her around.

  7. Joe Leydon says:

    Come to think of it: Where are the rest of the Best Picture nominees? Will this be the first time in recent memory when none of the Best Pictures are in the Top Ten on the weekend of the Oscarcast?

  8. LesterFreed says:

    “Freedomland” may not have high A listers but it does have two stars and should have done better than 6 million.

  9. martindale says:

    At this point, I’d be shocked if Brokeback grosses $100 mil. It may get a “post-Oscar bounce,” but I doubt it will be a substantial one.

  10. Yodas Nut Sac says:

    No one wants to see those Oscar movies. There’s a reason they’re not big box office hits.
    Who is seeing PINK PANTHER? They forcing people to see it thru hypnosis?

  11. Melquiades says:

    Brokeback and Crash are “box office hits” relative to their expectations. Munich is a disappointment… Capote and Good Night earned about what anyone expected.

  12. Angelus21 says:

    Eight Below is one of those feel good movies that will surprise all the experts and many fans.

  13. Tcolors says:

    Go BAFTA!!!! Yes, Brokeback Mountain!! I’m happy for Jake, but I think he won do to split votes. I think Crash didn’t get it because the movie makes for GREAT television.
    How could BBM not take best Picture at the Oscars? Is our (meaning American) Awards gonna be the ONLY award NOT to be given to BBM? If that where to be true, straight or gay, wouldn’t that make you go hummmmmmmmmmmmmm?

  14. waterbucket says:

    Brokeback Mountain rules ALL.
    Bow down or die, beeyotch!

  15. Spacesheik says:

    PINK PANTHER off 18% from last week?????! (Total: $42 mil)
    Now *thats* fooking good legs. I think they have a franchise on their hands. Let’s hope the 2nd one is longer than 90 minutes and is a better film.

  16. David Poland says:

    Pink Panther was moved for reshoots. Sony decided to chase kids instead of adults more than 8 months ago. The film tracked well, Wrecktum… so they knew it was coming.
    “Presumed DOA” by you does not make it DOA (obviously)… or me crazy. And no one suggested shifting dates last Monday… duh.
    And Waterbucket… you are going farther into your own head… no one write that Freedomland sucked. In fact, the only reference to sucking, by me, was that $6 million for the weekend did not suck, though I suspect that some people will say that it does. Buy new glasses. Myopia is dangerous.

  17. jeffmcm says:

    Hey, Yodas Nut Sac (what an odd thing to type), are you arguing the “Hollywood is elitist” argument or something else? Have you seen any of those five movies?

  18. James Leer says:

    But DP, even if the film was tracking well, no one assumed it would have these kind of legs. You even dissed Claudia Eller for her piece in the LA Times last Monday about how Sony turned Pink Panther into a hit, stating that it was premature to call it that. If you couldn’t tell from the tracking and B.O. that Pink Panther would be a hit in its 2nd weekend, how should Eight Below have known?

  19. Wrecktum says:

    ^ Great point, James. Poland did say that, didn’t he?
    What with Poland’s dissing the Eight Below release date, his criticism of Scarlett Johansson and his lackluster analysis of the BAFTAs, I think his mind is still focused on that chick on the horse. It’s time to get back to work, Poland!

  20. palmtree says:

    Mojo has BM at $3,796,000 for the 4day.
    That brings it to 72…which is more than Sideways’ entire run. Two weeks is enough time for it to hit 80. A local theater here was still packed.

  21. Bruce says:

    I would have bet that Pink would have bombed after week 1. I guess we can’t doubt the appeal of Steve Martin in these kinds of movies. Or maybe its Beyonce.

  22. Joe Leydon says:

    According to the latest BoxOfficeMojo numbers, it appears “The Producers” has topped out at less than $20 million domestic. In other words, it will wind up grossing less than “Match Point,” “Capote” and “Good Night and Good Luck.” Leading me to ask: What the hell happened? No slam intended against those other movies, but just a few months ago, didn’t “Producers” look like it might be just a tad bit more, well, commercial? I mean, in terms of failing to fulfill expectations, doesn’t it now qualify as the bigest box-office disappointment of the 2005 holiday season?

  23. DannyBoy says:

    Good question, Joe. I mean it got respectable reviews, turned out exactly as it should considering the source material. I mean this wasn’t a BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES type fiasco. Don’t studios do market research anymore before putting something like that out there? You’d think with all the money involved someone would have done a poll and found out, as Triumph the Comic Insult Dog might say, that nobody gives a crap about a musical “Producers.”
    Other (more mild) surprises: It looks official that NARNIA will outgross the latest POTTER and that MUNICH won’t even make as much as SYRIANA…

  24. Joe Leydon says:

    Another mild surprise: Looks like “Memoirs of a Geisha” AND “The Family Stone” also will outgross “Munich.”

  25. DannyBoy says:

    For a movie with no big US stars, and mediocre reviews, Geisha did pretty well…

  26. James Leer says:

    Producers was a boggled release. I guess they were hoping for good reviews and Oscar buzz, but those two things were not forthcoming and so the film got murdered in limited release while the Oscar favorites danced around its corpse.
    Hindsight is 20/20, but Uni really should have released it during a less crowded period and put it straight into wide release — I mean, it didn’t even outgross Rent! They could have at least milked $40 mil out of it.
    Of course, hiring a director with more film expertise might have helped too. And too bad they weren’t able to get Nicole Kidman.

  27. jeffmcm says:

    Dannyboy: surely the massive crowds lining up to see The Producers on Broadway were a strong indication that people do give somewhat of a crap about this musical (I looked it up – it’s grossed over $250 million) It should have made for a much better movie if they had gotten a director who, say, knew something outside of proscenium staging and performances that reach to the back row. But I think Uma was perfectly fine, and casting Nicole Kidman would have been distracting.

  28. Yodas Nut Sac says:

    THE PRODUCERS is one of the total failures of the 2005 Box Office year.
    Remake of a hit film, hit Broadway show with the same cast, and prime BO slot. It should have been big.
    It just bombed. Kidman or no Kidman. She wasn’t going to change that.

  29. bicycle bob says:

    we’ll see how the musical genre is doing when dreamgirls hits the theatres. we’ll see if it is really as dead as it appears to be or this was a blip on the radar screen.

  30. BluStealer says:

    Many people out there also predicted Oscar nominations for “The Producers”.

  31. Josh says:

    “Date Movie” just beat out what “The Producers”
    did in its entire run.
    The blame has to be with the director.

  32. DannyBoy says:

    Jeff, I think what the Producers (and Phantom and Rent) prove is that just because something does well on Broadway doesn’t mean much of the movie-going public cares. I, personally, think that’s too bad. I really liked both The Producers and Rent as films and like the musical film genre. I keep holding out hope that Speilberg will play to his strengths and mount a big budget film version of the musical version of Ragtime. If he wants a third best directing Oscar, there’s his best shot. Still, one has to imagine in Hollywood that people are thinking Moulin Rouge and Chicago were flukes and the musical really is just pretty much dead.

  33. palmtree says:

    I think part of the problem with modern musicals is the desire to bring Broadway shows as is to the big screen rather than adapt it for the screen. The Producers was criticized for looking too “stagey,” and Rent felt a bit that way to me as well. More effort should be made to follow in Baz’s and Rob’s footsteps that make musicals more cinematic.

  34. Joe Leydon says:

    You’re right: As early as this time last year, some folks were claiming “The Producers” would be an Oscar contender. (Come to think of it, weren’t some people on this blog talking about its Oscar chances?)I didn’t the thing was anything close to great, but damn! I thought for sure it would do reasonably well if only the Broadway audience showed up. But it looks like even theatergoers didn’t bother.
    James, maybe you’re right: They should have opened wide and grabbed the money before bad word of mouth and downbeat reveiws posioned the water?
    Or maybe Universal was too busy working on “King Kong” and “Munich” to get fully behind “The Producers”? I’m not saying I know this is a fact, just speculating.

  35. palmtree says:

    Seems like between King Kong, Jarhead, Cinderella Man, Munich, and The Producers, Uni just couldn’t get it right this year in terms of Oscar. Lucky for them BM is still solid though the credit will go more towards Schamus.

  36. Rufus Masters says:

    You can’t fault Uni too much with that. Hard to make apple juice when you have all are lemons. All they need is one to hit to win and everyone will forget the failures. And Brokeback looks real solid for them at the moment.

  37. Charly Baltimore says:

    I can’t remember a time when so many pre season favorites bit the dust and died a quick death. These weren’t just films with stars either. They had proven Oscar directors too. A real pedigree that said “take me seriously”.
    All died when I thought they’d compete for silverware. Just to name a few off the top of my noggin.
    Count PRODUCERS in on that too. If you told me six months ago that it would have trouble breaking 20$ mill I’d have called you F-ing crazy. I thought it was a surefire 100$ mill and some nominations. Easy. No doubt. Especially after seeing Lane and Broderick perform. The magic and buzz was lost in the translation.
    These weren’t just critical disasters but award disasters.

  38. Joe Leydon says:

    Something else to think about: “Rumor Has It” — a movie that, according to conventional wisdom, was a massive flop — actually has topped out at just a hair under $43 million. Add the overseas gross, and you have $83.7 million. Add the DVD sales, cable TV sales, etc., and you have more proof that Dave is right when he cautions us not to be so hasty while judging hits and misses. I’m sure the people who released “Rumor Has It” would have liked a much bigger and quicker return on their investment. (With the talent involved, I’m sure it wasn’t a cheap movie to make.) But I’ll bet you anything that this is a movie that will do exceptionally well in ancillary venues, since it has strong appeal for older, stay-at-home moviegoers (i.e., people old enough to have bought first-run admission tickets to “The Graduate”) and will pop up in heavy rotation on cable 2-3 years from now.

  39. Angelus21 says:

    It’s all about perception.
    There is still the perception that the Matrix sequels were huge bombs too and thats far from the truth.
    You’re already getting stories about Jennifer Aniston asking if she is done as a big screen star and that she needs a hit.

  40. DannyBoy says:

    “Hard to make apple juice when you have all are lemons. All they need is one to hit to win and everyone will forget the failures.”
    While I didn’t think MUNICH was great, it was far from a “lemon,” same for KONG and THE PRODUCERS. No, THE PRODUCERS wasn’t especially cinematic, but neither were MGM’s old Freed Unit musicals like SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN, and that seemed like the feel they were going for. This really does seem like the year when all the “sure bets” tanked.

  41. Mark Ziegler says:

    Before the Oscar season kicked off if you would have bet on these 5 nominees making it you could have won a lot of money.
    Maybe “Munich” would have been there but the rest of them? You’d be hard pressed to go 5 for 5 this year. It seems like “Crash” came out 10 years ago. Who would have thought Clooney would overcome “Confessions”? “Capote” was more of an acting movie from day one. I thought “Brokeback” would float around the top 5 but leading and dominating the pre season awards?

  42. Cadavra says:

    At an average ticket price of $7, PRODUCERS was seen by less than three million people. That’s fewer than saw it on stage for $100 or more. So it ain’t the product, it’s something else: like Brooks’ last film, DRACULA–DEAD AND LOVING IT, which was also released at Christmas, it simply got buried by the competition. I agree: had it been coming out now, it would have fared somewhat better. It never had a chance at $100 mill, but $40 mill wouldn’t have been unlikely. However, it won’t be a huge loss–it only cost $50 mill to make, and because it skews old, I imagine it will do extraordinarily well when it hits DVD.

  43. Chucky in Jersey says:

    All those worshipping Oscar Bait, raise your right hand. I just checked this weekend’s bookings for an AMC megaplex near me:
    “Brokeback Mountain” — night shows only.
    “Capote” — out.
    “Match Point” — out.
    “Mrs. Henderson Presents” — out.
    “Walk the Line” — out (DVD street date 2/28).

  44. DannyBoy says:

    Your point, Chucky, is…..?
    Why should we “worship”, not that we do, really, films on the basis of their popularity at the Megaplex. As far as I’m concerned, if the Academy wants to be less like the Grammys and more like, say the Booker Prize (for novels), and give their awards to what they see as quality irregardless of how well they do in the market place, good for them. I still think it’s a joke that in the year when Akira Kurosawa, John Huston, Peter Weir and Hector Babenco were all up for best director (not that they are all exactly equal, mind you), the award went to… Sydney Pollack. Shit, man. I don’t care if OUT OF AFRICA did play at the mall longer than RAN.

  45. jeffmcm says:

    There’s also a difference between Oscar bait, which is, by definition, stuff that craves Oscar attention but doesn’t deserve it, and the good stuff. I’m quite glad that Mrs. Henderson Presents isn’t playing anymore.

  46. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    The problem with The Producers was that it was released at such a competitive time when it was really a broad comedy that should’ve been released at a different time and on a much wider field of screens.
    Personally, i really liked The Producers. Say what you will about the whole “placing a camera on stage” way of filming, many of the musical sequences were great fun in the cinema too.
    On the matter of the box-office up the top, I think Eight Below has done extremely well. Most were predicting around $15mil, so… Disney LOVES this 4-day weekend (what is it again?). They’ve had success with movies over this weekend for several years in a row (just like Screen Gems over Superbowl w/e). Hell, they even got a respectable opening from Return to Neverland!
    Here’s a fun game to predict: How much would Bambi II have made it was released theatrical. I guess $20mil. It did very well in straight-to-dvd though.
    I can’t say about anywhere else in the world, but Rumour Has It was a hit in Australia, purely because there weren’t any other romantic comedy type movies out. Simple.

  47. bicycle bob says:

    u can make any excuse u want to about the producers. bad advertising, bad release date, bad director. but the fact is that it is a terrible movie. not many had a good word to say about it. it deserved to bomb. they tried to make a quick buck and it backfired on them.

  48. Terence D says:

    I noticed that most of these Oscar films are starting to drop out of theatres and will already be on dvd soon. “Capote” will be released on video March 21. “Good Bight Good Luck” will be on video March 14. “Crash” has been out on video for a while now. “Match Point” has trickled down to a few theatres. I don’t think they’ll get that bump that Oscar winners/nominees get after the show. Unless it’s on video.

  49. Rufus Masters says:

    It’s George Washington’s Birthday weekend here in the States. Most kids have this week off for winter break. Disney really knows how to market. They take advantage of the holidays and the schools off days.
    Eight Below was pretty good. The dogs were fun to watch. They carried the movie.

  50. Cadavra says:

    “they tried to make a quick buck and it backfired on them.”
    Um, if they really wanted to make a quick buck on PRODUCERS, they would not have retained most of the original cast–none of whom are even remotely A-list–but instead would have cast Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson as Bialystock and Bloom.
    Admit it, bi-bob: you hate the movie ’cause it makes fun of Nazis.

  51. bicycle bob says:

    yea. the whole point of doing a remake was to keep the two broadway stars and do it on the big screen. what sense would it have made to recast those two roles? from what i can tell the broadway show did alright at the box office and at the tonys. they just made a bad movie. they tried to capitalize on a good thing and it blew up in their face. it happens.

  52. Yodas Left Nut Sac says:

    Total genuis.

  53. jeffmcm says:


  54. joefitz84 says:

    They spent a whole season on the set up for one joke. And it worked.

  55. Yodas Left Nut Sac says:

    Watching CURB over and over made me really appreciate the talent, work, and comedy of Super Dave Osborne, Ted Danson, and David Schwimmer.

Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
Title Gross Thtr % Chgn Cume
Venom 33 4250 NEW 33
A Star is Born 15.7 3686 NEW 15.7
Smallfoot 3.5 4131 -46% 31.3
Night School 3.5 3019 -63% 37.9
The House Wirh a Clock in its Walls 1.8 3463 -43% 49.5
A Simple Favor 1 2408 -50% 46.6
The Nun 0.75 2264 -52% 111.5
Hell Fest 0.6 2297 -70% 7.4
Crazy Rich Asians 0.6 1466 -51% 167.6
The Predator 0.25 1643 -77% 49.3
Also Debuting
The Hate U Give 0.17 36
Shine 85,600 609
Exes Baggage 75,900 62
NOTA 71,300 138
96 61,600 62
Andhadhun 55,000 54
Afsar 45,400 33
Project Gutenberg 36,000 17
Love Yatri 22,300 41
Hello, Mrs. Money 22,200 37
Studio 54 5,300 1
Loving Pablo 4,200 15
3-Day Estimates Weekend % Chg Cume
No Good Dead 24.4 (11,230) NEW 24.4
Dolphin Tale 2 16.6 (4,540) NEW 16.6
Guardians of the Galaxy 7.9 (2,550) -23% 305.8
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 4.8 (1,630) -26% 181.1
The Drop 4.4 (5,480) NEW 4.4
Let's Be Cops 4.3 (1,570) -22% 73
If I Stay 4.0 (1,320) -28% 44.9
The November Man 2.8 (1,030) -36% 22.5
The Giver 2.5 (1,120) -26% 41.2
The Hundred-Foot Journey 2.5 (1,270) -21% 49.4