MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland

$12, 633, 666

How impressive is it to you?

Be Sociable, Share!

33 Responses to “$12, 633, 666”

  1. Direwolf says:

    I think that is pretty damn good. It will be interesting to see if it has any legs into the weekend but I think it might. Horror can be a good genre. Teens usually drive it and Cars isn’t a teen movie, at least on the first weekend. Additionally, adults have incredible awareness of the The Omen from the original movie (at least the adults I know).
    Fox has to be thrilled. Plus being able to trumpet the open in last minute marketing could give it a surprisingly good weekend.

  2. Citizen R says:

    It’s the biggest Tuesday take ever, and only fourteen Wednesday openings have been bigger. So, yeah, pretty damn impressive.

  3. anghus says:

    its very impressive. i actually called it. last week i was deabting the “25 million for the first 5 days” estimates that were coming out. there has been so mucn ancilary press on this, all the 6-6-6 stories and such. there were lines around the theater for this at the local movie houses i went to.
    had a good feeling about this one’s opening for awhile. end of the world movies + horror = nice first weekend. It’ll drop off, sure, but they’ll probably be at 40-50 million by Sunday, and that’s impressive.

  4. wolfgang says:

    It’s impressive that somehow they got 666 into the first day’s box office tally.

  5. Direwolf says:

    I mentioned this in a thread over the weekend but my interest in the movie business largely stems from my work investing in media stocks. I am long Regal Entertainment hoping for a strong summer box office. Investors hate the theatre business but this year has been pretty good so far and this quarter has been especially good. I always thought the summer comparisons would pickup starting this weekend because of Cars and the end of the Sith from last year. Honestly, I hadn’t really thought Omen would be a big winner. If it pulls 40-50 million by Sunday it is going to be a big weekend vs. last year. Cars will be opening in the 70 million or more range and X3 and DVC will still do decent business. Anyhow, from a trading perspective, the death of the theatre business has been way over done.

  6. David Poland says:

    I don’t know if you are kidding, Wolfy… but all these box office finals are somewhat manipulated to. You get it to 666 by saying it’s 666.

  7. David Poland says:

    The theater business is, in reality, will be the strongest per buyer revenue producer for this industry… more and more as time passes.
    The media is too busy trying to give everyone what they want when they think they want it. The reality is, movie theater going is the only truly unique proposition for movies left.

  8. Direwolf says:

    I agree, DP. I think this whole front loading concept you have discussed just makes the theatres that much more important. While lack of legs hurts their margins because they don’t get to favorable splits on many films, the studios need the theatres more than ever to launch films and get headlines that translate to potential profits in later windows. I just don’t see the announcement of 1 million downloads day-and-date creating the buzz/marketing of a big opening weekend at the theatres. Further, I don;t see downloads watched in the home creating the word of mouth that ultimately creates profits. People are extroverts after all (at least most people. That said, my call on Regal is for a trade off what could turn into a good summer.

  9. Eric says:

    I quibble with a lot of the finer details of what Dave says, but on the big picture I agree: Theeatergoing is vital to the movie business. Everything else would dry up without it. And the shortening of the video window is almost comically self-destructive.

  10. Eric says:

    Direwolf, have you been reading my thoughts again?

  11. Direwolf says:

    Must be some wierd web energy, Eric. I’ve also believe the shortening of the window is exactly the wrong strategy. In this case, I mean the time between theatre and DVD release. Bringing it forward does allow for double dipping on the marketing spend for the film since the DVD follows so soon. But I think this model has sapped the creativity out of too many films as the whole thing is viewed as one big product launch. The film is a consumer product instead of a piece of art. I know that sounds idealistic and I know the studios have always placed business first but I do think the pendulum has swung too far.

  12. Chucky in Jersey says:

    “The Omen” remake should certainly harm “X3”. Don’t forget that “X3” dropped 67% last weekend (its 2nd).
    Speaking of Regal, it’s not opening “A Prairie Home Companion” and some quick research tells me it’s a chainwide ban.

  13. David Poland says:

    My argument, Dire, is also connected directly to price.
    There is no doubtthat you could get a bigger audience for movies by premiering them at home. It’s called TV. But not at these prices.
    I would guess that while the theatrical pricepoint is set around $10, the mass sale home entertainmenbt day-n-date sale would have to be priced at around $5, max. (Btw… a lower price point has not been very successful in PPV, which has been available for years.)
    On top of that, the theatrical market is, by its nature, a single view market. I expect that consumer expectations, driven by DVR, will include digital ownership.

  14. Citizen R says:

    The Omen’s opening day didn’t hurt X3 (X3 went up slightly on Tuesday, compared to a slight drop for X2 on its comparable day), so I don’t think it’ll be much of a factor this weekend. X3 shows signs of stabilizing, at least for now.

  15. Jeremy Smith says:

    Every movie in the top ten got a boost save for AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH. There’s more product on the way this weekend, and X-MEN will probably be ceding some screens to it. I don’t think it drops another 67%, but I don’t see it stabilizing either (which would indicate a hold somewhere in the 40% range given its frontloaded nature).

  16. Eddie says:

    With that kind of opening, maybe they’ll greenlight a a scene-for-scene remake of Omen II.
    Howard Deutch can direct.

  17. EDouglas says:

    Well, I expected it to make less than that between Tuesday and Thursday so I’m pretty impressed… I expect it to make only a little more than that over the weekend. WOM is pretty bad.

  18. Citizen R says:

    I don’t think X3 will hold to a 40% drop either. By “stabilizing” I meant that it could hold to just under or just over 50% – which would be an okay hold by the frontloaded standards of the X-Men franchise, and something of a victory after the huge second weekend drop.

  19. Direwolf says:

    Good points on the pricing for day and date downloads, DP. I think there may be a lesson from iTunes. Apple showed it had to be simple and cheap. Apple also shows that people want to own. I think movies will be the same. I had not thought about PPV pricing. I also think that at current download speeds movies won’t work all that well. People aren’t going to want to wait an hour or more for a download. Simplicity plus price. Lenghty downloads won’t be viewed as simple.

  20. THX5334 says:

    If Comcast (and other providers like it) offered
    PPV movies in a gauranteed HD format @ 3.99 a viewing, I’d be all over that.
    If you have any kind of HD setup, and can’t afford the new HD-DVD or Blu-Ray, than HD-cable or HD-sattelite is where it’s at and is much superior to standard DVD.
    When you see a movie now on HBO-HD, or Starz-HD, etc. it is showing at a 1080i resolution, which is much better than DVD (you can get players that upsample to 1080i, relatively cheap now too). Revenge of the Sith looked AMAZING when showing on HBO-HD this weekend. Everything in the frame was sharp, colorful and distinct. There were many details I picked up that I hadn’t noticed before.
    In that way, I prefer to wait an extra month or two and wait and see the movie on one of the Pay HD channels, running at a much higer quality resolution than any rental service can offer (Sin City and War of the Worlds are the latest victims. Soooo glad I waited, instead of spending money on either)
    Bottom line, if they were smart enough to have the technology to get 1080i movies on PPV or have the option through their ON Demand service, I would forego DVD altogether until the next format has been decided.
    The cable and satellite companies are sleeping at this opprotunity. They have plenty of new releases in PPV that arrive at the same time or close to the same time as their DVD counterparts. But not having the choice to watch it in a HD resolution, knowing it will be showing in a better format on some pay channel a little later, is what keeps me from using the service.
    If they could get that content available, there is a window of opprotunity to get the HD crowd and technophiles to spend some money on HD PPV, while waiting for the next format to be determined. But that window will close fast (by the end of this year or next, as players get below $500) and they probably won’t get to it.

  21. jeffmcm says:

    Chucky, Prairie Home Companion is only playing in 725 screens this coming week. Does this count as a ‘ban’ or can it be considered a mere ceding of business to other chains with potential expansion to come?

  22. Joe Straat says:

    Now, is David making a joke, or is that the actual numbers Fox gave? Because if it’s the numbers Fox gave, they really need to stop with the obvious manipulation to “666” crap. Okay, the release date was clever, but slightly manipulating the gross drop for your other product and “The Omen’s” is just stupid.

  23. Joe Straat says:

    I meant to say “‘The Omen’s’ gross” on that last sentence, but you could probably figure that out.

  24. jeffmcm says:

    It is the actual reported gross. To be fair, this is not the first time a studio has reported a goofy number for promotional purposes. I believe MGM did it with every recent Bond movie, for example, Goldeneye’s weekend opening of $26,205,007.

  25. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Joe Straat, CALM THE CRAP DOWN!!!! It’s the middle of the week and exact receipts aren’t usually offered for midweek grosses. You must really hate Fox to be so angry about them tacking on some sixes to the number. They’re having some fun. Fox has even admitted to fudging the numbers as a joke. The #2 spot on the chart was The Break-Up with $3.9mil. I don’t think they’re upsetting anyone.
    If I were at Fox, I’d be very happy. This has the ability to reach $30mil before the weekend and considering many thought this would max out at $50mil, then that’s pretty damned good. Over the weekend I think it will actually make a similar number to Tuesday, but that’s to be expected. At least they can claim to be the #1 movie in the country!
    “Every movie in the top ten got a boost save for AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH.”
    That would make sense considering adults are still at work, and that film is about as adult-skewing as I can imagine.

  26. Joe Straat says:

    I am calm. Who’s raising their voice here? It may be a joke, but Fox already spent that nickel. Twice.

  27. Spacesheik says:

    Fox milked the 6/6/6/ for what it was worth and the marketing was smart. Kudos to them, they will make a lot of money.
    I remember END OF DAYS tried a similar date thingie (1/1/01?) but it didn’t work, but then again that was a Peter Hyams film (and this is coming from a CAPRICORN ONE and OUTLAND fan).
    In any case Fox can greenlight a sequel now. But who gets to play the kid’s uncle? Charlie Sheen?

  28. wolfgang says:

    “I don’t know if you are kidding, Wolfy… but all these box office finals are somewhat manipulated to. You get it to 666 by saying it’s 666.”
    Well, garsh darn Dave, yeah, I was kidding. This whole 666 angle, though successful for Tuesday’s opening, is turning into a tired stunt. That, and not everyone’s story jives.
    BOM quotes Fox’s Bruce Snyder as saying the numbers were made up. On Moviefone’s site a report from Reuters claims the numbers are not “somewhat manipulated” –
    The $12.63 million checks out as the highest-grossing Tuesday debut. Although some might question whether the last three digits of the gross were 666 — Fox says it was.
    So which one is it?
    BOM reports The Omen’s Wednesday totals as $4,583,064. So, in the spirit of Fox’s marketing campaign, why not have those numbers “somewhat manipulated” to $4,218,645? That’s a 66.6% drop from Tuesday’s opening instead of 63.7%.
    Sorry to get surly on this topic. I’m in Joe Leydon country, the land of Enron, where creative accounting and futzing with numbers cost friends and neighbors their entire retirement accounts.

  29. Chucky in Jersey says:

    I remember END OF DAYS tried a similar date thingie (1/1/01?) but it didn’t work
    “End of Days” opened in US/Canada on 11/23/1999, the day before US Thanksgiving Day.

  30. palmtree says:

    As I recall from the trailer, End of Days opened in 1999…feeding off Y2K fears as well as the fact that 1999 consists of 666 upside down.

  31. palmtree says:

    X3 earned $2,471,902 yesterday. So what?
    That gave it a per screen average of $666. It was Ratner all along.

  32. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    now that’s creepy.

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