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David Poland

By David Poland

Clear Enough For Crazy People To Understand

Just to be clear for the whack jobs that wish to spin otherwise this weekend

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28 Responses to “Clear Enough For Crazy People To Understand”

  1. Wrecktum says:

    That’s the great thing, Poland. People can spin numbers anyway they want to.
    Case in point: Time Warner’s Entertainment Weekly said this about the mindblowing Dead Man’s Chest opening: “Not long ago, $100 million was a great final gross. Before 2002’s Spider-Man, no film had ever earned so much in one weekend. But five movies have done it since. Moreover, a whopping 45 of the top 50 premieres have come this century. Consider that a two-ton grain of salt to take with the hype over Pirates’ impressive but likey transient record.”
    Spin spin spin.
    (of course, this is the same publication that listed the top 50 pop culture sidekicks of all time without mentioning Gabby Hayes. Maybe it’s time to cancel my subscription.)

  2. palmtree says:

    Transient record? Fair enough. Pirates 3 is less than a year away to smash the Pirates 2 record.

  3. EDouglas says:

    54% drop isn’t bad when you consider that it doesn’t have dozens of midnight screening selling out on Thursday night and it probably had to give a couple screens up to the new movies, too. Still, I don’t think $400 million is in the cards.. maybe $350.They could be right, though… Spider-man 3 looks pretty amazing and I think the whole Venom/symbiote plot will be a huge draw. I could see that breaking the record before Pirates 3.
    This is the one weekend down from the same weekend last year, and it probably will be the only one. Last year had four movies, none of which made $12.5 million, and this coming weekend has four movies, which all of them could make a minimum of that (and probably will make more).

  4. the keoki says:

    Dave, bring back the BO predictions that you used to do on Fridays. The blog is a perfect place for it. C’moooonnnnnn. C’monnnnnnn. i’ll keep going if you don’t start doing em again! You could do a little talking head feature every friday on that myspace for movies or whatever it’s called. C’mooooooonnnnnnn! I want to know what you think Monster House is going bring in next weekend. C’mooooon!

  5. martin says:

    My bets on Both.

  6. EDouglas says:

    well, Pirates 3 will be cheating since it’s opening on Memorial Day weekend.. but with that in mind, it’ll probably make around $150 million in four days, and not break the three-day record. It also will be facing the second weekend of Shrek 3, which I expect to get great word-of-mouth and reviews.

  7. Telemachos says:

    I’m not so sure P2’s opening weekend will be beaten any day soon. People were predicting Spidey’s demise for years, but it held out longer than expected. I could be wrong, but everytime a movie is expected to set a weekend record, often it doesn’t.

  8. martin says:

    Ent Weakly is just disappointed their superhero movie didn’t set the box office on fire.

  9. David Poland says:

    “Still, I don’t think $400 million is in the cards.. maybe $350.”
    I ain’t saying it’s a lock, but what on earth tells you that $400 million is unlikely?
    Do you think $400 million is now undoable?

  10. David Poland says:

    If Pirates drops 50% every week from here in, it still passes $380m in the next 5 weeks.

  11. Telemachos says:

    Someone at World of KJ posted a breakdown of weekly drops for P2… if it can stay between 45-50% for the duration of its run (very conservative, as it will certainly have smaller drops in another week or so), it’ll pass $400 million. However, it needs less than 40% drops to pass SHREK 2’s $440 million gross, and probably won’t be able to do that.
    So right now, I think a final figure between SPIDERMAN and SHREK 2 is quite probable.

  12. martin says:

    I seriously apologize if this link fucks up the board.. Actually to make sure of it, I’m going to post it into chunks that need to be combined:;_ylt=AjXCj1de
    So this erroneous story has been up on the AP wire and yahoo news wire since like 2 pm est today. Maybe I’m overly annoyed by errors in these pieces, but it has had SR at $183 mill (20 mill too high). I mean, how does that happen?

  13. martin says:

    And by the way, news folk wonder why people go to blogs or personal websites instead of the big ones. Certainly, MCN or this site:
    does a much better job of reporting than the so-called professionals at AP.

  14. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Personally, my favourite box-office site is but they have a lot of other stuff there too. It’s a great site.
    And it’s weird that anybody would spin the Pirates number badly. It’s already at $250mil, something movies like Superman Returns and Mission Impossible 3 won’t. Bah, people are annoying.

  15. EDouglas says:

    I said: “Still, I don’t think $400 million is in the cards.. maybe $350.”
    DP responded: “I ain’t saying it’s a lock, but what on earth tells you that $400 million is unlikely? Do you think $400 million is now undoable?”
    However you want to slice it, a 54% drop, while expected when you have such a big opening weighed towards Friday, does not show WOM strength and it has a lot more competition for screens/$$$ next weekend and in the two weekends after. (Miami Vice and Talladega Nights are both strong for guys and there are other movies for women/girls.) Maybe my math was a bit hasty but spending a bit more time on it, I ended up with $365 million by the end of summer where it would be in the $1-2 million range per weekend at that point.
    Hey, $350 million+ is still great and there may not be another movie this year to come even close, but I’m just not sure if Pirates is the “must see multiple times” of its predecessor… says the guy who is seeing it again tonight. 🙂

  16. EDouglas says:

    Doing a bit more math here and now I’m definitely taking the “won’t make $400 million” stance on this.. it’s only about a million more than Spider-Man 2 was at the end of its second weekend (ignoring the fact it had two extra days to get there)… and it has about six less weeks of summer to get there and a lot more late summer competition than Star Wars Episode 3. Both SW3 and SM2 ended up in the $370 to 380 million range and I expect PC2 to be about the same.

  17. adorian says:

    Numbers-spinning is so much fun to watch.
    Remember two weeks ago when the deficit wasn’t as bad as Republicans feared it was going to be? And they managed to shout on all the cable news shows about how the numbers were just great!– Lots of improvement!
    Well, it’s like Bill Bennett’s gambling problem. Let’s say he’s losing $50,000 a week in Vegas, and you tell people that you had a little talk with him and he’s going to ease up and lose only $45,000 next week, but when the numbers come in, he’s lost only $40,000. And you start shouting, “The numbers are great! This is no longer a problem! Everything’s good now!”
    Last week, some kook on a rightwing site gave the numbers for the drop from Sunday to Monday of Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth.” He cited this as evidence that the film is tanking. He was able to type, “Gore’s movie shows huge drop in box office.” But he didn’t mention that all movies drop from Sunday to Monday.
    Drudge referred to “PC 2” as suffering a box office slide. Well, technically, even a movement of just a couple of percentage points is “a slide,” but that means nothing. Even coming from Drudge, “slide” doesn’t sound as bad as “drop” or “fall” or “collapse.” Once you’re past $250, it’s all cherries and whipped cream on your sundae.

  18. Sandy says:

    It seems that Entertainment Weekly wanted to minimize the box office breaking record of POTC2.
    Well, they must be disappointed their #1 pick Superman didn’t perform up to their expectation (which was $300 million total)..and they even estimated POTC2 to only hit $200 million TOTAL GROSS!! Does the fact that EW is owned by Time Warner a factor in this negative bias against POTC2?

  19. Wrecktum says:

    ^ Yes.

  20. EDouglas says:

    I really couldn’t imagine anyone not thinking Pirates would do at least as well as the first movie, but I think David was the only person who thought it would come close to $400 million at the start of the summer.

  21. Blackcloud says:

    “(of course, this is the same publication that listed the top 50 pop culture sidekicks of all time without mentioning Gabby Hayes. Maybe it’s time to cancel my subscription.)”
    I don’t think a list that includes Sancho Panza is limited to pop culture, which makes the list even stupider than it appears on the surface. Clearly, Sancho would be in the top three on a legitimate list. Another major omission is Patroclus. There was another one I thought of last night, but I can’t remember him now. I hate when that happens.

  22. jeffmcm says:

    Dr. Watson? Friar Tuck? Sir Galahad?

  23. Blackcloud says:

    Watson’s on the list, though he ought to be higher. Friar Tuck’s a good one, but not the one I had in mind. As for Galahad, it’s hard to pick one for King Arthur. Is it Merlin? Lancelot?
    I’m sure it’ll come to me as soon as it’s no longer important.
    And how about C-3PO and R2-D2? But which one’s the sidekick?

  24. Telemachos says:

    “it’s only about a million more than Spider-Man 2 was at the end of its second weekend (ignoring the fact it had two extra days to get there)…”
    That’s an awfully convenient thing to ignore, since SM2 grossed over $64 million those 2 days. Comparing day-to-day, P2 is well ahead… despite SM2 having the benefit of a holiday weekend.
    Also, P2’s weekday numbers are stronger than any of the other comparisons… watch today when it’ll set another record for 2nd Monday (non-holiday), and probably do so by at least a couple of million. It’ll hit $300 by early Saturday and probably be around $310-315 after next weekend. Then it’s only $85 million to go with weekdays still pulling in $4 million per and a handy Labor Day holiday to boost the weekend legs a bit.

  25. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Thanks to those strong weekday grosses on “Pirates 2”, summer ’06 is now ahead of summer ’05 by 6%. Variety came up with that tidbit in its weekend roundup.
    When New Jersey is in a heatwave — there’s a heat warning through tomorrow night — people have to go where there’s plenty of air conditioning.
    Drudge referred to “PC 2” as suffering a box office slide.
    That right-wing snitch needs to have that fedora knocked off his head. Traffic to his website and a bunch of other right-wing websites is down.

  26. martin says:

    Anyone see the latest Pirates TV spots? I’m always amused when they add special effect logos/text just to the tv spots. Bruckheimer did the same thing on National Treasure:

  27. martin says:

    fyi – 2 slightly different clips above but 2nd one has the graphics.

  28. Telemachos says:

    ShowBizData is reporting $7.7 million for P2 on Monday.

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