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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates

Well, that

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39 Responses to “Friday Estimates”

  1. Direwolf says:

    Good hold for Pirates. Monster looks like #2 given that it will go up more than Lady on Saturday.
    Looks prettty bad ofr SuperX.
    Pirates will be almost $320 at the end of the weekend. Still seems like $400 is in the cards.

  2. Aladdin Sane says:

    I kinda stayed away from Lady in the Water reviews cos reading the headlines of ’em was enough for me. Regardless, a friend wanted to go, so I went last night. And to my surprise, I found it to be enjoyable overall. Definitely better than The Village…at times it was a little too self aware, but Shyamalan has crafted a sweet little movie.
    Wiggled my way into a Clerks 2 screening on Thursday night, and that was hilarious. I had rewatched ‘Clerks’ the day before. As with the first one, the second’s shining star (at least to me) is Randall. I know everyone says they know a Jay, but that could be said about Randall too. I loved his LOTR re-enactment. Plus Rosario Dawson is hella cute in it. And the new and improved Jay & Silent Bob – that’s one thing that was missing from the first – the title cards. They did throw up the J&SB one, but then again, it’s a more plot driven flick this time (such as it is).
    Anyhow, I’m all movied out.

  3. Dr Wally says:

    Uma is ALWAYS a little uncomfortable in interviews, DP. And let’s face it, QT aside, her track record is extremely spotty. Avengers? Batman and Robin? Be Cool? MSE-G is just the latest in a long line of duds (i actually kind of like Paycheck though, a good silly action movie.)

  4. David Poland says:

    Well, not suggesting Super Ex was an Uma sell. It was a concept sell and they failed to sell the concept… as well as the bulk of the movie, which you owuld never see coming from these commercials.
    Yeah, she was never good at cheating to camera… but the calm she had on Kill Bill and Prime was not here at all.
    By the way… Prime opened to $6.2 million.

  5. JckNapier2 says:

    As far as Thurman, few actresses have a worse record of art-film vs studio pictures. She’s a terrific actress and I’ve always been a fan, but I’d almost classify her as box office poison to mainstream films.
    As for why, take this for what it’s worth, but very very few women I know actually like her. They actively, geniunely dislike her. Maybe it’s because of her exteme attractivness (whether you find her attractive or not, the perception is that she’s super hot) and her glamorous statuesque presence, you tell me.
    Point being, like Jolie, women may or may not see hers as a threatening sort of sexuality, versus the more acceptable girl-next door ‘Oh, I bet in real life she doesn’t look that much better than me’ type excluded by Jennifer Aniston, Resse Witherspoon, and the like. Remember, aside from the first Tomb Raider (teen boy-fueled) and the media-created Mr and Mrs Smith success, almost all of Jolie’s films bombed.
    It would seem that when you’re depending on females to come in order to make money, think twice about casting Thurman. Perhaps she should have milked the sympathy card a bit more ala Jennifer Aniston when she got divorced awhile back. Tis a pity.
    Scott Mendelson

  6. martin says:

    hate to pile on uma (or do i?) but I think she’s part of the poison that brought down Producers. Kidman would have added big things to that movie, and perhaps moved it into the “modest hit” territory rather than outright failure.
    And to keep the negativity flowing, Superman Returns is embarassing, I refuse to believe that they will greenlight a sequel after this very lukewarm response. Singer was out at Comic Con saying the sequel will be “wrath of khan”, which I guess means he’s admitting Returns is a bit of a failure. But if they’re making a Hulk sequel, I guess anything’s possible.

  7. Josh Massey says:

    If Jennifer Aniston had starred in “My Super Ex-Girlfriend,” it would have opened to $20-plus.
    And do you really think “Superman” has $27 mill more in the tank? I can’t see it getting to $200 at all. You have three wide releases next weekend, four the weekend after that,… Supes won’t have any theaters after that.

  8. martindale says:

    If the Village can do $140 overseas with all of its negative buzz, I have no doubt that Lady in the Water will do fairly well internationally as well. At least it has a chance to make a profit by the time the DVD hits the shelves, something Poseidon can’t claim.

  9. anghus says:

    well, im eating crow on Lady in the Water. I was thinking 30+ million, and im nowhere close.
    i guess the Shyamalan haters really did do a good job of sinking this. or, maybe Giamatti just isnt the draw of a Willis, Gibson, or Joquain (sp?)

  10. martin says:

    anghus, lady just wasn’t appealingly sold. If it was a simple, mermaid drama it would have opened better and had legs. I think people would have liked Giamatti in a sad sack mermaid movie. But this slapdash mix of horror, humor, etc. apparently appeals to no one. It may not be a bad film (havent seen it) but it looks like a real mess.

  11. jeffmcm says:

    If Aniston had starred in MSEG, it would have opened to an even lower figure. She’s incredibly wrong for the part.
    I also don’t see how Lady in the Water can expect to do all that well overseas, it doesn’t seem to have much for international audiences to chew on, no stars…but I would have expected The Village to flop overseas for the same reason.

  12. CaptainZahn says:

    “i guess the Shyamalan haters really did do a good job of sinking this.”
    Because it couldn’t be *gasp* Shyamalan’s own fault.

  13. martin says:

    before we get all crazy on it, Lady did “open”. It did $20 mill on a movie starring Giamatti with very unappealing marketing materials. 20 mill is nothing to sneeze at. It’s also not a super expensive movie… so it may end up making its money back on DVD.

  14. jeffmcm says:

    Yeah, and we all know Shyamalan’s career isn’t going to end. Just, as I believe Poland said, he’ll have to make his next movie for $50m instead of $70m.

  15. Josh Massey says:

    Either that, or he’ll have to take on a franchise property that didn’t originate with him. Or maybe “The Seventh Sense.” (Kidding).

  16. MattM says:

    Aniston’s wrong for the part, but who would have been right? It’s got to be a female star who’s plausible as an ass-kicker and as the clingy/vulnerable type, and that’s a pretty small universe of folks. (Jolie works for the first one, but not for the second one.) Really, there are a lot of casting issues in Super Ex. Luke Wilson and Rainn Wilson are both miscast, Wanda Sykes’ part is virtually non-existent, and don’t even get me started on Eddie Izzard’s miscasting.

  17. David Poland says:

    The big quesiton on Super-Ex, it seems to me, is what major actress would have allowed that script to be shot? I see the appeal of playing superheroine by day, angry frump by night. But her character is profoundly one-note and never really gets redeemed. The relationship is so brief and so shallow that we can’t even root for her to hurt the ex. So it’s an Uma Thurman movie with Luke Wilson as the hero.
    Debra Winger would have been brilliant doing that role (not young enough for it now, I admit), but would have forced script changes. Natalie Portman could have done it (see the SNL video). Julia Roberts would have been good, if she was willing to be a snippy bitch on screen. Could have been Naomi Watt’s perfect role.
    But all or any of the would have needed a director who got their sense of humor. And Ivan Reitman doesn’t direct women well. The only great performance was Sigourney Weaver in Ghostbusters. And of course, when he had Winger, there was a nuclear meltdown.

  18. Eddie says:

    I agree Super Ex was severely miscast. I think Farris was the only one who came out looking good. I imagine this would’ve raised the budget substantially, but Charlize Theron would’ve been a much better fit than Uma.

  19. Tofu says:

    Eddie Izzard has to have been one of the worst casting decisions of the year. Everyone else worked, but Uma honestly sold the CRAZY aspect too hard.

  20. matro says:

    “Wanda Sykes’ part is virtually non-existent”
    I’m not sure why you’re including this in a list of casting negatives…

  21. David Poland says:

    I’m not sure if you are addressing me or a commenter, matro…

  22. wolfgang says:

    “The big quesiton on Super-Ex, it seems to me, is what major actress would have allowed that script to be shot? I see the appeal of playing superheroine by day, angry frump by night.
    “Debra Winger would have been brilliant doing that role (not young enough for it now, I admit), but would have forced script changes. Natalie Portman could have done it (see the SNL video). Julia Roberts would have been good, if she was willing to be a snippy bitch on screen. Could have been Naomi Watt’s perfect role.”
    You know, David, your comments make me want to check out this film, if only to see if
    1.) Uma is as miscast as everyone says she is, and
    2.) What actress could successfully carry the oddball requirements of this role.
    Unfortunately, right now I’m more in the mood to dig my heels in and spend my movie $$$ at the local arthouse theatre, the River Oaks, before idiot local developers run a bull-dozer over it.

  23. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Damn, those are some bad numbers for Ex Girlfriend. I thought the plot would get more people into the cinema. But I’m not privy to what y’all are seeing on your tvs.
    Here’s a suggestion for Uma’s part tho… RACHEL McADAMS! lol…
    Lady in the Water is a tough one to guage. Will it fall hard like The Village or will it’s lower opening week help it have better legs and maybe reach $60mil? Are there any similar films in the upcoming weeks?
    And what of Superman Returns? People just obviously didn’t care enough. Is this film basically on par with Godzilla. If adjusted for inflation would they be similar?

  24. Eric says:

    Just saw Lady in the Water. I’m appalled at how bad it was. This movie is Shyamalan’s gift to all those people who think he is a creatively bankrupt, arrogant one-hit wonder.
    Word of mouth on this thing will be tepid. Allow me to quote the review offered by the woman sitting behind me, given as soon as the credits rolled: “That shit is dumb. That shit is the dumbest fuckin’ movie I ever seen.”

  25. Wrecktum says:

    Not very ladylike language from that woman. Was she a marine?

  26. jeffmcm says:

    I saw Clerks 2 tonight, I haven’t been a Kevin Smith fan for his last few movies, but this one is indeed emotional and personal and funny. Probably his best movie since the original Clerks, although only marginally better in terms of cinematography and acting after 12 years of experience as a working director.

  27. Josh Massey says:

    Yeah, I think all who have seen it can agree “My Super Ex-Girlfriend” couldn’t have been saved with only a casting change or two. If remaking it, I would only keep Faris and Wilson, hire a different director, reimagine the script from opening to closing, and definitely – dear God – think of a better name than “G Girl.”
    And I wish we could do those things, because there’s a good movie somewhere within that premise.

  28. Lota says:

    Yeah well, I expected the underestimators to be correct, despite Lady in the Water being Everywhere! I don;t think Giamatti can carry a movie on his own and certainly if it had been scarier sans comic touches and released in October maybe they’d get their P&A back–marketing must have spent a Fortune.
    What I can’t understand is why Clerks II came out so Low unless it picked up on the Saturday Night. Unless I was assuming wrongly that the View Askew nationals have power over the minds of the 20-30 somethings. i don;t like KS’s movies but I thought most people my age did.
    Super-Ex. I think Ashley Judd or Debra WInger(she looks good for her age Dave–she aint too old and she can Act) would do better for the female and a better male actor/comedian. But even casting changes would help a very cynical script. I wouldn;t call that movie funny escapism for a movie-goer. Wasn’t thought provoking either.

  29. Nicol D says:

    Problem with Super-Ex is not just casting, its concept.
    Who is it for?
    The superhero film angle plays to teen boys but they couldn’t care less about the romance part.
    The romance part may play to girls but the superheroine thing most likely will not because seeing Uma in super latex is a guy/boy thing.
    Luke Wilson may be a swell guy but he is not Owen. He cannot and has not ever carried a movie.
    This is a film that was off from the get go. Also, what female superhero movies are they satirizing? Supergirl from 1984?
    They should have made it a cocky male hero (a la Bruce Campell type) who meets his match when he tries to use his stature to exploit a ‘helpless female’ he just saved through a one night stand. Of couse the twist would be that she is not helpless at all and then he meets his match when she sets out to get revenge on him for being so shallow.
    That film cast properly would have had a shot, but this felt life a satire to genre that really does not even exist.
    The marketing made it feel like Mannequin II: On the Move.
    Not a good place to start.
    Reitman used to be a comedy kingpin but ever since Junior it feels like he is floundering. Something always sad when the old guard passes…and all we have left is Kevin Smith.
    I’m just happy Clerks II is not the leap to the mainstream Smith desires it to be.
    Smith makes Bret Ratner look like Ingmar Bergman on a good day.

  30. Geoff says:

    From the looks of Showbizdata, Pirates is going to do over $35 mill, this weekend, very impressive! I don’t think there is any doubt that this film is going to crack $400 million, at this point.
    Monster House did solid with about $23 million, but to be honest, I thought it would do more.
    Looks like Lady in the Water won’t even crack $20 million and Clerks is going to struggle to break $10 million. So you have two filmmakers that are struggling enough to even fall below their own respective box office ceilings. I enjoy his movies, but is there a more well-known filmmaker than Kevin Smith whose films gross so consistently low? I swear, I think Woody Allen’s films gross more on a consistent basis than his does.
    Ok, one that I can think of….Lars Von Trier. And don’t give me Spike Lee, now, Inside Man did pretty well.

  31. jeffmcm says:

    I actually had a conversation while walking out of Clerks II, ‘Kevin Smith might not know what to do with a camera, but he sure is a better director than Brett Ratner…”

  32. Josh Massey says:

    No. He’s not.
    (And please don’t misinterpret that as Ratner-love or Smith-hate).

  33. jeffmcm says:

    Well, I think he is, for the simple reason that he actually makes personal movies about issues he’s feeling. Granted, half of his movies have been the same ‘man-child learns to grow up’ story, but still, that’s better than the slick, impersonal, childish cinema of Ratner, which allows for no emotion that wasn’t a cliche decades ago.

  34. Nicol D says:

    What Smith has that Ratner does not is a vision; a mythology. I am clearly not a fan but his films do have a POV for an intended audience.
    Ratner is certainly a studio hack who is more interested in the Hollywood lifestyle of starlets and parties than his craft but his films are certainly better crafted than Smith.
    Given the Clockwork Orange treatment of being tied to a chair with my eyes open and forced to watch eithers entire ouevre, I’d take Ratner over Smith…but that is only by degrees.
    And to think other generations only got to think about Bergman Vs. Truffaut:)

  35. Josh Massey says:

    When I think studio hack, I think there are many more people deserving of scorn than Ratner. The man isn’t making classics, but can you name one truly terrible, awful movie he’s made? Eh, maybe you can, but I’ve seen all of his features, and haven’t really hated one of them yet. (On the same token, though, I don’t own a single one of them on DVD).
    When I think “hack,” I think Shawn Levy, Peter Segal, Adam Shankman, etc.

  36. jeffmcm says:

    I think it’s a matter of degrees. Ratner is just more technically competent than Levy/Segal/Shankman, and slick cinematography and editing do a good job of hiding the total vacuousness of his artistry.

  37. Josh Massey says:

    Is “Rush Hour 2” supposed to be art, though? “After the Sunset?” And hell, I thought “Red Dragon” was miles better than “Hannibal.”

  38. Joe Leydon says:

    Nicol: Funny you should mention those two directors. (Most folks go for the traditional Truffaut vs. Godard match-up.) The other day, I was talking with a colleague about how, at the time he died in 1984, Francois Truffaut had made an incredibly deep imprint on US pop culture consciousness. Incredibly, that is, in terms of his being a foreign filmmaker whose name recognition factor was high even among people who avoid subtitles like Superman avoids Kryptonite. I mean, geez, FT was profiled in People magazine, for cryin’ out loud. And when he died, his death was covered not only on the front page of the NYT — he had a big color photo and section front story in USA Today! So I asked my colleague: Can you think of any living foreign director whose demise will be covered THAT extensively by the US mainstream press? And between the two of us, Ingmar Bergman — and not, BTW, Godard — was the only name we could agree upon.

  39. jeffmcm says:

    Who would say that Rush Hour 2 is art? After the Sunset is probably his best movie. (And Hannibal is far superior to Red Dragon, but we’ve been over that before)

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