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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Klady – 8/12

So the answers on Step Up are:
1)Tracking continues to be a mess
2) Teen girls continue to do what they want when they want to (see Take The Lead

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52 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Klady – 8/12”

  1. James Leer says:

    Impressive score for Step Up.
    Jeff Wells is attributing it to star Channing Tatum, but any young person hit by its remarkably insistent ad campaign knows the result is due to two things: Myspace and the soundtrack. Hell, the radio ads don’t even tell you what happens in the movie…they just list the artists on the soundtrack and say, “IMAGINE…what if your favorite soundtrack was a movie? THAT MOVIE…is Step Up.” And THAT AD…I heard roughly a billion times yesterday.

  2. Spacesheik says:

    My generation gets SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER and GREASE and these poor suckers get STEP UP.
    I feel for them.

  3. martin says:

    Agreed, and Tatum has had some major drug problems, which is why McEnroe left her.

  4. EDouglas says:

    I’m not so sure that Zoom was rejected as much as that no one knew about it. After all that hubbub with Fox trying to put a stop to Sony releasing it earlier int he summer, Sony kind of forgot all about promoting it until a few weeks ago and the decision not to screen it for critics ended up hurting it if only because it kept it from having reviews in any of the major papers. That just left a few dumb television ads and a print ad that made it look exactly like Sky High (which is pretty much what it is).

  5. waterbucket says:

    Channing Tatum is the new Brad Pitt. So hot. And those lips. I can now die happy.

  6. Direwolf says:

    Step Up surprised me big time but then again my media consumption does not involve the likely outlets. I woke my 16 year old daughter for her slumber at 11 AM to aks her if swhe had seen ads. She said she saw lots of them but thought it looked terrible. She is an alternative type, likes the Clash and Elliott Smtih.
    I am guessing but I’ll bet Disney used whatever avenues it has with High School Musical to raise awareness. That thing is a phenomenon. Tope selling albuma nd book and great TV ratings. Heading to Broadway I think.
    As you all Know I come at this movie stuff from an investment angle. Step Up shows how Disney has some unique ways to promote.
    Looks like Pirates crosses $4 million in aobut two weeks. It has definetelys lowed relative to Shrek 2. Looks like it is headed to aorund $420 to me. Will it get to $580 intl and cross $1 billion?
    Finally, with Step Up, Talladega and possibly WTC all potentially ahead of last year’s #1 Four Brothers, this looks like another good weekend. If Snakes goes off next weekend, the summer will shaped up quite nicely. Even if it doesn’t.

  7. Wrecktum says:

    Poland you said, “This will be Disney

  8. MASON says:

    Step up and the Pacifier were produced by the same people. Offspring is turning into a money-making machine for Disney.

  9. fnt says:

    How exactly does WTC get to 17-20m with a 6m friday? That would be IF it did at least 6m on saturday and sunday… I’m guessing lower than that.
    I’m guessing it’s not going to make 140 m domestic anymore, huh?
    May 18, 2006
    WTC: The Trailer
    Someone sent a note about it, so I figured you all might want to be part of the discussion…
    On today’s box office chart on MCN, the big positive mover was World Trade Center, from $75 million to $140 million. Why?
    Because seeing that trailer, I think that Paramount has found he answer to marketing a 9/11 drama/thriller and even, it seems, figured out an answer about how to make it.
    Once you get past, “Do I really weant to see that?,” you are dealing with a regular, well-made, drama/thriller… Apollo 13 underground. With Nic Cage there and a decent film, this could well be the first film to get positive box office movement off of the events of 9/11.
    Or not. You tell me.

  10. David Poland says:

    We’ll see, fnt.
    You’re quoting an old number. But that’s okay. My more recent one isn’t that much smaller.
    If you think you know based on 3 days of grosses, you are a fool. But I think you are just rooting against.
    P.S. Did you expect more than $20m by the end of the first weekend back in May? Please enlighten.

  11. David Poland says:

    Direwolf and Mason answer your comment, Wreck.
    If it’s marketable, especially across Disney-owned franchises, it will be Oren’s taste. The movie targets teen girls. Are you saying that Disney is only going younger than that?
    If Nina should get credit for this movie, then we should acknowledge her. But the Disney machinery is very strong with the young teen girls. I don’t see them walking away from that.

  12. Wrecktum says:

    “If it’s marketable, especially across Disney-owned franchises, it will be Oren’s taste. The movie targets teen girls. Are you saying that Disney is only going younger than that?”
    No. I’m saying they’ll go broader. More all-audiences films and less niche tween girl. Jacobson “got” young girls and really pushed those films. I don’t know if Aviv feels the same way. But, hey, I could be wrong.

  13. fnt says:

    I’m not rooting against the film, I’m just stating the fact that there’s no way it’s doing big number. Which has been my guess all along and why I was shocked to see you predict such big numbers.
    And no, I didn’t expect more than 20m. In my comment on your May post, I stated that I doubt it would get to 60m domestic.
    >If you think you know based on 3 days of grosses, you are a fool.
    Really? What’s the point of all those Monday box office columns then? And when has there been a huge turnaround after the first weekend in recent times?
    I just don’t think anyone wanted to see this movie. The fact that it got beaten by STEP UP (of all things!) has got to be a big black eye for Paramount.
    I’m obviously a fan of the column, and the blog too, but I think you get a little blinded by what you want to see and mistake it for what the vast majroity people want to see. Another case in point was MIAMI VICE this summer.

  14. martin says:

    fnt, you make a lot of assumptions based on little proof. That Step Up made more than WTC is beside the point. What Dave should have said is that for adult-skewing dramatic features, opening weekend is not very indicative of final box office. WTC is a word of mouth movie, and Para has known this for awhile. These #’s are in-line or better than Paramount expected. That another film made more $ this weekend is not important.
    And how did Poland screw up on Vice? He liked the movie and gave it a good review. You can intepret certain things he said in the context of that review, but I don’t recall him making any specific $ predictions on the film.

  15. David Poland says:

    Well, fnt… the problem with your logic is that I made my predictions on both long before I saw them… and when I saw MV, my prediction dropped by more than $20 million.
    And your take is that if Step Up did $15 million, WTC would be a greater success?
    YOU don’t think anyone wants to see the movie? Who cares? A little less than a million people wanted to see it yesterday. About a milion and a half people wanted to see Step Up last night. And that is the start and finish of all America for you? I mean… come on…
    You’re doing exactly what you are accusing me of… you’ve taken a position and now you are rationalizing to be correct.
    To answer your question, Fahrenheit 9/11 opened to $24m, did $120m. Seabiscuit opened to $21m, did $120m. Road to Perdition opened to $22m, did $104m.
    WTC is a movie for adults. If it holds, it holds. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. Expecting three times Friday is not me rooting. It’s pretty basic for a movie that isn’t, for instance, a Step Up, driven by teens.
    We’ll see. If WTC ends up being a $70 million grosser, I agree… Oscar becomes a giant question mark again. But let’s wait until it happens.

  16. Brett B says:

    You are dead on in that the marketing was obnoxious. “Once every ten years, a movie comes along, that captures the voice of a generation.” If this movie represents the voice of a generation then I weep for the future. I have also seen no other movie that promoted its MySpace page as aggresively in the TV ads as this one.

  17. jeffmcm says:

    Ugh, I hope that dead-eyed hulk who I never heard of before is not the reason why Step Up is doing so well. We already know writing in movies is degraded but now does acting have to be as well?
    So what was tracking like on Step Up? Or are we already expected to know that?
    I think it seems logical to expect that World Trade Center will have the same multiplier that United 93 had, which will give it an end gross of around $70m. Both movies will have drawn an initial flurry of interest from those interested, followed by a relatively quick falling-off. I just do not see legs here.

  18. martin says:

    Jeff, don’t be so cynical. I think we might be looking at the next Patrick Swayze.

  19. jeffmcm says:

    Hey, Patrick Swayze was in Road House, which means he will live forever.

  20. Wrecktum says:

    “Hey, Patrick Swayze was in Road House, which means he will live forever.”
    Yeah. In Hell.

  21. THX5334 says:

    When I was a kid, I always felt Swayze had more charisma and star power, during his Red Dawn and Outsider days, than any of the other Brat Pack and it’s ilk. I thought he’d be bigger than Cruise and others back in the day.

  22. Spacesheik says:

    Don’t knock ROADHOUSE, Ben Gazzara is in it, doing what he does best, lol.

  23. Spacesheik says:

    I’m surprised Swayze went kaput after DIRTY DANCING and GHOST – I thought he was on his way to major stardom.
    Don’t know what the hell happened to this dude..Was his agent so shitty that he couldn’t get him another big studio crowd pleaser like GHOST?

  24. Spacesheik says:

    Actually I do remember seeing him again in that JULIE NEWMAR drag flick with Wesley Snipes…

  25. martin says:

    He had a couple bombs after Ghost then stopped getting gigs. He also had an alcohol problem.

  26. Adam says:

    Dave, Step Up has nothing to do with the three things you mentioned, and its not my space either, myspace is just gravy. It’s really quite simple, trailer on High School Musical DVD and heavy cross promotion every time the movie screens on Disney Channel. It’s not exactly a demographic that can be tracked or would be reliable because its building mainly on the unbelievable phenomenal tv success of High School Musical. Just remember if Disney releases the sequel to theatres, I would guess a gross of around 30 million, at least, opening weekend.

  27. THX5334 says:

    That was the answer I was looking for. Alchohol problem. Makes sense.
    Once again Martin, you have earned my respect as being the (imho) one cat on these boards that really knows the inside track. Hopefully whatever position you hold in this biz that gets you that deep inside – is a rewarding one.

  28. EDouglas says:

    He’s in this upcoming British comedy called Keeping Mum with Rowan Atkinson which i’ve heard is awful.

  29. Dr Wally says:

    Wasn’t Point Break after Ghost? IIRC it did decent box-office and has certainly had an afterlife among those who were teens at the time like myself, many i know still drop quotes from it constantly. Sure it looks dated now but the action still knocks out many of today’s contenders for sheer flamboyance. The FBI’s gonna pay me to surf?

  30. martin says:

    thx, i work in the industry but certainly not often enough or deep enough to know the “inside” stuff. Swayze’s alcohol problem was widely publicized a year or two ago.

  31. martin says:

    dude, like point break was a total miss.

  32. Direwolf says:

    I’ll admit it. I love Point Break. Lori Petty was hot and it was the best thing Keanu ever did. The scene where Keanu jumps out of the plane without a parachute is great and the whole concept of putting on those ex-Presdient’s masks just appeals to my addiction to politics. And the end with Swayze going out to the big wave after Keanu lets him is quite touching.

  33. Direwolf says:

    Here is some interesting stuff on the High School Musical phenomenon, which I agree with Adam may be the driver of Step Up.
    Right now it is still #27 DVD and #35 CD at Amazon. The album is still #44 at iTunes.
    From on 7/31/06:
    “Since its premiere January 20, 2006 on Disney Channel, “High School Musical” has been televised 13 times and was seen by over 37 million unduplicated total viewers. Its premiere telecast alone set household ratings records for Disney Channel and the movie has since set ratings records in Australia and Southeast Asia. By the end of the year, it will be televised in 100 countries worldwide. The soundtrack is the #1 top-selling album of the year-to date, has certified triple Platinum (over 2.7 million sold) and delivered six Gold certified singles since its January 10 debut. The “High School Musical” release on DVD sold over 2.3 million copies since its release on May 23

  34. Filipe says:

    I think WTC opening is slightly below Paramount wanted, but certainly nothing that will hurt it if word of mouth works. Now, if word of mouth doesn’t and it ends if 60-70m, I guess we can all get it out of oscar prediction lists.
    Point Break was a flop in US and if memory serves did well overseas and later got a flowwing on home video. It certainly was not the best follow up to Ghost possible, but also not the worst. But after it came City of Joy, Father Hood and the drag movie and he was pretty much done.

  35. djk813 says:

    I watched the High School Musical DVD yesterday, and just scratched my head trying to figure out what “the kids” saw in it. Not that it was the worst thing ever, but why would it be this huge of a phenomenon? I was just going to chalk it up to “kids these days” but then I remembered what My Big Fat Greek Wedding became and realized that adults can be prone to the same sorts of behavior.
    My guess is that with all the talk about the Hairspray casting, the most pivotal move could have been casting Zac Efron as Link Larkin. This will be the first of the recent Broadway musical film adaptations to really go after the teen audience. It has teen characters as its stars and a teen-friendly story. Forget Travolta, Pfeiffer, and Latifah; it’s Bynes, Efron, and Snow who are going to sell this movie.

  36. Jimmy the Gent says:

    Point Break manages to work within its rather absurd plot. Considering all crazy shit in that movie, Bigelow does a remarkabke job keeping everyone on track. Reeves, Busey and Swayze do remarkable work. There’s also a great early appearance by Sizemore. The final half, beginning with Reeves and Busey interupting their final heist, is one of the best sustained pieces of action moviemaking of the ’90s. I mean, the movie doesn’t let up for almost an hour. The foot chase, the skydiving, the disasterous bank heist and getaway, and the final confrontation in Australia are breathtaking sequences. If you’re going to make a surfing action movie, Point Break is how you do it.
    I do think the movie would played better as an August release, not July. Both T2 and the surprise success of Boyz N the Hood crowded out Point Break’s chances of finding an audience.

  37. goodvibe61 says:

    The number I find most disappointing is for Miami Vice. I saw this film a second time last night, and the audience gave it a round of applause at the end. It’s a very impressive piece of work. I’m stymied why the legs are not there for this, as it seems the word of mouth would be at least decent.
    I hope the studio recoups the investment on DVD; it would be a shame that a film of this quality would not at least break even.

  38. fnt says:

    David, I guess we’ll see how it holds. That’s what our disagreement boils down to. I just don’t see it doing anywhere near the numbers you expect and haven’t ever.
    The difference between WTC and those films is the touchiness of its subject matter. As well, the film is far duller than it’s marketed as being. I think that’ll be reflected in the word of mouth.
    But I guess we’ll see a week or so from now.

  39. Joe Leydon says:

    I must admit: I almost posted earlier this week that, after catching Step Up at a Tuesday screening, I fully expected it to perform way above expectations. But I wimped out, and didn’t make the post. No guts, no glory.

  40. martin says:

    Step Up had a good trailer, looked like a hit to me. Idlewild also looks like a hit. I have know idea who Bryan Barber is, but the trailer has a lot of style and the movie looks well-made:

  41. jeffmcm says:

    You just didn’t want to share your new Channing Tatum crush, right Joe?

  42. Joe Leydon says:

    Jeff: I’m really disappointed that an alledged liberal like yourself would indulge in such Right-style, queer-baiting antics. I mean, jeez, that’s the sort of thing I would expect from Bi-Bob.
    Besides, I was too busy panting for Rachel Griffiths to notice any mere children in the cast.

  43. Lota says:

    The Miami Vice topple is just killing me. I can;t look at those numbers, or lack thereof.
    What is it about Road House? My youngest brother worships that infernal movie. He made me watch it with him once. Aside from the unintentional camp and ham, I don;t get the Love for it. But then I’m not the target audience.

  44. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Most people were expecting a $20mil three day number (give or take a couple of million) so I can’t see it has being a disappointment. It’s not that World Trade Center disappointed, it’s more that Step Up really surprised. Didn’t most people predict $12mil or so for that? But really, much like United 93 Para will have to be happy with whatever they make. I doubt a radically different ad compaign would’ve made this number any higher.
    FNT, the problem is that David isn’t wrong. Neither are you. You both have different opinions and for reason you think he is wrong for having that opinion. What’s your big issue?
    Will Step Up harm Snakes on a Plane by stealing away some teens?
    I really do think the whole High School Musical thing is the biggest reason for the success of Step Up. In Australia the movie premiered about 2 months ago and just this week the soundtrack went to #1 for the first time. It’s a creeper than movie. And the reason for it’s success is easy. It’s something teenagers never get. A musical starring kids their age with a universal plot (popular boy/nerdy girl etc) and all that jazz. It’s not rocket science. There’s a reason stuff like The Breakfast Club are considered classics.
    “He’s in this upcoming British comedy called Keeping Mum with Rowan Atkinson which i’ve heard is awful.”
    1. It’s got Rowan, Patrick, Maggie Smith and Kristen Scott Thomas
    2. It isn’t “awful” but it’s not exactly good. I’ve seen much worse though. It was out here ages ago.
    “I saw this film a second time last night, and the audience gave it a round of applause at the end.”
    pfft, no way. I don’t believe that for a second.
    And Road House? “I used to fuck guys like you in prison.” LOL That line is gold.

  45. jeffmcm says:

    The camp and ham are in fact intentional, my dear Lota. You don’t write lines like “you’re gonna be my new Saturday night thing” without knowing what you’re doing.

  46. jeffmcm says:

    “round of applause” can mean a lot of things. Some people clapped on Thursday after my screening. Not everybody.
    Step Up and SoaP are after two different audience segments, I think.

  47. Danny Boy says:

    I think WTC will have a better multiple than United 93. Let’s face it. This is Schindler’s List to United 93’s Pianist. By taking a more sentimentalized view of the events, it’s more the type of “feel good about what mankind is possible of” movie that can draw more people. But I don’t think Paramount can honestly look at this and curse that they’re not #1 at the box office. A movie like this cannot and should not be judged by how much money it makes. If it makes some money, people should be content. To worry about it not being a blockbuster is just soulless.

  48. palmtree says:

    Shall I be the first to admit that I saw High School Musical on its debut airing? I think that like Snakes on a Plane, the title has a sort of catchiness that says exxxxactly what you’re going to get. Combine that with some very very catchy songs and killer choreography (the basketball scene in particular), it really provided the necessary cheese young teens want. It’s kind of like American Idol with a Romeo and Juliet story.
    Of course, all of that would be moot without the advertising power of Disney, which aggressively advertised the show in all the teeny bopper magazines before airing it with the highest rated show in their history.

  49. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    It’s a universal school story with an attractive cast singing some nice (if generic) tunes. Life would be so much better if it were a music, because as we all know, nothing bad ever happens in a musical*
    And yes, that title is very direct and to the point. You know what you’re getting. Young girls especially like musicals especially when some by a “dreamboat” like Zach Efron.
    *courtesy of Lars von Trier and Bjork in Dancer in the Dark, in which -quite ironically- bad things do indeed happen.

  50. jeffmcm says:

    ^^^Which stole the idea from Dennis Potter’s Pennies from Heaven, just FYI.

  51. Cadavra says:

    “nothing bad ever happens in a musical”
    Haven’t seen WEST SIDE STORY lately, eh? 🙂

  52. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    or Moulin Rouge! or Cabaret or… yeah, it’s an odd quote I know.

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