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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Klady – Aug 18

Not a huge surprise, really. Even my $22 million BO Hell Snakes on a Plane estimate

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71 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Klady – Aug 18”

  1. the keoki says:

    Once again DP will be proven right about how much the internet can move the needle. Since Blair Witch can anyone remember any movie who’s internet following had such a huge impact on BO in the end? Off the top of my head I really can’t. It’s a shame too ’cause Snakes is a blast of B+ proportions. Hopefully word of mouth helps out.

  2. abba_70s says:

    Ouch..I thought much bigger…And I don’t know about the rst of you but I held off until today because I didn’t want to deal with the (non-existant) midnite and first day rush. Oh well, you know what they say about hindsight….

  3. abba_70s says:

    Now what movie should we all get hyped up about?

  4. T.H.Ung says:

    I liked the overwhelming yellowness yesterday. Remember Coldplay’s “and it was all yellow.” That add was too quickey for me.

  5. martindale says:

    Not at all surprised by SoaP’s numbers. I figured that it would do “Anaconda”-type numbers, but it won’t that film’s BO legs. Face it: The average joe doesn’t want to see a “so bad it’s good” movie. The key word in that is still “bad.” To them, the film looks stupid. Still, it will recover its production costs in a few weeks.

  6. Joe Leydon says:

    I guess the big question now is: Would “Snakes” have opened bigger if it had hit theaters a month or so earlier? Jeff Wells has been saying for weeks that it was folly not to strike while the hype iron was hot. Maybe New Line should have pushed up the date? But if so, when?

  7. martin says:

    Jeff Wells is a moron. This release date was perfectly fine. $20 mill opening for a purposefully shitty film seems right on target. It will get its audience to some extent here, and then to a much larger extent on DVD. If they were motherfuckin smart, they’d release the DVD in a month or two.

  8. T.H.Ung says:

    So who looses? Exhibitors, the streamers are going to eat these dinosaurs alive.

  9. David Poland says:

    If SoaP opened when Jeffy wanted it to, it would have opened to $12 million. If anything, this opening proves that publicity – which is what web buzz is – is not the driving factor on opening weekend. The noise on this film this week was deafening. Christ, I did CNBC on friday morning – a business show – because they wanted to chatter about Snakes.
    But in the end, it’s all decided weeks out by how people respond to the advertising.
    This movie would have been better off in a May slot, but Poseidon was where they needed to be, the movie wasn’t ready, and there was no ad campaign to support it… and the idea that media buzz was going to drive a big opening was self-hypnotic bullshit. (If web attention = money, how come the Lindsay Lohan movie crashed when Step Up soared?)
    Blair Witch was NOT an internet phenomenon. When the legend is a better story, print the legend. The irony is that people still believe it, even though the intenet had 5% of the meaningful penetration then that it has now. The phenomenology of that film was that it hit at exactly the moment that the then Mainstream Media was looking for a story about the internet’s rise to latch onto. Matt Drudge, Harry Knowles, Blair Witch… all got that wave…
    Snakes arrived with a lot more internet attention – since the internet is at least 20 times more populated daily – but with more now Traditional Media savvy about the web, now perceived as competition. It got EW, but it got backhanded in a lot of TM. The irony is that the reviews were better than most expected and showing the movie earlier might have helped… especially with girls. I believe this is going to be one of these movies where girls see it on DVD in college dorms and love the movie – better on TV – and wish they had gone to the movies for a laugh and a scream.

  10. T.H.Ung says:

    If, if, if. If New Line could have gotten it into the theatres faster. It’s a labor intensive affair, there’s only so fast people can go. David’s right New Line totally screwed up marketing this thing. I haven’t seen an ad or poster anywhere, and I live in a metropolis and watch a lot of tv.

  11. T.H.Ung says:

    DP, please copy edit this
    is not the driving factor on opening weekend, not the opposite.

  12. EDouglas says:

    “What They’ll Leave Out: Only two films in movie history have opened to more than $18.1 million after August 15.”
    I noted that while doing my own analysis, but last year 40-Year-Old Virgin and Red Eye opened to a combined $37 million and without much competition from Accepted (which didn’t take advantage of or benefit from the extra week of marketing), it seemed like Snakes could make a good percentage of that amount. Surprised that Talladega has held on as well as it had, especially after the big drop last week.
    I think New Line made a huge mistake by not marketing the movie based on the fun/humor aspect, instead selling it as a terrifying horror movie (which it really isn’t).

  13. martindale says:

    In the local twelve-screen theater, Snakes somehow made onto 2 screens, while Talledega Nights a mere one screen a few weeks back. Almost reminiscent of three years, when the first Pirates had one screen while Sinbad showed on two.

  14. EDouglas says:

    4-Day? Is Thursday being reported separately? That’s odd, since I don’t think any of the other movies which had 10pm previews this summer have done that.

  15. T.H.Ung says:

    Jeff is really down, but recovering. We wish him well. Ebert and Wells would be too much.

  16. martin says:

    TH, what was that in response to?

  17. T.H.Ung says:

    Martin, he’s posting from a hospital bed. Systemic infection from stabbing himself with an exacto knife. Posting’s an addiction or a 18/7 job.

  18. jeffmcm says:

    Can anyone, anyone at all, tell me who the Axis of Idiots are?

  19. jeffmcm says:

    Oh, and if World Trade Center is a ‘word of mouth movie’ isn’t its 46% drop indicative that WOM is turning out to be essentially neutral?

  20. EDouglas says:

    Jeff: Wells and Finke are obviously two of them, and there are probably many others (basically anyone David disagrees with ), but it’s really about those who seem to have jumped into the box office predicting/analyzing game without putting any real effort or research into it, just throwing out numbers based on their sources.
    In this case, I do agree with him, because both of them completely ignore a lot of previous historical box office data that should be taken into account when trying to estimate weekend based on Friday numbers…. like how kids/family movies do more business on Saturday or how horror movies tend to do most of their business on Friday.
    I’ve been doing it for near five years, and though I tend to keep my numbers to myself, they’re usually within a million or so of actuals..but that’s only because I’ve tons of references for similar movies (And there are always exceptions.)
    But David is right… that kind of guessing of how a movie will do on Saturday and how much the studios will estimate for Sunday is a fool’s errand when the real estimates will be available less than 24 hours later.

  21. EDouglas says:

    Jeff: Based on the numbers I have for Friday (higher than Klady), WTC will probably end up being off 40% or less from its opening weekend, which is not bad at all. That’s one case where NF is on crack.

  22. EDouglas says:

    BTW, I put a smiley in that bit about “anyone David disagrees” with but it didn’t show upo in the post… just want to make sure everyone knows i was being facetious.

  23. jeffmcm says:

    “basically anyone David disagrees with” makes a certain amount of success, especially considering that he seems to use it as a term for his personal use and not for his readership.
    If he’s serious about people knowing what he’s talking about, he should really publish an enemies list, already.

  24. jeffmcm says:

    I meant ‘sense’ not ‘success’. Brain fart.

  25. J says:

    Even though the Tomatometer is underwhelming, I really think holding this from critics hurt. If nothing else, poo-pooing bad reviews (“Roeper’s an idiot,” “The L.A. Times doesn’t have a sense of humor,” etc.) would have provided more free internet blahblahblah. Instead, there was just the stench of “They want to fool us.”
    Blair Witch was given an art-house rollout… might this have benefitted from that? Here in NYC people are going to the theaters with rubber snakes, howling lines Rocky Horror-sytle at the screen. Midnight Movie showings are inevitable.
    Everyone I’ve talked to who’s seen in it a full theater is ecstatic over the thing; I guess I’ll have to go before there are no more full screenings. Bad Box Office news makes for worse buzz than bad critical reviews, on a film like this.

  26. palmtree says:

    I agree with Ed about the humor aspect. The trailer was culprit number one. There’s not a single cool Sam Jackson moment. Aside from the mile highers, there’s no real money shot of what perils the snakes bring. If you’re going to make a cheesy movie based on fans who love cheese, then by God sell the cheese.

  27. MASON says:

    Man, the times they are a changing — Wells really nailed it with SOAP prediction. If I rememeber correctly, he was one of the few folks out there who predicted Step-Up would do good biz as well. Maybe he’s been spending time on myspace a lot or something because suddenly his finger is on the pulse.

  28. David Poland says:

    MASON… you’re beginning to read a lot like Jeffrey.

  29. David Poland says:

    Actually, looking at your run of comments, you seem more like Nikki Finke. You seem to show up only to push or defend positions involving one of them.

  30. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    I love that most people are complaining about this stuff now. I don’t remember that many saying all this before the numbers came in.
    It is an awfully low number. But I think what Dave said recently in his review that all the buzz could have an adverse effect as people are immediately for it or against it and not much is gonna change the people who think it was already the greatest movie ever made from the people who think it looks like ridiculous stupidity. There were definitely plenty of laughs at the title in my session of Miami Vice last night, followed quickly by dead silence after a World Trade Center trailer. :/

  31. David Poland says:

    P.S. If you are Jeff or Nikki or whomever… clearly someone with strong feelings about screenwriting, critics, and Jeff & Nikki… you are welcome… even if you mostly like to slap at me.

  32. martin says:

    Kami, and what exactly would be the ideal reaction to the WTC trailer? Applause?

  33. T.H.Ung says:

    Mason, you’re completely wrong about Step-Up. Wells said he was completely blindsided by it’s performance and said he ignored screenings of it out of hand. Joe Leydon posted that he was kicking himself that he didn’t come to MCN to predict how well it would do after he saw it and, I believe, reviewed it on his blog. As for SOAP, I don’t recall Wells predicting a number, he very may well have, but, as you may know, he blogged about driving back from the San Diego comic convention right after they showed the SOAP reel and bitched that he drove all the way there for that piece of crap. So, I think he had reason to have low expectations for it’s box office. I’ve yet to see a billboard, or a bus drive by with SOAP advertising or even a tv commercial. The exhibitors who gave it 2 theatres, must be fuming.

  34. Aladdin Sane says:

    It’s a late August release. Most people in the target audience are going on one last vacation or gearing up for school…or enjoying the really great weather that August typically brings.
    New Line should have sold Samuel L Jackson more. I think the first teaser was good, cos it said there was a movie coming that didn’t have anything like any other film this summer…but then, you didn’t really see a trailer showing exactly what Snakes on a Plane would bring. Only in the last week did I start to see any TV commercials, and mostly during preseason NFL games and on the music channels.
    I think it’ll be a great flick to have for midnight showings. It was tighter than most of the other movies that have come out this summer too (blockbuster-wise). Yeah, it’s a keeper.

  35. EDouglas says:

    “Kami, and what exactly would be the ideal reaction to the WTC trailer? Applause?”
    Throwing out your Oliver Stone DVD collection and refusing to ever see one of his movies again. 🙂

  36. Joe Leydon says:

    I know a lot of people on this blog pooh-pooh the notion of trying judge how an audience responds to a film at a screening. All I can say is, for me, it works. Years ago, when I attended a sneak preview of “Blade Runner,” I could practically FEEL the hostility of the folks around me. When I heard that Warners decided to recut the film (and add a narrative track), I wasn’t the least bit surprised. More recently, I could sense the teens and tweeners around me really, REALLY liking “Step Up.” It may not be a blockbuster, but, again, I’m not the least bit surprised that it surprised the handicappers who dismissed it.

  37. mutinyco says:

    And of course…Blade Runner went on to become one of the most influential films of the past 30 years…

  38. Lota says:

    Whew..SoaP feels like a let down after all the hype, which started way too early. My youngest brother enjoyed it, only because of Sam-yoo-el. I wonder how long it will last in theaters. Not as long as Miss Sunshine I bet.
    Blade Runner is one of my favorite movies even though as a kid I much in the minority in loving it, at That time. Most of the PK Dick fans were furious how different it was from the book…and the original theatrical ending. (kinda similar to the reaction to the ending of Minority Report)
    There still isn’t a sci fi since then that can surpass it for quality, I think, I wish there was. Putting CGI in importance over acting and story has ruined many potentially good science fantasy/sci fi movies.
    Now why doesn;t Sir Ridley make a new movie on par with ALien or Blade Runner? I would love that. He did want to do another near future dystopia but I don;t know if he ever found anything to his liking.

  39. Joe Leydon says:

    I will not argue that “Blade Runner” isn’t an influential movie. And yet: Correct me if I’m wrong, but it was never tremendously successful, in any form, in theatrical release, right? And trust me: if you had been present for the sneak preview screening I was (in Dallas, by the way) — you, too, would have wanted to change the movie.

  40. jeffmcm says:

    I’ve always been curious as to how it happened that Blade Runner became ‘one of the most influential movies of the last thirty years’ considering that it’s tedious, uninvolving, and confusing. I really think that Jordan Cronenweth and Lawrence Paull deserve more credit for its influence than anyone else.

  41. mutinyco says:

    Definitely has issues. Some bad dialogue. Bad acting. Main character is uninteresting.
    Wasn’t successful at the box office. But I’d argue in part that’s because everybody wanted Star Wars at the time. Though if I’m not mistaken, during the laser disk boom (if one existed) it was the best selling title.

  42. jeffmcm says:

    Oh, and David, when someone disagrees with you strongly, it’s best to not assume that they are secretly one of the same two or three people every time. You start to look paranoid.

  43. Nicol D says:

    Joe is exactly correct.
    Blade Runner was a flop upon its initial release and Entertainment Tonight at the time labelled it as one of the “Turkey’s of the Summer” along with Mega Force. It became one of the first films however to develop a true cult following on VHS with a video version from the now defunct Embassy Home Video that inserted graphic violence not seen in the domestic theatrical version.
    That version was then made available on the Criterion Laser Disc.
    Personally, it is one of my favourite films of all time and I cannot wait for the long rumoured 3 disc version.
    Films like SOAP are not true cult films; they are films that are manufactured to be cult which misses the whole point.
    Blade Runner was supposed to be a serious blockbuster in ’82 but flopped hard. There are not as many true cult films like it as many would like to believe.

  44. jeffmcm says:

    Wow, what was Mega Force? Sounds like ET was right about that one.

  45. mutinyco says:

    As well, once DVDs came in, it was one of the first titles everybody bought.
    Different works of art aren’t required to acheive popular success to be influential. They simply need to be successful amongst the other artists of that medium.

  46. Nicol D says:

    Mega Force starred Barry Bostwick and Persis Khambatta from Star Trek 1.
    It was about a team of high tech freedom fighters in the desert; kinda like a GI Joe vs Cobra concept.
    It was directed by Hal Needham (Stroker Ace, Canonball Run etc.)
    Had a great tag line with Barry Bostwick on the poster in an Uncle Sam type pose with the phrase “Deeds Not Words” under it.
    Bad movie. Real bad.But it was touted as the hit of ’82 when it came out. A little film called E.T changed that…

  47. Joe Leydon says:

    Nicol: Actually, “MegaForce” also had a great deal in common with the now-obscure comic-book series known as “Blackhawk.” I actually reviewed it during its first-run release. Not surprisingly, it was not pre-screened for critics in Dallas (where I was working at the time). It was supposed to be the first episode in a franchise. Just like “Remo Williams.”

  48. Spacesheik says:

    Oh man! Now I remember MEGAFORCE! Ack…I feel old. I always mix those 80s cheesy flicks up anyway: ICE PIRATES, SPACEHUNTER etc.
    Interesting discussion about BLADE RUNNER…I think it was much more succesful in Europa if I’m not mistaken.
    to the poster above who mentioned the VHS with the graphic violence, you are on the mark, I bought one myself and it included graphoc scenes of Rutger Hauer sqweezing someone’s eyeballs into a skull. That’s the only scene I recall.

  49. jeffmcm says:

    squeezing someone’s eyeballs _into_ a skull?

  50. Spacesheik says:

    “squeezing someone’s eyeballs _into_ a skull?”
    It’s been a long day,

  51. EDouglas says:

    I think the strangest thing about the weak Snakes opening is that just one week earlier, Step Up made more money in less theatres and what was its primary campaign? A popular MySpace page.

  52. LeeChesnut says:

    Teen girls have been obsessed with Channing Tatum for quite some time now. In all likelihood, he was the driving force behind the success of “Step Up.” This guy could be the next Brad Pitt if he continues to pick the right roles.

  53. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    “Kami, and what exactly would be the ideal reaction to the WTC trailer? Applause?”

  54. Nicol D says:

    The extra scenes of violence in Blade Runner are:
    1)the aforemention eyeball/skull crushing scene
    2) When Daryl Hannah does her backflip and gets Ford between her legs at the end there is a prolonged shot of her inserting her fingers into his nose from the iside and stretching his nostrils
    3) When Rutger Hauer inserts the nail into his hand you see it go through and a bluish vein pop up.
    Actually, they were edited into that version quite well, and I prefer it to the ‘director’s cut’ that was released in ’92. The extra violence actually makes it more disturbing and adult in my opinion, especially the eyeball scene which feels very tame to me in the current/theatrical editions.
    This is no longer an easy version of Blade Runner to find, but I highly recommend anyone going out and trying to find it. I have a Nelson video VHS release of it from 87 and I won’t let it out of my site.
    I hope it is included on the new DVD as I have refused to by the DVD currently on the market.
    Remo Williams; yes that is another film like Megaforce, but I would argue that it is also a true cult film because it was decently reviewed and isn’t really a bad flick. Has a kind of Big Trouble in Little China feel.
    But yes, all of those films were supposed to be franchises that were not.
    Now if only they would release the DVD of that ‘classic’ early 80’s sci-fi, Slapstick of Another Kind with Jerry Lewis…

  55. Spacesheik says:

    “Remo Williams; yes that is another film like Megaforce, but I would argue that it is also a true cult film because it was decently reviewed and isn’t really a bad flick. Has a kind of Big Trouble in Little China feel.”
    I loved Joel Grey in this and Fred Ward is always watchable. The statue of liberty sequency is quiet efficient, but most of all, I love Craig Safan’s rousing score for the film.
    This is another franchise that needs a restart (since the first one never took off). THE DESTROYER series were decent potboilers – could make a good franchise again if you get the right stars and director.

  56. Josh Massey says:

    “Supergirl. Her first adventure.”
    Well, that’s technically still true.

  57. martin says:

    As long as I’ve been reading reuters/AP movie news, this is the first time I’ve seen a normal friday box office written about. Occasionally they will do a “daily BO report” on a major Wed release, but now they’re reporting Fri numbers too? What’s next, Reuters doing box office guesstimates?

  58. martin says:

    Also, it looks like Snakes on a Plane lost Sat and Sun to Talladega Nights, so it may be a close finish to see who gets #1 for the weekend. Estimates have SOAP at only $15 mill for the weekend.

  59. Spacesheik says:

    In the old days studio honchos would wait til Saturday or Sunday to know how their flicks were doing. Now they’ll know if they are fucked the same day – no use prolonging punishment.

  60. Tofu says:

    “I’ve always been curious as to how it happened that Blade Runner became ‘one of the most influential movies of the last thirty years’… I really think that Jordan Cronenweth and Lawrence Paull deserve more credit for its influence than anyone else.”
    Looks like you just answered your own question there Jeff. Before, the future was to be shiny and clean. After Blade Runner, the ‘Toxic Future’ look was really brought to the forefront.

  61. EDouglas says:

    What a mess… Sony is being a bitch about Snakes having previews on Thursday and including them in with Friday and weekend numbers, so some people are reporting Talladega Nights as being #1 (like Nikkie and BOM) and others are reporting Snakes as #1 with a really bad $15 million (worst Friday-to-weekend mult for a movie in I don’t know how long). I wouldn’t be surprised if a lawsuit or two comes out of this weekend. BoxOfficeMojo is very influential and being #2 could hurt Snakes more than the weak opening. (just look at Step Up… if it was #1 last weekend, it would have helped its post-opening IMO)

  62. David Poland says:

    A lawsuit? Oy.
    No one is suing anyone over a Sunday estimate.

  63. EDouglas says:

    We’ll see. We both know how much better it sounds on MOnday when the TV news shows report a certain movie as #1 and how it affects business for the following week. Sony’s move adds insult to New Line’s injury.

  64. martin says:

    Ed, the studios play these games all the time. And don’t you think that adding last thurs night screenings to a weekend estimate is a bit unfair?

  65. EDouglas says:

    Martin: The screenings weren’t in every theatre playing the movie and I believe it was only between 2 to 4 screenings. Considering how little money that added up to, it seemed perfectly fine to include that with Friday. Isn’t that the whole reason for doing those screenings?

  66. EDouglas says:

    BTW, New Line was involved in the last big #1 controversy (that I remember)…Lord of the Rings vs. Big Fish. If I remember right, Big Fish was #2 on Sunday but #1 when actuals came in. (Who released Big Fish? Sony? Disney?)

  67. martin says:

    I also remember a NL Pleasantville dispute, although i can’t remember which movie it was competing with for the top spot.

  68. Lota says:

    uuuhm. It might have been Practical Magic, Mr Martin! I think it was only ~$100,000 out. though I cannot admit how I know that.

  69. Joe Leydon says:

    “Before, the future was to be shiny and clean.”
    Er, no offense, but have any of you folks ever seen a movie called “Metropolis”? Scott borrowed a lot — including the whole concept of a retro-futuristic production design — from a movie made nearly six decades before his.

  70. Chucky in Jersey says:

    “Blair Witch” got trumped by “Runaway Bride” and then by “The Sixth Sense”. The following year “Scary Movie” outed “Blair Witch” for what it really was — a piece of crap.
    As expected “World Trade Center” got hurt by “Little Miss Sunshine” going national. Next weekend she goes wide and that will be the true test.

  71. jeffmcm says:

    How did Scary Movie ‘out’ Blair Witch? There were plenty of people calling that movie a piece of crap before Cheri Oteri had snot running out of her nose. Don’t give the Wayans credit they don’t deserve (and I happen to like Blair Witch, BTW).

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