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David Poland

By David Poland

Klady's Sunday Estimates – 12/3

Not a lot more to add.
The Nativity Story was not saved by a massive wave of Christians. But we’ll see if it picks up. I think the endless media obsession with marketing to Christians has perhaps become a serious problem for distributors who are looking to go after that audience with anything more than the smallest, most subtle campaigns.
Bond continues to run on par/a little behind Die Another Day, Casino Royale about $5 million behind on the third weekend total. Still, it is a great success for Sony, given that they were launching a new Bond. CR is already the biggest first film of a new Bond ever by more than $10 million. And the film has also been huge in the UK, where Daniel Craig was already a much bigger star. But no, Oscar talk remains nutty.
I expect the lame Turistas estimate to be a little high in the end. It is rare to see a Friday number for a film like that triple over 3

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19 Responses to “Klady's Sunday Estimates – 12/3”

  1. martin says:

    Slightly off topic, but anyone know where Tony Scott got his red hat?

  2. jeffmcm says:

    Has anybody here seen Turistas?

  3. Scott Mendelson says:

    I saw Turistas last night (I’m with someone who loves horror in every form, so she buys those tickets).
    For the 70 minutes, it’s actually pretty good, with strong cinematography, relatively low-key characters, and a genuine, almost realistic sense of dread at being lost in a foreign, poverty-stricken country (in some ways, it feels as ‘authentic’ as Babel in this regard). There is a scene at the end of the second act that is genuinely disturbing and unnerving, but that is where the film peaks.
    However, once the third act kicks in, the film becomes an overly dark (color-wise), hard to see, poorly chereographed chase picture. The good guys and bad guys look too much alike, and at times you’re not sure who’s being hurt/killed at the time. The film has substance to it, without hitting you over the head with the ‘message’, and it’s a shame it falls apart in the last twenty minutes or so. It’ll be worth a rent and it’s good to see Stockwell not completely ‘hacking’ it.
    Scott Mendelson

  4. marychan says:

    For THE QUEEN, grossing $23 million is already a success, isn’t it?

  5. Joe Leydon says:

    I wonder if “Deja Vu” will turn out to be one of those long-legged, word-of-mouth successes that no one fully appreciates because there are bigger-hyped holiday movies on the radar?

  6. martin says:

    Joe you mean like Man on Fire or Enemy of the State?

  7. Wrecktum says:

    …or most other Denzel movies released in the past decade?

  8. Rob says:

    To have this many wide releases in one six-week period – Catch a Fire, The Return, A Good Year, Harsh Times, Let’s Go to Prison, The Fountain, Tenacious D, Turistas, The Rise of Taj – open and fail (or struggle) to crack $10 million has to be some kind of carnage record.
    And that’s forgiving the DOA expansions of Running with Scissors, For Your Consideration and Bobby.

  9. EDouglas says:

    Nativity Story is the worst, considering it was in over 3,100 theatres… it’s only the third movie in that many theatres to make less than $11 million opening weekend. Usually, you only get that many theatres if there seems to be general interest as seen in tracking. Maybe it’ll have legs but I doubt the theatres will want to hold it to find out with so many bigger movies on the way.

  10. Joe Leydon says:

    Well, Denzel — or Uncle Denzel, as he’s known around my household, because I did a free-lance interview with him shortly after the Houston Post shut down, and that enabled me to pay for my son’s birthday present — wasn’t in “Enemy of the State.” But, yeah, I suspect his track record is such that he’s a long-distance runner, not a sprinter.

  11. “Now, they need to cut bait, get focused exclusively on Adrianna Barrazza and the screenplay and try not to lose those opportunities too.”
    Whither Brad Pitt’s campaign?

  12. David Poland says:

    Good point. Pitt is still likely to walk in, with or without campaigning – which is mostly “not” because he won’t do much.

  13. juligen says:

    Whither Brad Pitt’s campaign?
    Yeahh, I thought Brad was very good in Babel and a nomination for him seems likely.

  14. EDouglas says:

    I still think Rinko is more likely than Adrianna… she carried a 4th of the movie and I thought her story was the best one and the only one I’d want to see expanded to a full movie.

  15. jeffmcm says:

    I agree, Adriana basically just had to get upset at the stupid things that were happening to her, and while she did a good job, it was not as complex of a job as Rinko had.

  16. LexG says:

    Does Paul Dergarabedian ever say interesting, like, ever? I want a job where on Monday morning I can look at box office figures, make an obvious and vague generalization like, “This just goes to show the family audience is key right now,” and somehow have that quoted in every newspaper in the country. I get a hearty chuckle over his contribution to every Monday’s stock story.

  17. jesse says:

    Just to chime in and self-promote: Jeffmcm, I saw Turistas and, lacking the interest of any of the outlets I write official reviews for, wrote it up in my column (at the link in my name). I do get into spoilers, although it’s not a surprising movie in any way. Mostly I just wind up talking about John Stockwell and his odd little teensploitation career.
    Anyway, the short of it is that I think Scott is being generous; the movie isn’t terrible, but it’s not much good, either. And I’m generally not anti-horror or even anti-slasher; I actually enjoyed this year’s Hostel and the Hills Have Eyes remake (not as much as, say, Lucky McKee’s May, but I liked them both). Turistas is better-crafted than Pulse or Stay Alive or some of this year’s pure dreck, but that’s not saying much.

  18. palmtree says:

    I know that Paul Dergarabedian is probably the most insanely quoted guy in Hollywood, but I’m not sure I’d blame him for terrible quotes. It’s the papers who continually lob softballs at him as the authority and don’t really dig much deeper. And for the record, he left Exhibitor Relations so perhaps everyone will get their wish now of hearing him shut up.

  19. LexG says:

    Jesse, enjoyed your Stockwellian analysis. Always liked that guy as an actor, and certainly enjoy his slick, attractive B-movies as director. His success behind the camera can only give me hope that his long-MIA CHRISTINE co-star William “Buddy Repperton” Ostrander will have a nice second wind as an auteur.
    TURISTAS is certainly the least of his recent theatrical films; Like most others, I enjoyed the lush and sexy setup more than the eventual grisliness; I’d say Stockwell himself feels the same way, since his heart is clearly in the aqua-framed travelogue half. The organ-plucking is disgusting beyond belief, but tellingly, occupies but ONE SCENE in the entire movie. Horror fans can’t be satisfied with, basically, one single solitary torture-murder by the central villain, not counting the underlings who bite the dust at his hands and the remaining carnage that consists merely of gunshots and drowning and the like.
    Jesse, also you forgot to mention that shots of bare feet recur in his movies almost as much as the things you mentioned. QT was no doubt in awe of Ashley Scott’s contribution to INTO THE BLUE.

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