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David Poland

By David Poland

Sunday Estimates by Klady

Weekend (estimates) January 19 – 21, 2007
Title | Distributor | Gross (average) | % change | Theaters | Cume

1. Night at the Museum | Fox | 12.9 (3,700) | -25% | 3483 | 205.7
2. Stomp the Yard | Sony | 12.7 (6,210) | -42% | 2051 | 41
3. Dreamgirls | Par | 8.3 (3,760) | -1% | 2214 | 77.7
4. The Hitcher | Focus | 8.2 (2,890) | | 2831 | 8.2
5. The Pursuit of Happyness | Sony | 6.6 (2,150) | -26% | 3066 | 146.4
6. Freedom Writers | Par | 5.5 (2,390) | -26% | 2286 | 26.8
7. Pan’s Labyrinth | Picturehouse | 4.7 (7,700) | 116% | 609 | 10.1
8. Children of Men | Uni | 3.7 (2,430) | -41% | 1524 | 27.5
9 The Queen | Miramax | 3.4 (2,130) | 204% | 1586 | 35.5
10. Arthur and the Invisibles | MGM | 3.2 (1,410) | -26% | 2248 | 9.4
Other Oscar Hopefuls…
Babel | Par Vantage | 2.2 (2,500) | 483% | 889 | 23.8
The Last King of Scotland | Fox Searchlight | 1.7 (3,470) | | 495 | 5.4
Letter from Iwo Jima | WB | 1.5 (4,080) | 302% | 360 | 2.6
Notes on a Scandal | Fox Searchlight | 1.2 (6,100) | -25% | 200 | 6.1

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53 Responses to “Sunday Estimates by Klady”

  1. EthanG says:

    Box office mojo has reversed placement for “Night” and “Stomp.”
    Either way this weekend bodes ill for the hoped demise of urban dance movies. Stomp the Yard crushed expectations…most were going for a 55% drop.
    Cheers for “Pan’s Labyrinth!”
    Cheers for the Hitcher performing at just over half of expectations. Hopefully “The Messengers” will perform similarly in 2 weeks and the onslaught of horror remakes will slow to a trickle.

  2. Wrecktum says:

    Years ago, the studios wouldn’t waste their time opening movies on these shitty days in January.
    Maybe they should start doing that again.

  3. matro says:

    That screen count for Pan’s Labyrinth has to be a typo…

  4. Aladdin Sane says:

    Yay for Pan’s cracking the top ten. Hopefully it’ll pull more than the expected Foreign Language Oscar nomination on Tuesday, and its gross will continue to grow.

  5. David Poland says:

    nope… big add this weekend…

  6. Chucky in Jersey says:

    This weekend is Arthouse/Re-Release Heaven: 3 re-releases in the top 20, “Pan’s Labyrinth” (which I saw — and recommend) in the top 10, “Letters from Iwo Jima” just cracking the top 20. No wonder WB will re-release “The Departed” next week.
    Want to use megaplexes most efficiently? Start booking adult and arty fare on a 52-week basis, not just as filler.

  7. EthanG says:

    unfortunatly next week is also the late January landfill for commercial studios–Epic Movie, Blood and Chocolate, Catch and Release and the unfortunatly trashed by critics Smokin Aces…all in one weekend!

  8. martin says:

    No, Pan’s screen count is the real deal. Part of a new studio effort to put well-tracking indies on over 7,000 screens.

  9. martin says:

    Oops I’m a dumbass – ignore above post.

  10. anghus says:

    saw Pan’s Labrynth and loved it.
    As i look at Flags of our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima box office, i have to wonder if these aren’t going to be massive losses for Warner Brothers.
    Am i wrong about that?

  11. Cadavra says:

    Yes and no. LETTERS was shot quickly for about $20 million, so with foreign and DVD it should come out okay. FLAGS, on the other hand, cost I think up in the 60s, so in all likelihood we’ll be out of Iraq before it breaks even.

  12. Chicago48 says:

    copied from
    Along similar lines were two of the most overrated movies of the year. The contrived nonsense known as Babel is so unrealistic and implausible it should have been called “Babble” and billed as a globalized cousin to Crash. Placing a helpless child in a computer-generated hell on (and underneath) earth, Spain and Mexico’s religious horror fantasy Pan’s Labyrinth is unbearable; an assault on one’s vision with a truly depraved sense of life. Both pictures attempt to dramatize the idea that the universe is bad. Both succeed in being ugly.

  13. Chicago48 says:

    Pursuit has some long long legs…it might be the surprise among the Best Pics noms…or Will Smith could sneak in as a Best Actor nom because of this movie….people love it also…it would be a shame if either wasn’t considered…
    I kind of agree with the Boxofficemojo comment above about Pan’s. It was well filmed, and I liked it up to the last few scenes…it was just too disturbing and I pray that families don’t take their children to see it.
    I was tempted to leave the movie a few times, as well as another person sitting next to me, he kept looking over at me to see how I was reacting…and someone did walk out of Pan’s at the movie I was at.

  14. THX5334 says:

    Don’t worry Chicago, a lot of us won’t see Pan’s now because of your spoiler in the other thread….

  15. THX5334 says:

    Sorry if I seem extra bitter. It’s just that was the movie I was going to catch this afternoon, I had really been looking forward to it, and because I scanned a post too fast, my fucking plans went out the window.

  16. Szasa says:

    If the Mojo quotes are from Scott Holleran they are not to be trusted. The man is beneath contempt.
    Worse than that he knows nothing about movies.
    Though I despised BABEL, too. But not because it defied the teachings of Ayn Rand.

  17. Chicago48 says:

    Sorry THX: Sorry all. But I thought everybody saw it already. To read the messgs, everybody knows what it’s about! (lol)

  18. Szasa says:

    Knowing what something’s about and how it ends are two very different things.

  19. THX5334 says:

    Knowing what it’s about, and knowing the ending are two different things Chicago.
    The fact that your laughing at the end of your post really shows how sincere you are about spoilers and ruining a movie going experience for others. You display a lack of integrity for those that take this craft seriously as an artform and want a pure experience when we have to drop over $20 just to take in an afternoon show.
    Unfortunately, I’m just gonna have to take a break from this site and HE; because my own work keeps me from seeing current films in a conducive manner from those that populate these threads. And too many films just get ruined by peoples lack of internet manners.
    It was fun playing, but for awhile, I’m out.
    Thanks all.

  20. Chicago48 says:

    Well, on a positive note: I saw my first 2007 movie that was really really good – Freedom Writers.
    H-Swank gives an amazing performance as well as the kids in the movie.

  21. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Anghus: WB is partly on the hook for “Flags of Our Fathers” and “Letters from Iwo Jima”. Both are co-financed with DreamWorks.
    Depending on the Oscar nominations, “Notes on a Scandal” may go semi-wide next week and “Volver” may get re-released. Should have added that earlier.

  22. martin says:

    Where are you going that it costs $20 for an afternoon show? Even taking gas and tolls into account you couldn’t possibly spend more than $12-13.

  23. jeffmcm says:

    What is The Messengers a remake of?
    I agree, while the data on Boxofficemojo is excellent, the editorial opinions are ridiculous and to be avoided.

  24. Blackcloud says:

    There are several threads on the Mojo forums devoted to lambasting Holleran. Can’t say they’re unjustified.
    I saw “Volver” today. Highly enjoyable. I was surprised how soap operatic and melodramatic some of the plot elements were. I was able to guess most of them. Penelope Cruz is very good.
    They played a trailer for “Lives of Others” in front of it. That looks good. They also played one for “Perfume,” which isn’t even playing any more. I wanted to see it, too. That was a mishandled release.

  25. EthanG says:

    Sorry I should have specified horror remakes and unoriginal horror rip-offs.
    Pan’s Lab was awesome, criticism seems way off to me in calling it “ugly.”
    Either way we should be happy a foreign film looks on pace to crack 20 million that doesn’t have anything to do with martial arts.

  26. Nicol D says:

    Just saw Letters From Iwo Jima and I must say, it is a stunning accomplishment.
    From the subtle acting to the beautiful cinematography that bleeds orange whenever an explosion blows off, this film might very well be Eastwood’s finest accomplishment as a director. I never thought I would think so.
    Stylistically it feels like cinema as art in a true sense, not a poseur sense. Eastwood has become a man who has lived and breathed a life and wants to tell human stories.
    On an ideological level, the film shows the Japanese from the whole range of the spectrum and while he asks us to sympathize with some of the characters as humans, he does not do so at the cost of demonizing the Americans we see, as a lesser film-maker would. Nor does he ask us to accept their ideology or beliefs. Indeed, we are just asked to observe. That’s confidence very few would show. Unflinching.
    I only wish Flags of Our Fathers could have been like this about the American side. Ironically, I thought there was less cynicism about America in Letters than in Flags. A stunning film. Easily the best directing of the year. If only Scorsese had a film I could get behind more.
    I also saw Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. A cute, funny, horror comedy. Not perfect but well done. Hope to see more from the director.
    Best exchange bewteen the interviwer and serial killer is when he talks about the closet as being a sacred place of safety for victims like the womb.
    The interviewer looks at him and says “So you’re pro-life and a chauvinist?”. The killer shrugs and goes “It’s convention.”
    Best take the piss out of a genre line all year.

  27. martindale says:

    Yeah, looks like we’ll start seeing fewer and fewer of these awful horror movies. Since The Omen took advantage of a great release date, only Saw 3 has done well among horror movies.
    The two years prior to this one looked like they would start a trend with several January openings earning 20+ mil on their first weekend. This January looks like most of the ones before 2004, where the big grossers are holiday leftovers and expanding Oscar hopefuls.

  28. anghus says:

    I didn’t realize Iwo Jima only cost 20 million.
    Flags cost 90 according to what i’m seeing.
    so 110 million for the pair, plus P&A.
    I figured both cost around the same amount.

  29. jeffmcm says:

    Hey Nicol, I don’t understand that line you quoted from Leslie Vernon…I don’t get what ‘pro-life’ has to do with the horror genre. I could be more blunt but I’ll see what others say.
    Anyway, while I agree with a lot of what you say about Iwo Jima, I felt let down by it. It’s as disjointed as Flags was, and very uneven – while some scenes are excellent, other scenes like the one with the dog are horrible (thanks, Paul Haggis). More importantly, I felt like it was lacking context for us to understand whatever pervasive ideology was occurring in Japanese culture at that time, so that the more grisly scenes felt more shocking than inevitable. Also, while I thought the cinematography was strong, it also felt inappropriate at times for the subject matter and the orange/red flashes were distracting.

  30. Nicol D says:

    Don’t take the ‘pro-life’ line to be anything more than it was and if you haven’t seen the film then perhaps I did not do the joke justice in my set-up.
    It just pokes fun at the convention that so many serial killers in so many movies are often portrayed as small town, middle American or Christian fanatics. Nothing more, nothing less. It transcends the horror genre. It just made me laugh. Not looking for a snafu here.
    If Iwo Jima delved into the ideology it would have detracted from the overall theme of human sympathy. That is a valid criticism but it did not ruin the film for me.

  31. jeffmcm says:

    I’m looking forward to Behind the Mask so perhaps we can discuss more then.
    I don’t think Letters needed an in-depth course on Japanese imperialism – just a little more background on Emperor worship and the kamikaze mentality than it had, to establish the scenes where said mentality gets paid off.
    But I certainly think it’s a good film that will probably gain esteem in the future.

  32. Josh Massey says:

    Just got back from “Pan’s” a little while ago. I agree that it’s overrated – it’s a good movie, but not the career-defining classic I’d anticipated based on the reviews.

  33. Chicago48 says:

    Josh – FINALLY SOMEONE WHO AGREES WITH ME! It’s well filmed, fluid, but the “best” foreign movie? It was disturbing to me, brought back childhood memories…although I did like how he blended reality w/ fantasy…my fave foreign movie is Water.

  34. jeffmcm says:

    “It was disturbing to me, brought back childhood memories…”
    This should be in the plus column, not the minuses, right?
    (I would pick The Death of Mr. Lazarescu as the year’s best foreign film).

  35. Krazy Eyes says:

    I saw PAN’S this weekend and thought it was great.
    An interesting thing I noted in my theatergoing experience: This was the second weekend in a row at the same theater that the printed movie ticket given to me by the ticket seller was for a different movie than the one I asked for. Purely a coincidence or is there something else going on here?
    (I got a Last King of Scotland ticket instead of Pan’s Labyrinth and last weekend my Children of Men admission went to Night at the Museum)

  36. jeffmcm says:

    I notice that both of the tickets you received are for Fox movies.

  37. anghus says:

    Krazy Eyes
    You’re not the first person to report this.
    Maybe there’s some black helicopter conspiracy stuff going on here.
    I smell an investigative report coming on. Someone get me Stone Phillips.

  38. Chicago48 says:

    “”It was disturbing to me, brought back childhood memories…”
    This should be in the plus column, not the minuses, right?”
    It’s both a plus and a minus. It did make me think about children in bad situations, how they create another environment to escape to…but I didn’t like the ending and the gratuitous violence.
    I prefer Water…it was very touching.

  39. Eric says:

    The same thing happened to me a couple of months ago when I saw “The Fountain.” If memory serves, they gave me a ticket to “The Nativity Story,” but I could be wrong about that.

  40. Blackcloud says:

    I got “Pan’s Labyrinth” tix though I asked for “Volver.” Probably because the three people in front of me asked for “Pan’s Labyrinth” and the person wasn’t paying attention.

  41. Aladdin Sane says:

    I saw The Last King of Scotland tonight. Pretty good. Better than Blood Diamond. While James McAvoy’s character is technically the lead, Forest Whitaker’s portrayal of Amin just dominates the film. I can understand Poland’s gripe that Whitaker is more supporting, I can’t help recall another film where the supporting performance was put into lead (and won) – actually two – Silence of the Lambs and Training Day.
    I won’t be surprised at all if Whitaker wins best Actor, and I won’t complain either (although, I’ll be going for Sasha Baron Cohen if he’s nominated).

  42. Chicago48 says:

    Yeh, his performance was outstanding, and James Mcavoy’s was a LEAD, he was in every frame. and did a damn good job too.
    I saw it this summer at a pre-screen release and it only lasted about 2 weeks in the theatre and then it was gone! poof! And this in November that’s when the awards started up.
    See! even a little $8Mil picture can make a comeback.

  43. “Sorry all. But I thought everybody saw it already.”
    Considering it only just went semi-wide this weekend, isn’t that a little presumptuous?
    Glad to see something like Pan’s in the top 10 for a change. It’ll be the highest grossing contender, which is good news for it. But then, stuff like Amelie which had five nominations and was one of the highest grossing foreign titles of all time, lost to that movie about the two men in a trench (not being insulting, I just honestly don’t remember the title or anything else about it), so…

  44. Hallick says:

    Denzel Washington was certainly a lead in Training Day. You can have two leading men in the same film.

  45. Hallick says:

    Damn me – I meant to add that putting Ethan Hawke in the supporting category for Training Day was the real example that beggar’d belief.

  46. Josh Massey says:

    I got tickets for “Pan’s Labyrinth” as requested – but I also got “You do know this is a Spanish movie with subtitles, right?” I guess some folks had been complaining.
    And if my “Children of Men” money had gone to “Night at the Museum,” I’d have complained on pure principle.

  47. Chicago48 says:

    To Josh: How many families brought their children to Pan’s? And how upsetting was it for the children, if it happened?

  48. Josh Massey says:

    I don’t remember seeing any children in there, but then again, I wasn’t looking.

  49. Chicago48 says:

    Somebody explain to me how LMS is even in contention for an award when you look at the Awards scorecard. The Last King has 20 to LMS 7. What’s that about? I know the awards are not the Oscars or the Guilds, but why isn’t Last King considered a best pix? Even letters has more than LMS.
    There’s something fishy going on.

  50. jeffmcm says:

    Last King isn’t considered for Best Pic because all of its awards have been fo Whitaker, and because as a movie on the whole it’s not very good.

  51. Chicago48 says:

    Jeff: I understand, but when you compare LMS to any other film, they have all more awards…I just don’t see how this movie got a best pic award over the Queen, Departed etc. Those movies chart higher than LMS. the fix is in?

  52. jeffmcm says:

    Ask David Poland and he’ll tell you that all the other awards are meaningless.

  53. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Actuals are up: “Stomp the Yard” stays #1, “Pan’s Labyrinth” has the highest PTA in the top 20.
    “Pan” is arthouse/upmarket all the way — no kids when I saw it late Saturday afternoon. Because of “Pan” Sony Classics will keep the re-release of “Volver” limited.
    Also, WB may back off on “Letters from Iwo Jima” as that pic just missed the top 20.

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