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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Klady

$39.3m puts Shrek The Third in line to be the third highest opening gross ever, enough ahead of #3 that the issue of Thursday night screenings, which couldn

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16 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Klady”

  1. Hallick says:

    The greed for record-breaking is really starting to piss me off. In my little neck of the redwoods, the only theater in our town – a six screen “multiplex” – is only showing three films: Georgia Rule (1 screen), Spider-Man 3 (3 screens!), and Shrek the 3rd (2 screens). And this retarded, 3 films on six screens joke is guaranteed to continue with Pirates 3 and The Transformers. If POTC3 had come out this weekend instead of next, there isn’t a doubt in my mind that I’d be looking at two films splitting the six screens between them.
    Sure, I could drive a couple of hours to a city with more than one theater. But then I’d have to use my car, and god knows drivers are getting demonized all over the news right now like smokers for daring to use their vehicles to do such selfish things as commuting to and from a job in a city you can’t afford to live in. God forbid I use my car just to go see a movie I’ll never get to see on the big screen here.

  2. jeffmcm says:

    This is the point I’ve been trying to make: there could be six movies playing in this town, but instead there are only three. While that’s great for Sony and Dreamworks, it’s pretty horrible for the local moviegoing culture.

  3. Wrecktum says:

    If a town’s only theatre is a sixplex, then it already has a horrible local moviegoing culture.

  4. Tofu says:

    Good heaven’s no!
    Exhibitors are actually only showing what will give them the most money! Stop the presses, alert the national guard, etc, etc.

  5. jeffmcm says:

    Get over it. The point is, they’re killing the goose that is laying the golden egg.

  6. AH says:

    Wrecktum: Depends on the town’s size.

  7. RudyV says:

    And I’m certain HOT FUZZ would’ve made much more if it had been released on more screens. I couldn’t find any theater in my neck of the woods playing it, so I did an internet search and discovered that only one theater in all of mid-Michigan (est. pop. 650,000) was playing it.
    On one screen, I’m presuming.

  8. RudyV says:

    …ach, that population figure should’ve actually been much larger. I forgot to count all the rural counties surrounding these two (which have only one or two screens if they have any), and also forgot that I checked out a 20-screen plex on my commute and it, too, had chosen not to carry the movie.
    So it’s not just a small-town problem when even the massive multiplexes are completely ignoring top-10 films.

  9. Eric says:

    Supply doesn’t create its own demand. Would more screens for Hot Fuzz have generated more interest for it? I’m inclined to think not.
    (This is aside from my opinion of the movie itself, which was pretty high.)
    This is the free market for you. It finds a natural equilibrium, but that doesn’t always mean it’s the “best” or the “smartest” solution.
    Jeff is saying that movie theaters are thinking short-term when they book the money-makers. But this is a classic free-rider problem. Which theater owner is going to decide to be the one to take less money so he can make the world of filmgoing a better place, while his competitors get rich off of garbage like Shrek? And he can’t really do it for long if there’s simply no market in his town for the better movies he wants to show.
    I don’t know what the solution to all of this is. I’m just thinking out loud here.

  10. It really is silly to demonise the cinems themselves. If you owned a cinema in a suburban town and you had the option of choosing Shrek the Third or Waitress, which would you choose? You could act all high and mighty and choose the indie movie starring Felicity but not many people would go.
    It’s just good business, really.
    Plus, until distributers start giving cinemas the option of carrying something like Waitress there’s not much they can do. I’m sure a few cinemas would have chosen Little Children last year but New Line didn’t even give them the option. And etc yada blah blah so forth.

  11. Cadavra says:

    Eric is right. What’s the point of going into some itty-bitty town where the film won’t even gross the cost of the print? Lots of pictures would have lost less money if they’d simply gone on 500 fewer screens and thus saved the hundreds of thousands of dollars they’d spent on those extra prints (which also never get re-used).

  12. RudyV says:

    I don’t think any theater owner is worried they’ll miss out on SHREK 3–the issue is that they’re running it on so many screens that even a 20-screen complex doesn’t have enough room left to squeeze in every movie in the top 10. Even worse, they’re still running stale films like BLADES OF GLORY and ARE WE DONE YET because they get to keep a higher percentage of the ticket price (And I’m sure it broke their hearts when they had to let go of NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM when it hit DVD).
    So, to reiterate, nobody expects a theater owner running one screen, two screens, or even six screens to run art films–but if you’ve got twenty then you should be running at least ten different movies–and why would it be too hard to understand that those ten should be the ten that people want to see the most?

  13. Hallick says:

    People are assuming that only little movies like “Waitress” are getting the short end of the stick, when the reality is something else. The six screen theater in my town never even got “Disturbia” because it hung onto movies like “Blades of Glory” and “Are We Done Yet?” well after the point they would’ve made more money with the Shia LeBoeuf film. In years past, this was a theater that could grab a sleeper hit and put it out there at least three or four weeks after opening.
    I don’t buy the “theaters are just making as much money as they can” arguement. At this point, there’s no reasonable explanation for keeping “Spider-Man 3” on half of your six screens when you know you could fit everybody going to that movie this weekend into 2 of them or probably just one. I may as well live in a one screen village with a triple digit population for all the choices I’m getting here.
    And if theaters do only want to show the top two or three films at any given time, then stop showing trailers for movies like “Hot Fuzz” that you know you’ll never ever EVER show in your building.

  14. RudyV says:

    The ugly truth is that exhibitors can only “make as much money as they can” by hanging on to a film long after its shelf life has expired. They have to cough up a hefty percentage of the ticket price to the distributor during the first two weeks of a film’s run, then the percentage drops with each passing week until they’re finally able to make more from selling the ticket than from selling popcorn.
    So that’s why the staff might give you an ugly look–like you’ve just picked their pockets–if you rush past the snack counter after buying that ticket for SHREK 3.

  15. Well considering during summer the films at the bottom of the chart are routinely grossing between 1-3mil there’s the argument that, again, they just don’t make enough money to warrent it.

  16. RudyV says:

    Of course we wouldn’t have that problem if there were still a decent number of second-run theaters around. We had a bunch of ’em in the ’90s, but now I know of only one in the nearest four metropolitan counties (combined pop. 1,085,000). It’s connected to the first-run theater right next door, which is the most logical and profitable way to do it.

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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