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David Poland

By David Poland

Sunday Numbers by Klady

More than $15 million more than Pirates’ previous record.
As of this morning, Spider-Man 3 is the fastest grossing film in history.
And now, we will watch the magic of the very thin air up there as we find out how front loaded the film is or is not. With very little in its way next weekend, even a 50% hold would be amazing. And a drop of anything less than 70% would be absolutely fine, by any sane analysis.
It turns out I was, indeed, wrong about Lucky You, the bottom movie in my summer chart of films that I thought would gross over $10 million. I was wrong because I overestimated it.

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61 Responses to “Sunday Numbers by Klady”

  1. RyanK says:

    SPIDER-MAN 4: May 5, 2010?

  2. Does anyone else think that bad word-of-mouth is going to stop this film reaching the level of Spider-Man 2 ($380mil, right?) So many people are saying it’s not very good (it’s not) and with other movies coming up…
    Still, very impressive numbers. Just mindboggling.
    How embarassing for Lucky You though. Counter-programming only seems to work when it’s something GOOD (see The Devil Wears Prada against Superman Returns last year).

  3. David Poland says:

    As always, Kami, opening has NOTHING TO DO WITH QUALITY.
    No one wanted to see Lucky You… ever… which is why it sat forever. Prada worked because women REALLY wanted to see it.

  4. Tofu says:

    Quality isn’t going to hurt Spider-Man as bad as we might think. It may be the worst of the 3 (I disagree), but many do agree that it is also the most entertaining. The Phantom Menace trudged along just fine despite the same, if not more, level of venom (heh). Spider-Man is beloved to the same heights, the fans are going to try to give it another shot.

  5. ployp says:

    I’ve just noticed the numbers for Ghost Rider. Amazing for such a poorly-made attempt at film making.
    I guess Spidey will still hold the number 1 spot next week? 28 weeks later shouldn’t be able to steal the lime light. Anyone else think so?
    Congrats to Disturbia. A true dark horse of this summer. I wonder how much it cost. Does anyone know?

  6. ployp says:

    One more question, how much money does Spidey has to make at the boxoffice before it generates a profit?

  7. In one of the last entry areas, I said I wouldn’t be surprised if DISTURBIA bumped Spidey 3 next week. I don’t think Spidey will have ANY repeat traffic. And if that many people are seeing it this weekend, who’s left for next weekend?
    Remember that great director Curtis Hanson? Whatever happened to that guy…?

  8. Hallick says:

    “In one of the last entry areas, I said I wouldn’t be surprised if DISTURBIA bumped Spidey 3 next week. I don’t think Spidey will have ANY repeat traffic. And if that many people are seeing it this weekend, who’s left for next weekend?”
    1. “Spider-Man 3” would have to have something like a 90%-and-then-some drop for Disturbia to retake the #1 position. No chance at all of that happening here.
    2. Movies like this always get repeat traffic. It definitely won’t be a phenomenal amount, but it’ll still happen.
    3. The people left to see it next weekend are the ones who didn’t want to suffer the capacity crowds (and the resulting increase in their idiot numbers), which are probably quite numerous. I would’ve been part of that group myself if my friend hadn’t had been a die hard about opening day.

  9. Hallick says:

    “Congrats to Disturbia. A true dark horse of this summer. I wonder how much it cost. Does anyone know?”
    The IMDb lists it at 20 million. But at 60 million right now, with around 80 million maybe being the final domestic gross, I think it’s more of a dark pony.

  10. ployp says:

    dark pony? How so?

  11. brack says:

    Well, maybe the gross had nothing to do with quality, but the quality of the first two films definitely drove this gross.
    The first movie was good. The second movie was great. This one was somewhere in between.

  12. jeffmcm says:

    “Remember that great director Curtis Hanson? Whatever happened to that guy…?”
    He never existed. He was always the same guy who directed The Hand That Rocks the Cradle and The River Wild, he just had access to better scripts for a bit.

  13. Hallick says:

    “dark pony? How so?”
    It’s a hit, but not quite a PHENOMENAL hit. If “Disturbia” were closer to $100M I think it’d be more horse-sized. I’m nitpicking.

  14. Tofu says:

    Yes, Curtis Hanson is more along the lines of David Fincher. A good hit here or there, with few pictures simply not performing due to a host of factors.
    Love the dark pony quip. Too true.

  15. brack says:

    ^^^ the studios simply dumped their “misses,” it’s as simple as that.
    and though Fight Club was not a hit initially, it’s got to be one of the biggest home viewed movies of recent years.

  16. RoyBatty says:

    I think SPIDER 3’s final gross depends on how well PIRATES (and to a less extent SHREK) are recieved, because if they actually have good word of mouth then this SPIDER might not get much past $300M (it’s very surprising that Disney didn’t do their usual take-no-prisoners marketing and have TV ads running this week against SPIDER-MAN 3).
    To me, this was nothing more than further confirmation that people are going less and less to movies. Even people who used to attend once a week are cutting back to once a month.
    And speaking of GHOST RIDER – is that a typo or did it actually surge 198% this weekend?

  17. RoyBatty says:

    Excuse me, 196% (it’s tiny type)

  18. anghus says:

    375 million worldwide. That means in one week, Spiderman 3 made almost as much as Superman Returns and Batman Begins did in their entire theatrical run.
    That blows my mind.
    And, if the 268 million dollar budget is correct, it basically needs to make around 560 million to hit break even status.
    That of course isn’t including marketing costs or profit from merchandising.
    As much of a push as Sony put into it, i’m guessing the movie is into profit somewhere around the 700 million dollar mark.
    That’s even more mind boggling.

  19. Direwolf says:

    Ticket sales peaked in 2002 and fell for three straight years but they rose last year and they are running ahead so far this year. I think it is far to say that ticket sales are flat to down very slightly over the past five years but they are very close to the all-time peak.

  20. EDouglas says:

    I don’t think the poor word-of-mouth will do much to hurt the movie. A bunch of comic fans are mad about how Venom was treated and they’ll bitch for months on their message boards about it, but everyone else out there will just hear the news of all the records broken or of all their friends who went to see the movie this weekend and will make an effort to catch the movie during the summer, if not this coming weekend than in the next couple months. Starting early in the month gives Spider-Man 3 a really good boost to cross the $400 million mark since it’s likely to be well over $250 million before Shrek 3 and Pirates 3 come out.

  21. MattM says:

    Huge surges of the sort you see for Ghost Rider aren’t uncommon when it finally heads to second-run theatres. Also, it probably got some “Spidey is sold out, let’s see that again!” traffic.
    And my guess is that Spidey is already profitable, off the combination of this first weekend, merchandising rights, and DVD forecast sales. Next week has 4 new 1,000+ screen releases, but none seem likely to take a big bite out of Spidey. Even a 54% drop (same as Pirates 2), spidey is around 55-60 next week, and those four openers are going to be hard-pressed to COMBINE to that much.

  22. Chicago48 says:

    Did anyone notice that Waitress – which I saw and absolutely loved and highly recommend (chick flick) was 22,800 per screen! That’s phenom. It’s a small indy pic that cost $4Mil. The studio is taking the same PR route that LMS took, free screenings & word of mouth.

  23. jesse says:

    I liked the movie. I’m not really getting all the hate for it (nerds will be nerds, I guess). It’s not as good as the second one. But most movies I’ve seen since Spiderman 2 are not, in fact, as good as Spiderman 2; it was in my top five for 2004. This new one is definitely overstuffed (Gwen Stacy should’ve been cut entirely — you could replace her with Betty Brant in all of her scenes and it would be pretty much seamless) and probably the weakest of the three, but it’s still a lot of fun. It’s not exactly X-Men 3, here, which is one of those movies that makes more sense in the cheesy-screenwriting-class “beats” sense, but is far, far stupider and less interesting.
    So, anyway, even without the kind of positive word-of-mouth that greeted the first two (and, as I said on here a few weeks ago, I think positive word-of-mouth or lack thereof is more dominant than the supposedly deadly “negative word-of-mouth” — most people just don’t talk or care enough about movies for negative word-of-mouth to be a major factor)… this movie will probably make about as much as the others. I’m guessing it’ll fall by about 60% next weekend because of the massive opening — which still has it doing $60 million on top of the 180 or so it’ll have in the bank by then. That’ll get it to 250 before the competition comes out. Even figuring some more 50%+ drops in the face of Shrek/Pirates, it’ll get past 350. Of course, having it open bigger than the previous two and finish with less isn’t a great trend — nor is it smart to make one of the most expensive movies ever. How did that happen, by the way? The effects were good, and often elaborate, but this series has more non-effects scenes than a lot of others like it.
    I’m picturing Shrek the Third opening significantly under $100 million… just a feeling, though. Thoughts?

  24. MattM says:

    The more I think about it, the more I think Shrek the Third is a cointoss proposition, possibly massively underperforming on a massive scale. Its one plus is that there’s nothing else childsafe kicking around in theatres right now.

  25. William Goss says:

    Any reason it says Spidey 2 on the chart instead of 3? I mean, that’d have been one hell of a re-release…

  26. RoyBatty says:

    I was talking about positive word of mouth, but I know for a fact people swore off GRINDHOUSE after friends told them not to bother.
    Not that I see there being any real negative word-of-mouth on SM 3, just indifference. And when PIRATES 3 opens, watch SM 3’s numbers plummet if people actually start talking it up. Every summer seems to produce two de facto blockbusters, one for the beginning of season and one in the middle. It’s the one time of the year when many people see their one or two films for the year.
    Following the “safety in numbers” theory, they tend to follow the crowd. What makes this year interesting is that two massive films are opening so close together, one the sequel to the previous year’s highest grosser. Plus, there’s a wildcard in between with an another massive hit’s sequel aiming right for the family audience both are getting big revenue streams from (but let me go on record here to say I think SHREK THE THIRD is going to get the snot beat out of it and come nowhere near it’s last mindboggling haul. I don’t think it will even top $200M).

  27. Eric says:

    I try not to care too much about box office, but I would like nothing more than to see Shrek 3 fail. The last one was so insultingly bad.

  28. “As always, Kami, opening has NOTHING TO DO WITH QUALITY.
    No one wanted to see Lucky You… ever… which is why it sat forever. Prada worked because women REALLY wanted to see it.”
    But Dave, if the studio actually programs a movie against the perceived big blockbuster and gives it a full blown advertising go then they stand a chance at being counter programming. Stuff like Lucky You was never going to be a hit even if it weren’t opening against SM3. The marketing was crap. As you say, opening weekend is all about marketing. And if a studio knows they have a good flick on their hands they will advertise it. That’s what I was getting at.
    “Not that I see there being any real negative word-of-mouth on SM 3, just indifference.”
    Do you read any non-industry blogs? That movie is getting some very icy receptions. But the thing is, it’s one of those movies that people will see in cinemas just because they liked the others and even if it is bad they’d rather see it at the cinema than on DVD.

  29. On the matter of Shrek 3, sort of what I was saying in my last reply, if the quality isn’t perceived as being as good as the others (which is relative because I hate the Shrek movies with an intense passion) then they might just hold off a week and take the family to Pirates instead and leave Shrek 3 for DVD? And with Ratatouille and Surf’s Up and The Simpsons Movie in the coming months…
    BTW, I really didn’t like SM3 at all, but that’s not part of my judgment when I ask they don’t make a fourth. Leave it at three and be done with it. Maybe reboot it in 10 years or so with a new cast, I dunno. But if they make a fourth it will be just for cash and then they’ll just keep making them until finally one becomes a financial disaster, forever tainting the franchise. I wish they knew when to leave franchises alone. Same with Pirates. End it at three for crying out loud.

  30. ployp says:

    They should have ended Pirates at the first one. The second was so inferior. I really, really hope that the third will be better than the second.
    I also hope that Spidey will end here and now. It’s made enough money for Sony. Let’s not turn it into another Batman (pre Batman Begins, of course).

  31. ployp says:

    I forgot to ask, did any one catch Away From Her?

  32. L.B. says:

    Kamikaze is right about Lucky You. (Man, that’s a bad title.) There are ways to market something against even the biggest blockbuster that can be incredibly effective (assuming that what you’re marketing is actually good). I don’t see how they could have possibly made LY look worse. So much so that when they show the “From the Director of…” card in the trailer I felt like I was hallucinating. (Not that Hanson has a flawless nose for material.)
    It definitely feels like they knew they had a dud and threw it under the bus.

  33. jennab says:

    Husband took 11 & 13-year-old boys to Spidy3…they were all disappointed. When 11-year-old boys comment that “the script was weak,” you know you’re in trouble.
    Re: Away From Her, if you see it/like it, go out and buy every book Alice Munro has ever written; she is the most brilliant short story writer of the 21st century.

  34. EDouglas says:

    I was kind of surprised that they were selling her short story on which Away from Her was based repackaged as “Away from Her” for 9 bucks… that’s a short story for more than the cost of a paperback novel. I’ll figure out where the story was compiled and by the collection for a few bucks more.
    Wow, 11 and 13 year olds are disappointed with it, too? How on earth has the movie been able to hold up all weekend with that sort of feedback?

  35. jeffmcm says:

    So is there any advance word yet on Shrek or Pirates?

  36. Rob says:

    Apathy is one thing, but a three-figure per-theater average for a movie with the pedigree of Lucky You is still a shocker.
    I think it might have something to do with so much of the attendant coverage leading with the delays in release date. Every time a somewhat-delayed major movie is released, the press acts like it’s the first time it’s ever happened.

  37. Hopscotch says:

    The weird thing about SM3, and Pirates last year (and probably this year), is that I heard they were so-so from EVERYONE who saw them.
    But I’ll still go see it. It’s the thing with these tsunami movies, the curiousity factor is so high you just have to see it for yourself before settling on it’s a dissapointment. I’m VERY curious how well SM3 will do next week considering Georgia Rule seems to be the only thing opening.

  38. William Goss says:

    Especially with the SM3 dive ahead, I’m anxious to see how well 28 Weeks Later fares. Before, I figured it’d do well, but now, I wonder by just how much.
    Can’t believe Georgia Rule’s rated R. Mother’s Day or not, they’ll just knocked out how much of their audience?
    Delta Farce can suck exhaust fumes, but it’ll likely outperform Lucky You.

  39. William Goss says:

    *they’ve just knocked…

  40. Sandy says:

    I think this summer is the one where people who normally go to movies twice a year will end up going more…the trailer for Harry Potter got more applause than anything else at my screening, including SM3.
    On another note – I thought some of the CGI in SM3 was sub-par – very surprisingly so.

  41. xiayun says:

    I think we’re the only site to officially predict a $150m weekend for SM3: 🙂

  42. MattM says:

    While there’s nothing BIG coming out this coming weekend, “Delta Farce,” “The Ex,” “Georgia Rule,” and “28 Weeks Later” are all going out to 1000+ screens. Also, “Waitress” and “Away From Her” expand. That’s a decently busy weekend.
    And “Georgia Rule” gets all the female business (except in markets with “Waitress”), next weekend.
    The surprise to me is that no one is daring to take “Shrek The Third” on. It’s the only wide release that weekend. Seems like something upmarket could do decent business.

  43. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Isn’t it a coincidence that “Spider-Man 3” broke the bank on the same day that the New York Yankees brought back Roger Clemens? To quote an Ice Cube movie, it’s all about the Benjamins.
    William G: Can’t believe Georgia Rule’s rated R. Mother’s Day or not, they’ll just knocked out how much of their audience?
    Universal must think Lindsay Lohan is Box Office Poison. Ask the CEO of Morgan Creek Productions.
    MattM: The surprise to me is that no one is daring to take “Shrek The Third” on. It’s the only wide release that weekend. Seems like something upmarket could do decent business.
    Wide release “Captivity” got moved back to 6/22. Arty pic “Waitress” may go national on 5/18 if not 5/25.
    Incidentally, the Regal Union Square in Manhattan has both “S/M3” and “Waitress”.
    Anghus on “S/M3”: As much of a push as Sony put into it, i’m guessing the movie is into profit somewhere around the 700 million dollar mark.
    Excerpt from Fark link on “S/M3”: “Too bad it has to pull in at least $700 million to make any profit”.

  44. cjKennedy says:

    Lucky You wasn’t that great, but I’d sit through it again before one more screening of Spider-Man which was a boring mess. It’s too bad because I think Spidey had a lot of potential. There was some good stuff there.

  45. Cadavra says:

    L.B. is right about LY. Warners no doubt assumed it would die no matter what week it was released, so they figured by “counter-programming” it against SM3, they’d have a decent excuse for the pitiful numbers. Guess I’d better hurry to see it…

  46. cjKennedy says:

    The trailers for LY were clearly aimed at an older female audience, probably on the assumption this wasn’t the core audience for SM3. It turns out the trailer is a kind of misleading. For better or for worse, I’d say there was more poker than romance and it was more about Bana and Duvall than Bana and Barrymore.

  47. whatnokiss says:

    LUCKY YOU failed because…
    NOBODY wants to pay hard-earned money, fight for parking with male Spider geeks, find a babysitter, be annoyed by the glare of cell phones, put up with extra long ticket lines & crowded restrooms, and stupid commercials on the big screen — just to see a dimmly lit, small budget, small time loser/hustler with a daddy angst pretend to be somebody – in something that we can comfortably watch STAR PLAYERS do for REAL as long as we want for free (and here’s the key)…
    EVERY SINGLE NIGHT on television – in the convenience of our own living rooms!
    (POLAND – when are you getting spell checker? We left brainers can’t spell for beeeens.)
    Sorry, back to the storyline…
    The premise of LY’s storyline was a theatrical loser to begin with. Movies with premises you can see readily on broadcast TV are always losers, now that we live in a land of megaplexes.
    (It’s amazing how Hollywood still keeps pushing TV material on the big screen and thinks they can ask us to pay for it.)
    Premise Baby! PREMISE!
    We need premises we can’t see om free TV!
    And Anghus,
    Thanks for keeping it brief – (even if IT WAS redundant…) Now that you have brief down, let’s try for being brief & creative at the same time OK?
    Did you get to see Spidey yet?
    And ?????
    And NO, we don’t have a past, you coy little devil you. (But it makes me wonder who else you’ve been fencing with?)
    Should I be jealous? (Just kiddin.) I was simply referring to last week’s fencing match. Which I enjoyed dementedly.
    OKay Anghus, take it from here…

  48. I thought some of the CGI in SM3 was sub-par – very surprisingly so.”
    Definitely. All the Sandman effects looked pretty damn good, but the rest were very shoddy. The crane sequence especially. All the shattered glass looked very fake.
    I just don’t understand pretty much every directorial decision that was made on that movie. None of them seem like the right move to make.

  49. crazycris says:

    Ok Whatnokiss, am responding to your last comment on Dave’s SM3 review post (this is what happens with bloody time zones and the fact that I don’t have much internet time on weekends to come post here, enjoying “real life” too much! ;o) ).
    You said:
    Oh I’m sorry – you didn’t pick up on the nuance Cris.
    The oh-so-sad and remorseful Sandman, tearfully apologizes to Opey for attacking innocent people and then “commits Sandman suicide” – by letting himself turn into a completely unorganized dust-storm and by letting it all his little pieces get blown across the four corners of the world…(by a whirlwind from a New York sewer breeze)…never ever ever ever to come back together and hurt anyone else again! Sniff, sniff… Oh, Auntie Em!
    How did you miss THAT???
    Ummm, I guess I’d have to see it again to verify that (but not going to happen, waste of money), but that’s definitely not the impression I got! To me it just looked like he was using his usual mode of transportation as he had done previously in the movie, not spreading himself thin… So he’s not dead! (I personally thought water would be the end if him, diluting the particules and washing them away, but for some illogical reason they decided that wasn’t enough; next option would be an acid bath)
    What does everyone else think? Dead or not?

  50. crazycris says:

    by the way, it’s good to be reading other people’s opinion of the film and finding them to be quite similar to my own! ;o)

  51. whatnokiss says:

    You’re a stand-up guy Crazy!
    So … now that we know Sony HAS TO do another sequel to keep stock holders happy (though in reality it’s a grand illusion / Spidey will barely recoup expenditures, leaving a very small ROI and for the sake of the sequel), let’s suggest that Sandman is still alive…
    NOW, What’s his motivation for dastardly deeds now? Has his daughter been kidnapped by the FBI for medical experiments? Is she still dying of listening to mommy and daddy argueing?
    Why does he rob trains and planes now???
    So if Sandman hasn’t committed sandicide … there is ONLY one way to KILL him (with lots of variations on a theme – or at least a way to keep him contained).
    Spider-man is going to need a very BIG torch – so he can melt him into a nice glass glob and then blow him into a pretty vase (BJ!) – OR – trap him in the furnace at INTEL, and make silicone computer chips for needy school kids out of him – OR – lure him into a volcano in Hawaii using a clone of his daughter as the bait! (And then when he gets spurted all over Hawaii in cute little glass beads the natives can make necklaces of and sell to tourists!)
    The possibilities are tasty, no?
    (Whatch it Sony! I got first rights of publishing here! And I better call legal to make sure Poland can’t sell the copyrights for our posts..:)~

  52. whatnokiss says:

    (still waiting for spell-checker Dave!)

  53. Me says:

    Hey guys, this is still the weekend BO thread – if you’re going to do Spidey3 spoilers, say so at the beginning of each post. Just because they made $150 million doesn’t mean everyone went to see it yet. Sheesh…

  54. Cadavra says:

    They’ve already got the plot for SPIDEY 4: The new villain is Captain Cameo, played by Bruce Campbell. Turns out his appearances in the three previous films were just opportunities to size up his antagonist, and now he’ll be moving in for the kill! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!

  55. Hopscotch says:

    Well, continuting Box Office talk.
    Spiderman 3 gross $10M yesterday. Which is pretty good, but not near the Monday grosses to films that made comparably similar amounts it’s opening weekend. I’m guessing a 60% drop this weekend. Which is still around $50M which any studio would love to have, but it’ll be symbollic of how un-beloved this one is.
    i was on the fence about seeing it. But every person I’ve spoken to has disliked it, and now I doubt I’ll see it.

  56. cjKennedy says:

    If you love the franchise Hopscotch, you should still check it out, but if you’re at all ambivalent, you could probably skip it or sneak in for a double feature.
    As always, it’s best to see these things on a big screen, but even then you probably won’t get the benefit of seeing it with an enthusiastic audience. I saw it with a full house Sunday night and there was hardly any audience reaction at all.

  57. Throughout my session on Sunday afternoon (still busy in a 600 capacity cinema) you could tell easily that people were getting restless. Lots of shuffling, whispering and chewing on food. Didn’t really hear people discussing it as we were leaving either. Nobody I know at least has been really enthusiastic about it (not that that’s any way of judging a film’s success).

  58. crazycris says:

    Crazy ideas Whatnokiss!!!
    Simpler solution: drop him in an acid bath… that will dissolve the sand no problem! (and could perhaps give us a farewell scene along the lines of terminator 2?)

  59. Hopscotch says:

    I’m certainly not in love with this franchise by any stretch, in fact I was kind of ho-hum on the first one. So I guess I’ll pass. I mean, literally EVERY person I know who has seen it sighs before telling me their opinion. Like I can see their disappointment before they even speak.
    so I might save my money for now. If this movie makes less than $300M, WOWZERS! That would be a feat.

  60. brack says:

    I just Spidey a second time yesterday, and having no stupid talking kid next to me for the first 20 minutes of the film, the story makes a whole lot more sense.
    After a second viewing. I think this one is on par with Spider Man 2. It’s funny, touching, and the action is amazing.
    I guess everyone’s pissed off that the villians aren’t in it much, but they’re good when they’re on, and everyone does a good job. I can’t ask for more than that.
    Really, how has this country become so joyless and jaded in the last few years?

  61. Did Thomas Haden Church’s face move once during that movie? I swear it didn’t.

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