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David Poland

By David Poland

A Little Perspective To Chew On

Again… I don’t know what will happen in the next four days… and neither does anyone else.
Transformers has had a great start. Roughly a Top 20 all-time start so far.
But do keep in mind that the unique numbers have more than a little to do with the uniqueness of the opening schedule. Just last summer, The Omen had The Biggest Tuesday Opening Ever. What we will know on Saturday (and a bit when the Thursday numbers land) is whether Transformers has shot its wad or if it has more in the tank.
Theories about how this effects Harry Potter or vice versa are all well and good, but all theory. The closest thing to a real test of what might happen is Shrek 3 to Pirates 3. But even then, you are looking at huge 3-day vs huge 3-day. Here, Potter is a 5-day and Transformers first weekend a 6. I think we can safely assume now that the Autobots will not have a 55% or greater second weekend drop as so much of the intensity of the opening will have been siphoned off in the first three days. But the second week drop could be very, very high. Still, apples and oranges. It’s good for Paramount because they can spin every which way if it is not all as positive as it feels today. Azkaban had $116m in six with a straight Friday opening two summers ago, third best of the series. So with a Wed opening, could it be significantly bigger? We’ll see.
Here is a list of the top six-day openings, according to Box Office Mojo. I have added short night early openings (including 8p and 10p shows in various cases) so that we can be completely fair to Transformers. My sense is and has been that the answer is about the end of the first weekend, not the day count. $15 million on Thursday and $60 for the weekend would put the film at roughly $140 million and in the top ten of openings and still, fourth best this summer. Better than that is… well, duh… better than that. Spider-Man 2, which has been the best 4th of July opening is still $115 million away from Transformers‘ 6-day with 4 days to go. But if all four days are as good as Transformers best day to date, it can best the record.
1 Pirates of the Caribbean 2 $183,661,469 $423,315,812 F, 7/7/06
2 Star Wars: Episode III $182,710,218 $380,270,577 Th, 5/19/05
3 Spider-Man 2 $180,072,888 $373,585,825 W, 6/30/04
4 Spider-Man 3 $176,161,954 $333,969,352 F, 5/4/07
5 Pirates of the Caribbean 3 $167,236,619 $298,013,394 F, 5/25/07
6 The Matrix Reloaded $151,919,513 $281,576,461 Th, 5/15/03
7 Shrek the Third $144,478,827 $314,858,394 F, 5/18/07
8 Spider-Man $144,156,124 $403,706,375 F, 5/3/02
9 Shrek 2 $140,495,380 $441,226,247 W, 5/19/04
10 The Lord of the Rings 3 $137,663,742 $377,027,325 W, 12/17/03
11 X-Men 3 $135,955,809 $234,362,462 F, 5/26/06
12 The Passion of the Christ $135,317,847 $370,274,604 W, 2/25/04
13 Harry Potter 4 $133,873,907 $290,013,036 F, 11/18/05

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14 Responses to “A Little Perspective To Chew On”

  1. Aladdin Sane says:

    Nice nod to Ratatouille.
    Let’s go Transformers! To hell with “perspective”!

  2. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    4011 screens for TF. That’s a lot of shiny shit on screens.
    Can anyone drop a line about the film Joshua if they see it this weekend.. I want to know if its as good as it sounds. The killer kid sub genre is a favourite of mine. Anyone else read “Smart As The Devil’ by F. Picano and wondered why it hasn’t been optioned yet?

  3. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    theatres that is.

  4. jesse says:

    JBD, I’ve seen Joshua (there’s a link to a “full” — still quite short — review a few entries down on my LJ, linked below). It’s pretty decent. I see a lot of horror movies, and most of them aren’t very good, so this one — fairly intelligent, unsettling but not in the exact same usual ways as other creepy-kid movies — engaged me, even though it’s a bit too long and sometimes seems unsure of what it’s going for (the postpartum Rosemary’s-Baby-lite stuff drags ). As far as “indie” horror goes, I wouldn’t put it with MAY, one of my recent favorites, but it’s worth seeing for a self-professed fan of the subgenre. I wasn’t crazy about it when the screening was over, but it sat well with me as I thought about it. Plus, I’d watch Sam Rockwell and Vera Farmiga in whatever.

  5. I just took 4 kids from my real job to TRANSFORMERS and boy…was it STOOPID. But, it was fun and loud and funny and I guess, exciting. It’s definitely-as has been pointed out here previously-a kids movie. I think kids (10-18) will want to see it again and again.
    It was nice to see Michael Bay get back to his roots and make a whole movie that looks like a big car commercial. Or a Mountain Dew commerical.

  6. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    thanks Jesse – will check your review now. I’ve been a big fan of Rockwell ever since he escaped the scary cloud that hung over the set of Clownhouse thanks to Victor Salva.
    MAY was a great debut, unfortunately I think Lucky has been through the studio wringer and had a pretty dire time post MAY. His early collaborator Chris Sivertson is doing pretty well though, I think his debut THE LOST is a brutal masterpiece and I’m interested in seeing what he did to Lindsay Lohan in I KNOW WHO KILLED ME out soon.

  7. Geoff says:

    I don’t care what Don says – this is AND was a tough film to call. Today’s grosses tell a lot of the story – can this film really sustain over $25 million a day over almost a full week?
    Is this building up for an explosion over the weekend or could a film actually gross LESS over a real weekend than during three mid-week days? Paramount is really travelling new territory, here, with this release plan – they’re basically trying to get two weekends for the price of one.
    If this works, EVERYBODY will be trying it, next summer. Will it be that much of a stretch for Paramount to launch Indy 4 the Tuesday before Memorial Day?
    Don, was this release your idea? Can you take credit for that? Regardless, for the first time in a long time, it has been fun to watch the box office.

  8. Don Murphy says:

    when we did the initial deal with DW we announced a July 4th opening- 2006!
    We didn’t make that.
    The 7-4-7 came after that and was not especially anyone’s idea.
    Anyway I tried to follow David’s post and my neurons imploded.

  9. Wrecktum says:

    I thought all your neurons exploded years ago due to the force of Quentin’s fist of fury.
    I kid because I love.

  10. The Carpetmuncher says:

    4011 Screens? Wow. You’d think Transformers will get a lot of repeat business from young boys, and it has very little competition until Potter comes out.
    I’m almost more interested to hear how the toys are selling. I still remember when the original toys first came out, and the first big shipment came to the local toy store the day after Thanksgiving. I hope they put this much energy into making a GI Joe again. Snake Eyes vs. Cobra Ninja.
    Joshua was totally derivative of Polanski and the ending almost wrecked the movie, but it was fun enough. The kid was creepy, Sam Rockwell was excellent, and Vera Farmiga has become a must-see actress.
    Rockwell was even better in Snow Angels, which if there is any justice will get him noticed during awards season for what IMO is easily his best among many fine performances. Not that I really think there is any justice.

  11. James Leer says:

    I kind of agree with Rockwell’s own take on his “Snow Angels” performance… he reeeeallly chewed the scenery in that one.

  12. I wish Rockwell would get more high profile gigs. I know he’s sort of settling into a character actor position, but surely there’s a few of those in larger movies. He’s routinely the best thing about his movies.

  13. IOIOIOI says:

    Only the JBD would want to see a movie that is summed up best by; “Can I have a nice gay lifestyle with you Uncle Greg?” Good call there fella. Good call.

  14. MAY is on IFC in like, 20 minutes…since it was brought up. And since it’s an awesome HORROR film….David….go get your late night Pellegrino fix and tune in…

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