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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Box Office Hell – 7/27

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(Updated @ 2:19p to include late, post-east coast matinee, post-BO Hell posting entries by La Fnke.)

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56 Responses to “Box Office Hell – 7/27”

  1. Wrecktum says:

    The new Dark Knight teaser is terrible.

  2. David Poland says:

    And this is relevant to this post because…

  3. Wrecktum says:

    It isn’t. I needed to say it and this is where I said it.
    More on point: Simpsons early tracking looks uber strong. Upper end of projections. I’m surprised and was wrong.

  4. Mr. Gittes says:

    Expecting a link to a downloadable version of the movie, Wrecktum? A new pic w/ the Joker and a knife and teaser is just fine for now. Oh my God! The teaser teased!

  5. Hopscotch says:

    It’s relevant DP because I’d say roughly 2/3 to 3/4 of people buying tickets to the Simpsons Movie are there just to watch the Dark Knight Teaser.
    I only found out last night that it was attached. Rather odd choice if you ask me.

  6. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Hopscotch is correct.
    75% of all families, teens, tweens, parents, students, kids who went to see The Simpsons were actually there to see the Dark Knight teaser. This is based on hard b.o data that came out of his anus.

  7. Wrecktum says:

    “Expecting a link to a downloadable version of the movie, Wrecktum? A new pic w/ the Joker and a knife and teaser is just fine for now. Oh my God! The teaser teased!”
    The teaser wheezed.

  8. White Label says:

    I’m surprised that tracking is that I Know Who Killed Me is less than Who’s Your Caddy. There aren’t any reviews on Rotten Tomatoes yet, so the word can’t be that horrible. The crowd at the preview last night seemed amped for it, until they laughed at the ending. It’s definitely a a non-repeat crowd.

  9. Hopscotch says:

    JBD, you know I’m joking right?
    was the movie any good wrektum? I’m seeing it tonight.

  10. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    D’oh ! sarcasm. ok got it.

  11. Wrecktum says:

    I haven’t seen the movie. The teaser is online.

  12. MASON says:

    So much for the Simpsons being a “niche” film.
    And please, the Dark Knight Teaser isn’t terrible.

  13. Mr. Gittes says:

    Wrecktum, I’m playing the world’s smallest violin for you.
    We all knew Nolan and company weren’t going to release a real trailer with footage until December or Super Bowl time. Anything prior is a bonus. Nolan keeps his material to the vest, hardly reveals anything– unlike Zack Snyder, J.J. Abrams, and others…not that there’s anything wrong with that, I guess.

  14. Wrecktum says:

    Why play a violin for me? I really couldn’t give a rat’s ass about The Dark Knight. The last Nolan Batman did nothing for me. As a non-fan of the franchise and a casual fan of superhero movies, I found this teaser inexplicably unexciting, uninvolving and uninteresting. My marginal interest in the movie next summer has not been piqued. It’s been deflated.
    Back on topic: if the stars align, Simpsons could be looking at a $80 million weekend. Even worst case we’re looking at high 60’s. Wow, was I wrong.

  15. Geoff says:

    Just saw the teaser – it’s a teaser, alright.
    I really dug it – nice use of dialogue to get us up to speed with the story. Would I have liked to see some real footage? Sure. But you have to respect Nolan and Warners for using Michael Caines voice as a grabber, as opposed to the usual CGI “wow” shots we see in these things.
    It is very clear that they are marketing this film to adults, not teennagers or kids. Pretty cool stuff.

  16. LexG says:

    So, the powerhouse combo of Michael Douglas’ grandma and Aaron Wack-hart isn’t going to light the box office ablaze? Christ, shouldn’t Eckhart be banned from acting after that hilariously idiotic performance in “Black Dahlia”?
    CZJ is only 37? The fuck? What, is that using the metric system or something? A god like Douglas ought to ditch her for some young eighteen-year-old or something. That would rule.
    “No Reservations.” Ugh. Can’t WAIT for all the reviews that use food metaphors.

  17. I’m loving the comic-con viral DARK KNIGHT marketing….I get sick of the same ole same ole movie marketing crap.

  18. Joe Leydon says:

    I can’t say I am surprised by today’s predictions of a massive haul for The Simpsons. I already had been surprised last night, when I saw the long, long lines for the midnight screening at the theater where I saw I Know Who Killed Me.

  19. Aris P says:

    “I Know Who Killed Me”….me. Tasteless — perhaps. Fitting — completely.

  20. IOIOIOI says:

    Joe; thank goodness you get paid to see films like I Know Who Killed Me. Huzzah. Nevertheless, the Simpsons film is much better than it has any right to be. It’s really that good.

  21. doug r says:

    Ummm, who called Simpsons $60 million?
    Thank you. Everyone I talked to at work today had some kind of interest.
    Surprised the local 18plex had it on only 2 screens. I saw it in a 182 seat theater. All 4 evening shows SOLD OUT!
    Simpsons are a cultural phenomenon.
    Spider pig, spider pig. Does whatever a spider pig does…

  22. Ian Sinclair says:

    The Dark Knight teaser is excellent. With Connery in retiremant Caine has the best movie-star voice on the planet, something Nolan knows very well, as he used Caine to narrate The Prestige teaser too. Roll on Dark Knight: I love the look of the Joker and the cast is to die for. Batman Begins was my favourite film of that year and it gets better with every viewing.

  23. cjKennedy says:

    I’m still surprised by the long friggin’ lines outside of the converted Kwiki-Marts. I was obviously dead wrong about the appeal of a Simpsons feature 18 years into its still current TV run.
    Oh and I’m also a casual fan of superhero movies and I loved the Batman teaser.

  24. Joe Leydon says:

    Michael Caine is one of the greatest actors on this planet, period. I will give you 10 examples of his versatility. Not necessarily his greatest performances, mind you, but just to give you an idea of his awesome range:
    THE IPCRESS FILE
    ALFIE
    GET CARTER
    THE LAST VALLEY
    SLEUTH
    THE HAND
    THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL
    HANNAH AND HER SISTERS
    THE CIDER HOUSE RULES
    THE QUIET AMERICAN
    Look at all ten of these, and come back and tell me who is his equal among his contemporaries.

  25. RDP says:

    There was no Dark Knight teaser in front of the Simpsons movie where I saw it on Friday afternoon.

  26. You forgot BLAME IT ON RIO, Joe…man, was the chick in that movie smoking hot or what?

  27. Aris P says:

    Joe — he was great in Death Trap too. What a gem that movie is.

  28. Geoff says:

    I love that you guys are doing the Caine-bashing only about 20 years too late. 🙂
    Cut the guy some slack, he’s a supreme actor who did a streak of paycheck crap movies in the ’80’s ,just like Samuel L. Jackson is doing, right now. Jaws: The Revenge and Snakes on a Plane, wow.
    I was actually a little disappointed in The Prestige, thinking it was a little more clever than engaging, which I know has been a common criticism of Nolan, but I love the rest of his film. Even Insomnia was fantastic. Dark Knight is going to be good.
    Latest word on The Simpsons is that it made almost $30 million. Gottta give Fox all the credit on this one, with the massive cross-promotion. It’s going to drop fast, but $150 million is definitely reachable – for a $64 million 2D cartoon, that’s incredible. And I think the global is going to be huget. Completely disproved my assumption about TV-to-movie appeal being limited, after The X Files and SouthPark.
    Watch for a 24 movie being put on the fast track now – ideal for a standalone movie between seasons. So would Lost, but it sounds like the show runners have a three year plan that I doubt they would deviate from, before 2009.

  29. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Surprised the local 18plex had it on only 2 screens. I saw it in a 182 seat theater. All 4 evening shows SOLD OUT!
    Short running time + practical booking = box office success for “The Simpsons”.
    Not only that, a lot of megaplexes are playing “Rescue Dawn” and/or “Sunshine”. Imagine a Werner Herzog film playing mostly in megaplexes!

  30. Me says:

    Geoff, I doubt that either Lost or 24 have the four quadrant appeal, and in some cases nostalgia, that the Simpsons is evoking. Neither have appealed to generations of people.
    If Simpsons maxes out at 150, would 80-100 million be worth it for Lost or 24 to make a live action, special-effects heavy movie? I think both are more likely to appeal in the way X-Files did.

  31. Me says:

    Ian, While your British-centric worldview is cute and all, Jack Nicholson clearly has a better movie star voice than Caine. I’d also rank Morgan Freeman and James Earl Jones up there, too.

  32. Me says:

    Ian, While your British-centric worldview is cute and all, Jack Nicholson clearly has a better movie star voice than Caine. I’d also rank Morgan Freeman and James Earl Jones up there, too.

  33. Me says:

    Sorry for the double post. 🙁

  34. Aladdin Sane says:

    It’s pretty awesome when someone complains about a teaser for the sequel to a movie that one has little or no interest in to begin with.
    What’d you expect? A Castaway like teaser this early?
    I think that The Dark Knight teaser had everything you need to know at this point – Batman questioning what’s happening, whether it’s good for the city…and the Joker’s intentions. Seems like the underlying theme of the film has been set out already.

  35. anghus says:

    29 million for The Simpsons on Friday.
    My God.
    so all these 40-50 million dollar predictions seem a little safe through the prism of hindsight.

  36. Geoff says:

    Me,
    You have a point about Lost, however, I think a 24 movie could be huge. Think about it how good a job Fox did marketing Die Hard, a straight action movie with little femaale appeal – not an easy thing to do in this market.
    They could build a season of the show into it, screen it early for all the conservative radio shows, tie in stories of anti-terrorism on Fox News to it – the movie could easily do $150 mill if marketed to the right segments.
    Heck, I don’t watch the show, but I would probably see it.

  37. cjKennedy says:

    How many movies based on TV shows have come out when the TV show was still on the air with new episodes? I’m sure there are several obvious ones, but I can’t think of one at the moment.

  38. Josh Massey says:

    “South Park” and “Beavis and Butt-head” were still running new episodes when the films opened.
    On another note, what’s the point of running Finke’s projections when she’s so vague? Heck, I can certainly guess next week’s “Bourne” opening to be somewhere between 20 and 200 million.

  39. Josh Massey says:

    A few more: “Jackass,” “The X-Files,” “MST3K” and “Lizzie McGuire.” And “The Muppet Movie” opened with “The Muppet Show” still going strong.
    OK, too much information…

  40. cjKennedy says:

    See, I knew there were obvious examples! I mentally remembered the X-Files movie coming out after the show was gone, but I remember now that was just because I was in the process of giving up on the show.

  41. Josh Massey says:

    And “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” earlier this year…
    Thanks a lot, man. Now I’m obsessed.

  42. Me says:

    I think 24’s an interesting case of a show that could do 150 million or it could crawl to 40 – a lot would depend on the effects, the ability to market to non-fans, and what A-listers you cound get to star opposite Kieffer. Marketed correctly and it could be a Bourne or Mission Impossible movie; marketed incorrectly and you have The Sentinel.
    Speaking of which, aren’t they planning a movie version of 24?

  43. jeffmcm says:

    I would argue that Jack Nicholson is as versatile as Caine, and has much better taste in scripts.

  44. Ian Sinclair says:

    Jeff, did you know that Caine is Nicholson’s favourite actor? He’s also Gene Hackman’s.

  45. jeffmcm says:

    No, I didn’t. Good for him. I see that his favorite football club is Chelsea, too.

  46. jeffmcm says:

    Caine’s, not Nicholson’s, obviously.

  47. Me says:

    Go Arsenal!

  48. I love how people are discussing the prospects of a 24 movie with no irony whatsoever.
    Glad that The Simpsons Movie is doing so well. Even if it crashes and burns after opening weekend. $70mil is a good opening weekend no matter how you splice it.

  49. David Poland says:

    The 24 movie will be called “2.”

  50. Amblinman says:

    The Dark Knight teaser is great. The dialogue selected is note-perfect and an awesome way to suggest Wayne doesn’t quite understand what he’s getting into with this foe just yet. They’re almost a year out from the release, this is all they should be doing. The Joker makes for such a great viral character, the marketing on this is going to be way too much fun.
    And The Simpsons was just okay. They made the same mistake the first couple of seasons made – way too much plot. And I really wish they had incorporated more of the show’s supporting characters instead of forcing an unfunny Albert Brooks down our throats. Oh well. We’ll always have Spider-Pig.

  51. Eric says:

    Amblinman, the first thing I asked upon leaving the theater was “Why did we have a new character doing the sort of things that Mr. Burns does all the time anyways?”
    The movie was sorely lacking of Burns.

  52. Amblinman says:

    Eric, absolutely. I think in retrospect, people are going to be shaking their heads for years wondering just why a Simpsons movie needed a new character to take up valuable running time. Shit, I would have enjoyed another murder attempt on Bart by Sideshow Bob.

  53. Cadavra says:

    The 24 movie will be set in Israel and be called “24…But For You, 21.50”.

  54. Agreed that Mr Burns would have made a great villain, but on the other hand this was a movie and they tried to give audiences something new. I would’ve loved a return by Scorpio, actually 🙂
    The fact of the matter is that the movie was only 90minutes long and they had a story to tell and not every character from the last 18 years had a place in it. If they gave even five minutes to every prominant side character then we’d be looking at far too long a movie.

  55. jeffmcm says:

    Having seen the movie, I think they made the right choice: they focussed on the Homer/Marge relationship and the Homer/Bart relationship, which gave the movie a vital component of heart, which is what has always set Simpsons apart from its imitators, like The Family Guy (which I dislike), so that it’s not _just_ a series of whacky gags and characters.
    But the return of Hank Scorpio would have been awesome.

  56. The Carpetmuncher says:

    Caine is Nicholson’s favorite actor? They were great together in Blood & Wine. And I think Caine’s work in that film was his best in years, far superior to the sentimental drivel that finally won him his Oscar. Not that I don’t like sentimental drivel, I do a lot of the times. But Caine does that stuff in his sleep.

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