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David Poland

By David Poland

Klady's Sunday Estimates – 7/8/7

So Transformers made it to their $150 million six day, now the third biggest opening of the summer and the second best July 4 opening ever, after Spider-Man 2. $300 million domestic is now likely inevitable… as suggested by the same history that suggested that Transformers would have a hard time pulling off the 150/6.
Ratatouille is pulling up to Cars, now just $4m behind after starting $13 million behind. Could The Rat catch up and surpass the autos next weekend? Perhaps.
For a movie written off, $17 million in six for License To Wed is not so horrible. A lot of people would have assumed $30 million was out of range for this title.

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161 Responses to “Klady's Sunday Estimates – 7/8/7”

  1. Don Murphy says:

    Have we accepted it yet David?

  2. David Poland says:

    Well, it’s still pretty unlikely to end up passing Spider-Man 3 and will be pressed to pass Pirates. But yes, very strong.

  3. jeffmcm says:

    I also want to point out what I’m sure David is thinking: opening weekend is about the marketing, not about the quality of the movie.

  4. anghus says:

    Great opening for Transformers. I still haven’t talked to one person offline that hasn’t highly reccomended it.

  5. The_Sun_Toucher says:

    At this point I would say that Transformers has a legitimate shot at passing at least one of the “Big Three”.
    TF is easily the most entertaining blockbuster of the summer. It’s success thus far is well deserved.
    Congrats, Don Murphy.

  6. martin says:

    By 6-7 days in, the word of mouth is a factor, so the film will have at least decent legs.
    Another impressive number is worldwide, it’s made $250 and still hasn’t opened in a lot of the major markets.
    I’m curious what the toy sales are. Or is that hidden information?

  7. anghus says:

    oh, one more thing, i know that the press is always looking for an angle, but this headline had me in tears
    “BOXOFFICE: ‘Transformers’ Huge $152M First Week Sets 7-Day Non-Sequel Record;”
    7 Day Non Sequel Record? Is that really a major accomplishment. Not to take anything away from the success of Transformers, but that seems like the spin mentality of calling License to Wed “The Number One Comedy in America”

  8. martin says:

    Ang, they sort of dug themselves a hole because they did a release pattern without much history. It’s likely the film would have done $110+ 3-day, but they wanted to stretch it out. On the one hand, Dave would probably argue that they did this release pattern to cover their asses in case the numbers didn’t come in. On the other hand, it was an excellent strategy to play off potentially good word-of-mouth- they figured correctly that people would like the movie, and that would generate more business.
    And while it is based off a popular kids brand – it is from 2 decades ago. So TF as a non-sequel is likely to be less frontloaded that a Pirates or Spidey sequel. TF the movie was still a somewhat unknown commodity, but as the word of mouth gets out, it becomes a safer bet for those on the fence.

  9. Joe Leydon says:

    Don: Just curious — have you come up with realiable demographic breakdowns yet? Unless some people on this and other blogs, I never bought into the notion that yours was a movie with no appeal to women. And evidence one way or the other?

  10. jeffmcm says:

    Joe, not trying to pick a fight, but what are you basing your contention on, considering that it’s a movie about giant toys wrestling with no female characters who don’t look like supermodels…?

  11. mysteryperfecta says:

    I’m curious about the significance of the Speilberg factor in terms of marketing the movie. His name brings with it certain expectations with the moviegoing public, and the movie was marketed with that in mind.

  12. marychan says:

    I’m disappointed that THE METHOD did so badly….
    It is a very entertaining movie and deserved to be seen by more audience. I also think that THE METHOD has remake potential.

  13. Ian Sinclair says:

    The best thing about TRANSFORMERS’ success will be that Don can more easily get Neil Gaiman’s DEATH greenlit. How’s that project coming, Don?

  14. sky_capitan says:

    Hmm. I believe I said a few months ago around here that Transformers was the #1 movie I wanted to see this summer (not SP3, POTC3 etc). So am I surprised by its massive success? No.
    So what’s my reward for such unprecedented early support? Oh well, if you insist, Don Murphy, please send a Transformers baseball cap and/or poster to sky_capitan
    c/o Canada
    I’m also pleased to announce that Transformers will be the 2nd HD-DVD that I buy this year, right after 300 in a couple weeks.

  15. Joe Leydon says:

    Geez, this is what I get for not proofreading before I hit “Post.” Excuse me, please ignore the above. What I meant to write: Don: Just curious — have you come up with reliable demographic breakdowns yet? Unlike some people on this and other blogs, I never bought into the notion that yours was a movie with no appeal to women. Any evidence one way or the other? PS: Nikki Funke says preliminary exit polling shows that, among general audiences, “Transformers is playing strongest with general audiences’ older females (Moms)…” Hmmm. MILT? (Moms I’d Love to Transform?)

  16. Wellywood Rrrrr says:

    Hey DP and Don, how about doing a Lunch with

  17. Crow T Robot says:

    Just secured the rights to Rainbow Bright. Will pitch it to Spielberg as “a girl and her colored horse.” Bettina Bush has agreed to once again voice the lead (would the Brightheads have it any other way?)
    And does anyone have Paul Verhoeven’s contact info?

  18. austinwave says:

    Joe, this was on the Movie City News weekend boxoffice rundown about Transformers:
    “Instead, since its Monday evening bow it’s grossed in access of $150 million domestically. According to Paramount exit polls show the audience to be split almost evenly between males and females and that it’s also 50/50 for above/below 25 year olds. Its momentum has propelled the studio to the top of the domestic market share chart that Sony had held since mid-April.”

  19. bipedalist says:

    Rainbow Bright, lol.

  20. MDOC says:

    Say what you want about Michael Bay but is there one exec on the WB lot that does not regret missing out on the chance to hand Bay the keys to the Superman franchise?

  21. Joe Leydon says:

    Austinwave: Thanks. There you have it. The naysayers were wrong. I was right. Life is good.
    BTW: Looks like “License to Wed” has already surpassed the domestic gross for “Hostel 2.” So has “Nancy Drew.”

  22. Joe Leydon says:

    Doug: Hilarious

  23. jeffmcm says:

    Joe, just because you’ve been ‘proven right’ doesn’t mean it makes any sense – can anyone explain what appeal Transformers would have for adult women, above Pirates or Spider-Man?
    Also, you know what movies Hostel 2 has outgrossed? The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, Once, and Away from Her. So get over it.

  24. doug r says:

    Bay + Superman=ewww.

  25. Wrecktum says:

    “Also, you know what movies Hostel 2 has outgrossed? The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, Once, and Away from Her. So get over it.”
    But that was to be expected, non? Hostel 2 is a huge disappointment and you know it.

  26. jeffmcm says:

    Non, because it’s still profit-bound. It’s a ‘huge disappointment’ only because of bloated expectations. Plus Joe is gloating over a movie I’m pretty sure he never saw, which is fairly childish.

  27. martin says:

    The Eli Roth entry on Wikipedia says Hostel 2 is a hit, and Wikipedia is always right.

  28. jeffmcm says:

    Roth probably wrote that himself.
    Anyway, my prediction is that Captivity comes out this weekend and flops, and then Halloween and Saw IV will come out later on and significantly outgross Hostel 2.
    Sorry for my part in diverting the discussion.

  29. Joe Leydon says:

    As I posted elsewhere: When I saw an 8 pm Monday showing of Transformers, the theater was only about 1/3 full, and I briefly feared the worst for overall b.o. gross. But I never doubted that the movie had four-quadrant appeal. Indeed, even at the Monday screening, I saw as many women as men — and, indeed, I saw some clusters of women who obviously came to see the flick together, sans guys. Which, I must say, only confirmed what I already suspected. Some people need to realize that their failure of imagination regarding a phenomenon (to say nothing of their transparently sexist mindset) does not diminish that phenomenon one iota. To say “women won’t like this” is about as silly a generalization as “men won’t like that. Sorry, whenever I read a statement such as that, I cannot help asking myself: How much does this person know about women? How much does this person know about movies?

  30. jeffmcm says:

    Okay, but _why_? I would expect women to be as interested in Transformers as I would expect men to be interested in Evening. A little more analysis and explanation and a little less flat-fact reporting, please.

  31. Direwolf says:

    If you compare this year vs last year measuring from last weekend thru this weekend, the box office for the top 12 rose 5% according to Mojo data. I used this measurement as it normalizes for Pirates 2 which had the all time 3 day last year at $135 million.
    The next 7 days starting tomorrow might compare favorably as well given that Harry opens on Wednesday, TF will remain strong, and Rat is showing decent legs. Those will compare against the big weekly grosses for Pirates 2 in its first weekdays and weekend #2 which Harry should easily surpass.
    The comps are much easier and look favorable from this point on as last year only one movie opened after Pirates and made $100 million. Besides Harry, Bourne, Simpsons and the Sandler film all have that potential according to the experts.
    So if Harry comes through and TF and Rat hold well it will still be a huge summer despite the poor June relative to the high expectations.

  32. Joe Leydon says:

    The onus is not on those of us who were correct to explain why we were right. Rather, the onus is on those of us who were wrong to admit error. And, perhaps, to admit that they don’t know as much about movies — and women — as they assume.

  33. anghus says:

    i believe African American Horse or Black Horse is preferred over ‘colored’

  34. jeffmcm says:

    Joe, first of all, I’m not convinced that you are ‘right’ until you can come up with some explanation for what phenomenon is happening here. Of all the big movies this summer, Transformers is the one I would have expected to be the most male-centric, beyond the movies headlined by big swashbuckling (Pirates), youthful romance (Spider-Man), or movie stars (Depp, Willis, Damon). Second of all, in believing that women would be less interested in Transformers, I was giving them the benefit of the doubt of having good taste and high expectations. If women are really excited about a movie involving big, flashy CGI wrestling matches and gawking at young female hotties, then it simply does not compute. Third, Joe, you disappoint me more and more with every condescending posting.

  35. Rothchild says:

    Everyone wants to see something new. Even if it’s based on toys from the ’80s. It’s not just a guy thing. I see guys rating the film higher than women, but it’s stupid to assume that women won’t dig it at all or won’t show up. Maybe the ratio is sliiiightly more male centric than Spider-Man or Pirates. Who cares? What you, and others, were saying is that only guys and kids are going to see this film. Which is bullshit.

  36. Joe Leydon says:

    It does “not compute” only because you lack the perception to understand. Because the demonstrably provable (through exit surveys) results do not match you faulty assumptions, you are behaving like a child and stamping your foot and demanding to know why your assumptions were not fact. Does the word “egomaniac” mean anything to you? Put it another way: The real world has contradicted your “insights,” and now you are demanding an explanation from the real world. Let me put this bluntly, and simply enough for you to understand: You are an ass. You have been given evidence that you don’t know nearly as much about the world as you thought you did, and now you are blaming the world. God, what a child you are. You come on to this and other blogs eager to begin arguments, preening with your “superior intellect,” and then you whine when you are shot down as incorrect. And yet you can’t help yourself. Minutes after you say you will no longer post on, say, Jeff Wells’ blog, you are compelled to come back and post more. You are pathetic. Please do not bother to address me again.

  37. jeffmcm says:

    When did I say that? My belief is that the film doesn’t have the 4-quarter demographic reach to make it beyond $300m, not that ‘only guys and kids are going to see this film’.
    What it sounds like to me when you say “Everyone wants to see something new” (which isn’t really true) is that audiences, disappointed by Spider-Man and Pirates, were in the mood for something that (a) wasn’t a sequel, and (b) could be relied upon to deliver some cheap thrills.

  38. jeffmcm says:

    To Joe: grow up.

  39. martin says:

    Jeff, I think what Joe is saying is that you don’t know chicks as well as you think you do. And because of that, you’re acting like an ass. I don’t believe that your assumptions are totally wrong, but they’re coming from a very specific place – you. And you don’t know everything. I think you need to broaden your perspective before presenting assumptions as absolute fact.

  40. Joe Leydon says:

    Martin: You got it.

  41. jeffmcm says:

    Martin, you are right: I don’t know a huge amount about chicks. (Joe is saying a lot of other things which I will forgive when he comes down from his highchair). That, however, doesn’t answer my question, which is: why would Transformers, a Michael Bay movie with no movie stars, no female characters who aren’t Maxim models, and lots of explosions and CGI, based on a toy line which was predominantly marketed towards boys, have an even 50/50 appeal to males and females alike, above and beyond movies that have been released this summer with more obvious appeal to women in the form of romance and big, mass-appeal movie stars? I ask this in all sincerity because it doesn’t make sense; and unless someone can provide a reasonable explanation, I have to assume that the ‘exit polling’ is just Sunday afternoon studio spin.

  42. T.Holly says:

    For the same reason women like monster trucks. Besides they’re the ones who bought/are buying the toys for their beloved little boys. Daddy doesn’t go to the store.

  43. jeffmcm says:

    Thank you. I can buy the “‘take me take me take me Mommy’ ‘Oh all right'” factor, to a certain extent. By the way, I just quickly googled ‘monster truck demographics’ and the first piece of information that I could find said “78% of monster truck fans are males”, so…

  44. T.Holly says:

    And Shia is a phenom. Could anyone ever actually explain 50 Cent’s appeal to Moms?

  45. martin says:

    Girls like their toys just like boys – just culturally, some toys do not seem as appropriate to enjoy as others. Tranformers has been sold (and perhaps is) a movie for all demographics. It has not been sold like say, The Terminator, a dark, angry apocalyptic actioner. It has been sold as a light, high-tech amusement ride for the family. It also has a romance at its core – even if that romance is between a dorky guy and a hot chick. So it’s a decent date movie. I do not think it is a solid home-run all-demo film, like say Titanic. But it does hit all the bases to one degree or another, and has risen above its supposed 1-quadrant origins.

  46. jeffmcm says:

    Thank you for providing a reasonable answer. I still have to assume that Pirates and Spider-Man had _more_ female appeal than this movie. Also, I would say that, while there is a romance at the core, it’s between a dorky guy and a hot car, and the girl is somewhat superfluous.

  47. T.Holly says:

    And 80’s nostalgia and guy on guy action, even if it’s robots.

  48. jeffmcm says:

    Brokeback Cybertron?

  49. T.Holly says:

    Do your research on who consumes gay male porno.

  50. CleanSteve says:

    I went with my 13 year old son son, 8 year old tomboy daughter (who went bananas for the damn thing), my 5 year old daughter who enjoyed it, my wife–who came around after seeing the final trailer–and the biggest shock–my 60 year old mother in law. The mother in law, an educated woman of pretty good taste, was the first to bring up the idea of us all going. I was planning on it being me, the girls, and the boy.
    Anyway, of all of us the one who liked it the least is the boy, but he’s 13 and thinks he’s too cool for school, all emo abd stuff. OK, fine. Me, I loved it and am now convinced that Bay is a genius in his own crass, cheap, tasteless and idiotic way. He’s the next logical step from Renny Harlin (who’s Deep Blue Sea is the last transcendently retarded junk masterpiece I can remember until Transformers).
    But all 4 of the females loved it. I asked my mother in law why and she said simply “I like Shia and I like action movies.” She also saw both Fantastic 4 movies because she read the comics as a child. My wife, she of 2 Masters and an upcoming PhD, a Faulkner scholar and all-around swell gal…liked the action and the humour. She liked the jokes about masturbation and bird-flipping grannies and robots peeing on John Turturro (a career highlight and/or nadir, all in one shot). I kid you not.
    So…..I personally think the answer here is very, very simple, much like T Holly alluded to. Women also like junk. They like action movies. They like FX. They like humour and fun. Also consider that the movie is in the exact same excessive vein as Bay’s other movies which are also popular with women. That ridiculous shot of the 2 rats humping missionary style in BB2?? This is 143 minutes of that, basically. And don’t discount Shia. A lot of these women are just coming off of Disturbia. he was charming in that and he is charming here. Perhaps he’s on the verge of really breaking out. Definately has some mojo going. My wife and kids have followed him since Holes, a movie they all love.
    My wife and her mother also went off to see Live Free or Die Hard while I stayed in to watch the Cubs. Women like action. To paraphrase 40 YO Virgin, you are putting the ovaries on a pedestal. They enjoy junk just as much as guys do. Plus, all of them used to be little girls and I bet many of them had transformers toys or watched the show. Nostalgia, nor the desire to have fun and see cool sights, isn’t exclusively male.

  51. IOIOIOI says:

    Jeff is defending torture porn over Transformers. Let’s take that in for a minute. Nevertheless, the movie has appeal to everyone because it’s DIFFERENT. This is why Pirates became huge in the first place. IT WAS NEW AND DIFFERENT! So anyone insinuating otherwise demonstrates a total lack of understanding of the last 4 FREAKIN YEARS!
    Oh yeah, Miami Heat, nice of you finally getting on board the OPTIMUS TRAIN! WOOT! WOOT!

  52. anghus says:

    Look, i know women, and i can’t see how any woman can like transformers. Women don’t like cars. Hell, they don’t even know how to drive them.
    A movie like Transformers couldn’t appeal to a woman. I don’t remember any autobots cooking dinner or decepticons having babies. There was that one scene where Shia and his dad went shopping, but it was for a car, not shoes.
    And the one extended scene that featured the mom character, and they were talking about masturbation, which we all know women don’t do.

  53. Joe Leydon says:

    Once again: Any male who pontificates and says “Women won’t like this” is a sexist fool. Period. They may whine and accuse anyone who calls them on it as childish — but the evidence demonstrates that they are the ones who are indeed childish. If you have evdience to the contrary, I’d like to see it.

  54. jeffmcm says:

    T. Holly: mostly gay men. Yes, I know what you’re talking about re: straight women.
    IOIOI: You are correct. I liked Hostel 2 more than I liked Transformers. Discussion?
    Joe: if you look back through the thread, you will clearly see that I never made any of the totalizing statements you’re attributing to me(Women don’t like x) and that you were the one who decided to pick a fight when I was just asking for insight or clarifications. Sure, women like junk. But I would like to suggest the radical notion that men, especially young men, are _more_ inclined to like junk than women, which was my point all along.

  55. anghus says:

    “But I would like to suggest the radical notion that men, especially young men, are _more_ inclined to like junk than women, which was my point all along.”
    how many men do you know that watch Soap Operas?
    And i don’t think it was men that propelled Titanic to be the biggest film of all time.
    And who buys all those Harlequin novels?
    Who has kept One Tree Hill on the air for almost 5 seasons?
    Who makes MTV’s Laguna Beach a hit?
    Women don’t like junk?

  56. jeffmcm says:

    Yeah, but none of the things that make up these particular types of junk – romantic melodrama, florid dialogue, hunky males – are to be found in Transformers. (Plus I think Titanic is not junk – I saw it three times.)

  57. anghus says:

    No hunky males?
    Tyrese Gibson
    Josh Duhamel
    Shia Lebouff

  58. jeffmcm says:

    Sure, but Gibson and Duhamel are hardly in the movie. I guess I have to give Shia credit for being a bigger star than I figured.

  59. CleanSteve says:

    So it’s Men Are From Cybertron, Women From Madison County, Jeff? How to explain the many men who don’t want to see Transformers? Or the women who dislike Titanic?
    There are different types of junk. I suppose there is male skewing junk and female skewing junk. But I disagree that women like junk less than men. They just like different kinds most of the time. Every now and then something crosses over and bridges that gulf. So in a way, Transformers is bringing men and women closer together.
    Good on ya, Mike Bay!!

  60. anghus says:

    i think Spielberg knew something about Shia that a lot of people didn’t, hence him putting him in three films he’s produced.
    When people say ‘there are no stars in Transformers’, they may be right, but i think putting a couple of really good looking guys in it was hardly an accident.

  61. anghus says:

    *the three most recent films he’s produced, i should say.

  62. Joe Leydon says:

    CleanSteve: Can’t say I was a big fan of Titanic — but I love the Celine Deon song. Go figure.

  63. kell says:

    My admittedly goofy, 37 year old best friend who is also a female went to Target last night and bought a Bumblebee figurine and a Optimus helmet. She spent a couple hours today calling friends and telling them using the voice changing feature, that she was Optimus and you must see my movie.
    We grew up watching Thunder Cats and Transformers and the nostalgia got us to go. Of the 2 older gals we went with, 1 loves comic book movies and the other went to just go. We all ended up loving it and we have all said we will be seeing it again.

  64. Ian Sinclair says:

    I know a lot of women, but they are to a person classy women, so TRANSFORMERS has little appeal for them. It’s appeal is to the 12 year-old boy in us who gets off on seeing robots smack each other upside the head, in the same way that the 12 year-old in Jeffmcm gets off on watching women being tortured to death in Hostel 2. Diff’rent strokes.

  65. kell says:

    Oh and me and my movie (the goofy gal I described above) buddy hated Titanic.

  66. Ian Sinclair says:

    Oh, and Kell? Methinks thou dost protest too much. Robin Williams was a more convincing woman in MRS DOUBTFIRE than you are on this board.

  67. anghus says:

    kell, don’t lie.
    no woman hated Titanic, lest they be forced to turn in their vagina.

  68. Joe Leydon says:

    Kell: You are obviously unfettered by sexist stereotyping in your thinking. Too bad other people on this blog aren’t so smart and insightful.

  69. IOIOIOI says:

    Jeff, you like something evil and truly sexist, but you could probably understand why women watch Hostel 2. Yet, Transformers, seems like something women would not want to watch? Really? Seriously?
    Nevertheless: women love SUPPOSED crap more then men ever have or will. Joey Fatone being a multi-millionaire proves this point in spades. So please stop acting or portraying women as the bastion of pop-culture sensibility. When they have kept crappy romance novels in business longer then they rightfully should.

  70. kell says:

    Guess we aren’t classy. We enjoy escapist entertainment and apparently so do other women.

  71. kell says:

    Heres a link to the goofy gals blog
    we were tomboys so perhaps that’s the difference.
    Ian you are just a sexsist asshat, not a man, not a guy an sexist asshat.

  72. Joe Leydon says:

    Kell: Why do I get the feeling that, like most women, you have had to put up with a lot of clueless guys in your life?

  73. kell says:

    Joe, cause I do. 🙂 The sooner a man admits that he doesn’t understand women, the better off he is. Here’s a little inside info, we don’t understand ourselves! It’s the damn estrogen.

  74. T.Holly says:

    Can we just stick to the exit polls, all this psych stuff is getting murphky.

  75. jeffmcm says:

    IOIOI (have you posted before under a different name? You have a unique writing style): I like Hostel 2 more than Transformers – granted, by only a marginal amount. I’d give Hostel a rating of 6/10, Transformers a 5/10, and neither movie is ‘evil’ – although Transformers, with its Minstrelbot, is more offensive to me.
    Anyway, my point all along has not been universal (women do not want to watch giant robots) but more about the general propensities. Let me put it this way: I would have had no trouble believing that the movie’s audience has been 51% male and 49% female – but a total 50/50 split sounds dubious.
    Here’s another statistic that doesn’t mean anything: on the Transformers IMDB page, there are about 29000 votes. Females give it an average rating of 8.5, males give it 8.2 – but males voting outnumber females by close to 10:1.

  76. Joe Leydon says:

    Kell: When you read comments on this blog and elsewhere by guys who claim to know what women like, and what they don’t, do you laugh? Or rage?

  77. anghus says:

    “Females give it an average rating of 8.5, males give it 8.2 – but males voting outnumber females by close to 10:1.”
    That’s because women don’t use the internet except to swap recipes, shop for clothes, and go to to see what that slut Lindsay Lohan is doing.

  78. jeffmcm says:

    Joe, would it make it easier if you were the only one on the blog? That way you could have no end of socratic dialogues where you don’t really care what the other person says.

  79. lazarus says:

    If I may jump to jeffmcm’s defense for a moment here, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with making a generalization here. Just because one or two female film geeks come on here and tell us how much they love transformers, or how someone’s 60 year old mother loved it (even more unbelievable), it doesn’t speak for the majority of the female filmgoing audience.
    The whole “you don’t know women as much as you think you do” line is such a bunch of bullshit. I imagine with the exception of a few basement dwellers, we all live in roughly similar cities, and have been around long enough to make an educated guess about what people are into. Transformers, by and large, is NOT going to appeal to women, and that 50/50 split is studio spin, pure and simple. If you believe anything else you’re an idiot. If you told me that about Lord of the Rings, maybe I’d believe you. Next thing you’re going to tell me that men were interested in seeing The Lake House as much as women.
    I’ll ask a question that should make this really easy. If Transformers IS a film that appeals to women, then what ISN’T? What’s left? Hostel 2? Star Trek?
    Is this a film that will be enjoyed by the women who DO go to see it, whether dragged by their boyfriends, the rest of their family, or whoever? Sure. But from a purely marketing standpoint, don’t for one second think that your average female saw that trailer and was like “Yeah! Sign me up!” The geek girl percentage is so small it’s not even worth counting.

  80. martin says:

    Laz, I don’t really care because this is one of the dullest hot blog conversations ever, but once again you have no basis for your argument. The studio says it’s split 50/50 (I guess, I haven’t seen that stat anywhere) and you say it’s not. You think they’re making shit up. I say that’s possible. I say it’s also possible that this souped-up toy movie has crossed over. I’m not willing to make sweeping statements based on stereotypes. But feel free to do so if you’d like. It means nothing.
    As far as girls not going to horror movies like Saw or Hostel, that’s about as naive as it comes.

  81. kell says:

    I think it depends on what they’re saying, mostly I just think it’s sad.
    Honestly and I can only speak for myself here, I don’t always know what will speak to me. I can go into something thinking I will hate it and come out confused on why I don’t. So for a man to be certain about how a woman will feel, seems pretty silly. Some things are a given, puppies for instance, you can always get me with a puppy, but babies which should get me, don’t usually. I also don’t always buy into the romance thing, like I said earlier I hated Titanic, but that I think was mostly because of the over-hype, I went into it hating it and it never convinced me otherwise. I’m also not a Leo fan, I have liked movies he’s been in (Blood Diamond) but not because of him, more in spite of him.
    I know people like to stereotype others so they are easy to understand but I think things are way more complicated than that. The Trasnformers seems to be a young boy thing, but my friends 2 sons thought it was corny and stupid, the 1 girl loved it, again she’s a tomboy.
    I think to assume you understand what other people will and won’t like is silly, but that said, we all do it. I thought my friends sons would like it and I thought more people on this board would too. So for your morons who are calling me a plant or saying I’m in drag, I must admit I was wrong as well. What I have been correct about is that people wouldn’t believe that me and my girlfriends liked the movie.
    Now excuse me as I am going to get ready to head out to the drive in and see the Transformers (again) and Evan Almighty.

  82. anghus says:

    Since Women make up more than half of our population and Evening isn’t making 100 million dollars, i’d probably guess that a good chunk of Transformers’ audience, Die Hard 4’s audience, hell every audience is women.
    Next time you go to a theater, look around. I did notice a lot more guys at Transformers than girls, but this was the 8pm show on Monday which to me was the hardest of hardcore fans and the curious there to see it.
    At 1408 today, the audience was overwhelmingly female.
    It’s not like the movie theater is usually a sausage party. The more i think about it, the more i begin to realize that even assuming women aren’t going to certain movies is kind of idiotic.
    Do we have any evidence that men make up the majority of summer ticket buyers?

  83. jeffmcm says:

    Martin, you’re right. We’re debating this stupid shit when we could be talking about how Herzog treats American patriotism in Rescue Dawn or the subtexts within Sicko. I’m going to go clean my room.

  84. Joe Leydon says:

    Once again, as they on sports talk radio: Look at the scoreboard. The studio posts the 50-50 numbers. The women who post on this blog back those numbers.
    “But from a purely marketing standpoint, don’t for one second think that your average female saw that trailer and was like ‘Yeah! Sign me up!'” HOW DO YOU KNOW? ARE YOU LIMITED BY YOUR SEXIST MINDSET?

  85. Joe Leydon says:

    Once again, as they on sports talk radio: Look at the scoreboard. The studio posts the 50-50 numbers. The women who post on this blog back those numbers.
    “But from a purely marketing standpoint, don’t for one second think that your average female saw that trailer and was like ‘Yeah! Sign me up!'” HOW DO YOU KNOW? ARE YOU LIMITED BY YOUR SEXIST MINDSET?

  86. Joe Leydon says:

    Sorry about the repeat.

  87. ployp says:

    “TF is easily the most entertaining blockbuster of the summer. It’s success thus far is well deserved.”
    Totally agree.
    And what is this about woman not wanting to see Transformers. I don’t see why we wouldn’t want to see the film. I liked it (I’m 23) and my 26-year-old sister liked it too. My cousin took his girlfriend and she liked it. Yes, she went with her boyfriend so maybe she wouldn’t have gone by herself. Are there any other girls on this blog besides me and Kell?
    “My wife and her mother also went off to see Live Free or Die Hard while I stayed in to watch the Cubs. Women like action.”
    I also saw Live Free Or Die Hard (released in Thailand as Die Hard 4.0). In fact, I think I’ve pretty much seen all the ‘big’ action films. They’re fun junk.
    “Women don’t like cars. Hell, they don’t even know how to drive them.”
    All of the women I know certainly drive. I don’t personally like cars as much as my male cousins, but I like pretty ones and when I can afford a car, I will certainly find out more about them.
    “That’s because women don’t use the internet except to swap recipes, shop for clothes, and go to to see what that slut Lindsay Lohan is doing.”
    Is that what men think? Gosh I hope not.
    “Kell: When you read comments on this blog and elsewhere by guys who claim to know what women like, and what they don’t, do you laugh? Or rage?”
    I don’t know about Kell, but I usually laugh, except when I read comments like women don’t drive. Now, that’s just… I don’t even have a word for that in English.

  88. lazarus says:

    Kell said herself that she was a tomboy, and that the little girl she knew who liked it was a tomboy. Are we now going to say that 50% of girls are tomboys too? And I love how people are just reading this 50/50 thing as gospel. Yeah, you can believe my deductions, or the studio’s word. We all know they’re totally honest about everything. We all know they don’t have a vested interest in people hearing that there’s an equal gender split. Because they certainly aren’t hoping that a report like that will lead to more female attendees.
    And I don’t think it’s a sexist position to make these assumptions, joe. I’m not saying women shouldn’t be allowed to watch them, sit in the back, pay more, etc. I’m not even saying that the girls who do like Transformers have some kind of personality problem. But if you made a live-action Barbie movie, treated it as serious drama, and cast Paris Hilton or some other current sex fantasy of guys these days, I still don’t think you’d see a lot of guys turning out to see it. Is that a generalization? Am I being sexist towards men in thinking they couldn’t appreciate what Barbie would have to offer?
    What’s the gender turnout for boxing matches? Is it 50/50 as well? I’m sorry if I’ve gone out on a limb thinking women aren’t as cinematically turned on as men by giant CGI bullshit colliding into each other, Shia LaBoeuf or no. You want to talk about real crossover stuff? Spider-Man. Lord of the Rings. Star Wars. These have actual stories that are more likely to appeal, because they are more than just wall-to-wall CGI and noise.
    Until someone tells me that they were counting heads and can back up the claims, I’m not buying it. That IMDB voting breakdown jeff found says it all. Or is IMDB just not a “girl thing”? They can like transformers but not film databases?

  89. Josh Massey says:

    “For a movie written off, $17 million in six for License To Wed is not so horrible. A lot of people would have assumed $30 million was out of range for this title.”
    As I breathe on my fingernails and wipe them on my shirt, I say check the last few Box Office Chart threads. I’ve been saying for awhile that your $13 million estimation was far too low, even for such a terrible looking movie. Young girls may be flocking to Transformers, but their moms don’t have anything else to see right now.

  90. Noah says:

    I don’t mean to fuel the fire, but just because there are “numbers” and “statistics” doesn’t necessarily make something true. Polling is quite often biased, so the real question is: who is doing the exit polling for the movies?
    Also, just because someone likes one type of movie does not mean you should jump to conclusions about the content of their character. I tend to like serious dramas, but that doesn’t mean I’m a morose person. So if jeffmcm likes horror movies, or liked Hostel 2, does that automatically make him a sexist? Maybe he just doesn’t see things the same way. Art works like that.

  91. IOIOIOI says:

    Minstel bot? Jeff, stop cleaning your room, and fucking pay attention to the world for once. HE’S JAZZ. That’s who HE IS! You being you. Of course would jump to the most radical position without once thinking how absolutely ridiculous that position can be. Thus the problem with all of your statments in this particular thread. You have taken a rather dense position. Yet; you refuse to accept that YOU SCREWED UP. You choose … poorly. So please — for the love of all that is holy — realize how out of sorts your statements have been. I beg of you.
    Nevertheless, Noah, you do not see something strangely odd in a person who likes TORTURE PORN (and defended it rather strongly against Miami Heat) more then a Michael Bay version of a Joseph Campbell tale? Yes art works differently, but I am rather taken a back by such profundity.

  92. jeffmcm says:

    Long time, no see Jason.

  93. martin says:

    WTF is Miami Heat?

  94. Blackcloud says:

    I’m going to suggest that the reason women like “Transformers” is because the human characters are more interesting than the robotic ones. That at least is what this guy thought. Mind you, saying that it’s the human interest element that attracts women is a stereotype in its own right. As for why women should like the movie, that is une question mal posee. The right question is, why shouldn’t they? There’s no accounting for taste–or human behavior. Which to my mind is a very good thing.

  95. mariamu says:

    Hi, I’m new to this site but decided to sign in and comment on the Transformers movie. I think I am in a fairly unique position in that I haven’t seen a trailer for this movie and I never saw the TV show. Course I have no interest in cars and never learned to drive. I spent the past weekend at a science fiction convention and talked to no other women who were interested in this film. This doesn’t mean there weren’t any women that saw Transformers there.
    Just none that I talked to. I find this posting about Transformers to be highly amusing and part of movie fandom that I am happy to not be a part of.

  96. jeffmcm says:

    Until now, mwah ha ha ha.

  97. martin says:

    Is that Anghus, Posting in Disguise?

  98. mariamu says:

    Sorry, I should clarify that I’m not new to this site. Been lurking on this site for well over a year. I just wanted to comment on the Transformers phenomenon and am anxious for this site to move on to movies that carry my attention and that I plan to see. The movie that I’m looking forward to seeing is Black Sheep . And my favorite movie of the month is Once.

  99. Skyblade says:

    polyp, I think Anghus was joking.
    I think that people can saying “Not having the appeal towards women that Lord of the Rings and Spider-Man did” pretty much says it all. Before either of those movies opened, people would look at you with two heads to suggest they had strong appeal towards women.

  100. Brett B says:

    Just about every movie on IMDB has more votes from Males than from Females. Maybe not as high a ratio as 10-1, but always more. ‘Evening’ and ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ have more Male votes than Female. The closest reversal I could find was ‘Step Up’, which still has more Male votes, if only just barely. For most of the top rated films, Male votes vastly outnumber Female votes. So yes, the IMDB statistics ultimately don’t mean anything.

  101. martin says:

    Sky, it’s Ployp. Not the skin growth.
    And you’re right, it is the same as the deal with previous superhero/fantasy films the last few yrs that surprisingly broke out from typical teen-male demo. I do not think that Transformers will ultimately have an even demo – it will at best finish up its run with perhaps a 60/40 male to female ratio. But it does have appeal to the opposite sex – does have very attractive, built male actors, a “young love” story, a very cute robot named “bumblebee”, a cute puppy with a handicap, a female genius-codebreaker, a female lead that’s actually better with cars than her boyfriend, a popular teen-hottie in Shia, a refreshing storyline that in some cases has the girl saving the guy, plus the fun visual surprises and action that general audiences are going to see. It is definitely condescending to say that the above list is “why” girls may go to the movie – they have their own reasons and as someone said above, guys will never totally understand girls. But if you’re looking for the stereotypical elements – yes, the movie does provide them.

  102. IOIOIOI says:

    Jeff, you are refreshingly as weird as fuck as ever. Yes; let us discuss RESCUE DAWN or SICKO. Let us discuss a movie that’s apparently not as good as the documentary that it’s based on, or the documentary that proves AMERICANS APPARENTLY LOVE THEIR SHITTY HEALTH CARE SYSTEM.
    It has been a long time, sir. Please try to remember that then and now are two different points in time. And Martin, Miami Heat is DAVID POLAND … GOLD-CHAIN ROCKIN’EXTRORIDNAIRE!

  103. lazarus says:

    skyblade and martin–I think it’s very easy to look back at LOTR and Spider-Man and see why they were successful across the gender line. One was based on a story that’s pretty established and spends a great deal on character, as well as themes that people can latch onto relating to friendship, loyalty, etc. Spider-Man cast two likeable stars and focused very heavily on the personal side of the story.
    Let’s also not forget that all 3 LOTR and the first 2 Spider-Man films were both very well received critically. Regardless of how easy critics have gone on Transformers, don’t kid yourself that this is going to be remembered as a “great” film like the ones mentioned above. Also, Martin, your explanation of what Transformers has to offer is weak, at best. Surely the love story doesn’t carry anywhere near the weight it does in Spider-Man. Surely people realize the people are the ornaments here, whereas they’re the center around the effects in the other films. Two of the three screenwriters of LOTR were women, and I think they made a conscious effort to make the films more accessible to women, e.g. the changes made to Arwen’s character. Which obviously worked. And clearly the makers of Spider-Man were interested in doing something more substantial than previous comic book films in the character department.
    Are you trying to explain why women who see this will like it, or why they went to see it in the first place? Because I don’t picture girls in the audience seeing a trailer and saying “hmm, looks like a bunch of crap, but maybe that love story means there’s something more going on here.” And for the ones who do make it to the theatre, you’d think they’d see through a love story that was just dropped in amongst the eye candy, as opposed being something that naturally drives the characters in action.
    Guys will never totally understand girls, you’re right. but I know some who were reluctant but ultimately enthusiastic LOTR fans, and they’re not going anywhere near Transformers.

  104. martin says:

    Wow this argument has come full circle. NO ONE fucking knows if or why Transformers has appealed to the female demo. It doesn’t totally make sense to me either, but as I said, it does have a few key elements that play well to both genders. As far as your female friends that liked LOTRs but aren’t interested in TF, that means nothing to me. Am I saying that logically, TF is a movie with great appeal to women? No, I am not. But I’m not like off the wall flabbergasted that, apparently, it is doing well with women. It does have a few elements that we could say debatably makes it appealing to both genders. I get the image of you and Jeff standing in your apartments banging your heads against the wall yelling “NO, WOMEN DON”T LIKE TRANSFORMERS, DOES NOT COMPUTE!”. Who fuckin cares? Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. The studio says they do, and that’s the only statistic we have to work off of. Saying that the statistic is total bullshit because it doesn’t fit in with your stereotypical female movie-goer is assinine.

  105. jeffmcm says:

    Yes, things are calm once more. I didn’t think Transformers would have the juice to get beyond $250-275m; it appears that’s inevitable now, so what do I know? It’ll be interesting to see how it holds up over the next couple of weeks against Potter.
    Anyway, what I really wish is that some of us could movie beyond the myopia that comes from rooting for particular movies as if they were sports teams. It obviously makes grown men – yes, men – behave very stupidly.

  106. jeffmcm says:

    IOIOI: nice to see that you could come back in the absence of the Hicksville schizophrenic.

  107. lazarus says:

    Martin, how is the studio’s report a “statistic”? It’s nothing scientific, concrete, or anything that can be proven. You’re telling my that my instincts have less merit than the marketing department of a media conglomerate? Forgive me for being so cynical. It’s not asinine to question the validity of it, because IT”S IN THEIR BEST INTEREST to trumpet how well it’s doing with women. Why? Because without them it’s ultimately not going to get anywhere near the colossus Don Murphy and others want it to be. You think the studio’s going to report that it’s doing REALLY well with guys, who are attending in a 70-30 ratio?
    Next thing we’ll be seeing TV spots with girls coming out of the theatre and saying to the camera “I love Transformers, it was awesome!” This isn’t something they haven’t done before.
    I’m not getting my jockstrap in a twist, I’m just trying to inject a bit of my thoughts into all this celebratory cross-demographic bullshit. Which I think it is.
    One more thing, and this is part of a whole other debate, but is Shia LeBoeuf known by name and face among women? I’m skeptical about him being any kind of a draw on this film, regardless of who saw Disturbia and liked it.

  108. martin says:

    I believe “Cinemascore” is a reputable movie statistics/survey company. That’s where the studios get their #’s from.
    As far as:
    “Next thing we’ll be seeing TV spots with girls coming out of the theatre and saying to the camera ‘I love Transformers, it was awesome!’ This isn’t something they haven’t done before.”
    Have you actually seen the movie in a theater? From my experience it plays well to men as well as women (Fwiw there were very few if any kids at the screening I went to). Everyone seemed to be responding to the movie equally. So I really don’t think it would be a stretch to survey a couple women in the audience and get a “It was a lot of fun” response.
    Also, for what it’s worth, I think Transformers as a film is flawed. But it is a big crowd pleaser – to general audiences – and that is why it is making a lot of money.

  109. mutinyco says:

    Whether people know Shia by name or not, as far as the industry is concerned, with a projected domestic box office of $430-million+ (Disturbia, Surf’s Up, Transformers), he’s the biggest movie star of 2007. And he’s following ’07 with Indy IV next year. He’s A-list with a mortar round.

  110. Skyblade says:

    Let’s also not forget that all 3 LOTR and the first 2 Spider-Man films were both very well received critically.
    You mean like the critical storm that was the Pirates of the Carribean series, which even the best reviews simply say its a big dumb movie helped a great deal by Depp? And I see women get defensive about that series with the best Star Wars prequel apoligists.
    Of course Transformers isn’t going to go down as an all-time classic. It’s not a Mr. Right movie, it’s a Mr. Right Now, and after a summer absolutely clogged with sequels, and anything even remotely resembling fresh, I think women are going to be drawn to some kind of spectacle that stands out.

  111. palmtree says:

    I asked someone about Shia’s popularity and got an answer that had nothing to do with Disturbia. He was in a Disney channel show called Even Stevens, where he built up a following among young girls. Why this remains unreported is a mystery to me…
    Also, I remember him simply for being on Project Greenlight a couple years back.

  112. L.B. says:

    I just chalk it all up to never really knowing how something is going to play out. We can makes guesses and generalizations that get us part or almost all of the way there, but reality plays out as it will and we can try to figure out why, but we can never know for sure. (Polls are only so reliable in the end.)
    For myself, I was in no hurry to see TF. Thought I might end up seeing it, but have a long list of other things to catch up with, so it was pretty much a non-issue for me.
    But I’m seeing it tomorrow because my girlfriend wants to see it bad.
    I don’t expect demographic calculus to figure that one out any time soon. I sure won’t be able to.

  113. bmcintire says:

    Yes, there are lots of girrrrl-power moments in TRANSFORMERS, and hunks-du-jour JOSH DUHAMEL, TYRESE GIBSON and SHIA LEBEOUF are in it (and as someone posted earlier, there is a surprising human element blah, blah blah. . .) but that goes little way to explain the reported 50/50 split happening with tracking scores this weekend. It may be the fact that geeks (of both sexes) were the first to cram themselves into theaters and a more expected gender demographic may play out later. But Jesus, Joe, you have to admit the currently reported split is surprising. Had EVENING reported the same demographic, would you be defending it with such unmitigated assholishness? It’s unexpectd, plain and simple. I saw it Friday night at the Arclight, and outside of perhaps The Faultline, I had not witnessed such a male-centric crowd since seeing 300.

  114. Joe Leydon says:

    BMC: Actually, no, I am not surprised, as I said at the beginning. Yes, the numbers could shift as the movie continues in theaters. Right now, though, it’s easy for me to believe that the audience is easily split.
    Just curious: You and many others on the blog frequently reference the Arclight. Which leads me to ask: How many folks here (not counting Australians and New Zealanders, of course) actually live, work and see movies outside of L.A.? I mean, if you want to get into demographic breakdowns, does this blog accurately reflect the diversity of mainstream moviegoers, or is it weighed too heavily toward West Coasters (and, in a subgroup, industry wanna-bes)? And if the latter, might that explain how shocked some of you are when confronted with certain phenomena (the success of Passion of the Christ, for example)?

  115. anghus says:

    I didn’t think it required clarification, but yes I was being sarcastic…..
    but not about the shopping. you know be women be shoppin

  116. anghus says:

    I didn’t think it required clarification, but yes I was being sarcastic…..
    but not about the shopping. you know be women be shoppin

  117. Palmtree, I know I was a fan of his from 2003’s Holes. VERY underrated (but well-loved by fans) flick.
    Plus, here’s a shocking thought, Shia’s a cutie and girls can see him as someone who they could actually know in real life and not the pumped up roid freaks that we’re used to see portraying 16/17/18-year-olds.

  118. Nicol D says:

    Late to the party….had some family stuff to deal with.
    Seems the issue is the purported 50/50 split of interest in Transformers being seen by both male and female, if my reading of these posts is correct.
    Again, everything in degrees. Of course Transformers is going to have some female appeal, most mainstream blockbusters do (they are designed to) and many young women will have grown up with the cartoon just like many young men. Nevertheless, the 50/50 reads more like a push poll to me. It’s the studio saying (if I read correctly) what they want to be true so that it will keep getting the support of female audiences who might be wavering.
    If the real split were say, 70 male /30 female, why would they report that and risk alienating female audiences who might be wavering.
    The goal of any summer blockbuster is to get as wide a demographic as possible. For the record I know more women who are into Transformers than say Live Free or Die Hard but even more that want to see 1408 (women loooooove John Cusack) or Knocked Up. Make of that what you will.
    Your question is a good one. I do not live in LA but I am in the industry and live in a very large urban center.
    I agree with you though, sometimes I do think that the industry centeredness of the posters on some of these sites skews how things are perceived.
    Especially when it comes to the demographics games.

  119. Blackcloud says:

    I definitely don’t see any movies in L.A. Haven’t been there (or California) in a very long time.

  120. ployp says:

    “Sky, it’s Ployp. Not the skin growth.”
    A sincerely thank you, martin. It’s actually my name, Ploy with ‘p’ as the first letter of my surname.

  121. Wrecktum says:

    For the record, LOTR fandom is hugely female. I’d say over 50%. Remember, this is a fan community based around fantasy novels, not gear-grinding action films.
    I think Nicol’s right that the inital demo polling from Paramount isn’t probably representative of actual numbers, but I’m sure the breakdown is hardly 70-30. “Couples” is a major movie demographic and it isn’t inconceivable that dudes are able to convince their wives/girlfriends/dates to see this movie. It is, after all, a big summer blockbuster, which mainstream audiences are conditioned to see, no matter the gender.

  122. LexG says:

    How come studios never release the breakdown of what percentage of the audience was incredibly fat children slurping Icees and kicking my fucking chair for three hours? Or what portion of the audience was in fact spikey-haired, weasely-mustached teens of unknown ethnic origin and their girlfriends in skintight tank tops?
    Because, yeah, in my personal experience, that’s 99% of the TRANSFORMERS demographic.
    Speaking of the Arclight (where I didn’t see this, incidentally, but maybe should have), I was there yesterday, and noticed a lot of people bringing little kids, plus a lot of thuggish teens, all going to see Transformers. SEE? That’s why the RESERVED SEATING SUCKS. Used to be everyone at the Arclight was a serious film geek or industry type. Now it gets the same crowd as any other L.A. multiplex, only you don’t have the option of MOVING when you’re FORCED TO SIT next to some fat, chattering kid or steroid case with Restless Leg Syndrome.

  123. Wrecktum says:

    Why wouldn’t you want to be around girls in skintight tanktops?

  124. doug r says:

    It just occurred to me. Transformers is Charlie’s Angels for girls. I know I went into CA at a discount theater not expecting much and I was pleasantly surprised. It had mildly dorky leads that had a real competence. I mean, what was with the throwing star muffins? The fact that Lucy Liu’s character couldn’t bake but still tried made her a little more charming. That scene where she behaves like a dominatrix didn’t hurt either.
    Plus, it was GRRRLS kicking ass.
    I can see reflections of this in Transformers-except for me something was missing-maybe that’s what it needed-Drew Barrymore in a racing suit.

  125. James Leer says:

    “I mean, if you want to get into demographic breakdowns, does this blog accurately reflect the diversity of mainstream moviegoers…?”
    No, but I think everyone here realizes that. If you’re posting on a movie insider blog, you’re probably a leeetle bit more plugged in than the average moviegoer.
    I recognize where Joe is coming from – he appears to take great pains to be populist in his film commentary and criticism, and his vantage point from outside Los Angeles may make him bristle at generalizations about moviegoers. But he also writes for Variety, which regularly asks its critics to forecast demographic breakdowns in its reviews (and truly, has any other publciation ever used the word “femme” so much?). Does he laugh at his fellow reviewers and their gender-based predictions? Or does he rage?

  126. LexG says:

    “Why wouldn’t you want to be around girls in skintight tanktops?”
    As you ought to know if you live in CA, “girl in skintight tanktop” certainly isn’t any guarantee that the girl in question is fit enough to look good in one.

  127. MASON says:

    Still think Hairspray will outgross the robots, Dave?
    Saw the flick last night and enjoyed it. Bay’s female casting is hilarious — porn star central.

  128. Joe Leydon says:

    Fair question, Leer, worthy of a serious, snark-free reply. I neither laugh nor rage at such forecasting, because I have done it myself, and continue to do so. Why? It’s an indisputable fact of life that, for better or worse, some movies are specifically pitched toward males or “femmes” by their marketers, so their primary appeal to those groups is kinda-sorta a self-fulfilling prophecy. Hence, if I were to review, say, The Devil Wears Prada for Variety, I very likely would have predicted its primary audience (or, to use Variety-speak, “aud”) would skew very heavily female, simply because it was being so obviously positioned as a “chick flick.” (I would add, however, that I would have given Anne Hathaway a lot more credit for being an aud magnet.) But I repeat: I never saw Transformers as being completely male-centric in its appeal, any more than any other summer tentpole blockbuster. And I’m more than a little amused by people who are shocked by the demo breakdown — or remain in deep denial.
    BTW: I also was amused by David’s early claim that Knocked Up would appeal primarily to “middle age” moviegoers. The overwhelmingly favorable response to the film at SXSW should have been enough to demonstrate its cross-generational appeal.

  129. Joe Leydon says:

    And speaking of sexist advertising: I’ve known many women who drink beer. So why are 99.9999 percent of TV ads for beer aimed at men? I mean, most of them imply that even if you couldn’t get laid on death row of a women’s prison with a pocketful of pardons, all you need to do is pop open some cold ones and you’ll suddenly be hot-tubbing with bikini-clad cuties.

  130. Wrecktum says:

    “As you ought to know if you live in CA, ‘girl in skintight tanktop’ certainly isn’t any guarantee that the girl in question is fit enough to look good in one.”
    I selectively ignore the muffintops and ogle mightily the balance. There are some outrageously hot 18-25 year olds out there, presuming you can put the blinders on.

  131. Blackcloud says:

    “I mean, most of them imply that even if you couldn’t get laid on death row of a women’s prison with a pocketful of pardons, all you need to do is pop open some cold ones and you’ll suddenly be hot-tubbing with bikini-clad cuties.”
    Lol, Joe, that’s hilarious. BTW, I think those commercials now advertise body sprays, not beer. And as for women drinking beer, all the “femmes” I knew throughout grad school sure as hell did.

  132. mysteryperfecta says:

    I live in Kansas, so kindly direct all issues of demographic perspective my way. :p
    That said, the 50/50 demo split is a little surprising to me but, if accurate, may have a lot to do with the inherent appeal of being ‘in on’ The Event Movie of 2007, rather than the appeal of the actual subject matter.

  133. Lota says:

    There are few movies that are going to be nearly all wimmin or menfolk audiences anyway.
    and sometimes word of mouth changes the balance too so one showing early after release might not tell you much of the appeal or if it’s changing obviously.
    Casino Royale for example=
    opening weekend…saw it with mostly males like 80% in a big audience…second week lots of swooning wimmin (me too) in our skinny tank tops (and swooning gay men in their muscle Ts) once we got alook at Daniel Craig’s assets.
    Joe, regional is hard to guage (of course this blog isn’t representative). Transformers…I saw it with largely males and noticed the girlfriends after commenting that it was juvenile with a smattering of disdain. Teenage girls seemed to like it better than older, but it would be due to SHia who girlies have known about for a long time.
    Depends on what the toy or comic movie is based on and if the star is hot.
    Neil Gaiman-based movies will have heavy support from females and males…but some of the comics(toys)-to-be-made-into-movies that are teen geek boy bastions won’t unless it can be made into a popcorn movie with some studly guy(s). WHich is what sorta has happened with Transformers (SHia is considered studly by some).
    SOrry ployp… all this time I DID think you were polyp. 🙂 Polyp’s are a vital part of our coral reefs! They aren’t just skin growths!

  134. Lota says:

    “I mean, most of them imply that even if you couldn’t get laid on death row of a women’s prison with a pocketful of pardons, all you need to do is pop open some cold ones and you’ll suddenly be hot-tubbing with bikini-clad cuties.”
    If the cold ones are Chimay or SHiner Bok I might give that miserable failure you’re referring to a chance (well at least he’d have good taste in beer).
    In Europe it used to be Lynx commericals. God I loved them.
    This one with Ben Affleck has a brilliant ending and maybe enough hot women for Wrecktum.

  135. Lota says:

    dammit I can;t find my favorite one UK/Italy, the Mafia Wedding one.
    oh well, these are good too. There is hope for Lynx users. (and I aint talking about the Game [Atari?] does)

  136. Wrecktum says:

    “This one with Ben Affleck has a brilliant ending and maybe enough hot women for Wrecktum.”
    Not enough skintight tanktops but I appreciate the effort.

  137. Wrecktum says:

    A bit better. Thanks, Joe!

  138. mysteryperfecta says:

    “This one with Ben Affleck has a brilliant ending and maybe enough hot women for Wrecktum.”
    Huh– I’ve seen that EXACT same commercial concept, but with Nick Lachey in Ben’s role.

  139. anghus says:

    the Affleck commercial was an international ad. Movie stars like Affleck only do the spots for international, so they redid the spot for the U.S. with Nick Lachey.
    Shot for shot practically. Isn’t that weird?

  140. Aladdin Sane says:

    I like the Affleck version better.
    Anyhow, I’ll enter the fray here, and say that who really cares if girls like this film in the end? Money is money. When I was 5 and 6 playing with Transformers, I wasn’t watching My Little Pony. And I doubt any girl playing with My Little Pony was watching Transformers.
    It’s cool if girls like it. If not, no biggie.

  141. xiayun says:

    Broke $70m for the weekend with actuals. Only -13.8% on Sunday. This one will have good legs.

  142. Joe Leydon says:

    BTW: I likely will be in L.A. for a few days later this month, and I’ve been pricing hotels on I noted this as part of the blurb for the Mayfair Hotel: “When visiting local attractions, taxis and shuttles are the suggested mode of transportation due to safety concerns in the immediate area.” Hmmmm. Guess I should cross that one off the list of possibilities, eh?

  143. lazarus says:

    I’d pass on the Mayfair. It’s pretty close to MacArthur Park, which isn’t as nice as the song would have you believe, If you want to get a little further away from the junkies I’d go Northwest, closer to Hollywood.

  144. Joe Leydon says:

    You mean it ain’t melting in the dark anymore? Damn. Someone must have let that cake out in the frickin’ rain again!

  145. RudyV says:

    Anyone hear anything about folks supposedly going to see TF just to see the “Cloverfield” trailer? YouTube yanked some copies recorded with camera phones, and that just send people’s interest skyrocketing.
    BTW, my younger brother–the guy who gave up movies for DVD, the guy who ejected SUPERMAN RETURNS after only 20 minutes, the guy who thought CATWOMAN was better than FF #1–he went to see TF and said it was totally awesome. But then he asked me how old I was when the TF originally came out, and when I said “About 20” he went “Hmmmm….”
    As for a DEATH movie, I’d definitely stand in line for that, as long as it managed to avoid all the grim reaper-scented crapitude that has popped up since Death originally became a DC comics phenom. See, that’s how you do it–transform Death from a shrieking skellie into a cute Goth chick and people will buy armloads of merchandise, hang her poster on their wall, and proudly march around with her on their T-shirt (guilty as charged for all three offences).

  146. RudyV says:

    …sent, not send. I wish there was an editing function here…but if there was then I’d prolly spend an hour writing a one-paragraph remark.

  147. Wrecktum says:

    “Anyone hear anything about folks supposedly going to see TF just to see the ‘Cloverfield’ trailer?”
    That would shock me. 1) It’s available on Apple. 2) It’s not very good.

  148. Blackcloud says:

    “Anyone hear anything about folks supposedly going to see TF just to see the ‘Cloverfield’ trailer?”
    What, is “Cloverfield” a Star Wars trailer or something?

  149. doug r says:

    Rent a car, Joe. Then you can stay anywhere. I found
    (at least in 1990) driving around Wilshire, you get a block south and the neighborhood decays pretty fast.

  150. Wrecktum says:

    If you’re renting a car you should get a hotel in the southern San Fernando Valley. Quick and easy to Hollywood, Bev Hills and westside. Plus cheaper than the other side of the hill.
    If you’re dying to stay downtown then you have to stay at the Mayfair or an equivilent, unless you want to cough up $200+ for the going rate at most hotels. Remember that the area around the Mayfair is “gritty” but hardly the hardcore ghetto that many people think it is.

  151. RudyV says:

    “Cloverfield” is the codename for a JJ Abrams-produced “low budget” film ($30 mil, cough), about NYC getting the crap kicked outta it. And it’s apparently being shot on handheld video to give it a BLAIR WITCH feel. The viral marketing campaign featuring bizarre blogs and websites discussing the events behind the movie is another WITCHy spinoff.

  152. Joe Leydon says:

    Back in the 1980s and ’90s, when I frequently flew out to LA for the Houston Post, I often stayed at reasonably priced places in Westwood or off Wilshire. But I strongly suspect most of those places are long gone.

  153. doug r says:

    Last time when we went to Disneyland, the last night before our flight we stayed in the Motel 6 in Inglewood on Century. Nice and close to the airport, cheap, but a layer of jet fuel on the outdoor pool. I walked to Carl’s Jr from the motel under the 405. Holy crap that road is wide! It’s about 100 yards under a concrete overpass with fences on either side and hardly any lights. I had the phone out with keylock off the whole time…Motel 6 to Carl’s Jr

  154. Lota says:

    Joe I do Hotwire days before and always get an inexpensive deal in a nice place, much cheaper than
    it usually is in san fernando valley or century/Uni city.
    and I finally remember what your funny beer comment made me think of–the “Tits and Ass beer” parody commercial on the web, but I don;t lknow if Dave wants me posting that here.
    and I forgot about this commercial which is what Wrecktum was likely talking about…

  155. Wrecktum says:

    Yeah, that one’s a classic. Never made it to American TV in that form.

  156. Joe Leydon says:

    Lota: Thanks for the Hotwire tip, because I may — repeat, may — be flying to L.A. sooner than I expected. Like, tomorrow night.

  157. Lota says:

    Joe pick a 3 star blind best deal, no lower (many 2 star hotels are yucky in LA). CHeapest is downtown & lax but those are isolated lonely places, so century city is best & budget rental car does good deals and you don;t have to refill the car unless you do more than 75 miles.
    well I guess us (former) European dwellers are just lucky.
    Actually the beer commercials show alot of skin but often in a cheesy funny way and very few of the Euro/aussie/nz beer commercials are offensive.
    two good ones.
    don’t now the latter aired like that

    ^^The Cloverfield teaser on Apple, for those interested.

  159. The Carpetmuncher says:

    The DoubleTree in Santa Monica is usually one of the most reasonable for the area….

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