MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland

Klady's Friday Estimates – Aug 4

Clearly, this will put the film well ahead of the $52.5m for opening weekend for the last Bourne film.
But the question of this summer remains… does anyone with a big opening get to have legs anymore?
The stat of the summer, which I didn’t get to publish this week, is that amongst the big openers, 90% of the domestic gross is now happening in 25 days or less. There are minor variations, but with The Simpsons as the sixth film to gross over $100 million in the first week of release this summer, with the other five all at or over $150 million for the first week (most ever in a previous summer… two), frontloading continues to get worse and worse, though the studios are now holding the DVD window more precious than a couple of years ago.
Anyway… all the Friday numbers will be on the MCN front page in an hour or two. Have fun.

Be Sociable, Share!

95 Responses to “Klady's Friday Estimates – Aug 4”

  1. EthanG says:

    Great start for Bourne…nightmarish box office for other films this week.
    Hot Rod got its worst case scenario…Bratz failed to connect thankfully.
    Absolutely disastrous drop-off for The Simpsons. Bigger than expected drops for Hairspray, HP and Churck and Larry.
    Only good news was really for Becomming Jane and El Cantante which will probably make enough per theatre to earn small expansions…

  2. seanwithaw says:

    it can be argued that knocked up and 1408 had legs this summer. right?
    but that’s about it.

  3. movielocke says:

    funny, I thought the stat of the summer was that July 07 was the biggest month ever in box office reciepts and was the first time since the 1950s that more than 190 million tickets were sold in a single month.

  4. EthanG says:

    This weekend will still finish around 25% above the same weekend last year. So overall things are good.

  5. waterbucket says:

    The only movies that I want to see on that list are Ultimatum and Becoming Jane. Say what you will but I think Anne Hathaway is the next Julia Roberts.

  6. LYT says:

    I’ve noticed there’s a new marketing push for Transformers — trailers are coming back on TV. Gotta keep up the hype until the new cartoon (and toys) debuts in the fall.

  7. RocketScientist says:

    As long as Arctic Tale continues to fail and ultimately spins into a miserable spiral of absolute failure, I’ll be a happy camper.

  8. Geoff says:

    That drop for The Simpsons seems VERY high, but I think we are getting to the point where movie tickets are becoming one-time purchase, right after release. I really do not think that second weekend holds are the best indicator or word-of-mouth, any more.
    I saw The Simpsons in a packed house, last night, that ate it up. This is not like Hulk – I would highly doubt that after last weekend, all of these folks were leaving the theater angry and disappointed telling others not to bother seeing it. I think Fox will have already gotten the total domestic box office they were expecting within ten days.
    It’s hard to argue against July 2007 being the biggest month in history – people ARE seeing movies in huge numbers. But when a big one is opening up, every weekend, the marketplace can expand only so much.

  9. Geoff says:

    As for Transformers, Don and friends really want that film to become BIGGEST MOVIE OF THE SUMMER and they have an outside shot at that – I’m expecting a re-expansion in time for Labor Day to get it up over $330 million.

  10. martin says:

    Geoff, I completely agree. This idea that 2nd week dropoffs are a result of bad word of mouth is outdated. With a film like the Simpsons, you have a known commodity, and tons of available theaters playing it, so the primary audience got their jollies right off the bat. There will still be the stragglers showing up several weeks into its run, but for the most part, the primary audience for this film has come and gone. And that IMO is no better or worse than a film taking 6 weeks to make the same amt because of smaller theater count/less awareness. Money is money.

  11. IOIOIOI says:

    Legs? Do you really need to have LEGS in a world-wide market place. It seems a bit odd to expect movies to keep carrying on, when the money is being made right out of the gate on an epic scale during the Summer or with big films. If you want legs, then wait for the FALL and WINTER. Where those films still have the ability to build and build because they lack one thing… BOX-OFFICE EXPECTATIONS. Nice of Bourne to build from the last flick. Too bad everyone decided to wait to see HOT ROD on DVD. Bloody hell.

  12. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    DP was astute with his SIMPSONS prediction of a massive tumble. I found it strange that Boxoffice Guru and others predicted a similar to opening to BOURNE as its predecessor. That’s just bad prognosticatin’ right there. The word of mouth on this series gets better and better. And the core audience expands. You’d have to be an maroon to think that Pt 3 was going to do only 2-3m more. HOT ROD is not the stunt movie to see this year. There’s a better one out there doing the rounds at the moment, one that is funnier and oddly enough… sweeter.

  13. Joe Leydon says:

    “Too bad everyone decided to wait to see HOT ROD on DVD.” Or, they looked at the trailer, and decided to wait until it’s shown on cable. And when it is, they’ll decide to go out and mow their lawns.

  14. Noah says:

    Did you see the movie, Joe? Or are you just pointing out the poor marketing campaign?

  15. LYT says:

    I love Hot Rod, Noah — but how would you have marketed it differently?

  16. Me says:

    I thought they marketed Hot Rod perfectly. Before the preview I had no desire to see it, and if you had told me what it was about, I would have said “No thanks.” But now it’s sitting in my NetFlix queue. Abd if enough of my friends talk it up over the next week, like they did for Wedding Crashers and 40 Year Old Virgin, maybe I’ll even go to a theater for it. That, for me, and for a film with no stars and made by nobody, which could be funny or could be shit, is about the best marketing can do.

  17. Noah says:

    I don’t know what I would have done, Luke, I didn’t have a problem with the marketing. I was just trying to figure out if Joe didn’t like the movie or just didn’t like the marketing because he said nobody would watch the movie. Although, I think they should have tried to make some viral videos, short movies, the kind of stuff that got Samberg famous in the first place. Also, perhaps more of a presence on MTV would’ve beeen nice. But, like I said, I thought the marketing was good.

  18. jeffmcm says:

    JBD, don’t be coy, what stunt movie are you talking about?

  19. jesse says:

    Yeah, I thought the Hot Rod marketing was OK at least in terms of selling what they had. A lot of comedy trailers either blow the few good jokes in the movie because it’s all they’ve got, or showcase the broadest material because they think it’s what will sell (even if the movie isn’t as broad as the ads make it look).
    Having seen Hot Rod (self-promotion: my review is at the link), I’d say they provided a good mix of the broad stuff and the good jokes without being all about either (that is, there were some very funny moments not in the trailers, but there were some trailer gags that are very much in the spirit of the movie, along with the slapstick stuff).
    But maybe I’m wrong, because even though the movie was screened for critics, my regular-audience Friday-night viewing of it was all the lead time I needed to be the first reviewer to file something on it (and many of my fellow reviewers for that site have much more regular press access than I do).
    I was surprised, though, that I sort of enjoyed Hot Rod more than The Ten, which I also saw this weekend — The Ten is very clever and amusing, but there’s something missing that makes it much less hilarious than Wet Hot American Summer.

  20. Joe Leydon says:

    Haven’t seen Hot Rod, I’m commenting only only the marketing. I didn’t want to see it, based on the marketing, and nothing I’ve seen or read suggests that I’m alone in that regard.

  21. jeffmcm says:

    Considering that a couple hundred million people chose not to see the movie, I’d say you’re right.

  22. Noah says:

    I’ve seen a few positive reviews for Hot Rod, but if you didn’t spark to the idea Joe, then that’s your prerogative. I try not to let marketing affect my desire to see a movie, since I think previews hardly ever sell a movie well. If I let marketing rule my decisions about which movies I’d see, I don’t know that I would have seen Knocked Up but I guess I’m in the minority there. I guess what I’m saying is that bad advertising doesn’t always equal bad movie, so maybe you should check out Hot Rod before disregarding it. But, I suppose there are always great movies waiting to be seen or revisited that you can check out before Hot Rod.

  23. Joe Leydon says:

    Noah: True enough. Today, I saw The Seventh Seal and Wild Strawberries with my students, and The Life of Reilly with the long-suffering Mrs. L. In between, I watched an Astros game. One must set priorities.

  24. Noah says:

    Whew, the Astros game took forever too. And it’s always upsetting to lose to the Marlins!

  25. Joe Leydon says:

    Naoh: Like a lance to my heart.

  26. Joe Leydon says:

    Noah: Like a lance to my heart.

  27. martin says:

    Noah, what did u think of Evan Almighty?

  28. Noah says:

    Martin, is that a serious question? I thought it was really, really bad. Not the worst movie I’ve ever seen. The marketing was terrible, the reviews were terrible and the movie was terrible. Sometimes, the signs are correct. In fact, most of the time they are. But once in a while they’re wrong.

  29. jeffmcm says:

    It was better than Bruce Almighty, however, I thought.

  30. Noah says:

    Maybe by a nose. I think Carrell is just a more appealing presence to me than Carrey, who starred in the second worst movie I saw this year (The Number 23).

  31. Moneypenny says:

    Its a shame Hot Rod isn’t doing better. I found it quite funny.
    You’d figure, with its cast, “The Ten” would be playing wider… no? Hope it doesn’t suffer the same fate as “Wet Hot American Summer”… which I consider one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen. Its such a shame no one ever knows what I’m talking about when I mention that movie.

  32. LYT says:

    “If I let marketing rule my decisions about which movies I’d see, I don’t know that I would have seen Knocked Up”
    I feel that way about SUPERBAD — I hate hate HATE the trailers I’ve seen. but word of mouth on it is so universally good I intend to give it a chance.
    Haven’t read a single positive review of The Ten though.

  33. IOIOIOI says:

    Joe; you codger. Nice to know folks like you exist in the world. It makes me long for FALL and all the reviews you and Miami Heat will write about ridiculously overwrought films. Touching: this shall be. So so touching. Nevertheless; Hot Rod is a funny movie. So what if people stayed home from movies. Jeffy poo: you dunderhead. Hundreds of millions (technically) of people stay home from the movies every week. This means in a really big way, that all advertising fails. Whateverthecase; people will watch it on DVD (or codgers like Leydon will be confounded enough by it’s airing on cable, that they will change the channel to some bullshit movie on IFC about middle-aged people who wnat to LIVE again or something along those lines), and the flick has something intangible about it. This feeling is hard to explain really. Yet, on some level, this flick felt more REAL and GENUINE than Knocked Up. I guess the lack of contrivance for a film about a guy, who wants to save his dad’s life in order to kick his ass. Might be that intangible thing. If you are not down: no big deal. Except… NO COOL BEANS FOR YOU! COOL COOL COOL COOL BEAN BEAN BEANS. Oh yeah: BOURNE IS FREAKIN SOLID. I would state give it another go, but born came into this world as he is going out. So it’s fitting in this rather SEQUEL heavy world.

  34. Joe Leydon says:

    IOIOIOI: Hey, there’s nothing wrong with broad and/or dumb-ass comedies, even ones aimed at brats like yourself. I laughed until I was thoroughly ashamed of myself at both jackass movies. But Hot Rod… well, it looked like it would be crap, so I passed. (It didn’t help that the press screening here was scheduled on the same night as one for Bourne.) You liked it? Fine. And you want to rationalize liking it by saying it “has something intangible about it”? Good for you. Just like people who want to rationalize why they like movies in which women are bled to death for fun and profit, you are entitled to your opinion. And I know how happy you are to be associated with that crowd.

  35. Eric says:

    Joe, why such vitriol for somebody who liked a comedy you haven’t even seen?

  36. Joe Leydon says:

    Eric, go back and look at who started tossing around insults first. The only way to deal with people like that is to answer back in kind. Well, either that, or ignore them.

  37. Eric says:

    Well, that’s fair. Maybe there was an insult in there, I have trouble reading IOIOIOI’s posts.
    Anywho, I just didn’t like the idea of putting dumb comedy on the same level as torture porn. There might be overlap in their audiences, but they’re not the same thing. We should be more forgiving of a bad sense of humor than we are of vile prurience.

  38. Joe Leydon says:

    Eric: Good point, well taken. I was trying to yank IOIOIOI’s chain by noting a similarity in his thought process to that of his least favorite poster. But my remark was… well, now that you mention it, pretty goddamn stupid.

  39. anghus says:

    70 million for Bourne.
    Hot Rod never gets up enough speed to make a dime.
    Underdog pulls in Nancy Drew like numbers.
    The thing that interests me is that Ratatoullie is still 12 million away from 200 and crawling it’s way there.
    is the CG animated market just flooded now? is 8 CG animated films released a year too many?
    i’m thinking yes.

  40. Joe Leydon says:

    Once again: How many families can afford to take their kids to every new CG animated film that comes along?

  41. martin says:

    Ang, I dont think it’s that the CG market is oversaturated, it’s just the movies themselves. Rata has a title that many moviegoers couldn’t even pronounce, and it looked a bit less accessible than previous Pixar movies. I think $200 for this film is right on track, if slightly overperforming.

  42. jeffmcm says:

    Actually, IOIOI and I have had a pleasant relationship in the past. He likes to pull peoples’ chains is all…like certain other posters I can think of who toss out phrases like ‘I’m ignoring you, la la la’ until they get bored and revert to childish needling.
    Tt’s a shame that Ratatouille, the best animated film of the summer, will probably turn out to be a lower grosser than Shrek or Simpsons – but it’s not really a surprise.

  43. EthanG says:

    I think the CG slate was overcrowded, but is becomming less so. Only CG movies between Rat and Horton Hears a Who are I believe Bee Movie and supposedly Delgo (though thats been slated every year for the past decade it seems like).
    I think the studios have wisened a bit

  44. jesse says:

    Simpsons Movie probably won’t outgross Ratatouille — Simpsons looks to top out around $180 million, eh? (Still pretty stellar, and I liked the movie very much.) Rat will probably scamper past $200 mil but not much further. It’ll be close, but Simpsons has probably burned off enough to keep Rat in a narrow lead.
    Still, Ratatouille being the lowest-grossing Pixar movie since A Bug’s Life (an underrated movie, says me) is too bad, if not surprising as it’s not as immediately kid-friendly as Cars or The Incredibles. In an ideal world, Rat would’ve gotten the Cars gross and vice versa.

  45. THX5334 says:

    Am I the only one that felt Patton Oswalt’s voice was fairly abrasive in Rat?
    I love the guy’s comedy and feel that Brad Bird can do no wrong. But for some reason, Patton’s voice when talking about food was just nails on the blackboard for me and my girlfriend. First time I ever felt casting might’ve been the issue with an animated flick.
    On the other hand, Peter O’Toole’s voice was like listening to a beautifully played piece of music.

  46. Rob says:

    What the hell happened to Rescue Dawn? It held all its screens and still lost 2/3 of its business.

  47. Chicago48 says:

    I hate to be a killjoy, but I don’t like the Bourne series…I liked the 1st one (didn’t quite like Matt Damon – somehow he doesn’t scream “Cia operative”)…and then I watched the 2nd one Supremacy, and honestly, I was totally lost….so convoluted…and damon doesn’t “act”, he “runs”…Joan Allen has more lines than he does and he’s the STAR….and couldn’t keep up with them jumping from country to country and kept wondering — how in the hell is he getting through customs? And how did he get to India and how did he get a Jeep in India…and it was just too many what is what and why is why for me….so I won’t be seeing this last installment….
    Again Damon doesn’t scream “CIA operative” to me…and why doesn’t Joan Allen get more work?

  48. Chicago48 says:

    Joe Leydon, you ask the same question I do – every single week there’s a new cartoon opening and it opens big – how are families affording $6 a ticket + pop corn for their families?
    It looks like Talk to Me is struggling for theatre screens.

  49. Chicago48 says:

    Waterbucket: i saw Becoming Jane and walked out after 1 hour…a big snooze…boring as hell…and as for Hathaway – SHE CAN’T ACT! SHE’S NOT ATTRACTIVE OR PRETTY ON SCREEN…HOW IS SHE STILL GETTING WORK!???

  50. Joe Leydon says:

    Chicago: The “too many tickets to buy for too many movies” factor is something I think about quite often, especially when I’m making a b.o. prediction for a review of some animated feature. Remember last year, when some folks were predicting big b.o. for The Ant Bully? And Monster House? I can’t help thinking both these movies would have fared much better if they hadn’t opened so close to other toons.
    Of course, there’s something else to consider: I’m not sure there are too many posters on this blog who have small children (or any children, period), and may be missing key factors in their calculations. I can tell you that Cars, a movie often derided here, was enjoyed very much by my niece and nephew, who were 9 and 10 respectively when I took them to see it. I’m sure they told their buddies, who told their buddies, etc. On the other hand, they haven’t expressed much desire to see the Rat movie. Go figure. This could be an aberration, or it could be that Ratatouille plays better with, or has more appeal for, grown-ups (a serious problem when you’re trying to market a movie to kids). I’m not saying one movie was better or worse than the other. But I am questioning whether the things that might make a grown-up prefer Rat to Cars don’t mean much to children.
    One last thing, a follow-up to the above: I know you should never say never, and there are exceptions to every rule, but I cannot think of a single case where a comedy marketed with lame, off-putting TV spots and trailers turned out to be a comedy I enjoyed. Sorry, but that’s been my experience.

  51. Chicago48 says:

    Well Joe I’m getting political here…we keep hearing about the credit crunch and high foreclosures and brokers going out of business….but families MUST have money don’t you think? If not, how come Ipods and Iphones are the lead selling electronics, and Hywd keeps churning out CGI and animation and families keep going.
    I always thought that families preferred being at home in front of a video movie but obviously not…they’re making the animation divisions of studios very rich.

  52. Chicago48 says:

    BTW, El Cantante made $6000 per screen, not bad…I betcha they’re getting the Latino aud.

  53. Rothchild says:

    Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is the only exception to the rule that I can think of. And that’s a masterpiece. Then again, I wasn’t a huge fan of the ads for Sideways. It’s easy to market unique comedies badly. If it’s a clear cut broad mainstream comedy, you just have to throw a bunch of the simple and obvious gags into a trailer, sell the concept, and imply that you’ll see even funnier stuff if you pay full price.

  54. anghus says:

    i dont think Sideways was marketed poorly at all.
    as for Damon as a believable CIA operative, i thought he was great in Good Shepard, and the whole point of the Bourne series was that they picked stand alone agents who didn’t look the type and could blend into a situation.
    who, to you, looks like a CIA type?

  55. IOIOIOI says:

    Joe; golf-clap. Really. That’s all I can give you. A golf-clap. Nice of Bourne to make that damn 300 money… HOOAH!

  56. Chicago48 says:

    I’m starting the question the sanity of the American movie going public.

  57. Hallick says:

    “…Joan Allen has more lines than he does and he’s the STAR….”
    Is that a movie commandment I’ve been going through life without learning? That the star has to have the most LINES in his films? Goddamn public school system, effing tax dollar tarpit…

  58. Chicago48 says:

    Hallick – I’m sorry, I must have walked into wonderland or something….Excuse me, but if your name is above the credits and everybody else’s is below…shouldn’t YOU be the focus of the movie…and not the supporting cast. It was so obvious watching Supremacy….he didn’t say a word, he just had a look of stoneness (is that a word?) unexpressive….it was annoying as hell…sorry, but at least Bond Smiles, gets angry, charms, and has DIALOG!

  59. waterbucket says:

    Chicago48, sucks to hear that you didn’t like Becoming Jane. I will probably like it though. Anne is unbelievably beautiful and that British guy is hot.

  60. Chicago48 says:

    Waterbucket, maybe she’s beautiful IN PERSON, but on screen, she’s got that “Barbara Streisand” annoying look going. Blame the camera angles or the lighting, but I couldn’t stand watching her on camera…and this Jane in Becoming Jane is a snooze…it was the most boring movie I have seen in a longggg time, to the point that I walked out, which I hardly ever do.
    McAvoy was the main reason to the see the movie, he’s always good in everything I’ve seen.
    But I also remember “prada” and she couldn’t hold a candle to Streep. Badly cast.
    Report back please, because if you can stay awake through the whole movie you deserve a rose.

  61. Wrecktum says:

    Anne Hathaway is gorgeous both in person and on film.
    Had a chance to see Harry Potter 5 today. Not at all bad. I’m finally warming up to these films now that they seem to have an idea where the plot is going. It’s a lot of fun seeing the same great actors pop up film after film.

  62. jeffmcm says:

    I like Anne Hathaway too, even though I have a feeling Becoming Jane is a movie that I’ll probably never see.
    Re: Bourne, Joan Allen was great in it, but everything she did was as a reaction to some action undertaken by Bourne. Even if he didn’t have dialogue, he certainly had a character arc and a range of emotions, and I thought it was vastly superior to Bourne Identity, which I felt was kind of glib and hollow.

  63. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    jeffmcm – here you go. A comparison between the two stunt films.

  64. jeffmcm says:

    Yeah, that sounds like it’d be up my alley, does it have US distribution?

  65. Chicago48 says:

    Huhm, I’m a woman and Anne Hathaway’s beauty does not translate on film…she’s not ugly, but she’s not pretty either. But you don’t need to be pretty to be a film actress; right?
    And her acting in the movie was one-note, stiff…but you can’t blame her because the character of Jane is one-note, stiff and not very interesting at all.

  66. Hallick says:

    “Excuse me, but if your name is above the credits and everybody else’s is below…shouldn’t YOU be the focus of the movie…and not the supporting cast.”
    I can only answer with the question: and who was Joan Allen’s character (and most everyone else in the cast) doing all of that talking about? I don’t consider spreading the dialogue wealth around such a bad thing either.

  67. Joe Leydon says:

    Iago has more lines than Othello. And Michael Corleone has more lines than Vito Corleone.
    But never mind the dialogue: Who has the most screen time in a Bourne film?

  68. Noah says:

    Know what I’m curious about? Damon said he wouldn’t do another Bourne flick, but with a 70 million dollar opening you best believe they’ll make another one. So, who’s the next Jason Bourne?

  69. LYT says:

    Schwarzenegger usually had less dialogue than anyone in the movies he starred in.
    If the directors were smart.

  70. ployp says:

    “it can be argued that knocked up and 1408 had legs this summer. right?”
    I’m sad to hear that Becoming Jane is so bad that someone walked out of the cinema. I will still see it, being a fan of Jane Austen.
    My cousins are put off that Ratatouille is about a rat. They didn’t find the idea worth the price of the ticket. Their loss. I’m sure there’re others out there that feel the same.
    “Iago has more lines than Othello.” To me, Iago is the most important character in the play. Othello just happened to be the main subject. Plus, Iago is way more complex and interesting.

  71. jeffmcm says:

    I thought Michael Corleone was the protagonist of The Godfather, title notwithstanding.

  72. Wrecktum says:

    Why is it offputting that Ratatouille is about a rat, but Dreamwork’s next flick is about a bee and no one seems to have the same concern? Do people hate rats more than bees?
    I know I don’t.

  73. Joe Leydon says:

    Ployp: Yes, but when “Othello” was filmed in 1965, Laurence Olivier was nominated as Best Actor for playing Othello — and Frank Finlay was a Best Supporting Actor nominee for playing Iago. So that proves Othello is the lead, right? LOL.

  74. Cain says:

    The way the “lead” is determined has always been based on star power. Why was E. Hawke a supporting actor while D. Washington was considered the lead? Why was T. Cruise the lead while J. Foxx was nominated as a supporting player? I recently saw THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND and J. McAvoy has more screen time and lines than F. Whitaker. Perhaps most famously, why was A. Paquin a supporting actor in THE PIANO? Of course if all of these people got nominations as “leads” then they would be in competition with themselves. Also, it seems the PIANO is more about H. Hunter, and Jason Bourne, weirdly enough, is about, ahem, Jason Bourne. Acting is more than reciting lines. I’m certain Bourne had more more screen time than Allen.
    Anyway, I thought Ultimatum was the best of the three, and one of the best action movies to come out in awhile (I have not seen the latest DIEHARD, which I’m sure is mediocre). As far as genre goes, it’s head and shoulders above the way, way over-rated CASINO ROYALE and clearly better than MI:3.
    Seventy-million dollar opening weekend means they will make more. I hope Damon waits ten years or so before picking up on the story again. If he has a string of failures you can bet he’ll go back to this franchise to jump-start his career. Besides, it’s the perfect sort of thing to put on hold.

  75. Chicago48 says:

    Cain: Don’t prejudge my friend, esp. since you haven’t seen Die Hard. It’s a hoot! and you notice it has legs that’s because it’s so over-the-top unbelievably action non-stop…but the story makes sense! and the lines are so funny. You go in knowing exactly what you’re getting into.
    The 2nd installment of Bourne didn’t make sense whatsoever and therefore I won’t see the 3rd installment about a man who is amnesiac and runs all over the world.
    Question to the board: When does his stash run out?
    How long is this character going to be amnesiac?What is it now 6 years? Can you be amnesiac for 6 years!!!???

  76. “I’m a woman and Anne Hathaway’s beauty does not translate on film…she’s not ugly, but she’s not pretty either.”
    I can’t quite agree with you on that, as I think Anne comes across as incredibly pretty but in the same way that actresses like Kate Winslet also do – they come across as believably pretty. They’re not smokin’ unattainably hot. Most well put together men could feasibly imagine meeting a woman like Anne in a bar and having an actual shot at being with her. She’s beautiful and – like the woman she so commonly gets compared to, Julia Roberts – she seems likable and relatable. And then take someone such as Lindsay Lohan and, well, she’s blown (no pun) any chance at becoming a relatable and likable leading lady because we know she’s nothing like that in real life.
    Becoming Jane proved a popular if modest earner earlier in the year in places like Australia and the UK so I’m sure it’ll make a nice little amount of cash, but in the grand scheme of things will prove to be an inconsequential piece.
    Wrecktum, I have a phobia of bees and wasps so I know I’d rather see rats cooking in a kitchen than bees being happy and landing on flowers. I still don’t understand why people are turned off by the “rat in the kitchen” thing. It’s animated! It’s not real!

  77. ployp says:

    Joe, you’re talking about a guy who painted himself black to play Othello :). Anyway, in the 1995 version, with Lawrence Fishburne and Kenneth Branaugh, Iago is definitely the lead.
    I agree with Cain about the lead being based on star power (Exhibit A: Nicole Kidman vs. Julianne Moore in The Hours) But I don’t recall Anna Paquin having a bigger role than Holly Hunter in The Piano.
    Die Hard 4.0 is fun. As Chicago said “you go in knowing exactly what you’re getting into.”

  78. Boonwell says:

    But Gilbert Gottfried’s Iago was much funnier and got no respect from the Academy.

  79. kit fisk says:

    I always thought that the title – “The Godfather” – referred to Michael Corleone’s character…

  80. Of course Iago was the lead in Branaugh’s version….Branaugh is always the lead in a Branaugh movie.
    In other posting news…
    I think Anne Hathaway is incredibly beautiful and l love she’s not afraid to take her clothes off like, all the time. She’s also (I think) a fine actress who kind of blends into her non-starring roles. She was superior to Michelle Williams in BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN.
    I’ve heard 2-3 other people say they couldn’t get past the fact that rats were the main characters in RATATOUILLE. Didn’t bug me, but I guess some people have an aversion to rats, even animated ones.

  81. Joe Leydon says:

    Kit: But, once again, the Academy speaks — Brando for Best Actor, Pacino for Best Supporting Actor.

  82. anghus says:

    Anne Hathaway not beautiful on screen?
    seriously. some people should check their papers.
    an unlike other screen beauties like ScarJo, she can actually act.
    i was hoping for a lot from ScarJo after Lost in Translation, but holy crap. Did you see the trailer for Nanny Diaries? My God does that look awful.

  83. Nicol D says:

    “The way the “lead” is determined has always been based on star power.”
    That’s how the marketing and Oscar pushes are determined. That’s not how the ‘lead’ or ‘protagonist’ is determined in cinema or literature.
    Ethan Hawke is indeed the lead in Training Day as was Jamie Fox against Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt against Tom Cruise. Just as Ray Liotta was the lead in Goodfellas even though it was soundly promoted as a DeNiro starrer.
    The reason I comment is because it is a testament to how much marketing and economics has gradually clouded our evaluation of cinema in the past 15 years or so.
    Instead of judging if a film is a hit by the standards of how many people saw or liked it we now judge a film as a ‘hit’ based on whether or not it was profitable for the company that produced it…a very different criteria that leads to many inconsistencies.
    Hence Evan Almighty at 97 domestic or Miami Vice at 63 domestic or You Me and Dupree at 75 are considered out and out flops whereas Disturbia at 80 million or Inside Man at 88 million allows then to be certified as blockbusters.
    Brokeback Mountain is a blockbuster at 83 million whereas Monster-In-Law at 82 is a flop where clearly similar amounts of people saw and perhaps even enjoyed or did not enjoy both films.
    In all of these cases ‘hit’ was defined by profitability for the company, not whether the film was saw by a given number of people. I would argue a 100 million gross for Steve Carrel’s second starring vehicle is quite admirable. It was only hindered by how much it cost to make which is not his fault nor the fault of the audience.
    This is not a reflection on any of the films mentioned themselves, just a questioning of how we have shifted our definition of hit from a populist ‘how many people saw it’ model to a corporate ‘did the company make a profit’ model.
    Same with Box Office, as long as it increasees over the previous year it is considered good when clearly fewer people are seeing films than say 20 years ago. Bourne is a ‘hit’ but has nowhere near achieved any cultural influence such as Bond in his Connery hey day. Which is why we still watch Bond but Bourne will be forgotten in 20 years or even 10.

  84. jeffmcm says:

    Nicol, I agree with most of what you’re saying, that most of this hit or flop discussion comes from within the industry, who are only interested in profit margins and not in audience impact or quality, but I think you oversimplify a teensy bit in trying to make your point. It isn’t really fair to compare the box-office performance of an indie movie that might have adult subject matter and limited mass-audience appeal with a full-fledged studio production that has big stars, special effects, and a big marketing budget.
    Also back to the ‘lead/supporting’ issue, even though Brando won the Oscar for Best Actor, Pacino is obviously the protagonist of the movie. Last year there was some discussion about Meryl Streep vs. Anne Hathaway as the lead in Prada, and I argued that they were at least co-leads, because Streep has a lot of screentime and does the most interesting things on camera – which I would say is the same reason why Pacino is _the_ lead in The Godfather. Not only is he the center of the action, but his performance is a lot more interesting and riveting than Brando’s.

  85. Rob says:

    Nicol, I don’t think anyone considers You, Me & Dupree or Monster-in-Law flops. I think they consider them terrible movies that made a decent amount of money.
    Also, I’m willing to fess up and say that I enjoyed Becoming Jane and I think Anne Hathaway is gorgeous and talented. So there.

  86. The Carpetmuncher says:

    Anne Hathaway is a little horsey for my tastes, like she’s Winnie Drivers slightly prettier younger sister. She’s ok I guess, but hardly someone I’d pay to go see…
    Joan Allen has a similar issue. Nice actress, but people just don’t go seek out her movies and so she isn’t getting leading parts. She’s also so dang cold she makes Sigourney Weaver look like Katie Couric.
    As for the Bourne films, they are great but not very memorable, we’ll see how they hold up over time….

  87. Joe Leydon says:

    Receiving the label “flop” is a bit like contracting herpes — once you get it, you never get rid of it. Truth to tell, if you go back and actually check out the figures, you’ll see a lot of so-called flops eventually turned a profit. Indeed, I’ve been told by people who should know that even Cleopatra and Waterworld actually do not deserve their reps as money-losers. Go figure.

  88. Chicago48 says:

    Carpetmuncher, I agree with that. Hathaway IMO will never be a major “opening” weekend film star. She just doesn’t have “it.” Joan Allen will never be more than a supporting actress; great character actress just can’t carry a film.
    I don’t agree about the Bourne movies:
    “they are great but not very memorable,” They aren’t even great. When you get into a discussion with moviephiles about action movies the Die Hard Series and Bond movies lead the discussion. I’ve never heard anyone say, “remember that scene in Bourne…” or who can repeat a memorable line from Bourne? But I can remember great lines from Die Hard and Bond movies.

  89. The Carpetmuncher says:

    Despite my luke-warm reaction to her, I actually do think Anne Hathaway has a large audience of young gals who love her from the Princess movies, and think those gals helped make Prada the big hit it was, even though I give Streep most of the credit.
    As for Bourne, I actually like the Bourne movies a lot more than I like most of the Bonds, certainly any Bond made in the past 15 years, and don’t think it’s even close. But yeah, I don’t think they really compare to Die Hard, because that movie gets the visceral thrills and that something extra…let’s call it personality for lack of a better word. And Bourne really doesn’t have that IMO. Though I do love the Bourne films…
    The thing about the Bourne films that might be most interesting is that the main creative components of those films are the producer (Frank Marshall) and the writer (Tony Gilroy) and of course Ludlum…which is unusual in the movie world where the director is king.
    I guess you could say the same thing about Bond but I just don’t think that franchise has the quality control of Bourne…I was not a big fan of CASINO ROYALE, which is funny because my biggest complaint about the film (besides it being a bore) was that it traded in it’s Bond smirk for Bourne seriousness and so wasn’t really a Bond film at all, but a Bourne imitation…

  90. Jerry Colvin says:

    He didn’t have amnesia for six years, it was three. And the newspaper article he was reading while on the tunnel train indicated that the events of the second movie took place in January of the same year as the third.
    Now, what I was put off about was Joan Allen’s newly-botoxed forehead. Ugh! Funny to see them cut away altogether any time she started to move her forehead muscles.

  91. Since when was Monster-in-Law considered a flop? It was from the time when people were sick of J.Lo and Jane Fonda hadn’t made a movie in over a decade. I’d say $85mil is pretty darn good!
    Also, Julia Roberts probably wasn’t “lead material” until Pretty Woman. That’s all Hathaway needs – a hooker with a heard of gold role. Or one where she dies. Preferably a hooker with a heart of gold who dies (but from something nice, not an STD. She can’t have an STD)

  92. Chicago48 says:

    Kamikaze — too funny! When you think about JLO, she’s had more hits than misses in terms of boxo – Selena, Monsterinlaw, Maid in Manhattan, the Cell, the Wedding Planner, anaconda and the list goes on…at least she was experimental! Does anyone remember her in Blood and Wine…come to think of it, I’ve seen more Jlo movies than any other actress out there except Roberts.

  93. brack says:

    Comparing the Bourne films to the Die Hard films is like comparing apples to oranges.

  94. Chicago, I have always been a staunch Lopez defender, but I was merely stating that at the time of Monster-in-Law it was obvious that we were at the tailend of Lopez fatigue.
    I have always defended Lopez actually. Not in stuff like The Wedding Planner and Main in Manhattan, but I always thought there was more to her. I believe I’ve had this discussion before on The Hot Blog. Perhaps it was around the time of Monster-in-Law‘s release and everyone was all “she hasn’t had a hit in ages!” which was clearly incorrect, but at the time even I could see that she wasn’t at her peak anymore.

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