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David Poland

By David Poland

Sunday Estimates by Klady

There’s not a lot more to say about the wide release movies.
What catches my eye this weekend is a phenomenon that I expect to continue through the fall/holiday/award season

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51 Responses to “Sunday Estimates by Klady”

  1. Joe Leydon says:

    Hey! Look! 3:10 to Yuma is almost at $50 million! (Sorry, couldn’t help myself.)

  2. Noah says:

    I can’t believe Lake of Fire did so poorly. Although, it’s only playing at the Film Forum and it’s not exactly the biggest theater. But still, I thought it would fare better than Finishing the Game.

  3. Cadavra says:

    The only thing people are less interested in spending their money on than Iraq is abortion…especially when it’s a documentary that apparently doesn’t take sides. The surprise would have been if it DID do business.

  4. Noah says:

    What are the stats for that? When was the last time there was an “abortion” movie? Besides, it’s not the Film Forum is in Alabama, it’s in New York City below 14th street where I would assume many folks would be curious to see a documentary that has been written about every day in the local papers. It’s a controversial film and that alone is usually enough to sell some tickets, especially when it is accompanied by widespread acclaim.

  5. RocketScientist says:

    FYI, my understanding is that ACROSS THE UNIVERSE will be released wide October 12th … against Columbia’s other film, WE OWN THE NIGHT.

  6. Crow T Robot says:

    Good to see Dwayne Johnson’s star rise with this goofy little hit.
    Ever notice that he and Barack Obama kinda have the same voice?

  7. Wrecktum says:

    Hey, you’re right. I wonder if we can get Obama to say “if you know what the Rock is cooking” at any upcoming campaign event.

  8. Wrecktum says:

    Or “smell” if he wants to be accurate.

  9. Joe Leydon says:

    Or will be demonstate the most electrifying move in sports entertainment today on Hillary clinton?

  10. David Poland says:

    Isn’t “Ooooooooooooo BAMA!” the next great thing to scream when doing a killer wrestling move?

  11. martindale says:

    Wow, Mr. Woodcock is still in the Top 10. These are the box office doldrums.

  12. Wrecktum says:

    The Obama Slamma is one of Barack’s signature finishing moves. It’s a modified frog splash from the top rope that he’s used ever since the Election04 main event at the Rosemont Horizon.

  13. Joe Leydon says:

    But, really, what could be a more lethal weapon than The People’s Elbow?

  14. Wrecktum says:

    The People’s Eyebrow?

  15. IOIOIOI says:

    Come on people: Obama utilizes the ILLINOIS DESTROYER. A devastating move that can best be summed up by this… . Hilary Clinton’s leg-drop has nothing on OBAMA’s finisher. Absolutely nothing. IT’S GOING TO BE A SLOBBER-KNOCKER! A SLOBBER-KNOCKER!
    Wrestling and politics aside; what are you going after Heat? The Todd and Beowulf trailer appeals to teenage boys? Uh… NO! They appeal to adults that may not want to see a musical or a MOCAP movie. These are Fall movies after all. Nevertheless; limited-release still sucks balls, it will always suck balls, and it’s moronic in this day and age of vod sites.

  16. LYT says:

    It’s hard to imagine someone psyching themself up to say, “Hey, honey, let’s go see that movie where you get to see an actual aborted fetus get reassembled.”
    Like United 93, this seems to be the sort of movie where those who go see it are primarily forcing themselves because they know that a good aficionado of cinema ought to see it. That, at least, is why I’ll see it (United 93 ended up being my favorite movie of the year, but I could not convince anybody else to watch it, ever). But I’ll be sure to have seen every last “entertaining” option in the multiplex first.

  17. Noah says:

    But Luke, most people who see movies at the Film Forum aren’t necessarily trying to be “entertained.” Lake of Fire was released only there and it didn’t do particularly well in an area of the city that is usually willing to see difficult and controversial films. I don’t know how to really explain the poor showing on this one screen in a theater that always receives plenty of cinephiles who want to see important films.

  18. IOIOIOI says:

    I am sure that a nice blue city like New York, would love a movie that cast the RED STATER/ABORTION HATERS in a fair and even light. Sure… that most seem like a grand time to New York cinephiles. Nevertheless Noah: it’s easy to figure out. No one wants to see the abortion process on-screen. Nor does anyone who feels a certain way about abortion, want to see the other way treated fairly. Of course, that’s my assumption, but I am rolling with it.

  19. Joe Leydon says:

    IO: Seriously, I think abortion is one of those issues that people on the Left and the Right secretly wish would JUST GO AWAY…..

  20. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    DP states “And as I already wrote, Into The Wild is not a box office inevitability at this point.”
    But Dave weren’t you the one awhile back throwing around a $100,000,000 figure for INTO THE WILD… a nearly 3hr 70s throwback/ art flick with no stars? Backpeddle much?

  21. Wrecktum says:

    “I wish the best for Into The Wild, but don’t go too crazy about a 4 screen opening. The film is terrific and could become a $100 million plus phenom. But the coasts have been carpetbombed with good word for weeks now and what else could a film lover looking for something that isn’t a downer go see right now? Getting ‘the kids’ to take this ride is the real challenge and Vantage should be using the MTV relationship for all its worth for a wider launch. This movie is The Real Road Rules, writ huge.
    Posted by: David Poland at September 22, 2007 01:45 PM”
    I don’t think he’s predicting a $100m gross in the above statement.

  22. Lota says:

    Wrecktum dude, Rosemont was renamed Allstate Arena in 1999. Just sayin.
    That aside, Game Plan was kinda silly, but everyone around me (i was forced to go) was loving the Rock’s toothy smile.
    Michael Clayton I liked, but I would look at George every chance I get even in a bad movie (which this was not). I think it’s going to make alot of money. George is too studly for hetero female and gay America to pass up.

  23. Wrecktum says:

    “Wrecktum dude, Rosemont was renamed Allstate Arena in 1999. Just sayin.”
    I’m old school. I call Qualcomm Stadium “The Murph” and AT&T Park “Pac Bell” and Wrigley Field “The Pathetic Confines.”

  24. ployp says:

    If I recall correctly, Eragorn had a better opening than the Seeker. I haven’t heard of the book before (but that may just be because I’m in Thailand).

  25. Saw ASSASSINATION OF JJ BY TCRF and it was totally, totally outstanding. Didn’t feel long to me at all…I loved every minute of it. Definitely one of my faves of the year.

  26. CloudsWithoutWater says:

    I agree, ASSASSINATION doesn’t seem nearly as long as the running time would suggest. Sure, there’s plenty of shots of grass rustling in the wind, but it all works and all builds to the titular moment, which had an undeniable power for me. I was very impressed, more than I expected to be.

  27. IOIOIOI says:


  28. jeffmcm says:

    I would suspect that the graphicness of Lake of Fire is more of a turnoff than equal and balanced coverage of both sides.
    (of course, the next argument is that the graphicness is part of the fairness).

  29. Lota says:

    *Wrigley Field “The Pathetic Confines.”*
    I would agree as it houses a paddock of fair-weather fans watching over-rated baby animal-wearing no-talents, but I do like the park structure itself. It’s pretty. [you aren’t old school, just old.]
    I’m having lunch with an older actor friend somewhere near LA next week who remembers when the Dodgers were in Brooklyn, but I won’t remind him of that. It’s hard for actors to age, male or female.
    and IOIOIOI—my Papa has one word for you….”sucker” or he might even throw you a bone and call you a poor sap.
    Never in the history of sport have fans spent so much per capita on a team in merchandizing and tickets for it to pay off SO LITTLE. At least the Yankees win alot and give SOMETHING back to fans other than TEARS and NOSTALGIA. The schlubs need to win 12 pennants and 4 world series to catch up enough to even Rate.

  30. Lota says:

    Has David commented on the chick flick Jane Austen Book Club? 548% a blip or a chick flick sleeper? The plot is a really nice idea, especially if there’s a Mr Darcy involved, so I think i will have to see that.

  31. Yeah…the Yankees give alot to fans….they take great players with personalist (Damon, Giambi, Mattingly) and make them conform to some BS conservative image shit. Yeah, super. Neat.
    Go Indians.

  32. lazarus says:

    Since we’re talking about wrestling and the Rosemont Horizon, I must add that I had the privilege(?) of seeing Randy “Macho Man” Savage fight Hulk Hogan there. Twice. I was not pleased as Hogan won both times. And if there’s any steadfast rule in wrestling, a championship belt never changes hands unless there are TV cameras present, cage match or not. Something I failed to realize at the time.
    Would I salvage what little credibility I have left by mentioning I saw Iron Maiden back in ’88 at the Horizon as well?
    Didn’t think so.

  33. Joe Leydon says:

    Lazarus: Don’t be ashamed. As I have posted before: I’ll bet I have attended more Wrestlemania matches than anyone else on this blog.

  34. TPatrick says:

    I’m not sure I would brag about that, Leyden.

  35. Blackcloud says:

    Re: Beowulf trailer.
    “I. AM. BEOWULF!!1!1” =
    “THIS. IS. SPARTA!11!!”
    “300”–even more evil than you thought.

  36. crazycris says:

    Lota, if there is a “Mr Darcy” please let us know! ;o) there didn’t seem to be anyone who could fit that description in the book…
    Am disappointed in the “Seeker” results… had hoped a good outing would ensure further movies from a great children’s book! sigh… Anyone know what the problem with it is? I don’t get it until after Halloween…

  37. IOIOIOI says:

    Lota; I dont give a fuck what you or your father think of the Cubs or us fans. I do mean that in the best way, but the Cubs went to the playoffs. Sure; they were swept, but we are about to have Cuban and A-Rod. So… maybe… they will work things out. Nevertheless, you deal, and you move on, that’s what the Cubs give more than anything else: learning how to deal.

  38. IOIOIOI says:

    Lota; I dont give a fuck what you or your father think of the Cubs or us fans. I do mean that in the best way, but the Cubs went to the playoffs. Sure; they were swept, but we are about to have Cuban and A-Rod. So… maybe… they will work things out. Nevertheless, you deal, and you move on, that’s what the Cubs give more than anything else: learning how to deal.

  39. Hopscotch says:

    Saw Into the Wild this weekend at the new Landmark theater in West LA.
    Amazing film. Went in skeptical, went out rejuvinated with love of cinema. Not a bad performance in the movie.

  40. Cadavra says:

    Lota: this dude, for one, really liked JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB.

  41. hendhogan says:

    i vaguely remember advance posters of “the seeker” with the original title of “the dark is rising.” ditto trailers. does anyone else remember this? and if so, why change the title?

  42. LexG says:

    “In the Valley of Elah” has just flat-out TANKED. This weekend, I had finally worked my way down my to-see list to “Elah,” and was surprised to find it had been yanked from almost all of its more prestigious L.A. venues– excepting the Landmark, which is nowhere near me.
    It’s gone from the Arclight, and gone from most of the East Valley ‘burbs, less’n’ you count the Laemmle in Pasadena or the shoeboxes at the Burbank mall.

  43. jeffmcm says:

    Dang, that means I can’t put off seeing it anymore.

  44. Noah says:

    I finally got around to seeing it myself and let me tell you: the people who enjoy this film have no interest in subtlety. I agree with the politics of the film, but it is so overwrought and preachy (especially the last shot) that I found myself angry with the film. Especially since it seems to be saying that everyone who fights in this war comes back a homicidal killing machine. The “mystery” is boring and the subtext is borerline offensive. I’m not a Haggis-hater…or at least I wasn’t until now.

  45. LexG says:

    It’s weird; all of those tendencies are at least somewhat evident in his scripts for Clint, but Clint is so subtle and such a master of tone and visuals that I can overlook even some of the most Haggisy moments.
    To be honest, I didn’t even mind the Haggis-penned remake of “Last Kiss.”
    Haggis’ own visual style isn’t bad, and he works with great actors. Maybe he just shouldn’t direct his own stuff? Again, I haven’t seen his latest, but most of your above review sounds like a pretty fair description of “Crash”; Maybe it’s just his TV background, that he doesn’t recognize how coincidental, contrived and obvious some of his “big” moments are?

  46. Noah says:

    I agree with what you say, Lex, although I wasn’t a big fan of Million Dollar Baby either because I felt it was too black and white. I mean the female “villain” in that film is nothing but a villain, she has no motivation other than to hurt Hillary Swank. That seemed lazy to me.
    But in this film, it goes beyond the typical complaints against Haggis (and I actually think his script for The Last Kiss was actually poignant in moments, especially the Casey Affleck part but as usual the most poignant moments are given short shrift in favor of giving clarity to the parts that should be left alone) as In the Valley of Elah takes talented actors and puts them in contrived situations, which forces them to act as stereotypes. Charlize Theron is a female cop who is a single mom and guess what? The boys in the department think that she only got the job because she fucked the boss. I wonder if she’ll prove herself to them…
    Susan Sarandon cries believably, but she always seems like she’s ACTING. It’s not, “oh my, my son was killed, what should I do?” It’s, “oh NOOOOOOOOO, my son was KIIIIIIIIILLEEEEED.” Like I said, completely lacking in restraint and subtlety.

  47. Mongoose says:

    I saw Into the Wild at the DGA last night in the big theater (which was packed and I heard they turned people away.) Sean Penn did a Q&A after with Alejandro Gonzales Innarritu – and it was a full house standing ovation for Sean upon his entrance on stage. Amazing Q&A – the directors loved it. I’m thinking that Sean will surely be nominated after witnessing first hand the directors response.

  48. Rob says:

    Oooh! Oooh! Me too, Lota! I also really liked The Jane Austen Book Club. The characters are high-functioning, non-retarded people who actually read, unlike most of the prefeminist nitwits in chick flicks.
    Saw Michael Clayton today, too, and goddamn, that has to be the screenplay of the year.

  49. I agree ELAH is way heavy handed, but I think it’s a message people who just accept things in the world need to see. I hated CRASH and generally can’t stand Haggis (although “Last Kiss” was good) but with this war, we aren’t *seeing* the damage it’s doing.
    No caskets on the news, no reports on prosthetics, no reports on how the company that makes purple hearts ran out of the metal for them. Nothing. ELAH may be as subtle as a freight train but sometimes you need that to get a message across. Plus, the message in the movie needs to be crystal clear….no room for alot of interpretation I think.

  50. jeffmcm says:

    Obviously, given that gross, it’s a message people simply aren’t interested in seeing.

  51. Nicol D says:

    After a busy stretch I was finally able to do a double bill yesterday of Eastern Promises and the Kingdom.
    Eastern Promises: Excellent, with mood and ambiance to spare. The violence is brief and graphic but non-exploitive and I genuinely could have watched another half hour of it.
    It seemed like a change for Watts to be in a film that had some grit to it and I liked seeing her in that world. The script is concise and smart and Cronenberg uses stark, tableau close-ups in a way that very few directors can.
    Better than History and far more engrossing.
    The Kingdom: Very well done. Would have liked to have had a bit more emotional involvment but it is gripping and held my attention. Berg is churning out work that has a consistent quality and Michael Mann’s influence on the production was felt on a tonal level.
    It was good to see Cooper in a rare action type roll and made me remember why I like him again. The film did not glorify America but also did not shy away from the horror and violence of the terrorists. Had a good, realistic tone.
    The climax was riveting. Like The Rundown, another excellent action film, I am sorry this is not doing better.
    All in all, a good film day.

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