MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland

Sunday Estimates by Klady – 12/16

Only Harry Potter and Christ have had bigger openings than Will Smith outside of the summer months. Does that make Will bigger than The Beatles?
Potter I, II & IV, The Passion of The Christ

Be Sociable, Share!

61 Responses to “Sunday Estimates by Klady – 12/16”

  1. Eric says:

    I’m not giving away specifics, but let’s say this post contains SPOILERS for I AM LEGEND anyway.
    It’s a pretty good movie and I’m not surprised by the take because they did a hell of a job of marketing it.
    Two problems with the movie itself:
    1. They really screwed up the ending. I know they probably couldn’t have used the book’s ending, but they turned it into a really patronizing piece of Hollywood claptrap.
    2. Imagine how much scarier the movie would have been if they had used practical effects– like actors in makeup– rather than rubbery, mediocre CGI monsters.

  2. LYT says:

    44.8 million for Alvin and the freakin’ Chipmunks?
    I fear the kinds of movies that will be greenlit as a result. Guess we’ll get a Chipmunk sequel, anyway. Here’s hoping they can pay Jason Lee enough money to look enthused next time.

  3. Ju-osh says:

    What, no one’s gonna accuse Alvin & The Chimpmunks of receiving the same push from the Scientologists that MI3 supposedly got? Fine. I will.

  4. Chicago48 says:

    Alvin was made for the little ones, not for adults and honestly the chipmunks look so cute I may go see it. Good for whoever brought them back to the screen.
    Will is the man for the moment!

  5. lazarus says:

    Eric–agreed about the zombie effects. Though I don’t know that the ending is as terrible as you’re making it out to be. To compare again to War of the Worlds, would you rather have seen Smith meeting up with his wife and child in Vermont?
    Also, how in god’s name did Magorium make $30 million? Is that some kind of minor miracle? That’s more than The Mist (which has to be considered a huge, huge bomb), for chrissakes. Can we credit Portman for any of this success?

  6. Joe Leydon says:

    I am a bit surprised that some of you are so surprised that Alvin and the Chipmunks did gangbusters business this weekend. Look, I won

  7. movieman says:

    “Magorium” was truly wretched (it made my 10-worst list), Lazarus, but I don’t anyone over at Fox is doing cartwheels over a $30-million cume. They were counting on it being one of the holiday season’s big “family” hits.
    But those damn “Chipmunks” will more than make up for any “Magorium” losses.
    God help us.

  8. Wrecktum says:

    How did this happen?
    So much for my theory that National Treasure 2 would be the biggest December opening this year.

  9. lazarus says:

    movieman, you may be right about the Fox suits, but had Magorium only made $10 million cum, would any of us here have been surprised?
    With that trailer and title, I’m still impressed it did that much.

  10. Joe Leydon says:

    Wrecktum: You might still be proved correct. Seriously. The first one was a smash, and it remains in heavy rotation on cable. But what I want to know is: Why are they keeping Helen Mirren’s participation such a secret in the ads?

  11. movieman says:

    Lazarus- Nothing surprises me anymore, lol.
    I hate dumping on one of the all-time greats, but the dismal opening for Coppola’s “Youth Without Youth” probably means that Sony Classics is going to dump it.
    As bad (virtually unwatchable actually) as “YWY” is, I feel bad for FFC. I hope he doesn’t wait another 10 years to make another film…hopefully one that’s a LOT better.
    Hey, wait: isn’t he working on a new movie already??

  12. jeffmcm says:

    “I’ll be in your bloody movie but for god’s sake don’t tell anyone”

  13. luxofthedraw says:

    Not an amazing opening but Look should help convince filmmakers that CineVegas is one of the better festivals to premiere their work.

  14. Cadavra says:

    Not sure if I posted this here or elsewhere, so forgive me if this is a rerun.
    “Why are they keeping Helen Mirren’s participation such a secret in the ads?”
    Not just her. Last week I went to a movie and saw six trailers. NOT ONE mentioned any of the actors, even though such big names as Will Smith, Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman, Sam Jackson and Kevin Spacey were clearly visible. When did actors’ names actually become unmentionable? Especially in Mirren’s case, since her participation would clearly arouse at least some interest in folks who ordinarily wouldn’t be caught dead at NT2.

  15. movieman says:

    Lazarus- And “Juno” is going to be a cash cow for Fox (through subdivision F-Searchlight). I don’t think there are a lot of frowns over there these days.
    Hell, “Magorium” will probably kill on DVD, lol.

  16. brack says:

    It’s a shame about The Golden Compass’s b.o. It really is great entertainment, and much deeper than most fantasy films.

  17. THX5334 says:

    I’m going to say it here because this is the top post on the blog…
    I can’t fucking stand the Charlie Wilson’s War Television AD campaign.
    It is running constantly and having a really bad nails on the blackboard effect on me.
    That very last soundbite at the very end where Julia Roberts character goes…
    “Oh CHAAALIE!”
    Over and over on TV again.
    The whole ad campaign reeks of smugness.
    I’m sure the picture is quality but this spot is really making me not want to see it.
    Everytime I hear it, I just want to say…
    Fuck this movie.
    Oh CHAAALIE, Indeed.

  18. Eric says:

    Every time I see the trailer for Charlie Wilson’s War, I’m distracted by the fact that a movie about the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan of the 1980s uses iconic music from the Vietnam War era, “All Along the Watchtower” (1968) and “American Pie” (1971).
    It’s like they’re using the shorthand of the lazy baby boomers to tell the story. It wouldn’t be a war movie without some classic rock, would it?
    Not a good sign.

  19. luxofthedraw says:

    Is it too early to discuss Universal’s mistake of not mentioning Sorkin in the theatrical trailer for CWW? When it disappoints, they’ll realize how much they missed the west wing crowd.

  20. IOIOIOI says:

    Eric; imagine if they would have hired a real-FX house to work on this film, and not the guy who worked on the DESCENT! That would have helped the FX by leaps and bounds in this freakin flick. Nevertheless; the ending is the ending approved by test audiences. We live in a country that has a hard time with a harsh ending. We have to accept this realization at some point.

  21. movieman says:

    I didn’t think the ending of “IAL” was that much of a cop-out.
    Not to give anything away for those you who haven’t seen it, but
    I thought it was a nice compromise between the nihilism of, say,
    “The Mist,” and the sugar-coated finish of Spielberg’s “War of the Worlds.”
    “IAL” should have reasonably sturdy legs: it’s that rare popcorn movie that actually delivers.
    That has to translate into some pretty decent w.o.m. over the holidays and beyond.

  22. waterbucket says:

    Jason Lee and the Chipmunks invaded my favorite show Meerkat Manor this past weekend. Apparently, that strategy worked.

  23. Nicol D says:

    “It’s like they’re using the shorthand of the lazy baby boomers to tell the story. It wouldn’t be a war movie without some classic rock, would it?”
    Exactly; well put.
    It may be Afghanistan. It may be Iraq. It may be Russia.
    But for the crop currently ruling Hollywood, all of these movies are about the aging, tired and lazy baby-boomers re-living Vietnam; when they were young and rebellious as opposed to holding the cultural and corporate reins of power.
    I don’t mean this to be a political comment, just an aesthetic one. After a while it becomes very predictable and tiring. The music, the tone, the attitude. Just boring. CWW looks like a lazy film. I have always found Mike Nichols to a very milquetoast talent and this looks like it fits the bill. Why not score it with Duran Duran, Cyndi Lauper and Madonna. That’s probably what the real Wilson had on with his young women during his escapades…but that doesn’t play with the boomers in the Academy. So we’ll probably hear Buffalo Springfield’s For What It’s Worth for the umpteenth time.
    On the other hand, I am glad that I Am Legend and Alvin did so well. We needed some big mainstream entertainment over the holidays and I am glad Will Smith and Jason Lee were willing to oblige.
    I also can only shake my head at the debacle of The Golden Mediocrity. I am sure foreign will help a bit, but not much. This thing is beginning to take on a real Dune like feel. I said a week ago this doesn’t go over 100 and I am guessing even 65 domestic might be a stretch. I guess that means somewhere in Hollywood, some genius is prepping the sequels as we speak and scoffing at the Chipmunks family money as a fluke.

  24. Aris P says:

    At American Gangster showing this weekend, I saw a trailer that made people laugh out loud, including yours truly. It’s called WANTED and it “stars” Anjelina Jolie (also Morgan Freeman — is this guy just cashing paychecks??). It’s some hyper-kinetic, action turd. Makes Aeon Flux look Oscar-worthy. Whats the deal with this film?? Anyone?
    The audience also laughed at RAMBO. I suppose I get that, though I’ll be paying 12 bucks to see it.
    There was also some We Own The Night themed film — brothers, cops etc. Totally generic.
    Just one bad movie after another. Can’t wait for January and February…

  25. lazarus says:

    Nicol, what makes you think The Golden Compass sequel is a foregone conclusion? To me it’s looking more like Lemony Snickett: popular series of books that fails to translate into franchise-level popularity. It also opened to $30 mil, finished with around $115 million domestic, and they still didn’t make a sequel.
    That said, I thought both were creative, dark fantasies that were involving and entertaining (Snickett also being pretty witty) enough to deserve another installment.
    Master Leydon: Would you have National Treasure advertised as such–“…starring Academy Award-winners Nicholas Cage, Helen Mirren, and Jon Voight, as well as Academy Award-nominees Ed Harris and Harvey Keitel…”
    God that was depressing to write.

  26. Joe Leydon says:

    Nicol: Sorry, but your tirade is a specious one, infused with the regrettable anti-Boomer bias that clouds your judgment to the point of undermining your obvious intelligence, and making you sound almost as ridiculous as Chucky when he rants against name-checking. First off, the music that is heard throughout the film is indeed very much

  27. Monco says:

    I know this is off topic but The Dark Knight trailer is now up at Check it out, see what Heath Ledger has done with the Joker. I don’t want to sound like Ian Sinclair and act like I am pushing this movie but the trailer is pretty good.

  28. ployp says:

    “Nevertheless; the ending is the ending approved by test audiences.”
    How were the other endings (presumably unapproved by test audiences)? I think the ending was just too uplifting considering, well, the rest of the movie.

  29. ployp says:

    A bit off the subject, just caught the Dark Knight trailer. Awesome! Heath Ledger will steal the scene. What I don’t get is this: why didn’t the makers just create a new character when Katie Holmes refused to return as Dawes? Anyone? Is it because our Batman has such a long history with Rachel that they wanted to continue their romance?
    Here’s the youtube link to the trailer

  30. IOIOIOI says:

    ployp; that’s the ending the audience wanted after testing screening. Again, Americans, generally have enough harsh shit in their lives, that makes many of us want to see the good guy win. It’s just a part of our make-up that will not go away anytime soon.

  31. jeffmcm says:

    As opposed to what, those masochistic Zimbabweans who love unhappy endings?

  32. Hallick says:

    “2. Imagine how much scarier the movie would have been if they had used practical effects– like actors in makeup– rather than rubbery, mediocre CGI monsters.”
    Even if not scarier, then at least a lot more effective. The first time you see the infected, it’s creepy because you’re looking at a group of real bodies. But seeing the “alpha male” (even his clothing looked rubbery) was like watching a cartoon character trying to menace a flesh and blood human being. And “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” was a hell of a lot more successful in that sense than “I Am Legend” was. A great “real” actor would have made this movie something special.

  33. Joe Leydon says:

    So, Io: What you’re saying in effect is, Americans are pussies? Geez, where is Bicycle Bob when you really need him?

  34. Geoff says:

    I saw I Am Legend, last night, and was all ready to see the film fall apart in the third act, like many reviews had been saying…..sorry, I don’t think that happened. The movie was excellent from start to finish – Will Smith was very strong, as was the cinematograpy and pacing.
    I’m not saying it was perfect. Yes, the woman character who rescues him, as written, is a little too pat and convenient – she is really more a device to set up the hopeful ending than a real flesh-and-blood character.
    But….his reaction to her is pretty well handled and true to his character as laid out for the rest of the movie. He’s been pining for human contact and a sign of hope, but when he gets it, it’s almost too much for him to handle, but be angry by it.
    The movie is, first and foremost, a character study and the movie stays true to the character to the very end. I don’t see what all the vitriol is about….this isn’t War of the Worlds, AI, or some other Spielberg debacle that has a cop-out ending. It’s a very grim, intense, and effective thriller where the main character tries to commit suicide TWICE in the last half hour.
    Will Smith DIES, for Christ-sakes. His family is still deal (my wife was expecting his wife and daughter to re-appear in that final scene at the farm and Vermont and I hear a lot of audience members were hoping for that). 95% of the world’s population is still wiped out. Hell, the first infected person that was he tired so much to find the cure for and it was working – she has to be sacrificed. It’s not some slap-happy ending, by any means. All they do is inject A LITTLE hope in the end. Given the logic of the story, it’s not so far-fetched that in the whole of the east coast that there would be another immune human being besides Neville or that MAYBE the federal government was at least able to pull off one safe haven for them – seven years after Katrina, they could pull off that much off, I would hope, right?
    The Dark Knight trailer….wow! Crowd went nuts and this was a Chicago crowd, too – nearly every other shot included some image of the characters running around the the Loop, it was just so obvious. It would have been distracting if it wasn’t just so cool – Chicago’s architecture is just inventive and distinctive, it’s amazing that no other filmmakers ever thought to film a superhero movie there, before.
    Heath Ledger is downright creepy and VERY glad to see Maggie Gyllenhall pick up the role that was the weakest part of Begins. I loved the batmobile enough and don’t see the purpose of the motorcyle, but it is really tough to question Nolan’s judgment at this point.

  35. Joe Leydon says:

    Er, Geoff: I haven’t seen I am Legend yet, so I didn’t know what happnes to Will Smith’s character at the end. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that many people reading this blog didn’t know until they read your spoiler.

  36. Geoff says:

    That’s why I posted “SPOILER” at the top.

  37. Joe Leydon says:

    Yes, but it’s rather hard to scroll down past your verbiage without seeing DIES in all-caps.

  38. Geoff says:

    My sincere apologies, then – some one wanted to discuss the ending and I find it’s hard to discuss without details. You do have a point – maybe Dave will start a Spoiler thread.

  39. IOIOIOI says:

    Jeff; you are beyond contempt.

  40. mutinyco says:

    Um, how was the ending of AI a cop-out exactly?…

  41. ployp says:

    RE: I Am Legend’s use of CGI
    I read that they hired dancers to play the Infected but decided that they weren’t creepy enough so decided to go CGI instead. I would love to see how the real dancers played these zombies. Guess I’ll have to wait for the DVD.

  42. jeffmcm says:

    IOIOI: it’s hard to take you seriously if you’re going to use such absurd hyperbole. Your initial statement (Americans have more difficult lives than anyone else in the world, thus enjoy happy endings in their movies) is ridiculous on its face, and so was your response, so you get credit for consistency.

  43. Joe, I did manage to scroll through all of Geoff’s post. And then I read yours. 🙁
    No Country for Old Men in the top five? Niiice.

  44. tjfar67 says:

    “RE: I Am Legend’s use of CGI
    I read that they hired dancers to play the Infected but decided that they weren’t creepy enough so decided to go CGI instead. I would love to see how the real dancers played these zombies. Guess I’ll have to wait for the DVD”
    It actually was kind of scary

  45. doug r says:

    Umm, Joe-you still haven’t seen I Am Legend? Is it playing in your area? Didn’t you see The Omega Man? Need I say more?

  46. Nicol D says:

    “Why are so many spots intended to sell stuff to people your age, and younger, filled with tunes familiar to people my age, and older? Spots, by the way, that often are produced by people younger than either of us. ”
    Hey Joe,
    You are right. The overwhelming amount of marketing and advertising with boomer culture is not targeted at boomers at all and it is made by Gen X-ers/Y-ers…so your question is valid. What gives?
    There is an answer. It is not simple but I’ll try. The answer is not found in politcs but in cultural anthropology.
    In every culture, regardless of where you are, there are roughly 3 groups.
    1: The elders of society. They control the power structures; corporations/business structure; education; literature etc. The establish the traditions, laws, what is taught and how it is taught to the younger generation.
    2. Younger people who accept and reflect the recieved wisdom of the elders and do not question it. They are the traditionalists of the culture. They do not rock the boat. They integrate most easliy into the power structures of society.
    3. The young people who want to progress beyond the received wisdom and move forward. They tend to have a harder time breaking into the mainstream and their integration is painful and disruptive.
    Our current ‘elders’ are the baby boomers. But – and this is the complex part – because they arrogantly defined themselves as rebels to all of history, they created an inversion of language. So group 2, who are the young people that do not question and think they are counter culture are actually the non-questioning group that enact the received wisdom.
    Group 3, who group 2 believes are traditionalists, are actually the true progressives because they have challenged the boomer culture.
    It’s why you get rich white kids thinking they are being rebels wearing Che Guevera t-shirts and taking the myth of John Lennon as a saint for granted when we actually know he abused Cynthia, shot heroin and supported the IRA. They think they are group 3 when they are actually group 2.
    Hence, what you have is an elongated lifespan of Boomer culture. It’s why you have young people in the arts thinking they are being rebellious by mimicking 60’s values when in fact they are the conformists doing what they have been taught by their elders. It’s why they are in control of advertsing and media and film. They integrate easily.
    Put another way and more simply; as Trey Parker said in a recent Rolling Stone interview, If you really want to be a rebel go around and say “George Bush, he’s fuckin’ awesome!”. I am not saying that would be good or bad…but it is truly counter culture. It’s why Barack Obama was having a hard time getting African American (before the Oprah endorsement) votes and the Clinton camp is not. We have been raised to believe the “white progressive” of 60’s will save us all. Obviously, this is not true but a lot of people believe it.
    There are many books on the subject but if you are interested, try finding a book called The Rebel Sell by Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter. They are not right wing or anything like that, just cultural observers and academics.

  47. Eric says:

    Nicol, you’re probably right in general but I think in this case, in answer to Joe’s question, it’s more simple than that.
    We were talking about Charlie Wilson’s War. They’re not selling this stuff to young people. They’re selling stuff to old people that have money. And much of what they’re selling to those old people is a reminder of their youth.
    Why is it that every theme week on those singing / dancing contest shows is about the songs of Rod Stewart or rocking out like The Rolling Stones? Do you think any of the 18-year-olds on those shows really care about the Rolling Stones? Or have the producers of the shows simply realized that their audience believes that culture began and ended in the 1960s?

  48. Joe Leydon says:

    Nicol: So the Boomers “arrogantly defined themselves,” eh? Nobody else — like, “media elders” of the ’60s — had a hand in establishing that defintion, right?
    You know, Nicol, whenever I read one of your anti-Boomer screeds, my first impulse is to laugh. But then the laughter catches in my throat, and I think: Do I sound that facile and foolish when I regurgitate other people’s impressions and accounts of, say, World War II and the Great Depression while addressing people in their 70s and 80s?

  49. Joe Leydon says:

    Kamikaze: Sorry. Seriously.
    Doug R: I never assume that any remake of a ’60s or ’70s era movie will have a similarly downbeat of even equally ambiguous ending. Consider the remakes of The Thomas Crown Affair, Get Carter and even The Out of Towners, and you’ll understand what I mean.

  50. Joe Leydon says:

    Eric: Something else to consider — what my friend and colleague Joanne Harrison has often referred to as the “Pig in the Python Effect” of Baby Boomers. Because of our sheer numbers, we will set the social and cultural agendas in specific areas as we grow older. Like, when did day care become a very big issue in this country? Not until significant numbers of Boomers started having kids. When did the price of prescription medicine become a big issue? Not until significant numbers of Baby Boomers got old enough to need massive quantities of medicine. So I suppose you could make the argument that because so many of us still love the music of our youth…
    Still, though, I don’t understand why so much advertising aimed at people young enough to be my kids (and grandkids) uses music of my generation. I mean, really, when I was in my 20s, I didn’t hear or see too many ads that used Big Band tunes to sell stuff to me. I think it’s dangerous to generalize, but have there been studies that indicate more contemporary music — especially rap, hip-hop, speed metal, etc. — simply isn’t very effective when it come to advertising?
    You know, I don’t watch a lot of commercial TV these days, except for Keith Olbermann and Law & Order reruns and a few sporting events. But over the holidays, just for grins, I’ll take note of the music used in TV spots. Might be enlightening.

  51. christian says:

    “If you really want to be a rebel go around and say “George Bush, he’s fuckin’ awesome!”. ”
    Yes, because 90 percent of the country was saying just that after 9/11. Now we’re awake. Parker should stick to making puppets fuck and vomit.
    And your reduction of Lennon to wife abuser (which he admitted and changed early on); a heroin addict (which he wrote songs about as he kicked the habit) and IRA supporter (not with violence and they had lots of other mainstream defenders)is more revealing of your fundamental hatred of the 60’s folk and their wicked ways.
    Lennon was also spied on and harassed by our government. Then shot and murdered in an American city. So maybe he had a point…

  52. THX5334 says:

    “Parker should stick to making puppets fuck and vomit.”
    As someone who knows Trey, I just want to say that quote was the most awesome observation I’ve ever read on my man. Fucking hilarious & brilliant. It is my new vendetta to have that quote plastered all over the South Park offices…
    And Nicol, no offense and nothing personal, but I have never seen a thrash & owning as the one Christian just gave you…

  53. christian says:

    Thank you THX5334. I’ll be here all week, folks. Just give me credit for the quote if you can start a fire with it…

  54. Joe Leydon says:

    And let’s not forget those other radical lefties, John Wayne and Cary Grant, who also were accused of beating their wives…

  55. christian says:

    Except that Cary Grant took LSD and it changed his life. Made him more peaceful, like Messr. Lennon. Wayne remained a mean angry drinker to the end. And let’s not even mention Republican Bing Crosby…Why, whenever I hear “White Christmas” I shudder…But he did a duet with David Bowie…still..but…

  56. Blackcloud says:

    Hmmm, so in Nicol’s scheme there are either the elders or the young. That, my friends, is a society undergoing profound demographic crisis. Where’d all the people go in the middle? You know, the people who aren’t in diapers or high school; or the retirement home? I don’t think I’ve ever seen such shoddy amateur sociology; and also profoundly a- and anti-historical. For some reason, the words “gross over-simplification” come to mind. Or is it gross over-generalization”? Either way, there’s not much bearing to reality. “In every culture” famous last words that are a sure sign the speaker does not know much about any culture, including perhaps his own.

  57. bulldog68 says:

    Its a Box Office brutality when Alvin @ Co. can do more in one week than what Compass can do in two weeks. Just Brutal.
    Also, I’ve been kneeling at the box office prowess alter of Will Smith for some time now, but damn, BIGGEST DECEMBER OPENING EVER, beating one of my all time favourites, LOTR, I did not see that coming. So he’s conquered action, romance, and now zombies. He’s played action hero type characters in most of his movies, and I read that in his next movie, Hancock, he’s playing an actual Superhero, opening July 08. Could we be looking at the first actor driven/not based on a franchise 100m+ opening, in the history of the Box Office?

  58. Joe, apology accepted. Now appologise again for bringing up that painful Out-of-Towners remake. That gives me the shudders.

  59. Joe Leydon says:

    Sorry, Kamikaze. I remember thinking the Out of Towners remake wasn’t so terrible. But that might be because, the night before I saw it, I watched the original on homevideo. It was ghastly.

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