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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Klady – 1/12

So… after a lot of people wrote off The Bucket List, it looks to be Rob Reiner’s biggest opening ever, challenging A Few Good Men‘s $15.5 million start. For Nicholson, it is one par with his “smaller film” openers, like Something’s Gotta Give ($16m), As Good As It Gets ($12.6m), and About Schmidt (which opened in limited, but did $8.5 million on 852 screens going wider). And with an older crowd, you can expect more than 3x Friday as the weekend number… and long legs, unless they really hate it.
I have to say, I have been surprised by the extreme dislike by some older critics for this film. I don’t have an answer for it, except to say that while I see it as a pure programmer with a heart, and completely see the ugliness of blue-screening the Taj Mahal and all other world venues… I really did enjoy the film much more than I could have imagined I might. ( I wouldn’t have “Lunch With David”ed with Reiner if I had nothing nice to say about the movie.)
First Sunday is right in line with Ice Cube‘s “urban” movie openings.

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30 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Klady – 1/12”

  1. anghus says:

    Damnit. I thought for sure The Veggitales and Uwe Boll would be duking it out for the top spot this weekend with the largest January openings ever.

  2. Me says:

    I haven’t seen the Bucket List, but I’m glad Reiner is having some success after a long cold streak. Stand By Me, Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally and A Few Good Men are among my very favorite movies.

  3. Cadavra says:

    How DOES Boll keep getting financing? Do his pix do THAT well overseas and on DVD?

  4. Jonj says:

    It might be wrong on my part, but movies such as “In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale” find me hoping they’ll bomb. The trailer alone was truly painful.

  5. Jonj says:

    Also, I don’t know if all theater chains are doing this, but I’ve had to watch the 3 Doors Down/Citizen Soldier music video going on 10 times now. Every theater I go to plays it, then goes to the commercials, then the popcorn/Coke ads, then the cell phone warnings, then the trailers and half an hour later the movie finally begins. It’s getting out of hand, especially before a 3-hour movie.

  6. anghus says:

    Oh my god. I’m not the only one.
    The first time i saw the Citizen Soldier video, i cried. I couldn’t stop laughing.\ I walked out of the theater screaming ‘CITIZEN SOLDIER!!!!’
    The second time i saw it, i thought what a horrible piece of propaganda this is.
    The third time i started to wonder if this was some kind of torture device. It’s more effective than waterboarding, that’s for sure.
    My favorite part, at the end of this three minute plus recruitment tool/sonic nightmare, they say “DOWNLOAD THIS SONG FOR FREE at http://www.blah blah blah”, so i can recreate the feeling of being brainwashed in the comfort of my own home.

  7. Spacesheik says:

    IN THE NAME OF THE KING – Did anyone think this wouldnt flop? I mean Ray Liotta and Burt Reynolds and Mathew Lillard (playing “Duke Fallow”) in a Medieval fantasy adventure based on the video game DUNGEOUN SEIGE?!
    That’s like casting Charo, Jimmie Walker and Bibbi Andersson in an AIRPORT sequel…
    By the way, DVD pirated copies of THE BUCKET LIST hit Asia and the Persian Gulf a week ago. Plus movies such as ATONMENT, I AM LEGEND and other stuff. They are being sold for about $3-$4 dollars a flick, others such as COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN have “promotional purposes only” (or something of that nature) listed on the prints.

  8. anghus says:

    ive seen bootlegs for every major award contender out there, all of them with ‘for screening pupropses only’ on them.
    the only one i haven’t seen pop up is There Will Be Blood.

  9. Geoff says:

    I’ve seen that Citizen Soldier video a couple of times in theaters, now, and I really don’t see the harm. Honestly, aren’t all commericials propaganda at this point? They’re selling you something and this video doesn’t hide that at all.
    And besides it’s nothing new – remember those Marine-slaying-a-dragon movie theater ads from a few years back? Those were more ridiculous.
    What’s the National Guard going to do? They are consistently behind their recruiting goals and they have to try something hip. I’m not saying I buy into it, but it’s advertising.
    What really weirds me out are those Navy commercials that are running in movie theaters – almost disguised as toy commercials or old serials, using very retro music, effects, and grainy footage. They are just bizarre – not sure how appealing they really make joining the Navy. Does any one have an explanation for those ads?

  10. Geoff says:

    Before any one launches into a rant about the war in response to my comments about the National Guard video ads, I KNOW why the National Guard is not meeting its recruitment goals, ok? Just saying…..

  11. scarper86 says:

    The pirated copy of NCFOM I watched yesterday was flawless with no screening watermark. It was compressed to about 1/3 the DVD file size but looked as good as DVD on my laptop. I’ve paid to see it 3 times in the theater so I rationalized it that way. I’ll also buy it when it’s released.
    “The Bucket List” is totally a grandma movie. Every AARP member in the audience I saw it with laughed until their teeth popped out. It reminded me of having to sit through the “Home Alone” movies with my grandmother when I was a teenager. She loved those things. Generic, bland, unoffensive, straight-down-the-middle, predictable. Only slightly better than when she dragged me to the Ice Capades.

  12. Aris P says:

    1) What producer in their right mind would cast burt reynolds and ray liotta in a medieval period film? It’s beyond insane. Liotta looks like he’s wearing street clothes. He’s a dick in real life, I’m glad he’s relegated to Boll movies.
    2) I suppose the promise of a Hanks/Roberts film ain’t what it used to be.
    3) Shameless plug-in for series I’m working on: Sarah Connor Chronicles is pretty good. Do check it out.

  13. THX5334 says:

    In the Encyclopedia of the Movie Gods, the following entry will look like so:
    “The Bucket List”
    The movie where Jack finally jumped the shark…

  14. THX5334 says:

    I already have it Tivo’d as I’m looking forward to that show as I’m a Firefly/Serenity fan and dig Summer Glau.
    A little surprised Fox is doing fictional TV again. Much less a an adult Sci-Fi drama.
    How many episodes did you guys get in the can before the strike affected you guys?

  15. Jonj says:

    I’ve got my DVR set for the “Sarah Connor Chronicles.” I have a weak spot for any “Terminator” fix I can get. It has also picked up some good reviews. Since it premieres over two nights, Sunday and Monday, I’m confused on which night will be its regular night. Anyone know? PBS also starts its Jane Austen “Masterpiece Theater” winter marathon on Sunday.

  16. anghus says:

    Random, non specific responses:
    I’m looking forward to the Sarah Conner Chronicles.
    I realize that it’s just a commercial for the National Guard, and my contempt should be geared more towards Three Doors Down for selling out. If one kid was convinced to go to war and die because Three Doors Down sang Citizen Soldier, then they should rot in hell. Fortunately, no one will do that.
    Aris mentioned Charlie Wilson’s War. I finally saw it and thought it was just awful. I can’t for the life of me figure out why people love it. It’s the most direct film i’ve ever seen with some of the most one dimensional characters ever. Other than Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s rant in the beginning, every character felt limp, lifeless, and rife with cliche.

  17. Aris P says:

    THX – I’m actually working on the behind the scenes material and special features for the season 1 DVD. I’m not sure how many eps they got in the can, but it’s a high number I heard.

  18. PastePotPete says:

    “How DOES Boll keep getting financing? Do his pix do THAT well overseas and on DVD?”
    Boll is actually a pretty clever producer, even if his movies are all terrible. He raises his budgets preselling a movie country by country, based on the fact that he can get “name” stars with a known property.
    He gets these actors by waiting until very shortly before production and picking up actors with holes in their schedules, for a fraction of their usual asking price.
    The budget is recouped before production due to the presells, and he reserves the North American rights, so anything the movie makes in the US and Canada after distribution costs is profit.
    It only really works well if you have a hit or you keep the costs down to a bare minimum. He does the latter.

  19. But In the Name of the King cost $60mil, apparently. That’s absurd. I can’t say anything about other countries, but every single one of his movies have gone direct-to-DVD down here and I’ve only ever seen a few copies on the new release shelves, so I can’t imagine them being popular.

  20. PastePotPete says:

    It cost $60mil according To Uwe Boll. That number is obviously bullshit.

  21. Considering Uwe Boll is still making movies with name actors and getting them onto thousands of screens, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fully discount anything about that man. I mean, really, what are the cinema owners thinking?

  22. Aris P says:

    Joe, how did I know you’d be picked to review the Boll film? Your editor must get a kick out of giving you the plum assignments…

  23. Chucky in Jersey says:

    “The Bucket List” is a POS for one reason: Oscar-Whoring in the trailer.
    Anyone with a brain will tell you the Academy Awards are — to borrow from Smedley Butler — a racket.

  24. jeffmcm says:

    You’re a broken record of a song that wasn’t good in the first place.

  25. Huh? So now the film quality is what’s directly correlated to Oscar-whoring and not box office? Because the box-office for The Bucket List is good.

  26. Krazy Eyes says:

    Is it possible for a film to Oscar Whore

  27. L.B. says:

    And he never has to see the movie to make his decision, so think of the time savings!

  28. Joe Leydon says:

    Aris P: LOL. Yeah, you see, what happens sometimes is, the first-stringers are sitting around the swimming pool at Variety World Headquarters in L.A., and someone mentions the title of a movie that is opening the following Friday without being press screened. “I don’t want to see that,” says one. “Well, I don’t want to see it either,” says another. “Well, I sure as hell don’t want to go,” says yet another. And so it goes, until someone says: “Hey, let’s call Joe Leydon in Texas. He’ll review anything!!” Which, of course, is true. I get paid just as much to review the lousy ones (In the Name of the King, The Comebacks, etc.) as the great ones (Knocked Up, Reign Over Me, etc.) so what the hell. And as we all know, I’m only in it for the money.

  29. jeffmcm says:

    Nobody in LA wanted to review Knocked Up?

  30. Joe Leydon says:

    You know, I swear to God, I almost ended my last posting with this: “And my own private stalkler, who must spend hours on line just so he can pounce on anything I write, because I obviously loom like a god in his tragically insignificant life, will make a snippy and/or insipid comment about this in 5..4..3..2…” But, honestly, I didn’t think even he would be that predictable.
    And he will not be able to contain himself from responding to that in 5..4..3..2..

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