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David Poland

By David Poland

Tech Challenged Box Office

So… Klady has Sex at 56.1m… a bit of a comedown after the massive Friday… but still well beyond the hopes and dreams of the fired New Line team. Why won’t anyone else report that GeniusJeff Robinov passed on the project? I don’t know.
The real question of whether this film is a cash cow or a moderate success will be determined by next weekend’s numbers and international. As for being “the ultimate chick flick,” there is a very good chance that this film will never earn or net as much as Prada or various Nancy Meyers or Nora Ephron films. Time will tell.
After the second weekend – and that is reality now – Indy remains about $35m ahead of Iron Man, though Indy lost about $6m of that lead second weekend vs second weekend. With a $60m spread between the films, it still seems sure that Indy will pass Iron Man, but they look to be pretty close in the end. The 54% drop would be great after most huge openings, but the 5-day nature of Indy’s launch suggests that the drop is just barely passable.

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98 Responses to “Tech Challenged Box Office”

  1. mutinyco says:

    According to your favorite journalist, Indy bounced 60-65% Friday-Saturday.

  2. romeoisbleeding says:

    I think it is very interesting that Indy and Iron Man could end up so close at the end of the summer. No one saw that coming. Iron Man has yet to open in Japan and I think it could be huge there. That could help it inch even closer to Indy’s total.

  3. mutinyco says:

    So Sex was completely Friday front-loaded, and Indy beat it both Sat. and Sun.

  4. movieman says:

    Damn! Sorry to see “Indy 4” get that Saturday/Sunday boost.
    I was really hoping that (deservedly) tepid w.o.m. would have put the kibbosh on its chances of ever passing “Iron Man.” Now I’m not so sure. Pretty remarkable that a middlng film almost nobody loved could outgross a terrific movie that almost everybody (except: talk about your strange bedfellows! Dave and Armond White) agrees totally rocked.
    And it looks like the swift drop-off for “S&TC” after Friday’s rock ’em/sock ’em opening is a pretty good indicator that the movie won’t have “Prada”-ish legs. Again, too bad.
    I’m really impressed at the marketing job Universal did on “The Strangers” to earn a $20-million-plus opening weekend: especially considering how long the movie sat on their shelf.
    Lost in all of the “S&TC” excitement (or disdain, depending upon your p.o.v./gender bias) is the thudding failure of “Prince Caspian.” At this point, it’ll be lucky to match HALF of “Narnia”‘s cume domestically. (I’m assuming that it’s doing marginally better in Europe, though, correct?)
    “Speed Racer” finally chug-a-lugged past $40-million this weekend: hurrah! Talk about a movie that got royally screwed by a less-than-optimum release date.
    …and how sweet is it that “S&TC” nearly matched the entire domestic cume of “The Golden Compass” in three–count ’em–days!

  5. martin says:

    S&TC will hit 200 mill, Indy 4 300 mill. No one is going to be crying in their cornflakes over those numbers. If Iron Man had only done 200 mill domestic, Indy 4 would look like a gigantic hit right now. That they will finish up with roughly the same box office says to me that (based on expectations) Indy 4 was a winner, and Iron Man a surprise smash. Speed Racer will eventually find its audience on DVD, I don’t see the negative word of mouth lasting much longer than its domestic run.

  6. movieman says:

    You really think “S&TC” is gonna reach $200-million, Martin?
    That sounds like a bit of a stretch considering the discouraging Saturday drop-off (and I’m a fan, not a hater).
    I’d say $135-million is (remotely) do-able; anything beyond that would come as a pleasant surprise. Of course, I’d love to be proven wrong.
    For the record: despite its 144-minute run time, “Sex” felt shorter to me than either “Knocked Up” or “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.”
    P.S.= Why is everbody hating on “Vegas”?
    It’s (marginally) better than “Baby Mama;” infiitely superior to the godawful “Made of Honor;” and (nearly) as much harmless, glossy fun as “27 Dresses” (another “surprise” Fox rom-com hit from earlier this year).

  7. IOIOIOI says:

    Here’s a pour of the wine to the Back to the Future set that got burned down today. Huzzah to a great set. Also… SATC will be a solid earner. I doubt the folks at NL or Warners ever expected anything more from it. While INDY will have a hell of a year until July 18th. When everyone starts to ask; “WHY SO SERIOUS?” Do not under sell that cute robot either.

  8. EthanG says:

    The 25% drop for What Happens in Vegas boggles the mind. Film is going to pass The Heigl’s 27 Dresses to become the #2 romcom of the year. It’s surprising that Kutcher and Diaz have been having problems getting work…despite the fact that WHIV sucks, they are obviously name draws, a hard thing to come by these days. Heck, they’re going to easily top (counting international) the Valentine’s Day Kate Hudson-McConaughey flick.

  9. The Pope says:

    Agree with you on Batman. It is one of only two movies that I am looking forward to for the rest of the summer. Going in, I think everything about it says it will really hit the marks.
    My other one is Wall-E. Does anyone know whether it is true or not that there is no dialogue … only human voices?
    Re: Caspian. Haven’t seen it. Don’t want to. Didn’t like the first one. Could the comparatively weak showing be due, at least in part, to the release date? I say this partly because LOTR and Harry Potter: the Narnia set FEELS like a winter picture. But that is only one voice in the wilderness of $153.2 for the first against $115.7 for the second.

  10. mutinyco says:

    The only movie that will challenge Indy and Iron Man is Wall*E. It’s a family movie and it’ll be opening just after school lets out.
    Batman has a roof of $250M.

  11. mutinyco says:

    BTW/ it should be noted that if Indy does break $300M domestically, it will be Spielberg’s first passing of that barrier in 15 years…

  12. mutinyco says:

    Furthermore, Indy IV is about a week away from passing Raiders at the box office to become the highest grossing installment of the series…

  13. Dr Wally says:

    “BTW/ it should be noted that if Indy does break $300M domestically, it will be Spielberg’s first passing of that barrier in 15 years…”
    Hardly surprising considering the more downbeat movies he’s made since the first Jurassic Park. Also, if you adjust the domestic on The Lost World and Saving Private Ryan for inflation then they would be in the $300 million ballpark today. Pure conjection, but i think WOTW would have passed $300 million too were it not for Cruise’s very public antics. What did it finish with – about $240 million? Also, Prince Caspian will ultimately be ok. It will do around $140 million doemstic and about half a billion worldwide. The train has already left the station with regards to the third movie being made, though i suspect that Mouse execs are scrutinising the script to see where thay can make some trims….

  14. Bartholomew Richards says:

    I honestly don’t see WALL*E doing that well. I want it to do well but…
    No dialogue = bored kids
    Besides, isn’t one of the reasons that we love Pixar because they actually put work into their screenplays?

  15. EthanG says:

    I couldn’t believe anybody really thought after Friday SATC would be the top romcom of all time, considering how frontloaded it was bound to be. Hitch, at $178 million, is almost uncatchable.

  16. Bartholomew Richards says:

    I hope you’re not suggesting Hitch is the biggest Romcom of all time…

  17. LYT says:

    Bartholomew, I have to disagree…
    “No dialogue = bored kids”
    Actually, no ACTION = bored kids. Nobody watches Power Rangers for the dialogue. And plenty of classic cartoons, especially Disney shorts starring Pluto, have no dialogue either. WALL.E appears to have plenty of action and slapstick.
    “Besides, isn’t one of the reasons that we love Pixar because they actually put work into their screenplays?”
    There’s more to a screenplay than dialogue.
    Now, why the hell does my computer’s spell-check always have a problem with the word “dialogue”?

  18. marychan says:

    There was an rumors that Jeff Robinov didn’t want to make movies with women as the lead characters again…
    For responding this rumor, Jeff Robinov said that Warner Bros made aggressive bids to land “Sex and the City”, but still lost the deal to New Line.
    (Few months later, Jeff Robinov admitted that he did said that he didn’t want to make movies with women as the lead characters again, but he also said that he was just kidding…. I believe he was just kidding; rumor is that Warner Bros is already developing the sequels of “Sex anf the City” and “Kit Kittredge: An American Girl”…….)

  19. Rothchild says:

    Wall-E is going to be the biggest movie of the year. Place your bets.

  20. marychan says:

    By the way, form what I saw in theaters, women are very ecstatic with the poster of “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2″….
    It is irony that after Jeff Robinov’s [kidding], women movies may become cash cows for Warner Bros.

  21. movieman says:

    All hail the mighty “Wall-E”!
    If the adult-skewing “Ratatouille” could reach $200-million with minimal kid appeal, “Wall-E” should have no trouble besting it.
    $300-million–“by the director of ‘Finding Nemo,'” Pixar’s biggest hit to date–isn’t that unrealistic.
    And anyone who thinks that “Indy 4” actually deserves to reach $300-million probably thought “The Phantom Menace” merited a “400-mill.-plus take (in 1999 dollars, no less).

  22. movieman says:

    …I’m ecstatic over the poster (and trailer) of “Traveling Pants 2.”
    Hell, I’m more excited about “Pants 2” than I am about “The Dark Knight” or even (sorry, Guillermo) “Hellboy 2.”
    But not as pumped as I am about “Mamma Mia!”
    I just wish that the “MM” trailer actually let people unfamiliar with the stage production know that it was an honest-to-gosh
    While we’re (I’m) on the topic of jukebox musicals, how long before “Jersey Boys” hits the silver screen? “A.I.”‘s David Archuleta–in a few years anyway–would make one helluva Frankie Valli.

  23. movieman says:

    did anyone else happen to catch EW’s Sydney Pollack obit in which “The Way We Were” was referred to as “part screwball comedy” (?!) Sort of makes you wonder whether the writer ever see the movie.
    Is “TWWW” the best post-“Casablanca,” pre-“Titanic” star-crossed Hollywood love story? You bet! But a “screwball comedy” (even “part”-ially)? Not on your life.

  24. The Pope says:

    Not that Pixar are given to knock-offs, but the first time I saw an early trailer for Wall-E, it struck me as a sort of ET… in reverse.
    With the later trailers, the feeling has stayed with me… but in a good way. I agree with Rotchild. I think this could be their biggest hit EVER. Having no dialogue could actually play as its biggest asset… kids will love it if only because Pixar seem to know how to give them what they love… and adults, well, I reckon we will go in droves once the word gets out just how darned inventive it is. I saw the trailer for it again this morning and the audience were buzzing after it.

  25. EthanG says:

    You’re correct…What Women Want at $4m higher is actually the top romcom of all time…strangely.

  26. movieman says:

    …”top” doesn’t always (ever?) mean “best,” does it?

  27. movieman says:

    While I agree with your comments re: “Wall-E”‘s box-office potential, I’m not sure whether Pixar has always given kiddies “what they love.”
    I haven’t yet met anyone under 40 who really, truly dug “Ratatouille.” The whole “chef-as-auteur” thing only worked for grown-ups who had an intimate relationship with William Sonoma.
    Kids tolerated “Ratatouille” because their parents dragged them along, and…well, kids kinda “like” just about anything before hitting puberty (at which point they don’t like anything at all: I’m a parent and know whereof I speak).
    Personally speaking, “Ratatouille” didn’t quite do it for me either, and I’m a major foodie. It was the whole rats-in-a-kitchen thing that sorta queered the deal.
    “Monsters, Inc.,” on the other hand, was the one Pixar ‘toon that seemed designed strictly for kiddies–the younger the better. It bored me senseless.

  28. anghus says:

    ok, whoever said Crystal Skull was going to pass Raiders as the biggest earner of the series, you are only right by the lamest of technicalities. Technically it’s more money, but if you adjust for inflation, Raiders of the Lost Ark is the 16th biggest movie of all time at 606 million dollars domestically, 242 million at the time.
    Here’s what i don’t get. Why don’t we adjust for inflation in these discussions? It seems weird to me that simple economic theory is used in almost every aspect of industry analysis except for the film industry?

  29. jeffmcm says:

    Well, I’m under 40, and I thought Ratatouille was one of my top ten from last year.
    Anghus, because then Michael Bay couldn’t trumpet how he’s more successful than Cecil B. DeMille.

  30. Noah says:

    Anghus, I couldn’t agree more; it’s something that I’ve always wondered whenever anybody talks about historic grosses. Gone With the Wind, I think, would be the most successful movie of all-time adjusted for inflation considering something like seventy five percent of the population saw it.

  31. mutinyco says:

    Actually, Anghus, I’m right not by technicality. I’m right by cold numerical gross. Yes, you can adjust for inflation, but in the end money is money.
    Now, if you really want to argue these things, the stat to argue is admittances. In that case, yes, undoubtedly Raiders, once all is said and done, will have sold more tickets.

  32. movieman says:

    J. Hoberman in the Voice said a few years back that the “business of filmmaking” (i.e., $) has usurped the “art of filmmaking.” I think that probably explains everyone’s pathological obsession with tabulating box-office grosses.
    The only people I know who really, truly loved “Ratatouille” were movie critics. I think me and Owen Gleiberman (who I usually consider a pedant-snob) were the only two who didn’t wax ecstatic over it. And it’s not as though I hated it or anything: I gave it a 3-star review.
    “Finding Nemo” made my 2003 top-10 list: doesn’t that count for something in the “Ultimate Pixar Loyalty Test”?
    And I did truly love “Toy Story 2” and “The Incredibles”–and very much enjoyed “Toy 1,” “A Bug’s Life” and even the unfairly dissed “Cars.”
    “Ratatouille”? Not so much. “Monsters, Inc.”? Snooze.

  33. jeffmcm says:

    For what it’s worth, the IMDB ratings (obviously not representative of the entire movie-going population) rank the Pixar movies in this order:
    1. Ratatouille
    2. Finding Nemo
    3. The Incredibles
    4. Toy Story
    5. Toy Story 2
    6. Monsters Inc.
    7. Car
    8. A Bug’s Life

  34. Bartholomew Richards says:

    To LYT:
    Yes, there is more to a screenplay than dialogue, I shouldn’t have stated it that way, perhaps I should have said “The reason we like Pixar is the witty dialogue”
    Regardless, can anyone name a recent movie with little to no dialogue that performed well at the box office? With regards to your Pluto reference, I really don’t think kids watch too many cartoons like that anymore. I know I used to get bored when old cartoons came on TV.
    I’m hoping that Wall*E will be huge, I really am, but I have a feeling that once kids start talking to eachother, word will get around that there’s no dialogue, and it won’t do that well.
    However, I must say that the trailers are pretty brilliant. It should have a hefty opening weekend regardless of WOM.
    And to Ethan:
    What Women Want is not the biggest romcom of all time. You seem to be forgetting a big fat greek movie that came out a few years ago.

  35. Rothchild says:

    I don’t mean to be an asshole, but you’re so wrong about this it’s almost embarrassing. The only thing kids are going to be doing after seeing the movie is asking when they can go again and begging their parents to buy them a Wall-E toy.
    I’m 25 and Ratatouille was my second favorite movie last year. Everyone I know my age has it hovering around that same spot. It wasn’t their biggest hit with kids, but it really struck a chord with most adults, and I don’t mean 40+. I have no idea who William Sonoma is, but I know a possible masterpiece when I see it. The Iron Giant/Incredibles/Ratatouille streak is one of the best runs for any filmmaker in recent memory.

  36. Bart Smith says:

    “Here’s what i don’t get. Why don’t we adjust for inflation in these discussions? It seems weird to me that simple economic theory is used in almost every aspect of industry analysis except for the film industry?”

    The problem that you run into is that, even if you adjust for ticket price inflation, the comparison still doesn’t work, because market behavior has changed so much over the years. Technically speaking, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK sold enough tickets to be equivalent to $600 million today. But does anyone really think that it would actually make the much money if were released in 2008?

  37. udterp says:

    “Regardless, can anyone name a recent movie with little to no dialogue that performed well at the box office? With regards to your Pluto reference, I really don’t think kids watch too many cartoons like that anymore. I know I used to get bored when old cartoons came on TV.”
    75 percent of Cast Away was pretty much no dialogue. Massive, massive hit. This one is more kid friendly from the best movie marketing company in the world.

  38. udterp says:

    “Monsters, Inc.”? Snooze.”
    I know every beat of that movie and know every turn the movie is going to make after watching it at least a dozen times. No matter how much it’s on, I still well up at the end of that movie and still laugh at every joke.
    Sully smiles and I lose it.
    That movie is pure magic.

  39. mutinyco says:

    Sex may have won domestically, but Indy trounced it worldwide: $115M vs. $95M…

  40. counthaku says:

    Re: Prince Caspian
    It seems that in the countries where PC has opened so far, the openings have been bigger than the first Narnia. Kinda makes you wonder what went wrong here.
    I don’t really buy the “in-between Iron Man and Indy 4” theory, since you can look at last summer where the threequels all made 300 million+.

  41. IOIOIOI says:

    Indy still holds the purse. WOO!

  42. movieman says:

    I guess I hadn’t taken into consideration Brad Bird’s major geek cred among fanboy types who grooved on “Iron Giant” during their ‘tween years.
    Color me corrected.
    It makes perfect sense why that Comic-Con demo would dig “Ratatouille”–
    even if they’ve never watched the Food Network, stepped foot into a William Sonoma or regularly check out Frank Bruni’s dining blog at It’s all about the Bird worship.
    I still think “Rat” is as overrated as “Cars” was underrated; and “Monsters, Inc.” comes as close to “sucking” as any Pixar ‘toon to

  43. jeffmcm says:

    Well, I personally am not a huge Iron Giant fan, but I’m sure you can find some other way to rationalize it.

  44. Rothchild says:

    Ratatouille is not about food, movieman. It’s about being an artist, and it may end up being the definitive movie on the subject. It wouldn’t have mattered if Remy wanted to be a singer, writer, director, painter etc. Did you have to be a wine nut to love Sideways? It’s the same deal.

  45. doug r says:

    We’re watching “Your friend the Rat” right now.

  46. Bennett says:

    I never doubt Pixar….They haven’t even started there full ad/pr push for Wall E yet. I am still alittle amazed with Rat performance…A French Rat that just wants to cook makes 200 million…Now that is some good marketing…..I was unimpressed when I first saw it, but I have seen it two more times on DVD and liked it more and more every time…But two years later my newphews are still into CARS…which I feel is their worst film(still better than many DW/Disney films). But kids love the CARS toys….
    A cute robot….add a little space…and a good trailer…..How can it miss? Plus, I bet that Pixar will sell many more products(Toys, Video Games) than the Rat movie…
    Also, by the time it comes out, there wil be a market for it…Kung Fu Panda will be in there third week….I don’t think that (Hulk, Get Smart, or Love Guru) will get the same market)…….Hancock will take some of it’s audience…but then what….Hellboy and Dark Knight will be too dark for the Pixar crowd…I would be surprised if this is not a big hit for Pixar….

  47. Tofu says:


    Stop, your making me well up. Wall-E could be the next E.T. for all we know.
    Counting down the days until The Dark Knight. $250 million isn’t the ceiling for this one, it is the minimum.

  48. mutinyco says:

    If $250M is the minimum, then TDK is going to have to grow exponentially outside the boundaries of the series so far:
    Batman: $251
    Batman Returns: $162
    Batman Forever: $184
    Batman & Robin: $107
    Batman Begins: $205

  49. IOIOIOI says:

    People hating on the RAT makes very little sense to me. Seriously… RATATOUILLE has more heart and emotional resonance than freakin ATONEMENT! THAT’S A LOT OF HEART AND EMOTIONAL RESONANCE!

  50. Telemachos says:

    I’ve seen an un-finished cut of WALL-E and I think it’s gonna do gangbuster business. People are gonna love it. The lack of dialogue is not a hindrance (there’s dialogue, just not so much from the main characters).

  51. IOIOIOI says:

    Mutiny: The Dark Knight could easily have the biggest three day weekend ever. Batman Begins is a flick that has become loved by more and more people thanks to cable (The same is most likely happening with Supes. If only someone at Warners would realize that you could easily make a great Supes flick out of using MONGOL as the villian). Heath’s passing will only lead to those other SECTORS of people coming out to see a flick that they might not otherwise see because it’s his last film. While every kid, teenager, and geek alike will be there opening weekend to see this flick.
    So really… you could be looking at a film… that has a slight possibility of doing 150 to 175 over it’s first weekend. While the next week could rival that of Dead Man’s Chest.
    Once again: do not forget about the BOT or the BAT.

  52. IOIOIOI says:

    That’s not including Midnight shows, but it could go slightly to 200. Nope. Not kidding. I am just trying to leave a wide berth in terms of where this thing could go.

  53. udterp says:

    For what it’s worth, I thought Monsters Inc. was the new E.T., only with a reunion at the end after the goodbyes.
    It just takes a heart of stone not to just love that movie.
    Wall-E just has huge written all over it. The Dreamworks movies are usually big, but PIXAR just brings the noise. The one-two-combo of Shrek and Monsters Inc. in 2001 was just incredible. I hope Kung-Fu Panda has “it” in it to make it another good combo with a PIXAR flick.

  54. mutinyco says:

    IO, for what it’s worth, with regard to big openings, Batman in ’89 had the biggest opening of all time with $40M. Everybody was convinced after that it would be the highest grossing movie ever. It stalled far short.
    I expect this one to be similarly front-loaded. But like the rest, they’ve always maintained a ceiling. More than $250M is believable, but $300M isn’t likely.

  55. udterp says:

    I’m thinking a $75-80 million opening weekend for The Dark Knight. July’s a tricky month, especially when you have Hancock opening a week or two prior. Begins opened to what? $52 million?
    While it was a re-invention of the series, it still was working off the fact that Batman was an iconic character. Everyone knew it was a serious take on the character. The hard-core fans appeared to love it, but it wasn’t the cultural phenomenon that Batman (1989) was when it was released.
    Part of that film’s success was that while it had a lot of adult moments that went over kids’ heads, there was something still accessible for 13 and under.
    Begins had a vague sense of, this is for adults. Kids can come if they want. Because they are made that way, it’s a riskier proposition. I don’t sense the same enthusiasm amongst kids for this that there was before the ultimately pretty adult Batman Returns. Adults will flock to what looks like a great flick.

  56. IOIOIOI says:

    Mutiny: the ceiling for The Dark Knight may stem from that run time. If it’s still freakin on the verge of being a 3h flick. The run time may make 300m a difficult bridge to cross. However, I remain in the camp that believes the Dark Knight has the potential to be DC’s SPIDER-MAN in terms of grosses.

  57. Josh Massey says:

    “S&TC will hit 200 mill,…”
    Sex and the City won’t hit $100 million. It’s going to be down 60-70% next weekend.

  58. udterp says:

    Completely agree. The movie will need serious water cooler buzz come Monday for it to start pushing through the rest of the week and to get repeat business because moms and grandmoms will have Panda to watch come next weekend. Zohan will have zero impact on City because their markets shouldn’t intersect, save for the beauty shop angle played up in trailers.
    It’s funny how the internet analysts jumped to conclusions just based on Friday’s take for City, thinking it would just keep doubling itself and end at $75 million. It wound up way ahead of original expectations, but this flick is a niche. I think the finale had 13 million viewers. If every one of them showed up, you’d get around $105 million. If they don’t, then you’re really getting the hardcore audience of six-eight million viewers, plus a few dates. When the flick costs nearly $70 million to make and then you have marketing, it’s a risky proposition to go ahead with the buzzed-sequel talked about this weekend.

  59. Bart Smith says:

    “The Dark Knight could easily have the biggest three day weekend ever. Batman Begins is a flick that has become loved by more and more people thanks to cable (The same is most likely happening with Supes.”
    Wow, it’s like you were trying to see how many ridiculously wrong statements you could cram into one paragraph.

  60. Nicol D says:

    Just had a break from new parenting duties today and saw Narnia. Much better than I expected. What a shame this is underperforming. It has more gravitas than most summer blockbusters, is better than the first Narnia by a mile and every Harry Potter film. Plays like Batman Returns, Temple of Doom or Empire Strikes Back as the dark sequel that underperforms.
    I suspect the reason it is underperforming is several-fold.
    1. Much darker: real stakes…this is a war movie and the battles are not bloody but definitely for keeps. The slowish first act will bore little ones with all of the political talk.
    2. The first one came out as Peter Jackson’s King Kong disappointed greatly. Fanboys went hopng for Rings and did not get it. They did not return for the sequel assuming it would be soft and went to Iron Man and Indy in droves instead. They lost out.
    3. Marketing campaign based on Caspian: this is Peter’s movie and he is great in it.
    4. A large contingency of secular parents are afraid of the now well known Christian subtext. The flip side of The Golden Compass, I know several friends of mine who forbid thier children from seeing Narnia.
    5. Many uptight Christians who worship Alsan feel burned by certain scenes that are cut. Screw ’em.
    Anyway…it is a great film and does not hammer any subtext home. Great Tilda Swinton cameo and a wonderful final battle that corrects the flaws of the first film.
    Expect the Dawn Treader to be a Christmas release.

  61. IOIOIOI says:

    Bart: you can try. You will fail. It’s always nice when some people miss that 1) Begins is a film that caught on even more with cable, and 2) is a movie a lot of people are waiting for next month. Do you really believe that Iron-Man has more of a ceiling than Bats? Really? Shame on you, chum. Shame on you.

  62. Rothchild says:

    Well, I appreciate your passion and I thought the opening ten minutes of The Dark Knight that preceded I Am Legend was a huge step up from Batman Begins, but there’s a huge flaw in your theory. Kids cannot see The Dark Knight. Word of mouth among families is going to be toxic. It’s dark as hell. It’s even darker than Batman Returns. They’ll gain some new viewers because Begins did pick up a bigger audience on DVD and for the Heath factor, but they’re fucked when it comes to families. And that’s what will keep it from hitting 300.
    And Superman Returns has lost just about every supporter it had once it hit home video and HBO. Have you met anyone that still likes it? At all? It’s an incredibly misguided bore.

  63. But isn’t The Dark Knight looking a tad… dark for the kiddies? I know Batman Begins was dark, but this looks positively drowning in darkness. I know I wouldn’t wanna take a kid to go see it.
    Bart, I think, has given the best reason yet for not using adjusted box office figures btw. Just thought I’d throw that out there.
    In regards to Narnia‘s international figures, well The Golden Compass was massive global hit except for the US so that’s an apt comparison.
    Speaking of New Line, why is their logo still appearing on trailers? I speak of the trailer for He’s Just Not That Into You.
    S&tC, unlike many other films this summer, doesn’t need to hit $200mil to be in the money so it doesn’t really matter where it ends up. It’s all gravy, isn’t it? Ancilleries will be huuuge. And it’s rollout wasn’t as day-and-date as Indiana Jones was to whoever was comparing their worldwide tallies.

  64. Tofu says:

    Batman Begins opened to a $48.7 million weekend, after burning off $25 million from a $15 million Wednesday opening, and a $10 million Thursday. It fought off the stigma of Batman & Robin, along with being sandwiched between Mr. & Mrs. Smith and War of the Worlds. Begins experienced incredibly healthy DVD sales, and became the top selling HD-DVD. The Blu-Ray will be released in early July.
    Cable has indeed spread goodwill, but more importantly, Begins picked up a very important audience: Women. Who will end up bringing along their children to boot.
    The Dark Knight has a shot at bringing in the largest three day of the year (Harry Potter could surpass it), and will once again prove that July is a far stronger month for release than June. Historically, every Batman has opened in June, and the first three installments all set the opening weekend record.

  65. Tofu says:

    Oh, and The Dark Knight will have a run-time under 2 hours, 30 minutes (confirmed by the Chicago premiere schedule) and is rated PG-13. Just like Begins.

  66. jeffmcm says:

    KCamel, New Line hasn’t completely evaporated as a company, even though they’ve lost most of their employees and production slate; they still exist as a sort of shell, awaiting the reconfiguration into the Screen Gems/Dimension status that awaits them.
    If TDK was R-rated, its ceiling would be somewhere around the final gross of Matrix Reloaded ($281m). If it’s PG-13 and under 3 hours, it seems like a reasonable range would be around that of Revenge of the Sith ($380).

  67. movielocke says:

    you know what I find kind of apalling, not so much here but elsewhere on the net. The sense of glee from many people that Sex and the City was ‘Put back in her place’ by Indy on Saturday and Sunday. The outrage and indignation that something female should usurp male domination is sort of absurd if you stop and think about it. I think the film will have legs, the Friday was inflated due to pent up demand, just as the opening Thursday of Revenge of the Sith was inflated in comparison to it’s Friday/Saturday performance. But there are a lot of women out there who have yet to see the film, but many probably will get out to see it in the next five weeks before it disappears from theatres.

  68. jeffmcm says:

    Five weeks?
    Remember when movies would play for multiple months before disappearing? Jeez.

  69. Rothchild says:

    380? Are you crazy?

  70. jeffmcm says:

    I’m saying that’s its ceiling, if it’s PG-13 and if it’s 2 1/2 hours.

  71. Rothchild says:

    The original made 205 million. The ceiling is not 380. That’s total nonsense.

  72. jeffmcm says:

    We obviously have different definitions of ‘ceiling’. For me, it means the most it could possibly make, if everything goes right. It’s a movie with a built-in fan base that expanded thanks to TV and DVD, with (apparently) a reasonable running time and a PG-13 rating.
    If you think differently, why don’t you explain why instead of just tossing words around.

  73. Rothchild says:

    If it makes 250 a lot of people will be surprised and Warner Bros. will be very happy. If you threw around numbers like 300, or 380, around anyone that knows anything in the industry they’d think you were a crazy optimistic fanboy. There’s no possible argument you could make regarding this movie, the franchise, or the genre, that could justify 380 as the ceiling for this film.

  74. jeffmcm says:

    Well, DP’s estimate is 245 and I think that’s without knowing the runtime or rating.
    Once again, I don’t think your definition of ‘ceiling’ is the same as mine. I don’t think the movie will actually make $380 (somewhere around $280 seems more likely).
    And I’m not a fucking fanboy.

  75. Rothchild says:

    If each ticket came with a blowjob the ceiling would still be 300.

  76. jeffmcm says:

    So between “anyone that knows anything in the industry” and “blowjob” I still have yet to see an actual argument for your position.

  77. Rothchild says:

    See above. Like, in this actual thread. I’m not going to copy and paste something from the exact same page.

  78. jeffmcm says:

    That’s all you needed to say.
    However, I don’t think we know how families are going to react to the movie until it actually comes out and we all get to see it.

  79. jeffmcm says:

    Also, I just rethought it and, since Iron Man and Indy will both top at around $300-320 max, there’s no reason TDK should do any better than either of them.

  80. Josh Massey says:

    The ceiling for Kit Kittredge: An American Girl is $2 billion.
    (Wow. Making outlandish statements is fun!).

  81. bluelouboyle says:

    Isn’t the Dark Knight nearly 3 hours long?? That can’t help either.

  82. crazycris says:

    Nicol, glad to read your take on Caspian! Now I wish it would damn well just open in more overseas markets already! There’s absolutely nothing to interest me here on the big screen, unless I go for a repeat viewing of Indy or Ironman, something which I could gladly do if said viewings were in english…
    It sucks being in a provincial capital without much appreciation for movies other than the blockbuster and crude comedy and horror varieties… I need to move 200km north where I can get independant and international productions in OV…

  83. IOIOIOI says:

    Rothchild: yes I have. One of the more cynical and sarcastic people that I have ever met, loves Superman Returns. A bore? A bore? A brother makes a movie about being an alien but finding a home and a place, and people find it boring. You people… sheesh… shamefuck. Nevertheless… 380 is fucking preposterous for TDK. 350 would be interstellar for that flick.

  84. Yeah, how dare people think a movie is a bit dull when said movie’s big climax is the lifting of a really big rock.

  85. Rob says:

    “I have no idea who William Sonoma is”
    I just spit coffee all over my keyboard.

  86. messiahcomplexio says:

    does anybody still think singer leaving X3 to do supes was a good idea?
    I wish singer would have stayed with X-men and Ratner would have directed Superman. Singer could have taken the ideas of X3 and make them work and Ratner would have destroyed superman returns so utterly that the studio would either shelf the franchise for another 20, or immediately re-do it, ala ang lee and hulk.
    Singer’s superman was just mediocre enough for them to keep going, so now we can look forward to two more movies with the lame “Superman has a kid and he’s super too” story-line that’s clearly developing.
    TDK will do 250 million and then gang busters on DVD.

  87. jeffmcm says:

    I agree, we got two mediocre movies when we could have gotten one more good X-Men.

  88. Cadavra says:

    I predict a $2 million ceiling for THE LOST SKELETON RETURNS AGAIN!
    (Jes’ going in the opposite direction for the cheap laugh.)
    BTW, to those who think a 3-hour running time hinders the gross, one word: TITANIC.

  89. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Actuals from Mojo:
    “S&TC” — $56,848,056 (avg. $17,305)
    Indiana Jones 4 — $44,754,615 (avg. $10,495)
    “The Strangers” — $20,997,985 (avg. $8,514)
    Also nice to see “The Fall” in the national top 15, limited release and all.

  90. jeffmcm says:

    After seeing The Fall last night, I’m not glad to see it in the top 15. It’s the same movie as Gilliam’s Tideland, but not as good.

  91. Geoff says:

    There is no one more excited to see The Dark Knight than I am, but there IS a ceiling on that film. If it does 25% more than the first one and ends up at around $260 million, that would be a huge win for Warners and every one would be happy. There is no way this movie is doing $300 million, just not going to happen. I now see three films doing $300 million, this summer – Iron Man (which will now be number 1!), Indy, and Wall-E.
    Some of you folks are making good points about the darkness of the film, but I have to say that Warner’s is doing their damndest to advertise this as fun as possible – lots of cool shots of the gadgets and quips between Bale and Caine. They’re not going to fool every one, but I think the fanboys are the only ones who really know just how dark this film is going to be.
    That said, the opening is going to be tough – just two weeks after Hancock? I have to think that Iron Man will be dead, and probably Hulk, but you also have Hellboy the weekend before and Wanted two weeks before. Now the only one of those films that is going to be a true blockbuster is probably Hancock, but still, that’s a lot of middle-range comic book competition that could eat away at the audience.
    And I know everybody is going to laugh, but the film does open against Mama Mia – let’s not keep underestimating the two quadrants of females, it’s going to have a big opening, possibly over $35 million. No doubt that could pull away females from Dark Knight.
    Still, this is Warners and they managed to open Harry Potter to huge mid-July business, last year, in the wake of Transformers – I can see them pulling off about $85 million in the opening weekend, no way it’s doing $100 million.
    Heath Ledger could be the big wildcard, here – has any film this big opened just a few months after one of its main stars passed in a very public way? Not trying to sound morbid, but I don’t think there is any precedent. I would hope that Warner’s is not going to push this as “Heath’s final performance,” and really, no need to.

  92. IOIOIOI says:

    Jeff: you disliking the Fall and me loving the Fall. Pretty much explains how you and I exist in this world because The Fall is my favourite film this year. Bringing up Tideland is really hokey.
    Geoff: I can see it doing 100. I can see it do a lot more than anyone else because this is the movie of the Summer for a lot of people.

  93. Geoff says:

    IOIOIOI, I hope you’re right, but I really think anything over $80 million is just gravy. We can’t forget that the last one didn’t even do $50 million – to go in the trajectory of Bourne or X Men would make more sense and that would be over a $30 million increase and the biggest Batman opening, ever.
    Seems to me what you are expecting is really a Pirates or Shrek-sized sequel jump – this film just does not have the buzz that those did or as broad an audience.
    The only hope for such a big opening, I think, is if Hancock really tanks, which is a strong possibility. But I just have made it too much a habit to underestimate grosses for Will Smith movies, lately.

  94. IOIOIOI says:

    Yes, you should never under-estimate the power of the guy who put out SUMMERTIME. The thing with Hancock is… it has a great twist in it. A twist the ads have barely touched upon. A twist that could make this a franchise if they chose to go that direction with the movie formally titled; “AT NIGHT… HE COMES.” Seriously… that would have been the greatest titled film of all-time.
    Nevertheless Geoff; I have to disagree with you about the BUZZ for The Dark Knight. It’s big. Ledger dying only added to buzz that this flick started building last Summer in the same way as Iron-Man. If it clicked with Iron-Man…
    This also features the JOKER. A villian most people know thanks to 1989 film. So it has a villian people know (played by a great late actour who apparently kicks ass in the role), it has a film that has an opener to the trilogy that people have grown to like/love, and it has the tragedy aspect that will bring in the gawkers.
    So excuse me for being puzzled as to why this flick will not be kicking it funky fresh from the morning of the 18 until the night of the 20th of July.

  95. Geoff says:

    I guess we will see, but I really think there is a ceiling on this film – it’s a high ceiling, just like there is a high ceiling on Harry Potter films.
    The Ledger thing could be a turnoff for some, but it’s just so hard to tell. The only comparison I can really come up with is when The Crow opened – that film had so much more buzz going for it because of Brandon Lee’s death.
    Will Smith really does seem genre-proof – the reviews of Hancock have me thinking it could be too dirty for the big audience, but man, the guy even delivered $150 million for Bad Boys 2, which is about as hard an R-rated film as you are likely to find.
    Did any one watch the MTV movie awards, this week? I always get suckered into watching it, just because it is typically a launching pad for marketing a lot of the big summer movies. Last year, I remember they had an award for the “Best Summer Movie That Hasn’t Opened Yes” and it went to Transformers. This year, they had an award for the “Best Movie So Far This Summer” and it went to Iron Man (it WAS fun to watch Downey live it up and have some fun with his new success and the quips between him and Stiller were great – “So big deal, Downey, what are you like 1 for 176, now?!” Geez, I guess it’s obvious that Paramount is taking advantage of their synergy with MTV with this thing.
    It did bring up an interested marketing challeng that Par will have – it’s obvious that Iron Man is huge and that Kung Fu Panda will be big (I’m starting to believe the buzz on that one, now) so it would make sense for them to heavily utilize Downey and Black, in the wake of the biggest hits of their careers, to hype up Tropic Thunder. But how do you do that with a hard-R rated film – you can showcase Downey and Black being all goofy and fun, but families are going to be in for a surprise. It will be interesting to see how Paramount pulls that off.

  96. “I would hope that Warner’s is not going to push this as “Heath’s final performance,” and really, no need to.”
    Especially considering it’s not going to be his final performance.

  97. jeffmcm says:

    IOI, I think bringing up Tideland is completely appropriate, because I think it and The Fall are trying to be the same movie, but one succeeds (sort of) where the other basically bored me. I don’t see what’s ‘hokey’ about the comparison.
    And neither of them are as good as Princess Bride or Baron Munchausen, to continue the comparison of movies that are better than other movies.

  98. BTW, The Bank Job passed $30mil this weekend. Way to go… i guess.

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