MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady

ll Hath No Fury Like a Franchise Scorned

Both comic book fugitive Hellboy and 3D-ish Journey to the Center of the Earth exceeded opening expectations with the former bowing to an estimated $35.7 million to rank as the top ticket seller in the marketplace. Journey finished third overall with $20.5 million and the debut of Meet Dave barely made the cut with a torpid $5.2 million.

The session also saw the latest strategically launching in Quebec with its Olympic theme drawing a solid $250,000 while the U.S. opening of Canadian lit classic The Stone Angel had an OK $30,300 from 10 playdates. Most of the other limited releases barely registered a flutter. The acclaimed Roman Polanski documentary Wanted and Desired that premiered last month on HBO went out on a single screen and box office provided scant information about theatrical potency.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army was expected to put in a strong showing against the second weekend of Hancock … but not to out-pace the Will Smith movie. That the sequel got made was testament itself as its original studio let it loose following internal petty politics that trumped whatever cache filmmaker Guillermo del Toro had on the heels of Pan’s Labyrinth. The extra grossing utz appeared to come from a disproportionately high Hispanic crowd.

Journey to the Center of the Earth, the first live-action feature to wade into the 3-D bonanza, received avid initial interest. The number of sites installing the new hardware hasn’t been happening at quite the torrid pace distribution had anticipated more the result of cost than interest. At present the marketplace can only accommodate one wide release in the process at a time with Journey securing 854 locations or 30% in stereoscopic mode. Those theaters generated 57% of its weekend tally.

Overall biz crawled to rough $153 million to ebb back by 5% from last weekend. Last year’s comparable weekend was 15% stronger on the opening $77.1 million salvo of Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix. Next weekend’s new Batman and Mamma Mia! practically has the industry salivating at the prospect of the entire nation at the movies.

For those in major centers the option has clearly been to check out the likes of The Visitor, Roman de Gare and Young@Heart. Very early response could make The Wackness and Tell No One their late summer equivalents.

– Leonard Klady

Weekend Estimates – July 11-13, 2008

Title Distributor Gross (averag % change Theater Cume
Hellboy II: The Golden Army Uni 35.7 (11,150) 3204 35.7
Hancock Sony 33.8 (8,530) -46% 3965 165.8
Journey to the Center of the Earth WB 20.5 (7,290) 2811 20.5
Wall-E BV 18.6 (4,840) -43% 3849 162.9
Wanted Uni 11.7 (3,700) -42% 3157 112.1
Get Smart WB 7.0 (2,280) -37% 3086 111.4
Meet Dave Fox 5.2 (1,740) 3011 5.2
Kung Fu Panda Par 4.3 (1,580) -42% 2704 202
Indiana Jones: Kingdom of Crystal Sk Par 2.3 (1,360) -40% 1664 310.5
Kit Kittredge: An American Girl Picturehouse 2.2 (1,210) -32% 1849 10.9
The Incredible Hulk Uni 2.1 (1,080) -57% 1951 129.7
Sex and the City WB 1.7 (1,700) -27% 1025 148.2
Don’t Mess with the Zohan Sony 1.0 (1,090) -48% 939 96.9
Iron Man Par .94 (1,320) -36% 710 313.4
The Love Guru Par .54 (590) -70% 909 31.4
Mongol Picturehouse .52 (2,060) -32% 252 4.3
The Happening Fox .42 (820) -71% 510 63.3
The Visitor Overture .27 (1,600) -21% 167 8.5
Asterix aux jeux Olympiques Alliance .25 (4,130) 60 0.41
Tell No One Music Box .24 (12,000) 42% 20 0.54
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $148.1
% Change (Last Year) -14%
% Change (Last Week) -5%
Also debuting/expanding
The Wackness Sony Classics .22 (7,130) 60% 31 0.47
The Stone Angel * Vivendi/Alliance 30,300 (3,030) 10 0.47
Days and Clouds Film Movement 16,800 (8,400) 2 0.02
Garden Party Roadside At. 10,300 (1,470) 7 0.01
Mehbooba Eros 6,100 (610) 10 0.01
August First Look 6,050 (6,050) 1 0.01
Roman Polanski: Wanted and … Thinkfilm 4,600 (4,600) 1 0.01
Death Defying Acts Weinstein Co. 3,400 (1,700) 2 0.01

Domestic Market Share – To July 10, 2008

Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – July 10, 2008)
Distributor (releases) Gross Market Share
Paramount (12) 1090.9 21.50%
Warner Bros. (16) 717.5 14.20%
Fox (13) 654.6 12.90%
Sony (16) 613.3 12.10%
Universal (12) 558.7 11.00%
Buena Vista (10) 558.3 11.00%
Lions Gate (8) 204.1 4.00%
Fox Searchlight (5) 150.7 3.00%
Par Vantage (9) 71.9 1.40%
New Line (4) 61.8 1.20%
Focus (5) 60.1 1.20%
Miramax (5) 48.1 1.00%
MGM (9) 46.4 0.90%
Summit (2) 34.9 0.70%
Overture (3) 29.1 0.60%
Other * (188) 166.6 3.30%
* none greater than 0.5% 5067 100.00%

Top Grossers Domestic – To July 10, 2008

Title * Distributor Gross
Iron Man Par 312,481,891
Indiana Jones & Kingdom of the Crystal Sk Par 308,227,287
Kung Fu Panda Par 197,742,899
Horton Hears a Who Fox 154,119,726
Sex and the City WB 146,501,747
Wall-E BV 144,262,312
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian BV 139,077,570
Hancock Sony 132,034,444
The Incredible Hulk Uni 127,581,090
Juno * Fox Searchlight 115,568,583
Get Smart WB 104,362,800
Wanted Uni 100,458,885
You Don’t Mess with the Zohan Sony 95,838,885
10,000 B.C. WB 94,819,450
The Bucket List * WB 92,781,554
National Treasure: Book of Secrets * BV 86,700,433
21 Sony 82,792,968
Jumper Fox 80,172,128
Cloverfield Par 80,048,433
What Happens in Vegas Fox 78,935,632

Top Global Grossers – To June 19, 2008

Title Distributor Gross
Iron Man Par 300,785,869
Indiana Jones & Kingdom of the Cry Par 282,420,731
Horton Hears a Who Fox 153,493,503
Kung Fu Panda Par 133,896,159
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Ca BV 133,758,371
Sex and the City WB 125,920,375
Juno * Fox Searchlight 115,568,583
10,000 B.C. WB 94,784,201
The Bucket List * WB 92,781,554
National Treasure: Book of Secrets * BV 86,700,433
21 Sony 82,629,719
Cloverfield Par 80,048,433
Jumper Fox 79,914,335
You Don’t Mess with the Zohan Sony 76,855,203
27 Dresses Fox 76,808,654
What Happens in Vegas Fox 76,751,534
The Incredible Hulk Uni 74,919,370
Vantage Point Sony 73,083,080
The Spiderwick Chronicles Par 71,748,431
Fool’s Gold WB 70,321,498
* does not include 2007 box office
Be Sociable, Share!

Comments are closed.


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