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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Klady

Well, the dancing tykes will thrash the cutting psychs this weekend, guaranteed by the Friday win at the box office for HSM3 over Saw5.
That said, the Saw franchise remains a cash machine for Lionsgate. This opening will be right in line with Saw

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66 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Klady”

  1. LexG says:

    Until I read a review of it in the LA Weekly this morning, I had NO idea what “Passengers” was. Was there ANY marketing for that? Never saw a trailer, a magazine ad, or a single billboard.
    I like “Changeling” and love Clint and Jolie, but despite their respective draws, for some unfortunate reason I can’t help but comparing its box-office potential to that of the triumvirate of similarly “beige,” desaturated period conspiracy dramas from Fall ’06 — “All the King’s Men,” “Hollywoodland” and “Black Dahlia.” Maybe that milieu strikes the mainstream as sort of medicinal.

  2. jeffmcm says:

    “The film will look better and more valuable in time.”
    Really? I thought that you (DP) were mixed/negative on it outside of the Brolin performance. Guess I was mistaken.

  3. Joseph says:

    Also, “Saw V” will have to face off with “Zack and Miri Make a Porno” next weekend. Between that film (hard R comedy with a built-in audience) and the “Molly” horror film it should see a big chunk taken out overall in its second weekend (though considering Halloween is on a Friday it might have a good Friday).

  4. yancyskancy says:

    I saw the Passengers trailer last weekend before Nick and Norah at the Arclight Hollywood. First I’d seen of it, so I assumed it wouldn’t be in theatres for at least a couple more weeks. Looks like a more supernatural Fearless, but with the generally respected Garcia at the helm, I thought it might be interesting. Haven’t seen any reviews yet.

  5. LYT says:

    Even as an avowed fan of the Saw franchise, I hope this one dies down quickly. Part 3 wrapped it up and it’s only money that keeps it going now.

  6. a_loco says:

    Wow, I saw the Passengers trailer a few weeks ago. With that cast and a decent marketing campaign, they could have opened it to at least $10 mil, talk about bad decisions.

  7. jeffmcm says:

    It was _always_ only money that kept the Saw series going. It’s not like Saw 1 or II were written with further episodes in mind.

  8. JohnBritt says:

    I saw Saw V this weekend and I was very surprised that it was better than most of the others in the series. You can expect that it will keep going for a few more installments, especially with the take this weekend.
    The HSM3 line was winding and long, so I expect that it will be more like $55-$60.
    And I wish I had known about the passengers until today. Trailer looks good. Love Anne Hathaway. Why wasn’t this promoted??? I would have been there instead of Saw V.

  9. frankbooth says:

    Tobin Bell will direct the next Saw, or the one after that. They’ll get jokier and jokier, and will eventually wind up going straight-to-DVD (like the American Pie series) when they stop making enough to justify the ad expenditure of a theatrical release.
    They’ll continue to crank them out for years, and then remake the first one in a couple of decades with a cast of attractive thirteen-year-olds. Michael Cera will play Jigsaw in what will prove to be his career revival. He’ll play villains until he chokes on vomit (his own) in 2032.
    The film bill be a success. There will be a hit song tie-in that’s a remix of screams and pleading from the soundtrack accompanied by drills and buzzsaws. All the fans who are in their twenties now will be grumpy old men, and will complain that they ruined a classic and that nobody makes good horror movies anymore.
    The kids will be unaware that the originals even exist because they “can’t watch those old 2D movies with their bad special effects.” Most of them won’t even watch movies, because they’ll be busy playing the Saw virtual-reality game in which you get to either be Jigsaw or a victim trying to escape. The victim option will be dropped from subsequent versions due to lack of interest.

  10. Wrecktum says:

    OK, I’ll be the first to say it: the airy heir apparent to Frankie and Annette and Judy and Mickey, High School Musical 3 is the freshest, liveliest theatrical musical of the past several years. Hats off to Ortega and the gang for the great time.

  11. frankbooth says:

    I had no idea these HSM things actually played in theaters. I seriously thought they aired on the Disney Channel. Shows how much I know.
    Do they advertise? Are there posters and everything? I’m honestly not being snide, I’ve just never seen one. Or if I did, it went right by me. I know I’m not exactly the target audience.

  12. Chucky in Jersey says:

    There has been plenty of promotion for HSM3. Disney even let the big theater chains sell advance tickets a month ahead of release date — not unlike a Batman movie.
    Most of the theaters with “Passengers” probably wanted “Rachel Getting Married” and got turned down. Memo for Sony: Fold SPC distribution into regular Sony distribution!

  13. Wrecktum says:

    “I had no idea these HSM things actually played in theaters. I seriously thought they aired on the Disney Channel. Shows how much I know.”
    You’re correct. The first two appeared only on TV.

  14. jeffmcm says:

    Frank, I understand that Saw VI will be directed by the guy who has been editor on the series so far.
    Twisted Pictures: Where sticking with a lousy series gets you better work.

  15. Considering even The Best of Both Worlds had a pretty darn good weekend multiplier I expect High School Musical 3 to not get butchered over Sat and Sun and end the weekend with $58mil. Good money if you can get it.
    I was getting suspicious about this Passengers movie considering all the posters were terrible and I hadn’t even heard about trailer and then voila it appears in limited release. How strange.

  16. frankbooth says:

    “You’re correct. The first two appeared only on TV.”
    Ah-hah! Figured I’d have HAD to have heard about it otherwise, wasting as much time as I do on movie blogs.
    So it is a bit odd. Maybe even unprecedented.
    There have been plenty of films based on TV shows, of course (though I’m old enough to remember how strange it was the first time they did it) but has a second (or any) sequel to a made-for-TV movie ever gotten a theatrical release?
    What’s the music like in these things? Britney-type pop stuff, or more classic Broadway-ish? I’m imagining a lot of Osmond-like, squeaky-clean teens doing “jazz hands” and leaping in the air. But, again, the last musical I found tolerable was Hedwig. I’m ignorant and dangerously out-of-touch.
    my Saw post was a joke, mostly. Mostly.
    One that went over like a lead balloon, apparently.

  17. frankbooth says:

    — and that brings a good trivia question to mind, one that I don’t know the answer to:
    What WAS the first TV show to become a movie? Dragnet with Aykroyd and Tom Hanks is the first one I can think of offhand.

  18. jeffmcm says:

    Don’t worry, Frank, some of my face muscles twitched involuntarily.
    Does The Blues Brothers count in the TV-to-movie category? I’m thinking there must have been something in the 70s, though.

  19. frankbooth says:

    The Blues Brothers were definitely TV characters.
    Joe? C’mon, you gotta know this one. Because it was a really radical idea at first. You went from movies to TV, not the other way around.

  20. Joe Leydon says:

    Frankbooth: OK, are you talking about the first TV series to be made into a movie, or the first TV production (like a one-shot drama, play for TV, movie for TV, etc.)? Ironically, there was a Dragnet movie released in 1954, while the original TV series was running in prime time.
    In fact, there was a period in the ’50s/’60s when quite a few movies were spun off from TV series while the series were still on the air (i.e., Batman, Munster, Go Home, McHale’s Navy Joins the Air Force, etc.) And there were other theatrically released “movies” that actually were TV episodes stitched together (I Deal in Danger — three epiosdes of Blue Light — several Man from UNCLE movies, etc.).

  21. Wrecktum says:

    Star Trek The Motion Picture came out in 1979. I’m sure it wasn’t the first, but it’s the first that came to mind.

  22. Wrecktum says:

    TV movies were remade as theatrical releases as early as the 1950s. Think Marty or Requiem for a Heavyweight or Judgment at Nuremberg.

  23. Joe Leydon says:

    And, of course, Blake Edwards’ 1967 movie Gunn, a spin-off from his 1958-61 TV series Peter Gunn.

  24. frankbooth says:

    Good point, Joe. I forgot about the Batman and Munsters movies.
    (That was fast. Do you have a programs that beeps when someone mentions you? A Joe Signal?)
    I guess you could even count Playhouse 90 stuff like Days of Wine and Roses, or the TV production that was Bond’s first screen appearance (he was American!)
    As far as the ongoing wave of big-budget movies based on defunct weekly series, though, I think Wrecktum is right. It began with ST: TPM.

  25. Joe Leydon says:

    I dunno: I saw Gunn in theaters (when I was, what, 15?) and as I recall, it was a pretty major release. So much so, in fact, that there was a Playboy photo spread — and Craig Stevens went on The Tonight Show to promote it. (That I had access to Playboy AND The Tonight Show at age 15 should give you some idea what kind of childhood I had.)

  26. Joe Leydon says:

    I dunno: I saw Gunn in theaters (when I was, what, 15?) and as I recall, it was a pretty major release. So much so, in fact, that there was a Playboy photo spread — and Craig Stevens went on The Tonight Show to promote it. (That I had access to Playboy AND The Tonight Show at age 15 should give you some idea what kind of childhood I had.)

  27. frankbooth says:

    A good one?

  28. Cadavra says:

    Ah, you children. There were OUR MISS BROOKS and HERE COME THE NELSONS (as in Ozzie and Harriet) in the early ’50s, and Don Siegel’s THE LINE-UP was a feature version of that TV series (aka SAN FRANCISCO BEAT).

  29. Joe Leydon says:

    Francois Truffaut once said that Antoine Doinel (The 400 Blows) was not, strictly speaking, a mistreated child — he simply wasn’t treated at all, period. I can relate to that.

  30. frankbooth says:

    Now we know why you’re such a trouble-maker.

  31. Joe Leydon says:

    Cadavra: But, unfortunately, no movie spin-off from The Adventures of Hiram Holliday.

  32. Joe Leydon says:

    Frankbooth: Bingo!

  33. Wrecktum says:

    Don’t forget The Nude Bomb! Or do.

  34. frankbooth says:

    I had. Thanks for reminding me.

  35. leahnz says:

    just for the record, i thought your ‘saw: into the future’ post was amusing, frankbooth. you’re mental (and i mean that in the best way)

  36. leahnz says:

    ‘they come at night, mostly. mostly.’

  37. yancyskancy says:

    Yeah, the ’54 Dragnet is “the first TV show to become a movie,” per Frank’s question as originally stated. As Joe pointed out, the series was still on the air. The movie was basically a big screen, color extended episode of the series.
    Most of the others mentioned are technically spin-offs, right (Our Miss Brooks, McHales’s, Batman, Peter Gunn, first Star Trek, Nude Bomb, et al)? Not sure what the first “remake” was. Heck, maybe it WAS the Aykroyd Dragnet.

  38. Dave Vernon says:

    A few others…”Pufinstuff”, “Head” and my personal favorite, “The Gong Show Movie”.

  39. Joe Leydon says:

    I guess we have to nail down definitions here. Are we talking about first movie spin-off? First movie spin-off AFTER a series ended? First movie movie “remake” (i.e., with different cast)? Does Head qualify (even though, if you really consider it, the movie actually is a rebuke to the series that spawned it)? How about the Disney movies that more or less recycled episodes of Zorro and Davey Crockedtt?

  40. leahnz says:

    exposing my motherness here but don’t forget all those muppet movies based on the fabulous tv series

  41. Joe Leydon says:

    Leahnz: True enough. The Muppet Movie actually pre-dates Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
    BTW: This has nothing to do with what we’ve been talking about, but Muppet Christmas Carol to me is additional proof that Michael Caine is one of the all-time greatest movie actors. Most actors in a Muppet movie try to show that they’re good sports. Caine actually gave a great performance — opposite Kermit, Miss Piggy, etc. — and I think you could take his portrayal of Scrooge and drop it into any Christmas Carol movie ever made.

  42. See, this is why I come here. This was a fascinating lil read. Here’s a question though: What was the first film based on a sketch/character from a TV series like those Saturday Night Live movies just, I imagine, older.
    Joe, I’m glad somebody said that about Michael Caine. I completely agree.

  43. LexG says:

    LEXG’S THOUGHTS ON SAW V (this one’s for Jeff…)
    Even by the admittedly diminshing-return standards of this franchise, this one’s pretty fucking terrible. (Of course I will still rush to buy it first day on DVD…)
    If you never thought you’d see the day where you’d wax nostalgic for the Mountain Dew-tinted ADD stylings of Darren Lynn Bousman, just wait till you see what this new hack and those two *Project Greenlight jerkoffs* have come up with.
    Shocker! — yep, still flashing back to the hows, whens, and whys of traps from FOUR MOVIES AGO. Hey, do you kinda, sorta, maybe, not quite remember when that dude got OWNED by the old gun-connected-to-the-peephole trick? Then SURELY you’ve been champing at the bit for three years for a four-minute flashback to Jigsaw and Costas “Not James Remar” Mandylor TESTING THE CALIBRATIONS OF THE PISTOL.
    Zero suspense, seemingly less traps and OWNAGE than ever before, just ENDLESS, boring flashbacks and some lame cat-and-mouse between Mandylor and that Scott Patterson and his dubious hair.
    It almost seemed quaint this time, with ten-minute dialogue scenes, and the TRAPS being kind of an afterthought… Shit, I think the Morris from 24 dude even bites it OFFSCREEN.
    THAT’S not very fucking SAW.

  44. jeffmcm says:

    Since I have seen each Saw movie only once, it really annoys me that they keep insisting on forcing me to remember plot details from bad movies I haven’t seen in three or four years.
    Also, lower budget = more talking. Simple sequel math.
    I hate to beat this dead horse, but I’m mystified as to how certain horror franchises get the shit beaten out of them at every mention, while the totally lame, increasingly unwatchable and generally offensive Saw series is virtually ignored.

  45. Joe Leydon says:

    Kami: I will go one step further — Caine is the best film actor of his generation. Yes, I would put him up there with Newman and Nicholson.

  46. LexG says:

    I forgot to mention (though you will not be surprised) that there’s also the annual introduction of completely bewildering individual scenes that serve ONLY as a setup for shit that’s going to happen in the next movie.
    It’s kind of like how HALLOWEEN 5 had random shots of some mystery man that had nothing to do with anything in the film itself; In SAW V it’s BETSY RUSSELL (1983 OWNAGE, PRIVATE SCHOOL 4 LIFE) getting a MYSTERIOUS BOX bequeathed to her, in a subplot with ZERO follow-through.
    I think it always needs to be kept in mind that the target audience in this series really IS people who need to be shown via flashback FUCKING EVERYTHING that happened during EVERY AVAILABLE SECOND of real time, from multiple perspectives, shit that now happened four movies back. Like, there’s seriously explanations to Danny Glover and Ken Leung’s travails in this new one… and even though I’ve seen every entry multiple times, like, even *I* forget that those guys were once on the scene.

  47. Joe Leydon says:

    Kami: I will go one step further — Caine is the best film actor of his generation. Yes, I would put him up there with Newman and Nicholson.

  48. leahnz says:

    joe, the fact that caine can bring it even when acting with puppets speaks volumes about his legendaryness.
    kam, that’s a hard question…where did i leave my thinking cap?

  49. leahnz says:

    who am i kidding, i have zero chance of answering that question correctly

  50. Joe Leydon says:

    Sorry. I am a Caine fan, but didn’t mean to repeat.

  51. LexG says:

    THE ISLAND FUCKING OWNS (Caine/Benchley version.)
    So does THE HAND.
    Point being, even slumming Caine usually rules; Didn’t he make like 243 movies released in the 1987 calendar year? I was a mere 14/15 but seem to remember Surrender, Jaws 4, FOURTH PROTOCOL, Whistle Blower, and like 53 others all dropping that year.
    Between 1986 and 1988, Hackman and Caine must’ve made 700 movies.

  52. Joe Leydon says:

    Years ago, while interviewing Oliver Stone, I asked Stone point blank if Caine — while playing a creatively (and, yes, physically) blocked artist in The Hand — wasn’t supposed to be his (Stone’s) alter ego. (Remember: At the time Stone made Hand, he was trying — and failing — to make Platoon.) Stone replied: Hell, yeah. Caine confirmed this a few years later. But, then again, Caine also was playing Woody Allen’s alter ego in Hannah and her Sisters (for which he won an Oscar).

  53. frankbooth says:

    That’s hilarious, Lex, because we just got done watching The Poseidon Adventure (loved it when Hackman drooled on Shelly Winters’s corpse) and were actually talking about how many damn paycheck gigs Gene did in the Eighties.
    Everything is, like connected. ’cause I’m muh-muh-muh mental. Mostly.

  54. chris says:

    Thanks for bringing up the Russell box, Lex. That could not have been more annoying (and, by the way, I’ve actually liked several of the “Saw”s). For a second, I thought it was some kind of “Pulp Fiction” homage/rip-off, but now I guess it’s just some stupid box of memorabilia to tell her how to eviscerate the next four sequels’ worth of victims.

  55. scooterzz says:

    cadavra — just a little clarefication on ‘here come the nelsons’…. the film was based on the radio series and released as a tool to introduce the tv series (which premiered several months later)….. so it wasn’t really a film based on a tv series so much as the tv series was based on the film….. at least, that’s the way i remember it….

  56. yancyskancy says:

    It’s not too hard to see why the first Saw became something of a phenomenon. Though not inordinately gruesome or scary, it has a strong narrative hook as well as the requisite twists to keep you on your toes. There’s also more character stuff than one might expect, even if director James Wan is clearly more adept at staging scenes of torture than less extreme forms of interaction. The second one has its moments (mostly from Shawnee Smith and Tobin Bell), but lacks the intensity of the original’s set-up and features elaborate gore effects that are more disgusting than scary.
    In # 3, the gore comes early and often, and numerous scenes have you thinking “In what universe is this entertainment? Oh yeah — ours.” Though it fitfully attempts to give us some moral questions to chew on, it’s definitely a case of diminishing returns for a franchise that was fairly diminished to begin with. I had hoped to be done with the franchise, but then they added Betsy Russell to the mix, so I may have to give them a cursory look when they hit cable, just for ’80s nostalgia’s sake.

  57. yancyskancy says:

    When I started film school in ’86, I used to joke that if I had a few bucks to spare, I could probably get Caine, Hackman and maybe Jason Robards to zip over to Southern Illinois and appear in my student films.

  58. doug r says:

    Yeah, that sequel set-up stuff put a little bit of a chill on one of the best super-hero movies ever made…Spider-Man 2.
    I think it’s more forgivable to wait until the credit roll like the Simpsons and Iron Man, although the TS appearance at the end of IH was cool.

  59. Stella's Boy says:

    I have certainly seen worse horror movies than Saw (Saw II & III certainly qualify), but I still think it’s a shitty movie. The premise isn’t bad and it has a few decent moments, but the acting is simply atrocious, even by horror standards (Whannell and Elwes are particularly bad), and the twist is totally ludicrous. I was shocked by it for all the wrong reasons. It’s a near-masterpiece compared to the sequels, but I still don’t think it’s very good.

  60. Krazy Eyes says:

    I’ve got to agree with Stella on the original SAW. I was enjoying it until the last 15 minutes but when you throw in the one-two punch of Elwes’s horrendous acting tour-de-force and then the silly twist (which does nothing to advance the plot other than being a dumb and completely illogical twist) it goes totally off the rails.
    I liked Saw II better even though I don’t think it’s particularly good either.

  61. Cadavra says:

    Scooterzz: I remembered it the other way around, but I looked it up and you’re 100% correct.

  62. jeffmcm says:

    Let’s just say that James Wan might be a good director some day if he can calm down his camerawork and takes some acting classes and learns how to interact with his performers, and that the jury’s still out on any possible redemption for Bousman until Repo drops.

  63. leahnz says:

    there’s hackman in ‘the poseidon adventure’, and then caine in ‘beyond the poseidon adventure’… that irwin allen, what a prankster
    my favourite caine is (and likely will always be) ‘dressed to kill’
    (frankb, you know that was a compliment, right? right. i screwed up my newt quote, which should have been ‘they mostly come at night. mostly.’ i suck at quotes, i always get something off, but i mean well)

  64. christian says:

    frankbooth, that was scary funny.
    Gene Hackman in POSEIDON was his transitional role to bona fide movie star. Still the best Irwin Allen film. And Roger Ebert’s greatest review. I think he got the Pulitzer just for that one alone.

  65. frankbooth says:

    Of course it was a compliment! And yes, I appreciated that you caught my lame little Aliens joke (or is it a South Park joke now?)
    Quit worrying about offending people, wouldja? You Kiwis are too damned polite. Besides, you’ve built up enough goodwill that you’d have to do a lot to really piss me off.
    The whole “take me!” bit was very Exorcist. Wasn’t Hackman approached (or interested) in the Jason Miller role?
    Somebody DEFINITELY had a leg fetish. Hot pants-a-go-go!
    I’ll have check out that Ebert review. Hope it’s one of his catty/funny ones. He’s great when he’s in his totally dismissive mode.
    Next Allen film: Earthquake, though it might be a bit harder to laugh off. I don’t expect to ever be trapped in an upside-down ocean liner, but three-quarters of the posters on this blog will experience The Big One.

  66. Cadavra says:

    Actually, the “Take me!” bit goes at least as far back as DARBY O’GILL AND THE LITTLE PEOPLE (screened last night at the Aero) and no doubt further back than that.

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