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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by Klady

A really strong family play – and teh end of summer – meant a big bump for Disney on the weekend. Very impressive. And now, the opening is just behind Eddie Murphy’s Dr. Dolittle as the third best talking animale live action opening of all time. And it’e more than double the previous best non-summer, non-holiday opener in the category (Goiod Boy, $13m in the same slot in 2003).
Eagle Eye continues to keep a pace about 30% ahead of Disturbia. Is it genre or Shia orpeople just plain having more interest? Hard to say. But continuing at that rate, cracking $100m domestic is not out of the question.
Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist isn’t a great movie… it’s pure John Hughes with a 2008 sex & booze bent, but it is not quite as well conceived. Not ever painful. Pleasantly blase about sexuality, though very thin on ethnicity (aside from Asian). But the real life audiences I saw it with last night had a great time and I suspect that Sony’s genre 3.5x opening (nice legs) will occur here too… “deserving” not being an issue.
Appaloosa had a nice enough expansion that it suggests that WB should have opened the once-NL picture wide instead of the mess of The Women.
This is really the most interesting area of the chart this weekend:
Fireproof has its own thing going with a strong play in a niche area. Congrats… it means nothing to the industry, as the industry learned the hard way chasing its god-loving tail after Gibson cashed in.
But when the whining about a weak, overloaded market starts again, as distributors try to make excuses for why they couldn’t make their movies work, remember this week. Five movies, 500 screens to 1700 screens… all pretty much D.O.A. You could argue that Religulous looking at $10 million domestic is a win… it’s the second best doc opening in history, though docs almost never open this wide… and it will be among the top ten docs of all times… assuming we consider it a doc… but it’s still half a Michael Moore. As for the rest, Blindness will makes its money back overseas and Miramax might take a small hit. But the others will lose money. So, did they go limited because “they knew” or do they now know because they went limited?

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18 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by Klady”

  1. IOIOIOI says:

    Nick and Nora made some sheckles! Woo! This generation is as good as the last two at getting their romantic comedies to the #1 spot. Hopefully they will watch it on DVD. It deserves some love.

  2. Pelham123 says:

    I saw “Appaloosa” and it was a solid Western although it does seem a little too lethargic and wandering for its own good. I think it has a big hole in the center with Renee Zellweger as the “love interest”. I’m not sure if it’s her fault or just the way the character was written, but I just didn’t feel the tension that should have been there. It also features a very nice weirdo performance from Viggo Mortensen. Still, I try to see any Western released on the big screen because they are so few & far between and I’m glad to see it made a little bit of money.
    I feel like I should go and see “Nick & Nora” but damn that trailer keeps pushing me away.

  3. marychan says:

    Disney won’t lose big money on “Miracle at St. Anna”, because they only paid about $6.26 million to acquire domestic distribution rights of this film.
    Miramax also only paid about $5 million to buy the domestic rights of “Blindness”; so Miramax won’t get any overseas revenue of this film. (Focus Features has the international rights of “Blindness”)

  4. Aris P says:

    The current, unfortunate state of Zellweger’s perma-frown face is enough to bring any movie down.

  5. Rob says:

    I was cool with Appaloosa, but my God, Renee should sue over her lighting and makeup. She’s a wonderful actress, and I hate to say this, but she looked awful. The eyebrows looked like Kim Novak’s at the end of Vertigo.
    The critical reception for Blindness has me scratching my head. If it were in a different language, people would be falling all over themselves with praise. I think it’s one of those situations where the finicky Cannes audience poisoned the well.
    Oh, and I realize Nick & Norah is entirely derivative, but I kinda loved it anyway. I like that young actors as natural and idiosyncratic as Dennings and Cera can have careers in the age of The Hills.

  6. movieman says:

    A final word on the right-wing screed “American Carol.”
    I watched Uwe Boll’s “Postal” this weekend (at least the first 90 minutes; the dvd I got from Netflix was defective and wouldn’t play beyond that point), and it’s actually a better movie than the David Zucker abomination. At least J.K. Simmons’ “Postal” cameo brought a smile to my face. That’s more than I can say for Bill O’Reilly’s “guest appearance” in “Carol.”
    Wow; I never thought I’d live to see the day when I’d actually have something nice to say about a Boll film. Guess that qualifies as an “October Surprise.”

  7. ThriceDamned says:

    I just noticed that “Journey to the Center of the Earth” just hit 100m (Frasier has had a good year), it’s 14th week of play. After opening with 20m, it’s gone on to take in 5x opening domestic, a rare thing these days to see.
    IMAX and/or 3-D. Just goes to show the enormous amount of play you can get out of that, since the film is just otherwise an ordinary trifle that wouldn’t have done any significant business (50m tops) in regular theater 2D.

  8. “it’s the second best doc opening in history”
    Am I wrong for thinking Fahrenheit 911, Sicko and March of the Penguins all opened larger than Religulous?
    Flash of Genius is so early ’90s direct-to-video, isn’t it? How are movies like that still being made and then being released into cinemas? I can’t imagine anyone caring about that movie in the slightest.
    And, Dave, yes, The Women may be a mess, but it’s made $26mil, which looking at this weekend is nothing to sneeze at considering half the new releases won’t even make it to The Women‘s opening weekend total.

  9. LYT says:

    KamikazeCamel – I seem to recall SICKO had a platform release, though I may be wrong. March of the Penguins possibly too, though that one also was successful due to longevity rather than a big splash on opening, I think.

  10. SJRubinstein says:

    Kind of liked “Nick & Norah’s” myself. Nothing revolutionary, but an unabashedly sweet movie.

  11. Hallick says:

    “And, Dave, yes, The Women may be a mess, but it’s made $26mil, which looking at this weekend is nothing to sneeze at considering half the new releases won’t even make it to The Women’s opening weekend total.”
    I don’t think Appaloosa would’ve fared better than The Women if their positions had been reversed, but what kind of comparison is that? Half of the new releases couldn’t even dream of reaching that total if you pumped half a kilo of hallucinogenic mushrooms into them with one of those Ronco garlic injectors.

  12. David Poland says:

    The Women’s $30m-ish total will just about cover the increased outlay of cash by WB to market the movie to a wide release.
    As I wrote last week, they may see a light increase in some of the anciallries as a result, so it is not a complete loser. But it was an utter waste of time. And as in all things, opportunity costs are real.

  13. jeffmcm says:

    Disturbia, for all its success, was still a relatively small-scale teen-oriented thriller. Eagle Eye has more multi-quadrant appeal in terms of casting, storyline, and bigger action sequences. So, no big surprise.
    On the subject of Fireproof and religious-type movies, I have to say that one of my surprises post-Passion of the Christ was that the studios didn’t try harder to simply go back to the Cecil B. DeMille well – Old Testament bible stories with some Hollywood spectacle and flair. The obvious failure of The Nativity Story kept the lid on this, plus the expensive mediocrity that was Evan Almighty, but still, I would pay to go see a big, expensive version of, say, Samson and Delilah or David vs. Goliath.

  14. The Nativity Story was always going to fail with the director of freakin’ thirteen! Nothing about Catherine Hardwicke exactly screams “I love Jesus and want to share his love with you” or whatever. Ya know?
    Hallick, I was merely saying that The Women‘s grossing $30mil is proof that it warranted release, much moreso than something like Flash of Genius, which was never ever going to make much money. Never. Which is exactly what you yourself said so I’m not sure what your problem is.

  15. LexG says:

    I need to make a point about BLINDNESS:
    The kind of thing I probably couldn’t in good conscience recommend to friends, or, well, pretty much ANYONE, but as completely intense, gut-wrenching, uncompromising, sadistic, and audience-punishing auteurial efforts go, just… wow.
    Almost made it seem MORE subversive to see it in a multiplex with a pretty mixed audience; NO idea what they were going for springing this on the unaware masses. One of those movies with enough marquee name value and just enough of an accessible hook to rope in the unsuspecting… who then get PUMMELED by something way more transgressive than they could’ve been led to expect.
    Moore was in good form (I can go either way with her, but found her unmannered here), MAURY CHAYKIN was sinister as hell, and the cinematography, clearly a total love-or-hate proposition, was pretty incredible, shifting from blown-out whites to darkness or just shy of it… as someone said in the other thread, Mereilles works his ass off with the tricks to convey the horror, and for the most part, it works.
    Completely grueling to sit through for some, I’m sure, almost the very definition of an endurance test… not sure if I should fault or praise it for letting up just a little in the last act — by then, Mereilles had earned it.
    I highly recommend Blindness to anyone who appreciates awesomeness.

  16. movieman says:

    I wouldn’t say that “Flash of Genius” is a “bad” movie per se, Kam.
    It’s just not the sort of thing people queue up to see (except maybe at the Toronto Film Festival where they’ll queue up for anything).
    It might have worked better as a cable flick where it would have certainly gotten more attention.

  17. Hallick says:

    “Hallick, I was merely saying that The Women’s grossing $30mil is proof that it warranted release, much moreso than something like Flash of Genius, which was never ever going to make much money. Never. Which is exactly what you yourself said so I’m not sure what your problem is.”
    The problem I had was with using the point to illustrate how well The Women is doing at the box office, when one has nothing to do with the other. Half of the new releases over the weekend didn’t have the stars, the advertising, or the screens to ever make the benchmark you cited. It’s a little like comparing the net worth of one of the most mediocre players in the NBA to the net worth of a bunch of college-level guys.

  18. Cadavra says:

    WOMEN’s negative was $16-18 million, so a $30 mill gross, combined with what should be an extremely big-selling DVD (skews older) as well as a very TV-friendly cast, makes it a pretty safe bet to end up in the black, if not hugely so.

Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
Title Gross Thtr % Chgn Cume
Venom 33 4250 NEW 33
A Star is Born 15.7 3686 NEW 15.7
Smallfoot 3.5 4131 -46% 31.3
Night School 3.5 3019 -63% 37.9
The House Wirh a Clock in its Walls 1.8 3463 -43% 49.5
A Simple Favor 1 2408 -50% 46.6
The Nun 0.75 2264 -52% 111.5
Hell Fest 0.6 2297 -70% 7.4
Crazy Rich Asians 0.6 1466 -51% 167.6
The Predator 0.25 1643 -77% 49.3
Also Debuting
The Hate U Give 0.17 36
Shine 85,600 609
Exes Baggage 75,900 62
NOTA 71,300 138
96 61,600 62
Andhadhun 55,000 54
Afsar 45,400 33
Project Gutenberg 36,000 17
Love Yatri 22,300 41
Hello, Mrs. Money 22,200 37
Studio 54 5,300 1
Loving Pablo 4,200 15
3-Day Estimates Weekend % Chg Cume
No Good Dead 24.4 (11,230) NEW 24.4
Dolphin Tale 2 16.6 (4,540) NEW 16.6
Guardians of the Galaxy 7.9 (2,550) -23% 305.8
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 4.8 (1,630) -26% 181.1
The Drop 4.4 (5,480) NEW 4.4
Let's Be Cops 4.3 (1,570) -22% 73
If I Stay 4.0 (1,320) -28% 44.9
The November Man 2.8 (1,030) -36% 22.5
The Giver 2.5 (1,120) -26% 41.2
The Hundred-Foot Journey 2.5 (1,270) -21% 49.4