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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Klady

One has to go all the way back to 2003 to find a pre-Christmas weekend that was not right on top of Christmas, creating a 4-day or 5-day weekend and that entails. Now, 2003 did have Return of the King burning things up. That level of film has not entered the market this month. But after that, grosses were $11.5m, $11.4m, $7.8m, $5.5m

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26 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Klady”

  1. Joe Leydon says:

    A 75 percent drop for Day the Earth Stood Still. Hokey smoke, Bullwinkle!

  2. The Pope says:

    And so it appears that Will Smith is finally proof that all things come to an end (in this case, his running winning streak of consecutive $100m+ grosses). Of course, because it appears that Seven Pounds will not reach $100m, it will be considered a flop. Added to that of course, are the reviews.
    But who knows, maybe it will have legs and slowly ease its way through. In these straitened times, the audience may just be willing to see it and weep (I haven’t seen it and won’t be seeing, or weeping for at least a couple of weeks; it doesn’t open here until mid-Jan).

  3. Tofu says:

    The correlation of those four films with these four films isn’t too hot, but the Tales & Charlotte comparison works.
    After releasing the beyond vague trailer last month, and nothing much else, $100 million was simply never in the cards.
    Weather was terrible nationwide, but even places with normal conditions had lite attendance. Frost/Nixon is dead in the water.

  4. movieman says:

    I’m not sure I get why you think “Frost/Nixon” is “dead in the water,” Tofu.
    It’s gotten almost universally solid reviews (probably better than a Ron Howard movie deserves), has done splendidly in (very) limited release so far and has a better than even money shot at scoring Best Picture/Director/Actor/Screenplay Oscar nominations next month, right before it enters “wide” release.
    How does this translate as d.i.t.w.?

  5. Wrecktum says:

    It doesn’t. He was making things up.

  6. LexG says:

    Shit, I should have just stayed home tonight and gotten drunk or played videogames:
    I forgot that the “holiday season” brings out all the moviegoing riffraff, regardless of venue– yes, even to some of L.A.’s “upscale” rooms.
    So that said, a big “fuck you” to the theater-hopping ASSHOLE who decided to sneak into our *Arclight* showing of MILK at the *80 minute* mark, plop down three seats away (from me specifically), and texted on his Blackberry feverishly for the remainder, in clear view of the entire theater behind him.
    When Penn and Diego Luna have their final scene and Penn’s reaction, were we supposed to be hearing the click-clack of this fuckwad’s numberpad and the shining beacon of his screen? By the time I scolded him (in the douchiest, wishy-washiest way possible), the movie was effectively ruined, as I spent the last act more annoyed than if Joe Leydon was chicken-scratching next to me.
    I guess I understand theater-hoppers if you’re a real cheapskate, and if you can duck in at the beginning, I don’t really care. But what the FUCK can possibly be gained by catching the last 30 minutes of something? (Amusingly, the split second Brolin started firing, the dude got up and left, probably mentally checking it off his list: Yep, saw how that one ended, good enough.)
    Now I have to pay to see this shit again. And of course when you complain about such things at the Arclight, they’re polite and eager to please, but the response is always, “YOU SHOULD HAVE COME AND TOLD SOMEONE.”
    Because, yeah, it TOTALLY doesn’t take one out of a movie to go leave for four minutes to flag down an usher, then sit there while they try to evict some defensive, ill-tempered texting tool.

  7. jeffmcm says:

    You’re right: they should have been doing their job and noticing that shit

  8. LexG says:

    Jeff, I tell ya: I go to that place DOZENS of times a year usually without incident, and it’s still the best bet in town, but this time of year, EVERY YEAR, something big gets fucked up for me because all the idiots are out, all hopped up from shopping or rattled from holiday stress, and basic etiquette is out the window. I don’t know if the staff just can’t control the enormous crowds, or they’re more laissez-faire. And it’s usually at the movies where you’d never expect to see some dumb shit like that.
    Like, if I was seeing Hills Have Eyes 3 at some hellhole Valley multiplex, I expect that kind of shit; But considering I was swept up for over an hour in one of the best movies of the year, totally engaged, and a theater that prides itself on appealing to serious moviegoers, it especially burns to have some ADD/restless leg Blackberry dick come in taking the Whitman’s Sampler approach to moviegoing because his “Doubt” show nextdoor let out a half hour before his dinner plans.
    Sorry, Rod Lurie, I was gonna see your movie tomorrow but thanks to Arclight not enforcing their policies, I have to go see “Milk” again.

  9. Aris P says:

    Lex, the exact same thing happened to me earlier this year during a showing of Funny Games. Douchebag comes in late, texts, even gets a phone call. I got so mad, I yelled “Stop fucking texting or get the fuck out”, pretty loud. I’m not the fighting type, but this shit bothers me beyond anything. I was ready to pummel the fuck out of him, on a sunday afternoon no less. The tool got up and left. Not that I condone fighting, but once in a while, the promise of getting into it with someone really gets the blood flowing, and that’s healthy in my books.

  10. jeffmcm says:

    Well, of all the movies this year, that was a good one to text through.

  11. jeffmcm says:

    Oh, and hey Lex: if, after the holidays, you want to meet up and drink and get angry at people, I’m ALWAYS down for that.

  12. Chucky in Jersey says:

    “Doubt” is scheduled to go wide on Xmas Day, so that’ll be 6 wide releases.
    @Pope: “Seven Pounds” may hit $100M if the weather breaks right. Xmas/New Year’s is when every day is like Saturday night for a movie theater.

  13. Pelham123 says:

    I’m at Arclight all the time and rarely encounter any problems, but as Lex mentioned when I do it’s at the oddest films. I saw the very arty, subtitled, “Letters From Iwo Jima” on a Saturday afternoon and seated a few rows back was, of all things, some (apparently) homeless guy who was drunk or stoned talking back to the screen like it was some grindhouse feature. He would have these weird periodic outbursts about how we are gonna get’em, etc. until finally about 45 minutes in he just nodded off and wasn’t heard from again. The worst experience I’ve had since I moved to L.A. was seeing “Eyes Wide Shut” at the AMC in Woodland Hills on the opening weekend. Packed house and EVERYONE was expecting a f**k film. Needless to say you could feel the tension awaiting (the never to occur) release from beginning to end. Cell phones and chatter started up pretty quickly once the crowd realized what they were really getting. Brutal.

  14. Whenever I see a really “out there” type of film, I get saddled with crazy’s. Like when I saw “Irreversible” at the Aero in Santa Monica, this wasted homeless guy sat right in the front laughing through the first 1/2. He actually shut up during the rape scene and left, but still. I was already uncomfortable and that guy magnified it.
    Then another time I was seeing “Wild at Heart” with my frigging mom at a nice theater in Marin County. Again, already feeling uncomfortable when this nut case starts marching down the aisles of the theater, saluting the screen and then goes back to his seat.
    Texters/phoners are also irritating, but I don’t have the guts to risk getting knifed by some loser for telling him to grow some manners.

  15. I live just about walking distance from the AMC Woodland Hills. It’s a horrible audience during the weekend evening shows, the epitome of why people hate going to the movies (texting, talking, yelling, altercations in the aisles, throwing straws, etc… from people young and old). I spent my first two ‘LA years’ in Studio City and the AMC Burbank was a fine experience every time. My wife and I have started going to the Pacific 21 in Winnetka for weekend movies. So far, no complaints,

  16. doug r says:

    You should get the manager’s cell number so you can whip out your Blackberry and text him when these (upscale) assholes start their douchebaggery. You’d think somebody who can afford fifteen bucks for a movie would show more class, but maybe you need to find another place. Competition, don’t you know.

  17. LexG says:

    Thing is, pretty much every major L.A. theater chain has caught up to the Arclight in price: Most Pacifics and AMCs’ll run you 12 or 12.50 at night, plus the refreshments and parking are actually CHEAPER at the Arclight, so the idea that the high prices are keeping out the hoi polloi doesn’t really apply anymore.
    But, yes, I’ll be re-seeing “Milk” at the Vista for 6 bucks.
    The oddest Arclight audience last year was “Atonement,” where for some reason a whole section of ill-behaved, texting and profanely chattering thug-type teens (the fuck?) just had to see “the new McAvoy.” And Pelham, during “Iwo Jima” some fat guy snored loudly throughout, prompting me to just ask for my money back and see it elsewhere.

  18. Chucky in Jersey says:

    There’s a simple way to stop all the phone/text douchebags. It’s called a Saturday Night Special. Once open carry is made legal in Cali the douchebags will go away.

  19. jeffmcm says:

    ^^^Huh? Wow. I guess a rain’s gonna wash all the scum off the streets of suburban New Jersey.

  20. Hallick says:

    “Once open carry is made legal in Cali the douchebags will go away.”
    ‘Shhhh…’, Chucky whispered, blowing softly at the tip of the smoking barrel standing in for his finger. ‘I can’t hear Keanu…’

  21. David Poland says:

    You’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya gook?
    Thanks for playing Veddy Bad Eastwood Imitations

  22. Cadavra says:

    Lex, one of ArcLight’s selling points is that an usher sits in the auditorium for the entire movie specifically to stop people from calling or texting or whatever. You definitely should tell a manager the next time you go there that someone wasn’t doing his damn job.

  23. yancyskancy says:

    Actually, in the Arclight usher’s opening spiel, they only promise to be in the auditorium for the first few minutes to check picture and sound, and then pop in periodically throughout. I’ve never heard them say they’d have someone there for the entire run time.
    I’m just lucky I guess (knock wood), but I’ve never had a major incident there. A couple of slight issues were nipped in the bud (a couple of girls dancing around before a Twilight screening, a loudmouth or two who got shushed into silence pretty quickly — and once we had to switch seats because of some dude’s b.o.).

  24. Cadavra says:

    Well, to be accurate, we were told this at the ArcLight Sherman Oaks; I just assumed the Hollywood one had the same policy.

  25. Isn’t there some kind of device that blocks cell phone signals?? They apparently have one at my in-laws house and whenever I’m bored at work.
    I’ve been calling my wife and child “Goddam Gooks” all week in a low, snarly whisper. I know it’s awful, but everytime Clint grumbled those lines out (and “zipperhead”) I couldn’t help but bust out laughing. And before you the PC police get all over me, my kids like, 1 so she has no idea what a horrible racist her father is being. Yet.

  26. christian says:

    Gooks! Funny!

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