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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Klady

Summit did a great job of selling Knowing as a knock off of National Treasure.
The I Love You, Man estimate is $300,000 or so more than Forgetting Sarah Marshall last year. Good job of creating that deja vu.
And Duplicity starts with $2 million more than Charlie Wilson’s War or Closer and $600,000 more than Mona Lisa Smile. Aside from animation and Ocean’s drive-bys, these are her only 3 films since then. That would be 8 years. Idiots who wish to make this some “Julia doesn’t have it anymore” issue are either simply hateful or ignorant or both. She hasn’t had a $100 million movie since Erin Brockovich… but she hasn’t been in that business either. And with all due respect to a very good and charming actor, she’s making this return with Clive Owen, not Richard Gere. Calm down, people.
And, much crap as I might take for it, it must be said… the Watchmen thing is going from not-as-good-as-they-wanted to an unmitigated disaster… even by the most generous terms of budget estimation. Does anyone want to argue that the film will not lose money if it tops out at under $110 million domestic? Does anyone want to argue that a gross that low will even cover domestic P&A… or if you want to stick to untrue lowballs on P&A, that and Warners’ distribution charge… which puts not one dime towards the production budget?
Worse, the failure of the film to do as much as or more than 2x it’s opening weekend suggests that the film simply didn’t connect much beyond its core, which was mistaken for a bigger group than was ever real. In other words, word of mouth was not great and those who really wanted to see it saw it on Weekend One. Like it or not, Watchmen will have a lower opening weekend to domestic total ratio than Batman & Robin, Van Helsing, Hulk, The Village or even Speed Racer. It’s Cloverfield with 25% more box office and at least 5x the budget.

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58 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Klady”

  1. bulldog68 says:

    …and the producers of the film will beg and plead with persons to see the film the second weekend and the third weekend, in a feeble attempt to link this to every ‘risky’ project that every filmmaker will ever make, as though Watchmen is some kind of litmus, and the people will look up and shout….NO!
    By the way, how long will it take IOIOIO to respond to the Speed Racer remark by DP.

  2. movieman says:

    Nobody was more excited about “Duplicity” than I was.
    Love Julia; was anxious to see her toplining a film again; and the promise of a whip-smart, ADULT screwball comedy in hi-tech clothing was damn near irresistible.
    But–apologies to all of my critical brethren who covered it with spittle and drool–“Duplicity” is an incoherent (albeit stylish) mess. Even if someone put a gun to my head I wouldn’t be able to to explain the absurdly convoluted plot.
    The calamitous “D” Cinemascore rating suggests I’m not the only one who couldn’t make heads or tails out of this thing.
    And while he’s hardly a box-office guarantee, maybe it would have been better for all concerned if Tony Gilroy (and “Ocean’s” castmate Roberts) had somehow managed to coerce George Clooney into hopping aboard.
    So no tears shed by me for “Duplicity” underperforming. I just hope the film’s ultimate failure won’t be used as another excuse (not that they need one) to further dumb-down studio product.
    I’m sure that the “Fast & Furious” grosses will help Universal recover some of the bottom-line costs, though.

  3. martin says:

    I’ll tread lightly on this topic, but I’m surprised Taken had a significant dropoff on friday. I figured it would have gotten a moderate bump at the box office, but maybe that’s a disturbing expectation. As far as Watchmen, I find it interesting that if Gilliam had made the film, I think a lot of people now would be saying that he was part of its box office poison. But really, anyone could have made this film and these numbers are about what it would have done. All the geeks run their mouths about how it’s a well known comic. But of course it’s not, nowhere near as well known as something like a Spiderman, Fantastic 4, and Hulk. Those last 2 have only done OK blockbuster numbers. And Watchmen is much less well known, so why would it be expected to match or exceed significantly better known properties? In ads it simply came across as more guys in tights, but this time with r-rated violence. Zzzzzzz.

  4. SJRubinstein says:

    I was really pleasantly surprised by “Knowing.”. Quite liked it, in fact. The best testament to the film is that I caught it at the Crest here in LA and there were about 20 Tweens in the screening yelling and shit that the manager kept coming in to yell at before the flick. About 20 minutes in, they were done making fun of Cage and were dead silent. At the end (or, well, the climactic scene), three of the girls were crying like hell. I loved the audacious storytelling, the score, the surprisingly-great effects for a non-summer flick, etc. Summit has some serious fucking balls gambling on this and I think it resulted in a stellar film. Honestly, I still can’t believe how much I liked it, particularly after reading all the dismissive reviews this morning (except Ebery’s four stars, which I found melded well with my experience of the film).

  5. SJRubinstein says:


  6. movieman says:

    I kind of dug “Knowing,” too, SJ.
    For a sci-fi/disaster/tentpole-style flick, it definitely showed some major cojones. And the End of Days, religioso spin in the climax was actually kind of….stunning.
    It was also nice seeing Rose Byrne from one of my favorite TV series (“Damages”) in a fairly decent big-screen role for a change.

  7. matro says:

    Wait, Knowing was sold as a knockoff of National Treasure? I didn’t get that impression from the ads at all.

  8. Bennett says:

    I was very surprised by “I Love You Man” We meant to see Roberts Vs. Owen, but dinner ran long and saw Rudd & Seigel instead. I didn’t care much for the ads, but it was a great movie. The funniest film I have seen since Superbad, yes better than Marshall and Role Models. It was only playing on one screen in my 20-plex and last night’s 8pm showing was only about 10% full, so I thought that it was doomed, but it’s doing well. Hopefully, this will make Rudd a true star……

  9. a_loco says:

    Lol, a critic acquaintence of mine informed me that Knowing was a “prequel to the Bible”, and then I thought: “I have to see this”

  10. “It was also nice seeing Rose Byrne from one of my favorite TV series (“Damages”) in a fairly decent big-screen role for a change.”
    Have you seen two of her Aussie flicks? Two Hands (with an equally superb Heath Ledger) and The Goddess of 1969. The latter isn’t a great film, but she won the Volpi Cup at Venice.
    I was going to be an extra in Knowing (the plane crash/highway sequence was filmed in my home town – plus a lot of the rest was filmed in Melbourne, where I live now) but got lazy and forgot to fill out the form.

  11. Chucky in Jersey says:

    @SJR: Thanks to the “Twilight” series Summit is set for life provided they don’t fook it up. “Knowing” shows they can open a more commercial movie.

  12. leahnz says:

    i’m a rose byrne fan, too, she’s got a cool, clear beauty and a low-key sensibility i find appealing and real; my fave byrne perf is actually her role in ’28 weeks later’ (which i like but nobody else seems to), she and renner really anchored that flick with convincing, rootable turns (and speaking of renner, how would you have liked to him, primarily a tv actor taking on ‘dahmer’, talk about a career gamble! i’m glad to see he’s going from strength to strength, he’s got that old-school masculitnity so thin on the ground in film these days)

  13. movieman says:

    I guess it’s “Stump Movieman” day on MCN, Kam. I haven’t even heard of the two (Aussie?) films you mentioned. Not even sure if they’ve been released on dvd in the US. I definitely know that neither ever received a theatrical release.
    Have you seen “Damages”?
    Wow; a damn good show. Even when you think it’s jumped the shark, it still pulls you in through the vise grip of Glenn Close’s (career best?) performance. And Byrne (flawless Yank accent btw) makes a terrific foil.
    Cool, Leah.
    Did you see Byrne in “The Dead Girl” a few years ago? Ridiculously underappreciated (and underseen) film. Of course, the distrib was a bloody moron for opening it Xmas week here in the US.
    Speaking of Renner (bravo for his tackling “Dahmer”!), has “Lightbulb” opened in your neck of the woods yet?
    It’s a sweet-natured rags-to-riches (true) story that opened the Cleveburg Film Fest here on Thursday nite, and Renner is flat-out terrific as one of the co-leads (the other lead is Dallas Roberts who’s very good as well despite some truly frightening sideburns). It was directed by Jeff Balsmeyer who helmed the equally charming “Danny Deckchair” with the divine Mirada Otto once upon a time.
    Not even sure if “L-bulb” has a U.S. distributer yet.

  14. movieman says:

    uhhhh…that’s “Miranda Otto”

  15. IOIOIOI says:

    Unmitigated disaster? You are such a mark for yourself. Not only do most folks who are not up the ass of the FINANCIAL side of the business like you, think 100 million dollars is fucking alright. Your response pretty much illustrates that you are…
    1) No better than Nikki Finke.
    2) Capable of being as hate-filled as Nikkie Finke.
    3) A gigantic tool.
    You are a fringe player at best. Please stop acting as if you know how anyone feels about anything. When it’s all just your OPINION, and your OPINION is currently worth about two bags of monkey piss.
    Unmitigated disaster? No, that would be who you are right now. An unmitigated disaster of a human being.

  16. leahnz says:

    ‘the dead girl’, yes, wow, somehow i completely forgot about that movie. i saw it on dvd with a bunch of chicks at one of our ‘girls movie nights’ last year and we were all sort of bowled over by how unexpectedly intense and engrossing it was, terrific perfs from all the actresses (and wasn’t byrne’s mortuary-worker character called ‘leah’? that stuck in my head)
    i’m embarrassed to say i haven’t even heard of ‘lightbulb’, movieman, but i’ll keep an eye out for it. i think renner is a revelation in ‘dahmer’; what a challenging and (needless to say) unsympathetic role, a glimpse into the psychology of a loner and a killer that renner pulls off with nuance and complexity

  17. Never saw The Dead Girl – I vaguely remember it getting released here, but… – but I have seen the first series of Damanges. Was good stuff for the the first half and then the network changed times and I missed an episode or two and got incredibly lost. Ugh.
    Movieman, they are indeed Aussie movies. I must say, I think Byrne isn’t as good today as her early performances promised, but it’s always nice to see her kickin’ away. Her best perf is still Two Hands, which is also a must see for Heath Ledger and Bryan Brown’s awesome performances. it’s also just a bonza flick in general. “Kickass” is a term you may use to describe it.

  18. Hallick says:

    I saw “Two Hands” years back when it was promoted as an Australian version of a Tarantino film (oh, THOSE were the days). I didn’t think much of it back then, but I’m constantly thinking back on Bryan Brown’s final scene in the movie. Something about the unusual way in which it was choreographed just disturbed me to no end. I wonder if I’d have the same reaction now.

  19. Hallick says:

    “Not only do most folks who are not up the ass of the FINANCIAL side of the business like you, think 100 million dollars is fucking alright.”
    For a cheaper film, it’s alright. “Watchmen” isn’t an umitigated disaster, true, but considering the investment, it wouldn’t really be “fucking alright” money either.

  20. steamfreshmeals says:

    Summit is totally set with the Twilight franchise…enough so to throw tons of money at marketing to make sure Knowing opened…Rob Friedman’s wallet is wide open
    Go see Sin Nombre and Hunger

  21. IOIOIOI says:

    Hal: it’s an unmitigated disaster to Poland. Who has his own way of seeing the world, and refuses to budge from it. He sees the world the way he sees the world, but it’s his version of the world. The guy has the audacity to state I see things like Machiavelli, but he’s the guy fixated on the black and white.
    Stating it’s an unmitigated disaster is silly. It plays into his silliness, but he refuses to see it that way. So I will call him out as I am watching Kings, and dancing to the light fantastic. The neutron dance is involved in there some where, but I am having issues with the Pointer Sisters. They keep going on about “COPYRIGHTS” and shit. It’s annoying.

  22. scooterzz says:

    movieman — i’m getting a chuckle out of the fact that we are on the same page re: ‘duplicity’ and ‘knowing’….this never happens…end of days, perhaps?
    late to the party on ‘the great buck howard’ but just watched a screener and LOVED IT!….really a treat…i had no expectations and was just charmed…..if it’s in your neighborhood, consider it…..

  23. doug r says:

    Oh no! An art-house R-rated movie is ONLY going to make barely over 100 million dollars! Domestic. Before video and synergistic stuff like, say COMIC BOOKS?
    If it makes a small profit, then it was worth it. Maybe they should get accountants that didn’t work for Enron or AIG.

  24. CaptainZahn says:

    I like Rose Byrne, too, but lately she looks like she could use a good sandwich, or five.

  25. David Poland says:

    Ah, the smell of an ass being spoken out of… but I am kinda digging the “throw Nikki Finke at him” thing… like a monkey throwing feces. Next time, add in a Wells comparison and a reference to Phantom of the Opera while you are at it. You may not want to use Matrix Revolutions, since it did much better at the box office… though it too lost money for WB… but at least they made a ton on the first two films.
    Uh… yes, Hallick, any movie that loses over $50 million is an unmitigated disaster… and Watchmen – barring some unforeseeable miracle – is headed well over that, especially when you add in the $35 million-plus that is going to Fox… even when you use Drew McW’s numbers.
    Loved Two Hands at Sundance… still pissed that it didn’t get a US theatrical… but it is on DVD… great bit with the dead brother… still hoping that Gregor Jordan will live up to the promise of this movie, though nothing he has done has failed to have some interesting stuff in it.

  26. David Poland says:

    And please… this “an art-house R-rated movie” crap has got to go.
    Simple question. Will anyone really argue that an investment of – at the lowest estimate anyone has made – over $200 million in production and P&A on a movie not intended to gross well over $300 million worldwide? Anyone?
    I really don’t want to keep fighting this fight. And I am fine with people arguing that they love the film and that the finances shouldn’t matter to anyone who isn’t signing checks. But these excuses and attacks in defense of the financial side, which is indefensible, are a bit pathetic.

  27. Indeed, some of the defenses are quite ridiculous. Defend it all you like but the studio invested a lot of bloody money in this and it won’t get it back. Love the movie, by all means, but don’t delude yourselves into thinking that because you (collective “you”) like it that that makes it alright that it lost a lot of money (especially in such times).
    “Before video and synergistic stuff like, say COMIC BOOKS?”
    Er, are the studio going to make a single cent on people buying the comic? Legitimate question. I can’t imagine they would.

  28. scooterzz says:

    ‘I really don’t want to keep fighting this fight’….
    bullshit…this is what you do…

  29. LYT says:

    “Er, are the studio going to make a single cent on people buying the comic?”
    I honestly don’t know how the finances work, exactly…but Time-Warner owns DC. So if the movie increase buys in the book, the parent company will make some profits that way.
    Enough? Who knows. But given enough time, I think the movie will be a perennial DVD for all who discovered and will discover the book.

  30. leahnz says:

    lol, scoot
    (after hearing people rave about ‘two hands’, when i finally saw it quite a bit after the fact on dvd i was like, ‘huh, that’s what everyone was on about?’ overhyping is the spawn of satan)

  31. LexG says:

    For those who’ve seen KNOWING and who are familiar with Ebert’s affinity for garish eye candy (otherwise very minor, vague SPOILER):
    Is it possible the Tarsem-esque stylistics of the last *45 SECONDS* were enough to push the film into four-star range for Ebert? From “The Cell” to “What Dreams May Come” to “Dark City” to “The Fall,” Roger just seems thoroughly enamored of a certained gaudy, vaguely sinister otherworldly look…
    So much so that I’m beginning to think if “Miss March” was the EXACT movie it is now, BUT for the last 27 seconds, there was a baroque Tarsem-Matthew Barney-esque shot of a half-man centaur with snake hair in a glowing field under a boldly blue sky, Ebert would INSTA-FOUR STAR it regardless of anything that came before.

  32. christian says:

    “but don’t delude yourselves into thinking that because you (collective “you”) like it that that makes it alright that it lost a lot of money”
    How much did you have invested?

  33. Triple Option says:

    Leah, I really, really dug 28 Weeks Later and was under the impression that critics and consumers liked it too. Are you just speaking your circle of friends? Maybe this blog?
    Rose is one of my favorite actors. Had I known she was in Knowing, I would’ve made the effort to go see it this evening instead of messing around online.

  34. jeffmcm says:

    “How much did you have invested?”
    Weak argument.
    “Will anyone really argue that an investment of – at the lowest estimate anyone has made – over $200 million in production and P&A on a movie not intended to gross well over $300 million worldwide?”
    Incomplete sentence.

  35. movieman says:

    Scooter- ….our freaky newfound “meeting of the minds” continues apace:
    I watched “The Great Buck Howard” over the weekend (dvr-ed it off the Hi-Def Movie Channel where it was given a “free preview” Wednesday nite), and enjoyed it immensely.
    Malkovich is, of course, a total delight, but I was equally taken with the infinitely charming performances of Colin Hanks and Emily Blunt. Kind of hard fathoming why the film was so snarkily dismissed at Sundance last year; and why it took so long to (finally) make it into theaters.
    Guess I should add “Two Hands” to my Netflix queue. I hadn’t realized that it was directed by Gregor Jordan whose “Buffalo Soldiers” was one of my favorite “lost” films of the decade.

  36. Martin S says:

    Dave – Using Green Machine’s floated number of 94Mil then production has just been equaled. From that, you subtract Fox’s piece and WB’s overhead. Then, depending on how Legendary gets reimbursed – 50/50 with WB or in-full before WB – means WB is between 115-150Mil in the hole, (50 production, 100 P&A), before overseas is split with Paramount. If that’s right, then we can say Fox drank WB’s milkshake, no?
    Re: DC and Watchmen sales. It depends on how graphic novels are sold. Does a B&N or Amazon keep all unsold ordered copies or can they be returned to the publisher, which is how the comic market worked for decades.

  37. martin says:

    Studios only get what, 60% of ticket sales? Or less in some cases. Theaters get the rest, so technically Watchmen has only brought in $60 mill or so to the studio right now. It’s only doing so-so overseas. The film is a LONG, long way from breaking even. Typically DVD sales follow domestic, and domestic sales have been moderate. Why anyone would dispute that the movie is going to lose money is beyond me. Of course many great films have lost money and still become “classics”. I don’t think Watchmen has a chance at that, but time will tell.

  38. David Poland says:

    Actually, Scoot, it isn’t.
    I comment when there is news. 62% off second-Friday-to-third-Friday is news. I was right there saying that the first-Friday-to-second-Friday drop would not be as bad as it seemed.
    If you want me to stop participating in comments, I can certainly do that. It won’t be the first time I have considered it. I am not looking for that fight. But I am willing to fight it when it keeps coming up, in great part because I know that there are people who keep making the argument even when its been disproven. Sometimes that person is me. Not in this case.
    Christian… “how much did you invest” is just dumb. Business is business. Should all reporting on the business stop because journalists don’t have a direct financial stake (though we are seeing how drops in ad revenue have gotten hundreds of e-journos fired in the last couple of years)?
    I don’t disagree about it being a perennial for those who own and will own the book, Luke. But the cost of the movie vs the size of the group is an issue, no? What the movie appears not to have done is to reach beyond that core, as clearly intended.

  39. David Poland says:

    94 million?
    Whose number is that? Never heard anyone float anything that low on this film.
    From theatrical gross, take 55% off the top for exhibitors and the distribution fee (in this case, domestic accrues to WB, international to Par)… in this case, take another 8% off for Fox… then start putting it up against P&A… and then start putting it against production costs. (This is not a big points movie and Time-Warner owns DC, so that is the good part of this equation for them.)
    So $100 million in theatrical gross = $37 million flowing back to pay P&A in total and then theatrical. P&A has to be well over $100 million worldwide on this film, as it is on over 75% of studio wide releases these days. So, $300 million worldwide comes close to covering – or generously, covers – P&A. Then the cost of the film, whatever you think it is, has to be covered by post-theatrical.
    Keep in mind that in the $300 million worldwide scenario – which they won’t get to, it seems – WB and Par each takes in $15 million or so (50/50 world split not likely to be exact, but you get the point) before money goes to P&A or theatrical. Legendary does not have that advantage.
    At $250 million worldwide, the movie is in the hole for at least $15 million in P&A and full production costs coming out of theatrical release.
    And yes, Fox has definitely drunk everyone’s milkshake on this movie. They are Tom Cruise on Mission:Impossible III, getting all the cream from the top. Though, in that case, Par didn’t lose nearly as much, if anything. They just made nothing while Cruise walked away with $60 million or so.

  40. IOIOIOI says:

    Unless you have a piece of paper that itemizes the budget of Watchmen. All you are doing is POSTING out of your ass. You are no better than those you hate. You have become a mockery of yourself. If you from 2006 read you from 2009. 2006 you would punch you straight in the face.
    You have even admitted, that the current state of things depresses you. Good for you. Stop reporting about it, stop caring about it, and focus on what you give a shit about.
    Again: you have absolutely no support for your OPINION. The only unmitigated disaster is what you have become. Enjoy Bermuda, watch films 99.1 percent of the population will never see, and try to see the ones you like as much as possible. Leave the business side of the BUSINESS to people who actually have some quantitative support backing them up.

  41. martin says:

    Personal attacks are the sign of a weak argument.

  42. christian says:

    My point is the if I had a time machine, right after killing Hitler and saving Bruce Lee, I’d make sure Entertainment Tonight didn’t start running box-office stats.
    And my other point is, didn’t BLADE RUNER lose money? THE THIN RED LINE? Was BARRY LYNDON a hit?
    Would you then also say, “It just wasn’t right for Kubrick to lose that money.” And not comparing WATCHMEN to Kubrick, but ya get the point. Live by the stats…die on the stats.

  43. jeffmcm says:

    Yeah, but those three cost less to make and lost less money than Watchmen (even adjusted for inflation, I’m pretty sure).

  44. christian says:

    I’m just not going to put on a tone of outrage that a different kind of film might not make the money that some hoped it would. If you want guarantees, you should analyze a different business model. And if your concern is money lost, those films I mentioned did lose money. And who cares now?

  45. leahnz says:

    many flicks that turn out to be classics for the ages are box office bombs and even savaged by critics on initial theatrical release. actually comforting in a way, because it means quality cinema has always risen above and had (and hopefully will always have) a larger life beyond critical and box office success.
    triple op, i’m glad to find a fellow digger of ’28 weeks later’, which i can understand isn’t without foibles (carlyle shows up one too many times not to cause eye-rolling, i can never understand why a capable director and editor don’t excise such nonsense for the final cut) but the movie worked for me. i don’t know what the deal is on this blog per se but among my peeps the consensus seems to be that the sequel doesn’t live up to the promise of the original, being too much of a departure form boyle’s vision, but i’m glad fresnadillo didn’t fall into the trap of trying to replicate boyle’s intimacy and did his own thing (and damn, that opening sequence with carlyle is a hard-out heart-pumper for the ages)
    and from the strange but true file: our version of netflix/quickflix here in enzed is called ‘FATSO’. seriously. (and seriously useless to boot)

  46. LYT says:

    “I don’t disagree about it being a perennial for those who own and will own the book, Luke. But the cost of the movie vs the size of the group is an issue, no? What the movie appears not to have done is to reach beyond that core, as clearly intended.”
    Absolutely. But that core group is going to continue to grow for many years. So taking the long view, it may be 20 years from now before it breaks even or something, but I think people will always be buying it so long as the book remains in print (which will be perpetually, to prevent Alan Moore from regaining the rights if it ever falls out of print).
    I would imagine that the long-term value of the property was factored in to the making of it. Sure, the immediate box office must be disappointing, but it’s probably not the be-all end-all that it would be to, say, KNOWING.

  47. jeffmcm says:

    Leah, I think I’ve said it before, but I prefer 28 Weeks Later over 28 Days Later by a lot. I think it’s a better movie in almost every way.
    Christian, nobody’s asking you to put on a ‘tone of outrage’ because there are two different discussions here – Watchmen-the-movie as a work of art, and Watchmen-the-movie as a financial enterprise. One subject is still up for discussion, the other is looking more and more grim. But there’s no reason they have to intersect any more than necessary, no matter how somebody like IOI demands that we think in blocky, uniform, all-or-nothing terms.

  48. christian says:

    Jeff, I was responding to kamikaze’s tone of outrage about “the loss of money” as if he was personally offended. Me no understand.

  49. leahnz says:

    ‘Leah, I think I’ve said it before, but I prefer 28 Weeks Later over 28 Days Later by a lot. I think it’s a better movie in almost every way.’
    jeff, i must have missed that somewhere along the line but good to know (there’s 3 of us now, we’re slowly taking over the world by single digits).
    i personally adore ’28 days later’; i first saw it at a 10:00am weekday matinee, i’d heard very little about it and i was THE ONLY PERSON in this huge, empty cinema, it was very bizarre, and the movie just sort of knocked me for six. on that initial viewing i was actually infuriated by the third movement in which our little family of survivors gets lured into a den of would-be rapists and murderers whose actions are self-sanctioned and justified under the guise of ‘repopulation’, but it was a strange fury because i didn’t begrudge garland and boyle for choosing that route for the story, i found it fairly plausible, and perhaps that’s what irked me so, to think that the last remnants of humanity would sink so low just when humanity needed to be at its shining best. so in that respect, perhaps the story worked brilliantly and just as intended, i don’t know, but weirdly my distaste for boyle’s third act doesn’t make me love the movie any less.

  50. jeffmcm says:

    Christian, I must have missed that earlier post.
    Leah, I also dislike the third act. Boyle doesn’t earn the right to do the things that he’s doing there.

  51. leahnz says:

    i understand. i guess boyle earned enough of my trust and affection during the first 2 brilliant acts that he was able to drag me kicking and screaming through the third despicable act without me jumping ship

  52. IOIOIOI says:

    Martin, maybe in fairyland, but not in the real world. If you talk smack, then have a problem with it returned in your face. That’s a problem. Nevertheless, he started it.

  53. Martin S says:

    Dave & Dopple-Martin – Thanks. I keep thinking the number listed is post-theater cut.
    94 came from Green Machine. I don’t think it’s right, but I was going with lowest number I’ve heard claimed by anyone. Benefit of the doubt, as it were.
    Dave – if you want to bail from the threads, it’s your choice. I think you’re going to have to weigh the ramification versus the lack of headaches.
    I understand if people want to bitch about numbers-talk overtaking all the threads, but what do some expect the Estimates threads to consist of? Concession sales?
    The solution is simple – avoid threads where you do not like the subject matter presented. Otherwise, accept the subject matter at hand.

  54. The Big Perm says:

    Ugh, I HATED 28 Weeks Later. It was such a profoundly stupid movie. Hate the first for being derivative or whatever, but at least it had a heart and it wasn’t sucking up to mouthbreathing mall teens. Just about every single thing that happened in that movie was dumb.
    Anyone who hates the thirs act…what would you have done? I didn’t mind the third act but I do think it was a little typical. But I think disliking it because the soldiers were nasty is weird, because the movie DID have goodness…the heroes!

  55. christian says:

    From a piece today by John Mellencamp today that resonants with this subject:
    “Sadly, these days, it’s really a matter of “every man for himself.” In terms of possibilities, we are but an echo of what we once were. Of course, the artist does not want to “sell out to The Man.” Left with no real choice except that business model of greed and the bean counting mentality that Reagan propagated and the country embraced, there is only “The Man” to deal with. There is no street for the music to rise up from. There is no time for the music to develop in a natural way that we can all embrace when it ripens and matures. That’s why the general public doesn’t really care. It’s not that the people don’t still love music; of course they do. It’s just the way it is presented to them that ignores their humanity.”

  56. jeffmcm says:

    28 Days Later barely had a heart. But then I’m one of the guys who hated Slumdog Millionaire and thinks Danny Boyle’s a very calculating director.

  57. leahnz says:

    interesting link, christian. sticking it to the man just isn’t what it used to be

  58. “Unless you have a piece of paper that itemizes the budget of Watchmen. All you are doing is POSTING out of your ass.”
    Why is it this movie that we can’t discuss the budget? People do it all the time, but this one is the the one where we can’t because we don’t have specific numbers. Of course it’s a movie you like, so… Also, I think you emphasised the wrong part of that sentence.

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