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David Poland

By David Poland

Am I Crazy, Or…

Is Terminator Salvation, with a PG-13 and enough marketing shots of machines with big personalities to choke a geek, looking like the first $100 million opener of this summer… and likely the #3 opening of the entire summer, behind Transformers 2 and Potter 6?
In some ways, TS seemed like a top-tier also-ran a month or two ago. Effects looked cool, but it wasn’t Ah-nuld or Linda Hamilton or Cameron… like the last one, which did $433 million worldwide in spite of landing with a bit of a thud. (Jon Mostow’s comeback effort, Surrogates, lands in September, more than 6 years after T3.) That was down $85 million or so from T2.
This film’s marketing seems mostly uninterested – unlike The Dark Knight‘s campaign – in reminding the audience of the good old days. Stan Winston’s Terminator endoskeleton, without skin, is an iconic design. And that is what WB is selling.
Ironically, it feels a lot like a reboot, which is what people are talking about re: Star Trek… except that this franchise is much stronger, at least in terms of box office history.

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66 Responses to “Am I Crazy, Or…”

  1. Blackcloud says:

    Dave, what makes you think those are mutually exclusive?!

  2. martin says:

    It will make money. Mr. Batman is money, and so are robots this summer. But I don’t see it being the gigantic hit you’re talking about. It feels a little bigger than T3, but I get the feeling T4 is going to be Wolverine numbers, with better legs. $170-180 domestic, same int’l. Personally I think the PG-13 will kind of hurt it, at least as far as street cred. It could have separated itself from the other big robot movie this summer by going more adult, hard R like T2. I think that would have been the smart move, but we will see. I don’t think McG will be hurting for coin anytime soon though.

  3. Wrecktum says:

    I think WB is very happy with how this film is tracking in the marketplace and their Thursday opening gambit will pay off big time.

  4. Geoff says:

    Actually, Dave, I think you are crazy, no offense – Warners has done a top job marketing this thing, no doubt, but they should have gotten it a weekend by itself. June is pretty barren and the first or second weekend would have been much better.
    Because Night at the Museum is going to crush it. I could be wrong, but I have a feeling that Night is going to do a $100 million opening and has an outside shot of being the #1 film of the summer. Seriously, I don’t know any one with kids who is NOT looking forward to seeing this thing. I really didn’t dig the first one, but a lot of people loved it. It’s a true four quadrant film, unlike Terminator.
    Also, Trek will still be going a bit strong when Terminator opens – I’m predicting about $60 to $70 million over the first five days and a total domestic of about $170 million.
    Dave, come on – when are you going to start doing some charts and columns on the summer box office?

  5. David Poland says:

    I don’t know, Geoff… haven’t been feeling it…

  6. Wrecktum says:

    Trek will be softening big time by the time Terminator opens. Night at the Museum will open well, but it’ll be its weekday numbers that sustain it, not opening weekend. It’s gonna play very young.

  7. Crow T Robot says:

    I’ll admit the marketing is working on me.
    The trailer makes the movie look fairly, uh, interesting. Yeah… INTERESTING. That’s a word that rarely comes to mind with summer movies.
    I always thought the fun of this particular series is that each sequel turns the previous one on its head. And Salvation — which comes off like the first movie’s plot in reverse (how John Conner prevents the death of his OTHER parent to save the PAST) — seems like no exception.
    Could work. Could not. We shall see.

  8. Geoff says:

    Dave, I know that Terminator is the stronger franchise, but the franchise was always ABOUT Arnold, you can’t forget that. Cameo or not, without him, it’s just not the same.
    Look, I’m really looking forward to Terminator and have no desire to see Night at the Museum, but… a post-Paul Blart world, I think the sequel to the third highest grossing family comedy of the decade can clean up. The problem for ‘Museum is that the next few weeks for that audience is brutal….Up, Land of the Lost and then Eddie Murphy’s Nickelodeon comeback. So the legs might get cut a little, but the opening should be killer.
    And why aren’t you feeling it?

  9. scooterzz says:

    i came out of ‘museum 2’ thinking it much better than the first and a shoe-in to take opening week-end….now that i’ve seen ‘ts’, however, i’m not so sure…i haven’t watched any of the ‘ts’ trailers so i won’t risk spoiling anything…just to say this is much, much bigger than i remember the previous films…

  10. IHeartThatCurtis! says:

    Geoff: I am with Poland on this one. It has Batman in it, it has trailers that seem INTERESTING, and it’s the Terminator Franchise. You can bring up Arnold all the live long day, but no movie series has played up the future war more than the Terminator series. The fact that we finally get to see that future war in 9 days, is pretty freakin awesome. So it should do 100m easily, but you never know with this box office stuff. It’s whacky cooky crazy.

  11. The Big Perm says:

    If Christian Bale didn’t show up for Batman 3, I doubt it would make a dollar less because of that. I don’t think he’s a draw at all.

  12. jackbourassa says:

    Honestly, you’re really the only person I think who believes that Night At The Museum 2 will somehow beat Terminator Salvation. It’s just ridiculous to think so.
    If anything I think the reverse is true. I think that FOX made a huge mistake pitting NATM2 against Terminator Salvation. I honestly think that NATM2 will be the first real bomb of 2009. The film has barely any buzz and if you bothered to check, its imdb page is DEAD. Not a great sign for a $150 million film that opens in less than two weeks.
    Terminator Salvation has HUGE buzz going on right, and besides the two films aren’t even competing for the same audience.
    I agree with David, Terminator Salvation does $100 million+ it opening weekend. I’ll take it one step further and say that Night At The Museum will not only come up short, but will outright bomb at the box office.

  13. The Big Perm says:

    The retards who post on IMDB are the types that would hate Night of the Museum. I wouldn’t use that to guess at anything.

  14. jackbourassa says:

    Two words: Prince Caspian.
    The original did well around Christmas, just like the original Night At The Museum. Then the studio released it as a summer tentpole and…BOMBS AWAY!
    I sense a similar situation with Night At The Museum 2.
    No buzz = no interest. That simple. Night At The Museum does $30 million its opening weekend (opposite $100+ million for Terminator Salvation) and then sinks like a stone one week later when “UP” comes out. That’s my prediction.

  15. Geoff says:

    Jack, really, how can you be so sure? Night at the Musuem made a ton of dough just few years ago and Ben Stiller has been in his share of comedy blockbusters – hell, Tropic Thunder even did over $100 million last August against tons of competition and it was R-rated.
    The last Terminator film was six years ago and it underperformed – and the biggest asset the franchise had is doing a cameo, at best.
    Look, Warners has marketed the hell out of this thing as a reboot event and seeing the early results for Trek, I can see them surprising a lot of people. But….they should have gotten their own weekend. It was at least smart to open the Thursday before.
    Night is the first big family film since Monster’s vs. Aliens and think of how big that movie opened.

  16. Geoff says:

    And sorry Jack, Fox is not making the same mistakes that Disney made with Prince Caspian – tbhey are marketing the same exact elements that worked the first time, but only bigger. Prince Caspian was marketed as a youthful action epic, completely different from ‘Lion.
    There’s no way ‘Night only does $30 million opening weekend.

  17. Hallick says:

    “The Sarah Connor Chronicles” is what I think will keep “Terminator: Salvation” away from the $100M mark more than anything. The product’s been diluted and diverted enough since T2 to simmer down the opening weekend. $100 million weekends are events.
    Maybe if T:S was looking at a wide open field it could do nine figures, but it has to compete with Star Trek’s legs, whatever Angels and Demons is doing just a few days before it, and Night At The Museum 2’s family suction (there is NOTHING out there for the whole family right now, and “Up” will be out AFTER NATM2. I wouldn’t discount this one’s outlook just because it looks like crap).
    And what exactly is the time period we’re going to judge this by? Thursday to Monday or Friday to Saturday?

  18. JamesLaFleur says:

    Hal: most people who watched TSCC loved the damn thing. While the product has not been diluted since T2. People still love this franchise, and want to see the future war.
    Perm: uh no. He’s Batman. People love Bale. They are fanatical about Bale. Seeing as you are not, that’s on you. The rest of us know who the Bat is, and his name is John Connor!
    Jack: Angels and Demons is this year’s Prince Caspian.
    Geoff: I am with you with Night making a lot of money, but you are really missing the boat on Terminator. The future war has always been more important than Arnold. It’s what everyone whose been watching these films for 24 years has wanted to see, and WE ARE ABOUT TO SEE IT!
    Seriously, people stopped caring about Anrold as at the Terminator a while ago. It’s all about that War. It’s all about seeing John Connor in action. Downplaying that for a belief Arnold is so important, is really weird. Given the fact that one of the more beloved actors of this generation is playing the lead role in the film.

  19. Geoff says:

    James and the rest: I am not saying that Terminator does not look damn interested; I, myself, am very eager to see teh “future war.” But we do not represent the general public.
    And sorry, I have a strong feeling that the general public is more eager at this point to see Ben Stiller trading quips with CGI creatures in a museum than Christian Bale kicking robot ass in a post-apocolyptic world. I’m not saying it’s right.
    You can only discount Arnold so much; I’m not disputing that he’s no longer a big star, that’s the not the point. He IS The Terminator, he’s the reason they made the first two sequels. This isn’t James Bond or Batman; this is a character defined by a movie star.
    That said, Warners has done a very good job of making this into an event with the stars they have; the marketing campaign has been great, probably as good as Trek. But I have a feeling there’s a ceiling on this film that is not helped by having to share its opening weekend.

  20. I’m with Geoff on this one. I think at this point that Night at the Museum 2 will be one of the highest grossing films of the summer. Night at the Museum has outgrossed every Terminator movie, every Star Trek picture, every Ice Age film, and every X-Men picture. I didn’t care for the first one, and I can’t vouch for the second, but this is the first family film since Monsters Vs. Aliens and it’ll be the definitive ‘gee, the whole family is here and we all need to see a safe movie’ choice.
    PG-13 or no, I can’t imagine that many parents who wouldn’t take their kids to an R-rated Terminator suddenly saying ‘oh, well this one is PG-13 so it’s OK (especially if, like Live Free Or Die Hard, it’s every bit as violent and brutal as the previous entries).
    I still think the crown will be between Harry Potter 6 and Transformers, and I think T4 will do very well for the franchise (I’m seeing it Tuesday, glad to hear the positive word), but NatM2 is a relatively fun looking sequel to a very very popular family film. We’ll see.

  21. scooterzz says:

    you guys should stop thinking this is your father’s ‘terminator’….really…
    it’s not about john connor, it’s about marcus wright…and yelchin’s kyle reese outweighs bale’s john connor…and the arnold bit is going to get more attention than you think…and, finally, mcg has done his best to turn terminator into transformers….
    seriously, i think wom is gonna be huge here…..

  22. leahnz says:

    somehow fitting in thread called ‘am i crazy, or’:
    ioiheartlafleur – 13 more and you’ll give sally a run for her money
    re: ‘the end begins’, i’ve heard from someone who’s seen it that it’s overblown, heavy-handed mcg hockum and the little soul patch-wearing weenie should be taken out and shot

  23. jackbourassa says:

    I really can’t believe the two or three of you who think that NATM2 even has a shot against Terminator Salvation.
    That thing has BOMB written all over it.
    scooterzz/leahnz, I think, has spent too much time hanging out with all the idiots on imdb. LOL.

  24. scooterzz says:

    jack — um…you might want to reconsider that last post….

  25. David Poland says:

    Actually, I think Night 2 will do a huge number and open very strong… just not $100 million in 3… but likely over $200m before it ends… I don’t think it’s 4 quadrants, but it has top notch family appeal, brilliant idea, and the sequel really tops the original in conception.
    As for whether the movies themselves matter re: opening weekend, scoot… they do not. No one knows what they are going to see when they buy a ticket on Friday or Saturday… and there is still very light word of mouth by Sunday. Second weekend, yes. And T4 may be strong that way. But opening is marketing.

  26. Alex says:

    Angels & Demons is this year’s Prince Caspian? If by that you mean the sword to Star Trek’s legs, then yes.

  27. Both of these movies are ones I can see being HUGE or being seen as disappointments. Museum 2 sort of has a Dr Doolittle 2 or Stuart Little 2 vibe (although the originals of those sequels made substantially less than Night at the Museum did so Prince Caspian is probably a better example) and fall around the $150m mark. Still good, but compared to the original would be a big disappointment. I can also see it doing just as well as the original.
    Same goes for T4 (that abbreviation is better than TS), although I’m erring on the side of it doing around $200m. The idea of “franchise” has been HUGE lately so I can imagine, especially with that PG13, that a lot of people will go see it on name basis (including those who didn’t see the third one, which I think suffered from the franchise being absent for so long and not being one of those principal franchises.
    I can see it debuting to Wolverine numbers though.

  28. Bodhizefa says:

    If you think Night at the Museum 2 is going to fail, you’re simply not qualified to make any judgments about anything related to film box office. Period. I hated the first film, but the series has an obvious allure and a much much better premise for the second film. The second one is going to be an absolute monster at the box office this summer, and I think has an outside shot of beating Potter and Up for the top kids’ movie of the summer.
    As for Terminator always being about the future war, um, no. Absolutely not. In its heyday (which is to say, in James Cameron’s day), Terminator was about stopping the war. That the film series didn’t end on that dark highway road at the end of T2 pretty much shows how sad we’ve become in terms of having to mine pre-existing material for monetary gain. I’m sure I will watch Terminator, but I’m also pretty sure it will be an awful echo of what the series was and should have been. And I will be surprised if it makes $200 million.

  29. JamesLaFleur says:

    Dude, I did not state it was about the FUTURE WAR. I simply stated a fact among anyone who has seen Terminator and T2: THEY WANT TO SEE THE FUTURE WAR! It’s has been that ominous event hanging in the background of countless people’s minds. Heck. Go read all the coverage leading up to the announcement of T3. People were hoping left and right that T3 would show us this war. While it just showed us a nice lesbian lady beating up an aging ex-bodybuilder.
    Still people want to see the war. We are finally getting the war. Nice of scoot to fucking SHARE SPOILERS WITH US THAT ANYONE WHO HAS PAID FUCKING ATTENTION TO SHIT SINCE LAST YEAR WOULD KNOW! Nah. I love spoiling shit for everybody. Timmy!
    Oh yeah Alex: bullshit.

  30. leahnz says:

    the heart of the ‘terminator’ universe is and always has been linda hamilton’s ‘sarah connor’; she is the strength, the vulnerability, the mother, the general, the pathos. cameron’s ‘terminator/T2’ is sarah’s arc. without her, the terminator world is a pale imitation without an emotional anchor (T3 was passable fun but lacked the tension and heart cameron builds so expertly through his action). terminator began and should have ended with cameron and sarah’s haunting voice over as we travel down that dark highway with her and john into the unwritten future
    (a nice lesbian lady? sybil/io/iheart/lafleur, your mum is calling you for dinner)

  31. MDOC says:

    Just an uninformed opinion from a man on the street. I have followed T:4 since rumors broke of it’s inception. I never thought I would be as interested in the movie as I now am. Bale was a huge coup, and McG gets a lot of hate, but he does have the ability to give this project a coat of gloss to make it visually interesting. The R doesn’t bother me, it’s 2009, what does R even mean anymore? Terminator should have more of an edge to it than Transformers. I’m geeked up.

  32. gradystiles says:

    scoot, you really think word of mouth on T4 is going to be great? I actually think people will literally be laughing out loud at the ending (which I think is way worse than the one that leaked online a few months back).
    I don’t think the movie is nearly as deep or philosophical as it thinks it is, nor do I think it really delivers on the action front. There are long stretches where not much happens.

  33. hcat says:

    If T4 takes the weekend it will be a come from behind win. Families ate up the first NATM and adding Amy Adams is only going increase the demand for the under 12 year old girls who watch Enchanted once a week. The film itself looks terrible in a same-thing-but-more kind of way (now there are two slapping monkeys), but that has never deterred the family audience who made Paul Blart and Alvin into hits.
    This looks like the Patriot-Perfect Storm weekend, where on paper Patriot looked like the sure thing but Warners marketing was able to put together a really strong campaign in the last few months and put Storm over the top.

  34. The Big Perm says:

    IO, I mean James, who’s fanatical about Christian Bale other than the same internet people who declare that Equilibrium is a great movie (it’s not)? I don’t think he’s a well liked star. I think people know of him as Batman and that is IT. He’s not a likeable guy, maybe he could smile every third movie or something.
    Night of the Museum will make big dollars.

  35. Geoff says:

    You know, you have to wonder about Christian Bale as a genuine draw – do the studios know something we don’t?
    I mean, even after Dark Knight, he has to share top billing on Terminator with Sam Worthington, a guy no one has heard of???? And he’s gotten completly short shrift in the Public Enemies campaign – I figured he would get his face or figure on the poster and it’s just Depp.
    I really like the guy – loved him in American Pyscho – but I think this could be a case of Orlando Bloom where he is just happens to be featured in a huge hit. I would not like it to be so, because I would love to see this guy get the good roles.
    But did some one call him “beloved?” Sorry, after that recorded incident, he is anything but, nowadays. I’ll gladly see both movies to see him in action, but not really sure he’s considered much of a draw.

  36. Eric says:

    I haven’t been very interested in many of this summer’s movies. As far as Terminator goes, I don’t think people care enough about Christian Bale to make a difference. I think McG is cause for concern and the PG-13 rating reeks of money-hungry cash-in.
    All that said… Warner has marketed the living shit out of this movie. The trailers are awesome (perhaps because Warner stole the rhythm and feel of its own, amazing Dark Knight trailers).
    Just my opinion here, but I think it’s going to be big.

  37. Eric says:

    I think Bale is great but just not an audience draw. He’s got great taste in material, even very commercial material, so he’s been in some huge hits. But Bale is not what made them huge.
    To put it another way: he’s an actor, not a star. He doesn’t have a consistent persona from film to film that a marketing department can work with.

  38. The Big Perm says:

    Actually Eric, he does have a fairly consistent persona…dour guy who’s focused on his job and does not make jokes or smile or ever be fun. Which is tough to market to a general audience.

  39. anghus says:

    Night at the Museum 2 is one i have a hard time reconciling. The first one did good business but everyone i know that saw it went “meh”.
    That’s why Museum 2 feels like “This year’s Caspian”. My gut tells me that it will make less than the original (like Caspian), but i wouldn’t bet against it.
    Does Caspian have a modern equivilent? A sequel to a hugely successful movie that incinerated?
    Matrix Revolutions is the only film that immediately came to mind. I’m sure there are others but that’s the first one i could think of.
    I want to see Terminator Salvation. This is kind of what i was waiting for. Not with McG directing mind you, but the eventual promise of full out MAN/ROBOT war action. Three movies of robots sent back from the future all with the foreshadowing of a war with the machines. Finally, 25 years later, we have it. I watched a scene on line with Marcus and Kyle trying to escape a giant robot, and i was impressed. So far this Summer has been full of B and B minus fare: I have a feeling Salvation will fall into that range. You rarely get “A” quality films in the Summer. Dark Knight seems to be the most recent exception.
    So if Salvation, Transformers 2, Ninja Assasain, etc are all “B to B Minus”, i’ll be happy.

  40. Eric says:

    Perm, good point, you’re right. His persona is “sullen and inaccessible man of action.” (Probably about as hard to market as no persona at all.)
    Although I wonder if that is a function of his particular role in the recent megamovies. He wasn’t that way in, say, American Psycho, which I think was his defining role until Batman.

  41. anghus says:

    Eric, i disagree.
    His defining role was Newsies, followed by Shaft and Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.
    There’s also a strong case that his defining role was the audio clip where he screams “YOU AND I ARE DONE PROFESSIONALLY”.
    It is true, Bale is hard to market. He is an actor, not a star, and has zero presence in the press other than his one mad outburst.

  42. The Big Perm says:

    I think Bale chooses roles that speak to him, therefore he chooses dour and sullen roles. I don’t think he’s just happened to be in a few recent movies that had a character like that. Michael Keaton wasn’t so unfun when he played Batman. I’m sure Bale could have lightened up a bit if he wanted to.
    And Bale may have been livelier in American Psycho, but he was playing…a psycho. Would the man ever make a comedy?

  43. scooterzz says:

    grady — yeah, i do think wom will be huge despite (or because of) the completely laughable last 15 minutes…
    and, i never got the feeling the movie was going for ‘deep’ and/or ‘philosophical’…even in interviews, both bale and mcg have said it’s all about the action and blowing stuff up….
    the big revelation to me was anton yelchin…y’know, up close he’s a real ‘pocket person’ (about 3″ tall and 75 lbs. wet) but he actually comes across pretty butch and action-ready in this….

  44. anghus says:

    the fact that they considered Yelchin for Green Lantern tells me he must have some kind of action presence.
    Is the fact that every young star is passing on Green Lantern say something about it?

  45. As far as precedences for Prince Caspian…
    Prince Caspian is a text book example of something I like to call the ‘Tomb Raider trap’.
    In that I mean, if your first film makes a lot of money despite being a film that no one liked, then you just can’t win. Even if you make a better film than the original, people will still remember that they didn’t like the previous entry and they won’t even sample the next chapter.
    Tomb Raider: Cradle Of Life was a far superior film to the original Tomb Raider, a real flesh and blood, stunts and dirt adventure film. Yet it did just half the domestic business ($66 million vs. $132 million). Prince Caspian was a markedly better film than The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, yet it did just 48% what the first film did in the US ($142 million vs. $292 million).
    I’d peg Angels & Demons to fall victim this year, although Night at the Museum 2 seems to meet the criteria as well.

  46. The Big Perm says:

    I don’t know, I think Night at the Museum was pretty well liked by the types of people who don’t write on movie forums and think Equlibrium is a good movie (it SURE isn’t).

  47. JamesLaFleur says:

    Equilibrium is a good movie. The ideas might have been too WEST COAST for you EAST COAST laddy.

  48. Kambei says:

    Bale played the uncannily optimistic Deiter in Rescue Dawn within recent memory. It’s not his fault no one saw that excellent movie.

  49. Hopscotch says:

    Just an expirement: not saying it’s 100% test-accurate. But…
    Terminator opens Thurs. May 21st. There’s a midnight screening at the Arclight Hollywood for Weds May 20th, and for those of you who don’t live in Los Angeles the Arclight is one of the nicest (my personal favorite) movie theater in LA. Very popular amongst us film fans.
    I just went to see how pre-sold the midnight screening is a week out… they’ve sold about 10 tickets. That’s odd. Very odd. For this kind of movie, for that theater.
    Scott – I like your Tomb Raider theory. I’m not sure A&D will have the same fate. It’ll do less than Da Vinci Code. But i don’t think that much less.

  50. Hopscotch says:

    Kambei – Rescue Dawn isn’t great. But it’s an AMAZING performance.

  51. The Big Perm says:

    What ideas IO, that flipping in the air somehow makes 100 guys firing automatic weapons miss? Or the other ideas taken directly from Farenheit 451 and 1984?
    Equilibrium is the ultimate motuhbreather movie…that has (terrible) action for the mouth breathers, and because it’s trying to be smart (I emphasize trying) then the people who usually shun actual mental stimulation think they saw something profound.
    You can just never trust predictons from internet geeks because they stump tirelessly for movies they love…which is why Grindhouse was going to open at 80 million.

  52. jasonbruen says:

    Though Night at Museum 2 opens 1 week before Up, I would imagine there are lots of families who will not take their kids to the movies 2 weekends in a row (a couple weeks in between is a different story) and that is the case with me. And I would imagine quite a few would prefer Up over Museum 2 to see in the theaters.
    There is a lot of pub out about Museum 2, but where is all the excitment out there that people mention above? Up, however, seems to be generating some buzz (probably due to the known Pixar brand). It is obviously difficult to declare Museum 2 a bomb before opening, but I agree that it will do less than the original. Up is right there on its’ heals.

  53. The Big Perm says:

    Where was the excitement for the original, or Paul Blart?

  54. Lota says:

    I think Terminator is going to do big numbers once people actually realize that it is coming out. For no other reason peeps seem to be hoping for that old T1 or T2 magic…like a restart to Trek.
    NATM was the dumbest big movie most people saw…will it be able to do it again? Given the local competition and families on limited dollars, I think many might opt for Pixar, since you can’t go wrong with them. Good point above about being released close to UP–yeah even with matinee prices, no one is taking the family to two movies within a 3 week period–maybe over xmas being locked in cold weather with little else to do, but not at any other time, doubt it.
    NATM2 might *be* Caspian-ed…but I think Caspian was so awful compared to the first movie. NATM2 seems to be more likely to be ‘more of the same’ of NATM. You couldn’t pay me to see NATM2 since the first was so LAME it made me appreciate the fine art that was ‘Are We There Yet’ in comparison.
    I don;t agree Scott–I thought Caspian was a terrible terrible xenophobic interpretation of the book. Caspian himself was a hot piece with little personality instead of the wonderful idealist of the book. Boring dude with beautiful hair is as nice as I can get. The movie and him as the star dragged and dragged.
    Speaking of hot pieces, Bale will bring in the women especially since he doesn’t smile. Even his bad movies (which are plentiful) he is awesome and weird. I Hated Equilibrium because of what it could have been and wasn’t, but Bale is awesome.

  55. yancyskancy says:

    Oy, Equilibrium. Stylish and all that, but the themes and storyline seem like something concocted by an eighth-grader after reading “1984” and watching The Matrix. Some of it is actually rather intelligently worked out, but it’s hard to stop thinking “This is just silly.”
    Speaking of silly, it’s probably heresy to say this here, but I can never work up an interest in box office predictions.

  56. LYT says:

    If I were a parent, I think I might be happy to take the kids to Night at The Museum movies in hopes that if they like it they’ll want to learn about the real Amelia Earhart, Rameses, Abe Lincoln, etc.
    As an adult — and one who went to many museums as a kid — I thought the first one worked despite its hack director. Solid high concept. We’ll see if it can last for two flicks.

  57. leahnz says:

    LYT, after seeing ‘night at the museum’ my son had to do a school report on a famous explorer and he chose sacajawea, so you might have a point there

  58. I didn’t read Prince Caspian the book, but I enjoyed the movie a bit more than the first film. It did kinda drag a bit in the third act (especially having a rather shocking late in the game twist), but I did enjoy it more than LWW, and quite a few people (CS Lewis fans and not) did too. I still think it’s a viable franchise if they keep the budget within reason.

  59. Geoff says:

    Scott, I like your “Tomb Raider” theory, but it can still be overcome with strong marketing – if the original film was successful, yet widely disliked, just market new elements that tell audiences this one takes a better new direction.
    Case in point, Batman Forever: Batman Returns, which I loved, was widely criticized for being too dark and gruesome, so Warners got Jim Carrey and heavily marketed the more comedic elements in the advertising.
    Mission Impossible II: The original had pretty poisonous word of mouth for being too slow and complicated, so they got John Woo and put out a campaign for the sequel that emphasized pure bullet-time action, just a year after The Matrix.
    In both cases, these films grossed more than their predecessors.
    Do I think this is the case with Angels and Demons? Not so sure. Sony is marketing the hell out of this and making it VERY clear that is a faster movie with more thriller elements. Not sure it will work, but you have to give them credit for trying.
    I am getting a stronger feeling that NATM will be the bigger grosser, just a hunch. I even have to admit that the Bill Hader and Hank Azaria lines in the trailers made me chuckle – Fox is playing this sharp.

  60. MDOC says:

    I’m out for Angels and Demons. No interest after DaVinci and I officially had my fill of vatican conspiracies in 1991 with Hudson Hawk.

  61. Since people on this board have apparently seen Terminator 4, can anyone let me know what the aprox running time is? Just wanted to tell the babysitters for convenience. Thanks.

  62. Lota says:

    hi scott, I do think the Narnia franchise is viable but they do need to get cheaper and less posey with the surreal stuff. At times the second movie seemed like a heavy metal video and bits in the 1st movie did drag with some of the more preachy dialog emphasized but still liked the adaptation better than the second movie. If they are made… it will be interesting to see how #4 with its muslim/Arab target is made. I loved the imaginative story of the main characters of the book, but it clearly sniped at non-christians and middle-eastern folk in subtle and not so subtle digs at culture.

  63. leahnz says:

    turns out none of ‘dawn treader’ will be filmed here (LW&W was made here, and most of the exteriors on ‘caspian’ were shot here but we lost the rest to frickin’ romania of all the transylvanian-vampire-loving places, and now we’ve lost ‘dawn treader’ altogether to the cheap-ass astraaaiiiiiins (sorry kam))), so i couldn’t give a flying shit about ‘dawn treader’ anymore

  64. leahnz says:

    forgot to say, i don’t know if i came off as sounding like i’d seen ‘the end begins’ scott but to clarify, i’ve not seen the movie i just heard from someone who has and expressed his opinion, so i can’t help with that time thing

  65. Shame that NZ is losing all the jobs Dawn Treader will create, but yay for the Aussie industry. But, still, will that film look like a third different franchise after Wardrobe was done in one style and Caspian in another?
    To be fair to Sam Worthington, you don’t find new stars by casting people everyone knows in everything.
    I don’t remember a single thing (not even one frame) of Equilibrium other than not liking it and being incredibly disappointed. I do remember being told that Kurt Wimmer was going to be the next big thing and then he wasn’t and also the poster looking dreadful. That’s it.
    My problem with Night at the Museum was too many muggers (as in Williams, Wilson, Coogan, Stiller even in sleepwalking mode) and the fact that for a movie set in a museum that comes to life it did not feel remotely exciting or whimsical.
    Lastly, in regards to Christian Bale’s box office drawing power… I think he’s a draw when he’s in movies like Terminator. In that people see him on the poster and think it can’t be that bad. But he’s not a commodity at all in movies like The New World. Does that make sense? I tend to have that theory about a lot of actors, actually. Not a case of loving the actor, but the film surrounding them looking good and having that rub off.

  66. storymark says:

    Equillibrium is a masterpeice next to Wimmer’s other flick, Ultraviolet.

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