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David Poland

By David Poland

Box Office Hell for Angels, Demons

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17 Responses to “Box Office Hell for Angels, Demons”

  1. Josh Massey says:

    Only BOG thinks Star Trek is falling by 50%, and then only barely? Has anybody actually paid attention to box office trends before making predictions?

  2. LexG says:

    Was I imagining things (I was sober for once) last night, or did I suddenly start seeing TV ads every eight minutes for some Feeling Minnesota-looking low-rent romance with Jennifer Aniston and… some dude I can’t even remember? Steve Zahn?
    And it drops TODAY? Where did that even COME from?

  3. Stella's Boy says:

    And it’s getting pretty good reviews Lex (the few that I’ve come across have been positive anyway). Stephen Belber wrote and directed it. I really like Tape, which he wrote.

  4. mattn says:

    Has anybody actually paid attention to box office trends before making predictions?

    FWIW, Iron Man fell just under 50% from its first to second weekend, right? Star Trek has better midweek numbers than Iron Man’s first week and (as David pointed out in a different thread) has relatively weak competition in its segment. So why does this seem too small a drop to you?

  5. Joe Leydon says:

    Tape is great. And I caught Management last fall in Toronto: It’s a low-key rom-com with a great deal of charm. Mind you, Lex, I don’t think you’ll find it CHARMING, but… Well, I think you’ll laugh. Honest.

  6. Josh Massey says:

    “So why does this seem too small a drop to you?”
    I could be wrong, absolutely. But Star Trek had much more of a built-in audience than Iron Man, an audience who would have been there first weekend.

  7. chris says:

    … and on these boffo weekdays, Josh Massey?

  8. Rothchild says:

    Massey, I can’t think of any trends that are relevant in this particular situation. Those are realistic estimates, and some of them are even low. Trek is going to clear 250 and we’ll see where it ends up.

  9. Wrecktum says:


  10. mattn says:

    “Star Trek had much more of a built-in audience than Iron Man”
    I know this is the standard assumption, but I wonder if this is really true. I mean, just how big is the fanbase at this point? By boxofficemojo, the current Star Trek had by far the largest opening weekend of any Star Trek in 2009 dollars. These can’t all be Trekkies, can they? Maybe the built-in audience already came out and the additional audience last weekend (not to mention the higher numbers during the week) are not hardcore fans. Then comparing the Star Trek trajectory to Iron Man isn’t so unreasonable, and a $240 million gross (I get by assuming similar dropoffs but from an initial weekend only 4/5 of Iron Man) doesn’t seem so implausible.
    Well, we’ll probably know by Sunday.

  11. The Big Perm says:

    The built in audience for Star Trek is probably older people though, so they may go later. I know a number of 50-60 year old people who want to see it, and will be this week/weekend.

  12. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Took in “State of Play” last night at a megaplex that held it over. “Angels and Demons” was on 5 screens and none of the evening shows sold out. Not a good omen for opening weekend.
    Overbooking is a serious problem for mainstream movies, especially at megaplexes. It’s better to open 2-3 prints and sell out than open 4-5 prints and not sell out.

  13. Wrecktum says:

    “It’s better to open 2-3 prints and sell out than open 4-5 prints and not sell out.”
    Not necessarily. If the theatre is interlocking prints or running D-cinema, then print cost isn’t a factor.
    If, however, the distributor sent the theatre 5 prints and they can’t get asses in seats, then it’s definitely a problem and just plain bad business.

  14. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Interlocking: Studios frown on it for financial reasons — it may have been fashionable in the 80’s but not today.
    Overbooking: The megaplex where I saw “State of Play” didn’t open “Management” and the only arty titles are those in wide release.
    Moral: Cater only to mouth-breathing fanboys and you’ll lose business in the long run.

  15. Wrecktum says:

    Interlocking happens all the time. Not sure why you’d think otherwise.
    And don’t blame the theater because a specific arthouse flick isn’t booked. Perhaps there’s no print availability or the theater is in a competitive zone or the distributor is platforming the release. Truth be told, a theater will many times still make more money on a fifth print of the tentpole de jour instead of the latest arthouse film.
    That said, overbooking is definitely a problem, and I blame the studios who like to get into a cock measuring match each summer to see who can release their big pics the widest. What a waste.

  16. djk813 says:

    Looking at the numbers for Management, a fifth screen of Angels and Demons was probably a better call for the theater than a screen of Management.

  17. Chucky in Jersey says:

    @Wrecktum: Studios also frown on interlocking for legal reasons. When the “Lord of the Rings” movies came out, New Line warned theaters not to interlock or their prints would be pulled immediately. The theaters caved.
    “Management” opened in New Jersey day and date with NYC, so if any megaplexes didn’t get that film it was due to bad booking and/or the theater’s demographics.

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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