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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Klady – Demons

Those who compared Angels & Demons to Narnia: Prince Caspian are, on the box office face of it, pretty close… A&D will actually launch a little smaller… and interestingly, the first day vs first day drop for Narnia is not nearly as severe. Day One of DaVinci was a reported $28.6m… Narnia 1, 23m vs Narnia 2’s $19.4m. In other math, A&D is 42% off… N2 was off 16%.
Still, if the entire run of A&D ends up being off 42% worldwide, they still have a $450 million grosser… which looks like it would be the high grosser of the first three mega-movies of this summer.
That may not happen. But it might.
The irony for all of those who have puffed up the false notions that critics drove Star Trek‘s better-than-originally-expected opening is that DaVinci was slaughtered by the critics and the reviews for A&D have been much gentler, even when negative, but generally speaking, not terrible. It seems to be a better movie.
Speaking of Star Trek, the 61% drop isn’t terrible or unexpected, though the question of what the drop is vs the real Friday numbers, as opposed to the Thursday night/Friday numbers remains a bit of a blur. Either way, it will even out, putting the drop in the low-to-mid 50s by weekend’s end, putting the movie just under $140 million. That would be “The Star Trek Effect.”
This is a reminder, yet again, of how important marketing is to the box office, even up against word of mouth. Trek does, in my experience, have Iron Man-like word-of-mouth, though perhaps with less specific enthusiasm (as in “Downey is God”… I don’t really hear a single focused repeated notion of why Trek works… just that people really have a good time and so often, that they were not Trek fans.) But it is really really really hard to change a made up mind when it comes to selling a movie ticket… especially in summer, where The Next One is coming every single weekend. Trek is certainly getting some good w-o-m money in this weekend, but by next weekend, T4 will be all the buzz… and if someone who had no intention of buying Trek tix gets to next weekend thinking, “I hear good things about Trek… maybe I WILL go,” you are then up against, “But T4 is hot… all those friends who rushed to see Trek on opening weekend are going to T4 this weekend… if I want a big action movie, why go back to Trek when I like the Terminator franchise more… etc.”
The extra weekend that Paramount marketers had last summer for IM to strengthen its legs before Indiana Jones, combined with the singular kind of focus on Downey, was worth, it seems to me, at least $50 million.
Trek probably has around $85 million in it after this weekend… could be $10 million higher or lower. That’s a win vs expectations, if not profits, for Paramount. The only problem with the Batman Begins theory, however, is that Nolan’s second movie stunk of being much bigger and better than the relaunch. Can Trek be any bigger than this one under the director of JJ Abrams?
The Brothers Bloom is pretty much dead, given that on 4 screens, it is opening to the same per-screen as Summer Hours on 2… even with a marketing budget about 10 times bigger. (Still not massive… but much, much bigger.)

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38 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Klady – Demons”

  1. Wrecktum says:

    Gotta be a disappointment for Sony, who spent a ton to open this thing. This is supposed to be their biggest movie of the summer, so I expect you’ll see a lot of glum faces in Culver City on Monday.

  2. brack says:

    Considering many didn’t like The first movie, that’s a pretty good opening.

  3. Stella's Boy says:

    $77 million to (about) $45 million. I don’t know if that can be spun as a pretty good opening, even if most people weren’t crazy about the first.

  4. mutinyco says:

    Well, here’s a positive way to look at it: A&D made nearly as much on its first day as Ron Howard’s last movie made in its entire run…

  5. brack says:

    “even if most people weren’t crazy about the first.”
    actually, that has everything to do with this film’s opening.

  6. Stella's Boy says:

    Maybe, but I still don’t believe that this is a pretty good opening for A&D.

  7. steamfreshmeals says:

    Can Summit do anything, but Twilight franchise?
    Does that franchise mess up what that company should be?
    Next Day Air (AA wide) and Brothers Bloom (4 screens after months and months of delays and not knowing what to do)?
    Rob Friedman has all the money in the world, but do they have a strong marketing department?
    Interesting to see what happens…no way they can make The Hurt Locker work in June…Bandslam in August? Maybe Sorority Row and Astro Boy in October
    They just need to hang on, maybe re-evaluate their staff, until New Moon in November

  8. movieman says:

    The “Brothers Bloom” reviews were much kinder–and in some cases, genuinely enthusiastic–than anticipated by someone like me who genuinely loathed it.
    Having said that, did anyone really expect this to perform any better?
    I’m actually surprised it did as well as it did opening day.
    But if Summit is still entertaining delusions of eventually taking “BB” wide, they should definitely recalculate those plans pronto.
    I’m pretty sure that if Summit wasn’t so determined to prove themselves in the marketplace it would have gone straight to dvd after departing Toronto last fall sans any discernible buzz whatsoever. You can be sure that if Summit really believed they had something special on their hands they would have opened “BB” at year’s end as originally scheduled.
    (Oops; wait. Wasn’t it originally-originally slated to break last October? Yeah, thought so.)
    “Summer House” is a genuinely great movie–and Assayas is god.
    If it does as (relatively) well as Desplechin’s “A Christmas Tale” did for them last year, IFC will be delighted by its domestic cume.
    Glad to see that “A&D” is already being perceived as a b.o. “disappointment.” Yeah, it’s (marginally) more tolerable than “Da Vinci Code” (the slightly shorter run time definitely helps), but so frigging what? It’s still a crappy movie.
    Glad to see “Trek” evincing legs. Despite all (recent) evidence to the contrary (“A&D,” “Wolverine”), not all summer tentpoles have to stink.
    No “Terminator” or “Museum 2” promos in these parts until early next week. Not even sure if “Dance Flick” is “screening” (at least nobody’s told me anything).
    Has anyone seen it? Loved “Scary Movie 1”–and the “DF” trailer is pretty damn funny–but the subsequent Wayans’ joints (“White Chicks,” “Little Man”) were virtually unwatchable.

  9. David Poland says:

    I don’t blame the marketers, steam… I blame the “neither fish nor foul” nature of how they are trying to sell. It really doesn’t work for anyone… and many try every year.
    I have written about this in some depth before. They are in this space where everyone thinks they have all this loose money – WAY overstated – and they’ve had the big hit – which would have been bigger at any studio – and now, they are no playing against Overture and SPC, but against The Bigs. But you can’t play against the bigs with shallow pockets and though they have a lot of cash for an indie or a Dependent, they don’t have the money to be a real grown-up studio.
    Hand them Juno and what happens? Not what happened at Searchlight. And while Utley is brilliant, it’s not that everyone else is an idiot. Searchlight’s freedom as part of a bigger machine, including a lot of Home Ent and other ancillary firepower, gives them a big leg up when they decide to push harder on the marketing budgets. Plus, they have the confidence to pull back and lean on publicity – as Summit did on Twilight – which very few can get away with.
    Big or small is a LOT easier than where Summit is right now.

  10. berg says:

    if there is justice in the universe then QT should direct the Star Trek sequel

  11. a_loco says:

    What? QT would never do it, but if he did, that would be an idiotic idea of gross proportions.

  12. montrealkid says:

    Brothers Bloom seems to feeling the effects of having its release date being constantly bumped since last fall. If you move around a film long enough, audiences will no longer care.

  13. the keoki says:

    Bummer, i was pretty wrong. I said off 40% but i think it will end about 50% and not 60. But at least we all can agree that it will go waaaaay past 200 mil! Let my words be marked!

  14. brack says:

    “Maybe, but I still don’t believe that this is a pretty good opening for A&D.”
    If you are merely looking at opening weekend comparison, then no, but that’s a pretty limited viewpoint. Star Trek was the “it” movie this time around. Angels and Demons looked like more of the same, which many simply weren’t interested in. Add in zero buzz for Angels and Demons, and you get a good opening. Not great, but still pretty good.

  15. IOIOIOI says:

    Wow. David thought I had a point with comparing A&D to Caspian. Hot Dawg. I feel like George Bailey going to see Mr. Glower as a young man!
    That aside David, The Batman Begins theory has less to do with TDK, and more to do with eight months worth of showings on HBO and Cinemax. Begins is an incredibly re-watchable movie. If you watched it enough. You could not wait to see a sequel. I feel Star Trek will work the same damn way.
    Now, JJ, has two guys out in Hawaii who can help him with scope and depth. If he needs it. Star Trek — you not being a fan of the man, probably could not tell — is a considerable freakin leap in skill for Abrams. If he can do this. He can go bigger. Seriously, he pulled off time-travel on Felicity. He can pull off a massive Star Trek sequel need be.

  16. matro says:

    I don’t think shifting release dates really has much of an effect on audiences as it does with the perception of a film inside the business. I don’t think 95% of the filmgoing audience really cares about release dates for films until they’re a few weeks away, in which case they rarely change.

  17. jeffmcm says:

    I’m not clear on how The Dark Knight’s
    ‘stink of quality’, to adapt David’s phrase, gave it the box-office success that it had in its opening phase. That all has to go to the popularity of Batman Begins.
    But since they already spent out the wazoo for Star Trek to make it bigger and noisier, for the next movie they might actually have to come up with a compelling storyline (yes, I know this counts as deliberate baiting of sorts, but I don’t care).

  18. Chucky in Jersey says:

    “The Brothers Bloom” is scheduled to expand beyond NYC/LA on 5/22 and go national on 5/29. If there’s anything holding it back it’s the phrase that pays: From the director of ‘Brick’ …
    How many people know about that movie? Serious.

  19. IOIOIOI says:

    Jeff: you are once again in the minority. You just sit there, and you think about that. You think about that.

  20. chris says:

    Short of a poll that I’m not aware of, I don’t imagine there’s any way to tell if the (almost universally) good reviews for “Star Trek” boosted the box office. It sure seems like they would have. But, in any case, your fourth graf is specious, Mr. Poland. Rave reviews for “Star Trek” as a potential audience-convincer are nowhere near the same thing that lukewarm, not-terrible reviews for “Angels” are. If any review drives moviegoers, it’s a rave or a pan, not a middle-of-the-roader.

  21. Wrecktum says:

    Good reviews do nothing for a ultrawide release’s second weekend. By that point, it’s word of mouth and advertising.

  22. leahnz says:

    i don’t know if this will mean much to overall box office – it certainly didn’t hurt in the case of ‘iron man’ – but chicks dig ‘strek’ if the amount of online ‘trek’ fanfic porn written by chicks is anything to go by; before i go any further i will add here that i am NOT a regular purveyor of internet fanfic porn but a girlfriend pointed out a couple of sites with fanfic by girls about bones, kirk, spock – even chekhov, bless yelchin’s little half-pint ass – much of it homoerotic, and the sheer volume and graphic nature/sausiness of it was astounding, and rather…interesting to read, too. ahem. just thought i’d point that out anyway.

  23. leahnz says:

    i suppose i should have mentioned that all these women seem to be planning to see the movie multiple times (it would appear they’re aiming for multiples in regards to ‘strek’ in more than one way if you get my perv drift)

  24. David Poland says:

    I didn’t compare the two, chris.
    But my point is that reviews don’t change the game on opening weekend,no matter how bad or good, except in rare occasions. And in the case of raves, it helps to have time.
    As for A&D, the reviews are better than DaVinci… and obviously, no where near as good as Star Trek.
    As for the Batman Begins thing… my point is that the quality of that film lowered resistance to a broken franchise. And the “stink of quality” was all the talk about the IMAX, Ledger, how serious the film was, how much bigger, etc. It was sold as a film of giant images and not character close-ups… which had a lot to do, in my opinion, with that opening.

  25. IHeartThatCurtis! says:

    David: you make solid points about TDK, but you cannot dismiss the groundwork Begins laid. Begins set up what became the #1 all-time box office leader after we have James Cameron admit most of his grosses consisted of South African currency. The bad kind of South African currency.
    Silliness aside; Trek should lay the groundwork for Trek 2 over the next three years. After more people see this wonderfully entertaining film. Trek 2 should have a lot of positives going for it before one early set phot is released.

  26. “I don’t think shifting release dates really has much of an effect on audiences as it does with the perception of a film inside the business. I don’t think 95% of the filmgoing audience really cares about release dates for films until they’re a few weeks away, in which case they rarely change.”
    A movie going out to only 4 cinemas is the sort of movie that is targeted at people that come to places like this. And people that come to places like this know about release date scheduling and, yes, after a while they stop caring and realise that if it’s taken this long to be released then it mustn’t be that good.
    Saw Star Trek yesterday. meh. I feel like a grandpa saying this but I wish Abrams could’ve just kept the camera still for one entire scene. That would have been nice. So much panning and zooming and swirling and swooshing and somersaulting and sweeping and flaring and …aagh. Just wanted it to stop. It was nice seeing a sci-fi film that actually took total advantage of the fact that it’s set in the future. I’m sick of Earth apparently turning into a barren wasteland in the future! And Chris Pine, I found, was incredibly unlikeable. Good music though.

  27. Dr Wally says:

    On the subject of A&D’s grosses, it’s fall-off from DVC is probably less to do with it’s release slot, or anyone’s opinion of DVC as a movie, but more to do with the fact that the book is not the same publishing phenom that DVC was, and has been around for longer. Sony would have known and anticipated this.
    You can see this pattern in the varying grosses of the Tom Clancy and John Grisham adaptations as well. Patriot Games did barely two-thirds of the gross of Hunt for Red October despite having a bigger star as Jack Ryan. The book hadn’t had the best-selling traction that Red October had. Clear and Present Danger was a much more popular book, and the movie again grossed far in excess of Patriot Games. With Grisham, The Client outgrossed The Pelican Brief depsite the latter film having Julia. The book sold far more copies. Coincidence? You decide.

  28. the keoki says:

    woo hoo! Star Trek dropped only 44%…. my words were which were marked turn out to be less wrong after all. who doesn’t love that?

  29. Hallick says:

    “Begins set up what became the #1 all-time box office leader after we have James Cameron admit most of his grosses consisted of South African currency. The bad kind of South African currency.”
    What’s that? Monopoly Rands?

  30. chris says:

    Didn’t say they do, Wrecktum. And then, DP, I am misreading your fourth graf, I guess.

  31. IOIOIOI says:

    KC: Pine being unlikeable? Oh come on, man. Come on!
    The camera movements really did not bother me like Greengrass’ movements usually do. So I guess that camera movement think is more subjective than I thought.

  32. jeffmcm says:

    “I’m sick of Earth apparently turning into a barren wasteland in the future!”
    Kamikaze, what did you mean by this? There are two parts of Earth that we see a lot of in the movie – San Francisco, which basically looks like they cut and pasted it from The Fifth Element, and Iowa, which looks like Iowa, but with a canyon.
    IOI: What is it exactly that you want me to think about?
    Chucky: How again would _you_ have marketed The Brothers Bloom? Especially considering they seem to have had an ad budget of $1.76?

  33. Blackcloud says:

    My impression was that the thing in Iowa that Kirk drives the Vette into was a quarry. But I could be wrong. Does anyone have a screen cap of the sign on the fence he crashes through?

  34. leahnz says:

    it is a quarry

  35. martin says:

    I still don’t understand why they would build a starship on earth as opposed to in space. As far as Brothers Bloom, I just think it had a weak title that sounded like every other arthouse movie. I also didn’t see a lot of character advertising featuring brody and ruffalo, who IMO are more money than weisz. It seemed like they were relying on reviews to get butts in seats, and these days that’s a losing proposition.

  36. jeffmcm says:

    Martin, I can imagine that they would assemble the components on ground and assemble them in space – which is what they do with International Space Station – but the only reason to assemble the whole ship on Earth is for the visual, and I kind of like my visuals accompanied by logic.

  37. Jeff, what I meant that was I liked how this movie wasn’t all barren wastelands and post-apocalyptic ruins, but instead embraced the futuristic art direction and shiny shiny aesthetic.

  38. jeffmcm says:

    I get it, there was an invisible ‘because’ in your post that I interpreted as a ‘but’.

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