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David Poland

By David Poland

Klady's Friday Estimates For Wild Things

Where The Wild Things Are is still getting mixed reviews, from raves to anguish and a lot of “I liked it, but it lost me somewhere” in between. This number reflects, however, the DaVinci Code of it all… the book is one of the most important children’s books in history and the images in the advertising will make any child – especially boys – anxious to get the the theater even faster than GI Joe.
An apology of sorts to Paramount on Paranormal Activity. I still think the media has lost its collective mind in overhyping this thing. I guess we have nothing else better to do. But it looks like they are now heading towards a competition with Cloverfield in terms of box office and not Snakes On A Plane. Smart, focused effort… very Searchlight… very Megan Colligan (and her talented team)… wonder whether Sumner is now thinking about whether she should have Brad Grey’s job… Brad should be very happy that they notion that was floated repeatedly over the summer of blaming/firing marketing after he blamed/fired Lesher didn’t come to fruition… in classic style, the marketing department shows how much smarter it is than production, selling a nothing little gimmick film into profits while the monster films of the leadership return weakly on their massive investments.

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21 Responses to “Klady's Friday Estimates For Wild Things”

  1. movieman says:

    Unless I miscalculated, Ice Cube’s long-delayed “Janky Promoters” grossed $68 per screen yesterday. WTF?!?
    How is this even possible?
    Isn’t “JP” a reefer comedy hearkening back to Cube’s “Friday” roots?
    My mind reels.
    On a completely unrelated note, I was amused that John Anderson’s Variety “Stepfather” review consistently misidentified the actors playing the stepfather (it’s Dylan Walsh, John; not Jon Tenney) and the ex-husband of stepdad’s new wife (that would be Tenney, not Walsh).

  2. film_buff24 says:

    A couple questions….
    *If Paramount knew it had one of the most profitibale films of all time on its hands with “Paranormal,” would they have kept “Shutter Island” on its slate this year?
    *Does it say more about the sad state of indies in America, or the studios’ approach to marketing them that “Paranormal” will end this weekend as the top limited release of the year, and probably at least double the total gross of the number 2 film, 500 Days of Summer, by the end of its run.
    *Paramount has the top grossing film of the year with Transformers 2. Will Paranormal Activity be the most purely profitable?
    Also…whose bright idea was it to open Black Dynamite in 70 theates. A blaxploitation spoof starring Michael Jai White is not going to open in 70 theatres. Awesome film, and now its DOA.

  3. Botner says:

    Wow, impressive start for the unfairly maligned Law Abiding Citizen. Overture could be looking at their first bona fide hit.

  4. Joe Leydon says:

    Janky Promoters opened in Houston at one theater. A dollar house. In the suburbs. No kidding. It’s another “Third Rail” dump. I ask: Has a distributor (a Weinstein subsidiary) ever been more aptly named? I mean, why don’t they just call it “Toxic Waste” and get it over with?

  5. movieman says:

    I look forward to your “Janky Promoters” review, Joe.
    Just read that “Janky” hits dvd next month.
    Guess I should add it to my Netflix queue.

  6. Discman says:

    Botner: I don’t try to start flame wars through heated rhetoric, but really — anyone who thinks “Law Abiding Citizen” was unfairly maligned needs to have their head examined.
    It’s a strong contender for worst film of the year. Dreadful.

  7. jeffmcm says:

    Did DP ever write a review of Paranormal Activity, or are his thoughts in the box office threads the only places he’s talked about it?
    It’s not a deep or ambitious film, and it’s not as good as The Blair Witch Project, but ‘a nothing little gimmick film’? Overly harsh.

  8. christian says:

    I guess David’s peeved because he was so wrong?

  9. christian says:

    I mean, we’re talking about a fun William Castle style promtion around a film that cost less than TRANSFORMER’S craft services. And an old skool slow roll out is nifty because it actually still works. It’s Halloween!

  10. Kim Voynar says:

    I’m not DP, of course, but I reviewed Paranormal Activity way back in 2008 for Cinematical … you can read that review here, if you’re so inclined:
    I don’t think it’s overrated in the least … if anything I’m shocked that it took this long. And I didn’t even see it in a theater … several colleagues and I watched it on a screener in my room at the Yarrow. I made one of them sleep there that night in my extra bed, and both of us wanted the bathroom light on all night. Love this movie, and may just catch it again in a theater with a pumped up college crowd, for kicks.

  11. indiemarketer says:

    Totally agree on BLACK DYNAMITE.
    Apparition hasn’t figured it out yet.
    Bob Berney is great, but need some help in marketing.

  12. jeffmcm says:

    Thanks Kim.
    I just finished watching the documentary from a few years ago that was in the Val Lewton DVD box set about how the scariest things are what you imagine in your mind. Making a movie that manages to get big scares out of a door slamming and a rustling sheet is a pretty solid achievement in my book.

  13. leahnz says:

    “the scariest things are what you imagine in your mind”
    yes, or just very simple imagery, like fred’s dimly-lit form slowing fading into the utter darkness as he walks down the hall in ‘lost highway’, or michael myers standing across the road in the dark, face mask too pale and utterly motionless in ‘halloween’ (carpenter’s, needless to say).
    there’s often more menace and terror in one simple, clear shot than an entire film jam-packed with try-hard ‘scares’. simple imagery is being lost in a flood of ott direction and hyper-editing
    (just a little bee in my bonnet i had to get out)

  14. NickF says:

    The shocker here is Law Abiding Citizen getting a $20 mil opening. I never would have expected it to gat that much. The main draw for me would be the kills are pulled off by Butler’s character.

  15. Law Abiding Citizen is a adult-starring, mid-budget star-driven thriller that looks appealing in a saturday night at the movies way. Since few of these get made anymore, the few that do (Vantage Point, Taken, etc) should expect to open well as there still is such a demand for an ‘old-fashioned pot boiler’. The movie is trash, inexplicably stupid trash, but I wasn’t bored and I do sincerely miss the genre, as well as the constant employment that it provides for character actors.

  16. catherina says:

    F. Gary Gray was the good inventor of the movie. I saw this movie at night and it was been one of the fine attraction of thriller experience and it does proven the high quality of the modern day technology. Yes most of all I think it was a far better approached to reach goal of success and a good movie makes with fine thriller story.
    (removed by DP because it was spam)

  17. leahnz says:

    ^^^ how do those dogs from ‘UP’ keep finding their way into the comments here?

  18. David Poland says:

    Normally, I would remove the comment, leah, but I like your response enough that I am just banning the spammer…

  19. leahnz says:

    thanks DP, otherwise my comment would seem very bizarre in light of scott’s perfectly normal, not at all ‘dogs-from-UP’-like grammar

  20. Since I hadn’t been banned, Leahnz, I presumed that the comment was in response to an whomever posted after me.

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