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David Poland

By David Poland

Blue Monday

Well, the snow seems to have melted on Monday. In fact, many businesses, including municipal offices, were closed on Monday as towns dug out. And the Avatar number was outrageous.
$16.4 million.
I can now tell you that Fox was guessing at about 2/3rds of that going into last evening. So this number is a bit overwhelming to them as well.
Perspective – This is the #11 Monday gross of all-time. It is the #3 non-holiday Monday of all time, surpassed only by Pirates 2 and The Dark Knight, both of which were mid-summer movies…. both of which has had opening 3-days of over $135 million. This is the #1 Monday gross in history that didn’t occur in May or June.
Now… I do think that the weekend slog boosted this number. I don’t expect the rest of the weekdays to be quite this enormous.
Tuesday is a day that is a bit more of a Christmas season strong suit, with six of the top twelve Tuesday of all-time coming in December. Four of those are on Christmas Day or the day after. But the December high is $13.6m for National Treasure 2. The biggest single Tuesday is Transformers‘ opening day, with $27.9 million, followed by TDK’s fifth day with $20.9 million.
Wednesday is another thing again, thick with opening days. But The Dark Knight‘s Day 6 is top non-opening Wed with $18.4 million, followed by Twilight: New Moon‘s $14.2m.
And on we go….

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19 Responses to “Blue Monday”

  1. Martin S says:

    Only to those who live in the sun is this a surprise. The majority trapped in airports are not families on vacation. That number is in the toilet. It’s individuals and couples. This week, people are home and off from work for one reason or another.
    So take a summer blockbuster with the same level of A&M and move it to the beginning of winter plus school mid-term break. People have more important shit to do than sit for 3 hours at midnight on a Thursday in late December.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if Wed was higher than Tuesday as that’s the usual holiday movie night for the college demo. But it is on now for Friday and especially Saturday. Lots of gift returning on Saturday so the kids have gots to go somewhere, again. If Avatar is epic, it will show in repeats.

  2. mutinyco says:

    Perfect post title for me to offer this: *

  3. Chucky in Jersey says:

    @Martin: Anyone who wants to see a movie again and again in a movie theater is a nobody who doesn’t want to work for a living.

  4. jeffmcm says:

    Wait, is Chucky actually Jeff Wells?

  5. bulldog68 says:

    And for some added perspective, the only movie to beat AVATAR’s opening weekend, I AM LEGEND, had a 1st Monday of $7.4M. In fact IAL never had a weekday of over $10M in its still stellar box office run to $256M. Things are looking good for AVATAR. Also for some more perspective, NEW MOON’s 1st Monday was $10.5M after almost twice as large an opening weekend.

  6. bulldog68 says:

    That should be ‘the only movie to beat AVATAR’s opening weekend in December’, I AM LEGEND,

  7. movielocke says:

    Call this the Christmas-on-a-Friday-Effect
    70% of people take the whole week off work
    100% of colleges are done, and every student finished traveling over the weekend.
    98% of primary schools are out, though a few went until Tuesday and fewer still went til Wednesday.
    This week will probably play like an after-Christmas week Lord of the Rings run. But the second weekend drop and week-between-christmas-and-new-years gross may be somewhat lower because much of that business will be picked up by this year’s unusual pre-Christmas weeklong Holiday.
    I made those percentages up, but they seem reasonable.

  8. Gordon27 says:

    bulldog – I believe that the final figures for ‘Avatar’ actually beat ‘I Am Legend’, albeit only slightly (‘I Am Legend’ presumably sold more tickets).

  9. Geoff says:

    I think the big question is whether Sherlock Holmes will be Last Action Hero to Avatar’s Jurassic Park – the equally hyped mega-blockbusters opening just a week apart.
    Holmes really feels like a hit – is there enough audience for both films to do $50 million plus, this weekend?

  10. Gonzo Knight says:

    Goeff, I thought “Last Action Hero” was pretty awesome but to me “Sherlock Holmes” looks like crap.
    I doubt it will open quite that big but I guess we’ll just have to see.

  11. jasonbruen says:

    There is decent positive buzz for Holmes; I would imagine that it could do $30-40M. More might be tough, especially since everyone is talking about Avatar. Even if some don’t like Avatar, there is enough buzz that people are going to be curious to see it to make up their minds themselves. I believe the only thing that could hurt Holmes is if Avatar hardly drops at all (i.e., say 10-20%).
    Though I wonder what the studio’s expectation is for Holmes, especially given Avatar’s gaining cultural phenomenon status.

  12. LexG says:

    LEX the BOX OFFICE MASTER throws down the GAUNTLET, and you can take it TO THE BANK:
    SHERLOCK HOLMES will do 90 MIL, MINIMUM, this weekend.
    IO knows it’s going to happen, and so should you. NO EARTHLY WAY is HOLMES *not* doing 90 by next Monday. I honestly can’t believe some of you guys aren’t feeling the POTC level anticipation for Holmes. It’s going to be HUGE.

  13. The Big Perm says:

    I agree, Sherlock Holmes is going to open bigtime.

  14. Chucky in Jersey says:

    @jasonbruen: It’s all about the Breathless Hype! Corporate Synergy! Fanboys! Hard Sell! Name-Checking! Product Tie-Ins!
    Get back to me when you’re broke and out on the street because you can’t hold down a steady job.

  15. Kambei says:

    So what does Avatar’s $16 M Tuesday mean? Still going to fail? 😉

  16. BurmaShave says:

    It should be noted Master Lex was the only person really anticipating NEW MOON’s ridiculous numbers.

  17. christian says:

    He also predicted boffo BO for THE GOODS.

  18. Nicol D says:

    When you continue to parse and “nuance” Avatar’s BO it shows not that you take BO seriously but that you are merely playing the studios game. Hey, let’s just say Avatar is the number one film ever to star characters called the Na’vi in any category and be done with it! This is the new studio game. Start at the conclusion that our film must break a record and then backtrack and parse to find what records it can break. It is an insult to those who take BO seriously.
    Avatar, is playing as I have said. As a solid hit. But not a game changer as THE GREATEST FILM IN THE HISTORY OF CINEMA that you and Cameron and Fox want it to be.
    It is the number 11 Monday gross of all time…do you think Cameron and his ego are happy?
    It is the number 3 non holiday of all time…do you think Cameron and his ego are happy? And what does non-holiday mean? Where I am, all the kids got let of school this past weekend and it is indeed a holiday!
    You can say forever that we should not compare summer to winter releases but after awhile…it is all theoretical. It is still faaaaar behind T2: Revenge of the Fallen. Do you think Cameron and his ego are happy?
    Avatar is a hit. A solid hit both internationally and domestically. But the constant articles trying to rationalize and parse it’s gross into being a “phenom” while rarely acknowledging the higher ticket price only mean one thing; it is not a phenom. It is a solid hit…but not a cultural game changer.
    If it was…this over convincing would not be necessary on your (and the Avatar fanatics) part. Last I remember, no one had to do double-overtime to convince people Transformers or The Dark Knight was a hit/phenom like people are doing to Avatar.
    I saw the film Sunday and will post my thoughts on the appropriate thread shortly.

  19. David Poland says:

    A. You are wildly spinning my position on the film to, it seems, try to make mockery of simple facts.
    B. If you think that Cameron or anyone else expected a summer opening or a holiday Monday out of this movie, you are nuts.
    C. You clearly don’t take box office seriously. You are trying to win an argument, but no one is arguing most of what you are fighting… in your head.
    I don’t think the movie is a cultural game changer. I don’t think any of the biggest grossing films have been cultural game changers. The only times movies change culture is when they have a massive impact on a narrow group.
    And I resent you putting words in my mouth to try to put down facts by spinning my motive.
    I know you want to fight your idea of Cameron, but the drama… oh the drama… it’s all yours.

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