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David Poland

By David Poland

The Road To Box Office Hell?

1 I Am Legend $77,211,321
2 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King $72,629,713
3 The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe $65,556,312
4 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers $62,007,528
5 King Kong $50,130,145

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36 Responses to “The Road To Box Office Hell?”

  1. jasonbruen says:

    Yes, no December release has opened to $100M or more. Though I am curious, does anyone think Avatar will open close to that ballpark (or exceed)? It seems the hype is everywhere, just wondering if it will translate to a summer blockbuster opening or if will get closer to I am Legend territory.

  2. Eric says:

    All of these numbers for Avatar seem pretty high for me. I’m excited as hell (got my tickets for tonight!) but I’ve heard few other friends or coworkers mention it.
    If it reaches the huge numbers Dave has predicted (and as a Cameron fan I very much hope it’s good enough to do so), I suspect it’ll be with a muted opening and very long legs.

  3. Discman says:

    Has anyone discussed the potential impact on box-office receipts of a huge winter storm chugging up the East Coast? It’s expected to dump 12-15 inches in D.C. by tomorrow night, and is moving toward New York.

  4. hcat says:

    Chucky’s all over it Discman.
    I spent the last 12 years in DC and don’t think I ever saw that much snow.

  5. rw says:

    I live in a small town in Germany. I have seen Avatar on wednesday on a 3-D-Screen. The house was packed. It will be packed too for the whole weekend; the tickets are nearly sold out until sunday.
    When I did book tickets online today for a second screening on sunday in the big IMAX in Berlin, I found out that there were only a few seats left – nearly sold out too.
    Avatar will make loads of money all over the world.

  6. christian says:

    Don’t let IO know.

  7. jasonbruen says:

    So maybe no $100M opening here (more like $60-75M) but huge internationally.

  8. jasonbruen says:

    Continuing my thoughts… While it’s true that (for me personally) the Avatar hype is nothing like Dark Knight was, it just seemed that the Hype out there would push it to a $100M opening. I hardly knew anyone hyping New Moon, and yet that easily passed $100M. I just thought that if that was the case (and even more so that a fast and the furious can open to $70M), that it should approach $100M. I know, DP is screaming loud and clear “it is not the quality of the movie but the marketing that opens a movie.” But Fox has been selling the shit out of this movie.

  9. Josh Massey says:

    If you knew a lot of people hyping New Moon, I’d report you to the authorities.

  10. rw says:

    “Just curious, what did IO say or in what post is his comments located?”
    As far as I understand he thinks it

  11. hcat says:

    Jason, I think the last prediction I read from David was that Avatar would be the second highest grossing title worldwide.

  12. xiayun says:

    My predictions:
    1. Avatar – 76.0, $22,000 average
    2. The Princess and the Frog – 16.5, -31.8%
    3. The Blind Side – 10.5, -30.3%
    4. Invictus – 5.7, -33.8%
    5. A Christmas Carol – 5.1, -25.3%
    6. Did You Hear About the Morgans? – 4.7, $1,730 average
    7. The Twilight Saga: New Moon -4.6, -42.2%
    8. Up in the Air – 4.0, +67.4%
    9. 2012 – 2.8, -35.6%
    10. Old Dogs – 2.8, -36.5%
    11. Brothers – 2.5, -50.1%

  13. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    AVATAR doesn’t fit any of DP’s niches. It’s an odd beast really. It doesn’t have the cut through to all quadrants but the ones it is hitting, it’s getting multiple hits. The film will have huge repeat business unseen since the original Star Wars release. It’s going to play long and hard but might not break any records until further into its run. Anyone want to put some money down on how high the ceiling will be?

  14. christian says:

    IO thinks TWILIGHT and NEW MOON are cutting edge.

  15. JPK says:

    I think the ceiling is pretty high. Why? This simple anecdote: While riding the elevator this morning, I listened to one old lady tell the other old lady, “Tonight I’m going to see the movie with the talking blue cats. It’s the one from the man who made the love boat movie with Kate Winslet”.

  16. hcat says:

    Maybe its opening day euphoria, but after reading Eberts review, taking into account the inflated 3D ticket prices that this is going to be bringing in, and not seeing anything out of the ordinary on the spring calender, I don’t mind being the first one to say that domestically, this could go all the way.

  17. Telemachos says:

    It’s not gonna have a huge opening (huge as in, over $100 million). I do think it has a good chance at beating I AM LEGEND’s December record, if for no other reason than it has the benefit of 3-D ticket pricing. But being an original pic, it needs time to spread word of mouth — it doesn’t have a built-in fanbase (aside from old-school Cameron fans).
    So I think its legs will be pretty good, but probably a high-60s to high-70s weekend is a reasonable guess — mid-80s would be the highest, I think.

  18. jasonbruen says:

    I agree with hcat and JPK; the intensity is approaching Dark Knight standards and while I don’t think it will aproach that record, I do think it should have close to $75M…. on Saturday. I am just surprised that none of the box office hell folks threw up a $100M guess.

  19. Blackcloud says:

    “I spent the last 12 years in DC and don’t think I ever saw that much snow.”
    Don’t forget the President’s Day blizzard of ’03. This promises to be the largest storm since then. Otherwise, most DC snowcasts tend to be massive busts. I wish I was still in town just to see if this one pans out for a change.

  20. hcat says:

    Misunderstood JBD’s question regarding the ceiling, when I said all the way I meant that with word of mouth at holiday and work gatherings and an Oscar nom grabbing the attention of the last doubters, this will make $630 dollars domestic, giving Cameron the top two slots.
    Titanic got there with the repeat viewings of young women, won’t the repeat viewings of young men help drive Avatar over the threshold. Dark Knight came somewhat close to the record, but the overall darkness and relentlessness of the narrative (which made it such a good movie in the first place) probably kept away a lot of repeat visits from much younger or older audiences. I would not have taken anyone under 12 to see TDK, but this sounds like something more of a Star Trek level of intensity which I would have brought a seven or eight year old to.
    Now before we rehash the craziness from earlier this week, I do want to clarify that I do think that Holmes will still take its weekend but Avatar will come back to the top slot in the third or fourth week and stay in the top ten until Mid March. Joel Silver is a talented producer and knows how to put his films together. Holmes will be fun and roll well, but Avatar appears to have it beat on shear size and depth.
    To place it in musical terms Silver is AC/DC, but Cameron is Zeppelin.

  21. hcat says:

    Blackcloud, I was stuck in that without a shovel, I cleared the driveway by scooping the snow with a cardboard box. Still I dont think that was 15. Sucks that its coming on a weekend and not a Tuesday so everyone could get out of work.

  22. The Big Perm says:

    Hey Blackcloud, I live in the Baltimore/DC area so I get to live in the blizzard…and about 12 of us are supposed to see Avatar Sat night. Let’s see if we make there alive!
    I’m still not too jazzed for Avatar but a few people want to see it and I figure might as well make my first IMAX 3-D experience be with an action movie by Cameron then something like Beowulf.

  23. hcat says:

    Perm – you ever get out to Bengies in the summer? That is one of the few things I miss about the DC area. The management is uptight but its usually a great value and time.

  24. The Big Perm says:

    Actually, I rarely even see movies because I’m usually fairly busy. But I have been to Bengies once…a friend of mine put together a double feature of H.G. Lewis movies with the man himself there, and of course king of Baltimore John Waters. That was a pretty great time.

  25. Blackcloud says:

    hcat, I was living in Dupont Circle at the time, and it was definitely more than 15 there. In fact, lots of people living in town complained that the official measurement (taken at National) underestimated how much actually fell in the city. I walked to the Mall the next day to take pictures (it was a gorgeous, sunny day) and the snow where it hadn’t been piled up by shoveling/plowing was definitely closer to 20″-24″. It was coming to my knees around TJ and FDR.
    Anyway, I’m jealous you and Perm will get the full blast. By the time it reaches the Philly burbs it’ll probably have petered out. I don’t trust the forecasts saying we’ll get 4-8″. I don’t count my snow until it’s on the ground.

  26. The Big Perm says:

    Actually, when winter came this year is sort of made me think about moving back to LA.

  27. hcat says:

    Blackcloud, I moved this summer to the cornfields of central Illinois (come next April, I will buy a beer for anyone going to Ebertfest), where we haven’t had any accumulation.

  28. leahnz says:

    JBD? JBD!
    “AVATAR doesn’t fit any of DP’s niches. It’s an odd beast really.”
    i heard that

  29. David Poland says:

    IO has a problem in that he thinks I look at this stuff like he does, from an emotional place.
    I like what I like. I dislike what I dislike. Box office is not about me and my tastes.
    Whatever I feel about Sherlock Holmes, I expect it to do about $120m – $140m domestic and about $200m overseas. It’s a good number for that movie and material. And only a fool would think it is an insult.

  30. IOIOIOI says:

    David, an emotional place makes you a human. If you like anything from a non-emotional place, then you have detachment issues. You are also are lying to yourself if you feel that you do not get emotional about film. I at least am true to myself. If you really feel that you are not emotional about film, then please explain the Hancock fervor last year? Explain the Avatar fervor. Explain to me your treatment of Star Trek.
    You like to think that you are some evolved dude, but go read your Daredevil review, and ask yourself where I learned to do what I do.
    So please David: stop lying to yourself. It would be appreciated, and this movie is going against HOLMES. Where do you think the girls are going to go? It’s not that hard people.

  31. leahnz says:

    “Where do you think the girls are going to go? It’s not that hard people”
    already chicks are digging ‘avatar’, io, so once the word gets around about the very sweet love of jake and neytiri, don’t kid yourself that RDJ will be the only chick magnet

  32. David Poland says:

    IO… you have to be doing your schtick as a joke, right? You can’t be this thick.
    Of course, I am passionate about movies.
    I am dispassionate about box office.
    I am not a fanboy who measures quality or failure in every dollar or every judgment.

  33. IOIOIOI says:

    David, you are lying. I have way too many of your own post to prove that you are posting out of your ass. You can post the above all you want Sonny Jim, but the archives prove you wrong.
    I also have to ask. Are you really that thick? Really? Come on man.
    Oh yeah leah… BULLSHIT. Twilight and Holmes will get the girls. If you enjoy being something similar to RETARD, then good for you and David. I root for this film to fail, be forgotten, and kicked to the scrap heap of time.

  34. The Big Perm says:

    IO, you’re such a loser.

  35. IOIOIOI says:

    Perm, rather be a loser than a fucking moron like you. Seriously dude, you are a fucking waste around here, and always have been. It’s not like we needed another bitchy white boy around here, but you seemingly picked that ball up and ran with it.
    So keep giving me shit, and forgetting how oblivious you are to existence. I am sure it makes those around you fill so fucking good.

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