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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Do We Really Believe In What "Adjusted Grosses" Mean?


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42 Responses to “Do We Really Believe In What "Adjusted Grosses" Mean?”

  1. doug r says:

    Judging by that Mojo thread, it looks like GWTW’s adjusted gross would be closer to $700 million anyway.

  2. leahnz says:

    isn’t the real question: “who fucking cares?!”

  3. leahnz says:

    that was re: the thread not doug r, in case that’s murky

  4. Aladdin Sane says:

    Star Wars wins. Always.
    I actually think that after that, Sound of Music would be the surest thing. And I’m not even a huge fan of it.

  5. RedheadedWonder says:

    Another issue that isn’t discussed much when people talk about adjusted gross is that a lot of those top films benefited from multiple releases, which complicates the debate slightly. The other factor making it difficult for any modern film today to compete with these films on tickets sold is the competition from other media. These films were released in the days before hulu, dvds, and dvrs. Today a film has to work a lot harder to gain a following of such that people will shill out $12 bucks to see a film more than one time.

  6. mutinyco says:

    I don’t think it’d go for $900M, but I’m still pretty sure Clarence could sell Dr. Zhivago to Lee Donowitz for a decent price…

  7. Sam says:

    How can we speculate that ANY movie could gross $900M domestically today? It’s NEVER BEEN DONE. Avatar’s not even going to do it.
    Or am I reading the question wrong? A movie once making the equivalent of $900M in today’s money is a very different question from asking if it would make it WITH today’s money.

  8. winston smith says:

    seconding sam’s comment.
    this seems a specious way of framing the argument. no one has ever suggested that these movies would make those numbers today, given the infinite differences in entertainment and culture overall. adjusted numbers merely show how much money a movie made in our dollars so we have a sense of it. if a film made $900M in adjusted dollars and nothing today ever comes close, it’s basically showing what a different world we’re in now, and its merely helpful in comparing today to a time when movies were a completely dominant form of cultural entertainment (i.e. illuminating how the biggest film today can’t come close to the earning power of the biggest film of yesteryear).
    (maybe that’s actually the point david’s making, in which case, agreed.)

  9. jasonbruen says:

    It’s almost impossible to answer this question. You’d have to have to many qualifiers. These movies were sucessful because of the film landscape at the time. Not to mention the % of the public who attended movies back then and that movies had long releases.
    It would be like saying how many tickets would Avatar had sold if released in 1950 and then saying well, it sold X tickets, which converted to 2010 is more than it actually made.

  10. Joe Leydon says:

    Along these lines: According to the AP, last night’s Super Bowl telecast, which claimed 106.5 million viewers, surpassed the final episode of M*A*S*H (105.97 million) to become the most-watched program in television history. On the other hand, as the AP dutifully points out: “In 1983, the federal government estimates there were approximately 235,000,000 people in the U.S. Today, there are just under 308,700,000, according the U.S. Census Bureau.” So we get back to the whole question of percentages. And, yes, enduring impact. But still…

  11. mutinyco says:

    Maybe Manning’s interception was the modern equivalent of Father Mocahe going deaf…

  12. David Poland says:

    That makes the point well, Joe.
    1. The ratings from last night are based only on the large markets, as “overnights” always have. (That is, unless the system has changed again… not my beat, so given technology, possible I don’t know it changed.)
    2. AP (and everyone else) is reporting it as a final fact. Even at its best, it is an estimate.
    3. While there are 47 million more Americans, the number of ways we watch broadcast television has diversified dramatically. Besides a lot more channels, we also have a lot more screens in many homes. Like the movie business, the way things are delivered has changed a lot.
    4. Television breaks this out in ratings… so if the MASH finale was watched by 1 out of every 2 households in America (we’re already in trouble, trying to make the ratings box numbers into people and assuming that the measurements work precisely) and “only” 1 out of every 3 households watched the Super Bowl, the variation is notable.
    That said, movie ticket sales and TV ratings for event television are quite different. Millions of people are still seeing Avatar every weekend, almost 2 months in. Very, very, very few people will ever watch this Super Bowl again. 10s of millions will likely watch Avatar on DVD before the summer is over. Many millions more will watch Avatar when it gets to cable/satellite. The only replay of the Super Bowl will be on NFL Network for a hard core base.
    =======
    And yes, Winston. My point exactly.
    It appears that of people voting in this tiny poll, only Star Wars and ET have a majority of people who think the films would extrapolate into being the biggest grossers ever domestically if released today or if measured in current movie business math.
    And that REALLY makes my point… since I believe that measure is about the movies and not about the math.
    I believe the same to be true about Avatar. This silly math gets thrown into the conversation because, for whatever reasons, some don’t want to just let Avatar have its day. If it were Dark Knight, you can be sure than tickets sold and adjusted gross would not be in the lead graph of so many stories. Just look at how Pirates 2 was covered on its box office run and how TDK was covered… except, yes, in here… both ways.
    As jasonbruen writes, there are too damned many qualifiers. And when this stuff is just thrown into stories as though it was fact and that there are no other qualifiers, it is lazy, stinkin’ journalism. And that is my objection.
    I have ZERO problem with someone writing about how GWTW defined its time with mega-box office and that it really was more dominant than Avatar, making a greater cultural impact, etc. But do the reporting. Explain how it opened soft also. Explain how it had the biggest part of its gross for a release decades after opening.
    Want to do it with Titanic? Great. Explain how it played for such a long time. Explain how it was before DVD. Explain how the spring was not as heavily marketed and distributed by studios. And explain how it really broke new ground internationally… more so than Avatar, even if Avatar number crush Titanic’s overseas.
    Either do the full job or shut up. Because the off the cuff, “well, it’s not as impressive because tickets sold…” is bullshit.

  13. Joe Leydon says:

    Well, DP, along those lines: I’m sure some purists will complain that this Super Bowl had an “unfair advantage” over past Super Bowls (and maybe over M*A*S*H as well) because of the compelling underlying narrative — a victory by the long-suffering Saints as metaphor for a comeback by long-suffering New Orleaneans — that attracted even non-fans of football and thereby “bumped” the numbers.
    Now if only someone could retro-fit Gone With the Wind with 3-D and CGI for a theatrical reissue, so that the burning of Atlanta looked much cooler…

  14. David Poland says:

    On some level a joke, on the other hand, imagine how intense the burning of Atlanta could be in a CG era… those thousands of bodies, all brought to some amount of life in the computer, etc.
    GWTW to Star Wars to Titanic to Phantom Menace to Avatar is really the history of special effects in the movies. No one could afford to do what they did in GWTW in this era – even in the $250m+ Troy – and no one could imagine when Star Wars came out that you could do what Avatar does.
    The argument of whether Yoda was better as a puppet is a central critical fight… same as the broken shark in Jaws… unlimited ability to render does not make you rich in ideas… and a poverty of budget does not make you unable to creative offer ideas. But there is bias against the digital universe in critical circle because somehow, it feels too easy… which would only be said by those who don’t understand how hard it is.
    In Avatar’s case, I keep hearing about “all that money.” But more money than Avatar cost didn’t make Pirates 3 or Spidey 3 as good or as popular, just as the same budget range for Batman & Robin didn’t make that movie as good or as popular as Titanic in the $200m budget-crossing days.

  15. Joe Leydon says:

    “No one could afford to do what they did in GWTW in this era – even in the $250m+ Troy…”
    You could be right. As early as the mid-1980s, Charlton Heston told me (and, I’m sure, everyone else who interviewed him)that no one could afford to remake Ben-Hur on the scale that William Wyler did back in 1959.
    On the other hand: Go back and take a close look at GWTW. People tend to remember it as a movie of epic sweep, with casts of thousands. But except for that classic shot of the Confederate dead and dying — and, of course, the burning of Atlanta — it’s one of the most intimate epics ever made. (Yeah, even with the ballroom scene.) And remember: You never actually see a Civil War battle scene. Only the aftermath of battles.
    BTW: Seriously, wasn’t there a rumor floating around that George Lucas really is thinking about 3-D reconstitutions of the Star Wars movies?

  16. mutinyco says:

    “GWTW to Star Wars…”
    2001…

  17. David Poland says:

    True, Mut. Add Silent Running as well.
    And yeah, Joe… that is the rumor.

  18. Foamy Squirrel says:

    “the same budget range for Batman & Robin didn’t make that movie as good or as popular as Titanic in the $200m budget-crossing days.”
    A year or two ago, back when I was doing bunch of numbercrunching roles, I built a regression model based on 425 wide releases from 2004 to 2008 to see if there were any factors that could predict box office success with any reliability (veterans of the trade will probably be able to see where this is going). It took into account all sorts of fairly objective factors, such as production budget, genre, whether it was a sequel, original screenplay vs. adaptation etc.
    (As an aside, I was going to build one that tried to account subjective factors based on critical reviews, and even submitted a proposal to tease out reported vs. actual importance of factors such as directing acting etc. The reasoning being that if you asked people “How important is acting to the success of a movie?” most people would rate it around 8-9 out of 10, but then if you asked the same people to rate the acting in a set of movies and then compared that to the adjusted box office you’d probably get a different answer. Unfortunately the organization I was working with at the time decided to focus on other media channels so the proposal never got approved)
    Rather unsurprisingly, the biggest predictor of box office revenue was budget – albeit with a less than 1-to-1 relationship. If you wanted a movie to gross $100mil at the box office, the easiest way to do it is start with a budget of $110mil – which isn’t really what you want to be doing from a business perspective. However, the other factors were pretty much a crapshoot in terms of what was significant – sequels on average tend to do better than originals, kids movies do better than adult fare, dramas tend not to be blockbusters, and sci-fi performs poorly (although when you consider the budgets involved and the number of flops that’s again unsurprising). Possibly more interesting is what wasn’t significant – whether your superhero movie is based on a comic or original doesn’t matter if you remove the budget variable (compare Hancock’s $624mil worldwide on a $150mil budget with Spidey3’s $890mil worldwide on a $260mil budget), spinoffs from other properties fared no better or worse than anything else, and even MPAA rating has little impact despite (or perhaps because of) the wrangling studios go through to move from R to PG-13.
    All of the significant objective factors put together in a single model accounted for roughly 50% of the variance in the box office. The other 50% is presumably the subjective factors – does it have good acting, a decent story, a strong marketing campaign, do people even like the thing? To put illustrate the point, your $250mil superhero action-adventure sequel is estimated to pull in $300mil domestic just from those factors alone. Or it could do almost $600mil domestic (like TDK) if it’s really really good since the subjective factors can make up just as much as the objective factors. Or it could pull in $0 if it’s Ed Wood bad.
    So, yeah, being good or popular – just as important as all that money.

  19. leahnz says:

    you’d have to add quite a few flicks to that list of films tracing the history of motion picture effects, most certainly ‘2001’ for kubrick’s standard-setting use of models and in-camera sets/front projection matting for the seamless and effective depiction of space/spacecraft, and no list is complete without ‘the abyss’ as the first feature film to utilise the revolutionary compositing of computer generated imagery with live-action film-making with the rendering of the water tentacle, signalling the advent of the CGI revolution/age

  20. Foamy Squirrel says:

    Or Ray Harryhausen for integrating the models and actors in Jason and the Argonauts, The Last Starfighter for CGI environments, and Young Sherlock Holmes for the first completely CGI character.

  21. palmtree says:

    “GWTW to Star Wars to Titanic to Phantom Menace to Avatar”
    I think Mr. Poland was trying to list movies that were specifically named in the Inflation Adjusted Grosses debate, not as a general history of special effects in movies, but to illustrate that big box office hits tended to also be technically innovative.

  22. Geoff says:

    You know with all of this “tickets sold” talk, one thing just caught my attention – the fact that Titanic sold twice as many tickets as Avatar at today’s prices. Really????
    I was actually working in movie theaters when Titanic came out (in the New York and DC areas, not cheaper markets) and there is NO way that ticket prices were HALF of what they are, today. No way at all – a top priced Adult evening show was probably $7 or $8, while today, it would probably be $9 or $10.
    How is that a 100% increase? Consider me very skeptical…..

  23. Foamy Squirrel says:

    I don’t know if that’s true – the number of box office hits that aren’t technically innovative is pretty high, and from the other direction there have been a large number of technically innovative movies haven’t been box office hits (Young Sherlock Holmes, Tron etc.)
    Besides, isn’t it more fun to point out your favorite innovative movies instead? 😉

  24. Foamy Squirrel says:

    Geoff – plus I’d be willing to bet that Avatar skews MUCH younger than Titanic so you’d get a far greater proportion of 8-year olds with concession tickets.
    It’s just another reason why getting into the “tickets sold” metric is fraught with difficulty.

  25. Gonzo Knight says:

    Poland why are you doing this? Why do you feel the need to do this? Why now? And why do you feel it acceptible to sell lies?
    “Inflation adjustments” claim that if released today, these movies would each gross over $900m at the domestic box office. Do you buy it?”
    This is NOT WHAT “INFLATION ADJUSTMENT” IS ABOUT! You know this, you are not that fucking retarded.
    You know full well that it’s not about “TODAY”.
    It’s about seeing how much these movies would have GROSSED back then with current prices. It’s a COMPLETELY different thing. I cannot believe that there are idiots on here who don’t undertand it.
    And yes, I really believe that all the movies you’ve listed really among the most successful of all time. All of them. And you know something else? Most, if done with today’s technology WOULD HAVE BEEN fucking huge today.
    I am trying to move on. Then I see this shit again.

  26. David Poland says:

    Gonzo –
    Without breaking out again the fact that we don’t know the facts about ticket sales or avg cost of tickets for any one movie (or even avg cost of tickets in general, aside from a very rough estimate)…
    If this hypothesis is invalid, which you seem to think it is, how is “inflation adjustment” relevant in any way other than as a party game? How is it news?
    If the answer is not that it accurately creates a picture of how the many variables manifest from one era to another, what use is it… at all?
    Sincere question.

  27. Life&DeathBrigade says:

    The problem has always been declaring Avatar to be in the company of films, that it has no business being discussed with at all. Avatar had as many people see it as Transformers 2. Cameron admitted to a bump, the bump is real, and that diminishes any statements of it’s supposed greatness. It made money thanks to 3D price bumps that will almost certainly help Toy Story come close to beating these records in three months.
    We are in the juiced ball era of box office. If you want to ignore it then ignore, but this film is nothing special. Nor has it ever been.

  28. Life&DeathBrigade says:

    The problem has always been declaring Avatar to be in the company of films, that it has no business being discussed with at all. Avatar had as many people see it as Transformers 2. Cameron admitted to a bump, the bump is real, and that diminishes any statements of it’s supposed greatness. It made money thanks to 3D price bumps that will almost certainly help Toy Story come close to beating these records in three months.
    We are in the juiced ball era of box office. If you want to ignore it then ignore, but this film is nothing special. Nor has it ever been.

  29. Life&DeathBrigade says:

    The problem has always been declaring Avatar to be in the company of films, that it has no business being discussed with at all. Avatar had as many people see it as Transformers 2. Cameron admitted to a bump, the bump is real, and that diminishes any statements of it’s supposed greatness. It made money thanks to 3D price bumps that will almost certainly help Toy Story come close to beating these records in three months.
    We are in the juiced ball era of box office. If you want to ignore it then ignore, but this film is nothing special. Nor has it ever been.

  30. Life&DeathBrigade says:

    The problem has always been declaring Avatar to be in the company of films, that it has no business being discussed with at all. Avatar had as many people see it as Transformers 2. Cameron admitted to a bump, the bump is real, and that diminishes any statements of it’s supposed greatness. It made money thanks to 3D price bumps that will almost certainly help Toy Story come close to beating these records in three months.
    We are in the juiced ball era of box office. If you want to ignore it then ignore, but this film is nothing special. Nor has it ever been.

  31. Life&DeathBrigade says:

    The problem has always been declaring Avatar to be in the company of films, that it has no business being discussed with at all. Avatar had as many people see it as Transformers 2. Cameron admitted to a bump, the bump is real, and that diminishes any statements of it’s supposed greatness. It made money thanks to 3D price bumps that will almost certainly help Toy Story come close to beating these records in three months.
    We are in the juiced ball era of box office. If you want to ignore it then ignore, but this film is nothing special. Nor has it ever been.

  32. leahnz says:

    io, we know it’s you, stop trying to dupe people

  33. Crow T Robot says:

    I think this discussion is heading toward a general truth here.
    Seems to me that the very unique and very robust Avatar has revealed box office measuring in general to be so complicated that it’s actually kind of stupid. And, if that stupidity applies to the macro “all time highest grossers,” it must logically apply to the micro “weekend charts.” It is all, in the end, a bunch of bullshit spin.
    And being that this practice is also unfair to studio financiers, is damaging to the art of cinema AND is generally unethical journalism, we must conclude that those who regularly engage in spinning the Saturday numbers do so mostly, like cable talk show hosts, to exert their egos.
    Am I getting warm here, Dave?

  34. jeffmcm says:

    This is actually a return to an old screen name IOI had years ago.

  35. Sam says:

    Dave: I’m generally on your side of the whole “inflation adjustment” issue, but I think Gonzo has a point here. The interest in adjusted grosses isn’t so much about saying what movies from the past *would* have grossed today, as about comparing the relative popularity of movies from different eras.
    This is not something the industry cares about, but it’s something that cinephiles and movie historians could care about. I mean, if movie X made $5 million in 1930, one can’t just say, “Oh, that means movie X was about as popular as a 2009 $5 million grosser.” But by adjusting the gross of movie X (let’s say it comes out to $200 million 2009 dollars), you can then say, well, movie X was roughly as popular as a 2009 movie that made a “real” $200 million. You’re NOT saying that movie X WOULD have made $200 million in 2009. You’re just saying it was AS POPULAR in its day as a $200 million 2009 movie is today.
    Gonzo, correct me if my reasoning above is wrong.
    But here’s where you’re wrong and Poland is right:
    (1) The industry has changed so dramatically with the advent of TV, cable, PPV, VHS, DVD, online downloads, and piracy that even accurate adjusted grosses or ticket sales figures cannot possibly reflect reality. In the days before television, more people went to the theater, meaning that a movie that made $200 million in 2009 dollars did FAR WORSE than a 2009 movie that makes $200 million PLUS home video sales and rentals (some of whom bought or rented it to see again; others of whom waited to see it for the first time on video) PLUS broadcast rights. And while I believe the MPAA’s estimates of revenue lost to piracy are absurdly overstated, surely piracy is a factor of some kind.
    The bottom line is that using adjusted grosses or ticket sales to gauge relative popularity *doesn’t work* even if those figures are accurate.
    (2) We do not have accurate figures. We don’t know ticket sales. We don’t know average ticket prices. We don’t know the percentage of repeat admissions. We don’t know the percentage of matinee admissions. Do we even know what percentage of Gone With the Wind’s grosses came from the original release vs. rereleases?
    Each one of these “don’t knows” can be estimated, but the margin of error is significant and — this is the important part — compounded by the margins of error. If there were only one unknown, I’d be much more amenable to abiding by an estimate, but every time you apply a new +/-25% on top of all the other margins of error, the figures get more and more meaningless. Just three +/-25% margins boils down to a total margin of error of +/-58%, which is insane. (Political elections polls, also about gauging relative popularity, are typically only around +/-5% for a margin of error…which still leaves all kinds of room for election day surprises.)
    Nonetheless, I am COMPLETELY sympathetic with your inclination to gauge the relative popularity of movies from different times. I am, at heart, a cinephile, a numbers junkie, and a history buff. I’d LOVE to be able to gauge the impact on pop culture that movies made before I was born had.
    The best way I can think of to do that has never come up in any of these discussions except when I mentioned it in an earlier thread. To wit: compare movies to other movies from the SAME period. Then compare the RESULTS of those comparisons with each other. For example:
    “Destination Moon” made $5 million in 1950. Adjusting for inflation, that’s about $44.5 million in 2009 dollars. Who cares? But consider that Destination Moon was the third highest grossing film of 1950*, and now, suddenly, its relative popularity starts to become clear.
    And presto, suddenly you have some data you CAN compare to 2009 data. The adjusted gross of $44.5 says nothing, but if you look at how much Destination Moon made compared to the average gross of a 1950 studio release (not sure off-hand what this is), and to the other box office hits of the time (Cinderella at $34 million, Annie Get Your Gun at $8 million, etc), then it becomes much easier to find a similarly popular 2009 counterpart.
    This is still an inexact process, but it ultimately gets you to where you want to go with far greater accuracy and understanding than a simple and absurdly error-prone inflation adjustment gets you.

    [*Some sources say only sixth highest 1950 grosser, but the numbers are very close within the #3-#6 range and don’t significantly impact the conclusions about Destination Moon’s relative popularity that are drawn from this kind of analysis.]

  36. Joe Leydon says:

    Sam: You’re definitely on to something here. And it’s something to think about when you read that, say, Gran Torino is the top-grossing film of Clint Eastwood’s career. Does anyone seriously believe that movie was seen by more people, or had more of an impact, than Dirty Harry — or, for that matter, Every Which Way But Loose? (And, mind you, I’m referring only to the impact and grosses during initial theatrical runs of the latter two movies.)

  37. Foamy Squirrel says:

    “I believe the MPAA’s estimates of revenue lost to piracy are absurdly overstated, surely piracy is a factor of some kind.”
    The commonly cited figures come from a analysis done by a company called LEK Consulting… who a little while later did a not-very-public “Ooops, we screwed up” that a lot of people (including their clients) didn’t pay attention to. In fact, it was just one of a couple of projects that they mishandled quite badly – they took a fairly big beating in the consulting industry (any rugby fans out there may be interested to know that they also got slammed for their recommendations to the Rugby Union since they essentially hid themselves in their office for a few months and came out with a report and a bill for $1million). Having said that, they’re not complete idiots – if anyone’s thinking of doing a merger or acquisition I’d highly recommend them for due diligence (I believe they advised on the Marvel/Disney deal, but given the various confidentiality agreements that’s little more than rumour).
    There have been some other studies to get a handle on piracy, but they’re often grossly misreported (the “most prolific pirates are also prolific theater goers” one in particular has had some pretty outrageous conclusions drawn that aren’t supported at all by the study).
    So, yeah, any piracy figures you see are likely to be VERY suspect… until such time as someone else gets commissioned to do a very expensive study.

  38. jasonbruen says:

    Sam, well done. Way to lay it all out.
    I think DP is trying to make your main point, namely that these comparisons should be used for popularity comparisons and not what would X do today.
    And your process for comparing movies… I never thought of that. I think that’s a perfect way to do it. It leaves no confusion about what is the comparison.

  39. David Poland says:

    And yes, Sam… that is what I try to do when I look back at numbers.
    The Dark Knight is an example of that, for me. Through the whole process, I sought context for the numbers. And the stat that I found that I thought was most important was how successful the previous Batman films had been as openers.
    Part of this is perspective that comes from being older. I was on line for opening day of the first Batman and remember walking around with the $40,000,000 gold on black ad in Variety saying, “forty milllllllllion dollars” over and over again, as that was such a remarkable number at that time.
    As best I can tell, it was more than a full third higher than any other opening ever before recorded.
    And in a case like Avatar, you look at a record like Titanic that was not only incrementally bigger than all others for over a decade, but a full 50% bigger in the dollars of its time than any other film. The most massive hits of the era could not get within $700m of that number.
    And here comes Avatar, not just more than doubling – DOUBLING – every single film of the modern era except Titanic… but ahead of Titanic by over 20% so far.
    It’s worth pointing out here that Gone With The Wind became the highest-grossing film of all time when it was released, surpassing Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs by 3 or 4 times. (the numbers are a bit blurry… as all of these early numbers are, especially on Mojo).
    Anyway…

  40. The Big Perm says:

    I think Sam makes great points. I’d answer this for DP…
    “If this hypothesis is invalid, which you seem to think it is, how is “inflation adjustment” relevant in any way other than as a party game? How is it news?”
    I would say as newsworthy as constantly hearing from the media about “highest grossing Monday ever” or even hearing about any of the “highest grossing movies ever” which all somehow manage to have been made in the last ten years for some reason. Maybe movies are more popular now than any time ever in history? They must be because they make more money.
    But some good hearted folks don’t want to listen to that horseshit and Sam does a great job of putting numbers in their place. And Joe is right…of course Gran Torino made more money than a movie from the 70s where they didn’t open in 3,000 theaters and movies cost much more…but it’s crazy to think that matters. And you did back in the day with Batman…like why did anyone find it surprising that a Batman movie was a gigantic hit, when even the shittiest one was a decent sized hit, if they hadn’t spent so much money on it (but it still beat the Ten Commandments so certainly Hollywood made more money off of it and is certainly happy about all of those profits).

  41. David Poland says:

    But Perm… taking out your rage on Avatar, which is legitimately smashing records, because you are sick of “Best Wednesday Opening By A Comedy Starring a Comic Who Used To Be On TV Until He Slept With His Co-Star Who Was Fucking The Netwrok Head” seems a bit off base.

  42. The Big Perm says:

    Well, I agree with that. That’s mostly a bunch of angry nerds.
    HOWEVER!!!
    I still think the 3D ticket bump is an interesting stat that shouldn’t just be discounted. Because it’s adding serious cash onto that tally. But at the same time, people want to see this movie enough that they’re willing to pay more than for a regular movie where they haven’t done so like this for any other 3D movie, so it’s all good as far as I’m concerned. Avatar earned its money.
    The fact that the box office has remained so steady in a time where NO movie stays steady shows that Avatar is the real deal.

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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