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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by The Mad Klady

A remarkable number. A March record even if you take 20% off of the top for 3D. And matinees leading the way.
A marketing triumph for the fallen marketing regime at Disney… “Off With Their Heads!” That team put almost everything you have seen for the film in place… into design template… though, obviously, new materials have been cut as new footage has come in.
Critics generally are not fans of the film. But anyone who thinks that matters when you are looking at these kinds of numbers is tweedle-deeing their tweedle-dumb.
And for those playing at home, Avatar did take its second biggest Friday-to-Friday drop, the last one being the Friday after the holidays ended… which was not a surprise. Still, off 38% with a massive opening hitting the market and losing a lot of 3D screens is still a number Fox has to feel pretty good about. Sadly, they will have to wait to pass the $725 million domestic mark until next weekend. Sigh…
And what’s gotten into Overture Films, aside from the threat of being de-financed by Starz? They will have another solid opening this weekend with Brooklyn’s Finest, perhaps besting their Clooney movie to be their #4 opening ever… following on the heels of their #3 opening ever, The Crazies, just a couple of weekend ago. After years of trying to be Miramax, they seem to have come to understand that the money is in being Dimension. Good on them. Let’s hope, for the market’s sake, that McGurk finds his money now, following these two successful openings.
And another pretty good hold for Shutter Island, which has now switched its ad effort into “find out the secret of…” mode. (Note To People Who Haven’t Gone Yet: There is not girl with a penis. Perhaps the opposite. But you will have to see the movie and learn the secret of Shutter Island in order to know what the hell that means! Mwahhahahah!!!)

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13 Responses to “Friday Estimates by The Mad Klady”

  1. anghus says:

    so, does the monster opening for Alice now officially shut everyone up who was bitching about Avatar having to give up screens?

  2. marychan says:

    I think the films of Overture Films are generally more adult-driven than the films of Dimension.
    But year, I wish Overture Films to survive. I wish to see more edgier adult-driven commercial films.

  3. Josh Massey says:

    Has there been an explanation as to why Overture opened on successive weekends? It’s not like they opened a slasher flick followed by Miley Cyrus; the two films pretty much have the exact same audience.
    And I hate seeing 3-D thrive like that. It might be the death of me ever going to a theater again.

  4. Geoff says:

    Not sure who was bitching about Avatar losing those screens – they had them for 11 weeks and seemed to benefit. I think people were more curious as to how this would play out.
    Regardless, Avatar had a decent hold, considering.

  5. Overture is succeeding of late because they are offering adult-driven genre pictures, starring grownups and aimed at grownups, at a reasonable cost that belies the expectations of such fare. You won’t find me defending Law-Abiding Citizen (and certainly not Righteous Kill) as great cinema, but there is a ‘niche’ market for old-fashioned movies (not films) starring adults and not aimed at fourteen-year old boys/girls. We all act amazed when Vantage Point or Lakeview Terrace (two Sony pictures) open well, but such pulpy fare is rare enough in this marketplace that they usually have the demos all to themselves on opening weekend. Most importantly, producers of said movies don’t spend $80 million on these pictures and act SHOCKED when they only do about $40-60 million domestic. Adult, star-driven thrillers aren’t dead, they just can’t be budgeted like comic-book sequels.
    As for Alice In Wonderland, it certainly seems that, post-Sleepy Hallow, Tim Burton’s opening weekends are inversely proportional to the quality of the respective film.

  6. hcat says:

    I was one of the people argueing with Wrecktum a few weeks ago about how big Alice was open and God Damn was I wrong. It looks like it will exceed even his estimates.
    And I agree with what Scott said above about the adult market. That market often has some pretty good legs as well, it probably won’t hold as strongly as Shutter Island but should top three times its opening.

  7. EthanG says:

    Financing issues would explain why Overture released films in back to back weeks without anything else firmly on its slate until October…at least it worked out.
    Im confused re: “The Secret of Kells.” How did it qualify for an Oscar nomination if it wasn’t released domestically until yesterday?

  8. LexG says:

    Loved the movie, glad to see it do well. Gere was fantastic, so good to see Wesley back where he belongs (on the big screen, not DTV), Cheadle is always solid… and if you would’ve told me back in his Gen X coffee house days that fifteen years on ETHAN HAWKE was gonna be my favorite working actor, I would have told you you were crazy.
    Also good to see half the supporting cast of THE WIRE still gainfully employeed. WEE-BAY in the house!

  9. Nick Rogers says:

    Lex: Despite our difference of opinion on the movie, I’m glad you liked it. I suspect our biggest difference of opinion might be on Hawke’s work here. I much prefer him in conversational, naturalistic Linklater mode over sweaty, panicky, “Did I do that right?” action mode. I thought Gere, Cheadle and Snipes were all, for the most part, good (although the script really limited them all), and while I always smirk when I see Omar, Clay Davis and Wee-Bey, it really just reminds me how much I miss “The Wire.”

  10. a_loco says:

    Haven’t seen Finest yet, and I generally like Hawke’s willingness to do genre fare these days, but he was by far the worst part of the mediocre Daybreakers.

  11. EthanG says:

    Daybreakers was disappointing in general to me…everything from Dafoe’s character…who seemed more suited for Zombieland…to the contrived father/son side-plot.

  12. CleanSteve says:

    Josh, while I really respect your sincerity, and sort of wearing your heart on your sleeve (which I do, to a fault)….
    Seriously? It’s not the end of traditional cinema. It just isn’t. At least until the artists themselves allow it to be. And I believe strongly enough in them. There is room in the marketplace for everything.
    I like 3D. I saw AVATAR multiple times. Haven’t seen ALICE yet but I like 3D. I will be the one guy who answers Ebert’s question of who likes it. I do.
    But yes….everything does NOT have to be 3D. And retrofitting films at the last minute for 3D is obnoxious. There is the risk of over-saturating the market and then cutting their own throats. It’ll be interesting to watch it play out. The true test will be when we get a $200 million budgeted 3D flop. And we will. Within the next 2-3 years, don’t you think? I watched Carpenter’s PRINCE OF DARKNESS the other day (follow me on this…). For every bit of matter there is anti-matter. For God, and Anti-God. For AVATAR, the ANTI-AVATAR.
    Somebody will fuck up. You never know how good a QB is until he throws 4 INTs. We’ll see. But I flat-out reject the notion of 3D killing traditional cinema or movie-going, much like I reject the notion that print is dead. I like holding a book in my hands, and I like seeing an “old-fashioned” 2D movie. Always will.
    Re: Burton. No comment on ALICE yet, but being something of a Burton Apologist I have liked what he’s done over the past decade…to a point. SLEEPY HOLLOW is my favorite Burton. Sue me. it hits my Halloween/Hammer sweet-spots, and Depp is sooooooooo good in it. A spot-on and over-looked performance.
    APES, I hate. But I like CHARLIE a lot. I’m 39, and I always hated the Gene Wilder film. Again, sue me. And SWEENY TODD was awesome. Point is I get what has been going on with him. It’s a predictable artistic regression. Few avoid it. I don’t mind him adapting/remaking all that he has done so far. The results are debatable, ok. But I refuse to damn the man for his choices over the last 10 years.
    But IT’S TIME TO STOP NOW, TIM. Dump Dark Shadows, Sleeping Beauty, etc. Frankenweenie? I’m down with that. But time to move back to some original work, ideas, etc. Dip your toes in a different pool. 10 years is a long time to be stuck in “a phase.” I’d love to see him take the clout he has and do something original. But regression and self-rape seems to be unavoidable for 99% of filmmakers/writers/musicians. Somebody throw him a rope.

  13. Ethan, I believe it got one of those ghastly LA-only qualifying 1-week-only releases to qualify for Oscar.

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