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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Box Office

11:26a add…
It will show up soon enough…
But I wanted to point out the absurdity of suggesting that a $20m+ opening for The Bounty Hunter is “embarrassing.”
It will easily be Jennifer Aniston’s biggest opening without a major male opener (or a dog… same diff’) by her side and is also a solid number for Gerry Butler, trumped in a comedy only by a mid-summer opening for The Ugly Truth.
This thing where we take expectations – primarily based on notoriously poorly done tracking for kids movies – and then turn a perfectly good number into an “embarrassment” by specious comparison is galling. Wimpy Kid performing above silly-low expectations while Bounty comes in right in the range of expectations is no real surprise, much less something for Aniston or Butler’s agents to worry about.
grow up.

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44 Responses to “Weekend Box Office”

  1. Steven Kar says:

    I, too, thought her reasoning was ridiculous. The opening of that movie was not an embarrassment, but what was an embarrassment was how much it made in its opening. The movie just looks like dogshit.

  2. SJRubinstein says:

    Not that one screening is all that indicative, but after an 8 o’clock of “Repo Men” last night that I went to, the person next to me and my companion was grumbling about how it was the worst thing they’d ever seen and judging from the other folks, they were hardly singing a solo. My friend absolutely hated it – worst movie she’d ever seen. I forgave it a lot more for its audacious moments, but was told I don’t “get to choose” next time (“How to Train Your Dragon,” here I come!).

  3. EthanG says:

    Yeah since when is a 20+ opening for a rom-com disappointing???
    What a BOFFO start for the box office this year though…Fox looks right on with that “Wimpy Kid” sequel…sadly…

  4. Beat me to it Dave. I would have laughed if I didn’t know that Finke’s words will travel accordingly. This is easily the biggest ‘pull this out of my ass to make the stars look bad’ bit since she kept piling on This Is It for merely making $100 million worldwide in its first five days. Box Office Mojo’s Derby had The Bounty Hunter pegged at $23 million, Box Office Guru had it pegged at $22 million, Box Office Prophets pegged it at $24 million, and Entertainment Weekly predicted $22 million. So if Finke thought it was going to do more, then she was the one who got it wrong. But the fact that she overestimated (assuming she had a number in her head at all) is of course the movie’s fault, not her bad math or unrealistic expectations.

  5. indiemarketer says:

    More “embarrassing” is that she cant fit through her front door without being buttered like a tub of popcorn.
    This should make Gerard Butler even more attractive to CBS Films for their new franchise

  6. Foamy Squirrel says:

    I’m guessing that’s the friday BO rather than the weekend one…

  7. marychan says:

    Good to see that “Greenberg”, “City Island” and even “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” open well.
    “The Runaways’ opens okay, but it is not a good sign for its upcoming 1000 theaters expansion.
    PS: The United States TV Spot of “Chloe” is online.
    On the other hand, who has actually seen the TV spots of “Chloe” in the United States? If so, which channels showed the TV spots?

  8. Josh Massey says:

    Wow, Green Zone tanked. It didn’t even get the typically decent “adult thriller” hold.

  9. Stella's Boy says:

    Clearly people are not going to spend their hard-earned money to see an anti-American, anti-soldier, anti-freedom, anti-Caucasian, pro-terrorist, treasonous film like Green Zone.

  10. jeffmcm says:

    DP, can you provide links or something to the five other sites that I need to read before I come here in order to have the context for what you’re talking about (no, I don’t really expect you to link to Nikki Finke, but the lack of context can still be mystifying).

  11. Nicol D says:

    “Clearly people are not going to spend their hard-earned money to see an anti-American, anti-soldier, anti-freedom, anti-Caucasian, pro-terrorist, treasonous film like Green Zone.”
    If only Damon had done the whole flick in blue-face!

  12. Stella's Boy says:

    They could have called it Blue Zone. Missed opportunity.

  13. Don Murphy says:

    jeffmcm No one wants to read your comments. Go back to your lavatory job and fuck off and die you waste of good oxygen piece of filth.

  14. Chucky in Jersey says:

    @marychan: Most theaters with “The Runaways” are in the AMC chain, which banned “The Ghost Hunter”.

  15. Me says:

    Really hoping The Green Zone result pushes Damon to consider doing Captain America. He’s about the only guy who I think can make that role work (and even then it’s still a stretch to think anyone can make Captain America work). Everyone else I’ve heard mentioned sounds like a failure waiting to happen.

  16. Yeah, that opening is far from embarrassing. Nikki seems to imply that losing to Wimpy Kid is some kind of failure, and yet she even acknowledges how popular the books.
    Wouldn’t have expected She’s Out Of My League to leap over Green Zone. Ouch. Ouch too to that opening for The Runaways. Not that exciting, those numbers.

  17. marychan says:

    Chucky in Jersey, it would be strange, because AMC Boston Common had showed “The Ghost Writer”.

  18. CleanSteve says:

    What an empty piece of shit THE RUNAWAYS was to me. I liked Michael Shannon, and the guy that played Rodney Binginheimer was funny. But the rest of it played to me as empty, aimless and confused. It hit all the typical beats, which is no crime. But then it would go off into some potential plotline that never developed. And I also never once got the feeling that they were the success the movie said they were, however briefly.
    I know the music and the history of the band. That’s a time period I was raised around. And after this movie I know absolutely nothing more about them.
    This is what a Ramones bio-pic would turn out like, if I was imagining it sucking a bag of dicks.

  19. LYT says:

    And cue LexG Twitter tirade against CleanSteve in 3…2…

  20. polarbear2 says:

    Me-“Really hoping The Green Zone result pushes Damon to consider doing Captain America.”
    I don’t think Marvel would want him after ‘Green Zone’s performance.

  21. ArdenScribe says:

    @Stella’s Boy “Clearly people are not going to spend their hard-earned money to see an anti-American, anti-soldier, anti-freedom, anti-Caucasian, pro-terrorist, treasonous film like Green Zone.”
    Can you please explain how this film is anti-American? How is it pro-terrorist? How is a film written, produced and directed by Caucasians, starring Caucasians in all but three or four speaking roles, anti-Caucasian?
    I’m assuming your quote was a joke. You’re being facetious, right?

  22. LYT says:

    seems to me pretty obvious Stella’s Boy was joking.

  23. ArdenScribe says:

    Unless one is a regular Stella’s Boy reader (which I can’t claim to be), it’s not obvious. It’s actually something people are saying in town. That’s why I asked.

  24. christian says:

    But Nicol D. was not joking.

  25. a_loco says:

    Am I the only one here had never heard of Wimpy Kid until the BO returns came in?
    I know I’m not the the target audience in any way, shape, or form, but I usually do enough internet browsing to know about every wide release in the week before its release.
    I guess exam season is getting to me.

  26. LexG says:

    CleanSteve, did you actually see The Runaways and comment on Michael “Richard Kiel” Shannon and that douche who played Bingenheimer for eight seconds, but not EVEN ACKNOWLEDGE the GLORIOUS SIGHTS throughout the rest of the movie????
    It is WALL TO WALL provocative imagery and TWO GREAT PERFORMANCES by THE TWO BEST WORKING ACTRESSES IN AMERICAN FILM. If you didn’t recognize that, but rather sat there grumbling that it wasn’t true to your KROQ formative years in the mid-70s, congrats on being the grumpy 50-year-old who hasn’t kept up with the times.
    For your angry (and obviously very, very gay) write-off of THE MASTERPIECE KNOWN AS THE RUNAWAYS and your INDIFFERENCE TO FANNING POWER, I present you with your take-home prize:
    One pair of Richard Blade parachute pants and a Roxy Music CD. Congrats on your Cameron Crowe Award For No One Over 30 Should Take Music Seriously.

  27. LexG says:

    By the way, just to stroke my own dick:
    That MICHAEL SHANNON = RICHARD KIEL line is the most accurate celebrity lookalike thing in the history of time. Watch the part in Moonraker where Jaws flashes his teeth at airport security and tell me that’s not Michael Shannon.
    And even though Shannon is usually AWESOME and has been since PEARL HARBOR and BAD BOYS II… MINORITY OPINION? He’s pretty fucking EMBARRASSING in Runaways, all those STUPID FACES and those corny Steven Tyler esque lines about the magic of rock n roll? EMBARRASSING.

  28. Wait, why was cleanshave’s reaction “gay”? I would think a “gay” reaction would be to be really like the movie and obsess over the awesome iconic women at its core. But, hey, that’s just me.
    I haven’t seen the movie (obviously, it’s not out until who knows when) but I’ve been listening to The Runaways so much lately. It’s a brilliant album. If the movie has just an ounce of the attitude of that album then it’ll be worth the cash.
    How did Ghost Writer go in its expansion?

  29. Stella's Boy says:

    Yes I was joking.

  30. guselephant says:

    Kami – the numbers are up at boxofficemojo and they’re not stellar, a bit below the third week per-screen expected at this point.
    But what is the logic behind platforming a $45M thriller with stars?

  31. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Mojo gave a Friday estimate of $550K from 819 for “The Ghost Writer”. The AMC ban hurt the pic, otherwise it would have gone wide with a chance at the national top 10.
    @Stella: I just checked and the AMC website. “The Ghost Writer” is gone from that particular AMC (a Loews actually).

  32. Don Murphy says:

    AMC Ban of Ghost Writer? Why do anonymous tit mice in comments sections have to make shit up?

  33. Foamy Squirrel says:

    A rather confusing exchange with an AMC spokesman.
    As best as I can figure out, after a grand total of 30 seconds of googling, is that AMC pulled it from their US screens while slowly expanding in Canada. However, I didn’t spot any official word anywhere either from an AMC Press Release or from a news outlet, so that’s a pretty tenuous source – given the guy backtracked himself, it’s entirely possible he didn’t know what the hell he was talking about in the first place (although he did answer almost identically to his first comment a few days later).

  34. Sams says:

    Nikke was obviously going for an attention grabbing headline but The Bounty Hunter was heavily marketed, had a splashy premiere with its 2 stars, and opened in over 3000 theaters so Sony/Columbia surely expected much more. In contrast, I did not see much marketing for Diary which was also going up against Alice 3D for the kid market. $20M for Bounty is below all the estimates and losing out to a barely marketed kid film with NO stars should be an embarrassment for all involved.

  35. EthanG says:

    So Universal along with Relativity has released two films in two weeks with production costs of $132 million combined (at least 70 million additional in P&A…so 200 million total) that will gross probably 75 million worldwide tops.
    Still can’t believe this isn’t a huge story.

  36. gradystiles says:

    “$20M for Bounty is below all the estimates and losing out to a barely marketed kid film with NO stars should be an embarrassment for all involved.”
    Not really. Diary wasn’t “barely marketed.” It was simply marketed to a very specific audience and it clearly worked. As for Bounty, it was exactly in line with estimates from professionals in the industry (as opposed to EW or box office websites).

  37. Rob says:

    Whose “estimates,” Sams? What do you think the word “estimates” means?
    Also, home video of my nephew’s birthday party gets a 3000 screen release these days.

  38. CleanSteve says:

    LexG is the most charming “Character Poster” I have ever come across on a forum or blog. That dude is committed to his role.
    And whoever called me Clean Shave….that was awesome. I laughed.
    I have just kept it simple. The movie fucking bored me. Was there a lot of hot snatch, jailbait, poon-tang or whatever Lex wants to call it today? Hell yea. And I have rarely been so bored by it. The Jett-Currie hook-up is treated with great visual heft, and then forgotten. Or, to Lex it up, where was the HOT SCISSORING! Where was the DIRTY SEXY TORMENTED MORNING-AFTER-EATING-SOME-BOX LOOK IN THE EYES OF A DAKOTA FANNING REALIZING SHE MIGHT BE A LESBIAN. That’s not as eloquent as Lex, but I’m not as practiced.
    Great album, band and story that’s treated to a shit, safe by the numbers film. It’s very well shot, and has some strong images but I wanted to nap.
    I like Kay Stu. Good actress. Great in ADVENTURELAND. But too bad she is wasting years, time and talent on the utter, utter shit that is TWILIGHT.
    And I am no “over 50,” than you very much. That comment is a dead giveaway to the fact that you’re probably older than me, Lex.

  39. LYT says:

    Stewart will be able to pay her grandkids’ college tuition with Twilight residuals.
    I think those movies are dumb too, but if I were offered a role in one, I’d still take it. Can’t really blame her for that.

  40. Foamy Squirrel says:

    EthanG – Relativity have their fingers in 30+ pies per year using a portfolio strategy rather than a “we can’t afford flops” strategy (not unsurprising given Ryan’s hedge fund background). While unfortunate, it’s not head-rolling time (yet) and if they’ve been smart they’ll have collected data to support their consulting arm.
    It’s more financially damaging to Universal, who weren’t coming into 2010 with the greatest record from last year, but they may or may not have political cover due to the Comcast sale. It really depends on whether they can adequately claim that the sale disrupted their processes so they couldn’t properly support the releases, and how gullible… er… I mean sympathetic Comcast are to a business unit coming into the fold with a poor track record.

  41. CleanSteve says:

    Oh, I’m with you on that LYT. I don’t begrudge her or anybody taking something like that. Not at all. But it also comes with it’s own kind of baggage. And compared to the 2 stiffs who play the shitty blank-faced werewolf and the shitty glass-eyed vampire boy, she has talent to burn.
    Once she gets some distance from them maybe then she can really blossom. And I chose the word “blossom” due to it’s relationship to vaginas so as to soothe the beast that is LexG.

  42. LexG says:

    K-STEW 4 EVER.
    If you don’t dig Twilight, fine, but she’s still in what seems like a new movie every four weeks– even a master of self-repetition like yours truly is starting to have trouble coming up with new worshipful rants, since it seems NOT TWO DAYS GO BY where she isn’t plugging some new wispy indie and doing the talk show/blog interview rounds.
    She’s been in two things in the last FOUR WEEKS, with at LEAST “Welcome to the Rileys” and “Eclipse” to go before the year’s up; What was she in, THIRTY MOVIES in 2008-2009? Ask me, she’s working TRIPLE OVERTIME to let people know that she’s more than just Bella Swan…

  43. LexG says:

    Been saying it since BEFORE Twilight, but K-STEW is SUCH an indie ingenue in small movies, it really wouldn’t hurt her to make one small concession toward a wider, more appreciate male audience and take a cue from the Liv Tyler/Scarlett Johansson ETHEREAL IT GIRL PLAYBOOK and WORK WITH MICHAEL BAY.
    Both of those were totally in the current K-STEW wheelhouse of playing earnest, scrunched-brow middle-aged-man pliable fantasy chicks in stuff like “Heavy” and “Ghost World” when they worked with THE MASTER who lit them beautifully against orange suns and neon control rooms and put them in (alternately) fetishy Asian print dresses and catsuits.
    Just saying, before she goes to the angsty hooded sweatshirt indie route another *30 times* in the next five years, K-STEW *might* wanna consider signing on for some big, dumb, overlit megamovie with some big hair and orange spray-tan and HOT CLOTHES…
    She can do NO WRONG, but she does so many good movies that NOBODY ever sees in between Twilights… wouldn’t hurt to expand the fanbase beyond mopey cutter chicks and fawning 37-year-old drunks with a ludicrously idealized perception of her.

  44. Cadavra says:

    “She’s THE NEW BRANDO.”
    Yeah. Jocelyn Brando.

Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
Title Gross Thtr % Chgn Cume
Venom 33 4250 NEW 33
A Star is Born 15.7 3686 NEW 15.7
Smallfoot 3.5 4131 -46% 31.3
Night School 3.5 3019 -63% 37.9
The House Wirh a Clock in its Walls 1.8 3463 -43% 49.5
A Simple Favor 1 2408 -50% 46.6
The Nun 0.75 2264 -52% 111.5
Hell Fest 0.6 2297 -70% 7.4
Crazy Rich Asians 0.6 1466 -51% 167.6
The Predator 0.25 1643 -77% 49.3
Also Debuting
The Hate U Give 0.17 36
Shine 85,600 609
Exes Baggage 75,900 62
NOTA 71,300 138
96 61,600 62
Andhadhun 55,000 54
Afsar 45,400 33
Project Gutenberg 36,000 17
Love Yatri 22,300 41
Hello, Mrs. Money 22,200 37
Studio 54 5,300 1
Loving Pablo 4,200 15
3-Day Estimates Weekend % Chg Cume
No Good Dead 24.4 (11,230) NEW 24.4
Dolphin Tale 2 16.6 (4,540) NEW 16.6
Guardians of the Galaxy 7.9 (2,550) -23% 305.8
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 4.8 (1,630) -26% 181.1
The Drop 4.4 (5,480) NEW 4.4
Let's Be Cops 4.3 (1,570) -22% 73
If I Stay 4.0 (1,320) -28% 44.9
The November Man 2.8 (1,030) -36% 22.5
The Giver 2.5 (1,120) -26% 41.2
The Hundred-Foot Journey 2.5 (1,270) -21% 49.4