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David Poland

By David Poland

BYOB Thursday/Friday

I’m not sure whether you will see anything from me on Friday. 6:58a flight out… home by 11p.
Here’s some space. Be nice to each other. Play on…
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23 Responses to “BYOB Thursday/Friday”

  1. LexG says:

    Whoa, MacGruber is tracking THAT low? As in, low at ALL?
    I would’ve put money down that everyone involved imagined that as a $35 MIL opening weekend with hopes of 40-50. Couldn’t have IMAGINED it’d do a penny under 30 this weekend, but clearly something’s up, or I just watch too much SNL and have a skewed sense of how hyped that is.

  2. The Big Perm says:

    40 mil at absolute best, like it suddenly gets a lot of hype and everyone loves it.

  3. aris says:

    A bizarre title, a reference to a tv show that the target audience wasn’t even alive to watch (that no one who doesn’t follow SNL will even get), a kinda-sorta-maybe-I-know-him actor (who isn’t well known, I’ll venture a guess, outside SNL), a female star not many people know of (whom I think is pretty funny), and tv spots that, yeah, might look funny, but not for more than 15 minutes. Maybe it’s great, I’m not saying it’s not. But everyone and their momma is going to see Shrek. IMO.

  4. The Big Perm says:

    Yeah, it’s like Hot Rod again…which was pretty funny.

  5. LexG says:

    Yeah, guess Shrek will handily eat up a big portion of the MacG audience. Usually you can count on little kids and families who don’t necessarily “get” the joke to turn up anyway for a movie where there’s a funny-looking dude doing broad comedy. Think Austin Powers, where you’d go see it and it’s all these families and ’90s teens in the crowd laughing along to jokes about MOD and What’s New Pussycat, when surely they didn’t get the references but just liked laughing at Myers doing a silly shtick. (The first Martin Panther movie had this too.)
    On a slower weekend MacGruber would’ve TOTALLY benefitted from the “dumb family with 12 kids looking at the poster of a guy in a silly ‘stache and mullet and saying ‘That looks funny!'” effect. But, yes, all those people will see Shrek.
    I’d say that it could be a slow-builder like the first AP, but the fact that the same studio has a similar broad comedy targeting the EXACT same audience (Get Him to the Greek) a mere TWO WEEKS later doesn’t really speak to letting it breathe.

  6. Geoff says:

    Count me very excited to see Inception, but does Warners Bros. really think this movie is going to be huge? They’re certainly marketing it aggressively enough.
    I don’t know – a big part of the campaign seems to be namechecking The Dark Knight, which COULD work. It worked for Avatar – people forget that for months the only content on any ads for that film was “From the Director of Titanic.” It worked for The Hangover, last year, and it also apparently helped open Robin Hood – the whole campaign all but said, “Hey, if you dug Gladiator, then you’ll dig this….”
    I don’t know…I’m rooting for Nolan and his gang, but I just have a feeling that this could get stomped by The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

  7. LexG says:

    Guess I’ll find out when I see the movie this weekend, but on the topic:
    Is there some demographic reason why Ryan Phillippe is in MacGruber as some kind of third banana?
    Don’t get me wrong, Phillippe RULES, and was indeed pretty funny on SNL a month or two ago; Is he looking for some weird new career tangent as 1992 Rob Lowe, when he ditched “Masquerade” and Bogdanovich and SLAYED on SNL then started popping up in Tommy Boy and Wayne’s World?
    I’m guessing that’s what everyone was going for here, but Phillippe’s enough of a name star from legit movies but not enough of a kitsch icon like Lowe, so it just seems even more random.
    Be like if Samberg and Parnell got a LAZY SUNDAY movie off the ground, and shoehorned awkwardly into the corner of the poster via PhotoShop was an AND CHANNING TATUM! with him throwing up the metal horns or something.

  8. Stella's Boy says:

    Stop-Loss tanked hard Lex, and Phillippe isn’t exactly a huge box office draw. I think he’s been cooling off a little in recent years, so maybe he isn’t getting many offers better than this. Or maybe he really wanted to do a comedy. Plus, Powers Boothe is in it. That’d be reason enough for me.

  9. Joe Leydon says:

    I’ll be curious to see how many parents do take their kids to see MacGruber — and then get upset by the R-rated raunch. “I will suck your cock, man!” Yes, I can just imagine how that will go over… Don’t get me wrong: I thought the film was pretty funny. But my gut tells me it is not quite the film some — most? — people are expecting.

  10. The Pope says:

    Geoff, yes Nolan’s name check on INCEPTION is very emphatic. First up, and twice inside the opening 30 seconds. I suppose it’s because they are trying to sell the concept as well as the movie. It appears to have some Matrix type shifts in reality.
    But seriously, they have DiCaprio in the lead. But they don’t name check him until 1.30in.
    So, why the push on Nolan, Nolan, Nolan (unless of course it is in his contract… but then again, he doesn’t strike me as THAT type of egomaniac… although Leo’s hair and coat do have similarities to the director’s).

  11. jesse says:

    Yeah, you know, I’m actually, actively excited for MacGruber, and I’m still kind of surprised that people are predicting as *high* as $15 million. I mean, look at the SNL movie history: two really big hits, Wayne’s World and Blues Brothers. Then a Wayne’s World sequel did less than half of the original, albeit at a time when sequels routinely made less than the original, rather than the same-or-better model we’ve seen in the past decade or so. Then there were a couple of late-nineties quickies that did $30 million or so and good homevideo business, probably made a small profit. And then a bunch more — Coneheads, Ladies Man, It’s Pat, Stuart — did poor or worse.
    Basically, if MacGruber, say, opens to 12-15, and then gets to around $40 million, it’ll be a solid performer for its budget. If it opens or finishes any bigger, it’ll be in spitting distance of the third-highest-grossing SNL spinoff. Not bad when the first two are considered comedy classics.
    I guess inflation means that it could very well happen. And maybe people will be into it just beacuse it looks like a fun dumb comedy. But yeah, it seems like the Hot Rod comparison is apt. MacGruber may have been in an ad and on a recurring sketch, as opposed to “the guy from Lazy Sunday,” but Lazy Sunday was probably watched by more non-fans of SNL than most MacGruber sketches combined.
    Anyway, I hope it does well. Forte is hilarious. I’m bummed that I don’t have time to see it until Saturday night.

  12. CaptainZahn says:

    If anyone still hasn’t seen Chris Klein’s Mamma Mia must, it is simply scrumtralescent.
    I won’t link directly to it here, but if you search for the profile “omgdudetotes” on, you’ll find it.

  13. yancyskancy says:

    The Chris Klein clip starts with a heartfelt shout-out to Mandy Moore, so it’s a must-watch, Lex.
    Dude can actually carry a tune, until the melody goes out of his range. The wide-eyed thing is possibly more problematic. Seems like a nice guy though. He was wonderful in ELECTION; odd career since.

  14. Chucky in Jersey says:

    @LexG: “MacGruber” is rated R. Ushers will be checking tickets so theaters aren’t shot up by a SWAT team.

  15. LexG says:

    ^ Greatest Chucky post ever ^
    I love when goes all absurdist. This might top the super-violent name-checking “song” he wrote for awesomest moment from The CIJ.

  16. IOv2 says:

    MacGruber is tremendous. Seriously, it’s a great freaking film that will hopefully find some audience either in theatres on video. There’s a Val Kilmer scene in that film that should easily become an internet meme, it’s that damn silly.
    MacAwesome aside, Shrek really lived up to Shrek and Shrek 2 and ended those films with style. It’s another great Dreamworks Animated film. David reviewed it perfectly.

  17. leahnz says:

    i’m a roarer,
    a rogerer,
    a gorger
    and a puker!
    – the prince regent
    (for any and all fans out there of blackadder and idiocy)

  18. Stella's Boy says:

    According to Deadline, Shrek will make about $70 million this weekend while MacGruber will gross about $4.5 million. Yikes.

  19. Joe Leydon says:

    @Stella’s Boy: Well, looks like that tracking was right. Yikes, indeed.

  20. Abba70s says:

    $70 mil weekend? After a $120 mil opening for #3? Serves you right for burning all of us who sat through the moneygrab known as ‘Shrek the Turd’

  21. Joe Leydon says:

    Questions, questions. Is the drop for Shrek 4 actually worse than it looks because of jacked-up admission prices? (That is, the drop in actual tickets sold is worse?) And are jacked-up admission prices keeping away families that might have gone to see the movie just two years ago? Are family films even more susceptible than other films to vagaries in the economy? Think about it: Single moms with grade-schoolers, presumably part of the target audience for Shrek 4. Can they afford to pay more for movies than they did two years ago?

  22. Dr Wally says:

    You could be right Joe – plus there really should be a sizeable 3-D bump to those numbers too. But Shrek will fatten up over the Memorial Day weekend, and if Persia really does stink out the room then it has a clear path to the family dollar until Pixar over a month from now. Infact, even if the opening weekend is soft it has a good shot at surpassing the third film’s domestic total, as well as Iron Man.

  23. chris says:

    “MacGruber” appears to be playing to its built-in audience and absolutely no one else. I still say this is why there was no downside to screening it, if Universal/Rogue had. Maybe it would have gotten some bad reviews, which that built-in audience would have ignored anyway, but it would have gotten play in every paper on Friday (instead of buried reviews today), a lot of those reviews would have been pretty favorable and at least some moviegoers who weren’t interested might have re-thought that.

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