MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady

Elm Oakay

May 2 , 2010

The resurrection of Mr. Krueger in A Nightmare on Elm Street scared up an estimated $32.1 million to claim weekend bragging rights in an otherwise soft movie viewing session. The frame’s other national debut, the unintentionally horrifying Furry Vengeance, ranked fifth in the lineup with $6.5 million.

Niche freshmen including Bollywood entry House Full, which grossed $480,000 at 82 venues, displayed some potency. In Canada the wide release of the Northern western Gunless was a disappointment with $254,000 at 155 showdowns, while the third installment of Millennium — The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest — scored in Quebec with a $233,000 gross from 45 theaters. The 3D concert film from Phish saw the band’s appeal sag with a box office of $410,000 at 217 locations.

Limited and exclusive newcomers saw an upbeat $23,550 per engagement for U.S. indie Please Give at five sites and a $9,340 average in 19 exposures for Brit import Harry Brown with Michael Caine. Also encouraging among the glut of exclusive bows were the baseball drama Touching Home and the Kafkaesque chiller The Human Centipede.

Overall revenues crept to about $103 million for a modest 2% bump from last weekend but couldn’t keep pace with the $85.1 million 2009 launch of X-Men Origins: Wolverine and $15.4 million debut of Ghosts of Girlfriends Past and sank by 37%.

The plundering of the New Line library continued with A Nightmare on Elm Street and results were respectable enough for consideration of a sequel. Conversely one could only scratch one’s head about the decision to green light the mirthless animal revenge comedy Furry Vengeance. Box office response clearly showed that the audience didn’t get the joke.

But the big question of the weekend related to absence. In light of what’s perceived as an imminent crunch for 3D screens, a shrewd distributor might have turned up the heat to push up the release of upcoming stereoscopic entries The Last Airbender, the Cats & Dogs sequel or Despicable Me. Obviously the industry was asleep when the Latin class took up carpe diem.

Meanwhile, the impact of 3D concert films as alternative programming remains the marketplace stealth bomber. While Phish in 3D appeared to be just OK in off peak slots, the results for similar efforts last week for Kenny Chesney and The Black Eyed Peas were being kept for eyes only.

-by Leonard Klady

Weekend Estimates: April 30 – May 2, 2010

Title Distributor Gross (average) % change * Theaters Cume
Nightmare on Elm Street WB 32.1 (9,630) 3332 32.1
How to Train Your Dragon Par 10.8 (3,150) -30% 3426 192.4
Date Night Fox 7.6 (2,460) -27% 3093 73.6
The Back-Up Plan CBS 6.9 (2,090) -44% 3280 22.6
Furry Vengeance Summit 6.5 (2,160) 2997 6.5
Clash of the Titans WB 6.0 (2,180) -33% 2737 154
The Losers WB 5.9 (2,020) -37% 2936 18.1
Kick-Ass Lions Gate 4.4 (1,740) -53% 2542 42.1
Death at a Funeral Sony 4.0 (1,770) -50% 2271 34.8
Oceans BV 2.5 (2,090) -58% 1210 13.4
The Last Song BV 2.3 (1,020) -38% 2276 58.7
Alice in Wonderland BV 1.5 (1,450) -33% 1050 329.7
Hot Tub Time Machine MGM 1.1 (1,000) -45% 1112 47.6
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Fox 1.0 (840) -48% 1166 60.9
The Bounty Hunter Sony .85 (950) -46% 891 64.1
Why Did I Get Married Too? Lions Gate .81 (1,110) -53% 727 58.7
City Island Anchor Bay .76 (2,820) 142% 269 2.1
Avatar Fox .62 (1,600) -33% 387 747.3
Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Music Box/Alliance .56 (2,650) -25% 211 5.1
House Full Eros .48 (5,900) 82 0.48
Phish 3D Cinedigm .41 (1,890) 217 0.41
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $96.20
% Change (Last Year) -37%
% Change (Last Week) 2%
Also debuting/expanding
The Secret in Their Eyes Sony Classics .32 (7,340) -10% 44 1.05
Gunless Alliance .25 (1,640) 155 0.25
Millennium III Alliance .23 (5,190) 45 0.23
Exit Through the Gift Shop Abramorama .18 (9,050) 23% 20 0.65
Harry Brown IDP .18 (9,340) 19 0.18
Please Give Sony Classics .14 (23,550) 6 0.14
The Square Apparition 41,200 (1,720) 2% 24 0.17
Touching Home CFI 27,600 (13,800) 2 0.03
The Human Centipede IFC 12,100 (12,100) 1 0.01
Acts of Violence I.L. Films 7,700 (1,540) 5 0.01
Anton Chekhov’s The Duel Highline 5,800 (5,800) 1 0.01
Passenger Side KinoSmith 5,650 (1,880) 3 0.01
The Good Heart Magnolia 5,500 (1,100) 5 0.01
Mercy IFC 1,450 (1,450) 1 0.01

Domestic Market Share: January 1 – April 29, 2010

Distributor (releases) Gross Market Share
Fox (7) 837.2 24.70%
Warner Bros. (13) 638.8 18.90%
Buena Vista (8) 460.6 13.60%
Paramount (6) 432.8 12.80%
Sony (12) 227.5 6.70%
Universal (7) 210.8 6.20%
Lions Gate (7) 183.5 5.40%
Overture (4) 66.8 2.00%
Fox Searchlight (3) 62.6 1.90%
Summit (5) 49.9 1.50%
MGM (1) 46.5 1.40%
Weinstein Co. (4) 34.7 1.00%
CBS (2) 28.2 0.80%
Sony Classics (9) 27.6 0.80%
Other * (121) 78 2.30%
* none greater than 0.4% 3385.5 100.00%

Top 2010 Limited Releases: To April 29, 2010

Title Distributor Gross
The Ghost Writer Summit 14,162,462
The Young Victoria * Apparition/Alliance 11,130,143
A Single Man * Weinstein Co. 7,935,872
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus E1/Sony Classics 7,382,072
The Last Station Sony Classics 6,517,037
An Education * Sony Classics 4,962,771
The Hurt Locker * Summit 4,531,548
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Music Box/Alliance 4,516,395
Hubble 3D WB 4,196,117
My Name is Khan Fox Searchlight 4,018,204
Greenberg Focus 3,784,695
To Save a Life IDP 3,777,210
The Runaways Apparition/E1 3,332,424
Broken Embraces * Sony Classics 3,316,910
3 Idiots * Big Pictures 2,279,902
Chloe Sony Classics/E1 2,800,621
Under the Sea 3D * WB 2,316,463
The White Ribbon Sony Classics 2,197,888
A Prophet Sony Classics 1,926,344
Celine: Through the Eyes of the World Sony 1,897,831
* does not include 2009 box office
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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