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David Poland

By David Poland

Twilight Games

I can’t blame Summit for playing some subtle games to try to keep the Twilight story where they want it going into next week.
As I have written before, it doesn’t really matter. My guess would be that this film, in spite of better notices, will do a little less than the last, perhaps as much as 10%. Still… spectacular.
So I had to laugh when I saw, after Eclipse failed to match New Moon’s 3-day or 5-day domestically – not very far off – they are now selling the idea that their worldwide open (which is 5 days, not 3, like New Moon) is $261.2m… up from $258.8m from last November’s mammoth launch.
Is the media this callow… that we need to be led by the nose to SUCCESS, when the success is obvious, even if there isn’t a new record every single time?
Twilight already made its Transformers leap… last November. I’m going to go out on a limb – not really – and predict that Eclipse and the last two films of the series will all gross between $650 million and $750 million worldwide (unless 3D adds a third to the number in future films). I don’t care how big or small they open, in how many theaters, how long girls wait on sidewalks, whether fake weddings take place, if a single person from the series ever opens any other movie… 50 to 60 million people are committed to see every one of these films. Some of them will see it multiple times. A few will stop bothering. A few will be dragged along.
So relax, Summit. You have a about a billion and a half in profits coming in over the next two years with your blue chip franchise. There is no question about that. The only real question is, how will you spend your bounty?

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5 Responses to “Twilight Games”

  1. IOv2 says:

    David, it’s not the media as much as it’s aspect of the media that look for any reason to slag this franchise, and Summit are seemingly trying to get ahead of any slagging by presenting their own numbers.

  2. EthanG says:

    Good post…btw while it doesn’t really mean much in reality, Summit Entertainment will likely pass Universal in 2010 box office gross for at least a few days (before Despicable Me). When is the last time a mid-major had a higher studio gross than one of the majors halfway through a calendar year????
    I think this stat obviously says more about Universal and Twilight than Summit …but it is a badge of honor for a mid-major studio this late in the year nonetheless.

  3. a_loco says:

    They should be spending their bounty on a marketing department that can successfully sell their mid-budget releases.
    I know, easier said than done.

  4. A_Loco beat me to it. You can play with the numbers all you want, but Twilight is a studio’s ultimate fantasy: top-tier tentpole grosses for mid-budget prices. But if Summit can’t figure out how to open anything non-Twilight, they just become a future MGM, dying in the vine and occasionally saved by a Bond film every few years. But unless Summit can become a real studio and/or re-purpose the Twilight franchise after the current series is over (rebooting, a TV series version, etc), than they are dead in the water in about three years.

  5. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Speaking of the Twlight series, a man in New Zealand saw “Eclipse” and then died of embarrassment.

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