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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by Yankee Doodle Canadian Klady

Klady is actually a little higher than studio estimates on Twilight: Eclipse. But either way, the difference between the launch of Twi2 and Twi3 is less than 2% different. Almost perfect. The next six days wull be interesting, for those of us who are interested in minutiae, as the day six of New Moon was Thanksgiving and the film presumably was benefited by the holiday weekend, while Eclipse has had its holiday already.
The Last Airbender, assisted by the 3D bump in spite of endless attacks on the film’s 3D, delivered the 14th best July 4 weekend ever and an estimated $69.8m over the 4 day holiday. Assuming 20% of the box office gross comes from the 3D premium, the $5m conversion investment grossed $14 million this weekend and returned more than $7m to the studio. Profitable choice. And with reviews this bad, could they really have been much better in 2D? The big question from here is whether this opening leads to $150m domestic or $200m domestic?
I took 51 days for previous Pixar front-runner Finding Nemo to do what Toy Story 3 has been estimated to do in 18. Obviously box office front-loading has increased in the years between the film, but it’s also 10 days faster to $300m than this year’s Alice in Wonderland. How big will TS3 end up being? No idea. But Pixar’s domestic record will probably fall before the end of next weekend and foreign is strong out of the gate, even with the film’s likely biggest international markets still to launch.
11 days in, Grown Ups is still looking a lot like Click… within $1.5 million in domestic gross. Sandler is often discounted, in part because he has very weak foreign, but domestically, he lives in the rarefied air of Will Smith. When making an “Adam Sandler movie,” he hasn’t missed $100m domestic in a decade and has had just one miss in his last 12 films, dating back to 1998, Little Nicky. Going off his traditional path has never delivered a big hit, but Punch Drunk Love, Spanglish, Reign Over Me, and Funny People were noble failures that really shouldn’t bring into question a truly exceptional box office history.
Nothing in ArthouseLand did sensational numbers this weekend, though Cyrus seems to have broken out with a chance in the mainstream and Winter’s Bone is already in Roadside Attraction’s all-time Top 5, heading further up the list.

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26 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by Yankee Doodle Canadian Klady”

  1. mattn says:

    “And with reviews this bad, could they really have been much better in 2D?”
    In a word, yes. I took my kids to see this, and while it wasn’t very good, it wasn’t half star bad, either. (My kids thought it was ok, although as fans of the TV show they were hoping for much better.) The reviews seemed out of proportion to the quality of the film, but I was wondering if (apart from the Shymalan hating) if that was due to the reviewers seeing the film in 3D. We saw it in 2D, and so the muddiness so many complained of wasn’t so apparent to me.
    Which did make me wonder (this is unprovable, of course), whether if they hadn’t done the conversion the reviews would have been kinder, and maybe word-of-mouth, too? If so, could this be a movie which lost more in going to 3D than it gained?

  2. LexG says:

    AGREED. SEE IT IN 2D if you’re going to see it at all.
    The movie I saw was so beautifully composed, shot and scored, I have to call bullshit on the groupthink jerkoff reviews, each trying to out-smarm the next in a big, annoying pile-on. The story and acting is certainly another thing, but AIRBENDER looks FUCKING INCREDIBLE, and deserves its share of props just for that. The critics doling out the “zero stars” and “one star” reviews are caught up in a “Gigli”-esque tee-hee! circle jerk of trying to top their asshole peers in who can put down Shyamalan the worst.
    To the point where I have to wonder if the 3D does the most a wholesale disservice. Surely no reputable, fair critic could ignore the movie’s production design, composition, and cinematography. So did the 3D render all those a blur?

  3. IOv2 says:

    Lex, in a word, YES. Most of the reviews were more pissed at the 3D than anything else. They were also playing critic circle jerk with one another and that’s never good for any film that gets that treatment. Seriously, the critical reaction to Avatar… THE LAST AIRBENDER is reason enough to scuttle the lot of them, because many of them seem to lack a single unique thought in their head most times, and that’s not good for anyone or any film.

  4. a_loco says:

    All the non-movie loving friends I saw it with in 2D thought it was “the worst movie ever” (their words), but they did agree that the action scenes were a’ight (if a bit corny).

  5. Joe Straat says:

    The 3-D made it look more like a pop-up book than a movie. Seriously. Even on the one great vista shot, it’s ruined because the stuff that’s popping out is completely 2-D in its own little bubble.
    That’s not to say because I saw it in 3-D I immediately hated it. Yeah, it has more than enough wrong with it to justify the hate it’s getting (Exposition in all the wrong places, the personality almost completely stripped to a couple obvious set up laughs, the piss poor editing….). It’s like shooting a room full of demons on God mode in Doom (I don’t like saying, “Like shooting fish in a barrel”). But the hate itself wasn’t there for me. Maybe it’s because I’m not a huge fan of the show yet, maybe it’s because I’m on vacation in a week and all the shit in the world can’t bring me down, but eh, it didn’t make me want to destroy things like a, say, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever would. And it’s not like the anime movie X which was such a complete train wreck of no character development, ridiculous Freudian touches, and a story that’s all about payoff with one of the worst payoffs in the history of cinema. After that, even though there was the original manga and TV series that I hear are much much better, I will have nothing to do with considering how much pain the movie caused me. The Last Airbender didn’t get nearly that far.

  6. Pete Grisham says:

    What planet is Poland on???

  7. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Nothing on the arthouse side “did sensational numbers”? The Joan Rivers documentary and “Winter’s Bone” did good business where I saw them. As the Northeast is in a heatwave that’s helping arty pictures too, not just popcorn product.
    “Cyrus” doesn’t go national until this coming Friday — it’s being propped up by the mandatory Academy Award Winner/Nominee appendages. Somebody get the firing squad!

  8. IOv2 says:

    Chucky, you know to a lot of people the whole ACADEMY AWARD WINNER/NOMINEE thing is a plus. You know this right? Come on. You have to know this.
    Pete, dude, go read the Avatar analysis if you really want to get a headache. Seriously. Go read it. Everything you mentioned there is magnified by 10 in those box office recaps.

  9. Reposted from elsewhere, but relevant to the discussion:
    I frankly didn’t find the 3-D to be terribly distracting, as I still was able to see and appreciate the lush scenery and well-staged action scenes. Yes, I loathed the movie as much as the next critic, but I suppose I can admit that my hardcore Shyamalan fandom made me hate it more than if the picture had been made by someone I didn’t care about. Absent the fact that M. Night Shyamalan made a picture this awful, I probably would have laughed my butt off from beginning to end at the awful acting and dialogue. But, my hardcore and longtime admiration for the guy who wrote/directed The Sixth Sense and Signs, as well as my hope that he would have an artistic comeback, made watching The Last Airbender a distinctly unfunny and painful experience. I didn’t rip it to shreds because I hate Shyamalan, but because I’m still a believer in his inherent talent.

  10. a_loco says:

    Pete, you’re not actually disagreeing with anything he said, you’re just adding more details and fuming for no reason.

  11. IOv2 says:

    Pete seems to disagree with how David just views numbers as being similar to other numbers.

  12. Pete Grisham says:

    So yeah, one of my sentences good cut off and that sort of made that part of my arguement more confusing.
    But, a_loco, for crying out loud anyone with half a brain would understand that the “details” were
    added to point out how meaningless this sentence was:
    “I took 51 days for previous Pixar front-runner Finding Nemo to do what Toy Story 3 has been estimated to do in 18.”
    The statement above carries no insight or meaning.

  13. A. E. Ase says:

    Scott, i’ve got nothing about Shyamalan but ‘inherent talent’ doesn’t seem to apply. He’s a writer/director that was great coming out the gate- yes. However having been so consistently misguided since (insert personal cut-off point here, mine would be Unbreakable), one wonders if he’s not simply a one to two to three hit wonder. In other words, despite the last few massive misfires, will you continue to hope? Because the funny thing is, it’s my understanding the guy’s had the license to fulfill his artistic vision 100% on his films.

  14. A. E. Ase says:

    * in the first sentence, against instead of about

  15. a_loco says:

    Pete, you conveniently forgot the rest of the paragraph: “Obviously box office front-loading has increased in the years between the film, but it’s also 10 days faster to $300m than this year’s Alice in Wonderland. How big will TS3 end up being? No idea. But Pixar’s domestic record will probably fall before the end of next weekend and foreign is strong out of the gate, even with the film’s likely biggest international markets still to launch.”
    As in, whatever you make of the 3D bump and the much higher frontloading, TS3 will be the biggest Pixar earner yet.
    I’m not sure where “meaning” enters the conversation and I’m not sure what it is about that statement that makes you angry.

  16. David Poland says:

    Sorry to the rest of you.
    Wanted to make Pete piss himself.
    Hee hee. That was so easy.
    Apologies to Pete’s mom if she has to clean it up.

  17. Triple Option says:

    I’d think the whole 51 days for Nemo vs 18 for Toy3 is significant enough to mention. I don’t think it really requires an explanation. It’d prolly make for some good analysis as to why or may be interesting to hear various opinions as to why but I didn’t get the sense something was purposefully being excluded to get a skewed opinion or interpretation of facts or stats.
    I saw Toy3 this w/e. It was for me by far the most moving Pixar film I’ve ever seen. People talked a lot about the first ten minutes of Up but this far more moving and natural for me. I heard about people crying at the end but it didn’t really happen as expected. Some clever things in there throughout. THAT SAID…I really felt I wasted $3 on the 3D surcharge. In some sense I was thinking well it’s Pixar, it’s gonna be a decent story/film regardless. But it was the same reason I thought they’d do the 3D more than just halfassed. Nothing looked bad or cheap but it wasn’t to the level of Avatar where if I’d seen it in 2D I’d be wondering what was even the point of being here.
    Some of the trailers just looked all the studios rushing into the subprime 3D market. Some of them barely looked suitable for direct to dvd release but now they wanna load up high octane category for them??? Obama spends his first 4-8 mos in office talking about the need for American businesses to get away from the constant search for the next bubble to ride and what does the one industry that traditionally performs better during an economic downturn do? Devise a way to bilk the masses outta millions w/out zero regard for long-term consequences, overall health of the industry or quality to the consumers. None of that talk meant anything to anyone or somehow it didn’t apply to them. How long before they drive otherwise honest people to bit torrent sites to escape their greed?
    The amount of ads and the inescapable volume just makes for a miserable experience. I don’t think Pacific was as bad as AMC. The last movie I saw in a pacific theater was Robin Hood, so the sour taste in my mouth was directly related to film not the intrusive mktg.

  18. Geoff says:

    Ok, LexG, I’ll bite:
    It’s not THAT bad, but answer me this, I’m quite curious – Asif Mandvi plays the main villain’s henchman????? That’s just crazy, what Jack McBrayer wasn’t looking for an action role?
    Just how does that work out for the movie?

  19. chris says:

    I suppose there may be a critical mass that happens on some movies and that some lazy critics read reviews before writing their own — I’m sure that’s the hope for “Inception” right now — but explain to me how that could possibly happen on “Airbender,” a movie virtually everyone saw two nights before it opened and had to file a review of shortly afterwards?

  20. I didn’t realize where I knew Mandvi from until after I started writing my review. I didn’t have any more of a problem with him than with any of the other actors. I honestly think some of those who knew he was from the Daily Show let that color their thoughts on his work, which was as good as it could have been with the material.
    For what it’s worth, when I wrote my Airbender review, there were no other reviews for me to read at the time. Random anecdote, my wife and I saw the first (only) press screening for Live Free or Die Hard back in June 2007. We were both surprised how much we enjoyed it, despite our misgivings about the MPAA rating and whatnot. So anyway, I wrote my review, sent it in, expecting to be among the only critic to enjoy this PG-13 Die Hard movie, only to check Rotten Tomatoes and discover that my ‘B’ review was actually comparatively low on the critical totem pole from the first rush of reviews. It’s always best to write your own review in vacuum, but that’s only possible when you’re among the very first to see it (which I rarely am, except for big-studio movies with only one or two screenings).

  21. Goulet says:

    Chris: “explain to me how that could possibly happen on “Airbender,” a movie virtually everyone saw two nights before it opened and had to file a review of shortly afterwards?”
    Because critics have had it in for Shyamalan for a good 5 years already, and they anticipate each new release of his films as another opportunity to bully him up some more.
    I actually attend press screenings and spend time with a lot of critics, and I can testify that they are not holier than thou. Everyone has biases, and listening to conversations between critics BEFORE screenings start, you can hear them already voicing their opinion that this will be horrible or that will be genius, and they rarely change their minds after actually seeing the film.
    Plus just in the minutes after a screening, little groups of critics form up (if they weren’t sitting together all along) and you can tell what the consensus take will be, as the loudest mouths express their opinion and the lazy/pushover reviewers take it in and later mirror it.
    I have my own biases, but I try my best to go into every movie with an open mind. And then after seeing a film, I trust my gut feeling, even if it’s not the trendy response.

  22. Joe Leydon says:

    Goulet: Not saying you’re entirely wrong, but please consider another possibility. One that has very little to do with group think or conspiracies. A few years back, when folks here were wondering why Paramount was waiting so late to have screenings for War of the Worlds, I posted: “This means that, in many, MANY cases, newspaper critics will have to rush back to the office (or rush home to their computers) after the evening screening and crank out reviews in an hour

  23. Goulet says:

    Good point, Joe.

  24. chris says:

    I AM saying Goulet is wrong. Maybe some critics “meet” to form a consensus or decide how they feel about a movie beforehand (I have seen that happen with junket journalists, whom i’d distinguish from critics), but they’re in the minority.

  25. Stella's Boy says:

    In my years as a professional critic, not once did I ever see critics meet after a screening. We barely said hi to each other if we said anything at all. I never formally met people I sat next to for years at screenings.

  26. Goulet says:

    They don’t meet formally, I know. What I’m seeing is just casual stop-and-chat-on-the-way-out huddles, and some of the critics will definitely loudly voice their opinion, in an apparent attempt to set the tone.
    Do you honestly believe that, for instance, the guys from all the geek websites don’t talk to each other after screenings, however briefly?

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