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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Hairy Klady

As of yesterday, Potter 7 was still behind Hp6, day for 9 days… but that will change today, when HP7 will become the biggest Potter ever… for at least a few days. But I am just repeating myself.

Tangled is the best opening for a non-Pixar Disney animated film ever… though the rules of box office have changed rather dramatically since Disney was in the mega-hit animation business. But the last two Thanksgivings, Disney has been under Lasseter and the results were Bolt, even launching the Friday before Thanksgiving, doing just $66.8 by the end of Thanksgiving weekend (a 10-day) and The Princess & The Frog shoved to a wide opening on Dec 11 to give room to A Christmas Carol and opening to a $24.2m 3-day on a non-holiday. The domestic result, $114m and $104m. Tangled should be at around $80m on the 5-day opening… aka A DreamWorks Animation kinda number. DWA has stuck to that first weekend in November strategy, but $46m in a non-holiday 3-day for Megamind and $63m for Madagascar 2 feels analogous to the $60something holiday 3-day for Tangled.

In any case, some will say that MT Carney bought an opening… but that’s kinda missing the point. Credit where credit is due. “Best Disney Animated Opening Ever” may be a somewhat specious claim, but she opened the movie to numbers that should get it somewhere around the $200m mark, which Disney hasn’t seen in Burbank animation since the heyday of Aladdin and The Lion King. Yeah, this $217m ain’t Aladdin‘s $217 million. And for me, the last two films were both better than this one. But ring one up for MT. Next, a much bigger challenge in Tron Legacy, which is fortunate that Narnia seems to be the only real competition for families with kids over 8, as Yogi Bear and Gulliver’s Travel are rumbled to be car wrecks. ( I think Yogi will do well with the little ones, but can’t imagine what teen will be dragged in to see it and wonder how many of us who are nostalgic about Yogi see the spirit of the original in the ads and not just a CG 3D mess.)

I noted that Fox saw Burlesque coming to thin their audience for Love & Other Drugs. Why didn’t they move? Because they saw it coming in tracking, aka too late. I think Love will hold well. And it looks like Burlesque is working better than I expected this weekend and may have campy legs longer than I would have imagined. Those who love it, love it.

Someone sent some trash in The Rock’s direction in the earlier b.o. thread. Well, it’s all about scoreboard for me. I don’t care what we think of him and his films. I don’t think I have seen one in a theater since The Rundown and a couple of the cameos. But he is an opener until he’s not an opener. He’s out-opening Russell Crowe, Harrison Ford, and Sean Penn. Some may say that’s not a big deal. And each actor carries specific baggage. The Rock will be right behind J-Lo’s ass as the #2 opener for CBS Films so far. It’s not a great day for the new studio or for The Rock… but it’s not a career landmark either… not at this point.

The King’s Speech is opening in fine indie fashion, looking like Brokeback Mountain and There Will Be Blood… but with a lot less money being spent by The Weinsteins than was spent by those distributors at this point. (It’s also comparable to Dreamgirls and Memoirs of a Geisha… to be fair. But TKS carries none of the baggage – black or bad – that those two did.) This one could easily be The Weinstein Co’s third biggest domestic hit, behind only Inglorious Basterds and Scary Movie 4.

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20 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Hairy Klady”

  1. mutinyco says:

    Is that King’s Speech number correct? Or is it being manipulated by playing on multiple screens per location? Because if that number holds, it’s headed for a $90k average…

  2. Danny says:

    The figure is correct–actual is $29,763 per site. It’s on a couple of screens at each location. The only “manipulation,” which is the norm for exclusive engagements in NY/LA, is that it’s playing at sites where the average ticket price is about $13.

  3. EthanG says:

    In my mind there’s no question that the story of the weekend should be the utter catastrophe of “Nutcracker 3D,” which unless there is some MAJOR tax funny business going on, will end up as possibly the biggest financial flop in the history of film.

  4. Krillian says:

    I have no idea how to judge CG/live-action since Alvin & the Chipmunks was a giant hit, but I really can’t imagine Yogi opening huge. When I saw HP7, they had the Yogi ad and the crowd was repulsed by it ending on a gag where he has a worm come out of his nose.

  5. IOv3 says:

    Yogi will hopefully do Alvin money. It’s just opening at the right time of year to make that happen and my crowd loved the worm thing. Why? It’s repulsive and funny. Yogi foregoing for food is just funny.

  6. christian says:

    I know when I think back fondly to Yogi bear, the word “repulsive” always comes up…Way to raise the bar!

  7. JoJo says:

    M.T. Carney had about as much to do with Tangled opening big as Art Carney did. She works at arm’s length and has very little to do with the day to day process of marketing movies.

  8. joe says:

    King’s Speech Making more than $51 Million at the U.S. Box Office.Wanna Bet?

  9. Rob says:

    Ethan, how much did Nutcracker cost? It’s been a blast reading the reviews, particularly Ebert’s.

  10. IOv3 says:

    King’s Speech is a 40m and under pic.

  11. LexG says:


    The Rock RULES. And, hey, check out CLINT MANSELL of all people contributing a WAY ABOVE THE CALL music score… Movie is mostly mechanical and grinding, but at some point it becomes something kind of different and awesome and a little weirder than the straight-shooting CRANK/PAYBACK mashup I was expecting. Kinda liked it.

  12. Danny says:

    NUTCRACKER cost $90m, according to IMDb. It’s amazing. Though nobody expects to make anything back when they hire Freestyle as their distrib.

  13. LexG says:

    This NUTCRACKER thing is amazing to me; I opened a newspaper Wednesday and saw an ad for it, and had NO IDEA what it was or where it came from. Just that the idea of Elle Fanning (!), John Turturro (!!!!) and Nathan Lane (eh, that sounds about right) in a 3D updating of THE NUTCRACKER for the director of TANGO & CASH sounded like THE weirdest thing ever. Then Mendelson broke it down for me that it’d been in the can a couple, but I honestly had ZERO awareness of it till the day it appeared.

  14. Foamy Squirrel says:

    How the hell do you raise $90m in financing without a major distrib?

  15. LexG says:

    Am I way off, or isn’t Freestyle kind of a Fox deal?

    Most of their movies end up on Fox DVD.

  16. Foamy Squirrel says:

    Having looked at their website, they distribute films for Uwe Boll.

    That’s bad enough for me.

  17. David Poland says:

    Fressstyle has a DVD output deal at Fox… as do many others.

    And JoJo… not even debating with you… but your position is that she gets blamed for failure and gets no credit for wins? That’s a very tough job.

  18. I had only heard of Nutcracker because I was looking up future 3D movies that would be affected by Harry Potter’s 2D switch. I mentioned it in passing at the end of an article about said HP7 situation, and Freestyle contacted me about a screening. I guess they were glad for any mention at all.

  19. JoJo says:

    No, David, my position is that Carney isn’t even worth commenting on, whether the movie in question is a failure or a success.

  20. David Poland says:

    So are you suggesting, JoJo, that Rich Ross is just waiting for Christmas week to fire her? Because unless you are assuming that she is already a lame duck, regardless of her management style or skill, last time I checked, we still had to pay attention to the boss.

    For instance, I gather that one very talented person put together the series of parody spots for Tangled that were, for me, the best materials for the film. But ultimately, didn’t MTC have to push the button to run them? Isn’t that the job of being the boss? To let your creatives be creative and to decide what’s going to rise to the top?

    I am genuinely interested in this dialogue with you. You seem to have some connection to the marketing department, whether inside or as a vendor. I won’t take any one opinion – especially an anonymous one – as definitive. But “pay no attention to the Scot behind the curtain” is a very interesting notion at this point.

    Either that or you are not related to Disney in any way and just want to believe that movies open based on their intrinsic qualities. But I get the feeling you’re smarter than 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