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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Unstoppable Klady

I guess the November opening comparison that Fox would like for Unstoppable is Mrs. Doubtfire, which opened to $20.5m domestic and ended up at $220 million. Not likely. However, easy to imagine this weekend ending up as high at $25m – which would be Denzel’s 4th highest opening with 15 $15m+ openings – and like the train in the movie, speeding up. That may mean low-teen drops. $131 million would be Denzel’s top domestic gross… and that might be doable with this film, exactly because people who haven’t seen the film and are reading this and all the other raves and saying, “Seriously? A movie about a train going fast? I have to see that?” But the word of mouth should be pretty consistent… it’s a great ride… a movie movie… calorie content through the roof, nutritional value almost nothing… it’s the Cap’n Crunch w/ Crunch Berries & Chocolate Sauce of movies.

Skyline proves that you can blow up some of the people, some of the time, but not all of the people, all of the time. Still, $11.5 million is less disastrous than some might have expected. (It’s also less than many predicted.)

Morning Glory will be fortunate to open to Leap Year numbers. It’s hard to be sure just where Paramount went wrong on this one, but here are a few guesses. 1. Horrible Outdoor. “What’s the story, Morning Glory” is cute, but if you’re going there, you need to do the TV spots with the song from Bye, Bye Birdie and make something out of the phrase. Catchy is not enough. It was memorable, but told us nothing about the movie, except who was in it. 2. The Story Kept Changing In The Materials. What is it? Gruff Older Talent vs Up-N-Comer or classic rom-com? Pick! 3. The Movie Couldn’t Decide Either. As I wrote in my review, I think Diane Keaton confused the issue, having nothing to do with her talent or star power. She is a major actor in a minor role and I think that both overshadowed the core of the film, McAdams + Ford, and also felt unclear in the marketing.

Or maybe it was something else…

Red is having its first normal drop… but will still flirt with $80m by the end of the weekend and will be Summit’s #1 non-Twilight film, if not on Sunday, before mid-week.

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13 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Unstoppable Klady”

  1. IOv3 says:

    Unstoppable is really a tremendous flick. Here’s hoping it has legs because not only does it give the world another WISE AND WORLD WEARY Denzel role but it also shows in spades that Rosario Dawson and Chris Pine need to be utilized a lot more than they have been recently.

    That aside, Morning Glory may be a great flick but it’s based around a TV genre that’s predominantly watched by the ladies, and maybe the ladies do not want to watch a movie based around something they watch all morning. It’s a guess but that film will probably do well on DVD/BD because they are probably going to throw it out there Valentine’s Day week.

  2. movieman says:

    “Morning Glory” and “Unstoppable” are two of the more satisfying Hollywood products of the season…maybe of the entire year.
    Glad to see that at least one of them is connecting with audiences in a meaningful fashion. At this rate, however, “Glory” could be off most screens by Thanksgiving.
    “Skyline” is lucky to have even gotten a theatrical release: it’s a total snooze-fest.
    And while I don’t want to piss on Summit’s parade, am I the only one who found “Red” sort of underwhelming? Yeah, it’s got a cute premise and an appealing cast, but the execution left a lot to be desired.

  3. Triple Option says:

    Underwhelming, I think, is a perfect word to describe Red.

    I’m a little upset w/myself for not getting around to Easy A. Although, was it really any better than Mean Girls? I know totally different premises, and I did like Mean Girls, but sometimes I feel it gets a little too much love as if it reinvented some round thing that help move things. Mean Girls wasn’t Fast Times. It wasn’t Breakfast Club. While really wanting to see it, I got the sense Easy A would be a bit too restricted in nature to be sort of a gen defining movie…if such a thing is possible or exists. Maybe not “defining” but synonymous. Like a movie like Brick would have a chance to do or Dazed and Confused, even though it sorta reaches back. Not saying either of these films achieved that but along those lines of potential. Sort of what I thought Whip It would be but she went for something totally else.

    Anyway, would like to see Unstoppable because of the cast. Although a friend of mine said it was surprisingly horrible. I wonder how that’s possible considering Rosario Dawson’s in it. I realize there’s shinier pedigree involved and Clerks II was still really sucky but that would’ve been a root canal w/out her.

  4. IOv3 says:

    MM, the execution is one of the reasons that I will probably watch that film repeatedly in the future. It’s just a really fun freaking flick and it’s rare those sorts of flicks are pulled off these days.

  5. movieman says:

    Different strokes, IO.
    But I was pleased to see that we actually agree on something: the total frigging awesomeness that is “Fantastic Mr. Fox.”

  6. movieman says:

    Triple O- I’m kind of shocked to hear that anyone could have described “Unstoppable” as “horrible.” IO’s “Red” comments pretty much mirror my reaction to “Unstoppable.” It was a kick watching (and hearing) the audience have such a good time at the movies: I can’t remember the last time I witnessed that.
    “Easy A” is definitely worth a future rental. But no, it isn’t in the same league as “Fast Times,” “Mean Girls” or even “Breakfast Club.”

  7. Nick Rogers says:

    I think I’m in the minority of people who found “Easy A” wildly overrated. I could not get past the implausibility of why anyone in a California high school of reasonable size would care whether or not Olive drilled a college guy. In a small-town high school, well, people would have chattered about it, but in Ojai? That said, every single scene in the kitchen with Emma Stone, Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson was a delight, and Stone easily proved she could carry even the hokiest of movies on her shoulders. Give her good material, and I’ll be there in a second.

    I also don’t see how anyone could call “Unstoppable” “horrible” either. If it’s not your cup of tea, that’s one thing, but it is impeccably made for what it is, and one of the purest thrill-ride action films I’ve seen in a theater since ‘Speed.” I also found “Red” fun, albeit less so than “Unstoppable.”

    The best part of “Skyline”: Eric Balfour wigging out about staying in the apartment, where he says the radiation will make them “sitting ducks. This while he’s imploring people to make a run for it outside – you know, where the radiation ISN’T as bad, right?

  8. Joe Leydon says:

    Nick: Were people laughing as hard at the “Skyline” ending where you saw it as they were where I saw it?

  9. Shillfor Alanhorn says:

    I think a lot of the fault for MORNING GLORY is a case of bad counter-programming: Paramount made the mistake of assuming MORNING GLORY and UNSTOPPABLE weren’t going after the same audience. If anyone besides Denzel were in UNSTOPPABLE, that might not have been the case, but Denzel’s presence automatically takes what otherwise would be a young-male skewing action pic and makes it appealing to adults and women, thereby eating into what should have been GLORY’s piece of the demographic pie.

  10. anghus says:

    i just saw Four Lions and really liked it. Crazy shit.

  11. Peter says:

    Feel bad for Morning Glory, I thought it’s a good entertaining movie with a big time movie star like performance from Rachel McAdams. Though I didn’t buy Ford as a Dan Rather type news guy.

  12. Nick Rogers says:

    Joe: I saw it at a sparsely attended 4 p.m. matinee on Friday, and I was really the only person laughing. I cackled aloud three times — one of them at the ending, which nonsensically aped “District 9” by way of “Bionicle.”

  13. Dixon Steele says:

    MORNING GLORY was a well-made, enjoyable Chick Flick. Loved the cast. Who really knows why some films open lower than then should?

    On the other hand DUE DATE was absolutely awful. Truly unfunny and downright annoying ripoff of the infitely superior PLAINS,TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES.

    RED was one of the more enjoyable films of the fall season, reflected in its A Cinemascore and good grosses. Great cast and Word of mouth was strong and nothing can beat or challenge that, haters.

    Also liked EASY A. Not a classic like CLUELESS, but a great vehicle for a newly-minted star, the delightful Emma Stone. Smartly done.

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