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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by Klady 7

I don’t know that there is anything much more to say about the full 3-day or 5-day than has already been said.

The King’s Speech did great numbers for The Weinsteins on 4 screens… not too much of a surprise and neither will their Oscar nomination be a surprise to anyone. What will be most interesting is whether critics groups support the performances in the film or if they look to others who are less obvious candidates to be celebrated.

127 Hours continues to be less commercial than I expected, even on 293 screens. It’s rolling out faster than Slumdog or Wrestler, but to smaller numbers. Searchlight had a bit of a problem with too much strong product, with Black Swan starting its roll out next weekend. Add King’s Speech to the mix – which serves a narrower audience than the other two films – and you have a lot of jostling for position with three films that should be successful and Oscar nominated. Challenging.

Last year, there was nothing like this group until Dec 18, with The Young Victoria, Nine, and Crazy Heart. The year before, on the first weekend of Dec, it was Frost/Nixon debuting and Slumdog Millionaire and MIlk still under 100 screens. Of the six titles I just mentioned, 3 never got past $20m and only 1 ever got past $40m. The economics of Oscar 2010.

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44 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by Klady 7”

  1. mary says:

    It looks like “Love & Other Drugs” will gross around $30 million at US box office, which would be in line with the box office performance of other similar movies.
    Upscale sexual movies (which have strong nude/sex scenes) tend to gross around $30-35 million million at US box office at best (ie. “Monster’s Ball”, “The Reader”, “The American”), and R-rated romantic dramas also tend to gross around $30-35 million million at US box office (ie. “Closer”, “Derailed”, “Brothers”)

    I believe that “Love & Other Drugs” will do very well at overseas box office (especially with the star power of Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway), and the movie will be very profitable. It is just sad that “Love & Other Drugs” isn’t likely to break the upper US box office limit of upscale sexual movies.

    On the other hand, upscale sexual movies and R-rated romantic dramas tend to have more commercial potential in ancillary markets and overseas box office, and both kinds of films can still have positive impact on the career of actors/actresses. So I think that both kinds of films will still get made by the independents (not the major studios)

  2. movieman says:

    Curious to see just how “wide” Freestyle decides to take “Nutracker 3-D” after getting their nuts cracked (pun definitely intended) this weekend in limited release.

  3. EthanG says:

    “Fair Game” & “127 Hours” may end up doing about the same…I find that stunning given the fact 127 had much more buzz…

  4. IOv3 says:

    Yeah but who really wants to see 127 hours? Yes, we want to see it because of who we are as film fans but it’s not like that story did not saturate the press a couple of years ago. It’s not like the book did not sell a ton of copies, so I ask again; who wants to see a movie that they know an ending too?

  5. christian says:

    “who wants to see a movie that they know an ending too?”

    Ask a Harry Potter fan.

  6. EthanG says:

    That’s true IO… but we all know the basic ending of “Fair Game” as well….at least most do. I suppose the Plame scandal is a bit more accessible to most…but still, films with well worn stories are frequently successful.

    This will probably go down as the least financially successful Best Director Oscar follow-up since Eastwood’s “A Perfect World.”

  7. Billssha says:

    Really, Ethan? Just checking on IMDB but “Perfect World” eventually grossed $31 in the U.S., while Ang Lee’s “Lust, Caution” only topped out at $4.6 while Roman Polanski’s “Oliver Twist” couldn’t even break $2 million. “127 Hours” should do better than those two, though it’s a shame it’s underperforming — it’s a really fine film, though I shouldn’t be surprised since there were barely any people in the theater when I saw it opening weekend here a couple of weeks ago.

  8. bulldog68 says:

    Yeah IO “who wants to see a movie that they know an ending too?” It would be a ‘Titanic’ mistake.

  9. LexG says:


    Next week to be usurped by KUNIS POWER LOOK AT HER SWEATY BACK TATTOO, the hottest thing of 2010. I can’t stop picturing it.

  10. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Is 127 Hours suffering from the “it’s the movie about that guy who cut his hand off” syndrome? I mean Slumdog was a hard sell as well “its the movie about indian kids playing in poo” but seemed to capitalize on all the buzz. Tough month as DP says.

    Where’s the respect for Unstoppable? How far will this train go? Will momentum carry it through to the 100 barrier?

    I thought the Tangled trailer was one of the best I’ve seen for that kind of pic.

  11. Hallick says:

    “Yeah but who really wants to see 127 hours? Yes, we want to see it because of who we are as film fans but it’s not like that story did not saturate the press a couple of years ago. It’s not like the book did not sell a ton of copies, so I ask again; who wants to see a movie that they know an ending too?”

    It’s just one of those things that’s more about the journey than the destination, y’know?

    The problem here is that members of the general public probably think they can picture the whole journey just from the premise alone. So the movie gets hurt by that along with the feeling that you’ll be sitting there watching and waiting for the countdown-to-the-thing-that-made-them-make-the-movie to reach T-minus zero.

  12. Shillfor Alanhorn says:

    I am a huge Danny Boyle fan (every movie except the awful A LIFE LESS ORDINARY) and a huge James Franco fan. Despite that, and despite all the amazing reviews, the horrendous and annoying trailer Searchlight cut together for 127 HOURS has been enough to give me pause about seeing it. They make it look like a cross between the most annoying aspects of THE REAL CANCUN and INTO THE WILD and the over-the-top pull quotes “The Greatest Performance of All Time” somehow ring false. I’m sure it’s a good movie, but I’m wondering if the usually spot-on Fox marketing team somehow bungled this one.

  13. LexG says:

    What was anyone thinking next weekend?

    It’s been the most brutal onslaught of four-five wide releases every week since mid-September, heart of the Oscar bait season, big blockbusters out…

    Then next week the ONE wide release is “Warrior’s Way,” which probably won’t crack the Top 5 and might not even crack the Top 10.

    I’m sure there’s some flow-chart explanation for why no one wants the post-Thanksgiving slot, but gotta think some of these flailing things would’ve done better next week going up against NOTHING.

  14. Krillian says:

    I had to talk my wife into going, but I think it is suffering from ‘is that the one where the guy’s trapped the whole movie and then has to cut his own arm off?”

  15. LexG says:

    Despite the news saturation of the story back in the day, I honestly don’t think the majority of potential viewers remember the story, or even KNOW about the “arm” meme.

  16. EthanG says:

    Billssha–Yes, really. Welcome to The Hot Blog, where the U.S. is not the sole indicator of box office gross. Lust, Caution is a foreign language film whose U.S. release was mostly an afterthought, partly due to the fact that a film with identical subject-matter (Black Book) had been released months before.

    “Lust, Caution” did 65 mil worldwide, a number Boyle’s film won’t touch so this film will be the lowest grossing Best Director followup in 17 years.

  17. Love and Other Drugs certainly would have been better off next weekend. I’m not sure why studios keep putting R-rated adult fare on Thanksgiving weekend and expecting it to break out. Unless it’s just a B action picture of little consequence, you’re shooting yourself in the foot every time. The last true R-rated breakout hit from Thanksgiving was The Bodyguard back in 1992. The last genuinely adult mainstream picture to score a big opening weekend is probably Deja Vu back in 2006 and before that (unless I’m forgetting something) Spy Games, way back in 2001 (and both of those, along with Unbreakable the year prior, were PG-13). Unless you’re a Disney cartoon, a fantasy film in its second weekend, or a trashy action picture that’s either cheap or a tax write-off, stay the hell away from Thanksgiving, especially if you’re R-rated.

  18. hcat says:

    If we are taking worldwide into account then A Perfect World was no slouch either.

  19. IOv3 says:

    Stop being a bunch of dicks, fellas :P. Yes it’s an intentionally broad question but in terms of 127 hours only (WHICH IT WAS :D!), who wants to see this movie when you know the money shot is that he lost an arm? That’s where it goes. He survives, he loses an arm, and he gets to go on all of the news talk shows (Seriously Lex, Aron Ralston story was huge in 03. HUGE.) Everything else really does not matter really because you have INTO THE WILD syndrome, because some people will find it a thrilling and moving experience. While others will think he’s a dumbass for doing what he did and had it coming.

    Once again I ask: who besides us wants to see this film? Hell I don’t really want to see the film but I am a Franco fan, so that’s enough for me.

  20. Joe Leydon says:

    IO: I cannot argue with your logic. I recall that, when I raised the same point about “Into the Wild,” David insisted that I was wrong, that most people had no idea how that movie would end. Sorry, folks, but once the word gets out, it’s out. To this day, I’ll argue that, for all its international stage success, “Sweeney Todd” underperformed as a movie (domestically, if not internationally) because once word got out that it was a musical about a man who slit people’s throats, and a female partner who baked the human remains in pies….

  21. IOv3 says:

    Yeah, the human pie thing did not help the grosses. I also agree with you about Into the Wild. Seriously ,that flick and Milk I can barely get through because the endings are so depressing to me. Aron at least is still around. Although going out into the bush without telling people is stupid. I always thought it was a pretty amazing story but that’s me, and I can see how a lot of people are not interested in a film where they basically know the ending.

  22. LexG says:

    The most depressing thing about INTO THE WILD is that that dumb-ass could’ve just stayed behind and shacked up with FETCHING jailbait K-Stew and saved himself the trouble.


  23. Joe Leydon says:

    On the other hand: A lot of people knew how “Passion of the Christ” was going to end, but they went anyway.

  24. IOv3 says:

    Yeah, but that’s a story some people just wanted to see for some reason. Yes, let’s watch Jesus get whipped for 3 hours. Woo hoo.

  25. Foamy Squirrel says:

    Jeez IO – spoiler tags please!

  26. Krillian says:

    This is starting to remind me of a scene from Elmo in Grouchland.

    BERT: Stop the movie, I can’t take it anymore!
    ERNIE: Elmo will be okay. After all, who wants to see a movie with a sad ending?
    BERT: Titanic.
    ERNIE: What?
    BERT: Titanic had a sad ending.
    ERNIE: Yes, Bert. Roll film!
    BERT: Dr. Zhivago…

  27. Billssha says:


    Yeah, I’vee been lurking long enough to know domestic gross isn’t the whole story — just could find worldwide grosses.

    Still, that $65 mill for Lust, Caution surprises me. What about Oliver Twist? Anybody know what the overall gross for that was because I still say that will be the champ in this category.

  28. IOv3 says:

    Again, 127 hours is not even a sad story. It’s just a story that can be boiled down to it’s simplest form and that has to play some small part in the film not exactly being a world beater.

  29. Billssha says:

    Wow, Oliver Twist did $42 mil worldwide — don’t know why but I am surprised by that. I’ll give you props Ethan, 127 Hours night be hard-pressed to do that (though Danny Boyle’s name alone might help).

  30. Paul MD (Stella's Boy) says:

    Late to the game I know but saw Unstoppable over the weekend. Just a really entertaining movie. Those 98 or so minutes fly by. Washington and Pine work extremely well together, the supporting cast is strong, and the action is thrilling. Sure it’s heavy handed at times, but not so much that I couldn’t enjoy the overall experience. One very minor quibble. I wondered why Stanton is said to have 750,000 residents when it’s referred to as a “town” and when shown looks like Wheeling, WV or someplace similar, a city with maybe 30,000 people. Seemed odd to me. Fun times though.

  31. Rob says:

    Paul, as a Pittsburgh (pop. 250k-ish) native, that bothered me too. We’re supposed to believe there’s some heretofore unheard-of SW Pennsylvania metropolis with a population larger than Boston or DC, with no suburbs and nothing but rust belt cow towns just outside it? And Pittsburgh somewhere nearby?

  32. chris says:

    …and it just yanks you out of the movie very briefly, but repeatedly. “Did he stay Stanton?” “No, maybe it was Scranton?”
    “Yup, he did says Stanton. Huh?” “Wait, there’s a large city in PA I’ve never heard of?” “Did they just make that up?” “Why would they make up a city instead of just using an existing one?” “How can that city they keep showing us be as large as they say it is?”

  33. Paul MD (Stella's Boy) says:

    Yeah that was just weird. At first I figured I must have misread the population, that maybe it was 75K and not 750K, but sure enough, when they showed it again, Stanton has 750,000 residents. And when they show what I assume is supposed to be downtown, it looks like a town, which is what they call Stanton during the movie. Towns don’t have 750,000 people.

  34. IOv3 says:


  35. hcat says:

    Hathaway and Franco is almost perfect (Downey and Hathaway was a humble suggestion after last year’s embarrasment). Get away from the Catskills schtick and put some actual movie stars up there that can interact without it feeling strained.

    I do feel it would be a bit unseemly though to have either of the hosts up for an award itself. I know it won’t make any difference in the voting but something about it just strikes me as a little off.

  36. IOv3 says:

    Franco and Hathaway are good on SNL but are they Oscar hosts? It just seems desperate, as if a show that skews older and older each year because they refuse to accept any film most kids and teenagers have seen as being somewhat viable, trying to skew younger. I hope it works for them. I will also now refer to Franco as “JAMES FRANCO: MAN OF LETTERS, MAN OF DAY TIME TV, AND A FREAKING OSCAR HOST!”

  37. James Franco seems to be making a genuine effort to get his picture in every page of the artists’ year book.

  38. hcat says:

    “because they refuse to accept any film most kids and teenagers have seen as being somewhat viable”

    Gladiator, Chicago, Return of the King, The Departed – not exactly Merchant-Ivory films. You can keep the Nickelodeon film awards, they gave plenty of love to Iron Man.

  39. IOv3 says:

    Hcat, Avatar had to have helped the ratings last year and that’s what I am getting after: they have to at least find one blockbuster that everyone loves, that millions of people have seen, and make sure that one film is heaped with noms and god willing WIN! That film, this year, is Inception.

    That’s all I am stating: throw the PEOPLE a bone each year. Give them a reason to watch and root for a film that THEY HAVE SEEN to win that award. Franco and Hathaway may draw some but having Inception in there will help more.

  40. Joe Leydon says:

    IO: On the other hand, maybe “The Blind Side” helped as much — if not more — in bringing back over-30 viewers who stopped watching years ago.

  41. IOv3 says:

    Joe, that’s a possibility but are the over 30 guys really be the folks the Oscars need to attract? You rope them in early and hopefully they will keep coming back. I will agree that giving dap to a film that fills the same spot as the Blind Side wouldn’t hurt either.

  42. Joe Leydon says:

    IO: But how many under-30 viewers will ever — repeat, ever — watch the Oscars? Seriously. It’s similar to the quandary facing newspapers: Do you start dropping and/or cutting back things that appeal to people already reading your paper — and risk alienating those folks or, worse, encouraging them not to renew their subscriptions — in order to run more stuff that might (but, on the other hand, mind not) attract younger readers?

  43. IOv3 says:

    Joe, I think the Oscars are a big enough event that if you get the kids early, like they did with me, they will be viewers for life. Of course I am still pissed off about ET but that’s besides the point. You get the kids excited, you use it to show trailers for the Summer films, and you got yourself an event.

    I do agree however, that they should also go for that audience who loves that flick like the Blind Side. Seriously, we get a flick like that and quality genre film almost every year now, so the top 10 really needs top start addressing these two groups.

  44. hcat says:

    IO- Inception is the same audience as the films I listed above.

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