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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Klady Legacy

There have been twelve $40 million openings in December, ever. Only seven $50 million openings. Tron Legacy will be one of those. Once again, whether people want to crap all over MT Carney or not… and many do… but she/her team/whomever you want to credit has/have now opened two Disney movies in a row about as well as possible. You want to talk about the price tag on the marketing campaigns, fine. You want to talk about the price of the movies, fine. But opening a movie and making a movie are two very different activities with two very different sets of goals and the first part, opening Tangled and Tron Legacy domestically have gone well.

No film opening to over $40 million in December has ever grossed less than $200m domestic. A simple fact. And what is also interesting is that the next plateau, a $50m+ opening in December, has not historically meant much more than $40m. There are $50m+ Dec openings with $209m grosses and there are $40m – $50m Dec openers with over $300m in domestic.

Yogi Bear looks like a $14m – $15m starter, no Chipmunk he. $100m domestic is still possible, but a bit of a longshot. Time will tell. Word of mouth will mean a lot and with only Gulliver’s Travels, which looks horrible in the ads, coming in as kid fodder in opposition, Yogi could end up as default choice. If I were Disney, I’d be relaunching Tangled… or even Toy Story 3 in a hurry. Hungry marketplace for family films and the cupboard is bare (or is that “bear?”). Tron is not going to get 8-year-olds, sorry.

The Fighter opened about where I would have guessed. $10 – $11.5m is completely respectable… and not a world beater.

Narnia is crashing. The Tourist is at baggage claim, waiting on its luggage. And Potter 7 is #3 in the series after the end of the fifth Friday. Hard to project the international biz to the end, but the $1b dream for the film doesn’t look in any way sure right now. Completely solid Potter showing, but not an accelerant.

How Do You Know is a car wreck… and that’s above and beyond the sad limp thing that the movie is. Why does a 70-year-old man make a movie about romance amongst 30somethings? I don’t know. Maybe it was Garry Marshall’s fault, having a big hit with a new version of Love American Style. Jim Brooks is one of the best ever. His last two films are destroying that legacy. Time to write novels or something.

And Black Swan can’t be thrilled with 10x the screens and 2.5x the box office. But it’s still pretty strong. Still $7000 – $8000k per screen over the weekend. The question remains, will Swan get the big hit off of Oscar nominations, like Slumdog, or not? If not, it may be going out a little slow. If so, it may be going out a little fast. Searchlight is trying to manage this issue and have very little history to work with, as most films in this position have gone one way or the other, for better and for worse…

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75 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Klady Legacy”

  1. Dan Revill says:

    Only 17.1 for Tron? That’s gotta be seen as disappointing.

  2. Gustavo H.R. says:

    But some people were expecting a 30-35 million WEEKEND. I guess 17 on Friday is better than expected.

  3. movieman says:

    …finally caught “How Do You Know” and, huge bummer: it’s Brooks’ weakest film to date.
    For a writer-director whose screenplays are usually models of wit, razor-sharp characterization and craftsmanship, it’s kind of shocking that Brooks’ script is the single weakest element of the entire movie. I kept thinking that it needed an add’l polish….or four. And as much as I love Owen Wilson, the film might have worked better if his character had been dropped altogether (which might have given more room to beef up Rudd’s too-wobbly story arc).
    The bottom line: you know that a rom-com’s triangular romance isn’t working when you don’t care who the heroine winds up with (Wilson was an inveterate Peter Pan who couldn’t keep his dick in his pants; Rudd was uber neurotic thnx to his myriad daddy issues). It’s lose/lose either way.
    I’d like to think that Brooks will rebound his next time out, but maybe not. Could he have lost his passion/aptitude for the whole arduous filmmaking process? On the basis of this and the only marginally better “Spanglish,” maybe so. Perhaps he’d be happier–and more creatively successful–returning to his sitcom roots and creating a new half-hour comedy for, say, HBO.

  4. IOv3 says:

    Dan, not really. It’s not a Twilight film. It’s a long-haul Disney film that they hope plays for at least another two or three months. A 50 million weekend is pretty damn good, the fact that people seem to like it, and that we have two consecutive holiday weekends means this film should bank some money by January 1 which makes me happy. I want more Tron in my life and I do not want the next sequel to take 28 years.

  5. Nick Rogers says:

    Not that “Deathly’s” gross is anything to sneeze at, but for the penultimate Potter, the lowest-grossing entry (for domestic) since “Azkaban” doesn’t really seem like much to crow about, does it?

    And I’m clearly in the minority of people who didn’t mind “How Do You Know.” Yes, it’s shapeless, and it sure as shit isn’t “Broadcast News” or even “As Good As It Gets.” But it’s 400 percent better than “Spanglish,” and I’d rather see a romantic comedy with some elasticity, room to breathe and unexpectedly good turns from comic supporting players like Lenny Venito rather than one waiting to hit all the usual marks. To the complaint that Owen Wilson’s character is such an asshole that it’s unlikely Reese Witherspoon would even entertain the thought of staying with him, well … maybe those people don’t have women in their life who are continually drawn to precisely that type of asshole.

  6. Rob says:

    How Do You Know has a couple moments that work, like Reese’s speech about how she always thought that other women who’ve found fulfillment with marriage or babies were always pretending. But nothing else her character says or does relates to that moment.

    The low point of this nearly joyless movie has to be the hospital scene, which takes an endless monologue by a character we haven’t even met before and then makes him (and the other characters) repeat it.

    You feel bad, because Witherspoon and Rudd clearly commit to their roles is if there’s something more to this movie than there is, but by the end I wanted out.

  7. IOv3 says:

    Nick, HP is an international property and seeing as it’s an international property, that gross is fine. If it were not truly international then yeah, that would suck.

  8. Nick Rogers says:

    Rob: I really liked Venito’s monologue the first time through. The gag about making him repeat it didn’t work, though, even if Brooks was underlining the difficulty of articulating to someone that they mean everything to you.

  9. Nick Rogers says:

    IO: I’m not suggesting anyone at WB is unhappy with the global take by any stretch. But as someone who has found all of Yates’ entries plodding and patience-testing, I’m sensing I might no longer be in the stateside minority.

  10. LarryGopnik says:

    HOW DO YOU KNOW is easily the most painful experience I’ve had in a movie theater this year, and I’m not one prone to hyperbole. Saw over 300 films released this year, and this was the one that most made me want to claw my eyes out. The (paying) audience last night responded to it as if they were watching documentary footage of the gas chambers.

    Best line: “Let’s just go get dinner, this is fucking terrible,” courtesy of the woman sitting behind me.

  11. movieman says:

    “You feel bad, because Witherspoon and Rudd clearly commit to their roles is if there’s something more to this movie than there is”

    Yeah, you’d swear they must have thought they were in an actual James L. Brooks movie…instead of the misshapen, misbegotten first draft of a Brooks film.
    As stated previously, “bummer” all around because I’ve been carrying the Brooks torch since the old MTM days.
    And no Nick: “Spanglish” is actually a good sight better than “How.”
    I absolutely adored Tea Leoni’s (incredibly brave and, of course, audience-alienating) performance in that film.

  12. Nick Rogers says:

    movieman: We’ll just agree to disagree. I felt like “Spanglish” took 16 hours to limp toward its conclusion. And Tea Leoni alienated me long before her shrewish performance in that movie.

  13. movieman says:

    I also liked all of that Thomas Keller-supervised food in “Spanglish,” Nick.
    For me the most visually appealing part of “How” was D.C. the city.
    Makes you wonder why more directors don’t film on location there except for a cutaway shot in some “Bourne”-style action flick.

  14. Nick Rogers says:

    Yes, the food gave what was (for me anyway) the best performance in “Spanglish.” Maybe there’s simply too much gridlocked traffic in D.C. for much more than a walk-and-talk movie like “Know.”

  15. Re Harry Potter 7. When you get to part 7 of a long-running series, you’re not going to get that many new fans. Also factor in the fact that it’s a noticeably darker, more violent, and more depressing entry equals a slight downturn in domestic gross. I think think that the ‘series finale’ could have a huge domestic upswing, especially if the May/June fare underwhelms (think Pirates 1/Inception, coming to save the summer in mid-July from mediocre fare). But the penultimate chapter, which was indeed one-half of a long film, was never going to be one to break out of the pack.

    As for Tron, it’s a pretty solid opening, regardless of my thoughts on the picture. While it it indeed a sequel, it arguably had to be sold as an original property, since the few who had truly fond memories of the first film already bought their tickets three years ago. So for an ‘original’ sci-fi genre film with mixed reviews to open just below King Kong and the first Lord of the Rings movie is nothing to sneeze at, especially with no real demo competition till around January 14th. Plus, the film pulled in 20% of its Friday in midnight showings, which is a bit above the normal 15%, but FAR below the likes of The Dark Knight (26%), Paranormal Activity 2 (33%), the last two Harry Potter films (37% and 39%) and the last two Twilights (36% and 44%). Point being, the film is so far playing as a general audiences hit. It may not be a home run, but it’s a solid double with one out and a guy on third.

    I kinda liked the flawed and messy Spanglish (Tea Leoni did get unfairly hammered for daring to play an unsympathetic female character) right up until the horrifying last five minutes. “Nevermind that I snuck into the country to give my daughter a better life, I’m going to quit my steady job and pull my daughter out of her FREE high-quality private school because I kinda-sorta flirted with one of my bosses and my daughter is giving me a token amount of attitude.” Never have I wanted to throw popcorn at the screen more than I did at the end of that one. It joins Why Did I Get Married Too and Rat Race on the list of flawed but interesting movies that blow it right at the end by shooting themselves in the foot, sawing off that foot and flushing it down the toilet in the final reel.

  16. movieman says:

    No grosses for “Country Strong”?
    Didn’t it go into limited, “awards-consideration” release yesterday?
    Speaking of MIA reviews, why hasn’t there been a Variety review of “CS” yet, Joe?

  17. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    So SWAN isn’t going to do those JUNO numbers now?
    Whoever thought that pic would break out needs to give up with the prediction biz.

  18. LarryGopnik says:

    If BLACK SWAN makes it to the $40 million it looks like it’s currently on track for, all involved should be proud. A nutso, exciting, but straight-up WEIRD movie making that kind of money is a huge achievement.

    And movieman, COUNTRY STRONG opens limited on 12/22.

  19. Nick Rogers says:

    Scott: I knew new fans wouldn’t be hopping on board, and it’s not as if the last two films haven’t been more notably depressing and violent, after all. I just thought it would just simply keep pace with Phoenix and Prince. But it looks to come up short by $20 million or so.

  20. Proman says:

    “Why does a 70-year-old man make a movie about romance amongst 30somethings?”

    Have you never seen an Eric Rohmer film Poland. I pity you?

    Oh wait, you have! So you know that age has nothing to do with it, a 70 year old and older can do films about younger people just fine. You are just being a little bitch again, where you make a blanket statement for the same of making it.

    I think a better question is what does a 40-something idiot like yourself doing trying to analyze the box office of movies directed at teens?

    How do you know is a perfectly fine film, by the way. Thank you very much!

  21. Proman says:

    Also everyone is bitching about Sex and the City 2’s budget.

    No one dared raise the voice that Tony Scott’s latest cost as much and grossed far less. I guess some people are allowed to make a bomb after bomb where others are immediately put under questioning because their’s isn’t action film.

  22. IOv3 says:

    You can sell an action film to every TV network on earth. You cannot do the same with SATC 2. Tony might blow money but he has to be making a return for someone, somewhere, to keep on getting those budgets. Also, how dare you besmirch a SCOTT! SHAME ON THEE! SHAME!

  23. movieman says:

    Thanks, Larry.
    I must have gotten the date wrong.

  24. Telemachos says:

    TRON was horrible. Much worse than I expected. Cool Daft Punk score though.

  25. IOv3 says:

    Seriously Telemachos, I have no idea how anyone can come to that conclusion but that you have… PAIN! No seriously, PAIN! No not really but PAIN! A LOT OF PAIN! POSSIBLY FROM… THE RACK! [pulls the rack out of his pants]

  26. ThriceDamned says:

    I liked Tron as a big screen experience. I thought it was incredibly visually inventive, well designed and art-directed, and the plot was sufficiently interesting (if not overly tight) to keep my interest. Furthermore, the 3D was the best I’ve seen since Avatar.

    It also had one of the most propulsive and thumpingly AWESOME soundtracks…well…ever really.

    I suspect it won’t play as well at home, but I had a blast with it in the theater.

  27. Carrie says:

    Um, Movieman: Although HDYK is set in D.C., most of it was shot in Philadelphia.

  28. Telemachos says:

    It’s easy, IO. Take boring one-dimensional characters, add terrible dialogue, hackneyed laborious exposition, a plot that does nothing but rip off scenes from other, better movies, and add a dash of WTFness. The dollop of awesome Daft Punk and the generally neat visuals don’t come near to counter-acting the reek of shit from the rest.

    I mean, what am I supposed to take away from it? OMG light-cycles are cool? Olivia Wilde is hot? That’s worth 2 hours of my time?

  29. leahnz says:

    i think ‘tron:L’ was mostly filmed with the fusion rig, which is why the 3D is more effective than just ‘there’ like a (3d) bump on a log so common to much of the post-conversion stuff around, not even worth the bother ($). same with the fusion 3D in ‘resident evil: the last one i can’t remember the name’; whatever one thinks of the movie itself – i have a bit of a weird affection for the third ‘res evil’ in the dessert for some reason, other than that i just like watching milla kick ass, i’m a fan of milla – the 3D photography in it really is rather inventive and effective. i saw a fascinating snippet wherein pws anderson talks about in ‘the making of’ shooting with the fusion rig, and how much of the action has to be staged differently, particularly the close-quarters-combat sequences wherein traditional simulated stage fighting – with contact seen on the 2D plane where none actually exists – the moving fusion camera often betrays the actual gaps between the actors/stunt people, thus necessitating far more (hopefully light) contact between the players, which of course can make a production far more difficult/injury prone/dangerous, but also serves greater realism by necessity. quite fascinating, if i can remember where i saw the clip i’ll post it if pos in case anyone besides me finds it interesting from a film-making/photography perspective)

  30. LexG says:

    TRON: LEGACY RULES. IO is right on this one.

    Incredible moviegoing experience.

    Also, I thought HOW DO YOU KNOW was perfectly enjoyable, and Witherspoon was HOT.

  31. chris says:

    Technically, “HWYK” is not a first draft, is it? More like a last-minute revision to make focus groups like Reese W’s nonsensical character?

  32. LexG says:


    Good movie. Maybe James L. Brooks’s best. You guys really sit around watching Debra Winger and Shirley Maclaine with that HORRIBLE FUCKING 1983 SCORE in 2010?

    Really, you wanna see REESE in sexy outfits, or listen to THIS:

  33. berg says:


  34. leahnz says:

    “i have a bit of a weird affection for the third ‘res evil’ in the dessert for some reason”

    aparentley i ca’nt spel or prufereed. that would be DESERT, since the third res evil doesn’t take place in a strawberry shortcake

    (fwiw i’m a huge sucker for ‘terms of endearment’)

  35. Joe Leydon says:

    IO: Because of our shared regard for Scott Pilgrim vs. the World — this one’s for you.

  36. LexG says:

    I’m not really putting it down, as it was a MAINSTAY of my mom’s “watching while I do homework” VHS collection, and the Jeff Daniels stuff is great and as a kid naturally I gravitated toward the Nicholson and DeVito moments… I’ll gladly concede to being wrong on this one, it’s a good movie… I’ve just got it in my head it’s one of those mid ’80s prestige movies no one really rewatches anymore.

    Especially as *1983* movies go, where everything from CUJO to CHRISTINE to JEDI to RIGHT STUFF to fucking *FIRE AND ICE* has seemingly warranted a loaded DVD Special Edition that’s become a library mainstay… But TERMS is probably on some grainy non-anamorphic Paramount budget disc from 1998 that sold about 500 copies before going entirely out of print.

  37. ThriceDamned says:

    Fire & Ice…now there’s a trip down memory lane. I thought that movie was the COOLEST SHIT EVER when I was a kid…that guy with the axe and the dead cat on his head was my personal idol when I was 8 years old.

  38. movieman says:

    Seriously, Carrie????!!!!!
    Philly never looked all that attractive and glamorous to me in real life.
    D.C. on the other hand has always seemed extremely photogenic.
    Guess Janus Kaminszki (spelling?) did an even better job than I thought, lol.
    …and did somebody dare knock “Terms of Endearment”?!?!

  39. IOv3 says:

    Joe: you gave props to SEXBOMOMB. Much dap to you are your peeps sir.


    “It’s easy, IO. Take boring one-dimensional characters,”

    Really? Boring and one dimensional? A guy who creates something in his own image and has that creation turn on him, and thus creating a conflict for GOD is boring? Qourra is boring? Tron in this film is boring? Huh. I had no idea.

    Seriously, while walking my dog this morning, it occurred to me about how much depth this story has, and how that may be working against it with some people.

    “add terrible dialogue,”

    So when you speak, it’s like listening to Aaron Sorkin dialogue? Good to know.

    “hackneyed laborious exposition,”

    Laborious exposition? Really? They get to the heart of this story with the quickness. Again, it’s like I watched Tron Legacy and you watched it with a Rifftrax on.

    “a plot that does nothing but rip off scenes from other, better movies, and add a dash of WTFness.”

    Yeah that’s a big UH NO to that one because I cannot think of one film that deals with what this film deals with in terms of what it deals with, you dig? No, go see the movie the rest of you who do not dig this.

    “The dollop of awesome Daft Punk and the generally neat visuals don’t come near to counter-acting the reek of shit from the rest.

    I mean, what am I supposed to take away from it? OMG light-cycles are cool? Olivia Wilde is hot? That’s worth 2 hours of my time?”

    Take away from it? That’s a bit subjective but here we go: there is no perfect system and trying to achieve a perfect system is a fool’s errand. A sunrise is and always will be amazing, and being god is a lot easier on paper than in reality.

    There’s literally a scene of a woman crying over someone she cared about derezzed in this film. If that did not make you think for one second about what’s going on in the GRID then it’s about a lot more than differing opinions between you and I.

    One last thing: hi five to Leah for bringing up something we agree on… Resident Evil movies!

  40. hcat says:

    Finally saw Terms of Endearment for the first time a few months ago and absolutly loved it (I do have a thing for McClaine though). I have great affection for the earnest Paramount dramas with a dash of comedy from the 80s. Children of a Lesser God, Heartburn, Starting Over, all really nice to sit down with on a quiet evening.

  41. Joe Leydon says:

    Hcat: Thought of Starting Over a few weeks ago, after hearing of Jill Clayburgh’s death. I think you could make the argument that the film was a career highlight for everyone (including Clayburgh, Candice Bergen, Burt Reynolds and even Frances Sternhagen) involved. Certainly one of Alan J. Pakula’s sunnier films.

  42. IOv3 says:

    Starting Over is one hell of an underrated movie. I am also shocked that in the last 30 years, it’s not been remade.

  43. merkin muffley says:

    spoiler question for tron……

    the big fear is letting “clue” out into the real world (before the stakes are “raised” and we find out he has an army at the end of the film). my question is, until that point, who cares if he gets out or not? Its not like he’ll have special god like powers in the real world. presumably he’ll be just like us.

    don’t understand why, as jeff bridges character says, it would be “game over”if he got out.

    let him out. who gives a crap.

    there are a million plot holes in this movie, but this one seems like the most glaring…

    …come to think of it, it might make the 3rd act more interesting if “clue” did get out.

    sam and the girl fight “clue” in the real world (who’s trying to shut down the system so he can’t be put back in) while old jeff bridges battles evil tron in the computer world.

    have a light speeder battle in the computer world while simultaneously a motorcycle chase in the real world.”
    you could really play the similarities between the grid we live on and the grid in the computer world.

    that would be light years more interesting than what I did see.

    score was pretty cool though…

  44. Telemachos says:

    IO: the movie had all the depth of a puddle. Which is not necessarily the worst thing is the world, except that it wasn’t interesting in other ways to compensate.

    One of the major problems was that it felt like there were no stakes. Who cares if Clu can escape to the real world. His power doesn’t translate to our world, so what is he gonna do, run around with a bunch of minions and whack people with Aerobies? Where was the sense of urgency in their escape attempt? It’s mentioned early on that they have about 8 hours to get to the portal, but there’s no effort on their part to rush and indeed no sense of time passing while they travel there.

    90% of the dialogue that came out of poor Garret Hedlund’s mouth was cliches we’ve heard a million times. It was as if someone took all the one-liners from action films over the last 20-30 years and condensed them into one character’s dialogue.

    The ISOs were potentially interesting, but went nowhere. How can you say Quorra was a fully realized character? She had two expressions in the film: ass-kicking mode and wide-eyed wonder. Tron? He wasn’t even a 1-dimensional character… he had one line in the movie and the most ridiculous change of allegiance I’ve seen in awhile. Just embarrassing.

    Exposition: it starts off with a bunch of exposition! Is the anything lazier than showing a bunch of newsreel footage to explain things? Now, that particular segment I’ll forgive because it’s the very beginning of the movie and they want to really make everyone understands what’s happening, But starting about halfway through the movie, it suffers from PHANTOM MENACE syndrome…. everyone sits around and talks…and talks…and talks.

    One of the interesting and clever things the original TRON did was make sure their digital world was based around computing concepts of the time: a mainframe with an MCP, users connecting in, and so forth. There was nothing really in the sequel to remotely continue this theme. The TRON world might as well have been a magic kingdom with pixie dust and magic. Throwing around “data” and “user” and “digital jazz” doesn’t make up the difference.

  45. IOv3 says:

    Mutiny; if he gets out, he has an army and vehicles that can take Los Angeles and then spread. Think of him and his army as a real life computer virus and with Flynn’s disc he would access to every system. One person hell bent on perfection with unlimited control to every computer system on earth? Yeah that’s a problem but again, I like their version better than your version, because your version is hokey. Sorry but that’s not cool, that’s interesting, it’s hokey and that’s the problem with the modern pop culture consumer… most of the time they believe they can do better.

    Now onto Telemacho.

  46. IOv3 says:

    Tele, I wrote a big long response to you but the fuck with it. You are just some Devin Farci clone that’s still mad about the Phantom Menace and has about as much soul as a new shoe. Seriously, get some empathy, pay fucking attention when you watch movies, and try to make points about said film that a person who saw the same film cannot easily dismiss as you just taking a piss.

  47. Telemachos says:

    IO: LOL.

  48. IOv3 says:

    Oh look: someone whose dead inside is laughing. Aww. If only he could carry that with him all day but he’s not because he’s dead inside.

  49. Krillian says:

    My Tron spoiler question:





    What was up with Tron’s entire character? He’s a good guy. We’re told he died 20 years ago. We find out he’s back. But he’s a bad guy working for Clu, his alleged killer. So how did he live? What made him bad? But the real kicker is he remembers his catchphrase from 1982 (“I work for the users!”) and suddenly he has a change of heart and is a good guy again right before he gets killed again (allegedly; I’m sure if there’s another sequel, we’ll learn Tron’s still alive.)

    Also what exactly did Flynn do to suddenly have vacuum powers to pull Clu into him? Is that a feature of his disc they just didn’t mention? Reminded me of Gandalf’s “You shall not pass!”

    Aw well. It was really cool to look at in IMAX 3D.

  50. brack says:

    Tron Legacy is great movie-going experience. Complaining about the plot is kinda pointless, considering that the first movie didn’t make much sense if you thought about it too much. The point is whether or not we buy the performances and their concern for the plot, which is all that really matters in a TRON film IMO. Oh, and cool games/chase scenes, which surpassed all my expectations. Solid performances all around. I’m still waiting for the original Tron to show up on Blu ray, which could have catapulted the film’s opening weekend take, which still isn’t disappointing no matter what the mainstream media would like us to believe.

  51. IOv3 says:

    Krill: Tron was obviously a corrupted problem and him remember his catchphrases is a way to wake him up to the haps, dog. I would not put it past the sequel to be called TRON: THE RETURN because damn it. I need more movies about returning in my life. There’s only so many times I can watch MAX DUGAN RETURNS damn it!

  52. movieman says:

    If you’ve got a thing for MacLaine, Hcat, I may have you beat since I’ve been carrying a torch for Debra Winger since “Thank God It’s Friday.”
    When I finally had the chance to sit down with Winger for an interview a few years back, I was sweating bullets (I’d heard horror stories about how she devoured journalists for lunch like they were Four Seasons lobster club sandwiches). But, lo and behold, she turned out to be an absolute sweetheart: truly the Deb of my dreams. I was promised 15 minutes by the publicist and wound spending an entire hour with her.
    And gawd, yes, “Starting Over” is a criminally underrated film! (I’m pretty sure that may have been the first movie I ever reviewed for a newspaper.)
    Always loved that scene in Bloomingdales where someone (Clayburgh?) asks whether anyone has a Valium, and every society matron in sight offers up one of their pills.

  53. movieman says:

    ….wound UP spending….

  54. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Movieman. Winger. Mike’s Murder. Heart.

  55. yancyskancy says:

    Connecting the dots for those who may not know — STARTING OVER was written by James L. Brooks.

  56. movieman says:

    JBD- “MM” is one of Winger’s best post-“Terms” movies (even if she really made it BEFORE “Terms”).
    Wow; talk about a film that got screwed over by its distributer because they didn’t know how to market it.
    Of course, WB did a lot of that back then (“Table for Five” and “Independence Day” are two other examples from that same period.)
    The most recent example of WB essentially dumping a film they didn’t know how to sell was Rob Reiner’s “Flipped.”

  57. leahnz says:

    am i the only one who first knew winger as ‘wonder girl’ on the 70’s linda carter WW series? diana’s little sis ‘drucilla’, i think that was it

    crap i forgot to say:
    io i’m only a bit of a fan of the third ‘res evil’ flick – and of milla and the rather bonza 3D photography in the last one – not the franchise in general so ftr please don’t paint me with that brush.
    thank you, the establishment

  58. IOv3 says:

    Hey you like one. That’s better than nothing xD!

  59. christian says:

    i recall winger from SLUMBER PARTY ’57…

  60. movieman says:

    Never watched “Wonder Woman,” Leah. I think it was on the air when I was in college…and just about the only thing(s) I ever watched in my dorm room were “SNL,” old “I Love Lucy” reruns and “Taxi,” lol.
    My first intro to Winger was via “TGIF” in May ’78.
    I eventually caught up with “Slumber Party ’57” many years later, Christian. It didn’t received much of a theatrical release back in the day–not even in NYC where I was living at the time (probably because it was more of a drive-in than grindhouse type of movie.)

  61. Joe Leydon says:

    Starting Over got its fair share of dap in its time, including Oscar noms for Clayburgh and Bergen. And as I recall, there was a serious push to get a nom for Reynolds as well. Wonder if, during long and sleepless nights, Reynolds still wonders what might have been had he played the Jack Nicholson role in Terms of Endearment?

  62. LexG says:

    Doesn’t Burt always tell the story of how bitter he was about Field being up for (and ultimately winning?) an Oscar that year for Norma Rae when he wasn’t even nominated for Starting Over, and he stayed home all pissed off?

    MIKE’S MURDER = Buddy Repperton Alert!

  63. Joe Leydon says:

    I recall enjoying Joe Jackson’s score for Mike’s Murder. In fact, I may still have the soundtrack album on vinyl somewhere around here, even though I was disappointed when I realized the closing theme isn’t on the recording.

  64. christian says:

    When Burt hosted SNL they did a riff on how he didn’t get nominated. Great stuff.

  65. leahnz says:

    i was a HUGE ‘wonder woman’ tv series fan when i was a kid, i must have been around 10 when it was on and i thought lynda carter (sorry to misspell her name before, i suck at names) was the cat’s pyjamas. i desperately wanted to BE wonder woman (which was a toughie for a skinny blonde girl), ka pow!

    (and i LOVED taxi. reverend jim, classic)

  66. Joe Leydon says:

    Imagining Leah in a Wonder Woman outfit. Nice.

  67. hcat says:

    Do you think Winger wonders where she would be if she took broadcast news? I can’t believe Brooks would tailor these parts for these stars he worked with and would be turned down only for their replacement to knock it out of the park.

    Of course from what I’ve read Winger turned down every high profile part imaginable in the late eighties and early nineties.

  68. LexG says:

    “Do you think Winger wonders where she would be if she took broadcast news?”

    Hopefully she wouldn’t have spent the last three years giving THE most off-putting performance in the history of television, as anyone who’s ever seen Holly Hunter mugging, shrieking, stripping, blowsing and hamming her way through the vomitously wretched SAVING GRACE can attest. Every single weird facial gesture, vocal tic, and indulgent kamikaze strip-down in that show could effectively tarnish Hunter’s film legacy… fortunately nobody watched it or will ever see it… unless you work at a posthouse that slaved over Hunter’s hamming day and night, that is.

  69. Joe Leydon says:

    Hcat: Did James Caan do pretty much the same thing in the ’70s and ’80s? When I interviewed him several years ago, he mentioned being offered, among other things, Superman and Kramer vs. Kramer, and passing.

  70. Nick Rogers says:

    Krillian: There was brief mentioning of reintegration (or something) – a process through which Flynn could do away with Clu by pulling the program into himself and killing them both. I liked that, in order to accompllish that, Flynn had to take on a stoned expression akin to Jeffrey Lebowski during “Gutterballs.”

  71. LYT says:

    Spoiler regarding Rinzler in Tron:Legacy:

    It’s pretty clear during second viewing that Rinzler starts to have a change of heart early on, beginning when he first draws blood from Sam and recognizes a user, as if he’d forgotten any of them existed prior.

    Every scene after that, in which he appears to be attempting to kill our heroes, he is in fact only attempting to stop them and make contact. He has numerous opportunities to kill where he does not (though they always assume he is trying to kill them, and act accordingly), and even in the big aerial chase he shoots Flynn’s ship to disable its guns, not destroy it.

  72. LexG says:

    Shows how much retention my brain does during “Tron” movies: Watched the original and the new IMAX epic both within the last 72 hours, and I had to GIS “Rinzler” to even know who Luke means. I thought that dude’s name WAS Tron. Wasn’t Bridges all, “It’s TRON, he’s STILL ALIVE!” Why is he also RINZLER? Or are they different guys?

    And, hey, how happy do you think BRUCE BOXLEITNER was to get the call to be in this?

  73. IOv3 says:

    Rinzler is TRON. That’s the point of the T on his chest that I missed from the beginning of the movie for some damn reason. CLU apparently reprogrammed him to be his slave or replaced his head. Seeing as how Rinzler is making mechanized noises the whole time, that seems to be a logical conclusion.

  74. cadavra says:


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