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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Unknown Klady #4

Well. They got that out of their system.

I am Number Four is the first release from DreamwWorks 3.0. (Or maybe, DW sees this as 4.0, thus the title of their first film… hmmmm…) Thirteen and a half years ago, DreamWorks SKG launched with The Peacemaker, grossing $4 million on opening day. This time, it’s a similarly mediocre, but not disastrous $6.1 million. The difference between this film’s open and Eagle Eye‘s $9.8m launch day may well be Shia LaBeouf. Both films were directed by DJ Caruso. Both films feature a lot of flashy-looking stuff. But Shia playing against type here might have been a home run instead of a single hoping to leg out a double.

Welcome back into the pool, DW.

Of course, if Number Five is alive and Number Four is a bore, it’s Liam Neeson looking for someone (himself) in the #1 slot for the day with Unknown. It’s Jaume Collet-Serra’s third picture for Warner Bros and Liam Neeson is doing for him what Paris Hilton (House of Wax) and a creepy girl (Orphan) couldn’t… breaking him out of the $12m opening weekend groove.

Warners smartly did a marketing campaign that felt as much like Taken as possible. They haven’t disappeared Diane Kruger and January Jones, but they aren’t emphasizing them either. Taken opened to $9.4m. All-in-all, WB did well for themselves here. Though $100m isn’t realistic here, there should be enough of a gross to make the movie fairly profitable.

Fox brings us the third new release this weekend, which is also the third in its Big Momma series… the one where Martin Lawrence hands the keys to the series over to a new kid. But you would never know it from the ads. Regardless, it hasn’t taken. The first film opened to $7.7m, the second to $8.4m… and now this one to an estimated $4.7m. Maybe Brendan T. Jackson isn’t very funny in drag. I don’t know. But you would think they would have a better shot at a young audience with some new energy. Instead, it’s Martin Lawrence getting caught naked in his fat suit… again. Sigh.

Sandler had a decent hold, Gnomeo had a good hold, and Justin Bieber dropped a spectacular 70% by Len’s Friday-to-Friday estimate.

The King’s Speech is the only Oscar Best Picture still in the Top 10, holding strong and on course to pass $100 million this weekend. TKS passed The Social Network on Thursday, as expected. That makes TSN the #6 grosser amongst BP nominees. The only good news for the film is that unless there is a major upset, it looks like the domestic gross for The Fighter will remain behind TSN in the battle of the two sides of the Massachusetts tracks.

Come Monday, this will be the second year in a row with five of the ten nominees grossing over $100 million domestic.

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29 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Unknown Klady #4”

  1. mary says:

    Liam Neeson is one of very few action stars who really have box office draw. (Most of action stars only have clout in ancillary markets.)

    “I Am Number Four” surprisely underperformed. If “Beastly” also flops, Alex Pettyfer’s studio career would be over (since he is developing bad reputation in Hollywood for his defiant behaviors)

  2. movieman says:

    “Gnomeo” has a remarkably prescient release date to thank for its overperforming.
    Pretty amazing there wasn’t a single new wide-release kid’s movie since Xmas…and it definitely reaped the benefits of an underserved demo.
    Which makes opening “Mars Needs Moms” a week after “Rango” all the more befuddling/worrisome (both for Disney and Par).

  3. EthanG says:

    Hmm…Dreamworks only has four more releases with Disney this year and this is likely the biggest till Spielberg’s “War Horse”…and probably the only realisitc franchise starter

    I don’t think Paramount has anything to worry about with “Rango”….the awareness is off the charts.

  4. LexG says:

    Beastly = mmmm, Hudgens. LOOK AT HER with her FETCHING bangs.

    The idea of that NUMBER FOUR asshole throwing his weight around and demanding 10 mil is like the funniest thing ever. What an awesome dickhead. We all have said the same about like Sam Worthington, the Hemsworths, or Alex O’Loughlin, but, really, Alex Pettyfer??? Who the fuck IS that?

    That’s like Max Theriot or Johnny Simmons demanding 10 mil.

  5. yancyskancy says:

    Of course Pettyfer is full of himself. The gorgeous Diana Agron is his girlfriend, and his agent’s name is Thor.

  6. Rob says:

    Dianna Agron is a terrible actress.

  7. She’s actually pretty good on Glee, when she’s actually given a character to play. As for Pettyfer, he’d better get that payday while he can, because I have no idea why he’s being touted as the next big thing. It’s not like he was an undiscovered gem in Alex Rider: Stormbreaker back in 2006 (bad movie, but great ending, which echoes Three Days of the Condor of all things), and his work in I Am Number Four makes me appreciate Robert Pattinson’s occasional self-mocking humor and Tom Welling’s convincing earnestness.

    As far as Unknown, who would have thought Liam Neeson would be the last genuinely bankable action-lead, aside from Angelina Jolie and (on a smaller scale) Jason Statham? Jaume Collet-Serra’s newfound big opening may have as much to due with the PG-13 as anything, as Orphan and House of Wax were hard-R horror pictures. I was obviously wrong about I Am Number Four breaking out due to the lack of ‘big pictures’ in the marketplace, which means that Battle: Los Angeles will (theoretically) open that much bigger in three weeks.

    Anyone have word on how well Cedar Falls did in expansion? I saw it on Thursday and it’s a little gem. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it’s a warm, low-key, character-driven comedy that genuinely works. I’ve said this a lot, but the fact that movies like Cedar Falls are uber-limited expansions and not wide-releases is a scary thing for our current marketplace.

  8. EthanG says:

    Denzel and Will Smith are certainly still bankable action leads though I suppose they have a wider range…

  9. Fair enough. I guess I just think of Smith and Washington as just plain bankable. Washington especially does a huge amount of genre fare and should have been included as well.

  10. Josh M says:

    “…this will be the second year in a row with five of the ten nominees grossing over $100 million domestic.”

    And it will be the second year in a row of 10 nominees.

  11. chris says:

    Also in “Rango”‘s favor: It’s great.

  12. yancyskancy says:

    Scott: You mean CEDAR RAPIDS.

    Rob said: “Dianna Agron is a terrible actress.” Is that so? I wouldn’t know; I’ve only seen her on talk shows and award shows. But I have a feeling when I eventually see her act it won’t change my mind about her being gorgeous. I also suspect she could eat crackers in bed without incurring my wrath.

  13. IOv3 says:

    Agron is pretty awesome but the untold secret bit of awesome on Glee is Heather Morris. Seriously, if they actually can put her in a decent Buffy movie, I am there.

  14. Apologies for the ghastly typo. Re- Heather Morris: She has indeed been the break-out this season. But for me, Buffy IS Sarah Michelle Gellar. Yes, I know Kristy Swanson played her first, but as of now, Buffyy Summers is much owned by Gellar. I’d no more want to see a different Buffy than I would want to see Indiana Jones or John McClane being recast.

  15. Joe Leydon says:

    Scott: And there was a time when people couldn’t conceive of anyone but Sean Connery as James Bond. Or Johnny Weissmuller as Tarzan. Or Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes. Or John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn.

  16. LexG says:

    UGH, the sight of HEATHER MORRIS even TALKING to that NERD on that stupid show makes me angry enough to fucking smash furniture. Really, you guys are okay with watching a smoking-hot blonde sleep with that GEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK who plays the wheelchair kid? That does not FILL YOU WITH RAGE?

    And hell, flip it… Puck going after some fat chick?

    Ryan Murphy’s whole UP WITH PEOPLE United Colors of Benetton Camp Fantasia is the most obnoxious thing on television. Tune in next week when Jayma Mays adopts a 500-pound Eskimo with Asperger’s and gives him a noodle bath like Patch Adams.

    The main thing that seems sooooo disingenuous, is for an up-with-people uber-lib hellbent on making the WE ARE THE WORLD of TV shows, Ryan Murphy seems REALLY FUCKING MEAN.

    Shouldn’t all liberals be SUPER NICE AND FUZZY like Rob Reiner? What’s this thing where a guy like Ryan Murphy preaches about some color-blind, omnisexual Utopian paradise… then in interviews he seems like kind of a snide jerk? Shouldn’t he be NICE?

  17. LexG says:

    And there is ONE AND ONLY ONE PITCH PERFECT ACTRESS FIT for a big screen relaunch of BUFFY:


  18. IOv3 says:

    Being mean and believing in the united colors of Benetton do not exactly go hand and hand. One can have social goals that are better than one’s personality. Nevertheless, you are a Geek Lex and if you got laid by a model/actress. Should I then be all sorts of enraged? Just curious.

  19. LexG says:

    I’m a lot of things, but I don’t think of myself as a “geek,” in the pop culture sense. But, no, you should not be enraged WHEN I bang a model/actress, if only because NO ONE has ever wanted it as badly. NO ONE has ever laid the entirety of their well-being, self-esteem, ambitions, sanity, and very existence on the hope of having sex with a celebrity. It is the one and only thing I have wanted out of life for 30 years.

  20. IOv3 says:

    You are so a geek. Seriously, you are your own geek but a geek nonetheless. Now, seriously broheme, banging a celebrity is really that important to you? No bluster or what not, just be honest if possible.

  21. LexG says:

    I think of it every hour of every day of my life. That is really not an exaggeration. I discuss it with coworkers, with friends, have discussed it with exes, have discussed it with a therapist (during a heinous stretch where I agreed to see one despite it clashing with my sincere beliefs that that is a racket), who thought it had to be a shtick… I am obsessed with the idea of fame, of power, and see FAMOUS WOMEN as the ultimate prize in life. Since I was age eight, I have always lived absolutely ASSUMING WITH 100% CERTITUDE I would one day bang actresses. I could meet the nicest, sweetest girl in the world tomorrow and even if she were an LA 10, I would always have my eye on kicking her to the curb on the off chance I could one day upgrade to an actual Hollywood actress. I am absolutely NOT joking. Even when I’ve been in serious relationships, I’ve told the women how I’d kick them to the curb someday because I’m destined to date A-list chicks.

    As I’ve said here before, I’ve literally dumped girlfriends because they weren’t famous, and non-famous women do NOTHING for me.

  22. IOv3 says:

    Poor non-famous ladies. They probably are cute and cook really good cookies.

  23. actionman says:

    ryan murphy sucks
    one of the most overrated people working in the biz
    running with scissors was horrendous
    nip/tuck had ONE good season (its first)
    glee is camp-bullshit that’s so full of itself it’s a joke
    i didnt see the julia roberts fiasco and i doubt i ever will

  24. Triple Option says:

    I like Liam and like his work but I’m not sure he’s truly “bankable.” If this were Taken II, every post would post would be talking about how Fox screwed the pooch on it. At the very least, don’t we have to see if this film has any legs to it? Release the Kraken had the benifit of being the first major 3D release outside of Avatar. Though admittedly good numbers but it’s also a known title and concept. A-Team even w/a hot Bradley Cooper did ho-hum numbers. If I’m a director I want Liam in my film cuz I know he does great work. If I’m a studio exec I’m not calling Liam for ROI.

  25. IOv3 says:

    Actionman, Ryan Murphy came up with an idea that created more hit singles than Elvis and The Beatles. Seriously, that’s not overrated, that’s a guy who knew how to sell something no one else did. Also, hating Glee is just tacky. Seriously, hateful and tacky.

  26. LexG says:


    Someone PLEASE tell me that the masterful closing credit “A BAY PRODUCTION” can only mean at some point, the maestro himself was going to direct and this was envisioned as some GIANT A-list EPIC, but somewhere along the way it got downgraded to the B-team.

    Pretty much would explain EVERYTHING about Number Four, from the 1.85 aspect ratio to a GALACTIC SCI-FI EPIC being shot in rural Pittsburgh suburbs, to the reams of BORING MYTHOLOGY that we’re left hanging on, JUMPER-style, in anticipation of sequels that probably won’t follow, to the fact that the villains are so lame and anonymous they don’t even give the leader a NAME, and you can never tell which is which anyway.

    Also love that some big swinging dick action epic has a second hour that takes place entirely AT NIGHT in like BARNS and run-down rural houses and damp back roads, with a climax in the HIGH SCHOOL CAFETERIA.

    For all those reasons, and especially Olyphant, rather enjoyed its TOTAL low-rent B-vibe.

  27. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    “WHEN I bang a model/actress… It is the one and only thing I have wanted out of life for 30 years”

    Perhaps The MAKE A WISH Foundation could be more flexible in their donor requirements.

  28. IOv3 says:

    Robert Schimmel tried, but they turned down his son’s wish that his father have sex with Dolly Parton.

  29. Marc says:

    I’ve enjoyed watching I am number Four!

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