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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Rio de JaKlady

Well, the Rio opening is a little scary. I’m still not ready to jump on the idiot train of screaming, ‘Slump” every time I start a box office story. (Maybe I just did. Yipes!)

This is a perfect example of how studios get in their own way and use it as an excuse for terrible, potentially destructive ideas like Premium VOD.

2010: First Wide Animated Release – 3/26 – How To Train Your Dragon
Second Wide Animated Release – 5/21 – Shrek Forever After

After that, there was a typical summer pile up. But even then, it was four weeks until Toy Story 3 and 5 weeks after that until Despicable Me.

2011: First Wide Animated Release – 2/11 – Gnomeo & Juliet
Second Wide Animated Release – 3/4 – Rango
Third Wide Animated Release – 3/11 – Mars Needs Moms
Fourth Wide Animated Release – 4/1 – Hop
Fifth Wide Animated Release – 4/15 – Rio
Sixth Wide Animated Release – 4/29 – Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil

And then, we get a full month’s break until Kung Fu Panda 2 for Memorial Day.

Last year, alone in the category for months on either side, Dragon opened to $44 million. This year, in a pile-up of five titles. so far, none of the films has opened to as much as $40 million… none of them have been as leggy as Dragon… and only Mars Needs Moms has opened to less than $25 million.

In the end, the first five animated movies of 2011 will gross, domestically, $425m – $450m, about double what Dragon did last year. So is that encouraging or discouraging? Is anything more really possible when you shoehorn five movies from the same niche into the market space of one quality film from that niche the year before? And does anyone actually question whether a single animated franchise title, whether by itself or in the midst of the animation chaos of this first five months, would blow all the others out of the water and do the business we expect of it (ice Age 4, for example)?

Box office is math. But it is also much more complicated than just the math. For instance, even though Chris Meledandri isn’t working with Blue Sky anymore, isn’t opening two Chris Meledandri movies in three weeks kinda stupid? Cause you can’t really think that the Easter Bunny and comedy birds, live-action involved or not, isn’t all blending in about now. It’s almost worse than opening two movies starring the same actor in the same 3 weeks (which almost never happens, as the big actors have it prohibited in their contracts… for a reason).

I submit to you that if any 2 of the Rio, Hop, and Rango films were the only 2 widely released animated films released between Jan – May, each would have opened closer to $50 million and either hit $200m domestic or come close. But that was not an option because the market was flooded with reasonably high quality product and a market that expanded, but was never going to expand to 5x previous years.

(Add 12:16p)
The Scream 4 opening is another “we thought maybe it would be big” moment for this spring. Seriously, kids, who is coming out to see Courtney Cox and David Arquette and Neve Campbell unless they are having a 3-way and even then, it would be on the web soon enough. And how do they pad the celebrity level? A bunch of kids who are seen more often on the red carpet than doing movies or even much television that anyone cares to remember for more than a day or two.

The idea for the Scream series is what drove the Scream series. Drew Barrymore was a boost the first time around. But in a franchise that is about mocking the gag, how many times can you repeat the gag?

The DVD will rent well. But getting people to rush to a theater to see this… in 2009 or 2010 or 2011… not so much. So hopefully the budget is as low as they claim and the movie will do slightly better overseas. But wait… Scream has never done better overseas than here. Oh well.

Insidious and Source Code are the “happy at $40m domestic” movies of the season.

A couple of million for Ayn Rand… non-story… but we’ll be hearing about it… endlessly… the movie won’t ever crack $10m.

Arthur is well on its way to covering 70% of its domestic marketing costs. Your Highness, not so lucky.

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45 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Rio de JaKlady”

  1. Jacob says:

    Pretty awful number for Scream considering most of its business will happen this weekend and it had a much too high for the genre budget of $40M.

  2. EthanG says:

    It seems like you’re starting to grasp for excuses DP, though this seems like a relevant one until you look at live action movies for this year. Last year, 12 live-action movies had debuted to more than 20 million by this point (I’m not counting this weekend because Scream is too close to call). This year there are 7.

    I understand your argument that it’s about the quality of the movies…though I think mass appeal is really what you mean. But that argument is starting to wear thin. Only two live action movies have debuted better than “Dear John” this year. Same with “The Wolfman,” “Percy Jackson” and “Book of Eli.” The year’s top live action debut, “Battle:Los Angeles,” would rank 5th at the same point last year against live action movies.

    Maybe the appeal just isn’t there…but I have a hard time believing “Shutter Island” had considerably more audience appeal than any movie released this year…or that “Clash of the Titans” naturally doubled the debut of this year’s movies….or that “Wolfman” and “Percy Jackson” have the appeal of Sandler and Aniston together.

    The only good about this year so far is the return of “legs” to movies…ala Insidious, Limitless, etc

  3. IOv3 says:

    Ethan, Shutter Island has Leo. That’s your appeal and if you just look at the films we have discussed on here. There’s not a lot of world beaters in that group. The world beaters don’t show up until The Fast Five which is looking at a ridiculous opening and that’s followed by Thor, and that’s followed by the Summer. If shit does not catch on during the Summer then there’s a real fucking problem out there.

    Now before the problem possibly gets here, someone needs to point out that Hollywood put out a shit of family films, WHEN A LOT OF FAMILIES ARE BROKE AND SUFFERING! It’s like some folks just don’t get how broke people are out there and expecting families to keep ponying up for these animated movies each week is absolutely asinine.

  4. Jacob says:

    I think Thor is primed to tank. The trailer is awful. It looks laughable, especially Hopkins and his eye patch and pretty much every scene that takes place in the world of the Gods.

  5. EthanG says:

    Shutter Island opened to 41 million. Blood Diamond and Body of Lies opened to 20 million combined. “The Departed” opened to 26 million. I get what you’re saying and I get what DP is saying. I just don’t buy that there isn’t a downturn.

    “Scream 4” opening at the same level as “The Last Exorcism” and “Kick-ass” this weekend last year perfectly illustrates this.

  6. JKill says:

    I liked SCREAM 4 quite a bit more than I thought I was going to. It’s incredibly self-aware and meta, and I loved the way it took a piss out of the last ten or so years of horror, particularly the remakes. Campbell, Arquette and Cox are given equal weight to the new characters and it was very pleasing seeing them back, although I would’ve like a bit more with them. The movie suffers because the new characters, while likeable and performed with enthusiasm, detract from our time with the series’s leads. That said, it was actually funny and occasionally surprsing. I enjoyed it a good deal.

    Also, if the high school-me met the Hayden Panettiere character in real life I think I would’ve proposed on the spot.

  7. Proman says:

    I rally don’t get why the openign numbers for either Rio or Scream 4 are scarry. Yes, Rio appears soft but may also be leggy while Scream 4… well, is likely to still make a profit.

    I really didn’t expect it to be a 40+ million opening.

  8. botner says:

    Dang, that’s a pretty soft number for Scream. I figured it could crack $30 million when you factor in nostalgia from the Gen Xers, the new wave of kids who discovered it on DVD, and generally favorable reviews. Perhaps the atrocity known as Scream 3 was still in the back of people’s minds. Also, kind of an odd release date for a high profile horror flick.

    I enjoyed about 75% of it, particularly the beginning and the end. It kind of dragged in the middle (a little creativity with the kills would have been nice) and it wasn’t ‘scary’ per se, but was certainly entertaining and the best one since the first offering. It gave me the hankering to watch the originals…even the aforementioned third entry.

  9. Meg A. Doppler says:

    I think people are just choosing to stay home with their big flat screens and $1 Redbox Blu-ray rentals and catch up on films they may have missed over Christmas. Eventually – sooner than later – this weekend’s releases will be available for a buck too. $10-12 per ticket, plus concessions, parking, and all the time involved, is making moviegoing (while still cheap relative to other entertainment), NOT cheap compared to the home-viewing alternate. Perhaps theater chains like Regal and AMC should hook up with Live Nation and enhance the moviegoing experience with live entertainment or some added theater-only bonuses.

  10. Martin says:

    Sorry, but the first thing I thought when I saw these #’s is wow, people aren’t going to the movies as much these days.

  11. Christian says:

    I’m curious to know what that “Atlas Shrugged” number might mean for the prospect of future installments. Isn’t there supposed to be another two films on the way?

  12. SamLowry says:

    “nostalgia from the Gen Xers”

    Why would we feel any nostalgia for a movie that riffed on movies we were once expected to take seriously? The formula worked once, but the producers didn’t get that it really only could work once and they continued to beat the horse until there wasn’t even any stink left anymore.

    I suppose you’re expecting nostalgia for Scary Movie?

  13. David Poland says:

    First, your math. TEN films have opened to over $20m so far this year, not seven (not counting Scream 4 or Rio). Last year, there were fourteen (including all of April). If you expect Rio, Fast Five and the Tyler Perry to join this year’s list, that’s 13. If Scream, or Water for Elephants, or Hoodwinked 2 manage $20m opening, it’s a tie with last year. If 2 get in, this year will have more $20m openings in the pre-summer months.

    So there are THREE $20m animated openings this year to only ONE last year… so you want to skew the survey by eliminating the two $20m+ opening animated films that didn’t exist last year?

    That’s a bullshit game.

    There is a conversation to be had when it comes to $30m+ openings… since that is where this year is actually suffering. Five (6 with Rio) so far in 2011, with 10 through April 2010.

    And why is that? The movies, stupid.

    You have a hard time believing this doesn’t equal that or whatever because you are young, Ethan. Your equivalencies aren’t really equivalent.

    Paramount knew what they had in Shutter Island months before it opened, which is why they bought a Super Bowl slot for a February release.

    Clash of the Titans combined 300 style, high geek cheese, and nostalgia with “Release the gorgon!”

    (And to be fair, the bloom was not all off of the 3D rose before last summer either.)

    Percy Jackson is a major kids book franchise. (and underperformed last year)

    Sandler has his biggest non-summer opening in 7 years and it’s not enough for you. (And what the HELL does it have to do with a thriller/horror/effects film or a kids fantasy franchise?)

    Your comment, for the most part, explains exactly what’s wrong with all the slump whining. Apples and Oranges x 100.

    There has been a total of three live action film this year to date with a star who can open a film. First, Vaughn in The Dilemma, which got sidetracked by the “gay” ad thing and never recovered. Second, Sandler, who did Sandler business. And third, Damon in Adjustment Bureau, which opened a touch better than its campaign deserved and was not a Bourne-style movie. If you really want to push it, since it was sold as a virtual sequel, Liam Neeson in Unknown, which opened almost as well as Taken, though it didn’t come close to having the quality marketing hook of “give me back my daughter.”

    And by the way, Shutter was pushed into last winter from the year before, as was The Wolfman.

    Forget there being an Alice or a Shutter or a Clash… there wasn’t even a Valentine’s Day knock-off! No DWA. Was there a Denzel movie I didn’t notice?

    And while you are making a list of overperformers… Green Hornet, Bieber concert, Gnomeo, and really, Battle: LA.

    And do you need a list of the underperformers last Q1? The Bounty Hunter, The Last Song, The Tooth Fairy, From Paris With Love. All have had reasonably comparable films this year that DID BETTER.

    Four of the five top grossers from last Jan-Mar had a major opener in it and #5 was a DWA film, which is an opener in and of itself, like Pixar, but smaller.

    There are lots of reasons why movies don’t soar. But there is no indication whatsoever that some sort of magical switch was pulled last December that sent 20% of the audience scurrying for their Home Entertainment systems… except the movies that just weren’t very compelling as sold.

    And when Thor does Van Helsing numbers, that won’t mean we’re in a slump either. And anything over $35m for Fast Five is solid business.

    One last stat… Avatar, Sherlock Holmes, and Chipmunks 2 threw more than $670 million into the 2010 box office. The top SEVEN December films in 2010 (Tron, grit, fockers, Swan, narnia 3, yogi, fighter) threw about $410m into 2011.

    2011 is about $640m behind 2010 right now.

    December 2009 releases #4-#7 rolled about $210m into 2010. So added to the Top 3 as noted earlier, that’s $880 million compared to the Top 7 of December 2010, which shoved $410m into 2011.

    That’s a $470 million difference, leaving a $170m slump or about 6%… which is negligible this early in the year (especially with the crap movies).

    Avatar alone caused 15% of this alleged slump.

    That’s not grasping for straws… it’s a not very complicated fact.

  14. botner says:

    “nostalgia from the Gen Xers”

    “Why would we feel any nostalgia for a movie that riffed on movies we were once expected to take seriously? You might as well be expecting nostalgia for Scary Movie.”

    Perhaps, I meant Generation Y then, not sure where the cutoff is. I know that a lot of people my age (33), who were in HS/college when the first one came out certainly felt a sense of nostalgia, at least for the original.

  15. Anghus says:

    I rewatchwed all 3 scream movies this week. I still think theyre a lot of fun, although I’m amazed how wretched they make courtney cox look. In the third one she looks anorexic with a haircut so terrible I thought she had personally murdered a member of the stylists family.

  16. nikki whisperer says:

    I love how the word “meta” has become the catch-all post-post-modern version of “post-modern” and now is considered a value-added selling point worthy of praise by its mere existence alone. “Meta” in its current incarnation basically means: we’re going to reference something and then LABORIOUSLY EXPLAIN the reference we’re referencing just in case it might have gone over your head, because we wouldn’t want you to feel dumb or left out after all, and now you can PRETEND you understood the reference ALL ALONG and smugly congratulate yourself for your newfound CLEVERNESS and astute powers of pop culture perception. If “self-referential” used to constitute the subtle use of a self-aware inside joke (think any given episode of Egdar Wright’s SPACED, for instance), “meta” is the old SNL Garret Morris “News for the Hearing Impaired” character popping up onscreen in a bubble in the middle of the joke and screaming “HEY GUYS, HERE’S THE JOKE! LET ME EXPLAIN IT FOR YOU! HA-HA! GET IT!?!?”

  17. LYT says:

    I hope Hoodwinked Too does poorly. The animation looks like absolute shit, and the jokes in the trailer are not funny.

  18. JKill says:

    NW, I’m not sure if your comment was directed towards what I wrote, but S4 is very post-modern. Obviously the entire series is, but the movie is layered in kind of an interesting way, a sequel that is a commentary on sequels, but more importantly remakes/reboots. I think what you are talking about extends more to FAMILY GUY or those horrible spoof movies. There’s actually some pretty sharp satire in the movie, particularly in the way it pokes fun at its own self-referentialiity. I wasn’t using “meta” as a term of praise in and of itself; I was using it because it was an apt description of part of what I find pleasing about the movie.

    Actually what you’re talking about refers more to PAUL, which I really liked, but had characters occasionally spout lines from famous movies in the context of action, seemingly as if they were their own. It was confusing because it broke the fourth wall in a strange, inelegant way that pushed things too far for that film, I thought.

  19. Joe Straatmann says:

    I saw a midnight showing of Scream 4 (Refusing to put the number in the title), and I enjoyed myself well enough. It was one of the few movies that actually was helped by the presence of a mostly drunk audience. It did feel like it ended at a perfect spot, and then kept going while preceding to fuck it up with an ending that really didn’t seem to be what they had in mind. Probably something that happened in those production difficulties I heard about (Which-with so-so BO numbers-also likely killed the prospect of 5cream *Cringes at sucky marketing tactic*). But it was all and all a good time.

  20. EthanG says:

    You tire me DP…you decided to make an argument about live animated films so I did the same with live action.

    First to your argument about winter 2009 boosting early 2010. Absolutely, but it only bolsters the slump argument. Films have been underachieving for quite some time now…since last summer I’d argue, but the year over year comparisons didn’t become as evident until the calendar flipped.

    I agree with you that Q1 2010 was an outlier…but Q1 2011 is at least 5% below every Q1 quarter in the last decade taking out 3D (and not even adjusting for inflation).

    So i’ll accept your argument despite typically wacky statements like “The Last Song” and “Tooth Fairy” underperforming (in what universe?) and Bieber and Battle La overperforming (ever hear of District 9? And this Bieber result was expected by anyone under 30 sadly). Though your typically flippant remarks about my age seem unnecessary…so I’ll offer better comparisons

    So lets look at 2009 up to mid-April . You had “The Unborn,” “My Bloody Valentine”, “Notorious”, “The Haunting in Connecticut,” “Knowing,” “Taken” and “Paul Blart” opening around or above 20 million among others. On paper, does that seem like a particularly appealing group compared to this year?

    Want to go all the way back 5 years ago? You had weak tea like “Hostel,” “When a Stranger Calls,” “The Benchwarmers,” “Big Momma 2”, “Eight Below,” “Failure to Launch and “Pink Panther” performing quite well.

    Maybe this year is an outlier in terms of quality, but regardless we are $650 million behind where we were last year…except unlike 5 years ago, no one buys DVD’s anymore. So whether or not you buy into the idea of a slump, Hollywood cannot afford a 20% drop off.

  21. NickF says:

    They have to be very disappointed with Scream 4. That’s a lukewarm return financially and critically for this series.
    I thought Wes was on the way back with Red Eye 6 years ago. Sadly he’s gone down hill from there.

  22. David Poland says:

    Ethan, I don’t really get your argument. You seem to be obsessing on $20m openings. We are not lacking $20 million openings this year. We are lacking a blockbuster or two and holdover from last year.

    And look at the titles you’ve chosen. 2009 – 3 horror films, an urban film (which whether you like it or not, Searchlight felt underperformed), and a Nic Cage film, and two incredible sales jobs on potential throwaway movies. But yes, Paul Blart as a family film and Taken as a thriller both had more going for them coming out of the gate – once great marketing decisions had been made – than anything this year so far.

    5 years ago, Sony reshot and recut Pink Panther to aim it at families and it worked. Hostel and When A Stranger Calls… geek. A sequel, the traditional Q1 rom-com, and 2 minor surprises… Sony opened Benchwarmers and Disney made Eight Below happen.

    But again… all of these kinds of movies are in the 2011 marketplace. The difference between Taken and Unknown was minor on opening weekend, but significant in traction past that. The difference between Limitless and Knowing is Nic Cage.

    “Hollywood” does not operate based on annual figures or market share. Every movie has a price and a bottom line. A studio has a bunch. At the end of the year, they add them up.

    Is a weak December – March a great thing for “Hollywood?” Obviously not. Will it keep Pirates 4 from doing $850 million or Kung Fu Panda 2 from doing $500m and on and on? Obviously not.

    The reason your age matters – and god knows, old man Klady is not far off your notions – is that perspective counts for a lot in writing about all of this. I’ve watched this happen 2 or 3 times already. (Len’s just myopic sometimes.)

    I am not pretending that the numbers are not the numbers. I just think I have a better grasp on what they mean and don’t mean. And believe me… it was a lot worse in 2006, when the NYT was pushing this agenda… and was dead wrong. Back then, I was attacked often, from all sides, cause if the NYT printed it, it must be valid. But it wasn’t. And similarly, it was driven by a couple of titles.

    Did you see Alice in Wonderland as a billion dollar movie on paper? Did anyone see Avatar as a $2.7 billion movie on paper? While you’re parsing whether Shutter Island should have been expected to do as much business as it did, are you taking the real weather changers into account? Is there an Alice out there that didn’t perform? Was the an Avatar in December that came up short?

    To wit, has a single major movie in these last four months really underperformed in a significant way that surprises… or are we just fighting about math?

  23. David Poland says:

    And you don’t tire me, Ethan. You’re just wrong sometimes.

  24. EthanG says:

    Haha fair enough, maybe we are fighting about math but the bottom line is that revenue wise this is the worst first quarter in ages. True there’s only been one major bomb (Mars Needs Moms) but several others have lost a good deal of money (Sucker Punch, Your Highness, Arthur) and the most profitable films (No Strings Attached, Justin Bieber, Just Go With It, Gnomeo and Insidious) aren’t hugely profitable unless Bieber flies off the shelves in a few months which is possible.

    The Last time we’ve had a first quarter that didn’t have at least one $150 million film was 2003…heck, a film has yet to crack $125 million. Maybe you’re right and we’ve come to expect too much.

  25. JKill says:

    Am I the only one who find “wide” releases like THE CONSPIRATOR that barely crack 600 to 800 screens kind of interesting, just because it happens so rarely? Off the top I can think of FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION, THE NEW WORLD and most famously BORAT as examples. I guess in the case of the former they were platforming and then went wide, but it seems to happen pretty infrequently.

    Won’t get to see the Redford movie until next week but that was my first thought when looking at the charts. Also, I’ve got to say that Focus’s ungodly slow roll out of JANE EYRE is driving me crazy.

  26. JoJo says:

    “Damon in Adjustment Bureau, which opened a touch better than its campaign deserved.”

    I have no idea what that’s supposed to mean.

  27. leahnz says:

    wow speaking of wide releases, this must be the first time in recorded history that two big flicks – ‘fast five’ and ‘thor’, both released here this coming thursday – come out in enzed a full week BEFORE their US release dates (tho weirdly the 3D version of ‘thor’ doesn’t arrive until a week later on the 28th). that’s all, really, not further to anything in this thread i just didn’t know where else to say that.

    (and does robert redford realise there’s likely a shitload of mild dyslexics like me out there who keep seeing mention of his new movie THE CONSTIPATOR and thinking wtf? before our brains click the letters into the right sequence. or maybe it’s just this one dyslexic)

  28. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Can anyone remember a horror film in the past 20yrs with legs like INSIDIOUS? No stars. Practical FX. Low budget. Would ELM ST be an equivalent sleeper? People mentioned POLTERGEIST but I don’t get that comparison at all. The film is sloppy in construction and features some wincingly bad editing and line reading but it also has delivers some strangely real practical low fi thrills in places. I can easily see why kids are embracing this as the ‘scariest film’ ever.

  29. djk813 says:

    If you’re going to go back 20 years looking for THE horror sleeper, it was the first Scream movie. $6M opening, $100M+ total domestic which was ridiculously long legs even in 1996 and for a December release.

  30. leahnz says:

    blair witch?

    (re: jbd)

    went to have a gander:

    Wide Opening Weekend: $29,207,381

    140 mil ‘domestic’
    248,639,099 w/w

    over 17 Weekends in domestic release

  31. Krillian says:

    Paranormal Activity? Blair Witch Project? The first Scream?

  32. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    No I don’t think SCREAM fits the bill at all. It had stars and a major director who had several hits. And it wasn’t low low budget. It also had a major campaign behind it.

    BWP was low budget and a phenomenal hit but its not what I was thinking. It also had a multi zillion marketing campaign behind it, as much as people want to believe it was all the website that did it. It also opened very strong from memory, held okay but definitely was a phenom. Just trying to think of a small horror film that has connected like INSIDIOUS and has held so well.

  33. leahnz says:

    uh, did not djk and i just mention ‘scream’ and ‘blair witch’?

    i’m confused, JBD, how does ‘blair witch’ not fit exacly the criteria you’ve stated above?

  34. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Leah BWP may fit on a surface level (low budget, no stars etc) but I really don’t feel they’re anything alike. BWP and PARANORMAL were very cleverly conceived marketed films that had good money spent on them to become phenoms. True.

    Not arguing with anyone here but just trying to find a comparison. I dont see SCREAM or BWP in the same league. BWP and PARANORMAL = YES.

    Is INSIDIOUS the new HOUSE for this generation?

  35. leahnz says:

    ok, i haven’t seen ‘insidious’ yet so i’m not privy, i guess you’re saying the slightly higher budget/production values and different aesthetic for ‘insidious’ makes the comparison to BWP’s low budget/in camera effects/no stars/legs at the BO less apt

  36. djk813 says:

    You are mis-remembering the landscape when Scream came out. The film was full of “TV actors” and the horror genre had been declared dead. When they released the film during the Christmas season, it was thought to be a gamble and when it only opened to $6M it was thought that the gamble failed, but then it caught on with audiences and became a phenomenon. It was helped by some holiday weekends in there, but weekends 2-5 each grossed more than opening weekend did. Even taking into account the differences in box office behavior 15 years ago and in December, it was still a big sleeper. It grossed half of what Insidious made opening weekend and finished with probably around double what Insidious will domestically.

    You asked about horror movies with legs. Well, final domestic gross of 16X opening weekend is about as leggy as you are going to get, and it “saved” an entire genre for better or worse to boot.

  37. leahnz says:

    this topic would not appear to have set the world on fire, but i’d say ‘blair witch’ gives ‘scream’ a good run for its money in terms of opening multiplier and legs, having opened in limited release to a week-end take of 1.5 mil, then having steadily gained steam over the next two weeks to ensure a wide release (for which the first wide-release weekend earned just under 30 mil) to go onto make 140mil ‘domestic’ gross doing nearly 100X opening weekend and having shown very good legs across the 17 weeks in release (tho not as firm as ‘scream’ in terms of week-end to week-end drop-offs toward the end of its run, ‘scream’ indeed showing remarkable staying power right up to final whistle at 19 wks)

  38. leahnz says:

    and now for your entertainment during this apparent intermission, some early 90’s nostalgia ‘making-of featurette’ hilarity with bushy k-big brows, shaggy bodhi hair (awww), coherent busey (!), minxish petty, and young/dum/FoC goofy utah

  39. SamLowry says:

    “and it “saved” an entire genre for better or worse”

    Which genre is that, horror or satire?

    Scream was a sendup of horror movies, which at that time were practically comedies. So when Scary Movie came along, it was a parody of a satire of comedically over-the-top horror. And the Scary Movie sequels…the less said the better.

  40. jake says:

    I have been so upset about the release date of april 15th for scream 4 ever since it was announced because it probably is one of the worst dates to open up a horror movie — it’s main target audience is either dealing with graduation, finals or prom. Scream 4 deserved an
    August berth or the best bet would have been in December where it opened small and then continued to gain more traction — now opening in April only leads it to lose more screens to bigger fare in May. The weinsteins screwed this up big time. It will still make money and all of the scream movies have made 70 million each overseas. Glad that Neve Campbell was front and center on this one.

  41. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    djk813 : That maybe true but I don’t remember SCREAM being a small film when it came out, it was being SCREAMED everywhere. Whether it was thought to be a bomb after arrival or not they pushed the film hard. It was expected to make money and it did. Not really the same. Well not to me.

    You have to ask whether they dropped the ball on INSIDIOUS and whether it should have gone very wide from day one. The word of mouth would still be there. They would have made more from a bigger week one. More people seeing it means more WOM.

  42. Krillian says:

    When you see someone give the same answer 5 minutes later, it means your comments were not posted yet when the person opened the thread to read others comments before posting their own. Generally though, a horror movie comes along every other year and is a hit. Since they’re usually done for cheap, they’re one of the least risky genres for studios to take a chance on.

  43. SamLowry says:

    So after all these years of horror porn they didn’t even address that in Scream 4, a series’ whose entire point was supposedly to skewer the current state of horror movies? You mean they just picked up from whatever crap happened in 3 as if life merely went on?

    So why make it? Were people really that invested in the lives of the characters in the Scream movies that they wanted more? Or have Hollywood executives gone all the way to the bottom of the barrel and decided that recycling tired old crap is a safer bet than backing a fresh, new idea?

  44. JKill says:

    They reference torture horror about two minutes into the movie. It’s not the main subject of the movie but it’s there…


    The violence also seems elevated and nastier than in the other 3 to reflect changes in the genre. There’s a blunt viciousness and brutality to the kills that bring to mind the recent Roth/Zombie/Bousman/Aja horror movies of late.


  45. Triple Option says:

    David Poland says : To wit, has a single major movie in these last four months really underperformed in a significant way that surprises… or are we just fighting about math?”

    Surely, Mars Needs Moms would fall into that category. Sure, we can all give our reasons why it bombed and people can say they knew it wasn’t going to do well but no one was betting on that ass whoopin’ it took.

    djk813 is right. Even Kevin Williamson talked about how dead the genre was and people thinking he was crazy for attempting it but he got the idea and locked himself away and cranked the thing out. I Know What You Did Last Summer and the Urban Legend franchises were descendants of Scream. Scream was also horror for horror’s sake. The reference to the genre it included wasn’t so much satirical I think as it was to show the intelligence of the characters and uniqueness of the project itself. The Scary Movie spoofs came about due to the gluttony of formulaic horror films flooding the market.

    I’m definitely not much of a horror fan, though I did manage to see the major films of the 80’s, but the moment I saw the trailer and Neve screaming into her cell “Who is this?” and the killer answering back “The question is not who and I but WHERE am I.” I knew I had to go out and see that movie when it came out. I was really impressed with the tension and humor. Oh and all the women looked hot. Despite all that I wasn’t really too gung ho to see future installments. I’d be surprised if I saw Scream 4 before it’s on cable, non vod.

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