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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by Cap’n Klady


The deconstruction of where Pirates went wrong will now begin.

Not here. But all over town, no doubt.

There will be all kinds of questions and no doubt, someone will claim it’s Dick Cook’s fault for “allowing” Bruckheimer to go down the Rob Marshall road. My take is that the movie has nothing new to sell. By downgrading the effects angle and not taking strong angles on the old characters changing or the romance angle in the film, what told audiences that this was a Must Go?

On the other hand, it is still one of only 22 films to open to $90m or more… and the lowest gross on one of those was $234m (X3). International likely keeps this at least a $700m picture. So let’s not weep too hard or slice too deep considering this disappointing film.

(Add, 10:30a – Interesting reporting from Klady: “The big surprise was that only 46% of its opening box office derived from 3D and large format engagements that comprised 66% of Pirates initial foray. Had tickets matched the percentage of 3D playdates, the film would have grossed more than $100 million this weekend. A studio spokesman said that he didn’t have an explanation for this but it was something that was definitely being investigated.”)

Nice hold for Bridesmaids, which will face off with an actual Hangover next weekend. And a decent hold on Thor, though the real story remains international there.

And a positive launch for Woody Allen movie. It’s a hard movie to sell, even with great reviews from many critics. This ain’t VCB, when it comes to being “an entertainment.” But Sony Classics will carefully roll it out and try to get anyone who has ever read The New Yorker to buy a ticket.

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59 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by Cap’n Klady”

  1. Proman says:

    Once again, the story of the weekend is Midnight in Paris landing at #12 with just 6 locations. How impressive is its estimated per theater average? Let’s just say that it was higher than that of Black Swan ($96,500 vs $80,212), though it played on fewer screens. Box office Mojo currently has it pegged at #15 of all time in US.

    And as for Pirates, online journalists will have to take at least half the responsibility for next week’s perfomance for the film’s performance for making it seem like a loser based on Friday returns alone.

  2. yancyskancy says:

    Edited to omit lame joke.

  3. Eldrick says:

    Bridesmaids is probably looking at $200 million domestic.

  4. Jason says:

    I wonder if the execs should has considered opening during the week where they might have been able to “hide” the opening numbers. Might have also helped get the movie out in more days in advance of Panda and Hangover. Unless the movie cost $150+, this is not a bad opening. Though the other half of the story will be next weekend. I think a low $30s 2nd weekend would be a disaster.

  5. David Poland says:

    Maxim/Proman – The more screens, the LOWER the average. On triple the number of screens, Black Swan’s per-screen was much more impressive.

    No doubt, an excellent start for the core Woody markets, but you’re getting a bit carried away with it based on NY and LA.

    As for Pirates, critics and box office hacks have ZERO effect on opening weekend for a movie like Pirates. And with a large sampling, which the movie had, word of mouth will define next weekend.

  6. Jason says:

    Also, is Thor in jeopardy of missing $200M domestic? If it makes it, it will not be by much.

  7. bulldog68 says:

    I dunno Eldrick, Bridesmaids would have to pull a Blind Side to do $200M, and I’m not sure that’s in the cards, especially in the summer of various distractions. I think it does over $100m, maybe $125m, and that’s a tremendous home run for this flick.

    And while I agree with Proman that online journalist are absurd in spinning $90M as a failure, PotC4’s 2nd weekend results will be due more to the negative reviews by the general public and the one/two punch of Panda and Hangover. Now while the same could have been said of Trannies2, that sequel went the other way in terms of giving fans more explosions, more robots, bigger spectacle, and less cohesion. PotC goes smaller, and seemingly with less cohesion, (I have not seen it yet, so just going on the multiple reviews I have read thus far. So less effects, and less story equals a ‘nothing to see here’ mentality, and with a lot of families watching gas prices and food prices, maybe they’ll opt to wait for the long weekend where they can carry their 2.5 kids to Panda.

    I think that I would reverse Dave’s prediction and have Panda coming out on top for memorial weekend as families opt for the safety net of animation over killer mermaids, and Panda represents one of the few Dreamworks outputs that can really rival a Pixar film in terms of popularity with the kiddies.

    $90M however is nothing to sneeze at, but I hope they don’t do a PotC5. You’re damaging your own brand when you release these just-for-the-paycheck sequels. They could have milked Austin Powers for a couple more, but it left at the right time. What sequels can you guys think of that left at the right time?

  8. bulldog68 says:

    And while we focus on “disappointing” $90m on the domestic side, Mojo is reporting a $256M on the international side. It’s already the 2nd largest film internationally, with only Rio in its way. In a word…wow.

  9. bulldog68 says:

    That should be 3rd, not 2nd. It’s $9m behind Fast Five.

  10. anghus says:

    yeah, why we were all dissecting the domestic Pirates numbers, it was killing overseas.

    And Thor not hitting 200 million domestic isn’t a tragedy if it hits 500 million worldwide.

    I think if the weekend Pirates discussion has taught me anything, it’s that kneejerk reactions can very quickly be invalidated. Everyone was writing pirates’ obituary until it pulled in a quarter of a billion dollars worldwide out of the gate.

  11. filmsofdust says:

    Palme d’Or: The Tree of Life!

  12. palmtree says:

    Jason, I never thought Thor would make it to 200. In fact, it is outdoing the Clash of the Titans, which is where I thought it would end up (total 163). Thor hitting 180 sounds about right.

  13. Geoff says:

    Thor busting over $150 million domestic is big win, no matter how you spin it. This could have been headed towards being a major flop – heck with a lesser marketing department, my prediction would have been Hellboy 2 numbers off the bat.

    Clash of the Titans was always the ceiling for this type of film and it looks like it will bust through that, internationally and domestic. Wow, Kenneth Branagh is back! Seriously, these are the best reviews he has gotten since Hamlet and that was, what, 15 years ago?

  14. Jack Sparrow says:


    Considering the film grossed a quarter of a billion dollars at the foreign box office and could be on it’s way to a series best tally overseas that when combined with the domestic could be in line with the last two installments…

    It’s a bit premature to say what went wrong. Especially considering the film cost less than the last two and had less gross participants i.e Verbinski vs. Marshall/axing Keira and Orlando for Penelope and a potential larger draw in Latin America.

    At the end of the day, this is a business and Disney is going to make a lot more money off of this endeavor than say…Tron, while continuing to have huge market share and keeping their cross-colatarized brand alive.

    The jury, domestically is still out, until we see how well this one holds (it has good word of mouth with the middle america crowd)/if it’s less front-loaded than the previous two and serves as somewhat of a re-boot, which in conjunction with the overseas numbers will all but guarantee another installment.

  15. Josh M says:

    Man, that “Tangled” number reeks of studio inflation. Anything to get to $200 million, I guess.

  16. matt says:

    @Josh M
    I was about to comment on Tangled as well… in past weeks it looked like it was never gonna pass 200, but apparently it got its screens doubled this past weekend just to push it over the hump

  17. David Poland says:

    I agree, “Jack.” Kinda my point. That that won’t stop the boo birds, will it?

  18. LexG says:

    Midnight in Paris has sold out almost the entire damn weekend where it’s playing; Haven’t seen that happen, or even close, with a Woody movie, er, ever. Maybe Match Point, that’s all.

    It’s weird, ’cause I know all the reviews are fantastic, but perhaps moreso than any other Allen movie of the last decade, I’d say from my amateur POV that this one has been the LEAST promoted in ages. Whatever Works, Larry David did tons of press, the last one I at least saw TRAILERS for it. I’ve never seen a single trailer or TV spot for MiP. Impressive.

  19. LexG says:

    Long as I’m talking about boring bullshit no one will care about:

    How did WATER FOR ELEPHANTS *not* catch any great WOM? Based on the amount of sobbing over that Hal Holbrook last scene, I thought for SURE that would be some Notebook/Titanic deal that plays for weeks and weeks at a comfortable mid-range number with minimal drops as women go to see it over and over again. I know nobody’s anecdotal viewings are ever reliable indicators, but it basically IS The Notebook crossed with Titanic (sans wreckage.) I thought it would’ve held strong in the top five for months on end.

    I guess similarly, how did “Something Borrowed” fizzle out?

  20. anghus says:

    The fact that Water for Elephants got to 50 million is, to me, a miracle. That movie had ‘tank’ written all over it, and somehow it got to 50 million even with awful marketing.

  21. christian says:

    Again, the pundits underestimate Woody.

  22. JS P says:

    Woody still does not sell in the rest of the country, so there’s nothing really to under-estimate.

  23. Foamy Squirrel says:

    Lex, yeah Water for Elephants is a bit of a puzzler. Combining a bestselling book with the current “It” boy and you’d think it’d be huge. As it is, it’s just a decent moneymaker – no perfect storm of elements for a smash.

  24. jesse says:

    Lex, it did have a decent hold for 2011. Lots of movies that open to $16 million or so don’t get to 55+ — that’s a multiplier of over 3.

    I’d say it’s more like the type of movie, often for adults, that just seems to be missing a decent opening weekend from its gross — like the bigger first weekend was just chopped off. If that $16 million for Elephants came after a modest but better $25 million opening, we’d be talking about a decent $75 million-and-change hit instead of a $50 million sorta-hit. Basically, that movie played out almost as well as can be expected… it just started at a relatively small level and getting much higher than 55 or so was an uphill battle. This movie needed a Reese Witherspoon opening weekend to jumpstart it, and it didn’t quite get there. I think once it opened, though, it seemed to play out pretty decently. Plenty of movies open in the same range and only wind up with $38 million or whatever. This is an older example, but I feel like the same thing happened with The Terminal in 2004. It actually played out pretty well, very Hanks/Spielberg staying power… but it opened under 20 million, so even with a multiplier of almost 4, it wasn’t getting to the expected 100 million. It’s tough when movies lose out for a combination of not opening huge and/or only having VERY GOOD word-of-mouth/staying power rather than GREAT.

    Also, as per why Elephants wasn’t the tearjerker of the year? It had more of a happy ending than a bittersweet ending. I mean, yes, (SPOILERS?), Holbrook’s wife is dead in the present and he goes back to the circus, but the bittersweet angle of Notebook/Titanic isn’t really lingered upon in the same way. The loss is sort of an afterthought — which makes sense, as it’s not really what the movie’s about. But in a way, the mostly-positive vibe (the girl escaped the circus and lived for years and years with her true love!) isn’t going to get audiences the same way as a slightly sadder version of a similar story.

    I’m kind of with you on Something Borrowed. Also strange to me that it got worst-of-year style reviews. It wasn’t very good, but it had a bit more going on in its relationships than most rom-coms, especially Kate Hudson versions. And the all-media audience that I saw it with (granted, more “media people” than, you know, lots of critics, with some free-pass people mixed in) seemed to enjoy it. I thought it could cruise to 50 or so without much effort.

  25. David Poland says:

    The pundits don’t pay a lot of attention to Woody. Or are we living in the fantasy that this movie will gross as much as or much more than $10m?

    This is no slap at the man. Bless anyone who can make more than a couple of million domestic with smart material. But giddy “I told you so”s over 6 screen openings are silly.

  26. christian says:

    You paid attention to Woody though! And instead of pointing out a strong opening, you undersold it. How do you know it will only appeal to the New York-LA axis after the global success of VICKY CHRISTINA BARCELONA? This is exactly the kind of film that will play wide.

    And if you think this won’t gross more than 10 million, you should recalibrate your faulty box office laser.

    Or call me asparagus.

  27. jesse says:

    Yeah, I think Midnight in Paris will do over $10 million off the sheer delight its audience will take in seeing a small but very satisfying light comedy with some recognizable stars and Woody in likable mode again.

    I am surprised they didn’t actually reveal the major story hook of the movie in the trailers, which are intentionally (I would guess) vague. It’s great for the experience of watching the movie (if you haven’t read much about it beforehand), but it’s such an attractive story hook for the audience that made Vicky/Cristina a decent-sized hit (as Dave says, the New Yorker crowd). Maybe that’ll result in some happier word-of-mouth, and obviously it didn’t hurt the opening, but I’m surprised that marketing at Sony Classics didn’t insist on blowing the “surprise” just to give the movie a stronger impression in that trailer.

  28. jesse says:

    I mean, looking back, Scoop did $10 million! Granted, that came off a wider initial release and on the back of Match Point doing his best numbers in years, and *I* happen to really like Scoop, but if Scoop makes 10 and even Whatever Works gets to 5, Midnight in Paris should be able to get closer to that million range that represents Woody’s ceiling these days.

  29. christian says:

    “for the audience that made Vicky/Cristina a decent-sized hit (as Dave says, the New Yorker crowd).”

    Uh, 95 plus million dollar box office is decent? Those New Yorkers are such cheap skates!

  30. jesse says:

    christian, I was thinking domestically (since we’re talking about the opening of Midnight in Paris domestically, not its international prospects which are, I assume, fine in the way that Woody Allen movies generally seem to do fine overseas), where $23 million is (a.) not a blockbuster gross but (b.) the highest Woody Allen domestic gross in years and years. So yeah, I’d call that decent, not spectacular.

  31. christian says:

    Well, I’m certain the producers are just as happy with the global take given he’s got a responsive foreign audience. What difference does it make if the film makes 20 percent of its take here and 80 overseas? That’s the big money.

  32. Krillian says:

    “The big surprise was that only 46% of its opening box office derived from 3D and large format engagements that comprised 66% of Pirates initial foray. Had tickets matched the percentage of 3D playdates, the film would have grossed more than $100 million this weekend. A studio spokesman said that he didn’t have an explanation for this but it was something that was definitely being investigated.”

    Maybe audiences are seeing that for the most part, 3-D is a ripoff.

  33. Joe Leydon says:

    Did I miss anything by seeing Priest in 2D rather than 3D? Actually, I kinda-sorta enjoyed the movie as a guilty pleasure, and all the Searchers references amused me. But I can’t think of anything 3D would have added to the mix.

  34. anghus says:

    Joe, i saw it 2D. I won’t see post converted 3D anymore. If it’s not shot in 3d, i won’t see it in 3d.

    it wasn’t completely unwatchable. it was amusing trash. feels like the second film in a Judge Dredd double feature.

  35. Joe Leydon says:

    Anghus: So you’re not going to see the 3D versions of Titanic and the Star Wars movies? Not trying to be snarky, just curious. To be honest, I doubt whether I’ll shell out money to see them. Of course, I’ve never been a big fan of Titanic.

  36. anghus says:

    nah. won’t be seeing either of those.

    i grew out of star wars a long time ago. i went and saw Empire when it was re-released in the late 1990’s (the special edition) because i had such fond memories of seeing it when i was 8. I remember trying to watch the original trilogy on DVD and falling asleep on multiple attempts.

    I’m actually kind of tired of star wars as a cultural phenomenon as well. it seems you can’t swing a dead cat without a “i am your father” and “it’s a trap” being uttered in every television show and sci fi movie. star wars is now my primary example of how creatively bereft this generation of filmmakers are because they can’t do anything without referencing Star Wars.

    I’m also one of those people who isn’t that thrilled with post T2 Cameron. He obviously has a gift for making films that appeal to all sorts of people. But i thought Titanic and Avatar were just awful. Such simple, stupid movies. Visually astonishing stupidity.

    Ive seen enough post converted 3D movies to cry ‘enough’. If it’s shot in 3D i will see it in 3D. If it’s 2D post converted, i’ll see it in 2D.

    My feelings on 3D can be summed up with this link.

  37. Triple Option says:

    For the 3D percentage of Pirates, or any movie for that matter released these days, what would the expected percentage be? More like 75%? 66.67% 90%?

    Is this a studio estimate? How accurate are these? I mean outside of standard deviation? Like could this be studio spin to undercut the haters saying this movie is gonna crash and burn? “Oh look, Pirates 4 only did $90M and that’s w/the 3D bump.”

    “Yeah, but less than half was with the added 3D bump, so it’s still actually impressive. So choke on it!”

    Or, could this number be fudged by exhibitors as a means of pocketing more money? Like some did in taking rev from one film and applying it against another so the percentage rate of what is kept would be more favorable? I know computerization would seem to make this unlikely but not impossible. Such as the number entered for discount passes. The sale price of a ticket could be $12. The default amount of the discount pass may only be $7 value even though the patron pays $8 for the pass. You still have some leeway between the credit of tickets sold vs the debit of cash receipts. I don’t know how those discount tix are entered into the balance sheet but I don’t think it’d take more than an afternoon to sit down and figure out how the gap in rev vs paid reciepts can’t be exploited to one’s own benefit.

  38. This weekend at the worldwide box office, Johnny Depp has two movies in the Top 5 (Pirates 4 and Rango), which have a combined gross of 586,8 million dollars. Which Depp you like more, with Verbinsky or with Marshall?

  39. movielocke says:

    triple option, if only 46% of gross came from 3d venues which represented 66% of total venues that’s a serious problem. A film like Alice did 80%+ of its business on 3d, with probably fewer than 60% of its screens in 3d. that meant that huge portion of the gross benefitted from the 3d bump. this change in numbers probably indicates audiences seeking out 2d theatres because they prefer 2d or because they prefer not to be raped for another 3 or 4 dollar premium to pay for the 3d. since audiences have no clue or way to distinguish between films shot with 3d and designed for 3d and films converted to 3d (never designed for 3d) they have no way of distinguishing quality of the 3d, and this has probably contributed to a 3d backlash, if such a backlash exists.

  40. Unless I’m forgetting something, at least since late summer 2010, there has been a general trend towards 3D taking up a little more or less than 1/2 of tickets sold for films where 2D was readily available (I recall Despicable Me doing about 45% 3D on its opening weekend). Point being, as the novelty wears off, more and more consumers are going to opt for the 2D option if its available. And, in my mind, that’s a good thing. If audiences are growing weary of 3D, then denying them a 2D option is the quickest way to make them decide to wait for DVD. People wanted to see Pirates 4 in a theater this weekend, and many of them opted for a 2D ticket. Which is certainly better than those audience members choosing to stay home.

  41. Storymark says:

    I’ll see a film in 3D is it was shot for3D, but I do my best to avoid the post conversions. I was pissed that Thor was only showing in faux-3D in my area.

  42. LexG says:

    Avoiding 3D at ALL costs anymore.

    As others said above, lately I’ve found myself only enjoying it in really disreputable stuff like Resident Evil, Piranha, Drive Angry, and the like. Though I didn’t even think it added that much to the last Saw. Or Jackass, for that matter.

  43. Philip Lovecraft says:

    I’m done with (post-conversion) 3D, too. Just one more stupid, short-sighted ripoff.

  44. Joe Leydon says:

    My wife and I saw The Green Hornet in 3D and IMAX. We enjoyed it — but we didn’t think either “enhancement” added anything to the film.

  45. JKill says:

    I’m wondering if this anti-3D sentiment is more or less confined to the overtly film-savy and passionate, or if it’s extended now to the casual movie goer because I, like many on these boards apparently, have picked 2d over 3d in almost all cases post-Avatar, with the exceptions of (the very fun) PIRANHA 3D, DRIVE ANGRY and JACKASS 3. As Lex said, it’s fun for purposefully shlocky material that comes with no shame, but I literally had zero desire to sit through THOR, for instance, in that particular format.

    The next time I pay the extra sur charge will probably be PIRANHA 3-DD, which will surely use the technology to its, um, fullest advantages…

  46. nikki whisperer says:

    Ironically, PIRATES wasn’t post-converted, but I think audiences have wised up and realize that 3-D only really looks good for CGI animated movies. Before someone says “What about AVATAR?” I would posit that a good 80% of AVATAR is basically a de-facto CGI animated movie — it’s the lushness of Pandora that people responded to, not the 3-D live action scenes with Sigourney Weaver in the control room. I think Disney got greedy because ALICE IN WONDERLAND was the astounding beneficiary of being the first 3-D movie after AVATAR (it truly is the worst movie ever to gross that much money) and we are now seeing the disappointing results of movies further down the pipeline. It reminds me, in some ways, of the music business (or the way it used to be, anyway) — where the first copycat artist out the gate who had a soundalike single to a new groundbreaking artist would have an instant hit, then the others who followed, not so much. Theatres have gotten greedy, too — it doesn’t cost any more to show a movie in digital 3-D, save for the glasses, which they often recycle anyway — and they still chintz on the lamp bulbs while charging more money and audiences are tired of being burned one too many times. My 2¢….

  47. Foamy Squirrel says:

    “it doesn’t cost any more to show a movie in digital 3-D”

    That’s not entirely true – there’s 3 delicious flavours of commonly used digital 3-D which have their costs shunted around variously between the bulbs, screen, and glasses. Theatres with RealD, for example, have to purchase an entirely new silver screen to optimize reflection to the glasses.

  48. nikki whisperer says:

    Noted, Foamy. Let me rephrase that: despite the need to amortize costs, it certainly doesn’t cost a theatre $2500 extra per showing (assuming average theatre size of 500 seats x $5 surcharge) per auditorium to show a movie in 3-D.

  49. Krillian says:

    My wife and I also saw Green Hornet in 3D and it added nothing but increased ticket prices.

  50. Krillian says:

    We have a 14-plex near us where there are four screens that seat 290, three screens that seat 202, and the other seven seat 117.

  51. movielocke says:

    Alice reaped the most benefit from 3D and it also killed 3D

    Because Alice was too dark, 3D has be balls-to-the-walls bright to work. I loved 3D before Avatar. After avatar, I’ve pretty much hated everything I’ve seen in 3D. Before Avatar, 3D was thoughtful and well done (Up, for example, even if it didn’t add much) with the best presentations I saw being Hondo (yup, in digital 3D) and Monster House (which shows how to do 3D for a dark movie). But it was Christmas Carol that really convinced me. The movie was incredibly immersive in 3D and made fantastic use of the medium. Avatar took the tool of 3D and showed how it can be fully integrated into the language, craft and art of filmmaking.

    And then Alice fucked it all up. Fucking dark ass dreary Burton Color shat all over all the good will 3D had built up in me over several years. Everythign I’ve seen in 3D since then, except TS3, has been shit, and I didn’t feel like 3D added anything at all to the film, the way it did with Up.

    Ironic question. 3D is going to burn out hard by this time in 2012. Will any theatres still be showing 3D movies by the time Cameron gets Avatar 2 and 3 into theatres?

  52. SamLowry says:

    If you think you can avoid getting burned by underlit pics by staying away from 3D movies, think again. I suppose you’ve seen this story:

    By refusing to switch out the Sony 3D lens for a regular 2D lens, up to 85% of the brightness is lost even in a regular 2D film. Cheap, ignorant bastards.

  53. nikki whisperer says:

    Amen, Sam. You’d think with the record high ticket prices and, particularly, the newly standard surcharges, they could afford to pay some fucking trained projectionists.

  54. Krillian says:

    Worst 3D experience I’ve had was Clash of the Titans. There were times when only half of the screen was in 3D and the other half was flat. Just an awful conversion; couldn’t even tell what those flying things were attacking Perseus while he’s trying to fight the OctoKraken.

  55. Mike says:

    I was totally on board for 3D until Avatar. I loved going every now and again to something like Chicken Little or Meet the Robinsons. Then Avatar came out and everyone said that is the ultimate 3D experience, and I really hated it. The slow moments were fine, but the battle scenes were incomprehensible for me in 3D, and my eyes hurt by that point. I feel like I missed some of it by it being in 3D. So, if that’s the best it can get, I’m never going to 3D again – post conversion or no.

  56. storymark says:

    Sounds like it’s more of a “you” thing in your case, Mike. Some folks just can’t adjust to the 3D. You have astigmatism by chance?

  57. Triple Option says:

    Well, there is sort of the difference between the immersion vs projection type of 3D. I’ve never had a problem w/either. I took a date to see Up and she felt a bit claustrophobic by the glasses. By the time the movie got going she was fine. I’ve heard a few people say they’ve gotten headache but it’s been far more the exception to really quantify.

    I’m sure the person who posts here is going to be far more concerned w/image quality or will have a higher standard than the ave movie goer. So at least at this point I’d doubt they’d really care going in if something was shot in 3D or converted in post. But I do think they’re pretty adept at spotting a ripoff. If a movie is marginal at best and they feel like they were hosed for that extra surcharged, I think the middle finger is going to go up on all 3D films not just the poorly converted ones.

    When I went to see Source Code and it might’ve been Lincoln Lawyer and seeing all the trailers for films to be released in 3D over the summer, I felt fleeced and I hadn’t even opened my wallet yet. It was really depressing, not exciting. Like, “Oh wow, that should be badass in 3D!”

    I actually wanted to see Piranha 3D and Jackass 3D and Step Up 3D but just didn’t get around to it. I agree, those do seem like what you’d pay to see a film in 3D for. I saw Sherk 4 in 3D. It was a good movie and the 3D enhanced it. Whereas Rio was just sorta fair and would’ve been just sorta fair if I saw it in 2 or 3D.

    Besides the shot in 3D vs post converted, I think it’s going to be “would I see a movie AT ALL unless it was in 3D” maybe be the biggest determinant. Like I will probably see Green Lantern. Is it opening w/e important to me? Not so much. So would I pay to see it in 3D even if it was shot that way? Probably not. Would I go see a piranha re-boot horror film? Oh, Hell No! Would I go see piranha’s tear up flesh in 3D? Uhh, I CAN’T believe I didn’t make the Midnight preview.

  58. palmtree says:

    I saw Avatar first in 2D…and then I saw it in 3D. The difference was incredible. In 2D, I kinda shrugged and thought it was okay. In 3D, I was blown away, totally immersed, and so much more moved. It was like seeing a movie in black and white when it was meant to be color.

  59. SamLowry says:

    Palmtree, that helps to confirm my suspicion that Avatar was really all about the 3D. Take it out of the equation and people suddenly realize it’s a pretty crappy movie. Its 2D DVD sales, for example, didn’t quite set the world on fire.

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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