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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Hungover Klady

The Hangover, Part II is reaping the rewards of a near-perfect marketing campaign that offered audiences, not critics, exactly what they wanted… more of the same. This was the refrain of critics everywhere… which may have made TH:PII one of the most positively influenced by critics openings of the last few years.

And I will say again… WB did the same thing with The Dark Knight. They did a campaign that was very, very similar to the Burton Batman films, of course with the added visual excitement of the elements that Nolan had created. It was the same, but “better.” And if it turned out that many people found the movie to actually be better, great. That’s not what opening weekend is about.

Using the Pirates weekend as a model, Hungover will get close to $130 million for the 5 days and around $98m for the 4 days, making it the 4th biggest Memorial Day weekend in history… technically. This is where the stat parade gets silly, as some movies launched Memorial Day on Thursday and some did not. For me, the opening stat, in the current era of distribution, is always about where a movie landed at the end of their opening weekend. There are advantages and disadvantages to a Wed or Thursday opening. There are always benefits to a holiday weekend with Monday off. But what you get at the end of that first “weekend” is the sampling that is going to push the film forward, keep it in neutral, or slow it down.

For a 5-day opening, at any time, Hangover 2 looks to be #21 or #22. For Memorial Day, Hang Two is well behind Pirates 3 and Indy 4, any way you cut it. And it’s competitive with X-Men 3.

Could it get to $139 million over the 5 day, as “reported” by Deadline? Sure. But I would take that with a grain of salt, as the estimates being sold to C. Nikki by her keepers started with claiming that $10m on Wed midnight was a disappointment, then went wildly low for the weekend, then just low, and are now swinging to what is probably $5 million or more high. At this level of gross, nothing is definitive until the tickers are sold.

In this case, you’re looking at, roughly, a $75m 3-day. So the goal, at minimum is to triple that. But the $130m 3-day… the goal would be just to double that… which is a higher gross goal. $277.4m is the target for the sequel to top the original domestically. $190.2 million is the international on the first film. I think all involved would love to see the domestic number grow, but that is where it has a good chance of coming close or topping it incrementally. But international is where you could surely see this sequel take in $100 million more than the first time around.

The director of the film felt that $85m domestic might be high for the opening weekend. I had predicted $110m. And once again, I was underestimating The Hangover. And I was pretty much the high predictor out there. Can’t win.

Kung-Fu Panda II is getting a little lost of all the excitement over Hangover II. (Note to media: If you thought there was “a slump,” you were myopic. If you think this “ends the slump,” you are an epic moron. It’s the movies, stupid. If you sell people movies they want to see, they will come. The day-n-daters at studios are not done trying to destroy this historic reality, but I expect they will next argue, in the face of a failed Premium VOD launch, that if theatrical survived Just Go With It two months early, they can survive the next crop just 30 days after release. Insanity.)

But with a Thursday launch, Panda 2 is running $4.7 million (or 39%( ahead of the biggest Memorial Day opening animated film in history, Madagascar… and well behind the 2nd weekend of Shrek 2. Point is…they’re doing fine. It’s just not a shocking launch. It will be the biggest animated Memorial Day Weekend opening ever.. should be over $70n if it continues along that Madagascar trajectory.

Btw, all that bull about colleges being out or elementary schools not being out… all spin and excuses.

Pirates 4 dropping 68% Friday-to-Friday is not shocking. What is shocking is that the film is running just barely ahead of Fast Five after 8 days in the domestic market place. Right now, it looks like the film could be #4 or #5 for the summer (not including F5.) Of course, Disney has the foreign on the film, already over $350 million, just short of triple the domestic number. Who knew that Pirates 4 would be Prince of Persia all over again… on a bigger scale?

And a note on the 3D situation with the film. The studio lost about 150 3D venues this week. But more interestingly, it is turning out that the stat of last weekend, reported by Klady, is not screen count, according to Disney, but venue count. I am working on a more complete picture, but so far, the studio seems uninterested in getting into the details, answering specific questions only in the broadest of terms.

At Paramount, both their 3D releases are currently reporting that 69% of their venues are running 3D. Pirates is now in the low 60s.

But what does this actually mean? There are people fighting against 3D and people fighting for it, but the reality of how ubiquitous 3D is… that’s a real blur. Just looking around LA, the balance of 3D showings and non-3D showings on these big 3D films is all over the place. At The Grove, for instance, both Pirates 4 and Panda 2 are on 3 screens each… 2 of which are now in 2D. Thor has 2 screens, one of each. But at Century City’s 15-plex, Panda 2 has 2 screens, one of each, with a couple extra early shows in 2D… Pirates is on 3 screens, one 2D, one 3D, and one FauxMAX… and Thor is now on 1 screen only, in 3D. Meanwhile, at The Arclight Hollywood, no Pirates, and Thor & Panda are running one 2 screens each, split between 2 and 3D. Over the hill, at Universal Citiwalk, Panda is on 4 screens, split evenly between the formats, Thor is on 2, split evenly, and Pirates has an even split between 2D and 3D, plus their real IMAX screen. And in Santa Monica, the combine pair of AMC theaters in the 3rd street promenade are running Thor only in 3D, Panda is running 2-1 in 3D and Pirates is running 2-1 in 2D.

I am going to try to tell the 3D story this summer, movie by movie. But I am not sure how much cooperation I am going to get from the studios. The overall percentages are interesting, but the real story is in the percentage of actual showings they are getting in 3D… even more so, how many available seats they are filling in each of the 2 formats.

There is a double edged sward here. 3D haters might be less enraged if it turns out that the biggest 3D releases are really just being shown in 3D about 40% of the time.. or less. On the other side, the mythology of 3D being ubiquitous in the marketplace is part of the must-go pitch.

More to come on this issue…

Nice hold for Bridesmaids as it chases the $100m domestic mark.

And the Woody Allen, multiplying their screen count by almost 10x, multiplied their Friday gross by about 1.5x. Normal expansion, but not a sign of a big breakout. Only 3 of Allen’s last 10 movies have done more than $5.3 million. The two big ones each grossed $23m domestic and opened wider faster and were already on their way to bigger numbers by now. Scoop, which did just over $10m domestic, also opened faster, but started declining quickly. This film looks to be right in between the smaller films and the bigger ones, over $5m, but under $10m domestic.

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85 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Hungover Klady”

  1. NickF says:

    That Panda number has to be a disappointment for Dreamworks. Unbeknownst to me the first movie did really well. Programming the sequel as counterprogramming this weekend seemed like a smart move. The estimates show either a lack of interest or more evidence for 3D been a hindrance than a boon now.

  2. paul says:

    The Tree of Life, in four theatres, must’ve eeked out fifty bucks, at least.

  3. bulldog68 says:

    I am also surprised by that low number for Panda2. Granted the Thursday opening would have taken away some of the punch from this $13m friday, bit I actually expected this to compete with Hangover2 for pole position for the weekend. Boy was I wrong. Dreamworks has been here before however, with lower than expected openings for Dragon and and even Shrek4 and they ended being leggy, so with some breathing room in the family market until Poppers Penguins and Cars2 on the 24th, I think they’ll be alright, though I’m sure they wanted more out of the gate.

    It’s amazing aint it, Hangover2 gets the ‘more of the same or worse than the first’ reviews and it blows the roof off, and Panda gets the ‘well worth it sequel’ and stellar reviews and it’s audience does not expand in the first weekend. People are strange.

  4. Jason says:

    Panda should do nicely over the next 3 days, but I agree, this has to be a disappointment. I sure as heck was wrong with my greater than $128M prediction.

  5. LexG says:

    Who were the guys– more than just Jason– who last week opined that KFP2 was going to be HUUUUUGE and maybe one of the summer’s biggest?

    Props on handily out-doing my “The Goods will open to 40m first weekend” as the worst non-Poland box-office call in Hot Blog history.

    With Tree of Life, are they counting tickets sold or money made? How will they figure in the 60% that walks out and demands a refund before the second reel is up?

  6. David Poland says:

    Uh, Lex… you don’t need to un-include me… worse than any box office call I ever made as well. But you were joking, right?

    Panda 2 should not be seen as a major disappointment. A small one, sure. But as much crap as I take for considering the history of this stuff, it’s also why I am right a lot more often than I am wrong. Seriously… estimating grosses on July and August movies before their marketing really launches… it’s a carnival game. I hope y’all get that.

    Memorial Day is the third best spot to launch a movie in the month of May. Only Weekend 2 is less attractive. But the worst thing about it is that it sets up unrealistic expectations.

    All Panda failed to do is to accelerate into the Shrek stratosphere of brands.

  7. Question for DP says:

    I loved your interview with Todd Phillips last week. Just curious, how did it rate in views (vs other DP30’s). You guys should do a weekly or monthly movie podcast.

  8. MarkVH says:

    Dave, are you sure you’re not referring to Pirates 3 when comparing Memorial Day openers? ‘Cause Pirates 2 opened in July.

  9. bulldog68 says:

    I was one of those guys who thought Panda would be a legitimate contender for the top 5 for summer Lex. I know animation is not your thing, but as Shrek2, Toy Story3, Finding Nemo, Up, and before them all, The Lion King proved, these things will always be a legitimate threat for top of the heap at the box office derby. Cars2 still looms.

  10. EthanG says:

    Kudos for sticking by your “it’s about the movies stupid” philosophy DP. I think it’s more evident now that what theatrical is seeing is more of a small slowdown over time rather than a slump….one that has become more evident this year as the 3D fad starts to wear off. And as you’ve stressed before, international is still in a general state of expansion, which offsets what is still after this weekend, a year that is off $400 million from 2010.

    It seems like it’s been a strange year for the majors….most of the studios seem to be somewhat profitable now that “Hangover” is turning around what’s been kind of a rough few months for Warner Bros.

    It’ll be interesting to see how “X-Men” fares in a year of superhero overload and a surprisingly quiet period for Big Fox.

  11. David Poland says:

    You are correct, Mark. Thanks. Now fixed.

  12. Clean Steve says:

    Maybe it’s just my personal feelings on the first CARS, but I’m not sensing CARS 2 doing 3-400 million domestic. Unless it’s significantly better than the first, which is the only Pixar film I don’t like. Or, more likely, unless I’m just wrong.

    I just hope SUPER 8 is good. I can’t get very excited about much on the horizon this summer aside from that, and mainly because it’s not a sequel/franchise/comic book. Still keeping expectations low.

  13. David Poland says:

    Question… hadn’t looked until you asked… but about 16,000 on YouTube so far. We have had more on a couple of occasions, but that’s pretty impressive considering that WB certainly wasn’t out promoting the interview.

    I would be happy to chat with Todd in public on a regular basis, but I don’t think he’d be interested. I would be happy to do a weekly chat with someone who had some kind of chip on their shoulder about me… but people don’t tend to admit it… and if they do, they don’t want to make it an uncut debate or discussion.

  14. Joe Straatmann says:

    Well, Steve, a lot of people who are serious about movie watching didn’t like Cars, but the thing is, the general public loved the shit out of it. I’d imagine it was one of the biggest merchandising bonanzas as well, so it’s going to make bank, even if the original to me was Pixar’s most meandering and pointless movie.

    I think the “harmlessness” of Cars even helped it. I have friends with young kids who constantly scold Pixar for things like Up where children may have questions about death, or WALL-E for trying to be about something the parents don’t necessarily agree with (i.e. “Bullshit liberal crap”). A colorful movie with a world where everything is cars and the most questionable thing is a sight gag about a “tramp stamp” sits just fine with them.

  15. hcat says:

    Not a fan of Cars but think the sequel will be in the top three if not the biggest domestic grosser of the summer. The kids loved it and lots of parents appreciated it for all the reasons Joe mentions above. I was my kids first Pixar movie even though it was my least favorite because there were no scary toys coming out of the mud, fights and explosions, or mothers being eaten by scary fish. It is one of the most G rated movies I have ever seen. And the kids who liked it then will probably still show up as teens.

    As for the Woody, seeing that 10 million is pop the champagne corks, dance naked in the fountain money for SPC I doubt they will be disappointed by landing in that neighborhood. And since they are not ones to spend 10 million just to get an extra 10 million at the box office, I doubt it will reach the same heights as Match Point and VCB (which we should also remember were chasing awards at the time).

  16. chris says:

    Wait a minute. “One of the most positively influenced by critics openings?” Do you not say, repeatedly, that critics have absolutely no impact — none– on opening weekends?

  17. JS Partisan says:

    Joe, I am serious about movie viewing, and I freaking adore Cars. Again, I have no idea why it grates on so many people, when basically it’s a story about getting over one’s hubris, and finding an extended family. Seriously, what is so wrong with that? Because it’s Cars? Really? It’s like some movie geeks never named their cars or something.

    Nevertheless, Cars is one of the biggest toy lines in this country, it’s probably come close to generating a couple of billion for Pixar/Disney, and that means the little boys will be coming out in droves for Cars 2.

    Lex, KFP2 could possibly still be huge with international, but there has to be something going on with the sequel not breaking a 100m this weekend. What’s going on is the kids probably still seeing Pirates and Thor or hell even the Hangover Pt. 2, and that just siphons away audience for that film.

    Seriously, the reason why we are in a small slowdown as Ethan puts it, is because the studios refuse to get that people are broke. Opening two films like this at this time in this nation’s history, is typical Hollywood studio arrogance not needs to take a backseat while the nation financially recovers.

  18. Krillian says:

    I thought Kung Fu Panda 2 would be huge. I would’ve thought H2 would’ve only done about 20% better than KFP2 opening, and Panda would be the ultimate domestic b.o. winner. Didn’t see H2 doubling KFP2.

    Of course, last year I thought A-Team and Karate Kid would be close.

  19. JS Partisan says:

    It’s definitely early to ask this question but how much of drop does the HO2 have next week? 60? 70? 80?

  20. anghus says:

    I never thought Kung Fu Panda 2 was going to open big. I don’t think Cars 2 will either.

    The Hangover will have a big drop, but what’s the next comedy to hit theater? Horrible Bosses in July?

    Is there even another comedy between now and then. So it has 4 straight 15-20 million dollar weekends through July after a 30 million dollar week 2?

    That ain’t shabby.

  21. christian says:

    As much as I liked his DP takedown, Phillips is a wretched filmmaker. And Zach G. needs to atone.

  22. Joe Straatmann says:

    JS, I realize some serious movie fans liked/loved Cars, which is why I didn’t say “all” of them, which is ridiculous in the first place. But I pretty much knew where Cars was going within the first 40 minutes, and then instead of getting on with it, the movie just……. mills about with its one-note characters. It’s not the first Pixar/Disney movie by far to spell out/be transparent with its message and morals, but unlike the ones I love or even like a whole lot, it didn’t endear me to the characters much.

  23. Krillian says:

    Wide Release sched:

    Opens June 3

    Opens June 10
    SUPER 8.

    Opens June 17

    Opens June 24
    CARS 2.

  24. anghus says:

    bad teacher.

    ok, so Hangover Pt 2 has most of June to itself.

  25. ZB says:

    @JS Partisan Specifically, since 2005, Cars has generated 8 billion in worldwide merchandising revenue for Disney.$8-billion-for-disney.html

    They’re building Carsland at Disney in Anaheim, the largest expansion in the theme park’s history. This thing is a giant money bag for them; it also happens to be the one film adult Pixar fans tend to dismiss. Likely because it has absolutely no edge to it and is missing what makes so many of their other films appeal to an adult audience.

    But 8 billion dollars means that unless Lasseter objects, we’ll be getting Cars 3, 4, 5…

  26. David Poland says:

    Chris… a little smart-ass-y of me there.

    However, I do think that the media hum around the film – more of the same – speaks to what people wanted, even though critics didn’t, and that can’t fail to be good.

    Critics saying, “yes” or “no” has almost no impact on wide release films now, true. So negativity on Pirates 4… not so important. Raving for Panda, not so important.

    But when you have been convinced by the ads that the movie is “more of the same” and are leaning towards seeing it, hearing one or two or three critics saying that it is, indeed, more of the same, may well get you a touch more excited.

    Does that hair split seem reasonable?

  27. Jason says:

    KFP2 was a lot of fun. For what it’s worth, the theater was packed this afternoon. It should have a good weekend, just not a shocker (as DP mentioned above and surmised earlier). But I still feel it could be the #1 animated movie this summer. I can’t see Cars pulling in north of $300. I don have the numbers handy, but wasn’t the first one considered an underperformer for Pixar movies?

    Great launch for Hangover. It’s all about the openIng as I could see it dropping 65% next weekend. But on a huge opening, would that really be bad?

  28. movieman says:

    The (almost) surefire method I’ve adapted to gauging how a film is going to perform at the box office is knowing which chain multiplex it’s opening at in my home town.
    If it’s at the Cinemark ‘plex, it overperforms and exceeds all reasonable b.o. projections (“Bridesmaids,” “HO2,” “Fast Five,” “Limitless,” etc.). If a movie opens at the Regal ‘plex–the Rodney Dangerfield of theaters in these parts–it’s almost inevitable that the reverse is going to happen (most recently, “KP2,” “Pirates 4,” “Something Borrowed” and “Scream 4”).
    Whoever’s booking that Cinemark house has such a knack for picking sleeper hits and/or bona-fide blockbusters that he/she deserves to have their pick of any major studio’s production head gig.
    Their track record is almost uncanny.
    Upcoming, sure-to-be smashes at my local Cinemark: “Super 8” and “Cars 2.”
    Upcoming product at the competing Regal: “X-Men: First Class” and “Trannies 3.”
    Place your bets, ladies and gentlemen.

  29. Joe Leydon says:

    Meanwhile, I watched Blume in Love for the first time in nearly four decades, and found myself wondering (a) would a major studio green-light a movie like this today, (b) would an actress on the level that Marsha Mason was then feel so comfortable now about so much casual nudity, and (c) does anybody now still remember how terrific George Segal was in his prime?

  30. anghus says:

    i think the appeal of the Cars movies are limited. The biggest hits for Pixar are the one that have crossover appeal. Talking cars on an international spy adventure has a kind of ‘kids only’ feel that many other Pixar films have avoided.

    That’s why Cars 2 won’t be huge.

  31. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Anghus care to lay a small wager? CARS2 should be a monster and the only thing holding them back is the time they took to make this sequel. So it’ll appeal like crazy again for the next batch of rug rats (boys) but the ones who watched it 9 times a day on dvd may have grown out of it. Every parent will know how fanatical their boys were about CARS, I’d bet it was watched by boys more than any other Pixar title on homevideo. That’s certainly the case from the twenty or so parents with boys I know.

  32. Drew McWeeny says:

    The first “Cars” may have “underperformed” if you’re talking about the OMG money that Pixar films frequently earn, but anyone who is dismissing the $8 billion that it’s generated in ancillary markets since then is insane.

    That’s no typo. $8 billion. That’s $2 billion EVERY YEAR since it came out, without a new movie out there to support the toy line.

    Anyone predicting this one will be anything less than huge does not have children, does not know children, and is ignoring 8 billion other reasons the sequel will destroy the original’s domestic box-office take.

  33. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Drew QFT. If you have a boy you know the power of CARS. It is on another level from any other Pixar.

  34. yancyskancy says:

    I remember, Joe. I bet those who mainly know him from JUST SHOOT ME have a hard time believing he was once a major leading man (and if you only knew Elliot Gould from OCEAN’S 11, you’d probably never believe he used to be A-list). Haven’t seen BLUME in ages, but love Segal in LOVING (which we mentioned here recently), CALIFORNIA SPLIT, THE TERMINAL MAN (underrated flick) and, going further back, KING RAT. It all seemed to slowly dry up in the 80s, but he definitely had his heyday.

  35. LexG says:

    Carbon Copy.

  36. JS Partisan says:

    What Drew stated about Cars. Seriously, Cars is going to tear it a new one. Basically, Cars has the potential to give the BO the 440m it’s missing at the moment.

    That aside, Joe, it’s a poem to the old school American west. You take time when you are out there. That’s just how it goes.

    Finally, Anghus, there’s no way HO2 is helped by it’s WOM. It’s probably going to be added to that sad list of opening huge then tapering off rather big.

  37. Joe Straatmann says:

    I’d hesitate to call anything where Larry the Cable Guy has a major role a poem. But hey, it made truckloads of money and its sequel will make truckloads of money even without my ticket (I don’t care how much they try to make it a Bond movie, Pixar’s made its great Bond movie, and it’s called The Incredibles), so, as the Onion News Network says, I’m just some fucking guy.

  38. Joe Leydon says:

    Yancy: I see that Terminal Man (with Segal AND Jill Clayburgh)is available from from WB Exclusive, and I’m tempted to order it — even though I remember being disappointed by it back in the day because I’d vastly preferred 2 earlier Mike Hodges movies — Get Carter and Pulp. But you are absolutely right: George Segal was great in King Rat. And, of course, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. And, yes, Loving. It’s a shame that his name rarely if ever pops up when people talk about great actors of the 1970s and ’80s.

  39. nikki whisperer says:

    Joe: TERMINAL MAN is amazing. I saw it at the Cinematheque in Hollywood a few years back with Hodges speaking. It holds up incredibly well, there’s a real stylized elegance to it that is striking today. I also noticed some uncanny similarities, in terms of some shot compositions, use of music and the white on black chapter titles with the days of the week, to THE SHINING, which leads me to think that Kubrick might have been a fan of it. It also is a testament to how good George Segal was in dramatic roles, before he sort of became forever associated with light comedy and his TONIGHT show persona (see also BORN TO WIN and CALIFORNIA SPLIT).

  40. LexG says:

    If you ever wanna see Segal hamming like a maniac, how about St. Valentine’s Day Massacre? He chews enough scenery in that to make his performance in Stick look subtle. He’s also very entertaining in the junky Rollercoaster.

    Segal rules, thought NW alludes to the fact that most of us who know him from the 80s probably think of him first and foremost with the banjo doing shtick on Carson; He’s definitely one of those guys, like Gould, or like RON LEIBMAN, or arguably James Caan, would NEVER be a movie star today doing romantic leads and thrillers and starring vehicles. Imagine some alternate universe where something like DEFINITELY, MAYBE has, instead of abs-ripped god Ryan Reynolds, some TOTALLY 1974 dude with muttonchops, full shoulder hair and a gym-less build looking like he smells like salami wearing a bad leisure suit.

  41. Triple Option says:

    Rollercoaster, Bitches!

  42. Joe Straatmann says:

    Sorry, I didn’t have anywhere else to put this, but in other news…..

    Yup……. that’s definitely David Fincher remaking The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I wonder how mixing one of these extreme trailers to The Girl Who Kicked a Hornet’s Nest will go, given there’s about 5 minutes of action and about 1/3rd of the novel is a trial…..

  43. leahnz says:

    when i was a kid the first film i remember seeing george segal in was ‘the hot rock’ – love that movie, one of my fave heist flicks, afghanistan bananastan – so even now i think of kelp when i think segal (in recent years he and mary tyler moore were terrific together as the codependent passive-aggressive neurotic parents in ‘flirting with disaster’)

    ‘the hot rock’ got me to thinking about yates, wondering if he’s still working at all, i didn’t even realise he’d passed away in january, how sad. rest in peace, peter yates, thanks for the memories.

  44. Joe Leydon says:

    Funny thing about Rollercoaster — which I recall being unreasonably entertaining, even with the hokey “Sensurround” gimmick — at the time it came out, my wife told me she thought my review of that one (dashed off in about an hour while I worked at The Shreveport Times) was, up until then, the best review I’d ever written. Seriously. Hey, it was early in the marriage — she was still easily impressed.

    BTW: Check out the Rollercoaster supporting cast: Henry Fonda, Richard Widmark, Timothy Bottoms, Harry Guardino, Susan Strasberg — and a very young Helen Hunt.

  45. movieman says:

    Joe- Interesting comments on “Blume in Love,” one of my favorite Mazursky films.
    How ironic that it was totally eclipsed at the b.o. that summer by another (and lesser) Segal comedy (“A Touch of Class”).
    Despite Glenda Jackson’s WTF Oscar win,
    “Blume” is the one people who care about movies remember today, and the clunkily-directed “Class” has rightfully been consigned to the remaindered bin.
    Not sure whether I agree with you re: Marsha Mason, though. Mason didn’t really emerge as a major player until she hooked up with Neil Simon. At the time of “Blume”‘s release, she was still largely unknown. (“Cinderella Liberty,” the movie that really got things started for her, wouldn’t be released for another six months.) The nudity issue was probably a generational thing. Lots of respected, Oscar bait-y actresses (Fonda, Burstyn, Redgrave, Jackson, Dunaway, etc.) frequently disrobed on film back then, and I don’t recall anyone being particularly shocked. It was all part of the groovy, let-it-all-hang-out late ’60s/early-to-mid ’70s. Probably the only A-list actress who can get away with frequent nudity in her films today is Kate Winslet–and she’s British.

  46. Jason says:

    I have 2 girls and we’ll see cars but they were way more excited for KFP2. And by “underperform” I did mean in terms of other Pixar movies and was only considering box-office. Maybe I amrecallimg incorrectly, but I seem to remember the narrative for that movie being underperform. Of course that could have been from the sky is falling people, so grain of salt. Suppose.

    I have a hard time believing that Cars2 will be a behemoth like TS3 last summer. That had way more has then Cars2 is getting.

  47. Jason says:

    Meant today TS3 had way more buzz…

  48. Jason says:

    And I wasnt saying Cars2 wouldn’t surpass the original, I just happen to thInk Panda will be bigger. But hey, I seemed to have pissed all over children with my earlier comment.

  49. actionman says:

    Sad to say it — the BRUCK is DONE…

  50. anghus says:

    Toy Story 3, the most beloved of all Pixar films did 415 million domestically.

    The original Cars made 244 million.

    I have no reason to believe it won’t make 250-300 million, but that’s pretty much par for the course for Pixar. But when people start applying Toy Story/Finding Nemo numbers to Cars 2, i scratch my head and wonder where this comes from?

    Any Pixar film seems to be a lock for 200 million or more. The only 2 Pixar films to crack 300 million domestically were Finding Nemo and Toy Story 3.

    So the thought process that Cars 2 is going to make 400+ million domestically comes from a feeling, not any factual information or historical precedent. There’s also going to be a 3D bump.

    And i’m not sure how anyone would think i wouldn’t have considered that boys are going to be insane crazy for Cars 2. The merchandising from Cars made them more money than the movie itself. That’s why there’s a sequel to Cars. It’s a merch grab. But films like Toy Story 3 and Up have an appeal beyond kids. I would argue that Cars does not.

    And yes Drew, i was referring to OMG money. Pixar movies make money. They’ve got the formula down.

    Pixar box office predictions are like finding the point between “a ton” of money and “an obscene amount” of money. That’s why phrases like “it’s going to be HUGE” puzzle me.

    What’s HUGE for Pixar?

    415 million for Toy Story 3.

    What’s NORMAL for Pixar

    250 million.

    All i’m debating is the territory between NORMAL and HUGE.

    I think Cars 2 will open along the lines of most Pixar films. When you’re talking Pixar, talking about ‘not opening big’ isn’t in reference to other films but other Pixar films.

  51. Joe Leydon says:

    Movieman: You’re quite right about the casual attitude about nudity in movies during the early-to-mid ’70s. Sometimes, I can detect obvious shock among my Social Aspects of Film students when they see, for example, Faye Dunaway baring skin in Network and Chinatown. Indeed, I was mildly surprised last night while watching Cisco Pike — yeah, I made it a Kris Kristofferson double bill — and noted a scene in which Karen Black is topless for no really important reason (Kris walks in while she’s changing) and it’s treated as no big deal.

    On the other hand: I also think Paul Mazursky (or anybody else) would have a hard time today doing a version of Blume in Love is which an ex-husband rapes his ex-wife, and thereby indirectly brings about their reconciliation. (Of course, Mazursky treats the rape rather ambiguously, but still…)

  52. christian says:

    I hope Pixar will make enough to feed the cats.

  53. Martin S says:

    Cars2. If that tow-truck is co-star and isn’t overpowered by some maudlin subplot, it will beat all numbers.

    When did IO get cleared again? That wasn’t a ban, it was a corner timeout.

  54. yancyskancy says:

    Joe: I came late to THE TERMINAL MAN, seeing it for the first time just a few years ago. But it really grabbed me (I’m a big Hodges fan). One of the more Kubrickian non-Kubrick films, too (I hadn’t considered that the influence might have gone the other way until nikki whisperer noted similarities to THE SHINING. Interesting).

  55. movieman says:

    I’ve had the same experience with students in my university class, Joe.
    You can almost hear a collective aneurism going off in their brains during some of the more sexually explicit moments in, say, “The Last Picture Show.”
    Another thing that probably blows their minds is how seriously (albeit frequently matter-of-factly, too) sexuality is treated in films from that era. As opposed to the sniggeringly juvenile approach to sexual matters in–for example–the “Hangover” movies.

  56. djk813 says:

    The strategy for Cars 2 is pretty obvious. Even if they only match the numbers from the first movie domestically, by dropping the the NASCAR plot and going more international they could easily double the foreign box office of the first movie.

  57. Joe Leydon says:

    I actually include this disclaimer in my syllabus for my class on the New Hollywood Era (1967-80):

    Movies: Keep in mind that many, if not most, of the films shown in this course are R-rated (or would be R-rated if released today). While it certainly is not the intent of Professor Leydon to shock or offend anyone, students should be aware that they will be exposed to groundbreaking films with mature subject matter. As you might expect: This means you will be watching some movies that contain violence, nudity and/or vulgar language. If you would feel more comfortable watching these movies on DVD in the privacy of your home, outside of the classroom, feel free to do so. However: You will have to obtain access to those movies on your own. And you will still be expected to answer questions about them on exams.

  58. JS Partisan says:

    Anghus, Cars 2 is in the huge territory for no other reason than that 8 billion dollars. Seriously, outside of STAR WARS and SPONGEBOB, Cars keeps selling and selling and selling, it’s an omnipresent property in little boys life, and now it has a sequel. How can you not see it being huge?

  59. bulldog68 says:

    The most recent casual nudity that sticks out in my mind was Julianne Moore in Shortcuts, Joe. I wonder whether a Portman, or Khightley, or Hathaway, whom I understood did some of it recently but I have not seen the film, would consider this as a wise career move. And what about a goody two shoes like Bullock?

    And in the name of equality, what about the guys? I’m not clamoring for male frontal nudity, (but it would make my wife extremely happy because she always says that guys have all the fun,) would male actors of similar status, not so much a Will Smith, or Brad, or Tom, but what about a James Franco, or Jake Gylanhal consider it. And is the American audience ready for male frontal nudity that is not the subject of the juvenile sniggering as described by Movieman. Or blue with super powers for that matter.

  60. Joe Leydon says:

    Something to think about. Unlike actresses in the 1960s and 70s, actresses today know that if they do a nude scene, it will be excerpted and posted on zillions of Internet sites for easy, instant ogling. I have actually talked with a few actresses about this — and, trust me, it is a genuine concern for some of them.

    Bulldog68: I have gotten the impression — based entirely on reading, not conducting, interviews with Hathaway — that she viewed the nudity in Love and Other Drugs as both artistically necessary AND a calculated career move. I don’t mean that in any way as a slam against an actress whose work I admire. I mean that she took the possible effect on her career into consideration — and took the role anyway.

  61. movieman says:

    I give my students the same disclaimer-pitch at the beginning of the semester, Joe.
    And yet one young woman actually reported me to the department head a few years back for showing Fassbinder’s “The Merchant of Four Seasons” which she described as “softcore porn.”

  62. anghus says:

    for the record, i’m just arguing the domestic box office. as for dumping the Nascar subplot to make it more palatable for the foreign market… i don’t know. I don’t know how the world will see Cars 2. I’m not that smart. Part of me thinks turning Cars 2 into a spy/action film isn’t going to wow a lot of people. It’s the cartooniest of Pixar’s pallette. Conceptually it feels more like what you find from non-Pixar animation studios. Big, over the top, built for 7 year olds and heavy on the yuk yuks. There isn’t that second level there. Toy Story 3, even though i didn’t really care for it, has the kind of heartwarming fare and broad comedy that appeals to four quadrants. Cars 2 is not a 4 quadrant film.

    all my points are based on past performance and i’m saying that i don’t think Cars 2 will do Toy Story 3 business (i.e. huge). I could easily be wrong. That’s the whole point of prognostication.

    Yes, the merch sales are huge. Is the merch sales and the 3d bump going to be enough to push it to 400+ million….. Doesn’t feel like it to me.

  63. Joe Leydon says:

    Movieman: I learned my lesson the first semester I taught a History of Film course at UH. I screened Five Easy Pieces — even though I had not watched it in, literally, decades. I had forgotten about the scene where Sally Struthers wraps her legs around Jack Nicholson and rides him all around her apartment. I watched with a VERY QUIET student audience and thought, “Oh, well, there goes the teaching career.” Fortunately, no one complained. But, to paraphrase a line from Dr. No — it doesn’t do a man well to tempt providence. Thus, the disclaimer.

    P.S.: Actually had a couple female students leave early on during A Clockwork Orange a few years back. But I had warned students ahead of time that, if the movie was too intense for them, they could leave and would not be penalized. I am tempted to screen the original Straw Dogs during a summer class, to prepare students for the remake, but I don’t know…

  64. Joe Leydon says:

    BTW: To comment on the parallel thread: I confess that I find kid-centric movies to be among the hardest to box-office handicap. I’m still smarting from my over-estimation for the Cats and Dogs sequel last year. I thought I was being very meticulous and scientific, noting the international gross for the earlier flick, and figuring parents had been showing videos and DVDs to their tykes for nearly a decade, and there was the possible 3D bump for the sequel to consider — but I was wrong, wrong, wrong.

  65. JS Partisan says:

    Comparing Cats and Dogs to Cars is literally like comparing Cats and Dogs. See what did I there? Nevertheless, Anghus, Cars is four quadrant just because of the cross section you get with parents, grand parents, and teens getting dragged to it. Sure it’s not deep but it’s still a family movie and making it a bit more of an action movie? The kids are going to be going crazy for this film.

    You also keep bringing up Toy Story and to be honest with you: Toy Story is no Cars. Sure it’s a more beloved story but in the reality of what kids know day in and day out, Woody is nowhere near as omnipresent in their lives as Mater and McQueen.

    Now, what could keep Cars in the mid 3’s seems to be the American moviegoing public absolutely turning it’s back on 3D. If they won’t see Po in 3D. They sure as spit won’t see Cars, GL, Cap, HP, or Trans 3 in 3D, and that’s a serious problems for films that are in 3D for nothing more than financial reasons alone.

  66. The Big Perm says:

    You don’t see much male frontal nudity…but at the same time you don’t see a ton of female frontal nudity either. It pretty much goes you can shoot women topless or from behind, and men from behind. After that, you get some isolated stuff but not a ton, at least not in American movies.

    And absolutely, the internet…and even DVD have made a lot of actresses shy for nudity. I know some who had to refuse roles in movies that I’ve worked on because of that…if there were no Mr. Skin they probably would have done the nudity, but know there’s going to be screengrabs and rips from the Blu-Ray of just the nude scene…fucking forget it. I don’t blame them either.

  67. movieman says:

    Joe- The movie that gets the biggest “WTF-did-I-just-see!?!?” reaction from my students is invariably “Y Tu Mama Tambien.”
    The deglamorized and thoroughly realistic depiction of horny male adolescents is probably enough of a shock for them, but the 3-way in the final act always triggers an intense round of abashed giggling.

  68. JS Partisan says:

    I wouldn’t blame them either but every major actress in Hollywood gets photographed on vacation these days. Which leads to almost all of them having some embarrassing or revealing pic out there. It’s just the way of the world. This means basically they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

    We also live in a prudish society that’s hung up on sex and not violence. Seriously, 31 years ago a major studio made a movie about a 13 year screwing a 35 year old woman. That’s a mind-boggling fact given how prudish (Not that the 13/35 thing is cool but they used that as a plot a movie) we have become and basically how nudity has been eliminated from most films.

    Seriously, the 80s used to put a nude scene in a film for no apparent freaking reason. What a glorious and ridiculous time.

  69. LexG says:

    K-Stew is allegedly naked — extensively — in “On the Road.”

    The movie isn’t even out for six months, and the mere thought of it has me shaking and twitching like Humpty Hump. I am going to need a mild sedative just to get through the movie without having a seizure in the theater.

    As an addendum, other than Hathaway or Winslet, offhand I’d add Amber Heard and Charlize Theron as frequently-nude stars who don’t mind taking it off. Yay! for both.

  70. The Big Perm says:

    JS, I think in general an actress will see a big difference between being photographed in a bikini and being nude. Hell, everyone does. Agreed that our society is prudish in general, but it’s not like all the websites out there putting up screencaps of nude actresses is going to help. If it weren’t for the internet I’m sure someone like Natalie Portman would have done nude scenes by now.

    And I don’t know that violence is as accepted as is generally thought…yeah, as long as it’s bloodless James Bond shit no one has a problem, and actually now movies and tv seem to be getting away with insane amount of blood. But those glorious 80s also saw every horror movie get hacked to shit because of gore.

    Also JS, I think you got a lot more nudity in the 80s and such because back then b-movies could still get theatrical release. You could pay real American money to go see Troll or Ghoulies or Cannon action pics in the theaters. Now all of those would go straight to video, where there’s still a shitload of nudity in every movie because The Asylum has to give you SOME reason to watch their shitty movies.

  71. anghus says:

    i don’t think you can call a film ‘four quadrant’ because it’s a kid movie that will pull in adults.

    if so, every kids movie is ‘four quadrant’.

    and if every movie is four quadrant, then no movie is four quadrant.

    did you see what i did there?

  72. Joe Leydon says:

    Er, you quoted Gilbert & Sullivan.

  73. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Anghus you make statements like “built for 7 year olds and heavy on the yuk yuks”, I don’t think you realize how young Cars played to. Toddlers on up my man. I don’t like new animated features but I love how my boys reacted to Cars (definitely not speaking the toy line either) You also state that you wouldn’t be surprised it did $300 and then say something contrary just below that about only two films have ever done that domestically. So which is it. You sound like you are hedging this bet we’re having. Ok this is how I am laying it out. You say Cars2 does $200-$250. And I’m saying more. That’s how I will win.

    Rollercoaster. Spooked me when I saw it. I had just been on a rollercoaster that killed someone the day after I went on it. But It wasn’t the sensurround. It wasn’t Segal. It was the live performance of Sparks. Fill er up & Big Boy.. oh yeah memories.

  74. anghus says:

    ok, i’ll make a definitive statement. i’m saying that i don’t think Cars 2 will do much more than the typical Pixar 250 million. I could see it getting to 300 million with the 3D bump, but that would be a ceiling.

    So i’m assuming in this theoretical bet you have 301+ million?

    But, as i mentioned earlier, Toy Story 3 did 415 million.

    That is the definition of HUGE for Pixar, domestically speaking. Not really hedging on the bet, i’m just throwing out the following facts.

    1. Only 2 Pixar films have crossed 300 million domestically.

    2. The 3D bump skews the total box office number. I could see the additional 3D revenue bumping up 250 million to 300 million. Kind of hedging, i guess.

  75. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Kind of hedging. Ha ha. Come on lets do this. Lets lock it in as this.

    Anghus 200-250
    JBD 300+

    If it falls between 250-300 then we both lose and we send a big pizza to DP.

  76. anghus says:

    hah hah.

    fair enough.

    a gentleman’s wager.

  77. JS Partisan says:

    Perm, I am referring to more nip slips or a Maria Menonous situation. That’s what I am referring to, and the nudity in the 80s would show up all over the place. There would be mainstream non B movies with just a random tit shot.

    We also treat violence in a way that we should treat sex. Violence should bother us more but it seems sex scares the shit out of people, and that’s a problem.

    Finally, Anghus, no one is going to see these films in 3D anyway. Cars should get to the mid-3s easy. It just plays, man. It just plays.

  78. anghus says:

    i think the number one thing that would improve internet discussions would be uttering this statement.

    “i’m not always right. in fact, quite often, i’m wrong”

    i certainly believe that about myself. statistically speaking, i might have a batting average of around .300 on the prognostication.

    On the nudity/embarrassing front, it happens to guys too. I was working on a film for this production company when i go to their offices and they’re screening a movie Josh Lucas did before anyone had heard of him. The entire time they’re discussing ideas for more terrible horror films, i can see some scene where some girl is blowing him on a beach (or trying to). It looked like some lame ass sex comedy.

    As i’m leaving the meeting someone tells me that Lucas’ people had already had a legal letter to try and stop distribution.

    They also handed me the most wonderfully weird compliment i ever recieved.

    “I don’t get your stuff at all, but the receptionist says you’re fucking brilliant”

  79. JS Partisan says:

    Anghus but the whole point of the discussions on the net, is based around never showing weakness. Why would I go out of my way to make you think that I am wrong? It’s all about the perception of being right more then it’s about being right. Nevertheless, being right or wrong doesn’t really matter here. Seriously, outside of that perception thing above, because basically we are just throwing theories out there. Theories can wrong, so I am not sure that we have to take things so seriously, when we are just throwing it at the wall, and seeing if it sticks.

  80. Anghus says:

    I dont take anything thats said on this board too seriously. its fun to talk pop culture and prognosticate box office, but its nothing to be taken seriously.

  81. cadavra says:

    I saw ROLLERCOASTER at an exhibitors’ screening and loved the hell out of it. Unfortunately, they decided to hack 12 minutes out of it before release and really messed up the story. Wonder if those trims still survive.

    Segal was right up there with Jack Lemmon as the finest light leading man of his generation. That he’s still active in his mid-to-late-70s (his series RETIRED AT 35 just got picked up for another season) is a testament not only to his talent and likability but also that he’s a genuinely nice guy in an industry with far too few of them.

  82. christian says:

    “If you mess this up, I’ll punch your fucking heart out!”

  83. Joe Leydon says:

    Christian: Where’s Poppa? FTW.

  84. krazyeyes says:

    Hasn’t Minnie Driver essentially put a stop to all distribution of the early Danny Boyle film, MR WROES VIRGIN, because she has a lengthy nude scene at a time was Ms. Driver was a bit plump?

    I saw it once on Sundance and they did a digital zoom during her nude scene.

  85. There is clearly a bunch to realize about this. I think you made some good points in features also. Could you update me with your next post please?

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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