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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Green Klady

The Green Lantern problem is not a revenue problem, it’s a spending problem.

Yeah… that’s the Republican talking point on the insanity of not raising taxes on the rich. But this has never been more true in Hollywood. Green Lantern is a dinosaur of sorts, not heavily hedged by outside money, and way too expensive. WB is admitting $200 million and $150m marketing… but that is said to be about $50m short by insiders who like to gossip.

The opening is likely to land in third place amongst the three big comic book movies to date, with an outside shot at being bigger than X-Men: First Class. It’s not catching Thor‘s opening. But it’s certainly a decent opening for a 2nd tier comic book character with a lot of (overly) nasty buzz that’s been around for months.

With 13 wide-release summer movies so far, it will be #4 or #5 in opening, perhaps behind only the two big sequels and the summer opener. Give WB Marketing credit for that.

But then realize that the film needs to “pull a Thor” to get to breakeven, which is to say, even if it ends up in the range of $150m domestic, it needs to double that internationally to… well, still be on the cusp on red/black ink.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins will likely open somewhere between Jumping The Broom and Bridesmaids… not a thrill for a Jim Carrey movie with animals. The opening will probably improve slightly on Yes Man, which is not thrill either.

Super 8‘s hold is fine… not especially strong or weak. It’s actually the same hold as Grown-Ups last year, which ended up doing 4x opening weekend. So that would be nice. For Super 8, that would be a $142m domestic gross. Seems about right, unless it gets swamped by Trannies 3.

And as I noted last week, the very successful Midnight in Paris is now in its downward trajectory, as happens over and over with films that expand carefully. There is a place – which the distributor fully knows, which is why this is Woody’s widest release – and after that, the cost of expansion does not match the returns. Once you expand and your box office gross drops, expansion is over and it’s time to manage for a leggy run in the places you’re playing strong. Based on previous weekends, MiP should be at $22.2m by the end of this weekend. And even with screens dropping, $40m domestic is not out of the question.

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54 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Green Klady”

  1. movieman says:

    I thought “GL” was positively dreadful: one of the worst comic book/super hero movies ever (and I’m including “The Shadow,” “The Phantom,” “Judge Dredd” and “Jonah Hexx”). And I really like most of the cast (Reynolds, Lively, Robbins, Sarsgaard) which makes my complete and utter loathing of the film even more disheartening.
    Campbell remains a frustrating enigma. He can make movies as enjoyable as the first “Zorro” and “Casino Royale,” and turds like this and “Beyond Borders.” Bizarre.
    WB should be very pleased that this thing opened at all. I can’t imagine WOM being anything less than super snarky.
    Nice opening for Carrey and the penguins: it’s no great shakes, but since it reminded me of the mid-’60s Disney live-action movies I grew up on, I didn’t have an altogether unpleasant experience.
    Terrible, terrible opening for “The Art of Getting By” which looks like it’ll go down as a rare Searchlight disaster. Of course, a virtually non-existent marketing campaign and WTF? screen count (610 screens? really??) didn’t help.

  2. Rob says:

    Oh, I loved The Shadow and The Phantom when I was a tween. Those are comic book movies for nerdy gay kids, and I mean that as a compliment. The Shadow even made Penelope Ann Miller look glamorous.

  3. David Poland says:

    I didn’t have any of the cringe moments with Green Lantern that I had in those other films. But it’s closer to their DNA than it is to Dark Knight’s.

  4. mary says:

    According to a website, Warner Bros spent $100 million to market “Green Lantern” in domestic market, so the film’s worldwide marketing budget should be higher than $150 million.

    Fox Searchlight’s “The Art of Getting By” has been receiving many bad reviews since Sundance 2011, but the film’s opening result is still worse than expected…. (at least it is worse than what tracking indicted) Based on the box office leg of Fox Searchlight’s other similar releases (ie. “Choke”, “Fast Food Nation”), “The Art of Getting By” will be lucky to eventually gross $3 million at domestic box office.
    Many people think that Sony Pictures Classics is a terrible distributor…. At least, Sony Pictures Classics’ critically-lambasted film “Chloe” could have similar opening result in much fewer theaters (350 theaters) and less advertising……
    (And “Chloe” could eventually gross $3 million at domestic box office.)

  5. alynch says:

    For those keeping score at home, here have been Poland’s Midnight In Paris prognostications.

    May 28: “over $5m, but under $10m domestic”
    June 4: “I would guess the top on this is the mid-teens”
    June 12: “$25m is possible”
    June 18: “$40m domestic is not out of the question.”

  6. JKill says:

    Speaking of Sony Classics, got around to seeing the wonderful MIDNIGHT IN PARIS this week, a lovely, funny, sweet and entertaining movie that has Owen Wilson winning my personal award for the Best Woody Surrogate of All-Time. The entire ensamble is so much fun, the script so nimble and Allen’s direction and the photography was just beautiful. I don’t hedge on my love of Woody, but this might be my favorite of his films since SWEET AND LOWDOWN. While as a literature geek it was squarely in my wheelhouse, it is a very universal and accessible movie in its themes, which is one of the reasons I think it’s playing so widely and broadly right now. I loved it.

    EDITED: I’m confused about the term downward trajectory. If it dropped 10 percent this Friday from the last, the odds are it will actually be up by Sunday versus last weekend, which means its is gross up, even by just a percent, with added screens, right? There’s nothing downward about that.

  7. Anghus says:

    The Shadow is a guilty pleasure. The Phantom is harmless fun. I think Phantom, The Shadow, and Darkman are all ridiculous fun.

  8. David Poland says:

    Mary… “according to a website?”

    And people who claim SPC is a bad distributor have their heads up their asses. Every distrib has strengths and weaknesses

  9. David Poland says:

    Thanks for the high tech lynching, alynch… shocking expose!

  10. Che sucks says:

    Bravo, alynch! I too laughed when I saw Dave changing his Midnight in Paris calculations yet again (paging Nikki Finke). Then again, for a guy who seems to think taxing the rich will resolve our massive deficit, math clearly isn’t a strong point.

  11. Joe Leydon says:

    David: Has it ever occurred to you that you might be just a tad too thin-skinned for your chosen line of work?

  12. christian says:

    “Then again, for a guy who seems to think taxing the rich will resolve our massive deficit, math clearly isn’t a strong point.”

    Not to derail, but this latest in economic idiocy from the GOP is uber-para-logical insanity: trillions of tax dollars will not turn a trillion dollar deficit into a surplus.

    But DP’s weird MIP analysis are indeed jes plain weird! Get ’em boyz!

  13. Anghus says:

    Exposing you with your own words no less..

    Didnt you say “i was wrong on Midnight in Paris” awhile back?

    Are they not satisfied or are they asserting that youre waffling? I dont know what the argument is anymore.

  14. David Poland says:

    Oy, Che Sucks mixing Nikki Finke (I have never erased or written over my mistakes) and thw delusion of trickle down economics all in one comment… wow.

  15. David Poland says:

    Joe… how many decades will I be doing this before you stop asking the same stupid question?

  16. David Poland says:

    I was wrong about the upside on Midnight in Paris. I guess it’s worth repeating over and over because it’s so important.

  17. Joe Leydon says:

    When you stop saying silly things like “high tech lynching,” sport.

  18. David Poland says:

    I will have to put “sense of humor” on my shopping list for your next birthday, Joe.

    I am always a little shocked, honestly, by your reverence for cultural memorabilia. There is a long list of things we can’t refer to without irony. This is one.

  19. mary says:

    deadline had just reported about the $100 million domestic marketing cost of “Green Lantern” on yestearday.

    That said, “Midnight in Paris” proves again that SPC can pull off with the films that have major crossover potential.

  20. Joe Leydon says:

    You misunderstand, David: I was not shocked or offended by your use of the term. Rather, I was dismayed because it makes you sound like a whiny little bitch-ass punk Republican because someone dared to toss your words back at you. That’s all. Next thing you know, you’ll be complaining about “gotcha questions.”

  21. David Poland says:

    Cute, Joe. But lame.

    When you run into a question I won’t answer or an issue I won’t speak to, let me know.

    How many times do I have to say, “I got it wrong” before people keep bringing it up as though I sent a picture of my penis to Mrs. Allen?

  22. Joe Leydon says:

    Hey, back off, Boogaloo. I didn’t say anything about your underestimating Midnight in Paris. Haven’t even seen the movie yet.

    And to answer your question: How many times? How about to infinity and beyond? Just like your Oscar prediction for Phantom of the Opera. It comes with the territory, sport. Getting all huffy and whiny and pointing to all the stuff you got right won’t make a bit of difference.

  23. alynch says:

    Okay, so I meant my post to be more of the good-natured ribbing variety, but apparently I conveyed that poorly. Sorry about that. I just found it kind of amusing.

  24. David Poland says:

    Yes, Joe… I know that… but it’s moronic.

  25. David Poland says:

    Thanks, alynch. Sorry if I seemed to be bringing a bazooka to a knife fight

  26. LexG says:

    They re-released Van Sant’s “Gerry”???

    Does anyone know what Paramount spent on “Super 8″‘s marketing? Because if WB spent in the neighborhood of 150 on GL, I would guesstimate that Par spent, oh, 400 MILLION on promoting S8 relentlessly for the last 12 months.

    I like the movie, but their “little movie that could” narrative as some 50mil “sleeper” rings a little false after 12 MONTHS of relentless pimpage. You CANNOT tell me that someone, somewhere at Paramount didn’t think that thing would already be up to 120-150 mil by week two.

  27. Tuck Pendelton says:

    Oh be nice, all of you.

    I think the other story is that Bridesmaids might catch Apatow’s Knocked Up, which finished at $148M. Which is pretty remarkable.

    I’m with you LexG. They put a teaser of Super8 in front of Iron Man 2, over a year before its release. So certainly, that was Paramount’s big movie this summer (sans Marvel money).

    I’ve not seen GL, or Thor, or Pirates 4, or Hangover 2. And I feel quite happy with those decisions. Bring on Larry Crowne!

  28. Kevin says:

    LexG: Gerry is actually a new Quebecois flick about late local rocker Gerry Boulet. 🙂

  29. JS Partisan says:

    Anyone who hates GL is pretty much worthy of scorn and mockery and a meeting from this pretty little kitty:

    David, no, it’s not, and I state as much as a fan of the LAW!


  30. bulldog68 says:

    We act as though Dave is the only who gets BO predictions wrong when in reality, EVERYONE gets it wrong.Muck like political punditry that proclaimed Hilary Clinton the nominee, so much say they didn’t even have much a plan for after super Tuesday, and that her opponent would be Rudy Guliani, it seems that we pile on Dave for his predictions and no one is holding anyone else as accountable.

    Can David be smug. Fucking sure. But smug comes with the territory of having a blog and putting all this shit out there. We remember Dave’s fuckups because he puts it out there, and leaves it out there unedited, and he doesn’t really have to. It’s not like he hired a hooker, cheated on his wife, and remained in the senate or anything.

  31. Brett says:

    David, do you think you would catch as much shit if you never gave your opinions on a given film/never saw them period? I think part of the reason people keep bringing up Midnight in Paris is because a lot of people clearly love it, but you were not one of them. So do you think people will still bring it up every week if you never posted your review? And this goes for many a movie as well – anytime you aren’t completely accurate, people bitch about your ‘bias’.

  32. nikki whisperer says:

    This is really tiresome. I’m not looking to kiss ass here, but I feel like the “Leave Britney Alone!” guy. Find me one boxoffice prognosticator at the beginning of summer who would have predicted a Woody Allen film would get to $40Mil, especially given the Woodman’s recent output. Giving DP shit for underestimating the film is like giving someone shit for not predicting “MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING” would break $200M when it was still in limited release. Get over it already.

  33. Martin S says:

    Dave has a better batting average than most when it comes to the box forecast. He’s in the Tony Gwynn range.

    …and yes, Christian, you purposely tried to derail this thread. Once again.

  34. christian says:

    “then again, for a guy who seems to think taxing the rich will resolve our massive deficit, math clearly isn’t a strong point.”

    Yet Che Sucks brought truth, justice and the Amuurican Way to the thread.

    Listen to yourself Martin S. Nobody else will.

  35. actionman says:

    It’s not posted here, but The Tree of Life, playing on 114 screens, placed #11 on Friday night. Just got back from seeing it for the third time. It’s the best film I’ve ever seen.

  36. Steven Kaye says:

    Midnight in Paris’ drop was actually 4% (or so says boxofficemojo). Not much of a downward trajectory.

  37. David Poland says:

    We’ll see where things go, Steven, but I trust Klady’s estimates, week in and week out, much more than Mojo or Finke.

  38. Steven Kaye says:

    Except Mojo also has its Friday gross at $1.4 million, same as Klady.

  39. NickF says:

    The bad WOM is already kicking in with Green Lantern.

  40. Eric S. says:

    The L.A. Times said that $200 million budget for Green Lantern is before Louisiana tax credits are deducted. A little googling seems to indicate the tax credits are around $35 million, so the effective budget should come down to $165 million.

  41. Edward Havens says:

    SPC made some strange booking choices with Paris, in part I suspect because of the massive acceptance of digital cinema lowering the cost of getting a Woody Allen movie out to the masses.

  42. The Pope says:

    Can anyone tell me why Bad Teacher has opened in the UK and Ireland before North America? It is far worse than the Rotten Tomato splat suggests.

  43. Martin S says:

    Christian – no one is interested. It’s the summer. You should be hibernating with the rest of the trolls.

  44. anghus says:

    The Green Lantern drop will be 60% or more. If it’s not a member of the 65$ International club it may be in trouble.

  45. Proman says:

    “And as I noted last week, the very successful Midnight in Paris is now in its downward trajectory, ”

    Poland, your reporting on Midnight in Paris is pure uneducated shit. The film is on a phenomenal trajectory with only a 10% weekend drop. It had a VERY, VERY successful expansion. You are a moron. And the fact that you keep changing your estimates on weekly proves that you are a useless one, as well.

    Why try to provide estimates in the first place, if you have no clue what you are typing about?

  46. indiemarketer says:

    Warner Brothers spent more like $150-200 million to market Green Lantern. WB never shy about spending money and trying to buy their openings. Always overspend hoping something will stick instead of being strategic and innovative. Very old school marketing team that goes back to the same formula over and over with little regard for spending.

  47. David Poland says:

    The nice thing about trolls is their consistency.

  48. christian says:

    Martin, you’re interested enough to create your own reality. The GOP are such petulant victims in denial.

  49. Vincent Van Dough says:

    I keep reminding that Poland got Midnight in Paris wrong not because I loved the movie so much (I think it is his best film in twelve years, though), but because his original 5-10 million prediction was stunningly bad. I mean, really, it really was, especially from someone who devotes webpages to this stuff.

    And forty million total domestic is the floor for this film, not the ceiling. He’s still underpredicting it, even now, apparently seeking some sort of validation for his original amazingly poor prediction.

  50. yancyskancy says:

    Anyone got links to any early predictions that Midnight in Paris would gross 40-50 domestic? Is Dave the only one who missed the boat? I’m guessing no on both counts.

  51. Joe Leydon says:

    Take this for what it’s worth: I have friends and co-workers who are very intelligent and educated people who nonetheless aren’t what I’d describe as rabid movie fans. I mean, they’ll go to see movies in theaters now and then — but they certainly aren’t obsessed with seeing everything that’s new and/or critically acclaimed. I’ve had two such people tell me, without any kind of prompting from me, how much they enjoyed Midnight in Paris. I know: You can’t extrapolate too much from that. But when this sort of thing happens, it’s usually a sign that something is crossing over from art-house to mainstream.

    A definite sign of crossover: When they start talking about a film on sports-talk radio. Seriously. Haven’t heard anyone talk about Midnight there yet. But I do recall thinking when I heard afternoon drive-time sports talkers chatting up Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon that, OK, we got a phenom here.

  52. Vincent Van Dough says:

    A rather clever individual over at awardsdaily on May 29 wrote, in reference to domestic box office performance:

    “MiP looks set on course to become [Woody Allen’s] biggest grosser in twenty-five years (in current dollars too).”

    Since 1989’s Crimes and Misdemeanors made in the low to mid-thirty millions domestic adjusted, this bright person inferentially was predicting that Midnight in Paris would at least have a total domestic take in the thirties.

    Here’s more from this fascinatingly keen awardsdaily person, from a post on May 31, when he learned that Dave Poland had predicted MiP to make a domestic total of 5-10 million:

    “Did [Poland] think the Rapture was on Saturday? Cause that’s about the only way I can think of that MiP wasn’t going to pass 10 million….It’s really not unreasonable to see MiP grossing in excess of thirty million in the U.S. and you could come up with higher scenarios too.”

    Granted this astonishingly perceptive person didn’t say 40 to 50 million, but he clearly realized the possibility was there. Which is more than I can say for some people.

    Let’s look at some more….Goodness! This brainy individual writes on June 4: “I would say [MiP’s] still on track to pass thirty million (it could pass 40 million conceivably).”

    Now, that is box office prognostication!

  53. nikki whisperer says:

    So how much is your robot movie going to make, Mr. Van Dough?

  54. cadavra says:

    Okay, okay, let’s all lay off David, awright? We all blow it once in a while. Hell, I’m the one who said THE SHADOW was going to be the next RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, so what do I (or any of us) know?

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