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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Klady

Excellent hold for The Help, though helped by a Wednesday opening, making the Friday number less overblown by must-sees.

Another solid hold (by 2011 standards) for Rise of the Planet of the Apes. It’s a stronger 3rd Friday than any of the comic book movies, though the total is still running about $12m behind Thor after Day 15.

Spy Kids 4 opened to $1.4m less than the first Friday of the least successful of the previous 3 films in the franchise (SK2)… but that film actually opened on a Wednesday, making this number even uglier.

Yet that was still better than Conan The Barbarian or Fright Night, which was the only member of the 4-film group opening today that had any shot at a demographic crossover.

The most horrifying part of the weekend was, I think, that 3 of these films were in 3D.

So is this a late August dump, and no one cares, or is this yet another 3Disaster?

One Day‘s ads looked like Chanel ads. Anne Hathaway has an accent and glasses. And there’s no real promise in the ads of the relief of Big Love finally happening. In other words, it looked like a kinder gentler meaningless spin on Never Let Me Go without the organ transplants. And we know how commercial the great version of that ended up being.

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38 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Klady”

  1. mary says:

    “The Help” will definitely gross more than $100 million in US.

    On the other hand, Anthony Kaufman wrote that “The Help” may be this year’s “Crash” . (He disliked both films)

    I had some doubts about the Oscar potential of “The Help” , but Anthony Kaufman’s article explained my doubts; now I feel that “The Help” would become a big Oscar winner like “Crash”.

    I am even willing to shamelessly say that “The Help” is almost locked to win the Best Picture award at Oscar 2012. Other Oscar contenders may be the masterpieces; but on surface, their subject matters seem to have much less mainstream appeal than “The Help” (which clearly has huge appeal to both mainstream audience and the Academy’s mainstream branches).

    By the way, I think that Disney/Dreamworks should not release “The Help” in overseas countries until early 2012. (Then the huge Oscar buzz of “The Help” would help this film to gross at least $100 million in overseas countries)

  2. Eldrick says:

    No way is the help winning best Oscar picture. Everyone calm down. Yet to see it but I feel bad that professional black thinkers have felt the need to trash it. It is basically a pattern with them sorry to say. Black artists might as well just stop being artists and go try something else cause it’s never good enough for some.

  3. chris says:

    “The Help” might have an outside shot at a best picture nomination, depending on how many nominees there end up being, but it’s “The Blind Side,” not “Crash.”

  4. Bitplayer says:

    What does the The Help have to do with Black artists? There are black actors in the film but neither the director or writer were black. Tyler Perry gets regularly criticized. Honestly there are so few people of color in a position to make movies it’s almost a moot point.

  5. movieman says:

    “The Help” might have an outside shot at a best picture nomination, depending on how many nominees there end up being, but it’s “The Blind Side,” not “Crash.”
    Totally agree with Chris’ comment. Another thing to keep in mind is that it’s August, not November or (gasp) December. There’s a very good chance “The Help” will have been completely forgotten about by awards season (except perhaps in the Best Actress/Supporting Actress categories). Not saying the film should be forgotten or ignored by Oscar voters (for my money, it’s a damn sight better than “The Blind Side”), just stating the obvious.
    As for this weekend’s bow-wow openings: yikes!
    I had a decent enough time at “Fright Night,” but I’m puzzled as to why they didn’t take advantage of their “R” rating. The horror gore/violence seemed fairly standard-issue “PG-13”-caliber to me (as was the “sensuality”). The only thing that possibly justified the more restrictive rating was copious “fu**”s. WTF?!
    Guess there won’t be any sequels to “Conan.” Or any more theatrically-distribbed “Spy Kid” flicks. No great loss on either count.
    I’m thinking “One Day” (which is better than most crix said) was hurt by (a) “The Help” cannibalizing its audience; (b) lukewarm reviews (since its core demo actually reads reviews: what a concept, huh?); and (c)
    a less than opportune release date.

  6. Joe Leydon says:

    And after only four weeks, Cowboys & Aliens is out of the Top Ten? Eeeek.

  7. EthanG says:

    “Conan” is neck-and-neck with “Cowboys and Aliens” for biggest bomb of the summer.

    “One Day” was so atrocious…it’s a movie about the cute boring couple at parties that drives you up the wall…no wonder it flopped.

    Movieman, it’s been five years since Disney/Touchstone released an R-rated film, and that movie, “Apocalypto,” was considered a seminal work at the time. Before that it was Wes Anderson’s “Life Aquatic.” Disney doesn’t do an R-rating unless it feels like it has something monumental on its hands. And it will never EVER go R for a horror flick.

  8. Don R. Lewis says:

    I had alot of fun with FRIGHT NIGHT and I’m a big, BIG fan of the original. It’s not a perfect film by FAR and has some real silliness to it, but the original was also very campy and silly so the new one felt true to that. I saw the noontime showing here in Nor Cal and I was alone in the theater. Not good.

    OH! And I also got roped into seeing it in 3D! The moviefone app I used to check times didn’t indicate it was in 3D. Man, I now know what everyone is bitching about. It looked like blurry, muted dogshit. There weren’t any “cool” 3D effects either. lame. But still, a fun movie!

  9. Joe Straatmann says:

    So, the mediocre gross on Spy Kids 4-D may put a damper on their next sequel: “The Job is Done and the Bitch is Dead.”

  10. David Poland says:

    The Help has zero chance of winning Best Picture… a long shot to be nominated, but not impossible… a couple of acting nods could well happen… script not impossible, but not very likely.

  11. Madam Pince says:

    Has a first time director ever won the Oscar or Best Picture?

  12. palmtree says:

    The Help seems like nearly a lock for at least a few acting nods. Viola Davis? I mean, it’s an easy way for the Academy to assuage its guilt over the lack of actors of color while also acknowledging a genuinely popular film.

  13. Joe Leydon says:

    Er, Laurence Olivier for Hamlet? Kevin Costner for Dances with Wolves? Robert Redford for Ordinary People?

  14. palmtree says:

    And to acknowledge fine performances of course…I haven’t seen the film but the reviews sound promising.

  15. palmtree says:

    Joe, that list is kinda insane. They were all first films by popular and respected leading male actors of the time. They read like the exceptions that prove the rule.

    I mean Mel Gibson almost joined them too except he made one movie before Braveheart. But still, insane.

  16. yancyskancy says:

    Delbert Mann, Jerome Robbins and Sam Mendes also all won Best Director Oscars for their debut films.

  17. yancyskancy says:

    And Best Picture winner CHICAGO was Rob Marshall’s first theatrical feature.

  18. anghus says:

    I love the logic that the help has already wrapped up the 2012 academy awards because of an excellent second week hold.

    Perspective people….. perspective.

  19. movieman says:

    Ethan- “Fright Night 2011” IS rated “R.” And because Disney (and/or DreamWorks) was apparently resigned to that prohibitive tag, I couldn’t fathom why they wouldn’t (at least) try to incorporate as much skin and vamp gore as an average ep of “True Blood.”
    But an “R” for, say, four versus three “fu-k”‘s?
    Hardly seems worth losing the unescorted tweener matinee trade, does it?

  20. mary says:

    According to Anne Thompson, “The Help” got very good response at the last weekend’s Academy screening. (although she personally thought that “The Help” had no chance to win the Best Picture award)

    On the other hand, “Crash” opened wide in May, but “Crash” wasn’t been forgotten by awards season. On the other hand, “Crash” also didn’t have too strong critical critical, and some film journalists also thought that “Crash” wouldn’t be an Oscar contender…and the rest is history. “The Help” would have the similar fate.

    Furthermore, Sam Mendes had only directed stage works and TV films before making “American Beauty”, but DreamWorks could still push “American Beauty” to win the Best Picture award at Oscar. I think DreamWorks would be able to perform the similar Oscar magic to “The Help”.

    (However, “The Help” isn’t from a first time director; Tate Taylor had directed another theatrical feature “Pretty Ugly People” before.)

  21. David Poland says:

    Reports of Academy response at screenings is always bull, year after year after year.

    The film isn’t Crash in any way. Not American Beauty either.

    Move along… no Oscar to see here… (could be nominated… .006% chance of winning)

  22. movieman says:

    “Crash” was an exceptional case, Mary.
    It won as much for its narcissistic L.A.-centricism as it did because of a “Brokeback Mountain” backlash.
    I don’t see history repeating itself, although a “Blind Side”-y/it’s-good-for-you-and-good-for-the-industry-because-it-was-a-modestly-budgeted-sleeper-hit” Best Picture nod is a possibility. But I still think its best shots are in the Actress (Davis) and S. Actress (Spencer) categories.

  23. Melquiades says:

    I’ll be very surprised if The Help isn’t in the Best Picture lineup, and it should score at least two acting nominations.

  24. yancyskancy says:

    Haven’t yet seen THE HELP (hope to in the next week or so), but I don’t think I’ll be terribly shocked if a film that makes big money, gets an A+ CinemaScore and plays on white liberal guilt makes the Oscar cut. I yield to Dave on the question of its chances to win, but it’s not like the Academy has never surprised us.

  25. bulldog68 says:

    To say that The Help is a lock is just as absurd as saying that it has absolutely no chance of a nomination. With 5 nominees, maybe, but with 10, I think it’s the 3rd movie of the year to become a contender, with the other 2 being Tree of Life and Midnight in Paris. So far no blockbusters make the list, so the field is wide open. (But if I had to pick one blockbuster it would be HP7.2) The success at the box office certainly helps The Help. And while I don’t think the Academy would purposely set out to do some sort of racial balancing in terms of nominations, or lack thereof, of minorities in last year’s pool, (not that there was much to nominate), The Help could fit the bill this year.

  26. LexG says:

    Lot of important lessons to be learned from THE HELP. Chief among them: HOLY SHIT Cicely Tyson is STILL ALIVE?

    Rehashed material Power, but honestly– HONESTLY– was anyone else BLOWN AWAY when the credits came up at the end to reveal that Janney’s old housekeeper was Cicely Tyson? As I was watching the movie I had a momentary suspicion of, hmm, is that Cicely Tyson? But I honestly thought she’d passed away like DECADES ago. It’d be like if Ray Sharkey came sauntering through Moneyball.

  27. Joe Leydon says:

    Actually, I think Cicely Tyson popped up in one of Tyler Perry’s movies. Seriously.

  28. LexG says:


    I don’t wanna argue about it, because a movie that gets you emotionally is never worth fighting over with naysayers, and I’ve found over time these little sucks/rules Internet pissing matches only serve to fill my head with annoying complaints and dissenting opinions that have me questioning my affection for certain movies and directors (ex: Nolan has been RUINED by the Internet for and by just about everyone), but since Poland and EthanG are gonna Debbie-Downer it, wanted to say it was maybe my favorite movie of the year, and that Hathaway’s ALWAYS good, but HOLY SHIT, Jim Sturgess is amazing in this. Liked it way more than “An Education,” and under different circumstances could’ve imagined it having nice “Notebook” word-of-mouth legs.

    I also thought it was a great “recent past” movie, something that tends to SAAAAAAAAIL over most critics’ heads, since most of the “big guns” are in their ’50s and ’60s, and thus the inclusion of some spot-on 1991 wire rims or a Fatboy Slim song doesn’t fill them with gales of lovelorn nostalgia.

    It’s why we’re still getting 50 movies about Watergate, Nixon, WWII, and Woodstock a year… but a Tracey Champman in-joke must sail over Maltin or the DGA screening room’s collective heads like the fucking Concorde. It doesn’t have anything to do with a movie’s quality, but One Day is filled with nice little shout-outs to the “recent past”… I wonder if a guy in his 50s or 60s even gets them, or if they have any resonance. Speaking personally, it’s nice to see movies finally catching up to “my” formative years a little bit… Now I know what the Reiner-Zemeckis-Spielberg generation always feels like mooning over old ’50s songs and picket-fence Americana imagery.

  29. LexG says:

    Also: re: Fright Night:

    This looked SO, SO dingy, I could barely focus my eyes on the image, one of the dullest looking studio movies in years, but it had its moments, and Farrell was a blast as expected, and IMOGEN POOTS = near-Stone level of BOWING.

    BUT: Does anyone know if 20m of exposition was hacked right out of the movie? McLovin shows up FIVE MINUTES IN and just TELLS Yelchin that Farrell’s a vampire. No setup, no windup, no evidence, no tracking, no suspense, not even an INKLING of how Mintz-Platz would know this or that he’d been spying on Farrell. It’s not even 10m in and the jig is up. Who thought THAT structure was a good idea? It’s one of those plot confusions that take the audience right out of the movie, because then you’re asking yourself all those nagging HOW DID– BUT WHEN DID HE– DIDN’T FARRELL JUST MOVE IN? questions for the first two reels instead of even remotely enjoying the movie.

  30. Joe Leydon says:

    Pssst. LexG: C’mere a minute. I gotta whisper this, ’cause i don’t want to piss off DP. But if you liked Jim Sturgess in this, you’ll like him in a little movie called 21. Yeah, that’s right: The one I used to kid DP so much about low-balling on the b.o. estimate. Yeah, it made even more money than Midnight in Paris. Anyway, Sturgess was really…


  31. LexG says:

    Ha! That’s a Hot Blog Flashback if there ever was one, the season of “21,” with Joe presaging the reign of Steven Kaye.

    And actually, yes, I liked Sturgess in that. And in Crossing Over. And in Across the Universe. And The Other Boleyn Girl. And especially The Way Back and now this… I think he’s yet another one of those “young new” actors who gets seemingly “thrust” upon us all at once before “we” get to pass a referendum on him, and there’s this resentment. Especially from male bloggers and film fans, who are notoriously hard to please when it comes to acceptable new leading men. Looks like Sturgess is pulling a Colin Farrell (or a James McAvoy) and backtracked a little, did some smart indie movies and stayed out of the limelight a year or two, now is back stronger than before.

    I’m also starting to wonder if there’s something about that Sturgess look that particularly bothers the aforementioned rough crowd; He’s a slight Gyllenhaal-ness, and even after proving himself for a decade-plus, Jake G still gets run down and hated upon by more talkbackers than not.

  32. Joe Leydon says:

    Many years ago, I interviewed Charles Bronson while he was shooting Hard Times in my hometown of New Orleans. At the time, he theorized that most film critics are “pear-shaped,” and therefore aren’t manly enough to appreciate action movies, and are in fact deeply jealous of tough guys who star in action movies. Of course, since this was, after all, Charles Freakin’ Bronson, I simply smiled and said, “Well, you may be on to something there…”

    Incidentally: Sturgess is very good in a Brit indie called Heartless. I think I’ve already gone over my quota this month for shameless links to my own writing, so here’s what someone else had to say about it.

  33. LexG says:

    Oh, yeah, I remember when that was on the horizon, then never got around to it… Thanks for the tip.

  34. bozart says:

    The Help and Crash- both ensemble movies- are edited by Hughes Winborne, who won Oscar for editing Crash.

  35. Don R. Lewis says:

    movieman-that’s funny you mention the “R” rating for FRIGHT NIGHT because I kinda thought it was rated “R” but wasn’t sure once I got in there. Then, when they said fuck more than once, I knew it was “R” and THEN spent the rest of the movie going “if this is rated “R” why is it all for the f-word with no boobs and really, not much gore?!” I mean, they could have shown the stripper neighbor naked or something since they already had the rating. Weird.

    I also totally agree with Lex on the way the set-up played out. I don’t know if the flaw was in the editing or the script but yeah, dumb way to set it up. Then again, the original had some doubts as to whether or not Jerry was a vampire but the trailers and ads for this FRIGHT NIGHT tell you he is straight out.

    While I still dug the movie, it’s got some dumb plot holes for sure.

  36. henry says:

    Lex: “I also thought it was a great “recent past” movie, something that tends to SAAAAAAAAIL over most critics’ heads, since most of the “big guns” are in their ’50s and ’60s, and thus the inclusion of some spot-on 1991 wire rims or a Fatboy Slim song doesn’t fill them with gales of lovelorn nostalgia….Now I know what the Reiner-Zemeckis-Spielberg generation always feels like mooning over old ’50s songs and picket-fence Americana imagery.”

    Haven’t seen One Day (nor do I intend to), but this almost makes me want to, since I’m in my 30’s.

    And it seems like a viable hypothesis regarding the perspective of the “older generation”.

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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?”

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