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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Klady

Interesting weekend. Not so good for stupid people.

Is $30m and change a good opening or a bad opening for Immortals? If you buy the price tag that Relativity is claiming, it’s a good opening. If not, not. But the basic comparison should be 2012, which opened in 2009 to about double the number to which Immortals is opening. I think it would be unfair to compare it to Bond or Twilight or Potter. But 2012…. that’s about the level of aspiration. And the comparison to 300 is even less attractive.

On to The Sandler. Comparing Sandler out of the summer to his in-summer numbers is idiotic. In the last decade – since Little Nicky – he’s had 7 starring releases in summer and 7 out of summer. To be fair, 3 of the 7 out-of-summer releases were his “art” films (Punch Drunk Love, Spanglish, Reign Over Me) and 1 was in summer (Funny People). Of the other 10 “wacky” films, the 6 summer releases average $5m more per opening than the off-summer releases. And that number is skewed by two of his biggest-ever openings in 2003 (Anger Management) and 2004 (50 First Dates). Sandler hasn’t had a non-arty summer movie open to less than $34.2m in the last decade. He hasn’t had an off-summer movie open to more than $30.5m in the last 6 years. The two non-summer, non-art launches since opened to an average of “just” $29m… off over $10 million from Sandler’s summer average. And where is Jack and Jill? Likely just under that $29 million.

Interestingly, this is the only November opening for Sandler in the last decade aside from the animated Eight Crazy Nights. Before that, there were two others… perhaps Sandler’s biggest disaster, Little Nikki, and two years before that, one of his biggest hits, The Waterboy.

Sony’s wish here, no doubt, is for this film to play strong over the Thanksgiving weekend for families with kids over 10 and under 17 as an alternative to the FOUR family films and the increasingly mature Twilight.

Also interesting is the J. Edgar launch. This is one of only 3 Eastwood openings to start wide in the last decade. And one of those – 2002’s Blood Work – starred Clint. This opening is better than the other two… (Flags of Our Fathers, Invictus). I am a bit confused by Finke’s studio-placed estimate of an opening weekend 4x opening day when neither of the other two films did that. Maybe they are basing it on Changeling, which did 4x Friday in its second/expansion weekend with a major star in tow. But that was a $9.4m weekend and probably spoke to a weak Friday, which happened to fall on Halloween. Then again, Klady’s independent estimate of the Friday is 20% higher than what Nikki’s been fed, so estimating 3x Klady or 4x Nikki, you come to about the same $13m weekend guess off of Friday.

Another remarkable hold for Puss in Boots, still running behind expected DreamWorks numbers but catching up quickly. Look for it to pass the domestic gross of Megamind‘s 3rd weekend by Sunday. It won’t be a mega-hit, but it will probably be more in line with Kung Fu Panda 2 than Bee Movie in the end. The biggest problem it faces is the massive blockade of kids movies, starting next weekend.

Paranormal 3 hits $100m domestic this weekend and perhaps $180m worldwide. Real Steel passes $80m domestic and is already well past $200m worldwide (as predicted here… in spite of me being a lying moron according to one of the film’s producers).

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33 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Klady”

  1. JKill says:

    J. EDGAR is a must-see for cinema fans, regardless of whether they end up liking it or not. It’s a big, fascinating movie with a lot to thematically and aesthetically chew on. DiCaprio gives a tour de force performance, and it’s unqiuely and utterly an Eastwood film in its look, tone, and sound. I’m sure it will be divisive but count me in the plus column.

  2. Rob says:

    That’s pretty weak for a Sandler opening, no?

  3. Well says:

    No other actor in the world could have opened a movie that terrible to 26 million.

  4. LexG says:

    J. EDGAR ruuuuuules… I think it’s a four-star, top-three of the year so far awesome riveting thus-far-underrated work of incredible craftsmanship (which now that it’s dropped, everybody seems to actually like), with a PLAINVIEW-level soaring-asshole killer performance from Leo… I think it’s on some level supposed to be one of those movies that balance the “what a monster” elements with some traces of both awe and sympathy, but like Nixon and There Will Be Blood, the performance and filmmaking are so strong and persuasive, I just ended up thinking, “Wait, this guy is AWESOME.”

    Though speaking of Nixon, where the hell did Clint get the guy who played him here? That was even more cringe-worthy than Armie’s “Grandpa from Texas Chainsaw” makeup.

  5. chris says:

    To be fair, the Nixon guy also has awful dialogue. (And I think Hammer’s elderly make-up is much, much worse.)

  6. Rob says:

    @Well Good point.

    @Lex DiCaprio is unbelievable in J. Edgar, but I couldn’t quite go all the way with the movie itself. I needed either more of Hoover’s impact on the lives of the Americans he terrorized or more of his relationship with Tolson. Everyone is a mystery in this movie. What is it about Hoover that convinces Tolson and Gandy to devote their entire lives to this man?

    Armie Hammer is wonderful in the scenes where you see him falling in love with Hoover, but the bizarre makeup job on Old Clyde ruins the impact of those scenes. What kept these two together during the decades after Hoover rejected Tolson’s sexual advances? Even in the ’30s, gay guys who looked like Armie Hammer would find a way to get laid.

  7. bulldog68 says:

    A 13% increase for Puss in Boots is remarkable isn’t it. They better grab all they can as Happy Feet drops next weekend and may kill whatever chances PiB had of getting to $200m. Either way it may still be another small drop next week weekend, as two family movies can survive together, and it looks good to surpass Kung Fu Panda 2 for the year.

    Who would have thought that Dreamworks would have released two movies this year that were critically well received while Pixar released the critical turd.

  8. JoJo says:

    bulldog68, the 13% Friday-over-Friday increase for Puss in Boots is largely attributable to the fact that many schools were out for Veterans Day yesterday, whereas last Friday wasn’t a holiday.

  9. Not a great number for INTO THE ABYSS, especially considering Herzog appeared for Q&As at the ArcLight… Hopefully they can build some momentum.

  10. Well says:


    Everyone. Pixar put out one movie this year. No one expected Cars 2 to be well received critically.

  11. Don Murphy says:

    You are a lying moron no matter what Real Steel does. Even today you state that the budget number (not noted) of Immortals is NOT what Relativity says it is.Then what is it? Do you have the budget in front of you? Did someone else randomly spoonfeed you the number? You do not know what the budget is of any film but in a desperate need to feel included you make shit up and analyze it. You will never be “accepted” by Hollywood you are just a liar and a moron.

  12. David Poland says:

    Thanks for reminding us all of your great insights, Donald. Nice to know how easily I can manipulate you. If only you were of any use to me.

    Perhaps you will someday have the guts to explain what you think I have lied about or why you have such an undying rage against me when I have never done anything to harm you nor threatened to harm you or anything you’ve associated with.

  13. berg says:

    “I’d rather have a dead son than a son that’s a daffodil”
    great line

    also Elite Squad 2 was mind blowingly good, great when a film comes from out of nowhere and amazes

    is that Elfman Edward Scissorhands music that Wiseman uses at the end of Crazy Horse?

  14. chris says:

    Isn’t it “a daffodil for a son”?

  15. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    “also Elite Squad 2 was mind blowingly good, great when a film comes from out of nowhere and amazes”

    Nowhere? It’s a sequel right?

  16. Don Murphy says:

    Answer the question…what is the budget of Immortals and how do you know it?
    Answer only that. I dare you.

  17. David Poland says:

    Donnie –

    You dare me? Are we six? I’ve never ducked any actual question about substance from you… unless it’s you asking me to divulge sources so you could harass them too.

    I have NO IDEA what the budget on Immortals is. I haven’t suggested in any way that I did. And I don’t care. You haven’t seen me chasing Ryan Kavanaugh with torches and pitchforks or sucking his ass either. I’m not obsessed with him.

    Moreover, the budget for the film is a secondary issue, in this circumstance, to his foreign pre-sales, the film’s foreign gross (Mickey Rorke wasn’t hired to boost domestic, was he?), and the marketing spend.

    But as I wrote what I wrote, it acknowledges the questions that exist and, really, makes no statement of whether I think the number is true or not. Apparently, daring to question the number is sin enough to condemn me.

    There are people who have insight who don’t believe the number… and there are people who have insight who do believe the number. People talk shit all the time. Studios lie about budgets all the time. Welcome to reality, butch.

    If you want to argue that every amount that every studio attaches to their movie in public is true, that’s your prerogative. But it paints you as a sucker. But I am pretty sure you wouldn’t make that argument.

    As far as, “You do not know what the budget is of any film but in a desperate need to feel included you make shit up and analyze it.” Sorry. You are simply wrong. But you know as much about my sources as you claim I know about budgets. Like many idiots, you take one case, for which I had a source who had as much access to the budget as you did, and make it into “every movie.”

    There are things I know or have been told by seriously credible people… and there are things that I have not. I know the difference. And my history reflects that.

    When I project, it’s clearly a projection. When I state a fact, it is well sourced… even if those sources are sometimes wrong or lying.

    And do me a favor… you want to point to actual numbers that I attached to films that you think are false. Because I am pretty sure that you claim actual knowledge of a grand total of ONE.

    It’s ironic that you continue to attack me using the exact tactics you claim I am using… innuendo and ignorant guessing to try desperately to be right.

    Do YOU know the budget of Immortals, Don? Do you have the budget in front of you? Do you know anything… aside from the fact that you want to hurt me?

    Keep embarrassing yourself in public with this obsession. It’s ok by me. And according to you, no one sees it or cares about it. So go for it! Bring me down! Man up and make some real accusations for a change. No one cares about me or my stupid blog. Shut me down with all your insight. Make it impossible for me to go on.

    Or just shut up already.

  18. LexG says:

    Kind of an underwhelming thing to add after a Murphy/Poland row, but FWIW I thought IMMORTALS totally kicked ass, and by the end Cavill won me over (awesome final fight with the Mick.) And Isabel Lucas and Freida Pinto = LOOK AT THEM!

  19. bulldog68 says:

    Would’ve been cool to see Eddie Murphy present an honorary Oscar to his Coming to America father James Earl Jones.

    The funny thing is, I always wanted another go round with Billy Crystal, yet when I heard that he replaced Eddie, I was disappointed. I was looking forward to Eddie. Oh well.

  20. Don R. Lewis says:

    Ugh…..I think you guys convinced me to go see J. Edgar tomorrow. Now I gotta like, wake up and leave the house and stuff.

  21. LexG says:

    Hey now, I was just saying *I* loved it. I never recommend movies… to ANYBODY. My taste is my own, and one thing I can’t conceive of is the old “go/don’t go” Ebert/Siskel type system (or what critics do in actual newspapers)… Who needs the stress of telling the general public to go out and see… not just an art film, but any film?

    It’s like Joe Leydon’s stories of angry readers calling him on the phone demanding money back; Even at like an office or among friends, I’m usually loathe to tell anybody to actively go see something on my recommendation– for one, I tend to like absolutely everything, and most people don’t… and for two, there’s really no objective such thing as “good” or “bad”– and most people make up their minds if they’re gonna like something before it even unspools.

  22. Krillian says:

    Pretty interesting numbers from Klady for the top five.

    If you buy them.


  23. movieman says:

    Who else has seen “Bellflower”? I finally watched the screener that’s been sitting around for a few weeks, and was blown away. Along with Lena Dunham’s “Tiny Furniture” (the perfect yin to its yang), it’s the most impressive first film by a young American director I’ve seen in ages.
    I’m shocked that Evan Glodell isn’t being courted by every studio in town.
    And the fact that it apparently cost only $17,000 makes Glodell’s achievement seem even more extraordinary.

  24. Rob says:

    I saw Bellflower. I think I was expecting a sort of wannabe frat guy cult movie, but I was impressed. Glodell is a really charismatic actor, which isn’t always the case with a first-timer directing himself.

    It also has one of the most disturbing, cringe-in-your-seat scenes in any movie this year.

  25. movieman says:

    “Bellflower” reminded me a little of the young Scorsese’s stylistic/ testosterone fireworks in “Mean Streets.”
    (I showed “MS” to my class last week, so it’s still fresh in my mind.)
    Totally agree about Glodell’s (Chris Pratt style?) charisma. If nothing else, he should be able to book a lot of future acting gigs on the strength of his performance here.

  26. movieman says:

    …and Jessie Wiseman definitely recalls the “Chasing Amy”-era Joey Lauren Adams. I hope to see more of her in the future, too.

  27. jesse says:

    Wow, wish I liked Bellflower as much as some of you! I was pretty into it for the first half, but when it detonates into self-pitying apocalyptic fantasy, even if it’s “supposed” to be that way to illustrate the psychology of the character, blah blah blah, I thought it started to get pretty laughable slash cringeworthy in the bad sort of way… more of a trainwreck, I think, than intended in an emotional sort of way. It was particularly good to write about, though, because I really wasn’t sure what to think of it (there’s certainly talent on display in it), and writing a review actually helped me sort it out:

    But yeah, I’d say Tiny Furniture is a lot more impressive and controlled than this movie, though obviously Glodell might do something really interesting down the road.

  28. Chucky says:

    Y’all are acting like a bunch of mouth-breathing knuckle-dragging imbeciles. Hollywood has resorted to copycat promotion if not copycat movies. Ticket-price inflation and 3-D are keeping the numbers up and they’re masking the real problem … lack of creativity.

    “J. Edgar”? Promoted as “based on a true story” just like “Moneyball” was. Out!

    “The Skin I Live In”? Almodovar promoted by using Mr. Quote Whore himself, Peter Travers. One week and out in a big suburban New York megaplex.

    “Sarah’s Key”? Harvey Weinstein buying awards again with a 2-week re-release. One week and out in a New Jersey arthouse.

    “Martha Marcy May Marlene”? When you don’t have a potential hit, stick Academy Award Nominee before an actor’s name. Out!

    Instead of being obsessed with another website or another columnist, why don’t y’all wash out your potty mouth, turn off caps lock, grow out of your jailbait obsession and act like grown-ups. I did.

  29. David Poland says:

    Is this really Chucky? In New Jersey?

  30. movieman says:

    Jesse- I actually dug the (relative) narrative “incoherence” of the final act when it spun off into Woodrow’s apocalyptic fantasy. It felt emotionally correct even though it was (deliberately) hard to tell what was “real” or “reel.”
    Also agree that Dunham’s first effort was more disciplined and “rigorous”–such a Bressonian–and Brooksian (i.e., Albert)–adjective, lol.
    You’d almost swear she’d been practicing her directorial moves for years: which she may very well have for all I know.
    But both films (and filmmakers) kind of threw me for a loop because I definitely didn’t see either one coming, and it’s “discoveries” like that which makes sitting through most of the assembly-line mediocrities the major studios churn out week after week somehow bearable.

  31. Don R. Lewis says:

    I too loved BELLFLOWER and I especially loved the 3rd act. The 2 leads are freaking degenerates, it was totallllly believable that Glodell’s character would have those feelings. Hell, what person in a relationship that ended horribly hasn’t at least THOUGHT for a few seconds about doing horrible things to the people that wronged them. I also like that the 2 leads are so likable you completely forgive and forget what pieces of shit they are. It’s an interesting film top to bottom, hope his next one is as good.

  32. jesse says:

    I totally believed that Glodell’s character would have those feelings but:

    (a.) I was never really clear on WHY the break-up happened, and the insistence on depicting it through unexplained ennui and than a pretty inexplicable act from the girlfriend? If the relationship just slowly goes sour/stale like a lot do, then why is it this apocalyptic big deal?

    (b.) Believing that character would feel that way does not necessarily make it interesting to experience. Although it was “interesting” in the sense that I was trying to make sense of it. But I eventually concluded that there wasn’t much there beyond “guys have these weird feelings.”

  33. LexG says:

    Bellflower is the work of GODS and a MANIFESTO on HOW TO BE AWESOME. I practically had an orgasm over the intense AWESOMENESS on display in the last 30 minutes, which is about MAN BECOMING A GOD, and is about man’s impotent rage over not being able to CONTROL WOMEN as all men want to do.

    Also it had the best soundtrack cue EEEEEEVER when one of the dudes bashes that big guy over the head at the party and shouts “FUCK YOU, motherFUCKER!” then goes roaming around the party like KING DICK and that other dude in the bathroom just doesn’t care at ALL and shrugs him off.


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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