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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates (3-Day) by Klady & The Beast 3D

Not much to say. No real surprises. Klady’s estimate has the weekend up about 2% from last year’s MLK. Zzzzz…

The Academy Hopefuls are a little more interesting this weekend.

The top group is Best Picture aspirants and the second list is for films with other categories in mind, from acting to animation to foreign language.

Tinker and Descendants remain pretty solid on a per-screen basis. The Artist expanded by 42 screens this weekend and held solid. It’s hard to know whether this is momentum, but the film should be over $10 million by the time nominations are announced next week. And when did Hugo find its way to $54 million? If for some reason Artist stalls at the box office and is suddenly perceived as a commercial miss, Scorsese and Payne will be happy to become the new frontrunner.

On the second list, once you get past the animation and song-only Muppets, the range is 150k to $15m. My guess is that The Iron Lady has turned out to be a bit stronger commercially than The Weinstein Company expected. Give a lot of credit to Meryl Streep for kissing a lot more babies than usual. Marilyn has also snuck up past the $11m mark before nominations, though unless Michelle Williams wins a Globe tonight, it will be harder to sell her as the Oscar must-see that she is. (Yes Virginia, I am actually suggesting that someone can wring some value out of the F-ing Globes.)

It’s hard to imagine what WB will do with Extremely Loud if it isn’t nominated for Best Picture next week. So far, good numbers in limited. But this is a Tom Hanks/Sandra Bullock film and by that standard, the numbers are very soft.

Shame is on its way down, losing screens weekly, needing a boost from a miracle Fasbender win somewhere. Young Adult will probably find its way past $20m domestic if Theron gets nominated… which should be a mortal lock if there is an acting god. But it will still be seen as a commercial miss, which is a shame. You won’t see a better pair of performances than Fassbender’s and Theron’s… ever.

Meanwhile, Sony Classics is expanding A Dangerous Method without much awards cover and is finding takers. This is one of those films that may have been better off without a focused awards push, especially when the biggest draw is Keira Knightley giving a great, kinky, often sexy, wild performance… though she has not been available to put herself in position to be nominated next week. Carnage has also suffered from Oscar season a bit. I am not a huge fan of the film, but the cast is strong and a non-awards release surely could have cracked $10m, no?

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48 Responses to “Weekend Estimates (3-Day) by Klady & The Beast 3D”

  1. anghus says:

    So we know it’s the films. People need a reason to go the movies. And we’ll probably see a decent start to January due to the amount of product hitting the marketplace.

    Next week will be interesting because you have 3 releases. Red Tails, Haywire, and a new Underworld. None of them are going to make a lot, but if they all make 16-18 million you’d have a pretty decent weekend.

    Then the following weekend you have Man on a Ledge, One for the Money, and The Grey.

    It feels like January/Feb will get a lot of people talking about a comeback just based on the number of movies in the marketplace that could each cut themselves a small piece of the pie.

  2. Rob says:

    Re: the Carnage expansion — I admire Sony Classics for, every once in awhile, throwing a limited-appeal title into suburban malls and seeing if it sticks. They did this with Persepolis a few years ago, just threw it out to 500 screens after a month or so in limited release. It almost never seems to work. I wonder if they’ll try it with Dangerous Method in a few weeks.

    I caught a matinee of Carnage this morning in Cambridge, Mass., and it was packed. I’m guessing that per-theater avg. is a mix of some pretty strong urban/arthouse numbers and tumbleweeds in the ‘burbs.

  3. movieman says:

    Red Tails, Haywire, and a new Underworld. None of them are going to make a lot, but if they all make 16-18 million you’d have a pretty decent weekend.

    Do you really think “Red Tails” is capable of doing 16-18 million total during its entire run, Anghus? I still can’t figure out the demographic for an old-fashioned WW II aerial combat movie with an (almost) entirely African-American cast. It sounds like another of George Lucas’ “WTF-was-he-smoking?” vanity-producing projects a la “Radioland Murders.”
    “Haywire” should do OK, though, and “Underworld” (sigh) will do its usual “Underworld” biz (probably good enough to win next weekend).
    I don’t have a lot of hope for the January 27th movies either.
    “The Grey” might do some “Liam Neeson Action Biz” (albeit more “Unknown” than “Taken”), but “Two for the Money” looks like a rare Heigl dud (“Killers” anyone?) and “Ledge” has all the earmarks of a total non-starter.

    Re: the Carnage expansion — I admire Sony Classics for, every once in awhile, throwing a limited-appeal title into suburban malls and seeing if it sticks.

    But it almost never does, does it, Rob?
    “Carnage” is in a long line of quixotic SC experiments that went awry.
    It happened with “Doctor Parnassus,” “Curse of the Golden Flower” and a few others whose titles I’m blanking on now.
    With very few exceptions (“Midnight in Paris,” “Crouching Tiger”) it’s akin to flushing good niche dollars down the corporate toilet.
    The ‘plex showing “Carnage” in my hometown (a town that still hasn’t opened “Descendants,” “The Artist,” “My Week w/ Marilyn” or “Tinker, Tailor” btw) told me they sold one, count ’em, ticket on Friday.
    For the entire day.

  4. anghus says:

    I have a hard time figuring out Red Tails. My gut tells me it’s got at least 10 million in it opening weekend, but there’s a lot of chatter about it. I have no idea how it’s tracking.

    But even if Underworld does 20 and the other to do 10 each, you’re getting inflated box office due to cramming the theaters with product. It feels like the entertainment writers will get a lot of ammunition for THE SLUMP IS OVER stories based on the number of films being released.

    3 new movies a week in Jan/Feb plus a minor award swell could skew a lot of perspectives.

  5. JKill says:

    I was surprised when I saw that CARNAGE had opened locally on Friday. I saw it this morning (really enjoyed it along the same lines as THE GHOST WRITER; it’s smart and expertly made with a wicked dark streak, and it contains fun and compelling performances), and there were only a few others in the theater. I wonder, however, if this comes down to marketing since there wasn’t a ton of promotion or even recent press for the movie that I saw anywhere. CARNAGE seems like one of those movies written about endlessly right up until its debut with the focus being on Oscar talk, and once people see the movie and don’t think it fits, the conversation goes away, which is a shame because I think this is a pretty fascinating movie, especially on a craft level.

    I’m always glad when the specialty distributors are bullish with their releases, however.

  6. J says:

    Viggo was on Letterman promoting ‘Dangerous Method’ Friday night, and despite the director’s softening output it still feels almost taboo to promote a Cronenberg film in such a mainstream place. Even though Mortensen and Hurt got nods for their work in his last two movies, I don’t expect Knightley’s worthy performance to get any more attention from the Academy than Irons’ or Goldblum’s did. She’s the most (only?) dangerous thing in that film.

  7. J says:

    And if ‘Shame’ never comes closer than an hour away from me, I’m not going to be happy. The Fox Searchlight site has a handful of additional locations listed for next week, but if they’re just rotating prints, now… arrrgh.

  8. movieman says:

    JKill- I still think “Carnage” would have been more successful (critically and awards-wise) if it had an HBO movie.
    Another stage-to-screen/tube from last year that the cable titan had success with was Cormac McCarthy’s “The Sunset Limited” (directed by and starring Tommy Lee Jones) which also had one setting and a compressed timeframe.
    Additionally, “Carnage” just felt a tad “thin” (mostly due to the rather slight source material than anything Polanski or his illustrious cast did/didn’t do) as a theatrical release to me. (The 79-minutes-including-end-credits run time certainly contributed to that feeling.)

  9. EthanG says:

    Craziest thing about “Beckinsale in latex” as you call UNDERWORLD 4 DP…Sony hasn’t had a number 1 opening since BATTLE LA, over 10 months ago. Number 1 doesn’t necessarily mean much at all…but that’s still shocking especially since we’ve seen number 1’s by Summit, Alcon, and two by Relativity since then.

  10. Krillian says:

    I agree on Carnage as far as box office goes. If it had been a September or March release, it would’ve broken a $10 million opening easily.

  11. JS Partisan says:

    Man, it is a vanity project, but it’s a fascinating vanity project. It’s literally an African American action movie. That’s pretty awesome alone and hopefully that will get it a couple of sheckles next week. Aside of that, Underworld will do what Underworld does, and that should mean being #1 this time next week. While Haywire should do at least 8m maybe more if it gets WOM.

  12. leahnz says:

    scott speedman isn’t in ‘underworld 8’? fuck that

  13. JKill says:

    That’s probably true, movieman. CARNAGE does seem like something, between the material and the talent, that would be a good fit for HBO, where there would be different expectations and there is a large audience already game. And yes, the movie is very short and slight because of the source material, although that’s also kind of a virtue. My only problem with not going theatrical would be that I really appreciated the widescreen compositions and what Polanski did with them on the big screen. I found it subtly very cinematic. But if HBO would’ve allowed Polanski to still shoot 2:35, then yeah, that would’ve been a good way to go. Is there a mandated 1:85 aspect ratio there? Because I don’t think any of their homegrown movies are composed that way…(I never got around to THE SUNSET LIMITED. I’ll have to soon correct that.)

  14. movieman says:

    Not sure about there being a mandated aspect ratio to HBO films, docs or series, JKill.
    Interesting point, however, and yes: Polanski has always been a mise-en-scene master.
    Speaking of HBO, I just watched “Paradise Lost 3.” Wow.
    The directors deserve a Pulitzer for their work on the “PL” trilogy.
    Too bad there aren’t any Pulitzers awarded for documentary filmmaking.
    For the life of me, though, I can’t imagine what Peter Jackson’s upcoming doc about the West Memphis Three could possibly add to the mix.

  15. Don R. Lewis says:

    $2.8 Million gross for SHAME?! As I said a few weeks back, they BLEW IT but not releasing this on VOD.

  16. JKill says:

    Instead of watching the Globes, I watched PARADISE LOST 3. I hadn’t seen any of the other films, but movieman is right: ‘wow’ is the only way to put it. Just an incredible, tragic, harrowing, infuriating story. Amazing non-fiction film-making but the worth of the film goes beyond that, to the way actual change was achieved.

  17. LexG says:


  18. anghus says:

    Say hi to your mother for me.

  19. Chucky says:

    “Shame” is rated NC-17, thus many theaters will not touch it. AMC is playing that movie in Times Square but not in the NYC suburbs.

    Most of the other arty fare is the standard movie promotion for retards. “The Iron Lady” — Academy Award Winner with a dash of pro-war propaganda. “Carnage” — Academy Award Winner. “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” — Academy Award Winner/Nominee. “The Descendants” — name-checking. “A Dangerous Method” — name-checking.

    BTW there are 4 movies opening next week. The 4th is “Extremely Loud & Dangerously Close,” pure 9/11 propaganda that goes national.

  20. anghus says:

    Yeah. 15 million average for 4 new releases seems unrealistic.

    18 to 20 for Underworld.

    10 million ceiling for Haywire, Red Tails, and Extremely Loud.

    Jan is a wonderful dumpster month for movies

  21. celluloidkid says:

    Agree that SPC blew it by releasing Carnage in the holiday awards mix. They set the release date and when it began getting mixed reviews, it seems like they pulled back on the marketing. Not that the studio had any help from its stars. Winslet and Foster I’m fairly certain did nothing to get out and promote it. No talk show appearances and I think not even junkets? It’s especially odd for Foster who’s usually a tireless supporter of any film she’s a part of. I wonder if neither lady wanted to be grilled about the Polanski rape business but at the same time as Winselt said, “you don’t turn down Polanski.”

    And Underworld could make some bank. I liked the 1st one, swore off the franchise after the terrible sequel, could not care less about the 3rd one, but this one, with KB back and fighting humans, well…it doesn’t look half bad.

  22. Joe Leydon says:

    Chucky! You’re back! And yet, curiously enough, you weren’t missed!

  23. movieman says:

    Chucky would prefer it if all movies went out with only a bar code for identification purposes.

  24. LexG says:



  25. Paul D/Stella says:

    Lex is Contraband awesome? I don’t remember you commenting on it over the weekend, though maybe I missed it. If so, apologies.

  26. LexG says:

    It is probably what most people would consider a competent programmer, but as a TONE POEM TO THE AWESOMENESS OF GOD WAHLBERG, it’s above average; I definitely enjoyed the dualing hamboning of Ribisi and Ben Foster (how did Jeremy Davies miss out on completing the Ham trifecta?)… but it does seem somewhat torn between being a HARD ACTION MOVIE and, oddly, being some kind of Tower Heist-Ocean’s 11 good-natured heist movie; Depending on the scene, there’s either Michael Mann style Panamanian gun battles and beatdowns going down… OR some lockstep “plan” with Wahlberg as Danny Ocean.

    I didn’t really care but I’m sure anyone nitpickier than me would complain about the tonal changes and OBVIOUS tack-on ending…

    The cinematography was completely AWESOME, though… Barry Ackroyd doing his usual Green Zone-Hurt Locker jittery thing. Which I love.

  27. Paul D/Stella says:

    Thanks Lex. Sounds good to me. Love Wahlberg and the cast. Looks like a good time at the movies. Hope to see it soon. Seeing Man on a Ledge Wednesday night. Fingers crossed.

  28. Joe Leydon says:

    But Lex: Is it as great as Four Brothers?

  29. LexG says:

    Four Brothers RUUUUUUUUUUUUUULES, and gets a slight advantage for a) Wahlberg’s more grown-out hair, b) HOCKEY MASKS, c) “I GOT THE ROCK NOW!”, d) that PIMP! scene at the end where Wahlberg comes out of the horizon like an Old West gunslinger ready to throw down.

    Shit, I should watch that again.

  30. Joe Leydon says:

    Also: Best use of Marvin Gaye’s “Trouble Man” in any movie other than Trouble Man.

  31. LexG says:

    Beckinsale is MY AGE? WHAT??? But she’s still sexy. I don’t get it.

  32. ManWithNoName says:

    Lex, have you seen a movie called TANNER HALL? I wasn’t too impressed when my wife made me watch it yesterday, but as I was watching I couldn’t help thinking that it is the perfect LexG movie.

  33. LexG says:

    No, but I wanna see it because it has Rooney Mara in it, and sounds like a boner-fest. Didn’t Rooney diss it somewhere? (IE, isn’t she going around dismissing all her pre-Fincher work?)

  34. ManWithNoName says:

    She had good reason to diss it. But man, it’s right up your alley. Girls in boarding school prancing around in the showers, some with towels, some fully nude. Again, crap movie, but perfect LexG film.

  35. LexG says:


    Hope it’s as good as that one with Piper Perabo, Mischa Barton and Jessica Pare (boarding school lesbian roommate movie, it ruled, can’t remember title.)

  36. movieman says:

    and OBVIOUS tack-on ending…

    Amen to that.

    ****SPOILER ALERT****
    When somebody dies at the end of a movie (e.g., Faye Dunaway at the end of “Chinatown”), you don’t bring them back in the final scene (e.g., Russell Crowe returning from the dead in “L.A. Confidential”) just because
    contempo audiences demand a smiley face wrap-up.
    Grow up, people. Death is a part of life…and movies.

  37. movieman says:

    “Lost and Delirious” is the Canuck “teen-lesbos-in-a-boarding-schoo”l flick w/ Perabo that you referenced, Lex.

  38. cadavra says:

    Lex must be the only straight guy on the planet who loves FOUR BROTHERS and doesn’t give a shit that Sofia Vergara is one of the babes.

  39. yancyskancy says:

    Gotta admit Vergara does next to nothing for me — well, from the neck up anyway. Would like to see her without makeup to make sure though.

  40. LexG says:

    Sarah Hyland is the true hotness on Modern Family.

    Vergara is a camp hen, sort of a Charo-meets-Longoria Latina Yenta, if such a thing is possible. But to each their own.

  41. hcat says:

    With the awful voice and sitcom sexpotness, Vergara is the latin version of Jackee.

  42. Joe Leydon says:

    And I’m sure all of you oh-so-disciminating guys would kick Vergara out of bed. LOL. Well, that’s OK. There’ll be more room on the floor for her and me.

  43. yancyskancy says:

    Joe, if one can’t be discriminating in one’s fantasy, then what’s the point? 🙂

    Besides, never said anything about kicking her out of bed.

  44. Krillian says:

    How many animated films feature one of the characters dying so the others can mourn, and then “Nope! Not really dead! Yay!” Baloo in the Jungle Book, Flynn in Tangled, Petrie in Land Before Time, Gurgi in Black Cauldron, Mrs. Brisby’s kids in Secret of NIMH, etc.

    Got a kick out of seeing Vergara’s sister in Fright Night, at least I assume it was her sister with the last name and striking similarities.

  45. cadavra says:

    Isn’t that gag in SHREK 2 as well?

    A better variation is in a forgot-the-title Warner Bros. cartoon where Bugs Bunny pulls out a pistol and points it to his head. The camera pans away, we hear a loud BANG!, and the camera moves back to reveal Bugs still very much alive, sheepishly telling us, “I missed.”

  46. Triple Option says:

    Sanj, I’ve kinda notices the Kunis/Hyland similarities before but I have to say that’s a horrible pic of Mina. Not that she looks bad but not natural and not like I’ve normally seen her.

    I kinda liked the thought of the Ocean’s 11 aspect of Contraband but for those things to really work, you can’t tip your hand. At all. Then it just becomes predictable.

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