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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by 1968 Klady

It may be #1, but the opening for Men in Black III is no thriller domestically. It’s on track to do marginally better (or possible marginally worse over 3 days) over the first two MiB films. The story of success for this film was always expected to come from overseas, but this summer, having the second best opening so far this summer is nothing to crow about either. We’ll see how it rolls out.

The Chernobyl Diaries multiple will also be interesting. Have they shot their wad with the geek community or is the any mainstream audience for the film as the weekend progresses? Oren Peli just isn’t a brand. Sorry.

The Avengers will become the fastest domestic film to reach $500 million ever this Sunday. In the ultimate domestic competition with Avatar, it’s worth noting that when Avatar passed $500m – also on a 4-day weekend – its weekend gross was about 35% higher than Avengers will be this weekend. So make of that what you will.

Very strong bi-coastal start for Moonrise Kingdom. If it holds up, it will be the 7th ever $165,000+ per-screen opening.

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89 Responses to “Friday Estimates by 1968 Klady”

  1. Paul D/Stella says:

    Chernobyl Diaries did better than I expected. Still doesn’t seem like the best release date. But even if it only makes about $9-$10 million this weekend and $25-$30 million overall, it only cost a million or two to make right?

  2. chris says:

    1969 Klady?

  3. bulldog68 says:

    Also of note Dave, is that Avengers has kept paced with the legs of TDK, which was not expected, especially with an opening of this magnitude. While it most likely wont eventually equal TDK’s legs, the run is nothing short of remarkable. It will end with better legs than Thor and Captain America. It will become #3 Worldwide. It will make an attempt at Titanic’s initial $600m. TDK was at $441m in it’s 4th weekend of $26m, adding another $90m before it was done. Avengers will be at about $512 with a higher 4th weekend of about $35m. Another $88m is doable.

    To say that it’s being outperformed by the #1 movie of all time is kind of splitting hairs to the nth degree. It’s beyond what any of us thought it would be, way beyond.

  4. Paul D/Stella says:

    So you’re saying The Avengers is successful? I hadn’t noticed.

  5. Joe Leydon says:

    Idle thoughts: Does Think Like a Man have enough left in the tank to hit $100 million domestic? Can Hunger Games go all the way to $400? Will Dark Shadows save some face by huffing and puffing its way to $75 million?

  6. chris says:

    No. Yes. Yes.

  7. bulldog68 says:

    I think Hunger Games will get there with less than $4m left by the end of this weekend, but Think Like a Man won’t.

    I think it’ll be very interesting to see where MIB3 ends up. Does it do $150m or leg it out across $200m. It’s not a disappointing opening when put into the proper perspective, though it’s no world beater. It’s right in the MIB wheel house which is a step up from all the other unnecessary recent sequels like Ghost Rider and Titans.

  8. JS Partisan says:

    How and why are you comparing Avatar and The Avengers? One is a true phenom that will have lasting effects. While the other is a 3D spectacle that people were caught up in. There’s no comparison really, but Avengers has the best chance to even come close to Titanic’s original gross, which is saying something.

  9. Smith says:

    Pretty eye popping numbers for Moonrise Kingdom in super limited release. Wonder how far Focus can take it from there. Does it become this year’s Midnight in Paris, or just another NY/LA sensation that fizzles the minute it hits wider release? (or something in between?)

  10. MIBFan says:

    It’s the MIBs!

    How old is Emma Thompson supposed to be in MIB3?

  11. JS Partisan says:

    Smith, I really hope Moonrise Kingdom becomes this year’s Midnight in Paris. Seriously, it’s about time Wes Anderson had an astounding grossing movie.

  12. chris says:

    I’m not a genius prognosticator but I feel like “Moonrise Kingdom” has a shot at doing very well at the box office. It has more heart than most of Anderson’s pictures and the kids are a great entry point.

  13. Krillian says:

    By my calculations, Emma Thompson would be in her late 60’s and Will Smith would be in his late 40’s, going by MiB timelines.

  14. chris says:

    I kinda like the way “MIB” ignores time/age logic. The Tommy Lee Jones/Josh Brolin ages don’t work at all, either (I do, however, wish Alice Eve made even the laziest of attempts to seem akin to Emma Thompson. Brolin’s brilliant TLJJ impersonation makes Eve seem even lamer.)

  15. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    “One is a true phenom that will have lasting effects”

    Yes, more superhero films will be made. Not sure what other lasting effects you’re talking about. Cancer of the mind perhaps?

    Avatar had more impact than The Avengers which is, boxoffice aside, just another movie with dudes in spandex. Papers of record discussed Avatar. It was ‘the’ watercooler film. A game-changer.

    Once again your preponderance for all things spandexy and shiny JSP blind you to reality.

  16. movieman says:

    It’s only May (well, almost June), but I doubt whether I’ll see a better movie all year than “Moonrise Kingdom.”

    Please don’t screw this up, Focus.

  17. JS Partisan says:

    Lady, you can think that about Avatar but really, it’s left nothing of an imprint other then 3D that people hate. That’s it. That’s it’s legacy.

    The Avengers like TDK and even Titanic, is a true phenom that can have lasting effects on the biggest genre of this century well into the next decade. You can disagree all you want, you can call me out all you want, but for being the biggest film of all-time, Avatar really doesn’t matter anymore today than it did by the Summer of 2010. James Cameron brought a 3D spectacle to the world that people gobbled up during the Winter, good for him and his movie’s placement, but it’s legacy will always be nothing more than providing a technology people hate, and screwing over Sony. If that’s a legacy for the biggest film of all time, then it’s a sorted one.

    This is the truth about Avatar. Disagree about it all you want, but it’s a spectacle that cashed in. Good for it, but please go fuck yourself for wishing brain cancer on me, you insufferable ass, and being completely wrong about The Avengers.

    Oh yeah, papers of record discussed the Avengers as well. Good lord, get over your own ponderous views of film, and realize one will lead to change. The other led to stupid post conversions like the Last Fakebender movie, the TITANS films, and Gi Joe Retaliation. Yes, that’s an astounding legacy for anyone film of such great import.

  18. ManWithNoName says:

    Thank you, JBD! The minute Justice League flops, the Avengers phenom is over. Avatar already has lasting impact, for the chasing of 3D alone.

  19. ManWithNoName says:

    By the way JS, loved the Avengers. merely liked Avatar. but I recognize which has more impact.

  20. JS Partisan says:

    Man, Avatar has no impact other than 3D. Seriously, that happened, and people hate 3D because it’s nothing but a rip-off most of the time. The minute a JLA movie is greenlit is proof that The Avengers succeeded, period.

    This has nothing to do with the movie, but everything to do with the effects of the movie. Avatar is a spectacle of technology people were put out with after all those cash in post conversions. It’s going no where, it helped the Avengers because that film had good 3D, but technology alone can get you bank like Avatar, but to be discussed about you need more. Avengers is that something more, but disagree all you want. You might find some supporters online, probably not because it’s Avatar.

  21. cadavra says:

    “Avatar already has lasting impact, for the chasing of 3D alone.”

    When was the last time anyone even mentioned, let alone watched, THE ROBE, the first movie released in CinemaScope? It was history before Eisenhower left office, and that was an era where pictures ran for years.

  22. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    “Avengers is that something more”

    Yes Hulk punching Loki.
    (trombone sound)

    You talk about Avengers like it its a profound work or something.
    Wake up manchild. The Avengers is just another Iron Man sequel w/guest stars. A very successful sequel but it’s just men in spandex and things blowing up. Nothing new. Not one frame of that film is of any significance.

    I’m no huge fan of Avatar but I’m aware enough about cinema to note what impact that movie had on the business and its history.

  23. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Hey Cadavra thanks for backing up my claim.

    Just because kids aren’t chatting about the importance of The Robe on FB doesn’t really mean squat does it. The Robe is a historical landmark in cinema. It will always have the position of being the first major release in Cinemascope. Sixty years from now, try and find one person alive to even acknowledge The Avengers.

  24. JS Partisan says:

    Man-child? Good lord, these are the stories that we’ve been telling for thousands of years but Beowulf, is not good for you? Aren’t you all high and mighty, but please keep on ignoring that Avengers is the best of an entire genre. It’s funny to read someone with her nose so high up her own ass.

    You also are not all that aware about cinema because if you were, you would know what Avatar really did is usher in a way to rip people off, and the people do not like it. It’s not Cameron’s fault for creating a 3D spectacle that only a couple of films have matched. He did his job, he made his money, but look what that money has wrought. Crap post conversion after crap post conversion, two to five dollar surcharges, and companies like Sony being crippled by people foolishly believing that Avatar’s grosses mattered.

    Avatar did what Cameron intended it to do but on every other possible level of a phenom film, it failed. It could have failed on that level, because no one could touch Cameron’s film. That’s a possibility, or it’s more the emperor’s new clothes. People saw it for what it really is and turned on it, and the 3D forced that it heralded that studios forced upon us.

    The fact that you are denying what has been written about the Avengers as if your review is the only thing that matters, demonstrates how out of touch with reality you are about a film that is going to be only the third ever to reach 600m. People and papers of record write about a film like that, but in your myopia you must have missed it.

    ETA: 60 years from now, try to find anyone who cares about anything associated with James Cameron. Seriously, Avatar is a taint, a successful taint, but a taint that he could easily remove if he gave people Battle Angel. Nevertheless, that won’t happen, but there will always be Superhero movies and the great ones like the Avengers, will be watched over and over again. Sure it will probably have been remade another two times in the next 60 years, but that’s progress.

  25. Joe Leydon says:

    With all due respect to everyone involved in this discussion: Do we really have enough perspective right now to say whether Avatar or The Avengers will be considered historically important? Seems to me I remember not so long ago on the very blog some folks rashly predicting that Sin City was the future of cinema.

  26. Yancy Skancy says:

    Let’s all meet back here in 60 years and see who was right!

  27. bulldog68 says:

    “60 years from now, try to find anyone who cares about anything associated with James Cameron”

    Its amazing how myopic one can be. The Director who gave us Terminator 1 & 2. Probably one of the best sequels of all time in Aliens.One of the most thought provoking sci fi’s in The Abyss.

    Cameron has been setting the standard for years, and his filmography will always be part of the conversation.

  28. palmtree says:

    Well, being first does entitle you to some measure of history. I don’t think The Jazz Singer was a great movie necessarily, but we all know it was the first sound film. And yes, a lot of sound movies have been crappy, but I don’t know if we can pin all the crap on one movie, just as we can’t give it the credit for other successful sound movies. It simply ushered in the sound era.

    Dismissing Avatar seems a gross underestimation of the vision it takes to put together a film that uses 3D artfully. Its legacy is not the dozens of crap movies spawned in its wake, but of the opening of the possibility that it could be used artfully. Whether someone else will decide to use it that way is a different story.

  29. anghus says:

    ” 60 years from now, try to find anyone who cares about anything associated with James Cameron. ”

    And that’s why JS can never be taken seriously. Because you lack the ability to see outside your own personal tastes in terms of seeing what it and what is relevant.

    Just like those who dismissed Avengers before it came out because they didn’t see the broader appeal of a movie that teamed up Marvel characters, you dismiss Cameron because you don’t personally care for his stuff.

    If you don’t think in sixty years people won’t still be talking about Titanic, you’re out of your fanboy mind. Avatar’s historical legacy is in place because of the box office but with two sequels it could become far more relevant than just being a 3d monstrosity. It could end up being the biggest trilogy in history.

    For the record, i didn’t care for Avatar, but i’d be a fool to deny it’s place in film history.

    If you’re ever going to be anything other than a very loud opinion, you need to start understanding that your personal tastes will very rarely dictate relevance. You’re high on righteousness because Avengers is huge. But if you think Avengers in sixty years will be somehow more talked about than Titanic, you’re nuts. Avengers will be grouped into comic book films as the best of that genre, but Titanic is one of those movies like Gone With the Wind or The Wizard of Oz that stands as a defining achievement of that era that will always be referenced.

    And James Cameron will be talked about for generations to come as one of the defining filmmakers of the era. Unless robots or zombies have killed us all by then.

  30. JS Partisan says:

    Anghus, you write some of the most loud opinion posts on this entire blog. Your response to me right now, is nothing more than your loud opinion and the same goes for Bulldog’s post. You lumping Avengers in with every comic book film, ignores that it’s unique and better than all of them, but excuse me for believing people will see Cameron for what he really is, as a lot of people do now. He’s not Lucas, Spielberg, Coppola, or even Scorcese. He’s a guy who can capture spectacle but once the spectacle wears off, what do you really have from his movies? I love the Abyss, love the director’s cut, but there’s nothing really there. It’s all a bunch of hot air and that’s Cameron.

    Disagree all you want with my opinion and my arguments, but stop responding to me as if your posts are not your opinions and your arguments. It’s impossible to take them seriously until you realize that you are doing, what you are accusing me of doing. I am not going to fall in line with any of you just because you yell at me to do so. James Cameron is awesome at producing spectacles but besides that, meh. Feel free to disagree.

    ETA: What is Avatar’s place in history other than superior international box office? The best 3D ever, is from How To Train Your Dragon. Is it for live action 3D? Is that it’s place? Seriously, it’s a spectacle that captured the world for a few months, and made a lot of money. It’s has not stuck around. It’s not Titanic, which grudgingly to mean sticks around, but you would be a fool to argue that it is, or even has a place in film history outside of losing to The Hurt Locker.

    Oh yeah, Titanic is a defining achievement of what exactly? It’s not even in the same breathe of the Wizard of Oz or Gone With the Wind, because those films are true classics. Titanic, rather you want to accept it or not, is still a rather hated movie, with a mixed audience reaction. You stating this right here and then giving me crap for my opinions about Cameron, is why you are so absolutely hysterical and as myopic BD claims me to be.

  31. christian says:

    See, this is where we derail, IO. Cameron is one of the most technically accomplished filmmakers in cinema history, period. And that does stand for something, whether you like his work or not (and I’ve been pretty hard on his POV). To say ALIENS or THE TERMINATOR has a shelf life when they’re still giving off heat decades later is just not cogent with reality.

  32. JS Partisan says:

    Christian, if that’s your name, would you like it if I referred to you by some other name? Probably not. Think about that the next time you refer to me as a shitty nickname, that aside, Cameron is like soda. Everyone drinks it, everyone finds it refreshing, but in reality it’s nothing more than empty calories.

    You also citing Terminator ignores that the later sequels have sort of destroyed that franchise, but T2 still holds up even in it’s long form, but it’s empty calories.

    Bringing up Aliens ignores that it’s mostly been sold as a set, that features three other filmmakers, who most die-hard film fans would take over Cameron in a second. Would you really prefer to have Cameron over Fincher? Over Sir Ridley? Even Jeunet? Give me a million City of Lost Children and Amelies over anything Cameron has ever directed.

    Seriously, this is opinion, but you can argue Fincher or even Lucas are just as accomplished technical filmmakers. Again, the guy is a great producer of the spectacle. Nothing wrong with spectacle, but stating that it matters as much as Gone With The Wind, The Wizard of Oz, or even Amelie is where we derail, Christian.

  33. anghus says:

    “but you would be a fool to argue that it is, or even has a place in film history outside of losing to The Hurt Locker”

    I don’t need opinion. The facts will do it for me.

    All Time Worldwide Box Office.

    1 Avatar Fox $2,782.3 $760.5 27.3% $2,021.8 72.7% 2009

    That alone means it will be remembered for more than losing Best Picture to Hurt Locker. Unless you think that being the number one worldwide box office draw of all time is something people will forget. Especially when the sequels come out….

    giant eye roll number one.

    “Titanic, rather you want to accept it or not, is still a rather hated movie, with a mixed audience reaction”

    I’ll go to the facts on this one too.

    All Time Worldwide Box Office

    2 Titanic Par. $2,185.2 $658.5 30.1% $1,526.7 69.9% 1997^

    Rotten Tomatoes: 88% Positive
    Academy Award Winner: Best Picture
    Cinemascore: A (A+ from Women)
    Nearly 200 million worldwide in re-release

    Now see, here is where all your arguments turn to excrement JS, you declare that Titanic is ‘a rather hated movie’

    Tell me what that’s based on. Present me with ‘facts’ to support that argument.

    You can’t. It’s your ill formed opinion skewed by some weird hatred of all things Cameron. I don’t even think he’s that great, but im not some angry fanboy who will call Green Lantern a crowning achievement and try to declare that Titanic is ‘rather hated’.

    I have evidence to the contrary. Feel free to try and refute how the two biggest movies of all time will somehow fade into obscurity.

    giant eye roll number two.

  34. christian says:

    JS, I’ve known you for so long as (name redacted) that the names blur. Call me Ishmael for all I care.

    But no, I wouldn’t take Fincher over Cameron, especially given that I’ve seen both their ALIEN films. And I don’t think Fincher is anything more than a technically obssessed filmmaker. Nor does he have anything much to say. Cameron, for all his technocracy, is a storyteller at heart. I was in the theater on opening day for TITANIC and the audience response assured its place. And I didn’t care much for the film at all.

    But I wouldn’t dare say TITANIC or FIGHT CLUB won’t be remembered for x amount of years even tho I personally didn’t respond to them. That’s the gift of objectivity.

  35. anghus says:

    i like Fincher as a director, but i agree that he’s a technically proficient emotionally devoid filmmaker who has a hard time making movies that connect to audiences. I think his box office history speaks to that. He’s a filmmakers filmmaker. Everyone digs his work, but i think mainstream audiences have a hard time connecting emotionally to his films.

    I still think his most emotionally connected films are Seven and The Game. His more recent work feels like it’s getting technically more proficient but less engaging to an audience.

    I think most people like Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but dont you think based off the source material it should have been bigger? Is that in no small part due to having almost zero word of mouth driving people to the theater?

  36. bulldog68 says:

    If you can’t call Avengers a ‘spectacle’ film, I don’t know what is.

    For all the box office of Avengers, it did not have the emotional wallop that T2 had, and I’m comapring spectacle movies here. T2 continues to be one of the standard bearers for effects driven entertainment. Jurassic park is another.

    It’s very difficult to have these conversations with JS, as he is an all or nothing kind of guy, but I had a great time at Avengers, but it was at the level of ‘man this cool to see Ironman and Thor and Hulk pound the shit out of each other’. T2 grabbed you and never let you go in a relentess pursuit where that sense of foreboding was so very real. T2 became a film, not just a movie.

    And just on sfx alone, what signature moment in Avengers
    can you see defining this era? There was no moment that equalled the first glimpse of dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, or the firt time you saw the T1000. Those are defining moments in film history. Avengers, is well done popcorn that was spawned from other bags of popcorn and just added extra butter.

  37. anghus says:

    “And just on sfx alone, what signature moment in Avengers
    can you see defining this era? There was no moment that equalled the first glimpse of dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, or the firt time you saw the T1000. Those are defining moments in film history. Avengers, is well done popcorn that was spawned from other bags of popcorn and just added extra butter.”

    I agree. I’ve seen Avengers twice and loved it. You hit the nail on the head. Great movie, very few visually iconic moments.

    Even something like Spiderman you have the upside down kiss which became a cultural staple. Avengers was awesome but never had that defining scene. The closest thing was probably the shwarma bit. That’s Whedon for you.

    Edit – Well, there was that one 360 shot of the Avengers coming together at the end of the movie, the one they used in all the marketing which was ‘the money shot’. That’s probably the closest thing the Avengers has to an iconic shot.

  38. Hallick says:

    I would certainly take Fincher over Cameron today, but not over the James Cameron that delivered “The Terminator”, “Aliens”, “The Abyss”, and “Terminator 2”.

    Not only is “Titanic” NOT rather hated today overall, but in the midst of the 3D re-release you could definitely feel the general esteem for the movie rising even higher as people reacquainted themselves with the thing. I didn’t like it when it came out, I didn’t enjoy its success, and I personally wish it never existed for a number of reasons, but I completely believe that over time it’s only going to become more appreciated and loved in the eyes of the public and film writers.

  39. Joe Leydon says:

    And this is why my father fought in two wars: So that, on Memorial Day, we’d have the freedom to have pissing matches over The Avengers and Avatar.

  40. christian says:

    I wish filmmakers would just ape some of the great comic images as Raimi effectively did.

    But there are some lovely shots in THE AVENGERS: Iron Man underwater; Loki’s reflection in the glass as he taunts Black Widow; and the pure comic book pop shot of the Hulk getting blasted by rainbow beams…

  41. sanj says:

    smaller budget films – comic book / superhero ones still have an impact for me it was kick-ass with Chloe Moretz
    with her dad and then the fight at the end .

    making iconic moments in film = the actors have to act.
    plus making something that doesn’t been done before in a unique way …

    how many iconic moments is the dark knight rises going to have ?

    also this year there’s a dozen big 100 million blockbusters all trying to go for something iconic ..

  42. anghus says:

    creating those iconic moments is never easy, and i’m sure every filmmaker is trying to craft them. They can be visual like The Matrix, or they can be actor based like Cuba Gooding Jr and Tom Cruise doing “Show me the money” in Jerry Maguire.

    Nolan’s last two films shows he has a penchant for those kind of moments. Inception is like a master class in creating memorable visual and audio cues. The Dark Knight has so many perfect little moments that combine the visuals, the score, and the actor.

    But those iconic moments are so important, whether it be the bikes flying across the moon in E.T., the shower scene in Psycho, YOU SHALL NOT PASS, the upside down kiss in Spiderman, I’M THE KING OF THE WORLD!…..

    Name me that scene in Avengers.

  43. christian says:

    I don’t think Nolans films are that iconic. Tim Burton had iconic shots of Batman too. And the images I just named are stuck in my head.

  44. Joe Leydon says:

    Don’t know if “iconic” is quite the right word in this context, but I was amused by how often some images in The Avengers appeared to be visual quotes of some one-panel/full page illustrations by Jack Kirby. Especially the first view of the flying aircraft carrier.

  45. anghus says:

    see, i think the difference is that they got some stuff straight out of the comics onto the screen, but where was that moment that combined the sound, the visuals, and the actors for that moment…

    I really liked the bit where Banner says “that’s my secret captain, im always angry”, but the line was crammed into a moment where hes walking, the shot doesnt hold, it kind of moves with him as he delivers the line, there’s so much going on in the background. it’s a great moment, but it lacks that cohesion that takes it from cool moment to iconic moment.

    I’ll go back to YOU SHALL NOT PASS. You have the actor, the score, and the visuals all in sync that creates something that takes every facet of filmmaking and combines it into a singular moment where you get goosebumps.

    Then after the moment where Gandalf destroys the bridge and Balrog falls into the abyss, you get that moment where the whip grabs him by the leg and just before he’s pulled into the darkness everything goes silent except to give the very gifted actor that moment

    Fly, you fools….

    Great filmmakers are conductors. They know when to pull everything into harmony and when certain sections need to fall silent. I realize Joe you’re already painfully aware of that.

    Where are those moments in Avengers? It’s more kitchen sink filmmaking where Whedon throws everything on the screen and it’s just awesome, but he’s not conducting an orchestra, he’s cranking the volume up to 11.

    I think the closest he got was that fx shot that follows all the characters in a mock tracking shot. That was kind of cool. But it still lacked that finesse that the true greats possess.

  46. sanj says:

    not sure if austin powers movies is iconic but they had a dozen great lines in the series ..

    Adam Sandlers earlier films – waterboy – little nicky – he changed his voice and maybe thats what makes it iconic in some parts ….more than the recent stuff.
    same thing with most comic actors like Robin Williams..

    i know Tyler Perry has made like billion bucks off his Madea movies but not sure if any of it is iconic ..

    sometimes it takes 5 seconds to become iconic like Eddie Murphy’s laugh in the beverly hill cops movies

    every few years hollywood forces people to find out
    how iconic things are like with every Marilyn Monroe
    or Elvis movie…

    real people are doing iconic stuff all the time and putting that up on youtube .

    and goodbye to iconic Bond thing he did in every movie –
    “News that James Bond will ditch his trademark “shaken, not stirred” vodka martini for a beer in upcoming film Skyfall “

  47. Joe Leydon says:

    Again, don’t know if I would call this “iconic” or not, but: As I have noted elsewhere, the moment in Hugo when you realize just what the automaton is drawing made my eyes moisten and my heart dance. And when I went back to see the movie a second time — the same thing happens. As much as I enjoyed The Avengers, there was nothing in that movie had anywhere near the same impact.

  48. anghus says:

    Joe, i completely agree. And that’s why Scorsese is a master.

  49. bulldog68 says:

    So is Spielberg. He’s a master at creating those moments that just seem to capture magic. And he knows how to let that moment inhabit every inch of the frame, and he holds it long enough to let you enjoy it. From Jaws, to Raiders, to Saving Private Ryan to Schindler’s List, to the aforementioned Jurassic Park, there are images that live with you, not because they were cool, but because it struck a chord with your subconscious.

    I still think Dark Knight is a superior film to Avengers, and what Nolan did IMO was create an iconic performance in The Joker. The “Why so serious” delivery is almost there, but not quite the impact of “You shall not pass” from LotR.

    I still will give Avengers the gift of time and see what will be it’s iconic status in 10 years. Will it be just a very big movie that started a new generation of superhero team ups, or will it transcend that so that you will look back and say “hey remember that moment, it was magic?”

  50. anghus says:

    Dark Knight has iconic moments. The Why So Serious/You know where i got these scars scenes are pretty iconic. That subtle score coming up as the story builds.

    Spielberg is most assuredly a master of creating the iconic moments. Where do you start?

    Jaws ‘Were gonna need a bigger boat’, the score pounding behind the sight of a shark fin.
    Raiders – Indy shooting the Swordsman. The ending with the crate in the warehouse.
    E.T. – Flying across the moon.

    There’s too many examples to list for Spielberg.

  51. bulldog68 says:

    My take on being an iconic moment is that the particular scene lives beyond the movie, and I think the Why so Serious moment comes closer than the ‘scars’ scene, which is a great scene within the movie but beyond the movie, maybe not so much IMO.

    The other moment that came close to me is when Joker is walking away from the hospital and fidgeting with the malfunctioning bomb detonator. There is a moment there that just captured the entire sense of wanton and utter chaos and destruction that almost made it for me.

    I totally agree with you about the “I’m always angry” line in Avengers. He should have lingered on that for a few moments longer, because it’s probably the best delivered line in Avengers, and ironically the shortest sentence that reveals the most about a character.

  52. Foamy Squirrel says:

    Joe Leydon says:
    May 28, 2012 at 1:44 pm
    And this is why my father fought in two wars: So that, on Memorial Day, we’d have the freedom to have pissing matches over The Avengers and Avatar.

    Spanish-American War? War of 1812? Caesar crossing the Rubicon?

    EDIT: Also, the Ridley Scott link on the front page is broken.

  53. Ray Pride says:

    Fix’d, thanks, FS.

  54. Joe Leydon says:

    Foamy: LOL. Hey, I’ve had students ask if I ever interviewed D. W. Griffith, so…

  55. christian says:

    Joe, you think your father would choose Big Blue Guy over CAPTAIN AMERICA?

  56. Foamy Squirrel says:

    It was an easy target, couldn’t resist. 😉

  57. palmtree says:

    D.W. Griffith, now there’s a director of spectacle!

  58. sanj says:

    D.W. Griffith – i imdb’d this guy and he made a lot of short black and white films

    birth of a nation is like 3 hours long – its free up on youtube

    Joe – you’ve must have seen all his films by now – any good ones ? the short films … he made over 100 of them…they all can’t be good can they ? the one i saw was 15 minutes and i got bored.

    if this guy were around today – would he get a dp/30 …

    how many movies has DP seen of this guy’s .

  59. christian says:

    sanj, you’re killing me.

  60. scooterzz says:

    i’d actually offer to help finance a dp/30 with sanj….

  61. sanj says:

    dude i’m not in the movie industry so no dp/30 for me .

    everybody on this board is like 100 times more famous then me and they’d be way ahead of the line .

    i still want LexG to get his dp/30 .

    Steven Spielberg – pretty sure DP has seen all his films
    shouldn’t this guy have like 15 dp/30 by now ?

    i was kinda surprised when James Cameron showed up for a dp/30 … he did 2 of them and i liked the short 10
    minute better ..

    actor Seth Green talked about meeting George Lucas and how it took him a long time to figure out he’s just a human … Seth has done a lot of star wars parodies
    for his animated series robot chicken.

    with all the reality tv on right now – it’s easy to be an icon to somebody .. and yet DP don’t interview reality tv stars.

    if your famous in the arts – take advantage and do as many interviews as you can … cause you never know when your fame is going to run out .

    DP really nailed the interview with Jennifer Lawerence before she got extra super famous for hunger games ..
    DP is like – “i’ve seen your picture 3000 times ”
    and JL is like ” i’m sorry”

  62. Joe Leydon says:

    For the love of God, don’t anyone try to show Birth of a Nation to Sanj. I don’t think he would ever recover.

  63. Joe Leydon says:

    Christian: My father, rest his soul, tossed out all my comic books while I was in college. I could have sent my son to Harvard with the money I would have made selling first issues of The Amazing Spider-Man, The Avengers, X-Men… OK, have to stop now. Some memories are painful.

    Will leave y’all with this: My dad was in the British Merchant Marine, and actually helped land troops on D-Day. (Something he never told me about until years AFTER Saving Private Ryan.) After moving to US — and before you ask, no, I don’t know if he was here legally or not — he got drunk one night and wrapped a car (not his own) around a tree. The judge gave him a choice: Jail, or enlistment. And that’s how he wound up in Korea.

  64. sanj says:

    Joe – i watched several minutes of it – the video quality sucks../but i checked wikipedia to see what the story was about and it’s compliated war drama.

    the first time i saw a complicated drama was Stone’s JFK .
    a shooting that seemed basic got real complicated at the
    end ..

    reality tv stars are getting more famous – they are tv reruns way more and they do all kinds of useless stuff ..
    i’m guessing this bugs real actors who make movies who aren’t as famous .

    real movie critics have banned reality stars of all kinds
    from doing interviews. that’s their choice…in fact last 2 years i haven’t seen any doing a dp/30.

    sucks for Snooki from mtv. she’ll never get a dp/30 ..
    she’s probably crying about it while making millions of dollars off stupid kids watching mtv.

    there are lots of real actors who would be way better reality tv stars … K-Stew and Michael Cera come to mind.

    Ashton Kutcher did mtv punk’d and somehow magically got to be in a movie with Natalie Portman – that still blows my mind.

  65. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    “a shooting that seemed basic got real complicated at the
    end ..”

    Sanj you are a gift from heaven. Seriously.
    Again if you are someone’s comic creation then it’s the best I have ever seen on the web.

    Thank you everyone for pointing out The Manchilds (see you are a kind of superhero JSP) lack of objectivity regarding all things cinema. I don’t know why I waste my time pointing things out to him. He’s a self-perpetuating vacuum of inanity.

  66. bulldog68 says:

    Joe I smell a screenplay in your father’s story.

  67. Joe Leydon says:

    Bulldog: Can’t remember how long you’ve been around here, but just in case you never saw this:

  68. hcat says:

    I do think Avengers will have a long term effect on the film world but not primarly on the creative. Now I need to admit that I am that one person in America that has still not seen it so I can’t comment on its quality but to give credit where credit is due Marvel did accomplish creating a Franchise Wheel (three rotating franchises every three years) where other studios have failed. First Fox tried to create the guarenteed blockbuster each summer with Star Wars, X-Men, and Burton’s Apes, but while Apes was a large enough hit to warrent a sequel the cost and the perception of a lukewarm response by the audience stalled future installments. Then Warners tried to have odd numbered Potters, Batman, Superman, but again Superman had strong Box Office, high cost, lukewarm reception, so they pushed the Potters around to fill the gaps.

    But Marvel has managed something remarkable, one large franchise with annual installments that will guarentee some good news to the studio each year. More than anything that was actually on the screen this will be the Avenger’s ‘legacy’.

    Again I haven’t seen it but from everyone’s reactions and from what I have read it doesn’t seem like there were any advances in special effects ala Star Wars, Abyss or any specific style that will change the way films are shot and edited ala Greengrass’s Bourne work.

  69. sanj says:

    the JFK thing – never learned about it in high school history – knew the basic story

    the theory made onto Seinfeld

    topics that deal with history that seem basic usually isn’t . there’s like a triple twists going on..

    some of the craziest stories i’ve neard from about history is North Korea and Africa . everybody does a lot of crazy stuff there and they do make movies about them.

    Kony 2012 – everybody got surprisded that this dude
    did bad things to kids in Africa ..and people still can’t find him .

    old dude with beard Saddam Hussein – the US government thought he had massive weapons – doesn’t . big time
    government officials weren’t so happy about that.

    i only took 1 history course in high school and i cantt
    remember any of it knowledgte of historical fact and figures are very limited .

    bill and ted’s excellent adventure – back to the future –
    even austin powers – fake historical stories have have
    some historical realism to them and they didn’t do too bad in the back office either.

    Joe – i saw your video on summer blockbusters on some local news – you must be getting paid big time for those …

  70. Yancy Skancy says:

    I love Joss Whedon; liked THE AVENGERS. I just didn’t think it had much emotional resonance. I didn’t buy for one second that it took the death of a minor character to rally the team. Seems like deathly destruction coming through a hole in the sky should’ve been enough.

  71. christian says:

    I’m excited about the three-hour cut, since I’m assuming character stuff is what was shed. What I find most impressive about THE AVENGERS is that Whedon was able to juggle so much — It’s a terrific moment when you flow from hero to hero during the final battle — and yet give each character a “moment” (this is where his TV background served him well). I love that Agent Coulson gets one of the best scenes in the film.

  72. cadavra says:

    Sanj: Try watching Griffith’s A CORNER IN WHEAT. It’s just one reel, but not only is it tremendously affecting, it says volumes about what’s going on in this country over a century later.

    As for Spielberg–This really isn’t an iconic moment, but I can’t think of too many other directors who, in the middle of one of the most intense scenes in WAR HORSE, could suddenly throw in a sight gag right out of a Tex Avery cartoon and actually get away with it. (Non-spoiler hint: wire cutters.)

  73. sanj says:

    cadavra – just watched corner in wheat – crazy evil bread guys. they could remake this for like nothing with an iphone.

    film makers from the 1920’s didn’t cash in on the vampire movies we have today . except for that nosferatu film

    if one the big media corporations don’t buy DP out – i figure all the dp/30 will end up in a museum somewhere.
    DP should make some special videos for those people – otherwise it’ll be some generic voice over guy saying how amazing the dp30s in the year 2040.

  74. christian says:

    “crazy evil bread guys”

    best synopsis ever.

  75. Fitzgerald says:

    Interesting talk about the iconic moment in cinema. Spielberg, as you say, remarkably gifted at this. Even in his lesser movies- like War of the Worlds, which I actually liked quite a bit- there is always something breathtaking, like the train-on-fire. I think we should talk about another master, Peter Weir. The last shot of Gallipoli, the last shot of Year of Living Dangerously as well as the kiss in the car, Jim Carrey reaching the end of the world in Truman show, the kid pointing at the picture in Witness. Indelible stuff.

  76. anghus says:

    Truman Show has some wonderful iconic moments. In fact the whole film builds to that wonderful bit where he has to choose the safety of his fabricated world or leave. The music builds, he stares up into the sky and delivers that great line “and if i dont see you good afternoon, good evening, and good night.” and then takes a bow.


  77. hcat says:

    Perhaps its not as well-regarded as his other pictures but one of my favorite Peter Weir moments comes in Master and Commander when Crowe gives the young Oliver Twist looking officer who has been horribly horribly wounded some famous Admiral’s biography to read during recovery and the child opens it to see the subject suffered the same ailment. Its a wonderful moment for me in an underrated movie from a filmmaker who needs to be given a lot more work.

  78. Fitzgerald says:

    hcat and anghus–

    Yes, Yes, Yes. M&C is so beautiful.

  79. christian says:

    Speaking of spectacle – Donald Trump unravels on CNN. Poor Li’l Romney.

  80. Joe Leydon says:

    Real-life dialogue in my household:

    Mom: “What’d you and your friends go see?”

    Son: “The Avengers.”

    Mom: “Oh, your father and I saw that. We liked it. What did you think?”

    Son: “It was OK. I mean, it didn’t change my life or anything. But it was good.”

    (Actually, I think he’s counting the days until we see The Expendables 2 together at a midnight screening.

  81. palmtree says:

    Haha…FINALLY saw Avengers, and while it didn’t change my life, it was EXACTLY what I wanted from a summer movie. And it had the added bonus of my girlfriend loving it too and wanting to talk to me about it! Keep in mind this person hasn’t seen a single pre-Avengers movie save for the first Iron Man, which she fell asleep during.

    It’s a real testament to Joss Whedon’s breeziness but also the facility in staging complex action.

    Of course, the movie had many flaws, but none that weren’t mostly shared by all other big action/superhero movies.

  82. bulldog68 says:

    My old man was a movie buff as well Joe. When it came to war themed movies, he’d watch it all. I remember being 13 years old and coming home early from a double feature, because I wasn’t interested in the second movie being shown. I don’t remember the movie I was interested in, but when I got home early and I told my dad I left and what the second movie was, he immediately started getting ready for the 8pm show. The movie he bolted out the door to see was Das Boot. I swear, I have to see that movie some day. He passed in 1984.

  83. christian says:

    “The Avengers appeared to be visual quotes of some one-panel/full page illustrations by Jack Kirby. ”

    The last shot of Thanos smiling was a Kirby page come to life (of course, the character was stolen from Kirby’s Darkseid). That’s the kinda imagery that will give THE AVENGERS a shelf life.

    And as far as Spielberg’s iconic shots, there are a few that linger in my mind like poetry from A.I. : Osmet sitting on the edge of that submerged skyscraper for one…

  84. bulldog68 says:

    I’m having some fun with going through some of my fav iconic moments and I was wondering what would be any of your selections for the iconic shots that you would use to identify a series of franchises. Here’s the list:
    Back to the Future
    Batman (old and new)
    Die Hard
    lethal Weapon

    And a few Directors:
    Coen Brothers

    Throw in any others you’d like. One rule, it has to be one shot to identify the franchise or director.

  85. SamLowry says:

    From the front page: “RT @letsgetgizzy: I wish men had tails so I could tie two together and throw them over a telephone line.”


    Would this still be okay if it read “RT @letsgetgizzy: I wish women had tails so I could tie two together and throw them over a telephone line”?

  86. hcat says:

    some quick iconic moments by category

    Favorite explosion: traincar in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

    Favorite Car Crash: Seven-ups

    Favorite Gunshot: End of French Connection II. Love this ending, conflict resolved-end of story.

    Some Randoms: Saying goodbye to Frankie in In America, Norma Rae holding up the Union Now sign (lloyd doing the same with a boombox in Say Anything), The weeping speech in front of the town in Whale Rider.

  87. Hallick says:

    “Would this still be okay if it read “RT @letsgetgizzy: I wish women had tails so I could tie two together and throw them over a telephone line”?”

    No. It wouldn’t be as great of a line then.

  88. Joe Leydon says:

    Hcat: Second that motion for French Connection II. When I interviewed John Frankenheimer years ago, he said that there was slightly more to the story (Popeye saying goodbye to the French cops, etc.) in the original script. Don’t recall if he said they actually shot any of that stuff, but I do remember him saying that he did indeed reach the conclusion: OK, conflict resolved — what else do we have to say? And besides: What else does Popeye need to exist for now?

  89. hcat says:

    I rewound the ending four times the first time I saw it. Don’t know if it says something about me that all three instances I mention are very sudden suprising moments (I think the rooftop explosion in Die Hard is Iconic as well but something about the buildup and the lingering shot of it doesn’t hold the visceral POW of the Butch blam).

    And I don’t know if this fits Iconic moment or scene or whatever, but my absolute favorite however many frames of film, the encapsulation of the joy I feel from movies, is the look on the Dutch girl’s face when she sings with Santa in Miracle on 34th Street (‘She just lost her parents and doesn’t speak a word of English, I told her you wouldn’t be able to understand her, but when she saw you she insisted’).

    I had probably seen the thing a hundred times in my life but it was really only on television in the background, I never really even considered it an actual movie, but we snuggled in and watched it a few years back and its as good as anything else that was released in a rather exceptional era.

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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