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David Poland

By David Poland

No Friday Box Office Estimates This Week

Len Klady writes in: “As you’re likely aware, WB and some other companies have decided not to send out estimates … others have sent me emails requesting that I not share their estimates.”

Out of respect to all of these companies, as well as the dead, Movie City News will not be offering any box office coverage until Sunday. Thank you for understanding.

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40 Responses to “No Friday Box Office Estimates This Week”

  1. etguild2 says:

    Kudos to virtually all major and minor studios for joining with WB in respect for the victims.

  2. brack says:

    Of course, because a whole day’s worth of not reporting the b.o. is so much more respectful. *Rolls eyes* We are all wondering how this incident effected the b.o.

  3. bulldog68 says:

    Any thoughts on the Man of Steel trailer? I understand there are two, voiced by Costner and Crowe respectively. I can only find the Costner version online.

    Thus far I like what I see, though it really is a teaser in the best sense of the word. Can’t make any big judgements.

    With all the tragic news, there seems(understandably)to be no buzz for this trailer, which I’m sure really stings WB quite a bit. Just seeing the Nolan name attached to Superman should have been quite a thrill for Batman fans this weekend and effectively kick off a successful year long hyping.

  4. Dan says:

    Reporting box office is not disrespectful to the victims. This is just a cynical cover story — the studio doesn’t want to announce less-than-stellar results. Since when has Hollywood been a moral place?

    And I love how the media jumps all over a tragedy like this, while ignoring critical stories of national importance (drone war, erosion of civil liberties, war on whistleblowers by Obama). People need to GROW UP.

  5. chris says:

    How is the best non-3d Friday ever “less than stellar?” It’s a gesture and, yeah, it’s not enough but nothing would be.

  6. Daniella Isaacs says:

    I disagree, Dan. No matter how disappointing the b.o. results turn out to be, DNR is going to take in millions and millions of dollars. Posting how much, to the average American, would seem crass: “DARK KNIGHT earned 19 million dollars on Friday” (a low end possibility) could come across like bragging to people who will never earn a fraction of that in their lives, people who, on the other hand, may know somebody who has died. (And you know if it was posted, it would be part of every news story today, not just the Hollywood biz ones.) Frankly, complaining about this sounds like whining by people who have nothing better to get upset about than having to wait an extra day or two for their curiosity to be satiated.

  7. Joe Leydon says:

    Actually, when I saw The Dark Knight Rises at midnight Thursday, many folks in the audience with me clapped and shouted approval after the Man of Steel trailer.

  8. bulldog68 says:

    Sarah Palin’s undefeated opens to $60,000 – $75,000 and is claimed to be stellar.

    TDKR may claim the second biggest opening weekend in history and it’s “less than stellar.”

    America is a funny place.

    Trying to provide health care for all is an erosion of civil liberties. (But not in Massachusetts)

    Forcing women to undergo a vaginal probe isn’t.

    America is a funny place.

    Obama’s Drone Wars are beyond the pale and there should be a thorough investigation and possible impeachment.

    Bush’s none reaction to the 9/11 attacks, and then his launching a war against the wrong country despite credible information to the contrary, that claimed thousands of lives, American and other, whilst plunging the USA into a bout of economic depression the likes of which you have not yet been able to recover from, Mission Accomplished.

    America is a funny place.

    The first black man is elected president is asked to show proof of citizenship despite all concrete evidence.

    The first Mormon president is asked to show his tax returns but he won’t show it to “you people.” Despite his own father setting the example.

    America is a funny place.

    Maybe I should retroactively retire now.

  9. David Poland says:

    For those of you who see this as cynical or whining or whatever…

    Is it really that hard to give up one or two days of obsessing on a gross to show some respect for the dead?

    Even if it is a cynical exercise for some?

    Just one breath?

  10. Joe Leydon says:

    David: We live in an age, alas, when every gesture made in good faith is dismissed as… well, sort of how you dismissed Bill Gates’ charity donations a while back. You live by the snark, you die by the snark. Even so, seriously: I respect what you’ve done here. And you’re absolutely right: For some people, it really is asking too much to give up a day or two of box-office obsessing.

  11. Tuck Pendelton says:

    apple’s trailer page is Crowe’s voice. youtube on hollywoodelsewhere is costner’s.

  12. anghus says:

    I loved the man of steel trailer, the.Comic-Con footage was far more.enlightening

  13. film fanatic says:

    Why is it EVER anyone’s business but the studios and exhibitors themselves what the projected figures for a movie’s gross are during the course of a given weekend? Why don’t they just instruct Rentrak (a company that works FOR THEM) not to release any projections to ANYONE (particularly the Nikki Finkes of the world) and, instead, put out finalized actuals on Monday, after all the tickets have been counted? And not just this weekend, but EVERY weekend. What would be lost? I defy you to name one downside to that scenario.

  14. Joe Leydon says:

    Film Fanatic: “I defy you to name one downside to that scenario.”

    No. 1: It would mean delaying gratification in a dick-measuring contest.

    No. 2: See No. 1.

  15. film fanatic says:

    JL: A.D. Murphy, R.I.P.

  16. David Poland says:

    No idea what you’re talking about, re: Gates’ charitable donations. Please remind me.

  17. David Poland says:

    Film Fanatic: The box office thing has gotten out of control. It wasn’t long ago that no one reported Friday numbers on Saturday. Studios had them and made them available to staff, but it was not a public thing. Then Nikki realized no one else was doing it and she could – as we all could – find someone to tell her numbers on Friday and she could publish them – even if wrong – and find an significant non-industry audience for that, especially with Drudge supporting her by linking.

    In her case, the whole thing really started with The Da Vinci Code, when Sony gave her numbers early and Drudge linked. That got her page views and Sony quickly was addicted and other studios followed. Drudge was the whale.

    And the reason that Nikki, who regularly mocked box office analysis of any kind, obsesses on having it up every week as early as possible – even in the face of a dead parent – is that it drives a large percentage of her traffic… still, thanks to Drudge.

    Studios, aside from Nikki, reported estimates on Sunday so the movies can be promoted on the evening newscasts, Monday morning papers, and Monday morning news shows. Almost no one runs “finals” anymore.

    In classic style, no one else competes with Nikki by running Friday matinee numbers because no one else can stomach the idea of running misleading information on purpose, week after week after week. I talked to an exhibitor who dips into journalism who was happy to compete with Nikki that way, but I decided the better of it. I also have had conversations about working directly with Rentrack to run hourly box office all weekend long, so at least the information would be factual and in context. But really, it feels like waterboarding to fight the possibility of terrorism. If I sink to Nikki’s level, the purpose of the sinking becomes irrelevant.

    This is also true of tracking as a way of predicting grosses. Tracking is not designed as predictive tool for gross, but for marketing penetration into specific market segments. But because execs started citing it to reporters as easy breasy fact, it has become completely misused and abused.

    If studios did feel the maw, there would be no weekend hysteria.

  18. Joe Leydon says:

    David, as always, the selectiveness of your memory never ceases to amuse me. Look what I managed to find just by typing a few words on Google:

  19. Joe Leydon says:

    As I have posted elsewhere: I vividly remember the first time I hear an early report of box-office estimates reported as news. It was 1993, and I was driving on a freeway in Dallas on a Sunday afternoon, on my way to a lunch interview with a filmmaker, when the estimates were delivered as part of a five-minute radio newscast. And I remember thinking at the time: OK, a line has been crossed here. And ever since then…

  20. christian says:

    ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT started the trend. Weekly box-office reports.

  21. David Poland says:

    Joe, as always, your presumption never ceases to overreach. I forget something from 7 years ago and it’s “selective memory.” Oy.

    I wasn’t dismissing Bill Gates charitable giving. I was dismissing the relevance in terms of being Time’s Man Of The Year (shared). Can’t you understand than these things are not the same?

    Truth is, in the last 3 years or so, as Gates started the “Billionaire’s Give it away” Club, I would be a lot more comfortable – in principle – with him being honored in that way. As I recall, there was a lot of self-promotion leading to the Time MOTY. But honestly, I don’t recall the context of December 2005 very specifically.

    But looking back on Wikipedia, I see Hurrican Katrina and its aftermath… Saddam Hussein arrested and tried… first man cured of HIV… first human face transplant… Lynndie England convicted re: Abu Ghraib… bombs in the London Underground… a new pope with ties to criminal sexual activities in the church… China keeps Taiwan from independence…

    But yeah… Katrina was enough… I still think it was a travesty for Time to honor a billionaire for giving away money than to honor the survivors of Katrina and the people on the ground, from New Orleans and elsewhere, fighting to keep a major cultural mecca from disappearing altogether.

    Context, Joe. It matters.

    if I really felt Bill Gates giving away money needed mocking, I would have mocked it and I would happily stand behind that mocking or admit that I was wrong – in my own eyes – if it turned out that I was wrong.

    This is all pretty minor. But I like to be able to speak to things I am accused of without finding I am responding to a Cliff Notes version of what I said.

  22. David Poland says:

    Yes, Christian… but on Monday, late afternoon.

    And when they did, recall that there was no Rentrack (or the internet) and data came from either EDI – which made phone calls to theaters – or Exhibitor Relations, which mostly got their intel directly from the studios, but made the information more freely available.

  23. film fanatic says:

    Sunday night I can abide, I suppose. Saturday is problematic. Friday is abhorrent. Friday morning is stomach-turning. Of course, the TRUE ninth circle of hell is Friday morning with the figures PURPOSEFULLY fudged and then disseminated to reward/punish certain studio heads in order to serve a personal agenda, which is something Nikki does ALL the time.

  24. Joe Leydon says:

    David, I’m from New Orleans, remember? I know all about what terrible things Katrina did to the city. And in the unlikely event I would have forgotten, I would have reminded when I took a trip back to my hometown last weekend. But here’s the thing: You were whining.. er, complaining that people were questioning your motives for delaying the box-office reports. I was suggesting that you’ve been guilty of the same sort of cynicism.

    I’m sure you’re not wrong in your own eyes. You seldom are. (I’m sure Mitt Romney feels precisely the same way about his refusal to reveal his income tax records.) But I’m also sure that you don’t deserve scorn for this good-faith gesture. In fact, I am not being the least bit ironic when say I I have no doubt that your heart truly is in the right place. Unfortunately, just as no good deed goes unpunished, no good-faith gesture goes unquestioned. That’s not fair, of course. But what else is new?

  25. BoulderKid says:

    DP, Saturday morning reporting of Friday estimates has been around for at least a decade. I remember checking Boxoffice Mojo on the weekends when I was in high school (I’m now 26).

  26. brack says:

    Hmm don’t see anyone demanding b.o. reporting, just find it amusing that this is what the film industry decides would be “insensitive” right now to report, as if b.o. reporting is the problem. Did the alledged killer say something like “Damn you and” before firing?

  27. anghus says:

    We overreact in the weirdest ways. Were going to show our respect for the victims of senseless violence by postponing economic reporting. I get the concept, but couldnt we do something other than offer pointless gestures.

  28. Joe Leydon says:

    Well, Anghus, we could invade the jail in Colorado, take the motherfucker out into the street and hang him.

  29. SamLowry says:

    For the last three years, whenever a boy (it’s always a boy) enters my classroom wearing Heath Ledger on his chest, I wonder when (not if) he’ll become a pain in the ass. It’s inevitable, because assholes are attracted to that portrayal of that character like cheap metal to a fridge magnet.

    It’s like Harry Potter: “If the sorting hat said ‘Slytherin’, you should’ve been ushered into a little room and humanely destroyed.”

  30. Joe Leydon says:

    So Sam, you’re saying that you’d like to kill some of your students? But how would you do this after you outlaw guns? LOL.

  31. SamLowry says:

    Rope. Just gotta make sure Jimmy Stewart isn’t invited to the party.

  32. Joe Leydon says:

    Or Henry Fonda.

  33. bulldog68 says:

    At least for this weekend no headline will read ” Dark Knight Rises makes a killing at the box office.” And I mean this in a serious way. You could bet some wiseass jerkoff would’ve found it to be their brand of dark humor.

    While it may seem trivial, if the studio had released the most mundane and by the book statement regarding their box office figures this weekend, its all but guaranteed that comments would be made about their insensitivity.

    I think they made the right call.

  34. Joe Leydon says:

    Arf! Arf! (Translation: You’re right, Bulldog!)

  35. brack says:

    That’s the thing, nothing they do is really the right call. They made it public that they wouldn’t report anything, drawing needless attention to themselves. Whether or not it was the “right call” does it ultimately mean diddly squat? Do the people who were personally affected really give two shits about b.o. reporting? Why not a simple statement, and not, “Oh by the way, we won’t talk about how amazingly successful our film was.” Yeah I get they feel like they needed to do this, but I blame the scrutiny of the media for this lame gesture. My theory is that maybe the film is doing gangbusters despite this tragedy, and that perhaps people will think “wow, no one cares about these killings because they still went to the movies.”

  36. Chucky says: has hinted at “The Dark Knight Rises” playing to less-than-full halls yesterday. Wouldn’t be out of the ordinary. When “Star Wars: Episode 1” opened — on a Wednesday, mind you — there were empty seats in many suburban theaters. Warner Bros. won’t mind as most of their grosses will be from advance sales.

    On a related note, the L.A. Times reports that Warner Bros. may delay or re-edit “Gangster Squad” due to the Aurora massacre.

  37. bulldog68 says:

    Well they “have to” say they won’t release numbers otherwise if they just don’t release numbers and not say anything that’s a bigger kerfuffle.

    No one is saying that this move will make a difference in the victims lives. my guess is that it is the first of many gestures and the one they could think of immediately to show some kind of sensitivity. It seems we have a lot of armchair critics yelling repeal and replace, and getting the repeal part loud and clear, but no talk of the replace portion.

    I suspect that some efforts are being or will be made behind the scenes by Warner Bros. Everything is very fresh and there is no scenario to follow, no drill that was run as to what a corporation should do in an occurrence of this nature.

    I know it’s popular to think of them as all money grubbing greedy corporations, but my personal belief is that WB will in the coming days and months do something to assist the affected victims and their families. And maybe we’ll hear about, and maybe we won’t.

  38. brack says:

    It all seems like Warner Bros are admitting some level of guilt if they go down this route. Then an argument can be made that “it’s Hollywood’s fault.” But maybe I’m overreacting. I do remember after 9/11 how movies with any sort of terrorist scenes were not released or not played on tv for a while, and thought to myself how reactionary and scared we’d become. I hope we have moved past such nonsense.

  39. christian says:

    “I hope we have moved past such nonsense.”

    I’d say the nation has effectively forgotten 9/11 based on the pornographic destruction of cities we’ve seen in films of the past ten years.

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