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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by The Comeback Klady

Analysis will go up around 11a PDT, but just wanted to note the significant rise in the weekend numbers vs the Friday numbers. I think the Olympics opening – which drew a massive TV crowd, in spite of anger over NBC tape-delaying to create a massive TV crowd – was significant on Friday and that the rest of the weekend left the box office looking… pretty normal. I still feel we’ll need to wait until next week to get a really good read on whether there’s any ongoing hangover from the Aurora tragedy… but it looks like most ticket buyers (a small percentage of the public overall) have gotten back to their habit and that the sadness factor had more impact than the fear factor.

Estimates now have The Dark Knight Rises as the 3rd strongest 10 day grosser in history. (Note: Records for speed are not subject to Tickets Sold mania the way other records are as the front-loaded speed thing is a relatively new phenomena.) What a disaster!!!

In other DISASTERS!, The Amazing Spider-Man passed $650m worldwide this weekend and will pass the Hunger Games to become the #2 grosser of 2012 next week… at least until it gets passed by TDKR.

More later…


It’s later.

Not a ton more to say than I did.

Worth pointing out that the Step Up opening is on the top half of Lionsgate openings this year. Hunger Games, 2 Tyler Perrys, and Cabin In The Woods with $14.7m opened better for LGF.

Great hold for Ted, which should be over $200m domestic by this time next weekend.

Focus is killing it with Moonrise Kingdom and looks now like it might pass The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Searchlight is also doing great with the very narrow audienced Beasts of the Southern Wild.

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80 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by The Comeback Klady”

  1. Big G says:

    Spider-Man 2.0 won’t get anywhere near Hunger Games domestic gross however. Don’t know why HG wasn’t a bit more successful internationally.

  2. chris says:

    Because it has no real stars and the books are not yet an international phenomenon.

  3. etguild2 says:

    It’s funny that someone was mentioning Gus Van Sant’s remake of Psycho on the blog, because this is Vince Vaughn’s second-worst wide release opening behind that film.

    Fascinating that Weinstein waited until Week 10 to roll out Intouchables into more than 100 theatres, but it seems to have worked. It’s the top grossing foreign language film of the year, which is pretty damn depressing.

    @Big G Hunger Games is 37% stronger than the first Twilight overseas. Also, anyone notice it had another release into second run theatres in its 19th weekend in release? Incredible for a non-awards film in this era.

  4. Big G says:

    chris, that seems like a good explanation.

  5. David Poland says:

    Yeah… Hunger Games is read overseas by a ton of people… and last I checked, all the cash works the same, wherever it’s grossed.

  6. Big G says:

    OK, so then answer the question. Why didn’t it do better overseas.

  7. bulldog68 says:

    Maybe overseas audiences don’t find that teenagers killing each other for sport is must see entertainment.

  8. David Poland says:

    Well, the only Hollywood films to outgross Hunger Games overseas this year so far are Avengers and 3rd or later franchise movies. The number is pretty great. Expectations are put of proportion.

    Also… it wasn’t released by WB international.

  9. bulldog68 says:

    DP, (and anyone else who cares to chime in)any perspective on the much lower drop percentages this week as compared with last week. Of course we all have our opinions on this, but it’s such a drastic difference. Outside of Dark Knight and Savages, no movie dropped more than 40% this week, even Madea had it’s best hold this week with a 41% drop. In fact almost every wide release, all the way down to position #15 held by The Avengers, had it’s worst hold last week, and it’s best hold this week. I think it’s more than a coincidence and the tragedy did affect movie-going last week, and in what should have been another down week because of the opening ceremonies actually rebounded quite nicely on Saturday.

    My personal view is that Dark Knight lost about $10-$15m and all other movies lost 10%-15% of box office last week. Just a gut feel, nothing else.

    Any thoughts?

  10. Geoff says:

    Looks like Spiderman is actually going to perform better than I have would have thought….I did NOT see it clearing $250 million domestic, that’s a GOOD re-boot except please don’t keep dishing the party line on how much money Sony saved on this one, it cost $220 million at least! So they go to all of this trouble and re-start things to save $30 million??? I mean this cost marginally less than The Dark Knight Rises and I doubt that Sony spent much less on marketing either.

    TDKR will probably clear $400 million and I’m guessing $425 million….I always had the best case scenario of this doing about $450 million so considering the Aurora incident the marketing folks at Warners can hang their heads pretty high, sorry if that sound callous. But it’s obvious that people do LIKE this movie even if they don’t love it as much as TDK, though I certainly did….if you think about it…


    TDKR has much more a crowd-pleasing ending, so I don’t see word-of-mouth on how “grim and depressing” it is really materializing. TDK was far from a happy film itself and still had good legs.

    That IS a pretty strong number for Intouchables….is there any word that Weinstein is going re-release or expand it in the fall to get more Oscar buzz? They could possibly turn this into another Il Postino.

    And how come it isn’t more newsworthy that Madagascar 3 has broken $200 million domestic?? I know that $200 million is the new $100 million, but this is a franchise that hasn’t done that before and…..basically a second sequel to Madagascar, which was never a hugely popular franchise, has pulled off what sequels to more beloved animated blockbusters like Cars, Happy Feet, and Kung Fu Panda couldn’t do….that’s pretty damn impressive!

  11. Smith says:

    Madagascar 3 is damned charming little film, and easily the most fully realized film of the series, IMO. Liked the first two films okay, took my cousins (ages 7 & 9) to see M3 last weekend. All three of us had a blast – adults and kids were laughing equally throughout the theater. Think it has earned its $200 million on good old fashioned word of mouth.

  12. etguild2 says:


    We’ll never know if Sony saved money or not because the script for SPIDER-MAN 4 was supposedly terrible. If it was as bad as Raimi and others said it was, it could have been a BATMAN & ROBIN scenario where the gross plunges 40%.

    And if SPIDER-MAN 3 cost $260 million, there’s no telling how much SPIDER-MAN 4 would have cost–possibly $300 million

  13. Daniella Isaacs says:

    Speaking of perception, why was 205 mil for BATMAN BEGINS considered respectable enough for WARNERS to continue on to THK, while 200 for SUPERMAN RETURNS was considered such a disaster that they decided to drop the ball on that franchise until such time as they could completely re-re-boot it?

  14. chris says:

    Interesting question. I suppose it must have entered into it that one franchise had a visionary with a strong point of view whose take was appreciated by fans and critics, and the other didn’t.

  15. etguild2 says:

    Because SUPERMAN RETURNS was the most expensive film ever made when it was released. It cost over $100 million more than BATMAN BEGINS and grossed only $20 million more worldwide.

    Plus Bryan Singer was thought to be a sure thing in the superhero genre. Chris Nolan wasn’t.

  16. Joe S says:

    Maybe because The Hunger Games is a fairly crappy movie that was way over-praised and over-hyped on these shores?

  17. David Poland says:

    Madagascar 3 does deserve some love for being the biggest of the trio domestically… but worldwide, it’s still far behind Madagascar 2, Panda 2, etc. I assume they have some holdout territories, but that’d be why there’s no parade yet.

    Superman Returns not only cost a lot more than Batman Begins (even if you remove the development charges against it), but it was not a well-liked film. Batman Begins was a reboot that took a franchise that had been run down and offered real promise and huge support, as well as a strong DVD and early blu-ray seller. Also, ironically, Bryan Singer’s calling card was X-Men, which reconsidered the superhero movie… and then delivered a traditional, dated, boring Superman.

  18. cadavra says:

    At the risk of stating the obvious re HUNGER GAMES overseas, let’s not forget the rest of the world got BATTLE ROYALE and thus saw HG as a crummy American knock-off.

    BTW, did anyone see that the CW is developing BR as a television series? From unreleasable feature to network TV in barely more than a decade. We are so down the rabbit hole…

  19. etguild2 says:

    Indeed MADAGASCAR has about 40% of the market left–Japan, UK, Germany, Italy, Australia and Scandinavia.

    It should get to $650 million worldwide.

  20. LexG says:

    RUBY SPARKS is mostly terrific after an off-putting first 20 or 30 minutes, making it two very good Paul Dano-as-writer performances this year.

    Also Zoe shows her feet almost nonstop.

  21. Joe Leydon says:

    But Cadavra: Developing it as a scripted drama, or a reality show?

  22. movieman says:

    Good one, Joe.
    But since it’s CW and not Fox, it’s probably safe to assume it’s a conventionally scripted series, lol.

  23. Joe Leydon says:

    But here’s the thing: A reality show might not be as far-fetched as you might think.

  24. Don R. Lewis says:

    Man…geek culture is bugging the shiiiiit out of me these past few weeks. First there’s all the revisionist history on Raimi’s SPIDERMAN films. I’m sorry, but no way in hell was there the trail of hate towards them that there is NOW than when they came out. Sure, there was some dislike and some love, as always. But now everyone’s disowning them and saying they always hated them. I don’t recal that being the case at all.

    Now the nitpicking to DEATH of DARK KNIGHT RISES. Sweet Jesus, man. For a film so many proclaim to dislike, there’s sure alot of time spent picking apart every aspect of it. At least Jim Emerson has the intelligence to delove into what his issues are. The rest of these online geeks are like a group of yakking hyena’s behind a cage. Buncha persnickety bitches.

  25. David Poland says:

    I agree with Don. But I think they have convinced themselves. And I don’t quite understand the whole phenomenon. I think it may be a turfy entitlement thing. (As in, “geeks rule the world, so why don’t they listen to geeks when they make these movies?)

    People who love movies don’t relish killing movies like this.

    And for the record, I like Raimi’s Spiderman series, but #2 is wildly overrated and #3 sucks and I have always said so. He did many terrific things, but never cracked any of the villains, Green Goblin being the best, but there was still that stupid f-ing mask.

  26. christian says:

    “but #2 is wildly overrated”

    Nope. It’s better than #1 in every aspect.

  27. brack says:

    Appears b.o. is back to normal. Finally got to see The Dark Knight Rises on a real Imax theatre at the Indiana State Museum. A 100 mile drive, but was worth it. May do that 3 times a year, but it’s a shame that a perfectly good Imax screen collects dust just several yards away from Liemax screen that’s at my local AMC. At least the Imax website differentiates between digital and 15/70 when it lists the theaters that are showing The Dark Knight Rises. I guess Liemax was a good decision business-wise, but as far a giving people a truly different experience, it certainly doesn’t come close. Wish the local Omnimax theater would show Hollywood movies, but I keep reading that the picture looks very distorted. I still think Imax lost a good opportunity by rolling out these larger but not great screens.

  28. Rob says:

    Moonrise is in its seventh weekend in the top ten in the middle of summer. Best Exotic had six. To Rome with Love had two. It’s interesting to watch the “big” movies burn out so quickly that there’s always room in the top ten for a steady art house grosser or two, even in July.

  29. Bennett says:

    It’s amazing that the Liemax version of Dark Knight Rises costs five dollars more in my market than the real IMAX version.

    Because our real IMAX didn’t show the amazing spider man, I saw it in the Liemax 3D. I am not sure what got me more angry the Liemax presentation or the film. At least the Liemax usually has great sound, but this presentation was pretty bad on sound and visuals. I remember seeing Star Trek in Liemax and at least the sound was AMAZING. There were large sections of the film that I took off my glasses and noticed that there was barely any 3D out of focus elements. Like many of the home or school scenes. Fool me once Sony……..

  30. Bennett says:

    I did have time last week to see Ted and really enjoyed it…Any news of a sequel????

    I am guessing that this and Magic Mike are probably the most profitable films of the year at least relative to cost.

  31. Nick Rogers says:

    brack: I have seen TDKR twice at the Indiana State Museum. Absolutely blown away. Now that the ISM sells beer and wine, and is probably raking in money from the 15/70 presentation, I hope it starts bringing in more of Hollywood’s IMAX films (even if few of them are filmed with IMAX cameras as TDKR was).

  32. Amblynman says:

    Agree with everything Don posted. Geeks loved Spider-Man 2. Loved, loved, loved.

    The nitpicking of movies has, like everything else on the Internet, been taken to an extreme in which it has nothing to do with the original subject. It’s just about people proving they’re above the thing they claim to love. No, I don’t know how Bruce Wayne got back into Gotham either. However, to quote Triumph the insult comic dog, the correct answer is: who gives a shit?

    To REALLY digress for a moment: I’m watching the last 30 or so of The Lost World. It has to be Spielberg’s worst movie. Wow did that man simply not give a shit on this one.

  33. jesse says:

    The dangling trailer and raptors in the grass and T-Rex in San Diego are some of the most fun sequences of Spielberg’s career.

  34. etguild2 says:

    @bennett, not all “Liemax” theatres are created equal. For instance, I live in Virginia, where the “true IMAX” theatres at the Virginia Marine Science Museum in Virginia Beach and the National Air and Space Museum in DC are larger than most multiplex IMAXES, but not all–the IMAX at Tysons Corner in Northern Virginia, and one in Alexandria are about the same size, or are larger than some museum Imaxes.

    So you have your Liemaxes, your museum Imaxes that are comparable to a few large multiplex Imaxes…and finally the gargantuans. The only one in Virginia we have is, for some reason, at the Air and Space Museum satellite site in Chantilly. It is among the largest in the country, and I can tell you audience members practically fainted seeing TDK there in 2008.

    Anyway, it’s more complicated than multiplex vs museum.


    As far as movie profitability relative to cost this year, TITANIC 3D and French export INTOUCHABLES (at an insane $356 million worldwide against a reported $12 million budget) are far and away ahead of TED and MAGIC MIKE, though you’re right domestically.

  35. anghus says:

    we have a Liemax in our town. It’s still better than the other screens, but it is not a real IMAX screen.

  36. etguild2 says:

    I just wish IMAX would make the screen sizes/formats known on their site going in. I was fairly infuriated after driving out of my way to a museum, paying extra, and discovering the screen was actually a few feet smaller than a multiplex closer to me.

  37. anghus says:

    in my town, we only got the Liemax. So it’s Liemax or regular screens.

  38. Desslar says:

    “Yeah… Hunger Games is read overseas by a ton of people… and last I checked, all the cash works the same, wherever it’s grossed.”

    Perhaps I am misunderstanding, but don’t studios get to keep a much smaller slice of international box office than domestic box office? If so, then I would think domestic cash is more enticing to studios than international cash (all other things being equal).

  39. Rashad says:

    Spider-Man 2 isn’t a good movie, and its effects look horrible now.

    There’s nothing sillier than an unconscious Spidey being passed around while he’s unconscious.

    And it always bugged me that Raimi turned New York into Chicago with the elevated trains.

  40. Desslar says:

    But Chicago is the new New York. See also Dark Knight, Transformers 3, Man of Steel, etc.

    I liked the train scene, even thought the general public doesn’t usually show that much affection for webhead.

  41. christian says:

    “There’s nothing sillier than an unconscious Spidey being passed around while he’s unconscious.”

    That’s a beautiful scene, more likely Raimi’s subtle 9/11 tribute.

    And why is it “silly”? Because he’s unconscious after a fight?

  42. Eric says:

    I watched all three of Raimi’s Spider-Man movies over the course of the last month.

    The first half of the first movie is pretty good. Spidey really does have one of the best superhero origins. The second half is marred by the ridiculously stupid Green Goblin. The costume is bad, the character is undercooked, the effects are horribly dated.

    In comparison, the second movie is marvelous. It’s a far better script and the effects are leagues better. It was drastically overpraised when it was released, but it has held up well.

    The third movie is a piece of shit. Every decision that went into it was wrong.

  43. bulldog68 says:

    “Perhaps I am misunderstanding, but don’t studios get to keep a much smaller slice of international box office than domestic box office? If so, then I would think domestic cash is more enticing to studios than international cash (all other things being equal).”

    Tell that to Fox and their Ice Age franchise. They seem perfectly content with smaller domestic numbers. as long as these things are going north of 1/2 billion each time, they’ll keep cranking them out. The last three Ice Age movies sit in the top 50 international of all time, and the last Ice Age is currently at #8.

  44. Krillian says:

    Desslar asks an interesting question, but my understanding is that the rule of thumb is you have to make back triple your budget worldwide to make a profit.

    I liked Webb’s Spider-Man. I appreciate the first two Raimi ones, but I like where Webb’s going. Looking forward to his Spider-Man 2.

  45. cadavra says:

    NYC’s subways ARE above ground in parts of the boroughs. See THE FRENCH CONNECTION and the third PELHAM 123 for examples.

  46. LexG says:

    Little tired of this Ai Weiwei guy flipping me off on every movie blog.


  47. Joe Leydon says:

    Cadavra: You posted that just to show off, right? I mean, you know dozens of people are going to look at that and go, “There was a third one?” LOL. Just like Sharon Stone starred in the fourth version of Diabolique, right?

  48. martin s says:

    Don’t blame Raimi for the Goblin. That’s all Sony.

    This was, IIRC, what he originally wanted.

  49. Triple Option says:

    Spidey2 was the sh#t! No one’s going to move me off that position.

  50. ThriceDamned says:

    Webb’s Spidey is about equal to Raimi’s Spidey 2 in my book, probably a little bit better even (meaning that I think they’re both aces)

    Raimi’s Spidey 1 and 3 have aged badly I think.

  51. etguild2 says:

    Maybe it’s just me, and I swear I’ve always disliked all of Raimi’s Spidey movies, but I thought Alfred Molina was so over the top in the second film that I burst out laughing whenever he comes on screen.

    I can deal with the dated effects, my problem with the films always was that aside from the first half of the first one, they were all wildly over-acted at times. James Franco transformed into a caricature of Harry Osborn as the series went on, and it became like watching a big-budget telenovella.

  52. anghus says:

    i liked Spiderman 2, but i was always underwhelmed by the Doc Ock plot. A miniature sun? Manhattan being pulled apart by simulated gravity? Sentient robot arms?

    And Raimi’s Spiderman films were always about stupid fun. They were as emotionally complex as a Spanish Tele-Novella.

    Marc Webb’s Spiderman was a far more engaging drama and i think a far superior comic book movie. Though, once again, the villain is the main reason for it’s failings. The Lizard and his whole plot was weak. Another mad scientist with a plot to destroy Manhattan with Science.

  53. etguild2 says:

    True. It’s strange because I thought the acting in this one was so much better, but the idea of

    (SPOILERS I guess)

    turning everyone into lizards seems more like an SNL parody of V than anything else.

  54. brack says:

    The Raimi Spider-Man trilogy were on a whole pretty entertaining. Count me as one of the few who thought SM3 was underrated. Sure the villains weren’t very interesting and there were too many of them, but I didn’t think the film was so much worse than the first or second, though definitely the weakest. I guess I liked it enough because I cared about what happened to these characters at that point.

  55. Steven Kaye says:

    Another good weekend for To Rome With Love, making $1 million and down just 29.6%, the 5th smallest drop in the top 20. Its cume now stands at $13 million. Everyone’s happy.

    (I’m sure there were some other films showing, but who really cares about some stupid comic-book shit?)

    Oh, and a big hello to anghus. Your Mom says hi, too.

  56. Eric says:

    Thanks for checking in, Steven. Same time next week?

  57. etguild2 says:

    Steven….this is really tough for me to even type, but based on actuals, “To Rome With Love” actually had the 9th worst hold, of the 18 films that weren’t new releases in the top 20.

    We’ll get through this together.

  58. anghus says:

    Steven can’t do math. And apparently he’s with my mom, which would also make him a necrophilliac.

    I told you the guy was creepy.

  59. leahnz says:

    i think to an extent nolan is responsible for leaving his batmans wide open for nitpicking, because he seemingly wants to have his cake and eat it too: he’s tried hard (some might say TOO hard) to portray his batmovies – esp TDK and TDKR – as ‘realistic’ big city crime dramas, but in removing the fantastical, tongue-in-cheek elements from his batrealm, he walks a fine line taking inherently fantastical material where the protagonist/hero dresses up in a costume as a giant bat and asking us to buy it/take is as seriously as it’s portrayed on screen. With a fun, melodramatic, dark and daring-do fantastical canon caped crusader, issues such as plot holes and plausibility are to be expected really and easy to overlook; but when you intentionally go down the ‘realistic serious crime drama’ route where almost everything is designed to look real-world, you’d better have your ducks in a row and plot holes plugged up, because suspension of disbelief regarding a grown man dressing up like a big bat to fight crime is much harder to achieve in this arena, and stuff that’s messy or just doesn’t make sense is far more glaring and easy to pick apart in a realistic crime drama. this is what has always vaguely bothered my about nolan’s ultra-serous batrealm, where the fantastical has been thoroughly scrubbed out; you’re fed this big-city action crime drama soup and then this guy dressed as a big black bat and other weirdos show up and you’re asked to take it seriously/literally – there’s just something incongruous and silly about it all.

  60. cadavra says:

    Joe: Not a show-off, just extremely anal. 🙂

  61. Rashad says:

    Cadavra: There are elevated trains in Brooklyn, and Queens, but not in the heart of Manhattan.

    And why is it “silly”? Because he’s unconscious after a fight?

    Because he’s unconscious, and they decide to pick him up over their heads, and pass him the length of the train like Christ. It’s cringeworthy.

  62. Don R. Lewis says:

    I never really thought about the following idea in larger terms but I’m having a tough time thinking of when a villain and “evil plot” in a comic book movie were done really well. Except for THE DARK KNIGHT. I mean, I cannot even remember what Red Skull was up to in CAPTAIN AMERICA and I liked that film alot. I like Doc Oc but yeah, that small sun thing was silly. I gotta think on this but it raises a good point that I never thought of which is that the failing of most comic book adaptations is in the evil plot and villain execution and rarely the hero.

  63. etguild2 says:

    That’s true Don. I can think of a few, but it seems a lot of the time the “evil plot’s” effective evilness has no impact on whether the movie is good or bad.

    Sometimes inherent silliness is in movies I really enjoy like the ONE LOOM TO RULE THEM ALL in “Wanted.”

    And when evil is pretty straightforward, like XMEN 3 was, with let’s use Jean Grey/Phoenix to DESTROY EVERYONE IN OUR WAY!….it was the worst movie because it was emotionally hollow.

  64. Tim DeGroot says:

    Well said, Leah. ‘How did Bruce Wayne get back to Gotham’ is more glaring when it’s part of a series of films which had previously given us multiple explanations for how Batman’s cowl works.

  65. cadavra says:

    Rashad: And the Bronx as well. (I’ve ridden that one.) I DID say “the boroughs.” The larger point is that once you’ve accepted the “reality” of a super-hero fighting a super-villain, the location of the train is nit-picking at best.

  66. storymark says:

    ‘How did Bruce Wayne get back to Gotham’ is more glaring when it’s part of a series of films which had previously given us multiple explanations for how Batman’s cowl works.”

    I disagree. We’ve already seen him traverse the world with little aid in Begins, and a whole team of special forces guys had just gotten in. Didn’t bother me at all to not see that rote plot-point played out.

  67. storymark says:

    “And why is it “silly”? Because he’s unconscious after a fight?

    Because he’s unconscious, and they decide to pick him up over their heads, and pass him the length of the train…”

    Because letting the guy who just saved them fall off the front of the train to his death would have been better?

  68. bulldog68 says:


    I still can understand that because Nolan had removed most of the mystery of Batman, that people would have a problem with him just appearing in a security tight city, and conveniently showing up where Catwoman was.

    After viewing, I thought that this would have made for an excellent opportunity to have Joseph Levitt’s character helping him back into the city and we see the genesis of some type of team forming.

  69. leahnz says:

    thanks, tim.

    “I thought that this would have made for an excellent opportunity to have Joseph Levitt’s character helping him back into the city and we see the genesis of some type of team forming.”

    ha i thought the exact same thing bulldog; the moment i heard Blake’s back-story, which is basically grayson/Robin’s, i suspected a team-up (i didn’t know how the movie ended ahead of time so i didn’t realise how it would play out), and 30 seconds of blake helping wayne back into gotham would have killed two birds with one stone: helping to close that hole and adding some story/character development.

    (Red Skull had a god-complex and wanted to destroy humanity to prove he was a superior being. i think ‘capt america’ is still my fave comic book movie this year, i liked the design of it and combination of earnest daring-do – apparently i’m going to use the term ‘daring-do’ a lot in my comic book movie comments – and action that was bombastic but fairly clean and not way ott, overblown and absurd.)

  70. bulldog68 says:

    That’s too funny Leahnz. You complete me. 🙂

  71. Yancy Skancy says:

    leah: Since you plan to keep using it, it should be “derring-do.” Actually, one could argue that it should be “daring-do,” but for whatever reason, the archaic form has stuck. 🙂

  72. leahnz says:

    you had me at hello bulldog

    lol yancy, yes thanks for that – if i’m going to use a dorky expression from the days of yore i could at least spell it right.

  73. martin s says:

    leahnz says:
    July 30, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    Yep. Well put.

    The problem, Nolan is serving two masters; his take and what WB wants to sell.

    Lex pointed it out a week or two ago, that Batman, not Bruce Wayne, feels almost like he’s wedged into the story. The reason, IMO, is because the movie’s concept is supposed to be reality-based logic. If so, the suit must comply. And it does in the context of Begins, but not in TDK.

    Nolan and Goyer tried to find this middle-ground explanation in Begins for “why a bat design” that had one foot in mystery and the other in tech. But in TDK, the mystery elements – the batcave, league of shadows – are discarded from the storyline, except the suit remains. And Nolan couldn’t change the suit, or else WTF was WB paying for?

    He tried to square the circle with TDKR, but I’m still not sure if it worked. TDKR has some real mental landmines that I step on as the days go by. Like, how their “realistic” Bane ended up as a variation of Sub-Zero/Scorpion from Mortal Kombat. I’m sure that’s been pointed out ad nauseum on some sites, but I always felt a more Lord Humongous vibe so I didn’t connect the two until recently. I was left to wonder if that was intentional, because somebody in design or DC had to have pointed that out to Nolan.

  74. Monco says:

    I just thought that because he walks from the middle of the frozen river to save Gordon that we can just assume that he could have walked across to get back in. The guy is a ninja after all who trained by sword fighting on a frozen lake in Begins. Walking across is no problem. I mean believe me there are things you can nitpick about the movie but this is a stupid one. I think it is a stunningly great movie that requires multiple viewings to fully appreciate all that Nolan is doing but I don’t fault anyone who has issues with it I just disagree. The ambition of Nolan is commendable if nothing else. I still think the first one is the best of the three but Rises will the most interesting to rewatch over the next 5, 10 years. I expect it will rise in stature over time.

  75. Joe Leydon says:

    Hey, folks: We’re talking about a guy who has a BatCAVE, remember? He probably just strolled through a CAVE underneath the river to get back into Gotham. Sheesh.

  76. anghus says:

    it reminds me of my favorite nitpicky discussion ever after a screening of Goldeneye. This friend of mine was like ‘that was so unrealistic’

    ‘which part?’ i replied.

    “the guy (Sean Bean) falls two hundred feet off the top of the satellite dish, and he’s still alive when it comes crashing down on him? That’s bullshit”

    The guy has a laser watch, the plot follows an invisible helicopter and a satellite that fires EMPs. There’s a scene where Bond jumps off a cliff, flies into a plane and pilots it before crashing. There’s a tank chase through the city.

    And your problem is a guy surviving an extraordinarily high fall?

    The Dark Knight Rises features underground prisons, giant neutron bombs, a flying batmobile, a button that shuts off all electronics in a twenty yard radius, a magic leg brace that cures his limp, a villain who needs a mask of some kind to keep out the pain, a villain who manages to hijack a plane with another plane before tearing it to pieces.

    And the issue people have is ‘how did the world’s greatest hero sneak into a giant city’?

    People are weird.

  77. Joe Leydon says:

    By coincidence: I was talking with a writer-director just yesterday about how much backstory/exposition/explanation you really have to give audiences. Many filmmakers, of course, always follow the rule of three: You have to announce each important piece of info 3 times, so even the mouth-breathers will catch on. (Which of course Nolan does — just to fuck with us — with the business about the autopilot.) On the other hand, one of my favorite examples of a movie with absolutely minimal explanation is David Mamet’s Spartan, where the kidnapped daughter of a US President is never explicitly identified as the daughter of a US President.

    As far as this whole “How did Batman get back into Gotham?” thing goes — I suppose the same nitpickers would complain that The Wizard of Oz really doesn’t have a happy ending, because that mean old woman simply will come back to the farm and grab Toto again.

  78. Krillian says:

    Spartan – yes! (And a good supporting role for Ed O’Neill)

    Wizard of Oz – I never thought of that. (slumps shoulders)

  79. Don R. Lewis says:

    What anghus said to a tee. People have zero problem with a bat plane that is super silent and can hover unheard but a guy walking across ice raises a red flag.

  80. cadavra says:

    Worst/Best example of this: In THE SHINING, Scatman Crothers can sense from 2000 miles away that the kid is in danger, but doesn’t hear a heavy-breathing, ax-wielding maniac standing right behind him!

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