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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Chip Away Klady

Remember those blocks of clay you could buy and you’d chip away until you got to the hard plastic statue underneath? That’s what Argo‘s return to the top reminds me of today, finally getting the top slot in its third weekend. It will still be running slightly behind The Town after this weekend, but it may slip that by the end of next weekend. We’ll see.

Meanwhile, with six years in between movies, I kinda assumed that there were a few more Silent Hill movies out there. I was wrong. This one’s 57% off the opening day of the last one. That would suggest an $11.4m weekend… but I’m not sure they’ll get there.

Cloud Atlas just didn’t take. The Wachowskis came out of media hiding… and gloriously so. But to little avail. Their sixth film will be their 2nd worst opener. It might cheer fans of CA that the film that did worse was Bound, which grossed less domestically in total than CA will in its first day and a half. And that film is now considered a classic. But the energy around this just didn’t add up to box office. No one is making fun of Cloud Atlas (As opposed to making snarky, nasty, lazy, infantile digs at Lana) on, say, Funny or Die or Letterman or Leno. It’s not a big cultural event outside of the “cultured class.” I’m not sure WB had a lot more to do with this film. Some sort of 2 minute or 5 minute piece on what the movie is might have helped a bit. But it would have had to have come out months ago to make a difference. It’s really hard when someone says, “What’s it about?” and the answer sounds like fart in a holistic bookstore. I’m not claiming this was the runaway hit of the season waiting to happen. But a $20m opening doesn’t seem impossible.

Paranormal Activity 4 is still tracking to do about 1/3 less than any other PA movie. Is the franchise winding down or the marketing… or both? This is still very profitable, but the last one seems to have been the series peak.

Taken and Taken 2 are more of a classic genre sequel situation. 2 is doing business faster… but 1 seems to have stronger legs. I like Tak2 to wrap up domestically within $10m of the original.

Hotel T passes Cloudy 2/ Meatballs today. And it’s got at least another $20m in the domestic tank.

Nothing fun about that Fun Size opening. Is it a comedy about height-challenged sex addicts?

Chasing Mavericks is a horrible car wreck. A $400 per screen/$1200 per for the weekend (they now hope) release is worse than From Justin to Kelly or Thunderbirds, as a point of reference. Ouch.

Not much non-highly-specialized joy in the indie world this weekend. But I must say, not going to see Pusher (UK version) is a mistake that many people will wish they hadn’t made when they finally see the film.

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16 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Chip Away Klady”

  1. BoulderKid says:

    “Chasing Mavericks” is going to challenge “Won’t Back Down” for worst wide release opening of the year.

    Really disappointing about “Cloud Atlas.” No one wins when something genuinely ambitious and new like CA bombs. Somewhat related, look at tired old “Taken 2” starting to show some legs.

  2. Tuck Pendelton says:

    cloud atlas’s foreign box office will determine its fate much more than domestic. But I thought it would get closer to $20M this weekend.

    I’m looking forward to seeing it tonight.

  3. LtotheG says:


    How is it ALL DAY Friday, both THR and Variety claimed Cloud Atlas was going to do 11-13 weekend… then the number above is 3.5, suggesting more like a 9 or 10mil weekend?

    Also: Poor FUN SIZE! I better get out there and support it again and again.

  4. anghus says:

    Lots of walk outs at Cloud Atlas last night. And lots of laughter at the furure segment with Hanks and Berry.

  5. Chucky says:

    All those money-grabs, name-checking and Academy Award Winner/Nominee are harming the movie industry. The upcoming “Frankenstorm” may deliver the coup de grace.

  6. Drake Chambers says:

    Such a shame FUN SIZE did so poorly. I thought it was a great PG-13 comedy. Victoria Justice was great and deserves a lead role in one of those young adult novel adaptations, like Divergent or something. The guy from Project X was good too, although I don’t know how much longer he will be able to play the kid who goes against his parents’ wishes to have the best night of his life.

    They did a horrible job promoting it and now it will be stuck in the Epix ghetto until 2015 where no one will flip past it on a summer afternoon and get sucked in like happens with HBO movies. People will just forget this movie ever existed, like that movie with Kirsten Dunst and Sisqo. This deserved the box office that PITCH PERFECT received.

  7. chris says:

    The thing that sold “Fun Size” to me was the script. Really clever and not at all surprising that it is by a “Daily Show” writer. (On the other hand, Victoria Justice? OK, Look At Her. But don’t Listen To Her.)

  8. Rashad says:

    Why the hell are you people paying to see Fun Size? Do you have daughters? Like I get, and have, paid to see animated movies, because the animation itself is appealing and the storytelling is still done by great people, but how does an adult go out and say to themselves “that Victoria Justice movie is for me.”

    And yeah, Justice is really hot. Great legs.

  9. LYT says:

    For perspective on Cloud Atlas – how does it rank as a Tom Hanks opening? Is it his worst since being double-Oscar-winner Tom Hanks?

  10. sanj says:

    i watched Magic Mike – didn’t like the colors and the ending needed to be way better – lots of actors in this film but Cody Horn story was totally wasted …Cody Horn needs to do more indie films so she can get a dp/30 .

    Silent Hill Revelation got 0/10 from ep daily – 3 minute video review ..ouch.

  11. Drake Chambers says:

    I saw Magic Mike in theaters by myself and have waited over 2 hours in line for a Twilight midnight showing. No one that knows me in my daily life thinks I’m straight, so going to see a movie toplined by Victoria Justice isn’t strange for me.

  12. Joshua says:

    LYT: Based on the projected weekend total of $9.4 million, “Cloud Atlas” will be Hanks’s worst wide opening weekend since “That Thing You Do!” at $6.2 million. (This excludes “The Great Buck Howard,” because it never went wide, but it does include the first wide weekend for films that had a platform release.)

  13. Proman says:

    Well, “just didn’t take” may be a poor way to describe the film, which may have a great hold over the the coming weeks.

  14. David Poland says:

    I would love Cloud Atlas to have a great hold for weeks and weeks to come, Proman. Unfortunately, everything in this situation points the other way. The harshness of the negatives is damaging.

  15. Proman says:

    Negatives that you seem to be adding to, in your own way.

    That’s not the point though. Not absolutely everything plays against it.

    It still has Hanks and mature audiences it is probably aimed at may not always show up to see a film on an opening weekend. It may continue to have drawing power.

    I think it may have a chance to get past $40 million and do decent business overseas.

  16. cadavra says:

    Is CLOUD ATLAS really being sold as “a Tom Hanks movie?” Isn’t that like calling LORD OF THE RINGS a Viggo Mortenson movie?

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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