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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by Big Weekend Klady

What is lovely about this best-ever Thanksgiving box office haul—unless you are obsessively trying to find reasons to claim that theatrical is dead or dying—is that it wasn’t driven by mega-numbers. There was some real balance. A lot of people going to a lot of different kinds of movies. The biggest Thanksgiving 5-day ever was Potter 1’s $82.4m, 11 years ago. This weekend’s estimated high (do all-too-many media outlets not realize that today’s numbers are estimates since Sunday numbers haven’t happened yet or do they just not care about facts being precise?) was Twilight: The First Series Ends’ $64 million. Bond was about $13m behind that. But there was $64 million in Lincoln and Life of Pi. That’s amazing for two serious-minded films.

Moreover, there was $8.5m more out there for Flight, now nearing 2.5x production cost in domestic gross alone… a heavy flick about high-functioning alcoholism. Silver Linings Playbooks rebounded—for those who saw the per-screen in its first weekend as a problem—with a strong $12k per-screen on 367. Argo is still going pretty strong, ready to cross the $100m mark this next week. And there were some legitimate, if not overwhelming, per-screens for Anna Karenina, Hitchcock, Rust & Bone, and docs Chasing Ice and The Central Park Five.

There are a lot of people with a lot of specific agendas, but overall, this is the ideal of what the Niche Box Office might look like going forward. It’s not all GIANT movies and tiny movies. It’s a solid mix. People still love going to the movies. And go they do. They went to all kinds of stuff this weekend, including animated films and Indian films and docs and high art and high crap and stupid remakes an everything in between.

You want to count tickets? Get a life. Your guesstimates for this weekend—or any weekend—is skewed by 3D and IMAX by, I would estimate, as much as 10%. Ticket counting is often using a macro number to make micro arguments, which doesn’t work.

But that said, the post-theatrical universal has expanded exponentially since the launch of VHS, but even more since DVD sell-thru and the internet. But the lowered number of tickets sold hasn’t dropped exponentially at all. If you include international—which none of the ticket counters ever do, both to make their case and because even estimated stats are barely available—ticket sales are clearly up. But even if you don’t, domestic ticket sales have dropped steadily, but not drastically. This is not another era of TV eating exhibition and the studios. But yes, there is an incursion on theatrical by EVERYTHING out there. But the incursion has been greater on DVD and television. So what is the theory? It’s a lot bigger than “great weekend if you look at grosses, but ticket sales…”

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72 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by Big Weekend Klady”

  1. etguild2 says:

    Spot on. Except, why not count tickets for Bond? There’s no question, IMAX or not, that #23 SKYFALL will go down as the biggest domestic Bond since #5, inflation included. That’s pretty damn cool.

  2. Lynch Van Sant says:

    Skyfall is going to crack $300 million – that is impressive. It might even beat Breaking Dawn 2 with only The Hobbit preventing it from being the top movie of the fall season. Meanwhile, Rise Of The Guardians is underwhelming…is it due to the ugly looking characters or are people getting Santa’d out after so many years of Christmas themed family movies.

  3. The Pope says:

    Saw Silver Lining Playbook this morning (it’s release on this side of the Atlantic is not the platform pattern seen Stateside).

    Russell is sooooo good at emotional chaos and it works really well until the last act when it takes a sudden veer into conventional (and sadly incredulous plotting). There is a brilliant line DeNiro delivers brilliantly late in the picture but it is completely redundant because of the contrivance of the ending.

    A pity because it could have been a classic for the ages. Instead, it is just a very good, funny, emotionally charged picture. So, as Meatloaf sang…

  4. chris says:

    Actually, Lynch, the weird thing about “Rise” — not that audiences necessarily know this, going in — is that it’s not about Christmas. It takes place at Easter (an Easter completely denuded of religious significance).

  5. etguild2 says:

    What’s depressing about “Guardians” is it’s Dreamworks Ani’s fist non-sequel/spinoff in two years. And if you look back, the company has had one original release that’s considered pretty successful in the last four and a half years (Dragon).

  6. Js Partisan says:

    So some of you folks are still going with the assumption “The Hobbit” is resoundingly profitable in the US? Internationally? Sure. Domestically, it feels like a 200 to 250m at beast type of movie. It has a strong week of December 21st competition and then on Xmas, you have Les Miz and Django. Where’s the room for this film to be a resounding domestic success? Even if it’s leggy, it’s not like those films aren’t going to be leggy, and it’s not like January is the way it used to be.

    That aside, “Guardians” really does have some ridiculously ugly character designs.

  7. BoulderKid says:

    Js Partisan,

    I agree with the sentiment that “The Hobbit” is not going to be a phenom on par with the original when considering cultural impact, tickets sold, etc. But with inflation and 3D plus IMAX costs, I don’t think it’s saying much to state that it can at least do the numbers domestically that the original trilogy did.

    Otherwise, great weekend. It’s amazing how much WOM has played in to “Skyfall’s” success. It’s clear that after the excellent “Casino Royale” the reception to “Quantum of Solace” was truly toxic. I maintain that it is a good entry if you actually saw the prior film and understood that QOS was just a continuation of “Casino.” Peter Travers listing it as the worst Bond film in last week’s Rolling Stone is laughable when you consider the entire series.

  8. Geoff says:

    Am I the only one who is absolutely shocked by how well Lincoln is doing?? I’m sorry but judging by the previews, I did NOT see this as a truly commercially successful film especially given Spielberg’s recent track record.

    I mean it’s pretty amazing to think that this is going to completely blow out of the water the grosses for Tin Tin and War Horse. Although when I think about it, this is probably the most well-marketed Spielberg film since War of the Worlds.

    Just think about the recent track record:

    – Munich was not marketed as the Bourne-type thriller it should have been and could barely crack $50 million.

    – Last winter’s Tin Tin and War Horse both seemed to be significantly under-marketed as if they were both afraid of overshadowing each other. When Tin Tin came out, it seemed like anything other than the event it should have been marketed as.

    – And as for the last Indy movie, it made a ton of money IN SPITE of a pretty uninspired marketing campaign that just pretty much traded on nostalgia.

    With Lincoln, Disney pretty much sold every piece of sizzle they had with this movie in those ads – every soundbite from Day-Lewis and any wide tracking shot they could find to actually make it look “epic” even though it wasn’t. I’m not criticizing the movie at all – it’s a fantastic film, but it’s pretty much C-Span from the 19th century and good reviews only take a movie so far. I have to think that the timing of the election and the consistent marketing they did during the debates and election coverage really helped this hit the sweet spot – I’m gathering it’s also a “cheer-up” kind of movie for those on the right who are still licking their wounds from the election. Timing is everything.

    And speaking of timing, I have no doubt that Skyfall deserves its grosses and am pulling for it to leg it out and beat Twilight if for nothing else than bragging rights. But wow….that stunt during the opening ceremony of the London Olympics REALLY helped build buzz for this thing.

    The movie is huge but I hate to say it….it’s got no shot of being the highest domestic grosser when adjusted to inflation amazingly enough. I wasn’t even alive then but the Bond movies in the mid ’60’s were true stand-alone events and when adjusted to today’s dollars, Goldfinger and Thunderball would have both grossed more than $500 million. Of course when you factor in international grosses, I doubt either of them would have exceeded Skyfall and……as Dave would say, it’s really not a fair comparison at all. The first wave of Bond films were really the only big game in town pre-Star Wars and Jaws – they did not have to face the onslaught of competition that a movie like Skyfall has to compete with bottom line.

  9. cadavra says:

    DWA did quite well with the original concept MONSTERS VS. ALIENS (198 dom, 381 ww). The fact that they chose not to do a sequel–even though the concept lent itself to one far better than DRAGON does–has given people the impression that it was kind of a miss.

  10. bulldog68 says:

    And I may be in the minority but I actually enjoyed Guardians more than Wreck It Ralph.

    I think they both had missed opportunities to have a little more emotional gravitas, but the Jack Frost character was actually well drawn and had a great character arc. Wish there was a bit more of Jude Law whose character could have been given more to do, and for a character with no words, Sandman was quite effective. I hope it can grow some legs in the next few weeks.

    I can understand why some may have been put off by the animation style but I had no issues with it, and it looked fine in 3D.

    On another note, the 3D trailer for Cirque the Soleil looked absolutely stunning.

  11. Krillian says:

    Ranking the Bonds:

    1. Goldfinger (1964)
    2. GoldenEye (1995)
    3. Skyfall (2012)
    4. From Russia with Love (1963)
    5. Casino Royale (2006)
    6. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
    7. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
    8. You Only Live Twice (1967)
    9. Dr. No (1962)
    10. Die Another Day (2002)
    11. Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
    12. For Your Eyes Only (1981)
    13. Licence to Kill (1989)
    14. Thunderball (1965)
    15. The Living Daylights (1987)
    16. Live and Let Die (1973)
    17. Quantum of Solace (2008)
    18. The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
    19. The World Is Not Enough (1999)
    20. A View to a Kill (1985)
    21. Moonraker (1979)
    22. Octopussy (1983)
    23. Diamonds Are Forever (1971)

  12. berg says:

    DIAMONDS for ever needs to move up several notches … “Baja, I don’t own anything in Baja” … Bambii and Thumpur .. Mr Wint and Mr Kidd … Tiffany Case & Plenty O’Toole … John Gavin? …. get it right mate

  13. Foamy Squirrel says:

    I think historically there’s plenty of room for Hobbit/Django/Miserable Les.

    They target different markets – Hobbit is the only family movie that you can take the kids, the teenage cousins, and the grandfolks to at the same time. Tarantino has a strong, but not blockbuster record (Kill Bills for all their geek cred grossed ~$70m domestic, so Basterds $120m seems the best comparison). And musicals aren’t the highest grosser either (assuming it equals the smash Mamma Mia! that’s ~$140m domestic).

    Remember, last year we had MI:GP ($209D/695WW), Sherlock Holmes 2 ($187D/544WW), Alvin Chipwrecked ($133D/343WW), Tintin ($78D/374WW), and War Horse ($80D/178WW). And 2 years prior to that Sherlock Holmes 1 hit $209D/524WW and Alvin 2 took in $220D/443WW, both while Avatar was crushing records.

    Three $200m domestic movies over Christmas? It’s been done before, and evidence indicates that Django and Mis probably aren’t going to hit that high. I don’t think any of them are going to be cramped that much.

  14. berg says:

    chipmunks …. it had to b e = chipmunks

  15. Js Partisan says:

    Foamy, that’s only three movies. If you look at the 21st and Christmas, there’s five movies that could seriously cut into “The Hobbit’s” business. This is why it grossing more internationally seems a bit more probable. Also, Boulder, it’s not exactly a LOTR movie. If it were a LOTR movie, I’d agree with you 100 percent, but this is a Hobbit movie. The humor, the 190000 characters, and not being LOTR movie could very much hurt it.

  16. movieman says:

    Agree w/ Geoff and Bulldog:
    I’m also (pleasantly) stunned by how remarkably well “Lincoln” is doing.
    Didn’t see that coming at all, but all power to it.
    And I also happen to be in the minority that prefers “Guardians” to “Ralph” (which I actually kind of hated).
    Not really sure how to explain its meh opening since the Disney ‘toon–in its fourth weekend of release–is the only real competition for the “family” audience currently in first-run release.
    (“Pi” is drawing an older crowd; I don’t really think it was much of a factor in “Guardian”‘s inability to “open.”)

  17. palmtree says:

    Hobbit is opening big…whether it can maintain is another story. No way Les Miz or Django will deter what is the most guaranteed big opening of the season.

    Not a bad list, Krillian. Personally, I’d be a lot harder on the Brosnan Bonds. They all feel somewhat forgettable even as some of the terrible Moore files somehow are memorable. Weird.

    Lincoln, Spielberg, and Day-Lewis…man, that’s your marketing right there! Seriously, there may not be a lot of people who really enjoyed the movie, but there are a lot of people who enjoy feeling high-minded. (btw, I’m one of the latter.)

  18. Christian says:

    Goldeneye is barely watchable today. Like Brosnan but not one of his Bond films works for me.

  19. jesse says:

    Are you guys screenwriters or something? Rise of the Guardians seems like such a screenwriter-pleasing movie: it has a clear-as-day “arc,” it seems like a fun movie on paper, and doesn’t really do anything egregiously terrible like adding a bunch of DreamWorks yammering or immediately dated slang or pop-culture jokes.

    But GOOD LORD, neither of you (movieman, bulldog) found Rise of the Guardians kind of soulless and synthetic? It’s superficially dazzling but entirely unmoving (or at least it was to me, anyway). Wreck-It Ralph has some formula to it too, of course, but it also has some Simpsons/Futurama-style joke writing and I felt a lot more for Ralph than I did for Pine’s century-old-teenager-who-sounds-like-a-thirtysomething Jack Frost (although I admit I feared a lot worse from the trailers, that made him look like an “extreme!!!” snowboarder or something). There’s something kind of weirdly coddling about Guardians, too: this idea that children need to be protected from nightmares, because nightmares will cause them to stop believing things, and the implication being that kids should believe in the Easter Bunny for as long as possible? Not exactly high stakes for me, in screenwriterese — and this is coming from someone who happily believed in Santa Claus WAY longer than most kids!

  20. spassky says:

    “10. Die Another Day (2002)
    11. Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)”


  21. christian says:

    Die Another Day might be the worst Bond. Jinx! Diamond suit electric villain! Moneypenny Sex Dream! Jinx!

    Thunderball is in the top five just because of Connery, Barry, the women and first Panavision 007.

  22. Mike says:

    Bond films are completely dependent on when you started watching them. Goldeneye is my favorite as I gave a shit about Bond when Brosnan started. I stopped caring before Craig came on the scene (though I liked Casino Royale).

  23. hcat says:

    Never got the love bestowed on Goldeneye, and don’t understand the ire that Quantum gets, which even with the quick cutting has some amazing scenes. But then Bond lists are different for everyone.

    Now for people that know the history of the franchise better than I do, have they ever considered bucking the franchise up to an R rating? You would think that given the sexy spy nature of the films they might have chosen to amp up those elements given that they were being outgrossed by the Dirty Harry franchise when Moore took over, and then the Lethal Weapons when Dalton inherited it. I am firmly in the camp that Dalton was a fine Bond and it was actually Joel Silver who derailed the Bond franchise. After being roughed up in the theater by Riggs and Murtough, watching Bond sled through a checkpoint in a cello case seemed rather quaint. Nowadays with PG-13 being king I see why they will keep with the tradition but given the changes of tone the series has gone through over the years, I am suprised they never decided to try a R back when Stallone and Arnold were making megahits with the rating.

  24. christian says:

    LICENSE TO KILL was rated R by the MPAA but then cut down.

  25. jesse says:

    I’ve only seen a handful of Bond movies more than once, and that includes zero Brosnans, but to my recollection, Tomorrow Never Dies and Die Another Day are his two best — and all four of them are fine, if not really inspired. And hcat, agreed, the pre-and-post-Skyfall piling on of Quantum of Solace is bizarre. It’s the weakest of the three Craig entries so far; it’s also better than many of the non-Connery outings (and I certainly prefer it to Diamonds Are Forever at least).

  26. Lex says:

    I’m not right and you guys aren’t wrong about this… it’s just interesting to me when people are kind of comme ci-comme ca on James Bond.

    As I’ve said a hundred times, it is for me what STAR WARS apparently is for most film geeks of my age; I know every frame, every sound cue, every beat, of the Bonds from DR NO to at least LICENCE TO KILL, and love them all equally. I’ve been “obsessed” with Bond since about age 5, when I saw SPY WHO LOVED ME. So the first 27 years of Bond movies, I love each one so much, it’s like a child. Bond can reduce me to tears of nostalgia or perk up my day… When SyFy or Spike wheels out a marathon, I’ll sit there the whole damn weekend, and am equally delighted whether it’s “Golden Gun” or Lazenby or “Living Daylights.”

    So it’s just always foreign to me– much as it is when people here do their Woody Allen rankings– that a film fan could have such varied reactions from one Bond to the next, movie or actor-wise. Roger Moore, for example, is basically the sound of my childhood. It’s like if there was seven movies featuring my dad. It’s kind of, again, how “geeks” think of HAN SOLO or LUKE SKYWALKER.

    Basically, it’s just odd to me, though I wouldn’t expect it, that other people in my general age rage don’t love Bond as much as I do. I read Faraci’s review of SKYFALL and he’s like, “I finally get it. I loved this movie, and I’ve never gotten Bond before.” How do you NOT GET Bond? How is it not the same formative, life-changing love as you might have for Spielberg or Lucas?

    I don’t know, different strokes, I guess. And how could BROSNAN be anyone’s first Bond? Wasn’t everyone in the world 30 years old by then? You start watching Bond when you’re 4 or 5…. What are you guys, 20 years old?

  27. hcat says:

    Diamonds was so nasty in tone and is really jarring if you watch them chronologicaly. After the strong introduction with Dr. No and the comfortable excellance of Russia, Gold, and Thunderball, the victory lap of Twice, and a suprising best-yet Majesty (IMO) to then return with Connery in a very joyless, mean-spirited, and low energy film casts a bit of a shadow over Connery’s legacy and seemed to throw the series off their game for a little while.

    As for Die Another Day, its actually my favorite of the Brosnans. It is almost giddy with how ridiculous it is, and embraces it nicely, pulling it off better than previous silly entrys like Octopussy. It feels like a natural progression from where Goldeneye started and sort of turns up the gas on the over the top elements that it flames itself out and cleanses the pallet for Casino. Plus Halle looks soooo good in that bikini.

  28. Lex says:

    Rosumand Pike is a zillion times hotter than Halle Berry. Halle has short hair and big boobs in DAD in the much-touted bikini scene. Give me a blonde any day.

  29. dinovelvet says:

    Bond domestic adjusted numbers (from boxofficemojo):

    1 Thunderball UA $593,912,000
    2 Goldfinger UA $526,422,000
    3 You Only Live Twice UA $285,077,700
    4 Skyfall (so far) Sony $226,279,800
    5 Moonraker MGM $222,408,900

    It’s pretty amazing to me that a modern Bond film can get that high with only the peak era Connery films besting it. So…why is this happening? Don’t get me wrong, I liked it and all, but why Skyfall and not Casino Royale, which I thought was much better (and it got pretty much the same critical reception)? I’m surprised that a Bond film that’s so very British through and through (with references to ‘bunting’ and things being ‘cocked up’!) is going over so well all over the world. Clearly a lot of people are showing up to Skyfall who have never seen a Bond film before.

  30. Christian says:

    I hardly think too much British stuff hurt Harry Potter….I think SKYFALL is practicaly an artful indie compared to the horrors of DIE ANOTHER DAY…and the audiences senses something different here….

  31. Proman says:

    I’ve been saying all along that Lincoln has what it takes to be $200+ million grosser. Spielberg is the premier director of adult films and audiences know this an dpay attention.

  32. Js Partisan says:

    Palmtree, I just don’t see that happening in the US. Could be very very wrong, but “The Hobbit” is giving me a whole “Ice Age” feeling.

  33. hcat says:

    Odd to me that there is nothing all that big opening until The Hobbit, Killing Me Softly is the highest profile release and I would be shocked if that debuted over 12.

  34. Lex says:

    You say that, but watch that PLAYING FOR KEEPS thing go and be huge. I know Gerard Butler and Jessica Biel are borderline box-office poison at this point, but it has that “wait, what?” sense that that’ll randomly catch on as a minor hit, just for lack of any other “chick flicks” in the marketplace.

  35. palmtree says:

    Haha…Ice Age? If by that you mean the $40m range, that’s laughable. Easily see this in the $70m territory at least. Easily. Wanna bet?

    I agree with Lex. Bond is Bond. How some people are oblivious is weird to me. Like how does it not inform all of pop culture after 50 years and some of the greatest moments in film. But then again, you do find the occasional Star Wars abstainee. It’s rarer but they have told themselves their ignorance is bliss.

  36. Js Partisan says:

    Palmtree, you should know that “Ice Age” means: bigger internationally than domestically. “The Hobbit” screams huge international film but domestically, meh. Now, make another funny. Go on. Make one.

  37. anghus says:

    You know what has been needling me since Skyfall?


    So you have the set up in Casino Royale. There’s a group bent on world domination etc etc. Quantum sends Bond looking for those responsible for the death of Vesper. He starts to break down the group and pursue leads on their nefarious activities. Couldnt Skyfall have tied it all together if Silva had been the head of Quantum? It’s established that Quantum had agents and contacts inside MI6. Couldnt Silva have been the mastermind. Quantum was the byproduct of Silva’s goal for revenge?

    I know Skyfall was trying to break free and be a standalone effort, but it felt like the resolution to the first two films was right there. I mean, it’s not the cleanest resolution, but you basically have a villain who is feared by everyone and his inside knowledge of British intelligence. Why not spend three minutes tying him into Quantum and the idea that the group was basically Silva’s attempt at revenge on his former employer.

    Felt like two very easy points to connect but nobody wanted any ties to Quantum.

  38. cadavra says:

    “Diamonds was so nasty in tone and is really jarring if you watch them chronologicaly…a very joyless, mean-spirited, and low energy film.”

    Which DIAMONDS have you seen? The one I’ve seen is the most intentionally light-hearted Connery and one of the most in the entire series. I understand this was done deliberately because many people were bummed by the end of OHMSS. Are you referring to the gay assassins? Because, y’know, “mean-spirited” is pretty much part of the job description.

  39. palmtree says:

    Uh, JS, all I said was the opening was going to be big. If you were referring to the dom v int then you’re on your own. Not the point I was making…

  40. Geoff says:

    I agree with Lex and Palm….bottom line at this point, I can comfortably say that James Bond is the most influential character in the history of cinema. Not a real stretch when you think that for now just about half of that existence (50 years) has James Bond been a popular character/franchise.

    It’s also not a stretch when you realize that most of the biggest pop directors out there over the past few decades have aspired to make Bond films only to end up making their own twists on the character: Spielberg (Indiana Jones was his attempt), Nolan (his Batman was very influenced by Bond, as well as Inception), Brad Bird (The Incredibles is pretty much animated Bond and MI:GP was pretty much a modern IMAX-ed version of a Roger Moore Bond movie), Tarantino (elements of Kill Bill and Inglorious Basterds, he WAS trying to do Man from UNCLE for a while), and of course you have Jack Ryan and Jason Bourne adaptations which were influenced as well.

    We should all bow to Bond.

  41. Js Partisan says:

    Anghus, how did Silva get all those men at the end? He has to be working for someone else. He has to be a member of either that group from the previous two movies or something more familiar like SPECTRE. It would make sense he works for SPECTRE in the context of everything that happens at the end of the movie.

    Palm, that’s the point I’ve been making the whole time. Thanks for chiming in on a discussion that wasn’t happening!

  42. palmtree says:

    Yeah, but the opening two weeks will get Hobbits at least halfway if not all the way to your lowball $200 million figure.

    And you said Django and Les Miz are threats to Hobbits’ US gross, which I agree with Foamy, isn’t necessarily the case. Django and Les Miz just seem so much harder to sell to the masses than a prequel to one of the greatest film franchises of all time by the original director.

    Was that not the discussion?

  43. cadavra says:

    DJANGO should do well because of young males, since there’s not a lot of hard-action out there for the holidays. LES MIZ will skew older, so it should have long legs regardless of awards attention. I think all three can coexist peaceably.

  44. dinovelvet says:

    Asking where a Bond villain gets all those guys is kind of moot though. He’s a Bond Villain. They all have goons. Anyway, as for SPECTRE/QUANTUM, there’s a fanboy theory that with the Craig era, EON is following the exact pattern of the Connery movies :

    Dr.No/Casino Royale – Introducing Bond, villain is vaguely connected to some kind of organization
    From Russia/Quantum of Solace – Bond discovers more about the organization, disrupts one of their schemes
    Goldfinger/Skyfall – Standalone films that have no references at all to the big organization.
    Thunderball – SPECTRE is back in a big way, Bond goes up against their No.2 man.

    So if Bond 24 follows the same pattern, you can expect QUANTUM to show up again soon.

  45. Js Partisan says:

    Palm, how is stating a movie makes more internationally than domestically low balling it? 800m is low-balling now? Also, I’ve stated there are many films that will cut into “The Hobbit’s” box office. Look at the release slate. Unless the kids go see “The Hobbit” like crazy then please point out how all of those films are going to bomb.

    Also, Cad, how rarely do all of these big movies co-exist? The Holidays are the best time for this co-existing to happen but the Holiday movie season now, is not the early aught Holiday season in terms of releases. There’s a lot of competition and stating the audience for one film, a big 4-QUAD film, will not be bothered by all of this stuff coming out is bit off me. Hell, those other films could be hampered as well but they all are vying for a similar audience, and that audience only has so much time.

    Dino, they do have to come from somewhere, and always have. It would make some sort of sense that Silva is SPECTRE but a fringe member. I like that theory though.

  46. Krillian says:

    Some TV stuff:

    I finally watched the first episode of Vegas. Deleted the rest of the series from my DVR. It’s not bad, but not enough for me to keep watching. Same with Elementary.

    This week’s Boardwalk Empire was the best episode of the series, and I’m excited for the season finale.

    Very sad that Boss got cancelled. I’ve got about three episodes left of season 2, and it’s been terrific.

  47. palmtree says:

    I’ve seen the release slate.

    There’s no competition the weekend before, during, and barely any immediately following the Hobbits opening. So yes, kids will go see it like crazy because it’s the only thing out there.

    By the time Django and Les Miz do their supposed damage, Hobbits should already be nearing or past 200 domestically, which is the only figure I was contesting.

  48. Rashad says:

    Krillian, they said a 2 hour wrap up movie is in the works.

  49. Js Partisan says:

    So according to Palmtree, no one wants to see a Tom Cruise action film, “This is 40,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Monsters Inc. 3-D,” “Armour,” or any other films released after the 14th of December. Yeah. Sure.

  50. YancySkancy says:

    Ah, yes ARMOUR. Surprised there’s not more Oscar buzz for this biopic of meatpacking magnate Philip Armour, especially the lead performance of Phillip Seymour Hoffman (do they think it will hurt his Supporting chances for THE MASTER?). The PETA protests probably haven’t helped.

  51. scooterzz says:

    ys — i always suspected that poster’s comments were fueled by potted meat….

  52. Pete B. says:

    Krillian –

    Both Vegas and Elementary get better. Vegas still isn’t as good as it should be, but Jonny Lee Miller is great as this version of Sherlock. (And yes, I’ve seen the BBC version too.)

  53. StellaPD says:

    That was definitely Boardwalk Empire’s best episode of the season. It was a little shaky earlier on but has really come together as of late. Anyone here watch season 1 of The Hour? Recording it today along with the season 2 premiere. Hoping it’s good.

  54. YancySkancy says:

    Agree with the BOARDWALK EMPIRE comments.

    StellaPD: I really liked THE HOUR season 1, and can’t wait to get back into the show tonight. I’ve practically been counting the days.

    I gave VEGAS two episodes, then bailed, for the same reason Krillian did. Maybe I’ll give it another shot. Haven’t seen ELEMENTARY.

    The only other new show I’ve been watching is NASHVILLE. Good soapy fun, with some fine performances and great work by music supervisor T Bone Burnett (husband of the show’s creator, Callie Khouri). I thought this one would be a big hit, but I guess it’s just doing okay.

    Looking forward to January, when both JUSTIFIED and SUITS return.

  55. StellaPD says:

    Nice YS. The cast is stellar. Also can’t wait for Justified. Can’t believe new season is only like 6 weeks away. Things seem awfully quiet right now. I love Mrs. Coach and wanted to check out Nashville but haven’t yet.

  56. hcat says:

    Just got rid of DirectTV and am going all Roku, and man is hearing about Justified going to hurt.

  57. hcat says:

    And about nothing in particular, but does this season seem to be heavily leaning toward book adaptions than usual? Atlas, Twilight, Pi, Hobbit, Lincoln, Karinnana, and the literary origins of Bond and Les Miz, perhaps means that best original screenplay might be an easier category this year?

  58. YancySkancy says:

    For me, the best performance of the very strong cast of THE HOUR Season 1 is Anton Lesser, who plays Clarence Fendley, the producer of the show within the show. He is especially strong in the later episodes.

    Connie Britton is not surprisingly great in NASHVILLE, but I’ve gotta say I’m no less impressed with Hayden Panetierre. I didn’t really expect her to hold her own, but I think she’s giving my fave perf on the show now.

    It’ll be interesting to see how JUSTIFIED uses Patton Oswalt this season.

  59. Lex says:

    Hayden Panettiere YEP YEP.

    One thing I don’t really get is guys who are “into” Connie Britton. Like, you know they have young chicks, right?

  60. StellaPD says:

    I find Britton and Panettiere attractive. It doesn’t have to be one or the other.

  61. chris says:

    I don’t think so hcat. This season always leans heavily toward literary adaptations.

  62. storymark says:

    “Krillian, they said a 2 hour wrap up movie is in the works.”

    Isn’t that said for a lot of cancelled series these days? And how often does it happen?

  63. storymark says:

    “So according to Palmtree, no one wants to see a Tom Cruise action film, “This is 40,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Monsters Inc. 3-D,” “Armour,” or any other films released after the 14th of December. Yeah. Sure.”

    He said KIDS (the metirc you set in the post he replied to) – not “no one”. And aside from Monsters Inc 3D – he’s pretty much right, there are no other kids/family films beside the Hobbit in the 3 week period. I don’t see many kids lining up for Zero Dark Thirty or Jack Reacher – even if I plan to see them both.

    Maybe Monsters Inc 3D will follow the Lion King path, make bank, and eat into the Hobbit take – or maybe it underperforms like Nemo 3D. That remains to be seen – but I honestly doubt it’s going to hurt Hobbit all that much, myself.

  64. StellaPD says:

    Hold the phone. Are you suggesting that kids don’t want to see Parental Guidance?

  65. Js Partisan says:

    Story, there’s more to the conversation, scroll up, and notice that it’s not all about the children. Kids will be forced to see Parental Guidance though. Those poor kids.

  66. storymark says:

    I read the conversation. There was a progression which I point out. But whatever. I know better than argue with you.

  67. Js Partisan says:

    Story, why do you always do that? Why do you put this back on me as if I am difficult to have a discussion with when you, basically are stating this is my fault for having a disagreement with you, when palm straight out states this:
    “palmtree says:
    November 27, 2012 at 7:18 am
    Yeah, but the opening two weeks will get Hobbits at least halfway if not all the way to your lowball $200 million figure.

    And you said Django and Les Miz are threats to Hobbits’ US gross, which I agree with Foamy, isn’t necessarily the case. Django and Les Miz just seem so much harder to sell to the masses than a prequel to one of the greatest film franchises of all time by the original director.

    Was that not the discussion?”

    Dissecting that paragraph aside (Yeah, “Django” is a QT movie and people see QT movies. Les Miz is just one of the more beloved stories and plays of all-time is all), that’s the crux of the argument but you go on missing it. Again, I just want to know where the faith in the Hobbit is coming from; and why anyone believes kids will want to see it? I love LOTR, I truly do, but this is not LOTR. This is a completely different animal even if it features Legolas in love storyline with Freckles. Oh yeah, 48 fps 4 LIFE (That one is for a very tanned man)!

    Oh yeah, you two chuckleheads upstream: very funny. I have always assumed that your post were fueled by benoit balls, Zima, and lots and lots of lube.

  68. palmtree says:

    “So according to Palmtree, no one wants to see a Tom Cruise action film, “This is 40,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Monsters Inc. 3-D,” “Armour,” or any other films released after the 14th of December. Yeah. Sure.”

    Nice try twisting my non-words.

    I didn’t say NO ONE would see it. I’m saying Hobbit is a behemoth that won’t be stopped by other movies. None of the movies you mentioned have anything close to the pre-sold family-friendly four-quadrant interest as Hobbits.

    I think you overestimate Django and Les Miz, and in any case they come two whole weeks after Hobbits. Look at the track record for QT films and new musicals…it’s not anywhere near the ballpark of LOTR.

    Everything that comes out the week after Hobbits looks good for a double or a triple at best, and none look particularly kid-friendly (Monsters, Inc. excluded but it’s a re-release so it’s looking modest). Hobbits is a home run. It may not be LOTR, but as long as it’s not a complete disaster, methinks it’ll do just fine.

  69. Js Partisan says:

    Palm, at the end of the day this comes down to how you see the demo for “The Hobbit,” and I disagree with you about the film being a 4 quad movie. It will be lucky if it gets the kids along with the men because this is a movie with 27 characters with difficult names to remember, and it’s not LOTR. This film also has competition and those films aren’t solid doubles or triples. Many of them can be leggy and be home runs at least domestically and ignoring that a QT movie and Les Miz are coming out 11 days later, as if those films do not excite people is absolutely dumbfounding.

  70. Pete B. says:

    There are alot of folks who prefer The Hobbit to LOTR. It’s more accessible and “warm & fuzzy”. Plus I think more men would rather go to it than Les Miz.

  71. storymark says:

    The Hobbit is one of the most read books in the world. Lots and lots of kids, not to mention kids now grown, have read it. And for those who havn’t – the ads are selling Gandalf and Gollum. Its absolutely 4 quad.

    I know its anecdotal – but I don’t know one person (ok, maybe my Mom) who isn’t planning to go. Of all the films coming out between now and Christmas – the only one my High School students are talking about is The Hobbit (except the Drama club kids – they’re talking Les Mis… AND The Hobbit).

  72. palmtree says:

    I guess it’s ironic that I’m even making this argument since I’m personally more excited about QT and Les Miz than I am about The Hobbit. I could throw on Kill Bill any day and be happy as a clam, and musicals are a passion of mine.

    But I still can’t ignore history when the history is so damn decisive. LOTR was a massive hit series. There’s nothing but love for it from most quarters. Hobbits is a book FAR MORE widely read than LOTR. It’s taught in schools for one. Also, it is a lot shorter and also a more fun/engaging read for the non-geek. So the idea that it’s more obscure or difficult is really off-base.

    No QT film has opened bigger than $40m. No musical has opened bigger than $45m. Grosses for QT and recent musicals are also not particularly leggy. The LOWEST opening for LOTR was $47m, and each one proved more and more leggy. Yes, maybe this year QT/Les Miz will set records for both, but I’d bet against it unseating Hobbits from a run at $300m plus.

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