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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by 3-Day Klady, DDS

So… beating a long holiday weekend to death…

The Hobbit‘s doing fine.

Django Unchained is doing quite well, though probably a bit overstated because of the holiday. The film got out of the gate a bit slower than Inglorious Basterds and is now running ahead with the weekend and the holiday weekdays working for it. But $100m domestic is a lock and Basterds’ $120m domestic is quite possible… even more. Like The Hangover before it, Tarantino’s spaghetti southern reminds us all of the perverse funny bone that we forgot needed tickling.

Les Misérables is the estrogen answer to Tarantino, a nasty, period version of Nicholas Sparks with singing at the top of lungs and lots of actual spit and snot. So romantic and sad. And commercial! $100-$120 million is a pretty reasonable domestic estimate for this film, too.

Parental Guidance, Jack Reacher, and This is 40 will also pass $120m… combined. Parental is doing okay, but the numbers suggest a lack of nostalgia for Billy Chrystal and Bette Midler and more a need for a family movie… ANY family movie. Jack Reacher seems to have wanted to mine the same hard-R fun as Django, but the pitch never took. And I think 40 just never made a single, focused argument to potential audiences. Without the broadness of Knocked Up‘s premise, I’m not sure that the audience that loves that Apatow was interested and without having had his Terms of Endearment, I’m not sure more serious-minded adults were interested in examining this film.

Lincoln is only $15m domestic away from celebrating the number of years since the President’s death. $203 million seems unlikely domestically (matching the number of years since his birth) but possible worldwide.

Skyfall announced hitting $1 billion worldwide today. That’s better than a 65% improvement over Bond’s previous high gross. Remarkable. The domestic improvement over all past Bond’s is even greater than overseas… up 76% (so far) from the previous high.

Silver Linings Playbook doubled its screen count on Christmas Day to 745 screens after 33 days hanging around on 367 screens and 5 days on just 16. The result is a strong -per-screen, $4m+ weekend and a likely gross of $30 million heading out of the holiday. Where does it go from there? Watch for answers on January 10th when Oscar defines the distribution/marketing plan.

Life of Pi is slowly working its way to $100m domestic… and will surely get there if Oscar nominated for Best Picture.

Argo will be closing fast on $110m by the end of the holiday.

Flight needs Oscar nominations if it’s going to push to $100m, but will be profitable regardless, thanks to one of the lowest price tags of the Oscar chasers.

And Zero Dark Thirty, still in a 5-screen holding pattern until January 11 (day after nominations), continues to do about $20k per screen each day as it waits.

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38 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by 3-Day Klady, DDS”

  1. movieman says:

    41 years ago this week in NYC you could have seen “A Clockwork Orange,” “The Last Picture Show,” “The Hospital,” Polanski’s “Macbeth,” “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” “The Decameron,” “Dirty Harry,” “The Garden of the Finzi Continis,” “Murmur of the Heart,” “Le Boucher,” “El Topo,” “Harold and Maude,” “Such Good Friends,” “Minnie and Moskowitz,” Paul Scofield as “King Lear,” “Made for Each Other,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” Hepburn, Redgrave, Bujold and Pappas in “The Trojan Women” and Franklin Schaffner’s underrated) “Nicholas and Alexandra,”all in first-run release.
    Wow; that’s an amazing line-up!
    I wonder how many of this year’s Xmas week releases will stand the test of time in 40+ years?

  2. movieman says:

    P.S.= I left out Peckinpah’s “Straw Dogs” because–for some perverse reason I’ve never been able to figure out–it didn’t open in Manhattan until January ’72. Despite playing by Xmas Day in the rest of the country (including my home town which wouldn’t see “Clockwork Orange” or “Fiddler” until June).

  3. etguild2 says:

    Peter Jackson becomes the 2nd filmmakers to direct five $200 million grossers this weekend (Spielberg).

    BOND becomes the 3rd biggest movie franchise domestically this weekend, topping BATMAN, and now trailing only POTTER and STAR WARS.

    movieman–While obviously there’s no comparison, 2012 I think will hold up very well due to the large number of historical drama–ARGO, LINCOLN, IMPOSSIBLE, ZERO DARK THIRTY…

  4. Js Partisan says:

    Movieman, most of those films are unknown to the audiences who went to the theatre this weekend. It’s not about standing the test of time for 40 years. It’s about finding a large swathe of people, who love those movies for 40 years or more.

    That aside, “Les Miz” should have good weekends until it’s given a gold statue, while “The Hobbit” seems to be de facto family viewing. and that’s hilarious.

  5. christian says:

    JS almost every film above did find audiences.

  6. Js Partisan says:

    Christian, what are you responding to with that post? It’s not me obviously, because that has nothing to do with what I wrote. Thanks for the mention though. I guess.

  7. Geoff says:

    Etguild – I LOVE the Bond movies and hold him as my favorite fictional character but is that really a fair comparison just based on sheer volume?

    There have been 24 James Bond movies vs. 6 (maybe 7 if you count Clone Wars) Star Wars movies and 8 Harry Potter movies.

    I would actually be interested in a very unique stat comparison among the three franchises: average domestic gross per movie adjusted for inflation.

    The first three Star Wars movies were HUGE in that realm but then again so were some of those Bond movies from the ’60’s.

    Any Nate Silver-types on this blog who have that comparison??

  8. movieman says:

    From this (comically absurd) vantage point, the currently-in-release 2012 releases I can imagine still being watched in 40+ years:
    “ZDT,” “Lincoln,” “Amour,” “Django,” “SLP,” “Barbara,” “Skyfall” and–for the same reason some B’way enthusiasts adore Josh Logan’s “Camelot,” warts and all–“Miz.”
    For some reason, I’m not sure whether “Argo” will age as well as, say,
    “On the Road” which could definitely pick up a sizable cult (no pun intended) down the road.

  9. Geoff says:

    Actually I just geeked out and looked it all up on Box Office Mojo but had to do some recalculations and it’s not even close:

    Average Domestic Gross (Adjusted for Inflation):
    Harry Potter $351 million
    Star Wars $649 million
    James Bond $208 million

    The Bond franchise was just dragged down by too many middling performers with Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton, but still a strong demonstration of how damn durable the franchise has been.

  10. Geoff says:

    Movieman, no one has pointed it out but you kind of hurt your point a little bit by mentioning “in NYC” and that’s a big rub there. MOST of America could probably not see those movies for several months or even years later….not the case today.

  11. movieman says:

    I left another biggie out: Ken Russell’s “The Boy Friend” also opened Xmas 1971 (yes, Geoff, in NYC, and probably LA, too).
    You’re just pointing out the obvious differences in release pattens between now and 40 years ago.
    Which doesn’t make one era necessarily superior to the other, just different.
    I’d even make the case that the anticipation of seeing some of those films back then–versus (for the most part) today’s instant
    gratification–was part of the fun.
    I can just imagine what a field day my 13-year-old self would have had going from movie to movie in Manhattan during Xmas week 1971, though.
    It would have been like dying and going to heaven.

  12. christian says:

    THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS was a huge hit and stilk one of the best in the series. Dalton only made one more Bond, hardly dragging it down. MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN was as much of a box office drag…

  13. movieman says:

    And I was simply making a point about the embarrassment of riches in first-run release at that particular point in time….so what if they weren’t all available in every city in America at the same time?
    “ZDT,” “Barbara,” “On the Road,” “Not Fade Away,” “Amour,” “Rust and Bone,” “The Impossible,” “Promised Land,” “Hyde Park,” “Anna Karenina,” “West of Memphis,” even “SLP” aren’t playing coast to coast right now either.

  14. bulldog68 says:

    The Franchise averages are skewed however by the fact that things like a Transformers movie from 1986 and a Rings cartoon from 1978 hurt their overall averages, whereas Bond has always been one continuous overall management over its very long and illustrious history.

  15. Geoff says:

    Good point Bulldog but I think I accounted for that, not 100% sure. Looking at the Box Office Mojo charts, they did not include The Hobbit cartoon towards that average but DID include each individual Star Wars re-release as a separate entity to bring down that average – as far as I’m concerned, those re-releases should just be added to the gross for each original movie.

    Christian no doubt that Living Daylights WAS a hit but it actually made less than even A View to a Kill, but that’s not really the point….whenever Star Wars or Harry Potter movies have been released, they have ALWAYS been at or near the top of the charts for the respective seasons they were released in. Infact for Star Wars, Attack of the Clones made some bank but was the only one to not do this since it came out just a few weeks after the first Spiderman which was huge.

    As Joe Leydon pointed out in another thread, it’s been a LONG time since a Bond film actually was the top film (or even near the top) of its season, probably Thunderball which was back in the ’60s’. I mean even in the late ’70’s when you had your share of $100 million Burt Reynolds blockbusters (remember him?), the biggest Bonds like Moonraker and Spy Who Loved Me barely squeaked to $80 million domestic.

    You had a LONG period where Bond films did well but didn’t exactly dominate from the mid ’70’s well into the late ’90’s. Skyfall is really an anomaly that way in that it looks like it could be the number one film for this holiday season – it’s already pulled ahead of Twilight and I could see The Hobbit lagging a bit to just fall below it.

    I’ll say this for Sony the past decade….they have marketed these past few Bond films (Die Another Day and the Daniel Craig ones) to feel like EVENTS and it really paid off this time with Skyfall which was undoubtedly helped by the London Olympics.

  16. christian says:

    But MOONRAKER was huge – 80 million 1979 cash is 300 plus million today.

  17. bulldog68 says:

    Geoff you made me open up an excel to do the math. (God I’m such a geek.) The Rings and Transformers averages do include those earlier versions, otherwise they’d both be sitting above $300m, particularly Transformers, which would have an average of about $357m. Fucking amazing if you ask me, for a series that has arguably generated more scorn than any other modern franchise, maybe with the exception of Star Wars, whose prequels would average out at about $371m.

    I feel like a friendly bet between blog colleagues. I’ll bet you that Hobbit eventually outgrosses Skyfall. How much do you want to bet…say..$10,000. (Hand outstretched.) Sorry couldn’t resist.

    Another factor that won’t impact the box office much because I don’t think it’ll gain any traction, but I actually heard a Rings fan who liked but not loved the Hobbit say out loud that regardless that this is his least favourite Rings, just as a matter of pride, he’ll be seeing Hobbit as much as he can to ensure it outgrosses Twilight.

  18. Uh says:

    “I’ll see HOBBIT a dozen times so it will gross more than TWILIGHT.”
    -the world’s saddest fucking man ever

  19. A says:

    Stop using the words “unlikely”. Especially if you don’t understand what the strength of the movie you are discussing.

  20. Lex says:

    Movieman’s list is pretty awesome, and certainly interesting, especially in one regard: People always say, self included, that “there’s too many movies out!” re: the maniac 5-movies-a-weekend release dates, especially in the spring, fall, and winter. But going back 40 years, there were JUST as many movies playing; You look back at any random weekend in the 70s or 80s, it was still that same deal, only the 3 or 4 movies on any given weekend are all certified nostalgia classics today.

    BUT that said… Being realistic, or maybe being a Gen X’er… A lot of those movies Movieman lists aren’t particularly big deals to “the kids” today. They weren’t really remembered even when I was a film-geek teen in the mid to late ’80s.

    Clockwork, Straw Dogs, Last Picture Show, McCabe and Mrs Miller, and French Connection are probably the most enduring 1971 features for kids my age, and wasn’t Carnal Knowledge from that year? Macbeth being from a genuine auteur who people always revisit gives it some rewatched-today power… Harold and Maude, I guess, though it remains, along with EDDIE COYLE, one of the two biggest guns of the 1970s I’ve never made it all the way through.

    Fiddler and Nicholas and Alexandra were high-school mainstays for me, but I doubt teachers bust out the projector for TOPOL in 2012…

    The rest of those, I’m sad to say, have fallen into sort of MUBI appreciation and relative obscurity; I don’t know that many dudes were wheeling out “Minnie and Moskowitz” even in 1990… though again, as I’ve said before a zillion times, “kids today” see MORE “older movies” thanks to DVD, Netflix, and Criterion, than us ’80s kids ever could, because we were limited to Blockbuster Video and Cinemax, which weren’t busting out EL TOPO.

  21. indiemarketer says:

    WTF is Focus doing with Hyde Park on Hudson and Promised Land?! Time for some major changes at Focus for 2013. Happy Holidays.

  22. etguild2 says:

    Re: Bond, if you just include Connery and Craig, the grosses are much closer. Just like I bet the extension of TRANSFORMERS and HOBBIT drags the franchise down. Star Wars…who knows??? STAR WARS is harder too given whether you include the cartoon, the Special Editions separately, etc.

    Also, kudos to SKYFALL on passing the $1 billion mark. It should end up as the #2 2D film all-time worldwide and the #2 film all-time that doesn’t have fantasy/sci-fi elements.

  23. Geoff says:

    Cool to know that I’m not the only one who has geeked out about grosses. One thing that I think HAS to used in any analysis though: ALL re-releases should just be added to the total of the original film, it doesn’t make sense otherwise as it’s really easy to lose track of every 3D re-release or “special edition”….that really muddies the waters.

    Etguild, I can appreciate that but it’s really not fair or accurate to JUST include Connery and Craig….especially since Roger Moore has actually toplined more Bond films than any other actor.

    Yeah the Transformers franchise deserves plaudits for its success no doubt.

  24. Lex says:

    Moore and Connery each did 7…IF you count Never Say Never Again.

  25. movieman says:

    “McCabe” and “Carnal Knowledge” were both summer releases, Lex.
    But I should have probably added “French Connection” to that Yuletide bounty. Even though it had been in release since early October, it was still going strong in first-run engagements at year’s end. (With increasingly rare exceptions, that’s almost inconceivable today.)
    You’ve previously admitted to not being a fan of subtitled movies.
    But as someone who is, I can assure you that “Murmur” (Malle), “Boucher” (Chabrol), “Decameron” (Pasolini) and “Finzi Continis” (de Sica) rank among their respective directors’ finest work. And two of those (the Malle and Chabrol) are flat-out masterpieces.
    “SBS” remains a Queer Cinema benchmark that still holds up thanks to Jackson and Finch’s great performances and Gilliatt’s incomparable screenplay.
    Any serious auteurist will tell you that Preminger’s “Friends,” Russell’s “B/Friend,” Siegel’s “D/Harry” and Cassavetes’ “M&M” are seminal works by pantheon-worthy directors; as well as damn good entertainments.
    The Jodorowsky and Ashby movies are among the most revered (and hardcore) “cult” films of all time.
    Speaking of cult movies, “The Hospital”–like Chayefsky’s “Network” five years later–was spookily prescient at the time, and therefore feels sort of timeless today. Plus, it features one of Scott’s all-time greatest performances and Diana Rigg’s sexiest screen perf. ever.
    “Made for Each Other” is, admittedly, a sentimental favorite. I won’t make any claims for its classic status, but I do remember loving it at the time. (It ain’t no “SLP,” though.)
    Jewison’s “Fiddler” is an infinitely better B’way-to-the-screen musical than, say, “Les Miz,” and not just because the source material (book/score) is inarguably superior.
    Polanski’s “Macbeth” remains my personal favorite Shakespearean screen adaptation (sorry Orson and Akira), and one of my all-time favorite Polanskis. (It still feels like Polanski’s emotional exorcism of the Tate-LoBianco murders from two years earlier.) And its sheer accessibility (second only to Zeffirelli’s “Romeo and Juliet” in that regard) should assure it permanent rotation status on the academic circuit.
    Schaffner’s “N&A” was the right movie at the wrong time, alas. I think it’s vastly superior to “A Man for All Seasons” and “The Lion in Winter,” two other “big” historical movies from that era (both of which won Best Picture Oscars). Maybe if it had been released five years earlier it would have been accorded the respect it deserves. I’m not ashamed to admit that I saw it twice in theaters back then (and it didn’t open in my neck of the woods until LABOR DAY 1972!)
    Even two of the “least” films on my Xmas Week ’71 list (the “Lear” and “Trojan Women” stage-to-screen adaptations) feature remarkable performances (by Scofield, Irene Worth, Alan Webb and Jack MacGowran; Hepburn, Redgrave, Bujold and Papas) that make them perennials in any self-respecting thespian Master’s Class.

  26. nathan says:

    small, basically unimportant correction: The Lion in Winter didn’t net BP.

    I was never a fan of Harold & Maude but it still packs the young film geeks in, in part as a result of its influence on the likes of Wes Anderson. As far as Ashby goes I’ve often wished that The Last Detail, which I think is a masterpiece, had a more enduring reputation.

  27. movieman says:

    Mea culpa.
    “Oliver!” beat “Lion.”
    Thanks for the correction, Nathan.
    I don’t know about “H&M,” though. That movie never gets old for me.
    And whenever I show it in class, my students always go bat-shit for it.
    So it still has a visceral impact on the young ‘uns. But you’re right about its influence on Anderson. He even referenced it during the one interview I did within him in 2007.
    (Btw, my favorite Ashby remains “Shampoo.” Talk about your zeitgeist movies!)

  28. movieman says:

    “with him”

  29. Joshua/CaptainZahn says:

    Tom Hooper responds to Les Miz criticisms:

    Hooper interview

  30. henry says:

    So I watched The Hobbit via screener at a friend’s house this weekend.

    What a tedious slog that was.

    By 1 hour in, all of us were roundly mocking it. (And this included folks who loved LOTR and were eagerly anticipating The Hobbit.)

    I think someone here put it perfectly a few days ago,


    that the film has zero stakes, as the dwarves barrel through every challenge unharmed, like miniature super heroes, everyone of them escaping unscathed.


    And my god, the exposition….

    I just don’t see how this thing has good word of mouth…and suspect the studio will rue the day they decided to turn this into 3 films.

  31. Gus says:

    Regardless of whether you like the movie, no one will be ruing the making of these movies, or the decision to make it a trilogy. Even if you estimate the cost of the entire trilogy and its P&A at $750M, the first film will pay for all three when ancillaries are considered, so every dollar of the next two is pure gravy. Even if you say “bad films gross less than good films” (pretty doubtful, looking at the list of $1B+ grossers), it’s hard to argue the Hobbit is drastically underperforming. It’s on pace to push up against a billion, if not cross it, worldwide.

  32. henry says:

    But how will the next two do? That’s the question.

    I see them doing less than this one, based on w-o-m.

  33. Rashad says:

    Henry: One of my biggest problems with the LOTR trilogy is precisely that: there were no stakes. Sauron is a shit villain, and the only death in 3 films was Boromir. Gandalf comes back, and no one gets hurt. Even at the battle of Helm’s Deep, the dwarf and Viggo JUMP INTO a crowd of sword wielding orcs.

  34. bulldog68 says:

    Unless your name is Sean Bean, Rashad.

  35. hcat says:

    Anyone think that the next two Hobbit movies will end up with much shorter running times due to the reception of this one? Yes, it is making money hand over fist but in almost every single reaction I have read or heard about this movie the length and pace are mentioned.

    It seems like this might be a bit of a theme for this season, with This is 40, Hobbit, and Django being vastly different films but all receiving the same critique of more being less. Is this some sort of curse of the Wunderkind where these celebrated directors, each with their own cult of followers, have reached a point of doing exactly as they please only to find their projects would have been better served by having a strong producer or even just an editor that could trim some of the girth from their ‘vision.’

    I haven’t yet seen any of the films I mentioned so I cant account for this personally, it just seems to me that even those who enjoyed the films are mentioning these aspects and that these talented filmmakers might benefit from an equally talented collaborator ala Speilberg/Kushner or Bigelow/Boal

  36. Rashad says:

    That would make sense, but ZDT and Lincoln both got the “long” criticisms too.

  37. Lex says:

    Hobbit had an A Cinemascore rating and is about to be the number one movie for the FOURTH weekend in a row, which is amazing since Les Mis and Django did 18 and 15 mil, respectively, their first day, and STILL couldn’t take number one.

    The word-of-mouth, among non-critic, regular moviegoer is already pretty much that Hobbit, to THEM, is one of the best movies ever made. There’s no backlash at all from audiences, just from guys on the internet. (I don’t even like it THAT much, but it’s a glowing success in terms of audience enjoyment.)

  38. Js Partisan says:

    “The Hobbit” is just a good movie compared to the great LOTR trilogy. I have no idea how it received an “A” cinemascore for being so inferior compared to the LOTR movies.

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