MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Hansel & Klady

What can one say about a $5.9m Friday winning the day? Hmmm…

You don’t have to go too far back to find a similar thrilling moment. The Rite, which opened January 28, 2011, opened to $5.3m, won the weekend with $14.8m, and totaled out at $33m domestic and $96m worldwide. Time will tell whether Gemma in bondage gear with Renner as a strap-on will draw internationally better than at home.

Meanwhile, Parker rolled over. (Bread fans can thank me for that joke later.) And Movie 43 is a movie so bad, apparently, that even the talent that is in it don’t remember making it.

In OscarLand, it is now apparent that Silver Linings Playbook could outgross Zero Dark Thirty domestically, though not until next weekend and not by a lot. Still, ZD30 appears to have taken a big hit for all the controversy and focus on torture in the film…. even though most of the early anger has slipped away in a flood of people who actually participated agreeing with virtually every fact offered in the film. Too late.

Be Sociable, Share!

39 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Hansel & Klady”

  1. jesse says:

    Do you think ZD30 is taking a hit with regular moviegoers because of the torture stuff and the controversy? I suppose it could be a contributing factor, but I’d wager the movie’s trouble has more to do with being a 160-minute procedural with a relatively analytical style — versus what is basically a romantic comedy with some extra emotional/dramatic edges. Everyone uses Black Hawk Down as the point of comparison for ZD30 and it certainly makes sense in a superficial way, but Black Hawk Down was basically a military action movie (albeit one I found so frenzied and populated that I couldn’t really ever tell what was happening to who and, more to the point, did not care at all). ZD30 looks like a military action movie, but even with countless admirers calling it masterfully intense, I wonder if a lot of audience members might feel like it’s sporadically intense, otherwise heavy on procedure without a lot of outside context. Lincoln has some of that, but with Daniel Day-Lewis at the center, and Spielberg to help get people through the doors. Walking home a few weeks ago, I overheard someone ask her friend how ZD30 was, and the friend replied that it was “awful” — long and boring and pointless. Obviously that’s just anecdotal, but I wasn’t shocked to hear that reaction.

    I like both SLP and ZD30 — about the same amount, really, though offhand I’m more excited about future David O. Russell movies than future Bigelow movies — but SLP seems like a no-contest audience favorite between the two. And $80-100 million for each seems like a win in both columns.

  2. lazarus says:

    Not sure how this total is anything but a success for ZDT. In addition to what Jesse said above, this is a film with no stars about a sensitive subject. It’s already made twice as much as United 93, and will soon pass World Trade Center’s total (and that film had Nicholas Cage).

  3. The Pope says:

    ZD30 is a sporadically emotional film and part of that is because no one has a back story and there is no emotional undercurrent to the dialogue. It is practically all purely functional… which is as it should be… but it makes it very hard for audiences to warm to. Which makes the $62m take all the more remarkable. Considering it could easily have been such gung-ho, jingoistic, ra-ra-ra fest, kudos to Bigelow for avoiding that trap. But it still feels very perverse.

    While SLP is definitely an audience pleaser (Russell is great at conveying emotional chaos), I found the entire third act an awful cheat.


    Up until the moment when Pat reads the “letter” from his ex-wife, the movie has been open with regards his plans: get back with Nikki. But the second he reads the letter, he decides to be with Tiffany (the movie tries to cut it both ways by showing him on the porch looking back… but it does not show us Pat’s clear realization and decision).

    So, by suddenly concealing his plans for act three, it neutralizes the pay-off and renders completely redundant De Niro’s (otherwise brilliant line)… “when life reaches out to you, you gotta reach back”… But Pat has already figured that out and he had, from the moment he read the “letter” from his ex-wife, he knew it was from Tiffany and he knew he wanted to be with her and not his ex-wife.

    So, the whole dance drama at the end, which forced Tiffany to almost get drunk because she thought Pat was heading back to his ex-wife. It was fake drama. The Eagles won their game and now Pat needs to get a 5 in the dance to save his Dad. Is he really going to allow Tiffany to get drunk and jeopardize it all… just for the sake of getting the audience to feel elated at the ending?

    Like I said, it’s a cheat.


    I’d like to see AMOUR win Best Picture… but that can’t happen so I’ll settle for Lincoln.

  4. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    43 tanked. I am not shocked. Amazed how the creators had to describe how clever 43 was in print then failed miserably in expressing WTF it was in any advertising/ marketing.

    Lets hope H&G weak opening sends a strong message out about these types of films. If I see one more period piece with people walking away from explosions in slow-motion I’ll throw a turd at the screen. Didn’t Van Helsing dance on enough graves for everyone?

  5. christian says:

    There’s actually a people walking from an explosion shot in the next Bay film.

  6. YancySkancy says:

    I love SLP, but agree with The Pope that the ending drama is a bit of a cheat (kept waiting for Pat, Jr. to tell Pat, Sr. “Um, yeah, Pop–I already figured that out. Now let go of me so I can get on with it.”

    ZDT is just about the opposite of a mass audience crowdpleaser, so it’s kind of astonishing that it’s been doing about as well as SLP, which is ultimately quite a feel-good experience.

    I’ve got to say though, I don’t understand why Chastain has become a front-runner for Best Actress. She’s excellent, but the role is not typical awards bait (and I would argue that the weakest scenes are those that attempt to ‘humanize’ her character in an awards-friendly way, including that last shot). Jennifer Lawrence is tremendous, even if the role is rigged to make us love her.

  7. movieman says:

    Despite a total absence of wit (or even laughs), I couldn’t quite bring myself to hate “Movie 43.” The actors, all of whom are clearly working their asses off, are just too damn good. You’d swear they actually thought the script was…good.
    (My condolences, however, to Mr. and Mrs. Pratt–both of whom are totally adorable here–for getting saddled w/ the most repulsive vignette in the whole film. Poor kids.)
    I liked “Parker” OK. It has some of the feel of an early ’70s Don Siegel (“Charley Varrick”) or Phil Karlson (“Framed”) movie: the same casual brutality and vivid sense of place (in this case, Palm Beach, Fla.).
    What prevents it from making the leap from “B MINUS” to “B” (or better) terrain is a slight case of flab/bloat. Pulpy crime flicks like this need to run a lean, mean 90 (or 102 max) minutes. At 118, “Parker” felt just a tad overextended to me.

  8. BoulderKid says:

    Am I the only one who thinks Hansel & Gredel,, all things considered, is a success? Just the basic premise of this was almost incomprehensible from the marketing and its not like Renner is a household name. If I had to predict the weekend I would have though H & G would be in the single digits. A 15-17m opening is really the best Paramount could have hoped for. This type of crap plays great in Eastern Europe and Russia so I’m sure it’ll be profitable after internationals are taking in to account.

  9. Mike Denniston says:

    I enjoyed SLP but The Pope’s point about the third act is valid.


    Although it did work better for me that Pat came to the decision of Tiffany on his own, as great as De Niro is in this I’m glad it didn’t come down to a rah rah speech to flip the switch for Pat.


    Without spoilers it worked for me, even if I can agree with your reasoning, Pope.

  10. etguild2 says:

    I don’t understand the point of JLO in “Parker.” A few extra tickets for her face, and nothing more.

  11. movieman says:

    I thought Lopez was perfectly decent in “Parker,” Et.
    It’s a nicely self-effacing performance.
    But, truth be told, a lot of actresses could have played the role. And probably for a lot less money.

  12. StellaPD says:

    H&G did better than I thought it would. It’s R, it was delayed twice, Renner is not a proven bankable star. I didn’t think it would have a $15-$16 million opening weekend.

    So first The Last Stand tanks and now Parker. Next up, Bullet to the Head.

  13. Think says:

    The numbers for ZERO DARK THIRTY are great. If anyone expected more Sony would have put up the money instead of Megan Ellison. It’s a brilliant, aggressively clinical movie for adults that doesn’t play by any rules. A lot of people were expecting a domestic gross not that different from THE HURT LOCKER six months ago. Everyone’s happy.

  14. etguild2 says:

    People who are even slightly inclined to see “Parker” for JLO, probably expect her to kick ass movieman. Instead, she does the exact opposite for most of the film.

    Maybe it’s just me, but this January was really one for the record books in terms of awful quality. Bring on February!

  15. YancySkancy says:

    “I liked “Parker” OK. It has some of the feel of an early ’70s Don Siegel (“Charley Varrick”) or Phil Karlson (“Framed”) movie: the same casual brutality and vivid sense of place (in this case, Palm Beach, Fla.).”

    movieman: To me, that’s just about the highest praise you can give this type of film. I haven’t seen PARKER yet, but CHARLEY VARRICK is one of my all-time faves, and FRAMED is great, too. Hope I can make it to PARKER while it’s in theaters.

  16. Ramesh Bala says:

    Apart from Vishwaroopam (Telugu) you published, there is also a Tamil version which debuted at $260,000 in US on Friday. Please include that as well.

  17. etguild2 says:

    A Tamil-language film is going to flirt with $1 million at the box office this weekend? If you have a credible source for that, it’s the most jaw-dropping box office news I’ve heard in a long time…

  18. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Stella I think you’re right. H&G allegedly cost only $50m to make and therefore will end up probably being an earner.

  19. Foamy Squirrel says:

    lazarus says:
    January 26, 2013 at 11:20 am
    It’s already made twice as much as United 93, and will soon pass World Trade Center’s total (and that film had Nicholas Cage).

    Correction: that film had Nicholas Cage’s mustache.

  20. leahnz says:

    I thought scraping the bottom of the barrel to make a ‘hansel & gretel’ movie was a sure sign of the apocalypse (next up: “jack be nimble” starring Zac ephron and ‘little miss muffet’ featuring andy serkis as the spider)

  21. Triple Option says:

    I didn’t realize Hans & Gret was R rated. I thought it was going directly after the tween girls. From what I saw of the marketing, the film didn’t look like much better quality of an episode of Xena. Not to bag on the warrior princess but eh, why go out to see that in a theater??

    The print ads I thought were pandering, at best. In theory, it may be the same as a sexy Underworld or Resident Evil ad but Gretel, bringing out the crossbow and the girls, man, it was too obvious and unsophisticated. Before, when I was thinking it was PG-13. I thought the ads wouldn’t capture one of the most important components of tween decision making and that’s aspire. It reminds me of the new WB series, The Carrie Diaries. They two some perfect-skin blonde with a hunky guy all over her, hype up “sexual tension” and make her sound like a 26 year old divorcee and assume all the girls are gonna come a’runnin’ for it but rating-wise they sniffed it out to be inauthentic bs.

    I don’t know what they’re expectations were of Hanz & Gre, but fairy tale characters are not the same as superheroes. You can pass them down but you don’t look back. On paper it’s hard for me to believe 18-25 yr olds would give a crap about them. Maybe as a horror where they go back to the house where they were tormented but that’s whole ‘nother ball of wax from what it appears they were going for.

    A small part of me wants to thank them for not making another origins story though it’s not completely an original story made into film.

  22. jesse says:

    I’d say this crop of January movies hasn’t been too terrible. Nothing really stands out — maybe the craft of MAMA — but I didn’t absolutely hate any of them.

    GANGSTER SQUAD: Stupid, but not unenjoyable, though it gets pretty ridiculous with that narration, and it does feel a bit like pulpy dress-up.

    THE LAST STAND: Also stupid, but even more enjoyable with some well-directed action scenes and a good use of Arnold. Nicely small-scale after his overblown last bunch of pre-retirement movies.

    BROKEN CITY: Pretty lame and by-the-numbers, and feels slow on the uptake (it’s one of those movies where half the revelations in it are confusing because you just spent half the movie thinking they were a given), but I sort of admire the unpretentious non-action B-movie they tried to make.

    HANSEL + GRETEL: God help me, I had a pretty good time despite it not being very good. It definitely had a weird tone of irreverence without actually being very funny or irreverent… and felt hacked down… but I dunno, I found Renner and Arterton charming and appealing. It had a cool troll. I wasn’t bored.

    PARKER: Like JACK REACHER (and BROKEN CITY), an unpretentious throwbacky B-picture that goes on a little too long for what it actually accomplishes… but satisfying enough. About halfway between the classy version of Statham (The Bank Job) and the disreputable, cheesy, awesome version of Statham (Transporter, etc.). I wish the Lopez character added up to more.

    MOVIE 43: Pretty bad — about half the segments are mediocre or worse — but three or four of the sketches were pretty funny. Still, I feel like a couple of awful ones (and a really awful framing device) and the “embarrassing” cavalcade of big names have tricked a few critics into thinking this is a stinker for the ages. It’s just a clumsy sketch comedy movie. It’s kind of pathetic that it’s not as good as your average SNL episode, sure, but… bad comedies happen. I’ve seen worse.

    No real standouts, but nothing I imagine will turn up on my Worst of the Year list…

  23. Lex says:

    PARKER is directed by the godly Taylor Hackford. I haven’t seen it yet, but 118 minutes sounds BRISK for a Hackford. It’s just that everyone associates solo action Statham with 90-minute B-movies, but Hackford is like the second-tier Michael Mann…. Most of his stuff clocks in well over 2, so 118 is a walk in the park for the director of BLOOD IN BLOOD OUT, DEVIL’S ADVOCATE, and DOLORES CLAIBORNE.

    Hackford rules, IMO… Love that his movies are half-pulp, have longer-than-need be RELAXED, with deviations around the 2/3 marks where the movie will switch gears or hang with the villain for a while and let it breathe… As I’ve said roughly a zillion times, AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN is an all-time fave, as is AGAINST ALL ODDS; Oddly the one Hackford epic that finally got him Oscar attention– RAY– is probably one of the ones I like the least.

  24. The Pope says:

    Seriously, where has David gone to? The PGA announced Argo the winner last night and there is nary a notice about it up on the homepage.

  25. etguild2 says:

    A HAUNTED HOUSE and MOVIE 43 will go down as two of the worst movies of the year, easily, I would imagine. Roeper, THR, and Lou Lumenick (the latter of whom is a hack, but still) are essentially calling it the worst film they’ve ever had to review. On metacritc, 43 would go down as the 2nd worst wide release of 2012, and HAUNTED HOUSE and HANSEL AND GRETEL would be in the top 5.

    I don’t know, jesse, everything this month was either bad or aggressively mediocre. Nothing like THE GREY or HAYWIRE from last year, or even GREEN HORNET, DAYBREAKERS,SMOKIN ACES, BOOK OF ELI, NOTORIOUS…stuff that had a spark of life, despite the shortcomings.

  26. Breedlove says:

    Total agreement on the Taylor Hackford love. He is the only reason I might consider seeing PARKER – I’ve barely seen any of Stratham’s stuff. But AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN is a classic and I love shit like PROOF OF LIFE, DOLORES CLAIBORNE and THE DEVIL’S ADVOCATE. I barely even think of RAY as a Hackford movie. He needs a little pulp.

  27. movieman says:

    “Ray” is a pretty darn solid musical biopic.
    The Hackford movies I don’t dig are (sorry, Leah) “Proof of Life” and that silly brothel movie he did w/ his wife and Joe Pesci.
    Yancy- Re: my Siegel/Karlson comparison.
    The only problem is that Hackford’s talents aren’t in the same skill set as those venerable action auteurs.
    Which is maybe why there’s a slight dissonance between material/finished product. And 30 extra minutes tacked on to the running time.
    But I still liked it overall.

  28. The Pope says:

    MOVIE 43 will win every Razzie going not only because it is so bad, but also because of the talent involved. Oftentimes the Razzies round on one person; Eddie, Travolta, or Sandra Bullock. But here, they can hit the bullseye with almost a dozen. Two Oscar winning actresses (Winslet, Berry), five other nominees (Kinnear, Thurman, Jackman, Watts, Howard). How many Golden Globe winners?

    Plus, there were four cinematographers, 5 production designers and 11 (eleven) editors! Sounds like a student project which was shot on weekends.

  29. cadavra says:

    “I don’t understand the point of JLO in ‘Parker.’”

    Well, apart from the fact that the character is in the novel, she’s vital to the plot (both kinds) because Parker needs an inside person to give him the needed dope and help him set up the scheme. Without her, he’d be hard-pressed to pull it off. Now if you’re arguing that another actress would have been better, that’s fair, but the character itself is a necessity.

  30. leahnz says:

    that’s ok movieman, weirdly I didn’t like ‘proof of life’ very much the first time around but enjoyed it far more the second time (maybe because I was cocooned on the couch late at night and was expecting nothing), I didn’t see the love ranch thing but ‘white knights’ is another of my nostalgic hackfords (did he meet mirren on that shoot? not sure). Hackford is very solid and perhaps does get a bit eclipsed by others of his similar ilk, but I like him because he can pull off drama and action with a bit of flair but he knows when to put the brakes on and keep it real for the most part – his most outrageous endeavour so far (and i haven’t seen ‘parker) has probably been ‘the devil’s advocate’ and (imo) he manages to keep it lively with tongue in cheek without tipping too far into absurdity, i always have time for hackford.

  31. Joe Leydon says:

    Leahnz: Yes, White Knights is where Hackford met Helen Mirren — and the bastard stole her away from me. I’ve never forgiven him for that.

  32. leahnz says:

    ha, oh no, poor Joe – don’t you hate it when that happens?

  33. Joe Leydon says:

    Well, I have to admit, he did have a lot more to offer her.

  34. Foamy Squirrel says:

    I didn’t think he was that heavy.

  35. Foamy Squirrel says:

    Well, the flipside of that is that you were more svelte in those days…

  36. Joe Leydon says:

    When I think there was a time in my life when I was so skinny, I actually yearned to gain weight… Mind you, LBJ was president, and I was in grade school at the time…

  37. Foamy Squirrel says:

    Suffice to say the “svelte” comment was more what I was aiming at in the first place, but I went for the more obvious version with all the subtlety of a rhino and missed by several miles.

    Accept my apologies. 😀

The Hot Blog

Quote Unquotesee all »

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