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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Where Was It All Day Klady?

And now is that part where Vince Vaughn gets nervous. This is three paired-star comedy openings in a row to open under $20m for a star who had gone four of five opening to over $31m in wide-release comedies going into this slump-y period. (That goes back to 2005… it’s really five in a row, going back to Dodgeball, which is also when he cracked the $20m opening barrier as a lead and became box office.)

Is it a coincidence that Vaughn is now 43? Not likely. Some stars survive their 40s just fine. Most do not and have to make a comeback closer to 50.

It has not been a good summer for comedy so far. Hangover 3 will have a number that might look good next to an original comedy, but is ugly next to the first two in the series. The Internship. Which leaves 5 comedies left, starting with This Is The End, which I kinda loved, but is smarter than some of its seemingly likely fans might expect. Sandra Bullock & Melissa McCarthy bring The Heat, which I hope is great fun, but hasn’t locked in for me conceptually yet. Searchlight has the only non-major comedy that I think could end up being one of the big ones this summer, The Way Way Back. Sandler & Co have a sequel to his most subtle comedy-but also after the first back-to-back bombs of his career-with Grown Ups 2. And CBS Films has The To-Do List.

There hasn’t been a summer without at least one $148m+ domestic comedy since 2004, in which, somewhat ironically, Dodgeball was the #1 summer comedy with $114m domestic, which was outstanding for a completely underdog movie. Hangover 3 is not getting there (though the films should hit black thanks to foreign). So who will it be?

Even if The Purge settles into the high 30s for the 3-day weekend, it’s a pretty great number and a really smart (and rare) piece of counter-programming. You just don’t see films running that close to horror this early in the summer opening to these kinds of numbers.

Fast & Furious 6 will pretty surely be the #1 in franchise history domestically and will come close or surpass international. Universal’s hot streak will certainly continue with Despicable Me 2 coming next. Then, there is the less sure trio of mid-July and August films, which could be surprisingly big or disappointing… but one thing they won’t be is enough to turn the summer to crap, even if all three fail. The biggest budget is R.I.P.D., which has terrible buzz, but at $130m or so won’t ruin the summer run, even if it ends up being a big write-down. Kick-Ass 2 is almost guaranteed breakeven with some real potential for upside. 2 Guns and Elysium will duke it out for top film of August, it seems. Both Wahlberg & Denzel are consistent draws and $100m domestic seems like the bottom for the film with a real upside (especially as Denzel gets stronger and stronger internationally).

The Great Gatsby is already Baz Luhrmann’s biggest film and is in some very good company as Leo DiCaprio’s #7 movie worldwide to date. It’s really been the surprise hit of the summer so far. Warners did about as much as they could do with Hangover 3. And now, the big money hits the table with Man of Steel and Pacific Rim. Both are pure boy movies and both have to make a lot of money to break even… but either or both could end up one of the summer’s breakout hits. Good luck, Burbank.

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27 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Where Was It All Day Klady?”

  1. nick says:

    Pacific Rim won’t come close to Man of Steel’s overall box-office. Not happening. As much as I think PR looks like fun, women won’t give two shits about it. Also – how/why was that film shot 1.85?

  2. SamLowry says:

    For FoxNews, THE PURGE is definitely a horror movie. I don’t think I’ve heard the word “unAmerican” yet, but considering it targets the Tea Party and the NRA, just you wait.

  3. Uh says:

    Yeah 1.85:1 really killed that AVENGERS movie.

  4. Poland's Holy Cheese says:

    Here endeth the lesson. When David speaketh, you must listen as if you were listening to almighty GOD.

    And all day Klady was at the LA Public Library, trying desperately to get his research skills back, then he said screw it and got it from another source like every week.

  5. Dr Wally Rises says:

    Pacific Rim is 3D, right? There is a general school of thought that 1.85 works better for 3D than 2.35, which is why James Cameron controversially changed the aspect ratios for Titanic and Avatar for Blu-ray.

  6. movieman says:

    (Seeming) high-concept premise aside, isn’t “The Purge” really just another
    variation on the “Straw Dogs” template? That was my take on it anyway.

    I don’t know why everyone enjoys hating on “The Internship” so much.
    I thought it was an immensely likable (if hardly bust-a-gut funny) film. Also, is it my imagination or is this the first time we’re hearing Rose Byrne’s real (not faux American) accent? I can’t recall the last time she wasn’t playing a Yank in a movie (“Bridesmaids,” etc.) or TV show (“Damages,” et al).
    DVD will surely be kinder.

    Nice opening for Whedon’s Bard romp. Any chance of mainstream/ multiplex crossover?

  7. leahnz says:

    i’m pretty sure del toro intentionally didn’t shoot ‘pac-rim’ in 3D and he himself had no intention to do a post-conversion (studio decision after the fact), so i doubt 3D is the reason he chose 1.85:1. perhaps he felt the slight ‘extra height’ feeling the 1.85 frame affords was more conducive to a movie that has a lot of ginormous tall battling mechs, extra height preferable over width from a conceptual standpoint, i don’t know just guessing

  8. Bodhizefa says:

    If Pacific Rim only makes $80-100 million, is it a bust? Because that’s where I think it’s headed. Lumping it in with Man of Steel seems kind of silly.

    Man of Steel, on the other hand, is easily going to best $400 million and could be our next $500 million domestic film. Comic book films are no longer just “boy movies,” and the female crowd will certainly show up to see a very attractive Henry Cavill, an incredibly likeable female star in Adams, and some great action beats and story on a much more grand scale than something like the fun but light Iron Man 3. There’s simply no way this film doesn’t turn into the smash hit of the summer.

  9. Paul Doro says:

    So you liked The Purge Sam? I thought it had some interesting ideas but ultimately felt really half-formed. Script needed some fleshing out and it grows increasingly ridiculous, especially when Hawke is suddenly Rambo in the home stretch. Very impressive opening though. Social media seems to be getting a lot of credit for it, but how is that quantified? Lots of Twitter chatter so people just assume that resulted in strong box office?

    Kick Ass 2 looks like sub-DTV fare, like it should be premiering on Reelz. Trailer is excruciatingly bad. And even though I’m psyched about Pacific Rim and meh on MOS, I don’t see any way the former makes anywhere near the $ of the latter.

  10. SamLowry says:

    Haven’t seen THE PURGE, but read a FoxNews article that was fairly incendiary, and then there’s Wilmington’s review, which suggests the movie may have been too low-budget to get its point across (this is supposed to be happening nation-wide but we don’t see any proof of that) and became little more than a home-invasion horrorshow.

  11. Paul Doro says:

    So does the Fox News article claim the movie targets the tea party and NRA? There is some proof that it’s happening nationwide, security camera footage of people attacking and being attacked in various cities across the U.S. But yes by the end it’s not much more than a home-invasion horror show.

  12. chris says:

    Anybody compare the Variety box office stories from Friday and Sunday, written by two different writers I’m not familiar with? The Friday guy thinks it’s a disaster for “Internship” to gross about 18 million; the Sunday guy thinks it’s a swell start.

  13. nick says:

    @ Uh — the one big problem with Avengers was its lack of epic scope. Yes, the movie felt BIG, but it didn’t feel nearly as EPIC, as say, Transformers 3, which was shot with 3-D cameras on-set, AND was in glorious 2:35:1 widescreen. Making big-budget action films in 1:85 is lazy and asinine.

  14. nick says:

    And I agree with Paul, everything about Kick-Ass 2 feels EXTRA LOW-RENT. I’ve a feeling that all the big stars involved will feel a little embarrassed when that shit hits the big screen. From the director of Never Back Down stokes LOTS of confidence…

    Kick-Ass was a fun and relatively smart genre subversion that worked perfectly as a one-off. The world didn’t need further expansion.

  15. Paul Doro says:

    With Wedding Crashers having a $34 million opening weekend 8 years ago, I don’t see how $18 million is in any way swell for The Internship, playing in nearly 1,000 more theaters than The Purge.

  16. Fitzgerald says:

    Pacific Rim still feels precarious to me and 2 Guns looks more solid than spectacular. I think that R.I.P.D. could surprise people. Aside from my love of all things Bridges, a trusted and somewhat jaded friend of mine saw one of the test screenings and he thought it was absolutely hilarious and well done. That combined with the audibly positive reaction the trailer got in both Oblivion and F&F6 screenings I was at, which I mentioned in another thread, gets me thinking, despite its low profile so far. Kick Ass 2, OTOH, just kind of confuses me, as a movie and a business proposition.

  17. SamLowry says:


    Critics: ‘The Purge’ an attack on Tea Party, NRA

    “Director James DeMonaco makes it clear the movie is a direct attack on the NRA, an organization filled with millions of law-abiding gun owners. The loony left’s reflexive hatred of the 2nd Amendment is founded in the concept that people who don’t break the law are somehow evil for exercising the Constitutional rights,”…“’The Purge’ is also an obvious attack on the Tea Party and Christians.”

    Hawke said “It’s not such a far-fetched idea that rich people are totally cut off from the adversity and murder. We sit there on a treadmill and watch and flip and see what’s happening all over the world and other countries, and a lot of that damage is created by our affluence and what is our level of participation in that,”

    Considering that wealthy folks are spending 4x as much for luxury boxes, per year, than most folks spend on a car just so they don’t have to rub shoulders with the hoi polloi at stadiums, I’d say Hawke has hit the target.

  18. Paul Doro says:

    I read that and I can’t tell if Dan Gainor and John Ziegler have even seen the movie. I feel like all of their criticism is based on the trailer and cast/crew interviews. Certainly wouldn’t be the first time that happened. Obvious attack on Christians?

  19. ” Making big-budget action films in 1:85 is lazy and asinine.”

    Jurassic Park was 1.85:1. E.T. was, too. Aliens, Back from the Future, Starship Troopers, Alice in Wonderland, the first Spider-Man, Finding Nemo. Many of them box-office record-breakers.

    What is asinine is your obsession against the less-wider ratio.

    As someone already pointed out, in films like these extra height is useful for careful, appropriate framing of large things (which is something you don’t see in Emmerich’s messy Godzilla).

    And you still haven’t provided any solid reasons explaining why a film shot in 2.4 is necessarily more epic than one in 1.85.

  20. Uh says:

    I prefer 2.35:1/2.40:1 but every movie is different. And that was a pretty half-assed rebuttal to my AVENGERS reference. AVATAR was projected at the same ratio as well. If you’re going to imply vaguely that it could effect the box office you have no way to back that up.

  21. nick says:

    aspect ratio doesn’t mean anything when it comes to box office

    i’m talking from a personal standpoint — movies in 2.35:1 LOOK MORE EPIC than those in 1.85

  22. cadavra says:

    ‘Scope is a tool just like anything else. A Woody Allen movie would gain nothing in 2.35, but anything of an action and/or fantasy nature will likely be improved by the extra landscape.

    As for Del Toro, doesn’t he shoot 1.85 as a matter of course?

  23. YancySkancy says:

    I’m not gonna look up the AR of all Woody’s films, but MANHATTAN was 2.35:1, and I thought it definitely gained something from it (granted, it’s a little larger in theme than most of his later stuff). Since he favors long takes with a moving camera, the potential at least is always there for an interesting widescreen experience. I always liked that Fred Schepisi used the wider ratio for stuff like ROXANNE and SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION.

  24. hcat says:

    Manhatten was also one of the first movies ‘letterboxed’ on VHS to maintain the wide shots. Allen insisted on it, so the difference in ratio was certainly important to him.

    And I also prefer scope in movies (even comedies) but whoever made the earlier point about the use of vertical space with giant creatures (dinos, robots) was right about them looking smaller in a scope shot.

  25. js partisan says:

    So, EPIC SCOPE to someone, is the inability to tell what the fuck is going on with the action like in TF3? If that’s your idea of scope, then give me the Avengers everyday of the week.

  26. leahnz says:

    cadavra gets the huge stuffed bear, all del toro’s directorial efforts are shot in 1.85, good bit of trivia

  27. cadavra says:

    Thank you, Leah!

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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?”

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“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.

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