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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by What Will Finals Look Like Klady

Weekend Estimates 2013-08-18 at 9.18.10 AM

I have this itchy feeling this weekend that while (wholly irrelevant) slotting may not change, the “finals” may look a bit different for a number of films compared to today’s estimates. For instance, The Weinsteins clearly have faith that Black audiences are going to go see The Butler after church today. Maybe. Maybe not. Once the $30m pipedream was gone, the nice even $25m became the next best thing.

Kick Ass 2 is estimating pretty low… which could get worse or better And Jobs is right in the middle.

Anyway… we will see.

Surprisingly strong hold for We’re The Millers, though part of that is the good fortune of timing. Millers is the only comedy in the Top 13 films, with only Blue Jasmine (which is balanced with drama) and The Heat (which is 8 weekends old and just passed $155m dom) as other comedies in the Top 20. It will be interesting to see of The World’s End can take advantage of the dearth of comedy. And it’s kind of sad that The Way Way Back hasn’t managed to take better advantage of this demand that’s not being fully satisfied this summer.

Not much to be excited about at the arthouse… except for the movies. In A World… is the most impressive, with $6k per screen on 37. And it’s surely the only indie supported by its writer/director/co-star being naked on a the cover of a magazine like New York this month. (My guess is that Edgar Wright & Simon Pegg don’t have enough time to their naked New York cover in response in time of their opening.) I’m not saying that it’s all about that… but it is a level of free publicity that few others have.

$8570 per on 3 for Ain’t Them Bodies Saints. $6630 per for Cutie & The Boxer on 3. $10.4k per for Austenland on 4, which is one of those movies that feels more mainstream… but apparently is not. 20 Feet From Stardom and Blackfish continue to be heroes.

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86 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by What Will Finals Look Like Klady”

  1. Joe Leydon says:

    A serious question, David: Do you think we may have reached the tipping point for VOD in terms of its affecting box-office performance for indies? I have my doubts — still think many/most people aren’t aware just what’s available from their cable service — but I wonder whether we’re nearing the point where people stop saying “I’ll wait for that one on DVD” and start saying “I’ll check to see if/when I can VOD.”

  2. Gus says:

    I’m sure I’m an exception given the large number of movies I watch but I definitely am doing that now. Hard to justify $14 or so plus a drive and a wait to see an indie that’ll play well enough on tv in my living room right now for $7 or so.

  3. Gus says:

    But I should say… Do people even differentiate? In my opinion ATBS is a very cinematic experience, while DRINKING BUDDIES (haven’t seen it yet, but saw the trailer and know the directors work) seems to be less so. Does this matter to the “VOD audience”? Who knows.

  4. Chris says:

    I’m inclined to agree, Gus. I don’t like “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” much but, for it to work at all, I feel like you need to fall under its spell in a theater, not sit at home with a fast-forward button within easy reach.

  5. dinovelvet says:

    Is anyone gonna talk about Paranoia? A wide release with name stars opening in 13th place? That’s a special kind of fuck you from the general public.

  6. Etguild2 says:

    The most interesting news this weeks is overseas….

    *PACIFIC RIM shockingly bombed in Japan, where WWZ ran over it matching up head-to-head. You just never know what those Japanese audiences will eat up and reject (TED is the biggest live-action Hollywood film this year in the market). On the other hand, PACIFIC RIM continues to rampage through China (where WWZ was banned ironically), where it’s going to surpass IRON MAN 3 to become the 4th biggest Hollywood film ever behind Avatar, Titanic and Trannies 3 if the Chinese allow it to.

    *Now looking like SMURFS 2 might drop a quarter BILLION worldwide from the first film, a record for a direct sequel, depending on the China release.

    Also, it says a lot about how bad the state of foreign film in the United States has gotten when CHENNAI EXPRESS outgrosses the four non-winning Academy Award nominees for Foreign Language (A Royal Affair, Kon-Tiki, No and War Witch) combined.

  7. Joe Leydon says:

    Etguid2: Or maybe it says more about the growth of the US audience for Bollywood imports. In Houston, there are weeks when 3 or 4 Bollywood features play alongside mainstream Hollywood fare at the AMC Studio 30.

  8. Smith says:

    I’m a bit surprised that Blue Jasmine was flat (per mojo) or slightly down this weekend, while doubling it’s theater count. Never expected it to keep up with Midnight in Paris, but it seems like it will struggle to break $20m, no? Or will they bump the theater count next weekend to keep it even or maybe up a little again, then let it wind down?

  9. Etguild2 says:

    @Joe: Perhaps, but on the other hand….

    Number of Foreign Language Films to Break $10 milllion (No Bollywood film has broken 5 million):

    Before 2000: 6
    2000-2008: 17
    2009-2013: 2 (which happen to be the two lowest grossing of the 25 films to break 10 million)

    Maybe we just lived through a golden age of commercial foreign film?

  10. Joe Leydon says:

    Again, possible. All kinds of factors come to play here. For example: How many newspapers had in-house film critics who regularly reviewed (and thereby publicized) foreign films 2000-08? Also — and I know David hates to talk about this — what about ticket inflation? How much would, say, Cousin, Cousine gross if it sold the name number of tickets now as it did back then? A Man and a Woman? The Seventh Seal?

    But, yes, it’s also quite possible, as you suggest, that an unusually large number of audience-friendly foreign-language films opened in the US between 2000 and 2008.

  11. Etguild2 says:

    Yes, it gets very ugly if you factor in inflation

    $10 million foreign language grossers (inflation adjusted):

    Before2000: 23
    2000-2008: 19
    2009-2013: 2

    Newspaper criticism might be a small factor, and quality might be too. I suspect studios are just less willing to put much effort into foreign theatrical…

  12. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Do audiences really want to see World’s End? International says no. It’s a terribly marketed film. Anyone else like to see Wright go back to tv? I feel it’s where he truly belongs and where he’d probably find his biggest success. Just don’t feel Antman is going to work for Wright. Hollywood says three strikes and you’re out right?

  13. anghus says:

    Pacific Rim bombing in Japan doesn’t shock me, at all. They’ve been digesting this kind of stuff in their culture for decades. And now the big Western version of it shows up, and theyre not impressed.

    The idea of taking that culture, westernizing it, and then repackaging it to them thinking they would just eat it up is so wonderfully, blissfully ignorant.

    Every time the Pacific Rim fans were screaming “Its not over yet, IT STILL HASNT OPENED IN JAPAN!” you just had to chuckle.

    China though. Jesus. It’s going to make more money in China than it is in the United States.

  14. nick says:

    World’s End is gonna flop. BIG TIME.

  15. Mariamu says:

    I’m excited for World’s End.

  16. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    “The idea of taking that culture, westernizing it, and then repackaging it to them thinking they would just eat it up is so wonderfully, blissfully ignorant.. Every time the Pacific Rim fans were screaming “Its not over yet, IT STILL HASNT OPENED IN JAPAN!” you just had to chuckle.”

    Anghus I don’t remember you calling them out when they all said this. You mean how like Japan ate up Trannies? Repackaged material from their past? Like all their other material they’ve eaten up as repackaged westernized outings?

    What PR fucked up was that they had no stars. Trannie leads were stars in Japan. You do beauty commercials or mobile ones you know you’ve made it.

  17. Monco says:

    It’s still gonna tank. (This was in response to World’s End box office potential).

  18. Joe Leydon says:

    Etguild: You raise an interesting point: When was the last time a major US studio — not a subsidiary, not a boutique operation, but a major studio — released a subtitled, foreign-language movie? Wasn’t it Claude Lelocuh’s Les Miserables, by Warner Bros., back in 1995?

  19. Etguild2 says:

    I could be wrong, but I believe it was Gans’ “Brotherhood of the Wolf” back in 2002 (Universal).

  20. christian says:

    Chanting “THE WORLD’S END is gonna tank” has nothing to do with its value as a film. Just a notion.

  21. David Poland says:

    I think we are long past the tipping point, Joe.

    The problem is, very rare is the case when a marketing team can split focus in a way that leads to selling both theatrical and any post-theatrical effectively. So any success in theatrical is usually glass-ceilinged by the VOD release.

    I don’t know that there is a happy medium, so much as a few happy successes that have overcome the limitations of the structure

  22. David Poland says:

    Two things.

    1. Keep in mind that China is still paying a lower percentage of ticket sales back to non-Chinese distributors than any other country.

    2. I don’t dislike talking about ticket inflation, Joe. But only in context and only with legit stats. For instance, Gone With The Wind charged more per ticket throughout its early engagements. But we don’t have stats about how much. So the simple inflation comparison is a crap stat.

    Also, how many tickets a foreign film sold 30 years ago is pretty irrelevant, given that those films were not on VHS or DVD, much less VOD, and not on television for many years.

    I would love a chart of all movies – or any – with the number of people paying to see the film in all and any venues or delivery systems are clear and the revenue from each window was clear. But the reason we see an obsession with domestic box office is because it is the one clearly reported tool available to the press and public.

    Obviously, if Blue Jasmine does $20m domestic, it is not the same as Love and Death doing $20m domestic. But there is a real chance that more people will see Jasmine than have ever seen Love and Death, even with all the revival houses and rep houses L&D played for 25 years.

    It’s all apples & oranges.

  23. Joe Leydon says:

    David: So what has been the largest grossing theatrical/VOD release so far? Arbitrage? Margin Call? Something else?

  24. SamLowry says:

    Concerning PACIFIC RIM, I can’t help but be reminded of the MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA debacle, when American packagers thought that a movie about a Japanese geisha made with a Chinese lead would do boffo box-office in both nations. Instead, it alienated both nations.

    Stupid Americans.

  25. Etguild2 says:

    “Also, how many tickets a foreign film sold 30 years ago is pretty irrelevant, given that those films were not on VHS or DVD, much less VOD, and not on television for many years.”

    I agree David, but taking inflation out, and looking at the top 100 foreign films of all-time domestically, only 18 were released since 2009 and none of those are in the top 20. On the other hand, of the top 100 domestic grossers of all time, 36, or twice as many, were released since 2009, with 8 of those in the top 20.

    Do you have any theory as to why foreign films no longer make real money in theatrical? It’s a curious phenomenon…do you think it’s primarily VOD? Have studios just decided the cost of a theatrical release isn’t worth it? Given that digital has driven the cost of distribution down it’s a little strange to me.

  26. SamLowry says:

    This article from a couple days ago addresses the exact same problem with gay films:

    “The economic world of film is vastly different in 2013 than it was in 1993 or 2003. Back in the 1990s, studios were making the kind of mid-budget films in which “Philadelphia,” “In & Out, “The Birdcage” and “To Wong Foo” encompass. Then in the 2000s when studios all had started specialty divisions (like Universal’s Focus Features and Fox’s Fox Searchlight), LGBT content seemed to be delegated there with smaller budgets (like with “Brokeback Mountain,” “Kinsey,” “Milk,” and “Capote”). Nowadays, even those kind of $15-$20 million budgeted LGBT films are rare.”

    Conclusions? “Studios simply aren’t touching films with lead LGBT characters anymore” and “Steven Soderbergh notably said earlier this year that he made “Behind The Candelabra” for HBO because it was “too gay” for Hollywood.”

    If the same arguments apply to foreign films, perhaps that would mean the majors won’t touch them anymore, the specialty divisions that would have are dead or shutting down, and anyone who really wants their film shown here takes it to cable, or perhaps VOD.

  27. anghus says:

    Obviously Pacific Rim would have done better with a name above the title. Japan is no different than the rest of the world: they like stars. The raw assumption that Pacific Rim would be ‘big in japan’ was kind of ridiculous.

  28. leahnz says:

    “Do audiences really want to see World’s End? International says no”

    wait, how does that work? so far it hasn’t openened yet in north america, most of europe, asia or anywhere else in the world for that matter except here, aus and the actual ‘domestic’ market UK/irelend where it’s still earning steadily, surpassing ‘shaun of the dead’ already but not doing the boffo hot fuzz BO there — and yet ‘international says no?’ is this on the psychic friends network?

  29. Joe Leydon says:

    David, no offense, but 30 years ago was 1983. I already owned several subtitled films on Beta and VHS by that time. And pay-cable had already aired scads of them. Hell, I still have foreign films I taped off cable from that period.

  30. Steven Kaye says:

    Blue Jasmine will easily pass $20 million. Geez. Its Friday takings were affected by the debut of The Butler but it bounced back on Saturday and Sunday.

  31. Etguild2 says:

    Thanks Sam, interesting article…yeah the decline of specialty divisions is definitely a major factor for foreign and indie for sure. And yeah, there are still great LGBT themed films out there… “Weekend,” “Keep the Lights On,” “Beyond the Hills,” “Pariah” and “My Brother the Devil,” come to mind…but man, you really have to seek them out nowadays.

  32. doug r says:

    So in this “death nell” of foreign films Box Office, are we allowed to include pictures like Kung Fu Hustle, Karate Kid and Forbidden Kingdom? How about Planet 51? Or even Despicable Me or Ponyo?

  33. SamLowry says:

    I just wish we could be spared foreign imports like ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH, a Canadian cheapie built on the assumption that parents can’t tell animation studios apart, so anything that looks Pixarish and sounds Dreamworksish–hey, is that Brendan Fraser and Sarah Jessica Parker and Jessica Alba and several other fading stars who couldn’t voice act their way out of a wet paper bag?–is still good enough for their kids.

    The movie’s Wiki, however, makes the Weinsteins sound like a pair of mafioso, demanding script changes late in production (really guys, the movie’s crap–you actually think you can polish a turd?) that drove up the costs just enough to require a cash infusion which, in effect, strong-armed the writer-director and the producer into accepting cuts in their profit-sharing. And people are still willing to make deals with these guys?

  34. cadavra says:

    Well, remember we’re talking about foreign-LANGUAGE films, not foreign films per se; the operative point is audiences willing to watch a subtitled film. So I would think that pictures that have been dubbed, like a Jackie Chan or a Miyazaki, would not qualify, am I correct?

  35. SamLowry says:

    With that qualification, I’d add ATTACK THE BLOCK to the list. Subtitles are absolutely required to understand what anyone is saying.

  36. Ray Pride says:

    So many economic forces have changed since the days Roger Corman distributed Truffaut and booked CRIES AND WHISPERS into drive-ins (SWEDE SIS TRYST JONESES FOR OZONERS).

  37. Ray Pride says:

    Completely the same audience.

  38. Joe Leydon says:

    OK, I will address the elephant in the room: Perhaps there were more venturesome ticketbuyers — that is, people willing to make the effort to read subtitles — 10-15 years ago?

  39. Gus says:

    I think the idea of the adventuresome viewer is based on fewer entertainments being available. With people being catered to directly, I think people have the luxury of being less adventurous. With fewer options, I think people were more inclined to branch out to see new things.

    Taken to its extreme, when we had three TV channels, shows were a hell of a lot more popular. There just wasn’t that much else to watch, and fewer things to do. To me, once you’ve fragmented the audience with increasingly granular forms of entertainment there’s less incentive on the part of the audience to seek out things that might not otherwise appeal to them. Just a thought.

  40. Hallick says:

    People say they won’t go to a foreign language film because they “don’t go to the movies to READ”, but they’ll scan Facebook posts and Twitter feeds on their phones during an English language film with nary a problem.

    That aside, I don’t think international films have the buzz nowadays that they had 20 years ago. There isn’t a country in this day and age enjoying a rabid cult following anywhere near what Hong Kong had in its Jackie Chan/wire-fu/bullet ballet heyday. Even English language territories like Australia and the UK seemed to have a vibe of “importance” back then that’s sorely lacking in 2013.

    Whatever happened to national film movements? And when was the last one of any real note? Romania’s a few years back? And nothing from that ever broke into the mainstream.

  41. Hallick says:

    “To me, once you’ve fragmented the audience with increasingly granular forms of entertainment there’s less incentive on the part of the audience to seek out things that might not otherwise appeal to them. Just a thought.”

    I don’t believe general audiences seek out thing that might not otherwise appeal to them anyway. They seek out what intrigues, interests or fascinates them. To get on their radar and do that though, they have to be exposed to some sampling of what you have to offer. Where I see the granularity coming in to play in a negative way is that today you have more avenues than ever for getting exposure, but generally where you’re getting exposure, there are a lot fewer eyeballs.

  42. Joe Leydon says:

    Hate to say this, but: I joked back in the day that, when Francois Truffaut died (in 1984), he took the US audience for foreign language films with him. I probably was off 10 years or so, but…

  43. Ray Pride says:

    Many of the recent “national” film movements are facilitated by international studios, and Romania by France: they don’t truly have a distribution set up. Every film production is another fine fairy tale, even apart from the movie itself.

  44. Joe Leydon says:

    Gus: I think you’re on to something. When I wrote an obit for Larry Hagman in Cowboys & Indians magazine after the actor died during the second season of the TNT reboot of Dallas:

    “[Hagman] knew full well that, in this multiple-option day and age of TV cable-casting and time-shifting, he was playing to an appreciably smaller weekly audience than he enjoyed during the run of the original series. “I’m used to having 18, 20 million viewers,” he only half-jokingly remarked during an Entertainment Weekly interview. “And now we’re having 4 and 7 million.” Even so, he added, “They tell me that’s extraordinarily good, so I’ll just go along with that.”

  45. YancySkancy says:

    Deleted for redundancy. Should’ve refreshed the page before responding.

  46. Jack1137 says:

    Joe Excellent ancedote. J.R. we will miss you dearly.One thing is certain Heaven has a new Cowboy

  47. leahnz says:

    “With that qualification, I’d add ATTACK THE BLOCK to the list. Subtitles are absolutely required to understand what anyone is saying.”

    ha SamLowry, i wondered how US viewers would cope with ‘attack the block’ – i generally don’t have much trouble understanding that thick urban london accent but, as i think it was LYT who pointed out in a previous discussion on the subject, it’s often not just the inflection but the colloquialisms that can make even other english-speaking cultures difficult to understand (and the proper translation of colloquialisms can be an amusing issue in subtitling for non-english language flicks too of course), and ATB was colloquialism-o-rama.

    eta that made me think of ‘taggart’ (cool scottish detective/cop show) when sometimes the scottish brogues are so thick even other scots on the show have lines like, ‘wtf did you just say, speak english!’

  48. I’m a bit surprised that Blue Jasmine was flat (per mojo) or slightly down this weekend, while doubling it’s theater count. Never expected it to keep up with Midnight in Paris, but it seems like it will struggle to break $20m, no? Or will they bump the theater count next weekend to keep it even or maybe up a little again, then let it wind down?

  49. Jack1137 says:

    Friday Blue Jasmine will expand. By how much? I don’t know

  50. SamLowry says:

    On a related note to the Hagman story, Bruce Campbell said in his first book that his fanbase exploded when BRISCO COUNTY, JR. went on the air because even the lowest-rated episode had more viewers than all the EVIL DEAD movies put together.

  51. Etguild2 says:

    “With that qualification, I’d add ATTACK THE BLOCK to the list. Subtitles are absolutely required to understand what anyone is saying.”

    What’s interesting is, I feel like film has taught me to better understand the real thick urban/cockney accents. I recently snagged a Region 2 DVD of the wonderful “My Brother the Devil,” and almost turned it off upon realizing the subtitles weren’t compatible. Turns out, I no longer need them…I went back and watched a little of “Four Lions” to make sure, and didn’t have much difficulty…

  52. Don R. Lewis says:

    I’m a huuuuuge fan of Edgar Wright but even I have to admit, even though I love his films and the cast, THE WORLD’S END doesn’t really pique my interest. I mean, I’ll be there opening day but Wright doesn’t have the Tarantino name (or the like) to open a film based on who he is, unfortunately.

    Also- I saw THE SPECTACULAR NOW yesterday and it is, indeed, spectacular.

  53. christian says:

    There was a shitload of subtitles in INGLOURIOUS BASTARDS.

  54. cadavra says:

    Hallick said: “People say they won’t go to a foreign language film because they ‘don’t go to the movies to READ’, but they’ll scan Facebook posts and Twitter feeds on their phones during an English language film with nary a problem.”

    This can never be emphasized enough.

  55. christian says:

    Don, I think THE WORLD’S END will hit your sweet spot in a few places. It’s actually a film that stayed with me for its rather melancholy tone…The fact is that Wright, Pegg and Frost are making consistently smart ,ambitious and well-made films with a lot more depth than non-genre films. Wright has got a long career ahead. And they’re all such lovely guys in person.

  56. CMR says:

    “And they’re all such lovely guys in person.”

    Hide under the couch.

  57. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Christian it’s called television starfucker

  58. christian says:

    Yeah JBD, sure. “television starfucker” – you really brought the ruckus.

  59. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    I bring the wumpus

  60. Don R. Lewis says:

    Oh, like I said. *I’M* super excited for it, I just don’t see the hook in the trailers than non-Wright nuts will come out for. Thus, as whoever said above, I think it’s going to tank. Hard. Luckily Wright has ANT MAN to fall back on. I hope he never, ever winds up in directors jail.

  61. Etguild2 says:

    I hope ANT MAN is still full speed again–odd that there was no update at Comic-Con or D23, and that the villain in AVENGERS 2 is Ant-Man based–but Whedon says the character won’t be tied to it at all in the movie.

  62. leahnz says:

    i don’t get it, what’s wrong with saying wright, pegg and frost are lovely guys?

    (‘the world’s end’ is quite unique and weird and touching and hilarious and mournful and drunken and action-packed and apocalyptic – i wouldn’t be shocked if it’s not a big hit everywhere, it’s not the ushe)

  63. christian says:

    Leah, it has something to do with “television”….everybody thinks they’re a breaking badass…

  64. leahnz says:


    re: ‘you’re next’, from the trailers it looks effectively nerve-wracking, but as much of a horror-lover as i am i think i’ve developed an issue with the ‘home invasion by psycho murderers’ premise, it just feels tired and doesn’t interest me any more – but maybe it’s my loss (having said that i liked ‘silent house’ when i saw it recently, but in terms of form it was something a bit different and psychologically ambiguous and eerie enough to feel outside the box)

  65. Steven Kaye says:

    Another great weekend for Blue Jasmine. Its PTA of $10,005 from 229 locations was the 3rd highest, and particularly impressive considering Austenland scraped together $10,005 from 4, and some other piece of rubbish made $15,301 from 1! So far Jasmine has made $9,421,764 and will easily top $20 million.

  66. Etguild2 says:

    Leah, like “Silent House,” the trailers are trying to hide “You’re Next” behind a generic curtain.

  67. cadavra says:

    Mr. Kaye neglected to mention that BLUE JASMINE is now a mere $78 million behind THE LONE RANGER. Watch out, Tonto, the Woodman’s on your tail!

  68. Ray Pride says:

    I like your box office domino theory, Cadavra. From your lips to Fielding Mellish’s ears!

  69. leahnz says:

    “Leah, like “Silent House,” the trailers are trying to hide “You’re Next” behind a generic curtain.”

    Oh, ok well now i’m intrigued Etg, glad to hear it – one more reason never to trust trailers i guess, my horror-starved brain thanks you

  70. movieman says:

    Leah, like “Silent House,” the trailers are trying to hide “You’re Next” behind a generic curtain.

    Et, does that mean “You’re Next” will receive an “F” CinemaScore rating, too?
    It seems like whenever you give horror fans something a tad original, or at least unexpected, they get all offended and act like you pissed in their Wheaties.

  71. Etguild2 says:

    Hah, it could go either way. All I know is it was a huge hit at the festival I saw it at, and the movie goes in a direction that has all of the subversive satisfaction of “Silent House” without the angle that I guess turned off large swaths of the audience.

  72. jesse says:

    How can you guys be talking about horror movies when BLUE JASMINE is on the verge of a RECORD-SHATTERING $20 MILLION gross?!?! It’s already the 79th-highest-grossing movie of the YEAR which makes it inherently more valuable than all of the movies below it!

    Seriously, though, apart from Steven Kaye’s OCD… actually, scratch that OCD is an actual condition and I think SK is just a compulsive jerk… regardless, it is kind of impressive that by the end of Blue Jasmine’s run, a solid four of Woody’s ten biggest grossers will be from the past decade. I would not have predicted that when Small Time Crooks became his biggest hit in years back in 2000.

    That’s not to say anything great or terrible about Woody’s last decade-plus of movies. Some of them are very good; some of them are middling; none of them would make my all-time top five of his work. (Maybe not even all-time top ten, though I like a lot of them more than most people.) And obviously art-house grosses from the eighties aren’t so easy to compare to art-house grosses thirty years later. But even if you adjust for inflation, and assuming Blue Jasmine breaks into his top 20, this means a very respectable 5 out of his top 20 will be from the year 2000 and forward. I would not have expected that after the nineties, where even a big “hit” comeback movie of his would make, you know, $13 million.

  73. Etguild2 says:

    I’d put “Rome,” “Melinda,” “Tall Dark Stranger” “Crooks,” “Hollywood Ending” and “Anything Else” all in his bottom ten, with “Jade Scorpion,” “Cassandra’s Dream,” and “Scoop” just avoiding the cut.

    The underrated “Whatever Works” and overrated “Vicky Cristina” are in the middle for me. “Midnight in Paris” and “Match Point” would be on the edge of his top 10 personally…but I have to say I really, really loved “Blue Jasmine.” I think it’s firmly in his top 10 though time will tell.

  74. YancySkancy says:

    I’m the weirdo who really liked HOLLYWOOD ENDING. Even saw it twice. Liked ANYTHING ELSE, too. Even his failures tend to interest me. YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER, for instance, was a good effort at least, with promising themes and conflicts that just sort of dissipated at the end. I still haven’t seen several of his recent ones though, including CASSANDRA’S DREAM, VICKI CRISTINA BARCELONA, WHATEVER WORKS and TO ROME WITH LOVE.

  75. berg says:

    the fact that youse guys can even name all the Woody Allen films from the last decade is, ah, awesome. perhaps you’ve also read all the plays of William Butler Yeats; it wouldn’t take that long

  76. christian says:

    Woody has proven all his critics consistently wrong, that’s a fact.

  77. anghus says:

    Midnight in Paris and Match Point are my favorites from his recent output. I liked Vicky Cristina Barcelona. The rest are so banal that they hardly warrant a mention. Haven’t seen Blue Jasmine yet to make any determination.

    I know the guy likes to make a film every year, but Woody’s third act has had a kitchen sink mentality. So much of it is just wildly throwing things out there. It feels like even if he just took a break and went to an every other year scenario that the films might end up infinitely better for it. This perpetual state of production seems to churn out watchable films at a 1 to 4 ratio.

  78. Etguild2 says:

    Hey now, he’s been in a 1 to 3 ratio for awhile now.

  79. jesse says:

    His productivity seems to me an intractable part of his career at this point. Why switch to fewer movies if he doesn’t have to? If you make 50+ movies over your career, as Woody well might, you don’t really need some great ratio. 25% will do just fine: if 25% of your 50+ movies are great or even near-great, you’ll have made more great movies than some directors will make in TOTAL over their lifetime.

    I’d put Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy, Another Woman, Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know about Sex, Celebrity, and Curse of the Jade Scorpion in his bottom drawer… and even those have things I like about them.

  80. palmtree says:

    I got that DVD boxed set that included Crooks and Anything Else and Hollywood Ending. (Anything Else less so if only because I didn’t want to see someone else play Woody). Gotta say I have affection for those movies even if they aren’t part of the canon. Maybe it’s because I wanted to feel like my money was well-spent, but even so…

  81. anghus says:

    jesse, id assign that 25% as ‘watchable’. Some of his movies are just painful labors that only get viewed because his name was attached. There are some truly wretched films that would be mocked openly and vastly if the name Woody Allen wasn’t attached to it.

    1 for 4 Woody Allen films are good or salvageable. Many more aren’t.

  82. christian says:

    “1 for 4 Woody Allen films are good or salvageable. Many more aren’t.”

    This sounds like New Math. Few filmmakers have even five great films under their belt. Woody has more. And keeps surprising.

  83. movieman says:

    Clint Eastwood is probably the only American director whose productivity rivals Woody’s.
    Was enormously gratified to learn that, not only is Clint currently in production on “Jersey Boys” (!!!), but that he’s officially replaced Spielberg as director on “American Sniper.”
    I hope they both continue making films–and as regularly–as Manoel de Oliveira.

  84. YancySkancy says:

    I don’t get the knock on Woody, simply because any ten of his rush jobs are generally preferable to the “Save the Cat” crap the studios are churning out. Love him or hate him, he’s an auteur, and a financial model exists to keep him in business. Those who don’t care for him are free to avoid his films (and obviously that’s what most people do), but I’m glad he keeps plowing ahead, even if a MIDNIGHT IN PARIS only comes along every few years.

    I also think “received wisdom” about films and filmmakers can blind you to their virtues. Everybody seems to “know” that Woody makes too many films and doesn’t hone his scripts, or that Tarantino’s films are too long, or that comedies shouldn’t be over two hours. But these things are just as subjective as anything else in the arts, and if artists didn’t break these “rules” on occasion, we’d have been denied a lot of great work, and we’d have even more generic, formulaic crap of the sort we’re already inundated with.

  85. christian says:

    I guess American cinema would be better off without Woody Allen since his output is SO inconsistent after 40 years.

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