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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Still Smaugy Klady

Friday Estimates (corrected) 2013-12-21 at 8.54.22 AM

Hobbit 2 is behind Hobbit 1 by $19 million domestic after 9 days. Amazingly, the spread between Rings 1 and Rings 2 after 8 days was $22 million. Given the scope of the numbers, quite close. It is true. We have seen Hunger Games 2 out $45 million ahead of Hunger 1 in 8 days this year, so there can be an uptick with a second film, but the slight drop is pretty normal (see also: Harry Potter 2 off $35m domestic as of Day 8).

In other words, massive hit… relax… all is well.

A good start for Anchorman 2, though again, not as good as the original ($10.8m opening day). And again, December is a major factor. The first Anchorman opening in July, where opening numbers are much bigger in general. Of the Top 3 December comedies, the two that are Fockers films opened on a Wednesday. The first sequel to Meet The Parents, Meet The Fockers, was about $10 million ahead of Anchorman 2 as of Friday. The second sequel, Little Fockers, was about $2.6 million behind A2. That one went to $148 million domestic. And the word of mouth on Anchorman 2 is considerably better than on Li’l Fockers. So…

Also… I love the new Oscar campaign logo from Paramount for Anchorman 2


Not a beautiful picture for Walking With Dinosaurs. In terms of the box office chart, this young-demo film may well move up into the Top 5 by the end of the weekend. Of course, box office rank is the perhaps the single most inaccurate analysis of success that there is, so who cares? Even if they get to a $10 million weekend, it’s not a happy number for Fox. Just two words…. Fat Albert. Two more… the movie.

Strong expansion for American Hustle, given that it isn’t a straight opening play, but an awards play… meaning that it has some natural strengtheners coming up that a straight December release does not.

Much less happy will be Team Saving Mr. Banks, which has revved its engines loudly for a month to get a rather soft opening versus hopes. Ironically, the same numbers for Inside Llewyn Davis—which should have been on today’s chart because it was expanding to 148 screens and is estimated to have done about $300k by Box Office Mojo)—would be seen as a success by many. Perception is a harsh mistress.

Thor 2 will hit $200m domestic today.

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13 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Still Smaugy Klady”

  1. EtGuild2 says:

    With everything aside from “Hustle” a little soft, FROZEN looks like the big winner. It vanquished its only new competition for the rest of the year, assuming Bieber is over, and is on pace for the biggest 4th weekend in wide release for any movie since AVATAR. Looking ahead, there isn’t a single kids movie on tap till January 17th. $275 million seems likely now, and if it gets to $294 mil it would become the 3rd biggest animated non-sequel of all-time.

  2. pj says:

    How about that! Hustle’s Opening Day was pretty much 12YAS’ wide opening weekend. With holiday legs, 100M plus is pretty much assured.

  3. LexG says:

    Didn’t people — and probably esp Paramount — think Anchorman 2 was some GENERATIONAL EVENT that was gonna open to massive numbers? It’s doing okay, will have legs, but based on the TWO FUCKING YEARS of trailers and everyone acting like there was a Phantom Menace-level anticipation… that’s pretty soft, isn’t it?

    I somehow bought into the hype that the original was some SEISMIC GEN Y event that had snowballed over the past years, even though for me, I was like 31 when it came out and it was just another 2.5-star Ferrell comedy. Honestly thought it was gonna do 150 mil this weekend, though.

  4. jesse says:

    I did think it was going to have more like a $50 million three-day… not quite Austin Powers level (Ferrell and McKay are, blessedly, much weirder than Myers in terms of sensibility)… but I also think Paramount screwed up a little in terms of perception by doing a Wednesday opening. I guess the idea was to give it some space before the Christmas onslaught, but this movie will probably be more frontloaded than other Christmas releases anyway, and actually opening it on Friday probably would’ve gotten it the same amount it will make in five days… only that $40 million and change would look way more impressive. (I mean, can you imagine anyone who went out to see Anchorman 2 on a Wednesday night not going on that same Friday night if that’s when it opened?)

    I saw it last night in midtown Manhattan and only about 40 or 50 people were there, and 20% or so was my group. BUT I also saw it at the Ziegfeld, which I love but is not really a go-to for movies that aren’t either huge summer actioners or huge holiday musicals.

    Found it hilarious, though. Obviously not quite as fresh as the first one, but pretty much of a piece with the other Ferrell/McKay comedies, which I love (3.5 star movies, please).

    Anyway, this is also kind of semi-soft weekend sometimes. Stuff can definitely open bigger than Anchorman did in this slot, but you really open on 12/20 for the 12/20 – 1/6 corridor. Likely Anchorman 2 will match the gross of the first one by the end of that period, and wind up a little higher.

    That said, yes, probably some were expecting an Austin Powers style bump up to the $200 million range; instead, this is going to gross pretty the average Ferrell/McKay gross.

  5. Yancy says:

    2.5 star movies, definitively. You have to try a little harder, even if it’s “just” a comedy, which is “the most subjective” genre. (Quotation marks denote bullshit.)

  6. berg says:

    are there better cameos in films this year than American Hustle and Anchorman 2

  7. jesse says:

    Whatever you think of the Ferrell/McKay movies, I don’t think it’s fair to say that they’re not trying hard, unless you’re talking about “storytelling” (quotation marks denote bullshit). I see a lot more effort there than a lot of studio comedies.

  8. Chucky says:

    This weekend should be a sign that Hollywood is collapsing of its own self-importance. Underperforming sequel … overhyped sequel that’s also underperforming … Awards Bait propped up with Quote Whores and name-checking … not to mention the nefarious Trajan typeface.

    Also — for those who comment on this blog — please write in respectable English. Turn off caps lock, don’t use alphabet soup and for heaven’s sake don’t use profanity. Internet filters do exist.

  9. jesse says:

    For fuck’s sake, Chucky, can’t you just mutter your comments to yourself at this point? Maybe at a bus station or something?

  10. YancySkancy says:

    When did Chucky become sheriff of the Hot Blog?

  11. Sam says:

    Complaining about the Trajan typeface is a new trick for him, isn’t it? The hilarity continues!

  12. Sam says:

    Seriously, though, I never go to a movie publicized with Trajan. Who does, right?

  13. Joe Straatmann says:

    Trajan: The cousin Comic Sans doesn’t like to talk about.

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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?”

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.”
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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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