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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by Klady

Weekend Estimates 2014-02-09 at 11.35.12 AM

The joke about the disappointment of an estimated $22.1 million opening for The Monuments Men is that is really the best of Clooney’s career for a Clooney movie, except for The Perfect Storm, which made studios consider him a box-office actor. Aside from that, it’s Batman & Robin, three Oceans gang movies, and Gravity, which is a Sandra Bullock movie that WB used Clooney’s name in relentlessly to keep it from seeming like a one-person film… and when people figured it out, they went in droves anyway.

So in Realityland, this is actually a very successful launch for this film, not a “it came in second” disappointment.

As for The Lego Movie, everything is awesome, and the ad campaign featuring the song and the visuals was a clear humdinger. Next week, the word-of-mouth benefits start kicking in.

It’s been a very strong early 2013 so far. Even The Nut Job is a hit, now Open Road’s #1 grosser. Really, except for Jack Ryan & Frankenstein, it’s been all good stories lately. And now, with Lego, it looks like we will have our first serious blockbuster of 2014.

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23 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by Klady”

  1. Keil Shults says:

    Why does it say “about what” where “Catching Fire” should be?

  2. EtGuild2 says:

    Nice to see “Gloria” getting a little bit of traction. It really is a wonderful film.

    Hey, is FROZEN going to break a billion(!!!) worldwide? Looks like it’s in range….

    And $300 million worldwide is certainly in range for WOWS, which would make it the top Scorsese grosser. Leo is really flexing his muscle here, as it may finish $100 million ahead of “American Hustle” while trailing it by $40 mil domestically.

  3. Bulldog68 says:

    So who’s saying that Monuments Men’s opening was a disappointment Dave?

    I’ve heard more critical disappointment than anything else and in fact this opening is actually a bit better than expected based upon said critical reviews.

  4. movieman says:

    “Jack Ryan,” “Frankenstein,” “Labor Day, “Paranormal,” “Devil’s Due,” “Vampire Academy, “Hercules,”….”
    Until this weekend, the only ’14 movies displaying any real heat were “Ride Along” and, to a much lesser degree since it played second fiddle to “Frozen” every weekend of its release except opening weekend, “Nut Job.” Thank heavens for sturdy holdovers like “Lone Survivor” (which, admittedly, was for all intents and purposes a ’14 movie), “Frozen,” “Hustle” and “WOWS.”
    “LEGO” and “MM” couldn’t have come along any sooner.
    Next weekend should be pretty boffo since all the new releases (excepting “Winter’s Tale” which looks like this year’s answer to “Beautiful Creatures” as the “Designated V-D Bomb”) will open promisingly or better. Of course, “LEGO” should remain #1 by a fairly wide margin.

  5. EtGuild2 says:

    There’s been a lot of missed expectations. But PARANORMAL is a money maker, and I’m not sure JACK RYAN isn’t if it gets to $150 million worldwide. DEVIL’s DUE supposedly was made for pennies.

    But yeah, FRANKENSTEIN, HERC and VA are real money losers…not for the studios though, supposedly.

  6. Geoff says:

    Wow The Lego Movie is going to do at least $69 million this weekend….that’s Pixar territory and the highest February opening in TEN years, only other film to open bigger this month is The Passion of the Christ. And in retrospect, how the hell did that film open to over $80 million in February ten years ago?? Truly a singular phenomenon, but back to Lego….

    Saw it yesterday with fiance and daughters….the movie plays really well and actually probably a bit better to adults. The way it’s shot and the flow of the narrative is REALLY high octane….I wonder if a lot of kids will be able to keep up. But no matter, truly a fantastic film and kudos must be given to the folks at Warners for pulling off mega-success for this and Gravity just a few months apart.

    I think it’s comical that Disney is getting all the plaudits from the blogosphere/twittersphere/whatever for how they are just kings of the mountain with their Marvel and Pixar partnerships….Warners is STILL the much better run studio, even with all of the absurd Marvel vs. DC comparisons. Sorry but it’s not really a fair comparison….Marvel Studios has been on a single-minded mission over the past six or seven years to keep a series of interconnected movies going and they are an independent studio, unlike DC. Is it impressive what they have done with The Avengers and Thor and Iron Man? Of course, but Warners is not in that game with DC and never will be. Why would they bet the ranch (with limited profit participation like Disney with Marvel) on launching a series of expensive films revolving around Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, etc….when they can take a few years between projects and make them more special, like having Batman every four years and probably making a billion worldwide and spending significantly less on riskier projects with more upside like, Her, Gravity and The Lego Movie? At the end of 2013, Warner Bros had significantly higher domestic box office AND a ton of Oscar nominations – revenue and prestige, what more could you ask for?

    And Disney has just completely lost sight of any real middle-ground success – they had no doubles or triples last year like The Conjuring or We’re the Millers. The closest they came was Saving Mr. Banks and sorry, that film is just such an anomaly because of the subject matter….it’s the type of drama they would not usually invest $40 million in if not for the fact that it’s about the making of Mary Poppins.

    Do I think that Warners could have done better with Man of Steel and left some money on the table? Sure, they marketed the hell out of it and got a great opening, but I still believe it was a mistake to hitch their wagon behind Zack Snyder….I liked the film, but it was only as good as its mediocre director could make it. But do I think they would trade places with Disney? Sorry but no….they don’t NEED to have at least one DC movie every six months and bank $500 million worldwide to net any real revenue unlike Disney.

  7. LexG says:


  8. chris says:

    Geoff, “Christ” opened and played like crazy because of churches.

  9. Geoff says:

    Chris I know that, but it doesn’t make any less of a unique phenomenon….I mean, has any other big studio blockbuster really capitalized on the church audience since besides the first Chronicles of Narnia??

  10. LexG says:

    Next weekend is THE MOST INSANE BLOODBATH in the history of cinema. I am more excited about ENDLESS LOVE than I have been since the first Twilight, I actually start to shake when I think about it.

    But then I ALSO gotta see Robo, plus Winter’s Tale looks good, PLUS I am informed that my office of non-white loud women are super excited to take me as their nonthreatening gay-ish date to see ABOUT LAST NIGHT, ABOUT WHICH I have all the enthusiasm for of a fucking tennis match. But I’m gonna get dragged. But in surveying said women, NONE of them are as excited about ENDLESS LOVE as I am.

    How could you NOT be excited about ENDLESS LOVE? Gabriella Wilde the most beautiful woman ever ever ever, but unfortunately she’s nine months pregnant and I guess can’t do any promo for the movie? Who on EARTH would choose to have a baby right when their movie career is about to explode?

    That’s pulling a Teresa Palmer.

  11. Hcat says:

    Completely agree about Warner’s. I could care less about the JLA getting together especially if it distracts their focus from whatever the next inception or gravity is. These constant avengers movies aren’t even home runs for the superhero genre, none of them have been as exceptional as x2, spidey 2 or half the batmans.

    So Disney can pride itself as being the superhero studio, while Warner’s will have to settle with being the most prolific, mature, innovative and awarded of the majors.

  12. movielocke says:

    So is dallas buyers still in theatres because blockbuster is dead and its not at redbox? I dont even know how to rent a new release anymore…

  13. matt says:

    Just checked looks like this Monuments Men is far and away an all-time high for a George Clooney- behind the camera (director/writer). Interesting how public perception might be that it is a disappointment.

  14. Smith says:

    Why would MM be considered a disappointment? Yes, it got generally lousy reviews, but it’s one of Clooney’s best openings as a leading man, it’s squarely in the mid-range of openings for adult oriented dramas (Argo, Prisoners, Captain Phillips, ZDT) and word of mouth seems to be solid. Wonder if this is an instance of negative critical buzz slanting the way the opening is viewed.

  15. EtGuild2 says:

    Warner Bros may have grossed more last year, at least domestically, but it wasn’t as profitable. WB takes more risks than Disney as you imply, which isn’t a knock against it, but there’s a reason LONE RANGER got tons and tons of ink, while JACK THE GIANT SLATER (or 47 RONIN, etc), just as big a bomb if not bigger, didn’t (yeah, dumping on Depp and Bruckheimer is part of it). It’s a rare event for Disney, because 90% of the films they market are “sure things.” Actually, they are taking quite a few risks this year by their standards with MILLION DOLLAR ARM, BIG HERO 6, NEED FOR SPEED, etc.

    Remember, WB opened last year with GANGSTER SQUAD, BULLET TO THE HEAD, GIANT SLAYER, BURT WONDERSTONE, and BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, so it spent quite awhile trying to get back in the black.

  16. YancySkancy says:

    “That’s pulling a Teresa Palmer.”

    Don’t know if that qualifies as a double entendre, but it’s got to be at least an entendre and a half.

  17. hcat says:

    Mars Needs Moms, John Carter, Lone Ranger, three years in a row, three of the biggest moneylosers in film history. Its not a once in a blue moon event

    On top of that the barely make it to black or lose less than a tragic amount of Tron, Prince of Persia, Sorcerers Apprentice and big hit but still unprofitable in theatrical Oz: the great and powerful. Its just the live action disney movies are soooo forgetable, in a year you don’t remember they have had any flops.

    And I’m not sure how Inspirational Sports Movie #17, superhero film, and dreamworks videogame adaption they had no input in greenlighting can be seen as taking risks, even by their assemblyline standards.

  18. chris says:

    It doesn’t make “Christ” any less of a phenomenon, Geoff, but you asked, “And in retrospect, how the hell did that film open to over $80 million in February ten years ago?”

  19. Geoff says:

    Chris it was much of a rhetorical question. 🙂

  20. EtGuild2 says:

    That’s true, hcat, they have had one bomb a year for 3 years running and some of their movies barely break even. On the other hand, WB released 8 movies last year that clearly lost quite a bit of money (I’m talking 8 figures…which is 32% of its slate). Disney, thanks to Dreamsworks, had two (20% of its slate). Similar pattern in 2012 and 2011. And WB has had its share of bombs with GIANT SLAYER, GREEN LANTERN, JONAH HEX, etc. Disney is the studio that releases one or two real losers a year.

    As a film fan, I like WB’s model better, and want to root for them. Objectively, though, there’s no way they are as profitable as Disney, even taking away Disney’s massive ancillary/DVD advantage.

    Btw, have you seen the trailers for NEED FOR SPEED? Definitely risky. And BIG HERO 6 is as obscure as you can get as a weird Cali/anime hybrid.

  21. Sam says:

    So let me get this straight. Monuments Men is Clooney’s best opener, if you don’t count 6 other movies that opened better? Bit of a stretch, isn’t it?

    Ok, so I get that you’re trying to consider only those movies that were sold on his name, which excludes the Batman movie (which was sold on Batman). Maaaaybe you can exclude Gravity, but the fact that marketing sold it more on him than the film deserves should make it MORE legitimate to compare rather than less.

    But why do you exclude the Ocean’s movies? Because they’re a franchise with an all-star cast? But they didn’t start out that way. Ocean’s 11 might have been a remake, but I doubt much of its audience went because they were big fans of the Rat Pack film. It was an all-star cast, yes, but Clooney was clearly at the head of it. 11 was sold on Clooney, and it follows that 12 and 13 exist, and were successful themselves, largely because of Clooney.

    Ocean’s 11 is Monuments Men’s nearest match: All-star cast, with Clooney at the forefront.

    It’s a good opening. It’s Clooney’s 6th best, excluding presold commodities. How about that.

  22. Hcat says:

    ET, I could be wrong but thought that dreamworks is I dependent of Disney and Disney does not influence their slate. So If Need is outside of Disney’s usual fare it was not Disney’s decision to do so. And wasn’t arguing that only Disney had flops just against your statement that Ranger garnered a ton of press because they were so rare.

    And I don’t know if it feels like an exceptionally rough year but it feels like the in memory section of the oscars is going to push the show over the time limit.

  23. Bulldog68 says:

    Sam, while I partially agree with you that I also think people are twisting themselves in all kind of knots to call this Clooney’s biggest opening, comparing the cast of Ocean’s 11 with TMM is also kind of unfair.

    Ocean’s had leading man Brad Pitt, leading man Matt Damon off of Good Will Hunting, Saving Private Ryan, and The Talented Mr Ripley, and leading lady Julia Roberts,fresh off of summer 99′ double header Notting Hill and Runaway Bride, Academy win for Erin Brokorvich, The Mexican, also with Pitt, and the aptly named America’s Sweetheart.

    TMM has Matt Damon, and then whom? Cate Blanchett is an accomplished actress no doubt, but people don’t rush out in droves to see the latest Blanchett movie. John Goodman, Bill Murray, respected as well, but not exactly box office. Clooney stacked the deck with Ocean’s. This was more of hard sell, less sexy theme, less sexy stars, no offense to John Goodman whose most likely a god in the bear community. TMM has a more difficult road to success.

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