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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Friday Estimates Estimates by by Klady Klady

Friday Estimates 2014-03-29 at 10.04.04 AM

Noah is likely to crack the Top 5 for opening weekends of 2014 so far… but not only is it early in the year, but Paramount has long known that the story of this film will not be told in the US, but overseas. This film has a legitimate shot at $100 million domestic, but it could also break Aronofsky’s worldwide best – $330 million – in foreign alone. Even if it doesn’t manage that number internationally, it will surely become his biggest worldwide.

Divergent has a solid drop considering the number last Friday. Going into its 2nd weekend, it is falling a little further off the pace of Twilight than it was last weekend. Looking like it will land in the mid-140m area domestically. The series will go on, though budget will be a big issue unless international shows up more strongly than domestic.

The Muppets Most Wanted story isn’t getting much better. It’s a reasonable drop, but certainly no indication that there will be especially long legs on this frog. Disney has done two very different kinds of Muppet films in the last few years. But they still haven’t found the trick that will turn it into a $100m+ domestic franchise. Maybe an action movie with Kermit America, Iron Piggy, Fozz, and Gonzo Widow will be the next attempt.

Fox Searchlight is the place you want to be if you have a movie with “Hotel” in the title. The expansion of The Grand Budapest Hotel continues, looking not dissimilar to the expansion route of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. (The Marigold sequel just wrapped last week, btw.) Marigold went 25, 78, 354, 1233. Budapest has gone 4, 66, 304, 977. Budapest is ahead going into the over-350 screen expansion weekend… but the number for the expansion weekend (Marigold did $6.4m) looks pretty similar. Budapest will probably be $500kor so higher. Will this weekend be the peak for Budapest? Who knows? I suspect that Searchlight will have one more expansion of a few hundred screens and see what happens. But Wes Anderson’s $52.4m domestic best gross (Tennenbaums) is still the target… so another expansion with some success will be needed to get there. Otherwise, Budapest will likely land in Anderson’s #2 or #3 spot, just behind or just passing Moonrise Kingdom‘s $45.5 million.

God’s Not Dead held well… but so what? Noah passes its 2-week cume today. The film is a great success in the micro view… for the filmmakers and for Freestyle. But on the big radar, nothing but a blip.

Sabotage didn’t happen. After being on the upswing through 3 films, David Ayer is taking a box office step backwards. A big one. I can’t speak to Open Road’s spend, but my impression was that there wasn’t a lot of money and the only message was, come see Arnold… which obviously didn’t blow the theater doors off. This is Ah-nuld’s 3rd film back from being The Governator and he hasn’t opened to $10 million yet. If he plans on continuing, he probably needs to find a better strategy… as he did when he shifted to comedies.

300: Rise of an Empire will hit $100m domestic tomorrow or Monday. But it’s done about double domestic overseas, which makes it a borderline success. Of course, the numbers match up pretty closely with the first rebooted Clash of The Titans, which then had a 50% jump in international for the sequel. So don’t be surprised to find WB ramp up another 300 movie, even if this one closes out with 50% less in worldwide gross than Zack Snyder’s original. Sometimes it works… sometimes it doesn’t. But in a franchise-mad moment in movie history, the temptation is often too strong to say, “no, thanks” when they should.

Let us be sad for Cesar Chavez.

The Raid 2: Berandal is open on 7 screens. Last time, Sony Classics started on 14. So the per-screen will be significantly better this time and the gross will be about 35% lower. Strategy. But i like this sequel to do better than the original, though not to break out massively. Maybe $6 million domestic? Still a really good number for a movie that is very much a masterwork of its genre.

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44 Responses to “Friday Friday Estimates Estimates by by Klady Klady”

  1. Joe Leydon says:

    Think it’s possible that Big Arnie might have alienated a lot of longtime fans with his,ahem,domestic problems?

  2. Stella's Boy says:

    Do his longtime fans care about stuff like that? Or even know that much about it? Seems more likely that they moved on after he went into politics. Plus nothing he has made since returning to movies screams must-see. I’ll check out Sabotage when it hits Netflix or HBO, but much like the decent Last Stand and terrible Escape Plan, it doesn’t look like anything one needs to see in theaters. They all have a direct-to-DVD vibe.

  3. David Poland says:

    I just think Arnie thought he could pick up where he left off. Not so easy after a decade off.

    He’s also 66 years old.

    Needs a new act. And then needs to work the room like he used to do.

  4. movieman says:

    As preposterous as it is, I had a really good time at “Sabotage.” (Terrible title btw: it sounds just like a generic straight-to-dvd crapfest.)
    Williams and Enos are terrific, and there’s more (male) eye candy than any movie since “Magic Mike” (minus that film’s nudity, alas).
    It has a refreshingly ’70s vibe: very, very Peckinpah-ish, although the ending is pure “Taxi Driver.”
    And bravo for Open Road being OK with Ayer’s hard “R” cut.
    P.S.= I liked “The Raid” OK, but I can’t really work up much enthusiasm for its 2 1/2 hour sequel. (“2 1/2 hour”???) I wonder if Sony Classics will eventually take it as wide as the original–which actually played my podunk town. (A town, sigh, that still hasn’t opened “Budapest Hotel” yet.)

  5. bxt says:

    I think Arnie’s fanbase from the 80s and 90s no longer goes to theaters these days. It doesn’t help that he took a decade away from the business and has only been making crap movies since then.

  6. dinovelvet says:

    I don’t think Sabotage tanking has much to do with who is or isn’t in it – a $6 mil opening take is all an R-rated action movie can do, these days. Even the action star of ‘this generation’, Jason Statham, has been opening in the 6-7 mil zone lately. Colin Farrell in Dead man down : 6 mil. Cage in Drive Angry : 5 mil. Dredd, a well received comic book adaptation, 6 mil. Even Soderbergh’s acclaimed/starry cast Haywire could only do 8 mil opening weekend. The genre just isn’t selling. Other than The Expendables with it’s obvious tongue in cheek factor, when was the last time a good honest R-rated action movie was a hit?
    As for Arnold, he can still sell overseas (Escape Plan did $100 mil+ outside of the USA). Maybe he should have looked at Stallone’s comeback a little more closely? Sly seemed to be quite savvy about how to sell himself – he went back to the well for Rocky and Rambo first, and then put himself at the centre of an ensemble piece. (Bullet to the head notwithstanding). Looks like Arnold’s got a new Terminator up next, and he’s been talking up Triplets(!) and Conan.

  7. Stella's Boy says:

    Lone Survivor made $125 million two months ago. Does that count? Otherwise, I guess Olympus Has Fallen last March, with a shade under $100 million. 2 Guns did OK with $75 million but it seems like the consensus was that it underperformed considering the two leads.

  8. dinovelvet says:

    Welllll….sort of a grey area there. Do we count war/true story stuff as an “action movie”? It’s not like people showed up for action in the same way that people went to see Terminator 2 back in the day. Or was it? I guess I should reclassify my semi-rant as the death of “popcorn action”.
    (And I’m also aware that the new very R-rated 300 is doing well, but again, it’s sort of multi-genre straddling with the comic book/historical (eh, sort of) angle).

  9. Stella's Boy says:

    Yeah re: Lone Survivor, I considered the war/true story factor, so that’s why I included Olympus Has Fallen. I figure that one counts. Also, I don’t disagree with your claim. R-rated, popcorn action isn’t generating many hits these days (unfortunately).

  10. EtGuild2 says:

    Does Neeson not count? “Snitch,” with The Rock did pretty well domestically, but they didn’t even try to open it overseas. On this subject, Bill Simmons at Grantland has a really enjoyable piece on the alpha dogs of action movies by era, dating back to McQueen::

    And I wouldn’t be so dismissive of “God’s Not Dead.” “Persecuted white evangelical” definitely has potential as a genre. Expect the much buzzed about (on the right) and aptly titled “Persecuted” to do similar business in May, and if it does, a slew of copycats will follow. I already miss Kirk Cameron:

  11. Stella's Boy says:

    Snitch is PG-13, just like Taken, Taken 2, Unknown, and Non-Stop. We’re talking R-rated.

    James Remar and Bruce Davison are in Persecuted? Yikes. And don’t forget we have the Left Behind reboot in October! “A true story that just hasn’t happened yet” says one of the producers.

  12. dinovelvet says:

    Oh yeah, Olympus has fallen. Good call. 2 Guns seems more like a ‘modest semi-success’, but does remind me that Safe House did $100 mil+. So yeah looks like there are some R-rated hits breaking out here and there.

  13. EtGuild2 says:

    Oh, okay. Well in that case, “The Grey,” “Act of Valor,” “Contraband,” and stuff named above is really all that comes to mind. Neeson has two upcoming flicks this year that I believe are both R, that will put him to the test.

  14. movieman says:

    Has anyone else seen the trailer for “Moms Night Out”?
    It looks like a Christian-tinged attempt at a really (really) bad Kevin James comedy.
    I guess it’s to prove that Christians are “hip” (as if dumb Kevin James comedies are anyone’s idea of hip in 2014).

  15. cadavra says:

    Really? I saw the MOMS trailer and agree it looks really dopey, but I didn’t get any Christian vibe from it. What do you see that I missed?

  16. Amblinman says:

    The math on Arnold is pretty simple: 66 year old action + generic 80’s action movie = no one giving a shit. I think it’s mostly the 66 year old action star bit.

    I still can’t believe his plan, or his agents, is to simply pick up where he left off. If he wants to keep doing action movies he should look to Eastwood circa In The Line Of Fire. (speaking of which, what the hell happened to Wolfgang Peterson??)

    Maybe action movies are dying. Maybe current audiences aren’t interested unless there’s a cape or laser beam involved if it’s a popcorn movie.

  17. Fitzerald says:

    Haven’t seen the movie, but Arnold seems like odd casting in this role. Is the team leader really meant to be 25 years older than anybody else on the team? A bit surprised by the success of 300 part 2, though I don’t think it approaches Clash of the Titans, which was sort of an underrated hit. According to mojo, it was at 145 domestic after its fourth weekend on the way to half a bill worldwide.

  18. movieman says:

    Cad-I remember reading an article on upcoming Christian-themed (or Christian-leaning) films, and this was included in the mix.
    The cast includes firebrand right-wingers like Trace Adkins and Patricia Heaton which should make it a cozy fit in red states.
    Websites like and the Christian Film Database are plugging the
    –no pun intended–hell out of it, lol.

  19. Ray Pride says:

    Moms’ Night Out,” is described as a family oriented faith-based comedy. It stars Sarah Drew, Sean Astin, Trace Adkins and Abbie Cobb. It follows a group of friends (including Heaton’s character) who desperately need to spend an adult night with friends away from their children. The dads watching the kids, however, are less than, shall we say, responsible, and the evening quickly turns into a series of comic disasters. Shot in Alabama last summer, “Moms’ Night Out” is co-directed by Andrew and John Erwin. The producing-writing-directing brothers are known for faith-oriented videos and TV specials and the feature film “October Baby” from 2011. Heaton’s latest project, from Tristar, AFFIRM Films and Providence Films, was produced in conjunction with FourBoys Films, the company she founded with her husband, actor-director-producer David Hunt. (They have four sons.) Heaton and Hunt are executive producers on “Moms’ Night Out,” and Hunt also plays a cab driver.”

  20. Hcat says:

    If you look at the trajectory from Eraser to End of Days to 6th Day to Collateral Damage, Arnold pretty much DID pick up exactly where he left off. His jump to politics allowed him to save quite a bit of face, since outside of the Terminator franchise he was not going to get anywhere near the same budgets and paychecks that he was getting the previous decade.

  21. Amblinman says:


    Actually I always tended to look at his “Eraser period” as Arnold working with shit directors more than anything else. Working with guys like Chuck Russell is a bit of a step down after making movies with Mctiernan and Cameron.

  22. Dr Wally Rises says:

    Was Schwarzenegger ever really that big a box-office draw on his own outside of his work for James Cameron? I can only recall one $100 million grosser he headlined away from Cameron – Total Recall. During Schwarzenegger’s supposed golden phase from the late eighties to mid-nineties, Tom Cruise, Kevin Costner, Harrison Ford and Robin Williams all starred in many more hits in varying genres and with varying directors. And yet the myth persists that Schwarzenegger ruled supreme as the biggest box-office star of the decade.

  23. movieman says:

    And yet the myth persists that Schwarzenegger ruled supreme as the biggest box-office star of the decade.

    It’s all part of the 1980’s Reagan mythology, Dr. Wally.
    When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.

  24. EtGuild2 says:

    Costner certainly wasn’t a bigger star than Arnold. He had a nice run from 1987-1992. He also had his share of misses–Waterworld, Wyatt Earp, The Postman, the team-up with Eastwood. His one attempt to do a Schwarzenegger type movie–“Revenge”–was waaaay below Arnold’s average haul. Plus a lot of Arnold’s early iconic roles–the first “Terminator,” “Conan,” and “Predator,” blew up thanks to video. I’d put money down that they blow away Costner’s 80s stuff.

    He had three $100 million grossers (excluding supporting roles) to Arnold’s four (excluding supporting and Batman) and Arnold had a much longer shelf life. 11 of 12 movies he made between 1988 and 2000 grossed $50 million+. Costner is 9 for 15 in that period.

    And Williams certainly had a nice run, but also had bombs in his prime on a scale Scwarzenegger couldn’t imagine till recently–“Toys,” and “Being Human” the latter of which is one of the biggest money losers in WB history. As for range, two thirds of the movies he made after ’91 were for kids up until “Insomnia.”

    No question Cruise and Ford were bigger though. But they’re arguably 2 of the 5 biggest box office draws in the post-John Wayne era (the others being Hanks, Eddie Murphy and Will Smith).

  25. Hcat says:

    Arnold and Costner were neck and neck for awhile, Wolves and Robin Hood put Costner out front (I think RH outgrossed T2 worldwide) and Arnold cratered with Action Hero before Costner took a dive with Earp, but by that time Ford was back on top with Fugitive and Clear and Present which led into Willis, Travolta and Cage taking top action slots in the mid nineties.

    So I would say Costner was bigger than Arnold for a bit of the time, though I don’t think either of them approached the stardom of Eastwood, Redford, or Reynolds in their prime.

  26. EtGuild2 says:

    T2 outgrossed ROBIN HOOD by a wide margin worldwide. In fact TRUE LIES’ gross is on par with Prince of Thieves. T2 held the record for biggest R-rated film worldwide for 12 years, till the MATRIX sequel.

    If you take worldwide into account, it just looks worse for Costner. Arnie had 18 movies break $50 mil ww (excluding supporting stuff like EXPENDABLES and BATMAN) and Costner 13 (excluding supporting stuff like JACK RYAN and MAN OF STEEL). The counts for $100m and $200m grossers are 12-6 and 8-5 respectively.

  27. dinovelvet says:

    “Was Schwarzenegger ever really that big a box-office draw on his own outside of his work for James Cameron? I can only recall one $100 million grosser he headlined away from Cameron – Total Recall.”

    It’s true that Cameron gave him Terminator and his two biggest hits with T2 and True Lies, but Arnold also had Predator with 59 mil/124 mil in today’s money, Twins(111 then, 234 now), Kindergarten Cop (91/168), Total Recall (119/220) Eraser (101/153), and Terminator 3 if we’re counting that as a Cameron-less hit. So five or six sans Cameron.

  28. Chucky says:

    “The Grand Budapest Hotel” went national and semi-wide this week, so if movieman can’t see it Fox doesn’t think his town (which he doesn’t ID) can support arty fare.

    As well, Sony Pictures Classics won’t take anything to wide release unless it’s a Woody Allen flick.

  29. movieman says:

    I saw “Budapest Hotel” at a Cleveland press screening a few weeks back, Chucky.
    And I live in Youngstown, Ohio (pretty sure I mentioned that on this blog at one time or another) which is 90 minutes from Cleveland and Pittsburgh, and an hour from Akron.
    Sony Classics always takes a few movies “wide”-ish each year.
    Whether it’s “The Raid 1,” “Kung Fu Hustle,” “The Company You Keep,” “The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus,” “Chloe,” “Curse of the Golden Flower,” the Woodys, of course, etc.
    The fact that it almost never seems to work out for them makes me wonder why they even bother. But on those rare occasions when they do (make the attempt to expand a film’s run beyond arthouses), I’m always grateful.

  30. hcat says:

    SPC has been using this template successfully by one name or another since the Carter administration, don’t see why they need to change it because it irks some guy from Jersey.

  31. cadavra says:

    Thanks for the update, all. I gotta say that the trailer seems pretty misleading then, making it look like a wacky dopey-suburban-parents-running-around-like-lunatics farce rather than some life-affirming family flick.

  32. Hcat says:

    Tristars next three releases are aimed squarely at the faithful. Fireproof most have moved a lot of DVDs for Sony.

  33. christian says:

    Arnie was the 80’s. I was there, he was big. Now he’s a big piece of shit nobody wants to be reminded of, least of all the dumbasses of Kaleefornia that put this buffoon into office twice. Said it before, He Won’t Be Back.

  34. hcat says:

    I was there as well and would like to respectfully disagree. While Arnold might have been a decent punchline for Carson and Letterman barely anyone over the age of thirty checked out his films (until he got silly with twins).

    Now Mr. Murphy HE was the eighties

  35. christian says:

    “over-30’s” audiences didn’t exactly define the 80’s. What “over 30’s” rushed out to see THE TERMINATOR or REVENGE OF THE NERDS or PORKY’S? We’re talking about the 80’s here.

    Arnie was THE action star of the 80’s. Fact. Murphy was THE comedy star.

  36. hcat says:

    nah, if we are simply talking action in the eighties, it was still Clint (another republican poster boy who got into California politics), even the limping to the finish Dead Pool outgrossed Arnold’s Red Heat in the summer of 88, Firefox outdid Terminator, Clint’s highest Sudden Impact surpassed Arnold’s high with Predator, and Tightrope skirted 50 million which Arnold was only able to cross once.

    Arnold had a one step forward one step back career for the eighties undercutting his progress with groaners like Red Sonja and Raw Deal, by the time he was able to do decent projects in row Gibson was already named the heir apparent to the hunky action hero crown.

    And if not Clint than certainly Stallone, whose Rambo and Rocky sequels were much more of the cultural zeitgeist than any of Arnold’s films.

  37. hcat says:

    And yes under 30’s made hits of Nerds and Porky’s and the Jason movies, which were vastly eclipsed at the box office by the On Golden Pond’s, Terms of Endearments, and Tootsies that adults flocked to (as well as the younguns). The early to mid eighties were probably the last time adults were still seen as tastemakers for Hollywood, why would you have the Nerds movies somehow define the eighties more than say Out of Africa which did double the business.

  38. christian says:

    In my high school, kids were talking about THE TERMINATOR not Dirty Harry. Weird revisionist history going on. Arnie was huge in action (PREDATOR, COMMANDO, TERMINATOR) and even had a huge comedy hit (TWINS). Stallone had zeitgeist briefly (COBRA was not a big hit) but Arnie stayed the course thru the decade into the early 90s. Cameron made sure of that.

  39. hcat says:

    Well, in your high school, how do I argue with that?

    How are you viewing things through your anecdotal nostalgia and calling me revisionist?

    Was Arnold huge with Teen boys, sure. But that didn’t make him a huge draw in general, just as Molly Ringwald wasn’t the biggest actress of the eighties just because everyone in my high school could recite her movies by heart.

  40. Stella's Boy says:

    Is it a fact that few people over 30 were going to Arnold’s ’80s movies? Adjusted for inflation, the average gross of 9 action movies he starred in during that decade is about $70 million (if my math is correct). That’s pretty good, especially considering 7 of them are rated R. I hear his name and immediately I think ’80s action movie, and the first Arnold movie I saw in theaters is Terminator 2, when I was 12.

  41. jesse says:

    I think some of the problem here is that Arnold peaked in an odd area — the late eighties/early nineties — moreso the early nineties. Now that sort of gets rolled back to “eighties nostalgia!” but in reality Stallone probably had more of an eighties domination, and then Arnold started taking over as Stallone faltered a bit. Except for the temporary farewell of T3, which coasted off a fair amount of series goodwill, Arnold’s biggest actioners (T2, True Lies, Total Recall) and comedies (Twins, Kindergarten Cop) were all 1988 or later. Even the more midlevel grossers like Predator, The Running Man, and Red Heat weren’t coming out until 1987-88. And that was the exact time that Stallone’s Rocky/Rambo dominance was fading, and that he had those ill-received forays into comedy. Pretty smooth transition, actually.

  42. Hcat says:

    Stella, it’s sort of like saying Metallica was THE band if the eighties, that’s what my friends in my high school where listening to and once that hit really big in the early nineties the back catalog became regarded as classic by a wider swath of people, but that doesn’t mean they were instantly a household name as soon as master dropped or that Paul Simons Graceland was not a massively larger album just because it was purchased by people with mortgages.

    I don’t have demographic info that would qualify as fact, just my memory of Arnold skewing young and very male, the robocop audience. And the box office numbers that show Clint, Eddie, Tom cruise and even micheal j. Fox as being bigger box office draws.

  43. Stella's Boy says:

    I’m not saying he was the biggest star of the ’80s, and yes Cruise and Eastwood had bigger hits. I’m just saying that he was a pretty huge action star during that decade, and that at least for me, when I think ’80s action, I think Arnold. I think Arnold before I think Cruise or Stallone or anyone else.

  44. christian says:

    “I’ll be back” was a pure 80’s line that dominated the era as much as “make my day.” Arnie found his niche in 1984 and by decade’s end he was the go-to action star as Eastwood was getting respect with BIRD and STALLONE was stretching with COBRA and RAMBO III.

    Hans and Franz on SNL are testament to Arnie’s 80’s cultural cache and in fact, he truly might be “The Last Action Hero.” But his three Cameron films will be rewatched and remembered more than SUDDEN IMPACT or ROCKY III.

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