MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates: 22 Jump St CRUSHES Fault, SLAYS Dragon (Oy, Klady!)

Screen Shot 2014-06-14 at 11.44.54 AM

Heading to a graduation this morning, but wanted to note the sarcasm of the headline, which refers back to the stupid idea that any box office performance crushes another just because one followed the other.

It’s not 100% clear who win the weekend. The lean is to to Jump Street because it should play very strong on Saturday… while Dragon should have a big jump on Saturday. Only time will tell…

11:42a – Back.

So let’s look at the movies as sane people would look at them… individually, based on their specific situations…

22 Jump Street has gotten overwhelmingly strong word of mouth from media already. It is a sequel. It comes on top of The Lego Movie for Lord & Miller, which is why you have seen so much emphasis on that dynamic duo from all kinds of media that normally don’t bother with directors.

So it opened about 25% better than Neighbors. It opened 25% less well than opening day (a Thursday) on The Hangover: Part II.

In other words, excellent opening… not a game-changer… best comedy opening of the year. Yay! After this weekend, the word of mouth will define the multiple.

Now… How To Train Your Dragon 2. Could be the biggest DreamWorks Animation opening since Shrek Forever After in 2010. If not, should be right around the opening for 2012’s Madagascar 3. Easily the biggest at Fox. If media portrays this as a bad opening, they are doing DWA a serious disservice… not to mention their readers who prefer knowing what is actually happening.

Yes, this is far off of the Despicable Me 2 and Monsters University openings last summer. Of course, those were 2 of the 5 biggest openings in animation history. “It’s news if it’s new to you” is not supposed to be the journalistic standard. Opening day is a 50% improvement on the first film of the series. And this is a bad event? Come on.

The delusion that all the success and failure of all movies is somehow connected is one of the great myths of box office coverage of the last decade or so. There are fair comparisons and unfair comparisons. We can argue over which fit each situation, but one cannot legitimately create a battle between an R-rated comedy sequel aimed at high school kids and up with an animated sequel aimed, primarily, at under-13s and their parents.

More to come…

Be Sociable, Share!

17 Responses to “Friday Estimates: 22 Jump St CRUSHES Fault, SLAYS Dragon (Oy, Klady!)”

  1. EtGuild2 says:

    Very early, but given that DRAGON is almost universally loved, it’s a bit surprising that the sequel would have unequivocally had a disappointing opening if Pixar had managed to get its shit together with THE GOOD DINOSAUR.

    You can bet the markets are going to punish Dreamworks (again) on Monday.

  2. movieman says:

    Weird that “Jump Street” could have defied b.o. prognosticators who assumed it would place a respectable second behind “Dragon:” especially since the latter was the first big deal animated feature to be released since “Rio 2” in early April.
    It’s not like there was a glut of same-seeming ‘toons cluttering the marketplace like there was a year ago.
    Apparently “21 JS” was even more universally beloved than anyone thought.

  3. Bitplayer says:

    Dave when you have a melt down about Nik Finke’s new site? I know it’s coming. I don’t think you have to worry about lawsuit threats. I think she has her hands full with the deadline situation.

  4. eric says:

    I have been looking at the morning box office reports and the reaction to Edge of Tomorrow’s performance is really irritating. They are all acting like good wom was going to keep this movie from dropping at all. That is not the way it works anymore. Good or bad most of these big action tentpoles drop around 50% anymore. EOT does not deserve the weak box office it is getting but that’s how it goes sometimes. Focus on the fact that it was made and it is a pretty dam good movie. In a few years will anybody care how much many it made. And as for the death of original sci-fi. Lets wait for Instellar before we talk about that.

  5. David Poland says:

    Nothing to have a meltdown about, Bitplayer. She’s a hasbeen.

  6. David Poland says:

    The whole idea that people are prognosticating about slotting is why box office coverage has become mostly worthless idiocy.

    Slotting means nothing. The dollars are the dollars are the dollars.

    The slightly soft Friday for Dragon, which could still win the weekend, is not about the Jump Street audience… tiny, time demographic crossover.

  7. David Poland says:

    Eric… mostly true… but not always.

    58% isn’t terrible and it will be more like 52% by the end of the weekend, which is pretty good for a big movie. Still, not a 30% drop and a big turnaround story.

    Those happen, but it’s pretty rare.

    I have said about Edge for a while… they sold the wrong movie and that’s almost impossible to recover from.

  8. Amblinman says:

    David, I agree the marketing hasn’t been good for Edge but it feels like audiences just aren’t interested in anything not involving superheroes or Transformers during the summer months. It’s depressing. Supposedly Pitt was originally approached for the lead, does that change it’s BO?

  9. eric says:

    Yeah I agree marketing was not great on EOT but that is a valid question as to whether a Brad Pitt, or a Hugh Jackman, or a Robert Downey Jr would be driving this to better numbers with the same marketing. I am a Cruise defender but at 178 million that is way to expensive a budget for a non-Mission movie for him anymore. In fact it is the highest budgeted movie he has ever been in

  10. Big G says:

    “Ghostbusters CRUSHES Gremlins, WHIPS Indiana Jones”

    Said absolutely nobody 30 years ago. Used to be movies could open on the same weekend and no one acted like it was a contest to be won.

  11. movieman says:

    So true, Big G.
    I’m actually sort of nostalgic for the days when I had to wait until Monday’s edition of Entertainment Tonight to hear what the top 5 movies were at the box office the previous weekend.

  12. The post by Big G made my day.

  13. Amblinman says:

    It’s the nature of conversation now. Everything is either The Best Thing Ever or Worst. Episode. Ever. Look at how great TV shows are discussed now. Something like Breaking Bad happens, and for no reason someone will insist its TEN TIMES BETTER THAN THE SOPRANOS. Why does one thing have to suck in order for the other thing to be good? It’s like this with everything now. Too many people can’t enjoy their thing without needing the other guy’s thing to suck.

  14. Bulldog68 says:

    Ditto all the comparison stuff. Saw a trailer for Dragon 2 and they had to use a quote from some critic that said “better than Frozen”. Why? I’m not going to the movies to compare it to Frozen. I’m going because I liked the first one. I wish studios would stop doing that. It’s irritating.

  15. Jerryishere says:

    @bulldog68 — that’s just desperate marketing. Basically trying to sell if you loved frozen then you should see this. No one in their right mind actually believes that comparison. They had a stinker and knew it.
    Luckily audiences proved smarter as evidenced by dragon bombing.

  16. Bulldog68 says:

    @ Jerryishere: Agree to disagree on classifying Dragon as a stinker. It was desperate marketing however. Not everything that doesn’t explode at the box office is due to quality or lack thereof, see Edge of Tomorrow as a recent example.

    And the financial future of Dragon is not set yet. It has a good run ahead of it where it may capitalize on the lack of other animated fare so too quick to right the eulogy. The first one legged it out to $217m so let’s see.

    It’s this fucking expectation games that kills good movies. If it doesn’t break the bank in the first week, it’s labelled a failure.

    The much touted success of 22 Jump Street is actually due to that huge Friday number. Saturday 22 won by a hair, and Sunday Dragon won by a hair. It’ll be interesting to see what the week day numbers produce.

  17. Hcat says:

    Isn’t this the exact same scenario as kung fu panda where the opening was seen as soft but the legs ended up pushing it higher than the first one. I am surprised, I thought dragons had a decent chance to take the summer crown, but it’s only with those lofty expectations that this opening can be seen as disappointing.

    As for EOT, Cruise’s audience has aged along with him, and we don’t get to the theater opening weekend. And unless we are taking the kids to dragons or transformers, Apes is the next intriguing title. It should get to nine digits domestically, it’s just not going to sprint there like the younger films.

The Hot Blog

Quote Unquotesee all »

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.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“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.

~ David Simon