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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Not Teenage Mutant Ninja Klady

Friday Estimates 2014-08-09 at 9.07.37 AM

So the Ninja Turtles opening day is right in line with the second tier of summer openings, between 22 Jump Street and Maleficent. That leaves about a $20 million range for the opening weekend number, which is completely a product of how the movie holds on Saturday. Did the must-sees blow up the Friday number or is it more of a normal opening Friday? We shall soon see… as it actually happens… you know, when it takes the step from being speculation to being news.

A summer-best Friday-to-Friday drop for Guardians of the Galaxy still leaves its 8-day total a bit behind Transformers 4, but looking like it has a good chance of topping Tr4‘s likely $245m domestic. Does that mean $260 million or $280 million or closer to this summer’s elusive $300 million? No one could know. The advantage Guardians has is open space. Expendables 3 and Sin City 2 are in the way of the next two weekends, but there is room to stretch the legs out after that. One thing is pretty clear. If $300m domestic for Guardians does happen, it will likely be in late September.

Into The Storm is low-budget high-CG, but this opening day and what could well be a $15m weekend is not a winner. International is its only hope… even at this relatively low budget.

The Hundred-Foot Journey is an oddball. It’s on 1,000 fewer screens than Million Dollar Arm (which should have starred Kurt Russell), but it’s landing with a similar box office number. Relatively inexpensive, but with a big ad buy pushing the Oprah/Spielberg angle. This is why you had Dependent arthouse arms, because they worked the margins on a movie like this and a big studio just isn’t built to do that. So I have no idea, really, whether $30 million domestic for this film is a win for DreamWorks and Disney. If it were Searchlight or SPC or Weinstein, you would naturally assume “yes.” Here, it’s a “maybe.”

Step Up: All In is all out of gas. Opening day is 47% off the worst Step Up opening day prior to this. A domestic total around $20 million probably signals that the next film will step into the VOD space, where it will be hailed as a breakthrough if it does over $10 million.

Get On Up is already getting on out. The core audience that was going already went. This is a classic “bad date” situation. If it opened, say, next weekend, then more people would be out looking for movies to see and this one might have stuck out more. As is, lost in the sauce. And if they really thought Chadwick Boseman had a shot at awards, they should have taken the awards route. Instead, this one is over before it really began.

Soft weekend in new indies. Jim Cameron’s latest undersea doc is drowning with what looks to be a $400 per-screen for the weekend. The Millennial romance, What If… is doing an okay $7k per-screen on 20. And the glorious doc The Dog looks like it will squeeze out $5k per on just 2 screens. Not enough.

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29 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Not Teenage Mutant Ninja Klady”

  1. Nick says:

    So, if they put scarjo front and center in a marvel black widow movie like everyone who has a website is dying for, does that hit 200 mil?

  2. Tuck Pendelton says:

    I might need to go into the witness relocation program…I thought Guardians was a huge snooze. Not bad, not horrible, some laughs and Pratt is a Will Smith-level charmer.

    But what am I missing that everyone else is enamored with? The Rocket character I’d put on-par with Jar Jar Binks level of annoyance. The action was lame, the villain’s forgettable, there has to be an HOUR’s worth of just bull shit exposition about each planet’s backstory and motivation.

    My wife hates comic book movies, and she loved it. Maybe something’s wrong with me…

  3. PcChongor says:

    People’s expectations about what movies should be have completely shifted over the past fifteen years. This weekend I even heard a radio host entertain the idea that GotG is objectively a better and more enjoyable film than “Casino” was, which tells me everything I need to know about today’s audiences.

  4. brack says:

    I saw GotG today and thought it was terrific. Great action, laughs, and the cast have great chemistry. So many quoteable lines. I’ll be watching this one many times over on Blu ray. Rocket was annoying? He cracked me up, and if I had no prior knowledge that he was voiced by Bradley Cooper, I would have been surprised by that news.

    Why anyone would compare the film to a film like Casino is just plain stupid.

  5. leahnz says:

    i liked ‘guardians’, but how is it more people aren’t calling a ‘firefly’ rip-off, pretty blatant

  6. Triple Option says:

    I saw Guardians in 2D. I thought it was entertaining but I can’t say I was remotely blown away by it. A this or that comparison to Casino seems odd, though I get how people do point out such extremes. “In my day we had Myles Davis and Marvin Gaye, none of this Iggy Azalea crap!” The only reason I find it flawed was because I found Casino to be only a 2 1/2 star film. Thing peaked halfway through then it was a long fizzle down for me.

    I did see Calvary. Man, pretty impressive mystery. You don’t see that much anymore. Pretty good film all around. I had seen the guy’s other feature, The Guard. It was OK. Some funny moments. Held my attention though I have to say despite the reversal of the fish out of water, I thought it showed too much commonly tread ground. I wouldn’t have suspected such original work from the guy. It makes me wonder how many times have I watched a film and thought, been there, done that, could I have seen something really redeeming if everyone didn’t try to play it safe??

  7. Joe Leydon says:

    This is the point where I should point out that, back in the day, some people were trashing Casino as a weak follow-up to GoodFellas.

  8. spassky says:

    Still happens.

    And, honestly, rightfully so. While Casino is great, it is just not on the same level as Goodfellas.

  9. LYT says:

    Funny thing with TMNT is I really felt they botched the marketing until the very last minute. It was only a couple months ago they even revealed the Turtles – leaks had happened but paramount sent cease-and-desists to everyone.

    Guess it only has to be good marketing in the final month. Interesting lesson.

    What do you think, DP? Is your son excited by it?

  10. brack says:

    Probably because the comic and/or characters are way older than Firefly. Hardly a rip-off, and I liked Firefly okay, but it wasn’t that great, especially compared to Whedon’s shows like Buffy and Angel.

  11. Pat says:

    I like Casino , but the criticism it got twenty years ago is still valid. Scorsese was repeating too many of the same themes and characters.

  12. leahnz says:

    uh sorry to let facts get in the way brack, but the ‘guardians of the galaxy’ movie is based directly on the late 2000s comic series and characters of the same name (not the original 60’s one, in which the characters are quite different), while ‘firefly’ was made in 2002, well before the second GOTG incarnation and film adaptation. and i’m not the only one who thinks ‘Guardians’ is ‘firefly’ rippy-offy in terms of tone, style and characterisation, i’ve seen quite a bit of it (also, ‘firefly’ blows sucky ‘angel’ out of the pool)

  13. Tim DeGroot says:


  14. ManWithNoName says:

    Calling “Angel” sucky tells me you either never watched it all the way through, or that you have terrible taste!

  15. brack says:

    Okay leahnz, we’ll just ignore character existence since that’s obviously dismissive for some unknown reason, but aside from a cocky lead, they don’t have much in common. But if you’re going to claim it is a ripoff of Firefly, then Firefly is just a ripoff of Farscape, right? Farscape by far shares more similarities with GotG, especially with the Earth pop culture references that other main characters don’t understand, the characters lack respect for each other, etc.

  16. Tuck Pendelton says:

    I think the first half of Casino is up there with Scorsese’s best. But the “downfall” section (the last hour) doesn’t work and the tipping point is the cliche’d one guy sleeps with his friend’s wife plot point.

  17. YancySkancy says:

    I’m trying to imagine how any radio talk show conversation leads to comparing CASINO to GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. Doesn’t compute. And when people start jawing about how one film is “objectively” better than another, it’s time to tune out.

    I was pretty mixed on CASINO at the time, but suspect I might like it better on a rewatch. Funny how the passing of time turns repeating oneself into auteurism. When looking back, the recurrence of themes and techniques can seem cool rather than disappointing.

  18. Monco says:

    Yeah I’ve heard more people say GOTG is influenced by Farscape rather than Firefly.

  19. rabartlett says:

    I think there hasn’t been a widespread outcry about “Guardians” ripping off “Firefly” because the Venn diagram of people who 1) Watched “Firefly”, 2) Are unfamiliar with other quirky misfit space operas, and 3) Aren’t familiar enough with Joss Whedon to credit him, for better or worse, with Marvel’s “House Style” is probably a very small overlap.

  20. Pete B. says:

    Okay, other than both leaders being smartasses, and wearing brown jackets… where is the Firefly ripoff?

  21. amblinman says:

    “and i’m not the only one who thinks ‘Guardians’ is ‘firefly’ rippy-offy in terms of tone, style and characterization”

    Why yes, previous to Firefly no one had ever heard of sarcastic banter between a close knit team of adventurers.

    Why do people who traffic in pop culture actually get caught up in dopey arguments like this? Nothing is original, everything is a rip-off. Your thing is not special, there are other things like it.

  22. leahnz says:

    sounds like very few of you have actually watched ‘firefly’, but don’t let that stop you from pulling stuff out of your ass. what can i say, if people can’t see more of a similarity between the characters in ‘firefly’ and ‘gotg’ than smartass leaders, well then i guess you really, really haven’t watched the space adventures of the serenity crew, mal, zoe, jane and book bear uncanny similarities to certain gotg crew members, you can play a fun game and match them up perfectly (but you’d have to like actually watch the shows rather than be prickly little argumentative fanboys who do internet searches to ‘disprove’ something. also, once again for the reading impaired, the original characters in the guardians of the galaxy 60’s comics are quite dissimilar to the 2008 incarnation on which the movie is directly based, so the specific characters in the GOTG movie do NOT predate ‘firefly’ — and ‘farscape’ and ‘firefly’ were in production at virtually the same time with overlapping development and shoots, so calling ‘firefly’ a ripoff of ‘farscape’ is a bit silly. yes there are also similarities between ‘gotg’ and farscape, further proving how movies are written these days and how highly derivative gotg is)

  23. Pete B. says:

    Whoa leanz,

    You need to simmer down. I watched Firefly when it aired on Fox, I saw Serenity in the theater, and I own both on DVD. So I am a fan of the show. I never saw a connection between Guardians and Firefly, and when I asked my wife about it after reading your comment, she didn’t either. My question was an honest one, so I wasn’t being a “prickly little argumentative fanboy”. You could match Peter to Mel, Gamora to Gina Torres (possibly), but Jayne to who… Drax? I don’t see how the others “match up perfectly”.

  24. Joe Leydon says:

    I’m actually hoping the success of Guardians might indirectly generate greater interest for this film.

  25. amblinman says:

    “rather than be prickly little argumentative fanboys”

    I haven’t read a single post on the subject more prickly and argumentative than yours. Offbeat, mouthy space adventurers – never been done before. Got it. Okay. Okay.

    To be completely derivative of a great Triumph, The Insult Comic Dog bit:

    The correct answer is: Who gives a shit?

  26. SamLowry says:

    So…is anybody ripping off “Quark”?

  27. YancySkancy says:

    Howard Hawks is having a nice little posthumous chuckle about this conversation, no doubt. I haven’t seen GotG yet, so I got nuthin’.

  28. Sam says:

    “don’t let that stop you from pulling stuff out of your ass”
    “but you’d have to like actually watch the shows rather than be prickly little argumentative fanboys who do internet searches to ‘disprove’ something”
    “once again for the reading impaired”

    I still recall with some kind of hybrid of bemusement and disbelief that you once told me (angrily) that you were not an angry person.

  29. SamLowry says:

    An interesting quote from a Vox article listed on the front page:

    “If Marvel had kept the rights to all of its characters, it’s unlikely the company would make a Guardians movie, talk about a Black Panther movie, or give Black Widow the platform to become as popular as she is today. We’d probably be watching X-Men 33: Wolverine Does Something Again.”

    And yet their riskiest choice might be not cancelling ANT-MAN; negative buzz engulfs that movie like a black hole. About the only way they can escape that gravitational pull is to make Whedon write, direct, and spend as much on FX as either AVENGER flick.

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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.

~ David Simon