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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Still Shelled-Again Klady

Friday Estimates 2014-08-16 at 8.06.31 AM

I hate this time of year.

Good indies that are commercially challenging get “launched.” Bad studio movies that they’ve given up hope on get freed. (Go into the light, Giver.)

There is a good chance that Guardians of the Galaxy will end up beating Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles before the weekend is over (not that slotting matters). Both films have landmarks this weekend… Guardians at $200m and Turtles at $100m.

There are three $10m – $20m openers this weekend. Degrees of disappointment vary. For all of the profound navel-ga… uh, deep, profound insight about the real-life horrors of Ferguson, Mo occurring in the same week  Let’s Be Cops is released, it’s having the best opening vs production costs. If the reported $17m production price tag is true, a $40m gross – which it looks like it’s headed for – is a win.

The Expendables 3 is yet another franchise dying domestically, but continuing because of international. The sequel was off about 17% domestically from the first film… but up 29% internationally. Friday is off 45% from Ex2’s opening Friday. That extrapolates to $47m domestic. But the eyes are still on what they hope will be a $200m gross internationally. But even if the film does gross $250m worldwide, don’t expect them to be in a rush to make Expendables 4. Of course, if international is off anything close to the domestic, the film will lose money and that will be that.

The connection of Let’s Be Cops to the horror show in Ferguson is nonexistent. But it allows for plenty of pretentious writing. The timing is clearly less of a problem for audiences than for film critics. I can’t imagine that this opening number would be any different if Ferguson wasn’t happening. Meanwhile, if this universally-panned film really just cost $17 million to make, its crappy $15m likely 3-day will be okay, suggesting about $40m total domestic to go with TV sales overseas and a small profit on the film. This is the kind of situation where Fox’s fiscal discipline makes Shinola out of shit.

Phillip Noyce is a true high-quality director. The Giver got onto Charlie Rose. But the opening number… ugh. I haven’t seen the film. I won’t be seeing the film. But again, if the reported cost of $25m is real, the movie has certain already covered production with international dollars, leaving some price and P&A to The Weinsteins. So it may not be a total car wreck for the company.

It’s a particularly ugly scene on the bottom half of the Top 10. 65%, 74%, and 67% drops, combined with 43% off for the adult-focused The Hundred-Foot Journey, and the one okay drop, for Lucy.

Okay $15k range per-screens for indies The Trip To Italy and Frank. (I love Frank, BTW. Weird, indie, smart, fun.) A24’s experiment with an early DirecTV-only VOD release of Life After Beth will generate about $7,500 per on 2. The aggressive young indie announced this week that it will continue to experiment with DirecTV on another film. Everyone’s looking for The Answer.

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25 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Still Shelled-Again Klady”

  1. Spacesheik says:

    ‘Expendables 3’ at 5 plus million on Friday? That is just weak. Doesn’t bode well for the weekend. I personally had no interest in seeing it – at best it screamed ‘rental.’

    I’m not surprised at the performance really – the marketing was too tongue in cheek: both trying to be campy nostalgia & hip modern actioner. Obviously the PG-13 rating didn’t box office at all.

    I wish The Expendables series had more gravitas from the outset and tried to be more of a straight, tough ‘Dirty Dozen’ actioner and less ‘Kelly’s Heroes.’

    As was the case of Machete 2 and the other drivel with older action stars, audiences seem to be tired of it.

    As for the torrent of the film being released a few weeks ago, could that also have been a factor – who knows?

  2. skycapitain says:

    Let’s Be Cops is a f’ing funny movie. I don’t understand how anyone could like “22 Jump Street” and hate “Let’s Be Cops.” Same humor. I like both… a lot.
    Everyone was laughing in the theater I saw it in on thursday anyway.

  3. Kate says:

    I’m kind of surprised Magnolia’s theatrical release for Frank will be going as relatively wide-for them-(according to their website) as it is. Unlike another small Brit indie like Filth, which was pretty much only VOD.

    I assume their strategy will be similar to We Are the Best!. Play for 1/2 weeks at arthouse cinemas, then pull and release on demand.

  4. Ray Pride says:

    The Chicago run of WE ARE THE BEST! was cancelled at the last minute. Would like to have seen again on a large screen.

  5. PJ says:

    I feel bad that Let’s Be Cops got caught up in the Ferguson mess. It really is a hilarious film.

    Also enjoying TMNT cleaning up at box office despite the internet fauxrage.

  6. heather says:

    Let’s be cops will do better than 40 million. You forgot about the 9 million earned WEd/Thursday. Should push past 50 million.

  7. Chucky says:

    I’m sure the “Let’s Be Cops” admirers feel good about the militarized Ferguson Police Department firing tear gas and wooden bullets on innocent people. Not to mention rounding up journalists as well.

  8. movieman says:

    Anecdotal evidence that (gasp) Chucky may be right:

    Caught up w/ the new Woody this afternoon (lightly likable, but it felt a beat off most of the time), and there were only 3 other people in the auditorium.
    I peeked into “Boyhood” across the hall (which also finally materialized here yesterday), and was saddened to see there were only 2 people watching the best movie of 2014 (so far).
    “TMNT,” however, was still raking it in.
    Kiddies everywhere, all of whom seemed to be spilling popcorn onto every square inch of the lobby.

  9. Joe Leydon says:

    Over at Deadline, they’re saying Boyhood is on track to make the Top Ten this weekend.

  10. movieman says:

    The “Boyhood” per-screen is probably inflated by the (original) big city engagements where it’s continuing to perform like the champ it is.
    But, based on my strictly anecdotal evidence, appears to be dropping dead in the sticks. The manager I spoke with told me that only a dozen people showed up combined yesterday for four performances.
    Considering how (relatively) soft (for a Woody Allen movie) it opened in limited release, I’m relieved (and a little surprised) Sony Classics went as wide as they did this weekend.
    Clearly it didn’t pay off.

  11. EtGuild2 says:

    Down in Virginia Beach, “Boyhood” is in its 3rd week at the biggest multiplex in the city, still at four showtimes a day. As has been noted, it’ll still be IFC’s 2nd highest grosser ever, Linklater’s highest indie grosser…if it were an SPC release, it would end up in their Top 10 ever. Not sure how an experimental 3 hour home movie could do much better.

  12. YancySkancy says:

    Sure, Chucky, stands to reason that anyone who likes a comedy about two guys pretending to be cops would support actual police brutality.

    I haven’t seen LET’S BE COPS, but since it was in the can long before Ferguson happened, and since its plot has nothing to do with a wrongful police shooting and resulting protests, I think we can cut it a little slack.

  13. movieman says:

    Apparently more people care about quality movies in Virginia Beach than they do in Northeastern Ohio, Et.
    It’s no wonder Searchlight skipped this godforsaken area when expanding “Budapest Hotel” this spring.

  14. chris says:

    That’s odd, Ray. I don’t think it did gangbusters business in the Twin Cities but at least “We Are the Best” got a shot here.

  15. Tom says:

    I guess Expendables 3 should be thankful they didn’t mention the ACADEMY AWARD WINNER status of new addition Mel Gibson in the marketing.

  16. JS Partisan says:

    Folks. There is an obvious reason why Expendables 3 tanked. The leak cut it off at it’s knees. Whomever did that to this film, is a huge asshole. Outside of that, glad the turtles are still viable.

  17. PcChongor says:

    ^ Can’t tell if that’s sarcastic or not, but I doubt the leak did much to the opening at all. Those who pirated it were going to pirate it anyway, and the only difference here is that they got to see it a couple weeks early.

  18. Joe Leydon says:

    I enjoyed Boyhood. I enjoyed — though, I admit, not quite as much — Let’s Be Cops. Do I contradict myself? Very well, I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes.

  19. KMS says:

    I don’t get why these rollouts are so slow. Boyhood had pretty good media coverage a month ago, but of course people in smaller cities won’t flock to see it in late August or September, because it’s no longer a hot topic. Many people probably won’t even know of and when it comes to their town, because they’ll just assume it’s no longer in theaters.

    I love in Denton, TX, which is a fairly hip town with several colleges and about 115,000 people. And yet Boyhood still isn’t playing here. Granted, we’re lucky that it’s playing 20-30 miles away, and I’ve seen it twice. But you get my point.

  20. Chucky says:

    Denton is close enough to Dallas that you don’t have to wait for Netflix to see arty pictures.

    And that “pretty good media coverage” of “Boyhood” was dressed up by Peter Travers. Somebody needs to strap Mr. Quote Whore into a chair so he can see “Rendition” non-stop for 24 hours.

  21. Joe Leydon says:

    Don’t know how to break this to you, Chucky, but Peter Travers wasn’t the only critic who didn’t care much for Redacted.

  22. Bulldog68 says:

    For the record I saw Let’s Be Cops in an advanced screening and thought it painfully unfunny. It’s association with Ferguson however is illogically stupid.

    And why doesn’t Andy Garcia get more work?

  23. storymark says:

    I think blaming the leak for the failure of Expendables is a huge reach, at best. I doubt many in the general audience even knew about it.

    And given how poorly all of the films from these “past their prime” action group have done these past few years, I see the (fairly minor) successes of the first two as more of a fluke than the failure of the third.

    I literally only know one person who had any interest in seeing it. Anecdotal, true – but I just don’t think anyone cared.

  24. christian says:

    Chucky, how does it feel watching corporatist soccer knowing the long history of people killed by soccer riots?

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