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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Klady from Parker Bros.

friday estimates 2014-10-25 at 8.20.01 AM

The box office continues to get more boring…. but that will change next week.

John Wick is the film that should be doing $25m-plus this weekend, but isn’t. Don’t feel too bad, Relativity. Universal couldn’t get the actual Liam Neeson to open to more than $13m last month.

Ouija is yet another junk horror film. Opening day did a little better than half of Annabelle‘s opening day. Maybe “Ouija” should have been the name of a monkey with cymbals that comes to live.

Fury will end its second weekend with numbers similar to The Monuments Men. The real battle between these two end-0f-WWII films will be international, where I expect Fury will have a lot more juice overseas, making it a hit based on worldwide numbers that gets remembered by US media as being soft. With the exception of Moneyball, which is about American baseball, no live-action Brad Pitt film in the last decade has done less than 60% of its business overseas, meaning domestic x1.5 as a starting point. Say Fury stops at $70m domestic (Monuments did $78m)… that suggests a minimum of $175m worldwide for the film.

Gone Girl continues to hold like a champ. I am limited to anecdotal evidence, but my sense is that the film continues to be the only real talking point for the public now available in wide release. Fury has some buzz, but if adults are talking current wide releases, it seems to be Gone. It’s also the only $100m movie since Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, though The Equalizer could crawl there eventually.

Nice expansion for St. Vincent, though this is still, ultimately, a fairly low-grossing title. $20something million. Better than Hyde Park on the Hudson. To be fair, it will also gross more than Rushmore or Broken Flowers. But a modest win for McCarthy and Murray.

I feel a little stupid undervaluing a $20m+ gross for a movie as small as St. Vincent, but that is the market right now. When TWC invests in a film on the marketing side to that degree, there is an expected return and this film isn’t going to achieve what they were aiming at after TIFF. The number is quite nice compared to comparable films with smaller launches. It could certainly match Boyhood‘s $24 million. But what is a special achievement on an IFC marketing budget is “just okay” on a TWC budget like the one for StV and “unfortunate” on a studio marketing budget.

My beloved The Book of Life is dying on the vine. Wish I could say I didn’t see it coming.

The two strong non-Indian arthouse numbers in exclusive are Citizenfour and Laggies. Both will be close to or over $18k per screen on 5 and 6 screens, respectively.

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10 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Klady from Parker Bros.”

  1. movieman says:

    “St. Vincent” hit my “feel good movie” sweet spot better than anything has in a very long time.
    Murray is a national treasure, and that kid was the real deal (totally adorable without ever playing “adorable”).
    If McCarthy would tackle more roles like this, I might actually forgive her for “The Heat” one day, lol.

    I liked “John Wick” better last month when it was called “The Equalizer.”
    It’s the type of quotation mark-heavy genre film I would have loved when I was a 20-year-old NYU Cinema Studies undergrad. Now it feels a tad jejune. Skillfully done, sure, but it left me wanting more than just another exercise in style-as-substance.
    It was sort of an empty suit kind of movie for me; impeccably tailored, but there’s nothing inside.

  2. Nick Rogers says:

    I would take five “John Wicks” over “The Equalizer,” which felt less like Fuqua and Washington reuniting for a stylish lark than feeling like they had to bloat it out with mallet-to-the-head Ernest Hemingway references lest it somehow feel “less important” than “Training Day.”

    There’s an Orpheus-in-the-underworld vibe to “John Wick,” but no one recites the myth verbatim in the way that Washington spends an entire scene CliffsNotes-ing “The Old Man and the Sea” in “The Equalizer.” Plus, the stunt team reminds you of both how great clean-line action can be when people know what they’re doing and the physical poise with which Reeves carries himself in action sequences. 50 years old? Coulda fooled me.

  3. movieman says:

    We must have seen completely different movies, Nick.
    I had to fight myself from falling asleep.
    Spotting the cool stylistic influences (J.P. Melville by way of Walter Hill; Tsui Hark; John Woo; etc.) was fun for awhile, but its arch cleverness ultimately wore me out.

    “The Equalizer”‘s teen hooker was replaced w/ a pet pooch.
    Same Russian Mob heavies.
    Same stylized action setpieces.
    But a shorter running time.
    As much as I like Keanu (and I’ve been defending him for decades), he’s simply no Denzel re: providing the type of emotional ballast or gravitas needed to sustain my interest in a ultra-violent, ultimately pretty silly/pointless acton movie.
    For me, “JW” was less pretentious, but nearly as show-offy as “Only God Forgives.”

  4. EtGuild2 says:

    I didn’t care for either, but at least “John Wick” didn’t brutalize and fetishize yet another enjoyable light and middlebrow entertainment of yesteryear. Now I keep imagining sly old Ed Woodward skull stomping and nailgunning people to death. You’re up “Man From U.N.C.L.E.” and “Zorro: Origins of a Superhero” or whatever they’re calling it. Sigh.

  5. Pete B. says:

    John Wick was a blast, and plenty of dark humor too. Plus I gotta agree with Nick, it was wonderful to not have any shaky cam crap, and actually see the action. Probably because the director was a former stuntman himself.

  6. movieman says:

    “White Bird in a Blizzard” isn’t my favorite Gregg Araki film.
    But it’s definitely Shailene Woodley’s best movie this year.

    Have to confess to being slightly discomfited by Woodley’s nude scenes, though.
    I felt like an overprotective parent who doesn’t want his daughter to grow up, lol.

  7. Bulldog68 says:

    I liked both Equalizer and JW for their obvious similarities but their stylistic differences as well. It’s like two good hamburgers from two good restaurants.

    Denzel brings his gravitas and heart to any role he does, and while this may have been more of a walk in the park for him, it was just a while executed popcorn flick. Nothing really fantastic about it, but it delivered onn what you expected.

    JW is a stylistic more deeply constructed flick, that frankly had a hook that if it failed, the rest of the movie would fail as well, and that’s his grieving over a dead dog. if you didn’t buy that, then you didn’t buy the rest of the movie, and it delivered on that.

    I liked the relationship that John had with his new found enemies. I like the world of assassins that they let you peek into. The Hotel. The whole bit. Not a great film by any means, but I like what it aspired to be, and I would actually love to see a sequel, particularly more of the Hotel.

  8. LexG says:


  9. movieman says:

    Really enjoyed “Dear White People,” but can anyone tell me where the (Claude) Chabrol influences were?
    I’ve been wracking my brain about that ever since reading A.O. Scott’s NYT review.
    I get Whit Stillman, “School Daze” (duh), maybe (just maybe) even a dollop of Almodovar.
    But Chabrol?
    As someone who’s seen their fair share of the “French Hitchcock”‘s films, I’m utterly baffled by Scott’s reference.

  10. cadavra says:

    Isn’t the climax of EQUALIZER just the R-rated version of the third acts of the HOME ALONE movies?

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