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David Poland

By David Poland

3-Day Weekend Estimates by American Klady

Weekend Estimates (3 Day) 2015-01-18 at 10.17.13 AM

It was clear to many of us that American Sniper was going to be a huge success. I don’t think any of us thought it was going to be this big. It is, essentially, the biggest opening of a movie drama in history, pushing $6 million past the phenomenon that was The Passion of The Christ. I went into some detail on comparisons and my theories of the film yesterday and don’t want to beat the issue to death, but I hope no one will make the mistake of telling anyone to “Shut the fuck up” in a theater playing this movie, as I suspect there will be a lot of weapons in many theaters that are not usually present.

The Wedding Ringer and Paddington both opened right around the $20 million mark, which generally suggests a good opening. But in both cases, the numbers are less happy in context. The Wedding Ringer is a step backwards for the phenom known as Kevin Hart. Opening a movie to $20 million is enough to be a star, but it is not a continued ascendance for him. Ride Along, $42 million. About Last Night, $25 million. Think II, $29 million. Still Kevin James healthy. But he may be at the top of his value now, at least until he finds a perfect repeatable team-up with another funny guy.

As for Paddington, I don’t know how much money The Weinstein Company is in for, but $19 million for a kids movie on a holiday isn’t a thriller. The Nut Job did (marginally) better last January. The film has already done $122 million internationally as of last weekend, so there will be a sequel.

Blackhat died. There are critics who LOVE the film and others who hate it. I fell asleep – out until 3:30a the night before thanks to the Globes – so I am not offering an opinion. I love Mann and look forward to a proper look at the movie. But ticker buyers clearly were as confused as some would say the film is. A great film can be loaded with ambivalence. A great marketing campaign cannot. So…

Selma holds well, off just 26%, getting an apparent small Oscar nomination/controversy bump… but not enough of one to keep it from falling a little. The film could hit $30 million tomorrow if it gets a nice Martin Luther King, Jr. Day event moment. $50 million now looks doable for the film, which is a solid success for a low-budget studio release that should have some extra ancillary value because of its subject and execution.

Into The Woods has started to make some real space between its numbers and what were very close numbers with Unbroken. Woods will pass Enchanted‘s $128 million on The Big List of Movie Musical Box OFfice, but probably come up short of the domestic on Mamma Mia! ($144m domestic), though maybe it is now tapped into the Frozen audience and will keep holding and get to or past that $150 million mark. It could happen. Unbroken is looking at $120m max domestic and some problems internationally, which makes it about a breakeven movie, most likely.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is less than $1 million from becoming the #1 film in domestic release from 2014, passing Guardians of the Galaxy. Probably happens on Wednesday of this upcoming week. Maybe Thursday.

Inherent Vice just hasn’t worked out for Warner Bros or Paul Thomas Anderson. There is something about a big marketer and a small movie that rarely works. The film looks like it will be the smallest domestic grosser of his career, save his first film, Hard Eight, which never got past 29 screens. You have to figure that Searchlight or Sony Classics or even TWC could have squeezed out more.

Nothing very exciting in the limited release group. A Most Violent Year leads the way on 37 screens, but with a meh $7620 per-screen. (I think the film will be the most leggy film of JC Chandor’s young directing career and be “found” over and over for decades to come. It continues to grow on me over time.) Still Alice topped the per-screen group with 17k per on 12. Mr. Turner stays solid, but not thrilled with $5220 per on 37. The film is over $10 million in the UK, where I believe it is Mike Leigh’s biggest hit ever and sure to be a significant moneymaker. And Leviathan is doing a strong $8530 per-screen on 6 screens coming off its Oscar nominations.

Amongst the Best Picture contenders…

Oscar nominees b.o. 2015-01-18 at 12.22.44 PM

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36 Responses to “3-Day Weekend Estimates by American Klady”

  1. JCW says:

    Hah! Clint owns Oprah and her Lifetime Movie Network/BET Original Movie.

  2. EtGuild2 says:

    Questions re: the Lifetime Boilerplate Iraq War Movie (that had an outsised lead performance) Opening:

    1. Is Bradley Cooper the biggest movie star in America? It’s a title that’s been left largely unclaimed since Will Smith ceded it in 2009, with stabs toward Downey and Lawrence. Cooper is now in 4 of the 11 biggest R-rated movies ever.

    2. Are explicitly in-offensive war movies going to be the norm now? The media seems determined to go after the 3 out of 200 critics who criticized the war’s politics. Out of probably 25 movies on the Iraq/Afghan war this is the most blandly non-thinking and non-controversial one of the lot…”Iraq: The War for Dummies.” After all this time of trying to make a point, I guess the point to success was trying as hard as possible to not make a point:

    “Look, it’s Jonathan Groff, the biggest LGBT activist in acting…but he’s an Iraq War vet with a leg injury! We’re all human!

    3. I assume the Sienna Miller blacklist is resoundingly over. That’s a good thing, despite her shrill performance here.

  3. arisp says:

    Miller’s character was hopelessly inept. Horrible.

  4. Kevin says:

    1. If you count GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY as a Bradley Cooper movie, he’s having one hell of a run.

    2. I honestly don’t know why, say, THE HURT LOCKER wasn’t a big hit. I wonder how it would do if it came out today, with a post-AVENGERS Jeremy Renner…

    3. Yeah, big season for her, between AMERICAN SNIPER and FOXCATCHER!

  5. That Guy says:

    Saw American Sniper last night(and Blackhat, which I enjoyed) and I’m surprised the politics of AS are not under more scrutiny from the so-called liberal media… it’s basically a propaganda movie for neo-con politics.

    I mean it pays lip service to PTSD being a consequence of combat, but hand-waves a cure at the end with Kyle working with disabled vets.

    Other than that, it’s all about how the people in Iraq are “savages” and the soldiers’ need for “revenge” against people in their own country for killing members of an invading force. The villains in the movie are almost cartoonishly evil, and there’s really only one Iraqi family in the piece that isn’t, and they’re portrayed as simpering cowards and victims.

    The movie is like a non-satirical remake of Starship Troopers set in Iraq. You could’ve interspersed “Why We Fight” ads into it and not skipped a beat.

    The movie literally has a PG-rated version of the Team America “Dicks, Assholes and Pussies” speech told non-ironically.

  6. EtGuild2 says:

    Post-Avengers Jeremy Renner has a worse track record than pre-Avengers Jeremy Renner.

    @ThatGuy, you’re an idiot. The film (which isn’t good) doesn’t dispute the legitimacy of the war, but not every movie needs to. (the Savages statement in particular is meant to go down cathartically).

    After 10 years, and 54 Iraq/Afghanistan movies…no, this isn’t jingoistic. It isn’t even close.

    You’re as bad as Fox News. Go away.

  7. That Guy says:

    Well you don’t argue with any of my points(except some nonsense about racism being cathartic), think the movie is bad but defend it for some reason, call me an idiot and tell me to stop talking.

    And I’m Fox News. Okay.

  8. EtGuild2 says:

    It’s as middle-of-the-road, factually correct a movie as they come on these topics. Compared to “Argo” and “Philomena,” “American Sniper” is pretty much The Bible.

    It’s not a film that grabs Dick Cheney’s throbbing torture cock and swings it around for all it’s worth.

    Kyle has no obvious agenda in the film. Cooper, despite my qualms re: his acting, is as articulate and passionate an advocate there is for liberal causes. He’s not a fool who was manipulated into this…he was producer before Eastwood came on board.

  9. That Guy says:

    If by “factually correct” you mean faithful to the book, perhaps so. If by “factually correct” you mean “factually correct” you’re probably not choosing the right cause to champion.

  10. Casey says:

    Your take on Paddington is still odd. It’s a good number.

  11. Christian says:

    Whaddya know. DP’s Paddington “opening soft” has transformed into Klady’s “better than anticipated returns.”

  12. Christian says:

    Maybe those two things aren’t completely at odds with each other, but it feels that way.

  13. Christian says:

    Hey, I thought this was yesterday’s thread about Friday numbers! I see that DP’s comments above are slightly different. Apologies.

  14. dinovelvet says:

    Is Bradley Cooper the biggest movie star in America?

    I would say a resounding YES, especially as Downey failed to bring any box office action to The Judge. He’s done it with no franchishes or pre-sold blockbusters whatsoever (not counting his voiceover in Guardians obviously), had huge hits in comedy and drama. I wonder if Marvel are kicking themselves for not locking him down for an actual superhero role and not just showing up for an afternoon’s work voicing a raccoon.
    And how can the Oscars ignore a guy like this? He’s putting out huge hits, and has gotten his third nomination in three years. Just give him the prize already.

  15. arisp says:

    “Just give him the prize already.”

    Except that he’s not the best nominee this year, nor last year, by a MILE.

  16. dinovelvet says:

    And Blackhat. Jeez. That has to be the flop of the year and we’re only in January. I liked it a lot and would recommend it to anyone who liked Miami Vice.

    So who gets stiffed with the bill for that? Is Mann in movie jail now? Is Thor quietly shuffled off the shortlist for top projects? How’s that Hemsworth-centric Snow White prequel looking right about now?

  17. dinovelvet says:

    “Except that he’s not the best nominee this year, nor last year, by a MILE.”

    That ever stop anybody from winning? DUJARDIN POWER.

  18. Pj says:

    It just became Coopers year in quite a hurry.

  19. Joshua says:

    @That Guy: The stories Chris Kyle told about himself in his book which are called into question in the Washington Post article — and which sound implausible to me, too — aren’t even mentioned in AMERICAN SNIPER. Thus, they don’t directly impugn the accuracy of Eastwood’s film.

  20. poet67 says:

    So Kyle had a case of the Munchausens. Are we suddenly supposed to question whether he even served in Iraq? Maybe he’s hiding out with Andy Kaufman as we speak?

  21. lazarus says:

    What a sad country we live in, that this film makes this kind of money.

  22. brack says:

    “Post-Avengers Jeremy Renner has a worse track record than pre-Avengers Jeremy Renner.”

    His Bourne Legacy did better than I expected, and American Hustle did well. Even Hansel and Gretel did well worldwide with $226m. His other movies were indies that weren’t going to make money.

  23. Hallick says:

    “The stories Chris Kyle told about himself in his book which are called into question in the Washington Post article — and which sound implausible to me, too — aren’t even mentioned in AMERICAN SNIPER. Thus, they don’t directly impugn the accuracy of Eastwood’s film.”

    The omission of this side of Chris Kyle seems to impugn the accuracy of Eastwood’s film though.

  24. Amblinman says:

    For me the larger point of the Kyle omissions is that we have a movie celebrating someone who is a giant douchebag and psychopath.

    But hey, support the troops yada yada.

  25. Pj says:

    Did the Wolf of Wall Street celebrate Jordan Belfort? Did The Godfather celebrate the mafia?

  26. Monco says:

    The hatred and invective people on this blog are voicing about a movie just because it is deemed conservative is sad.

  27. PcChongor says:

    And it’s even sadder that a movie deemed conservative is so hateful and invective.

  28. amblinman says:

    @PJ the answer to both of your questions, quite frankly, is yes (just got home from a cross country flight in which I watched Wolf again, as a matter of fact. The film kinda revels in him). But the difference is most of the American public don’t view penny stock traders and mafia dons as heroes. United States military personnel shooting people in the head? Why yes, yes they do consider them heroes.

    @Monco the movie considers Kyle a hero. That’s where it begins and ends for me.

  29. leahnz says:

    i can’t be the only one who sees a kind of awful irony in the fact that on a holiday weekend in the US set aside to honour and celebrate one of the great historical activists for peaceful change, truth, justice and inclusiveness (murdered by a sniper), a movie about a deeply troubled, hateful racist killer and self-promoting liar is cleaning up at the box office.

    wouldn’t it have been fascinating to get a movie about the real kyle in all his obnoxious, thirst-to-kill-the-ragheads glory and not clint’s watered-down version, a reboot of his ‘the man with no name’ character made in his own reticent, stoic image.

    (not to mention ‘american sniper’ is a deeply pedestrian film, much of it like a FPS video game, with possibly the worst written/directed woman’s role in modern film, and that’s no mean feat. poor sienna, i feel bad for her)

  30. pat says:

    Black Hawk Down, Hotel for Dogs, Cloverfield, Kangaroo Jack, My Bloody Valentine 3D, and Paul Blart: Mall Cop all opened big on this weekend too, despite their lack of tribute to MLK’ s legacy.

  31. Pat Hobby says:

    I like to check in on Poland’s blog every once in a while to see if this is still where the dumb movie fans hang out. It is.

  32. Hallick says:

    “I like to check in on Poland’s blog every once in a while to see if this is still where the dumb movie fans hang out. It is.”

    And we’re glad you feel right at home during your little visits too, Pat.

  33. palmtree says:

    DP, couldn’t the opening weekend drop from Ride Along to Wedding Ringer be attributed to the former’s PG-13 rating and the latter’s R rating?

  34. movieman says:

    I gave “American Sniper” a second look the other night in an attempt to put my finger on why it’s quickly become such a cultural phenomenon, and I think I have it figured out.
    “AS” is, simply put, the greatest male weepie since “Field of Dreams” 25 years ago. And I mean that in the kindest, most respectful way.
    For all the lefty pundits snickering that it’s strictly a red state phenom, please explain those record-brusting per-screen averages in limited release when it was showing on just a handful of screens in such liberal bastions as Manhattan and Los Angeles.
    P.S.= Sorry Et and Leah: I still think it’s another masterful Eastwood-ian meditation on mortality. And Cooper is tremendous, vastly more deserving of his Best Actor nomination than Redmayne or Carell (and I love “Foxcatcher,” too).

  35. David Poland says:

    Not really. R-rated comedies have opened much bigger. That split is kinda 1998.

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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?”

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