MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Kiss The Katness Goodbye Klady

Firday Estimates 2015-11-21 at 8.42.49 AM

I have been doing this long enough to have had arguments about films grossing $100 million domestic and being seen as disappointments. I was relatively new in writing about box office and the veteran box office people waved off this silly notion. This weekend, I suspect we will hear rumblings about a $100 million+ opening that is, somehow, disappointing. Silly. (Amazingly, if Star Wars: The Force Awakens doubles the best opening ever in December and opens to $170 million domestic in a few weeks, that will somehow be seen—in this case, only by fools—as a disappointment.)

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, unlike the final Harry Potter, is a franchise film that will be seen almost exclusively by the series’ hardcore base. And Lionsgate seems fine with that, as the advertising makes little, if any, effort to push the “come see the climax of a series that is about xxxx” agenda. It’s much more geared to people who are already invested. And they will be fine with that. As someone who bailed after the first film—even though I am a Francis Lawrence believer—I don’t feel welcome, even though the relatively positive critical hum has me intrigued.

Still, even with the feeling that you shouldn’t be going to see this film without having seen all the previous films, this THG-MP2 is heading to just under or just over $300 million domestic and carries the hope that it, like the Twilight finale, can keep expanding overseas. $400 million international seems like a lock. $500 million would make this the #2 film of the franchise, even if it’s the softest domestically. In this case, the movie will land in China, which Twilight never did… legally.

The other openers this weekend are Sony’s The Night Before and newly-minted distributor STX’s The Secret in Their Eyes. Neither is a happy story.

There are many things about The Night Before that seem flawed, starting with the very cool, but very uninformative stained glass ad campaign. The movie is a variation on After Hours and you really don’t know that from the ads. You get the classic comedy ad pitch, obsessed with the three or four jokes that did best in test screenings. I don’t care how hard the laughs in testing… vomit jokes are not a great sales tool for a wide release movie. Ironically, it is the quality of this film that is revealed in the fact that the jokes—as seen on TV—are not as strong as the laughs that come out of story in this film. That is one of the things I really liked about this movie. It’s a journey into taking the next step in life for these three old friends. They all have ideas of what they want on this holiday and they all need adjustment… and the world is there to adjust them, with a little help from (a little too much of a spoiler).

Now, it is possible that the filmmakers were the ones who wanted to hide the salami here (the salami, for all intents & purposes being Michael Shannon and his character). You’ll likely see new ads with him and the actual premise of the film in the next couple of days. But it may be too late… depends on the specificity of the ads and the size of the buy.

As for The Secret in Their Eyes… this is a remake of the Foreign Language Oscar winner of 2009… meaning, great foundation about which no one knows or cares. Julia Roberts, who is about ready for a second act of her career to begin, hasn’t really opened a movie in at least five years. Still, you have to go back almost 20 years to a wide opening as week for a picture led by Roberts… the dreaded (career-wise) Mary Reilly.

(Corrected for mistake about this being first STX release. Apologies.)

Carol opens on four screens and will do a solid $55k per screen or so.

And now, my first look at Oscar season box office…

Inside Out – BV – n/a – 356
The Martian – Fox – 2086 – 210.3
Straight Outta Compton – U – n/a – 161
Mad Max: Fury Road – WB – n/a – 154

Bridge of Spies – BV – 1532 – 63.8
Black Mass – WB – 232 – 62.4
Sicario – LGF – 285 – 45.6m
Steve Jobs – U – 326 – 17.5
Grandma – SPC – n/a – $6.9

Mr. Holmes – Roadside – n/a – 17.7
Love & Mercy – Roadside – n/a – 12.6
Spotlight – Open Road – 598 – 3.3
Suffragette – Focus – 396 – 3
Room – A24 – 133 – 2.5
Brooklyn – Searchlight – 111 – 1.3
Trumbo – Bleecker – 47 – est 360,000
Carol – TWC – 4 -78,491
Beasts of No Nation – Netflix – n/a – .1

The Big Short
The Danish Girl
The H8ful Eight
The Revenant

Be Sociable, Share!

7 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Kiss The Katness Goodbye Klady”

  1. Christian says:

    Those “Mustang” numbers look bad. That movie deserves so much better.

  2. Brandon says:

    Julia Roberts is still only waiting on the SECOND act of her career? Hmm…

  3. cadavra says:

    Roberts will be starring on Dick Wolf’s “Chicago (occupation TBD)” inside of two years.

  4. brack says:

    Seems like a strong Friday for the new Hunger Games. Not like the last one did that great compared to the previous films in the series.

  5. EtGuild2 says:

    I’ll say it…the number of flops in the last 2 months is alarming, and I’m curious if we’re seeing a trend…CREED and GOOD DINOSAUR will give more info.

  6. Hallick says:

    “As for The Secret in Their Eyes… this is a remake of the Foreign Language Oscar winner of 2009… meaning, great foundation about which no one knows or cares.”

    You could have written “most people”, or “the lion’s share of the movie-going audience”, or even “virtually no one knows or cares”, but for fuck’s sake, it’s below you to toss off “great foundation about which no one knows or cares” in regards to the original.

  7. leahnz says:

    “Those “Mustang” numbers look bad. That movie deserves so much better.”

    not that i disagree with this sentiment christian (‘mustang’ is a rather beautiful and stirring debut with a deft touch by Erguven portraying the light and the dark, exploring freedom/self-determination and oppression, kind of reminds me of Granik in a way tho the coppola comparison seemed the popular one from what i remember at the time, not misplaced), but was there a realistic expectation that a subtitled movie about turkish girls (no matter how fucking awesome they are, and they are) would find a decent audience in this current climate of good movies eating shit at the B O? just asking, i don’t understand anything lately, everything kind of bums me out

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