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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Still Hungry Dino Creed Klady

Friday Estimates 2015-11-28 at 8.12.11 AM

So, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 is going to be the lowest domestic grosser of the series. Get over it. It will be the eight $200 million domestic grosser of the year by Friday morning and will be the #6 movie of the year by the end of next weekend, where it will linger even though it will likely get to or very close to $300 million domestic. Boo-hoo.

Internationally, the final Hunger Games movie will likely come up short of all but the first film, though that “disappointment” will likely be about $350 million… could be more. More tears.

There will be 9 movies that gross $600 million-plus worldwide this year. THG:MP2 will be on that list. The cost of production and distribution (including marketing) will be about $250 million… maybe $275m. The rentals coming back to the distributors (across many territories) will be about $350 million. What is Jennifer Lawrence’s deal? Is she slicing $50 million of that off the top above and beyond her 8-figure salary? She should be. As I keep saying, anything less and she should be firing her agents. Still, even if she takes that money off the top, the film will be in profit from theatrical alone. And because of the nature of the franchise – which is my personal thinking on why this last one is so limited… big bar to entry for people who haven’t followed the series – the post-theatrical will be extremely strong, sold forever as a complete series, whether on DVD or by the streaming companies of the world.

Splitting the last book into two will ultimately make Lionsgate (and its partners of all territories and job titles) literally hundreds of millions more in profits than a simple third film would have. It’s not debatable.

The Good Dinosaur isn’t doing badly. But it’s a mediocre number for Disney. It’s not as small as The Peanuts Movie, but it’s not anything close to Tangled or Wreck-It Ralph, much less Frozen. The land of Lasseter is heading into the most dangerous period of his tenure. Big hits are expected. The team did a great job making Shinola out of what apparently was a big pile of mess on this film. But the Pixar sequels parade is coming and there will be fewer originals, which means those originals had better work because otherwise all there will be are sequels… and very few franchises are meant to get past #3 without box office becoming #2. There are many great minds in those buildings, here in the valley and up in Emeryville. But the expectations are of two Inside Out level films a year, not one. Heavy pressure.

Creed is the hot movie of the moment, even if the box office isn’t super hot. It will play brilliantly through December. But it’s opening is in the Tomorrowland, Taken 3, Get Hard territory, which means less than $100 million domestic total. As I say, I think this film will break through that wall and be more like a $130m – $150m domestic movie. But WB should ramp it up and go after the #1 slot next weekend, when HungerJay should fall off to about $23 million. If Creed can pull off a 10% – 15% hold, it will own the hype machine’s capacity for anything other than Star Wars in the first half of December.

The Night Before is holding well, even if the numbers aren’t overwhelming.

Expansions for Oscar hopefuls Spotlight and Brooklyn are doing well, as is the move into second run by The Martian.

And joining the awards party is The Danish Girl, which will be in the per-screen neighborhood of Carol, Sicario, and Spotlight… which is great, but not clear in terms of longterm gross prospects.

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21 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Still Hungry Dino Creed Klady”

  1. PJ says:

    Good Dinosaurs projected 39M opening FSS would be worst Pixar 3 day opening weekend since A Bugs Life wide opening weekend of 33M in 1998. That’s bad.

  2. Pete B says:

    Wow. How big a bomb is Victor Frankenstein? Not even cracking $1 million in almost 2800 theaters?

  3. poet67 says:

    I’m confused. Who has to “get over it”? the folks at LionsGate? YA fans? Klady?

  4. poet67 says:

    The studio may have been right to split Mockingjay in two. But they would have made more money and earned better notices if they split it with a scalpel instead of a hacksaw.

  5. Ryan says:

    Just curious-wouldn’t LionsGate have signed JL to all the films upfront without guaranteeing anything like $50 million for the final installment?

    Can you explain why this would be any different than signing for several seasons of a TV show at once, or why she would have commanded that type of salary when the studio knew there would be multiple films, she wasn’t a star when they started, and she has never really opened a movie that didn’t have a built in audience on her own? Is Shailene Woodley taking huge chunks of money for the Divergent movies?

    I think this is why everyone was baffled by her comments about her salary from American Hustle-I’m not saying she should have been short changed compared to the male actors, but has she proven she can bring people in on her own (Silver Linings Playbook still had Cooper and Deniro)? I guess we’ll find out soon with Joy.

  6. YancySkancy says:

    Ryan: Re American Hustle – had Bale, Cooper, Adams and Renner proved they could bring people in on their own? More so than Lawrence?

  7. PTA Fluffer says:

    Here’s hoping Disney/Marvel splits Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 into Parts 2A and 2B.

  8. alynch says:

    “but has she proven she can bring people in on her own (Silver Linings Playbook still had Cooper and Deniro)? I guess we’ll find out soon with Joy.”

    You mean that movie costarring Cooper and De Niro?

  9. Geoff says:

    I’m getting a bit sick of her but nobody at this point can really deny that Jennifer Lawrence is the most consistent box office draw at this point – you can try to dismiss X Men and Hunger Games movies (probably not the latter since she has been all over the marketing), but American Hustle did about $150 million domestic as well. And unlike Bradley Cooper, she hasn’t had a Burnt or Aloha in her recent track record.

  10. Amblinman says:

    Why are you getting sick of Jennifer Lawrence? She’s crazy talented and hot. The latter is subjective, sure. Former isn’t. Although crediting her for X-Men is dopey. I do absolutely believe you could have replaced her in the role and those two films’ box office wouldn’t have changed one iota. Outside of personality driven movies like comedies I don’t think we have any legit movie stars that generate an audience just by their presence. I think it’s mostly just actors that are lucky to catch a certain wave (I.e. Hot IP) and ride it. Like, I don’t think Pratt moved the needle on Jurassic, he just caught an amazing wave with that and GOTG.

  11. brack says:

    Of actors who still can open a film, you have Tom Cruise and, when teamed with Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio. I don’t know about Ameican Hustle, but Jennifer Lawrence probably had a lot to do with The Silver Linings Playbook doing so well. But overall you’re correct in that movie stars don’t really exist anymore. Tom Cruise knows that his brand is only as good as the movies he’s in, so for the most part he picks “safe” projects that will keep his brand going.

  12. movieman says:

    Lawrence is an extraordinary talent.
    She brings a scary, almost neurotic intensity to her roles that’s literally thrilling to behold.
    Lawrence practically burns a hole through the screen, and you can’t take your eyes off her.
    I’m reminded of Jessica Lange, Tuesday Weld and Frances Farmer
    which is some pretty amazing company.

  13. David Poland says:

    Ryan – Actors sign multiple picture deals on series like THG and then renegotiate as they go… the norm. That’s how Tobey Maguire finally gotta a mega-payday on Spidey 3. Happened on Twilight, Potter, etc, etc, etc.

  14. Amblinman says:

    @brack yup to all of that. Cruise is kind of a dinosaur at this point. The old school people-show-up-for-him movie star. And those returns have been diminishing (considering he’s been a gigantic star for 3 decades, I don’t mean that to be a put down. I don’t think we’ll ever see a career like Cruise’s ever again. Talented and smart about movies.)

    I think Pratt might become a guy people go see but then again he’s going to be in huge properties for the next 5-10 years if the Indy Jones rumors come to fruition. If he can open his own “Witness”, I’ll become a believer in a new Movie Star. (On that note, I really thought Cooper was gonna make Aloha bullet-proof coming off Sniper. Nope!)

  15. Bulldog68 says:

    I think Will Smith is still a legit movie star. His “bombs” have been Seven Pounds, ww$168m off a $55m budget. After Earth that really starred his son and still made ww$243m off a $130m budget. Focus, an adult driven hustler piece whose genre doesn’t generally light up the box office anyway. It still made ww$158m off a $50m budget.

    Show me the bombs that have just imploded at the box office, like Mortdecai, or Aloha, or Burnt, or Our Brand is Crisis.

    Granted he played it safe for a little retreating to MIB3, but lets see how Concussion plays out too.

  16. Ryan says:

    So, we could call JL a proven ‘movie star’ based on:

    Winters Bone
    Like Crazy
    The Beaver
    XMen: First Class
    Hunger Games
    Silver Linings Playbook
    House at the End of the Street
    The Devil You Know
    Catching Fire
    American Hustle
    X Men: DOFP
    Mockingjay 1 & 2

    At least if you’re going to argue that she was the draw for Playbook, you would have to ignore Cooper coming off Hangover II and Limitless. I wouldn’t really argue he is a ‘movie star’ either, but he seems to have a better case than she does.

  17. brack says:

    Could it possibly be that both actors contributed heavily with the success of The Silver Linings Playbook? On the other hand, if Joy does well next month, can’t we can contribute most of that to Jennifer Lawrence? Time will tell. As far as The Hunger Game franchise, the series depends a lot on how much we relate to Jennifer Lawrence’s character, and we buy it based on her performance. If you can name one actress her age/generation that could pull off carrying these movies with this much success, please, do share.

  18. Ryan says:

    Shailene Woodley? Maybe not the same level of success, but the Hunger Games books seemed to be more popular and have more crossover appeal to adults than Divergent.

    I never was trying to knock JL, her acting or her appeal. I just don’t understand why anyone would cough up $50 million to one person for one movie in a series where you have pre-sold marketing for the movies and they could most likely interchange actresses without a large dropoff. Is anyone arguing that the Hunger Games would have fared poorly as a movie series if it did not specifically star Jennifer Lawrence? Same with X-Men and her playing Raven?

  19. brack says:

    Because JL is the star, just like Daniel Radcliffe is Harry Potter. Isn’t not that complicated. You can’t just replace the actress at the end of a series and expect people to accept such nonsense. When a movie makes so much money, the star should get a nice, hefty payday, no? And sorry, but the Divergent series is weak compared to The Hunger Games franchise.

  20. EtGuild2 says:

    It’s obviously possible for an actor to transcend his/her franchise status. Look at Chris Pratt…or, ironically, Anne Hathaway, who started out fronting a YA-Disney franchise.

    Woodley has shown no signs of breaking out of her niche…she’s fronted nothing but YA (SPECTACULAR NOW might as well be) and a Gregg Araki dump. Plus her public persona doesn’t translate into celebrity the way Lawrence’s has (if anything, Woodley is an edgier J-Law in a way that would make a lot of Americans uncomfortable if they heard her).

    There are a ton of great young actresses out there…Ronan, the Fannings, Woodley, Larson, Wachikowska, Moretz, Steinfeld, Poots, on and on…none of them have ever proven to be a draw with the exception of Kristen Stewart who is anything but well-suited to the material, and whose persona in the wake of her affair/Twilight fatigue may have turned her into box office poison.

  21. YancySkancy says:

    If Jennifer Lawrence isn’t a movie star, then there’s no such thing anymore. For many years now, movie stars have only been big draws when paired with a project that interests people. It’s the combination, and these things feed into each other. J-Law may have been only one factor driving the b.o. of Silver Linings Playbook, but its success fed her bankability. Seems safe to say that J-Law is a draw now, but the mass audience will still stay away if she’s in a project that doesn’t hold appeal for them.

    Questions like “Would the Hunger Games franchise have been successful with another actress?” are moot. It’s entirely possible that they might have been, but it’s hard to judge a film or performance that doesn’t exist. With bad enough casting, the franchise might indeed have sputtered. And as brack points out, the studio would’ve been insane to replace her in Mockingjay just to “save” a few million bucks. X-Men is a different story, because her character isn’t central in the same way. That’s why no one complained when she took over the role from Rebecca Romijn.

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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