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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by Ouch, That Wasn’t Pleasant Klady

Weekend Estimates 2015-11-01 at 9.48.10 AM

Only one other “#1 Movie In America™” this year was as bad or worse than The Martian‘s fifth weekend $11.5 million for the win. That would be the Labor Day 3-day of War Room. This is, obviously, not an indictment of The Martian, which is kicking ass, but of the weakness of not only the newcoming films this weekend but of last weekend as well. And it’s not much of an endorsement for Bridge of Spies or Goosebumps, though logically, Goosebumps would suffer more from the trick-or-treat day landing on Saturday.

On Bridge of Spies, which I believe will deliver us our Best Supporting Actor winner, it’s looking to be right in line with War Horse, Tintin, and The Terminal… although it is behind all three of those three weekends in. It is ahead of Munich, which got the Oscar nomination in a five-film field, though that film never saw the high side of 1,500 screens in its entire run. Personally, I think Bridge should have waited at least until Thanksgiving, probably Christmas, to go into wide release. Its Oscar prospects, which are still pretty good for 5 – 8 nominations, would have been better and as an adult alternative of size in the December of Star Wars, it could have found a larger audience.

If Southpaw opened to more than 3x what Burnt did and is considered a flop… what is Burnt? Should have been a TV premiere somewhere… smelled of it from the earliest marketing.

What can one say about Our Brand Is Crisis? Warner Bros has been in crisis pretty much all year. I don’t know what happens in their marketing offices, but it feels a lot like Sue Kroll’s promotion sent the marketing department spinning off its axis. Ironically, the 2015 mess comes off one of the greatest WB box office triumphs of all time, American Sniper. I still feel as though there was some intention involved with this horrible year, whether shoving Jupiter Ascending onto the 2015 books or cramming Vacation into an already overloaded summer or getting distracted with sure-not-to-hit films like Water Diviner, Batkid Begins, and Lost River or ole’-ing We Are Your Friends. The biggest hit the studio has had in 4 – 5 months is The Intern… and as Nancy Meyers movies go, it will be a weak sibling. Too many WB films this year – shocking, given the previous discipline of the distributor – felt like they escaped rather than being released. Just going through the motions. And the Our Brand Is Crisis has been the most extreme example of this, for me, all year. Sandra Bullock. David Gordon Green is a hip filmmaker. Based on a well-loved doc. And the sell is pretty much Ms. Bullock making faces and showing a new hair color. Fail. Not a fail if you open that to $15 million. But fail if it opens to $3.4 million like some thing that got stuck on the bottom of your shoe and released on Labor Day.

I want to see a WB comeback… but the next five months is not promising… not because I assume the films aren’t good or even excellent, but because there is no “classic WB sell” coming until Todd Phillips and Batman arrive in March. The Creed trailer is tremendous. But it already feels like that train is losing steam, not gaining. I am excited about Ron Howard’s whale movie, shot on a lot of water. But will they sell it?

Paramount’s experiment with a short window for genre junk that would otherwise be direct-to-VOD is only half done. The theatrical side is, obviously, not a success.

Love has a solid two-screen start. Room is the strong player in per-screen on 49 screens. And Suffragette is a step behind with an equally good per-screen on about half the screens.

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8 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by Ouch, That Wasn’t Pleasant Klady”

  1. movieman says:

    Funny/ironic that all of Bradley Cooper’s 2015 b.o. stiffs have one-word titles.
    Almost makes me nervous about “Joy.”
    For the record, I actually liked “Aloha,” “Serena” and “Burnt” more than any of Cooper’s “Hangover” movies. Or any of his non-David O. Russell films.
    My biggest knock against all three is that they needed to be 15-30 minutes longer.
    Sure hope that Fox doesn’t force Russell to deliver a two-hour release print of “Joy.” On the basis of the (fantastic) trailer, it definitely seems like the kind of film that needs room to breathe.
    Imagine if Paramount had made Coppola whittle “The Godfather” down to two hours.
    And anyway, “Joy” and “The Revenant” both feel more like Fox Searchlight than Fox proper releases, don’t they?

  2. movieman says:

    Excepting “American Sniper..”
    Mea culpa, lol.

  3. BoulderKid says:

    I would say that right now we have the most compelling slate of films playing in any given multiplex as we have had in at least a year. Oddly though looking at this chart almost every film other than “The Martian” is at least a minor disappointment with several movies being outright crash and burns.

  4. Nick Rogers says:

    While I’m aware it’s the same as the source documentary, I can’t stress enough that the title “Our Brand is Crisis” was the cause of the film’s instantaneous death. “Crisis.” “Crisisville.” Something. Anything. I’d say that, more than anything, is why it died.

  5. Ray Pride says:

    I think “Our Hand In Isis” could be worse.

  6. Smith says:

    With so many good to great movies out right now, the inability of anything other than The Martian and – to a much more limited extent – Goosebumps and Bridge of Spies – to break through with audiences is striking, and kind of depressing. Bad scheduling, bad marketing – I’m sure these are all factors, but does it really explain so many movies flopping like this? It really seems like people just had too many options, and defaulted to the one that was making the most money, and that people seemed to like the most.

  7. Chucky says:

    Maybe it’s because flyover country won’t put up with the endless self-centered, name-checking, Academy Award Winner/Nominee(R), Peter Travers Pull Quote nonsense coming out of Hollywood.

    And Halloween isn’t the only reason the box office was depressed this weekend. Nobody on this forum realized that the World Series was being played in New York. Yes, people in market #1 were too wrapped up in baseball to go to a movie.

  8. Hcat says:

    Looking at the stats it seems like Jem added four screens this weekend, I can just imagine the joy those theaters felt when that got dropped off. What’s it cost to make a print nowadays. The 5 million budget keeps the pain down but even forgetting targeted advertising, just the cost of getting it into 2500 theaters has got to pricey

    Same with truth SPC seems to be batting .500 with their wider expansions this year. With their tighter margins would it have been smarter to keep truth and teenage girl on under a hundred screens?

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