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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Box Office Still Boring 2 Klady

Screen Shot 2016-04-02 at 12.14.40 PM

It would be challenging to find a more boring boxoffice weekend than this one. One new wide release… a mistitled sequel (should be God’s Still Not Dead with one of those graphic red “Not’s” trying to barge its way in from above). One mediocrely massive holdover. Indie box office that is either soft or mighty niche.

BS: Dawn of Justice is a little ahead of Man of Steel. The trajectory will likely come in behind or just barely passing Deadpool at the domestic box office when all is done. It’s barely ahead of last April’s Furious 7 domestically after 8 days and will surely fall behind that film as well… especially internationally. This is significant, as Batman is easily the #1 draw for the DC Universe.

Point is—still—mediocrity. Not a disaster. Not enough to push any upcoming movies into the stratosphere. The Zack Snyder version of DC is just squeaking by. It is now the Divergent of superhero franchises… just waiting on the one that will flop seriously enough to cost the company a lot of money. It may not be Justice League. But the clock is ticking. And a decisive, massive reboot will have to come before 2021 if this is not going to drag down the studio (in perception, if not actual financial terms).

God’s Not Dead 2 opened to the exact same number (within $100k) as the original.

Meet The Blacks
this weekend, because they won’t be in theaters past next weekend.

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28 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Box Office Still Boring 2 Klady”

  1. Movieman says:

    Maybe I was expecting too much, but that opening day PSA for “Everybody Wants Some” seems kind of blah for the limited release of a critically adored movie by a revered cult-y director.
    Hope Paramount doesn’t renege on their plans to go wide on the 15th.

  2. Movieman says:

    Funny-ironic that my hometown got “Hello, My Name is Doris” yesterday but not “Eye in the Sky” (despite Helen Mirren expanding to more screens than Sally Field).
    It sucks living in Podunk-Ville.
    And why is WB blowing the release of “Midnight Special”?
    Is that another thing we can all blame on “BvS”?
    They should have waited until mid-August and gone wide since that timeframe has traditionally been kind to eccentric fanboy fare (“The Road Warrior,” “District 9,” “GOTG,” etc.).

  3. mariamu says:

    Midnight Special is amazing. I wish my theatre was playing it instead of BvS: Dawn of Stupidity.

  4. CG says:

    Clearly everyone not seeing BVS this weekend is being paid off by Marvel. #sarcasm #nerdbroparanoia

  5. Brandon says:

    Worth noting that God’s Not Dead the first opened to (more or less) its sequel’s number on roughly one-third of the sequel’s theater count. Clearly they were hoping for more of a pop this time around.

  6. Monco says:

    Is Midnight Special ever going wide?

  7. PcChongor says:

    With the financial failure of “Midnight Special” and Leo now at Paramount, can the nail finally be hammered into WB’s creative coffin? What a shitshow all those goonish MBA executives have finally turned that place into. I hope that wretched old lady bathtub ghost from “The Shining” keeps them all awake at night.

  8. JS Partisan says:

    Warners has a real fucking problem with their DC movies. This sort of drop, is just bad fucking news. Really bad news, but seeing as they have disgusted PC to the point, that he wishes ghost on them. Will they fucking fix their mistake with Snyder, or just hope Justice League is a movie PEOPLE have to see?

  9. Geoff says:

    JS who’s PC?

  10. JS Partisan says:

    PCChongor up above. Seeing as you are here, Geoff. How’d you feel about BvS?

  11. Geoff says:

    I liked it, didn’t love it – all of the elements were there for an amazing movie if they got a different director. Most of the performances were pretty great but the editing was downright sloppy – I felt emotional towards the end of the film but still disappointed in how Superman was pretty much a supporting character. Affleck was great as Batman and/or Bruce Wayne – his scenes definitely felt like they were written by a different person than the rest, for obvious reasons. 😉 Gadot had good presence as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince and I have to see the movie again, still not sure how I feel about Eisenberg’s performance as Lex Luthor – it was over the top but it DOES seem as though that’s how the character was written. And I’m in the minority here, but I actually really liked how they introduced the other members of the Justice League – I don’t understand the extreme criticism of it, it wasn’t any less clever than half a dozen similar scenes in Iron Man 2 or ‘Age of Ultron. I think it’s fairly obvious that most of the critics (Dave included) were extremely aggressive and even gleeful in their takedowns of this movie but…..Snyder kind of made it easy for them considering he made narrative mistakes in this film that should be inexcusable for some one who has doing it for more than ten years especially within this GENRE, he pretty much called attention to most of the flaws in the movie with its tone and pacing. I liked it but man, I think he should be done with this universe finally…..Warners can keep him on as Producer and oversee the films from above, but keep him out of the director’s chair! George Miller’s getting a lot of talk to replace him to direct Justice League Part One and I wouldn’t mind that that all, but my personal first choice would be Alfonso Cuaron.

  12. spassky says:

    I would think that after BvS no directors in the caliber of George Miller or Alfonso Cuaron would want to even be caught within smelling distance of this property. This screwed the pooch in terms of attracting good above the line talent. Sadfleck face and all that…

  13. palmtree says:

    72% drop. Can someone please now write articles about how critics do matter?

  14. Hcat says:

    Finally got around to Man from Uncle and Black Mass this weekend and would say there is nothing wrong Warner’s creative flow. They have a pretty gonzo summer lineup but its easier for me to get excited over nice guys and war dogs or even me before you than the prospect of another Alice or Independance Day.

  15. Amblinman says:

    Black Mass is proof that Warners still has a creative flow? It’s one of the most vanilla, mediocre mob movies I’ve ever seen in my life. I could have lived with Depp, who played the makeup but not the character, if the rest of the movie was gangbusters. What a tremendous cast in service to a boring script boringly executed.

  16. PcChongor says:

    And “Man From Uncle” was essentially just the boring designed by a committee of GQ editors version of “Kingsman.” “Midnight Special” could’ve been Warner’s return to what they do best, but now it’s just mediocre spandex movies for as far as the eye can see until “Legendary” finally buys them out and changes their company name to “Warner and Shaw Brothers Studios.”

  17. jesse says:

    I don’t follow executive regimes at all so I have no idea who’s in place at WB and what decisions over the past year have belonged to who. That said, I’m often impressed by the degree to which WB does act more like what I think of as a “real” big studio, at least in terms of diversity and number of releases. This year they do have their two big DC movies and a Harry Potter spinoff, but they also have non-franchise movies that at least could be adult-driven fare: The Nice Guys (which I think looks great), War Dogs (less so, but more interesting than Hangover IV), The Accountant, a new one from Eastwood (sounds boring as hell to me but it’s cool that they cultivate that relationship), plus a Key & Peele comedy, some horror offerings, Midnight Special… it’s a reasonably diverse slate. Same thing last year, even though it was a disaster for them: they threw support behind the Wachowskis, Joe Wright, and David Gordon Green, and lost money on those movies, but they didn’t seem committee’d to death (maybe PAN). Their “franchise” movies were FURY ROAD and CREED, which were both great. FOCUS was underrated, I thought, and exactly the kind of stuff more studios should aim for. I didn’t love Black Mass, The Intern, or Get Hard, but those are three non-sequels aimed at adults. No small thing, especially when other studios, even when they do put out good stuff, seem to approach their quota of 1-2 movies like that extremely gingerly.

  18. Stella's Boy says:

    But how much credit should critics really be given for the drop? Isn’t it far more attributable to the bad word-of-mouth? With a movie like this, how many people are really on the fence and waiting for the reviews?

    I am with Amblinman. I found Black Mass (which I watched about two weeks ago) shockingly inept and bad. The cast is great and at times they make you forget what a truly weak flick you’re watching. But it’s terrible. Incoherent and very poorly written. A total mess.

  19. palmtree says:

    I’m not saying critics were solely responsible for the drop. I think they had an effect for sure.

    But given the easy articles written about how critics didn’t matter, you’d think similarly easy articles could/would be written about how critics do matter. Why no one has done this says something.

  20. Geoff says:

    SSspasky, that’s not really a statement connected to reality: Warners gave Miller $150 million plus and SEVERAL years to make ‘Fury Road the way he wanted and then lobbied hard to get the film a Best Picture Oscar – regardless it won six Oscars and was only the SIXTH film in Oscar history to get a Best Picture nomination.

    And as for Cuaron, they gave him over $100 plus million at least three years just for pre-production to achieve his vision for Gravity and then helped him win a Best Director Oscar as well.

    My point is that these are just two examples of accomplished directors who would gladly take on properties handed to them by Warners given the right amount of support and autonomy.

    Oh and Chris Nolan being handed the keys to re-invent Batman for a trilogy of films after never having directed a film budgeted at more than $25 million previously AND after his first Batman film under-performed at the box office? Didn’t work out too badly for him either did it. 😉

    For better or worse, Warner Bros is the most director-friendly studio out there: as a result, you’ll have your Jupiter Ascendings and Pans, but you’ll also have just as many Creeds and Fury Roads. Given that at the number of opportunities they have handed just to Snyder (and I don’t doubt for a second that this film was HIS vision), it’s time to hand the reins for DC properties to other talent.

  21. PcChongor says:

    The only issue is that you’re referring to projects that were all set up and shepherded by the previous, non-DC gungho WB regime (except for maybe “Creed,” but the seventh film in the most popular sports franchise of all-time isn’t exactly breaking any new ground). There’s a good reason why none of those aforementioned directors currently have projects set up there. Affleck’s the only big name director from the past few years who’s still fully committed to the studio, and that’s only because he’s agreed to slurp down those dark and brooding Batman nuts for at least the whole rest of this decade.

  22. Movieman says:

    was only the SIXTH film in Oscar history to get a Best Picture nomination.

    I don’t get this.
    “SIXTH” what?

  23. Geoff says:

    I meant sixth sequel which is pretty impressive: no Star Wars, Harry Potter, or James Cameron sequels were able to accomplish that.

  24. leahnz says:

    shat v poops: 4256 screens; the dark horse: dos 🙁

    (ah a parallel universe where the sublime granik is given the opportunities the mediocre cooper gets)

  25. Hcat says:

    No Cameron sequel has been nominated for an Oscar….YET

    Alright that was just to poke at JS.

    But Jesse above pretty much covered what I came back to say. I liked Kingsman but the breezy cool of uncle worked better for me than the gleeful splatter violence of Kings. Is black mass a classic in any regard, no. But if you ignore the prerelease hype and just take it as a matinee movie it compares well to gangster squad, runner runner and broken city (haven’t gotten to legend yet). And vanilla is better than nothing at all. Warner’s still courts adults, and I loved that Uncle looked like a GQ add. Nice to know someone out there knows a suit comes with a tie and not a cape.

  26. leahnz says:

    “it compares well to gangster squad, runner runner and broken city”

    geez how low is your bar here hcat? movies for adults in this day and age is great but most of what gets made are vaguely-to-downright shitty, poorly written and mediocrely executed, is this to be the celebrated norm now

    (i see ‘the invitation’ comes out there next week so there’s a decent one, i’d like to see that again – i saw it at a festival last year, nice job by kusama, needs more psychological thrillers)

  27. Stella's Boy says:

    That is a low bar indeed, and I actually prefer Broken City and Gangster Squad to Black Mass. Both entertained me more, and I had fairly low expectations for all three. Black Mass had so much potential with that cast and the crazy true story, and it did nothing with either. No better than a one-hour true crime doc on the Reelz Channel.

    Loved The Invitation. Great flick, and Kusama is an underrated director. She does an incredible job, especially when you consider the small budget and single location.

  28. leahnz says:

    i saw ‘the invitation’ in mid 2015 so it seems like ages ago now, i really want to see it again and probably catch little things i missed on first viewing and remember it better – but i recall admiring kusama’s knack for building tension and conveying a sense of dread in what is a seemingly innocuous scenario and setting amidst ‘the chattering class’.
    thinking about it just highlights for me what a lost art the ability to build tension in cinema storytelling has become, such a subtle combination of elements: clever staging and performance, skilled editing, the ability to convey subtext re character, story and plot, and all without feeling contrived because that is the deadly enemy of tension and dread, when the story doesn’t feel real and organically insidious and threatening as it unfolds. tension is like an undertow that slowly sweeps you away from shore out to sea, it takes you and there’s nothing you can do but surrender to it ’til the climax releases you. crafting it is such a delicate art, so intrinsic to gripping, effective film-making and so very rare these days.

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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.

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