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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Jungle Book 3 Klady

Friday Estimates 2016-04-30 at 10.01.54 AM

Welcome to pre-Capvengers weekend.

The Jungle Book jungle-cruises along, running ahead of Zootopia on domestic gross, but will likely be behind specifically on each film’s third weekend with intense competition coming next weekend (from the same company). I don’t expect TJB to catch up because of the dates, but $300m domestic is a pretty sure bet. Won’t catch up internationally. But 2016 is, so far, a Disney World… again. With at least three more films that are likely to crack $800m worldwide coming.

Keanu is one of those movies that… well, what the hell is it? Hard to sell a movie if you can’t answer that question, whether honestly or with a well-constructed lie. Is it a cult comedy with edge? Is it a stoner movie? Is it kid-friendly in any way? Almost a million people will find out the answer to these questions for themselves this weekend… or about half the Key & Peele audience. How did this end up at Warner Bros and not Drafthouse or IFC? After all, no studios would make a film like this in 2016 according to the Chicken Little crowd. It probably wouldn’t have opened to $10 million with one of those other outlets… but it would probably have been more profitable because of the reduced marketing spends. Hmmmm…

Mother’s Day takes the Garry Marshall movie-“Love Boat” formula to a new distributor after the second entry, New Year’s Eve, dropped to about 25% of the opening of Valentine’s Day for WB. So, a big hand for Open Road, as this third film will drop to about 60% of the opening of NYE. The bleeding slowed. And when Mr. Marshall – who truly deserves decades’ worth of respect for his contributions to happy comedy – makes his fourth film in this trilogy for YouTube, filled with YouTube stars being squeezed into the traditional Marshall style, he will have come full circle.

Ratchet & Clank is a huge video game franchise that will play well in Japan. Meanwhile, Pokemon remains the only animated film conversion from a video game to have done business in America. Historically, the video-game-to-movie idea (live action mostly) has created a number of the biggest bombs in movie history. The biggest such hit, Tomb Raider, dropped like a stone the second time around (which is explains why they are rushing to reboot… NOT). Titles like Prince of Persia, Doom, Need For Speed, Final Fantasy, and Super Mario Bros haunt the memory of film execs still. By far the most successful conversion franchise, Resident Evil, did it right… they mad it cheap, made it accessible to non-gamers, and loaded it with actresses than men were hot for and women could like.

The $10k per screen line will be crossed by one limited release, The Man Who Knew Infinity, from IFC. And as all theatrical hits from IFC… not doing close-to-release VOD (At least, if it is, I can find no evidence of it.) So amongst its six opening screens, they have (as a “for instance”) The Arclight and The Landmark in LA, which have strong audience relationships and will deliver even without big ad spends. This is the way to built the indie theatrical business. Moviegoing as a regular habit, supported by a top-notch experience at the theater. No one was aching to see this movie on opening weekend… but they were happy to go to the movies and the trailer that the ticket buyers likely saw in the very same theaters in the last 2 months probably converted them to ticket buyers this weekend, choosing it ahead of, say, Mother’s Day.

Universal has to be aching for Neighbors 2 to get here. The Huntsman: Winter’s War is really their only ugliness this year. But the modesty of their other films’ successes don’t make it comfy for last year’s highest-flying studio (pre-Star Wars). And the summer is no cakewalk. But I remind the members of the self-appointed jury that the same people who had the most profitable years for the studio for two years running are the same ones shoveling out this year’s product. It’s a cyclical business. Disney is doing a great job of mining its history and riding its purchased historic franchise companies. No one else has that kind of firepower that is also right in the mindset of the primary ticket buying groups of the moment. This too shall pass… but it may take a few years. Anyway… just saying… Universal didn’t become a lesser brain trust… cycles… they are still fighting the fight… and the Shrek reboot will be interesting.

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27 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Jungle Book 3 Klady”

  1. EtGuild2 says:

    In the 18 weekends so far in this year of the mega-movie, only 9 flicks have captured the top spot, the lowest number of films at this point since 1998, when TITANIC racked up 13 straight weekends at #1 to kick things off. Before that, you have to go back to 1993 to find a year with this few number of movies dominating.

    Also: Is it possible that Disney ends up releasing the 5 biggest movies of the year worldwide? Nothing like that’s ever come close to happening, but it looks like JUNGLE BOOK will top BvS, and CIVIL WAR, ROGUE ONE and FINDING DORY are well positioned to top a billion. Only 4 movies can prevent a Top 5 sweep I think by topping $850 million or so….the odds:

    XMEN Apocalypse: 10%
    Suicide Squad: 10%
    Fantastic Beasts: 40%
    Independence Day: 50/50

    Out of left field wildcards: Warcraft, Secret Life of Pets, Ghostbusters, Ice Age 5, Trolls, and Passengers. Plus a few from Disney itself in Moana, BFG and Doctor Strange.

  2. EtGuild2 says:

    @DP, JUNGLE BOOK has yet to open in Korea or Japan, where ALICE did $152 million combined and MALEFICENT did $73 million. JB doesn’t seem on the surface to cater to those markets as much, but who knows? Also, of the 27 movies to top $30 million in their third weekend, only one made less than $70 million the rest of the run, and that was POTTER 2 in the post-Thanksgiving back-to-school period….so I’d slam the brakes on saying it won’t top ZOOTOPIA domestically. History says it will come very close, especially since JB is at nearly $40 million in weekend 3.

    WARCRAFT is still a potential source of “ugliness” for Universal, as it needs it to be the highest grossing video-game adaptation ever made in order to break even. Thankfully, the trailers are good.

  3. palmtree says:

    “fourth film in this trilogy”

    Said without any irony, that phrase pretty much sums up movies today.

  4. Ray Pride says:

    And it’s Duncan Jones.

  5. Warren says:

    The WARCRAFT trailers look good? I’m a gamer and think they look terrible–major bomb coming, I would say.

  6. Movieman says:

    Et- Yeah, I thought “Warcraft” looked interesting as well–maybe because I knew that Jones directed.
    Or because it (sort of) reminded me of David Lynch’s “Dune,” a movie I’m almost embarrassed to admit I love.
    Kind of expecting a b.o. catastrophe, though.

  7. Bulldog68 says:

    Dave, exactly how is TJB running behind Zootopia in its their weekend when it made $10m to Zootopia’s $9m on the third Friday, so TJB should come out ahead or at least be equal for the weekend?

  8. David,

    I would love to see a piece written about Warner vs. Disney. It seems to this movie theater owner that Warner is getting their ass handed to them by hiring TV people to try to run a movie studio. How long until the pain is great enough that they change strategy?

    Barton Fink

  9. Dr Wally Rises says:

    IDR is a lock to gross a billion dollars worldwide even if it makes the first film look like Kubrick. The millennial nineties nostalgia cult that sent Jurassic World into the stratosphere will see to it. So I don’t see Disney taking all the first five slots. I can see Alice 2 coming close to a billion, and Jason Bourne maybe getting to $800 million too. But out of last year’s ‘big four’ (TFA, Ultron, F&F7, JW), only Cap, Dory, IDR and Rogue One really have a chance of getting into that territory.

  10. PTA Fluffer says:

    Movieman, nothing to be reticent about regarding DUNE, which, like a number of other expensive and critically lambasted movies of the era, is aging quite well.

  11. EtGuild2 says:

    I played WARCRAFT back in the day, and the trailers look way better than I was expecting…because VG adaptations always suck. Or almost always…I personally enjoyed the hilariously tongue-in-cheek DOA, the atmospheric dread of the first SILENT HILL and was intrigued by FINAL FANTASY back in the day (the uncanny valley effect wasn’t nearly as bad as Zemeckis’ movies IMO).

    I keep waiting for the era of the VG adaptation, but it seems like the medium just isn’t suited well. Has any non-Resident Evil move made any money in the last decade? (Maybe the first Hitman) But with WARCRAFT, ASSASINS CREED and UNCHARTED, it seems like it’s finally here, past history be damned. Speaking of which…Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft? Head scratcher.

    I’m not convinced either way on IDR, mostly because it has no casting hook, IDR’s premise isn’t original like JP/JW, plus for every JW or TOY STORY 3 there’s a TERMINATOR GENISYS, or DIE HARD 4. But yeah, millenial nostalgia (or as I call it “The Buzzfeed Effect”) is a strong driving force…

  12. Hcat says:

    That’s funny, my remembrance of the first ID is the only thing keeping me from being excited about this one. As for the cast, Smith wasn’t a superstar until the first matinee of ID so it wasn’t like that’s what was driving the traffic. It was the trailer, which had the iconic explosions. And the speech, that speech by Pullman you could sit with an audience and watch the trailer and when Pullmans speech happened you could here the cash registers ring in the background. Same thing happened a few years earlier when Sam Gerard’s henhouse barking took ten seconds to convince people to see a adaption of a television show they had never bothered to catch in reruns.

  13. Bulldog68 says:

    They tried that same speech in Pacific Rim with Idris Elba. Love the actor, but the speech did not have the same resonance.

  14. leahnz says:

    probably because the ‘guy rallying the troops in the face of all odds’ trope has been done to fucking death, because apparently nobody can think of any new ways to approach anything and people get paid to keep rehashing the same tired clichés over and over and over so you sit there watching a movie thinking, ‘christ not this again, rallying the troops speech no. 645’ and your brain goes numb and you don’t care anymore

    Yikes this: “IDR’s premise isn’t original like JP/JW, plus for every JW or TOY STORY 3 there’s a TERMINATOR GENISYS, or DIE HARD 4.”

    ?? whoa now hold the phone – how is JWORLD ‘original’ in any sense of the word, and how is that god-awful, empty piece of excrement being categorized alongside TOY STORY 3, rather than where it firmly belongs right alongside fellow foul stenchers T-GEN and ‘die hard 4’.
    $ don’t mean it’s good, are you smoking crack EtG

  15. EtGuild2 says:

    Leah, I didn’t phrase it the correct way. The Jurrasic Park/World franchise is the only real game in town that deals with cloned dinosaurs and humans interacting with them. Aliens invading earth is a popular genre with 1 or 2 movies a year, while Roland Emmerich is a genre unto himself.

    The comparison of those 4 was to illustrate that nostalgia-fueled movies have different results, and audiences aren’t quite as judgment-free when it comes to their childhoods as we think. TOY STORY 3 (deservedly) exploded, while LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD, despite being well received by critics, tanked, and TERMINATOR seems unable to stick whether by bringing back Arnie (Genesys), bringing in current stars (Salvation) or bringing in artistry (Sarah Connor Chronicles).

  16. Hcat says:

    The grosses for Live Free or Die Hard was right in line with the rest of the series pretty much ( as long as you dont adjust for inflation). For as much as I love the franchise (though that last one, yeeeesh), it was never a Batman/Jurassic Park worldbeater.

  17. EtGuild2 says:

    Right, but that ain’t cuttin it when you quadruple the original’s (and nearly double the sequels’ with marketing) budget.

    IDR made so much even tripling the budget as they’re doing here, it’ll still be fine, but fine isn’t what they want.

  18. Hcat says:

    The multipliers for the die hard series WW Ggross over budget is
    5 times budget

    The Jurrasics are
    15 times budget

    So a lot less fluctuation on the Willis films with a pretty constant ROI

  19. leahnz says:

    EtG oh right thanx for clarifier, i get what you mean now

  20. EtGuild2 says:

    Multipliers really aren’t good when you compare movies from different eras due to the massive increase in marketing costs, and less return to the studio thanks to the reliance on international. Plus now you have the collapse of the home market…DIE HARD 5 took in a fraction of even what DIE HARD 4 did on DVD.

    Basically it’s a lot more expensive to release a movie today than it was 10, 20 and 30 years ago, so you need a higher multiple than you used to have just to replicate your previous success. An identical gross for ID2 would probably result in $75 million less in profit for the studio—even if the budgets were identical.

  21. cadavra says:

    The trailer for WARCRAFT looks like dozens of others CGI-orgies made in the wake of LOTR. Uninterested.

    And as I said elsewhere, the original ID4 was a relatively fresh idea in 1996; now it’s been done to death. I’ll be shocked, shocked, I tell you, if it gets anywhere close to a billion.

  22. Joe_Leydon says:

    Leah: I dunno. For me, that “Henry V” speech never gets old.

  23. leahnz says:

    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
    For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
    Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
    This day shall gentle his condition;
    And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
    Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
    And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
    That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day

  24. Joe_Leydon says:

    Leah: It was my good fortune years ago to see/hear Kenneth Branagh deliver that rousing speech live at Stratford, and was absolutely stunned. After that performance, I did something I’ve never done before or since: I bought a program and a poster from the theater gift shop, because I figured any actor this great would wind up in movies — hopefully in a big-screen adaptation of “Henry V” — and sooner or later I’d get to interview him and have him autograph said poster and program. Which I did, and he did.

  25. leahnz says:

    Joe that’s so neat – that’s the ultimate isn’t it, when you see a performance that just blows your mind and moves you so profoundly you get chills and goose bumps and feel it in your chest and can’t stop thinking about it. it’s pretty rare i guess so when it happens it’s something you never forget, art at its best.
    speaking of branagh, kind of a koinkidink: i don’t know if anyone else watched Wallander – one of my fave cop shows – but as it happens i just watched the short final season (4) a couple days ago, the last three episodes, and it was so depressing and sad it really got to me, so kudos to Kenny B he did a bang up job of bumming me out haha

  26. Joe_Leydon says:

    True story: I saw William Hurt in a NY production of Hamlet back in 1980. He was amazing. In fact, he was so great that… well, I got so caught up in the production that, in the final scenes, I found myself thinking, “OK, Claudius — that’s your ass!” But I almost immediately remembered: “Uh, Joe, this is Hamlet. Things aren’t going to turn out out so well for this guy…”

  27. leahnz says:

    hey that’s pretty damn good to make you forget the end of the play, props to hurt

    this makes me think of the opposite, the absolute worst performance of Shakespeare — when it comes to film my mind always goes to elliot’s production of ‘Richard III’ in ‘the goodbye girl’ for some reason, though this can’t possibly be the worst Shakespeare depicted on film. i guess it made quite an impression on me in my youth.

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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.

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.

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