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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by Nice Try BvS Klady

Weekend Estimates 2016-04-10 at 9.34.58 AM

All three Melissa McCarthy “solo” movies have opened to between $21 million and $29 million. That’s pretty much Wlll Ferrell’s historic sweet spot as well (though he has a few above and a few below). She’s not Sandra Bullock box-office wise, but Bullock is not a pure comedian. McCarthy is. And Ghostbusters is only going to make her bigger and stronger.

It’s interesting that McCarthy’s husband, Ben Falcone, is not getting much credit. I suppose it is similar to Adam Sandler’s group of directors, who are often dismissed. But the team of Ferrell and McKay, free of sex or shared children, is given a lot more credence. And McKay, obviously, took a huge step for himself with The Big Short and the duo has build Funny or Die and Gary Sanchez into more than vanity brands. But what the couple is doing together is working, at least commercially. And Falcone is clearly improving with each film.

Anyway… easy to get too serious about this… but McCarthy is now a real-life grown-up movie opener, a species which has become more and more rare in recent years. And so far, her explorations have been more inexpensive than expensive and they have both been successful… which makes her an even rarer bird.

Batman v Superman v Box Office continues. Went into it yesterday. Lots of not thoughtful think pieces about WB and DC lately. It’s all so much more simple and so much more complicated than it seems to people.

Let’s not forget that WB was only able to mine one DC star, Superman, from 1978 – 1987. Then Batman launched in 1989 and for 17 years (until 2006’s Superman Returns), the only attempts they made at other DC characters were Steel, Catwoman, Constantine. In the decade since, there have been two distinct Superman reboots and the failures of Watchmen, The Losers, Jonah Hex and Green Lantern. So the high drama of blaming Kevin Tsujihara first and foremost – however problematic he may be – is, well, bullshit.

DC has been a disaster at WB for most of its 45 years owning the comic book company. Superman basically went two films before falling apart. Batman too. Then they got Chris Nolan, who got them three hits in a row with Batman again, who is clearly the strongest movie player in the DC line-up. But that’s 6 major hits (not counting Batman Begins, which was modestly successful) in 45 years of WB owning DC.

Marvel has had 12 $700m+ worldwide grossers in the last 14 years since Spider-Man.

Even if you forgive the 30 years of life without CGI, which has been central to the explosion of massive superhero films, Warner Bros’ inability to get anything without Batman or Superman to succeed in the last 15 years is brutal… and covers multiple administration changes at the studio.

And all of this means nothing if they get a few wins. But that has proven to be easier said than done.

This brings up your reminder that Deadpool will gross more than any comic book adaptation that doesn’t have Iron Man, Batman or Spider-Man in it and had a sub-$100m budget.

Zootopia is a huge hit. Hasn’t dropped more than 36% on any weekend. This weekend in the mid-20s again. Now a Top 10 all-time domestic animated film. Should pass #9, Shrek The Third, next weekend. Currently, the #8 all-time international grossing animation and sure to pass #7 (The Lion King) this week and #6, Despicable Me 2 soon after. #5, Toy Story 3 at $648m internationally is probably to far to reach. But a remarkable run and another sign that Disney Animation is fully competitive with its sister company, Pixar, at the box office now. (Of course, both companies are headed by John Lasseter.)

Hardcore Henry was not.

Midnight Special and Everybody Wants Some!!, two well-reviewed indie films being released by major distributors are doing soft business. Sorry. Wish I could say otherwise. People will have to find them on HBO/HBO Go and EPIX/Hulu.

Drafthouse is pushing The Invitation hard and media, anxious for a positive story about a woman director, is lining up for Karyn Kusama. But even with a bunch of rave reviews on top of that, if you can’t get to $10k per on 6 on opening weekend, the battle will be uphill.

Miles Ahead did pretty well, considering 25 screens… $8,760 per is solid. Can Sony Classics get the film to $1 million or more? This would have been a very strong DVD play in the era of the DVD.

Finally, don’t forget the older women. Both My Name Is Doris and The Lady in The Van are ready to tip the $10m mark for their distributors without a lot of ad spending. It’s not BvS money, but these are big indie model hits. The audience is waiting.

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12 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by Nice Try BvS Klady”

  1. Big G says:

    Ghostbusters is going to make her bigger and stronger? Have you seen the trailer?

  2. Thorough Henry says:

    Melissa McCarthy Movies Not Directed by Ben Falcone:
    Spy- 94%
    Bridesmaids- 90%
    The Heat- 65%
    Identity Thief- 19%

    Melissa McCarthy Movies Directed by Ben Falcone:
    Tammy- 23%
    The Boss- 18%

    The only times I’ve heard Falcone’s directorial skills referenced it is when people are blaming him for Tammy and The Boss not being as good as they should be. Adam McKay he is not.

  3. Bulldog68 says:

    Quality is not really the issue with the Falcone films. They are making money. He will continue to get work. Does he have a career without his wife? Soon he will. In the same way these are the pet projects for Melissa, the studio will eventually reward him with a low budget pet project of his own once he keeps these projects in the black.

  4. Fitz says:

    Midnight Special deserved lots better. Doris and Lady in the Van are the kind of indie success stories more people should be talking about. And that number for The Invitation seems rather healthy for a movie available on VOD.

  5. Movieman says:

    Agree on both counts, Fitz.
    Another “unlikely success story” is “Eye in the Sky.”
    It’s not “Woman in Gold,” but it’s doing a damn sight better than “Good Kill” did last spring. Mirren Power?
    Watched “The Invitation” on Amazon yesterday. Terrific movie. Karyn Kusama is now officially forgiven for “Aeon Flux.”

  6. martin says:

    DC has been a disaster at WB for most of its 45 years owning the comic book company…

    That’s accurate as long as the focus is solely on theatrical film.

    DC/WB has dominated live-action/cartoon television since the ’72. Since 2009, they’ve beaten the shit out of Marvel in the games division on all platforms.

    Because those divisions don’t harbor the arrogance the film division has, they’ve been willing to collaborate with the right people no matter where they made their name. The fact Paul Dini has no involvement with the DCCU plans is all the proof needed.

    So the high drama of blaming Kevin Tsujihara first and foremost – however problematic he may be – is, well, bullshit.

    It’s not a 1:1 comparison to previous regimes. Tsujihara has presided over a streamlining of the divisions, including moving DC to LA, and reunifying the DC rights from squatter producers who did nothing with them for 30 years.

    No one before Tsujihara has had the opportunity to break apart the fiefdoms and create a synergy WB has desperately needed. And he started to do it, but the people he got involved in the DCCU brought it to a stop. Instead of demanding a different vision, he bought into “the multiverse” and now the precious film division has been shown less capable than the CW teams. Logically, that should mean cinematic now has to collaborate with TV, but instead, cinematic gets another pass.

  7. cadavra says:

    Mirren certainly doesn’t hurt EYE, but it’s also important to remember it’s Rickman’s last live-action film and he has a fervent fan base, and not just because of Potter. Also, it’s an astoundingly suspenseful film, and with no actual violence until near the end, the WOM is certainly helping with older audiences who probably initially feared another 13 HOURS-type bloodbath.

  8. Pete B says:

    There’s an article at BirthMoviesDeath where rumor is that Warners will release the 3 hour R version of BvS into theaters.

    Just out of curiosity, what is the monetary advantage of a 2 1/2 hour movie vs a 3 hour one? I know you get more screenings, but most folks thought the longer version of Watchmen was superior to the theater version. If the same holds true for BvS, then maybe the longer version would have had better legs and not suffered such as steep drop due to toxic word-of-mouth. Initial cash grab vs long term gain?

    Maybe Snyder just should stick to 3 hour films as the longer Sucker Punch was the better version too.

  9. Eric says:

    I don’t know if a longer runtime would have hurt Batman v Superman, but the R rating definitely would have. It would have confirmed all the worst expectations about the movie– it was grim, violent, not something you should take your kids to. (All of these expectations turned out to be correct, but that’s almost another point entirely.)

  10. Bulldog68 says:

    Went with a buddy to Eye in the Sky and he was in tears. Very solid movie and the suspense and tension felt absolutely real and not a cheap ploy for your emotions. Really solid performances all around, from both the main and supporting casts, where almost every character no matter how small the role, seemed to have a valid reason to be there and moved the story along.

    Really hope Jesse from Breaking Bad chooses more roles like this. He delivered.

    Mirren, in what could have easily been the male typical soldier role, was anything but. Her femininity brought strength and a nuance in a way barely ever seen on film.

    Rickman looked like he gained weight for the role and he was every bit the career war professional who was also a real person capable of making tough decisions. I will miss him.

    I’m having a good year thus far, this, 10 Cloverfield Lane and Deadpool.

  11. leahnz says:

    i’m keen to see ‘eye in the sky’ though i think seeing the glorious mr rickman in a new role for the last time will hurt my heart

  12. Stella's Boy says:

    Aaron Paul is doing great work on The Path right now, which is off to a pretty good start three episodes in. Some friends saw Eye in the Sky last week and echo the sentiments expressed here. I’ll have to get serious about making time for it.

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