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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by Pets & Ghosts, Sleeping Together Klady

Weekend Estimates 2016-07-17 at 10.10.47 AM

The schizophrenia of praising huge hits and screaming about the end of theatrical as we know it is once again exposed. The Secret Life of Pets screams to $200m domestic in 10 days… and is the third fastest to the mark this summer and fifth of the year.

More perspective… only five films hit $200m domestic in 10 days or less in the entirety of 2015, The Year Journalists creamed Their Jeans Over Blockbusters.

Also… Expanding the race to $200m domestic to 26 days (aka for weekends, add two days for Wednesday openings), 2016 matches 2015 and 2014 (both of which had multiple later entries into this category) with 7 such titles. (For the record, the first year with 7 titles hitting $200m in 26 days or less was 2010, followed by 2012 and every year moving forward.)

2016 is behind only 2013 in box office history, which had a singular ten $200m domestic grossers in the first 26 days of their runs… but is running at the same pace with 7 such titles released by mid-July. That unique 2013 number was driven by fall runs of Hobbit, Hunger Games, and Gravity. This year, we have Star Wars guaranteed to crack that, Fantastic Beasts threatening, plus Suicide Squad and Sing as candidates, aside from unexpected smashes, a category in which three or four of this year’s fast movers qualify.

But wait!!! There’s only one $400m domestic grosser so far!!! OMG!!!

And there is one more $300m domestic grosser as of this date than last year… not including the inevitable cracking of that number by Pets.

My point, for the nineteenth year or so in a row… calm the f*** down with the trend obsession.

Is there franchise and/or comic book fatigue? YES! Of course there is. But has it killed either category? NO! Not even close.

We are in the middle age of this era of mega-movies. You can’t just throw out a title with a franchise association and expect people to flock to the theaters or post-theatrical. Studios still have to sell the movies. They still need hooks that get people excited. Etcetera. Ad nauseam.

A meteor will eventually hit and we will go into the death spiral of this specific generation of blockbusters. Inevitable. But this is not the moment.

And we have to give enormous credit to Disney for buying companies with established leadership that Disney trusts and allows to do the work. The Star Wars spin-off looks like a better movie than the reboot kick-off and the Rian Johnson film due next year will likely be great as well… so, great shape. Pixar is a little lost in Sequel-land (Dory doing great, but not a very good movie), but I suspect they will find their way out. Lasseter has Disney animation cranking big time. Marvel is showing real smarts about keeping the franchise going by staying with what works for audiences, which is very talent related (discussed here before). My guess is that Feige will exit into another, more powerful position before Downey really retires from Iron Man. But for now, things are solid.

And the rest… a bit of a mess over there. The studio has had 31 releases in 2014-2016 and the only film outside of those groups that is in the top half of the domestic grossers is Into The Woods, which played on Disney-affiliated characters and themes as well, and the only two on the bottom half that are from the core groups are Alice 2 and Planes 2. Interestingly (although I am not 100% sure why) is that the fulcrum of the group – #16 of 31 titles) is Tomorrowland, which is kinda house franchise, but kinda not.

My belief in how studios must work to survive continues to hold Disney as the sole exception in this era. Disney really has no reason whatsoever to invest in anything outside of their 4 main food groups. In this unique case, Group #5 really is the greenest of vegetables… really healthy, but not often consumed.

Every other studio, whether they have had franchise success or not, needs to keep making movies under $75 million with some range to not only build strong libraries with great value, but also to balance out the financials. There are inexpensive hits that generate large profits. And the risk of two or three franchise films a year can be fire-walled to some degree.

But Disney is so far in on the big, expensive titles and so sadly mediocre (at best) at selling anything that isn’t one of those that, they really should just give up on the smaller films. There is no real benefit. Nor, for that matter, is there any significant risk. Was the real budget on The Finest Hours $80 million? So, a $40m-$60m writedown? No one cares. Even that gets absorbed into the big hits. If they went that high on budget on these films five times a year, a $250 million loss would hurt. But they are spending less on most of the other underperformers. So they really don’t matter. Either way.

There were about 30 non-animated, non-franchise films that did over $100m worldwide last year. The only two from Disney were Tomorrowland and Bridge of Spies. Only one was in the top half of those grossers. (The top half starts with Jupiter Ascending at $184m ww and is made up of 4 Universal, 4 Fox, 3 WB, and 1 each from Par, Sony, Disney, and TWC.)

Those “smaller” films were a big part of the strong year at Universal and kept Fox from being as damaged by some of the big misses last year. It also kept a rough year at WB from looking even worse. That’s why you make them.

As for the non-Disney single-film studios, Paramount is on a small schedule and the hit of Daddy’s Home was helpful. For Sony, $245m on Pixels was neither a win nor a disaster. Basically, a nonevent. But recall, neither studio was touted as great successes in 2015. Disney was the only one that was seen as huge winner and a non-starter on the “smaller” film front.

And if Disney ever does have a disaster year with the mega-movies, say three of them crash and burn and take $75m+ writedowns… the “smaller” movies can’t really protect Disney there either. You would need a The Martian (the top non-franchise grosser last year) for every such flop. And The Martian wasn’t a cheap film either. Star Wars and The Avengers kept Tomorrowland from being a big discussion last year, not Bridge of Spies.

Oh yeah… guess I didn’t mention before… Disney’s biggest non-in-house-franchise grosser of last year and their biggest such title since Lincoln in 2012… lost money. Bridge of Spies? Borderline profitable, assuming it will get there sometime next year.

If Disney has a seismic event, it will be truly seismic. But will all the built-in stuff, my bet would be more of a slow leak that will come to a head sometime in the early to mid 2020s.

Ghostbusters opened. Not a thrilling number. But not a disaster. Let’s see how word-of-mouth rolls. Could be out at $120m domestic… could be $250m. My guess is something in between. Ask me next Sunday.

The Legend of Tarzan continues to hold relatively well. I wonder how much the haters affected the launch.

Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates is doing pretty well. It’s not Wedding Crashers, but it’s rolling along. Won’t be the profit center that Let’s Be Cops ended up being because they spent a lot more on this one.

Expect to see more Hart & Big Johnson.

The Infiltrator is Broad Green’s second best opening. They picked it up late in the game, trying to turn it around to release in under two months. Did it work? Hard to say without knowing the deal costs. The director, Brad Furman, is going the wrong direction on the grosses, from a $13m Lionsgate opening to a $7.7m Fox opening to this. (Also, from McConaughey to Affleck to Cranston.) I don’t think this is an untalented filmmaker… but he needs to get moving in the other direction or to make a movie where the response is strong enough that people up the food chain want to work with him.

Independence Day: Resurgence can’t be mistaken for a success, but it is closing in on $350m worldwide, which could keep it from red ink (in real money, not bookkeeping). They could use at least another $50m in theatrical… but might make the leap.

Great exclusive opening for the new Woody by way of Amazon Studios and Lionsgate. The bad news is that it is dead on par with To Rome With Love, which topped out at $16m domestic. Better news, that film did $57 million internationally, Woody’s fifth best ever.

Dinesh D’Souza’s latest idiotic dirge, Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party is making D’Souza another small fortune in this fixed system or con artists and suckers, doing $26k per screen on five, topping his previous two attacks on Barrack Obama slightly. Congratulations! I’d expect about $20m total gross for this one.

Also doing well in exclusive was Closet Monster, a gay-coming-of-age story from Elevation.

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57 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by Pets & Ghosts, Sleeping Together Klady”

  1. nick says:

    so can we finally say ghostbusters failed?

  2. EtGuild2 says:

    It depends on your definition of failure this summer. It will do better than ALICE, TMNT2, BFG and IDR which are clearly failures. It may be about on par with WARCRAFT, XMEN and TARZAN in profitability…the big question mark is overseas.

    The thing is, if you want to label GHOSTBUSTERS a failure, you can really only label 6 live action studio movies this summer as non-failures: CAP, ME BEFORE YOU, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE and the horror trifecta (PURGE, CONJURING, SHALLOWS).

    Any thoughts on the CAFE SOCIETY opening? It’s right on par with TO ROME WITH LOVE, but that was capitalizing on the MIDNIGHT IN PARIS afterglow. Still, $15 million seems possible on better WOM.

  3. EtGuild2 says:

    Thought i’d add this separately: SUICIDE SQUAD is now tracking for an opening on par with DEADPOOL. I hope it doesn’t tank STAR TREK and Bourne completely, the former of which I have to eat my hat on and admit is pretty good.

    The industry continues to thank god for superheroes and cartoons, huh? :/

  4. dinovelvet says:

    Failure? Don’t know. I think its exactly in the zone where neither side can claim a “victory”. It’s not a flat out bomb, nor is it a breakout hit.

  5. Peter says:

    GHOSTBUSTERS and TARZAN seem to be in the same box office boat: neither fish or fowl. Will be interesting if the studio goes ahead with franchise plans in the PACIFIC RIM vein.

  6. Peter says:

    On another note, does anyone see big things from STAR TREK and BOURNE, or are both looking a little long in the tooth? I honestly don’t see much excitement for either, with the most attention for TREK being generated by the gay Sulu online debate.The real buzz right now seems to be with SUICIDE SQUAD, which should make some serious bank, maybe more than BvS.

  7. brack says:

    A couple of coworkers, both female, want to see Jason Bourne. I like all of the previous Matt Damon-starred movies, so I’m game.

  8. Stella's Boy says:

    I listened to an interview w/ Furman on The Frame last week. It was really interesting. He said his experience w/ the studio while making Runner, Runner (I can’t believe that’s a real title) was awful and that he tried to have his name removed from it. What’s interesting and ironic is that he desperately wanted to make something away from the studio system for more freedom, etc. and from everything I’ve read (have not seen it) he made something pretty safe and familiar. Is that just a reflection of making something like The Infiltrator and trying to secure distribution? Even if you crave making a film like that with no studio interference, you still have to make something middle-of-the-road if you want it to get picked up?

    Also I find A24 and Broad Green and Bleecker Street fascinating. Not exactly mainstream, not exactly indie, releasing movies wide or semi-wide. Their movies are for adults but not just chasing Oscars. I remember reading something recently that said it seems like there’s either big studio movies or VOD fare, and not much else. The aforementioned trio appear to be trying to prove otherwise. Long-term, what are their chances? Can they really continue to exist when nothing they release makes more than $10 million?

  9. dinovelvet says:

    Peter, I think Star Trek is going to fail, and the main reason is – I have no idea what this movie is about. I’ve seen the trailers and TV spots and I could not come up with one sentence about what the plot is. It’s just explosions and Kirk on a motorbike(!). Where’s the hook? It seems to be arriving with all the enthusiasm of “ehh, Paramount needed something out there this summer”

  10. Peter says:

    back – between TREK and BOURNE, I’d pick the latter if only because Paul Greengrass is back behind the camera.

    dinovelvet – I think that’s my general impression: It feels like Paramount/Bad Robot just needed something out there and a calendar date to fill. Maybe the power of the franchise is stronger than I thought, but none of the trailers were greeted by much buzz.

  11. Bulldog68 says:

    We have two $400m plus grossers this year Dave. Finding Dory and Capt America. And Dory will end up somewhere north of $475 I think.

    Also I thought that for sure they would have copied Skyfall’s marketing campaign and sell the hell out of the 50th anniversary of Star Trek. Missed opportunity if you ask me. The buzz should be louder.

  12. EtGuild2 says:

    Nice writeup. One big takeaway from this summer that is present in reality for the moment and is generally being ignored is a shakeup of genre-fare.

    CONJURING 2 is easily the 4th most profitable movie from a non-ancillary perspective so far, (behind Dory, Pets and Cap) with big earnings for PURGE and SHALLOWS as well. Wasn’t horror out of vogue? Meanwhile, we’ve had comedy after comedy underperform–aside from CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE. And ME BEFORE YOU is another reminder that a weepie–if sold right–can make more dough than a tentpole. Aside from cartoons and Cap, it’s behind only CONJURING.

  13. amblinman says:

    Only thing I don’t understand from David’s write up is that I’m supposed to consider GB’s opening as par for the course. Whaaa? Biggest comedic actor going right now opening in second place in a franchise that has a gigantic brand and name recognition? Seriously? What am I missing?

  14. Stella's Boy says:

    Yes the franchise has name recognition, but what is a reasonable opening weekend expectation for a movie like this? McCarthy’s biggest opening weekend as a lead is The Heat, and she shared top billing with Sandra Bullock. My first reaction to $46 million was “that’s not too bad,” but now all I read is how terrible or hugely disappointing that number is. I get that it was intended to start a franchise, and the budget is very big, so $46 million isn’t spectacular. I would never say it’s a great opening, but I also feel like I am missing something. Failure? That seems like quite a stretch.

  15. Amblinman says:

    It’s Ghostbusters. Are McCarthy’s previous openings really an accurate barometer? It’s a gigantic brand that was intended to relaunch a franchise and all the merch that goes with it. Too early to slap failure on it, maybe WOM will be killer and it will have legs. Opening 2nd against a film that’s been out for a week wouldn’t seem to bode well.

  16. Sideshow Bill says:

    I haven’t seen GB yet but I just watched Hardcore Henry and, well, it’s the best “bad” movie I’ve seen in a long time. They had an idea and freaking committed. And it’s self-aware and funny. I also thought Sharlto Copley was a riot when most reviews found him awful. I just know by the time the Queen song roared, and then he battled that albino Magneto-guy I was smiling.

    Star Trek: somebody above nailed it. I want to see it because I like Trek and like the reboots so far but I have NO idea what the plot is. And Idris Elba is in it, too? Oh wait — he’s buried under make-up, like Oscar Isaac was in X-Men (which I liked, admittedly). And no mention of the 50 year thing. It’s very strange. It sounds fun, though. But I bet it under-performs.

  17. leahnz says:

    ghostbusters WAS big – about thirty years ago, with some animated cartoon stuff in the meantime.
    there’s something rotten in denmark re the marketing for this GB; even assuming sony wanted this movie to really succeed is a stretch at this point, given the inexplicably flat trailers that took throwaway, least funny moments from the movie cobbled together to ‘sell’ the story, and then the marketing machine continued to use the same crappy trailers with slight tweaks when there were plenty of amusing scenes in the film that aren’t even effects heavy that could have been used instead. now that the film has come out i’ve seen a couple decent trailers on cable that actually represent the movie, funny that. i’d love to see the marketing people who put together the trailers give their rationale for their ‘work’.
    (is it somehow feig related? the trailers for ‘Spy’ were also poorly done considering the movie itself is a hoot)

  18. EtGuild2 says:

    I like the fact that a “re-imagining” of a movie that’s much much bigger than GHOSTBUSTERS ever was comes out in a month, brought to us from the director of ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER and starring the guy best known for playing Xerxes in the 300 movies as Jesus Christ, and there will likely be nary a peep when it opens to half of this. The internet is a magical place.

  19. Stella's Boy says:

    That’s what I am asking Amblinman. Her biggest opening before this was $39 million, and with a big star as the co-lead. So what’s a fair and reasonable expectation based on that and the name recognition of Ghostbusters? Or that should not matter at all? $46 million seems alright to me. Also, even though GB has name recognition and is widely known, is it the kind of movie that’s beloved by virtually everyone and therefore the reboot should have opened better? I really don’t know. Would we expect a $70 million opening for a Goonies reboot?

  20. PTA Fluffer says:

    Sorry, but I think everyone is twisting themselves in intellectual knots. A GB reboot that will be lucky to hit 100m domestic total (that number should have been the opening frame) is an unequivocal disaster for Sony.

  21. Stella's Boy says:

    Why should it have opened with $100 million? What are you using as reference points?

  22. amblinman says:

    @Et – Ben-Hur is a bigger franchise than Ghostbusters? This is what you consider a serious, well thought out analogy? There will be “nary a peep” because it’s a project based on a movie that came out nearly 50 years ago made by a director no one likes starring a guy who’s best role to date was as a disfigured gangster on an HBO series. But hey, I totally see where it’s JUST LIKE..oh wait, no – SHOULD BE BIGGER THAN a movie starring two of the biggest comic actors right now, directed by the preeminent name in comedies, based on a franchise with gigantic brand recognition and awareness! My friend, you made the bullseye look way too easy on that one!

    @Stella, I think PTA hit it on the head to an extent, and you kinda agree: it’s maybe an “okay” opening. Is “okay” seriously what Sony was expecting? If htis thing doesn’t have legs, then what?

  23. greg says:

    Re: Trek. I’m actually happy to not know much about it going in.. tired of knowing every plot point from a 2 minute trailer. It’s at 90 percent currently at RT.. I’m actually stunned.. was expecting 50 percent or so..

  24. jspartisan says:

    No, Leah, Ghostbusters is still big. It’s the most under-utilized franchise Sony has, and they mishandle it like every fucking thing else. It may not be a substantial film in your area, but it endures in the US. It endures, and Sony thought this was a good idea for a reboot.

    It failed, and 46 million is terrible for a Ghostbusters film. If you are going with McCarthy grosses, then you are ignoring this is a GHOSTBUSTERS FILM! If they had actually MADE A GHOSTBUSTERS CINEMATIC UNIVERSE, then shit would have opened to 100 easy. They didn’t, they rebooted with worse effects than a move from 1984, and never sold it worth a shit.

    Now, much like with Spider-man, they are going to have to back to the creators of the property, and hope they can help them produce something, that keeps Ghostbusters going. Why? Sony doesn’t really have all that much to keep going, and they need Ghostbusters to be evergreen. Going with Feig, in this case, was the wrong strategy.

    That aside, what is Star Trek about? SPACE…. OPERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!! Which, really, isn’t what Star Trek is about, but that’s the joys of new fucking Trek. Bryan Fuller’s show, cannot get here soon enough. No. Really, They go into space, shit happens, and they get a new Enterprise at the end. WOOO!!!!

    Bill, I agree with you in totality with Hardcore Henry. It is an insane fucking B-movie, that has great commitment by everybody involved.

    Finally, the best Summer movie this season, is Stranger Things. If you haven’t watched it. WATCH IT! It’s tremendous, and the Duffer Brothers show a real ability to be inspired by Spielberg, while not trying to be Spielberg.

  25. Stella's Boy says:

    Wait Amblinman now you’re agreeing that it’s an unequivocal disaster? Because that’s what PTA is arguing, and that seems quite different than what you were claiming earlier. I also can’t imagine it doesn’t make more than $100 million total, which is what he suggests.

    Is Wiig the other big name in comedy? Sure she is well-known, but is she a proven box office draw? Does Paul Feig’s name open movies? What should it have opened to, and what are you basing that on? What other movies are you using as reference points?

  26. Warren says:

    The reference points from Sony’s point of view would be other films at the same budget level. If Sony couldn’t expect a McCarthy-led Ghostbusters to open much more than her relatively low budget comedies, then the project should not have been greenlit.

  27. amblinman says:

    “Wait Amblinman now you’re agreeing that it’s an unequivocal disaster? ”

    No, I suggested he was right to an extent. I took his argument, or the part I agreed with, to basically say “Why are you guys working overtime to pretend a Ghostbusters relaunch opening in 2nd place isn’t a letdown?” And it might be an unequivocal disaster, don’t know yet. If it has legs, all is well. IF not, whoops. As for your other questions, again this is all pretending that this wasn’t meant to be a giant, hyped, “event” movie that spawns a franchise. Let me turn this around: if I had told you Ghostbusters opens in 2nd place to under $50m six months ago, you’d nod your head and say “Yeah, that sounds about right”?

    I can’t believe you guys are pretending that Ghostbusters is something akin to “The Goonies” or “Monster Squad.” Some weird mothballed 80’s niche movie.

  28. Sideshow Bill says:

    Didn’t GB2 also under perform? That was the Summer of Batman and Indiana Jones (oh, the memories of youth!) but it was still expected to lay waste to the box office, at least according to Premiere magazine, my only mainstream movie news source at the time (again, memories…).

    I know there are mixed opinions on the quality of GB2. I think it’s aged well but still feels forced and kinda fake. But these days even a bad sequel or reboot can exceed expectations (Hangover 2, maybe?).

    My ultimate point: maybe the original GB was a sort of an anomaly? I know it’s a BIG name, and the cartoon was successful but maybe it’s appeal is more limited than we think. The original is lightning in a bottle. Wasn’t the production troubled or am I remembering wrong?

    I don’t know. Just riffing. But the GB2 numbers struck me.

  29. EtGuild2 says:

    @amblinman, some wild mis-reading going on. I didn’t say BEN-HUR was a franchise, but a sub-20 million opening, which is what it’s shooting for, is a financial disaster compared to this. I find it hilarious that people are getting so worked up over an 80s comedy, when a re-do to one of the biggest and most influential movies in Hollywood history is coming out in the next month, and looks like an embarrassment of epic proportions in comparison. I’ve never seen people get more worked up about run-of-the-mill box office results, for a run-of-the-mill movie that’s rebooting a franchise that was already sequeled into oblivion 27 years ago.

    I get that they aren’t the same thing, but in terms of filmmaking influence, there’s no comparison between BEN-HUR and GHOSTBUSTERS, with the former a much bigger comparative box office success back in its day also. You wouldn’t know it given the un-ending torrents of rage spewing from damaged man-children all over the country though.

  30. palmtree says:

    Ghostbusters isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. $46m sounds bad before you think about it in multiples. The Paul Feig movies (I’m counting Spy, The Heat, and Bridesmaids) have gotten 3.8x multiples AT LEAST. Using that as a MINIMUM we get:

    46 x 3.8 = 174.8

    Does $175 million sound like a failure? Maybe it does. But with some positive word of mouth and repeat viewers, I could see this one going north of $200m. If it did 200, would you then call it a failure? As DP says, the second weekend will be a much better indication of where this is headed.

  31. jspartisan says:

    Palm, you have a Star Trek movie, a Bourne movie, then Suicide Squad. You also have Pets’ chugging along. It will be lucky to hit that multiplier, unless it gets word of mouth. If it gets word of mouth, that’s easy. If not, they will be happy with that 100m. No. No, they won’t, but Feig was just the wrong man for this job.

    Ethan, Ben Hur is a remake, of a remake. Ghostbusters is something that last, and endures, even though Sony hasn’t done shit with it.

  32. EtGuild2 says:

    Gotta disagree on this one JS. One of these movies has been required viewing in any basic-level film class for half a century. One of these movies has entire scholarly articles written about a single set-piece, a scene considered perhaps the most significant in cinema history. The most famous post-silent film actor in history to write a memoir used Ben-Hur for his cover shot. No one under 20 or 25 has seen or cares about GHOSTBUSTERS or BEN-HUR (which is one reason people are so angry I guess).But will GHOSTBUSTERS be relevantly studied in 2041? I doubt it.

  33. Amblinman says:

    @Et, yeah sure Ben-Hur is the more influencial, “important” movie but it has virtually no cultural interest/relevance anymore. At least certainly not to the degree that GB does. Look at it this way: if it did, don’t you think it would be a property that was being revived by someone other than the guy who directed Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer?

    You’re having two completely different conversations. Ben-Hur as *film* vs Ben-Hur as a viable modern day blockbuster when juxtaposed against GB.

  34. palmtree says:

    JS, I gotta disagree too. Ghostbusters is a kind of counterprogramming. I see a lot of women going to see Ghostbusters that won’t necessarily care about Bourne, Star Trek, or Suicide Squad. The audience is not monolithic.

    Spy had Jurassic World and Inside Out to contend with. It still did 3.8x.

    I would be surprised if GB did less than $150m.

  35. Stella's Boy says:

    “My ultimate point: maybe the original GB was a sort of an anomaly?”

    That’s what I’ve been trying to get at. How popular is it exactly? How is that measured? And I get that it was expensive and intended to launch a franchise, but I don’t think a $46 million opening and a final tally in the $150-$175 million range is anything close to failure or huge disappointment. Six months ago if someone had said it’ll open to a tick under $50 million I’d have said “yeah that sounds about right.” Again, what’s a good comp?

    JS I am with you on Stranger Things. It’s outstanding.

  36. amblinman says:

    “but I don’t think a $46 million opening and a final tally in the $150-$175 million range is anything close to failure or huge disappointment.”

    With a budget supposedly north of 150? What am I missing here? How is this kickoff a “win” for the film and Sony? I’m not calling it a disaster, failure, yada yada. We’ll see what next weekend tells us. But this opening has to be a disappointment.

  37. Stella's Boy says:

    Amblinman is it possible that GB isn’t as popular as you think? What did you expect it to open with and why? What do you think Sony had in mind?

  38. jspartisan says:

    Ethan, I love fucking Ben Hur. Seriously, it’s fucking tremendous, but it’s still a remake of a film, that also had a FUCKING CHARIOT RACE IN IT! The whole reason why Bill Murray is Bill Murray to people, is Ghostbusters. Again, that logo, is one of the more iconic in the history of film, and even 20 somethings know what it means. The film, is also a film that people stumble upon and watch. All of the stupid shit towards this film, would not have happened, if GHOSTBUSTERS STILL DIDN’T MEAN SOMETHING TO PEOPLE.

    Palm, I am with you with Trek, but the ladies will come out for Damon. Which, to me, really fucks up GB doing what other Feig comedies have done. What really hurts this movie though, is the whole ban in China. Those extra couple of bucks would have really helped this film.

  39. amblinman says:

    @Stella, I think these questions are better aimed at Sony, which dumped a shitton of money into the project with the expectation of launching another shared universe. However, I’ll answer: an exact number figure, I can’t help you with. But…better than $46m and 2nd place? I mean, I don’t know what’s so controversial or unintuitive about that. It’s like suddenly everyone is pretending this was supposed to be a small second tier summer release.

    I’ll ask you again: if the movie hits your projections, keeping it’s budget in mind, is that not a failure?

  40. Hcat says:

    This is a massively different time than when the first ghostbusters came out. In 84 it was the most expensive film of the summer and had Akroyd coming off of trading places (4th highest grossing film of the previous year) and Murry off of Stripes (I think 5th of 81) and a big supporting turn in Tootsie ( 2nd of 82 behind ET). Between budget and starpower, back when starpower meant something, only Indy was going to be competitive. This Ghostbusters is middle range release dropped out among the noise and the grosses reflect that.

    If they remade Beverly Hills Cop do you think it would do a 100 million weekend?

  41. EtGuild2 says:

    Ablinman, I just don’t think that it has cultural relevance among the same sub-set of the population that GHOSTBUSTERS does, and think that no one really cares about GHOSTBUSTERS either aside from late-age millenials/Gen Xers and internet fanboys. And actually, whatever I think of Timur Bekmambetov, he’s handled larger budgets than Paul Feig in the past (Wanted). He’s exactly the type of guy you’d give an offbeat tentpole to…just not this.

    I get what you’re saying, but cultural relevance or not, the discussion on one vs the other is waaaay over blown to way understated.

    JS: remakes of silent black and white films aren’t really remakes in my book, but to each his own. It’s fun to say John Carpenter’s The Thing is a remake, but cmon. Re the chariot race: I’m going to have to go with all the people way smarter than me or you and decide there’s a reason it’s been played and breathlessly discussed before millions of students over the course of 50 years. Do you really see GB (1984) holding up with the same level of significance in another 25 years?

  42. palmtree says:

    Getting to profitable was always going to be a question of international, and without China, the road will be harder for sure.

    Question: did directing Meatballs and Stripes really prepare Ivan Reitman to direct Ghostbusters? If so, then Paul Feig seems similarly prepared…if not better.

  43. Monco says:

    “no one really cares about GHOSTBUSTERS either aside from late-age millenials/Gen Xers and internet fanboys.”

    If that’s true then why did Sony spend 150 million dollars to reboot the franchise? The opening is ok not disaster, not great but gievn the budget and marketing behind the movie I’d say it is a disappointment. But we don’t really know anything at this point. Its legs will tell the tale. I don’t think there is a chance in hell it does 3.8x opening but we’ll see.

  44. EtGuild2 says:

    “If that’s true then why did Sony spend 150 million dollars to reboot the franchise? ”

    Because the goal was to combine this audience with fans of Feig/McCarthy/and Wiig. By drawing in both audiences, they were gunning for a 2-3 quadrant hit. Unfortunately, it’s one of those things where you wind up with a product that tries to appeal to everyone, but doesn’t really leave anyone satisfied.

  45. PTA Fluffer says:

    If the studios are spending that much on a franchise reboot, I can assure you that they’re hoping for more than a “2-3 quadrant” hit.

  46. EtGuild2 says:

    I really don’t think you’re shooting for kiddies by casting and promoting something as featuring the foul-mouthed stars of BRIDESMAIDS and SNL, but okay!

  47. leahnz says:

    “Unfortunately, it’s one of those things where you wind up with a product that tries to appeal to everyone, but doesn’t really leave anyone satisfied.”

    wait on, what?
    this simply isn’t the case. there are plenty of people who dig this incarnation of GB, think it’s a good fun comedy and are satisfied with it, myself included (i have criticisms of it but found it very enjoyable), and everyone i know who’s seen it and thought it was rather hilarious – kids included – and plenty of critics to boot (incl DP yeah). what’s this narrative that nobody is satisfied with it? calling BS on that, plus it’s been out in the world for what, a week.
    (or are people now pretending that if a movie they don’t personally care for doesn’t do so great at the box office it’s a reflection on its quality? because a lot of decent movies are fizzling badly at the cinema in this current climate, and a lot of crap is making crazy money. GB may indeed struggle to make back its prod/pub budget, mainly due to the high effects costs, appalling marketing and the mass outcry of a bunch of assholes. but presuming it’s because nobody is satisfied with it is faulty logic)

    and JS i know from ghostbusters, i saw the OG in the cinema in LA in ’84 and the second in the cinema in ’89 (can’t remember where now), my generation. and aside from some specific demographics now, ghostbusters is not some big deal in the current culture.
    re the effects, they’re pretty good in the original for a comedy movie, and laughably bad in GB2, so kinda calling BS on this claim that the vis effects in the new one are worse. there were a few shots, such as — spoilers — the giant shark-toothed puff ghost thing at the end munching through the skyline buildings that are pretty average, but on the whole the effects are fine, and some are quite effective (the proton pack beams are nice, and a few of the spectres are well suited to the ghost medium in terms of their transparency and ephemeral quality)

  48. Mostly Lurking says:


    I have no doubt that EtGuild2 can speak for himself, but for whatever it’s worth, I don’t think his comment about not satisfying anyone was related to the quality of the movie per se, but more along the lines of neither targeted group (the Feig/Mcarthy, Wiig fans or the GB fans) were particularly enamored with the mishmash (i.e., not satisfied enough with the concept) to go see the movie in large numbers. Haven’t seen it yet, so can’t personally comment on the quality.

  49. jspartisan says:

    Leah, I saw both Ghostbusters films in the theatre, multiple fucking times, because Ghostbusters is just fucking wonderful.

    That aside, Reitman had three guys from Second City, and all that entails, Feig, went from TV to film, and his film set doesn’t fit with what Ghostbusters is supposed to be. If I were Sony, I’d find some hip indie director, who loves Ghostbusters, to make the sequel.

    Also, if Beverly Hills Cop IV was sold worth a shit. Yes. It would have a huge opening weekend. Rather he wants to accept it or not. There are a shit ton of fucking people, that want fucking Eddie to do something cool AGAIN! Just one more time. BHC would be it, but why not soft reboot/remake that fucking movie? You would think, that there is something to do with it.

    Finally, Ethan, the original chariot race is fucking ridiculous for a silent film. Again, Ghostbusters is like BTTF: it’s fucking evergreen. Ben Hur, is a great easter movie, and that’s where it usually lives each year. Why the fuck are they remaking it into a fucking action film? HOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYWWWWWWWWWWWWWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOODDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD!!!!

  50. palmtree says:

    “Reitman had three guys from Second City, and all that entails, Feig, went from TV to film, and his film set doesn’t fit with what Ghostbusters is supposed to be.”

    You can go from doing improv at Second City to directing Ghostbusters, but you can’t go from TV to directing GB? Seriously?

    Don’t know if you saw it, but Spy was a full-on James Bond-spoofing action movie. So Feig’s “film set” fits fine. I’m not following your argument.

  51. Stella's Boy says:

    I liked it. I laughed a lot and had fun, and that’s all I was hoping for. The leads are great and basically every speaking role is someone funny. Love the actress playing Garcia’s aide. Love the guy who plays the dean at McCarthy’s college. Love Garcia freaking out at comparison to mayor in Jaws. Love Richard from Veep. And on and on. Effects are hit-and-miss. They’re pretty good until the end. The final scene in the portal looks pretty bad for a $150 million movie. And it’s also almost too easy as they seem to struggle for about two minutes before defeating Rowan. But with such an outstanding cast it’s easy to just sit back and have a good time. It moves swiftly. I laughed out loud quite a bit. I wish there was a world in which it could have been R because at times it felt like the leads wanted to let loose but couldn’t, but their banter is still amusing. It’s a good summer flick.

  52. leahnz says:

    “Love Garcia freaking out at comparison to mayor in Jaws.”

    jts i didn’t even know andy g was in this (it’s been so long since i’ve seen him in anything on the big screen i didn’t realise how much i’ve missed him) and i have to say that ‘mayor in jaws’ bit seriously cracked me up, andy you funny. there are so many little nods to ‘classic pop culture’ in the movie, i think it took me two views to catch it all; holtzmann thinking ‘debarge’ was ‘devo’ cracked me up, how many people would even get that joke now? it actually strikes me as quite a weird movie in its way, considering how mainstream it is.

    i wonder if they’ll do an R version in the director’s cut process. the effects-heavy production made the film’s budget too high imo.

    ETA stella’s did you stay till the very very end? i thought the movie had a bit of a flat finale and i didn’t see that final coda the first time i saw it, that last scene with you-know-who as holtz’s mentor made up for it – plus it has the ‘warning lights are for dudes!’ line (or is it ‘safety lights are for dudes!’, i’m probably messing it up).

    so JS you had ‘ghostbusters’ on VHS then, yes? i still have that puppy, bless videotape in all its tracking lines glory

  53. Stella's Boy says:

    It is weird at times, especially the extremely funny and talented McKinnon. The scene you reference with the odd dancing and lip syncing is delightful. I didn’t stay through the final credits and regret it, but I was pressed for time yesterday.

  54. Sideshow Bill says:

    Completely off-topic: I wonder if David is going to watch the 3 hour BVS cut and comment on it. I don’t think it’ll change his mind on the film that much but I’m curious. I think it’s marked improvement, and I liked (not loved) the first cut.

  55. Pete B. says:

    Sideshow, I was going to wait til he brought up the Friday Estimates column, as I think the topic might get lost this late in the week.

    I thought the Ultimate Edition BvS was vastly better and provided some clarification to issues people had with the theater version. Not sure why studios put out truncated versions that get poor reviews instead of the longer better versions. There may be fewer showings initially, but word-of-mouth would provide much longer legs.

  56. David Poland says:

    I liked his Watchmen directors cut a lot better than the release. I’m curious. Not sure if I will spend the time or the money. But because of this thread, I will consider it in the next couple of weeks.

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Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
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