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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Suicide Len

Friday Box Office Estimates 2016-08-06 at 9.07.15 AM

Pretty much any way you cut it, Suicide Squad will be the #2 or #3 opener of the year/summer with a number almost identical to the $166m Batman v Superman launch. Go figure.

Many like to believe that people are done with superhero movies or that Millennials aren’t going to the movies, but the evidence continues to make both claims stink of the excrement they are built upon. Audiences don’t want half-ass versions of their favorites and audiences don’t want to see films just because there is a franchise connection. The only franchise disappointment that wasn’t obvious from a year away was Alice 2… but only because no one understands how the first film did a billion. (BTW, that film is nearing $300m worldwide, making it a disappointment, but not an outright disaster.)

Suicide Squad is not going to lose a fortune. So what is the lesson?

1. Have Batman (or in MarvelLand, Iron Man) in every movie you can.

2. Sellable elements will open anything, no matter the critics, geek buzz, or degree of failure.

3. Millennials are suckers, just the same as Gen X and Boomers.

Jason Bourne took a hit yesterday. We’ll see if it evens out over the weekend.

Bad Moms had already delivered STX the crown of highest-grossing indie non-sequel this year. $67 million will make it top indie release through mid-August, full stop.

The 1995 headline for Nine Lives would be that Kevin Spacey’s pussy was not widely accepted… but aside from Clint Eastwood resurrecting that sexist chestnut this week, not okay for 2016. Instead, Nine Lives opens to a $277k per-life average.

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13 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Suicide Len”

  1. Nick says:

    Why is the general public so stupid?

  2. Cg says:

    Won’t the real test, as with BS, be the day-to-day dropoffs this weekend and the second weekend dropoffs? I noticed that BoxOfficeMojo is projecting $138 million, after stories suggesting that WB is hoping for $140 million.

  3. Warren says:

    Deadline’s most recent projection has it at $146 million.

  4. jspartisan says:

    Yes. Why did the general public fall for (INSERT MOVIE YOU DON’T LIKE HERE)?

    Why? They loved Avatar, 2012, and Jurassic World. Guess what though? They didn’t fall for Independence Day Resurgence, so the general movie going makes no sense to me, but that’s why they are so damn fun, to try and sort out.

  5. Bitplaya says:

    No mention of Will Smith in an action movie being a sellable element? He hasn’t done his traditional kind of roles in years. I guarantee ID4 2 would have been a much smaller disaster if they had cast him.

  6. dinovelvet says:

    Smith probably added something, but I think he needed the movie more than the movie needed him

  7. Geoff says:

    Saw Suicide Squad last night and really enjoyed, as did the audience seemingly – the savagery from many critics (David included) is a bit absurd considering that its main issues are the same narrative traps that 95% of comic book films fall into nowadays.

    I’m honestly not sure how much of a factor Batman was in this opening considering that Affleck did no promotion for, he’s not on any of the (dozens of) posters, and blink-and-you-miss him jumping on a car in any of the TV spots or trailers. I think the main hook was a movie focused on the “villains” which is actually a concept that Sony announced a couple of years ago with “The Sinister Six” but it never happened so DC/Warners beat them to the punch. No reason we can’t see a film focused on Loki now which I would pay to see.

    But yes I think Will Smith deserves some credit – he promoted the film like a champ which he has always done and he also shared the spotlight with a few others for a change. And he’s fantastic in the film – brings a good amount of humor and humanity to the role. I think like Tom Cruise if you still put Smith in the right type of crowd-pleasing action role, he can deliver box office.

  8. dinovelvet says:

    Heh, I wonder if Marvel would be craven enough to do a Loki movie. If the money’s there! You know someone at Marvel is sitting there right now with pursed lips looking at the Deadpool and Suicide Squad numbers, saying “Well where’s OUR edgy stuff?”, and the response is of course, we sent it to Netflix.

    Quick-greenlit PUNISHER VS DAREDEVIL movie for 2018?

  9. EtGuild2 says:

    Christ, I didn’t care that much for BOURNE or TREK 3, but it’s sad to see the franchises crushed to death under the mindless steamroller of another superhero movie.

    Note of caution: with Rio, we won’t get a firm grasp of how bad the box office is for them (or how good for SS) for weeks.

  10. Pete B. says:

    Are the numbers on the chart a little off?
    Why is Lights Out lower than the 3 movies above it, when it has a higher gross?

  11. Geoff says:

    Industry folks like ETGuild would probably know a lot more about this than me but since last year, hasn’t a sharp divide emerged the movie and TV/Netflix sides of Marvel Studios? I would love to see Daredevil pop up on the theatrical side but it doesn’t seem likely. I actually think Loki is a no-brainer.

  12. Dr Wally Rises says:

    The only way we get a Loki movie is if Hiddleston is cast as Bond.

  13. JS Partisan says:

    Yeah. Marvel has a problem with their TV properties, because of the pissing contest between Ike and Kevin. Ike has the TV, Kevin has the movies, and the fans get screwed? Why, you might ask? Simple. People invest a lot of time in the Netflix shows, in Agents of Shield, and Marvel Studios wants to act like these shows don’t matter. Sorry. If they have a fucking Avengers movie without the Defenders, then they can fuck right the hell off. The Defenders and Shield, take something we have seen before, and make it truly special. If it’s just the Guardians, then whoopidy fucking doo. Ego the living planet, James? Really? GTFO.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

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.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon