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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Super Klady’s Bowls

friday estimates 2417 8-39a


The Ring, which was a DreamWorks property converted from the Asian horror films, embodies the entire cycle of too much of current box office. The first film was an underdog that opened decently, but then grew very long legs, grossing $1m or more for 9 weeks. As a comparison, last year’s only horror film to gross $100m domestic, The Conjuring 2, had five such weeks. The Ring launched a craze on the film world, as Asian remakes appealing in particular to young women, and then domestic horror appealing to young women was a huge trend for a number of years.

The Ring 2 opened huge ($35m) by 2005 standards, #15 for the year. Then, unlike its predecessor’s 8.6 times opening weekend, it did 2.2X opening. And with that (and The Grudge 2), the heat was off and no Asian horror remake has since grossed more than $40 million domestic.

And now, Rings is a reboot of a dormant franchise, 12 years from its last incarnation, riding the tide of studios mining ancient IP. This one will do okay, having kept its budget in line with the market, though one wonders why they didn’t cut this budget in half and give it the Jason Blum treatment. If you look at the list of high-end producers on the film, that may explain the problem… they may have made it for something like Jason Blum money and still ended up with a $25m reported budget. That is a given cost of rebooting successful, older IP. Paramount particularly carries this weight with DreamWorks rights.

Anyway… Rings will probably make a little money when all is said and done. Not a flop. Not a smash. Grist for the mill.

Split, which will end up being #2 for the weekend, is more than that. Original production. Cheap. Big grosses. Cash cow. Looking forward to Splitter. (Just kidding… haven’t even seen this one… in no rush… but McAvoy looks like he is having great fun.)

Hidden Figures remains muscular, as I suspected it would be back in September, when at the Toronto event. It will pass the Oscar Best Picture frontrunner, La La Land, either this weekend (Super Bowl sluggish) or during the week. Arrival, the third Best Picture nominee which will likely gross $100m domestic, dropped its screen count in half this weekend, slowing the process. But it’s only $2 million away… hard to imagine Par not pushing it over.

The Space Between Us is barely made any room for itself in the market, looking at a weekend under $3.5m as Super counterprograming.

I Am Not Your Negro is riding great, well-earned reviews to a $10k+ 3-day per-screen. It will be the only one in that category this weekend.

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12 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Super Klady’s Bowls”

  1. Stella's Boy says:

    SPOILERS Caught up with Split. I was pretty bored for the most part. Found much of the final stretch unintentionally funny. I also wonder how many people who haven’t seen Unbreakable are puzzled by the closing scene. Do viewers under 20 even know who Bruce Willis is? The trailer for Get Out is more creepy and unsettling and frightening than anything that happens in Split. I didn’t like The Visit either. Shyamalan isn’t doing it for me with these low-budget thrillers. They’re dull and lack thrills. Split is way too long. The midsection really drags.

    I think yesterday was Ring’s fifth release date? Is that a record?

  2. EtGuild2 says:

    Holy Moly, this was a depressing weekend to fill-in as a local critic. I should have gotten hammered. I expected RINGS to be terrible, and didn’t have a good feeling about THE COMEDIAN, but I did not expect SPACE BETWEEN US and YOUTH IN OREGON to be so terrible. Borderline unwatchable in fact. A weekend to forget if there ever was one!

    Anyone seen THE LURE or WE ARE THE FLESH? Interested.

  3. Movieman says:

    Wide releases have gotten off to an even bleaker start than usual in 2017. At least we had “Hail, Caesar!” by this date last year.
    Unwanted sequels (“Rings,” “XXX,” “Underworld,” “Resident Evil”) to movies time forgot; crap “originals” like “Space Between Us,” “Sleepless,” “Monster Trucks” and “Bye Bye Man;” a Shyamalan everyone seems to like more than I did; and “A Dog’s Purpose” (which I didn’t hate or love).
    While “The Founder,” “Gold” and even “The Comedian” are infinitely superior to any of the other 2017 movies in wide-ish release, they don’t seem quite “new” to me since I saw them last year.
    Glad that “Negro” opened so well. Watched it a second time last night and now think it’s even better than “13th.”

  4. Nick Rogers says:

    Stella’s: I saw Split opening weekend and absolutely no one within several rows of me knew what the hell was happening in that final scene. They recognized Bruce Willis perhaps but had zero inkling that Split was now a stealth sequel to a 17-year-old film that they probably forgot they even saw. And yes, Split is a puzzler both in popularity and praise. It is Shyamalan’s longest movie and feels almost every second of it. Tremendous amounts of boring exposition (delivered by a character who contradicts her entire professional argument when confronted with ultimate proof of it, BTW) and a rather disgusting exploitation of molestation that doesn’t even culminate in the usual “She knows a monster so she can outwit one” conclusion. (What they arrive at is far more offensive.) McAvoy is fine but it’s in service of utter junk that is only better than “The Visit” because of his committed effort.

    Movieman: “Sleepless” is a remake of a pretty good action film called “Sleepless Night” that’s worth checking out.

  5. Movieman says:

    Nick- Mea culpa for labeling “Sleepless” an “original.”
    I actually saw (and liked!) “Sleepless Night” which makes my above faux pas inexcusable.
    While watching “Sleepless,” I kept experiencing what felt like deja vu. Not until checking out IMDB afterwards did I realize why, lol.
    Execution truly is everything.

  6. Nick Rogers says:

    Indeed on execution. And my only intent in mentioning it was to recommend something (better) you may not have caught in its initial go-round.

  7. Stella's Boy says:

    I could not agree with you more about Split, Nick. Exactly how I feel about it. So pervy. So much boring exposition. A stupid last-second reveal. Utter junk it is.

  8. EtGuild2 says:

    I’ll third that on SPLIT. Junk, and I find it amusing that it’s raised Dave Eckstein’s hackles more than any flick I can remember.

  9. Movieman says:

    So I’m not in such a minority re: not loving “Split”?
    Good to know.

  10. Pete B. says:

    Did you mean Dave Edelstein?

    Dave Eckstein was an infielder for the Cardinals.

    Or is there more than one?

  11. Stella's Boy says:

    Edelstein’s review is great and pretty much represents how I feel about Split.

  12. EtGuild2 says:

    Haha yes Edelstein. Too many Cards games when I was little 🙂

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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