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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Still Beautiful Klady

Friday Estimates 651w 2017-03-25 at 9.31.22 AM copy


Beauty is a box office beast. Number four second weekend of all time. Should get close to (or could pass) $700m worldwide by the end of the weekend. $1 billion is looking easy.

How can you f-up Power Rangers? You could spend $100 million making a feature film based on one of the cheesily-produced franchises ever, even without hiring a major box office star to show their face in the thing. That said, it may not be a disaster. $37m seems likely this weekend, although there could be a bigger audience on Saturday, pushing that number some. And international… who knows? The film could be profitable, though I don’t think there is a dime being made on anything they spent on production over $40 million. No one cares. It’s a Power Rangers movie.

Life is unwell. Sony has now gone six months without an opening going over $15 million. (Notably, Passengers didn’t catch up internationally and although not a massive money loser, means red ink for Sony.) And Smurfs: Lost Village isn’t a sure bet to break that rough streak. Smurfs 2 opened to just $17.5m, a drop in half from the first in the Sony series. That takes Sony to June and the Scarlett Johansson/Kate McKinnon comedy, Rough Night, which I think will open over $15m and then the new Spidey, which is a guaranteed opener. But then Sony is in the danger zone again with Dark Tower, which could be a big hit… or a career-crushing flop. After that, Sony has some movies that may be good, but nothing that looks particularly commercial until Jumanji, which isn’t until next Christmas. Oy.

Audiences clearly aren’t convinced that they needed to see a spin on Alien a few months before the real thing returns (again). Ryan Reynolds is a box office superstar in a red suit, but not out of it. And Daniel Espinosa is looking like the example that people point to when saying men get a lot of chances in the studio directing chair after failing when women can’t get going (he had two barely released films between this and his one hit, via Denzel, Safe House).

Still, the Life opening makes the CHIPS opening look pretty good. This film should have been made under the Let’s Be Cops rules… cheap and fast. But instead, WB spent a reported $25 million. Yeah… that’s not expensive… but not cheap enough. You want to take a flyer on Dax Shepard’s idea for an IP play on an old TV show? Given him $10m max and let him have fun. I haven’t even seen the film, but I can’t even imagine how he spent $25 million. Maybe a lot of that is studio overhead… but it’s still bloated. Universal and Jason Blum can make $5 million movies. Why can’t WB?

Did you know Wilson opened this weekend? I love the thing and didn’t know it was opening, or I would have told you to go see it. It’s not Ghost World. In some ways, it’s even further down the rabbit hole… a movie around the guy who is sitting on that bus bench. But still, great Daniel Clowes stuff. It’ll get a cult audience down the line, on cable/satellite/VOD/streaming.

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17 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Still Beautiful Klady”

  1. Sideshow Bill says:

    Yea, WILSON. Anyone else see it? I’m a big Clowes fan and love the book. Can’t wait to check it out though it’ll probably have to wait for video. Reviews are mixed but Dave’s positive vibes give me hope.

    It’s always great to be reminded of GHOST WORLD. It’s endlessly rewatchable, in the same way AMERICAN SPLENDOR is. Those are 2 movies I need to add to my Blu Ray collection.

    Someone ambitious should take a shot at adapting DAVID BORING. Oh, man.

  2. Stella's Boy says:

    Skull Island and Life Spoilers

    Life is pretty much exactly what I expected. I’m not sure it really justifies its existence, but it’s enjoyable all the same. I like the design of Calvin and there are a few fairly horrifying deaths (and hey the black guy doesn’t die first), not to mention the surprise of Reynolds dying first. A favor to his Safe House director? The ending is nifty. It moves quickly and doesn’t overstay its welcome. My biggest disappointment is Gyllenhaal. I really like him and in the past he’s elevated what could have been standard roles. Was this just a large payday? He’s so bland here. Life isn’t great, but I like R-rated sci-fi horror and it’s solid enough.

    Earlier in the week I saw Skull Island. Not exactly sure what to make of it. It doesn’t really find a coherent balance between war movie, giant monster movie, and John C. Reilly. I love the guy but there’s a whole lot of Cubs jokes and the tone is sort of a mess. It also doesn’t balance all of its characters effectively. Some seem to be killed as an afterthought. Oh yeah that’s right John Goodman is important in the first half-hour. Better just kill him now. I was never bored, the effects are great, and the supporting cast is full of actors I love like Ortiz and Whigham, but I left a little underwhelmed.

  3. Christian says:

    Seconding Stella’s Boy on “Life,” which surprised me. I went in expecting a mind-numbing effort, but after a pretty bad opening half-hour, I was fairly riveted. Lots of great sequences in it, and oh, those deaths! And that ending worked just the way the filmmakers hoped it would, I imagine. I walked out kind of stunned at some of the turns that film took (Dave gives away a certain character death rather early in the film) and the way it ended – not just a sequel set-up, but the, ummm, let’s just say the tone of the ending was a surprise.

  4. Movieman says:

    For me, the happiest surprise of “Life” was Rebecca Ferguson.
    Thought she was terrific in “Ghost Protocol,” but definitely underwhelming in “Florence Foster Jenkins” and “Girl on the Train.”
    Glad to know she’s still go it.
    Also appreciated the movie’s terse economy: 95 minutes before end credits. What a concept, huh?

    Going in, I wondered why the movie needed both Reynolds and Gyllenhaal. But soon realized–echoing SB’s SPOILER–Reynolds was playing the Janet Leigh Role.
    Yeah, I also thought it had the feel of a thank-you to Espinosa for putting him back in the game w/ “Safe House.” after “Green Lantern” seemed like it might have destroyed his career.

  5. Sideshow Bill says:

    You guys have me wanting to see LIFE now.

  6. Stella's Boy says:

    Ferguson is good but the best performance is the one by Ariyon Bakare, who isn’t familiar to me. He is the most interesting character outside of Calvin. It’s for sure worth a matinee Bill.

  7. Arisp says:

    Happy Chips was DOA. Let’s hope the remakes of bad 70s shows is dead.

  8. pat says:

    But they haven’t even started pre production on James Franco’s Welcome Back Kotter!!

  9. JS Partisan says:

    Fuck, Life. Hollywood, are making way too many fucking films, that make space exploration… A fucking horror film. Fuck that entire genre.

    Also, David, what the fuck are you on about, with the Power Rangers? It’s now the gold fucking standard, when it comes to how to properly reboot something. They fucking made the Power Rangers right. If they can do that. Hollywood, has no fucking excuse, for fucking up these propertiea, with their fucking nonsense.

    That Power Rangers movie, is fucking tremendous. It does what so many films fail to do, and still honors it’s source material. If you think the Power Rangers, is all about cheesy shit, then your insights are really off about the entire genre of sentai.

    Oh yeah. Look at Beauty and the Beast killing it. The Little Mermaid people, must be sweating it. They have a lot to live up too.

  10. Geoff says:

    I’m gathering you enjoyed the Power Rangers reboot JS? 🙂 Yeah the reviews have been better than I would have thought and there’s no reason this can’t make cash on a $100 million budget with that opening – bottom line is that Lionsgate would have been better off opening it at a different time period but when?? April MIGHT have been better but then it would still have had to open within a week of F8te Furious or Guardians 2 and it wouldn’t have had any spring break/weekday business to help, May’s already too crowded as is June and July…maybe opening at the beginning of August?

    Beauty Meets Beast looks like it will easily clear $1 billion worldwide, probably $1.2 billion which would make it the biggest worldwide hit since The Force Awakens…..and speaking of which, how long has it been since there was a billion dollar worldwide grosser which was NOT released by Disney?? I’m thinking Minions from Universal in the summer of 2015 which came on the heels of Jurassic World and Furious 7 both blowing past a billion. Speaking of which….how long has it been since a film that was NOT released by Universal or Disney cleared a billion worldwide?? Looked it up and it was Transformers 4 from June 2014 from Paramount which was the ONLY billion dollar grosser that year.

    For this year, probably the usual suspects: a couple from Universal (Illumination, F8te) and at least three from Disney (Beauty/Beast, Star Wars, maybe Pirates or Guardians 2….not both since they’re opening within a few weeks of each other) and besides that?? Transformers (Paramount) is always a strong possibility even though the domestic numbers will continue to sink. Spiderman, Dunkirk, and War of the Planet of the Apes look possible but they’re all opening back-to-back-to-back. Maybe Justice League as well…if it’s as good as that latest trailer.

  11. JS Partisan says:

    Geoff, I’m going to blow your mind, with Marvel Studios criticism! I wish Marvel Studios took the time with their characters, that the Power Rangers movie does. The Power Rangers movie, just does the establishment of that world so fucking well, that it should find an audience. Hell. If it’s a four to five hundred million earner, that’s a good start, for this franchise. I mean. Come on. It’s Tommy Olivier time!

  12. Geoff says:

    Consider my mind blown! 🙂 Guess I’ll have to check out Power Rangers….

  13. JS Partisan says:

    It does shit right, Geoff. Which, once again, brings me to this point: if they can fucking make an exceptional Power Rangers movie! Hollywood, should be able to do better than they have, with countless properties.

  14. EtGuild2 says:

    Exceptional is a bit strong, I enjoyed it though. No one liked it as much as Elizabeth Banks seemed to I think (although at times it seems like she was in another movie).

  15. Stella's Boy says:

    JS you are deplorable. You hatefully lambaste an entire genre yet if anyone says they don’t like superhero movies you are immediately down their throats. You demand respect for what you like while not providing the same courtesy to others. You are such a fanboy asshole and I am so sick of your shit. You’d fit right in on an alt-right message board. I enjoyed Life more than any Marvel movie I’ve seen. Talk about a genre with too many movies!

  16. JS Partisan says:

    Rita, is supposed to be in another movie. She’s just so nutty and broken, that fixing the green armor will be fun, for Tommy. Also, if people in here, can go on about Battleship, in positive ways. I can go with exceptional, because it really does things, that hardly any reboots even do, or do well.

  17. Geoff says:

    JS, Battleship was fun sorry…..JUST as much fun as the Twilight sequels you used to go on about. 😉

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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?

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