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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates By The Len Of The Furious

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37 Responses to “Weekend Estimates By The Len Of The Furious”

  1. EtGuild2 says:

    What on earth is going on with Open Road? Their animated throwaway made less in 365 theatres than LOST CITY OF Z did in four! They can’t sustain operating like this even as an acquisition distributor. I’m not sure what they paid for THE PROMISE, but it comes out next week and looks like potentially the biggest bomb of 2017.

    Can a distributor go bankrupt within three years of winning Best Picture? Isn’t that against the law?

    Look at these per-theater opening weekends in the last six months….insanity:

    Bleed For This-$1,500
    Max Steel-$1,100

  2. TrackerBacker says:

    EtG: With the exception of Bleed For This, Open Road is essentially acting as a rent-a-distributor on those titles. The producers/financiers are putting up much, if not all, of the marketing costs. Open Road has no real skin in the game.

    That said, I still don’t think they’ll survive much longer, as they don’t have enough of their own movies (including movies that they’ve fully acquired) to generate much revenue. They’ve also had significant executive turnover in recent years.

  3. EtGuild2 says:

    Yeah, I assume they have minimum exposure as a distribution company, and on top of that they have an in since they’re connected to AMC & Regal, but at some point you can’t keep dumping out movies with $1,000 opening weekend averages. You’re still losing on distribution costs at $700 and $300 per theater, and I assume it has an effect on the willingness and ability to finance acquisitions.Right? What’s the incentive to do business with a shingle that produces historically bad results release after release?

    The bad press alone from quietly shuffling a 9-figure production into barely 2,000 theatres next weekend is going to really hurt.

  4. TrackerBacker says:

    I still can’t figure out how anyone thought that spending $100M on The Promise was a good idea. Seriously, who in their right mind thought that they could ever recoup at that budget level?

  5. Ray Pride says:

    There was just another Armenian-set feature in that era. It was well-financed from Turkish sources.

    The Promise is the first production from Survival Pictures, a legacy company of late billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, known for many things, including Armenian heritage and buying MGM multiple times to successfully peel away its assets. “The company was humbly and discreetly started years ago by Kirk Kerkorian, who wanted this company and its first project to speak to his core values.” Recoupment seems beside the point.

    From the movie website: “The Armenian genocide took place from 1915-1922, marking the beginning of 100 years of modern genocides. It launched the world into a cycle of violence and denial that has resulted in millions of lives lost, and entire people groups destroyed [sic].

    “Injustice is only enabled by silence, and this has played out in horrific ways over the past 100 years. Many times over, justice has lost to silence. So let’s start speaking up. Tell the world about the Armenian Genocide, and every genocide taking place across the globe.”

  6. EtGuild2 says:

    Interesting Ray. I think it’s great they brought in Bale and Isaac to shine more light on the issue. Unfortunately, the release appears so bungled that the Kardashians’ trip to Armenia likely got it more exposure, and “Survival Pictures” may turn out to be an even more unfortunate name than it looks on paper.

  7. Christian says:

    I’ll be interested in your thoughts on the quality of “The Promise” once you guys see it, but for now, I’d be curious to hear what you think of a 9-figure budget for a film starring Oscar Isaac. I love the guy as an actor and realize he has STAR WARS cred now, but “The Promise” isn’t really for the STAR WARS crowd. I suppose Bale has some box-office clout, but he’s sort of a third wheel behind that woman from THE WALK and 100 FOOT JOURNEY. Did Kerkorian want to save $$ on the talent?

  8. Ray Pride says:

    Kerkorian’s estate is footing the bill. He died in 2015 at the age of 98

  9. TrackerBacker says:

    Regardless of the importance of the movie’s message, there’s simply no reason to spend that much money on this movie with that cast (or any other cast, really). I would wager that spending $100M on education or other forms of publicity for the cause would be far more effective.

  10. Js partisan says:

    A movie, with a stellar cast, will be seen. That seems to be the point, of this film.

    Also, Fate of the Furious made 523 million world wide, and no one is bringing that nutty shit up? Seriously, that’s fucking nuts.

  11. TrackerBacker says:

    “A movie, with a stellar cast, will be seen.”

    Demonstrably untrue.

  12. Face The Music says:

    Kirk Kerkorian did not finance “The Promise” to make money. All of the proceeds from ticket sales will be going to charity, including Elton John’s AIDS Foundation. Has EtGuild seen the movie, or has EtGuild been swayed by the negative reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, the majority of which were posted by individuals in Turkey who had not seen the movie. Or does EtGuild have an ulterior motive, as a member of the Turkish government?

  13. EtGuild2 says:

    EtGuild isn’t Erdogan stooge! Etguild doesn’t have opinion on THE PROMISE and Kirk Kirkorian. But now EtGuild will see Oscar Isaac genocide-love story and EtGuild will let you know what he thinks.

  14. Tracker Backer says:

    Face the Music: the financiers should have just donated the budget to charity, then. That would have been far more productive.

    Regarding Rotten Tomatoes, what are you talking about? There aren’t any user reviews yet. There are currently 15 critics reviews, 9 of which are negative–and none of those are by Turkish critics!

  15. Chucky says:

    While y’all are typing in caps lock and shooting off your potty mouth, there’s a major, major typo in the table. “Colossal” has a per-theater average of $4,600. Somebody left the last zero off!

  16. spassky says:

    “Face the Music: the financiers should have just donated the budget to charity, then. That would have been far more productive.”

    hehe…productive…charity… well, i know someone who’s never worked in the nonprofit world before.

  17. Bulldog68 says:

    Looks like Kong won’t have enough steam to overtake Get Out at the boxoffice. Would be interesting if Get Out has enough steam to overtake The Lego Batman Movie.This is some insane legs.

    And yes, concur with JS, more than 1/2 billion in one weekend is fucking nuts. Absolutely no one can say that they saw this coming from the release of the fist one, which made $207m WW, or the fourth, or even the fifth. That this series is performing at this level is mind boggling.

  18. Bulldog68 says:

    So final numbers came in and F8 didn’t quite crack the $100m benchmark. They still got the press anyway.

  19. EtGuild2 says:

    Yeah, the GET OUT/LEGO race is interesting. It’s hard to believe that an R-rated, socially conscious horror film with an unknown black lead and comedic elements just spent an 8th straight weekend in the top 10 (and may have made it back into the top 5), just topped HANNIBAL to become the #2 R-rated horror of all-time, and is going to get within spitting distance of the frickin REVENANT among recent originals. For Universal, it’s about to overtake BRIDESMAIDS.

  20. David Poland says:

    Sorry to be missing yesterday… car broke down on the freeway… day eaten…

  21. Bulldog68 says:

    Not the best way to spend Easter weekend for sure Dave.

  22. Steve Cowan says:

    I think you guys are all missing the point regarding “The Promise.”

    The majority of people out there have never heard of the Armenian Genocide. Armenians want people to know their story and about their suffering, and nothing does that better than a major Hollywood motion picture. $100 million for educational efforts? Get real. Who’s going to learn about it? Only students in high school who are only half paying attention in “Holocaust Class.” Let’s face it. The Final Solution gets taught in educational institutions, NOT the Armenian Genocide. Also, let’s not forget that Turkey puts biased scholars and deniers in US colleges and universities to sew seeds of false history over this subject.

    The Armenian Genocide was the first master-planned mass extermination of the 20th century. It was swept under the rug by Turkey which inspired Adolph Hitler to exterminate the Jews of Europe. Why? Because nobody remembers the Armenians.

    The Armenian people and descendants of genocide survivors have had to deal with more salt in the wound – modern Turkey denies the event ever took place. To mention the genocide in Turkey is a crime. Turkey’s shameless policy of denial would be like Germany calling the Holocaust untrue and that Jewish deaths were just unfortunate collateral damage.

    Billionare Kirk Kerkorian paid for the film out of his own pocket – $100 million because he wanted the film’s subject matter to be treated with the respect it deserved. He also funded the film because nobody else in Hollywood had the guts to do it. Why? Turkey’s got their balls in a vice. Amazing that a foreign government has so much power and influence over our studio system.

    Turkey has threatened Hollywood for more than 80 years to prevent this subject from EVER being put forth in a major motion picture. Turkey shut down MGM in the 1930s, Sylvester Stallone in the early 2000’s and even Mel Gibson. A shoestring budget version of “The 40 Days of Musa Dagh” was made but it was laughable.

    Therefore…the goal was not to recoup $100M or to make a profit. All proceeds are being donated to charity. The goal of the movie is to finally tell the story of the genocide which has been suppressed for far too long.

    Survival pictures is a 1-off in order to get “The Promise” released. Turkey sent denialist spam bots to give the movie 50,000 1-star reviews on IMDB before it was even released to the public. This is the level of moral bankruptcy Armenians have been facing for decades.

    Instead of looking at this movie in business terms, you should be looking at it in moral terms. Turkey needs to be exposed for what it is.

    I wish the Promise nothing but success, and I’m glad the story was told, period. Because it saw the light of day, it’s a victory for everyone…whether it makes $10 million or 200 million.

  23. Christian says:

    Steve Cowan wrote: “Instead of looking at this movie in business terms, you should be looking at it in moral terms.”

    No, Steve. While the business angle is interesting (I asked about it earlier in this thread), I look at the film ultimately in artistic terms. Is it well made? Does it fulfill its intended purpose with some degree of above-average execution? That’s what ultimately matters. Not the production cost or the box-office grosses – and certainly not the filmmakers’ motives –
    but the effectiveness of the final product.

  24. EtGuild2 says:

    Steve, I’m not sure $100 million to gain a tenth the exposure of “Kim & Khloe Take The Caucases,” (or whatever the hell Kanye’s brood’s episode on the Armenian genocide was called) is money well spent. Especially if the movie’s not good, as Christian says (I’m not going to impugn Peter Debrudge and Linda Holmes at NPR as stooges embedded in Hollywood reporting as part of a 20 year long-con by the Turkish government).

    It seems like a noble gesture, one that no one will ever hear about. At least some blame should be shouldered upon Open Road for acquiring this movie and then smuggling it silently onto screens.

  25. Hcat says:

    “Can a Distributor go bankrupt within three years of winning best picture?”

    Hell, Orion managed to go bankrupt in between back to back Oscar wins.

    David brought something up in the Friday column about China not paying nearly the same in rentals as other countries. However now that Legendary is a Chinese company don’t you think that will cause them to get a higher rate of return from that market? Are these blockbusters grabbing these Chinese production partners just to secure release in the country or is this considered a Legendary release in China and since the money goes to payoff a Chinese companies investment they dont get the excise tax since the money isnt technically leaving the country?

  26. Ray Pride says:

    Chinese partnership or co-ownership returns more money.

  27. EtGuild2 says:

    That’s an interesting point. Was KUNG FU PANDA 3 a lot more profitable than it looked on paper?

  28. Steve Cowan says:


    How much is too much when it’s all about fighting for the truth?

    When you are a billionaire at the end of your life, what’s putting up $100 million of your own money to at least attempt to portray an event that is near and dear to you in the best light possible?

    See this article, it hits the nail right on the head.

    Burning $100 million is only a concern if you are a for-profit company looking to turn a profit off a film. The aim here is to try and garner mass acceptance for an event that has been denied and brushed under the rug for 100 years.

    At least the gesture was made – any effort is better than no effort. Open Road should be commended for taking this on, because most studios are too gutless to do it. They have Turkey breathing down their necks and applying pressure. If not for Mike Medavoy stepping up, this movie would have never seen the light of day even with Christian Bale signed on and the $100M budget. Nobody was willing to call a spade a spade. Rumor is that Regal Cinemas will not show the movie because AEG owns 18% of the chain and has substantial business interests in Turkey.

    I don’t see how you can use the term “smuggling silently” when they are taking the high road on a morally important issue in the face of unprecedented Turkish denial and historical whitewashing. Open Road should be commended for taking this bullet as it’s the morally right thing to do.

    The Armenians are a small, unimportant people but it doesn’t make forgetting about what happened to them or criticizing their efforts for recognition right.

    Nobody has heard about this for 100 years, but now there’s a movie about it that some people just might watch…attempted with a budget worthy of its subject matter.

    I know I’d take the latter every day if I was in an Armenian’s shoes. They lost half their country and weren’t even paid reparations and are called liars to this day. This movie should be supported no matter its shortcomings.

  29. YancySkancy says:

    Cinephiles who care about RT scores may not see The Promise, but with Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale in the cast, it seems likely that many “regular” people will eventually check it out, especially if it makes it to cable, On Demand, Netflix, etc.

  30. Js partisan says:

    Tracker, that film is destined, for Netflix. That seems to be the fucking place, where the Promise is heading.

    Seriously, Steve is fucking making solid points. Anything that shines a fucking light on this genocide, is money well fucking spent.

  31. EtGuild2 says:

    “Rumor is that Regal Cinemas will not show the movie because AEG owns 18% of the chain and has substantial business interests in Turkey.”

    I’m not sure where you’re getting this conspiratorial stuff, but Regal has a direct stake in Open Road, meaning they have a direct stake in distributing the picture. Or if you want to take a sinister view, maybe this is why they haven’t marketed it well. Joking aside, the three Regals closest to me are opening it this Friday. No non-Regal/AMC near me has it on the slate.

    “Nobody has heard about this for 100 years”

    Anyone who follows politics (labeling it a genocide) or celebrities (Kardashians) has heard far more about the Armenian genocide than say, the Indonesian genocide of the sixties documented in THE ACT OF KILLING in recent years.

  32. Ray Pride says:

    Link to the rumor? Google disbelieves.

  33. Stella's Boy says:

    The rumor isn’t true. Two seconds on Google reveals that Regal Webster Place in Chicago is showing The Promise.

  34. palmtree says:

    Someone should tell Mojo what’s happening. They just reported this:

    “…Open Road seems to have done a decent job getting the word out on The Promise as IMDb page view data show the film outperforming all of this weekend’s new releases…”

  35. EtGuild2 says:

    Early numbers look like a $4 million opening. If that’s the number, the best to say is…it could have been worse?

    IMDB page views! Mojo needs to get Ray Subers back pronto…lol. The DisneyNature doc and UNFORGETTABLE are the predictable #1 and #2 this weekend.

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