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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by Klady ’18

Weekend Estimates 2018-01-07 at 10.50.29 AM

East coast weather on Thursday and Friday seems reflected in the weekend estimates, most with significant bumps that aren’t the norm. That’s fine. But I suspect we will see significant variations in the “actuals” when they land on Monday.

The leap of Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle over Insidious: The Last Key in the top slot isn’t shocking, but the actual amounts projected are.  Jumanji is showing its strength is with young audiences and parents who feel safe taking kids to the film, which is, not coincidentally, the only kid-safe movie in the market aside from Wonder and Coco. Wonder represents the second year that Lionsgate has had a stand-alone original do over $125 million domestic: it and La La Land are the only such titles in the history of the distributor.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi will pass $600 million domestic next weekend, in 30 or 31 days. That’s five or six days faster than Jurassic World and more than two weeks faster than Avatar. Those committed to negativity against the film have only the singular success of The Force Awakens, which leveraged a decade of pent-up demand between Star Wars films, to downplay the success of this one. Of course, box office isn’t film criticism. But if you don’t like what Rian Johnson did with the franchise, you can’t claim that you have the zeitgeist on your side.

Both holiday musicals are holding well, even though neither is explosive. But The Greatest Showman is now headed to making the $100 million domestic list 13 deep.

Screen Shot 2018-01-07 at 12.09.56 PM

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87 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by Klady ’18”

  1. EtGuild2 says:

    BOOM! JUMANJI 2 is now storming the international box office as well. Suddenly, $725 million (China is yet to come and let’s say doesn’t do well there there which seems unlikely with The Rock…he’s FAMILY) looks like an absolute floor, which would crush JUSTICE LEAGUE at the 2017 worldwide box office. More likely, it’ll surpass 2012’s $770 million to become Sony’s biggest ever worldwide movie outside of Bond/Maguire-MCU Spidey. Wild.

    COCO’s worldwide numbers continue to amaze me, though yes, China finally fell in love with Pixar. Still, $700 million looks likely with several big players still to come, which would put it well above MOANA, BIG HERO 6 and SING. A very unlikely result on paper going in.

  2. Christian says:

    Before the LAST JEDI box-office wars Part III (or is t Part IV?) begin here in the comments, has anyone seen “Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds”? My daughter, a K-Pop fan, asked me to take her to see it in Northern Virginia on Saturday because it stars one of her favorite K-Pop singers. I made an excuse not to go, thinking the film, which has received mixed to negative reviews, might soon disappear, but from the looks of that per-screen, I’m guessing it’s going to stick around at least a few weeks.

  3. Doug R says:

    Well, China does have a culture based on ancestor veneration, Coco fits right in there.

  4. Geoffs says:

    The “Zeitgeist” Dave? The only buzzed-about aspect of The Last Jedi HAS been the backlash….you can go on about the raw numbers all you want as evidence, but just over past year there have been quite a few films more zeitgeist-y like It, Wonder Woman, Get Out, Logan, Baby Driver, and Thor Ragnarok….merely crossing $500 million doesn’t automatically qualify, otherwise I’m at a loss as how heavily buzzed about Finding Dory was just over 18 months ago.

  5. Hcat says:

    So all the normal rank and file moviegoers I know STILL have not heard of Lady Bird. I think this bodes very well as it has not fully hit the crossover audience yet, hopefully a win tonight raises its profile. It’s likely the most accessible movie A24 has released. Once people that normally avoid indie fare start connecting with it this might see Sideways level grosses.

    And this is the fourth week of Jedi right, now that the contracted largest theater guarantee expires, I wonder what the screen count will be next week. I know theaters were pissed at the terms they had to agree to for Jedi, they may not be so amenable to helping it keep its legs.

  6. EtGuild2 says:

    ” Wonder represents the second year that Lionsgate has had a stand-alone original do over $125 million domestic, as it and La La Land are the only such titles in the history of the distributor.”

    What makes WONDER an original and not THE HUNGER GAMES and DIVERGENT, since all three are based on books? Still, a great run no doubt.

  7. David Poland says:

    I was referring to the zeitgeist of negativity, Geoffs.

    And no, it is silly to say the only thing buzzed about on Last Jedi is backlash. That’s, perhaps, what you choose to hear.

  8. David Poland says:

    EtG… as you know, Hunger Games and Divergent were built to be franchises, not standalone films. Or are you expecting Wonder 2: The Pretty Boy Years?

  9. Stella's Boy says:

    I don’t know Geoff I certainly feel like all I’ve read about in the last few weeks is TLJ and fan reaction and box office analysis and the job Johnson did, etc. Not sure how you are measuring buzz but as someone who hasn’t seen it and likely never will but reads the trades and daily newspapers regularly I feel like it’s dominated film discussion at least as much as anything else these past few weeks. I’ve never encountered someone so commited to proving a blockbuster is a letdown.

  10. Joe Leydon says:

    Christian: This is a developing story that most people are missing — the steadily growing US audience for mainstream foreign-language films. I have heard it said that AMC is a prime mover in this phenomenon, and I can believe it. At the AMC Studio 30 near my house in H-Town right now, seven screens are devoted to films from India, China and Korea — including, yes, Along with the Gods.

  11. Heather says:

    I was going to comment but couldn’t say it any better than Stell’s boys

  12. Ray Pride says:

    AMC theaters are owned by China conglom Dalian Wanda.

    Day-and-date releases of imports are no longer “niche” but a staple of their releases.

  13. Geoff says:

    @Stella’s Boy – I’m just going by social media, I’m well aware that the major entertainment trades have been spinning themselves into a frenzy in how they report this movie. Two years ago, it was ALL fun about The Force Awakens: the Tr8tor vs. Finn fight, is Rey a Mary Sue, Daniel Craig’s cameo, could it be the first to hit a billion domestic, was Poe the first gay Star Wars character, etc…..and last year at this time, it was a bit more mixed regarding Rogue One but still: the bad-ass Vader hallway scene, how did they bring Tarkin back, how “brave” it was for Lucasfilm to kill off all of the major characters, etc. THIS year, there’s some discussion of the Rose character but it’s a mixed bag, folks are sick of Porgs, Hamill’s complaints about his character and then his apology, the Rotten Tomatoes audience score and was it a conspiracy, and of course….it’s all very negative for the most part in the DISCUSSIONS of the film, it wasn’t THIS bad early on The Phantom Menace either. It could be very well be the highest grossing film ever to be remembered as a “disappointment” DOMESTICALLY….WORLDWIDE, ‘Age of Ultron will still have that distinction because this film isn’t getting near $1.4 billion at this point.

  14. Geoff says:

    @Ethan, you really think Jumanji will get THAT high?? Hmmmm….I guess if China comes through.

  15. EtGuild2 says:

    DP, I’m assuming you don’t consider “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” to be an “original” then given the story was outlined ahead of time. Or on the opposite spectrum, do you consider “RockNRolla” to be an original? You have some interesting thoughts on the word original, that’s for sure.

  16. EtGuild2 says:

    Geoff another $80 million US and $100 million non-China, plus $70 million in China get it there. They just need it to match last year’s XXX to hit well above $800m actually.

  17. leahnz says:

    no globes thread in which to snark this year?

  18. Stella's Boy says:

    Have people investigated TLJ and its social media buzz? Or are you just assuming based on your own strenuous effort to prove that it’s a letdown?

  19. Night Owl says:

    “Geoff another $80 million US and $100 million non-China, plus $70 million in China get it there”

    Ehhh, $80 million will be tough (theaters can reduce showings as of Thursday, it is losing some IMAX screens, school is back). It should squeak by the Avengers though. But 70 million from China?! Yeah, no. If it makes in the $50 million range (or about 30% down from Rogue One and 60% down from FA) we have our best case scenario. The reality is it will likely be less than even that, word of mouth is awful. It will come close but probably the terrible showing in China means it misses that $1.4 billion milestone…cry me a river (of money).

    Tried watching the Globes, tried to care, just can’t. This year has been too ugly and disturbing for snark.

  20. poet67 says:

    I think we can totally expect a Wonder 2 adaptation of “Auggie and Me”

  21. Heather says: by social media you mean you and your circle of friends. Nothing is ever going to compare to the Force awakens in terms of coverage and anticipation. You had a 10 year gap plus the original cast returning. The second is ever going to have the same Dave illustrated by comparing star wars to empire, phantom menace to attack of the clones. (and maybe rogue one diluted things as well) But the idea that its a disappointment or has bad buzz is just silly.

  22. iothereturned says:

    The answer, from all of you people time and time again, is that you want to be civil and nice, but you literally opined about the nice racist and sexist over me… a fan. Whatever the case, he has returned, and he will try to remember what Jerry, Bobby, Mickey, Pig Pen, and Robert have taught me. Now, for the first time in a long time… YO, MA! RELEASE THE SMOKE MONSTER! Kidding. No more McWeeney time either. You want civility? Let us try civility.

    So, Heather, your post is the difference between a casual fan, and a hardcore fan of Star Wars. Now, your fandom may be on level with mine, but your post reads like it is not. Before someone goes on about FAN LEVELLING… there are different level of fans, and you know why?

    I follow countless SW groups on all social media. I follow the official SW twitter and facebook. There are countless SW theory youtube channels, the official SW channel, and on and on. You stating the coverage and the anticipation could never meet the excitement of TFA. Ignores that all of that stuff up there, for almost a year and a half, was doing nothing but building excitement for episode VIII. It’s a quantifiable metric, and it’s one of the things that frustrates me about TLJ. Someone at LFL could have done a google search, and seen the billions of views certain story points generated, and the countless articles they spawned as well. They weren’t clickbait, for the most part. They were bloggers and companies, spending a lot of time in words or on camera discussing what JJ and Kasdan established, and it went on for close to two years unabated.

    The excitement for this film was at a fever pitch, then people saw it. Critics love it, but go anywhere on the net where a fan, a hardcore fan, can voice their displeasure with this film and you will find it. It’s right there, and it’s not all fake bullshit. It’s fans, fans of this franchise, frustrated that this is what LFL, KK, and RJ decided to give fans.

    If RJ actually followed up TFA, and didn’t reboot the saga. Well… that dimension has a lot happier SW fans. Over here? You have people, like GdB has brought up time and time again, that are the life blood of this franchise… checked out. Outside of Solo, which I am excited about because of being a Ron Howard and a Star Wars fan. Episode IX holds ZERO interest for me. I don’t care what JJ does. There’s only so much tape you can put over a hole in the roof. KK and LFL, decided that this is where they want to go, and I am not with it.

    That’s the point: SW is big right now, but it’s not STRONG. There is a difference between BIG numbers, and STRONG numbers. Dave, when he gets backed into a corner, and decides he wants to fight over something. Will ignore what’s right in his face, and be absolutist with his coverage. Unfortunately, The Last Jedi is BIG, but it is not STRONG. If you told anyone in 2016, that the Lost World would beat the sequel to TFA in receipts. They’d laugh at you. That’s where we are, but we will know more if Solo bombs. This story however? Is a long one, so I have no desire to discuss it any further. I am an actual SW fan, who is a part of the community, and my community has a lot of unhappy people in it.

    ETA: Night, I hope they do the same at the Oscars, and they never stop. I will go further: we still do not live in a world, where Greta Gerwig’s name is bandied about doing some blockbuster. Jordan Peele, will at least get a shot, but we still live in a world where women directors are thought to be less than, and that is incredibly messed up.

  23. EtGuild2 says:

    Night Owl, I was talking about JUMANJI, not SW.

  24. Night Owl says:

    Oops sorry. Totally missed that! $70 million in China could be doable, early indicators are pretty good, but there are several openers this weekend. Tough road.

    So the Golden Globes were on…..yep.

  25. movieman says:

    Patty Jenkins, “Wonder Woman #1 and #2.”
    Ava DuVernay, “A Wrinkle in Time.”
    It can happen. Just took an awful long time to get here.

    I seriously doubt whether Gerwig has any interest in directing a Marvel/DC property or kidflick franchise hopeful, though.
    Maybe a stop-motion animated film like “Fantastic Mr. Fox” or “Isle of Dogs”?

  26. TheLat s says:

    “That’s the point: SW is big right now, but it’s not STRONG. There is a difference between BIG numbers, and STRONG numbers. Dave, when he gets backed into a corner, and decides he wants to fight over something. Will ignore what’s right in his face, and be absolutist with his coverage. Unfortunately, The Last Jedi is BIG, but it is not STRONG. If you told anyone in 2016, that the Lost World would beat the sequel to TFA in receipts. They’d laugh at you. That’s where we are, but we will know more if Solo bombs. This story however? Is a long one, so I have no desire to discuss it any further. I am an actual SW fan, who is a part of the community, and my community has a lot of unhappy people in it.”

    JURASSIC World, I believe you meant, besting TLJ’s ww box office shouldn’t surprise you. Why? Two words, which are ANTICIPATION and MOMENTUM. JW was surprisingly, both domestically and ww, but people loved the idea of returning to a JP full-function part movie in a functioning dinosaur Island. But I think you. Should be comparing how well JW2 is going to do compare to TLJ. It could still do better.

  27. Pete B says:

    ” I am an actual SW fan, who is a part of the community, and my community has a lot of unhappy people in it.”

    No one is refuting that there are unhappy fans. They have been very vocal. The disagreement on this blog is that you’re implying that someone can’t like TLJ and be a “TRUE” fan. It’s not like there’s a litmus test.

  28. The Last Brack says:

    Edit: TheLat s made similar arguments.

    “That’s the point: SW is big right now, but it’s not STRONG. There is a difference between BIG numbers, and STRONG numbers. Dave, when he gets backed into a corner, and decides he wants to fight over something. Will ignore what’s right in his face, and be absolutist with his coverage. Unfortunately, The Last Jedi is BIG, but it is not STRONG. If you told anyone in 2016, that the Lost World would beat the sequel to TFA in receipts. They’d laugh at you. That’s where we are, but we will know more if Solo bombs. This story however? Is a long one, so I have no desire to discuss it any further. I am an actual SW fan, who is a part of the community, and my community has a lot of unhappy people in it.”

    “Amazing. Every word of what you just said…was wrong.” – Luke Skywalker 😉 (I’m tease, please don’t fly off the handle.

    JURASSIC World, I believe you meant, besting TLJ’s ww box office shouldn’t surprise you. Why? Two words, which are ANTICIPATION and NOSTALGIA. It’s not even a fair comparison since TLJ is a direct sequel to TFA that was released just two years later, compared to JW that got released 14 years after the last JP. That’s a world of difference.

    JW was surprising, both domestically and ww, but I guess it’s safe to assume people loved the idea of returning to the JP franchise, with, finally, a full-functioning dinosaur theme park movie. It over performed, similarly to how TFA over performed. A huge part JW’s success was because of nostalgia and the high anticipation for returning to The JP redux. JW borrowed heavily from JP, similar to now TFA borrowed heavily from ANH. The difference in grosses had to do with more anticipation for TFA than JW.

    So having stated all of that, I think the balanced comparison should then be comparing how well JW2 will do compared to TLJ. JW2 could still do better, namely because of places, most notably China, that don’t really love the Star Wars franchise to begin with. Will JW2 even come close to JW domestically? Maybe, maybe not. JW surprised me. And TFA surprised everyone, particularly domestically. I don’t think JW2 will do as well as JW. And that won’t make it a failure or weak, like you seemed to be doing with TLJ before you mellowed (supposedly) out. Internationally JW2 may do the same, close to, or better than its predecessor, as the international audiences don’t appear to be as quickly fickle as the domestic box office. Just compare Avengers vs Age of Ultron’s. Was Age of Ultron a box office failure because it “only” grossed 73% of the domestic take’s original? Of course not. The anticipation wasn’t as high for Age of Ultron. Was AoU a terrible movie? No, just maybe not as crowd pleasing as the first one, but that’s a debate on quality, not box office.

    TLJ was more frontloaded this time, and played more like a SW sequel akin to ESB and AOTC, because the newness of SW, and the nostalgia for SW, was somewhat gone and the anticipation simply wasn’t as strong, especially for the PT and ST first sequels.

    And let’s not ignore the drop off from ANH with ESB, which also was “divisive” for its day, because some fans thought it was too dark for THEIR Star Wars, almost as if they owned it. That was all pre-Internet, but still, a similar principle.

    SW is both BIG and STRONG. Not all of them are going to be as big as TFA. More of them will gross along the lines of TLJ or R1 than TFA, and history has shown that high likelihood. You can argue your social media and forums you frequent spoke differently as your evidence all you want, but that’s deeply flawed and shortsighted, and you probably know that already, and if you haven’t, wise up.

    Your specific SW communities have a lot of unhappy people in it, I’m sure, but it’s smaller communities than you think, unless you can come up with some scientific study or even a professional analysis of box office, which you don’t have and the latter you are choosing to ignore, belittle, or not follow, like Scott Mendelson’s, or even our beloved David Poland’s. That’s your prerogative. Doing 70% of TFA is BIG and STRONG, and far from disappointing or a failure.

    I’m a SW fan, not as extensively read up on the EU, but I really liked Shadows of the Empire, the one book I have read, and I’ve probably have seen episodes IV-VIII as much as anyone (I’ve even seen the PT a bit more than casual fans probably), probably more so since I’ve seen TLJ six times now. Yes, I enjoyed it that much and get more from it with each viewing.

  29. Geoff says:

    @Heather, I could read that as condescending but fuck it… it was NOT just my circle of friends. It was large Facebook movie groups with tens of thousands of ardent movie fans, mostly of course focused on comic book movies and sci fi. Two years ago in these same groups, the consensus was that The Force Awakens was BELOVED – yeah there was some griping about Rey being a Mary Sue and how much it copied A New Hope but overall a VERY positive consensus. Not the cast this time, it’s VERY split….and whereas the talk just a few months ago was, “Disney knows what they’re doing, Lucasfilm knows what they’re doing….this is going to be great!” it’s now “Well maybe Disney/Lucasfilm should slow things down now, we don’t need a film every year…Kathleen Kennedy is a control freak!”

    And beyond that just go on Twitter, you have a lot of bloggers and critics out there every day discussing this film – most of whom LOVED the movie at first watch, at least if they were in that Collider/ScreenJunkies/Young Turks/IGN Los Angeles bubble where they ALL got to attend the big premiere in LA and were rushing out the next day to post videos or tweets along the lines of “Best since Empire, even better possibly!” A few weeks later, most of them feel the need to defend the film saying there is no backlash and that it’s making all of the money it was expected to….and some are even conceding a bit that there were poor decisions made within the story of the film. I don’t know most of these folks personally but it doesn’t take a genius to observe a shift. Seriously….ALL of the discussion is over the backlash, whether there is a backlash, and/or what this means for Lucasfilm moving forward.

  30. The Last Brack says:

    Tens of thousands is nothing when there billions of people on this earth. Plus it’s not scientific. I can use anecdotal evidence as well. Most posters on the movie forum I frequent have been divided in the discussion, but the voting poll for the film is very highly rated, it’s just the people who didn’t like it are more vocal, and can’t stop talking about it. Twitter is your go to as well? Oy.

    It’s going to make 70% off of an over-performing first film. If it crashed after is giant opening, I’d agree that a good portion hated the movie or that it had bad word of mouth. It didn’t drop like a ton of bricks, so your argument doesn’t seem correlate with reality, just your microcosm of social media.

  31. Geoff says:

    I don’t think it’s just one person writing this but yeah, The Force Awakens was JUST two years ago – I think all of us remember how big an event that film was and how huge a phenomenon it was, obviously hard to duplicate.

    But….wasn’t The Phantom Menace up there as well?? That film had 16 years of anticipation behind it….and the ORIGINAL Star Wars wasn’t lightning in a bottle back in ’77 that would have been hard to replicate as well?

    And yeah so was The Avengers in 2012….and The Dark Knight in 2008…..and Iron Man in 2008…..and Skyfall in 2012…..and Spider-Man in 2002…..and Harry Potter in 2001….and Furious 7 in 2015. HUGE films that either significantly over-performed to the point where they could be discussed at the same level as a Star Wars movie or had a high level of anticipation that was more than exceeded so that they could be discussed on the same level as a Star Wars movie. And here’s how their sequels did worldwide compared to the predecessor:

    Avengers: Age of Ultron, -6%
    The Dark Knight Rises, +7%
    Iron Man 2, +6%
    SPECTRE, -20%
    Spider-Man 2, -5%
    Harry Potter 2, -10% (came out just a year later)
    F8te of the Furious, -20%

    And here’s where The Last Jedi will likely end up: -35%

    And yes, the folks at ION and Universal ARE concerned with those drop-offs from Bond and Furious….which is why the former is probably waiting longer before releasing the next movie (Skyfall came out four years after ‘Quantum which helped distance things) and the next Fast/Furious movie will likely be a spin-off as opposed to a direct sequel….to Tyrese’s dismay apparently. 🙁

  32. The Last Brack says:

    The world wide is skewed do to almost half the gross of TFA was domestic, which is uncommon for a domestic percentage. If you look at domestic drops, Age of Ultron is right up there, and China doesn’t care a whole lot about Star Wars like they do F&F.

    When your last movie makes almost a billion domestically, the percentage will make it look bad. You act like that was the new rule and not the exception.

  33. GdB says:

    The disparity between audiences and critics isn’t just showing up on RT:—the-last-jedi

    Read the audience reviews. Its not bots or a small minority of fans. The notion that the film’s defenders think they’re the majority opinion is amusing.

  34. palmtree says:

    TLJ is Metacritic’s #1 most discussed movie of 2017. It’s the most zeitgeist-y movie of the year! 🙂

  35. Stella's Boy says:

    Everyone and their grandma hates it but it’s still going to make $1.5 billion and rank in the top 5 domestic grossers of all-time. What a letdown!

  36. EtGuild2 says:

    I thought Oprah’s spee….STAR WARS!

    Natalie Portman was kind of…STAR WARS!

    2018 Sundance has a pretty wea…STAR WARS!

  37. spassky says:

    “Read the audience reviews. Its not bots or a small minority of fans. The notion that the film’s defenders think they’re the majority opinion is amusing.”

    voluntary response bias.

  38. GdB says:

    I doubt it hits 1.5B. Maybe 1.4,

    I think Rob Cain at Forbes has the right analogy:

    “The apologists also claim that $1.2 or $1.3 billion is a huge total, and that on that point alone, The Last Jedi must be deemed a big success. I can’t deny that $1.3 billion is a lot of money, but the argument is nevertheless still fallacious in my opinion. It’s as if Disney invested a huge amount of money to get Albert Pujols in his prime, and after a 47 home run season, the next year he hit 28. Sure, you could argue that for most players, 28 home runs would be great. But for Albert Pujols in his prime, it stinks. Disney didn’t pay hundreds of millions for production costs and marketing to make a movie that will earn nearly 40 percent less than its predecessor.”

  39. PcChongor says:

    More like if Disney paid for a clone of Pujols that initially did well, but then began slowly disintegrating because it lacked the soul of the original. They wanted Luke Skywalker, but ended up with an army of disposable Stormtroopers instead.

  40. movieman says:

    Good one, Ethan!

  41. iothereturned says:

    To be fair, I brought up Greta Gerwig! Where’s her big tentpole? Nowhere. The men at the globes hardly brought up any of the nonsense going on in their industry. I just hope Patty Jenkins has a nom for the Oscars (or Gerwig).

    If not? Whomever gives that award. Should set up the nominees the same way. Also, how tone def was Del Toro? Who cares about movie monsters? When real monsters are raping and assaulting women left and right in that industry! Dudes are just going to be dudes no matter what.

    And yes, the SW talk has gotten out of hand. The moment we know one side or the other has “won,” is the moment Rian Johnson has his trilogy put on hold. That’s the surest sign, that Disney agree with TLJ not living up to what they wanted it to be. If he still gets it, and they just push ahead? I can’t see Solo being given the wood, because of TLJ.

    Overall, it’s sisyphean at this point, and there’s not going to be any budging anytime soon.

  42. EtGuild2 says:

    Damn you went hard there on Del Toro, but it’s a valid point.

    Even though I’m not a fan of THREE BILLBOARDS and fell a bit short of outright love for LADY BIRD, their success last night was heartening.

  43. iothereturned says:

    I love Del Toro, but it was really tone deaf. It comes across like the actresses were protesting, and the men were just there. Happy to show up. It was a weird juxtaposition.

  44. EtGuild2 says:

    Aside from, in my opinion, Seth Meyers, who, forget Greatest Showman, was a trapeez artist last night.

  45. Hcat says:

    I do like the fact that everything awarded is still in theaters and can reap the benefits. Makes the whole PR exercise worthwhile.

    I think it would have been even more effective if Portman had read all the nominated names with question marks.

    Ridley Scott?

    ‘The moment we know one side or the other has “won,” is the moment Rian Johnson has his trilogy put on hold’

    If his trilogy isn’t stalled, then EU fans will only see it as a starting pistol for another round of ‘How Could They?” and in that instance no one will have ‘won’.

  46. palmtree says:

    Del Toro eventually did thank specifically the women involved in the film (or at least at his table).

    But it would have been really nice to hear more about women’s issues from Alexander Skarsgard whose win was for a character who engages in domestic violence. But he too merely thanked the women.

  47. Christian says:

    Joe: Thanks for your response. One of the things I appreciate about Len Klady’s summaries are his mentions of how largely unheralded (at least critically) foreign titles are performing in the niches.

    My daughter just asked again about seeing “Against the Gods.”

  48. GdB says:

    One last thing I’ll say about TLJ, is that it’s an excellent example of how whether one likes a film or not, can truly skew their perspective on the numbers, depending on how they feel about the film.

  49. EtGuild2 says:

    BoxOfficeMojo has had trouble finding a domestic comp for JUMANJI and threw it against HOBBIT 1, which it’s going to crush. LOTR 2 would have been better from December titles, and ALICE IN WONDERLAND or ZOOTOPIA would be more interesting…non-holiday but more similar in appeal and in $.

    Btw, Jumani overperformed weekend estimates by $6 million worldwide.

  50. Js partisan says:

    Pete, I am entitled to feel that way. I went through all of that drama with the prequels, so I can draw a line for me. My brother, didn’t even like TFA, so he drew a line for himself. These are all lines that exist, and we have the right to them. If you like TLJ, then I don’t feel you are a fan. Guess what though? Who cares if I feel this way? It’s my opinion, and I love stuff you may not like. It’s life, but it’s also entertainment. I’ve never thought any less of a person as an actual person, for liking am entertainment property I dislike.

    Brack, that’s fine. I’m not fighting anymore. I’ve put the figurative sword down, and have walked away from it. We disagree and do not see anything similarly. There’s no reason to yell at one another, figuratively, when we do not agree.

  51. iothereturned says:

    Sorry for multiple names. I didn’t change it on my phone. Yay.

  52. Doug R says:

    According to Slate, the last Jedi is about the dangers of fandom, a Star Wars Don Quixote:

  53. Geoff says:

    @Etguild, I think the most obvious comparisons are probably Night at the Museum, Meet the Fockers, and Sing.

  54. iothereturned says:

    Doug, old me would be generally angry and dismissive about the article. New old me? Or old me new me? Or Jerry Hausgawits of Jerry’s House of Cadillacs on route 10… sorry. The problem with that article is a simple one: No one asked Rian Johnson to reinvent Star Wars. No one asked LFL or KK, to ignore all the work the Story Group did and still do, or all the work the writers of their books and their comics, and the artist who draw those comics and the teams that work on Rebels, and the people who write Rebels, and Dave Filoni. No one asked for this. Is it exciting for some people? Sure. It seems that way, but it’s not Star Wars excitement. It’s that subversive excitement one gets, when something old is changed and altered, like New Coke. The Last Jedi is New Coke.

    I loved New Coke. Why did I love New Coke? It tasted like Pepsi. It wasn’t Coke though. There is so much great Sci-fi in the world, and that’s not SW. It’s an Opera. RJ took something, and tried to twist it into some postmodern pastiche of what SW should be going 20 years into the future. The problem with that, like New Coke, is that no one was asking for it.

    We can keep relitigating it, but I know what SW is. Some of you know what SW is to you. To me? This isn’t what I want from SW. It’s a family saga, and I don’t need the subversion of it. It is what it is to each of us.

  55. Bulldog68 says:

    I think it’s a foregone conclusion now that Jumanji will end up 5th for the year, besting Homecoming’s $334m. This and It, have been insane surprises to close the last 1/3 of the year.

    Does anyone else think we were easy on Coco and Pixar. Internationally the numbers were great, but domestically it’s at #14 of 18 releases. It may crawl to #13. If it was any other studio, would the domestic combo performance of Cars 3, #17 of 18 and Coco been enough to generate more negative feedback? Again, everything is relative. a $200m gross for any original animated release would be a win for any other studio, but for Pixar, it’s underwhelming, especially with such positive reviews.

  56. iothereturned says:

    Can I just throw out there, that Coco maybe suffered from some of the same things that hampered Book of Life. The day of the dead thing, may be a bit too much for some anglo-saxon descendants, who aren’t really ready to explain death, or the afterlife, to their children. It seems like a logical leap, because we are the afraid of death culture.

  57. Bulldog68 says:

    Or maybe just other cultures in general IO. There has not been many animated movies about people that have focused on non white characters. Moana is the high mark thus far, maybe then Big Hero 6. The Princess and the Frog was a bit of a disappointment b/o wise. I guess Home did okay as it had a girl of color as the main human.

    We have yet to see that major animated break out hit that focuses on people of color, like maybe The Incredibles or even Inside Out or Up, where color is not the issue.

  58. iothereturned says:

    BD, I was trying not to down that path :D! I was trying to make it cultural, but you probably have a point. Which sucks.

  59. Bulldog68 says:

    I sensed that IO. I appreciate the restraint. And as a black guy, I’m still not calling it racism. The world is evolving. Industry norms are no longer the norm. When you consider that the whole technology behind color film was based on a white person’s skin, and it was only in the 70’s that furniture manufactures and chocolate makers complained that Kodak film wasn’t capturing differences in textures and grains, that the industry began to take a look at how to film people of color and Asians.

    I’m sure animators, and even well meaning ones, are in conundrums about right color tones and whether what they’ve drawn is offensive so as not to stoke the ire of organizations that may accuse them of stepin fetchitting their way through the animated world.

    Quality aside, Fast and Furious has proven that you can have a domestic and international hit that is diverse. If you don’t build it, then there’s nothing people can come to. I’d really like to see animators step up to the plate and have more people of color in their animated foreground, with stories that are universal in nature.

    And yes, those two hucking and jiving transformers was some racist shit.

  60. EtGuild2 says:

    @Bulldog, COCO was a tough sell from the beginning, not only given the subject matter, but because we’re only three years removed from BOOK OF LIFE. $215 million seems pretty good to me.

  61. The Last Brack says:

    “T”he disparity between audiences and critics isn’t just showing up on RT:—the-last-jedi

    Read the audience reviews. Its not bots or a small minority of fans. The notion that the film’s defenders think they’re the majority opinion is amusing.”

    Why would it be any different on another website? Audience reviews are not a good indicator of what the majority of the general public thinks, it’s simply the most vocal or active on the internet. Cinema Score for the film was an A. It didn’t drop like a rock, which wouldn be a better indicator that the word of mouth was as bad as you think it is.

  62. Pete B says:

    To add to Brack’s point:
    TLJ opened to $220 mil and currently sits at #1 for 2017 with $576 mil (numbers rounded off to make it easier). If you subtracted that opening weekend, and just went by the following weekends when bad word of mouth would have damaged it’s box office, it’d be at $356 million and still be #5 for the year. Right between Guardians 2 and Spidey: Homecoming. And TLJ hasn’t reached the 30 day mark yet.

    By comparison, BvS is #8 for 2016, and if you take away it’s opening weekend and go by the subsequent weeks when toxic WOM kicked in, that movies falls out of the Top Ten and drops to #15 for the year.

  63. GdB says:

    Again, the fact that you guys are judging Star Wars based on BO numbers and not ancillary numbers to determine the health and state of the franchise is amusing.

    SW didn’t change to opening two weeks before X-Mas over Box Office numbers.

    The movie made money into the black, but is not at all what Disney or anyone else expected. Those still defending it as such sound like battered spouses making excuses for their abusive significant other.

  64. Pete B says:

    Please provide some data for these “ancillary numbers”.

  65. GdB says:

    These are from right after the movie opened. The fact that THR estimated in the article a $735m domestic take back then and where the actual numbers are now says everything.

    Everyone says how sequels underperform. True. But this was suppposed to be the “Luke Skywalker” movie of the new trilogy. That expectation should have made up for the drop.

    But wom got out on the character assisnation and the numbers show it.

    We’ll see the results even more on IX’s opening. Watch.

  66. iothereturned says:

    I am not jumping into this again. I just wanted to added, that I had no idea the Chinese were fans of the prequels. Which, to me, that means Disney has to make an Obi-Wan movie or trilogy, to literally make it in China.

    Both of those articles are interesting, but this needs to be put out there: George Lucas made a lot of money off of Clone Wars toys. There has been one year, 2013, without consistent new SW product. SW product doesn’t stop, so someone not ordering their product… TRU aside, is distressing for the brand.

  67. Pete B says:

    Wow, Gdb those were really convincing articles. The main gist being a) Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy and b) the Rogue One toys were a bust. Not sure how any of that is TLJ’s fault. Gotta love the final line from the 2nd article too: “Merchandise is falling back, but it doesn’t mean Disney won’t make a killing.”

  68. iothereturned says:

    Neither article comes from toy people, and if you read toy people. There is a problem with this property, and it’s been happening since the Disney takeover. Hasbro would be in trouble. If Hasbro didn’t have the Marvel property, and haven’t been successful with it. The SW toyline, is not in good shape, but like I pointed out multiple times… Disney have never been toy people.

    There is literally no new ground to be made. People feel like me, and people feel like you. We see the same numbers, and have different takes. Let’s just wait til Solo, because Deadpool has decided to be a threat to it, and not the other way around. Which is insane.

  69. Hcat says:


    It is true we go by box office, because this is a movie site filled with movie fans. With the usual caveats about BO not being an accurate distinction of quality etc. etc.. If it doesn’t have to do with the filmed product I am not sure if most of us care. How the plot points affect a comic series, or cartoon network series, or a future video or role playing game is inconsequential. The parameters that the majority of us care about is what is onscreen.

    Now I understand that you want to use toy sales as a measure of enthusiasm for the franchise especially since it fits your narrative. But aren’t there other factors that might be driving down the demand for these toys? Perhaps a shift away from playing with action figures, or perhaps a decade of Superhero toys have sucked up all the oxygen, or perhaps having three major toy launches in the Star Wars line in three years is too much for people to keep up with? And IO I acknowledge that you mentioned that there had consistent toy releases pre-Disney, but I can’t imagine they would have matched the scope of what they have done these past three years.

  70. Hcat says:

    And IO, not trying to start anything but just curious, when you say Disney is not good at toys. You simply mean toy lines and are not including other ancillary products like licensed t-shirts or sleeping bags and the like.

    I just remember them making billions on the princess line and don’t know the sources you are using to support the idea that Disney is somehow doing poorly at further monetizing their films, when it always seems to me that the whole reason for their films is to further monetize them.

  71. The Last Brack says:

    Star Wars, Meghan Markle and the total eclipse drove big sales on eBay in 2017

  72. iothereturned says:

    A reseller having success selling these products. Ignores that retail, had a hard time selling them, and you can go to any store within 25 miles of you right now, and have a good time checking out the pegwarmers. 450K is really a drop in the bucket for SW, and most of that money Disney/Hasbro will never see.

    Hcat, they have had success in some areas, like Disney Jr properties. The thing of it is: Star Wars and toys go hand and hand, but Disney just sort of throws toys out there for their movies. They will make toys for Big Hero 6, and they are awesome. Unfortunately, the Big Hero Six designs are terrible, and they don’t sell. The same with the tremendous Coco toys, that are just sitting on TRU shelfs. This leads to the interesting thing about Disney.

    They would rather the amusement parks having a ride that makes money from a property, or the movie make money and sell Blu-rays, then sell a piece of plastic. Look at Tron Legacy. It was on the low end of moderately successful, but those designs are amazing. Did Disney put out serious toys for this film? Nope. Rinky dink figures with an led inside of them, that didn’t even feature actor faces. The same goes with the Pirates films, and how they could have just added loads more money to their ledgers. They simply just didn’t, and when they did do it? They didn’t have Hasbro make the toys. They used one of their in house companies make them, and they completely didn’t understand the market, or how to capitalize on it. Their inability to figure out boys toys, has now led to their weird antipathy effecting Star Wars.

    Let me make it clear: Disney puts the story and films first, and that’s always the most important thing. However, Star Wars isn’t a regular Disney movie, but they have been treating it that way. They also, have not let Hasbro sell toys, and have hampered them with their spoiler phobia. All of it, leads to a property that is and will forever be, one of the most important toy properties on earth… half assing it and treading water, and not doing what Lucas was doing for years, and making so much from it.

    I stated this before, and let me state it again. What’s cooler than 1.2bn? 2.4bn. They could double it, triple it, but they handcuff Hasbro and this is the result.

  73. brack says:

    I still would love to know how a sales dip in Star Wars toys before the film even releases has to do with quality of the film. Just seems to keep supporting the idea that anticipation and fervor for Star Wars in general is down from before The Force Awakens. How could it not? But that’s a decent down. A 30% drop domestically from TFA isn’t something anyone should be alarmed about, and it’s still the biggest movie release of last year. Given that outside of Solo there will be no other Star Wars movies for over a year after that release, Episode IX will do just fine, probably better given the downer films like Empire and TLJ didn’t do so well compared to their predecessors, but remember that they still were the biggest movies of 1980 and 2017.

  74. iothereturned says:

    That’s simply not the case, and no matter how many times I state, GbB states, or even Geoff states as much. You don’t believe us. I was at a FEVER PITCH for this movie until the spoilers came out, then I saw it. Yuck. I was not alone with this excitement, because it’s SW. It’s the biggest movie of the year, because of what it is, and that’s big. Ultron money isn’t strong.

    Nevertheless, you dismiss this though, when I am simply just a fan sharing his exacerbation. I was super excited for this movie, youtube SW creators were pumping daily videos, and the trailers made crazy impressions. You want to ignore that TFA got people excited. You dismiss it,because you want to believe. That’s fine, but please do not expect anyone to constantly be told, that something they actually lived… they didn’t live. I lived it, it disappointed me, and it still bums me out on some level this is where we are. It is what it is, but I am not changing your mind. Nor do I care to even try.

    The only way one of us will know the other is right or wrong, are dependent on a bunch of things that are not coming to fruition anytime soon, and I simply do not see things playing out the sameway. There is no putting the roof back on a delipidated house, but positivity doesn’t really hurt in these case. So, you go on with yourself!

  75. The Last Brack says:

    I’m not debating whether you disliked the movie or not. You obviously didn’t. It’s the idea that toy sales, box office, etc. are down from a movie that came nearly close to $1 b domestically, is somehow indicative that the brand was tarnished by the film, when toy sales were down prior to film release, and that anticipation for Star Wars isn’t where it was prior to TLJ as it was prior to TFA. Your own personal anticipation isn’t a factor in this argument, as my or your opinion isn’t the majority opinion, no matter how much you claim I’m making such a case. I’m not. You’re the one pretending to be on the pulse of the moviegoing public.

    I never said you were alone, rather it’s a more vocal minority. Your proof of audience reviews on Rotten or meta, or Twitter discussions, are laughable, when it’s mostly zero star, “worst film ever” crap not even people who disliked the PT would have ever got their panties in bunch over as much. And you decided in your mind that I hated the PT. No, I just think it’s very inferior to the OT. I have a feeling the film will be more liked by these people very much like this crowd probably would have disliked Empire, as that film had detractors as well.

  76. iothereturned says:

    Here’s the thing: I was alive when Empire came out, and as a kid… never met a kid who didn’t love it. Never met a kid that didn’t love SW sans one, and he really loved Aliens. He was a little bad ass. Nevertheless, when you were there to live something. It’s easy to be like, “Yeah. No one was disappointed with Empire. Everyone always liked SW.”

    Also, this is where you lose me: my anticipation can be quantified. The same with other people’s anticipation. It can be put into hard numbers with Youtube views, tweets, google impressions, facebook posts, snapchats, and so on and so forth. If you want to act like I am a minority, then I will act like you are the minority. Why? It’s a quantifiable fact one way or the other, and no matter how many articles they put up. No matter how hard the trades push the film. The anger is there, but you can feel the same way about the positive. Again, there are metrics, and you waving your hands at them. Does not make them disappear. Your response is, “But the box office!”

    My response? You are confusing big with strong, and the last jedi has big numbers. It doesn’t have strong numbers. There is an inherent difference, and why does anyone who follows this all the time really believe that Disney and Bob Iger, saw Ultron money coming for this movie? Mendelson can go on about what he saw coming, but SW is huge. TFA, RO to a lesser extent, made seeing SW in theatres a huge event again in this country. You are confusing money with popularity, and SW is popular. It doesn’t always have to be popular, and TLJ didn’t help. You, of course, disagree, but this debate is spent. The King is on his way, and he’s going to shock the world.

  77. Stella's Boy says:

    Lots of times people have made the argument that size equals quality, pointing to MCU box office to prove that those movies are good and beloved. So the same doesn’t apply here? Now it’s “big” box office but not “strong”? TLJ is financially successful but not popular?

  78. Bulldog68 says:

    Could we please let Disney just wallow in the tears of disappointment that are surely flowing from their movie making $1.3b at the box office. So shameful.

    I think it’s exactly the same shame Usain Bolt felt when he won gold in the 2016 100m race in a time of 9.81 secs, knowing full well that he won the same race four years previously at 9.63 secs. Oh the embarrassment. He may have run a fast race, but it certainly wasn’t a strong one.

  79. iothereturned says:

    SB, you have a point, but Marvel Studios is in a different class from SW. SW is the “IT” franchise. Nothing, not even Marvel Studios, touches it right now. I’d love Infinity War to wipe the floor with SW box office, but it’s hard for MS to touch SW territory box office wise.

    My question has always been, does anyone seriously believe Bob Iger woke up on January 1st, read the numbers, and let out in joy, “This is amazing!” SW isn’t supposed to drop off by 700m dollars, or 600m dollars. It’s not. Bringing up Empire or any other metric ignores, that Disney doesn’t spend all of this money on SW, and expects anything less than domination. Age of Ultron money, is big, but not strong for SW. You don’t have film presentations all over the world. If you aren’t flaunting the strength of your franchise, and expecting it’s latest film to be huge.

    If you want to bring up how Marvel Studios has strong money and that makes them popular… next month. The King is on his way.

  80. Doug R says:

    More argument that Rian Johnson didn’t go far enough:

  81. iothereturned says:

    Like I stated before; I loved New Coke. Some people want New Coke. How did that play out? It’s going to play out the same way here, because Episode IX is going to be Star Wars Classic. It’s the only hope.

  82. brack says:

    JS – Your argument is supported by a bunch of data you’re trying to skew to prove you’re right about something. You completely ignore any criticism of your so-called quantifiable data. It may be quantifiable, but how your presenting it is completely flawed, and you’re not a statistician. You can point to YouTube trailer views, Twitter comments, etc all you want, but that can only be chalked up to opening weekend, where most box office analysts predicted a more front-loaded opening than TFA. If you want to ignore that sort of analysis, that’s fine, but don’t pretend like you know what you’re talking about when you say you have quantifiable data. You don’t seem to realize you have little qualifiable data.

  83. palmtree says:

    On the lighter side of this debate, I just realized that Temple of Doom also dipped at the box office compared to Raiders and Crusade. It’s almost like a trilogy connected to George Lucas always has a lower-grossing middle chapter. Too bad he didn’t make a third American Graffiti. It definitely would have done better than part two.

  84. movieman says:

    Palm- Speaking of “American Graffiti,” I rewatched “More American Graffiti” for the first time since its original release and it holds up way better than I ever imagined.
    Anyone who doesn’t love “MAG” never really loved “American Graffiti.”

  85. palmtree says:

    Never saw MAG, but I’ll give it a shot now thanks to you.

  86. movieman says:

    Curious to hear what you think, Palm.
    If you have as much residual affection for the characters from “American Graffiti” as I do, it’s really hard not to love “MAG.”
    My only real complaint–and it’s a big one–is directed less at the film than at Richard Dreyfuss, the sole “Graffiti” cast member who couldn’t be bothered to even do a cameo. (Hell, even the post-“Star Wars” Harrison Ford shows up for a terrific scene.)
    The Vietnam sequences reminded me that George Lucas, back when he was flirting with directing it, wanted to shoot “Apocalypse Now” in Super 8. Guess he finally got the chance, if just by proxy.

  87. iothereturned says:

    Brack, your entire point is that I am just wrong, and that I need to shut up. That’s not a debate, but feel free to ignore what’s obvious on any SW blog, post, tweet, or youtube video. I disagree with you in totality, but guess what? We have no idea how this shakes out right now. If you want to continue to disagree, then I am sure there is a nice wall or closet you can yell at… besides me. Have a good weekend.

    Palm, Temple of Doom had the whole PG-13 debacle, so parents kept their kids from seeing it. If you search the Today show archives. You can see a great bit about how shocking the violence was to everyone. It’s a whole thing.

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