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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Box Office First Look

I’m getting back into this habit… but a little uninspired so far.

Frozen 2 opened in the same slot as Frozen, although the first time around, it opened on a single screen. This time, it started wide, as has become the norm. The $41 million Friday is great, although it is dwarfed by the The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opening of $71 million in the same schedule slot in 2013. But the number today (Saturday) will be the really interesting one. It would be no embarrassment for it to be flat or drop some. A significant rise would be exciting for Disney. A significant drop less so.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood isn’t an exciting number, but if you look at recent November opening comps, films like Hacksaw Ridge, Instant Family and A Bad Mom’s Christmas got into the 60s and some the 70s with this kind of launch. This is the rare case where I am interested inCinemascore responses (Tony D left their Cinemascore off his piece today as did Cinemascore’s website), as it will be interesting to see how audiences react to the film being less about Mr. Rogers than they might expect.

Not a great Friday-to-Friday hold for Ford v Ferrari. We’ll see if it accelerates.

21 Bridges falling down. I don’t think the repeated references to Marvel helped this very non-Marvel movie.

There are only three serious Best Picture candidates in theaters right now. Parasite has kept an edge over the more-widely-released Jojo Rabbit. (FvF is above.)

According to what’s left of Box Office Mojo, we’re $758 million behind last year’s total domestic gross as of today. Frozen, Jumanji: Welcome to The Jungle, and Star Wars 8 generated over $860 million domestic through December 31 in their releases. If the sequels do 90% of the previous ones and there isn’t even another dime coming in, this will be the highest-grossing year in the history of the movie business, with over $10.5 billion. If they do 80% as much business by year’s end, we are still only $70m from the record, which Cats, Richard Jewell, and Bombshell will surely deliver between them.

To be honest, I am not 100% trusting the Mojo numbers right now, so I hope this is as accurate as history has suggested the site is. (Oy!)

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3 Responses to “Box Office First Look”

  1. Warren says:

    The 10.5 billion is the year to date comparison–last year’s overall total, the highest ever, was $11.82 billion by the end of the year.

  2. Stella's Boy says:

    I liked The Irishman a lot. After an hour or so I thought yeah this is fine but Scorsese could direct this in his sleep. But it grew on me slowly and by the end I was fully on board. Not that this is a deep thought but it hits you as Frank nears the end of his life that the whole thing is about death. 210 minute movie about death. And it’s quite moving and sad. Pesci and Pacino are just incredible. I was never bored. It of course looks and sounds amazing (those gunshots jesus). I was ready to dismiss the hype and call it overrated but it’s very good. Gives you a lot to chew on. So somber in the end. Glad I got to see it in a theater.

  3. movieman says:

    Weekend, Nov. 22-5

    1 – Frozen II Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures $127,000,000 – 4,440 – – $127,000,000 1

    2 1 Ford v Ferrari Twentieth Century Fox $16,000,000 – 3,528 – – $57,989,570 2

    3 – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Sony Pictures Releasing $13,500,000 – 3,235 – – $13,500,000 1

    4 – 21 Bridges STX Entertainment $9,300,000 – 2,665 – – $9,300,000 1

    5 2 Midway Lionsgate $4,700,000 – 2,627 -615 – $43,107,561 3

    6 4 Playing with Fire Paramount Pictures $4,615,000 – 2,760 -425 – $31,621,647 3

    7 7 The Good Liar Warner Bros. $3,375,000 – 2,454 +15 – $11,765,794 2

    8 3 Charlie’s Angels Sony Pictures Releasing $3,175,000 – 3,452 – – $13,940,592 2

    9 5 Last Christmas Universal Pictures $3,040,000 – 2,411 -1,043 – $27,792,390 3

    10 8 Joker Warner Bros. $2,820,000 – 1,410 -927 – $326,931,813 8

    11 10 Harriet Focus Features $2,310,000 – 1,346 -665 – $36,004,055 4

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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